Chapter 7 : Encounter Pt.1

Another day had passed without his knowing. In fact, time did not matter to him anymore. Humans treasured time since their time was limited. They needed time to achieve their many goals in life. Even when most of those goals were fulfilled and their lives had reached their limits, they still wanted more time, simply to be in this world a little longer, simply to live. The longer they lived, the more objectives to reach. And he was different. He was timeless. He never aged, never died and never knew how waste it was to let time pass meaninglessly. Such sarcasm that someone who had neither wishes nor intentions led an eternal life while others were bound to the circle of life. What could he do then ? He had no family, no relatives ( even if he had had, they would have all died a century ago ), no friends. She was his everything but he could not bring himself to return to her. When the war was over, his role as her Chevalier, her protector, also ended. What she needed now was not protection, she needed family, friends, joy and happiness, things he was able to give her.

He was useless now. Like a piece of junk that could not be recycled. All he could do was hiding himself away from humans, passing the days with his cello. Yes, he still considered himself fortunate that he had his cello. She had taught him to play and every night, he would play that cello. For her and for himself. Every time he touched the bow, he would imagine that she was right here, next to him, head resting on his lap, eyes shut tight for a peaceful dream. With that vision in mind, he allowed himself to melt into the melody.

Tonight was a full moon. The beauty of nature urged him to compliment it with a piece. He needed no music sheets. Every things he needed were right in his head. Once again, he was lost in his own world until his Chevalier senses told him that he was not alone. Who could be in this gloomy hall except himself ? Although he could not tell who it was, that intruder was not human. No human would dare to approach this ruined mansion which was once known as “The Zoo”.  After the incident had happened on Joel’s birthday, this place became completely deserted, mostly because of the rumors about ghosts rampaging around here. So this place became his perfect shelter. But now, it was invaded.

Haji stopped playing and looked around cautiously to find a man with blonde curly hair sitting cross-legged in a few feet in front of him. He looked nothing abnormal except he was sitting, no, rather floating, in mid air. This was no doubt a Chevalier’s ability. Haji did not know which startled him more : A Chevalier other than Kai and himself or a face he had encountered in the past. A face of someone who should have been dead thirty years ago.

“ Why did you stop ? It was a very brilliant performance. “ The strange-yet-familiar man gave his compliment as is he did not see the confused look on Haji’s face.

“ Nathan ! “ Haji’s voice was low and hoarse, partly caused by his deformed self but mostly by his high tension. All his strength channeled into his two claws, ready for fighting.

“ Like thirty years ago, I would like to make myself clear that I am not here to fight. It was a lovely night, don’t you see ? “ Nathan replied to Haji’s strained reaction with his normally amusing tone.

“ What do you want ? I saw Saya slash you with her blood that day. “

“ What I want, huh ? I just want to enjoy a night… “

He was sitting in front of Haji a few minutes ago but he appeared behind Haji’s back within a flash, standing straight and whispering into Haji’s ears with an abnormal dark tone, which directly sent a chill sensation down Haji’s spine.

“… and to see how Saya’s Chevalier is doing. “

Haji turned around just as the same speed, right claw aimed for Nathan’s neck, trying to decapitating him. Nathan did not even intended to dodge, simply raised his hand to caught a full of Haji’s wrist. Although Nathan’s hand remained in its human form, long and slender fingers hooked his wrist painfully with an undeniably powerful force.

“ You’ re still the same as thirty years ago. “ Seeing Haji’s expression, Nathan released his hand, half mocking him.

“ What do you really want ? “ Haji dropped his claws, seeing no intention or ability to continue the fight and have a chance of winning.

“ Like I said, I want to see how Saya’s Chevalier is doing. “ Nathan dully repeated his sentence with his casual voice.

“ What business could you have here with me ? “

“ It’s my duty to watch over the queens. Thirty years ago, Diva died and Saya went into hibernation, so I took a break. But now she ahs awaken, I think it’s time to get back to my job. “

“ Saya is not here. “ Haji reminded Nathan matter-of-factly. “ She’s in Okinawa with Kai. “

“ In case you didn’t know, she has left Japan. “

Haji did not reply but his face shown he was yearning for an answer, an explanation.

