Taurus

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Chapter 29

A/N: Yes... Cancer makes an appearance here. Let me know what you think about her!

Might want tissues... and you can kill me later (hides away)

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The body laid there writhing, not a single breath left in her. But her heart was still beating and her brain was trying to cope with the pain. Though she knew she was going to die, there was not a single hint of remorse in her wide eyes. If anything, there was hatred and the thirst for revenge.

But what gave her the guts to think this? I had not been the only victim under her. When I was in the dungeon, my screams were not the only sounds the walls heard. How many begged for death? How many tried to conceal the pain of the torture she put them through?

She was Dave’s perfect little assistant. Whatever he could not do, he would push it to her and she would do it, no matter what.

Life slowly ebbed away from her as she soaked in a pool of her own blood. But before the soul could leave the earth, Taurus held his hand out and caught the delicate thing.

Not having gone through the Three Paths and Flames of Time, the soul would not forget what happened in this life. It thrashed in his hands, twisting and moaning.

But Taurus had none of that. He frowned as if he was looking into all the past lives she had. A faint light of disgust coated his face.

“Qamar really chooses souls well,” Taurus sneered. “Tainting this soul forever.”

I frowned. “What do you mean?”

“Each soul, no matter what it had done in its past life, after going through the Three Paths is declared pure,” Taurus said. “And a soul living a good life or a bad one cannot be consistent. But Qamar had always used a despicable life for this soul. Makes me wonder why.”

“Perhaps…” I mused. “Before this soul was assigned to Earth, it had pissed Qamar off?”

Taurus squeezed the soul a little. “He can’t be that prejudiced. It goes against the laws of him being a Fate Writer. Even Dagen is comparatively fair.”

“Who was she?” I asked, narrowing my gaze on the feeble soul.

Taurus shook his head. “I can’t find it. Qamar hid it too well.”

I shrugged. “Let it go. Maybe something personal to Qamar.”

Taurus’ eyes shone with a gleam. “Who said I was going to let this slide?”

A faint green light enveloped his body as the soul was crushed. For a second a slight fluctuation rippled in the air before a peal of thunder rumbled across the sky. Far away, the River of Soul crashed with the Flames of Time. The researchers paused for a moment and if my guess was not wrong, the pen nib of Qamar had a crack.

The currents fluctuated again, but now, next to us was a female in sky blue shirt and navy blue ripped jeans. Silver hair gently swayed with the wind. She was not pale, but neither was she tan, somewhere in between. A pair of shades concealed her eyes.

She removed the shades and hooked it in front of her shirt as she glared at Taurus, with her hands over her hips. That silver hair and the pair of charm bracelets she had on her left wrist gave her earth identity away.

“Carcen?” I breathed.

She gave a sideways look at me and smiled. But then she focused her gaze on Taurus again.

“Do you know what you have done?” she snarled; her silver eyes could shoot lasers at this point.

Taurus lazily wiped his hands on his pants and looked at her. “What is it now?”

Her right hand clenched. “You destroyed a soul. You just disrupted balance.”

“And you think I don’t know that?”

“Then why the hell did you do that?”

He rose a point finger at her, motioning her to wait for a second. “Do you hear that?”

Her stance weakened a bit. “Hear what?”

“The sound of so many people thanking me!” he exclaimed and gave her a dramatic bow.

I was stunned. Destroying a soul was not as easy as he made it to look. Wars had stared over this. Pieces of the universe had been rendered unfit for even the Poison to roam.

“Do you even-”

He stood up and raised his hand. “Enough, Cancer. I know what I am doing.”

“Do you?”

“If you had seen her memories, you would have done the same thing.”

“I,” she emphasised and walked towards him. “I would have thrown the soul in the Flames of Time. After all, Qamar indeed guided the major things she did. If you have anything, you should take it to him. Not on a defenceless soul.”

“Let me tell you two things, Cancer,” he met her gaze head-on. “One, though major decisions were under the will of Qamar, what she did was not. She fragmented five souls that they are still in the River of Souls, healing. Two, if anyone touches the male I want to be my Soul-Bound, they have to pay.”

