Chapter thirty seven- The Truth About Al-Thamen's Witch

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Chapter thirty seven- The Truth About Al-Thamen's Witch

"I'm kind of glad I agreed to come here with you, Morgiana." Hakuryuu smiled as he walked with the pink haired girl through the halls of a museum. Beautiful art decorated every wall, large sculptures lining the middle of the hallway. "I really needed a break from everything, so this is helping a lot."

Morgiana folded her hands behind her back as they walked. She asked, "Are you having trouble with the family business? That's why you haven't been at school, right?" She looked directly into the master's blue eyes.

Hakuryuu rubbed the back of his neck with one hand, "Uh, yeah. It gets really stressful sometimes, but..." He could tell Morgiana saw through his lies. Her eyes were full of innocent question, but knowledge hid behind them. Sighing, he stopped walking. "Morgiana...there's something I want to tell you... I've hidden it from you for a while now, but I think now is the perfect time to come clean..." He turned towards Morgiana, taking her hands in his.

Morgiana's brow furrowed, and she tilted her head in question, "What do you mean, Hakuryuu-san?" He's going to tell me about the Holy Grail War!

"Morgiana..." Hakuryuu leaned down towards her, until their faces were inches apart. "I...I love you." Morgiana's eyes widened, and Hakuryuu leaned in to kiss her. Just before their lips met, just before Hakuryuu closed his eyes, he caught sight of a familiar golden ahoge poking out around the corner nearby. The black haired mage instantly switched into action, expression darkening as he roughly pushed Morgiana behind him and shouted for his servant, readying his fists for a fight.

"H-Hakuryuu-san!" Morgiana stammered, trying to see what was happening though Hakuryuu blocked her path.

"Come out, Alibaba. I can see your horn," Hakuryuu called to the blond. It was almost humorous, how the master had forgotten to hide his hair while spying on Hakuryuu.

Reluctantly, Alibaba rounded the corner with Saber at his side. He tried to flatten his hair, sighing, "Seriously?!" Saber was laughing, spiking his own hair in a mocking manner. "Shut up, Saber!!" Alibaba attempted to hit the servant.

Hakuryuu narrowed his eyes, confused. "Alibaba! You're here to fight, aren't you? I told you I'd kill you the next time I saw you! You remember, don't you?"

Morgiana frowned, "Hakuryuu-san, we're not here to-"

"Just stay behind me Morgiana, I'll explain later," Hakuryuu cut her off. A few seconds later Lancer appeared beside the teens, startling Morgiana.

"Hakuryuu, I don't want to fight you, you know that." Alibaba gingerly took a few steps forward. "I just want to talk."

"Like I'm going to trust you on that," Hakuryuu chuckled darkly. He raised his hands, shouting, "Zaug Al-Adhra!" From his palms grew a wooden bow, which he drew back, aiming an arrow at Alibaba.

"Woah, woah, hold on!" Saber stepped in front of Alibaba with his hands raised in defence. "We're not fighting, just ask the girl!" He pointed to Morgiana, who was still behind Hakuryuu.

Hakuryuu looked over his shoulder at the pink haired girl, "What does he mean, Morgiana?"

Morgiana stepped out from behind Hakuryuu, her pink eyes meeting his blue ones. "It's as they say, Hakuryuu-san. We needed to talk to you about something, but Alibaba-san was afraid of talking to you directly because of your threat. So I decided I would talk to you about it, while Alibaba-san and Saber-san kept watch."

"It didn't work as we planned, though," Saber sighed, running a hand through his hair.

"So...you lied to me?" Hakuryuu lowered his bow some, the arrow nearly slipping through his fingers.

Morgiana shook her head, "No, I really did want to see you again, Hakuryuu-san. But we need to talk about something very important about the war."

Hakuryuu let the bow disappear, a dark pink blush covering his face and ears. I confessed in front of Alibaba and his servant?! She hasn't even said anything about it! I was going to kiss her! "W-What did you want to talk about that's so important?"

"So you'll listen to me?!" Alibaba jumped with excitement, relief flooding his features.

Hakuryuu looked to the blond, his embarrassment fading, "Fine... Only because we're in public."

~

The group traveled to a nearby park, where they could talk in peace. It was strange for both Alibaba and Hakuryuu; neither knew how to act towards the other. Meanwhile, Morgiana made sure she kept an eye on them, not wanting her friends to fight if she could help it.

In the park, they settled down with their servants on guard nearby, and Alibaba and Morgiana explained what they'd heard about the past Holy Grail War and Alibaba's worries about Sinbad. In return, Hakuryuu told them what happened to his siblings and father as well as what happened to Judar, both by Gyokuen's hand. This led to a discussion on Al-Thamen, which led to Morgiana thinking of a brilliant idea.

"...but I agree, Sinbad has seemed a bit sketchy since the beginning," Hakuryuu concluded his explanation. Then he asked, "So Aladdin's parents don't know what happened to Arba? That might be troublesome if she returns."

"Hey..." Morgiana interrupted, leaning on the picnic table they were sat at. "Do you think Arba could somehow be related to Gyokuen?"

Both male teens frowned in thought. Alibaba opened his mouth to speak, but Hakuryuu beat him to it, "I don't think so... Their ages don't line up. Arba would've had to have my brothers at fifteen or so, which isn't realistic. My father wouldn't have had a wife that young, and she'd look much younger now- which she doesn't. Gyokuen's in her forties."

"Yeah," Alibaba agreed, but sat up straighter, "but what if after the sixth war Arba went into hiding? Maybe she..." He trailed off. He had a good idea what Arba might have done, but he didn't want to upset Hakuryuu.

"Maybe she what, Alibaba?" Hakuryuu asked. "Go on, tell us your idea."

"Maybe she...killed Gyokuen...and took her place?" Alibaba offered reluctantly.

Hakuryuu took a deep breath. He pondered it, then shook his head, "No...no way..."

With sad eyes, Morgiana agreed, "It would fit the timeline... Shortly after the sixth war you moved to Japan, right?"

"Yeah..."

"That was Arba, then," Alibaba's eyes fell to the picnic table. "She made it so your cousins wouldn't know what happened."

"And then the fire..." Hakuryuu began to come to terms with it. Anger began boiling under his skin. "Everything... It was all Arba's fault..."

"Your mother, Gyokuen, was a good person. It was Arba who did everything," Alibaba spoke, hoping it'd help some.

Hakuryuu balled his hands into fists. Then he remembered, "I have to tell Judar." He stood from the bench, but stopped as a laugh sounded from above them.

"Well, Alibaba-kun, it seems you've made your decision..."

Alibaba quickly stood at the familiar voice's words, searching around wildly for the source. "Sinbad?!"

"You told Hakuryuu about Kougyoku, I assume? And you've also figured out the mystery that is Al-Thamen's witch," Sinbad appeared in the field several yards away, sly smile on his lips. "Now you realize why I must eliminate her, don't you?"

Alibaba turned to the older man with a scowl, "Are you sure that's what you're planning? I wouldn't be surprised if you sided with her!"

Sinbad's smile faded into a frown, "That's rather rude of you to say, Alibaba-kun..." He looked around. "It's a shame your servants aren't nearby... You won't have a chance against me without them." He raised his arms, shouting, "Illiteus: Barrier." He smirked as magic sparked all around them. Gilgamesh materialized beside Sinbad, arms crossed yet just as amused.

"What's going on?" Morgiana asked, glancing around. A spark of red magic drew a circle in a large area around them. Once it was complete, the ground quaked and a red barrier grew, enclosing them in a dome. 

They were trapped.

~

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