Yesterday, Raizel confessed to M-21.

He told the modified man that He had been … interested in him for a while. Raizel said He had been paying attention to him ever since He and His loyal servant Frankenstein had allowed M-21 to live with them. Well, it is actually Frankenstein's house, but that wasn't the point.

The point was … why.

Why would someone as dignified, elegant, and extremely powerful like Cadis Etrama Di Raizel be interested in someone as boring and nameless as M-21?

The Noblesse figured through M-21's bewildered face that the man He just confessed to expected an explanation besides "I've been watching you for a while"—it came out as creepy, in M-21's opinion. He wanted to say more but His lips remained shut, once opened a little without a sound coming out.

Their two pairs of eyes delved into each other with different vibe; one pair confusedly, yet with vague curiosity, looked at another drowned with slight nervousness painted with determination. The night was cold with the wind softly blew the leaves on trees, making noises to the quiet moment between the two living beings. M-21 had took the short and calm time to compose himself before finally he could respond with only one question, "Why?"

M-21 could notice the Noble's crimson gaze getting firmer before He looked away for a split second. Why?

"That's … what I feel about you." is His answer, stated with a flat tone. And the younger man was still as confused as before. What kind of answer was that?

Expression unreadable, his silver eyes fluttered to the garden his boss diligently tend every weekend below the balcony him and Raizel were standing on.

"It is hard to explain." M-21's uncertain gaze snapped back to Raizel, His eyes had grown softer and His posture loosened up a little. "I was interested in you for just a little. Then, the more we spent time together in this house, the more I get to know you, the more I get interested in you. And it is just you."

The more He gets to know me? But the werewolf heart owner never really opened up to anyone, not even to Tao and Takeo or even Frankenstein, whom he trusted deeply. Then again, what secrets did he have? He had nothing to hide. His past was a myth.

M-21 would have doubted the Noble in front of him if not for the shade of pink that appeared on His face.

He stared in disbelief. What was happening in front of him looked like that scene people usually find in Korean drama where a young girl confessed to her male crush, but calmer—and somehow elegant? But Raizel was nothing girl and absolutely nothing young.

The thread of words Raizel said broke M-21's line of thought. "I am sorry if my answer doesn't sound convincing, but I am certain about my feelings." said Raizel, a smile sheepishly grew on His pale complexion and it was directed at him.

M-21 felt something weird in his stomach.

"M-21, will you voluntarily engage in a regular romantic relationship with me?"

And what kind of word choice was that? If M-21 was impolite he'd already cringed and loudly asked that. But now, M-21—with an awfully befuddled face, still wasn't sure what was happening, how this was happening, and how those awfully beautiful red orbs distracted him with soft gaze that managed to touch the very core of him—unconsciously responded with a word: "Yes."

And that was yesterday, the start of their "romantic relationship" they were currently engaging.

A decision M-21 was somewhat regret. Somewhat.

M-21 lifted his hand that was mindlessly playing with his phone to ruffle his hair in frustration.

Why would he answer yes? Did he even like Him that way? The Noblesse?

M-21 let out a long sigh. It was like everything that had taken place yesterday was just his imagination, his dream. But it was real.

The Noblesse's brightened up face when He heard M-21's answer, was real. Too real it was carved on his brain for eternity. He would never forget such face that he never saw before being made by Raizel.

I didn't know he actually has a range of facial expression, M-21 pondered. He continued to play with his phone, thoughtlessly opened and closed every app installed in it. His mind was somewhere else.

After the confession, nothing different in particular happened today. Everyone still woke up early to do house chores—except the Noblesse, of course. M-21, fortunately, still got enough sleep even after yesterday's night meeting. He was still in charge of cleaning the dishes with Takeo. Everything went as usual.

M-21 sat down to have his breakfast, he curiously looked at the direction where Raizel sat from the corner of his eye. Raizel was staring at him. When He noticed that M-21 was doing the same thing to Him, He threw a subtle smile. M-21 didn't react.

The whole household began to eat their breakfast in almost total silence. Sometimes there were small chatters of school and work, but M-21 was only a silent listener to every talk that took place. He couldn't help but contemplated again of what happened yesterday and today; the small act that Rai just done a few minutes ago fairly took him off guard. He never did that before, to anyone. And it hadn't been even a whole day yet.

"M-21, you better finish off your breakfast, it's almost time to go to work." Takeo nudged the man's side when he noticed that his plate was still half full. Realizing that it was only him who hadn't finished off his meal, M-21 hurriedly eat up his breakfast. Tao chuckled, "Something's on your mind, M? It's not usual for you to think so seriously during meal time."

"No. Nothing." The grey-haired man replied after he emptied his glass. He then helped Frankenstein and the others to put the dishes in the sink. Time to do his routine: washing dishes.

Unbeknowst to M-21, a pair of red eyes had been staring at him since breakfast time.

It was break time at school when Raizel approached M-21.

M-21, who just arrived at school after buying dosirak to eat at his workplace, slightly lifted his eyebrows. "Uh," He stood up from the bench under a tree, "is there anything you need?"

Raizel looked around. "You're not with Tao and Takeo."

"Yeah, we're not exactly together all the time, even in school. They bought their lunch somewhere else."

M-21 felt he gave the Man in front of him an unnecessarily long—and somewhat sarcastic—answer, but Raizel nodded anyway. M-21 waited for what felt like minutes for Him to say anything else. The Noble's gaze shifted to M-21's side.

"Do you … want to go somewhere with me?"

"What?"

Raizel tightened His lips for a second. "I want to go somewhere with you."

M-21 blinked a few times. "Where? …Right now?" How about the school?

"No," said the Noble, sighing amusedly (?). Again, the modified human noticed a slight smile Raizel made, "how about evening?"

M-21 went silent before he gazed to the side, recalling any plan he had for today after the school. Tao and Takeo didn't say anything about going somewhere with him today, and there was no periodical check-up to the lab, too. If he said that his Master was asking him to go somewhere with the Person, Frankenstein would have allowed him to skip dinner at home. Regis might help Takeo on the dishes while complaining about him being absent, probably.

No, forget about all non-existent plans.

"Why?"

Raizel focused His vision back to M-21's face. His brows scrunched, "That's … what people in a relationship do, right? Going on a date?"

A date?! M-21 couldn't help but to form his mouth to small O-shape. If he was not mistaken, a date is an activity in which two people involved in a romantic relationship do things they both enjoy to bond even closer to each other and to generally spend a good time together. That was a definition he came up with after he had seen some of this stuff on Korean drama (he hated to admit it, but most of romantic stuff he now knew were all from drama, because the children liked to watch it together with the household members), though Frankenstein once told them that not all things that happened on TV drama are real. Did Raizel get this idea from Korean drama too? He wondered. But…

This is too sudden, M-21 thought. They had not even involved in this … romantic relationship for a whole day!

