Chapter 56- Malus

Chapter 56- Malus

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 56

 

Malus

 

           

            “As God’s vessels, what is our job?” asked Lucifer.

            “To do the right thing,” answered Malus. “Protect the innocent. Guide the weak. Give back to the people.”

            “Who corrupts this world?”

            “Judicium. They strip the people of their free will to think. Enslave them under their false society built on lies and empty promises. Slaughter any and all who think differently. Overstep the boundaries of their own mortality.”

            “And who are the only ones who can stop them?”

            “Caelum Infinitum. God’s angels. The bringers of divine justice. It is our job to cleanse this world of Judicium’s corruption and built it anew.”

            Lucifer smiled, proudly. “I’ve taught you well, son.”

            Malus felt a sense of joy. “It is my duty to serve God.”

            “Let us move on to the next lesson.”

            Malus practiced his combat training with Lucifer personally now. Training with an Archangel was a notable difference. Malus felt challenged, even with something as simple as shooting a crossbow, which didn’t require a partner. Sparring without weapons no longer felt like a contest determined by weight. Lucifer pushed and taught Malus the best way to approach any attack, the way only an Archangel could. The same for sword training. Being the quick learner that Malus was, he knew after a week or so of training with the Archangel he would see a notable difference in his abilities.

            As far as the rest of Malus’s daily routine, not much had changed since the Archangel took him under his wing just the other day. He still attended mass and the rest of his holy duties. He also took a bit of time to look into the disappearance of Gorgius, whom still hadn’t been found. He didn’t search alone however. Though Lucifer had promised him he’d find him, Malus knew how busy Caelum Infinitum was. So he did his own search alongside Cecilia. Their escapades went by relatively unnoticed due to everything else going on.

Yggdrasil was especially hectic today. There were a lot of new faces running about that Malus did not recognize. Fear was written in all their eyes, though he hadn’t the slightest clue why.

Lucifer returned from consulting a group of clergymen, frowning. Curiosity got the best of Malus. “What’s going on?”

            “The Fuhrer has finally decided to cut all ties with the Church,” answered Lucifer. “He’s burning down all the churches.”

            “He can’t do that, can he?”

            “Not without reprisal he can’t. God will punish him for this.”

            “What of Raphael’s Kingdom? Can’t they stop Judicium from burning the churches down?”

            Lucifer refused to look at Malus in the eyes when he answered. “They…they have their hands full right now.”

            I wasn’t hard to deduce just how little faith Lucifer had in Raphael’s Kingdom. But it wasn’t Raphael that Lucifer was distraught about. Lucifer’s only worry was for the Archangel of Lust whom decided to reside in Raphael’s Kingdom during the time of whatever Judician attack was ongoing right now. Malus could not claim he had the same appreciation for Mary but he could at least sympathize with Lucifer’s feeling of loss. Like Mary, Malus had no idea where exactly Gorgius was or whether or not he was still safe from harm. All he knew was that he was somewhere here inside Yggdrasil.

            Tyna came running to Lucifer with urgency. “Cardinal Daimios, Uriel wants your presence immediately!”

            “I would imagine,” said Lucifer. “I hope he sees now that we should be out there fighting instead of in here hiding. Charles Veritas intends to burn this whole world to the ground.”

            “Your Eminence, though the matter is related, the real reason his Holiness has called upon you is because Lagrima has returned.”

            “The nerve of that incestuous nun! After outright betraying us she dares seek refuge here.”

Malus followed them even though he was not instructed to do so. He needed to hear more about Charles Veritas, the Church’s greatest enemy. Tyna led them all the way down to the Greeting Hall where they were rounding up all the clergymen from outside who were seeking refuge inside Yggdrasil. Keeping order and inspecting the frightened clergymen were the Holy Army’s knights clad in white robes and armor. Near the edge of the large hall was a shorthaired woman being restrained by two knights. Besides her were Prophet Uriel and Cardinal Gilles.

            Lucifer looked at the prisoner with disgusts. “You should be ashamed, stepping on sacred grounds after the sins you’ve committed.”

