Chapter 4:

The Declaration

Beyond The Flowers

The entrance to the Orphanage banged open and in entered three tall hooded figures. The only thing visible of their faces was their blood, red eyes. Bookmark here

“Take the younger ones!”, Anne demanded.Bookmark here

Mary turned around, looking towards Arthur, Leonardo and Aiyla for a split second before grabbing the three of them and pushing them into the boys’ dormitory. Mary locked the door behind her and turned around to face the horrified faces of both Leonardo, Arthur and Aiyla.Bookmark here

“What about the others?”, asked Leonardo, sweat dripping down the young boys’ face.Bookmark here

“They can handle themselves”, Mary answeredBookmark here

“What?! Have they encountered a Camellia before?!”, Leonardo yelled.Bookmark here

Mary shook her head, looking down, “They— they’ll be alright…”Bookmark here

Arthur was shaking, his eyes wide and his mouth still agape. Aiyla held his hand, trying to comfort him even though the young girl herself was scared as well.Bookmark here

———Bookmark here

While the four of them were locked inside the room. One of the three hooded figures removed their hood. The tall, brown-skinned person had rough, black hair reaching his shoulders and a wide smirk on his face, but the most noticeable feature of his were his blood-red eyes.Bookmark here

“What business do you have here?”, Javier asked, calmly.Bookmark here

“Hmmm?—“, the brown-skinned person started, “—well, we’ve come to take back what’s ours.”, he smirked, signalling to the shackled young girl Anne had apparently ‘caught’.Bookmark here

“Rejected”, Anne muttered, loud enough for everyone in the room to hear. Bookmark here

Fleur stepped forward, next to Anne, with a nervous look on her face. She stood on her toes, whispering in Anne’s ear, “Please, don’t do anything rash. Give them what they want.”Bookmark here

The tall Camellian stepped forward, the smirk remained on his face.Bookmark here

“Don’t come closer.”, started Adam, placing his hand in one of his pocket as if he was grabbing something.Bookmark here

The Camellian completely ignored him, taking another step. Bookmark here

Adam started pulling his hand out of his pocket, holding what looked like a dagger.Bookmark here

Before anybody could react, the Camellian dashed behind the group of people, grabbing the shackled girl by her nape and standing next to the two other hooded figures in what seemed like a blink of an eye. Bookmark here

Anne sneered, “Stand back.”, she mumbled to the others behind her. ,Bookmark here

Adam had pulled his dagger out, about to attack the hooded figures but hesitated after Anne spoke.Bookmark here

“The name’s Jafar—”, the Camellia named Jafar grinned. “—In case you were interested.”Bookmark here

Nobody responded. Bookmark here

“Well— we’ll be heading out then? This is a declaration of war”, Jafar asserted, turning around to exit.Bookmark here

“Hold on!”, Lyna snapped.Bookmark here

Jafar turned around, arching a brow at her.Bookmark here

“You think you can just leave? I’ll kill you-“, she proclaimed.Bookmark here

“Leave it, Lyna—“, Theodore mumbled, nervously.Bookmark here

Jafar walked up to Lyna, disregarding the others next to her. Adam gripped his dagger. “Oh?”, he smirked, reaching his hand out towards her face. Bookmark here

Lyna winced. Adam stepped forward, about to attack the other man. Before anybody could react, Jafar grabbed Lyna by her neck and in the blink of an eye, he was standing back with the other two hooded figures and the shackled girl, but his right hand was gripping onto the back of Lyna’s neck. Bookmark here

“Lyna!”, Fleur yelled, a lament look on her face as she was about to run up towards the enemy. Theodore stopped her, gripping her arm tightly to keep her in place. Fleur glared at him, she looked scary despite being the cheerful one within the group.Bookmark here

Nobody could move, they were too inexperienced to retaliate against the Camellia. They didn’t even have weapons with them, what could a measly dagger possibly do? Jafar smirked, “Goodbye.”Bookmark here

And then they were gone. Just like that, Lyna had been kidnapped and all of them hadn’t been able to stop them. Bookmark here

“Go.”, Anne said to Jade and Javier.Bookmark here

The two of them understood, rushing outside.Bookmark here

Anne was shaking. She was the strongest out of all of them, yet the gleam in those red eyes left her paralysed. What was so scary about them? What’s so scary about their eyes? Anne didn’t know the answer, nobody did.Bookmark here

