A/N: It's been a little while since I've updated. I apologize for that. I just got a little wrapped up in my game developing lately and trying to find a job. Anyway, I hope that you enjoy the latest chapter of Obsolete Garden.
Also feel free to check out the Obsolete Garden webcomic on ComicFury. If you search for Obsolete Garden it should show up.
Chapter 6: Free Will
"People like us don't come along but rarely in a lifetime. It's not like I don't question the morals of those who serve the gods. Is goddess Cambria real? I wonder," Vlad looked thoughtful for a moment before he held up his finger and waved it back and forth. "No need to think on that too long. We don't need instant conclusions. Oh no, I want to talk about free will. Let's say that she is real. How are you certain we have free will? You think you have free will. Oh yes, you certainly do. Are the choices you make your own? What if it's programmed into you? What if she programmed you to believe in her? What if we're forced to believe in her?"
Vlad then frowned and his tone took on a more bitter and solemn tone, "a puppet…Everything has been predicted for you. Nothing is your choice. Nothing at all. You felt like you chose but you didn't."
"How do you know someone isn't controlling what you think, Vlad?" by that logic, Venetia had every right to question what he was saying, even now. "You talk like a pawn."
"There's no way to tell. No way to tell at all. I wonder. I do. Will we be released of this curse after death? Will it be worse when we confront the puppet master? Will we be stuck in this predicament forever or will we have finally had free will when we achieve our goals? I wonder. I do," the unstable man's smile widened and his voice changed pitch into a happier tone.
"Friends help each other, right? We shouldn't let each other rot. We are alike, you know? Prisoners of fate with no free will. No one can escape fate. I murdered them. I could write it off on Thanatos easily. I tortured that girl in the cave. It was me. Yes, me. The others will be just as fun to kill. You think you can play investigators? The number of cases I have made will make you realize your futility. I am marked with luck. I have won every gamble I've been faced with. Do understand."
Vlad leaned down to his sister and peered at her expression through his thick glasses. "Acknowledge me. I am here with you. Why do you insist on refusing me?" The killer's voice sounded agitated and sorrowful. "So lonely….I have been so lonely….Why are you looking at me this way? With such contempt? Everything I've has been for your benefit. Are you mad? Are you?"
Vlad backed up and held his arms out as he stood behind the dismembered corpse at his feet. "This is what fate dictated. This was their destiny. What? Do you think their deaths were unjustified? You don't agree do you? Please, understand where I am coming from. I really do want you to understand. You must understand. I really like you. I do. I want you to know."
Venetia's maroon eyes followed her brother's form. She wanted to make sure that he didn't decide to pull that knife out again. He had already stabbed her, and she had a feeling he wouldn't hesitate to kill her if he wanted to. "No one would care anymore. You're taking advantage of us. Understand what will happen. We're wasting time. We both kill in different ways. Are we just throwing away lives to enjoy ourselves?" She sighed and her voice softened, "We're just arguing at this rate. Do you know what? One day, we won't have to ever again. It's crazy to think about, isn't it, brother? We're both thinking about the ultimatums of life. Nothing will stop us from dying. Not even if we combined our efforts. We can't fail or hurt when we're dead. We both know the end to the means."
As much as she didn't want to think about things, she knew that he was right. Everything came to one ultimate and damning conclusion in life – and that was to die. In the end, people did pass away. Some met their fate earlier than others but all ventured to the same resting place. She and Vlad both shared the same purpose, but in different ways. Her brother killed off people he considered easy prey, and because the voices in his head instructed him into such gruesome actions. She killed to protect her goddess from harm and battle the forces of anyone who dared to keep Lady Cambria from her ultimate goal of peace.
They both committed acts of murder.
Both of their hands were steeped in blood.
"We can show each other the life we know that we want, dear sister," Vlad spoke sweetly to his sibling. "We've been apart for so long. So very long. When we break, we give each other parts to help fix the other. Dull but can be sharpened. We can give each other strength. I know what you've done and you know what I've done. We belong to each other."
