So, The KillerBunny and myself came up with yet another awesome plot~ we've never written Legendia before and we were struggling to come up with a plot, when this beauty was born. I hope everyone enjoys it~ Please read and review~!
(This takes place before Jay was on the Legacy, and next chapter will be during Jay's CQ, although it will be much different than you expect although still quite awesome ^^)
"You are nothing! Pathetic! The only thing you know how to do is kill! And even then, you can't do it right!"
"You useless thing! You ungrateful thing!"
"You will listen to my orders when I say them with NO hesitation!"
Solon continued to hit Jay, who had failed to follow his Master's orders during training. While he had done well during the spar, when Solon told Jay to kill his opponent, he hadn't done it. He had hesitated. And now he had to deal with the consequences of his inaction.
Jay tightened his body as he felt Solon hit him, again and again. His eyes closed tightly, not wanting to let his pain show, not wanting to cry... He was a tool.. He wasn't allowed to cry... Jay was then knocked to the ground at the force of one of Solon's hits. A hiss finally slipped out then and his breath began to get heavier. He was shaking, he shouldn't be shaking. "I... I'm sorry, Master..." he whispered softly, hating himself for being such a failure. Why had he hesitated? Why couldn't he do it?
Solon looked down at Jay before his angry expression contorted into a more psychotic one. His lips widened to a large smirk. "Always apologizing. You'll see that it won't do you any good in life." Solon reached down and grabbed Jay's ponytail to pull him up. "You are nothing but a tool," he told him. "And what is a tool that cannot do its purpose? Where is that useless tool destined to go?" Solon's mouth was inches away from his ear. "To the garbage."
Jay winced as Solon pulled him up by his hair, the pain making his eyes sting once more. He hurt all over... The fight from before was nothing compared to what Solon always made him feel afterwards. It hurt... it hurt so much. And Solon's words weren't easing the pain. "I'll do better!" Jay pleaded, shaking his head as he heard the others words. "Please...! Master..."
Solon found himself smirking again at the sound of Jay's pleading. "You'd better." He yanked Jay's hair before throwing him to the floor again. "Now go do your chores. They're long since overdue." But of course, the reason they were overdue was because Solon made Jay train so much. He made sure that training and chores were all Jay had any time for, because of his little tool's nighttime visitor that always seemed to sneak in...
Jay bit his lip to stop himself from gasping at the continued assault. He had landed painfully and awkwardly on one of his cheeks. He was sure it would bruise. Slowly, he got back up to his knees and stared at the ground, trying to regain his breath, trying not to show any more weakness... At Solon's orders, he nodded from the floor, still not looking up at Solon's eyes. "Yes, Master," he said in a tiny voice. He didn't want to make him more angry... Jay shakily got up to his feet and began limping out the door.
Solon watched Jay limp and couldn't help one last statement. "Oh, and you aren't allowed any meals today or tomorrow. Let that be a lesson to you." And with that, he left. Not allowing Jay a chance to protest.
Jay's eyes widened at this restriction... It wasn't fair... Jay clenched his fists at his sides, feeling suddenly angry. Why did Master always treat him like this? Why... why didn't he... love him? Jay frowned as that forbidden thought popped up in his head again. He shook his head, as if the motion would make him forget about it. And if as to further add to his misery, his stomach decided to growl then. After all he had done today... of course he would be hungry. And yet it would be a while before he tasted food again...
A boy with bright red hair and loose clothing was wandering around the village nearby where Solon and his ninjas trained. He picked up an apple from a market and paid for it before heading off with a smile. Looking around, he instinctively knew where he was. He didn't bother to use a door. Instead, he perched himself on a window sill and looked into the kitchen with a grin. "Hey, Jay!" he said, letting one leg hang as he bit into his apple.
Jay was currently in the kitchen, making dinner for his Master. He was cutting the vegetables carefully, and so focused on his work it was as if he was in a trance. Suddenly, a voice startled him out of it, making him carelessly cut his own finger with the blade. "Ouch!" he hissed, dropping his knife as he instinctively brought up his hand to his chest. Jay growled and swiveled around to glare at the window. "What are you doing here, Noah?" he scolded the other, while mentally berating himself for letting himself be that startled. What kind of ninja was he?
A failure... Solon's voice replied in his head, but Jay ignored it, instead focusing on his visitor. He had told him multiple times to not walk up here so casually! It was dangerous!
"Whoa, are you okay?" Noah immediately jumped in and grabbed Jay's hand to look at the cut finger, before grinning. "I thought ninjas were supposed to be good with knives!" he joked with a small laugh. He put the apple down and grabbed a napkin to wipe the blood from Jay's finger. He always ignored Jay's warnings.
