Visions II: To Save an Ogrin - Part Six
"What?!" Nil exclaimed. "What do you mean? Wait, you had a sister?" She looked at Karan, eyes wide in disbelief and searching for an explanation.
Karan nodded. "Yes, and she looked just like you. At least, I think so. I can't remember much about when you were little."
"Oh, so now you're sure I'm your little sister. How can you be so certain? I mean, how old were you? How old was I?"
"I was only a couple of years old," he admitted. "Still, my dad remembers you. We had you for almost a year. Then, you and Mom disappeared."
"No offense to your dad, but he's not exactly in the best mental conditions," Nil replied, completely entering the room.
"I'd know my own daughter's face, even after years of hardship," Karan's father insisted. "Ah-Nil, you are my daughter." There was a look in his eyes that she knew meant he wasn't going to give up until he had his way. What was strange to her, though, is that she believed him herself.
"What did your mom look like?" she asked Karan, mentally creating a picture of her mother.
"She was a red Kyrii, just a bit shorter than most," Karan replied.
That's it exactly, Nil thought. She looked up at him and at his father, or rather her brother and her father. "Dad?"
Her father nodded. "Yes."
She shook her head, tears coming to her eyes. "No. No, I don't have a father," she insisted, backing up away from them. "I-I had a mother, but she abandoned me. She abandoned me!" She yelled the last part, her voice hoarse and shaking. She turned around and fled, unable to be near them.
I don't have a family, she thought as she sprinted out of the house, passing by a startled Lutari. I never did, and I never will. The Ogrin Master is my only family. Along with... She shook her head and ran to the dock, her feet stomping against the wooden planks. She reached the edge of the dock and stared out at the huge sea.
"No!" she yelled, her cry ringing through the night. She collapsed on her knees and cried, sobs shaking her entire body. "No," she whispered to herself, and covered her face with her hands. "It's not true. It's not. They're mistaken. It's not." Her voice shook and her throat choked up. She wiped away the tears in both her eyes, running her fingers over the scar again.
Ahnil curled into a small ball, crying to herself. She slowly rocked back and forth on the dock, staring out at the wide expanse of the ocean.
I wish I could just be swallowed up by it, leave all this behind, she thought. At least then I would be the nil I've always been. The nil I've been my entire life. That would mean giving up on the Ogrin Master, though, and I can't do that. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I have to see this through, one way or another.
She stood up on the edge of the dock and looked out at the sea, watching the waters swirl and crash. She closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath. "I am Nil, and I will see this through!" she called. As she turned around, she saw Karan, standing a few feet behind her.
"Going to mock me for yelling at no one?" Nil asked, her voice still a bit choked up.
Karan shook his head and walked closer to her. He laid a hand on her shoulder and smiled at her. "No way. I understand completely. Come on, we're already up. Let's try to stop Jix, together." He smiled at her, and for once she wasn't annoyed by it. "Partners?" he asked, holding out a hand.
She shook her head. "No. More like siblings or friends."
He smiled. "Whatever you say, little sis."
Hanso stood at the door, completely and utterly bored. The old Ruki doctor replaced Brynn's bandages and checked up on the old Ogrin. He rolled his eyes and sighed, fiddling with his knife. The Ruki stood and left, leaving the three of them alone.
"Ogrin Master," Brynn said, making Hanso look up. "Who attacked you?"
"Nil, obviously," Hanso replied, still messing with his knife. "She's attacking us all, Brynn. Why do you keep on asking things like that?"
He received another glare from the Kougra, but he was used to it. Besides, she couldn't really do anything to him currently.
"It wasn't Nil," the Ogrin replied. "She doesn't move like the attacker. She's trained well, and the attacker's moves were sloppy. I've seen worse, but not from Nil."
"She was mad," Hanso explained. "She messed up when she got angry. I mean, Xandra did the same thing. Brynn, you know what I'm talking about."
Brynn nodded. "He does have a point. If he hadn't been... well, himself, she probably would've not made a mistake."
"That is true, but there's something else, too," the Ogrin continued. "The attacker didn't move like she ever would. The Wocky moved as if he could see me completely, not just partially."
"Wait, did you say, 'Wocky'?" Hanso asked.
"Yes, he did," Brynn replied. "Ogrin Master, do you think Xagam could be the attacker?"
The old Ogrin nodded. "Yes, I believe it is possible."
"Then why didn't he kill us on the way to Shenkuu?" Hanso asked. "He had plenty of opportunities. Plus, we saw Nil attack you, not Xagam. How do you explain that?"
Brynn shook her head. "I don't know, but it can't be Nil. When I fought... whoever that was, I got hit on the left shoulder rather than the right. From the attacker's viewpoint, they would be striking on their right. Nil's blind on her right, so she would naturally strike to her left. Plus, she was able to block all of the swings I got in towards her right."
"I guess you have a point," Hanso replied. "You watch over the Ogrin. I'm going back to Tisha's. Might as well contact the others. After all, I can't wait to hear from Mr. King-of-Qasala." He rolled his eyes. "Wish me luck."
"Wait, Xagam might try to attack you," Brynn insisted.
"Yeah, but staying in one room so he can conveniently kill us isn't much better. Later." He turned and left, putting away his knife.
Paranoid Brynn, he thought. It wouldn't kill her to trust me every once in a while.
"There's got to be some way of knowing where Jix is," Karan said as he searched around the streets. So far, there was no sign of the troublesome blue Wocky. Everyone was moving on with their daily activities, though a few stopped and stared at him. He had the hood of his cloak up and stayed relatively close to the alleyways, where Nil was checking for any sign of Hanso.
"Any luck with Jix?" she asked, rummaging through some of the trash.
"No, but I do see Hanso," he replied. "Should I follow him?"
"I'll do the following," Nil replied, pulling her hood up and making sure the new piece of cloth was secure over her right eye. She slunk out of the alleyway, keeping her head down and ears tucked beneath the hood.
She followed Hanso through the crowd, careful to stay a good distance behind him. She had to detour every once and awhile when a guard was close by, but it didn't take long to find him again. Eventually, he was alone and she followed from behind, keeping watch around her. Then, a short while after, Jix appeared, walking alongside Hanso.
Nil got in close and listened in on their conversation.
"...possibly not Nil," Jix was saying.
Why is he helping me out? she wondered. Maybe I can talk to Hanso and explain the whole thing. She moved towards them, and saw that Jix was pulling out a knife and beginning to mess with it.
I have to stop him, she thought, and ran at him, retrieving her knife from her pocket in the process. She tackled Jix, knocking him to the ground and sending the knife out of his hands.
"Time to stop you," she said and put the knife to his throat. Suddenly, the Wocky turned into a blue Ixi and she realized what had happened.
"Guards! Stop her! Guards!" Jix yelled, in place of where 'Hanso' had been.
I'm going to kill him, she thought, getting off Hanso. The Ixi tried to attack her, but she quickly ran away, sprinting towards the crowded marketplace.
She made it in and shoved everyone aside, quickly dodging around carts and stands so that she could get through. Somewhere along the jumbled mess, Karan joined her.
"Now what did you do?" he asked as they made their way towards an alley.
"I attacked Hanso," she admitted.
"Aren't you supposed to not do that?"
"Hey, Jix is magical. You try attacking the right person with an illusion going on."
They ran for a bit longer, eventually escaping the marketplace and leaving the guards to wander around trying to find them.
"Are you alright?" Jix asked, turning to Hanso. Please say yes, you stupid little Ixi.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Hanso replied. "I guess we were wrong about Nil. She's really the assassin."
Jix smiled. Oh, how wrong you are, stupid Ixi. How very wrong you are.
To be continued...