"So what's her condition?" asked a large, dark, tall form with horns. Another figure, much smaller, walked up to him with a clipboard.
"Well, the left side of the body was severely damaged; as for the left arm, we'll have to replace it." The smaller figure paused then asked, "My Lord, are you positive that this is a good idea? Not that I'm questioning you're orders, my Lord," he added quickly.
"She was not attacked by the familiars because her fatal wound was caused by a elven sword," the larger form started, "That means she was attacked by her own kin. I'm assuming that they only want to stone to be used by a faithful, mindless servant. Obviously, she was not as mindless as they would have hoped ." he paused then said, "Take me to the operating room."
The two dark figures where looking threw a see-through wall. A bloody, beat-up body lay on a metal table, faintly breathing. More small figures where moving around the room, ready for the orders. The large figure nodded and they started to work on the left side. A claw like structure was put at the bandaged stump of what was left of an arm. Then they quickly forced the claw into the bloody stump. The claw like forearm began to blend with flesh. The body on the table cried out in tremendous pain and agony.
Auronaha nearly flew out of her bed when she heard the agony filled cry. Breathing hard, she looked around to get her surroundings, then remembered that she was sleeping on the inn.
‘The nightmares are getting more frequent,' she thought to herself as she rubbed her eyes. She remembered that Rikku was also with her and looked at the next bed. Even in the dark, she could hear Rikku toss and turn in her bed. Auronaha pulled the covers away from her and sat up on the bed. Rikku turned with her face facing Auronaha and she could see pain etched on her face. Worried, Auronaha got up and tried to wake Rikku up. She put her hand to gently shake her, but the second she touched Rikku she felt as if she was sucked into darkness of Rikku's dream. Everywhere was dark and Auronaha couldn't see anything no matter where she looked. She felt she magic being sucked out of her body and ripped from her soul. Then, out of nowhere, two bright eyes appeared and Auronaha could her an evil growl of a laugh as though it was right behind her.
Auonraha fell back on to the inn floor with a thud, panting hard. This time, Rikku was awake, she too was panting and looked shocked. Rikku started at Auronaha then asked "What did you do?"
Auornaha was still on the floor when Rikku sat up on her bed still looked at her with wide eyes.
"I... I don't know," Auronaha whispered. "Darkness; it was so dark and cold," she whispered still in shock. Then she looked at Rikku and said "What was that...that thing?"
Rikku didn't answer her. She just sat there with her eyes closed, head in her hands. By now Rikku had caught her breath and she took long, slow breaths. Auonraha watched Rikku get up and wash her face. After sitting back down, Rikku looked at Auronaha.
"Why are you awake?" she sighed.
"Nightmares," whispered Auronaha embarrassed. Rikku gave a small laugh and said, "Aren't you a little old for nightmares?"
"I didn't have them before I got this stone," said Auronaha defensively. But she remembered that wasn't entirely true, because even when she was little, Auronaha rarely got a good night sleep free from the demons of her dreams.
"Besides," Auronaha added, "You weren't sleeping well ether."
Rikku gave a small grunt and turned to go back to bed. Auronaha just watched and sat on the edge of Rikku's bed, wringing her hands.
"What? Still can't sleep?" asked Rikku after a couple of minutes.
"Oh, I guess. I'm just thinking." Auronaha sighed. She put her hand on the covers and dazed at the ceiling. Then she realized something.
"Sorry." She sad quickly getting up, "I taking up your bed."
Rikku let out a small, genuine laugh at Auronaha's reaction. "It's fine. Don't worry about it," she said, "I never take up the whole bed anyway."
Auonraha fought the urge to stay on the bed with Rikku. But she stood up and when to her own bed. Rikku had turned around again her back facing Auronaha. Auronaha then slipped under her covers of her bed. She stared at the ceiling not wanting to close them in fear of the bright red eyes returning. She turned her head again to look at Rikku to find her clam and breathing steadily. Then Auornaha felt relaxed knowing that Rikku was still there and calm. Tiredness swept through her like a sudden wind. She felt her own eyes grow heavier and didn't resist when they closed, knowing that she was now safe.
Auronaha felt the morning sun on her face that was shinning through the inn window. Not feeling in a hurry to get up, she turned to lie on her back and slowly opened her eyes. Her body was stiff from the sudden change of bedding and was moaning at her as she stretched. Looking around the room, she saw that Rikku had already left. Not surprised, Auronaha casually went to the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror. Her hair was somewhat messy and she looked sleepy. She turned on the water and splashed it onto her face. The cold water brightened her senses. Looking in the mirror again, she decided to take a hot bath.
When she stepped into the tub, the hot water instantly ravished her skin, and she was now very grateful for hot water. After her finished with her bath she grabbed the towel and wrapped it around her body. Only seeing one towel, she went to look around for another one for her hair. She opened the closet across from the bathroom and found some on the top shelf. Knowing she couldn't reach, Auronaha grabbed a near by chair and stood on it to reach for the towels.
