FanFic | Submit FanFic | Updated FanFics | Latest Comments

Viewing as Guest
FanFic Title: World Gate Online
Chapter 6: Even Stronger
Author: imaginexbreaker
Date Published: September 27th, 2015

<- Previous Chapter | Homepage | Next Chapter ->

Chapter 6: Even Stronger

[Drachedge Central Plaza]

In the spacious plaza, a fountain is installed at the middle. Surrounding it were tens of stands with banners and people shouting for recruitment.

Before the [Style Convention], there wasn’t much merchants selling in this place even though it’s a good spot for doing business.

This is because they know that the [Style Convention] happens regularly and they all take place here in the central plaza.

So if they set up shop here, then when the [Style Convention] happens, they wouldn’t be able to open shop for a month which is a loss.

Like that, most of them would choose a different plaza or place a stand at the outskirts of the plaza.

I looked around the plaza to search for a suitable style for me and so did Freya.

There were a lot of [Style Schools] present.

There’s [Dragon Style], [Wolf Style], [Fiery God Style], [Rat Style], [Freezing Maiden Style], [Furious God Style] and plenty more.

I visited each and every one of them in order to hear the basic information on how they work as well as watched every demonstration they can show.

After 3 hours, I have yet to find a suitable one for me.

At best, I would probably choose the [Furious God Style] as I may be able to learn how to control [Dragon’s Wrath] there since they say that their school teaches you how to channel your anger into a weapon or something.

However, it still doesn’t feel right.

I can feel that there’s a style that suits me better. I don’t know what this feeling is, but most of the time, my feeling is right than my mental judgment.

Freya had taken a liking to the [Freezing Maiden Style] which is a good one.

When I saw their demonstration, the sword that the demonstrator used felt like a cold chill of ice.

Her movements appear slow but just by looking at it, it makes you stare and freeze on the spot.

It basically awes the opponent using grace and flow of movement in order to momentarily ‘freeze’ them in place.

I would also like to practice that, but they only accept females…

Freya had long since separated from me as she wanted to learn more about her style. She seemed really firm in her decision.

Oh well, while thinking that, I looked around once again.

I sighed as I have yet to find a good style…maybe I should just go with [Furious God Style]……hm?

Just before I was about to turn around, I noticed a stand between an alleyway.

I don’t know why, but there is some sort of force that seemed to want me to come close to it…

Still unable to figure out why I walked near it, in a few seconds, I was already standing before the stand.

The stand itself looked rundown as if it was made very hastily. On the top was a sign saying [Slime Style].


Looking confused at the sign, I decided to ask the person managing the stand.

Currently, the man had a hat on his face and appeared to be sleeping. I guess there wasn’t anyone who came here huh?

Well, not like I can’t understand.

The stand itself looks poor. And that sign made it looked even more like a joke. And to top it off, there was a drawing on the side which looked like a slime with a smiley face so yeah, this whole stand looks like a joke.

Nevertheless, I still can’t get rid of this feeling that I must know what this style means.

“Excuse me, umm…” (Lucas)

“Hwah!? Eh? Ooooh! Finally a customer~!” (???)

Seemingly surprised at my sudden appearance, the man who was sleeping with a hat on his face fell from his sit and stumbled as he stood up.

…Now I really believe that this stand is a joke.


Right, the slim person had a makeup like that of a clown and a colorful hair to go with it.

I really want to leave right now, but I still believe in my gut feeling!

“This style, can you tell me how it works?” (Lucas)

“Ohoho, before that, let me introduce myself~!” (???)

The clown laughed and bowed in a very annoying way.

“Pleased to meet you mister adventurer! People call me Pierre! And I’m a clown!” (Pierre)

Gee, I didn’t expect that…

Thinking that in a very monotone way, I also introduced myself.

“My name’s Lucas. Can you tell me how your style works?” (Lucas)

“Lucas, Lucas. Oh child who bears the name of Light yet is surrounded with Darkness! Before we get to that, may I ask a question for the young Hero?” (Pierre)

H-huh? This guy…

“You, how did you know that?” (Lucas)

Those phrases were the same as my title, the [Light Hero Shrouded with Darkness].

I know a lot of people call me a hero so it wasn’t a surprise that he knows. But the title is different.

There should only be a handful of people who knows that.

