After Jeremy's funeral, people were scared. Rumours about the Red Serpent were passed around, and spread like wildfire. They blew some things out of proportion, even saying that it bit Jeremy to inject it's poison. Things were getting out of hand.
So, he decided to appear in front of all his followers, for the first time. The only people who had ever seen his face were Patrick, Eon and Jeremy. His three best fighters and closest companions. He went against his own rules, and grew attached to them. He should've learnt better, after Sion.
He called a gathering for all his followers. Men, women, and children alike. Then, he made his appearance.
"Greetings. You may not know who I am, but I know all of you. Everyone one of your names, faces and pasts. I am Nezumi. Your leader. This is the first time I have ever made an appearance to anyone outside of the closest circle of members. As you all seem to know, our dear comrades Andrew and Jeremy was struck down by a killer. Jeremy named it, the Red Serpent. Since he was our only eye witness, I believe we should keep the name. But, it is still human! It is not a demon. Nor, is it an actual snake. Both Jeremy and Andrew died from gun shots." Nezumi said in a strong, cold voice.
The crowd of people started to mutter to themselves. A ripple of panic seemed to wash over them, but they all seemed a bit relieved. It wasn't a demon or a monster, so it could be killed.
"This brings me to my next note." Nezumi began, and the crowd once again fell silent. "I, Patrick, Eon and a few volunteers are going to go, and hunt this sorry son of a jackal, and make him pay!"
With this, the crowd cheered loudly, and some men started to shout that they wanted to come and help. Things were going better than expected. Nezumi was please.
After disposing of the body, he went into his little hut out in the forest. He was tired, and all this action was wearing him down. Anyway, he doubted he had long left to live, anyway. The sickness was back again.
He started to cough, and he covered his mouth with his hand. He knew he was going to die, but he was going to protect Eve-Town before he did. He won't let it be destroyed. Not after everyone that was sacrificed. Mom, and Safu, and baby Shion. Dogkeeper, and even Rikiga. And Nezumi... they were all dead.
He remember when he seen Nezumi. He was being dragged by two men into the bushes in a thick wood. He tried to run after him, but the sickness struck him, and then he heard a gunshot. When the bout of dizziness left him, and he went to where he saw the men to Nezumi, there was only blood. They killed Nezumi.
After his coughing fit was finished, he looked at the palm of his hand. Blood. This was becoming a normal thing, but it didn't make it any less bearable. He was dying, but he didn't care. He was going to be with Nezumi, after he took care of that damned gang.
The team was ready. He had sent out Rebecca, his key tracker, to find where the Red Serpent had wandered off to. After around ten minutes, she was back.
"There are five different trails." The young blonde muttered. "They each go in different directions, but I think I know which one of them it took. I think we should spilt into groups, just in case I get it wrong."
Nezumi looked behind him to the small group of warriors ready to risk their lives for the sake of Eve Town.
"Right. Harris, you take Edwin. Rebecca, go with Elliot here. Jamie, you and Norris are a team. Pence and Skii. And then me, Patrick and Eon shall go our way. Agreed?"
"Good. Let's go!"
*A while later*
Nezumi followed the weak trail, Patrick and Eon behind him, guns out and cautious. Nezumi could see smoke a little far off. That's probably where the killer was. He could get his revenge, for Jeremy and Andrew and Sion. This person was halting the progress of them saving the city. He wouldn't stand for it.
It was getting dark, and the night animals were coming out. This is when rats woke up, and snakes slept. He had the upper hand.
The waved his hand, and they all crouched down. He was close.
As they crawled through the undergrowth, he heard coughing coming from where the fire was. He look up slightly, and seen a boy.
He couldn't of been more than 18, and he was sitting on the ground, knees to his chest, staring at a fire in front of a small cabin. He was wearing a beige trench coat with rips at the bottom, and it's hood up.
This mere child was the cause of all this suffering? Then, more coughing. The coughing shook the entire boy's body, and it looked pitiful. He felt an odd sense of regret for hunting down this sickly boy of his age, but then he remembered how he heartlessly killed his comrades. The hate swelled up once again.
Then, he made the mistake of moving.
The boy instantly jumped to his feet, gun in hand, pointing it in the general direction of Nezumi.
"Who's there?" he croaked, before coughing once. Nezumi once more waved his hand, and his two teammates readied their guns.
"Come out, and show yourself!" The Serpent demanded. As he stared, Nezumi noticed those red eyes. They were cold and filled with malice.
Patrick and Eon stood up, and shot. He heard a pain filled scream, but it didn't come from the boy. He looked up, and seen Eon on his knees, holding his shoulder.
