I'm back! ... Again... Yeah... So... umh... i'm not going to be much of a pest and bother you all too much before getting to the story, BUT i just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone.
With chapter 8, Loved, Lost and Found has received over 100 reviews! I wanted to thank every single one of my readers for reading, enjoying, and always leaving such positive comments.
Thank you so much for reading! And i truly hope i never disappoint any of you, because all of you are amazing! THANK YOU FOR READING, REVIEWING, ADDING TO YOUR FAVORITES, AND ADDING TO YOUR ALERT LIST. I AM EXTREMELY THANKFUL :D
"Wake up call! Come on sleepy heads! It's a beautiful winter day outside, and we shouldn't be wasting it away sleeping!"
Allen and Adam groggily sat up and rubbed their eyes as an energetic young women swung open the curtains and turned to them with her hands on her hips. "Come on you two, your lacking. Mr. Link and the girls are already up, so get your butts moving!"
The two men, still in bed, just starred at Lake as she smiled cheerfully, and wondered what time this hyperactive women had woken them up. With a small groan, and sigh, Allen uncovered and threw his legs over the side of the bed. "Okay, okay. I'm up."
Lake saw his clearly tired expression, and chuckled. With a little skip she strode over to his side and ruffled his hair. "I know your tired, but... I made a feast for breakfast. Eggs, bacon, toast, sausages, oatmeal, muffins, bagels, and plenty of pancakes."
Allen looked up with now wide eyes as his mouth watered and images of the food rolled through his thoughts. It didn't take him long to hop up and begin throwing on his clothes.
With a satisfied look, knowing that food would get the young exorcist out of bed, Lake smiled at Adam before walking out and skipping down the hall. As Adam began to get up himself, and Allen continued to get dressed, they both noticed the aggravated crow member sitting in a chair on the other side of the room. Unlike his usual annoyed expression, this one looked a lot more exhausted.
"What's up your britches Mr. Link?"
With an irritated stare, Link quickly glance at Adam, then back to the floor. The small glare startled Adam a little but he just ignored it and waited for the man to answer his question. While rubbing his temples, Link let out a sigh, "Miss Lake had me up pretty late talking with her uncle. Usually i could ignore the idle chatter and go to sleep but i felt like i should continue to observe the doctor and his niece just incase of something suspicious. But that turned out to be a waste of time, as all they did was talk about meaningless things. The most unbelievable part though, is the fact that she went to bed later than me, AND still woke up before me."
Allen began snickering at the mistake of the crow member, and quickly thought it was good pay back for waking him up so rudely the other day at the Order. Just as Allen had guessed he would, Link quickly gave him a dirty look and told him to 'shut up'!
When all three of the men were dressed and ready, they filed down the stairs and into the dining room. And just as Lake had said, Lily and Rose were already up and to Allen's great pleasure there was all the food Lake had prepared.
Right away the white hair exorcist began digging in and filling his never ending stomach. Everyone else just smiled and continued eating their own food. While they were eating, everyone got out their small and unimportant talk, knowing that once they were done, the real serious conversation would begin.
While they were having their small talk, Lake said something that Dr. Smith clearly did not like. She told him about an 'Officer Hyzel'. As soon as the doctor heard this name, his whole body tensed up and it was almost possible for Allen to see him shaking. After a few seconds though, Dr. smith regained his cool and tried to talk to her calmly as if nothing was wrong.
"Hyzel, huh? What did the officer have to say?"
"Oh nothing much. Just wondered what i was up to around town, and see if i was coming to visit you."
As Lake spoke, couldn't look his niece in the eyes, fearing she would see the disarray in his own eyes. "That sounds nice. He's a very busy man though, you probably shouldn't talk to him too much and take up his time."
Lake was confused by his words and didn't understand what he meant, but he was the uncle she respected so much, so she didn't want to go against his words. "Yes Uncle Ray."
Dr. Smith felt bad having to keep stuff from her, but just like Lily and Adam did, he did it to keep her safe. When the conversation was over, Smith took a look around and notice everyone was just about done with their food and Lake had already began to clean up. The real discussion was going to began now, but before that, he needed to get Lake out of the house for a little. "Lake... you know uncles favorite tie that you got me a few years back?"
"Well i seemed to have ripped it quite a bit by accident the other day. You know how much i love that tie and would much appreciate it if you could take it to the towns tailor and get it fixed up for me." Dr. Smith for once was really glad that he had accidentally tore his precious tie. It was a perfect excuse to get her out and away from the dangerous talk.
"Sure i don't mind, but if i remember correctly that's a pretty far walk. I don't mind going for the stroll, but it wont be the quickest."
"That's okay. Just take your time. We will all be here, talking about... some business."
Lake looked at her uncle, a little confused by what he meant by 'business'. Business with two teenagers? She found it a little odd, but again, she wasn't going to go against her most respected Uncle. "Okay... Well it looks like I'm just about done cleaning up, so i'll grab your tie then be on me way."
Dr. Smith gave her a big forced smile before giving her a little wave. "Alright, the tie is in the usual spot. See you when you get back."
Within a few minutes, Lake had ran up stairs gotten the tie and was on her way. Now that she was gone, Dr. Smith relaxed a little but then tensed back up when he remember all the things he would have to tell them. It was quiet for a few moments, but as always Link would not stand for any more delay.
"Alright Dr. Smith, the Lerwicks said you've got some information on what's going on in this town, and we need to know it all now. This mission has already dragged on long enough with out any major leads."
"Y-yes your right. Then i'll begin with the priest and how this all began." Dr. Smith took a deep breath to calm himself and began. "Years ago... something happen in this small town that made the priest crack." Dr. Smith knew that they would want to know what had brought out the beginning of the priest's violent insanity, but the 'what' had to do with Allen, and he promised not to say anything about that. "In a way... i had been a partner of the priest, but after 'the incident' that made him crazed, he started getting himself involved with some very dangerous people and i decided to cut ties with him right then and there."
Being the two veterans of the Order, Allen and Link began their questioning. First was Link. "How did you know about these people and their plans if you cut your ties with the priest?"
"Not realizing i had long disagreed with what he had been doing, and had even betrayed him behind his back, the priest tried to recruit me into there little gang. He told me the plans they had in store and i quickly refused the offer and left from their sight. I had hoped it would have been over with that, but only a week later, he and two police officers came into my clinic and raided it." As the doctor talked, it looked like he was in his own world, remembering the horrible incident that happened so many years ago. "The three men broke all my prize possessions, and my medical instruments, then when they were done, they turned to me and raised a blade to my throat."
"As Officer Hyzel threatened to slit my throat, the priest smiled with a wicked snide, and one more time asked me if i would join them. Once again i quickly refused his offer and prepared my self to be killed, but it never happened." The elder doctor held his throat as if even to this day he could still feel the horrible sensation. "Even now, i still do not know why they never killed me. In the end, they just threatened my life, and kept a constant eye on me. That's why i'm so nervous with you people here, i'm sure they are already suspecting me of exactly what i'm doing."
Everyone could tell that the doctor was terrified for his and Lake's life, and they knew he had reason too. From what they have already heard, these people are merciless. But Allen thought it would be best to try and make him feel better about it so that he would continue with the story. "Please Dr. Smith, i know it's scary but if you tell us everything, we as exorcist will be able to stop his horrible plans. But to do this, you have to answer all of our questions, fully and truthfully." As always Allen wore one of his famous comforting smiles, and tried to sound as professional as he could.
Obviously it took effect on the doctor, as he began to relax more and nodded in response. "Okay"
Allen smiled some more and thanked the elder man for his corporation. "Good. Now Dr. Smith, what can you remember about the plans the priest had told you? Like the people involved and what they are doing?"
"When the priest explained it to me, i really didn't understand what he was talking about. He was using certain names over and over again that i didn't know. Some didn't even make sense. Even though i knew what he was doing was bad, i didn't totally understand it still, but i soon learned what he meant when i saw it with my own eyes." By the way the doctored looked and acted as he spoke, everyone could tell what the doctor had seen hadn't been pleasant at all.
If what Link and Allen were beginning to think was true, then they could already guess what the man had witnessed. "Sir, i know this is hard on you, but your going to have to explain what you saw and who these people that you mentioned are."
