Jump to content
  • Join For Free and Get Notified of New Chapters!

    Are you enjoying a great story and want to get an alert or email when a new chapter is posted? Join now for free and follow your favorite stories and authors!  You can even choose to get daily or weekly digest emails instead of getting flooded with an email for each story you follow. 

     

    Demented
  • Author
  • 3,222 Words
  • 708 Views
  • 3 Comments

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 - 29. Chapter 29

Sargis hovered outside of the room where his two masters were. He had checked into the private infirmary area a number of times during the night. Every time he peered in he saw the young Lord Baldric sitting eerily still next to his father's bedside staring at the floor. At least by all outward appearances it looked like his young lord. Yet he knew that whatever was inside there was merely a puppet that Baldric was controlling from who knows where. He could still remember the strange horror he had felt creeping over him when the illusion had dropped around this thing's body and revealed what looked like an ice sculpture with a fully visible skeleton and internal organs, all forged of ice and water. When the illusion was up it was almost impossible to tell he was fake, but now that he knew it was all he could think about.

How long had Baldric been able to make creations like that? How many times had he been talking with him when he in actuality was talking to some strange ice sculpture instead? Part of the orc tried to reason that this shouldn't be as big of a deal as he was making it out to be. If the young lord had ways of being two places at once that could actually prove to be a benefit to the Estate. Yet at the same time the image of what this puppet really looked like under that illusory veil still clung to his mind.

It didn't seem to sleep either. No matter what time of night he had tried to come in and check on the Duke, he found this ice creature just as awake as he was before, staring at the floor in exactly the same position he was before. He tried to rationalize that he didn't want to disturb the young lord who was watching his fathers health and clearly was in some distress. Yet at the same time he knew he was feeling dark emotions towards Baldric that he knew were not in line with his position as the head butler.

He wasn't wearing Felsalvia's ring now, yet he could still feel it on his hand like a ball and chain. The doubts and dire predictions she had spoken into the Orc's mind about Baldric had all proven disastrously accurate as much as he despised her for it. His every retort about Baldric being a good heir to the estate crumbled when he saw the state his Duke was in. He was going to be catatonic for months, needing constant care for even his most basic needs. He would be vulnerable to any and all sickness that might come his way if it hadn't been for the wardings that Baldric and Marigold had put in place.

Stealing his resolve, Sargis moved into the room and tried to keep the dark feelings he had at the moment off his face. He didn't have the whole story. He must not jump to conclusions. As bad as everything looked, maybe there was a way to salvage all this.

"I have letters for the Estate for you to look over young Lord. I shall also inform you that the funeral shall be starting soon."

The ice sculpture that look so much like Baldric, and acted so much like him as well, stiffly turned his head upwards and looked at Sargis as if coming out of a daze. He looked like he was trying to figure out where everything was before he leaned back and wiped his hands over his face in tired aggravation. Why would a puppet body need to do something like that, Sargis thought perplexedly as he watched the eerily natural movements with a small shiver going up his spine.

"I never really thought about it before, but I haven't slept in years." Baldric said simply as he leaned back into the chair and stared off into space. He didn't even seem like he was talking to Sargis as he said that. "I never needed to before, so it wasn't a function that was built into me. Whenever he slept we would all get the benefit of him sleeping at the same time. It rejuvenated us and made us feel refreshed. Now that I'm not connected to him I can't do that on my own. My body wasn't made for sleeping. It wasn't made to work independently."

"Young Lord? I'm afraid I do not know what you are talking about." Sargis said with some concern in his tone. Baldric sounded so stressed as he spoke, so lost, so confused. The anger he felt towards this situation was being replaced with genuine concern. Ice puppet or not, this was unmistakably his young lord and he was in a lot of distress.

"I can't reconnect Sargis. I just can't do it. If I recconnect I'm going to be giving him all these uncertain feelings and emotions and fears I have. I would screw up everything if I let myself recconnect. But I can already feel the strain of not being connected with him. I feel so alone Sargis. I've never been alone before. I've always been everywhere. I've been in the sky, I've been in the lair, I've been under the seas. I was all of them. They were all of me. Now I'm just this floating hunk of ice in the middle of nowhere trying to see the world through a narrow keyhole. It scares me being this alone Sargis.”

Sargis was caught completely off guard by the words spilling out of his young lord's mouth. With every word spoken his voice grew more strained and erratic. He was trembling more and more in his chair as his hands shakily ran through his bluish white hair. Everything from the way his chest was heaving to his breathing that was getting faster and more shallow with every second spoke to a growing level of panic that was getting out of control. Though he didn’t understand what his young lord was saying, he knew he needed to act.

”I don't want to be alone like this!" Baldric all but screamed, his panic hitting its crescendo as he did so.

Sargis rushed over and got to his knees, gripping the boy in front of him by his arms as he tried to figure out what to do. This young lord before him was panicking more by the second. His chest was heaving, his eyes were wide in alarm, and fear gripped his voice more with every word he uttered. The orc cursed himself for being angry with Baldric as he tried to bring him down from this sudden attack that was gripping him. He had made a point of learning how to make the magic item that removes fear from Marigold after the harrowing day they had cleaning up after the FearCrafter. How he wished that creature was still alive so he could rip him to pieces himself. He killed close friends of his, some of the victims had been mere children. Even this version of Baldric had been hit by his power from what he understood.

