Sunday, August 7, 2016

In That Moment of Suffering Chapter 42 - Arrival

Sorry it's late. Here you go. Read the Author's Note too for a bit of news. Gotta go!


Chapter 42 -Arrival

After traveling for several more days, they finally arrive in the Erein capital. A group of guards line up to welcome the King's carriage. "Welcome back, Your Majesty!!"

After passing through the city gates, the Royal carriage abruptly opens. Senna and Mika step out of the carriage and wave them off as they leave. She turns to Captain Lewis dismounting his horse and walking over to her. "Are you sure it's okay for the Captain to skip work like this? I only need directions to the Adventurer's guild to check in."

"Of course. Vice Captain Hertz can man the fort until I return. It's only appropriate that you have a proper guide around town." Lewis replies.

"Have it your way." Senna shrugs. She motions for him to lead the way. 'In a way, a guide means they can keep better tabs on me. Not that it matters.' She calmly follows the Captain as he walks along. Mika lies perched on Senna's shoulder with her head buried under her wing as she takes an afternoon nap.

After walking for a few minutes, they arrive at the Guild. The raucous sound of merriment reaches their ears even before they enter the door. The two of them enter the building and immediately draw the attention of everyone present. Their eyes are first drawn to Lewis, the Captain of the Royal Guards. The silver colored armor and insignia of the Royal Family draws a collective gasp. They would have never expected to see one of the most respected knights in the Kingdom entering the Guild.

Their gazes move from the Captain to Senna. Her bright white hair immediately catches their attention. Light reflects off her hair giving her an ethereal atmosphere. Her clean and bright skin immediately causes them to think she's an influential noble. However, that certainty becomes muddled when they catch sight of her leather armor. Was she an adventurer? It can't be...she must be a noble trying to recruit some people? She looks much too weak to live the difficult life of an adventurer. Such thoughts quickly formed within their minds as they assess her.

Most of them give a passing glance at the sleeping Mika before their gaze is drawn back to Senna. A few sharp eyed people have their curiosity peaked as they stare a bit longer to determine what species Mika belongs to.

Senna scans the layout of the room ignoring the gazes of everyone in the room. She walks to a free window with a black haired receptionist. Senna takes a brief glance at the white blouse and red vest that seems to be their guild uniform. The receptionist gives Senna a bright smile greeting her. "Welcome to the Adventurer's Guild. How can I help you?"

"Hello. It's nice to meet you." Senna replies with an equally bright smile. She places her guild card on the counter. "My name is Senna. I'm from the Lios Continent and wanted to check in with the Guild. I have a feeling that the previous guild I registered with marked me as killed in action."

"A check in while revoking a death status is it? Moreover from the Lios Continent?" The receptionist's eyes widen with the abnormal backstory tied to Senna's words. Revoking a declared death isn't completely absurd. Rarely, some adventurers will appear after a long while after they were believed to have previously died during a dangerous request. However, they normally check in with their home guild because of the ease of verifying their identity. To impersonate someone is a serious crime and can result in heavy fines and imprisonment. Normally, the Guild cards blood binding easily identifies anyone attempting to impersonate another. However, it's rare to find an impersonator that's as blatantly direct as Senna though. "I apologize, but can you verify your identity with your card? Please drip a fresh drop of blood on your card."

"Understood. I hope it doesn't shatter though." Senna mumbles to herself. She condenses a blade of wind and slices her finger. Releasing the spell, she drips a droplet of blood onto the card.

"Shatter?" The receptionist barely catches Senna's mumble as her attention is pulled away from the card. She infers that the Senna means the card would break, but refutes that notion. The card would reject another person's blood, but it shouldn't cause it to shatter. At most, the card would shine black and red to confirm the false identity.

"Because my ambient magic is too excessive." Senna replies watching the card's reaction her blood. Her excessive level up lingers in her mind. She tried to limit the magic infused into her blood, but the last thing she needs is for the card to blow up because it couldn't contain it.

Thankfully, her worries are unfounded. The guild card quietly accepts Senna's blood and displays her information to Senna. The receptionist nods seeing the silver ripples on the metallic card as Senna’s blood is drawn into the card. She places the card on a magic tool displaying the card’s information. Noting Senna's information, she bows to Senna. "Then please wait a moment. Revoking a death status requires the guild master's approval."

