Chapter 68 : Symphony of the night 
Walking along the streets, eyes a golden yellow and hair a snow white. The fox-girl let out a soft sigh escape from her cherry lips. With the scorching heat and sultry air of the afternoon, sweat dripped down from the corner of her forehead.
“Why is it so hot today?” Said Eve, covering her eyes with the shade of her palm, hiding from the glaring rays of the sun above her head.
Wearing a simple white sleeveless top made for a display of her slender arms, and with a short red mini skirt made for an even better view of her thighs. Her fluffy foxy tail swept from side to side as she continued to walk along the streets. Her luscious figure easily bewitched the eyes of onlookers both men and women, some of lust and others, envy.
[-I wonder what she’s always thinking about….-] Thought Eve, with a certain silver haired knight in mind, somewhat curious why she had that emotionless face as always. Ever since they came from the elfin village, she realized that the Eris barely showed any sort of emotion.
As a soft gust of wind buffeted her, Eve somehow felt a small relief from the heat. Thinking about it now, even though they had ate together a few times and talked a lot -- Eve chuckled to herself, realizing that it was just mostly her talking, and Eris listening.
Despite all this, Eris was yet to display any sort of emotion besides that one time when they were with Lazarus.
As Eve continued to walk along the streets, alone with her thoughts, a masculine voice called out.
“Excuse me.” making her stop and look behind with a ‘Hmm?’.
There, behind her was man who wore a long, silver buttoned white coat with three separated coattails. Underneath the coat he wore a navy blue ascot wrapped around his neck , which hangs over a black, sleeveless vest that reveals his well-toned arms and shoulders. He had blue spiky hair and crimson red piercing eyes. His intimidating aura was almost similar to that of a veteran soldier.
“I’m Edge, personal bodyguard of his highness. Prince Genesis Pendragon.” Said the man, making Eve squinted her eyes and put a hand to her chin as if she had a vague recollection of the man. It then occurred to her. “Ah-.. that’s right. You were with that Jensen fellow who approached Rex.”
“Yes, I was.” Said Edge. “Would it be possible for you to accompany me back to Jensen’s mansion? Princess Viktoria wished to have an audience with you.”
“The Princess..?” Muttered Eve, although she had planned to meet Eris for lunch again she realized that she might’ve needed to cancel. A princess who had personally asked for her was something she couldn’t turn down. With a nod, she then smiled with a nod. “Alright.”
“My deepest gratitude.” Said Edge as he turned and lead the way. As Eve followed behind him, she knew that this was for another quest. After all, why else would they call her?
To have restored a severed arm, to have brought life to a village infected by an incurable disease, and to even bring life to a child with a punctured heart, to have done the impossible. Healing magic rivaled only by a selected few. The last of the white fox clan. Eve Luxaria.
With people always looking for her, the fox-girl simply waited to get new quests. Earning her living this way, she always drifted from place to place, never really having stayed in one for too long.
As she continued to follow behind Edge,the moment she realized, her eyes downcast. Maybe it was time to say goodbye...again.
With that thought in mind, she couldn’t help but smile bitterly. Although at this point, she had once again forgotten her thoughts on the silver haired knight.
That afternoon, in a dining table underneath a golden chandelier. Two individuals were sharing a cup of tea. On the table there was an assortment of snacks varying from freshly baked bread to sweets and cakes.
One, an emerald haired young princess with a beauty only befitting that of a nobility. And the other, a merchant with golden hair, wearing a casual business smile.
“Thank you for personally coming to deliver the raw materials.” Said Jensen with a bow. And across him, the emerald haired princess, back straightened and poised, smiled. “No need to thank me, besides there was another reason as to why we’ve come here.”
“Ah I see.” Said Jensen, although he wanted to know the other reason. It was hard to ask under the pressure of a nobility far greater than him. As the princess brought the cup to her lips and took a light sip, she glanced back to Jensen.
“So? Which smithing shop ran out of raw materials so fast?” Asked Viktoria, thinking the timing of the order to be strange--knowing the smiths shop should’ve had more to last them for a few months.
Though she didn’t really need to know, she merely wanted to pass the time with some idle conversation as she waited.
“Well, it’s not the smith’s shop.” Said Jensen, upon hearing this Viktoria’s let out an “Eh?”
“It was from a man called Rex. Speaking of which-...” Said Jensen. He then stood up and bowed. “If you’ll excuse me princess, I’ll have to go and relay the message of his order’s arrival to Gallios.”
