090 Chapel Days · Scene 8
here! All done! Go ahead and walk around and tell me how that feels.”
Apprehensive was a fine word to describe how Maye felt, but it was not due to the quality of Chain’s work. On the contrary, even just standing still the difference was night and day to Maye with her newly re-shoed hoofs. It was for that reason that she was apprehensive however. She hated the idea of a heretic, one who communed with spirits instead of the Sister Goddesses and Father Icarus of the Cardinal Church, having done the best shoeing of her hooves in her life. That Chain was only a maid of fifteen springs made it only that much worse. That she was staring with anticipation with her massive eyes furthered the uncomfortableness that Maye was feeling.
“I didn’t mess anything up, did I? It’s been a couple of seasons since I’ve done this kind of work so if you’re hurting anywhere let me know.”
“On the contrary heretic. Your workmanship is frankly… well, it’s been a long time since I’ve last stood so evenly, if ever.”
Hearing Maye’s attempts to not praise her made Chain’s face light up with gleeful pride. A huge smile taking over her face, Chain even bragged a little as Maye finally conceded to testing Chain’s work with a few gingerly steps.
“I may prefer to go on adventures, but… but……”
Trailing off, Chain’s smile was replaced with an irritable pout as her thoughts and memories eluded her grasp. Even her pout faded as Chain instead chose to gather up the tools and remnants of her work. She was obviously upset, but Maye only got so far as looking at the young maid before Chain’s voice and feelings were spoken with by Drop.
“Sorry, it’s just… It’s hard to describe. We know our thoughts and memories are there, but we just can’t seem to take hold of them. Even without the presence of a Lucifalz filling the space between with its whispers and the image of that dragon… It’s amazing we can function as well as we do…”
The smile Drop forced as Chain focused on her task dug at Maye in ways she had thought a heretic and a spirit could never elicit from her. It was perhaps the work on her shoes that made her feel that way and she lightly tapped a hoof against the wooden floor of the sickroom to test it. Even as Chain’s skill easily withstood Maye’s test however, she knew that was not it and that she had long since made up her mind. With a sigh, she tried to offer a comforting word.
“You need not sell yourself short she-devil. The heretic’s work is proof that you are not as broken as you fear. Yet that you claim it is the Cardinal Church that has left you in this state, and then those two men…”
“I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s inconvenient, sure, but I don’t want to dwell on the bad things that happened to me. I want to enjoy being an adventurer and share that joy with my friends. Everything that happened to me leading up to it… I guess I get uncomfortable when I see the tri-cross and have a hard time trusting members of the church… But you know… you know, I want to think everything that happened is a good thing. I mean, I’m on an adventure now so…”
A gentle smile spread across Chain’s face, but it was not a happy smile. What she had suffered at the hands of the Cardinal Church before she had met the nuns of the Chapel had indeed damaged her mind. That the Lucifalz seemed to compound this problem as well as her mind being split between her icaran self and her spirit double, as well as possibly even more places, was a testament to her sense of self and will. The quality of the work she managed on Maye’s shoes emphasized that fact for Maye, and she nearly ceased her own procrastinating hesitation as she changed the subject.
“Perhaps then… No… I… I do believe she-devil that you said it was within the realm of possibility that the two of you could open another’s Gate.”
“It should be possible. We draw Nectar from Ambrosia by means of the Beast’s Gate.”
“Heh heh. I don’t really have a choice. I don’t know what my own Gate feels like, so I have to open its Gate.”
“Then perhaps you could attempt to open mine.”
Chain and Maye both looked at Maye in surprise and Maye looked away bashfully. Kneading the ground with one of her fore hooves, Maye attempted to explain herself.
“I’m for certain it is dangerous, but… this last Lucifalz… the situation surrounding it and its end… it is obvious I was barely more than a hinderance in the end.”
“That’s not true at all. Using this part of us as a channel you were able to allow us to benefit from spells that bolstered our strength.”
“Really? I was wondering about that.”
In the most recent effort to reclaim the tainted Light of a Lucifalz, Chain had accompanied the nuns of the Chapel for reasons of her own. It ended up being a trying affair that left Chain in bed for half a tenday, and as Maye claimed, she was hardly any help. Chain was not aware of everything that had transpired and was genuinely amazed by what more Maye had attempted to accomplish. Standing up and putting her hands on her hips, Chain smiled broadly.
“I really do need to thank you. The boost I got from those spells definitely helped me out and probably is the reason I managed to live through that little adventure. Heh heh. I guess then opening your gate is the least I can do. Though actually learning any magic you’ll need to find a teacher of your own. I don’t really cast traditionally and don’t think I can hold onto to enough thoughts and memories at a time to try teaching at all.”
“No heretic, just opening it will be enough. If I can feel it, know that sensation, it should be plenty.”
Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater