Chapter XV – She Got It

The next morning, Rem and his male buddies immediately went to their morning routines with full-of-laughter. However, during the breakfast, he once again became bothered with the determined looks on Marybeth. He used to stare at her. But, Randolph who was on the other side of the table threw him a strip of carrot and gave him an eye-popping facial expression that reminded him of what they talked last night.

Rem smiled at Randolph and kept on eating. He felt relaxed about his plans for today and it was to guide Marybeth. While walking to their spot for their morning exercise, he walked along with her.

“Amazing day, isn’t it?” asked Rem.

“Huh?” replied Marybeth showing a confused look.

“I mean, it’s another great day, I think. Someday, I’ll become a great Arkiman. Just sharing my thoughts,” Rem said in an attempt to energize her.

“Ok. As you said, me too,” Marybeth replied with a poker face.

As both of them did the stretching exercises, he used to take a glimpse at her and when she subconsciously look at him, he will smile. Before they perform the exercise Rem called her attention.

“Psst,” Rem made. “Good luck.”

Marybeth smiled but with confused looks.

After lunch, Rem and Marybeth were asked to change into their protective suit before meeting their corresponding trainers for the defense shooting. He rushed to change and waited outside the women’s locker room.

“Hey, good luck over there,” said Rem while raising his fist. “‘One thousand’ is equal to a second, just to give you an idea when the interval of knife release.”

“Alright. Got it,” Marybeth replied. “Thank you. As we spent time here, you use to become nicer.”

The two walked and before they separated, he waited for her to give him a look. He was never disappointed, she gave him a glimpse prompting him to give her a nod and a thumb up. She replied also with a thumb up.

*****

Rem was asked to prepare for defense shooting. Jonathan noted that the number of machines to be activated was still the same. However, he must have to go on his own. He also noted him that he should be careful and stay focus despite no more rewards waiting.

Rem breathed deeply and walked carefully while his attention was on one of the machines thinking that it had an activated sensor. He was wrong. He then moved on with another and it blew a knife, but he was well prepared and able to dodge it. He hit back deactivating it.

He continued with his process of carefully walking towards each and every machine so he won’t activate many machines at the same time. He had activated three machines at once and in one instance got hit, but able to found shelters in one of the boulders. Then, one by one, he hit them until it was down to one last machine.

Watching from afar, Jonathan was once again impressed.

When it was down to the last machine, Rem dodged the first blow and counted to estimate the next one. Right before he finished “one thousand five,” he flipped his body to the other side and have successfully avoided it. He repeated it several times and he’s enjoying it.

“Burrows stop fooling around,” Jonathan shouted.

Rem smiled and threw a knife at the machine that deactivated it. Then, the alarm went off. Smiling, he walked towards his mentor who met him half way.

“Fantastic Burrows,” said Jonathan giving Rem an arm lock. “I know you are tired so let’s go back to the dome.”

While walking, Rem can’t help but smile because of what he was able to achieve something. He went directly to the dining room to drink water, walked to the locker room and lay on one the benches there. After a few minutes, he took a bath and rushed to the living room thinking Marybeth was already waiting for him.

When he saw that Marybeth was not there, he just opted to go to the dining room and asked some bananas to give him some energy. While munching on them, he went outside the house where he saw the escorts of Marybeth. He then asked them if she’s back. They said she’s in the shooting area. He went there.

“How was it?” Rem interrupted Marybeth who was shooting some knives.

“Hey,” replied Marybeth. “I wasn’t able to finish. I shed all my hit chances.”

Rem smiled. He then walked beside her and threw a dagger at one of the targets. He then got an idea.

“Hey, let’s wear our suit,” said Rem.

“What?” asked Marybeth while looking at him with one of her eyebrows up.

“Let’s play,” said Rem. “I mean, if you don’t mind, I’ll train you. We still have much time and I think there’s nothing wrong if we’ll use this area for self-training.”

“Ok,” said Marybeth. “But, it’s much better if we will ask our trainers first.”

