Noctis Noir
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67 Reunion
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Noctis Noir
Author :Papina
© Webnovel

67 Reunion

The next day, Frisk contacted the girls to let them know that the forum was already up and running. He made them accounts with admin status so they could view the forum statistics. After just a few hours of being online, the forum already had about thirty registrations. The forum was gradually getting filled with tales of their escape from Aries. Frisk called up the TV station for help in announcing the forum as a site for 'reuniting friends who made it out of the Aries disaster'.

"With this, we can get more help and finish faster," Astrid said as she browsed the first batch of forum users. She couldn't help but check out the forum topic 'How were you able to escape from Aries?' where she was able to build a better picture of what happened to the other groups that night. Most of the groups were able to get at least half their members out before the gates suddenly deactivated.

As she was focused on the numbers displayed on the forum statistics page, a sudden mail notification popped out. Her eyes widened when she saw the name of the sender.

_____________

To: Astrid <astridbeefbowls@alpacaforums.com>

From: Garth <garth@alpacaforums.com>

Are you Astrid from the guild Noctis Noir?

This is Garth from Black Rose. If this is you, please send a reply. If I have the wrong person, please ignore this e-mail.

_____________

Overjoyed, she quickly typed up a reply to the e-mail.

_____________

To: Garth <garth@alpacaforums.com>

From: Astrid <astridbeefbowls@alpacaforums.com>

Yes. It's me. The girls and I made it out except for Anna and Amelie.

_____________

To: Astrid <astridbeefbowls@alpacaforums.com>

From: Garth <garth@alpacaforums.com>

Thank goodness. Can you give me your city name and phone number? I want to meet you this weekend.

_____________

She was about to type her address when she stopped herself. What if this was the enemy impersonating him?

_____________

To: Garth <garth@alpacaforums.com>

From: Astrid <astridbeefbowls@alpacaforums.com>

Just in case, I want to make sure you're really Garth. Do you have any kind of proof?

_____________

To: Astrid <astridbeefbowls@alpacaforums.com>

From: Garth <garth@ alpacaforums.com>

Would a photo work?

_____________

Below it was a photo of him in his room wearing a grey long sleeved shirt. He was holding up a handwritten sign that said, "It's me, Astrid."

Astrid sank in her seat. He looked so cute! She covered her reddened face.

After she regained her composure, she typed up a reply that included her address and number. She hit send and waited anxiously for his reply.

_____________

To: Astrid <astridbeefbowls@alpacaforums.com>


From: Garth <garth@alpacaforums.com>

Thanks! I'll go there to see you this weekend.

_____________

She quickly ran out of her room to tell the girls about it.

***

Astrid waited at the train station for Garth's arrival. The place wasn't as crowded as it used to be before people moved to artificial worlds, but it wasn't totally deserted either. There were still enough staff and passengers to keep the railway running.

She saw a familiar white haired boy in a dark blue hoodie and black pants step off the train and onto the platform. He was curiously examining his surroundings like a tourist. It was probably his first time being in that city.

"Garth!" She called his name and got a reaction.

"Astrid..." He smiled when he saw her. He looked genuinely happy to see her alive and well.

"Welcome to our city. It's a bit deserted, but you'll get used to it. There's a beach over there if you want to enjoy the view of the sunset," she spoke awkwardly.

"Sure."

They both walked silently to the shore from the train station. They stood facing the direction of the sunset.

"It feels very different seeing you here in the real world," Astrid admitted. She was too used to seeing Garth in mage robes.

"Yeah. I'm no longer the mage guildmaster of Black Rose, but just Garth. An ordinary person."

"That goes for me as well."

"It's not totally bad being ordinary, but it's hard to believe that we were living like this before we went to Aries. So many things happened. Everything feels like a dream. Although..." His eyes met hers. "Standing here right now feels like a dream as well."

A gust of wind blew for a moment as the two stood in silence.

Garth continued, "I'm probably the only one who made it out among the core members of Black Rose. Someone pushed me into the portal. I didn't see who. As soon as I got out, I couldn't go back inside anymore. I mailed the others asking if they made it out. Until now, I didn't receive a single reply."

"Pio is still in there. That's for sure. He rescued Lyria and helped her escape."

"Any news about the others?" he asked.

Astrid shook her head. "We don't know about the other Black Rose members. We ran to your portal but didn't see them there."

"What about our other friends?"

"Tank and Frisk made it out."

"That's good. I saw Frisk on TV."

"We contacted Frisk and went to meet him and Tank. They made the forums."

"I see. So the forums were your doing. That's a good idea. I wouldn't have found you easily if it weren't for that."

"Have you been looking for us all this time?"

"Ever since I made it out, I've been searching everyday for clues and leads." Garth was silent for a moment. "Astrid, I want to go back for the others."

She smiled at his words. "We were just thinking the same thing."

"Please help me learn artificial world development. I rented an apartment here for a month, so I can stay here with you and help work out a plan," he said with conviction.

She nodded. "I'll help you and everyone learn. We'll figure out a way to rescue the others."

"Thank you."

Suddenly, Garth's stomach growled loudly.

He became embarrassed. "Sorry. I haven't eaten."

Astrid giggled. "Would you like noodles for dinner?"

***

When Astrid and Garth arrived at Oodle Noodles, the rest of their friends were gathered inside the restaurant. Epsilon was busy working on the soup stock for the next batch of noodles while the rest were engaged in lively conversation.

"Garth!" The other were relieved to see the guildmaster of Black Rose in one piece.

Garth shared their feelings of relief. "I'm glad you made it out."

Tank examined him. "You look a lot thinner without your mage robes."

"The same goes for you. You look different without your bulky crusader armor."

Tank laughed. "To be honest, I hate my office clothes, but they're the only clothes available right now before I get my laundry done."

Frisk hugged himself. "I love my office clothes. Ladies love a gentleman in a business suit. Right, ladies?" No one responded to him.

"You know, this really feels like an offline meet," Luna commented. She was dressed in her usual sports jersey and shorts.

"Getting to know each other in the real world is interesting," said Lyria before she sipped her tea. She wore a comfortable floral dress, the type of clothes she used to wear a lot in the real world.

"The noodles are ready," announced Epsilon.

They all enjoyed dinner together, momentarily forgetting their worries. They found it nice to take it easy once in a while, before they dove right into their rescue project.

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