The Trails of Moonlight

Chapter II Epilogue: Kia Side

It was a cool Saturday night at the B & Bee. The rest of the party's eating Ashton's food and generally just being noisy.

Too noisy.

I take a step outside, onto the quieter Cosica road. It's better to be quiet. After everything that's happened in Mattoi, I can't believe how chipper they are.

I take a seat on a nearby bench a good distance away from the inn. I look around, see if anyone's around. No one. Good.

I reach into my pockets for my phone. Bringing up my contacts list, I decide to call "her". Please pick up.

Ring, ring. And then, she picks up. That was fast.

"My, oh my! If it isn't little Kia!", an energetic woman's voice says on the other line.

"Hi sis.", I answer briefly.

"How've you been all this time? I haven't a peep from you since your Dainydune assignment! How's my favorite cutie doing?", she asks with a sly and happy voice.

"Eh, I've been busy. Look, can I… dump myself on you again?"

"Hehe. That again, huh?"

-———————————————————————————————-

I told her everything that had happened since then. While I thought Dainydune was a mess, Mattoi was even more so.

We found a girl being sold for auction. She was a lot younger than I am, and that's something given how young I am too. I told her about Marconii, and how he had illegally imprisoned Katalina Ford in his private cell. But most of all… I told her about how it ended. Art had gone berserk with his powers. It took both Locheman and Viseid to subjugate him, and even then… we caused a stir back in the auction house.

For all intents and purposes, the sting was successful. But I told my sis I messed it up.

I couldn't care less about Marconii. He wasn't my mission. I told her… that I was scared that the kid might've been like me. And maybe Art too. There's too many of "me" back there in Mattoi. And I felt like shit, knowing I couldn't know anything about any of it.

But most of all, it wasn't my job. That was what I wanted to tell myself.

-———————————————————————————————-

"I think this is the most troubled I've seen you so far."

"Nope. This still doesn't beat my SBPD induction ceremony, heh.", I said with a little chuckle.

"Haha, guess so! Buut anyway. I think you're missing something from your story."

"What is it?". I'm wondering what I had missed that she somehow knows.

"I know you have lots of friends around you right now. Why didn't you put them into the picture?"

That's right… I didn't mention them. But right now, they're irrelevant in the big picture, right? After the job is done, so is our time anyway.

"Uhm…". I'm at a loss for words. I couldn't just say 'I don't care' as an excuse. I think I'm being myopic about the others.

"Kia. You've got this bad habit of pretending like you're strong enough to carry all of this on your own. I mean, I know you called me to tell me but… right now, I'm tied up, and can't physically be with you. But you've gotta learn how to rely on others too. Plus, I think the folks you've got around are a fun bunch! Why not try to make friends with them? Even the old guys back in SBPD are buddies, aren't they?"

It's not that I can't rely on them. They're all sorts of reliable but I guess… I'm just not grown up enough? No no, I can't… tell her that. Or maybe…

"Sorry, sis. I guess I've got some growing up to do."

"We all do. But don't rush it, and take it at your own pace, yeah?"

I decide to talk to her for a few more minutes. Knowing she's there for me puts me at ease, even if she's an ocean away right now. After a while, I hear Ashton call me in. I think I left my soup running cold. Ugh, cold soup sucks. Guess I'd better wrap this up.

"…so 'till next time, sis."

"Yup, yup! And hey, Kia? Just remember you'll always be family to me, even if you aren't an Illburns by name."

I know, sis… but just the difference in our names makes all the difference. I somehow wish you knew what that meant.

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