He sat on the girl's lap and got extremely close to her. Vlad caressed her face with his bare hands and stared lovingly into her eyes. "I'll always be with you. I'll follow you. The best of companions. The very best. I'll watch over you. When you feel alone, remember that I'll be here, watching. You'll never understand how close I really am.. You'll never forget my touch," he ran his palms over her cheeks and down her chest, resting them inches from her breasts. "Never forget. Never forget the sight of each other. We aren't quite the monsters we think each other are."
"I'll come at you blunt and brutal, plowing you into the ground if you screw with me beyond this point, brother," Venetia stared into his eyes coldly. She wanted to make sure that the crazy inventor got the point. She might be taking his shit now, but it was going to stop after this moment.
"As I am dying, pick me up with your strong arms. I want this. Bring your lips to mine and we can continue our sweet dance in the afterlife," Vlad smiled and spoke those words affectionately as he pressed his forehead to his sister's. There was something about this moment, something about the feeling of their bodies being so close together that he sought comfort in.
"I'll help you if you help me. I'll invest the same kind of time and care into you as I do my goddess if you stop this madness." That was a promise that Venetia could keep. If paying more attention to him would help people live, she was willing to do it. It wasn't as if she wasn't regardless. Vlad was mentally ill. He needed her around to help him with his disorders, and to have her support. The both of them had gone through a lot, and she knew that he had been hurting. It was why she made visits to him in the first place. However, she could tell that what time they spent together wasn't enough.
"I like where this spinning wheel of destiny is befalling us. Let it spin past the point of no return. The only question is, dead sister, can you keep up with my woven plans? Can you truly achieve a symbiotic relationship with me?" She had already failed him once. Vlad wasn't so sure that she wouldn't do it a second time. While he remained skeptical, he did hold some sense of hope for their relationship. He did love his sister so.
"Venetia, are you really going to do this?" Iliya didn't think that she was taking the best course of action. Befriending a killer like Vlad was only going to get the both of them killed in the process. Who was to say that after he released them he wouldn't turn around and put that bone saw to good use?
"Nothing to it but to do it. If this will stop him then I don't have a choice," Venetia closed her eyes and pointed her gaze to the blood that ran beneath her feet on the floor before she glared down her brother. "You know how to be one hell of a bastard."
Vlad laughed a little, "with a capitol b, yes?"
"Of course," Venetia smiled a little.
Finally, it seemed that the worst would be over. All she needed to do was convince Vlad to get them out of those chairs and untie them. After that, she would take him back to her goddess and decide what is to be done with him. Venetia knew that she would have to uphold her promise, but she was more than happy to abide by that promise. From now on, she would be more than happy to have a better relationship with her brother. The two of them had such a hard life growing up together and more than anything she wanted to help him.
They stood in the void of space, watching the events that played out before them. It was their job after all, to gaze into the stars to see what their element would inject into the lives of others. Fate closed their eyes and frowned. This was going to be a bigger course of events than they had anticipated.
In a way, they dreaded this, but they knew that nothing would change unless one of them decided to take matters into their own hands.
"It's that day again. It shows it, and time flows the same. There's no need to struggle. It's not as if you're wearing a muzzle now, is it?" Fate spoke to no one but themselves. "Fate hides because it can, and no other reason. You can't find it, you should understand that. It will sneak up behind you and choke you tight. All of you will meet a most glorious fate. However, blood flows like slime and dries, flaking off over time. No words can describe what I will create. You should all listen. There is a reason why the trees bristle."
At the scene of the crime, everyone had been cleaning up the mess that was made at the party. Those who stuck around helped move the remaining decorations, tables and food out of sight while others helped to remove the blood and bring any bodies they found to a nearby graveyard to be buried. Lafayette's body was removed from the premises to be buried as well.
Lestat and Samala were in charge of the cleanup and stood among the people, insects and demons who worked diligently around them. The both of them wore serious expressions, and were solemn in the face of what was now a scene riddled with death. It was hard to believe that this was once a scene of laughter and celebration.
"They've been gone for a while," Lestat broke the silence between them.
"Do you think they'll be alright?" Samala's expression contorted in worry.
"Mmmm…" the nephalim wasn't too sure about that. He worried for the two of them, especially if they were going to investigate a killer and an unpredictable one at that. Lestat had heard things about Vlad, and few of them were good.
