Friday, June 29, 2007,10:22 PM
Traveler ch. 25


25

“You can’t do this to me!”

The man holding her arm didn’t seem to pay attention to the girl’s complaints. Since she’d been captured, Kaoru had tried to run, cried, yelled at him… She had tried almost everything in order to reach the man’s heart, but nothing worked. Now they were inside of a big, cold and scary building where the unknown was waiting for her.

The unknown ended being a dark cell waiting for her at the end of a corridor.

“I haven’t done anything!”

“That’s useless” said a voice somewhere near “It’s a lost of time to try to talk to them. I know, I tried”

“Who are you?”

“Oh, sorry” From the corner of the cell next to hers, Kaoru saw a silhouette moving out of the shadows “Takahashi, Ai”

Hearing that name, Kaoru felt a bit relieved. The girl could be a serial killer or something worst - she was at jail after all- but at least she knew her, what meant that the other girls must be probably around. If one of them found Yoshizawa-san, maybe she’d be alright, at least until Kaoru could get out of that cell, find her and continue that crazy trip.

But, what if some of her ‘friends’ were the ones trying to catch her? Definitely, it wouldn’t be a good idea to trust anyone, not even someone you think you know.

“I’m Kaoru” sighed the younger.

“Nice to meet you, Kaoru, even if it’s in this damn place”

The young traveler let her body roll against the cell’s bars and sat on the cold floor, closing her eyes at the same time, trying to pretend that everything was just a nightmare. Takahashi went closer to the wall of bars dividing the cells and, passing her arms through it, let her body rest on them.

“So.., what happened?”

“Eh?” the question surprised Kaoru, who opened again her eyes and stared at the other girl.

“I mean, why are you here?”

“First, it’s a mistake…” stated the younger.

“Yeah, sure” smiled Ai-chan.

“…and second, I’m not really sure. They said something about the King and a murder…”

Takahashi tensed up and, leaving her relaxing position, took a grip on the bars as if her life went on it.

“You know something about that?!” she asked rising her voice.

“No! Why the hell people keep asking me that?!” Kaoru got up in an outburst shouting “I was just trying to get help ‘cause Yoshizawa-san was feeling sick and then those guards arrested me ‘cause they say that I’m some kind of accessory from the King’s murder and took me here where I definitely shouldn’t be!”

“You know Yoshizawa-san? She’s here? She’s alive?” asked Takahashi with a hint of hope in her voice and without paying attention to the rest of the speech that her new roommate had done almost without breathing.

Oh God…

That was perfect… Now the whole ‘don’t trust anybody’ had gone to trash because she couldn’t control her own mouth. Obviously, Takahashi wouldn’t stop asking and soon or later Kaoru would have to tell her something or it would be even more suspicious.

Well, if I have to stay here, better to have an ally.

“Please, tell me! It’s important” asked the older again, desperately “If you’ve seen her that means that she’s alive and if she’s alive, she can tell everybody what really happened!”

“And… what really happened?” Kaoru forget a moment about her worries and saw Ai-chan words as a way to get some information from the other girl, instead of telling her about Yossi “Why are you here?”

“I saw the real killer”

The weightiness in Takahashi’s words surprised Kaoru for a moment. So, Yoshizawa-san was innocent - thanks, God – and maybe that girl was there because of the same mistake as her. If she knew who the killer was, they could solve the misunderstanding and Kaoru would have one less headache to worry about. It was time to ask about a few things.

“Why didn’t you tell them?”

“Of course I did!” now it was time for Aichan’s outburst, who went to the door of her cell and kicked the bars “I’ve spent the last five days trying to explain what I saw but nobody believes me!”

“Why? Who was?”

“The King”

“No, I mean, who killed him?”

“I told you, the King”

An awkward silence filled the room for a second until Kaoru finally reacted.

“The King killed the King?”

“I knew you wouldn’t believe me” said the older, sitting in a corner and crossing her arms with a deep sigh “God, I don’t even believe myself…”

“No, wait a minute. You mean there were two kings? Two identical men?”

“I know, I’m crazy”

A bit weird? Yeah. Crazy? Maybe not.

There was a theory beginning to develop inside Kaoru’s head. A theory that she would prefer to be wrong about it.

Or it could be just the usual ‘bad twin’ thing. Two identical brothers separated at birth and then the bad one getting revenge after the years…

Ok… Too much movies…

But something was clear in Kaoru’s mind after all.

“I believe you”

***

Makoto was waiting at the door of the Princess’s room waiting for someone to open it. After almost five minutes standing there, with a tray of food in her hands, and seeing that no one was going to answer, she decided to open it herself. That, of course, could cause her a few problems. First, she was going to step into a Royal Chamber without permission, but that didn’t worry her too much, not after hiding a wanted criminal in the aforesaid room. The one thing that really scared her was the possibility to find her captain and the Princess in some kind of compromising situation, what could lead to an awkward moment.