Jay's stomach twisted at the other's playfully meant words. "You don't have to tell me that," he told the other sulkily, pulling his hand back to his own chest. He shook his head. "You shouldn't be here," he repeated.
"Don't worry, Jay. They can't do anything to me!" Noah grinned before he pulled Jay's hand forward again. He pressed the napkin to the cut so it would stop bleeding. "'Sides. You like it when I come over, right?"
Jay cheeks pinked ever so slightly at the other's words, but he didn't respond, nor protest. It was true after all... even if it shouldn't be. He didn't dare to think what would happen if Solon ever knew... Noah... made him happy. He treated him like a person...
At this point Jay's stomach decided to growl again, which made him remembered he was supposed to be making dinner! He shivered, not really wanting to think what would happen if he was late... on top of everything that had happened today!
"You should go, Noah..." Jay told him, his voice a little regretful. But he meant it. "I'm busy right now. I'm doing chores... I can't slack off at the moment," he said, frowning.
Noah looked at him and heard his stomach growl. "Oh." He looked downtrodden for a moment before an idea sparked and he was grinning again. "What if I help you? Then you could finish your chores faster!" he said, picking up his apple again. "By the way, Jay. I've never heard your stomach growl before. Have you eaten anything today?" He looked at Jay for a moment, his smile faltering ever so slightly. He didn't know the details, but he knew Solon mistreated Jay on a daily basis.
Jay looked a little surprised at his suggestion, though he really shouldn't be. It wasn't the first time Noah tried to help him out somehow... Before he could respond him though, Noah's second question caught him off guard. He wasn't sure how to answer. He had a feeling if he told the truth, Noah would get mad... "A-A little," he told him. "I've been so busy I forgot.. I'll eat later though. I really should get to work right now," he said before turning around and heading back to his spot.
It was then that Noah grabbed Jay's shoulder and pushed the unbitten side of his apple into Jay's mouth. "Here, finish it. I can chop the vegetables for you," he said with a smile and a pat on the shoulder. He then went over and chopped the vegetables easily. It was surprising that someone like Noah knew how to cook.
As Jay felt the apple at his lips, all protesting thoughts vanished. He really hadn't wanted to disobey his Master. But he was just...so hungry... It had taken a lot out of him, just cooking and not eating anything in between. The smells had teased him, and now to have just his simple fruit in his mouth made him almost lose all his control. He couldn't help but to finish it off, despite the horrid guilt that he felt for committing this action. The guilt increased even further as he saw Noah help him with his chores. He had wanted to protest... but it was always so hard to deny his fri- to deny Noah.
Without saying another word, Jay continued working side-by-side with Noah, until finally dinner was ready.
After dinner was finished, Noah grinned and smacked a flour covered hand on Jay's back, leaving a white handprint. "Alright, done! Good job, Jay!" he patted him a few more times with a pointed grin as if he knew exactly what he was doing. And he did. It took every bit of Noah's restraint not to laugh.
"Noah!" Jay protested, knowing exactly what the other was up to as well. At the moment, he wasn't sure what came over him, but all of the sudden... he got some of the nearby flour and threw it in the direction of the other, making Noah's red hair become suddenly white.
"Ack!" Noah jumped back as the white powder covered him. He shook his head like a dog, sending the powder flying in a dense cloud. "You do realize that this is war!" he said with a grin as he grabbed a handful of flour and flung it back at Jay.
Jay dodged the throw with his ninja agility, and possibly for the first time in his life, a small laugh slipped past his lips. The sound was so strange, so foreign, that it made him stop in his tracks in surprise.
Noah stopped for a moment too before he smiled softly. Jay's laugh. It sounded so nice. He'd never noticed it before, probably because he's never laughed... Noah moved over to him and pulled Jay into his arms, hugging him. "I always worry about you, Jay. I always see you sad and depressed." He looked at him and gave him a bright smile. "I'm happy when my little brother is happy."
Jay was at first a little too surprised to react... but when he registered the other approaching him like that, moving to touch him, he couldn't help but to tense and close his eyes. However, Noah did nothing but hold him gently, putting him slightly at ease. (Despite knowing that the sound he made before was something he shouldn't be doing...) And then, at Noah's words, a burst of warmth seemed to fill his chest. It was so strange... but then again Noah always made him feel strange. He didn't understand him. He didn't understand why Noah always treated him so kindly...
Noah smiled a bit at him before his grin turned mischievous. He immediately shoved a handful of flour in Jay's face, smearing it all over his cheeks, forehead, and hair. "HA! GOTCHA!" he laughed triumphantly.
