The Vicar of Darkness

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

Chapter 25 (v.1) - Part 2 - V.

Submitted: May 09, 2019

Reads: 30

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Submitted: May 09, 2019

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"Hey."

Iona senses Prince Cyan walking up to her from her left. "Prince Cyan." She turns and bows her head in his direction.

They stand at the edge of the grand staircase, looking down onto the vacant grand entrance. The diluted morning sunlight passes through the foyer's glass ceiling. It is neither a cool or warm light, it's what the designers called 'Light of the Heavens'. Cyan thinks the name is a little ostentatious, but he does enjoy the sight.

He ignores the fact that Iona once again called him by his proper title and places his hands over the railing. "I've gotten word that they're recovering well- rather I hear my cousin is talking anyway."

"It is a relief," the non-Vicar agrees. The night had been a long one, a test of patience, Electra didn't leave Preston's side in hopes that he would wake up. He eventually stabilized, but he hadn't woken up.

Princess Lilith had woken up twice during the night, in frightful fits that made everyone uneasy. On the third time she woke up, she ate happily, and chatted with the healers as if it were any other day. We all cope differently, Iona thinks.

"What of the investigation?" the heir continues resolutely.

"It is a mess, but it is no longer looking premeditated, rather a crime of opportunity."

"Oh." He drops his gaze to his hands on the railing.

He, of course, knows all of this. He does not know why he is asking Iona. Iona does not understand why he is asking her this either.

"Are you going to return home soon?" He looks up in anticipation of studying her facial expression. Her brown hair neatly framing her heart-shaped face. Cyan wonders if she styles it that way intentionally.

Light flashes in her eyes and she turns to look at him. He hadn't expect it and looks away in reflex, faking interest in the handrail of the stairs.

"I would not say that I call a specific place my home, but I suppose I will be leaving as soon as Ain recovers yes." She finishes her reply and her eyes flash back into sightlessness.

He nods, more for himself than for her obviously. "Have you enjoyed your time here as an interim-Vicar?"

"It has been interesting." She can anticipate the oncoming question.

"Have you no interest in being a true Vicar one day?"

She sighs heavily and Cyan becomes concerned, unknowing if he has said something wrong.

"That is the path my sister took and although I am proud of her, and respect her greatly for it... It is not one I am interested in following." She pauses to think about her answer before continuing. She admires the prince, and sincerely does not wish to offend him. Not that he's easy to offend anyhow. "Rose set a bar in your world. I know that I am stronger than her and I do not feel right taking that away from her. Continuing in her legacy is what the world expects me to do, but I don't think that's necessarily what she would have wanted for me. Me living in her shadow, or her legend dying in mine, people will compare us, which I find superfluous."

"To compare the two of you is ridiculous. You two are vastly different."

"But people will continue do it, you know that. I'd rather not get involved."

"I understand." After all Prince Cyan had been one of those people. "And I want to give you my thanks for everything you have done for Eloise."

"Of course, I would do anything for the Lady Electra."

"You are a true friend to her." He smiles at her, although she does not seem to take notice.

"I try." She turns around and begins to walk away. She stops and turns back, her empty gaze still on the floor. "Electra blames herself for what happened to Rose. Everyone can tell her that it was an accident and that it was no one's fault- She herself will tell you those words, but I know she doesn't believe it. I know there is nothing I can do persuade her differently. I can, however, keep an eye on her. I know that is what my sister would have wanted."

"Rose..." Prince Cyan repeats unconsciously. He assumes Rose was Basma's real name.

"Sorry," Iona apologizes when she realizes, "she was Basma to you right? You were her friend I heard."

The prince flushes, not out of shame, but rather he's become aware that they are now treading on sensitive matters.

"Yes, I suppose so- I considered her a friend anyway. She got along with most people."

"She did," Iona agrees bluntly. "I trust that she considered you her friend nevertheless."

"But she was your sister, she was closest to you."

"And? That doesn't mean you miss her any less than I do, it's not a contest," she says with a hint of frustration in her voice. "Besides, Rose had two lives. She had her life as Basma and her life as Anna Rose. You knew a side of her that I will never know."

"That is true..." he trails off. "This, I think has been the longest conversation I've had with you."

He misses Eloise, but he is going to miss Iona's strange silent looming when she's gone. While he feels like a hypocrite for thinking so, there is a strange comfort in it.

"Hm, you're right. Most of the time I sense an overabundance of fear from you." Iona is so straightforward. A good thing because she is honest, but Prince Cyan thinks she could be a little less... severe.

"That's because I think you're absolutely terrifying to be quite frank," he admits without hesitation.

"You are not wrong to be terrified." She grins and Prince Cyan observes the relation to Basma. "I am leagues beyond your strongest men. I have no loyalties to any nation. There's nothing technically stopping me from tossing you off this ledge if I willed it. Don't worry, I won't. I don't believe it would fare well with the Lady Electra."

The prince squints uneasily, "See, I can't tell if you're being clever, or if you truly mean it."

"Another reason to be scared," she adds cheekily, Cyan is now positive that she's joking. She then proceeds to excuse herself, "In all seriousness Your Highness, I must relief Sir Errol from his post for the evening. If you would excuse me."

She bows and Prince Cyan watches her leave. He does not doubt her previous statement. She is a dangerous person, but perhaps because the heir knows that there is a humane part of her that holds a love of Basma, he feels safe. He feels that because of this too, she is a good person. 

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