Disclaimer: I own nothing from Code Geass
A/N : Thanks for the review and Sorry for the late upload. With still no reply from my Beta reader, I decided to just upload it, knowing well that I will get some complain about grammar.
(Sometimes later) Time Skip/flashback
Code Geass: The Phantom of Britannia
Chapter 8 : The Gathering of Storms
Inside Avalon, in his private quarter, Schneizel listened to the report that Kanon Maldini, his right man gave to him a he sat comfortably on his seat while Kanon stood in front of his desk.
"And that's all of it." Kanon said as he finished the report.
"I see…" Schneizel whispered softly as he closed his eyes to think about the report he got. He had so many unsolved problems from EU, Chinese Federation, The noble, and many more.
However, none was important enough for him but one.
The most problematic problem for Schneizel was coming from Lelouch.
Lelouch was proceeding to fast for Schneizel like and that was why he sent Euphemia to hindered Lelouch progress and other thing, a backup plan if you could call it. However, he hoped that there would be no need for him to do it. It left a bad taste in his mouth to exploit Euphemia naïve personality. However, considering the new information he heard from Kanon, it might not needed at all, as Cornelia brought someone with her to Area 11, someone that he was sure would play the same role as Euphemia.
"How amusing…." Schneizel thought as Cornelia had unknowingly helped him. He would use this to his advantage. Because one could not survived in this world if they did not use everything they had, even their own family. All fair in love and war after all. The same also happened to Lelouch as he took advantage of his close relationship with Guinevere and Carine.
It was a well-played move in Lelouch part.
Something he must commended Lelouch.
Although not many notice it, Guinevere had a significant amount of connection with Britannia nobles and added the wealth she had, she was a valuable ally to have. The same also could been said with Carine as her dead mother was from the noble family that own 20 percent of Britannia weapon industry, which explained the unhealthy attraction for destruction and chaos that Carine had. It made him upset when they joined Lelouch side, well, almost. Still it did not matter, because if his plan came to fruition, that kind of thing would be useless.
He sometimes wondered if this, what Lelouch after in the first place as he approached Guinevere and Carine. If it was, it unnerved Schneizel greatly as it made him wondered how far or since when actually Lelouch planned all of this. However, that did not matter at all as in the end he would be the winner.
Still, even with Guinevere and Carine help, the progress of Lelouch made was astounding him.
Frankly, Schneizel still has a hard time to believe how much Lelouch progressed in recent years. That kind of progress was something that he could not achieved when he was in Lelouch age. He always knew that Lelouch was special but not this special.
Whoever guessed that Lelouch would stand as an equal to him this soon?
Still, if only he knew what Lelouch would became, he would make sure to take an appropriate action to ensure that Lelouch wouldn't stand in his way. That small and cute little brother of his had become a thorn in his side. To the point Schneizel could not recognize Lelouch as his brother or rival anymore but an enemy.
Schneizel had prepared Lelouch to be his second in command or a reliable partner but instead Lelouch became his greatest enemy.
Back to the current problem, the spy that he sent to Lelouch had been killed by Lelouch operates. It never happened before, until now.
Whatever Lelouch was doing now was something big that Lelouch could not afford to leak outside. It was different from the time he sent his spy to find out about what Lelouch did before. Not he found anything useful, still he got some information about Lelouch project, stealth system and nuclear power source. However, right now he completely blind about what was Lelouch doing now.
There was not a single name or something to identify Lelouch current project. Only the fact that there was an increase of activity and material shipped to Lelouch factory in Area 11 and 12. Schneizel would brush this off, as nothing, if not the fact the input of the material did not match the output. It looked like whatever Lelouch was doing; he was doing something big, bigger than his previous project.
Still, Lelouch projects about the use of Nuclear to substitute the sakuradite intrigued Schneizel because the efficiency and large output that Nuclear made. In addition, for the fact that the Nuclear could sustained itself, unlike sakuradite that must refueled. Because of that, he even started his own nuclear research team but sadly, they had hit a dead end.
However, for the stealth system Schneizel did not know what to think about it. There was much possibility about Lelouch stealth system but he needed more information before he made assumption about that.
Schneizel knew that Lelouch project based on Rakshata research. Even so, that piece of information alone was not enough, because even Lelouch made his project based on Rakshata, what came out from it was a lot different from what in the Rakshata research.
Just like what Lelouch used from Rakshata research that he applied it in his Nuclear power source project. Rakshata research was about how to disturb the sakuradite, not about nuclear. Schneizel had told his research team to use Rakshata research as the base to solve their dead end problem but until now, they too did not understand how Lelouch did it and only made things more complicated.
Because of this Schneizel not sure about the stealth system project that Lelouch had. If it based on Rakshata research, it would only disturb and made it invisible to the radar but he sure, what Lelouch did was more than that.
So many questions and yet so little answer he had.
"Tell the spies to stay low Kanon, we will ignore Lelouch newest project for now but focus to the stealth system and nuclear power source." Schneizel ordered as he came to a decision.
He knew that Lelouch knew that he had been spying at him, and so was Lelouch but he must not alerted Lelouch anymore than this. For now, he would stay low but when the time comes, the time when Lelouch slip, he would attack Lelouch, without mercy and take everything that Lelouch had.
"As your wish Your Highness and what should I tell our sleeping agent?" Kanon asked, making Schneizel smiled while his eyes still closed.
Honestly, Schneizel never thought the agent he sent to watch and protect Lelouch would take a different role like this. It was an unintentional move but served him well. In addition, to these days, Lelouch still did not know about it. He could always order his agent to take all the research and information Lelouch had but refrained himself from doing that. No matter how he curious about Lelouch research, he knew it still not complete. It would be better if he do it when Lelouch research had come to final stage or complete. In addition, he needed someone to watch Lelouch if Lelouch finally decide to make his true move. That was why he ordered his agent to get Lelouch trust.
However, because of this, he had a minimal contact with his agent and could not order his agent to take any information or Lelouch would notice it. It was a small price to pay for something much bigger.
"No, nothing at all" Schneizel said simply.
"Yes, Your Highness, but what about Damocles project?" Kanon asked with a nod as Schneizel opened his eyes.
Schneizel let out another smile at this. The Sky Fortress Damocles, a true flying fortress that used floats system and Blaze luminous shield made it nigh indestructible. It would serve as stepping stone for his another project.
