Sunday, February 21, 2016

In That Moment of Suffering Chapter 30 - Interrogation



 Chapter! Got to go!


Chapter 30 – Interrogation

“……….p…”


“………up…”


“…e up…”


“Wake up!”

“Nnnnn…...Ugh…” Senna’s eyes flicker as she reluctantly wakes up. The previous strike to her magic core instantly causes a sharp pain making her shift her body. The light blinds her as she tries to focus her vision. As her eyes adjust, a young lady with gray colored skin and silver flowing hair stands before her.

“Haaa…You’re finally up.” The girl comments.

“Ahh…You’re that Eline girl…” Senna mutters half awake.

“Eh? How did you know my name?” Eline takes a step back wide eyed.

“Mmm…” Senna groans as she looks around. She spots a bed and some other furniture confirming they are in a bedroom. When her gaze moves to her body, her eyes widen seeing hundreds of different magic sealing cuffs, ropes, and other bindings restricting her. Her appearance reminds her of prey caught in a spider’s web since she is unable to see even a trace of her skin or clothes underneath all these layers. “Wow. You certainly prepared yourself.”

“Because you broke through your previous restraints so easily… They felt it was necessary. Now speak. How do you know my name?” Eline demands.

“I learned it.” Senna calmly responds. Eline frowns lowering her head. Senna examines Eline when she goes silent. Senna silently thinks looking at Eline’s skin color and horns.
{She really is a demon~ Come to think of it. There’s that one thing about the demon race.}

When the Goddess Remilia created the world, an amalgamation of darkness known as the Demon God formed to resist her rule. The Goddess created humans to populate the world. In opposition, the Demon God spawned altered humans from the darkness as a mockery of the human race. These beings came to be known as demons.

Demons have a similar structure to humans, but their exterior contrasts greatly making them easy to identify. Their most distinct trait is the horns protruding from their heads marking them as a loyal follower of the Demon God. The size of their horns is known to represent their overflowing affinity to the darkness. It is rumored that a special ceremony can be performed to their horns to further improve their magical power. The other indicative trait of demons is their dark skin. Brown colored skin is the most common color among demons, while black and gray are more isolated to specific demonic tribes. In addition, demons are naturally inclined to the darkness like their god and abhor the light that the Goddess Remilia has bestowed on the world.

While <Dark Magic> is not an evil magic, it is known to infect practitioners tainting their skin until they resemble demons. For that reason, Demons excel in <Dark Magic>, while <Light Magic> is known to cause them extreme pain hastening their death. It is believed that farmers are frequently exposed to the miasma of the Demon God while working outdoors. As a result, the miasma gradually changes their skin bringing about their descent to the demon race. Priests are frequently tasked with purging their skin of the darkness and returning them to a human like state.

The most fearful aspect of demons is their longevity. Humans normally only live to 60-80 years of age depending on their status. Yet demons can easily exceed that living up to 300 years of age furthering blasphemizing the Goddess' work. Their extended lifespan allows them to further develop their bodies to limits greatly exceeding the human race.

Demons rule over others with a veil of death. They slaughter all those that oppose them. Demons will often hunt down humans to partake in their favorite food, human flesh. If they are given the chance, they will plunge the world into darkness erasing the light that Remilia worked so hard to create. Therefore, humans must work together to eliminate the threat of the demons from the world of Remia.

{Or so the story goes. It’s quite the bias children’s tale to brainwash them when they’re young. If given the chance, it will be interesting to see how their side portrays the human race.} Senna chuckles to herself.

Meanwhile, Eline unconsciously grips her dress worrying that Gulver cheated on her. “And? To what do I owe the pleasure of this encounter?” Senna’s voice snaps Eline out of her thoughts.

“I w-wanted to ask why you stared at me.” Eline hesitantly replies.

Senna chuckles lightly before breaking into a mocking grin. “You’re not the one that wants the answer though. It’s the other one, right?”

