Reia-chan: Hurray!!! xDDD I finally did it! I finally posted it!!! It was a long wait, isn't it? . I'm so sorry!!! Here's the next chapter anyway! Hope you enjoy the uber weirdness of it. Oh yeah, it's a bit longer. It's all because in the first part, there are 2 POVs: Cyle and Rya's. So at least you'd know what's happening on either side and, of course, to add more action and drama. Nyahaha! Time to read!
Legend of Legiada: Of Tales and Legends
:: Chapter 5::
The Hierophant : Part 1
"So dark…" a voice said.
"Within darkness, there'll always be light…" another voice spoke.
"… You'll find light from your miseries."
Lying on a comfortable bed, Rya rested. From the window, the cool breeze slid on the young girl's fragile face. Her body had been exhausted from all the things that had happened yesterday and from a sudden fever that arose. She looked calm in her sleep; No nightmare seemed to have threatened her. There came a warm touch over her forehead that soothes her within. It woke her up from her sleep. She slowly opened her eyes to find out what it is.
"Your fever's gone," said the silhouette. The hand on her forehead left the frail body and Rya followed it with her glance. "Eat this first then go back to rest. An empty stomach is no good," the voice continued.
"Mother??" The wakened child suspected, rubbing her eyes to see clearer the image of the person.
"Hey! Cut that out, stupid!" the tone of the voice suddenly became annoyed.
Her sight finally cleared. And to her realization, it was actually Cyle she was staring at.
"Is it really you, Cyle?" Rya's eyes started to dampen.
"And who else do you think I am? Mother? Hmph!" the young knight said sharply.
Before the boy could place the bed-table before her, the girl abruptly hugged him by his waist. Tears streaked down off her eyes. Her hands clasped tightly over his tidy white blouse. It was hard for her to show the extreme happiness she felt inside. Hugging him was the only way she could express greatly at that moment.
Cyle raised one of his eyebrows and told her, "Yes, I'm ok… Now, would you mind taking your arms off me? You're the one who's not in good shape right now."
The girl released her hands off him, "Ehehehe. It's ok! They're just scratches!" She smiled.
He pondered suspiciously at her, "That's what you think… but not to me…" He poked continuously one of Rya's bruise and it made the young girl twitch. The hand then stopped poking.
The girl pouted silently and glared at the juvenile boy's cruel action. The bed-table was placed before her and the meal was laid next.
"I want you to eat," he said as he Rya's food, which was a bowl of oatmeal, a banana, and a glass of warm milk.
As he was setting up her breakfast, Rya was staring at him. She pondered every action he did as she wondered about his sudden change of attitude towards her. She recalled the time they were at the school's rooftop, and because she just said something wrong, he injured her that he flung her body to the ground and caused her a broken arm. The pain she felt, she remembered. She thought of every detail of it and it all circulated within her mind. But at that time, his action was a huge question mark in her head. She thought, "I wonder why…"
The boy then noticed her staring at him, and this disturbed him, "Will you quit staring at me like that?"
But instead of glancing away in shame, Rya even looked straight at him in the eyes, softly saying, "I have a question…"
The boy seriously stared back at her, wondering.
"… Why are you suddenly doing this?" she continued.
Turning his gaze back into Rya's meal, he continued fixing. He replied, "It's because you're the CORE bearer. You hold the destiny of Legiada. And it's now my obligation to prevent anything bad to happen in our world… That is all…"
"I see." She somehow felt that there was something deeper than that. But the young girl just let it pass, assuming that there's no use asking if her really didn't want to tell her.
The bluish-green-eyed boy finished arranging the utensils she was going to use. He held the tray at one hand and instructed her, "You won't be going to school today."
"When I say you won't be going, you won't," he said calmly but sharply.
Rya went silent. But despite her meekness, she was still eager to go to class. Despite the sudden lack of words, she was still willing to study. It was not in her character to skip a lesson for she made a promise to someone special, Sayaka.
"Just call Hanami-san when you're done," Cyle lastly said.
"Sure," she slightly smiled.
Hesitating to leave her, he gave her one final look before leaving the room. He then shut the door closed and sighed; his hand, still holding on the doorknob. Turning away from the door, he was been surprised by the second knight, who was standing before him.
"So, how is she?" Rath asked suddenly standing there.
