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Old May 2nd, 2013 (05:31 AM).
Join Date: Oct 2011
Gender: Male
Chapter Seventy-Eight: Selene, Lucius, Toxica, Octa, Aqua, and Boreas
A gentle spring breeze whispered through the tall grass of Route 7 and the Sun shone down warmly on a generously decked table full of delicacies. At the table sat six pokémon, close friends of each other. The meal they were sharing was a very special one; not just because it celebrated the end of the Plasma war, but because it was the final one they'd share. Tomorrow an end would come to their team after three years of hardships and joy, fights and friendship. Each one of them had saved the life of each of the others at least a dozen times, and felt like killing that person at least as often.
As Boreas looked around at his friends, he realised the good times easily outweighed the bad ones. He had a special bond with each of these five pokémon, and to think they would part tomorrow felt unreal. It was sad to part, yet they were all happy with where they were going next.
Boreas smiled and lifted his glass. “To our new League Champion, and to the newest members of his team.”
Five glasses tipped against his and they all took a sip. “Hear, hear,” said Selene, “but Iwho is this new Champion? I didn't hear anything about a new Champion.”
“He's talking about Cheren, birdbrain,” said Lucius. “And he's gonna be the new Champion, 'cause we're gonna make him Champion.”
“Oh, right,” said Selene.
“It's stupid we have to go through Victory Road again, though,” grumbled Lucius, “we did that twice last year, why do we have to go again?”
“Well, those are the rules,” said Octa. “One isn't allowed to challenge the League unless one arrived there by Victory Road.”
“Yeah, yeah.”
“On the positive side,” said Selene, “we've been getting really familiar with Victory Road this way; I can't wait to meet some of my favourite rocks again!”
“Guess at least one of us'll be having fun.”
“It's not as if it'll be as bad as the last two times for you either,” Boreas pointed out, “since it'll be spring this time, instead of autumn or winter. I hear the Black Mountains' climate is relatively temperate in spring.”
“Yeah,” Aqua chimed in, “average temperatures only fifty degrees below freezing instead of a hundred. Positively tropical. If you're a Glaceon, at least.”
Boreas laughed. “It's not that cold on Victory Road, you know.”
“It sure felt like it,” said Aqua. “And I should know about cold; I'm married to a Glaceon after all.”
“Don't be so silly,” chuckled Boreas, “it's not as if I ever expose you to cold, knowing how sensitive you are to it.”
“I am not!” said Aqua in an overdone way. “Just because I don't have some kind of Glaceon-superfur that keeps all the cold out...”
“Sure you are,” said Boreas, cooling a paw down to below freezing and poking her stomach with it, eliciting a loud squeal. “See?”
Aqua laughed nervously as she recoiled. “That's not fair, I'll get you for that!” She lunged at him and tried to tickle him, but was interrupted by Octa scraping his throat loudly.
“I do apologise if my having dinner interrupts your canoodling.”
Boreas and Aqua broke it off and blushed sheepishly. “Sorry,” said Boreas, “got a little distracted.”
“Oh no, please don't let me interrupt you,” spoke Octa snidely, “continue acting like animals all you like.”
Toxica giggled. “You're not jealous of them, are you?”
“Of course he is,” Lucius joined in with a grin, “after all, it's his anniversary.”
“Oh yeah,” laughed Toxica, “it's the third anniversary of you and Boreas' first meeting, darling. Hope you didn't forget to get a present for him.”
Boreas and Aqua laughed along with them. “Yeah, Octa,” teased Boreas, “I hope you didn't forget or thought just this dinner would be enough.”
Octa struggled hard to keep a straight face and couldn't quite manage it. “Oh, do be quiet, you dreadful barbarians. I long for the day I shall be in civilised company again. Which just so happens to be tomorrow.”
“Don't count your blessings yet.” Toxica nudged Octa. “I'll be back in a week or two, and you haven't managed to civilise me yet.”
Octa laughed heartily. “Ah, the horrors I exposed myself to when I consented to be given to a trainer. How shall I ever escape the barbarity I was immersed in?”
“I don't know,” chuckled Toxica, sipping her glass, “but marrying a barbarian was probably not the best way to go about it.”
Octa looked pensive. “Hmm, that might have been my mistake, yes...”
Octa and Toxica had wed on a beautiful day in October, soon after Castelia had been liberated. Team Plasma's hold on the capital had been strong, as all its factions agreed Castelia had to stay in their hands at all costs, actually working together for a change. When Boreas, Aqua, and Octa had joined Toxica, Lucius, and Selene there to help defeat Team Plasma the day after the victory in Nuvema Town, another four difficult months had started. Even as other cities threw off Team Plasma's yoke, their grip on Castelia remained tight, realising holding the capital was their final chance to win the war.
By the time the resistance had finally prevailed, Boreas was exhausted and tired of fighting and wanted nothing more than some peaceful rest. So when Octa had asked Boreas to be his best man, Boreas had expected his friends' wedding to be a welcome repose after the hard work. Little had he known that fighting Team Plasma was easy compared to fighting Octa's family. The entire thing was meticulously planned out, and absolutely everyone, living or dead, had gotten involved in some way. Boreas and Selene, as best man and maid of honour, had automatically been forced to join in on this circus of planning, to the great amusement of Aqua and Lucius who instead used the time to relax.
Still, the wedding itself had been utterly wonderful and made it all worth it, though Boreas had often felt like killing Octa and/or his entire family in the weeks leading up to it. Octa had surprised Boreas with how passionate he had kissed Toxica when Livia had proclaimed them husband and wife; Boreas just didn't know him to get that emotional.
After the wedding, it had been time to fight Team Plasma again, as usual, but without Castelia, its remnants had been chanceless. They had lost city after city, until by the end of the year only Lacunosa and Striaton were left, and a few days later Striaton was Team Plasma's final stronghold. The final splinter of Team Plasma in this city had proven surprisingly hard to vanquish, but on 26 February a free Unova could finally celebrate the end of the war. It had been quite a small war in terms of life lost and destruction wrought, yet its impact was enormous. There were far fewer trainers now, but there was something different about them too other than their dwindled numbers that Boreas couldn't put a finger on until Aqua pointed it out to him.
In a sense, N's dream had come true as the remaining trainers looked on their pokémon differently. It made sense, in a way: with the threat of death from Team Plasma and Zekrom's influence on the minds of all, most trainers had released their pokémon. The only ones that didn't were those who cared about their pokémon a great deal and were willing to fight for them and to risk all; and Team Plasma members. Since the second group was mostly behind bars these days, the remaining trainers were exactly those who treated their pokémon very well and realised they were more than just weapons or tools. To add to that, these had all gone through very difficult times with their pokémon and fought hard for them, which only increased their bond. Of course, with Team Plasma gone, the number of trainers was once again slowly increasing. Boreas hoped the example the current trainers set would be enough to avoid a return to the more mixed bag of trainers there used to be.
Boreas was snapped out of his thoughts by Lucius talking to him. “You know, pup, you're pretty good in a fight. Why don't you reconsider leaving and join us on Cheren's team instead? I'm sure he'll gladly replace some of the other losers there with you.”
Boreas had actually considered that briefly, but it didn't really appeal to him. While he had gotten along decently with Cheren while they were in Castelia and it had been nice to have a trainer in charge of the team again, Cheren wasn't Black. He didn't like him that much. But more importantly, he felt it was time to move on. He had become quite restless lately, and looked forward a lot to seeing more of the world. “No thanks, Lucius. Been there, done that.”
“Sure, but that's no reason not to do it again; it's a challenge after all. Plus, this time, when Cheren is Champion, he'll actually get to keep the title instead of, y'know, dying a few hours later. So we'll have to defend the title against challengers.”
“Yes, sounds terribly exciting,” scoffed Boreas, “waiting around in a single place for challengers to come to us and probably beat them easily. And it gets even better, because for half the year they won't come at all since Victory Road is too dangerous in winter. Sounds great.”
“There's more to it than that! Champions get to fight in the world championship, and they have all kinds of other duties and tasks.”
Toxica giggled. “You're not saying you'll miss Boreas, right?”
Lucius sniffed. “Miss him? Me? I just think he would make a good asset to Cheren's team. The same goes for the rest of you, by the way; I'm sure Cheren could be convinced to have you on his team.”
“No, thanks,” said Octa. “While it is an intriguing possibility, I wish to be with my family for now. I promised to, after all.”
“You've seen what this place is like, Lucius,” said Toxica. “They really need me. Besides, I'd rather not have my honeymoon on Victory Road like Boreas and Aqua. I'll be happy just to settle down with Octa.”
It was quiet for a moment as Aqua slowly realised Lucius looked at her. “What, me?” she blurted out in surprise. “You want me to join Cheren's team?”
“W-well, not you in particular...” grumbled Lucius.
Aqua raised an eyebrow. “Me in general? Just any of all those Aquas I represent?”
“No, what I meant was... Just, anyone in the team, including you. Because you're all good fighters. And you're pretty okay, I guess.”
Aqua smiled, genuinely surprised. “Was that a compliment I heard? What have you done with the real Lucius?” She chuckled as Lucius struggled for words. “Thanks. But no, I have no interest in the Pokémon League.”
“Don't worry,” said Selene, “you'll still have me.”
“Yeah, that's exactly what I'm afraid of.”
A content silence fell about the table. They had all finished eating a while ago, but none of them saw any reason to get up already, enjoying the evening and each others' company.
“Aqua, Boreas,” asked Toxica, “do you know where you'll go yet?”
Boreas looked at Aqua. She shrugged. “Not a clue,” grinned Boreas. “Isn't that wonderful?”
“Well, if you say so,” said Octa. “It sounds quite dreadful to me.”
Boreas chuckled. “Where's your sense of adventure, Octa?”
“I don't know, my dear fellow, but it's quite satisfied after all the adventure we've been through.”
Boreas shrugged. “Not mine. We haven't been to a new place in over a year, just revisiting cities we've been through to get rid of Team Plasma. I'm just about dying to see new places.”
“I don't think I shall ever understand you, my dear fellow. But it does not matter, whether I understand you or not, I have never had such a good friend before. I shall miss you, my dear fellow. All of you, for that matter.” He scraped his throat and lifted his glass. “Here's to friendship. May ours last a lifetime.” Six glasses met.

The early morning Sun shone upon the roofs of Crimson Village, demonstrating the source of the village's name. Six pokémon walked slowly through the nearly empty streets. Even knowing someone was waiting for them, they were in no hurry, as they were about to part.
Boreas walked in silence, even though part of him wanted to use these final minutes to talk as much as he could to Lucius and Selene. But it was as if he had said everything he needed to say. He just wished they could all stay together... But it was alright this way. They had spent three great years with each other, and now it was time to move on, as they each wanted to do different things. Soon there would be only memories left of their team, and it would be enough.
As they reached the village's small train station, they saw Cheren and his four remaining pokémon waiting for them. Far away, a train's sound could be heard. “Ah, there you are,” said Cheren, “just in time. Are you ready to go?”
Lucius turned around to look at his friends, and Boreas' heart suddenly ached with the knowledge that this really was the end. “C'mon, birdbrain, get on my shoulder. It's time to go.”
Selene hopped down from Aqua's shoulder and embraced her with her wings. While they said goodbye, Boreas felt he had to say something to Lucius. “Well, I guess this is goodbye.”
“Yeah,” said Lucius. “I guess so. Or it could be your last chance to change your mind.”
Boreas shook his head.
Lucius shrugged. “Figured as much. It's a shame, it'd have been a blast.”
“Yeah,” said Boreas, “I guess it would.” He was surprised to find tears stinging behind his eyes. He had barely realised how attached he had become to Lucius. He was an annoying jerk and never missed a chance to make a sour remark, but Boreas would truly miss those remarks and how they occasionally made him laugh. He was about to say something when Selene's claws gripped his shoulder and Lucius went to say goodbye to Octa.
“No more playing on Ferris wheels, alright?” said Selene. “It's all fun and games until you end up hanging from one by your tail without Selene there to help you.”
“Alright, I'll be careful.” Boreas grinned, petting Selene's feathers. “Thanks for making my world a little stranger every day.”
Selene gave him an undignified look.
“Alright,” he laughed, “a lot stranger.”
“That's better,” she grinned.
“Never stop doing the same to Lucius, okay? It really annoys him, in a good way.”
Selene looked ignorant. “I don't know what you mean.”
“Sure, sure,” said Boreas.
“But,” Selene continued with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes, “if I ever figure it out, I'll follow your advice.”
Boreas grinned. “Good.”
Selene hopped onto Lucius' shoulder. “I'm all ready to go!”
“Then what are we waiting for?” chuckled Lucius. He turned to Boreas one last time and gave one of his rare smiles. “Have fun out there, pup.”
“Good luck to both of you.” They stood in front of each other for a moment, and then Lucius and Boreas moved forward and hugged each other briefly. Selene, sitting on Lucius' shoulder, gave Boreas' ear a friendly nibble. They released each other, and Lucius nodded to all of them. “See you around, guys.”
He turned and walked to Cheren, who was quite impatiently waiting at the train by now. Selene waved at them with her wing as they boarded the train.

Four pokémon sat at the station, talking merrily. They had to wait an hour for the train to Driftveil, but they didn't mind, as it allowed them some more time together. When the train came, Octa would take Boreas and Aqua to Driftveil, while Toxica would stay behind to take the next train to Opelucid; she was going to travel Route 10 too, as far as the gates of Victory Road to spend some more time with her friend Selene. But since Cheren wouldn't leave Opelucid rightaway, she had chosen to spend a final hour with Aqua and Boreas as well. They were reminiscing together, and Toxica just finished an embarrassing story about Boreas.
“So,” said Aqua slyly, “you were jealous of Toxica, hmm? Funny how you forgot to mention that to me when you told me all about your past...”
Boreas blushed. “Well, I did tell you she annoyed me. I just didn't go into endless details about the reasons...”
“I wonder what else he didn't tell you,” giggled Toxica. “Did he say anything about Febby?”
“Not at first, no. He told me about her later, though.”
“What about the time he got drunk and kissed me?”
“I never-”
“I beg your pardon?”
Toxica burst out in laughter. “Just kidding, just kidding. You should've seen all your faces!”
Boreas had to laugh too now. “Poor Octa, getting stuck with you forever.”
Toxica stuck out her tongue. “Poor Aqua, getting stuck with you forever.”
“I'm not sure which of us is to be pitied more...” said Octa.
“Well,” said Toxica, “you would never have been stuck with me if it wasn't for Boreas.”
“I was barely involved,” said Boreas. “I just gave Octa a little push in the right direction.”
“As well as a few punches in the right direction...” grumbled Octa.
“Well,” giggled Boreas, “you needed them, so I gave them. Not just because I'm your friend, but also because I had promised Capella. Well, I didn't promise to punch you, that was my own input.”
“I wonder,” said Toxica, “what Capella would think of us if she was here now.”
Boreas thought of his old friend and her kind smile and eyes that told you you could trust her with anything. Always kind and altruistic, and she had always been there when you needed her. “She'd be happy for us, I think. She'd be delighted you and Octa got together, and that we finally beat Team Plasma. And of course that we're all still alive against all odds.”
A glad silence fell. “I wonder with whom she'd have gone...” said Octa.
“Maybe she'd have gone off on her own?” wondered Toxica. “Back to her old home in the river in Nacrene, perhaps.”
The train could be heard approaching in the distance. Boreas felt a stab of emotion, knowing it was time to say goodbye to Toxica. “Remember when we first met?” said Boreas.
“How could I forget?” said Toxica with a smile. “You wanted to get rid of me as soon as possible, if I remember correctly. Looks like you got your wish at last.”
Boreas smiled too, though tears stung sharply. “Yeah. Took me almost three years, but I finally did it.”
“You did,” she said, her voice breaking, “you must be very h-happy.”
Feeling his own tears break through as well, Boreas hugged Toxica tightly. “O-only happy we became such good friends. You're like a sister to me, Toxica: we're very different and argue and annoy each other a lot, but it doesn't change anything about how much I like you.”
“Th-thanks, brother,” grinned Toxica, letting him go and drying her tears. “I hope you'll have an awesome time, wherever you're going.”
As the train reached the station, Toxica said another heartfelt goodbye to Aqua. Boreas found himself crying again as he boarded the train. It was bizarre how attached he'd become to the bratty little Oddish. Boarding the train too, Octa kissed her. “I'll see you in a few weeks, darling.”
Toxica nodded and waved her goodbye to them as the doors closed. Boreas and Aqua sprinted to a coupé and looked out of the window to see Toxica running along with the train, waving at them. They waved back until she finally began falling behind and disappeared from their view.

Three pokémon sat in the train and watched landscapes scroll by rapidly as they chatted about everything and nothing. Boreas knew the hardest goodbye of them all was yet to come, but didn't let it bother him. It was barely imaginable, really, that he would soon leave Octa. Rather, he used their final hours together to their fullest. They laughed and talked and talked. Aqua mostly stayed outside of the conversation, understanding their need to spend some final time together.
They talked much about Black and laughed at the memories of how bad he had been at understanding them at first. The number of times he'd managed to correctly interpret his pokémon before Victory Road could be counted on one paw. Yet they also remembered how much he had cared for them and how brave he had been. It was easy to underestimate Black as a teammember, but he had been at least as important as any of the pokémon. When Boreas' life had fallen apart in Chargestone Cave, coincidentally underneath the hills they were passing over, Black had been all he had left.
From Black the conversation turned to other things, from the adventures they'd had together to astrophysics. They discussed Cheren's odds of becoming the new Champion, things Octa and Livia were hoping to change, and much more. Boreas realised most of his happiest moments with Octa had been spent like this, talking about all kinds of things and enjoying his friend's enormous knowledge and wit. Those that weren't spent making up after bickering like an old couple, at least.
Slowly, yet way too fast for Boreas' tastes, the train came to Driftveil. It pulled into the city's old station, and together they got off, heading through the familiar city to the docks.

“Was it difficult to convince them to give you a boat as a token of gratitude?”
Boreas sighed. “'Difficult' doesn't even begin to describe it. It was difficult to make it clear I wanted a boat, and I hadn't even got to the convincing part yet. You know how hard it is to make humans understand you.”
Octa nodded. “It is. So how did you do it?”
Boreas shrugged. “Well, I decided to convince Alder, since he knows well what happened in Plasma's Castle, and can actually understand pokémon. Well, he understood me after a few tries, at least. Then he took some more convincing, but finally he talked to other people, and eventually I got my boat. I guess some people along the line must've looked at him really weird when he told them he wanted to give a boat to some pokémon.”
“And that instructor looked at him really weird too when he was teaching us to use the thing,” recalled Aqua. “Pretty sure she thought it was a joke.”
“It's not that surprising,” said Octa. “It's one of your sillier ideas, my dear fellow. Were you perchance unaware of the existence of ferries and planes? 'Tis not uncommon to have pokémon travel onboard those, you know; you don't need your own boat to travel.”
“True,” said Boreas, “but it's a lot more fun when we can pick where we go ourselves. And we can get to places ferries don't go.”
“Like where?”
Boreas shrugged. “I'll know when I get there. There's that lost continent inhabited entirely by pokémon, for example...”
“That's just a myth, my dear fellow.”
They had reached the water now at a familiar-looking small pier on the river. Boreas was flooded by memories and blushed a little. “Look, my love, that's where we first kissed...” He pointed to the water next to the pier.
“I remember,” giggled Aqua, “I was expecting you to kiss me at some point all day, and had been looking forward to it quite a bit.”
“Well, I was really nervous... You had me completely enchanted by then, and I was terrified of messing it up. You might've given me more signs you wanted me to kiss you.”
Aqua burst out into laughter. “Because I really was incredibly subtle about fancying you, you're right.”
“Alright,” laughed Boreas, “I guess you gave me a fair few signs.”
“Fair few? I practically had giant red neon letters “I FANCY YOU” around my head. I'm almost embarrassed thinking back to it and how strongly I was coming on to you. The long loneliness got me a little funny in the head, I think.”
“Well, to be fair you've stayed a little funny in the head ever since I've known you.”
As they walked by the river's shore, they saw a small blue ship lying ahead. It had a single mast and two sails, which were currently under wraps, as well as an engine. It was small enough to controlled by two, yet large enough to comfortably house those two for long periods of time in its cabin.
“You both are,” said Octa kindly, “which is why I believe you'll be together for as long as you live.”
“Octa,” said Boreas, “what got you feeling so prophetic all of a sudden?”
“The fact that it's become time to say farewell to my best friend.”
“Well, it's-”
Octa continued. “My dear Boreas; Aqua. You shall only have each other to rely on for now, therefore heed well my words. Be patient with each other. Always let there be love, not anger between you. Let the other be your all and take care of them before yourself, and you should be alright. When you fight anyway, never give up, but stay at work to repair your relationship. Never forget the love you carry for them.