Jay coughed and scrunched up his face as he felt the flour practically drown him. "Noah!" He elbowed the other as he tried to shake off all the flour. He was practically drenched in it. If his Master could see him now...
! His Master! Jay's eyes widened as he remembered he was supposed to bring in his food now. He couldn't go looking like this! Immediately, he began rubbing off all the flour off of him.
"Thanks for all the help, Noah," he murmured to the other, his voice shy, grateful but slightly panicked. "I really need to get going though. I'll promise to repay you for your help next time," he told him, his voice slowly going back to its usual businesslike tone.
Noah looked at him, catching the panicked part of his tone more than the other two. He frowned with concern, realizing he had mucked up. He grabbed a towel from the kitchen counter and rubbed the flour off Jay's face. "Sorry," he muttered. "I knew you had to see him and I did it anyway." He didn't like referring to Solon as Jay's master.. and thus he never did use that word. He simply said 'him'.
Jay shook his head. "Don't worry about it." He frowned. "You really helped me out today..." he murmured, almost to himself, as he remembered the kind things Noah had done for him today. After a little more cleaning up, he was finally freed of the flour. He turned to serve the food and got ready to see his Master. However, just before picking up the tray he turned to face Noah once more.
"I'm glad you came over today..." Jay told him, his eyes looking at the ground. Then, almost too quickly, he leaned forward to give the other a small brief hug, before darting away. He picked up the tray and was out the door before Noah could respond.
Noah blinked in shock at the hug. Jay had never really shown him any affection that Noah hadn't started first. And even then, it was so rare he could count them all on one hand. But this one, Jay hugged him by himself. Though it was brief, it was a hug. But by the time Noah regained his bearings, Jay was already gone. He knew he couldn't go after him. How would Jay look with a flour-covered teen chasing him down the hallway? So instead, Noah just smiled a bit and muttered softly to himself. "Me too." He smiled and got to work cleaning up the kitchen so Jay wouldn't get in trouble. After it was clean, he took his leave.
Solon was sitting at the table, tapping his fingers on the wooden surface impatiently.
"M-Master...?" Jay called out softly from outside his Master's room. He had knocked the door just loud enough to be heard, but not enough to annoy... he hoped. He had a feeling that he was late, despite how fast he was able to finish because of Noah...
"Come in," Solon said curtly, his irritated look remained on his face for Jay to see. "It took you long enough." He stared at him, waiting for the food to be put down.
"I'm sor-" Jay began softly, before cutting himself off. Master hated when he apologized...
He approached him silently and put his food down in front of him before backing off a few steps. He did not leave the room, as he had yet to be instructed to do so.
And Solon didn't instruct Jay to leave. He began to eat with Jay standing there, knowing full well what he was doing. Solon looked at him for a moment. "So tell me. What did take you so long? You know I don't like tardiness." Well, Solon hated everything that was less than perfection. Perfection that, in Solon's eyes, Jay did not have.
Jay did his best to not flinch at the question. "I-I'm sorry." He couldn't help but to apologize this time. His mouth felt heavy, and guilt churned in his stomach again, almost painfully. "I didn't mean to take long." He bit his lip and stared directly at the floor. He didn't want his Master to see the truth in his eyes, to hear the lies in his words.
But it was as if Solon did sense it. Solon narrowed his eyes and looked over Jay before his eyes locked onto his neck. He reached over and grabbed the collar of Jay's shirt, pulling him over roughly. "What is this?" he demanded lowly, pulling the cloth up a bit. There was a clear mark of a finger made of flour. In the rush to clean up, they had missed an easy to miss spot.
Jay's body suddenly became rigid and his mind blank. No! he thought horrified. He started at his Master with frightful, cornered eyes. How could he have been so careless?
Solon relished the look on Jay's face, but at the same time... "I asked you a question!" Solon stood and shoved Jay's torso down on the table. His hand gripped the back of the young ninja's head, pressing it down painfully into the wooden tabletop. "Where is my answer! There was someone in there with you, wasn't there?" Then it clicked. "It's that boy, isn't it? That boy from the village!"
"Ah..!" Jay moaned as his Master aggravated his earlier injuries with this assault. His heart thumped loudly in his chest as Solon made mention of Noah... he knew! "N-No!" He shook his head, ignoring the pain that the action caused him. "There was no one!" he protested, and the very words almost caused bile to rise in his throat.
Solon grabbed Jay's hair and lifted his head before slamming it down onto the table. "Don't you DARE lie to me!" he growled. "One of the lookouts told me of a boy entering here! At first I thought nothing of it. Just a wandering boy. But it seems I was mistaken!"