“I’m a clown after all~” (Pierre)

“…” (Lucas)

“So as I was about to ask. Why. Did. You. Come. Here?” (Pierre)

God…the way he said that was so annoying…he even winked at the end…

“…I just felt like it…” (Lucas)

“I see…Well! Let me start the explanation!” (Pierre)

Pierre clapped his hands in a very exaggerated manner and begun to explain to me.

This [Slime Style] is, like the name suggests, to be like a slime. Meaning, every movement should be fluid and accurate.

The style will enable the user to dodge at the most unexpected of places as well attack in unexpected stances.

Basically a free style way of fighting which held no forms whatsoever.

Like a slime, you must be ‘immune’ to attacks which means that, in theory, you should be able to dodge every attack.

I didn’t dare believe it so Pierre asked me to fight him so I did.

He only held a wooden sword while I held a real one. He said that it doesn’t matter since I won’t hit him anyway.

Hmph, let’s see about that!

I made a diagonal slash which he easily dodged in the slightest movement possible.

Followed by a stream of magical attacks which he also dodged by a hair’s breadth!

I made sure my attack comes from all sides but even then, without even looking at them, he still dodged every single one of them!

This time, I decided to make my attack big!

However, before I make the attack, he charges towards me with a piercing attack so I defended instead.

Clashing with his wooden sword, his sword was repelled to the side and just when I thought he will retract it and attack again, he didn’t!

He actually twisted his hand to turn the wooden sword back towards me and pierced me despite being in his unstable stance!

What kind of fighting is this!?

He can really dodge every attack in every posture and even attack in every stance!

This…this is what I need!

“Hehe, how is it? I’m amazing aren’t I?” (Pierre)

Pierre said in his ever smiling face. In fact, even during the fight, he was still smiling.

But I no longer doubt his ability.

“Please teach me this style.” (Lucas)

I bowed and accepted him as my master…even if he’s a clown…

Nevertheless, I have decided.

In order to get stronger, I need this style.

An ever changing way of attack…

“Alright, then we’ll start today! Wear this mask! And outfit!” (Pierre)

What he showed me was…a mask with thin slits for the eyes which curved downwards as well as a thin slit on the mouth which curved upwards.

The design was simple, it had a black [J] on the upper left of its forehead and other designs that makes it look like a clown.

The outfit was…a baggy clown outfit…with very colorful designs…

“…Teacher, I haven’t even done anything and I’m already being punished?” (Lucas)

No matter how I look at it, I’m definitely being punished.

“No such thing. While wearing this, you shall be known as the [Jester]! Now come, come. We’ll take our leave now~” (Pierre)

“Huh? You’re not going to wait until the convention is over? Or if there are any other who wishes to join?” (Lucas)

“Nope~ One student is good enough. Now, quickly wear it my little Jester!” (Pierre)

Ughhh…do I really have to wear this?

After a brief moment of hesitation, I decided to wear it.

Damn, I can barely see in this thing. And this baggy outfit, how am I supposed to move well with these?

…Ah, he did say that training has already begun.

The thin slits on the mask…are they supposed to help me ‘see’ better? Like those blindfold training I often see in mangas? But this one, doesn’t need to be completely blind but just a part of it.

This should help me not rely on my sight much and supposed to train my other senses!

And the baggy clothes…they can be like weights used for training the body!

Unexpectedly, this clown is a good teacher huh?

…But does it really have to look like this…?

Whatever, let’s just go with it…

They don’t know my face anyway! So I’m not completely embarrassed!

Like I thought, people are staring at us with weird gazes…stop it! Even if I’m not that embarrassed, I’m still embarrassed after all!!!

“Huh? Lucas? Why are you wearing that?” (Freya)

Dammit Freya!


“Huh? Lucas? That’s Lucas?”

“The [White Haired Adventurer]?”

“Come to think of it, that horned rabbit is familiar…”

“And isn’t that the Vampire Princess Freya?”

“So that really is the [White Haired Adventurer Lucas]…”

I don’t wanna do this anymore!!!

And so, my desperate cries were ignored while the clown teacher, Pierre, led me to a mountain not far from here…

“Alright! We will do our training here! Go back home and prepare. From tomorrow onwards, I will only let you return to your world during [Earth Sundays] and you will stay here for 2 years!” (Pierre)

“Eh? Only go back once a week? Or rather, once every three weeks?” (Lucas)

“You want to get stronger fast right? Actually, I was going to say that you shouldn’t go back. But given your job, I will allow you to return every once in a while to settle with some of your matters.” (Pierre)

“Understood. I’ll go back now and inform everyone.” (Lucas)

Seeing Pierre nod, I logged out and went back to [Earth].

Opening my eyes to the familiar ceiling of my room, I sighed in relief.

Finally…out of that damn costume…

Afterwards, I called my parents and Trask that I will be training for a while then opened the gate to [Sennerth] to inform Eu and the rest.

The call with Trask seemed to take a while since he had heard what happened to me and was worried. Lily even butted in the conversation midway…

Eu, Aeran, and Aleris were the same.

Though Aleris didn’t seem much shaken than Eu and Aeran.

Afterwards, I came back to [Earth] and also informed Steph and Ban before going back to [Harus].

+ + +

“[Death Eaters]…to think that they are this bold!” (Bram)

Trask had called the other [Gatekeepers] in order to inform them of the situation Lucas had given him.

“Lucas is…really weak. I know since I’ve been watching him from the start. But nevertheless, he always finds a way to defeat the opponent. This time, the enemy was simply too powerful.” (Trask)

Trask sighed and shook his head helplessly.

“However, Lucas is still in his first job stage so this much isn’t a surprise. However, you all shouldn’t still be careless.” (Trask)

“First…so that guy was still in his first stage?” (Bram)

“That’s actually amazing given his accomplishments…” (Shaw)

“…A [Hidden Job]…huh?” (Lin)

Trask nodded but didn’t explain further.

After all, it wasn’t his secret to tell.

It was already much given that he disclosed that Lucas is still in his first stage as well as has a hidden job after all.

Bram nodded and looked at everyone.

“Even if Lucas is weak, none of us should be reckless and most importantly, careless. Once you find a [Death Eater], immediately let someone know.” (Bram)

The other [Gatekeepers] nodded in agreement.

+ + +

“Yes, hello? No, he’s not available at the moment.” (Lily)

“Sorry, Lucas is busy at this time.” (Lily)

“A photoshoot? Sorry, he won’t be able to attend it.” (Lily)

“Yes, yes…no! He is not attending!” (Lily)

“A commercial? For an energy drink? No, Lucas won’t be doing it.” (Lily)

“Holywood? He is a [Gatekeeper], not an actor.” (Lily)

“What do you mean he likes clowns? I’m hanging up.” (Lily)

“Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh~” (Lily)

Lily slumped on her desk after the numerous phone calls were done.

She had heard from Lucas earlier that he is doing fine and will currently be training for a long time.

However, who was Lucas? He’s one of the very few [Gatekeepers] which currently exists.

Numerous people from the media wanted to have a moment with him.

Be it in a TV show, a movie, commercials, magazines, newspapers, and a bunch of others.

It was not only Lucas who had this kind of treatment but all [Gatekeepers].

However, Lucas cannot accept any of them at the moment so he had entrusted Lily to deal with them.

He also said that he will be free every Sunday for a year in [Earth] so every schedule was only made on that day.

Unknowingly, Lily had already become his private manager.

“Lucas…I can only help you like this…so make sure to get stronger. So strong, that no one will ever look for trouble again…” (Lily)

At this moment, Lily felt very powerless. However, this did not discourage her. Rather, her belief to Lucas became stronger.

She had watched Lucas ever since he started.

So she knows the miracles he had made ever since.

That’s why she will do everything so that the little annoyances like the media won’t trouble him much.

All so that he can train without worries.

+ + +

In [Sennerth], Eu, Aeran, and Aleris are gathered in the center of the [Dorville Forest].

There, a thick tree stood.

It wasn’t that tall, only a bit taller than the rest, but it was amazingly thick!

It should take around 30-40 people holding hands around it to make a full circle.

On one side, there is a small cave like opening which is about 2 meters tall that seemed to go deep inside.

“Aleris, I’ll leave the [Gatekeeper] matters to you for now.” (Aeran)

Aeran said as she handed over her [World Key] to Aleris.

