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Moths rest with their wings folded...
[Set in FFX Universe] Beautiful World 15
Duration: April 2014

Status: Ongoing

Deulis, Seymour - Me

Will, Auron - Baron Vonn Sexyfine

Comments: ...I haven't properly played FFX. I really should. Man this RP is stirring feels for this game so bad. IDK even.

***

Having said what he wanted, Auron was done talking for the time being. There was a point to be made that once you were in that position, you didn't get that freedom to speak as man anymore, that your life was just being a Maester now. But there was no reason to keep arguing; he had gotten his point across, and he wanted to move past it. Besides, it wasn't good for him to get that upset just after some meditation. He needed to be more in control of his emotions. Hell, he was usually better than this. There was just something about his ability as a guardian being called in question that really got to him. It reminded him that despite his best efforts, he wasn't able to keep Braska or Jecht alive.

Will nodded at Deulis's proposal, and reached out to shake his hand...pulling it back after it had been thoroughly covered in cookie crumbs."Right. We'll have a good long talk about this later. Definitely a drink, I could really go for one. Maybe something hot, in this weather." Will said, brushing his hand off on his shirt. "Not too sure about the fistfight though, but if things really get that heated I suppose we could have a go." He hung his head for a second after Deulis mentioned that he never told him where his parents lived. "Yeah...Probably should've mentioned that. Sorry." Then he realized something himself. "Come to think of it...Wow, I have no idea where my parents live! They might've told me more than they were going to Bevelle when they left, but...Oh man, that was years ago." Now Will was really feeling stupid. It literally had never occurred to him until now that he didn't know where in Bevelle his parents were, or even if they were still there. How was he going to find them? Guess he'd just have to ask around.

***

Not that Deulis was siding with the maester but somehow, even he found that it was mildly disconcerting that after he'd lashed out at Will for being an idiot, his two guardians simply left him alone and went about their own business. Why did they leave him alone anyway? Wasn't it the guardian's role to be by their summoner at most cases? Yes, Macalania Temple was definitely high security but had his guardians not forgotten that their possible new enemy was none other than the very high priest of the temple itself? Worse of all coincidences, said high priest just so happen to find him and he was all alone and in the act of mailing the video sphere at that. The brunet swore his heart jumped out of his chest and he broke out into a nervous sweat at the sight of Seymour calmly plaiting his hair into a neat braid. What if the man figured out what he was up to? Imagine how things could've turned out if the videosphere suddenly got activated during the packaging and the guado was there. There were so many possibilities that jogged restlessly in his mind and in each one of them, Deulis knew that being cornered into a small shop in the temple interiors with sympathizers, Seymour himself and none of his guardians was not the most ideal scenario.

"I still can't believe you left me alone with Seymour considering the talk I gave you both though," the summoner said in between his munching, affronted that Will had wiped his hand when it had been the one that hadn't been handling the treats in the first place. Rude. "No less while I was mailing the videosphere. But what's done is done. Nothing of incident happened. I guess Lady Luck was smiling down on me then. Could've been worse. Seymour's the last person that should find out what's inside that videosphere in the first place."

Now that he thought about it, the braided brunet never told them what was inside of the videosphere not let them in on just what was so important about it, "Oh, just so you both know... That was Lord Jyscal's last will and testament. The old geezer left me a tall order to do and I intend to bring his wish to fruition. Can't deny a dying man's wish really." Deulis left it at that. The less they knew, the more likely they would get into trouble for knowing. If worse came to worse, only he would suffer the consequences and they could get a lesser penalty for simply being accomplices who know nothing. At least that was what he would've hoped for.

The thought of drinks left a bad aftertaste in him after everything that happened in Luca however. Maybe that should've have been mentioned in the first place. "I don't like the idea of blabbering kind of talk somehow... And maybe I'll pass on the drinks. After how we got shitfaced in Luca, you and I, it's best we just stick to shoopuf milk or something. I don't exactly trust we'll be great afterwards. I kind of prefer talking with my fists somehow. Doesn't matter who win, we'll still get shitfaced after anyway and we'll consider it quits after. I think that's a lot better."

***

Will nodded. "Right. I'll leave you to that then. Whatever it is." He said. Judging by how he was wording things, it didn't sound like Deulis was planning on telling them exactly what was on the sphere. Probably a good reason for that, not that Will deserved to know with how 'good' of a guardian he was being. So he just let it go. Deulis recalling that time in Luca had made him laugh a bit though. "Yeah, we went a little overboard there. Maybe we should stick to non-alcoholic drinks. I do want a drink of some kind though. Later. Maybe a hot chocolate, or some cider. But for now, let's just finish our business in the temple so we can settle our differences far away from here."

"So...you two got drunk over in Luca?" Auron asked. Will chuckled nervously at that. That's right, Auron wasn't with them at the time. "Well, no sense in denying it now that the cat's out of the bag. Yes, we had some drinks when we were in Luca." Will told him. 'Some drinks' of course being the understatement of the century. Will felt like someone had taken a hammer to his head the next morning, and Deulis had been completely out of it that night. "That seems a little irresponsible." The swordsman said. Will rolled his eyes. This wasn't the time for a lecture. "I'm not even going to argue with you Auron." Will said. "Yes, it was a little irresponsible. But it's not like we went alone; we were with some people that Deulis knew very well." Okay, so maybe that wasn't much better, since the Psyches ended up almost as drunk as Will and Deulis were. But Auron didn't need to know that! "Look, that's not important right now. What is important is that An aeon is in this temple, and we need it."

***

"I punched someone who was trying to cop a feel. Or something. I can only vaguely recall. Good thing they didn't press charges and yes it was definitely irresponsible. Both of us pissed drunk and nursed hangovers from hell the next day. Good times. Never again."

Hence that point in time in their pilgrimage, Deulis was much more careful with the alcoholic beverages he took in. Strictly no more beer. Just wine. It was so much easier to monitor your intake with wine somehow. Not to mention, it was harder, at least for the brunet, to get drunk quicker with it.

And as much as he hated to admit it, the blond was right that there was still the task of acquiring the aeon in the Macalania Temple that had yet to be done. Now that the videosphere was well on it's way to Bevelle, then that left them with one last thing. It did strike the summoner funny that Seymour was having it sent first class one day delivery considering what the contents of the videosphere were. It was like the maester had practically sent in his folly himself.

"Alright then. Now that's been taken cared of, let's proceed to the Cloister of Trials, say hi at the Chamber of Fayth and make a brief stop over at Bevelle."

***

Will was glad that they were finally moving on to get the aeon; he just wanted to get out of here as soon as possible. "Okay, let's go get that Aeon!" He said. Unsurprisingly, the cloister was just as cold as the rest of Macelania as they tried to solve its puzzles. It used ice as its theme, requiring the party to push pillars down slippery slopes and all that. While they weren't as miserable as they were in the Kilika temple, it did take them some time to get through the place, and the cold was seriously bothering Will. But they eventually made it to the end, and Deulis did his usual thing as he walked into the chamber of the fayth. Will and Auron waited outside for him the blond hoping this didn't take long so he could get away from the cold for a bit.

***

Much to the guardians' chagrin, it would seem that Deulis was actually taking awhile inside. Unknownst to those who waited outside, the fayth of the temple had plenty of things to say to the young summoner who had come to her that fateful day. But until the brunet came out, there was no one to inform them that Shiva had taken a liking to the dark haired boy with a braid enough to draw out their meeting into a lengthy conversation. It wasn't like Deulis could get out and go 'Pardon us, we're having a party in here. Please wait some more.'

Well that is until everyone's 'favorite' person came to view, flanked by guado guardians on either side of him.

Seymour stepped into view, surprised to see that both Will and Auron were still there in wait, looking at each of them at a time, "I'd imagine your summoner would be done with his business with the fayth of the temple by now. This is past the average amount of time summoners spend inside the Chamber of the Fayth..." He paused and gazed at the door of the inner sanctum of the temple, then smiled, "But seeing you still here... I can only speculate that the Lady found herself to be fond of Deulis, very fond of him that is." A quiet chuckle escaped his lips as he sighed. A sigh that was neither sad or exasperated but one that had been out of mirth and amusement. The high priest stopped, also taking a spot facing the chamber and folded his arms across his chest, "I'm not surprised by this however. I'm left with no choice but to wait as well alongside both of you. I have business with the Lady as well."

So he joined the two guardians, standing there patiently to await for Deulis to pop out when the fayth decided she'd finally let the summoner off and back into the real world.

***

The wait in the cold was pretty bad for Will; He envied the fact that Auron didn't seem to feel it at all. What was that all about, anyway? Was he just really good at not showing that he was bothered by it? Whatever it was, he wasn't telling him. There wasn't really a lot to talk about, or at least not a lot Will wanted to talk about, so their wait was in complete silence, which only made it feel longer. That probably would have been the worst of it, but what happened next made the blond wish that he was just waiting with Auron in complete silence. Hell, he would've preferred to sit here another hour than endure what happened next.

Seymour walked into the chamber, escorted by two guards, because of course he would come here. This really was a prefect end to the day. And by the sound of it, it didn;t seem like he was planning on leaving any time soon. "Yeah, okay. By all means, don't let us stop you." Will said, standing up. He did his best to be polite to the Maester despite his feelings toward him. "We'll be out of your way as soon as Deulis finishes up with the Fayth I hope it won't be too much longer." Really, what was taking him so long? "If you don't mind me asking, your grace, what is your business with the lady?" If Seymour was indeed telling the truth, at least he wasn't here to see Deulis again.

***

"Personal prayers."

It was short and simple enough to answer the query without being rude, without having to lie about circumstances. Indeed he did come to pray at this hour of the day to the fayth of the temple. Seymour did this three times a day, not including the other rituals that came with his rank of high priest in the Macalania Temple. Mass was held sometime in the evening, right after sunset and in between, there were classes for the faithful to be had. This, he had to balance with the fact that from time to time, he had to be summoned to Bevelle for meetings with the council of elders or by the Grand Maester himself. Then attending to the needs and ails of his people. the citizens of Guadosalam. All in all, his life had a schedule from sunrise to sunset as it was.

His having been at the shop earlier with Deulis was on borrowed time really. Upon learning of the boy's arrival, Seymour quickly ended his class and dismissed the children early, much to the curious questions and expectant eyes that followed his form as he walked the fastest his robes of office would allow him to at the news. Thankfully the children were normally ferried back by chartered rides by the bulk the moment class ended so there would be no embarrassing moments of an entire school of pint sized guados and humans alike shrieking 'Teacher, Teacher' as they trailed behind him like ducklings at the foyer. The horror.

"On how much more we all have to wait, depends on the Lady truly. But as I've said, I am not surprised if She would be so delighted by Deulis enough to talk to him in length. Even the fayths would not be blind to such charisma."

Was Will smart enough to catch on the weight of his words? The maester could only guess the odds.

