Wive’s Tale – Part 2
I wake up to the caress of the sun’s morning rays. The world is largely silent, so at first, I think I’m hearing things. But as I focused my attention I realized I could hear what sounds like shouting coming from somewhere else. With a copious amount of effort, I pull myself out of the bed and stand.
It takes more energy than I’d like to admit, and far too long, but I managed to shuffle to the door. As I tentatively pull it open I realize, this will be the first time I’ve seen the outside of this room. I mean sure, that’s technically not true but I was in far too much of a panic to take note of anything last time due to Charlotte and her goons… Charlotte, I wonder how she’s doing. I can’t imagine why I’m thinking of her, so I shake the thoughts from my head.
I peek my head out and check to see no one around. I guess I’m not a prisoner. I follow the sounds of shouting and I slowly hear things like, “…monstrous bitch!” and “I won’t tell you again…” but it’s muffled. As I make my way through the upstairs hallway I take note of how barren it is. I suppose there’s little need for aesthetics in a hospital, but this is strange. I don’t even see any other staff.
I make my way downstairs, following the shouts as they increase in intensity. Words are flying, and people are clearly pissed. As I reach a wooden door, I have just a moment to myself to contemplate whether this is a good idea or not. But against my better judgment, and with significant effort, I push the door open.
As I slide in between the doors to stand in the large, dome-like room within, I notice a set of five eyes on me. I feel extremely self-conscious, like a child who’s been caught doing something bad. My eyes dart around and I see Nina and her yellow hair, standing in the middle of four women I don’t know. Well, I recognize Mimi, but I can hardly say I “know” her.
“My Lord…” each murmur in turn. I see that Nina’s head is bowed, and though she tries to hide it, the tears are obvious. At the sight of the girls surrounding Nina, my vision flashes with anger. I immediately want to rip them to pieces, and if the pounding inside my head is any indication, Rei would indulge me; though I can’t understand why. That thought alone terrifies me and causes my anger to abate. Nonetheless, it’s obvious enough to tell what’s been going on.
It takes effort, but I march towards them, prepared to reprimand them when suddenly a woman I do not recognize speaks up, “Ah. My Lord. I’m sorry you’ve happened upon this. But I swear upon your honor that it is not what it looks like, not wholly. Jealousy is simply ugly, but common,” she says while looking towards the others. She’s definitely the oldest of the group, easily mid-twenties. Her hair is a beautiful white and in a single long braid that nearly touches the floor. Her eyes are a blue that would not be entirely out of place in my world. “Pray, if only for me, forgive them and their quarrel,” she says, gesturing to the others.
Her eyes are soft but stern, like a mothers. She’s wearing clothes that match the other girls in the room, besides Nina and myself. She’s in a robe that is draped over her simply, and it reaches down to her ankles. The robe is a deep green and carries a symbol on the front in red, of what appears to be a man receiving a piece of fruit from another. Her voice carries a sensual charm to it that comes from deep inside, just behind her sternum- a sternum hidden behind an awfully large pair of breasts.
“Why the hell is that something I’m noticing?”
I mentally berate myself for being weird- weird all morning. This woman, and her assets, comes complete in a package deal of about five foot ten inches tall. She’s definitely the second tallest woman I’ve seen here, beaten only by Charlotte who’s easily over six foot.
“I am Rosaline Vitrious, my Lord,” she says while giving me a half bow.
“She’s beautiful enough to justify the name,” I think; when suddenly Mimi speaks up.
“Please, like you had no part in this. The moment I told you about them holding hands you immediately got mad,” she says towards Rosaline; and Rosaline betrays her motherly temperament and snaps back, “You made it significantly more salacious sounding than just holding hands, girl. Even I have my limits and you are pushing them. I swear to our King that I will do worse to you than that fool Fennis did to himself,” she says sharply to Mimi.
There’s a twinge of pain in my chest at the reminder of what happened to Fennis. Seemingly picking up on my mood, another girl turns to me with a tilted head. When I notice her, a shock runs through me.
This girl has frightening eyes. Not due to any particular expression, but due to the lack of any expression at all. Her face is framed by a bob cut that may be just a tad too cute to be on someone like her. Her eyes are a deep yellow and are set deep within a sunken valley of death; though I suppose that’s rude of me to say. But I can’t help it.
Much like Mimi, this woman wears who she is on the surface- and what she wears is a death mask. This woman has killed, and not just once. And yet more than the blood of bygone people, it’s her hair that stands out most. Her hair is a nondescript brown that would fit in perfectly in my world; and that doesn’t fit at all with what I’ve seen of this world. In this world, if you are powerful, it shows in your features. This world is more honest in that way, than my world ever could hope to be.
