We left the next day like I said I would. We slept in, but I kept my word with myself. Ame wasn't there when we set off. Not that I was surprised, but still...
At this point, we'd been in the area three weeks. I opened my stand as a way to talk to the townsfolk. Cole was doing caricatures to meet the same end.
We hadn't had any luck. No one had seen a short kid with dichromatic eyes. No doubt they would since that wasn't "normal".
When we weren't working, we wandered through town. We started with parks and areas with trees since that was a place I knew he liked. It was iffy since those people took him away, but I didn't have anything else to go off.
No dice. Heck, the parks were empty compared to the one back home. We had better luck in the town square, but we'd never find Alastair there. It was too busy.
Eventually, we just used dice games and other games of luck to decide where to go next. There were no other logical places for us to check.
When we were done for the day, we set up camp in an empty park. I showered first with my pop-up shower. Cole insisted since he was covered in paint. He'd been struck with inspiration and had to act on it, so I left him to it and made our dinner.
Oh, and as for Honey, we left her with Jamie and Graham. Maybe her nose could lead us to him, but we wanted her to have a home. It wasn't fair to get her hopes up only to dash them every day. We also knew they would give her the love and care she deserved. We weren't sure if we'd been giving her that ourselves.
Anyway, we would not get a peaceful evening tonight. Cole and I were definitely annoyed about it.
Ame teleported (barged) into our tent an hour or so after we ate. She gave us no warning whatsoever. It was a wonder I didn't scream.
She had her hands on her hips. "Are you sure this is the in the zone Hannah gave you?"
"Yes." Cole tossed her his terminal. "We've been here three weeks and you're just now asking us that?"
"As far as I can tell, you're going in circles with no luck."
We hadn't found him yet. We couldn't deny that, but it didn't mean we'd been going in circles.
"Aren't you in the wrong area?"
Cole flipped the terminal the other way. "No. Can't you read maps?"
Ame scoffed. "I wouldn't be able to do my job if I couldn't."
I choked down a laugh. "Oh, really?"
She meant helping Hannah and her friends I assumed. Why did she need to be able to read maps as a Protector? It probably helped, sure, but was it really necessary?
"If you don't have anything to add, mind leaving us to enjoy our evening?" Cole turned his head. "We're gonna have to get back out there in the morning."
"As you wish."
Ame then left. If looks could kill...
A week or so had passed. We hadn't found any leads. We weren't giving up though. If I did, no one would be looking for Alastair. The kid didn't deserve that. As far as I knew, Ame wasn't helping, either. It'd hurt if he ever found that out.
There was a shadow outside our tent. It knocked.
Clasping hands, Cole unzipped our tent and peeked his head out. "Oh, hey..."
Hannah climbed into our tent. Her cheeks were bright red. "Sorry if I scared you both."
We said, "Ame basically barged in last time, so..."
"It couldn't have been that bad." Hannah raised her eyebrows. "I know Ame isn't great with other people and all, but..."
"Well... it was," we said.
Hannah drew a long breath. "I know this doesn't change anything, but I'm sorry. I will make my request to the Great Lady when this is over, I swear."
Cole sat up. "Don't blame yourself. It was never your fault."
"Why did you come here, anyway?" I asked. "I know you had some sort of reason."
She nodded. "I had another aha moment. The borders I gave you were for a city. It's a big place. I got another ping in a south side neighborhood. I'll give you the new target."
"Thanks," we said.
"Don't go charging in now." She flicked her wrist. "I should've done this when I came to you the first time. Anyway, I added my number to your terminals. We use a different format from yours, so don't worry I made a mistake or anything."
Cole and I exchanged smiles and nodded.
"Good luck. I have to get back to my kids." Her cheeks reddened again. "I'm sorta worried one of them could go into an evolution at any time, so I needed to let you know before it hit. Don't be afraid to call me if you need anything."
Hannah waved before she left.
If we weren't laying in sleeping bags, I would've fallen to the ground. I had tears in my eyes. "I almost wanna cry..."
"Tears of joy?"
"Can't tell if it's that or if my emotions are just out of whack cuz of the you-know-what."
Cole wrapped his arm around me. "Well, it's alright if you wanna cry. Any clues that'll lead us in the right direction are a gift from the gracious Minicha. It must make the burden even a little bit lighter."
It did. I was closer. I'd be able to rescue him any day now.
"I hope he'll be alright when we find him..."
"Even if he's not, I know you'll do whatever you have to get him what he needs. If you dwell on the negative thoughts, you just give them more power. That's not good."
That was true but hard to remember. I didn't know if I would've been able to do this without Cole. Ame really wasn't much help.
Tomorrow, we'd set out for the neighborhood Hannah gave us. Since we weren't in the right area, of course, we hadn't had any luck. Now that we were looking in a better place, our luck would hopefully be better.
I had to focus on that. I would give Alastair everything in my power to give him. He deserved the world and then some. When he was truly happy, it was an infectious force.
I found myself crying because of the sheer intensity of my emotions.
Cole cradled my head. "It'll be alright. We'll got through this, taking it day by day as we've been doing since this started."
"I love you..."
Cole kissed my forehead. "I love you, too, Cy."
Ohayou, minna! Surprise! Today (7/23) is Star's b-day! Enjoy this present for it! Hooray! Cy and Cole are one step closer to finding Star! Thoughts on them? Hannah and Ame? Theories? Predictions?
YOU ARE READING
Key of Liberation (A Key Keepers novel)Fantasy
Alastair Kurenai left his home on Earth to fulfill his destiny in a world called Nachima. Nothing out of the ordinary for a guy born into a family of Key Keepers, the ones who act as the worlds' balancing force. However, unbeknownst to him, he was i...