Eline pales as she takes another step back. “Wh-What could you be talking about?” Senna’s gaze gives her a sense of dread that makes her feel like her mind is an open book.

“I’m talking about your rude friend eavesdropping in the other room.” Senna’s gaze stares at the large closet with two gray presences reflected within her vision.

Eline’s mouth flaps like a goldfish unable to find the words to respond to her. “That’s enough Eline. I’ll take over.” Gulver steps out from the closet. “So you’re even able to detect me when you’re so heavily sealed?”

“Because it’s not tied to my magic.” Senna responds with a smile.

“Haha… I apologize. Eline thought you would be more receptive to answering my…our questions if she was the one to ask you.” Gulver bitterly laughs looking at the odd human in front of him, who is giving him no end to his headache.

“Mmm…Well… I have little choice considering who you have in your hands…” Senna responds with a barbed tone.

“…” Gulver sighs and brings out a covered cage and places it at the table. He removes the cloth covering the cage to reveal an aggravated Mika. Senna blinks with confusion at the increase in her size, but doesn’t say anything unnecessary.

Mika angrily claws at the cage occasionally releasing a fireball trying to break out. When she sees Senna, Mika becomes even more restless as she shoots out both <Fireballs> and <Icicles> in an attempt to break free. “Let me out! Let me out!” Senna stares at Mika with a firm gaze checking if she has any injuries, but finding nothing to be wrong.

“…Um…” Eline speaks up.

“Eline, it’s okay. Leave it to me.” Gulver interrupts before Eline can say too much. “I didn’t intend to capture your friend, but it was adamantly protecting you. I couldn’t bring you back here without restraining it. I would let it out, but it would create too much noise.”

Senna turns to Gulver blinking. She blinks multiple times realizing that Gulver is being honest. “That’s unexpected. I thought you would be using her to drive the conversation.”

“Brother is a very honorable person! He wouldn’t blackmail someone like that!” Eline retorts angrily.

Senna blinks again looking at him. “Brother? You’re into that sort of play?”

“No! That’s just…” Gulver yells immediately. Both Eline and Gulver flush red at the accidental piece of information.

“I’m kidding. Relax…” Senna grins. “If you’ll release her that easily, then I don’t mind talking. It makes things far easier when I break out.”

“…Break out. You mean…?” Gulver pales.

“Yep. I’m getting uncomfortable like this anyways.” Senna stores the hundreds of magic sealing binding restraints and makes them reappear to her side. Gulver and Eline immediately jump back distancing themselves from Senna. “Relax. I said I’ll talk, so I will. I’m just going to calm her down.” Senna motions to Mika.

Mika calms down significantly when Senna approaches. “Hey Mika. I heard you protected me when I was asleep. Thanks for that.”

“But you still got caught. I didn’t do anything. We both got caught.” Mika hangs her head.

“It’s fine. It looks like they just want to talk. Relax a bit while we talk, then we can get out of here. I’ll bring you back to that cave with your Mom. Don’t worry. Okay?” Senna replies reassuringly.

“What about you?” Mika looks at Senna.

“Me? I’m going to find a way home to tell my mom and dad that I’m okay.” Senna replies with a weak smile.

“Can I come?” Mika asks.

“You want to come? What about your Mom? She’s the one that hit me right?” Senna tilts her head.

“No... She’s gone… I want to show her I’m happy, but I’m too scared. You’re nice, so I want to follow you.” Mika answers innocently.

“I see…” Senna makes the cage disappear and reappear under the table. “I do not think I’m that great of a person to follow, but if you want to, then please come along. I’ll be happy to have a new friend with me.” Senna extends her finger in front of Mika’s beak. Mika looks at Senna’s finger for a moment before taking a strong bite. Senna frowns momentarily, but watches as a drop of blood drips onto the table. Mika pecks the tip of her wing dropping her own blood on the table. As Mika’s blood mixes with Senna’s, a blood red magic circle forms surrounding the two of them. Senna’s eyes widen as the two of them start to glow the same blood red color.

“A blood contract?!” Gulver yells out. Eline lets out a gasp.

Blood Contract Circle
A powerful magic circle formed through the blood of two individuals. Through the contract, the affected individuals share each other’s thoughts and growth bringing them closer than partners would be in marriage. Unless both individuals consent to breaking the bond, it cannot be reversed under normal circumstances.

Senna eyes widen even further reading the details of the contract. The light surges as their magic cores are branded with the mark of the contract. On Senna’s core, an image of a red/blue phoenix forms within a blood red circle. On Mika’s core, an image of a white human figure forms within a blood red circle.

As the circle fades, the two of them stare at one another. They feel an invisible connection between them revealing their inner most thoughts and feelings. Senna unconsciously transmits her concerns at such an important contract being granted to her. Mika feels Senna’s worries and in turn transmits the security and joy of having a new friend and family member. Senna sighs seeing her concerns are unfound and gives Mika a bright smile. {I promise I’ll protect you no matter what.} Senna mentally vows.

{When I get stronger, I’ll protect you too.} Mika mentally replies.

Senna lets out a chuckle. {Sure. Let’s protect each other.} She pats Mika’s head. When she removes her hand, she notices a second feather atop Mika’s head. The second feather is pale enough to be considered a snow white, contrasting the first pale blue feather. *Ahem.* Senna jumps as she turns to look at Gulver. Eline gives him a light hit on the back for interrupting. “Ahaha. Sorry. I’ve kept you waiting didn’t I?”

“You actually formed a Blood Contract with a Phoenix?” Gulver asks completely stunned.

Senna shrugs. “Yes. I helped her out. So this is how she decided to repay me.”

{Senna, that’s not the whole thing.} Mika mentally interrupts.

{Yes, I know. I’m just leaving out some information in case we end up fighting. I don’t want him to know all my secrets and beat me easily.} Senna replies without shifting her expression.

{Okay. I don’t really understand what’s happening, so I’ll be quiet.} Mika answers.

{Leave it to me.} Senna assures her.

“Phoenixes have incredibly long legacies spanning thousands of years because of their resurrection ability. They often view other races as children because of the differences in age, so they will rarely submit to someone they do not respect.” Gulver explains.

Senna just shrugs. “That’s not really what you want to ask me is it?” Senna takes a seat at the table. Mika hops onto Senna’s shoulder making herself comfortable. “Neither one of us likes the current situation, so let’s get it dealt with so we can wash our hands of one another. I promise I won’t attack or do anything while we talk.”

Gulver frowns slightly looking at Senna acting so confident. He glances at Eline before nodding to Senna. “Fine.” He takes a seat opposite her putting on a stern face. In actuality, he’s on pins and needles wary of the fact that Senna might attack him or Eline when his guard is down. Eline is equally tense, but stands behind Gulver tightly gripping his shoulder.

Senna chuckles seeing their expressions. “You don’t have to be that tense. I can make a promise to Remilia or something if you wish.”

“…Fine. Please do so.” Gulver replies tensing up.

“Okay.” Senna holds up one hand. “I swear to the Goddess Remilia that I will not attack Gulver and Eline during this talk. I will only give honest answers to their questions and will quietly leave if we can come to an agreement.” Senna’s body shines with a white light as she makes her promise. “Satisfied?”

Gulver and Eline noticeably relax seeing Senna make such a strict promise. “Then who are you?”

“Senna. Human being.” Senna answers bluntly.

“Gulver Zir.” He replies.

“I’m Eline Ser. Gulver’s lover.” Eline answers. Senna nods, not informing them that she already knew that. Eline asks her question first. “How did you find out my name?”

“Skill.” Senna replies.

“What skill? [Identification]?” Eline asks.

“Sorry. I’m not going to openly reveal everything about my skill.” Senna shoots down her question. Eline nods not pursuing the question.

