Original Stories Fan Fiction / Fables/Fairytales Fan Fiction ❯ The Elementalists ❯ Nineteen - The Plan ( Chapter 19 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Ilias paced around the living room impatiently, waiting for Captain Skyler to arrive at Soumei's temple. It was past nightfall, and everyone had already retired to their quarters. He sighed, running a hand through his braids. He picked one out, holding it on front of his face, examining it. `I've had these in for so long,' he thought, laughing quietly to himself. `I ought to take them out.'
Ilias then proceeded to do just that as he sat down on the soft sofa to take out his many braids. He must have been doing so for an hour, for when he had taken out half of his braids, his elf ears perked up, hearing footsteps in the house. He quickly finished taking out his braids, hurrying to catch the intruder.
“Ilias,” said Captain Skyler, once the elf had found him in the kitchen. He stared at Ilias's long smooth hair, baffled. “Your braids!” He rushed over to the black-haired man, running his fingers through his slightly wavy hair. He smiled slightly. “I've never seen you without your braids,” he mused, wrapping his arms around Ilias's waist. “Your hair is even longer than mine. How is it so straight after being in braids for so long?”
Ilias smiled, leaning back into the Captain's embrace. “I'm an elf, remember?” he replied, closing his eyes. “Everyone is asleep. Shall we discuss the rest in the morning? We need rest as well,” he added.
He felt Skyler shake his head into his neck. “No, we have to get this done with once and for all.” He sighed, lacing his fingers in Ilias's hair. “Well, they know you better than me. Go on and wake them up.” Skyler released his hold on Ilias, walking back to the refrigerator and rummaging through Soumei's scarce food supply. Ilias pouted, whining in protest at the sudden lack of warmth. But in the end, he gave up his pouting and went upstairs to wake the group.
Once they were all situated at the long table in the study room, and after the very strange commotion about Ilias's hair not being in braids anymore, Captain Skyler loudly cleared his throat to gain everyone's attention. “There are three demons that Rika is sending to the Human World, as you may already know,” he started. “You have already encountered Gilead. We assume he will be your third and hardest target. As for the other two, we do not yet have much information on them.”
“Three certainly is the magic number, isn't it,” commented Florian, jadedly resting his chin in his palm. “How, exactly, are we supposed to go about this?”
Skyler continued, “We have word that the three demons travel as a pack. They are rarely seen without each other, or without one nearby. However, our spies have told us that Rika is sending them each to a specific place in the Human World, meaning that none of them will be within reach of the others.”
Kai yawned before saying, “That makes no sense whatsoever.” Skyler glanced sharply at her for interrupting him, though in return she stuck her tongue out at him when he looked in the opposite direction.
“Our spies have also told us, from what they have seen, that the other two demons aren't quite as powerful as Gilead. Of course, their powers are still great, but they won't be as much of a challenge for you as Gilead. So,” he paused momentarily, eyeing the Elementalists as well as Florian and Eryk. “We recommend that you should split into two groups. The first group will fight the first demon sited, and the second group will fight the second. They should be easy to defeat, regardless of their could-be immense powers. You have been training very hard, and with your physical training, your Elemental and spiritual power has also increased.”
“Really?” asked Candis, looking at the Captain doubtfully. “I don't feel any difference. My powers are the same as they were last week. We only practiced using our elements for the last two months,” she added. “It's not like that's the main thing we were aiming to strengthen.”
Skyler nodded in agreement. “True enough, but those restraints have proved otherwise. Perhaps not now, but Ilias has reported that your aura has changed considerably, and for the better. It's stretching out farther, meaning that you've strengthened your natural powers almost to their peak.”
Ilias nodded, smiling. “Yes, your aura has become much stronger from the first time we met. We're proud of you!” he said, winking. The girls smiled abashedly, murmuring timid gratitude.
Guren sighed, almost unable to handle the emotions of embarrassment and pride coming from each of the girls, even from the normally quiet Feng. She had opened up more during her time with the other three girls, proving that she too had strong feelings at times. He sighed again, more audibly as he ran a hand through his short, tangled, red hair. “So, have you decided on our groups as well?” he inquired, staring at the Captain.
Skyler grinned, staring Guren straight in the eye. “No, we decided to leave that up to you. It would only be fair. Although,” he took a short pause, sighing. “I advise you to pick your teams carefully. You should have the opposites together, in case one element cancels out the other. I have no doubt that either way you will beat these demons, but it is definitely better to be safe than sorry.”
Guren rolled his eyes, and Skyler smirked at him. “Well, I should be off. I apologize for waking you so late at night. I did not mean to disturb your sleep.” He bowed, then walked out into the front room. Ilias frowned slightly, and though he tried to hide it, the girls had caught it. Florian and Eryk would have, too, but they quickly left to go back to sleep. The girls were about to say something, but Guren beat them to it.
“Aren't you going to see him off, Ilias?” Guren asked slyly, a smirk placed on his lips. Ilias's cheeks tinged pink, but he smiled back nonetheless.
“Why yes, dear friends, I think I will,” he answered, standing up from his seat. He winked at the rest of the group, calling back, “Don't worry about me, now.”
The girls' eyes followed Ilias until he rounded the corner and was out of sight. They gaped at Guren for his boldness, except for Feng. Kai, Chi, and Candis turned their heads to the place where Ilias disappeared, then back to Guren for an explanation. He smirked, folding his arms across his chest and slouching in his chair. “I thought you all would have noticed by now,” he admitted. “Ilias has a thing for the Captain. I told you I wasn't the gay one.” He looked satisfied with his explanation.
