Maybe he was thinking too much on it, he thought. Adriel had been staring at the stars lighting up the night, dancing motionlessly next to the moon. That was yesterday's incident. He was found laying down by the clearing near the borders, just taking his time to watch the sky and reflect. It's waning gibbous tonight. Yesterday was full moon, it felt like he could almost hear the howls from the therians in the woods. Everywhere else, that seemed to be the case for every full moon. In Evermore, however, it doesn't freak people out unlike other places. The sounds of the busy street interrupted his state of mind that was probably halfway across the world daydreaming, per usual. Daydreaming wasn't surprising to the Valkyr, especially when he was stuck in a torturous and boring meeting that nobody clearly needed. 

After another hour of having to hear the monotonous voice of their vice president, they were finally dismissed. The first thing he did was dash out of the conference room and head over to his own office so he could take a brief nap. It hasn't been easy to sleep properly, these days. Not for him. Meetings didn't usually bore him but today it did. Or it could be because Adriel couldn't focus on anything aside from the dreams he's been having lately. As vague as it showed itself to him, it only piqued the Valkyr's interest even more than it should. When he first came to Evermore, which was over a month ago, the first thing he did was try to understand how many factions the eternal city housed and their rules. Of course, the first one had to be the Valkyr faction; led by someone very familiar to him, Gideon Ashworth. 

It seems that even the city attracted people like Gideon and Cecilia. He has yet to meet the Valkyrie and would love to be granted an audience with him, though the same couldn't be said regarding the other one. Don't get him wrong, they had no rivalry or the likes but he would rather stir clear from the Italian who received plenty of complaints because of him. The clock struck and the sound of people rushing over to the elevator reminded him that it was lunch hour. Adriel for up from his seat and closed the door to his office carefully before taking the other elevator at the south wing in order to avoid packed areas. Whilst he had been maintaining a careful diet throughout the centuries, he'd rather prevent any risks from catching up. 

The blond decided to head over to the cafe across the building to get his daily dose of coffee, noticing the souvenir shop next to it that was recently opened a few days ago. As usual, the cafe was bustling with people, he was only lucky to get his coffee because he came just in time before it got busy. Adriel was simply leaning against the counter, waiting for his order to come by, when he suddenly caught a familiar face and silhouette. How could he not notice her when she was just queuing behind him. Like anyone, who would believe such a sight when you haven't seen them in such a long time, right? He initially assumed that, until he heard the name being called, "Ophelia" was all that escaped him as he tried to take in the person before him. 

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“Me too” she responded to his words of hope, there was always a small part of her that held onto hope that maybe one day they would be done with all the running and fighting for their lives, having to deploy political tactics just to be able to be free but that wasn’t something she could rely on happening, that wasn’t the smart or logical thing to do. When he spoke about finding his home she felt the words ‘me too’ once again on her lips but she swallowed them down and nodded slightly “Maybe one day we will understand what that word even means” but she didn’t see that happening soon, no place felt like it was the place she was supposed to be and if she was honest with herself, she couldn’t call her life a perfectly happy one, there was always this nagging feeling in her chest that things were going to be ripped away from her.

She knew that she should probably walk away, she always allowed herself to feel too much and every single time it had done nothing but gotten her hurt and in the end, left her alone and yet she always seemed to want to cling to those happy feelings, you’d think she would have learned this lesson by now. She played with one of her rings in her lap as she listened to him talk, explaining how he was the person responsible for the docks and that if they needed someone to take the fall for the operations happening, it was going to be him. It did make sense, she could understand why he needed to leave but she never really had a doubt about that, she had always known he was a man of his word and that was why she had believed his letter without question the day she received it. But it didn’t mean that knowing he left hurt any less.

Ophelia took a shaky breath, she realized he was still holding onto her hand and she knew she should probably pull it away but she couldn’t bring herself to either “You could have told me, you could have put your trust in me that I would have believed you” she spoke it softly, maybe there wasn’t anything she could have done to clear his name but at least she would have felt some peace in knowing she wasn’t the reason he left, she wouldn’t have sat wondering why the person most important to her wasn’t at her side anymore “Or you could have let me go instead of leaving my heart in balance for so long” she hadn’t wanted to move on but how could she stay and wait for someone who was becoming more and more like a ghost to her every day, every trace of him had disappeared with time until all she had left was the memories.