"Understood." Senna waves as the receptionist heads upstairs.

"Senna." Lewis speaks up now that they have to wait.

"Yes?" She asks still firmly ignoring all the people eavesdropping nearby.

“What about that monster you killed?” Lewis questions.

“I was going to report it tomorrow. Going to the castle first is most important, don’t you think?” Senna calmly replies.

“While I understand the sentiment, it would be better to report it first. I expect a group has been formed to subjugate that monster. It’s better to tell them before they make preparations for a job with no reward.” Captain Lewis replies looking around.

“You have a point. I’ll report the basics then.” Senna shrugs accepting his request.

The receptionist returns at that moment. “I apologize. The Guild Master is still sorting all your information and will take a bit more time.”

“That’s fine. While we wait, I wanted to report about a unique monster I subjugated on my travels." Senna replies.

"A report. I understand." The receptionist readies herself to record Senna's report. Normally, she would ask if the adventurer has prepared a report beforehand. However, with the escort of the Royal Guard Captain and Senna's demeanor, she prepares to write the report herself without asking.

"About 5 days travel by carriage from here is a small village called Treehollow. I killed an unknown 3 headed monster. By that time, the damages were fairly heavy with 10 of their strongest men already dead. After helping the village with the damages, I took the monster’s corpse as compensation. I brought the entire corpse with me, is there a place I can present it?" Senna calmly reports.

"Oh! You brought the entire corpse rather than a proof of your kill. Please follow me." The receptionist replies a bit surprised that Senna claims to have the corpse on her, but it is nowhere in sight.  She walks out from behind the counter and escorts them to the side building meant for dismantling monsters. Another receptionist and several adventurers tag along continuing to eavesdrop.

"Oh Elle. Why did you leave your post?" A man pauses in dismantling a monster on a table.

"Hello Gunther. I'm escorting an important individual. Do you have a free table?" The receptionist replies.

"Over here." He points to a free table with reinforced stone legs.

"Please." The receptionist turns to Senna.

"Understood." Senna unceremoniously drops the Chimera corpse onto the bloody table without any superfluous motions.

"Ah?!" The receptionist unconsciously lets out a yell seeing the corpse appear out of nowhere. She clearly saw Senna’s hand move and did not see her even move her hand towards any sort of magic bag.

"What?!" The onlookers similarly cry out making a small commotion.

Senna ignores them waving her hand away from the table. The large jar filled with the Chimera’s blood appears next to the table with a light thud. "Here's the extracted blood. It's still fresh, so it should provide useful information." She lightly coughs and looks at the receptionist. "It died from extreme blood loss. There is no core. Shortly after death, the core self-detonated causing an explosion with a range of about 50 meters in diameter."

"Is that true?!" The receptionist Elle lets out a yell. A similar commotion happens behind her at the report of a self-destructing core.

"Last part." Senna keeps talking ignoring their surprise. She walks over to the corpses and moves the mane. "From what I understand, this is an abnormal beast that's never been seen in the area according to the people I've spoken to. Underneath the mane here, you see traces of rough stitching. I believe it's an experimental monster that someone was creating. The heads of a monster and two animals were forced together to create this thing. There's no real way for it to grow like this. It clearly depicts an unnatural and man made reason for its birth. And that's all I have to say."

"Wait! I need more information! There are several points you didn’t explain!" The receptionist cries out unable to keep up with Senna's rapid fire information.

"I apologize, but I have an appointment with the Royal Family." Senna politely replies motioning to Lewis. "I will come back another day to provide a follow up. Until then, I do not plan to say another word about this subject. Of course you can do as you please with that." Senna politely refuses to explain, but gives them full ownership of the corpse. She turns and walks back into the building firmly ignoring everyone again. The onlookers part to the side unconsciously giving way to Senna.

"Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut if she was going to do this..." Captain Lewis rubs his forehead after Senna threw the blame on him. He gives a heavy sigh before following her.

Elle chases after Senna trying to record everything as she walks.

