Chapter Six (Book One: Dragonfly)

Leader
By Anonymous Author

Lead by fear,
You are not truly loved.

Lead by hope,
You can never be trusted.

Lead by strength.
You become weak.

Lead by weakness,
And you become strong.

“Strong is always the best.”

Isn't that what they say?

“Never show weakness.” 
The others say.

But, that's a lie.
The weak can be strong.
For they can grow
And they can learn.

Stand tall for what you believe in.
And soon,
Many will follow

ILLUSIONER FILE: SUNSHINE

Just three more days.

Three more days…

“Alright! We got three days! Let’s start setting up the LHR!” Kamryn shouted over the bustle of people going around.

“Yo, Josh.” Someone called out from behind me.

I turned around to see Nathaniel flashing me a large grin. I never noticed the braces until now. Actually, it’s only been a week almost and I still barely understand how abilities work.

“Oh hey Sharp.” I greeted.

“Just call me Nat. We aren’t gangs today.” He flashed me a grin, his braces shining in the light.

“Right.”

“Come on. Go grab the twins. Dev, Ni, and I are leading you to Lady’s place since Elodia and Colver are on Arkala for something.”

I nodded and called over Jordyn and Kyson, “Hey you two! Come on!”

Jordyn and Kyson nodded before saying their goodbyes and took off towards me. Jordyn looked at me happily while Kyson beamed up and gave me a playful punch on my arm.

“Where we going today, captain?”

“Lady’s place. Patched up and ready for moving in!”

As we followed the trio, I could see that the trio were pretty close. They were raised around each other, just like Elodia’s childhood friends. I did feel a bit jealous about them, for having a childhood, friends, people who actually mean something to them. Heck, I was even jealous of the twins since they had each other.

Drayson still has yet to contact me. I’m starting to get worried.

I felt a sharp pinch on my right arm and I instinctively went to rub it. I shoot a look towards the culprit, Jordyn, and sighed, “What was that for?”

“You were spacing out. Is everything alright?” She asked.

“Yeah. I was just thinking. I mean, we’re moving into someone’s place. Not really what I thought my first place on Veskia would be.”

“I didn’t really expect to be the future leader of a once dead gang.” She stated, “It’s been crazy.”

“Dude, you’re an illusioner… Everything is crazy for us. Now, can I please tell you all a story? I got some really cool ones.” Nathaniel said, walking backwards as he did, “Yo Dev, pass me a ciggy, will ya, my biggy?”

“Bloody hell, mate. Ask me normally, will ya?” Devyn sighed before reaching into his back pocket and took out a cigarette packet out, “Want to bum one off of me, Ni?” He asked as Nathaniel went to grab one.

“Nah. I promised the girls that I was gonn’ lay off ‘em for a while.”

“Alright, Ni. What about you, Josh?” Devyn turned to look at me, holding out the packet.

“Um… No thanks.”

“Suit yourself mate. Anyways, what story, Natty, my main matey.”

Nathaniel flashed another grin before starting, “Alright, so this was back in Airen, Kathos. Now, I was totally not being a creep, but I did overhear some girls conversation in the game shop about her license getting suspended. Now bear in mind, she was adorable as fuck. She wore a beautiful hijab, like holy hell, she knows how to match her clothes, but anyways, her fucking voice sounded so tiny and she was again, really fucking adorable. So, I decided to be smart-”

“You mean cheesy.”

“This is not your story, Dev!” Nathaniel said. I laughed a little at that interaction, “Anyways, I walked closer and smoothly said, ‘Did your license get suspended for driving all these guys crazy? Because, I feel like I should write you another ticket cause you look fine.’ and I kid you not, she fucking laughed and told me that I was cute and gave me her number. She didn’t give me shit for being an illusioner.”

“Did you call her?” I asked.

“Of course I did. I made a fool of myself on the damn phone, but we got a date on Wednesday next week at a garden shop on Bradley street, Airen. Ain’t that awesome?”

“Yeah!” Kyson shouted happily, “That’s smooth.”

“See someone agrees!” Nathaniel proudly claimed.

