I know, it has been more than half a year since the last time I updated. Somehow I just can't write anything out of my mind for this fic recently. (_ _")
Please forgive me, readers.
Well, I'm still not sure whether I can update constantly after this or not. But please enjoy this chapter first. It's not practically long, though...
Okay. On to the thanking section: Disease Called Love, splitheart1120, Silence Is Not Golden, Shaturu, AviTaRi, Candle 101, Inoyamakiori, AnimeFanPeep, Beta5200, Valky4, Nancy Haibara, erzashea1, Yuki Kusanagi, JellalxErza, Anon, and Sapphire Scarlet Fernandez. Please review again :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Fairy Tail
She slowly opened her eyes and found herself not in her own room. She got up and looked at the wooden clock. It's 2 in the morning.
Eliza exited the room and tried to reach the top of the castle, where she usually cheer herself up. She walked upstairs and arrived to the top floor not too long after that. When she opened the door to the rooftop, she saw someone sitting there while looking down. She noticed that it was Ul.
Eventually, Eliza walked closer to the black-haired girl and patted her shoulder gently. The girl turned around in surprise and Eliza winced when she saw the crystal tears flowing from her black orbs.
"E-Eliza!" she stammered before she quickly wiped her tears away and forced out a smile, "Th-this is not like how it looks, I –uh…"
"Milady, are you alright?"
"I…" the girl bent her head down and bit her lip, "…It's too late for me to fix things…"
"Once it fell, there's nothing I can do to pick it up…" she murmured.
"What are you trying to say, Milady?"
Ul got up and ran away as quick as she could, leaving a confused Eliza behind.
X X X
::Chap 28. Curse of the Stone, Part IV::
X X X
The white-haired boy sighed when he heard that word.
"I want to take a walk outside!" the white-haired girl yelled.
"Elena…" the boy sighed again.
"I'll become a shut-in if you don't do anything about this! It's been three days ever since I look at nothing but your face all day!"
"Father said that we can't go outside because of that serial kidnapper. He doesn't want any of us to be kidnapped…"
"What the hell is with that old man? Is he trying to kill me? How can I continue a closed life like this? Give me back my human rights!"
"What are you saying?" Mark sweatdropped.
Elena pouted deeply and scowled, "Can't we at least visit the castle or something? I'm bored here…"
"Visit the castle? I think that will do. But why do you want to visit the castle so suddenly?"
"Nothing much, I just want to get rid of this boredom…" Elena folded her arms and looked away.
"Ah, I know. You want to see Al's maid, don't you? Eli—"
The young boy received a punch on his left cheek and landed on the floor.
"I-it's not like that! D-don't jump into conclusion! It's not like I want to see that bitch!" Elena stammered while trying to hide her face by turning away.
'What a ferocious tsundere…' Mark mentally stated with his face still kissing the floor.
Al put his book down and turned to see his maid who was serving the tea for him, "Hm? What's with you? Having a cold?"
The redhead maid wiped her nose with a tissue, "No, I think someone's talking bad about me…"
Al laughed, "There are infinite possibilities for the culprit. Since anyone could be talking bad about you…"
"I'm sorry, ma'am…" Al bowed.
"Speaking of which, Young Master. I suggest you to read the newspaper more. You have been reading only novels lately. Fill yourself up with information about this kingdom, won't you?" Eliza showed him a newspaper.
"Why do I have to read that? The words are small and it's colorless!"
"Novels' words are small and it's also colorless, don't make up unreasonable excuses…"
A vein popped on the maid's head, but she suddenly remembered about a certain dark-haired girl. It had been three days ever since she saw Ul crying alone on the top of the castle. It had been bothering her these past three days but whenever she saw Ul, the dark-haired girl would act as if nothing happened.
"Nee, Young Master…"
"Hm?" Al hummed without getting his eyes off the book he's reading.
"…Don't you think Milady Ul act strangely these past few days?"
"No, I don't think so. Well, I do notice she hasn't been teasing me these past few days though…" the young Prince answered while still focusing on the book.
"You're so insensitive, you pathetic excuse of a man…"
"WHAT?" Al put his book down and glared at the cold maid. He noticed the maid was also glaring at him coldly.
