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Shiel's Story - Part 3

By PunkSimon#2897 - MEMBER - July 02, 2018, 06:48:20

Shiel rushed to see Loren as soon as he had an opportunity to do that. He walked right past the army general, and there probably would be nothing wrong about it, if not the fact that the sram had a secret ability to melt into people’s shadows, that he used just now.
The feca had no clue that someone is spying on him from now on.

As he came close to the cell, Shiel could only see the silhouette and shadow of Loren from the flicker of the poor lighting above him.
“Hey. So… How are you feeling?” he asked. Loren turned toward Shiel revealing his face which looked more lively than before.
“I’m… Actually feeling better” he cracked a smile “Thanks…”
Shiel smiled back, feeling satisfied that his remedy has worked. He sat down in front of the cell.
“Come closer” he asked “We gotta talk”
Loren moved closer to Shiel, just as he asked. They were sitting maybe a meter away from each other, only the metal bars were dividing the space between them.
“I lied to my coworkers that I’ll try to get some information from you, so I bought us a little time. They shouldn’t interrupt.”
“Alright, that’s cool. But let me ask you first. I was thinking about this whole time here, and I still don’t get it. Why are you risking so much for me?”
“That’s… A good question.” Shiel grabbed himself by the chin and looked up “There’s probably more than one reason. But I guess I just want to act like a good person would. And to do what’s right.”
“Sounds to me like if you were trying to prove to yourself that you’re a good person”
“...Perhaps. But either way, I’m here to apologize”
“For what you have done to me in high school” Loren finished for him.
“...Yes, that. I was a little stupid shit and-”
“You don’t really have to apologize, I understand”
“Are you sure you do?”
“You were bitter, our classmates were cruel to you for no reason... No, there was a reason. You were brakmarian. But that reason gave them no right to treat you so harshly… So you finally snapped and decided to show them a reason to fear you, instead of mocking you. And I just happened to be your victim”
Shiel was quiet for a moment, he had to analyze what Loren just said.
“...You got it right, man”
“You know, it took me few years to come to this…”
“Years? Really?” Shiel looked surprised at him.
“Yeah, you don’t think I could forget so easily? I was often thinking about it… ‘why me?’, ‘have I really done something wrong?’, ‘did I deserve it?’ etc… ”
“I’m really sorry…”
“It’s fine now. I’m glad to see you grew to be a better person” he smiled genuinely. “However… Returning to Brakmar… I don’t know what to think about it” his head dropped slightly and he looked down.
“Loren, you have to understand that I never truly knew my homeland before, so it’s obvious that I was drawn towards it”
“Hm… Yeah, I guess that is understandable. Anyways, what are you doing here? Is this your job?”
“Pretty much. I’m mostly inventing devices.”
“Just like that trap that they caught me in?” he said, not hiding his disaffection.
“That is actually my invention” Shiel admitted.
“Oh really? A trap that passes-by feca orbs, I wonder what it could be used for…” he looked at Shiel with discontent.
“I-it’s not what you think. I invented it with a thought of catching monsters that use feca-like orbs” he tried to find an excuse.
“You think I’m this stupid? And you say you’re trying to do the ‘right thing’...” Loren looked at Shiel with disappointment.
“Don’t stare at me like that. Look, sometimes I have no choice” he hopelessly kept trying to find excuses.
“But this invention of yours, I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be used in war. Your dear homeland had not enough?” he went on.
“I believe my governor has enough brains to know that starting a new war is a bad idea. Right now we’re focusing at rebuilding our nation”
“And preparations for the next war”
“You’re wrong” Shiel didn’t want to admit.
“And you’re blind!” He shouted louder than intended, grabbing the metal bars and releasing fire from his hands from the anger.
“Calm down!” Shiel raised his hands in front of him, to hide from the fire “You want someone to come to here?”
“Ugh” he stopped and lowered his voice “You know what? I have an idea”
“What idea?” Shiel enquired.
“When I get back to Amakna, if get out of here alive of course, you’ll get me that trap device”
“For what?”
“For our people to come up with a strategy against it”
“That would make my invention useless” he sounded resentful.
“You want to be a good person or not?”
“I guess I’ll see what I can do” he answered evasively and stood up right after “Alright, nothing left for me here”
“Wait, I still want to know, why are you so much in denial of the upcoming second war?”
Shiel turned back towards Loren and stood in silence for a moment.
“I want to prevent it” he finally answered.
“But you’re making all those malicious inventions that are supposed to help the war”
“That’s just the job I have. Besides, I also helped many people injured in the war, by making prostheses for them, not only that”
“...Fair” Loren said with a sigh.
“Well, I’m off then”

