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 Chapter 3: After Tears

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Red Blizzard

Posts : 164
Join date : 2011-05-30
Age : 25
Location : Elsewhere

PostSubject: Chapter 3: After Tears   Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:33 pm

The funeral was held two days later. On the day after their death, the sisters had been carried up to the castle from where they had been discovered, lying dead in the water. Under the cold beams of a morning sun, the rest of the clan fanned out, searching for evidence relating to the attackers. Other than the arrows and a few significantly large footprints, the two of which didn’t correlate, there was hardly any evidence worth going off of. Dejected, they returned to the castle long after the sun had set and dusk had settled in. But the funeral itself had to be delayed until Blizzard came back; he had gone out looking for a decent guitar. The next morning, before the crack of dawn, Felk and Soluna were back, dragging a cart of gold they had won in exchange for the demon head they had fought so hard for. Their exuberance evaporated at the news of the sisters’ deaths. Then, late in the morning, Blizzard himself returned to the castle, empty-handed. Nobody dared to tell him what had happened until he went to find them himself.

“They’re dead.” Dye didn’t bother looking up as he sat in one of the many chairs in the gathering room, focusing pointedly on a small wooden figuring he was whittling away at.

“What do you mean they’re dead?”

“Dead, gone, passed away, whatever you want to call it, that’s what’s happened to them.”

“Mind telling me when and where?”

“Out by the lake almost two days ago, while they were out scouting. Dawn was shot through the head, and Pixie was drowned. We don’t know who did it.”

“Oh…” Blizzard just sat there, staring down at the floor.

“Is that all you’re going to say?” Dye kept carving away, spouting words only to keep the conversation going.

“What, do you want me to cry or something?”

The gathering room was suddenly quiet. It was one of those momentary lapses in conversation where any words spoken seemed to echo into the silence.

“You’ve been awfully cold these past two days, Blizzard. Remember that you still have just five days left before you’re demoted. And you’ve hardly done anything.”

“You look pretty busy yourself.”

Dye sighed, looked up at Blizzard, and snapped the wooden figurine in half. “My point is, you don’t seem to care one way or another about the fact that your sisters are now dead!”

“What of it? They died doing their duty. No growing old to die in their sleep or anything like that, both of them died the way they wanted to: fighting against the enemy. I’m not shedding any tears over that.” Blizzard glanced over at Dye, whose eyes were glistening ever so slightly.

“You’re an awfully nice brother. If they were still alive…”

“Then we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Get over it already. I’ve gotten over it two days ago, before they even died.” Blizzard stood up, no longer interested in the conversation. As he turned to leave, Dye spoke again, still staring at the broken pieces of his figurine.

“Does that mean you’ve given up?”

Blizzard half turned. “No. I’m just done trying.” He started for the door, ignoring the twenty pairs of eyes focusing on him as the other occupants of the room watched him leave, totally abandoning their own conversations. As the door handle turned, Dye spoke one last time.

“The funeral is this afternoon, at sunset.”

“I’ll make sure not to be there.”

The door opened, then slammed shut.


Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine…

The chapel rang with the sound of a chorus, singing the words of eternal rest in unison from a raised platform behind the sarcophagus which held the two sisters. The sarcophagus itself had been decorated with simple images depicting the two sisters in battle, and was placed before the stone table altar, where Priest was leading the congregation.

et lux perpetua luceat eis…

In the audience, various members of the clan sat, emotions ranging from sadness to boredom. The soldiers, especially the newer ones, had no clue what was going on, and paid only the minimum respect required to the two girls in the coffin. But others were genuinely on the brink of tears as the song rolled on, the voice of angels ringing.

