Inabikari laughed. The noise was a harsh sound and it was odd to hear such a laugh coming from Yuki. It was a laugh of not mockery but amusement. This girl was nothing like the person Inabikari had fought alongside. There was too big a difference in intelligence level. This girl couldn’t even tell the difference between her friend and an imposter and the person that Inabikari had fought alongside? She could manipulate entire armies of thousands.
“Wrong!” Inabikari declared. He enjoyed telling people that they were wrong. It was a form of taunting; a way of saying that even a murderer is smarter than you. “Inabi-dono joined with Yuki-chan when she was a young infant to get revenge on those who caused him to die. We are not the same person. I, too, am a Guardian but not of something so gentle and feminine as ‘birds’. I am the Guardian of Weaponry. No one can be more professional than I am with weapons, so come and try me out.” Inabikari studied Gemma sceptically, as if he was expecting her to test his strength.
Other than appearance, Gemma was much different to the person Inabikari had thought with. Gemma didn’t emit hatred and did not make her enemies tremble at the sight of her. She didn’t search for power. She didn’t even have the power that Inabikari’s ally had.
Inabikari mentally shook himself. Now was not the time to get caught up in the past.
Inabikari noticed that Gemma and Tontidai were whispering to each other. Inabikari strained to hear what was being said. He hated being in the dark. He had been in the dark for too long. The darkness was convenient when you were an assassin. But the darkness was overwhelming.
Inabikari realized what they were discussing. “No! No! No!” He said, pouting like a child. “You will not trap me again! I will not let you!”
Jet yawned, not even bothering to cover his mouth while doing so. He wanted Jared to notice that he was boring Jet and hopefully end this conversation. But the chances of that were slim. Jared was intelligent and loyal, much more intelligent that their dead leader and too loyal to his dead mother.
The plan that Jared’s mother and Jet’s aunt, had created had too many plot holes. It was a plan that would most definitely fail when carried out. That was the reason Jet had agreed with their leader’s plan. But now, Anastasia, their leader and Jared’s mother, was dead. Which put Jared, Jet and Belladalia in charge. And in the current situation they were in, Jared had the most chance of figuring out a much more improved plan.
Jet had always considered Anastasia to be a person that should be locked him. He thought of her a psycho maniac. But he didn’t say that, for it would mean his death. Jet was grateful to Anastasia though, she had saved his life.
“You have to be in charge now. All 3 of us have to. We need the input of each other if we want this plan to work. Otherwise, we fail.” Jared explained.
A map was laid out on the table, a map of the word that was Albyn. There was also a list of names. They were in the former meeting room which was a large tiled room. It was once lit up by seven down-lights in the ceiling but the bulbs were destroyed a while ago. The room was now light up by three large orbs that were suspended in mid-air. The furniture was pushed to the edge of the room so that in the middle was a table and three seats.
Jet wasn’t fond of being in the meeting room as it was draughty despite the room’s lack of windows. It was also rather confined and Jet hated confined spaces. There was always an eerie feeling, as if they were watched by an unseen presence.
Belladalia sighed, her head down, her eyes watching the map. She had been captured by Anastasia, as a mistake. Anastasia had been meaning to capture Darius’s daughter but the potholes in the plan interfered. Since then, Belladalia had been living at the castle as Anastasia’s ward but after Anastasia’s death, Belladalia was now in charge along with Jet and Jared.
It was odd living with a girl who was the same age as Jet. But it must’ve been even odder for Jared.
“We need to track down the members of the Council. That is our first step. Then we need to find out whether the Queen on the throne is true or not.” Jared continued.
Belladalia nodded, remembering the events were she had killed her mother so that Belladalia and her friends could survive. It had been over a month ago but the events were played over and over in her head, like a never-ending film. “Anastasia said that we were to murder the imposter Queen and place the real Queen on the throne. That was the plan, but with Anastasia dead…” Belladalia trailed off, losing herself in her thoughts.
