"You…" our gazes locked for what seemed like an eternity but I couldn't read his expression at all.
"What's she doing out of her chair," the hooded guy barked.
I regained my senses when I felt hands on me, trying to bind the chains around me again but I wasn't going to let that happen.
After glaring at Ichigo one more time, I punched the closest one in their face. Hearing the satisfying yelp of pain my first victim made, I swivelled on the heel of my foot and sent a roundhouse kick to the guy on my other side.
Sensing this wasn't going to end well, the hooded figure shouted, "What are you all standing around for, stop her!"
The next few moments happened in slow motion.
I felt a chilling gaze from behind me and ducked. A millisecond later, a pocketknife flew through the air where my head was a moment ago.
They might have been imposters of Kings but these guys were serious.
Jumping to my feet, I grabbed a person's wrist, twisting it until the blade dropped out of his hand. Quickly catching it I threw it at a blonde-haired male running toward me. I heard a yell as the weapon sunk into his shoulder and I clicked my tongue in frustration.
I had been aiming for his neck but changed my mind when I remembered Ichigo was there. Another part screamed at my foolishness. He was on the same side as my captors. He was a betrayer.
And yet, I still cared.
I was pulled out of my thoughts when someone yanked my ponytail from behind.
"I advise you to stay still, little princess," the hooded figure sneered. I glared up at him but his hood prevented me from seeing his face. "…Before I'm forced to slit your throat."
I sucked in a breath when I felt the icy blade rest against my neck. He applied a bit of pressure to emphasise his words and a small, warm trail of blood slid down my neck. I narrowed my eyes.
Oh, he was going to pay for spilling my blood – the blood of royalty.
Mistaking my silence as resignation, he laughed dryly and flung me to the ground.
I gasped when my shoulder collided with the chair I was previously sitting on. I glared up at him but he brushed it off. Grabbing a chair for himself, he sat down in front of me. Everyone in the room stood close to us, ready to act if I tried to attack them again.
I gritted my teeth.
Idiot, I aimed the thought to myself. This was the reason why I never got close to anyone. They would always turn their backs on me eventually.
"I'll get straight to the point," the leader said. "Contact your brother and have him send over 50 billion yen."
My eyebrow twitched.
Kidnapping for money, how original.
I continued to keep my icy stare on him and he fidgeted in his seat. "Hand me a phone."
Ichigo handed him his mobile phone and acted as if I wasn't there.
"Kuchiki Byakuya," the leader said into the phone after dialling. "I have your sister. If you don't want her killed, prepare 50 billion yen by midnight and bring it over to…"
I watched him, silently amused, as he talked to my brother. No way would my brother listen to him.
"You don't believe we have your sister?" I heard the leader ask before shoving the phone against my ear. "Speak."
I kept my mouth shut.
"Rukia," my brother sounded tired. "This is not the time to get into situations like these." He sighed. "Listen, I have a few people trying to find you and they will arrive there soon. Don't do anything rash. These people are not to be underestimated because-"
"Tch," the phone was pulled away. "No use giving you the phone if you won't talk." He leaned back into his seat and I shut out his voice as he babbled 'conditions' into the phone.
I chewed on my lip in thought. Brother told me to not take action. He never did this before… I couldn't help thinking back to what I learnt moments before. Was my sister really shot? And by these people, too?
I shivered. I was soaked through with the water they had poured on me to wake me up. I leaned my head against the chair.
"You're brother seems quite compliant today," I heard the leader say while he snapped the phone shut. "Well, who wouldn't be, after seeing their wife getting showered with bullets?" He crouched in front of me and pinched my cheek. "This is what you get for messing with us Kings. Sure, we're not the real Kings but we will become the real ones when we're through with our plans. You know what the real Kings group does all day? Stop other gangs from having fights. A bunch of sissies, I tell you. What's a gang who doesn't promote violence?"
Behind him, Ichigo stiffened in surprise.
Yes, Ichigo, I wanted to shout at him. You joined a fake gang. A fake gang that makes me sick to the stomach by their actions.
I moved back from his touched so he grabbed my hair instead.
"It's embarrassing to admit it, but I've been in the real Kings yakuza group before. They're all a bunch of hypocrites. Every single one of them. Every day, they go around stopping fights and creating 'peace' but when someone pisses them off, bloody hell is raised. So much for gang royalty... That's why we began to plan and formed this group. We'll be the new Kings in no time and everyone would be looking up to us instead. We will be respected, be feared and be the new royalty instead that bunch of peace-loving, two-faced idiots."
He's bantering was getting on my nerves, I decided.
I clicked my tongue and lunged at the man. I locked my cold, stiff hands around his neck and…
I froze at the sound. Slowly moving my head to the side, I saw at least a dozen of the men surrounding us had their guns trained on me. I saw Ichigo, standing behind me, pale-faced and at a lost for what to do.
After a moment of staring at me, one of them frowned, "What's that stuff on her chest?" He pointed at the space near my collarbone
I followed his gaze and saw a patch of colour that would be otherwise invisible if my shirt hadn't turned transparent when it became wet. I stayed frozen while the closest one rudely pulled the collar of my shirt down for a better look.
The air stood still as everyone stared at my tattoo. The one who pulled on my collar fell flat on his bottom.
Painted the same colour as the moon, the single letter K stood out against my skin. A small, golden crown rested on the top of the vertical line that made the spine of the letter. The black, elegant butterfly was painted so that it appeared to be resting on the K and a single, snow-white rabbit was seated next to the letter.
"You…" the person who fell on his butt pointed at me with a shaking finger. "You're…"
Everyone jumped when the silence was interrupted by a loud crash as the door of the warehouse was kicked down by a very agitated boy with very red hair.
At least fifty people swarmed inside the building. Seeing this, the leader pushed me off him and hid behind his followers whilst talking rapidly into the phone.
The newcomers, all dressed in different variations of black suits, looked at me expectantly.
I massaged my temple.
Brother, it seems you have mistaken the meaning of 'a few people'…