The modified human's head felt like spinning. This was supposed to be a simple thing to think about, but this was Cadis Etrama Di Raizel who asked him to go on a date when they hadn't been officially a cou—engaged in a voluntary romantic affair for the entire 24 hours. He did just repeat that on his mind.

Why the hurry? Was Raizel being impatient? But why? He was a noble, nobles had longer life span than normal humans—well, he wasn't a normal human, not anymore. M-21 didn't even know whether this was related to life span or not, but at least nobles had different sense of time from humans, so it probably counts. Was Raizel maybe a little bit too excited for being in a relationship? Because all of this was new to Him? But this thing was new to M-21, too. Shouldn't the Holy Noblesse, The Strongest and Probably the Oldest of All Nobles at least give him time to get used to this … this amorous entanglement?!

A hand waved right in front of M-21's face.

"M-21? Are you all right?" Of course, it was Raizel, the very person distressing the man right now. The Noble was a few centimeters away from him. M-21 frantically blinked over the distance, "I'm sorry, I was thinking about something."

M-21 secretly hoped that Raizel didn't notice the growing anxiety and confusion in him. It didn't help that Raizel was now staring closely and intensely at him, like He was inspecting every micro-expression M-21 was making, even if He didn't intend to do it on purpose.

The modified human finally gained enough courage to answer to Raizel's request, "I am sorry, Sir, but what if we do it another time?"

Raizel backed off slightly from M-21; an act which M-21 appreciated. "Do you mind about us going out this early?" said the Noble, His complexion unchanging.

How to answer politely without offending Him about being too hurried? is what was M-21 thinking right now—yet he should answer immediately. "I think it is too sudden to go out today when we just … formed a special relationship last night." The modified human cringed internally at his choice of words.

"Ah…" Raizel slightly lowered His head. "You're right. I'm sorry."

"It's fine."

M-21 was glad Raizel came to understand about their situation. The Noble cleared His throat. "Please tell me when you will be available any day at night, then. I don't want you to be uncomfortable to do this."

"Oh," There was a second of silence, "okay."

With Raizel deciding that the conversation was done, He gave M-21 another smile—this time, less subtle—and left before apologizing to M-21 for taking his lunch time, to which M-21 responded with "It's alright".

Again, the smile. M-21 had not been used to it. Every time the Noblesse did it, a tingling feeling grew on his chest. The man had not figured what it was exactly, but the feeling itself did not bother him.

Arriving at home at around 6 PM, it was a bit late to relax before dinner time. M-21 spent the rest of his day after work strolling around the city. Well, that was what M-21 wish he actually did. The thought of going on a date with a Noblesse—the Noblesse—kept him restless. No, the whole relationship thing was taking too much of his mental endurance. He had absolutely no idea about romantic stuff, and it seemed Tao and Takeo, too, also did not know a single thing about being in a relationship at all. Should he ask Frankenstein? But what if Raizel wanted to keep secret about it?

Why did Cadis Etrama Di Raizel wanted to be in this confusing relation in the first place? And with him, that is?

M-21 couldn't stop overworking his brain to the maximum. He was pretty worn out already; he only managed to eat half of his lunch at school because of the exhausting talk with his Supposed-Lov—no, this was, This is

The silver-haired man malignantly scratched his head, violently made a mess of his own hair. He overthought again, a habit he should kill for his own sanity.

M-21 let out a long, exhausted sigh before throwing himself to the bed, his left arm then covering his eyes.

Then why did he say yes to it?

It was not like Raizel forced him to be in an affair with him, didn't He? He was absolutely, definitely not forced to do this. To be in this situation. Was he?

Should he just ask the Person annoyingly haunting his mind about this? After all, M-21 never heard the actual reasons why Raizel confessed to him in the first place. "Ugh," he mumbled over thinking how dumb he was to not ask about that before accepting Raizel's confession.

Being in a romantic relationship sounds troublesome, M-21 quickly thought. He remembered another scene from a Korean drama, which the children watched together with them in the house: there was this girl who got confessed to by the rich, spoiled man. The girl then became nervous and she wouldn't stop thinking about that man, to the point of distracting her from doing her job properly. She was troubled about the confession because she liked another man, and the spoiled man who confessed to her has another woman who liked him and—

M-21 shook his head furiously, struggling to shake off the damn drama from his mind. "Damn it, what the hell is wrong with me?"

But M-21's brain had no brake and the contemplating continued. The girl was finally engaged in a romantic relationship with the man she liked, and they said sweet things to each other every day, be it directly or via text messages. They went on many dates, they had se—M-21's face grew pinker at the thought—and they support each other amazingly well.

Until their rivals—the other man and the other woman—got in their relationship, with the woman saying that the girlfriend didn't deserve the man she loved, because she was poor and the other woman was rich and some kind of a daughter of a big company's CEO who would inherit her father's wealth, as long as she succeeded in making the boyfriend her husband. Meanwhile, the other man—

M-21 violently shuddered at the fact that he remembered the plot of the cheesy drama really well. He didn't even know why did he think about it when his situation was entirely different from the main character's. There was no third, fourth, fifth, or even hundredth person between Raizel and him, why should he be worrying about unnecessary things that only happened in a fictional drama?

The man hated to admit it, but the more time he spent on thinking about this strange relationship, the more he grew anxious. "It hasn't even been a day," He sighed. "I should just let it be for now."

"Let what be?"

M-21's head snapped at the source of the voice.

Raizel was standing on his doorway, his hand was posing as if it was just knocked the opened door.

M-21 flinched. He hurriedly lifted his back from the bed and fixed his hair in vain. He raised his head when he heard a faint snort from the where Raizel was standing.

What was that?

The younger man looked at Raizel, but there was no trace of any expression. A slightly failed attempt of making himself looked proper was done and he heard the Noble spoke, "M-21, dinner's almost ready."

M-21 quickly stood up while made another effort to fix his hair. He nodded to Raizel's direction. "Okay."

The two sauntered to the dining room without a word. It was odd enough that Raizel was the one who went to a hassle to go to his room and reminded him about dinner. Was He offering Himself to go when Tao or Takeo was about to do it? Did He do it because of their … situation? M-21's line of thought broke and he unconsciously gulped when the smell of food reached his nose. He was ravenous. The modified human immediately forgot what had been occupying his mind when he witnessed their fine dinner that Frankenstein and Seira cooked had been prepared on the long table.