Baldric began to calm down as Sargis pressed a sewn object made of his silk into his chest and let it glow into him, calming the fears inside of the lad. He had doubts that it'd work, since he thought this puppet was being controlled from a great distance by Lord Baldric. Yet to his surprise it took almost immediately and helped his young lord stop shaking and hyperventilating like he had been before. Sargis was surprised to see actual tears coming out of Baldric's eyes as he tried to settle himself back down. Whatever was going on, this was not just some puppet. The Orc was sure of that now that he was seeing him up close.

"Young Lord."

"I'm sorry."

"No, I am the one who is sorry." Sargis intoned with some repressed frustration in his voice. "I thought I was doing the right thing, and I ended up leaving our estate nearly defenceless because of my actions. If I and the maids that were in front of your Lair had been where they were supposed to be and not trying to stop you, we could have saved some lives. Twenty two people are dead and more were wounded because I let myself be talked into something so foolish. Never again."

"I'm not sure you could have done anything Sargis," Baldric said, looking over at his father, "I never knew there was such a lethal type of magic. If it weren't for High Priestess Marigold, along with her clerics and paladins, my father and many others would be dead. Not only that, but she helped fortify my father from illnesses during this vulnerable time for him. I cannot even begin to express the kind of debt I owe her."

"Will you be able to attend the funeral? I can send word that you aren't feeling well enough." Sargis said, not getting up from his position in front of Baldric. He would destroy every single speck of Felsalvia's cursed items as soon as he was gone from here. Her poisonous words had all but killed people he was supposed to protect. He was never going to lend an ear to another word of hers from now on. The fact he even entertained her words made him sick to his stomach now that he saw the results of her influence on him.

"No," Baldric said, working to compose himself as he continued, "I need to give a show of strength right now. The estate needs to know that leadership hasn't been lost yet. People need me to be there."

Baldric took the letters from Sargis and noticed one in particular that caught his attention. He never thought he was going to see this name again, and yet there it was right before him. It almost shocked him enough to make him smile in bemusement. To think that he would still be sending letters after all this time.

The letter had been from none other than Wilfried, one of the chief thorns in his side since he had become a MageCrafter. Wilfried had been terribly obsessed with Baldric in an unhealthy way, and was oppressively monogamous to boot. That would not have been cause enough to cut ties with the lad. However him attempting to capitalize on him becoming a MageCrafter to slap a collar on him had been a step way too far.

Strangely, this letter had not been sent with a Seal from his father's estate. It instead had the seal of the temple of Belenus on it, which struck the duplicate Baldric as very odd indeed. The fact that it had such a seal alone was well worth looking into what it had to say later. For now though he needed to attend the funeral. The other letters were addressed to the estate as a whole and were no doubt inquiries about the power surge that kotik unleashed. Other countries may figure out the source later than Vinal and Marigold, but they would be knocking on the door of Silbel soon nonetheless.

After he had put away the letters, making a point of keeping Wilfried's on his person, both Sargis and Baldric's attention was drawn to a knock at the door. They turned to see a Paladin with prominent wolf-like features standing in front of them. Not many were taller than Sargis, but this paladin who had the head of a wolf stood head and shoulders above him, to the point that he had to stoop to look into the door frame. He struck an imposing figure with his well groomed fur and golden armor, especially with the oversized hammer that looked large even for him slung across his back.

"Young Lord, Sir Butler, apologies for interrupting," His voice had some of the characteristic whine of a dog's voice while having a rumble to it as well. It was clearly not comfortable for him to speak words with his canine muzzle, but he managed to enunciate rather well none the less.

"May I help you Sir Paladin?" Baldric said as Sargis and him stood to their full height. "We were just about to head down to the funeral."

"I would be happy to escort you down to the Funeral young lord. I have something I would like to discuss with you. It's..." The wolf paused and looked between Sargis and Baldric, "In regards to the last time we met."

Baldric looked extremely perplexed at that. "You must have me confused with another person Sir Paladin, I do believe I would remember a wolf kin of your stature."

"You once asked me to rephrase something because you didn't like how I said it. We were in the kitchen at the time. Her kitchen." He put some emphasis on that last part, making sure he communicated which “her” he was speaking about. Baldric's eyes went wide after a brief moment as those puzzle pieces fell into place. It was everything he could do not to yell out the paladin's identity right there.

"Sargis, I do actually know this Paladin. That jogged my memory quite a bit." He looked over to the tall Orc and patted him on the shoulder. "Thank you for helping to calm me down earlier. If you could go on ahead and let them know I will be at the funeral shortly, I have something to discuss with this paladin."

Sargis did not like leaving his young lord alone, especially after what had happened. However this wolf was a Paladin of the Golden Maiden and worked directly under Marigold. They were guests in the estate right now, and if one of his masters wanted a moment alone with an esteemed guest such as this he would need to honor that. With a formal bow to the both of them he exited the room and went down to give word of Baldric's arrival.

