To The Red Line (Chapter 15: Outbreak)

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A long week passed had by since Mika and her fellow companions came to the City of Eden. They met with Lord Eden and discovered a new information regarding of the puzzling Mika’s forgotten past — her family background. Proven that she...

A long week passed had by since Mika and her fellow companions came to the City of Eden.

They met with Lord Eden and discovered a new information regarding of the puzzling Mika’s forgotten past — her family background.

Proven that she was in fact, indeed the long lost Princess the Spirits were looking for.

They would have gone from the city the next day and continued with their quest, had it not for the Lord Eden, who suspiciously insisted that they stayed over at his mansion for a bit longer.

His Lordship’s reason had been to ensure that they were well- prepared for their journey.

Shinji Karou however, had not been too keen of the idea. He was, after all, a man who never liked to waste his precious time on trivial matters.

It’s not because he hated the City itself, no, Shinji loved Eden. The city was nice and had a very futuristic feelings to it.

Unfortunately, because it was big city, the chances of meeting with the people who were after his life was a high risk that he could not afford to take. Not when he was on a very important mission and while he was travelling with companions.

Previously, it had only been him and his Chosen Apprentice who were to go on a journey to the Red Line. If they were ever to encountered with any of the assassins, it would be easier to take them out by just the two of them without involving other people.

Albeit, his Apprentice was still in need of training, but Shinji was confidence that he could handle that matter on his own.

However, now that they were now a group of four, Shinji could not afford to take the risk of having the other members of his new-found group died because of him. He couldn’t not afford to bear the burden of losing someone because of him again.

Never again would he allowed the same mistake of letting someone died because of him, repeated itself ever again.

Kai’s death was enough, despite his kind intention and honourable code.

Despite all the reasons that he had given to Lord Eden why they shouldn’t stay in the city for more than a day, the Lord had remained stubborn, persistence and deaf to his reasoning.

The fact that the White Wolf Clan and Lord Eden had a great political relations, was the reason why Shinji couldn’t afford to upset his most trusted ally.

Thus, he and his companions were forced to stay at the Lord’s Mansion for a couple more days.


A pair of light emerald eyes glowed in the dark. They stared blankly at the white ceilings of a wealthy bedroom that she’d occupied a week ago.

With a heavy blanket had wrapped comfortably around her body, the Spirit Princess twisted and turned on the bed. She couldn’t, for Heaven’s sake go to sleep at three o’clock in the morning!

Mika sighed.

Her mind wandered around of how she became from a member of the Heartlet’s family to the Chosen Apprentice to a Prince from a powerful Clan; how her life had drastically changed ever since she’d met with Shinji and went on to this journey.

Mika yawned tiredly. Her eyes now half-lidded.

There were still more things in her past that she wished she knew. After that heart-to-heart talk with Lord Eden, Mika was more determined to remember her past.

Sometimes though, memories of the past came to her like a hit of lightning whenever she saw something that felt oddly familiar.

The day after she had the talk with Lord Eden, Mika had spent most of her time in the Heirloom Chamber; looking through books after books, pictures after pictures, trying extremely hard to remember them. Yet, No pictures or words could recovered her lost memories.

Mika had spent the rest of that evening crying in the Heirloom Chamber with a massive headache.

Hours after she had cried herself out and left the chamber, Shinji had caught her when she was on her way to her own chamber with red, puffy eyes and gloomy face.

He had told her that she should wait for the memories to come to her naturally rather than forcing herself trying to remember them and suffered from the headaches.

Every patients have their rewards. Take one step at a time and it will comes to you.” Those were his words each time she tried to pressure him with the answers of her past.

Mika was halfway of falling into a deep sleep when she was awakened by the sound of someone softly knocking on her door.

“Your Royal Highness?” The door opened slightly.

A Lady-in-Waiting entered the room and bowed her head.

“Forgive me to wake you up at such early hour, Your Highness. There is an emergency gathering in the Dining Room. Lord Eden has requested your presence, Your Highness. Please get dress and go down immediately.”


When Mika came down five minutes later, wearing a thick robe and her hair tied into a small bun, she was mildly surprised to see the others were already in the dining room.

Shinji was lighting a cigarette on his mouth. He was irritated having to be awakened from his slumber. Meanwhile, Kazuo had his head on the table with a drooling saliva. He even snorted a little bit.

