Dantega:Volume 1 Chapter 8
Chapter 8: The Devil's Advocates
(Huh? Where am I?) Ubica thinks to himself as he slowly opens his eyes and sees that he is laying on a bed in a large room wrapped in a thick white blanket.
What catches his attention most about this room is that the ceiling has extravagant paintings of children and women with wings floating in the sky.
(Angels?) His eyes are stuck on this painting, it truly is a magnificent piece of art; it looks much like the paintings of Micheal Angelo that look down on you from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Ubica’s blank stare is stolen by the sound of a beautiful melody being hummed by a woman; he averts his eyes to the source and sees a sight that makes his body feel weightless. A girl is sitting at the edge of the bed he's laying on.
She has her back turned to him and she is looking out of one of the five large windows on the side of the room they are in. The sunlight escapes through the windblown blinds and hits the hair she is gently grooming with a brush, giving it a whitish tint. She is loosely wearing a white bathrobe that hangs low, revealing the gorgeous tint of the skin of her right shoulder down to the middle of her back.
(An Angel?) Ubica asks himself, his body in paralysis as though he were dreaming.
He wants to reach out and touch this warmth, and is suffering as his body refuses to move despite his best efforts; the glow and the warmth of this woman’s form is tantalizingly out of reach.
He feels himself slowly moving away from her light, sliding out of control into an abyss of darkness and cold, not even being able to struggle against it. He quickly realizes that this is his destiny; never will he feel what she feels, never will he be where she is. With the sight of this angel moving farther away, and the sound of her voice becoming weaker with each passing second, tears begin forming in his eyes as he works up the strength to speak.
“I am so sorry…”
The angel stops her humming and turns to Ubica, by now she is so far away he cannot make out what her face looks like.
“I would do anything to take it back…”
Tears are flowing from Ubica’s eyes, this is the first time he has ever felt the sensation of crying.
“Please forgive me.”
The angel is so far away now that all he can see is darkness, he has drifted the furthest into nothingness he has ever been to.
(No... I don’t want this.)
His plea is of no avail, he keeps falling faster and faster.
Ubica’s eyes are wide open but he can’t see anything; as hard as he is fighting the dark destiny of the monster he is, he understands that his desires and efforts will never change anything. The further he falls into the depths the harder it is to climb out, and despair breaks the resolve he put so much effort into building up. The farther he falls, the easier it seems to just give into it.
(Huh? A voice?)
“I said wake up! Ubica!!!”
With this loud shout, the darkness is pierced by light, and out of that light comes a hand that reaches out and rests on Ubica’s face. He can feel the warmth again, the darkness disperses and shatters away like breaking glass, and he can see once more.
“You’re awake!? Huuwaaaa thank goodness.”
This relieved voice comes from Daey, she is sitting next to Ubica with her hand resting on his cheek. She is loosely wearing a white bathrobe and showing a good amount of skin, her hair is down and still damp from a recent bath. The sun shining off her pinkish hair gives off the impression that it is glowing white.
Ubica’s eyes are fixated on her, his voice shakes as he speaks, “I-It was you..?”
Daey looks confused, she tilts her head questioningly.
Ubica grabs her hand that is resting on his face, he gently pulls it under his shoulder, moving Daey towards him. Ubica wraps his arms around her and holds her tight into his chest, he can feel her warmth and smell the sweet scent of her soft hair.
“This is a little sudden don’t you think?” Daey asks, flustered and surprised.
She realizes that her appearance is rather provocative but she wouldn’t expect someone to suddenly hug her like this. One in her situation would think that there would be ill intentions involved in something similar, but she feels nothing but the pure kindness of this embrace. In fact, she feels her heart racing like never before and for some reason she does not ever want to be let go. She strokes his back with her hands as they sit there is silence.
As if realizing he lost control of his emotions, Ubica loosens his embrace.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking”
To his surprise, Daey presses herself back into him.
“It’s okay, sometimes you need someone there to hold onto you when you cry.”
“Yeah.” Daey replies, with her head resting on his neck and shoulder, she could feel the vibration of his voice rub against her temple.
Ubica takes a deep breath and can feel the moisture on his face, an entirely new sensation to him. “This isn’t anything like what I thought it’d be.”
“Tell me… what are these tears for?”
“At first it was out of guilt and sadness. But now it feels so much different than that.” Ubica pauses for a moment to give thought to his feelings before explaining, “You just saved me from a very dark place that I don’t want to go back to… is it okay for me to cry because I’m grateful for that?”
“Of course it’s okay, tears aren’t just for sadness you know? Crying is also meant to make you feel better. You’re only human after all.”
