There's an island out there called Chandrakant, but everyone just calls it Chandra. It’s not all that big, after all, people have been ignoring it since the beginning of time. However it’s not so small that it cannot be divided. After all, we are in one hell of a civil war that has lasted for a long as anyone can remember. And all of it is over one petty dispute over which village will rule the small island we have all called home.
At the beginning it is said that there were hundreds of villages fighting for the right to rule, now there are only four; Yuzuki, who are strongest during a full moon; Katsu, the most frightening due to their renown assassins, mercenaries, and thieves; Masaru, the smartest and most deceitful who rely solely on their technological advancements; then there is my home village, Kenta, the Barbarians who are best known for our excellent swordsmanship and brute strength.
I personally have hated the war ever since it took my father away from my small family. It was the village of Masaru that had killed him, but it was the war that had forced everyone to kill in the first place. Ever since then I had dreamed of becoming strong, strong enough to finally end this ridiculous dispute and bring peace to Chandra. Of course I was just a child when that ridiculous notion entered my brain. Of course I even had my doubts back then, knowing that if I told anyone about my dream most would laugh. However that thought never once dampened my dream.
After all, I had one huge trump card that played in my favor, and it was that I was part of the Fenikkusu clan. What does that have to do with anything? You may ask.
After all, being able to set anything I wanted aflame is a pretty big deal, especially when no one else besides the people in our clan are really able to do anything of the sort. Though I know it’s not enough, I can’t help but think it's still something.
In my clan, we are very… well I guess you could say anal. Everyone in it has his or her own colored flame which also turns out to be our hair and eye color. It is tradition for everyone with a flame to wear the color of it in every single piece of clothing they possess. If we didn’t we would be shamed or rejected by the rest of the clan.
However the clan wasn’t too bad, other than their strict rules they had some pretty neat advantages. One of these being the Phoenix. It is my one major hope that I have to accomplish my dreams. The Phoenix is a Kokoro, one of the many spirits that have existed on our island even before the civil war started. The Phoenix has been known to exists once in a generation, though she has been known to have weird or even totally random reincarnation cycles. She is also known to possess a single female member of the Fenikkusu clan that possesses a red flame, and when she dies she is reborn once again with all of the memories and experience of all of her past lives. However the only time she remembers these experiences is when the Kokoro spirit is awakened which means that she is finally the Phoenix, instead of just some girl with red flames. However she has only been known to awaken in a girl once she is in her late teens.
The last Phoenix died almost two decades ago in a battle against Katsu, and so as far as anyone knows, she has yet to be reborn again. All the girls that have a red flame are suspected of being the new Phoenix. My older sister, Naomi, is one of them.
I, on the other hand, have always hoped that she would possess the Phoenix, though a small part of me desperately wanted to have all the powers that she is said to have, it would put me one step closer to reaching my dream. However it is impossible, after all the Phoenix doesn’t possess those with a black flame, so all I have are dream and hopes for my sister.
However as of the moment, all anyone in the village has been hoping for is the Phoenix’s return. Ever since the last one died we had become the weakest of the last four remaining villages. The strongest village, Yuzuki, has been oddly peaceful as of late, thought when threatened they don’t hesitate to act.
The village that is the second strongest is the village, Katsu, who will do anything in their power to win this war no matter the price. The last village is Masaru; they had been trying to destroy our village ever since the Phoenix died, thinking that we would be at our weakest. However they were disappointed when we managed to wipe out a vast majority of what they threw at us. After all, they were nowhere near as skilled as Yuzuki or Katsu, nor as strong willed as my village.
Oh, and if you’re curious, my name is Masami Fenikkusu. I have lived with my mother and sister alone in a small farm not far from my village. However we only started living here after our father died, our clan had banished us due to our mother. After all she was just a simple farmer’s daughter before she married my father, and since it was forbidden to marry out of the clan we got no help once he died. We have been struggling to get what we needed ever since. My sister was fifteen, only one year away from being able to join the war, which pays handsomely. So it wasn’t all that surprising that she had trained her hardest to get onto the battlefield and provide for our family.
I, on the other hand, am only twelve and had just started training, so it will be a while before I’ll be able to be qualified to fight.
"Masami, stop playing with your food or it’ll get cold," My mother scolded with an all knowing smile. I did as she said and started to eat, smiling at the sweetness that touched my tongue.
My mom was a peaceful woman. If you ever hear her yell, you know you did something horribly wrong. She, unlike my sister and I, never learned how to fight since she was a farm girl for most of her life. She raised cattle and sheep to feed and clothe the people of our village, but she left that life behind when she met and married my father, only to pick it up again when he passed to support our small family.
“Hey Masami, want to see something cool I learned?” Naomi always liked to show off, but I never got jealous. I loved to see what she knew, because eventually she would teach me how to do it too.
"Yeah, when?" I asked with anticipation.
"Right after dinner," Naomi stated as she left the room, though she held a wide smile that showed that she knew I was going to love it. I suddenly got the inspiration to eat faster.
"Masami, be careful, you'll get sick eating that fast," My mother warned, but I couldn’t help but ignore her. The faster we started the faster I would be able to learn a new ability. I was done in two minutes flat, that resulted in a major chase of the hiccups. Mother just smiled.
Once I met back up with Naomi she took me to the forest that was on the property. The forest was a quiet place that we have used to practice ever since we moved in. When we got a good distance in the sun was already beginning to set, so the shadows of the trees stretched over us.
"What I'm about to show you is top secret. If the teacher at school got wind that I showed this to you she’ll have my head," Naomi warned with a serious expression on her face, though she gave me that same lecture every time she came home with a new ability. "I'm going to show it to you, okay?"
I nodded my head and she proceeded. An excited smile crept across her face. She then threw her arm across her chest so that her hand was hovering the in air right above her shoulder, her hand was gripped around empty air, and then suddenly she pulled. Before my very eyes a stick appeared in her hand, as if it came out of thin air, though maybe it did.
"Wow! Naomi, how did you do that?!"
She smiled her usual smile of excitement, "It’s simple. Think of this stick as the flames we produce every day. Simply think of an invisible holster on your back, then imagine putting the stick there.” She then flung the stick behind her and I watch it disappear from sight behind her. “Then do the same thing as you take it back out.” The stick appeared once again.
I jumped in excitement, “My turn!”
She smiled down at me as she handed me the stick. Then she went through with me motion after motion of how to do what she did. It took me several tries, but after about ten minutes the stick disappeared, and I couldn’t help but let out a hoot of victory.
“Don’t get too caught up,” Naomi stated, “Now it’s the hard part, you have to draw it again, let me show you.”
She went through the motions once again, telling me in detail what I should do or imagine. But when she let me loose it only took me two times to pull the stick out, surprising my sister greatly.
"Wow you picked up on that fast. It took me at least twenty minutes to pick that last part up, and teachers said it took the normal student all day. I guess people in the Fenikkusu clan are more adapt to this, or it's just us." My sister stated with a wink. However she was always boasting about our clan, no matter how much they ignore and degrade us. And even though our aunt, my father's sister, was the last Phoenix we were still treated with scorn due to our parents’ marriage.
When we decided I had mastered the move we decided to head back home, only to be totally horrified at the sight that awaited us. Out in the distance we saw fire, and a lot of it. It seemed to blanket a large part of the village, and I couldn’t help but want to run to help, though Naomi stopped me.
“Masami, what are you doing?!” She asked, fear and anger in her voice.
“We need to help!” I yelled as I tried to tug out of her grip.
“That may be but what can you do? Those are regular flames, you can’t will them to disappear like you might if it were yours or mine!”
I looked in shock, realizing that she was right. Flames from our clan are always one solid color, none ever held more than one. However if one person holds a will strong enough could envelop someone else's flame, but they could never do it with real flames.
“We have to get home,” Naomi started as she tugged on my arm, dragging me towards home, “warn mom, and get out of here!” I couldn’t help but tug the whole way. Every part of me wanted to go to the village and help, even if it was just a little. If there was one thing I’ve come to hate, it was being useless.
When Naomi and I finally got to the house we found mother nowhere in sight. We could only assume that she was either escaped, was kidnapped, or worse. Naomi’s first instinct was to escape the village. We were taught at a young age than in case of emergencies that involve the whole village to get to the boats and leave. So that's what she did, or attempted to do. After all I refused to simply leave and abandon everyone, though Naomi dragged me through the house nonetheless.
“Stop Masami!” Naomi yelled, “We have to leave, or do you not care for your safely?!”
I was about to open my mouth to retort that my life was worth risking if it meant saving someone, but I didn’t get the chance. Because the second we walked out of the front door of our house we were cornered by a group of men covered from head to toe on a pure white jumpsuits.
I yelped in surprise before I tried to set them on fire, but for some reason it wouldn’t work. My only guess was that their outfits were made of a special material that kept our flames at bay. I looked around at the men, anger in my eyes.
