Chapter 5a: Gorgeous Eyes

This is a bit lame. 786 words.

The few worshippers keeping vigil at the altar did not notice the Priestess and her entourage entering the temple. Neither did they see the man carrying the woman almost lovingly nor the boy hanging between the two hooded figures. The three young girls who preceded the men in their high school uniforms were not unusual sights. There was an upward trend among the youths now to seek out different identities of the deities they had known since childhood, and more and more temples had a discreet entrance for those who view a particular goddess or god differently. It was not unusual for these entrances to be used at all hours of the night.

“Good evening Priestess,” one of the Priests was already kneeling as they came in, much like how a servant would abase himself before royalty.

“Change this one’s clothes and send his trainers to see me now. Get Hana in here,” she clipped out instructions in a terse tone.

It had the desired effect on the Priest, who leapt to obey her, keeping his face from her sight. As he moved to take the woman from her brother’s arms, she made an impatient sound and pointed to the boy between the two masters. The Priest looked up and she got a quick, but good glimpse on his face, catching his moment of surprise when he realised who was it that dangled between the two masters. She filed the information away; no use questioning the Priest when she had already set him a task. Instead, she turned to the masters. Her brother left through another door.

“Will you sit?” her tone was formal yet warm; she was a hostess.

“It will not be necessary, little one,” one of the trainers declined, shaking his head. His student moved to stand next to him, and he put a hand on her shoulder. “We thank you for the performance,” Himeko bowed, and then both faded away.

“We will though, Kougou,” Kaguya’s voice was rough and tomboyish, not like her nickname at all.

“Will you have tea?” her brother returned, sans the woman he was carrying, and the master nodded, taking the seat offered.

“Kishan-san, isn’t it?” Kaguya accepted the tea once her master had sipped his. Kishan nodded.

“They call you Sukina-chan, don’t they?” the master watched the Priestess sit across him, back straight, legs slightly angled, the aura around her tightly controlled, showing only faintly.

Unlike the steady, star-blue hue of his student Kaguya, hers was a swirling mass of colours, constantly shifting and pulsing. He knew from seeing her fight before that she would exhibit no powers at all outside the arena and Temples; most would have dismissed her as one with no talent. In a sea of people, she would be invisible; no one would see her. So would her brother, he could see. The young man was being gallant to Kaguya, distracting her even as she sat on the armrest of her master’s chair; it did not take an expert to see who commanded in their sibling relations.

“Yes, Sensei. If I may be so blunt, why were Kaguya and Himeko there?”

“We were invited. Himeko was requested to stand as witness for the boy, Kaguya was for you. They knew full well that both are your schoolmates,” his tone was direct and rang true. “We were invited by the opposing school, as Ms Shuan had declined to name witnesses once she knew who they had requested. Apparently the Elders decided to allow this,” his hood moved as he shook his head. “This is a funny business.”

“Ms Shuan did not protest?”

“She had originally submitted the usual witnesses but withdrew it when the La’Crosse Academy submitted names for approval.”

“I see…” she sipped her tea, made with just the slightest touch of honey.

“Imouto,” Kishan spoke as the door opened.

A stunning young woman in a Chinese cheongsam came out from a side entrance. She looked like a true China doll, with her black hair gathered on the top of her head in a bun, her fringe straight above her eyes, small, expressive brown eyes, with smooth skin the colour of porcelain and ruby red lips. Her figure was slim, but she filled out the cheongsam beautifully. Each step she took was precise and measured; she was the picture of beauty and grace.

“Hana, your prey awaits you in the room below. Do not kill her until we have extracted all we need to know. She is under your care and my protection till then,” the woman smiled ferally at the announcement.

“I obey.”