But, Patrick was still standing, and no more shots were fired.
"I-I got him... I actually shot him. I did it!" Patrick cried out. Then, he turned to look at Eon. "Are you okay?" he asked his best friend.
"I will be." Eon replied to the ginger man.
Nezumi almost smiled. They were all okay, and the Red Serpent had been struck down. He then heard a low whimper. It was coming from the clearing near the fire. He stood up, and looked at the boy was shot. He climbed over the bush, was walked over to him.
He kneeled down beside the boy, and reached for his hood. Before he could pull it off, he heard him whispering.
"I-I... I'm sorry, Nezumi... I-I couldn't protect the city... b-before I died. I-I failed you.."
Nezumi stared at the boy. His voice... it was so familiar.
"No." Nezumi croaked, and pulled the hood off to reveal white hair. It was the colour of starlight. Just like he remembered. Crimson eyes, that were sure to warm anyone's heart were accompanied by a large, pink scar leading from his cheek around his neck.
"Sion." Nezumi whispered in shock. He stared at him, and watched as those red eyes turned to him.
"N-Nezumi...?" Sion whispered. "You came for me... You kept your promise. You came back. I knew you wouldn't break your promise."
Tears welled up in Nezumi's silver eyes. Sion did all this for him. He... became a monster for him.
"Why are you crying, Nezumi? We're going now, right? I'm sorry I couldn't save you. I seen those two men bring you into the forest, and they shot you. I couldn't save you, because of the sickness. I'm so sorry... Will you forgive me?"
He just stared. What? Sion thought he was dead? He remembered that day. The one Sion was talking about. They were pheasant hunting for target practice. He was telling Patrick and Eon how to treat a prisoner if they caught one. Sion thought that... Oh God.
"Shh, it's okay. I'm here, Sion. I didn't die. And nor will you. I'm alive. I'm right here. Shh..." Nezumi crooned to the bleeding boy.
"Sir?" Patrick called from where he was kneeling with Eon. "This... This couldn't be the Sion you always talked about? I thought he died..."
"He's alive. Just barely..." He said to the Irish man. He reached down and rubbed a tear that fell down Sion's cheek. "He's still alive."
Nezumi took the cloak from around his neck, and tied it tightly around Sion's wound. It was just above his heart, and the bullet missed the vital organ altogether. He would live, if they could seal up the wound and stop the bleeding.
But then it occurred to him that Sion mentioned a sickness. That's why he couldn't 'save him'. Was Sion sick?
"Sion, can you stay awake? If you fall asleep, you'll die."
"But... If I die, I can be with you and Mam and Dogkeeper and Rikiga and baby Shion. Why would I still want to live? I mean... The only thing I was living for was to save Eve Town, but it seems I cannot even do that." Sion whispered, sadness laced through his voice.
"No, I never died, Sion! And, and Eve Town is being saved. I'm saving it Sion. So, just stay awake, for me. Please!" Nezumi almost sobbed.
"Okay, Nezumi. I'll stay awake for you." Sion sighed weakly.
"What were you saying, when you talked about the sickness?"
"Oh... Right. After the bomb went off, I survived. But, I still was badly damaged. The doctors tried to fix me up, but it didn't work. The sickness just won't leave, no matter what. It's my lungs, I think. I cough out a lot of blood... I doubt I have much longer to live. This bullet... it doesn't help."
"I'll save you, Sion. From the sickness and the bullet. I'll save you from the horrors of this world. No matter what. Then, you can see the city rebuilt. It... It'll be just like you imagined, Sion. No wall dividing the Outside and the city. And I'll be there, with you, the whole way. I promise. You just have to stay awake."
"I'll stay awake. And I'll live... If you are real. I think you're real. How are you alive, Nezumi?" Sion asked as Nezumi as he was lifted onto the taller man's back.
"Me and my friends were pheasant hunting. That's all it was. A misunderstanding..."
"You mean... I've killed innocent people, became a monster because of a misunderstanding?"
"Yes. But, it can be forgiven. You thought I was dead... You didn't know any better. But, how did you learn to use a gun? And aim... your aim was perfect."
Nezumi started to walk into the forest, Sion on his back, Patrick and Eon following behind him.
"It's because I was learning, even before the explosion. I want to be your equal, Nezumi. I don't want to be left behind, not again."
"It's okay, Sion, this time, I'm here for good."
So, the wandering star and the fixed star finally came together, and shone brighter than any others in the sky.
Well, that's end to that short story . It was always going to be short, so please don't kill me. This was merely practice! D: Well, it's over now.. Please don't hate the fluffy-ness!