Disclaimer: Noblesse isn't mine.

Broken Glass (Part 17)

He had spent the last three days avoiding the master.

He could not face the man.

Even just contemplating the idea was disconcerting. From the very beginning, from the instant that they had first met, the master had known. Every thought was laid bare before him. Every intention was fully understood. Every misdeed realized. There was nothing that was concealed from that man.

Frankenstein forged a smile, a fragile barrier between the truth and the lies. The master knew everything. Escape would be difficult now. There would be no plan. There would be no notice. He would simply run.

And spend the rest of his life in hiding.

An eternity alone.

Just like the master.

Frankenstein entered the room with practiced care as he cleared his mind and simply moved out of habit. He placed the tray on the table and passed out the dishes until both he and the master had a meal set before their seats.

The master stood in the window and made no indication that he was even aware his servant had arrived.

The action unsettled him. Frankenstein left the meal on the coffee table and crossed the short distance to the master. The expression on his face looked no different than it had before, but the man seemed ill at ease. The sadness that had lifted from him in the human world once again resided in the man's eyes.

"See anything interesting?" Frankenstein asked cautiously. His own voice startled him, but he needed to keep up this façade.

The man didn't answer.

"Come to dinner, please. I would enjoy the company." The words stuck in his throat, but he tried not to think about it. Keep a blank mind, and it should be tolerable. That was all he needed to do. Bear with it for a little longer, endure the vulnerability that he felt near the man, and escape as soon as possible.

The master didn't even glance at him.

Back to silence, is it?

Still no reply.

"If you would excuse me, then." Frankenstein narrowed his eyes and left the room in a huff. "I have lost my appetite."

The forest passed by him in a rush as he fled the mansion, and he knew he would not stop until he reached the sea. It was the closest he could come to freedom. The only place he had peace of mind. The place the master longed to see.

He had intended to set his affairs in order, to leave he master in the hands of another, but after discovering the depths that the man knew of him, he could not remain here much longer. There was too much risk. That master was too much of a mystery. As unreadable as the sea. To have such a man know everything.

The master was not the protector of humanity. If not humanity, it must be the Nobles. And who better to protect the Nobles from than a powerful, wayward human? Frankenstein stopped at the water's edge. It was no longer safe for him here.

The amalgamation of all his thoughts and intentions painted a gruesome scene. The master had know everything all along. He knew when he was being manipulated or if the actions were sincere. He knew, yet he choose to do nothing? What was that man's intent?

Frankenstein had not expected his flight to be so soon. The situation with the master had been going so well recently. He had nearly forgotten his imprisonment under that man's guard, but now that he was certain that the master had access to his mind, all of the recent success had been replaced by suspicion.

To be known so thoroughly.

To know nothing of him in return.

It was frightening.

"What are you doing here?" His voice came before his presence, and Roctis smiled warmly as he joined Frankenstein at the water's edge. "It is good to see you again. Although, I did not expect to meet you on Kravei land."

Of all people to catch him off guard, did it have to be him? Frankenstein turned around slowly and deliberately calm. "A pleasure to see you as well."

Roctis wasted no more time with formalities. "Why are you here?"

"Merely enjoying the view." It was a weak answer, but it would have to do.

"And your master. Is he near?"

"The master is at home."

"I see." Roctis relaxed with a breath of relief.

That man had been caught off guard as well. Frankenstein watched him for a moment as he weighed his options. "And what has brought you here?"

"You are not the only one who enjoys the scenery here." Roctis answered quickly. "I often walk these shores."

"Strange, I haven't seen you here before."

"Neither have I seen you."

This was going no where. Frankenstein turned his back on the waters and began his hike inland. "I'm glad we could agree. If you will excuse me."

"Are you going to the mansion?" Roctis fell instep beside him. "I shall see you there safely."

"There is no need for that."

"Nonsense. It is my duty to protect the humans."

Frankenstein stopped. Was the man trying to aggravate him? "If you wish to protect the humans, allow them to defend themselves. The Noble's involvement is both the cause and the acceleration of the struggles for humanity."

"What an interesting perspective." Roctis murmured. "Who among the humans is strong enough to protect them other than you?"

Frankenstein didn't answer.

"Acting as if you're the protector of humanity? I suppose that is suiting. The protector of humanity serves the protector of the Nobles." Roctis smiled once again, walking ahead of him on the path. "I should like to see how you intend to protect humanity from here."

A/N: So, someone brought up the question of why Frankenstein is so clueless for such a smart guy. I liked the question, and I thought I would share the answer with all of you.

This story is way more about character development than it is about a plot. If you're expecting some action packed adventure, you should have realized by this point that this story is not for you. If you're curious about how Frankenstein went from a stranger to the most loyal of servants, well, you probably enjoyed everything thus far. Now, if my end result is going to be similar to the Frankenstein in the current Noblesse timeline, then I have to backtrack. A lot. He had who knows how long to become the way he is now, and I want to develop him as much as possible. And he's not alone. I'm developing Rai, too. They're both going through changes.

This amuses me because a large portion of this story is about comparison. At first, Frankenstein's the prisoner, but as you see Rai, you have to wonder, which of the two is the true captive? When Rai set that bird free, was that really symbolic of Frankenstein, or was it a reflection of his own desires? Rai's freedom is much more interesting to me than Frankenstein's freedom. But there's also the idea that Frankenstein was rejected by the humans just as Rai was "rejected" by the clan leaders. The protector of humanity. The protector of the Nobles. Their lives are parallel to each other in many ways. And you also have the lord's one liner that Frankenstein is the embodiment of what humans will accomplish. Not to mention Roctis in this chapter.

This has gotten off topic. Back to the original question. Why isn't Frankenstein more clever?

Well, because I guessed, and I guessed wrong. When I started this story, I had almost nothing to work with. I knew there had been "a great disturbance" in the human world and that Gejutel and the Kertia clan leader (he wasn't named then) weren't able to bring Frankenstein to the lord. So I made the disturbance Frankenstein losing control of his powers. I mean, Dark Spear is out to get him, and Rai had said once that he had sealed Frankenstein's powers for too long. He would have to live through his nightmares once again. Then, the beginning of the current arc started, and I was totally wrong. So, I let a few things slide and just moved on as if nothing had happened. Beats quitting the story.

But I suppose if I came down to the truest explanation, it would be because it would be way too boring if Frankenstein figured out everything from the start. I enjoy screwing with his mind. Will he be his awesome self later? Sure, but I'll let him be awkward for now. Although, he's already starting to outgrow that phase.

Feel free to ask me questions anytime. I love to ramble.