It had been approximately two whole days since the battle with the Dullahan army outside the wall and Ursa was very happy.
No, she was absolutely beyond being simply happy, she was over joyed to her very core. Why was she feeling this surge of positive emotions you might be asking, well it's because she had just finished her teams report of the Dullahan incident and she had just finished handing it in to the always scowling Sycamore.
After two whole days of forcing her team, mainly Chris, their team leader to actually do his part in filling up his part of the report.
She thought about how sweet the sensation of dipping her sore fingers into some ice would be. After constantly working on the report none stop and typing more than any living being should ever be subjected to unless it was fully acknowledged torture, she deserved it.
Walking back from the scowling woman's office through the dead of night was some what relaxing. The cold fresh night air mixed with the water from the sea just outside the Iron walls made the oxygen going into her lungs feel better as strange as it sounds.
She could feel the muscles in her neck and back begin to loosen up and her head grow lighter as the head ache that had weighed her down was lifted.
The Moon over head, eliminated the night with a silver glow that ironically for the world Ursa was in added a magical element to the night. It felt like Ursa had left reality and stepped into a magical painting were nirvana could be achieved.
This moment of tranquility was unfortunately shattered by the sound of large clashing sounds followed by people cheering as if they were at some major sporting event.
"The sparing rings " Ursa sighed as she thought about how many of her fellow knights fought in those rings day and night to improve themselves and test their metal against their peers " I don't get the craze of constantly fighting your comrades".
She would have just walked away to her room where her bed awaited her and and where blissful sleep would commence had the skies not flashed with streak of orange lighting that came raining down over the training ground's as if they were being spat out by the heavens.
Ursa has seen a few user's of the air elemental style of magic in her time her in Avalon. She knew that every one of them had a signature lighting colour though many looked the same. But here at the Iron fortress she could tell that that the orange lighting was a signature lighting that belonged to one Thor StormCloud.
"I still can't believe dad let him keep that stupid surname " she thought in annoyance.
They had found Thor a little over four years ago alone with nothing except for his hammer and first name. His last name had been something he invented after her father asked him what he wanted to be called as he entered him into the system.
But that was a long time ago and Ursa had gotten used to people getting confused at the name Thor StormCloud.
Anyway Ursa was now stomping towards the training ground's knowing exactly what she would find there. She knew that Thor if he truly was in the sparing ring would have dragged Mulengu and Chris with him, and Pyrrha would have followed Chris mainly.
"Those two need to seriously define their relationship" Ursa wasn't blind or stupid.
She could tell that Chris and Pyrrha had complicated feelings about each other. Pyrrha liked Chris and was mostly docile with him but Ursa could see her get upset at the behavior that he directed her. Chris disliked Pyrrha but he would unknowingly be friendly with her without realizing it at all and Ursa could swore that she once heard him call the elf cute.
Even in the dead of night the training ground's were packed with people exercising themselves to the bone to get better at their job. She could see some knights lifting weight's that measured in the triple digit tons and others testing their reflexes deflecting hundred's of bullet's in seconds while others went into the fighting rings.
She didn't have to look long for the particular ring Thor was in because more and more bolts of orange lightning came streaming from the skies straight into a ring to the far left.
She was going to that rig when someone walked past her and with zero regard for common courtesy they bumped into her right shoulder with too much force for it to have just been an accident.
Ursa looked to face the person with some irritation and to her at most surprise it was the girl that she had met on the wall as they fired down on the Dullahan. She tried to remember if she had done anything to offended the girl because of how the girl was glaring at her with enough hatred that it could have become a tangible force.
"Is anything wrong?" diplomacy was always the best option when defusing a hostile situation.
The girl grimaced, almost like Ursa had done some even more offensive thing by daring to speak to her. The girl looked at her with a piercing gaze as if she was measuring her options before she finally opened her mouth to speak.
"Tell me Ursa daughter of Hiro, how much do you value your true family. Would you put it's prestige over your own ambitions?" The question sounded pointed. It felt more like an accusation than a question "What would you be willing to do for the sake of your family. Would you willingly loose your life for it?".
The last question and Ursa's complete confusion at this sudden turn of events seem to have encouraged the girl to get uncomfortably close in her face and much to Ursa's horror a crowd was forming around them.
The last thing she wanted was to taint her record with possible disorderly conducted.
She wanted to ask the girl to be clear as what family she was referring too and how how she knew her father.
