098 Chapel Days · Scene 16
o! Well, I have been waiting here all night, but that’s not it! You just can’t!”
“You’re not making any sense heretic, including waiting here all night.”
Maye sighed and pressed her fingertips against her forehead as Chain rambled on incoherently. The pout Chain wore only intensified as her hands fell from her hips and curled into tight fists at her side.
“I at least have a good excuse to not make sense! But you don’t have any excuse! So, no, you can’t! Stop even thinking about it!”
“You’re still not making any sense heretic and I came here to practice, not try to decipher the gibberish pouring out of your mouth this morning. Perhaps if you allowed yourself some sleep you might actually be able to speak in a manner where I understand what you are trying to say.”
Finding talking to Chain to be a waste that morning, Maye lowered her hand and took her rifle in hand from her back as she went to walk past Chain. Chain allowed her pass, but not peacefully as she grabbed her tail in her right hand.
Inhaling sharply, Maye’s face flushed as she looked back and instinctually mule kicked. Chain easily however dodged Maye’s right rear hoof and caught her other with her right hand. Finding herself tilted forward like a wheelbarrow, Maye kicked her rear legs fruitlessly unable to free herself of Chain’s grip.
“What do you think you’re doing⁈”
Finally asking the question she should have led with rather than justifying Squawk calling her brutish, Maye sought to understand Chain’s intentions. The icaran maid stopped pouting and let her face fall expressionless beyond a hint of her brow furrowing as she spoke.
“Is this why?”
Chain was still not making sense to Maye, but it was becoming easier to guess what she was going on about. Where Maye struggled and strained to no effect, Chain was not even putting forth an effort to keep the centaur’s back end elevated. The next sentence that Chain spoke, while not a direct answer, made it even clearer.
“It’s not worth it. You won’t be you anymore. There’s barely any me left so I know what I’m talking. I’m lucky I’m still shaped like me.”
“Don’t tell me… Master Squawk spoke to you of my intentions, did he?”
Releasing her grip on Maye, Chain’s arms fell to her side as her expression became crestfallen. Maye did not pay Chain much immediate attention as she trotted away from her and shook her back left leg out. Not being countered by Maye became Chain’s opening to continue and she put forth an accusatory question as she lifted her massive eyes onto the centaur.
“That’s what he meant by having his arm twisted. Why would you do that to him? How could you do that to him⁈ You don’t even know him, and you’d ask him to follow me around knowing the danger I’ll throw myself into without thinking while you throw away your humanity⁈ Why would you do that⁈”
“You already answered your own question heretic.”
With a heavy sigh, Maye gave Chain a cross look.
“First it should be noted that you have no say over my life and the decisions I make heretic, but I wonder if you’ve truly noticed how little say you have in your own. You seem to keep getting in your way.”
Chain leaned forward to counter Maye before taking a weak step back. The expression on Maye’s face spoke volumes about how she was pained to be breaking down Chain’s state to her, but she did not apologize for her words. Instead she pressed on taking a step towards Chain who retreated a step further in kind.
“You just admitted that you won’t think about what you are doing, and Finch told me about your uncontrolled assault of her. One prompted according to the she-devil by the further spirits you’ve contracted. You’re growing unstable not just in your thoughts and emotions, but also your self-control. Can you really be trusted to travel on your own? I think not and it is why I first approached Mater Squawk during your half a tenday slumber. You need supervised, for your own good and that of the world. Realistically, you should be sealed away and your stability left to the work of others, but I doubt that Darkness in you would stay so quiet if you were treated so. Darkness that can consume the light of the Lucifalz. I’d never imagine such a possibility and wonder if even the Light of Her Eminence within you can pierce that Darkness.”
“So, if I can just summon my bow, you’ll forget all of this then? If I can prove to you that I’m in enough control to go out on my own, you’ll give up on this?”
“I can make no such assurances heretic. Venturing with you and encounter that Foreigner and facing so large a Lucifalz speaks to the limitations that the I possess. The strength of our enemies purified by Her Eminence though compared to my own was unfathomable in its difference. But we are not speaking of me heretic, but rather you, and I wonder if you can truly conjure up Her Eminence’s Light through that Darkness within you.”
Her brow furrowing as she began to pout, Chain took Maye’s goading to heart and curled her hands into fist once again at her sides.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about! The Beast answers to me and if I want to summon my bow then I’ll summon my bow!”
Lifting her left hand and extending it in front of her, Chain prepared to snap her fingers. It was an unusual gesture, not because spell casters did not make use of gestures to remind themselves of the effects of the spell they were casting, but rather because it was how Chain opened the Ambrosial Gate she used to draw in Nectar. She was unfamiliar with the sensation of her own Ambrosial Gate and instead summoned forth the Ambrosial Gate of the Foreigner beast that had infected her with a snap of her fingers. A distinctive ringing sound filled the air as she did due to her chainmail skinned fingers and a small sphere of white light appeared above her upturned palm. Willing it to move forward, Chain twisted her hand around and clenched it tight into a fist around the light. Experience told both Chain and Maye that in response the gateway to the Nectar of Ambrosia would be transformed into a bow of pure Light. To both of theirs surprise, far more the terrified Chain than the slightly put off ease Maye, the bow that took form from within Chain’s clenched fist was one of pure Darkness like that from which her cape spawned.
“No… What? I don’t… This isn’t…”
Chain could not find the words to convey her incomprehension at the bow of Darkness she held, and Maye offered her a sympathetic look. There was a third pair of eyes that watched the proceedings with interest from the shadows and a look of curiosity with a hint of disappointment adorned Lute Mouser’s face.
“Well, that is interesting. The way this job changes at a moment’s notice. Whatever will brother think?”
Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater