Chapter 35- Caius Ashfall

Chapter 35- Caius Ashfall

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 35

 

Caius Ashfall

 

           

            The hour was almost upon them. The coming events would greatly dictate the course of this war and it all fell on Caius’s shoulders. Yet another opportunity to build his legacy with as much opportunity to ruin it. If this went wrong, terribly wrong, he would be the shame of this war’s untold history like his father before him in the Crimson War.

            The stakes had changed enormously when Felicia came with the confirmation that they were indeed smuggling an Archangel into the city. While it was always a suspicion, the known fact meant this was almost certainly not a plot by the Azure Prince but a desperate plea from Caelum Infinitum. This gave Caius more power than he ever hoped to have. The only question now was what was more important. Capturing an Archangel or finding himself at the heart of Caelum Infinitum.

            When Caius had unveiled the Mother of Cryst it had been patience that won that war. Caius molded himself into the very criminals he hunted. He did many things he was not proud of. Things he should be condemned for in the eyes of God. But he never strayed from his mission. Even as he discovered all of Elena Evermore’s highest-ranking followers, he never betrayed them. His mission was and had always been to reveal and put an end to the Mother of Cryst and that was precisely what he did. Had he at any moment settled for less, the biggest drug dealer in the world may still be alive and breathing.

            The Azure Prince was not half the drug dealer Elena Evermore was, but he was part of something much greater. Despite that, Caius did not respect Alistair Loucelles as he did Elena. Elena did terrible things with no conscience whatsoever, but she was not a hypocrite. She knew the things she did and why she did it. Never did she entertain the notion that everything she did was for some greater cause or someone other than herself. The fact Alistair worshipped God to the extent of outright rebellion while enslaving thousands into his crystal paradise was sickening. And the fact that Caelum Infinitum elevated such a person under image of one of God’s very own Archangels just proved how corrupt and desperate for power they truly were.

Caius laughed to himself. Here I am condescending them when we are no different. How many horrors have we done just for the sake of maintaining power? Caius slipped his arm into the white frock coat’s sleeve. He glanced at his reflection in the mirror. Is this what you looked like back then, Father?

            Allen Durandal adjusted his cravat. “So, are you nervous?”

            “I don’t know what fear feels like,” replied Caius. “I was raised in the Youth.” A statement that might’ve been true once upon a time. But over the last couple years, Caius had learned that he was very much alive inside.

            “Then I envy you. Unlike you, I’ve yet to come face to face with any Archangels. One must question what beguiles such passionate loyalty.”

            “Order. Duty. Beliefs. It’s much the same as Judicium in retrospect.” The world was only as right and wrong as the person with power said it was. All Caius cared about was order, and Caelum Infinitum disrupted that. His own feelings were as irrelevant as that of the next person’s.

            “True enough,” agreed Allen. “Yet their fight is weak. Judicium gives them order, peace, and God as well. They would have chaos for the subtle difference that the Church is their own nation. That did little in aiding Cruor when they went to war with the same claims. So why? Who is this Son of God that has the power to justify this mad attempt?”

            Caius sheathed his rapier by his waist. “In the heat of battle, all anyone wants is to live another day. So they tend to pick the winning side. Rebellions start when simply living is not enough. There are many who cannot bear Judicium’s short leash. Not everyone can accept the natural order of things as you and I.”

            Allen took a surprising offense to the remark. “I’m my own person. You may be my Mentor and have my unquestioned loyalty, but I chose this path.”

            “Did you really? Or was it your family tradition?”

            “Is it a crime to aspire to be like your father?”

            Caius gazed at his reflection in the mirror again. “Sometimes it is.” Caius wondered how silly that must sound to a man who believes him to be an orphan. But despite Allen’s denial, he was a loyal man and would not disrespect his superior enough to question it. After all, that was the sole reason Caius made him his Star Night.

            After the Shadows were masked in Judicium’s Light they quickly departed to the Azure Kingdom to meet with the man that would be accompanying them to the white ring. Diaxos Allard, the Azure Prince’s bodyguard.

            Like most of the key members of the Azure Kingdom, Diaxos had an astounding criminal resume. Diaxos was once a Black Coat of Eden, his coat of justice a mere shield for his true nature. In his days guarding the streets of Eden, it was the streets that needed guarding from him. Diaxos had a reputation for taking advantage of his victims. Stealing from thieves, abusing crooks to death, raping illegal street w****s, taking drugs from drug dealers and selling it to other drug dealers. You name it, he probably did it. With his family wealth and influence, he managed to keep it all under wraps until he ran into the wrong person. Judicium’s Justice, Kramer Godsbane.

