Arc 2: Chapter 9: Homecoming

To have travelled in a private jet is supposed to be something pretty awesome, a luxury that many only ever dream of. Yet, I don’t feel all that impressed as I get off one. Is that because I can practice Levitation and become able to fly myself? I guess that could be the reason. When I know that I can have something if I just try a little, I don’t feel any urge to try for it. Believe it or not, I have never once wondered to myself about how nice being able to fly like a bird would have been. It’s like, I can fly higher than them if I want to so why would I possibly wonder that.

On the opposite side, a normal life in a normal family without any supernatural occurrences is something I always wanted, something I never got. When you look at me from this angle, there’s nothing really special about me, is there? I am just another person who doesn’t appreciate the natural abilities he has and desires what he doesn’t have. I am a pretty normal human being in that regard.

Ethan: “Done talking philosophy with yourself?”

Ethan asks with a deadpan look.

Kais: “Do you have a problem with that, good sir?”

I say sarcastically but,

Ethan: “Yeah actually, we need your help right now.”

Because he says ‘we’, not just I but Sona, Sneha and Ro also turn to look towards him.

Ethan: “Someone is keeping an eye on us.”

He reveals the reason he said ‘they’ needed my help and as he does so, both I and Sneha start reading auras in order to find out what he is talking about. But, before we can do anything,

Sona: “2 o’clock, 240 meters, one man in a Vermillion uniform.”

She says with an uninterested face. Well, I guess it means she doesn’t consider whoever this guy is to be a threat. That’s good to know.

Ethan: “I don’t really appreciate how bored you look, Sona.”

Sona only frowns in response to his sudden remark.

Ethan: “The guy who is keeping an eye on us might not be that amazing but he could be working for someone who is. You did say he has a Vermillion uniform after all.”

That’s a good point, though I don’t know how good of a decision it is to try to pick a fight with Sona.

Sona: “Tsk! Fine, you might as well interrogate him and find out!”

She says with irritation clear on her face as she raises a hand toward the direction that man is in. While the rest of us interpret that as a signal to go there and start preparing ourselves for a fight (just in case), we see a large number of sparrows fly toward us with a man attached to their small legs.

Sneha: “Ha?”

Sona: “My new spirit, Les, can control any flying object, be it a living object or a non-living object.”

So that means that the sparrow she just made a contract with, who was also our pilot in this whole trip, is the one doing this. That spirit is actually pretty cool then.

THUMP!

And there comes the sound of a heavy object, living object, being dropped on ground from a height of 10 meters. While Ro does his best to decrease the impact of the fall, it still would have hurt a lot. Which is why, it is pretty cruel to interrogate him right now. So,

Kais: “There’s no reason to interrogate him.”

I say something that is a fact, whether those around me realize it or not. In reply to that, the first answer I get is in a sarcastic voice.

Ethan: “Why? You have a crush on him or something?”

Kais: “Shut up! I just mean that I can read his mind directly and there’ll be no need to interrogate him.”

I crouch down to my knees and touch his forehead as Ro holds his hands behind him so he can’t move much.

Ethan: “Nice. Why didn’t you ever use mind-reading on the island in all this time?”

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!”

The poor man who is getting  his memories read yells in pain and as he does so, I look at Ethan and he shuts himself up because of the ‘loud and clear’ response he has been given.

Back to the topic though, I find the memories in this guy’s head to be something pretty troubling. As I remove my fingers, I tell them.

Kais: “Vermillion is looking for us.”

This was going to happen one day or another but it is a bit troubling because it’s happening just as we have come back. But even seeing the troubled expression that comes on Sona’s, Sneha’s and on Ro’s faces, Ethan still asks with a smile.

Ethan: “Who exactly in Vermillion told this guy to keep an eye on us?”

Kais: “A guy I like to call ‘loser’, but he goes by the name Gabriel Washington.”

I say quite frantically, and an equally frantic reply comes back,

Ethan: “Oh, that loser? Well, then it’s probably an order from the Phoenix himself or he wouldn’t do anything like this.”

Kais: “While I do think he is the type of loser who wouldn’t do anything by himself, you seem to bee more confident in it than me. Any particular reason for that?”

