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    Demented
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Though not present in every chapter, this story will contain graphic violence and coerced sex/rape, some of which involves underaged characters. Keep this in mind before reading. 

MageCrafter - 25. interlude: Acolyte of Belenus

Wilfried sighed deeply as he walked into the pewed hall of The Sun God Belenus’s Temple. He hated how crass and coarse the brown robes he was wearing felt on his skin. No other Cleric in the temple was wearing such demeaning attire, yet these were the only clothes he was allowed to wear. Everything from the stiff and unpleasant feeling sandals that irritated his skin to the low quality thick fabric of his undergarments that drew far too much attention to themselves made him hate ever coming to this awful place.

Not that he had much of a choice.

"My Son," The gray bearded high priest had said on their first meeting, "Normally I would not have allowed someone of your upbringing among our ranks. However we have an arrangement with your house when certain problem cases arise among them. You, my son, have regrettably become one of those problem cases."

"I didn't do anything!" Wilfried had ranted the night it had happened and his father had called the high priest over to their Estate. "Isn't there a way to fix this?! Can't you just turn me back?!"

"I'm afraid not My son. Now that you have awakened there is no going back. All we can do is bring you into our Temple as an Acolyte and train you to be a Cleric of the Sun God. If you find it in your heart to humble yourself before him, you will be able to find peace in this realm yet. However if you attempt to rebel, I'm afraid you will not be long for this world."

"What are you threatening me now?"

"My Son, you should know from your family's own teaching on your lineage that I am not. I am merely stating the circumstances you find yourself in. It is either you Join the Temple of Belenus like your relatives before you, or you find your young life cut drastically shorter thanks to the sins of your bloodline."

Despite his parents' warnings that they would not accept the worldly possessions, He had come with luggage from his Family's estate and wore his finest clothes on the day he was to move into the temple as a show of denial and defiance for what was being done to him. The high Priest responded by halting him at the door of the Temple and forcing him to strip off every expensive garment he had on right there and hand it to his Maids.

Even as the collar marking him as an Acolyte of the Belenus temple was slapped onto his bared neck, he yelled at the High priest while trying to cover himself up from being seen out in the open as he was.
"You can't do this to me! I am the son of a Duke! I am heir to his title!"

"You are no longer heir to anything other than being an Acolyte and hopefully a Cleric of this Temple my son. You are no longer considered of the Noble Caste. I understand your upbringing has left you willful and expectant of a certain level of care and treatment. You shall find none of that beyond these walls. While you may not like being here, and it will take some time for your spirit to soften to our way of life, I hope that in time you find a way to make peace with your new lot in life."

Even months later his eyes had not adjusted properly to the perpetual noontime brightness the halls of this temple had. In many ways it was just as luxurious as his Estate back home, yet his status within these walls could not have been more different. He was a lowly acolyte with no skill or talent for the slog of cleaning duties he found himself performing day after day. For that first month, everything he attempted to clean seemed to only get dirtier with how inept the former noble was at the task. There were days where he would spend all the daylight hours on one particular room, cleaning it over and over until he got it absolutely right. How his face burned with embarrassment failing at tasks he would have looked down on a slave for not being able to complete before this all happened.

That wasn't even touching on the perpetually drained feeling he had inside the walls of this place. He had not been granted the gifting of a Cleric yet as his heart was apparently not yet ready to receive it. He still had his power as an evocation sorcerer, but within the walls of this temple he could find no natural magic compatible with his abilities to draw off of. The temple was designed for followers of Belenus and the natural magic that permeated the halls and rooms reflected as such, making it next to impossible for anyone other than a cleric, paladin or Priests to cast with an item without employing their attunement slots while they were in their walls.

Between his current affliction from his bloodline that forced him to be here, and the complete lack of accessible natural magic for him to utilize, the former Noble Sorcerer of the Evocation school felt completely powerless and even weaker than a mundane on some days. He was told that it would get better once the god Belenus accepted him as a Cleric, but who knew how long that was going to take.