And so he walked away. This conversation took a totally different road than Shiel had expected. As he was on his way back to the laboratory, he was slowly realizing how chaotic his actions are. Loren wasn’t wrong, another war was coming sooner or later. Shiel just wanted to believe it wouldn’t happen.

Later that day, Shiel was called to the governor once again.
“I want to see the amaknian head guard. You’ll be there to guard and protect me, along with my other guards” she ordered  “Is that understood?”
“Yes, Your Grace” he bowed. Then they proceeded to go to the cell, accompanied by five other guards. While they were on their way, Shiel was wondering why Grace demanded his presence, but nothing came to mind.
Soon they all surrounded Loren’s cell.
“...What. What is this supposed to mean?” he looked first at Grace and her guards and then at Shiel “Are you… trying to betray me? Really? After our talk?” the disappointment and sadness in his eyes were easily seen.
Shiel frowned and grit his teeth. He put a finger to his lips trying to tell Loren to stop talking, while no one was looking at him.
“Mr. Chevalier, what is he talking about?” Grace turned her head towards Shiel.
“He’s just talking nonsense. He’s probably still being delusional from the bacteria we injected into his bloodstream” Shiel lied without hesitation.
“I see. Open the cell” she ordered “I want to get inside”
“Yes, ma’am” said one of the guards and proceeded to open the cell, while the others were making sure that Loren has no way to run away.
As Grace was entering the cell, Loren kept sitting in the very middle of it with a frown on his tired face.
“Don’t even try to play any dirty tricks on me… Your gauntlet was taken, and without it you’re close to being useless.”
Loren kept being silent. He knew she’s right, and that it’s no use to attack in those conditions.
“Just look at this… Pathetic. You call yourself a head guard? Where’s your dignity? You’re looking worse than a deceased wild gobball remains. You’re abhorrent and the way you look makes me want to vomit.” she was circling around the feca, with hands behind her back and looking at him from above. “You think you’re worthy of your title?” she continued, “Because I don’t think you are. Actually, probably no one who remembers your father, Larmes Roux, thinks you’re a person worthy of this title. I cannot believe a feca, that gave brakmarian armies so much pain, raised such a failure. Your existence will forever leave a huge filthy stain on your family’s name.”
Shiel was quietly observing how his governor is mocking the feca and he couldn’t do a thing. He couldn’t even imagine how humiliated Loren must feel.
It was already tough for Loren to endure this, but it was about to get worse.
Grace stretched out her hand towards Loren, and within no time from her hand bursted forth thorny vines that wounded his cheeks, neck and arms, and ripped his clothes in a few places. Loren struggled to get away from the vines, but it was useless, he was only hurting himself more.
“The King of Amakna will arrive soon to the outpost. Guards, cuff the feca and bring him there. Keep your guard around him.”

As they were leading Loren out, Shiel was lost in thought. He assumed that Grace had brought him along to show off herself.
He didn’t know that Grace was only testing him.

