Chapter 8: The Lussa Part2
Chloe started and turned to see Finch placing his lunch on the table. She looked around the room. It was filled now with people in the bud of their adulthood, people like Finch or Ammelia, Alice or Astore. There were others too, the room contained people at all stages of life intermingling, kissing, talking, eating. Since the walls opened after the Legendary Event, the range of nationalities had begun to spread as well.
“She is someone I know. We, ah, we’re very close; she attacked me last night.”
“I think we are becoming friends though. We will see.”
Finch sat down and considered her words. Then he said, “Oh that’s the girl with the leg! Is she really still sleeping? Has she died?”
Chloe, hit with an irrational concern, checked Ammelia’s neck with her fingers. She was cold to the touch, but her heart beat. “No, she’s fine. Ah! I will have to leave soon, I, ah, I’ve forgotten that my mother has a message for me. I think we got a letter.”
“I am not sure, I went straight to bed last night.”
Finch replied, “Really? Did you sleep here?”
Chloe looked around and realised that her speaking partner had been switched.
“Yes, after I was assaulted,” The woman emphasized the word, “I couldn’t make the trip back to my organization’s camp. Really, I should be leaving soon, since I am a bit better now. You’ve no transit system in this kingdom. It is truly disappointing.”
“Transit system?” Finch didn’t know what this meant.
“Camp?” Chloe interjected.
Ammelia gave a grungy smile. “Nevermind that.”
She stood and Chloe saw her leg. The cafeteria was full for lunch. If it hadn’t been, Chloe may have redressed it properly for her.
Finch said, “Did you eat? You look like shit. —excuse me… I was in the guard for a while. We had people, women especially, come to work looking like you; like shit.”
Ammelia shook her head, almost vomited from the movement, then sat back down. Finch gave her the leftover half of his lunch; cheese and a chunk of meat.
—But Finch was already on his way out the doors. “Sorry, I’ve got a Kemia exam! Hope to see you again some time!”
Chloe and the Ammelia both stood. The assassin took the food with her and ate it as they walked.
As they entered the forest-reclaimed space that was the outdoor campus, Chloe said, “Likely you know already, but I will tell you my name nonetheless. I am Chloe Rhye, Fifth Prince of the Solune.”
“If, four hours north, Lilllith has not been attacked, then you certainly will be, at that location, on your way back.”
“Four hours from here?”
“From this city.”
Chloe didn’t know why she was being given this information, but she didn’t dare question it until it stopped presenting itself.
“I will be there,” Ammelia said.
“D—, ah, don’t go easy on you, is that it?”
The Lussa slipped on moss, caught herself, and stopped. “I would actually rather that you did go easy on me… I hold value in my life.”
Chloe had been expecting a different sort of cliché. “Ah… I’ll pass the message along. Are you…” She stopped and watched Ammelia’s eyes again. They dimmed, the sclera darkened unnaturally.
“Am I what?”
By now the sclera, the whites of the eyes, were black; black as the girl’s hair. What is happening? Her irises changed next, turning from their natural bluish-purple to a bright white.
Chloe didn’t know what to do, so she just finished her statement. “Are you the youngest in the… in your group of dissenters?”
The inverted eyes scanned Chloe’s face, and then the surroundings. Is she the same? Am I still talking to Ammelia? The lush campus was empty—most of the students were in class or at home.
Ammelia looked back at Chloe and blushed, “I’m the youngest—of the women.”
For a moment, her eyes flickered back to normal. Chloe was unnerved.
“Is there anything wrong with you?”
Ammelia looked at her quizzically, “No, I don’t believe so.”
“With your eyes I mean.”
Ammelia stared at her hand, and then a nearby wall, then said, “No, I can see fine.”
Chloe took a breath. First Yaska May, and now you. What is happening on the Underside?
Chloe said, “Why are you involved in all of this? Clearly you are subject to rather unsavoury acts.”
“This is what I stand for. You’ll understand exactly what each side believes…if you make it to the Underside alive. I am simply in opposition to the rest of the royalty.”
Chloe thought she knew what was going on with the eyes, and it troubled her. She had seen this happen before, to a dear friend, a long time ago. She has been taken by the Servant of Death.