“I’ve been meaning to as…What’s this tree?” (Aleris)

“This is the [Tree of Memories]…I had never told Lucas about this. But after he saved me, I actually don’t remember anything that happened around a thousand years ago…I don’t know who was it that poisoned me nor why.” (Aeran)

“…Then, what are you here for?” (Eu)

Aeran looked at the [Tree of Memories] with a conflicted expression.

“Up until now, I have no desire to know who I really am. I’m afraid that…I will change if I know…and I don’t want to change. I’m happy…I’m already happy to be with Lucas and all of you…but I need to know.” (Aeran)

From Aeran’s conflicted expression, a resolute gaze emerged.

“Right now, the skills I know are limited. It’s time I go back to my roots and learn more. To get stronger. So that Lucas won’t have to bear with everything by himself. And this tree will help me with that.” (Aeran)

Eu and Aleris looked at each other.

It was the first time they heard something this serious and firm from Aeran.

This Aeran who always smiles and happy and was someone who doesn’t seem to have any worries.

“Alright. You do what you must do.” (Eu)

Eu and Aleris nodded at Aeran and smiled.

Aeran as well nodded in return and walked inside the opening of the tree.

At the center, she let herself float and closed her eyes while green lights started to wrap around her.

And thus, began Aeran’s seclusion.

+ + +

Returning to the [Demon Kingdom], Eu went to find her dear friend and secretary, Mare.

“Eu…are you really going to do this?” (Mare)

To this, Eu gave a wry smile.

“You really started to call me like that huh?” (Eu)

“Well, your Lucas can certainly think of a cute name for you, how can I not use it?” (Mare)

“…Mare, I need to do this. Even that Aeran has decided to accept her past. It’s time I do the same. Follow me to the [Demon Lord’s Vault].” (Eu)

The [Demon Lord’s Vault]. Eu herself had only been there once in her lifetime and she only learned three skills from there.

That vault contains magic and skills that only the [Demon Lord/King/Queen] can learn.

However, each one of them will have a heavy price for one to learn it.

Also, in there, stored equipments that the previous [Demon Lords] had worn with a lot of curses and enchantments placed on them.

“Aeran is right. Lucas doesn’t need to carry his burden alone. Look at me. I’m the [Demon Queen]. Yet Lucas, who was a lot weaker than me, was still able to save me…” (Eu)

Eu clenched her fists hard.

“I should’ve been more powerful. Not his burden. It’s all because of my carelessness and naivety.” (Eu)

Like Aeran, Eu looked at the hellish door in front of her with an unmoving gaze.

“It’s time I accept my heritage. I’ve kept it waiting long enough.” (Eu)

To the side, Mare can only look at Eu worriedly as she closes herself in the vault.

+ + +

“…You came to find me?” (Lucas II)

“…I guess you should’ve seen this coming huh?” (Aleris)

Currently, Aleris is on the roof of her castle in the [Human Kingdom] with the future Lucas who was leaning on the edge while gazing mysteriously in the horizon.

As if he’s watching someone in a very distant world.

“…Uncle Luke, I want to get stronger.” (Aleris)

“…And you came to me? Why?” (Lucas II)

“Because you’re the only one I can turn to.” (Aleris)

Aleris looked at Lucas II with a worried expression.

“When I was a small child, I would snuck away from the castle and always get caught. It was always Uncle Luke who had helped me escape from the castle…then we would play together.” (Aleris)

Aleris looked at the same horizon Lucas II had been looking at from a while ago and couldn’t help but feel very nostalgic.

It was a day just like this.

A five year old Aleris stood the very same roof and at the very same horizon with a longing for freedom.

Then, as if listening to her thoughts, a God descended and helped her.

He showed Aleris the wide world outside of the castle.

Soaring in the skies and playing on the clouds.

That was how Aleris had met the future Lucas.

“Do you remember? That time, I had always told you how I wanted to be like you. To be free and fly around the world like a God. And you would always tell me the same answer.” (Aleris)

“I remember. I never forget.” (Lucas II)

“You would say ‘It’s not yet the right time. You must grow up first and become a beautiful girl. Then, in the future, you will know when the time is right to become stronger.’.” (Aleris)

Aleris turned her head to Lucas II with the same resolute gaze as Eu and Aeran had.

“Uncle Luke, tell me. Is this not the right time?” (Aleris)

Lucas II gave her a warm smile and stretched out his hand.

“Come. It’s time I show you something.” (Lucas II)

Aleris held his hand without hesitation at all and let him pull her upwards as they began to fly.