The dinner went well and all the stomachs were satisfied. Deciding that there was nothing that he wanted to do with the others after doing the dishes, M-21 retreated immediately to his room.

There was still some time before bed time. M-21, now in his room, stood still for a while by the closed door. His eyes glanced at every corner of the room, looking for something—anything interesting enough to do to waste the time. He wasn't used to go to sleep early.

M-21 had no idea what to do on his free time, especially at night. He used to not having free time at all. Nevertheless, he was always grateful for at least being able to spend the night in peace and without some assassins looking for beheading his head. The life he had now … it was very different from his gloomy and vile days.

M-21 took little steps towards his bed. He took the pillow and laid himself on the center of his bed, arms under the pillow. He let out a tired sigh.

Living a normal sure was weird. M-21 always imagined what it felt like to live the normal life when he was still a slave to the Union. Every day, him and his comrades fought to keep themselves alive, enduring every cruel and live-threatening test those bastard scientists did to them, however painful they were. His comrades' relieved faces when they were still given chance to breath in air were still as clear on his mind—as clear as the fear and agony when one by one they were brutally murdered in the hands of those scientists and modified humans.

Now, he was safe at home. His home. No one could reach him through the beacon of protection of his house and new friends. His family. M-21 could do anything normal people would do, wasted his free time without worry and wariness. Yet sometimes, his body refused to abide to his mind when it came to putting his feet up. Sometimes, such feeling of caution resurfaced and he was again overcome with fear and foreboding. Sometimes, the faces of his comrades suffering came so clear in his head he could not shake them off. Whenever that time came, M-21 always tried his best to contain his emotions; he couldn't trouble everyone with his mental breakdown routine. He could never.

M-21 closed his eyes, easing the pain that began to pressure his chest. He let out a shaky and heavy breath.

Union took everything from him. His past, his life, his comrades … they took everything. Leaving him as useless and weak as he was now.

If only Raizel and Frankenstein didn't let him live in this house, he wouldn't have known what would happen to him since running away from the Union's radar was easily said than done. If only Raizel didn't awaken him…

M-21 snapped his eyes open when two knocks on the door were heard.

Lazily, he raised and walked to the door. Whoever the person behind that door, M-21 probably should be grateful that they had distracted him from falling even further to the dark pit that was his own mind.

Suddenly, a thought came. What if that was Raizel standing in front of the door?

M-21 winced. What was His purpose to visit M-21 at this hour? The man glanced at the table clock. The time was 09.00 PM. Would Raizel ask about the "date" He was planning? But didn't the Noble said He'd wait until M-21 was ready and free?

"M-21? Are you asleep already?" The voice of Frankenstein was heard through the thick wood.

"No, not yet." The young man released his breath that he unconsciously held. The hand that was already on the doorknob pressed it open, the door making only a slight gap for M-21's head to peek outside. The blonde scientist stood there, eyebrow raised. "I just wanted to remind you that tomorrow's your check-up day."

M-21 groaned, "You could just text me,"

"M-21, we live in the same house, what kind of house resident that text to fellow resident when they live together?"

"The kind of house resident that understands that the other resident is about to sleep because it's now 9 PM?"

Frankenstein scoffed, "I know you never sleep at 9 PM, M-21." The unimpressed older man received a deadpan look.

"All right, then." M-21 pulled his head, slowly closing the door, "thanks for reminding me. Good ni—"

"Wait—" Frankenstein's hand halted the door, "Master wants to talk to you."

Silver eyes widened when the Noblesse showed Himself to M-21's view from Frankenstein's side. In two blinks of an eye, the scientist was already gone.

M-21 slowly opened the door wider, hesitantly revealing himself completely in front of Raizel. He lowered his head, letting his hair concealed most of his face. It was a hard habit to kill.

The first thing that came on M-21's mind was the damn date. He must be here to ask about that. The modified human silently prayed that he could come up with some courage to refuse the sudden plan. He hadn't been given enough time to think, damn it! Even though Raizel told him He'd wait, but how long? M-21 couldn't predict whether it would be six days or six hours.

Raizel had not spoken and M-21 grew impatient. He probably should speak first.

"Is it about the date?" "Good night."

"What?" said M-21.

Raizel's face filled with a faint of dismay. "M-21, were you still worrying about that since afternoon?"

Crap. He had been found out. M-21 glanced lower, avoiding Raizel's gaze. "A little, yeah."

The Noblesse exhaled. "I'm sorry. It was a sudden urge to ask you out. I didn't mean to stress you with my wish." The worry on Raizel's face surprisingly grew clearer, which M-21 missed.

"It is fine. I guess that's what people want to do when they're … together."

It was still something surprising when Raizel rushed like what He did yesterday. The modified human had been thinking about it, but the Noble still hadn't told him—or even showed some hints—of why He acted like the way He did. Also, what kind of people in a relationship chat so seriously and awkwardly like this? M-21 could not stop his internal blabbering. Is this how they talk to each other?

"Still, I don't want to make you uncomfortable with this. Please do not think too much about it." Raizel said, before He ended the brief meeting, "Good night."

M-21 stared at the Figure, pacing away from him.

Despite his bad habit, M-21 didn't like having too much thoughts on his mind.

He knew that he had gained the normal life he wanted. Maybe not fully normal, because there was still Union constantly becoming a reminder that he and his family weren't completely safe. But at least he could relax a little.

Well, physically. The thing was, his brain could not stop filling itself with thoughts, unimportant or not. There were some times when his body would just feel tired even though he didn't encounter any Union members going after his life. He was well aware that he overthinks a lot, and he wished he could stop cease such habit. There were already less things he thought about during the past few days with the Union not giving bad news (seriously, M-21 wished they were gone so he could relax a little more) and the household members' relationship with Lukedonia getting better after Raizel and the Lord resolved their misunderstanding. Yet M-21 always had the mindset that if there was too much peace going on today, soon there would be something happened that bring said peace to a halt. Of course, it didn't always happen and before was just another day of overthinking.

Alas, this time it wasn't another day and his peace of mind had already disturbed by the time Raizel confessed to him and asked him to go on a date.

The Noble told him that there was no rush, yeah, true. Indeed, Raizel never forced him to go out with him, literally. Wait, Raizel also never forced him to be His b—

Yet M-21 immediately said yes to the confession.

What if he said no? Would Raizel be mad? Or even sad? M-21 couldn't imagine the face the Older Man if he indeed rejected Him. He was still not familiar enough with the Noble to be able to envision Him with various facial expressions. Would He be disappointed? He … probably would. After going through all the blood and sweats and sacrificing His own life force for M-21, this was all Raizel got from him? And knowing Him, He wouldn't show it in front of M-21 himself. Because He was kind like that. Maybe.

He, perhaps, would just go back to being cold and apathetic to him like He did to everyone else, unless their lives were at a stake.

Indeed, the moment the Noblesse confessed to M-21, he wasn't shown the faintest of the feeling Raizel told M-21 He felt towards him. Then came the slight blush coloring His face and the smile He gave to M-21. By such small things, M-21 was certain beyond doubt that Raizel had feelings for him. But, that was it. He didn't really expect that Raizel would act rather differently after the event.

It turned out he was wrong.

Two days after the confession, Raizel texted "good morning" with a very cute Japanese emoji next to it. He rarely texted the household members, so M-21 counted it as something. The emoji was formed with two accent marks similar to quotation marks (´ and `) with between them were two centered dots (・) and a lowercase W-like letter (ω) (M-21 wanted to reply to Him equally friendly, so he copy-pasted the exact emoji but replaced the W with an underscore). When they met for breakfast, Raizel threw him another thin smile and M-21 responded with another smile—an awkward one.

That nice gesture somehow had become a routine of the Noblesse until now. Not only He did it at home, but also at school. Every time He walked past M-21, He gave M-21 another smile, quick and faint—not even Seira noticed it—but sincere. When Raizel did that, the modified human didn't even have enough time to return the gesture.

Every once in a while, Raizel also visited M-21 in his room, when the others were busy doing their own stuff. M-21 was yet to be comfortable enough to let anyone into his room, and he appreciated it when Raizel didn't force him to let in. He didn't even talk a lot; mostly just a simple greeting and asked how was M-21's day. The younger man tried to follow Raizel's pace by asking back about His day and whether He had done his homework, or what place did He visit with the children.

Today was no different.

"How was your day, M-21?" Raizel asked, standing by the doorway of M-21's room.

M-21, who stood just in front of Raizel, lightly tilted his head to the side, "It was fine. Tao treated us three to ice cream."

Somehow, M-21 had gotten used to Raizel's way of starting a conversation; stiff and to the point. He presumed, quite obviously, it was due to His quiet and aloof demeanor. The difference now was there were the greetings and the curve of His lips. M-21 used to get nervous whenever he needed to talk to the Noblesse due to who He was; who wouldn't get nervous—and maybe a little scared—when speaking to the strongest being on Earth? The fear of offending Cadis Etrama Di Raizel haunted every single being who knew and had the need to speak to Him, including M-21 himself. That was one of the reason M-21 never initiate a conversation with Raizel when not needed, the other reason was that He wasn't too talkative.

So, when This Strongest Being on Earth spoke first—no,expressed His fondness—to him, and actually wished to know about and talk with him more, just basically wanted to be closer to him, how could he say no?

"How about you?" M-21 asked back. "I heard from Regis, you had physics homework."

The pale face that was initially neutral now showed a sign of annoyance. M-21's eyes widened a little.

"Why would you ask about that…" Raizel let out a heavy sigh.

The grey-haired man frowned his eyebrows. He's definitely not pleased. But what was with that display of facial expression change? He does have facial expressions?

"Was it that hard?"

"Well, yes."

"…Oh."

"…"

"I'm sorry." Actually, M-21 was not really sorry. He was too focused on Raizel's slightly annoyed face rather than his own question.

"It's fine. I wanted to ask for Frankenstein's help, but…" The Noble trailed off.

"Yes?"

"He's … busy."

"Oh…" With experiment? Or something else? But at this hour Frankenstein liked to linger on his underground lab, tinkering with advanced scientific tools and machines that M-21 did not understand how to use. There was no way Frankenstein would turn down his Master's pledge to help Him with mere homework. Heck, Frankenstein absolutely would do the whole homework just so Raizel can enjoy His tea in peace.

…is what M-21 honestly wanted to say, but obviously none should come out from his mouth. What if Raizel didn't agree with him? What if He said that Frankenstein was busy because He didn't want to bother the scientist? Raizel already looked upset with his question and he didn't know how to lift His mood. Maybe his big mouth shouldn't have asked about homework, at all.

…Why was he even thinking hard about this. "I'm sure Frankenstein will spare some time for you, Mr. Rai," M-21 briefly nodded, "he loves dedicating himself to you."

Raizel put a hand on His chin, "I really should ask him, then."

"Yes. I'm sure he'll help you. Physics homework is nothing compared to his complex experiments."

Raizel nodded in agreement.

And, that's it. The modified human waited for the Noble to leave before he withdrew into his room. He had already been forethinking of what was he going to do before his bed time; reading a new book he just borrowed from Frankenstein was on the top of the list (Frankenstein recommended it greatly and M-21 was surprised it wasn't a science book). So was sitting by the window while staring at the barely visible stars in the night sky. M-21 decided he would not go outside for a night walk today.

His thoughts were cut when he noticed Raizel still hadn't moved, His liquid ruby eyes were staring at him.

"…Yes?"

"No, I was…" Raizel tilted His head in persuading manner, "…wondering if you want to come with me."

…And what was the occasion? M-21 silently inquired. Was this Raizel trying to make M-21 spend time with Him? He meant … there was nothing wrong with it, but it was just a homework; when Raizel and Frankenstein discussed, what would M-21 do? Merely sitting like a sweet, quiet man? What?

The Noblesse spoke as He received no response, "I guess not." Silver eyes snapped back at Raizel as He softly mumbled "good night" and walked away.

Leaving M-21 frowning and scratching his head.

He walked into his room and shut the door. He let out a sigh. "Why am I like this?" Behaving like a confused person being confused of how to respond to someone who usually never acts that way…

Raizel never looked nervous or awkward when interacting with M-21, besides at the time He expressed His feelings and request. It was like everything was just happening naturally for Him, despite the fact that Raizel kept seeking even the slightest chance to interact with him. Why was He so … calm about this, yet M-21 was not?

Twelve questions later until the realization came to M-21.

He was the one thinking too much about this. Again.

M-21 tsked.

"Fine. I can do that too." M-21 raised his head. He opened the door and paced through the corridor. If He can act like nothing's worth to be afraid of, then so can I.

The modified arrived at the view of the Noblesse and His faithful servant sitting across each other at the living room with the latter sounded like he was explaining some scientific stuff M-21 didn't really understand to the former, the pen on his hand gliding gracefully on the plain paper.

It took an exact ten seconds for both beings to notice M-21 standing near the corridor.

"M-21? What is it?" The blonde scientist was the first one inquiring. Upon hearing the werewolf-heart owner's name, Raizel turned His head. Their eyes met.

"Uh," M-21 went mute. What was M-21 going to tell to Frankenstein? That Raizel asked him to accompany Him while doing homework? "I … am not sleepy, yet."

Frankenstein stood up, "Oh, are you going to stay here, then? Because I'm about to make some tea and you might get a cup, if you do."

To which M-21 nodded in approval, "Yeah, I'm going to."

M-21 did not miss the grin Frankenstein made as he turned away to the kitchen. Knowing the doctor's personality, he decided to not think too much about it. He had something else to worry about.

He was still standing near the sofa when Raizel called him.

"M-21."

M-21 turned to Raizel. The Noblesse patted the empty seat next to Him, "Come here, sit."

M-21 obliged and sat next to Him, his vision was directed to the very complicated-looking physics books on the table. He could feel Raizel staring at him from his right side. No one said anything.

"I thought you did not want to—"

"I changed my mind." The scarred man cut. He was well aware of his slightly rude attitude, but he didn't care too much anymore. M-21 just hoped that Raizel would let it pass. "I'll just accompany you here until you finished your homework."

Raizel, still looking at M-21, spoke with lower voice, "I appreciate it."

M-21 turned to see the Noblesse's lips curved into a smile, so sincere. Suddenly, the feeling that had been plaguing him disappeared. He couldn't help but nodded and shied away. His hands randomly took a book and skimmed some pages when he asked, "How's the assignment? This looks…" and put the book back on the table, pushing it a little bit further from the previous place, "…hard."

Raizel snorted in amusement. "It was hard, yes. But…"

"Frankenstein did most of the thing, right?"

"…Unfortunately, no."

M-21 internally laughed. "Well, good luck then. I'm sure Frankenstein will make sure you finished all of these." He looked far to the kitchen, "Speaking of Frankenstein, he took quite some time to make the tea, huh?" Raizel looked up to the same direction.

The silver-eyed man stood up, "Maybe I can lend a hand—"

But M-21 didn't get to step further from his position. He looked down at the pale hand holding his, then to the owner.

"Stay. Please." Raizel muttered, His gaze was unwavering but soft on M-21's stormy irises. The modified man could see his reflection on those ruby eyes—so captivating, as if they were keeping him inside their glassy spheres so he could not walk away. No sound was heard besides the ticking of the clock's second hand. The air was still, and so were the Noble and the human.

"What's going on, here…" Frankenstein spoke, a tray with three cups of tea was being held on his hands. His face was obvious with confusion.

M-21 stammered, "Uh … nothing." He stood still, not making any effort to pull his hand free.

Thankfully, as if He sensed the human's anxiety, Raizel released His grip. He turned to face His butler, "Thank you for the tea," to which Frankenstein replied gladly with a smile.

M-21 sat down, his eyes followed the cup of tea Frankenstein placed in front of him. He reached the cup and with no hurry, sipped the content inside. The warm liquid was comforting. The tranquil that filled room echoed the sound of his beating heart that he didn't realize was going fast, on his ears.

He inhaled, deep. Then released it in one quick breath.

The sky was starting to turn golden when M-21 finished his last patrol at the school. No students hung around the perimeter. No teacher stayed to do whatever they needed to do, either. This made his job easier. The last time M-21 found someone staying when the time to go home was overdue was three months ago; two students were found smoking at the backyard, the spot they were occupying just happened to not be in the CCTV's range of monitor. When they were found out, it only took M-21's sharp stare to make them run away like cowards. They threw the cigarettes on the ground, and that was enough to make M-21 report them to Frankenstein after he went home. He hated it when students litter. Or anyone else. The old man was hired not for him to sweep garbage the school people throw on purpose.

Following his daily routine, he went home by foot with Takeo and Tao after they finished their patrol. M-21 saw Tao grinning to him from the corner of his eye.

"Hey, M-21, do you know that you have a fan club at school?"

M-21 frowned his brows, "What?"

"You. Have a fan club," Tao parroted himself, putting hand around M-21's shoulder, "I saw it. The poster. It was glued on the wall magazine board, you never saw it?" He let out a snicker.

"No, never."

"Here, here, let me show you." Tao took his phone from pocket and opened the gallery app. Next to him was Takeo tilting his head curiously. On the other hand, M-21 was completely disinterested, yet he could not help but to take a glance. When the picture finally showed up, his silver pupils widened.

"What the hell?" It was a picture of him kicking the van owned by that guy celebrity friend of Im Suyi, but the background was erased and there was some writing in various fonts that didn't match together surrounding the picture, complete with a pink background. The writing said, "Join our club! Together, we love and live for our handsome Mister! Contact this number for group username on Line: xxxx-xxxx-xxxx"

Takeo finally spoke, "Whoa, they even have group chat. I wonder what are they posting and talking about there?"

"Why would someone take my picture when I kicked that thing?!"

"Because you looked cool that time?"

"No, I didn't. And this is rude."

"Yeah, I wouldn't like it too if someone took my picture without my permission," Takeo chimed in, "And is this even allowed at school? This fan club thing?"

"Hmm, I'm sure Boss already knew about this, because the poster's already been there since two days ago. I'm surprised that you don't know, M." said Tao. He zoomed in on M-21's face, his grin still persisted. M-21 immediately pinched the phone's screen in and received a pout from the younger man.

"I don't know about that and I don't want to know," M-21 put his hands on the pants' pockets and lowered his head so that his hair concealed his face—a pose Tao often called "The Cool M-21 Pose". "Also, taking picture of someone without their permission is still rude."

"How about me taking your picture when you're asleep, M?"

"I'll shoot you with Takeo's gun."

"You are not stealing my guns."

Apparently, the talk about fan club lasted quite a while that they were now arrived at the gate of their home. When the three reached the front door, they took off their shoes and put on the usual pink slippers. They entered the living room and were greeted with Raizel enjoying His tea in peace. After exchanging greetings and nods, the trio walked away to their respective rooms.

"M-21."

Except the silver-haired human.

M-21 turned to see Raizel—who actually also turned His head to see him behind, "Yes?"

The Noblesse put His cup down. "There's something I want to talk with you."

Ah. It took a while before the human silently nodded and stepped closer. He sat on Raizel's opposite-right. Is this about yesterday? Or the date? The talk about M-21's fan club actually made him forget about the more important things and he was—M-21 noticed something laid on the table.

"That's…!"

Raizel nodded, "Yes, this is for y—"

"Why's this … here?" M-21 reached the very familiar-looking, eye-catching paper on the table, "This poster!"