Gulver gives her a look before asking. “Then what are you planning?”

“Nothing.” Senna responds immediately. Gulver gives a loud sigh realizing that she can refuse to respond. There’s no point in questioning her if she doesn’t give any useful information. “Ah sorry. That’s not very helpful is it?” Senna corrects herself hearing his sigh. “What am I planning? Nothing. Because I’ve already accomplished my initial goal. Or are you asking about what Remilia is planning? If so, I can’t answer that because I’m not involved. If she has any plans, I’m an unrelated bystander. You will have to find someone else if you want to know about what she has planned.”

“Ah?” Gulver jaw drops listening to Senna. He hurriedly sorts his thoughts as he takes in her explanation. He suddenly recalls their first exchange and slams his fist. “That’s a lie! You said it yourself you were sent by the Goddess!”

“Brother, please calm down. She swore to the Goddess. She can’t lie that easily.” Eline rubs her brother’s back trying to calm him.

“‘I was brought to this world by the Goddess Remilia. I have heard all about your indiscriminate slaughter and will punish you for your actions.’ Right?” Senna smiles.

“That’s right! You said that!” Gulver stands up pointing at her.

“I didn’t lie.” Senna smile widens. “I was just intentionally misleading. ‘I was brought to this world by the Goddess Remilia.’ I ended up accomplishing an important task and was given some merit by Remilia. As a result, I was pulled from my original world and brought here. I wasn’t given any mission and was told I could just enjoy my life.”

Senna pauses before continuing. “‘I have heard all about your indiscriminate slaughter and will punish you for your actions.’ I had a personal reason to attack you. I fought your group for my own reasons. It was never under orders by Remilia or anyone else.”

Gulver falls back into his chair clutching his head as he tilts back into his chair. “Are you kidding me?”

“Nope. I’m perfectly serious.” Senna replies with a bright smile.

“Then you’re not even the person we’re looking for?” Gulver asks still covering his face.

“I’m not positive, but I probably am. I was brought to this world six months ago? I believe that’s the same time with the magic disturbance you mentioned. Transporting a human from a different world is probably enough of a disturbance to be detected far and wide, but since I was directly in the center of the spell I can’t give a definite answer.” Senna explains.

“So we…” Gulver murmurs.

“Ran around for nothing? Yep, I think so.” Senna chuckles.

Gulver lets out a long sigh slouching in his chair. “Um… you said you accomplished your goal, but what was it?” Eline asks.

“To stop Mater’s group from razing any more towns.” Senna curtly replies.

“Ah…” Eline turns to look at his brother, but he continues to hold his head. “Then… What was your reason for fighting?”

“…Revenge…” Senna scratches her head thinking about what she should say. “…I wanted revenge for having to see my family die and the town burn to the ground.”

{Hmm?} Mika looks at Senna with a confused look. {Didn’t you say?}

{Shh. I’ll tell you later when we’re alone.} Senna replies.

“That’s why your group is warring against the demon race.” Gulver mutters to himself.

“Huh?” Senna tilts her head at his talk. “When did I ever say that?”

“What?” Gulver sits up straight sensing the disconnect in their conversation.

“I’m not warring against the demon race. My objective has purely been to stop you from continuing to kill people and ideally kill Mater and whoever gave the order to burn so many towns to the ground.” Senna answers giving Gulver a look. “But knowing how intensely you protect him, it wouldn’t be possible to do that without drawing your ire. And Eline’s too as a result.”

“Right.” Gulver answers.

“What about a thrashing?” Senna asks, but sighs seeing his stern gaze. “Fine. Then tell me this. Was the killing and razing purely from Mater or from the one who gave your group your orders.”

“……What are you going to do to them?” Gulver reluctantly asks.

“Kill them if I can.” Senna immediately replies. Gulver clenches his fist underneath the table.

