The Vicar of Darkness

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

Chapter 3 (v.1) - III.

Submitted: April 08, 2019

Reads: 44

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Submitted: April 08, 2019

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"You know, if you weren't constantly using your Light, you wouldn't tire as quickly." For as long as Ain had known Electra, he had questioned her prolonged use of Light. He thought he respected her enough not to question it, but curiosity has always been a weakness of his.

The pair turns sharply, running out of a building and into the quiet night. They run after a Creature of the Night, weaving through the alleyways of the provincial town of Norr. Norr is the town the partners are assigned to oversee every other night. The quiet town of Surt being the other one.

The partners are Vicars of the 4th Rank. The work they do is grunt work, but they enjoy it, and they are admired greatly for it in both Norr and Surt. Local heroes, some would say. They certainly have a good reputation, Electra mainly for a phenomenal rescue she pulled in Cedar Hills a little over a year ago. She exhibited skills unheard of for a Vicar of her rank.

"You say that-" Electra kicks herself onto a prepared Light dial she spun with her hand. Standing on the spinning Sailing dial, she glides around and ahead of the monster. "But look who's struggling to keep up," she teases.

"Hey- I'm not denying that you are stronger than me-" Ain does his best to follow suit, but stumbles on a half-hearted dial. Thanks to his quick reflexes he manages to land on his feet, but instead of trying again, he decides to prepare a Sealing dial in between himself and the Dark Creature. "I'm telling you that you could be stronger if you reserved your energy."

His partner slingshots the creature into his seal using her Propelling seal. It closes and the monster is gone.

"Another successful venture for the famed Electra," Ain hums exhilarated, stretching his arms towards the night sky.

He enjoys poking at her new found fame, but knows that in reality he does it to hide his own insecurity. The people of D'Hiver Nero were not the only ones surprised that mid-Autumn night in Cedar Hills. Ain hadn't known what Electra was truly capable of until that evening. He was both impressed and frightened by the display. It is undeniable that she outranks Ain as a Lightwielder, what if she is assigned a different partner?

Is Ain the reason Electra wasn't promoted in rank after Cedar Hill?

The two walk out from the alley and back onto the amber lit street. A nearby bakery brings the heavenly smell of warm bread to their noses. The sun would rise soon and they would have to make their separate ways.

"If I weren't constantly using my Light, I wouldn't be able to stand by your side- let alone fight at your side," Electra explains in a manner that Ain recognizes is a level of trust she only awards to a selective few.

And while her words bring him more questions than answers, something about the statement tells Ain that it is the most he will get out of her tonight.

---

 

"You're early       

"You're early." Ain hears his partner's voice before he spots her on the roof of the building adjacent to him.

"You're earlier." Her partner notes walking across the roof to where she stands. The silver trim on his blue Vicar uniform reflecting the yellow lights from the sparkling city below them.

"Have you met him before? The Vicar of the East, Head Vicar of the Royal Guard. He doesn't oversee us directly does he?" she inquires, hopping down from the cement ledge she stands on.

Ain shifts his gaze towards the lights glimmering on the horizon, the stunning vision that is the city of Osten. 'Under the Moonlight' is the capital's motto, and Ain now understands why. "This city is a lot larger than our assigned towns." He is awed, but continues to answer her questions, "And no, I have not. We report to Tricize, and Tricize reports to him."

"Sir Errol of the East." Electra repeats to herself and wonders what kind of person the beloved national hero is.

"Errol? I thought it was Earl."Her partner looks at her with a furrowed brow.

"Errol, like Carol," a deeper voice corrects from behind them.

The two turn to see a third person join them on the roof. His features are lost in the shadows until he takes a step closer. Ain hadn't sensed his presence and questions if Electra had.

"Sir Errol," Electra bows, the customary greeting between Vicars.

Ain and Electra have spent enough time in their own little corner of the world, formalities such as proper greetings and titles between them have been long forgotten. Electra has developed the habit of sharing an apple cinnamon puff with him before the beginning of every other night. In return, Ain occasionally brings a mint candy to share with her whenever he remembers to do so.

