Chapter thirty six- Dirty Hands

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Chapter thirty six- Dirty Hands

"Where are we going, Alibaba-san?" Morgiana asked as she and Saber followed Alibaba down a moderately busy street. "I'm supposed to be meeting Hakuryuu-san at the museum soon."

"I know, I just need to talk to someone real quick. It's important." Alibaba picked up his pace, leading them to Kouen's mansion.

It wasn't long before Saber realized where they were going. "Yo, this is near Kouen's mansion, isn't it? This isn't time to be picking another fight, kid."

"I don't plan on fighting," Alibaba spoke. "Sinbad did something to Kougyoku, and I need to warn her before he does something bad." A few minutes later, they reached the mansion's great entrance.

Knocking on the door with loud, rushed, beats, Alibaba called for Kouen or someone to answer. He was greeted by Caster, who stared at him with a dull expression, "I didn't think you were so incompetent that you'd come and pick a fight head on, Saber's master."

"I'm not here to fight," Alibaba assured. "I need to speak to Kougyoku."

"And why should I let you?"

"Please, it's important. It's about-"

"Alibaba-chan?" The pair were interrupted as Kougyoku walked past the doorway, pausing when she noticed the familiar blond. Walking up to stand beside Semiramis she asked, "What are you doing here?"

"Kougyoku!" Alibaba forced his way into the mansion's main room past Caster. "Can we speak in private, please?"

"A-Ah, sure..." Kougyoku was surprised Alibaba would so carelessly push past a servant when Caster could have easily struck him. It must really be important, then...

Kougyoku led Alibaba to her bedroom, knowing it was far enough away from everyone else that they wouldn't be able to hear. "So, what's wrong, Alibaba-chan?"

Alibaba didn't bother to take the time to look at their surroundings, rushing straight into explaining, "Kougyoku. I know it sounds crazy but I know why you had that ringing in your ears and why you passed out that day."

"Really...?"

"Yes. It's because-" Alibaba paused. He took a closer look at Kougyoku, who's bangs were suddenly covering her eyes. "Kougyoku...?" He took a step back.

Lifting her head, Kougyoku smiled, "I'm not Kougyoku." She tilted her head to the side, "You should've told me you were ending our alliance before you ran off so suddenly, Alibaba-kun."

"Impossible..." Alibaba took several more steps back, his back bumping into the closed wooden door. "Sinbad...?"

"How are you, Alibaba-kun?" 'Kougyoku' asked, standing straight. "Sharrkan says you ran off instead of training with him today. You worried everyone."

How could Kougyoku know that?! Alibaba panicked. His eyes darted around the room for Sinbad, expecting him to be hiding somewhere, that it was just a trick. Nothing. "H-How can you...?!"

"Calm down." Sinbad spoke through Kougyoku. "This is my magic. A spell I placed on Kougyoku, just as you read in my notes. The 'Chameleon's Lust', as it's called."

"Why would you do something like that?!" Alibaba exclaimed, his worries about Sinbad confirmed. With this, he was sure to cut all of his ties with the purple haired man. But how could he do something like that? He seemed so nice...

"I need to watch over this war. I can cast this spell onto only three people at a time, making so I know what's going on on multiple sides of the war." Sinbad explained. "I can't tell you the exact locations of all of them, but you know one is on Kougyoku here. The second is within this country, and the third resides in England. I cast this spell on Kougyoku while we were on our date, just before you found her and brought her to your home."

Alibaba was appalled. "How could you do this to her? Forcing her to spy on the brother she idolizes..."

"Alibaba-kun...you can't let your feelings interfere with how you act in this war. This is a self-defence measure," Sinbad spoke. "As everyone else, I will use any dirty trick I can to win the Holy Grail." There was a moment of silence as Sinbad waited for the younger master to process the information.

"This is..." Alibaba felt horrible. It was cruel, controlling someone's body like that. Forcing them to betray their dear friends and family.

"Now, on another note," Sinbad continued, "do you plan on allying yourself with Kouen Ren?"

"Ally with Kouen?" Alibaba echoed, barely keeping up with the conversation.

"Or with Hakuryuu Ren? Either way, you plan on ending your alliance with me, correct?" Sinbad continued before Alibaba could reply, "I know you may be reluctant to abandon your new friendship with the others of the Church, so I'm willing to offer you another option. How about you ally with one of them, yet really be allied with me?" Sinbad smiled using Kougyoku's body, as if it was a perfectly rational idea.

Alibaba balled his hands into fists, narrowing his eyes at Sinbad. Lie to Kougyoku? Or pretend to truce with Hakuryuu? Like Hell he'd do something like that. "Sinbad... There's no way I'm betraying my friends like that." Anger pulsing adrenaline through his veins he growled, "I swear, I'll kill you the next time I see you. And I'll be sure to tell Kougyoku and Kouen about this spell!"

"You should think that over a bit more before you act so determinedly, Alibaba-kun." Sinbad warned. "What will Kouen and Caster do to Kougyoku once they learn there's an enemy master inside her brain? Kill her? Lock her away?" Alibaba clenched his jaw, rage growing even stronger. Sinbad sighed, "Well, I suppose I should go now that you understand the situation. Know that I'll take you back at any time, no matter what you do, Alibaba-kun!" With that, Sinbad retracted his hold on Kougyoku's body, and the girl fell limp, Alibaba catching her before she hit the floor.

Carefully laying the teen girl on her bed, Alibaba frowned deeply. She's being controlled like this without even knowing it... "There's no way I can forgive Sinbad for this..." He took a step back, watching as she slept peacefully. He desperately wanted to run from the room and tell Caster about the encounter, but he knew he couldn't. His hands were completely tied.

Leaving the room, Alibaba made his way back to Morgiana and his servant. "How'd it go, kid?" Saber asked as he approached.

"Fine." Alibaba answered flatly. "She...Kougyoku's resting now." He looked to Semiramis, who stood arms crossed near Theseus. "Hey, you know something weird's up with Kougyoku, don't you?"

Semiramis narrowed her eyes, replying, "Yes. What of it?"

"Who do you think did it?"

"From what I know, it was Rider who did something to her. It doesn't seem to be anything severe, though. Merely a trick to scare us."

"A trick, huh?" Alibaba muttered bitterly. "You should probably deal with Rider then, right?"

"We're working on it." Caster watched the blond closely. "What did you talk with her about?"

"It's nothing, I was just worried about something," Alibaba shook his head, brushing his anger off- at least for now. "Seems I had no reason to be. Thank you for not killing us on site," He nodded to the female servant, then walked past her, exiting the mansion followed by a confused former greek hero and a pink haired student.

~

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