Well…, as if it was the first time…

Slowly, the Lieutenant turned the knob and, with caution, opened the door. At first she just stuck her head out of the frame as a preventive measure. At least, there wasn’t any suspicious sound. Well, there wasn’t any sound at all, something that worried her.

“Eh… Highness?” asked Ogawa coming into the room and closing the door behind her. Nobody answered. She began to fear the worst “Captain?” Mako-chan asked again, leaving the tray on the table and walking towards one of the opened windows of the balcony

The Lieutenant turned her head and looked at the table. On in, there was just the tray with food she had left a moment ago, anything else. There was not signal from Yoshizawa-san’s belongings. Then, she returned her attention to the opened window and the curtains swinging with the slight breeze coming from outside.

Please no…

Makoto ran towards the balcony and looked outside. There was no signal from the Captain. The girl inspected every corner, every inch of the terrace, but without luck and then, leaning on the handrail, she stared at the ground six meters under her feet. There’s no way Yoshizawa-san could just jump from there, wasn’t it?

A deep sigh escaped from her mouth as she turned back and walked again into the room. She’d been out.., how much? Fifteen minutes? Long enough for Captain to disappear one more time. Without warning, a note.., not even a nice word… She didn’t even thanked Mako-chan for helping her.

“At least she could have said goodbye…”

“I’m still here”

Yossi’s words didn’t reach Mako’s ears in time to let the younger process her presence there and avoid running into the taller. Surprised, she made some steps back and stumbled, ending with her ass against the cold floor of the balcony.

“Captain? You’re still here?”

“Yeah, come on” Yossi gave her hand to Ogawa and help her to stand up.

“I thought you had disappeared again…”

“I was going to, but I need you. I need to go back where you found me”

“Oh, no. Definitely no” answered Mako-chan letting go Yocchan’s hand and stepping into the room “No one’s leaving this room. Princess is gonna be really pissed of if she finds out that you’ve disappeared again”

“I’m being wanted for murder… You think that an angry princess is going to scare me?”

“Ooook... You hit your head against a rock or something? Because, obviously, you don’t know who we’re talking about…”

“Really, I’m not going to worry about that now. I’m leaving, Ogawa, with or without you” said Yoshizawa with a serious expression in her face “Although I’d prefer you’d come with me”

***

“So… you… believe me?”

“Yeah”

“Why?”

Kaoru thought for a moment before answering. It was better to watch every step and every single word. Besides, even if she wanted to tell Takahashi about Yoshizawa-san and the Traveler, she couldn’t ‘cause the guards had confiscated her bag whit the computer inside.

“Let’s just say that I’ve got my reasons”

“Well… whatever you believe me or not, there’s nothing we can do. We’re still trapped here”

Suddenly, their conversation was interrupted by steps coming from behind the door of the jail. Then, a guard that Kaoru hadn’t seen before opened it and came inside the jail seizing someone tightly. That someone turned out to be another girl that the young traveler had met before.

“Say hello to the new guest, girls”

The newly arrived, with her wrists and ankles tied with chains, stared at the other two girls for a moment before the guard pushed her inside an empty cell. Then, she turned to the bars, looked at the guard and smiled mischievously.

“You know I won’t stay long”

“The last time we underestimated you…” said the man approaching the cell and looking back at the daring girl “I’m not going to make the same mistake twice. If you try to escape again, I’ll forget that you’re a girl”

The guard turned on his heels and was going to leave when the girl shouted at him.

“Hey! Let’s make a deal!”

“Why should I make a deal with a bandit?” asked the man without even turning to look at her “A bandit who’s in jail, may I add”

“Because your soldier pride is at stake?”

“Sorry, I’m not playing games with you” he was going to open the door to leave without paying attention to her when he was stopped again.

“What if I say that I can leave this place before tomorrow morning and make a fool of you trying to catch me again?” said her with a playful voice.

“If you can escape so easily, what do you want from me?”

“I’ve made a promise, but I won’t be able to keep it if you guys keep trying to catch me. Tomorrow I’ll be gone and I just want you to stop following me”

The man laughed out loud.

“You’re really funny, you know?” he said turning to the girl “Those chains you’re wearing are maid of the most resistant metal of the country. If you can escape from them, maybe, we’ll talk”

And those were his last words before closing the door and leaving the three girls alone.

“Those haughty men…” sighed the chained woman while she was turning to one of the corners of her cell, giving her back to the other two “I was just trying to be nice…”

Both Kaoru and Ai heard a noise coming from their partner’s cell, like if something really heavy had fell to the floor. What was her surprise when the other girl turned to them completely free from her chains…

“What the…?” Kaoru needed to ask a lot of things but she couldn’t form the words properly. That girl wasn’t kidding when she said that she could escape. Takahashi was as surprised as her, looking at the woman with big curious eyes, and asked something that Kaoru already knew.

“Who are you?”



To be continued...

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posted by Lorena Enciso
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