((Claiming next chapter now. Warning: It will probably be much shorter or take several edits to put together.))
Chapter Fifteen, Part 1
Garm had fallen asleep in the Student Council Room awaiting Morte's arrival. When he woke at around 4:00 AM, he was rather startled to realize he was in the wrong place. As to what, or rather who, woke him, he found the Principal with a hand on Garm's shoulders, gently shaking him awake. Today, he wore khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. For some reason, he had socks on his feet, but no shoes. "Gooood morning, oh favorite student of mine. I have a little problem I need help with. Interested? Good. It involves your good friends Donovan Strauss and Cerebus. Mr. Hayes, one of our Geography teachers, may also be involved. Oh, and the mysterious Tasmanian girl who is coming to the island. She's sure to be an important figure in your life from now on. I want you to follow them. They'll meet at the docks in an hour, minus the girl. She'll be arriving at six. I'd go myself, but that would defeat the purpose of this exercise. Oh, and don't be to shocked if she spots you. Even I know nothing of her ability. And one last present..."
The untidy yet powerful man stuck a headset on the desk Garm was sleeping on moments ago. Then he left with a parting remark of "Don't forget to write!"
End of Chapter 15 Part 1
Chapter 15 Part 2
And so he sat there, on a tree stump, eavesdropping on the conversations of Cerebus, Strauss, and Hayes a mere hour later. He didn't feel tired in the least, despite his early wake up. He'd had a cup of coffee after a cold shower and was fully awake and aware. He held Masamune, drawn, loosely in his left hand, empowering Lux's abilities and his senses. The headset he'd been given was around his neck at the moment, as it was not yet needed. The two identical black wolf heads tattooed on the backs of his hands made him feel a bit strange, like they were watching him and judging his choices. He put it down to psychological strain. Just great...now what are they talking about?
Garm adjusts the headset the Principal gave him a bit so that it fits more comfortably on his head than before.
"Ah, Cerebus how nice to see you here! Expected of course, the president send you here then I would assume?" Mr. Donovan approached Cerebus with his usual friendly smile."
"No, but I would assume that I am right in guessing the principle sent you here?" Cerebus shook his hand and gave a rare quick smile.
"Correct. I'm surprised to see you act on your own. Probably the only one here doing so that has hidden intentions." He nods over to a few of the other teachers who came to welcome the girl before continuing on, "Acting on your own? then may I assume I am correct in guessing that your dear President is completely unaware at your current presence here?"
Cerebus lets out a short laugh confirming Donovan's guess and answers quickly. "She doesn't need to know everything that goes on around here. However you are wrong on one point. That point being that I am acting on my own. I was asked by the Principle, same as you were, to meet her. Though I am guessing our exact orders vary slightly?" "Thought you stopped taking orders from him a little before I came here?"
"More or less, this is the first order I have been given in awhile but I have kept in contact. Though you have been quite obedient and helpful so there hasn't been much need for me." Cerebus walks a little ahead of Donovan and looks off the shore then checks the time. "Still got half an hour before the expected time. You know anything about what he is doing here?"
There wasn't a need to specify as 'he' could only be the geography teacher who neither of them had bothered to learn his name. "Not really. Same as us I expect. Meet her, introduce ourselves to her, evaluate her, and try and win her over. Get her to favor us over the other. Can't think of anything else as they have already delayed here arrival, you know why?"
"Yeah." Instead of elaborating immediately Cerebus instead decides to speak with the geography teacher himself expecting Donovan to join in alongside him. Approaching him and holding out his hand. "Quite the number of people for just one girl, huh?"
The geography teacher turned towards Cerebus and shook his hand then shook Donovan's outstretched hand too. He was rather pale with dark black eyes and bright red hair, he wasn't that tall or short but was a little round. He wore long khaki pants and a nice collared shirt and smiled enthusiastically towards the both of them "Indeed! Let's see including us three there are six of us here. Nice to see you Mr. Donovan and, of forgive me but I forgot your name then again I hear you prefer your nickname, Cerebus! Don't see why all of us came down here. I think only two or three would have been fine."