The doctor could tell Allen was trying to be as nice as possible about it all, so he just nodded again and continued. "I first witnessed their terrible acts a few years after they threatened my life. It was around the same year that people began to start mysteriously disappearing and dying without causes. Most of the people that died from 'diseases' had never even been to see me, but because of the threatening to my life and my family's life, i had to lie for them."
"This time though, the person that had died had really been sick, and he had been a patient of mine for years. We had become very good friends after a while, so when he passed away i felt i should pay my respects to him. When i arrived at the church, where they were holding the funeral, everyone had already said their good-byes and left. So when i walked in, i saw the man's wife sitting by his coffin, tears staining her face, and eyes so desperate to see him again. That's when the priest and two men i didn't recognize appeared from the shadows. At first i didn't think they had noticed me, but as the priest began talking to the wife about how sorry he is for her loss, i saw the two men to his side look at me multiple times and smile sinisterly."
"I didn't want to have anything to do with them, so i was about to leave... that's when i heard the priest begin preaching about something." The doctor looked at them all with very sad and almost teary eyes, as he slowly shook his head in regret. "Oh how i wished i had just left like i wanted to..."
"...He told the widowed woman that if she really loved her husband and wanted him back with all her being, he could resurrect the already dead man. Right away this caught the woman's attention. She first made sure she had heard the priest correctly and when he confirmed she had, the woman grabbed onto his leg and begged for him to bring back her husband. At that the man smiled at her wickedly and gave a 'look' to one of the men around him. That's when the two men and priest disappeared back into the shadows, just to be replaced by another man. A heavy man, with big teeth that seemed to be stuck into a smile, he called himself the-"
Dr. Smith was shocked with the cut off and looked up at Allen who had finished his sentence. "H-how did you know that?"
Lily and Adam had been listening to all of this very intently, and though they were not as well informed about it all as Link and Allen, they were starting to understand what the doctor had seen. "Allen, isn't that guy... you know the one in charge of all the horrible things that the Order fights against? The akuma and the Noahs?"
"That's it! Those are the names!" The doctor just about jumped out of his chair at the exclamation. It slightly surprised everyone, but they could understand why this surprised the elder man so much. "That's what the priest and people kept talking about. 'These supernatural beings that are all powerful, messengers of god, creators of humanities saviors.' Thats what the priest said about them, that the Millennium Earl is a man that will create the new world, full with only the truly pure. But what i saw that day, that was not the work of god! That was the work of demons!"
"Right in front of my eyes, my dear old friend's wife was killed by a skeleton that wore his name. Right in front of me, the delicate women i once knew became a hideous and grotesque monster. I fell to my knees in shock and fear, i started to weep, not knowing what else to do, and at that moment the priest appeared to my side and laughed at my crumbled form. Ever since that day, i wished so much to forget what i saw, but i never could. And now- Now you people are here, telling me you can some how stop them?" Dr. Smith was truly trembling now. Whether it be from the horrible memories, desperation, or just plain fear, the doctor didn't even know himself. But so badly, he wanted to believe in these people... wanted to believe they could stop the priest from taking away the people in this small innocent town.
Even after everything the doctor had done to Lily and Adam, even after he took away their precious son, the son they missed so much for so long, even after all that had happened... the couple couldn't help but feel for him. He had made plenty mistakes that had put many others in harms way, but it not only harmed others, but himself too.
With a comforting smile, Lily stood up and walked to the doctors side. She rubbed his back in circles and began telling him things were going get get better. "It's okay Dr. Smith. Now that you've told us everything, things will get better. Though Adam and I are new at this, we can tell you with full confidence Allen and Mr. Link will be able to handle it. Right Allen?"
The group turned to look at him, but Allen was clearly shut off from there conversation as he spoke to Link about what they had just heard and what their next move was going to be. "This sounds a lot like the situation that occurred at Timothy's orphanage."
"Yes, but this seems a little more dangerous. At the orphanage, we only had a run in with one of these 'Brokers' of the Earl. The way the doctor is speaking, it sounds like quite a few people are in on this. Even if we do somehow apprehend the priest, how will we know who is and who is not in league with him."
"Should we call into headquarters? With the way this is all looking i don't think it was such a good idea just sending Rose and I. Rose has not even successfully activated her innocence, and if there are any Level 4 Akumas… it will be a major struggle fighting it, while also protecting the Lerwicks."
"I know Walker, i've been thinking the same thing. But even if we did call the Chief, they wouldn't be able to send another exorcist in time, we have to make a move and soon. It is already obvious they are suspicious of us."
"Would there be a way to contact central and set up a gate between HQ and this town?"
"No, that would take too much time too. Inspector Rouvelier is very strict about how the gates are made and used, you should know that by now."
"Yeah, yeah. I know."
As Link and Allen talked, the rest listened in and tried to comprehend what they were talking about. Lily knew it wasn't the perfect time, but she couldn't help but be a little proud at how professional Allen was as he discussed with Link. In a way, he was already a hard working man of society at the age of 16. She snapped out of those thoughts though when she heard a loud ring.
Since the room was mostly quiet and there was a stern aura in the air, the loud ring made most of the group flinch. The doctor, one of the few that wasn't scared by the noise, just groaned and rubbed the bridge of his nose before standing up and heading for his office. "Sorry but i have to answer this. Even on these most pressuring days, i'm still a doctor."
As the phone continued to ring, Dr. Smith let out another grumble of complaint before disappearing around the corner. With that out of the way, Allen and Link continued their planning. "Even if we don't know exactly how this all going to play out, we need to get going."
"I understand that Link, but like i said before, this could possibly be very dangerous and i'm not willing to throw Rose and her parents right in the middle of it all."
"Walker you know better than anyone that when you become a part of the Order, there and constant risk to your life and-"
"What! ... ... ... ...You- You bastard! What did you do with my niece! ... ... ... ... You better not hurt her, i don't care even if you are a priest! Oi! HEY!"
Everyone came to a sudden halt as they heard the doctor yelling into the phone in the other room. As soon as they heard something about the doctor's niece, the group lead by Allen and Link, rushed into the doctors office. Right as they came through the door way, they could see the fury in the doctors face. The elder man was hunched over his desk, phone glued to his ear as he threatened the person on the other end.
"I swear to god if anything happens to her, i'll-... ... ... ... What? Who the hell are you? ... ... ...You want to what? ... ... Right now? Ugh, fuck!" At that the Dr. Smith slammed the phone down on the desk and made a sudden turn to look at Allen. With a mixture of emotions and sweat clearly showing on his face, the elder man shoved the phone Allen's way. "He says he wants to speak with you."
Not knowing exactly what was going on, this surprised the white haired exorcist and he couldn't help but stand there slightly frozen for a few seconds. "W-who is it?"
"Does it look like i know! Please just take the phone, they have Lake and they are threatening us with her life! So please, just take it."
Rose and her family gasped at the mention of Lake, and could quickly tell this was not going to turn out good.
Regaining his composure, Allen swiftly took the phone and harshly spoke into it. "Who is this? What the hell do you want?"
"Awh, now thats not very nice shounen~, and i even asked for you personally."
Allen's grip on the phone tightened as he quickly recognized the voice. "Tyki..."
"I'm flattered. You remembered my voice. Heheh."
"Cut the crap stupid Noah! What have you done with Lake?"
"Oh, are you talking about our special guest we have here? *Chuckle* Don't worry boy, she's perfectly fine... for now that is."
"You better not touch her! What do want?"
"Don't pretend you don't know. It was such a pleasant surprise when the Earl got a call from our precious helpers telling us there were some filthy exorcist snooping around and they just happened to describe our favorite white-haired exorcist."
"That doesn't answer my question! What do you want?"
"Oh shounen, acting so clueless. Well i suggest you get your little crew together, and come to the church to get your little friend before an unforeseen accident happens to occur. Hahahaha," *Click*
"Tyki! Tyki! God dammit!" With that Allen slammed down the phone and gave Link a look of major concern.
The group briskly regrouped in the dinning room, the doctor took a seat and tried to calm himself as Allen explained what Tyki had said. "Just as Dr. Smith said, they have Lake. They must have kidnapped her while she was out. Damn! How did we not see this coming?"
Link, calm and stern as usual, had his hands folded and eyes locked on Allen. "Calm down Walker. What did the Noah say he wanted?"
"That's the thing, he wouldn't say. He just kept saying i should stop pretending that i don't already know."
Link started to think about what Tyki could mean by that. Obviously he was after the innocence like usual, but just as Allen had felt, there seemed to be some other motive.
For a moment the room was in complete silence as Link and Allen thought hard about what they were doing. Lily and Adam on the other hand looked at each other with very anxious eyes. The people at the Order had said this was going to be an easy mission, but now...
Rose, who had been mostly quiet through everything, abruptly stood up and slammed her hands on the table. "We can't just keep sitting here in silence! There has to be something we can do." Though it had only been one night since she met her, Rose really came to like the spunky women, and would be very depressed if anything were to happen to her.
Allen could tell how Rose was feeling and tried to explain to her how difficult a situation they were in. "I know, we all want to quickly go save Lake, but… it's just not that easy."
"Well why not? When we were playing poker, you told me some stories of times you fought off akuma and the amazing adventures you've been on, saving people's lives and-"
"It's not like that now, Rose. We can't just go barging in there with no plan, those people are dangerous."
"So! You can defeat them right? Just go in there and kick butt like all other times! It's better than just sitting here!"
"Rose!" To almost everyone's surprise, Allen had raised his voice and wore a stern look as he called out her name. "I know you worried about Lake, but this is dangerous. Not only are there probably akuma there, but we know for a fact that Tyki, a powerful Noah, is also residing in this town. Who knows, there could be another Noah, so please just sit down and wait for us to make a plan."
When Allen quieted, Rose was shock and even felt a little hurt that he had yelled at her, but she knew he had done it for a good reason. Rose knew he was right, but crossed her arms and pouted anyways. With a annoyed sigh she plopped down in her seat.
Once the young blonde was seated and quite, Allen let out a sigh of regret and glanced at Lily and Adam, giving them an apologetic look for yelling at their daughter. Looking back at Rose, Allen gave her a small pat on the head, and a small smile. "Rose... i know your worried, but please believe in us. We are trying out best to think of something, so don't loose hope. Just make sure to do as we say, okay?"
Rose meekly looked up from the table, and gave Allen a small nod before looking back down.
Once that was over and done with, Allen gave a look around to all the eyes that were waiting and watching eagerly, trying to keep the same hope Allen told Rose to keep. Facing Link with serious and grim eyes, Allen began strategizing what to do next. "Despite all the danger, we are going to have to go in Link. We can't just leave Miss Lake there to die."
"I already know that Walker. But we still have to think up a plan."
"Already on it."
"Fine. First though, i am going to call Headquarters and inform them." With a swift stride, Link headed towards the room with the phone.
When Link was out of site, Allen faced the rest of the group and began unfolding his plot. "Rose, Mr. and Mrs. Lerwick. As Link and I have made very clear already, this will not be easy. There are so many factors that we have to think about, like the akuma, possibility of a level four, Noah, and undercover workers of the Earl. At all points we will have to watch our backs and be alert, understand?"
All three gave him a quick 'yes' and waited to hear the rest.
Allen then turned to Rose and crouched a little so he was face to face. "Rose, we have still yet to know what your full ability is, and i was told your synchronization percentage is very low, so you are not to participate in this fight. Things might happen, stuff that might make you try to fight, but you are not to get involved. The Noah, and higher level Akuma are very strong. Do not think for one second, that all because your anti-akuma weapon has not fully developed and your just a small girl, they wont try to kill you and steal your innocence. So make sure to do as i say, and stay hidden."
The way Allen was being so blunt and grave about everything kind of scared Rose, but she guessed that once in danger, a persons has to be serious. "I understand, Allen"
With a small ruffle of her blonde hair, and a encouraging smile, Allen stood up straight and faced Lily and Adam. "Mr. and Mrs. Lerwick."