"This is why I am being so strict with you My Son. It is imperative that you break through your own pride from your upbringing and find comfort and strength in your new life under Belenus. Until you can submit to him, you will continue to be miserable and listless in these walls."

He rubbed sleep from his eyes and moved forward with his bucket and washcloth to clean and dust all the pews before service. It had been especially difficult for him to figure out how to sleep in this accursed place, since they kept it so bright at all hours of the day. His affliction from his bloodline made it so that his eyes could never truly adjust to the brightness, making him instead keep his brown and coarse hoodie up at all times. That was fine with him, as it covered up the absolute state his hair had gotten into since he had moved into this place. Gone was the luxurious shimmer and glossiness his black curls had, replaced with the dry strands from the rough soap they let him use.

Oh how he longed to be back home getting his body washed by his harem of slave boys and maidens. He didn't use them for pleasure, as he thought of himself as a strictly monogamous person, but it was still quite pleasant to be treated so tenderly and massaged while his body was cleansed in steamy hot water. It could not be more different than the frigid cold bathing sessions he had with a bucket and a washcloth nowadays.

He missed his old life dearly. The freedom to go wherever he wanted. The authority to give orders to anyone he saw within his estate and to not be questioned about said order. The food that he had not even realized was as good as it was until he had feasted on the parade of blandness he was served in the walls of this temple. There was not a day that went by that he didn't bitterly curse his ancestor for cursing his bloodline with this affliction that had so ruined his life.
As his damp cloth rubbed into the first of many pews, he wondered what Baldric might be doing at the moment. A bitter grimace grew on his face as he scrubbed the wooden seat as he pictured the Bluish white haired boy that had once been his love. His former lover probably would think his current lot in life was poetic justice and even laugh in his face at the irony of what happened to him.

No, Baldric wasn't like that. He was never mean spirited. He loved to tease and make a lad feel embarrassed, but he was never to the point of being cruel. How had things gotten so bad between them towards the end? How did it end up where he was barred from ever even setting foot in Lord Baldric's estate or engaging in communication with his former lover? Months ago that had been the only thing he had obsessed about. That had been Wilfried's whole world before this current development sent him here. This obsession with fixing things with Baldric and making him be with him once again.

It had started years ago before Baldric had become a MageCrafter. They had both been so young at the time, but Wilfried was head over heels for Baldric. He knew deep in his gut that this was the one for him and he would want no other. Yet it had come like a meteor out of the clear sky when he found his love flirting with other boys and even openly soliciting them for sex.
Tearfully Wilfried had confronted his boyfriend, demanding to know why he was being unfaithful. To his utter shock, Baldric not only did not feel sorry for flirting with other boys, he said that he was not built for monogamous relationships and did not want to be in a relationship where what he did naturally was considered cheating. Wilfried had been flabbergasted at his response. Not only was he not ashamed of cheating on him, Baldric was essentially telling him to either deal with it or break up with him.

Part of him still wonders to this day if he could have made it work if he had just allowed himself to be in an open relationship and try it. Yet he just couldn't find it in himself to do it. The only thing that was running through his head at the time in his young mind was that Baldric was a lying cheating bastard who broke his heart! They tried shakily to make things work on and off after that, but every time he saw Baldric with someone else it enraged him all over again and he broke up with him once again. Eventually Baldric didn't even want to rekindle anything, saying that Wilfried didn't know what he wanted and he was just hurting himself coming back to him like this over and over again. He was framing it like he was doing Wilfried a favor instead of stomping on his heart all over again!

There were times when Wilfried had acted irrational, he would admit that in a confessional any day of the week. Yet he didn't understand how Baldric could somehow turn his cheating on Wilfried into almost a virtue he lived up to! It didn't make any sense, yet the fellow noble boy had seemed to have decided that it was perfectly okay to sleep around while in a relationship and he would not hear any different. It felt like he completely disregarded Wilfried's feelings on the matter! The very thought made him scrub the pew with the cloth even harder as he tried to work off his frustration.

