"He's gone, if there were any trace of him my weapon would've been able to identify it by now," I said as I bit down on my thumbnail, my eyes closed from the emotion I was trying to hold back. I've searched and searched for my brother Yukon, so long that I'd began to make a living out of his retrieval but, it was all hopeless. Nothing was like I thought it was going to be. I believed that me and Yukon would have been reunited when I left the Kingdom to become his fugitive. That maybe if I was able to be beside him every step of the way, that trouble would never succumb to him. For a second I did believe it all but, it only took a second to realize my mistakes. "--Void isn't calling out Yukon's name, his spirit isn't in the area, or worse.. it's nonexistent." I lowered my hand, my eyes shifting towards the ground.
"I'm so sorry, Yakima.." Skyia's voice was heard from behind her cuffed hands. I raised my eyes so that they fell directly on her blue irises' the trait mark of the Ariosha's clan. I began to think of her family, and how she would still be able to protect her brother Renkai with all her power. Then, I thought about how that opportunity was stripped from me because of the choices of a half-witted blue-haired prince. Tears began to form in my orange eyes, streaming down my cheeks and scorching them with a angry heat. Nothing could compare to the sorrow I was feeling, nothing but anger. "Yakima.. Yakima are you alrigh-"
"-I'm beginning to question if I should stay here with the two of you. Renkai have gave me a faint apology earlier and, I said something I shouldn't have because of my anger with him.." Skyia lowered her hands, looking down at me with concerned eyes. "When Renkai was asleep, I'd watch over him to make sure he was alright. He kept speaking of being too weak to protect 'him' that he was truly sorry for everything; therefore, I thought he was guilty for letting Yukon get captured, I felt relieved that he was somewhat feeling the pain I was," my tears began to steam up on my cheeks, my eyes shifting to a brighter orange, "-until the name he spoke of was his brother, Rei. I didn't know what to feel, if it hadn't been for Yukon calling Renkai a friend I think I could've slit his throat. After two months and seventeen days, he'd only mentioned Yukon once.. only once. I understand now where his loyalty lies," I finished.
"You have to understand, Yakima, when Renkai and I were younger we lost our brot-"
"-I don't want to talk about Rei!" Skyia gasped, her eyes widening as my eyes turned a even brighter orange. "You Ariosha think everything is about yourself, that your problems are the only ones that matter at the end of the day. Well I got news for you Skyia, your not the only one thats lost family!" My voice echoed in the woods, birds flocking out of trees and stretching themselves across the sky. "Ever since this pathetic war I had to sit back and watch as my family destroyed each other. My mother died right before my eyes, Yukon has been captured and Reute will see to it that everyone I care about be seen as a sacrifice. Are you seriously going to stand there and try and defend someone who failed to protect their comrade? Regardless of him being your brother or not that's a failure of their honor and capabilities. I bet you there wasn't a minute Yukon wasn't worried about Renkai's condition at Ioe.." Shuffling came from the bushes behind us, a shadow stepping out into the light, their blue eyes revealing as my eyes died down.
"Everything your saying is right, Yakima. I could've saved Yukon, I really could've. It was because of my selfish desires to communicate with my brother that I failed to do so. Over these months of my slumber, I've dreamed of Rei and only Rei. I relived the past memories of our childhood, and the nightmares of his lost," he said as he stepped closer to him, looking down with serious eyes. "But there was never a time that I ever did not feel guilty for this all, responsible for the sacrifice I was forced to have you make. I bet if you were there you would've mustered the strength to save him wouldn't you? Because that sacred bond in your heart is what motivates you to keep pushing forward. However.." he pulled in front of him a concealed weapon, unwrapping it to reveal Yukon's rapier, "-there are some bonds that only friendship as strong as me and Yukon's are capable of projecting. I let myself fall because I had faith that Yukon was going to be alright no matter the outcome and, though it sounds selfish..." He opened up my hand, placing the blade in my palm and closing it, "-it's definitely the truth. There's no way a genius like Yukon would've let himself be killed. After all he's the new King of this generation."