The Head Vicar returns the bow in one graceful swoop. He is older, but not old. There is silver weaved into his thick jet-black hair, that he wears tied back. An older fashion in D'Hiver Nero. His stance is strong, refined, and well-grounded. The man could wrestle an ox at any given moment.

"Electra of the South and Ain of the North, I have only heard good things from Lady Tricize." He walks past them beckoning for them to follow. "Thank you for coming, I won't take up too much of your time. I have a request of you, but before I can ask anything of you I must give you some backstory."

He leads them to the edge of the rooftop and hops down to the darkened alleyway beneath. The two fair-haired Vicars glance at each other before following him into the shadows. The ambient noise of the city behind them is new. They are accustomed to the stuffy silence of Norr, or the whistling wind of Surt.

"Please understand that this is a very sensitive matter." Sir Errol leads the younger Vicars further into the darkness. "Therefore we must maintain a level of secrecy."

Ain and Electra exchange a look of suppressed enthusiasm. They have accepted many other trivial assignments from MontPec, the Light Vicar training center they report to, but this is a great deal more exciting. This assignment comes from the capital of their country. Straight from the man who commands the Royal Guard, and straight from the right hand of the Crown. Perhaps this will be the adventure Electra has been waiting for.

They reach the end of the alley, Sir Errol spins his own pale blue Light onto the wall before them. The disk opens up into a tunnel. The Seal being an ancient spell, neither of the Lightwielders recognize any of the characters, Old Vikrit, it must be as old as the kingdom itself. Ain and Electra follow Sir Errol into the tunnel.

"As you know this city, Osten, is considered to be the capital of our kingdom, D'Hiver Nero. This is the location of the Light Palace, the home of the heir to the throne, Prince Cyan of the Opal Oceans." Sir Errol's voice doesn't echo in the tunnel, for some reason Electra expected it to. There is an orange glow at the end of the tunnel, it glows brighter with each of their strides. As they reach the end, they smell the ocean. The castle sits atop a seaside cliff, watching the islands of its sister kingdom, the Islands of Opal Oceans.

"You might already be aware of this, but for a long time having the Light Palace in such an influential city such as this one, has created an unsettling tension across the other seven cities of our nation. As a result, we are in the process of relocating the Light Palace to the center of our kingdom where all eight cities touch. You two are familiar with MontPec yes? I believe you trained there with Lady Tricize." Errol waves at the guard waiting at the tunnel's end. The guard steps aside, allowing the trio into the lowest level of the Light Palace.

The visiting Vicars are rendered breathless upon setting their eyes on the interior of the illustrious Light Palace. The prince is moving away? From this? What on earth would compel him to? 

The ivory marble floor reflects the the tall white walls trimmed with silver wall moulding, together they create a faux natural light, be it day or night. It is what gives the castle its famous name. They say that it is visible from the Islands at nighttime.

Sir Errol had continued talking. Ain and Electra give each other a guilty look, neither had been listening, distracted by the interior of the castle. The Head Vicar doesn't notice.

"...this of course is a very touchy matter for some of our citizens, and we wish to make sure the young Prince Cyan is kept out of harm's way during the transition."

They move ahead, up one set of marble stairs, arriving at an open floor with even taller walls and sculpted ceilings. Electra imagines that in the daytime, the vast windows lining the sides of the room fill the room with light and the pearly ocean becomes a backdrop to the room's decor. The heavy curtains that hang from the windows sport the colors of the royal court of D'Hiver Nero, a solid navy blue with accents of teal, aquamarine, white and silver. Errol stops in front of a second set of stairs and turns back to Electra and Ain.

"I wish to request your assistance through this relocation. You two would take alternating half-night shifts at the side of Prince Cyan. As Head of the Royal Guard, I can't always be at his side. You would be doing myself and King Cerulean a great favor.

