trial of the blade
“Really?” I muttered as Farallon readied the boat.
“That’s the rule, kid,” he said. “You can’t communicate with others within the island.”
I let out a sigh as I stepped on the raft. Farallon started pushing it toward the sea and before I knew it, Shima had already been shrouded in fog and mist. I was left alone in the middle of the sea and I realized there was a brewing storm nearby.
“Damn it,” I muttered while getting the device the Commander gave me.
Feeding in the codes, a call suddenly registered and after a few seconds, Commander Priam’s voice could be heard on the other side of the line.
“Naia,” he greeted. “Good to hear from you. What happened?”
“The criminals have been transferred successfully, Commander,” I reported. “Also, one of the Executioners said he knows where Dale and Zeno are. However, in exchange of the information, you must turnover them here for their punishment.”
There were several seconds of silence on his end, as if he was contemplating whether to entertain their idea or rely solely on his Executives. I heard him breathe out and finally gave an order.
“I’d like to know the details.”
“Roger that, Commander.”
He ended the call and a second after that, the raft was pulled into the fog. The island and Farallon came into view and he hauled the raft to the forest.
We walked back to the inland and Shira and Hyora greeted me. Farallon still couldn’t believe that those beasts could still remember me and I was the only one that could cuddle them.
“I heard you went to the blood chamber with Aristus,” he said and my body almost trembled when I remembered what happened there.
“Yeah. It was like coming back from hell.”
He snickered. “Right. Remember when you first went there? Vince had to get you away from that place because it triggered your eyes.”
The mention of his name made those memories resurface. I remembered sneaking out from the shack to follow Vince and Lionel who were escorting the new prisoners. Ise said I wasn’t allowed to be in the blood chamber because I was still too young and weak, but I wanted to see it. Besides, I admire both Vince and Lionel, even vowing to be their apprentice, but they both dismissed me.
Fortunately, Ise had already taught me how to conceal my presence and both of their attention were on the criminals so it was quite easy for me to follow. I thought I was doing a good job, until something happened.
I heard voices, several of them, crying and howling in agony and pain. My head felt like it would burst any minute. When I was in the island, I never heard those voices that loud but upon stepping onto the blood chamber, I realized why they never allowed those who hadn’t trained yet.
It slowed me down but I thought I could control my mind. However, something made it much more complicated.
One of the prisoners they were escorting hid a knife under his footwear and pretended to tumble. The next thing I knew, he was already grinning menacingly at my direction. Everything happened so fast that I only realized my situation when I was already held by my neck.
As a kid, I was beyond terrified. The prisoner took me as a hostage. My neck was pressed between his chest and arms as my body dangled. The tip of the knife was digging through my cheeks and blood began to trickle down my face.
I was terrified and I felt something was changing in my mind and body. Colors flickered in my irises and I saw a lot of people getting slaughtered and skinned by the knife that was poking me.
Fear coursed through my body, not because of my situation, but because of Vince and Lionel. Their eyes gleamed malevolently as they swung their scythes in the air. The next thing I knew, the head of the prisoner who was holding me rolled below my dangling body, the look of terror etched on his face.
“Get her out of here,” Lionel seethed as he looked at the rest of the prisoners who were as terrified as I was.
Vince immediately carried me and I remembered crying because he got angry at me. I lost consciousness before we could leave the premise and the next thing I knew, I was already sleeping for two days and my eyes had changed permanently into red.
“Wow. I couldn’t believe that was already a long time ago,” I said as I smiled, remembering Vince’s life before he went away and died.
“Yeah. And now all we have is his skinny brat.”
I snickered at his snarky remarks. He went on and lambasted his deadpan face, body and attitude until we returned to the main village.
He sighed and shook his head when he saw Vince’s kid trying to wield a scythe almost twice his size while Aristus was observing him from the side.
“Can this be used in, say, a fight against a Shinigami?” he asked but before Aristus could reply, Farallon was already charging at their direction.
He tried fending off his attack but Farallon was physically stronger than him. He fell on his back and Farallon pointed his scythe on his neck.
“Yes it can, brat,” he said. “this blade has been bathed by Shinigamis’ blood since it was made.”
“Farallon is one of the best fighters here,” Aristus commented as he scribbled on his book. “He was trained by Ise along with Lionel and Vince. Physically, they are on par with them but he’s lacking here,” he added, pointing at his temple. “In short, he’s an idiot.”
Farallon’s attention shifted to Aristus, who continued commenting about him.
“Yes, that’s his real attitude. He only acts quiet to look like Lionel but the truth is he’s a lot more savage than Vince.”
Farallon looked like he was about to slay Aristus but before he could pull his scythe, Hiro got up and his neck was already touching the blade. That took his attention back to the kiddo.
“Teach me,” he suddenly said and that left Farallon dumbfounded.
“Teach me how to wield it effectively,” he repeated, the blade still digging onto his neck.
Heh. He wasn’t fazed by Farallon’s presence and dominance. He’s got guts.
This could be interesting.
After twelve hours, Hiro and Nathalie were ready to leave.
“Naia,” she called. “Sorry if I wasn’t able to talk to you.”
“It’s okay,” I replied. “I know you’re busy.”
“But I’m glad I got to see you again.”
The kiddo was covered in bruises and cuts after training with Farallon. I thought he’d regret it but he looked like he was already evaluating everything.
“Send Hideo and Michiko my regards,” Kyo told Nathalie.
She smiled. “I will, Sir.”
“And you, boy,” he said while looking at Hiro. “If you really want to be acknowledged by your kin, train until you wish you’re dead, and maybe defeat a couple of Executioners upon your return.”
He was silent for a few seconds and it looked like he glared at Kyo but that monster didn’t catch it.
“I’m already planning to . . . Sir,” he retorted as he bowed lightly.
Kyo bellowed, amused at his response. “You rascal, you’re really his son.”
We watched as their boat disappeared from our sight. Kyo’s expression instantly changed when the fog covered the island.
“Let’s go back,” he ordered and the pressure of his presence was so heavy that I felt like my knees would buckle. “It seems like we’ll get a lot of prisoners in the coming days.”
That moment, I realized the Erityian race was slowly shifting . . . but I don’t know if it’s for the better or worse.