Rem and Marybeth went outside and it was a co-incident that Alvarez and Jonathan were talking just near the gate to the field. They asked them with their idea and the two immediately agreed.

Rem and Marybeth first detached the walls of the room and put all the targets to the side so they can have wider area. He then asked her to stay away from him for a few feet and asked her to dodge the daggers that he will throw at her. At first, he was gentle to her, but when she asked to stop being a gentleman, he tried to hit her hard.

Whenever Rem hit her, he will feel guilty. But, he acted like he’s showing no mercy so she can get her Swazoki anytime soon. He will usually stop and will give advice to his buddy.

The two had been enjoying when suddenly…

“I knew it, you guys indeed are lovers,” said a man from their side.

When Rem looked, he was surprised that it was Randolph along with the two. He was flipping a dagger with his hand. He then swung to throw it to him. The younger man was able to react fast and dodged it. Tatiana then picked a dagger and threw it at Marybeth, who also have successfully avoided it. Dreyford then picked two daggers and threw it together to Marybeth and Rem. They again dodged them.

Randolph clapped while nodding his head.

“Nice!” Randolph said. “Especially you Rem. That reaction is awesome!”

“We were asked to go here and inform you guys that we should be preparing for dinner,” Tatiana said. “But, it seems like you guys are enjoying one another,” said Tatiana, a little intriguing.

“We actually had lots of time after the defense shooting,” Rem explained. “So, we thought, we shouldn’t be wasting time and then we’re here.”

“Mr. Cooney asked us to tell that you should bring everything back,” said Tatiana. “Start now and we will be waiting for you guys in the living room. And, Marybeth, you and I will have lots of things to talk about,” she added with a playful look on her face.

The three left, but Randolph pointed his finger at Rem with a smirk of a devil.

Rem smiled at Marybeth. They started attaching the walls while she brought the targets back to their positions. She finished first but opted to help him.

“Thank you!” said Marybeth while looking at him.

“Why?” asked Rem while clapping to remove the dust on his hands.

“For this training, of course,” said Marybeth who went to kiss Rem on his cheek. “And for the support. You are such a nice guy, Rem.”

Marybeth walked to exit the training room leaving Rem surprised. She then looked back.

“Come now, they are waiting for us.”

*****

This routine of Marybeth and Rem repeated for a few days. Despite she was unable to finish the defense shooting, she was never frustrated because he never failed to boost her up. Most of the extra time were spent with him acting as her teacher. But, there are times that they will try targeting each other.

Rem finished the defense shooting after eight days, where all the machines were activated. He demolished all records.

After he was dismissed, Rem sat on the bench in front of the level 2 shooting area. As he waited for Marybeth he can’t help but be happy with his accomplishments. Moments later, he heard the door from the defense shooting area opened. He then saw Alvarez going out with Marybeth. Before they separated, he gave her a high five.

Marybeth immediately saw Rem and walked towards him. As she became closer, he noticed that she was smiling but trying to hide it. Her overall facial expression was like a girl who remembered something funny but can’t laugh because she was in a crowded place.

“Hey,” said Rem when Marybeth was inches close from him. “How are you?”

Marybeth was just smiling with her hands behind her back.

“What?” asked Rem.

“I got mine, Rem,” said Marybeth showing a box of the Swazoki knife. “Thank you for your help.”

Rem then picked the knife.

“Anderson,” said Rem, reading the engraved letters on the knife.

Rem smiled and it was obvious that his breathing became heavier. He was carried away by his happiness and hugged Marybeth. She just smiled, allowed him to hug her, but she didn’t hug him back. He then realized what he did, released her, and giggled out of embarrassment.

“I’m happy Rem and I think we should take a rest today,” a smiling Marybeth said. “Let’s just clean up and wait for the others.”

Rem nodded. They walked to the house and went directly to the dining room to drink water. They talked for a couple of minutes, before taking a bath.

When the three arrived, Marybeth immediately broke the news. The three showed their happiness, especially Tatiana who had been her an older sister. All agreed to celebrate with Randolph and Dreyford requesting the cooks to bake a cake for the two young trainees.