"I don't like the sound of that," Samala closed her eyes and frowned, "things have been going sour lately."
"This is rare for Natsuhama," Lestat pointed out the obvious. They were usually such a peaceful land with few incidents to worry about. The recent course of events really made him question things.
"People die but not to this extent," Samala couldn't act like the occasional murder didn't happen. She was well aware that not everyone was as humble and kind as they presented themselves, but this was the work of a truly malicious force. "Do you think there's something more sinister at work?"
"Who can say? I am just keeping my eye on Lady Cambria. If something were to happen to her, I could never forgive myself," Lestat didn't even want to think of the possibilities. He cared about Cambria more than he could ever say, and wanted to keep her away from danger as much as possible.
Before either of them could continue their conversation, the Rose God wandered up to them both with a bottle of half drank liquor in his hand. Rosario was still drunk, and his looks reflected it. "So…did anyone find out who the killer was yet?" He asked in an all too excited tone. "I'm really interested."
"This isn't a murder movie," Ophir's face lit up with irritation at the sight of the deity. "Why are you treating this so lightly?"
"Because a little chaos makes things fun," Rosario smiled, "besides, I came here to enjoy myself. That's what I plan on doing." He wasn't going to let some killer destroy his fun. He was far too drunk to care about what happened around him. As long as the killer wasn't trying to kill him, he could care less.
"I wish you could be serious about this," Samala closed her eyes and sighed. "The killer could have other motives in mind. What if they want to try and target Lady Cambria?" That was something that he should take caution of. If the killer wanted to play god, he could possibly try to take out the two gods that resided in that world.
That included him.
"A mortal killing a god?" Rosario nearly laughed. "That's a good one."
"There have been those who have tried," the crow opened her eyes and stared him down. "A god's creations revolt or get ideas that are unsavory." Samala didn't know why that was so hard to believe, or such a farfetched idea that it was deemed impossible.
"Such things would never happen in Flora," Rosario knew that to be truth. He had a special ways of operating his world and as a result no one would ever think about overthrowing him. That's what happened when you had a proper hold on your subjects.
"Not all worlds are the same," Samala didn't think that he should have been comparing their methods of rule.
"It almost happened to sun father," Cambria added to the conversation. If it could happen to the god of all gods, then she didn't think it was impossible for it to happen to Rosario at all.
"That was by an angel and a powerful one at that. You should keep a tight grip on your subordinates and things like that won't happen," Rosario was going to stick by his methods. He made damned sure that no one stood against him on Flora, and no one had tried to overthrow him so there must be something about his rule that worked.
"Is that how you rule Flora? She's not a dictator." Knowing that, Ophir was more than happy that he didn't live in the Rose God's world. It sounded awful and oppressive.
"You don't have to be. As god it's your job to maintain your world and make sure that it runs in order. Watching what your creations do is important," Rosario thought that was how all gods operated. They had to make certain their creations didn't run awry.
"Is it a god's job to regulate their own world's devil and fellow god's?" The cold question poured from Lestat's mouth. Everyone could feel the ice of his words.
"Certain people ask far too many questions," Rosario easily dismissed him. He wasn't going to answer such nonsense.
"Certain gods should answer them if they have nothing to hide," Lestat shot back. He wanted Rosario to tell him. He wanted to Rose God to answer him honestly, but he knew that was only a pipe dream. Nothing could make that pompous asshole talk.
"God's issues aren't meant for your involvement," Rosario didn't have to answer to him. In fact, it was funny that he thought he was important enough to get anything from him. Mortals really did have some audacity, didn't they?
"I'm every bit of a god as you are," Lestat was a nephalim, someone who could easily become a god. To dismiss him just because Rosario found him inferior was beyond irritating.
"Excuse me, again? What world do you rule over? None? Ah, yes that's what I thought," Rosario said smugly and held a hand to his chest with pride. If Lestat didn't have his own world, then he was far from a god and far from anyone he wanted to associate with.
"Whether you like it or not, we're related," Lestat shot back. Rosario couldn't run away from their blood ties.
"Well, I most certainly do not like it, so I'm not going to acknowledge it, okay?" The narcissistic Rose God would care less if Lestat dropped dead at his feet. In fact, he preferred it if he did and he would gladly step on his corpse to boot.