Cyle almost jerked out when he found the older boy standing in front of him, knowing that he had left him down at the living room. After a few seconds of calming down, the younger boy gave the older one a suspicious look then replied, "The fever's gone but I told her to rest."
"Would it be all right to see her condition?" the taller boy asked seriously.
"No," monotonously said the first knight. He passed by the red-haired boy, going down the stairs with one hand in his pocket. As he was descending the stairs, he remembered Rameses, the mysterious student who handed Rya to him. The words he said about his duty as a knight rang in his head.
They were not encouraging words; They were ominously spoken. His words were trying to emphasize on something that Cyle wasn't aware about - trying to give hint that danger was already on its way.
Sensing that Cyle was spaced out, Rath gave him a pat on his back, though it seemed more of a push to the other CORE knight. He asked him at the same time, "You ok?"
To this, the younger knight almost fell. It was good though, that the boy still had enough presence of mind to snap out of his trance and to regain his balance. Avoiding the accident, he turned back to the boy who thrust him and gave him a cold glare, "Of course I am. Just thinking of something…" He murmured the last sentence to himself.
After Cyle and Rath left about half an hour ago, Hanami went to Rya's room to pick up the utensils the young girl had used.
She knocked on the door and asked, "Rya-chan, may I come in?"
But there was no answer. The calm maiden knocked again but still no reply came. Assuming Rya was already asleep, she opened the door and quietly went in. She found what she had came for on the sideboard but didn't find the young child anywhere. She pondered this mystery curiously. As she was about to pick up the utensils, she felt the breeze from the nearby window. The windows were open. Thinking that Rya flee away to school, the black-dressed maid got worried, swiftly taking the utensils off the table. She restlessly left the room to inform right away the situation to the doctor and the father.
"… Please solve this problem in your computers using the Pythagorean Theorem…" the professor said as he wrote down a few equations on the whiteboard.
Everyone was preoccupied with solving the given problem except the troubled boy. Cyle wasn't paying attention to what the professor had just said. His thoughts were occupied by uncertain matter of things and events. He was still thinking about what Rameses earlier told him.
The boy had so many questions with him, "Who is that guy anyway? Why is Rya with him? If he's a friend, then that would mean Rya's not really a lone person after all. But his eyes… and the words he spoke… they were sharing one meaning…"
One hand was propping his head while the other kept pressing a single button in the keyboard. He started to tap his foot against the floor as he felt uneasy. Rya's smiling image suddenly appeared in his thoughts.
"Urgh, I really don't like her. Why am I supposed to protect a girl like her? Perky and annoying…" He sighed. "… But I have no choice. The people's lives in Legiada depend on her. Or even, the life of Legiada rests within her. It would be like defiling my ancestor's honor."
Suddenly, something outside caught his glance. There was somebody near the school gates and he recognized that person right away. It was the CORE bearer. Cyle squinted his eyes and looked at her disapprovingly.
The young CORE bearer was standing in front of the school entrance. Rya bent down on her knees and panted. "Finally… I'm… here… Better… move…….. quickly…" she said at every breath she took.
Her body was exhausted but her mind could still handle the pressure. She tried to stand straight and to walk. Though still recovering from her wounds, she still insisted to go in even though she's already late for class. Small drops of sweat started to emerge from her face and slowly crawled down.
The young knight walked down the hallway towards the elevator. Though he told the professor that he was going to the restroom, his real intentions were to get on the elevator that he supposed Rya would use so he could stop her and send her back home. He pulled out a small black wireless earphone from his pocket and placed it over his right ear. He then pushed a tiny button on it. He said, "Seven, one, five, one, six, seven, seven."
He was trying to call home. A soft voice then spoke on the other line, "Hello? Shirou residence. How may I help you?"
Recognizing the voice, he replied, "Hanami-san, it's Cyle. Will you send the driver over here for me? It's an emergency."
"Yes sir," she promised. "Oh and by the way young master, I've got bad news. Rya is…"
He interrupted her, "I know. She's here. Also send William and the others along with the driver."
"Yes, young master. I will."
Cyle hanged up and tucked away his mobile phone back in his pocket. He ran into one of the elevators he spotted on his left and amply took it down to the first floor. While it descended, the boy stood impatiently. It was about time. His emotions were fighting within him as he prepared for his speech once he caught up with the disobedient girl.
"How stubborn she is," he muttered to himself. But then, it made him realize that he was slowly becoming concerned of her in a different way. He shook away the thought and denied the feelings that were starting to build up within him.
