-May 9, 1676-
It's been a little over two months since Natsume made the announcement to his people about us, it's been two months of constant hiding in and out of Anna's and Nonoko's pub. I sighed, it was two months with no relaxation in constant worries.
I turned around from the large beer-keg behind the bar to face all the customers happily drinking with no sober thoughts. I always thought it was funny watching drunks. Trio's of guys singing and drinking, holding their glasses up high or falling out of chairs. I couldn't help but to think later tonight I should do the same. All the constant stress and worry that the princes were gonna find us was eminent even in my sleep. Sometimes I woke up screaming. Many times I dream about losing my alices, being defencless against a raging elemental fire prince...sometimes being raped by him and being defenseless...
I walked over to the table that just ordered four tall ones and on my way over there some pervert decided to grab my ass. I turned around to him and glared. He didn't seem fazed. He just looked at me with a perverted grin that reminded me so much of Natsume's. My eye twitch thinking of one of those dreams but I just turned around and kept walking, it was just another part of this job. Anna said I didn't have to work but I like to earn my keep since I was living in one of the upper rooms above the pub. Hotaru didn't seem to mind when they said we didn't have to work.
I had just set down the four beers for another table when a messenger ran into the pub holding up a wanted poster yelling. The picture on it, looked almost just like me. They must have got a sketch artist to draw Amanatsu and say it was me. I bit my lip and slowly walked up the stairs to my room as the messenger told the story of how I was wanted for escaping, wanted for treason, wanted for some other shit, some of that shit I didn't even do... but it was all so that people would want me dead more so now. Fortunetly, the poster said: Wanted Alive. I guess they wanted to kill me themselves...
I needed a disguise, I got up to my room and put on a wig and something to dis-color my eyes before looking in the mirror. It wasn't much but it would have to do for now. I walked back down stairs just in time to here the messenger say the Prince's themselves were coming here. To this town. Tonight. I nearly froze from where I stood. Here? Tonight! As in at anytime! "Fuck." I whispered to myself and walked over to Anna and Nonoko who were pale and almost frozen in fear.
"Mikan! What do we do! They're coming! This is a whole lot sooner than we expected, the must have got a psychic or something to track us down! Oh god this can't be happening..." Anna put her hands up to her face wanting to cry. Nonoko tried to comfort her.
"Anna, we'll close the pub tonight then go into hiding, we'll make sure no one can find us. Hell." she pulled up a small bag. "We'll make sure no one remembers us." She pulled out of the bag a handful of dust. I recognized it. It was made by Nonoko years before with her Chemistry Alice. Since then she has been making great things with it. It was unusual for people to have more than one alice but she was an exception, next to Anna, Hotaru and myself.
With one throw of the powder we all went up in a poof, we found ourselves in Hotaru's room and she looked at us like she was expecting this. I took off my useless wig. "They're coming aren't they?" she asked calmly and all we could do was nod. "I figured as much." she finished.
"But how? This is a secret small little town. Lots of thieves, pirates and refugees come here all the time to hid out." Anna asked a little bit calmer than before. I nodded in agreement with her. Nonoko sighed and Hotaru looked up to the ceiling. "This place is protected by many barrier alices. Not many can pass in here without consulting one of the barrier alices first."
"They're the Elemental Princes. They can do whatever the hell they please." I said turning to look out the drape covered window to look out at the small down full of many people. Everyone looked down knowing I was right. The Princes were practically rulers of this whole realm and the only way they wouldn't be would be was to go to another realm. Which was physically impossible even for alices.
"They're probably going to check all the houses, all the stores and all the pubs..." "Guys we need to get out of this town fast." I interrupted as everyone turned to me. I glared out the window at a carriage that stopped at a place just down the street with soldiers knocking on the door looking like they were ready for a fight if need be. Ruka stepped out of the carriage papers in hand as a woman opened the door. She smiled and talked to him, Ruka gave her a paper and she took it. Looking it over a little bit she pointed at Anna and Nonoko's pub. Ruka nodded and they headed his way. "Shit."
"What is it Mikan? Are they here? Please say not yet." Anna looked at me worriedly. I turned to her and grabbed her arm. "I would if I could Anna, unfortunately I can't. We need to leave. Now." I pulled her down the hall of the the second floor I looked down at the first floor over the railing. Many people were still in the pub still drinking happily. Clones of Anna and Nonoko stood at the bar. Thankfully I knew what they didn't.
Hotaru kept moving down the hall to another room. Anna, Nonoko and I followed. She tapped a wall and the whole place shook like a small earthquake. I looked down trying to keep my balance and not fall over. I've always been horrible with keeping my balance. When I looked back up i saw that a small section of the wall had moved. Then we all flinched as there was a large crash from the first floor.
I heard them getting closer, heavy boot steps on the wooden floor. "Shit shit shit shit shit! We need to move!" I commanded while keeping my cool and trying not to yell. We all quickly moved to the inside of the wall but apparently it wasn't quick enough cuz as soon as Hotaru tapped it to close the wall again an arm reached in and grabbed Anna by wrist pulling her to the other side of the door.
"ANNA!" Nonoko yelled reaching for her. There was no time to grab her for she was already on the other side and the wall had closed full locking her out and us in..."Anna..." Nonoko scratched at the wall her eyes brimming with tears ready to burst. Hotaru placed a hand on her shoulder an shook her head. I looked down, I couldn't watch, it brought back memories I wanted to forget.
"We need to get moving or else one of us will be next..." I looked and took a shaky breath. I didn't want to be the hard-ass I acted like but we all knew I was right. Anna was strong in her own way. She could and would survive this...unless they know the secret...then even I pray to Kami that she'll be ok.
I massaged my temples. The stress from this week was enough to kill me. I sat in the carriage as Ruka went place to place showing pictures of Mikan and pictures of what we could find of that other woman...Imai or something like that. The woman pointed and Ruka thanked her coming back to the carriage.
"Natsume! You'd never guess what I found out! That pub over there, the woman said there were two girls that looked just like Mikan and Imai, there's a chance they're here." Ruka whispered looking over to the pub. I looked over too. It was a small two-story building, you could tell it was around for a long time. It was run down but still standing.
I scowled. Mikan, I'm going to teach you a lesson you'll never forget, no one runs away from Natsume Hyuuga.
We drove the little ways to the pub and my soldiers knocked down the doors, half of them running up the stairs and the other half taking over the pub full of drunks wondering what was happening. Yuu and Koko walked over to two girls behind the pub both smiling but looked at us weird. "Hello, how can we help you boys today?" the pink haired girl asked.
Koko smiled at the girl suductively. "Well you could..." Koko grabbed her arm a little rough and before he could finish his senetence she disappeared in a cloud of smoke. I glared at where she once stood I've seen things like this before, it was a clone... I grabbed a knife and looked at the now scared blue haired girl and before she could scream I stabbed her, she also dissapeared into a cloud of smoke.
"Sir." I turned around to look at one of my soldiers holding a pink haired girl that looked just like the clone earlier. "We caught her before she escaped, three others were with her two of them being the Sakura and Imai you were looking for."
I grabbed the girls collar roughly an picked her up to meet my eye level she gasped and held onto my wrist trying to pull my hand off her collar. "Where are the others? Tell me where they are!" I yelled. he whimpered shaking her head "I don't know!" I shook her violently "Yes you do! Now tell!"
She gripped my wrist harder shaking her head again. "I'm serious, I have no clue!" I scowled and she whimpered louder almost about to cry. "Come on Natsume it looks like she doesn't know, let her go." Koko said coming to her defense. I looked at him then looked at her and with a flick of my wrist she goes flying across the room into a keg behind the bar with a crash.
"She's coming with us. She's now a prisoner, now lets go." I turn my back just as my souldiers grab her picking her up from the mess and tying her hands behind her back bringing her to the carriage.
We may not have Sakura, but we have someone connected to her in some way...now all we need are some leads, or even better yet her exact location.
In the tunnel it was pure darkness, every movement you make it would bouce off the wall and echo, if someone got stuck down here and didnt know how to get out it could drive them mad. Nonoko takes an invention she calls a flashlight and it lights up the whole tunnel. We started walking, Nonoko led but she kept her down still sad from losing her sister like friend. I felt bad, we could have gone back... but we would have risked everyone else's safety.
We kept walking, and what felt like an hour or two later we came to the end of the tunnel the exit filling the tunnel with natural light. None of us actually knew where this tunnel led but we knew it led somewhere not near our enemies that where chasing us.
Then it hit me. Anna didn't know where this tunnel led, she would be interrogated and beaten, possibly more... then just before we reached the end I broke the silence that was kept eversince we began to walk. "We now have a mission. Not to escape. No, not anymore. Our new mission is to save Anna. As an escaped prisoner of the Prince's I know what they'll do to her, if not worst. We need to save her."
Nonoko and Hotaru looked at me. "It's a suicide mission Mikan. All of us know that... we could all die." Hotaru said calmly then she and Nonoko turned to each other. "But, we've never been ones to play on the save side have we?"
I smiled and hugged my friends we all looked at each other then took the first step into the light, together.
Damnnit all to hell I had a whole chapter here and now cuz of the 60 days thing i lost it, boo boo. Had to re-write it all from scratch and as you might be able to see my writing technique might have changed a bit. Damn, I didn't even know what to write, grrrr. Well then I thought and thought an thought and this is what happened :D I noticed as i looked through my story, i had two chapter 3's haha oooh my bad.