"That was quite the show." A woman stands in front of Senna's path with a twitching smile on her face. Senna sees the triangular ears on the woman's head and blue swaying tail behind her. Senna quickly identifies her as a catwoman before re-establishing eye contact. "Did you come simply to make a ruckus?"

"No, of course not." Senna smiles in response fully understanding the trouble she's causing. "I'm simply not ready for a full report and was asked to deliver it early. My mind is focused on my current request, and I wish to handle it first before worrying about anything else."

"Should I praise you for your eloquence or scold you for passing off responsibility like that?" The smile on the cat-woman's face twitches even further.

"Guildmaster, this is..." The receptionist Elle runs up and starts to introduce Senna.

"I realize who this is. It's rare to see a newcomer cause such a ruckus though." The catwoman firmly replies.

"Should I leave then and take this up when I'm properly ready?" Senna politely offers. Behind her, Captain Lewis is freaking out. He secretly signals the Guildmaster to avoid agitating Senna.

"Tell me about yourself child?" The catwoman's eyes narrow, glaring at Senna wondering what she did to cause the strongest of the Royal Guards to act in such a way.

"About myself?" Senna tilts her head at the question. She turns around and looks at Lewis, who nervously smiles in return. "My name is Senna. Magician of all elements. I’m traveling to see my family again. I'm always willing to chat with another person and help them. That said I value my family first and foremost, so I have zero tolerance if anyone tries to hurt them.” Senna quietly uses her gaze to point at Mika. “I have a variety of abilities, so I naturally know how to retaliate if someone causes trouble for my family. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that I can drag my enemies into the pits of hell." She intentionally projects her voice for everyone in the guild to hear.

"You're a hell of a child to threaten everyone in the guild like that." The guildmaster holds her head feeling completely stunned at how brash Senna is.

"My apologies. I know I'm being overly sensitive about my dear sister's safety." Senna calmly smiles in return.

"Fine. Have it your way." The Guildmaster sighs handing Senna her Guild card back. "I've revoked the death notice on your information. As for your Honorary S rank, the Guild will need to perform a proper evaluation test to see if you deserve to be kept as a permanent S rank." A small commotion occurs as the onlookers hear that Senna has an S rank. The skilled adventurers take a better look at her after learning she's far more competent than expected.

Senna takes the card with a wry smile. "I know nothing about this 'Honorary S rank', but I do agree I need to get a proper evaluation of my skills."

"You were given the rank for defending against a wave of demons and falling in battle." The Guildmaster replies.

"Ahh...While I understand the sentiment that being knocked out on a battlefield spells death, I don't understand why you think I would know anything about what happened back then when I was taken prisoner." Senna answers with a questioning gaze.

"It's important to confirm what you know." The Guildmaster laughs. Senna catches a hint of distrust that momentarily passes through the Guildmaster's eyes.

"Fair enough." Senna nods without minding her distrust.

"Then I'll recommend her for a higher rank." Captain Lewis speaks up.

"Are you serious?" The guildmaster's eyes widen with shock.

"Of course. The Royal Family and the Royal Guards owe her a great debt for saving our lives." Captain Lewis replies.

"What was that?" The Guildmaster turns to stare at Senna before her gaze returns to Lewis. "Just what did this child do that you'll praise her to that extent?"

"Ok! Stop!" Senna yells out. "We don't have time for that long conversation." Senna shoots Lewis a glare for bringing up the topic. "Come back on your own time and catch up then. We're leaving." She grabs Lewis by his collar and forcibly drags him out of the building.

Dashing out at top speed, it seems as if the two of them disappeared in an instant. The guild is left in blank shock as they stare at Senna's former location. A burst of conversation spreads through the guild as they talk about what they just witnessed.

"Um...Guildmaster." The receptionist Elle walks over to the surprised Guildmaster.

"Ah. I'll be sure to question him later. What do you think?" The Guildmaster replies turning to Elle.

"I think she can be trusted. ......And S rank might not be high enough of an evaluation." Elle reluctantly adds.

"Hoo... Then make sure to welcome her properly." The Guildmaster laughs.

"Of course." Elle smiles returning back to the counter. The Guildmaster continues to laugh as she returns to her office.

***

In front of the Royal Palace, a strong gust of wind billows as Senna suddenly appears with Captain Lewis in tow. "We're here." Senna lets go of his collar dropping him to the ground.

