Chapter 33- Liana Veritas

Chapter 33- Liana Veritas

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 33

 

Liana Veritas

 

           

            The tavern was packed with drunken celebration. Husbands cheered to their happy oblivious lives. Travelers shared adventurous tales. Wenches flirted with any man who might show promise. Merchants took advantage of the intoxicated carelessness of others. Some simply wallowed their sadness and misery in drink. But not a soul seemed to care about the worries of the world. Here, the fact a war was brewing was not even a notion. To be blind and ignorant. It’s no wonder Judicium rules so uncontested.

            There was one aware individual loudly discussing rumors of Eden. He told his intoxicated audience about how he heard from someone that the quarantine was not in order to trap the Cruorian Queen, but to bring down the Church. The drunken fools were quick to laugh and doubt him, stating that the Fuhrer was a man of God and that he would not dare bring down the very being that birthed him with divine right. In that much they were not wrong. There served no purpose in bringing those beneath you lower. All the Fuhrer wanted was for it remain so.

            The two tall and muscular Rat twins, Benet and Lemont, returned to the table with more drinks. Both were wearing identical outfits. A brown vest, short sleeve shirt underneath, blue breeches, and black leather boots. Each of them carried a b*****d sword at their waist. For the exception of their hair, Benet with the longer of the two, they were completely identical. Although intellectually incompetent, the twins had their uses. Both were ferocious with a sword and their loyalty came unquestioned. As all true servants of God.

Next to Liana was the only other person maintaining a sober mind. Cardinal Gilles. For the last two years, Gilles along with their two bodyguards had been Liana’s closest companions.

            Gilles leaned over and whispered, “The hour grows late. Their minds weak. Perhaps it’s time we shared drinks with the people of this town.”

            Liana was not in the mood. “We’ve done nothing but mingle with them the last four days. I’ve had my fill. The only person whom I have desire in speaking with is Maximillian Osgia.”

            “With the Speaker in town, caution must be taken. We must continue to be patient until Voice Osgia seeks us out again. In the meantime we might as well make the best of our time here.”

            “I once thought the same, but I fear we may be here longer than expected and would rather avoid attracting any more attention. The white ring still proves impenetrable and the Sun still shines as bright as ever. I often wonder when Gabriel will decide to make himself useful.”

            “His job is merely to obey,” Gilles defended. “Judicium’s Sun will fall in time. And when he does, it shall be our Sun that lights Judicium in his place.”

            “Or, Judicium’s Sun will not fall. We lose Eden. And our cause is lost.”

            “You give the Shadow too much credit. They will not be able to defeat Lucifer and Raphael.”

            “I give the Shadow enough credit. They undid us in Lumina. I’ll not wait and see it happen again. The Fuhrer has had us at our heels ever since the fall of Paradise Lost. A city we could’ve controlled in a year or two, lost out of carelessness.”

“Had the Cruorian w***e never betrayed…”

            “She did,” ended Liana. “And it proved how easily we could be undone with but a simple traitor.”

            “Even with her treachery, we still manage to prevail. Look no further than the fact that Raphael still lives.”

            “Out of mercy of the Fuhrer,” she countered, bitterly. “Once the Fuhrer starts to expose the rest of the Archangels he will destroy the Azure Kingdom. Once the Azure Kingdom is no more, Eden will slowly start to convert back to its Loyalist ways.”

            “I understand where you’re coming from, yet we must have faith.”

            “Faith in Gabriel? I’d sooner place my faith in Raphael. At least he’s proven he’s truly for our cause.”

            “It is not Gabriel I would place my faith in.”

            Liana knew immediately what person the Cardinal had in mind. “Judas has proven to be useful, but always with one foot out of the water. He won’t risk his life for the cause.”

            Gilles sighed with frustration. “You fear too much. As long as we remain on the path of God, we shall prevail.”

            “Let us pray you are right. If all my fears turn out to be true, then we’ve already lost this war.”

            A Judge entered the tavern in his black frock coat and crimson cape, two Black Coat underlings beside him. There were many curious glances aimed towards Judicium’s Justice but all found themselves quickly disinterested. Liana was not so dismissive. A Judge of the Black Coats did not enter such low company without a reason.

            Without warning, the two underlings walked to the man who was shouting rumors earlier and hit him with the butts of their bayonets until he was on the ground. The entire tavern seized, silence claiming over it. One of the Black Coats leaned over the victim and apprehended him so he could not move.

            The Judge walked to stand by the victim. “For a guy spreading such controversial rumors I thought you would take a more cunning appearance. You look as stupid as the idiocy you blurt.”

