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All! So writing isn't really my first hobbie but I do like writing short stories and stuff like that everyone in a while when I am bored, and thought I should share some of my stiff with you guys just in case. Anyways this story is something I have been working on for a while. Its summary is that it follows a lady by the name of Trinity who possessed a strange power allowing her to enter the minds of other people and her own and see their subconscious as a library! Its based in the times of the Renaissance era or at least around that time, in the Vatican City of Italy, in a fictional history where the inquisition era never really ended that fantasy powers and stuffs exist.
So before I continue too far into this, I would like to say that none of the stuff shown in here actually represents my view on the religious or cultural ethics of the people and involved and any negative outlooks or assumed negativity that might be attached through the narrative truly reflects my view on them, so I will say now that the story might have conflicting views with those who are religious and things of that nature and that it may be best to stay away as to not be insulted, especially those who are sensitive of such things. There is also mild blood and language, so be warned youngins!
The tale begins with the sharp crackling of wooden wheels assaulting rugged cobblestone-road blended with the festive and bustling ambience of seventeenth-century Rome. It was midday, the streets lined with vendors and merchants of all kinds striving for their last-minute earnings. While children, workers and families a-like bustle and stir transversely within the ancient ruins of a once magnificent empire. Yet, a strange silence would ensue amongst the masses like a wave gradually rolling across the ocean; an eerie omen foreshadowing a dark and dangerous secret. Heads would turn, eyes would shift, conversations halted and all movement seemed to slow as they watched with ire and suspicion.
An extravagantly decorated carriage was dragged through the streets by twin-stallions, each with sable-hair and manes that hung past their necks. Barred with tassels and bearings between their teeth, the stallion’s faces were hidden beneath Victorian-masks embroidered with gold and enameled in an onyx-paint. In a matching ink-colored waist coat, with a brimming-floral-hat adorning his grayed and narrow head was a saggy-faced coachman guiding these aberrant brutes through the busy streets with ease. His hands lightly gripping the tethers between himself and the mares as he channeled them through busy paths and tapering lanes, his dark hazel-eyes almost soulless to those who peered under the shadow of his hat. The carriage itself had golden shelling, a pricey rarity that only the wealthiest of this capital could afford – that or the great hierarchs of the Vatican City. It was certainly the later as the rear-end of this rolling doom-sayer flaunted an insignia grafted with minerals, one known as the “Papa-Regalia.” Although, with such an ominous theme of colors, many could never consider a cleric or even a minister to operate or own such a contraption; this was solidified as people lurched away from the carriage with a mysterious anxiousness, an anxiety that made even the youngest child flee away with a troublesome and spiteful stare – expressions that didn’t subside until the coach was clear from their views.
The panes of the carriage-doorways were lined also with flittering wavy fleece, a curtain that obscured what was inside, but for a moment it lifted as a grey-haired man with green eyes and a sullen-face stared impatiently into the streets. Within the carriage was a Gothic atmosphere that matched its outer exterior, bearing jet-black leather seats, chrome painted walls with floral rosaries and an oil-lantern of gold and glass in the center. It was spacious enough to fit five – and five there were. The man who stared outside, dropping the fleece curtains with a snide, wore the garments of a clergy-man, fanciful ivory-robes with sprinkled silver-dust and basal-white-sandals. He seemed older than most in the cart and somnolent as well. His heavy, square face rounding on the other occupants who seemed just as silent and tiresome as he. “Its true.” a woman’s sultry voice enters the air, her alto catching everyone unsuspectingly. The lady was sitting between two tall hairless men; both adorned in red-military apparel, they wielded thin sheathed blades at their sides and rifles resting against their shoulders. She was a lass whose gloomy-attire matched the very cart she sat in. Her hair was straightened yet her bangs were trimmed evenly over her eyebrows; locks as dark as night and long enough to bundle at the seats as she surely stood about five-ten. Her eyes were hidden behind a pitch cloth wrapped around her face, which contrasted her particularly pale and rosy-lipped complexion. Adorned in colorless and just-as-grim shades, she wore a thin, yet elegant gown with blouse-like sleeves; the dress cut at the center of the thighs that bundle behind her like a fluttering tail. Her small-feet were compressed in ebony slippers, her slender legs sheathed in black high-rising garterbelts and her ample-chest was pressed into a subtle cleavage which caressed a sterling red-garnet amulet between her bosoms. “I would rather live in love than to live in freedom.” Her accent did not fit that of the Italian kinsmen around her. That, and there was something eerie in the fact she showed no sign of worry or despair despite being blindfolded and stuffed between two very aggressive looking marksmen. “Well, they say love and freedom are one in the same.” A voice pungent with bravado and heavy in its masculine-tone carried across her from a man with similar attire to their coach-rider; except he was a little younger and a tad more handsome as well. With a face that was cut sharp and Adam-like, sterling hazel-eyes blended with his brown curly hair which fell to his neck and his jaw was lined with a scruff that dashed thickly around his lips as if framing his sharp edges. “As they have said in my lands for countless generations, L’amore vince tutto.” His last bit rolled from his tongue in an almost musical whim, “Familiar with our language, Trinita?” he asked the woman before him – who smiled graciously at his phrase. “Of course, Rabuetto,” she replies, pronouncing his name with a fluidness that nearly mimicked his own and with a bountiful rhythm to boot. “True love conquers all.” It was more questionable in its tone as she recalls its meaning. A blissful smile curling on her lips and he returns her grace with a warmly gaze. “Then you should keep that in mind, demon. Love is far from your grasp.” A coarse, rigged tone emanated from the side of the cart, the clergyman in white looking over with narrowed-heartless eyes as Rabeutto looks away with a slight huff and a troubled expression. Trinita’s smile fading slowly as the priest’s eyes rounded on her. “As the teachings of our Lord God have shown us, despite the fact that demons are shown love, they will never feel it themselves. So us lowly men must never show them kindness, they would exploit us if we should – despite our great Lord showing mercy to their unending evil.” He began to preach with vehemence in his voice; his words attacking her enough to make her visibly withdraw. “An abomination such as you shall never understand the purity of love. Love is divine and you far from that.” His grisly glare unexpectedly shifted to Rabeutto. “Be careful how you speak to this one, for what knowledge we have, she could be a succubus in disguise.” His words earned a frown from Trinita, who looked away with distaste. “Minister Diovare, I doubt highly she meant that in such a way.” Rabeutto defended her with a troubled-assertion, not even just her, but himself as well. “Be careful, Rabeutto. These demon children are cunning and mischievous; they will stop at nothing to corrupt and pollute this world we cherish, to defile the name of God.” His statement was shaken off as Rabeutto tilts his head away lethargically, not even caring to hear it all. Trinita remained silent as ever and the guards beside her inched away ever slightly as the conversation continued. “First they act as human as possible – before using their powers on you without a moments notice. Manipulate you; seduce you with their false innocence.” The man spoke as if he was reading from a set of pages memorized to the letter. “But even as children they are folly, for they fall in the grace of God through sheer desire and the will to corrupt in-order to achieve their evil lust!” “Anyways, romantic fantasies are the least of your concern right now. I expect you to treat this next client with the utmost respect and perform your duty to the letter.” Diovare continues in a confident and imposing tone. “Who is my client?” she asks, ignoring the obvious conceitedness in his religious stature. “We’ll be dealing with Germans,” He said with an underlying disgust in his voice, “the hypocrites the many of them, dawdling on in their Christian pretenses. But they have agreed to pay the Vatican City well for this endeavor,” his eyes rounded on her coldly, “Fail, and you know the consequences… The specifics of this will be prearranged when we reach Town Hall.” he growled grimly. Rabeutto’s eyes teetering in Diovare’s direction, only to scoff impatiently as the wagon ran over a rock or pothole of some form. “I’m well aware of my punishment if I fail, Minister…” Trinita mentioned sullenly. “Good, then I advise silence for the rest of our journey, you need to save your strength and concentration.” The Minister ended this with a triumphant and almost gallant smile and peered out the window once more to check their location. The blindfolded Trinita remained silent with an expression that mingled with anxiety and weariness, her head tilting to the earth as thoughts of failure ran through her mind. Should she fear this? She hadn’t failed before, but then again failure was a suggestive thing when it came to her kind of work. In her own opinion she has failed many times, but – it was something that the Church and the Vatican would have to judge in the end. Failure was not as simple as losing her occupation, no, it was losing her life that brought some worry to her – if she could even call what she was doing living. But still, death at the hands of the ancient torture machinery of the Inquisition’s wicked remnants, and the infamous burning at the stake to finish it all off was a death she’d rather avoid.
A death that sent shivers down her spine.
So she and the occupants of the wagon remained quiet as they rolled down the macadamized-paths that spread into a busy intersection of carriages and city-goers. Product-booths and street-performers circled a magnificent building which stood centered within the surrounding boulevards, branching out like tree-roots into many other parts of the renaissance-metropolis. The Ledille Viadanni was designated the town–hall of this portly city a few years back. An architectural masterpiece surrounded in columns of riveting marble, domed with a medieval coiling of bronze and the tumbling figures of ancient roman deities caught in stone. It was a work of baroque-art, artistry that defined the beauty of this century and the elegance of the genius-artist who bloomed before this era. The carriage came to a sudden halt at the entry way to the main-hall, the coach-doors swinging open almost impatiently as the Minister and Rabeutto eased through the doorway with an incognito demeanor. Rabeutto extends his hand courteously as Trinita takes hold and steps to the motley-marble-surface platting the earth around them, the two officers taking hold of her shoulders as they guided her to the large iron-wrapped doors of the entrance. Over a flight of stairs and through the arching tapestries of national-colors, the minister takes hold of one of the latches held by iron-sculpted wolf-jaws and the door swings open with a loud metallic creak. As it does, a young brunette mistress in a teal-gown passes through, her green-eyes lock on Trinita in an instant and her face suddenly became wracked with horror. “Caro Dio! Suo figlio del diavolo,” she gasped quickly in a tenor of a whisper, her voice ready to shriek though it seemed to be taking all of her willpower not to shout, “Stare lontano da me! Stare lontano!” before anyone could reply; and bizarrely enough, no-one seemed to be moved or upset even slightly by her hysteria. The petrified woman was inching away to the side as if flattening herself against the wall – that is until she had enough courage and distance to turn away and run. She lifted her dress enough to scurry past like some trembling mouse and took off quite speedily, Trinita was certainly impressed. The frown on Trinita’s face grew into a grimace as she recalled the last time someone saw her, it was much worse than this; someone ended up throwing a lit-torch in her direction, and another time they even drew a weapon. Neither Trinita or the Minister or anyone apart of this occult little-group made any fuss about it – it was a natural reaction at this point, an expected one. Instead, they made there way into the inner-hall, a complex, dramatic opus of marble carvings and statuettes. At the opposite end of the ingress was a hybrid-alter whose make mocked the professional build of a meeting table, and in the center was a mural wrapped in canvas displaying oil-works of the early Leonardo Da Vinci. Heavy wooden-doors lay hidden between carefully spaced dips, lined with stairways leading to the underground recesses of the Ledille Viadanni. “Minister Diovare,” a female voice hummed in a professional and reverent tone, a woman in full white-nunnery-attire like his own approached from one of the many stairways around them. “Our guests have been waiting; Richter would like to speak to her before she begins her treatment.” The woman also made it a point not to look at Trinita even slightly. “Hurry on ahead and tell them we shall be accompanying them shortly in the guest hall.” He instructed carefully and the clergywoman bowed her head and turned with a swoop as she made her way back down the halls. “Right then,” Diovare starts as he looks in Trinita’s direction, “You understand your terms, correct? You are about to meet with one of the Chief Merchants of Landenberg, he has an important task for you and will pay us greatly if you succeed.” He stepped toward her with obvious intimidation in his visage. “Yet, this isn’t a matter of ‘ifs,’ now is it, Trinita?” He warned her, “Fail and you know …” “The consequences, yes, now can we get on with this?” She said in a hurry as she cut him off. “Just take me to the man already.” His constant badgering got irritating after a while, and her sudden show in annoyance revealed that to him. He made a rather distasteful expression and then turned on a spin of his heel as he made off back to the carriage – Rabeutto sighing in relief as he muttered something close to a curse and then gestured for them to follow as he made his way to the guest-halls with Trinita and the two-guardsmen following. Descending through stairs and striding casually to the uncanny and dark-corridors beneath the streets, the group exits a vast foyer into a room lit only by tainted-iron oil-lanterns. Like most of the structure, it was crafted from paved-stone and marble. In the center of this room were several comfortable arm-chairs and a glass circular table standing on a single coil of bronze and steel. There were three chairs – one occupied by a plump man in attire that did not fit this Italian atmosphere, though his dress was indeed elegant, it wasn’t as flamboyant and bountiful as say Rabeutto’s. Decked in a twin-tailed coat, mottled in deep-greens that were hollowed with grey patterning, the man bore flat pants and robust boots hemmed with ties and knots. His grizzly face adorned with blue eyes and grey hair, turned almost nonchalantly as he recalled voices. Beside him was another man, who was much skinnier than he – almost like a branch, he wore roughly the same attire except he was much younger, blond hair swung around his head like a bowl-cut and with a thin protruding mouth and thick arching nose. “This must be our German.” Trinita hummed silently, eliciting strange looks from the solder’s beside her who noted her bandage was still on.
“Ah,” said the seated-man who stood and bowed graciously, his accent coming through thickly as he spoke, “It is an honor, Sir Rabeutto.” He complemented in his heavy voice – though strained some to get Rabeutto’s name even close to correct. “It is my pleasure, Richter.” The two shook hands and then Richter’s eyes fell on Trinita, “So … z’is is her?” he questioned with some diligence, glancing at Rabeutto affirmingly, who only nodded his head in leisure. “I did not expect z’e Devil’s Librarian to be so attractive.” He said coyly, and Trinita smiled faintly. “Tell me,” he started, “Is it true, what they say? That you have z’e eyes of z’e devil himself?” He questioned as he extended his hand to shake, one of her guardsmen began to lean over in an attempt to whisper, but were instead put in silent awe as she lifted her hand to shake his own without aid – which left his expression a commingling of fear and amazement. “Maybe,” Trinita said stoically, “I have seen far more evil with these eyes, than I have committed. And what evil I have committed is permitted by the Vatican themselves.” As she spoke, his eyes grew troublesome, and Rabeutto could almost see his expression grow grim with alarm. “Evil, is subject to those who see it…” Even to those who commit it. She added in thought. “Ah …” Richter adds carefully, his tone weary and worrisome almost. “Z’en we shall see.” He says as he gestures everyone towards the table.
They all seat themselves, except the two-guardsmen who remained at Trinita’s side. Now that greetings were out of the way, it is time to talk of money and tasks.
“Z’e matter is my half-brother, Siegfried.” Richter begins with a sound frustration in his voice, “He has come upon some kind of ailment - an injury has taken his memories from him.” Rabeutto’s vision flickered to Trinita, this was something she’s dealt with before – it should be simple. Richter’s features became distant as he recalled in full-vision what had happened, and tried to explain without showing some visible dis-ease. “It was a few months ago, near Leipzig. We had just finished building our newest installment for z’e market-system in z’e main city … when highwaymen attacked our trade route. Siegfried and I were leading this move, he is still young and inexperienced – I warned him not too, but he insisted he come.” There was a hint of guilt in Richter’s eyes. “As we made our escape, one of the bandit-men injured Siegfried’s horse and sent him falling to the ground. Erin, our older brother, rescued him and took him away.” Richter stood from the chair, his arms behind his back as he pondered what to say next. “However, he was injured in the process and didn’t make it …” “When z’ey brought Siegfried back, something was wrong, he couldn’t recall a thing, not even his own name … We tried every doctor!” Richter became more emotional, withholding the urge to yell at this point, though there was a marked look of pity on Trinita’s face. “No doctor can cure what he is experiencing, Sir Richter.” Trinita begins, “Amnesia is not only an illness of the body – it is a disease of the mind. His soul is damaged.” Richter listened carefully as she spoke, and his eyes fell with some deep sense of worry – though there was something else. “I will pay to anyone who can cure him of z’is ailment a-thousand-weights, whatever it cost to save his mind.” The bearish-man announces, and Trinita stood from her chair, her stance professional and surprisingly unmoved. “I cannot assure you this will work, Sir Richter,” she starts as she walks around the table and approaches him, still sending small shocks through the guards who simply couldn’t understand her method of sight – that bandage around her eyes was as thick as leather, and it was dark in the room to boot … “But I will try to heal your brother’s mind, of course there will be the price at hand.” Richter looks to his cohort with a particular gaze and the man nods as if confirming an order, “Draven will work out z’e prices then, as for you and I, we shall go to see him now, yes?” Richter works out and Trinita slowly lowers her head as he swings open a thick wooden-door leading to a hall-way lined with curtains and windows. The guardsmen following closely behind, however they seemed to be giving the two distance, it wasn’t their job to listen in on conversations – they were here to ensure Trinita did not escape or cause harm.
“I’ll handle the transactions, time for you to do what you do best, Trinita.” Rabeutto affirmed warmly. “Of course,” she replies just before entering the doorway, her smile tenderly returning his words, “This one is of purer intentions … it makes me happy.” “I know,” his eyes are filled with a growing understanding, Trinita may have been deemed evil by those who have seen her – they may have even classed her as one of those witch-children from the middle-ages, but that was far from the truth. “Do the world a good service today.” He remarked with a grin and watched her vanish behind a door shrouded in light.
“It is beautiful, this city.” She hears as she casually makes her way down the halls, Richter walking beside her as he peered out the windows to the large bustling conurbation around them. “Rome is certainly beautiful, isn’t it?” he asks her, and then looks behind him to see her guards trailing at the rear of them ominously. Trinita doesn’t reply; she didn’t care for this place that much – that and what she’s seen has mostly been through the windows of the wagon she came here in. Her silence only makes him more anxious as something came out of the woodworks. “Listen,” he says as he stops, and Trinita looks back to see him looking to the floor with a suspicious uncertainty, “Z’ere is one other thing I must ask of you, Trinita.” She rotates on a heel to face him, her professional demeanor rising again, “And the price?” “For us both, it could mean you buying your freedom,” if he could see her eyes, they would have narrowed … it would take more than money to buy her freedom – but it was a start. “Speak.” She urges him on with an added nod. “Siegfried’s father, my step-father … Was a very wealthy man; he was one of z’e most renowned merchants in all of Austria in his time.” He crossed his arms behind his back and motioned to Trinita to come closer, which she hesitated, but leaned in to listen while not completely facing him, “But he has his secrets.” He whispered. She stepped nearer, it was always like this with these people – especially the rich kind – there was always some kind of ulterior motive to their so-called kindness. “A large secret that is, a giant collection of money, antiques, revenue from all over z’e world – a stash of wealth that could make z’e Pope look like a meek villager. I have searched everywhere for this secret – but to no avail.” He growled, his frustration coming through, it obviously troubled him more than what had happened to his brother. “But Siegfried, he knows.” He said, a sense of irony flittering in Trinita’s mind as she just recalled him seeming somewhat selfish for bringing this up. “My brother knows z’e whereabouts of this hidden treasure trove.” “I have heard rumors of you; there is no secret a man can hide from your powers. Even if you must rip his mind apart to get in z’ere, they say you can reveal anything he knows.” He spoke, and she seemed detached in her overall reaction to his words. “Listen to me,” he said with a hushed and rushed voice, “Find z’e location of this treasure, do what you must, trick him even – and I shall split it with you and you only.” He tempts her and Trinity turns away with tentative appeal. ”Why not just question him yourself?” she remarks carefully, “It would be less strenuous and deviant than using my powers to find it.” “I have.” Richter announces fearlessly, though some resentment is seen in his expression. “But he refuses to say – but I know he knows the location of this treasure.” He seemed very convinced of the matter. “Do it, find the location and I will give you half of z’e treasuries contents. Is it a deal?” He asks quickly, extending his hand to shake once more. Trinita is reluctant, but then agrees as she extends her hand to shake his own. “Fine, but I guarantee no promises.” She adds.
They eventually reached the end of the hall blocked by yet another thick-wooden door, with a latching iron-handle. Before it even swung open with that creaky-moan they were famous for, she heard conversing of many forms, even young children, and the view inside revealed a family of people in upper-class dress in varying ages. They were all seated in comfy furniture or on the wooden floors conversing with other’s their age – from elderly to youth. However, there was one that stood out to her, tucked against a wall on a bed with curtains surrounding it was a blonde-haired man in a pale medical gown, Trinita noticed his attractiveness was almost enough to pull one away from his strange demeanor; a demeanor she has seen before of someone who knew of nothing around them, as if though they had just been born into this world. This was a classic example of amnesia victims. Though they seemed lost in most cases there was an unbridled serenity about many of them – they seemed at ease despite not knowing a single thing about themselves or the people around them. It’s as though they forgot all of the cares and worries they had of the world, and was instead replaced with a blissful ignorance. The family gazed to Trinita, and must have guessed who she was as they all backed away to the other side of the room with an obvious alarm in their aura as she stepped inside. The children grew more in awe than anything, some muttering to others who shushed them quickly. Richter moved to stand beside the door with another man, refusing to be with the rest of the family as Trinita lifted a chair with one arm and dragged it to the edge of the young-man’s bed, he looked a little older than she and being in her early twenties, that was saying something. Worse part was that she had a thing for older-men, and this handsome-faced gentlemen had looks to him that would swoon almost any woman; narrow, deep looking eyes that were sterling blue, blonde-hair in a flair that was unlike fire to her eyes, a chiseled sultry face that wasn’t too rough, yet pleasantly sharp and he was masculine enough to seem so eerily balanced in all of his proportions. “Siegfried, isn’t it?” Trinita asked; the first test really. “That’s what they call me …” he replies, certainly unsure in his voice, “Are you her?” he asked tepidly, his eyes becoming worrisome. “Are you the Devil’s Librarian?” Trinita heard some low sighs of fear behind her. “We’ll see.” She remarks casually, “I hear you are suffering from an ailment, Siegfried.” “Apparently you can’t remember a thing about yourself – except how to keep yourself fed, and not wet your pants.” There was a tiny bit of laughter in the room, though Siegfried remained fairly unnerved. “Yes, it is true, I guess.” He mentioned carefully, “You aren’t going to hurt me are you?” Trinita could sense some kind of preemptive motive for that question – it could have been the infamy surrounding her name or it could have been his own anxiety. “Give me a reason to hurt you, and I might just.” She warned him offhandedly and he recoiled almost instantly – completely missing her strange humor. Trinita sighed before continuing, “Siegfried,” Trinita began carefully, almost in a caring motherly way, “I want you to forget anything you may have heard of me. Rumors spread-like wildfire, and can be just as destructive. I can say my character has been properly assassinated.” She tried to ease him, though he still seemed uptight. “I’ll try,” he said with a half-hearted smile, “but don’t expect much from me.” “Trust me,” Trinita begins as her hands reach back behind her head and begin to unfasten the cloth-bandage wrapped around her face, “I hope after this, your image of me will be much more positive…” Trinita truly hoped this, especially for someone who seemed so kind and attractive … “Now, Siegfried, when I remove this bandage,” she began informing him and paused for a moment, her body relaxing as she did, “I want you to look right into my eyes, do not look away.” it was a subtle, yet commanding decree. He nodded slowly and she continued to remove the bandage which fell into her lap limply. He watched as she straightened for a moment, and when her eyes opened he was unsure if what he was staring at was either unbelievably fascinating, or undeniably horrifying. Looking into her eyes was like staring into deep slate of obsidian; her sclera was midnight, what light there was reflected off the very room they were in like black-glass globes. Then like a deep ray in the shadows of the gloom, there was something like a prism of light in the center that spun ever slowly. She had irises, he could clearly see them, but they were like an ivory covering over an ink-like backdrop – silk-thin strands of lightning shaped strikes-pupils emulating like wings from the center of this collage of grays. Siegfried wanted to look away, yet he didn’t; he was conflicted, his curiosity getting the better of him as he even leaned in some to see the lights sparkling in her inhuman looking eyes. Within a brief moment, everything in the room grew darker and quieter … and swiftly if felt as if though his very spirit was whisked away. The last thing he saw in this world was her eyes coming closer – until it was like stepping through a portal.
Now, all he saw was black.
Nothing but shadow in a deep abyss that seemed endless. In a matter of seconds he went from there … to here, he wasn’t laying down either - instead he was standing. His white-gown replaced with a plaid-tunic and worn work-pants tucked into rough-leather ankle-boots. “Where ...” he started looking around the shadows, behind him, in front of him – everywhere. “Where am I?” He ponders out-loud with a startled voice, his expression gaining in anxiety as each moment passed.
