"I really must see Aqua."
"It's really early in the morning, I doubt—"
"Please, this is urgent."
"... Okay then. Just tell me your name and I'll send someone to call her."
"Mather. My name is Mather."
"Got it. Wait here, sir." Jayden gestured for him to take a seat, sending one of the room services up to Aqua's room. He rested against the front desk and surveyed the guest, unable to figure him out.
His clothes were rugged, protected with a thin dented armor. He bounced his leg in impatience, seemingly disturbed. Both of his hands raised to ruffle his hair, coming to a halt when the clinking sound of heels against marble caught his attention.
He promptly got off from his chair and bowed, which made Jayden furrow his eyebrows.
Aqua's stomach tied in ten different knots at the sight of Mather. Yesterday night ended in the worst way possible.
She failed her mission.
She wasn't in the right state to kill Allen. Igujin's sudden appearance didn't encourage her, and her focus had completely shifted to Jayden's friend. Even though she promised Aurelia she'd avenge her, she couldn't, and that had her a bit frustrated with herself. Not that she cared one bit about her mother's unfulfilled wish; it was her pride telling her she failed such a stupid mission. "What is it? What brought you here?"
"I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, this morning, your mother was pronounced dead." He kept his head down, refusing to meet Aqua's eyes. They were sure to be sparkling with sadistic joy.
She straightened her posture, "Are you... serious? How? How did you find out?"
"No one saw her. She only left two notes on her bed yesterday. One for Rivandia and the other for you." He handed her the unopened envelope, watching her tear it and skim through it, her face a mask to her emotions.
I will abandon the castle tonight. By dawn, I'll be by Rivandia's highest mountain, leaving my life behind.
I entrusted you to kill Allen and now I can leave the Earth assured. But I want to walk along the bridge to my next life assured as well.
My book. Take care of it.
I've spent my whole life coming up with each and every curse in that damned thing. It's written with my own blood, and it's the one thing I was willing to take with me if I possibly could.
So I need you to keep it safe because knowing your nasty self, it would probably be put to use.
I hate you, kid, it's no secret. But I wish you the best in this world.
Aqua balled up her hands, the paper crunching beneath her fingers. "That's it?" She gritted out. "She threw away her life like that? Does she even know how long I waited to kill her myself?"
Mather was taken aback at her reaction. He always knew Aqua and Aurelia had the toughest of relationships, but he never guessed it'd be to the point where a plan like that would be existent. "You... wanted to kill her?"
She looked him up and down. "It was going to be my birthday gift. Ugh, damn you—you selfish witch." She threw the paper to the floor and let out a meek sigh. "Whatever."
Jayden, from afar, regarded her with disbelief, unable to process how someone could bear such a cruel heart, especially towards a member of their own family. Whoever Aqua was, he guessed she must’ve been terribly bruised. She must’ve gone through something that molded her into who she became today. But no matter how hard he tried to think up a background of her past, he couldn’t. Even with the help of the faint image Igujin once had him face upfront.
He didn't remember much of it. Only that Aqua was crouched on the ground, her clothes stained, with three paupers lifeless before her. With that knowledge, he could barely make something up. It was of no help to figure her out.
She turned to Jayden, pausing for a short moment to collect her thoughts. The sole idea of retrieving that book completely shadowed her mind. Just having something as powerful as those blood-stained papers at the very tips of her fingers appealed to her. With no time to think things through, she knew she had to act right away.
And Jayden will definitely be coming. Because encountering pain at a moment where her whole attention should be directed to Rivandia, is the last thing she'd need.
She glanced him up and down, only after their eyes met did she speak, "You're coming with me."
Rivandia was done for.