13 – The No Rez

Hirun glared at Fortenra, urging the other to go inside without words. Askasa swallowed before stepping over boulders and shards of glass to the front door. He hesitated, looking at the doorknob. He didn’t want to use his hands.
“Just push it,” Hirun stated, stepping forward.

Fortenra pushed the door with his shoulder and it opened easily with a squeal. It was clear not many people came here. Once he stepped inside, the door slammed shut behind him, leaving him in darkness. He took one step forward before turning on his heel.

“Hikari?” he worriedly asked.

“Well who is this that the No Rez has brought to me?” A voice rang out, seeming to reverberate off the very walls. It was high-pitched and ghostly.

“I’m– I’m Askasa!” Fortenra fumbled, pulling his injured hands in close to himself. “Askasa Fortenra!”

The eighteen year old’s heart raced; he could feel it beating in his ears. Faster and faster and–


Fortenra spun around to the new source of light. A candle lit green, glaring eyes.

“Opal, quit your silly games. This is my brother,” rang Hirun’s voice. He had just opened the door.

Fortenra instantly felt relieved and calmed. Making people feel fear… Was that this person’s resonance soul?

A small girl walked out from the shadows. Once the candlelight spread across her face, he could see that although she was at most five feet tall, she looked no younger than sixty. Fortenra gave a quizzical look to the Hirun.

“This is the healer?”

Opal growled. “Fool, if you wanna insult me, do it when I’m not right in front of you.”

Askasa looked down. “I didn’t mean it like–”
Hirun chuckled. “Yeah, Opal’s the healer,” he said, cutting Askasa off. “Anyway, this kid here,” Hirun gave Fortenra a hard slap on his back, “burned his hands. He was wanting you to heal them.”

Opal grumbled something, then began to walk away.
“Follow me,” she groaned, unhappy with the new chore.

The lady led the troupe to a mattress on the floor, where Opal instructed Fortenra to stand directly in front of it.

“Why?” The boy asked.
“Because you will pass out,” Hirun smirked as he answered.

Beginning to have second thoughts and doubtful of his old friend’s intentions, Askasa began to walk forward. Opal put her hand on his chest, stopping him.

“I’m not gonna–” Fortenra started, but couldn’t finish his sentence once he fell backward onto the mattress, unconscious. Hirun chuckled and waved a hand wile Opal did her work.

“I’ll be back when this is all done,” he said. “Don’t do anything you’ll regret.”
And with that, he turned and left.

As the door squealed behind him, Hirun straightened his hat. It was now dark outside. That was when the stranger came out.
Heading over to the Music Store, he took another drink from his canteen.

The Music Store was a house, similar to Opal’s, which had begun to fall apart. The roof was caving in, and most of the walls were in pieces. The place was called the Music Store because it was theorized to have been one at some point, as amongst the rubble and hidden in the wreckage were hundreds, if not thousands, of CDs. It may as well have been called the CD Graveyard.

Regardless, every night for the past week, there had been a weird guy here searching through it all and stealing the CDs that weren’t damaged. He had grey hair and glowing green eyes, wore a strange combination of red and black, and queerest of all, heralded a tail. Hirun had thought it was fake at first, like a belt or something, but the way it moved and waved periodically left no doubts.

The reason Hirun didn’t like this guy was because the stranger had no rez, just like him. And stranger still, had no ki. No one knew this man was here except Hirun, who still depended on his eyes rather than his sixth sense. Even Hirun had ki. This guy, he was trouble. Hirun’s eyes narrowed as he watched the man rummage.

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