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Beruta, the Curious: Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven: 

“Digging Deeper”

Beruta sat as medical workers checked her arms and legs for potential burn injuries. Beruta thought about the person that escaped from her grasp. She wondered why they would shoot Anki, and was it them who set the Young Leader’s Institute aflame.

A group of people who had been checked walked over to Beruta.

“Thank you for your bravery back there.” One of them said to Beruta.

“It was nothing, it was the obvious thing to do.” Beruta responded.

“It’s not nothing, without you, my life would be gone. So please allow me to thank you.” The person next to the one who spoke first said.

“Oh, sure.” Beruta responded.

“I am Professor Torei, of the Advanced Weaponry Division.” They greeted Beruta.

“I am, Beruta… ah, no actual title yet. I guess I could be considered a Candidate.” Beruta said to them unsure if she should use her title of Lt. with them.

“Thank you, Candidate Beruta. If you need anything please feel free to contact me. I will, to the best of my abilities, make sure you have it.” Professor Torei said to Beruta.

Professor Torei gestured for Beruta to hold out her Knowledge Network. Beruta opened her hand and Professor Torei imported their contacts into Beruta’s records.

“Don’t hesitate to use that information.” Professor Torei said to Beruta.

Beruta nodded as the group with the Professor left. Beruta checked their information.

“I’m not sure what to do with this information. Yomie will probably know.” Beruta thought to herself. She sent that information to Yomie.

Yomie received the message.

“Oh, a new contact.” Yomie saw the image pop up as she continued her research into the Various Follower Groups.

“Professor Torei, of the Advanced Weaponry Division…” Yomie pondered a bit on that name. “Never heard of them, plus they are just a Professor, so their Career just started. Probably doesn’t have anything of value we could use.” Yomie thought to herself.

Yomie’s Knowledge Network then started to light up, she had set a notification for articles mentioning various tags. Those that would indicate the newly forming Groups associated with the Demigods.

Yomie opened up the Call to Action.

“Followers of Ke’Lan, we have access to the technology of the Demigods. For a small fee, you too could have it. We have acquired this technology from the Students of Qisheus, of The United Ziu.” Yomie began reading, but was in disbelief.

“United Ziu! Wait.” Yomie said aloud. She then pulled up her map. United Ziu was located so far South that it was hard for her to imagine that the information she was reading was correct. “How did they get access to a Ren Neo nation?” Yomie continued to think.

Yomie shook her head. She knew she needed this technology, and she did not have the privilege of waiting. Yomie quickly submitted a request for the technology.

Beruta waited for an answer from Yomie but didn’t receive anything.

“I guess there are no leads to be had with that Professor.” Beruta thought.

The medical personnel then allowed Beruta to move after they treated her hands.

Beruta looked around for her other classmates that were supposed to be there. She looked in the area of the survivors and didn’t see any of them there.

“This is terrible.” Beruta thought. She saw that bodies were being loaded into vehicles in the distance.

Beruta checked with the investigators of the scene.

They scanned her body, and kept the record of her vitals and physical attributes. When they cleared her of having any immediate signs of suspicion she was permitted to leave the area.

Beruta went in the direction of the person who shot Anki. The distance between the buildings slowly decreased as she approached the main waterways of the city.

The scenery of the City was beautiful. It was brightly lit and Machine Patrolled the skies giving it a look of flowing glitter. They reflected off the water below against the dark sky.

“There is really no way I will be able to find anything here.” Beruta thought to herself. The skyline of Asso’an was far too vast for her to investigate.

In the distance, Beruta was being watched from a window.

“That’s someone from the Guardians of Science Institute.” A person in a deep black attire said to someone they were on watch with.

“Have any information on them?” The other said.

“They are Beruta, someone of average skill. They don’t have a family in Marian South. I don’t know much other information about them.” The first said.

The Second one then pulled out their weapon. “Even being able to get to this point is a bit concerning, it’s best if we take them out now.” The second said, as they now had their crosshairs on Beruta’s head.

Beruta then had her Suminiatini Military sense. She felt that she was being targeted and looked in the direction of the feeling. She moved out of the way instinctively. 

