The Vicar of Darkness

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

Chapter 31 (v.1) - Part 2 - XI.

Submitted: June 06, 2019

Reads: 39

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Submitted: June 06, 2019

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Ain crashes backwards through an unstable barn doorAin crashes backwards through an unstable barn door. He uses a dial to push himself off the floor and back onto his feet. All while preparing a Blocking disk in his other hand to catch the Dark Creature's next blow. Electra swings a broken pillar at the creature in order to steal his attention away from her partner.

It works. She continues to jump away from it strategically, occasionally hitting the creature with dials of Light. Meanwhile Ain spins a Sealing dial behind the monster, trying to keep up with Electra and the creature's jittery movements.

Electra prepares to kick a Propelling disk up, but the monster catches on and flips around to fling Ain across the barn. The blond hits the wall with enough force to shake the shabby barn and slides down. He hits his head hard on a farming instrument of some sort. He is unconscious.

Ain is having a hard time waking up. He forces himself to open his eyes but everything feels fuzzy. Where was he? This wasn't where he lost consciousness. It was familiar... how did he get here?

"We'll be back, we will be vigilant." He hears Basma say.

Ain has had this dream in the past many times, but not like this- there is something different about this time around.

"Hmm, well this side doesn't seem to go much deeper." No, don't say that. Ain had heard himself say those words hundreds of times. "What if we split up and call out to each other as we walk? We return when we can no longer hear the other person..."

"Alright, but the second we can't hear you we're coming for you." The way her mouth moved when she spoke had been etched into his memory.

"Stop, if you try to make it bigger it's going to collapse on itself! You two should fit through there just fine." Look behind her, look behind her. "Sweet baked dumplings and tea-" Why?

"Do you remember how many of us we need to seal this guy?"

The last image he has of Basma is one that pains him to recollect, but likewise, pains him to forget.

"Three- we need three of us! Ain!"

He can't tear his eyes away from Basma struggling to hold the Blocking seal.

Suddenly she stands in front of him. This part is different than in previous dreams. Unfamiliar. Electra is gone, the cave is gone, and the striking image of Basma stands under a violet-red sky.

"Ain." Her voice is her own, and a relief to hear. Her coral eyes are as intense as ever. "Something horrid comes your way and only the Vicar of Darkness can stop it."

"Basma-?" He stops, sensing that he is returning to consciousness. He tries to get his question out faster but nothing comes out of his mouth. He is awake.

---

"Eloise dear, I think he's awake."

Doctor Harrison stands over Preston. The young man recognizes that he is in the doctor's office. He is on the doctor's couch and the smell from his assortment of scented candles welcomes him back to the real world.

"Preston?" Eloise nears him cautiously. Relief flashes on her face at the sight of him.

"Don't get up too fast son," the doctor instructs.

Preston listens and sits up with caution. His head aches, but he is in a better place than he was before. What had that been anyway? Would he call it a nightmare? He is sweating cold.

"How are you feeling?" the doctor shines a light in his eyes.

"Sore. But awake."

"I told you that he didn't hit his head that hard." Doctor Harrison speaks to Eloise, although he is notably less tense than before she notices.

She hugs Preston and sits next to him on the couch. She is wearing her Vicar uniform but not her Masking seal. She must have brought him straight here.

"Here drink this, it'll make you less sore," the doctor instructs handing Preston a small cup with a thick syrup inside. Preston recognizes as a relaxing syrup mixed with a pain relief tea.

"Thank you." He drinks it then glances at the window. Midday, he must have been unconscious for more than a couple of hours.

"You two must be hungry, I'll go heat up some of the porridge Yulissa made earlier," the doctor refers to his wife. He trots out of the room.

Preston tests the temperature of the tea before drinking the whole thing. He sets the cup down on the coffee table in the center of the room and leans back. Sinking into the couch with a sigh.

"Did you dream of Basma?" His partner looks at him with clear concern. She is trusting that the doctor is out of hearing range. She doesn't know what of his life as Ain, Preston has shared with Doctor Harrison.

"Was I talking in my sleep?"

"Yes."

"Sorry." He looks at the floor remorsefully., "Yeah, I did."

She squeezes his shoulder in attempt to comfort him.

"It was the dream wasn't it?" she asks softly. She too is drained, but feeling more at ease now that her partner is awake. "I could tell, I've been having it again lately. I think it's because Iona left."

"Right." He says in a daze, then remembers all of it at once. "Has anything been different? In the dream- the recent times you've had it?" He studies her for a reaction, disappointed when there is none. Her eyebrows furrow and she shakes her head slowly.

"Nothing in particular, why?"

"No reason, simply curious."

---

 

"I was angry." Eloise announces herself from the doorway of the cabin's living room. "I wasn't scared you know?"

Preston looks up from the book he is reading on the couch. She had changed out of her Vicar uniform. It is later that same day- technically night, but since he had been asleep for half the day he isn't tired.

After Electra had explained what had happened to Sir Errol, the Head Vicar had given the two a night off. Rest sounded nice to Ain so he didn't protest.

"When you disappeared in Gratude," Eloise explains hugging her arms. "I knew you were alive but I didn't know where- I didn't know how to find you. For the first time, in the years of having my Light, I never felt so weak. What good did my strength do me, if I couldn't help you?"

She stands there like a portrait, framed by the door frame. Preston closes his book and stands up. She presses on.

"I couldn't sleep, but I had to sleep in order to have the strength to keep searching for you. I had to keep doing my job and I had to put on a face- for Cyan- for Errol. Do you think he would have let me out on the field if he knew how truly devastated I was?" Eloise watches her partner approach her cautiously. She can't read his facial expression because he's walking away from the fire place's incandescent glow.

