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The Anjin clan doctors weren't that bad. Deus knows that they were much better than the imperial doctors who raised a fuss over everything from a tiny scar to a slight bruise. Being kept in a medical room with the smell of dry medicine clogging his nose for too long was the bane of his medical existence.


"I have had my fill with doctors, hospitals and that dry smell " he thought, shuddering at the memory of the hell that was his young life.

He should have left the facility as soon as he was cleared. But here he was, standing in front of Pyrrha and the doctor who was just finished with her treatment.

He had not been present when they took care of her wounds, and he was glad for that. Any knight was familiar with the sight of crimson blood, but even a knight could see too much of it for their fill.

"It will be completely healed in just a few hour's, lay down and avoid any strenuous activities that could cause any further damage to the wound. Should any thing go wrong, press the button on your left to get a doctor to you" the doctor instructed her before they left to deal with even more injured people.

Chris shame swelled up in his heart like a cold grip as he remembered the rolls of more than a hundred Anjin civilians who were wounded because of Ursa's rampage. Thankfully nothing he saw was fatal or crippling, but the looks on the peoples face meant that it didn't matter to them.

Their eyes had accusing looks that rested upon him when he had entered the medical ward. Had the doctors not separated him and the team from the peoples, he feared that they would tried to lynch them.

"Hey" he said to her but she didn't answer, all she did was stare at him with blank eyes that held no easily determinable emotions behind them " I am sorry about my behavior before...".

A brief silence passed and Chris wondered what she was thinking. He could feel waves of electricity coursing down his spine in a strange wave of fear.

"How much do you hate me?" Her voice was strained, like she had been denied water for a long time.

"Excuse me?" He asked.

The question she asked was sharp and a almost weightlessness passed through his legs. The question was like a cold touch that you knew was coming and dreaded with all your soul.

" How Much Do You Hate Me? " she put a large amount of force in each word.

"Pyrrha..." He couldn't think of what to properly say " I...".

"Please be honest with me Christian... no lies... Please on your honor don't lie to me" she pleaded.

"I did before..." The words flowed out of his mouth like a river that he could not control "...But then you joined this team, you fought by my side and you saved my life just as i did yours...i...i don't know Pyrrha, i don't know how i feel about you. A part of me wants to hate you, it doesn't want to let everything slide, but another side...i don't know".

" Would you be happy if i stepped down from the team?" her eyes bore into his own and once more he could not read what they desired him to say.

" Why can't i think of anything?. Where has my wit gone to? " he tried to speak out but nothing came out of his mind or maybe he feared what could come out of both his mind and mouth.

Too much time passed and he knew that he had to say something to her. His mouth suddenly felt dry, like the desert soils of the Sand lands.

Like before the words flowed out of his mouth without his control " I....i don't know Pyrrha...I don't know... I don't know what to say ".

It was a whisper and he wished that he hadn't said that loud enough for Pyrrha to hear. That way he could take back the words and say something else to her, but what was he to say.

Pyrrha had heard him and her face remained unreadable to him " I understand... ".

" No...i...i" he wanted to tell her that she didn't understand what he meant to say, but even he couldn't understand what he meant to say.

"...I am sure that i do, your grace. When we get back to the iron fortress after this whole tournament, i will tender my resignation from the team. I understand that i have been an inconvenience to you, forgive me" she said looking him in the eyes.

He wanted to scream at her to reconsider, he wanted to call her words madness and even wanted to us his royal authority to stop her. But his words left him and he could only look at her with a shocked expression on his face and open mouth.

Time passed and the two of them just looked at each other as if they were stone statues. He didn't know how long they looked at each other but he knew that it was too long to be considered normal.

They would have continued this wordless stance had the sound of boots hitting the ground behind him not caused him to turn.

It was an Ashikage guardsman, breathless from running but refuse to lean over and catch his breath. The poor man was red faced and looked like he could fall over from exhaustion. He tried to open his mouth to speak but Chris raised his right hand stopping him.

