The Bridge Falls
Clop! Clop! Clop! The hoofs of the horses went as they sped through the villa.
Steering sharply, the girl turned a corner, skillfully directing her steeds to navigate the area. Anubis had one question.
If he had never seen her before... why did she know where the town doctor was?
Shaking his head, he returned to staring worriedly at his pale mother heaving deeply inside the carriage.
It didn’t matter now, he decided, she was here to help, it seemed.
This didn’t stop Honoka from staring warily at the girl for the last two minutes. He wasn’t sure why, but she seemed to know something he didn’t. This usually happened, but this time, Anubis wasn’t sure if he liked it being that way.
Looking closer, the girl and Honoka had some similarities. Both had long wavy white coloured hair, except the girl had silver streaks in hers. Their skin both seemed pale, likely to burn if a little too much sun touched it. Anubis originally wasn’t sure if it was a trait of the Jaialyians. Honoka had seemed to at least handle the sun well, better than even he did.
Now he was even less sure. Focusing on the glaring girl, he asked what was now on his mind.
“Do you know her from somewhere?”
“Huh?” Honoka snapped out of her thought process, “What did you say?”
“I asked if you know her.”
The Jaialyian shook her head, “No, not at all.”
Anubis was confused, “Then why glare at her?”
“I was glaring?” she didn’t look as if she even noticed it happening.
She shook her head once more as if to dissuade herself.
“I just don’t like how convenient it was for her to show up. Almost as if it was timed somehow.”
“You think she caused this?”
Honoka didn’t seem to know what she, herself, was feeling as she shook her head for the third time in a row.
“No...” she trailed off.
“Then how’s it convenient?”
The silverette held her head in confusion, “Look Anubis, I don’t know what I’m thinking. Maybe I’m still over thinking from what happened yesterday. Just please, don’t ask. Okay?”
“Okay,” Anubis relented, sitting back as his eyes flickered to his mother, “...but still, what do you think is wrong with my mom?”
“I don’t know that either, Anubis. I’m a fighter, not a healer. That’s what your mom is... and Mahad too, I think...” she started to see a plan come together.
“Don’t worry about it,” she shrugged him off, biting her nail habitually in thought.
“Alright then...” they hit a bump in the road.
“Sorry about that,” the girl apologized from up in front.
“Don’t worry about it,” Anubis reassured her, not noticing he’d said the same thing.
“Who are you anyway?” he thought aloud, “It must be pretty stressful for you to help us out.”
The girl remained silent for a while. He was beginning to think she hadn’t heard him.
“... Raqiyah,” he barely heard.
“My name’s Raqiyah,” she didn’t seem to be much for words.
“No last name?” Honoka spoke up from her reverie.
“Tch,” she clicked her tongue, “Okay then.”
Anubis could feel the animosity growing as they coincidentally hit a bump on Honoka’s side.
“Where are you from anyway?” he broke the silence.
“What do you mean?”
The girl sighed, “I’m a traveler; a merchant. I was headed for Aeiytia to get some supplies but I had to pass through Aegea to get there. Saw you struggling and decided to help you out. It’s on the way there anyway.”
That was probably the longest group of words she had said in her life.
“That makes sense,” he relaxed, hoping his friend was appeased.
“I guess...” Honoka commented unnecessarily.
“Yes,” the girl nodded.
Honoka crashed into the side of the cart.
“So...” Anubis laughed nervously, shying away from the dictator’s growing hatred.
“What do you sell?”
“Food, huh?” an input.
BOOM! A bump in the road.
“W... What kind of food?”
“Don’t talk much do you- ouch!”
This is basically what kept happening.
Eventually, when Honoka was getting into too much of a burden to be around, Anubis moved up front. Raqiyah stared at him in surprise.
“...up here?” she worded.
“Why are you up here?” the silverette repeated in confusion.
“Well, you seem alright enough... Plus I think you hit too many bumps back there...” the green-eyed boy explained.
“Is that so...?” her mouth twitched upwards.
"OW!” Honoka yelled from inside.
“Are you doing that on purpose?” he laughed slightly.
“Maybe...” she smiled barely, glancing back for any bumps in the road.
Looking at her odd silver eyes, Anubis felt a strange unexplainable connection with the girl seated next to him. He knew it wasn’t romantic, but then again he didn’t know what it was. It was just there.