"Are you disowning me, you ignorant old man?" Lestat ground his pointed teeth and growled. Rosario was really pissing him off at this point and he was sick of that snobby little act he was executing.
"You're a product of my other half's terrible decision. An abomination," the last phrase rolled off his tongue like poison, trying to eat away whatever was left of Lestat's self-worth.
"Does she think that?" Lestat really really wanted to know the answer to that.
"She does," Rosario declared proudly.
"Lies," he hissed.
"How do you know? Have you talked to her?" Obviously, Rosario knew that he hadn't, nor would he ever get the satisfaction of getting to see her, much less talk to her.
"You're hiding something," and Lestat was going to figure out what it was one way or another.
"Don't speak unless you can prove it," Rosario held out his hand, blocking his view of the nephalim's face. Quite frankly, his view was already good without seeing him.
"Please, stop fighting," Cambria pleaded with the two before things got worse. The tension between the two made her uncomfortable, and she was certain that it made others feel the same way. She didn't want it turning into anything physical and knowing those two, it would escalate to that unless someone stopped them.
"You're upsetting your goddess," Rosario decided to rub some salt in Lestat's wound as a final word on the issue.
"Rosario," Cambria scolded him and placed her hands on her hips.
"Fine, fine," Rosario waved in dismissal, "I'll be good."
As the Rose God turned away from the residents of Natsuhama, he could see that Venetia, Iliya and a blood-splattered Vlad walked into view. They approached the small group, each with different expressions. Vlad was smiling in a deranged fashion, still clutching his special knife in his hand. It was stained with the blood of the girl he had dismembered and that of his precious sister. Venetia looked tired and every once in a while she would wince from the pain that resonated in her shoulder. Vlad's strike had dug deep and she could feel the sanguine essence flowing onto her brown coat and staining it. Iliya tried to put on a brave face, but he couldn't stop thinking about the girl that begged to be helped as her body was ripped apart by the crazy inventor's bone saw.
Her blood and screams, the malicious, wicked smile on the goat demon's face as he effortlessly sawed her limbs. It was enough to make him feel a mixture of emotions, sad, disgusted, nauseated and…so hopeless.
He couldn't even save her life, and he was supposed to be a knight.
What kind of knight was that?
"Look who's back," Rosario greeted the bunch as they neared him.
Worry crossed Cambria's face as she ran up to her wounded body guard. "Venetia! You've been hurt!"
"Don't worry, my lady. It isn't very deep," Venetia only partially lied. She didn't want her goddess to worry too much about her condition. It was her job to protect her fair lady, not be a burden to her. Although she couldn't fight clenching her teeth at the shooting, throbbing pain she felt in her shoulder blade.
"The important thing is, we found the killer," Iliya spoke up as Cambria stopped in front of the two of them and cast him an uncertain glance.
"Isn't the killer Thanatos?" Cambria was a little confused. Had Venetia been right about there being more than one of them?
"Thanatos killed Lafayette, but…he's not the one who's killed so many people," Iliya closed his eyes. He was regretful to give them such news. A flash of blood pooling on the ground intruded his senses and the moth shook his head, trying to rid himself of the brutal images.
"Ah, who is it then?" Rosario inquired. He was eager to know just who had left such a wonderful trail of carnage.
Vlad laughed a little and straightened his glasses. He thought the answer to that question was quite clear, but he would announce himself regardless. "It's me, all me," he held up his bloody knife with a wide, hellish smile. "I confessed. I really, really did, but no more. None. I'm going to have a little change in plans."
"Vlad…" Ophir felt his heart drop into the depths of his stomach with that confession. "Out of all of the people, why would you?" His sister was right hand woman to the god of their world. He couldn't understand why Vlad would want to go against the peace of their world.
"I have a special job. Very special. You see, I can show people their destiny. To show them that life is nothing," and he had been more than successful at that. Their wails as they died, the last breath they took and the despair in their eyes was all he needed to experience to know that humanity felt utterly helpless in his claws.
"Hey, do you really believe that? Sounds like you just want people to feel as cold and empty as you," Rosario was concerned when it came to talk like that. There was something about Vlad that was deeply troubled, beyond the fact that he was a killer. His problems ran far deeper than that.