“Your shadow – or as some call it, the subconscious.” He heard a familiar voice, and then turned to see Trinita sitting in a rather decorative cotton chair behind him. Her leg was crossed over the other, a flower-shaped tea-cup in hand and a small dish plate in the other. Suddenly he could make out on all-sides of him very faintly shelves; in fact they were bookshelves – each one harboring countless tomes that carried on high enough to vanish between a fog that settled above them. There were nothing but books and shelves everywhere, corridors leading to more corridors like a librarian’s fanatical collection turned into a wild and unending maze. But they seemed to be in the center, like a hub of some sorts. “My shadow, my subconscious – that’s impossible.” He states in quick running words, his ability to relax loosening by the second. “Siegfried.” He heard; it was like a coo, soft and calming, and she motioned to a chair that was now beside her – which certainly wasn’t there before. “Sit.” She asked him, and though he seemed reluctant, he took a couple steps and sat with an obvious uptightness, “Relax. Tea?” the first word was in a more abetting tone and the second was a warm-hearted inquiry. As soon as Siegfried looked over to Trinita to deny her offer, she gestured to something beside him. And when he looked back there was a tea cup on a small table to his right, complete with candle-lights, sugar-cubes and a silver stirring-spoon. “How … how are you doing that?” he asked reluctantly, taking up her offer and drops a few sugar cubes into the tea-cup before stirring it adamantly. “Is any of this,” he paused as though he was searching for the right word, “Real?” he finally said before sipping the tea, it tasted like a brew of chamomile and ginger – it was one of his favorites actually. “Well, Siegfried, I can’t tell you what real is. Real is something that we can only perceive – we cannot truly prove real even exist.” Her words only brought dismay to his expression. “Only our minds tell us what is real – that’s why there are some who believe in ghost – other’s who believe in energy, and some who believe in nothing.” “So then how, how is this all possible?” he asks as he takes another sip of his tea and then relaxes against the seat with its unnatural comfort. “You’re asking me how this is all possible? As if though I can answer all your questions about something so paranormal and surreal?” She stood from the arm-chair, and deliberately dropped the cup and plate while looking languidly away. Siegfried nearly tripped as he hopped out his seat. He tried to grasp for the plate and awaited the ringing shatter of porcelain-china, only to stare in awe as the cup and platter fell through the black formless surface creating a wave of ripples; as if it fell into a deep pond. Trinita watched him knowingly as his thoughts began to wonder, what in heaven’s name is going on, she heard as if though it was echoing in her head, is this earth or is this water- whoa! She watched as his foot began to fall through the floor, her arm went to grasp his shoulder immediately and she pulled him back. He lifted his foot and shook it, expecting droplets to splash everywhere – except his leg was dry – which only made him look over in confusion. “The subconscious is a dangerous, yet stunning place; your thoughts become matter here, and matter becomes thought … be careful.” She warned him with a low tone, and he visibly tilted his head away as he tried to understand what she meant. “Now let’s see.” Trinita mused out-loud as she turned to a long array of books lined on shelves that ascended into the abyss above. She took a couple steps to the side, leaned over and then pulled a thin leather-lined book with fleece and strings from the other’s that cuddled with it. “What is that?” Siegfried asked timidly, stepping forward with suspicion as he made sure he didn’t fall through the floor again. He looked at her with conspicuous scrutiny and then back to the book with curio. “This?” she lifted the title-less volume to the air so he could get a better look, “Would you like to read it?” she answered with an offer. Trinita hands it off to Siegfried, who takes it reluctantly. “Sure…” He opened the book to find there wasn’t a single word in it; it was just blank page after page. Until he reached the center where something otherworldly began to happen; the pages drew lines as if a master artist was sketching away at record speeds, figures became present, colors and then suddenly light. A bright light engulfed the book and next the entire room – and then everything changed. There were no more bookshelves, no more abysmal black corridors, instead – a homely cottage – complete with a lit fireplace, several windows, a trailing upstairs to bedrooms and fur-animal-rugs were scattered across the floor. The walls were littered with paintings of a happy and somewhat large family, most of which with memorable smiles and blond-locks. “How did we get here?” Siegfried asked as he spins around and looks back and forth across the room, gawking at the windowed-cupboards harboring china’s and fine cutlery, to a kitchen-table covered in a homely familiar cloth. “This book it just …” “It’s not familiar?” Trinita asked. “Should it be?” “This is your past memory.” She says nonchalantly while picking at something in her nails, and his eyes grow wide with astonishment – he even stutters before saying, “Wait, this is my memory? How? We’re – we are standing in a house! This isn’t possible, I don’t belie- …” “Siegfried, my little dove’ling, come here.” He heard to the right of him in a sweet feminine hum and he knew for a fact it wasn’t Trinita, who was standing beside him looking over his shoulder with a raise of her brow. There was an older woman sitting in hand-made armchair who reflected a figure in one of the larger paintings of the room; she was standing beside another man, presumably her husband as they bound to each other – arms embraced and caught in what looked like oil-work of a skillful craftsmen. Her hair was long and wavy, golden and shimmering in the sun that broke like strong light through the window. Her blue-eyes glowing, features slightly aged but still curvaceous and long. She beamed broadly as a toddler came bumbling from out of his view, and he started hearing giggles beside him. “You are just as handsome now as you were in your toddler age, you know that?” Trinita nudged his shoulder in jest as she pokes fun at him. “What!” Siegfried looked over, and was surprised no-one else in the room reacted to how loud he shouted, “That’s me? That baby there?” he presses with a mix of confusion and ire. He looked over to see if they were gawking at them in astonishment, only to find they acted as if he and Trinita didn’t exist – and in way, it seemed it was true. “Actually, they don’t exist – at least as you see them now.” Trinita, says as she reads his thoughts. “Then, this is truly my memory?” he asked again, and Trinita rolled her eyes unenthusiastically, though she had to admit – compared to her other clients who suffered from amnesia – he got it much faster. Most took well around a couple memories before they finally accepted it was true. “You’re starting to see the big picture now, right?” She said dully, “This is your subconscious; those books are your memories, this is you as a toddler – we are using my powers to perceive it from a perspective outside of your body.” He looked over to his past-mother, now holding the child in her arms who was suckling on her breast. “Oh my.” Trinita hummed before chuckling some, she looked over at Siegfried who was growing redder by the second. “We can stop now …” he muttered as his head hung pathetically; that is until the door behind them swung open and they both turned with some surprise.
In stepped the other figure in the portrait of the wife and husband, and slung over his shoulder was a freshly killed deer. He walked right towards Trinita in a collision course and Siegfried shouts almost instantly, “Move!” What happened was what he could only imagine a ghost passing through a living being would look like—if you could see them, they meshed and suddenly he was past her hanging the meal on a wall to be dried later – Trinita of course was completely calm as the phenomenon carried on, and continued to be as he walked right through her a second time to hang his furry, hunting-coat on the wall. “There’s my beautiful family!” The aged grey and blonde-haired man shouts with enthusiasm, of course they were speaking German, and Trinita not being as fluent in the language as she wished seemed a little disappointed. The father marched over to his son giddily and lifted him from his mother’s lap laughing while playfully mocking his son’s face, “Who’s my little hero? Look at em,’ just like your mother!” the baby Siegfried was smiling and playfully kicking his feet as his father propped him up and down, bouncing him and bounding him about the air where he would yell and holler with glee. There was nothing but affection and joy in the air, Trinita looking over to Siegfried who seemed ready to cry. “Feeling something?” she asked knowingly, and he only blinked as he watched the family play with marbles on the floor. “Yeah …” he whispered with a light tone, ‘Love.”
“I know.” She said with an appreciative expression, she was happy when her job wasn’t so dark – and honestly it was a rarity in these cases. “You can keep watching as much as you like?” she assured him, and he looked away almost tearfully. “I want to get my memories back…” Siegfried confesses with a sudden determination, resolve taking his features, “I can’t make my mother worry anymore.” Trinita raised her delicately gloved-hands to the book he was holding and suddenly the colors of the world faded, and then the blackness returned in an instant. They were back in the familiar hub of the never-ending abyss, his subconscious library.
“Can I pick the next one?” he asked her with some tension. “Of course,” Trinita replies with some relief in her tone and steps beside him as he starts to look at the many title-less books that strewn the halls, “I’d prefer that actually.” He turned to peer down a long row and locked his gaze on a book that sort of stood out from the others; it was larger and much more decorated with fleece linings and a red-band around its center. The hardback itself was the color of gold and looked wrapped in alligator-skin. He brought it to his face as he examined it for a name and Trinita’s brows rose with some excitement. “O’ Good choice!” She hummed. Siegfried looks over at Trinita with her mysteriously smug smile and strangely normal-looking-eyes … they were still somewhat dark, the sclera now like a grey color instead of the onyx-black it was before – but her silver-pupils almost glowed in the shadows of this library. He wondered if this should be some kind of omen, and then decided to just give it try; it couldn’t hurt, could it? The book was opened, and immediately the patterns began to form – and the bright light returned throwing them into another realm entirely. This time it was certainly outside, not in the palms of nature, but instead within a small civilization of villagers. There was a sunny glow everywhere, beating down on the rudimentary and somewhat poor looking homes; however, there were a few with upstanding appearances and architecture. Dirt-streets seemed to hint at a much more impoverished city however, and the long roads were trodden with horse prints and weeds. Wagons drove by, people in common cloths moving on their way – however unlike Rome, it was not so bustling and packed. When Siegfried got over the rather mind-boggling effects of being tossed into these memories, he gazed around and then noticed they stood in front of a rather shaggy looking home. “Is this my home?” he asked with some shame. “I never knew we became so ... indigent.” He crossed his arms with some disbelief in his expression. However, he felt someone tap his shoulder, and looked to see Trinita pointing at something behind him. Siegfried turned to look down the roads surrounded with pine-trees and rural abodes, to watch a group of young children casually stroll up the street, joking and playing as they went. “I’m going to be a Knight of Aufenburg!” one taller boy boasts, “And you all will be my lackeys, except you, Kirst. You’re going to be a peasant!” “What?” Another boy shouted, “No, I’m not,” he retorted fiercely, “I’m gonna be the greatest horsemen in all of Saxony! In all of Austria!” he brags. “You can’t even lift a stick, Weiss!” “Yeah and you’d probably pee yourself holding a sword!” “My father let me hold his sword four times now! I’ll be a knight in no time!” “Only thing you’ll be is a shepherd, you’re too lazy to be a knight anyways!” “While you are all playing knights,” another says, and Siegfried couldn’t believe his eyes and ears. As soon as he heard him, he knew who it was, it was himself, and they were even dressing somewhat alike. Amongst them was a young boy in a dirt-covered tunic, shaggy pants and hem-lock shoes, his fiery hair was much shorter – but there was no doubt this was his younger self. “I’m going be one of the greatest archers in the world, that way I’ll pin my kills from a distance, they’ll never see me coming!” he boasted bravely, and one of the boys scoffs. “An Archer? Archer’s are for cowards! A real warrior goes to fight; he meets his foes head on!” “And I will, that’s if that can get close enough to meet my swords!” Siegfried counters, “That’s when I pull out my blades and rip em’ apart!” The fiery child lifts two sticks and swings them like blades with an added flourish. “Cut em’ down like the nasty brutes they are!”
“Such a violent little boy you were.” Trinita judged almost hastily, though there was an uncertain amount of humor or playfulness in her voice. “Violence? We were just children?” he defended.
