Chapter 4 – The Bright Lights in the Sky (2/5)
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After chatting with Vivian, I walked over to Eve. She was still treating the wounded.

“Eve… do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”

The psycho sighed harshly.

“What is it, Ms. Detective?”

I crossed my arms as I continued.

“You mentioned you were close to the bomb strikes… where exactly were you when they went off?”

Eve stood up and faced me now.

 

 

 

“There were 3 of them in total. The 1st bomb went off to the north of the lower quarters. The 2nd exploded only moments later in the middle of the lower quarters. I believe the explosion was inside the hotel found in the center because that’s where the most casualties were found. The 3rd and last one went off towards the east of here.”

She kicked a wooden box that lay about on the ground, but it didn’t break. The psycho clicked her tongue and turned back to me.

"All I can say is… the person who did this is really screwed up in the head. I was nearby when all the chaos happened. Luckily, I shielded myself and didn't get hurt from the destruction.”

With that, she crossed her arms and glared at me. Her bright blue eyes shined intensely.

“What, am I a suspect of yours or something, Feodora?”

Eve cackled.

“No… I believe you actually, Eve.”

“Oh, and why is that?”

“…Just intuition, I guess.”

Despite Eve being insane, something just felt right about her statement. Everything felt… genuine. As if she was just someone at the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Oh, Eve….”

A feminine voice that sounded like a wonderful violin resonated from behind me. I turned to face where it came from when Eve’s body stiffened up and suddenly, she pressed her chest on my back.

I could only hear labored breathing coming from her. A woman with long bright pink hair, cherry-colored eyes, and a black business suit walked towards us. She had bright white stripes on her dress and onyx-toned high heels. They clicked as she approached us. She was around my height, making her shorter than Eve. However, her posture was firm and proud. This woman was nothing short of beautiful too. The way she moved felt… clean and pointed as if everything she did was calculated. To my surprise, Eve began to shake the closer she got.

 

 

“Eve, are you okay? Who is this?”

I asked, but clearly, she was too shaken up to speak… I was on the defensive, and I faced the flawless woman. She stopped a few feet away and glared directly at me.

“Who are you?”

I asked, earning a horrid scowl from the beautiful lady. It took me by surprise. Instead of answering me, though, her heels clicked as she walked closer to us. Warily, she avoided puddles of water and mud as if it would be the death of her to step in them.

“Eve, this place is gross, get over here right now!”

“Ahh… nnng…”

Eve didn’t say a word. She reminded me of a child struck with fear. Suddenly, she clenched my jacket without saying a word. When I checked her expression, her normally bright eyes were dark blue. As if someone turned the lights off within her. This woman terrified her.

“I don’t… think she wants to come to you.”

I pointed out the obvious to her. The scowl on the woman warped into a sadistic smile.

 

 

“If I have to tell you to come over here again, Eve-“

“Leave her alone, Atom!”

From the east of us, Jade appeared as she stepped in front of me. Alongside her was the human version of Mellissa with her hands behind her back… and… Yuu Yuu to my surprise.

“Oh, Jade, I just wanted a moment with my precious Eve. I have to make sure… “

The knight stretched out her arm, defending both Eve and me from this strange woman.

 

 

“Eve is in my consultant team right now, Atom. We Radiants signed off on the papers. Respect the law we established.

Enraged, she crossed her arms. Her lips twisted in disgust, as she fluffed her long hair.

“Fine, Jade. I put a lot of work into her, and I don’t want any filthy thing messing her up; do you hear me?”

She sounded like a monster as she viciously screamed at the knight. Jade didn’t flinch but kept her calm composure.

“I promise you; nothing will happen to Eve. But we have a contract, and she is under me right now. You’re scaring her; get out of here if you’re not going to help with the rescue efforts here.”

The pink-haired demon scoffed as she turned her heels. Before stepping into a pile of debris and mud on the ground, she avoided it with prejudice.

“This place is filthy. Everything about this place is… filthy!”

The demonic-like woman complained as she left.

“Who was that?”

Confused, I asked nobody in particular. Eve let go of my jacket and pushed her body off my back. She looked ashamed as she wiped the side of her cheeks. I couldn’t tell, but… she might have been tearing up.

“…I’ll go help the people to the east, Jade…”

Without answering me, she raced away. Jade watched for a moment before she turned back to me.

“That woman… is Eve’s master; to put it lightly, Feodora.”

Mellissa chimed in. Jade continued off of her as she began explaining.

“Atom is the Radiant who reinvented the phones and many of the technologies we have today. She owns a large technology firm and is… wealthy beyond imagination. Eve Seed is owned by her, Feodora.”

“That horrible looking woman… owns… Eve?”

I asked.

“Listen; it’s complicated, Feodora.”

The knight pulled on her locks. She seemed uncomfortable talking about it.