There was more small talk as we walked through the streets. Soon, we reached some street called Underwood Lane and there at the end was a large, but rather quaint place.

“Alrighty! Enjoy moving in.” The trio said before taking off, racing to someplace.

Sighing, I walked up with the twins and opened the door. The place was furnished and well kept. But, something just felt odd. I did never get to see what Lady looked like, only what she was.

“Go find a room. Then go wild.” I told the twins, who just took off.

“I’m going to find the best room!”

“Ky! Sunshine gets the best room!”

“Then the second best!”

“Not if I find it first!”

Elodia wasn’t kidding when she warned me that they were a handful when I last saw her.

Shaking my head, I sighed and sat down on some couch and turned on the holoscreen.

I’ve started to get used to seeing new buildings instead of ruined ones, new and old tech instead of just old, and new and old transportation instead of everyone walking.

As I switched through channels, I finally found one that wasn’t really related to illusioners, but I also didn’t want to watch some news report on a party for the councilmen, yet this was all there is.

The names Anna Lewin and I’m bringing you the best of the best from biannual councilmen party.” Anna, the reporter, flashing a false smile before continuing, “Now, I got an exclusive interview with two of the councilmen sons, Chandler Caldwell and Dominik Crown!” The camera panned to the said duo, “Before we can get anything, mind if I ask about your dates?”

“Well, mine just ditched for my cousin, but that’s fine. I didn’t really care much for bringing a date anyways.” Chandler spoke.

Dominik merely held his hand towards offscreen and pulled in what I assumed to be his date. She wore a mask, but those blue eyes were unmistakable.

Elodia?

“She does not wish for her name and identity to be known as the media does tend to go a bit crazy with these things. But, I was very pleased to find that she had accepted my offer to join me here.” I could see Chandler walking away from them.

What is she doing there?

“Oh? Well ma’am, you are absolutely stunning.” Anna commented.

Elodia just nodded a thanks.

“May I ask wha-” Dominik cuts Anna off.

“She isn’t one for talking, so she would like to not be asked any questions. For what she’s wearing, is a custom dress designed and crafted by a family shop in Arkala called, Firefly Bites.” Dominik has his hand rested on Elodia’s shoulder.

Should I tell the others?

Devyn might not like that. I can sense his power. Ticking time bomb, basically. Get stronger after every tick.

“Oh well, again absolutely stunning.” Anna stated.

Elodia turned her head to Dominik and whispered something that the microphone didn’t pick up.

“I apologize, but my date wishes to take a walk outside. I’ll answer more later. Enjoy the party.” And with that Dominik and Elodia walked away from Anna and her cameraman.

I shut the holoscreen off and sighed. Maybe I shouldn’t…

Elodia wouldn’t want this to be known. But, I can try to understand why when I ask her about it before the Last Hour Rush.

As I looked around for something else to do, I noticed something, a large painted portrait, above the fireplace.

There posed, was a girl with dark skin with cream white splotches. She had black kinky hair and wore a purple sleeveless top and a purple arm band with stars on it..  A hand was covering half her face, the Shining Hearts insignia on the back of the hand. This was all in a decorated frame. A silver decorated nameplate was under the portrait. And in gold lettering was the word-

LADY

ILLUSIONER FILE : ANGEL’S SHADOW

I watched as Dominik chatted with some more people as we walked out. We should’ve been outside right now, but due to his status, that was very much impossible.

Sighing, I made my way out. Pausing to give a small nod of acknowledgement to those who greeted me every now and then.

“How beautiful.”

“Her hair reminds me of one of those damn beasts. Looks tacky.”

I glanced over to the source of the whispers; two girls, around my age. Both wore flashy dresses, but to be fair, those dresses didn’t seem to do them justice for their personalities.

“And a dress from some silly little poor shop. Can’t she afford a better designer?”

“Hush. What if she can hear you?”

Too late…

“I’m just saying what everybody else was thinking of.”

Tch.

‘Angry are we?’

Yes.

‘So can we?’

We promised.

‘Like you care about some silly little promise.’

I frowned and continued my way through the garden. It was beautiful, I can admit that. But, the people weren’t. I found a bench and sat down, waiting for Dominik.

