14 Sister Of Darkness
The flame of a candle grew bigger. It soon started to take a particular shape, the shape of a ball.
And within the next few seconds, it became a fireball and rose up from the candle. The flames had become independent of the candle they had been formed on.
The ball of fire hung in the air for a while before slowly moving towards the window of the room.
It moved in a straight line, as if it was following a digital pattern. And in that straight line, it flew out of the room and then disappeared.
As that happened, the sounds of clapping echoed throughout the room, throughout the classroom.
"Well done, Hena! You have almost perfected the basics of The Elemental Arts Of Flame. The God Of Fire, Inferno, will be pleased by you!" The teacher said, applauding the girl who was responsible for that whole fireball thing.
"Your words honor me, sir!" She said as she bowed to him, withholding inside her the disgust she felt towards him and everyone around him.
As the sister of Vilome, she was one of the few people in the world who knew about the Dark Arts.
Most people thought they were history, but she knew that they were not. She knew it, and she had practiced it. And because of that, she knew very well how something like The Elemental Arts Of Flame, or Flame Arts for short, were no match for them.
After all, even among Gods, there was a loose hierarchy. And Elemental Gods like Inferno held no candle to Gods like Emoliv or Vilome in that hierarchy.
But, even so, her brother had said that they needed to blend in and wait for the opportunity while he makes his preparations, so that's what she had to do. And one part of blending in was to learn things that people of her age do.
So, she had chosen to learn Elemental Arts.
"Hena!" A male voice called out to her. "Can I see you for a bit?"
She knew who that voice belonged to without even looking. It belonged to a reknowned painter of her nation, who was also a painting teacher at her school.
She had never taken up the course of painting herself but some of her acquaintances had and so she had come to talk to that man a few times.
'What could he be calling me for though?' She wondered as she went out of the class.
Out there in the wide and comfy hallways, that man looked at her and asked, "Hena, have you ever met my son?"
"Uh, well, I haven't, Mr. Jake." She tried to act as innocent as possible as she lied.
In truth, Hena had met his son a number of times. After all, he was in the same class as Vilome and also had his coming of age ceremony the same day. She had met him a few times, and seen him snooping around many other times.
"I see." Tim Jake, the painting teacher, said. "Well, he was in the same class as your brother."
"Oh, is that so?" She gave her best 'slightly surprised' expression.
"Anyway, that boy has been acting strange these past few days. He always seems worried and anxious about something."
'So what does it have to do with me!?' She questioned, only in her head.
"And now, he has gone off somewhere without telling anyone. No matter what I do, we aren't able to reach him."
"Since Vilome and him are acquaintances and all, I was hoping you could ask him to help me find him."
'So you are trying to get an older brother to give into her little sister's requests and gain his help in searching for that pathetic loser of a son of yours?' She would have laughed if she didn't care about the facade. 'Well, I can't blame you for wanting my brother's help. He HAS always shown results whenever he tried to do this kind of thing. But if you really want his help, you'll have to do better than that!'
Calming her thoughts, Hena made an awkward smile as she said, "I will relay your request to my brother when I get home."
"Thank you!" Tim said with a grateful and relieved face.
Even though she had promised, Hena didn't even care enough to remember it for more than 20 minutes. However, during her return trip from the school in the evening, she came across a particular woman.
She was a blue-haired, ivory-skinned aspiring adventurer of her brother's age, named Yasmine. She was genuinely cute but also dumb-looking with her big, bright, light blue eyes and her hair was usually left free-style.
'What is she doing here?' Hena had questioned with annoyance.
Yasmine was in the same school uniform she was wearing, which had a light brown coat on top of a classic white-shirt-and-red-skirt combo.
"Hena! There you are!" As Yasmine saw her, she quickly ran towards Hena with a bright expression.
"Ms. Yasmine, what are you doing here?" Hena asked as politely as she could.
"Well, I wanted to talk to you about something."
Hena didn't reply, giving Yasmine the reigns to continue.
"There's a classmate of mine and your brother named Jill Jake. I am kinda worried about him."
'Her too?' Hena wondered, but from Yasmine's next words, she realized that her case was completely different than the worry that Tim Jake had for him.
"I am worried he would try to do something stupid to Vilome."
"And why's that?"
Hena knew why Jill may try something foolish. If anything, Yasmine had been dense enough to not realize it for such a long time.
"I think ... he likes me." But, thankfully or not, the blue-haired girl had finally realized. "And ... because I like Vilome, he might be jealous of Vilome and try something."
