Last bit you'll see from me, till I get back from my vacation. I got a little inspired by a pic Toony did for me a while back but with some changes.
It had been a few weeks since Crystal's arrival in London and she was settling in very well, she came from a very small town in the southern United States and coming to a large city such as London was a big change,but she was handling it as best she could, she had found a place to stay with a kindly Scottish toy maker Hiram Flaversham and his young daughter Olivia, Crystal had saved them from muggers when she first arrived in England, having no where else to go he offered her to stay with him and Olivia as a thank you for saving them.
Almost instantly the two girls bonded, Olivia's mother had died when she was very little so Crystal seem to step in at just the right time, Crystal did all she could around the house hold to repay Hiram's kindness, she cleaned in the home and shop, made sure at least breakfast was ready for them in mornings even though cooking wasn't her strong point, she at least could make breakfast. Crystal also made sure Olivia was up and off to school, helped the child with homework as best she could among many other things.
But when Crystal came to England strange things started to happen, she kept seeing rough looking men coming by every so often and harassed Hiram to work for someone, but whoever it was she didn't trust them. It got so bad one time she threatened the thugs with her rifle, she gave the thugs a choice leave or she wouldn't hesitate to shoot them, needless to say the thugs didn't stay around to see if she would follow through. Then there were the four mice in masks, not a cheep kind but something that would be seen in Venice Italy, the three men wearing nobility or high class clothes while the woman wore something that would be worn by a bar-maid. But the masks are what really caught her eye.
The red furred woman wore a fox type mask, where as two of the men had owl type, one was gold and the other was sliver. A blue roan furred man wore a snake type and Crystal managed to catch his name, Akuro. She encountered him only once but once was enough to shake her up, Hiram thought that Crystal needed to take her mind off the encounter and suggested that the three of them go out for a bit to Hyde park, the three horses, BlueStar, Moondancer and NightShade came along also, they were unaware of what would happen that day.
The day was going great, Olivia was playing around some flowers in sight of her father and Crystal, but Crystal noticed a change in the weather.
“Don't go far sweetie looks like rain so we might head back soon,” Crystal called out to her.
“Alright,” said Olivia as she was heading over to some small flowers.
“You're right it dose feel like rain even,” replied Hiram.
Olivia wandered over to behind some rose bushes, and she noticed a small light purple flower, she went over to smell it and the scent was somewhat sweet, little did the child know she was being watched, the tall figure stepped out from the shadows of the roses.
“Oh this flower is pretty, maybe Crystal would like it,” Olivia told herself as she picked the flower and was heading back to her father and sister figure, when she bumped into someone, she quickly looked up to apologize to who ever it was. “Oh, I'm sor....ry,” said Olivia as she looked up at the person, and was shocked. He towered over her, and he would even tower over her father, all dressed in a black suit that was trimmed with red and in his white gloved hands he held a long, ivory colored cane that was carved in the shape of a snake. He also hide his face behind a mask that had a black cobra carved into it near the top, as though it was a crown sitting on his head. And built into it were braided, scaly looking locks that ended with what looked like rattlesnake tails which rested over his thin shoulders. But what caught her attention the most was his red eyes, they were so vividly bright like rubies against the smooth white face of the mask he wore.
Though over the left eye of the mask, there was an off red mark, like it was showing were a scar rested on his actual face, Olivia felt her heart pounding in her chest, she wanted to scream, run, anything to get away from this man, but her legs wouldn't move, when she tried to scream it was like her voice was stolen, the man eyes seem to have a hypnotic hold over her, she fell backwards, shaking, she knew him from somewhere, but couldn't remember.
“Best watch where you're going little one, bad things can happen if you're not careful,” said the man, his voice sinuous, his gaze looking over the child, as he started to walk around her, his long gloved claw tapping the head of the snake on his cane.
“I.....I...I didn't mean to..” Olivia managed to say.
“No harm done....at least not to you, yet,” said the man, as his free arm seemed to snake around the young child, Olivia didn't see it until she felt like something was behind her, she gasped and saw his hand reach for her neck, she ducked just in time.
“Leave me alone!” screamed Olivia as she scrambled to her feet, she started to run, forgetting the flower. The masked man banged his cane in the dirt.
“Why you little!” snarled the man as he gave chase, NightShade was near by and heard the nose, he saw what was going on, he stamped his front hoof and started after the two of them, Crystal saw NightShade run off and she knew something was wrong. Hiram noticed where Crystal was looking, he saw she was uneasy.
