The Vicar of Darkness

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


Kicking off part 2 :)

Chapter 21 (v.1) - Part 2 - I.

Submitted: May 03, 2019

Reads: 41

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Submitted: May 03, 2019

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Part 2 - Iona of the Southwest

Part 2 - Iona of the Southwest

Princess Lilith, Sir Ain, and Sir Raphio's bodies were not found at the location where their carriage lay dismantled. Electra does not feel wrong in her confidence. Ain is alive. She doesn't know how she can be so certain about it. But she is.

There was a feeling that overcame her when she was running out of the cave- back when she ran into the Daf with Basma. It was a defined sensation, different from her feelings of helplessness and distress. The exact moment that Basma's connection with the Light was severed, Electra felt it. She has not felt this with Ain, so he must be alive.

Even so, it torments her. She functions out of necessity, in the same manner Prince Cyan does. She knows that right now, they're only getting through the day with each other's dwindling support. Her friend is different now, and it hurts to see him this way. He continues to smile through his work, but his smile grows more and more pained with each passing day.

"Is this your second Vicar shift in a row?" Sir Errol walks up to Electra. He is a little frazzled himself, the last couple of weeks have been chaos.

She had been walking her assigned perimeter of the castle. She stops, bows, and nods.

"Why are you surprised? We are short staffed," she responds with the best humor she can muster. "I don't mind." Besides, she needs the distraction, the cabin is a lot quieter without Preston around.

Sir Errol studies her with concern, but believes her. She is right, it has been a month since the princess and the Vicars had disappeared. The investigation is ongoing and tensions are higher than ever. Both the Vicars and the Royal Guard are thinly spread across the map.

"We have support coming in from Hielo Blanco soon, but I am not completely comfortable their troops close to Prince Cyan. We were unable to determine if the attack was premeditated and if it was an attack from another nation," he confides in her as they look out a large window together.

The sun is setting against the distant mountains of Hielo Blanco.

"Oftentimes I think that with myself out in the field so frequently, I would be more at ease if you had another reliable Vicar with you and Prince Cyan," he goes on.

He's only speculating, he does not mean to suggest anything but Electra gets an idea.

"I know of someone who might be able to help us," she draws her words out as the idea forms in her mind. "She is a trusted and incredibly strong Lightwielder but-" she pauses, searching for the right words.

"But?"

"She is not a Vicar." Furthermore she is a hard woman to track down, but Electra has a good idea of where to look.

"How is that possible?" Sir Errol asks, bewildered at the statement. "There are very few places in the world where being a non-Vicar Lightwielder is socially accepted."

"That's why we can trust she is not working for any nation," Electra explains. "She does not favor any one nation."

"I'm wary about that description if I'm being completely honest with you." Sir Errol wonders what kind of person this friend of Electra is. "Would she be up for it? If she is so opposed to the nations?"

"She would do it if I asked her to. I promise she's not dangerous- although she is not very... traditional with her Lightwielding." Electra smiles at the memory of her friend, "It's what makes her so strong... she is the sister of Basma of the Southwest. Iona."

---

Watching Electra practice drills with Sir Francois reminded Prince Cyan of Basma       

Watching Electra practice drills with Sir Francois reminded Prince Cyan of Basma. You could instantly tell that they were once training partners. They moved in similar motions. Electra however, is a natural born dancer in an ironic twist of fate. Her movements are comparable to an elongated dance, one hit gliding into another, gliding into a kick, and so on.

The prince recalls how Basma's movements caught his attention one morning, as he was touring the main Vicar training center in MontPec. Back when the Light Palace was located in Osten. Her movements were strong and confident, but they were a series of movements rather than a dance. He could see in Basma's facial expressions that in her mind she was already five steps ahead of her opponent.

Most female Vicars would tie their hair up for combat. Lady Basma let her thick brown waves fly free, bouncing in the echoes of her movements.

"That there is Lady Basma of Tyon. She's great, crafted by a dynasty of warriors. You know how the Tyos are." Lady Tricize points out in the midst of the prince's tour. She is the lead trainer of the camp at the time.

"Is that so? Tyon, I... am... not very popular there," Prince Cyan says thoughtfully. He stops to watch Basma and her comrade's combat for a brief moment despite this. Lady Tricize crosses her arms proudly over her chest, Basma was one of her star pupils after all.

