CHAPTER THREE: SUSPICIONS AGAINST A CERTAIN EMPLOYER
Ivy sat at the same wooden table in the same beige room in the same dull building she had been at a few days ago and waited. She had been doing an awful lot of waiting lately. Far too much for her liking. Mr Seeker entered the room shortly after and sat down, across from Ivy. He kept his eyes down for a few moments, then spoke.
“It appears you’re right about Miss Despair,” he said.
“I know I am,” Ivy snapped. “Why didn’t she tell me I’d be going against a Sorcerer? This was the first time I ever had! I could have at least prepared myself!”
“I don’t know why Miss Morose didn’t tell us. She should have.”
“You don’t need to tell me that. Tell it to Saturnine. She’s the one who should know.” Ivy swore under her breath about Saturnine. “I’m going to hurt her if she doesn’t do something about it.”
“No need to threaten her.”
“Actually, I find the complete need to threaten her. She threatened me by not being specific enough to mention the teeny tiny little detail that Anomaly was a Sorcerer. And I don’t appreciate being threatened. At all.”
“We will do something about her; don’t worry. Until we do, however, you must not show any signs of hostility. You have to act the way you did when you met her, which means laid-back and sarcastic. Understand?”
“Of course I do. I had already figured that was the thing to do.”
“Well then, that’s excellent.” Mr Seeker shifted in his seat slightly. There was a long silence before either one of them spoke. “So tell me: how did you figure out Miss Despair was a Sorcerer? You weren’t entirely clear about that.”
Ivy hesitated. When she spoke, she kept her eyes down. “She spoke to me. Not physically, but through my thoughts. But I didn’t let her. She just did. And then we were both sent crashing into the walls.”
“I see,” Mr Seeker nodded. “What did she say to you?”
Ivy had to lie. She didn’t quite understand why she felt like she had to, but she did. She looked up. “She said she was going to kill me. I understand why she said it, though, because I was breaking into her house and trying to assassinate her, after all. That seems like a reasonable thought to enter someone’s head at that moment. Saturnine, however,” Ivy said as her voice turned bitter, “didn’t have that right. She had no reason to whatsoever, unless she was working for someone who wanted me dead.”
Ivy paused. “Actually, now that I’ve said that out loud, it seems like a very likely possibility in this situation.”
“I agree,” Mr Seeker responded.
Ivy nodded. A thought suddenly stuck her. “How did she find out?”
Mr Seeker blinked. “I’m sorry?”
“How did Saturnine find out about me? I don’t even exist to most people. No one knows who I am. So how did she find out?”
“Ivy, this isn’t relevant to—“
“Yes it is.” Ivy looked at him. “I demand an answer.”
“I’ll tell you another time. You don’t need to know—“
“Actually, yes, I do. As you are well aware, my intelligence is extremely high, and with the information I could probably, and quite easily, track down whoever Saturnine is working for, and kill them.”
Mr Seeker finally seemed to be gaining some confidence, which was quite a task if it was against Ivy. “I’m not telling you. You cannot force me to, and I refuse to, so get over it, child.”
Ivy blurred and was suddenly shoving Mr Seeker into the wall. “What did you just say?” she snarled.
He looked shocked. “I said I refuse to tell you.”
“Not that,” Ivy spat. “Afterwards. What did you call me?”
Mr Seeker frowned, then looked slightly scared. “I apologise, Miss Animosity. Please forgive me.”
Ivy glared for what seemed like forever, then let go of Mr Seeker and headed for the door. “If you ever call me ‘child’ again, I will hurt you, and I won’t stop until you’re nearly dead, if I even stop at all. Good day.”
“Good day to you as well,” he responded as Ivy walked out the door, seething.
Ivy wandered through the halls silently, and a slight curiosity occurred to her. She had never actually seen any of the rooms she was walking past. She stopped and peered into the doorway of the room closest to her. She tilted her head. There were papers spread out across the gigantic table in the centre of the room. There was a fat man who looked as if he had been searching through them, but now he was draped half-way over the desk, sleeping silently and unmoving. The papers were just scattered. She looked closer. Was that blood on a few of them?
Ivy quietly crept into the room, making sure not to make any noise that could wake the fat man. She went to the man’s left, to look at the blood-stained sheets of paper. Ivy picked on up, then frowned. The blood seemed to be in a trail to the fat man. Very carefully, Ivy lifted the fat man’s face off the desk. She glanced at it.
Ivy clamped a hand over her mouth and stifled back a scream. She dropped the man’s corpse immediately. She may have been a murderer, but she had never done that to anyone before. Hesitantly, she looked at him again.
His face had been torn completely off. There was blood dripping off his skull, and his eyes were hanging loosely out of their sockets, but there was no flesh. It looked as though it had all been pulled off at once. His throat was slashed, but that wasn’t all. He had a gaping hole in his neck, as if someone had just shoved their hand in his throat, grabbed a handful of it, and pulled their hand out again. Ivy could barely keep herself from vomiting.
Ivy turned to leave when she heard footsteps approaching the door. Panicking, she hid behind the curtains and made herself invisible just as a man angrily barged into the room. A woman calmly followed the man in.
Ivy looked down where her hand should have been. Satisfied that it was completely invisible, she cautiously stuck her head out from behind the curtain. She was slightly shocked that the angry man had been Mr Seeker. He abruptly paused when he saw the fat man’s corpse and the blood scattered on the papers. He turned to the woman, who had been turned around to face the door.
“Has she been in here?” Seeker asked. “Ever?”
“So it seems. She’s quite the interested person. I thoroughly believe it was her.” Ivy was stunned when the woman turned around. Saturnine, Ivy angrily thought to herself.
“She did seem pretty damn angry when she left. I mean, she shoved me into the wall and got pretty pissed at me for calling her a child.”
Ivy’s curiosity flared when she realised that they were talking about her. She listened even more intently than before, being certain that she would catch every last word they said.
“Then I am certain it was her. She easily could have killed him,” Saturnine said. Ivy blinked in surprise, but her surprise was quickly replaced by anger. She was being blamed for the corpse lying on the table, even though it wasn’t because of her. Granted, she was a reasonable person to be suspicious of, but this? She wouldn’t do that. Unless, of course, it was to Saturnine.
“I’m not too sure,” Seeker said, thinking. “I mean, yes, she’s a twisted psychopathic murderer, and yes, she’s insane, but she’s still just a kid. Why would she do that?”
“And why would she kill people for a living? Why would she live on her own, rather than with her family? So the question now becomes, why wouldn’t she kill this man? Why wouldn’t she kill us all? You can’t trust her. The only person you can trust is me.”
“Ivy Animosity doesn’t trust you.”
Saturnine blinked a few times. She spoke slowly, but her words were edged with anger. “And how do you know this?”
“Because she was here a mere ten minutes or so before you left. She came to me, and complained about Despair being a Sorcerer.”
“How does she know she’s a Sorcerer?” asked Saturnine, who looked completely stunned.
“Well, God, she isn’t an idiot and you know it. Ivy’s smart. In fact, she’s really smart. Probably too smart for us to even be discussing this. She could easily hear word from this conversation. When you sent her after Despair, she couldn’t kill her because of an electric shock that sent her flying into the wall, and because she was unsettled by Despair speaking to her with her own magic. Ivy left. And how else would someone get into Ivy’s head? The only answer is magic.”
Saturnine narrowed her eyes and was silent for a moment. When she finally spoke, her words sounded confident. “We kill her then.”
Seeker frowned. “Anomaly Despair?”
“No, no, no.”
“Well, who then?”
“Ivy Animosity, of course.”
His face seemed to slacken slightly. “We can’t. It’s impossible.”
“It’s impossible for one of us to kill her, perhaps, but not other people.”
“What do you mean?”
“If we hire Ivy to kill someone close to Anomaly, she’ll go after Ivy for sure. And Anomaly probably could kill Ivy. If not, we’re in trouble, but I believe she can. She’s older, you know? She has more practice.”
“While I agree with your reasoning, and I like your plan, I must remind you that we’re still talking about Ivy Animosity. She is not an easy person to get rid of, I assure you.”