What did those other boys have that he didn't have? What need were they satisfying that he couldn't do himself? Why did Baldric need so many lovers in his life? Why couldn't he have just been happy to be with Wilfried alone? Was he not from a Dukedom even larger than Baldrics? Did he not have access to a more impressive school of magic than Baldric had? He remembered showing off all the time for Baldric, firing off his evocation spells into the sky to try and impress his lover. The young lord, despite only being an Illusory wizard, always managed to upstage him in magical displays.

He admired that Baldric could take a school of magic that everyone in Silbel thought was useless and do all those wonderous things with it. He always seemed to have a new trick up his sleeve. That was in part due to his days as a showmen and Arch Magician at the Bavaram Circus. He remembered that like it was yesterday.

His family had hired the Bavaram circus for a private performance on the estate. Wilfried had been determined to find the whole affair boring at the time for reasons he could not recall now. All he could remember was that he was feeling petulant at the moment for whatever reason it happened to be. That had all melted away when Baldric had taken the stage however.

It was on that day that he learned what the term "love at first sight" truly meant. By the end of Baldric and his circus's breathtaking performance, Wilfried knew he had fallen in love. That very night he had met with Lord Baldric and talked to him about the show, and to his shock and delight the amazing performer that was the same age as him began to flirt and compliment him on how cute Wilfried looked. It only took a few sweet nothings in his ear before Baldric had got him back to the lads own room and proceeded to take his virginity that very night.

For someone who was the same age as him, the level of experience between the two in bed was like night and day. Baldric had Wilfried like putty in his hands, making him feel wonderous pleasures like he had never felt before. It was a magical night that served him well on the lonely nights without the young lord.

They stayed in contact even after the Circus moved on, especially after Wilfried found out that he wasn't merely some Circus Showmen, but he was a Duke's son just like himself hailing from the Dukedom of Bertolde. That had only made him even more perfect in Wilfried's eyes. He swooned and dreamed about Baldric like a fair Maiden for months after the fact, walking about with a glow of joy in his heart having someone he loved so much.

Yet it all came crashing down when he found Baldric flirting with others. It stung even more when Baldric had said without a hint of shame or remorse that he had slept with a lot of the boys he had been seen flirting with, and that he would do so again. It was completely foriegn to Wilfried’s understanding, who pictured true love as being two people who paired up together for life. In his eyes, Baldric was practically breaking their wedding vows even though they were not married or even betrothed. It left him so angry and bitter towards the young lord that he ended up turning to drastic measures to try and keep Baldric.

Drastic measures that ruined his chances to be with Baldric seemingly forever.

When Baldric had become a Magecrafter, Wilfried would admit to any high priest in the building, dark thoughts came into his head at that time. At the time they had seemed so right and so rational. Now as he scrubbed pew after pew clean he was beginning to see what those dark thoughts would have done to his Love. He absentmindedly toyed with his own collar at the very thought.

There were functions within the Collar that would allow him to learn tasks faster. However those functions were all but sealed off to him while he remained a mere ackolyte and not a cleric. The reason for that being, just like a noble ring, it utilizes the users natural magic in order to make those effects happen. Natural magic he had no access to within the walls of this temple because of how it was designed. As a result, he was forced to learn every menial labor task the natural way, which was exceedingly difficult for a lad who never had a chore in his life before joining the temple.

Funny how he would have never dreamed of wearing a slave collar, and now he wished that he could use the damnable thing properly. It really hammered home what he had been petitioning to subject Baldric to in his jealous fury. For the day that Baldric had become a MageCrafter and moved back home with his father on his estate, Wilfried had thought that it was the perfect opportunity to make Baldric his once and for all.

If Baldric wouldn’t be with him by choice, now he could be his under a collar! At the time it seemed like such a brilliant idea and not embarrassing and more than a little revolting like he found it now. He had been so upset and felt so scorned by Baldric refusing to get back together with him that he just wanted to lash out. What better way to do that than to exploit the predicament that Lord Baldric found himself in by becoming a MageCrafter.

The collaring of Nobles was done on a Case by Case basis. In Wilfried’s case, this was done in order to counteract the affliction that had been cursed onto his bloodline by his ancestor. While he was technically a slave to the church, Wilfried would eventually enjoy the respect offered to Clerics. Assuming of course he manages to become a Cleric.

He had pushed his parents hard to petition to have Baldric collared for being a MageCrafter. Once he would become a butler in training he could them come be with him forever.Then he could get rid of all these stupid notions like needing anyone else but himself. That had been his irrational thoughts at the time. He tried to find anything he could to get the Silbel government to slap a collar on Baldric so he could claim him for his own. It had become his obsession in life for a time.
Baldric’s father had proven to be far too formidable however. The Noble fought like a devil behind the scenes to keep his son from getting a collar. He bribed whoever he needed to, utilized any argument necessary, anything you could think of to make sure Baldric remained free. It would have been admirable if it hadn't infuriated Wilfried so much at the time. Every scheme and angle he came at trying to collar Baldric ended in failure, and it left the noble feeling frustrated.

Then Baldric had found out what Wilfried had been up to. That confrontation had been so ugly. What was worse was that Wilfried had no way to defend himself. Every harsh and venomous word Baldric had for him stung with the truth that he didn't want to look at. He had accused Baldric of betraying him with cheating on him, but this had gone far beyond the pale of that.
He tried to ask for forgiveness, but it was far too late. Lord Baldric forcibly booted him from his estate and left orders that he was forbidden to step foot in it ever again. He couldn't even send messages to Baldric as his personal Maid Shahnaz was ordered to dispose of any and all of them and not even tell Baldric they had arrived. In his panic, he doubled down on his efforts to collar Baldric.
In Wilfried's near feverish thinking, once he owned Baldric he’d be able to make him see how much of a mistake he was making by avoiding him. The Young Lord would finally see how much he loved Baldric, and then he wouldn’t have to even think about sleeping around with other guys. Yet time and time again that father of his blocked his every effort and argument he made behind the scenes to snatch Baldric. Wilfried seethed just thinking about it after he finished off a whole row of Pews and moved over to clean the next group.

He was halfway down the aisle towards the next row of seats when he heard the door to the outside open and the destinct sound of high heels clinking onto the marble flooring. He looked over his shoulder for a brief moment, thinking it was someone who was just very early for the morning service. Sometimes particularly Pious and or elderly people liked to show up really early in the morning and pray to Belenus before the service started.

Yet the brief glimpse he caught of the person behind him made him do a double take before turning again to pull his hood even further over his face in embarrassment. What was his older sister doing here!? He could hear her delightedly humming as she animatedly walked into the room, combing the area with her gloved hand as she tried to spot something.

"Excuse me! Little brown robe wearing person?" She nearly sang out to him, peppering her speech with whoops and whistles to get his attention. He felt his gut clench as he desperately tried to make his voice deeper so his sister didn't immediately recognize him in this awful outfit.

"Y-yes Madam? How may the Temple of Belemus assist you this fine Sunlit day."
"Willy? Is that my Silly Willy over there I'm hearing?"

Oh how he yearned for death in that moment. Such was the excruciating levels of embarrassment being found out so easily. Reluctantly he pulled back his hood and squinted into the light as he turned around to let her see him. He only could tolerate the full exposure of sunlight on his eyes so long before he through his hood up, though not before giving her a defeated "Hi Sis."

His older sister was what red blooded males would call voluptuous. She had quite the ample bosom and her curves that were only accentuated by the ostentatious dark crimson gown she was wearing at this ungodly hour of the morning. Atop her head sported a wide brimmed red hat covered in false flowers made of tightly knit fabric. It was a gown built for dancing and flowing movement with her castanets. She was a percussive Bard who could use everything from the clicks and stomps of her shoes to her preferred array of castanets on her person to cast her spells. Covering one of her eyes was an ornate and expensive looking eye patch that seemed to almost be an aesthetic choice instead of being truly needed.

