Chapter 17

“Aril, isn’t it nice being outside?” Mamela cooed as she reached into the basket to pet her. She had spent so much time indoors that this outing was refreshing.

Aril felt excited about the change of scenery, even though she had been anxious at first. Everything was new and interesting. The only drawback was that she couldn’t run freely; she had to stay inside the basket.

Mamela raised her hand to shield her from the bright sun. Aril had been inside for so long that she couldn’t help but squint in the sunlight. She appreciated the fresh air and the warmth of the sun on his fur.

As they strolled along, Mamela commented on the beauty of their surroundings. Aril looked around and saw a pond shimmering in the sunlight. It was a picturesque scene, and she marvelled at the water’s surface reflecting the light.

Mamela suggested crossing the bridge to get a better view, and Aril eagerly agreed with an excited meow.

As they walked toward the middle of the bridge, Aril suddenly shivered, feeling a chill down her spine. She sensed someone else’s presence nearby, and her memories started to resurface.

“Aril, why are you…?” Mamela began to ask but was interrupted by Aril’s urgent meow.


Aril sensed danger and quickly hid herself deep inside the basket. She could hear someone approaching from behind.

Mamela was startled, and Aril could feel her tension. She tried to signal her urgently, “Quick, cover the basket, Mamela!”

Mamela immediately obeyed and lowered the basket’s lid. Meanwhile, the footsteps drew closer.

Aril’s heart pounded as she realized who was approaching. The person’s familiar voice confirmed his suspicions.


“Brother…?” Mamela’s voice quivered as she turned to face him, hiding the basket behind her.

“What brings you here?” her brother asked, sounding puzzled.

Aril couldn’t see much through the basket’s small openings, but she hoped her presence was concealed.

“I just came for a walk. It’s such a nice day,” Mamela replied casually, her tone friendly.

Aril used her keen sense of smell to detect the familiar scent. It was a scent she had encountered before, but she couldn’t quite place it.

Mamela tried to make an excuse, “We thought it would be nice to get some fresh air.”

Her brother seemed to buy the explanation. “I see. Well, it’s a coincidence running into you. Enjoy your walk, Mamela.”

But then, he suddenly stopped and called her back. “Wait!”

Aril held her breath, her heart pounding in her tiny chest. She couldn’t see what was happening, but she could sense the tension in the air.

Mamela’s faint inhalation was audible, and Aril’s anxiety grew. What if her brother asked to see what was inside the basket?

Aril tried to calm herself. “Mamela, don’t worry. Remember our training. We’re prepared for a day like this.”

She wished she could see more, but all she could do was wait in the basket and hope that Mamela would handle the situation well.

The tension in the air seemed to dissipate as Mamela and her brother continued their conversation. Aril, hidden inside the basket, couldn’t see what was happening, but she could sense that things were calming down.

Mamela’s brother, whose name Aril still didn’t know, mentioned something about Luna’s pastries. Aril didn’t understand what Luna’s pastries were, but it seemed to be a subject of interest for Mamela.

As they discussed it, Mamela hesitantly agreed to try some. Aril could feel her reluctance, but she didn’t want to appear rude or ungrateful.

“Then… I guess it’s okay for a little while,” Mamela finally conceded.

Aril let out a silent sigh of relief from inside the basket. It seemed that Mamela’s brother was trying to make amends or at least create a peaceful atmosphere.

He mentioned preparing the snacks, and Aril could hear the sounds of activity. The soft rustling and the sweet aroma that filled the air piqued Aril’s curiosity.

‘What is that delicious smell?’ Aril wondered. It was a scent she had never encountered before, and it made her mouth water.

Inside the basket, she couldn’t see what was happening, but she was becoming increasingly curious about the world outside. She wished she could peek out and see what these “Luna’s pastries” were all about.

Aril could hear their voices in the background, warm laughter and casual conversation. It was a stark contrast to the tense moment earlier.

As time passed, Aril’s curiosity grew stronger, and she couldn’t help but wonder if she would get a chance to taste whatever was causing that enticing aroma.

