The Maid of House Jones
I\'m Dreaming of a White Future
ing in the ice, you
e stuck trying to figure out what a dead man has to say. ”
”Usually, I would reveal the opportunity of making a dead man squeal. The only thing I know is that he was holding something. ”
Disturbed, I asked, ”How can you tell? ”
”I reanimated and replayed his final moments, and he was making a motion as if he was cutting drapes. ”
”He must have been using a knife or something. ”
”Yeah, but I don know what it looks like or where it ended up. Edith will use her sword to cut more of the ice, but she can only do that in bursts for so long. ”
”And what happens if you don find what you
e looking for? ”
”If it is in the ice, then that means no one can use it anymore. However, if we don understand how it was done the first time, we won be able to stop the next giant attack. ”
Wallace was wearing a more comfortable set of clothes and his hair was down. His footsteps echoed the open halls that were accompanied by other maids that walked past him. The mansion was big enough to allow him to go on a decent walk to clear his mind. It was built to weather almost any natural disasters, but the weapons that would be revealed in battle seemed unnecessary. Majority of humans in this existence wouldn have any reason to attack the house with such a force that would make such artillery a requirement. Other nobles who knew about the multiverse wouldn attempt to make such a move since portals are limited and couldn allow large forces to move through them. Of course, that didn stop mad beasts from accidentally slipping through like dragons, but such events were not normally occurring to begin with. That was beside the point, but at least he had something else to think about during this walk.
Outside of his thoughts, Wallace heard his name get called. It was Lila with her hands crossed. ”May I take some of your time with some questions? ” she asked.
”Of course, ” replied Wallace, ”You know you don need my permission. ”
”I figured I would ask due to the nature of my question. ”
”What do you mean? ”
”I understand that you are under a lot of stress with decisions youve made and still have to make. Between hiring Eve and the arranged marriage with Lady Elisabeta, I fear you may be making rash judgments in a time of mourning. ”
”You think I made the wrong choices? ” asked Wallace.
”Im simply checking on your well being. Youve never had to deal with such tragedy, such stress, and now it seems you are making arrangements because you are being pressured to. ”
”What are you talking about? What is this really about? ”
”…Its like I said, master. I want whats best for the House. ”
”As do I. I would hope you trust me. ”
Lila was quiet for longer than Wallace was comfortable with. ”I too have been struggling with the losses we suffered. We never have had maids die like this. You have been a great master, but you may need to slow down. ”
Wallace smiled as Lilas concern for him warmed his heart. ”Ill be fine as long as you all continue to support me. ”
Lila smiled with determination in her eyes. She bowed and said, ”For House Jones. ”
I was done drawing the landscape despite its drastic change from Edith cutting up small parts of the ice. It was relaxing being able to work like this, but I wasn sure what good it would do.
Edith walked towards me. She was in her true form with her feathered arms and fox tail. She was carrying a large container of water and sat beside me with a sigh of relief.
After taking a long swig of her drink, she said,
”Good to see you
e keeping busy. ”
I smiled back at her. ”Wish I was more helpful. ”
”I don think thats fair. You may not have been here for long, but youve done much for us. Besides, weve been occupied. ”
I started to realize how secluded we were looking over the ice. Maybe that was part of the reason I felt so comfortable. ”Do you think you can stop another giant attack? ”
I whipped my head around to look at her. ”No? ”
Edith smirked. ”Unless a miracle comes, we don have the power to stand up against another attack. ”
”But with his spear, Wallace can take them down, right? ”
”Master is untrained with that weapon and hes just one person. I know my masters fighting limit better than anyone. ”
”You trained him. ”
Edith became softer, relaxing her muscles and smiling on a good memory. ”I was a lot quieter before master Wallace came. The most I ever spoke was around my sister. One day, master asked me if he could join me in my secluded training. I tried to tell him not to come, but he kept pushing. Lilly would be there to heal him, but we were amazed at how determined he was to finish the day. ”
Something started swelling in my heart, but was noticeable at first. ”You said you didn believe you could win this fight, but you don seem to be giving up. ”
”I can give up, ” Edith turned to look at me, but was confused after seeing my drawing. ”Whats that? The symbol I mean. ”
Absentmindedly, I had drawn a star on one of the ice peaks. ”I was drawing the landscape, but I don know why the star is there. ”
Edith looked over towards the particular peak. ”We haven looked there yet. ” She rose from her seat and gave an order through a walkie-talkie telling everyone to get clear of the peak. She also ordered everyone to investigate the area she was about to cut.
”Hold up your drawing for me, ” She said, still in her commanding voice. I raised it up as long as she stared at it. As she compared the landscape and the drawing, she was slowly reaching for the hilt of her sword. I watched her lock on to the exact point that was marked. Her stance lowered, feet spread kicking up dust, and the sound of snapping chains grew louder.
”Ms. Young… ” her voice was so calm and she didn allow so much as the wind to distract her gaze. ”…how confident are you that what we need is in that ice. ”
”I don even know if theres anything in there. Why would you waste your energy on something random? ”
”Because you did and it saved the lives of all I swore to protect. ”
The air around me grew numb as Edith carefully drew her sword. The chains rattled suspended in the air.
Dorei Chen no Rakka Hanabira——————————————————————————————–
The edge of her blade glowed purple as she cut the air and ice peak at once. Edith gasped violently for air doing her best to slow her breathing. The maids were almost off the ice.
I went to check on Edith, but then I started hearing cracking. All of the ice starting at the cut was breaking into dust. The powder rose into the air creating a blizzard cloud. As the cloud formed, the ice began to form a giant snake body with a blade-like horn on its head all colliding around a white light.
”What a big snake, ” Trolly shuffled behind us. ”Where did it come from? ”
”I don know, ” I cried as Edith struggled to get up even with my help. ”Edith cut the ice and then- ” The ground beneath us gave way as more of the ice crumbled around the edge of the depression. Edith found her second wind as she held onto me while the three of us slid down the landslide. Once we landed, the ice serpent roared so loud that we were forced to brace ourselves.
”We have to get out of here, ” ordered Edith. Before she could elaborate, the snake changed at us with unreal speed. Edith, sword drawn, parried the serpents horn.
Edith continued to fight and was able to chip chunks of ice off of her opponent.
”Always over exerting, ” Trolly sounded disappointed as she raised her clawed hand. ”Get out of here, Eve. This will take some time. ”
The ice that was lost on the snake would reform from the blizzard above. Snow dust would rain down in the spots that needed to be filled making it look like nothing happened.
Trolly slammed her hand on the ground while the tips of her claws glowed amethyst purple as well as the skull that floated beside her. From her hand, rib cages of stone grew bigger and bigger until they clamped on the serpent. Rising up with her was a collection of bones that created a large wyvern with amethyst membranes as part of its wings with the skull floating in the center. While Trolly was on top of it, the wyvern flew around the serpents head, taking the attention of the monster and giving Edith a chance to breathe.
The serpent didn hesitate to break its body to get out of the trap as it would get replacements from above. As it chased Trolly, she would fly low to the ground to create rock spikes forcing the serpent to heal more.
Despite not feeling pain, it must have understood what was happening. It raised its head, only to swiftly go back down. A hail storm of ice knives bombarded Trolly forcing her to stop on the ground and change the wyvern into a dome. The dome kept her safe from the storm, but one swipe of the serpents tail was enough to destroy her protective space.
Edith came just in time to stop Trolly from getting eaten. Ediths determined stare was betrayed by her heavy breathing. She had no time to stop as the serpent charged at them, horn first. Edith was forced to parry again, but this time she had help.
Skeleton Marionette Performance
Trolly coated Edith in bones. She would control the bones taking a large amount of stress off of Edith. The floating skull would spit fire out of its mouth to help cover Ediths blind spots.
Edith unleashed attack after attack while still managing to deflect any ice knife that would fall. Trolly had to focus both on supporting Edith while trying to slow down the serpents movements. It was so cool to watch.
I tried to run, but there was always something that narrowly killed me. By that point, I was hiding in the rubble watching the fight. I couldn help but wonder why in Gods name I was in this situation. As the fight went on, I became less anxious because I could see they were getting close to the light the serpent was formed around.
My hopes were dashed as the serpent roared again. It shattered to pieces and each piece became its own serpent with different sizes. They rushed towards Trolly and she responded by creating a field of spikes.
They didn slow down as they were able to slither around the difficult terrain. Edith tried to help, but ice knives fell from the sky forcing her to block them. Trolly had no choice but to remove the bones from Edith to create weapons and armor for herself. They were both struggling to fend for themselves.
I didn know if they could see it or not, but the light was brighter now. Only one serpent had it and it was close to me and away from the main fighting.
There fear I had during the giant attack was back while I watched these two get overwhelmed. I couldn move because I didn think I was fast enough to escape. Air was quick to leave my mouth and struggled to get in my lungs. Everything turned dark as I accepted that this time I would die.
Don Die. MOVE!!
I started running. The image of a defeated Wallace came to me. It was after we left the Eye of Truth. Such a hopeless look did not suit him compared to the man who fought the giant.
A quick prayer to heaven was the only thing I had to remove the weight in my footsteps. My vision was tunneled on the light as I pasted all the other serpents. I was not athletic nor graceful as I ran, but every hop and roll was successful in dogging whatever got in my way.
I reached out my hands and slammed the bright serpent to the ground causing it to crack. To my dismay, it wasn enough to shatter, and worse still, its body was so cold it hurt to touch. I had to let go and try to create distance.