Ivy nodded in agreement to Mr Seeker’s comment. She put her hands up to her face quickly. She had to sneeze. She couldn’t help it; not really. Even with magic, even though she was invisible, she had no power to prevent her from sneezing. She hoped to God she could manage to stay quiet for a little bit longer.
“And I know that,” Saturnine said. “But I think that Anomaly may be even harder to kill. She scared Ivy off without even trying. To be honest, I think that the whole scary thing is just an act.”
Ivy’s hatred towards Saturnine increased with every split second that passed.
“An act?” Seeker argued. “An act? Do you consider committing murderous atrocities as merely an act? Because I don’t. Ivy’s a killer. And killers don’t tend to be cuddly. They’re scary. That’s who they are.”
Saturnine was silent for a few seconds. “Well,” she started, “I could always convince—“
Ivy sneezed. It wasn’t even loud, but it certainly shut Mr Seeker and Saturnine up. They both stared at the curtain Ivy was behind.
“Ivy?” Mr Seeker said, uncertain.
Ivy tilted her head, wondering how they could instantly tell it was her, then looked down at her hand. It was transparent, but that meant the invisibility was wearing off. They could probably see her face. She stepped out from behind the curtain, making herself completely visible.
“I’m going to get you, Saturnine,” Ivy said, glaring. “And don’t doubt that I’ll find you. It’ll be simple. So have fun being alive. It may not last for too much longer.”
Ivy began to walk out of the room. She thought she heard something, but she dismissed it as nothing. Then she heard Saturnine’s thought:
I’m going to kill her first.
Ivy dodged to the side as a knife flew past her. She whirled around, just in time to see Saturnine’s fist coming towards her. Ivy ducked underneath it, then threw a fist of her own into Saturnine’s stomach. Saturnine was sent stumbling backwards, and only barely managed to block the kick about to lash into her face.
Saturnine grabbed Ivy’s foot as it was going down and used it to throw Ivy down to the floor. She cried out as Ivy dragged her down with her. Ivy was up first, and she kicked Saturnine in the ribs. She suddenly remembered the usefulness of magic, then bent down and clapped both hands on Saturnine’s head. A burst of dark blue energy crackled from Ivy’s hands and the full force of the attack was in Saturnine’s head.
Saturnine screamed. Ivy used even more energy. She felt hands on her arms and she was yanked off of Saturnine. Ivy spun around to see who had grabbed her. It was Mr Seeker, and he pushed Ivy away from him as fast as possible.
Ivy punched him in the face and he went down, practically unconscious. What a wimp.
She turned back to Saturnine, who was now unconscious from enduring so much pain, and was about to claw her throat open when a shout come from the hall. Ivy stopped moving as someone burst in the door.
“Ivy!” Anomaly Despair shouted as she ran over. “Don’t!”
Ivy was so stunned she couldn’t move. She just stared at Anomaly, trying to make sense of the situation.
“Please, Ivy, don’t,” Anomaly continued, although she wasn’t running or shouting anymore. She was a few steps away from Ivy. “Thank you for not killing her.”
Ivy finally got the courage to speak. “I never said I wasn’t going to.”
“Well then, I ask that you please listen to what I have to say. I don’t think that you need to do this.”
Ivy’s eyes narrowed. “What do you mean? She betrayed me, and she even hired me to kill you. You have no reason whatsoever to let her live.”
“Ivy—“ Anomaly started, but Ivy cut her off.
“How the hell do you even know who I am?”
“Well, there’s only one girl I know of as pale as you with black hair and indigo eyes. Those are quite some identifying features. As for how I knew you were going to be here, I saw you walk in because I was waiting around for you. I knew that if you encountered someone who you didn’t end up killing, you would obviously come here.”
Ivy didn’t respond.
“As I was going to say, you don’t need to kill her. You can let her live, Ivy. Have you ever thought of that? For all we know, she might have a family to go to, and she might have people she loves and they love her. Imagine how hard it is to lose someone like that. It wouldn’t even be that that person had died, but that they had been murdered. That makes it even harder.”
Ivy looked up at Anomaly in silence for what seemed like forever, then vanished in an orb of blue energy.
She reappeared at her house. Ivy slowly walked into her bedroom. She lay down on her bed and, very quietly, whispered to herself, “I know how that feels.”