            The victim gazed up from the floor, fear painted clear in his drunken eyes. “I only told what I heard, I swear! It wasn’t me who spread the rumors! Please, have mercy!”

            The Judge crouched near his face. “And who exactly did you hear…said rumors from.”

            The man struggled to find his words. “A-a man in a different tavern. H-he said a-a woman told him! I never b-believed him, I swear. I-I was just sharing what I heard, Judge sir.”

            The Judge looked as if to entertain the idea. “If you saw this man on the streets, would you be able to point him out?”

            “I-I don’t know, Judge sir. I was v-very drunk at the time.”

            “And yet you seem to remember the words he said perfectly.” The Judge stood up. “It seems we’ll have to help you refresh your memory. Take him and bring him to dungeons!”

            The two Black Coats lifted the man up by his arms as he cried, and dragged him outside the tavern. After the three Black Coats left, the tavern remained in utter silence. How the simple people tremble.

            Liana leaned towards Gilles and whispered, “It seem we were fortunate to not share drinks with the people of this town tonight.”

            “So it seems,” agreed Gilles.

            Liana turned her thoughts towards Eden. “So what is it you miss most about Eden?”

            There wasn’t a hint of hesitation in his answer, his gaze looking beyond what was in front of him. “The children. I miss the Children of Yggdrasil. I hope Anima has taken good care of them in my absence.”

            “I imagine he has. They are his Angels after all.”

            “Not all. Lucifer has taken many for his own in the building of his army.”

            Liana laughed. “I’d hardly call it an army. Yet Daimios has a talent for casting large shadows with little to less.”

            “What about you?” asked Gilles. “What is it you desire to be reunited with in Eden?”

            “Do you have to ask?” Liana made no secret where her loyalties and passion were. “Our Savior. Our Messiah. God’s very own blood. I long for nothing more than to be reunited with Jeshua. It has been too many years.”

            “Indeed it has. Indeed it has.”

 

***

 

            There was a soft familiar knock on the door and Liana knew it was finally time. Lemont advanced to open the door, a hand firmly on the hilt of his sword. He opened the door and in came a cloaked figure. Once the door was closed the guest removed her hood. It was the same bald woman with garnet eyes from before. Gia.

            “So?” asked Liana. “Has Maximilian figured out a way to get us back into Eden?”

            Gia nodded. “He did. Follow me and I shall take you to him.”

            Maximilian took great care to maintain his secrecy, as should anyone when serving high in Judicium’s order and dealing with fugitives. Whenever they met he would always send his Cruorian assassin to seek them out and then guide them towards a meeting location. The meeting location was never the same place twice and was invisible to the naked eye. Much like in Lumina, there were many hidden places only known to Caelum Infinitum. A haven absent in Eden due to Yggdrasil’s thick roots underneath.

            As for his Cruorian servant, Liana knew little of Gia Februa aside from what Gilles had told her. Gia was amongst the better assassins of Paradise Lost, said to be as skilled with a blade as she was in seduction. Although Liana failed to see where the tall bald woman’s beauty was, Gilles told of how she had slept with almost all the higher-ups within Paradise Lost. In Cruorian society, that was considered to be an achievement. Cruorians were known to sleep often with one another and unlike most other cultures it was usually the woman who chased the man.

            Gia ran away from Paradise Lost after participating in what was supposed to be a rescue mission for Liana herself. A mission gone terribly wrong at the cost of Emilia’s life. When first informed of Gia’s participation in the mission, Liana was ready to kill her. After a long heated argument however, it became clear that Gia was truly clueless of what went down involving her daughter. Gilles proved just as useless, aware only of the players he set to the task and the few that returned. About the only solace Liana actually received from Gilles was that her son was safely in the hands of Caelum Infinitum.

            Liana signaled the others to get ready to head out. Despite having no reason to mistrust Maximilian Osgia, she went nowhere without her two bodyguards and faithful Angel.

            After a somewhat long and very secretive travel through the dark streets of the town, they found a hidden passage passed a brick wall near a sewer tunnel. Utter darkness was all that stood before them. Gia commanded them to create a chain holding hands as she slowly guided them through the darkness. Eventually glimmers of light could be seen in the far end. They came up to a door with the engraving of a cross, the outline of a sword crossing a dagger. Gia knocked in an unorthodox pattern and the door opened from the other side.

Maximillian Osgia was waiting across, dashing as always. The first thing Liana always noticed about him was his golden silky Illumian hair, followed by his mismatched eyes. His right eye shone like a sapphire while his left like an emerald. Staring at his eyes and hair was like gazing at all the riches of the world.

As Liana and her companions stepped inside, Maximillian grinned his forever confident and seducing white smile. He gave a low bow towards Gilles and greeted, “Your Eminence.”

            Gilles nodded. “Voice.”

            The Voice then thwarted his gaze towards Liana’s own beauty. Liana subtly shook her golden locks of hair resting beside her full breasts, yet the jewels in his eyes saw none of it. “Mary, you grow more beautiful every time I gaze upon you.” Empty flattery. The man sees right through me.

            Liana returned the smile but only for a moment. “Gia tells us you’ve devised a plan for us to enter the city.”

            “Indeed I have.” Maximillian gave a quick glance at all the players in the room. “The white ring may stop any person from walking through but it could not stop birds from flying above it. I was able to get in touch with the Azure Prince and he yet again proves resourceful.”

            Liana was instantaneously disappointed. “So Raphael found a way across…not you.” There was no love between Raphael and herself. For a man like Raphael, who hardly ever lifted a finger for her sake, to go through the trouble of getting her across, left a lot to be questioned.

            Maximillian was oblivious to her concerns, at least pretended to be. “Indeed. The man has managed to even spread his influence to the white ring. So after much plotting, the two of us have devised a way for the five of you to reach Eden.”

            “Five of us? I only requested passage for four.”

            “I know. Yet I would have Gia accompany you.”

            As if there was not already enough to suspect they plan on sending an assassin with me. “For what reason?”

            “My own,” he replied, bluntly.

            Liana snapped, “I’m an Archangel. Do not forget your place.”

            Her reminder did not faze Maximillian. “Indeed. Yet I am not your Angel. So let us not dwell on needless quarrels of who commands who. If you wish to enter Eden, it will be alongside Gia. What you do once there, I could frankly care less. You’ve played your role. With your pilgrimage over, now it’s time for the other Angels to do their roles.”

            Liana felt her blood rising but kept her cool knowing nothing she could say would change anything. What do I care what a mere Angel thinks of me anyways. “As you wish,” she replied to him. “So what is this plan you and Raphael have schemed together?”

            “Simpler than you would expect. Raphael has found an individual capable of moving in and out of the white ring that goes by the name of Simon Gladius. This Simon alongside his companion Roderick will escort you into the city. Strangers to us, yes, but fear not. Raphael’s very own bodyguard, Diaxos Allard, will be present for your guaranteed safety.”

            “The bodyguard of a man who hates me. I’ve never felt safer.”

            Maximillian ignored her mockery. “On the imminent day, you will travel to a meeting point in the outskirts of the white ring. There you will meet with Roderick and Diaxos, who will then guide you to Simon after which they will finish escorting you back to Eden.”

            Liana was astounded by how Maximillian explained all that without stuttering once. “Just how much of an idiot do you take me for? I would have to be completely mad to enter the white ring with this pathetic plan. This Gladius and Roderick with their exclusive access are clearly men of the Shadow. And what good is one bodyguard in a colony of White Coats?”

            Maximillian shrugged as if it were the most minor issue ever. “You knew this would never be easy and that the risks in any attempt would be life threatening. The only question that was ever relevant was just how bad you wanted to be reunited with our Savior. I mean with your failure in Lumina and your pilgrimage over, all that’s really left for you to do is assume your position beside our Messiah and help lead us in whatever little way you can.”

            It had been a long time since anyone but Charles reduced her to so little worth. It was humiliating. She felt like a w***e that nobody wanted. But to turn away now was to accept that she no longer held any value to Caelum Infinitum. A thing she would rather die than admit. The day she could no longer serve God was the day her life stopped holding meaning.

            Liana gave her most genuine fake smile. “Thanks for reminding me.” She glanced back to Gia. “Fine. I may not trust Raphael, but I doubt your messenger would die for something as measly as getting rid of woman who no longer holds any real value.”

            “Believe whatever it is you wish to believe,” said Maximillian. “I but serve God and aid his vessels in loyal service.”

            “Then I rest my fate in your hands, Voice.”

            “That you do. Now that you have made up your mind, there’s one other thing.” He went to the corner of the room and brought forth a dark chest and opened it. Inside were five iron masks with only holes to see through.

            “What’s this?” asked Liana.

