SEVEN (Part 2)

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She had spent so much time wandering around. Aruma's quarters was so isolated from the other's that she wondered if that it was on purpose. Icicles dangled above her head, their sharp, pointed ends threatening to impale her. She reached out and ran her hand along the frame. The beautifully frosted over doors were a sweet sight. Her hands paused on the ice when she heard the first few notes. She did not notice that the ice did not feel cold.

The joining melody was much louder. She pressed her ear against the door. Blue and white filled her view, but she only cared about what she heard.

The song was...neither sad nor happy. It filled Morita with a sense of calmness. Some parts were faster like the musician had forgotten to play for a second and higher pitched. Some parts were a dragging hesitation. At least, that was how it sounded to her untrained ears. The piece was delightful, but there was something wrong. Something off.

The notes and the tone were just dead. Fake. Empty sounding. Even Morita knew instruments like the piano were meant to play with emotion. Still, the piano made her forget everything. For a moment, she forgot why she was even there. She knew listening was invading his privacy. She also didn't care. Her eyes closed as she absorbed the beautiful music.

The music quieted down, perhaps intentional. Without thinking, she quietly opened the door and stepped in. The piano immediately stopped. Morita's entire body froze. Her eyes were glued on Aruma's back, telling him to continue playing. His hands were still on the keys. His fingers ran up and down the piano but it made no sound. His head bent down, looking at the spot where sheets of music should be. "The piano knows when it has an audience." His voice sent shivers down her back.

She took a step. She said, trying to imitate the lack of emotion in his voice, "It only plays for you?"

"No. It plays for those who understand music."

"How do I do that?"

Aruma turned himself around on the piano seat. His light blue eyes were darker in contrast to the white around him. She noticed that he had changed out of clothes he had worn to the masquerade. Now, he had the Dishonored uniform like her, but his was white instead of light gray with icy blue instead of gold. The shoulder cape was replaced with a full-length dark blue cape.

"Understand music? That's something no one knows."

Morita walked to him. She was all too aware of the pale blue eyes fixed on her face. "I bet Scioren knows."

"That won't help you, will it?"

She stood next to the piano and pressed her finger down on a white key. No sound came out. "I'm sure there's a way to get it out of him."

"I'd like to see you try. He's endured torture, bribery, trickery, manipulation, and pain for longer than most. Scioren doesn't do anything he doesn't want to."

She pressed another note. Another deafening silence. She gave up and met his gaze. "Then I'll trade with him."

"And what would he want?" Challenge shimmered in his eyes.

Morita thought a second, forcefully ignoring Aruma. "He can change the future with a few words. Secrets. Threats. Warnings. But beyond that, he can't do anything. I could take a sword and try to kill him. Only a deity can kill another, right? Scioren could say everything he knew about me, but that wouldn't change the inevitable. I could stab him, and there's nothing he can do. In exchange for a secret, I would bargain an action. Something he can't stop by himself. Something he can't do."

Her eyes darted to the right. "That is. If I ever learn what I am even capable of."

A thin smile stretched across his pale lips. It was nothing like the fake ones he had given her at the masquerade. "So this is why you're here."

She faced him. "Naishera doesn't know."

He hummed. "You thought I'd tell you? Even after what I did to you? After I've already refused to before?"


Aruma leaned back on the piano, which made Morita's insides churn. His back pressed on a lot of keys, but he didn't seem to care. He was silent for a second, perhaps deciding on what to say. Maybe she was finally going to get somewhere with her new life.

"You're wrong."

Morita's eyes dropped as she sighed. Nevermind.

"Scioren would never be in a situation where you had power over him. Before you even thought of it, he would already have taken the sword or whatever it is. If you think you can beat a man who knows every action you make, you are mistaken. There are a few more powerful than him."

"Fine. But what about me? Are you going to tell me what I am?"

He cocked his head. "And break my oath to the Dishonoreds? Oh, I'd gladly do it. For anyone but you. To ruin the surprise fate has planned for you? That's more than I'd dare." 


A/N: *Sigh* Why doesn't my book make any sense? Anyway, any guesses as to what she could be? The biggest clue would be in her name, but that's something most people wouldn't pick up. 

Comment and vote if you enjoyed! It really helps me out!

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