Exploring My World - Revisited
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58 Helping Hands - Part 1
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Exploring My World - Revisited
Author :KearDarkfire
© Webnovel

58 Helping Hands - Part 1

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"Kid what are you doing?" A man dressed in blue and with some armor covering his chest walked over towards Ayanni.

"Just heading to the library." Ayanni just pointed in the direction to the man. He was aware that the man wasn't normal. He clearly noticed that he was wearing armor, although he wasn't entirely sure what that meant. His brain was working fast to find an answer. "You're a police officer?"

"Yes… Officer Nerven. What's your name?" The man said that like it was supposed to be obvious.

"My name is Ayanni. It's nice to meet you."

"How old are you Ayanni?"

"Sixteen." He remembered reading, in the information given by Lera, that police officers were essentially like guards. It made sense to him, though he wasn't sure what warranted Nerven to be talking to him.

'What're you doing out of school, Ayanni?" His expression and voice was neutral. Ayanni couldn't even make out any curiosity in that statement.

"I haven't enrolled in school. The situation is complicated, but I won't be here long enough for it to be worth it. Just staying here for a few more weeks then I'll be leaving." He did remember that people his age went to school, but it seems like it was more of a requirement.

"Just visiting Hapho? Where are you from?" Neven pressed on.

"Somewhere far away." He didn't know of other places in this world and explaining it would make the situation worse.

"What about your parents or guardian?"

'Is he insinuating that I ran away?'

To get warmed up and to keep his body in shape, he had met with Paroppe at the gym this morning she has been going to. They had sparred and he was a bit sweaty, but he cleaned himself up in the changing room and was wearing clean clothes that he brought with him in his bag. Maybe his guess was wrong, but the situation was uncomfortable.

"My parents are at home… I'm staying with my aunt here."

"Oh, and is your aunt at work right now?"

"She's at home."

"You wouldn't mind if I pop by to see if everything's all right?"

When he asked that it finally dawned on him. Due to his sparring with Paroppe, he still had bruising. He had been quick preventing himself using magic, at least out in the open, that he forgot to heal his injuries. Healing fast, in a world without magic, would cause concern. Of course having bruises in a society that doesn't focus on fighting is cause for concern.

Back to the guard. Ayanni thought that Neven had no right to go to the apartment he was staying at. He wanted to go to the library to learn and that was what he was going to do.

"No."

"Is that so… take care Ayanni." Neven walked past him along the street.

Ayanni was happy that he could move past that and go learn some more.

---

She dodged left, moved backwards until she hit the ropes. Yini was moving fast with her so she didn't have time. She ducked down as Yini's fist went straight for her face and stumbled back into the middle of the arena. Paroppe was breathing heavily. Yini turned around to meet her and got close, tackling her to the ground. Paroppe took a couple hits in her stomach, right where she had been stabbed.


Yini was no longer in front of her.

There was a knife in her stomach and Lera was on the ground being attacked. She had to use whatever means to save herself and get them off Lera. She elbowed the person near her head and brought her knees closer to her chest to push the one who stabbed her, closer her head. With a headbutt she got the attacker off her, but the attacker was strong. The dark figure stayed there so she used the momentum to get on top of her attacker. That stunned the figure long enough to get a couple blows to its face and knee it in the side.

Then Yini was on the ground with blood. Paroppe reeled back and off of her. She lost focus and started shaking.

"What was that?" Yini shouted at her. She wiped the blood off her mouth before sitting up.

"I didn't mean to go that far."

Their sparring ended and once they were in the changing rooms, Yini walked over to her. Paroppe was just sitting on a wooden bench.

"Want to talk about it?" Yini offered her a flask… bottle of water.

'Do I want to talk about it?'

"I was going to the spa with my friend. We took a shortcut, that I thought was safe. We got surrounded. Instead of running away, I fought back. That was a mistake, because Lera was on the ground next to me. I wasn't strong enough…" Lera put her hand on her stomach where her bruises were. "I saw the horror in Lera's eyes when I got stabbed, but I was powerless to help her. She was weak and fragile. I had been training a lot, but I still couldn't do anything. I put us in that position."

Paroppe wasn't crying, though she was blinking a lot to hold it back.

"Is that why I find you here instead of at school?" Yini asked her.

"I'm already done with school." Paroppe was telling the truth, but Yini took it a different way.

"When I was your age, I thought that school didn't matter. I wanted to join the military and fight. That was all I wanted to do. So when I found out that I needed to graduate from school with good grades, I was devastated. I had been wasting my time… so I put much more effort into my classes. When I tried to join the military, I had found out that my effort was worth it. I was in. Of course since I'm here, things didn't go as planned. I got injured and was kicked out." Yini looked back at Paroppe who was listening intensely. "You're thinking, how could I be injured? I won't go into the boring details but someone made a mistake. An explosion later, I found myself in the hospital. Didn't even make it out of basic. So I train hard now. I'm working towards my next goal to become a firefighter."

"But…"

"Don't let those things in your past hold you back. I want to help people and I thought the military was the place for me. Now that it isn't, I found another way to achieve my goal. Working hard," Yini gestured to the area around them both, "here allows me to better myself so that I can be ready for the challenges ahead. You had something bad happen to you at a young age, but like me you are trying to work on yourself. You just need some guiding and accept that what happened in the past happened."

