Chapter Twelve: Falsehood
"Celia!" Satera began to shake her comrade.
"Don't shake her! It might cause more damage!" Emmanuel said. Kiria shoved Satera aside and began to shake her violently. Celia awoke with a start and slapped Kiria across the face.
"Touch me again and you'll get more than a love slap!" she stood up and rubbed her temples. "Now, let's get going." Celia ignored the confused looks on everyone's faces and walked briskly down the entryway Kiria's home. The three other wielders were soon to follow. Celia opened the large wooden door outside to find that Gerald had just turned the corner.
"Gerald!" she ran to greet him, and stopped immediately when she saw what was in his left hand: another sword. Despite the color being a dull gray, it glistened and Celia saw this as a miracle. Immediately, a smile spread across her face and she then turned to Kiria.
"May I see your sword, Lady Kiria?" she asked in a sweet tone.
"…Celia, is something wrong with you? You're being nice to Kiria." Emmanuel blinked.
"No! It's mine!" Kiria turned her right side away from Celia, but Satera had grabbed the sword from her.
"Yoink!" she said with glee, handing the sword over to Celia. It was an exact copy of Emmanuel's, only a pink sword instead of red.
"Ugh, I don't think that there was a pink dragon!" Celia dropped the sword in surprise. "Gerald, where did you find that sword, and when?"
"In the sewers, a few days ago. Why?"
"As I thought!" she concluded.
"What? You don't think that I am the real one?" Kiria asked.
"But…I have the sword!"
"Listen, I want you both to say something, okay?" Celia put them side-by-side. "Say 'I call upon'. That's all, okay?"
"I call upon. There, happy?" Kiria folded her arms. "Now can we get going?"
"Gerald?" Emmanuel turned over to him.
"I…call upon…" he began to say quietly, but then the rest came out strongly. "The powers of Drake! Unlock the magic inside me! With the spirit of wind blowing through my blood, help me to call upon its power!" The usual wisps came out of the diamond shaped jewel on the hilt.
Kiria's face became pale. "And you're going to take the word of this… thing?" she asked in a shocked tone, pointing over to the scraggly looking Gerald. Her high-pitched voice began to bring the attention of passing people and merchants.
"He seems a lot more trustworthy than you are!"
"You asked for it, girly!" Kiria began to stomp towards Celia, who had an angry look upon her face.
"GIRLY?! I… can't stand being called that!" In turn, she charged towards Kiria, giving her a swift punch on the nose. Kiria fell over, and Celia picked her up easily. Everyone else in the party had scared looks upon their faces while she walked over to the dock.
"You don't know HOW long I've been wanting to do this!" Celia said with a smile on her face. With every inch of her strength, she threw Kiria into the water. All of the onlookers began to laugh, Emmanuel the most.
"And take your damn frilly sword with you, too!" she picked up the fake sword and flung it out to sea.
"No! Do you know how much that cost to make?"
"I could care less. Let's go, everyone." Celia began to walk off down the street.
"Note to self: Don't call Celia girly." Emmanuel followed.
"Or make her angry in general." Satera commented and continued with them. "Coming, Gerald?"
"I don't know if I want to follow her now." His voice was much less timid than earlier, and he stood taller as well.
"It's fine. This will pass in a bit, don't worry!" she grabbed his hand and ran off after the rest of the party.
"Gerald, I'm sorry…but we're going to have to get you new clothes and a haircut." Celia turned left towards the clothing store. "Maybe a bath, too. I think we all need one, after being down in the sewers."
"I have no money though." He said.
"It's okay," Celia smiled. "We have the reward money from Kiria's family. And besides, I looted Kiria of her silver pouch before throwing her into the ocean."
"Woah, I didn't even notice!" Emmanuel said. "You're a better thief than I am."
"Emmy, anyone is a better thief than you are." Celia said as they walked into the clothing store. After Gerald picked out a vividly colored selection of a white sweatshirt, dark gray fencing pants, a slate gray cape and black boots, they walked back out with the bag in hand.
"I wanted to pick out his clothes!" Satera whined.
"We know that, you've been complaining about it for the past ten minutes!" Celia frowned, but then turned over to Gerald and handed him the pouch of silver. "Besides, this money rightfully belongs to him, and he can do as he pleases. Off to the barber!"
When they opened the door to the barbershop, a girl ran past them, with a strange haircut. She was bawling her eyes out as she ran past them, and everyone exchanged worried glances.
"Welcome!" an older man had greeted them and Celia stepped forward.
"We need a trim for this guy." She gestured her head back.
"Oh, oh I see! He is getting a bit shaggy, isn't he?" the barber lifted up some of Emmanuel's hair.
"Don't touch me, moron! It's him over there!"
"Oh," he stopped and looked over to Gerald. "I don't see what's wrong." He said seriously. Everyone fell over. "Oh… alright. Just come over here sonny and tell me what you want." He grabbed Gerald by the shoulders and pushed him over to a chair. The other three sat down in the chairs.
"Just cut some in the back, and over my right eye. That's it."
"Why only over your left?" the barber asked. Gerald reluctantly parted the left side of his hair to reveal the scars, and the barber jumped. "I see! Well sir, I'll see what I can do!"
Celia sat impatiently reading her book, while Satera and Emmanuel played a few games of "Rock, Paper, Scissors". She wanted to get a couple of rooms at the inn before they were all filled for the night. Sitting there for a half an hour, they waited as the barber snipped each tress of Gerald's hair carefully.
"DONE!" the barber boomed, and everyone jumped. He had turned the chair towards the mirror so Gerald could see the work.
"Good." He said simply and jumped off, turning towards his new friends. His now clean ebony hair shined and his right eye was now showing. Nobody had noticed until now that Gerald's eyes were an unusual color: blood red. "Let's leave now. I'm sure that we'll need to get to the inn before all the rooms are taken." He walked towards them.
"Exactly what I was thinking…" Celia trailed off. As they exited, Gerald threw four silver pieces towards the barber.
At the inn, they had purchased two rooms and then separated by genders for the night.
"Wake up, you two." Gerald spoke through the door of the girl's door. Emmanuel yawned loudly from where Gerald was speaking. He knocked loudly and the girls began to stir. Satera looked out the window to see that the sun had just barely rose over the horizon.
"It's too early!" she covered her face with her pillow.
"C'mon Satera. If I'm getting up, you are too." Celia yawned and began to change into her dress. After a while, the girls had finally gotten out of bed and the group walked down the streets.
"Hey Gerald," Celia looked over to him. "You know that ruby that you have on that string?"
"Well, why don't you put that ruby around the choker of your cape?"
"What do you mean?"
"Here," Celia put her arms around Gerald and tied the string of his necklace tight so that it hung in the center of the collar of his cape. "See? Now you can show everyone what you are fighting for, and besides, it matches your eyes."
Gerald blushed. "Thanks."
"Anyways, we should be heading back to Armnara to tell Vernon that we've found everyone."
"And my parents?" Emmanuel yawned.
"We'll be stopping there after that."
"Good." Emmanuel looked over to Satera, who was nearly sleepwalking. Little did anyone know that he was going to ask Satera to be his wife when they got back to Xine.