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    Chapter 55: Lucky People

    When they returned to the makeshift camp, the first thing that Nephis did was come up to Cassie.

    "Hey, Cas. Guess what."

    The blind girl turned to her and smiled:

    "You've finally received an armor-type Memory?"

    Simultaneously, Nephis said:

    "I found something decent to wear…"

    Then she fell silent and stared at her smiling friend. Cassie laughed:

    "The sound of your footsteps changed."

    Changing Star blinked.

    "Ah. I see. Well… it's from the Carapace Centurion."

    While she was describing the armor to Cassia and letting her touch the mysterious white metal it was forged out of, Sunny relaxed and rested by the fire.

    Some time later, Nephis was busy preparing dinner. Sunny was once again lying lazily on the stones and staring into the sky.

    The sky, like always, was grey and unfriendly.

    With all three of them equipped with decent armor, they were finally starting to resemble a real Awakened cohort. In fact, Sunny thought that their group was rather eye-catching even by Awakened standards.

    In her light tunic and sea-wave cloak, beautiful and delicate Cassie looked like a princess. Lithe and poised, Nephis was like a noble knight tasked with protecting her. Sunny, however…

    If he was generous to himself, he would say that he looked like a young squire.

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    But truthfully, he resembled a page boy a lot more — at best. If a random stranger were to see the three of them, that stranger would most likely assume that Sunny was either a lowly servant or a feeble ruffian that had been captured by the noble lady's guard.

    'Well, that'll just add to their surprise when I stab them in the back.'

    Wait… why would he stab a random stranger?

    'Ah, who cares. I'm sure there'll be a reason.'

    At that moment, Cassie sat down by his side. Sunny turned his head, looking at the blind girl with a bit of surprise.

    She bit her lip.

    "Nephis told me that you almost died yesterday."

    'Oh, so that's what this is about.'

    He shrugged.


    Then, with a silent sigh, Sunny added:

    "But don't worry about it too much. It's not my first brush with death."

    Although it was, as far as he knew, the closest. The memory still sent shivers running down his spine.

    Cassie was silent for a while. Then, she quietly said:

    "I'm sorry."

    Sunny raised his eyebrows.

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    "Sorry? What are you sorry for?"

    The blind girl lowered her eyes.

    "For being so useless."

    Sunny frowned and looked away. A second or two later, he said in his usual careless tone:

    "You're not useless."

    Cassie softly chuckled.

    "Aren't I? If I want to walk, I need to be leashed to you or Neph. If I want to eat, I need to wait for one of you to feed me. That's my life now. I can't do even the simplest of things without your help… let alone be of use to either of you in return."

    Slowly, her voice turned raw with emotion. This was the first time Sunny had seen her mask of resolve slip a little, revealing the desperate, angry, frightened face beneath. He was silent for a long time. Then, he said:

    "Hey, have I ever told you about my First Nightmare?"

    The blind girl shook her head. Sunny half-closed his eyes.

    "My First Nightmare was as bad as it gets. To tell you the truth, the situation was pretty hopeless. I was a slave destined to die of cold or mistreatment. Chained, bleeding, defenseless. What's worse, my Aspect turned out to be completely useless. I mean, literally. If I remember correctly, the phrase the Spell chosen to describe it was "a useless wretch with no skills or abilities worth a mention."

    Cassie turned her head slightly, visibly drawn in by his words.

    "Then… how did you survive? Did things change for the better?"

    Sunny smiled.

    "Gods no. In fact, they quickly turned worse. Much, much worse. But, what would you know? In a strange twist of fate, my useless Aspect turned out to be the only thing that could guide me through that mess alive. In that regard, I was incredibly lucky."

    He shifted a little and glanced at the delicate girl, noticing a thoughtful frown on her face.

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    "But here is a thing about luck. People usually speak about it as though luck is something that just happens to you. It's not. Luck is fifty percent circumstance and fifty percent your own ability to grasp it. Luck is something you have to make happen yourself. I fought with everything I had to survive. That's one of the two reasons I'm still here."

    Saying that, Sunny remembered the cold, dark mountain and shivered. Then, pushing the chilling memories away, he continued:

    "The second reason is the Spell itself. I won't go as far as to call it reasonable, but it is fair… in its own, perverted way. The Spell takes with one hand and gives with the other. It was like this with my First Nightmare, and it is the same with you."

    Cassie's frown deepened. Sunny chose his next words very carefully. Eventually, he said:

    "Your Flaw is the most debilitating one I have ever seen or heard of. You are right, without help from someone like Neph, it would have been a certain death sentence. And people like her… well, I'm not even sure that someone else like that exists. But…"

    The blind girl gritted her teeth.

    "But what?"

    Sunny looked at her with a serious expression.

    "But that also means that the other side of the Flaw, your power, is equally as extraordinary. You just haven't found the way to grasp it yet. When you do… believe me, you'll remember this conversation and feel very embarrassed about how naive and foolish you were."

    Cassie's expression changed to one of doubt and confusion.

    "Do you really think so?" she whispered.

    There was a hint of desperate desire in her voice. However, the question itself almost made him laugh, for an obvious reason.

    "Trust me. I'm the most honest person in the world. Two worlds, in fact."

    …Sunny would actually love nothing more than to be less honest, but, sadly, he was physically incapable of doing so. Of course, she didn't have to know that.

    Cassie was silent for a long time, lost in thought. It looked as though she was in the throes of some inner struggle. Sunny almost assumed that their conversation was over, but then she suddenly said in a low, raspy voice:

    "I had more visions than I told you guys about."

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