Chapter 6:

The City of Athelas (Part 1)

Six


Aystaria looked out at morning sky as the sun was beginning to rise over the horizon. She looked back to Reina, and Lyis who were knocked out from the night she had with them. I guess they didn’t have the stamina to keep up with me, Aystaria thought as she covered them up with the blanket to ensure they didn’t catch a cold. Looking over the room, Aystaria looked around for her clothes. Wait, maybe I can wear the maid outfit Lyis wore, and help the two of them out this time, she thought as she picked up the maid outfit.Bookmark here

They are the first people I’ve ever told that story to that were not apart of a unit. It’s scary, but I actually did it. They actually stayed, which surprised me even more I dare say, Aystaria thought as she finished putting on Lyis’s maid outfit. Stepping carefully throughout her room, and to the door, she silently exited without wake the two twins up. Moving down the hallway, skipping merrily, Aystaria made her way for the kitchen. Finding herself greeted by the stares of the two maids on-duty, Aystaria simply smiled as she struck a cute pose.Bookmark here

“I’m going to be taking over for Reina, and Lyis, okay?”Bookmark here

“Of course, Miss Pynn.”Bookmark here

“Please, call me Aystaria.”Bookmark here

“R-Right. But Aystaria… do you know how to cook a meal for a noble family?”Bookmark here

Aystaria giggled.Bookmark here

“Of course, just let me do my thing,” Aystaria said with a wink.Bookmark here

The two maids continued to tend to the food until overtime, they began to get sidetracked by Aystaria’s ability to cook. Before long, Aystaria was the only one tending to the cooking as she quickly prepared a meal fit for a noble family. After adding the finishing touches, she smiled as she handed the tray to over to one of the maids.Bookmark here

“Since you two watched instead of helped, you can take the trays, okay,” Aystaria said with a smile.Bookmark here

The two maids nodded, and exited the kitchen. Grabbing a roll of bread, Aystaria placed in the oven, and took it out with her dagger as she had the first time she came to the manor. She walked the halls of the manor as she ate her bread slowly. I should probably get Emyria’s school uniform, Aystaria thought as she headed for the outside laundry area where all the clothes were hung out to dry on the sunny days. Six lines were each spaced evenly, and were roughly six feet in length. Looking over all the clothes on the lines, she managed to find the one that held only Emyria’s school uniform. Taking each piece off the line, Aystaria folded up the clothes into one neat square as if she had done it over hundred times.Bookmark here

Oh, it looks like our little noble wears pink panties, how cute, Aystaria thought she folded them on top of the rest of the clothes. After gathering up the uniform, she made her way inside, while humming a cheerful tune. Knocking at Emyria’s door, Aystaria did her best impression of a noble maid.Bookmark here

“Excuse me, Lady Hyteria. May I intrude for a moment?”Bookmark here

A moment passed before Emyria opened the door. She looked like a corpse. Her hair was messy, and looked as if she had been scratching her head for hours on end. Under her eyes were black circles where she clearly had not had any sleep. Aystaria smiled as she brushed back Emyria’s bangs from her face.Bookmark here

“Looks like someone stayed up studying,” Aystaria said as she moved passed Emyria, and laid the clothes down on the bed.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I just couldn’t sleep,” Emyria said with a loud yawn.Bookmark here

Aystaria sighed as she turned to Emyria. Looking her over for a brief second, she grabbed Emyria by the hand, and sat her down in the wooden chair by her desk. Pulling out one of her daggers, she carefully used it to straighten out Emyria’s hair until it was reasonably straight. Looking her over one more time, Aystaria tried desperately to get Emyria’s bangs to stay off to the side.Bookmark here

“Hmm. Your bangs are just not working with you, are they?”Bookmark here

“They never do.”Bookmark here

Aystaria thought about what she could do for a moment before removing the hair clip she wore, along her bangs to fall naturally down. Brushing Emyria’s bangs back again, Aystaria used the hair clip to hold back her bangs on the right side.Bookmark here

