CASeries #2: LEGEND
Chapter 30 ♕ Act Out the Plan
Since Valeriana was the only one able to understand Tamara’s familiar, she was assigned to ‘infiltrate’ the family mansion with Iolani while the rest of the group would do their part in the plan. It was a nerve-wracking task for Valeriana and knowing she wasn’t that stealthy made her all the more worried of whatever outcome. If anything, she was clumsy and horribly bad in sneaking about.
Good thing Zion wasn’t coming with her.
The guy kept on insisting he should come with Valeriana and the others almost took it into consideration—at least, Charles said he would, which gave him enough reason to cheer triumphantly. She remembered wanting to slam her face to the ground when she heard the news. Valeriana didn’t want to be with her former enemy. Having her ears filled with his nonsensical compliments and persistent wooing made her want to snore and fall into a state of slumber until he disappeared.
Imagine her reaction when she was informed he would, instead, accompany them for a greater purpose. So, Iolani and Valeriana ended up as partners for the time being.
“Do you have any experience breaking into someone’s house?” she asked Iolani, who was sitting on her shoulder.
They looked like a pair of idiots hiding behind bushes while gazing into the building in front of them. Valeriana could not hide wanting to get everything over and done with as fast as possible. She wasn’t exactly fond of doing anything of this sort, although it did give her the thrill.
‘Breaking in wouldn’t be a problem at all, lheuim ansur,’ answered Iolani with a faint squawk. ‘With this one’s age, I assure thee that I have enough experience.’
Iolani somehow stuck out from her surroundings, seeing the color of her feathers. Her eyes seemed to glow under the dim lighting of their surroundings, making them seem more sharp and intimidating than how she normally saw them. The sun was already setting, and evening was steadily approaching.
They watched as Zion—who she barely recognized—and the others made their way towards the door. Valeriana had her eyes widened for a moment as she eyed their attires before she covered her mouth to stop herself from laughing.
“What in the—”
Elfre shot a glare at their direction, forcing Valeriana to keep her face neutral—although she failed. Zion looked more than irked seeing the clothes he was donned in and, somehow, Valeriana couldn’t help but think just how sadistic Charles could be. He seemed to enjoy torturing the poor guy with his—she dare say—ridiculous plans. Of all the ways he could choose to infiltrate the mansion, he chose the most embarrassing method he had in his list. Probably purposely.
“Do calm yourself.” She heard Raziel tell Zion with a depressed sign.
Zion was dressed like a pregnant lady, Elfre like a boy, and Raziel like a haggard father. All in all, they deviated from their usual way of presenting themselves.
‘As much as I enjoy the show, we have something we are supposed to do.’ Said Iolani. ‘Make thy way to that large window with the bushes.’
Valeriana did as she said and stopped before the window she was describing. It was very advantageous, seeing as there were thick bushes she could use to hide herself should the need ever arise. Iolani was very dependable.
Elfre saw her move and took it as a sign to start. Hitting Zion by the arm, she gave everyone the signal to start. Raziel was very busy preparing himself for the act, tousling his hair—which was no longer orange and was dyed a dull color of brown—into a big mess while fixing the expression on his face to look haggard, pitiable—poor.
Within a few seconds, she watched in amusement as Raziel dramatically crawled his way to the door and started banging it with all his might.
“Please!” He cried, his voice croaking with depression that Valeriana had to just raise her brows. “Open this door! I beg of you! Please!”
Zion rolled his eyes. Elfre, seeing this, pinched him on the arm that made him yelp. Without any further ado, he placed a hand on his fake, round stomach and put on a depressed and pained expression, which looked genuine. Seeing blood trailing down his legs—which was, by the way, covered with hair—made her want to sigh and smack her face. Zion was wearing the ridiculous red lipstick and thick makeup that he—or she—looked like a cross-dressing wannabe in exception for the long hair. He was put in that outfit, courtesy of the girls.
