Chapter 3:

The Fighter From Azu, Part III

Desert Company

Building 4C of the Rümqî ‘Autónoma Kesat. Lit by rows of lighting, there were numerous desks, all scattered with files and papyrus documents that had been left days without organization. Dried porcelain cups on the counter filled the air with the aroma of kafei and tsaa, the people here had spent long nights confined to that room. Some desks even had holographic portraits of their families, a newer technology developed by the Z̆ongren.

“Ms. Izdaha, I can’t believe that you got into another brawl again,” The young man thumbled at having driven away the gang, opening a cabinet, and stuffing a luxurious pandesal bread into his mouth.

Saya and Kyukko were sitting on the floor, legs tucked.

Saya's grandmother's face painted in worry, "Sayaaa, you've gotten into fights like this before?" Saya's grandmother looked at Saya quickly turning her embarassed face.

“Y- yeah, ‘L’ always gets me out of it…”

“L? You mean the young gentlemen here?”

‘L’ was briefly preparing tsaa. He only needed to hold the cups in his hands, chant a spell and they would warm to the perfect temperature. He then placed them carefully on the wooden plate, minding the uneven flooring of the room, and served it to them.

“I’m Kiyomiya Lojuno. Security Officer of the Rümqî ‘Autónoma Kesat. But you can call me L,” He left the plate on the floor, sitting down with them. “Obaa-san, your granddaughter’s been dueling suitors more times than I can break the fights up.”

“Ah I see, Kiyomiya-san. Must be her Azu traits then,” Kyukko drank the tsaa leisurely. “You’ve got quite the figure yourself. An wa Azu?”

“Not quite, I’m a Buhang-Azu,” L leaned back and stared into the ceiling, “I’ve got every single thing that makes me an Azu, but my hair color gives me away.”

He flicked his hair, which showed a shade of brown. In broad sunlight, it would look like the traditional black color that the Azu usually had.

“Anyways, Ms. Izdaha, what’re you in the city for this time? Visiting your parents? Brawling in the streets?”

“I received a sponsor letter from a company to represent them in the Dineh Kazaàd, so we’re going to stay here for a bit and then go to Wakoku,” Saya responded, digging in her sack for the envelope. She opened it and showed it to him.

“Hmm, the Dineh Kazaàd huh,” L scanned the contents with a serious face. He fixed onto the Al-Wa emblem briefly, then at Kyukko. “Now I see why you get into fights in the city.”

L’s laugh filled the room. His voice was pleasing to listen to Saya. It wasn’t too high, nor too deep.

“Obaa-san, I see you’re using second-gen spells,” L pointed out, mimicking Kyukko’s cast of ‘Mahou Hiryok’.

“I’ve grown far too old to learn third generation spells. ‘Mahou’ is enough for me.”

“Second-gen spells?”

“The older spells,” Kyukko answered Saya, “Sahar currently has three generations of spells. ‘Dihu’, ‘Mahou’, and ‘Alam’. Those are syntaxes. You say the generation syntax before saying the actual name of the spell.”

“Alam Dülaan,” L conjured, as red crystals began forming around his hands. “‘Alam’ is the syntax. ‘Dülaan’ is the name.”

“Right. And the language that it is said in is of importance as well. Renhua and Azu words strengthen the potency of the spell, while Khoit and Galag are the weakest. Hence why ‘Dihu’ and ‘Mahou’ syntaxes are the strongest spell generations compared to the newer third generation of the Galag ‘Alam’.”

“Uwaa, I only know some ‘Alam’ spells but not the other two.”

“You’ll learn to master the syntaxes with enough time and practice,” L reassured her, standing up to the hat rack in the corner. “Anyways, you and Obaa-san are safe to go out now. I’ll settle a score with those ruffians.”

Saya and Kyukko stayed in the Kesat office for quite a while, as Saya was eager to try out new spells she had seen Kyukko and L use. But to her avail she could only control the power of ‘Baohu’ sporadically, and nothing happened when she attempted to cast ‘Mahou Hiryok’. It was partly due to her lacking of saharic mastery, and her control over the particles was that of a toddler. After practicing sahar, they departed from the building to buy medicine for Saya’s injuries in the Grand Azu Bazaar, apologized to the vendors with compensation, and began their travel to Wakoku ‘Basad.

* * *

The tired sun finally set in the west, bringing the sky to a black conclusion. As cold night fell, Rümqî became alive. The Grand Azu Bazaar bursted into lights of festivities, with people crowding the square, dancers amok, with the skyscrapers beginning their marvelous light show from their glassy exterior. Among the city nightlife, lied more oddities and rivalry.

L patiently stood in the alley between the Al-Bashwa Hôtel and the Miya residence. The buildings were positioned facing away from each other, with their heights seemingly competing for dominance of the starry heavens. L checked his watch, checking it once with every minute passing. He wore the Kesat peaked cap, smooth on the rims and displayed the patriotic Rümqî Kesat coat of arms. And then he tapped the pin twice, and the logo transformed with a blue light, into the Al-Wa emblem.

The same men that had attacked Saya walked into the dark alley, approaching with an infuriated look.

“Kiyomiya. Ya just had to interfere. The Dineh Kazaàd is coming soon, and Al-Wa has no patience.”

“I was not informed that our target was somebody of importance,” L facepalmed on his forehead, “I’m confident that Ms. Izdaha’s sahar level may grow strong by the time she reaches Wakoku.”

“Ms.? This is why we shouldn’t have a cop joining Al-Wa! Dis a business, not a child protection agenc-”

“Dihu Nenrik.”

L had all eight of them in the air, all of them grasping for their throat. L’ wore an angered expression, as his Azu eyes glowing crimson in the darkness.

“Tell Al-Wa that I’ll take charge of observing her to Wakoku. And if anybody else lays even a breath on her neck, I’ll kill all of you,” His hands never trembled, the mere volume of L’s voice struck fear.

L ended his spell and they dropped to the floor. With deep bows, they quickly left without any objections. He sighed as the Al-Wa emblem on his hat reverted to the Kesat logo, his eyes becoming the normal brown. L looked up and gazed at the deadly moon shining between the two towering estates.

“Ms. Izdaha, do you realize what it means to be in the Dineh Kazaàd?”