“I’m supposed to be the one who gets to decide if a risk is worth taking but you took that from me and you-” she choked on the words, knowing she was getting emotional as they talked, how could she not when she had all these unresolved feelings inside of her “You left me when I needed you” and that wasn’t something she was going to be able to move past easily, back then she hadn’t been as strong as she was now and him leaving had done a certain level of damage she wasn’t even sure he was aware of.

Adriel felt terrible, in quite possibly every sense he could. Is this what she had to go through all these years? And he wasn’t even by her side throughout them? What kind of a person who loves another but wouldn’t even do the bare minimum of standing by their side? Adriel Hansen, that’s who. Perhaps, that was why he’s been so miserable lately. “I understood what it meant once…” he murmured silently to himself, he remembered her as his home and he didn’t mind that. People had told him that when it comes down to survival 101, you could never truly allow yourself to be attached to someone but he didn’t care. What’s the point of living your life eternally when there was no one for you to share it with? He had thought that Evermore could be that place where he could start anew, maybe then his life wouldn’t be half as miserable and torturous as it once was.

 Living his life on a run hasn’t been pleasant for the Valkyr. Not when you’re also trying to evade your own kind and remain vigilant in everything you do as to not attract any unnecessary attention to himself. Despite everything that’s happened, Ophelia was still here, hearing him out when she didn’t have to, she didn’t owe him anything so there was no reason for the Wayfinder to stick around even when he pleaded her to do so. But she did, and he was going to make the most of it. Adriel may not be able to see her again after this, she wouldn’t want to see him, so he was treating this as his first and last after a while. Perhaps, that’s the best thing he could offer her now; his silence. He wondered what would happen if he wasn’t the person responsible for managing the docks then, would things be different? Would anything change between them then?

 There were so many questions and endless possibilities but he knew he couldn’t go back into time and change what has been done. Even if he was given the chance to do that, he wouldn’t take it up because what’s done is done and now he has to live with the choices he’s made. But at least he could tell her why he left, the hole that was in him wasn’t as wide as before. With his hand still wrapped around her delicate wrist, Adriel might have taken the chance to hold onto her for as long as he could, he missed her, deeply. “I knew I should’ve… but I didn’t, and now I have to live with it. Believe me, Phe, not a second goes by that I haven’t thought about it.” It hurts him still. He furrowed his eyebrows into a frown when she mentioned he could’ve chosen to let her go instead of leaving her with her heart in balance.

“As selfishly as it sounds, I didn’t want to let you go. You were the only good thing that I’ve found after wandering the world for long. What’s the point of having all the years under your belt or being successful if I didn’t have someone to share it with? You were that person” he stared into her dark hues sincerely, “I wanted to stay by your side for more years to come, it may have seemed far-fetched but I also pictured a life ahead of us. We were happy…” Were, even that word continues to hurt him because it was a reminder of what he’s lost. He swore he could feel his heart break further when he saw how upset he’s made her, seeing is believing, after all, he knew he caused plenty of damage to the poor Celestial but now that he’s seeing it on his own, it hits differently, “I’m sorry... “ It wasn’t something a simple sorry could fix, unfortunately, but he didn’t want to look down to the ground and be silent. She deserves so much more. 

“You deserved so much and I was unable to deliver what I promised to do.” He promised her happiness, this wasn’t it. “I didn’t expect to find you here of all places, I almost gave up searching for you after a century of nothing, but you didn’t deserve that. At least now… I’ve fulfilled that part by a bit. I saw you again.” 

She always made that mistake, no matter how many times it defined itself as a mistake she couldn’t stop her heart from getting attached to people and every time when they left, it hurt. Adriel had been one, but not the only person who had broken her heart and each time it happened she found herself asking the question of whether the happiness was worth the pain. She still didn’t have the answer. And she never expected one of those people who broke her heart to come back into her life “You always were the cheesy one” she responded when he said he knew what it meant once. A meek attempt to try and lighten the mood just a little because she wasn’t sure she could handle all this anger and upset.