“All you need to know is Eve was lent to me for the time being and… to never bring up Atom around her. Eve… is terrified of her for good reason.”

As strange as this entire situation was, I had to accept what it was for the time being. Jade turned back to Mellissa and Yuu Yuu, and I did the same. When I spotted the pink bunny, her cheeks reddened a tad.

“Anyway… Feodora, you already know Mellissa. I want to introduce you to someone else…”

“I know her, Jade. Her name is Yuu Yuu.”

I answered for her. The knight raised her head in surprise.

“Hm, you two are already acquaintances? I didn’t expect that from a hermit.”

“Eh… I’m not a hermit.”

The thought of Yuu Yuu and I playing tag came back to mind. My stomach felt as if hot coals were placed in it. I… had fun, despite how guilty I still feel about it.

“Well, that’s going to make things easier for me. Yuuna is a contractor from the Light Camp, just like Vivian Heart. She will be providing aid to the people here.”

I remembered she mentioned something like this during our hang-out yesterday. Gently, Yuu Yuu nodded, confirming Jade’s words. The knight continued.

“Long story short, she’s a doctor, and Mellissa is too. I want you to take them around the bombing scene so they can treat people with severe wounds.”

Jade looked about the area. Her fearsome glare amplified as she saw the people strung about, injured from the chaos.

“I would do it myself, but I have to get ready to provide protection during an upcoming address. The Ruler of the Radiant Kingdom is about to make a statement regarding these recent events.”

“Ruler?”

I asked. The human clapped, causing Yuu Yuu to shriek back away from her.

“Yes, the Ruler of the Radiant Kingdom, Marx. He’s about to address the people and Jade needs to be there for his protection!”

Yuu Yuu nodded slightly and turned to the side. It seemed she was too shy to say anything, but occasionally, she would glance at me and smile. It was… nothing short of adorable. I… kind of wanted to pat her on the head… but I had to concentrate.

“So, Marx is the Ruler of the Radiant Kingdom?”

I asked, trying to get my facts right. Mellissa put her hands behind her back and nodded with vigor.

“That’s correct, Feodora. If you’d like to know more, I'll tell you all about Marx. He is a wonderful Ruler.”

Yuu Yuu pushed hot air from her mouth. Jade put her hand on her hip and shrugged her slim shoulders.

“Anyway, you three keep up the efforts to help these people out. After Marx has finished his speech, I’ll call you, Feodora, about what we’re going to do next.”

“Wait, before you go, Jade…”

I stopped her and pointed at the innocent human, Mellissa.

“Oh, Countess Mellissa? Hm… if she does come out while you’re working with Mellissa, that might be bad… wouldn’t it, Feodora?”

“Eh… yeah, that might be a little bad, Jade.”

The knight dug in her pockets and brought out a rosary. It was bright white and about the size of my palm.

“What is this?”

I asked as she set it in my hand.

“This is a warding device I created. If the demon side of Mellissa comes out, you can command her with this on you.”

“Command… like a dog?”

The image of Countess Mellissa with a leash on came to mind. It… was a little unsettling. Jade nodded sharply.

“Just like a dog. However, if she swipes it from you… she’ll be uncontrollable. So, make sure she never gets it from you, Feodora.”

Jade sighed harshly.

“I don’t have time to go over all the tricks you can do with this rosary, but… all you really need to know is to… command her not to attack you, and if she gets too aggressive, snap your fingers and tell her to leave. That will bring back the human side of her.”

The person in question started clapping her hands in excitement. She skipped around us suddenly.

“Oh, what interesting commands, Jade. I wonder how the other me reacts to them. I never met her, Feodora! I’ve always wanted to, you know?”

Mellissa has never met her… other side before? I had so many questions, but I saved them as I thought about the directions Jade gave me.

“Command her not to attack me… if she gets out of control, snap my fingers and tell her to leave.”

With this knowledge in my head, I took the rosary out of Jade’s hand. The feeling of it was striking. It was like holding an electrified object. Knowing that Jade created this too, only added to the mystery of who Jade Opal was. I slipped it in my pocket for safekeeping.

“Now Feodora, I trust you with Mellissa. And as for Yuu Yuu… I don’t know her too well but make sure she works hard. As a member of the Light Camp, she needs to earn her pay.”

Jade glared at the pink bunny before pushing hot air from her lips.

“Jade Opal!”

From behind us, a group of white-cloaked individuals marched in formation. In front of them was the delightful "goddess", Abigail Pasco leading the pact. The little brat, Lana Pasco  was at her side as well. There had to be around 30 men and women behind her at her command.

“Abigail, what are you doing here?”

Jade crossed her arms and scowled. The other two girls and I turned towards this large group of worshippers. They scattered about the area, finding victims, and treating their wounds. Abigail approached, her scent was… captivating as always.