            Kramer Godsbane lived up to his reputation as an imperator of justice. Kramer was a fair and just man. To him, friend or foe was irrelevant when it came to the law. All it took was one lowly w***e to speak of the atrocities Diaxos had done to her and Kramer was out asking every person Diaxos ever arrested how he had treated them. Diaxos was arrested almost immediately after but managed to pay people off to help him run away. All the people that helped him found themselves to a proper hanging but Diaxos managed to vanish without a trace. Until the day he reemerged alongside the Azure Prince, protected by the Azure Kingdom. Soon his only protection would be Caius and Allen.

The Azure Prince had organized all the routes and locations they would take whenever within Eden. Needless to say, the Azure Prince was cautious every bit of the way. They were transferred trough different escorts, all of which had hooded mantles covering their faces, and who occasionally blindfolded both Caius and Allen at certain points of the trip. When they finally reached the meeting point, only Gravur Ilianos and Diaxos Allard awaited them.

            Diaxos was an intimidating man towering seven feet. He never seemed to wear a frock coat. Caius assumed it was for the sake of showing off his muscular grand physique. The buttons on his vest always looked as if they were about to pop any second.

            Gravure eyed them both suspiciously. “Why, if I didn’t know you for lowly criminals you could’ve fooled me.”

            Caius smiled. “One must look the part if they any hope of blending with the rest of the sheep. Might I ask why all the secrecy while we’re still inside the city?”

            “We can’t just walk out the front door. We have methods of getting out passed the city’s security we would rather remain hidden.”

            “Yet in turn we must expose our ways of getting in and out of the white ring.”

            “Those were our terms. Sorry life isn’t fair.”

            Diaxos stepped forward and studied the costumes of the two Shadows. “I’m curious to see what you can make of me.”

            Caius dropped his argument with Gravure and looked at the behemoth of a man. “You’re far too menacing to be a White Coat. Your face alone screams criminal. Which is why you won’t be needing a disguise.”

            Gravure and Diaxos both glanced at each other. “Is this a joke?” asked Gravure. “You remember our terms?”

            “I do. Yet the coats are only a precaution. The route we take will not put us in the direct line of sight of Judicium’s Light. Our disguise is strictly for the odd and rare and highly awkward case in which we might get caught. If we can argue that we’ve captured a prisoner, it may yet serve to distract them enough to offer us opportunity to safely escape.”

            “Bullshit! I’ll be fucked the moment we’re caught!” complained Diaxos.

            “You, yes. No sense in all of us dying, right?”

            “Perhaps I need to be more clear about our terms,” warned Gravure.

            “Perhaps you should realize that we’re businessmen. And that no amount of money is worth our lives. We promised to get your people across. You insisted on your man tagging along. Let it be enough reassurance that our fates are closely tied together. We have more chances of all of us making it back safely than just the two of us.”

            By Gravure’s expression it was clear he wasn’t pleased but Caius knew he had the power. Caelum Infinitum needed their Archangels a lot more than a petty pawn. “Very well,” said Gravure, reluctantly. “It is too late to turn back now anyways. Do what you must. And let us pray you return with promising results.”

            Caius looked up at Diaxos. “We shall. Let us be on our way.”

 

***

 

            The ring of White Coats, tents, and Judicium flags could be seen in the horizon like a suffocating collar. Caius imagined how Diaxos must’ve felt right about now. It brought him some dry humor to know the giant was probably close to shitting himself. Unfortunately it had already been decided that Diaxos would live to breath another day.

            Caius had confidently decided that he would not be capturing Mary in favor of the bigger prize at the finish line. Any word of Mary was to remain confidential between him and his Nights. He knew a single word of it to anyone else would cause rash action, especially from Judicium’s Sun. He still recalled the things Charles used to say about the man. A glorious man long fallen from grace, devoured by hate and pain.

            As they drew closer and closer to the white ring, Caius could feel their observer become more and more hesitant. “Is there something wrong? Do you need to piss? If so, I suggest you do it now.”

            “F**k you!” blurted the tall man. “I’m still contemplating whether this is a trap or not. You said we wouldn’t be in their line of sight but to me it f*****g looks like we’re walking right into it.”

            “If it’s a trap,” said Allen. “Then you’re already fucked. So might as well hope for the best and be a good pup.”

            “You got some nerve!”

            “He’s right,” said Caius. “You’re alone here. If you get captured, no one is coming to save you. So do less contemplating and more cooperating. If you blow our cover, I will not die for you.”

            Diaxos glared at both of them. “If you betray us, God will punish you for this.”

            Allen laughed. “We’re criminals. If God has not already condemned our souls, all men must go to the heavens.”