“Damn, she moved.” The second said, lowering their weapon.

“So what do we do?” The First asked.

“I don’t think she saw us. Let’s go down there and handle the situation.” The second said as they both moved out.

Beruta now hid behind a wall. “What was that? It felt like someone wanted me dead.” Beruta thought to herself as her heart rate slowed down. She took a small peak to see if she could still feel it.

“It definitely came from that building over there.” Beruta thought. She then opened her knowledge Network and sent Yomie the building’s location. “What is this building used for?” Beruta messaged.

Yomie received the message. Yomie looked at it. “Hmm, that seems to be a Processing Plant for Vegetation from the Oasis.” Yomie thought to herself. “It’s a Processing Plant for Vegetables, there isn’t anything significant about it, what’s wrong?” Yomie responded.

“I felt like someone intended to do harm to me from there. So I was hoping you had some details on it.” Beruta messaged back. She then slowly made her way towards the building.

The Machines above then started to look in Beruta’s direction.

“What? That is weird.” Beruta thought to herself.

She then started to hear footsteps moving in her direction. Beruta started to move towards open areas where she has a higher chance of being around witnesses. Maybe this person coming after her would not attack when people are around.

The footsteps then stopped.

The Machine above then descended to Beruta.

“You are under arrest for suspicious behavior. Make your way towards this point for Questioning.” The Machine said to Beruta.

Beruta looked at the point it asked her to go. It was where she heard footsteps.

“I can’t go there. I don’t feel safe, can I be questioned in the open?” Beruta inquired.

“Denied.” The Machine responded. “Refusal to go to your destination will prompt immediate capture.” The Machine said to Beruta.

Beruta then walked reluctantly to the destination. The Machine pushed her into an area where she was hidden from view. It then cleared the area.

Beruta looked around, she was on high alert.

A shot then hit her shoulder, piercing completely through. She had moved a nanosecond before she was hit in the head.

“How did you miss!?” The First one said to the second.

“She moved, my aim was perfect.” The Second one said.

“Wait, I recognize that voice.” Beruta thought to herself. “Hahur? What are you trying to do? Are you trying to kill me?” Beruta asked.

Another shot was taken and Beruta moved again. She was hit on the same arm because she had dodged.

“I don’t know what I did. But can’t I apologize for it?” Beruta asked.

Beruta began losing Bodily Fluids from her arm. She could feel her body drop in temperature.

“If only I had some sort of weapon.” Beruta thought to herself. Beruta then felt the killing intent again from the shooter. The shot was made and Beruta fell to the ground.

She laid on the ground lifeless. “Well that takes care of that loose end.” Hahur said.

“Just go down and have the body disposed of.” The Second one said as they made their way down.

Yomie continued on the Knowledge Network. She had bid an outrageous amount of money for the Technology of Qisheus. “I think I am just about guaranteeing I got it.” Yomie thought to herself.

Yomie then looked at her messages.

“A Patrol Machine is acting weird, it’s looking directly at me.”, “Is it normal to be Summoned for Questioning while Walking at night?”, “I’m going to this location, I heard footsteps here earlier.”, “I recognize the voice of Hahur, from my class. I am being shot at.” Then the messages stopped there.

Yomie quickly responded. “Are you okay?!” There was no response.

“I’m coming to you!” Yomie quickly said as she got into her vehicle. A few brief turns later Yomie saw the incident at the Young Leader’s Institute. She covered her mouth at the state that building was in.

Yomie entered the area where Beruta initially was before she was forced to enter the darkness. Yomie exited her vehicle and checked her knowledge Network for the last location Beruta tagged herself in.

Yomie brought out her stunning weapon and light. She entered the darkness.

Hahur and the Second Person were turning the corner where Beruta was laying, but quickly turned back.

“Who is that!?” The Second Person asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t know why they are here.” Hahur responded.

Yomie ran towards Beruta. “Beruta! Are you okay?” Yomie asked.

Yomie looked down at Beruta and immediately started pulling her back to the Vehicle.

“She’s leaving with the body…” Hahur said.

“Just follow them. We will take the other one out too, just in case.” The second said, as they both went back into the Shadows.

Beruta and Yomie sat in the Vehicle.

Beruta then started moving. “I’m glad you noticed I told you to just carry me out. They would not have stopped if they knew I dodged again.” Beruta said to Yomie.

“You are badly wounded. We should take you to the Medical Center.” Yomie said to Beruta.

“Please do. But don’t head directly there or else they might just deactivate your vehicle along the way. There is no way they aren’t following us.” Beruta said to Yomie.

“Why do you think that?” Yomie asked, as she was trying to keep the ride smooth.

“Because if I was trying to kill someone and they escaped, I would follow them until I got another opportunity.” Beruta responded. Beruta grabbed her arm trying to numb the pain.

Yomie focused forward, she was trying to take a route that would get her as close to the medical center as possible without taking a straight road there.

Beruta took out her Knowledge Network and messaged Professor Torei. “I am heading towards the Medical Center, could you have several people greet me at the door?” Beruta messaged.

“Sure, I did say I would do anything, but that is an odd request.” Professor Torei responded.

“I think Ponicon is connected with the government somehow.” Beruta said to Yomie.

“That is a serious accusation. Are you sure you aren’t just suffering from shock induced Paranoia?” Yomie asked.

“The Patrol Machine above are Government Machines, and one of them pushed me to go to where I was shot. And since Hahur is most likely Ponicon, just from the line of questioning from earlier, I think the government and Ponicon are connected.” Beruta explained.

“I can only hope that is not the case.” Yomie said as she turned and now was at the entrance of the Medical Center.

The Emergency Technicians saw Beruta stumble out of the Vehicle and quickly pulled her into the building. Yomie followed behind.

Beruta was now being treated for her wounds. The Emergency Technicians were connecting her tissues and bones to the places they were supposed to belong. They replaced missing parts with organic substitutions until Beruta regrew her own tissue in their place.

Professor Torei and Several other People came into the room Beruta was resting in.

“Sorry we couldn’t be here sooner. You look like you’ve been through a lot.” Professor Torei said to Beruta.

“We all have been through a lot, this incident seemed targeted.” Beruta said to Professor Torei.

“Most likely. We get targeted all the time. Especially since my Parents were Doctors in the State Sector. So…” Professor Torei started saying. They then looked around to see if any of the Medical Technicians were around.

“There is an Organization called Ponicon that has it out for people like me and my coworkers.” Professor Torei said as if they were revealing a big secret.

“I know about them already, and I can pretty much guarantee it was them.” Beruta responded.

“So you all are aware of the existence of that Organization, why did you go out in public?” Yomie asked.

“It is just part of the job to make an appearance. Makes us feel less in our Ivory Towers.” Professor Torei responded.

“Ponicon is most likely connected with some sector of the Government, what do you think about that?” Yomie asked.

“That would explain how such an organization could organize these acts of domestic terrorism and still have access to devices that would cause it.” Professor Torei said, as they looked at Beruta. “So you are being targeted directly? This could be our chance to make a move on them.” Professor Torei said to Beruta.

“What do you mean? Are you allowed to even make an active move?” Beruta asked.

“I can’t because I have a position to maintain, but you, you are practically a free agent, so I just need to recommend you to a position that would give you access to Weapons that would allow you to make moves for us.” Professor Torei said to Beruta.

“Wait, we are not looking to get Beruta in more Danger. Can’t you see how close she was to dying already?” Yomie said to Professor Torei.

“It’s okay, if I had a weapon I would have been okay… probably. I am curious as to what you had in mind.” Beruta responded.

“Just stay here for the Night, and I will have it organized for you in the morning.” Professor Torei said to Beruta. They then stood us to get ready to go.

“If you all leave, how am I going to survive the night?” Beruta asked, laying in bed.

“This is the Medical Center, even Ponicon would not risk making any move while inside this heavily monitored area.” Professor Torei said as they left.

Beruta and Yomie now were alone in the Medical Room.

“You should try and get some sleep to speed up your healing process.” Yomie said.

Beruta fell asleep as Yomie opened up her Knowledge Network to see the result of the bidding. Yomie was relieved to see that she had successfully purchased the Technology.

