A small crowd is gathering nearby. Some elite students have just finished having dinner at north hall and have come here to watch one of their own leaving the academy under such an unusual incident.
The boy sighs. He is too late to give the get-well-soon card he made to the
The boy had hope that this act, done in full view of the various injured Ouroboros members that he and Synnove had sent into the infirmary, would discourage those fuckers from attempting any further harm on the boy’s acquaintances.
The boy looks down at the get-well-soon card he is holding in his left hand. He had spent around 10 minutes writing and rewriting the words in the card. He originally wanted to inscribe ‘All’s well that ends well’, but consider it to be extremely poor taste to the memories of Joze’s stepmother and her child. Which is why he scrapped that idea and wrote ‘Hope you’ll be up and running in no time’ with a smiley face in the end.
Rolfe Primero meanwhile had drawn 2 pictures on her side of the card. One is a picture of a kitten hanging from a branch with the caption 'Hang in there, baby' inscribed underneath it. The other drawing was a picture of a sad-looking cat with the words “I made you a muffin but I eated it” in its dialogue bubble. The boy suspects the grammatically incorrect word is intentional… and that the drawing was aimed more at the boy than Joze.
“No, you’re not sorry at all.” murmurs the smiling boy while he studies Rolfe’s pictures. The diligent student really has a talent for drawing. Her sense of humor meanwhile leaves much to be desired, although the boy feels the fault lies on his own lack of understanding of them.
The boy suddenly looks up as he feels somebody is watching him. He notices a handsome smartly-dressed young man standing besides the carriage is staring at him.
Impressive, the boy thinks. To have detected me at this distance and under these conditions. The boy is leaning against a huge tree, relying on the large shadow it casts to provide him with cover, and in a moonless night such as this, the boy would be hard to spot unless you know where to look.
The boy knows the young aide is a personal assistant to Ser Derek Acanthus, Joze’s father. The young aide had arrived late afternoon on horseback, ahead of his master who will be arriving later that night. Derek Acanthus had sent his personal assistant to “secure” his son’s safety (make sure Joze is not going anywhere) so that he can be transferred home to “recover” from his unfortunate incident (various form of tortures has been prepared meticulously by his father).
The boy also knows the young aide was hard at work at the academy all afternoon, gathering information regarding the events leading up to Joze’s unfortunate incident, information that would undoubtedly include the boy’s involvement in it.
Many female students were ready and willing to divulge any information or rumors surrounding the boy when approached by such a handsome and smartly-dressed young aide. All fears of the boy forgotten when faced with the bewitching smile of Ser Derek’s personal assistant.
The young aide appears to speak to someone in the carriage. After a few moments, a man in his late forties emerges from it and heads slowly towards the boy. The boy decides to leave his spot and meet Ser Derek halfway, not out of consideration for the limping man walking with the help of a cane, but because he feels he has wasted enough time as it is. The boy still needs to make some preparation for his meeting with Synnove later that night.
So this is the current leader of one of the most prominent mercenary group in the Grandiel Continent, the boy thinks as he gazes at the man standing in front of him. A hard man, built as if he was sculpted from a single block of granite. Back in the days, being in the presence of this man is enough to inspire terror, not because of the position he holds, but because of his other talent, extracting truths from people.
Usually, knowledge acquired during torture is considered dubious at best. But Ser Derek has earned a reputation for extracting information that later would be proven to be 100% as fact. His success rate had earned him the nickname the Confessor, but the boy knows Ser Derek has other nicknames as well. The two most notable ones are the Hand and the Dealer, mostly because of the position he holds.
The man and the boy gaze at each other for the longest of time. Ser Derek suddenly unleashes a killing intent that won’t lose to Rolfe’s in terms of intensity. Any normal man would have taken a step back, drawing any available weapon in the process for protection, but the boy didn’t even flinch, not one bit.
Looks like there’s a world of difference between a normal killing intent and one that is infused with mana, the boy thinks. He briefly wonders if Ser Derek is silently debating on whether to unsheathe the cane he’s using for support and slashing the boy across the chest with the blade hidden in it.
A quick check reveals that there’s a 30 percent chance due to the bitterness and fury of how he received the news regarding the disappearance of his beloved wife and newborn son.
The boy isn’t worried at all if Ser Derek will kill him or not, because he knows where the rest of the killing intent (70 percent to be exact) is directed at.
“Do you know who I am?” Ser Derek asks in a voice that takes the boy by surprise. He didn’t expect a man who wields power and influence that could rival a war general to have such a quiet and serene voice.
“Good. Then be ready…” the man intentionally left his sentence hanging in order to test the boy, to see if he is scared and would waiver. But the barefooted boy with one arm in a sling isn’t even fazed from being subjected to such pressure and continuous to hold Ser Derek’s sharp gaze.
