Chapter 31- Dumas Erequix

Chapter 31- Dumas Erequix

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 31

 

Dumas Erequix

 

           

            It was funny how easy fortune could tip from one side to the other. In the early years of his life, Dumas never knew what fortune the next day would bring. When you lived day to day like he and his sister, the next day could always be your last.

            Dumas never knew his parents. His mother died before he was able to walk. Beat to death in an alley due to a debt she owed, according to his sister. His father, a stranger to them both. Whether he was alive or dead, a question neither cared enough to investigate. Growing up the only parent he ever truly had was Saphira.

            Saphira had always been there for him in the beginning. She did whatever she had to in order to make sure they both ate every day and lived to see another day. She joined the guilds with the other orphan kids to make sure they had a roof to sleep beneath when it rained. She stole, she fought, and she sold for the guild. But sometimes when she stole she got caught, or when she fought she lost, or nobody wanted to buy from her. On those days, they slept cold and hungry. But Saphira would always whisper in his ear that it would be okay, and he believed her and stopped crying.

            As a child, all Dumas ever wanted was to be rich. Whenever he watched his sister struggle for a measly amount of coin, he would pray to God for a gift from which he could make a fortune. He knew that if he had money they would never need to beg or do dirty work for the other orphans. He knew Saphira would stop coming home with bruises and that they would never go hungry again. Money was the answer to all their problems. That was, until the day Saphira came back late one day and wouldn’t say a word.

            From the bruises he had assumed she had just lost another fight, but it was more than that. Her eyes were filled with shame. He could still recall that empty look as she gazed right through him when he tried to ask her what happened that night. They didn’t eat that day, but it was Saphira who broke down in tears and he who whispered in her ear that it would be okay. The next morning he saw his sister inhaling the one thing she always warned him to stay away from.

            When Saphira turned to cryst, Dumas finally realized that all this time, he had been lucky. Saphira had started to become a different person. She no longer prioritized his safety and spent their money on drugs rather than food. It quickly became his job to keep them both alive. A responsibility that Saphira had not taken kindly to. To her, Dumas trying to take charge of their survival was like Dumas trying to stand above her.

For years, Dumas managed to disregard her ungratefulness knowing that she was not to blame for her behavior. In response, he saved money on the side so that one day they might leave the lower streets of Eden and he could pull her away from the drugs. Over the years he managed to almost gather a sum enough to find them into a shelter home. Their fortune was ready to change for the better again, until one day Saphira found all the money he had struggled to save up and spend it on cryst.

            For Dumas that had been the last straw, and so he abandoned her to her fate. He began collecting his own money and saving up again and trying to find new ways to become rich. Walking by a street once, he saw a man painting another man for money. Intrigued, he paid the man for some paper and painting tools to try it for himself. He quickly found he had a knack for it. Dumas failed to make money from it, finding no buyers in the lower streets, but he never put down his brush. Dumas painted everything he saw. Every alley, every wall, every store, trashcan, garbage, cloud, he painted everything. When he was painting, the world and all its malice didn’t exist. Only him and the world inside his picture. Life had finally seemed to have a meaning other than surviving each day. But that meaning was overshadowed when he found himself reunited with his abandoned sister.

            In the midst a crowd of orphans, in an illusive state, bathed in crystal shards, Saphira clawed at her skin like a rabid animal. The sight brought ache and shame to Dumas’s heart. Watching his sister, who raised him and protected him when he couldn’t, reduced to nothing but a shell of her former self, opened his eyes to what it was he truly cherished in life. It had never been the money, or the food, it was her. It was his sister. The only mother and father he would ever know.

And now I’ve abandoned you again…like the worthless brother I am.

            “Are you even painting me?” asked Ismailia, annoyed. “I haven’t seen you neither glance at me nor move that brush in the last half an hour.”

            Dumas looked at Ismailia and then at his quarter done portrait of her. It was painful to look at and a shadow of his true talent. He made sure to show no signs of the shameful progress he had made though. “I was merely inspecting how the portrait matched the reflection.”

            Ismailia eyed him suspiciously. “I don’t believe you. I’ve seen you paint me enough times to know the difference between one of your artistic trances and when your mind is simply somewhere else. And you haven’t exactly been yourself as of late either. You’ve been lacking in your expected flattery of both me and you.”

            Dumas was startled by how observant Ismailia was. He always assumed the only thing she ever noticed during their obligated company was how long before she got to be on her way. Even so, he avoided any confession that would attract unwanted attention to himself, for both his sake as much as his sister’s. “If you truly must know, the task your father set upon me has proven more troublesome than expected. That, along with all my other tasks. It’s hardly permitted me time to rest.”

