Chapter 43- Dumas Erequix

Chapter 43- Dumas Erequix

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 43

 

Dumas Erequix

 

           

            Dumas approached every stroke with extreme delicacy, bursting life with every blend of color. The smell of the fresh paint gave Dumas a high like nothing else could. It made the world seize around him. His eyes blind to everything but the person before him and his easel. How gallant his Grace looked dressed in the finest azure frock coat the world could create. Dumas blended eight different shades of blue just to get the color right. This is harmony.

            “This will be the portrait that will engrave you into history,” complimented the Azure Prince.

            Dumas couldn’t help but smile. “And it’s all thanks to you. Without you I’d still be wandering the streets as a beggar.”

            “I only guided you. God was the one who gave you the opportunity when he gave you your talent. I still remember the first day Amur Esquiar brought you to me. From the instant I laid eyes on you, I knew you were something special. I didn’t need any convincing. Your art was legendary. Once I saw one of your paintings, it was like staring at the world. It cleared my mind. It showed me there was still some beauty left in this world.”

            Dumas dipped his brush into the white and started working on the highlights subconsciously. The Azure Prince was opening up in a way Dumas never thought possible from the great man. It had his undivided attention.

            “You may not have noticed but it was you who gave me hope,” Alistair continued. “I was at a low point in my life. I had lost people dear to me. Some forever gone from this world. Others simply far from my grasp. One way or another, I was alone. There were those that wanted to stand by me despite what had become of me, but I locked them all out. I shut the whole world because I was unhappy…never realizing all the others it affected. When I saw you, I saw a boy who’d lost everything but continued to fight. Fight for something greater than himself. To me, there was no greater inspiration. Nothing more capable of opening my eyes. Here I was bitching and moaning because I thought I had lost everything, like the world revolved around me. And here was a little boy, less than half my age, devoted to something greater than himself. That’s when I realized I still had a job to do in this world. And not long after, I met him. Our Savior.

            “The same way I taught you to value yourself, love who you are, our Savior taught me how to be more than just a criminal. He gave me a purpose greater than money, fear, and respect. He gave a meaning to my life.” He stopped for a moment and took a deep breath. “There are some things we do in life that we regret greatly because of the consequences. And then there are others, that no matter how great the cost, no matter how much you lose, you have no regrets. Live or die on the night of the full moon, I will have no regrets.”

            For the first time ever, Dumas saw the Azure Prince rise from his throne in front of his own eyes. Alistair stared down at him. “I taught you how to love yourself. How to value your talents. Made you see where you stood in the ladder. Showed you how many people were below you. I saw you turn from a frail humble little boy to the proud great man you are today. But your reason for living was never to serve me as mine is to serve God.” Alistair took big heavy steps to walk down the pedestal where his throne sat, walked slowly over to where Dumas was sitting, and placed a firm hand on his shoulder. “I know about your sister, Dumas. I’ve known since the day I met you.”

            Dumas dropped his brush. No…God, please no.

            “I respected what you had and what you did,” said Alistair. “That’s why I never confronted you about her and played the fool. I know why you accepted my hand, and why you wanted to become a crystallite engineer. Before I ordered my men to stop spying on you I had learned of her condition.” He smiled. “Your fight has always been for her. Not me. I would like to see that continue.” He paused for a second. “I hope she’s doing better these days.”

            So he doesn’t know. Dumas felt his nerves ease up instantaneously. “Yes, your Grace. She’s…a lot better thanks to your help. And…thank you. For respecting and honoring my space. But above all…for…trusting me.” The shame couldn’t bring him to look the Azure Prince in the eyes. Saying those words felt like a rusty knife stabbing through his heart and being twisted over and over again. I’m a terrible…terrible…person.

            “That’s great to hear,” said the Archangel. “Your service for me will not go unnoticed, Dumas. As I said, I will continue to honor and respect your fight. Which is why I’m going to tell you to run away with your sister. Win or lose this fight, you have no place in this war. Yes, you’ve helped me a great deal but your fight is for your sister. If you die, I imagine she will be alone in this world. I will not commit such a cruelty on you who has served me so loyally.”

            “No,” blurted Dumas. “I won’t run away. This is my fight as much as yours! You can’t order me to abandon you!”

            The Azure Prince shook his head. “Don’t let your loyal passion distract you from what you truly hold dear. I still have faith that we may win this battle, but you won’t be the deciding factor. I gave you a future. I don’t intend to snatch it all away with my war. Go to your sister, Dumas.”

