Chapter Nine - Missing Truth
After the short and confusing encounter with Shinichi, Kid returned to the Clarius chamber, where the Jewel Master stayed, waiting for him to bring more and more Jumi cores. This would be the first time he met up with the Jewel Master with nothing in his hand.
“Hello there,” the Jewel Master said as he craned his neck to look at Kid. “How is your jewel hunting going?”
“Not good,” Kid said simply. “I can’t get you a thousand.”
“Why not?” the Jewel Master asked again, this time turning his body slowly but fully to look at Kid. He frowned, then repeated, “Why not?”
“I can’t kill them,” Kid said, shaking his head.
“My, my, the heartless master thief, unable to steal something that has been within your reach all this time?” the Jewel Master asked mockingly as he cackled. “What a disgrace to your title.”
“I don’t need titles. I can’t kill them,” Kid retorted sharply. “I can’t kill him.”
“Then give me your core as a replacement for his!” the Jewel Master snapped at him.
“Why can’t you just heal her with the cores I’ve gotten you?” Kid asked in frustration. “You don’t have to heal her to perfect health! He’ll heal her afterwards!”
The Jewel Master narrowed his eyes dangerously. He then slowly walked towards Kid. “It seems you don’t understand where you’re standing, little boy,” he hissed out as he glared at Kid. “I’m the one doing the healing, you’re the one doing the stealing. You asked me for my help, you don’t tell me what to do. Is that clear?”
Kid looked down at his feet.
“Is that clear!?” the Jewel Master shouted at him.
“Yes,” Kid said softly, almost inaudibly.
“Very good,” the Jewel Master said as he turned around and walked back to his perch. “Now, are you going to get me the last two cores or not?”
“I...” Kid frowned. “I’m going to talk to her first.”
The Jewel Master rolled his eyes. “Fine, do as you wish.”
Kid sighed, and walked out of the Clarius chamber. He stared at the full moon up in the sky, and rushed off, to where the Pandora’s Box was.
Shinku hummed to herself as she waited for her tea to finish steeping. Green tea was her favorite. The cans of coffee she had were mostly for Shinichi and Heiji. She didn’t turn when she heard the familiar click, waiting until the footsteps faded to nothing, and smiled.
“Hello, mystery visitor,” Shinku greeted as she turned to face the table in the room. “Would you like something to drink?”
“No, thank you,” Kid answered.
“Oh, that’s a progress,” Shinku commented as she picked her tea cup up and walked slowly to the table. She felt for the chair’s legs with her feet, then placed her cup down, before sitting down. “Why are you here today? Is there something wrong?”
“How do you know it’s me?”
“You certainly underestimate blind people,” Shinku said, her smile widening a fraction. “You see, that time I asked right after hearing the click, because I didn’t think anyone else would find this place. Just by listening to your footsteps, I could tell it’s you.”
“I’m sorry,” Kid said as he blinked. “I didn’t mean to.”
“I’m sure,” Shinku said, nodding. “So, what brought you here...?”
“Ah, yes, the thief my brother was talking about,” Shinku remarked. “So what brought you here, Kid-san? Are you here for my core?”
“No!” Kid exclaimed, appaled at the suggestion. “I’d never do that. Not you or your brother.”
“You seem to know my brother personally,” Shinku said as she picked her cup up and took a sip from it. “He is a good person, yes? A great Guardian.”
“Yes,” Kid said. “I’m impressed with his ability.”
“That’s not what I meant,” Shinku said, chuckling. “So tell me, why are you here?”
“I just... thought I’d do what someone told me to,” Kid said slowly, doubtfully, and Shinku simply nodded. “I don’t know what to do anymore.”
“What have you been doing up to now?” Shinku asked.
“You’re starting to sound like one of the Wisdoms,” Kid offered, laughing.
“Well, having lots of time for yourself tend to make you reflect on things a lot. Probably makes you sound a bit wiser too,” Shinku said with a shrug.
