(Author's Note: Sorry for the long wait, Midterms were killer these past two weeks. Feel free in reviews to try and guess what's going to happen, characters you like (like what do you guys think of Draven?)... characters you think are different (even in a bad way... like you think are too different from the series) ... thanks for all the reviews so far 3 I love hearing from you!)
The home was near the capital square with a small gate around the outside and two guards. Millerna crossed the cobblestone road, skirt in hand and spoke in hushed tones to the guards. After a few moments, she looked either way down the road and motioned to the small party to cross.
The guards opened the gate, "come on, hurry," Allen stalked past her with Yuen and Hitomi stepped quickly behind. Hitomi stayed close, where she could keep Yuen in view. Millerna through open the front door with all the demanding of the house's lady.
A maid met her at the bottom of the stairs, "Milady, there's talk of a guymelef stopped outside the city…. They're sending out guards to gather any suspicious…," she looked over at the bleeding boy and the strangely dressed woman, "… persons…."
"Laurine, get a bed upstairs ready… and I need medical supplies put on the side table," she waved her hand not giving the small maid any room to panic or argue, "now…" The maid turned on her heels and fled with whispers to a few other servants. Millerna sighed with and on her hip.
She walked over to the dark haired boy and slowly pulled the bits of torn grey fabric back. "The cuts aren't deep , but this much exposed flesh isn't good," Yuen's breathing was heavy and uneven. Millerna touched his forehead and her eyebrows furrowed, "a fever… ?"
"That was from before," Hitomi interrupted in a hushed tone.
"Let's get him upstairs…" Millerna started up the stairs. Allen's face held a concentrated expression. Millerna glanced back down at them unable to discern Allen's thoughts and noticing the blatant worry on Hitomi's face for the young boy.
Allen laid Yuen slowly down on the bed and Millerna took her bag from Laurine with a heavy sigh. The was about as large as Hitomi's small apartment on Earth (without the bedrooms). It was furnished an almost Victorian style with a large wardrobe and a large round red floor rug. "… Hitomi…" Hitomi's attention returned to the matter at hand, "you can go sit down if you like. This isn't serious, I can take it from here…" the princess gave an encouraging smile.
"But…" she started to protest, but felt hands on her shoulders.
"Come on Hitomi," Allen gently led her out of the room and back downstairs. He led her to a parlor and offered for her to sit. "I can't imagine how this must be for you… " he said quietly standing with his arms crossed. A wave of exhaustion fell over Hitomi once she was sitting.
"Are there really still Zaibach soldiers still around?" she looked up at the knight.
Allen frowned, "realistically? Yes, there could still be men who fought under Zaibach's banner still living, would they still have resources, much less guymelefs? No. It would be a death sentence to seen with one in anything sort of pieces," he explained. A hand went to his chin, "what bothers me more is the man in the cloak… most of the sorcerer's left after the way were arrested… " his voice lowered, "most killed themselves rather than face possible interrogation…." He sighed, "and then there's the guymelef pilot, he could have killed you and your son right there, but held back. Why?"
Hitomi gripped the thighs of her pants and shook her head slowly. "Why are they after us anyway? I no longer have… " her hand when to her bare throat and her eyes widened. "He had a pendent!" She got to her feet, "Van, you don't think…." She began to panic.
Allen shook his head, "I doubt it, there's been a lot of attention on Fanelia and its rebuilding. Its still a fragile country, we would have undoubtedly heard if something had happened to her king." He offered for her to return to her seat. Hitomi nodded and sat down and put her hands to her face.
"Prepare this for he wakes," Millerna was speaking with two servants outside the room. Hitomi looked up as she entered. "He should be fine, though the fever worries me a little bit…" the princess admitted. She looked between Allen and Hitomi, "so… do you want to clue me in or do I have to guess?"
Allen and Hitomi looked to Millerna and between themselves ~Where do we start?~ Hitomi wondered.
"I have an injured boy in my upstairs room, Hitomi has comeback and the city is a flurry of rumors of guymelefs and monsters at our doorstep," Millerna started for them impatient.
"There was a Zaibach guymelef and a sorcerer that attacked us and injured the boy…" Allen stated in a knightly manner.
"Zaibach?" Millerna looked genuinely surprised, "a Zaibach guymelef outside Palas?!" she put a hand to her mouth, "and a sorcerer? Are you sure? We'll need to tell my father…"
"Is Dryden here? Has he seen anything strange?" Allen offered.
Millerna sighed, "not yet, he's supposed to arrive in a few days… I haven't heard much, other than to stay in the city…" she had found it odd that her husband had warned more than once in his letters to stay put.
"I'm meeting with the knights as soon as I leave here…" Allen started.
"Let me go with you, whenever you decide to go to the palace," she offered, "you may need the support when it comes to my father. We might need to wait until Dryden returns if we can," Allen nodded. "But why did they attack you? They couldn't have known that you'd return… and even if they did why attack you now?" her attention turned to Hitomi.