            “She’s not looking for forgiveness,” defended Uriel. “She’s seeking redemption. Tell him what you told us, Lagrima.”

            Lagrima looked at Malus standing next to Lucifer. “You want to avoid Charles’s wrath? There’s your answer, right there.”

            As all eyes fixated on Malus, Lucifer argued right away, “Charles has no love for his family. We’ve already attempted using one son as leverage and it proved futile. Whatever our fate may be is solely in our hands and the will of God now.”

            Lagrima asked the very question running through Malus’s head at this very moment. “One son?”

            “I’m not surprised Charles kept it a secret,” explained Lucifer. “When Mary met with Charles to negotiate, she was not trying to seduce her husband into betraying his side, she was threatening him. The Mentor we captured, Caius Ashfall, the Shadow in the Light, is Charles Veritas’s son. He is also the son of the late Queen, Rhyth Juno. Unfortunately, Charles didn’t care any more for that son than he did his other, whom no longer resides amongst us as such.”

Fragments of Malus’s forgotten life started rushing through his head. Caius Ashfall is Charles Veritas’s son? Then that would make him my…no. Venir is dead.

            “Stop being in denial,” complained Uriel. “You can call him whatever you want, Dante. The boy is, and always will be, the son of Charles Veritas.”

            “He is the son of Mary!” shouted Lucifer. “The son of an Archangel.”

            “It doesn’t matter who he is,” argued Lagrima. “Charles cares about that boy. Enough to order me to find out if he was still alive prior to his attack. He means to save him.”

            Lucifer pulled out a knife from beneath his robe and pointed it at Lagrima. “Ordered you? And you helped him, I assume. You shameless w***e!”

            “That was when I believed Charles to be a merciful and just man. He made me believe he would spare most of the Church if I aided him. I knew you guys couldn’t win, so I did what I could…”

            “You betrayed us!” Lucifer punched her across the face. “Only a fool would think Charles is just and merciful. Don’t you know your history for God’s sake?” Lucifer looked to Uriel. “Why should we believe a traitor who has already been manipulated into serving the enemy once before?”

            Uriel stepped in between Lucifer and Lagrima. “You’re missing the point here!  Charles Veritas means to save his son. If we can use it to make him hesitate for even a moment, it could buy us the time we need until Maximillian arrives.”

“You would stake our life on a mortal’s word?” disputed Lucifer.

“He is essential to our plans, now more than ever. It’s time you opened your eyes, Dante. Alistair and Liana are lost to us. And we all read the letter Drake sent us after the death of Edgar Gallivus. Command has fallen to Cynthia, the Fuhrer’s daughter. If we don’t want to join the dead in the afterlife, we need Maximillian Osgia.”

            The expression of utter betrayal was one Malus thought to never see on Lucifer. “How can you say that…?” asked Lucifer, hurt. “How can you say we need the help of a mortal? We’re Archangels!”

            “Because I know everything that’s at stake!” snapped Uriel. “Something you seem to have lost sight of the moment Mary stepped back into your life. She’s gone, Dante. Accept it. Our main priority now is to make sure our Savior can make it out of here alive.” Uriel looked at Malus. “And this boy may very well be the difference. This is the most use he will ever amount to us.”

            Lucifer grabbed Uriel by his neck and pushed him all the way to the wall. A knight in the perimeter pointed his halberd at Lucifer but the Archangel of Wrath didn’t budge. Lucifer pressed his knife against Uriel’s throat and warned, “Tell him to lower his weapon.”

            “Do as he says,” ordered Uriel. “Dante, stop this madness. Now is not the time for us to fight amongst each other.”

            “Malus…stays…with…us…”

            “As you please then…but I beg you, please reconsider. If Charles comes to our doorstep…”

            “He stays with us, Uriel! He is the son of an Archangel.”

            Uriel nodded, hesitantly. “Fine…he stays with us.”

