Death by Midnight
A/N: Ermagerd, I'm posting on FF again. Isn't that just faabulous. I don't know half of you people :l.
Same disclaimer as before.
Death by Midnight will be updated either weekly or biweekly on a Saturday (with exception of this update) until I run out of chapters, in which case I'll have finished the arc. Biweekly incase if I forget.
44 is currently at 60.4k words, including Death by Midnight. Once I release 44 to , I'll be removing Death by Midnight, as there'll probably be additional revisions to the text. And chances are you'll forget that this existed anyway.
(The time gap between this is approximately two weeks)
"So, are you going to crack yet?" He whispered into my ear, his voice soft but taunting. He had taken away my sight, but I knew he was close by.
"Fuck. Off." I rasped back, gasping for breath as he held my head close towards his face. "Kill me for all I care." For a moment, I was almost afraid of the hand gripping my throat to tighten.
"Oh, not yet, my dear." He replied quietly, relinquishing his iron grip. "I'll wait until tomorrow morning. Let's see if you've… ah, softened up by then, hm?" He started to walk away.
I spat at him. He turned, realized what I had done and I felt my head pull back. "You're going to regret ever taunting me, bitch. Do you have any idea just who you are dealing with?!"
I mockingly paused with a thoughtful look. "Well... No. Because I'm blindfolded." I responded with a smirk, despite the rather dire situation.
He remained silent, but a twisted tongue of steel forced onto my neck and I stopped abruptly. "I'm going to enjoy killing you, girl." He rasped, "I'll make you feel the true meaning of pain-"
"No, you will not." A voice cut in sharply. The hold on my head loosened and I heard him gasp. "Long time no see, Kayla." I heard heavy footsteps come towards me and his overbearing cologne intensified.
I froze at the name. "Who are you?" I asked sharply.
The voice laughed, a deep, throaty laugh. "My, my, Kayla. You don't even remember your own father? How pitiful." A pause, then I felt a stinging slap on my left cheek.
"I see. Lovely to see you again, Thomas. Unfortunately, you are no father of mine, you two-timing bastard." I spat out the last word with contempt, glad that I couldn't see him.
For a second I felt like I couldn't breathe, then the air rushed back into my lungs and I was thinking again. He had punched me in the gut and knocked the wind out of me. "Why, you little bitch!" He snarled. "Don't you dare speak to your elders like that, you piece of filth!"
"Oh, so you're an old bastard now?" I shot back, stifling a laugh. "Glad you finally admitted it!"
A pause, then he spoke again in a low, quiet voice. "You can let go now, Aigis."
For a second, the only sounds in the room were the distant crackling noise a torch was making and my own shallow breathing, until I heard my interrogator speak up. "Yes sir."
My head fell forward instantly as he let go, but a gloved hand gripped my chin and jerked my head up to face something. I heard metal plates clink together before I felt his wine-tinged breath on my skin.
"You know…" He was speaking in a half-slurred, half-mumbled speech, which drastically changed when he next spoke. "I really hate children like you."
"Besides…" His voice changed in tone again. "Like mother, like daughter."
"What are you on about?" I snapped. I was curious, but impatience ultimately took the initiative. "My mother was much more mature than you would ever be! I know we were both spearwomen at one point, but surely you must know that about your own wife. Unless, of course, you lost even more brain cells since the last time you tried to kill me."
To my surprise, he laughed. Maybe he was really drunk. "Oh no my dear, you are most certainly wrong." Fingers hastily undid my blindfold and I squinted at the sudden brightness. "Because," I saw his sneering face split into a maddening grin "You're both going to die the exact, same way."
My vision recovered and I avoided attempting to gouge my eyes out through sheer willpower at the full view of the sneering bastard. The same dirty blonde hair, the exact same sparkling cerulean eyes. He was my father, the 'prestigious' Hero. Prestigious my ass; he spent more of my childhood being drunk and flirting with other women than being a respectable man. He wore the familiar red cloak over a new set of gray-white plate armour.
I raised an eyebrow. "Wow. I already know that you killed your own wife. Maybe it's because she finally couldn't take your sorry ass anymore. Or," I broke into a mad grin of my own "she finally confronted you about your affairs. Besides, Why're you rubbing your murders into my face?"
His face visibly distorted into anger to my satisfaction, but strangely enough, he calmed himself down, or at least enough to grit his teeth and turn to the men behind him, one of whom I recognised to be my assailant. Geki, I believe he was called. He was still clad in the same clothes I had seen him in, but his face was much more passive than before, if that was even freaking possible. "Gag her. I don't want to hear her bloody voice ever again, you hear me?"