"Aaaah...!" Jay gasped at the blinding pain. "M-Master...!" he whimpered. "It hurts..!" he cried out. Tears stung at the corners of his eyes, and for the first time in a long time, he wasn't able to hold them back.
Solon grabbed Jay and roughly turned him over so he was facing up. Then he saw the cut on his finger and began to laugh. "Look at you! You're so pathetic!" He gripped Jay's wrist and inspected the cut. "You cut yourself. You cry. What type of assassin are you?" he laughed loudly before he reached for his own knife, concealed underneath his belt.
Jay tried to stop his tears, he did! But they continued to fall regardless. He cringed at the sight of his Master's knife. He...hated... that knife. The sight of it made him want to struggle, to run, but he knew these things were meaningless... useless. Moreover, Solon's words pierced a part of him that could not be reached by a knife, a part far more easily injured and far more painful.
Solon gripped the knife and reached up before stabbing it into the table mere centimeters from Jay's neck. "Tell me this boy's name," he said with an eerily calm voice.
Jay hated himself at that moment. He didn't want to say it... he didn't want him to know..! But at that moment every teaching and instinct that had been driven into him began to surface. He could not disobey such a direct command. "Noa..." Jay murmured the name so quietly, it was mostly inaudible.
"Louder," Solon commanded. He pulled the knife out of the table, holding it close to Jay's neck in order to squash out anymore thoughts of resistance.
Jay could feel the cold sharp blade beginning to dig into his neck. His heart pounded loudly then, his body longed to flee from all of this. He just wanted it to end... "N-N..." Jay hated the way he stuttered like this. He hated the way that Noah's face would smile at him every time he closed his eyes. Mostly, he hated himself, for giving in to his Master like this, for giving him what he wanted... "His name... is N-Noah..." he finally whispered, feeling something inside of him snap as he did.
Solon smirked wide, obviously pleased. "Good, Jay. Very good." He pulled the knife away and put it back in his belt. He sat down once more. "This boy will be eliminated. He is a danger to you and your training."
"N-No!" Jay immediately protested before closing his mouth with a snap. His eyes widened at his impertinence... but he hadn't been able to stop those words... He didn't want Noah to die...
Solon's eyes snapped to look at Jay. There was a flash of anger before it disappeared to an unemotional wall. "It was naive of me to think your lessons were done for the day." He stood and backhanded Jay across the face. Hard.
"A...aah.." Jay's cheek burnt from the blow. His body was sent flying across the table, sending the plates still full of food crashing to the floor along with him. Silent tears continued to flow down his cheeks and he whimpered as his body screamed with pain. The hot food that had landed on him was not any help either... Jay couldn't help but to curl his body into himself, as if trying to protect himself from any more pain.
Solon allowed himself a smirk. "Now, now. Look at the mess you made." He grabbed Jay's hair and pushed his face into some of the food. He then dragged Jay by his hair off the table and onto the floor where he kicked the boy in the stomach.
"Aah!" Jay cried out loudly at the hit, the impact making him cough dryly and unexpectedly. Jay could feel his body start to lock up, his chest constricting. "Master..." he tried to plead. "Master I'm.. *cough* I didn't... mean... to.." he wheezed out in a shaky voice. His vision was beginning to blur. All he could feel was pain...
Solon pressed his foot down on Jay's chest. "You're pathetic. Nothing. You're as valuable as a rusted knife that can't cut." He kicked Jay's side. "You're useless. You're lucky I don't just get rid of you. I raised you, gave you a home. You should be begging to be useful to me!" He kicked him again and the motion causing a small jingle. He stared at Jay and nudged the spot again.
"What, is that?"
No. Nonononono, was the only thought that could pass through Jay's mind at that moment. He curled his body up even tighter into himself, as if the action could protect his special item.
Solon reached down and grabbed Jay's ponytail, pulling his head back, forcing him to uncurl a bit. He reached into Jay's clothes and pulled out the small silver bell. "What are you doing with this?"
"That's...I...!" Jay struggled to reach out to the small bell, trying to ignore his body's protest to stay still.
Solon smacked Jay's hand aside and stood straight, holding the bell as if it was something dirty. "When you hold onto such garbage, you become garbage. I'm only doing this for your own good, Jay. With this and that boy gone, you will be the assassin you were destined to be." He put the bell away in his pocket and smirked. "I guarantee it."
Jay bit his lip and looked to the ground, clenching his fists so tightly he was drawing blood. "...Please give it back." he begged him, his voice quiet and full of despair. But above all, full of resignation. "It's... the only thing I have...please, Master." He licked his lips then, hesitantly, not sure if he should really say the next words... but he did. "I'll, I'll do anything, so please...!"