            The mention of tasks succeeded in distracting her. “It has been rather hectic as of late, even I must admit. Ever since the Fuhrer sent his dogs to track us it’s been nothing but action without actually doing anything.”

            Dumas took advantage to further stray from the subject of himself. “I hear Lucifer is making good progress on that account at least. He’s exposed Charles Veritas and killed one of his Mentors.”

            “And announced it to the whole of Eden,” complained Ismailia. “That man has no sense of secrecy. He puts us all in danger. Just who does he think they’ll assume is Lucifer? Certainly not a clergyman. If the Judicians believe there to be two Archangels within the Azure Palace they may soon seize whatever hesitation they’ve had thus far in attacking.”

            “Lucifer is an Archangel, he knows what he’s doing. Besides, the main reason Charles doesn’t attack us is the same reason we don’t attack him. An assault on either the Azure Palace or Eden’s Tower is too far a gamble. With an assault that big, allegiances on both sides would be in question. For the average person, when your life is on the line whether or not you’re a True Believer or a Loyalist comes down to which one guarantees your life. In the heat of battle, who knows who will turn on who by the end. Lucifer provokes Charles so it won’t have to come to that.”

            “Did my father tell you that?”

            “No. Your father tells me nothing of other Archangels. Everything I’ve assumed I’ve deduced from the eyes, ears, and mouths of the Azure Kingdom. Lucifer and Charles have been playing a game of silent murders that have the entire city hiding in their homes and scared to speak the words Loyalist and True Believer. But it seems the trap we aided Lucifer in proved successful to some degree.”

            “I had thought for sure Simon Gladius would’ve been amongst the ones who took the bait. The guy came from out of nowhere with impossible resources and access.”

            “If he’s a Shadow, he’s a good one. Once my test on the white magic is done though, we’ll know his true colors. However, the Azure Prince plans on making use of him so best pray he is who he says he is.”

            Ismailia stood from her chair, no longer caring about the portrait. “My father risks too much by doing so. What if they are captured?”

            Dumas stood up himself and stretched. “I imagine your father has already considered the possibility. We may know little of plots and schemes outside of Eden within Caelum Infinitum, but the Archangels are everywhere. I imagine even within the white ring.”

            Ismailia paced her way to stand by him and spoke in a hushed tone, “You overestimate our power. If we had that kind of influence within the white ring we wouldn’t need Simon Gladius.” She leaned closer to a whisper. “Can I confide in you, Dumas?”

            Dumas leaned back, reluctant. He already had enough troubles to worry about and was not about to mount another onto his back. “If it’s a secret that hasn’t reached my ears it’s because it’s not meant for me to know. I know my place within Caelum Infinitum and do not seek to overstep it.”

            “I can sympathize with you on that regard. However choosing to close your eyes and ears to what I have to say may only serve to harm Caelum Infinitum. I only ask that you hear me out and make the decision yourself.”

            Days ago my life was simple. When did it all fall to s**t? “Fine…I’ll hear you out. But do not expect me to do anything that you wouldn’t do.”

            Her eyes lit with hope. “All I expect is your loyalty to Caelum Infinitum.”

            Dumas scratched the back of his neck nervously, fearing what he was about to hear next. “Well, say whatever it is you have to say.”

            “Very well. My father means to smuggle Mary inside of Eden, at her request. However, I do not believe he genuinely means for her to make it outside of the white ring.”

            Already Dumas was hearing way more than he wanted to hear. “No. Stop right there. You speak of Archangels plotting against each other. I will not get in the middle of this.”

            She grabbed his hands as he tried to step away and begged, “Please, hear me out. My request will not cost you your life, I promise!”

            Dumas yanked his hand away. “Perhaps not. But it will place me in the middle of something that I don’t want to be in. I have enough on my plate already.”

            “Hear me out at the very least. I’ve never once asked you for a favor before in my life. You think I’d go to you if I had any other choice?”

            Dumas ran his fingers through his hair frustrated and let out a deep sigh. “God help me.” He looked at Ismailia. “Speak…”

            A faint smile of relief crossed her lips. “Thank you.”

            “I’m only hearing you out because I serve Caelum Infinitum. So go on before I change my mind.”

            “As I was saying, my father means to smuggle Mary into the city, but I do not think he means for her to ever actually make it. You may be wondering why an Archangel would betray another, and the truth is simpler than you would expect. Simply put, it’s personal. My father has never liked Mary.”

            “So you expect me to believe he would get rid of a key figure within Caelum Infinitum for something as measly as a personal problem. This isn’t just anyone we’re talking about, it’s an Archangel.”

