Categories > Original > Romance > Saintism

Chapter 7 - Luciel

by _DoubleS0ft_ 0 reviews

In which we learn more about the second male lead.

Category: Romance - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Fantasy,Romance - Published: 2022-05-28 - 1522 words


In a hidden land far to the north in the world, lies a crystalline castle. The bare trees peppering the land bend and twist towards the sky, and the ground is covered in a blanket of snow. Around the castle lies a city, tucked behind high stone walls. From his perch atop one of the castle towers, Luciel looks down at it all. His white and black clothing blend in with the castle’s facade, and his blood red cape billows in the harsh wind.

Luciel liked to survey the kingdom every once in awhile, to see how far the blight had spread amongst his people. The blighted became unthinking, unfeeling, monsters standing at heights as tall as 20 feet. The bloodlust came over quickly after the change, so patrols were regularly sent out to fell these creatures. He hated having to kill them before they hurt others, but he knew the people who loved them were hurt by it more.

There was nothing that could be done. Once blighted there was no turning back. Not without the aid of holy magic he thought to himself bitterly. The humans would never use their precious resources to aid us. Not when they insist we’re the cause…

He knew those same humans would soon send their chosen hero alongside the saintess to kill him.

Luciel turned from the storm and walked into the open glass doors leading into his study.

Piles of papers were stacked neatly on an oak desk in the corner. Rows of shelved books lined the opposite wall. Some held closed by thick chains, some glowing with an unearthly light between their pages. The walls were painted a pale yellow, brightening the space and making the cream colored furniture stand out more.

The wooden floor creaked under his boots, and he shook the snow from his heavy black wings before tucking them neatly behind his back. A few stray feathers fell out onto the snow covered ground before the glass doors closed on their own with a click.

Books floated off the shelves, their pages turning in an unseen wind. Each one would float into his line of sight as he paced the room. And each time, after flipping through the pages at a rapid pace he’d wave it away, sending it back to the shelf in frustration.

He was interrupted from his search by a knock at the door on the far wall.
“Your meowjesty, its Grimalkin. I have news to report. And an update to your schedule.” A voice rumbled from the other side.
“Enter.” Luciel replied distractedly, engrossed in a book.
The door opened, and a bipedal grey cat with golden eyes walked through the door.

His clothing was crisp without a hint of a wrinkle, and modeled after a human butler's. His cat feet were bare, but his evolved front paws were covered in white gloves. In his paws he held a clipboard with several papers attached to it, a fountain pen rested along the side.

“Sire, the recent patrol has taken a few losses but the creature was slain. It’s body was burned far away from any nearby villages as per your orders.” He began, flipping through the pages.

“How many has it been this month?” Luciel sighed, sending all the books back to their shelves and taking a seat on the cream and floral print couch near his desk.

Grimalkin stood off to his right and flipped farther down the stack of papers. “Thirty this month, which is less than last month but not the least it’s ever been.”

“We’re dying out faster than we can breed.” Luciel said gravely, leaning his head back and closing his eyes. Damn them.This is their fault and yet we have to suffer for it..he thought angrily.

The more he thought about it, the more his anger grew, choking the air with malice. The intense pressure had Grimalkin trembling, but he held still knowing the storm of Luciel’s anger would pass.

“Shall I bring you the mirror your majesty?” Grimalkin said shakily, knowing the quickest way to dispel his king’s dark mood. Luciel merely nodded in reply, his eyes still closed as he wrestled with his emotions.
Grimalkin’s gloved paw glowed with purple light, then a large mirror appeared opposite Luciel. It was held up by the glass coffee table behind it, and its bronze carved border was engraved with a whimsical swirling pattern.

“I will return when you need me.” Grimalkin said with a bow, and quietly exited the room.

Once alone, Luciel sat up and brushed a black gloved hand over the surface of the mirror. It rippled at his touch and transformed to show Rosalin reading a book in the spire’s garden.

He watched the gentle summer wind blow through her hair, and longed to touch it himself.

He remembered their chance encounter in his mind, how kind she’d been to him after her initial weariness even though he was a demon. He’d been searching Altargia for any sign of Illarwyn leaves, in hopes of creating a potion to counteract the blight.

He'd come up short and had grown frustrated when he'd sensed her nearby. The trail left behind by her holy aura had led him to that café, and her standing outside of it. Her believing him to be one of the beastfolk had been both fortunate and hilarious. He'd felt no need to correct her when learning the truth would benefit neither of them.

Although he couldn’t be close to her except in their dreams, it soothed him to keep an eye on her when they were this far apart using the mirror. Just like all the other saintesses before her, she would be sent to kill him. But this was the first time he’d felt any sort of way about it besides finding it inconvenient.

He'd previously used homunculi to be his stand in whenever the pair would challenge him. But he couldn’t allow it to get that far this time. If she uses that spell to end me, she’ll die in the process. Just like all the others, he thought.

Through this weak connection he could still feel her moods as clearly as when they were dreaming. Her anxiety was rolling towards him in waves, and with a little probing he got a sense of the cause even without knowing her thoughts.

“Worried about the ball? But there’s nothing to worry about. You’ll do well. You always have.” He mused and reached into the mirror. The image shifted, warping slightly around his arm, and it was as if he sat beside her while she read.

He could see her reading the same paragraph in her book over and over.
“Can’t stay focused huh? I understand that feeling. Your heart’s pounding so hard..that must hurt. You humans are so fragile..” he sighed and rubbed her back.

She sat up straighter and looked around in confusion, which made him smile.

“I wonder if you’ll ever get used to me? I’ve been told by Grimalkin this is how to express sympathy the human way. Does it help?” he asked and moved to stroke her hair instead.

She slowly settled into his touch, book completely forgotten. She stared out into the garden with a faraway look.

“why does this keep happening? I don’t understand..” she trailed off and closed her eyes.

Soothing her anxiety seemed to soothe his own anger as well and he wished they truly could sit this way. But if she knew I’m a demon her opinion of me would change. What little of it there is. And if she knew of the things I’ve done to protect my people, I would be the worst kind of monster in her eyes..

Movement caught his eye and he noticed a man walking towards her, his green finery at home amongst the flowers. Luciel pulled his hand out of the mirror and narrowed his eyes at the intrusion.
The dark haired man waved hello from across the bridge, and Rosalin waved back sleepily.

When the stranger got closer, Luciel noticed the solar eclipse embroidered on his sleeves.

“Ah, so you’ve met the prince of Eithoria already. I’d have preferred it that he stay as far away from you as possible. He’s as much of a fool as his father.” Luciel sneered at the prince, who was smiling and trying to engage her in flirtatious conversation.

He reached into the mirror again and gave her hand a squeeze. She jolted and looked at her hand in surprise, and he laughed at her adorable reaction.

“I can’t leave you alone for a moment darling. Should we meet again soon? I wouldn’t want you to fall for someone else.” He smiled, pulling his hand back out “Grimalkin.”
The mirror vanished, and Grimalkin appeared near the couch in a flash of dark purple smoke.
“I need you to send a message.” Luciel said, his thoughts lingering on Rosalin.
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