Kai huffed. “Hah! No you didn't,” she corrected. “You said `we aren't gay!' Or, well… You said something that implied that you and Ilias both weren't like that. But Ilias is, isn't he? How do we know you aren't in on it too?” she teased, her eyes twinkling as she teased him playfully.
Guren scoffed, throwing a crumpled napkin across the table at Kai. She ducked and stuck her tongue out at Guren. He sighed frustratedly, rolling his eyes at her juvenile habits. `Dear Gods, I have softened,' he thought to himself.
Ilias leaned against the wall of the front room, closing his eyes. “Leaving without saying goodbye, eh?” he asked quietly. Captain Skyler stopped, turning around to look at Ilias. He grinned.
“Of course not,” he answered, walking over to Ilias and pulling him against his chest. Ilias sighed into the hug, comfortable and not wanting to let go. Skyler smiled softly, ruffling the younger man's hair. “You look less manly without the braids,” he pointed out. “I like that.”
Ilias scoffed, rolling his eyes. “Of course you would,” he mumbled into Skyler's shirt. He sighed sadly, pecking the Captain on the lips and walking back down the hallway. “I'll see you in two weeks, Captain,” he said, winking. Captain Skyler was taken aback, but quickly recovered and smirked in return as Ilias disappeared around the corner.
Eryk was the first to wake up the next morning. Deciding it wasn't too early, he took a shower and slipped on black khakis and a red button-up shirt. He cursed to himself, noticing that his wavy black hair was frizzing.
He chose not to let it bother him and put a long black coat on, walking hurriedly out the door. He stopped when he heard a voice call after him.
“Wait up!” called Candis, struggling to get her shoe on while hopping towards the door. Eryk's eyebrows rose up in curiously, but he held the door open for her anyway. “I thought I was the only crazy one up at this hour,” she said sheepishly. “Let's go get coffee.”
“Right,” Eryk replied, a dash of red staining his cheeks. The two walked silently to the train station, sitting in the same awkward silence on the train, and then to the café. They had never really been alone together. It almost felt like a blind date to them, if either had known what that was.
Candis sighed irately, sipping at her caramel-flavoured frappuccino. She wanted to talk about something, about anything, but Eryk was avoiding eye contact and stared blankly out the window. She groaned in disappointment, asking, “Why are you so quiet for once? Normally you're boasting about your money, or your looks, or something like that.”
Eryk fumed at Candis, who merely grinned in return. He rolled his eyes at her and took a sip of his hot coffee. “It's too early for me to be boasting. Besides,” he added. “There's no hot babes around to flirt with at this hour.” He smirked when he sensed that Candis was angered and slightly jealous by his statement.
She cursed in her mind, closing the telepathic connection she shared with Eryk. `What an arrogant jerk,' she thought, hurriedly drinking the rest of her drink. `And to think that I—'
“Hey,” Eryk interrupted. “…Sorry,” he mumbled, almost inaudibly. Candis's brows went up, her red eyes confused.
“For what?” she questioned, wanting to hear Eryk actually apologize for his rude comment. Eryk hesitated, then shrugged, staring out the window again. She sighed. `He's so stubborn sometimes!'
When the two had returned, everyone was up and about, packing food and medicinal supplies in two separate bags. Candis ran upstairs to put her purse away, then came back down. “So, whose group am I in?” she asked, looking to Guren.
“We haven't decided yet,” Guren informed her, carefully putting two loafs of bread into one of the packs. “We were waiting on you two,” he added, somewhat accusingly.
Candis narrowed her eyes at him, but gave up when she realized that he didn't care and was ignoring her nonetheless. “Kai! We're gonna be in the same group, right?” she asked.
Kai put some medical supplies into the smaller pocket of the pack Guren had put the bread in, and answered, “Hell yeah we are!” She gave Candis a thumbs up, making the girl laugh while shaking her head at her friend's antics.
“Alright, me and Florian will go with you guys too. That makes at least one group, right?” said Eryk, taking off his coat and sitting down on the sofa.
“Don't you mean `Florian and I'?” asked Kai, causing Eryk to flare up with rage.
“No,” Guren cut in. “I'll go with them. You or Florian can go with Chi and Feng, and Ilias will be accompanying them as well.” Guren finished packing some dried meats and zipped up the pack, refusing to give the rest of them his reasoning.
“What?! Why can't we go with them? We've known them longer,” Eryk protested, standing and slamming a fist in the wall. “Why do you have to go with them and only one of us?”
Florian sighed. The jealousy was back, and worse than ever. `I want to be in Kai's group to make sure that she and Candis are safe,' he thought to himself, sitting on the stairs. `But it would be a better idea if Guren was with one group and Ilias with the other. They're far more powerful than me or Eryk.' He sighed again, looking long and hard at Guren. “Fine,” he said, though hesitance was in his voice. “I'll go with Chi and Feng. But so help me, if anything happens to them… I won't forgive you.”
Guren shook his head nonchalantly, letting out a small breath of air. “Alright.” Eryk looked in astonishment at Florian.
“But Florian… We can't be in different groups just because this guy—”
Florian looked straight at Eryk. “It's fine…” `Just look after Kai. I still don't feel that he can be trusted… Not to save her, anyway,' he added in his mind, Eryk immediately receiving it.
Eryk nodded, somewhat uncertain as he retreated back upstairs to get his equipment.
Soumei stood at the temple doors, watching the backs of the group head off into the distance. He smiled ruefully, chuckling to himself. `You have come far, my children,' he thought. `I have faith in you. You will succeed.'