"Pathetic." Solon looked down at Jay. "You don't need such trash. You will do as you are ordered. You will get up and clean this room. Then you will go to your room and stay there until morning." He smirked a bit. "And if I'm in a good mood, perhaps I'll give it back."
Jay knew Solon's words were obsolete. He knew protesting further would earn him worse punishments. And Solon would follow through, even if it would break him... even if it would kill him... Why... Why ...? Jay wondered for the second time that day. All he had ever wanted was his Master's acknowledgement. But nothing he ever did was good enough...
"Well? You have your orders. Get up and do them." Solon said before he walking off and out of the room.
Jay felt so resigned at that moment. "Yes, Master..." he replied then, and with a trembling body, Jay slowly, carefully, got up to his feet. He wobbled as he moved but he refused to fall again. He did his best to endure his pain and his tears as he began cleaning up the mess he had made.
Afterwards, he wasn't sure how it was he made it back to his room. Once inside, he collapsed into his bed and curled up in it, not daring to move anymore. His whole body ached and stung in more ways than one. He could feel the bruises already beginning form. He... had lost his precious bell... The mere thought made him cry all over again...
"Hey, Jay-... Jay?" Noah scrambled into the room through the window going quickly over to the bed. "Jay, what happened?" He stared at Jay's tears in disbelief but as he saw the injuries, it turned to anger.
Jay could barely hear Noah's words, so deep he was in his misery. His eyes had a lost, almost dead look. The trembling that had overtaken his body had long since died down and now he only lay very, very still despite the tears still fell from his eyes silently.
"Jay...?" Noah knelt down next to Jay's bed, his hands on the other's pale cheeks. "Jay, talk to me. It's me, Noah, your big bro. Come on.. Say something..." What kind of big brother was he? He couldn't even protect Jay...
It was then that Jay noticed he wasn't alone. He didn't flinch from Noah's touch. Instead, he felt his body move closer to him on its own accord, despite the pain that action caused him. "My bell..." he murmured to him. "It was the only thing I had, the only clue I had to my real family..." he whispered as he continued to stare at nothing.
Noah frowned and gently wiped the tears away. "What happened to your bell, Jay? Did someone take it?" His voice was soft and soothing.
Jay closed with eyes, and this time instead of seeing Noah's smiling face, all he could see was his Master's seething one. He flinched at the image and hesitated to even speak, but the words slipped out on their own accord. "He took them..." he whispered, not daring to even speak his name at the moment.
"You mean... Solon?" Noah gritted his teeth. "HE did this to you?" Noah hugged Jay, holding him securely in his arms before he looked at him with determination in his eyes. "I'll make him pay for making my little brother cry. No one hurts my family and gets away with it." He placed a hand on Jay's cheek for a moment before he got up and headed for the door.
Panic suddenly swelled within at those words, and Jay scrambled out of his bed, almost tackling Noah to stop him in his tracks. "No!" he yelled, although not too loudly (he couldn't risk being found out again, not now). He wrapped his arms around the other's waist, pulling him back to himself. "Don't, please don't go," he whispered feverishly.
Noah stumbled when Jay suddenly ran unto him and grabbed him. He tensed at Jay's words and turned around, holding Jay close to his chest. "I'll be fine, Jay," he said softly. "That old man can't do anything to me." He then got an idea and smiled down at Jay. "Why don't you come with me? You and me, let's get out of here. We'll live in the village together."
The offer sounded so temping... so tempting. Noah... he was always so good to him. Jay knew that leaving with him would be good for him. But even if he wanted to leave, he knew Solon would end up finding them in the end. And he didn't dare run away from his Master. Master had done so much for him... he had raised him, even if he hadn't cared for him as he would like. Jay owed him his life… as worthless as it was.
Jay's arms fell at his sides again and he backed away from Noah. He had a small frown on his lips and he stared at the ground instead of at the other. "I can't," he told him, shaking his head and taking another step back. "I can't leave here, Noah." He bit his lip and his gazed move to stare at his hands, hands that were born to kill, to serve. "I.. I belong here Noah... And you," he thought of his Master at that moment, of his threat to kill Noah earlier... he didn't want Noah to die. "You don't," he finished, and did his best to put on a cold face as he finally stared up at the other's eyes. "Leave Noah. Leave and don't come back to this place."
Noah's smile faded at the other's words. "Jay... You don't belong here. That guy, he doesn't care about you. No one here cares about you! You're nothing to them! But, you're really a great person! They don't see that, but I do! I care about you, so please, Jay!" He took a step towards Jay, moving to take his hands. "Let me help you."
