The Rose in Winter (part 2)
Together with Alice, Linley felt truly joyful from the bottom of his heart. In this manner, an entire night passed away. Neither Linley nor Alice felt tired at all, despite having been up all night.
As the sun began to rise, the horizon began to glow with a soft, blue color.
“The sun is rising. Alice, I have to go.” Linley stood up.
“Okay.” Alice replied.
Alice also stood up, looking at Linley with a somewhat reluctant to part expression. Linley grinned, waved at her, then floated down to the street like a leaf, his body surrounded by flows of air.
After Linley arrived at the Jade Water Palace, he waited for his bros to get out of bed, at which point he was ‘interrogated’ by Yale and the other two.
After returning to the Ernst Institute, Linley continued to be as studious as ever. But when he was relaxing, he would often think of Alice. Linley had a certain feeling; he had been struck in the heart by the gods of love.
Yulan calendar, year 9997, November 29th. Evening.
Alice had gotten up very early to wait outside her family’s door. After waiting for a while, she saw Linley’s familiar figure making his way up from the Dry Road. Immediately, she ran to him.
“Big brother Linley.” Alice shouted rather excitedly. They hadn’t seen each other for a month. After finally being able to see him, Alice was somewhat unable to control her excitement.
In his heart, Linley was feeling excited as well. After all, it had been a month since they last met. But today, he felt especially happy. “Even though I didn’t tell Alice when I would see her again, she came outside to wait for me today.”
Last time, after chatting with Alice, Linley discovered that the Wellen Institute’s vacation days were on the 1st and 2nd of each month. Alice was skipping class in order to meet with him. Linley fully understood what that meant.
“Linley, keep at it! This time, you have to be a bit braver.” Doehring Cowart’s voice sounded out in Linley’s mind.
Linley secretly also made up his mind. After all, he didn’t want to wait another month.
“Alice, why are you outside today, instead of on your porch?” Linley and Alice were walking side by side on the street. Alice laughed. “We can’t always be hiding on my balcony, can we?”
Thinking back to how the two of them were hiding in the corner of a balcony, Linley couldn’t help but laugh.
“Right. If you don’t go back home at night, isn’t your father going to be worried?” Linley asked.
“Him?” Alice pouted. “My father is a drunken sot, and also a compulsive gambler. He might not even know when he himself will be home, much less me.”
“Big brother Linley, I grew up in Fenlai City as a child. Fenlai City is a very big city. You probably haven’t been to many places. Come on, I’ll show you around.” Alice laughed.
Linley and Alice walked together on the streets. It was winter now, and on the Yulan continent, December and January were the two coldest months of the year. The night wind was very cold as well. There weren’t too many people on the streets.
But as Linley and Alice walked and chatted, they totally ignored the people who were on the streets.
“Oh, it’s snowing?” Alice raised her head up to stare at the night sky and watched as white flecks gently drifted down. “I love snow. This is the first snow of this year’s winter.”
“I also like snow.” Linley lifted his head up, allow the snow to collect and then dissolve upon his face.
To be able to take a walk with the girl he liked on a snowy night was quite romantic. The two of them continued their slow stroll in the streets of Fenlai City.
“Big brother Linley, do you have a girlfriend?” Alice suddenly asked, before saying in a soft voice, “Big brother Linley, you are so amazing, you must have one already.”
“I do not, definitely do not.” Linley quickly said.
Hearing his words, Alice fell silent.
“Alice, do you have a boyfriend?” Linley dithered for a while, but finally got the question out.
Alice’s face immediately turned red. Even her neck turned red. But in the dark night, there was no way for Linley to see. “How could I have a boyfriend? Who would want me as their girlfriend?”
Linley took a deep breath, then suddenly said, “Then how about, you be my girlfriend?”
“Um…” Alice looked up at Linley in surprise, as though she had been stunned silly. Linley was just chatting normally with her earlier. All of a sudden, he asked this question of her, catching her totally offguard.
In the Holy Union, it was very normal for young people to have boyfriends or girlfriends. Many of Alice’s female classmates already had boyfriends, and she had also thought about having one.
But she didn’t expect that Linley would ask her in such a direct manner.
“You want me to be your girlfriend?” Alice asked.
Right now, Linley felt that his heart was pounding so frantically that it was going to burst out of his chest. Even when facing life and death battles in the Mountain Range of Magical Beasts he had never been so frantic. “Yes. Are you willing?”
Alice’s face was totally red by now. She stared at Linley. “Big brother Linley, honestly, maybe I’m not as good of a person as you think I am.”
“I trust my judgment. Alice, I asked you already. Are you willing?” Linley was about to go crazy. He wanted to know Alice’s reply right away. Even Linley’s voice was quivering.
Alice was quiet for a moment, and then she gently nodded.
Excited, Linley couldn’t help but enfold Alice in a deep embrace. Embarrassed, Alice buried her face against Linley’s chest. Just then, Linley noticed that there was a flower shop next to them.
“Alice, here.” Alice lifted her head up in response, and she did, she saw a brilliantly beautiful rose in front of her.
Her face blushing, Alice accepted the rose. Looking at Alice, Linley thought that the red rose complimented her blushing pink face perfectly. She was an unspeakably moving picture. This image was burned into Linley’s mind forever.
Holding Alice by the hand, the two of them continued their walk.
The snowflakes continued to fly about. The two youths slowly strolled about the night streets of Fenlai City. The rose in Alice’s hand was so beautiful, so vibrant.
In one of the superior rooms of the Jade Water Paradise, there were seven people; Yale, George, Reynolds, and four beautiful ladies.
“I don’t know what’s gotten into Third Bro. Last time he went missing for an entire night also. This time, he hasn’t come back even now.” Yale shook his head helplessly.
“Hey, that guy looks like Third Bro.” Reynolds, who was seated next to the window, suddenly let out a surprised shout. “And he’s holding hands with a girl. Damn! Third Bro managed to find himself a beauty behind our backs.”
“Whoosh!” Yale and George also ran to the window, staring down at Linley below them.
At this moment, Linley, who was drunken in the beautiful throes of young love, didn’t even notice that they had reached the Jade Water Paradise! Linley and Alice walked right past the Jade Water Paradise, continuing onto the Fragrant Pavilion Road.
“Man, when did Third Bro become so formidable? Yale’s eyes were sparkling.
George and Reynolds were both excited as well. Reynolds immediately suggested, “Haha, when Third Bro comes back, we have to give him a proper interrogation.”
The next morning, Linley happily returned to the superior room in the Jade Water Paradise. Per their usual habits, Reynolds and Yale should’ve each retired to their own private rooms with their beauties. But…
Upon opening the door, Linley stared inside with surprise. “Boss Yale, why are you all here?”
“You ask me why we are all here?” Reynolds began to chortle. Scheming looks were on the faces of George and Yale as well, and they began to creep closer to Linley.
“Tell!” Reynolds stared at him. “Who was that beauty who was with you last night?”
“Quick, tell!” Yale and George also demanded.
“Whu…..you guys…?” Linley was totally flabbergasted.