The Vicar of Darkness

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

Chapter 28 (v.1) - Part 2 - VIII.

Submitted: May 18, 2019

Reads: 24

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Submitted: May 18, 2019

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Iona is escorting Princess Lilith and Prince Cyan to see King Cerulean in the city of Navert, a large trading town in Winter Wind. She’s never been north of Hielo Blanco’s border and doesn’t know how she feels about all the snow. She stands at a large ornate window staring at the white blanket coating the buildings below.

Sir Errol traveled with them as well. At the moment the three men are in a meeting in a separate room about overall kingdom safety. As a result, Iona is alone with the crown princess of Winter Wind. Although, she might not be- Iona can’t recall if Prince Vermilion is older or younger.

He had traveled with the group for part of their journey. He kept thanking Iona again and again for finding his sister. She didn’t know how to get him to stop, so she asked Sir Errol to trade posts with her for the remainder of their trip.

“You are a friend of Lady Electra?” the princess asks taking her away from her thoughts.

“Yes,” Iona answers out of politeness, not because she has any interest in talking. She greatly prefers the silence.

“How long have you known her?”

“For a couple of years now.”

“Hm, I see.” Lilith studies the tall Lightwielder, “Say, how tall are you?”

“I don’t know.” The non-Vicar shrugs and turns away from the window. “Taller than most people I suppose.”

“You’re about as tall as my cousin, except he’s a bit awkward about it.” The princess walks in a slow circle around the room, running her hand along the wall mindlessly. “You have a natural grace about you.”

“Right.” Iona doesn’t know what to add to the conversation. She chooses not to say anything, although she senses that the princess is in the mood for conversation.

“You’re blind right?” Of course Princess Lilith would ask so bluntly. “But you can kind of see? Can you see yourself? Your own attractiveness for example?”

Light flashes in Iona’s eyes and she looks at the Princess of Winter Wind as if she were a lunatic.

“I can see when I want to,” she answers, her brow still furrowed. “Most of the time I prefer to sense where things are using my Light, it is more reliable.”

Lilith nods understanding- or at least Iona hopes that’s the case.

“But can you sense your own attractiveness?”

Iona is unable to determine if that is a real question. In any case, she is glad that Princess Lilith is planning to stay behind in Navert. She can’t imagine sitting through another carriage ride with the girl. They played Adeline’s Light Children, five times on their way here, and Iona is positive the princess made up a third of the rules.

“No. I cannot sense my own attractiveness.”

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“Lady Iona, what a pleasure it has been to work with you.” Sir Errol walks up to Iona, his boots clicking softly on the blue marble tile. She had been summoned by the Head Vicar, but was told to wait in the hall upon her arrival, due to his meeting running over a couple of minutes. “Sorry to keep you waiting. I’ll cut right the chase; I want to formally thank you for your service. I do wish I had more Vicars of you and Electra’s caliber. Sir Ain too is quite talented, but I fear thst putting him out on the field so soon after the incident will only do him more harm.” Errol is a military man after all, he has seen the real darkness that is out there. It’s enough to change even the strongest person.

Iona nods, well acquainted with the stress that follows traumatic events such as the one Ain experienced. She saw it often in Tyon. “I understand your concerns Sir Errol, I am happy to stay until my services are not longer required.”

Prince Cyan is approaching the two when he starts to overhear their conversation. He pretends to admire a painting at a distance.

“I wouldn’t keep you too long for two reasons,” Sir Errol admits to Iona. “While it is true that you are immensely talented and that we could undeniably use your skills, I do feel they are needed greater elsewhere. The second reason doesn’t bother me in particular, but not everyone in the Royal Guard is as open minded. I’ve actually looked into your background and I’ve learned that in the past you’ve caused trouble in some distant towns. The way you orchestrate is not in methods I approve of- I must say that your overall work I find very interesting. I respect what you do.”

Iona presses her lips together and bows her head, “Thank you sir.” She is aware that she doesn’t need to justify her work to anybody, but Sir Errol she respects highly. She’s happy to hear his acknowledgement.

“Which reminds me, Sir Raphio’s partner, you might want to talk to him after you’re done here with us. I know he is interested in tracking down the bandits that killed his partner.” He gazes out the large window before them. The blue toned snow on the distant hills of Winter Wind is too bright, it hurts his eyes. “Officially, on the record- I cannot say I condone his behavior. Off the record- I think you could help him get some closure.”

