- To … Help you ?
My voice was trembling. I was nervous and somewhat cold.
- W-What do you mean, "help you" ?!
Quickly I stood up below her to see straight in her eyes.
- You want to rest ? You need to hide ?
Lia's eyes slightly narrowed while her head hung down. For a few seconds she looked the ground still wet because of the humidity.
- Answer ! What do you need ?!
I grabbed Lia's shoulder with my left hand to gently shake her.
- … Let go of me, idiot.
With a wave of her hand, Lia took off mine from her shoulder. Always with her head looking down, she move this same hand toward her face to wipe off the tears on her face.
While looking up to see straight in my eyes, she muttered those words.
- I want to save Nola. I need your help.
My eyes opened widely while hearing that.
- (Did she say … Save Nola ? Isn't she supposed to be taken away by Soul Society ? What will she do against all the Captains ? Did she even have a plan ? And … Aren't Arrancar supposed to be heartless ? Then, does she has feelings for Nola ? …)
So many questions popped up in my head. Too many questions, very few answers. But among all those questions, only one made it's way through my mouth.
- Why would you do that ?
I wasn't sarcastic. It wasn't criticism or anything else either. I was the most serious I could get, and this question was the most honest it could be.
At those words, Lia turned her back to me to see the infinity of the sky. And with her face completely lit up by the moon, she finally give me an answer.
- Because she's my sister.
Instantly, I fell backward and landed on my butt. Her answer... It was simple. Yet, it was enough to totally blow me back. I couldn't believe it.
- (For such a reason … She will fight the strongest army among the spirits … Just to save her sister …) B-But … Didn't you say that you were totally beaten by only one of those guys ? If one was enough to beat both of you … What could you do against 13 of them ?!
- Yes he was stronger. But still, I need to go. That's why I'm asking for your help.
- T-T-That's crazy ! You'll just end being killed !
- Then so be it.
Instantly, I stood up. Those words alone were enough to make me out of control.
- Are you even aware of what you're saying ? You're ready to give up your life so easily ? Are you crazy ?!! I … I-
At the same instant, Lia violently slaps me on the face. The cloak was blew up away by the wind. She was looking at me with the saddest yet the strongest eyes that I had ever see. I couldn't even speak of determination anymore with emotions as strong as hers.
- I'm ready to die. I don't give a fuck about death …
With her crimson hair blowing up in the wind, tears started to appears once more on Lia's eyes.
- She's my only family … That's why … That's why …
She grabbed my clothes with such violence that I thought it would tear apart at any moment.
- THAT'S WHY I HAVE TO SAVE HER !
For a few seconds, nothing but the silent remains.
Soul Society. A few hours later.
- So … Do you really understand the reason why you're here ?
Nola was on a chair. In a pure white room. A room made of Sekkiseki (殺気石, Spirit Reducing Stone). Nola's reiryoku was lowered down to almost zero.
- We're pretty well aware of what you did that night.
On the other side of the cellar was standing a Shinigami. He didn't seemed to be a captain or even a Ranked Soldier.
- You're the one who killed a Ranked Soldier uh ? Vegnola De Meuron that's it ?
- … If you know that, then what do you want from me ?
- Tch !
The Shinigami looked to be the kind of being easily angered. At those words, he took his Zanpakuto and made it slip on the bars.
- I actually don't know why where keeping you alive either. But that's the way it is. It's my job to make jerks like you spit out everything they know !
- … Oh.
- But be sure that …
The Shinigami brought the blade to his mouth and slowly licked the edge of its blade.
- If it were up to me … I would kill you right now !
Nola merely smiled hearing those words.
- What's up ?!
- … May I ask your name, Shinigami ?
- Uh ? Nezumi Otamarashi ! Why are you asking that ?
With a deep glare of a killer beast, Nola smiled while looking at Nezumi.
- Don't you think you're a bit too cocky … Nezumi-san ?
At this very instant, Nezumi felt an intense pressure on his shoulder. It wasn't Reiatsu. It simply was the bloodlust coming from Nola.
- You ? Kill me right now ? Don't make me laugh.
- T-Tch !
At this very moment, Nezumi turned his back while sheathing his Zanpakutô.
- J-Just wait here for the moment. But be sure I'll be back to know what I need to know !
Nola then looked the ground. Her smile was gone. Only pain and sadness could now be seen.
- Yeah. Of course …
Human World, at the same time.
A few hours passed since we began speaking. Since Lia's strong words about saving her sister, we both remained silent in the grass. We waited all night, without saying a word. While she was probably thinking about how to save her sister, I was thinking about the truth of her previous words.
