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Chapter nine - Delving Deep

...

The sun beamed brightly down the streets of area eleven, a dash of pink was seen strolling along them. She was alone, vulnerable and yet felt as though she was in the safety of her own room. She continued walking, finally enjoying this freedom from her sisters watchful eye. The birds twittered as she went past a small Brittanian private school and two small boys came running out, one with a black cape around him and the other with a toy gun in his hand. Euphemia came to a halt as she she intriguingly watched the children play. She remembered the days when that was her, Lelouch and Nunnally running around the grounds as if there was no tomorrow. Those were the days, when everything was simpler and none of the corrupted behaviors of the areas affected their day-to-day lives. In reality, she wished everything was simple and the conflict would just go away as though it was one of her bad dreams that haunted her every night.

"Zero, what must we do?" The boy with the gun asked the other. The other boy laughed as his black hair shimmered underneath the bright beams of light shooting down to him from the sun. He circled around the other boy, a slightly puzzled look was upon his face as he wondered what his hero should do. "The men have captured Princess Euphemia and you're laughing."

From inside the gate of the school, a small blonde girl with pink-hair extensions was screaming loudly. Next to the girl was a number of other boys, one had a monobrow drawn onto his face, whilst another held a fake gun to the girl playing 'Euphemia'. She struggled in the arms of her so-called capturer and the real Euphemia couldn't help but feel a frown slip across her face. Was she really so defenceless that she needed rescuing? Was this really the message she gave to the Brittanian people?

"Euphemia! Euphemia!" Another girl with brown hair screamed, while the boy playing Zero laughed once again. She was accompanied by two taller boys who held their hands as though it was a gun, the three of them walked forwards towards the boy playing Zero before pausing. They lifted their hands up to each other as they prepared to take aim. The first to lower their stance was 'Zero', he playfully picked his hands up into the air before letting off a rather devilish smirk.

"Fear not Princess Cornelia, I, Zero will save the princess for she is innocent and we Black Knights defend those who are innocent and vulnerable, even if it's Britannians like you!" And just like that, 'Zero' charged forward, laughing all the while as he prepared to rescue 'Euphemia.' By this time however, the real Princess Euphemia was already walking past the school grounds, already knowing how the game would unfold.

...

The documents before her didn't make any sense, money for the military was missing. Her eyes scanned over it a few dozen times before she lingered on the signature authorising this document. Clovis' name was written across it but where did this missing money go? It wasn't with the Lancelot project, she was guaranteed by Schneizel that all the funding for that was from his pockets only. It didn't make sense however, the blank spots on the pages before her sent a migraine throughout her brain. She wanted to discover where this money went because inside her mind, it was perhaps the cause of her brother's death. If only she was able to have Zero within her grasp, then maybe the answers that she seeked would be answered for. Inside there was a deep frustration, she could have gained him if it wasn't for Lord Fashword's backstabbing ways.

At the same time though, she knew that she never would have caught Zero if Lord Fashword was the honest man she had once thought he was. Had he been a decent citizen of Britannia, then she doubted that the Black Knights, or more importantly Zero, would have shown any interest in the Lord. Carefully, the fearsome princess opened a draw on her desk as she placed the document inside it before she closed it and twisted the key in the lock to the right. For now, she was the only one to see that and ponder on what it was.

On the pile of paperwork by her side, there was one document in particular that she had to deal with and that was the matter of Tohdoh's execution. Bringing it forward so that it would take place tomorrow, would mean that none of the terrorists working with him would attempt a rescue mission. As far as everyone else in area Eleven was concerned, his execution was the following week. All she had to do was authorise it with her signature and the deed would be done, her hand hovered over the box for a second before she quickly signed it.

It would be at that moment Lelouch stumbled into the office, feet dragging as he muttered something incoherent from his day of exercise. A twisted smile spread across Cornelia's face at the thought of the torment that her sibling had gone through compared to his prior day-to-day routine. "Rough day?" she asked as Lelouch slumped into an armchair, his energy practically drained completely.

"Don't ask," said Lelouch, not wanting to remember the horrible events that had transpired.

"Well compared to that then this next little part is going to be simple for you," said Cornelia as she pushed herself up from her desk, picking up the files she had just signed. With a casual toss they landed on Lelouch's lap, the teen not even turning his attention to the item.

"What is it?" he asked, his eyes staring at the ceiling fan that span above his head almost hypnotically.

"Details on Tohdoh's execution," explained Cornelia. Hardly a second passed before Lelouch reared into action, his fatigue pushed to the back of his mind as his eyes scanned the documents in front of him. He did his best not to smile, after all some of the most crucial information Zero had just received about a potential ally had literally fallen in his lap. "I wish for you to be present."

"I take it I don't really have a say in the matter," said Lelouch as he flicked through to the second piece of paper, making sure to memorize every important detail.

"Well I could always ask Darlton to push you twice as hard tomorrow if you have some spare time," said Cornelia coyly.

"While spending even more time with Darlton tomorrow would be most appreciated, I'm afraid I have other arrangements," said Lelouch.

"Good to hear," said Cornelia. "I've had enough deskwork for now and am going to have dinner with Euphemia and Nunnally, do you wish to join us?"

"Give it some time, I just want to go over these final details," said Lelouch with a casual wave as Cornelia left the room. Already a plan was forming in his head, all he had to do was relay the information to the Black Knights, or more specifically his replacement Zero, and he would leak all of the information necessary to create an escape plan. There was only one other part of the plan that needed to be created, and that would be to find the person who would be performing the execution and Geass them into botching the attempt on Tohdoh's life. Yet as he filtered through the information to the final page, he stopped as he found out just who would be the one to end Tohdoh's life.

"Kururugi Suzaku," said Lelouch, reading the name off of the paper. He gently placed the information back on the desk before running his hands over his face, lightly rubbing his eyes. He didn't know why out of all of the people within the military that they would choose an Honorary Britannian. Knowing Suzaku, Lelouch couldn't imagine that his friend would have requested such a thing, he didn't even know if Suzaku had the right to request such a thing. As far as he knew, Suzaku worked as a mere footman and when he wasn't in the frontline he helped out someway in the background with the Knightmare technology department. Making a small promise to himself, Lelouch knew that he had to find out just what it was that Suzaku did in the military.

He pressed that thought to the side though as he pulled out his phone, calling his the green haired witch. It didn't take long for CC to pick up on the other side, "What is it?"

"Tohdoh's execution is to be put forward, it occurs at eight o'clock tomorrow night," explained Lelouch keeping his voice down incase anybody nearby could hear him.

"Something seems wrong, what is it?" asked CC, automatically being able to sense that something was wrong with Lelouch just by the tone of his voice.

"Suzaku's the one who's going to be doing the execution," said Lelouch, his voice devoid of any emotion.

"I see," mused CC on the other side of the line.

"There are a lot of ways we can go about rescuing Tohdoh, the one that would make it almost completely successful without a single casualty is to have Suzaku botch the execution while we went about getting the Black Knights in to rescue Tohdoh," stated Lelouch.

"Can you use your Geass on your friend like that though?" asked CC, voicing out the most pinnacle piece of information. For the longest of moments Lelouch said nothing, the only thing that could be heard was the sound of his breathing before finally...

"No," declared Lelouch, resolute in his decision.

"I see," said CC who smiled unseed on the other side of the connection, happy that Lelouch still held some morales.

"Alright CC, this is what I need you to organize," said Lelouch as he started to construct the rescue operation.

...