A small stray cat, a sphynx, made its way to me. Smiling, I held my hand out to let it get comfortable with me before picking it up and letting it snuggle into my body. The poor cat felt heavy and felt very cold.

“Honestly… Dominik can do so much better.”

“Come on. Stop it.”

“Admit it. You agree with me that she doesn’t and will never deserve him.”

Silence.

‘So much for that. Can we…’

Fine.

Yet before I could even let the shadows loose, a figure came into my view.

‘He just had to ruin our fun.’

“Shall we get going?” Dominik hand was held out and I took it, still holding the cat, “Can’t you leave the cat be?”

“No.” I snapped, “She’s hairless and freezing. Plus pregnant.” Slowly and carefully, I shifted the mama cat in my arms to carry her a bit better, “Just take me back home…”

Dominik watched me for a bit before sighing, “Alright…”

A cry was heard from the direction of the two girls. If Dominik heard, he didn’t seem to notice. But, I did manage to get a glimpse back to see both of those girls dresses drenched in fountain water.

Nice one.

‘Why are you thanking me?’

Take it before I take TAME and BARB.

‘Alright alright.’

It was a short walk to the car, then a long silent ride to the Wolfgang Mansion. As we pulled up into the driveway, I turned to Dominik, “Jacket?”

“You or the cat?” Dominik questioned, but he took off his jacket anyways. He first got out of the car and walked around. I waited and gently scratched the mama cat behind the ears.

“Good girl.” I softly said as the passenger door opened and a jacket was placed over my shoulders, “The cat, stupido.”

“Deal with it.” He grumbled as he helped me out of the car and up the stair pathway to the door. Knocking on it, we waited.

I shifted the jacket to the cat when a butler opened the door.

“Welcome back, Lady Wolfgang.”

‘Never did like the Lady title.’

Oh shut up. It makes me feel superior to others when that’s not true.

“It’s Elodia, Mr. Bain.” I corrected as I handed him the cat, “Take her to my baba please. She could use a sweater or two. Then set up a spot for her in my room close to my bed. And make sure Solana has her favorite toy, you know how she gets with kittens. And see if Alba is feeling better.”

“Of course, Lady Elodia.”

I groaned mentally as he took the cat and walked off.

“Bye Dominik.” I said before walking through the door and kicking it shut before he could reply. Sighing, I made my way to the kitchen to see if I can snag some cookies before dinner.

Smiling, I saw Damario by the door leading into the kitchen, acting as lookout.

“Twins?” I whispered as I caught up.

“They’re at a tia’s house. Tia Leti. And Colver went to bed early. Didn’t feel so well.” He replied before ruffling my hair, “Gonna snag some cookies?”

Nodding, I flashed him a smile, “I’ll get your snacks if you distract.”

“Those caramelized apples. The ones that papá uses for decorations for cakes.”

“Got it.” And the plan was set.

Damario walked in and chatted up with the cooks about tonight’s dinner while I used my shadows to sneak a couple cookies, the caramelized apples, and some raspberries. I quickly hide them in the small hatch that Damario and I made and sent them to the roof.

“Sweet. Sounds great!” Damario loudly stated before walking out, “Roof?” He asked as we walked off.

“Race ya!”

We took off laughing. We managed to not get caught by Miss Montego, the head maid, as she hates it when we run in the villa… Mansion… Whatever.

As we climbed up to the roof through the attic, I opened the other hatch and sat on one side while Damario sat on the other.

“Howve vas it?” He asked through a mouthful of caramelized apple.

“Stupid.” I replied, “I hate those things.”

“Well, you still are telling him no…” A pause, “Right?”

“Yes, I’m still telling him that. I only agreed to the party because it gave Colver and I an excuse to visit. And it was kinda worth it. I got sweets.” To prove my point, I tossed a couple of raspberries into my mouth, “But yes, I’m still telling him no. I heard that you guys are doing good.”

“Heh yeah… The team is doing well. Pieter says ‘Hi kid that I babysat who actually sat on me instead.’ by the way.”

“Dork. Too bad that I can’t be there on your first day of coaching the kids.”