“Items will be distributed to your shipping location overnight. Thank you for Supporting the cause of the Goddess Ke’Lan.” The message read.

Yomie walked around the Medical Center, and the Bright Glow of the Ground shone then dimmed. “I suppose that I should also try to get some sleep.”

The night passed without incident.

The next morning Beruta woke up, she quickly looked side to side to situate herself in this location. “Yeah, that’s right. I ended up in the Medical Center.” Beruta said to herself as she laid her head back down.

Yomie got up as well. 

A Medical Officer walked in. “Beruta.” The Medical Officer began to say. Beruta looked over at them. “You may leave whenever you are ready, there are some individuals below waiting for you.”

Beruta and Yomie looked at each other.

“Ah, may I know their names?” Beruta asked.

“They are from the Capitol Guard. A, Professor Torei said that this is the move they were talking about.” The Medical Officer told Beruta.

Beruta then looked back over at Yomie. Yomie raised her shoulders in uncertainty.

Beruta got up from her seat.

“If it’s Ponicon, then I won’t hesitate to fight them in the lobby.” Beruta thought to herself.

Yomie got up and followed Beruta.

In the Lobby there were 3 Individuals. Each was dressed in a deep green attire. They were dressed similarly to the Guards that showed up at the clothing shop the first day Beruta arrived.

The group was rather informal to Beruta.

“Beruta, isn’t it?” The first one asked.

“Yes, that is me.” Beruta responded.

“I am Rictor, there is Fei over there, and Kuh.” Rictor said to Beruta.

“Kuh?” Beruta asked.

“Yes, I am a mix of Ren Shaole and Ren Zuiperi. I know, it is rare, but it does happen sometimes.” Kuh said to Beruta.

“Interesting.” Beruta responded.

“Professor Torei, an associate of the Person we act as Personal Caretaking Guard for, requested to have you join our ranks.” Rictor said to Beruta.

“So, I am going to become a Caretaking Guard?” Beruta asked.

“Yes, you will listen to the requests of the Lady, and if need be would put your life on the line to protect theirs.” Rictor said to Beruta.

“Well, I’m already accustomed to doing that. So there are no problems.” Beruta responded as a matter of fact.

“And as for you, Yomie, is it not?” Rictor asked.

“Yes, I am Yomie. A Border Officer.” Yomie responded to Rictor.

“As long as you remain in the Capitol Building of the Lady, then we can guarantee your protection.” Rictor told Yomie.

“How long until I have to do that?” Yomie asked.

“That entirely depends on the time it will take to bring down those who are after you.” Rictor answered.

Beruta nodded her head to Yomie. “No time to waste then, let’s get this going.” Beruta said to the Group.

Kuh and Fei walked out to the entrance of the Medical Center. Rictor followed behind Beruta and Yomie as they both entered the vehicle. Once the two were in, Kuh sealed the doors. The vehicle then began to drive on its own.

“So tell me about this Lady I am going to be servicing.” Beruta began a conversation.

“Not many people know about her, but she is single handedly the most powerful person in all of Marian South.” Fei began to tell.

“The most Powerful? Even more than the Doctor?” Yomie asked.

“Well, not in the sense of actual government power. More in the destructive power realm.” Kur clarified.

“I bet if the Lady wanted, she could get the Country to do anything she desired.” Fei added.

“Now don’t start thinking about that. The Lady would never make a request to change something about the country. She is much too Bashful for that.” Rictor said to the group.

“If I were her, I would have changed a great many things about this place. One, Ponicon would have been eliminated on the first day of their inception.” Fei said illustrating the things they wanted to change.

“So what does this Lady do? Are you talking about Vaneluresa?” Yomie asked.

Kur, Rictor and Fei looked at Yomie as if she said something forbidden.

“How do you know about Vaneluresa?” Rictor asked.

“Just things I saw on the Knowledge Network. I don’t know anything personally.” Yomie said, trying to remove the attention on her.

“I know a guy, who said he knew a guy that saw Vaneluresa with their own eyes. He said that Vaneluresa was like standing next to the Great Star. You could feel the Power pouring out of them.” Rictor told Yomie.

“How did they say Vaneluresa looked?” Beruta asked.

