Friday, June 7

Chapter Twelve

When Lyrist had overheard the guards speaking about methods, which are possibly going to be used on Blazerine. He decide to give them the slip, since they weren't paying attention to him anyway. Locks have never been much of an issue for him. However they might of had been, if he was unable to reach them with his nails. 

He precisely did a quick mental count of the men. Although he knew, he wouldn't get too far; if confronted, without obtaining some sort of weapon. The most he could get is a torch, but that would be too foolish to carry around. Plus he's fairly good at seeing in the dark, but the humans were not. This is actually the only advantage he has at the moment. 

Soon as he made it to a corner, he slowly peered over the edge to look back. Luckily for him, there was no commotion. Which can only mean that nobody has notice his absence yet. Although he did see a man being escorted by a guard, however he didn't appear to be a prisoner. He wore a long black velvet robe, which flows all the way down to his feet. A hood covered most of his face, but his heavy-set jaw could easily be seen, along with the large silver cross, dangling from around his neck. He came to a halt, right in front of the very same cell, Lyrist just had escaped from. 

"Here he is, Father Lucius." The guard announced. 

“We must have the wrong cell… or maybe you shouldn't be paid this month.” He says in a cold raspy tone.

"No- this can't be! He was just here a second ago!" The guard shockingly exclaimed. 

Father Lucius starts to laugh. A cold, dead, laugh. The odd thing is that most, well all laughter has a bit of joy in it. Even if its tiniest bit, but his laugh was empty. No emotion, only a demented rage.


Wait... why was Blazerine going to question this at all? It's impossible! Sinner was perfectly fine a second ago. With the whole speech about how she's supposedly a witch, unless she's been out a lot longer than she had originally thought. And maybe he's been burnt to a degree that made his features unrecognizable? 

"Last night, I was visit by a man who claimed he would help me to escape. At first I didn't believe him, until he unlocked the cell. I was so happy, I gave him a hug- then-then he kissed me...  The next thing I know, I woke up looking like THIS! I-I'm- this isn't me. This- this isn't my body!" The man cried. 

"Do you know who he was?" She calmly asked him. 

"N-no, I couldn't see his face. He was wearing a mask." The man explained.

She was quick to say, "Look I'm not going to believe you, unless you can prove, who you say you. Otherwise I think you're just 
trying to fuck with me."  

"You'd think you would be more pleasant, not sleeping in the mud and all." He chuckled. 

Although the voice wasn't the same, his demeanor was much similar to Sinner's than she realized. And his sentence was a reminder of when she had been sleeping out in the mud, and he nudge her awake with these words, "Rise and shine darlin." 

Then a different thought suddenly developed in her head. "A mask... almost everybody from the party had one on. Whoever visit you must of have been one of the king's guest. What did the guy's mask look like anyway?" She pressed on. 

"A bird mask." He replied. 

"This is becoming too much for me to handle..." She buried her forehead into her hands. 

Out of nowhere a man yelled, "Check down there, make sure nobody else has escaped!" 

She dropped her hands, only to watch a guard run right past her cell.  Then two more armed guards came the same way, but they weren't as fast.  

One of them asked the other, "How are we suppose to apprehend the prisoner if weren't not allowed to hurt him?" 

The other guard said, "Well that was before." 

"Hold it!" A third guard caught up to them from behind. "We got direct orders to escort this prisoner down to the chamber. Father Lucius is going to handle her." 

The man, no Sinner called out, demanding them to not hurt her. The only reaction he got was from the guard wielding a crossbow. Of course the guard yelled back, telling him to shut up, but Sinner continued on, until an arrow pierce straight through his chest.

"NO!" Blazerine screamed at the top of her lungs. 

Sinner stumbles back, not really in pain, mostly just in shock.  Another arrow got him, and another....  then another. Fiercely breaking out into tears, Blazerine desperately begs the guard to stop. There was hope he could survive, but that small glimmer of hope she has left, diminishes the moment, when the very last arrow penetrated his heart.

Blazerine tried attacking him, but her limbs, and body movements were no longer moving out of her own force. She thrashed around, only to realize that any attempt to fight was futile. Her body had become tangle up by chains around both her arms and legs, which she somehow neglected. One of the guards directly punched her dead center in the stomach. She collapsed down onto her knees. Wincing, feeling the slack of the chains grip tighten around her limbs. Right there and then, her heart had sunk tenfold. She's practically a little rag-doll, a puppet attached by its master's strings. And she was being beaten to a pulp, until she no longer had the will to fight back.  

