A Secret Meeting
It was not this ruse that had caused her uneasiness, but the one she had been apart of in the not so distant past.
One year earlier
She had been surprised by this communication, this sudden call to a phone whose original owner was long dead and whose number was possessed only by a select few. It was to be used for emergencies only, an encrypted number that could connect anywhere, anytime, in almost anything. The phone had been rung a single time before and that was shortly before the death of a loved one, it was the last time she heard their voice: Te quiero mucho.
It was poetic, a beautiful final words of goodbye from one family to another. In truth he could not have asked for anything better, true the loss of a loved one is painful beyond measure, she argues that many do not get the chance to exchange final words--her father certainly did not. Still with that loss, the one who was on the other end of the line gave a mix of emotions. She did not know how to respond aside from:
"How are you?"
The other end of the line drew a long pause, not because of a surprise of answer, nor that the phone's owner picked up, rather there was a large amount of difficultly in speaking in general.
"I could...be...better..." They finally said in slow, "But...that...may not...be...possible..."
She hesitated at hearing those words, having looked at the television and seen the one being portrayed and the one she listened to were very different. Pulling away from the occupied room, she went down the hallway and towards the unoccupied room, unofficially sealed away from everyone in the household aside from her.
"What can I do? Where are you?" She asked at last, brushing the thin layer of dust from older works of business and study.
"Hei...will bring you...to me..."
The youngest immortal paused, trying to make sense of something that made none. She found another number, one she was sure to answer her question.
"I'll be there soon!" She promised
The one on the other end had their voice tremble, "Don't...make a promise...you won't keep..."
The line went dead.
Despite what other thought of her; abilities and presence; she was smarter and more observant than they realized. Having listened and watched from afar, recognizing the different people the King met with, placing them under her own sense of control and using them without their awareness. This was how she kept people she cared about safe, without disobeying the King and without leaving her loved ones to be slaughtered. Finishing preparations, she left her home, a problem none seeing as the King was out and the guest was otherwise engaged. She went to the Mask-Maker an immortal she knew little about, but knew of her oddly well and agree to make a special trip to see her in his long-vacant studio.
"With such little time you gave me, there was little I could do to personalize it." Hei apologized, handing over a thin wooden mask with a strap on its back to the young woman.
The mask fit snug and comfortable around her face, carved to have its own face on her face. A creamy white, the mask had a beautiful detail of bright color; blue lined the eye sockets, a mix of pink and light blue painted the top left of her mask with hints of darker blue scales as a pattern. It was a beautiful mask and she was in awe of this work of art done in "such little time".
"Thank you." She offered a payment, but Hei declined as it was a gift.
As the mask was secured in place she asked the begging question, "Where?"
Hei nodded, but his expression was not of satisfaction of this knowledge. Their travel had them go not far, a mere couple-hour flight to Germany, the next location of the assault.
"I must warn you." Hei cautioned, "In light of how things have escalated...the others are no longer with us, now I'm the only one left willing to stay beside her."
The aged immortal sad with a grim expression. He continued, "Everyday I see more and more light leave her eyes and I fear if this continues her mind will surely break and there will be nothing left of the one we all knew."
The younger mumbled, "I'm certain there is still 'something' there, otherwise she wouldn't have called me."
Hei bit his lip before speaking again, "Don't be so sure, of the reason she asked you here."
The building was abandoned, falling apart, but it was obvious this building did not suffer this fate to the test of time. This building was only a few years old, burning with the smell of burnt flesh and littered with human and vampire remains. A top the roof, standing and staring up to the burning sky stood the unmistakable person that was the One-Eyed Reaper.
She had not paid mind to their presence, not because she did not notice them, but because she did not care anything that proved no threat to her was ignored and eventually put out of her mind completely. By doing this, she was able to ensure that innocent people involved would not be killed by her action.
"Reaper." Hei called out, knowing that is all she would acknowledge anymore, "Any survivors?"
The One-Eyed Reaper glanced behind her, then vanished, appearing in front with her arms holding an unconscious child. The new masked company hesitated at the sudden movement, feeling an instinctive fear in the presences of this immense darkness. This was nothing like she thought she would feel when coming face to face with the One-Eyed Reaper.
"I was not...fast enough..." She said in drenched sadness, "I...could only...save him."
A child. A living breathing child was handed over to Hei as he took the boy, no older than seven into his arms.
"Its not your fault, its impossible to save everyone." Hei touched the Reaper's shoulder, who remained unmoved, "You know that."
The youngest immortal could not believe what she was witnessing--the One-Eyed Reaper was a bringer of death, killing thousands of people of the Hunter's Association, said to be the one butchering entire families for her revenge. Why is the reality of it so different than their information? Was this a trick, an attempt to make her believe in a just Reaper? No surely, not, otherwise she would not have been called here--this was real, this was the truth, and what everyone else believed was a fabricated lie--his lie.
"What...what the hell is going on--I thought you--!"
"Were butchering entire families?" Hei stated, inspecting the child for further injuries, "I'm afraid reality is quite different from the illusions perpetuated by Syndicate and the King."
The Reaper reached to caress the child's head and the visitor saw an expression of weariness and lifelessness in those eyes. She walked passed Hei and the visitor, having caught the presence of another threat long before they did.
"Go." The Reaper ordered.
Hei motioned for the visitor to follow and from high above, far away from the battlefield and yet still able to see the strength and feel the power of the One-Eyed Reaper.
"Do you see now?" Hei asked, "The reality of this world:"
They watched her fight against the vampires, watched her be cut, beaten, and broken and yet remain unwavering. Her flames break out, incinerating dozens at once; those flames swirled around her, wings cause them to grow and increase in heat. Another appeared, a bronze-skinned woman possessing an eerie red weapon. She spoke, but neither Hei nor the visitor could hear what was said; Hei had an unsettling feeling about that woman, about the weapon made from her blood, especially from the fact she was with the forces of Syndicate.
"Who is that?" The visitor asked as her and the Reaper engaged in combat.
"That...is going to be a problem." Hei growled, "One you will help remedy. You wonder why you were called here: its for your gift; she needs you to lift the weight on her heart and make it that she will not hesitate--in order to save, she must not have attachment."