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   Chapter 21 Complications of the Heart

Resurrect Thy Heart By JMFelic Characters: 17818

Updated: 2018-09-05 22:41


Two years ago

House of Doubrava

*

*

"Lady Ysabelle, " Earl Doubrava took the woman's right hand and kissed its soft skin, "it is good to see you again."

Ysabelle gave a light smile. "Earl, good day."

She watched as the head of the Priory of Sion sat on a solo sofa chair, waiting for him to gesture the same to her at the opposite one across the desk. She did when he raised a hand whilst saying, "Please do sit Milady."

They were in a drawing room at the first floor of the enormous house. One bodyguard was seen stationed at the entrance of the door and another one opposite him. The room had a welcoming atmosphere; draped with thick yellow curtains and adorned with little crystal chandeliers on each sides.

Behind the Earl's back stood a man wearing a red robe and a hood covering his face. Ysabelle was cautious of him, but chose to ignore his presence and focused on the powerful man she had meant to visit.

"Uncle Alfon told me that you want to talk to me?" she asked directly. She was wearing her usual ensemble: sneakers, a tee and faded jeans amidst being assigned in a wealthy family who can afford her designer clothing.

"Yes, Milady, I do. It is about a breakthrough I have found on how to fulfill your last wish."

Ysabelle's eyes brightened. "Really?" She clasped her hands together hoping that she heard it right.

"Yes, I am happy to inform you that we finally found a way, " answered the old man with confidence.

"Tell me now please, how?" Ysabelle, with bated breath, urged. As long as she can remember, the brotherhood had been very accommodating to her needs. Each head of the Sion gave their all in order to show her that she was a very important woman in the history of mankind. All of her wishes were granted, except for one; the one wish she asked after a millenia of life. It was pending as no Sion head knew of how to grant it, but now it had come to this, finally. She couldn't hold back the tremble of her hands waiting for the man's reply.

"Before that, I need to introduce you to a friend of mine. A conjurer." Earl Doubrava flicked his finger to invite the hooded man forward and the latter did so almost immediately, standing near the Earl's right side. "He is Monsieur Perrin, a famous conjurer in his country, France. He is the one who discovered a way, Milady."

The conjurer bent his head in acknowledgement and proceeded to pull the hood off. It showed how wrinkly his face was, almost comparable to the Earl's, but he had an untrimmed mustache around his mouth. "Lady Ysabelle, I am glad to have finally meet you. You who is the most holy of women; the immortal one, " he greeted and he would have wanted to kiss her hand too, but the woman clamped her hands down tightly.

"S'il vous pla?t couper les titres, Monsieur. Je suis mal à l'aise, " ("Please cut the titles, Monsieur. I am uncomfortable with it.") Ysabelle replied in fluent French.

The man was taken aback, but nevertheless smiled a toothy smile. "Oh, mes excuses, Milady." ("Oh, my apologies, Milady.") He lowered his head again and politely bowed low.

Earl Doubrava interrupted them with the clearing of his throat. "Anyway, Monsieur Perrin found out that we need to summon a demon that has the power to suck the immortality out of your soul."

Ysabelle frowned. Did she just hear it right? "A demon?"

"Yes, a demon, Lady Ysabelle."

"Why? Aren't there a way we can do it with the help of the Heavenly Realm? Since this immortality of mine was given by the Heavens, why not ask for their help? I'm sure conjurers have that same ability to summon angels."

Ah, angels.

Like the two angels she had met a long, long time ago but suddenly disappeared. The one the brotherhood calls as the Sion messenger, Mikha'el, and the one whom she called her own guardian angel, Aestaroath.

If these two existed, then that only means one thing: the Heavens were just within reach.

It was Monsieur Perrin that answered her directly, releasing calculated breaths. "It seems the Holy Ones aren't as cooperative as we want them to be, Milady. Angels are very cautious with showing themselves to humans."

Ysabelle's brows rose. It didn't seem like that with her guardian angel at all. Aestaroath may have been invisible to other humans, but to her, it was easy and he even became her good friend. Until he suddenly disappeared that is...

"Unfortunately, I can't summon an angel to help us. My powers are only limited to the dark ones, Lady Ysabelle. We only just need for the demon to possess a human body so that we can manipulate it to do our bidding, specifically to take your immortality away just as you requested."

Ysabelle shook her head just hearing a human body involved in it. She stared at the Earl with doubt and said, "I...don't think that's a good idea, Earl Doubrava. Playing with fire...isn't right. Demons are opportunistic creatures. One might do what we order it to do, but that doesn't mean it has a sinister plan of its own."

"Then would you rather live this kind of life?" Earl Doubrava's left hand curled into a tight fist under the table. He was angry with her response but didn't show it through his well-practiced smile and worrying facade. "You said so yourself dear that the loneliness is unbearable. Look at you now. You are still mourning the death of the last Beckford family member even though you now have the Rogratiatto family to be with. Do you want the never ending cycle of grief and sadness?"

Ysabelle diverted her eyes on the carpeted floor. "No, I don't..." was her quiet reply.