He knew better however.

“Willy, what in the realm did you do to your hair?" She admonished him with some shock in her tone, "It looked like you glued charred hay on your head."

"Believe it or not, the quality of shampoo isn't exactly the highest priority in this temple." Wilfried delivered in a deadpan tone as he moved over to a pew and continued to wipe them down. Having a sister who he hadn't seen in months wasn't going to stop him getting in trouble should he not finish his assigned task. "While it is nice to see a face that isn't over fifty years old and deep in religious thought, I do have to ask what you are here for."
"Can a sister not come to check on her favorite brother?"

"I'm your only brother, and I know you well enough to know you didn't just pop by to say hi sis. You have at the very least some gossip you want to share with me or some favor you want out of me. A favor I probably won't be able to provide since I can't leave this damned place."

"Oh right, cause of the..."

"I've chosen to refer to it as an affliction," Wilfried interjected before she could vocalize what it was as he moved onto the next pew. "I don't like thinking about it, cause it basically ruined my life when it awakened in me."
"What was it called again though?" She moved closer and leaned over the pew he was working on, pointing out that he missed a spot as she did so. He grumbled and redid the spot again, hoping that had been the only spot he had missed. It also annoyed him that she did not take the hint that he really didn't want to talk about this with her. Or anyone for that matter.
"I'm a Dhampyr Abigail. Come on Sis I know you were taught the same crap I was."

"Now is that any way to talk to a visitor to your temple Willy?" She replied back with a teasing grin. His older sis was a lot like Baldric in the sense that she knew how to get under his skin really easily. Her reminding him of Baldric only made him more upset. Wilfried pinched the bridge of his nose and breathed in some calming breaths that the high priest had been teaching him. As mocking as her tone was, she was right. If a Cleric or Paladin that was above him, which was currently everyone, saw him talking to someone like that he’d get in serious trouble.
Instead he turned around and forced a smile as he bowed to his older sibling. “My apologies madam. I am still adjusting to life in the temple as I am but a mere Cleric in training. I will endeavor to do better with my etiquette going forward.”

To his satisfaction, his older sister actually seemed almost revolted at the display of politeness. He would swear up and down that he saw the exact moment goosebumps went throughout her body hearing those polite words out of his mouth.

“Ugh. That doesn’t sound like you at all. Make it stop, go back!” Her hands were flailing in front of her face from behind the pew as if to ward off his false politeness that affronted her sensibilities. It actually made something of a genuine smile grow on his lips, one that hadn’t been on his face in some time. As ungodly irritating as his older sister was, she had her moments.
“Might as well get used to it sis, Not like I’m going anywhere. Maybe to another temple but that was about it.”
“Can...Can I see them?”

He didn’t even need to ask what she meant. They hadn’t met in person since he had been forced to become a Cleric of the Sun God, and the only correspondence they had had was through magic items. This would be the first time she had seen him since it happened. With a sigh and an eye roll he looked around to make sure the coast was clear and then stepped up to his older sister before opening up his mouth wide. As he did so, his fangs on either side of his upper row of teeth grew longer and sharper, and his eyes took on a dull red glow to them. The very act of doing so made the light in the room feel so much brighter that it hurt to keep his eyes open.

“Oh wow, look at those things.” She leaned in and gripped him by his chin, turning him from left to right to get a better look at her younger brother’s fangs. “It’s been so long since one of our family’s become one of these...what were they called again?

“Dhampyr. Come on Abigail I just said it a moment ago. It's not that hard.” Wilfried admonished as he retracted his fangs and let his eyes return back to their black color. “It's the living incubation state of a True Vampire. Or a Vampire that was born naturally instead of made by getting sired.”

“I’m forgetting...Why aren’t you dust right now?” She asked him with a perplexed look that made him run his palm over his face in frustration. She had to be screwing with him right now .She could not be this forgetful over stuff that was taught to their family since forever ago.

“Because I’m not Undead yet you dolt!” He withdrew and calmed himself before continuing, though it didn’t do much to conceal his frustration. “Necromancy and undead are forbidden to exist in this realm. The second something would become undead in this realm, the instantly turn to dust as it is not compatible with the current laws of this world. I am not an undead however. Right now I’m just in what is basically a larvae state before becoming a True Vampire. Like a Caterpillar waiting to become a butterfly. Except if I actually do try to turn into a proverbial butterfly…”

“You’ll go poof.” His older sister finished for him.

“Not how I would have worded it, but yeah. I’d go ‘poof.’ I don’t feel like getting into it with you, but being in this place and being a cleric helps keep that from happening. Now, enough about me,” he pointed to his sister before going back to wiping down the pews, “what are you here for? I know you and you don’t just show up to a place like this unless you either need something or have gossip or both.”

“Willy, so much has happened out there I don’t even know where to begin. You know that Hag is dead?”

Wilfried jolted up and covered her mouth before looking around. Once he was satisfied they were alone in the room he glared at her from beneath his hood and hissed out his next words to her. “What do you mean she’s dead? And I thought I told you I didn’t want to know about the capital W stuff.”

“Oh would you relax, I’m barely a Warlock.” She said dismissively as she pulled her younger brother's hand away from her mouth. “I only had work done on the inside of my ears by her anyway.”

“And your eye.” He hissed, pointing at her eye-patch.

“Oh yeah and the eye. It’s actually really neat. I can see sound-waves everywhere from underneath this patch. I actually can see the sound of your heart beat and your blood flowing in there. Oh and I can see all around me with this eye instead of just forward cause the ears work together with the eye. It’s pretty neat.”

“I still can’t believe you went and did something like that, and just for a stupid hobby on top of it.”

His sister had been obsessed with stories about the Silbel Strangler growing up. It was her favorite little hobby to research about the killings and figure things out about what happened. There were certain groups of Nobles she ran with that liked to gossip about unsolved mysteries like that and postulate who the culprit was. It never really went further than theories to tell to your friends over some wine or perhaps fodder for a fictional murder mystery novel.

However, his bardic Sister had taken her fanatic obsession with this hobby of hers to the next level when she had strolled right into Preja bog one day without telling anyone where she was going. Somehow, the crazy girl had managed to get an audience with the Hag Giant and the elderly retired Warlord apparently had a lot of fun talking with her. The two ladies talked for awhile as Abigail put it, and somehow she managed to walk out of that bog as a basically independent Warlock.

She had only told her brother about her little adventure, as being a warlock was cause for immediate execution in the borders of Silbel. However her particular alterations were so difficult to notice that she could basically resume her normal life without changing anything. Yet she now had an assortment of abilities that complimented her Bardic powers, as well as aided in her further investigation into her hobby of choice.

“So get this,” she followed her brother to the next pew and let him clean as she regaled him with the tale. “I have this thing I can do with one of my ears that lets me focus in on a specific word or grouping of words. If those words are spoken within a few hundred leagues of me, I will be able to hear it as well as some of the words surrounding them. The more specific the word, the better.”

“I can only guess what you used THAT for.” the Acolyte said with an eyeroll. She laughed cheerily at that, not denying his assertion one bit. She didn’t even need to say she had used it to track usages of the words “Silbel Strangler.” It was pretty much the only reason he could imagine her obsessive self ever using it.

“Guess who I heard saying it. You’re going to be floored when I tell you who it is.”

“Wait you know who says it on top of hearing it?”

“No, but if I know the person I’d be able to recognize their voice.” she replied back with a big grin on her face.

“I-it was someone you know? Who?”

“Baldric.”

Suddenly he became much more interested in what she was talking about! Before he had been annoyed that she had come over to talk about her dumb hobby and obsession with a serial killer who wasn’t even active anymore. Yet Baldric said something about the Silbel Strangler? Why would he be talking about this person?

“Wha-What did he say?”

“The first time I heard him, I wasn’t sure if it WAS Baldric, but I knew it came from that dukedom and what was said that first time was particularly interesting.”

