SO this has been (somewhat) rewritten with added detail and side stuff~ If you haven't reread the story please do so; you'll thank me.
I'll give clues to those who can guess the songs and/or which character is which; not the obvious ones such as Ludwig and Arthur, but those who you might not know such as- *bricked*
After dinner and Matthew went to bed – oh the joys of traveling by ship shortly after the three famous and tragic wrecks – the detectives held their small nightly meeting to discuss the case.
Since he is the host, Arthur sat at the head of the table and the other seven detectives sat at the other seats.
"Detective Ouren and I suspect that the kidnapper uses transportation magic since all the other physical theories have been ruled out. Dozens of children from cities hundreds of kilometers apart vanish right from their bedrooms in one night. Some children were in rooms with tight security and would have been unable to undo the locks without damaging them. Are there any other theories as to how the kidnapper would have been able to breach tight security?"
"Hypnotism could be possibirity." Detective Honda started. "The kidnappa might know what kind of security the chird would be surrounded by and eizer undo the security themserves or hypnotize the chird to do it foh them."
"There might be more than one kidnapper." Ludwig said and stood straight. "There is a pattern in the evidence left behind at the scene of the crimes." He picked up a small stack of papers and read off the list.
"For example: in the northern countries past the Baltic sea, the evidence were small bells that the victims never owned. In the Americas, feathers ranging from monochrome to brightly-colored were found. In the Far East, evidence was large white and orange fish scales. In Africa, it was strands of lion hair. With that, it is very likely that there are multiple people behind this." Ludwig concluded as he sat down. "In the cases where violet flower petals were present, the child never returned."
"… was so sad when he heard the news."
Toris blinked. What was that?
"… Even the comfort of others wasn't enough. His guilt is still too great."
Toris put a hand to his head casually to give the impression that he was thinking; which he was, but he was becoming dizzy from the words flashing through his head.
"… went missing. … and… missed him a lot. His sisters didn't know what happened. They didn't know to whom the blood came from."
"It's as if the kidnappers are phantoms." Arthur stated, snapping Toris' attention away from the voices. "They appear, take the children, and disappear with such stealth. The only evidence that they exist and it is not some other creature is the items left behind. They must be a clue as to what the kidnappers' vehicles were; though I doubt that using enchanted lions would be safe. Even those have a temper. Enchanted fish, however, is plausible."
"The bells would suggest being from reigns since they are small enough." Detective Lars Dulmes said in Dutch.
Miss Belle translated what he said. "Is there evidence that there are even more kidnappers?" she asked.
"Yes." Ludwig confirmed. "According to the history, glitter used to be found years ago in these isles. Ten years ago, the glitter was replaced with chips of wood and paint. Five years ago, rose petals replaced the wood and paint. This might suggest that kidnappers have died and been replaced by others."
"This rose and gritter seem more rike signature than mode of transport." Kiku said. "The wood and paint may have been from a vehicre."
Ludwig continued. "In Eastern Europe, frost was left behind; but it is difficult to tell which frost was natural, and which is made by this specific kidnapper during the winter without a person proficient in magic to examine it."
A shiver immediately raced down Toris' spine and he instinctively glanced at the windows and door at the end of the room that led to the front yard.
"...Heightens each sensation..."
Toris swore that he can hear someone outside.
"… and the feathers found in North America could relate to Thunderbirds." Arthur said. "If I had a feather from the scene, I can track it down to where it came from and even who handled it. Unfortunately neither the American nor Canadian government will allow the feathers to leave the countries. Such feathers have become national treasures."
Toris quickly became uneasy. "T-there is a matter I want to call to attention." Toris stood; folders in hand. "I want to know if all the files we have of the cases are authentic, since I have never seen them before I came here."
"They are, Mr. Lorinaitis." Arthur replied.
Then this isn't a prank. Toris took a deep breath. "I have found filed cases with our names on them; nearly all of us, actually." He set the files down on the table for everyone to see. "It seems that we had concentrated too much on the kidnappers and the victims' mental and financial state than to look at the victims' names. The only ones not on the list are-."
The light bulbs suddenly turned off and their slight buzzing went silent, and shrouded everyone in darkness.