Moments later, Deulis finally emerged from the Chamber of Fayth. Instead of giving his usual thumbs up gesture and a cheeky smirk to signal that it had been a mission accomplished, he exhaled out loud and looked rather tired as he took steady steps down the carved stone steps.

"Dude, it felt like I had mom raining lotsa nagging on my---EH?!"

The weariness on the dark haired brunet's face was quickly replaced by shock at the presence of Seymour in the Chamber of Fayth, alongside with his guardians. "What are you---?"

"You seem to be asking that a lot of me today, Deulis," the blue haired guado said with a smirk and a quiet chuckle. "Does my presence in my own temple of jurisdiction really seem so odd?" When the summoner could not respond to that, finding himself tongue tied and reduced to slurs coupled with a growing flush on the cheeks, Seymour proceeded to ask, "Let me ask you, if one wishes for blessings of victory and triumph in battle, which fayth must you visit for such prayers?"

"The temple of Kilika. Offer prayers and sacrifices to Ifrit." For blitzball reasons however, people ended up praying ALSO to the High Summoner Ohalland.

"Very good!," the maester said in a sing song voice, complimenting the quick response. "Now tell me, how about who is the patron for young men and women at the verge of adulthood."

"Bahamut and Valerfor respectively." ...Where was this barrage of questions leading up to?

"Now lastly, tell me what Shiva governs over and is normally asked of by the faithful."

"Shiva is the patron fayth of lovers and romance...," trailed off Deulis as he simply gawked at Seymour, suddenly coming to a realization of why the maester was here. If the incident at the shop was any indication.

"Now if you'll excuse me, I must make my personal prayers... It was lovely meeting all of you." The high priest of the Macalania Temple made his way into the chamber of fayth that had been recently vacated then paused by Deulis' side and quietly asked. He lowered his voice so that only the brunet could hear him perfectly, whispers and hushes for anyone else that dared to overhear their conversation. "She asked many questions, didn't She? You certainly took your while. I can only speculate what kind were asked. Is it safe to assume She asked why you rejected me? I hope you answer Her in honesty, much more than you would have offered me, Deulis. If you could answer the Lady---perhaps you could offer me the same courtesy at long last now?"

***

Even only talking to the Maester for a minute, Will was glad that Deulis had come to cut to conversation short. Although he didn't look very happy to see Seymour again either. The blond did have to admit that seeing the Maester in his own temple wasn't exactly a strange occurrence, though he wouldn't at all be surprised if they were being followed. However, judging from the conversation Seymour and Deulis had, it became clear that he had indeed come here for some prayers...and Will could make an educated guess as to what those prayers were.

"It's been...fun." Will said, as he saw Seymour say something extremely quietly to Deulis. "But we should be going now. It's a long ways away to Zanarkand, and we want to get there as soon as we possibly can, so we'll leave you to your prayers." Auron took that as an invitation to leave he began to head towards the exit. "yes, we've stayed here long enough. And I'm sure Deulis would like to find a place to relax and regain some of his energy after talking to the fayth." He said, gesturing towards the summoner.

***

How'd he---Deulis could only ponder on a thousand possibilities but it would all go lead him back to the fact of the matter that the high priest must have spent many a prayer speaking to the fayth of the temple enough for her to have known much of his current plight. It was akin to how he'd confided and spoken more than once to Bahamut, of anything and everything under the Spiran sun upon acquisition save that Seymour had the privilege of being in the presence of Shiva herself under such circumstance. Summoners were never completely alone. The fayths constantly sang and spoke to them in their minds or within their dreams, guiding and protecting them against harm.

"The fayths do not lie, Deulis. By now, you should know that my intentions are pure and just in my offer of marriage. Tromell had told me of your conversation by the Agency this morning upon his return. As you have requested, no punishment was brought upon him despite his interference. While I may have heard it from his mouth, may I request to hear it directly from you? There is something much more to your sweet words of concern and compassion for me for sure. I know there is. While I deeply appreciate your kindness and that you have it in you truly care for me... I want to know the rest of it."

Seymour grabbed onto the summoner's arm, grasping it firmly around his fingers to coerce him further into finally giving in to his question. He was fairly sure that the feisty brunet would find some means to escape and go around the question hence he had no choice but to resort to such means. It was something the high priest did not wish to do, preferring that the object of his affections be more pliant and yielding to him.

"Let me go," he hissed angrily, wrenching his arm from the guado's grip. He tried to move but the maester was scheming enough to use his own body as an obstruction between himself and his guardians, thus making it seem that they were in a quiet and intimate conversation from their point of view. Deulis was in the cusp of fear and irritation being trapped in a situation not of his liking. "Fine! I'll do what you want. I refused you because I'm afraid of you. I don't trust you and your words." The summoner spat out his words, saying them loud enough for everyone to hear. "I know you're capable of doing me harm more than the love you're offering me."

"And how did you come to such a conclusion?"

The question got him tightlipped and unsure. How was he supposed to---His guardians were here...The braided brunet wanted to protect them. The less they knew, the better... "Oui gemmat ouin vydran." You killed your father.

Like he'd been burned, Seymour let go of Deulis, giving the younger summoner a chance to flee in an instant. The high priest seemed shocked, in a moment of something that he'd never foreseen or ever thought of possible. Once he'd come to his senses, the guado looked at the long haired boy with a look of regret and shame, it would seem.

"Do they know?" His tone was cold, hasty and demanded for quick response. So that was it...

He shook his head. "No."