The very next thing she remembered, is spending long moments in complete utter blackness. This led her to think that something must of have been placed over her head again. 

Out of nowhere she heard the creaking of a door opening then closing. Followed by sudden a hum. It sounded like a half amused, and half unfazed kind of tone, which has a somewhat disturbing vibe to it. As soon as the veil of darkness was lifted, she saw a hooded man standing before her. 

Murmuring under her breath, she asked, "Who are you? What do you want? What are you going to do to me?" 

Father Lucius wasn't too surprised by her questions. Nor did she flitch under his glare either. He felt like laughing. The girl was so predictable. He only half listened when she huffed off more questions, demanding them to be answered. His hand ruffled through a silk pouch, that's on a small table right besides her. 

Blazerine tried getting up, but she's latched down onto a stone cross, which is soaking wet. It must be covered in what she can only assume is holy water. 

Filling with anger, she yelled, "I know you can hear me, you stupid religious freak!" 

In less than a minute, he stood over her naked body. He held a dagger in between both grasping hands. It was very skinny, and narrow, like the needle of an IV. The hilt had the appearance of a cross, embroidered with dull stones. Slowly he raises the dagger head high, while speaking in wild tongues. Before she knew it, four hooded men stepped out from every corner of the small chamber. They too spoke of the same unfamiliar tongue. Each and every single one of them approached, and placed a restraining hand upon her head. 

"Please don't do this to me!" She pleaded the second her left eye was forcibly pried open. 

Father Lucius aligns the tip of the dagger right before he brings it all the way down, and hits the mark. It didn't go all the way in at first. So he drove it in deeper with the palm of his hand. The only thing Blazerine could do is squirm helplessly, while screaming out in nothing but pure agony. A black ooze - like substance seeped through his fingers as he twists and turns the dagger even further inside. He stopped the second the damage tissue began to reform itself around the metal.

"What is this? It's blanketing itself over... almost like it's beginning to heal." The first hooded man gasped. 

"What kind of demon is this?" The second one asked.

"Are we sure it's even a demon?" The third one questioned. 

Father Lucius said, "This will require further investigation." 

Blazerine cringed when the dagger was ripped out, only to be jammed straight back in her eye, once, twice, thirds, fourths, fifths. The torturing method continued on, it repeated so many countless of times. Just when she thought it was over, it turned out to be only the very beginning. Her other one had become the next bullseye of an dartboard. 

---- Day Two ----

When she was left alone to rot in the chamber. She begun to wonder about the others. Were they okay? Did they actually get released afterwards? Would they actually do anything to get her out of here? She knows Lyrist no doubtfully would try, and maybe Fenix, but she wasn't so sure about Leon. The way he just stood there, the way he looked at her… 

She was finding it a bit hard to think because of the holy water, slowly dripping continuously down along her face. From time to time, she would actually open her mouth for a drink. Although it didn't taste pleasant, it was at least enough to quench her thirst. 

Then suddenly she heard a thud, right outside the door. Her heart paused for a second out of fear. She had no idea what was happening out there. All she could hope is that the noise came from a rabid animal, and not one of those hooded men. Just the mere thought of them returning, caused tears to swell up in her eyes. 

To her surprised she received a non hooded visitor. However she didn't expect it to be... Sinner, emerging from the darkness. He looked directly at her, while inhaling deeply, drawing in the dry air. Although it was obvious; he tried to make himself harder to recognize. 

The tattoos, were obviously fake. They were scrawled around one eye, down to his cheek, and along the jawline. They were all symbols of some sort, and upon closer inspection, they are intricate, and composed of many little lines and whorls, similar to

The clothing he wore, consists of bright colors in cream, crimson and yellow, opposed to his dark previous attire. A red scarf  is neatly wrapped around his head, to hide his bad eye. And the creamy tunic he had on was sleeveless, only on the left side. This allows the tattoos on his arm to be seen. 

The anticipation was building up like a slow lick of the lips. She watched him slowly trace across his, and the whole time, his body is becoming increasingly excited at the prospect of what is to come. 

Sinner gave her a devious smile and said, "Quite a predicament you've gotten yourself into..." 

"What's it to you anyway?" She angrily yelled. 

"Tsk, tsk, not a proper way for a lady to be speaking, especially to a fellow friend of hers." He kept on smiling. 

"You're not HIM! He's - He's, he's dead!" She cried. 

 "I don't take rejection too lightly." He calmly replied. 

"Rejection?! What are you talking about!?" She yelled even louder than before. 

He never said a single word, because the answer had just become clear as day, after simply tossing a bird mask, which lands right upon her right breast. 

"You caused all of this to happen over some stupid dance!?" She furiously asked. 

"It runs a whole lot deeper than that my dear. You'll have all the time in the world to ponder, and wonder over exactly what I could possibly mean. I was thinking about paying you a visit once a day, but now I'm not so sure if I will. You're such an unpleasant company to be around. Such a pity..." He sighed. 

"Yeah you dont say? What I want to know is how you're getting around this fucked up fairy tale of a kingdom so freely, considering all the crimes Sinner has nailed above his head." She said. 

"Lock me up? Why would they do that? I saved their kingdom from a witch. I'm a hero..." He smiled once again. Then he turned back towards the door and called out, "The witch is threatening to kill innocent bystanders, if her demands are not met." 

"What!? He's lying! I never said such a thing!" She protested. 

Whispers were exchanged by the guards outside. It wasn't long before they opened the door to allow Sinner to leave. However... it wasn't long till the hooded men return. 

---- Day Three ----

"Oh my god, I'm in liquid heaven!" Sir Emmanuel practically coos delightfully into his goblet. 

He was at Grommock's pub; it's just typical place for normal folk to stop by and get a drink. Unfortunately he was only two drinks in, when he's interrupted by a familiar voice. 

"I was wondering when you were finally going to show up again. I thought you might have run off, leaving that kid of yours behind." Vala said, after leaning back her slender frame against his table. She closed them fluttering eyes of hers for a brief moment, taking in a long drawn out breath. Nothing visibly changed about Vala, but a strong breeze had pushed the pub's door open violently, out of nowhere.

Sir Emmanuel looked in that general direction, but didn't see anything out of the ordinary. 

"Leave my precious girl behind? What kind of man do you take me for?" He asked. 

She chewed on one of her nails and said, "The things I been hearin'."

"Don't you have something better to do than spew gossip?" He took another chug of his drink. 

She placed a hand upon one hip and yelled, "Why I never! Shouldn't you be concern!? All the rumors going around; about how there's a plot to overthrow the king. And how some of your saviors, and  knights are apart of it, BEHIND IT in fact! And - and that Exchanger!"

Everybody in the pub took interest in the intensifying conversation, as soon as she said the word "exchanger." 

"He's lurking about in the shadows, probably helping them just do that!" 

Sir Emmanuel swallowed the last bit of his drink before he arose from the chair. "Look..." He said, not only to her, but everybody else there. "We've called in a professional to look into this Exchanger." 

"He's lying!" A man shouted from the corner. 

"How would anyone be able to stand up against an Exchanger anyway?" A woman exclaimed. 

"Nobody in their right mind would!" Another woman declared. 

"She's right... nobody in their right mind would. Lucky for you miss, I've lost mine quite some time ago." A unfamiliar gentlemen said. 

"Who the hell are you?" A man asked.

"Avon Voltaire; The Extraordinary Hunter of the unnatural." He tipped his strangely tall leather hat, that's accented with antiqued silver studs. 

There was a shocking response of frightful gasps, but it wasn't only because of his legendary name. It's simply of what was briefly seen beneath his hat. 

"Mister Breeo, you can come out now." Avon said.

Mister Breeo, scurried out from beneath his hat. His padded paws, and toes, would have been silent, if not for the fact that he's running. It's common sight for the energetic little imp. The short furry demon jogged in place with his dull claws clicking against the wooden table. 

"Cute little fellow, isn't he? Mister Breebo here doesn't have much of a vocabulary." Avon tried to say, but Breebo interrupted with a demand by shouting. "MEAT!" 

Avon continued on, "He knows enough to get what he wants."

"How disgusting, he's letting it roam on the table." A woman huffed.

It was somewhat disconcerting to be met with a scowl from the human, but Breebo didn't let it dampen his spirits. He waved his long tufted tail in the air, like a ferocious cobra. 

The waitress stood nearby, stunned.

 ”MEAT PLEASE !” Breebo yelled as he presented a dirty plate to the waitress, beaming like the annoying ball of energy that he was.

Avon motioned to the waitress to carry out the order. 

This is when Sir Emmanuel approached his table to ask, "Nobody has been notified of your arrival yet, have they?"

"I believe they've not, considering I have just arrive." Avon idly played with a chain, which is dangling out from the very front pocket of his vest.

In the background, there's chatter amongst the people in the pub. Taking wild guesses at what exactly an Exchanger is. It annoyed Avon so much that he actually began to explain what it truly was.

"An Exchanger are similar to vampires. Instead of sucking blood, they suck the soul of the person out, when he or she is on the verge of death. Taking their body and their memories. 

If the exchanger is in their body for over a long period of time. In most cases the exchanger becomes the person they switch with ,and believe that is wholly truly who they are. Eventually they sometimes forget their real identity, until they're on the verge of death once again. 

The exchanger could be you!" He paused only to point at a woman.

 "Or you!" He pointed at a man.

Then at himself. "Me... well of course momentarily it is not I. That would be silly. For an exchanger to be that stupid... or bold even to reveal such information. I could never see the day when that'll happen." 

"If all of that is true, then how are you able to tell who the exchanger even is?" Sir Emmanuel asked. 

"My friend here -" Avon began, but Mister Breebo interrupted once again. 

"PARTNER!" Mister Breebo corrects him. Then suddenly busts a plate over his horns; which looked similar to that of a goat's. 

"Ah, yes, pardon me, partner. He's able to detect other demons." He explained. 

The waitress return shortly with several different types of stewed meats since she was never told exactly what kind he wanted to begin with. All this did was make Mister Breebo golden eyes lite up with amazement. He looked as if he was staring deeply into the holy grail itself. Inhaling the aroma, he had enough common sense left in him to quickly step away, guarding his plate with some wariness as he watched Vala approach. 

"Just cause you're cute, it doesn't give you permission to look at me that way." Vala glared  back at him.

"Awwww... did chu ged up on da wong side of da bed? Yoo poor theeng?" He cooed at her with a sickly-sweet tone, as if he was talking to a pet rabbit. For all his impish tricks and jokes, Breebo wasn't very smart when it came to interacting with the rest of the world. Well at least when it comes to humans anyway. 

The more the little demon spoke, the more the novelty of his cute appearance wore off, just making Vala find him annoying. Anyone can easily squash him. His small build, lacks of any real muscle mass. He'd probably lose out in a fight against anyone, even a bumbling idiot.

Once Mister Breeo realize Vala wasn't a threat to steal his grub. He was about to dive in right before Mycroft said, "Mind your manners." So then he politely ate, while using one of his claws like a knife to cut, and the other as a fork. 

Sir Emmanuel dropped a pouch of gold onto the table, right next to Mister Breeo. 

"You get half now, and the rest after the job is finished." He said.

"Do you take me as a mere simpleton? A fool? I do not act unless I am paid in full. I don't see how this could possibly be an issue for a king." Mycroft looked else where. 

Sir Emmanuel slammed his fist down, causing Mister Breeo to bounce, but he continues eating. 

"You dare doubt my king's word!?" He asked.

"Of course not... I refuse to operate your way is all." Avon made a running motion with his fingers then said, "Now run along and tell your king."

Sir Emmanuel snatched the pouch back before he sternly muttered, "I'll be back with your stupid gold."

Avon waved goodbye to the departing knight, saying "Ta, ta, for now."

Mister Breeo joins in with, "Tatty byes!" 

--- Day Four ---

Elena had been gazing out the window... Eventually she heard a knock on her bedroom door. "You may enter..." She said, while  crossing her arms, right below her breasts. Although the person enter, she however kept her back to the door. The fiery redhead hated sitting about with nothing to do. Shifting from one foot to another, wondering what to do to cure her boredom. But deep in the back of her mind, she mostly thinking of how to get herself one step closer to the throne. 

She uncrossed her arms to move her hair out of her face, once she 's  closer to the window. 

"Excuse you. You barge into my BEDROOM of all places. Then don't have the gawd to greet me properly?" A flash of irritation and disgust flashed in her eyes. 

"You're worse than she is...." Sinner commented. 

 "How did you - Who are you - wait you're that criminal who everybody thinks is suddenly a hero now. Don't make me laugh. I know it's just an act to save your own hide. I'm guessing daddy gave you permission to bother me? Well what do you want?" She asked. 

"Let's say... I have a proposition for you, so to speak." Sinner smiled. 

--- Day Five ---

The Queen turned to the sound of her husband's voice. She had actually been so lost in thought, she had forgotten about calling him forth to the bed chambers. 

"Sorry my dear. I had forgotten about calling for you. A little lost in thought. Have you learned anything of my "lovely" little resistors? Or perhaps have one in hand?" She raised her eyebrow.

"I'm sorry my love, I'm afraid there is no squirming rebels in my hands." King Lucian was quick to reply. 

"I see, no horrid little wretch in hand..."  The smile on her face was  now gone. 

He placed a comforting hand upon her shoulder and said, "I too want them captured. That or something to infiltrate their ranks... I want to know more about them." 

She knocked his hand away then yelled, "You better, the whole kingdom is at risk, your son is at risk! Threatening to take an innocent child's life away. They deserve to die, all of them!"

"I didn't think the Blood Pack leftovers could ever amount to anything after losing their leader." He wearily said.

"You should have gone after them! Now our son is going to pay for your god forsaken mistaken with his life! Don't you care!?" She started to cry. 

"Don't cry-" He began to say...

"Now you dare let one of the members walk amongst our kingdom like he is welcome? Calling him a hero, you sicken me!" She said right before walking away. 

--- Day Six  ---

Along a dirt trail was a large crates of cargo being carried in a wagon and wheeled along by two horses; owned by a man named Nicholas. Inside the Cargo was water and food, which was being taken to the mining caves.

Amongst the cargo was five travelers, consisting of both men and women. Helena, whom Nicholas loved very much. Inside is a old man; who talks to himself from time to time. Jaxel was sitting right beside him. He claimed he didn't like the guy, nor the smell of his old raggedy grey robes. Or whenever he falls asleep, which is quite often. He snores annoyingly loudly. 

Then to his left, is a templar who goes by the name of Jared. He wore armor which is lined with decals of a religious red cross. On his back, he carries a kite shield, that has the same symbol. Directly over the breast area was a strip of refined bronze. He wore no shoulder pads, only chainmail underneath. Bestowed upon his groin lay a thin sheet that resembled a skirt, around his waist, to protect most of his lower region, right above his knees, where a chainmail covered his legs. Then lastly a helmet covered most of his facial features. It's split down the nose, where a red cross is visibly seen. He was a quiet guy, who kept to himself for the most part.  

"How many more strays are you going to pick today?" Jaxel asked Nicholas. 

"You should have more belief in my Nick. They've paid us for the lift.  He's not stupid enough to grab free loaners off the road." Helen commented.

Nicholas wrapped an arm around Helen and kissed her on the cheek.

Helen blushed softly, "You know our promise when we get back."

Nicholas rolled his eyes, "After the thousandth time you asked me, how could I ever forget." 

"Such a good boy." Helen teasingly punched his arm tauntingly, in a playful way.

Inconspicuously a volley of arrows struck the two horses in front of them, bringing their ride to a halt. As of them fell, the ropes that connected to the wagon went straight under with it. 

"We stopped? But for what purpose?" The old man snorted awake, but answered himself. "You're under attack, you dope!" 

Helen let out a horrifying scream as Nicholas fell into her. He had braced her just in time to take the next oncoming stream of arrows; right in the back. She screamed, "Help him! Oh god, somebody, help him!" Fearful tears, along with anger spilled down her face. 

Nicholas tried to say something, but no voice could be heard. His lips motion the following words, "I'm sorry." 

Jared pries her away from his body. All that did was make her become even more ballistic. 

"No! I can't leave him! Please!" She pleaded, although Jared refused to listen. 

"Get a hold of yourself and take cover!" Jared shoved her into the wagon, where she lands beside the cargo. 

The old man smacked his lips together, while trying to shake off the grogginess of his nap. Then eventually he edges on over to the end of the wagon, to take a peek outside, only to be surprised by the sunlight. Blearily he rubbed his eyes and said, "At least it was a nice day", having no disregard about all the commotion. 

"Low lives!" Jared shouted. 

Shortly afterward he retrieved the kite from his back. He was preparing to brace himself until... A subtle rush of coolness expands out from behind his body.  It could have been a breeze, but at the same time, it was far too crisp - too chilly - for it to be something stirred by the natural air around them. From the corner of his eye, the old man could be seen with an extended hand. 

With widen eyes, Jared gasped, "A magic...user..." 

Before the next wave of arrows came firing down, upon them. It's almost like time had suddenly stood still. A gentle pulse filled the area as the arrows slowly turned back around, then shot back to which where they had came. Bodies of men tumbled down the hills once the arrows hit their targets. Jared couldn't believe it, every single man had been struck out by an arrow to the head. 

Jared un-sheathed his blade from a decorative scabbard that hung from a belt around his waist. He pointed the weapon directly at him and demands him to reveal his true identity. 

The old man broke out into a conversation with himself...

"He threatens the one who saved his life?" 

"Youngsters these days... no respect for their elders."

"Oh on the contrary, magic is outlawed in our district."

"Hmm... he's right!"  

"Remember that's why you live in that ghastly tower of yours." 

"Have you gone mad?" Jared questioned his sanity. 

The old man thought for a moment... 


"Are you mad?"

"Of course not!" 

"No, no, no, that's not what he meant by his statement."

"Oh really?"

"A name, just give me your name." Jared impatiently blurted out. 

"Yeldir The Magnificent." He finally answered. 

--- Day Seven --- 

Blazerine started playing a game. Guessing which part of her body they were going to go after next.  Her chest? Her arms? No maybe the legs. How mind boggling it was. Out of nowhere she heard giggling, only to soon realize, she's the one who's actually laughing.

Suddenly she started bashing her head back against the stone cross, out of pure insanity. Almost like she's attempting to escape from this nightmare. It wasn't long till a pair of guards came barging in. 

"Why won't you just kill me already!?" She cried.

First guard didn't bother looking at her at all.  His face  remained stern and focused. It appears he was more interested in his surroundings if anything. The odd thing about him is the fact he uses his spear as a walking aid, although he didn't need to. It's pretty obvious from his slip ups of trying to maintain a limp in his walk. 

The second one applied all of his energy into suppressing her head down. At this very second, they were face to face. Slowly he begun to loosen his grip as the tears rolled down her cheeks. 

"Don't tell're feeling sorry for her?" The first guard asked. 

No - yes.... I danced with her at the party. If she really wanted to hurt us, it would've have been then. Don't you thin-" He never got the chance to finish his sentence, because a spear loge straight through his neck. 

Blazerine watched whatever life that's left in the man's eyes diminish completely. The look on his face had become suddenly stiff with little to no expression.  All that remains is an empty stare of a soulless body. Then it collapses over on top of hers, once the spear had been pulled out. 

The only thing she could say is, "Why? Why would you do that to him!?" 

"What a mess." The guard let out a loud obnoxious yawn. 

"WHY!?" She bellowed once again. 

He didn't say anything, he just grabbed the guard's body and shoved it aside. Then leaned in close to stroke her cheek. The dead man's blood smeared as his hand trailed along. With a slightly warmer tone, he said, "You're so beautiful.... You were once a hummingbird, flying from flower to flower, before you flew behind these palace walls. So free - so capable... now you're a dove, my dove, locked in little a cage, where it belongs." 

Her brows naturally came together in a terrible glare. "You're the guy who swapped bodies with Sinner, aren't you?" 

"Oh my I've been caught." He smiled. 

"Why don't you just kill me next?" She angrily asked. 

With his face just inches away from hers, he whispers, "That composure, that short hair of yours, hanging before those glossy black eyes, hiding the rage built inside. That's what I love about you." 

She looked him in the eyes and said,  "You're no secret admirer, you're a stalker Charles. So why don't you go back to that brothel of yours? Oh wait its been burn down."  

He laughs a little, defeated, his eyebrows raising slowly as he looks away briefly. "Clever, clever... girl. How could you tell?" 

"The way you just walked in here." She replied. 

"Ah, yes, my gnarled tree root. It is hard to break old habits. You know at first I wanted revenge against you for not only killing Mary Sue, the woman I loved" He sighed, thinking back to that wonderful, no, magical moment when they first met. Then he continued on, "Ever since that day, I have been one step ahead of you, always watching, always near, and yet I had become interested, although intrigue mostly... You and I both know, that you're not like everybody else. At first I thought you were one of us.

"One of us?" She repeated.

"Humans call us Exchangers, for we can choose to exchange our bodies with whoever we want. There's not many of us left. A considerable amount have died from going insane, losing grasp of their true form, but I'm confident enough not to fall along those same lines. Nor did she, Mary Sue. She was the shepherd and I was her good little sheep."  He nagged a little bit. 

"I'm surprised you just didn't take over Fauna." She commented.

"A mind like mine, clashing with one who is unstable as she is. You should of got rid of her a lot sooner than you did. Your words surprised me. 'He doesn't love you. He treats you like a worthless dog, all of them do. If I were you, I would take back your life. All you need is a little push." 

The disgusting sheer revulsion she felt for saying that to Fauna, made her say, "Shut up." 

"Don't you understand? I'm giving you a push now." He declared.

Blazerine tried filtering out what she had said to Fauna, before bothering to ask, "You're pushing me towards what exactly?" 

"Life.... I know you're dying. I can save you." He seemed to wear an even more flashier smile than before. All the while his eyes  draw toward her necklace. 

She looked up towards the ceiling now, "I would rather die than give this death sentence to anybody else."

"Yes, I know, but all in due time. You'll change your mind. All of them do..." He reassures. 

--- Day Eight --- 

It was midday. The sun was high, and people with elegant clothes walked gracefully along the streets, talking with their friends. Some were probably spreading more rumours, most likely of the ones from yesterday. All the boutique and clothes shop were open, trying to catch the people’s attention, hoping for another good sell. 

The thousandth golden question is, "If I were an exchanger where would I be? Who would I be?" Avon quietly asked Breeo; who is riding on the outside of his hat. 

It's been a day already, although he searched high and low. He has been avoiding one place, the only place left to look is... His gray eyes shift beneath the black strands of hair that shroud him. He glance surpassed the oncoming faces, to the bland stone walls of the castle. 

A slight chill suddenly settled over him. The thought of having to infiltrate an enclosed area was frightening for him, because of his night blindness; not having the ability to see in the dark. At least Breeo lights up like a firefly, whenever he detects another demon.

It's still odd though... The very few Exchangers he has seen before, always have hidden out in plain sight. Why wouldn't they? For some reason this one is doing the complete opposite. What is there to gain? Is it power? But it can't be. He has yet made a move on the king. He wouldn't even have been hired in the first place if that were the case. What could it be then? 

His thoughts kept wandering off, something he rarely did these days. When he didn't have work, he would hunt demons and sell any sort of scales, hide, claws, teeth, whatever was of value. However, he took care not to run into a pack, and normally did his best to single out one on its own, either a scout or one that's just plain unlucky. Every time he would retreat with the body, almost immediately, if he ran into a pack, he knew fully well it would be hard to escape alive, at least on his own. And he felt that he had to do everything on his own. Alone. But Breebo was a different story... In literally one of his darkest moments, Breebo was there to shed him light. And ever since that day, they've never been apart. 

It was more than a hassle to get permission to enter the castle, especially since there's supposedly a escaped prisoner running about somewhere. The gate creaked, squeaking a loud protest as if it had been pushed open in the first time in decades. Breebo annoyingly plugged his ears. 

Inside the castle, nobody pays any attention to him, not one bit. All he could see is nothing but pure chaos, so much commotion. Panicking patrons and their servants, fearing they could be killed at turn's notice. He knew it was nonsense. A man desperate for his life, wouldn't dare to stay in the very same place that kept him. Well unless that man had some sort of death wish. 

There were two staircases, one running up either side of the wall. Down the front of the stairs, to greet him is a statue with a large mirror behind it. The statue seemed to be chiseled out of stone. It's standing there, arms open, like he's reaching out to welcome or embrace a guest. It was like those old statues you expected to find in somewhere like the Vatican, the man wearing a robe and on his back a huge pair of wings stretching out. Only unlike angel statues, the wings seemed to be that of a dragonfly, four of them so intricately designed. All it did was make him ponder what kind of story led its creator to make such a thing. Although its interesting piece, he's never been exactly a fan of statues or really anything decorative in general. 

