Epilogue and Chapter 10
"Yeah, there comes a day like that." I retorted to Clara. "I guess even beings like you have to do things like that."
"You have to understand Danielle," Clara answered her voice almost showed strong signs of guilt. "If I don't do this then it will end up causing unknown repercussions."
"So out of paranoia then?" I asked raising an eyebrow at me, I turned my attention once more to mechanism before me. "Let me guess, the machine feeds on the Souls of New Clockwork Maidens for it to keep on going right?"
"I'm afraid so," Clockwork Maiden answered. "It nears its end and if it doesn't find a new source of Mana it may cause the stream of Time to collapse, it will cause unforeseen chaos and destruction."
"What happens if I chose to accept it?" I asked her.
"That would mean you would offer your soul to the Great Clockwork as only the soul of a Clockwork Maiden can provide the energy to continue," Clockwork Maiden explained. "In doing so you will cease to exist and whatever actions you have done in the past and the present."
"So I'll be erased from existence?" I asked. "No one will remember me?"
"That's right," She continued with a grim look she had on her face. "Unfortunately it's a sacrifice that needed to be done."
I turned at the Great Clockwork, if I refused then it's the equivalent of condemning the world into destruction. But if I accept then no one will remember me, my parents, friends, and even Jon will forget me. I guess I can reason it as just trying to make sure that the world won't end up getting destroyed right?
"Do I even have a choice, to begin with?" I asked dryly as I walked towards the Great Clockwork with both the Clockwork Maiden and Clara following after me.
"I'm afraid that would be no," Clockwork Maiden told me shaking her head. "Should you resist the souls of your predecessors will be forced to use lethal force to get you into the Great Clockwork."
"I thought so," I said with a sad smile. "If I accept will you grant me one last request?"
"That would depend, however," She said with a nod. "Whether or not—"
"Don't worry it's quite easy," I said with a smile. "You see when I went inside someone followed after me in hopes to keep me safe and to make sure that I won't end up dying. I want to at least explain to him before I choose to leave."
She paused for a moment.
"Can you trust him?" She asked.
"I can vouch for him," Clara answered. "He is a skilled Mage from a famous Family of Mages within Wakefield."
"Very well," She said as her eyes glowed brightly. "I can have that arranged."
For a moment we just remained there waiting for something to happen, and it wasn't long until Jon was brought to where we were.
"Are you alright?" He said hurrying towards me looking at me and making sure for any visible damage.
"Yeah I'm fine," I told him with a reassuring smile.
"So what's going on?" He said shooting a glance at Clara and the Clockwork Maiden.
"Can I explain to him?" I asked them.
"You may," She answered with a nod. I hesitated for a bit and then began to tell him everything I know eventually the look on his face shifted from mild relief to terror as he stepped back and took a deep breath.
"...So you technically die and we forget you ever existed," He said in a low voice. "Are you up for this?"
"Of course," I lied giving him a reassuring smile. "I'm ready for it."
"Please be honest," He asked as his eyes met mine as he placed his hands on my shoulders. "Are you really ready to die?"
"I-If I don't then what?" I asked him avoiding his gaze. "Just let the world get destroyed? If time doesn't flow who knows what will happen."
"So you're really seeing this through then," Jon told me. "I understand."
"I'm sorry," I told him as I went to face the Clockwork Maiden. But before I can properly talk to them everything went black.
"Hear me out first before you can try to wake her up," I said after putting Danielle to sleep and gently placing her on the ground.
"Orcus." She narrowed her eyes at me and the other Clockwork Maidens observed.
"Of course you know about me," I told her dryly as I walked closer. It made sense if she is the one that controls time then surely she should be familiar with how the future works anyway.
"I know of a way to fix that Clock of yours, well by know I mean an alternative anyway besides that," I told her, recalling a previous conversation with the other Clockwork Maidens. "Apparently you randomly select women not cause of their lineage but their Prana isn't it?"
"That is correct," She nodded. "She may contain the largest one by far and with it, may hold the key to continuously power the Clockwork and prevent it from further breaking down. We have tried other methods and artifacts but only raw Prana can keep it from breaking."
"If I gave you instead My Prana and a Philosopher's Stone," I said pointing towards the one inside Clara. "What would happen?"
The other Maidens murmured among themselves, makes sense. After all, why would a man try and take a job for a woman?
"It is unknown what would happen if it will work," The Clockwork Maiden explained as she looked at the Philosopher Stones that Clara showed to her. "But Philosopher Stones are known for large quantities of Prana and added with your bloodline contains a large amount of Prana and it would further spare her from her fate. It may suffice but I still require her."
"Her memories isn't it?" I asked. "Her knowledge of the past, present and the futures it may affect is also needed, isn't it?"
"I'm afraid so," She answered with a grim nod. "A person's memories are a part of their soul, this often leaves them without their memories."
"Won't that kill her if she loses her soul?"
"No, she'll lose memories of it but she'll live if we take away parts of her memories."
"What about mine then? All of it." I offered they all exchanged surprised looks. "If I give you my memories plus the Philosopher's Stone. That should keep it running until you all find an alternative energy source?"
"She must mean that much to you if you're willing to sacrifice your memories and knowledge on Magic to save her." She mused her solemn look was replaced with that with surprise. "Especially since you're an heir to the greatest family in Wakefield."
"I'm only important because I'm just a backup," I explained dryly, after all, should Emmet get into an unfortunate accident then I would be next in line. I'm just a spare. "I doubt they'll need me around anyway."
"Even so," She continued. "Are you sure about this?"
"Sometimes there comes a day that the only choice you have is the hardest," I repeated the same old quote. "I won't get to see her grow into a great mage in the future, but at the very least push her in the right direction."
"I understand." She said as she extended her right hand. "Are you ready?"
I looked at the sleeping face of Danielle one last time and smiled. "There's something I need to do first."
[Wakefield: The Clockwork Maidens]
I woke up I was in a hospital bed, the first thing that came into my mind was to find where Jon and Thomas but as I was about to get up I heard someone talk to me.
"I'd take a rest for a bit if I were you?"
I turned around and found Emmet Wilfried-Orcus sitting on a chair next to me. I met him once during my study sessions at Jon's home. But why is he here? Where's Jon, and Thomas?
"He's fine," He told me as he put down the book he was reading. "As for Thomas, well I don't know where did he went and hopefully in his own timeline?"
Knowing the surprised look on my face he let out a sigh. "He told me some time ago, and promised me to never tell a soul about it."
"Wait where is he?" I asked growing worried about him, for a moment he paused and gave me a calculating look. He nodded and handed me a pair of crutches.
"This should help in walking until you can fully recover." He handed me, I nodded and grabbed my phone near me and into my pocket. He escorted me out of the room and slowly headed our way into the hallway.
"We found you both unconscious on where the rifts were originally at," He continued. "While both of you were in good condition let's just say…you two became different."
Wait, I stopped and began to look around. Clara?
"Something wrong?" Emmet asked me.
What happened? Where's Clara? Questions began to pop into my head as I thought about what happened in the City after Jon knocked me out.
"You'll know soon enough," Emmet answered as he opened a door. "We're here."
I entered the room and found Jon in bed quietly reading a book, a smile made its way into my face seeing that he's alright.
"Jon," Emmet nodded at me. "You have a visitor."
"Alright," He said closing the book and looked at me. "Hello, my name is—"
"I'm glad to know you're alright," I cut him off walking towards him his eyes met with mine. "Though we should talk about the whole knocking me out business and all."
"I'm sorry but you must have mistaken me for someone else." He said frowning at me.
"B-But it's me," I said walking towards him. "Danielle Kore, your student for the past few months."
"I'm really sorry…" He shook his head. "But I really don't remember."
I just remained silent and immediately walked out of the room, as soon as I was out of the room I let out a sigh.
What's going on? I thought as I slumped against the wall. I was planning on going away and head back to my room but my phone began to ring. I pulled it out and saw Jon's number was calling me.
But…unless he's pulling a prank on me I'm giving him an earful. I thought as I answered. "Hello?"
"Knowing you, you'd probably be sulking nearby thinking this is a cruel prank." I heard Jon's voice his voice was sullen but it still held a little bit of his dry humor in it that I still can't help but smile. "And probably angry at me."
"You know I am," I answered my voice slightly cracking. "What's going on?"
"I'm actually calling you from the past well the past in your timeline and the future in my timeline—No wait, oh never mind, let's just say by the time you get this call I'm still here in the Clockwork City, and well I'm calling you so that I can tell you that I fixed it," He answered his voice also began to crack. "You don't have to worry about sacrificing yourself or anyone else for the time being."
"How?" I asked him.
"I offered up my Memories and the Philosopher's Stone I got, though if that thing ever gets into his hands in the future then that thing is a bootstrap paradox waiting to happen." He explained. "So the me you'll find will no longer remember everything, basically I have amnesia by the time you wake up."
"But why?" I asked I felt my eyes sting for a moment. "Why did you do it?"
"I don't know," He chuckled dryly. "Maybe because I don't want you to go through the same emotional turmoil I leave my enemies when erasing their memories, maybe because I don't want you to forget me, I don't know either."
"Seriously?" I giggled even though the tears began to pour out. "That sounds pretty stupid."
"I know…At the very least I know one good thing out of it."
"I taught you everything you need to be a Mage, sure you're no longer a Clockwork Maiden but sure enough you can still study and use Magic, so needless to say you have a reason to stick around in this world."
"But what about you?" I asked wiping my tears.
"Don't know, I mean it's petty karmic I'll end up like this. Even so, I think it's for the best you begin your own path away from the Orcuses and—"
"No, I began this path thanks to you," I said firmly. "You may not remember me and the memories probably won't come back, but at the very least I want to be by your side as before."
"Good grief alright then, I figured you'd react like that. So I told Emmet that should we meet again I'll have him try to get you as a protégé in the Family if you ever decide to follow me even if I'm an amnesiac. But can you promise me something?"
"Don't leave me and stay by my side," He answered his voice sounded desperate as if all the loneliness he kept by himself finally poured out. "The me back then was to say the least chose to do things on his own. Mostly because he viewed himself as nothing more than a body double, when we met, to be honest, you gave me a little bit of purpose in my life. So please don't leave him alone?"
"I promise," I told him with a teary smile. "I'll be by your side no matter what."
"Thank you see you later." He said and ended the call, for a moment I just remain there quietly sobbing.
Dammit, for you to go that far for me… I thought wiping my tears. I promise…
"Right," I said as I finally calmed down and wiped the tears out of my eyes. "Time to meet him."
[Wakefield: The Clockwork Maidens]
I hope you all enjoyed this story, I'm sorry that this ended shorter than before, I was able to plot out a dozen or so ideas for this story but as the months went by planning and writing this was like running with blindfolds. Since this is my first attempt at writing Urban Fantasy.
Maybe someday I'll be able to continue Wakefield with a sequel that'll fix all of the problems. But until then I guess we'll end this story at this chapter and I'll see you around.
Grimnir's Atelier: discord. gg / R88xPzg