Guy looked as tired as the rest, but he was more calmer and composed. Finally, Lord Eden was sitting at the end of the long table. He was spinning the tea-spoon inside of cup of hot tea.

At the Princess’s arrival, the Lord looked up and greeted her with a soft and tired tone.

“Ah, Your Royal Highness. My apologies for calling you down here at this late hour. Please take whichever seats you like.”

Mika nodded and proceeded to take a seat beside Shinji. A hot cup of tea was served to her by the servant.

Looking at the masked Lord, somehow she got the feeling that he had been awakened the whole night — a proof of his watered red eyes.

Her eyes wandered from the Lord to the pillars of scattered papers and books at his left hands; notes and descriptions written on the papers.

Mika caught a few glimpse of images, mostly rough sketches that she couldn’t figured them out what as the rest of the image was covered by books.

Her eyes then travelled back at the masked Lord now had both hands under his chin.

Kazuo woke up from his sleep when a pair of leg kicked his under the table.

“Let me get straight to the point. Seeing of how everyone will be needing their rests soon,” said the Lord, at long last. “Luyas and Andania have been invaded by the Spirits.”

Silence.

Lord Eden lifted an eyebrow at the unexpected reaction of his guests about the news.

Interesting.

It seemed that he underestimated them. He had fully expected them to cried out in shock knowing that their home towns had been invaded by the Spirits. Heck, he had seriously thought the young orangey-blonde fighter would be the first to react to the situation!

Lord Eden took a sip on his hot tea. The sound of chairs being pushed and all four figures stood up from their places had made the Lord almost choked on his hot tea.

“WHAT!?” Everyone shouted all at once.

What a slow reaction.

Lord Eden coughed slightly. He proceeded by taking out a scroll that was laying on the table beside him and handed it over to Shinji.

“Is that the reason why you asked us to stay over longer?” Shinji asked.

“Actually, the reason why I asked you people to stay over for a little while was because words in the streets said that Lord Ranfel’s men were in the city, acting as spies, to capture the Princess. Of course, we managed to capture all of them, and through them, we found out about the invasion.” Lord Eden explained, sipping on his tea.

“I already have it translated. The Spirit’s army had demanded Lord Ranfel to return their long lost Princess within a limit amount of time — three months ago. When he’d failed to do so, they began to invade and torched their lands. And now, they are invading the neighbouring lands as well as the towns, as we speak.”

“Hold it! Ye mean to tell us that ye just found out about it now?!”

“Indeed, Mister Kazuo. Just as shocked as you are, we were all shocked by the news as well. Had Lord Ranfel told us earlier that Luyas was in grave danger of being invade, we would have taken necessarily actions against the Spirits.”

“By giving away Mika?” Guy stated coldly.

“Of course not, Mister Guy. I’d said we would take necessarily actions, but it does not means that we would blindly hand over the Princess to them.”

Lord Eden looked at Mika who stared at him.

“Please don’t take it the wrong way, Your Highness. Had the Spirits informed us the reason why they are here was to bring you back home to your Kingdom in a proper way, I would have gladly hand you over to them. However, after digging some informations in which Lord Ranfel has failed to inform us, we found out there are some dirty ‘dirts’ that he’d been keeping from us for years. One of them had been you; of how you had come to this world alone, years ago after the Great War happened.”

Mika looked absolutely shocked at the news. She took the cup with both hands and drank the tea, trying to calm her nerves.

Putting the empty cup down, she decided to ask in a meek voice.

“Could you tell me more about it? Please?”

Lord Eden shook his head.

“I’m very sorry, Your Highness. I would love to tell you about it, if I could. Unfortunately, just as our scholars were about to get the translation done, someone had broken into the private Research Chamber and stole the other half of the scroll. The one presented in front of you is only the copy of the quarter of the scroll that had been stole by them.”

“Anyone we know of?” Shinji asked.

“Unfortunately, no. The intruders were reported to be seen wearing black attires with masks on.”

“What about Islez? Did those Spirits bastards invade Islez too?”

Kazuo’s knuckles clenched tightly. Worried and angered were written all over his face at the thought of his beloved home town been invaded by the Spirits.

“Well?! Tell me dammit!”

