got back to the van and helped with more of the unloading. Reva
was, as usual, talking up a storm about her day at school that
Kala was just half listening to it. Nobody asked what took Royda
so long since they had a pretty good idea on what she did. After
a couple of more boxes were unloaded, Mira quickly appeared at
the door and went on helping them without notice.
The task of going to school wasn't really necessary for all the girls. They were older than all their teachers combined, but since the law indicated for them to be in school at a certain age, they went. It was the task of choosing how old they were that gave them a big problem.
Royda and Reva were born early in the year so they were a school year ahead of everybody like Cye. Kishin and Kala were the same grade as most of the guys and Mira was a year behind them since she was a year younger than everybody. Mia decided that they should keep their ages relatively even with the Ronins. Physically, the girls were around their age.
It didn't take long for them to mingle and make friends and enemies. They had been in school for a little over two weeks and it had been over a month since Mia met the girls. The guys were relatively helpful with their classes.
They mostly kept to themselves and tried to interact as little as possible with everybody. Their classmates thought at first that Royda was mute. She didn't talk to anybody and the group of girls she was with seemed to understand her with just small hand gestures. She was all too happy to be left alone then the teacher would call on her. Her grades were always good so the teacher thought she needed a chance to speak. Everybody was shocked that she talked let alone knew the right answer to the problem. With that, she was labeled a teacher's pet and the guys in the class started fawning over her. The girls in the class saw her as either a role model or a slut that was moving in on their territory.
Kala and Reva perhaps had the most fun of going back to school. Reva quickly became popular on her Kansai accent alone, attracting people who have never heard or seen a Southerner before. Kala, on the other hand, attracted people to the fights she had. On the first day of school, she had already met the principal a number of times. Her reputation for fighting caused her to be labeled a troublemaker and that was fine with her.
Mira was enrolled as a freshman and nobody really paid much attention to them. It didn't help that she was quiet and rarely even looked up from the floor. The only time she would look up was when the other girls were around. She talked some so they didn't mistake her as being mute. Her low profile was rarely noticed and nobody seemed to mind that, especially her. She only wished that her classes ended the same time as everybody's.
Kishin got back into school life instantly. She took up her classes and more or less tried to pace herself. Her photographic memory didn't help in that she still remembered what she was taught from the beginning. It didn't help either that she knew more than her teacher. But she kept to herself, content on just answering questions and doing good in class. Most of her classmates thought that she was a robot, programmed to answer and work out problems. That was fine with her, too.
The Ronins were a little puzzled of them at first. They didn't even talk to them for the first couple of days. Ever since they moved out of Mia's house and back into their own homes, the girls grew a little more distant from the Ronins, except for Cye and Reva. Those two managed to keep in touch with each other and she even got to meet his sister and mother. It seemed that the distance only intensified their bond.
Other people's reactions to the girls were a little mixed. There were secret groups already forming for each of them, either out of admiration or spite was their choice. Every guy at school had already taken their pick and had formed their own groups. The Ronins seemed to have been the only sane ones around. They didn't really see what was so special about them. Cye, on the other hand, knew enough about them to know that there was nothing normal about them.
Two weeks of school went by and they had all settled in quite well. Kala and her fights were a little less but still there. Reva still talked to anybody that would listen and her accent was still noticeable. Royda was still mistaken for being mute. Mira was finally interacting with other freshmen and they found her okay. Kishin was more or less happy to be back in school. However, something was missing.
They all finished unloading the truck and rested for awhile. Reva talked the whole way through and the others just listened. They found that the work moved a lot faster when she's the only one talking.
"You wouldn't believe what she said," Reva started as all four sat down. "She called me a slut and I don't even fully comprehend what that means!!"
"Care to calm down Rev?" Kala asked. "I know for a fact that you were happy when you came here."
"I know and I was." She smiled as her thoughts wandered. "Cye happened to show up just when I was about to say a couple of words from our time that she wouldn't understand either."
"You wouldn't have done it. Cye's got too much influence on you already."
"He does, doesn't he?"
"Hey guys!!" Kishin burst out of the back door and almost tripped over Mira's foot. "Oh, sorry."
"I bet it's important," Reva told Kala. The other girl just shook her head.
"It is," answered Kishin. "Especially for Royda and Mira." She looked at the sisters. "Your sister's getting married!!"
getting married?" asked Mia. They were all back at the mansion
after closing the store. "Have you told the guys?"
"They don't need to know," said Royda.
"But the Ronins are her friends," Anubis said. "They need to..."
"No, they don't," Royda said adamantly.
Mia and Anubis looked at each other then at the oldest Ancient's Warrior. The other girls wouldn't even look at them but Royda's intense eyes did. They didn't know that she was this overprotective.
"Give us one good reason not to tell them," challenged Anubis. "You know, as well as I do, that they would be very suspicious as to why you five aren't at school. Come on, Royda."
"Yeah, come on, Royda. Give us one good reason not to tell them." Everybody but Royda turned to see the bride-to-be, standing with her arms crossed in front of her. "Well?"
"I don't want them to." She stood up and confronted her sister. "We are the secret. They don't need to know that."
"I suppose I deserved that answer?" asked Kayura. "They are coming whether you like it or not."
"Then we're not going," she answered bluntly.
"What?!" everybody asked. They listened to the back and forth battle between the two older sisters and was really surprised at the last answer.
"You all heard me." Royda continued to stare at Kayura. "We are not going if they are."
"But...?" Mira started. She stopped when Royda looked at her.
"Ohhh!! You are impossible!!" Kayura sat herself down on the edge of a couch. "You're bent on making me suffer, aren't you? What? Is this payback for all those years that I wasn't there?"
"What are you talking about? I said we are the secret, no other reason. This has nothing to do with childhood."
With that, she left the room with everybody still puzzled. Keeping them a secret was a good reason but they could detect something else. Nobody followed her while they talked about that.
"I told you," Kishin told Anubis as she got up. "She's already changing and they don't even have a clue of what's going on." She left them to look for their unusually moody leader.
"What is she talking about?" Mia asked. Anubis looked around him and started to explain what she had told him.
sat on the roof and looked out over the forest surrounding the
mansion. A slight breeze blew a few leaves around her as the
silence was interrupted by an owl and another sound almost inaudible.
"You know," Kishin suddenly said from behind her, "dealing with you ten years ago was a lot easier than dealing with you now."
"I suppose that's one opinion." Royda didn't turn around. She had heard her come up and moved a little as she sat down.
"You mind telling me what all that meant down there?" There, I said it like she wants it, she thought. Blunt and to the point.
"What I said is what I said."
"Oh, no. You are not giving me these one sentence answers. We are actually going to talk and hopefully I'll be able to convince you to go."
"Good. You're actually going to cooperate with me. First thing off, what's wrong?"
Royda stopped and looked at her. "Now I'm the one that needs clarification. There is nothing wrong."
"Sure. And you're usually this moody. Cut that. I know how important it is that we keep out of sight but I think that doesn't apply now. The enemy knows you personally. You've been rivals since the start. What else do you need to hide? Anything she doesn't already know she'll find out."
"Why are you so sure?"
"Because I've known you for a very long time."
"Then you already know why I don't want them to go."
Kishin's mouth dropped for a second then closed. Somehow they had gotten off the subject and were back where they started.
"Royda, you have to cooperate with me. They helped your sister awhile back. You are sworn to protect them. You haven't given a very convincing answer as to why you don't want them to come."
"Isn't wanting them not to be there enough?"