a room, you two." Cye and Reva tore their gaze from each
other and turned towards the voice. Kento stood right behind
them and smirked.
"Hey Kento," Reva said cheerily.
"How's my favorite girl?" he asked. Kento went over to Reva and put his arm around her shoulders.
"Favorite girl my butt," said Cye. "You only say that because she'll cook you anything."
"That's a bad thing because?" challenged Kento.
"Because what about Betty Crocker? Didn't you tell me yesterday that she was your favorite girl?"
"Betty Crocker? You cheating on me, big guy?" Reva turned a hurt look to Kento.
"Of course not. You're still my favorite girl."
"Okay, but I better not find her." Reva turned to the front doors of the school. The two boys followed her.
"What are you trying to do, Cye? I'm just trying to get on her good side."
"You were never on her bad side Kento. Don't worry about it."
They walked down the sidewalk and she hooked both her arms to theirs. She had a big smile on her face as she saw people staring. Cye turned a little red at the attention they were getting while Kento and Reva watched him, barely containing their amusement. After a few more blocks, they stopped in front of an antique store.
Reva unhooked her arms and went directly to the door. A small chime rang overhead as she got in. Anubis was with Kishin on the counter, working on balancing books when she came in.
"Hey guys! What's up?" she asked as she approached them. The chime rang again as Kento and Cye came in.
"Royda's in the back," answered Kishin as she got back to balancing.
"I guess I am transparent," she retorted sarcastically. Kishin's one green eye looked up at her. "Oh, did I say that out loud? My bad!"
She headed for the backdoor and carefully made sure that the door was closed. A shadow loomed over her without knowing.
"I thought I told you to come directly here after school," Royda said from behind. Reva jumped back from the voice.
"Geez, don't do that," Reva confronted Royda. "What are you trying to do, give me a heart attack?"
"I'm going to do more than that if you're late again." Royda walked off.
Reva stuck her tongue out at her back and quickly withdrew it when she turned around. "What did you need me for that I had to leave so early? I don't usually do that, you know."
"We have more boxes to unpack. I needed you to be here. Kala's already started on some of the boxes and Kishin is trying to keep track of everything. If Mira would get out of school the same time we did, you wouldn't have to be here, but I figured that you needed the conditioning."
"I know what it is. You don't want little sister to join in. You don't want her to know that you're a slave driver."
"She knows that I am. Apparently, she's been told that every since she can comprehend things."
Reva looked at her and narrowed her eyes. Royda went to the door that led to the back of the building. There, Kala was trying to unload a box about twice her size. She pushed it to the edge of the van and carefully situated it to be set on a hand lift. Royda came up to one side of the box and steadied the hand lift. Reva quickly came out of the building to assist them with the unloading.
"What do you have in here?" Reva huffed as she tried to push the box into position.
"Just the entire collection of ninja stars from the seventeenth century," answered Kala.
"And they weigh this much?"
"This isn't even the heaviest thing in here."
"Would the two of you please quiet down?" asked Royda. "You need to concentrate on pushing that box, unless you want to crush your feet under it in which case I would care less if you do."
"Geez, talk about sympathy," Reva answered sarcastically.
They worked in silence after that. Royda positioned the hand lift behind the box while Kala and Reva pushed it towards the lift. They both lifted the box a little bit until the hand lift was securely under it. Royda then carefully pulled it down the ramp. Kala jumped down from the van and opened the door for her while Reva went deeper into the truck to see what else would be next.
Inside the storage room, both Royda and Kala lifted the box off the hand lift and pushed it up against the other boxes in the room. They have only been settled in the store for a couple of days and this was the only time they had free time to unload the items. Anubis couldn't very well unload everything by himself.
"You go on ahead," Royda told Kala. "I'm going to go see if Mira's here yet."
Kala nodded and took the hand lift with her as she went back to the truck. She knew that Royda didn't just want to go back into the store to see if her sister was here or not. She wanted to make sure that the Ronins that had undoubtedly followed Reva didn't get too curious and come to the back and see them work.
Royda slowly- deliberately? -opened the door to the main store and walked in. Kishin abruptly looked up as she entered and the others were surprised to see her there. She looked around the room and settled on Kento and Cye.
"Anything else we can do for you?" She debated within herself whether or not to call them by their armor name. She decided against it.
"Well, there is the question of..." Kento trailed as Cye clamped a hand on his mouth and pushed him towards the exit.
"Don't listen to him," Cye said as they headed out the door. "He's just blowing steam. We'll see you guys tomorrow, okay? Tell Reva bye for me, will you?"
They left the store with Cye's hand still firmly on Kento's mouth. As they stepped out onto the sidewalk, Kento torn his best friend's hand away from his face. He glared down at him.
