38 「Envy and Animosity」
Ninya was seated in the living room with her sister at her side and her staff in her lap. Her eyes were closed and her face was buried in her elder sister's neck.
Tuare was very similarly keeping her face buried in her younger sister. For the time being they didn't speak. There was no reason to, no reason not to either. She was afraid of the outside world. She was bitter that no one had come to save her sooner, even though these two had saved her. She felt indebted and naturally drawn to the strong man who had broken the man who had tried so hard to break her.
Her eyes felt so heavy. She never thought she'd be filled with so much life again. That she would ever have teeth again. She had been beaten badly. She had been addicted to drugs, and even violated in places she never imagined were even possible.
Yet here she was. Alive and well. Her sister had healed her, took her away from that place and out into the light.
The silence of the room had drawn her attention away from her sister as she lifted her head and looked to the man standing beside the couch across from them. There was also this blonde woman who was looking at them with disgust. Or maybe looking at them as if they were dinner? She couldn't quite tell with that empty look in her eyes. It felt as if something was missing.
Turning her head to look back at her little sister, she paused and stared at exposed her neck. There seemed to be a fading mark there. "Is that…?"
"Hm?" Ninya's head shot up almost immediately as she went to point it out. "What?"
Tuare found herself smiling faintly seeing the pink tinge taking over Ninya's face as he knew exactly what she was talking about. There was a hickey right below the edge of her heightened neck collar. It seems her sister was no longer the innocent one despite having cut her hair to appear boyish in the eyes of other people, especially men. Just who might she had garnered the attention form?
However instead of asking more about it, her arms wrapped tighter around her little sister and she held her even closer. Despite her feeling sick the more she thought about Ninya, she also felt much better being able to feel her warmth again.
Family really was everything.
"Thank... you... for...he-helping'a ush g-get back together again," Tuare finally spoke more than just two words, though she appeared to be having trouble doing so for a longer sentence. At least she was able to clear up what she was saying by the end; Allowing Sebas to understand.
Tears flowed freely from her face as she faced him.
"I was only doing as instructed, and what I believed to be right."
Sebas casually approached. There was no caution, only concern in his face. As he walked over, he brandished a handkerchief and held it out for her to take to wipe her face.
'Oh… I.. I couldn't… It's so clean..."
Oddly enough Sebas found himself smiling, something he never really thought he'd do.
Ninya watched as he used the very cloth he had offered her sister, to wipe away her tears while holding one side of her her so extremely gently. She blinked several times at his gesture of good will.
"A handkerchief that cannot be used is a sad one indeed, especially one that cannot even wipe away a person's tears." Was words he would give to her as a gift. This made her older sister smile. In a way, what the man had just said was something that lit her heart that had already gone cold. She could feel it throbbing in her chest.
She hardly recognized the feeling of her racing heart as she felt these warm hands on her face. It felt so different than the warmth her sister gave. Just what in the world was this man?
Aura suddenly entered the room through the open window behind Solution Epsilon, all smiling and jumping around. She was as energetic as ever!
"All of the women that escaped with you have been sent to Carne Village, just as Ainz-Sama intended!" She'd giggle sweetly with her arms in the air as if celebrating.
Epsilon wasn't happy, even with Ainz on board with this, it was sure to askew their mission quite a bit if the people they took the slaves from came looking for their merchandise. Tracing them back here would definitely bring more attention to them than they truly wanted. However, the slime didn't say much as she just watched the two sisters and Sebas interacting from across the room.
Aura gazed up at the maid for a few moments before looking towards the sisters and keeping a smile across her lips. She felt happy for them, mostly because it was Ainz who ordered this to go about, even though it was more of a friendly favor to Jack or something. She wasn't quite sure what was going on.
Standing up, slowly unraveling herself from her older sister, Ninya smiled at everyone present. "Thank you for helping me in saving my sister, I couldn't have done it without any of you."
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Sebas bowed slightly to the woman seemingly close to Jack's heart.
"I'm thinking of going to see Jack at the Palace, if they'll let me in." Her eyes danced over the people present. Then her eyes rested upon her sister who was smiling more than she had before.