After hearing those tender words, Ubica squeezes her even tighter and begins to softly cry once more. He is crying like someone would if they had held in their emotions their whole life and decided to finally let go and allow himself the bit of humanity he thought never existed. The tears are proof that he isn’t just a monster, she has made him realize that he’s so much more than that.
Daey is at a loss for words at this reaction, she can feel the water of his tears falling on her shoulder and sliding down her back.
“There there, it’s going to be alright.” Daey said, stroking his back in the process. Her maternal instincts seem to have taken over and she's nurturing his emotions in this vulnerable state he’s revealed to her.
After a couple minutes, the two are no longer embracing, instead their shoulders are pressed into each other as they closely sit side by side.
“Thank you Daey… I’m sorry about that.” Ubica said as he wipes the tears from his eyes, his nose is red and he's sniffling.
Caught a little off guard by the cuteness of the expression on his face, she fumbles her words a little bit when she replies, “N-No don’t worry about it, I’m glad to help. I have to say it was surprising to see you like that though... are you sure nothing’s wrong?”
“No nothing’s wrong! I’m really really happy!” Ubica shows a strained smile, averts his gaze and says, “That was the first time I have ever cried, I feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.”
Daey tilts her head, she raises one of her eyebrows and asks, “Wait, so you’re telling me that in your whole life, you have never done that?”
Ubica scratches his head as if trying to find an answer, “I guess it’s because I never had a reason to.”
The truth about that statement can be based more on the fact that he has never had a positive reason to live until now; in the past, loss to him was replaceable, relationships were hollow and nothing outside of his ambition was held precious.
Ubica looks around the room with a confused look on his face when he decides to change the subject by asking, “Anyways… where are we?”
“Whaaa!? Three days!!?” shouts Ubica after finding out he’s been asleep for three days and learning about what happened with Napoleon, Rage, and the two thieves Strauphius and Aria.
“No need to feel bad about it, the map they have says that the first gate is pretty far away. So we all needed to relax for a little anyways.”
The two stand in silence for a few moments until Ubica's shoulders jump. “Trojia and Tsubiri, are they alright?”
Daey giggles, she knew that the next question he would ask would be about them, “Yeah they’re fine. Those two... they are the only ones that wouldn’t take it easy.”
“What do you mean?” asks Ubica.
“They just wouldn’t leave your side these last three days. The first time they left this room was about an hour ago, Rage wanted them to go into the town to buy some warmer clothes for you.”
Ubica smiles, but he feels a pain in his chest because he worried them so much.
“You know, I think they love you...those two.” said Daey with a serious look on her face, causing the atmosphere in the room drop.
Ubica thinks about what she said for a few moments before attempting to downplay her statement. “I’m sure that’s not the case… they're just kind.”
“Geez Ubica, you’re so dense.” she said with a sigh. “So… do you have any feelings toward either of them?”
Ubica stands up off of the bed and stretches his arms and his back. “Of course I do… I have feelings for all of you.”
Daey sighs even louder and lays her back on the bed. “Geh, that’s not what I meant, stupid.”
“Hey, who're you calling stupid?”
With Ubica’s words, Daey throws her hair brush and it slams into his chest. “Who else? Someone who doesn’t even know when a person obviously loves him is what you would call stupid!”
Ubica leans over and grabs the hairbrush that Daey threw at him. He looks at it with a strained smile and holds it out as if to give it back to her. “To be honest, I wouldn’t know what something like love really is.”
Daey stands up and looks him in the eye, “You’re a very interesting guy, you know? There’s something about you that makes me feel like you’ve never lived before all this.”
His shoulders jump upon hearing that.
“You said you never cried, you don’t know how to love… no one would ever believe someone who said that about themselves, but I can tell you’re not lying. In a weird way it’s making me selfishly want to see you experience these feelings firsthand.” Daey gets back to her feet and walks away from the bed, turning her gaze to the scenery outside of one of the large windows. “While you were sleeping, you were agonizing over something, saying that you’re sorry… who were you talking to?”
Thinking that it was only a terrible dream, Ubica is uncomfortable at being confronted about words he unconsciously said aloud. But he can’t find it in him to dodge this question, not after everything she had just done for him.
With an inhale of determination and an exhale of resignation, he replies, “I thought you were an angel."
“A long time ago, they were my enemy. I’ve done horrible things in my fights against them that I’ve never gotten the chance to apologize for, I had thought you were my only chance, and you were slipping away, I was desperate for you to hear me.”
Daey is naturally confused, this man in front of her is even more of a mystery than she had originally thought; how can this kind person in front of her be an enemy to something like an angel? To her, this vulnerable man couldn’t possibly be as bad as he thinks he is.