"What would you know? Tell me what you would know, god?" Vlad hissed out that last word. The person who should question him least was a deity.
"Bet I could get you to feel something," a sly smile crossed Rosario's face. He hoped that Vlad would get the implications of that phrase.
"Are you really hitting on my mentally ill brother?" Venetia's eyebrows creased and she frowned deeply. The last person that Vlad needed influencing him was someone like Rosario.
Rosario poked at her chest playfully and cast her a devious gaze. "Sexual healing is the best kind. The best kind."
"No, it's not," she crossed her arms and continued to stare a hole through his face.
"Come onnnnn," the Rose God whined, "I can make him stop killing people. You said you wanted that, right?"
"He already agreed to stop. Your assistance isn't required," Venetia told him coldly. If he so much as put his hands on Vlad she was going to snap them off of his body.
"You guys just won't let me have fun at all, will you?" Rosario slumped and sighed dramatically.
"I wonder. I do wonder…What if I said yes?" Vlad's voice caused the god to perk up right away.
"What?" Venetia snapped her gaze to her brother. He couldn't be serious about this? She honestly hoped that he was joking.
"Ah? Ah?" Rosario poked her in the shoulder and winked with a visage that was all too excited for the moment.
"Why would you entertain this pervert?" Venetia questioned him. She didn't know what angle he was coming from, but it only spelled bad news in her eyes. She didn't want Vlad to get hurt and here he was, crawling to the person who was mostly likely to do so.
"He's a god from another world. A god unlike mine. Very unlike mine. Could it be? Could it? Could I like a god? I do wonder," Vlad placed a finger to his chin in contemplation. He had never seen Rosario before, never met another god that wasn't Cambria. Perhaps a change of pace would be good for him. He was curious as to how other deities ruled and handled their situations.
Who knew? Maybe he would be a better god than his own. At this rate, anyone would be a better god than his own.
"He's not a god you want to like," Venetia continued to warn him; desperately hoping that he would take back whatever curiosity he had.
"Rude, I'm fucking perfect. Your brother has good taste," Rosario was offended that she would say such things about him. If Vlad wanted to entangle himself with divinity who was she to judge?
"I can't stop him, I suppose. I should be happy he's interested in another god, since he doesn't like Lady Cambria," Venetia relaxed her body, closed her eyes and sighed. She still had a feeling that this was going to turn out badly…but Vlad wasn't a child. If he wanted to do this, then he would regardless of what she had to say on the matter.
Upon hearing those words, Cambria felt a wave of sorrow wash over her. She had tried so hard to get all of her subjects to like her. To know that Vlad looked down upon her made her chest hurt and her stomach felt as if it was free-falling inside of her, never hitting the ground. The golden-eyed goddess glanced down with a pained expression.
The small goddess could feel strong arms wrap around her. She glanced up to see that Venetia was hugging her tightly. "Don't worry," she tried to chide the goddess' concerns. "It's only the opinion of one person and…it's my fault. I didn't mean for this to happen. I'm sorry."
It was all because she spent a lot of time with Cambria that Vlad hated her. She was certain of it. Cambria was the one who took her attention away, the one who stole his sister from him. Had she had known that he felt the way he did, then she could have stopped it far sooner.
"I love the people of this world," as much as she tried to stay optimistic about it, Cambria couldn't help but feel her sorrow sinking. Vlad's words cut harsher than any knife.
"Sadly, they won't all feel the same. Surely, as a god you must know this," Samala didn't want to write the god off as naïve, but she knew that Cambria should have at least had some knowledge of those who wouldn't adhere to her rules or respect her position as a deity.
"I do, but…it hurts to hear it, to know that it's someone so close," Cambria felt just awful about it. To know that it was the brother of someone so close to her that absolutely couldn't stand her made her feel a great sorrow.
Venetia's grip on the goddess tightened, minding her fragile butterfly wings. "I'll always be here," she cast her god a reassuring smile, "faithfully serving you."
Cambria looked up at the goat demon and smiled a bit. "Thank you, Venetia; you are my most trusted person." She pulled back from the hug and gazed at her hands, which were now tinted from the blood that leaked from her shoulder. "Oh?"