“At ease, Mister Kazuo. We’ve received words from our sources stated that Islez is still safe from the invasion. However, it appears that the village has taken great amount damages from its surroundings. Rest assure, the Master Oracle and I are doing our best to do whatever we can do for damage control and also helped out driving off the invaders. Even the Northern Kingdom is giving us aids as much as they could.”

“...It’s my fault.”

Shinji glared sharply at the Princess.

“I should leave — I should head back there! I-It’s my fault the Spirits invades those two places in the first place! I —”

“MIKA!”

At the echoing loud rage voice belonged to Shinji, Mika stopped stuttering.

Her eyes big and widened. She knew Shinji had the worse temper among the four of us. Sure, he sometimes scolded her due to her own clumsiness and stupidity. Heck, the man even ventured out his frustrations at Kazuo for his constant annoyances and silly antics!

But never before had Mika seen him shouted to anyone with much anger in his voice.

Pitching the bridge of his nose, Shinji inhaled a good amount of air before he exhaled it. He thankful nobody said a word after his outburst.

Not even his idiotic best friend as he was too busy gawking at him to utter a word.

Shinji then spoke with a low and controlled voice.

“What do you hope to accomplish should you return besides going into the very trap that they have obviously set out for you?”

“He’s right, Your Highness.” Lord Eden said gently. “Think about it for a while, will you? If you were to surrender to them, there is no guarantee that they would back down so easily and immediately. And abandoning your duty now won’t change a thing. In fact, if anything, it only makes things even worse than they already are.”

Silence fell upon the Spirit Princess. Eyes on the ground, she bit her lips.

Of course they were right.

Mika knew that. But she couldn’t just sit there and do nothing! After all, it was her that they’re after, and because of her, there was an invasion going on!

So why couldn’t anyone understand that?

They do. Her conscious spoke. And they knew that too. That’s why we need to keep moving forward with the mission.

Awkward silence filled in the air.

Each of them was in their own world, along with their thoughts. Before long, a loud cough brought them back to reality.

“Look, I understand your worries and concerns over the matter, but I need all of you to trust and have faith in us. Let the Master Oracle and I handle the situation in Luyas and Andania while you youngsters concentrate on your quest. The reason why I told you this is not to get you all worked out over it. Rather, I was hoping that it would boost your spirits and determination to complete your journey so that peace can finally be restored back to this world as it should be.”

Seeing of how his guests had lowered their heads, especially the Princess, the older man felt like he was a father scolding his children for their wrongdoings.

One by one nodded their head.

“I understand,” Mika said softly. Standing up from her seat, she lowered her head to all of them.

“Forgive me. I’d almost jeopardize our mission. I’m sorry.”

“Ye ain’t needed to do that, Princess.”

Mika winced at the bitter tone remarked came from her orangey-blonde friend.

Kazuo had his arms crossed on his boarded chest as he lent his back over the chair.

“If ye hadn’t overreacted the way ye did, I would have done it myself.” A trademarked smirk appeared on his lips.

A sense of assurance overwhelmed Mika and she smiled briefly at him.

“Well, now then, if you will excuse me, I would like to get some rest before seeing you off in the morning. I’d suggest you take the times to get plenty of rest before you depart. You all have exactly three hours before dawn breaks.”

Lord Eden got up from his seat and stretched his back. He’d been sitting and working for the whole night. At his age, Heaven knows he needed plenty of rest if he planned on staying up late again tonight.

His four guests eventually decided to do the same and excused themselves to their chambers.


After the meeting had ended, Mika returned to her chamber. Obviously now that she could no longer sleep. So instead, she sat on her bed, thinking over and over again about the news earlier.

Luyas and Andania were currently invaded by the Spirits. And what others said, it was her fault.

Mika shouldn’t be staying there— stayed anywhere in Fulaina for that matters. She was the long-lost Princess of the Spirit Royal Family after all. Of course someone from the other side would search for her sooner or later.

If her own brother had come to this world to find her, then surely —

Knock. Knock. A couple of soft knocks on her door interrupted her from her thoughts.

“Excuse me, Mika. May I please come in?”

“Ah! Come on in.”

Once granted permission, the door opened softly, and Guy entered with a small smile. He didn’t bother shut the door, but left it slightly opened.

Guy approached and sat at the edge of the bed, facing her.

“How are you feeling?”