"Yes I do prefer it more, very nice nickname. I do wish I could thank whoever made it up."
Donovan raises his eyebrows slightly at his comment. "Yes I am sure you would. It is nice to see you again as well. Not only a lot of us but it would seem we all arrived early too. I do hope she arrives soon. Getting a little hungry maybe we could make a little detour and show her around the town." "Fine idea that is and if I remember correctly her schedule isn't finished yet but I am sure our guidance counselor has that covered. Then again a little detour like that shouldn't be much of a worry. What do you think Cerebus?"
"Not a problem with me and shouldn't be a problem with the others? Not sure if they have classes in the morning if they do they can always head out early. Anyways it was nice having a chat with you before she arrived and it got busy, but me and Mr. Donovan have some matters to discuss." "We do?"
"Yeah, I won the bet remember so I believe you owe me something?" "Oh ho! Lost a bet to him have you? Well I would hate to keep you from getting your reward Cerebus and I think I will have a chat with the others? Pleasure speaking with you."
The two of them watch as the geography teacher walks off towards the other three teachers who were being quite social with each other. "You think we should have at least asked his name?"
"Nah, I'll just ask Morte he's bound to know it. Got him for a class. Anyways more importantly it would seem he is rather unaware of our positions." "Ah so that's what that was for, you know it would be nice if you came to my class and showed off your gear a little more."
"Not a chance. Anyways they delayed it because the principle was going to have a meeting with her in person. Which is rather rare. That and it allowed them to get someone else close to her, a guard or something like that who will be joining us for the first week or so." "How bothersome? Oh would you look at that, a boat."
Donovan nods to a small but nice boat that had appeared through the fog and at the docks. "Well time for the moment we have all been waiting for."
Garm got up, following them at a distance but rapidly circling around the area to a better vantage point. He watched as the party of three got off the boat and introductions were made. The girl, Ferris Nalilia, and her bodyguard, Mark, were the ones he paid special attention to. The girl's odd outfit confused him, but he put it aside in an instant, instead focusing in on their conversations. A tour began. Strauss gave her a weird smile not too long into it, and she turned away, making eye contact with him. He could have sworn she could see him, despite the fifty yards he maintained as a set distance, just within his enhanced hearing range. At one point, when his path brought him within twenty feet of the group when it was just Strauss, Cerebus, and Ferris, she made eye contact with him again, and her eyes almost seemed to be begging him to get her out of the boring tour. Like she knew him somehow. Impossible. Maybe if I'd had a memory lapse of some sort, I could believe that was possible, but I have never had any sort of event. Nor have I ever been to Tasmania. Perhaps her Gear or ability lets her know many things on sight...
Garm silently shook his head, indicating that he couldn't, and to his surprise, the girl pouted a little and gave him a disappointed look, returning to normal before the other two noticed. She could
see him then. Even back at the beginning of the tour, she knew he was there. He remembered the Principal's comment on how important she would be in his life. He wondered exactly what the Principal had meant by that. Garm hoped that this wasn't some kind of setup to a cliche romance. That would drive him to the brink of insanity. Garm hated cliche romance stories. This whole time he was relaying everything that was said to the Principal through the headset. Once Strauss left, he received an order from Strauss. "Give the girl the headset. Then head for your next class. Make your own decisions about anything that happens from there. I'll trust your judgement."
Garm didn't feel like complaining was an option, so he took the headset off and walked between Cerebus and the girl, gently pressing it into her hands and waiting until she'd hidden it in the back pocket of her pants to move, willing Lux to help distort the headset for a moment longer. Once that was done he moved on, finding an empty part of school to deactivate Lux in and sheath Masamune. He no longer felt the need for the sword bag, so he just went to class with the sheathed blade in hand. Suddenly, Garm noticed a man with an eye-patch in a suit beckoning him.
The man approached Garm having made it so only he could see him and nodded for him to follow him to an empty classroom; Garm made sure to hold onto a calm appearance to throw the man off guard. He wasn't disappointed, but the man cut to the chase rather quickly. "It is a pleasure to meet you Garm. Already I have heard a good deal about you and from what I have heard I hoped we could do business, what do you say about hearing out my offer?"
End Chapter Fifteen Part 2
Chapter 15 Part Three
_____________________________________________________________________________ "It is a pleasure to meet you Garm. Already I have heard a good deal about you and from what I have heard I hoped we could do business, what do you say about hearing out my offer?"
Masamune remained sheathed. However, the man suddenly found himself unable to move. It was the ring on Garm's right hand, Guardian. It generated a force field that had the man pinned in place. Garm gave the one-eyed man a fierce glare. The one-eyed man went for a smooth lie he'd prepared, thinking Garm easier to fool than Cerberus due to his short time in the school. "I only wished to ask you to help me...look out for the new girl is all. She's protecting some secret, and it would be best if I knew what it was so I could take proper precautions. There's no need for this. We both work for the principal, right?"
Garm felt this man's lies like he felt the emotions boiling in him as his relatives stole anything they could from him back when he parents had died. They got their due. This man, he hoped, wouldn't need to get his. "You, I definitely don't like, trust, or relatively desire to cooperate with. I'm no idiot when someone is sniffing around where people don't want them to. If the principal wanted me to aid you, he'd have instructed me to do so. However, he has not. Therefore, I shall not. Now, while I neither have power over you as Morals Committee Chief, since you aren't a student here, nor the ability to report you to the Principal since you are, indeed, a staff member, I do have to power to crush the truth out of you right now."
Garm had figured that the Principal was already in communication with the girl, and though he felt this odd and sudden loyalty to the Principal wasn't normal, he did owe the man more than he'd ever show in the presence of those not in direct contact with the man. Of course, he hadn't ever met the principal before, but he'd traced certain things in his life to the school. It was only a process of elimination from there. "Okay, okay, so Cerberus wouldn't play nice and I wanted to use you, so what? You're just a tool, same as me. How else could the Principal learn her secret?"
Garm chuckled a bit at that. The cold-hearted sound of his quiet laughter was very off for someone his age. "Maybe she'll tell him herself? She does have a direct line of communication to him, and a backup through me. Now then...we seem to have picked up an eavesdropper or two. No matter, there's nothing they can do about it anyways. Just like how I am helpless to stop the events that will soon occur."
Garm felt bad though. He'd shown his cold-blooded side to three people, and two of them hadn't been involved with things before. Now, they were, and the least he'd be able to do is help them.
Axel and Lexi had stopped outside an empty classroom, hearing the sound of Garm's voice and that of an adult from within. They missed most of it, catching only the last bit of exchange between the two, mentioning some girl's secret, the Principal, and Garm being some sort of contact point. Axel wasn't sure why, but he knew Garm had noticed them. He grabbed Lexi's wrist, not wanting to chance what might happen to them if the katana wielder caught them, and ran. He hadn't expected Garm to materialize out of the air in front of them, Masamune drawn. Axel's gauntlet sprung into action, realizing that none of the classrooms in this hall were in use this period. "Now hold on just a moment. I'm not going to hurt you. I should have been paying more attention to the surroundings, so you getting involved is my fault. I merely wanted to apologize and tell you that if you notice anything off, especially about Mr. Hayes, a man named Mark, or Mr. Strauss, please inform me. More than that, I wanted to apologize though."
Garm had picked his words carefully as he sheathed Masamune. Guardian was still ready, but he'd let the eye-patch man go before coming after these two.
"What was all that about? What's with this whole conspiracy-ish meeting?" Lexi seemed more worried about the situation that Garm had mentioned rather than herself.
"Lexi, I don't think that's the best idea..." Axel wasn't disengaging his Chronos Gear. He didn't trust Garm. "If I tell you, it would mean you wouldn't be safe if anyone figured out that you know about this even a little bit. Just go about your school lives normally, please. I don't want to disrupt things while simply repaying a debt."
Garm walked past them, leaving the two to the silent empty hall. He was halfway down the stairs when he head Axel yell "What kind of movie cliche is this?!" The swordsman sighed and continued on his way, wondering whether Ferris had adjusted to the school already or if she was having difficulties. He remembered her seeing through Lux, even at a great distance. It was eerie, but he felt like the strange girl had somehow marked him as an ally in that instant. He began to wonder just what it was that she was capable of.