A lot quieter this time, the glowing serpent roared, rallying the rest to it. It called another storm on top of us, but I wasn dead yet.
All the knives were shattered and the blizzard cloud was parted for a moment. As Edith fell from the sky, a dome formed around me and the light serpent, blocking anything else from interfering. With no good access to the sky, the light serpent couldn heal.
The serpent didn waste time. It went to stab me with its blade and I narrowly avoided a fatal hit, but my right arm was still run through. I was pushed back into the rocks behind me and, somehow, it got stuck. I took off my necklace and hammered the base of the horn until it broke.
The serpent reeled back after trying to pull itself free. It was dazed due to the balance of its head suddenly changing. The opportunity was wasted on me as I could not remove the broken horn from my arm. The snake regained its posture and lunged at me.
My eyes were closed and the only pain I felt was coming from my arm. When I opened my eyes, the serpent was crumbling in the hands of Trolly. She rose from the ground and stabbed her claw in the serpents open maw.
All the other serpents were either shattered or were frozen in place. Snow gently fell to the ground. Trolly pulled a knife from the pile of ice. It was dimly glowing in her hand and she turned to me skeptically.
I then blacked out.
Once Trolly was done recounting the events, Wallace sighed. Only Edith and Eve were severely hurt, but would recover under the care of Shirley. With the ice gone, Wallaces group was free to explore the area, but they had what they wanted; the knife.
”That being said, Wallace looked up at Trolly with a focus stare. ”What did you mean about the knife reacting strangely? ”
”It was for a short time, but it would glow brighter the closer it got to Eve. ”
”Hold out your hand. ”
Wallace squinted at her as hed been stabbed before after that phrase, but he did it anyway. The knife, now in his hand, glowed blue which seemed to confuse Trolly.
”Is that supposed to happen? ” Wallace asked.
”Im still going off of a theory. When it was near Eve, the light was white and a lot brighter. The knife only glows when its near Eve and in your hands. ”
”But theres only one unique trait I have compared to everyone else. How likely could it be for Eve to be an inheritor or blessed? ”
”You will have to look into her past. She doesn strike me as someone who knows what she is, which is odd. Unfortunately, Ill be occupied trying to understand this thing. ” Trolly took back the knife from Wallace.
Before she could leave, Wallace tells her to not tell anyone else about Eve.
”Of course, Master, but why? ”
”If Eve is an inheritor or is blessed and she doesn know, then the question she would have as well as for those around her would overwhelm her and would make things complicated. ”
”I understand; keep everyone focused. ” And with that, Trolly went to her lab and Wallace went to the basement.
Wallace didn go to the basement often. In the early days of him living in the house, he accidently got lost down there. It wasn until the maids that lived down there decided to help him escape. These maids were in charge of spying, infiltration, and assassinations. Why the old man thought it was necessary to have assassins, Wallace didn care to know.
The most odd aspect of the basement was how useless it felt. This was the lowest point of the estate, but nothing was stored here. It had its own natural light in the form of glowing stones and animals. It had its own pool of water with its own ecosystem around it. It was practically a self-sustaining paradise, and yet it held no purpose past being a living space for the maids that were more comfortable here. Despite that, Wallace wasn given much room to try and do something with the space since the maid that lived down here was adamant that it would be them that would get the final say. This was the only place that was comfortable for them.
As long as it was well kept, it didn matter who had ”control ” over it. As it was, it made a great change in scenery while still being in the comforts of home. Except, it wasn comfortable down here. With its residents being cut off from most day to day activities and only coming out at night, Wallace would always get tense as he would descend the stairs.
By the time he got to the pool, he hadn seen anyone. This wasn a surprise to him, nor was the voice that tried to whisper in his ear. He felt her coming a little before she reached his back.
”You can keep doing this every time I come down here, ” Wallace turns around to see his skulker, ”Resbex. ”
Resbex was a mind flayer, an oddity even amongst all other creature types. She was taller than Wallace if she stood up right. Her body had the texture of an octopus that never seemed to dry out. Her lower half was like an eel and her mouth was full of teeth like a frilled shark. She had dead eyes that had their own uses, and tentels flowed down from her head moving as if they were under water searching for something. Her hands were clawed with barnacle like nails and her permanent smile hid her disappointment. Her uniform came with a hood that Wallace never saw her wear.
”Aww, ” her voice echoed in his head. Her mouth didn move, but it was like her voice was being projected despite the cave not having much of an echo. ”I missed the days when you were young and full of potential. You were so much easier to scare. ”
”I have a job for you. ” At that, the cave was filled with many of the spy maid division as they all listened carefully. ”The new maid, Eve, has developed… an interesting set of skills. I need you to look into her past. Leave nothing unturned. ”
”Is she a threat? ”
”No, but there may be those who will threaten her. She is a fellow maid, so keep that in mind. ”
”Consider it done. ” And with that, Wallace was alone.