I know Ethan enough to not be expecting any reply, but I do get one.

Ethan: “Well, he got engaged recently. He’s probably more worried about getting to know his fiancée than dealing with Vermillion’s problems.”

So if he wasn’t given an order by the Phoenix, he would probably not be doing this. Yeah, that makes sense.

Sona: “Hah!”

Sona sighs as she hears all of our conversation and replies in an irritated tone,

Sona: “What are we going to do?”

She is quite scary when she wants to be, enough to give me, Sneha and Ro a shiver. Well, if there’s anyone who can – not get intimidated – by her, even occasionally, it’s probably Ethan.

Ethan: “We-well, we are going to meet-up with that loser and get to the Phoenix.”

Okay, after seeing him lose composure just now, I have to take that back.

*******************************

Gabriel: “Tsk!”

He clicks his tongue in annoyance.

Gabriel: “He got taken down that easily!? These Embers and Flares really are useless.”

Embers and Flares, the two lowest-ranking positions in Vermillion, are obviously no match for people like Kais or Sneha. However, the fact that his proxy was taken down by just one spirit that Sona was controlling irritates him a lot.

Gabriel: “I should probably get to them myself.”

He says in irritation. The sight he saw in his fiancée’s house hasn’t left his mind at all. In fact, it continues to anger him more and more. Therefore,

Gabriel: “Sorry Rosevelt, but the first thing I am going to do when I have these four with me is going to destroy every Vampire Kingdom scum I can find and especially kill that asshole of a strategist they have!”

He mutters to himself as he bashes a hand on the wall near him. Right now, he is standing just outside the hangar Kais and others are on.

Gabriel: “That man, Bronzer, is going to pay for what he has done!”

*******************************

Reid: “Now that you have gone and done something like that to Gabriel Washington of all people, you do know that you have a target on your back, don’t you?”

Reid says as he sits on rubble left after Julius Rome’s house was destroyed.

Bronzer: “I know that all too well.”

Bronzer just shrugs as he says that and seeing that,

Darcy: “Before Gabriel Washington does anything, we are going to kill him.”

Reid sighs as he hears that. He looks at the woman of 5’7 height with a round face and round-brown eyes, red hair and a pair of D-Cups. He thinks she is quite suitable for a woman of East Asian origin. However,

Reid: “Your attitude is so different from the vibe your appearance gives.”

He says plainly and in return,

Darcy: “Good to know. At least every single one of my personality traits can’t be discerned just from my appearance.”

Reid: “It’s good to have loyalty on your face.”

He says with a proud smile.

Bronzer: “Are you two fighting or flirting?”

He asks rather curiously but gets two sharp glares in response.

Reid: “We’re fighting of course. I think it’s pretty obvious she is all over YOU anyway.”

He says the second part in a sarcastic manner which causes Darcy to go red and try to start denying it. However, Reid stops listening and turns back to look at the vampires working to clear the debris.

Reid: “Why isn’t any human showing up here?”

He asks Bronzer with a serious voice.

Bronzer: “That would have caused problems for us so I decided I’d ask the four generals to use their illusion abilities on this place and make it seem like there’s nothing here.”

Reid: “So that is why those annoying assholes aren’t here. Good to know!”

Reid stands up and looks back at the working vampires.

Reid: “How long?”

He asks with a yell and the answer comes with another yell,

“5 more minutes!”

On hearing that, Reid looks at Bronzer and Darcy,

Reid: “Looks like the deed is about to be over. Where’s the queen?”

Bronzer sighs exasperatedly and replies,

Bronzer: “Taking care of some … personal business.”

Bronzer just simply repeats what Valdis told him as an answer. Reid immediately understands that that is all he knows. And so he moves on to the next topic as he turns around,

Reid: “Hate is increasing in the aura around here.”

Bronzer and Darcy understand immediately what that could mean, yet Reid spells it out just in case.

Reid: “You might have a visitor.”