Noah's initial words stung more than he would like to admit to himself. They were true after all, and Jay knew it. The last part though, the last part made him cry again. He had never heard the other confirm his thoughts before, that he... cared about him. Warmth threatened to overwhelm him again. He wanted to hug the other man, run away from here. But who was Jay fooling? There really wasn't a choice here. If this had been another life, another time, then he would have loved to go. But he couldn't. He wouldn't.
"Are you an idiot?" he heard his voice tell the other. It was as if Master had taken over his body at that moment. "Don't you think you have helped enough?" His lips twisted into a scornful scowl as he pointed to his own injuries. "This is all your fault, if you hadn't come today this wouldn't have happened!" It pained him to make his face twist with anger like this, but he knew there was no other choice.
Noah took a step back as if Jay had physically hurt him. Of course... It all made sense. They had somehow found out about him and Jay had taken the punishment. It was his fault. "I... Jay, I... I'm so sorry..." he whispered, his face pale. "I didn't- I never meant to hurt you.. I just…" I just love seeing you smile... He swallowed. "I'll.. go..." he whispered, heading for the window to leave. "I'm sorry..." he said softly as he climbed out the window.
Jay watched him go with a heavy heart and a lump in his throat. He wanted to stop him, apologize and beg him not to go... but this was for the best. At least, this way... Noah would live. Still, Jay couldn't help but to close his eyes, and let more tears escape from his eyes silently. Everything that had happened today seemed to hit him again at that moment. Everything hurt so much. He fell to his knees then, no longer being able to hold himself upright.
It took a while before Jay was able to get back up to his feet. He couldn't help but to wallow, feeling miserable for getting rid of the only thing that really made him feel alive... loved. Hadn't been just a few hours ago, that he was actually having fun? He had laughed then... Jay wouldn't be able to do so anymore. Because, Noah was never coming back. Jay smiled sadly then. Master would be happy at least. There was nothing left for him to live for. Not Noah, and not his bell. Jay could finally become a weapon now... just like Master wanted him to.
Noah wrapped his arms around himself as he headed around the building to go back to the village. It had been his fault. Jay had gotten hurt because of him. He was such an idiot. He was so stupid to think that he could to this without getting caught. He was nave to think that Jay would be okay as long as he was there. Noah wished he could do something. One last thing. Just to show Jay how much he cared and how guilty he felt.
And there it was. The answer twinkled softly in the moonlight, a soft gentle jingle provoked by the nighttime breeze. Noah's eyes locked onto a small silver bell hanging on the inside of a window. A small look to the side showed that the bell would be easily seen from the training grounds. That asshole…
Noah didn't allow himself to think too much about this. He crept up to the window slowly pulling it open. He reached inside and felt a small feeling of victory as his fingers closed around the cold metal. Then suddenly, a puff of smoke and a blade at his throat.
"Hello, Noah." Solon's voice all but purred as he grabbed Noah's hair.
Run. Run. Run. Run as fast as you can. Noah broke away from the other without so much as a word and ran like hell. He sprinted up a hill but a puff of smoke inches away from him made him stagger back in shock. He didn't stop to look and just kept running as fast as he could. He could hear Solon's laugh behind him. He had to get away. He had to run. No, not to the village. If he lost Solon in the village, he'd surely tear the place apart. He ran instead towards the coast. Sprinting onto the docks, he quickly hid in one of the ships. He had lost Solon. Solon wasn't following him anymore… Noah panted heavily as he felt the ship begin to move. The redhead hid himself in the cargo hold, watching through a small window as the land faded from view.
Jay… He'd never see him again… Noah gripped the small silver bell in his hand and curled up in a corner, feeling mentally and physically exhausted. Eventually, despite all of his panic and regrets, he fell into a dreamless sleep. Then… He woke up. People were screaming, the air felt thick, his feet were wet... There was a fire. Noah gasped and realized the ship was sinking.
"NO!" He gripped the bell as he hurried to the door. It wouldn't open… Noah looked around frantically before seeing a spear floating in the water. He grabbed it and attempted to pry the door open. But it didn't work. The water was up to his knees now.
The redhead waded over to a window, hitting the sharp tip against the glass which broke easily. Water flooded in. It was up to his chest. It took all of Noah's strength to wiggle through the hole before he was completely engulfed in the ocean. The currents threw him around before his head smacked into something hard.
He floated limp in the water as black began to fade into his vision. Then... there was a shadow. It looked like a huge ship… A few more bubbles of air escaped from Noah's mouth as he finally lost consciousness.