"...Jack?" She'd question her little sister, curious of who had caught her sister's arm while she was kept hidden away in a brothel. Was it this man who had organized all this? No, the little elf had said something about Ainz? Who was Ainz?
"I'll tell you about it all later, maybe you can even meet him." Ninya knelt down in front of her sister, resting her staff along the side of the couch. She took hold of her hands and gave them a light squeeze.
"We'll be together again. We're going to be safe this time."
Even though she was smiling, even though she enjoyed the warmth of her sister's hands. Tuare couldn't help but feel at least a little animosity towards her sister as she had gotten stronger and even found a supposed worth while man to bring into her life. All while she was rotting, being beaten, humiliated. Seeing and thinking about herself, while it kept alive inside, it tormented her the moment she was free. It reminded of all the nights, the days, where she was helpless and nobody came to save her sooner.
She wanted to burst out crying. Part of her could hardly handle holding back, but this was also because of her sister that she could become strong enough to hold back her immediate emotions.
Tuare was sure if her sister were to leave this room now, she would cry. There was no other way to put it. She would most definitely cry, she'd want to know why it took so long. Why she was left there in the hands of dirty filthy men.
And then when she looked up on Sebas and recalled his words that had spoken earlier, her heart clung to them. He had offered a handkerchief and even though she had declined, he wiped her face anyway.
Although seemingly looking misplaced, that smile on his lips towards her was genuine. No one had smiled at her like that. Even though he had done as instructed, and believed he was doing what was right. She was sure he was her hero.
As her sister stood, gathered her staff and made for the door. The tears began to silently and tragically slip from her cheeks, staining them in salty snail trails.
Once again he dabbed her face as Ninya had walked out the door and when he was done he handed her the handkerchief and rested a hand on her shoulder.
Tuare had tasted a shitty life for far, far, too long. The warmth she felt from him, the sincerity that he was showing her. Although it was just comfort, it wasn't something she felt from her sister who had tried oh so valiantly to collect alies to come and save her. This man, she wanted to secure herself beside...
Meanwhile within the Brothel the group had left behind.
Cocco Doll emerged from the basement door, revealing the path to the tunnel system beneath the city. His face as dominated by a long pointed nose, similar to that of a stereotypical witch.
His predatory eyes scanned the foyer of the building. There was a deadman not even ten feet away from the door. His back was turned, as if he had been about to start running when he was killed. Walking closer to the stairwell as he spotted an empty bag, he rested his eyes on another corpse.
"Hmm," running his hand through his blonde hair, he brushed off the red sleeves of his blouse before kicking the body over onto its stomach. His eyes resting on the single wound to the back. It appeared the man had died from head trauma.
Soon enough some of his own detail entered the building from the basement.
"Check the rooms. Take observations. Find out who we're dealing with." Was his only order as he looked around. This man, Cocco Doll, was the leader of the Slavery Ring within the Nation of Re-Estize. For the time being, the entire kingdom was ignorant in the change of the seat of power.
The Valencia Palace where the crown presides has become unusually quiet.
As he watched his lackeys make their way up the steps, moving around the body, he stood there staring at the mess which was there. Or the lack there of.
This was no a standard raid. He was sure this had nothing to do with the Military Patrols that was for sure. This was done by a small team, or one incredibly strong individual. Maybe both.
It was generally assumed ninety nine percent of the world's population was uselessly weak compared to the players and other apparently god-like individuals which renown power.
So as he began to enter rooms which were being searched, he laid eyes on two people who had been more or less nailed to the wall with extreme prejudice. That was not all though, as they had been melded to the wall through the use of ice magic.
The others were given blunt force trauma. Some so extreme, that their lower bodies or body parts had been thrown from their bodies. Others were seemingly attacked by a sword.
Cocco approached what looked like a man with his back propped up against the wall and his legs laying out in front of him. He nodded the man's leg, once and then twice. Unlike the others, this man looked like he had been stomped on by about a dozen different people. Could he had been rioted by the women? From what he could remember, he had made sure they couldn't run away.
"Hmm..." He groaned in annoyance before fastening his corset as it became slightly loose around his waist as he was wearing it over a red blouse.
One of the men came up to Cocco, slowly, as if wanting to avoid being bitten by an angry snake.
