26 – Brothers

Kingsley knew Edmond would come for Q. There was no way Edmond would spend the time to practically raise the Soul Stealer and then just dump him off in Dexterity. Kingsley wanted to at least control the outburst when Edmond showed up, so he waited outside the Sinico building, in plain view. He looked at the castle on the hill in the distance – no doubt where Edmond chose to sequester himself – and it wasn’t soon enough when his dearest younger brother decided to show up.

Shoy looked over at the angry Monte Criston’s form.
“So I see you’re a Count, now,” he offered, eying the extra few gold swirls that attached Edmond’s cape to his shoulders.

Edmond’s eyes narrowed. “What did you do with Q?”
The promotion was honorary, for coming to Dexterity. Edmond thought little of it as he glared at his former role model. If Shoy were here, then he was sure he had Q. Although, for some reason, it did not surprise him in the least that Shoy had decided to hole up in this place.
It made sense that when something bad finally happened, Shoy was behind it.

“What? No formal greeting? I’ve missed you,” Shoy continued, ignoring Edmond’s demand.

The Count of Monte Cristo stepped forward, close to Shoy. Edmond was a few inches shorter than his brother, but just as intimidating.
“You’re not a Monte Criston anymore,” Edmond hissed.
“You don’t deserve it. Now where’s my Talvian?”

“Your Talvian?” Shoy growled, becoming defensive. “What is he, your pet?”
Edmond simply glared in reply.

“Fine,” Shoy was done with this.”I really did miss you.”
He turned around and opened up the doors, leading Edmond inside and to where Q was held. Once they got to the cell, however, all that was left was some blood, stray hairs, and a plastic plate with a bloodied fork on it. The door was open.

“Is this some kind of joke?” Edmond questioned.
Shoy just stood there, flabbergasted. Had that boy rattled him so much that he’d forgotten to lock the cell door when he’d left?

“This is all your fault!” Shoy shouted, quick to judge. He turned to Edmond shoved him back a step.

“My fault?” Edmond shot back, holding the hilt of his rapier rightly. “You’re the one who had him held prisoner!”

Shoy grit his teeth. “You’re the one who brought him here in the first place! Of course he’d try to get to the Phoenix any chance he got!”

“No he wouldn’t– I made sure of that!” Edmond yelled in retort.

“How? By erasing the memory that he was the Soul Stealer? Edmond, that is just like you, you never–”

Edmond interrupted him. “Never what Shoy? Never what? I’m sure when you found out what he was, you only caught him to claim the glory for yourself! To come back to Monte Cristo!”

“Like you weren’t planning the same?!” Shoy shot back. “Great Edmond, who killed the Phoenix and the Soul Stealer in one foul swoop,” Shoy threw up his hands. “He finally proved he wasn’t the failure his brother was!”

“You shut up, Shoy,” Edmond growled. “You don’t know anything about what I had to go through–”

This time it was Edmond’s turn to be interrupted by Shoy. “What you had to go through?! I lost EVERYTHING because of you! All you ever do is use people!” Shoy yelled, pointing to the ground. “You used me, you used Eiki, now you’re going to use Q just so you don’t have to do any of the damn work yourself!”

The two brothers glared at eachother, taking deep breaths through their noses, nostrils flaring like bulls. It appeared that, for the moment, the family dispute was over.

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