"Then this is our chance!" the Earl let out with great emphasis. "We had already spoken with Alfon about this matter and have told his son about this. Luckily, André said yes!"

Ysabelle looked up, shocked. "He did?"

Yes, André. Being the eldest son of the Rogratiatto Family, he was expected to be stern like his father, but whenever Ysabelle and him are together, she could only feel the man's sweetness; listening to her sad stories, giving her expensive gifts, accompanying her whenever she goes to photograph different places. Within three years of her stay in the Rogratiatto household, the two of them have established a good friendly relationship.

"Isn't that a wonderful plan?" the Earl broke her thoughts off.

Ysabelle shook her head again, hesitant to pursue. "But a demon. No one can ever manipulate a demon. No human can control it, " she expressed.

"I assure you it will be manipulated, " was Earl Doubrava's stern reply. Though his eyes were soft and sincere, there was a glint of darkness in it; a darkness Ysabelle hadn't noticed since they met twenty years ago. "Now, give me your permission so that André will go on with the basic examinations."

"If he volunteers himself then I'm okay with it, " said she finally, "I don't want to force him something that he doesn't want to do, let alone do something that includes a dark entity."

"Noted, Milady. I am pleased that you see the reason behind all of these plans we have for you."

Ysabelle nodded and gave a light smile again. She eyed the two men, noting how enthusiastic their faces were. "Well then, I think I should leave now, Earl Doubrava." She stood up and patted her lap.

"Of course, Lady Ysabelle. You are to visit the grave of little Lisa Beckford right?"

"Yes, " was her short reply and left, not wanting to show another grieving expression on her face.

When she fully left the office, the conjurer rounded the table and sat where the woman earlier had. He crossed his legs nonchalantly and turned to look at the Sion head.

"What about the other men, Earl Doubrava?" he asked, thinking of those new aristocratic men they had held captive and experimented recently. This was one significant secret they hid from Ysabelle. One that she didn't have any idea about.

"Keep them in their cells still, " the head replied with cold eyes, "The demon would want fresh souls once it possesses André's body."

"If he is strong enough to house the demon that is, " Monsieur Perrin butted in.

"I have no doubt about that."

"Why are you confident?"

"Because the man volunteered himself that's why, " the Earl's pleased smirk appeared, "It is a big difference to those men you have chosen since they were forced to become a guinea pig."

"Huh, now I am curious as to why the eldest son of Alfon volunteered himself, " the conjurer expressed, whilst watching a passing Rogratiatto family car out of the window.

"Hmf, the power of love and lust Monsieur Perrin, " the Earl remarked with a sure voice, "Le pouvoir de l'amour et surtout, la luxure." ("The power of love and most especially, lust.")

The conjurer's eyes went wide. "Are you saying that André—?"

"Yes, " Earl Doubrava abruptly interrupted, "He wants the woman very, very muc

h, but since he is under the brotherhood's rules, he can't touch her. He has feelings for the woman I tell you. A very psychotic one to be exact. I bet he has something to gain out of this plan."

"Huh, no surprise in that!" Perrin expressed, "I could understand the psychosis. I mean who wants to be a guinea pig right? Does he even know that his soul will be devoured by the demon if he isn't strong enough?"

"No, " was Earl Doubrava's scarce reply and that made the conjurer smile evilly.

"Dirty old man, you should tell him that, " he said, whilst cupping his bushy chin.

Earl Doubrava shrugged him off, taking a cigar out of its packaging and lighted it with a cigar lighter. "I don't think that is necessary. Prince Haien might be lenient with him if he messes up. No demon wants to devour a lovesick man's soul you know."

"That is a matter that remains to be seen, Earl, " Perrin remarked and took the glass of scotch on the rocks that was already present before Ysabelle arrived.

"Even so, let's drink to our eventual success, Monsieur, " Earl Doubrava stated, took his own glass from the desk and guzzled the hot liquid in one shot.

***************************************************************************************************************************************

Castle Dobrev

(Present)

*

*

Like before, Marcus watched Ysabelle's sleeping face next to his chest for hours. He had broken his vows of celibacy that he was expected to keep forever. There was a pang of guilt inside him, but it was all showered away with his love for the woman. He loved her unconditionally and there was no disappointment, no anger, no sadness that surrounded him after breaking his vow.

If truly this was what the Heaven's wanted to happen, then he was willing to accept it all. There was always a reason behind everything and maybe leaving priesthood was one.

Yes, he was willing to leave for her, there was no doubt in that. He was willing to stay with her forever. However, the context of forever may not be the same for her. She was after all an immortal and thinking about it pricked his heart.

Ysabelle... Yes, this beautiful woman, is immortal, and he, just a mere human.

Or so he thought.

He would have wanted to discuss with her the matters of her immortality come dawn, but he also had another pressing matter to attend to and that was to call for Father Azrael's help with regards to his bizarre situation -- If having glowing amber eyes and a surge of power was even considered bizarre.

So he stood up quietly and as slowly as he could after pressing a light kiss on her forehead.

In the bedside table he left a note, secured it with a glass dolphin paperweight and his platinum pectoral cross he had found on the floor.

