The ride to wherever we were going wasn't that long, but it sure felt that way. Sitting in the back of a vehicle when you know the driver doesn't like you is a bit awkward. Eventually though, we made it there.
We'd stopped on the outskirts of a small village; one I'd never seen or heard of before. To me it seemed like we had landed in the middle of nowhere but when Roman and Josh hopped out of the aircraft they seemed to know where we were going, so I followed, nothing else to do.
We were making our way through the thicket of trees, seemingly walking nowhere, when Josh stopped and announced, "We've made it! Good Luck introducing the kid," before he pushed some leaves away to reveal a trap door, opened it, and jumped in.
After Josh disappeared into the hole Roman opened up the door and gestured for me to go in as well, he was grinning, "Welcome to headquarters kid."
My first impression when I went through the door and climbed down the ladder to HQ was, oh crap I'm going to die. Let's just say it wasn't the friendliest place I'd ever been in. The walls were decorated with weapons and wooden carvings of grimm heads. I didn't like it then, but over time the place grew on me.
Roman dropped down behind me, grabbed my arm and began walking, "Common I've got you to take you to meet Alex, let's just hope he decides to be nice today."
When I initially got down here, I'd thought the place to be small but dang was I wrong. Roman lead me through door after door and hallway after hallway. About halfway through the complex we reached are large room filled with tables, most of them were filled with teens and adults laughing as they ate and drank. In most situations this would seem like a friendly place, but when I looked closer into the crowd, I decided that it most certainly wasn't.
The majority of the people had an abundance of scars, and tattoos. They didn't look in the slightest friendly. I moved myself closer to Roman as we walked through the room. I may not have known him super well but I sure knew him better then these people. In general, I would say that the people in the room looked messy, not many of them seemed to care much for personal hygiene, Roman however was different, he always looked clean and well kept, and I never knew how he did it but Romans hair always looked perfect and his clothes were always spotless, even when we were camping out in the forest he looked like he had just left some sort of salon.
Needless to say, this was not what I was expecting when I followed Roman here. The rest of the gang was nothing like Roman. The walk through the hallways felt like forever but eventually we reached the end of a hallway and were standing in front of a large wooden door with a large carving of a grimm head on it with a ring in its mouth. I assumed this was some kind of knocker.
Roman used the ring to knock on the door three times, the banging sound echoed through the hallways for several seconds before the door was swung open. My eyes widened when I saw the room, it was huge. A red carpet adorned the floor leading up to a big empty chair. The walls (just like the rest of the building) were decorated with various statues of grimm. At the time I didn't like the place, it made me uncomfortable. I almost wanted to go home, but what I considered home, I honestly didn't know anymore.
Standing right in the middle of the room with arms folded was a tall and rather muscular man, he was much bigger than Roman. When we first walked into the room, he looked angry at something and when he saw Roman, he looked ten times angrier.
The man, who I assumed was Alex glared at Roman and spoke, "Do you," he said slowly, "Have any idea how late you are."
Roman shrugged, "Must have lost track of time, how late am I, Alex?"
"Roman," Alex growled, "Two months, you were supposed to be back two months ago. Where the heck were you?"
"You asked me to find new recruits and I was having a bit of trouble finding anybody, but you're in luck, I found one!"
Roman seemed happy, Alex... Not so much. Alex looked around the room a couple of times, totally overlooking me then looked back to Roman, "You said you got someone, where are they?"
Roman gestured to me, "Right here."
Alex didn't look surprised in the slightest about the fact that Roman ad brought a litter girl, he just shook his head, "A little girl really," Alex walked up to me and knelt down, "So kid what's your name?"
Once again Roman had to step into to fill the silent room, "Forgot to mention this but, she's a mute and... I still need to get around to figuring out her name," Roman turned to me, "Remind me to do that kid."
Alex did an exaggerated face palm and sighed, "Oh my gosh Roman! You've got to be kidding me! First you bring a little girl here and then you tell me she's a mute. Just how is she going to be a use to us. This is not an organization for little kids."
For the first time since I first met Roman, I was truly afraid, if Alex and Roman decided that they didn't want me here then I would be thrown back on to the streets. I would be back to square one with absolutely nothing, nothing at all.
Being the kind of person that Roman was though he wasn't even phased a bit. Roman gave confidant smile and began speaking, "Alex, have you ever thought of all the benefits a kid like her could bring to our organization. First, she's small, and quiet. I've seen firsthand how good she is at sneaking into places unnoticed. Also, the fact that she's young is useful considering no one would suspect her. She also happens to be a fast learner and rather strong for her size. Have I ever let you down before when I bring people back."
Alex considered for a moment, opened his mouth to speak then shut it again. After another brief moment of thinking Alex opened his mouth again and actually talked, "I'll give her a chance. Only one. If she doesn't pass whatever test I decide to give her then she can't join but if she does then she is free to join and you can do what you wish with her. No go your bugging the heck out of me."
Roman flashed Alex a quick smile and we left. Once we were out of the room, he scratched his neck and began whispering to me, "I know I may have said we co owned the gang, you might have noticed Alex is a bit more of the boss. Whatever he has planned to test you I'll make sure you'll pass just fine. Let's go."
After that we retraced our steps right back into the room full of tables. Roman glanced around and called out to a purple haired girl behind some sort of a bar, "Hey, Marissa pass me some paper and a pencil will ya."
The girl rolled her eyes, "Sure Roman," she knelt down for a bit and when she stood back up she chucked a pad of paper and a pen to Roman, "Nice kid you got with ya."
Roman didn't respond and lead me down another hallway, one I hadn't seen before. This place was absolutely humongous for gang base underground. I have to admit it was pretty awesome.
About halfway through the hall Roman stopped at a door with a big number 2 above it and lead me in. Behind the door was another small hallway with three doors in it and a small living room sort of thing at the end.
Roman gestured to one of the doors, "This ones my room, the one next to it is the bathroom and the one on the other side is where your going to be staying. I had a roommate who lived there at one point, but he's long gone so it's yours until you're an official member and get assigned your own room."
I nodded and Roman pulled the door to my room open and gestured for me to go in. It wasn't a large room; it had a bed a desk and a closet, but I loved it. After a walked in Roman took a seat on the bed and patted the spot next to him.
We sat for a moment before Roman asked me a question, "So, can you read and/or write?"
I nodded again. Roman handed me the pad of paper and pen, "It's probably about time that I got your name."
I took the paper and pen and debated for a moment. Neapolitan was such a long name and I'd never really liked it, so I shortened it into the name that nobody had called me in years.
Slowly but surly in my not-so-great-handwriting I wrote three letters, N-E-O.
When I was done I tore the paper out and handed it to Roman, he smiled, "Huh, Neo, I like it."
I know I said that I am not giving up on this story (and its still true) but I am loosing both inspiration and motivation for this story. I got this chapter out but it was hard.
For authors support from readers means the world and without much of it, it just makes continuing hard. I'm not giving up on you guys so don't give up on me. I will do my best to keep up with this story I'm hoping my motivation will come back.
Sorry for the kinda serious authors note. Please Favorite/Follow/Review it means the world. (only if you at least semi like the story of course)
Love you all,