“Well, I know a guy, who said his coworker met Vaneluresa, and described them as a Tall Young Looking Child. Vaneluresa wore Pink Clothing, and had eyes that seemed like they stared through you.” Fei added their story.

“That’s nothing. I know a guy who knows a guy that knows a Guard that was in the Bunker during the End Day, and they were revived by Vaneluresa. Like, they were dead and Vaneluresa just brought them back. As if it was something as easy as breathing.” Kuh told the group.

Yomie nodded her head. Rictor then looked over at Yomie.

“But to answer your question. No we aren’t servicing Vaneluresa, though I wish I were. We are serving their friend.” Rictor said to Yomie.

Beruta looked over at Yomie. She mouthed out the name Yaooan. And Yomie nodded her head in excitement.

The vehicle soon stopped. The back door opened up and they were at the Capitol Building of the Lady.

“I never even knew this place was in the Capitol Grounds.” Yomie said, looking around.

“Come on, let me show you to your room, Yomie.” Rictor said.

Yomie then began walking with Rictor. Beruta tried to follow.

“Wait, we are going in this direction.” Fei said to Beruta.

Kuh was in front with their weapon ready. “We have to get you geared up and introduced to the Lady.” Fei continued to say.

“Don’t worry, after introductions you can rejoin your friend.” Kuh said to Beruta as she was escorted to the Gear Hall.

A group of Guards walked through the Hall of the Capitol Building of the Lady. Yomie looked at all the activity happening around.

“Is all of this for one person?” Yomie asked.

“A lot of it, yes, but a good portion is also dedicated to individuals who meet the Lady. Professor Torei being one such person.” Rictor responded to Yomie.

“Stand by!” A voice yelled down the Hall. Rictor stood straight up and a group of more professional looking guards walked down the hall. They soon exited the hall and everyone resumed their activities.

“What was that?” Yomie asked.

“They are the Main Guard, they Protect the Doctor.” Rictor said to Yomie. Rictor opened a large door and gestured for Yomie to enter. “This is where you will be staying for the time being. If you have any requests you can simply knock on your door and the guard outside will attend to you.” Rictor said to Yomie.

“What if I have a package I need to pick up?” Yomie asked.

“They can do that too.” Rictor responded. Yomie nodded and Rictor left the room.

Yomie looked around. The room had an extremely high ceiling. There were entertainment systems throughout the entire area. Yomie tapped the windows and knew that they were all projectile resistant. 

“This is like a little fortress.” Yomie walked around the room some more to see what she could get into. “Guess I might as well make myself at home.” Yomie thought to herself.

Back with Beruta.

Beruta was given a Uniform and a Weapon. Fei looked over at Beruta.

“Hmm, that will have to do for now. We want to get you introduced before the end of Morning Roll Call.” Fei said to Beruta.

“Is that an everyday thing?” Beruta asked.

“Yep, wake up in time for Roll Call, then we have our duty sheets, and chores.” Fei said to Beruta.

Beruta received a message from the Guard Training.

“Oh, I just got a message about a memorial service happening today for the Young Leader’s Institute.” Beruta told Fei.

“We can send you there as part of the team to escort the Lady there. She will likely be slated to speak.” Fei told Beruta.

“And that is where I will make my moves?” Beruta asked.

“Precisely. Those involved in Ponicon will likely have their attention drawn on you more often than the other guards, we want you to wear a special cap fitted with an eye tracker to pick up on whose attention was taken the most often.” Fei told Beruta.

“Seems simple enough.” Beruta responded. The both of them then started to walk to where the Roll Call was being made.

Fei and Kuh walked into the group. “You stay here, you are in my Squad, so I perform a separate Roll Call for you.” Fei told Beruta.

Beruta stood waiting. She looked around the room. There were dozens of Guards. She looked over to the sides of her and noticed other newer looking individuals.

“Memorial Service Duty is given to Captain Fei’s Squad, under the Surveillance of Major Rictor.” The Colonel said aloud.

“So that is the ranking of those two. So I guess Kuh would likely be another Captain, or maybe just a Lt.” Beruta thought to herself.

The announcements continued to be made.