“Miss Crystal?” Hiram asked her, Crystal grabbed her sword and started to run to catch up to NightShade.
“Olivia's in trouble Hiram!” Crystal called back to him, Hiram's eyes widen with fear.
“What?!” shouted Hiram as he started to run also, Crystal let out a high pitched whistle to alert NightShade they were coming and to do what he could to protect Olivia.
“Hope NightShade heard that, Wolf grant us speed,” Crystal told herself in a quite tone, as she gripped the wolf totem in her hair.
The snake masked man caught up with Olivia, he grabbed her dress collier, she struggled to get free from his grip, but his just held tighter.
“Now that toy maker will have no choice but to work for the pro....” before he could finish a light black mass slammed into him hard, causing him to let go of Olivia, NightShade tossed his head as he stood over the child, the man shook off the attack. “What the?! You!” snarled the Man. Olivia looked up to see who was protecting her, and was a bit surprised to see NightShade.
“Ni...NightShade!” Olivia cried out when she saw him.
“Your father and Crystal are not far behind me,” replied NightShade. He tossed his head and pawed his front hoof on the ground, the man reeled from the attack and saw what it was.
“You will not stand in my way mixed breed,” said the masked man.
“Don't test me Akuro, you snake!!” snapped NightShade, that's when Olivia heard the mans name, Akuro. She had heard the father and Crystal say the name before but didn't put a face with the name, till now.
“NightShade, stand back,” a female voice called out, it was Crystal, she and Hiram came around the bend just in time, the Friesian Clydesdale mix took a step back, Crystal readied herself for a fight, but she stayed near Olivia to at least make herself feel better, Hiram also stood near his daughter.
“I should've known you again!” stated Hiram when he saw who it was that attacked his daughter.
“Daddy!” Olivia called out to him, Crystal knelt down to the child.
“Are you alright sweetie?” Crystal asked her.
“Yes, who is that man?” replied Olivia.
“Your father and I know him, unfortunately for us, stay behind us we'll handle this,” answered Crystal as she stood close to Hiram, both stood between Akuro and Olivia, NightShade wasn't going wait to jump in if needed.
“Trying to take and threaten my daughter! You've gone too far!” Hiram yelled at Akuro, unknown to them three other figures stood in the shadows watching, very carefully.
“Should we step in?” one man asked.
“Not yet,” the woman answered, three figures kept watching.
Akuro paced himself, keeping his distance. He brushed off some dirt on his shoulder, everyone felt the icy stare from his fiery red eyes.
“I'm just following my bosses orders, he still needs an answer from you, by the way, keep us waiting and well, much worse will happen,” Akuro told Hiram, as the taller being walked around him. Hiram shot him daggers, suddenly Akuro was behind Crystal and Olivia, he grabbed the child the dress collier once again and pulled an arm behind the older girl, both were taken by surprise and let out some cries. “Eepp!” “What the?!?! Hey!!” both NightShade and Hiram were shocked.
“Please let them go! Don't hurt them!” pleaded Hiram, the girls felt Akuro's grip getting tighter.
“Give me an answer for my boss or I'll break your little girl's neck!” stated Akuro as his sharp nails drew closer to Olivia's neck, Crystal saw what was going on, as long as she was standing Akuro would NOT hurt a hair on Olivia's head, not if she had anything to say about it.
`Over....my.....dead...body!` thought Crystal, as she took her free hand and dug her nails deep into Akuro's arm. He yelled in pain as Crystal manged to free her other hand.
“Hey snake creep, hands off! Olivia step on his foot hard!!” shouted Crystal. Olivia did what Crystal told her, she stepped on Akuro's foot hard. “Why you annoying...!” before Akuro could finish speaking, Crystal elbowed him in the gut and managed a sharp right hook punch to his face, Olivia broke away from them and ran right into her father's arms. Crystal spun around and pulled out one of her pistols, pointing right at Akuro's head, her finger on the trigger.
“When will you get it through your head or do I need to put a bullet in there! Touch them again and it'll be worse!!” snarled Crystal.
“Temper temper my dear,” said Akuro.
“Oh don't hand me that you snake!” Crystal snapped, Akuro just seem to by pass Crystal entirely as if she wasn't there.
“Your answer toymaker?” Akuro asked Hiram.
`Gods give me a sign to ether cut his arm off or blow his brains out,` thought Crystal as she came back around to Hiram and Olivia. NightShade stamped his hoof.
