101 Chapel Days · Scene 19
do hope you’ll share with me the reason you have so many heretics aboard a vessel of the Cardinal Church, Mother Osprey.”
Verdant may have been smiling, but the bishop was anything but understanding in tone. Mother Osprey was far more patient than the bishop however and smiled earnestly.
“I am a busy woman Lord Bishop, and an educator besides. Recent events have left me needing to take many actions that would be frowned upon by our superiors. Of course, your reputation was a comfort in light of the errands I must accomplish.”
“So, you aim to use me then. I am intrigued by what game you have pulled me into Mother Osprey.”
“Nothing so sinister Lord Bishop. I doubt I could match the man who is said to have even stumped Choir with his games though.”
“You give me too much credit Mother Osprey. I am but a servant of Her Eminence, Lady Cardinal, doing his part to keep safe the world we call home.”
“What about the people in it?”
“This isn’t really a good idea…!”
Barging into the conversation between Bishop Yewroot and Mother Osprey, Chain’s voice questioned the bishop just before it warned itself. Curious, Verdant turned his attention to where Chain’s voice had come from and saw that she had crossed the dock. The Mouser Brothers had not joined her, but as Verdant looked in Chain’s direction they gave him a curt nod before disappearing back within the Chapel. Their departure made it easier for Verdant to acknowledge Chain more directly, including Drop swimming in the air beside her. The sight of the spirit left Verdant scowling as he at last addressed Chain.
“So, you turned to heresy to stabilize yourself, Sycamore cursed girl.”
The name was spoken in question amongst all of those who were in earshot of Chain and Verdant, but neither paid them any heed. They instead focused squarely on each other, their eyes locking in challenge. Not liking the tension of the situation, Drop swam up to the hilt of Chain’s sword and tugged on it vainly.
“We should at least return our sword to the Beast so as not to appear threatening. We only desire to be spiteful, not violent.”
An amused sneer tore across Verdant’s lips with his question as Drop’s carelessness revealed Chain’s intentions. Chain did not change her expression as she continued to glower at the bishop, but she did release her grip on her sword strap. As her sword fell from her shoulder, her cape whipped about her and her sword soon appeared on her hip as it settled. With her preparations complete, Chain again addressed the bishop.
“You had me hurt when I asked for help, and I want to show you that I have Light within me even after you hurt me.”
“I do not believe I raised a finger against you. Was it not Sycamore who tainted you with the Foreigner’s infection?”
“It doesn’t matter. I asked you for help and you said I couldn’t be helped, that Cardinal did not deem me worthy. I just want to prove you wrong and then go on with my life.”
Lifting her left hand, Chain extended it in front of her and readied her fingers to snap. Armed men who joined the finely dressed men reached for their sidearms but were ordered down by a rotund icaran man with a wave of his hand as he eyed Chain’s. A playful smile tugged at his lips and it was obvious he desired to see what would happen next. The anticipation of the rotund man of the first group was matched by the curiosity of the individuals of the second group who turned their magically sealed eyes onto Chain and Verdant. Strangely, Mother Osprey held her tongue and allowed Chain’s demonstration to proceed and soon a distinctive ringing sound filled the air as she snapped her fingers.
“Forgive me Sycamore cursed girl, but that does not look like Light in any way, shape, or form.”
“You’re just being impatient. That and the Beast really doesn’t like you.”
Being curt with Verdant, Chain dismissed the apparent failure on her part to summon forth Light with the Ambrosial Gate she opened above her palm. It was difficult to imagine that Chain could summon forth Light at all looking upon that Gate as it was hole of Darkness that seemed to threaten reality itself. Chain did not lie though that whatever it was she dubbed the Beast disliked Verdant as the malice that emanated from the open Gate was growing dangerously palpable. Chain desired to put on an air of control however and held fast her stance and expression even as she turned her thoughts inward.
[Killing him won’t accomplish anything. He’ll only understand if he sees the Light inside of us so I’m going to show him that Light, even if I have to tear you apart to do so.]
A smile slowly spread across Chain’s lips as she began to lift her right hand and readied those fingers to snap. A look of panic spread across Drop’s face, but she held her tongue so as not to distract Chain.
“Sorry if it takes me so much effort to bring it out, but the Beast is so large and the Light so tiny.”
A bead of sweat ran down the side of Chain’s face as she turned her left palm to face her right hand and held the Ambrosial Gate between them. Then, for a second time, the distinctive ringing of Chain’s snapped fingers filled the air and the Ambrosial Gate between her hands reacted violently. It convulsed and twisted, a writhing mass of Darkness that seemed ready to burst out like floodwaters overtaking a dam. Chain did not relent however and poured every ounce of her being into controlling the Gate and the one within it that she summoned with her second snap. Her attempts to maintain a cool demeanor fell away and she gritted her teeth as she struggled to control the Ambrosial Gate that linked the physical world with Ambrosia and the unique Gate of the Beast that linked Ambrosia with things even deeper within, including the light within her.
Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater