The Guided Fate Paradox™

Prologue Chapters

Chapter 3: The Angels Begin to Frolic

“Okay, my lovely little newbie angels. Today, I would like to perform a ‘teehee’-style experiment.”

As soon as she took her final sip of tea, Cheriel placed the cup on her plate and stood. It’s kind of a minor detail, but as she stood there, she swung her shoulders to the left and then the right, over and over, just so her boobs would fly all over the place. I’m pretty sure it was intentional.

“An experiment, was it?” Lanael had no physical reaction to the news. She just kept sipping her tea. “Can you cease this nonsense? Why should we go through with your foolish game? Time is not eternal. All must be made worthwhile.”

When I glanced over at Lilliel, who was seated right next to Cheriel, that silly girl was just staring up at her with her mouth hanging open.

As for me, all I could offer up was a big ol’ sigh. I’ve started to figure out the best ways to deal with each member of this group.

“Miss Cheriel, what sort of experiment is a ‘teehee’-style experiment, if I may ask?”

And with that, Lilliel opened the floodgates. She should’ve just kept quiet... Words could hardly describe the redhead’s massive smile. She was showin’ more teeth than a wolf.

“The experiment is this!” Cheriel grazed her heaving breasts with her fingertips with a giggle, and then reached down into her chasm of cleavage to retrieve what seemed like a deck of cards. “Ta-da!”

“Golly Miss Cheriel, whatever are those used for?” Lilliel is such a sucker and Cheriel knows it. Poor girl.

Cheriel continued to smile without another word. Instead, she started to lay the cards face-down on the table while humming a playful tune. When all was said and done, she’d put twenty-two cards on the table, but the way she laid ‘em down...felt really lazy.

“I obtained these ‘Arcana’ during one of my...stints abroad.” It was obvious she was hiding when, where, and how she got these things, but I’m not gonna bother asking her to elaborate. “These cards hold within them the ability to tell our fortunes. They can tell us what path fate has us walking down.”

Lanael scoffs. “Fate, was it? Worthless does not even begin to describe these flimsy items. Do you truly believe that such a cheap-looking card can know my fate?”

“Aww, don’t be such a sour little fish. Come, come, dear Lanael. Flip one of these cards over. Unless, of course, you’re scared of what it can tell us.”

“Hmph. Fine. If you insist on my participation, then you shall have it. The soul that dwells within my right hand can freely control the cosmic spiral we know as fate. After all, my second name is...”

I didn’t really get what Lanael was trying to say, but she flipped one of the cards in the middle of the bunch while muttering her usual nonsense. The card she flipped had a picture of a man with a bindle slung over his shoulder.

Lanael huffed before caving in and asking, “What is the meaning of this image?”

“I see, I see. Hmm, interesting. You picked The Fool.”

“Are you saying that I am a fool? What an interesting attempt to rile me up.”

Cheriel claps her hands together once. Twice. she giving herself a round of applause or somethin’? “Hooray! Okay you two, time to flip your cards.”

I don’t think my nerves ever felt as wracked as they did at that moment. I don’t know why, either. I hesitated for a moment, but ended up picking whatever card was closest to where I was sitting.

I flipped it over and saw...a female angel pouring water out of one goblet and into another.

“Uh, so that’s mine.”

“I see. Kuroiel, you chose Temperance.”

“Okay. I mean, I don’t get it at all, but sounds nicer than The Fool, y’know? What’d you pick, Lilliel?”

Lilliel covered the back of the card with her hand, like we were playing some kind of competitive card game, and showed it to me under the table.

“Well, I chose this one...” She spoke in a loud whisper, but I could tell she had no idea what it was. It just looked like a giant wheel or compass to me.

Cheriel waited for Lilliel to place it back on the table. “Hehehe, I see. It turned out that way, did it? Lilliel, dear, you chose the Wheel of Fortune. The Wheel. Of. Fortune.” I couldn’t tell if she was trying to sound sexy, or trying to emphasize the significance of that particular card. But I mean, what kind of fate are these cards describing, anyway? I figured I may as well ask.

“Hey, Cheriel?”
“Yes, dear?”
“So...what do these mean?”

“Hehehe. I wish I knew!” Lying’s not a very angelic thing to do, y’know. But with that simple dismissal, I gotta admit, I was getting interested. Lanael spoke when she saw Cheriel begin to round up the cards into a pile. “Not yet, Cheriel. You must choose a card, as well.”

Cheriel’s hand froze mid-sweep. She grinned and flipped the card at the top of the pile. It was a black-winged devil.

»  Continue to Chapter 4