“You keep threatening me, my shop, my home, you nearly took my daughter and attacked her!! Tell you employer I won't work for him or you!” shouted Hiram, Crystal along with NightShade and Olivia were taken back by this. Akuro let out a deep sigh, his long nail tapped the tip of the cane.
“Showing some backbone are you?” Akuro asked Hiram, Olivia broke away from her father and went over to Crystal, Akuro seem to be eying them, NightShade took noticed, whatever was going through his head it wasn't good.
`Well this is an unforeseen delay, he won't like that the toymaker said no, better handle this myself,` thought Akuro, he slowly came up to Hiram and looked down at him.
“So your answer is no then?” asked Akuro.
“To someone as cruel as you are and whoever your employer is, my answer is no, I won't risk my family,” stated Hiram, Crystal seemed a bit surprised by what her friend had just said, she hadn't been in London long and she was already part of the tiny family, part of her wanted to cry out of happiness but now wasn't the time.
“Y...you think of me as family?” Crystal asked him, Hiram turned to look at her with the same kind look he had given so many times.
“Of course we do, you're already like a big sister to Olivia,” said Hiram, Akuro rolled his eyes.
“How touching, then again I could care less,” said Akuro coldly, before anyone knew it had dashed towards them, and before anyone had a chance to react Akuro had punched Hiram in gut, knocking the wind out of him hard, Crystal, NightShade and Olivia couldn't believe what had just happened, now Akuro had gone too far. Hiram fell to his knees trying his best to get some air in his lungs, he held his stomach from the pain, the snake masked mouse backed away as the toy-makers friends came to him.
“In the name of Amateratsu's mirror!! Hiram!!” screamed Crystal.
“Daddy!!” cried Olivia, both checked on him, Olivia was more scared if anything.
“What the hell is wrong with you Akuro!?” shouted NightShade.
“Simple, if he won't work for us, then he is of no use to us, he'll be disposed of,” Akuro told them coldly, everyones eyes widen out of fear.
“WHAT?!?!” everyone shouted.
“Please no!!” cried Olivia as she held onto her father's arm tightly. Crystal stood between them and Akuro, her eyes narrowed right at him.
“Over my dead body!” snapped Crystal.
“Don't tempt me, I might end up with two bodies,” sneered Akuro, Crystal grabbed the handle of her sword, she felt Olivia holding onto the hem of her skirt.
“You won't end up with any!! May mountain lion claw your throat out!” stated Crystal as she drew her sword from it's sheath, the double edge gleaming with what sunlight peeked through the clouds. Akuro saw the hilt, a pair of sliver angel wings made the beginning of the guard, beneath the wings was pure sliver crescent moon, in the center of the moon would've been a sapphire stone but it was missing, the handle seem to be laid with deep blue fabric dotted with what looked like pearls and sliver thread wrapped around it, much like Akuro's snake cane an animals head was carved into the swords end, this one was a wolf head, in it's fangs it held a amethyst stone.
“Crystal,” said Hiram after he got some air back in him, he sounded worried.
“Well might as well break him in a other way!” said Akuro as his eyes turned to Olivia, Crystal saw him reaching for the child.
“No! You won't touch her!!” shouted Crystal as grabbed Olivia out of Akuro's reach and scooped her up in her arms. Crystal knocked Akuro back with a hard hit from the swords hilt.
“Big sister?!” yelled Olivia as she saw that she was in Crystal's arms, Hiram let out a sigh of relief when he saw what had happen. “Oh thank god,” he told himself in a whisper. Crystal held Olivia in one arm and used her sword in her other hand to try and fend off any attacks Akuro would try, Hiram tried to stand back up, but Crystal stood in front of him. Olivia looked back to try and see Akuro but was blocked by Crystal's sword.
“It'll be alright Olivia, I won't let Akuro hurt you or your father,” Crystal told the girl.
“Fine, three bodies then,” stated Akuro.
“It won't end like that!! Wolf, crow and bear lend me your strength to protect those I love!!” shouted Crystal, she hope her words reached the spirits that she always heard about from her home.
“Well saying prayers to so called spirits? Not very likely they would respond to you,” sneered Akuro.
“Never test the power of the unseen, the spirits will have heard me and will come, it is an insult that you mock what I have learned to respect and try my hardest to understand,” stated Crystal as her hold on Olivia grew stronger, the grip on her sword also grew tighter.
