74 Chapter 74: Ganmo
We were led down a dark corridor that ended at a set of fortified iron double doors.
The door's faces had an image etched into it. It was an image of a full moon casting rays over two howling wolves sitting between two pillars. I had seen this image before in one of Bulldog's newspaper journals. It was the channelling image for the moon goddess Numoir. Also, the emblem for magis of dark magic.
"Colonel. This is bad," I whispered my concern.
"I'm sorry," he said with a lowered head.
The goons said a spell to open the doors. It slowly opened with a splintering grind.
I blew out a sigh of relief when the doors stopped against a wall with a heavy clang.
Our walk continued across a circular chamber and down stone steps, which spiraled toward a central area with a lion head symbol painted on the floor. The stench of fudge and musk overpowered the air. Distant cries for mercy and curt screams reverberated off the stone wall corridors.
They pushed us into a stone cell and locked us in the darkness.
"Argia," Leinard whispered.
A small ball of light formed from the palm of his hand. It floated between us, so we could see our faces.
"I'm sorry about Trix, back there." I consoled him. "I'll do my best to save him."
Leinard gave a halfhearted chuckle. "You're not Charlese."
"Why'd, um, you say that?" I asked, feeling twitchy.
"We've been intimate a lot of times. Our sex back at the gardens was the first time I felt passion between us." Leinard answered through a weak smile. "You also call me Colonel and my brother Trix. Only close friends call him that. She never would."
"Right." I blushed. "Um, so, those disgusting pigs and Trix?"
Leinard's expression darkened. "It should've been me. When our mother died, I abdicated. Our paternal father sent Illuminate men to escort us to Youmen Prison."
He further explained on how Sirius's right-hand man (Marlo Delconis) had redirected the order to have them taken to his slave mansion called Triuta. He offered the boys a choice; one would work as a servant, the other as an urisen for the kingdom's elite. Leinard and Trix had to choose who would be what. Marlo decided that Leinard would be the urisen if the boys didn't decide for themselves. It was a nasty form of intimidation. As expected, Trix had taken the tougher option to give his baby brother a better chance. Leinard had struck a deal with Marlo. He would do the man's bidding in order to spare Trix from the worst forms of torture. As such, no one was allowed to touch Leinard except Marlo.
"Then I slept with you." I expelled a troubled sigh when I realized what I had caused.
"Don't fret about it. It didn't matter who I slept with. They were going to torture Trix anyway. Now they'll do the same for me," Leinard tenderly whispered. "I didn't want this for you."
I felt my anger at boiling point. "Bastards! I'll revert them all to null!"
My anger subsided at the sight of Leinard's head bowed with defeat.
"How old are you?"
"Of age for a few years now," Leinard weakly answered.
Eighteen. He was still a boy for crying out loud!
"Listen. Trix tried to spare you right?"
Leinard nodded, his head still bowed.
"The strong bonds that some brothers have. They keep everyone else fighting for each other. Nothing can break a solid brotherhood." I spoke clearly and concisely. "Right now, you and Trix have a stronger bond no person or thing can interfere with. It's too pure."
I titled my head low, so I was able to see his downcast eyes. "You saw what pigs did to Trix, but you may not have seen what Trix did for you, for himself. I did."
I straightened up when Leinard raised his head to face me, square on.
"What did you see?" He asked with a stronger voice.
"Calm blue eyes. They looked weak on the surface, but they were calm as still water when he copped their abuse." I recounted my observation I had glimpsed when I was forced to watch the abuse.
"Calm." Leinard repeated with a steady voice. "Say, if it was you to decide who was taken hostage by kidnappers..."
"I wouldn't let them take anyone." I raised a hand to stop him from interrupting on the rest of my explanation.
"Or we'd all be taken. If they did happen to take me, I'd find a way to escape and save my brothers. You'd do the same right?"
"So you have brothers?" He asked.
I paused and chewed my lip. Not sure if I should tell him. I let out a groan. Damn the consequences.
"Um, yeah, I have three. Two older and one younger. I'll do anything to save them." I sighed wistfully.
"You really love your brothers." Leinard swallowed a breath.
"I'd stake my chi on it. Right now. My brothers and I are separated. I'm doing everything I can to reunite us."
We stared into each other's eyes before Leinard asked me a serious question.
"What's your name?"
"Ganmo," I blurted.
My mind was suddenly fixated on a vision of tasty ganmodoki. I was starving.
"Okay Ganmo." Leinard chuckled. "So, what's the plan from here?"
I glanced around the cell and saw black space. Not even Leinard's piddly light was able to draw out the room's outline. I suspected the walls was of the same stone that Hell's Labyrinth was made from. Our first task was finding the door.
"Let's go with a classic, shall we?" I answered with high spirits.
"And that is?"
"According to my brother War...ren, it means, 'draw attention from the guards then pounce.' He read it in one of Bull...er fiction magazines." I awkwardly explained.
"I see, ladies first then." Leinard smugly gestured for me to cause the scene.
"Men." I grimaced.
I commenced with some of my cheesiest acting that I had never done before. Almost wanted to laugh when the sounds of a lock being fiddled with greeted our ears and light near-blinded our eyes as it poured in from the opening door.
"Sir, Lady Charlese is going into a fit." Leinard made up on the spot.
I yelped and started shaking myself violently on the ground.
Bowler-hat goons stepped into the room. Suckers.
Leinard called upon a wind spell to knock them out cold.
"These guys are golems fashioned from mud, so they don't do well with wind attacks." He stoically informed. "As you can see, they're not that bright. Lucky for us."
We crawled around the bodies and found what we needed inside their pant pockets. Leinard used the keys to unlock our iron binds around our wrists. He then grabbed the two key crystals lying in their hands.
"Let's find Trix," I said.
We left the unconscious golems and cell behind.