But this girl, who stands probably an inch or two higher than me- and I stand a solid five foot five- exudes power. She must be ten feet away from me, but she was able to pick up on the subtle changes within me from the guilt; and I’m sure even from this distance, she could strike me down if she chose.
But she doesn’t. She simply makes sure to catch my eye, and lightly nods her head, as if trying to reassure me. It’s a strange gesture, made cute by its juxtaposition to her countenance. This causes me to present her a wide smile, much as I try not to.
“Pff. It was still salacious, even it means nothing to you. As one who gets around, I’d imagine hardly anything could trigger your sensitivities.” This time, Mimi’s words seem to cut deep.
Rose’s brow furrows deeply and you can tell she is about to explode. The entirety of the air temperature around us suddenly drops dramatically.
In my already weakened state, the sudden cold shock forces me to lose my balance. Luckily the girl with the bob cut from before is behind me to hold me up; but holy hell how did she manage that?
“Dang you’re fast.” I mention, quickly and quietly enough for only her to hear.
It’s only then that I realize she has her arms around me in an embrace. The palms of her hands rest on my stomach. Realizing just how amazing this feels makes me about to scream when she speaks up so quietly that I have to stop panicking enough to even figure out if she actually said something.
“My Lord,” she says in a low voice, as bereft of emotion as I expected. “You must be careful,” she says to me while helping me stabilize my footing, and pulling her arms away from me- her warmth amongst this cold is greatly missed. I look back to the others and notice everyone looking at this girl and I. Even Nina is peaking up from her downcast to look at us.
I clear my throat and speak, “I don’t really get what’s going on, but whatever you all did just made me nearly fall over. I’m still pretty weak right now and don’t really think having everyone be in a bad mood is good for me. So if possible, can we all make nice?” As the last word leaves me, my stomach growls.
I feel a blush creep to my cheeks and say, “And I’m hungry, apparently.” As if to add to how horrible I feel, along with the hunger pains, my head pounds a few times. The force is, once again, enough to cause me to jerk forward in the real world. But this girl catches me once again. She just silently stares at me as I try to recover myself. “Thank you… um,”
That is all she says to me as she once again separates herself from the group. How bland of a name. But man, was that rude of me to think or what?
I also notice the cold feeling is gone now, thankfully; so even without Kay’s warmth, I’m doing fine now.
The women all look at me as if they just kicked a puppy. Suffice to say, they’ve been properly scolded… somehow… “Uh, alright then, so what’s the gameplan Nina?” At the sound of her own name, Nina jerks her head up to meet my gaze.
Only it’s then that I have flashbacks to Charlotte and quickly scan the people around me. They all have varying degrees of concealed anger. Mimi is as you would expect to find her; eyes squinted and with a furrowed brow, both directed towards Nina. Rose is more contained, but the small glare she offers towards Nina is still present. To my surprise, Kay’s look gives off the most hostility. However, her hostility feels a little different than that of the others. Kay’s seems almost protective. Of what, I don’t know.
I look toward where I remember there being another girl, but I can’t find her. I look all around me and notice the beautiful architecture. The walls are adorned with various pictures of the world around us, as well as a few portraits of the King On High and others I do not recognize. I feel a strange sense of disconnect as if the reality doesn’t mix with what I see.
I move my attention back to the crowd, pushing the thought of another woman from my mind and continuing, “Oh. Sorry. I’m Evangeline. But you can all call me Eve and-” I stop myself there because I knew by the look on their faces that not a single one of them had any intention of calling me by my name. I sigh and shift my weight from one leg to another while slowly scanning the faces of every woman in the room. Truth be told they’re all beautiful in their own way. Any man would be lucky to have any one of them.
That thought causes the pounding in my head to burst like a tsunami against me. I start to fall to my knees and with speed I wouldn’t have believed, a woman is there to hold me up. As I move my head to thank Kay, I find myself staring deep into green eyes. A strand of yellow hair dangles teasingly between us as I recognize Nina. Possibly noticing the disbelief on my face, she clears her throat and helps me back to my feet.
Nina let’s go of me but uses her right hand, on the small of my back, to turn me towards the crowd of women again. I notice a shadow hiding behind Rose, but the others pay it no mind.
“Allow me to introduce you to the Valkyries, my Lord Zeroth Knight,” she says with authority and respect, in her most business-like manner of speech.
“Each of these women, is your wife.” I notice her words losing some respect near the end statement.
Truth be told, all I can do is stand there for a while. My brain literally cannot process what I just heard.