            “I won’t…”

            You will.”

            Dumas looked down at the floor to hide the wetness in his eyes. “Is this what you really want…?”

            “Yes. I only have one favor to ask with that.”

            Dumas looked up. “Anything. Ask and it is done.”

            “Take Ismailia with you. She doesn’t deserve any of this either. And now thanks to that c**t, Liana, she won’t even look me in the eyes anymore. Take her with you and tell her…tell her that I’m sorry.”

            “I will, your Grace.” Dumas hugged the Azure Prince. “Thank you…thank you for everything.”

            Alistair returned the embrace. “Thank you, for being the son I never had.”

            Dumas walked out of the throne room and when he reached the spiral stairs he fell to his knees, leaned against the wall, and started crying. I don’t deserve his kindness. I don’t deserve his mercy. I’m the worst kind of person there is. I shouldn’t be running. I should be fighting! Dumas started to bang his head against the wall. But I can’t…what difference would I make? The Azure Prince is right. I still have my sister to worry about, and Ismailia too. If nothing else, the least I could do to redeem myself is save his daughter.

            Dumas stood back up on his two feet, rubbed the tears off his face, and started heading towards Ismailia’s room. He couldn’t imagine she would be any more thrilled about the news than he was, but perhaps her current feud with her father would make the whole ordeal easier. He was hopeful it would be. He wasn’t in the mood to argue needlessly with the spoiled brat.

            Dumas knocked on Ismailia’s door. He was ignored but he could hear activity on the other side. He knocked again harder. “Ismailia, it’s me. Dumas.”

            “Go away!” she shouted.

            “That’s not an option. Now open the door.”

            “Did my father send you?”

            “No. I came across some information regarding Mary. I thought you might be interested.”

            Almost immediately, he heard her footsteps rush to the door. She opened it with hopeful teary eyes. “Come in.”

            Dumas stepped inside her room. It was his first time inside and it was nothing like he had envisioned. Of course, he knew there had been some recent redecorating. All of her mirrors were broken, her furniture was thrown all over the place along with her clothes, and there were even some drops of blood here and there.

Dumas turned around to look at her wrists. Ismailia had sloppy cuts all around her forearms. “Did you try to kill yourself?” he asked, appalled. Everyone knew God did not forgive suicides.

Ismailia closed the door behind her and locked it. She hid her arms behind her back. “I thought I wanted to…but I couldn’t go through with it.” She sounded very ashamed at the very least. “So what did you hear? Does it have to do with me? Tell me.”

Dumas shrugged. “I didn’t hear anything.”

            He could see all her hopes vanished in a heartbeat. “But you said you heard something. Something I might be interested in!”

            “I lied,” Dumas replied bluntly.

            She walked over to him and slapped him. “How dare you! You would lie to me to my face! Get out of my room!”

            “No.”

            She tried to slap him again but he caught her wrist. “Let go!” she warned.

            “Not until you listen to what I have to say.”

            “I don’t care what you have to say!”

            He yanked her wrist high up in the air, lifting her a little, and drew his face close. His eyes were sternly directed to hers. Patiently, he watched her shrivel in fear. “You will listen.”

            She was in the brink of tears. “You’re hurting me…”

            “If I let you go, will you listen?”

            She nodded with shame. He dropped her and she fell to her knees. “Why are you being so mean to me? You never act like this…”

            “On any other day I wouldn’t dare disrespect his Grace’s daughter. However, the circumstances are different and I have no time to argue. Listen and listen closely. Your father has commanded me to take you away from this place before the fighting starts. That’s exactly what I intend to do.”

            “Leave the Azure Palace…?”

            “Yes. Once it becomes a warzone I don’t need to tell you how dangerous it will be.”

            Ismailia stood up furious. “And where am I supposed to go? If the Azure Kingdom falls, I might as well be dead. Judicium will not forget the daughter of the Azure Prince. They’ll find me and kill me. Don’t think that they’ll forget about Dumas the Great either. There is no running.”

            “I’m only doing what I can and following orders. Whether we live to see the sun again or not is irrelevant. Right now my only mission is to get you out of the Azure Palace.”

            “Well you can tell my father to go f**k himself!”

             This time it was Dumas who slapped her. “Disrespect your father again like that and the next one will be harder.”

            Ismailia looked up at him in utter shock and disbelief. “You…you hit me…”

“It’s time you learned this world isn’t just your princess playground. Let the burn from your cheek be a reminder for when I come back to get you. I will take you out of this palace with or without your cooperation.”