He could tell, she felt it too.
“Do I kno...?” the cart swerved to a halt.
The horses bucked, whinnying as she tried to keep them under control. Finally, they ceased and she got down.
“Raqiyah?” he watched her in confusion.
“What’s the hold-up? I’m not dead yet,” was Honoka snide remark, as she looked out the window.
Anubis gestured to the moving individual.
Honoka froze in fear, eyes dilated in shock, “Anubis...”
“What is it?” he glanced back, looking at the girl moving from in front of him instead.
She pointed at something, “The bridge... We can’t move...”
“The bridge?” he moved his eyes towards the location in question.
Before them, where a sturdy rope bridge used to be, was now a wide expanse of nothingness, the River Sai, miles below them.
“Where’s... where’s the bridge?” Anubis realized in shock, glancing at it in shock and horror.
They didn’t have a near route without the bridge. The Sai River extended practically everywhere being the longest river in the world. They’d have to travel for miles to be able to get to the doctor, bypassing the town entirely. They didn’t have time for that.
“Honoka,” said girl turned around, now outside.
“Do you think you can carry us over?”
She shook her head, certain about something.
“I can only float off ground myself. To carry all three of you over there... We’d crash into the River itself,” she denied.
Why was the timing so inconvenient?
Way unlike what Honoka claimed.
Raqiyah stood up from her cliff observation. She walked off somewhere.
“Do you see anything?” he asked, hopping off the cart and carefully observing the horses.
“No... I’m going to take a closer look...” she stated, disappearing into the bushes.
“Wait! How are you gonna...?”
She was gone.
Anubis kicked the dirt at his feet, glancing worriedly at the carriage.
“Just great, now how are we gonna get across?” he glared at the ground angrily.
“This is all my fault,” Honoka berated herself, “If I hadn’t gotten injured- No, if I hadn’t wasted my mana needlessly, I could’ve-”
Anubis rested his hand on her shoulder, shaking his head.
“It’s not your fault... You were up against the Aeiytian Pharaoh,” he stated, “You did what you could to survive- and I’m glad for that. We’re glad for that. If anything, it’s mine...” he trailed off.
He shouldn’t have said that.
“Anubis?” Honoka narrowed her eyes suspiciously, “What do you mean...? What did you do?” she demanded.
“Iliana could be dying for all we know- it’s definitely something!” the silverette retaliated.
"I used my powers okay!” the brunette finally admitted, yelling.
Honoka was taken aback.
“You... You used them?” she grabbed his shoulders, “After Dr. Menkaura told you... After Iliana told you- I even told you! When was it?” she was furious.
“Two days ago, okay?” he revealed, “Some bandits broke in and tried to rob us. They wanted to violate Mom... and I panicked, okay? They didn’t look like they could be handled by simply swinging a sword!”
“...Alright, where are they now? In prison, right?” he didn’t respond, ”Right?”
“Anubis answer me!”
“They aren’t anywhere!” he spat out, “They’re dead. I went overboard and I killed them!”
“... Okay and?” Honoka asked coldly.
“Huh?” Anubis was shocked.
Meeting her gaze, he could finally tell who he was talking to. This was a killer; a murderer. One who had offed several- more than he accidentally had. This wasn’t new to her, it was normal.
And he got a grim feeling that he shouldn’t ask why.
“And...” he regained himself, “now Mom’s suffering the drawbacks of the curse. She’s sick and it’s because of me!”
"Not that you fool! I meant did you get attacked?”
“Attacked? No... Not since then,” he stated, “Why?”
“I knew it!” Honoka said, equipping her armament and muttering something in an unknown language.
The girl had been missing for twenty whole minutes now, no sign of her anywhere. Anubis felt worried. Maybe she had fallen down the cliff.
Tripping slightly, the girl stumbled, being caught by Anubis.
“Look calm down! I’m sure she’s fine! There’s nothing to worry about. You aren’t in any condition to be using this,” he tried to dissuade her.
“Anubis, you’re great, really you are- but sometimes you’re an absolute ditz,” she regained her balance, spelling it out, “Raqiyah’s not a merchant. She’s an-”
“-Assassin? Yes, that’s right,” a voice piped up from in the trees.
And then he blanked out.