Chapter 18- Caius Ashfall

Chapter 18- Caius Ashfall

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 18

 

Caius Ashfall

 

           

            The gallows had never seen so many victims before. Every day, Bright Edgar shined his light on ten more guilty women and children. The crime of silence had earned the same price as treason these days. And rightly so. Caius no longer pitied watching those who feigned innocence die anymore. In a war there were only two sides and those that weren’t with you were against you. The Cruorians had tarnished the peace and kindness given to them twice. To treat them as human now would be begging for a third knife in Judicium’s back. As a loyal Judician, a Shadow, Caius would not see Judicium suffer another tragedy at their hands.

            Putting an end to Paradise Lost had been within sight but a hair from his reach. Sia had vanished from the surface like a ghost. The brothel in which she worked at had fallen apart as many other Rat establishments in the lower districts due to Judicium’s Light. The Sun was without mercy and full in his conviction. Women and children had to hide at night while men swallowed their pride when they watched their wives and children get lynched. The act of prideful suicide had fallen from grace after the White Coats made quick examples of them. To fight back meant to get gunned down or burned alive. It hardly surprising that Sia hid wherever it was that Paradise Lost hid, but Caius needed her and would find her at all cost. So every day he stood and watched the next ten victims hang.

            When he wasn’t watching people die, Caius patrolled the entirety of the lower districts. He had every Spider he knew searching for a short Cruorian woman with a bouquet of red hair. He even accepted Raziel’s aid. The fact they hadn’t found her yet proved that wherever Sia was, it was not amongst them. Caius had begun to form a crazy theory that Paradise Lost had to be underground. People didn’t just simply vanished and considering Cruorians were not allowed to leave the city once inside, there seemed little else logic. Even if that were the case though, Caius still didn’t have the slightest idea of where to begin looking. Any which way he saw it he needed Sia.

            It wasn’t until one afternoon like all the rest, after ten more criminals were hanged, that Caius finally found her. Raziel was actually the one to thank. He found her huddled amongst a group of women praying. When Caius saw his foster brother return with Sia in hand, Caius could’ve hugged him like any true brother.

She had looked much as he remembered. There wasn’t a hint of any hardship in her exotic makeup filled face. It was almost infuriating to see that amongst all the suffering on both sides, she seemed untouched.

            Upon seeing Caius her eyes went from utter shock to fuming rage, but she didn’t say a word. Caius knew she only held her tongue out of caution so he relieved her of that worry. “You are in safe hands. I intend to put an end to your kind’s pointless struggle.”

            She looked at Raziel and yanked her arm from his grip. “Where the hell have you been? I looked all over for you! I thought for sure you died during the Week of Repentance.”

            “Let’s go somewhere more quiet.” They took her to an inn in the lower districts run by Judicium’s Shadow. As soon as they entered a room he locked the door and pushed her on to the bed. Raziel leaned against the door with his arms folded while Caius took out his revolver and sat at the corner of the bed. “When I ask you questions I want you to answer as truthfully as possible. If you do that, we can get through this without anyone getting hurt.”

            Sia was not the least bit enthused by his new approach. “So you f**k up and I get the s**t end of things. I looked for you. For days. Before and after the Week of Repentance. But you simply vanished while the world started to fall apart.”

            “I had my hands full. Bringing the attention back to the massacre your people caused. If you knew about the Week of Lament, why didn’t you tell me before?”

            “I didn’t know until the day right before. The day you decided to go missing. The leaders of Paradise Lost had been more secretive with their operations ever since the attack on the shelter. I did tell you that they were aware there was a traitor. Keep me here long enough and they’ll soon find out it’s me.”

            “You don’t need to worry about that anymore,” Caius stated bluntly. “You will never see them again. You will tell me where it is that Paradise Lost hides right now.”

            “You know my terms,” she replied, adamantly.

            Raziel laughed in the background. “You’re in no position to be making demands, Cruorian c**t.”

            “I beg to differ,” she countered. “Without my demands I’m a dead woman, whether it’s at your hands or my own people’s hands. So do your worse.”

            “I accept your demands,” said Caius.

            She scowled. “Is it even still possible? With all that’s happened Cruorians are worth less than they were before. Marry a rebel and they might call you one.”

            “Did she say marry?” Raziel blurted.

            Caius ignored him. “Let them call me what they want. Once Paradise Lost is gone I will be a hero. As far as getting married, there’s still no law that says I can’t.”

            A smile crept through the corner of Sia’s face. Raziel wasn’t as thrilled. “Hero? Caius you’re a Shadow. Shadows are never heroes. Heroes shine in the light. We thrive in the darkness. And besides, you think anyone in Judicium will actually approve of another wedding to end this war? Last time someone married a Cruorian for peace we lost an entire city.”

            “Except I’m not marrying for peace. After this marriage there will be no one left alive to betray us. And I don’t need anyone’s approval. I’m marrying Sia and she will tell me where Paradise Lost is and that will be the end of it.”

            “If you marry a Cruorian no one will trust you. Who is going to stand behind you when you go fight Paradise Lost on the words of a Cruorian w***e?”

            “No one has to know the words came from her. No on has to know anything except where Paradise Lost is hiding.”

            Raziel spat on the floor. “If you end up looking like Charles by the end of all this I’ll be the first to tell you, I told you so.”

            “I won’t be made a fool like my Mentor.” He turned his attention back to Sia. “So, it seems we have a deal. Where is their hideout?”

            Sia shook her head. “I won’t be made the fool either. Until we’re wed I won’t tell you a thing.”

            Caius aimed his revolver. “I need Paradise Lost now. The marriage can wait. You have my word, that’s all you’re going to get. Take your escape while you still can.”

            She hesitated. “Fine…”

            Raziel stepped beside Caius. “How do we know you’ll be telling the truth?”

            “You’ll just have to take my word for it,” she said, mockingly. “But if you need more reassurance, from this point on I will be in your care. If my information proves to be false, feel free to kill me.”

            Raziel looked at Caius. “It could be a trap.”

            “If it’s a trap then I guess we die,” replied Caius. “So where are they hiding?”

            Sia closed her eyes and swallowed hard. It was clear she still felt conflicted about her decision, but it was too late for her to turn back. Her only options now were death or betrayal. “They are…underground.”

            “I knew it,” exclaimed Caius.

            “Even if you know, you’ll never find it without the aid from one of our members. The passages are all hidden. To the naked eye they appear nothing but walls and floors.”

            “You expect me to believe that you have been right under our noses this entire time and we haven’t even realized it?” argued Raziel.

            “Believe what you want, it’s the truth.”

            “Where are these hidden passages?” asked Caius.

            “All over your city. But mostly in churches.”

            “The True Believers…”

            “Yes. We have them to thank for everything we’ve accomplished so far. It was them who built the tunnels and secret passages. We were simply the ones who got our hands dirty. In truth, Paradise Lost is the least of your worries. They are your real enemies.”

“Right now our only concern is Paradise Lost,” said Raziel. “As of now we have no real proof that the True Believers are even acting under rebellion.”

            “Isn’t the fact that most of their hideouts are in churches proof enough?” argued Caius. “And you need look no further than the Week of Lament to see just how deep their involvement goes.”

            “Perhaps. But there’s a thin grey line between starting a war with the True Believers and starting a war with the Church. Treat it without caution and order as we know it may collapse. I for one won’t have Charles’s Godless world become a reality.”

            Raziel’s words held truth. Unlike the Cruorians, the True Believers had to be plucked from the ground civilly. The Fuhrer could kill as many men as he pleased but to kill God was an entirely different thing. “Fine. We’ll make no mention of the True Believers. Let everyone assume what they will on their own.”

            “Do what you want,” said Sia. “I’ve done my part. I only hope you keep to your end of the bargain.”

            “Your part isn’t over yet,” said Caius. “You still need to lead us to these secret passages and give us a list of all the leaders of Paradise Lost.”

 

***

 

            The streets of Lumina never looked as white and bright as they did today. Judicium’s Light lit the city, ready to cleanse the red off the streets. This day would go down in history as the day the Cruorians finally fell, and Caius Ashfall would be its hero of justice. Those were his terms, and that was the way history would write it.

            Bright Edgar was initially offended by Caius’s audacity, then amused when he emphasized that Charles would not receive any of the credit, and thrilled after shown the first hidden passageway inside one of the churches. Afterwards he was more than willing to lend all of his White Coats.

            Without Charles’s cooperation, it was harder to get control of Judicium’s Shadow. Caius requested the aid of the Nights under his same branch but he could not command them. Most agreed. Raziel did the same with his branch. Together they amassed twenty-eight Shadows, which was more than Caius needed. Their job was only to scatter and pursue anyone who even as much as spoke of Paradise Lost or the True Believers while they swarmed the tunnels underground. After the attack, Caius expected there would be a lot of leaks of information amidst the panic.

            Lastly he had gotten Judicium’s Justice, the Black Coats. Caius visited the Judges that were closest to the ones that died during the Week of Lament. Their task was much simpler. All Caius required of them was to have a platoon stationed inside every single church in the city during the time of attack. Most were more than eager to help, still having resentment for the friends they lost.

            As Caius stood beside Bright Edgar he felt a sense of nostalgia. It wasn’t so long ago he was standing in a similar position waiting to massacre countless Cruorians, but it felt like an eternity ago. So much had changed since then. This was not the path God set out for him. It was not even the path Judicium set out for him. Those were two paths that had he followed, he would’ve died an infant at his father’s hand. Instead, he had chosen his own path. Only by carving his own path could he truly live. Only then could a shadow like him shine in the darkness.

            Charles once told him there were two sides to everything. It seemed only yesterday he questioned which side was which. The Cruorians who would die today would die for order. I’ve chosen my side. It’s what I’ve always been and will be. All hail Judicium. All hail the Fuhrer.

            “Can I ask you a question, boy?” asked Judicium’s Sun.

            “Ask and I will answer, Bright Edgar.”

            “What made you human again?” Caius turned to him puzzled. “You’re an orphan from Judicium’s Youth. You shouldn’t care about insignificant things such as glory. I want to know what it took to undo years of dehumanization.”

            It only took a moment to answer. “Being treated like a human…”

            “Is that so. Then I fear this country will not know peace much longer.”

            “Why do you say that?”

            “Fear is the most basic human nature. Sometimes it takes fear to remind us we’re still alive. The people of this city have been reminded of what that is like. And I fear this is just the beginning.”

            “Perhaps. But tonight those that will know fear will not live to dwell on it.”

            The Sun laughed. “You really are Charles’s prodigy. Only much more likable. I’ll be interested to see what the hero will make of you.”



© 2013 Cynical_Art


Author's Note

Cynical_Art
This far in, if you had to pick a side, would you side with Judicium or Paradise Lost? Also curious to any thoughts or predictions you might have.

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I'm not sure exactly on who's side I'm on. Although, Caius is on of my favorite characters, his plan seems a little sketchy to me. It reminds me of an anime I recently finished watching to be honest. XD As for predictions of what well happen, I don't know. I have a feeling though that Caius will die, which I hope I will be proven wrong. I can't wait to see what happens to him and Venir! :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


Cynical_Art

8 Years Ago

Well from favorite characters so far it seems like you're on team Judicium XD lol needless to say, C.. read more
Dark Rider

8 Years Ago

And I can't wait to see what those changes are!

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Added on February 21, 2013
Last Updated on February 21, 2013
Tags: Fantasy, Religion, science-fiction, family, death, betrayal, sex, war, conspiracies, characters, love, psychological, development, God, hierarchy, order, cynical, victorian

God's Requiem


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Cynical_Art
Cynical_Art

New York, NY



About
I am 21 years old, I got my Bachelors in Science Degree when I was 19. My career profession is computer animation (I am an Environment Modeler, for those that follow the profession) but I love to writ.. more..

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