            Dumas didn’t wait for an answer. He left her where she was. Once he stepped back outside though, he took a deep breath to cool himself. Maybe I should’ve gone a little easier on her. He was ashamed he let his own anger and frustration control him as much as he did. He decided it might be best if he went downstairs for a drink to relax and cloud his mind.

 

***

 

            The bartender kept passing Dumas drinks one after the other as he consumed each one with ease. Dumas knew he would regret it later in the day once it all sunk but at the moment he didn’t care. He needed some escape from the complicated world he lived in. To think, just a few weeks back everything was normal. Everything was perfect.

            The bartender urged him to stop drinking but Dumas wouldn’t have it. Anybody that walked up to him to ask what was wrong got turned away. Some actually joined him, drinking as much as their body would allow. Criminals or not, these were all still people, and they all feared what was to come on the night of the full moon. They all knew there would no running away. Not unless you were Dumas the Great.

             Dumas stood up to go to the bathroom and wobbled when his feet touched the ground. He stumbled his way across the room and before he could reach it, started puking uncontrollably. Though he couldn’t see anyone, he could feel everyone staring at him. For some reason he was glad for the embarrassment. He didn’t deserve to be seen as the marvelous man he wasn’t. He was a pathetic excuse of a man whose word was worth the vomit beneath him.

He felt an arm help him stand upright. “Stand up.”

            Dumas accepted the aid not really caring who it was. They walked outside to the stairs where they sat down and he leaned against the wall. Dumas closed his eyes hoping he could fall asleep and wake up realizing it was all just a bad dream. He accomplished the first part, but when he awoke to a cold bucket of water, the reality was harsher than he remembered prior to drinking.

            Dumas angrily rubbed the water off his face. “Who the f**k?” He opened his eyes only to freeze to the same temperature of the ice-cold water.

            Farah was standing over him with an expression that didn’t hint at good things to come. “What’s wrong with you? You find out the Azure Kingdom is going to war and you break down like a little b***h?”

            Dumas used the wall for support to stand up. He wanted Farah to hear him clearly for what he was about to say. “My life was great before I ran into you! It’s because of you that I can’t bear to even look at the mirror anymore!”

            Farah slapped him and pressed him against the wall, pulling out a small knife to his throat. “Shut up. Do you want the whole palace to hear you bitching?”

            “I could care less what anyone else thinks.”

            “Well start caring. I’m the only thing that’s going to keep you and your sister alive when all this goes down.”

            Dumas couldn’t help but laugh. “Praise the Lord! Another person has come down to save Dumas the Great.” He tried to push her off but failed. “I don’t want your sympathy. Take your mercy somewhere else.”

            They heard footsteps and Farah got off him and locked her arm around his. “Hurry, follow my lead. I have something in my room I need to give you.”

            “F**k you. I should just expose you.”

            “Do that and your sister dies.”

            Dumas trembled with rage but did as he was told. Farah opened the door to her w***e room and pushed him inside it. On her bed was a briefcase. Dumas figured that whatever she had to give him was in there.

            Farah confirmed his suspicions as she walked to the briefcase. “As you well know by now, this whole place is about to become a battlefield. In here are weapons that you will deliver to Caius along with his medication. He should still have his wits about him thanks to the emergency crylist engraved into his back teeth.”

            Dumas had heard enough. “You want me to arm my enemy? No! I’m done with you! Why would I help you defeat me? You might as well tell me to shoot myself in the head now.”

            Farah didn’t take the aggressive retaliation Dumas had grown to expect. “You’re not going to die. And neither is your sister. I’m giving you a way out, idiot.”

            Why doesn’t anyone want to kill me! If anyone deserves to die it’s me. “I don’t want your help. And I’m not going to help you.”

            “What is wrong with you? Up until now your sister has always been enough reason for you to listen to me. All of a sudden that’s not enough? I’m giving you both a chance to live. You owe nothing to this band of criminals.”

            “I owe everything to this band of criminals! Without them I would’ve died long ago without a soul to remember my name. I was nothing before the Azure Prince found me! Nothing!”

            “And you will be nothing if you die here in the Azure Palace. If you die, who will take care of your sister? The only reason she breathes is because you are of use to us.”

            “And once I’m not. After I help arm Caius, what then? Will you discard me and my sister as I’m sure you have so many others?”