`Why dose he keep eying my sword, does he want to take it as some sort of trophy after he defeats me? No I won't let him, this was my granddad's sword, he can take it from me when I'm dead,` thought Crystal.
“I will make sure you never hurt them!” said Crystal.
“Empty words empty threats as you America's say, I'm more curious as how you can handle that sword, how well you fight with it,” Akuro told Crystal, her eyes narrowed on him.
“Save your breath snake, you can't even hold a candle to what I've been trained to do with this sword,” snapped Crystal. She had been so focused on Akuro she had almost forgotten about Olivia in her arms and Hiram behind her.
“Crystal?” asked Olivia sounding scared, the older girl turned back to Hiram, she knelt down to him and handed Olivia off to him.
“Stay with your dad and NightShade I'll handle this,” Crystal told them.
“Please be careful dear,” Hiram told Crystal, she smiled back at her friends.
“Don't worry this won't take long, I hope,” Crystal told them as she turned to face Akuro once more, before Akuro had a chance to react, Crystal charged him blade held high. Akuro used his cane as a sword and fought back, Moondancer and BlueStar came around the corner to see what was going on.
“Who is that?” asked Moondancer.
“That's the guy who's been coming around the shop, he attacked them,” answered BlueStar.
“I knew he looked familiar, by gods she's going to fight him? I hope she stands a chance,” replied Moondancer.
“We need to stay back a bit, in case that snake creep gets near them, we'll protect them,” said BlueStar as he turned his head toward Hiram, NightShade and Olivia. The three horses turned their heads back to the fight.
“Why does your employer want Hiram to work for him, answer me!” snarled Crystal as she bared down on Akuro with her sword but his cane blocked the blade.
“That's none of your concern,” answered Akuro as he shoved her off.
“It is my concern when you threaten my friends lives and try to kidnap my little sister!” yelled Crystal as she charged once again, the metal clanged, the the two became locked with one weapon blocking the other, the two fighters locked eyes, Akuro seem to eye the blade and the craftsmanship of it and the hilt.
“This sword, tell me how did you come into possessing this work?” Akuro asked calmly.
“Like you care, but if you must know it's been in my family for years, it was my grandfathers on my fathers side,” answered Crystal dryly, Akuro's eyes widen as he pushed Crystal off once again.
`I knew it, she must be,` thought Akuro.
“Was your grandfather James Moore?” asked Akuro, Crystal was becoming a bit confused at this, why would he be asking about her grandfather.
“Yes, he was murdered when I was a baby,” replied Crystal as she griped the handle of her sword tighter, Akuro smirked under his mask, he knew this was the right time.
“Well, you're looking right at his killer!” stated Akuro coldly, Crystal felt her eyes widen as much as they could, the grip on her sword was so tight one might have heard a pearl crack.
“Y....you bastard!! You nearly ruined my family!!” screamed Crystal. Everyone seemed shocked, NightShade was the most stunned out of anyone, why didn't she tell him or anyone this. 'Is that one reason she came to London, for revenge?' thought NightShade as they watched the fight intensify. BlueStar seemed more on edge now, Moondancer used her legs to try and shield Olivia from seeing the fighting.
“You're such a fighter, much like your grandfather,” Akuro told Crystal coldly, she felt the rage inside her boiling over.
“Shut up, shut up!! What do you even know about him?!” shouted Crystal as she swung her sword in hopes of striking him, but he ended blocking her at each swing, the two of the were in a stare down as they blocked each other.
“I know he was a fighter much like you, and his eyes would change when he became very enrage, you feel it don't you?” Akuro told her in a cold yet calm voice.
“Silence you snake!!” screamed Crystal as she raised her sword high to come down on him hard only to be blocked once more. Hiram could only watch, he felt Olivia clinging to his shirt, he kept her turned away from the fighting not wanting her to see what was going on.
'Her.....grandfather was killed? My God, and she's fighting his killer?! I....I almost lost O....Olivia to a......' Hiram couldn't finish the thought as he held Olivia as tight as he could, he watched as Crystal continued to fight Akuro, the two fighters stopped for a minute as if they were catching their breath.
“I'll get you back for this, Akuro you snake! No one tries to hurt my friends and lives!” shouted Crystal. Akuro shook some dirt off his cane then stared at her with his icy eyes.
“That'll change soon, I'll get you out the way along with those horses then once you all are out of the then your friends will have no choice but to come with me,” said Akuro.