She did force her gaze to lift to his as she spoke, she wanted to see his response to her words and she wanted him to understand that his choices had hurt her. She wasn’t trying to punish him or make him feel miserable but she was trying to explain how after 300 years, things could never go back to the way they were before. Part of her even wished that they could but the truth was that she wasn’t the same girl she was back then and she never would be again. “Yeah well that goes for the both of us, not a single day went by that I didn’t question why you didn’t come back, why you never told me what happened and even...how...you could leave, how you even found the strength to do that” because honestly, back then, she wasn’t sure she could have brought herself to do the same.

She could understand his reluctance to let go, to try and hold onto something, whenever things got hard for her, often all she had to hold onto was the best memories she had and the hope that one day she could find that same happiness again so she understood. “That perfect life was never in the cards for us” she spoke it softly, she really wished it could have been but if it hadn’t been his leaving then it would have been something else “What hope did a Valkyr and a Celestial ever really have, the whole world practically defines that we’re supposed to stay away from one another” and she would have never wanted to ask him to spend his life on the run because of her “You didn’t tell me because you knew I’d want to go with you” she commented softly realizing he had probably made the same choice she might make.

“I accept your apology” she spoke softly, after a few moments to process his words, she had to because she couldn’t spend the rest of her life hating him for what he did, that wasn’t healthy, especially not now they were living in the same city one more. “And I’m sorry too, I’m sorry that you had to live your life like that, under scrutiny and blame when you did nothing wrong” given the false imprisonment of her people she understood how it felt to be punished for a crime you never committed “I think it’s time the both of us stop living in a past we can’t go back to” she pressed her lips together, how she wished she could but she just didn’t feel the same anymore, about the world, about the life she had to leave, it was all different now.

He knew she probably had no idea that he would resurface again after all these years of going off the radar, for a good reason. It was hard to believe the person who dared to leave you after promising to go through the future together is now, here, right in front of you, once again begging for forgiveness that you weren’t sure you shouldn’t be giving or not. Adriel understood that sentiment as well, which was why he wasn’t being too hopeful when it comes to forgiveness, but he wanted to apologize because he owed her that and once he had delivered exactly what he had been planning for the past century, perhaps he could move on with ease. Did he still love her? Of course, he does. How could he not? How could he forget her when her face and laughter is all that motivated him to get up every day for the past 300 years, to keep on living?

 “Someone has to be it, you were far too uptight” he teased, Phe was far from being uptight, she was like a flower that bloomed under the sun taking one after another, but kept blooming. But it was something of the old that he always teased her for being ‘uptight’ since she would be too busy with her smithing instead of spending the first few days with him. It had been like that when he first started to court her. A small smile crept up when he realized it was her attempt to lighten the situation they were in, it was very much appreciated and he remembered how considerate Ophelia was. This was why he said nothing and left when he could without telling her, she would follow him and he couldn’t have that. She would put herself in more danger. Would this be something if he didn’t stop by the baron’s house that day or fell from his horse? Would it be different if he didn’t meet her that day? Adriel didn’t regret meeting her, much less loving her. His faults were his own, but meeting Ophelia Dreyvalian wasn’t one of them.

 “It took me every will I had to force myself to leave. I could leave when I told myself that I would be putting you in danger, that’s when it was all decided.” Because her safety matters the most to him. “Star-crossed lovers who weren’t supposed to be in love with one another because the world says so” he chuckled wryly, it was ironic to him that they chose to defy all the odds still, “A Valkyr and a Celestial could never be together because it’s against the rules of nature.” He didn’t care and she didn’t either, it was why they still keep on meeting each other one day after another. When she realized it on her own why he didn’t tell her he was leaving, Adriel frowned and sighed heavily, “Please do not think it was because I thought bringing you along would make things difficult. I would’ve loved to do that but wouldn’t I be selfish if I was to jeopardize your safety just because I couldn’t sort my own problems? I had a lot of eyes on me, I had to run when a bounty was placed on me, that would’ve shifted the attention to you. You, a Celestial who shouldn’t be introducing herself to the entire world.” 