Which turned out to be the fan club poster he was hampered about before. M-21 stared at the poster with pupils shrinking, eyebrows meeting, and face going on a time travel to 20 years in the future. He looked at the Noblesse, "Is this yours? Why do you have this?"

The Black-Haired Man blinked, "I got it from Yuna."

M-21 looked at Him in disbelief, then looked back at the paper, "I must … eradicate this."

"Don't, M-21." Now was Raizel's chance to show His non-existent facial expression range. He slowly reached and took the poster from M-21, who let go of it unwillingly. "It is not like if you exterminate this piece of paper, the admirer association would be disbanded."

M-21 turned his face at Raizel with his brows raised and his eyes blinking.

Raizel folded the poster and put it on His jacket pocket. The lines on M-21's face formed back.

"Why did you keep that?"

"M-21, I was meant to give you this," The Noblesse pulled a suspiciously elegant little paper box that has sat silently on the table, something M-21 didn't notice and was completely ignored as the poster stole the spotlight. M-21 eyed His long fingers wrapping around the box. Raizel brought the small box on his Hands to the modified human and smiled, "Here. For you."

Ashen eyes stared at the friendly expression, then the box. It was broken-white colored. M-21 slightly frowned when he smelled something from the item. He was about to take it when he asked, "Is this really for me?"

Raizel nodded. With that, M-21 took the box on his hands, "Thank you."

He already had a guess to what the content of the box was, but what bothered him was why. But he did not let his mind wander for too long this time.

With insignificant force, M-21 pulled the box open and—his guess was right—there was a cheesecake with real strawberries and blueberries sown on top of it. There was a red jam spill along the side of the cake from the top of the fruits.

When M-21 finally saw the content, he just stared dumbfoundedly at the cake, and so did Raizel to M-21. He did expect the cake, but not how delicious and luxurious it looked. The human raised his head and said, "This is … for me?"

Raizel lightly wheezed, "Of course. Why did you ask again?"

It took seconds before M-21 averted his gaze from Raizel.

His gaze was now back on the cake. Even though it looked flavorsome, he wasn't really hungry to wanting to eat it now. M-21 expected that Raizel wanted him to do it immediatelly, so he was worried about what would He feel if he was honest.

Forget about telling the mundane thing. Raizel actually gave him something? Was this part of being engaged in a relationship? M-21 was quite sure it was the case. Raizel was being unusually nice to him—not only today, but the past few days also. That must be the reason. He did not have to ask the Person whether it was true this time, he didn't want to look stupid.

M-21 put the cake back on the table, "I'll get the fork," then he went to the kitchen, Raizel eyeing him. When he was back, there were two small forks in his grasp. He gave one to Raizel.

The Noble glanced at the fork, then to M-21.

"Let's eat it together."

"But I gave it to you…"

"Yes, and I want You to eat it with me." said M-21. But Raizel remained unmoving. Reading it as hesitance, M-21 added, "I'm not really hungry, but I don't want to waste it."

He almost blurted out the fact that he found the cake looked expensive, but that wasn't necessary. If Raizel can do simple nice things, then so can he.

Raizel took the little fork, then He smiled, "Thank you."

M-21's silver eyes were glued at that face. Raizel's smile always brought some weird feeling in him. He wasn't sure whether someone's smile could bring generally good emotions in him, but it certainly what M-21 felt every time the Noble smiled. He thought it was weird since most of the time Raizel looked quite intimidating and cold.

M-21 sat on the same seat he was on before. They began to eat the cake in companion silence, with either of them occasionally spoke, like M-21 asking where did Raizel buy the cake, and Raizel asking whether the taste was to M-21's liking. M-21 was never picky on food. He used to eat anything edible, be it tastes good or not. Back when he was still working for Union, they never gave him and M-24 enough money for their food, only for the mission. M-21 and M-24 were forced to use any way, including violence and scavenging, to at least settle their hunger when funds were running out over transportations and information. They couldn't make use of someone's pity over them, because no one would pity them. No person would feel pity for criminals.

"M-21?"

Raizel's gentle voice diverted M-21 from staring at his very fascinating fork.

"You hadn't taken a single bite since I asked you about the taste," Worry was apparent on the Older Man's complexion, "do you not like it?"

"No, no. That wasn't the case, I was just thinking about something." M-21 sliced a part of the cake with his fork, a sigh slipped out of his mouth. Raizel's gaze followed M-21's hand when he scooped the small slice to his mouth. Then He took His own slice, "I thought you don't like it."

"What? Why?" asked M-21, "I did say that I like it before."

"It's just that…" Raizel pointed His fork at the cake that was now 2/3 of the original size, "…you always take a very small slice to eat."

M-21 glanced at the cake. "I don't want to eat a lot when I'm sharing."

There was warmth enclosed his left hand—Raizel was holding it. "Then I should be done eating. The cake is yours, after all."

M-21 saw the hand's movement, so he expected it. The gesture reminded him of what happened yesterday. "No, it's fine. Besides," M-21 turned his head to meet ruby eyes, "you're rather talkative today."

The Noble blinked. "I was worried about you," He glanced sideways briefly, "and your impression."

"About the cake?"

Raizel nodded.

"I like it. Thank you for the gift." M-21 said and gave Raizel a nod.

The cake was now slowly getting less and less in amount and the hand that was holding M-21's hand still persisted. Honestly, he wanted to pull away, but that would be rude. Why would Raizel keep holding his hand anyway? It was awkward and his hand was getting sweaty.

M-21 wanted to ask about Raizel's strange behavior yesterday, but he decided that he only thought a lot. The cake was good, after all.

When the Noble asked him to go on a date a week ago, M-21 refused with all his might and certainty.

If the Noble asked him the same request again, M-21 might accept it this time—emphasis on might. Because, there was nothing to be afraid of, right? It was just a date. It was just a usual activity a couple do. There was nothing to worry about. The past few days were just M-21 and his overthinking habit acting up. It was never good to keep anxiety as a pet, after all. So, it was time to face the hurdle he had been avoiding for days.

…That, if Raizel did ask him again to go out.

M-21 snorted. He glanced at his phone screen showing a chatroom with Raizel's name on it. That Old Man just sent him an adorably annoying bear sticker following a message that said, "Have you decided about the plan? (=①ω①=)"

The date, M-21 thought. He groaned. Why did He call it the plan? Was the word date too overwhelming? Oh, well, yes, for M-21. He had been thinking about it—maybe except two days ago when He gave M-21 that cheesecake; he was completely distracted. And not just the date. Everything He had done, every awkwardly nice and friendly attitude Raizel had shown to M-21, was still questionable to him. Yet he never showed any sign of rejection. Heck, how was he going to reject the Noblesse when he did not even dare to pull his hand free from His hold … and twice, that is…

M-21 focused back on the message. The simple cuteness radiated by that emoji at the end threw him off guard…

A chime was heard from the phone. M-21 opened the new message.