“Please don’t break or lose this hair clip, okay?”Bookmark here

“Why? What’s so special about it?”Bookmark here

The room suddenly fell silent before Aystaria smiled, and spoke.Bookmark here

“A friend I knew gave it to me before he passed away.”Bookmark here

“Oh… Wait, are you sure you—”Bookmark here

“You can wear it. Just keep it safe. That is all I ask.”Bookmark here

Emyria could tell by the serious tone in Aystaria’s voice that she wasn’t joking around.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, Aystaria. I’ll keep it safe. I promise.”Bookmark here

Aystaria smiled as she helped Emyria to her feet.Bookmark here

“Time for you to get dressed. Do you require assistance, Lady Hyteria?” Aystaria said in a noble tone as she bowed slightly.Bookmark here

“You just want to see me naked, don’t you?” Emyria asked in an amusingly.Bookmark here

“Hehe. You think you’re actually worth my viewing pleasure?” Aystaria asked with a smug expression.Bookmark here

“Okay, I don’t think I have a reply to that.”Bookmark here

“It’s okay. You’re learning. Now, you get dressed before you’re late for school.”Bookmark here

“Right. Also… Aystaria?”Bookmark here

“Hmm?”Bookmark here

“Why are you wearing a maid outfit?”Bookmark here

Aystaria giggled as she twirled on the ball of her foot, and placed both her hands on her hips, and winked seductively.Bookmark here

“Why not?”Bookmark here

“I just… You look nice,” Emyria said blushing slightly.Bookmark here

Aystaria moved in closer as she inched her face closer to Emyria’s. Their eyes gazed upon each other as Emyria started to smell the subtle aroma of warm baked bread.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I know,” Aystaria said with a smirk of confidence.Bookmark here

Without a playful skip to the exit, Aystaria left the room, and made her way back to her own. Upon opening the door, she could see Reina awake, and yawning as she stretched. Taking a moment to allow her brain to process, she rubbed her eyes once.Bookmark here

“Either my maid fantasy came true, or I’m still asleep,” Reina said as she yawned once more.Bookmark here

Aystaria giggled as she bowed slightly.Bookmark here

“I’m at your service, princess.”Bookmark here

Another yawn echoed out next to Reina. Lyis rubbed his eyes as he sat up. Looking over to his left, he was surprised by the beauty of Aystaria dressed in his maid outfit.Bookmark here

“Good morning, master,” Aystaria said in a cutesy tone as she winked.Bookmark here

“Aystaria?”Bookmark here

“Oh… Uh… little brother…”Bookmark here

A paroxysm of laughter escaped Aystaria’s mouth as she held onto her side.Bookmark here

“What are you two laughing—”Bookmark here

Lyis looked down as he realized just what the two girls were talking about.Bookmark here

“Master, it seems something is rising, and it’s not the bread,” Aystaria joked.Bookmark here

Lyis could feel his face turning red as he ducked under the covers to hide his face.Bookmark here

“You can hide your face, but not the monster under the covers.”Bookmark here

“Can we stop talking about me? What are you even doing, Aystaria?”Bookmark here

“Well, you two seemed pretty tired so I decided to take over your duties for you.”Bookmark here

“That is sweet of you, but we can’t let you do that,” Reina said.Bookmark here

“No, no, it’s fine. I enjoy it actually.”Bookmark here

Aystaria sat down on the bed, and seductively inched her face loser to Reina’s.Bookmark here

“Now you, and your brother just relax while I take care of everything, okay?”Bookmark here

Reina was unable to hide her blushing face as she knew there was no winning against Aystaria.Bookmark here

“Fine. We will take you up on that offer then.”Bookmark here

“Good, I’ll be back with a meal for the two of you.”Bookmark here

As Aystaria left the room, Reina laid back on the bed as she closed her eyes. She is an odd one, but I can’t deny that her abilities, and skill match up to how well trained she is. Still, it’s hard to believe after everything she has been through that she can smile like that, Reina thought.Bookmark here

“Hey sis?”Bookmark here

“Hmm?”Bookmark here

“Do you think we should join?”Bookmark here

“I don’t know. She said it was out there. Either we stay here, and pretend life goes on as normal or we learn how to fight like her, and use our skills for the greater good.”Bookmark here