"Well you're going to hear it again you fucking tw-" Geki moved forward without a word brandishing a wad of cloth and before I could further advance into a symphony of colourful language he shoved the knotted portion into my mouth and secured it in place.
"Understood." He answered promptly, but after a pause, asked, "So you're calling them back, yes?"
He turned around with and chuckled. "Calling what back?"
"The army of necromancers."
My poor excuse of a father merely sneered. "Oh, sure. We'll just burn it down."
His eyes widened. "What?!" He turned sharply to him. "You said you wouldn't destroy the village if I retrieved her!" He yelled, jabbing a finger at me. It was the first time I had seen him upset… or show any sign of strong emotion, now that I thought about it. "You promised!"
"All I said was that I won't have it obliterated, boy." He jeered. "So instead of granting a quick death, all I've done is make it nice and slow." He turned to face Geki, his grin slackening to a much more serious one. "Don't even think about trying to kill me, either. If even one drop of my blood even leaves my body, she'll be dead within seconds." As if taunting him wasn't enough, he spat at him before turning to leave. "Next time I see you, you'll be a pile of ashes under my feet." He laughed.
My assailant hadn't secured my gag tightly enough, as I had managed to loosen it enough to shout, "Doubt it! Knowing you, my despicable excuse of a father, you'll be too caught up with getting your shoes dirty."
My father, in too good of a mood, only continued walking, motioning my previous interrogator to follow. Not Geki, though. Of course not; he would be an outcast to everyone else, just someone to do his dirty work.
He waited until the footsteps faded away and for a moment it was quiet. Well, except the quiet groans from the other holding cells and the aforementioned crackling of the torch. But the next course of action he took completely threw me off. He closed in, giving me a 'talk and I'm going to make your life bloody miserable' kind of look and loosely re-tied the length of fabric around my mouth before murmuring in a low, quiet voice, "Beholder."
Boy, oh boy was his beholder freaking amazing. Almost immediately it appeared as if a second Geki had formed out of him, but despite the similar features it was considerably more... Transparent. I mean, I had heard of beholder taking different forms but geez, this was completely different. The doppelgänger-beholder raised its palm in a manner so similar to the way that Geki did when casting Magic Crash that it made me shudder, the only difference being that it faced the ceiling. A wisp of darkness rose into the air, with the consistency of smoke yet appeared to be as dense as goo. The darkness seemed to expand and soon everything faded to a pitch black. For a moment, I thought I was blindfolded again. Or that the previous exchange was a dream and I had just been tortured to unconsciousness. Ideally the former, but still.
I felt the cloth slide down to my neck. "I'm getting you out of here." He whispered, unchaining my arms. As soon as the iron lost contact, my entire body slumped forward involuntarily, blood rushing back into my arms. "As you know, your father wants to execute you. He intended on executing you by beheading, but I've made sure that all of his warriors are out doing missions."
"He said I was going to die like my mother did." I interjected, my eyebrow twitching ever so slightly in anticipation. "He… He murdered her when she was at a dance. In a ball gown." I shook my arms gingerly as soon as feeling returned to them, almost afraid they were going to fall off spontaneously. "He isn't going to kill me like that, is he?" I shuddered at the thought.
"No idea." He responded. "I don't know all the details, but he's getting my sister to help you with something before your execution. She knows the rest."
"Alright, fine. But how do I know that I can trust you on this?" I asked suspiciously. "And why the hell is it dark?"
A pause. "Just... Trust me on this. Please." I felt something being pressed into my palm. "Clip it in your hair or just keep it on you. She'll know that I've gotten to you if you do. And the darkness is so that they can't detect this conversation. I'll be restraining you again like before to keep things consistent so don't freak out."
"Wait, who's she-" I was cut off yet again as hands awkwardly reached for the cloth to pull it back up, the cloth secured more tightly than before. A split second later, the darkness dispelled and once again I was bloody squinting like I was blind.
He handcuffed my hands, which I realized to make more sense than letting a prisoner walk freely. Or stumble freely, considering my body felt like stone. He noticed this and like the gentle mercenary he was, he helped me stagger out of the cell until my legs decided they would work again.
Reviews are appreciated, but not mandatory. It just gives me a nudge that I'm going in the right direction. Which is good. But y'know, do whatever.