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21 Tragic Love Story... Somewhat

 The hall was large enough to fit a thousand people, but at the moment there were only 4 people present. Ranga had an excited look on his face as he saw his father and the three guests. The guests consisted of two adults and one child. The two adults were dressed lavishly in blue, whereas the girl was wearing a simple white dress. His gaze quickly landed on this girl who was just about his age, and at that moment his mind went blank.

Growing up in a nobleman's house, Ranga had seen a fair share of beautiful women. From the maids to the large amount of guests that they received, all of the women were beautiful. But at the moment he realized that he had been just a frog stuck in a well.

The girl was slightly taller than he was; she had big brown eyes and short black hair. She looked towards Ranga indifferently and slowly hid behind her mother. Ranga and his mother respectfully greeted the guests and then the introduction came after, then the adult proceed to talk about the country's affairs.

During this time Ranga couldn't help but constantly stare at the girl in front of him.

Never in his life had he seen such a beautiful girl.

From the moment he had laid eyes on her he had instantly become infatuated. He wanted to say something, but his mouth was just opening and closing without uttering a single word.

The girl on the other hand continued to hide half of herself behind her mother. The four adults looked at the two kids and smiled. After seeing that her son was not going to say anything any time soon Ranga's mother spoke. "Why don't you take her on a tour of the house, I am sure she'd love that."

Ranga could only nod and then began walking, not even look at whether the girl was following or not. The girl was hesitant to follow at first, but her mother urged her to go. After an additional breath of hesitation the girl followed Ranga.

The two walked in silence for the whole tour. Ranga only spoke when necessary, and that was only when he was naming rooms that they were passing. It was a bit weird for him because he was used to being talkative, but in front of this girl he found himself being a little bit more cautious with his words.

And in the blink of an eye a month passed, and by now Ranga was now more accustomed to his fiancé.

Over the last month the two of them would walk around the house or visit the market together. The first couple of times were a bit tense, but the more time they spent together the more comfortable they got around one another.

"What do you usually do when you are at home?" Ranga asked the girl.

The girl answered. "I usually train. My dad wants to make sure that I get into an academy after I beginn to sense Zesa."

Ranga was astonished by this answer. He himself was yet to even begin any form of training. If he really had an option then he wouldn't even bother going to an academy. But even though his innate ability was crap, his talent for actual cultivation was rather superb

"What is your innate ability?" Ranga asked.

"I am a Muroyi." The girl answered and then added with a bit of hesitation "My ability is a bit weird though..."

Ranga noticed that she was not comfortable in discussing the issue so he didn't pursue the matter; instead he decided to open up. "My innate ability is life force. So I should basically be a healer but the problem is I can't use it to heal anyone. I can heal myself just fine though, funny isn't it...?"

The girl was at a loss for words at this moment; she had never expected that this youth actually had almost the same problem as she did.

After another month the girl's parents left for their town leaving her behind at Ranga's house. They had initially planned on taking her with them, but she had flatly refused. Ranga was pleased by this development because he knew that she was staying behind to spend more time with him.

Time moved fast and in a flash, the girl had to go back to her home, much to Ranga's displeasure.

It had been a full year since she had gone home, and even though his and her mother traded letters, it still wasn't the same as seeing her.

They bid farewell to each other and promised to frequently exchange letters. It was a hard month for Ranga as he was now used to spending most of his time with his fiancé.

At the end of the first month since she left, a letter arrived from her.

It was a short but sweet letter, which told him that she had arrived safely and that she loved him. Reading it caused Ranga's heart to almost jump out of his chest.

He was so happy that he could just die.

He quickly wrote a reply like his life depended on it. He sent it out and waited.

A month went by and nothing came. He decided to wait another week.

Another month went by and still nothing.

Half a year went by and still nothing.

A year and still nothing. It was at this point that he went to his father.

"Dad, I haven't heard from her in a year. What's going on?"

Hearing this question his father's face turned solemn as he said. "I wanted to wait for the right time to tell you this..."

Just hearing this Ranga's heart sank. His expression turned grave as his father continued, "A month ago we got worried because we also had not heard from her family in a while, so we sent a bunch of our men to go and check if anything was wrong... and ... we found that at least three quarters of her family and servants had been murdered. We recovered her parent's corpses, but no hers. The survivors' claim that she managed to run away, and we are yet to find any trace of her, so for now she's missin-..."

Before he could even finish he noticed that his son had already let the room at an abnormally fast speed. Ranga did not even bother explaining anything as he called for the men who had gone to his fiancé's city. They quickly saddled on their horses and began their journey.

It took them two weeks for them to reach her city and when they reached her house Ranga's eyes turned bloodshot.

A rare solemn expression appeared on his face as he gazed at the half burnt house. He quickly ordered the men to spread out and search for her, but after two months of fruitless results he finally headed home.