It was all too obvious that the men in front of me were the ones that were attacking my village, and judging by their suits they were from the village Masaru. So with both of those thoughts in my mind all I wanted to do was bash their heads in. Which gave me an excellent idea.
"Naomi!" I yelled as I threw my arm across my chest, leaving me hand right above my shoulder. She looked at me for a brief second before a knowing smile played on her face.
And with that we both pulled out our stick and hit the men as fast and with as much power as we could, surprising them enough so that they didn’t know what hit them. With the men successfully knocked out my sister and I ran as fast as we could away from the men. Though, I’ll admit, I tried to run towards the village, but Naomi’s grip held fast once again as she dragged us towards the escape boats
As we were nearing Naomi’s destination we came upon a sight that had us relieved at first, but after we took in the whole scene we had to suppress cries of shock. In front of us was our mother being held by another man in a white jumpsuit who held a long knife against her throat. She looked at Naomi and I with tearful eyes, but didn’t say anything. Though one thing was unclear, why was she being threatened to begin with?
The man in white looked at Naomi, and he pressed the knife a little closer to our mom's throat, causing small drops of blood to fall. "Come with me quietly and I'll let her go," he yelled as more blood fell from my mother’s cut.
Naomi and I exchanged uneasy looks before we started to take small, slow steps towards the men, our hands on our head. If there was one thing that we weren't willing to risk it was a member of our small family. However what we didn't expect was more men appearing and grabbing Naomi, totally ignoring me.
"Hey," I yelled as I tried to pull the men away from my sister only to be pushed away.
"This has nothing to do with you brat, now go escape to your precious boats," The man that was holding the knife to my mother said.
"Not without my mother or sister!" I yelled,
“Stop it Masami!” My mother yelled, “Run!”
“Shut up!” The man yelled, as he then pulled the knife, stunning me where I stood.
“MOM!!” Naomi and I screamed as she bled out in front of us. It only took a few short minutes for the life to leave her eyes, but when it did all I was left doing was standing there, totally horrified.
The one thing going threw my mind was the blood. ‘So much blood...’ It was only when I saw movement in the corner of my eye that I noticed that the men were taking Naomi, as if my parents weren’t enough for them!
My rage exploded from me as I charged the men with only a stick as a weapon. However I don’t remember the rest of what happened, all I remember is a bright red light, and then pain exploding inside of my head. The next thing I knew everything went dark.
“Did you just see?”
“Sh-she sprouted wings!”
“That can’t be.”
“What is she?”
I looked around at the villagers surrounding me. They all seemed both shocked and frightened, and they were all staring right at me. At first I couldn’t think of what the problem was, until I saw something red in the corner of my eye. I quickly looked and found crimson wings attached to my back.
‘Wh-who are you?’ A voice asked me, and I couldn’t help but look around to find the person responsible. I could’ve sworn it came from my own head.
“I-I’m Diana…” I answered slowly, unsure of who exactly spoke, “Who are you?”
‘I…I don’t know…’ The voice stated, and I instantly knew it was coming from my head. I looked behind me to find the wings once again.
‘How about Tsubasa?’ I asked in my head, and to my immense shock I got an answer.
‘I like it, it means wings right?’
'Right,’ I then smiled, though everyone else around me was now staring at me with more fear than shock.
‘Wake up, I need you awake right now or we won’t be able to get out of here!’ Someone told me. It was a familiar voice, like the one from my dream. However she spoke more maturely, though she still sounded like she had before.
‘Who?’ I thought, and just like in my dream I got a reply.
‘I'm you, don’t you remember?’ The person asked with what was unmistakably hurt. ‘But that's not important right now! You need to wake up!’
I decided to follow her directions I opened my eyes to find myself in a pure white room. Memories flashed through my mind. Fire, men in suits, my mother’s lifeless body. Anger rose in me once again as I tried to set the room on fire, but of course it didn’t work.
‘Calm down! There is no one in here! So stop attacking inanimate objects that you know won’t be harmed!’
“I don’t care!” I yelled as tears threatened to fall from my eyes, “I need to find my sister and get the hell out of here!”
“Yes, my sister!” I yelled again, ‘She was being taken by soldiers from Masaru before…’ I paused, wondering what exactly happened. I looked around the room once more before realizing something, ‘Why the hell am I here?!’
‘Masami… are you sure you don’t know who I am?’ The voice in my head asked.
I looked up expecting the person to be there, she wasn’t. I then thought up something and anger rose in me, ‘Are you some Masurian scientist who somehow got into my head?!’ I asked in outrage.