"Urgh." Lewis grunts as his butt hits the ground. "Must you be so rough?"

"Captain!" Two of the guards near the palace entrance rush over drawing their weapons when they see Senna's rough treatment.

"Stop. Stop! She's a guest!" Captain Lewis waves them down. The two guards reluctantly sheathe their weapons obeying their captain's orders. "You must have mentioned that the Royal Family had a guest. This is her." He stands up and introduces Senna.

"Yes. He did tell us. There's someone waiting to escort her. I'll go get her." One of the guard replies. He hesitates looking at Senna, but obediently heads into the guard office.

"Captain." The other guard approaches the Lewis, but Lewis moves towards him instead.

"Just forget about it and be hospitable. The last thing we need is for the castle to be covered in a sea of blood." Captain Lewis whispers into the guard's ear. When he turns back, he finds Senna smiling in return.

"I know I've been overly eccentric, but I’m not that inhumane." Senna gives a simple, carefree smile.

Lewis unconsciously trembles at her knowing smile. "I-I was just joking! I didn’t mean you'll really kill everyone. Hahaha..." The guard quickly shuts up seeing the Captain freak out over Senna's behavior.

"You worry too much." Senna shrugs.

{Sis, what’s going on?} Mika’s voice rings in her head. She turns to see Mika stretching her wings.

{Not much. I’m going to check on Liliana’s sick sister.} Senna replies telepathically.

{Lots of talking?} Mika blinks looking around.

{Probably. There’s a lot to talk about.} Senna nods.

{I’m going to go hunt then.} Mika flaps her wings lifting herself into the air.

{Take care. Make sure not to disturb any people.} Senna waves as Mika flies over the castle walls drawing a fair amount of attention. Inwardly, she has some concerns about leaving Mika to her own devices so close to civilization, but she did prepare ample tools to prevent any problems. In addition to protective magic tools, Liliana gave Mika a clip with the Royal insignia. The repercussions of attacking someone tied to the Royal Family is high enough to dissuade most from persistently attacking.

As Mika disappears over the horizon, Senna’s gaze moves to a maid hurriedly running over. The maid's short, bright pink hair immediately catches her attention. The navy dress with an apron covering her front makes her strongly resemble a maid's uniform minus the decorative frills.

"I apologize for making you wait. My name is Iru. I'm the personal maid for Lady Iris. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance." The maid Iru bows deeply as she greets Senna. She carefully uses the utmost courtesy to greet Senna after receiving careful instruction from King Victor.

"It's a pleasure to meet you. My name is Senna. You don't have to be too formal. I'm just a nameless adventurer." Senna lightly bows in return. After straightening her body, she crosses her arms and starts tapping her finger. She quietly stares at Iru with a focused gaze.

"...Um... Is something the matter?" Iru silently stands in place seeing Senna fixedly staring at her.

"No. It's nothing... Lead the way." Senna doesn't say anything more and starts walking towards the castle."

"Um..." She turns to Captain Lewis, but he only shakes his head unsure what to make of Senna's actions. The two of them quickly follow Senna, while the two guards stare at the departing trio.

Quickly catching up with her, the three of them enter the castle. “We welcome you to the Royal Palace!” A chorus of women welcomes them as the door opens. A row of maids line either side of the hallway greeting them cordially.

“Uwah…………” Senna unconsciously mutters seeing the spectacle before her. Not only the nearby Iru and Lewis, but all the servants in the hall easily catch her undisguised monotone voice. The blank and displeased emotion within her voice quickly spreads a wave of concern. Many of them are wondering what kind of mistake they made with their cordial greeting. A few of the experienced maids quietly freeze in place waiting to hear her outrage. Time seems to grind to a halt as everyone silently waits. Senna’s gaze scans across the entire room. Her face becomes more and more unsightly with each passing moment.

“Welcome Miss Senna. His Majesty has told us about your arrival. The King and Princess are currently with the Queen in the Great Hall. They wish to see you the moment you arrive.” A well-dressed butler walks up to Senna greeting her and relays the King’s message. He inwardly stifles the worries in his heart and tries to dispel the stifling atmosphere.

