One hundred years later...
Ding ding ding ding!
"Hey, did you read the weather forecast?"
"They say the country to the south.. Lao was it? They're getting hit by hurricanes!"
"And the country of the giants in the far north? Worst snow storms they've seen in centuries!"
A train slid into place obediently at the Queen street subway station. As passengers boarded the train just as many left, running off to catch a bus or get to work on time. Students clad in uniforms of all sorts were walking about, most with a noble air to them. Up above the newly paved streets of Chokma were packed with people going from place to place. It seemed to emulate the olden days of Midgard somehow, as Chokma became more and more modernized.
In the older parts of town closer to the center were an ancient castle lay, there was a certain restaurant that was packed with business like always. Sitting on the front desk rather then behind it was a certain silver haired incubus who seemed to be taking it easy more then usual.
"Yoooo!" he greeted two people entering. He quickly shot a look at the clock.. Noon. "Table for two right? Right this way!"
As he hopped off the desk he lead the couple to a table.
Akaiito Kagamiya, retired assassin and retired family head. However he couldn't let go of the restaurant business.
Not far from there outside, a girl was tearing through the crowds on a pair of rollerblades. A black messenger bag trailed behind her in the wind as she zoomed on through, even occasionally jumping over large groups of people just to get through!
"I hope the restaurant isn't super packed," Kuroko mused outloud, "Or else Daddy's going to have my head on a silver platter if I'm too late!"
Meanwhile in another part of town...
Drake kicked at a can as he walked on through the northern end of town, where the prisons were located after undergoing huge renovations and changes. He was actually skipping school (much to his parents dismay) and was really just wandering around.
".. Maybe I should've gone to school..." Drake sighed, "Today's so damn boring."
"Later dad!" Anna shouted into the old barber shop as she headed out.
"Gesoooooo!" Rune shouted back.
As Anna was walking the streets of Chokma, she noticed a shadow approaching her very quickly. When she looked up to see what it was...
"Eeeeeyaaaaaaa... That hurt!" Anna groaned, "What the hell are you doing?!"
She then looked up to see the guilty party, to find that it was her friend, Kuroko! "Well, I see that you're in a huge hurry," she scolded, "Are you late again?"
"Nathan, wake up!"
Nicole forced open the door to Nathan's room by kicking it down. She walked up to his bed where he laid and shook him around.
"We're gonna go out for some brunch. I don't feel like cooking today."
Nathan turned away from her and covered himself with his blanket.
"I'm not interested. And you're supposed to refer to me as 'brother'. It's to show a sign of respect to your elders."
Nicole turned him back, grabbed his hand, and stabbed it with her switchblade. Nathan sat up screaming as Nicole pulled it out and dragged him out of bed.
"A family brunch out at a restaurant is something we haven't done for a while, bro. Better dress up, cause we're going out right now!"
Nicole gave such an innocent smile as she ordered Nathan around, he wasn't sure if this was the same Nicole he knew over a millenium ago. She continued to drag Nathan out of the house and onto the streets.
And of course, the local vendors' district located all the way north of town is always full. The bargaining yells and clatters and snaps of items being placed on display, picked up, put down, dropped into bags or simply enjoying it immediately after purchase.
Charil knelt down and picked up an old and decrepit book, dusting it off with her hand. She flipped through it, her mouth slightly agape as she amused herself with the various concept designs the author had drawn.
"Ah, how are you, Charil?" The merchant asked her. "How is your mother? Father? Sisters? Brothers? Cousins? Uncles? Aunts? What can I get for you today? Are you looking for something in particular? You seem to be enjoying that book."
The quiet girl held up her own book to the inquisitive man.
"The usual." The book slowly inked itself in, then fading.
"I have just what you want." The merchant chuckled, waving her finger at her while fishing out something from the large trunk behind him. He produced three, small, blue-glowing, glass cylinders. "Mana plugs. Should fix your energy problem with those lasers just fine." He grabbed a bag and carefully dropped the cylinders in.
"This too."She tapped on the dusty book, then placing it within the bag herself. She a large amount of coins onto the merchant's mat.
"Thank you very much. Send your family my thanks for their work."Charil picked up her belongings and walked out of the stuffy district. She walked over to a bench nearby and took a seat to rest. The girl stared up at the deep blue sky. One hundred years since then.
Yes. Since then. It was that time of year again, the day on the month which the entire Sin family goes to pay their respects and honor to those that preceded them. Of course, the ceremony had already taken place early morning, and for this reason, all of the sins had taken leave from work today. It was done by noon, and the few that stayed around the memorial were the other five of the Seven Sins and a few minor sins to watch over.