*******************************

For what it’s worth, Vampire Kingdom owns a hotel in the city Julius lived in. Therefore, it is not very big of a challenge to isolate oneself if one wants to. All they have to do is go in any vacant room and lock it up. That, or go in a different isolated part of the hotel, something like the underground parking area. Bronzer’s choice is this area. He stands here, all alone, waiting for the one who wants to talk to him, waiting for the ghost who has come to pay him a visit. And then,

Bronzer: “Show yourself, Ozyllus!”

He says in an agitated voice that only grows louder as it echoes through the parking area.

Ozyllus: “There’s no need to shout.”

Ozyllus says, calmly and softly, as he appears in front of Bronzer.

Ozyllus: “…”

Bronzer: “…”

They both stare at each other in silence for a while and,

Bronzer: “Why are you here again?”

He shakes in anger as he asks that.

Ozyllus: “Well, it’s the last chance you can have; I thought I might as well give it to you.”

Ozyllus, however, replies in a calm voice.

Bronzer: “There’s no need to give me any chances.”

Ozyllus doesn’t response, just keeps looking at Bronzer. To that, Bronzer replies,

Bronzer: “I am going to turn the tide of this war, and there’s nothing you can do about that.”

He says with a firm resolve, a resolve he wouldn’t have had if he hadn’t come across Abgere, a man who goes on to kill his enemies without hesitation.

Ozyllus: “You do realize I won’t let you do whatever you want, especially if my plans can be harmed because of it.”

With a click of his tongue, Bronzer replies,

Bronzer: “And you do realize as well that I won’t back away, not now! Not when I have already come this far!”

Ozyllus merely closes his eyes and does not respond.

Bronzer: “Your Empire has already fallen; you just don’t seem to realize it.”

Bronzer says with cold disgust and, for the first time, is able to get an irritated reaction from Ozyllus.

Bronzer: “Through my actions,”

He says with a smile,

Bronzer: “I’ll make you realize that.”

Ozyllus: “Tsk!”

Ozyllus clicks his tongue and,

Ozyllus: “You’ll die trying.”

He turns away, walks away and disappears away, leaving Bronzer alone in the basement.

*******************************

Gabriel sees two people leaving. These two are Ethan and Sneha. Kais and Sona are not with them. As he sees this, he only furrows his brows and keeps looking from afar without revealing his position.

Gabriel: “If this is a trap, it’s too damn obvious.”

He mutters to himself as he starts following them. They soon start talking to a taxi driver.

Gabriel: “Where are they planning to go anyway? I only know that I have to bring them to Rosevelt. I have no idea where they originally plan to go.”

He keeps muttering to himself as he uses psychokinesis to stop a car, puts the driver to sleep with hypnosis and gets in – ready to follow. Ethan and Sneha soon depart from the hangar in a taxi and Gabriel follows them. He is anxious over where the other two might be but he has to keep an eye on these two if at all possible.

Gabriel: “Tsk! It’s hard to believe but I am relying on Ethan for this.”

He has reasoned with himself that Ethan can locate both of them even if they have separated for good. Therefore, by capturing Ethan, he can get to all of them.

However, even though this reasoning is sound enough, Gabriel can’t help but feel anxious over the possibilities of his plan failing.

Gabriel: “Tsk!”

He can do nothing but rely on Ethan, his target, for something like this. Worse than the fact that Ethan is a target though, is the fact that he is Ethan. He is someone who can throw people for loops when they least expect it and cause everything to fall apart no matter how much one tries to keep it together. He is the man who goes up against monsters with a smug face and to face such a man … is a pain in the ass, if not worse.

The car Ethan and Sneha are in takes a right and so does Gabriel. Then, they keep going straight.

Gabriel: “What’s with them? I would expect at least Sneha to do things that are logical and not that hard to grasp.”

However, as the situation stands now, there is nothing Gabriel can take this as but a load of BS.

Gabriel: “They are heading towards the residential areas. There’s no way they have any business there, of all places.”

He reasons. However, as he is bound to, he keeps following them. He keeps following them for over 20 minutes. But, they keep going straight. Then, they take a right. Gabriel had almost started thinking they would never change directions or something like that. Somehow, he still manages to take a right in time.

Gabriel: “Tsk! That was close!”

He gets more and more annoyed just by saying so.