He lifted his gaze slightly when she told him she accepted his apology, did she really? She was right, they couldn’t possibly keep living in the past, they had to move on and he was sure they have. “You’re right, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t come as a newcomer in this city, right?” He chewed his lip apprehensively before having his hand outstretched towards her, “Good day, nice miss, I’m Adriel.” 

She rolled her eyes when he mentioned how she was always uptight, she remembered how he always called her that because she was too busy with her work to always spend time with him, he would often come to see her at the blacksmith and then complain when she wouldn’t slack off with him “Some of us had a lot of work to do back then” she commented with a wry smile resting on her lips, she remembered how much banter they used to have been them because of the differences in their lives, he was the type who just wanted to get on his boat and sail away and she was always tied to her responsibilities. She distinctly remembered telling him that he was trouble at least a couple of times. Still, she had always found herself a little envious of the freedom he had and how he could go wherever he wanted to without fear. Well, up until what happened at the port it seemed.

She nodded slightly, as much as she wanted to say that she wouldn’t have been in danger if she went with him, he was right, she would have been and she would have been put in the position where she would have likely put off her quest to find more people like her, people who needed her “You know I would have come with you right?” she would have followed him anywhere back then, she wasn’t sure if what was a good or bad thing but she would have, she was absolutely caught up in him. “Why is it that the things the world said we shouldn’t want were the things we reached for?” they literally made one another weak and yet they still found ways to be together because they cared for one another that much. “I really would have liked the chance to say goodbye” she spoke softly, nodding her head in understanding, now that he explained it, in a way he was right, him telling her to come with him would have been detrimental to both of them.

“But you should know that I’m past hiding from who I am” she admitted with a soft smile towards him “Here in this city the ambassadors all know what I am, I live with my people here and it’s...different from how things used to be” it had taken a long time to earn this status and feel like she could put aside her paranoia and make a life here but she still worried sometimes that it could go away and they would be left with nothing once more. Still, she couldn’t keep dwelling on those fears or she would never accomplish anything with her life. “Well then as an ambassador to the city, I welcome you” seeing the hand he held out she dropped her eyes to it for a moment before taking it in hers and holding it gently, her eyes full of emotion as she listened to him introduce himself “I’m Ophelia” what a strange situation to find herself in.

“And what do you intend to do in this city, Adriel?” she asked curiously wondering what he did with his life since they parted, whether he found his calling or not.

Now that he was able to think things back, he remembered how much he missed the time he would need to sneak a peek just to get out of work to see her. Since Adriel works at the docks, a place that is always busy, he wasn’t able to spare as much time as he probably should. And there were times when he felt extremely burdened by the guilt since Ophelia deserved more attention. Nonetheless, the Celestial Wayfinder never expressed her frustration over it. He tries to make up for it when he could. “Mhmm... we were so busy back then” When he couldn’t spend as much time with her, he would often send letters of poetry written by her dearest. “Our schedules are always clashing, when I’m free you wouldn’t be, and when you’re free, I wouldn’t be. It frustrated me for sure.” 

He always wanted to take her away whenever he could, meanwhile, Ophelia always had to think of the risks and long term effects. It was clear that she was more of the thinker out of the two of them. Adriel would be away sometimes, having to sail away, which would cause the Valkyr to recount the time they’ve spent together as soon as he returns. When she said that, Adriel found himself grinning softly and nodding, “I know… I know you would join me and follow me wherever I go. But I couldn’t have you do that even when I wanted to” It was a difficult decision to make but when he thought about her safety, there was nothing else more important. “That’s one of the reasons why I was smitten by you” Her endless motivations, it was no surprise Adriel too, was caught in her charms. 

“Maybe we have a penchant to rebel and want things we should be wanting, like any child, right? We’re children of nature so maybe that’s it… somehow the things we shouldn’t want just drew us in for more.” Like how he shouldn’t be falling for a Celestial; a being that would weaken him the same way it would weaken her to be around him constantly. They were the dark and light, two complete opposites. Yet they still tried to defy all the logic surrounding it. “I’m sorry I never thought to give you the chance to say goodbye, it must’ve hurt badly… I just couldn’t fathom the thought of you uttering the word goodbye, I guess. Maybe I was selfish” he chuckled at the end of his words, it sounded so pathetic. A surprised look etched itself on his face when she told him she was past hiding who she was, he’s glad, “That’s good. Nobody should have to hide who they are… regardless of their situation.”