“Hey!” Someone shouted with some serious vehemence. Suddenly three much taller adolescents crossed both Trinita and Siegfried, marching with an obviously aggressive attitude towards these children, the lead man furious with anger. “I know one you little bastards dropped sheep-shit in front of my door!” The teen accuses. The kids retreated back, obviously intimidated – and probably a little frightened. Trinita noted as the two other teens standing beside him looked at each other with distrustful grins and noted they may have been the culprits of the sheep-dung prank. What better way to clean your hands of a prank than to blame it on some children, and with his attitude this didn’t seem like a first. The children looked to each other with tell-tale confusion, but a mounting paranoia as well as if they saw something coming. “Honest, Gregor. None of us did that.” Little Siegfried spoke up. “Yeah, it was someone else,” another boy defends their name with a shaky voice. But Gregor wasn’t buying it, “You shut your trap, Zieg!” he marched up to them and shoved Siegfried to the ground with the heel of his boot. “If your father didn’t own half of the shit in this village, I would’ve beaten a hole in your face years ago!” He reached over and lifted the other boy to him by his collar. “Now you better speak up, or I’m gonna beat it out of every one of you!” “Put him down!” The younger Siegfried demanded and took a stand Trinita would never have imagined from eight or nine year-old boy. Gregor didn’t listen, instead screaming words of ire at Zeig’s terrified friend and preparing to strike him with a closed fist. And suddenly, Siegfried rushes in, tackling Gregor with enough force to knock him back and loosen his grip on his prey. The boy escaped just barely and took off towards the rest of the group in fear, but Gregor was furious, marching up to Siegfried who was backing away fearfully from what was a mad-bull to his size. “You little ass!” Gregor yells and his fist goes flying in a flash, striking Siegfried hard enough to lift him and send him twirling to the ground. “Agh!” Trinita suddenly heard beside her, and looked over to see the older counterpart clutch his cheek in agony, she started laughing hysterically. “I bet that hurt just as much as it did years ago, didn’t it?” She poked fun at him heartlessly, pointing her finger and even holding her stomach as her belly tried to stifle the deep laughter. “Gah! You never said it would hurt me!” he retorted furiously. “No, I said I wasn’t going to hurt you – he hurt you, not me!” she got through laughing, her innocence getting the better of his judgment once more. “You could have warned me!” “Was I supposed too?” she cackled even louder in an almost sadistic nature – though there was a light-hearted look in her eyes that coerced Siegfried into forgiving her … though he noted she was more like some giddy-witch than a devil. His attention and hers as well, shifted abruptly as they heard an explosive amount of yelling. It was his younger-self again, and he stood off the ground livid, spitting out the fragment of a tooth to the paved-dirt floor with fuming ire and charged at the unexpected Gregor whose constant underestimating brought on this undoing. Zeig lifts his fist and strikes him hard in the genitals. As soon as Gregor leaned over to squeal and groan in pain, Zeig kicks the back of his calf, forcing an opponent who was almost twice his size to kneel. The boy then grips his arm by the shoulder and wrist, and then slams him to the ground with enough force to make everyone shutter. Mere-blinks later he was on top of Gregor, his little fist beating at his face and stomach, it all happened so fast that there wasn’t even time to take it in. Here was a nine-year-old child, pummeling a sixteen-years-old’s face into what looked like swollen hamburger meat. Trinita didn’t know if he was just lucky, or if he really had some skill underneath that cute visage of his. “Well now, that was certainly unexpected,” she announced out-loud, impressed, and watched the fight escalade as Zeig threw a well-aimed strike to Gregor’s cheek that sent a tooth rolling across the ground, and bloody screams of mercy filled the air – and embarrassment, the two cronies who followed Gregor simply watched in awe and shouted as they tried to get their comrade to stand and fight. “You were a little knight in shining armor back then weren’t you?” She said in another attempt to lighten the mood. “Yeah ... I always got even, my father made sure to show me how to defend myself – that I shouldn’t let anyone just hurt and disrespect me for their own pleasure, or agenda.” He started recalling from somewhere in his head, as if though it was clear in his mind. Of course, Trinita’s eyes narrowed and she leaned over to look him in the face from the corner of his peripherals, “And just how do you know this? Mr. Amnesia?” She questions him knowingly, it was happening; his memories were starting to resurface from the injury. Siegfried stops and thinks for a moment, and realizes the feelings and thoughts had no origin … “I don’t … I don’t know.” A more troubled facade took on. “We’re making progress, we’re tapping into the loose-strings … Nothing like a little pain to jog your memories!” though it was a little underhanded, pain was a method that definitely seemed to jog the brain into recalling its past-issues. It was a result based the mechanisms of subconscious protection. When Siegfried lived through this pain again, it instantly triggered a moment where his mind searched for the most reasonable method in aiding him. It results in a chain reaction; his mind recalls different scenarios he has been through in the past in an attempt to give him choices he can use to defend himself – this in turn revitalizes some of his more distant memories. As a group of city-goers broke up the fight, Gregor staggers off the floor with a swollen face, littered in lumps and bruises and a deep purple around his eyes. He screamed obscenities trying to mask his shame while the little Zeig had an expression of discontent on his face. He obviously didn’t pay him back enough for what he had done. Trinita noted however that Zeig was much more of a warrior than a merchantman, as Richter made it sound.
Trinita’s hand waved past the book again and everything dissipated, returning back to the secluded halls of Zeig’s subconscious library. Though Siegfried remained trance-like, his mind searching for some kind of answer to his problems – Trinita was already on the move as she took the book from him and shelved it beside the others. “Come, we need to look a little deeper.” This was a must, and she knew this due to experience. Considering how many sufferers of amnesia come to her, there was usually a trend: it seemed their emotional content is the key to reawakening their memories, that and the more emotionally complex the memory they revisited, the more it seemed to pressure the brain into firing off synapses that were currently inactive. Taking Siegfried by the hand, who still seemed to be pressuring his mind into recalling at least something, Trinita pulled him along to follow her throughout the labyrinth. She was searching for something, something big – a bigger book meant a much larger event, and more of an impact on his mind. After turning down several halls and looking through a couple rows, Trinita stumbled upon a rather larger tome. It was black, and she already knew what this meant, but it stood above all the others in height and its leather bindings of rose patterns and golden hem shone solidly as she lifted the heavy book to be inspected by both of them. She could almost feel the emotions sifting through it. There certainly was an immense anxiety, but then … and extremely painful loss. Trinita remained silent through some heavy contemplation for what seemed like a half a minute, Siegfried enduring noiselessly as he watched her examine the book’s cover – and its emotions which were hidden to him. “This won’t be as easy to bear as the last one.” Trinita warns coldly, looking away from him as she did. “Is it going to hurt?” he asked with some skepticism. “Not physically … but emotionally, it certainly will.” She cautioned him, though she wouldn’t let him turn back now, they were both stuck on this road and she will see it through to the end. “Are you afraid?” He was silent for some time, “Yes ….” He sighed wearily before continuing, “But I have to keep going.” “Yes, you do … then again I wouldn’t really care if you were scared – in this realm, I have the reigns.” It was cruel in some ways – she knew there would be consequences for both of them once she’s forced him to relive this … But those consequences did not outweigh both of their problems at hand… And with that last thought, the book swung open, she wasted no time as the world around them glowed and shifted ferociously until they were in a dark room, some element of a complex that was standing stories off the ground. It was an elegant bedroom with a queen’s bed in the center; a large window on the other-side covered with nearly transparent curtains letting in a faint light that dashed about the entire room – but despite that, the aura was simply gloomy. There were people here, people Trinita recognized as family of Siegfried’s; the few who were waiting for him outside of this trance with hopes his mind would be healed. They were all sitting around the bed, an old ill-looking man in the center, right beside him a much older, more mature Siegfried held his hand expectantly as the group seemed mournful. Trinita looked over to the true Siegfried beside her, who was staring with a knowing, but pitiful gaze. There was some worry in both their eyes, though for two completely different reasons. “Are you going to be okay?” she had to be sure, some people would snap being subjected to this kind of thing … Siegfried nodded slowly, he recognized the skinny-frail looking man on the bed as his father – who grew sick from a strange disease in his late seventies, a long life for most in this era. But he couldn’t help but feel a pungent pain in his heart; everyone knew what was about to happen, the aura was filled with a grim silence and a soulful yet silent grief. “Papa.” he heard as his younger-self tightened his grip around his father’s limp shriveling hand. “I searched all over Europe, I confronted every doctor I can find and they just can’t find a cure for this, I tried – I tried so hard.” The guilt in his voice elevated and touched Trinita, it was almost as if he was shouldering his father’s death, blaming himself for failing in finding any kind of remedy. His father looked over with a weary stare, yet graceful promising eyes; the uncanny tenderness surrounding him became even brighter as he looked into the eyes of his eldest son. The boy who grew up to be his dream-child – more than he could have ever imagined. “Zeig …” his voice was so faint, even as he attempted to hide the pain, it was evident he was straining to speak. “From the first day I looked into your eyes, I knew you would be something. Just like your mother – this beautiful gorgeous gem amongst the sand.” He strained some in speech, but it was still filled with a deep sense of pride, as if though this was his eulogy to his greatest success; not his marketing, or his home, but to his son – the son he loved most in this world. “You’re like a fire, Zeig, you never stop fighting, you never stop burning – and you don’t just do it for yourself, you do it for everyone you love.” He paused through rough painful looking coughs as if daggers or needles were prickling his throat and lungs, he gasped for air as his hand flew to grasp his chest, scrunching the sheets with an agonizing expression as both Zeigs winced in unison, sharing the same worry and fear. “Please don’t do this ...” Urging his father to retain some strength. Eindal, a well respected name in these lands, was one of the most successful marketers in Europe. Though his namesake remained in the shadows and his legacy hidden within many of the inventors and geniuses of this era, there was no mistake that Ein had done his fair share of illumination in this world; the flowers by his bed, the many people in the room, family or otherwise, seemed to prove this. Many had come to say farewell to him, whether they be related or not. “No, Zeig.” He garbled, as if pushing his voice through a rock in his throat. “I cherish you, and your mother, and all your siblings. But you have done so much – for all of us.” Some would play it as favoritism, especially the more jealous of his kin. However, when it came to responsibilities with all of its respects and burdens, Siegfried was truly the most upstanding amongst them – a sometimes harrowing trial of family envy and competition. But it was a closed-win to be honest, his integrity and determination shined like a sun compared to the rest of his kin. Kin who fought and betrayed each other to earn their father’s admiration and consent for the company, but not Zeig. No, he was much different, he protected all of his family with an iron-fist, going as far as to even kill for those he loved and this was for the same family who disrespected him at times; who took advantage of him and walked over his strengths. But he knew the family rivalry could become unhealthy; dangerous even, he had an idea for the kind of carnage riches can bring when one loses control and begins slaying his own brothers and sisters for a piece of the riches himself. And so he swore to never succumb to that evil and temptation, he hung onto his righteousness as an individual. Ein saw this in him, and realized that Zeig, despite his flaws, was pure-hearted in nature - a bit fiery and explosive at times, but surely a brave and kind soul. Ein reached out with a weak arm to pull Zeig close to his ear, he whispered something to him – something no one else could hear and it only took a few seconds before he pulled away, Trinita’s eyes narrowed, her curiosity peeking through her emotional eyes. “Zeig, no … Siegfried,” Ein groans as he motions to a well-dressed diplomat sitting at a table in a corner to approach with a scroll, it rolled open and a contract – an agreement was written on it. “I am giving everything to you and your mother.” He signed it and then stamped a wax seal at the end of his signature, the wings of his family-insiginia. He handed it to his son, who held it firmly; though his attention shifted just as quickly to his father again. Trinita looked over at the real Siegfried, “If it’s not so much …” she started, “What did he whisper to you?” She felt somewhat intrusive, but the look Siegfried gave wasn’t anywhere close to skeptical or showed any suspicion toward her. “I trust you, considering everything you done for me so far.” Something Siegfried thought he’d never find himself telling the so-called Demon Librarian of Italy. “As you may know, my father is a well-known man, and his wealth is almost legendary.” He looked over to the family who was now gathering around his father – presuming the worse to come. “He did a lot for us, he traveled all over the world, and he even went as far as take the valuables he earned and hid them in some of the deepest reaches of Westerwald …” His words came out smoothly, casually, though for Trinita is wasn’t so pleasant. This is the secret of which Richter was searching for. The prized amalgamated treasuries of his step-father – in fact she wondered if he was even truly related. When she looked around the room, Richter was nowhere to be found. But could she do it? Sell off a secret to a containment of priceless jewels and antiques? Presumably earning her freedom? Was it a chance worth taking? Could she ignore his trust of her? A trust most would overlook due to the infamy she has gathered in these times. Frankly, she could get away with it quite easily, it’d be difficult to suspect her or draw a line to her considering everything that has happened so far – she could play it off easily. And with half the contents she could have the money to ensure her freedom, to ensure her escape from this wretched existence she was living. “I made use of some of his collections by selling them to bidders and in exotic auctions, enough so to ensure his legacy would continue on; but the rest, I honestly don’t even know what to do with it. It’s so much worth – and for what? Our overly spoiled family?” He tried to keep distaste from his mouth, but he recalled his younger sisters, who had not a single bit of work or achievements to their names, they weren’t even useful as housewives. They simply lived off the wealth his father made as if there was nothing wrong with it. He knew his father was a man of grace and caring when it came to his family and his sisters weren’t disrespectful, Ein didn’t mind caring for them. But he knew it was taxing to his father, they sometimes asked for expensive things, knowing he could buy it. Siegfried was the complete opposite; he even wished to live on his own and to build his own establishments, his own wealth. His father had to constantly beg him to let him assist his son in making money. And why? Because Siegfried would feel ashamed if he hadn’t found some way of making a prosperous life other than living off of his father’s wealth and legacy. But he remembered one thing his father said, “Zeig, as your father, I will always be here to aid you, whatever your wishes are my son. Be it to become a great Archer of The West, or live here as my son whom I love and cherish – it doesn’t matter.”
“Please … can we leave now?” Zeig said looking away from her as his eyes began to water … the pain was starting to resurface and Trinita could feel it. “The pain I felt this day...” he was suddenly interrupted as someone shouts, “Ein?” He watches himself lean over to look his father into his now glazing dilating eyes, “Papa? Papa!” The other Siegfried started shouting hysterically as he took hold of the man’s shoulders and shook him lightly; however, the move proved to ignite some worry for those who watched, as one of his sisters and family-friends gripped his shoulders and attempted to peel him off. But he could feel it, the life slowly fading from the man and yet he strived to hang on, shouting remorseful pleas for his father to awaken. As the tears fell from his soul-wounded face, those same tears fell from his true-self who watched in agony as he fought to resuscitate his father. Trinita couldn’t watch, she had turned away. She wanted him to see this; and yes, to some it would seem cruel, she knew the shock would revive some of his memories. Trinita was trying her hardest not to watch – that kind of agony was unbearable to see and due to her powers of empathy, she could feel the powerful sting in her heart as it grew heavy with penitent feelings in the room. Eventually they had to subdue Zeig and drag him from the room, his mother mourning over the body as she held his head close to her breast. “We now pronounce, ‘Eindal Vorbeiansucher,’ dead,” a minister beside the bed rebuked and then made a cross against his torso, “May his soul forever fly with father-God and the Holy Spirit.”
The vision began to the fade, the room melting away into the floor leaving blackness all around them, a blackness that fit the very pit in the heart of Siegfried as he stood within the familiar halls of his own subconscious. Within a word of a moment, the almost dreamlike feelings that she could fill in him became nightmarish. Trinita, still wasn’t facing him, but she sensed some anger behind her as she looked back to see his troubled face burning a glare into the floor. “Why?” he started grimly, “Why did you show me that?” “To reach your memories.” She discloses truthfully, without a hint of nervousness in her speech. “To reach my memories, so you show me this pain? This unbelievable pain again?” He asked her as his anger grew. “And do you remember anything now?” “Yes!” he shouted in anger, and she stepped back with a slightly vexed expression. “I remember how I failed! Because now the only thing I remember is the look in his eyes the moment I felt his soul leave him!” He stomped away and she watched him with a blend of impatience and regret. “I remember searching everywhere, doing everything in my power! I knew I could save him, I had the power!” Trinita watched as his denial resurfaced. “You couldn’t save him, Siegfried.” She said coldly, it was the truth – the heavy truth of the matter. “What do you know!” he shouted, and his voice echoed loudly. She felt a fury rising from him – behind his beauty was a fierce and vicious individual. This stage usually brought out delirium in the individual and she watched as he paced about furiously; until that is he started to stride away from her at impatient speeds. “Where are you going?” Trinita asked, she was growing somewhat tired now – that or his words bit her the wrong way. She knew it was wrong to show anyone memories that had hurt them so deeply, but she had to return his memories; it was a must – for his sake, and her own. “Leaving! I want out of this wretched library, and these horrible memories! I want out!” he shouted as he kicked one of the bookshelves in spite. “We can’t leave yet.” she announces calmly, though there was still something in her expression that showed she was uneasy. “Why? I am done with this, I have my memories back …” he tried to think far back, to more of his memories and it certainly failed which she read from his expression, “I’ve had enough! Now let me leave, now!” He growled as he paced around the passages searching for an exit, with her following behind him slowly.
He stopped dead in his tracks and spun around to see Trinita watching him with a heavy glare. Zeig stomped up to her with an aggression that matched his child-hood self, “Let me out now!” he ordered her. “No, I cannot.” Standing by what she said, and suddenly she was suffocating.
Trinita felt a hard-grip around her neck pull her close and his warm breath against her nose heavy with rage as he growled to her, “Release me from this you horrible witch, I will not be tormented by some emotionless being in my own mind!” her hands raised to his own which were locking about her throat as she tried to loosen his grip. “Release me now!” He demanded in fury as he shook her violently with each word. Trinita struggled through his grasp, but showed no will to escape. “I know you are in pain.” Despite losing air and being lifted off the floor, her voice was fairly composed … or as much as it could be while being strangled, “I know you have felt a deep lose,” she coughed and gasped before continuing, “But I cannot release you, not until my deed is done.” She didn’t fight back at all; in fact she may have even relaxed. “Your deed?” he retorted? “So you can earn your pay and hide out in the Vatican City?” he shouted and then shook her again, “You know nothing about the pain you bring people, you know nothing about how much agony we feel!” Zeig accused her, and he was right in some ways. Trinita didn’t know, she had no idea how much pain they were feeling deep inside – except from what she could perceive from her outside-perspective and their own objectively. It wasn’t like she wanted to bring this upon others, where he was wrong in his accusation – she was forced to. “I have no choice, Zeig.” She admitted as she started to see things grow darker and darker. “The church forbids me to fail, if I do – then I will surely die by their hand.” His livid features abruptly shifted and just as quickly he released his grasp on her neck. She fell and slumped to the floor chocking for air. “What?” he gasped with confusion, bewildered as his fury was countered with a sudden sympathy – his inner-animal confused by a sudden spark of reasoning. There were all sorts of choking and coughing and spittle to get out, until Trinita finally found the breath to speak. “If I fail, they will kill me, and my father.” “Your father, why? Why would they do such a thing?” his idea of the Vatican was that it was a peaceful cultural community of the catholic religion; after the inquisition era they became relatively peaceful, but he knew not of the dark secrets of that place which continue to this day. Of course he didn’t know of the dungeons or the Inquisition era’s torture implements or the ritual rooms for holy ceremonies where many a supposed-witch has met her end – that or the public burnings in the later decades. “My father was an inventor, but he made the mistake of falling in love with a Romani woman …” She explained, her eyes growing colder by the second as she stood to her feet. “A Gypsy?” He muttered bleakly … Trinita nearly fell over again exhausted and despairingly as she looked him in the eyes and spoke, “My mother had the same abilities as I, and she used them to heal others as she traveled. When the Vatican found out, they hunted her down and killed her – burned her at a stake and called her a witch. This was right after she gave birth to me.” “They were going to kill me too, so my father begged them to spare me in place of his own life. He and the Pope had been good friends since they were young … and so under great stress they decided my father was to be locked in the dungeons of the city until he dies. It was their leverage, you see. It was the perfect blackmail to ensure I would do anything they say. And so now I perform deeds for them, both good and evil – you know nothing of their agendas.” She spoke as if though it was hinting at a cruel omen – though it was more like revealing a wolf amongst sheep. “You mean to tell me, they will kill you if you do not restore my memories?” he said in utter shock and disbelief. Had he known this, he wouldn’t have attacked her and the remorse was easily decipherable from the way he looked at her. “Worse, they will torture me, then kill me and my father.” She answered him, and as she read his regret, the familiarity she was so often use to seeing helped ease her tensions. This wasn’t the first time she was attacked by someone for doing this too them, sometimes they wouldn’t ask or wouldn’t retort; other’s became violent, what she took as a defensive reactions of the mind when one tried to pry into painful memories subdued by years of growth and stimuli – but the same message tended to save them trouble. All in all, she had no choice … and in this realm, under her spell, leaving was her choice alone. Siegfried was trapped here. “Which is why you can’t leave.” Trinita refutes, stepping up to him without fear, “and why we must do one more thing…” the next words came with a certain tone, and Zeig watches her with sheer uncertainty at her lack of anger and emotional expression towards nearly being strangled to death. “Its folly, there’s no way you can bring all of my memories back in one day, and aren’t you angry with me?” he inquired as Trinita began to head in some vague direction again – searching for something down the many halls of his inner-conscious. “No, it’s a natural reaction for some to become so angered and aggressive with me – especially when being forced to live through your most painful memories.” She stopped right after turning down another hall of books that led up a short stairway; which was a first, a stairway constructed of wooden-tiles. “Besides,” Siegfried heard while keeping his distance from her jadedly, her head tilted back some and he could barely see her face and the strange, wicked smile she held behind those ink-like bands of neatly trimmed bangs. That trade-mark princess-cut, something she found in a traveler’s collage of Asian accounts from famous expeditions to the east. ”A little roughness here and there never hurt anyone, right?” considering she wasn’t facing him he couldn’t tell from her expression if she was jesting or not, Trinita didn’t press on the matter any longer as she climbed the stairs and made off towards somewhere of interest. “I almost found it attractive actually.” She hummed, the emotion in her voice unreadable at that moment. “That’s just sick,” he judged almost instantly; without even a second thought to add, “No one should be treated that way and enjoy it.” he pressed loudly, yet it was a quick expression, like he didn’t even want to think about it. “I didn’t enjoy it, per-say, but,” She stated matter-of-factly as he followed closely, “easiest way to know you are alive is to come very close to death, right?” Was she joking? Was this just some kind of silly ruse? There was no way she could be serious, or at least he thought so. Everything about this woman was unnatural and unpredictable; she laughed at your problems, yet showed honesty and sympathy that came out when you least expected it – and now she was displaying traits of a sadomasochist? Really, she had to be one of the strangest people Siegfried has ever met. “There are other ways of living that prove we are alive, you know.” He informed in less of a question and more as a way of guidance for her extremely odd behavior and then looked over her shoulder to see that though there were shelves ahead – there was certainly a lack of books. “For me …” she mentions in almost a whisper as they reached what appeared to be an empty shelf, though at the bottom of this near-empty case, was a book – a very strange book. “There is little to prove if I am the walking dead, or just living in a weird dream.” She announced with a blend of melancholy and grim acceptance. He didn’t understand what she meant by that and he wondered if it had something to do with how the Vatican was treating her. She leaned over and lifted a book which looked like someone tore it apart. It looked like it would have been a most magnificent looking piece of art with its leathery bands of brown suede and its snake-scale-like sheathing. But despite this it was nearly torn in two, ripped straight down the center with missing pieces of hems at all corners. “This is the last book,” And that came with more than one meaning, “it’s not only the last memory you had before losing them – but it’s the final book in the chronicle of a previous mindset.” He thought about what that meant, it was rather cryptic, or was it complicated? “So wait, this is when I was injured?” he asked curiously. “Yes, I normally don’t do this – but apparently parts of your soul are dormant, we’re about to give them a crude awakening.” She tapped a knuckle against his skull as she said that – and she almost expected a hollow knock to play out … but was a little disappointed when it didn’t. Of course he remained as uptight as ever, shooing her hand away as she did so. “Why don’t you normally do this?” he was starting to catch on that most likely whenever she was vague about something – it’s because he was going to be pain. “Because you’re going to experience the head-trauma-sensation once more, it should jolt the damaged parts of your brain.” This was usually the best method – it rarely failed … but most didn’t like being put through such an excruciating experience, so she tried to avoid it. “And cause unspeakable amounts of agony for myself?” it was less of a question and more like an inner-plea for mercy, “There’s no other way?” Siegfried asked. Trinita gazed at him, crossing her arms behind her back with the book in hand; her face baring a more serious expression, “If this fails, your memory loss is most likely permanent. And I’m probably going to have my fun in an iron-maiden, not before being tossed in a brazen-bull and then have my limbs buckled and braided on a spinning-wheel.” His eyes grew wide with a fierce recognition, he knew now what she was speaking of… these devices had once been apart of one of the most cruel and painful eras he could have ever imagined, an era wracked in ill-fortune and depression. Even in his lands did the Catholics hunt and ravage the protestants – he heard only rumors of the deadly torments they resorted to – men, women, children – no one was safe unless you had the money to pay for your freedoms. The sickening, stomach-churning news from Spain met many ears, bodies littered the streets in hanging cages, people being stretched apart until their bones gave way, or the squeals of women being torn apart from the inside by ‘pears of anguish.’ It all brought upon a truly revolting reality. That there was no such thing as purity and justice in these religions – for they performed horrors unlike any ‘child of god,’ could ever allow. And in his youth, when he was a young-boy walking through the paved streets, he watched a youth his age barely reaching eleven being stripped and whipped and then submerged in a cauldron of boiling oil; that only assured him of the true nature of humanity, that we were cruel and sadistic creatures at the least. The look he saw on Trinita’s face, he couldn’t imagine what could result if she was not careful. If she would fail; her limbs, her womanhood, everything; defiled, and torn from her like a pig in the slaughterhouse - and there was no wonder there wasn’t any emotion on her face. What emotion could you feel other than paralyzing fear, or simply becoming dead to it all? That’s how she looked now, as she had said earlier ‘like the walking dead.’ She had no future in these lands, no freedom; she had been condemned to death the very day she left her mother’s womb. Born into the hands of people who would mutilate her beyond recognition if she even dared to defy them. Siegfried was ashamed to remember that he led his entire life saying, ‘be-gone with witches!’ and judging the pagans and protestants and all these others for who they were, for how they were born … Did Trinita even have a sense of hope? Was there any happiness hidden under her cold demeanor and lack of emotional expression? “It will work,” it was his way of hopefully cheering her up – despite a great horror looming behind her everywhere she went. “I won’t leave this library until I get my memories back, even if I have to read every book.” She peers at him from the corner of her eye, the expression seemed to brighten some, but her gaze was still somewhat cold and detached. Trinita suddenly started giggling, though he didn’t feel much warmth or genuine joy from it, “Well, if that’s the case we should hurry, you might have a lot of books to read.” an offhanded tease, though her stoic-nature didn’t lift at all.
