“Oh?” a man wearing a horned mask asked. He was floating above the floorboards with his legs crossed. He opened his neon blue eyes and scanned the dojo without moving. “Now why would you want to know that?” the horned man asked, and he stared at the masked man on his knees.
“Curiosity. I wish to understand why your eyes are different to your brothers.” The man replied, without raising his head. The horned man tilted his head to his left, and Clyde raised his head. He revealed his one horned mask and the neon red in his eyes. The two-horned man laughed hysterically.
“You are a strange one, Clyde. Kenpachi and Mdu would have challenged me to a duel, or they would have requested to join me on a mission if they thought they could not best me. You and Hugo are the only Candidates that have asked and not offered anything in return. ‘Fight me or fight with me.’ Is that not your philosophy? Is that not your path?” the two-horned man asked sternly.
“It is.” Clyde replied, and he lowered his head. “And I would fight you…under the correct circumstances.” The one-horned man blurted out. His voiced was a deep rumbling noise that shook the wooden floors of the dojo. The stone walls trembled, and Clyde’s thoughts leaked out of his head.
“My apologies. I mis…no, I lost my focus.” The one-horned man apologized honestly. “You are a cunning one, Clyde. I do not know if your siblings would approve of your methods, though.” Kagiso said and the giant doors creaked open. The cauldrons of fire, beside the doors, flared and the two men’s shadows danced eagerly.
“Are you certain?” a two-horned woman asked. “Yes. I have already contacted Riekes.” A three-horned man replied. “The Council ordered me to gather as many willing participants as possible.” He added. “Ask once, then move on. Time is of the essence. The enemy hides in the mountain’s shadow.” The horned woman read. “Another attack.” She added and the holographic monitor disappeared.
“Aye. Ask once....I fear we will not have the numbers to deal with the threat. Some of us have grown arrogant over the years.” The three-horned man rumbled. His purple eyes glowed and the two-horned woman felt his fear, as if it were her own.
The duo wore suits of bone plated power armour, with flashing lights all over and badges of honour welded onto their chest plates. They tore through the bright blue skies, at supersonic speeds, and the green fields of Moonglow Meadows rushed by.
“I will find Duke. You find Kagiso.” Gloria instructed, and Raymond nodded. “Yes, my brothers will make excellent additions. They will answer the call. I only hope they have not changed too much over the years.” The three-horned man replied. He vanished in the blink of an eye and Gloria’s golden eyes flashed, before she turned into a ghost and disappeared as well.
Riekes banked to his right, barrel rolled clockwise and nosedived towards the river below. A two-horned woman raised her head, while two one-horned men sparred furiously along the Eastern side of the river bank. The orange eyed man slowed down and hovered in the air in front of the woman. Jane lowered her gaze and watched the battle.
“Where?” the two-horned woman asked. Her red eyes flared and Riekes sighed. “An island to the Southeast. Raymond’s ship departs at sunset.” He replied.
“We are sailing under the cover of darkness. Whose gaze are we trying to avoid?” the shorter one horned man asked. “Ha! Surrender and you may find the answer during the campaign.” The imposing one horned man suggested.
“Hmph. I can best you and cross the continent within the hour.” Mdu replied, and his red eyes flared. “Has Raymond contacted his brothers?” Jane asked curiously. “He is on his way to find them, along with Gloria.” Riekes replied, and he watched the two spar carefully.
“Oh? Then I will join you immediately. I will fight the victor upon my return.” Jane said, and the two fighters stopped. “Oh uh, very well. Then, it is a draw.” Mdu declared with a cough.
“Haha! You accepted a compromise first. I claim this victory. Haha!” Kenpachi bellowed in between booming laughs. “So be it. Come, we must find our brother.” The short one-horned man said reluctantly. “Aye. His thoughts have been wandering lately. A campaign is exactly what he needs to reignite his spirit.” The imposing warrior added and a Japanese sword materialized on his left hip.
Kagiso and Clyde disarmed the two robed assassins with ease. The hooded assailants reached into their sleeves and produced two translucent eggs with pulsating orbs of light in the centre. The golden light flowed into them and shrouded their bodies.
“We’re they sent by one of those Golden eyed pricks?” Clyde asked, and he grabbed one of their wrists. The one-horned man snapped the hooded man’s arm and snatched the egg out of his grasp. The second assassin hesitated, when Clyde tossed her partner across the dojo with one hand.
“No, they are too clever to have left a trail this obvious. They were hired by someone that wants us to suspect one another.” Kagiso replied, and he flicked his wrist. An invisible force yanked the egg out of the female assassin’s grasp and threw it at his left hand. The two-horned man caught the crystal egg and stared at the glittery golden light in the centre. “Then we should send a message.” Clyde suggested menacingly. He reached over his shoulder and drew a bone rod with a triangular barrel.
“You know the punishment for killing a human. And what would you tell the Dragon Guard when they interrogate you? Calm yourself and think ahead, little pup.” Raymond rumbled and Clyde felt his disappointment and impatience. The three-horned man let go of the one-horned man’s arm.
Clyde’s omni-rifle de-materialized and he stepped back. Raymond waved his hands and an invisible force swept the assassins off their feet. The hooded assailant drifted towards him, and their eyes rolled back.
Raymond reached out and placed his fingertips on the assassin’s scalp. The hooded man screamed and bit down on a glittery pill. His skeleton shone and the heat blistered his skin. The three-horned man’s purple eyes glowed, and he enveloped the assassin inside a translucent bubble. The watery sphere sparkled like a diamond and contained the white-hot explosion. Kagiso prevented the second assassin from biting down. He extracted the bomb and placed his fingertips on her scalp.
“Oh? Your psychic powers have grown considerably.” Raymond said, with a gleeful chuckle. “Quiet, I need to concentrate.” Kagiso replied, and the three-horned man laughed even harder. The two-horned man opened a secure line, before he shared what he had learned with the other two Candidates.
Raymond and Clyde watched a city burn from a distance. They heard the flapping of wings and the memory skipped forward like a record.
A long line of refugees walked endlessly, until they reached the borders of a new land. A bright light flashed over the horizon, and they continued walking. The refugees reached a temple and a tall woman strode through the light at the entrance. She raised her arms and welcomed the exhausted people.
Raymond, Clyde, and Kagiso were shocked when the tall woman turned to face them. The strange woman screamed and the strange light burned the assassin’s mind and body to ash.
“The Enemy has breached our defences.” Kagiso whispered. However, the lights around his neck did not flash when he spoke. The three-horned man glanced at Clyde. The one-horned man was frozen in place, and he had no idea the two had opened a private channel.
“Aye. His first invasion failed, and He was most certainly going to try again. I would not be surprised, if The Council foresaw this. That is why we are being sent to find a justifiable cause to declare war.” Raymond replied.
“We have a mission. An island to the North. Are you interested?” he asked, and Clyde snapped out of his haze.