A gale tore open the windows and sent papers flying everywhere.
Arthur felt a sharp pain in his chest as his barrier around the house had been breached near this room.
"Someone is here!" he shouted, but was drowned out by the surprised yells and screams and flying paper. For some reason he felt something soft brush against his face and hands.
"...And wakes imagination."
The gale calmed and the light of the moon dimly illuminated the meeting room.
Whatever had entered the barrier is now gone.
But another jab of pain struck Arthur.
The intruder is in Matthew's room!
Just as the others started to calm down in the darkness, Arthur raced out of the room, down the hall, up the stairs, down another hall, up another set of stairs, and knocked – scratch that, pounded on Matthew's bedroom door.
"Matthew! Matthew! Are you alright? Open the door!"
There was no response, but he could hear heavy footsteps that didn't belong to a teenager.
"Matthew!" Arthur turned the doorknob.
He slammed the door open.
… In time to see a cloaked man stepping toward the open window.
"You there!" Arthur shouted.
The man turned, his cloak swished and revealed Matthew wearing his pajamas and sleeping in the man's arms.
The man carried Matthew out the window and onto a floating carriage. He then climbed onto the carriage's driving seat.
Arthur broke out of his shock. He never thought that one of the kidnappers would come here! Thinking fast, Arthur ran to the window to throw an undetectable tracking spell at him. "Rian an fear se-!"
The kidnapper threw one end of a long and thick rope at Arthur and it wrapped around his arm tightly.
Oh, so he wants to take me with him. "Give him back, you bastard!" Arthur yanked on the rope and smirked when the kidnapper stumbled and nearly fell off the carriage.
While the kidnapper was trying to right himself, Arthur took in all the attributes the mystery man had; black top hat, a white mask that covered half of his face, a black tuxedo with a white dress shirt underneath, a black cape with velvet red on the inside, and black shoes. He looked back up at the kidnapper's face to memorize it, but he only saw a blur.
The man is using glamour to keep people from seeing his true face! Arthur figured.
"You should be asleep by now~." The kidnapper smirked and pulled on the rope even harder, forcing Arthur to step on and hold onto the windowsill while his captive arm stretched out and upward.
"I like defiance~."
"Go fuck a hors-!"
"Kirkland!" A voice appeared behind Arthur.
"Beilschmidt! Pull me back!" Arthur yelled. His voice sounded as if he was on the verge of panic.
Ludwig's large arm reached out and grabbed onto the rope. However, as soon as he touched the rope he fell to the floor; unconscious.
A sleeping spell!
"You slimy little- wah!"
The kidnapper yanked the rope again and Arthur was pulled out of the house. He sailed through the backyard into the garden. His weight was threatening to tear off his arm and he grabbed the rope with the other hand just as he swung backwards.
Arthur quickly tapped his hand on his pocket-watch and grabbed the rope again. "Helen! Stay with the others and tell them wherever I am! Honda should be able to see you and Ouren should- dagh!" A bolt of energy went through the rope and shocked him.
"Right away!" Helen bolted out of her home and into the rose bushes; the thorns should discourage him from going after her.
The kidnapper tied his end of the rope to one of the carriage's sturdy lanterns, righted himself on the driver's seat, whipped the floating carriage's horse with the reigns and they flew off with Arthur hanging below; high above the city.
Matthew must be inside! Arthur began to climb up the rope.
One arm-length, two, three...
He paused momentarily to wrap his left leg around the rope he already climbed; if he slipped he wouldn't immediately fall to his death.
He looked back up. The kidnapper hadn't noticed.
Arthur repeated his movements: climb the rope, carefully unwrap the loose part of the rope and re-wrap the rope from a higher point around his leg.
He silently reached the top, looked down, nearly had a heart attack, looked back up, opened the carriage's door, and pulled himself inside.
The carriage gently rocked to and fro as Arthur shut the door behind him. Surely enough, Matthew was sitting on one of the velvet red seats in his pajamas, leaning against the dark-wooded wall as he slept.
Arthur knelt on the seat next to Matthew and shook him. "Matthew. Matthew, wake up. We need to get out of here."
