It Takes Two - Prologue: Musings

It Takes Two - Prologue: Musings

A Chapter by Jofer Serapio
"

Introduction to Itoshiki, the Guild Master of Shinsengumi.

"

I have nothing to hide. I have nothing to share. I'm just one of the thousand characters in this messed up book we call life. What is the meaning of life, anyway? What is our purpose? Where are we heading? Are we of any importance to the grand scheme of things or are we just insignificant tools to convey the author's message?

Whoever's writing my life, please tell me what I'm supposed to do in the upper plate. I'm confused. I have nothing to live for yet I'm still alive. Forget conflict and your ironies, your sarcasm, and whatever s**t you use to make people feel. What about my feelings? What about me? Yeah... What about ME?   

"Kei Itoshiki?" Light seeped from the corner of the Dark Assassin's azure eyes. His venture into his innermost thoughts had made him forget where he was, where he was heading. As he came to realize his current predicament, the halls materialized once more and he found the trip a bit dull and important at the same time. "Are you okay, sir?"

The halls were as attractively old-fashioned as of any castle. Torches lit the corners, running along them like green on a python, as shadows flirted with light. The flames burned faint crimson, almost cultivating a sense of warmth if not for the stone that traps the harsh kiss of death. One touch and you'll feel like life itself has been taken from you. As cold as corpses, these walls keep secrets. Sometimes, not knowing them is the best way to deal with your sanity.

"I'm alright. Just a little nostalgic, Mr. Knight." Kei Itoshiki replied, noticing the guide in red for the first time.

The young warrior of Serdin had come to Kei's fortress of solitude early this morning. He had the same armor on as he boldly requested the Dark Assassin's presence despite the denial of the innkeeper. Perhaps on a lapse of judgment, Kei overrode his own rule of isolating himself from acquaintances, both old and new. The Knight had an air of a true noble, proud and quite the stiff. Shinsengumi's Kyokucho found him deluded, a puppet of sorts, following words of a rule neither good nor evil. Was there really a difference?

"You've been here before then?" said the Knight in official Serdin armor, his voice lower than before.

"Meh... Been here, been there..."

A huge door, marked with the kingdom's crest, an intricate display of fine carpentry, stood before them. It grew as they came nearer until finally, two figures, the room's guards, stood more solid than they had a few steps back. On opposite sides of the entrance, they crossed their steel spears, motioning for the two newcomers to halt. Their silver armors, helms covering their entire face save for their mouths, appeared haunting like white silhouttes in a nightmare. They bore Serdin's crest on their opposing shoulders.

"Lance Weatherwing, newly appointed Knight of the Queen, here to escort the warrior Kei Itoshiki as requested by her Majesty, Queen Raia of Serdin." With the same conceit as before, the young Knight reassured their stand and gained the approval to enter the throne room.

Slowly, Kei was showered with a bright light that had seemed a stranger to the halls. Everything turned vivid as day as the door opened. The Dark Assassin looked more dashing in pristine colors. His silver crest was kept short but nevertheless daunting. His maroon-dominated outfit shone brilliantly against it all, making him appear intimidating. Even the guards couldn't help but take a peek at this legendary warrior as he entered the room with his guide, the doors closing after them.

"Welcome, my most loyal warrior." Greeted the Queen in a soothing voice.

Weatherwing knelt on one knee while Kei just bowed quickly. "Kei Itoshiki, as you requested, my Queen."

"Thank you for a job well done, Knight. You may leave us." And the yound Knight, ecstatic at being mentioned by the Queen, followed suit.

The Dark Assassin noticed the elegant layout of the room first: the feminine curtains, the grand carpet, the golden chandelier and the stoic portraits hanging almost everywhere. Serdin has indeed been history at its finest. The throne room can attest to that.

Instinctively, he shifted her gaze from everywhere to the Queen. She was still young, skin so fair and soft that one touch could fill a witch with goodness. Her eyes glowed a noble yellow, her hair blond and in curls. The Queen had a really long hair, Kei caught a glimpse of an old friend's silhouette while looking at the nobility before him.