“I’ll kill you.”, Fleur muttered.Bookmark here

Anne looked at her.Bookmark here

Fleur glared up at her, “I’ll kill you.”Bookmark here

“There was nothing I could do—“, Anne beganBookmark here

“I’ll kill you. I’ll kill you…”, Fleur continued.Bookmark here

Theodore was shaken by what had just happened, Marceline, Aiden, Tyler and Adam hadn’t moved an inch since their enemies had exited. Bookmark here

Theodore gripped Fleur’s arm, dragging her along with him to another room. The boy wanted to calm her down.Bookmark here

———Bookmark here

Fleur had parents. Parents she loved. She lived in Durnic. The town was always lively and crowded. She liked life in the town. She had a great life with her parents, until the age of nine. Her father was a hunter, there came a day where he wanted to take his family into the deep forest, it was meant to be quality family time. That’s what it was meant to be. Bookmark here

They were walking in the forest. Bookmark here

“And that’s how I met your mother—“, Fleur’s tall, brown haired father said. A few hairs growing above his lips.Bookmark here

“How romantic”, Fleur’s dark haired, mother said, sarcastically, rolling her eyes.Bookmark here

Fleur giggled. It was fun. This was fun. Having a family was fun.Bookmark here

“We’ll be there for you as well. When you get married.”, Fleur’s mother said, looking back at her doe-eyed daughter.Bookmark here

“You promise?”, Fleur asked.Bookmark here

“Of course!”, Fleur’s father chuckled. Bookmark here

They had broken their promise. Only an hour later were her deceased parents’ bodies laying on the leaves of the forest floor. Fleur didn’t even know what had had happened, somebody had appeared all of a sudden and a second later, her parents were dead. The only image she remembered of her parents’ killer were his blood red eyes and his smirk. Bookmark here

Fleur had wandered around the forest that day, not knowing what to do or where she was going to end up. Her tears swelled, she cried whilst walking, knowing well of what had happened to her dear parents. Bookmark here

Anne had found her, just on the outskirts of the forest, next to the orphanage. That place had given her a home and friends. A place where she belonged. Bookmark here

“Your parents dead too?”, a black-haired girl asked. She looked around the same age as Fleur. The most prominent feature of hers were the freckles covering her face. Bookmark here

Fleur bit her lip, tears welling up in her eyes once more.Bookmark here

“Lyna..”, a blonde haired boy spoke behind the girl named Lyna. He looked younger than the both of them. Bookmark here

Tears dripped from Fleur’s eyes as she looked up at Lyna, “Did a red-eyed man kill yours?”Bookmark here

Lyna raised a brow, “I’m not too sure about a man— but red eyes, yes. Same with Theodore here”, she pointed at the blonde haired boy.Bookmark here

Fleur bit her bottom lip harder, holding in her tears, “I’ll kill them.”, she said, her eyes looking deadly.Bookmark here

“Oh? Okay then. I’ll be glad to help you.”, Lyna smirked.Bookmark here

Theodore seemed uncomfortable, as he was standing next to two dangerous people.Bookmark here

“Me— me too!”, the blonde-haired boy declared. Bookmark here

The two girls looked at his face, then at his scrawny, weak-looking body, and then back at his face.Bookmark here

Lyna began to hysterically laugh, as if the boy had made the funniest joke she had ever heard, “Good luck with that, Theodore.”Bookmark here

Fleur had stopped crying, she suddenly started to giggle too.Bookmark here

The three of them had been inseparable since that day.Bookmark here

———Bookmark here

Fleur had been crying in a deserted room, Theodore sitting by her side, his arm around her shoulder as he tried to comfort her, feeling depressed himself. Bookmark here

“You— you know Lyna. She’ll hold out. We’ll go get her back”, Theodore spoke.Bookmark here

Fleur looked at him, smiling as tears remained in her eyes, streaming down her face. She nodded, “Mhm. We’ll get her back for sure.” Bookmark here

——— Bookmark here

When Mary unlocked the door after confirming there was no danger behind it, she froze. Bookmark here

“Where’s Fleur, Lyna and Theodore?”, she asked, blocking the door, so Aiyla, Leonardo and Arthur couldn’t exit. Bookmark here