"Please, take a moment and collect your breath" he said to the guardsman who gave a strained but thankful nod.

"Your grace, miss Ursa has awoken" he said after he had sucked enough oxygen into his starved lungs.

An even bigger feeling of dread took him. The matter with Ursa was his to deal with and what could happen he did not know.

"To many what ifs " he thought as he turned to the guardsman " Thank you for telling me. Please return to the cells and tell no one to speak to her until i have arrived ".

" Even her parents, your grace?".

With a heavy sigh he said " Even them, Deus forgive me but even them".

"Of course, your grace!" With renewed vigor the guardsman took off from the room.

Chris waited until the guardsman was out of sight and ear shot before he turned to Pyrrha who still laid in her bed.

"What are you going to do with her" she asked worriedly.

Ursa may have attacked her in a maddened rage but anyone who had known her well enough could tell that it was an action not taken with a stable mind. Pyrrha knew that and she was worried, dark energy poisoning was no laughing matter.

The scars from the dark ones civil war within them both was ample reminder of that. Chris grimaced as he thought about his next course of action before he acted upon Ursa.

"Something that i won't like" he answered feeling that invisible weight upon his shoulders.

XXXXX


The cells to hold prisoners upon this mountain city where not under the control of the families, but rather in the hands of local sheriff.

Ursa was in the lowest levels of the stations holding facilities. Here, the truly dangerous criminals were held to await transfer to much more secure facilities. It was here that he found her.

The two of them were separated by a thick layer of Titana glass. The glass could take many strong knightly blows before it even cracked, it was no blue steel but not even Ursa could break out of it.

Even if she did, she would many guardsman from each family, the officer's of the station and some volunteer knights standing guard from here up to mouth of the station, all ready to stop her escape.

She was seated upon a bed looking panicked with wide eyes the flew from looking at one section of the room to another so frantically and chaotically that Chris almost caught some vertigo just by trying to track the eyes.

"Ursa!" He called to get her attention.

Her eyes fell upon him, as if she had just realised that he was there. She looked relieved and he felt dread growing like a weed.

"Chris is that you, what are you doing behind this glass, why am i in a cell, where am i...and what the heck happened!?" She asked firing each question as if it was a arrow from her bow.

" Ursa, calm down please. One question at a time" he said softly as he tried to reduce the tension in the room.

He could feel the unease from the guardsmen behind him. They no doubt feared her loosing control and attacking. Not that he blamed them, a mad beast of a knight would tear through them in the hundreds before she was struck down or restrained.

She took many deep breaths as a blanket of sweat grew upon her head like she had dipped her head into a mixture of salt and water.

" Chris, what happened? " she asked with her face facing down "...i... i don't remember much of what happened. My head is fuzzy and light when i try to think about it".

" You attacked Pyrrha and caused major property ".

Her face sharply shot up with confusion written upon it " What do you mean i attacked Pyrrha?. I would never do that, she is my friend and yours too".

He grimaced as he thought of what else he was to tell her " Ursa, try and remember what happened after her fight ".

She kept silent as she seemed to be rummaging through her mind for any piece's of the tattered memory that not even he knew.

"Aunt!" Her eyes went wide as she remembered that.

She rose up to her feet and rushed for the Titana glass and began to bang her fist against it. But her strength had been halved from the use of dark energy that drained worse than a poorly designed Alpha-Spell.

The guardsmen got into defensive positions with their spears raises and pointed at her. This sight many freighted men with spears pointed at her gave Ursa pause.

"Chris please, you have to check on her, make sure that she is alive" her pleading was so genuine that he almost did.

But he had sent Mulengu and Thor to deal with that matter, his was to deal with Ursa " I sent people to check on her, but your matter is of equal importance Ursa. How did you get into contact with dark energy? ".