“Wh-what did he say.”

“He said ‘You’re the Silbel Strangler.’” She grinned widely at her younger brother's eyes bugging out of his head. “I know right!? Baldric went and found the Silbel strangler.”

“Is he alright? Did he get hurt? Oh if that monster killed Baldric I’ll…” His eyes flashed red and his fangs popped out of his mouth at the very thought of the Silbel strangler hurting Baldric. He immediately winced under the bright light of the room and retracted the small transformation, his eyes really hurting now after doing it twice in such a bright room.

“Relax. Baldric ended up saying it about three more times over a few days. One in particular really caught my eye because I caught a name.”

“Holy shit. You heard the name of the Silbel Strangler?!” He had to control his voice as he tried to collect his thoughts. “What does this have to do with Babica being dead by the way?”

“Everything trust me!” she said with a big grin. “So anyway, I did some digging, and apparently the name he used when he said Silbel Strangler that one time was the very same name of the person he took as his Fledgling MageCrafter.”

“Wait WHAT?”

“That’s what I said! But it gets even juicier. Once I started listening for that name as well, I started finding out a whole bunch of stuff. Turns out Baldric and his Silbel Strangler are like madly in love. They are like two peas in a pod with how they get along with each other. Baldric seems infatuated with the person. Oh, and it turns out that the Silbel Strangler was a Lynxian, and he’s only thirteen years old.”

He was reeling from what he was hearing. Despite having more pews to clean off he had to sit down. This was all so much to take in. His body was shaking. Baldric was in a relationship with someone he knew was the Silbel Strangler? What did that even mean. He loves this person as well? He loves a serial killer? He loves a serial killer over himself? Some serial killers got to be with Baldric while he was stuck in this Temple, not allowed to ever contact or be near Baldric much less the outside world until he became a cleric.

“Trust me it gets even wilder. I’ve been tracking this utter psycho who had been obsessed with the Silbel strangler. I’m talking about a complete wackjob who sounded like a kid. He ended up sneaking into the Bertolde Estate blabbing about the Silbel strangler the whole way, so I basically knew where the freak was the whole time. He gets onto the estate and starts yelling about a fake Silbel strangler, and I’m pretty sure they killed him after that cause he hasn’t said a thing about the Silbel strangler since. He’s been blabbing about the silbel strangler since I activated these damn items.”

“I’m still not seeing what this has to do with Babica Preja being dead.”

“See, here’s the thing. Babica Preja was killed by the Silbel strangler. He strangled her to death and everything.”

“You’ve got to be screwing with me now, she’s a giant for crying out loud.”

“No it makes sense though! If he is only thirteen then he’d had to have started killing when he was like a toddler. I almost thought Baldric just was mistaken till I found out this kid has some ungodly super strength. If he’s been that strong since he was a baby then it would make a whole lot of sense why nobody figured out who he was. Who’s going to suspect a baby throttling a full grown man to death. Plus, remember that magical burst from a couple days ago from an awakening.”

Of course he knew about it. Who didn’t know about the Day of Black Thorn. Every single thing that was wood within the temple from furniture to pieces of paper suddenly became black and thorny for a few minutes after the explosion had emanated out from the Bertolde estate. Suddenly he jolted up and looked at his sister in alarm.

“That was the Silbel Strangler?!”

She nodded fervently, giving him a silent expression that spoke to how she had felt exactly like he had when she found out.

“This past week has been intense for me. Not only does the person I was obsessed with turns out to be some unfathomably powerful boy several years younger than myself who can choke a giant with his bare hands, but Baldric went and basically wiped out the Hag’s entire army all by himself.”

“He did what?! How did he do that!?”

“Turns out your ex has become really damn powerful when you weren’t looking. He’s being talked about like he has powers on par with the Heroes of Old, and his Fledgling MageCrafter seems to be even stronger than that. There’s only a handful of us Warlocks even left after what Baldric went and did, and they were all independent actors like myself to one degree or another.”

