Chapter 65: Discovery

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"W... What do you need to ask me?" Scott was pretty confused.

"I am Kokuyo von Drachen, formerly known as Matsumoto Kokuyo. I was the Magister of the Blade Warrior Order back in Kenshin, in the town of Matsunoki. There, a criminal group operated - the Shadow Ninja Order, which was led by our rival, Akuma Fujimoto, the former Golden Venus Celestial Lord. However, Akuma's close ally and the main mastermind of the Order was a person from outside Kenshin - a woman from Desert Island - Kassandra Braun, Tiger's mother," he pointed on saddened Tiger who was quite surprised he had brought up this matter right here out of the blue. "Maybe... that name says something to you?"

"Doesn't ring a bell..."

"Does this ring... seem familiar to you?" Kokuyo frowned and pulled the same silver ring with a yellow gem out of his sleeve, where there was engraved the letters, meaning 'Blutendorf'.

"W... Where did you get that?" Scott asked with his eyes widened - it was the hereditary ring of the Blutendorf Clan, and he had lost his one, which was now in the young man's hands!

A faint smile formed on Kokuyo's lips - he apparently felt his hunch was right.

"That same woman I just talked about - Kassandra Braun - gave it to me and said that it belonged to the father of her daughter, Tiger. The man was from Rosenweld, but she didn't know how to seek him out exactly. Before her powers were taken from her and she was sent back to Desert Island for detention, she entrusted this ring to me and asked me to find Tiger Braun's father".

The friends gasped - such a story, and they knew nothing about it!

"W... Why didn't you tell me before?" tears filled Tiger's eyes - she had no idea her father could ever be found or identified, and now she heard this?!

"Tig, if I told you this before, I'd raise your hopes, and if ever we found out your father was no more, I could never bear to see you cry..." Kokuyo sighed, "I don't want to see you cry ever again... if not from joy. I am sorry".

Tears streamed down Tiger's cheeks - all this was so complicated! But the greatest shock was still brought to Scott - a daughter?! He grabbed the ring from Kokuyo's hands and eyed it carefully, his countenance going pale - it was truly the ring he had lost! Then, analyzing the words 'Desert Island' and 'Kassandra Braun', remembrances came popping up:

Wounded, severely... Inn in a desert... Coughing blood that reddened the sand... Knock... Two knocks... A redhead maiden, of nearly the same age as this tiny one whom they called Tiger Braun... That maiden from the desert hut resembled her greatly... Inside the inn, on the bed, she tended to his wounds... 

"Are you feeling better?"

"Y... Yes..."

"How did you get injured so severely?"

"D... Dragon..."

"Dragon?" the girl chuckled, "But do they exist?"

"Kassandra, stop pestering the guest!" now an elderly man's voice called out, apparently the innkeeper's.

Kassandra... Yes, now it rang upon him - it was in his youth, over twenty-one years ago, when he had first fought with Fireball who injured him badly and took him over the skies, dumping him in the desert, on Desert Island!

"D... Don't tell me... she got a child? But it all matches - I lost my ring exactly after that occurrence, and then I befriended Fireball shortly afterwards, sparring with him once again, on Desert Island! To just think that... that bright-hearted maiden could become a mastermind of a dark order..." He then looked at Tiger and noticed she was crying. Damn it, I'm no good at father and child stuff! My own father died when I was just five...

"Ah, Tiggie!" Riza and Tamie grew worried and hugged their crying sister. Kokuyo got no less sad. They all looked questioningly at Scott as if asking why he wasn't comforting his newly-discovered daughter. He instead stepped back as if in fear, and his cheeks flushed as if in total dismay. Byakuya felt awkward in such a hard situation that had arisen, so he uttered:

"Well, I guess we have no choice... Scott, you should come with us to the Rose Cruce Order".

"Huh? What do you mean?"

"All I mean is - we should clear up this situation better later on".

Scott sighed and nodded:

"I guess so... All of this was so sudden!"

Thus, all of them headed back to the Rose Cruce Order together, rarely uttering even a word to one another while on their way, so wonder-striking the event had been.

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