“The Barons are here to aid the knights. We had a deal with the Radiants, remember? Why else would I be here?”

Jade shrugged.

“…We’ll need all the help we can get… so thank you for helping out... I guess.”

With one hand on her hip, she glared at the “goddess.”

“But I swear, don’t start using this as a way to recruit people into your religion. The victims need help, not pity.”

All Abigail did was smirk as she flapped her wings. Now hand in hand with Lana, together, they began hovering in the air.

“Let’s go help them, Lana. Use your earth spells to help get these people out from under the rubble.”

“Yes, sister!”

Lana shouted as they flew away towards the center of the lower quarters.

“Good luck, you three.”

Jade concluded before rushing off. With the two doctors beside me, I spoke up.

“So… I guess we’ll look around for more survivors, Mellissa, Yuu Yuu.”

I stated. Yuu Yuu rushed over to me, pushed her shoulder against mine, and put her head down like a sad little puppy. Meekly, she turned back to Mellissa and lowered her gaze.

“Oh, are you afraid of me?”

The human smiled brightly at the bunny. When she approached, Mellissa towered over her, only adding to the coy girl's fears.

“There’s nothing to fear! I’m here to help; let’s be friends… Ah, Yuu Yuu was it?”

“… Yuuna. You can call me… Yuuna.”

The pink bunny hid behind me.

“But don’t you like being called Yuu Yuu, though?”

I asked. Yuu Yuu’s face turned bright red as she punched my back lightly. I could hear her whimper as she did this.

“I-I-I…. Ah… F-Feodora…”

With a sigh, Mellissa beamed brightly.

“Ah… I see. Yuu Yuu is a nickname that you want Feodora to use, is that right? How cute.”

Taking the hint I suppose, Mellissa put her hand behind her back.

“Feodora is stunning, isn’t she, Yuuna? You both seem so close.”

With a tilt of her head, the beautiful human smiled brightly.

“I hope one day we can be as close to each other too, Yunna!”

My heart nearly leaped out of my chest, and I think the same happened for Yuu Yuu as she looked a tad defeated. Instead of saying a word, she stayed behind me like I was a wall. As cute as she was, we had a job to do.

"Let's get to work and help the people out before Jade gets upset, you two."

Mellissa hopped cutely and took the lead. With a bag of medical supplies in hand, she skipped towards the destruction.

“M-Mellissa… likes you a lot, doesn’t she, Feodora?”

Her tender voice came from behind. I turned around and found the puffed-up face of Yuu Yuu. Could it be that… Yuu Yuu was a tad insecure around Mellissa Ann Cafree?

“Well… I think it’s a bit more complicated than that. Ah… I’ll explain how we met later, alright?”

Yuu Yuu didn’t say a word as we followed the bouncing woman. She was unusually happy, despite the grim situation. The pink bunny was holding onto my jacket as we walked as if she didn’t want to get lost and I was her only guide through this tragedy. We were like conjoined twins as we made our way to the people in need of aid.

“These bombs… were much larger than last time.”

I said, looking around the ruined lower quarters.

“Yeah… it wasn’t nearly as bad before.”

This was a good time to ask. So, I looked over my shoulder, back at the bunny still clutching my jacket.

“Do you remember seeing me during the first bombing, Yuu Yuu? I remember spotting you… when Eve was interrogating me.”

For a moment her eyes shifted. We stopped, letting Mellissa go off on her own as we confronted one another.

“Eve? Oh… D-Do you mean that scary woman with the bright blue eyes?”

She looked away and put her finger to her lip. Seemingly confused, Yuu Yuu turned back to me.

“Ah… what happened? You were… there during the first bombing, Feodora?”

“You don’t remember either, huh?”

I had to confirm that it had to be a delusion. If Jade, Eve, and Yuu Yuu didn’t remember the events I do surrounding the first bombing…

“That’s so strange…”

I mentioned, Yuu Yuu looked confused for good reason.

I had to wonder if that all was a delusion of my own creation… how would my mind make up Eve and Yuu Yuu without me ever meeting them? Something… was strange.

“Help…”

A meek voice caught our attention. Mellissa was already there, aiding the victims she found. It was a couple around my age. Mellissa bent down and started aiding them. I wondered if she was going to kiss their wounds but oddly… she didn’t.

“Are you going to help too, Yuu Yuu?”

I asked. Reluctantly, she let go eventually and ran over to a little girl crying on the side of them.

“D-Don’t worry…”

 

 

Yuu Yuu consoled her. The bunny put her hands out and like a miracle, the little girl’s cuts, and bruises began to disappear before my eyes. I was mystified at how she did this. As I observed her closer, she wasn’t using a water spell, but she was using a spectrum that I couldn’t understand…

“Thank you.”