Elfre wrapped her arms around Zion’s stomach protectively.
“My wife! Please help my wife!” Raziel had those crocodile tears running down his flushed cheeks as he desperately banged his fists against the huge, oak doors.
Zion fought the urge to roll his eyes while he continued moaning. Elfre had that look of boredom on her face, too.
Valeriana covered her mouth as she snickered and wheezed under her breath. This was priceless! Priceless!
Not more than a few minutes later, the demon opened the door with a slightly irritated expression. He took a few moments to take in the appearance of her friends at his doorstep before giving them a look that resembled disbelief more than anything else.
“Please, milord.” Raziel sobbed. “Help my wife. Nobody wants to help my wife! We’re losing our child! Please, milord! I beg you!”
“This is not the place you should be running to,” he answered sternly, his expression growing cold. “This is not the home of a healer.”
He was about to shut the door when Raziel stuck his hand out and prevented it from closing. He desperately grasped the edges, pushing it back with all his might—which was probably feigned and not even close to his true abilities.
“Everyone drove us out and said they cannot afford to help anyone else when they cannot help themselves.” He sobbed, his voice unusually high with a panic, frustration, and anger lacing his tone. “We have wandered from door to door, house to house without any success. Please! I cannot lose my child!”
This was when Elfre came in. “Help my mother.” She croaked, instinctively shying away from the gaze that diverted to her direction as she hugged her ‘mother’ and pulled her closer. “No one else would.”
Valeriana could see that she was trying to hide the smile tugging on the corner of her lips, so she buried her face in her ‘mother’s’ side.
Zion spoke with an irritatingly high pitch that made the demon frown the moment she/he opened her/his mouth. “Please sir, I will not lose my child!”
Valeriana pressed her lips together and buried her face in her hands.
“Are you sure you’re a woman?” The demon questioned.
Zion looked more than horrified the moment he said that and started fussing. “How dare you question my gender, you rude sir! I will not be giving birth if I am not female! Absolutely not! How terribly insulting of you to tell that to me, when I—ahhhh!” He started screaming and cradled his stomach. “My husband,” he made an unnatural stress when speaking the word, causing Raziel to ran forward and ‘catch’ him as he fell. “I am feeling faint. If this man will not help us, then let us be on our way. He even dare question I am—ahhh!”
Valeriana shook her head, a stupefied expression as she watched Raziel cradle Zion lovingly in his arms. “No, my wife.” Raziel shook his head as a huge, wet teardrop fell on Zion’s cheek. “I promise nothing will go wrong.”
She could’ve sworn, however, that the look in the demon’s eyes softened.
“Mother!” Elfre feigned scream, pretending to tend to Zion before running towards the demon and hitting him on the chest. “You selfish people! The previous lord promised to help us when in need!”
The demon grabbed her wrist and stopped her. He gave her a dubious look. “Why are you dressed as a boy?”
“I am a boy!” She yelled at him.
He looked more than shocked as he was informed.
Yes, even Valeriana had the same thought if she was ever in the same position.
Was it in the genes?
Charles was messing with this demon’s head. What a sadist.
‘Lheuim ansur, let us be on our way. Open the window while the demon is distracted.’ Said Iolani, making her snap back to reality.
Valeriana nodded and reached for the window. She tried pushing at it, but it was locked. Frustrated, she looked at Iolani for something.
‘Hold on.’ Iolani started pecking on the window.
She raised her brows, confused. “What are you—”
The window slowly cracked open for the two of them. Suppressing her curiosity, she carefully slipped inside as fast as possible without knocking over anything to prevent drawing attention to herself. As gingerly as she could, she closed the windows behind her, letting the lock click into place once again before looking around the room.
It was a ballroom—one that resembled the one she saw in the Romeo and Juliet movie a few months before.
“Where do we go from here?” she asked, wincing slightly after she heard her voice echoing throughout the empty room. She brought her voice down a few notches before speaking. “Sorry.”