"You would have two guards with you at all times.  The members of the Guard are all very capable, but with most of our Lightwielders out on the streets protecting civilians, we don't have many here in the Royal Guard. An oversight that our move to MontPec will also improve drastically.

"I understand you two have built a strong reputation and relationship at your assigned locations. If that is a concern, rest assured that your towns will be in good hands. I promise that the two Vicars I have in mind are very competent." He concludes his proposition and stares at the pair with waiting eyes.

Electra's facial expression exhibits her processing of the information, she glances at Ain, "Well what do you think?" Her eyes are hungry for adventure. One side of her mouth curves, hinting at the mischievous soul underneath her composure.

This is a look of Electra's that Ain often attempts to commit to memory. The Masking spell prevents him from doing so. It works by creating confusion, a blurriness, a dreamlike feeling. Whenever he tries to recall anything about Electra (or any Vicar) in the morning, he can't remember specifics, yet the memories come rushing back the following evening at the next sight of her.

Ain's face beams, he as eager to get out of their humdrum town as his partner. He nods, "Let's do it."

Errol's posture relaxes at their acceptance.

"Goddess Adeline bless you two, thank you, this will be a great help." He waves them up the stairs."Come! I must introduce you- I will never hear the end of it if he learns that you were here tonight and I didn't introduce you. He's a proper young man, very approachable."

Electra and Ain question if the man speaks of the crown prince, they hadn't expected the possibility.

They resume down a hall and turn right at the end of it. At the end of the next hall, there is a set of large, ornate doors, at their sides stand two statues of the Light Goddess Adeline. Ain recognizes some of the decorations and furniture as being in the fashion of the Opal Oceans. The birthplace of Prince Cyan and the previous King of D'Hiver Nero, King Carmine. Prince Cyan hasn't been crowned in D'Hiver Nero as of yet, but he had spent the majority of his childhood in the country.

Electra beams when she steps into the colossal chamber that is the palace's library. Any library small or large could win her over. Near a warm fire, Prince Cyan stands, turning in their direction at the sound of the door. His silver eyes widen and he smiles, promptly walking over to greet them.

Electra had spotted Prince Cyan, briefly and from a distance, during the events in Cedar Hills. This is her first time interacting with the heir, and this is Ain's first time seeing him at all.

He is thin and tall. The young man has inherited his father's rosy brown hair, but not his family's famous blue eyes. Nothing about the way he is dressed gives them the impression that he is the prince. He is well-dressed, like any noble, but for some reason Ain had expected him to be decorated with chains of gold and cloak of silver. He thinks that his previous misconception is childish now.

Historically, not all members of the Royal family have been lucky enough to inherit good looks. What they lack in physical attributes, they make up for in wealth and titles. This is not the case for Prince Cyan. He is far better looking than average, and Ain can't help hating him a little for it.

"Lady Electra and Sir Ain, I cannot thank you enough for coming! I hope this means you've accepted our offer?" The crown prince holds his hand out and the partners can't remember if they're supposed to shake it or kiss it. The prince answers their silent prayers when he takes initiative and shakes their hands. "You two are astounding, you must know it. I am embarrassed to not have invited you to our palace sooner. There are no words to describe how extraordinary your service to our kingdom has been. I am a great admirer, excuse me I'm rambling- Errol stop me. What I mean is welcome!" He grins nervously at Electra and then awkwardly at Ain.

"Don't mind the prince here. He's had a huge crush on Electra since last autumn when you stopped the ambush at Cedar Hills." Sir Errol winks and it's clear that he's teasing, but Prince Cyan turns bright red.

"He's joking!" Cyan laughs anxiously. "But thank you, erm, for stopping the ambush that is- And for coming today- the both of you, sorry I said that already didn't I?"

Electra smiles politely and kneels, "We are honored to serve Your Highness."

"Yes, thank you for your consideration," Ain adds joining her.

"Oh? So you will be joining us? That is the best thing I have heard today, thank you once again." The prince babbles, he looks as if he's slapping himself mentally for thanking them for the fourth time in the last minute.

