Chapter 3:

Chapter 1 : The Radiant City (2/2)

Radiant Prism - The Goddess of Chaos and a World With You [Short]

Bookmark here

In the rapid crowd of people passing us, her wings flapped all the faster as she smiled brightly at me. It was like looking at the sun. Her small fingers tugged at my blade again, and it caused me to pull back.Bookmark here

“Ah, what are you doing?”Bookmark here

I asked.Bookmark here

“This sword you have… it’s something else.”Bookmark here

She admired.Bookmark here

I pulled to the side, causing her to stumble. Thankfully, I reached out my hand and grabbed her by the shoulder before she could stumble and fall on her face. Bookmark here

“It’s a dangerous weapon. You shouldn’t be grabbing people’s things.”Bookmark here

Trying to be the adult here, I scolded her with my finger.Bookmark here

Slightly annoyed, I turned around and made my way towards the city’s west gates where I live. I've had my fair share of dealing with people for the month, and I was beyond exhausted. I just wanted to go back home, cook my dinner, and read a book by a fire… in my blankets…Bookmark here

“Hold up, redhead! How much is it?!”Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

Strangely enough, this small barklight girl flew up to me like a flea. Her wings were so massive compared to her that they looked a tad unnatural. Her eyes were like golden gems as they shined and marveled at my weapon.Bookmark here

“It’s not for sale, little girl.”Bookmark here

She kicked in the air like a baby throwing a tantrum. Shoppers were giving her mean glares as they were slapped by her wings as they passed.Bookmark here

“Everything’s for sale… Come on, what’s your price, chick?”Bookmark here

She tugged on the blade again as if it was already hers. I didn’t want to attract attention, so I leaned away from her.Bookmark here

“Listen, I have to be somewhere, so… go play with cats or something.”Bookmark here

She puffed out her cheeks and landed next to me. Still being small enough that I had to look down at her, we faced one another. Our height difference made me feel bad for her. Me being the age of 20… She had to be around 12 or 13 at the most. Bookmark here

“I’m not a dumb kid! Now hurry up and tell me, how much?!”Bookmark here

I looked about to see if there were any shadows I could escape into. But the sun was too bright, the ground was shining, and I had no escape from her. Annoyed, I looked back at her.Bookmark here

“Well, sorry to tell you, but this blade is important to me. It’s also too dangerous for someone of your… ah, age to be handling.”Bookmark here

Again, I attempted to leave her when she grabbed my wrist. The sudden motion caused me to drop my bag of tomatoes and oil.Bookmark here

“Get it with, Feodora!”Bookmark here

I was embarrassed as I rushed to pick up my things. I looked around to make sure nobody was laughing at me and turned back to the culprit.Bookmark here

“I will give you 10,000 gold for that weapon!”Bookmark here

“Eh…”Bookmark here

I was skeptical…. my trust in people has waned all the more.Bookmark here

“Sorry, but I can’t give you this sword no matter how much you want it.”Bookmark here

She shrugged her small shoulders.Bookmark here

“Oh, well…”Bookmark here

Dejectedly, she gave up. Done with that ordeal, I turned around, back to the gates.Bookmark here

“Eh?!”Bookmark here

I tripped on a rock, and my body tumbled face-first into the ground. Luckily my groceries broke my fall, effectively squishing two of the tomatoes in my bag. Some of the sauces dyed the golden cobblestone street an off green.Bookmark here

“Ah, dang it…”Bookmark here

I rubbed the sauce off my jacket. I wanted to cry but I stood strong… feeling a tad lighter on my hip.Bookmark here

“What the?!”Bookmark here

My sword was gone, and the golden-haired fairy was flying away. The smile on her smug face only aimed to make me angry. She was flying towards where I entered from.Bookmark here

“Wait, come back here you little thief!”Bookmark here

Seemingly appalled by my accusation, she pointed toward me.Bookmark here

“I’m not a thief! I tossed the gold next to you!”Bookmark here

Littered at my feet was gold. It wasn’t the 10,000 gold she promised, but it was a hefty amount.Bookmark here