Back with Yomie. She heard a knock on her door.

“Ah yes?” Yomie answered.

“Your presence has been requested in the dining hall.” The Guard at the Door said.

“Is there anything I need?” Yomie asked.

“Just your presence.” The Guard said.

Yomie got up and went out the door. She was escorted to the dining hall. 

Yomie was then seated and presented with a meal. It was a series of sweeter fruits, a meal more similar to that of Marian North than the more tart Morning Meals of Marian South.

Yomie sat waiting for this person who wanted an audience with her. The Large Doors on the far side of the room opened up.

Yomie looked at the person who was surrounded by dozens of Guards. Yomie had a look on her face as if she had seen this person before.

The Person looked over at Yomie. “I knew I saw you before!” The Person surrounded by Guards said. The Person had an unpracticed smile on their face as if they tried their best to give off a friendly impression.

“At the clothing shop, right?” Yomie answered.

“Yes, you were with someone, your friend right? You both were friends?” The Person asked Yomie.

“Yes, I was with my friend. We were shopping for clothing because she had come from the Suminiatini Federation on that day.” Yomie answered. Yomie was unsure on how to address this person who seemed of a much higher societal standing than she.

“Yeah, she was dirty, you would have to have a lot of fun to get that dirty.” The person said.

“I suppose you would need to.” Yomie responded. Then there was a quick silence.

“I’m sorry, I don’t really get to meet people who aren’t trying to get close to me. I didn’t even introduce myself.” The person said.

“It’s my fault, I should have done that when I saw you enter.” Yomie responded.

The Person touched their chest. “I am Yaooan, the Lady of Marian South.” Yaooan said to Yomie.

Yomie was shocked. She guessed that she would be meeting Yaooan, but never imagined it would be like this. Yaooan looked significantly different than what she had imagined.

“I am Yomie. A Southern Border Officer.” Yomie responded in kind.

“Now that we know how to refer to each other, how about we talk about friends.” Yaooan then sat down. Yomie soon followed.

They both were silent once again.

“So, what is your friend’s name? What do you both do together?” Yaooan asked. Her voice was a lot more nervous than when she first entered the room. The false impression seemed to be wearing away.

“Well, we watch videos together, do research, eat meals, go shopping, just a lot of different things. I guess it depends on the day.” Yomie responded to Yaooan. “What do you do daily? There seems like a lot of activities for you around here.” Yomie asked.

“I feel more like a captive than someone who can enjoy all these activities. I know all these guards try their best to seem like a friend, but they are just doing their jobs. And it’s not even for me, it’s for my friend that I don’t even remember.” Yaooan said to Yomie.

“You don’t remember Vaneluresa?” Yomie asked.

“All I remember about them are these feelings, but I can’t remember anything about them. The Doctor said that I was brought here by Vaneluresa, and that I begged for her to stay. But really, I don’t even remember a second of that.” Yaooan described that to Yomie.

“So, you really don’t know anything about Vaneluresa? Not where they are from, or what they can do? Not any attributes?” Yomie asked another question to Yaooan.

“Not at all. Though, up on the Hill just a bit further from here, there is a house that makes me feel warm and safe. I can only imagine that Vaneluresa built it for me. If not, then that is where I grew up since there are images of me with my parents there… but I don’t remember growing up there… I actually don’t remember a lot of things.” Yaooan said to Yomie.

“Well that sucks.” Yomie said to Yaooan. “No matter, I can be your friend, Yaooan. Beruta can as well.” Yomie said to Yaooan with a smile on her face.

“Really? I didn’t put you off?” Yaooan asked Yomie.

“Don’t worry about that. You don’t seem like a bad person. Plus I am surprised that someone of your status is similar in age to me. I was worried when I figured that we were going to meet the Great Yaooan, friend of the Great Vaneluresa.” Yomie joked with Yaooan.

“Now it can be Lady Yaooan, friend of the Great Yomie.” Yaooan joked back.

“I think it would more likely be, Yomie, friend of the Great Yaooan.” Yomie laughed. “How about we try to jog your memory by showing you information on other Demigods like Vaneluresa?” Yomie asked Yaooan.