            “Indeed. But as my father would say, every Archangel has a role to play, and she has already finished hers. Whether or not she lives at this point will not change much. Which is why my father is doing a careless attempt at smuggling her in.”

            Dumas raised his hands in question. “So why exactly do you care so much? You would think if your father dislikes someone that it’s for a reason and that as his daughter you would support him.”

            Ismailia glared at him. “He may be my father but he does not control my heart or mind. If he turned against our Savior I would strike him down myself personally. The reason I stand against him on this occasion is because he is wrong about Mary. Mary…”

            Dumas cut her off, “I don’t care. Just tell me where I come in?”

            “If you were to tell my father that your test results are in and that Simon Gladius is a Shadow, he will be forced to call off his deal with Simon. Mary will never risk going through the white ring and everything will remain the same.”

            Dumas shook his head. “If Simon Gladius can be trusted, he could become a crucial asset to the Azure Kingdom while this city is still quarantined. I will not strip his Grace of that opportunity on a hunch with matters above our rank. You have my word that nothing you have said will leave this room, but I will not act on your request.”

            “Would you not save an Archangel if you could?” asked Ismailia, distressed.

            “I would, for Raphael. I will not betray the one who has given my life meaning and opportunity for something we don’t even know is true.”

            Ismailia nodded, surprisingly calm but with blatant disappointment in her face. “I understand. Think about it though. In case you change your mind.”

            After she left, Dumas collapsed on his chair and took a deep sigh. When did my life become so complicated? Much as he wanted to disregard the conversation he just had, it kept pecking at his head. Quickly, he started regretting not investigating further into the matter. Why Ismailia has so much respect for Mary, whoever she was. Or why Alistair Loucelles hated Mary, whoever she was. Holy Grimoire aside, Dumas knew nothing of the Archangels except for Alistair Loucelles. In regards to Lucifer, he only knew him by face and name.

            From Lucifer and Raphael alone, Dumas knew the Archangels were all individuals whose presence would be noted upon entry. Dante Daimios was the type of man that emanated so much confidence that you would believe him if he told you he could fly. Alistair Loucelles in the other hand was a man so fearful that a simple gaze from him would strip anyone of their manhood in place of a c**t. Dumas could only wonder what Mary, the Archangel of Lust, would behold. A beauty beyond my wildest imaginations.

            Dumas went to his engineering lab to check on the progress of the white magic comparison. The instant he entered, the burst of blue light hit his face. Dumas had shelves after shelves of different qualities of crystallite, brands of crysts, and crystallite plants. Inside each little crystal you could see the pulsing movement within the organic rock.

            Crystallite was considered to be the life stream of God himself. As the Holy Grimoire would dictate, all men were born from it back when Yggdrasil yet held life. Scientifically, crystallite was alive, life trapped within a shell. When split free of its exoskeleton, the living organisms inside quickly adapted to whatever it was they had to. With the right engineering, you could manipulate it into adapting into whatever it was you needed. Whether something as simple as a change of color or as complex as an energy source capable of giving life to an airship. The white magic Dumas was deteriorating was said to be capable of making someone feel as if they were God themselves.

            As Dumas stepped over the canister of deteriorating acid he was using for his experiment, his jaw dropped. Holy s**t, it’s done! It’s already done! And…Dumas inspected it three more times looking back and forth from his reports and canister. Without a doubt, the white magic that remained was the one belonging to Alistair Loucelles. It seems you might get your wish after all, Ismailia. As he was about to step out of his lab another thought occurred to him. One leaning more towards his own concerns, far from the dealings of Angels.

            He descended to the third floor of the Azure Palace where he quickly searched for Farah. As usual, he found her on some man’s lap trying to seduce him, dressed in her corset and see-through leggings. Dumas made his way over and flipped two coins to the man. “I apologize, but I’ve a desperate craving for this w***e. You’ll have to excuse us.”

            The expression on the man was none too pleased but didn’t bother to argue with the Dumas Erequix. Farah in the other hand turned to him startled with anger and bewilderment in her emerald eyes. “I’m sorry,” she apologized to Dumas. “I promised this fine gentleman I would save myself for him today.”

            Dumas wasn’t going to have no for an answer. “I apologize if I make offense, but this fine gentleman cannot outbid me. And last I remember, w****s always attend the highest bidder.”

            He could see her feigned smile cringe at the remark. “As you wish then.” She apologized to the client and followed Dumas upstairs into his personal room. “Are you f*****g dense? What part of we are to avoid each other within the Azure Palace don’t you understand? I choose when to meet you and we only do it in that rundown home of yours!” Dumas slapped her to the floor. She got up fuming red with rage. “You worthless s**t!”