Then the wheels in Ursa's head began turning round and round as she thought about everything the girl said and then it hit her the girl had be one of them.
With all loathing in the world she said their name " Ashikage".
Ursa might have been calm before but the thought of one if those people having the gaul to speak to her about the value of ones family while her father had been excommunicated for years without so much as a phone call over those years.
That just made her pissed and her soft expression became a twisted snarl as the ground she was standing on began to violently shake from her magic reacting in unison with her anger.
"Now listen here..." Ursa was going to push her but the shaft of a spear quickly found it's way between them stopping her from assaulting the girl while mentioning all the scathing things she thought about her dad's family.
The spear belonged to Pyrrha and the elf it appeared wasn't alone with the rest of the team and Chris's fanboy Thebus or at least that's what she thought his name was.
"Is anything the matter?!" Pyrrha was looking right at the girl with a cold fury that Ursa had never seen the elf posses before.
It reminded her too much of her too much of Scahath when she was serious and it was terrifying. The girl might have tried to stand up to Pyrrha but the glare shut her down.
The girl shot a glare at Ursa before she began to leave " Nothing, just a true Ashikage Anjin telling this girl to do the family a great honor by not tainting it any further with her fathers failure".
"Tainting it!" Ursa would have rushed her had Thor not placed his arm on her shoulder stopping her.
"She is hoping to get a rise out of you Ursa" he whispered into her ear while his eyes were focused on the girl "Don't fall for it, your too smart for it".
" Do yourself a favor Falcon " the girl said her last name with about as much distaste as one possibly could "Don't take the Invitation when it comes. Take your failure of a father as far away as possible and don't meddle in matters that don't concern you".
With that said the girl turned and left Ursa dumbstruck to be honest at that declaration. Mulengu walked to her and patted a few times on the back, maybe to comfort her.
"So that's the family. I can see why you don't like them" he stretched a bit before asking " What's this invitation that she was talking about like that? ".
Ursa tried to rack her head for an answer but knowing next to nothing about the family meant that she didn't have any real clue to work with.
" I have no idea. But i think i know a person who might" She answered him before saying again " It's a good thing that we have a free day tomorrow ".
Ursa didn't sleep the entire night. The words Ashikage Anjin kept ringing in her head all night long. She swore that she had heard it somewhere, well she knew the Ashikage family was her fathers family and who the surname Anjin belonged to.
She tossed and turned unable to get a wink of sleep until finally the morning came and she wasted no time leaping from her bed and into the shower.
The urge to meet her father and ask him once and for all what in the name of the holy things in the universe was happening. The other's having actually slept were a bit sluggish and so Ursa looked like a speedster preparing when compared to their zombie like preparation.
By the time she was finished strapping on her armor the others were straggling to keep up with her while moaning and groaning each step of the way.
" Mulengu " she called to Mulengu who could only answer with a groan while his eyes held the vapid gaze of a zombie.
She grabbed the car keys off the rooms shelf and threw it at him. Mulengu was just as sluggish as the others because he failed to catch the keys and Ursa must have used a little too much force because the keys smacked him dead in the forehead dropping him to the ground.
"Sorry" she winched a bit as she saw him twist in the air and land upon his own head.
He could only answer with a pained whimper which she hoped meant something along the lines of it's okay and wasn't a curse.
Anyway the next thing she did was drag them all to the mess hall were boiled rice was being saved and Ursa was focused on what was to happen today that she ate the bland meal without caring.
She was too focused that she didn't notice Thebus and his team at the table they were on. Today Chris didn't seem to mind his presence as did the rest of the team though Ursa saw something in flash in Pyrrha's eyes but that didn't matter now.
As soon as the rest of the rice was in her stomach Ursa slammed her fist on the table to get their attention "We have to leave, now".
She wasn't going to take buts at all, she had a mission today and that would be fulfilled no matter what. So she to off from the table without waiting for their answers.
The others found her waiting by the van while tapping her foot relentlessly. She couldn't believe that they took so damn long to get here.
"You took seven minutes to get here when you could have done the time in three minutes" She had timed her moving time.
Chris just sighed as he took a few steps towards her " let's just get in the car please ".
"Fine" she pointed at Mulengu who had finally gotten into the drivers seat "You drive like something is chasing you. Something like...".
"You when someone owes you money" Mulengu answered with a deadpanned expression while Chris and Thor sneakered in the back of the van.
"Yeah...i mean what!" Ursa wanted to stop them there so that she could get into a tirade explaining how she was rather generous with her debts but she just didn't have the time.