The book swung open, a page falling out only to vanish into the blackness of the floor. The world spun, brightened and then the sun made itself known in the center of the sky above. Around them was a majestic view unlike the gloomy castle-like-features of the library. Mountains lined the horizon in every direction, cold ice rolling down with pine-trees and old-oaks leaning against the arms of stone-spires. It was winter, the snow beading against the floor covering the countless tumbles of brush and high-grass in white clouds. The cold was strong enough that it was biting into the skin despite the sun shining strongly over the land without a cloud in sight, yet only Siegfried seemed to be affected. He shivered profusely and watched as Trinita stepped into the middle of a snow-covered path before them seemingly insensitive to the frost; the gravel-path was already trodden with the many prints of horses and other forest animals, yet there was nothing to speak of when it came to human indication other than the road itself. Behind them was a small descent into a forest-edge, it was lined with sheering rocks and slippery sediments. “It’s the paths to Leipzig.” he states and Trinita faces him slowly and raised a brow to him, “A road to the city me and my associates were supposed to meet at.” He continued a little put-off by her silent treatment.
They both suddenly heard an assortment of strident shouting voices; and down the road, across the lifted-hills and fallen-trees barely obscured by bushes and frozen-foliage, a large line of horses and carriages rolled carefully in their direction. There was much conversing and conducting under-way as they maintained a comfortable pace, wagons outfitted with merchandise, and horsemen wielding flintlocks, short-swords, and spears, aided along a caravan of almost a dozen wagons. It was led by three horse-riders wearing traveler’s attire and heavy-furs. The bulbous one Trinita instantly recognized as Richter, the second being Siegfried, and the third she hadn’t recognized. They trotted ahead as if scouting along the paths of the caravan, coming just close enough to Trinita and Siegfried that their conversation became audible to their ears. “Brother!” Richter called out, “We have almost reached Leipzig – soon we shall be rolling in money and women!” Though this Siegfried looked exactly as he does now, he was wearing a heavy-fur-cloak with the hood obscuring some of his face; on his back hung a short-bow and quiver, while wielding two short-swords at his waist and a flintlock-pistol tucked behind his back. Trinita remarked he looked quite dashing actually, especially as he guided his horse to a strafe right in front of her - remaining quiet despite being addressed. He seemed deep in thought, much more serious than his companions; he was scanning the land securing every bit as much as he could from his perch before looking for another vantage point. “Ah, more than just women, we can buy ourselves a whole tavern of mead after this my brothers,” the other man – who went by Erin, shouted out and made his horse rear back like a knightly hero. “Haha! What’s better than haven’ a glass o’ mead in one hand and breast to fondle in another, eh? Another glass of mead and a fine rear to pummel, aha!” Richter and Erin burst into hearty laughter after his sketchy little rhyme, Trinita’s face less than amused – and neither was both of the Siegfrieds. One was shaking his head in disgust beside Trinita and the other was keeping a solemn eye on his surroundings. If there was one thing his father taught him, it was to beware the last stretch. When everyone was relaxed and the guardsmen became too comfortable with the weight of impatience – that’s when it was time to attack. Highwaymen had their way of appearing out of nowhere. “Would you two keep quiet! Something isn’t right.” Siegfried’s doppelganger growls, and then looks back to his brothers. “Where are all the other peasants and commoners, where are all the wayfarers?” he brings up with some scrutiny. The caravan was only a yard behind them now. Erin definitely caught on that something was wrong, and met his brother, bringing his horse just beside him. “You’re right …” Erin mutters, his gleeful expression becoming harsh and hostile. Richter however seemed to stay as far back as possible from the two with a sudden uneasiness in his expression.
Without warning there was a whistling howl, Siegfried heard the sound of arrows ripping through the air before and so he ducked away instinctively, his double jerked to the side swiftly and dexterously as an arrow flew straight past him. Swinging his head around to the culprit: a group of heavily dressed assailants rushing out of the forest with mask layering and obscuring their faces, riding hard on horses as they advanced in an obvious attack formation. A second arrow struck Erin dead in his heart. He gasped in agony and gripped his chest like a man succumbing to a heart-attack. Falling off his horse and landing on the arrow, he forces the stem through his chest with his own weight … ending his life even sooner than expected. “Erin! No!” Siegfried’s double shouts with a furious animalistic growl that would send shivers through the spines of anyone around him – and then looks to see Richter retreating to the wagons behind them most likely to warn them. The other guard’s rearing up quickly as well…
Trinita watched with narrowed eyes, something just wasn’t right.
The swarm of nine men rushed toward the other Siegfried; and just him – they didn’t split off to hassle the wagons or even murder the followers. They went straight for Siegfried while others shot poorly aimed arrows in his direction, and despite having no cover, no-one to aid him, he charged in with what Trinita could only call a life-abandoned-recklessness. She watched with a pounding heart as he drew his bow with wicked speed, knocked two-arrows against the string and fired them simultaneously. Two targets went down as one arrow slams into a rider’s neck and tears through his spine – and the second flies right past him and strikes a mare dead in middle of its chest. All momentum flopped over as the mare dives end-over-end sending its rider face first into the stone with the horse’s weight to follow, shattering his skull and body against the earth leaving the snow scarlet and unnatural. Siegfried suddenly jerked his horse aside – narrowly avoiding another arrow and a collision with a charging horseman. He readied another shot, and whirled around to fire another volley with blazing speed and unrivalled precision. His spectacular aim awarded him as the miniature-spear dug into the stomach of an archer who was aiming him down. But now he had several swordsmen on him, four to count – this wasn’t going to be easy – and in the blink of an eye the situation suddenly became much worse.
Trinita gasped, there was fright all-over her face despite her emotions telling her she shouldn’t worry – but his horse went down after a loud bang! The convicting sign of gunpowder burning in the air as a flintlock fire-arm goes off. She knew she shouldn’t worry, she knew there was no point, Siegfried was alive and standing right beside her – but it looked like he should have died just then. Siegfried flew straight off the horse and slammed into the snow with a long slide – his bow loosens from his shoulders and his quiver shattering with the force. But astonishingly, he stood, drawing his blades as his horse attempted to thrash her way to her feet – a deep-gnash spewing red-wine from its calf. A rival rider attempts to slide right past him and take his head with a swipe – but what he thought he had in height and speed turned against him as Siegfried kneels to avoid a guillotine swipe and slams his blade across the upper-knee of the horse’s back-leg. They both dove straight into the earth and toppled like a sack of broken bones and flesh. “Zeig!” a guardsmen called out as he rushed in to tackle another hostile rider, but the doppelganger was already moving, diving for his bow and a loose arrow hidden amongst the snow. He knocks another shot and took aim at another horseman who attempted to rear around, only turn straight into an arrow. Siegfried’s lead was impeccable, the arrow drilling into the man’s temple. His body slung off his horse limply before colliding with the earth as still as the very snow around him.
That’s when Siegfried heard something behind him.
Siegfried spins around to catch a horse charging him with reckless abandon, there was no time to move, no time to react – death was surely coming at him, but what could have been a fatal strike became much less as guardsmen collides with the oncoming mare. The act throws the mercenary off his tracks and what could have been a lethal trampling by a nine-hundred pound stallion, became a rather abrupt slam as Siegfried is thrown to the ground by a terrifying tackle. His head collides with a barely visible stone peeking from the earth and as soon as it does – the real Siegfried shouts in sheer agony. Trinita barely noticed the screams of distress behind the spectacular event that had just transpired only to turn and see her patient doubling-over to his knees, holding his head and writhing in pain. “Zeig?” she calls out in worry. Trinita had not seen this before, usually the jolts of trauma were swift, but his looked like an apparent seizure. Siegfried felt like his brain was shooting shocks of lightning through his nervous system. Visions of life started throttling through is memory like a collage of images, and suddenly it was like his awareness began to expand – a long ringing noise unlike anything he has ever heard blared with each image which struck him like fever dreams. Each and every memory, which meshed and danced over the other would come and go in distorted tones and images. All the while he is calling out – but everything is dark and muted, there is complete blackness everywhere … he thought it was the library again – but no – it was like being unconscious within your own mind.
Moments later, the pain slowly subsided and he opened his eyes to find he was still in the snow, his head was resting on someone’s lap and his gaze shifts to see Trinita looking down at him with a look mixed with anxiousness and waiting. She wasn’t hysterical – she was worried – there was, deep down, in all that poise in her exterior, a fear. That maybe this wouldn’t work, that maybe she could be making it worse, that his memories truly wouldn’t return. Leaning up, she watched him peer back at her with confusion. “Was I sleeping?” “In a way, you lost consciousness.” Well at least he could speak; she thought she had just killed him for a moment there. “How long?” “It’s been a few minutes at least.” She answers softly. “Don’t know, I can’t tell the time in your head.” The wagons were still on the move, but the highwaymen had retreated after the cavalry began to overcome them. A guardsmen rushes over to his double’s limp body on the floor, “Its Zeig, I found him!” he yells, he places his ear to his chest – the soft rhythm in his heart beating weakly, “He’s alive! Come! Come help me carry him!” He shouts, and a group of merchants and armed-men hurries over to lift him up and take his unconscious form into a carriage. “I wake up in Leipzig.” Siegfried informs her, her eyes widening as she realizes he remembered it all on his own. “From here on, I tell them I don’t remember who I was, who I used to be at least.” She could see that the shock definitely tapped into something, his demeanor had suddenly changed – this usually happened after unlocking the major portion of their lost memories – but this was also the point to beware, if they had any dark secrets, it was definitely about to come out. Siegfried stood from the snow, and she did the same – brushing the dew from her gown. “But I remember now, I’m Siegfried Vorbeiansucher, born in Karthrien, son of Eindal and Lillain Vorbeiansucher – oldest of three sisters and two brothers.” He had a somewhat proud undertone, it wasn’t pungent, but it was there. “I need more than family heritage.” Trinita crossed her arms unimpressed, and he thought for a moment, something that might seem deeper than family relations. “You want to know what happened after I fought with Gregor when I was nine?” he said casually, almost relaxed even. Trinita nodded with a tilt of her head. “Papa took me to a tavern, told the man to give me the strongest ale he had – and had me drink it.” he said as he looked back, remembering his father with a deep sense of closure. “O’ and I just know you enjoyed that.” Trinita said mockingly, no child could like any kind of strong alcohol, at least in her eyes … “Actually, he mixed in sugar and butterscotch.” She almost thought she sensed a craving from him when he said this, or was it that it actually sounded rather appetizing to her. If she would drink anything, it would be sweet wines, but a sweet beer? The thought of it was enough to peek her interest. “And why so?” she asked curiously. “He told me, you’re a man now Zeig, a little man, but no doubt you’ve grown up since yesterday, and being a man now, you get to drink with your father.” He even added a rusty accent that even mimicked Ein’s – and there were visible tears in his eyes. “After that day I spent weeks in my backyard playing with the bow he gave me.” He was walking across the snow, Trinita right behind him as she carefully observed his sudden shift in courage and appearance. He was a warrior – a man trained to kill – it was now even more apparent in his presence. He stood more comfortably, but his head was erect and watching, as if he was ready to act at any given moment. “But I didn’t become a knight or, a guard, or scout – I became a protector of my family. I protected those I loved and cherished.” And now she understood why his father was willing to give up his secrets to his son. This man selflessly gave everything for his family, and unfortunately for herself, it was men like him with his confident fieriness and fury that she had a soft spot for. Trinita could only wish to have someone like him at her side. Though, this was her mounting fantasies from the books she read in her lonely abode taking manifestations in her thoughts – but it was a dream nonetheless. “Good, very good. I admire that, Zeig.” Trinita compliments with a wide smile as she closes the book and the world returned to the familiar library in a flash of a second.