The little girl sobbed as she put her arms around Yuu Yuu. For a moment, the bunny’s eyes darkened, but after a bit of hesitation, she took the child in her arms and squeezed her back.

“…It’s okay. Yuu Yuu… is being nice today.”

Tenderly, she nuzzled her nose on the child’s shoulder. It was a sweet moment I could only associate with the ever-sweet Yuu Yuu.

“Everyone, the Ruler of the Radiant Kingdom is about to address the city.”

One of the knights nearby announced. He pulled out his phone, prompting other civilians to do the same.

“Ehhhh!”

I screamed as my pocket began to rumble. Everyone turned to me as I pulled out my… phone. Everything about these… phones was scary to me.

“That was so embarrassing.”

I complained, and Mellissa began laughing at me with her cute chuckle. Something told me that… she'd been watching me for a while, and it only added to my insecurity.

When I brought my new phone up, an image of a man with a short white beard and a bandage over his eyes came into view. He looked old as if he's been through a war. Certainly, a veteran of life. I looked around and the rest of the people were doing the same as me, watching their… phones.

Yuu Yuu brought out her phone and stared intently at the man on the screen. Around him were Radiants who were in black suits comparable to the ones Atom was wearing. There was a completely different feel if I compared them to the knights. These must have been the higher politicians that live within the Radiant Kingdom.

“Citizens of Radiant City…”

The Ruler addressed. His voice was amplified in volume around the city as if it was coming from the Kingdom itself. It was strong like a lion and sharp like a blade, and it made me fall into attention. It was strange… this entire event was strange. People were crying both mournful tears… and joyful ones.

“Thank goodness…”

Victims wept. It would seem that Marx was well-loved as smiles came on everyone's face.

"We saw the terrors unleashed on our people and heard your pleas. The Radiants are going into action at this very moment. All of our forces are on these attacks for the last few days. We are putting the Radiant Order on this case."

“They’re bringing in the Radiant Order?”

A woman questioned in excitement. People clapped gladly as the lower quarters erupted in praises.

“Radiant Order?”

I questioned, turning to Mellissa.

“There’s a hierarchy of soldiers in this kingdom. We have the Knight Order that patrols the streets and gates alike. The ones in the white and blue uniforms.”

The human set her phone to the side and held her hands together as if praying to a higher power.

“Then there is the Radiant Order. They are made up of highly skilled Radiants and are significantly stronger in comparison. They deal with high-profile cases with an iron fist. Needless to say, they have never failed to solve a case."

Mellissa tilted her head, endearingly.

“So, if they are bringing in the Radiant Order, things are serious, and they will find out who did this, Feodora.”

I nodded as I turned back to my phone.

“Fear not, we won’t let these terrorists take over the land we love-“

Suddenly, the connection broke and what was left on the screen was a signal lost message. It was abrupt and felt unnatural. I could only imagine that the speech was over. It felt incomplete, though, like he had more to say, but the connection was cut before he finished. However, everyone around me still cheered. Their love for the Ruler was showing in their morale.

“I always feel motivated when I hear from Marx.”

Mellissa giggled as she tended to the wounds of the people around her. She stood up with a little girl she was helping moments ago.

“Are you happy Marx is going to protect us, child?”

She asked the little girl. They both smiled and took each other’s hands. Happily, they began to swing their arms from side to side in a strange dance. She seemed good with kids. As I searched about, I could see the morale raise as people began speaking with one another.

“The Radiants won’t let these terrorists get away with this!”

People chanted. Yuu Yuu rushed over to me and pulled on my jacket like before.

“What’s up, Yuu Yuu?”

Timidly, she smiled.

“They’re going to catch… the person who did this, r-right?”

I was unsure, but seeing her timid demeanor made me want to agree with her.

“Definitely; it looks like the Radiants won’t let them get away with this...”

My phone began to vibrate again, causing me to jump. Mellissa giggled as she watched me flip about. It took me a bit to find out how to answer it as I fumbled around.

“Oh, hello?”

“Feodora, this is Jade. I need you to come to the knight’s station, the place where you were arrested a few days ago. Bring Mellissa Ann Cafree and Yuuna along too.”

 

“Hm? Ah… sure but can I ask why, Jade?”

The knight groaned before she continued.

“We discovered five more potential bomb threats scheduled for today.”

 


Received - Second Bombing - Eve's account. (Can be found in the glossary under key items/ Eve Seed.)

 

Spoiler

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Second Bombing (Eve) description:

(Feodora’s notes…)

Radiant Age, April 6, 1127

Eve claimed that she was near the explosion when it happened. She seemed to have been following a lead on something in the lower quarters when the bombs went off. After shielding herself from the blast, she was contacted by Jade to retrieve Vivian and start helping out the people. Eve was visibly disgusted at what happened and it honestly made me believe her statement by the way she presented herself.

[collapse]

 

 

 

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