"Sorry," Venetia frowned, "I'll go clean myself up."
That was embarrassing. She had momentarily forgotten about her injuries. Venetia shouldn't even have thought about touching the goddess with her injuries as bad as they were. How mindless of her.
"No, stay here," Cambria tried to stop her from turning away, "let me heal you."
"I can quickly bandage myself. There's no need to waste your powers on me," Venetia was quick to dismiss the offer. She didn't want Cambria to go out of the way to help her on such a small matter. She would much rather allow her wounds to heal naturally than senselessly waste Cambria's powers like that.
"Nonsense," Cambria was being stubborn. "There's nothing else I'd rather do. A god must take care of her people, as will I."
She couldn't bear the thought of knowing that Venetia would hurt far longer than she needed to, when she could immediately take her pain away. Releasing the goat demon from her burdens was her job as a god, and she was going to act on it no matter what argument Venetia posed.
"Alright, I won't argue with you," Venetia gave into the girl's demands and dropped to knee before her. She bowed her head down and placed her hand on her bent appendage as Cambria reached over and touched her shoulder.
A bright yellow glow that looked similar to sunshine emanated from the goddess' hands as she began to heal her body guard's wounds. The magic sparkled and shimmered, washing over Venetia's body and warming her up. It was a gentle, peaceful feeling, and it felt like warm covers caressing the body on a cold winter's night. The sensation around the wound tingled as the gash faded and the blood was lifted from her fur, skin and clothes.
Venetia arose and thanked Cambria once more. She then turned away; ready to depart on her next mission.
"Where are you going?" The goddess' question stopped her in her tracks.
"I'm going to lay the bodies of the deceased to rest. My brother has them all in his laboratory. There are a lot of them and this is my fault, so I must answer their final wishes," Venetia glanced over her shoulder. She only thought this was right end to the means. She alone felt responsible for her brother's decline into madness, and now she sought to right the wrongs as much as possible in order to help Vlad's victims reach some level of peace.
"Do you need any help?" Iliya asked from his position beside of Cambria. Much like her, he felt responsible for a death as well. In a way, he hoped that she would allow him to come with her, because he wanted to put that poor girl to rest.
It was the least he could do to apologize to her for letting her die.
"You've done enough," Venetia knew that the moth needed rest. The situation had worn on his sanity, and she didn't want it to be a further problem for him.
"Then I'll go," Lestat offered his services.
"Lestat…" Venetia appreciated the offer, but she would have rather the nephalim stay back and protect Cambria.
"Don't reject me. I'm practically begging you to take me away from that Rose God at this rate," Lestat knew that if he didn't get away from Rosario, he was going to smash his head through a tree trunk. Venetia needed to reprieve him of that duty.
"What about Cambria? You and I are the strongest beings here besides your father," Venetia was worried. She didn't want anything happening to the goddess while the two of them were out.
"Iliya is strong. He can take my place while I'm out. I'm sure he can do that," Lestat was certain that nothing too bad would happen, but just in case, Iliya was perfectly capable of handling the situation.
The moth placed a hand over his heart and bowed slightly. "Rest easy, I can watch Lady Cambria. I am a member of her court, after all."
Maroon eyes gazed at the moth, "I'm putting her life in your hands. Don't disappoint me." Venetia instructed in her usual, cold tone.
"I won't," that was a promise Iliya could keep.
Beautiful flowers stretched out as far as their eyes could see. The fields were alive with vibrant bursts of colors, and the air smelled sweet in their senses. Rosario stood among the endless batches of flowers and stretched his arms out, inhaling the air and allowing the wind to blow through his curled up pink spikes.
There was nothing more beautiful in this moment as the land around him. The god truly loved nature and preferred endless flower fields to the industrialized look of houses. Flowers were so precious, a commodity to be used and sight to be admired. It was a shame that people could treat them as they did with such recklessness.
"This place is beautiful, so far away from the party. Look at all of the freshly fertilized flowers. I love that about Natsuhama. So many beautiful flowers. I love them all," the god closed his eyes and smiled, allowing himself to bask in the glory of the sweet blossoms.