"I don't want to believe you, but brother has gotten through a few tight situations.." I replied, my smile faint on my lips as I felt the essence of Yukon in his blade. "As long as I have this, I'll be reassured that Yukon is still alive out there somewhere, I don't have to be scared. Besides he promised me that we would be together forever and, he could never bring himself to break a promise." Even though my anger never seized completely, I knew what Renkai was saying was true. His voice comforted the anxious piece of my soul of Yukon's outcome, and delivered towards a path of complete acceptance. Though Renkai was not a man I respected, I could respect that the bond him and my brother shares is real. More real than Yukon had ever shared with anyone. I sheathed my blade into my empty hip case, closing my eyes and beginning to walk towards the home. "I've eliminated Mizu only a few hours ago, her body is still back where you came from.. along the same stone path where I found Yukon's dried blood. I won't dignify her with a burial or any calling off in the afterlife, I shall banish her into the Void for all the wrong shes done to the people of this land.."
Renkai and Skyia arched their eyebrows in almost disbelief. "Yakima, I told you to wait for me before going to Ioe. You could've gotten yourself killed if you weren't careful!" She yelled at me, causing my ears to ring and my soul to fire up.
"But I didn't. My intentions were clearer than that of my older brother's, I just wanted her dead. Nothing more, nothing less." I replied, continuing to walk towards the home. "Unfortunately for me Shadow was no where to be found, so he'll be spared for the moment." I finished, fading off into the shadows are the two just stood there staring from afar.
"When did this all start happening?" Renkai asked, turning towards Skyia who seemed to be in denial. The eyes on Renkai were frozen, as if he weren't surprised by the fact of my sudden transformation to him. He knew the several outcomes of telling me that Yukon was not able to make it. There was: anger, acceptance and of course, revenge. Those three are the motives that pushed me to do what I've done. Sure I'd killed before, but never a human being. The rush I got from silencing the menaced spirit and banishing it into the Void was little to enough that I needed to be content with Yukon's disappearance. "Yakima.. has he too fallen victim to the sinful trait called Revenge?"
Skyia nodded slightly her hair shifting as the wind blew a gust of calm wind, "This forest is changing gradually as we continue this journey. The birds, the animals.. they're all flocking to a different area and leaving us behind in their trails of fear. Could fugitives against the Three Great Kingdoms really be beneficial for our names in the village? What will people think of us if we have to go as far as killing our parents to move ourselves to the top of this lands ranks?" She asked, her eyes narrowing as she parted her lips in a lost of mind. "Renkai, you said that this journey would help us both, help this world to become a better place. Though, you never told us that the sacrifices we'd have to make, would be our own sense of morality.." She finished, walking forwards and disappearing into the shadows as well.
"A sacrifice of our own morality?" Renkai whispered after Skyia had escaped his eyesight.
I slowly opened the door, my eyes landing on the new home before me. When we first arrived, we had nothing but a dirty couch and a stove. A few broken tables that fitted nicely in the dining room with the browned wallpaper. Now we've evolved. Everything seemed cleaner than it used to be, and our furniture was mostly that stolen from the fallen people of Ioe. Even the clothes we wore were things we had to scrub the blood off of just to make due. I stepped inside, walking into the living room and placing down Yukon's rapier directly in the center of the floor. I pulled out Yukon's dagger from my back pocket, laying it slowly on top of his favored blade. I then pulled out my blade, hovering it over the two. "Void please help me, grant me a map that shall lead me towards the Prince of the Hebe Kingdom!" I chanted, standing in a dead silence soon after. I dropped my head and pushed my blade in the ground. "It truly is hopeless isn't it..?" I spoke to the silence.