The person in my head seemed to laugh at this, however it was bittersweet. ‘No Masami, I’m no scientist.’
I almost let out a sigh of relief at her words, though I had no way to prove that they were true, I decided it wouldn’t matter anyway. I had nothing really valuable in my head they would want, and wouldn't matter even if I did, my village was probably nothing but ashes now.
I looked over the room one more time before I noticed a small bathroom. I rolled my eyes at the sight. ‘At least they try to make their prisoners comfortable,’ I thought as I walked in to do my business. It was only when I went to wash my hands did I stop in my tracks. In front of me, in what I thought was a mirror, was a girl that looked about my age. She looked at me with the same shocked expression I was sure was on my face. She had dark red eyes with messy black hair with red streaks down the front. I moved my hand to wave at her, but stopped as she raised her hand to do the same. She even stopped in surprised the same time I did.
‘What an odd looking girl.’ I thought with a smile, the girl seemed to smile at me as well.
‘Are you an idiot?' The voice in my head asked.
‘No! Wait who are you?’
‘I already told you! I'm you, and so is the person in the mirror. Can you not see your own face?'
It took me a minute but I saw it, ‘What did they do to me?!’ I yelled in my head with anger coursing through me again.
'Nothing. Technically speaking, I did.'
‘Okay then, what did you do to me?’
'I didn’t do it on purpose!’ The person yelled, making me flinch a little, ‘It happened when I woke up, though I’ve never been awakened in anyone this young before, or even in someone with a black flame.'
I frowned at her cryptic answers, ‘Do you have a name?’
'Yes you can call me Tsubasa, you usually do. I'm also considered the Phoenix to everyone else.'
‘Oka- wait, what?! The Phoenix, but my flame is black? I thought for sure you would be in my sister, what are you doing in me?’
'I'm not your sister, I'm you! But as to why it happened I'm not even sure myself, but we really shouldn't be talking about this now, someone is coming.'
Sure enough, the door across the room opened as a man wearing the pure white suit from the raid on my village walked in. More anger ripped through me as I raced towards him, planning to knock him out somehow and make a run for it, but before I could get very far I was hit by a wave of nausea. I became light headed as the room began to sway and I lost track of the man that was supposed to be right in front of me.
'Crap! Masami, snap out of it! It’s gas, you need to move, NOW!' I tried but no matter how much effort I put into it, my body had already gone numb, and before I knew it everything went black once more.
When I finally came to I found myself strapped to a table inside another pure white room. There were a lot of people walking around the room, as if they were preparing something. I tried my best to get up, to get myself away from all the people that helped throw my life into chaos. However, no matter how much I tried to fight the straps that kept my hands and legs on the table, nothing gave.
'I hope they know that what they are trying to do is useless.' Tsubasa started, 'Many people have tried, but I’m not something they can copy and give to another. They are just wasting money and time.' She was probably right but I still don’t like to be some guinea pig for a bunch of heartless murderers, 'If you keep fighting you'll be sedated again, then where will you be. I say wait until the right moment, then make a run for it.' I could tell that she knew what she was doing, so I waited till they were done taking blood and testing my new red highlighted bangs.
Unfortunately when they were all done they sedated me again and I woke up in my cell, ‘Now what?’ I growled.
'You need to empty your mind; I need to use your body for a second.'
‘Oh, oka- wait! What the hell do you mean, use my body? Why, can't I just do it?’
'It’ll be too risky with your age. My powers are too strong and uncontrollable in inexperienced hands, so without proper training you could end up hurting yourself. So unless you want to wait until someone magically lets you out, empty your mind. I swear I will just be a moment, then it’s all yours again.'
I opened my mouth, about to ask something, before I closed it. I honestly wasn’t sure if I could trust Tsubasa. As much as I have always wanted the Phoenix in me, I wasn’t sure if I was willing to just give her my body, even if it was for just a second, but I knew it was the only way out of here. With a sigh I tried to empty my mind, but then an alarm went off.
‘Oh, Tsubasa did you do that?’
'No, how could I, you didn't even give me a chance before I was kicked out. If I could guess the alarms are because another village has started a raid. If so this is our window of opportunity. We need to hurry, clear your mind!' I did and in a split second I heard a crashing sound. When I was in control again the door was sliced up and red feathers were falling to the floor. I decided to ignore it for now. I simply took off running, only briefly wondering on if I was going the right way.
I had made several turns and had to retreat back on a couple occasions after I saw a couple men in white run around, or when I came to a dead end. During one of my turns I had to jump back as fast as I could as one of the men in white came flying towards me. And when I say flying, I literally mean flying. Someone had pushed him towards me with so much force that when he hit the wall it ended up crumbling down around him. My body was shaking from fear of the brute force that made the man fly.
'Calm down Masami, if he attacked the men in white more than likely he is an ally.'
‘Or someone from another village that came to kill everyone in this one!’
‘…Good point, be cautious.'
I looked around the corner briefly before hiding behind it again. The man I saw seemed to be cloaked in anger, and I knew that if I ran away or even went straight up to him I would end up dead. After all the only thing that made me different from the enemy were my clothes, and that may not be good enough for him.
The only thing I could think to do was to stay put and hope he walks past me without a second glance. Of course it wasn’t the best plan that I could have thought up, but at the moment it seemed the most reasonable.
It was only when he walked next to me that I got a good look at him. He seemed to be about my age if not a couple years older, and everything about him was either black or white.
He wore a black jacket with white pants. He had white hair with black streaks, even his eyes were two different colors. The right one was white the left one was black, and they were staring right at me.
The first thing I realized when I saw him that that he had to have been from Katsu, the Assassin village. Throughout my entire life I had only seen three enter my village, and each and every one was recognizable through their heartless eyes, but his were also filled with strong pain. I don’t know why, but the minute I noticed his eyes my mind went blank, and I found that no part of me was scared of him anymore.
'Masami, what the hell do you think you are doing?!' It took me a moment to realize what Tsubasa was talking about, but when I did I wasn’t shocked. After all, my pity was stronger than my fear, if there was any left,and the pity was actually drawing me to him. So the minute I found myself right in front of him, I couldn’t help the small smile that formed on my face. The boy in front of me looked totally surprised, if not shocked. 'Masami, stop!' Tsubasa kept yelling and before my eyes the boy pulled out one of his swords that I hadn't noticed he had, and placed it right under my chin. I looked down at it briefly, but for some odd reason I still didn’t feel any fear. It was as if I knew the boy was just threatening me, putting on a show.
I looked back up at him, pity drawing the words out of my mouth before I could put a clamp on it. "Are you okay?" I asked, and his face was now a deep scowl, as if I had seriously angered him in some way. He let out a small growl before I found the sword removed from my neck and felt him grabbing my wrist and then started to pull me towards what I hoped was the exit, "You still didn't answer me." I stated, both confused and intrigued. He stayed silent but his grip on my wrist tightened.
'Masami, if you talk to him anymore, he will kill you. I'm surprised he hasn't already.' I simply nodded, I'm sure that no matter how much I talk to him he won’t listen. I looked down at the ground trying to think of something to say, but was startled out of my thoughts as I found my wrist being pulled so forcefully I found myself being tossed a good two yards in front of the boy, my hands scraping the ground on impact. When I looked up I was surprised to find that I was now outside with two unknown men in front of me.
The older one looked like he was in his late teens, early twenties. He had straight long messy black hair that reached his shoulders with dark blue highlights streaking down it. He wore a brown sweatshirt with a white shirt under it, he also had baggy black pants. I then looked at his hands, shocked to find these metal gloved on them. As I surveyed them further I couldn’t help but notice the sharp metal talons that extended from each finger.
Deciding I’ve seen enough of the gloves I moved to the other boy who seemed to looked about the same age as me. He had spiky black hair that seemed to only point to his right. He wore a skintight green shirt with a black line that ran down the middle and a shield with a skull with two blades running through it. He also had a band on his upper right arm and baggy pants that were just plain black.
"Itzal, what is this?" The younger boy was pointing to me, but looking at the boy that just threw me, "She's not one of the Masaruians, is she? We told you too kill them not bring one of them to us!" He yelled, "She's just some random gothic girl."
"Gothic? Wait a minute, I'm not Goth!" I yelled in irritation.
"Then why did you dye your hair?" He questioned with a smug smile.
"I didn't! It happened when the Masaru village attacked mine!"
"Oh… you must be from that little village that burned down a few days ago. What was its name?" He then put his hand on his chin like he was actually thinking about it.
"Kenta! My village's name was Kenta you ass!" I yelled feeling the strong need to set him on fire.
"Oh, that's right, Kenta. I normally don't remember names of villages that can't put up a fight,"
"You bastard, my village was ten times the village yours will ever be. We never resorted to petty sneak attacks!" His face then turned into a deep scowl, like he wanted to fight.
'Masami I don't know if you realize yet, but you're not in the position to be intimidating your captives. I strongly suggest you stop.'