“So what now?” he grumbled and you can tell from his expression that he was growing very tired of this. “Well,” Trinita lifts the book and watches as the pages reconstruct themselves fiber-by-fiber and the leather straps itself together in one magical swoop. “It seems I may have completed my task…” As she shelves the tome in its rightful place, another surreal phenomenon occurs as the sound of wooden knocks echoed down the halls, book after book shifted themselves in more aligned and neater positions as if some invisible librarian was filing and straightening up each one at trace speeds. The thud-thud-thud of each book standing to attention and then slamming to the back of their shelves echoes for what seems like endless miles within the abysmal shadows of Zeig’s subconscious mind. “Let us return to the real world, I know your family has worried enough over you…” He seemed all the more ready, but then showed some hesitation. “Listen,” Siegfried started, and she looked over at him with a vague intrigue. “I know you aren’t anything they say you are … before all this … I would have called you a witch …” “You did call me a witch,” she interrupted, “Not before nearly chocking me to death.” She was rather nonchalant about it, not showing even a hint of anger. “About that …” he mutters almost incoherently, as his hand met his forehead with a guilty frown and he looked away embarrassingly. “I wasn’t myself.” “Obviously …” she mentions in a quick tone, picking through her nails idly again. “I know you aren’t evil …” that was the most obvious point of the day it seemed, “And I know you are going through hell too, I am sorry, Trinita. I truly am.” She wasn’t looking at him, but when she finally turned back around and gazed into those eyes of his – brimming with concern and honesty, she couldn’t help but melt a little. “I forgive you, I already told you this.” She seemed impatient, why was he saying this all the sudden? “I know, but I am grateful that I have met you – you saved me from my own mind. You gave something to me that no one else could.” She began to wonder what he meant until that is he spoke up more, “My essence, who I am as an individual.” Trinita had turned away from him when he spoke; she was never the kind of person to accept things like this. For her entirety, even since the days of her youth, she had always shared a strange sense of humanity for herself. Trinita was never treated as human from the beginning, like she was some kind of different breed or creature all the together - living in a world surrounded by nothing but predators and monsters, everywhere. Where everyone lived in happiness and freedom, she was locked away in the shadows; Trinita spent her days concealed from the outside world, hidden from the masses. She knew not but a few friends – and how close she got was relative to how much they trusted her abilities. She knew herself only so much, what she was capable of, the good and evil. Though he spoke now of deep kindness, what she had done for him was small compared to the dark actions she has pulled under the guise of the Catholic-Church. Infiltrating the minds of others, changing and manipulating them to get what they wanted. Demon, monster, and witch – she’s heard these titles time and time again, and through her solitary confinement and unsociability, she grew into someone who was rough and callous. Trinita was excommunicated from society, imprisoned in the confines of the Vatican City for years. And so what was she?
Undoubtedly she felt alone and withdrawn from everyone – unsocial, unemotional – an odd woman with complex psychological deformities. What she knew of the world was from books or what she could see behind iron-barred windows.
So when words of trust and love were spoken about her, it was difficult for her to grasp them though deep down she wanted to more than anything. Trinita desired such feelings; she desired becoming more than just a tool of society … So when Trinita heard these words from him – she closed off – staring down the hall behind her just to avoid looking at him and those sincere, beautiful eyes of his. Why get close to anyone if they were going to vanish away some day? If she is only going to be locked away in her hold never to be seen again? Why accept grace and fortune, happiness or growth when for her there was no use for it? Ponder she did, and she continued to, until that is, she suddenly felt something wrapping around her and there was a warmth, one that was ignorant of her thoughts, her weakness to passion. Though she hadn’t been facing him, she knew he was embracing her – her heart accelerated as the moments passed, frozen as this sudden show of affection or gratitude overcame her reasoning. Trinita’s pale features grew ever more scarlet, eyes wide with an uncertain confusion. How much she wanted to be held like this by someone at least once, to have even the smallest ounce of affection from someone who truly understood her. Though she knew Siegfried could never understand her pain completely, this one moment brightened her soul to the darkness that she had been living in for so long …
For this one moment, she could feel once again … She could imagine what love and freedom tasted like. And it was like Ambrosia … it was fleeting, a taste of paradise that would simply torture her in the end.
“I can’t imagine what it must be like, living as a captive for your entire life.” He admitted as he embraced her, and there was so much sympathy in his voice. Her eyes were watering, something she normally wouldn’t do or she would hear priest say to her she had no right to emotions, what she felt was simply the tears of the devil repenting for his wrong doings. Yet, one must not give him any shame or respite from the good or merciful. And so she tried her hardest not to let Siegfried see a single tear, the most she would allow herself to produce. “If I could, if I can, one day I will try and free you from this place, I will release you and help you to find freedom.” His words only struck a deep depression in her though. How? The Vatican would never let her go, not with her abilities – yet freedom, it was something to hope for, and something she could only dream of. Trinita promptly felt like a genie in a lamp, granting others wishes while living entrapped and ensnared by everything around her.
“Don’t say things like that …” Trinita mentions softly, her voice high in pitch as if it was taking all of her willpower to hold back a whimpering of forms. “Just be healthy.” It was her way of trying to distance herself. She couldn’t tell his response to that however, but as he released her, she quietly wished he hadn’t. She looked back at him with eyes pleading she wanted more, but she could never say it, even to that chiseled face of his, that smile which was so gracious, so moving, almost inviting her … “Shall we?” Trinita asked, and gestured as if to a door that was down the hall. He looked over at her with some confusion before saying, “Yes, I’ve had enough of this place.” “It’s your own mind, silly.” She refutes, and he seems to find some humor in it, “You mean you’re tired of yourself?” Siegfried only chuckled, “You know, sometimes I am in need of a change, even from myself.” “I can understand that …” Trinita whispers … So he turned away and started walking toward the shadows – the hallways began to vanish under a cloud of miasmic gloom. He turns back to see Trinita has gone and then peers ahead to see a door standing before him. Before he comes even close to it, it swings open revealing a bright piercing light and as he passes through, everything becomes ivory for miles to come. Suddenly it was as if Siegfried was taken away by a strong wind, his form vanished for a moment until it was like he was flying at speeds unlike anything he could ever reach on foot – like he was the air itself. Abruptly, the white light became a prism and from there the black eyes of that cold woman he was sitting before on the bed became known … in fact, he looked around and saw he was back inside the Ledille Viadanni in the same room, staring at Trinita who held the same expression from before. Amazingly, everyone was sitting exactly where they were and he only blinked before shaking his head in disbelief. “I’m back?” “What do you mean, back?” Trinita asked suddenly, her black eyes staring him down strangely, as if though she was trying to tell him something behind that eerie stare of hers. He peered behind her to his family, who shared expressions of surprise and worry, and his face lights up with a loving-warmth unlike any other, “Mother! Lilli! Evan!” Siegfried shouts as he hops from the bed excited and joyful. His head shifts back to see Eager, a close relative full of surprise and beaming brightly, and Richter; who was standing at the door though he didn’t seem anywhere as enthusiastic as Siegfried recalled who he was. Everyone ran to him apart from Richter, Trinita standing from the chair and turning away from the family as they surrounded and embraced Siegfried with adoration and close hugs. Of course, she wouldn’t let anyone see her eyes; however, as she attempted to recover them with her bandage, she was interrupted by Richter who took her hand impatiently and led her outside the room – not before hearing Siegfried ask outloud, “How long have I been gone? It’s felt like hours!” “Gone? What do you mean?” His sister Lilli mentions with confusion, the rest of the family staring at him awkwardly. “How long have I been gone?” “You haven’t gone anywhere, Zeig! She took off the bandage, sat there for a second, and then all the sudden you started calling out to us like family!”
Of course this confused him greatly, but the welfare and rejoicing with his family came first.
However, Trinita, who wanted to watch the warm reunion with some pride, was pulled out the door forcefully. It was closed behind her almost too fast and Richter faced her with determination in his eyes that was almost obsessive. Almost instantly however, his expression grew cold, grim and fearful as he looked into Trinita’s black-eyed gaze, those triangular pupils of white surrounded by an even brighter grey eyeing him down with an emotional capacity he could never comprehend. Was she angry, insane, mournful? He couldn’t tell, he wanted to turn away – but he was driven to speak, driven by his greed. “So? Did you find anything? Where is it, where is z’e hidden cache of treasuries?” “I find it strange you are so intent on finding this treasure trove,” she divulges to him in a casual manner, showing not even a hint of sentiment. “What about your brother, he finally has his memories, Richter. Aren’t you going to show your love and affection as did everyone else who has been worried of his health?” she poses with some obvious cynicism in her tone. His face flashed briefly with a distasteful snarl, “I will, once you tell me the location of z’e cache.” He growled under his breath. “You know,” Trinita begins as she takes a step toward him, his own fear forcing him to step back, “There is something rather strange about all this, wouldn’t you say, Richter?” She reveals to him carefully. “I saw what happened to Zeig.” It was said as if though it was a threat, though he didn’t seem to understand what she meant. “What z’e hell are you talking about, woman?” again, his growl was low, but there was surely a furious undertone to his voice now. “I’m no genius on the methods of bandits,” she admits, and suddenly Richter’s eyes grew cold, especially as her own grew fiercer by the second, as if she was piercing his very mind with her stare – unbeknownst to him, she was doing exactly that. “Those men seemed really eager to kill your brother, both of your blood brother’s actually, Richter.” “You know nothing you wretched wench.” His voice raised and Trinita saw an image before her eyes, of this man before others, angered at the loss of his gains to Siegfried’s father. “Those men didn’t make a single effort to go after the caravan, or you; their target was Zeig and his brother, and you fled before anything could happen, you didn’t even tend to your other brother after he was killed!” it was a strong conviction, with an accuracy that was unreal. Richter’s mind contemplated with jumbles of confusion and hysteria; how she could know of something she had not seen in person stumped his mind. She could swiftly feel him coming close to some darker thought in his mind. He took steps away and as his eyes shifted to remember something – something he was certainly hiding. Trinita picked out an image of him offering gold to a group of shady-well toned men, men who fit the build and size of the many bandits who attacked Siegfried that day. “Those men weren’t bandits,” she asserts, “They were hired mercenaries, assassins paid to do one thing. To kill both of your brothers, so that you could take over the business with no competition!” the timing, everything, it was all too perfect. Richter’s eyes grew wide with horror as he realized she must have been invading his mind to find out such a thing – it was unnatural; there could be no other explanation. “You damned demon!” he spews from gritted teeth. “You know nothing, you little harlot! Keep your insolent mouth closed and tell me where z’e secret cache is, now!” “No.” She refuses with a calm expression on her face, and he grew red with antagonism, which only made her smile wickedly. “Tell me, or I’ll inform your masters of your incompetence, and they will have you hung for z’is. Z’ey will send you to hell where you belong!” he threatened, his voice growing to an angry shout, spitting with each word. “Go then,” she says with ease, “go tell the Religious Diplomats of the Catholic society how you intended to have your brothers assassinated for your own gain, and be sure to add you secretly intended to use me under their noses as a method of attaining knowledge to the family’s hidden wealth.” She urged him on, her smile growing even more chaotic and dark – and that look, o’ those petrifying eyes of hers which pierced him so. She could already feel his fear, his uncertainty. Would they chastise him? Would they do something even worse? The thoughts were bouncing around his mind anxiously until he snarled and turned away seething like an animal. He started to stomp off, abruptly turning and lifting an impending finger to her. “You listen you little witch, one day you’ll be sent back to z’e hell you came from, you’ll get your due you little whore!” Trinita remained unfazed, with an expression that screamed she was unimpressed. “When I get there; to this hell of yours, I’ll expect to see you there soon enough, o’ gallant Richter.” She ridiculed him and turned away to walk back to the door leading to the hospice-room and the family. Trinita heard him growl and snarl something obscene and then the wooden door slammed behind him.