"After all this time of believing the Void's strength, after all the times it had reunited me with the comfort of my family.. it fails me now?" I questioned again to the silence. That was when a steaming voltage sparked through my blade, lighting it up in a purple flame as I rose it to meet my eyes. Could the Void really be answering my prayers? Could they have truly founded Yukon somewhere in this land? I calmly an patiently waited for the flames to die down and as they did, they revealed lines that I was unfamiliar with. "These lines do not match the DNA codes of Yukon's genetic plan. Most of them are homozygous and too allele to be Yuko-" I gasped, my eyes widening as I moved myself to the blade Renkai had given me. I hovered my hands over the blood on it's tip, closing my eyes before reemerging them with a surprised expression. I looked back at the lines made on my blade, trying to think hardly of who it may have been leading me to. "T-This is Reute's DNA code but, why is his blood on Yukon's rapier? Unless.." I frowned, picking myself up and holding the items in my hands before walking towards the door.
I was stopped abruptly by Skyia and Renkai's presence, standing in the doorway as if they couldn't have seen that I was in a hurry. "Please move yourselves from my path, I need to get going!"
"Wait a second just where do you think your going all of a sudden. If you think I'm letting you go on another killing spree alone you've got another thing coming!" Skyia yelled, her voice causing my eyes to grow a brighter orange out of anger. Renkai then moved his arm in front of her, looking at us both with a sense of concern.
"Wait Skyia," he said, redirecting his eyes towards me. "Yakima, why are you leaving. We're a team, and we can't allow you to leave if your planning on putting yourself in harms way," he explained. My eyes dimmed a bit as I sighed in common courtesy. I didn't want to tell them my answer, I didn't want any of the Ariosha interfering with the business of the Hebe Kingdom any longer. Ariosha and Hebe were never meant to join sides, as stated in the Darken Era when both our current kings fought to protect the land. It was never meant to be in the first lace, just another form of betrayal waiting to happen. I gave a loud "Tch!", shifting my hair as I stared intensively at the recovered Renkai.
"Gah!" The sound of torment came from a empty and hollow room, nothing but darkness hiding the blood that painted the cold ground. Simple gasps for air came from a young man, chains rattling from his hanging arms as his white stained hair covered his shining red eyes. "Ugh! Cah!" the groans continued, the sound of breaking bones sounding behind a pair of refined knuckles. The eyes of any human could see nothing in the dark room of torture. Not until a unknown figure lit a candle to light it up, finally. Two young men stood there, one bloody and the other staring down at him sternly. The two obviously did not like each other, even though they showed a well-known resemblance. When the beaten torture subject caught his breath, he lifted his head strongly at the other, soon dropping his head again.
"Have you have enough?" The other finally spoke, his voice sharp in obvious rage. Bright red blood dripped from his bruised knuckles, spilling into dried puddles on the ground. Yet the other gave no answer, only another gasp for air in the stunning of silence. "Reute has entrusted to me that I get you to talk naturally, rather than use your Iuun to force the information out of you. Won't you accommodate with his strict procedures.." he lifted the candle close to the others face, revealing his scarred chest tattoo and his beaten features, "-Yukon?"
"Heheha.." Yukon replied, his teeth showing before blood spilled from his mouth. Shadow's eyes lifted in complete shock of the young man's determination. "I haven't a done thing to say to you, you lapdo-- ugh!" Yukon's words was cut off by the fierce jab of Shadow's fist. He slowly placed his fingers on his blade, beginning to think of more menacing ways to get Yukon to talk rather than simple torture. But before he could get his mind wrapped around his thoughts, the sound of more laughter came from Yukon's lips. "Just look at you, so frightened at the results of your pathetic failure that your beginning to conjure up thoughts of murdering me. Well you can but, be prepared to face my older brother's wrath in return.
Clank! Shadow's blade then pressed sharply up against Yukon's neck, his force so strong that a large line of blood began to fall from his neck. Though Yukon remained unshaped by the sudden attentive attack and, instead, just stared at Shadow with simple emotionless eyes. "That's enough, Rei. Leave the rest to me.." Reute spoke, emerging from the shadows with his hands behind his back. His green-soaked eyes seemed to light up the room, his attire being completely black to remain from attracting too much attention.
"L-Lord Reute, how long have you been there?" Shadow asked, his eyes jumping before he sheathed his blade.
