110 Chapel Days · Scene 28


Chapel Days

Chapel Days · Scene 28 · Departure
The Chapel ~ Exterior ~ Airship Dock
Early Autumn ~ Morning, mostly sunny, breezy and warm
Bustling nuns intermingling with airship crewmen
Three groups of guests gathering for ventures ahead

Three Sa·B·ers ready to face a future uncertain
Partings and prayers for those on their way
A final surprise for a future yet walked
“O



h, I’m quite sorry your holiness, but I must have forgotten to mention at some point that Soarmont’s Adventuring Company chartered sole occupancy of this ship for leaving this meeting with the Cardinal Church.”

“What?”

There was nothing Verdant could do to hide the twitch in his eye as Buck winked at him with a sly smile. The two men had been striding beside each other towards the gangplank but came across an unexpected checkpoint set up by the crew.

“I probably should have mentioned that sooner, but I was in the midst of business you see. I’m sure you’ll forgive me for letting it slip my mind. You’ll forgive me at least won’t you good scholar.”

Leaving Verdant to fume, Buck turned his attention to Mosvei and the other scholars of Vaerseal who accompanied him. Surprisingly, Mosvei seemed legitimately bothered by the affair.

“I must admit I was not expecting to have to resume our journey across the scarred Face of Icarus on foot. Perhaps I should have realized sooner however. I can only blame myself for being enthralled with the Chainmaid in the end though.”

“She’s a fine maid despite her youth. I’m looking forward to the tales of her exploits to come.”

“I suppose we’ll have to as well, won’t we brother?”

Listening in on where he observed the happenings from within the gathered crowds, Lute smiled exasperatedly as Verdant picked him and Pan out with a cold glare. Pan took it better on a whole than Lute, but there was perhaps a crack in his cool and professional demeanor as he spoke.

“As we have yet to return her to our client’s possession…”

“I suppose that’s true, but really, the challenge of this job grows more impressive by the day. It almost makes me want to wait for her to grow a little more just to make it worth it.”

“And do you believe that she will amount to anything Lute?”

“She’s already managed quite a bit since she first slipped out from our grasp. Besides, you’ve already decided as much yourself, haven’t you brother?”

A hint of a smile appeared at the corner of Pan’s lips and Lute smiled far broader knowing he read his brother well. Together they both turned to look back towards the entrance to the Chapel from the airship dock and spotted Chain. She was joined by Maye and Squawk as the three of them bid farewell to the nuns. Out of the nuns, Finch in particular was teary-eyed and hugging the stub nose revolver that she always carried with her. Her weepiness was put on hold however as she noticed Chain look away unaware that the Sa·B·er had spied Lute waving at her as the Mouser Brothers returned indoors.

“Miss Chain! You’re not taking this seriously enough!”

“Ah! Sorry.”

Chain’s blank expression became a wide apologetic smile as she returned her attention to Finch. Squawk took it as an opportunity to jab at Chain and did not waste it.

“Hmph. You shouldn’t expect this idiot to take it seriously. If you haven’t noticed, there are two of her and even between them they can barely manage a focused train of thought.”

“Master, please. Finch is upset enough that we’re leaving but you shouldn’t give her reason to worry more than she already is.”

“Why do I feel like I’m being insulted?”

“This part of us believes it is because we are.”

Drop’s observation did little more than compound Chain’s dismay at her treatment by Maye and Squawk. Naturally, she complained about it with a pout.

“Hrm~! Why do you two have to be so mean to me

“Because you’re an idiot.”

“Because you’re a heretic.”

“Eh~

Chain stared in disbelief at Maye and Squawk’s synchronized insult of her. As shocked as she was Finch managed to laugh at how well the three of them seemed to get along. Still, she felt for Chain and offered Chain a path to at least get along better with Maye.

“You know Miss Chain, Maye may be a nun, but she loves guns, especially revolvers. If you were to get one and get her to teach you how to use it I’m sure she’d open up to you.”

“Finch! Please!”

The redness in Maye’s face earned a snicker from Finch who teased her just a little more.

“But it’d help remind you that you’re a teacher too, wouldn’t it?”

“Honestly Finch, for this journey I am the student in search of the truth of the world.”

Growing haughtier, but still failing to prevent her face from being so blatantly red, Maye tried to maintain some sense of respectability. Chain smiled brightly at the friendship between the two but still had to speak for herself. To emphasize her point, Chain summoned her cape and her sword which she took in hand by the strap over her shoulder.

“Not that I care for guns anyway. They’re useless against most monsters and I still prefer my sword.”

“You haven’t seen what I’ve been practicing heretic, as such I refuse to let you slander firearms until then.”

“Oh~! Really~?”

“Would you two idiots put an end to this already! We’re being waved over to depart.”

Ever the harsh voice of reason, Squawk brought Chain and Maye’s attention to the waving crewmen from the outer railing of the lesser hull against the dock. The two of them nearly panicked and spun back around to bid Finch a final goodbye.

“Sorry, but we’ve got to go!”

“Take care of yourself Finch and know that I do intend on returning one day. I don’t know when, but I hope to see you and everyone aboard the Chapel alive and well when next we meet.”

“Get a move on you long winded horse!”

“I’m coming Master!”

Turning back from yelling her compliance to Squawk who was already in pursuit of Chain and Drop, Maye took one of Finch’s hands in both of hers.

“Until we meet again Finch, take care.”

Not giving Finch the time to respond, Maye pulled away and galloped after Chain and Squawk. Finch realized what was happening and gasped before chasing after Maye. For all of her engineering genius and maturity instilled in her as a nun of the Chapel, she was still only ten and the adult she perceived as closest to a parent was leaving her. Panic settled in and she fought past the other nuns, but by the time she reached where the gangplank had been lowered, the airship was already moving away from the Chapel. Still she squeezed shut her eyes and cried out as loud as she could.

“Maye~! Take care of yourself, please! I want you to come home too!”

“DON’T WORRY, I’LL TAKE CARE OF HER‼”

Waving with a huge smile on her face, Chain assured Finch that Maye would be fine with her. Finch could only watch Chain waving for so long however as the airship quickly ascended into the sky. As it cleared the top of the Chapel, the mighty mobile fortress started up operations again and began to head out on its own continuing journey’s for which Finch would be an integral part.

Well above the Chapel, Chain watched it shrink as the airship continued to ascend. Watching the steam that rose from it as it began moving across the Face of Icarus widened her smile. But it was as she turned away that massive eyes shimmered and Drop asked her question.

“Then it is time for our next adventure?”

“Yup! Let’s go!”

Running along the exterior walkways of the airship, Chain and Drop made their way to the ship’s bow and Chain’s eyes widened even more as her mouth fell open in smiling amazement. Before her the world awaited and all the adventures she sought were in her reach. She was at last headed out to become legend.
.
Chain’s adventures will continue…


Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater

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