“I’ve been collecting Jumi cores, as you know,” Kid said. “Someone said he would heal somebody I know if I could collect a thousand cores.”
Shinku stared at Kid, thinking, then sighed. “He’s lying to you, Kid-san,” Shinku said as she shook her head. “As much as I’m flattered to know you’d go to such extent for me, there really is no reason for you to do that. Only Crimson could heal me, nothing else.”
“It’s alright,” Shinku said calmly. “There is still time to make amends. Make amends to the one who has trusted you from the beginning, and will trust you until the end.”
“How do you know that?” Kid asked.
“You two have a connection. I can tell,” Shinku said, a mysterious smile on her face. She placed her elbow on the table and leaned her chin on her fist. “You two are so cute.”
“Tell me, Kid-san, do you know Heiji?” Shinku asked.
“Yes, the Topaz Knight,” Kid said. “He left you to go with your brother.”
“Yes, literally,” Shinku said with a slight nod. “But you see, there never was a Ruby Guardian. Only a Sapphire Guardian.”
“I’m not a good Guardian, Kid-san,” Shinku said. “He is a great Guardian. I only heal those who come to me asking for it. He does that and much more. He offers his tears to whoever needs it. That’s why I won’t let him become Clarius. I know he will die before the war ends.”
“But how could that be?” Kid asked, frowning.
“Kid-san, did you know anything about the connection I mentioned earlier?” Shinku asked.
“No. What is it?”
“I see. So that’s why,” Shinku said, nodding thoughtfully. “When we were young, we looked exactly the same, only he was much quieter and shy. While I played with the others he would sit at a corner and draw. That was why people kept thinking he was me and I was him.”
Kid widened his eyes in surprise, but quickly regained his composure.
“After the Faerie War, I decided to grow my hair out so everyone could tell us apart. You must’ve met him sometime before that,” Shinku decided. “When Heiji chose him to be his Guardian, I was disappointed; but that was his way of keeping me safe. He wanted me to stay in Etansel.”
“I see. Then what of the connection?”
“I was getting to that,” Shinku said, still smiling. “You see, the Jumi legends speak of a bond between a Knight and Guardian pair. You chose to be his Knight. His mind knew nothing of it, but your cores are bonded, so to speak. That is why when you met him you feel like you have to protect him. This bond is established to remind you again and again of your decision to be his Knight.”
“He seemed very receptive of you, didn’t he?” Shinku asked. “That is because he felt the need to let you do your duty as his Knight. He has no Knight now. You have your chance.”
“You... don’t mind?” Kid asked uncertainly. “I mean, I kind of treated him badly...”
“Nothing can be done against the bond,” Shinku said as she shook her head. “That is why you can’t hurt him. Not even if you tried.”
“I see,” Kid mumbled. “I have to go.”
“Alright,” Shinku said as she nodded. “Go and confront that lying man, Kid-san. Don’t let him control you any longer.”
“Of course. Thank you,” Kid said as he stood up. “I’ll see you again sometime, hopefully.”
“Right,” Shinku said. “I’ll see you next time, Kid-san. Literally.”
Kid stared at her in question, but then nodded, although he knew she couldn’t see him, and walked towards the exit.
“Oh, and Kaito-san,” Shinku called out right before Kid touched the exit portal. “Take care of my brother.”
Kid looked back at Shinku, then snorted and laughed. “Of course. You’re really very perceptive, Kudou-san.”
“Thank you for the compliment,” Shinku said jokingly.
“How did you know?” Kid asked curiously.
“He told me everything, Kaito-san,” Shinku said. “I kind of figured it out while listening to your story, and comparing it to his. You don’t have time, Kaito-san. Go now. He is waiting for you.”
“Yes. I’m going back now.”
And with that said, Kid touched the exit portal and found himself in the small wooden house in the great forest again. He exited the house, and watching the rising sun, rushed back to Etansel; the ruined city of the Jumis.