“Demigods? I didn’t even know Vaneluresa was a Demigod.” Yaooan responded to Yomie.

“They have to be, right? Since they have more Power than we do.” Yomie said to Yaooan with a questioning look on her face.

“No, if I am correct, Vaneluresa felt more like an actual Deity, like the Fates, than someone who was flesh and bone like us or Demigods.” Yaooan said trying to think hard about her memories.

“Interesting. So maybe Iota, Ke’Lan and the other Demigods aren’t related to Vaneluresa.” Yomie mumbled to herself.

“Lady Yaooan. We need to get going.” A Guard leaned down and spoke to Yaooan.

“Already? It was just starting to get interesting.” Yaooan complained.

“I’m sorry, but we can’t just push back a memorial service.” The Guard said to Yaooan.

“My apologies. I didn’t mean to come off as rude.” Yaooan said. She then got up from her seat. “Well, Yomie, I will speak to you later… unless you want to join me on this?” Yaooan suggested.

Yomei shrugged. “Sure, I wasn’t doing anything else today. Especially since I can’t go into work.” Yomei said to Yaooan.

The both of them then headed towards the exit of the building.

Below, Fei, Kuh, Beruta, and 4 more Guards were waiting at the series of vehicles.

Yaooan walked out surrounded by her Dozen Guards with Yomie close by. Beruta saw Yomie. Yomie waved and pointed at Yaooan.

“This is Yaooan.” Yomie mouthed out.

Beruta’s facial expression dropped. “No way!” Beruta mouthed.

Yaooan and Yomie entered the vehicle. Beruta and Fei closed the doors behind them.

The caravan of vehicles began to drive towards the Memorial Ceremony.

Yomie whispered to Yaooan. “Over there in the Guard Uniform is my friend, Beruta.” 

Yaooan looked over at Beruta who had a focused look on her face.

“Why’d she end up being a Guard, but you became a guest?” Yaooan asked.

“There was a group of people who tried to hunt her down, Ponicon, if you know about them. All this was while she was training to be a Guard, so one of your friends… I mean associates, suggested that she continue to be a Guard and help counter Ponicon.” Yomie told Yaooan.

“Yeah, I know about Ponicon. They made it so hard for me to go out. It’s because of them that I can’t go out without having a dozen people around me. Before there were only 3 or so Guards with me at all times. Now I can barely see anything in town.” Yaooan said to Yomie.

“That sounds terrible.” Yomie responded.

“Isn’t it?! Wished they would just leave me alone. I would much rather be some normal person, than the Lady of Marian South.” Yaooan complained.

“Something bad must happen if you get hurt, I am guessing.” Yomie said.

“Apparently if I get hurt, it would mean the end of the Northern Regions.” Yaooan told Yomie. “But, I don’t think that would actually happen.” Yaooan finished her statement.

Yomie then thought to herself. “Wait… Ponicon might be associated with the Government… but they still attack Yaooan… so that must mean that they are actually after Vaneluresa.” Yomie tried to put the pieces together. “They might have something that could rival the assumed Powers of the Demigods.” Yomie finished her thought.

Yomie had a face of shock. Beruta noticed and was confused with what Yomie was thinking.

“So is it actually safe for us to go here…” Yomie then started to worry herself. “There’s no way they would use their weapon on an entire population. So surgically attacking Yaooan is their best play if they want to keep the public on their side. This must be way there are always so many guards around Yaooan.” Yomie was thinking.

“Ah, Yomie?” Yaooan tapped Yomie’s shoulder. “You seemed like you were lost in thought, what were you thinking about?” Yaooan asked.

“It’s nothing.” Yomie responded. She then opened up her Knowledge Network and showed Yaooan. “You see these people, they call themselves the Followers of Ke’Lan. They say that they met with someone like Vaneluresa.” Yomie changed the topic.

“Ke’Lan?” Yaooan felt like she knew that name. “Isn’t Ke’Lan a Vlagoran Goddess?” Yaooan asked.

Yomie looked it up, and Ke’Lan did pop up as an actual Goddess in the Religion of that region. “Maybe the name is being borrowed. I can’t imagine that the actual Goddess Ke’Lan would actually exist, and even if she did, they wouldn’t still be alive.” Yomie said to Yaooan.