Eline notices his tension and interrupts. “What about Mater, you said that you wouldn’t kill him?”

“I see. So it’s just Mater?” Eline gasps when she realizes her verbal slip. “I can’t kill him because of you. So probably damage him in some way either by reputation or pride.” Senna answers.

“……” Gulver stares at Senna’s eyes trying to discern if she’s hiding anything.

“If it’s something brother will accept, then I’ll gladly help with that.” Eline interjects.

“That would help greatly.” Senna smiles darkly.

“Then what do you plan to do now?” Gulver asks.

“…That’s a good question that I’m still stuck on. I want to escape and head back to see my hometown even with the situation that it is. But if I leave, Mater will give orders to chase me down again and cause even more destruction. Even if he believes the information I told you, he seems like he has enough pride that he will chase me purely for hurting his reputation.” Senna ponders.

“You’re right about that.” Eline answers.

“He has already sent a messenger that he captured a servant of the Goddess. If you escape now, then he won’t have time to chase you.” Gulver adds.

“Is that so? Then I should make a move soon to get ready to leave.” Senna answers.

Gulver grabs a piece of paper and draws a map for her. “Here. There’s a <Teleport Circle> in this room. You can use it to shorten the travel time.”

“Oh? That’s a surprise. You aren’t going to try and stop me from leaving?” Senna asks tauntingly as she studies the map.

“Don’t joke.” Gulver scoffs at her question. “You said it yourself that you can escape without my help. I’m merely reducing the damage you will cause.”
“So you understand. Then I will do my best to avoid hurting any demons I run across along the way.” Senna grins. “Though I’m surprised you don’t use something this as war potential to bring down the human capitals.” She waves the paper in her hand.

Gulver raises his eyebrow. “All major human cities, as well as demon cities, have protection against teleportation magic outside of the teleportation area. Also, few demons would have the necessary magical power to teleport such a distance. I’m not certain how far our circle can even send you, but it’s guaranteed that the circle will break after you use it. Our circle needs several magic crystals worth 10,000 crystals to be used once. And even with that much money spent, it can only send three of us about an hour’s distance away. The cost of the teleportation circle is too high to warrant using it for normal reasons.”

“Just a second. 10,000 crystals? Is that different from magic crystals?” Senna asks.

“Because magic crystals are our most valued currency, we named our currency after it.” Gulver explains.

“I see…Not confusing at all. And is 10,000 crystals a lot?” Senna continues.

“Enough for one of the guards to live about 5 years in one of the nearby towns.” Gulver answers.

“That’s… quite generous of you.” Senna asks with a wary look.

“After it breaks, I can take the time to fix it and ‘accidentally’ erase the last used location.” Gulver adds.

“Ahh… So it had that kind of feature.” Senna nods. She secretly releases a sigh of relief that he isn’t leading her into a trap. “Is there anything else you wish to ask before I leave?”

“I know your stance, but what about the others in your group?” Gulver asks.

“Others?” Senna tilts her head in confusion. “Others…ahhh…… My stance is sufficient.” Senna gives a bright smile. “Ah yes.” Senna pulls out a vial and places it on the table. She looks at Eline. “Were you serious about helping punish Mater?”

“Eh? Ah. Yes.” Eline hurriedly answers.

“Then can you slip this into his food?” Senna asks.

“What is that?” Gulver asks warily. The previous image of several demons suddenly dropping dead appears in his mind.

“There’s no need to be so wary.” Senna grins. “It’s just a special laxative. Nothing lethal or dangerous. It will just cause a good amount of suffering.”

“Laxative?” Eline picks the bottle and stares at the clear liquid. “Isn’t that a little childish?”

“A bit. But I’m limited on what I can do since Gulver is being tolerant with my scheming.” Senna glances at Gulver’s displeased look before turning back to Eline. “It’s a specially made one with no smell or taste and does not react to poison tests with its ‘unique’ purpose, so it’s incredibly difficult to discover. There’s not much in it, about 10 drops, but 5 drops is enough to make him suffer for a month. After eating, he will randomly experience stomach pains at any time in the following 3 hours. If he doesn’t get to a toilet in the first three seconds after experiencing stomach pains, ‘it’ will come out regardless of what he attempts.”