Making his way upstairs, he notices the carpet, which covered each individual step. Some was worn out, but at least it still kept him from slipping. 

It wasn't long til he treaded down the hallways silently. With plenty of doors along his path, it had become a game of trial and error. One of the rooms he just happens to barges in, turns out to be Princess Elena's living quarters. 

"What did I tell you about knocking!?" Elena groaned from just the own sound of her voice. It serves her right for cracking into the liquor last night, after feeling the urge, to drown some of her pains away. Not the best way to go about doing something, but it did ease the pain until she was in a drunken slumber. After all the day had recalled for some means of forgetting. Sure drinking wasn't the greatest of cures so to speak. It often led to poor sleep even if you did pass out. But... it still had lessen her mind enough to sleep even if it wasn't a good sleep. 

Grumbling something under her breath, her long, slender, fingers raised going about rubbing the side of her head. She swore then and there she was never going to go about drinking herself into a slumber again. Not if it had this large of an effect upon her head. This... was certainly going to slow her down a bit on getting into her morning groove. She slid her long legs out of the bed and pushed off, taking a few unbalanced steps forward.

Avon courteously looked away, because the girl was completely in the nude.  For some reason she didn't seem to notice or maybe even cared about his presence. Had she mistaken him for one of her servants? 

Turning, Elena made her way over to a wooden antique dresser. Pulling the drawers open, while gathering what she desired to wear. 

Avon carried on, skimming through the room as he walked. Shortly he paused upon a vanity in the corner. The surface of it was clear of anything, except the smooth seemingly glossy cloth that laid over across top of it. Nothing really seemed out of the ordinary from one simple glance. However by a closer examination, the vanity is worn out, not by the edges, but actually the entire bottom. This could only mean that somebody has been directly pushing it out from behind. 

"Is there something you want to tell me about this here vanity, princess?" Mycroft said without even turning around. 

Breebo knew humans always seem to be be melancholic creatures in his eyes. They tend to show their emotions more than they think, and this woman was no different.  Fiercely her eyes quickly darted to the vanity. 

"Nobody gave you permission to enter my room, leave NOW!" Elena demands. 

Avon ignored her commands and proceed to push the vanity aside, as far as necessary, slowly revealing a breakage in the wall. The narrow passage was a tight one, but it was still enough for a body to shimmy up and down. 

"Looks like I'm not the only one who hasn't gotten your permission princess." He said, while peering down, trying to judge how long the drop is, and where it may possibly lead. 

Once he extracted himself out from the wall, he asked, "Are you the one who everyone is talking about? Trying to overthrow daddy?"

 ”I should rip that grotesque tongue out of your mouth for making up such an outrageous actuation!" Her eyes narrowed highly in distaste.

"Look princess, I could care less about your daddy issues." He proclaimed, "Having you thrown in some cell isn't going to fill my pockets. I've been paid  in full, I'm obligated to catch this bastard no matter what. I have a reputation to uphold after all.  So if you stand in my way, I won't  have any other choice but to chirp like a little birdy." 

Breebo clapped his claws together and sung, "Chirp, chirp - diddy chirp!" 

Elena's brow lowered in disdain. Was this little creature... was he...  MOCKING HER?! Those murderous eyes of hers were now dead locked onto Breebo. She took one step forward, her rather small pale hand, forcefully swung out to hit him, but Avon caught her by the wrist. 

"Unhand me you incompetent strumpet!" She was most certainly an individual that caused a ruckus wherever she went. Nor did she care that she is outmatched solely alone, when it comes down to one's own strength. 

"I know you're a proud woman, but I am also a proud man. And I have a job to fulfill. So that pink tongue of yours better snake out slowly with some retrieved information or else." He threatened. 

"Fine!" She finally gives in, "He's been sneaking in and out of the dungeon." 

"For what?" He asked, but when she didn't answer, he tightly squeezed her wrist. 

She blurted out, "H-he's been visiting a person. He didn't specifically tell me who, or why."  

Avon roughly tossed her hand aside then said, "Good now quit embarrassing yourself and go throw on some damn clothing already." 

"Hmph!" She exclaimed with her nose in the air. 

Avon left in a hurry, he didn't even bother closing her door. 

© Tiffany Ann Adkins 2015 - 2019