"Are you sure you don't want to reunite with them?" An angel asked of the weak girl leaning on the balcony next to her. They were far from the memorial, on top of a building around the perimeter of the place which gave clear and visible sight of the ceremony through all its works. "You come here every year to watch your family, but you never join in. I'm sure they'll be glad to see you again, maybe after a few explanations."
"Maybe." Nihiru echoed. "But I've been gone almost since the beginning of time, how would anyone react to that? Maybe another time."
"I can't really agree with how you're handling your problems, but since I agreed to help you with whatever you needed help with, I can only follow." Shiinko replied. "Well then, while their locations are still known, how about something to eat so we can avoid the rest of your family?" She head out her hand to Nihiru.
Nihiru nodded. She unbuckled the gunholster on her thigh and placed it in Shiinko's hand. Nihiru then "walked into" Shiinko, her body disappearing in a faint green light. Nihiru moved Shiinko's hands, adjusting back to her accomplice's body. She strapped her holster to her thigh and made her way back down to the street.
'It's been almost a hundred years since I met you and we synced, huh? It's still pretty weird to have full awareness and partial control of my body knowing someone else also has control.' Shiinko's voice echoed from inside her head.
'Not many people can get used to it...' Nihiru mentally replied. As she walked around, she stopped and stared at the busy restaurant to her left. The Red Papaya.
'Ah, this place. I heard it was really good but we never had the chance to check that for ourselves. Funny, considering how large it is and how long we've been traveling.' Shiinko seemed to laugh. 'How about it? Getting a little tired of eating instant lunches from the market.'Not hearing a reply to herself, Shiinko decided to go ahead and naturally walked into the restaurant.
It was too damn cold in the building. Grandison could feel his body growing sluggish with every passing minute. His chest rattled with every breath and every cough came up dry. His throat ached.
'Stupid air conditioner,' he thought. 'Who ever invented it should die.'
The damn thing usually worked fine. It made the world comfortable but when it broke, as it was now, things could get really ugly. Somehow it broke at an impossibly freezing setting.
Being cold was never good for his body even as a child. Winters made his entire body stiff and his chest extremely congested. If this thing couldn't get fixed soon he'd definitely have to take some days off.
Grandison took another breathe but his lungs were too constricted, it was too difficult he needed air. Stiffly he rose from his seat, his vision blurring in his weakness. He held one hand to his chest while the other braced it self against the desk. All he needed was air. All he needed was to breathe.
With shaky fingers he trailed his hand higher to loosen the collar of his shirt. The motion sent the world spinning and then all was black.
There was the sound of footsteps and the door shutting. Was he alone? All he could hear was the hum of the television. Grandison's eyes felt pasted shut, he couldn't even look if he wanted to. Oh how he wanted to. He turned in his bed and groaned.
"The... damn... television," Grandison managed to say though his voice was raw and each sylubyl seem to invite a burst of inflamed pain.
He sat up and rubbed the congealed substance from his eyes and looked around. He was definitely not in his own room. In fact by the sterile white environ he could see he was actually in a hospital. He also noted the tray near his bed with a pitcher of water. His throat screamed for it and who was he to not oblige himself.
He poured the cup and drank it but it wouldn't go down and instead he found himself throwing. coughing up and giant amount of mucus.
He caughed and heaved and spit until he was red in the face and his blanket was absolutely coated in the stuff but when he sat up, a fair amount of dribble on his chin and neck, he felt much much better.
A knock sounded and the door and in came the doctor. Grandison blushed at having someone see him sitting in a bed covered in mucus but the doctor merely chuckled.
"So you finally got that stuff out of there huh?"
Drake continued to walk along, kicking at the can and mumbling random things to himself. He eventually kicked the can so hard it went flying into the air! Up and up and up it went, Drake watched it wide eyed and followed it with his gaze as it began to descend.
"Well, damn," he chuckled to himself. He reached into his bag and pulled out a Monster (( lol energy drinks)) and began to chug it as he continued to walk.
"Oh, hey Anna!" Kuroko quickly helped her victim up and grinned, scratching the back of her head, "Y-yeah... I gotta hurry or else Daddy's going to skin me alive. Maybe."
At Chokma Collegiate Vocational Institute...
"What do you mean he skipped again!?" Kanaete Kagamiya hissed at her co-worker, "Jeez... That boy..." she sighed. Her son as up to no good once again and it often shocked her how Drake was ballsy enough to skip school on a whim!