“Money! Everyone, there’s money!”Bookmark here

Shopkeepers and customers dived at my cash as they picked up the gold around me. At my feet, like rats, they all swarmed on the ground picking up my money. The gold shined off the sun making the shopping district look all the richer.Bookmark here

“H-hey?! T-That’s my money!”Bookmark here

Even though I didn’t want it, they were still stealing from me. Annoyed, I rushed out of the crowd and started racing after her. She was flying in the sky, as happy as a bumblebee, but I was fast on her tail as I weaved my way through the crowded streets. I rushed back through that alleyway, and when I came out, I reached a clearing, I called out to her.Bookmark here

“Hey, get back here!”Bookmark here

“Wow, you’re persistent. You won’t leave me alone, will you?”Bookmark here

The annoyed barklight snapped her fingers. Her hands shined a remarkable color of bronze as she spun in the air in excitement.Bookmark here

"That's earth spectrum."Bookmark here

I concluded what I was up against. She was likely an earth vessel user. As we reached a circular clearing with stores like the bakery from before we faced one another, she soared in the sky. Bookmark here

She swooped down, occasionally touching the fountain in the center. The day was bright, and it was hard to focus on her as she moved around.Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

Suddenly, a tremor ensued. My legs began to shake along with the stores and homes nearby. A massive rock, around 16ft tall protruded from the ground. Its body was round and gold but had jagged arms made up of rock that lay on the ground next to it. Its legs were slightly shorter and in the center of its body, a single bright purple eye looked about the area.Bookmark here

“What the heck?!”Bookmark here

A man cried out. Kids began running as bystanders began flooding away as the massive creature stood in my way.Bookmark here

“Are you serious?!”Bookmark here

Surprised, I cried out in frustration.Bookmark here

“Golem, break her!”Bookmark here

The child screamed in excitement. This child was surely an earth vessel. I confirmed what her main element was. I never expected someone would be able to use their spectrum to create living beings though.Bookmark here

She cackled from above, kicking her small feet about as she floated in the air. She flew over the triangle-shaped roofs as she was having fun.Bookmark here

“Break her legs, rip off her arms, just get her away from me!”Bookmark here

She commanded as she pointed at me. Despite how heavy it must have been, it effortlessly stomped towards me. The world shook with every step. Reflexively, I took my unarmed stance. Maxwell beat a lot into me during my training, and this was the time to use it.Bookmark here

“I don’t want to punch that...”Bookmark here

I dodged to the right, watching the golem’s heavy hand destroy a brick wall beside me. It shattered the glass of the business and made the walls cave in. Workers ran from the devastation as the roof caved in beside me. The golem stood up and attacked me again.Bookmark here

“No, you don’t!”Bookmark here

I rolled to the side, missing the next attack directed at me from the golem. It slammed its body into the ground nearby. Its attacks were slow and took wide swings to strike at me, so I used that to my advantage. Taking this chance, I raced away, heading right to the barklight still dancing in the sky.Bookmark here

“Give me my katana, you little-!”Bookmark here

I screamed.Bookmark here

“Hurry up, crush her! Make her crippled! Show her that disobeying me was the last thing she should have done!”Bookmark here

Manically, the sadistic child laughed as if this was a game. The golem reanimated at her command. It told me that she had to give it orders for it to move. It wasn’t sentient in any way. Again, it rushed me as its master escaped. Bookmark here

But this time I was on the offensive as I cut my leg back, channeled the spectrum I had into my fist, and waited for the chance. Suddenly, it jumped in the air, casting its large bodies shadow over me.Bookmark here

“Got to try harder than that!”Bookmark here

I used this to melt into the shadows as they slammed on the ground. Its large body caused the world to shake in fear. From a nearby canopy of the bakery, I emerged. I watched as it lay there, hopelessly. The eye was exposed as it looked at me. Taking the chance, I rushed over with my fist raised. The blood in my body pulsed as I channeled everything into it.Bookmark here

