Chapter 6: Red Assassin

Two weeks after she first began patrolling with Lyren, Slana was sitting in class with Liddie at lunch, talking.
"So, do you want to have a girls' night out? My father is kicking me out of the house tonight." Liddie asked.
Slana shook her head. "Sorry," she said regretfully, "I'm busy tonight."
Liddie gave her friend a look. "You've been really busy the last few weeks. Lyren isn't working you too hard is he? Because if he is. . ."
"No, no! I've just been helping him with some of the stuff he does. I like helping him."
"I've been meaning to ask you, what does Lyren do?"
"He designs clothes and has shops where he sells them."
"You've been helping him with that?"
Slana nodded, hating herself for having to lie to Liddie, but she'd promised Lyren. "I'm learning how to sew different ways and with different materials."
"Uh huh." Liddie said. Slana's lying, her friend thought. She certainly does suck at it. Deciding not to press the issue just yet, Liddie asked Slana about her new books, knowing that her friend could go on forever about her beloved books.
The rest of the day passed normally enough and the two headed home. Liddie came home was given money and then kicked out. Knowing there was no way she could get back inside and not particularly caring, the girl decided to spy on Slana. She'd been hiding something for weeks now and Liddie wanted to know what it was. Before she'd been Given, Slana had never kept secrets from Liddie but now that Lyren was around she was. Liddie didn't like this. Didn't like it one bit and she was going to find out what her friend was up to.
She waited until shortly before sunset, eating dinner and wandering around town. Finally at dusk she stole up to Lyren's house and hid herself by a window so she could spy inside.
At first everything was normal. They ate dinner, and then settled down to read. An hour of this made Liddie doubt her own conviction of Slana hiding something. She looked again and watched the two put away their books and Lyren head into his room. Slana went to her clothes-chest and pulled out a set of strange white robes. Robes that bore a striking resemblance to the ones Troan had said Blue Lightning's ally White Mage wore. Slana donned the robes and as if to confirm this, Blue Lightning himself came out of Lyren's room. Liddie was not a stupid girl and knew what this meant.
That's why he came that day! And now she's helping him. But where'd she learn how to do magic from? And jump like that? She'd never been able to do it before? I'll get her to tell me tomorrow, Liddie thought to herself, after watching the two of them come out of the house, jump into the air, land onto the rooftops and speed off into the night.
And so it was the next day during lunch Liddie confronted her friend in her own odd way. The pair of them were sitting outside underneath the large tree situated on the ground by the school's gate.
"So did you and Lyren have any problems last night?" Liddie remarked casually.
Slana sat bolt upright and turned to face her friend. "Problems? Why would we have problems?"
Liddie smiled. "Well," she replied stretching the word out. "I know you didn't have any problems from my father as he and his gang were holed up at my house, so I was wondering if you encountered any other problems while you were out and about last night. And don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about, I saw you."
Slana paled. "I. . .We. . . Oh Liddie!" She said before bursting into tears.
This was not what Liddie had wanted nor expected, she hugged her friend to herself. "Slana? Oh jeez I'm sorry I didn't mean to upset you I just wanted to ask you about it."
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you about it, but I promised Lyren I wouldn't tell anyone." Slana sobbed onto her friend's shoulder.
Liddie sighed. "It's alright. I'm just happy to know now. Now will you please stop getting me all wet?"
Slana's chuckle was watery. She pulled away and brushed the tears from her face.
"Now where in the world did you learn magic?"
"Books."
"Of course! And the jumping?"
Slana looked uncomfortable. "I can't tell you until I ask Lyren. Why don't you come home with me and we'll talk to him?"
Liddie nodded. "That'd be a good idea. I don't want him thinking I told you, get mad at you and then get rid of you or something."
Slana smiled slightly. "He wouldn't get rid of me. He promised he never would."
Liddie snorted, but didn't disagree with her friend. Neither of them paid much attention to their lessons, too caught up with their own thoughts.
After school they walked back to Slana's in silence. When they got there, Slana quickly whipped up some blueberry muffins and her and Liddie sat down to muffins and tea. "So where's this book you learned magic from?"
Liddie's friend pulled it off her bookshelf and showed it to her. They had their heads together, reading and discussing the book when Lyren came home. He was surprised to see Liddie there. He hadn't seen her since the night Slana had been kidnapped by her father.
Slana heard his familiar footsteps and snapped her head up. "Ummm, Lyren? Liddie. . ." she began.
Liddie cut her off. "I know your secret. Don't worry about me telling my father. I won't."
Lyren's eyes widened in shock. This was not what he'd expected. He looked at Slana who nodded before looking at her feet. "How?"