“I don’t know. These are Special People after all.” Yaooan suggested.

As they were talking a loud roar was heard in front. One of the vehicles that was part of the caravan exploded. The explosion shook up the vehicle. Yaooan covered her head as the Main Guards inside the vehicle covered her.

“Go go!” Fei commanded as Beruta, Kuh and the others exited the vehicle with their weapons drawn.

“There’s nothing in the skies making movement.” Rictor said over communication.

“This is unusual for a Ponicon attack, this must be another group.” Fei said, scanning the area.

Another explosion occurred further forward of their positions. Then they all came under fire. Fei’s Squad went behind the vehicles and returned fire in the general direction of the attack.

“What is happening?!” Fei yelled over communication.

“There seems to be half a dozen individuals in the Northeast Building. They are…” Rictor started saying before the Communication was scrabbled.

“I can head there alone. I have experience in this sort of combat, you all can remain back and do what you are good at, which is guarding.” Beruta said to Fei.

“Be careful out there. Hold this. It consumes a lot of energy, but it should buy you enough time to get out of their line of sight.” Fei said, handing Beruta a shield.

Beruta turned it on and it bent the light around her to make it seem like she was invisible.

“Go, you only have 6 seconds of cover with that!” Fei commanded.

Beruta went out and headed towards the Northeast building.

Shoots continued to be fired, and the Main Guards moved the vehicles out of the attack zone. Then another explosion occurred destroying more of the road that the vehicles were on.

“They seem to have waited until the vehicles we had were centered in the explosions they set!” Fei yelled out. “We need to eliminate them, or deactivate the explosions.”

Beruta made her way towards the building. She could hear the shoots happening behind her. The invisible provided by the shield had worn off. Beruta saw that there were traps set at the entrance of the building and someone on watch.

“Their body must be rigged to detonate the explosives if their vitals go down.” Beruta thought to herself.

Beruta looked for another route, and noticed that the building had scalable walls. She rolled up her sleeves and began to climb. Once she got up to the fifth floor Beruta shot into the building and broke through the glass.

Beruta was about to call in, but knew that the earlier communication was scrabbled, so it is likely that the people in this building might have someone who could listen into their communications. Beruta continued with her weapon at the ready. She heard shoots coming from above her.

Beruta made her way to the stairs and there was someone who was coming down. They noticed Beruta and tried to shoot her. Beruta used the move that Anki did to her during training. Beruta had her knee on the person’s neck allowing them just enough air to whisper.

“Who are you guys?” Beruta asked.

“We are the Followers of Iota.” The person on the ground proudly said.

Beruta added more weight to her hold. “Lie to me again and I will crush the structure of your neck!” Beruta threatened.

The person on the ground laughed. “We are the Followers of Iota. And this War has already begun. The Followers of Vaneluresa stand no chance.” 

“You are no Follower of Iota, Iota would not have wanted this.” Beruta said to the person on the ground.

“Iota represents Power, she removed our Power because we were weak. Now we must show her we are worthy. Go on, kill me!” The person on the ground said.

Beruta shoots them in the chest, but only just in a spot that would put them in the paralysis mode of sleep. “If someone finds you, you can be healed. I’m not going to risk you exploding.” Beruta said before continuing upstairs.

Beruta got upstairs. She tossed a sound grenade, and the individuals shooting were caught off guard. Beruta started kicking a few of them out of the window. She heard explosions below as they hit the ground.

“I knew they were rigged.” Beruta thought to herself.

A few more individuals came out and began to shoot at Beruta. Beruta rolled out another Grenade but one of the followers kicked it out of the window and it exploded.

They then began to swarm Beruta. “I guess I have no other choice.” Beruta thought to herself as she began to shoot them directly. Some of the Followers jumped out of the way to avoid being exploded by the Rigged Explosives.

Beruta continued to aim down at them, then one person tapped Beruta’s Head with their Weapon.

“That’s quite enough, Beruta.” One of the Followers of Iota said keeping Beruta from turning around and seeing them. Beruta lifted up her hands to show that she was no longer shooting.

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