“It sounds like fun, doesn’t it?” Lyis asked with a smile.Bookmark here

“It does,” Reina said with a happy expression on her face.Bookmark here

#Bookmark here

Emyria yawned throughout the day as she tried to stay awake. My body hates me so much right now, Emyria thought as she turned the corner. The smell of baked bread filled her nose as she passed by the small shop that sold her favorite bread. After purchasing a small slice, she continued on her way to school. Emyria looked up to the sky to see the position of sun. I’m going to be late, she thought as she sighed heavily.Bookmark here

In the distance, she could see a young woman walking alone in her direction. She was dressed in a black corset with a crimson red miniskirt. The sound of her brown leather boots echoed with each step on the cobblestone street. As the girl passed by her, Emyria could see she had long beautiful white hair that peaked out from her hood that she had drawn over her face. For a moment, Emyria felt something cold graze her cheek. What was that feeling, Emyria wondered as she stopped for a moment. She quickly realized that she could no longer hear the sound of the woman’s boots.Bookmark here

Emyria noticed her bangs were starting to fall downwards near her eyes. Turning around on the ball of her foot, she could see the woman running into one of the nearby alleyways. Touching where Aystaria had placed the hair clip, Emyria realized what the girl had done. All right, you want to steal from me? Let’s go then, Emyria thought as she rushed to catch up with the girl. Entering into the alleyway, she watched as the girl quickly vaulted over the various objects, and obstacles like an assassin in the night. Following behind the girl’s lead, Emyria vaulted clean over each obstacle as she started to close the gap.Bookmark here

The white haired girl continued to move through the alleyway until she reached a small stack of crates. In one fluid motion, she stepped onto the crates, using them as a staircase to make her way up to the rooftop. Following the training that Aystaria had taught her, Emyria was able to make it to the rooftop within a fraction of the time it took for the white haired girl. She just doesn’t give up, Emyria thought as she continued to follow the girl from rooftop to rooftop. As Emyria hopped a gap to another rooftop, she noticed the girl pulling something out from under her cloak. Barely having a second to realize what it was, Emyria calculated exactly what she had to do. Stepping on the ball of her right foot, and out of the trajectory of the dagger aiming to pierce her heart, Emyrai grabbed the oddly shaped dagger in mid-air, and spun on the ball of her foot using the rotation, and momentum to reverse the path of the dagger back at the white haired girl.Bookmark here

Emyria watched as the girl skillfully caught the ring that was carved out at the hilt, and twirled in around her finger before sheathing it back on to the thigh-holster. Before long, Emyria was getting annoyed with the girl, and her will to continuously evade her.Bookmark here

“Can you just give up already!?” Emyria yelled as she watched the girl jump down onto another rooftop.Bookmark here

The white haired girl stopped at the edge of the building to the street below. Unlike the other rooftops, there was nowhere for the girl to run. Below her was a forty foot drop onto the cobblestone. Emyria cornered the girl, and readied herself for a fight.Bookmark here

“Nowhere for you to run. Now, hand over my hair clip or I’ll have to hurt you,” Emyria said with a smug expression.Bookmark here

The girl smiled as she stood at the edge of the rooftop.Bookmark here

“If you think you can, you’re welcome to try,” the girl said in a playful tone that marked the boundaries of cute.Bookmark here

Without warning, the girl fell backwards as Emyria’s face turned to one of shock. What the hell, she thought as she rushed forward to the roof’s edge. Looking out over the edge, she noticed that the girl was nowhere to be found. It was as if her body had vanished from existence. Emyria sighed as she tried to understand what happened. Before she could process the events, she felt a sharp pain run throughout her whole body before everything went numb. She could see a pair of arms holding her steady as a chilling whisper echoed into her ear.Bookmark here

“Shouldn’t have let your guard down.”Bookmark here

The voice was of the girl that Emyria had saw. Damn, I should have been more careful, Emyria thought as she felt her mind starting to shut down. Within moments, Emyria could no longer see the world around her as she drifted off into a deep sleep.Bookmark here

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