Talking in Russian -bolded
ONE MONTH LATER
The airport in Tokyo was crowded, just like it always was. A girl waded through the crowd. Her short black hair was messy. A gold hoop hung from one ear. Sunglasses were over her eyes, covering them entirely. A blue puffed vest laid overtop a black wool long-sleeved shirt, the sleeves tied down by biker gloves. Her blue jeans were torn at the knees and held up by a studded black belt. Her black sneakers were silent on the floor. She looked about her; and seeing a sign, headed to the baggage claim. She had just arrived from Russia. It was an okay flight. Quiet, laid back. Only problem was, the boy sitting next to her had been afraid. Throughout the whole flight, the kid had a white knuckled grip on an armrest and on the girl's arm. The girl stood in front of the conveyor belt, waiting patiently for her bag. When her duffel bag finally came, the girl slung it onto her shoulder.
"Hey! Watch it!"
The girl looked to her right. The boy from the flight was standing there. "Sorry Shrimp. Didn't see you there."
"My name's not 'Shrimp'! It's-"
"Daichi Sumeragi. BladeBreaker, Tag Team World Champion, and deathly afraid of flying."
The boy rubbed the back of his head. "Heh. Sorry about that. How's the arm?"
"It's all right. Circulation will come back…eventually."
Daichi grabbed his bag, laughing. "Sense of humor. I like it."
"So why were you in Russia? If you don't mind my asking," said the girl.
The two headed for the exit.
"I was looking for someone."
"Who?" The girl adjusted her sunglasses.
Daichi looked sideways at the girl. "Why do you wear sunglasses inside…um…"
"Name's Ren. I have sensitive eyes. Any kind of light hurts them. So who were you looking for?"
"A former BladeBreaker. Serena Tate."
"Just to help. So why were you in Russia? Or is it why are you in Tokyo?"
Ren was silent for a while. The two stepped into the sunlight. "I too was trying to…find…Serena."
Daichi shook his head slowly. "Did you have any luck or did you bomb out like me?"
"I think I had more luck. That's why I'm here, to talk to the BladeBreakers."
Daichi hailed a cab, not believing his luck on how he found someone with news about the missing blader. "Then come with me. I'm heading straight to Tyson's house."
"The World Champ's place? Sure." Ren climbed into the cab, Daichi after her. Daichi gave the driver the address. Ren looked at Daichi as the cab headed out. "What were you going to do once you found Serena?"
"Why were you trying to find Serena?" countered Daichi.
"I was…hired…to find her. And don't ask me to tell you who," said Ren as Daichi opened his mouth. "Client confidentiality."
"Oh. Okay. Well, I was going to give her my spot on the team."
Daichi sighed. "Ever since Tyson had visited the BEGA League to help Serena a month ago, everyone had been hoping she would come back, even after the falling out that had happened. Then, a few days after that, the BEGA League was dissolved and Boris arrested. We thought then that Serena would come back. She didn't. We all had gone to Russia for Boris's trial. Since he was Russian, the trial had to be there."
"You went too?"
Daichi nodded. "I felt she was a teammate of sorts. We went there for support when Serena testified. We tried to talk to her after the trial, but she disappeared. Serena was true to her word when she said she wouldn't return. The others were so depressed. Kai's normal silence worsened. He won't even say one-word answers. Max, the hyper one, refuses to eat sugar. Tyson gets angry easily. Kenny, he stopped working on his blading thesis. Ray meditates a lot more now. Hilary won't even come around. Tyson's the only one out of them who continues to blade. They all want Serena back. It's like I'm invisible. That's why I want to give Serena my spot."
"I don't believe she would have taken your spot."
"How would you know?"
Ren ignored the question and looked out the window. The cab slowed to a stop in front of the sword school. Daichi and Ren grabbed their bags. Daichi started to head through the gate, but Ren hesitated. Daichi looked back. "Come on. The others would want to hear what you have to say."
Ren followed Daichi through. The BladeBreakers were just like Daichi had described. Kai was leaning against a pole away from the others, eyes closed. Ray was sitting under a tree, meditating. Kenny for once wasn't looking at his computer. Max was sitting on the steps, shoulders hunched and rocking back and forth. Tyson, the only one practicing, looked over. He recalled his blade and stormed over. Ren stood a little behind Daichi.
"Daichi! Where were you? You skipped out on practice for a week!"
Daichi didn't back down. "For your information, I was in Russia trying to find Serena!"
Tyson snorted. "Yeah right. She probably wouldn't have even listened to you had you found her."
"You're right. She wouldn't have; and I didn't find her. I found, though, someone who has information about Serena." Daichi motioned at Ren, who stepped forward as the BladeBreakers gathered. "I met Ren on the plane back. She said she wanted to talk to us, so I brought her over."
"How do we even know if she met Serena?" demanded Tyson.
Ren dug into her duffel bag. She pulled out a disc and handed it to Tyson. "Is that familiar to you?"
Dragonia was sniffing at Ren's leg. Kai was coming closer to Ren, studying her. The other BladeBreakers were looking at what Ren had placed in Tyson's hand. Tyson himself looked stunned. "It's the disc made from that camera of Dragonia's. I had given the camera to Hiro so he could tape Serena. We had all been worried about her. I gave the disc to Serena at BEGA. If you have this, then you must have seen…"
The BladeBreakers started looking like their normal selves as they pestered Ren with questions. Dragonia flew around Ren.
Ren held up her hands as she laughed, briefly showing elongated eyeteeth. "One question at a time, please!" The BladeBreakers became quiet. "Now, before I answer your questions, I'd like to ask one of my own." Ren took off her sunglasses. Her bluish red eyes twinkled at the stunned BladeBreakers. "Is it too late for this idiot to be a BladeBreaker?"