Tyon is on the border between the kingdom of Amici Vero and D'Hiver Nero. During the Dark Century, the island kingdom of Opal Oceans ruthlessly conquered the mainland from the north. All while the island kingdom of Gialo Caldo attacked the mainland from the south. The military town of Tyon was conquered and reconquered by both armies for many years until the two conquering nations came to a peace agreement. Tyon does not identify as being part of any nation as a result, although technically they are under Amici Vero's jurisdiction, which is a nation of Gialo Caldo. In the same way D'Hiver Nero and Winter Wind are nations of the Opal Oceans.

When the heir has seen enough he nods at the leader and they continue on their tour.

---

 

Later, Prince Cyan finds himself in the same field where Lady Basma had been training earlier. She stands talking to two other trainees. The three bow when the prince approaches them.

"Lady Basma?" He speaks directly to her with big anxious eyes.

"Basma is fine with me. Lady Basma sounds a little pompous to me." She smiles, but there is suspicion in her light coral eyes. "What can I do for you Your Highness?"

"Oh, Cyan is fine if we want to avoid being pompous." He remembers not acknowledging the other two Vicars with her. He nods and greets them sheepishly before turning back to Basma. "Do you have a moment?"

She nods at the two beside her. They bow and move on.

"How may I be of service?" Her gaze carries total confidence, which makes Prince Cyan uneasy. He carries on nevertheless.

"I hear you are from Tyon?" He begins to walk at a casual pace and she follows naturally at his side. "I know I am not very popular there, so I expect that means your feedback will be highly critical and unbiased."

She laughs richly, her grin has a hint of mischief. "It is true that the people from my hometown do tend to resent your kingdom, and you as a result. I generally try not to make assumptions based off popular opinion," she answers with a clear, pleasant voice. "I will make my own opinion of you, most likely based off this, our first conversation."

He is genuinely impressed with her response and is happy that he trusted his gut in thinking that she would be honest with him. "How am I doing so far?" The amusement is reflected in his silver eyes.

"Well I suppose, you haven't offended me yet."

"Do you offend easily?"

"I don't think so."

"You have an honest face, I admit it is an aura you emit while you are fighting-" He loses his train of thought. "You are very straightforward- no tricks or any form of deception. A unique form of combat. Tell me, what do you think of this training program? Are you liking the camp here?"

Basma considers which of the questions she is to answer first, but his bright face amuses her. He was so young and fresh- and trusting. She likes the kid.

"I have enjoyed my time here. Not many from Tyon would agree with me I'm sure." She turns her gaze to the open field to their right before she elaborates, "The Tyos are well-known for being hard, sculpted, purebred, warriors. The methods used in order to accomplish this are unforgiving."

She looks back at the prince. He nods, his fingers over his mouth, processing her words. He has never been to Tyon but has pictured that to be the case.

"The process is severely exclusionary," she continues. "There is no place for failure. An archaic mindset that I disagree with and ultimately why I came here. People learn the most through trial and error. By failing they learn more about themselves, they become stronger in the process as well."

"Right, we do not fault Vicars for mistakes here," Cyan adds thoughtfully. "To do so is to create shame. When a person is ashamed they do not own up to their mistakes, when we can all learn something from them."

"Exactly!" Basma points her finger in her air in agreement. "Along with hindering the learning process, there is also the humbling aspect. When a warrior doesn't experience failure, they are closed off from various aspects of life. Sheltered, you could say. I saw many of my comrades lose themselves to the littlest of errors. What else can they do when everyone around you is telling you that you're only good for one thing and that thing alone? What happens when you lose that? You're nothing, you're a burden to society, you are worthless.

"People that think that way are not likely to try again. Where as someone who has never been good enough from the beginning is more inclined to work harder. Not only do they have a better work ethic, they have a stronger mentality. Nothing that anyone does or tells them can bring them down, because they have been at the bottom of the pit, the lowest of the low- and they have risen from the darkness."

Something about the way she speaks moves Cyan, she appears to feed off his enthusiasm and resumes.

"What I admire about this place is that the teachers here embrace it. As you said, owning up to our mistakes is the only way we can expand our education. And where someone in Tyon would be rejected for not succeeding the first time, here they would be given the opportunity to improve with the support of their peers. That is doubtlessly why your armies will always be superior to those of Tyon," she concludes and adds cheekily, "Of course I would outright deny saying any of this on the streets of Tyon."