“Still in shock, I suppose? I don’t know,” Mika sighed. “I need time to process with everything going on. But don’t you worry! I’ll get over it soon,you’ll see.”

She flashed her brightest smile.

Guy had known her long enough to know that she was faking it, but decided to play it along.

“I see.” He replied simply, flashing his own smile.

“So what brought you here, Guy? Is there something you need? Something I can help you with?”

Guy maintained his smile, but his eyes glued the wooden floor.

Mika patiently waited for him to speak. Just then, his hands reached for hers — much to Mika’s surprise, but she let him. His warm and rough trained hands brushed her small ones.

“Mika, I may not be as wise as Shinji,who decides on what choices is good for you, nor am I like Kazuo, who has brute forces that keeps you from harm. But I do know you. And I know that once you’ve made up your mind on something, you will go for it no matter what. Just like what you’ve done when you had decided to help Andania at the time of troubles.”

Guy let out a soft sigh. His grip on her hands tightened.

“What I am trying to say is that as your older brother, if you feel in your heart’s desire that you should go — that you must go back to Luyas to settle things, then as your brother, I will support and go along with you.”

Mika’s eyes widened.

“Though Lord Eden had strongly empathized that it is important we continue the journey and finish the job. However, if you truly wish to go back to Luyas and know that you can help stopping the ongoing war somehow by going there, then I will accompany you. Even if I do not agreed with the idea.”

“Guy.” Mika finally found her voice. “Why? Why do you go all this far for me? We’re not even related. I-I’m not your sister. Not any more. So why do you-”

Guy held on both of her shoulders firmly. He looked deeply into her eyes.

“You are my family. Mika, you are my precious little sister and I shall love you now and always. Just as you’ve said, we may not be blood related, but the bonds that we have growing up together as children, do made us a family, believe it or not. Family does not necessarily means you have to share the same blood. Family can be formed between the bonds that you share with the people around you. It is what we have shared between us — you, me and Luna. The three of us shared the same unbreakable bonds together.”

Guy chuckled wearily.

“I was a fool. I’d been too focused on keeping you safe, that I’d lost the most important to me — love. I’d forgot how much I love my family.  How I'm willing to sacrifice myself to keep my family safe. My sisters. You. When I'd made up my mind to leave Luyas to find you, I swore on my mother’s grave that no matter what, I will never let anything bad happen to you or Luna. I’d thought Luna would be safer if I leave her behind at the castle. But I was wrong. Now that Luyas is under attack, I do worry how she’s doing. I’d wanted to go back, but I couldn’t possibly leave you alone.”

Guy wiped the tear threatened to fall on his cheek.

“There’s still time for us if we leave now. We could — ”

Something suddenly wrapped around his abdomens. Guy blinked a couple of times before he realized there were red strains of hair at his sight.

Mika was hugging him.

“You should go,” she said,voice muffled. “You should go back to Luyas.”

Mika looked up at him and smiled.

“I’ll be fine. I have those two will me to keep me from harms,right? And besides,” Mika gazed on the carpeted floor.

“I think you need to stop thinking about others, and start thinking about yourself. I love you too, Guy. And I promise you after we’re done with this trip we can meet again. I won’t go anywhere. At least not without telling you first. For right now though, Luna needs you more than I do. So go back to Luyas. Go back to her.”

Guy wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a tight embrace in tears.

“Thank you, Mika. Really,thank you.”


A few more hours later after the emergency assembly, dawn finally arrived. It was still an early morning when Lord Eden had come waiting at the East front gates, together with a long trails of his bodyguard.

In front of him, were the little orphans whom the Princess had brought along when she’d came to the City.

The children, all still looking sleepy and tired, kept on yawning and rubbing their eyes. All except for a certain one member of their little group who looked anxious and very much alive.

Rom breathed in and out.

His eyes kept on looking to the left and right. He checked himself on a small compact mirror for the fifteenth times. He had showered, brushed his teeth, combed his hair, and heck, he had even tolerated the stiffen collar of the formal shirt he’s wearing, and even the strong smell of fragrance that the head maid had insisted putting on him — all for this morning’s event!

It was extremely important that his sweetheart paid attention to the efforts he’d forced himself to go through for her sake. Rom was determined to see his “Princess” goes off safely.

Rom would be damned if he missed seeing her off today of all the days!