"I don't know," Hitomi shook her head. She didn't want to believe that it could have anything to do with Yuen ~no one knows about him but me…~ she thought.
Then as if Millerna read her mind, "… and the boy?"
"My son… he came with me," Hitomi answered, knowing that it was the entire truth. Yuen was the one Gaea had called, she had only come along for the ride.
A thoughtful expression passed over Millerna's face, "it 'has' been a long time…" she murmured.
Hitomi opened her mouth to speak when there was the sound of table rocking. All of them turned to look at the doorway to the parlor. Minutes passed in silence until a young girl entered. She was in a light blue nightdress and long wavy dark hair.
"Mother? Lord Schezar? I heard you put someone in the guest room… what's happening?" the girl looked at the group with wide blue eyes.
"Go back to bed Marlene…" Millerna scolded.
"There are lights in the square and soldiers along the roads…" Marlene added. The sound of knocking came at the front door. Millerna rolled her eyes.
"Hitomi, go upstairs and hurry," Hitomi nodded, "and Marlene back… to … bed this instant," she said harshly. "Allen, I could use your help," she looked to the knight. He nodded.
Millerna straightened her dress before opening the front door, sure enough soldiers stood at her doorstep, "how may I help you at this hour?" she didn't keep the disdain from her voice.
"We apologize Princess… but there were some strange sightings outside of town and rumors of a battle. If you have heard anything…" the soldier started.
"… I will surely tell you…" she interrupted raising her eyebrows, "its late and you have accosted my house enough by not waiting by the gate," she added.
"Lady please we only have your safety in mind…" the soldier started again.
"She is perfectly safe lieutenant," Allen crossed his arms. "I came to check on her and her family when I heard the rumors…"
"Allen S..sc…schezar! Of course sir!" the soldier gave a clumsy salute and within moments the men were gone.
"This isn't good," Allen looked to Millerna. "Normally there wouldn't be search parties for based on a guymelef sighting and a few rumors… Any ideas?"
Millerna stood with one arm crossed over her torso and the other hand near her mouth, "my only guess is that more than one person knows that Hitomi has come back, but why she would matter to anyone other than these Zaibach men you saw… I can't say…" she shook her head frustrated.
Hitomi moved a chair to sit near Yuen. He shifted beneath the blanket and winced. She grasped his hand and gave it a loving squeeze. ~Please just look at me … I know its selfish… but I need to know you're okay…~she thought. Yuen looked up at her, his eyelids dropped with sleep, "where are we now?" his voice was a dry whisper.
"Safe, it's alright," she smiled. "Go back to sleep…" his eyebrows furrowed and his face looked unsure, "I'll be here," she promised. Then Yuen closed his eyes.
His head swam and his body ached. A fog ebbed at his thoughts. Yuen's sleep was plagued with dreams. A castle tower burns above him and debris falls, the scene slips from the tower to a pair of shadowy figures sharing a kiss admist white feathers, the scene slips again with dizzying speed and Yuen feels the sensation of falling. An angel is falling, an angel with one blue and one green eye… there is a crash as the being hits the dark ground, the falling feathers catch flame and the dream dissolves with the image of the black Zaibach guymelef chained with blood flowing from the head piece.
Allen stood in the parlor with his men, explaining the situation in hushed tones, "mystic moon has always been a bad omen…" Gerard sniffed gruffly with his arms crossed.
"She and the King of Fanelia very well saved us all," another member of the knights snapped, "you know the stories…"
"Are you sure that's not all they are?" Gerard raised his eyebrows.
"I was there," Allen said in a quiet, dangerous tone.
[Armies that had been allies, friends and comrades standing on a bloodied and torn battlefield united against a common enemy then ready to turn on each other. Scherazade and Escaflowne stood across from each other, still tense with battle fury. He remembered his blood boiling, but his mind clouded not even completely sure why he continued to battle with the young prince. Their swords clashed again. Then Selena had called out his name… and Van's blade threatened to coming crashing down. …There was no killing blow…
Hitomi had stopped it… She called Van from his battle stupor. She called the symbol of the white dragon to fight against a man-made fate. They became the symbol of peace that ended the long nightmare.]
"We would be flying Zaibach's flag without them," he said with his lips drawn in a grim line. The group stopped arguing. Several minutes of silence followed… Allen looked all of them in the eye. Gerard shifted uncomfortably along with one or two of the others.
"Until I speak with the king, nothing we've said will leave this room," he looked over them, "am I clear?" the hilt of his sword rattled at his side. Some of the group nodded.
"Yes sir!" came the group consensus.
"I will speak with the King this evening, in the meantime see what you can find out in the city about these rumors," he added. The group filed out of the Fassa parlor, leaving Allen in the doorway. He stopped the younger knight who had spoken in Hitomi's defense, "Morgenes… " the dark haired knight looked up at him.
"Sir?" he said quietly.
"I need you to take this message to the ship The Crusade and make sure it only reaches its Captain," he produced a envelope from his belt. The young knight nodded taking the note and placing inside a small pouch at his belt.