"Milady is having a problem and you, her brother, do not even care for the slightest…"
"She didn't tell me about it! No matter how I want to help her, I would just be a bother for her if she doesn't want me to!"
The maid widened her eye slightly, "So you do know that she has a problem?"
"Of course I know!" Al threw his face away and scoffed.
Eliza smiled, "I see. And here I thought I'll kill you for being too insensitive…"
"What are you saying in your brightest smile of the day!?" Al shouted.
"I was thinking of asking that boy from before about Milady's problem. He looks like he knows quite a lot about Milady…"
"Don't ignore me, you damn girl!"
"Now the only problem for us is we don't know where to find that boy…" Eliza patted her chin with her fingers in a thoughtful pose.
"What's the point in finding him? I can't get out anyway…"
"Yes, that's true. Especially because a serial kidnapper is running loose…"
"… Serial kidnapper? What's that?"
Eliza looked at her Master with pitying gaze, "You're really going to be a shut-in soon, Young Master. Please read newspaper every once in a while…"
"Sh-shut up! Read it for me!" Al shouted, trying to hide his embarrassment.
Eliza sighed and took the newspaper from the table and read it, "A few kidnapping case has occurred in various part of the town and from what the victim's relatives informed, the kidnapper's aim wasn't the ransom money. It is believed that the kidnapper will not set free any of the victims even if a high price will be paid. Again, the day before, 13 kids have been kidnapped and without any news of their whereabouts and condition. After interviewing the latest victim's relatives, it could be concluded that the kidnapper simply wants their lives…"
Eliza put down the newspaper and muttered the last phrase, "The serial kidnapper goes under the name Vega…"
Al blinked, "I never knew… Newspaper is surprisingly thrilling…" he muttered, amazed.
"The last part was my own creation to make you feel a little excited…"
"I only changed the words so that it could be more exciting to listen to. But the fact in the news is still real…"
"AH!" Al shouted as he stood up from his seat.
"Maybe that boy from before was kidnapped and Ul was stressed because of it. Well, it's only my guess though…"
Eliza chuckled, "Sometimes you can be smart, Young Master. Impressive…" she clapped her hands while complimenting, though there's a hint of sarcasm in it.
"What are you two doing chatting happily here when something is happening outside?"
The two turned to see who's talking and found Elena standing in the doorway of the room, hands on hips as usual as she glared at them. The two of them were bothered by her rude greeting, but the content of her phrase just now was more important.
"…Something?" Eliza asked.
Elena moved her hands from her hips and crossed them on her chest, she nodded, "Just when I arrived here, I saw a boy our age who's trying to get inside but the guards didn't allow him to. Young Master is out there accompanying him. He asked me to tell you to bring Princess Ultear along. Seems like he has something important to tell you…" the whitehead narrowed her eyes.
"A boy…?" Eliza's brows furrowed at the statement.
Mark was sitting on one of the benches in the yard, and a black-haired boy was sitting beside him, looking down in silence. The boy wasn't wearing proper clothes and Mark could tell that he came from a poor family.
The long silence began to make the whitehead become uneasy. He tried to start a conversation, "Um… you said you are Ul-chan's friend, right? May I ask what your name is?" he asked carefully.
The boy's eyes widened and his body stiffened.
It happened four years ago…
The night was cold and lonely. Most people were already fast asleep in their respective houses, waiting for morning to come.
The black-haired boy wandered around the midnight town, searching for any trace of edible foods around the town. The last time he had his meal was two days ago and now he's so hungry he could eat a whole cow.
He sat on the pile of trash in one of the alleys. He managed to find some food but it didn't cure his growling stomach. He wondered if he should just sit there to death like several other stray kids. Just when he was about to close his eyes, he heard a sound from the street. He took a peek from behind the trash cans in the alley, his eyes widened to see a black-haired girl his age was fighting with delinquents.
But what amazed him more was the magic the girl used.
It didn't take long for the girl to send the delinquents away, running in fear. This girl is strong, he noted in his mind. The girl stood there for a while before she turned her head to his direction. To his surprise, she smiled at him. He was puzzled by her action, yet he couldn't do anything as she walked towards him. He could smell something from her. Living in the street for so long had made him able to smell like animals.
She bowed to his level and smiled, "What's your name?" she asked.