"This place looks beautiful."

Following that message was a picture of wide ocean shore meeting with the dry white sands, while rich colors of gold, crimson, and purple stretched far and wide, painting the limitless sky and water surface all over.

M-21 let out a breath he unconsciously held and mouthed "wow".

M-21 looked at the sky. He did not want a dramatic old woman to possess him, but it already happened and now he thought the combined shades of yellow and orange that surrounded the round sun did look breathtaking. That was his first thought, the second was, "Is this real?"

The now-kind-of-excited M-21 sent a message with exactly that question. He looked closely to his phone in incredulity when the mistake had already been made, "Crap. Why did I sent th—"

Shwoop. "It is real. (ᗒᗨᗕ)"

Oh… M-21 snorted away his embarrassment. He cringed at himself for being easily impressed by the place. It was … boundless…

If Raizel sent him picture of a place after asking about the date, that means if they were to carry on the anticipated, Raizel would definitely bring him there. And he was sure Raizel knew that he took the clue. Well… They had been together for a week now, it was expected that sooner they would go out somewhere, just the two of them.

M-21 lied still on his bed, staring at the phone screen. 8.12 PM. 87%. July 19. Deep black shade that filled the screen. July 19. Deep black. 8.13 PM. 86%.

Somehow, there was still something bothering that lingered in his chest.

Another shwoop.

"Let's go there, M-21. "

Still with those funny emojis. M-21 grinned.

Raizel had been nice to him, so why would he let his resolve waver? He decided to give this date thing a chance. After all, if it made Raizel happy, then he would be delighted, too.

There was nothing good to keep anxiety as pet.

"Yeah, let's."

On the next day, M-21 was standing in front of his hollow wardrobe.

Well, not entirely. It was just that he hadn't spent some time to buy fancy clothes. He wasn't the type that stood in front of his wardrobe for a long time to choose some clothes that would only be worn for a mere few hours. His work at school wasn't mere few hours, and the fancy uniform was even provided by Frankenstein. He was satisfied with plain white shirts and a few homely cardigans. No need to fill the clothing storage with an unnecessarily lot of clothes.

He regretted it.

Now he had nothing to wear for the date.

Some research on the internet told M-21 that he had to wear nice clothes for a first date. He was obligated to give the best impression for his date—none other than the Cadis Etrama Di Raizel, Someone who oozed with elegance and grace. He was good-looking, too, and M-21 acknowledged it. The modified man frowned at said advice. The very first impression Raizel had when he saw M-21 was that he was evil and low; probably someone who could be easily stomped on. It was already too late to make a first good impression, obviously. Though, Raizel might saw him differently now, with him proving that he didn't side with the Union anymore by protecting the children from Krantz and his inferiors.

Still. M-21 wasn't sure whether he could change His view about him besides "the modified human who left the Union and had a werewolf heart inside him". He was aloof and quiet, and once he opened his mouth, there were only sassy mocking and provocative slanders. He was not friendly, and his cold complexion and the scar on his mouth emphasized the notion. M-21 was not that nice, or maybe nice-looking. And even after all that, the Noblesse still confessed to him, out of all people.

Every time his thoughts reached that point, the word why repeatedly echoed in his mind.

But it already happened and the only thing remained was asking Raizel about the reason. Because there was no way Raizel would be interested in a youngster and weakling like him. There must be other reason that he missed, that he hadn't thought of.

M-21 sighed as he took the usual white shirt he wore every day and a cream-colored button-up sweater from his wardrobe. Just a little change won't hurt, he thought. Besides, the beach would be hot, so better be prepared than regret it later.

M-21 didn't even bother to look at mirror for his appearance, because he didn't have even the half-body one. The small mirror on the wall next to his wardrobe was enough for him to check his appearance before going out.

Immediately a thought came to M-21's mind. Would the Noblesse even bother wearing different outfit? He never ever changed His clothes, even at home. M-21 always questioned whether the uniform Raizel wore was dirty by now, but it didn't seem so, even there was no smell. Was it part of His power? Did He just have many uniforms of the same kind?

"Why am I thinking about this…" The man whispered to himself.

After combing his hair and made sure he appeared proper, M-21 stepped out of his room to meet Raizel sitting in the living room.

That Freaking Noble of a Person wore the same freaking uniform.

M-21 internally let out a long sigh. Should've not expected a Raizel to change. At least he himself didn't put too much effort wearing something completely different.

Raizel stared at the modified man before setting down His tea cup, then He stood up and nodded in M-21's direction. "Are you ready to go?"

"…Yes."

They walked towards the entrance door. When they arrived, Raizel opened the door wide and stepped aside. M-21 halted his steps, was caught off guard over the gesture. He glanced at Raizel, and bowed while murmured, "Thank you."

Raizel replied with a nod and a smile.

That was very kind of Him.

Both Raizel and M-21 decided to go to their destination place by foot. It was quite far, but they were accustomed to jumping from building to building in absence of crowd. When the winds touched his face and the sky was untouchable, he could run to endlessness. There was nothing limiting him when he was up here. M-21 would be lying if he said he didn't like it.

And he was so used to seeing Raizel's back.

On the trip to the beach, M-21 prayed that his surfing on the internet was enough to anticipate whatever would going on between Raizel and him.

The place was more crowded than M-21 is comfortable with. It was still 5 PM, so M-21 wasn't surprised, though he hoped at least they could find a more lonely place to stay. It had been a long time since M-21 went to a beach, and that was when he was still carrying a mission from Union, definitely not a vacation. This was the first time M-21 could enjoy the sight that Mother Nature had blessed humanity with.

Sauntering on the white soft soil felt different, even though M-21 was wearing shoes. From hundreds of meters, the aroma of the sparkling saline water forced its way to his sense of smell. The air was sweltering, and M-21 was glad he decided to not wear his usual black suit jacket, or else he'd be roasted. As he walked closer past a couple taking a picture and some children running playfully to the border between land and sea, he crouched and held his hand down to feel the lukewarm water pushing and pulling him to the ocean in vain as it crashed ferociously against the rough, silvery sand. He backed away in time when a strong wave was going closer, afraid it might wet his pants.

M-21 turned to look at Raizel staring at him.