“Well I did hear you, I’m no angel, but I’ll forgive you in their place.” she said with a warm smile.
“Ugh.” Ubica grunts and turns his head away from her with his hand over his face.
“You’re going to make me cry again!”
“Ah, I’m sorry! As much as I’m happy to incite such a reaction in you, I don’t want that to be the basis of our newfound friendship!”
“Okay, I think I can hold this one in.”
He wipes his eyes and smiles at her; she smiles back in return and holds her hand out to him, guiding him to the window alongside her.
They are in a second story room of a large house. From the window, the sight of large stone homes stretch about a mile and a half around four main dirt roads and intersections. Past the town, snow capped hills can be seen; some of the closer and smaller hills have been quarried due to the stone and rock excavation that is needed in order to build the numerous houses that rise from this desolate stretch of flat, cold and empty land.
In normal circumstances, stone buildings would not be able to protect humans from the rigid cold of the tundra. If it were not for the clay plaster used to bind the blocks of stone together that contain frozen permafrost-filled brush found on the tundra floor, insulation would be impossible. By filling the plaster with this watered down brush, it allows the cold of the outside temperature to absorb into the outer layer of already frozen permafrost brush, while the inner-house side is absorbing the warmth from a large intricately designed outhouse in the basement filled with boiling water containing rocks that constantly send heat from this machine through iron hot pipes that intertwine the innards of each room of the house.nQuite the clever use of the land by these residents of Purgatory.
“Oh, the two love birds are back.” said Daey, out of the window she can see Tsubiri and Trojia in the front lot carrying one bag each, presumably containing the clothing for Ubica.
They are making their way to the front door but are stopped and talked to by Xavier and Luke.
“I just got out of the bath right before you woke up, the water should still be warm.” said Deay as she points in the direction of the bathroom door on the other side of the room.
The water of the bath gets heated in virtually the same way the house does, by resting three iron hot pipes under the bath tub, the water will begin to heat until it reaches a comfortable temperature. And with a turn of a switch valve, the boiling water that heats the iron hot pipe will stop flowing, and as a result begins to cool.
Ubica is rather looking forward to nice hot bath, he walks to the door and reaches his hand out to turn the handle when he suddenly stops and his face drops.
“Wait a minute, you said that you just came out of the bath right?”
“Well yeah.” replied Daey in a nonchalant manner.
“That would mean that I would be bathing in water that you were just… you were just!”
Daey is looking at him like he’s crazy and thinks to herself, (That I was just what?)
She looks at Ubica’s flustered face and in her subconscious she feels that he is undressing her with his eyes. That’s when she realizes exactly what he is thinking, her face instantly glows red as she folds her arms over her chest.
“W-What the hell are you thinking about!? Perv!”
“Just what in the world else am I supposed to think about in this situation!?”
“You don’t think about anything and just get in the damn bath!!”
Frustrated, she opens the bathroom door behind Ubica and begins to shove him in.
“It’s not like I can get you sick, are you saying I’m gross or something?”
Ubica is holding the door frame in an attempt to keep her from pushing him in. “No it’s not like that!”
Flames seem to flow from Daey’s eyes when she gives Ubica one final push that sends him flying into the bathroom, Daey slams the door behind him and shouts, “Geez! I didn’t take you for a child!”
Ubica loudly sighs and looks at the innards of the bathroom, the pipes and valves that surround the bath tub confuse him into submission. He was thinking about trying to find a way to empty out the tub and heat up some new water but he thinks it would be too complicated to do so. Little does he know that it is as simple as pulling a switch to empty the tub, and turning a valve to fill it with water and warm it up.
Daey is leaning her back on the bathroom door, her hand is resting on her chest and she can feel her heart racing quickly. She realizes the reason why Ubica is shy about bathing in the same tub as her, but she doesn’t feel the least bit apprehensive about it.
She waits and listens to him undress and get in the water, with her cheeks flushed red she smiles and walks to the door to exit the room.
“This guy, I’m really drawn to him… I don’t think I’ll be able to leave him alone.”
As a naturally introspective person, she can't help but feel that she has taken a big step towards having found a new friend, the desire she has to help him makes her body feel warm with excitement. The fact that she is the first and only person to ever see a tear fall from his eyes means that their friendship has already blossomed into something special; she’s the only one to know and see a side of him that he hides and refuses to show the others.
Daey opens the door and enters a hallway that leads to a balcony, she looks off the railing and sees Trojia walking toward the stairs that lead to the second story while carrying a shopping bag.
She smiles as she looks at Trojia who is trying to hurry Tsubiri up the stairs.
“I wonder if this makes us rivals?.”
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