CASeries #4: WARSONG
Chapter Two ⚜ Delimited
The Celestial Twelve was against the idea of Valeriana seeing Chavi. Even so, they could not hold her back. She needed to do this for her peace of mind. If they were to keep her from seeing Chavi, no doubt that she would find a way to do it anyhow.
Headmaster Kylon managed to arrange for a meeting in two days’ time. It had been tough trying to get a permission from the CDD. The place was of high security and they needed to be escorted by a Celeste. The girl had refused to talk properly since they caught her, so they were taking chances that maybe with Valeriana around, she would open her mouth.
The Celeste Dispatch Division Headquarters was in the heart of the Central Continent, the city of Rosellevienne. However, their lands were large and bordered by titanic gates. Knights were posted at the entrance bearing weapons and, in order to enter, a certification of identity must be presented.
This time, Seraphina would accompany the fifth-ranker. They went through the portals and were greeted by a man behind the screens of a guardhouse. Seeing Seraphina, he erected his back and saluted, raising his elbow and putting his fist against his heart.
“Celeste de la Rosellevienne!” he exclaimed jubilantly.
“Good day, Turner,” Seraphina nodded and returned the salute. “This girl with me is Valeriana Kerrigan, we have set a meeting with Chavi Audwin in containment cell number six, section twenty-two at the sixth level.”
“Ah, that girl,” he muttered. His brown eyes gazed at Valeriana for a moment as he took a small bronze badge from a drawer and handed it through the window. “Please wear this at your person at all times. You are authorized to enter the containment building, but your visit is limited to an hour. When the time is up, you must come here immediately and hand in the badge you’re given. There are restricted areas that you are not allowed to enter, accompanied or not.”
She nodded understandingly. “Yes,” she muttered, accepting the badge and pinning it on her shirt. It was the shape of a simple circle, nothing more.
“Alright, it was a good day seeing you, Celeste.” The knight smiled at Seraphina and saluted one more time.
They entered. The grounds were wide and were littered with knights. They all seemed to recognize Seraphina, saluting whenever they saw her. In the middle of so many people, the lady knight stood out like a moon amongst stars, red paint on white paper. She held a presence of superiority which commanded the respect of anyone who laid their eyes on her.
However, the surprise was obvious. Looking back, Seraphina had been suspended because of her case. No doubt she was a face they haven’t seen for quite a while.
The containment facility was heavily guarded and vast. It was composed of ten levels. The first level was the upmost floor, while the second and below went underground. The more severe the crime committed, the lower the floor. As they went down the stairs and stepped on the sixth floor beneath the ground, they trekked through thick walls and narrow halls. The entirety of every floor were divided into different sections and the cells were numbered.
“Remember, Valeriana. The room in which Chavi is being kept in has a nullifying quality. Once you step through those doors, you are as good as your human self,” Seraphina told her. “Don’t do anything reckless. If she makes any move on you, you must leave the room at once.”
They finally stopped before Chavi’s containment cell. For such an old-fashioned world, their facilities were ridiculously advanced. The door was barred but there was a wide window that offered a view within. Unfortunately, it was also barred, and looking at the thickness, unbreakable.
The doors unlocked before her, causing Valeriana’s heart to thunder as she entered. Chavi was sitting on top of her bed, her ankles bound by a chain connected to the wall. There was a wooden table before her with two chairs.
Chavi saw her come in and suddenly had her eyes filled with tears. She stood up and approached Valeriana, but her chains only went as far as the opposite chair on the table.
Valeriana saw this but paid no heed to it. Despite how much it pained her to see Chavi like this, there were things she needed to know. Pulling out the chair, she sat. Chavi mirrored her actions. The air within the room was strangely suffocating and there was a lack of energy that reminded her of her home. Valemnia’s air was thick with a strange energy that she wouldn’t have noticed if it weren’t for the lack of it. She suspected this presence to be the so-called power pressure.
The room was void of that.
“Chavi,” she said.
“Val,” Chavi replied as she broke down crying. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I tried to stop her, but I couldn’t.”
Her words made Valeriana pause. Her heart was in a turmoil and her stomach was flipping. “Why did you do it?”
“No, no.” She shook her head. “You have to understand that it wasn’t like that. It wasn’t like that.” She nipped on her lower lip.
“Chavi, did someone else make you?” she asked.
“You believe me, right? They don’t believe me,” she said. Her words did not carry a hint of lie, only sincere regret and guilt. “I’m so frustrated, Valeriana! I’m so so scared, I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to.”
“Hey, it’s okay. I promise you I believe you.” She reached out and held Chavi’s hand. Valeriana did not know if it was her denial or her instinct, but she could not bring herself to believe it was Chavi. She had only known this girl for a few months, but she was one of the first few people who welcomed her readily.
Was she being blinded? She saw it clearly. She heard her talking. Could she not see the truth? She felt betrayed in the deepest recesses of her heart, but she wanted to know. Even if the truth hurt, she wanted to know. Straight from her mouth.
“But I need you to tell me everything. If you want me to help you, you have to tell me.”
The hands Valeriana held suddenly shook her off. Chavi’s fingers snapped around her wrist and tightened painfully. Valeriana grimaced as she stared up at the girl’s face. For such a small body, her grip was undeniably powerful. Her eyes flashed with strange darkness that made the hair on the back of her neck stand.
“I can’t tell you . . . you can’t tell her . . .” she muttered with a hint of malice. A split second after, the grip loosened and the look in her eyes disappeared. Chavi withdrew her hands and kept them on her lap. “No.”
Valeriana felt the confusion wash in. She immediately pulled back her arms and held it against her chest, wary of the girl before her. Even during that day, it felt as though Chavi was someone else—or rather, there was someone else in her body. Valeriana was uncertain of this fact.
“Who are you?” the fifth-ranker asked.
The darkness crept in once again and a strange smile pulled on her lips.
“No way.” She tilted her head to the side. “Don’t tell me you forgot. I’m Chavi Audwin, I’m your friend.” Chavi’s face contorted into a look of frustration and anger. She gripped her plain, white dress so hard her knuckles turned white. “No.”
The exclamation had Valeriana frowning. She had an inkling her suspicions were correct.
“Chavi, are you like . . . possessed? Are those demons controlling you?”
But it wasn’t her who answered. “Possessed?” She laughed—like it was the most hilarious and ridiculous idea ever heard.
Valeriana’s eyes went wide.
Chavi’s voice turned softer. “I’m so sorry, I can’t—that’s right, you’ll get nothing.”
“I don’t get this.” She shook her head. “Who are you?”
“I already answered that question, now leave . . . leave!” she screamed. “Leave, leave! You’ll get nothing from me, you’ll get nothing, nothing, nothing!”
“If I don’t have you,” Valeriana muttered in frustration and stood up helplessly. Chavi’s eyes followed her as she left, the doors opened before her and the bars parted. Once she was out, she looked over her shoulder and watched as the entrance was locked. Chavi watched her retreat.
Seraphina sighed when they exchanged glances and gave her a look of sympathy.
“Let’s try some other time, Valeriana.”