- Eh … Lia.
- Yeah ?
I quickly glanced at her.
- The captain … Who attacked you … Which division was he ?
- Hm ? I'm not sure about that but … He was from the 9th Division if I remember well.
- Why's that ?
I took a few seconds to think about it.
- I was just wondering.
And after a few minutes, everything became clear in my head.
"I'm accompanied by the Vice-captain of the 9th Division, Matsunami Shinoda"
-No way …
"Usueiri Shikei, Captain of the 9th Division"
- Is that …
"Matsunami Shinoda ... Will never be a Shinigami ... Anymore."
- … What I think ?
"He said he was here to avenge his underling."
- (… Did Nola … Really kill Matsunami?)
Instantly, I stood up and turned in Lia's direction.
- Oi. Do you know the name of this captain's underling ?
- Uh ? The name ? I don't think I-
- Matsunami Shinoda. That's her name.
- Uh ?
My eyes were filled with anger. All I wanted to do know was to kill Nola myself.
- She was my friend. She was my mentor.
- Wa-Wait … C-
- THE VICE-CAPTAIN OF THE 9TH DIVISION WAS MATSUNAMI SHINODA !
- C-Calm down !
- Don't tell me to calm down !! Your sister killed her ! And now you're asking me to save her assassin ? Are you crazy ? Yes, that's it, you're crazy !
- Calm down I say …
- Of course, only a crazy person could kill someone without any remorse ! That's easy, that's quick ! Uh ?! UH ?!!
- CALM DOWN I SAID !!
Immedialty I stopped. Lia's voice was strong enough to stop me in the middle of my anger.
- She didn't kill her …
- W-What …
I was clenching my first though.
- It's true we're beasts. It's true we're enjoying torture … However …
- However ?
- No matter how much pain we like to deliver … We'll never kill someone, unless it's a clear enemy …
- Do you mean that …
- Yeah. Nola... She's …
- She's not a murderer.
A few minutes passed. While Lia still was sitting, I was standing, silent, with the light of the dawn lighting up my face. I was wondering. I was thinking. Of everything she said. About her sister, about Matsunami, about the incident. And finally after a few minutes, I spoke.
- Go away.
- W-What do you mean ?
- Just go.
Lia now was standing, ready to go.
- Should I take that as a "No" ?
- It's OK. I unders-
- I need time. To think about it.
Lia's eyes opened wide open.
- Time ?
- Yeah. Please. Give me one week to think about it.
- It's impossible. I'm sorry.
Lia then opened a Garganta and jumped in.
- We don't know when Nola will be executed. I can't take the risk of waiting one week.
- … Is that so.
- I'll give you two days. Within those two days, I'll search for reinforcements. Make your mind about it within this short time.
- … Ok. Two days is enough. 10 A.M.
- Hm ?
- In two days, we'll meet there at 10A.M.
Lia looked at me for a few seconds before smiling. While turning her back to me she started to walk away.
I did the same, going on my way.
- See ya, Lia.
And with those final words, the Garganta closed, as our whole conversation.
- What... Are you doing here?Immediately, I brought my arms up in a defensive position. However Lia didn't react. She simply put her hands on mine to gently lower them.
- Calm down … I'm not here to cause you any harm. Not anymore …While lowering my arms, I noticed that blood trickled down her face.
- What happened to you?Lia glanced at the blood on the left side of her face. She then looked down at the ground.
- Oh that?
- That's … Nothing. Really...Suddenly, noise could be heard from the stairs. It was Hinata.
- Nii-san, who is it?She slowly came downstairs to rejoin us.
- That's an old friend. He wanted to see me after a while.While I gently pushed Lia outside, I followed her and gently closed the door.
- Uhhh~? A friend? But it's 10 P.M.!!
- I'll be back soon. Stay with Hinode for now.She looked silently at the closed door for a few seconds. Finally, she went upstairs and back to her room.
-Wait big br-
- Hinode~ What are you doing?Hinode was looking from the window. She was looking outside.
- So, tell me. What happened ? What do you want ?Lia quickly looked at me. She didn't say a word, she simply was watching. Her eyes then turned back to the direction of the river.
- Are you always so naive ? I'm your enemy. I tried to kill you. And yet you're speaking to me so casually …She tightened her knees against her body. She was cold.
- …Gently, I put my cloak around her shoulders to keep her warm.
- …!! What … Are you doing …- You came here to speak to me. There's no way I could just reject you. I'll listen to what you have to say first. And then I'll act.
