CASeries #2: LEGEND
Chapter 18 ♕ This is the Moment
Charles’ expression clearly said that he was thinking. His fisted his hand and pressed it against his lips as a crease between his brows appeared. His cobalt-blue gaze that exuded suspicion made Valeriana tense up as she waited for an answer.
“Unfortunately . . .” Charles quieted. After a short pause, he continued. “That name is unfamiliar.”
Valeriana sighed. “I kinda figured.”
“Janus Kerrigan. Janus Kerrigan.” He chanted it under his breath as though he was trying to solve a riddle. “I do know of a Janus, but Kerrigan is a name I’ve never heard of.”
“Well, Janus is a pretty common name,” said Tamara. “But there’s only one person with that name that everyone knows about.”
“Right. But your father could be anyone, or he is nobody at all,” Charles concluded.
“What? I don’t get it.” She shook her head lightly.
He shook his head tiredly. “I’ll be looking into the matter some more. For now, don’t think about anything and focus on the trip. We’ll be arriving in Prelurésia in ten days.”
“Ten . . . days . . .” She quieted. “Can’t we fly there or something?”
“There’s no choice,” he told her.
Valeriana’s shoulders sagged in exhaustion. “I really wanna go back home.”
“Patience,” Elfre said, nodding understandingly.
Charles took a momentary glance towards Valeriana’s direction. “Then, you are free to go back to whatever you were busy with prior to this gathering. I recommend keeping your mouths shut, especially you.” He pointed at Tamara and stared at her with hidden warning.
“Yeah, sure.” The third rolled her eyes.
Charles walked away without another word and the group dispersed, each one of them marching out of the door to get back to the businesses they were busy with before. As they all left, Valeriana gave out a loud sigh as she departed in a steady gait, moving away from where most of them were currently heading to.
She ended up isolating herself on one side of the ship, leaning against the railings as she stared up at the beautiful moonlit skies of this wonderful, yet dangerous world. Despite the endlessly incoming hardships she now learned to cope up with, she found herself unable to adjust to the fact that there were a lot more things she didn’t know about herself. It made her feel lost. No matter how many times she said it didn’t bother her anymore, there was a part of her who hungered for the answers which would complete the missing pieces of the puzzle which she yearned to finally solve.
“Agh, get over it, Valeriana,” she told herself. “Just cheer up and start attacking Corvan or something.”
“Attack me what?” the familiar voice said which made her jump and turn.
Valeriana paled at the sight of Corvan and shook her head while she stammered. “N-nothing. Don’t mind me. God, you scared the heck out of me.” She flattened her hand above her chest to calm her erratically beating heart. “God, seriously, what is up with that?”
This seemed to have made Valeriana infuriated for she puffed her cheeks in annoyance and glared at the man before her through her lashes.
“What are you doing here? Not practicing somewhere so you chose to find and torment me?” She crossed her arms and turned her back on him.
Corvan cocked a brow and made his way beside Valeriana. He looked ahead. “Valeriana.” He then gazed into her eyes, green boring into blue. “You are one stupid girl.”
“Where did that come from?” she asked him.
“Perhaps without being properly watched, you get into all sorts of trouble, don’t you?” Corvan didn’t look a bit like he was kidding. “If you continue being this troublesome to all of us, I might just throw you off board this ship right now so that there won’t be anyone we should bother with.”
Valeriana clenched her jaws. “I just got back from the water and you’re going to throw me in again? Just so you know, I can do the same to you.”
This time, he looked amused. “I don’t think you can.”
“Oh, yeah, watch me. I’ll do just that.”
“You’re all bark and no bite,” Corvan argued.
“If I must remind you, I defeated Zion and Courtney in a duel!” She indignantly huffed. “Who knows, you might be the next.”
He merely shook his head and tsked to express his disappointment. “You must remember that a duel is bound by rules, whereas in real life situations, there’ll be no holding back and there isn’t anything that’ll keep the enemy from actually killing you when he gets the chance.”
Out of nowhere, a knife materialized out of thin air and was suddenly pressed against her neck. Her words were caught on her throat as she stared at the glinting blade that reflected the light of the moon. She glanced between Corvan and the weapon he held in his hands.
“Nothing will be fair, Valeriana,” Corvan said before drawing back his weapon and shoving it into his sleeves. “Maybe I should start hiring a babysitter to watch your back.” He then turned to leave.
Pursing her lips, she made a quick dive to the ground and swung her feet out. Corvan was literally swept off his feet and he fell with a loud thump that resonated throughout the whole deck. Valeriana was immediately up and standing, lunging for Corvan and pinning him down by riding his back.
“Maybe you should watch your back first.” She angrily snapped at him and crossed her arms. “For a first-ranker, you sure are lax. You let your guard down so easily.”
“Who are you kidding?” He smirked, despite having his face flat against the floor of the deck. His arms shot out from his sides, grabbing Valeriana’s arms and pulling her against him so that she ended up lying on top.
Valeriana’s head smacked against the back of Corvan’s. “Ouch! The heck are you doing?!”
Keeping her arms locked tightly on his sides, he rolled the both of them over and quickly sprung himself from the ground. It took a few moments for Valeriana to register what just happened, but it was too late by then. Corvan had his forearms pressed against her neck.
“See?” He made a small gesture with his head as he cockily smirked down at her. “If you really do know how to fight properly, keep your enemy’s hands pinned on his back so that they won’t grab you and reverse the position. I gave you a chance, you actually blew it.”
Valeriana glared at him. “I wasn’t serious.” She seethed and struggled under him. “And how are you so flexible?”
“You can’t treat combat as a game when things get real.”
The girl suddenly grinned. “But you know what?” She chuckled. “You should really apply your own rules.” Valeriana’s fingers went to Corvan’s side and started stroking his ticklish side.
The first-ranker’s face twitched as his brain registered the sensation. “You . . . are . . . not . . . doing this.” He gritted his teeth to keep himself from doing what he was about to do.
“It’s reality,” she answered smugly.
“Stop!” He let her go and stood up, looking breathless and red.
“So you’re actually ticklish. I think I found a major weakness!” She laughed, bringing herself back up to her feet.
Corvan looked embarrassed. “Troublesome wench.”
This didn’t spoil Valeriana’s mood. “Ticklish lord.” She stuck her tongue out at him.
Valeriana, one point. Corvan, zero.
“Wait a moment.” The first-ranker growled. “If you’re going to use such underhanded tactics in battle, then we’ve got to work more on your skills.”
With that, she was dragged off into training.
Looks like they tied after all.