It been completed to 80 percent. The only thing left were the weapon for Damocles and power source. The reason he wanted Lelouch secret about Nuclear power source as his research team hit a dead end. Although the use of solar cell power source was good, it was still not good enough than what the Nuclear power source offered.
"Proceed to the second phase, you can ignore Damocles for now and focused to 'it' Kanon."
Kanon just nodded at this, "And how about Gawain Your Highness?"
"There still problem for Hadron Cannons and Gefjun Disturber. I think without Rakshata, we cannot complete it. Also the Druid System is still cannot function properly but the float system is function smoothly." Kanon informed.
"Well, it just test model so not a problem" Schneizel said as Gawain was just a pet project that had no importance for his plan. The reason he made Gawain was to see if somehow he could understand about Lelouch project that based on Rakshata research.
It proves futile…
"And Kanon, don't forget to return the favor to Lelouch." Schneizel finished with a pleasant smile.
"Yes, Your Highness." Kanon said simply before taken out a photo from his pocket and put it on the desk, "Also this is something we got from that location, my prince."
"I see." Schneizel said as he taken the photo that showed a ruin in a cave with a bird like symbol that engraved in the wall. "Interesting."
"You may go Kanon." Schneizel ordered, not taking his eyes from the photo.
"Then I will excuse myself Your Highness." Kanon said and proceeded to leave the room.
Putting the photo on the desk, Schneizel let out a long sigh, "It seems it is true…."
From the drawer in his desk, Schneizel took out an old and worn out book with the same bird like symbol on its cover.
"If only I can get the rest of this journal…." Schneizel flipped the page, "Or in better condition"
Schneizel frowned as the journal condition was so bad and only a few of its page that he could still read, the rest is unreadable.
"The journal of Sir Dash…" Schneizel muttered softly, "If I don't know better, I would think this is some kind of a book written by a mad man…"
"But it's not…." Schneizel closed the journal and closed his eyes as he let a small smile.
"Geass... what an interesting thing…."
-Emperor Personal Office-
Charles zi Britannia stood inside his office as he looked outside of the window. He was thinking about the current situation in Britannia. The noble became more and more restless lately and the cause of it none other than his two son, Schneizel and Lelouch. From the outside, Britannia might be looked firm and undivided but in the inside Britannia divided to two factions. The only thing that kept them together was he, the emperor but it only a matter of time before a civil war broke out.
Lelouch without doubt was gathering his power and looking for a perfect chance to attack and Schneizel was the same. Schneizel was a lot subtle than Lelouch, but Lelouch was more secretive than Schneizel. To be honest he did not care at all about what the two of them planning because just a little more his plan would be fulfill and when it happening, whatever Schneizel and Lelouch planning would become useless.
'Just a little more.' Charles thought as he closed his eyes.
"You look like troubled Charles," came out a male child voice that he recognized.
"Brother." Charles called, not opening his eyes, "What bring you here?"
Although he remained calm in the outside but in the inside, Charles tried to control his emotion.
"Not much but I must informed you that Schneizel has Sir Dash journal."
This brought Charles attention and looked to his brother, "Is it bad?"
The Geass journal by Sir Dash, it documented about the power of Geass and the location of Thought Elevator around the world that became the vital part of their plan. If Schneizel learned about it, it would put a lot of risk to their plan and maybe he would use his Geass to Schneizel. Therefore, Schneizel would not become an obstacle to their plan. Still it intrigued him how Schneizel could hold one of the Journals that he and his brother, to a great length hide or destroy it.
"No, he only got the first journal and nothing important in it. Only about the location of Thought Elevator in Area 11 and a little bit about Geass. Although I`m sure that Schneizel couldn't read all of it because the damage." Charles brother said off handedly, "It won't hinder out plan at all"
"I see" Charles nodded; still this did nothing to relax him. After all, he knew Schneizel was a very capable person and his brother tended to underestimated other. Still, it did not matter; it would prove to be entertaining to see Schneizel struggle to uncover the truth about Geass and Sir Dash journal.
"Then is there anything else?" Charles asked because he sure that his brother came all this way not just only to told him that.
"Yes, about C.C. It seems that she was indeed in Area 11 after all." Charles brother, informed him.
"Troubling news but you know this from?" Charles asked feeling curious from where his brother found it but he has an idea where his brother learned this.
"I have my source, but you seem not surprised about this" Charles brother stated as Charles could heard the underlying tone in it.
Charles remained calm but inside he was angry. His brother seemed suspicious about him lying or hiding something. After all, they have taken a vow to not lying or hiding something to each other. Still, his brother has broken that vow first and taken the life of the woman that he love so much, more than anything else does, so….
'You have no right to doubt me, brother….' Charles thought bitterly as he replied in a soft voice and his face betray no emotion, "Nothing surprises me anymore, is that all?"
Charles brother kept silent as he studies Charles face before answered, "Do you know C.C is staying with Lelouch?"
Charles widened his eyes a little, surprised that his brother know about this piece of information. However, thinking back again, that person was a playful person so it didn't shocked him that person also told this to his brother, "…No, not all"
"I see, good day for you." Charles brother replied, it seemed that his brother mistaken his reaction for something else, "I have something else to do"
With that, suddenly his brother disappeared but he knew better, it was because the Geass user that always accompanied his brother. Charles just kept staring at the space where his brother stood before and closed his eyes.
"It only a matter of time…." He whispered low enough for no one could hear.
"Before I put an end to your existence, brother" Charles opened his eyes; the Geass symbol appeared in his two eyes as its blazing with anger and fury toward his brother.
Guinevere sighed; it had been a few days since the meeting about viceroy for Area 11 but Carine still upset about it. Carine had spent all her time to curse Euphemia about how she took her place as the viceroy so she could be close to Lelouch. Carine and Euphemia, the two was like water and oil, the opposite of each other. Their relationship was so bad that when the two meet each other they always bickering with each other. It always likes this since they were young and it would never change. Furthermore, since Lelouch added to the equitation, it only became worst.
Speaking of Lelouch, she and Carine, at first, hated him because of his origin, how the emperor seems to treat him so special than any other child and some other things. The same could be said to other royal family and siblings except for a few people.