End of Chapter 15 Part 3
Chapter 15 Part 4
Garm couldn't believe his luck. Cerberus was now in front of him, cornering him in the Student Council Room with the Pres.
"So, what exactly possessed you to think you could just stand in between us and think I wouldn't notice, hm?"
Cerberus was the only one asking questions. The Pres was giving Garm a rather disquieting look though. Garm had to think fast to divert the Pres' full attention away from him. Even partial attention would be best. "If you're asking me why, I can only ask you this: who is the man with the eye patch, and why is he so desperate to learn that girl's secret?"
The long black hair of the Student Council President swayed slightly as she turned her eyes on Cerberus, who in turn grew uncomfortable. Garm had been right in guessing that this man hadn't been mentioned in Cerberus' report.
"He's an agent of the Principal; my guess is that he wanted to know what her secret is. I can't say anything more on it though, so please don't ask. I told Ms. Nalilia that her secret was safe with me, and I intend to keep it that way."
Garm chuckled a bit. He hadn't been instructed to keep his orders from the Principal secret should the Pres find out, so he felt safe to explain his side of things. "He wasn't there on the Principal's orders. I was. I gave her a means to communicate with him while I so boldly stood in between the two of you. Besides, you failed to notice me following you guys the whole way."
"Why would she trust you?"
The quiet question from the Pres startled both of her subordinates. "I don't know why, but she trusted me. She knew I was following them the entire time, yet never said a word. She did look at me a lot though. Her eyes were giving me this look just begging me to save her from the group of greedy and boring old men she was stuck with. Not counting Cerberus of course."
The Pres raised an eyebrow. This girl was clearly impressive, but that the Principal had so easily gained Garm's trust...
"Why are you taking orders from the Principal in the fist place?"
Garm looked her dead in the eyes and hesitated a moment. Someone else answered in his stead though. "I saved the boy from his greedy relatives and am also the reason he was able to keep his parents' Chronos Gear. I also had some of my subordinates deal with the hired killers that his relatives were trying to use to gain the rest of the inheritance that is left to him. He owes me a great deal, and I'm holding him to his promise to repay me. Of course, the first time we met was only a few short hours ago. He knew, though. He knew."
Cerberus glared at the Principal, wondering why he hadn't told him about all this. "Oh, don't give me such a fierce look Cerberus! You wound me! You should know that I always cover all of my bases. Besides, I had a feeling Ferris would be more comfortable with Garm than you. He's much more...trustworthy at first glance."
The odd but powerful man's words left hints at some greater knowledge of Garm's strange connection to Ferris Nalilia, but he deliberately made it so. He knew they'd want to know the truth in time. And he would tell them...in time. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I shall be returning to my office, wherever that may be at this time of the day."
For once, the man just openly walked away down the hall, humming happily to himself.
Ferris stared at the headset late that night, reflecting on the conversation she'd just had with the Principal. The entire conversation had been said in Latin. Latin. How could he have known she was able to hold a full conversation in Latin? Let alone how he was able to. No one spoke Latin that fluently anymore. Not except for him and herself, of course. The girl looked around her room, reflecting on the day's events. She wondered why she had felt so...trusting of that guy with the sword. There was no basis for that trust, and yet by trusting him she was able to contact the Principal. Such a thing...perhaps it had to with with the Principal's ability or Gear? The mysterious girl tucked the headset under her bed and went to sleep, her mind trying to work out the answers to some of these questions. She had a hunch as to why she had trusted the man with the sword though. The next day would surely bring her some answers and even more questions.
End of Chapter 15 Part 4
End of Chapter 15
((Hope you liked that set up. And no, at this moment, I am not setting up some kind of romantic theme. That's something I would want all of those participating to agree upon before it gets implemented. Oh, and the color I used for the Principal is sea green.))
credit to shay for the sig and Craizen avy.I'm Sir Walter the Garnet Time-Traveling Assassin of the Gemstone Order.