“Ha!”Bookmark here

I thrust my fist into its eye. It felt like sand as my hand broke through. The darkness of the hole I made started to expand from the dark spectrum. The outside of its body began to crack as purple energy expanded inside of it.Bookmark here

“Scatter!”Bookmark here

Like a shockwave, its head exploded, and the area shook like an earthquake. Its pieces destroyed streetlights and even took out the top of the beautiful fountain I admired earlier.Bookmark here

“Oh my gosh! Golem!”Bookmark here

The barklight cried as she turned around. She began kicking her feet around in frustration. Wildly, the golden thief started hitting my sword against a wooden building in rage… and that irritated me.Bookmark here

“Do you know how long that golem took to make, redhead?! Oh, I'm furious now.”Bookmark here

She glided around casting her shadow across the ground. In the direct sun, she made a fatal mistake.Bookmark here

“Alright, here I go.”Bookmark here

I whispered as I rushed into the canopy again, causing my body to fade into the shadows. I connected with the dark places around me and melted my form accordingly.Bookmark here

“Ehhh? Where did she go?!”Bookmark here

Confused, the kid kicked around in the sky, looking for me. But little did she know I found a perfect place to emerge…Bookmark here

From the shadow that she created, I emerged.Bookmark here

“Ha!”Bookmark here

With an uppercut, I struck her from below. My fist connected with her stomach in a critical strike. Her eyes went wide, and I could see her irises roll behind her head. As much as I didn’t want to hurt her, she needed to be punished.Bookmark here

“Ah.”Bookmark here

She toppled onto a triangle-shaped rooftop as my dark blade spun in the air. I reacted by guiding my body over, catching hold of it, and landing on my feet. I nearly fell over but… luck was on my side, and I nailed the landing. Suddenly, I heard the sound of a large object bouncing around. Red tiles were falling from nearby. I looked up towards the roof and instantly knew what it was.Bookmark here

“Oh no!”Bookmark here

I ran over, saw her small body fly off the edge, and jumped for her. Thankfully, I caught her in my arms as we both rolled to the ground. As I held her fragile-like body, I felt all the more guilty that I slammed my fist into her stomach. She was small as she fit in my arms. Business owners and bystanders circled around us.Bookmark here

“Wow, she did it.”Bookmark here

They curiously looked at me. I had no intention of going further. The longer I stayed in this crowd of onlookers, the more insecure I was getting. Voices rose from the group. They cheered remarkably to my surprise.Bookmark here

“It’s about time someone taught her a lesson!”Bookmark here

“Yeah! The Pasco family has been acting like they ran this place for years! Way to go, redhead!”Bookmark here

“Go girl, go!”Bookmark here

The sudden fans were getting to me…I just wanted to go home and make fried green tomatoes. So, I raced over, held my grocery bag in hand, and made my way back over to the fallen child. She was dizzy, likely from the fall. I bent down and placed a muffin in her warm hands.Bookmark here

“It’s cinnamon… I don’t like cinnamon… it hurts my nose.”Bookmark here

I wasn't sure why I was explaining this to a knocked-out child, but there I was. Neatly, I tucked it under her hand and organized her fingers to grip it. The muffin fell out though… so I put it back on her palm, silently hoping it would stay this time.Bookmark here

“Break it up! Break it up.”Bookmark here

That’s when heavy footsteps started to come in. Knights in those white uniforms and dark blue pants started gathering in the area.Bookmark here

“The knights are here everyone! Give them room to get through.”Bookmark here

“Oh no… I don’t want to be a part of this.”Bookmark here

The alarm bells were going through my head. First, I'd be questioned, then I'll be held… then I'll have to… deal with people. My anxiety was getting the best of me today. So, I held onto my grocery bag, put my hand on the shadow of the nearby store, and melted away before any knights could see me.Bookmark here

“Wow… that took a lot out of me.”Bookmark here

There was a limit to shadow walking. The furthest I could use this was roughly 100 ft away. Then there would be a brief time before I could use it again. It was always harder to move around on bright days like this. That's why I would only move at night. But… most shops were closed at those hours, and I was craving fried green tomatoes. In the distance, I could still hear the knights fixing up the scene. It wasn’t my problem anymore, so I calmly made my way to the west gates.Bookmark here

“Okay, time to make fried green tomatoes.”Bookmark here

“Hold it!”Bookmark here

I jolted at the aggressive voice directed at me from behind. When I met eyes with her, her beauty was breathtaking. With eyes that looked like burnt brass, she wore a purple cross pattern tank top that curved out her body flawlessly. Her stomach was showing, and a pink belt wrapped around her hips. Her skirt fell just above her knees and shared the same pattern as her top half. With sharp grey and white boots, one could already see that she was worlds different than most. She approached, and with every click of her shoes, the world around us ceased as if a carpet was rolled out for her. Hooked to the back of her skirt, she took out a dark red blade and approached me with it in her hand.Bookmark here

“State your name and occupation before I run my sword through you and force it out of you.”Bookmark here

“Eh… are you serious?”Bookmark here

She was getting too close for comfort, and… my anxiety was kicking in pretty bad right now.Bookmark here

“Who are you?”Bookmark here

She stomped on the floor causing me to straighten my back.Bookmark here

“I gave you an order!”Bookmark here

“Eh… My name is Feodora Cicer, and I’m currently in-between jobs.”Bookmark here

"You are a creature of the night. One who is in love with the darkness. Your body resonates with the dark spectrum, does it not?"Bookmark here

She approached closer causing me to back up again.Bookmark here

“Eh, yeah… Listen, if this is about that barklight, she started it.”Bookmark here

“My name is Jade Opal, a knight from the Radiant Kingdom, and I’m taking you in for questioning.”Bookmark here

“You look nothing like a knight… not in that getup.”Bookmark here

I remarked, looking at her… clothing choice.Bookmark here

"Do you dare question my authority based on what I'm wearing?"Bookmark here

“Ah… yeah, that’s just what I’m doing.”Bookmark here

She looked pissed off, and that caused my shoulders to drop. Everything in me was telling me to make a break for it. But I’ve heard the stories of the Radiants from tales spun over time with Maxwell. They are dangerous. Their command is deemed as law so if I disobey, it would be a pain to deal with.Bookmark here

“Listen… Ah, Jade, I just came to town to buy some stuff. Can I like, stop by later and make a statement or something?”Bookmark here

Her eyes lowered as she put her free hand on her blade.Bookmark here

“I asked nicely the first time… Now I want to cut you down and drag you in.”Bookmark here

She approached as I put my hand on my katana, ready for another fight. Suddenly, the world was shaken as a bright light lit up the sky. An explosion in the distance caused my body to shake as I fell to the ground. I sat right on my groceries, crushing theBookmark here

remaining tomatoes. Bookmark here

“The hell?”Bookmark here

The beauty named Jade scorned as she looked into the distance. Fire erupted from a distance away. My arm was grabbed, a bright light formed on my wrist. A holy spectrum tightened around both my wrist, binding me to them.Bookmark here

“Stay where you are, I’ll be back to deal with you later. And if you dare try to leave, I will kill you.”Bookmark here

“Eh?! Hey! Get these off me!”Bookmark here

I cried, but it was useless; she raced off into the distance, towards the explosion. Crowds of people rushed away from the scene. I took to my feet and attempted to break her spectrum.Bookmark here

“Tsk... this isn’t weak. She must be strong in holy to put something like this on me.”Bookmark here

I turned towards the gates and attempted to run away, but my body was pulled by the light on my wrist. I crashed to the ground.Bookmark here

“Are you kidding me?”Bookmark here

I tried again and again, but the result was the same. I even attempted to shadow walk outside the gates, but the spectrum would pull me out from the shadows and slam me back into town. There was no doubt about it…Bookmark here

“I’m stuck here until she gets rid of this spectrum on me. She’s the only one that can get these off me, isn’t she?”Bookmark here

Annoyed, I took to my feet. I closed my eyes and focused on the holy bindings on my wrist. What I saw was a link of chains. As I followed it, I noticed that the chain followed where Jade ran off to.Bookmark here