Then those accidents happened, and Lelouch changed.
It was so obvious to anyone.
Before the accidents, Lelouch would not even talk to them or any siblings beside Cornelia, Euphemia, Schneizel, and Clovis. However, after the accidents, Lelouch started opened up to other siblings and more after he returned from Russia.
At first, she felt a bit skeptical about it as she thought that Lelouch did that to use her or something. However, she shook that thought, as Lelouch was too young to play the game that other nobles or older royal siblings played. She always casted a suspicious glanced at Lelouch because she did not know what Lelouch motive to get closer to her and others. Still, her rational mind told her that Lelouch did this because he just returned from war. This brought the question why Lelouch did not do it with Cornelia, Euphemia, Schneizel, and Clovis. Why he must came to them who hated him? She had suspicion that Schneizel behind this. However, her woman intuition told her otherwise and she trusts her intuition.
Time passed and before she knew it, Lelouch had wormed himself inside her heart and some other siblings. She did not know when he did it but that made her realized the reason that she and other siblings hated Lelouch was foolish. They never knew what kind of person Lelouch really was and hated him for a childish reason. If there was one to blame, it was the emperor as that person was not the best father ever was, which an understatement. However, she had some ideas why Lelouch could make it through her and other siblings.
They found someone that they could talk and treated them like any normal person without the whole manipulation or backstabbing things. Someone that could see through the persona they made other to see. Lelouch saw the real them. Something that Guinevere still had a hard time to believe because Lelouch age.
However, for Carine case, the reason why she liked Lelouch because of the weapon that Lelouch developed and not to mention the sheer chaos and ruthlessness that Lelouch always brought no matter he went. Something that Carine liked the most.
Guinevere blamed Carine mother for this.
That woman was not a good mother at all. The same could be said with her mother and her other siblings mother. After all, they were all married her father, the emperor, for power.
Well, perhaps Lelouch mother was an exception, which was the reason why the emperor like Lelouch mother more than other. Still, to be honest to herself, she was quite unnerved by Lelouch mother, Marianne. There was something off about her, well; the entire woman that the emperor married had some quirks. In addition, Lelouch mother was already dead, so it was no use to think about it.
Still, the one and the most Guinevere hated was Carine mother after her own mother.
Unlike other that had some decency to act like a mother, that woman did not even act like one, just like her own mother. That was the reason why Guinevere always looking after Carine because Carine was almost the same as her when she was little. The only different was her mother was a person who loves money more than anything and Carine mother was a person who likes weapon and destructions than anyone else except the emperor perhaps. Thank god that her and Carine mother already dead. Her mother died because of an accident in the gold mine when she inspected it and Carine mother when she tested a prototype weapon. Both died by what they liked the most, what an irony.
However, she had some suspicion Lelouch was behind it but she had no prove than the conversation with him about how she hated them.
The only good thing that happened was the things that they both left behind for her and Carine. For Carine, it was her mother weapon industry empire and for her, it was her mother wealth and gold mine.
Now, Guinevere spent her mother money in a way that she knew that would make her mother died with heart attack. The reason she did it was to spit on her mother grave. Still, because of that she was called as Britannia's Marie Antoinette, not she care about it at all.
Still, the reason why Carine liked Lelouch might because it was hard to find someone who understands her love for war and violence. Something that Lelouch understood well, which made her adored Lelouch.
However, since Carine and Lelouch became closer, it also worsened Carine and Euphemia relationship.
In fact, since Lelouch became closer to other siblings that once distant to Lelouch, the closer one even Euphemia started to distancing themselves from Lelouch except few. It might have something to do with Lelouch change of personality, which was a foolish reason in Guinevere mind.
Why they did not accept the fact Lelouch had changed?
Why Euphemia did not accept the new Lelouch?
Guinevere knew that Euphemia have a special feeling for Lelouch and she was the one that closer to Lelouch than anyone. However, since Lelouch changed and became closer with Carine. Lelouch and Euphemia relationship was strained with her distancing herself from Lelouch.
However, it hit another level of 'strained 'after that 'event' in Russia or Area 12.
That 'event' was the turning point in Lelouch live that was something that Guinevere knew for sure.
That 'event' was the event that made Lelouch got the nickname phantom and the world known about him.
That 'event' was also the real reason the emperor gave the title Siege Perilous to Lelouch.
That 'event' also made many nobles to look up upon Lelouch as a figure of power that would take Britannia to another level. It was also the trigger, which made Guinevere and Carine saw Lelouch in different light than before.
It was no wonder to Guinevere that Lelouch and Euphemia relationship became like that after that 'event'. After all, Guinevere knew Euphemia would not approve what Lelouch did as it was against what Euphemia stand for and a weak heart Euphemia could take. However, it was something that the emperor approved because it showed the might of Britannia.
Sometimes, Guinevere could not help but to wonder if Euphemia was not the emperor daughter, as she did not have what it took to be a royalty of Holy Empire of Britannia. It only thank to Euphemia sister, Cornelia that the emperor had not striped Euphemia status as the princess and royalty.
However, Guinevere did not understand something about Euphemia.
The way Euphemia acted showed her that she did not like the way Lelouch did things. This should make Euphemia to hate Lelouch and destroy any kind of feeling she had to Lelouch.
However, when Guinevere saw Euphemia eyes, she knew that Euphemia still had a feeling for Lelouch. Even after what Lelouch had done.
In simple terms, Euphemia like Lelouch but at the same time, she did not like Lelouch. Guinevere just could not understand that, why Euphemia could still like Lelouch but in the same time dislike him. Just thinking about it made her head hurt.
Still, she had to do something with Carine now.
"Carine how long will you stay like this?" Guinevere asked her little sister, feeling tired about this already. "No matter you do, the matter of viceroy for Area 11 is already decided."
"Still doesn't mean I like it" Carine retorted stubbornly, "That damn bitch!"
Guinevere just sighed again.
Unlike Guinevere, Carine still could not see the bigger picture. She should not be angry to Euphemia but to Schneizel. After all, if Schneizel did not interfered they should be the one that been send to Area 11.
"Carine please watch what you are saying," Guinevere reprimanded her, "What Lelouch say if he heard you talking like that."