Errol puts Prince Cyan out of his misery, "Yes. You will all have time to bond later, please allow me to give you a quick tour." He nods towards the doors, "If you will excuse us Your Honor."

"Of course. Please, go on! I have things to tend to myself. Thanks again for coming!" Cyan quickly presses his lips together when he catches himself thanking them again.

The three bow before exiting the library and the prince sighs before turning back to his book.

 

The three bow before exiting the library and the prince sighs before turning back to his book       

---

Electra and Ain finish the rest of their tour successfully. The Light Palace only became more and more surreal as they went along. They are invited to share a meal with Sir Errol and his men, an invitation which they politely decline. They head westward gliding on spinning Light dials over a long stretch of field. Now that the city and its obstacles are behind them, Electra is teaching Ain to hold his balance longer on the Sailing dial. It will cut their travel time in half if he can keep the spell going after releasing the disk from his hand.

A Sailing dial, in the original Vikrit is referred to as Seal Mercrurun, is a hovering dial- limited to 2-5 feet over hard surfaces, that advanced Vicars use to travel long distances. The same technology is used to power their carriages and trains, although technology of that nature is only seen in bigger cities comparable to that of Osten's size. Electra finds that the seal is handy in making quick getaways, or to get the upper hand on an unsuspecting enemy.

"What did you think of the prince?" Ain asks playfully, wobbling on his disk. "Seemed a bit dorky no?"

"I don't know if that's the word I would use. He seemed nervous but not scared- rather excited."

"He definitely had an eye for you-" He laughs and trips over himself, but he catches himself on a second, pre-prepared, dial. "He was a mess."

"I'm not convinced that's true." Electra remains unamused, "And if it is- he only admires me for the things that aren't truly mine, my strength and my reputation. In the real world I have neither of those things or any real aspirations."

Ain's curiosity is sparked once more, he bites his lip to keep himself from inquiring further. It doesn't work. "You said something along those lines once before. What do you mean by that?"

She realizes her words have gotten too personal. She trusts her friend with her life, but there are rules to be followed, certain professional courtesies. "Oh- you know we are not allowed to speak of that Ain."

 

 

---       

---

"I still think you two would make a cute couple." Ain smirks mischievously some nights later.

He and Electra walk through the stables of the Royal Guard, they are nicer than they had imagined. They are not surprised however, from their short time in Osten, Ain and Electra have learned that the Royal Guard is treated well.

They have been 'on duty' for a couple of nights now. They haven't started shadowing the prince yet as they have been learning the ropes from a member of the Guard named Xena. There have encountered Prince Cyan since they saw him last, and though he has not been as awkward as their first meeting, Ain entertains himself by making the prince uncomfortable. His partner doesn't find it entertaining however.

"Ain, shush." Electra flicks his shoulder. Xena had left them briefly but she would return any second now.

"Seriously! You ought to ditch that other dense fellow. Here is someone who could give you everything," Ain continues to tease.

"You don't think I'm pampered enough?" Electra looks at him with clear dubiety.

"Oh right- I forget you come from money." He shrugs, "That's why I like you Electra. You come from money but you don't act it. You could easily skip out from this kind of work, but here you are risking your life on the streets for the rich and the poor. I admire it."

His partner frowns, "I see it differently. In reality, I am very selfish by putting myself out here."

"How so?"

"To me, my other life is dreary. This life is how I splurge myself. I'm putting myself in danger to spite the people that love and care for me. If I were a good person, I would stay home and be satisfied with the opportunities and fortunes I have been blessed with."

"Yes, but you treat everyone as your equal and you don't look down anyone. Even if you are doing it out of spite, at least you spite equally." He grins and Electra can't argue with his statement.

"I suppose I wouldn't want anyone to look down on me because of something I could not control." She sighs, talking to Ain is always the equivalent of an intense therapy session.

"Are you talking about social status? Or money?" Ain ponders out loud.

"Well beyond that, but that too." Electra thinks that she is once again dangering too close her personal life and changes the topic. Right in time for Xena to rejoin them.


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