Iona nods, conscious of what he is referring to. “I have the resources to help him find them, but I recognize their work- it’s not a group you want him messing around with.” She senses Prince Cyan in the distance and then lowers her voice, “I do know a group of gentlemen already interested in tracking the group down- they could possibly help him.”

“I trust your judgement.” Sir Errol lowers his voice as he too notices the heir in the distance, “However, should anybody inquire, I know nothing of this.”

“Of course sir.”

The older Vicar clears his throat, “Prince Cyan! Are we ready to head back?

Prince Cyan jumps, unaware that he had been noticed, slightly embarrassed that he was caught eavesdropping. He apologizes, “O-oh! Yes! Sorry! I didn’t want to interrupt you two.”

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“I’ll keep watch tonight,” Sir Errol leans over and tells Iona.“I don’t like the look of this place.” They follow Prince Cyan into a humble-looking inn.

A series of incidents on their voyage home, had landed them in the questionable inn. The town they are in isn’t considered a real town, more of an outpost if anything. First, the road they were to take was closed due to an accident involving a Creature of Darkness and an avalanche. Their detour was a dangerous one, but nothing terrible had manifested yet. Their carriage however, was not built for the terrain. As a result, they are now stranded in an unfamiliar place while they have it repaired.

“I can keep watch sir, if you want to assist in the repair,” Iona offers. “It would be quicker.”

Carriages in D’Hiver Nero use a system of Light to operate, the town didn’t exactly have a grand number of Lightwielders on hand. The one they did have hadn’t been formally trained either, but he appears to know his way around the carriage. Iona suspects it isn’t the first time a car has broken down in the area.

“I would rather you get some rest- I want at least one of us to be alert in the morning.” It is a wonder how Errol often functions with very little sleep. He is an accomplished Lightwielder Iona recalls, his skills are often considered untouchable.

Iona bows, “Yes sir.”

The elder Vicar returns his attention to the attendant behind the front desk, “I wish to send a message to Montpec please.”


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“You’re a bounty hunter.” Prince Cyan sits down next to Iona at the inn’s diner. “I don’t know how I didn’t make the connection before.”

“Why aren’t you in your room?” Iona raises an eyebrow, her hands are wrapped around a coffee cup. “Where is Sir Errol?”

“He was called down to the garage.” The heir reaches for the napkin dispenser on the wooden table, unconsciously fiddling with it. “Apparently our carriage has been repaired. It looks like we will be able leave tomorrow morning.”

“Can I get you something sir?” A waitress looks restlessly at the prince, but he is unaware of it. He is very accustomed to it, Iona notices.

“No thank you.” He waves politely, then he turns back to Iona. “So it’s true?”

“What is true?”

“That you’re a bounty hunter.”

She tucks her curly brown hair behind her ear, “That is not of your concern Your Highness.”

“Well no, but I am curious.” The prince shrugs playfully, his demeanor far less severe than when he confronted her about the Seal of Erebus.

“I’m curious to know why you’re not asleep- you realize it is essentially midnight?” She takes a sip of her coffee. Everything Iona does is calm and with purpose.

“You’re not asleep either and if I recall correctly Sir Errol told you to rest up.” He uses the same accusatory tone she had used on him.

“Right.” She puts some money on the table and stands, “Good night Cyan.”

He watches her exit the diner. She does not go to her room, but outside. He knows it is to spite him, but he is amused by it.

He waits a couple of seconds before following behind her. He cracks the door to the diner open and sees her standing across the dirt road chatting with Sir Errol. They look to be discussing something in good humor, when Iona nods her head in the direction of the diner’s door giving the prince away. Sir Errol shakes head in disapproval but smiles. He begins to walk over, but before he can reach Prince Cyan, a shriek is heard from further down the road. Shortly after, there are some loud crashing sounds.

Sir Errol looks back, Iona shouts something and points into the distance. She runs towards the sounds and the Head Vicar runs over to the heir.

“What’s going on?” Cyan asks, instantly sensing trouble.

Sir Errol ignores him and instead looks for the waitress. “Mam, do you have a basement in this establishment?”

“Yes sir!” She waves for the prince to follow her. She looks frightened but also seems to be familiar with the evacuation procedure. It wouldn’t be surprising if attacks from wild Dark Creatures were common in the area.

“Get all the guests down there as quickly as possible,” the older Vicar instructs. “Your Highness, please head down to the basement. We will join you there shortly.”

The prince is rushed away before he can ask any more questions.

 

Moments later Sir Errol and Iona come rushing down the stairs, joining them the basement. Among the staff and the visitors of the inn, is Prince Cyan talking to some of the younger kids, looking to ease their anxiety.

“We need more Vicars to seal the creature. It's a Hound,” Sir Errol explains to the staff.

A Hound is a large wolf-like Dark Creature about the size of a small house. They usually appear far from civilization and prey on other Creatures of Darkness. That being said, they do have a fondness for human blood.

“We can’t stay here, we have to keep moving,” he discloses to everyone in the basement. “They have a nose for blood. We did very little damage to the creature, it will not take long to recover.”

“There’s a wine cellar in the kitchen that connects to an older building across town,”
one of the cooks shouts, springing into action.

“Can we get people there without having to go outside?” Iona asks her.

“Yes the kitchen is not far!” She runs up the stairs leading the way, pointing with a wooden ladle that she holds defensively.

“Alright we have to hurry! We don’t have a lot of time.” Sir Errol begins to wave people out of the basement. He stays in the back to confirm that no one is left behind.

Everyone scrambles out of the room and upstairs. They run into more panicked guests on their way to the kitchen.

Sir Errol orders everyone to keep going ahead of him. A crash and a scream is heard from the lobby of the inn and the Hound comes roaring through the hall. Panic ensues, guests are running and yelling as if the atmosphere isn’t already chaotic enough. Sir Errol runs at the creature, throwing Light disks at it with one hand, while holding up a Blocking disk with another. The Light disks slow the creature down but the large creature recovers faster than they can cast dials.

“Get everyone out of here!” Iona yells at Prince Cyan from across the hall before running after Errol.

He starts to shuffle people out of the hallway but he keeps a watchful eye on the two Vicars.

Iona throws blank Light dials at the creature as she jogs up to Errol, “This isn’t going to do it any lasting damage.”

“It isn’t- can you do a conjoined Sealing disk?” He prepares half the seal in the hand he’s not using for his Blocking disk.

“How are we going to lead it in there?” Iona shouts, preparing her half regardless.

“I haven’t quite thought about that part yet- let it lunge at it!”

“We can’t let it go in the direction of the others! It’s too dangerous!”

In that moment the creature breaks the Head Vicar’s Blocking spell and lunges at him, trapping him beneath the monster.

“Iona!” Prince Cyan calls out in half-composed panic.

“Cyan get out of here!” she yells back at him, why is he still here? She hurls a Slicing dial at the Hound, distracting it from ripping Errol’s head off.

“Forget what I said about the Seal!” Iona knows the prince is referring to the Seal of Erebus.

Iona doesn’t argue and promptly forms the forbidden seal. The seal grows larger and with it she takes the monster into her control. Slowly, it climbs off Sir Errol and turns to walk towards Iona.

Prince Cyan watches the creature struggle against the spell, it’s unexpectedly fascinating. The amount of power radiating from the creature is staggering. He can see Iona struggling to keep the creature focused on her. As the monster is dragged across the room it tries to twist away. It hastily forms a ball of Dark Matter above its head. Iona instinctively forms a Blocking disk in her free hand to block the Dark Matter, but the concentration needed for the Seal of Erebus throws her off completely. The Blocking disk dissipates upon impact, partially fusing with the Dark Matter itself, traveling up her right arm and into a part of her shoulder.

She jerks back, wincing. She shakes it off and returns all of her focus to luring the creature into her dark seal. Unable to resist further and weakened by its last attack, the monster advances. When the creature touches the seal, the non-Vicar swiftly converts the spell into an advanced Sealing disk. It swallows the creature whole. Iona falls to her knees with the release of the pressure, but jumps up and runs over to Sir Errol promptly.

“Sir Errol!” She is relieved to see that he is breathing, although he remains unconscious.

Prince Cyan rushes over, joining her at his faithful friend’s side.

“Let’s get him to a bed.” She wraps her good arm around him to pick him up.

Together, they carry him to the closest open room and lay him on a bed. Iona creates a small Healing dial with her right hand and hovers over the older Vicar’s ear. Prince Cyan stops her from continuing by pulling her hand back.

“Don’t,” he protests looking at her arm. The Dark Matter had burned her sleeve off, exposing her lightly burned skin.

“I’ll be fine,” she shrugs and resumes. Sir Errol’s eyes open, he is disoriented. 

“Goodness!” He blinks a couple of times, “My head is pounding.”

“You scared us!” Prince Cyan cries in relief.

Iona also relaxes, “C’mon, let’s get out of here.”

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