“Yeah…”

I liked the moments that I have with my brother. It sort of makes up the fact that I was taken the same day he arrived in my family. It was these moments that make me feel more like a normal person, one that isn’t an illusioner, one that isn’t a leader of a gang… One where I felt true to myself.

“Hey lil’ sis…” Damario said softly.

I turned my head to look at him, only to get crumbled up cookies poured on top of my head.

“Dama!” I shouted, grabbing some raspberries and smashing them on top of his head, “Ha!”

Soon it because a jumble of two play fighting siblings throwing sweets at one another and calling each other names,

“Damario and Elodia Akinci Callejo Wolfgang, get down from there before you fall off! It’s almost time for dinner!”

“Looks like büyükanne is back from the fashion show.” Damario chuckled as he made his way to the attic door, “You coming?”

“Si, si.” I replied as I followed.

As we walked through the hallways, büyükanne was waiting for us. She was all dressed up, typical of her because of these shows.

“You two are filthy! Go clean up before dinner. Hurry, hurry.” We were quickly brushed away.

“Opps.” Damario said before walking with me to the bathroom, “Guessing, we do face wash and brushing of hair.”

“We’re dead to her until we clean up.” I said as we walked into the bathroom.

I grabbed two towels and tossed one to Damario before getting mine wet and soapy, “Yeah.” I replied as I started to wash my face, “Thank God for CLOTH-Z. Right?”

“Yeah for you. Curse your mimic abilites…”

I laughed before we quietly got cleaned up, with soap flying everywhere when we made foam and tried to have a snowball fight. I grabbed my CLOTH-Z chip and we went to separate rooms to change.

I smiled as I walked out of the room. I wore basically the same black dress with gold detailings as I did with the party. The only thing different was a detailed headscarf.

Looking over, Damario was just wearing a simple dress shirt and nice pants.

“Shall we?”

“Shall we never use shall we again?” I grumbled before walking to the dining room.

“Grouchy much?”

ILLUSIONER FILE: DEVIL’S LIGHT

“Devyn, you’ve gotten much stronger since your last required visit.” Vienna commented as she pricked me with another needle, “So, how is Ashton?”

“Ashton is fine, Dr. Vienna.”

“Really? Has he stopped using bandages for binding?”

“No. Still uses them every now and then.” I sighed, “Worries me.”

“How so?”

I watched, giving Vienna a confused look before she decided to shove a pill in my hands. Looking at it, I could tell that it was something I’ve never seen. It wasn’t TAME, BARB or even VIBE, and those were what Vienna specifically gives me during these visits since they tame my abilities. And I’m positive that Vienna didn’t give me QUILL or DRIVE. So what was it?

“DIME, a drug specifically for DR and DP.” She started, “Now, take it.”

Sighing, I popped the pill into my mouth, wincing at the bitter taste. It definitely tasted worse than TAME and BARB. After managing to not throw up, I shot Vienna a look.

“Right. So, how was the first year with Ashton?”

I froze before sighing, “It was nice. His place is still being rebuilt, so I see him more often than not.”

“Hm. And nothing had happened between you two?”

“Bloody hell, Dr. Vienna. I thought that you were a professional doctor not a love expert.” That earned me a light joking slap on the back of my head, “Sorry, sorry. I’ll keep shut.”

We continued the check-up. Every now and then, Vienna would ask about Ashton or the others, but seemed more interested in Ashton.

“All done.”

I hopped off the table, “Now can I leave?”

“Just one last thing.”

I sighed before nodding, “Shoot.”

“Did you even notice how your own body was responding to the questions about Ashton?”

“What?” Blush started to creep onto my cheeks.

“Your aura created a tail. Ironically a devil’s tail.”

Spinning around, I saw a tail and tried to grab it, but kept missing. Maybe I should’ve done this later or looked in the bloody giant mirror on the back wall because Nigel and Nathaniel walked in.

“Told ya that he’ll look like a dog chasin’ it’s tail.” Nathaniel joked, “Someone owes me a tenner.”

“And someone’s gonna get a beatin’…” I snarled.