I froze. I nearly took my phone to book an appointment with an ENT. Perhaps I was having some hearing problems. He did not say, boyfriend or lover. Did he really say the male he wanted to Soul-Bind?

The still capital faded away. Even the Fourth Warrior was nothing before this male. My heart tried its best to flip in the tiny space this body gave it and my lungs literally forgot to breathe; but that was okay, I could go on without breathing. Something vibrated in me.

My energy was picking up the frequency of his, trying to match it.

At this, Cancer’s face crumbled. “Not you too! Damn it.”

Her voice broke the atmosphere. How did she ruin the atmosphere?

“What do you mean?” Taurus asked.

“Aries, Gemini, and now you?” Cancer asked, shaking her head incredulously. Then she turned towards me. “Is this your boyfriend?”

Could we focus on the important thing here? Taurus destroyed a soul, Fourth Warrior. How did the topic shift?

“That’s Draco,” Taurus said. “Yes, he is my boyfriend.”

She pouted. “When will I meet the one for me?”

Taurus snorted. “Just a few months ago you said in our group chat that you want to remain single for the rest of your life. What happened now?”

“That was a few months back,” she said with a straight face.

“You can’t be this indecisive,” Taurus said.

“Guys,” I called. “We have things to do.”

Cancer looked at me; folding her arms and dragged her eyes from the top of my head to my feet. “Draco?”

I nodded. “Carcen.”

A small smile played around her lips. “Seems like a fan?”

I shrugged. “Your songs are good.”

“Just good?” she cocked her head.

“What else do you want me to tell?”

She closed her eyes as if I had slapped her. She patted her own shoulder. “It’s okay, Cancer. It’s okay. It’s okay.” She opened her eyes and sighed. “A little more dramatic?”

I blinked. “No?”

She threw her hands up. “What are you stoic like your boyfriend? Learn to enjoy!”

“If you want drama…” I drawled. “You can meet Gemini. He is in the Summer Tribe. Or Leo or Scorpio. All three love dramas.”

She dropped her carefree stance. “How would you know? This lump of rock told you?”

Taurus looked offended.

“I know so,” I smiled. “I am a pulsar, Cancer. Just like Lyra.”

Her shoulders slumped, then she became vigorous. She shook Taurus by his shoulders. “The Pulsars are onto something! There is a conspiracy!”

Taurus blinked at her and pulled her hands from him. “Are you dumb?”

She narrowed her eyes. “Don’t judge me based on my profession.”

“Who said singers are dumb?” he was exasperated. “I just asked if you were dumb!”

Cancer huffed. “I see all the comments, Taurus. I know it all.”

He looked up. “Cosmos save me! I never said singers are dumb!”

She pointed her finger at him. “But you thought so!”

“When?”

“Now!”

“I never did!”

I frowned. Why did I feel like I was a teacher who just went on his first day of kindergarten class?

The sounds from the front said that the battle was over. But how could it be over so soon? With Harper? With Dave? How could things be this easy? Omicron Belen was commanding the doctors to treat the wounded, and Eliana was talking with Apinya.

“Whatever you may think, Taurus,” Cancer said in a deep mysterious tone. “I have a higher EQ than you, anyway. I can live with that.”

Before Taurus could open his mouth, I said, “Don’t argue with her on this one.”

She suddenly smiled brightly at me. “I like you.”

Taurus growled loudly and strode towards me. He hugged my waist. “Repeat that again, Cancer.”

She gave him a smirk. “I said, I like you, Draco.”

If this was a cartoon, I would see fumes around Taurus. I laughed. She clearly knew where to goad him.

“Cancer!” he warned. “Do you want to live-”

She burst into laughter. “The stone-faced Taurus is finally showing emotions.” Her eyes twinkled. “Draco, do you know that we were just talking about how Taurus would end up single if he was going to be mask faced?”

I patted his hand that was still wrapped around me. “It’s a good thing that I took the initiative then.”

Understanding dawned on her face. “So… it’s like that. I thought Taurus finally grew brains and figured out that if he does not take the first step towards the person he likes, his crush might get another.”