“A great war has been foretold. A couple of centuries before, an heir to the throne became desperate for power and the world was almost torn apart. The heir was lost, some say that she’s dead. But the most common story is that she roamed Albyn until she was sealed. We don’t know whether she is still sealed or has been freed. We don’t know whether she’s still alive. After her, there was another to be seated on the throne, and that person was seated. But there are those who believe that in the confusion after the power-hungry heir, the second heir to the throne was killed and a fake was seated on the throne. Since then, all the Queens we have had are believed to be fake by the few people. These people that believe this make up the Council. Our aim is to find the true Queen and bring her to her throne. But the problem is that the throne should reject anyone but the Royal Family bloodline.” Jared explained.
“What if… the throne is a fake? A replica? In the confusion that you mentioned, the throne could have been replaced by another that allows anyone to be seated on the throne.” Belladalia was catching on fast. It seemed that she got her wits from her father, as Jet believed that Anastasia was dumb as a post.
Jared nodded. “That is the Council’s main theory.” Jared paused, waiting for his words to sink in. Belladalia watched the map, which was making a humming noise as if it was singing quietly. Jet fidgeted with the pen his hand, the pen moving so fast it was a blur and gave a headache if you watched for too long. “I think the best option right now is to gather the Council, like I said.”
“I’ll find Ashq. I have the best chance of finding him and I have a good idea of where he is.” Jet said, not looking up.
The wind rushed past his head as he jumped over the gap between two rooftops. It had been over 2 centuries since he had last ran and her had tripped a few times but know he had gained his balance and was enjoying it. Running on rooftops was much more fun than running on the ground. It made him feel weightless as he jumped from roof to roof. It was the shock of adrenaline that kept him going, and the sound of Yuki’s heart pounding delighted him. And the wind?
He understood Yuki’s love of flying.
Inabikari glanced behind him as he ran along the roof of a store that sold groceries. He hoped that Gemma was still chasing him as if would’ve been no fun if she wasn’t. Sure enough, Gemma was a few rooftops away and closing in quickly.
He had figured out where Yuki kept her shurikens. As he ran, his hand inched closer to the holder. He jumped onto another rooftop, pulling out the shurikens. He turned around, keeping his balance as he slowed down. He pulled in Yuki’s arm as close to the body as possible, three shurikens in his hand. He narrowed his eyes as he aimed.
He threw the metal stars at Gemma.
Inabikari watched Gemma catch one. Another hit her left arm, slicking a cut in her skin and tearing her jacket. The third shuriken cut into her left thigh.
Inabikari grinned and turned around. He was about to run and then realised it was a dead end. The only way to get away was to jump down from a three storey building. He glanced down and recognized Tontidai. Her lips were forming words that Inabikari knew were an enchantment and a purple ring was floating closer and closer to him. He twisted to face Gemma, hoping to get around her but two flaming shurikens were in her hand. She aimed and threw the shurikens straight at Inabikari.
Inabikari awoke a couple of hours later. Gemma released a gasp of relief that she didn’t realise she was holding. “Are you alright?”
“Did it work?” Tontidai asked. Inabikari realised he was back at the home of Tontidai. He glanced at the direction of the door but it was bolted shut by large metal bars. The wise woman glanced at Inabikari and immediately realized she had failed. Inabikari turned to face Gemma and stood up.
“Bad luck. You failed. Your precious Yuki isn’t coming back.” Inabikari said, grinning. “You’ll have to take me wherever you’re going now, won’t you?”
“It seems so.” Gemma bit her lip. Her wounds had almost healed but she wasn’t sure what this maniac was capable of.
“Heeey!” Inabikari called out. Gemma ignored him. “Heey!”
“What?” Gemma snapped. Her temper was a lot like Inabikari’s ally’s temper.
“Can I call you Onee-Chan?” It was the same name that Inabikari had called his comrade and the way Gemma froze, Inabikari suspected that Yuki might have called Gemma that as well.
“No.” Gemma’s voice was steady.
“How about Senpai? It translates to upper-class man. It’s respectful so it’s not like I’m trying to be mean.”
Gemma didn’t say anything and Inabikari smiled, satisfied. An Academy? This should be interesting. I should refrain from killing anyone, besides, my target is Sempai’s family and not anyone else.
“Come on. It’s time to go. Thank you for your help, Tontidai.” Gemma nodded to Tontidai respectively.