Author: Kazekage-Hime PM
An attempt on the hellmaster's life ends in a case of amnesia. When a noble's daughter finds the broken boy she is determined to make him well again. But she's not what meets the eye and danger lurks around each corner.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Supernatural - Phibrizo - Chapters: 2 - Words: 6,407 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-08-06 - id: 3279846
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Cassandra gazed down at the boy. His tiny body was nearly swallowed up in the huge fluffy pillows and soft comforter. Raven hair contrasted starkly against the whiteness surrounding him. His chest rose and fell in raspy breaths. It seemed, even in the small time she had left him, that the bruises and wounds were already starting to disappear. Perhaps because he was cleaned up a little. His discomfort seemed to have lessened. His face was still pained, but more relaxed that before. She felt so much sorrow for the boy. She reached out a hand and smoothed his hair gently.
"They really did a number on you, didn't they?" She said, sitting down in a chair beside the bed. "They must have really disliked you, or they were in the mood for over-kill." She sighed. She hoped he would wake up soon, for she was really curious to what happened and she didn't want to use her other method of finding out.
Also she wanted to know who he was. Before she had concluded he wasn't from around here, at least he wasn't anyone she knew. Yet, new people moved in to the village every now and then. Not too often, but on occasion there were new faces to be seen. Possibly this boy could belong to a new family. The only way to find out would go and check. However, she was sure that her father was already putting in a call to the village sheriff and all necessary places to find the child's identity. If he was a resident they would know it by nightfall, the next day at most. It was a small town and news traveled fast.
She sat watching him sleep for a long time. She found her thoughts turning back to the dense feeling she had sensed back in the forest. The presence of evil. Her father was wrong, but she couldn't tell him that. The assailants were not bandits. She didn't even believe they were human. There was an undercurrent of mazoku tendency to this. Not that she knew why, it made no sense. There were plenty of other people to terrorize around the area, why the boy? And anyway, why was a mazoku around in the first place. She shook her head. No, it was going to far to say it was mazoku, unless it was a fairly lower-powered one who happened to get bored. The question still remained: what happened?
She stood, glancing at the boy again. She didn't want to leave his side. She didn't want him to wake up alone, but she had to know. "Sorry. I have to leave you now. I will try to be back soon." She glanced at her watch. It would probably take a while to search the meadow for clues, then upon arriving back she would most likely be pulled into dinner. She estimated that 7:30 would be her return time to the boy, unless something came up. She would only be away for two, three hours at most. She bade farewell to the unconscious figure then close the door softly behind her.
- - -
Twilight had nearly arrived as Cassandra finally came to the meadow. She hoped her father wouldn't notice her gone again. He would know exactly where she had gone. He wouldn't know why, but the fact she had left was enough to give her another sermon and take away some privileges. She didn't want that, considering she had to do just about everything without permission anyway. More rules to break, meant more sermons, more sermons meant more rules. It was a vicious cycle. She would be crazy before it was all over. She laughed to herself. "And all this over a little boy."
However, she couldn't think of the consequences now. She was already there and if she was to be discovered missing it would have already happened. She might as well go about her duties. She went straight to the place where she had found the boy first. Most likely she would find some clues there, if not then she would widen her search. Something glinted in the late sunlight as bent down. Brushing the grass back she found a handful of small marbles. Well, they didn't really look like marbles but she couldn't think of another word to describe them. Therefore, they were marbles. She collected them and carefully slipped them in her jacket pocket. Even if they didn't hold any significance he would probably want them back. They were nice.
Her eyes quickly searched the area, but could pick nothing out. Maybe there was nothing more. The assailants might not have left any signs behind. Which meant one of two things. One, whoever it was, was talented. Two, they weren't human. Why was everything pointing to non-human sources! "Or three," Cassandra said aloud to herself, "you're an idiot and you're blowing everything completely out of proportion. Only one way to find out."
She didn't want to do it, but once again it was the only way to even get close to figuring out what happened. She knelt down again, pulling a few of the marbles from her pocket, and placing her hands on the ground. Closing her eyes she began to summon the ancient power that had been passed down from generation to generation on her mother's side. A power she had to keep hidden from her father, much like her mother had hidden it from him. He wouldn't understand and he would forbade her to use it. In that there would be no negotiations.