Conversely, she was so caught in her glee over that little incident that she forgot to cover her eyes when she walked back inside. Immediately she felt someone throw their arms around her; which she remained as stiff as a board, very awkward looking to anyone. Had it been Siegfried, she would have melted. But, unfortunately it was his sister, Lilli, “O’ thank you!” she cried out in a heavy accent, “Thank you so much for giving our brother back his memories!” She pulled away to look Trinita in the face, hoping to instill that sense of passion and gratitude, to invoke emotion between natural human beings. But her expression immediately changed from curiosity and then gradually became appalled as she gazed into Trinita’s white-less eyes. “O’ my god …” she pulled away as she realized this was no trick. The rest of the family, everyone except Siegfried, backed way from her, “Your eyes, its like you are soulless!” Siegfried’s brother indicts as they back away and Siegfried became almost enraged. “Silence, Evan!” he shouts, he was already sitting at the edge of the bed, and just as suddenly he was on his feet. “Considering everything she just did for us, you should be ashamed saying that to her! She had no choice, Evan, she was born that way!” he condemns. Evan seemed confused; his mind trying to reason with itself to not see her as a monster – and of course she could sense it, from all of them really. Each one trying to rationalize against their own internal countermeasures, trying to fight their own fear. “She isn’t evil, she isn’t a demon, I don’t want to hear that from any of you!” Siegfried laid it down like it was a law.
“Siegfried!” Trinita calls to him, her voice a little louder than usual just to catch his attention. “Its okay…” her words only surprised him and he shook his head, defiant to the end it seemed. “No, they don’t know what you go through – how you are used and hurt all the time! You are no demon!” he shouts. “I know, its okay … I’m used to it now.” But as Trinita showed him she accepted this, his mother walked forth striding up to Trinita who turned away disgracefully. She felt the warn-hand of a woman who has lived a long life touch her cheek softly, and led her to look this woman in the eyes. The beautiful young lady she saw in the vision with Siegfried was gone, now she was wrinkled and aged, still gorgeous, but ripened by time. “I’ve seen demons,” Lillain reveals in a husky voice, “Men and women who kill and trample over others. They take, and never give, they harm and never relent.” Trinita could almost hear the wisdom ringing in her voice, “and in my long life I have seen frightening things turn out to be nothing more than huge misunderstandings.” “You gave my son back his memories; you brought my little boy back when I thought no-one else could.” She was crying now, Lillain couldn’t withhold the tears of the fear that consumed her – she knew he was there, but what she saw wasn’t her son – it was a painful husk of him trying desperately to remember everything: who he was, who his mother was. Everyone he knew was a stranger – and he felt alone, and so she struggled, watching him suffer as he did. “You are no demon, you are an angel.” She deems her and the surprise masking everyone’s faces shown heavily on Trinita’s. “May god grace you with the happiness you so rightfully deserve.”
Siegfried walked over and placed his hand on his mother’s shoulder, “I agree, you are no demon, Trinita, The Angelic Librarian.” he corrected. It made her smile some; she had never received such warmness.
Then the door opened, Rabuetto and the two guardsmen entered, the former with a deep concern in his eyes seeing Trinita standing before a group of people without a blindfold. “I’m sorry to interrupt… But its time to go.” He had a point; this was the longest they ever let her stay with a patient after the deed was done. Trinita lifted the blindfold to her face and covered her eyes once again, the two guardsmen marching to her sides to guide her to the door. “Wait.” She heard, and of course by now she had recorded his voice within her memories. Siegfried walked up and unlatched something from his neck. “Please, take it.” he pleads as he places it into her hand. From what she could tell, it was some kind of necklace. “Thank you, maybe someday I will see you again, Siegfried.” She hoped out-loud, and Siegfried smiled, “Yes! expect me.” He guaranteed with little remorse and she began to tear up behind the bandage. “Goodbye, Librarian …” “Goodbye, o’ knight.” She jested with a sentimental smile and the door closed behind them.
“What happened to Richter,” Rabuetto inquires with some concern, “He stormed into the meeting room and raves about it being finished, and then left without a word.” “He had an ulterior motive, that’s what happened.” She explained briefly, and Rabuetto smiled, “Oh-ho, so he had other methods for you, hm? Another person looking to use you above the Vatican’s permissions, I bet.” He says as he holds the door open to the main-hall and they hurriedly paced through to the carriage that was waiting outside. “Yes, and like always they seem to think they can use the Vatican against me, it always proves otherwise.” “Did he offer you freedom, or money?” “Both.” she answered quickly as another door was opened and the light of the sun was seen. “I’m surprised; you didn’t go for it again?” Trinita stops just before entering the carriage and looks over in his direction grimly, “I know a losing battle when I see one.” She mutters and then steps inside, the rest following her. He noted she seemed to be in an especially dreary mood.
The ride back home was quiet …
After a much swifter ride through the city, they entered an area that is devoid of homes and people. It was on the outskirts of the Vatican, near fields that seemed surrounded by the mountainous regions of the inlands of Italy. There was a single vestige amongst the brush and trees, a mansion-home with an array of cobblestone-walls surrounding it. Walls so high, you’d be lucky to see anything coming close and the pinnacles were lined with foot-high bars barbed with spikes and hooks. The entry was barred with several massive sliding locks, and when they halted before the gates, the guardsmen hopped out to undo seven of them before opening the iron gateway and allowing her to step out. “I don’t know when you will have another assignment,” Rabuetto estimates in his mind, “But if it’s soon, you should try to get some rest tonight.” He recommends to her from the carriage doors, staying inside where it was relatively warm. She steps through the iron-gates that stood as high as the walls around her and looked back with some annoyance. “Only if my mind will let me.” The gates slam behind her and the massive iron bars slide one at a time into place, locks only accessible form the outside, trapping her within. She walked down the courtyard decorated with fountains, garden ponds filled with large goldfish, pond flowers and lily-pads, statuettes of Nymphs dancing and playing as if they were frozen by Medusa, and cherry trees, though they were bare and without leaves. Trinita leisurely removes the bandage as she approached the grim, looking doors. The mansion was decorated to the brim with elegant embroidery and more, a magnum opus if you would say. Since it belonged to her father; it couldn’t be sold while a member of the family still lived, and so it was refurnished to be more of an elegant prison. Pushing open the double doors to enter a foyer that was without light, the only rays that showed through and illuminated anything was from the stained-glass windows that overhung a staircase which split apart and swooped like wings along each side of the room. There were old statues, standing remnants of armor and knightly gear, paintings, murals and canvases; flowers of scarlet roses and strange nick-nacks that decorated the home in a lively yet lonely tone. “You’ve returned, milady?” Trinita heard, it was the house-maid, Maria, she was staring at Trinita with a worried gaze. “Was it successful, are you alright?” she asked in genuine fear of Trinita’s answer. “Yes, I performed my duty without flaw.” Trinita replies, with an almost emotionless tone, though Maria became ecstatic, ignoring her obvious depression, “Wonderful, wonderful!” she clapped in applause. “I’ll get dinner ready, okay?” “No … I’ll be turning in early today.” She mentions as she makes her way up the stairs. “Okay,” Maria says disconcertedly, “Do you need anything, Trinita?” “Just silence … please.”
No words were said after …
Trinita enters her room, the room her father made for both himself and her mother – a king-sized bed covered in floral tapestry and cotton covers surrounded by fancy curtaining, a long desk, wardrobes and a large closet to boot – mirrors, tools and toys, even hourglasses besieged your sight around the room, walls littered with paintings of ancestors and candle-light bearings and the flooring a weaving of cotton designs akin to an ancient flower-patch. She unclipped a seal at her bosom and the dress fell apart, falling down her willowy figure only to dash the floor, and took hold of the bandage and tossed it to the floor. Trinita didn’t even take the time to cover herself in a bed-gown; she simply wore whatever women dressed in under all that cloth, all they could muster just to look pampered and delicate for any man who managed to strip them. As Trinita crawls into the bed, she huddles like a fetus against the pillows and stares into her palm at the gift from Siegfried, a lengthy cross created from Celtic-knots made of a heavy-silver, a symbol she would normally hate despite its various meanings to people in the world. But here, it only reminded her of the Catholics who damned her constantly with its presence, before even the time of Christianity, the cross was seen as the symbol of truth, it was the symbol of inner-power, the inner-truth all people hold within themselves. Its meaning was shifted and changed – she couldn’t call it distortion – it would be wrong. But its meaning has certainly shifted within the past few centuries. But still, it was a gift none the less, and like the red-pendant on her neck, it was a memory of another she loved dearly. And so she strapped it on, staring at it as Zeig’s face passed through her memory. The embrace … and then darker thoughts … Her desires were getting the best of her now. She craved and wanted him back now, she wanted those sensations to return …
But it seemed now it was too late to wish … Instead, now it was time to pray.
“O ' misericordioso padre, madre, che sta di sopra. Ti prego con tutto il mio cuore - dare tutto a voi. Vi chiedo di proteggere me e quelli che amo, salvarli da questo tormento chiamato terra.” She held the cross close to her heart and whimpered as tears soaked her pillow.
“Ho fatto molti torti e mi dispiace - gli altri mi hanno visto come puro - ma sanno non miei Mali. Perdoni la mia diffidenza e miei inganni, perché io sono niente senza amore, senza libertà.”
“Vi do la mia preghiera rispettosamente, con tutto il mio amore per te, caro Dio - amore mio.”
And with those prayers she held the cross ever closer, remembering what she had said earlier that day. Is living in love truly anything? Right now, if she were free – love would be the first thing she’d searched for.
njrk97: We still got a few lurkers and people around, but yes its fairly quiet now.
Jan 22, 2022 10:39:33 GMT
Melody: sadly this week and the next one are filled with work for me. I have exams and I need to finish school projects... It is rather tense. More replies will arrive soon after that
Jan 22, 2022 19:10:09 GMT
Morion: We will always be here for you!
May 20, 2022 18:48:41 GMT
This Roleplay is a prequel to Steven Universe to an extent with some slight retconing and its own progression to the story that will turn out differently to how stuff plays out in the show.Thanks to the message by Rose Quartz several gems are rising up to protect Earth and have labelled themselves as the Crystal Gems. Others on earth are remaining aligned to Homeworld though despite the isolation of Earth from Homeworld
All gems on earth are still stranded, the communication hub is still offline and all the space warps are shattered, it has now been revealed that this is the work of Rose Quartz and her small group known as the Crystal gems. They have rebelled against Homeworld and have chosen to protect the Earth (Trapping themselves on Homeworld to keep the warps down).
Now both sides are fighting among themselves along with fighting against the 'Corruption' a virus is infecting many gems turning most of them into mindless monsters, but those with a stronger will seem to becoming something more sinister.
The Game has changed now. The question has finally been posed, are you against Homeworld or allied with them. Or do you have your own agenda that may or may not been assisted by the ‘Corruption’. Regardless the seeds have been placed down and although it is only the beginning the fight for or against Earth and the corruption has begun. The choice is yours for how it is shaped on the Original Steven Universe Roleplay Site.
Orginal Opening Plot Here Thread That Changed Everything
Differances Between the Roleplay and the Show
*Thanks to Rose Quartz' message the Gems on Earth are entirely aware that the Homeworld Gems intend to wipe out the human race.
*The "corruption"'s Origin is still unknown, some suspect it was a viral infection, other claim it was a Diamond experiment gone awry and other suspect the organics were behind it. Regardless no one seem to have a proper answer about what it was and why its only isolated to Earth
*Garnet, Pearl and Rose are assumed capture on Homeworld
*Garnet,Pearl and Rose broke the space warps to delay Homeworld
*Thanks to Roses Message gems now know what the Kindergarten was used for