“Very well.” Said Viktoria with a soft smile, elegant and simple, befitting a princess such as herself. Though it was somewhat boring to just stay here by herself, she didn’t really have anything to do but wait.
With a click, Jensen’s back disappeared behind the door. Now alone, Viktoria simply brought the cup to her lips once more, taking a sip from the bitter tea to lessen the silence of solitude.
As she waited and waited. Time passed by, and her lonesome dance with the silence came to an end as she heard a soft knocking on the door.
“Princess, I’ve brought Eve Luxaria with me.” Said a muffled masculine voice behind the door. Hearing this familiar voice, Viktoria smiled. “Please, have her join me for a cup of tea.”
Understood.” Said the voice, before the door opened with a creak and a fox girl with silver hair walked through, and upon seeing the princess, gave her a smile and bow. “It’s a pleasure to see you once more your highness.”
“Eve, it truly has been a long time. Please, join me.” Said Viktoria, gesturing to the seat across her. As Eve happily obliged, Viktoria glanced back to Edge who was outside of the door and spoke. “Do not let anyone hear of our conversation.”
“As you wish. Your highness.” Said Edge with a bow before closing the door shut.
With that said and done, Viktoria decided to get to the topic at hand and looked towards Eve before speaking. “As you might know, there is only one reason why we’ve called for you.”
Eve forced a smile, knowing full well why. She nodded, prompting Viktoria to continue.
“Mother..Erhmm.” Said Viktoria, before she said a soft ‘no..’, shaking her head to correct herself. “Queen Trisha Pendragon has been gravely injured...”
Hearing this, Eve’s eyes widened in surprise, knowing the power of the queen herself that could only be rivaled by a selected few could only mean that those said few had engaged her in combat.
Coming to this conclusion Eve’s couldn’t help but shudder and want to know. “Who attacked her?”
“It was-...” Said Viktoria, creases forming between her brows as her fist clenched tightly. “Bladin, of the Black Order.”
Hearing a very far off answer simply made Eve dumbfounded. She had expected it to be someone from the other royal kingdom’s but to hear it was someone she never even heard about made her brow furrow.
Seeing her reaction, Viktoria let out a soft sigh. “I understand that you might’ve not heard of him before. Of course. How could a man powerful enough to gravely injure my mother, not be known before? It is indeed laughable how that man managed to stay anonymous in our network...”
“Well.. I-” Said Eve but her words were cut short by Viktoria, dismissing it with a wave of her hand. “Ah please, ignore that one just now.”
“So you said Bladin of the Black Order. What is this Black Order exactly?” Asked Eve, wanting to know more.
Viktoria, feeling her throat dry up just from having the name mentioned, brought a cup to her lips to wash off the unsettling feeling in her throat. With a soft sigh of relief, Viktoria glanced back to Eve.
“Although it was Bladin himself to have proclaimed this, we still do not know how much of this is true. However, he had stated that they’re an organization that consists of the most powerful individuals-....even going as far as to say that their powers-..”
At that moment, Viktoria suddenly paused, her eyes downcasting. Seeing this, a dark swirling feeling, crept up to Eve’s chest making her ask in hesitation. “H-how powerful exactly..?”
“He said that they-.....rival the kings and sages.”
Upon hearing the princess’ words, Eve felt the hair on her skin stand up as if a demon had caressed her body. Her head felt numb for a split second and horror filled her heart.
“T-that powerful…? I-it must be a lie…. It has to be…!” Said Eve, shaking her head in disbelief. But the moment Viktoria averted her gaze, she had realized that it was indeed as she feared.
“After personally witnessing the state my dear mother was in-...... I can no longer say it is...” Said Viktoria, chewing her lips in frustration.
What was the purpose of the Black Order? How were they formed? No-... the question was… how much are they willing to do to get what they want. It was all but too much for Eve to take, having been suddenly bombarded with this information.
It was as if the peaceful talk she had with Eris was all but a lie. Even right now, she couldn’t help but feel endangered for some reason.
“Now-... I want to know...” Said Viktoria, cutting Eve’s dark thoughts off. “Would you please lend us your powers once more? Accompany me to Gallia.”
Eve’s lips parted. But no words came out. Her silence made Viktoria worry.