"You would judge me over one 'mistake' in my career and thus deny yourself of what I have to offer? I could have given you what you wanted. And that of Spira's!"

The summoner was horrified at how callous Seymour was taking all of this. Though there was regret and shame on the man's face, it was far from that being at fault of his crime. It was the kind of regret and shame that came with having been found out. The maester was not guilty for his crime at all! Calling patricide nothing more than a casual mistake like that. By Yevon's name... BY YEVON'S NAME!

Now what was this about giving what Spira wanted too?

***

When Seymour grabbed Deulis's arm, Will's hand reflexively went to his hip, ready to draw his sword and defend Deulis. Auron, seeing this, put a hand on the other guardian's shoulder to stop him. He darted his eyes over in the direction of the guards that had escorted the Maester, trying to signal to him that that wasn't a very good idea Will nodded, but kept his hand where it was as he watched the scene before them play out. Seymour refused to let go of the summoner until he said something in Al-bhed, causing a great deal of shock in the Maester. When he asked if the two guardians knew, Will couldn't help but feel annoyed that he and Auron had been left out of the loop like this. But, he trusted Deulis, or at least he liked to think he did, and he figured that if he didn't want to tell them, it was for a damn good reason. Whatever it was, it seemed like it was the reason for Deulis's distrust of Seymour. 

"I think Deulis has made himself pretty clear, your grace." Will said, using a particularly acidic tone for "your grace". He'd had just about enough of this. By now Seymour had demonstrated that he would not be a good spouse. Not to Deulis, and not to anyone if this was how he took rejection."We're done here. The chamber of the Fayth is free, so you're free to use it now, but me, Auron, and Deulis are leaving." Will began walking to the door, and he gestured for the other two to follow.

***

This was not supposed to happen. Such discovery had no part in his plans, especially not to be discovered by Deulis of all people. Not now... Not yet. The boy wouldn't understand his motives. As suspected, the dark haired summoner would only come to judge and look upon him with disgust and fear from then on. It would be difficult to win him over, to make him understand. Why did it have to be him of all that had to come to find out about his crime? Not him... Not the one he'd hope would come to know the ways and means of his heart of all people! 

Who told him? Who made it known to Deulis he had indeed murdered his own father? He wanted to know. He would seek this individual and punish them for ruining his best laid plans. 

Sorrow wracked through him, but no tears willed to be shed. Was it for the failure of his plans? He needed the brunet for his plans of change inside the Chuch of Yevon and beyond, change that would benefit all of Spira. For the better... Or the fact he'd felt the loss of his possible only chance for love and salvation? Seymour didn't believe in fated pairs. He was an outsider to both humans and the guado alike. How was it possible for someone like him to be afforded the same joy of belonging as everyone else? Impossible---still in his heart of hearts, he wished, he wished so hard that maybe, just maybe... The guado wasn't sure but something gripped at his heart, clenching it in a painful vice grip with every retreating step Deulis took farther and farther away from him. Perhaps both. It was hard to tell. 

Do not leave... Not when things haven't even begun to come to fruition. 

"Why, Deulis?" 

The question made the brunet pause, looking over his shoulder knowing well and good that this was just Seymour's ways to get him to stop and rethink about everything. Still, he couldn't find it in him to refuse to answer. For so long, Deulis had been sidestepping the responsibility of coming straight to the maester. Even the fayth pointed this out to him, telling him that this was wrong. 

"You sell yourself short to a man who does not and will never love you." 

Deulis froze up. Something told him this time the guado finally got it right. But how...? How'd he come to know of that? The braided brunet decided to chalk it up to the fact that the maester simply came to learn of things just because. This wasn't the first after all. 

"M-maybe I have... Maybe not anymore. I don't know," he finally responded, heeding Shiva's advise to assume the task of it and rise up to the challenge. He wasn't even sure if his feelings for Kamui were the same still. He hadn't had the chance to think about it really. "But one thing is for sure... Your heart is filled at the moment, to the brim." With anger, darkness and a taste for vengeance... The summoner could only guess what made him to wicked... No wonder Tromell asked him to save Seymour. "There's no room for anything else right now. Even if you wanted it to be." The brunet let out a deep exhalation then smiled wistfully at his words. My heart too is filled to the brim, I guess... "That is why you cannot be loved and loved in return, Your Grace. I'm sorry." 

It was cowardly to say such heavy words without fully facing the recipient of his statements but somehow the brunet couldn't bring himself to do it. He could feel the weight of the man's eyes on him and from behind, it felt unsettling. Deulis actually felt guilty for this. Oddly enough regretful as well. He didn't like being in the place where he was right now. Not at all. Everyone was caught in their step and listening to the sound of their breaths as neither summoners spoke a single word after the brunet's explanation. A heavy silence permeated the foyer into the Chamber of Fayth for what seemed like eternity until a dark shadow overcast and the rattling of chains broke through the calm. There was a rush of strong and powerful magic at work as the air felt thick and heavy with tension, foreboding and eventful of things to come. 

"...share my pain...," came the quiet voice of Seymour who remained still and calm as he stood there, already in the midst of his summoning, "...come, Anima."

***


As Will moved toward the exit, the two guards that were stationed there moved to block it and slowly raised their weapons. "s**t." He said under his breath, backing away from them. Well, this wasn't a good sign. It looked like they were stuck here until whatever was going to happen happened. So he just turned around, and continued to watch Deulis and Seymour converse, and that didn't look like it was going well at all. 

Finally, the two fell completely silent, and Will found himself hoping that they were done. What else could happen? Seymour wasn't going to try anything...rash, right? Certainly not in the Macalania temple, where people would eventually find out what happened! ...Right? His hopes were dashed when the room started to grow dark, and there was a low rumbling, followed by a rattling of chains. He could practically feel the magic in the air as he and Auron drew their swords. The Maester was performing a summoning! "You can't be serious!" He shouted to Seymour over the sounds of chains. "What are you going to do? If you kill us, people are going to know! How do you plan on covering this up?!"

***

Halfway through something very unexpected happened. 

Seymour began to cough. At first it sounded like he was simply clearing his throat as he exhaled, covering his mouth as his throat rumbled audibly. It made him pause, his facial veins darkening ever so slightly as he felt the mild irritation of a head ache throbbing at his temples. Just when he had gotten his bearings back after that mild fit, the maester doubled over in pain grasping at the lower half of his face, his palm soaked in bright red blood. 

Something had gone horribly wrong. It was like an out of body experience for him as he retracted his hand away from his face and began to examine his hand in curiosity, in awe at easily the skin of his hand had been painted crimson with his own blood. Yes, his blood was red like humans. Not deep dark brownish red like the guado. Proof of his strange genetics and chemistry. 

The high priest looked behind him and he seemed just as surprised as everyone else. It would seem that he just blacked out, and entered a place in the mind that people simply slip into when they completely felt nothing but the emotions in their rawest form consume them whole. He had not been in good physical health, moreover in good mental and emotional state for the longest of while. The strain of Deulis' rejection and all that came with it, had been a heavy blow on him. The summoning of Anima had come as reflex in his part as he retreated into himself, trying to deal and cope with the hurt he was undergoing. 

Even as a child living all alone in the ruins of the Baaj Temple after the botched up Final Summoning at Zanarkand, Seymour had often resorted to summoning the colossal Anima, his only true company on the island and final aeon. His then-guardian had been his own mother who had decided to offer her very own life in exchange of giving her only son a chance at life through giving him power beyond compare. In the midst of loneliness... they spoke together as if nothing had changed, only form and figure. At the end of the day, they were still mother and son after all. Though it would be naive to assume that things were still all but unchanged. But as the saying goes "power corrupts absolute; absolute power corrupts absolutely", the guado was still too young to truly comprehend the ways of the world and by which it operated, too naive and innocent to understand of the circumstances of his birth and how come it was painful to be alive. So having been consumed by sorrow and so many unanswered questions, the little half blood prince of the guado became twisted and ugly with rage and a taste for revenge. 

Today should have not been any different. 

But it would seem that Anima was resisting his heartfelt call of agony and need of comfort, unwilling to spread her protective mantle of warmth over the distraught Seymour in his time of need. Coupled by the maester's poor health from overwork and his weakened state from nursing his pains, he was unable to muster enough strength to fight back and found himself overwhelmed and taken affront but the act of rebellion. 

"Anima... Why?," he choked out, never feeling so abandoned and lonely in his life. So it would seem that even his very own mother would dare to leave him to such a fate. Was this fate's way of rubbing it in his face that he deserved no sympathies whatsoever? "Why did---you..." Seymour could hardly finish his sentence as he fall on a knee and wretched out fresh blood on the floor, grasping at the open front of his robes and grunted, clenching his teeth as he screwed his eyes shut to hold himself back from screaming in the pain he was undergoing. What was happening?! 

Seeing their priestly charge in a great deal of hurt, the guardians moved forward and left their post to approach and try to assist him in anyway only to be halted when the high priest waved an arm to dismiss them. Proud till the end he was as the maester wobbled, struggling to fight and get back on his feet so he could stand tall. Once up and straightened out with obvious effort, Seymour cast his eyes, looking sad and lonely despite the smirk on his face and the splotches of blood across his skin. He turned towards the party in arrogance and bravado, the only things left to him at this point. 

"I...c-could've given you what you wished for... loved you dearly for w-who you were -t-than what you t-tried to be. You're too beautiful to die so uselessly as you intend..." 

In a different time and place, Deulis would've argued on that remark, reminding the high priest that he resented such, even if it was meant to be a compliment. But the brunet could only stare in horror, seeing that even someone so strong and remarkable such as Seymour could fall prey to a failed summoning, having lost the respect of his own summon and encountered a rebellion in his soul. He looked so broken and defeated, the summoner could hardly keep to looking at those pale violet eyes when whatever laid within them were so raw it frightened him. It was close to moving him to tears even. Especially when the dark haired boy knew what usually was the outcome of a botched up summoning. 

The maester began to laugh softly, letting the reality of everything sink in as he closed his eyes and tuned into his mind, hearing no songs of the fayth or whispers of their speaking voices there. Gone, gone, gone... Everyone was gone. They all left with Deulis. Never to return. 

He opened his mouth to speak some more but all that came out was empty air as he gracelessly fell onto his back, staring open eyed at the ceiling and mouth ajar. 

***

Will had long since stopped talking; he was actually afraid of what Seymour might do. He remembered the aeon back in Luca, and if the maester was planning on using that...what could they do? No seriously, what were their options for dealing with that? Try to fight it out? Will couldn't see that ending well. Try to stop Seymour before he finished the summon? Possible, though it seemed like it was already too late. Perhaps their best bet would be to fight their way through Seymour's two goons and try to make it back through the temple before things really went south. But then what? Do they tell someone that Seymour was down here? What if he followed them? This was bad This was real bad. 