“Cancer!” Taurus shouted.

She stuck her tongue out. “Whatever. Let’s get back to the topic of you destroying the soul.”

He gave her a blank look. “I said that soul deserved it.”

She sneered. “Qamar wrote it like that! If anything, blame him. Why did you destroy the soul? Do you know how it will affect you? I thought you paid attention to what they taught us is Origin when we were young!”

“You also should know that when it comes to first-generation stars and pulsars, Qamar has no say!” Taurus fired back. “He wrote her personality to suck, but what she did was not written by him. She is what Surva calls a malevolent soul.”

Cancer pursed her lips. “But this will still affect us. I just don’t know how.”

Taurus nodded. “What future holds, let it hold. I can deal with it.”

With that, Cancer followed us to the prison.

I stretched my mind to find Rune. “How is it there in the front?”

“To be honest?” he said. “It went too smoothly. Eliana and Apinya are discussing what to be done.”

“Even you felt it weird?” I asked. “Where is Dave?”

“He was not here,” Rune replied. “I thought he would be in the prison. Did… did you find Allen?”

“No. On my way, I met Lana.”

There was a pause from his side. He did not know what to reply. Had it been Niran, he would have tried to crack some joke to ease the tension, but Rune somehow made things a bit more awkward than it was.

“She is dead, by the way,” I said. “Taurus and I killed her.”

“Good to hear.”

“Any loses?” I asked. “From our side?”

“Just a few wounded,” he said. “After seeing me, many surrendered. And After my mother refused to fight us, many more did. Finally, it was down to only twenty or so.”

“The easier it is, the more suspicious I am,” I said. “Anything else?”

“Lawan and Wirat left,” he said nonchalantly. “I did not see them when we infiltrated. I think they would have gone to the prison themselves. Look out for them.”

I paused. This made the two Warriors behind me pause too.

“You did not think that this was important to tell me?” I raged.

“Chill,” he said. “They know the prison like the back of their hand. And you yourself told me that the two can take Dave out. And you said that Harper is not here.”

I cut the connection with Rune and rushed to the deeper levels of the prison building. Without a question, Taurus followed me and Cancer frowned, but she too rushed.

As expected, he did not hold Allen in any of the nicer cells. I searched for Wirat and Lawan as I ran. There was no frequency from Wirat’s side, but from Lawan’s end, I experienced only pain. Pain that was enough to cripple me. For a moment, I paused and held the walls.

There were only two explanations from the silence of Wirat. One, he was out of my range, which would be impossible, since I could contact even Anthebyne if I wanted to. The second… I did not want to think about it.

That one moment of staggering Taurus held me. With him holding me, I somehow made the way to where Allen’s scent was strong.

I did not want to accept the reality that was before me. Had Taurus not been holding me, I was sure I would have fallen to the ground. Cancer stood by our side. Just one look and her eyes flashed with understanding.

It was not me who went towards Lawan. It was Cancer. It was like there was a special language that females understood that went beyond any boundary or time. Cancer just hugged the soulless female.

I just blinked from where I stood. When I blinked again, my vision was blurred and something cool rolled down my cheeks.

This was pain beyond anything. I somehow managed to get closer to them. Lawan did not shy from Cancer’s hug. The shock from Wirat dying had not passed as she held his lifeless hand.

There was a bullet lodged right into his heart. That was all it took for them to kill Wirat, the great Theta of Summer Coven. My knees finally gave way, and I crumbled opposite Lawan.

Taurus was right next to me, giving me a sideways hug. But I could not care about that now. I touched Wirat’s palm. It was lukewarm. He was not killed long before.

Even if it was not for the red stain on his pale purple shirt, his eyes gave it away. Although Wirat was someone who had always been calm in most situations, his eyes had a liveliness that matched Lawan’s spontaneity.

The floor was not dark, per se, but it might as well be. Lights flickered with a faint buzz and the doors rattled among themselves. The dust swirled and the ground beneath us shook.

Taurus whispered in my ears. “Draco! Calm down!”

Could I listen to him now? While a part of me wanted to just cry in his embrace, another part wanted blood. Wanted to pull the soul out of the body of the person who had killed him.

