Roy and Ayden go for drinks after the incident at her office. Roy learns an awful truth about Ayden's Alchemy. Xerica meets with an unexpected person...
After the fiasco at Ayden's office, Roy suggested that he and Ayden go for drinks after work. He walked to her office and opened the door.
"You ready?" he asked.
She was hidden behind a stack of files wearing her black trench coat over her uniform. She looked around the corner of the files to see who it was. She smiled.
"Yeah, give me a second." She grabbed her bag off her chair and they walked out of the office. 2nd lieutenant Jean Havoc was waiting for them, blowing smoke rings out the car window. He grinned as they approached.
"Took you long enough, where to?" he joked.
"Just the local bar up ahead, the one that is reserved for the military personnel," said Roy.
Ayden stared out the window, watching the scenery flash by her. Her mind was somewhere else.
Havoc drove up to the main doors. Ayden opened the car door and stepped out. Roy followed her and they stared at Havoc.
"You guys okay getting home, or do you want me to stay?" he asked.
Roy shook his head. "We'll be fine, after all, we are the two of the most cunning alchemists in the military." He looked at Ayden to see her reaction. He was hoping to cheer her up.
Havoc smiled awkwardly. Ayden remained silent; her eyes were affixed to the ground. Roy sighed and then waved farewell to Havoc, then they entered the bar. A blonde haired flirtatious girl guided them to a booth by a window then bounced happily when Roy said "thank-you". He took off his trench coat after Ayden did. He studied her.
"Are you okay?" His voice was low and concerned.
"It's not everyday you get harassed to teach someone a forbidden type of alchemy," she said quietly.
"Why didn't you? What are you afraid of?"
"I'm not afraid."
He smirked. "Yes, you are. I can tell."
She looked at him and after a long pause said, "I'm afraid...I'm afraid she'll get hurt."
A waiter brought a glass of red wine for Ayden and a glass of Scotch for Roy. Ayden took off her uniform coat and sipped her wine casually.
"I think she would be fine. She would have an excellent instructor." He gave her a soothing smile.
"Thanks for that, but that's not why I won't teach her."
"I don't think I've ever told you the origin of Dark Alchemy have I?"
Roy shook his head. "No, but I'd like to hear it."
Ayden stared out the window. "Centuries ago, when alchemy was just in the process of becoming popular, a man by the name of Nickolai Chary thought he could cheat death by setting a trap so that death could not collect souls. Thus, giving him and countless others eternal life. He thought he was doing mankind a favor. The fool..."
She sipped her wine then returned her gaze out the window.
"Nickolai's trap worked and people were happy."
"It was like they were immortal" said Roy quietly.
"They were immortal. You could shoot someone and they would get right back up and keep walking. Everyone thought it was a great thing. Except for one man named Chiron Hyrule."
Roy's eyes widened. "He has the same last name as you..."
Ayden smiled. "Don't look so surprised. Most Dark Alchemists have learned this kind of Alchemy from books or Transmutation circles or arrays. But my family is different. We have many descendants; he was one of my ancestors. Anyways, he watched the civilians of this village enjoying life without Death. It seemed like a good idea, but it only took about two years for people to start to get uncomfortable and crowded. The village had to be extended to fit the town's population. Eventually, there were just too many people in the world. And since nothing could die, the world was over-populated by everything. So, Chiron went to Death, who was trapped in a small cage sealed with a transmutation circle, and told him what had happened. Death told him that he would have to help him decrease the population if he wanted the world to go back to normal."
"How long did it take?" asked Roy.
"Well, it took Chiron three days to learn everything about Dark Alchemy, for that was the only thing that would kill these people, but it took about eight months for everything to return to normal."
"And then? What about Nickolai? Did he die too?" Roy's eyes glistened with wonder which made Ayden smile.
"He was given eternal life," she said smugly.
"Eternal life? He was rewarded for what he did?"
"Not exactly. Over time, his body grew older yet his soul and mind remained young. He couldn't die by a bullet or by poison. Death had given him eternal life to his soul. Not to his body."
"What happened?" Roy hated that she kept him hanging.
