Chapter 79: Moving Along, Part I

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 513



"We're stealing it."

Zidane strode forward, his words and Yittek's flames lingering behind him. He could sense Yittek's surprise, feel how the emotion melded into a kindness.

"Well, I suppose it can be done..." Yittek said. "But it's an incredibly risky tactic. I'm not sure—"

"What?" Zidane turned, walking backwards with his arms outstretched. "Tell me you have a better idea, Yittek!"

Yittek's eyes stayed on Zidane, shocked. Zidane paused, his movement slowing to a stop as he ran a hand through his hair. Strands lifting up and revealing disturbing, misshapen ears.

"I'm sorry," Zidane said. "I didn't mean to shout like that."

He sensed Yittek smile, and closed his eyes. He didn't deserve an accepted apology.

"All is forgiven." The words stung. In a sigh, Yittek continued, "I myself have been feeling anger. It's a most unpleasant emotion."

It's been a while, huh? Zidane almost asked. He shut the curiosity out, knowing the conversation it would bring.

"I just..." Zidane looked up, hand dropping away. He swallowed, spit thick in his throat. "I thought this was it, you know?"

"I believe we both did," Yittek replied, voice equally solemn.

"How'd he even figure it out?"

The Razalek folded his arms across his chest, a concentration overtaking his features as he stared at the ground. On one hand, he began listing off answers.

"Picked up on thoughts, emotions, tapped into memories, connected with our skin to see where we've been..." His hand stopped, lifting carelessly. "Any number of possibilities, truly. Though I have also heard of those who are very skilled in detecting sparks. It's as though they know of a way to read another emotion."

"So, in other words, he was just playing with us from the start," Zidane translated, watching the nod Yittek gave, the action a sting to his heart.

We didn't have a chance from the beginning.

Zidane forced himself away from the anger, shoving his hands into his pockets as he started down the hall. He let out a breath, the outfit he wore dropping to the floor, his MOCT uniform underneath. With a simple teleportation, Yittek caught up and walked beside him. It was then they heard the distortion of a guitar.


Just the name sent dread into Zidane''s mind. How would he react, what would he say when he heard they'd failed? Came up empty-handed? Just the thought sent a wave of sickness to the back of Zidane's mouth. He did what he could to swallow it down.

"Zidane," Yittek's calm voice pierced through his internal-focus. "You are not a failure. Lance will understand when we explain."

Zidane's eyes distanced themselves from the Razalek, watching the floor pass by as they moved. He remained silent, afraid the blazing emotions would escape if he were to open his mouth. And even if he did, what would he say? What was there to even say?

"You can begin by forgiving yourself."

A brief, heavy silence came between them as Yittek's words sunk in. All the doubt, the frustration, and the disappointment still remained, but those six words gradually began erasing it.

Yittek's right, Zidane thought. I can't do this to myself every time something goes wrong.

His posture straightened, eyes momentarily closing as his head stretched back in a brief roll. Just gotta keep moving forward.

Though Zidane couldn't see it, he could sense a smile on Yittek's face, one that stayed there as they approached the end of the hall. The sounds of the guitar only grew louder, flashes of notes. A complex solo.

After a second, the realization hit Zidane, a small laugh escaping the grin on his face. Turning up to Yittek, he said, "Sounds like Lance's found your music room."

Yittek's stare turned in the noise's direction, a smile also crossing his face. "I suppose he has, though he is supposed to be sleeping right now."

They rounded the corner and headed down another hall, their steps following the music. Music that took a lot of energy to play—more than Lance was supposed to have in his medicated state.

"I didn't know that he played."

Zidane only gave a nearly unconscious nod in response, his mind circling back to the first mention of music Lance had given him. The human clearly had skill when he played the Ekelno, however brief the shine was, and the passion emitting from him upon discussing the band was clear.

And I tore him away from all of it. So what does he have now?

Zidane stopped in front of the music room's entranceway and looked up, the sound of guitar instantly filling his ears. Ignoring the walls and floor covered with instruments, Lance immediately caught his attention.

Even if Zidane hadn't heard the guitar's sound upon approaching, he would've instantly been able tell the staggering amount of skill Lance had within seconds. The human's eyes stayed closed, the fingers of his left hand flying over the fretboard. Dancing and creating flashes of sound, his right hand staying still.

Amidst the sound, a question broke Zidane's focus, one that he passed to Yittek. Speaking of souls and music, music and a universal love.

Yittek's laugh echoed out into the room, becoming clearer as a chord faded into silence. Lance breathed out, hand running through dark hair and relinquishing droplets of sweat onto the floor.

He looked up, eyes shutting as he stretched out his neck. His left foot—far away from his right in a wide stance—slid back, fretting hand dropping away and letting loose a hum.

Noticing Zidane and Yittek, Lance suddenly jumped, cursing loudly. Zidane couldn't help but grin.

"How long have you guys been there?" Lance asked, hand to his chest.

"Long enough to know you're seriously skilled," Zidane answered.

Lance looked away, blushing slightly as he cleared his throat.


They stood in silence for a moment, until Lance looked up again, stare trailing the higher rows of instruments covering the walls.

"I really love this room," he said. "Has to be hundreds of instruments in here."

"Four-hundred-and-one," Yittek said, earning a grin from Lance.

"Yeah. Four-hundred-and-one."

Lance looked back down, eyeing both of them.

Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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