Chapter Twenty-Eight: Nootau
Entropy Means Chaos
The room was so quiet Nootau figured there was some noise proofing in them—in the construction and enchanted alike.
"Something the matter?" The lawyer, Colette, barely glanced up from her papers.
"Just thought I heard something," Nootau muttered, getting a frown from the lovely lady in return.
Wasn't that the room Tibo and Rolly went into? Like a bastard like you cares, walker? Another thump, a louder one, made Nootau certain. Maybe. More like half-certain.
"Heard something?" Colette said slowly. Her gaze moved to the mirror.
"Yes." Nootau pointed at the wall. "Coming from that room."
Hopefully his lovers would back him up. Not like they would want to, but they were honest people. Nootau turned to them. Aegeus and Edwige both shrugged and shook their heads. Of course they hadn't heard it. An exasperated huff escaped him. Nootau slouched in his chair growling to himself. Probably just him going off his rocker even more.
Anyone knows that you're a crazy walker. Why would anyone trust you, a soul stealer?
"Shut up!" He growled. Edwige flinched and turned into Aegeus.
Colette stopped her typing and looked up with a stony glare. "No one said anything Nootau."
"I know," he answered. Nootau knew better than anyone who was talking to him.
That's right, you bastard. You filthy beast.
"Keep typing so we can get out of here."
Colette angled her head slightly, making dark brown hair slide over her shoulder. Her deep golden eyes were focused on the mirror again. Was she able to communicate with the people most likely camped out in the room? The lawyer nodded then went back to her computer pad.
So she could 'talk' to them. Maybe she was a psychic. Would make sense. That means if they weren't worried about the thumping, then Nootau shouldn't be.
"Can I ask one more question?" Colette asked.
Nootau sighed. "Yeah."
"The guard you skin-shared with—"
Oh, Mother of fucking Earth no!
"He seems to be perfectly healthy," she continued. "Should we look for any side-effects with him?"
"No," Nootau answered immediately.
"All he did was lose some skin and some blood. You should've stitched him up already, and he's good as new."
Colette waited a minute, staring at Nootau. "Nothing?"
"Are you positive you didn't steal anything from him?" she pressed.
"Enough!" Edwige slammed her fist down. "If Nootau said he didn't take anything, then he didn't!"
A bark of laughter almost escaped Nootau. Even after two weeks of awkwardness his girl defended him. Edwige really was too good for him.
Of course she is you bastard. Edwige is the light where you are the dark.
Nootau shook his head. Get out! Get out! Get out!
A dark laugh echoed inside him.
Colette narrowed her gaze but said nothing further, continuing to tap away at her computer pad. Another thump, this one even louder than the last few, resonated against the wall. This time Aegeus and Edwige were looking hard at the wall too. Aegeus dipped his head toward the noise, a questioning expression on his face. Nootau shrugged. Like he knew. But the lawyer didn't even twitch.
A loud boom hit the room. This one rattled the table and chairs. A crack formed in the wall going from the corner all the way to the door. Colette stopped her typing and gaped at the damage.
"I'm pretty sure everyone sees that," Nootau said.
They all agreed.
"Excellent." Nootau stood and went to the mirror. He tapped it. "Mind finding out why our friends are making so much noise?"
"Someone is checking—" Colette began but was interrupted by the door banging open. She stood as someone plowed over the knight into their room.
"Down!" Nootau yelled on instinct. He dropped, hitting the floor hard enough to make his teeth clack. Aegeus' and Edwige's chair scraped against the floor as they did the same.
Several shots went off. Colette fell to the floor. Blood dripped from her mouth. Her dark eyes no longer shone with intelligence but vacant in death.
More shots bounced off the table. Edwige whimpered.
"No!" Nootau grabbed for Aegeus as he jumped up, his lover shrieking.
Another volley of shots went off but an anguish wail replaced them. A metal crack caught Nootau's attention. He dove over Edwige the moment the mirror broken apart. Glass shards rained down over them. Millions of silver pieces refracting light and blood. Yells and shouts filled the room, along with a red flashing light.
"Something's gone wrong," Nootau wheezed out.
"Yes," Edwige said then pushed at his chest. "Hurry."
They stood just in time to see their lover fall. Aegeus fell to one knee, gasping for breath. He wore a pained grimace and clutched his chest. Red blossomed across his shirt and pants.
"No!" Edwige screamed, darting to Aegeus as he tumbled to the side. She managed to catch his head. "No! No!"
Edwige's agonized cries pierced Nootau's heart. Tears ran down her flushed cheeks.
If Nootau had run when he knew better, then Aegeus wouldn't be struggling for breath, Edwige's wouldn't be crying out with broken sobs. But he'd been selfish. Wanted them close. Nootau brought this down on them.
People flooded the room. From the door. From the mirror. Shouts, orders got thrown about. Some of Akemi's men formed a circle around Nootau and his lovers. One of them was over Aegeus with something that looked like a bag attached to an oxygen mask, and he was telling Aegeus to breathe. Another was cutting away at the clothes, figuring out where the wounds were. He shouted into a walkie-talkie for a stretcher.
Edwige had her hands over a wound gushing blood. "Nootau, help!"
That's your fault. The blood. The tears.
But he couldn't. Nootau would only make it worse. All the help Aegeus and Edwige needed were already around them. But shoots and clangs filled the air. Some heavy battle was taking place in the castle.
Which meant Dario could escape.
Nootau couldn't have that. Not with everything this path had thrown at him. Not with how high the costs had become. A black string choked off his heart, tearing it down.
The please caught Nootau's attention. Edwige held one bloodied hand out to him, tears streaking her beautiful face.
You made this pain!
"I'm gonna finish this," he said. "I'm going to make sure you're both safe."
Edwige hiccuped between sobs. "Nootau, wait!"
"I promise." Nootau ducked between the knights, grabbed one of their guns, and headed for the hall. A deep, terrible laughter filled his mind. And the dark slime holding his spirit hostage sang for blood.
Tears and blood were old friends after all.