“No they won't!!” snarled Crystal as she tried to strike him with her sword but he seemed to vanished right in front of her, she looked around for him but didn't see him. “Where did he?!” Crystal started to ask herself, she kept looking around. Olivia noticed a shadow sneaking around Crystal's back, if she didn't do something her big sister might be killed.
“Crystal behind you!” shouted Olivia. Crystal heard the child's voice “Wha?” Crystal started to ask, as she was turning to face them she saw Akuro about to strike at her stomach but Crystal managed to block to attack.
`Cunning snake in the grass! But not quick enough!` thought Crystal as she pushed Akuro's cane off, the two clashed once again, Akuro blocked her blade from cutting into his chest, he saw the rage in her eyes.
“I will kill you! My family will have peace of mind knowing you're dead!” Crystal shouted at Akuro. But Akuro couldn't hold out fighting Crystal much longer.
“And you will never hurt Hiram or Olivia ever again!” stated Crystal as she bashed his face with the hilt, Akuro reeled and screamed in pain, his eyes filled with rage, he grabbed her wrists. The two struggled, Crystal dug her feet into the ground, Akuro doing the same thing.
“Why you!!” snarled Akuro, his left hand broke free and reached for her throat, his nails drawn out. Olivia buried her face in her father's chest not wanting to see what would happen next. “Crystal!!” shouted Hiram. Suddenly someone dashed out, Crystal saw that it was red furred woman with the fox mask, she had grabbed the hand that was reaching for her throat, and also grabbed Crystal's hand that was holding the sword as if she was stopping them.
“Akuro enough! I don't think he'll be happy with this,” said the woman as Akuro jerked his hand out of her grasp.
“Stay out of this Rao! This is none of your business! The toy-maker refused to work with us so I was just....`reminding` him of what we can do,” snapped Akuro. The red furred woman sighed heavily.
“Oh of course you were, you snake headed twit!!” snapped the woman, then she turned to face Crystal and the others, Crystal readied herself in case this would be a other fight.
“Hey fox lady, don't even think it!” snapped Crystal as the red furred woman took a few steps towards them.
“Don't call me fox lady, my name is Lady Rao, but Rao will do and I don't have anything planed for your friend, not yet anyway, as Akuro said we were reminding him of what we can do,” said Rao. BlueStar and NightShade tossed their heads, stamped their hooves and snorted as if daring the two masked mice to try and fight them. Hiram just held Olivia as close as he could.
“J...just please! Leave us alone! We've done nothing to you!” begged Hiram, Crystal pointed her sword at Akuro and Rao.
“Get out of here! Or else!” shouted Crystal, thunder rumbled over the city, hinting to the coming storm.
`After all of this, I'd say wed better lay low for a while, he'll work for us in due time, but if that Crystal girl stays around, it might be even longer, thought Rao, she turned to Akuro.
“Akuro! We're leaving, the others are waiting, we need to report back to the Professor,” said Rao. Akuro narrowed his eyes at Crystal.
“Let me give you a fair warning Crystal dear, our fight is far from over, I will find a way to get my revenge and kill you, even if it means to hurt those around you, knowing you will watch that will cut you deeper than any blade,” stated Akuro.
“Save your words!! I will be the one to kill you and avenge my grandfather's murder, and if you or any of your lackey's lay a hand of Olivia or Hiram, I will cut you down where you stand, and who ever this Professor is tell him I will protect them with my life!” stated Crystal, Rao and Akuro turned and started to walk away.
“Our new friend the Professor dose love a good chase, oh and toy maker, we'll be in touch,” said Akuro.
Crystal couldn't hold it back, she screamed and jabbed her sword into the ground, part of her wanted to run after Akuro but what would the point be if her friends were unprotected, the rain started to fall as NightShade and the other came up to her, the light black horse brought his head down to rub her shoulder.
“Crystal?” asked Olivia, still a little scared placed her hand on her older sisters hand, she turned to see Olivia and her father.
“My dear, w...we had no idea,” said Hiram, Crystal stood up as the the water dripped down from her hair.
“I...I'm sorry I dragged you both into this!! None of this should've happened! I should've just told you all the truth,” said Crystal. Hiram placed his hand on Crystal's shoulder, she looked at her friend as Olivia hugged Crystal's legs.
We'll talk about it later dear, for now let's get home out of the rain,” Hiram told her kindly,
“He's right, let's go home,” said BlueStar, the small group headed back home in the pouring rain, Crystal stayed quite the entire way.