Time went on, and Will felt like he was frozen in place. He hadn't attempted to do anything, even though every fiber in his being was screaming at him to just [i[Move![/i] After a while, however, he noticed that the summoning hadn't finished. They hadn't died yet. Nothing had happened. Will looked over to Seymour, and that's when he saw the dire state the Maester was in. He was in agony, his hands were covered in blood. Quite simply, he was dying. It wasn't a quick death. It wasn't clean. He said his final words, and that was it. The man known as Seymour Guado was no more. 

Nobody said anything for the longest time. They were all too stunned to speak. IT was Will who finally broke the heavy silence. "Is he...is he dead?" He asked, his voice a little shaky. He wasn't expecting an answer; he already knew. "Oh man. Oh man. The maester's dead. He just...we didn't even do anything, and he's dead!" Will spoke quickly, extremely uneasy about what just happened. "What do we do? What are we gonna do? Do we tell someone? Do we take him up with us? Do we leave him here? Oh s**t. Oh s**t oh s**t oh s**t. Are we gonna take the blame for this? We have to do something! What are we going to say?" A million questions raced through Will's mind as he began to panic. They were in a room with a dead Maester. The three of them, plus two guards, were the only witnesses to what happened, and someone was going to find this eventually. At best, they were now persons of interest in an investigation of the Maester's death. At worst, prime suspects. "We're so ********."

***

He wasn't sure how he was supposed to act. Never mind if this was the second time he'd looked at death in the face. It was still mortifying to be put in this position once more. Though Deulis knew for certain it had not been his doing why both Kamui and Seymour had found themselves dead, the brunet's presence in their life at that moment in time had certainly done them good and gone. He felt guilty for most part and wracked with regret. This was his fault... There had been better means to deal with this. Why didn't he try to be the bigger man than to run away, skirt around the issue and prolong Seymour's agony? Never had he foreseen that things would come to this. 

One moment they were conversing, albeit heatedly as the older summoner demanded of him to finally stop beating around the bush and go straight to the point. It was something even Shiva had told him pointedly do once they were out of the Chamber of Fayth. Deulis had been given quite a lecture of being an irresponsible object of affection though the years, not just with the high priest of the Macalania Temple. Unable to talk back to the Lady, he simply nodded, tipping his head low as he had all of his romantic mishaps pointed out to him and how he could possible alleviate them. But it wasn't supposed to end like this. Seymour wasn't supposed to die. Though now that he looked back on it, why did he call out Anima anyway? It seemed rather out of the blue... 

The brunet hesitantly approached the prone form of the fallen maester, making nervous initiative towards checking for any signs of life. This was gut wrenching. There was a small part of Deulis that hoped that the maester would suddenly spring to life, to laugh it all off as a prank somehow. It would have been out of character but what the summoner would give for that to be the case. The fact of Seymour's death hadn't sunk in yet and he wasn't quite liking the strange feeling in his heart that came with it. Felt like something in him also died. Deulis reached out to grasp the less blood drenched hand to catch the feel of a pulse when something slid off from the guado's fingers and dropped to the floor. 

It was his headband. He'd been holding it the entire time. Yevon why... 

Deulis swallowed thickly at the sight of it once more and the fact he felt nothing. As in no pulse. The newly appointed maester of Yevon, incumbent high priest of the Macalania Temple and leader of Guadosalam was dead. 

He looked at the man's face. Seymour didn't even look dead. Seemed like the high priest was caught in a frozen moment in midspeech but was just laying flat on his back with splatters of dried blood painting his lips dark red. The braided brunet did the right thing, at least to his mind, and ran a hand through the maester's face, closing his eyes and laid the hand over his stomach. 

Not too long after, the doors into the Chamber of the Fayth sprang open and in came Tromell. He'd been worried that the high priest had been taking too long inside in prayer, thinking that his priestly charge may have been too weakened to move and despite having guardians at his side, capable bodyguards if he may add, the blue haired half-guado had too much pride to be had to ask for help even after a prayer. He was met with the image of blood stains across the floor and his lord and master laying across it, hands and face caked in same red liquid. The vassal's eyes widened in horror as he pushed his way through, forcefully nudging through the escorts and Deulis' own guardians and wrenched the younger summoner away from the corpse to get a better look. 

"You... YOU KILLED HIM! I already told you of how precarious the situation was!," roared Tromell in a fit of rage, directed towards the black haired summoner, He propelled himself forward, with a look that only promised pain and punishment for those who'd cross him, raising one hand to strike then stopped when Deulis simply shut his eyes and prepared himself for the worse. Instead, the wizened butler pulled his hand back and smirked maliciously at the braided brunet. "The guado always take care of guado affairs..." 

And without warning, he grabbed the brunet's wrist and pulled him away. Even Seymour wasn't this forceful on him! Deulis struggled, pulling at the hold and tried his best to pull away but ended up being finally hit across the face, crumpling on the floor. 

"Take the maester's body away. Clean it up. Nothing should remain" Tromell ordered to the escorts, gesturing to the remains of Seymour. Then he looked at Will and Auron, his eyes then laid on the new pair of bodyguards that had accompanied him, "As for the guardians.. Kill them." 

WHAT?!

***

Someone coming into the chamber was exactly the thing that Will didn't need right now. The fact that was Tromell was just the icing on the disaster cake. And of course he would see this scene and assume that it was them that did it. "Woah, hold on! We didn't do a thing! He ********, I dunno. He died." Will said, quickly realizing that what he just said was a really terrible explanation. He wasn't even sure what happened, to be honest. Well, what did it matter now? Even if they got out of here, they'd be wanted for the murder of Maester Seymour Guado, a crime they didn't commit! 