Te decet hymnus Domine, in Paxia…

Dye sat in the front row, head bowed as he remembered everything the sisters had done for him. They had sided with him over their own brother during the times of strife and the Perspective War. Their loyalty to him was a touching reminder of what a true clan member was like. On the other hand, Blizzard….

et tibi reddetur votum in Lorum…

Blizzard wasn’t even there. He was turning his back on the clan increasingly by the day, going down a road with no one to guide or council him. Especially now that the only family he had was gone…

Exaudi orationem meam…

There was a rustling up in the rafters. Dye almost glanced up, then focused his eyes dead on Priest’s back, who was just finishing up the ceremony. Later that night, they would send the sisters off in a boat to sink to the bottom of the lake, the Grave, where all the other heroes of Requiem rested.

ad te omnis caro venie…

Priest’s own sister had been sent down there, after what he himself had done…Dye cringed, trying not to remember those wide eyes drying up and cracking as he let his own rage pour forth over her body.

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine…

Instead, Dye forced his eyes back to reality as Priest laid the silver crucible back on the stone table, filled with holy water. The ceremony drew to a close as the last words of the chorus rang out into the solemn chapel.

et lux perpetua luceat eis.

There was a loud crash. Two black figures had descended from the ceiling, slamming into the stone table, cracking it in half, upsetting the silver crucible, which went rolling off in one direction, water pouring from it, bringing everyone to their feet in a panic as people dashed for the exit and for the table and for the windows and under benches…Dye reacted instantly, leaping to his feet and igniting himself with a pillar of flame that stretched to the ceiling.

“OUT!!!” He roared at the entire crowd, threatening to break their eardrums. “ALL SOLDIERS, OUT!!!” And they obeyed, instantly. Within a minute, the only people remaining were the captains, who were gathered around the broken stone table. As the dust settled, the two figures became increasingly obvious. The one on top was Blizzard, shades askew, katana out and pierced through the body of the second figure, which turned out to be…a girl. A young girl, in her early teens, dressed in the black robes of some mercenary stealth group, probably sent as an assassin to the Requiem castle, most likely to assassinate Priest…Blizzard stood up, wiping his forehead as he took a step back from the body. The katana still quivered as it stood straight up, impaled through the girl’s chest.

“You have no idea how hard it was catching this girl. We were dancing on the rooftops while my sisters were being mourned below.”

Priest was still stunned, and pointed at the body without words. Dye was the first one to actually do something as his flame petered out, stepping forward to rip the black muffle that all assassins wore away from the girl’s face. Her mouth still quivered, and her eyes glistened. She was still alive.

“Who sent you, for what purpose, and why? Speak!” But even as these words left Dye’s mouth, her mouth froze and her eyes glazed over without her having ever spoken a word.

“Well, we know one thing at least.” Saint stepped forward to gaze at the body. “Someone sent this girl as a token of respect for the two girls already killed here. It would have been bad business if she had actually gotten to Priest.” He picked up the assassin’s blade the girl had been wielding, examining its poisoned edge.

“Why girls…” Nathan sighed. “Why is it that the pretty young girls are always the ones to die?” He stared pointedly at Dye, who averted his gaze away.

“Well, let’s not stand here all day. Someone clean up this mess. I want to keep the body though…”

“Why!?!?!?” Four pairs of eyes went to Blizzard.

“As a diplomatic message. People hoist the bodies of assassins as a message to whoever sent them, letting them know that they’re in trouble.”

“But…she’s just a girl. She probably didn’t know any more than the fact that she had to kill Priest. Probably was told that Priest was an evil person too.”

Blizzard sighed. “The world is harsh. We have to send the right message out there, so we don’t get crushed by others that perceive us as too soft.”

“We will not abandon our morals.” Priest spoke firmly, ending all conversation. “We will bury the body in the forest, and send Blizzard’s sisters off tonight into the lake. Then, we can discuss more of this tomorrow. As of now, consider this clan at war. Blizzard, it’s your job to find out who sent this assassin. The rest of you, get your troops ready.” Everyone departed without another noise, Nathan leaving last with the body in his arms. Blizzard waited for Nathan at the doorway to pluck his katana out of the girl’s body. Nathan glanced at Blizzard, wanting to say something. But then he decided that whatever he was going to say probably wasn’t worth it, and left without a word. Blizzard glanced at the sword, examining the bright sheen of blood on it, then wiped it away on a sleeve and left himself, heading into town.

Behind him, something inside the sarcophagus shifted.

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Chapter 3: After Tears
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