 He still has yet to know more about the city but judging from the way she described it, the leaders, they sound like they make the city a thriving platform. “I’ve only been here for a few months so I’m still new, but you’ve been here for a while and I think I’ll take in your word” Maybe Evermore can be a place he calls home. God knows how long he’s been longing to find a place such as that all this time. The moment she clasped his hand into her own, Adriel could feel his heart fluttering at the mere gesture, “Pleased to make your acquaintance, Ophelia” the smile tugging on his lips was just like the smile he offered her the first time he met her. “I recently found a position in one of the companies here as their new financial manager, I guess you could say I’m here on working reasons. But who knows, maybe I’ll grow to like this city. You? What are you doing these days?”

She nodded a few times, they were busy, she knew him before she had really known what she was and what her duty was and so she had been living her life free, she had no idea why she never aged or why she always felt this weakness she always did around him but she had done her best to try and live her life, to be happy and to set down roots. How naive she had been back then in retrospect. Still, she remembered those times fondly because it was the time when she felt most truly herself, when her burdens were only her own. “I was a young girl trying to make something of herself” she commented with a slight grin, she missed being so ambitious and all those long days in the blacksmith but she definitely didn’t miss the muscle ache that came with it. 

He had been the first person that had managed to take her away from that path, for a little while and while she played with coy with him for a while, she always found him pretty charming, she liked how open-minded he was when it came to her and her work. He had been with her while she researched what she was, she confessed to him about she didn’t remember her past and the two of them had searched down the truth together. She was going to ask him to come with her on the journey to find her people but he had disappeared into the night before she got the chance to “It’s funny because I was about to ask you to leave with me..help me find more people like me” but in the end, she had made that journey alone and it had been hard. 

“Or maybe we just didn’t know better back then” she had been pretty naive and definitely allowed herself to get caught up in the moment, she did regret letting herself get distracted a little but she didn’t regret her time with him. He had made the first part of her life brighter and for that, she would always treasure their memories. But that’s what they are now, memories, something that lays in the past. She pressed her lips together, feeling the emotion swelling in her when he apologized for not letting her say goodbye “It might have been easier for you but for me…” she shrugged slightly “I guess you could say it made me question a lot of things” like whether she did something to drive him away and whether there was anything she could have said to make him stay. 

She nodded slightly when he said he would take her thoughts on the city for a fact “You should experience it for yourself, it really is quite the unique place to live, even for a fallen star” she never expected to find a place so tolerant and embracing of the supernatural. Where she could be in the face of those who she once fled from and find herself on some sort of equal footing with them, it was almost shocking for her. The introduction was simple but it felt like more than that as she looked back at him, it had been so long since she looked into those blue eyes, so full of emotion and depth “A financial manager, that sounds awfully proper” she commented and laughed softly “I have a little shop in the square, I make dresses for formal events mostly” and excitingly she’d been given an order for a wedding dress recently, she was looking forward to that. 

He didn't mind what she did, back in the day. When he first met her, he was just captivated by her beauty and came to know that she was a lot more than what she seemed to carry herself to be. Finding out that she was working at the smithy piqued his interest, even more so when he finally realized after a few months of getting to know her, that he was visibly weaker around her. Adriel may have lived a fair few centuries before meeting her, he may have known his way around things as a Valkyr and knew that there were so many others in the world that they lived in; supernaturals. People that tried to live their lives normally. But he didn't know what a Celestial was, not until Phe herself, told him. It took her a great amount of trust to even be telling him all of those. After finding out what she was, how different it makes her to stand out even within the supernatural realm, the Valkyr volunteered to help her find more information regarding her species.