"A world all it's down," Vlad said wistfully and stood a few feet away with his back to the deity and his hands in the pockets of his lab coat. "It's like a fairytale. Everyone here is trying to escape it. Trying to run from the inevitable. Nothing lives for long, does it?"
"Is that what you think?" Rosario questioned and turned to him. Vlad was just a little ball of darkness, wasn't he?
"Not indestructible. We're not. Illness, deformity, injury, infection and the unexplainable define us," Vlad knew this to be true. Humanity was such an imperfect thing, so fickle and impure.
"It isn't exactly the same for the gods," Rosario wanted to remind him that there was a very big difference between the two of them.
"The world is a screwed up place," Vlad could only laugh bitterly at his own thoughts. The fact that people wanted to live blissfully unaware of such things was truly delusional.
"It is, but I can still find beauty in it even after all of these years," Rosario held out his hand where a flower had bloomed with the air of his magic. It was a beautiful red rose, deeper than any shade of blood. "A world can be sick and sad, but it can have hidden beauty that mortals don't understand. A busy street full of people walking seemed cold and cruel, but who would stop and take notice of a fragile flower that fought its way through the cracked cement to show the world it's strength and beauty?"
At times, the small things were those that made the little moments in life worth it. Nature had a way of looming in the background of ungrateful people who took its existence for granted. However, without it, they would all die.
"I wonder. I wonder. I do wonder," Vlad seemed thoughtful on that subject. Was he much like that flower Rosario had talked about?
"These are things the gods create. This world is held together by a god's will. It is by god's will that they can live in different worlds. Without it, this land would fall apart. The world is in god's image, and you are in her grand design," Rosario knew Vlad wouldn't like that last part, but it was true. There was nothing he could do but accept it at this rate.
"Am I? I wonder. I wonder many things," Vlad found that statement questionable; especially considering the fact that there was once a goddess before Cambria who had also created things on Natsuhama.
"You don't have any faith in her, do you?" Rosario arched an eyebrow. He had a feeling he was dealing with one of those types.
"I wonder many things about this world and my creation. I wonder many things," Vlad's answer was cryptic.
"I can't teach you everything, but perhaps I can put your mind at ease. Your god is very young compared to someone like me. I know all of the intricacies that she does not," Rosario thought that maybe the goat demon wanted a wiser god, one that could lead him in the way he needed to be led. That god would be him of course. He wanted to show Vlad down the right path, to make him have a reason to believe in deities once more. Maybe all he needed was a little…persuasion.
"Do you? Hmmm….I heard you were only half of a deity. Can half of a person know all of the answers? Can they, Rose God?" Vlad really wanted to know the answers to that. Rosario acted so confident, but Vlad knew he had limited memories, or at least that's what people had said. Could someone like that really show him what he desired?
"I know more than you do, goat demon," Rosario was a little miffed that Vlad would question him on that. He was the first person to do so and it bred familiar feelings of insecurity within him that he would rather have not dealt with.
"Fair enough, fair enough," Vlad knew when he was pushing it, although it was interesting to see Rosario react to him in such a way. What an interesting man. "I can't argue with you on that, there is no way to tell what you give me is the ultimate truth. None whatsoever. But, perhaps you can ease my descent to death. Perhaps you can help me confront the puppet master."
"You think there is one?" Rosario arched an eyebrow.
"If gods control us, who controls them? Don't you wonder? Or do you already know?" Vlad questioned him once more.
"I wonder…" that question made Rosario feel a little uneasy.
The inventor laughed a little, "you get me. You understand. You're special."
"Of course I am," Rosario placed a hand to his chest and puffed out with pride, "I'm a god."
"A sex god, right? An incubus," Vlad questioned.
Rosario laughed a little. It was funny that the little goat demon thought such interesting things. "I am merely a flower demon. The god of fertilization, wine, and celebration. I love it when people celebrate my body. That is the best kind of celebration, yes?" He winked seductively at Vlad.
"I'm hardly the religious type," the inventor stopped him in his tracks.
"It's not nice to put me down like that," Rosario pouted. He had finally thought he was going somewhere with someone, only to get shut down again. At this point, no one would ever indulge in his lust-filled façade.