From behind Lucas II, five pair of white wings sprang out and they sped upwards.

Aleris had long since gotten used to seeing those wings and holding his hand. After all, she started experiencing this from when she was five.

Soon, they arrived at what looked like a temple on top of the clouds.

“This is…” (Aleris)

Aleris looked dumbfounded at the golden temple sitting on top of a cloud like it was a home of a God.

There, a person stood casually while looking at the two of them

That person…had the very same look as her father. The King of [Sennerth’s Human Kingdom]!

“F-father?” (Aleris)

He smiled warmly at Aleris.

“No. I am not your father, my dear Aleris.” (???)

“B-but…” (Aleris)

“My name is Alle. And I’m your ancestor.” (Alle)

Aleris still looked stupefied at the sudden turn of events while she listened to Alle’s story.

Turns out, that she had a blood of a God!

Many years ago, Alle had fallen in love with a Princess of the [Human Kingdom] and they bore a child.

This child had fallen in love to another and also bore a child.

During this period, the [Demon Kingdom] found it very hard to defeat the [Human Kingdom] as they held very strong powers.

However, in due time, this powers had begun to weaken.

They faded.

Which brings us to today.

Right now, every member of the royalty has a small blood of a God.

Aleris’ however, had an unexpectedly huge amount of it. But due to being forgotten, it hasn’t been fully awakened.

“Aleris my child, you have grown beautifully. Just like the person I loved many years ago.” (Alle)

Alle looked at Aleris with a very warm smile which also seemed to have a hint of nostalgia.

“Lucas here has told me everything. You want to get stronger, then it’s time for me to awaken your blood. The blood of a Demigod!” (Alle)

“But…why do I have to wait until now? Why only tell me this now?” (Aleris)

Hearing her, Alle gave a wry smile and looked at Lucas II.

“We only want what’s best for you. Aleris, if I had awakened your Demigod blood when you were born, you would’ve never met the present Lucas. And he would never have been here as well.” (Alle)

“Also, you needed to grow into a proper person. To not be blinded by Demons being evil. To learn from the present Lucas. And to learn how to use your powers for what you truly want.” (Lucas II)

“Tell me, my dear Aleris. Why do you want to be stronger?” (Alle)

Aleris looked at the two Gods in front of her with a firm expression.

“To protect those I love. And to share their burden.” (Aleris)

“Then I will help you become what you need.” (Alle)

Alle smiled warmly at his descendant who seemed to overlap with the image of the wife he had loved.

+ + +

“Mother…” (Steph)

“What is it, Stephie?” (Lora)

In the Rimmer household, Steph went to the living room to find her mother who was sitting casually at the sofa.

“Mother, I want to help with the family business.” (Steph)

Lora was surprised at her daughter’s suddenness.

Not to mention, she was calling her ‘mother’ instead of her usual ‘mama’ so she can tell that something serious had happened.

“Why? What happened?” (Lora)

“Mother, Lucas is…dealing with a lot of problems…and I can’t even help him.” (Steph)

Steph clenched her fists as she thought of how helpless she is.

“My power in [Harus] is just average and I have nothing special like the others. The only thing I have, is my background.” (Steph)

Steph looked at her mother resolutely.

“Mother. I admit that I am weak. But I don’t want to remain weak. I want to be able to help. So I thought…that if it’s here, I can help Lucas. At least, help him contain the darkness in this world.” (Steph)

Steph knows about the darkness of this world better than Lucas.

After all, her family is one of the strongest mafia organizations. It would be impossible not to know the darkness of the world.

However, her family is actually different.

The Rimmer Mafia isn’t a totally dark group. Rather, they came from a group of vigilantes which, after years had become a mafia organization.

One can say that the goal of the Rimmer group is to contain the underworld side of the earth in the first place.

This, Steph had known for quite a while now which was why she isn’t ashamed of being born into a mafia family.

“Stephanie dear. Even if you know that we do good, it is still outside the law. And you would have to get your hands dirty.” (Lora)

“I’m prepared for that.” (Steph)

Lora looked into her daughter’s eyes and nodded.

“Come with me. First, I will teach you how to make others speak what you want them to.” (Lora)

Not wasting any time, Lora lead her daughter to the basement and into the interrogation room where a man is currently tied to a chair.

