Blessed: An Angel Bearing Gifts

Kendall is taken to his personal suite in the private sector of the manor, assisted out of his destroyed clothing, and settled into his bed. His semi-healed wounds are treated with the juice of the svarow root and wrapped in healing gauze, while bitter cha'wa nectar works its energizing wonder within. But still, even with all that, the damage wrought by his brother's hateful blade would be slow to heal. If ever it truly did. He could feel his body working hard to return to wholeness, while the toxins left by Alaisiagae simultaneously attempted to disintegrate it.

Rory places a third blanket atop his shivering master. Cuts made to flesh by such a blade were troublesome enough. They festered if not wrapped carefully. But Alaisiagae had also bitten through bone, and so his body was now infected with the blade's bitter cold as well. The Lord lies alone save for his trusted servant and thinks over the recent events and what would most certainly come. Neither speak of the shared knowledge that Rory would soon be forced to reveal all that he knew of the conflict to the highest authorities of the House, betraying the trust of his master of so many Cycles.

As his senses clear and his body rests, he comes to realize the silent suite that had many times been a refuge, was now engulfingly quiet. Margot was not there. If she was, she would hover and worry. Her brows would knit with concern, and he could envision the way her lower lip would be captured between her teeth. She would sit close and insist on comforting him, and her gentle lips would caress his forehead. She would whisper her love and concern for him, and she would not fear the consequences of such confessions.

As he lies there shivering, he becomes aware of a desire for her to be nearby. To have her body wrapped about his, warming him. To not be alone. And he wonders what would happen to her now that carelessness and blind hatred had given his fate such an unexpected turn. Memory of the events was slow to return, unwilling to yield itself to analysis, but he persists in his work to put all the pieces together. He had nothing else to occupy himself with, after all.

He remembered discovering the ruse that Cedric had pulled. Truly, the use of Gandu had been brilliant; Kendall never suspected Cedric capable of pulling such a stunt. He remembered returning to the manor here in Silver quickly. Worry. He wasn't sure what he had been concerned about, exactly. Worried that Cedric would harm her? That he would threaten her? That older brother would once more prove the superior by gaining her favor over Kendall's so quickly? Then to see his brother alone, in a rage, with Rory in such a state, and no Margot. Fear for her had taken hold, made him reckless. And then, the final straw… to accuse Diona of being a betrayer?

The fight itself was etched in his mind, exactly how he had attacked, his brother defended, dancing about each other, the way that Alaisiagae had felt as she took her first taste, how he was unable to break through his brother's guard. An insane plan, spurred by more than just worry or anger, and he felt no remorse for injuring his brother. Killing him, though? Uncertainty takes hold. Kendall didn't know if his brother was alive or dead, only that he had bested him.

That thought warms him, bringing short respite from the soul-deep chill that made him shake uncontrollably. He could only hope that mending the bones broken by his brother's hateful sword would soothe the cold as well. He was unaccustomed to feeling cold, and couldn't say that he liked the sensation.

But he had bested Cedric, for… the first time? He couldn't remember any other times when he had truly come out ahead in any measure. Though he knew those measures to be flawed, they were still the only ones that held any weight. Cedric, the oldest, always favored by his father. Kendall had understood almost before words themselves had been possible, that the measures between he and his older brother would never be equal, and would always tip in Cedric's favor in the eyes of the one who mattered most. It had never occurred to him to wonder what it was that had so prejudiced his father against him, even before he had been anything more than young possibilities waiting to become real.

He closes his eyes, allowing his mind and awareness to drift. Rest was what he needed, while body knit and became whole again. The security detail would investigate the scene, would determine the threat that Margot posed, or not, by use of her magick. Would clean up the mess. Would clear things so that he could once again leave, no doubt summoned by one of his parents. That thought was enough to chill him once more, and he calls for a hot cha'tha. The soothing brew, the silence, the blankets, the injuries all conspire together, eventually bringing sleep.

It's her scent that first awakes him…dancing about the room as if in a dream. He hears soft taps as she places several objects upon the small stone table near his bead. She doesn't speak, her breathing light and controlled, as are her steps. With him in such a weakened condition, it would only take a single stab to end his life. A single prick, to end this link he had to her.

Kendall lies still for 15 beats, heart thrumming fast and shallow with the impetus of surprise and that current of fear that underlay everything in the Courts of Chaos. He had not died yet, and thus he knew he would recover. Eventually. It would still take a great deal of energy for him to throw off the infection of his brother's bane blade, and it would be painful in the meantime. Someone with less fortitude, someone who was not a Lord of Chaos would surely have died already.

He gathers what little strength he has before he forces his eyes open, though some part of him wanted to remain in the dark, in ignorance of which identity of his sister he would see. "Diona." His voice is a mere whisper of sound.

"Kendall… you need to get better, rather quickly now," his sister answers, her voice barely louder than his. "I've left a few things to help."