"Welcome!" Kai greeted a blond angel, "Table for one right? Come this way!..." As Kai turned to take the woman to her table he did a double take at her! "... Hey wait, you have two souls in your girl!... That second soul... Invidia?..." Kai blinked as he ended that with a whisper, vaguely remembering the sin of envy from way back.
Grandison was discharged from the hospital and sent back to his home. He had a note about him being excused from work the rest of the day and he called the payroll office already too. He made it to his building and went inside.
"Hello, Mr. Yuuki. You're home early today," the man at the front desk greeted with a smile.
Grandison nodded, "Yes. The school is below freezing today. I think going home was the best thing to do."
He went to his mailbox and got his mail. As he went into the elevator he looked down at the things he got. A letter from mom, some bills, a used car advertisement, a coupon to the red papaya, and finally the news paper. Grandison usually liked to read the paper first thing when he got home, but the story on the cover as he unfolded it made his stomach drop and his heart stop.
"Convicted Ex-General Released; Pardoned by Prince"
Grandison felt the bile threaten to come to his throat and his crunched the paper in his hand.
"Mother I don't think this is necessary," Makoto said as he exited the castle's back enterance and was escorted into a waiting limo.
The woman slid in after him and laughed it off.
"Of course it's necessary. The world has changed since you've been gone."
"I assure you I haven't been in some dungeon. I saw the season finale of Hod Shore and everything," Makoto assured her.
They were driving down the street. His mother began fussing over him, adjusting his leather jacket on his shoulders, and smiling in her mother-like way when all Makoto wanted to do was get home and brood, I mean, think over the things he needed to accomplish now that he was out.
As that was happening though someone caught his eye as they were stopped at a light.
"Mother, Don't wait up for me," he said.
He hopped out the limo, ignoring her protest and the light turned green and away she went. Makoto pulled his cap down lower so people wouldn't see his face and then approached the red head who spotted his eye. As he got closer though he could already tell he was mistaken. It was not who he thought it was. They were too short and though the resemblance was striking there were also very notable differences.
Still his curiousty got the better of him.
"Excuse me," he said to the stranger. "Are you by chance related to an Admiral Locke?"
'!'The "angel" immediately muffled Akaiito's mouth and began to drag him into the back of the restaurant, ignoring the commotion it was starting.
'Oi, oi, you're going to cause some trouble for me here.' Shiinko nagged at Nihiru. 'Ahh, whatever, you have a one track mind.'Shiinko/Nihiru pushed Akaiito out the kitchen and through the backdoor of the restaurant, into the alleyway behind. She spun Akaiito around and slammed his back against the wall. After a while, she suddenly let go of him and looked around, as if panicking on what to do next.
'You're so hopeless.'Shiinko took a deep breath and sighed. "Who are you and why do you know about... her?" She asked roundaboutly, trying to cover up Nihiru's mistake.
A can came flying from above and bounced off Charil's head. She lightly rubbed it with her sleeve-covered hand and looked around to see one of Shigaru's students. Funny, school shouldn't be out by now, is it?
She picked up her things and walked over to the boy, only to watch another stranger approach him. She stopped and waited.
Drake stopped and turned to face the stranger. He looked up and down, observing the man. His face was overshadowed mostly by the cap but he did notice the dirty blonde hair atleast.
"Admiral Locke? He's my father," the youth answered, "He's no longer Admiral though, but he still doesn't shut up about his days in the military, crazy old man," Drake scoffed. ".. Wait who are you then?"
Well he told the stranger who he was so he figured he'd ask the same of the blond man.
Since she was done with her teaching blocks Kana left the freezing school and went outside. It was much nicer in the summer sun. Stupid broken AC, she though bitterly. She pulled out her cellphone and quickly dialed Drake's number.
Kai soon enough found himself dragged out of his own restaurant and slammed against a wall! "Ooooy! That hurts!" Kai growled, "All right Angelface. Call me Kai, I know her because she possessed me waaaaay back and oh my god you should be less of a spaz! I could've taken you to the second floor of the restaurant to speak about it more privately!"
Theresia got off the train with a briefcase full of documents. She was to deliver some reports about the natural disasters and damages to King Cornelius in Utgard. Her superiors would send her reports to deliver every few months or so, starting from when the disasters started acting up decades ago. Every trip, the briefcase seemed to get a bit heavier. As usual, she took the same road she always used from the station to the palace.
There hadn't been any news about the returning gods for the past decades, and there probably wasn't going to be any today. Leht got out of bed and opened the door of his small apartment room to take the daily newspaper from his doormat. He quickly skimmed through the paper as he closed the door, then tossed it in the garbage bin. Nothing as usual. Another morning, another fruitless day. If he didn't check the newspaper everyday, surely he would've forgotten how long he'd been waiting.