"Maybe..."Bookmark here

I stepped forwards and before I knew it, I was following the link. It seemed that I was only bound if I attempted to pull on the chains.Bookmark here

"So, I'm bound to her, and if I try to pull away... I get punished."Bookmark here

I understood the problem. So, I took a deep breath and concluded what I had to do.Bookmark here

“Alright.”Bookmark here

I raced off towards the chains. It allowed me to follow where she was going and gave me a clear insight into where she went.Bookmark here

As I traveled towards the blast, the wooden stores were lit on fire and the fires became greater over time. People were evacuated, making it all the harder to get through. Bookmark here

When I finally made it through the rush, buildings were on fire as knights were clearing out the area. There were users of the water spectrum, trying to extinguish the flames.Bookmark here

“Where is she, that knight?”Bookmark here

As my eyes moved about, I caught the sight of a... pink-haired girl. She was dressed in a white and green uniform of some kind. Our eyes met briefly and it felt as though the world around us became silent.Bookmark here

“Ah…”Bookmark here

I was caught off guard as I gazed into those light blue eyes. She looked over her shoulder, shook her head, and began running away, disappearing into the distance. For some reason... I couldn't take my eyes off of her until she turned the corner...Bookmark here

“What are you doing here?!”Bookmark here

I turned to see the knight I was looking for. She looked frustrated as she approached with her sword drawn towards me. Before I could speak, she lifted her hand in the air. Bookmark here

“Clearly, you don’t know how to listen, dark vessel!”Bookmark here

She raised her hand and a bright light caused me to squint my eyes. It was clear to me that she was... strong in the holy element.Bookmark here

The world around us shined as my mind went blank… Everything became hazy...Bookmark here

I couldn’t tell what was going on anymore…Bookmark here

Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“Ah?!”Bookmark here

I found myself bound to an uncomfortable chair. My face was leaned to the side, and drool was running out of my mouth. It wasn’t like I was sleeping… more like I was in a daze and finally came to.Bookmark here

“Eh… I hope nobody saw that.”Bookmark here

I rubbed my mouth on my shoulder as I looked about. It was a dark room with grey walls and a single table in the middle. There was a one-way glass behind me and a door in front. This room reminded me of my books again. It was certainly inspired by the human European civilization’s design. It used to be called a precinct office interrogation room.Bookmark here

“… Arrrg… I seriously hope nobody saw that.”Bookmark here

My mind wasn’t clear yet, and the only thing I could think about was people watching me foam at the mouth as I was in a strange daze. I recalled what happened. That earthquake and explosion. There was a fire in the distance and Jade ran off to help.Bookmark here

“Where am I?”Bookmark here

The place where a suspect would be pushed around by two investigators. I kind of expected two men to come in. One being the nice guy and the other… not so much.Bookmark here

Suddenly, the door shook. Bookmark here

The beauty named Jade walked in. Her dark long hair that reached to her hips swayed from left to right as she made her way to me. At her command, the burly man walked out, shutting the door as he did.Bookmark here

“I want to start off by apologizing to you for knocking you out. I… didn’t expect you to scream your head off the entire time though.”Bookmark here

The knight looked annoyed.Bookmark here

“S-Sorry… my night terrors must have triggered.”Bookmark here

Instead of asking more, the knight continued on…Bookmark here

"Right now, I have a job, and you are the person I need to chat with dark vessel.”Bookmark here

She sounded so matter of fact about it. Bookmark here

“Listen… I just came to town for groceries. This is a little much. If it’s about that barklight… she stole from me and-“Bookmark here

With her hand, she stopped me.Bookmark here

"Look, you have a lot of charges facing you. These come from witnesses' accounts. I know about what happened… you don't have to worry about that."Bookmark here

She laid out a bunch of papers. Bookmark here

“Legally, I can hold you here for the foreseeable future… and it’s not even about that incident with you and Lana.”Bookmark here

"Lana? Is that her name?"Bookmark here

I recalled her face. The bratty earth spectrum user who called her golem on me. Bookmark here