‘If only I could see what’s happening out there,’ Aril thought, still hidden in the basket, waiting for the next development in this unexpected adventure.

Aril listened intently as Mamela and her brother continued their conversation. It appeared that Mamela had hurt her nose, but it wasn’t a severe injury. Her brother seemed genuinely concerned about her well-being.

As the conversation progressed, Aril couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt. She had caused Mamela to refuse her brother’s visits in the past, and she had indirectly contributed to her brother’s feelings of rejection.

Mamela’s brother tried to broach a more sensitive topic, but Mamela quickly changed the subject, mentioning something about blueberry jam. Aril couldn’t see what was happening, but she could hear the sounds of something being crushed and crumbled. The tantalizing aroma filled the air even more.

The conversation took an unexpected turn when Mamela asked why her brother had come outside when he usually avoided the sun and stayed in his study. Aril felt a twinge of anxiety. It seemed that Mamela was questioning her brother’s motives for being there, and Aril couldn’t afford for her to get suspicious.

Her brother’s response was cryptic, indicating that he had come out despite disliking the sun. Mamela seemed perplexed by his answer.

Then, her brother’s tone became somber as he hinted at feeling hurt by Mamela’s previous refusals to see him. He apologized for not realizing how difficult her academic pursuits had been and expressed his remorse for not being there for her when she needed him.

Mamela was momentarily taken aback, unsure of how to respond. Her brother’s confession seemed to catch her off guard. She eventually mustered a smile and reassured him that it was all right, indicating that she didn’t truly resent him.

Listening to their conversation from inside the basket, Aril felt a mixture of emotions. She couldn’t help but be moved by their reconciliation, yet she also knew that her presence had indirectly led to this conversation.

It was clear that Mamela and her brother cared deeply for each other, and Aril couldn’t help but wonder how her presence would impact their relationship. She hoped that, somehow, she could find a way to bring them closer together, rather than driving them apart.

Aril watched and listened closely as Mamela and her brother continued their conversation. It seemed that Mamela’s brother is discussing her future plans, mentioning that she would be attending a school in the capital city and would have to live in a dormitory there. Mamela asked when she would be able to return home, and her brother explained that she would typically come back every six months.

Aril couldn’t help but feel a pang of sadness at the thought of Mamela leaving for school and living away from her brother. She could sense the closeness between them, and it was clear that they cared deeply for each other.

Mamela’s brother’s words also made Aril ponder her own situation. Would she ever be able to return home to her own world? The uncertainty of her future weighed heavily on her mind.

As she continued to watch Mamela and her brother, Aril couldn’t deny the beauty he saw in the scene before her. Mamela’s brother, with his warm smile and radiant presence, seemed to thaw even the coldest of hearts. Aril couldn’t help but admire the man’s transformation.

However, the reality of her situation remained. Aril was still a small creature hidden in a basket, far away from her own world. She had no idea how she could ever return, but he held on to the hope that someday he would find a way.

For now, she would continue to observe and learn from the world around her, hoping that one day she could make a difference, not just in her own life, but in the lives of those she had come to care about in this new world.

Mamela’s response seemed to bring some relief to Aril, who had been anxiously contemplating the implications of her upcoming departure for school. Her brother’s kind and understanding words reassured her, and their conversation continued with warmth and laughter.

However, Aril’s newfound sense of security was short-lived as the topic of Mamela’s basket came up. Her brother asked about its contents, and Aril’s heart raced with anxiety. The last thing she wanted was for her presence to be discovered.

Mamela quickly came up with an explanation, stating that the basket contained sandwiches for a picnic. Her brother seemed satisfied with her answer and even praised her hobbies and interests.

But then, her brother made a request that sent a shiver down Aril’s spine. He asked if he could taste one of the sandwiches. Aril’s heart pounded in her chest as she anxiously awaited Mamela’s response, praying that she would somehow find a way to refuse without raising suspicion.

As the situation unfolded, Aril found herself caught in a whirlwind of emotions, torn between the fear of being discovered and the desire to maintain her newfound connection with Mamela and her family.

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