Gabriel: “Tsk!”

He keeps giving annoyed remarks as the stalking continues. Soon enough, they take a left, and then an immediate right. Gabriel follows them with the same turns and the same annoyed expressions. He does not even realize that he has just went past the area where Julius Rome is supposed to live, an area that has an illusion put over it to make everything seem normal.

Gabriel: “Where are they even going!?”

His mind is only filled with just one, really annoying question. And soon enough, it seems like he’ll finally get an answer.

Their taxi once again takes a left and enters a forbidden area. As it does so, the taxi starts slowing down as if the driver intends to stop. Gabriel decreases his speed as well. Soon enough, the taxi stops. And so does Gabriel.

Gabriel is yet to realize that this area they have entered is the place where Kais used to live till 4-5 days ago.

He sees Ethan and Sneha get out of the car. And he comes out of his car as well. He has had enough of following them and intends to go confront them but,

Ethan: “HEY LOSER, HOW IS IT GOING?!”

Ethan yells the question at him while waving his hands.

Gabriel: “What the-”

*******************************

Sona: “Ha!”

She chuckles with an awkward smile as she says,

Sona: “This is the place you lived in.”

Kais: “Well, it’s not really bad, is it?”

I say calmly.

Sona: “No, but it’s kinda small, or really small, or …”

Kais: “Okay, okay, I get it.”

It’s not like I have any particular attachments to the apartment I lived in so her saying this doesn’t really make me angry or anything but, the fact that hearing her say this may end up reminding me of my house with Barry – is a concern.

Sona: “You can’t run away, remember?”

Having picked up on my thoughts, she says with a calm tone.

Kais: “I know. I am not trying to run away. It’s just …”

I can’t really put it into words but,

Sona: “It’s fine. I know.”

She says before I could.

Sona: “You just don’t want to go back to the town of your childhood memories, right?”

She says with a smile.

Maybe she’s right. Maybe that’s the reason I don’t want to go back there. Maybe.

Sona: ““Hah!”

She sighs and stretches as she looks below from the railing of my balcony. Just now, standing in the balcony of my house, we were waiting for some people to arrive. I say ‘were’ because it seems like they have arrived now.

Sona: “Teleporting here wasn’t a bad idea, was it?”

Kais: “No, especially because your aura isn’t in the memory of any Vermillion member and mine can be easily hidden by me.”

And so, knowing that Gabriel will end up looking for Ethan and Sneha no matter how less or more information about our auras he has, we decided to let them be followed here as the two of us returned through teleportation.

I remembered that this place was going to be evacuated and so there wasn’t going to be anyone here. And so, it’d be pretty good of a place to use for any ‘business’ we have.

Sona: “Well, they are all here.”

She says as she sees Gabriel coming out of a car and then Ethan waving at him and saying something. That bastard is probably enjoying this! Well, can’t let Ethan have all the fun though.

I think that as I jump off the balcony and land on the floor with a big impacting sound. I now realize that was a bad idea as the floor that I have broken will be a mark that someone had been here while the authorities were not present.

That is a concern for a different time though as we have to deal with Gabriel right now. I look back at him as I think that. At present, Ethan and Sneha on one side and I on the other side have surrounded Gabriel. It’s not like we think there’s any reason he would try to escape but well, better safe than sorry.

Gabriel: “Where’s the spirit-user?”

He asks as he looks at me. Instead of replying, I just look above with a smile. I smile because I knew what I would see there – the beautiful figure of a blonde spirit-user slowly descending down to the ground.

Gabriel: “How is she able to float like that?”

Kais: “It’s because of a thing that I learned recently. Psychic and Spiritual energies repel each other.”

Gabriel: “Hmm, so?”

Kais: “You and I have so much psychic energy around us that she, while being pulled with gravity, is also being pushed by our forces, and so has become able to dance in the air like that.”

This was something we wanted to try for future purposes, and it seems to have worked. I think that as Sona’s feet finally touch the ground, looking like an Angel who has descended from heaven. And that, finally makes up the four of us, the four left after Ro went his way to find out more about whoever his this friend of his that might go psycho (as he said) is.

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