            They continued onward until they reached a watchtower. As they approached, there were a couple tents and a handful of White Coats. None seemed the least bit alarmed by their presence. One in particular, an officer, came forth to greet them.

            When the White Coat came face to face with them, Caius handed him a bag. The officer opened the bag and pulled out a handful of money, smiled, and put it back in. “As usual, a pleasure making business with you.” He looked up at Diaxos. “So this is the guy?”

            Diaxos looked at Caius, uneasy. Caius nodded. “Yes. He’s the one who made the request.”

            The officer studied him. “No problem. Hope you don’t mind being bagged, we gotta keep up appearances.”

            “This better not be a trap…”

            “If it was a trap, we’d already be beating you senseless. Now you wanna get your friends or not?” Diaxos was a statue. “That’s what I thought.” He handed Diaxos a bag. “Put it over your head. Roderick and me will be escorting you to where you will meet your friends. Simon will wait here until your return.”

            Diaxos looked at Caius, as if hoping for some reassurance, but Caius just stared back, emotionless. The giant coward slowly and hesitantly placed the bag over his head. When Allen grabbed him by the forearm, he flinched but quickly regained his composure, attempting to seem fearless. The officer nodded and soon they were on their way.

            Caius watched as they slowly walked away into the distance. Once they were gone, he looked around the camp. There was a submissive atmosphere to the whole place. No one looked too hard and everyone quietly did their duties. From their demeanor I’m guessing the rumors are true.

A Rat escorted Caius to a tent where he was to wait until the return of Allen and the Angels. The Rat didn’t bother to enter the tent and left immediately to tend to other duties. As Caius stepped inside the tent he saw a face he had not seen since the fall of Paradise Lost.

            Raziel clapped his hands the awkward creepy way he did. “It’s been a long time, brother.”

            Caius continued inside, showing no signs of shock. “Who thought it was a good idea to place you in the white ring?” 

            “You wound me. I’m an efficient man, as much as you. Why wouldn’t they pick me?”

            “Because you believe in God.”

            “And you don’t?”

            “My circumstances were different. I’m married to the best lead we had on the Azure Prince.”

            “Who was also once a rebel,” argued Raziel.

            Caius stopped caring. “This ring of misery suits you. How are the Sun’s spectacles?”

            “Spectacular. They were inspired by me after all.”

            “Crucifixions? I fear where your theatrics will lead you to next.”

            There was sparkle in Raziel’s eye. “I can only dream. A shame I don’t sleep much.”

“I heard a rumor that an airship was seen in the distance. Is it true?”

“I’m surprised you don’t know. I thought Charles told you everything.”

            Just the mention of the name alone took Caius to a dark place. “Things have changed since he was my Mentor and I his Night…”

            Raziel nodded in agreement. “I bet. Sleeping with someone’s wife can do that.” His expression suddenly became serious. “Anyways, the reason I came to see you was not to catch up. There’s something I have to tell you and time is short.”

            “If it’s short then get on with whatever it is you want to say.”

            Raziel came closer to Caius, his tired eyes deep and mysterious. “The Sun means to dissipate your plans.”

            Caius searched his eyes for truth, fearing this was another of Raziel’s games. But Raziel was never much of a liar, least not to him, just an overly sympathetic bringer of bad news. Odd, s**t like this normally gives him an orgasm. Yet he seems worried, almost concerned.

            “He can’t,” argued Caius. “If he does he’d be indirectly defying the Fuhrer. Everyone is to aid me in whatever way I request in relation to my mission.”

            “The Sun has gone mad. He kills anyone who even as much as whispers the word true in their sleep.”

            “Partly because of you, I bet. What is you’re not telling me?”

            “Nothing. I’ve said what I had to say and I’ve already done the necessary arrangements so that this does not hinder you.”

            “Then why tell me at all?” And then it clicked. “No. You’re an audacious psychopath, but you’ve never been one to plot treason. This is a member of the Council of Seven we’re talking about.”

            Raziel smiled, but not his usual smile. There was a hint of guilt in it. “It’s only treason if he doesn’t betray us first.”

            “Why tell me this, any of this? Is it so I sympathize with you when you kill one of Judicium’s highest officials? You do this, and you will be branded an enemy of the nation.”

            Raziel shook his head. “I won’t be killing anyone. The Sun will get a fair trial.”

            “A fair trial…why do I somehow doubt that.” There was no such thing as fair when it came to Raziel. “I’ve heard enough, leave my tent.”

            Raziel nodded. “Before I leave. There was…one other reason I came to see you.”

            “Do I want to know what it is?” asked Caius, cautiously.