It was a few days later before Jay could continue his duties. His Master had gracefully given him a break to heal up, although his threat of no food still stood the day after. During this time, Jay had seen neither hide nor hair of Noah… The fact pained him, but, it had been what he wanted, wasn't it?
Jay allowed himself a small frown during his walk to his Master's room. He missed Noah… he hoped that he was alright at least. His Master had made no more mention of him since that day. Jay hoped this meant his plan had succeeded…
Jay knocked on his Master's room once he finally arrived. His knock was met with silence however, which made him frown. He could hear voices inside, although very faintly. He knew he should wait to be addressed, but for some reason, he couldn't help but to open the door ever so slightly to peek inside… There was a ninja at his Master's side, whispering something to him.
Something that Master didn't like, Jay thought, staring at his Master's dark expression.
Solon had been furious that he lost the boy and that he had gotten away with Jay's bell. But when he ensured that the ship he was on had sunk, he figured that the boy was dead.
But now their information network found something new. "The boy is on the Legacy, Master," the ninja whispered to Solon. "The Legacy had been passing by the ship at the time that it sunk, and according to our informants, the boy managed to make it aboard. Not only that but in that short time, he's managed to pick up quite the posse." It was Solon's worst nightmare.
But then as the door opened and Solon looked up, catching Jay peeking in, he smirked. Solon had the perfect plan. "Jay. You've come just in time." He waved his hand, beckoning him in. "I have an official assignment for you." His smirk widened.
Jay almost flinched at his Master's voice. The smirk on the other's face made him hesitate for just one second, but he did enter through the door, bowing in greeting and in apology for 'spying', before straightening up to await for his orders. He wondered what type of assignment this was...
Solon looked at the other ninja. "How large is his group?"
"It's about ten young men, master," the ninja said with a bow. Solon nodded. "Then prepare five to accompany Jay," he said. The ninja bowed once more before he left, leaving Solon and Jay alone. Solon looked at Jay. "You are to assassinate someone. As you heard, he has a group of ten. Their combat skills are mediocre at best, so this should be an easy job."
"Yes, Master." Jay showed no sign of emotion on his face at these words, but inwardly he was relieved. It was a group of people... which means it couldn't be Noah that they were after. He waited for his Master to tell him where to head next, as it was not his place to ask questions. His place was to get the job done.
"Their hideout is on a large moving continent called the Legacy. We know its whereabouts so you will head there immediately. They are a few miles west of the central town called Werites Beacon." Solon stood. "You will kill all ten of them. Be at the docks in an hour. Your group will meet you there and the six of you will board the ship headed for the Legacy. Dismissed."
"Yes, Master." Jay bowed to him once again, making sure to remain cold and expressionless, before exiting the room. It was time for him to get ready. Jay tried not to get this assignment bother him that much. He should be used to killing people. This wasn't any different. And he couldn't afford to mess up again, like last time. With these thoughts, Jay made his way to the armory to get ready. On his way he was forced to pass by the kitchen, a place he had been avoiding for a while... He could still hear Noah's voice trying to cheer him up, and just the thought of that pained him. Noah wouldn't want him to go on this mission. Noah disapproved of what he was forced to do...
The hour passed quickly, and finally it was time to head to the Legacy. Jay didn't know why it was that his stomach churned so painfully, so forebodingly, as they approached the Legacy. But he was about to find out.
Once they arrived at Legacy, one of the ninjas seemed to have received instructions straight from Solon, despite the fact that Jay was supposed to be leading the mission. The ninja informed Jay about the small bustling town of Werites Beacon and pointed the way to the hideout.
They arrived at an old abandoned fort that looked completely rundown. As soon as they did though, the guard at the entrance immediately spotted the ninjas. He hurried to turn around and rush back inside, about to scream a warning. "Kill him," his fellow ninja urged Jay.
Jay did so without hesitation of course. He took out a dagger and threw it, watching it swiftly cut through the air. It slashed open the stranger's neck, making blood gush through the air. The man fell lifelessly to the floor, continuing to bleed there. "Let's go," Jay told the others tonelessly, continuing forward.
The teen was dead before he hit the floor. He couldn't be more than sixteen. But because of his death, the ninjas were able to enter silently. One down, nine to go. Two ninjas in the group with Jay dispatched two more guards silently. They were as young as the first. But then a loud gonging was heard. "They pulled the alarm. We've been spotted. We must move quickly," the ninja said, looking at Jay. "There are seven more we must kill."
"Tch," Jay narrowed his eyes at this. "Let's hurry." And so they did. However they weren't able to find any more guards on their own. This didn't surprise Jay. They must've gathered together after they heard the alarm. He had to give his target some credit. This one certainly wasn't stupid.