 Of course, he'd help. When you love someone that much, wouldn't you love to offer them a much better life in the future? In the future he saw was that of them maintaining a careful one, but a life filled with love nonetheless. Clearly that didn't work out as he expected it would. Adriel was visibly surprised when she told him she was just about to ask him to leave with her in search for her kind, people like her, "Really?" He didn't expect that one. "So… we were going to leave, at the end of the day, one way or another, huh?" It was inevitable too, he guessed. If they didn't leave because of that, they would eventually need to leave due to their never-changing youthful appearance. They were both immortals, so it would be difficult to blend in for decades in the same place while looking the same.

 "Maybe… but I don't regret a single moment of it. Every choice and every decision I've made during our time together, they were sincerely from my heart" he didn't regret being weak around her upon knowing a Celestial and a Valkyr couldn't be together in the same room, much less sleep on the same bed. It didn't stop him nor her. Ophelia remained an important figure in his life, "I've lived a long life, but our time together will always be the best memory I had." As ironic as it was, he found love when he had least expected it. He frowned momentarily upon hearing her confession about what he had made her feel when he left, he hated that he was the reason for that frown and pain, "I hate knowing I hurt you that badly... " he murmured softly, his eyes were still searching for her own, desperate to find that validation once again. After all, Adriel knew he still loves her even when she may no longer feel the same about him. To him, it seems like his feelings to her may never change. 

"If you like the city and managed to find somewhat a home out of it, I guess it must be true what people say about it. It's magical?" From the outside, it looks intimidating but so welcoming. He remembered being enticed by it when he first laid eyes on the eternal city just as he passed the border. From her words, every species had a representative, a spokesman, he could only imagine that means equality. "Yeah the title does make it sound a lot fancier than it actually is but considering as I do field trips and compile information from inside my office, I can't say much" he chuckled, it makes up a stable job for him as he couldn't wander around forever and he's had experience being a businessman so why not delve into something similar? "So you're putting that sewing skills to good use. I'm glad, you were always so good at sewing, I still have the cuff-links you made me" He even wore them today, somehow he just wanted to keep wearing them as a memory, so he lifted up his hand to show her.

One thing she had always appreciated with him back then was how patient he always was with her, when she first told her he wanted to court her she had shrugged it off for a while thinking that everyone whoever said that didn’t have the time or commitment to give to someone who led a busy life like her “Neither of us ever planned to stay in London” she responded and gave a small smile in his direction. Perhaps what happened was inevitable because their paths weren’t following in the same direction. “Leaving to see the world was a big step for me but one that led me to find so many people like me” which meant she was no longer alone when it came to the life she led and she liked to think she prevented some of them from ever coming into harm’s way.

She nodded slightly, pressing her lips together to hold back the emotion as he said he didn’t regret the decisions he had made when it came to them “I just wish it could have remained...easy for a little while longer” she always remembered her time with him as the simpler time in her life when things made sense and there wasn’t this constant quest to find more. Where she didn’t feel as pressured to be this leader she was apparently assigned to by birthright. Not that she was complaining, she had now come to understand the part she must play when it came to her people but she still had those small moments where she wondered if it was possible to have a life of her own too. “Maybe hurt was the push we needed to find where we were supposed to go” she spoke it softly because she didn’t know how to feel about seeing him now, it felt like this distant nostalgia she wasn’t supposed to return to but him being here right now was making her feel emotions she hadn’t in a long time.

The way he described the city as magical made her smile softly “I’d like to think so in some aspects but then maybe I also want to believe that magic is actually made up of this general desire for everyone to be able to live their lives, equally” that was the impression she got from the council and the ambassadors. Of course, there were exceptions to the rule but they were outliers, not the full story. “Well, at least it’s an official title, something you can earn” she had never had a professional title really and now she was self-employed so she still didn’t have a formal job title, not that she minded, she actually quite liked working alone “It was the one thing which always made sense to me and it turns out other people quite like what I made too” she smiled to herself but she gasped when she looked down to see the little cufflinks she had made him, still shiny in the sleeves of his shirts.

She reached out hesitantly to turn his sleeve and inspect them with a soft smile resting on her lips “I remember making these, took me hours because the inscription was so intricate, I must have redone it about 12 times before getting it perfect” it had been a great learning process for her and honestly, it meant something to her that he’d kept them all this time.