“You’re not going to try to get revenge on Baldric are you?” Wilfried asked before he could think about what he was saying. He wasn’t exactly sure why he was asking that question. Was he concerned she was going to get hurt? Did he not want her to try and hurt Baldric? What was his feelings about this situation? He felt rather lost and confused right then.

“Hell no,” She said with a laugh, “I mean I’m grateful for the neat abilities but I’m basically as neutral to that Hag as you could get. I’m certainly not going to risk my neck over her whole army getting wiped out. If some of the other Warlocks try something, they’re just dumb in my opinion. Baldric already killed Darzi before all of that, and Darzi was like her Star Warlock.”

“I really don’t like hearing you talk about this stuff sis. The less I know about your capital W stuff the better.”

“Pssh, you worry too much. Anyway, something happened in the Bertolde Estate after that freak went silent, and I’m not sure what. I do know there was a massive tremor from inside of there and it sounds like Baldric both is and isn’t on the estate anymore.”

“What do you mean both is and isn’t on the estate?”

“I mean exactly what I said. Some people are really convinced he’s not there anymore, some seem to see him in the halls. He’s both there and not there. It’s weird. I want to go inside but I’m pretty sure they’ll just think you sent me, which isn’t going to go well.”

“Sorry... “ he paused before he asked, “did you pick up why the silbel Strangler did what he did?”

“I’m not sure? I do know Baldric is smitten with that kitten though. He doesn’t even say his name without going ‘my sweet.’ or some similar pet name. From what I know about Baldric, I don’t think he’d look over something as big as someone being a serial killer unless there was a damn good reason for it though.”

“Of course he is. This Lynxian sounds like he’s amazing, and now Baldric has power on par with the heroes of old. Meanwhile my biggest accomplishment lately is I know how to clean the chamber pots better than I used to. No wonder he doesn’t want anything to do with me.”

“Hey, none of that.” His sister said in a tone that was equal parts scolding and comforting, “You’re a catch, even if your hair looks like burnt hay now.”

He let out a chuckle at that. After a moment of steadying himself he stood up and began to clean the pews with a lot more earnestness than before.

“Whoa, what’s gotten into you?”

“If I ever want to get out of this damn temple I need to become a Cleric. I don’t know what Baldric is up too, but if there’s anything I can do to help make up for the bullshit I put him through I’ll do it. He may not want to talk to me ever again, but dammit I’ll try to help him anyway. It’s the least I can do for being such an asshole.”

“Whoa, I’m not sure what just happened, but good for you Willy! Glad to see you getting some pep in your step. Now I’m going to figure out what the heck I’m going to do with all this information.”

“Wait you didn’t have something you needed from me?”

“What? No I just needed to get that off my chest. You know how hard it is to sit on this treasure trove of information and not tell someone about it?! It’s really hard!” She was saying this even as she walked out of the Temple past some elderly people here for their morning prayers. He smiled and got back to work, making sure he was done before the rest of the people showed up. He wasn’t sure how he was going to help Baldric, but he wanted to do something. Perhaps he should talk to the High Priest about some ideas.


 

Copyright © 2020 Demented; All Rights Reserved.
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While I think this character was mentioned at one point in passing, not really positive, but glad for the new introduction.  He should be an interesting addition, love the sister...

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11 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

While I think this character was mentioned at one point in passing, not really positive, but glad for the new introduction.  He should be an interesting addition, love the sister...

I've teased the concept that not all of Baldric's flings with noble boys have ended well. He's alluded to it and Raudh's talked about it in the past. This character would be one of those cases. 

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This reminds me of the Kandric Saga. All these little players being dragged into the mess these two heroes have caused.

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Just now, Yeoldebard said:

This reminds me of the Kandric Saga. All these little players being dragged into the mess these two heroes have caused.

I said it before and I'll say it again, I take that as a huge compliment. Love me some Kandric Saga! 

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Wow! That was interesting. What will be in the next chapter that will be as exciting as the others? Let me find out!

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