104 Chapel Days · Scene 22
Chapel Days · Scene 22 · Schemes b
The Chapel ~ Interior ~ Bowels
Early Autumn ~ Late afternoon
Early Autumn ~ Late afternoon
Leaving behind the Scholars of Vaerseal and led down a hall nearly lost to the pipes of the bowels, Verdant expressed his contempt of the hidden laboratory he followed Mother Osprey to. Mother Osprey offered the bishop a smile and beseeched he understand the circumstances.
“Sizable as the Chapel is Your Excellency, that we managed to find a space that could serve as a laboratory was most fortuitous. Small as it is though, it has served us well. I hope at the very least that the knowledge we have accumulated here will serve you well as well.”
“It depends on what you have Head Mother.”
Making her way around instrument and paper covered tables, Mother Osprey led Verdant through the crowded lab to a table at the back where a sole vial filled with a copper blue liquid stood in a display stand. Picking it up, Mother Osprey rotated the liquid around revealing it had the consistency of blood and smiled a strange smile born of conflicting emotions.
“This blood is for you and the ceremony Your Excellency.”
Satisfied that the vial was what she believed it to be, Mother Osprey offered it to Verdant. The bishop eyed it suspiciously for a moment before finally taking it in hand. Holding it up so that it was illuminated by the gas lights hanging from above, he scrutinized the contents as he questioned its authenticity.
“Then this is the blood of the black knight who claimed to be a Foreigner.”
“At the very least the blood that circulated through his mechanized armor encased left arm according to the reports. No one, including the esteemed Mouser Brothers were able to inflict another injury upon him. I’ve prepared an office for you above where the reports including our tests of that blood await you. I do hope you will pay them special attention as our intention to make Sa·B·ers relies almost solely with you.”
“Then you will not object to me running tests of my own?”
“Of course not Your Excellency. One of the volunteers is one of the Sisters of this nunnery and I would not have her exposed to a ceremony that will not succeed. Take as much time as you desire, though we are forced to be stationary for as long as it takes to conclude the ceremony and have not resupplied in some time.”
“You may claim not to be partaking in a game of your rules Head Mother, but your actions speak otherwise. Still, I will play along if only to be one of the pioneers of an era in which we of the Cardinal Church can create willing and prepared Sa·B·ers to face the Foreigner threat. Though, I will request an audience with this Sister who desires to be a Sa·B·er. I’ll receive her in the office you have prepared for me when I am ready.”
“Of course. I’ll have a Sister show you to the office we have prepared.”
Once she arranged for Verdant to be escorted away, Mother Osprey allowed herself a sigh of relief when he was gone. She was a strong maid and extremely experienced, but the bishop had a crushing way about him that made others in his presence feel inferior. It only made matters worse that she needed him to play along for her plan to work and he could ruin everything in an instant. She had no control over the clergy but conversely, she had to answer fully to the clergy. It made it quite the further relief that he had said nothing more about the Scholars of Vaerseal who were still waiting for her outside the lab.
“I hope you’ll forgive me for the delay Master Scholars.”
“There is no need to be so formal. You may address me by name, Mosvei, if it pleases you Maid of the Saint.”
The apology that Mother Osprey offered the waiting scholars as she hurried out of the lab was brushed aside in a friendly manner by the tall icaran man among them with his black hair tied in a ponytail. Mother Osprey smiled, and though his eyes were magically sealed, Mosvei smiled in return.
“Very well Master Mosvei, though I am afraid my formality will not be so easily staid.”
“Then let us not dwell on unimportant things. Let us instead speak of the Light that you have invited us to see. I was not expecting a demonstration so soon upon arriving.”
“I hope you will forgive me for that improvisation.”
Leading the Scholars away from the lab and outside on a pathway to the upper level cafes, Mother Osprey earned a curious question from Mosvei. It concerned her that he seemed to speak for the whole group of twelve that he was a part of, but she pushed it to the back of her mind behind the idea that theirs was a different religion that she was yet ignorant of. With her thoughts so categorized she proceeded to answer the question she was presented with.
“Yes, I already was aware of the history between the Chainmaid and the Lord Bishop and allowed that scene to play out as it served my agenda to. Her Light was less for you to see though as it was for the Lord Bishop who supposedly did not believe she possessed it. At least that is what the spirit accompanying her, or perhaps is her in a way told me along with a great deal more.
“Did you not observe her? She may speak with the same voice, but she is mostly autonomous from the Chainmaid regardless. Could it be that the Light you follow can also not pierce the Darkness that engulfs her?”
“It would seem, but if she is possessed of a spirit who is both her and yet independent, she must be frighteningly unstable. And for it to be hidden within so impenetrable a Darkness…”
“The spirit would agree with as well as the Sisters I have had study her when the opportunities have presented themselves. More frighteningly though, that Darkness has even consumed a Lucifalz and invited more spirits to be contracted to her.”
“Yet she demonstrated that she is indeed possessed of Cardinal’s Light.”
Coming to an abrupt stop, Mosvei turned his sealed eyes onto Mother Osprey with a serious expression. Turning around to face her guests, the Head Mother received the scholar’s next question.
“Tell me, what do you know of this Darkness and the Chainmaid.”
“There is much to speak of Master Mosvei, but I will do so gladly. If I am to get you to bless her coming journey into the lands beyond the Cardinal Churches influence, it is only best that you know everything, unlike the Lord Bishop.”
Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater