Chapter 5

Aw crud…I feel like I just spend a day getting jostled around in the back of a broken wagon… Slowing coming back to my senses, I barely manage pushing myself up off my bed without falling back over again. My head is pounding; feels like there's a blacksmith in there hammering away at my brain. Just kind of sitting there holding my head in my hands, trying to ignore the growing nausea in the pit of my stomach, something suddenly clicks. What the heck am I doing on a bed?! I thought they would have sent me over the edge as soon as possible!

Curiosity momentarily overpowering the fact that I feel like throwing up whatever stomach contents I have, which admittedly is probably nothing right now, I open my eyes and take a look at my surroundings. Oh wow, I've got to be in the citadel somewhere, that's the only place I can imagine would look this fancy. I'm currently sitting on a massive four poster bed with silk veils hanging around it and satin sheets on it, all a very crisp and clean white. That pretty much describes everything in here really, white and ornate, from the intricately carved wardrobe to the plush embroidered rugs. It's so bright that it's actually kind of hard to look anywhere without having to squint. Why would someone bring me here? Probably the order making a big deal out of things, as usual… God I'm hungry…

"Well, look who's finally up."

I almost faint all over again at the unexpected voice, looking around frantically to find it's source. I'm taken by surprise by what I find; a young man no more the in his mid twenties wearing the white hooded rode I had only ever seen the High Priest wear before. The hood's down this time though, letting me see his dark brown eyes and wavy auburn hair, far from the grey bearded old geezer I'm used to.

"What, did you steal grandpa's clothes or something?"

"Oh, you do have an attitude now don't you? My, my, that won't do…"

He goes silent for a moment, starring at me intently as I glare back at him. Sure, I have no idea who he is, but he's part of the order, and for me that makes him an instant bad guy.

"You're young, you're still apt to change… No, I didn't steal the High Priest's robes, it's perfectly alright for me to be wearing this. Now, I'd say you're more then a bit famished now aren't you boy?"

"Don't talk to me like a child!"

For some reason that strikes him funny, a rich laugh rising from his throat as he makes a swift motion with his hand. That's all it takes for someone to stride in holding quite the fair sized plate, silently gliding over next to where I'm sitting and quickly placing it on the end table by the bed before leaving again, all the while ignoring my distrustful gaze. I try to pay no attention to the dish, try not to give in to this stranger's offering, but my eyes keep glancing over to it while all he does is stand there and wait quietly. Oh my god it smells so good…smells like…fresh baked bread and steamed vegetables… I'm salivating uncontrollably, my gut churning as if to tell me 'eat that dang food already you idiot!' Fine, but just because I don't want it to go to waste! Knowing them they would probably just throw it away if I don't eat it.

Turning towards the plate of food, I find much more on it then my nose was telling me, the sheer beauty of the feast in front of me making me hesitate in eating it. Oh god it looks too good to be real… My hesitation lasts all of two seconds, and I can hear the red haired guy laugh again as I lavishly dig into it despite my previous protests.

"There we go, you need to get some strength back. When one of my soldiers brought you in I had trouble thinking you could actually be alive in the state you were in… You're a hardy little boy aren't you?"

I don't go to answer him, too busy stuffing my face none to daintily. I wouldn't want to anyways; I don't want to talk to this Order bugger.

"You can't say you don't like it here, I know you can't. There are plenty of people out there who'd kill to be where you are now you know."

Oh shut up, I don't care about what you have to say…

"Aren't you wondering why I spared you? Colonel Simmons told me about what happened, where he found you…you came up from down in the pit."

That makes me stop eating, his mention of the garbage disposal. Not so much by the fact that he knows then by who it reminds me about. My…companion seems to take note of the fact I've suddenly lost my appetite.

"So I'm right…was that you're first time down there?"


A grin spreads across his face when I speak to him without it being hostile.

"Really? How often did you go down?"

I might as well tell him…I'm probably going to end up dead either way. I kind of want to anyways, just to see how other people would react to what I've seen.

"…I go down every day to sleep…"

"And how long have you been doing that?"

"About…seven years I guess."

"You've managed to survive for that long on your own? I must say I'm impressed… Most orphans last no longer then a year at the age you must have been."

"Yeah well that wouldn't happen if you buggers didn't dump kids out on the street now would it?!"

Detecting that he's stepping into dangerous territory, he backs up a bit, both in what he's talking about and literally.

"I'm sorry, I'm sure that's a sensitive subject for you. Oh my where are my manners? My name is Warik. May I ask you you're name?"


Smirking at my response, he continues his little speech.

"Anyway, after spending that long seeing what's down there, what could have driven you back to the surface that quickly all of a sudden?"

I flinch at the question, the memory of that demon's four eyes coming so close to my own flashing through my memory. That's all he needs apparently, because his features change completely at that, a startling seriousness overtaking him as he starts to close the gap between us. Once he's close enough so that he can talk quite enough for no one else to hear him but me, he whispers something that makes my blood run cold.

"You saw them didn't you? You saw what beings there are down there."

He knows, oh god he knows about what's lurking down there. Looking up into his eyes in fright, I can see his glazed over with a strange sort of wonder, starring back at me like he's trying to peer into my soul. Startled by his proximity, I push myself back away from him, my movement seeming to snap him out of his trance.

"Forgive me, that was uncalled for… It's just that, after all these years, I finally have another witness. If you've seen them, then perhaps you can help me."

"Why would I ever want to help you?!"

"Oh come now, why not? You can have everything you've ever wanted here! All you have to do is spread the word, tell people about the monsters beneath us. That way we can stop people from doing bad things, we can stop things like what happened to you from happening again!"

This time he doesn't notice he's angering me, ignoring or just plain not caring about the fact that I'm practically snarling at him.

"You need to shut your mouth."

"You can be my new apprentice, repent for your parent's sins!"

That drives me over the edge, my body shuddering in rage.

"My parents had no sins to repent you bastard!"

Taken once again by one of my fits of rage, which got me into this position in the first place, I lash out at the still ranting priest. He moves with a speed I would have never guessed he had though, dodging my attack and grabbing me by the arm before slamming me to the ground hard. Holy crud, he's crazy strong, what the heck!? Oh god that hurts!

"Very well then, chose the path of pain! Guards, take him away, we'll need no trial with this one! You'll pay for attacking the High Priest you brat."

What? High Priest? Him!? Now way! I don't get much time to dwell on it though before I'm dragged away by a couple other flashy paladins.