Story:Holy Opposites Chapter 28
Chapter Twenty Eight:
I sat on the ledge outside the blacksmithy, swinging my legs in the air. The amount of healing magic I’d had poured into my body in the last few days had left me feeling carefree and healthy, as much as I could with missing body parts. The wind picked up and carried the late spring scents across my face. The orchards were all shedding their leaf pods and sprouting bright green curls, the river had dropped to its normal level, and the seagulls were out and soaring. Were it not for the specter of imminent apocalypse, I might have been enjoying myself.
Axio emerged with two pieces of paper in his hands. “His reservations about the speed with which we needed the work done evaporated when he saw the huge bags of gold and jewels,” the Aasimar said sarcastically. “Bringing him the old armor scraps helped, too.”
“Kinda surprised you wanted new armor, Axio,” I remarked. “Your old armor was much better than mine.”
“And obsolete. Besides, it never fit quite right,” Axio said. He stood next to me and looked up at where I was sitting. “Time for the next errand.”
“Sure.” I rose and walked down the few short steps to where he was. “What’s the next step?”
“Off to the apothecary’s, to buy some potions and alchemics,” he said. He spotted where I had affixed my new badge and smiled. “That looks good on you.”
I rolled my arms back to display where the badge sat over my heart on my new jacket. “The badge, or the jacket?” I purred.
“Sure.” He grinned and shook his head. As I followed him to the apothecary’s, I wondered about the change in his demeanor. He seemed to have gotten over my accidental teasing the previous day. Was it something he had discussed with Ryaire, or had something else happened? Either way, I supposed it was for the better.
Actually, it was bothering me a bit, now. I hadn’t meant to be mean, and I suspect I had convinced him that it wasn’t my intent, but being a thing of evil sex and all that, had I given him cause to think my control of my impulses was slipping? “Too far?” I asked.
“I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable there,” I said.
Axio sighed and stepped into an alleyway. I followed. “Cavria, let it go,” he said quietly. “My… insecurity… over my sexual inadequacies is not something with which I am comfortable joking, and you didn’t know that,” he added. “I thought it over after I talked with Ryaire in my dreams last night on another topic. I’m twenty two years of age, I can handle a bit of teasing.”
I felt a bit relieved that he was being so mature about it, but I couldn’t resist saying one more thing. “Luanea clearly has eyes for you, if it really bothers you,” I said.
Axio recoiled. “What? No! She doesn’t act like that towards me in a flirtatious way.”
“She sure acts like she does,” I remembered.
My partner shook his head. “No, she acts like she misses her husband.”
I blinked. “Husband?”
“That ring on her finger isn’t magical. He’s a Supplicant, one of the Eilistraeean servants who hides refugees in the secure caves in the Underdark until it’s safe to move them all up to the surface. She goes months at a time without seeing him, the poor thing,” Axio said sadly. “He’s a very good man. They’re head over heels for each other.” He focused on me again. “She acts relaxed and unguarded around me because we’re so alike in nature and height that we may as well be brothers. Have you ever met him? It’s uncanny.” He stepped back. “I assure you, she has no sexual feelings for me. None.”
I thought that over. “So… I shouldn’t flirt with you either, I take it?” I asked, phrasing it as a joke.
He chuckled. “No, no, I’ll find a way to resign myself to it,” he said sheepishly. “I suppose I should take it on the chin. It’s a silly thing to be embarrassed about.” He fixed me with his gemstone eyes. “But your own nature does make it a bit risky, you tell me. You were the one who imposed the asexuality clause on yourself.”
“Sadly. Oh well.” I shrugged, playing off my sudden regret. My nature is such a pain in the ass sometimes. “Onward.”
The apothecary, a half-gnome with old blue eyes, read the list of ingredients Axio had brought with him. “Goodness, somebody’s taking up adventuring,” she said. “By Garl, this reads like a checklist for spell and potion components.”
Axio nodded. “Not adventuring, per se, but close enough. Can you provide us with all this?”
“Well, the reagents and some ingredients, for sure, but the spell components… no, not all. You’ll have better luck elsewhere, I’m afraid.”
I stuck my hand out. “I can take the ingredients while you deal with the rest, Axio,” I said.
“Sure, thank you.” He passed me some of the money and took off.
The apothecary started finding the items behind her counter while I waited. “So, you were with those adventurers who found the children in a bookstore or something, right?” she asked as she grabbed some dried bats.
“I was,” I said. “It’s a portal to Undermountain.”
“Amazing.” She started piling things on a little scale as I doled out coins. “So do you have any idea who’s taking all these children?” she asked worriedly.
“Baneites, unfortunately. We’re working on it, I promise.” I thought of my new badge, my new armor, and the enchanted bangle I had bought for my glaive. “Yes, we’re solving this problem.”
|The tale of the Holy Opposites ||
|Arc 1: | Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 |
Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10
|Arc 2: | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 |
Chapter 16 | Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Chapter 19 | Chapter 20
Chapter 21 | Chapter 22 | Chapter 23 | Chapter 24 | Chapter 25
|Arc 3: | Chapter 26 | Chapter 27 | Chapter 28 | Chapter 29 | Chapter 30|
|Arc 4: | Chapter 31 | Chapter 32 | Chapter 33 | Chapter 34 | Chapter 35 |
Chapter 36 | Chapter 37 | Chapter 38 | Chapter 39 | Glossary