Ch. 4 *Sakura*
It wasn’t clear as to how long I was being carried. 20 minutes, Maybe half an hour? All I was focused on were the noises happening around me. Maybe if I listened close enough, I could navigate back to my apartment after breaking free. Whoever was carrying me was definitely smart in his actions. He batted the sack around as if I were just luggage being transported from one place to another. I hit many corners of walls, and nicked against the ground a few times. It was minuscule pain, but it pissed me off.
After one last bash against a wall, I could hear the noise around me die down. I figured we had entered a house, or hideout of some sort as I was bouncing down steps. I was placed on the floor, but to my misfortune, the sack had been sealed shut with something. I heard a lock click, and a few more clicks after the initial one. If this were meant to intimidate me, it wasn’t working. It only fueled my anger.
“Release me,” I demanded. I had no idea if my voice could be heard through whatever was holding me, but I sure hoped it could.
“And so she speaks,” a deep voice spoke in an amused tone.
I didn’t know, whether it was a good idea to stay calm, or attempt to tear the hell out of the sack I was trapped in. But realizing that whoever had captured me had a good idea as to what I was and where I came from, I decided against thrashing.
“Do I need to repeat myself?”
“Why, exactly, should I listen to your commands?” the voice boomed.
“You clearly understand what I am. I don’t know why you’d want to capture me, but if you’re going to be an ass, don’t expect me to cooperate with you,” I growled.
Without saying another word, the shady being walked towards me. I felt a tug on the sack before light glimmered onto my face. I pushed myself out from the sack and glared around the room. Whoever had managed to grab me didn’t seem to want to show himself.
“Thank you,” I said to thin air.
“Not a problem, sweetheart,” the voice came from behind me.
I turned around slowly, finally laying eyes on my captor. His hair was a mix between black and white; mainly black stringiness with white highlights towards the front of his face. Two tiny horns were smiling at the top of his head and a small, golden ring hung around the right horn, which made me question what he really wanted to identify as. He was well built with a sleek face. I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t attractive. He had noticeable bright silver eyes that were rather alluring. His grey jacket seemed to be hiding a set of wings that I couldn’t see, but I wasn’t expecting him to show me them anyway. If I was naive, I’d think he was just some human, but I wasn’t stupid.
“What do you want with me?” I asked, ignoring my initial awe of his looks.
“I’d like you to help me,” he said, a faint smirk still lingering on his face.
“Help you?” I reiterated, a bit taken back. Of course it relieved me that he didn’t want to use me as a sex slave or drain me of my ice abilities, but this didn’t add up.
“Quite right,” he replied.
“Help you with what?”
“You ‘LYS’ members are hunting Buigels, am I correct?” he asked, although he seemed pretty confident in his assumption already.
“Our top ranked members are, yes,” I informed him.
“Right. Of course, you’re not the only ones on the case. I don’t know what knowledge you have on the specie, but I’m here to inform you that you’re hunting the wrong thing.”
I arched an eyebrow at his words. What did he know? “Right... And I should believe you because?”
“I’ve been after the same thing you’ve been for much longer. But that’s beside the point. Buigels are commonly confused with some other shapeshifters, so called ‘Aejins.’ Ever heard of them?” he asked sarcastically.
“You’re lying,” I growled. “Aejins have been dead for centuries. Don’t try fooling me.”
“I’m not trying to mess with you, trust me, I’m not. We all believe that their race died out back in the war against the Epsilon Galaxy. But everyone didn’t understand that Aejins could fool any soul. Don’t you realize how easy it was for them to fake death? A straggling few made it out alive, and have been building their army back to what it once was. Reproducing in secrecy, disguising themselves as Buigels and taking over smaller planets. I’ve been tracking them since the war.”
I stood there in disbelief, simply staring at the shady male. His explanation made sense, but I couldn’t come to accept it.
“Even if you are correct, how am I going to be of any help?” I asked, still annoyed at the fact that he had abducted me.
“Aejins work just like Buigels do, and I need you to lure one to me.”
“So, I’m just a decoy,” I glared at him. “You could have picked up any person from the street and used them as bait. Why me? You knew I was an elemental specifically.”
“I knew you were an LYS member that would understand what's being dealt with,” he corrected me. “What I captured you in is covered in an ancient spell lock which prevents supernatural abilities from being used.”
Feeling on edge from this information, I attempted to shoot a beam of ice at him. My assumptions were correct. He had spell locked wherever I was being held as well. I was useless down here. Looking around, I realized this wasn’t such a friendly place. The walls were made of a rusted iron, the floor was barren, and behind me were strong bars to keep me from running anywhere. But for some reason, he was in this caged off area with me.