“The King of Amakna, Altair Shedragon, has just arrived” announced one of the guards.
“Let him in” Grace decided.
A line of brakmarian guards standing in front of the outpost moved away, making a passage for the Amaknian king and his guards. As they were entering the outpost, both brakmarian and amaknian guards were staring in a hostile way at each other. It was almost as if they were holding back from jumping down each other's throats.
The king of Amakna and the governor of Brakmar stood few meters away from each other and giving each other also a hostile look.
“I’m here to-” Altair opened his mouth, but Grace didn’t let him finish.
“I know exactly what you came for, no need to announce that. Guards! Bring the hostage”
The guards brought cuffed Loren at their governor’s request. They were standing and holding him next to Grace.
Altair looked at Loren with compassion and sadness in his eyes. He was devastated by seeing how they treated his beloved.
“Let’s make it quick” he began baldly “You get 1 million kama, and we get the head guard”
“Oh, don’t make me laugh. 1 million kamas? Is that all your head guard is worth to you?” said Grace. “I’d say he’s worth at least 10 million kama.”
“Ugh… Alright. How about 5 million kama and some material goods?”
“Like what? You poor pastries that you’re famous for? No way. Unless, you mean the Crimson Dofus that your archeologist stole thirteen years ago? Oh yeah, I’d love to trade for that”
“Grrr…” he frowned and showed his teeth. “Don’t even try to start on it” he hissed “It’s already a closed topic”
Altair was slowly losing his nerves. Not only did they take his head guard hostage, but now she brings up that topic. The Crimson Dofus, that was found by a brakmarian and amaknian archeologists. It is known that before the war the relations between Amakna and Brakmar already weren’t too well. Brakamrians always used to be brutal and unpredictable. Who knows what would they do with such power? So the actions of amakian archeologist were always justified and excused by the other amaknians. During  the war it was even said that he saved the nations from destruction and brakmarian dictatorship.
“Your archeologist. Murdered. Our people.” she said bitterly.
“Ohhh even if he did like you brakmarians say, it would make no difference since you take pleasure in killing your people. But it’s only fair if it’s you who’s killing them, of course” he replied with viciousness.
“Whip that feca, Derek…” she ordered to her guard.
“No!” Altair stopped the guard with his shout “Don’t do it. Let’s go back to the negotiation.” he suggested “I’ll offer… My royal jewelry… It was passed from generations to generations for ages. It’s priceless” Altair began to take off his golden bracelets, feeling defeated.
“My Highness, no! I am not worth it” Loren yelled, trying to stop Altair.
“Quiet. Hostages should be seen and not heard.” she said to Loren, then looked back at Altair “That’s an interesting offer...”
Loren opened his mouth to say one more thing, but the hit of a whip from one of the osamodas guards was quicker. Altair hissed once again, turning red from the anger. He could not stand this view anymore.
“...But that’s quite not it yet” she finished. “I demand... Your crown”
Altair closed his eyes and thought for a while.
“...Deal” he finally decided.

Shiel was watching closely from his hideout as they trade Loren for 5 million kamas and the crown. He saw how Loren was thrown towards the amaknian guards, like if he was only a useless object that brakamrians toyed with. The king and his companions left without a word.

“So, your friend is finally leaving…” the army general suddenly appeared out of Shiel’s shadow.
“You again!” Shiel turned around “...Stop calling him my friend” he said with hesitation, looking into sram’s deep black eyes.
“And you, give up already and stop pretending. You cannot win with me. I heard everything...”
“What?” Shiel frowned.
“I heard your whole conversation. He was right that we’re making preparations for another war”
“How did you-”
“Listen… you’ve got only two options. Either be honest with me, and your secret won’t be revealed. Or, keep on lying as I tell the governor what I know. I wonder how you’ll come alive out of that. I don’t really care about turning you to the governor, but you’re really asking for this”
Shiel looked left and right, checking if no one is listening or observing them.
“...Let’s find a better place to talk about it. How about that?”
“Sure, we can go to my office”