I listened, but still glared at him. His aggravated face started to get worse, and his hands started to ball up into fists. Then he raised his fist like he was about to punch me. I dared not to flinch, and he brought it down. I half expected to have my face on the pavement, but instead the older man grabbed his wrist an inch away from my face.
"Takeshi, this is not the time to let your emotions get the better of you. It may not look like it, but she is stronger than you," What he said shocked both me and the boy that still had his fist an inch away from my face. "Actually I think she may actually be our mission."
"Come now Hibiki, I highly doubt that. I mean look at her. She's just some gothic kid from a barbarian village. She couldn't even take on one of those white suited guys." The boy named Takeshi stated with a cocky look on his face.
I could have sworn one of my blood vessels popped, "I hope you know that I can, and I did, but if you doubt me so much you could try to fight me." I could tell that my anger was getting the better of me, but he was pissing me off to the point that I really don’t care.
'You should listen to your senses. Nothing good will come from fighting him, but what the older man said was true. You can beat him, with my help of course.'
'I won't need your help with this punk.'
"Really, you want to fight me, are you really that confident?"
"Yes, I am!" A twisted smile formed on his face. Then he reached for his sword on his back that I did not even realize he had. The sword was huge, almost as tall as he was.
‘What's with the swords appearing out of nowhere?’ I asked Tsubasa.
‘I believe you already know the answer to that, didn’t you just learn the same thing before Masaru attacked you.’ Tsubasa pointed out, ‘The only difference is that they have swords, and you had sticks.’
I couldn’t help but blush at her words, though disappointment rushed through me as I realized I lost my stick when I attacked the men who… I shook my head pushing the thought aside before I could start tearing up.
"Takeshi, stop!" A harsh voice yelled from behind me, making me jump in surprise. I turned only to find the boy I first met, the one with black and white hair. "If what Hibiki said is true than we can't risk killing or harming her." Through all that, what surprised me was that Takeshi actually listened. He was now putting his sword back on his back, causing it to vanished. "Girl, don't move." The boy stated to me as he walked up to me.
I didn’t particularly like being referred to as ‘girl,’ but I obeyed nonetheless. I waited patiently as he took my wrists and handcuffed them together. I instantly felt like a prisoner again.
"Itzal, I'm going to leave her to you," Hibiki stated as he grabbed Takeshi’s arm, "I will try to see if there is anyone else that could be the Phoenix," I had to hold back my urge to chuckle at his words, not really in the mood to start explaining myself.
After they left I looked over to the boy, Itzal, and wondered if he ever really showed any emotion other than anger. I let out a sigh as I decided to look around at my surroundings, only to notice that I was in the middle of a battle ground.
It seemed like everyone was fighting a bloody and gruesome match, that the assassins were clearly winning. I had to wonder what would happen to the woman and children when this was all over. I shook my head, trying to push the thought out of my head. I then looked back up as the boy, hoping to start a conversation that would lead as far away from the topic as usual. "Itzal was it?" I asked, but he didn’t so much as flinch, "Are we just going to stand here in the middle of the battle or are we going to move somewhere safer?" No answer again. I think he was ignoring me. “This is going to be awkward.” I whispered to myself, only to notice a shadow of a smile form on the boys lips, only to disappear so fast I had to wonder if I had imagined it.
It took only twenty minutes for the fighting to finally stop, though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t almost get skewered a few times due to Itzal’s blind disregard for… well me. There was also the fact that I was heavily distracted by my wandering thoughts. The only reason I was really aware of any danger was because of Tsubasa, who I was starting to trust more and more with every passing minute.
I looked around the abandoned battlefield seeing only a few assassin casualties and a lot of white suited bodies lying around.
When I was little I had seen dozens for dead animals and had cried at every single one. Even in my village, when they brought back the bodies of the dead I was still horrified. Now however it all seemed natural. Everything dies eventually. That was the price of war, even the young and innocent were eventually scared and forced to grow up.
"Hey, who's that?" A boy asked, causing me to look up, only to find a boy with brown hair with one light blue eye and one pale green eye. He was wearing a skin tight plain green tank top that showed off his sculpted abs, and skin tight black pants. I then noticed the tattoos he left out for the world to see. The one on his right shoulder was mostly a bunch of swirls and points, which covered most of his upper arm that I thought looked totally kick-ass. The one on his left shoulder was some weird letters that I couldn’t understand.
"I never asked her name," Itzal answered in a monotone.
With a disappointed look on his face, the boy sighed, "Goodness Itzal, you'll never get girls with that attitude." Then he suddenly looked at me with a newly found smile that I could tell he used often. "Hi, my name is Laërtes, what's yours?"