Paroppe thought that maybe she was protecting Lera too much because of that. She tried to give her a sense of normalcy and as much comfort as she could. She did think of herself as a big sister, even if Lera was older, that it was her duty to protect her family. What happened in that alley was a mistake and one she should forgive herself for. It turned alright in the end. Due to that event, they learned more about her younger sister. Then she was able to be here.

With Ayanni.

Paroppe smiled and thanked Yini.

---

Lera was kneading the dough. There were some nuts mixed in.

Paroppe had done a nice job picking out the ingredients. So while those two were off doing their things today, she was still inside making use of her time making food. Ayanni and Paroppe should be back in a couple hours.

She finished kneading the dough, placed into a bowl and set it in the fridge. She planned on making that tomorrow night. Kind of like a desert.

Though making lunch for her friends was a bit easier. It wouldn't take long to make, so she had time to spare.

She sat on the couch and turned on the tv. The news said that it would be sunny all week. That was nice.

*Knock Knock*

Lera turned to the door. She didn't want to answer it at all. Talking with others right now was something she couldn't do.

"Hello, I'm your neighbor next door, Thrann's mother. I was wondering if you had any cream that I could borrow?"

'She's making food too?'

Lera did have cream, but could she open that door? It was better to help people and it wasn't like she needed to talk to her. She walked to the fridge, grabbed the cream and opened the door slightly. Just enough for her arm and the cream to make it outside.

"Oh… Uh, thank you very much."

Once the cream from her hand was taken away, Lera quickly closed the door after removing her arm. Her heart was beating fast. She turned around and tripped over her feet and plopped on the ground.

"Hello? Are you okay?"

Lera didn't answer, but before she could get up the door opened up. The woman, very much looked like Thrann, repeated her question if she was okay. Lera was fine, but flinched, not from pain, but having to interact with someone wasn't something she was up to.

Lera just nodded to let the woman know she was fine.

"Let me help you over there." Thrann's mother helped her stand and walked over to the couch. She slowly lowered her on the couch. She then started checking over Lera's body for obvious injuries. Lera pulled back before she could go further. "I'm sorry. I'll leave you now."

She did, but since she helped Lera, she left the cream on the countertop.

Now Lera didn't know what to do. Have Thrann's mother come back when she realizes that she forgot the cream or should she get it over with? Did it really matter if she even helped the woman? But it felt wrong to not help her out after she helped her.

She took a deep breath and grabbed the cream. She was now in front of her door. She just stood there. Her heart was beating fast. Then she realized that she still wasn't breathing. She calmed down a little and put her hand on the handle of the door. Opening to an empty hallway. There wasn't anyone around and it was quiet. She walked forward, turned left, slowly, and then was in front of another door. She already knew that Thrann lived here and now she stood in front of it. She brought her hand up to the door and quietly knocked on the door. There was no response. She could back out now, but her hand knocked louder. Regardless if she wanted to leave, she wanted to help out more.

"Hello… I apologize for barging into your home." Thrann's mother was trying to apologize for helping? In a way Lera understood. That even good intentions are not always what the other person wants. That feeling allowed her to connect with Thrann's mother enough to raise the cream in her hand to give to her. "…Thank you…"

The situation turned awkward as neither side said anything. Eventually it hit a boiling point as Lera was about to turn away.

"Do you want to come inside? I have some snacks if you want?"

Lera wasn't sure if she was ready. Then she remembered what Paroppe said. She needed to focus on right now. Right now she would be stuck watching a drama on the tv. Maybe some food and company wouldn't be all that bad of an idea.

Lera nodded and was let in by Thrann's mother.

"By the way, my name's Rozaa. What's your name?"

Lera clenched her fist and repeated her mantra. The mantra didn't mean too much in this situation, but what it represented was all that Lera cared for.

"Lera…" She left her name hanging in the air as Rozaa offered her to sit down at the counter. It was a similar design to the apartment she was staying in with Paroppe and Ayanni.

"So… Lera, what do you do? Like work or hobbies?" Lera clearly could still feel the awkward tension in the air.

"Cooking…"

"I enjoy cooking too… Ever try knitting?" Rozaa was trying hard. Lera was the same, but she was trying to keep herself from running away. She was vulnerable and she didn't want to do anything that would bring harm to Rozaa, but she wasn't sure she could trust herself yet.

In the end, Lera shook her head. Since Lera was sitting at the countertop, Rozaa was standing in the kitchen part of it. She walked around, went into one of the rooms. She came out holding a few socks and hats. Like the one she was still wearing, although more unique. Lera could see some spots that weren't the best, but it was homemade.

"I just started knitting after… Uhm, anyway I'm not the best as you can see, but my son and daughter tell me that… We'll I'm sure they tell me it's good, just because I'm their mother." There was a genuine smile that had replaced the sad one at the beginning. Lera couldn't help smile with her though. Rozaa handed what she had made to Lera to look at. It was soft, everything she made. It was good. The pair of socks, that were small and pink, had a bright yellow five-pointed star on the side of each. It wasn't even, but it was a good attempt if nothing else.

"I made those for my daughter. She's only ten years old, but she's already telling me… I'm sorry if I'm being a bother."

Lera gestured that it was fine. She had let down her guard a bit by this time. The smell of something sweet in the air and the soft feeling of these socks were enough to calm her down. Also it helped that she was just listening to Rozaa.

"I was making cookies, but I needed cream to finish the toppings." She walked back around the counter as a *ding* went off. "Thank you for letting me borrow it. If you want to stay until they're done, you can have some if you want."

The only answer Lera gave her was a nod and a smile.


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