Just then, the door opened and Rikku stepped into the room. She looked up and saw Auronaha wearing nothing but a bath towel. Auronaha, shocked by the sudden entrance started to fall off the chair. Out of reflex, Rikku slammed the door and lunged to catch Auronaha. They both fell with a loud thud. Rikku ended on the floor with Auronaha sitting on her stomach.
"Ow!" grimaced rubbing her head that hit the closet door. Then she realized where she was sitting.
"Oh my god, I'm sorry," she said quickly getting off Rikku and moving to her side.
"Are you OK?" Auronaha asked, "I'm so sorry." Rikku sat up and rubbed the back of her head. "It's OK, I'm fine," she said then looked at Auronaha and remembered that she was still only in a towel. Her face turning red, she quickly picked up a towel and handed it to Auronaha.
"Um...here," Rikku said looking away trying to hide her face. Auronaha looked down at herself and remembered that she was only in a towel too. She took the towel, slightly blushing. Rikku quickly got up and walked away, leaving Auronaha standing there with the towel.
Rikku sat on her bed, and then put her hands over her face. She was still breathing hard and blushing. ‘Woh, talk about bad timing,' Rikku thought to herself, trying to calm down. She flopped on her bed staring at the ceiling.
"Auronaha went back to the bathroom and started to dry her hair. ‘That was embarrassing,' she thought recalling what had just happened. When she finished drying her hair, she put her dress back on and looked at the mirror. She felt a lot better and walked out of the bathroom to where Rikku was. She found Rikku lying on the bed staring at the ceiling, and made a little coughing sound to get her attention. When Rikku noticed Auronaha she quickly sat up on her bed. Rikku could help but stare at the Elven Angel in front of her. Even without the wings, Rikku saw the girl in front of her as the most beautiful person she had ever seen.
"So," said Auronaha a little flushed and embarrassed form Rikku looking at her, "Where are we heading today?"
Rikku gave herself a mental shake and stood up for her bed. "Well, I was talking around and I realized that my informer moved here."
"Oh, that's good," said Auronaha, "We don't have t walk that much anymore." Auronaha, for one was happy, but Rikku didn't seemed too pleased.
"That's a good thing right?"
"Hardly," said Rikku, "He moved in with a certain group of people I wouldn't exactly call my ‘friends'." Rikku got up and headed towards the door.
"Ready to go?" she asked before opening it. Auronaha nodded, grabbed her staff and followed Rikku to the stairs
There was a commotion the lobby as the two made their way to the front door.
"I'm telling you, someone stole all my money!" shouted an enraged man at the person behind the counter. His hands were in tight fists and his face was beet red.
"I'm sorry sir," the young man behind the counter said, "We are not responsible for any lost or misplaced items."
"But my money's not lost!" the man continued to rage. "It was stolen; no doubt by one of your maid bitches!"
The whole lobby turned silent as the man stormed away. The man behind the counter looked offended but continued to his work. Rikku and Auronaha walked out of the inn into the sun.
"Wow, that man was really mean," said Auornaha looking back at the hotel.
"Yeah," shrugged Rikku, "He had so much money and paid for our rooms. I thought he'd be nicer."
"You know him?" asked Auronaha surprised.
"No," Rikku simply answered.
"Then why..." Auronaha figured out what happened before she finished the sentence.
"Rikku! How could you?!" Auronaha hissed, shocked.
"Opportunities like that don't come often. So when they do, I try to take advantage of them." Rikku said with no regret.
"But you saw how angry he was. He probably needed to pay for his room." stated Auronaha still angry.
"That and probably all the maids he spent the night with." Said Rikku with a cold voice.
That made Auronaha quiet. She wasn't expecting a comeback like that. They walked in silence though the town. Now that it was daytime, Auronaha could see the town more clearly. It wasn't a very clean town. Graffiti covered many of the building walls, which were dark gray or a brownish color. Auronaha noticed that Rikku was taking them to the far side of town. That was when she started to smell it. It was a salty smell combined with what reminded Auronaha was slimy, damp plants.
"Are we near an ocean?" Auronaha finally asked, surprised at the fact.
"I guess so," Rikku answered while sniffing the air. "I wonder why they choose this spot?" she asked herself out loud.
The smooth road of the town was now rocky gravel as they found a warn down building. Its gray walls were also covered in graffiti and what looked like burn marks. It was two stories tall and looked like it hasn't been used in years. They both took a minute to look at the building. Rikku shrugged and headed towards the door of the building.
"Um, Rikku," Auronaha said nervously, "Are you sure this is the right place?"
"Don't know unless I check it out," Rikku stated simply.
Rikku opened the broken down door , with Auronaha over her shoulder, and looked inside. There was some furniture that looked like it was frequently used with ware marks and other things scattered on the dirty floor. There was a hallway with more doors on the side of the room and an old stairway across form the door.
Rikku stepped into the building, over a pile of junk on the floor and looked around.
"Well, at least its not the worst I've seen, but its still pretty bad." She said crossing her arms over her chest. Auronaha studied the room and saw a lot of ale and booze bottles, cans and jugs lying around. Rikku picked one up and examined it.