“I just wanted to go home and make fried green tomatoes…”Bookmark here

I complained.Bookmark here

“But I don’t think that would benefit either of us, now would it, Feodora? If I just locked you in here and threw away the key.”Bookmark here

“I don’t think so.”Bookmark here

I pondered…Bookmark here

“Could I be in solitary confinement if you do?”Bookmark here

“No, you’ll be in a cell with three roommates at the very least.”Bookmark here

My heart sank into my stomach.Bookmark here

“Here’s the true reason I brought you in here.”Bookmark here

She sat across from me and brought out her hand.Bookmark here

"You are a user of the dark spectrum, aren't you?"Bookmark here

I grit my teeth as I looked her in the eye.Bookmark here

“…What about it?”Bookmark here

"You know how extraordinarily rare that is? Anyone who is born to use the spectrum is drifted toward one element. The vast majority of us are born with the highest ability of Fire, Water, Earth, and Wind."Bookmark here

I kicked the ground as she went on…Bookmark here

“Fewer than one percent are born with the compatibility to use dark or light. That means… you are special, I shouldn’t have to tell you that, right, Feodora?”Bookmark here

I turned away as she pierced my eyes with her fearsome gaze. I couldn’t deny that she was beautiful…but a little scary too.Bookmark here

“How long have you lived around here, Feodora?”Bookmark here

“I traveled from a forest around 70 miles or so. I arrived here a few months ago. I set up a cabin on the outskirts of the city. Today was the first time I entered here… and I regret that.”Bookmark here

People are stressful to deal with. There was a reason why I never associated with them much. I concluded that if I got out of here… I was never coming back.Bookmark here

“So, you’re a hermit, Feodora Cicer?”Bookmark here

“H-Hermit? That’s a cold word to associate me with. I’m not a hermit.”Bookmark here

“But you just told me that you live on the outskirts of town. You prefer to be alone and away from people… that’s the definition of a hermit.”Bookmark here

“C-Can you drop the hermit thing, please, Jade?”Bookmark here

“No, I’m writing it down into your records. It might be important for later.”Bookmark here

As it would turn out, I was now Feodora Cicer, the hermit girl. My body slumped all the more.Bookmark here

“Hey, fix your posture… Kids these days.”Bookmark here

I did as I was told and sat up properly. After a moment of writing, she looked back up at me.Bookmark here

“Listen, from my conclusion, I can’t let you leave today.”Bookmark here

“Why?”Bookmark here

“You fit the profile of a person I’m looking for in an ongoing investigation.”Bookmark here

“Profile?”Bookmark here

She pointed at me as she listed off what was on the paper in front of her.Bookmark here

“The person I’m looking for is likely young, a recluse, a user of the dark arts or dark spectrum at its highest caliber. They are a dark vessel…”Bookmark here

“You’re looking for a dark spectrum user… a dark vessel?”Bookmark here

She nodded.Bookmark here

"Yes, someone who has birth-level capabilities. Someone who was born with a line attracted to the dark spectrum. Someone just like you, Feodora Cicer."Bookmark here

My mouth jawed. The only person I’ve known was Maxwell who was like me. But now someone else around this city could be…Bookmark here

“Well, it’s not me.”Bookmark here

“You are the prime suspect in a string of missing people investigation now.”Bookmark here

The knight accused.Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

“And to me, you’re the likely culprit, and I have no intentions of letting you go as of now.”Bookmark here

She leaned back in her seat.Bookmark here

“However, I can let you walk today…if you help me with something important, Feodora.”Bookmark here

I was on edge as her stone face now had a slight smirk on it.Bookmark here

“…What do you mean?”Bookmark here

I asked warily. She crossed her arms and leaned in closer.Bookmark here

“I’ve been at a standstill in this case because I don’t have someone reliable who is privy to… the dark spectrum.”Bookmark here

I didn’t like where this was going. I went on the defensive as I turned away.Bookmark here

“…What do you want from me?”Bookmark here

"There's been a string of disappearances around this city like I said. And the only things that turn up are these symbols."Bookmark here