Anne pointed to the storage room. Mary was relieved as she did so but noticed that Anne had a not so relieved look on her face. Mary sprinted to the room, opening it. There she saw the two children, weeping together. Mary examined the entire room, looking for Lyna. She started sweating, breathing heavily, “Where- where’s Lyna?!”Bookmark here

Fleur looked up at her, eyes swollen. She didn’t speak but the answer was obvious. Bookmark here

Mary struggled to breathe. Bookmark here

———Bookmark here

Lyna was like a younger sister to her. At the beginning, when she first arrived. Mary tried her best to comfort her. Mary hadn’t known what it was like to lose her parents, she had never known her parents. However, Lyna was hard to talk to. The girl was younger than her, but seemed more mature, yet immature at the same time. As if she were trying to act strong to cover up her weaknesses. Bookmark here

“Lyna’s a pretty name”, Mary said.Bookmark here

Lyna looked at her, not responding. Bookmark here

“You’re a stubborn one, eh?”, Mary asked the seven year old. Bookmark here

“Are you talking to me out of pity?”, Lyna finally said.Bookmark here

Mary arched a brow. Was she just talking to her out of pity? Bookmark here

“Yeah, I am. Is there anything wrong with that?”Bookmark here

“No. Nothing wrong with that. Thank you for it.” Lyna grinned, looking up at the older girl.Bookmark here

Mary was surprised. Bookmark here

The two of them were like sisters. Well, maybe it would be better to say that Lyna saw her as a replacement for her older sister. Bookmark here

When the Camellia invaded her tiny village, her older sister had also been killed. Even though her sister was only a few years older than her, she had tried to retaliate against the enemies, which ended up in her death. Lyna could never forget the face of her older sister as she collapsed onto the ground, saliva bubbles slipping from her mouth. Bookmark here

———Bookmark here

It has been a few days. Arthur and Leonardo hadn’t really been affected by the disappearance of Lyna, but the rest were. Especially, Theodore and Fleur. Bookmark here

Adam and Jade had returned a day after being sent out to tail the Camellia by Anne. They hadn’t been able to find any clues about their whereabouts. The rest of them were determined to get Lyna back. Bookmark here

———Bookmark here

Everyone was seated down in the lounge, Mary and Javier wanted to have a talk with them.Bookmark here

“She’ll be safe for two years. We have two years to find out her whereabouts. We’ll set out on the 21st of September, Year 1705”, Anne began.Bookmark here

Before Anne could say anything else, Fleur stood up, “Two years?”, she hissed, “How are you so sure that she’ll survive for the next two years?”Bookmark here

Anne looked at her, “She will.”Bookmark here

“How are you so sure of that?!”, Fleur demanded.Bookmark here

Anne paused. Benedict looked at Fleur, “She will, Fleur.”Bookmark here

Fleur looked at Benedict, calming down. She trusted him, but she couldn’t help but worry about Lyna.Bookmark here

“Um- I know I shouldn’t really be talking, but—“, Leonardo began.Bookmark here

Everybody turned to face him, “Why two years?”, Bookmark here

“Because the Camellia attack every two years, coming out of hiding, based on our information”, Javier said. Bookmark here

“Why?”, Leonardo asked.Bookmark here

“We don’t know”, the older man answered.Bookmark here

———Bookmark here

Physical training had started a few days after. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t anything too extreme either. Leonardo didn’t really struggle at anything, he was average. Arthur had trouble, though. He was weak, but his intelligence made up for it. Jade was probably one of the strongest amongst them, along with Adam. Mary had the fastest reflexes but she wasn’t too physically strong. Benedict was all brawn, no brain, he could offend and defend but his tactics weren’t too powerful. Theodore was better than Arthur, but he also struggled a lot. He wasn’t too strong, nor was he too intelligent but his emotional support made up for all of it. He was comforting, he was like the glue that held all of them together. Fleur was powerful, she would probably improve a lot in two years. Marceline wasn’t strong. She wasn’t weak either, a bit above average. Tyler had a lot of physical strength, along with quick reflexes but his brother, not so much. Aiden could defend himself but he had more brains than brown, like Arthur. Aiyla wasn’t too strong, but like Mary, she had quick reflexes despite her young age. Anne was the strongest. She was smart, powerful, had quick reflexes and good tactics. She was like what everybody in the Orphanage dreamed of becoming at the end of these two years. Bookmark here

And so, the extensive training for the next two years began. All in order to defeat The Camellia and retrieve Lyna. Bookmark here

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