Matthew made no reaction. He simply breathed.
There was a mumble from the other side of the carriage.
Arthur looked around and saw Toris sitting on the opposite seat. The young man looked very drowsy and seemed to be trying to talk to him. Another boy, probably 13 or 14, was slumped against him with a blue hat on his lap and was snoring lightly.
Arthur turned to address the drowsy brunette. "Toris." he said. In this situation fewer syllables were better.
Toris mumbled and his head bobbed and fell against the window with a loud thud.
"Toris, what happened?" Arthur grabbed the others' shoulders and gently sat him upright.
"Can't ...you ...hear it?" He heard Toris mumble. He looked as if he was struggling to keep his eyes open and move his arms and legs.
"Hear what?" Arthur asked.
Toris did not answer. He simply stared at Arthur.
Arthur strained his ears. He could hear the slight whoosh of the wind, the creaking of the carriage as it shifted slightly, Toris' loud breaths, the boy's snoring, and Matthew's calm and nearly silent-...
"Slowly, gently, night unfurls its splendor,"
"The song? Toris, is that what you hear?"
Toris nodded. "Don't listen. Stay... ah...w..." he huffed as he closed his eyes.
"Grasp it, sense it... tremulous and tender..." The voice was suddenly closer.
Arthur's head whirled around and the kidnapper opened the carriage door and stepped in. He quickly put himself in front of his cousin; arms out wide but on his knees due to the low ceiling.
Arthur's breath hitched. "Fuck. I left my wand in my study. I can't use my magic."
The two stood off. Now that Arthur was closer he could see the man's striking blue eyes. They were such a rich deep color that Arthur couldn't help but freeze; captivated by the way they seemed to see right through him. Oh god they're sexy...
The kidnapper suddenly knelt onto one knee and his face was just inches away from Arthur's.
Arthur tried to reinforce his confidence and glared at the man, but the kidnapper only smiled at his attempt. Still, Arthur did not lower his arms.
Not even when the kidnapper began to caress his face in a way one would do to a lover and sent shivers down Arthur's spine.
"Turn your face away from the garish light of day," the man softly sang. His voice was smooth, deep, and full of an emotion Arthur couldn't place.
Arthur did not notice, but he had lowered his arms ever so slightly. The man's beautiful ocean-blue eyes and captivating voice had ensnared him almost completely.
I can't let this happen... but this voice... I feel safe... secure... Arthur's thoughts slowed down. His eyelids lowered and he unconsciously leaned into the man's hand. The man's song was alarmingly calming.
"Close your eyes," The man sang, and Arthur complied, blissfully unable to object or defy him.
"Let your spirit start to soar..." The man continued and brought up another hand to Arthur's forehead and placed a heavy sleeping spell on the young man.
Arthur slumped forward; the man caught him and pulled Arthur up to rest next to Matthew. He caressed Arthur's face again.
"And live, as you've never lived before..." He finished, stood, exited the carriage, closed the door, and expertly and gracefully maneuvered back onto the driver's seat; for the carriage was still floating in midair. He then directed the carriage southward and flew right through a green portal. On the other side of the ring was a whole web of lush and green tropical islands; one of them held his next passenger.
"Ludwig!" Belle ran down the third floor hall, skirts hiked up and searching for the German. "Ludwig!" She called louder. She saw the open door to Matthew's room and peeked in.
She saw Ludwig unconscious on the floor near the window.
"Ludwig!" She ran and knelt by his side and rolled him onto his back. "Everyone! I found Ludwig!"
The other men ran into Matthew's room. Kiku Honda and Nicholas Ouren helped Belle wake Ludwig, but Lars quickly closed the window and took in the state of the room.
There were rose petals all over the place.
Ludwig grunted and sat up. "Is everyone else alright?"
"What do you mean? Did Mr. Kirkland and Matthew vanish too?" Kiku asked.
"Kirkland, yes. I'm not sure about Matthew; we will search the house before we declare him 'missing'." Ludwig looked at his companions. "Is Lorinaitis searching on the other floors?"
"No." Kiku replied. "I saw the kidnappah take him away. There was nothing I could do."
Alik scowled as the cloaked young man arrived at the castle and landed on the drive.
… He's also very pissed.
The young man hopped off the carriage, took off his hat – and revealing blonde hair tied back with a black ribbon, bowed, and stood straight up again. "My deepest apologies, General. The memory charm on Toris is breaking and a little rabbit decided to complicate things. I had to cast a heavy sleeping spell three times to knock him out."
"Has this "rabbit" been here before?"
"Oh, yes. I would never forget those eyebrows~ especially when he caused the 'Ear Incident'."
Silence fell between the two as they remembered the hilarious yet embarrassing fiasco that had happened years ago.
"Take him out first. I will wake the rest."
The young man opened the door and pulled Arthur out of the carriage and carried him bridal style. "Shall I put him in the resting room?"
"You may; but keep a close eye on him. It has been years since he came here last; it may shock him. Better yet, keep him asleep for as long as you can. We must put him back in his home as soon as possible. He is not supposed to have returned yet."
"Yes sir." The young man walked up the steps as Alik broke the sleeping spell on everyone in the carriage. About a minute passed before the passengers began to come out. The first to exit it was a tan teenage girl with two dark pigtails draped in front of her shoulders. She was wearing a blue nightgown made of light cloth made for warm weather.
Alik held out his hand and helped her off. "Welcome back Michelle. The gardeners have planted new flowers in the garden and playroom. Would you like to see them?"
Michelle's face lit up. "Oh, yes! Thank you for telling me." She trotted up the stairs, stopped at the top, and glanced back, as if waiting for someone.
The second person to hop out the carriage was a teen boy who looked very similar to Arthur. "Hello, General!" He quickly said and scampered off.
"Hold it." Alik grabbed the boy's shirt and pulled him back. "What are you hiding under that hat, Peter?"
Peter slowly took off his large blue hat to reveal a small white puppy lying right on top of his head. It looked starved and sick.
"Take it to the infirmary and call Jack. He will know what to do. Moreover, call Yekaterina; we do not want you catching what the dog might have. Now get going." He pushed Peter and the teen put his hat back on and ran right up the stairs. Peter met up with Michelle and the two ran inside.
The third to exit was Matthew, who stumbled out; even with Alik's help.
Alik put his hand on Matthew's forehead and performed a quick memory scan. The boy was practically making himself sick from those sleepless nights. The reason for the lack of sleep was understandable; especially when Alik found out the murderer of the boy's parents was never caught and looked awfully familiar.
"You had a rough trip." Alik said as he placed two fingers on the teen's forehead and chanted a waking spell. "Go to the resting room. I gave you enough energy to get there."
Matthew nodded, suddenly wide-awake. "Thank you." He said, ran up the stairs and followed the cloaked man to the resting room.
It was a very, very large and dark blue room full of colored beds ranging from bright to mute arranged in circles around all the large and decorated pillars; the paintings on the pillars had pictures of the night sky with clouds and stars. The ceiling was decorated with colorful paintings of planets, asteroids, and even more stars that popped from the black background.
Matthew walked to a pastel-purple bed, took off his shoes, climbed under the covers of the soft bed, and promptly fell asleep.
The flying canoe nearly crashed because Missouri went into labor.
This was her first child, so of course she would panic!
So panicked that she purposely rocked the canoe to one side which made her passengers tumble out, righted it up, ignored all the "Do it again"s from the passengers and kicked off using the oar and flew away.
A panicked blonde teen of age sixteen ran up to Alik. "General! General! Is Mattie here?"
"Hello Alfred, at least say 'hello' first." Alik replied. "Matthew is in the resting roo- stop right there!" He grabbed the teen's shirt collar just as said teen was about to run off. He dragged the boy back and turned him to face the man. Goodness, the boy's eye-level was nearly equal to his. The least Alfred could do is mature a little! "Resting. Room. Keep your voice low, there are others sleeping in there. Remember that. Now go." He gave the teen a push and Alfred bolted up the stairs past other kids, slipped on the tile as he tried to turn, fell, caught himself before he would land face-first, and kicked off to run down the nursing hall, nearly missed the door to the Resting Room and quietly – ha, he remembered – went inside.