The prince laughs, "Rightly so!" He proceeds with his interview, "Is there anything that you would change about the camp if you could?"

She thinks about it for a moment. "Yes, I believe me and my colleague were discussing the helpfulness of a library. With books about Vicars, Light, and Creatures of Darkness, similar to those in the classroom, but accessible outside of the classroom. She is very fond of reading my colleague."

"That is a brilliant idea, I agree, education should be accessible." He stops and the two exchange bows. "Thank you for your time, I appreciate your feedback and feel free to call me out if I fail to come through. I hope you stick around, you are great warrior."

"What makes a warrior is not strength, but the Gods' favor of you."

His face lights up, he recognizes the novel she is referencing. He nods approvingly, responding with a quote by the same author. "And who are the Gods to tell us when to live or when to die?"

"Anyone who's read Daughter of Deritus can call themselves a friend of mines," she nods in approval as well.

"How did I do overall? First impression-wise?" he asks curiously. He likes this person and hopes she does not think badly of him.

"Contrary to popular opinion, I do not think you to be a cruel and selfish ogre," she is happy to inform him. "Although you seem a little too trusting, I'd keep an eye on that." She winks.

"Sir Errol says that too, I'm not sure what he means by it, but thank you again!" He waves widely as he walks away.

She waves backs at him, entertained by the sort of person the future king turned out to be.

---       

---
 

"Iona of the Southwest can use portal seals?" Sir Errol asks Electra in a surprised tone       

"Iona of the Southwest can use portal seals?" Sir Errol asks Electra in a surprised tone. "Some of our own Lead Vicars are yet to accomplish the feat." A Lead Vicar being a step below a Head Vicar.

Sir Errol, Sir Francois and Electra stride down a hall of the Light Palace. They're in a corridor that Electra has often walked past, but never ventured into.

"I wouldn't think to attempt the spell, it's far too advanced," she notes. "But like I said, Iona is extremely talented."

Seal Telkpatia, or as it is most commonly referred to 'a portal seal', is a long distance traveling spell. Post the invention of the carriage, it is not as frequently used. This is due to the fact that portal seals can be dangerous and unstable if performed improperly. They are traditionally used for travel between kingdoms by Grandmaster Lightwielders. Iona is not a Grandmaster Lightwielder but in the event of urgency she insisted that she was capable of performing the spell.

"She comes from a family of untouchable talent," Sir Francois adds. He had never met Basma of the Southwest but he had heard stories. His job once consisted of coordinating all Grandmasters, and while the young Vicar had not been quite at that level yet, she was definitely heading towards that direction. She had held Sir Francois's attention anyway.

The three Lightwielders come to an opening. The room is a strange octagonal shape. It has dark red walls and a ceiling of gold. On the ceiling, a large seal is reflected off the floor. On the wall across the entrance of the room stands a large, round, gold mirror. It's diameter is roughly 8 feet.

"And for that reason I'm not missing this." A voice startles the trio as they walk into the room.

Lady Tricize of the Northeast stands off to the side, admiring one of the four marble pillars in the room. They are carved in the likeness of the Goddess Adeline. Her true beauty said to be unreal.

Electra hasn't seen Tricize since they first arrived in MontPec. Her life as the Head Trainer for new recruits kept her busy. She should have suspected that the woman would join them, she had a fondness for Basma.

Sir Errol isn't too surprised and casually nods at her presence, "Lady Tricize."

"Errol, Francois, and the famed heroine of Surt." She nods, clamping her hands behind her back and half bowing.

She is short for a Vicar, not quite Electra's stature, but close. She hails from Aire Claro, where they have tan skin, freckles and light colored kinky hair. Her eyes are viciously green, she had always reminded Electra of Tatiana from the famed Jolivet Family Traveling Lightshow Spectacular. A local celebrity with a similar appearance. She never asks her because Aire Claro doesn't have Vicars anymore, and Tricize is not particularly fond of talking about why that is.

"It is exactly 4 o' clock," Sir Francois announces looking at his watch.

Sir Errol steps forward and copies the seal that is reflected on the ceiling and flashes it onto the mirror in front of them. The intricate light blue lines sink into the pool of gold.

"This seal unlocks our Telk dock with the result being that the person on the other side can then seal in. That way not just anyone can flash their way in," he explains to Electra who had been curious but was too polite to ask. She recalls her first meeting with Sir Errol, and how he had flashed them into the Light Palace.