"I spied on you last night. Slana's been lying to me. She's a terrible liar if you know what to look for, so since my father kicked me out of the house yesterday and decided to find out what she was hiding. I do have to say that I never even dreamed that it was you two."
Lyren sighed. Things were getting complicated. "What do you want to know?"
"Everything." Liddie replied earnestly. And so Lyren began the explanation and when it came to the part about her, Slana took up the conversation. Liddie was quite surprised by some of it and knew quite a bit about other parts.
"I still don't understand how you get your abilities." The girl admitted once they had finished.
Lyren looked ill at ease. "I know you don't approve of your father's criminal actions, but if this gets out. . ."
"I swear by everything and anything you want me to not to breathe a word of this to another living being!"
Lyren sighed. "It is the material. It refuses to be worked except in the way it wishes. It is what gives us our abilities."
Liddie's eyes got big and round with amazement. "That's so cool!" she said. "I can understand why you don't want anyone knowing. I shudder to think what my father would do if he found out."
"See that he doesn't. Now I assume he does not know you are here and will be worried so may I ask that you run along home?" Lyren phrased it as a request but it was an order and Liddie knew it.
"Bye Slana. I'll see you tomorrow." She said before heading home.
Days went by without anymore mention of White Mage and Blue Lightning, but the more Liddie thought about it, the more she realized she wanted to follow Slana and Lyren out. She wanted to stop her father from doing criminal things and helping the two of them was the perfect way to do it. And so a week and a half after her discussion with Lyren and Slana she was once again spying on them.
Liddie waited until they were out of sight before sneaking inside and searching Lyren's room. It took her half-an-hour to find the loose floorboard it was hidden under. She took a piece large enough to create a full suit with and then snuck back to her house.
It wasn't until she was safely locked in her room that she got a good look at the material she'd stolen. Instead of Lyren's blue leather or Slana's white silk, she had some strange blood red material that was very thin and stretchy. Shrugging her acceptance, Liddie began working the material without thinking about it, just as Slana had described. She worked all night, too excited to see what it was going to look like to stop and go to sleep.
Dawn was just beginning to make its appearance over the horizon, when Liddie finished. Her suit looked more like Lyren's then Slana's but it was different. The whole thing was tight and fit like a second skin. A full red body suit. It wasn't going to do much about lessening a blow but since Liddie used knives in a hit and run style she didn't much mind. As with the others' it had something to conceal her identity. A small mask that fit over her eyes unlike Lyren's half-face mask or Slana's veil.
Grinning, Liddie hid the suit under her own loose floorboard and decided she was going to skip school today. She was tired and wanted to be awake when she followed Lyren and Slana that night.
And so as soon as dusk fell, Liddie slipped on the suit and out slipped outside, heading towards Lyren's house, practicing jumping and moving as she went.
The first few nights neither Blue Lightning nor White Mage got into any trouble and so Liddie was getting bored with trailing them. It wasn't any fun if she couldn't help. The next night her father set up an ambush for them. Gleefully, the girl threw herself into the fight, keeping to the edges and leaving a trail of small wounds behind her.
But when Lyren was completely surrounded, she heard a scream and looked up to see Slana being cornered by five men. A cold fury lit inside her chest. She wasn't going to let anyone hurt her friend. Jumping up onto the rooftop, she slammed into the nearest man, stabbing him in the back before launching herself at another one and slitting his throat. The cold fury kept her from feeling any remorse for the men she killed. After all they'd threatened her friend. Liddie killed a third and looked around for more but Slana had dealt with the other two.
"You alright?" Liddie asked, worry overcoming her fury now that all the attackers were down.
"Liddie?!?! What are you doing here and how. . ." Slana almost shouted, before stating quietly. "You used the material and followed us. You really shouldn't have."
"I want to stop Dark Mage." Liddie said in case anyone nearby was listening. Slana sighed. A few minutes later a blood stained Lyren appeared. When he saw Liddie he groaned.
"I should never have told you!" he cried.
Liddie smiled slightly. "No you shouldn't have, but it's too late now. Besides if I hadn't been here Liddie would be either dead or very hurt, neither are states I want her in. And don't think you can stop me. I'll follow you every time. It'll be easier on all of us if you just let me come with you."
Lyren rolled his eyes. "Looks like we don't have a choice." Slana said and the three of them headed back to Lyren's house where Slana cared for Blue Lightning's wounds and sent Liddie home.
The next day the city was alive with the rumours of the latest hero going around. Red Assassin she was called and ran with Blue Lightning and White Mage. People began speculating about other people joining. After all hadn't there been two new addition to Blue Lightning's team?