"He rotted from the outside in. He met a gruesome end."
They both were silent. Roy was in awe of what she had just told him. Ayden just sipped her wine.
"My alchemy has been passed down to me. I was born with this knowledge. If I were to teach Xerica all that I know, it would take years for her to even comprehend it. Hell, I'm still learning and I was brought up in this environment." Ayden said quietly.
Roy smiled and drank the last bit of scotch that was left in his glass.
"You're worried about her safety. You don't want her getting hurt. I understand." Roy soothed.
"It would just be too much for her to handle. Even I can't handle it sometimes."
She finished her wine and the left the bar with him, quietly walking down the sidewalk.
Meanwhile, back at Central, Xerica and Schiezka were doing overtime for Lt. Colonel Frank Archer. He had told them to track down some old documents for him that had been destroyed years ago. Xerica was still upset about Ayden refusing to teach her. She looked at Schiezka who was having a confrontation with a pile of books threatening to topple over on her.
"Do you know anything about Dark Alchemy?" she asked quite randomly.
Schiezka gasped and turned to face her.
"I-I've read books on it. I know it's History and origin. Why?"
Xerica frowned. Her eyebrows were furrowed.
"I want to learn it, and I was just wondering if you knew any books that I could look at for more information." Xerica stared hard at Schiezka.
"In that case, why don't you just ask Colonel Hyrule to teach you? I'm sure she would-"
Xerica slammed her fist on the desk.
"I'll never ask that bitch for anything again. I already asked her." She hissed.
Schiezka stared blankly at her and watched her get up and walk to the door.
"Whe-Where are you going?" she asked in a shrill voice.
She smiled at Schiezka.
"I'm going to learn Dark Alchemy."
With that, she left the room slamming the door behind her leaving Schiezka to be attacked by the stack of books.
She walked down countless higher-ups and stared at them then muttered something to herself.
"If Ayden won't teach me, I'll find someone who will. I will learn it, one way or another."
Xerica sauntered down the moonlit sidewalk. Her coat collar was pulled over her cheeks hiding them from the harsh wind. Her face was wet, she had been crying.
It's not fair, she thought, she can't just hog it all to herself.
She stared up at the sky and screamed "I WISH SOMEONE COULD TEACH ME DARK ARTS ALCHEMY!"
She hung her head. The one person she had idolized for so long had now become the person she hated the most. To her dismay, no one replied. Only the wind blew another breath of harsh cold air. She whimpered.
"I guess it wasn't meant for me..." she said sadly.
"You want to learn Dark Arts Alchemy huh?" said a cool voice.
Xerica spun around but saw no one there.
"Who's there? Who said that?" Her voice was shrill and uncertain.
A slender boy abut the age of 17 with long, pointy, green hair and skimpy clothes jumped down from the roof of a tall building and landed gracefully in front of her. His purple eyes flashed with glee and mischief.
"You want to learn Dark Arts Alchemy?" he repeated.
She stared at him blankly for a moment then found her voice.
"Ye-Yes...could you teach me?" Her voice quivered.
"I can't teach it to you. But I can give you something that will enhance the information that you already know." He grinned.
Xerica's eyes widened. Tears began to run down her face.
"Oh...thank you, thank you!" She wanted to hug him, but she held back. Instead she extended her hand to him as if expecting something.
He raised his gloved hand to silence her.
"Just a minute now, why do you want to learn this anyways? Why is it important?"
The smile on her face had now faded. Her face was stricken with hate and resent.
"I have to prove something to someone..."
His grin widened.
"Who?" he asked.
Her eyes narrowed. "Her name is Colonel Ayden Hyrule. She wouldn't teach me Alchemy. She wouldn't even comment on how much I knew. She just kicked me out of her office. Right in front of two other higher-ups! I couldn't believe it. So, I went searching for someone who would teach me...then I found you..or you found me I guess..."
"Why wouldn't she teach you?"
Xerica balled up her fists.
"Because she's stubborn and stupid and I hate her! I want to prove to her that I can be just like her...No, better than her." She raved madly.
The boy chuckled.
"I'm Envy...it's nice to meet you..." he said.