"You smell like alcohol. Alcohol and roses," Vlad pointed out that he had been drinking earlier. Rosario always seemed to naturally smell like roses. It didn't help that they were literally growing from his body, either. Vlad had always liked the scent of the flowers. They were so sweet in his senses.
"Oh come on, I've been trying to get laid this whole party. Everyone here is so boring. I thought you were special, Vlad. Aren't we special?" Rosario walked over to the goat demon and leaned in close, casting his most seductive gaze onto him. If there was anyone who could fulfill his wish, it would be Vlad. If there was anyone he wanted to fulfill his wish, it would be the inventor. Rosario really couldn't resist someone like him.
"Are we?" Vlad shifted his eyes at the Rose God. "I wonder…Perhaps we are. Yes, maybe I'll sleep with you, huh? I can see what's so special about gods. Can you make me believe? Huh? I wonder if you can turn an atheist into a saint, huh?"
The more the Rose God talked, the more Vlad felt enamored with him. Rosario actually listened to him and didn't write him off as mentally ill or just babbling about incoherent stuff. The Rose God listened to him and wanted to have an intellectual discussion. It was something that Vlad enjoyed, something he cherished because so few people actually were genuinely interested in him.
It was a good feeling. A god felt he was worth his time, and a beautiful god at that. Rosario was the kind of man who could make someone question their sexuality with his charm, personality and looks. It didn't help that the god has a calming voice and seemed to know all the right things to say.
Someone like Rosario was definitely dangerous.
…and Vlad felt like playing with fire.
"I'll make you pray on your knees," the god's octave lowered as his voice took on a more seductive tone.
"Is it special if you offer it to mortal? I wonder. I wonder. I do. Repetition loses its value," Vlad wondered how many other people that god said those lines to. He wanted to hear something unique. He wanted to hear something special that was meant for only him to hear. That would make it special.
"I suppose it does," Rosario looked thoughtful. He hadn't been told that before. This one was going to be harder to charm than usual. He was definitely up to the challenge. "Aha, I did say you were special. So then, should I have fun with you in a special way, then?"
Vlad laughed a little. He couldn't tell if he was nervous or anticipating it at this rate, "perhaps, perhaps."
"In exchange for your body, I'll give you some useful information that will further your outlook on life," Rosario had a lot of knowledge to share. Surely, he could find something useful for Vlad…but even so, he wanted to get to know the goat demon and genuinely help him. There was something about Vlad that reminded him of himself. Such lost, red eyes, out of touch with the world around him.
He recognized that look.
He knew it very well.
"I would usually say no to such things, but I am curious. What does someone learn from the intimacy of divinity? I wonder. Who is controlling whom? Puppeteer or puppet? There's no way to tell. None at all. Is this a good goal to achieve? Providing gods aren't an illusion," Vlad's voice tapered off into a whisper, "a beautiful illusion."
He couldn't help but admit it. The man before him was literally a living Adonis. Rosario was a beautiful man; a truly beautiful man…one that he wanted to put his hands on.
"I can answer those questions," Rosario ran his fingers through Vlad's long, layered hair. He could feel the soft fibers gliding past his fingers.
"Haa, so good at seducing. You don't even need magic…or are you using it? I don't know. I don't…and that makes it exciting," Vlad could feel the shivers trailing up his spine as the god's long nails scratched his head. "You're a better god than my own. Yes, much better. Maybe I could believe in you? Maybe you can tell me what will be released upon my death? Maybe you know who is controlling me? Maybe you know if anyone is at all? Is this in my free will, or is it a predetermined decision? Is this my fate? I am the one marked with luck, and now I'll be marked with what this world sees as divinity."
Saying it like that, it didn't sound too bad. In fact, Vlad felt as if it would be enjoyable to be marked by someone like Rosario. Even now, he found himself wondering what it would be like to be held in the god's strong arms, to feel his lips upon his body…to do other things.
"I'll give you a special mark, one that will forever show you my ageless, timeless presence. Yes, yes, the blessings of a true god. You see, this is no illusion. This is my free will," Rosario's lips curved into a smile. He was finally going to taste the forbidden fruit that he so longed.
There was nothing sweeter than that of a virgin man.
…To Be Continued
A/N: This is a little late and I apologize. Please tell me what you think!