ChiarOscuro Book Two - Episode Four - Welcome BackChiarOscuro Official / Fantasy / Actions & Adventure
ChiarOscuro Official Series
Copyright 2014 by ChiarOScuro
PREVIOUSLY ON ChiarOscuro
The rising tension that has lasted between the two uneasy neighbouring nations has hit a turning point as forces from the east start to march on towards the west. How will the capital of Aludin, Urok, react to this declaration of war and what does this all mean for the other provinces and their people?
A young Magi, her life has been changed once again due to the surprise
attack by Decabia on Tueley, the closest neighbour. She would have stayed
to fight yet fate has something else in mind for her....
Dasha's brother, stayed behind to fight the Decabians, now it is up to him
to defend their home against these invaders....
A young boy that looks to be the same age as the others, he was found
inside the Nephlin sanctuary beside his fallen master Baruto and when
they needed help the most, he sprung into action, defeating the demons,
No one seems to have know he existed
and lived with Baruto until today...
Once a petty criminal living on the streets of Lemekia
his life changed when he was caught by Dasha stealing
from an abandoned house. Now he finds himself tied to
the group and his monotonous life may forever be behind him...
Book Two – Welcome Back
XI – The Nine Rings
They had left Meropis's port earlier that morning and now, as the sun started to set, Koatsu could see from his window the black walls of the capital coming into view before them, only for steam to cloud his his sight as the train started to slow down to a halt, the first time it had stopped since leaving Meropis.
He slumped his head back on the leather seat of the compartment, his arms down between his legs, as he looked at Hichami, seemingly oblivious to their arrival to the capital, deeply reading the scrolls on the small wooden table that split the small compartment in this carriage.
Skora had long fallen asleep, his head slumped against the wall and a line of drool crawled down onto the seat as he snored loudly.
He was so small, that his feet didn't even touch the floor that usually, when they stood side by side, it made for a funny sight and they had sometimes been given the nickname of the Giant and Dwarf, though Koatsu would smack the face red of anyone who dared laugh maliciously at his friend. He was small for his age but he still had a few more years to grow taller, he himself hadn't been born this tall.
The train now drew to a standstill, just outside the walls and he could see the wooden platform that had been built outside the city's walls and he peered down below. It was a long drop to the ground.
The platform was filled with government officials, talking amongst one another and once the doors were dragged open and a small ramp placed down, they stepped onto it, halting any passenger looking to get off and got them to show them their documents while a few of the other officials started boarding the train.
'Look at those fools' he thought to himself.
With their white robe, which were too tight for them and collars which covered their neck, each one wore black boots, giving them at least ten centimetres extra on their height and their hair was combed back so you could see the lines of their heads.
A few minutes passed in silence when their compartment door slid open and he turned his head round to see Koshin enter the compartment and for the first time in hours, Hichami looked up from his precious scrolls.
“We've arrived at the ninth wall” said Koshin bowing his head slightly.
“Oh, is that why we've stopped?” said Hichami his long nose trembling as he smiled, something that didn't suit his long face and dark eyes and Koatsu tried his best to keep his mouth shut.
“Governor Hichami” spoke a voice and Koshin moved out the way as two of the officials walked inside the cramped compartment. At this point Skora had woken up, lifting his head and looked about him, his face dazed and confused, drool hanging from his bottom lip.
“A wall started..” began Hichami as he slightly bowed towards them.
“as a single brick...” they replied in chorus as they returned the bow. That's when the oldest of the two, with a bowl cut head and sleeves that fell over his hands, drew up a note pad in his left hand, a pencil in his right.
“We just need to go through the mandatory procedures, you know how it is Governor Hichami” said the man as if he was apologising for following orders.
“No matter” said Hichami as he looked from Skora, who was looking at the new arrivals with some confusion and back to Koatsu.
“So, this is Koatsu, no father or mother's name is given, is that correct?” he asked.
“It is” said Hichami.
“And this is Sporra, no father or mother's name is given, is that correct?” he asked.
“No” said Koatsu “It's Skora, not Sporra, can't you even get names right now?”
'Wrong move' he thought to himself as his face stung with the smack that Hichami had just given him.