Lord Baldric did not know what to make of this at all. If this Wolf headed Paladin was who the duplicate thought he was, then that raised a lot of alarming questions. Questions he wasn't even sure how to begin listing. The duplicate didn't get much of a chance to ponder the implications of what he was looking at either, since as soon as Sargis had left the Paladin had put himself down on one knee in front of the bluish white haired lad and lowered his massive wolf head to the floor.

Baldric looked at the kneeling werewolf with his mouth agape and his brain desperate to try to figure out how to process what he was looking at. He had never seen a werewolf with groomed fur before. The werewolves from preja bog all had matted disgusting fur and slobbering insanity stricken faces. They were rabid killers who viciously and unrelentingly attacked whoever Babica had sent them to. Yet this person before him was as composed and collected as any Demi-human.

Except he wasn't a demi human at all. He was a human who was transformed by Babica Preja. He was a human who Baldric had seen on what was probably the last time he had the face of a man and not a wolf. He was struck speechless the more he looked at the kneeling figure and took in what he represented.

"Young Lord. My name is Paladin Berhanu." The werewolf spoke, once again revealing that strange accent that hinted to how difficult it was for him to enunciate his words with his current mouth. "I want to thank you for everything you've done for me..."

"Wh-what I've done for you?!" Baldric interjected loudly before Berhanu could continue. Growing horror tinged his voice as he spoke, "I left you for dead in that place. I used you as a way to curry favor with Babica and make her lower her guard with me. I did nothing worth thanking me for Paladin!"

"That is not true, young lord." Berhanu shook his head fiercely. "If it wasn't for your words that day, I would have never looked within myself and saw what I had allowed myself to become. At one time I had thought of becoming an adventurer to become a hero, but I had allowed myself to become no better than some bandit for hire. You had every right to leave me there!"

"No!" Baldric paced around the room as he wrestled with what he was looking at. "Do you have any idea what you represent?! Berhanu, you are living proof that Babica's monstrosities were savable! They could have been reformed! Look at you! You became a paladin! How many more werewolves could have been saved like you!? Werewolves I cut down in my war with Babica. By the gods."

"Do not think of it that way My Lord!" Berhanu said forcefully, looking up at Baldric with a firm gaze. "I was an exception, not the rule. The one who helped give me my sanity back said he had never seen anyone like me come out of Preja Bog before. I was granted a second chance no one else who fell into Babica's clutches had been. I am firmly convinced it was because of your words that I was able to retain a semblance of myself and crawl out of that Bog to become the Paladin I am today."

He stood up and gripped Baldric by the shoulders, looking him in the eyes. "You may not have intended on saving me that day, but you did." He gave Baldric a wolfish smile. "I help people now. I heal and I protect where instead I simply tried to line my pockets and get some more cheap ale down my worthless gullet. I am more of a man now than I ever was when I was human. As for the rest of the werewolves, there is no telling one way or another what could have happened. What I do know is you were the catalyst that set me on a better path. For that I thank you."

Baldric was at a loss for words at the pure conviction in Berhanu's voice and expression. As uncertain as he felt since he had been disconnected from the central Baldric, this Werewolf had found a level of clarity and drive in his life that was awe inspiring to behold. If there was anything in his life that he needed right now, it was focus and clarity on what he was supposed to be doing with his life.

A strange thought occurred to him based on a conversation he had had with Marigold. Marigold had been like him as well, a parallel mind set adrift from their original self. She had forged her own identity as a high priestess and even gained a title independent of her old self. A title as well as her own soul. Perhaps, perhaps if he couldn't return to the central mind without compromising the mission, he could become an ally instead.

"Thank you Berhanu." The duplicate Baldric said as he looked up with a calm taking over his body as he smiled into the wolf's eyes. "I think you are exactly the person I needed to hear from right now."

Copyright © 2020 Demented; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 12
  • Love 10

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments

The way I see it, there are two directions for Baldric 2.0. I am pleased to see he is leaning more one direction than the other.

I am rather disappointed in Sargis though. Felsavia is a foreign ruler, she is bound to have the wellbeing of Silbel second in her mind, if not further. Her words should have been passed on, her offer of "help" given to the Duke of nothing else. Politics are messy, and best left to those whose minds run on different levels.

  • Like 2
  • Love 2
Link to comment

Oh, wow, this was just a truly illuminating chapter.  Sargis and Baldric 2.0, love that Yeoldebard, have given me so much to think about, and then you through in Berhanu, and my head may just explode.  And then there is the letter from Wilfried, I wonder if Baldric 2.0 will pull him deeper into the situation.  Just WOW....

  • Love 1
Link to comment

WOW! Now that was interesting that Sargis could calm Baldric 2.0 like he did. What's with that, I wonder? And now that Baldric 2.0 has heard what Paladin has said then being disconnected from Baldric might help him be his own person or at least I hope so if he can not reconnect.

Link to comment
View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

    You probably have a crazy and hectic schedule and find it hard to keep up with everything going on.  We get it, because we feel it too.  Signing up here is a great way to keep in touch and find something relaxing to read when you get a few moments to spare.

    Sign Up
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..