"What was that for?"
"Trying to not get you killed," answered Cye as he started walking away from him. It would be good if Kento didn't ask anymore but that wasn't him.
"And what's that suppose to mean? I was just going to ask her what she meant about her little comment to me yesterday."
"Like I said before, trying to not get you killed. Why do you want to know what she meant anyway? You've never asked us that."
"Because I know you guys." Kento walked with his hands in his pocket. "Those girls, and particularly that one, I don't understand. Don't tell me that you know them?"
"Let's just say that I know more about them than you'd think." Cye looked up and spotted the bus that would take him home. "Look, my bus is here." He boarded. "Just don't let her get to you, okay? That's a mistake that Reva's been telling me about and one that I think you should avoid."
"Well..." Cye didn't hear him as the bus pulled away. Kento thought about what his best friend said. He wasn't even sure why what Royda said should bother him. He walked on, still pondering.
know," Kishin said. She watched Cye cut Kento off so he
wouldn't get into trouble. "You didn't have to say that.
He was just waiting for you to say that."
"I know." Royda turned to go back to unloading.
"Then why do it? Wouldn't it be better to just tell him how you feel?" Royda met Kishin's one eye with such intensity that her little remark that was meant to be a joke almost was true.
"What do you mean by that?"
"It was a joke Royda. You know, joke? Something to make you laugh?"
"Do I look like I'm laughing?"
"Well, you have such a variety of expressions that it's hard to tell."
"Kishin," Royda got close to the counter, "just go back to your books and leave it alone." With that, she left the room and the temperature considerably cooled.
"Was it just me or was she steaming?" Anubis asked from behind Kishin.
"In more ways than one, that's for sure," answered Kishin. "Whatever she thought I meant touched a nerve."
"I thought I've figured you girls out." Anubis leaned against the counter. "Reva, and occasionally Kala, would say something back to her but I thought you'd never do it."
"We get like this every century." She looked down at the account book. "The only one that would never dare say anything smart to her would be Mira. It's because she has too much respect for her. Not that we don't, mind you."
"Why do it then? To keep her on her toes?"
"Maybe. Or it's just our way of helping her release that pent-up stress."
"She must have a lot for this century then, huh?" Anubis picked up his pencil and started to write.
"Not really." Kishin stopped and looked up then started to write again as she started to talk. "Just these last couple of years. Especially after we got back here. She's particularly difficult whenever it comes to Hardrock. And he's not helping by asking all these questions."
"Why do you have to hide from the Ronins anyway? Aren't you supposed to be their guardian?"
"True. We are their guardians, but we work in secret. Not many, if any, know about our existence. The legends of the armors were all heavily researched since there was existence to support it. Our legend was basically discarded since our armors were part of us and that there were no evidence to support it. There is evidence that there were living people named Royda, Mira, Kishin, Kala, and Reva but there is no evidence that they ever wore the armors. So basically, since our armors are part of us, we are forced to become just a side note, a fact that is debatable as to whether or not it was true. I suppose you might say that we're sort of a joke, an imagined addition to a grand legend."
Anubis stared at her. She had started to talk and calculate at the same time and he was hard pressed to catch up. He finally stopped and just listened when she got to the part about their armors having no history. It got him thinking and realized that he didn't even know why the girls were there helping with his army all that time ago. He didn't know that their purpose in that battle was to look after him.
"You know, come to think of it, I think the first time I've ever heard the mention of the Ancient's Warriors was when you girls were explaining them to us. Even from my time, you guys were a legend already, made up to strengthen women's morality."
"That's how they saw us back then?" Kishin looked up, one eye puzzled. He nodded. "I suppose I can see that happening, but still! We've barely started on our mission and we were already legends?" She shook her head. "It's a good thing it happened then. Nobody expected us to be there."
"So, you keep it as just that then? You're more like a myth than a legend if you do."
Kishin stopped writing and looked at him. He had presented something that was right in front of her. They weren't legends anymore. They had faded to the backgrounds of legendary and have become myth to the modern world. Nobody knew who they were and probably nobody will. She smiled grimly at the thought.
"Don't tell Royda that. She would be all too happy if people didn't know about us. She kept on telling us that we were the Ancient's best kept secret. We never really believed her since we knew Reva would tell somebody."
"To tell you the truth, nobody in the world now would know you guys existed but Mia and me. Even Cye doesn't know the whole story and Reva's with him all the time. You keep your secrets better than you think."
"Oh, it better stay that way." Kishin pushed one book out of the way and picked up another. "We'll keep this privacy as long as we can for Royda's sake. I can almost tell that she will change if the Ronins know about us."