My dear fellow, you have one of the finest minds I have ever had the pleasure of encountering, and as long as you use it, you can get out of any problem. Aqua, it has admittedly been a mixed bag, knowing you. I used to suspect you of treason, to think you were a bad influence on Boreas, an annoyance, and a bad person. However, I have since discovered I was mistaken.”
Aqua smiled. “Thank you.”
“You are, in fact, a good person and a great influence on Boreas. Moreover, I have eventually come to think of you as a friend. Will you accept my apologies for my behaviour in earlier days?”
Aqua embraced Octa. “Of course. I had almost forgotten it by now.”
“Thank you. Then I shall simply wish you nothing but happiness eternal.”
Aqua nodded and let go of him. “Thanks. Take good care of Toxica, alright? She'll enjoy being with your family for a while, but eventually she'll want to leave.”
Octa nodded. “I know. So, admittedly, shall I. We do not intend to help Lady Livia forever, nor shall she need our help forever.”
Octa and Aqua nodded to each other as a final greeting, then Octa turned to Boreas. Aqua left, saying: “Take all the time you need; I'll get the ship ready.”
Octa and Boreas were left looking at each other. Bores suddenly realised this really was the last time he would see Octa in a long time and he couldn't stop the tears. There was no-one in the world he knew as well or as long as Octa, not even Aqua. He could barely remember not knowing him. “O-Octa...” he said. “I-I think maybe I don't want-”
Octa grasped him and resolutely cut him off. “No, you do. I have seen you look forward to this for more than a year, my dear fellow. Do not let the difficulty of parting stop you from doing the right thing. You didn't let it stop you in Team Plasma's castle, and you shouldn't let it today. The world awaits you and your bride, my dear, dear Boreas, and I know you shall have an utterly wonderful time there, even without me. All good things come to an end, my dear fellow, even this friendship.”
Boreas nodded; he knew Octa was right. “You're right, Octa. As always.”
Octa smiled even as tears rolled over his cheeks too. “And don't you forget it. My dear fellow, what more can one say on an occasion such as this? 'Tis very sad to lose you, yet I'm glad you'll finally get to do what you truly like to do. I hope you shall see things beyond your wildest dreams, which I know are pretty wild.”
“T-thank you. I hope you'll cherish the time you spend with your family... And then live happily ever after with Toxica. You've deserved it after all you did for me.”
Octa gave an uncharacteristic sign of modesty as he tried to brush off the compliment.
“No, really,” insisted Boreas. “I won't even get into the life-saving; you've basically educated me all by yourself, and you've always been there for me. I know you'll get the happiness you deserve. You and Toxica will be happy together for a long, long time, and you'll have lots of cute little... sprouts together. Parts of your family will object, of course, but in the end it'll just help them see it's a new time now.”
“Thank you, my dear fellow. I hope you're right. I would say something similar to you... But I know what you and Aqua think of children, therefore I know you shall be happy with just the two of you instead. With that... I-I believe 'tis time to say farewell.”
“Y-you're wrong, my friend. It's time to say goodbye.”
Octa's face cheered up greatly. “It is?”
Boreas laughed and hugged Octa tightly, holding on to him. “Of course it is. You didn't think I would leave a friend as dear to me as you behind forever, did you? We'll meet again.”
“You're right, my dear, dear fellow,” said Octa softly as they embraced, “we will meet again, though I do not yet know where or when. Be warned, though, that I shall want to hear your every adventure to its tiniest detail that day.”
“Of course. And the same warning goes to you.” He let go of Octa and looked him straight into the eyes. “Goodbye, Octa. I've never had a friend better than you.”
“Until we meet again, my dear fellow. May your heart be full of joy and your eyes full of wonder.”
They nodded to each other a final time before Boreas slowly turned around and jumped into the boat. Aqua embraced him softly, seeing his eyes were wet with tears, and he got behind the mainsail she had unfurled. They sailed south, to the river's mouth and the sea. After a while Boreas looked back and saw the distant figure of Octa smile his goodbye. He smiled back as the Serperior disappeared behind a bend in the river.
Boreas looked at Aqua. Octa was right; now that the goodbyes were over with he realised this was going to be great fun. “Now,” he said with a happy smile, “let's see if we will find something wonderful... Or if something wonderful will find us.”

The End.
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