Leht let out a yawn before heading to the washroom to get ready. After a simple cereal breakfast, he left his room and headed to the lobby of the apartment, checking his mail along the way. Two letters were inside his mailbox. One was green, the other was red. He opened the green one and took the money inside and pocketed it. The red one contained a note which he read over briefly. After he was finished, he disposed of both letters and the note.
Leht was actually involved with a shady mafia gang, whose head is coincidentally the landlord of his apartment. As luck would have it, they met and struck a deal. He would just complete some 'requests' every now and then that was in his mailbox, and he'd get to stay in an apartment room, along with making a bit of extra cash on the side. Most of the requests weren't exactly legal, the one he did yesterday had him stay up till 4 in the morning to rob a store. Today was to rough up someone, and threaten them to pay up. He was going to deal with his business first, and headed to the address specified in the note.
"Ah, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Nihiru interrupted, taking control of Shiinko and apologized and bowed repeatedly. "I didn't want anyone else to know I was there and I didn't think you would still be around because you're getting old! I'm truly sorry!" She yelled again and bowed.
Shiinko shifted a bit and picked herself up, placing her left hand to her head in exasperation. "Oi, oi, can we do something else about this?"
"Ah, I'm sorry." Nihiru backstepped out of Shiinko's body, taking large breaths of air as she usually does after a sync. "Uhm, h-hello, Akaiito. Long time no see?"
The spa was having a slow day but that was expected. Not many people came in during the middle of the work week of week day to get a massage or an aromatic bath. Mud facials seemed to be something best left for weekends. Because it was a slow day though that meant that the normal desk worker, Magdalena was bored out of her skull. She knew that it was her job to run the front desk of her mother's little business but why should she when she knew someone who would do it without complaints. She reached for the desk phone and dialed a number.
ring ring ring! ring ring ring! phone call! phone call! ring ring ring! ring ring ring! phone call! phone call! ((ooc idunno))
Emilio Ayala was the only one in the house that day, as usual. He normally helped the family with cubi related matters but today was one of the rare times he wasn't needed at the Romero manor. He half skipped, half ran to the phone and picked it up, a slight smile on his face.
"Locke residence," he greeted.
"Oh Emilio! I'm so glad to know you're home."
"Why wouldn't I be?" Emilio said, furrowing his brow in confusion. "Your papa doesn't need me for anything today."
"That's good to hear. Maybe there's not official cubi business but there's something else! The spa is completely bombarded with customers! I need help! I can't handle checking them all in and arranging their packages!" the voice whined.
Emilio frowned, "But it's not even a weekend!"
"I know it's horrible."
Emilio nodded even though he was on the phone, "I'll be there right away! Don't you worry!"
He hung up the phone to get ready to go. He put on his jeans, rolled up a bit at the ankles, his canvas sneakers and the white t-shirt with the bear eating melon on it. He shrugged on his yellow cardigan and rushed out the door without another thought.
When he got to the spa Magdalena was there but there were absolutely no customers.
"What happened?" Emilio asked, looking around the entrance area. "Did everyone leave?"
Magdalena hopped up and grabbed her bag and headed for the door, kissing the older boy's cheek as she passed.
"Thanks for closing up for me. You're such a dear!"
She then left the spa leaving Emilio alone. He was really sad. He didn't want to tell any of the workers in the back or else Magdalena would get in trouble. But he also didn't want to do her job with no pay. What was a boy to do?
Makoto couldn't bring himself to be shocked over hearing that Locke had a son. It was natural after all.
"I see. I am nobody special. Just a colleague from the old days. Take care," Makoto said with a slight nodding of his head. He then went off to go back to the manor where he would meet up again with his mother.
Drake blinked and watched the retreating form of the blond man. He took a swig of his Monster, "Huh. What a creeper. I'll ask dad about him later..." It was then his cell rung in his pocket, he quickly picked it up without looking at the caller ID, "Yooooooo--"
"DRAKE KATSUO LOCKE-ROMERO! Where in Odin's name ARE YOU!?"
Drake held the phone away from his ear; his mom was pissed off and that was never a good thing. When he figured her yelling was done he brought the phone to his ear and said, "Oh.. Hey there, mum... Uh. I went to help out Emilio at the spa. Said he needed someone to do heavy lifting."
"Try harder," his mom bit on the other end.
"Okay okay," Drake sighed, "I skipped and am hanging around downtown. How's that?"
"Better. We'll talk more about this when you get home... Bye~" She sounded so kind and calm about it that Drake feared for his life! What was she going to do to him later...!?