The power was divination. Divination in a way. She not only could see future events but those in the past, and on occasion things that were happening in the present. The light breeze which had been flowing through the forest soon grew more intense and howled in her ears like wolves on a chase. Bits of images soon danced through her head. She was no longer Cassandra, she was the boy now. She was seeing things through his mind, using his energy and memory tapped into his possessions, the ground, even the air.
- - -
He was standing on a road, not a road Cassandra had ever seen before. He was tossing one of his 'marbles' in the air with his thumb and catching it again as his eyes searched the area. He was trying to decide which way to go. He was bored, he wanted to do something but didn't know what. Suddenly something fell, seemingly from the sky, in front of him. Suspicious and curious he peered at it with the utmost child-like curiosity. A voice from behind broke his thoughts, thoughts that had been turning more suspicious by the second because it was an apple - - and there were no apple trees, or even trees nearby.
He turned, completely panicked. No, how could it happen! How could he be snuck up on. Especially by- He screamed a name, but the name was lost to Cassandra through a loud crashing sound. Flames and light energy, completely destructive, washed over him. He flew back, hitting the ground yards away. He tired to climb up, get to his feet to defend himself, but his assailant was already upon him. Swift and deadly as a shark. A shark with teeth that wouldn't let go. Hard punches and kicks rained down on the youth.
"Time to die."
The youth gained enough courage and strength to speak. With defiance he looked up. "That's Phibrizzo to you."
There was an angry snarl from his attacker and another spell was cast. Certain death.
- - -
Cassandra started, losing the vision too soon. She had felt the extreme pain, gods was it wretched. That was the unfortunate side of her powers, they also came with empathy to a point. If the emotions were strong enough she could feel them. She cursed to herself. At least she wasn't completely in the dark anymore. The boy's name was Phibrizzo, and he knew his attacker by the looks of it. Yet, more questions were raised than answered. Who tried to kill him and why? And how, if the attempt was made someplace else, did he get here? She stood and placed the marbles back in her pocket. It was dark and she needed to get home. If she made it before dinner, and they didn't already know she had been gone, there would be no questions.
- - -
Dinner went quickly and silently. Cassandra wasn't hungry, but she picked at her food believably and would sneak some food to their dog, Molly, who always sat at her feet anyway. Every so often she would reach in her pocket and finger the marbles, remembering what she had seen. The look of complete defiance and coldness in the boy's eyes frightened her. He was not afraid to die, she felt that. The thought of it was a mere annoyance. Phibrizzo, the name sounded so familiar, why couldn't she remember where she had heard it. No, maybe she had heard a name like it. Dammit.
"May I be excused?" Cassandra asked, raising her eyes to look at her father. They hadn't spoken since his preaching earlier. She felt awkward.
He eyed her plate with disapproval, but didn't say anything about it. It would be no use. Cassandra wouldn't eat if she didn't feel like it. "Yes." As she stood he added, "going to see the boy again I suppose."
She nodded. "I was wondering if he woke up yet."
"Not that I know of." He answered. He didn't completely disapprove of his daughter's sudden fascination with the boy, but he didn't like it either. He didn't know why, but he got a bad vibe off the child.
- - -
On her way to the guest room Cassandra had dropped by the library. She had grabbed a couple favorites so she wouldn't just sit and stare, and to also take her mind off her troubling thoughts. She didn't need them when she first arrived. She was content enough just watching him sleep. Over the few hours she had been gone he had improved even more. Bruises had vanished, injuries were healing. His breathing was now soft and peaceful, like the up and down movement of his tiny chest. He was so. . . cute.
She shook her head, not being to understand her captivation herself. Perhaps it was because she wasn't used to being around little boys. Growing up she'd had only one brother, and he was ten years her senior. Her three sisters were who kept her company, and sometimes annoyed her to no end due to her being youngest. Despite her differences from her family, and the death of her beloved mother, she had enjoyed her childhood. It was her teenage years which got to her - - and they weren't over yet.
"You're lucky." She said quietly. "I bet you're an only child. You're parents are probably missing you right now, and when they get you back they'll shower you with kisses and hugs and tell you how much they prayed for your safe return. My father would probably just say 'oh, were you gone'. He's always so busy with work. He is an ambassador though. Lots of responsibility. It's a lot more important than petty family problems." She sighed and laughed to herself in irony. "I don't know why I'm even telling you this. You probably can't even hear me, and you won't remember. I suppose that's for the best though."