He lets his breath out in relief that she was coherent and cognizent. "What do you mean? Why are you here?" he asks, suspicious not of her, but of what would have brought her here at this time. He has to take a couple breaths before he can gather the strength to sit up, hissing at the pain. Under the blankets, barely healed flesh tears once more, staining his bandages with blood. Darkness covers his vision for a heartbeat, but then his sight clears so he can see what she had brought.

On the table, she had placed a jar of Galu Root, a kua' injector filled with amber liquid and equipped with a curved needle strong enough to force its way past even his armored skin, one of his own crystals taken off the Rhercyn and glowing with healing energies, and finally a gravedust key…used only for escape, when things go their worst in a Chanicut Manor.

"Father believes you may be plotting a coup… He's send in the Qa'mr to secure your apprehension," she explains.

He stares at her for five heartbeats, struck speechless, but then a finger of cold on his neck breaks his paralysis as a bead of sweat runs down his skin under his collar. His gaze falls once more to the table of gifts. No doubt most if not all of those things together would be needed to restore his body, but… did he want to risk it? Every single one of the things on the table had a risk, some greater than others.

He reaches over to pick up the kua' but simply holds it, feeling its weight in his hands. He shakes his head, baffled, and then he looks back up at his sister. "Thank you, Diona. You should go." There wasn't much more to be said. Mere words couldn't possibly express his gratitude for her to risk so much, and undoubtedly their window of time was tiny. Diona couldn't be caught helping him. Maybe later, sometime, he would find some way to repay her, or just thank her suitably.

She leans in for only a second, brushing his hair clear before giving a kiss on his forehead. Like so many times before, but always reminding Kendall of the first time as a child, deep in the bath, and discovering the wonders of her smile and soft praise. "I do it in thanks to the brain you ever hide beneath there…"

He tries to chuckle, then stops because it hurt too much. She would ever see him as a child. He reaches up to catch her arm before she can escape, and kisses her in return. A gesture of gratitude and affection, expressing what words could not.

"I'll attempt to use it more and hide it less," he promises, stroking her neck in a favored caress. "Now go."

She is gone in an eyeblink, almost as though she was never there. Only her scent lingers, and the gifts she had left on the table.

Kendall closes his eyes and breathes deep in spite of the pain, filling himself with Diona's lingering perfume. He waits in the heavy silence of the room while his heartbeat slows and the pain recedes, and then picks up the kua'. He wonders briefly if he should ask Rory to assist, since without the covering of blankets he was shivering again so much he could hardly hold the needle against his wrist. But then his mouth firms into a decisive line and he tenses his whole body to stop the shaking.

Sweat trickles down his neck as he holds the needle to vein. Then with a sharp jab he forces it through flesh. Pain screams up his arm as he injects the amber liquid from vial into his body, and he shakes convulsively with the effort not to cry out. The antidote infused, he collapses back against the head of his bed, shivering enough to rattle the bed. He closes his eyes against the spinning of the room, and waits a full 100 heartbeats before he's able to grasp the injector and pull it out. Rest.

How long he rested, he didn't know, but when he becomes aware again, Rory is bathing his sweaty head with a cool cloth. The empty injector had been placed back on the table with the others. "The galu root," he manages to say through a jaw that aches from being clenched so hard. His servant nods, expression worried about where these things might have come from, but not arguing.

The root is surprisingly sweet, a pleasant change from all the sourness and pain he had recently experienced. Kendall eats it all, feeling the energy beginning to course through him. He could only hope at this point the root was not poisoned, as sometimes they were by their birth and life by the Abyss. Though all might appear to be well, the poison of the Abyss was subtle and slow to act. Still, there simply wasn't much time to worry about the matter. Either it was fine, or he would have to deal with it. Later. Or the kua' injector might help, since he had used them together. Or the kua' might kill him first. Who knew? He turns his mind back to other conundrums.

"I need to dress to meet Father," he tells Rory as he recovers, to give his servant time to get all in readiness. And very shortly after — far sooner than anyone who had seen Kendall's injuries might ever expect — the Lord is able to sit up and then climb from the bed with his servant's assistance. Dressing took time, though. One never knew how many muscles were needed for such a simple thing, until every single movement hurt. The galu made it possible for him to move, but it didn't take nearly all of the pain away.

Eventually, though, with aid Rory's gentle care and his own grim determination, Kendall at last wears again the aspect of a Chaos Lord and not a half-dead body. Steeling himself against the exertion and the future, Kendall picks up his sister's other two gifts and makes his way out of his rooms.

The manor is locked down, and he is met by a security detail of eight who require some convincing to take him where he wants to go. And once they are finally convinced, the travel itself takes time since even the inner ways had been closed off to prevent anyone from penetrating the private areas of the manor where the Lord had been securely protected. 1200 heartbeats, two checkpoints, and an additional eight guardsmen later, Kendall finally finds himself in front of Margot's door.

Back to list of Kendall's game threads
Consequences, Always Consequences

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