            Maximillian pulled out a key from his frock coat pocket. “Once closed there is no amount of force that will open or break that mask without destroying your face in the process. Without a key, it is forever sealed. This precaution is for the case that this plan does fail. If that happens, I will not have your identities discovered. If Judicium discovers you to be the people Raphael is trying to sneak in, they could put enough into context to pull us apart.” He looked at Cardinal Gilles. “Your brother has already had a hard enough time since your disappearance.” He turned to Liana. “And we don’t need to discuss how destructive it’ll be to us if you get revealed. I’m sure there are those that have already suspected your connection with the True Believers, yet I doubt any suspect just how deep.”

            Liana reached for one of the masks. It was cold and heavy. “Forever sealed. Am I to wear this mask until we meet again?”

            Maximillian laughed. “Heavens no. That would be cruel. Through use of birds I had the only other replica of this key delivered to Raphael. Upon your arrival of the Azure Kingdom you should be released.”

            Liana gazed into the hallow eyes of the unbreakable prison. To be trapped at the mercy of Raphael. He is mistaken if he thinks I’ll die beneath a mask. “Then it’s settled. Now we wait.”

“Now we wait,” repeated Maximillian.

 

***

 

As soon as they returned safely back to the inn, Gilles didn’t waste a second to voice his concerns. “This is madness Liana. You know it as well as I do. As well as Maximillian does. And as well as Raphael. Why risk all to put yourself inside a cage.”

“Sometimes freedom is a cage. Without a clear purpose, it’s hard to live for anything. I need to see Jeshua again before I forget my place in this world as so many others have.”

“Than let us wait until the white ring is liberated. Until Raphael and Lucifer reclaim the city. Risking our lives does nothing for us. Yes, we can help lead and be reunited with those we cherish, but they don’t need us.”

“And what if we never see them again?”

“If we never see them again…we will finish what they started. Or have you forgotten the real reason we fight? All that matters, all that has ever mattered, is placing God back where he belongs before the Fuhrer drags this whole world to hell.”

            Liana walked over to the old man and kissed him on the cheek. “Then stay, and honor my name if I fall in the white ring. I appreciate all the loyal service you’ve given me in the recent years.” She turned to face Benet and Lemont. “You two are also free from my service to live and fight another day.”

            The twins looked at each other baffled. There was a moment of silence. For the first time in two years it seemed like no one knew what they were supposed to do. It was a weird feeling for servants of God, as one would imagine. Yet the answer should’ve been simple. And perhaps it was, more so than Liana believed it to be.

“Have you learned nothing in the service of the Church?” questioned Gilles. Liana looked back at him bewildered. The old man looked conflicted but there was a genuine air of compassion around him. “We are but mere Angels in the service of their Archangel. Even if you were to travel to the depths of hell, we would follow you.”

            “I won’t have you die for my sake,” argued Liana. “Especially when there is so little to gain.”

            “Then let’s live. If this is your choice we will find a way to make it through. If it is God’s will, we shall prevail.”

            “We barely escaped Lumina. The odds are much worst here.”

            “It wouldn’t be the first time the odds were against us,” said Lemont from behind.

            Benet joined. “What’s a few more White Coats?”

            “A few would be an understatement,” said Liana, humorless.

            Gilles placed his hand on her shoulder. “Some years ago we fought what was seemingly a hopeless cause. Now we’ve made the Fuhrer himself tremble. If God meant for us to die he would’ve done so long ago.”

            Liana wasn’t sure how to respond. “Thank you…God could not have gifted me with more loyal companions.”



© 2013 Cynical_Art


Author's Note

Cynical_Art
It's been a long time coming XD Sorry it took so long. I will probably be writing more frequently after next week when my contract ends at my job. I will attempt to get in the habit of weekly releases.

Now as for the story. Tell me your thoughts on the chapter and let me know if you have any questions. I know I haven't written in a long time so if you've forgotten characters or their origins just ask and I'll remind you. :)

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Okay, how did I miss this chapter? Somehow I did not see when you put it up, and I've been watching for it.

Anyway, I loved it. I liked how you explained what was going on with Liana, and what happened to Gia. I was wondering where she went and when she would pop back up at. As always, everything about this was greatly written. It makes me want to threaten you to hurry up and write the next chapter now. XD I have to know what will happen when Caius and Liana meet once more. Which I'm sure is just going to be a lovely time. XD Great job and can't wait for more! :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


Cynical_Art

8 Years Ago

lol it's fine, and you probably missed it because I posted it during the time everyone sleeps. The o.. read more
Dark Rider

8 Years Ago

Yeah, but I still should have seen it when I come on. *Shrugs* Oh well. I'll just have to watch more.. read more

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Added on May 26, 2013
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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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