But, the fox-girl knowing that she had to, forced herself to nod. And like a glimmer of hope suddenly sundering the cold darkness of despair, Viktoria smiled happily and grab Eve’s hand. “Thank you..!” she said with a tear dropping.
Although to Eve, the warmth of Viktoria’s hand had simply locked her on to the destiny of leaving Kratos, where she had met the mysterious emotionless silver haired knight, the stubborn elfin man and most of all, the seemingly cold manaless man.
It was as if the tension from before suddenly vanished from her. The fear in her hurt, replaced by a huge dark void of...loneliness.
“I guess-.... I’ll have to say goodbye.” Said Eve, smiling bitterly.
That night, a cold and gentle breeze, coupled with the luminescent blue glow from the moon made for a beautiful atmosphere.
Further away from the bustling city streets; in a dark area filled with abandoned homes and buildings, a tall man underneath a hood casually walked along a paved path.
His well built muscles could be made out from the outlines formed on his cloak. He casually touched the area around his neck, and a faint red light pulsed out for a split second.
“Heh-...this damn collar.” Said the man as he stopped and glanced around. “Hmm, this should be the place..”
Having affirmed that it was in fact where he wanted to be, he then leaned against a limestone wall to what seemed to be an abandoned inn. And because this area was somewhat desolate, there weren’t any mana stones placed around to illuminate the darkness.
From afar, a figure was headed his way.
With long silvery hair reflecting the vivid blue light of the moon and eyes like lavender gemstones. One could’ve easily mistaken her for a goddess. Her calm look, and her one piece white dress that was underneath pieces of armor only added to her beauty.
[-As always, she seems to pass through here at this time, just to get to that abandoned church-] Thought the hooded individual, gazing at a large dome like roof from afar.
Crossing his arms, the hooded individual revealed his blue skin. Though, with the blue light that came from the moon, his odd color didn’t really stand out.
Glancing at a dark corner between the walls of two abandoned homes across him, nearly impossible to see, he saw a green light that seemingly resembled a figure of a man that was also leaning against the wall.
The green man made a nodding gesture, and Glade too, responded with a nod. It was time.
Glade, being the robed man, began walking towards the silver haired knight. Little by little the two gradually narrowed the distance between them. With a grin of excitement, his devilish teeth was revealed.
With nothing but the sound of stone clacking from their footsteps, it was seemingly a calm night. But as the two grew closer and closer to each other, almost several steps away. The pumping excitement in Glade’s heart made veins protrude from his skin underneath the cloth.
And like oil and water, seemingly ignoring one another. The two passed, feeling the very subtle gust from each other, but at that moment, the demon felt his stomach churn in disgust.
Glade’s eyes winced as he grabbed his nose. To Glade, the flowery fragrance of the silver haired knight was the pungent scent of rotting corpses.
Suppressing the urge to vomit, he kept on walking further and further ahead, almost staggering until he was back to the main street.
“T-that scent-.....” Muttered Glade bitterly, grinding his teeth. “I-...I see…. so that’s how it is...that’s what you are..!” he then grinned. “Tsk-... if not for this damn collar then I’d-......”
He was silent for a moment. Just grinning like a lunatic. Then he chuckled softly before turning to loud laughter. “Hahahahahahah!” The very few people outside looked at him, brows furrowed in contempt.
The rising urge to kill a long lost enemy rose from the pit of his stomach, only held back by the little object around his neck.
The figure in the dark corner who was leaning against the wall, simply stood by as the silver haired knight passed through. He had been waiting for some sort of signal from Glade but given nothing, he also did nothing.
After some times had passed. The man in a thick red blindfold, turned his head towards his left. And there, stood Glade, heaving a very heavy sigh.
“Heh-.... that knight isn’t what she seems to be.” Said Glade, a tinge of disappointment in his voice. “We’ll wait for the fox instead, Illidin.”
Illidin, the man in blindfold kept on facing him, not a word spoken and not even any sort of reaction.
“Let’s go.” Said Glade, walking off. And with a sigh, Illidin followed after. They continued to walk along the dark streets, illuminated by the glow of mana stones, passing by houses and shops.
There were a few people out in the street, as it was of course, in the middle of the night.
The moment Glade saw a very large mansion with several carriages in the garden, Glade turned a corner. There, another large bulky individual who, despite being seated down was still seemingly as tall as Glade himself.
“Belphagor, did the fox leave yet?” Asked Glade. With a shake of Belphagor’s head, he snickered. “Then let us wait.”