"He will praise me"
Guinevere could not help to sweat dropped at this. Guinevere blamed Lelouch that told Carine that she did not have to act like a princess all the time and be herself.
"Still, the reason why this happened is Schneizel." Guinevere told Carine, trying to make Carine see the bigger picture.
"…." Carine just stayed silent for a while, "I never like him and his damn smile"
Guinevere felt the same.
Schneizel, he was too slippery for her like and that damn smile of him irked her to no end.
To other Schneizel smile was a genuine one but to her and Carine it was not. Guinevere always got a feeling that there was something more about Schneizel smile and that was not a good thing. However, Schneizel undoubtedly were one of the powerful people in Britannia. It was a good thing that right now there was some one that could match Schneizel in Britannia.
Lelouch, he was the one that only could opposed Schneizel, if Lelouch were not with them. Guinevere has no doubt that no one would oppose Schneizel. After all, she was not the one that did not like Schneizel, many Lelouch ally are also did not like Schneizel. She glad that Lelouch was here with them, if not she would be forced to join Schneizel just to survive.
"Hey, I just get a great idea!" Carine yelled happily, "How about we made Euphemia to have an 'accident'? With that Cornelia will be force back to here and we can replace them"
Guinevere blood froze, 'Carine not just suggested something outrageous is she?'
"Carine you know what you are talking about?" Guinevere said with hard tones, "I think Lelouch won't be happy about it."
"Don't but." Guinevere snapped at Carine.
"Then what should I do?" Carine asked in verge of crying.
"Wait?" Carine repeated in confusion.
"Yes, for now we should wait." Guinevere said, as she knew that Carine would not like this idea at all.
"Why must we wait!" and Guinevere was right, Carine really disliked this idea.
"Carine, right now Britannia is in the verge of civil war between Lelouch and Schneizel with the emperor in the middle of it," Guinevere reasoned, "If something happen to Euphemia, it will become the trigger for that and we cannot afford that, until we gain more allies."
Carine just stayed silent, which was a good thing, as it made Guinevere knew that she was listening.
"Just be patient." Guinevere said simply
"Fine!" Carine yelled in displease as she stormed her way out from Guinevere room.
Sighing tiredly as she stared Carine who left the room, Guinevere knew this was the best she could get from her. She just hoped that Carine would not do anything stupid.
Immediately after Carine back to her room, she threw herself to her bed.
'Why?' Carine thought sadly.
Becoming Viceroy was her only chance to stay with Lelouch as lately he had become busier and did not have much time to spend with her. In addition, since Lelouch went to Area 11, she would not meet Lelouch for some times.
She blamed the emperor for this.
Still, the thought she finally had a chance to always with Lelouch but Euphemia took it from her made her beyond angry. Euphemia always had everything that she wanted and because of that, she disliked, no, hated Euphemia.
However, as it was not enough, she always heard people praising Euphemia.
The very same woman that disrespected what Britannia stood for.
She hated it.
However, that was not the only reason why she hated Euphemia.
Carine hated Euphemia because she still had her innocent self when Carine already lost her.
Nevertheless, that did not mean Carine hated Euphemia since the first time they met. Honestly, the first time she met Euphemia, the two of them was getting along just fine. Until 'that accident' happened. Euphemia might have forgotten about it but she still had not forgotten about it or forgiven Euphemia. It might be an unimportant thing to Euphemia but not to her. Since then, her relationship grew worst to this day.
Unknown to Guinevere, she was serious about what she told her.
She knew that Lelouch would not happy with this but she sure that he would forgive her. After all, it was not only for her but also for Lelouch too, as she would help Lelouch by removing the thorn in his side. Therefore, Lelouch should not angry, in fact, he would thankful to her.
"I wish I have some power to help Lelouch…." Carine whispered.
"Then should I grant it to you?" A male child voice alerted Carine as she immediately stood up and looked at the direction of the voice.
"Who are you!?" Carine yelled as she saw a blond child, "How could you enter here? Guards! Guards!"
"You're soon to be benefactor," The blonde child said, ignoring Carine yell. "And the guard won't come for a while…."
"W-what you want?" Carine asked in fear, understanding the blond child words meant. She was alone with an unknown boy who could be an assassin.
"I want to offer you a power," The blond child said, smirking darkly, "And I think you will like it."
-Japan Liberation Front Base-
Tohdoh frowned at Asahina report. Things had gone downhill since Senba had been accused as a spy and traitor. The JLF now divided into two factions, Kusakabe and him. Although right now Kusakabe has more power than he does. The only good news was Kyoto decided to give them the new Knightmare frame. Still, it was only a matter of time before they truly divided and when that happens, no doubt Lelouch would attack them.
Massaging his forehead Tohdoh asked, "Are you sure about this Asahina?"
The solemn nod from Asahina was all the answer that Tohdoh needed.
Tohdoh could not help to blame himself. He has made a mistake, a terrible one that cost him his position and maybe JLF fate.
'How could I….' Tohdoh trailed off as he read again Asahina report.
The report was about Senba mission to take a shipment of sakuradite to Britannia forces by Genbu order. Inside the report was written the name of Senba and other soldier that accompanied him.
'Why it's never crossed my mind before?' Tohdoh thought bitterly, 'Am I truly blind?'
Tohdoh once again cursed himself. Just because some of the information that leaked to Lelouch was a high classified and only the top ranking officer could access it, he disregards the low ranking officer. That was why he paid no mind to the soldier accompanied Senba because they were only low ranking soldier and focused on Senba.
He completely had forgotten that in time, a low ranking soldier could become a high-ranking officer. If only he realized it sooner….
From the list Asahina gave him, a squad of soldier accompanied Senba in his mission. Thought less than half was still alive today. However, when Asahina cross-checked there was one person who have climbed to the rank and became a high ranking officer today.
'Nagisa Chiba.' Tohdoh thought in furry.
"Are you okay, Tohdoh?" Asahina asked worriedly, he knew that Tohdoh would not take this news lightly.
"It's all making sense Asahina…." Tohdoh said as bitterly.
Asahina just nodded at this. Chiba action about the matters of Senba was out character of her, still if Chiba was the spy….
