Chapter 31: Lovesick
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"Is this love? The obsession that I feel, unable to forget you for a second. You eclipse my world completely, my moon and sun. I could watch the world burn and not shed a single tear, but the sight of you crying breaks my heart into pieces. I may not know what love is, or how it feels. But, even if this isn't love, I don't want to feel anything else." - Mary Nox Sangrey

 


Hilda forgot to take his memories and didn't even burn his corpse, leaving behind a splattered painting of gore. She had not mentioned to Azela, that she now left a small portion of herself with her at all times, to act as surveillance. Without a teleport marker Azela was vulnerable whenever she left, so the best option was to never fully leave. The reason she had not told her, was to not affect her with the knowledge that she was always watching over. She did not want Azela to change, and would rather see more of the Azela she rarely had the chance to.

However, when Azela kissed James on the forehead, Hilda's attention faltered and her main body went on autopilot. Instead of silently killing the target and taking his memories, she sliced him clean in half, diagonally, and scattered him across the room. This would not have been a major problem, if he hadn't screamed and alerted the rest of the building. Instead of continuing with the stealthy approach, Hilda decided to vent her frustration and work on her art style.

She left the building feeling refreshed, and made the final trip towards Tremblay's office. When she arrived, she stopped before his office door and altered her spirit form to become visible to normal people. Hilda also transformed, hiding her tail and horns and covering herself with a tight, black, full body suit of leather. She then added a hooded grey traveller's cloak, which hung over her shoulders and covered her back.

Instead of knocking or opening the door, Hilda walked into it and phased through like a ghost; one of the benefits of not having a true physical body. Inside the room, Tremblay and Jenkins both shared a look after seeing their guest and stopped talking. Neither of them had any clue how she got into the room, having missed her entrance. But, after seeing her golden eyes both sighed internally, another problem child.

"Hello, Miss...?" Tremblay opened.

"Fuck you."

"Azela?" he guessed.

"Oh? So you've met Azela? That makes thing easier then," Hilda smiled, as she crossed her arms.

"May I ask your relationship to her?"

"Sure, that's why I'm here. Azela is mine. She is my pet, my plaything and you have set your eye on my property."

Tremblay frowned and gave an exaggerated sigh.

"Unfortunately, we are contracted. We don't have eyes on your... pet. Other people do and they go through us to act," he explained.

"You took the contract, you pay the -"

Before Hilda could finish, something inside her broke and a crushing pressure filled the room. The building shook and threatened to collapse. Black flames burst from her body and in an instant everything around her was burned black or turned to ash. Tremblay and Jenkins both looked on horrified, unable to breath, as the sudden change went away after only a brief moment. The flames vanished and the building stood firm, but the scorch marks and feeling of vibration still remained. What was even worse, was the fact Hilda was smiling.

"Sorry, it seems since my little pet has been on her own too long, she is getting promiscuous. I am going to have to teach her a lesson when I get back," Hilda said, as she fumed over Azela's meeting with Petra.

After the sudden burst of power and the inference it was an instinctual reaction she had not controlled; Tremblay gave up any hope of negotiation.

"If I give you the details of the ones who hired us, will that suffice?" he asked.

"No. However on my way here I mayyy have killed a lot of people. So counting that we'll call it even for now. Send everything to Azela, I need to start thinking up some punishments so she'll have to clean up her own problems."

"Will that be all?"

"Oh, I almost forgot. It goes without saying, but if I find any information about me outside of either of your heads, I will come back and collect them. So, try to keep it a secret," Hilda winked.

"Could you please... fix the evidence at least?" Tremblay asked, as he glared at the black half of the room.

"Not my department," Hilda said, and she turned to her right and walked through the wall and a closed, second story window.

"Jenkins?" Tremblay asked.

"Yes sir?"

"I think we need a new office, this one has just burned down."

"Of course sir," he said, and he left to start the fire.

---

After leaving Petra and returning to my room, I sneak back into bed to cuddle Mary. Not long after with the sun starting to rise, we are awoken by a knock on the door. I pet Mary's head and wriggle my way out of bed to answer the door. Since they have not announced who they are, there is only one choice left.

"Morning beautiful," I say, opening the door to a flustered Petra, who slips into the room.

"Azela, you..." Petra began, before spotting Mary on the bed, sitting up and still half asleep.

"She's not a morning person," I joke.

Unable to find any words, Petra glares at me before shaking her head.

"Who is it?" Mary yawns, stretching and seeing Petra in the room.

"I found you a pet. She's here to keep you company and stab the bad people," I explain.

"Why can't I stab the bad people?" Mary asks.

"Because your hands will get dirty sweetie."

"So it's OK for my hands to get dirty?" Petra asks.

