Rain rattles the windows of the hotel room where a young man lies on a rickety bed in a rather cheap hotel. An open letter held in hand, he absently twists his fingers into his hair, tugging lightly in his frustration. Vibrant blue hues fixate on the bottom of the letter; trying to puzzle out the words and the meaning behind them. Reiga Emerson finds himself wishing desperately for their owner’s presence because he can feel the anxiety and worry building in his chest alongside the violent storm raging outdoors.
‘I believe we will see each other soon.
They live countries apart, oceans apart, and he frets again. She should be leaving for summer at her school. Why would she be coming to his location? They were safe there. He internally wars within as he ponders the thought of going home. But as the thought crosses his mind; he feels a painful jab in his mind where the bond to his familiar had recently been and a flash of blood and dark, childish laughter forces his mind to immediately discard the mere thought of returning to his parents.
Sighing, Reiga pulls up to sit and look outside. Lightning flash close and thunder all but shakes his room. He carefully pulls his waist length hair back from his face while thinking back to the writer herself. Warm and soft laughter echoes his mind and a flash of golden eyes a lit with a fire as firm hands ghosts across his skin. Even almost a decade later, he revels in the memory of the one person whom he bared all but his deepest secrets. The thought of her not telling him of her problems grates his nerves and sparks the tiniest flame of doubt which is discarded almost easily.
He pulls from his own thoughts at the feel of a cold aura gently poking his own. It’s enough to startle him for nearly no one had control of their aura well enough to touch another. The soul continues prodding, swaying and flickering with a winter chill that calms his own fiery aura. Unconsciously, Reiga pulls on his trenchcoat and pauses as he touches the doorknob. The teachings of his family quietly whisper distrust and the assassin briefly considers it but curiosity pulls the door open and he leaves the room to find the intriguing soul that gently teases at the edge of his senses, playfully dancing in the darkness of his awareness. A subtle blue white that gently twirls alongside his own and preventing him from finding it right away. A small smile flickers on his pallid face. When he steps outside and into the fiery thunderstorm, he sends his own aura to softly warm the aura and feels laughter bubble in his chest at the furious cold that takes hold of his mind in retaliation.
Instinctively, he circles the hotel to the forest edge of the town to hide his own aura. Leaning under a tree for minimal and very little shelter from the storm, Reiga almost artistically braids his hair up with steel hair sticks, laced with poisons, alongside the many other thin needles throughout his locks. It had become a source of personal pride that he managed to circumvent his parent’s rigid rule over long hair. He had refused since he was very young to cut it and had gotten the idea from his ancestors’ records regarding the females of their clan. Even now, he knew, with an painful ache in his heart, that his gentle sister, Momo, would probably be wearing hers in a similar fashion. The thought of her changing it made his heart throb but he carefully reigned in his dark thoughts before they could incite his darker mindset.
Staring out into the small seaport, he can smell the ocean and the salt that lingers in the air. Even as he begins sectioning the village in grids to begin searching for the aura which persisted in lingering against his mind, he remains aloof to the rigid training that whispers into his very bones that it was dangerous. With the plan in mind, he swiftly moves through the dark to the residential area which held the least chance of the person to be staying. As he roams the old cobblestone streets, he shivered. It was not the cold which drew the reaction, but an ability he had hidden from all. For in the air, over many of the houses, lies a wilting spider lily in a blackening crimson which twisted his stomach. Death lingers. However, he quickly flees after spotting the one house near the shopping district, where he was next searching. For it was not a blossoming lily, but a tiny seed, imprinted with a tiny crimson flower rising in an almost transparency. A child yet to be born was dying soon and it brought to mind his various siblings and the painful dagger of betrayal.
Slipping into a cafe still open this early the morning, Reiga hid his shaking hands and finds a corner seat to place his back to the wood of the walls. Even as the sight of the withering spider lilies dissipates, he couldn’t bring himself to look at the owner whom appears next to his table. The ability truly feels as a curse as he quietly orders the usual meal. The woman working takes no offense to the near rude rush he uses to order.
While waiting, he can feel the cold brush of the other person soothingly wrapping around his own fiery hot aura. The comfort it brings is startling for he could not yet place whom it belonged to. Furrowing his brow as he concentrated, he wonders briefly if it belongs to Iza. He didn’t want it too. Yet it feels so similar to her own power, he knew he couldn’t just brush the possibility off.
The lady gently sets a cup of hot chocolate and a slice of apple cinnamon cake onto his table. Waving her off after paying, Reiga tugs again on a bang that fell out of the braid in habitual frustration. Her own habit, he fondly remembers picking up after spending so long in the dark celled room. Her thin face bright with a near constant smile, excited for his presence in a way, only his youngest sister still did by that age.
As he all but downs the hot drink, Reiga allows his mind to go over the last few letters of his correspondence with Iza. She had been reserved for sure. Not entirely unusual for she had been in school for mostly nobility. But she hadn’t been so open as normal. He fiddles with the cake with a heavy frown. If the presence tightly wrapping itself around his own aura was Iza then he didn’t want to make her wait. He could never leave her to face whatever drove her from her country to take part in an Exam that killed nearly half it’s final participants.
Leaving the cake mostly uneaten, the teen slips back into the rain. He hurries to the docks where the boats for the Exam would be leaving at dawn. He prays desperately to his Patron that she wasn’t there. That she was, for his missed her comforting voice and the debates they warred through letters. As he nears the pier, he feels fear trinkle in as fiery crimson locks blows lightly in the wind. Even through the downpour, he could see the amber golden eyes bright with magick pulsing through the dark. Iza. Alone and clinging to his aura in a way that made his heart hurt.
“You took a long time, Aydan. Am I so easily forgotten?”Her voice cuts through the air and he feels his heart ache with hurt and a dangerous fury.
“You are never forgettable, Iza.” Reiga allows his aura to tightly wrap around her as he steps next to her.
Her face closes off. A dangerous shift in her aura makes him wary. But as he wraps his cloak around her pale white shoulders to shield her from the rain, she speaks again.
“I will get stronger.” The vow is spoken with an edge of absolute conviction and equal hatred that makes his very blood boil.
He can see it now. Clearly as he settles on the box next to her. She was afraid. Running like a prey from the jaws of whatever predator was chasing. Her hands grip tightly in her skirts. Around daggers she had always kept on her after he taught her how to hold them. Her eyes which once held warm and life now darkened with fear and determination. He wraps his arm around her shoulders and feels her relax against him. Quietly to himself, he vowed to help her defeat the ones who ripped away her peace and in doing so, his own.