In that moment, a seal of a different color appears on the mirror. Electra recognizes it as the same color Basma's seals were. A pure white with a dark royal blue glow. It reminds Electra of moonlight. She glances at Tricize who is thinking the same thing.

Seconds later, in a flash of light, Iona of the Southwest walks through the mirror.

Iona is taller than Basma, but has her same tan complexion and light colored eyes with a peachy hue. Her face is thinner than her sister's had been, and she wears her brown hair in a short neat braid. She walks with a quiet, delicate grace, unlike her sister who had a powerful and demanding presence.

She walks down the steps silently, stopping before the four and bows.

"Welcome to the Light Palace Lady Iona, we appreciate you answering our call. We are spread out quite thin and any help that we can gather is a true blessing." Sir Errol graciously returns the bow. Electra, Lady Tricize and Sir Francois follow after him.

"I will help to the best of my ability," she responds, there is a polite tone in her voice but her eyes hold a blank expression. Sir Errol is reminded that she is blind, whereas Lady Tricize wasn't aware of the fact. She is now all the more eager to see the girl's skill.

"I hear that you use Light to see," Sir Francois observes, scientifically interested in the matter.

Sir Errol beckons the group to follow him out of the room in order to begin their quick tour of the palace. Likewise, he is curious and as a result does not interrupt.

"On occasion." Light flashes briefly in her eyes, she turns to look at Sir Francois. "I can, but I find it that I see better without sight. When you cannot see, your remaining senses are heightened."

"That is remarkable." Sir Francois is impressed, Iona's case is fascinating to him as a man of medicine.

"Would you say that it makes you a better Lightwielder?" Lady Tricize asks with a sparkle in her eyes.

"It helps me see the things that others would not notice immediately. It does give me an advantage in combat... but there is more to Lightwielding than wielding Light. Odd as that sounds." She blinks her eyes back to sightlessness. She will make a point of physically looking at least once in every room they enter but for most of the tour will remain without sight.

"That could not be any more true, I am pleased to hear you say that," Errol beams, glancing Electra who is delighted at his approval.

---       

---

Sick. Ain wants to be sick. If he purges perhaps he will feel less disgusting.

He knows it won't work for two reasons however: One, he has too strong of a stomach for it. Naturally, it comes with the line of work. The second reason is that there is nothing in his stomach to purge. The smells, the taste in his mouth, the exhaustion, it's overwhelming. His face hurts, but truth be told everything hurts.

He shifts his weight with his one good hand. He winces when he brushes against his broken hand. He had popped the bones back into place after their captors crushed it for their amusement, but it remains swollen and marbled with pink and purple.

"Ain." A voice cracks a couple feet away from him.

Princess Lilith had been better taken care of by the men holding them hostage. She was better fed, and allowed to go outside to use the bathroom instead of letting her soil herself. This makes Ain suspect that they know who she is, alternatively they simply treat her this way because she is a girl.

The bandits that had captured them, from what Ain could tell, do not speak Islet, the native language of the territories in alliance with the Island Kingdom of Opal Oceans. This includes D'Hiver Nero and Winter Wind. What is most interesting is that they speak Ilc, a language that is rumored to be dead. This is not good because that means that they are from the most rural parts of Gialo Caldo, a country already known for their blind and barbaric violence.

Ain only recognizes that they speak Ilc, because in Old Vikrit, some of their words are borrowed. He is unable to translate well.

"Ain..." Lilith croaks again. Her matted hair looks pasty brown with all the dirt and sweat.

At least it's not red. Ain thinks, looking at the crusted blood his arms and chest are coated in. Not all of it is his or he would be dead by now. Dead. He is dead anyway, he thinks morosely.

"Sir Raphio..." the princess wails and begins breathing heavily.

Ain hadn't noticed that the man was gone. He had been here when Ain drifted into sleep hours ago. His heart sinks. If Sir Raphio is so easily disposable, Ain is likely just as much. He is too weary to panic and instead drifts back into a slumber.

He dreams of Basma, but more importantly, he dreams of Eloise.

Preston am I dying?

No Eloise... I am. 

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A/N: 

I wanted to make this a good chunk since it's been two weeks, but because of that I had to adopt a style of drawing that is more simplified, I hope no one minds. I'll likely implement it more, in order to get more drawings out per chapter. 


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