The Third Captain
Mayor Canberry was in a sorry state. He had been stripped of his finery, gagged and hogtied to a pole, and was being carried through the dirty snow by a pair of brutally disfigured sociopaths. His quest for power had gone so incredibly well for most of his life. He married the right woman, went to the correct schools, rubbed shoulders with the right people, and became the mayor of one of Bluerises’s most important towns, but all this was never enough for him and he knew it. He needed more. That’s why when the chance to acquire the blood of Aswia and obtain immortality was presented to him, he had no qualms about selling out his city and putting all of Bluerise at risk of falling to the Blutsaugers. It was all going swimmingly too, that was until the Spec legion arrived. At first, the victories were small, insignificant areas seized by the Bluts was recaptured by the bolstered Bluerise Hunters, but the Spec Legion began to brutally cut a swathe through Blut territory until they reached the very town he ruled.
The siege of the city lasted for days before it fell and the Bluts inside either retreated deeper into their territory or were exterminated by the Spec Legion Hunters, he had sadly not yet received his sanguine reward and was still very regrettably Mortal when the Hunters stormed his home and captured him. The things that they did to his wife and family were unspeakable, but they didn’t lay a finger on him. He hadn’t known the reason why until earlier today when two disfigured Hunters in black shawls came to his cage to hogtie him and take him to a personal meeting with the Legions Captain, J’heno Edic.
Everyone had heard the rumors about J’heno Edic. The most brutal and monstrous man within the ranks of Fallende’s Blut Hunters, a man who was rumored to be just as much of a monster as any Blut. Canberry’s round portly body shivered at the thought of what monster awaited him within the Captain’s tent.
A woman with a shaved head, a large scar across her forehead that looked like a frown, and a missing eye approached the entrance of the tent just, entering just before he did. She was cradling a box that was incredibly familiar to him, it was his cherished Golden Ring Tea, one of the most expensive brews on the continent. He bought the tea just to have, with money that he had embezzled from the town’s funds, he only planned to serve it if he ever entertained incredibly important guests, but never got the chance.
He entered the tent, and the two men carrying him placed him on the ground, bowed to someone in front of them, and quickly hurried out.
The inside of the tent was incredibly well-furnished items such as beautiful paintings, chairs cushioned with fine velvet, and a bed that looked like it belonged in the room of a king. Seated in front of him in one of the velvet chairs was a man in a luxurious black fur coat. His silver-white hair reached down to his back, his eyes were an unnatural purple, lacking a Canton Mark beneath them, and despite their ethereal beauty, looked as if they had been painted onto his face. His legs were crossed and he had a slight smile on his beautiful face that filled Canberry with a type of dread that made him want to curl into a ball and die.
“Captian J’heno,” the woman from earlier spoke, her voice a raspy croak,” I have brought the tea that you have requested from the Mayor’s manor.”
“Ahh,” J’heno chirped, his voice melodic and his accent strange and foreign,” Just place it on the stand next to the kettle.”
The woman did as was instructed of her before bowing and leaving the tent.
“Now,” J’heno started, getting up from his seat and walking towards the box of Golden Ring,” I cannot even begin to tell you how long I have wanted to try this exact brand of tea!”
He lit the kettle and placed the tea inside.
“Drinking it will truly be an experience to remember,” he continued,” I’m sure the flavor is quite wonderful, although I’ll never actually be able to confirm that. Sadly I lost my sense of taste a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t still enjoy the finer things in life.”
J’heno looked down to Mayor Canberry, his gaze was piercing, almost painful.”
“From my understanding, you also have quite the hunger for the luxurious, do you not? Was it that same hunger of yours that drove you to betray Fallende? Or was it something else that gave you the foolish idea that it was smart to cross the Blut Hunters, and by extension, to cross me?”
J’heno squatted down next Canberry. Now having a closer look at the man Canberry could see that there was something wrong with his skin. It moved. But not as if there was something underneath it. It was the exact opposite, his skin flowed across his face, swirling like clouds of pale peach-colored dust. It was the same with his eyes. J’heno’s entire body was seemingly composed of constant flows of cloudy dust.
“I understand desiring immortality,” J’heno coldly mused,” It is a truly fantastic thing to not be limited by the weak bodies of flesh that plague us from our births, but did you really think that a creature as foul looking as you could ever truly enjoy eternity?
You’re just another power-hungry politician who has forgotten that despite all the influence you wield, that you’re still as pathetically Mortal as everybody else,” J’heno smiled an awful smile, his flowing teeth the same color as his hair,” I love people like you. I love you so much. It’s disgusting excuses for living creatures like you that keep my precious Spec Legion stocked full of terrible little monsters for me to play with.
You were only a puppet for the Bluts, so I doubt you know what it feels like, but the feeling of having a group of vicious criminals that you can release upon the world with a snap of your fingers is a truly divine one.”
J’heno placed his cold finger on the Mayor’s balding head.” Although I’d truly love to help you repay your blood debt to this country of yours, by molding you into another doomed Spec Legionnaire. However I’m afraid that the penalty for political corruption in Fallende is death,” J’heno cackled before continuing,” you really should have known that little rule, having been born here and all. You didn’t expect to get your unhealthily large ass caught, and it’s painfully obvious.”