"What are you talking about? You use a spear, they won't get dirty."

"Then why can't I use a spear?" Mary whines.

"Spears are dangerous Mary."

"You never let me do anything fun..."

"But I just bought you a cat! Petra, can you meow for me?"

"Fuck off."

"Thank you Petra," I say, before lowering my voice a little and pretending to whisper to Mary. "She's a little special."

Mary giggles and falls back onto the bed, to cuddle the blankets and pillows. Taking advantage of the situation Petra moves closer to talk to me.

"Last night, did you... see?" Petra whispers.

"Of course, It was my duty to dress you. Be thankful you don't have a cold. Nice abs by the way, almost as good as your legs," I tease, loud enough for Mary to hear.

Petra's face boils red and her fists clench, I take a step back in case she explodes, or takes a swing at me. But I can't help teasing her, it's too cute.

"Did you molest my cat!?" Mary accuses.

"What? No. It was purely consensual and nobody was hurt...  if you ignore the stab wound and the blood."

After taking a deep breath and closing her eyes for a moment, Petra goes back to normal. Only now, she appears to be actively trying to ignore me.

"Is she always like this?" Petra, asks Mary.

"Sadly, yes," Mary sighs.

Another knock on the door, this time with a voice.

"Azela, are you awake?" Ran calls.

"Unfortunately," I say, opening the door to let him in.

He looks at Petra and then back to me and raises an eyebrow.

"Mary's new cat, Petra. She likes scratches behind the ears and fish," I say.

Sadly, Petra has learnt my weak spot and is now ignoring me whenever I say anything strange.

"Mary's new bodyguard," Petra clarifies.

"Oh, I'm Ran," he says, with a small wave before turning back to me. "They've finally made all their decisions and it looks like you were right."

"Can you say that again?"

"Oh, I'm Ran," he smiles, reaching out and putting a hand on top of my head and messing up my hair.

"Fine. Does Bianca have all the numbers?"

"She has everything I've collected and there should be no issue of gold. As for the church's side of the story, are we really not going to challenge them?"

"Let them say what they want, we will show them reality," I smile.

"But,  if they keep telling people you're a part of the church, won't that galvanize things when you act?"

"That is the main point."

"Are you sure you can handle it?" he asks.

"Nope. But if I can't, then I can always just ask my mother for help."

I talk with Ran about some of the minor details of the plan, and then open the door to see him off outside with a kiss on the cheek. When I go back inside, Petra is looking at me like she just swallowed an egg.

"Since you're part of the family now I can tell you everything between me and Ran is all an act. Also, Mary likes to sleep in my bed, but she's my sister so don't get any weird ideas. I'm not a pervert, I'm a perverted lady and there's a big difference," I explain.

"Just... teach me how to use my sight. It's really starting to make my head hurt."

"That is Mary's job. While you are with her, she can teach you how to recognise spirits and use your spirit sight. As well as how to communicate with them."

"Why can't you do it?" she asks.

"Not my department," I wink, before seeing Hilda appear behind Petra, as my blood turns cold.

She's pissed. Why is she pissed? Wait, why is she pissed at me!? Without hesitating I turn around, open the door and flee down the hallway.

---

Early in the morning still well before court, a carriage arrives at the castle. A man with brown hair, wearing worn woodworker's leathers steps out and runs a hand through his unkempt beard. He looks at the ground for a moment before someone calls out to him.

"Arthur, sorry about the early call," Asher nods, with a polite smile.

"Not that early, sun's already up," he jokes.

"You must be wondering why you were called."

"A little. Where's Mary?"

"Your sister is probably still in bed. We can talk about things in my office," Asher says, turning to lead him inside, but not missing his frown.

Inside Asher's office he gave instructions to notify Azela about her and Mary being needed at court this morning, before closing the door. Arthur sat down, leaning forward with elbows on his knees and hands joined in front of him, staring at Asher.

"So, what am I here for?" he asks.

"To tell everyone Mary is your sister."

"Is she though? Her eyes..."

"Her eyes can be faked," Asher frowns. "Azela has proven more than capable of such a simple illusion."

"How do you know they are fake?"

"We don't, but impersonating royalty is an issue too serious not to take proper safeguards."

"All I have to do is tell them that she's my sister, my real sister?" Arthur asks. "Will they even believe me?"

"Alone, no, but we have the supporting records and information from the investigation which will solve that issue."

"Does she even know?"

"That she isn't adopted, that Azela is just using her? I can't say. However from what I've seen, her knowing is the less likely option," Asher says.

"That girl called Mary her sister, why?"

"Trying to understand her thought patterns gives me a headache. Just assume she did that because she felt like it, nothing more."

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