Ser Derek suddenly gave the boy the briefest of smile before he suddenly turns and immediately returns towards his carriage, switching off his killing intent in the process. As he watches the man’s back as he continues to limp, the boy contemplates the consequences of tonight’s meeting.
He does a quick search of the future and immediately sighs.
“This business of helping Headmaster Joss get rid of Master Haithur is getting more and more of a hassle.” the boy murmurs resignedly, the amount of work he has to face in the future is suddenly doubled.
“He likes you.” a voice suddenly calls out from the darkness behind him.
The boy doesn’t turn immediately even though every fiber in his being demands it.
Really impressive, the boy thinks. No scent of perfume, no audible sounds of breathing or footsteps. The boy was too focused on Ser Derek that he missed out on the fact that his young aide has circle around and approached him from the back.
“I know.” the boy casually replies without giving out a hint of how surprised he is.
“How could you tell?” the voice asks, now the handsome smartly-dressed young aide is standing right by the boy’s side.
“He forgot which leg he was supposed to limp on.”
Now it’s your turn to be surprised, the boy smiles inwardly.
“He tends to do that when he is extremely happy.” the handsome young aide says after the briefest of pauses.
“I think I like you as well.”
“Please don’t. The amount of people liking me lately is more than I could handle.”
The young man gently laughs in a manner that reminds the boy of Rolfe Primero when they’re together alone.
“Your master is leaving. You should accompany him.”
“He’ll be fine. Besides, I have my own horse.”
“Well, I loved to stay and chat with you some more but I have a prior engagement.”
“Awww, and I was hoping we can get together. Have a little chat over dinner, maybe get to know each other personally and carnally.”
“I guess I have to take a rain check on that.”
“Going back to your lover, Rolfe Primero, so soon?”
The boy smiles bemusedly at the young aide’s feeble attempt to probe the boy for a reaction. Anger, shame, surprised, anything the young aide could bring back to report to his master. The boy knows the young aide doesn’t have any concrete proof of a relationship between him and the entity. Ser Derek’s assistant is just throwing baits into the water, see if anything bites.
“You shouldn’t listen to the wild fantasies of the female students here. I can tell you for a fact that I’m not gay and I have never been with a man… although I am open for experiments.” the boy continues to smile flirtingly at the young aide.
“What a coincidence,” Ser Derek’s personal assistant bewitchingly smiles as well, undeterred by the boy’s small attempt to tease the young aide. “I’ve never been with a man before either.” the young aide lifts the boy’s chin using a left hand. The boy looks up into those deep hazel eyes. He could feel no ill intent behind the gesture, so the boy chooses to humor the young aide for now.
Ser Derek’s personal assistant suddenly leans down and plants a deep kiss on the boy’s lips, the movement too quick and unexpected for the boy to guard against.
Somewhere in the ever-growing crowd of students watching, a certain excited girl with a rotten personality is trying her best not to pass out for the second time that day.
“That’s for giving my master closure.” the young aide says after finally releasing the boy. The boy is strangely quiet and unresisting during the ordeal, his face a mask of nothingness.
“I hope to see you again.” Ser Derek’s personal assistant smiles before swiftly turning and heading towards a solitary black horse parked besides the carriage belonging to the young aide’s master.
“Oh, and before I forget,” the young aide suddenly says a few yards away from the boy. Without stopping or looking back, Ser Derek’s personal assistant holds something up with the right hand.
“Thank you for the get-well-soon card. I’m sure both father and son would greatly appreciate it. Okay, maybe the son… not too much.” says the smiling young aide while continuously walking, the bewitching smile hidden from the view of the boy of course.
The boy looks down to his left hand, the card he made himself earlier that evening is now gone. In its place, a black business card was used to substitute it.
Really REALLY impressive, the boy thinks. I didn’t even feel the switch.
The boy looks up and sees the young aide has already mounted the black horse and following the carriage that contains Ser Derek and his
The carriage continues on its way to leave the academy through the front gates. Even though it’s nighttime and the vehicle is in the distance, the boy could clearly see the sigil painted on the carriage’s side, he had always have a good eyesight. Ser Derek family sigil also doubles as a logo for his mercenary group, a Grim Reaper with a scythe leaning against its right shoulder, while holding four playing cards with its skeletal left hand.
The boy sighs dejectedly, he knows he is going to see a lot of that sigil in the future.
The boy looks down to the business card he is holding in his left hand. Emblazoned in white capital letters against a black backdrop, the boy could read what is written on it.
THE DARKTHUS COMPANY
The boy solemnly puts the black business card into his left trouser pocket.
I'm sorry for the sudden lack of updates. My modem got fried in a lightning storm and I lost motivation to write. Luckily the porn in my computer was spared.