“Stupid humans she called her comrades.” Rom muttered lowly.

Lord Eden, who was standing behind the young lad, grinned to himself silly behind the mask he’s wearing. He had to refrain himself from laughing out loud.

Just as he was about to say something to the young lad,an announcement came from behind them, announcing the arrival of the Spirit Princess and her fellow companions.

Mika was immediately ambushed by the children, now fully awakened by her arrival, with plenty of hugs and kisses.

Lord Eden looked at the Princess who was busy giving out kisses to the little ones’ foreheads. He felt a sense of overwhelm suddenly came to him. The little Princess that he’d met few years ago, now grown up to be a lovely young lady.

He sure Ferid would be very proud of his children.

Speaking of which...

Lord Eden cleared his throat. “Your Highness, may I have a word with you, please?”

Nodding her head, Mika patted one of the children’s head and excused herself from the crowd.

Kazuo and Guy took over her place and entertained the children instead.

Once he had her alone, Lord Eden began to ask.

“Forgive me for blurting it out all the sudden,Your Highness. However, I would like to ask you regarding your twin brother, that is if you don’t mind. Have you ever meet with him again since that last encounter?”

“No. I haven’t seen him since that day. Is something the matter, Milord?”

“I see.” Lord Eden nodded his head. “I’ve received words earlier from the posting guards stated that your brother was caught seen in the city with his bodyguard. He’s searching for you.”

Mika gasped. “M-My brother’s here?”

“Exactly.”

Mika looked very trouble with the information she had just received. “Well, what should I do?”

“I would advise whatever issues the two of you have in the past, work it out as fast as you can. Prince Makai was caught coming here through a portal. My guess is that he doesn’t know about the invasion yet. If that’s indeed true, he might just be on your side, Princess.”

“How should I confront him when he does not even wants to talk directly to me without wanting to kill me!”

“Find a way. You are his twin, are you not? A twins’ bond is different than normal siblings’ bond. You are much closer to him than you’d think. Perhaps if you would show him that, he might be able to understand.”

Mika still looked rather unconvinced by his advice, nodded her head anyway.

“Well then,” Lord Eden patted her right shoulder. “I believe it is time for you to get going, Your Highness.”

Mika smiled and lowered her head. “Thank you so much for your hospitality, Milord.”

“Don’t mention it!” Lord Eden flapped his hand in the air. “It is I who should be the one thanking you, Princess. So, thank you.For hanging on so long without giving up until now.”

Unknown to the two of them, while they were busily talking, two paired of eyes were glaring heatedly at the Lord.

The sound of teeth clenching could be heard from a very jealous blonde fighter. He had his fist tightened, and his face was coloured in deep red that reached to his ears.

A pair of hands reached out for the White Wolf Prince and pulled him by the collar.

“This is so NOT fair!” Kazuo screamed at Shinji’s face.“How come HE gets to talk alone with her without ye making a big fuss about it, eh? What does he has that I don’t have!”

Shinji snarled irritably at the man, before pushing his face away from his own.

“At the very least, he’s not being perverse with her! Unlike someone I damn know who would have wolfed her down like an animal!”

WHAT?! That’s just so like ye to play favourites, isn’t it! I’ll have ye know, I AM the gentlest man ever when it comes to women!”

“And how the hell does that comment made me feel any better, you stupid pineapple head?”

While the two men were having their usual loud — louder verbal argument, only one man stood and watched them witnessed in a rather calm manner.

Dark chocolate eyes closed as he took a deep breath and let out a small sigh.

Guy let the soft wind stroked his hair before he reopened his eyes — only to discover the two members of his team; the two grown up men had taken the verbal argument into a wrestling fight, with the children cheering for them, again.

Guy smiled. It sadden him not be able to see those two antics again.

He had to part with them once they reached to the city.

When Guy had informed Lord Eden about his intention to leave the group and returned to Luyas, earlier in his office today, he had been rather surprised with the Lord’s lack of reaction to his request.

It seemed Lord Eden had already knew about his intention and had been expecting him to come to his office.

Calmly, the Lord reached for something inside of the top drawer of his desk before handed it to Guy.

An express train ticket.

“Use the ticket. It’ll brings you closer to home. I knew from your facial expression today during the meeting earlier today that you would rather be back there than anywhere else, Master Guy.”