Illidin, who had been behind Glade continued to walk deeper into the darkness of the corner, further away from the two before seating himself to the cold hard ground.
Glade, seeing nothing wrong with his partner’s seemingly distant attitude simply continued to wait. Some time had passed, the faint warm light from afar, slowly sundering the darkness as it began to reach further inside.
As the sun rose, the light slowly reached into the darker corners. Night gradually turned to day. The three who had waited at the corner simply continued to wait.
Early in the morning, in a certain smith’s shop--
With a soft ringing from the bell on the door. Gallios, who was just sweeping the floor, look towards a hooded figure standing by the door. Recognizing the brown hood, a grin appeared on Gallios.
“Yo Rex~ Morning.” Said Gallios as Lazarus lowered his hood. “Morning. So, did Jensen leave any message?”
“You bet he did!” Said Gallios with excitement. It was only yesterday that Jensen came to him and it made him feel that Lazarus’ timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
Although it was only expected to be perfect, considering that Lazarus guessed that the cargo of the carriages could’ve been the raw materials. He did, after all remember that Jensen was affiliated with the Pendragons. So it was only natural he’d think that the day after, Jensen would’ve left a message.
“I see.” Was the only reply Lazarus could give. And to his lack of excitement, Gallios raised a brow. “You don’t seem too excited.” He then grinned, as if it hardly even mattered. “Oh well, that won’t really change anything heheheh.”
“And why’re you the one excited?” Asked Lazarus.
“I’m getting a commision for this. After all, it was through my valiant efforts that you made a deal with Jensen…. Isn’t that right?” Said Gallios with a wink.
Lazarus huffed. “Glad to hear.”
“He said that he’d want to meet you again at his place.” Said Gallios. “Oh and don’t forget to bring the payment.”
“His place?” Said Lazarus with a brow raised. After scouting where the Pendragon’s came when they’d arrived, he was relatively sure they stopped at Jensen’s. Knowing this, there was no way he was willing to go considering the risks.
Realizing that creases had formed between Lazarus’ furrowed brows, Gallios waved his hand. “Ah there’s no need to be worried about the princess and the prince. Jensen did say that they’ll be leaving today.”
“In that case, I’ll come by tomorrow.” Said Lazarus. But this only made Gallios heave a very deep sigh. “Do you really love avoiding people?”
“What do you mean?” Said Lazarus with a brow raised.
“Well you see, before when that half-elf was looking for you. You blatantly avoided her. Now this.” Said Gallio, shaking his head in disapproval. “Continue on like that and you’ll be alone forever you know?”
“Heh-... doesn’t really matter.” Said Lazarus with a huff. Though he was doing it out of necessity, he didn’t particularly hate being alone either. He had always been alone. Living inside a ship in solitude for years made him accustom himself to the solitude.
Gallios scratched his shiny head and let out a deep sigh.“Haaaaaaa-....... I don’t really get you…..”
With that said and done, Lazarus turned and headed for the door. But just before he could grab the handle, the door opened with a creak. Then a figure came dashing through.
“Papa!” Said a young girl looking to be around 8, her hair a long brown and straight with eyes a subtle green. She wore a one piece pink dress and in her small little hand she held a box. She ran over to Gallios, jumping up to place the box on the counter.
“Ohh Leira, why’re your here?” Said Gallios, to which Leira replied with the biggest innocent grin. “I brought your lunch! Mama said you forgot it.”
Lazarus who had been watching, simply stared in silence. For some reason, he felt a sort of strange feeling welling-up inside of him. Shaking his head, he simply waited for Gallios to make eye contact with him.
“Heh-... you really are a kind girl.” Said Gallios, ruffling Leira’s head with a fatherly smile plastered on his face and in turn the girl had a wide innocent grin.
The moment Gallios looked towards Lazarus, he nodded, signaling that he was leaving. Gallios in turn returned a nod, and just like that, Lazarus left the happy father and child.
Walking along the near empty street, Lazarus simply scratched his cheek. The silence of the dawn, reminding of what solitude was. Somehow, he felt a little envious of Leira, having her father that close to her while he’s was millions of lightyears away.
As the manaless man continued to walk along the streets, behind him was another hooded figure in a corner, taking a small glance and eyeing Lazarus. His robe, a royal white with blue laces forming a rose pattern.
“So the scent belonged to that guy....” Said the hooded individual with a wide grin, revealing fangs that resembled a cat.