J’heno grinned.” Don’t worry Mr. Mayor, your death, although assured, will not be until I will it. Until then you will have the honor of entertaining me until my tea has finished brewing.”
The Captain threw his hands up and laughed.” I know, I know,” he sang,” there is no need to thank me for my mercy. I am well aware of how kind and loving I can be to those unlucky few in my care.”
J’heno placed his finger under the blue mark under Canberry’s eye.” You people are truly an oddity,” he stated, amused,” your ancestors hail from all over the world, drawn to this shabby land chunk of land by “ the Five Demons” or whatever you people believe in. Then you all start fighting until eventually, someone has the bright idea to put rectangles under everyone’s eye with different colors depending on where in the country you are from. Then you all just go back to killing one another, but with the added bonus of liking the guy standing next to you, no matter what they look like, as long as they have the right color under their eye, and the only thing you hate more than each other were foreigners. Well, that was the case until the whole Blut fiasco started at least, at least we can all agree that those things are truly disgusting, well maybe you wouldn’t agree with that but still, the sentiment remains the same.”
The bizarre flow of purple particles that made up J’heno’s eye was mesmerizing, it moved in an endless circle that had pulled in Canberry like a whirlpool. With the captain so close to him Canberry could smell a strong mix of expensive perfumes and petrichor.
“You know that you can learn a lot about a person by looking at their hands,” J’heno commented, before grasping Canberry’s hand with his own, his skin feeling more like hard rock than flesh,” yours for instance are very soft. That means you’ve barely worked a day in your life.”
J’heno grabbed a finger and pulled it backward, snapping it like a twig, and revealing the white bone underneath. Mayor Canberry let out a muffled scream, and J’heno laughed. The pain was the worst he had ever felt in his entire life, and the monster could not stop laughing.
“Oh,” J’heno screeched in between his laughs,” that was certainly a good scream! I very much hope you have a few more good ones in you before the bloodloss catches up with you and you pass out.
The captain let out a pained sigh.” Now, I would love to drag this out with you as long as possible, but sadly I do not have my tools with me at the moment, so we will have to work with what I have on me for our time together. So what I’m thinking is going to happen is that I’m going to have to rip you apart with my bare hands unless someone walks in here with a wrench I can use, but I don’t think that’s going to happen so it’s looking like it’s going to be my hands,” J’heno gestured his hands in a way that made it seem like he thought this situation was the most relatable in the world,” I know, I know, it’s not the most glamorous torture method, but I believe that it’s really important that a person doesn’t forget their roots and enjoys the classics every once and awhile. Now if we find ourselves in the unfortunate situation of you still being alive and conscious by the time the tea is ready, don’t worry, I have a plan worked out for just that occasion. I will simply electrocute you, slowly, until you die.”
The next part of Canberry’s body to be mutilated was his eyes, with J’heno plucking them both out of his head in quick succession. The pain was unbearable and Mayor Canberry continued to scream.
“That’s the spirit.”
The sound of the tea kettle hissing filled the tent, and J’heno looked down upon his good work. The once-proud and corrupt Mayor of Jasmine was now nothing bloody pile of pulp on the ground. He would have to get somebody clean that up before started to smell, but right now there were much more pressing matters to attend to besides taking out the trash.
J’heno excitedly walked over to the tea kettle. Drinking this Golden Ring was going to be such a treat, another fantastic way to remind all of his precious little worms in Spec Legion that he was insurmountably better than them in every possible way.
He looked down at his bloody hands, and water began to bubble up from beneath his clear “skin”, washing the blood away before he touched his finely crafted porcelain cup. He would never even dream of getting something as important as that dirty.
Lovingly, he grabbed the kettle and poured the caramel-golden liquid into the cup, which he then placed on an equally beautiful saucer with a satisfying clink. He took his drink and strutted outside of his tent. The air was cold, but it made the steam from his tea extra visible, so he enjoyed it.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” J’heno announced, taking the first sip of his hot tea,” I am extraordinarily happy to announce that Mayor Canberry is dead, and now that my final piece of business has been completed, and because Bluerise has been stabilized, we can kiss this Canton goodbye and head back to sweet old Roserum. A small contingent of you will be staying here a bit longer sadly just to help oversee the Hunters here and makes sure that things stay in the stalemate that we have all grown so comfortable with, but I will decide on who those individuals are at a later date.”
He took another drink and looked around at the Hunters around him. Some stared blankly at him, others looked at him with pathetic hate in their eyes, but most just froze up and shrank away from him. He truly loved his job.
“You’re all just standing here and staring at me,” He said coldly,” I said that we are leaving, yet you all just stand there like scared animals stead of packing. It’s truly a sad sight, I thought I had you all trained better than that. Do I really have to educate you again?”
The whole camp sprung into motion, frantically following the orders of their Captain, even those with enough of an ego left to hate J’heno knew what would happen if they crossed him. He smiled and took a sip of his tea, enjoying the feeling of the heat in his mouth.
“Oh, and will somebody get the Mayor out of my tent, I don’t want to get any more blood on this coat than I already have.”