This was the first time that Yasmine had deliberately admitted her liking towards Vilome in front of someone else. Everytime before this, it had only happened as an accidental slip-up.
Hence, Yasmine was blushing hard enough for her ears to start turning red.
"Well," Hena said as she saw that, "I'm sure it'll be fine."
"Y-yeah, since it's Vilome, he'd probably be fine." Yasmine said while fidgetting. "But please tell him to stay alert!"
"I'll do that." Hena said with a smile.
For Yasmine, her love towards Vilome was something she thought was a secret from Vilome.
However, that man had realized how she felt before even she realized it herself. And like that, he had also realized how some people were jealous of him because of that. The one who topped the list of those jealous losers was in fact Jill Jake.
There was no need to caution the guy who had cautioned her to look out for him.
Hena knew, that if the situation came down to it, Vilome could easily take care of him.
"Now that's unfair!" The little sister pouted as she saw the dead body that a particular blonde priestess was disposing of.
"What're you on about?" The elder brother asked.
"You told ME to not kill him because investigations into his murder could pose problems if it started to lead back to me but then you go ahead and kill him yourself! That's so unfair!"
How could her brother, her beloved brother, steal her chance to satiate her bloodlust!
"That is so cruel!" She complained while making a teary-eyed face.
"If you had killed him, it would have been murder."
"And it's not murder now?"
"This man broke into my house and tried to attack me. I only killed him in self-defence." Vilome said with a calm expression.
"That's a load of bullcrap!"
"Perhaps, but that's a load of bullcrap that no one would be able to prove to be bullcrap."
"..." She kept pouting even as she heard his excuse. Vilome didn't spare her more than a glance as he returned to looking at nothingness while seeming like he was reading something.
Because of him having had told her about something called the system, she could understand that he would be doing something with the system then but since she couldn't see the so-called system, it only annoyed her.
So, she turned to Valerie.
The priestess looked her way when she heard her name being called. "Yes?"
"What do YOU think?"
"Uh? About what?"
"About the fact that brother killed that asshole himself even though he didn't need to. Don't you think he should have let me do it?" She asked so like a child asking one of her parents to scold the other for teasing her.
"My, my! What can I say?" Valerie said, nervously. "You weren't home back then so capturing him and waiting for you to return would have been ... well ..."
"I see." With an angry expression, the 13-year-old Hena said. "So you think I am wrong too!"
"Now, now, Hena! Calm down!"
"Can I beat up Valerie to take out some stress?"
Valerie jumped in surprise with a teary-eyed expression.
Even as saw that, Vilome said with a deadpan expression, "If it'll make you less annoying to talk to, go right ahead!"
Hearing that, Hena cracked her knuckles with a malicious grin as she looked at Valerie.
"No, Hena, don't! Remember who raised you all these years! Remeber who took care of you when your brother wasn't around! Actually, I was the one taking care of you even when he was around!"
"Yeah, so what?" Hena asked in an icy tone.
"W-well ..." Valerie was terrified, not of the minute possibility that a brat filled with bloodlust could possibly defeat her but because she wasn't allowed to fight back against that brat.
"Hena," But all of a sudden, Vilome put a stop to the beatdown by asking, "I have a mission for you."
Hearing so, Hena forgot all about beating Valerie up and her eyes lit up as she asked, "Do you need me to kill someone?!"
"No, not really."
All the excitement built in her died down as she heard that and pouted, "Then I am not gonna do it, no matter what you do!"
"Oh, is that so?" Vilome asked, looking directly into her eyes with an icy glare, akin to that of God Emoliv's from his legends, that caused her whole corporis to shake with fear. No, fear might be too small of a word. It was terror that she was experiencing at that moment.
"W-w-well, I mean, if you tell me to do it, it's not like I would possibly refuse. I was just ... just ..."
"I don't care." Vilome said. "The mission is to arrange a meeting between me and your painting teacher, who I am pretty sure is the father of that corpse."
Pointing at Jill's corpse, Vilome said so.
"V-very well, that's won't be hard." Hena said. "I mean, he does want to meet with you himself, though his intentions are for you to help him search for his 'missing' son."
"Huh? Well, that's certainly helpful." Vilome remarked. "In that case, since this is too easy, in addition to this mission, you're also tasked to ask Yasmine to come meet me at a particular place at midnight."
"I see. What is that place?"
"Your school building, the same place that you are to call your painting teacher at."
"Huh? Are you planning to meet with both of them today?"
"Yes, today midnight." Vilome said with a grin. "Now get to work!"