Preston is familiar with the feeling. He too had experienced it when she was gone- during her time at the Institute. It hurt him to think about how they had treated her there. What hurt most is knowing that he could have helped her.

"It's not that I don't want to talk about what happened out there," he pauses, crossing his arms defensively over his chest. "I... don't want to talk about them with you."

Eloise's eyes widen, she presses her lips together and nods taking it in.

"Not now anyway," he elaborates. "I know how you think Eloise. What happened to me, what happened to Basma, is not your fault. And until you can accept that I can't talk about this with you."

"I'm sorry."

"That being said, I can't ignore the fact that there is a problem... and I will find help, I promise."

Eloise knows he is being sincere, and while she is disappointed that she can't help this person she cares so much about, she understands that is helping all in the same. Just because her role in this is not what she had expected it to be, doesn't mean her role is not a significant one. At the end of the day, where help comes from doesn't matter to her, as long as he gets help.

---

Iona kicks a rough looking man down and pins him down with a Light seal. The man cowers on the floor, he opens his mouth in protest but Iona cuts him off. 
"I don't want to hear it if it's not what you know we want to hear," she informs him sternly, her thin and tall shadow looming over him.

Behind her, at a short distance, stands Sir Admus and another bearded gentleman. The gentleman is older, huskier, with large strong arms. He is not in uniform, he wears a stealthy outfit similar to Iona's, undecorated and easier to move in.

They look like bandits, Sir Admus thought initially when Iona made the Vicar change out of his own uniform. Walking into this territory in a uniform- especially one of D'Hiver Nero, is suicide.

They are in a less than reputable tavern, in the southern rainforests of Hielo Blanco. As they get closer to the border of Amici Vero, the vegetation grows thick and colorful. The beauty distracts from the danger, from the wild animals and the poisonous plants to the Dark Creatures that prey on the wild animals, and the bandits that survive it all.

"You can always trust Iona to get things done," the man announces with pride, looking at Iona in the same fashion a father would a son. He has a thick Vikrit accent and speaks as if reciting poetry. A common thing with Old Vikrit speakers. "It's always a pleasure to work with her. I'm grateful that she is here with us now- I believe we have you to thank for that Sir Admus."

"I'm a dead man if I speak!" the man on the wood floor whimpers from across the room.

With one swift motion, Iona slides the Light disk, along with the man, across the floor pinning him to the nearest wall. Seal Tezina, the weight of a thousand suns as the legend says. Iona is sure the weight of a thousand suns would kill a man but she is not one for scientific accuracy.

"You're a dead man either way," she informs the bandit candidly.

"You're right, she is awfully good at this," Sir Admus observes to the bearded man. "Thanks for letting me tag along by the way George."

"Iona is one of the very few people I trust in this business. As you can imagine, this business is not one in which running into honest folks happens frequently. She gave me her word that you were a trustworthy man, a strong one at that too," George reassures him. "You're actually doing us a favor, she wouldn't have come if you weren't here. Not many are willing to oppose these dangerous men."

"I'm not kidding." Iona goes on, speaking to the man pinned to the wall. "As of now I plan to kill you whether you talk or not. I have little interest in what you have to say to be quite honest. Those men over there however..." She jabs her thumb over her shoulder at the men behind her. "They might have an interest in what you have to say, and they might be able to talk me out of offing you right now."

"What!?" the masked bandit squeals. "What kind of ultimatum is that!?"

"I don't think they care for your complaints." Iona looks at the men behind her with a smirk, "Right boys?"

"We don't," George answers cheekily.

"Okay! Okay!" the bandit yells in a panic. "But I'm telling you now, the woman who hired us was a lunatic! I don't know how accurate this information is, please don't kill me on that regard. I'm a freelancer, I only work with them sometimes if the money is nice. What I know I heard from my comrades at the eatery after they had dipped into the booze- "

"We don't have all day," Sir Admus interrupts scratching the scruff on his chin.

"Right right! The psychopath calling herself the 'Queen of Darkness' or the 'Soldier of Darkness'- something neurotic sounding- I don't remember exactly!" He squirms frantically under the weight of the Light disk. "She paid us a ridiculous amount of money to kidnap the girl and her posse for some insane sacrificial ritual- that most of us were convinced she made up- but like I said it was a lot of money-"

"Can I punch him?" Sir Admus is skeptical of the man's story.

"I'm not making this up I promise! The bandit protests, and hurriedly continues before he's killed for their doubts. "We didn't know she was the Princess of Winter Wind! We suspected she was royalty but not that important! Anyway before we make far, she changes her mind! The loon pays us more money to not kill the princess. Turns out the Princess of Winter Wind is not enough sacrificial 'mojo' for whatever she was going to do.. She claimed that she was gonna sacrifice the entire City of Dejai or something ridiculous like that. I reckon she didn't succeed, last I heard the City of Dejai was still there- point is, we left it at that. We were going to kill her anyway but the 'Dark Lady' said she wanted to send King Cerulean a message."

Iona narrows her eyes, unsure if the man's words are anything but drivel, she releases the seal. The bandit lands harshly on the floor with a loud thud. She turns to the two men working with her.

"Alright, he's all yours."

"Wait a minute- you're going to let me go right?" The bandit laughs nervously, sprawled on the floor.

"I said I probably wouldn't kill you, as in me, myself. I can't speak for them, they might still want to kill you." Iona walks away, her thoughts on the City of Dejai and King Cerulean.

"Well?" George looks at Sir Admus. "He is technically one of many who hurt your friend."

Admus looks at the bandit shaking and cowering in the corner.

"This man is a coward. He's not worth my time." He turns away and leads the way out of the tavern. "Let's go find this 'Soldier of Darkness'."

"       


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