            Farah sighed. She walked up to Dumas and kissed him. “No, you idiot. Listen, I won’t pretend I’m some hopeless girl who is in love with you. If you died now I wouldn’t shed a tear. However, the night I saved your life and found out about your sister, you said some things that touched me. I’ll admit, it’s a little pathetic, but you saw value in me. Something my own side seems to have forgotten. For that reason alone I’m showing you this little kindness.

            “When we attack, your sister will be practically left unguarded. Once I tell you where to find her, all you have to do is rescue her and escape in the middle of the chaos. That is my offer to you.”

            Dumas looked at her suspiciously. “Are you doing this of your own accord or were you commanded to do so just so I would help you?”

            “My temporary Mentor ordered me to offer you and your sister’s safety for your cooperation. But I’ve worked long enough with Judicium to know that that’s far from freedom. If I bring you in to safety, after the fighting is done you will both become prisoners and tortured until you have both been squeezed of any information you may still hold. After which you will both be killed. My offer is a lot kinder. It’s not a guarantee but at least it’s a fighting chance.”

            “You expect me to believe you’d betray your own side because of some brief lack of judgment I had?”

            “No. I’m telling you I’m a Loyalist and that regardless of what you choose, you will cooperate. I’m merely offering a bit of pity. Refuse and I will send you your sister’s head before the battle starts. And after the fighting has started, I’ll look for you personally to end your life.”

            “You c**t!”

            “Do you accept my offer?”

            Dumas went into a belligerent rage, punching the wall over and over again until his hands were bleeding. “You won’t get away with this! One day…I’m going to find something you hold dear and you will know my pain.” He glared straight into her eyes. “I’ll make you destroy everything you love, and after you have nothing left, I’ll tear your empty heart from your body.”

            Farah folded her arms without a hint of fear. “Don’t make me reconsider my offer. Do you accept, or not?”

 

***

 

            “Dumas the Great? The hell are you doing here?” asked the gate guard.

            “The Azure…Gravur sent me.” Even accusing Gravur hurt Dumas’s pride.

            “I take it I shouldn’t ask any questions.” The gate guard opened the gate to the azure lit dungeons.

            As soon as Dumas stepped in, the stench hit his nose and he covered it with his free hand. Dumas rushed through the gloomy damp hall to Caius’s prison door. He didn’t want to last any longer than he had to here. When he reached it, he released the locks and pushed the heavy iron door open. Inside was a pitiful reflection of the once confident man that entered the Azure Palace by the name of Simon Gladius.

            Caius was scrunched up in the corner hugging himself, shivering, and mumbling some nonsense. Dumas opened the briefcase and pulled out one of the syringes glowing with crylist. He moved towards Caius to hold him down but the pitiful man reacted to his touch aggressively and started trying to fight back. There wasn’t much strength in his body so Dumas was able to hold him down easily and inject the syringe into his veins. At first it intensified Caius’s aggressive nature but after a couple minutes he calmed down a bit.

            Dumas slapped him in the face. “Wake the f**k up.”

            Caius’s eyes were observant but it was clear his wits still hadn’t returned.

            Dumas slapped him again and shook him as well. “Wake the f**k up!”

            “Another…another dose…please,” mumbled Caius.

            “Too much at a time and then I’ll lose you permanently. I need you sane in order to guarantee my safety.”

            Caius didn’t respond. Instead he fell into a deep slumber. Dumas banged the wall in anger but decided to stay and wait. He wasn’t about to make two trips down to this shithole.

It took longer than he expected before Caius regained consciousness. Enough time for him to be able to safely inject another dose of crylist. When Caius finally opened his eyes, he was healthy enough to speak. “Where am I…? Who are you?”

            “You’re where you last remember,” informed Dumas. “You’re in hell. Along with the rest of the s**t. And I am Dumas the Great. Your guardian f*****g angel.”

            Caius raised himself up so his back was against the wall. The prisoner stared at his shivering hands. “So Farah actually decided to save me. That’s a pleasant surprise.”

            “You make it sound like she wouldn’t. Isn’t it her duty to save her Mentor?”

            “I no longer hold any real value to Judicium. Not since my capture. I am disposable.”

            “What a shame. Well, whatever personal quarrels you have are none of my concern. I’m only here to break my chains as well as yours. Once I do what Farah wants, we’re done.”

“Understood. So talk. What’s going on in the outside world? Can you get me out of here unnoticed?”

            “Calm yourself. Remember, you’re still just a helpless prisoner.” Which I intend to keep that way.