Lord Eden had then stood up from his seat and offered the young man a handshake.

“Good luck. All the best. We will surely take back Luyas.”

Something had caught Guy’s attention and made him snapped from his deep thoughts.

His eyes fell to an interesting sight; at a red-faced youth who was amongst the little crowd that had now gathered between the Princess and the Lord, with jealousy in his eyes as he kept on glaring at the older man.

Oblivious of what going on, Mika simply looked at Rom strangely with his expression, while Lord Eden smirked widely behind the mask.

Chuckling silently to himself, Guy walked toward them.

Shinji and Kazuo had already ended their fight and were now saying their last goodbyes to Lord Eden and also the little ones.

“Let’s go.” Shinji ordered, turning around from the rest of them and starting to walk toward the exit.

“Then, I wish everyone all the very best. May victorious be yours in the end!” Lord Eden wished them.

“Thank you Lord Eden. May victorious be on your side as well!”

With the team now ready to leave the place, Mika said her farewell to everyone before setting on a journey that would forever change the perspectives of the world.

 


IN the midst of the City of Eden, a young girl with long and curly rosy hair tied in two pigtails on each sides of her head, was riding a tri-wheel electrical scooter.

Dressed in a sleeveless dark blue vest jacket coat, with a cloak wrapped around her shoulders,she wore a pair of short three-quartered jeans and a pair of comfortable travelling boots.

She had a pair of biker’s goggles on to cover the dust and sand from entering her eyes.

The girl pulled over to the side and stopped.

Turning off the engine, she lifted the goggles to the top of her head, and took out a thin piece of scrolled map out from one of the jacket’s pocket and a piece of pencil.

“Let’s see here.” Rinda said, drawing a line on the map. “I’m pretty sure I followed the map correctly. But...”

As she moved her hand to the centre of the map, the point of her pencil’s led suddenly snapped. Rinda gasped softly. Bringing the pencil for a closer look, she found there was nothing wrong with it.

“Probably just pressured it a bit.” She shrugged, trying to get rid of a bad feeling that suddenly came over her in a rush.

Rinda quickly folded the map and placed it back inside of the jacket’s pocket. She then pulled the goggles from the top of her head and put it back on.

Rinda was readily about to start the engine when she noticed how unusual strong the wind felt today.

At the far off distance, she heard the sound of flocking birds approaching the area. It was only then Rinda noticed how the pedestrians had all but stopped doing what they were doing and simply watched the birds as well.

Her heart started to beat extra fast. The uneasy feeling that she felt earlier increased greatly.

Just then, all of sudden, a loud terrifying scream caught her attention. It came from the the South Gate Entrance!

Rinda drove closer to the entrance to see what the commotion was all about when she let out a sharp gasped at the sight of a small Army of the blood-thirsty Spirits had gathered in front of the entrance behind the gates!

“How the hell did they get to here?!”

A panicked pedestrian shouted while running for safety.

Eden Knights were all over the place, barking orders and giving out commands left and right as they handled the situation at hands to the best of their ability. They also reminded the citizen to remain calm and be cooperative in order for them all to get to the safety zone.

“Shut all the main gates. Do not let them enter the city! We requested for all pedestrian to please stay calm and follow the instructions given by the guards. I repeat, everyone, please stay calm!”

It all happened in a moment of flash.

One moment, the City of Eden had been calm, and safe from any threats of Spirits whatsoever and the next, chaos ensured when the gates South Entrance Gates suddenly broke down, and the Spirits crawled over the small part of the city.

The Citizen went on rampage, trying to get to the safety zone and away from the Spirits whilst Eden’s Knights rushed over to the scene.

Rinda was caught in the middle of the chaos. She was still on her bike with her feet pressed on the ground.She had to hang onto the scooter when the mixed crowds had pushed her at every directions.

It took five minutes for the guards to calm down the crowds, yet it felt like a lifetime for the poor girl on the bike.

When Rinda was finally be able to move, there were few cuts on her arms from the rampage.

“Damn it!” Rinda hissed.

Turning on the engine, she drove away.

Instead of heading toward her real destination, Rinda turned her scooter around and headed to where the large amount of guards were.

On her way there however, Rinda spotted a figure who was also running toward the scene.

Based from the dark blue uniform underneath he wore underneath the worn out cloak.