"But there is something I don't understand sir." Asahina said as he gained Tohdoh attention, "If Chiba indeed on the squad, why Senba say nothing about it"
Tohdoh look downcast as that question also appear in his mind. The only reason he could thought about it was Senba also a spy and the two of them was working together. In addition, he couldn't ask Senba why he did not told him Chiba was with him at that mission because if Senba indeed the spy, no doubt Senba will alerted Chiba. However, this brought another question….
'How many spy that Lelouch had in JLF?'
This did not look good on them, scratch that, this was absolutely terrible to them.
"I don't know…." Tohdoh sighed in defeat, the truth he was tired from all of this.
He could not relax at all, always stay alerted and did not know who to trust in JLF except a select few.
"Then what should we do?" Asahina paused a moment, "Should I tell Urabe too about this?"
"We will keep it to ourselves for now," Tohdoh decided, as he did not want alerted Chiba.
"I see." Asahina said as he looked at the tired Tohdoh, "Then please excuse me"
Tohdoh just nodded at Asahina with thanks as he exiting his room.
'Why?' Tohdoh could not help to ask that as he sank to his chair.
They have go many battlefields and live or death situation together. The concept two, no, just one of them was a spy was alien to him. Granted they became known as the four holy swords in the war against Britannia and after his victory at Itsukushima, which he received the nickname of Tohdoh of Miracles.
Still why now?
Why now that revealed two of them was a spy….
Why not when they were still at war against Britannia…because at that time both Senba and Chiba were already high ranking officer.
Why they waited this long...
What was that they waiting for….
This was truly confused Tohdoh, 'After all, even they don't acted when the war with Britannia, they should acted when JLF established to liberate Japan.'
'However, they still did not act, even when Clovis having a hard time with JLF.' Tohdoh thought as that was the perfect time for them to act.
'Thinking about it making me doubt they are a Britannia spy.' Tohdoh thought absentmindedly, 'But they started to act when…'
A realization hit Tohdoh, 'Everything began when Lelouch arrived in here. '
Suddenly a feeling of dread filled Tohdoh, 'Then, they are Lelouch personal spy…not Britannia…'
In his mind, Tohdoh thought Lelouch and Britannia as one. However, what if Lelouch and Britannia were separate things. If that was true, then everything made sense as why they would not move when Japan at war with Britannia because if they were Britannia spy, no doubt they would act. In addition, it answered the question why they acted now, because Lelouch finally came here.
'But it means that Lelouch has a different agenda than Britannia had…' Tohdoh thought if Lelouch and Britannia indeed in complete different side, 'what is your planning Lelouch and…'
'Just since when you are planning all of this, Lelouch?' Tohdoh thought as the thought that everything that happened from the time Japan at war with Britannia and their battle to liberate Japan was all under Lelouch plan made him scare.
'Then, that's mean…'Tohdoh shuddered, 'Just how far you are planning Lelouch'
As a strategist, Tohdoh know the important to plan two or three step ahead than your enemy but it seems Lelouch brought it into a completely different level. Lelouch not only planning two or three, he seemed planning one hundred or so.
'Like we just dancing in his hands all this time' Tohdoh thought, he did not know how true that his statement really was and when he did, it would be already too late for him to do anything.
- Shizuoka Ghetto -
- Lelouch's Mansion-
- C.C Room-
Inside her room, C.C locked herself.
It was night already and rained outside. The pizza left uneaten on the table as she sat on the chair, staring at the pizza uninterested. For the first time in the century since she ate pizza and proclaimed it as a heavenly food, she found it unappetizing. Usually in one day, she could eat one hundred or more of pizza but since her conversation with Lelouch she could only eat to thirty pizzas in one day.
Unknown to C.C, because of this, the chef had been on edge since the number the pizza he cooked drastically reduced and started to have a mental break down. Even if by the normal people standard thirty pizzas was still too many, but the chef had been completely brainwashed by C.C who ate one hundred pizzas a day.
Back to the matter, C.C was in deep thought as she repeated her conversation with Lelouch.
She had been lived for a long time and never before, he met someone like Lelouch. Well, perhaps she had met one or few person that likes Lelouch in her life but never had he met someone that could guess her greatest desire….
Her true wish…
This was the first time and to be honest she became unnerved with that.
How could someone like Lelouch who by her standard was still a child could saw a glimpse of her true self. When other that far older and wiser than Lelouch could not….
Closing her eyes, she thought back when the first time when she got her Geass.
At that time, she was only a naïve young little slave girl, who had been sold to a noble back in her day. She did not even remember her parents face or name because as soon as she was born, she was sold to a slave trader. They raised her and educated her to the bare minimum of knowledge and common sense. They never taught her anything else, like the concept of freedom, freewill, parents or other things that normal people learn.
After all, no one wanted a smart slave….
They only wanted slaves that do what they ask for without questioning back to them. They only taught her to obey who bought her, did the job that she tasked for and to 'entertain' the one who bought her.
C.C trembled a little at this as she hugged herself tightly. She did not want to remember that.
She only learned about freedom after a year she had been sold at the age of eight by the other slave whom older than her that had been not raised by the slave trader. The concept felt weird… alien to her at that time. Still because of this, she gained something that valuable, which was missing from her before.
Even so, after that, she had been sold to other nobles or as a payment for the debt, that the noble owned her had. This continues for a few times, until that faithful day come. The day when the noble that owned her decided that, she has outlived her use.
C.C grimaced at this as she remembered the time the noble told her to ran to the forest and proceeds to hunted her like some kind of animal. However, luck at her side as she safely survived the chase. Still, she was faced with the dark and cold reality, as she did not have the slightest idea how to survive in the real world. All in her life, she had been raised as a slave so she did not have the idea what to do.
That time was truly a dark time for her. She had tricked, beaten, and that was only the tip of the iceberg.
Shaken her head, C.C shut her eyes tightly as she tried to forget what happened.
She wandered aimlessly until she found her way to that accursed town.
The town she met that dammed nun.
Even after all this time, those memories about her accepted the nun Geass was still fresh on her mind. It was also her biggest regret to accept it. She should have known that the nun had an ulterior motive when she offered her that. The sign was everywhere, from how the nun never asked her name or called her name even after she told the nun her name. In addition, the fact she never knew the nun name because the nun never gave her name to her but she was too blind to see that.
Yes… she was so naïve back then that it disgusted her when she thought about it.
'To be loved, huh….' C.C thought as she remembered her Geass power.