His reverie was interrupted and his attention was caught when the elevator lights suddenly went off.
"Is it a blackout?" Cyle wondered.
A cold shudder suddenly traveled up his spine as he felt an evil aura surrounding the atmosphere. The room was too silent, giving a feeling of suspense. Hearing a small eerie creaking noise, he narrowed his eyes and spun around the area as he raised his guard. The knight generated his sword from his right hand and gripped it tightly before him. Suddenly, the lights went back and everything seemed all right. But right when the elevator gave a light shake, there was something wrong. The young boy felt that the elevator was instead moving upward. Cyle was pissed off as he watched the numbers above the exit flashed.
Someone was playing with him.
The elevator stopped with a bell, indicating that it had reached its destination. Assuming that the enemy would reveal himself before him once the door opens, Cyle lowered his sword to his side, preparing for his first strike. But the door still refused to slide open, making the boy a bit doubtful and giving him the feeling of something not right was going on.
The boy thought that the enemy would want him to open the door for him so the latter would be able to strike him first. This made Cyle consider the only alternative strategy, being in a guard position. He readied himself then pressed the button to open the way.
The door slowly opened, revealing an orange-haired boy standing a few meters away from him. The young knight recognized the familiar face boasting a mischievous smile.
It was Rameses. And without his glasses, it made him identical to the mage who attacked Cyle and Rya previously at the playgrounds.
"So you're really one of them!" the young knight exclaimed.
"She'll be ours," the other boy said menacingly.
Cyle was about to lunge forward to attack Rameses when the latter smirked. A strong force came out of him, sending the knight like a sheet of paper easily blown by the wind against the wall behind him. The brunette moaned as his back and the wall clashed. Then dropping the sword, he moaned as he felt the impact of the ground. Humiliation came to him for you must be good when you came from a noble family; he thought he was useless and was a disgrace to his ancestors. The pain he felt was not physically but emotionally. He didn't want Sayaka to see him like that. To be strong was what Cyle wanted to prove to her; He wanted to be qualified as a knight of the CORE. Though his body ached, he attempted to raise it nonetheless.
"Good-bye. Too bad you'll die without even protecting the CORE bearer. Such a shame," Rameses taunted.
The doorway was slowly closing in, creating a barrier between him and psychic boy.
He threw his sword towards the shrinking opening, attempting to retain that small gap remaining. Nevertheless, his sword bounced off of it when the door completely closed on him.
"Damn it!" he cursed.
The ground started to shake. And it was harder than the previous one. Cyle started to worry more about the unseen fate that he would befall than the pain he felt both physically and mentally. And it even made him more worried as the thought that it was a trap laid beforehand crossed his mind.
The elevator suddenly and hastily descended, pushing Cyle's body up towards the ceiling. It made him groan in pain again as his back hit it.
"If I don't get out of here, I'll surely be smashed down to pieces. I can't die… not yet," he thought.
The young boy found a small hatch near his left arm which he considered as a probable escape way. Willing his sword to emerged out of his left hand, he used the base end of the weapon to nudge the door open. Air swept immediately inside as the young boy quickly slid himself into the opening. His feet struggled for balance as he was trying to stand on top of the device. Saving his self before the elevator crashes down, he jumped towards the steel ladder that he immediately found clinging unto the wall. His hands grabbed tightly unto the bars and his feet searched for a ground in the form of one of the steel steps below him. Terrorized, Cyle puffed hard, trying to catch his breath. Upon hearing the crash sound under his feet, the boy glanced back at the dark infinity below him. Soon afterwards, the young boy slowly pulled himself up to the nearest door. He climbed up even though his aching body was in the way. He finally reached the exit door and tried to open it with his only weapon, creating a small gap between the doors. The knight then used his bare hands, generating a way that he can pass through. As the opening widened, a silhouette surrounded by a blinding light was standing before him. Slowly, the image became clearer, revealing a tall boy whose head had the color of a rose. Cyle immediately recognized him.
"Rath!" he exclaimed.
"Cyle, what are you doing there???" the red-head wondered, holding a glowing ofuda near his chest.
But as soon as he saw the younger boy's situation, Rath quickly moved towards him and gave him a hand.
"Thanks," Cyle said as he got up and back on the ground. After a few seconds of rest, he remembered Rya. He yelled as he looked around, "Rya! Where's Rya!?"
The older boy smirked and said, "Just as I thought."
