The Destruction of Beautiful Things

"They give our Master a crown of thorns, why do we hope for a crown of roses?" - Martin Luther

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16. Chapter Thirteen

When Silas heard Millicent’s voice, he knew something was wrong. They had planned to meet two days from now, and so she must have had good reason to show up at his front door. Silas ran down the stairs and saw Kenja by the door and Millicent at the bottom of the stairs. Millicent had various wounds on her face, and her neck was covered in dried blood. Her leg seemed to be bleeding, and the lent against the wall upon seeing him.

“We need to talk,” she said.

Kenja walked up the stairs and brushed past Silas. He would explain this to her later, once Millicent had left.

“Come with me,” said Silas, leading her into the kitchen. He sat her down on a stool and dampened a cloth.

“There’s something in the temple,” said Millicent. She sounded shaken, and she flinched when Silas began to scrub away the blood on her face and neck.

“What do you mean? Why were you in the temple again?”

Millicent pushed his hand away and looked him in the eye, “Have you not heard?”

“Heard what?”

“The Mayor was shot,” Millicent said, “the people who shot him did it as a sacrifice.”

Silas began to clean the wounds on her face, “To who?”

“The King of Kings.”

Silas shook his head. What was happening to this city?

“I was there when the Mayor was shot, and I killed the people that did it,” Millicent started, “but before I killed them, I asked them who the King of Kings was. They told me that its name was Eidolon. I went into the temple, to try and talk to it. I didn’t think anything would happen. But Silas…” she leant her face close to his, “it’s real.”

“I spoke to it. Eidolon. It told me that it was a forgotten God, and that a man in white had remembered its existence. That man in white, Silas, is Doctor Ellsworth.”

Silas looked at her in disbelief, and then asked, “How do you know?”

“Because he was there” she said, “he bought it bodies.”

Millicent then went on to explain about the wolves and how she had hurt her leg. Silas couldn’t believe what she was telling him, and yet panic boiled in his gut. If there was a God below the city, what havoc could it wreak? And of all people, why was Doctor Ellsworth helping it?

“Nathaniel is in trouble,” said Millicent, “If Doctor Ellsworth is tangled up with an ancient God, who knows what he will do? Eidolon asked for more bodies, what is Nathaniel is next?”

“What do you propose we do?”

Millicent thought about this whilst Silas finished cleaning off her face and moved to her leg. She winced in pain as he rolled up her trousers and began to clean away the blood around her ankle where the wolf had struck.

“We need to get him off the island, and we need to warn the city,” she said, “We don’t know what this God is capable of, or what it wants. But from the looks of it, at the moment it’s willing to let people kill in its name just so it can get stronger. Imagine what it could do when it’s at its full strength.”

“Okay,” said Silas, rising to his feet again, “how do we warn the city? And even if we do, what will we do about Eidolon? We can’t exactly stop a God.”

“First we need to get Nathaniel out of there,” she said, “then we alert the military.”

In Shalom, the military was rarely called upon. They simply had no need for it, as they had Bodybringers to deal with the Cracks, and any terrorist attacks are dealt with by the Mayors Protection Service. But if they were dealing with a God….they would need all the help they could get.

“I have one condition,” said Silas. Millicent raised an eyebrow.

“We bring my Bodybringers.”

“Absolutely not,” said Millicent.

“Why?”

“I am not having a bunch of men wondering around that island, do you know how suspicious that would look?”

Silas sighed, “Everybody in this house was trained to kill silently. The Cracks hunt by sound, and the louder we are the more we would attract. Plus, in the state you’re in, you’ll need more help. If Doctor Ellsworth saw you then he must know you’re planning something. The security on the island will be high, you’ll need our help.”

Millicent only said, “Fine.”

“I’ll call a meeting.”

Five minutes later, Silas had gathered his Bodybringers in the kitchen, and they all stood staring at Millicent with confusion on their faces.

“I’ve called you all here because we are not going hunting tonight,” said Silas. Already, the group began to murmur. Silas hushed them and continued, “there is an evil lurking beneath this city, and at the heart of it is Doctor Ellsworth.”

“What do you mean an evil?” Asked the girl who’d opened the door for Millicent.

“A God, Kenja,” Silas replied.

Silas then went on to explain how Millicent had followed them into the temple, and that after they’d discovered the temple, Millicent found the book titled “King of Kings”, and then explained what had happened to Millicent in the temple earlier that day. They all looked at her as if they thought she was making it up. Finally, once Silas had finished, Millicent stood.

“I have a friend trapped in that manor house,” she said, “and I need your help to get him out. Doctor Ellsworth will know we’re coming, and so we need to be careful.”

“How do we know that your friend is in danger?” Asked a tall man. As the group had entered ten minutes ago, Silas had introduced him as Bruce.

“Because Doctor Ellsworth is sacrificing people to Eidolon. The history between the two of them is troubled, and I have a feeling that my friend will be next.”

“Shouldn’t we report this to the Mayor?” Kenja questioned.

“The Mayor was shot today,” Silas replied, “he would be in no condition to deal with this. We can’t alert the city either, because it would only cause chaos.”

“We leave at dusk tonight,” Millicent said, “we take our own boat and loop around to the back of the island. I will go and find my friend with Silas, whilst the rest of you stand guard. Two of you outside of the manor house, and the rest inside.”

“You’re acting like this will be easy,” commented one of the men named Fyn.

“Hopefully it will be,” Silas said.

From there, everyone left to go and get geared up. Kenja was the only one that stayed.

“I have some clothes if you want to borrow them,” said Kenja, motioning to Millicent’s bloodstained clothes.

“Thank you.”

Kenja led Millicent upstairs to her bedroom. It seemed to be the biggest one, and most of the space was taken up by a giant double bed that was pushed up against the far wall. The walls were painted a pale blue, and there were two wardrobes either side of the bed. Kenja went into one of them and threw out a pair of dark trousers, a black vest top and a leather jacket.

“You can change in here,” said Kenja, and turned around to give Millicent some privacy. She began to peel off her bloodied clothing and lay it on the floor.

“This friend that we’re saving,” Kenja started, “is he more than a friend?”

Millicent smiled to herself as she remembered the other night in the clock tower, “Yes.”

“He must be a lucky man then, to have someone going to the end of the Earth to rescue him.”

Millicent began to pull on the clothes Kenja had lent her, “I don’t know if he feels the same about me, but if he does, then I guess he is lucky.”

There was silence for a few minutes, and then Millicent dared to ask, “So are you and Silas together?”

Kenja scoffed, “Barely.”

Millicent waited for more of a reply, and then finally Kenja said, “We have sex, but I think that’s all he likes about me. I like him more than the sex.”

“I saw how worried he was when he found you in the temple,” Millicent said, pulling on the leather jacket, “I think he cares about you more than you think.”

Kenja shrugged and turned around, “I hope so.”

Millicent threw her bloodied clothes away in the bin, and the two of them waited at the bottom of the stairs for the rest of the Bodybringers. Millicent had a bad feeling about this. What if she got there and it was too late?

Stop it, she told herself. By now the sun was beginning to set, and the Bodybringers began to come down the stairs one by one. Silas was the last to come down, and Millicent noticed the way he stood protectively beside Kenja.

“Are we ready?” He asked. Everyone nodded.

“Then let’s go.” 

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