14. The Flipping of the Switch (part 2)

          "Where was it? We traveled all the way up that sweltering mountain and returned empty handed! That stupid comb was supposed to be there, but did we find it? NO! Instead, we got ambushed by a band of thieving knuckleheads! For all I know, they could have found it while we were preoccupied by their swords, which would mean they'd have three of the items of the prophecy!" The princess gaped. This was not the captain she had come to know! Certainly not the man she had laid in bed thinking about! It was as if someone, someone without a heart, someone who despised all things good, had flipped a switch deep inside of him, completely changing his mindset.

          "And their leader, Kosu, that back-stabbing, blood-sucking, storm-raising, malevolent swine! How dare he show his despicable mug to me, twice in the same week no less! He dares call me a coward? It boils my blood thinking of his heinous acts against me, against Father! I will kill the bloke! Not to mention what he said about the princess. There is not a word that escapes his throat that is not filled with lies and drizzled in deceit! I swear on the life of my father, that The Black and White Assassin will bemoan the day he was born; he will tremble at the sound of my name! He will cower in my presence when I find him! I will not back down! He will not defeat me!" The girl's mind raced as he carried on ranting about the horrible assassin. Whatever could he be talking about? It didn't sound as if he was referring to only this day's events in the cave. There was something more to Levi's anger than she was aware of, something from his past.

          Levi panted, recovering from his rambunctious vow to destroy the man with oddly colored hair. He refused to let go of his anger, so he continued his tirade, "Then there's Firious... always, always... AARRAAHG!!! He just doesn't understand! 'Get rid of her!' he says, 'She needs to go! The lass doesn't belong here!' How can he be so importunate? Am I not his captain? Is he not my first mate? I am the one who gives orders, not he! I will get rid of who I want to get rid of! Maybe I should get rid of him! Ha!"

          "And what about that rotten prince? I’d sure like to get rid of him! I don't care if he rescued the princess once; I don't care if he saved my own life! He sure didn't seem too concerned with her well being when he rushed off after his blasted black dagger! What was he thinking, asking her to take care of herself as he left her behind? Any respectable man would never leave a woman stranded on top of a mountain, especially a woman like she! What a fool! What an oaf! What a self-prioritizing nitwit!” Levi stopped pacing, as if seriously considering his proposition of removing the prince; he stood directly in front of Hataru, his back to her still. Deep shadows in the ruffles of the maroon shirt that he still wore were contrasted by the pale sepia light as her eyes followed the defined line of his muscular arms hanging at his sides. She could see every detail. In and out, in an out, the bulges of flesh created massive waves in his shirt sleeves.

The End

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