Eline giggles. “I see. That is very brutal to a prideful person like Mater.”

Senna places another bottle on the table. “This is the antidote. However, I’ve laced it with a small side effect.”

“Side effect?” Gulver frowns looking at the yellow liquid in the bottle.

“His appearance will change a bit. To become a bright yellow like the potion.” Senna grins.

Eline is unable to restrain herself as she bursts out laughing when she imagines Mater with yellow skin. “That’s great! I can’t wait to see that.”

“Last is this.” Senna places a flat square crystal on the table. “It’s not that I don’t trust you, but I want insurance if he does chase after me. This is a tracker.”

“You want him to wear that? It’s a bit too big to hide though.” Eline comments.

“It would be difficult to have him constantly hold onto it too.” Gulver adds.

“You’re mistaken.” Senna shows them an earring with a hanging crystal. She puts on the earring and shows it to them. “This is the tracer half. That is a tracker that will help find me anywhere I am.”

“Don’t you want to avoid being found?” Eline asks in confusion.

“Ideally, but it’s more important to me that others do not continue to die because I was hiding. By activating the tracker with magical power, my earring will also activate and tell me you’re coming. This gives me ample time to move to an open location so that we can fight freely. I do not have to worry about random killing and I can be fully prepared to engage you at my full power.” Senna grins confidently. “I don’t have to fight in. My worst condition like last time.”

“Worst condition?” Gulver feels a chill run down his back seeing Senna’s smile.

“Because I overworked myself last time. I fought with less than half of my normal power.” Senna replies. Gulver pales slightly at her answer. “I should add that if you plan to hunt me down again. There will be no mercy for him or you for that matter.”

Despite being a veteran warrior, Senna’s piercing killing intent and previous performance makes him shiver at the thought facing her again. He tries to collect some saliva in his dry mouth. “…Then…why have you not done anything? You clearly had a chance when you attacked Mater earlier.”

Senna’s atmosphere calms down as she returns to her normal smile. “I am giving concession to the innocent bystander.” She replies looking at Eline.

“Eh? Me?!” Eline points at herself.

Senna nods. “You have shown no aggression towards me, so I do not wish to drag you into the battle unless necessary. The second that changes I don’t plan to waste time worrying about your safety. If you were not present, I would have aimed to kill Mater and mostly ignore Gulver. I expect he could have survived with light injuries. However, if we meet again, then I don’t plan to give any mercy even if you bring Eline along.” Senna glares at the two of them making them involuntarily gulp.



Author’s Note
 (เธ‡ )เธ‡  First comrade get! Second comrade should be soon-ish. It won't take another thirty chapters for her to appear at the very least. Though joining might be take longer than with Mika, the specifics are still vague for me though. 

Sorry that the chapter cut is kind of weird. Meant to finish the entire talk in this chapter, but it got too long. I had a hard time finding a place to cut it as a result.

Okay. Time to run. I screwed up a bit and forgot to deal with a project for work earlier this month. So I need to rush and clear it quickly. 

10 comments:

  1. Good luck with the project and thanks for the chapter!

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    1. Thanks for reading! I've thankfully gotten most of it out of the way.

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  2. ๐Ÿ˜Yay! New chapter!!๐Ÿ˜„ thanks! Keep up the good work.๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. Hi! Read the chapter a couple days ago... on my phone xD Anyways, thanks for the chapter and looking forward to more as always. Also wasn't expecting the demon abduction.

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    1. Thanks for reading! Haha, the main reason I used that scene is in the next chapter.

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    2. Probably not in the direction you're thinking. The weekend is almost here, so I'll hopefully have it up soon.

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