“Smart girl, aren’t you?” he smirked, noticing my wits.
“If you wanted an LYS member’s help, there’s this thing called asking for it,” I said.
“And indeed, I did ask you for your help.”
“Asking without capturing and bringing down into a dungeon, you creep! Is it that difficult?” I raised my voice.
“I’m not sure if you’re aware, but rogues aren’t particularly liked at your famous LYS vicinity. And convincing a member to work with one is nearly impossible. I had to take precautions,” he smiled.
I grumbled under my breath, realizing it was true. Chief despised rogues, and often times had Elite members go after them just for the hell of it. It didn’t make much sense. After all, our whole organization was made up of rogues. But I suppose he preferred the ones that came to him rather than the ones who could make it on their own independently.
“So what makes you think that locking me in here will convince me? Why should I assist you?”
“Ah, darling, I know you’ve been after these shapeshifters for weeks now. You’ve been stuck, pacing back and forth with no leads, disappointing your commander. If you help me, we’d both benefit from it. And if not, well that’s your loss,” a devilish grin swept across his face.
I stood there, pondering for a long moment. I wasn’t locked in chains or anything, but it sure as hell felt like it. I was powerless down here.
“If I refuse, what’s to happen to me?” I finally initiated the question.
“Well, I suppose I could always keep you here, and the LYS could lose its valuable Gold Ranked Sakura,” he came closer to me.
I stepped back, nervous from his movement, but also frightened by the fact that he knew my name.
“Or I could simply release you back to your disappointed chief after this whole battle blows over, and guilt can seep through your skin for the next few years,” he grinned. “Your choice.”
He certainly wasn’t the violent type, which comforted me. I wasn’t going to be abused or killed, but I couldn’t make a decision. It seemed rather obvious. If I went along with him, I’d track an Aejin and please chief. But I severely wanted to do this on my own.
“Fine, then. I’ll play along with your plan. But it’d be in your best interest to release me from this place.”
“Your preference, I’m assuming?” he brushed past me to unlock the door. I shuddered at the slight touch. He was warm, but the eerie contact gave me goosebumps. “Chilly?” he glanced back with a smug look in his eyes. I froze at the glimmer emitting from his irises, their silver shade paralyzing me. What was he?
The pressing of three finger pads was all that was needed to unlock the door. It clicked and opened for the two of us. I stepped out first, to make sure he wasn’t pulling any wool over my eyes. He guided me upstairs where I found myself staring at the decor around me.
“Mind me asking where I am?” I inquired, noticing the expensive sculptures placed in an artistic manner around me. The floor beneath me seemed to be made of pure marble, though I could see my pale face staring back at me. I felt too nervous to touch anything.
“Let’s just call it my place,” he glanced at me as we walked up more stairs to the top floor.
“Let me guess. If you tell me, I’m bound to escape and then you’ll be stuck with no ‘professional’ help, yeah?” I smirked.
“You could say that,” he said as he brought me to a room near the end of the hallway. “This is a guest room. I’m assuming you’d prefer it here rather than downstairs. But do keep in mind that I keep watch over every room. It’d be in your best interest to remain here and follow what I say. I’ll treat you well if you do the same.”
I glanced inside the guest room, noting its aura that it shouldn’t be dirtied in any way, shape or form. Looking back at the shady character, I nodded.
“Right then. There’s one thing I need to know before I settle into this whole situation, though.”
“And what’s that?”
“You know my name, so tell me yours. And not some alias or fake name. I want the real thing.” I glared. He paused for a moment before glaring back at me.
“Denjo,” he replied shortly. “Denjo Galiel.”
I couldn’t help but smile at his name. For one, it sounded pretty goofy to me. I could tell he wasn’t from Earth, after all. But he also accommodated my question and answered it genuinely. That was something most evil beings did not act upon. I stared at the golden ring hung around his right horn as my smile lingered.
“Thank you, Denjo,” I said gratefully. He looked away from me for a short second before returning his gaze. Did I really just fluster him with a simple thank you?
“Tomorrow morning is when we’ll begin. Until then, I’d arrange a plan of action if you want to escape an Aejin alive,” he said before turning away and disappearing from plain sight.
Without saying another word, I entered the room hesitantly. Everything around me seemed extremely uninviting. Ignoring how uncomfortable I felt, I shut the door quietly and began to hold my temples as a forced brainstorm began.