He didn’t mind if he had to wait for her for as long as he had to, he only ever wondered when things may end, even if he didn’t want them to end. At nights, just to make him feel better, Adriel would often think back how they used to enjoy the days together. He would come back with a bouquet of flowers for the Celestial and she would tease him how cheesy he was being, especially with the poems he gave. It felt so long ago, but it always gave him a clear reason to smile upon his day, knowing those memories may not bring her back to him but at least it could remind him of what they had, once. “No… we never did plan to stay. I thought sooner or later, we would’ve gone elsewhere. I wanted to take you away, I was just waiting for the right moment” they were never going to stay there forever. Every single time he boarded the ship, he would stare at the sails, wondering how it would feel to be boarding the same ship but with her, instead. 

He wasn’t sure if he would’ve tagged alongside her to help her find others like her, but he knew he would’ve tried to be by her side for as long as he could until he couldn’t. That alone gives him enough reassurance that while things would end someday, he would try to make it last. “How was it? Finding others like you?” He imagined it must’ve been exciting for her, to find the people she’s been trying to find. Me too, he murmured silently to himself, upon hearing her wish that things could’ve stayed easy for a while longer. But he couldn’t say it out loud, he didn’t want to reminisce the good times that would coerce the sadness and nostalgia out. Not now. He just found her again so he’s going to make the best of her company, per usual. “It does suck to know you had to be kicked to the face for you to understand it had to be done for the better” he sighed heavily, he would’ve preferred to be briefed about it easier, but that’s never an option. 

“Somehow, it sounds absurd to think they’d offer us the thing we never wanted and we’d accept without fighting it, maybe that’s why it forced itself on us when we least expect it” It comes biting you and you’re left with minimal options or none at all. “I hate that it meant I had to hurt you though” It has passed, but that didn’t mean Adriel could forget how her heart must’ve felt. His heart yearned for her for centuries, after all. “The idea of a place where everyone could co-exist and live peacefully in a community that is unified… that’s a pretty picture” The blond was grateful to have heard about Evermore when he did, life was a bit better, he didn’t have to run as much as of a century ago but it did feel slightly bland to be moving here and there every few decades, simply because he didn’t age. 

“I enjoy working as one, I’ve traveled but traveling for work hits differently. Besides, I met plenty of other people, some of them are in my contacts” he chuckled, some of the people he’s met are to his liking, he felt this curiosity rising up when his gaze fell on her, her smile always held a message in them; whether they were an emotion or simply a facade, Adriel wondered if she was truly happy now. “Your dresses always did look fashionable and unique, I’m guessing your customers would love that kind of flair.” When she examined the cuff-links, Adriel only had eyes on her, staring at the raven-haired beauty with an indescribable look, yeah, he misses her. A lot. “And it ended up being perfect for another three centuries. I kept them polished all the time” To say he was proud would be an understatement. “I lost it a few times but I always got them back.” If he could, he wanted to stay here and keep on talking with her, “How many of your kind are there, here?”

Every time she thought about that time in the past it was always accompanied by the thought that it was such a long time ago and she had changed so much since then. The Ophelia he knew back then had changed and evolved over time, back then she was naive and wore her heart much more carelessly than she does now. Still, him being here did tug at her emotions and make her miss the person she used to be a little “I think in a way our minds were...too far forward for that single city, we needed the space to see things” now that she was looking back on it she did have a lot of opportunities to explore and see brand new things throughout her life.

She smiled slightly when he asked what the experience of finding people like her was like “An adventure, a really long adventure that I never expected” firstly she had found Artemis and William which had led her to travel the seas with Niram and Alva and slowly but surely they began to build up their numbers. She had been happy not to feel so alone in the world because while she had been taken in by a family after she fell, she always wondered why she was so different from everyone else, why she couldn’t remember her past and those travels finally made everything fall into place. “Easy is never the realistic path” she commented softly, she had learned that with time, if something seemed too good to be true, it usually was, which is why every decision she made now came with caution.