“No fighting an hour after the check-up!” Vienna ordered, “You’re going to need some time to get used to this tail appearing as it’s a sign of more power being gained. Now get going to Talin.”

Grumbling, I walked out with the other two and made our way out of the office.

Talin and Vienna work in separate offices. Turns out that it works better that way and becomes easier to handle illusioners when we aren’t crowded the way we were before the separation.

So, new traits on my abilities… Huh.

“Dude, are you thinking about Ash again?”

I looked back to see the tail again, brighter than the other time I saw it. I grabbed it and quickly let go as it did hurt when I pulled.

“Really?” Nigel sighed, “Honestly, do you even understand why that was stupid?”

“Hush you.” I growled.

We walked with small talk; Nathaniel babbled about future gigs, Nigel talked about the casinos and how Jessie is handling the job of manager, and I just talked about Corbin’s training plus that little mishap.

“So, any news?” Nathaniel asked as we neared the office.

“News on what?” I replied.

“News on Angel’s leave. Is she really going to leave The Vanished?”

I sighed, pausing by the door and watched him for a bit. Both he and Nigel were waiting.

“Maybe. She still doesn’t know. To be fair, if she does…” I trailed off.

What if I didn’t want her to leave? What if I really want her to stay?

“It’s her choice.” Nigel finished.

“What you said.” I said.

We walked in.

“Doctor Talin, we’re here!” I greeted, letting the door slam behind us.

We heard fighting from the back room and instantly ran in.

There a figure was beating the shit out of Talin when he stopped as soon as we bursted in. He shoved Talin to the ground, bruises starting to reveal themselves as his torn and bloodied white coat laid next to him.

The figure quickly ran through the window, glass breaking and spreading on the ground.

“I got the jerk!” Nathaniel shouted as he jumped through the smashed window and took off running after the figure.

Nigel and I went to take care of Talin. Nigel helped him sit up and I dusted him off.

“Doctor Talin, stay with us.” Nigel said, “Devyn, call Doctor Vienna. Now!” He ordered.

I nodded and got up to make my way to the main lobby.

“Orchid call Doctor Vienna.”

“Yes Devil’s Light.” Orchid popped up in my view and a holoscreen show the word ‘CALLING DOCTOR VIENNA’ was shown.

She answered.

“Did you already screw up my no fighting rule?”

“Talin got attacked.” Was all I said.

Vienna was silent, but I could hear the rustling of clothes and the sound of keys jingling.

“I’ll be there soon!”

And soon was right. Vienna used her moped to get over and rushed right by me to the back room. Nigel was kicked out as she started to treat him.

Nigel and I had some small talk about this and why, but it soon turned to talking about my soon-to-be visit to my dad’s tomorrow morning.

“Guess that you ain’t excited.”

“Nope.”

“Luca?”

“Same.”

“I’ll leave you at that.”

We just sat in silence when Nathaniel walked in, he tossed something at us and upon closer inspection, it was a tag.

It looked like a tag that the guards use. On it were the letters, E and I.

“I sent a hologram copy to Bullet, Masque, and to some others. They got some guys who might know what that means.” He started, “And did you guys check the Buzzy-Crew News yet?”

“No?”

“Check it. Seems important.”

I quickly had Orchid and my home holoscreen appear in front of me. Nigel did the same and soon we both tapped the, B-NEWS tab.

Orchid sent a screen up and so did Nigel’s AI. I forgot the AI’s name, but the news screen popped up.

“Again we’ll be showing the clip from leader of the Amphitheater Actors, Selkie about the Amp-Trials.”

The screen flipped to the clip.

“I’m sorry to announce that the Amp-Trials will be delayed for a few weeks and the theme has been cancelled. With threats of guards raiding Veskia, we’ll be up-ing our security and special tickets will be sent to the participants of the trials. The Last Hour Rush will still be on, but earlier. Thank you.”

The screen flipped back.

“It’s such as shame to see that the council is willing to raid what we love. We’ll be keeping you updated on this event. Thank you for watching, Buzzy-Crew News.”

‘Holy-” I started.

“- Shit.” Nigel finished.

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