“This man, is someone from the Bevis group. We need to know where their leader is. Are you still willing?” (Lora)

Steph gulped down a mouthful of saliva before nodding firmly.

As Lora saw this, she gave a wry smile and also nodded.

“Now...let’s begin your lesson.” (Lora)

Outside the room, loud screams of agony and despair can be heard which lasted for hours.

+ + +

“Ban…you seemed worried about something?” (Leith)

Leith Teyson, a female reporter asked Ban who was sitting next to her in a café.

Ban looked at Leith with a warm smile.

Ban had followed Lucas’ suggestion and told Leith about himself.

He had fallen in love with this reporter.

At first, Ban saw her as a reporter, she kept asking these questions which irritated him every time he saved someone.

However, as he was wearing the [White Knight] armor, he cannot speak.

This lasted for a while.

Soon, he found out that he started to look forward to her pestering every time he saves someone.

And that marked the start of his feelings for her.

When Lucas approved of him telling her about who he is, it was the day that he spoke to her for the first time.

Since then, they talked and now, they’re together.

Everything that happened was so natural and both of them were very comfortable with it.

“It’s Lucas. He called earlier and told me that he’ll be training for a long time.” (Ban)

“What about it?” (Leith)

“I was thinking whether I should do the same. Lei, I don’t want to remain a mascot. I want to get strong. Strong enough for me to protect you and everyone else.” (Ban)

Leith smiled affectionately at Ban.

“Then go. Get stronger. And be the [Hero] I always say you are.” (Leith)

Hearing this, Ban was surprised but it didn’t last long as it was replaced with a warm smile.

“That’s right, we need to think of a cool name for you. How does…the [Guardian] sound?” (Leith)

“Haha, you really like giving names do you?” (Ban)

The two continued to laugh but what they didn’t know, was that in the future, the [Guardian] will become a name that many people will rely on. As the person who quietly protects them. As their [Guardian].

Author's Notes

Update again~

Before some of you start to complain about a long training arc, you're wrong. I'll basically just time skip this part after saying how Lucas will train so don't worry.

So, everyone had started to train themselves.

Are you surprised that even Eu and Aeran can still get stronger? Mwahahahahaha!

Also, the whole thing with Aleris was made on the fly haha. Since everyone is changing for the better, I asked myself, why does she stay the same?

So I made the whole background being a Demigod thing haha :P

It fits though which explains why Lucas II met Aleris in the past. And why he needed to do so. Not to mention, Aleris is the only person who had a very visible connection with Gods.

So...surprised with Lucas' style? Haha, cause I, not really :P

Anyway, thx to JohnPlume for the clown teacher suggestion. Was gonna make it into a generic old man but clown is interesting.

And I can also insert a very interesting concept with it :3 What it is, you'll find out soon enough.

Till the next chapter! am here.......need to sleep.................

Royalroad Version


<< Previous Chapter | Next Chapter >>

Rate it:
Comments (4)

  1. sbag
    September 27th, 2015 at 06:55:30 PM

    well, to annoy the anons first.
    Now, why is there always a Female Only School that practices Ice Based techniques? ATG, MGA, there are a few more that I tried out briefly and didn’t enjoy so dropped. I think ISSTH has one, and now this one… why do women like ice?

  2. sbag
    September 27th, 2015 at 06:56:26 PM

    just remembered ice magic is basially female only in close combat mage

  3. opt23241
    September 27th, 2015 at 08:28:46 PM

    Hmm… Clown, Pierre… A slime.
    Could it be!? Will we meet THE Rimuru Tempest-Samaaa?! (or an NPC Variant like what warhawx did with Lucas?)

    A two year timeskip. Is this a one piece reference or something?

    Strangely, the person I’m looking forward to seeing in the future the most is Steph. Judging by her mother, she has a lot of badass potential!

    And lastly, thanks for the Chapter!

  4. IsUnavailable
    October 2nd, 2015 at 02:24:01 AM

    For some reason (probably influenced by D. Gray Man) I really like "Clown style" MC’s.

    There is just something so perfect about a MC that can enjoy a fight and Clown’s can capture that. THAT BEING SAID I prefer a Jester of harlequin look over standard Red nose floppy shoes.

    Ironically I like the look to have a touch of elegance.

    Also, thank you for the chapter.