"What is it your report?" He'd snarl, holding back a fit which was all too easy to be seen in his eyes. He wanted to kill something, someone. The tip of his tongue moistened his lips, like he was getting ready to bite this man's head off.
"Eh.. Two of the rooms were forced open using a magic tool it seems, flew right off the hinges. Force was applied evenly over the entire surface." The man looked over at the room he was talking about, then towards the others. "The others were opened forcefully with different amounts of muscle and techniques. Some of the doors remained on the hinges, others not so much. Some of them were just opened regularly."
Cocco was looking at the man as if he was this next evenings desert. "The likely scenario?"
"We're looking a strike team of three to six people. Judging by the lack of missing valuables, they came here with a purpose."
Cocco nodded hearing the man and placed the knuckles of his closed fist against his chin. "I must convene with the other members of the Eight Fingers… We might need the Six Arms to deal with this. Clean up the bodies, remove the evidence. Once we take care of this, we'll get back into business." Doll turned on his heel and made his way for the door to the basement.
As he descended into the tunnels below the surface of the city, he walked with two men on either side of him. He was making his way towards their headquarters through a series of hidden passages.
As he arrived in what could be assumed to be a massive building or an underground room, he strolled through what appeared to be absolute darkness. He had one destination in mind, the center of the room where there was a massive nonagon shaped table with rounded extensions along the sides.
Finding his rightful seat, he sat down. His eyes rested on the man in prominent robes, it appears this meeting was already expected. Had one of his men barked? It seems he would have to remedy that.
He turned his head to see the rest of the Eight Fingers appearing from the absolute shadows which consumed the rest of the room. There was nothing to focus on except for one another.
"This meeting has become, all may be seated." The man in magenta robes was none other than the Council Executive, the leader of the organization itself. Of what could be see upon the features of his face, he seemed to be a man of compassion. He had a necklace which symbolized the Water God, one of the Four Great Gods, or alternatively possibly the Six Great Gods.
There was Zero, a monk. He was the leader of the Six Arms, the security department of the Eight Fingers. He was powerful in his own right, but the question was, was this man a member of the ninety nine percent, or was he one to be remembered?
Hilma sat there in her seat, a pipe in her hands. She was a beauty with a filled bosom. She wore a pale pink dress that boasted all of her lady-like qualities accompanied by a frilled trim. Along her left arm was a snake tattoo, while it obscured her beauty in the eyes of some, it in itself actually had the power to summon a dangerous toxic snake to defend herself with.
The other individuals seated at the table were Lubelina, Count Iselk, Staffan Heivish and the Smuggling Division Chief that keeps his name quite anonymous.
"So the word got out that you were attacked? Hah!" Zero was mocking the weak man known as Cocco Doll. His name could very well make him a very well suited target for bullying.
The slaver ultimately grumbled under his breath while looking at the man. "The entire brothel needed cleaning. It was a strike from an unknown group."
"Unknown group?" Zero raised a brow with a hum of interest.
Staffan tilted his head slightly to the side, "The patrols witnessed a group of girls entering a mansion in the noble residential district. However they seemed to be in relatively good health and capable of running." He informed with a smug look on his face. "Though it seems the blasted Princess was involved in this operation. Climb, her little fool, attempted to get my patrol involved."
"Involved?" Zero looked over at the man with a brow raised. "Do tell."
"He came out of an alleyway, going towards the Palace, running while wearing full plate armor and out breath. He tried telling us some people were killed in what looked like a criminal operation. He just happened to find the front door wide open." Staffan huffed and yawned, placing his hands on the table, shaking his head at this.
"...Maybe he wanted a little fun after dealing with the bitch Princess and walked in on it?"
"That is a possibility too..."
Doll scowled silently in his seat before looking over towards Zero. "I am in no shortage of funds. I want you to find who did this and take them out."
Zero looked over at Doll and smiled, but it wasn't friendly smile. "You can afford our services? The strike team might be waiting for us to make a move. They could be quite a challenge."
"As I said, I can afford you. I can also afford to hire someone else."
Zero slowly nodded at this and grinned. "It looks like we're going hunting… But first, we need more information." His eyes rested upon Staffan, "I will arrange for Succulent to accompany you to the residence. Don't act too rash."