With that she took out a book and began to read silently to herself. Even as the hour grew late she read, retracing the steps of her favorite heroes, and letting the chills return to her spine as climaxing horror began to creep into the shadows. She found herself reading aloud, something she didn't do too often. Yet on occasion she would sometimes receive a hand on the shoulder or light word telling her she was doing it. This time it was a soft sigh from the figure in the bed. He rolled over on his side, curling into a ball and clutching a pillow to his small form. There was a slight smile on his face, which made Cassandra smile.
"Do you want me to read to you?" She asked. As if he could hear her there was a soft "mmm" sound. She raised her book again, and starting from the beginning- for she had only been a paragraph in on this certain story- she began to read:
"The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had bourne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At LENGTH I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled- but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong."
A voice from the door spoke as she paused at the end of the paragraph. As she took a breath it inquired, "don't you think he's a little young for that story?" Upon a glance Cassandra realized it was Giov.
"He won't remember it." Cassandra answered, closing the book and placing it on the night table. "Have you come to check on your patient?"
"Yes," Giov answered, moving from the doorway with unusual grace for a doctor. He seemed almost regal. As he bent over the boy he brushed her with his eyes. "Why are you up so late, Cassandra?"
"It isn't that late is it?" She asked, then yawned. Looking sheepish she added, "what time is it?
"A little after midnight. Why don't you go and get some sleep. If he wakes before you, I'll come fetch you, all right."
Cassandra was reluctant to leave, but knew she did need some sleep. "Okay. See you in the morning." She stood and stretched turning off the light closest to her. She knew Giov would get the other. "Goodnight Giov. Goodnight Phibrizzo."
"Phibrizzo?" Giov gazed at her. "Do you know him?"
Realizing she was almost caught she replied, "no, but he looks like a Phibrizzo." She shrugged and departed. As she walked to her room the fatigue seemed to wash over her like ocean waves. When she reached her room she pulled on some light pajamas and slid into bed. She was fast asleep minutes later. Thoughts of the boy, and the day spiraling through her mind.
- - -
She seemed to float, yet stand among a space filled with a wispy gray-white mist. There was nothing below her feet, but the feeling of hardened stone, or tile was there. Cassandra wasn't confused, nor was she scared. This was a familiar scene, although she hadn't seen it for awhile. As the mists swirled around her, caressed her skin, fluttered her hair, she gazed around. "Hello, mother." She said suddenly to the grayness. "It's been a while since last I saw you."
Her mother appeared. Dark chocolate brown hair was done up in an elegant bun, matching her personality in life. She was a very serious person, but was very soft-spoken and kind. Her eyes were gentle but held a solemnity. "Yes, I know. I had no reason to come to you."
"Now you do?" Cassandra inquired, curiosity sparking.
Helena Price's lips pursed in a grave manner as her eyes searched her daughter. Her hands were clasped in front of her almost regally. "Yes, I do. I want to speak to you about the ... child ... you rescued today."
"What about him?" The teenager asked. 'Mother looks troubled, but what does the child have to do with things?' "Do you have information on his attacker."
A nod. "Yes, I know the identity of the attacker," said Helena. Her eyes burned into her daughter's on her next words. "It was Gaav, the demon dragon king."
"Gaav!" Cassandra cried in disbelief. "Mother, that's only a legend."
"Is that what your father told you child, that everything was a legend? No. All of it is real. Gaav is real." She paused and add, "and so it all the other evil mazoku lords."
"The beastmaster? The Hellmaster? The others, real?" Cassandra crossed her legs and was seemingly suspended in mid-air. Her eyes found a spot below her and her mind turned. Real? How could they be real? "I know that mazoku exist, but the lords... "
"You are in danger." Helena warned. "Do you not know who that boy is sleeping in the other corridor?"
"I know his name is Phibrizzo. Funny name, isn't it? Passed that I don't know who he is, but his assailant being Gaav explains some things. But what if he comes back?"
"Gaav is the least of your worries. He believes the so-called child is dead. It would have been better for all of us if he had truly succeeded. I have no love for Gaav, but I have less caring for that damnable boy."