After saying bye he hung up.
Kana stared down at the phone in her hand and sighed, "... Oh Drake... What am I going to do with you?..."
"... Oy..." Kai groaned, "... I'm not that old..." after listening to her torrent of apologies Kai crossed his arms, "I'm doing okay. How about you, uh..." he didn't know what her current name was.
Boris Petya was in the study of his Chokma manor. He had dark circles under his eyes, and his left hand supported his head as he scribbled text quickly over some papers. He had just gotten out of a long meaning with a few of his business partners and they were being particularly difficult. They had asked him to review a few agreements and to create a new business plan... In short, he'd been working diligently for the past weeks, and was beginning to get quite tired. He barely had time to see anyone, let alone his own children..He was absolutely sick of working, sick of his job, but he felt like he had to put up with it for a little longer. He sighed and muttered to himself.
"I'm much too old for this rubbish.." Boris felt he had to make up for neglecting everyone, so he'd contacted his daughter Ania and told her to deliver beautiful flower bouquets to his friends, which included Akaito and his sister Kana. Bored of the paper work, he began to get lost in thought, but was abruptly brought back to reality by the obnoxious sound of the telephone. He grunted, annoyed, and picked up the phone.
A beautiful young zmalaj was walking the streets of Chokma. Ania was wearing high-waist shorts and an elegant blouse. In her arms, she was holding a large vase in which various tropical flowers were placed, creating a colorful bouquet. Next to her, a smaller bouquet was floating, keeping up with her steadily. Apparently she was controlling it with wind magic; after all there was no way she could carry both of them with her hands. Ania Was making her last two deliveries of the day, enjoying the beautiful summer weather. She was making her way to the red Papaya, to deliver one of the bouquets. On her way there she noticed someone familiar: Kana's son, Drake. She started to walk towards him and was surprised to hear his mother's angry voice screaming at him through his phone. She shook her head, smiling a bit. Now that she was close to Drake, she addressed him, moving the bouquet more to the right so it wouldn't cover her face. The flowers and leaves were just so tall!
"Hello there Drake." She said with a sweet smile, "A lovely day to skip school, am I right?~"
Drake pocketed the phone and cocked a brow at Ania, "More like a shitty day to skip. Today's so damn boring.. Yo whats up with the flowers by the way?" he pointed at the many flowers Ania was carrying.
Next Kana dialed her friend and coworker's number: Grandison Yuuki. She held the phone to her hear and listened to it ring.
Grandison entered his apartment and threw the mail down onto a table when suddenly his cellphone began ringing. He took his time looking for it. There was a chance it was his mother but he had been purposefully avoiding her the past few weeks. He searched through his leather bag and finally pulled out the device, saw that it wasn't a relative and answered.
"Hello," he said, chucking the bag onto the couch and then sitting down as well.
"Hi Grandison," Kana walked out to the parking lot to where her car was parked, "I heard you were let out early due to health problems. If you're feeling well enough want to go out and eat lunch together?"
Ania wasn't quite sure what Drake meant when he said "a shitty day to skip" but she shrugged it off.
"Ah, well. These are for your mom and uncle Akaito, from my father. This big one is for Kai, and I'm headed to the Red Papaya right now to give it to him. I was going to head for the school next to surprise your mom but.. from what I heard it looks like she's waiting for you at home." She smirked a bit, "Maybe if you showed up with this nice bouquet she'd go easy on you."
Nathan somehow fell asleep while being tugged on by Nicole when they were walking to The Red Papaya. Right outside the restaurant, Nicole let go of him and climbed onto a nearby dumpster. She jumped off and performed a drop kick on Nathan's face, shattering his head as if it was glass. Nathan seemed to have reacted, as his body was squirming around on the floor. Nicole picked him up and led him inside the restaurant.
"You shouldn't sleepwalk, Nathan. Bad things can happen to people who sleepwalk."
Nathan's voice echoed through the main source of his body, "I wasn't sleepwalking at all! You were forcing me t-"
Nicole stuck her knife in Nathan's gut with the same innocent grin on her face.
"Don't fret, my dear brother. I'll always be here for you."
She entered the restaurant, pulling a headless body behind her.
"Table for two, please!"
Grandison was surprised by Kana's invitation. There were very few people in the world he associated with and those few didn't really include his work mates. However time and time again he found himself drawn to accepting Kana's companionship. She was the type of person you couldn't resent having around.
"I suppose it wouldn't be any harm," Grandison said. "It was brought on by the broken a/c at school so as long as I don't go back there I should be good."
He was also glad to have a reason to not be home should someone decide to stop by.
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