Part XVI – Father Knows Best
In a land controlled by the humans, and across an ocean west of the sun elves, lay the capital city of Consonance. Whilst the growing metropolis’ twisting spires stabbed at clouds in a bright blue sky, its most striking feature was actually the floating landmass that held a college above its north-western corner. Thanks to the technology invented by the elves, the world class college campus resembled a tear drop in the sky.
Only miles away from downtown, and on the black sand beaches of the eastern shores, a building that resembled a massive church held a banquet hall. It had a large room with three rows of long tables that could seat twenty people to each side. On a raised dais at the rear of the hall sat a large booth with an ornate oval table in the center. Mr. Hakizimana, along with several other diplomats and officials from the Eioda government, were arrayed around the egg white table. Plates of food sat untouched.
When Momotaru walked into the room his father eyed him dangerously from across the three rows of tables. Moments later his father seemed to notice the four assassins standing behind him. Mr. Hakizimana bristled with rage. Every head in the room turned to watch as Momotaru walked toward the rear of the room. More than a few who sat at the tables, either dressed in hardened plastic fiber exosuits or suits and ties, watched the assassins with eyebrows furrowed and lips either hanging open or turned down sharply.
“What’re you doing here with them?” asked Mr. Hakizimana. “And what’re you wearing? Didn’t these girls tell you to wear something more befitting this occasion?”
“I don’t even know what this… occasion is for,” said Momotaru. “After you stunned me into unconsciousness and I woke up this morning, you don’t even have what it takes to face me privately. It’s no wonder that mother had them send you away.”
“What did you say?”
“I’m leaving,” said Momotaru as he turned and walked away. “Don’t try to follow me or stop me… Oh, and by the way…” He turned to his father with a sly smile. “These ladies no longer work for you. They follow my orders now.”
Before Momotaru could stroll through the exit, the dozen stationed guards in exosuit armor blocked his path. Momotaru unsheathed his adamantite black sword and the guards drew from their backs ceremonial longswords of their own. The assassins did not have weapons, yet they ran to surround Momotaru as each of them bounded into exotic fighting stances.
“Stand back ladies,” said Momotaru with a grin. “I got this… besides, you all don’t have any weapons.”
“Our hands are the only weapons we need,” said Kya. “Besides, if it’s now our sworn duty to protect you then we would be failing in our oath if we didn’t put our lives in front of yours.”
One of the guards marched forward. “Take the diplomat’s son unharmed.”
“What about the others?” asked another as the others closed in.
Momotaru growled as he closed his eyes and slapped his hands together. When he opened them again, his eyes were pitch black and seemed to drink in the shadow around the room. The guards paused as they watched him. Even Momotaru’s new bodyguards looked over their shoulders with raised eyebrows, until they sprang forward.
Kya and her sisters engaged the exosuit clad guards, their hands flashing blurs as they struck. Momotaru flashed through the room, like a flickering shadow. The guards couldn’t track his movements, and, as the assassins attacked them from the front, Momotaru dove towards their open backs. He struck out, hitting non vital areas, and the assassins proceeded to disarm and incapacitate the guards.
In a matter of moments the room lay almost in silence, except for the groans of writhing guards, their bones broken and blood seeping through the cracks in their armor. The doors burst open. The room was flooded with exosuit clad reinforcements. They point their lasguns towards Momotaru and his assassins.
“Hold your fire,” commanded Mr. Hakizimana.
His eyes connected with those of his sons.
“Let them go,” said Mr. Hakizimana.
Gasps erupted around the room. The guards lowered their laser weapons and stepped aside. Momotaru and his group of assassins sauntered out of the banquet hall. Slowly, quiet whispers broke out amongst the tables seated below the royal diplomats.
Sitting at the oval table on the dais, the secretary of state said, “Are you sure that it’s a good idea to let him leave… especially with those four?”
“It seems like everything is going just as you planned, my liege,” said Mr. Hakizimana’s closest assistant.
“How can you be so sure that he’ll continue to do as you suspect?” asked the secretary of state.
“Because I know my son,” said Mr. Hakizimana. “Just because he hasn’t been here in Eioda doesn’t mean that I haven’t been keeping tabs on him. I knew that he would eventually find a way to roam the countryside… I just had to make him think that he was in control. Now I have four highly trained ladies to keep him company that he thinks works for him. Yes… everything is working out just as I planned.”