Chapter 177:

A Blue Princess Sets Out 1

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

Fiona walked down a long hallway with the agent's Liv and Felix at her back. A frown decorated her blue face as Liv made happy banter with her Hobusian partner. For his part, Felix nodded along as he carefully watched the princess—suspecting she might try to run.

“Oh, after we’re done, we should stop at that sweets shop on the way back!” Liv said with no concern for the mission they were about to embark on. As far as the trio knew, they were going to pick up Hal and Odell and return to the hospital for further discussion.

Fiona trembled, and her frown grew more intense. The mention of a sweets shop almost tempted her to turn around and make friendly banter with the agent. Liv seemed very much like someone she could enjoy idle chat with, and the realization gnawed at Fiona’s mood.

To make matters worse, Felix’s gaze at her back only made her more self-conscious about the scar across it. She still wore the beauideal dress that covered it, but the wound seemed to burn as she pondered the idea the others might be looking at it. She hated that it had come back to the forefront of her mind.

After a long walk full of anxiety, the trio exited the hospital. Fiona found herself out of breath, unaware the stress was draining her energy more quickly than any movement she made. The yellow Needaimus, Sun, bonded to her arm, sought to warn her of increased anxiety, but the blue princess was too lost in thoughts to pay attention to her metallic partner.

Felix and Liv quickly overtook the princess, and they began to lead the walk to the train station. Fiona shook her head and followed after.

‘I don’t like this; I’m not myself,’ she thought as she did her best to keep up the pace. Her worries had grown from zero in Quenth to what felt like a multitude since coming to Nun.

As Fiona tried to distract herself with other thoughts, the group came close to the train station. They were shocked to find a crowd waiting outside.

“Train’s closed!” someone was yelling in an attempt to disperse the group.

“What’s going on?” Felix muttered as he rubbed his chin.

“Looks like the train is closed, obviously,” Liv replied.

“What I mean is… this is suspicious.”

“It’s just a breakdown or something! Happens all the time. No need to be so worried!” the Netzian companion to Felix smacked him on the back. Even with her attempt to reassure him, the Hobusian agent was not satisfied and went up to inquire from the man who directed the crowd.

“He’s always such a worrywart!” Liv complained to Fiona as the blue princess came close.

Fiona nodded. She felt a bit more at ease since the duo took the lead.

“There is no use worrying,” she said.

“Right! I tell him time and time again and get nowhere! Let me tell you, if you join a secret agent group, make sure you get to choose your partner! You wouldn’t want to end up with a spoilsport.”

“I’ll… keep that in mind,” Fiona looked around the station at the crowd. They all stood around and looked for someone to tell them what to do next. The train being down was liable to mess up the schedules of many in the city.

Felix returned while shaking his head.

“No luck; there’s been some kind of accident in the exact direction we want to go. They are planning to open the tracks to the other parts of the city soon, but we will be stuck. It’s all too convenient to be a coincidence,” The Hobusian agent said his last sentence while rubbing his chin.

“Oh, it’s no problem, Felix! We just have to find a vehakul and drive up!” Liv suggested. She found his worries to be something better ignored.

“I suppose we could try to find something; we don’t have any vehakuls in the fleet at the moment, though.”

“Could we rent one?”

“We could, but someone already maxed out the purchase card for this month….”

Felix crossed his long Hobusian arms as he glared up at Liv. She whistled softly and looked away. Fiona perked up.

“We have a vehakul near our inn,” she said. Though the blue princess had no way to know, far on the other side of the city, in the casino, Odell felt a chill go up his spine.

“I suppose that will work,” Felix replied.

The trio set out to pick up the Ali-442, which had been left in long-term parking since arriving at Nun.