            Malus watched in awe. He’d never seen anyone fight so hard for him.  Not in this life or the forgotten one. Then he thought back to Mhia and Lagrima’s words and their claims of Charles Veritas coming to save him.           

“He will kill everyone,” muttered Lagrima before going into complete hysteria. “You’re making a mistake! He will kill everyone! Burn us all to the ground!”

            “Take her away to the sinner’s den,” commanded Lucifer.

            The knights started dragging her away. “Noooooooo! He’ll kill us all!”

            After she was gone, a dark shadow loomed over Uriel’s expression. “She’s right, you know. If we remain here, we may very well all die. It’s time we discussed, alternatives. Let us meet with our Savior.”

            Lucifer looked at Malus. “I won’t leave him.”

            “I’ve already agreed to let him remain with us. But you will not shame the Heart of Yggdrasil. He is neither Archangel, nor Cardinal, nor royalty.”

            Cardinal Gilles offered, “I can take him with the rest of the children to my personal chamber of prayer. It’ll be the safest place until all is resolved.”

            Lucifer grabbed Cardinal Gilles by his mantle. “You take me for a fool…”

            Cardinal Gilles smiled innocently, moving every wrinkle on his face. “Dante, you know I’d never let harm come to anyone you care about. I took care of Liana for you. I’ll do the same for Malus.”

            There was a moment of silent tension. “If anything, anything at all, happens to him…”

            “Then I welcome you to cast divine Judgment upon me,” Cardinal Gilles finished.

            The thought of being in a room with Cardinal Gilles scared Malus. “I don’t want to leave you,” he begged Lucifer. “I don’t trust…them…”

            Lucifer placed his hand on Malus’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, everything will be alright. His Eminence knows better than to cross me.”

            Cardinal Gilles laughed. “That I do. Never ignite an Archangel’s wrath.”

            Malus looked at Gilles, not believing a word of it. He already knew enough to not trust Cardinal Gilles. Then he recalled. He’s also the last person to meet with Gorgius. Perhaps this is God’s way of guiding me.

 

***

 

            The Cardinal’s personal chamber of prayer was an eerie place. All the children were huddled in a dark room. The little light that there was came from the eyes of statues carved in the likeness of angels. Other than Cardinal Gilles, there were four other lesser clergymen praying, standing beside him at one end of the room. All the children were facing them, reciting the prayers in succession.

            Subconsciously Malus did the same as all the other children but his mind was elsewhere. Gazing at the Cardinal inevitably brought back memories of his forgotten life. Memories of how this very Cardinal ordered him to open his doors the night his…Emilia Veritas died. Though Malus blocked his past life from influencing his current one, the emotions dormant were still there. Much like they were with Queen Mhia.

            “Now, those that wish to confess, the clergymen beside me will grant you that privilege,” announced Cardinal Gilles. “I must part ways with you for now and go observe how matters are outside. God willing, I’ll return with favorable news.”

            The Cardinal left the eerie room and half the children lined up in front of the four clergymen to confess. Malus was not amongst them. His only sin since being reborn, which he had already confessed to once before, was searching for Gorgius without permission. Which warranted or not, he was not about to stop doing. So there was no purpose in confessing again.

            Cecilia approached Malus to sit beside him. “I pray God protects us from Judicium’s corruption. I heard many have already perished to their sins.”

            Malus did not want to worry the innocent girl. “The Church has already formulated a plan to assure we all come out unharmed.”

            Cecilia looked up at him with hopeful eyes. “Really?”

            “Yes. I overheard Cardinal Daimios discussing it briefly with the Prophet.”

            “Praise the Lord.”

            Isaac joined them. “The Lord is always protecting us.”

            “Even Gorgius…?” Cecilia asked, ashamed.

            “Even Gorgius,” answered Malus.

            Isaac asked, “Malus, the choir wanted to sing a song to ordain the Lord’s blessing. Would you like to join us?”