- You idiot …It was quick, but Lia faintly smiled. She then looked up to see the stars shining in the dark night.
- We got attacked.I looked at her for a few seconds. Only sadness could be seen in her eyes.
- … What do you mean?
- Right after you left, we were still pretty badly wounded because of that woman. But still we got attacked. It was a Shinigami.
- !! A Shinigami? What would a Shinigami be doing in Hueco Mundo?
- Eh! It's an eternal war between our two races. But this time, that wasn't the reason. It was a Captain. One of the 13 strongest warriors out of all of the Shinigamis. He came specifically for us. He said he was here to avenge his underling.
- His underling … ?
- Yeah. Of course, he was way too strong for us. We simply couldn't make a dent and … In the end … He simply left while leaving me half-alive …
- What … About your sister ?While looking at me, a nervous smile appeared on her saddened face.
- Here's the problem. He … He took Nola with him. I don't think she's dead yet. She probably is at Soul Society right now … But … For how long ?
- What do you mean « For how long » ?
- He didn't kill her back then. But an Arrancar simply can't live at Soul Society, even as a prisoner. So … What do you think they will do ?My eyes opened wide when I heard that. She was my enemy. And yet, while looking at her right now, all I could feel was.
- Don't tell me they will …
- They probably will execute her.
- (Pity … ?) But … if you were that much injured … There's no way you could be in good health right now !
- Well, then, I simply had …
- … What's your name old dude ?From far away, the only thing we could see was two people. Two people with red hair.
- Old dude ? Haha !
- My name is Hôka ! Hôka Emba !Hoka was healing, somewhat, Lia's wounds. Though it wasn't his forte, he was able to give the first aid.
- … You don't seem to be an Arrancar …Right ?
- No. I'm something else. You shouldn't speak to much young lady, You're wounds are deep.
- I … Don't have time to lose … I have to … Rescue Nee-chan …Lia tried to stand up before quickly falling back to the ground.
- Whoa, whoa ! Calm down young lady. You clearly can't move in your actual state.While sitting down, Lia looked at Hôka.
- But she's … Waiting for me …
- Don't worry. If she wasn't killed on the spot, then it means you still have a few days to rest. She won't be hurt anymore for the following days. Maybe weeks if she's a lucky one.
- Would you help me to save her when the moment will come ?Hoka waited a few seconds before giving his answer.
- I'm afraid I can't. I have my own duty to fulfill you know … I'm sorry.Lia looked the ground. Her eyes clearly showed her feelings. She went from « Hope » to « Despair ». However, Hôka gently put his hand of her shoulder.
- … That's Ok …
- Don't worry. I'm sure you'll find someone able to help you.Hôka faintly smiled.
- … Shinku … Kurasa …
- This boy will change the rules of this world. I'm pretty sure of it. You too should put your faith in him young lady.Lia then stood up. Her wound were mostly healed. She looked at the Horizon with determined eyes.
- … Yes. Maybe I should …
- Wait for me … Nee-chan.Hôka, once again, smiled. This time however it was wider.
- If you manage to meet him. Please don't speak of our meeting today please.Hôka, too, stood up, aside of Lia.
- Hm ? Why ?
- If he were to know that I know the whole story. He would probably think that, « In a desperate case » I would come. That's partly true though. But I don't want him to rely on me. He needs to grow stronger. So he could change this rotten world.Lia smiled hearing those words.
- Yeah. I won't tell him a thing then.
-Well, then, I simply had … Luck.Lia smiled while looking at the sky.
- Luck ?
- You'll wait here for the moment !A Shinigami threw Nola into a cellar. He was bulky, half shaved. Had a gross beard and seemed pretty weak.
- Though, what a pain, you're such a cute chick !Nola wasn't even looking at him. He could only see disgust on her eyes.
- Ya know … I don't want to be boastful but … I'm pretty much famous ! If you agree to date with me, I'm sure I could do something about your situation, hehe !Once again, Nola almost was ignoring him.
- No thanks. Please just shut the door.
- Tch ! You'll regret those words. I'll come ask you once again tomorrow tho'. Hehehe.At those words, the Shinigami closed the door and simply left the room.
- Also, don't forget to have your shower tomorrow. It would be a shame to be all bruised during the interrogation.
- So … Shinku Kurasa …Lia stood up and simply came before me.
- You can simply call me Kurasa.
- I don’t want to lose a second more with these useless discussions.While looking up, I could clearly see determination on her face.
- …The light of the moon slightly lighted up her face while she was muttering her words. Tears were coming out from her eyes.
- Help me … !