Part X – Crimson Secrets
Threa’s setting sun cast deep shadows across the land thanks to the jagged dwarven mountains and the sun elf floating city, whose own shadow extended out to the North Mizuki Ocean. The sky was painted in shades of dark blue and orange. The twin moons circling the planet were pale crescents suspended above the heads of the two police officers. Sergeant Hoplow and Major Rufap stood on the doorstep of the sun elf royal family estate. They had no trouble getting past the front gate after flashing their badges. Now a butler stood blocking the entrance into the home.
“I’m sorry but the lord and lady of the manor are not here at the moment,” said the butler.
“We’re not here for them,” said Sergeant Hoplow. “We’re here to see the princess.”
“What possible reason could you have to visit Princess Clairal?”
“That’s confidential,” said Sergeant Hoplow. “Just let us in so we can talk to her.”
“I’m afraid I can’t--”
“It’s okay Jarvis,” interrupted a soft voice from within the home. “Let them in.”
With a nod, the butler stepped away from the door as he eyed the two police officers up and down. Stepping inside the lobby of the home, they followed the princess into a side room where they sat across from her on a large, plush leather sofa.
“To what do I owe the pleasure of a visit from our fine sun elf police force?” asked the sun elf princess.
Despite the two sun elves sitting next to each other who were each well over five hundred years old, the princess was less than half that age yet they were uncomfortable addressing the woman that would one day rule over the entire United Elven Kingdom. The princess had dark golden skin that sparkled with a luxurious sheen. She wore a skin tight black dress with long sleeves and a long flowing hem that obscured the high-heeled shoes.
“I’m not sure exactly how to say this your highness but…” Sergeant Hoplow paused with a nervous energy that he tried to contain.
Major Rufap spoke into the uncomfortable silence. “We’re searching for a killer,” she said.
“And how could I possibly help in this search?” asked Princess Clairal.
“We have rumor to believe that you may know someone named Momotaru,” said Seargent Hoplow. “He’s believed to be a highly skilled martial artist and might be the illegitimate son of the human chancellor.”
The small, polite smile that the princess wore quickly turned to a frown.
“According to some of the info we’ve found,” said Major Rufap. “We believe that you may know how to contact him.”
“And what info did you find that makes you think that?” asked the princess.
“Look,” said Major Rufap. “I’m just going to come out with it… we believe that this man is half human and half elf… is he your son?”
Before anyone could respond, the butler came into the room with a tray of drinks that he set on the coffee table between the two parties.
The princess shook her head slowly and giggled to herself. “How many other people think that they know the truth of this information?”
The two police officers looked at each other and swallowed a huge lump in their throats.
“If we don’t report back people will come looking--”
The princess let out a deep throated laugh and held up a hand to forestall the panicked response from the officer. “Don’t worry,” said the princess. “I have no intention of killing you. I would just like to know how many people know about our dirty little family secret.” She laughed again, throwing her head back as she looked off into the distance once she completed her laugh. “Oh man, Father was so upset when he found out. I wasn’t allowed to leave the house for the entire nine months. Then when he found out who the father was…” she laughed again. “He nearly went to war with the humans.”
“So…” Sergeant Hoplow leaned forward from the edge of the sofa. “You know where he is?”
“If you think I’m the kind of mother who would turn on her son,” said the princess, suddenly growing deadly serious, eyes narrowing to dangerous slits, “then you’re sadly mistaken. But I will tell you this. I’ve had very little to do with the raising of my own son. I had to give him up for adoption after only a few years in order to keep his royal blood a secret. You can imagine how many people would strike at my family through him if they found out who he really was. Anyway, if you want to find him then find another martial artist known as the Butterfly Samurai.”
The two officers gasped as they briefly looked to one another and then back at the princess.
The princess continued speaking. “She was a friend of his when they were younger. They trained under the same martial arts master. If there’s anyone that can find my son it’s her. Trust me, if Momo doesn’t want to be found, he won’t be.”