"Hey, get your hands of him!" The guardian told Tromell after he hit Deulis. Then the Guado started talking about disposing of the body and...killing him and Auron?! "What?!" Will exclaimed as the order was sent out. "But we didn't do anything!" Why was everyone obsessed with killing them all of a sudden?! Auron stepped forward, pulling out his sword. "It's no use. Whether we did it or not doesn't matter, as long as he thinks we did. His mind is made up." He said. "The only thing we can do now is defend ourselves!"

***

"Silence, you worm. I was not even speaking to you!" 

Tromell grunted in discomfort when the blond's loud voice assaulted his ears, instantly irritated by his yelling and reaction towards the what was meant to be a direct statement towards his former charge's beloved. Was he not clear as to who he was speaking to? Surely Will would have seen that the guado vassal had his full attention towards the dark haired summoner and not once did he lay his eyes on either guardians. Never did he see any importance in catering to them in the first place, besides that they were Deulis' traveling companions and if it weren't for that fact, they would have long been forgotten and never realized. 

Why was this one still alive anyway? Wasn't he just a nobody from Kilika who happened to have a steady hand enough to hold a sword? Such a nuisance. 

"You'll do yourself good by shutting your mouth and not resist your fate. DIE!" 

While there was no need towards their execution, the guado decided upon it anyway on a whim, finding that there was utility in that having less people knowing of the incident would be best. As for Deulis, well the butler decided that he would have to answer to the court of the guado and of Yevon for this. He was going to turn the summoner in for his master's death, whether or not it would be found that the long haired brunet was at fault for it or not. Someone had to pay for this atrocity. 

To Tromell's mind, all of this was Deulis' fault in the first place. Why was the boy being so rebellious to the intentions of this lord and master anyway? Was it not for the good of all and the greatest gift that the summoner would ever receive before reaching Zanarkand? Seymour was offering him the gift of love and affection, until the end of it all. Moreover, it was absolute foolishness to the butler's thoughts when the human was attracted and interested to Seymour yet resisted him vehemently. I cannot love because of so and so? Sounded like hogwash to Tromell by all means. The child was so ignorant, so naive and stupid to see past himself and his needs, acting selfishly and callously for the greater good. 

As he got closed to the threshold beyond the Chamber of the Fayth, the temperature in the room dropped by a deep notch, making it cold and frosty as if they were in the outdoors of the Macalania Temple. The crackle of magic and energy began to make itself apparent in the air when slabs of sharpened ice formed, shooting down from the heavens in all directions and formed one huge structure. A divine light pierced through the roofline and a figure of white light descended into the ice. 

Soon, the structure broke into a thousand icicle slivers that evaporated into the air. 

The fayth of the Macalania Temple had been summoned. 

Shiva stood in the middle of the room, right on the spot where the high priest had met his carelessly played out death and laid her cold blue eyes on everyone. She waved her hand in the air and a slab of ice formed right above Tromell and Deulis. As it rushed down upon them both, the butler was forced to relinquish his hold on the summoner and jumped back to safety. Deulis fell back to the side, grabbing at his wrist, rubbing the raw skin and turned to Shiva. The side of her lips curved into a small smirk as she tossed him her prized luminescent sari of white and blue. 

"...thank you for answering my plea so quickly," Deulis said in a solemn tone, as he got up to his feet and watched Shiva unleash a devastating attack of ice and hail with a snap of her fingers at the guado that dared to harm the party with the threat of death. Just like Seymour, he too was forced to a quick summoning of an aeon at the same place and time due to circumstances. In his case, it was a life or death situation for them all if he didn't do anything quick. Five against three in a small enclosure. What were the odds? 

***

"How about ******** you?" Will said angrily. "You're already planing on killing us. I don't have to take s**t from you!"It was amazing how quickly Will's anger had turned into rage. He gripped the hilt of his sword as hard as he possibly could. So, Tromell was going to have them killed for this, was he? As far as he was concerned, The Guado servant was at least partly to blame for Seymour's death. As much as he hated him, he had to admit that the Maester was clearly not well; Not physically, and not in the head, if they were taking into account how he was acting towards Deulis. Had no one tried to get him any help? Did anyone even notice? If anything, the butler had only been enabling his charge. 

Despite being angry enough to want to do something, Will had realized that this matchup was...a little bit unfair. They were outnumbered, and their attackers had guns He wondered how he'd get out of this one. Thankfully, he didn't need to worry about that for long. Deulis, being quicker on his feet than him, had summoned Shiva to take care of the guards. "Quick thinking Deulis!" Will told him. "We probably would've been dead if you hadn't done that." That said, they weren't out of the woods yet. The guards were still alive, and Will wasn't keen on becoming an actual murderer today. They'd have to make a break for it.

***

After getting up to his feet and receiving the aeon's sari, the summoner frowned at the fact his guardian and that of Seymour's butler were in the midst of an argument over something so petty. Clearly they didn't get along and never would. Did Will really have to answer to everything like that? This was not the time or place for all of this to come to pass. 

"Quiet," the summoner managed. Man his cheek felt raw and painful still right now. Could use a cold compress. Tromell sure delivered a heavy hand just now. To think he'd speculated that it would be Seymour who would do the hitting, not his vassal. "Where are your manners." 

Diamond Dust turned the entire room into a frozen cavern almost into an instant. The guado, all of them, were rendered immobile and encased in individual slabs of ice with the powerful ice-based magic attack. With a snap of Shiva's fingers, the entire party suffered a most devastating power overcome their persons. 