He hoped that it was from over exposure to some night terror or even a poisonous bite from Dark blood snake. The look on her face told him it was not and cursed in his mind.

" It was me, i asked my uncle Hanzo to teach me. He gave me this..." she pointed to her gauntlet, which still remained "...to avoid the ill effects".

" Ursa" he sighed pinching the bridge of his nose as he fought off a headache forming in his mind " Why?".

"Why what?".

" Why would you temper with dark energy, when you have zero training in the art. People spend years in training just to control it and you think some glove whose actual mechanics you don't know would help you by pass all that?. Do you realize what has happened?. You levelled and entire market and almost killed the rest of us including yourself! " the flow that escaped him when he spoke to Pyrrha was one he didn't want free, this one he let lose with conscious will.

Ursa's face twisted from confused to angry. He could see that her eyes had a darker shade of purple to them.

"It will pass with time " he told himself. Those wretched eyes almost made him feel like he was being flayed, the dark one had such unsettling eyes " I wonder if the Phantom King had eyes like those? ".

" Be careful Christian. I did what i did to protect my family " she gritted her teeth and her eyes narrowed, making him loath her gaze even more.

"And you have caused untold suffering to them and many more families" he felt a spark of anger grow at her stubbornness.

"You don't understand" she once again faced downwards, unable to look him in the eyes.

"Tell me Ursa, what don't i understand?".

" I need to get stronger alright, i need to be able to protect everyone! " she snapped at him and the dark purple shade of her eyes became darker and murkier. A hint of madness was hidden behind them, that he could see.

"You can't protect people from yourself".

" It was a one time accident " she tried to argue but her face told a different story, she knew that she was tainted.

"Maybe...or maybe not, that chance can't be taken" now came the worst part, oh Deus have mercy upon his soul he thought.

"You can't do that, you can't keep me away from the tournament!" She shouted as she punched the glass separating them with all her might.

"I can and i will" he forced a hard expression upon his face " You went out of your to temper with dark energy without any proper testing or training. You caused millions of Geld in property damage and harm to others that i am currently paying for, just so that they don't drag you to court and there is still the high possibility that you are still infected and could cause even more damage or even worse kill someone ".

She wanted to say something, but she bit her lip in submission to him as he continued speaking.

" You don't seem to get how serious this is Ursa, you could injure or kill your parents, Deus knows that you almost did the same to Pyrrha. You are hurt, i get it you want to save them, but you can't if you are compromised. For Deus and all the ancient ones sakes, you could have your knighthood revoked".

"So then what?" It was much meeker than her earlier words " I am going to be restrained here until this is all over?".

"No. I have put a call to Imparetor Astrapios and Arumu Sycamore over what happened. A extraction team is going to be coming here to take you back to the iron fortress and treat you there" as he said those words she remained silent, unable to continue.

"For what it's worth Ursa, i am truly sorry" he wished he could do more to help her, but this was the best that he could do now.

XXXXX


The next people on his worst day radar were her parents. He would have not gone to then but he had sent Mulengu and Thor, he needed to man up and do what needed to be done.

" I owe them that at least " he thought.

He had gone to find them in the Ashikage workshop that Ursa's parents had taken partial residence in. He didn't find them there, and asking around confirmed his fears.

Outside the main building of the Ashikage compound, a small crowd had formed with a ring of guardsmen stopping the people from getting closer.

He pushed his way past the cluster of bodies until he came upon the guardsmen. One of them tried to stop him but Chris fixed him with a solid glare and the man melted out of his way.

Upon walking into the room he was met with Ursa's grandmother's?. Two old women who looked the same were standing before him with one dressed in a purple robe and another in a golden robe.

"There really are two of you" he said.

The purple old woman gave a mischievous smile while the golden one had a worried face with sort of a heaviness upon her shoulders.

"Please go stop them" she said to him.

"Oh, don't be that way sister, the children need a good fight every now and then. Besides, they are older now, would my dear brother in law want you babying them like this" the purple one had a mischievous look in her eyes.