“So… How did you know?” Shiel inquired as soon as they entered the army general’s office.
“I have my sources, that I won’t reveal” the sram responded.
“Fine. What are you going to do now with that information, now that I am pinned to the wall?”
“I just want to hear the whole story from you”
“We’ve met at school. End of the story” Shiel answered baldly.
“And you sure aren’t friends with him?”
“I don’t know if I could call him a friend”
“But you’d want him to be your friend, right?” The sram asked further.
“Well, maybe I do want”
The sram grabbed his cape and raised it at the height of his head. From the inside of the cape unpredictably emerged governor Grace.
“Is that enough of evidences, Your Grace?”
“Yes, I think this will do it”
Shiel opened his eyes wide and couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t even that he was deceived by the army general, that surprised him, but the fact that governor Grace suddenly appeared here. “They got mehe thought “So this is my end. This is what happens when you help people instead of caring about your own business”. A drop of sweat ran down his cheek as he turned pale.
“Don’t look so anxious, my dear” said Grace, moving towards the feca “I know what you’re thinking now. We just caught you red-handed.”
“I… I can explain myself”
“You won’t have to”
“You don’t want to give me a death sentence, do you?” he gulped.
“If I were to kill you for what you have done, believe me, you’d be dead already. I’ve got other plans for you”
Shiel wasn’t sure if he should feel relieved or not. What were the other plans? Being thrown into a prison? A month of tortures?
“We’ll find you a key role in the assault on Amakna. You’ll be my little cute pawn, Shiel” Grace touched Shiel’s head with delicacy, then her hand wandered towards his check, which she next took in her hand. Shiel’s cheeks turned slightly red as he could sense Grace’s sight on his lips. He looked at hers as well, but he quickly remembered himself and turned his head away. He had to admit to himself that Grace’s charm and her hypnotizing eyes are hard to resist. However, he had vowed to himself to be loyal to Chalsea and he’s not breaking that promise ever.
“Are you trying to resist me?”
“I already have someone”
“Oh, pardon me. Who would that be, that lucky person?”
“That’s none of your interest” he responded thoughtlessly.
“Excuse me?” Grace painfully grabbed Shiel by his jaw “What was that?”
“I-... I apologize, I didn’t mean it” he looked frightened into Grace’s eyes.
“I didn’t expect such a lack of respect from you. A simple apology is not enough.”
From her hand quickly grew thorns that spiked Shiel’s face. He groaned from pain and a few trickles of blood ran down his face.
“Does that hurt?” she asked viciously.
“Y-yes… Your Grace. Please, let go…” he begged.
Grace’s thorns grew even deeper into his face and the blood began to quickly ran down her hand. Shiel moaned, then grit his teeth and shut his eyelids tight. Grace was listening to the pitiful sounds Shiel was making, until she finally released him from her thorns.
“I hope that reminded you where your place is”
“Y-yes, it did…” he grabbed his aching from pain jaw, trying to stop the wounds from bleeding.
“Worry not. You’re still my favourite” she stroked Shiel’s hair with the hand that was not stained from the blood.
“So… You’re not upset at me?”
“No, quite the contrary. Your connections to that amakian head guard will be useful. Your mission will be to gain his trust”
“I… I don’t know if I can do that…” he looked down.
“Are you trying to oppose me?” Grace raised her chin and looked at Shiel from above.
“I don’t want this war. There… There must be a better solution”
“Then look for it, if you want to. But we’ll keep preparing our plan and you have an obligation to take a part in it nonetheless. From now on, gaining that amaknian’s trust is your duty. You’ll be giving me monthly reports. If I find you were lying, then don’t expect any mercy from me. Understood?”
“Yes, Your Grace…”
“Now, swear to your god that you won’t tell anyone about this conversation and our plans”
“I swear to the Feca Goddess that I won’t tell anyone”
“Good. You can go now.”
“Wait, one more thing” Shiel looked at the army general “What was that whole scene for, if you planned from the beginning to give me a mission?”
“I wanted my army general to make you reveal yourself what you were hiding.” Grace answered Shiel’s question “We weren’t hundred percent sure if the info we’ve got about you was true or not. We had to test you. Now leave. My army general and I want to talk one-on-one”Shiel left the office confused. He’s got a huge dilemma now to deal with. Should he oppose his nation and governor, or should he play the chess pawn Grace wants him to be, and disappoint Chalsea and Loren?
At the end of the day, he decided to visit his huppermage girlfriend. When Chalsea saw the state Shiel was in, she looked appalled. After a short explanation they sat together on the couch, the girl was holding a bowl of water. She then placed hands in the bowl, used her magic to make the water levitate, embraced with her hands and water Shiel’s face and began to heal his wounds. Shiel closed his eyes and rested his head in her hands.
“So tell me, what exactly happened?”
“I don’t even know where to begin… But I have a lot to tell you”

Part 4 -

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