“It is not the time,” Taurus said. “You will endanger Lawan and Allen.”

When churning winds met the steady mountain, it came to a stop. It had to lose its vigour to the calmness it offered. His words brought some sense to my insanity.

The floor became still again and Allen panted audibly.

“How?” I asked.

But no one answered me. Lawan just stared at her mate. I turned to Allen. He was in chains. The stitches on his side had opened, and he was bleeding. His lips had cut and bruises were scattered on his skin. He was healing at a fast rate, but it was not fast enough.

He gulped when my gaze met his. “He was going to shoot Lawan. But then,” he paused, “But then Wirat came in between.”

“He?” my voice was eerie to my ears.

“Dave,” Allen said. “It was him.”

“Where is he now?”

“He said that Harper was going to take him away,” Allen said in a small voice. “Somewhere is Kelp Confusion.”

Kelp Confusion? Kelp Confusion? Good. Very good.

Snarling, I got up.

Taurus held my hand before I could take another step. “We have to think everything.”

“What is there to think?” I fired. “Dave is hiding in the Kelp Confusion. A place that is my domain! Don’t tell me to let this go!”

Taurus sighed. “I didn’t say that you should not go. I just said to think. Elta just woke up. She is not supposed to wake up for another millennium. But she did. Thuban came down to inform us? I don’t think so. Not to mention, you said Dziban had a light pact with Kelp Confusion and Thuban’s rejection killed them. And now, Harper brought Dave to Kelp Confusion to hide from you. Don’t you think we are missing something?”

“Elta…” Cancer muttered. “As in the daughter of the previous Lord of Kelp Confusion?”

Taurus nodded. “Yes.”

She just hugged Lawan tighter, but her gaze grew sharper. “Tell me what you know.”

“And you can miraculously solve it?” Taurus asked. “We have been thinking about this for a while and we can’t think of anything else. And you can do it?”

She gave him a blank look. “People outside the problem can see the problem clearly than the ones caught in it. So, fire away.”

Before Taurus could retort something, I began to tell her what I knew. After all, she was a Warrior, Taurus’ sister.

When I finished, she looked at us funnily. As if we lacked brains.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” Taurus growled.

“You are dumb,” she said.

“Come again?”

“I said, you are dumb,” Cancer said. “It is obvious.”

“What is?” I asked.

“Eltanin killed Dziban,” Cancer said.

We blinked at her. “What?”

“From what you said,” Cancer said, flicking a lock of her silver hair from her face. “Elta and Thuban were in love. So much that they were ready to let go of the Soul-Bounds. And you said Elta went to the third region of the River of Souls for Thuban. That’s serious dedication there. Even Soul-Bounds do not go there for their significant other. If she was this into him, how would she feel when she learns he found his Soul-Bound? She would be driven with jealously and would have killed Dziban.”

Somehow this theory clicked. When I grouped everything, I felt that something was missing, but when she said this, somewhere everything made sense. But that epiphany was just for that second before it fled.

“What makes you say this?” Taurus asked.

“Elta was not just in love with Thuban,” Cancer said. “She was borderline obsessed with him. I saw her once. Not to mention, Soul-Bounds cannot be rejected. And if that happens, the rejected doesn’t die. The bond just breaks and they part happily. If Dziban was Thuban’s friend, he would have known how much Thuban and Elta were in love. And from what you say, he does not seem like a person who would tear the happiness of their friends. So, the breaking of the bond must be mutual. Even if Thuban would let this go, would Elta let this go? If she did, what would she do if one day Thuban fell for Dziban and left her? For preventing this possibility, the only way was to remove Dziban from the picture. And how to remove a star with a light pact to the place where she lived?”

“Death,” I said. “That was the only way to remove Dziban.”

Cancer nodded. “Yes. But I guess Elta forgot Dziban was a twin star and that he housed a female soul in him or she did not know. I think that when Dziban forged a light pact with Kelp Confusion, he knew something like this would happen. Hence, he forged it with his female soul. Had he forged it with his male soul, I don’t think the Kelp Confusion would allow the murderers of his protector to live there.”