It was not a surprise that she got that power as she has lived her life as a slave and never felt love from other people. However, in the end because of that power, she never truly understands a true love as all the love she felt back then was because her Geass power.
True at first she was happy with that, but as time passed, she could not help to felt dull and nothing even with all the love she got. Things only got worse when her power truly developed or gone out of control as she could not turn her Geass off. People started to give her more attention and love than before but she felt empty, hollow even with all of that. The more love she got, the more hollow she felt.
Then that day came,
The day the nun betrayed her,
The day when her world destroyed,
The day when her naïve innocent self died,
The day she truly became hollow,
The day when she became an immortal,
The day her eternal suffering began….
C.C absentmindedly touched her chest, the one that had the scar of Geass symbol inflicted by the nun. After that, everything went downhill as many people started to accuse her as a witch and murdered the nun.
She had been hunted, burned, hanged, tortured and many more.
Even so, she could not die.
She kept on living….no matter what happened to her as nothing could kill her.
Unfortunately, she could still feel the pain that inflicted to her. If only that she lost her sense of pain, it would much better. C.C sighed, as she knew that was impossible. This was the price that she must paid for became an immortal.
Since then she had been wandering around the world, met many people, and witnessed many things. She also had been searching for a contractor, so she could pass her immortality. Nevertheless, it was not easy, as many people gone mad because the power or dead before they could attain the next level of their Geass and sometimes they failed to make a contract with her.
Suddenly she felt another presence in her room and opened her eyes.
"Who's there?" C.C asked as she looked at the corner of her room that was shadowed.
From the shadow, a pair of eyes appears with Geass symbol in the both eye.
"Helo C.C." The figure spoken with a mechanical voice as the figure was using a voice changer machine.
"Who are you?" C.C asked as she narrowed her eyes and with an edge in her tone.
"My, my, you already forgot me?" The figure asked playfully, C.C just glared at the figure.
Suddenly something clicked on C.C mind as she stared at the figure lazily, "So it's you, what are you doing here?"
"Couldn't I visit my friend?" The figure asked, trying to sound hurt by C.C word.
"I doubt it…." Even if the figure faces hidden by the shadow C.C could felt the smirk on the figure face.
"Yeah, I just want to see how Lelouch is now." The figure paused a moment, "It's been a long time since I met him."
C.C just snorted at that, "I really doubt it."
"Hahaha…." The figure laughed but didn't deny or admit anything, "Still I just want you to know that V.V already know where you are."
This froze C.C as she didn't want have anything to do with that brat.
V.V, he was Charles brother and bearer of Geass code that made him immortal, in short he was the same like her. The different she and he have was, V.V voluntary received the code from the former leader of the order and he much younger than she did, also V.V did not have the same wish as she.
C.C still did not know why that man, the founder of Geass order, the most oldest man in earth, to given his code to V.V, who by her eyes was such a brat.
'Damn you.' C.C thought as she cursed the man.
It was after three hundred years or more of her wandering around the world she met that man. The man who explained her, what Geass truly was and given her a shelter in his order.
'If only V.V could take my code….' C.C thought absentmindedly but she knew that not possible because just like that man explained to her, the only way for a Geass bearer receive the code is the Geass bearer must receive Geass from the same code and V.V received his Geass from that man so it's impossible for V.V to receive anyone else code except that man code. However, sometimes she wondered if that was the truth or not.
Still, for that man gave V.V his code was so unlikely because she known him too well.
'Or not…' C.C thought bitterly as she knew that man still hiding many things about Geass from her.
However, that was a story for another time.
"But you can rest assure C.C, because V.V won't move until his plan is on final stage." The figure assured her but C.C just stare at the figure impassively.
"So…" C.C trailed on, "Anything else I should know?"
"….Schneizel got the first Sir Dash journal"
C.C remained stoic but inside she was shocked. Never in her dream that she would hear Sir Dash name again.
"How can Schneizel got it?" C.C asked, as they have made sure to collect all Sir Dash journal and the copies to make sure no one know about, hell, they even used Charles Geass to alter the history to make everyone forget about Sir Dash existence.
"Don't know but it won't affect anything." The figure shrugged.
"I see, and then if you have finished your business here, please leave." C.C told the figure coldly.
"Hit a sore spot C.C?" The figure teased her but C.C glared the figure. She regretted telling the figure about Sir Dash.
"Hahaha, just kidding C.C don't angry. Also is this the attitude of someone that had been saved?"
This gained C.C attention, "What do you mean?"
"Do you think that a mere terrorist can get information about Clovis most guarded experiment?" The figure asked rhetorically, "Or could easily steal the capsule with you inside it?"
"It was you?" C.C asked the figure.
"Well, maybe…." The figure paused a little, "After all I just leaked information about poison gas."
C.C widens her eyes in realization, now everything made sense. After all, she was surprised how a terrorist could easily steal the capsule she was in and other things. However, this brings another question, was her meeting with Lelouch was something that planned or not.
"Although, Lelouch interference is something that I don't expected or should I expect it…fufuufu." The figure chuckled, finding it funny. "After all, wherever he go, Lelouch always…."
The figure paused, lost in thought as the figure remembered something.
"It safe to assume you are involved in Clovis assassination?" C.C asked, not that she must to, after all she sure without doubt the figure involved.
"Yes." The figure admitted simply, "At first I just want to free you but when Lelouch save you, well I lose the purpose of my mission. After all I sure Lelouch treated you well."
C.C wants snorted at this as she remembered Lelouch ordered Eva to shoot her, just to prove that she is immortal and not to forget how he threatens her.
"However, when I heard that Clovis planned an assassination to kill Lelouch…." The figure trailed off as the rooms suddenly become a lot colder.
"And this is coming from you?" C.C asked in disbelief.
"Don't say that C.C" The figure said pleasantly.
"Whatever, but who ordered my… rescue?"
"You hurt me C.C, why would you think that?"
C.C just glared at the figure as she clearly not believing that.
"..Well, look at time, I must go now, bye-bye C.C." The figure said and disappeared into the shadow.
C.C just stared at the corner where the figure was. After she sure that the figure has completely gone from her room, she sighed.
Looking at the window, she could see its still raining.
"Sir Dash…" C.C whispered softly, "Lelouch…."