"Mom, why are you so hateful!" Cassandra asked. Her mother was acting like her meeting this boy was the end of the world. "Who is that boy!"
"Cassandra, you really cannot remember can you?" Helena asked, eyes softening. No wonder why her daughter rescued him. "He is the Hellmaster."
Cassandra's jaw dropped. No, it couldn't be true. He seemed too innocent, too weak. The child couldn't be the Hellmaster. Yet it would make sense. It was the piece of information that made everything clear. That was the only explanation for Gaav attacking him. "Gods, mother. The Hellmaster?"
"Go; go and see for yourself. You must have no doubts. You have to see. The child is pure evil."
- - -
Cassandra woke. Although hardly anything her mother said before was wrong she doubted this. She could not picture the boy being evil, much less being Hellmaster. She sat up and dangled her legs over the edge of the bed, head resting in her hands. It didn't seem right. She always wondered about the communication between herself and her mother. Once she had thought that perhaps it was her unconscious mind, most likely the psychic part guiding her in the form of her mother. If that was the case this time then she was probably just being paranoid. The negative feelings she had felt in the meadow were most likely being used to ignite fear, for she was afraid, but not of the boy. That's why she didn't get the strange message.
She climbed from bed, and pulled on her robe. She had to go check on the boy. She had to see herself if what her 'mother' was saying was true. If it was, then they were in for trouble. She hoped her mother was wrong for once, that this boy wasn't who she said he was. She didn't know if she even had the courage to really go look in on him. Cassandra stood for a moment studying the darkness of her room, wracking her brain for anything to grasp. She couldn't find anything except more questions, questions which could not be answered until the boy awakened. Waiting for that might be dangerous. 'I have to go, there's no other choice.' She told herself mentally. With that she was out the door and heading for the west wing.
- - -
The room was dark save for the vague moonlight coming in through the sheer-curtained window. That light didn't help much though. Clouds seemed always to be passing by the moon darkening things, and large trees stood outside the room casting eerie shadows. She realized how creepy that was now and was thankful that there were no trees outside her room. She didn't scare easily, but that was when her mind was working logically. Thoughts of the Hellmaster sent all logic out the window, especially at such a late hour.
She shuddered and pulled her robe tighter around her. She had forgotten her slippers. She hated them, but the floors did grow cold during the night. The fire that had been going in the hearth across the room was out. The ashes still glowed like forsaken wraiths crying out for help. She would have complied, but she was afraid the extra movement and noise would wake the boy. She didn't want that to happen just in case he was who her mother said he was. Still... she couldn't see it.
Her eyes scrutinized him, pouring over every inch of his visible body. Moonlight danced ethereally over him. His hair seemed to glow, and his face appeared white. He sniffled softly in his sleep. His small fingers abruptly clutched at his pillow and surrounding comforter, as if it could be his savior from some horrid nightmare monster. Tears fell from his closed eyes and he began to whine for fear. She gazed at him in compassion. No, this boy couldn't be the Hellmaster. After all the stories she had heard of his cruelty she couldn't ever envision him weeping.
She sat beside him, taking one of his tiny hands in hers. She was somewhat startled when he gripped back. She smiled softly down at him. He was so . . . precious. Yes, he was precious and that's what she would call him from now on. She shook her head at her thought, her other hand stroking his hair. "It's all right, little one," she whispered, "you're safe now. No one will harm you here. I won't let them." As if hearing her, feeling her presence his fear subsided. Yet his slender fingers still curled around her hand, an unconscious plea for her to stay.
She knew her father wouldn't like her sleeping anywhere but her own room, and they were very sore at her already, but she felt a magnetism pulling her to the boy. It shouldn't hurt to stay for tonight. Anyway, she didn't want him to wake up alone and confused. She remembered a time when that had occurred to her, and she wished it upon no one. So she leaned back against the wall, making herself comfortable. She tried to fight sleep, perhaps she could wait out the night and catch him wakening. She finally realized it was futile. She was too weary for that. She let her thumb caress the top of his hand, "goodnight ... precious." She yawned and closed her eyes and let sleep take her. Morning would come soon enough.
Well, that's it for right now. I'll finish and post chapter three if anyone cares. Adieu.