            Dumas pulled out his revolver and aimed it straight at her. “I’m done being your b***h, w***e.”

            She gazed at him with a mocking smirk. “I could kill you unarmed if I wanted to. Besides, you don’t have what it takes to shoot me. Kill me and your sister dies too.”

            Dumas shook his head. “I’ve figured you out w***e. Now I’m making the rules.”

            “Please do enlighten me, just what exactly did you figure out?”

            “I know who you work for. Simon Gladius.”

            Her composure was perfect. “Simon Gladius? I’ve never even heard the name.”

            “Cut the s**t!” warned Dumas. “I know he’s a Shadow. That white magic he’s selling us, it’s even older than the one the Azure Prince has stocked up. Which means his story is a load of s**t. And his only reason for being here is for being a spy. Just like you.”

            Farah grimaced finally showing worry. “How many people know?”

            “Just me, for now.”

            “And I imagine you want your sister back for his safety.”

            “My sister safely back in my hands. Do that and I shall give you and whatever other Shadows you have hidden here the opportunity to run with your lives.”

            Farah nodded in acknowledgment but didn’t show a hint of fear. “I must admit I underestimated your competence. I should be grateful to you for coming to me first to negotiate though.” She walked towards the bed and sat down without a care in the world. She turned to him with adamant eyes filled with authority. “You will refrain from making any mention of Simon Gladius to anyone. Anything happens to me or him, we’ll send you back your sister piece by piece.”

            “The audacity! You f*****g w***e! Can’t you see I’m the one who’s making the demands?”

            She laughed, mockingly. “I admit you had me scared for a split second there. But now I know for a fact, that the life of your sister is worth more to you than your loyalty to Caelum Infinitum. You will not jeopardize us knowing your sister will be the one to pay the price. You have no idea where she is, and you know the Shadow is everywhere.”

            Dumas felt his arm shiver with rage. “How do I know she’s even okay?”

            “I took your medication to treat her. I work with Starfalls, they know how to keep a regularly healthy dose of crystallite.”

            “It’s not the same! Youths take crylist. My sister takes a specially engineered dose of cryst! The quantity and regularity is completely different. If you keep her as your captive any longer by the time I get her back there will be nothing left of my sister.”

            Farah looked at him with what looked like genuine concern. “As of right now she hasn’t shown any drastic symptoms. If you want me to follow a certain procedure however, write a list. You may not think much of it, but I give you my word that your sister will not see harm…as long as you cooperate.”

            Dumas launched his worthless gun at one of the mirrors, shattering it. “This is bullshit!”

            “This is war. This is the path you chose when you let Alistair Loucelles take you in.”

            For someone who followed the Azure Prince in hopes of power to guarantee his own future, Dumas never felt so powerless. “So…what now?” he asked defeated.

            “I’m glad you asked,” she said with an obnoxious smile. “I want to know everything you know about Caelum Infinitum. About Raphael, the Archangel of Greed. Any other Archangels you may know. The Son of God. And any plots the Azure Kingdom or the True Believers have.”

            “You’ll be disappointed with how little I know.”

            “We shall see about that. When you speak, keep in mind that I know more than you think I know. If at any given moment I know or even as much as think you’re lying, well…I don’t think I need to tell you what happens.”

            Dumas felt his whole world slowly coming apart and undoing itself. His good fortune had run its course, and he wasn’t sure he’d ever get it back at this point. How the f**k did I end up here? I had it all…I had it all and everything is falling apart.



© 2013 Cynical_Art


Author's Note

Cynical_Art
Sorry for the long gap between chapter releases. Been super busy. Here's the next chapter though and a further look into Dumas's past and current mental state. Just curious to know what are your thoughts on Dumas, Farah, and your predictions on how the transaction Caius will be doing will go down.

P.S. the next chapter only needs revising so hopefully it'll be up soon. It is a Mhia Atlas chapter.

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Okay, now I feel a little sympathetic towards Dumas. But how did he go from the caring young boy to the narcissist man in his first chapter? Anyway, this chapter was amazing, and I love every minute of it. I can't really say what I think will happen to Caius, but I can't wait to see how that will turn out. This is just a great book and I can't wait to see how it ends. :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


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Cynical_Art

8 Years Ago

I'll come around to that :) Also ask a lot of questions. It probably seems pointless since I'm the w.. read more
Dark Rider

8 Years Ago

Ohdon't worry, I'm going to ask a lot of questions. XD And I hope your new job works out good for yo.. read more

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Added on April 11, 2013
Last Updated on April 11, 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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