            “I know Farah well enough to know she’s not an idiot. It’s what she asked of you.”

            Dumas felt like kicking him in the face. “Your Moon is about to attack the Azure Palace in full force. I was ordered to deliver you these weapons and medication for when it happens. Until then, you will remain here making sure to give yourself your regular doses of crylist so you can regain your strength. Once you hear the fighting, you’re free to leave. The doors here don’t actually require a key. So I’ll close the door but make sure not to lock it so you can get out when the attack happens.”

            Caius was irritatingly optimistic. “Sounds like a fair plan.”

            “Now it’s your turn,” said Dumas. “What’s Farah’s real name?”

            “Her real name?”

            “She wanted proof that I kept to my end of the bargain since she can’t come down to confirm it herself. You’re the only person here that can tell me her real name.”

            Caius struggled to his feet. “Very well. Just give me a second.” He walked to the briefcase and opened it.

            Dumas went white once he saw him take out the revolver. “What are you doing?”

            Caius aimed the gun at him. Shivering or not, the threat was still the same. “We’re both going to walk outside of this cell. Once outside, you’ll walk five feet away from me. I’ll tell you her name then and only then, after which you will leave. Once you’re gone I’ll kindly let myself back inside.”

            “That’s too risky. Someone could notice.”

            “This place doesn’t get many visitors. This is where people are thrown to be forgotten. I’m just making sure that after I tell you her name you don’t get the bright idea of locking me inside.”

            These f*****g Shadows don’t let anything pass them! Dumas reluctantly abandoned his exposed plan. “Whatever…you Shadows are way too paranoid.”

            “Better safe than sorry.”

            Dumas did as he was bid. Before leaving he said one last thing. “When this whole world goes into flames, God will remember which side you stood on. You are only prolonging your inevitable death, Shadow in the Light.” I’ll make sure of that.

            Caius grinned. “I’ll take my chances.”

 

***

 

            Dumas made one last stop.

“To what do I owe the honor of having Dumas the Great at my door?” asked Saix.

            Dumas rarely found himself within the Cruorian’s quarters inside the Azure Palace. The few times he had, it was never for his own reasons. “I have a job for you.”

            Saix was disinterested. “You mean another errand for me to run?”

            “No. I’ve come to you with a job more suited to your talents.”

            That caught his attention. He stood up from his bed. “Is that so. The Azure Prince must be desperate if he’s asking a Cruorian for help.”

            “Shut up and listen. I need you to kill someone. But no one can know.”

            “Fair enough. Whose life do I need to end?”

            “A prisoner of ours.”

            Saix raised a questioning eyebrow. “And you need me to do this? Why? Can’t you just have him executed?”

“If you must know, the situation is quite complicated. See, one of the Archangels believes this prisoner can still be of use. The sole reason he lives. She’s struck a deal with him to release him during all the commotion in exchange for his loyalty. But that man cannot be trusted. Rather than escape, I would have you kill him during the chaos.”

            Saix remained unconvinced. “Still doesn’t explain why you would have to come to me. I get the feeling this is more of a personal request rather than one from above. Am I right?” Dumas didn’t say a word. Saix chuckled. “I imagine you have your reasons. But keep me out of your schemes.”

            As Saix turned his back, Dumas provoked, “I thought Cruorians were proud people.”

            Saix shrugged without bothering to look back. “Exactly why I’ve chosen to ignore your request.”

            “I wouldn’t be so quick to judge.” I should’ve opened with this from the start. “The man I wish for you to kill is the same man that killed your King.” Saix turned back around completely. “I thought you might be interested.”



© 2013 Cynical_Art


Author's Note

Cynical_Art
I don't really have any specific questions this time around. Just tell me your thought process and how you feel about Dumas. Oh, will you be cheering for the Caelum Infinitum or Judicium in the coming chapters?

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I like Dumas better now. He's moved up as my fourth favorite character. And it was Alistair who made him narcissistic in the first place! That explains a lot. XD I don't know what else to say. I loved reading this chapter (even if I did skip it some how. Lol). It just interested me from beginning to end, and I look forward to more chapters in his perspective. And glad to see Caius is still a bad-a** even when his senseless. XD Great chapter, and can't wait for more. :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


Dark Rider

8 Years Ago

Yay! Can't wait. :)
Cynical_Art

8 Years Ago

It's a short chapter but I have it up already lol
Dark Rider

8 Years Ago

Yes! *goes to read it*

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Added on September 2, 2013
Last Updated on September 2, 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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