Book VII Ch 21: The Disciples of Remy
Bordello of the Disciples
Gier, South Dreamsong
Remy relaxed atop a plush cushion, one arm draped lazily over a ruby-furred pandaprrb as he smoked his favorite hookah with the other.
He watched his Disciples as they made their way through the grand hall, escorting their guests across the beautifully-tiled floors and into the private chambers they had chosen for their deeds.
One lay near an empty wall on a pillow of her own, carefully scribbling names into timecharts and checking them off of waiting lists. As occasional curious wanderers made their way into the Bordello, she waved them over, fielding their questions with calm finesse.
"What is this place?" they'd always ask, stars in their eyes from the beauty of it all.
They never quite grew tired of the expressions of mild shock and embarassment when she explained. Some managed to ask for a pamphlet before scooting back out the door, and the rare coincidental visitor stayed to make an appointment, or even insisted on seeing a Disciple at once.
"You think we aught to put a sign out front?" Remy asked, rolling the hookah pipe with his tongue.
"There aren't any laws in Gier against what we're doing," she considered aloud. "But on the other hand, it's not the government of Gier we're worried about, is it?"
Chewing her lip, she wrapped her gold-on-violet robes a little closer around herself and sighed. "It's only a matter of time, though... if many of the others stayed with... with her, chances are they know we're here already."
"Sweetheart, don't be so glum.
I won't let anything happen to any of you," Remy said, sliding from his cushion to head across the room and give the uneasy Erosion a hug and kiss.
"You're not Courtesans anymore. No matter what hold Marquise had over you in the past, that's all done now, and you have every right to do whatever you please. You're free people."
The gilded double-doors opened with a ferocious slam that turned every head in the room.
"I've heard more than enough," Marquise announced, striding into the hall with fury blazing in her eyes.
The ex-Courtesan Disciples hurried into the empty private rooms, peering quietly out from behind the silk and velvet curtains.
Remy unwound his arms from his companion so she could safely join them, rising to his feet to confront his daughter face to face.
"This place is a sanctuary. I trust you're not here with the intent to cause trouble," Remy said cooly, narrowing his good eye.
"What in hell have you done to my Courtesans? How dare you?!
I never much liked you, Bastion, but this is more than some idle insult! I--"
Remy caught her hand.
'Bastion" is no more," he said, his gaze hard.
"He could not come to terms with the death of Sasha, and he decided to deal with his pain the only way he knew how--by taking his own life in turn.
He failed, though, and he tried again and again until... well.
I suppose, in the end, he technically succeeded in some small way. Did you know that spontaneous regeneration isn't perfect? You can reconstruct a brain, but it won't necessarily preserve the contents.
That's likely more Nefirian's jurisdiction, and I haven't had the heart to find him and tell him what's happened yet." His voice and expression softened.
Marquise snatched her hand away with a snarl. "Don't toy with me!
What manner of nonsense is this?! I demand my dragons returned to me at once-- whoever you are!
The Court's judgement will be your undoing for this, mark my words!"
"They aren't your anything.
Any of them who wish to go with you-- of their own free will-- have every right to do so," Remy announced loudly, glancing over his shoulder at the doorways of the private rooms.
Several observers shuffled into the shadows and out of view.
None came forward.
"And so you have your answer," he said.
"These people heard Bastion's-- and my-- cries of pain and confusion, and they came to save me from myself and comfort me.
I demanded nothing of them. I forced nothing upon them.
What does it say to you that they considered those non-acts the greatest gestures of kindness they had yet recieved?"
"Fuck you, Bastion!" she spat. "How dare you accuse me of slavery?!
Keep them, if that's what you want. They're obviously little more than whores. You all deserve each other!"
"Strong-- and rather ironic-- words from someone known for sleeping her way into governmental power." Remy pursed his lips.
"I won't have you judging these poor souls. They're good, kind people with big hearts, and they don't deserve your domination or your shame.
So take it with you and kindly remove yourself from my house of worship."
"So be it." Marquise spun upon her heel and took a few steps towards the open door, closing her eyes as a strong wind whipped her hair around her face.
But Remy lifted his hand into the air, taking hold of something invisible just as a knife lodged itself in his breast.
"You're an honorless, slimy coward, Marquise." He pulled the elemental assassin closer to look into her transparent green eyes.
The Courtesan struggled in his grasp, pressing her knife more deeply into his chest-- but to little effect.
"You need to understand--I'm finished fooling around.
I have enough love and affection to spare for everyone, but I won't bear your bullying and manipulation any longer.
I'm a damned Chapter, Marquise. I'd rather tend to the lonely and unhappy and fearful people of the world, but if you force my hand, I will match your aggression in kind, and you will find my own brand of wrath more than sufficient.
Look at me!"
As Marquise turned around to face him, she watched in growing horror as Nereida transformed from elemental air to solid, unmoving stone.
Remy sat the woman-shaped statue down upon the floor, pulling her knife from his chest and tossing it casually away. The wound sealed and vanished immediately.
"I've had my neck broken and my face all but torn off. I've been hurled off waterfalls. I've crushed my skull between boulders. I've scrambled my own damned molecules.
I've been touched and poisoned by the hand of death its-fucking-self, Marquise, and I have returned to my original, whole, unharmed state as though none of that ever happened," Remy said as he examined the petrified Courtesan before him, brushing his fingertips lightly over the cursed scar across his face.
"Save for this. Sasha's cursed touch was the only thing to ever truly harm me... and all it is is a painful memento.
And you send a little assassin with a knife. I'd laugh, but it'd be rude, wouldn't it?"
There is nothing you can do to kill me that hasn't already failed at the hands of beings greater than you and your cronies. Like Kelan, I'm a force of nature in my own right.
So leave my Disciples alone, and get the hell out of my temple."
Next Chapter: Book VII Chapter XXII
Valenth>VWiki Home>Story>Book Seven>Book VII Ch XXI