"What do you mean?" he eyed the other boy.
Rath showed him the shining ofuda he was been holding and said, "This ofuda can tell the direction of an evil aura and where it is the strongest. And right now, it can sense one around this area. We'll find the mage along with Core Bearer with this."
"So, any idea where they are right now?"
Carrying an aching body with her, the CORE bearer walked lamely her way towards the two elevators ahead the department's glass door. But before her finger could press the button, she noticed something suspicious.
"Huh?? Was the elevator moved to the right??," she thought. "Hmm…"
But Rya ignored the uncertainties when the thought of missing out lessons rushed in her mind. She anxiously and immediately pressed the button then waited until the device at the right side finally opened its door. Dashing in was the only typical thing to do. The entrance sealed up after her, and, unbeknownst to her, slowly it dissipated, altering back into a wall, as the original elevator at the left side of the other gradually appear. The young girl knew nothing bizarre was happening as the device brought her up.
Rya waited patiently, straightening her body to the best posture as possible. Her eyes stared eagerly at the black screen above the door as numbers appear, rising in sequence. She stood near before the entrance to prepare her departure once the elevator opened its door for her. But to her surprise, it didn't stop; It passed by the floor she was supposed get off. The young girl wondered from the creepiness of the malfunction of the machine; She blinked twice.
"Is this broken or something??" she thought worriedly, smiling ironically. A sweat slid down her face as she prayed, "I hope not."
She pressed the button of the next probable level to where the elevator could stop. Again, she readied herself, assuming that it would halt. But when that floor came, the elevator just left it behind as it kept on going up until it surpassed the building's max floor. Unidentified random signs then appeared on the screen.
"What's going on?!" Rya pressed frantically on the 'open door' button but her efforts were futile. She tried opening the metal door with bare hands even though she knew it'd be impossible for her to do so. And still nothing happened.
Huge sweat drops gradually appear on her face. Her energy slowly drained away from her body, making her weaker and weaker by the second. Rya's knees felt worn out and her body felt exhausted, causing the young girl to fall helplessly on the cold ground. She turned back to the screen. Still, the symbols that she couldn't decipher blinked unsystematically.
She breathed slowly. "This is just not ordinary… Could it be a Mage's doing?" she thought. "I'm really tired. I should have just stayed at home."
Miraculously, the exit finally opened. Rya joyously jumped to her feet and set herself to move on like her energy was rejuvenated. But when her eyes saw the mysterious creepy darkness before her, her body fell paralyzed.
"Scary… I can't see anything at all," she softly said. "I have no choice but to move on. I just hope there are no ghosts in there."
She made the sign of the cross then dashed towards the engulfing shade. She made one last look back at the elevator but it dissipated into thin air. Her only choice at that time was to move forward. She firmly closed her eyes and started to scurry away.
As she was running, she thought, "I wonder where I am. I don't think there's a place like this that's above our building. How will I find my way back??"
Only the sound of her echoing footsteps could be heard, making it more disturbing as she continued. Darkness surrounded everything as well as the frigid atmosphere.
Rya cried out, "Hello? Anyone there??" Her voice echoed but no one replied back to her. "Hehe, silly me. Of course, no one would probably be in this cold dark place."
The young girl's foot gradually slowed down as she noticed that not a single sign was given to her. She felt like she had been walking around for hours in an empty space. She even thought that she had probably been roaming around in circles like she was lost. Definitely she was.
"I want to go back," she whispered to herself. Bitter memories flashed in her mind. She tightly sealed her eyes and cupped her ears. She didn't want to remember. She didn't want to hear the words. "Oh, Cyle…"
Rya sat on her heals as tears slowly dripped off her face. She could hardly move. The images and words kept on repeating in her thoughts - pictures that she couldn't but wish to be sealed away. Fear was pulling her down.
"There's always light within darkness…"
Her dream passed by her thoughts. She remembered a line that somebody said and this encouraged her.
"I must find the light. I mustn't give up," she told herself. She temporarily erased the unwanted memories of the past. "I know I can do it. I can find my way out of here. I know because despite the hardships in my way, I'm still living. I'm learning and enjoying my life."
The young CORE bearer rubbed off the tears from her face. And as she stood slowly, her elbows accidentally nudged a mysterious object and a huge crashing sound came after. Light cubic objects stumbled over her. She fell back on the ground not due to the falling objects' weight but because these boxes came to her one after another.