" Just Drive fast".
Mulengu did not drive fast at all. Ursa was there besides him in the car tapping the dashboard as fast and as hard as she could to get across the point that she didn't like his, at least from her perspective snail driving.
Mulengu like the others just ignored this protest with the other's sleeping in the back while Mulengu focused his eyes on the road and his ears to radio were some acoustic music was playing.
Ursa was furious, she had hopped that her silent protest would foster some results but now she was being ignored while time ran out and she felt her penitence growing thin.
"Drive faster" she grumpily said to him but Mulengu just shook his head.
"Why not?" Ursa really wanted to hear whatever cheap excuse this was.
"Speed limit" Mulengu answered as he pointed at the speed limit sign outside "We are officers of the law we must act accordingly with it".
If hypocrisy had a smell it would be that of cow bug. Ursa squinted her eyes even more as she glared at Mulengu who didn't seem to notice.
"Three days ago you were driving like the devil himself was giving chase to your immortal soul" she leaned a bit closer before shouting " Why the hell do you care today of all days! ".
Mulengu didn't even jump from his seat from the shouting. He just stayed the same driving at the same slow pace.
" Did you just hear anything i just..." before she could finish Mulengu turned to her and his face looked odd.
His eyes were squinted and his face appeared jovial, almost drunk even. But Mulengu couldn't be drunk, he hadn't drunk anything that day or the previous one... Come to think about it none of drunk anything at all. So why did he look so out of it.
"Because we lawmen deputy" his accent sounded like stereotypical cowboy " Now i know that the three chain gang has he been running rough shop around these parts, but we have to obey the law. Even if it means following the speed limit ".
"Deputy, three chain gang, that stupid accent " this could only mean one thing and Ursa didn't like the implications at all " Mulengu please tell me that you aren't sleep driving...again? ".
Mulengu turned back to the road with the same expression plastered on his face "Oh, shucks Deputy, we on a first name basis now. I promised to introduce you to my other best friend, sugarplum".
"Dear Deus, he is driving while unconscious" she wanted to scream for help but her only help were snoring in the back and she was at the mercy of an unconscious driver.
The only thing she could do was pray for some kind of divine intervention to stop Mulengu from some how crashing a car into the top of a building again.
Thankfully Deus must have been hearing her that day because the they managed to reach her parents home without much incident with the exception of Mulengu's bad western songs.
They finally reached her parents home and just like some kind of magical spell, all the others instantly woke up. Ursa was the only odd one out breathing hard and shaking from the fear that had overtaken her on the ride.
Her parents home was situated alongside the coast. It was decent sized green house with a tiled yard, parking yard of it's and a walled fence.
The moment the car parked Ursa ran out to the door that she knocked hard into. She knocked for a few minutes before the door opened to reveal her mother who looked a fresh and ready, unlike the zombies behind her.
"Ursa, what a surprise honey" her mother drew her into a hug and Ursa felt the warmth from her hug settled Ursa down. The familiar smell of grease and metal still hung on her mother and Ursa felt at home.
"Christian, Mulengu, Thor" her mother stretched her arms out " Bring it in here kids".
The three boys hugged her mother with about as much love as Ursa did. And why wouldn't they, she was the woman who made Mulengu feel at home even when he was far from his home, she was the woman who became a mother to Chris and Thor when they were lost to world.
"I've missed you kids so much".
"We've missed you too Aunt falcon" Thor answered in everyone's behalf.
She finally let go of them and looked at Pyrrha seemed very shy " And who is this young dear".
"My name is Pyrrha Ulster, daughter of Scahath Ulster and your daughter's team mate ma'am" Pyrrha bowed her head in respect to Ursa's mother.
"Oh that's quite an introduction if i do say so myself" her mother smiled as she shook Pyrrha's hand "You can just call me Aunt dear".
"Of course Aunt".
" Mom, is dad here?" Ursa had a mission and she wouldn't stop now.
"Yes, why wouldn't he be?".
"I think some people from the family met me" Ursa wanted "And they mentioned some kind of invitation".
Her mother's face morphed into one of concern and thinly veiled anger "I see. Come, we have to speak to your father".
To be continued.....
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I am a 21 year old law school student at the National Institute of Public Administration. My dream is to one day publish my story phantom ddriag and hopefully get a show made from it.
I also have a youtube account that hundels web fiction content, here is the link https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCFz-mHywXBJnLF8uyofcLAw/videos