She nodded slightly when he expressed that he hated that he had to hurt her, she could sense how sorry he was and she got this feeling from him that he hadn’t really moved forward with his life. She hadn’t had a choice on that matter, when you lived a life like hers you couldn’t be constantly thinking about the past, you had to be thinking about tomorrow and how you were going to stay alive. “‘I’ve been through a lot worse” he commented softly and shrugged, when you put it all into perspective, her first heartbreak had been nothing compared to spending her life on the run, not being able to get to her people for a full century and eventually being the trigger which caused the death of many people. “Yeah it almost seems unreal huh?” she commented it and nodded “But I think the fact my people have been living here for 3 years without any of casualties is enough of an advocation” though she still felt the need to be careful.

“Sounds like you’re keeping busy” she commented it softly “You don’t realize until you’ve lived for quite a while how important that is” as an immortal is was incredibly easy to get sucked into the dark sides of life or get bored of the world, she often found herself needing to learn new things in order to keep her mind from wandering too much. “And back then I could only make them with the scraps leftover from the nobles, nowadays I can pretty much get hold of anything I want, it’s almost dangerously creative” she grinned slightly, she was really enjoying being able to bring whatever was in her mind to life. As she inspected the cuff links, the realization set in that he had kept them for this long, not only kept them but worn them and ensured they still looked as shiny as the day she gave him them “Why did you wear them for so long?” she asked it in a soft voice as she slowly pulled away.

“Around thirty now” she responded with a slight nod of her head “I have a lot of people looking up to me now, I almost feel like a proud mom” she laughed shaking her head slightly. She could see that look in his eyes, she remembered it, it was the ‘just a little while longer look’ he would give her whenever he came to see her at the blacksmith. She sighed gently “I should be getting back to work” she had an important customer coming this afternoon and she didn’t want to be late to meet them.

People were bound to evolve, especially as the times change, he adapted well to the technological advancements the world offered while still remembering his past, and he was sure Ophelia was the same. Though he still longed to be reunited with her the way he wished secretly inside his head, being able to see her again today was more than enough. Adriel was glad to find her fine, healthy and content with the life she currently lives in. Things will never be the same ever again. But that doesn't mean he couldn't still make the effort to befriend her after rekindling their relationship. A friendship is just as pure, the Valkyr knew he would want to look after the Celestial Wayfinder, one way or another. Now that he's finally seen her again, he'll be sure to make up for every single mistake he's made. It was the least he could do. 

"So we traveled… and learned so many new things…" It opened his mind to potential risks and opportunities alike. He's traveled before settling in England, but it was a different kind of setting. Things were different because the circumstances were different. A smile crept up when she told him she went through a series of an adventurous journey, "You found others like you and somehow… you managed to rally them together, I imagine that's quite the impressive feat, I'm proud of you, Phe" he truly was. The person he knew, was just as strong, but the woman he sees today, seemed to exude a stronger presence. "It's not realistic but I'm sure everyone has, at least, dreamt of a life they wanted, once. For me, the life I dreamt for was that. No matter how absurd it sounded like." It was one way to fuel his dreams. "Well, here's to hoping it wouldn't get any worse than it already has, for both of us" Whatever Ophelia went through, Adriel wouldn't want to pry, it wasn't his place and he had no right to ask. 

Perhaps, in time she would be more comfortable to share some details as they catch up. The Celestial seemed busy, understandably so. 3 years, that's how long she's stayed here. It was impressive. He wouldn't expect her to stay for long. The city must've offered a better sanctuary compared to elsewhere. "I am, I need to make a move and adapt to the century, right? If I don't, then I'll have to catch up" Speaking of which, he wondered if he could be given the chance to continue this another day, she had to leave for her errands soon and he didn't want this to be their last meeting. When she asked him why he held onto the cuff-links, up to the point where he made sure to wear them until today, Adriel found himself shrugging, a small smile playing on his lips, "It reminds me of you. You made it, especially for me after a dozen tries. The least I could do is honor the promise I made to always keep it on me. So I did." And because I miss you, he mumbled to himself.

 "You should be proud. You've come a long way, Phe. You have so much potential and I imagine you've utilized them." And there it was, she had work to do and he really shouldn't be keeping her from it. "Right, and I should probably get back before my lunch hour is up... " he stood up and bit his bottom lip apprehensively, "Phe… will we meet again?" He sounded so timid and gentle, as if hoping she would say yes. 

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