The strained silence continued for the remaining leg of our elevator journey. My relief was felt when the double doors opened with its usual sigh.
"Um, Saku was it?" I called out to catch his attention as we stepped out into a white corridor of the Second Tier.
"Aah, I do not believe we have been properly introduced," said Saku with a cordial smile as the others passed us. "My name is Sakura Tsubaki, Esquire of the Wisteria Garden Estate."
"Wisteria Garden?" I wondered where I had heard that name before and received an answer from Saku.
"If you are wondering, our squad also shares the same name. A whim of our captain's when he had to register a name upon our squad's formation."
"I'm sure it was an honour." I returned his smile and tensed when the meaning of his smile had changed.
"Certainly, he had his reasons for naming our squad as such, but I do not think honour would be among those." Saku forced through his teeth.
I decided it was best to change the subject.
"Oh, yes, I called out to you because Trix asked me to hand you his mapglass patch." I held out the patch that Trix had entrusted to me.
I was in awe of the graceful movements Saku's hands made when he removed the patch from my hold. However, the frown creases on his usually smooth forehead was a surprise to see.
"It is the first time a map has had to be removed for a reason other than handing over to an acknowledged descent. This situation will bear some emergency discussions with the head I would wager," Saku mumbled to the patch.
His calm manner was showing signs of disturbance and causing an awkwardness between us.
"Um, I'm not sure what sort of significance this object holds but if he entrusted it to you, it means he has full confidence that you know what to do with it. He even said as such to me when he handed it over." I tried to reassure the man.
Saku released his tension with a sigh.
"You are a conundrum to behold Famine of Gat Shiem. However, with this, I am almost certain that our captain will be reassured of his impression of you." Saku condescendingly patted my head, which made me frown.
Somehow, I felt I had been taken for a fool - again. If that was the case...
"I can call you Saku too?" I asked with a cheeky grin.
"Everyone else does," Saku responded with a forced smile and left me in Wilfred and Lita's care.
"Cheeky. Well, he had it coming anyway," Wilfred causally commented. "Come on, let's get you back to your brother."
Along the way, I learned of the reason why Saku took offence.
To legally share the same name of a registered family estate meant to uphold that family's honour and business vision.
"But lots of families, groups and places carry the same name, right?" I asked Wilfred and Lita as we strolled through the corridors.
"Of course, if we are talking about the greater Sol but Apocalypse is a small city with families hand-picked by the Illuminate Group. All families and businesses are uniquely named and purposed," Lita explained.
Wilfred further explained that at the top of an estate food chain was the head (the head family) and beneath them were unit families.
The running of an estate was like that of a working beehive where the head passed orders down to the unit families that did the grunt work. The head received the spoils like a queen bee and distributed down accordingly.
The strong honour and passionate focus to build up the estate was equal for all the families. The head held all accountability for any dishonour to the estate.
"No one deviates from the purpose they have received from the head. To do so is a dishonour." Lita added on.
"Saku's family is renowned within the entertainment industry with ownership of all the theatrical businesses and their licensed off-shoots in our district. Not to mention, Saku is the third son of a head," said Wilfred.
So, Trix having a military unit named after Saku's family estate without Head permission fitted the criteria for business dishonour.
Although Saku's family was not found in violation of commercial sanctions by The Illuminate Chamber of Commerce, in fact, it was Trix's family that had to pay compensation to the Wisteria Garden Estate, the taste of a dishonour was felt throughout Saku's estate, which had to be abated.
Some business dealings with the Aueralius Estate were closed with a handshake to smooth waters between families.
However, Saku had no choice but to join the Evadale Knight Order and remain with the squad to uphold the status quo. In doing so, Trix had bound Saku to the order indefinitely.
"What the hell was that captain of yours thinking?! No wonder Tsubaki-sama is pissed!" I blurted with enlightened understanding.
"Tsubaki-sama?!" Both Wilfred and Lita cried out. "Oh, no, you don't need to call Saku that."
"I feel guilty that I was ignorantly rude to him." I moped.
"It can't be helped since you're a newbie." Lita consoled me.
"If you're that keen to use respectful honorific, then call us by our last name with a title too. We're both from a head." Wilfred smirked.
"Smithsonian-sama?" I said and keenly awaited the sibling's reaction with expectant eyes.
Lita and Wilfred's faces burned with a red blush and their brown eyes widened with surprise.
"Um, no, call me Wilfred is fine," Wilfred mumbled whilst averting my eyes.
"Too cute for my heart," Lita whispered behind the back of her hand. "Lita, please, keep calling me that. I'm worried Ryoko might do something to your manhood in your sleep otherwise."
"Still, Trix being arrested, wouldn't that also cause a dishonour to Tsubaki-sama?" I sighed, feeling bad for Saku and yelped at the hard slap I felt to my back.
"I'm really pissed off now." Wilfred frowned angrily.
I bowed with an apology when I eventually worked out that this would also cause dishonour to Wilfred and Lita's family as well.
I felt my head at boiling point when I started to go down the cause and effect path for the others and couldn't keep up with the blurred lines of consequences.
"Don't think too much about it. No one is expecting you to understand much of what goes on in our world. So, it's cool to be yourself and call us whatever you want." Wilfred released a deep sigh and gave my shoulder a friendly fist bump.
"Thank you, Wilfred." I sighed with relief, but I was still determined to be mindful of my words going forward, so I wouldn't cause disrespect.
"Anyway, with your brain, I think you're likely to trip up too much if you think too hard on things." Lita joked with her finger poking my forehead. "In times like these, go with what that big heart of yours tells you instead."
"Fresh." I pouted and was glad that we had arrived at the door of the lantern room.
YOU ARE READING
"I'll find a way to save my brother. Do whatever the hell you want. I'm stealing your guns." Famine is a man determined to save his three brothers after they were tragically separated when a magical fire destroyed their monastery home. He finds him...