She looked in her stack of papers and slid a picture across. I instantly knew what this was. This was a symbol of the dark arts. These symbols always appear in my dreams as if luring me closer to them. I… know them well without knowing what they mean. This symbol swung in a strange arrow pointing to the right. I had no idea what it meant.Bookmark here

“Anyone would assume that the culprit behind these disappearances is someone of the dark spectrum… in other words…”Bookmark here

“Someone like me?”Bookmark here

I blurted out but instantly I regretted it.Bookmark here

“Listen Feodora… there aren’t too many dark vessels in this world. The few I’ve known already passed away years ago. Many… aren’t around anymore. But what I do know is if you were on this case, you might be able to solve why these people go missing… unless you’re the culprit that is.”Bookmark here

“And if I refuse?”Bookmark here

“I lock you up under the pretense that you might be associated with this whole ordeal. Even if another incident occurs… I can’t be certain that you’re innocent.”Bookmark here

Like a sculpture of ice, she was cold but ever so beautiful. She was putting a gun to my head and forcing me along with her. Regrettably, I looked her in the eye and gave her my answer.Bookmark here

“For the return of my freedom… I’ll help you out for the time being. But I want to make sure you know that this is temporary.”Bookmark here

She nodded.Bookmark here

“Alright, I will write up a statement and put you as a consultant on this case. In return, I’ll allow you to return home once your duties are finished.”Bookmark here

She glared at me.Bookmark here

"But if you fail to show up at the appointed time, I will be forced to send knights to apprehend you. You will be charged with failing to appear, and I'll lock you up just as I pointed out before."Bookmark here

I slumped my shoulders now.Bookmark here

“Fix your posture.”Bookmark here

My body jumped back up like a dog following orders.Bookmark here

“And when is my work done? You’re…kind of twisting my arm here, Jade.”Bookmark here

“It’s finished when I say it’s finished. If I don’t give you the order to leave, you show up at the scheduled time every day. Tomorrow, I have a scene for you to investigate with me. I expect you to be back here by 9 in the morning. We'll meet outside Radiant City Brewery.”Bookmark here

That’s when she finally smiled.Bookmark here

“It’s a pleasure working with you, Feodora Cicer.”Bookmark here

“…Yeah, you too, I guess, Jade Opal.”Bookmark here

She finally released the holy spectrum bindings from my wrist. What was left was a red burn that made my skin look discolored. My body was finally able to relax now.Bookmark here

“I-I can go, right?”Bookmark here

“Yep, see you tomorrow.”Bookmark here

I stood up and made my way to the door.Bookmark here

“Oh, Feodora…”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

I turned back to her and met that charming smile of hers.Bookmark here

"Avoid the east gates of the city, please. I want you back tomorrow in one piece."Bookmark here

Her warning felt so ominous. I had no intention of going over there, but the fact of the matter is… every place in this city felt dangerous. I mean, a girl can’t even go buying tomatoes without being hauled to jail like this. Bookmark here

When I stepped outside the interrogation room, I was guided to the main entrance by a knight who gave me my weapon back.Bookmark here

“Hey, so that bombing earlier… that was something else, wasn’t it?”Bookmark here

To the side of me, two knights were discussing that bombing earlier in the day. That pink-haired girl came back to mind. As she ran it reminded me of... the past again.Bookmark here

“She… looked familiar.”Bookmark here

I whispered as I touched my lip. My chest felt tight... as if I missed something once again. One thing is certain, there was a bombing, and the knights seemed to have got it under control.Bookmark here

“Well anyway, just keep your eyes peeled. We can’t have a psycho going around bombing places. It’ll only make it look like the knights can’t keep order.”Bookmark here

Not wanting to be questioned by them, I decided to take what I heard and make my way to the west gates. Jade warned me not to approach the east gates. I’m not sure why, but I’ll take her word for it. The less I have to deal with people, the better.Bookmark here

“…I still want fried green tomatoes.”Bookmark here

Dejected, I made my way home hungry…Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.