"The resemblance is so uncanny…." C.C closed her eyes as she compared their face with each other.
"If I don't know better…" C.C trailed off before she shook her head, "No, their personality is slightly different than each other"
'But only slightly.' C.C thought as she remembered about Lelouch and Sir Dash, comparing their personality.
'Still….' C.C thought, remembering her second time meeting with Lelouch and what the figure told her, 'I never expect to see your face and hear your name again….'
It was the truth, imagined her surprise to saw the very same face she knew in the past now. In addition, it was hard for her to thought Lelouch as Lelouch when the image of Sir Dash overlapped with him. It brought her a complicated feeling.
'If only I know that Lelouch will grow to be almost a carbon copy of Sir Dash.' C.C thought.
The memories about Lelouch when he was a kid appeared in her mind. The time when Lelouch still innocent and naïve, playing with her mother, sister and his other siblings. However, she only saw him from the distant, hiding in the shadow, never coming near him.
Suddenly another question appeared in C.C mind, 'Will Lelouch becomes the second Sir Dash?'
Honestly, she did not know if that was a good thing or not. However, she would lie if she said that she did not want to meet Sir Dash again. She could only wait and see, but she was sure that Lelouch would not become the second Sir Dash because several reasons….
Still, thinking about Sir Dash brought her back many memories the time she spent with Sir Dash, be it the happy one or unhappy one.
C.C opened her eyes and looked outside as she lost in thought and whispered softly.
"Even after all this time…."
"The memories still remain…"
- Lelouch's Room-
In his office, standing near the windows, Lelouch was in deep thought as he watched the storm that happened outside. The reports that Jeremiah Gottwald, one of his trusty man gave to him just a moment ago might complicated a few things. However, it was inevitable for something like this happened.
"This complicated things." Lelouch commented as he turned back and saw the image of Jeremiah that the screen in his office showed became uncomfortable.
"I am truly sorry Your Highness, I have failed you." Jeremiah said in shame.
"No, it's okay Jeremiah." Lelouch said as he shook his head and sat back on his chair. "You just did what you must and no one know Schneizel will react like this."
"Thank you for your kind words your Highness." Jeremiah said but Lelouch knew the man still blaming himself for the death of one of his spies. Something that Lelouch knew would happen after they accidentally killed one of Schneizel spies. However, he had a hope that Schneizel would not take the death of his spy too harshly but it seemed he was wrong.
'The playing time is over.' Lelouch thought, knowing that the reason that Schneizel killed his spy was not only to return the favor of killing his spy but also a warning to him. After all, both of them had spied each other but this was the first time someone died from both side, intentionally and unintentionally.
"Also, I had something else to report." Jeremiah said, snapping Lelouch from his thought.
Lelouch did not say anything but merely gestured Jeremiah to continue.
"Schneizel Sky Fortress Damocles is almost completed and he is moving to the second stage of his project. However, we still had no information regarding that." Jeremiah informed.
"I see." Lelouch said as he frowned. While Lelouch had confident in his own project, if Schneizel finished his Damocles before him, it would be quite troubling for him because Schneizel would have absolute reign over the sky, which would put a damper in his project. In addition, there was the so-called second stage in Damocles project that Schneizel closely guarded, more than his other project, which made Lelouch had a hard time to get information about it without alerting Schneizel too much.
'Not that matter anymore.' Lelouch thought silently before he addressed Jeremiah. "Tell our spies to focus more on the second stage of Damocles project."
"Yes, Your Highness." Jeremiah said, acknowledging Lelouch order.
"By the way Jeremiah, how is everything in your end?" Lelouch asked, changing the subject.
"Well, everything is fine Your Highness though there is a slight problem at the border." Jeremiah admitted shamefully.
"Problem?" Lelouch repeated, tilting his head slightly.
"Yes, the EU started to use guerilla tactic to hinder Britannia Army advance to EU by attacking several base at the border and supply line." Jeremiah said. "Thanks to that, I had a hard time to deal with the after effect of their attack. However, the good thing is our facilities are not near border, so no damage done to us."
"Hmm, the guerilla tactic is quite a troublesome one…." Lelouch commented offhandedly. He then smirked at Jeremiah. "Do you need a help, Jeremiah? After all, this is might hindering your work."
"Thank you for your kind offer Your Highness, but currently, I could handle it and with their help, it's not a problem that needed your attention to much Your Highness." Jeremiah said simply. "And I sometimes need an excuse one or two to go out."
Lelouch chuckled in amusement, "Do you really did not like the job I gave you, Jeremiah?"
"It's not that Your Highness but sometimes… well, I miss the action." Jeremiah explained, making Lelouch smiled slightly.
"A man of action," Lelouch commented in amusement. "Well, if anything happen in Area 12, please contact me as soon as possible."
"Of course Your Highness." Jeremiah said as he nodded his head. "Then, if you excuse me."
"Yes, good night," Lelouch said. "Viceroy Jeremiah."
-Military Air Base-
-Air Control Tower-
Exiting his car with Eva and Monica who were following behind him, Lelouch entered Britannia Army Air Base building. As the door opened, it revealed a group of Britannia soldiers was already waiting him with the base commander.
"Your Highness, I welcome you to Tokyo Settlement Air base." The commander said as he saluted to Lelouch, followed by the soldiers.
"At ease." Lelouch ordered simply, which they followed.
"So, has the new Viceroy and vice Viceroy arrive?" Lelouch asked to the commander.
"They will soon enter Tokyo Settlement air space Your Highness." The commander informed.
"Good," Lelouch nodded. "Could you escort us to the area where we could see them coming?"
"Of course Your Highness." The commander said and turned his back at him, barking an order and then dismissing the soldiers. He then turned back to Lelouch. "If you could follow my Your Highness."
Lelouch nodded his head and then followed the commander as he led them to the observation area.
"Please this way Your highness." The commander said as they arrived at the observation area, leading them into a V.I.P room that located in the observation area, which reserved for a high-ranking individual. Opening the door to the room, the commander invited Lelouch, Eva and Monica to enter.
"Do you need anything else Your Highness?" The commander asked from the door.
"No, you are dismissed." Lelouch ordered, not looking at the commander as he was looking at the view of the air base runway that the room provided.
"Then please excuse me, Your Highness." The commander said and closed the door.