            Malus had no logical reason to fight it, so he didn’t. He joined the rest of the choir and assumed his position. For the first time ever, rather than soothing him, as singing often did, it aggravated him. Something about the illusion that they were safe made his blood boil. Though he was guilty of doing the same for Cecilia just moments ago, what he really wanted to do was tell them the truth and run to safety. Wherever that might be.

Maybe I should let them use me. If that’s the only way I’ll be of any use, Prophet Uriel may be right. My life is little price to pay. Malus couldn’t bear the thought of losing Cecilia, Isaac, Lucifer, and even Gorgius, to the wrath of Charles Veritas. He would not witness the Week of Lament occur all over again.

            Time passed and it started to feel like they were being kept in the dark for hours. The reminiscent sensation started to make Malus feel claustrophobic. Impatiently, Malus started to wander the room. Unfortunately, the room wasn’t very big. Not for forty people or so.

            Malus asked one of the clergymen where the nearest privy was. He was led outside to a nearby door and was instructed to return as soon as he was done. After Malus was done, he waited a couple minutes before stepping back outside.

            Outside there was still a lot of activity and panic within Yggdrasil, so traveling unnoticed didn’t prove difficult at all. Malus decided to take advantage of the opportunity given that he had nothing better to do with the freedom to stretch his legs. The area where he was in was also one not normally accessible to the less significant people within Yggdrasil, so it was new territory to search for Gorgius.

            Malus searched the floor as nonchalantly as possible, crossing through rooms, glancing at what he could. Nothing seemed especially out of the ordinary, which was disappointing. Malus wanted to believe Gorgius had to be here if anywhere, but if he was, Lucifer would’ve probably found him by now. That didn’t discouraging from continuing his search though.

            While walking aimlessly, Malus laid eyes on Cardinal Gilles and hid behind a pillar immediately. If the Cardinal saw him, it’d be back to the dark chambers for him. Malus spied on him, waiting for the opportunity to go somewhere else. He saw the Cardinal enter a room and was about to leave until he noticed a peculiar design on the door. That’s Lucifer’s cross.

            Malus got closer to the door. Without a doubt, it was the cross depicted in the Holy Grimoire as Lucifer’s cross. That would imply this was one of the many rooms governed solely by Lucifer.

            The door creaked open and Malus rushed behind a wall. Out came Cardinal Gilles again. Malus watched him leave for the stairs and then went back to the door. Before opening it, he glanced to every direction. Everyone was still about their business, oblivious to him.

This is probably a mistake. Malus opened the door, leading to a dark hallway. He closed the door behind him and walked across to the other end of the hall where there was another door. This door had a wooden lock that would prevent the person on the other side from leaving. Is this the sinner’s den?

Malus lifted the wooden lock and opened the door.

            As soon as he did, the stench of death hit his nose. The smell was familiar to that of when he was trapped in the darkness.  That would’ve been enough to repel him but just as he was about to leave he heard whimpering. Malus sighed. I shouldn’t be doing this.

            Malus walked inside. The room was dimly lit, similar to Cardinal Gilles’s chambers, only more packed. There were many tables filled with tools. All it took was a brief inspection to know what kind of tools they were. Many, Malus had to endure. Instruments of torture.

            The whimpering got louder and Malus continued to follow it. He walked passed many doors, all of which were marked with Lucifer’s cross. The sound came from none of them though. Eventually, Malus came up to an accumulation of raggedy sheets encircling the whimpering sounds. I should really turn around.

            Malus pulled the sheets to the side.

            Lagrima looked at him, wide-eyed with fear. She was tied up and gagged, kicking and whimpering as much as she could, crying for help. Her face was bruised up like she had been beaten only minutes ago. Malus wasn’t particularly surprised to find her in this state. Sinner’s den didn’t exactly have a nice ring to it.

            He turned around to leave when a rush of guilt came over him. I can’t leave her like this. He stepped back inside and walked up to her. “When I remove your gag, don’t scream.”

            She nodded and he removed it. “Thank you,” she said. “Y-you have to get me out of here, please.”

            “You…wanted them to give me up,” said Malus, remembering.