Thankfully the blast shouldn't have killed them, simply rendered them literally out cold and feeling chilly for a few. It was enough of a window of opportunity towards making a getaway. Deulis dismissed the aeon once the task of addressing their would-be pursuers was solved, not without thanking her again once more. It had been a plea of help, a quick summoning out of circumstance wherein the summoner simply didn't care who would come out to help him, he just hoped someone would. There wasn't enough time or chance to decide, nor work out the entire prayer of the summons so the brunet was pleasantly surprised that it had been Shiva who answered his call first and foremost. Maybe the fact they were in the Macalania Temple, her home front, helped things. 

He'd work out shortcuts of summoning leaning towards certain aeons in the past, like that time he took Valefor to give Will a sampling of the beauty and freedom of flight but never had Deulis worked out simply yelling for help in his mind, crying out to the fayth who were linked to his soul to come to his rescue. That had been a good first and a great gamble on his part, one he had not thought would result well. Thankfully it did. 

***

"Quickly, while they're stunned" Auron said as he pointed to the door. Will didn't need to be told twice. He tossed Deulis a potion to hopefully help with his face, and making sure he was following, made a break for the exit. With any luck, their would-be executioners would be there long enough for the party to make a clean getaway. As they backtracked through the Cloister of trials, the puzzles actually began to reset themselves! Fortunately, they made it across the bridge before it disappeared, so they didn't end up wasting time having to re-do all the puzzles. Thank Yevon for that, otherwise they would have looked like idiots! "Hm. That should thwart our pursuers." Auron noted as they ran. 

***

The temple was in a confused uproar. How was it that one moment they saw their high priest live and well, engaged in what would seem like affectionate chatter with someone they had found themselves enamored with then the next they saw Seymour Guado being taken away by his guards, limp and lifelessly so down the corridors? Wasn't the maester alive and good before he followed into the Cloister of Trials to do his daily prayers to the fayth of the temple? Something was amiss and the faithful could not help but feel worried, very worried. 

There had been rare glimpses of the guado looking worse for wear afterwards but it had never been this bad. Thinly veiled questions and barely disguised stares of surprise were abound as the party made their way out of the inner temple and out into the foyer. 

"What happened to the maester?" 

"Is it true that you are in a relationship with him?" 

"Will he be alright?" 

"Ah, how interesting... Two summoners together? But they're both men...? So how?" 


Deulis ignored all the statements thrown at him, choosing to weave out of the crowd and stand closer to Will and Auron, knowing that lingering behind wouldn't do him good not when there were guado mage-soldiers on the move, positioning themselves at strategic points. He could feel their eyes on him as he walked towards the end of the exit. It seemed like Seymour's actual status quo had been kept under wraps and that further cover up to preserve the secrecy of it were being made. 

That included perhaps keeping the mouths of those who had been there shut and quiet for as long as possible. 

"What now...? They won't let us go without a fight I'm sure of it." 

***

The constant barrage of questions people were throwing at mostly Deulis was making it really hard for them to run away from their pursuers. Also making it really hard to run from their pursuers; the fact that they weren't actually running. Somewhere along the way, they had slowed to a walk in order to keep from looking suspicious in the crowd. There was no reason they had to know they ad killed the maester, and they could always run when they were inevitably caught. Hopefully that didn't happen at least until they were out of the temple. 

Deulis had a pretty good point as they moved closer and closer to the exit, by now pretty much expecting it to be blocked with guards. "Well if they want a fight, it's a fight they'll get." Will told him, prepared for the worse. "It won't be a walk in the park though, seeing as we'll be trying not to kill them, and I'm not sure if they'll give us the same treatment." He imagined they would, seeing as they were still in the temple, but there was till a chance they'd go right for the kill. "We'll have to incapacitate enough to get past them, and then make a break for it."Auron spoke up. "If need be, I can inflict dome of them with darkness and silence. Assuming they're not immune." s**t, that was...actually really helpful.

***

He shook his head, moving towards them and laid his hand over Will's dominant hand. "No, they're not going to fight us here. Don't worry. There's a rule of nonviolence inside the temple. This is sacred ground after all. Even criminals can seek asylum and protection from the laws in here, but given they do not leave. There have been cases where they end up becoming priests and nuns to escape the law completely." Deulis stepped back, letting his eyes can over the perimeter of the foyer and sighed deeply. The summoner raised a hand to rub at his temples and groaned, "If there's going to be any fighting, it'll be done outside. I don't plan to staying here forever, considering the circumstances..." 

If anything, the sight of soldiers on the move were just a quiet reminder of what could transpire once they made their leave. 

Fight or flight. 

Was there even an option? None at all. They would have to both fight and flight their way out of this, forcing their way through whatever Tromell had in mind for them. Whatever it was, one could only guess it was nothing great on their behalf. The butler was quite convinced that they were circumstantial to the death of his priestly charge, especially him. Though Deulis couldn't help but wonder---what made Seymour tick and take the entire fiasco so badly: was it truly the heartbroken feeling of being rejected by someone you loved or the agony of rejection and bruising of his ego? Perhaps both...? What could've driven someone like that down the path the recently deceased guado had...? 

Everything's happening too fast---there are too many questions left unanswered here. I can't help but feel at a loss. 

"The guado are skilled mages. As if you know who wasn't a prime example considering his half blood lineage. Yet, you saw, you know how capable he is even without a magic implement of a staff or familiar. We should tread carefully ."





 
 
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