As soon as the door closed, Lelouch turned his head to Monica and Eva and nodded his head. Monica and Eva immediately reacted to Lelouch silent order and inspected the room.
"It's clear." Eva said from the sire of the room she inspected.
"Same here." Monica said from the other side.
"Good work." Lelouch said and took out a communication device. "Kallen, Naoto, do you hear me?"
"Loud and clear, Your Highness," Came out Naoto voice.
"Same here, Your Highness," Came out Kallen voice.
"Listen, this will be your first mission, so, don't disappoint me." Lelouch said to Kallen and Naoto through the communication device.
"I understand Your Highness, however…." Naoto voice trailed, unsure.
"What my brother wanted to say is, is it alright to do this?" Kallen voice added uneasily. "I mean you are there and so-"
"Kallen, Naoto." Lelouch interjected. "I know you two are uncomfortable by this mission but it must be done."
"Still… to bomb Britannia Air base when the new Viceroy and vice Viceroy are coming….. Isn't this a little bit too much?" Naoto voice asked.
"Yes, I agree with my brother." Kallen voice added, supporting her brother.
"A former terrorist telling me that," Lelouch chuckled in amusement, "But please rest assures. Just like I had debriefed you two, this is not a real thing, this is just a practice, a real scenario practice."
"Well, if you say so Your Highness." Naoto voice said but it was clear that he still have some doubt.
"Kallen?" Lelouch called, as he did not receive a response from her.
"Okay, Your Highness." Kallen voice said.
"Good, I will contact you later." Lelouch said and cut off the communication with Kallen and Naoto.
"A real scenario practice?" Monica asked in amusement. "That was what you told them?"
"Well, I cannot say, I need your help to 'bomb' Tokyo Settlement Air Base can I?" Lelouch asked with a smirk.
"Indeed," Monica nodded her head sagely. "But, do you think this is enough to scare Cornelia, Your Highness?"
"No, Cornelia is not someone that easily intimidated." Lelouch answered, remembering Cornelia strong personality. "However, if she felt Euphemia life in danger….. well, the true goal of this operation is to make Cornelia know how dangerous Area 11 from 'terrorist' attack."
"Which will make her think twice to bring her sister to here." Eva added, understanding Lelouch plan much to Monica annoyance.
"Yes, considering Cornelia is overly protective of Euphemia, Cornelia will be forced to send Euphemia back to Britannia, even if Euphemia did not want to return." Lelouch explained.
"Also, will make Cornelia to focus her attention to catch the 'terrorist' behind this 'attack' and give us some leeway in our operation." Monica added, not wanting to be out stage by Eva.
Lelouch smiled at Monica and Eva, "You two have come far."
"Well, I have served you for a long time, Your Highness." Monica said, making a jab to Eva.
"And I am your right hand woman, Your Highness." Eva said, returning Monica jab.
The two glared at each other but Lelouch remained obvious of that, not thinking much of their interaction with each other.
"Still, considering Naoto and Kallen reaction about this mission, it will be sometime before I could use them." Lelouch commented off handedly.
"Indeed, if only we are not needed here, we will be the one that carry it." Eva said, shifting her attention from Monica to Lelouch. The way both brother and sister questioning Lelouch order irked her. To her, they should just follow Lelouch order, no question asked like any good soldier.
"There also a chance we cannot use them at all." Monica pointed simply. "Well, maybe we could use Kallen but Naoto…."
"Yes, his naivety in certain things reminded him of a certain person." Lelouch said, as he remembered his conversation with Suzaku. "Fortunately, he is not a stubborn person, so there might be a chance and there is also another option to make him see my wa-"
"Your Highness!" Eva suddenly yelled as she pointed something at the sky, getting Lelouch and Monica attention.
"Wha-" Lelouch question died in his throat as he saw what Eva pointed.
"That ship….." Monica said as her eyes widened in shock.
Descending from the sky, it was the third ship made by Britannia that had float system technology built in it and modeled after Avalon, the ship Lelouch, Monica, and Eva knew well, far too well. After all, the ship was the base of the recently famous knight order that dealt specially with terrorist.
"This is unexpected." Lelouch commented coldly as he narrowed his eyes and gritted his teeth in anger. He never got information about this and thought Cornelia would only bring her trusted knights with her, not trusting anyone else for Euphemia safety. However, it seemed he had underestimated Cornelia and her will to protect Euphemia. This would complicate things and worse, this might ruined his overall plan.
He then activated the communication device to contact Kallen and Naoto. There was no point for them to continue their mission, not with this kind of situation.
"Kallen, Naoto, the mission is canceled, return to the base immediately." Lelouch said coldly and cut off the communication, not bothering to hear the reply from Naoto and Kallen.
"Let's go Monica, Eva," Lelouch said coldly, as they looked at him in worry, unsure about this development. "We have to welcome three princesses rather than two now."
Kusakabe face was pale and his eyes widened in shock as he saw the information that the woman who stood before him gave him.
"No, this couldn't be true." Kusakabe said in denial as he shook his head. This was not he expected when he got an email that told him that they had interesting information about the new Viceroy and vice viceroy.
"Sadly, this is the true." The woman said as she smirked seductively.
"No! You must be lying!" Kusakabe yelled angrily, which the woman returned with a smile.
"For what purpose?" The woman asked pleasantly.
Opening his mouth, Kusakabe tried to answer her question but he could not find it. The woman smile widened because of this.
"Still, why are you telling me this? What you wish to gain?" Kusakabe asked suspiciously because if other JLF members saw this information, it would be the end of him.
"Like I said in my email, I representing a certain organization that wish to help you." The woman said simply. "Of course with a small price but you are in luck."
"Luck?" Kusakabe repeated in confusion.
"Someone willingly to pay for you." The woman told Kusakabe before she shook her head. "Make me wonder why he does that."
"Who?" Kusakabe asked, wondering why someone wanted to help him.
"Me." A male voice said from behind Kusakabe.
Turning back, Kusakabe saw a white haired man who wore an outrageous clothe with cape, black in other side and white in other. The man also wore a black hat and mask that hid half his face, showing only the man mouth.
"Who are you?" Kusakabe asked the masked man suspiciously, making the masked man smirked.
A/N: Please check my profile, there is a poll.