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Chapter Fourteen Blooper
Ellie worked as fast as she could, stacking the crates of food into the cargo hold, filling up every nook and cranny. Deutzia’s root system and the dirt it required, left space a scant commodity onboard the Dreadnaught, though Ellie thought it silly to call it the Dreadnaught at that point. It was really just Deutzia.
Ellie tried to grab a crate of berries, but struggled with it due to the weight.
“May I help you?”
“Yeah, sure, thanks.”
When she realized who it was, she dropped her end of the crate.
“Oh! Ryin…it’s you, I…”
It had been so long, she hadn’t recognized him at first. Seeing him brought back a lot of old memories she thought she had buried. From somewhere nearby a duck quacked.
“I know, from your perspective it’s been a while,” he chuckled. “I didn’t even recognize you at first until Mina pointed you out to me. You’ve gotten so much taller.”
As he looked her over, it made her feel uncomfortable. She tugged at her long sleeves, trying to hide the scars poking out from within.
“I heard what you did back on Madaringa…” Ryin stuttered. She didn’t know why he seemed so nervous, and she didn’t understand why it made her feel better that he was, but it did.
“…What you did was very brave, Ellie.”
A duck quacked again.
Ellie looked away. “I really didn’t do anything. Dwale took all the risks.”
“Where is Dwale, anyway?”
“He left with Setsuna right after we got back. She didn’t say where.”
“Yeah, that sounds like her.”
Again, the duck quacked.
Ryin stepped a little closer. Had he always been this imposing? She couldn’t recall.
“You know, I was wrong about you, Ellie.”
“No, you weren’t. But it is very kind of you to say that.”
The ducked quacked even louder than before.
The Director threw down his megaphone. “SOMEONE FIND THAT DUCK AND KILL IT IMMEDIATELY!”