"Aww…" she moaned as she rubbed her painful behind.
A tune then caught the attention of her ears. It was a soft melody.
"What is that??" she wondered.
The tender music filled the room. Touched by sadness and angst expressing a memory of regret, it was like playing a story of someone's past to those who hears it so the people would knew about their dreadful fate and mourn with them. The song was begging for understanding and love; That someday others would empathize them and appreciate who they are.
Slowly being drawn by the sound, Rya was spellbound by it. Her curiosity towards the overwhelming musical object helped her snap herself out of her trance. She felt over the boxes and set them aside. Trying to look for that mysterious item that continued to play and seemed to be inside those old cartons that fell on her, she rummaged around. The sound was getting near and she could hear it in one of them. Her hand opened it, dug in and felt something different inside. Despite the darkness of the room, her eyes could still see fragments of the figure of the object, which was in her hand.
"A music box," she whispered.
Silver metal was used to craft the container that was standing on four feet and small carvings were applied to design the outside. There were also white silvery crystals in different sizes above the container and a keyhole at the middle front of it. The maker probably put all of his efforts into creating that precious object seeing how well it was designed.
The music then stopped. The young girl's hand started to search for the key-winder around the outside of the silver box and found it underneath. She twisted it a few times then the music box begun playing again.
She smiled, appreciating the melody, "Such gentle tones. So sad that you're left here alone in this room."
"Not if I'm here," a sinister voice spoke.
"Who's there?!" Rya's eyes darted open as she spun around the supposed-to-be-empty room.
"Hi there, Rya!" an orange haired boy offered a friendly smile.
"Rameses!!!" she gladly exclaimed. "How did you get here?"
The young boy slowly took off his glasses, revealing his face to her. The girl was stunned as her eyes were stuck on his familiar features.
"You…You are that boy that attacked us the other night!" she stepped back, trembling.
"Too bad you just found out," the arrogant boy smirked. "But there are more hidden interesting facts. Want me to share it to you? Before you dissipate?"
"D-Dissipate???" the girl trembled more.
He started, "Not only that I hid from you of me being a Mage, but I'm the one who really killed the young knight's mother, Sayaka Shinobuki."
Her eyes widened as she gasped. Her body stood frozen.
"It started when we planned to search for the CORE here on earth. I then knew that that lady was the one behind everything. She was the reason why we can't feel the presence of the goddess' aura. We burned your apartment but found out that she was not inside. She made things complicated as she had those 'foretelling' powers blest on her. But when I found out that you were the only one living with her, I assumed that you are the child that she had been protecting. And indeed you are the CORE bearer," the boy said.
Rameses moved towards her. Rya was about to run away when a magnetic force sealed her movement. She panicked, "What's happening?!? I can't move my body!" She tried to struggle but to no avail.
"Also, it was very interesting when I found out that one of the predestined knights was the new student everyone was crazy about. And at the same time, the son of the one who nursed you," he said, now standing just about a few more meters from her. "So young and ignorant… Had lost his mother due to innocence…"
"Why are you doing this?! I thought you were my friend! You even saved me from Kyouka and the others!" she yelled.
"Friend? Who said we're really friends?" He laughed in ridicule. "It was all just a show for me to get closer to you so I can easily get the CORE's soul out from you. Everything is just fitting in its rightful places."
"How… could you…" the young girl's hair shadowed her face as bead-like water dripped down on the floor. "… Playing with people's emotions. Manipulating them!"
"It's all to end everyone's suffering," the pleased mage lightly placed his two fingers on her forehead.
Suddenly, an emblem appeared on her forehead before bursting out a blinding light.
----- To be continued -----
Reia-chan: horror piano effects Wooo... what was that?? What's going to happen on the next chapter? Oo Cyle, Rath, hurry up and save Rya!! I don't want the story to just end like that!!... Hmmm... I wonder when the other two knights will appear. -- Same with the other mages... sings Cyle likes Rya! Cyle loves Rya!!! xDDD Don't deny it! Ewww... incest! xDDD
Rya left home even if she still needed rest. After having all that weird ride in the elevator and a few incidents, she realized that the mage and Rameses was just one person. As for Cyle, she was starting to become Rya's true knight. But he still needs to prove it after being humiliated by Rameses.
Next Chapter: "The Hierophant Part 2"
- A chapter for Rameses. His background or memory would be revealed in this chapter…