He quickly found Matthew's favorite bed and crawled under the covers and hugged the sleeping teen. Missouri had told Alfred that Matthew suffered through a large and deep cut to the chest and his parents were murdered, and that scared Alfred to no end.
They lost Ivan, but he won't lose Matthew.
He laid down and called out to Kumajiro. The polar bear appeared at the foot of the bed in his cub form.
"Will you please keep people from bothering us?"
"I can." Kumajiro replied and turned away.
Alfred then focused on Matthew and laid his head on the others' chest. He then began to murmur a healing chant. In less than a minute of repeating the chant a faint blue glow emerged from Alfred and surrounded Matthew's central body. The glow stayed even when Alfred himself fell asleep.
Dark and gloom; the walls were grey, the ceiling was dark, and the only light came from the moonlight that managed to peek through all the clouds and the windows.
"That young Kirkland brat ruined today's plans." A man sitting on a throne on an elevated floor said to the still woman kneeling before him. "You should have been able to capture the boy before his fairy did. Why did you disobey my orders?"
The woman replied immediately "Bonnefoy was nearby because the boy was chanting his song. If I did anything Bonnefoy would have caught me."
"With what? A thin rope and roses? Against your spear?" the man boomed. "HA! Don't make me laugh! You severed ties to your own brother and willingly gave yourself to me; the least you can do is obey me, Jeanne."
There was a rustle next to the man. There were two uniformed handymen standing on either side of him and one was fidgeting.
The fidgety one was a boy barely on the verge of adulthood, and very tall for his age. His violet eyes were beginning to shine again and he was trying to lift his hidden sword.
Oh, that won't do, that won't do. The spell on him is expiring and now the boy wants to kill him.
The man lifted a hand and waved it at the boy. The man's magic forced the boy to double over; as if someone punched him in the gut. His breath was even knocked out of him.
The boy then quickly stood up straight and still; his eyes now a dark indigo.
The man did not notice the sea-green glare directed at him from his other handyman; who had been pretending to be under control for weeks and planned to kill the man when the opening came; and escape with everyone.
The man turned back to Jeanne. "Take Mr. Honda when Mr. Ouren is away. Bring him here; for an ancient magic I desire flows through him.
Jeanne lowered her head. "Understood."
"I have a different task for you to complete first. Both of my handymen need to be taught a lesson."
At this, the second handyman let out a battle cry and speared his sword at the man's chest. But the blade stopped two inches from his clothes. The handyman struggled to push the blade further but all it did was make the blade shake.
"Berwald, Berwald, Berwald, there is a reason why I put that collar on you." The man sneered. "Your hypnotism resistance is extraordinary and you are difficult to break. But it is about time you give up on running away like an ungrateful brat and realize that only I accept you as you are."
"T's not true!" Berwald shouted.
"Has Tino come for you yet?"
Berwald faltered for a second, but then pushed again desperately.
The man sneered. "It has been two years since I took you under my wing; while you were grieving over the fact that he rejected you again."
"Stop!" The young man swung his sword up and down over the older man's head.
It stopped before it could even touch the man's hair and the man himself didn't even flinch.
The man pointed three fingers at Berwald in a clawed fashion. "Sleep until I tell you to wake." the man commanded. The collar produced a purple smokey magic that stuck to Berwald. The young man reached up to cover his mouth and nose bu the smoke made their way in and he passed out.
Berwald collapsed to the floor; his sword nearly hit his shoulder when it landed.
"Jeanne, take him to the torture room." The man's voice boomed.
The man glanced to one of the five entrances at the front of the large room. "Kai, take a trip to the Blue Palace tonight and bring me Williams. Either him or his necklace may suffice."
A shadow moved and a young man appeared; there was a collar around his neck that connected to a dragon as black as the night sky with white specks dotting its body. It stood behind the young man at the main entrance to the room.
The chains clinked and his dull green eyes closed as he bowed. "...Yes sir."
Critique and guesses requested~
*shakes computer screen* PLEASE! I'm LONELYYYYYYYYYYY!