It took him a good half year for him to be able to get back to normal, but anyone who knew him before could sense a slight change in him. Even though he still referred to himself in third person, people noticed that at times he would have a serious expression on his face. The Ranga from the past was always a happy-go-lucky spoilt kid but ever since he returned he had had moments in which he wore nothing but a serious expression.

A month later people were even more shocked to find that Ranga was now training by himself, a year later on the eve of his fourteenth birthday Ranga sensed his first strand of Zesa. It was quite an impressive feat since Ranga had not joined any military academy. His current level was all thanks to his hard work and determination.

When he turned fifteen he decided to try and join the ivory guard, and to many people's surprise he actually got in. It was surprising because it required one to go through the Elephant foot guard before joining the ivory guard, but Ranga just got in.

He spent four years in a team that was ranked second on the Red Ivory Ranking Board, his team was rather special because he who was born with an enormous amount of life force was actually the tank of the team (The person who was responsible for defense and gaining the enemy's attention).

The team had another healer and even though his life force energy was not as abundant as Ranga's, he was not bad.

But just as they were going on a mission that would give them enough contribution points to surpass the team ranked first, Ranga who was the leader of the team, suddenly just quit.

He did not give any sort of explanation, all he said was "I'm sure you guys can make it without me."

***

"And that's how I ended up here..." and with that Ranga finished his story.

The trio who were listening were all flabbergasted by this tale. It wasn't gruesome but it was definitely something that caught them off guard.

Tadi especially had a strange gleam in her eyes;

Nyasha's eyes were full of respect at the moment. The determination that Ranga had shown had completely shocked him.

Banabas was the first to speak. "So you did all of this for a girl?"

Ranga nodded as everyone's gazes fell onto Tadi. Each of the trio's gazes was different, but the most emotional of them all was Ranga's gaze.

To everyone's surprise she started her story at a rather interesting point.

"After I left Ranga's house to go back home..."

Even though both Banabas and Nyasha had assumed that "the girl" in Ranga's story was Tadi, actually hearing it from her was still shocking to them.

Tadi though did not care about their shock as she continued.

***

It had been a month since Tadi returned home, and to say that she was lonely was putting it lightly. Even though she had friends here back home she still felt alone. As much as she did not want to admit it, she really missed Ranga.

She had written to him a month back and she knew that it took just that amount of time for a person to go back and forth between their two cities so today his letter should arrive.

She had waited outside of mansion for a half a day now and still there was nothing.

Just as she steeled her resolve to wait a bit longer one of the maids walked up to her.

"Young Mistress, it's time for lunch now."

Tadi sighed, got up and walked into the house and then went straight for the dining hall.

When she got there her whole family was already there. She greeted her parents respectfully as she sat down next to her mother. Both her parents knew why she was in such a terrible mood so they did not bring it up.

Even though she had been in the dining hall for a good half hour, Tadi had barely even touched her food.

Her mother looked at her with a warm gaze and said. "I am sure he got the letter and replied to it, so do not worry about it."

Tadi could only nod her head, but just at that moment a maid walked into the hall holding a piece of paper in her hand, but at the same time she wore a very grave expression.

"Master, Mistress we have a huge problem! Those Makudo bandits are currently on their way here as we speak."

Tadi saw her father brow furrow, but then he said. "It's just those monkeys; we can easily deal with them."

The maid then replied. "Yes sire, if it was just them then we would have nothing to worry about..."

Tadi saw her father's expression turn grave. "Don't tell me that the Machero Family has banded with those bastards in order to remove me as mayor of this city."

The maid bowed and replied. "It is just as Master said."

Just as the maid was about to take her leave, she suddenly realized that she was holding something. She quickly turned around and then handed the letter to Tadi. Even though Tadi knew that she should be happy, she couldn't help but feel bitter because of her family's current predicament.

Before she could even open the letter she noticed that her parents had already stood up and summoned one of the guards. "Take Tadi and run to the Elephant foot guard. Take this medallion with you. Show it to the people there and they will know who to call."

The guard grabbed the medallion and hurriedly picked up Tadi.

"No... Put me down... Mom! Dad!"

Her screaming was in vain as she was carried away. The guard quickly picked a horse and sped outside the city from the south gate.

A short while later Tadi and the guard could see smoke coming from the city.

The sounds of fighting and slaughter penetrated the air and Tadi couldn't help but cry.

The Guard's face also turned emotional and could only helplessly shake his head. He couldn't even utter a single word to the crying girl.

It took them a full week of non-stop travel to reach the Elephant Foot Guard, and with his mission complete the guard decided to go back and fight for whatever was left, leaving Tadi in the care of the elephant foot guard.

***

"After that I was taken in by Mbuya Nehanda as a disciple, but no one really knows about it since I did not want any attention. Even though I sensed my first strand of Zesa at fourteen, Mbuya did not want me to join any team and made me go out adventuring by myself."

And with that Tadi had finished her story.

Both Banabas and Nyasha could only sigh and look at Tadi sympathetically.

Ranga on the other hand had eyes filled with killing intent.