Taurus stared at her in wonder. “Who are you and what have you done with the Cancer I know?”

She snorted. “I have brains, Taurus. It’s just that you don’t have the brains to see that I have brains.”

“You mean to say that Elta is not who she is?” I asked.

Loss after loss. Betrayal after betrayal.

“I mean to say,” Cancer said. “She just portrayed a different version of herself before you. Before all of us. If what I say is true… then she is not who she appears to be. She defected a long time ago.”

“Before the Bind Wars?” I asked.

She nodded. “And she took the poison… I suspect there must be an ulterior motive to that. And Taurus putting her to sleep was something she did not expect. She was not just sleeping if I am right. She was trying to break free of the spell on her. If she was just sleeping, nothing could have woken her up. But if she was breaking the spell from within, then these three thousand years would the right time.”

Cancer’s words were terrifying. If what she said was true, then we had housed a criminal from the beginning. My back became cold and I shared a look with Taurus. After all, out of everyone here, he was the one who knew the situation the best apart from me.

We had thought of so many possibilities, but never this one. How could Elta’s heart be vile? But with her smiles that rivalled light and laughter that could dispel any darkness, how could she be like that? I saw her grow up for Chaos’ sake!

“I am just merely speculating,” Cancer said. “This could have happened, and this might not have. Be open to all the options.”

She was right. I had to think of everything. Even to the possibility that Elta might have been the one to open the gates of Kelp Confusion to the poison out. Kelp Confusion was the first place to get affected in the Bind War.

I looked at her, and she gave me a small smile. She held Lawan’s other hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. Taurus broke Allen’s chains, and the boy tumbled over and fell on the ground as if he was worshipping Taurus. The Warrior did not help him up and left him for himself.

It was then Rune and Niran’s scent became stronger. After five minutes, the two males came to this floor where we were. Upon coming, Rune’s eyes did not look anywhere but Wirat.

Unlike Lawan, who was frozen, Rune shook Wirat. “Speak something to me, you idiot! Something!”

Niran gingerly placed a hand on his mate’s shoulder. “Rune, Wirat… he is gone.”

Rune pushed Niran away. He placed two fingers over the dead carotid arteries and then his wrist. “You are not dead. You are just playing with me. You are not dead!”

My heart broke. Sean had been Rune’s friend. After him, it was Wirat and Lawan who were close to him. Wirat more so than Lawan, as the latter had been closer to Mali.

“Wirat!” Rune cried. “Wake up!”

“He’s gone,” Lawan said flatly. Then she raised her head from Cancer’s embrace, her eyes bloodshot and dead. “Wirat is dead.”

“Lawan-”

“Don’t ask a dead person to wake up,” she snarled in a low voice, exposing her neck. “You are not the only one to lose him.”

The mark on her neck was a faint scar that was healing faster than Allen’s wounds. This was killing her, but she managed to stay up. Stay alive.

“He wants you live, right?” Cancer asked in a soft voice. “He wants you to be happy, right?”

Lawan looked at the female, but the sharpness in her eyes lowered by many levels. “That… that,” she choked. “That was h-his last wish.”

Cancer smiled gently. “Then honour that wish. It is not fair for me to tell you to be alive after you lost your mate, but if you want to do it, you can do it. You can follow me.”

“You?” she whispered.

“I am Can-Carcen,” Cancer said. “A singer. I don’t mind adding another to my band.”

“Have to think,” she croaked. “Have to.”

Cancer nodded. “You wish. I will wait here until you tell me your answer. Okay? Take your time.”

Her voice was soothing to hear. That was a power stars had. To calm anyone down.

While Rune cried in Niran’s arms, I looked at Taurus. We had to go to Kelp Confusion to know what was happening. If it was anything like what Cancer said, we were in trouble.

A/N: Confession... the one to die should have been Niran... not Wirat. As I said earlier, I did not want to kill Niran. So, the one to die became Wirat.

As for Lawan... her story might continue in Cancer ;)

What do you think of Elta? Is she really innocent or what Cancer said is true?

Let’s see in the next update.

~Quill

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