It took a while before he could finally tell what smell it is, "Bread…" he said sternly.
The girl tilted her head, smile never leave her face, "Bread…-san?" she raised a questioning eyebrow.
He explained what he meant by "Bread" and she took out the bread she's saving. She gave it to him and he ate it as if he hadn't eaten for days, it surprised her. "What's your name?" the girl asked again.
"I don't have… a name…" he said while still munching the bread.
"Eh? Why?" she asked.
"I was abandoned by my parents and was raised by a stray dog. Though she died last year…" he explained as he finished the bread, "What's yours?" he asked.
"Yes, just Ul… Simple, right…?" Ul smiled. "Hey! Why don't I give you a name?" she suggested.
"I don't mind. You did give me food after all…"
"Since you're raised by a dog, why don't I name you Hound? Sounds cool to me…!" Ul said excitedly.
"Hound…" the boy's lips curved into a small smile, "Not bad…"
"A-Are you okay?" Mark asked with concern after seeing the boy's reaction.
After he relaxed himself, he nodded, "I'm alright…" he said. "My name is Hound…"
"O-oh, Hound, I see. What a nice name…" Mark smiled. "My name is Mark. Nice to meet you…" Mark offered Hound a hand and he accepted it.
"Anyway, Hound-kun, what is your relationship with Ul-chan?" Mark asked.
"…Relationship?" Hound asked dumbly.
Hound looked down, "I don't know, maybe friends or maybe more. Despite all she has, she lowered her head for me and smiled for me who doesn't have anything in return. She's my savior…" he murmured under his breath. "I respect her…"
"Hee~? Are you sure? My training is strict, y'know~?" Ul asked with a teasing tone as she licked her ice cream.
"I don't mind. I want to be strong, just like you!" Hound exclaimed determinedly.
Ul laughed. "Me? Strong…? Sounds funny. Don't take me that high. Remember, there's always a sky above the sky…" Ul finished her ice cream and grinned, "Being strong is all about being able to make the people around feel at ease. Make them sure that you're able to protect them…"
Hound nodded in understanding.
"Dammit, I just said something cool!" Ul snickered.
The white-haired boy turned to the source of the voice just to find Elena walking towards him with Al, Ul, and Eliza trailing behind her.
Mark turned to face Hound again. "Come on, Hound-kun, they have come to see you…"
Mark stood up from the bench and walked towards the group. Ignoring the other three, he made his way towards the black-haired girl and stood right in front of her, glaring deeply at her. On the other hand, she gulped nervously.
"Oi, oi, whose sister do you think you're eyeing?" Al said as he walked towards Hound just to be pulled back by Eliza who told him to calm down, though the redhead maid secretly held a giggle over the Prince's overprotectiveness.
Hound stood there for a while before stretching out his hand to reach the black-haired girl.
Mark offered a hand to hold Al in Eliza's place, afraid that the Prince might violent his own sister's friend.
Hound let his hand stayed there for a moment as he took a deep breath.
All of them watched him carefully.
All of them widened their eyes, seeing the Princess turned into an ice sculpture and shattered into hundreds pieces of ice beads. The scene alone was enough to make Al furious. He broke free from Mark's grip and ran towards the boy before he grabbed his collar. "You bastard, what have you done to my sister!" he barked.
"Calm down, Young Master. It's not the real Princess Ultear…" Eliza softly spoke.
Al turned around to face the maid, "What do you mean by that?" he asked, anger mixed with confusion.
Eliza calmly explained, "This kind of magic is called 'Ice Replica'. It makes a replica of yourself to deceive your enemy. But Princess Ultear must be really skillful do be able to control her replica so well like this. It seems like she really got us this time, I didn't even notice it before now…"
"To think that she's that genius…" said Mark in awe.
Finally calming down, Al released his grip on Hound's collar. But the mysterious boy didn't seem as happy.
"This is not the time to be relieved. For Ul to make an Ice Replica means that she's no longer inside this castle. My fear is to be confirmed…"
"What now?" Al glared at him.
"Ul is kidnapped by Vega…"
~To be continued~
I can't promise the exact time to update this, but please review! Every review supports me in many ways :)
See you next time~!
Next: ~Chap 29. Curse of the Stone, Part VI~