            “It’s a question.”

            Caius braced himself. “What?”

            “Who…or rather, what do you fight for?”

            Caius hesitated. “I fight for everlasting peace and order. The same as you…”

            “And what if…that everlasting peace and order was no longer in the side we fight for?”

            Is this his way of confessing he’s become a True Believer? “What are you implying here, Raziel? You know I hate your guessing games.”

            Raziel’s entire current demeanor was something foreign to Caius. He looked nervous. Youths didn’t know fear. Raziel didn’t know fear. Not this sadistic masochist of a man. Yet without a doubt, for the first time since they were prisoners in Judicium’s Youth, there was confliction in the man that called him brother.

Raziel was always closer to God than the average person. It wouldn’t be a completely outrageous conclusion. It’s not as if he ever loved Judicium…dying is the only thing he ever really feared. Which would plague the question, if he wants to live, why join the losing side? Just what does he possibly hope to gain.

            “Talk, Raziel. Don’t let my mind wander to places it shouldn’t. I am still a loyal Judician citizen. A dog of the Fuhrer. An instrument of death doing my part to maintain peace and order.”

            Raziel laughed and placed a firm hand on Caius’s shoulder. “As am I. If at any given moment things take a turn for the worse, don’t be afraid to choose the side where you live. You can do that. It’s your job to become that which you hunt. I rather see you a traitor and alive than loyal and dead.”

            “Be careful,” warned Caius. “Making your own choices in life has its consequences.”

            “Like marrying a Cruorian w***e?”

            “That wasn’t my choice. That was my duty. I only ever made one choice in my life. You and I both know the results of that.”

            “Well…” said Raziel, glumly. “I’ve said what I had to. I must go.” As he was about to cross the curtains to leave the tent he turned around once more. “It’s a shame you’re going to miss my next spectacle. Look for it in the papers and perhaps one day I’ll get to tell you the full story. You’ve already missed the prologue.”

            “Stay on the winning side,” blurted Caius. “Just like we did in the Youth…”

            There was a moment of silence as the brothers gazed at one another. “I won’t die. Not in this lifetime, not ever. I’ve survived too much s**t to just die.”

            After Raziel left, Caius felt awkward in a way he couldn’t quite describe. He can’t say he ever truly remembered genuinely caring for Raziel, but the thought of losing him didn’t sit well with him. In the whole world there was only one person Caius could say he truly knew and that was him. They grew up together. Killed together. Survived together. Raziel was the only person from the beginning who still remained. The only person truly worthy of being called family.

Caius erased the notion from his head. What am I thinking about? It’s not like he’d actually care if I died. I bet it’s just another one of his theatrics.

            The day faded into evening. Waiting for the return of Allen with Mary and the other Angels of Caelum Infinitum was not nearly as nerve racking for Caius as it might’ve been for anyone else. Rather than anxious to see the identity of the one they called Mary, as Allen was, he was looking towards the future and how he would play his cards into becoming an Angel himself.

After this service, the Azure Prince would have no choice but to trust him or at the very least consider him a very valuable asset. From there, he could easily start befriending members of the Azure Kingdom without arousing too much suspicion. It would only be a matter of time before one of them took it upon themselves to try to convert him into a True Believer. After putting up a fight he would submit and fully become one of them. Fighting for their cause against Judicium, all the way until he could sprout his own wings and fly where he would cross the heavens into the heretic’s very throne. The method was so familiar it all seemed too easy.

The Rat from before came into his tent. “Sir, they’ve returned.”

Caius stood up and stretched. It’s time then.

As he stepped outside he quickly noticed them. Standing between the giant Diaxos and his faithful Shadow were five cloaked figures all wearing iron masks. Ever the cautious, Son of God. From their silhouette Caius could tell that three were men and two women. His eyes quickly centered on the two women. One tall and elegant and the other shorter but far more voluptuous. Which is Mary, the Archangel of Lust, I wonder.



© 2013 Cynical_Art


Author's Note

Cynical_Art
I don't really have any direct questions this time around, just tell me what's on your mind :)


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Well it's nice to know that the two "brothers" still have a heart. It might be just a small heart the size of a peanut, but it's still a heart. XD And finally! We get to Caius and Liana's reunion. Although, I kind of wish I knew what would have happened if they weren't wearing those masks. But that just leaves it for another time. Like all the other chapters, I loved everything about it. I really want to know how this ends, and can't wait for the next chapter! :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


Cynical_Art

8 Years Ago

Lol don't worry, when things start happening, big things will be happening. That's how I like to do .. read more
Dark Rider

8 Years Ago

YAY! XD

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Added on June 2, 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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