Just by looking at his skintight shirt and his charming smile, I could tell what he was. I only heard the word spoken a few times, most commonly out of Naomi’s mouth, but I remembered it the moment I saw him. He was most definitely a player. "I'm Masami." I answered.
"That's a nice name. It means 'become beautiful,' I believe, but I'd say you already are," he winked at me.
Every word Laërtes said confused me to no end. I could tell from his face that when he said stupid stuff like that, most girls would melt. I on the other hand was trying to see what was so interesting about it. I knew what my name meant, but obviously he didn’t. To my village beauty had nothing to do with our outer looks, they had to do with the person we were. My mother named me Masami so I would never waver from my morals.
Upon seeing that I wasn’t falling for his charm, Laërtes’s smile slowly started turning into a disappointed frown. "I'm sorry, but how old did you say you are," I was tempted to laugh, but decided that would be immature.
"I didn't, and I'm twelve," Laërtes probably thought I was younger because, apparently, he didn’t get rejected often.
"Really, I am too, weird?" I just sighed.
‘Exactly what I thought,’ I stated to myself, thought I could have sworn I heard Tsubasa chuckling lightly in my head.
Laërtes then looked to Itzal, "Well Itzal, Hibiki said that you and I should take Masami to our village."
"Fine, but you're taking care of the girl. I'm tired of her."
Upon hearing his words I rolled my eyes, ‘Tired of me? What the hell have you had to do to make you so damn tired?!’
'I'm starting to hate that boy, and there is something about him that's bothering me, and I don't mean his personality.' Tsubasa stated and with that, we headed to their village, though there were precautions they had to go through with me along.
Laërtes explained to me that it's against the law in their village to let anybody that lived outside the village to know of its location. So as a result, I was knocked unconscious during a majority of the trip. However it was Itzal’s idea, Laërtes just wanted to blind fold me. However they barely even started to argue before Itzal hit me on the back of the neck. Whenever they would stop to eat, Laërtes would wake me up, blindfold me, and then feed me. It turned out he was nicer than I first thought.
Then horrible news came. Before I was knocked out again I heard Laërtes say he just got a message from his father that he had to go back home and see about a family matter. That meant that for the rest of the trip I would be stuck with Itzal, and knowing him I would either starve to death or be buried in some random ditch.
As a result I wasn’t all that surprised to wake up with a painfully empty stomach and a parched tongue. However what did surprise me was that when I found myself conscious once again there was a girl standing over me. She had strawberry blonde hair and light grey eyes. She wore black and green cloths that seemed Lolita-ish.
The girl looked down at me with a relieve smile upon realizing I was awake. "Oh thank the goddess you’re alright. I thought for a second that you wouldn’t make it.”
I looked up at the girl, a little shocked. The last thing I remember was Itzal knocking me unconscious, how on earth did I end up here… wherever here was...
The girl seemed to realize something as she picked up a glass of water and handed it to me. “You should probably drink. I’m not sure how long Itzal had you knocked out, but the moment I found you I could tell that it wasn’t a healthy amount of time.”
I quickly sat up and slowly took the glass from her, not sure what exactly to expect. Of course there was the possible chance that the water was laced with something, but figured that after everything I had been through, being poisoned seemed like the least of my worries.
After I had drained the whole cup I looked over to the girl, only one question really on my mind. “Who are you?”
“Oh, where are my manners. My name is Persephone. You’re in the Enyo family household. It was only because my family helped finance the expedition to find you that Itzal let me take you. Even if it was somewhat reluctantly."
I looked at her in shock, "How did you know I was there?"
Persephone shrugged, "Our village had spies in almost every village in this island, except for Yuzuki; they can spot a spy a mile away." she stated, as if it were no big deal. I looked at her, stunned
‘We had spies?!’ I asked in horror. Though after a moment sadness washed through me upon remembering that it didn’t really matter now. My village had been burned down, and the citizens most likely scattered.
Persephone seemed to realize the state of depression I was in, because she seemed to jump up out of her seat as she had been stung by a bee, "Well, I should probably leave you to your meal, call if you need anything," and with that she was gone.
I let out a sigh as I looked over at the nightstand where a nice meal sat. Of course my stomach was practically yelling to be fed, but I couldn’t find it in myself to care. So I just sat there, curled up in a ball, and finding tears fall down my face.