It said: 'Ysabelle, my sleeping angel. It would be my pleasure to spend a marvelous morning with you. But you said so yourself that you need to prepare for your departure. I'll see you before the school bus leaves at nine. P.S. Remember our bet? I'll hold you to it. Yours, Marcus.'

He left her bedroom with one last glance at her and smiled, happy of the night's events.

*

*

*

Immediately after Ysabelle woke up half an hour later, she saw Marcus' note and read it. His words produced butterflies in her stomach and she smiled to herself. What marvelous morning would it be if they had shared it together, but it was the student's departure day and she needed to finish packing her things up.

She started off with an optimistic leap out of her bed, but as soon as her feet touched the floor, that's when the weight of the truth came crashing down on her.

Oh no... She palmed her face with both of her hands and sunk back to bed. For minutes, she contemplated on a number of things and it all boiled down to five interconnected problems.

One. Her last wish to die.

Two. The demon.

Three. The loneliness.

Four. Her love for Marcus.

Five. And his love for her.

"Oh God, I'm too late... I'm too late!" She clutched her hands on her chest and heaved a deep breath, "I should have never loved him! He shouldn't have loved me!"

Tears spilled vigorously from her eyes unable to hold back the painful truth inside her.

*

*

*

"She said she needed to leave quickly Father Marcus, " Mehak stated looking up at Marcus' worried face. She was holding her travel bag in one hand while the other a bulky coat. "She didn't tell me the reason why."

Around them were bags and luggage owned by the students preparing to embark the bus. Some were chattering, some were smiling and holding with them souvenirs for their families. The school admin were present too, trying to keep their departure on schedule. With all the people inside the main foyer, there was only one person missing in the group and it was Ysabelle.

"Did she left a note or maybe anything?" Marcus asked, disappointed and confused. He was sure he wrote in the note that he wanted to see her before the school bus leaves. Why would she suddenly leave by herself through taxi?

"No, unfortunately, she didn't Father, " was Mehak's simple reply.

"I see, " Marcus released a long sigh.

"Do you have any message for Auntie, Father? I'll sure give it to her when I arrive in the mansion."

"No, Mehak. It's okay. You don't need to do that, " he smiled and patted the girl's head. "Anyway, I did say I will visit your older brother right? So, I might be able to talk to your Aunt there when I visit."

The girl smiled sweetly and nodded. "Okay, Father. See you there then."

"Yes, see you."

Mehak turned around and waved him a goodbye. Marcus waved back and smiled, although it was with a heavy heart.

"Ysabelle, why?" his thoughts questioned, confusion lingering inside him.

He waited for the bus to leave and when it did, he ascended the stairs towards the third floor, but he didn't go directly to his room. He visited the empty room of Ysabelle first. Luckily, it was unlocked. He went inside and found that everything was in order, including the note that he left for her at dawn... including the dolphin paperweight and the pectoral cross.

He took the necklace and wore it around his neck. This was going to be his last use of the sacred object as he had already decided to leave the life of priesthood once he returns back to Italy. He was going to do it for Ysabelle in order for them to be together.

When he went back in his bedroom, what he did first was to make a call of his long-time friend and now-family, Aurora Alexis Clave. He took the hotel phone near the bed and dialed the number of the Traugott Residence hoping to talk to his mentor, but a pre-recorded voice immediately answered him.

Hi! This is the Traugott Residence. Aurora speaking. We are still in an out-of-town trip. Please leave your message after the beep.

"Big Sis, " he started, "It's me, Marcus. I need to talk to Father Azrael about som—"

But then, his voice cut off when he felt a strong blow of something hard in his head. He didn't have time to see who his attacker was as he fell unconscious onto the bed, face first.

An old man hiding in the walk-in closet emerged after he was signaled by a man in black suit to come forward. He was holding a cane, steadying his balance with it as he ambled towards the lying priest.

"Now, look what we have here, " Earl Doubrava stated, showing a wide grin, "If I didn't check on the blood samples H had given me yesterday, I wouldn't have guessed that it is you... my long lost experiment. My half-human, half-angel. I am glad to have finally found you."

From his fanny pack, the bodyguard took out a tuberculin syringe that contained a transparent liquid. He grabbed the priest's left hand, inserted the needle in a visible vein and injected the sedative drug with ease.

Earl Doubrava raised his cane to poke on Marcus' back and tattooed arm, examining him with pleasure. "You have grown big now...and strong. No wonder you were able to house the demon huh? And no wonder you were able to suppress its control over you."

Signalling his bodyguard to turn the priest supine, he raised his cane again after it and poked on Marcus' chest.

"Prince Haien!" he called, "Can you hear me? Marcus is drugged and unconscious. Can you surface now?"

But there was no answer then. The Earl immediately knew what it meant. Marcus had the demon locked in its own dimension and it needed the help of the conjurer to be freed.

"Shit, if not only for what I need you for I wouldn't want to summon you back in this world again, " he mumbled to himself as he turned his back from the bed. "Bound this priest and take him to O?ech, " he ordered to his bodyguard, "Call Monsieur Perrin too and tell him to prepare the necessary equipment... including our very own immortal woman."

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