"See to it the Chefs prepare a.. raw meal for Yukon. It'll be best for what's coming next after all." Shadow gave a quick nod, walking out of the room and leaving Yukon and Reute face to face. Reute said nothing at first, only allowed the suspenseful silence to linger inside Yukon's wondering soul. "You know.." he gave slight chuckle, "-I was actually quite surprised with the malevolent attitude you had when I retrieved you from Ioe. Makes me wonder did Yakima turn out like you did... stronger?" he teased, bringing his lips only inches away from Yukon's ear. "I would love to see the dying benevolence of his soul in person..." he finished.
"Why the hell haven't you killed me yet?" Yukon bluntly asked.
"Kill you? Heavens no! After all your my brother, I love you as strongly as the God's love their children and, just like the God's, I share a natural passive attribute called forgiveness," he spoke after swinging himself away from the talking Yukon. "So I'm not going to bash your face in with my fist, or even plead for you to talk about the whereabouts of our younger brother. Though, if you won't talk I have no more use for you being in control any longer.."
"What do you-" Yukon stopped speaking when he felt the sharp pinch in his head, Reute's palm pressed firmly against his skull as his eyes shut. As Yukon's mouth slowly began to open, so did the sound of painful screams in the skinny dark room. Before Yukon even had the chance to ask Reute for answers he would find his eyes turning completely black, blood dripping down his eye sockets as his hair grew slightly longer and slightly grey. A smile laid on Reute's face as he watched the uneasy transformation of his younger brother, ungoing a twisted and defiled version of himself. Everything seemed chaotic and frightening until.. the screams stopped. The screaming Yukon would stop on the flip of a dime, his expression appearing as if he had just experienced no pain a all.
"Welcome to the real world... Oni!" Reute greeted.
"So there is a possibility that Reute has Yukon, huh?" Renkai asked, his fingers resting on his chin as he looked down at me with hesitant questioning. I gave a small nod before he had the chance to wrap his mind around my own. I was quite sure he was not going to believe me, like most people would in the condition I was in now. All I wanted to do was find Yukon at whatever the cost, it was quite possible that my analysis could have been wrong. Though there was no doubt about it, that was definitely Reute's DNA code to his genetic plan. "If Yukon was captured by Reute, The Great Exorcist, that could only mean that they've brought him back to the Hebe Kingdom for ungodly plans.."
"W-We aren't prepared to go to the Hebe Kingdom yet. Renkai you just awoke from a coma not too long ago, and Yakima you still need a lot more training with the use of your Void abilities before we can face-off with the Hebe. After all, once we step foot on their territory we're walking targets, nothing more.. nothing less," Skyia stated, causing everyone to realize the severeness of the mission. I slowly put my head down, tightening my fist while I mustered to say those words so badly. However, whilst I hesitated, I could not tell that those exact words were being said by someone else.
"If there is a chance we can save Yukon, I'll be more than happy to put my life on the line," he said, everyone looking at him with huge eyes. "Yukon is the key to building this new Kingdom that will stand on top of Luvidar, Hebe and Ariosha. If both of us aren't travelling towards the journey together, I can might as well forget about that dream to create a more fair Kingdom. I wouldn't have went to the trouble of persuading Yukon if I didn't believe that was true." I looked at him, my lips parted in absolute disbelief. How was it Yukon was blessed with such a loyal companion like Renkai? One who could trust Yukon regardless of his failure and shortcomings, and see past those towards a bright successful adventure? 'Renkai.." I thought as I tilted my eyes towards Skyia.
"It's a long journey to the Hebe Kingdom from here, you sure your up for it?" She said looking at me with a huge smile. I gave a faint blush, my eyes lighting up as I nodded in agreement. "Then it's settled. We're going after Yukon. It's like Renkai said.. this journey is pointless without him!"
Whilst my suspicious aura for them still burned brighter than ever for the both of them, I knew that they truly wanted to save Yukon. This was the first time I witnessed this in my time, a Ariosha risking themselves to save a Hebe. Yet this feelings I had could not just be based on just a whim. I had to keep my guard up at all times. I no longer have Yukon to protect me like last time, it's up to me to make sure I am strong enough to defeat anyone that stands in front of me. Even if that someone turns out to be a Ariosha...