The Piper and the Doll
"BITCH! Let us go!" the first man screamed. Briel merely gave him a cool look and then…
I gasped and without looking at Ariel, I knew that he had a sober look.
With three quick flicks of her wrist, Briel the third Blade Doll had sewn up the man's mouth.
"Pest," she said coldly. "Unless you want to be sliced up into tiny pieces, I suggest you hold your slimy tongues or I will do it for you."
The second man opened his mouth to say something but before he even had the chance to, two threads darted in and wrapped around his tongue, holding it still as the man struggled. But the more he struggled, the more the threads tightened to the point that thin lines of blood began flowing through the threads where they were in contact with skin.
"Beautiful Briel is known for her vicious techniques," Ariel whispered to me. "The time when she was the protector was a feared time for the enemies for she was ruthless."
I instantly felt afraid. I didn't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing for me. After all, technically, I wasn't her master. She might choose not to obey me and at the moment, Ariel was powerless to protect me from her.
I felt my heart jump when I realized that she was walking towards me. She did a surprising thing when she knelt in front of me. But then something shocked me more.
The cold look disappeared from her face and was replaced by concern and worry.
"Are you all right, Mistress?" she asked as she quickly scanned my body with her eyes. Looking at Ariel, she added, "What about you, Brother?"
Seeing the wound on his stomach, she made a gesture in the air and threads gathered around her, weaving into cloth. She quickly used this to bandage his stomach while her hands glowed. Color returned to Ariel's face and I knew that he was considerably healed already.
"Thank you, Sister," Ariel said gratefully. Briel gave him a smile and I almost gasped again.
Her smile was the loveliest smile I have ever seen.
Briel turned back to me. "Can you stand, Mistress?"
I nodded numbly and stood up with her help. The three of us faced the two men.
"What should I do with them?" Briel asked, her blank look returning.
"I want to know if they can return Ariel's powers."
The strings drew back from the second man's mouth.
"You heard my mistress," Briel said. "Answer."
The second man just laughed. "Only Calla can take that spell away! And you killed her!"
I started trembling. "Are they telling the truth?"
Briel stared at him for a moment before nodding. "He is."
"How sure are you?" I asked. This had to be a sure thing.
"He shows no signs of lying and I can detect lies," Briel answered. "Unless they are stronger than me, I will be able to tell if they are lying or not."
I was about to ask if she was sure that she was stronger than them when the answer presented itself in front of me. They are the ones tied up after all.
"I don't want to kill anyone," I said quietly, not looking at anyone. But Briel made me look at her by touching my hand.
"It is us who will be doing the killing, Mistress," she said as quietly. "Not you. Do not worry."
I stared at her. So it wasn't only being a sacrifice that was a bad thing… They also did the dirty work for us so we could live… Killing and maybe even torturing…
I paled and would've fallen if Ariel didn't wrap his arm around my waist.
"Are you all right, Piper?" Ariel asked worriedly. I was looking at Briel, though. Those haunted ancient eyes pierced me.
"You are too kind, Mistress," Briel whispered softly…
"Just like him…"
I knew who "him" was…
She moved and wrapped her hands around me. Briel was taller than me – as tall as Ariel. Placing a hand on my head, she gently urged me to rest my head on her shoulder…
Someone was screaming…
It wasn't until my throat hurt and I lost my voice that I realized…
…that agonized scream was from me.
"Briel the Third is awake…"
Mirror shards were scattered all over the warm ground as each shard reflected the hellish glow emitted by the river of fire. The sharp points of each shard all pointed towards a metal capsule.
Without warning, the shards rose and flew through the air, embedding the thick metal. As they broke into tinier pieces, the metal began to give in and a single shard penetrated.
Instantly, the attack halted.
Full, life-size mirrors surrounded the metal encasement and with a blinding flash, the metal crumbled like earth as a figure was revealed.
Any human who set eyes upon it would think it was human. Long brown hair fell almost to the hips with a curtain of hair covering the left side of his face. Beautiful yet the figure was very male with the broad shoulders, a narrow waist and strong, yet slender, limbs. He was dressed in black rags that accented the mocha color of his skin. His cheek was bleeding from a thin line that was the result of the one shard that penetrated the metal.
The mirrors closed in until they encased the figure in place of the metal.
"Chariel the Eighth."
I was still sobbing in Briel's arms when both Blade Dolls suddenly stiffened. Yet, I ignored that, still lost in my thoughts.
She ripped them apart. She bloody ripped them apart! Oh God, bloody… I don't want to see… Yet my eyes were so tempted… What would it look like…
I began feeling sick. But before I could spew out my last meal, Ariel grabbed me from Briel's arms and held me close.
"Something bad is about to happen…" he whispered, naked fear in his voice. I quickly looked up at him, confused.
"What are you talking about?" I demanded. I would have looked at Briel, only, I would've seen the torn bodies too.
But I didn't have to worry since whatever Briel's array of powers is, it included clean up. There was no evidence whatsoever. I doubted that there would even be half a drop of blood left.
"Besides the First Blade Doll, I am the only surviving Doll who is not connected to the others," Briel stated. But I gave her a blank look.
Ariel tightened his hold on me and I looked at him. "Piper, do you remember how I was not able to sense Briel approach? This is because the first three Blade Dolls are not connected to the others."
I was still confused. "What does that have anything to do with the trouble?"
"Mistress," Briel spoke, giving me a slightly nervous look. "We may not be connected to them but they are all connected to the first three Blade Dolls. That is how I was able to locate you and Ariel… A connection just snapped."
"By snapped you mean you can't sense this other Blade Doll at all anymore?" Both of them nodded. "I'm guessing it is a very bad thing…"
Briel and Ariel looked at each other. Something passed between them without words and it was Briel who spoke again.
"Besides the First Blade Doll, there are only four other remaining dolls: myself, Chariel the Eighth, Mistral the Tenth and Ariel the Eleventh."
"We just felt Chariel's presence disappear," Ariel whispered quietly.
Before I could open my mouth to speak, Briel spoke once more.
"Mistress… This should be impossible. Besides Mistral the Tenth, who is lost, the other Blade Dolls are hidden away in places that no human can survive in. Even those with magic would have to use all of their powers to live even for but a few hours. You cannot imagine what kind of place I was kept in and I am sure that Chariel would have been in an equally deadly environment. But now he is gone."
It turns out that my enemy may not be a mere human…
Is it necessary for me to say "NOT"?
Yes, I thought so.