Jay and his ninjas continued to search where they were hiding, when finally they heard some voices coming from a nearby room. Jay motioned the others to be silent and listen. They peered inside the room and Jay was surprised to see...Noah. His heart dropped to his stomach. What the hell... What the hell has he doing here?
"There are six of them!" one of the guards told Noah fervently. "Tyler, Doko, and Yama are already dead!" Noah bit his lip and looked at the blue-haired male next to him. "Csaba, we have to get them before they find us." He grabbed the spear at his side. The one that had saved his life on the sinking ship. With his other hand, he felt the small bell in a pouch attached to his belt.
"It might be too late, Noah..." The boy named Csaba looked at the door that was ajar. The five guards turned around and held their weapons ready, making a wall between the ninjas and Noah and Csaba.
Even though Jay knew they had been spotted, he couldn't move. He was frozen in place. What was Noah doing on the Legacy? ...Why, why did it have to be him? The grip on his dagger tightened as he felt himself trembling ever so slightly. He couldn't do this. He wouldn't!
Seeing Jay's hesitation, the ninja took control, ordering the others to attack. Within minutes, the five guards were dead, though they had taken three ninjas with them. When the five guards down, Noah jumped out to attack one of the ninjas. He killed him and dodged a knife throw from the other. Csaba had to stay back. He wasn't a very good fighter.
"Stop it... stop it!" Jay protested. He felt backed into a corner. What could he do now? He couldn't kill Noah, and he didn't want to see him die either. As he saw one of his fellow ninjas begin to attack the redhead, Jay couldn't help but to get in the way of this attack, using his dagger to hold the other back. There was no going back now. By doing this he had turned his back on his Master.
He didn't dare imagine what he would do to him if he found out...
Noah froze, staring with wide eyes. "J.. Jay..!"
"What do you think you're doing?" the ninja growled at him. "The Master wants him dead! Are you going to defy the Master?" He gripped two daggers and threw them straight at Jay. But with a thunk! they stabbed straight into the handle of Noah's spear as he moved forward to Jay's defense. "Don't you dare hurt him!" Noah growled.
Jay cringed at his Master's mention. "Shut up!" he hissed at the other, not wanting to think of it. There was no way he could let his Master found out... luckily the rest of the ninjas had already died in battle... there was only one more to take care of. But first... "Idiot..!" he yelled at the redhead. "What are you still doing here? Run away!" he scowled at the other as he began his assault on his now-former comrades.
Noah growled slightly before he turned to the blue-haired boy. "Get out of here, Csaba! Now!" he said. Csaba nodded and ran out the door. But before Noah could move after him, the ninja moved fast. He threw a smoke bomb and immediately rushed forward, stabbing Jay in the leg to cripple him.
"Jay! Jay where are you?" Noah coughed, staying at the entrance to the room. But this was his mistake. The ninja jumped out at him. Noah let out a yell as he felt horrible pain on his face. He staggered back, his hand over his left eye, blood gushing out between his fingers.
"NOAH!" Jay's voice resounded loudly in the room. He hissed at his wound but ignored it. He had to find Noah! He had to save him! He couldn't see that well through the smoke, but he thought he could spot his friend by the door.
Was that... blood? Jay coughed as the smoke seem to fill his lungs more rapidly than they should... and it was then that he noticed how heavily and desperately he had been breathing.
Noah was blinded. Another strike slammed the redhead against a wall, his head smacking against the glass of a window. It was raining. He could hear the thunder furiously crashing across the sky. He lifted his spear in an attempt to defend himself, but it did nothing. It was thrown to the side. "Die," the ninja growled. For a moment, Noah's senses were heightened. He could hear the knife cutting the air as it headed towards him. He did the only thing he could think of. Noah threw open the window and turned. The knife buried itself in his back as he jumped out of the second story window. A loud crash of thunder sounded as he landed heavily on the grass below. He didn't move.
"NOO!" Jay's scream pierced the heavens in its anguish. The smoke had cleared up at this moment, showing the boy a scene that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Noah, bloodied, desperate, falling out the window to his own demise. He saw the knife connect at the other's back, saw it draw blood, heard the body hit the ground with a crash...
Jay had never felt this kind of grief before.
It overwhelmed him and took over his body. He felt his cheeks wet with his own tears, falling and falling as if they would never stop. All Jay knew was that one second he was frozen, watching this horrifying scene, and the next his body was splattered in the bastard's blood, his hand still clutching the bloodied dagger as his whole body shook and shook. "Noah... No... nooo! Why?" Jay cried out to the empty room. Everyone in here was dead, save him. "You idiot... you idiot... why did you have to die..."