Raizel followed exactly what M-21 just did, his slender fingers played with the water and occasionally grabbed a little amount of sand. The modified human eyed His every move, watching the sea water trickled among pale fingers. When he glanced up, Raizel was staring straight at infinite distance, ignoring the surrounding voices washing over Him.

M-21 crouched again, this time closer to Raizel. His crimson eyes looked so calm, M-21 could not guess what was the Owner thinking. M-21 speculated daydreaming, but was the Noblesse ever daydreaming?

"Mr. Rai," The younger man nudged the sleeve of Raizel's white suit jacket, "It's almost sunset. Are you sure you want to stay here?"

Raizel blinked once before looking at M-21's pearly irises. He scanned His crowded surrounding and frowned.

"No, we're moving." The Noble stood up, "I wish there's less crowded spot."

Same, Mr. Rai, same, M-21 thought. He stood up and fixed his slightly rumpled sweater, then waited.

Waited for Raizel to decide what to do.

Without notice the Noble took an amble, and M-21 followed him suit. The man guessed that Raizel was going to the other side of the beach—quiet far, but still somewhat visible from his current location—to get the deserted spot that He wanted. There were some rocks blocking the spot, so no wonder almost no one was there.

None of them spoke during the walk, immersing themselves instead in the voice of nature mixed with noises of humans whom were gradually increasing in number as the sky was turning redder. M-21 stared at Raizel's back—just as a follower always do. That Man hadn't really said or done something either important or meaningful, at least in his eyes. When they first stepped on this place, M-21 already saw many people—there were families, children, couples … they held hands. And laughed together. And took pictures together.

Are they what couples do? Was he supposed to do that with Raizel? And on a first date, that is… Though, M-21 didn't like taking photos of himself, let alone other people. What's so good with a photo of a cold and brooding man?

M-21 never saw Raizel laughing. He was quite aloof, too, and the only expressions of Him that he had seen were when He smiled and blushed. That was before this whole relationship began, though. Now he had seen the Noblesse frowned and chuckled (a little) … but that was it.

Were they supposed to have longer conversation? They already did that at home—not that they were long, but at least the Quiet Noblesse talked with him, which was surprising enough for M-21. They should have. That's why dates exist, right? To get to know your special someone.

Was Raizel even special for him? In platonic way, yes… He did many things for him, and he was always thankful for all that. This was the reason that M-21 could use as justification of his sudden answer when Raizel confessed; the Noblesse wanted it, and it didn't really affect him badly (besides the overthinking…). In a few days, M-21 could get used to this entirely. That was how he survived in the Union. If he could get used to all the harsh experiment and treatment, being in a particularly close relationship with the Strongest Being on Earth who sided with him might be easier.

A few low jumps and careful slips, they arrived at the small sand land behind the dangerously sharp rocks.

"Hope no one really saw us getting here," M-21 said, or else they'll try to do what we did, and that's dangerous.

Raizel turned to M-21, "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." M-21 buttoned up one button of his sweater, "We should have brought some snacks."

Raizel made a tiny smile at the modified human. He sat down, then followed by M-21.

The sun was setting, shading the entire sky with its own fiery sea of red. Its amber ray shone against the two beings, completely engulfing them in warm light before it was slowly swallowed by the horizon. The human was captured by the beauty and freedom the golden sphere emitted, the sky was truly limitless. Even though the stars beaconed by the fading color of fire had shown themselves, M-21 did not mind, it was all right.

That happened too fast, compared to their trip length. Though, M-21 now understood the

The modified human sensed his hand being held. He reluctantly faced the Other Person.

"I enjoyed this," Raizel said.

M-21 nodded, "I'm glad."

Seeing Raizel reminded M-21 that he was on a date. It sure didn't feel like a date at all, if anything on the internet said was true.

Ruby eyes were fixed on M-21, and he thought that the Noblesse wanted him to say more, but none came to his mind—not when Raizel was staring intensely at him like this.

"Uh, I think," The younger man averted his gaze to the direction of the main beach, "we should buy some food before going home."

When he turned back, Raizel was already few centimeters from him—he cringed out of reflex. No one had been so close to him.

M-21 was sweating despite the cooling air, "S-Sir?"

As if the questionably close distance wasn't enough, Raizel held both of M-21's arms and shifted closer.

Was this going to happen? The thing they mentioned on the internet that should happen at the end of the date? The—bright red color appeared on M-21's cheeks—first kiss?! M-21 was sure that his panicked face was so obvious to Raizel. Fear and thoughts started running in erratic manner. Searching on the internet wasn't enough to prepare himself! This … this was too close. Too intimate. He was uncomfortable. The young man was now honest to himself: he was nowhere that close to Raizel. The light conversations helped, but chats weren't enough. One week wasn't enough. They still didn't know each other that well. All of this happened way too fast.

"M-21. I…"

He did not want this.

M-21 closed his eyes, trying to suffuse his consternation—and to prepare what was coming.

"…I don't think this whole relationship works."

What?

Grey eyes shot open.

To black eyebrows forming lines in between and red eyes glancing sideways. Then they snapped back to wide grey ones.

"I know you don't like this relationship."

The Noble sighed, He released the other man's arms as His shoulders slouched. "I can feel it."

There was no response. M-21 remained mute.

Raizel glanced at him, then He closed his contrite eyes, "I'm sorry for burdening you for the past seven days." He turned to look at the sparkling black sky and the calm waves.

"I think we should end this."

The silence of the modified human still stayed strong. Raizel turned to see M-21 blinking, then looking left and right inconstantly. Raizel frowned again, this time faint tiredness colored His cold face.

"I'm sorry."

As he slowly gained control over his emotion, M-21 managed to fix his gaze at the Man in front of him. His thin lips gaped,

"…Did I do something wrong?"

He did, didn't he? He showed that he was affected by the fraught situation and didn't even make any effort to disguise his discomfort. As if he tried to show Him that he was unwilling. Anything the Noblesse said is absolute; he was supposed to obey and go with the flow. He ensured himself that everything would be okay, but his heart told him to doubt.

But he was slowly getting better and accepting, and he had got quite used to the Noblesse hanging around him. It wasn't so bad. Raizel was nice. He didn't reject Him. Everything went all right.

So ... why?

Raizel shook His head, "No, no at all. It was me."

The Noblesse stood up, then stretched a hand down to M-21.

"Let us go home, it's dark already."

The modified man didn't move, instead his cloudy and wavering irises were steady at hollow red ones.

"I … can stand on my own." mumbled M-21, as he proved his words.

The Noble dropped His hand, and once again they exchanged looks before He turned and leaped over the rocks and away.

It took M-21 a while before he joined as he stared at the back that now looked lonely.