            “I…I was only trying to do what I thought was right. If you’re truly a servant of God now, you’d understand.”

            “I do. But it doesn’t forgive the other sins you’ve committed. You fornicated with your brother. As well as escaped from your divine judgment and betrayed Caelum Infinitum. This is where you belong but…I’ve been where you are before, and it’s a place no one should ever be.”

            You could see the relief in her face. “I’m grateful for your mercy. You have to help me get out though. Cardinal Daimios or Gilles will be back any minute now…”

            “No,” said Malus. “I’ll release you, but the rest is on you. I’ve already done more than I should.”

            Malus started to untie the ropes. Suddenly, he heard the door open again. “I’m sorry,” he apologized. “I have to hide.”

            “No. Don’t leave me here, please,” she begged.

            “I have no choice…”

            Malus escaped from the circle of sheets on the opposite side whence he came, looking desperately for an escape. Unlike before there was only one other door on this end of the room. Having no other options, he scurried over to the door, enclosing himself inside. As soon as he saw where he was, he puked.

             A pile of corpses was lying on top of each other. Some old. Others fairly new. Then he saw it. Near the top of the pile. A small naked corpse. Too small to hurt anyone. Malus rushed to it and pulled it out from beneath two other bodies, withholding his tears out of fear of making any more sound than he already had.

He laid the tiny corpse on his lap and caressed the soft brown locks of his hair. Gorgius’s eyes were open, completely lifeless. From his bellybutton, there was a wound opening him up all the way to his throat. His wrists had bruises, probably from ropes. It didn’t take a medic to see that the corpse had been dead for a couple days.

            Malus broke down and buried his face into Gorgius’s cheek to muffle his uncontrollable tears. Outside, the sound of Gilles’s voice made him tense.

            “What have we here,” said the Cardinal. “An escape artist.”

            “I-it wasn’t me!” blurted Lagrima.

            There was a pause. “Is there someone else here?”

            “T-the boy.”

            “Boy?”

            “Yes. Charles’s boy…he ran as soon as he heard the door. He’s still here though.”

            “That so…”

            The talking stopped and Malus felt his heart rise. He clenched to Gorgius’s corpse as hard as possible, hoping that he could disappear. Outside, he could hear the footsteps approaching. Coming closer.

And closer.

Malus held his breath.

And closer…

The door opened.

“Well,” whispered Cardinal Gilles. “This could pose a problem…” 



© 2013 Cynical_Art


Author's Note

Cynical_Art
What are your thoughts on the chapter? How do you feel about Gorgius' fate? Why do you think he was where he was? How do you think Malus will react? What is your opinion on Lucifer's attachment to Malus? Mention anything else that you want to. :)

Next chapter will be Mhia.

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Reviews

I swear, if anything happens to Malus, I will kill you. XD Poor Gorguis! He didn't deserve that death. What had he ever done to them anyway?! *sniffs* Any who, I really like the change in Malus' behavior. I think it fits him and the false"order" writhing the church. And I'm a little surprised that Lucifer is caring so deeply for him, but then again, he loved his mother. But I have a feeling that might change. And, I never thought I'd say this, kill the nun. Lol! XD After he was trying to help her, she betrayed him. Just proof nuns can't be trusted. XD

I loved this chapter and I can't wait to read other ones! :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


Dark Rider

7 Years Ago

There's a sequel? :3 Yay! XD And I can't wait to see who all you've drawn. Yeah, school's had the sa.. read more
Cynical_Art

7 Years Ago

Well the second book, yeah lol and a lot of the characters I've drawn aren't characters that have ap.. read more
Dark Rider

7 Years Ago

Well, that's good. :) And I can't wait to read the second book, though I'm sad to think this one is .. read more

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

518 Views
1 Review
Added on November 12, 2013
Last Updated on November 12, 2013
Tags: fantasy, Religion, science-fiction, family, death, betrayal, sex, war, conspiracies, characters, love, psychological, development, God, hierarchy, order, cynical, victorian

God's Requiem


Author

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..

Writing