However, Senna turns around clearly ignoring him. “Are you able to read and write?” She solemnly stares at Iru with a firm gaze.

“Eh? …Y-Yes. O-of course…” Iru stutters as she nods her head. Her mouth feels as dry as a desert facing Senna’s angry gaze.

“Good.” Senna pulls out a board, several sheets of paper, and a pen. “I want you to record the names of each and every servant in this room, including yourself. The guards are unnecessary.”

“Wha…why?” Iru trembles as she takes the clipboard. Not only her, but everyone else in the hallway trembles as magical power begins to seep out of Senna’s body.

Senna ignores her and looks at Captain Lewis. “I was told that I have free reign to do as I please to treat the Princess.”

“Well…y-yes.” Captain Lewis gulps seeing her stern expression.

“Good. You, you, and you.” Senna points out three random maids in the hallway. “Restrain them and have them confined to their personal quarters. I do not want them stepping a foot out of their rooms.”

“Wait! For what reason?!” Captain Lewis questions her. He receives a cold glare from Senna as the magical pressure from her body suddenly spikes forcing him to take several steps back.

“Miss Senna…” Iru drops to the ground kneeling on all fours. “I’m very sorry for my sister’s mistake! Please spare her! I’ll happily receive punishment in her stead.” Iru cries out begging for mercy. Iru takes a peek at a silver haired maid when mentioning her sister, but quickly stares back at the ground. Not only the 3 maids, but everyone in the room, servants and guards alike, are completely sleet white as they experience Senna’s seething rage.

“………Haa……” Senna lets off a sigh seeing Iru tremble like that. She forcibly reigns in her emotions as she takes a deep breath. She controls her leaking magic restraining it back into her body. “Impossible. It doesn’t benefit anyone if you were take her place. If you insist on it, then you can join her once you fulfill your duty.”

“Senna…” Captain Lewis speaks up seeing her calm down.

Senna looks at him with an intense gaze. “This isn’t just about the Princess anymore. There’s no way I can restrain myself seeing this travesty before me.” When she turns around, the servants feel as if they have reached the end of the line.


Author's Note
Apologies for being late! I had to work from home this week and ended up procrastinating afterwards.

I wasn’t totally happy that this was the only place I could properly end the chapter. I ended up typing quite a bit as a result. I’m not sure when I’ll get the next chapter out, but it should be within the next week, so look forward to that.

I ended up being repetitive on the first half of the chapter with the Chimera corpse talk. It's funny what comes out in my writing when I get typing. Occasionally random details pop out that surprise me because of the unexpected addition. This time was more on I should have been paying more attention to what I was doing. Unintentionally, I ended regurgitating details about the Chimera from chapter 39 as repetitive exposition. I could have skimmed over it and saved some time typing, but I didn't notice it until that part was 90% done, so I just finished it up. XD  Part of it might have been the agonizing exposition chapters for MartialWorld, I’m Really a Superstar, and a few other series that ended up reflecting my mood as I was writing that bit. Lol!

As I said, I wasn’t totally happy with the note I left the chapter on. I felt it showed Senna too much as an explosive psychopath at the time. I made a few edits, so it might not be as terrible as I was thinking. The bright side is that another chapter will come out quickly because of my concern. About 50% complete so far. When it will come out, I don’t know. I will have to see how my schedule plays out.

Next, looks like the majority of readers voted. The results ended up favoring the older sis with a 69% majority, which I'm probably more comfortable with so I can proceed on with the original plan~ Thanks for your input. It was very helpful in setting down my concerns with the path.
Lastly, if you haven’t already seen it. I posted up my journal post of my trip to Japan. If you’re interested, then have fun and peruse it. :)

Take care until next time!
 
P.S. I'm really doing this post last second, so sorry if there are any weird typos I missed. I'm heading off to bed directly after this.



4 comments:

  1. I really like how you used the Adventurer's Guild template in this chapter, it was like a straight A student making use of one to see the structure the teacher likes as opposed to a C- student using one and being only 2 steps away from being busted for plagiarism.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it that good? I just glazed over a lot of it since I was going to do more detail later. Plus I did describe it to some extent in the early chapters.
      Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  2. thanks for the update

    ReplyDelete