It can’t be him... Could it?

One hand reached out for her left pocket of her jeans for a piece of parchment with a short description about her mission.

Rinda read the paper quickly before she tossed it back inside the pocket. She speeded up until she reached side by side with the man.

“Hey you!” Rinda shouted. “You! You’re from Luyas, aren’t you?”

Guy looked at her suspiciously and said nothing. He didn’t stop running but he did slowed down a bit.

Seeing as how the man didn’t say anything; Rinda shouted again.

“Hey, you! Stop! Hey, didn’t you hear me? My name is Rinda. I’m working for Lord Eden, gathering information on Luyas. You’re wearing the Luyas’ Captain rank uniform beneath that worn out cloak you’re wearing, aren’t you? Don’t try to deny it! Look, I just wanted to ask you what’s the situation over there!”

Guy stopped running.

Rinda pulled over at the side in front of him and stopped as well. She turned off the engine, lifted up her goggles and looked at him as he catching up with his breaths.

Guy remained cautious toward the young lady. Once he finally looked okay, Rinda wasted no time shooting questions.

“What a Captain-rank Knight from Luyas like you doing here of all the places? How did you managed to escape?”

“You said you work for Lord Eden. Where’s your proof?”

Rinda handed him over the piece of paper inside her pocket. At the end of the report, there’s a seal from Lord Eden proven that the letter had indeed came from His Lordship himself.

“We’d received an information that someone from Luyas had managed to escape and is now seeking helps and shelter from Lord Eden. Unfortunately, we don’t who the escapee was.”

“Someone has escaped?” Guy finally managed to ask. He had been so shocked upon reading the description that he had even forgotten how to breath.

Rinda frowned. “Aren’t you the escapee from Luyas? You are a Captain-rank Knight, aren’t you?”

“Yes, yes. But it wasn’t me! I’d left Luyas in search of someone. Honest to God, it wasn’t me! I’ve been travelling with Mika and the others for two weeks now.”

“Mika, you said?” Rinda said slowly.

She swore she heard that name somewhere. It wasn’t mentioned in any of the mission brief. So where could had she heard it before?

“Is there anything else that would give a hint about the escapee? If there is, please tell me!”

Rinda looked uneasy and sighed. She should be the one asking the questions here. Moreover, what he was asking from her was absolutely top secret. Confidential. Many things ran through her mind at the moment, as Guy waited patiently and anxiously for her reply.

Oh, what the hell. He had already read the mission description anyway. Plus, he’s from Luyas. He might be helpful and useful for Lord Eden.

“Alright. I’ll tell you.” Rinda inhaled and exhaled. “The codename that the escapee had given us is ‘Blue Bird’.”

Guy gasped loudly and Rinda deepened her frown.

“What?”

“That...was Luna’s codename. We, all the three of us; myself, Luna and Mika have a secret codename in case there is any emergency situation that we do not want outside to know about. Mine is ‘White Horse.’ Luna is ‘Blue Bird’, and Mika is ‘Red Phoenix.’ I’ve gotta go! I’ve gotta find Luna!”

“Hold it right there, horsie!" Rinda stepped in front of him with both hands in the air, preventing him to leave.

“Listen. What I’d just told you is top secret. CONFIDENTIAL You can’t just waltz around after hearing those! If Lord Eden knew I’ve told a complete stranger about it, he’ll have my head for dinner! So, to make it fair; you have to help me now.”

“I’m really sorry I can’t —”

“—I’m on my way to see the Lord himself. You’ll come with me and help us by providing useful information on Luyas that you know about. Trust me we need ALL the information that we can get at the moment. So,do we have a deal?”

Rinda offered him a hand for him to shake.

Guy looked troubled. He had to find Luna. Had to make sure that she’s all right. But this young girl was so persistent not to let him get away.

From the corner of his eyes, he could see the sharp pointed daggers hidden underneath her cloak. Her left hand hidden amongst one of the daggers; should he resist, she would attacked him.

Oh, how troublesome.

“Deal.” Guy sighed heavily before shaking her hand in a firm handshake.

Rinda’s face lightened up. “Hop aboard, Maestro. Oh, the name’s Rinda by the way. Just in case you didn’t hear me the first time."

“Guy Heartlets. Nice meeting with you too, Miss Rinda.”

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