"I would say a bunch a bunch of dirty demons," she said dropping the bottle. "Teenaged boys, probably. Just like I remember," she added with disgust.
"Looks like no ones home," said Auronaha nervously behind Rikku.
"I know he's here," insisted Rikku, "We just have to find him." she started to walk around the room looking into the other rooms.
"Is this person really that important? If he is then why is he hanging out in a place like this?" asked Auronaha. But before Rikku could answer, a door slammed somewhere in the building.
"Wow guys, that was quick. I thought..." a boy halfway stepped into the hall and stopped talking to moment he saw Rikku.
"R...Riya...I mean Rikku," he stuttered stepping back nervous and scared by Rikku. "What brings you here?"
"What's wrong with me just coming to visit and talk?" said Rikku with a joking edge in her voice. He narrowed his eyes and judged that she was here on somewhat peaceful terms. He stepped out into the room and saw Auronaha. His eyes widened.
"What are you doing with her!" he yelled at Rikku. "The whole kingdom is looking for her!" He circled around Auronaha then stood next to Rikku. "I heard your clan attacked Prince Royin's soldiers while she was with them."
"My clan did not attack his soldiers," Rikku hissed grabbing the collar of his shirt, "He attacked me first." She let go of his shirt and he staggered back then straightened his shirt.
"Then why is she here?" he asked with a smirk on his face, "Did you kidnap her?" he joked.
"No, she didn't kidnap me." Auronaha said sternly, defending Rikku. The boy turned his attention to her. "She saved my life," she finished softly.
The boy looked shocked, "Really; that's out of character, Rikku" he said turning to Rikku.
Rikku shook her head, "That's besides the point," she said, "Why did you move here?" she said in a more demanding voice.
John sighed, "My business wasn't doing too well."
"That doesn't explain why you moved with them," said Rikku emphasizing the word ‘them'.
"Hey," John said defensively, "I've got to get money somehow."
"You quit your job at the palace to hang with them?" Rikku questioned angrily.
"Look my family suffered and so did I and I was sick of it," he paused and looked at Rikku, "Working there was stressful."
Rikku sighed and rubbed her face with her hand. Auronaha looked form Rikku to john, then form John to Rikku, still confused.
"You worked at Trinity Palace?" she asked.
John nodded his head and said, "Yes, that and I was an informer to anyone who wanted information and would pay.
"You still saved info, right?" Rikku said sounding stressed.
"This is the last I have." Said john and he walked back into a room while Rikku and Auronaha followed him. His room was small and had boxes everywhere and all of them were locked. All of a sudden, there was a loud bashing sound.
"Oh god," John whined, "They're back."
Auronaha curiously peeked her head out of the room. She saw a group of boys dropping empty liquor bottles on the floor and laughing loudly.
"Did you see the look on that bastard's face?!" a boy with no shirt and baggy, ripped pants laughed.
"Yeah!" shouted another boy who wore a black sleeveless top and shoulder armor. "That was priceless!"
"Speaking of bastards," said the on the first boy's left, "Where's that ditcher, John?"
The boys headed towards john's room just when Rikku tried to pull Auronaha out of the doorway. But it was too late. Before Rikku could close to door, the first boy was already in the doorway.
"Well, John," he said looking down at Auronaha, who had fallen, "You never said that you were gona have a visitor." Then he saw Rikku, who was glaring at him.
"What the hell are you doing here?" he demanded in an angry voice. "Your disappearing act wasn't funny."
"Well I don't see you doing anything," Rikku shot back coldly.
"Bitch," he hissed, stepping closer to Rikku and got a better look at Auronaha. Then her saw the stone on her headdress. Rikku saw what he was looking at and steeped in front of Auronaha. "Don't even think about it, Parth!"
The other boys where standing at the door by now and were watching the fight. The boy named Parth stepped forward to the challenge but another boy held him back and whispered something in his ear. When the other boy was done, Parth laughed and looked at Rikku, then down at Auronaha and smiled evilly, then he walked away from the room with eh other boys following.
Rikku waited till the boys had left then asked Auronaha, "Are you OK?"
"I'm fine," she said as Rikku helped her up.
"Today is a bad day," signed John, "Not even noon, and they're already drunk."
"WE should leave," stated Rikku, heading out the door with Auronaha following closely. But John didn't move. Rikku looked back at him and said "Come on."
"I can't," John said simply.
Rikku stopped, making Auronaha bump into her. She watched Rikku trying to figure out what to do.
"Auronaha, you know the way back to the inn, right?" Rikku asked facing her.
"I think so," said Auronaha trying to sound hopeful.
"Look, I really need this information and sort stuff out so..." she didn't finish her sentence, hoping Auronaha would understand.
"It's OK," said Auronaha sincerely, "I remember the way."
"Hey," John said, "How about I go with you," he told Auronaha. Then faced Rikku and said, "I think it would be best if you really looked though the stuff."
"Yeah," sighed Rikku, "Maybe."