Her twin turned to her with a glare that silenced her before she turned back to him " Your grace, my granddaughter... She wasn't herself. Please do not have her punished severely".

"I will do everything in my power to see that is treated fairly" he swore on that " Now what do you want me to stop?".

The thing she wanted him to stop was Hiro Falcon from strangling his younger brother as Kazuto and his wife tried desperately to hold him back.

The main family office was a mess. Chairs were overturned, there were dents in the walls and some pictures were laying everywhere. Mr Falcon was shouting out curses at his younger brother who was cowering in the corner with fear in his wide eyes and a giant purple bruise upon his lower lip.

Chris had never realized how young Hanzo was until he saw like this. The constant curses by his elder sibling who wanted to tear his head off had almost brought him to tears.

He had seen enough, so he walked directly towards them and with his greater strength, he easily pulled Mr Falcon off of his brother. The man looked a bit funny trying to fight out of the iron grip Chris had place around him.

"Let me go, let me go!" The man shouted as he kept trying to pry himself out of Chris's grip.

"Sir, sir" He said trying to stop his squirming but the older man would not listen "SIR!".

He stopped fighting at least and glared at Chris " Let me go, Christian " his voice was a cold dangerous whisper.

"Sir, Ursa is about to be transported to the iron fortress for a medical evaluation. I have had proper places prepared for the two of you to accompany her. she needs you".

Her parents both looked at him with conflicted emotions before her mother asked " Where is she".

"The red levels of the sheriff's holding facility. The guardsmen present know you, so they will let you in " he answered as he let go of Mr Falcon.

He threw one last glare at his younger brother before his wife pulled him out and Chris felt a wave of relief wash over him as one hurdle had just been crossed.

"Get up and stop whimpering like a dog" Kazuto roughly grabbed his brother and pulled him back to his feet.

"Your the one who gave her the gauntlet and taught her something's in dark energy?" He wanted to yell at the guy but the way he nodded and looked so pathetic took out his flames.

"Yes" Hanzo answered with a nod " I didn't mean...".

"You taught her to use dark energy, what you meant to do doesn't matter. The effects of it are as clear as day!" Kazuto angrily shouted.

"But i used the gauntlet like dad did with us and i only taught her a few dark contracts. Nothing strong enough to corrupt her. We managed to do that in a single day and the gauntlet holds back many of the ill effects" Hanzo pleaded with them.

Chris wondered if this was true, he doubted that Hanzo would be stupid enough to get his niece corrupted with dark energy. Not with the tournament that they were fighting.

"Go get your lip looked at" he told the man who gladly scrambled out of the room.

Kazuto sighed as flipped back one of the overturned chairs and sat upon it "This week has been a mess".

" How is your sister? " Chris asked him and Kazuto looked at him in surprise.

"Oh her, we managed to stabilize her. She is in a coma. We don't know when or if she will wake up or what even happened to her" he pulled out cigarette from his pocket before using a matchstick upon his table to light it's tip aflame.

"That's good to hear. What your brother said, is it true?".

" Yes" Kazuto answered as his cigarette seemed to be calming him down.

"So you know how to manipulate dark energy?" He wondered if these were the readings that the iron fortress had been getting " You use it often? ".

Kazuto pulled out his cigarette and blew out a plume of smoke " Not since the old man expired. The gauntlet was probably busted from all this time of non use. The old man was the guy who was obsessed with that stuff".

"No one has anything nice to say about him?" He hadn't heard any possible about the old man.

" There was never anything nice to say about him...well unless you ask my aunt. She was in love with the old bastard, she is the only reason that we still have a photo of him" he pointed to a portrait on the wall of a tall old man with gray hair and a thick moustache.

Something about those purple eyes looking back at him were familiar, like he had seen them before.

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About the author

Redchaos1

  • Zambia

Bio: 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

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