Blessed by Yvithia with Xypha
It was his father’s fault, Virikai thought… if he were to pinpoint a cause. Covered in blood, vomit, urine, faeces and all other bodily fluids, Virikai had sunk lower than he had ever thought possible. The young scion was above this… filth
. This was the point of servants, or, better yet, slaves. They had few other purposes, and the son of the Delegate Verity Talius was the last person anyone would expect to be in this situation.
Yet here he was… wearing what could no longer be described as ‘fine’ clothing, not now that it had been ruined by the filth
. And despite all the foul, murderous thoughts that were running through his head, Virikai did not stop the painstaking work of cleaning up the barely conscious patient.
A mere break ago the Talius scion had been fast asleep in bed, many breaks before the sun’s rays would bathe Viden in light. Three quarters of a break ago he had dragged himself out of his warm sheets and blankets, eaten the breakfast so diligently prepared for him by the family’s slaves. Half a break ago he had left the Obsidian Prism and was well and quite truly on his way to work in the Facility for Retrospective Analysis, with a lead weight in his gut. He was still new to the work here - an effort in his part to become more current in the practice of Medicine, since his pause in studying. The lead researcher had had the scion come in early that morning, in order to bring him up to speed with basic practices. It had been a dull start, but a necessary one.
Now, Virikai found his heart heavy and his hands covered in blood, some orderly attending the subject next to him giving him hasty directions as the student attempted to see to the pained man's wounds. “Unbandage and clean the wounds thoroughly, she’s been here a while and I don’t know when they were last changed.
” A bitter sigh left the orderly’s lips as she gestured to the bloody mess of an arm before the scion. The woman shot the man before her a wayward glance, his forehead covered with beaded sweat and mouth twisted into the form of a pained scar.
Virikai knew the subject wanted to question him, to probe him and ask him if he truly knew what he was doing… but the answer to that question was not one that she wanted to hear. Virikai would have answered honestly: yes, he did, but he would not do it in the caring way an orderly would see to the dressings. With a a sigh of his own, the medical student lifted the woman's arm and began the painful task of unwrapping the stained of blood bandage, now stained with dried blood and yellowed with pus dirt.
At every flinch and wince, the scholar would pause shortly, give the ageing, silver haired woman a stern look, before returning to his work, teeth gritted at the unpleasantness of the activity. The first few twists of the bandage were awkward, at best, with the student propping the arm of the man up with one hand as the other took the bandage and threaded it over and through, and he found himself thanking the Gods that it was only on the upper arm of the patient that her wounds were concentrated, especially if he was going to be of so little help in supporting his own weight.
It had been a mere season since his father had forced him to renew his studies and gain employment with the Academy. In pursuing a Letter in Medicine from the Institute of Science, he had been easily placed into a role in the support staff of the Infirmary. It was simple work, but he was promised that it would only be temporary. Virikai, as the son of a Delegate, was one of the trusted few to know of the hidden secrets of the Facility of Retrospective Analysis, and it was expected that he would eventually begin work for the FRA itself.
“Remain still, Madame,
” Virikai’s voice was soft - not polite, nor could it even be described as caring, but it was calm, his voice low and disinterested, and his sedated patient could hardly know the difference. It was enough to keep her calm, so Virikai would not debase himself further to pander to the neediness of the woman. It was not necessary. Regardless, the panicked look in the woman’s eyes, as she realised a man had complete access to her body and was washing her down, caused Virikai to explain himself further. “You have not been well, and it would be prudent for you to be clean, if you are to gain a restful night of sleep.
It seemed to calm the woman, and he fell silent again. Despite the disgust he was feeling inside, the Talius scion did not display any outward emotions, such was the eídisi way. Eídisi were good for such a menial role, Virikai supposed… but all of them must
crave more. Who in their right mind could consider that this was enough?
The sounds of the room were taking too much from his concentration. It was not a dead silence, but instead a constant turbulence of groans and curses, of prayers and hopes and damnations. He needed something, however short-lived it was, to take his mind from all that was whirling around him, lest his patience, and concentration snap.
“Thank you, Virikai.
” The young eídisi paused as he was cleaning up from the session and turned to face the voice who spoke. It didn’t take more than that single glance for the student to realise that he was not talking to a mere supervisor. “My Lady,
” was all he said, his voice level as ever, as he bowed his head slightly in greeting.
The woman smiled; she had made no conscious effort to hide herself from her Right-Hand’s son, and was pleased that the boy had recognised her. “You do not enjoy the jobs you must currently complete.
” Yvithia’s words were phrased as a statement, but there was the clear indication that she was expecting an answer from him.
Virikai turned back to washing his hands. He did not need to consider his answer; the Immortal could see clearly enough if she deigned to look into his mind, so he answered quickly and honestly. “I am above this.
” It was difficult to admit, for Virikai was rarely around his betters; he had no betters
, and being so honest was a new challenge for him.
“I am not challenged,
” he explained further. Thoughts and images were one thing, but he felt the need to justify himself further. “When my father said that he had found me work with the Academy, never in my wildest nightmares had I expected… this. The Academy should help me to learn more, but what is there to learn from cleaning up another person’s vomit?
” The eídisi paused at those words, and he could not even admit that he was surprised by the answer. Hard as it was to admit, he did have a lot to learn about how millions of people lived. As he rinsed his hands free of suds, they did not yet feel clean, and he reached for more soap, trying again. Yvithia was silent, and Virikai fought to look around to see if she was still there. He continued to methodically scrub between his fingers, as he had been taught.
In all his arrogance, the Talius scion knew what was coming next... and, oh, how desperately
he wanted it. How desperately he craved to earn his Lady's favour, and follow in the footsteps of his father... perhaps he was even pursuing the wrong degree, perhaps he would be better suited to politics. “It is not my place to tell you of your father’s trials in his journey to become my most trusted advisor, Virikai,
” the Immortal of Intelligence replied softly as she placed her hand on Virikai’s chin, forcing him to lock gaze with his God. “But it is no breech of his trust to state that Verity has earned his place by my side… and through far harsher means than providing personal care to those less fortunate than him.
The young eídisi’s eyes lowered, ashamed at his thoughts; even as the Immortal spoke, he still believed himself better. Yvithia knew this, and she smiled once more, still maintaining her hold on the young man’s chin, “Look at me,
” she commanded, and Virikai did so without hesitation. “Your time will come, Virikai Talius.
The Immortal pulled her subject’s chin toward her, and raised her own head. Gently, she planted a kiss above his brow, where Virikai felt the faint sensation of a cool breeze against his forehead and eye. Then, he heard Yvithia’s voice speak again, though her lips did not move. “But you have much to learn. I will guide you in this.