“Hold that tongue boy” said Hichami as he turned back to the officials “As you see, I have to spend time in the company of such rude and disrespectful people but it has to be done. I'll be bringing them immediately to the first wall, no stop odds and from there, I'll accompany them directly to the Scales Of Urok.”
“Very well” said the official, as he signed the sheet of paper which he tore off the pad and gave it to Hichami, who glanced at it before chucking it onto the table.
“Just show that to the check ins and they won't bother you any further. Have a goodnight Hichami” said the official as he bowed, as did his colleague, before they both left the compartment.
Once the doors had slid shut, Hichami span round and stood over Koatsu, his face just centimetres from his and he could feel the stench of his breath on his face, his eyes wild.
“You ever, ever, disrespect me, like that again, it'll be more than a smack next time, I promise you, you got that?” said Hichami, a vein pulsing on his rotund head.
“You got it” said Koatsu and Hichami lingered looking intently at him before turning to Koshin.
“Koshin, stay here, I've spent too much time with such filth, I need to spend an hour or so away from them, lest I start smelling like them too” he said.
“Sure thing Hichami” said Koshin slightly bowing.
“In a bit” he said as Hichami left the compartment, not saying another word but he did give Koatsu one last look before closing shut the doors.
Koshin sat down where Hichami had just sat, facing Koatsu and for several moments, nothing was said as they felt the train start to slowly pick up speed again and as it passed through the wall, they were plunged into the darkness for a couple of seconds before they were inside Urok.
Koshin looked towards the doors, licking his lips nervously as he reached inside his robe and pulled out a couple of pieces of cloth, which were wrapped around something. He placed them onto the table and slowly unravelling them, revealed two slices of cake for each piece of cloth.
“Yay, cake” said Skora straightening himself up in his seat, his mouth open as he licked his lips, looking down at the delicious treat.
“Thanks Koshin” said Koatsu.
“No sweat Koatsu” said Koshin as he split with his hands each of the four pieces into half.
“You don't think you could loosen these, just slightly?” said Koatsu raising his arms before him. His hands had been enclosed in a solid case of red shining metal, he was unable to move any of his fingers and he shook the link chains that were attached to the floor under his seat “It'd make eating that cake so much simpler.”
“I'm not falling for that one Koatsu” said Koshin “I let you use your hands, you'd be out of this train faster than I could say 'Magi'.”
“Hey, can't blame me for trying right?” said Koatsu with a smile as he opened his mouth and Koshin dumped inside a piece of the cake and he chewed slowly, pleasuring every bite, for his stomach had been rumbling all day.
“To be honest” he said through morsels “I would feel bad if I did it to you though I would love to see Hichami's face as I waved goodbye to him, haha.”
“I don't think you would, trust me” said Koshin as he gave a piece of the cake to Skora, who almost swallowed his piece whole and Koatsu was reminded of the ducks that used to live by the square of their old home “I've seen Hichami angry before and it's not a pleasant sight, he would hunt you down to the ends of the world, if such rumours are to be believed.”
“You mean this hasn't even been the worst of him? Gods, what were you thinking?” said Koatsu looking up to the sky and even Koshin started laughing at that.
“So what's the latest boss, what's happening in the world?” said Koatsu as Skora ate his last piece of the cake, this time affording one chew and when he realised he had already finished his, he hung his head low.
“The same really, everyone's still talking about the same old thing” said Koshin as he lay back on his seat, pushing aside the scrolls and resting his feet onto the table.
“The Seven Temples?” said Koatsu who recalled how a couple of weeks ago down in Sumai, that had been the main talk, even when he left they were still discussing it.
“Yeah. There's now reports that they were at the Temple in Celia, athough they were smarter this time around and went in during the night, it didn't stop one priest disappearing off the face off the Earth, they say he was an old Omion soldier who had been serving for ten years” said Koshin as he let out a long yawn.
“Only the Red Dome, Saganuey and obviously the one in the inner ring haven't been attacked. Can you believe it, what kind of people would treat such holy places in such a way?”
“What can they possibly gain? There's nothing worth taking, I would know” said Koatsu.