Iolani made her way to her shoulder and made herself comfortable. ‘The dungeon, we have to somehow find our way to the dungeon.’
“So we have to make our way down?”
Valeriana tiptoed towards the nearest doors and slipped through them as quiet as a mouse. “So where do we start?”
‘There is an unspoken rule when Valemnians build dungeons.’ Iolani started. ‘For those in Larkovia, dungeons are built somewhere in the east. Arlandia builds them in the west. Prelurésia . . . I am guessing north.’
“Why do they have to build them in those directions? For what reason?”
‘It is believed to be more of a torture to be built in those directions. For the gods rule certain directions where they are the most powerful. Anyone who commits a crime will suffer even more should they be locked up in those dungeons.’
“What about the innocent?”
‘The innocent shall not be condemned for sins they did not commit.’
She looked from left to right, not knowing which direction she was supposed to take. “Where’s north?”
‘Both of these directions lead to east and west. We shall need to find out which way would lead to the dungeon.’
“Er . . . eenie-minnie minie moe.” She began singing. “Which direction shall I go?” Her hand landed on east so she turned to face it.
“You can come in,” said a voice, followed by footsteps.
The sounds seemed to have been coming from the east, which made Valeriana step back as they started coming her way. “So I think that’s a no?” She finished the song hesitantly and slid back into the room as the voices got louder.
‘Hurry, Valeriana! Hide thyself!’
“I know! I know! But I don’t know where!” She scanned the room speedily, looking for some place where she could hide. Everything, however, was in open space and there didn’t seem to be anything she could use to stay out of sight.
Feeling as though her breath would stop and her heart would explode, Valeriana began jumping on the balls of her toes with jittery as she desperately searched the room with her eyes. Unfortunately, there was nothing and she ended up pinning herself to the wall, hoping no one would see her.
“Ohmigod! Please, where should I—”
The doors slammed open, flying on its hinges before hitting the wall—or her. Valeriana made a pained noise as the door collided with her face and practically broke her nose. She was somewhat afraid that she would draw attention to herself by eliciting such a sound. Fortunately, the trio’s voices were loud enough to cover hers up. She winced, but kept her voice down as her hands automatically flew to cradle the beaten spot on her face.
“Owowowow!” She hissed. Iolani, as well, looked a bit shaken. She resembled those pigeons that accidentally fly into glass walls.
The door creaked as it parted from her.
“Goddamn it! In the name of—”
Valeriana looked up and saw Zion staring at her, wide-eyed.
With her hands still on her nose, she shook her head fervently.
As if determined to keep her out a sight, Zion put in an extra effort to his acting and pushed the door gently against her, drawing more attention to himself.
“At my signal, get out of here.” He whispered before screaming.
“Son! I told you to support your mother!” Raziel fussed.
“But he—she’s so heavy!” Elfre yelled back. “Why don’t you try it?! Aren’t you the father?”
“I am dying and you two don’t even care!” He sobbed. “Oh, what have I done to deserve such unaffectionate family? If my child will become like you two, then I should have not bothered to go through all of this pain!”
“Please, do not be too loud. Milady will not handle this quite well should she know I let you in.”
Zion then suddenly threw himself into Raziel’s arms. The sixth-ranker tried to handle the sudden weight coolly—though failed. He almost dropped the other guy to the floor if it weren’t for Elfre who tried to support him. They all staggered before crashing into the demon, causing all of them to fall over.
‘Goodness, these three are . . .’ Iolani could not hide her shock as she continued watching.
Valeriana jumped when Zion mouthed at her to move.
“A woman cannot weigh so much!”
“I’m carrying a baby, you idiot!”
For the meanwhile, the demon was distracted. The girl took advantage of the opportunity and slipped out of the room as fast as she could, mentally thanking Zion and the others for their help. Still, she cradled the sore spot on her face and reminded herself she would also hit them with a door later.