"Welcome to the throne room of Serdin, Master Itoshiki."

"The pleasure's all mine, your Majesty."

"You might be wondering why I have summoned you at this time." The Queen's demeanor quickly turned from complacent to troubled. "Let me be blunt with you, times are getting more dangerous as we go."

The Dark Assassin found her quite enticing to the eyes. A bit disturbed with the thought, he heaved a sigh of relief and continued on listening, thought of the guild house swarming him like bees on honey.

"As the Guild Master of Shinsengumi, I implore you to grant me a single favor. In exchange, the treasury is open to you and whomever you find as allies."

"Allies?" Kei caught the Royal's drift without much effort, his brows furrowing at what he found. "You want me to go on a team mission for Serdin?"

"The continued siege of the Orcs have brought me no choice but to station my most trusted Knights within the castle walls. This task I am to bestow to your team requires not much but prior investigation."

"Your Highness, I don't want to sound rude but why me?" From his stand, the noble's scent was an aphrodisiac. Itoshiki couldn't help but look away with disgust.

"Because I find you the most suitable for this request." She stared at her, as elegantly as she could, without really moving that much. Nobles have that innate ability to command respect indirectly. "Will you be able for Serdin, Dark Assassin?"

Silence was never a good thing, especially when you ask someone if they love you back. This wasn't anything like that. This was more unnerving. Such a question from the Queen would only yield a single answer. Anything else would be unethical, even for rogues. It was rhetorical in a sense of persuasion but it wasn't insincere as a question. Nevertheless, he had no choice but to say yes.

"Of course. Anything for Serdin." Kei stood silent for a moment, thinking deeply, for if he would not be able to escape something he didn't like, he would rather have it done in the best way he could or in such a way that it wouldn't be a waste of his time.

Queen Raia looked at him with confused eyes. "Is there any concern with the mission, my warrior?"

"None, my Queen." With a smile, the Dark Assassin reassured the noble. "I was just thinking about the perfect teammates to bring along on this operation..."

-----

In the Shinsengumi guild house, somewhere within Bermesiah, everything seemed calm and peaceful. Nothing stirred except for the few souls that were left within.

The newly bought oven sired baked cherry pies with a maiden of long flowing auburn curls and eyes in the shade of light blue. What was disturbing was her apron. It had an image of two manly headshots making out with each other. Her blue oven mits took her last signature pie from the oven's gaping mouth and placed it on the nearby table, next to two others. With a ruddy smile, she basked in her concoctions' fruity scents.

In another room, a young pink haired man with small spectacles was amusing his cat with his harp. Female and at a ripe age, the feline had a pretty ribbon tied around it's neck. Like it's human companion, it shared the same sanguine demeanor. Both seemed to be having the time of their lives. The young man played his rendition of a popular Bermesian song with the cat dancing around as only a cat could.

Surprisingly, the Shinsengumi guild house has its own mini-theater. Currently watching his movie marathon, another guy, this time with gray hair, has his mouth slightly opened. He had been in this room for the past 3 hours, doing nothing but enjoying his vast collection of movies. Strangely, he seemed to look confused for no reason at all. He has been holding his popcorn in both arms but has made no actions regarding it so far.

-----

"...Or whoever's left available from Shinsegumi."
 



© 2009 Jofer Serapio


Author's Note

Jofer Serapio
Disclaimer: The following story is a work of pure fiction. The characters, the events and the sensual innuendos are all fictitious. Any relation to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

The guild name Shinsengumi belongs to their respective owners as do the aliases, the in game usernames and the forum usernames. Grand Chase and all related terms belong to KOG. The titles Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, Daten no Tsuki, Kara no Kyoukai/Rakkyo and Subarashiki Konosekai all belong to their respective creators and publishers.

Jofer Serapio ([email protected]) reserves this work as licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

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Added on January 15, 2009
Last Updated on January 17, 2009


Author

Jofer Serapio
Jofer Serapio

Paranaque City, Metro Manila, and Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines



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