Right away, Lily gave him a small glare for calling them Mr. and Mrs., and with a small chuckle Allen held up his hands innocently. "Sorry, sorry. I mean Lily and Adam." Allen was just glad that even though the situation was taking a major turn for the worse, Lily and Adam were keeping there heads cool for the most part.
"Lily... Adam... I know you are here to protect Rose, but you are also Finders and this means helping to hold back the akuma. I'm sure you were given and taught how to use the talismans, so i will be needing all of your corporation. But..." With watchful eyes, Allen looked over his shoulder and scanned the room for Link. When he could see no sign of the watchdog being back, Allen faced the two adults again and moved in a little closer.
In a hush tone, he spoke softly. "Though i will need all your help as finders, i also know you are the parents of Rose, and extremely important to her. So if worse comes to worst, i will tell you to take Rose and run. Even if i can't defeat them all, i'll be able to slow them down and give you time, okay?"
Allen knew how important their daughter was to them, so he was sure Lily and Adam would be smiling gratefully at him, but instead they wore sad and worried expressions. Once again, he must have said something wrong, and once again, he couldn't figure out what.
This time Allen wasn't going to just sit back and accept it though. He really wanted to understand what was going through these people's minds, and why they always seemed so sorrowful around him. "Lily, Adam… Why do you look so upset? I know i may not look like the strongest guy… even get called beansprout by some people… *tch*, but i can promise you, i will protect Rose… She will come out unhurt and healthy."
"But what about you?"
The white haired exorcist was taken back a little by Lily's question. He had already gotten it engraved in his mind that the Lerwick's were extremely kind people, but at this time when their daughter and even their very own lives are in danger, why should they be worrying about someone they met only one day ago. "Huh? Me?"
"Yes, you Allen. You think Adam and i would be happy about coming out alive if it means watching you get left behind to suffer and die? Of course we would never want anything to ever happen to Rose, but same goes for you. Losing you is just as painful…"
As Lily finished, Allen couldn't help but frown in bewilderment. He couldn't understand why they acted that way and this bothered him. It felt like… like they were hiding something. Ever since he met them, they have been very kindhearted and sweet people, but at the same time, very strange and secretive. Thinking back, Allen even remembers the first night he and Lenalee met Rose. The young blonde had been upset over things her parents had never told her, and more private matters they refused to let the girl know. They were keeping things from the Order, him, and even there own daughter… Something was off.
Not backing down, Allen continued to question them why. "It's… just… as painful? I don't understand why. Im very happy for your thoughtfulness towards me, but you act like there is something more. Lily, Adam, is there something your not telling us?" Allen didn't want to seem harsh, so he put on a soft and trusting expression, but he needed to know what all their strangeness was for. "Please, if we are going to continue working together, i need to understand."
While Allen spoke, and even when he was finished, anyone could tell Lily had regretted what she had said, and both wished she could take it back. Adam tried to deny it, "Allen, we really don't know what you are talking about."
Of course Allen didn't believe the half hearted response. "Adam, Lily, please…"
The young teen continued to give them a sincere but pleading look, the coupled stayed quiet though.
There was complete silence as Allen and Rose, who had been wondering the same things as Allen ever since she joined the Order, waited patiently for the couple to say something. Even the doctor, who had been very quiet, agonizing over the niece he might lose, looked up from the table and stared at Adam and Lily. He knew exactly what they were hiding and knew that that's what the boy was trying to dig out, but even he couldn't think of something to say to save them.
The silence continued. Neither Adam nor Lily knew how to respond. How could they explain their actions without telling the truth. No one would believe they were just that amazing of people to worry about one person so much after 24 hours, specially since they didn't treat any one else like this except for Rose and Allen.
The silence was becoming unbearable as time went by, but Allen continued to wait in hopes they would comprehend the situation and understand Allen was someone they could trust enough to talk to.
Multiple times the young coupled glance at each other in fear and panic. So badly they hoped Allen would give up and say never mind, but he never did. If they were really going to have to tell him the truth, now was definitely not the right time.
'What are we going to do?'
Yes, yes, i know. Not a very long or exciting chapter after ALL this time, but i promise you that I'm already working on the newest chapter and have the whole thing planned out in my head and IT'S ACTION PACKED! :D