And through it all, Tsubasa was silent, as if knowing that I needed this time to myself. I found myself grateful, yet terribly lonely. It took only a few minutes after that for my to fall fast asleep once again. I could only hope that Persephone didn’t take it the wrong way that I didn’t eat any of the food that she was kind enough to offer me.
The next time I woke up I was shocked by the differences in my new environment compared to the last time I woke up. Everything was different. Instead of waking up to a nice girl offering me food and water, I found a large group of men yelling and bickering at one another. And instead of being in a nice comfortable bed, I found myself strapped to a cold metal chair. So far it was better than the lab in Masaru.
Even my clothes had changed, which was a little freaky once I thought about it. Instead of my old black clothes I was wearing before to symbolize my flame, I was now wearing a dark red dress with a big black bird flying on it. I could only guess, or at least hope, that it was a Phoenix. I looked down and realized that my clan's necklace was also gone and replaced with a choker that I felt was a little bit too tight for my liking.
I looked back up at the men, trying to pick up on what exactly they were arguing over. 'It seems like they are fighting over us.’ Tsubasa stated, surprising me a little. During the whole time Itzal kept knocking me out she stayed persistently quiet.
‘What do you mean?’ I asked, but got no reply, ‘Great.’ I thought at I rolled my eyes in irritation.
It took what seemed like hours for a man to suddenly yell, getting the attention of everyone in the room, "Quiet men, have you not realized that our prisoner has awakened?" Everyone became silent in just a matter of seconds and then stared at me, nervously.
‘Prisoner?’ I thought, feeling a little insulted, ‘Can’t anyone just use my name?’
"Now we can get onto the real council for tonight," The same man spoke as he then turned to me. As far as I can tell the man seemed a lot more mature than the rest of the men here. "The matter that is the Phoenix needs to be addressed." Everybody else mumbled in agreement, "So, Masami, are you, or are you not, the holder of Tsubasa?"
It took me and Tsubasa by surprise that he called the Phoenix by her actual name, almost no one in my village knew that name other than the holder of her and the leaders of the clan, "Yes I am, but may I ask how you know her name?"
"No," Right when I thought he might be a good guy, "what did the village of Masaru do to you when they got a hold of you?"
I looked around the room, wondering what this had to do with anything. "They took a few tests and then sent me back to my cell; they only tested on me one time so far as I know."
He nodded then wrote something down then dropped the subject, "Will you give us your consent to conduct a few tests on you for ourselves?" My opinion on him just got a little better.
I only had to think about it for a split second, "Well, sure, but they’re useless. The Phoenix cannot be copied."
Everyone in the room looked at each other with surprised stares as they started to mumble and bicker once again. When everyone started to settle down the man then started to speak once more. "We will conduct a few tests then see what to do with you from there."
It took them weeks to do all of their tests, and even longer to deduct what I had already told them. I was one of a kind. Everyone seemed irritated when I found myself in the same council room once again. To say it was a heated debate would be an understatement.
'I really don't like the sound of what they are saying,' Tsubasa stated, sounding a little fearful.
After the weeks of tests I had come to find a lot of new and interesting things about myself and Tsubasa. One of which being that my flame had changed. It was no longer just plain black, it was now a weird mixture of black and red. As if my flames couldn’t make up its mind about what color it wanted to be. Another thing I realized was that Tsubasa noticed a lot more things that I do. As if she has learned to take everything I hear and see and sort it all out so she could pay attention to what she wants.
I, on the other hand, found myself overwhelmed by all the men yelling at each other at once. The best I could get were a couple words every now and them. Like “Danger,” “Could be useful,” “What do you think their serving downstairs,” yeah it was fun.
"Silence!" The man for the first meeting yelled again, causing all of the voices to stop at once. "We will put it to vote, agreed?" Everyone seemed to nod or mumble their agreement, "Okay, all in favor of killing her?" I sat there, shocked. I looked around the room before shutting my eyes, not wanting to know who wanted me dead. Though it wasn’t hard to imagine why. I was a stranger that stumbled upon their front door. How on earth could they know if I were friend or foe? And in all honesty, I had the same thought circling my mind ever since Itzal first knocked me unconscious. "All in favor of putting her under the surveillance of a member of the Enyo clan?" Upon hearing his words I almost busted from my seat from excitement. I mean who wouldn’t when you thought that you had even the slightest chance of living.
"Okay it’s decided. A member of the Enyo clan has already taken it upon himself to look after her." The men looked over at me with what I thought was sympathy, “Stay safe.” And with that I found myself being unshackled and escorted out of the building. I had to wonder who in their right minds would take me in, especially when they didn’t even know me.