“ To find her Chevalier ! “

Each and every word coming from Nathan’s mouth struck his heart brutally, like a rough hand squeezing his heart hard, suffocating him. Though he could not define what feeling it was, he found his body trembling with non-physical pain.

“ She wants to see you. “ Nathan continued with sympathetic tone, like the way he had talked about Diva after her demise. “ As I can see, you’re hiding yourself away from her. “

“ I…I can’t see her. Not in this form. Beside, she has Kai as her Chevalier now. “

“ What do you know of being a Chevalier ? “

Not knowing how to answer, Haji remained silent.

“ A Chevalier should never leave his queen’s side. He has to be with her for all of eternity, to protect her, to answer her needs. “

“ She doesn’t need me anymore. “ Haji replied sourly.

“ Do you really know what she needs ? “

Nathan’s figure had already gone, only his voice echoed in the hallow halls.

“ If you can’t answer , I can say that you have betrayed your queen. “

Haji sat down on the cold ground, one hand hugging another close to his chest. “ I never betray her. “

Paris streets were tinted golden with the last sun lights. Sunset was only one hour later and after that, night began on la Ville Lumière* . A young girl with raven black hair walked along with a young man by her side, hands lacing together.

“ It’s been a while since we last walked the street. “ The girl said softly.

“ To us, thirty years are just ‘ a while’, but to others, it’s almost half of their lifetime. “

“ Time is sure merciless. “ Her tone was full with remorse. “ A few days ago, I met Min, my only friend in Vietnam.

“ You never told me about her. “

“ I don’t think it was an important detail. I left the school without saying ‘farewell’ anyway. “

“ Is she doing fine ? “

“ Yes, she is. She has a family and children. I think she is living her life to the fullest. “

“ Aren’t we are ? “

“  I think so. But… “

“ Don’t worry sis. After we find that moron, I’m sure we’ll live our life to the fullest. “

“ You know, Kai, a man of your age shouldn’t say something like ‘moron’. “ The girl chuckled.

“ A man of my age ? Jeez, you’re talking like I’m an old man. Ask anyone and they’ll say I’m just twenty. “

“ They won’t if they see your daughters. “

“ Now that you mention, I remember that I have two girls and they’re probably destroying my Omoro. “

“ You don’t trust them at all ? They’re adults. Sometimes, I think you treat them like they’re children. “

“ If they act like adults, I’ll treat them differently. You have no idea how much of troublemakers they are. “

The young man threw his arm over her shoulders, closing the distance between them. The girl blushed slightly but shown no disapprovals.

“ You know, we’re looking a lot like a couple here. “

“ I don’t mind that, do you ? Aren’t queen and Chevaliers supposed to be lovers ? “ Kai smiled mischievously.

“ You’re teasing me again ! “

“ I have never gone out with a girl that isn’t my sister or my daughter. Yea, a man of MY age. At least, let people think I’m walking with my girlfriend instead of my sister. “

“ Isn’t Johana-san your girlfriend ? You never went out with her ? “

“ Nah, she dumped me right after we went back to Japan and married that journalist. She’s now happy with her grandchildren. “

“ To think about that, time’s slowly taking away our friends. The next time I wake up, they’re probably no longer in this world. “ Saya said ruefully.

“ Hey, why suddenly bring this up ? “

“ I.. I’m just feel sorry… “

“ For whom ? You silly ! “ Kai caressed his sister’s head. “ That’s the way humans are. Living their lives to the fullest and accepting their fates when the time comes.  That makes their lives meaningful. Even if you try to keep them by your side with your blood, they won’t be very happy.”

“ Then… aren’t our existence meaningless since we live forever ? “

“ Who said that ? We also live the way we are, to keep their memories all alive. That’s one of the reasons I took your blood. “

“ That’s your promise to them ? “

“ Yes. That’s also yours. Don’t forget that, sis ! “

“ I never forget about them, who fought along side us. Because of them, we can live our lives today. “

“ We’ll never forget. “

Note : Ville Lumière : city of lights ( Paris )

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