Wolf in Sheep’s clothing

CH1 The broken glass

The Armonia Cathedral, a structure who withstood a great deal of history, for how long has it been built and standing will date back on so many years. Today the fine weather is like joining the happiness and joy of every citizen of Armonia, children playing in the streets filled with colorful banderitas, street performers, different stands brandishing their priced goods, foods, clothes, flowers, souvenirs, name it!almost everything, happy townsfolk and tourist from outside the continent admiring the wonders and unique architecture of Armonia. It’s the annual Flower festival, every corner of Armonia is filled with Asphodels of different colors and shapes and the sweet scent spreads the whole city not only a sight to behold but also a treat for the heart, the festival which will last a week, the only time the cathedral is open to the public, will held various events like honoring the brave soldiers who continues to keep Armonia in peace, a prayer rally for those who which they hold dearest, and many more.
Inside the cathedrals great hall senior priests are busy giving instructions to curates to make sure everything is to be at their exact position, platoon leaders of holy knights checking every unit is on their consecutive post. The chandeliers brimming with candles shines ever so brightly at the great hall with tall pillars protruding way high up into the ceiling, rose windows glowing projecting the images into the white floor marble with the help of sunlight.
Saint Anis pacing quickly in circle inside her room biting her thumb worrying about her speech later this afternoon to officially commemorate the Flower festival, that in every five or six seconds she’d stop and then pace again, doing this cycle for a whole thirty minutes.Berthe and Charles are also with her keeping company, but Anis is so tense and nervous that she forgotten shes not alone, finally Charles broke the ice.
“Hmmm I thought you like white young girl? Why are you wearing blue panti-.. OUCH!!” screamed Charles.
Apparently Berthe hits his head (skull I mean) so hard while Anis turns bright red as she covers her skirt.
“You know nothing will come out of your worrying..just relax everything will turn out fine.” said Charles as he caress the spot where Berthe hit him.
“I know..but still.. this is the first time ill do this, ever since I became a Saint, lots of people will be there, all eyes on me! Even now I feel like fainting.” Says Anis still feeling nervous.
Berthe walks into Anis, holds her hand firm, look into her eyes, and gave her a warm smile.
“Berthe says she will be there with you too, so don’t worry, Van, Vincent, Laura, Sirius and that pioneering family that helped us some time ago..what’s their name again? AhhhRoffenheim! Also if it makes you feel better Berthe wears blue under-.. OUUCCHH! ackack!” as Berthe keeps on hitting Charles’s headAnis burst into laughter.
*Knock Knock*
The two girls quickly spun to the door to see whos behind it Charles tailing behind them.
“Lady Anis! Are you there? Umm please open up..”a voice said on the other side.
“That’s Sirius!” Anis grasped.
“Hmm I wonder whats that boy up to..” murmured Charles.
Anis took a step and opened the door seeing Sirius standing which also looking nervous himself.
“Lady Anis! Please look at me…” said Sirius as he took pose like a cockatrice, knee bended and arms under the armpit, then he started acting like one, talking steps slowly mimicking the bird. “Bok bokbok!... bokbokbok!...” after like ten seconds or so he stopped and look at the girls staring at him with blank faces waiting for their reaction, only seeing Charles sighing face-palmed and shaking its head. Charles took the door and closed it very slowly..

“Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!” someone laughed so hard behind Sirius then ran so fast. Behind the pillar there stood Van and Vincent, both trying very hard to hold their laughter.
“I never knew you’d fall for that Sirius..” said Van teary-eyed while fighting not to laugh.
“Brother and I just..went along with.. the conversation.. I swear- puwahahahahaha!” said Vincent who didn’t do well into holding back his laughter. Sirius turning red and feeling embarrassed heard the laughter of the two girls beyond the door that separates them realized something.
“ROF.. FEN.. HEIIIIIMMM!!!!” shouted Sirius angrily.

-Earlier that noon-

Along the busy staircases of the cathedral where in the middle of the two stood Judith’s post, as many people come and go she spotted the pioneering family coming into her place, they greeted each other shortly, after that Judith resumes her duties overseeing the security inside the cathedral. Van and Vincent were together with Sirius not so far away from Judith’s post, Sirius is looking very down and sad, obviously thinking about something.
“Hey guys! Whats up? How you guys doing? And why is Sirius having a serious face?? Hahaha get it? Sirius face haha..oh okay.” said the pioneering family.
“Quite the jester Roff, were doing fine I guess, and about Sirius here well..” answered Vincent.
“Sirius is troubled by Anis, because he saw her worrying about something, he said he wants to help her, to make her not worry that much, but he doesn’t know how.” Said Van.
“Hmmm I see..that really is a problem..” said the pioneering family.
“I just don’t want her to look like that, hey its not that… its not… that I have fe-feelings for her, I-I just don’t want her to be sad..th-that’s all.” countered Sirius.
Sirius goes into a slump messing up his hair with both his hands, clearly thinking of a way to make Anis feel better. Van and Vincent both look into Roffenheim waiting if he might’ve an idea about Sirius’s dilemma, then Roffenheims eyes shone brightly and a grin slowly formed into his face.
“Hmmm..I don’t know if it still works now, but if im not mistaken I remember reading one book about Saints, it was the time when im still helping different cases here on Armonia, im looking for clues, when I stumbled about the story of the Saints and the Cockatrices..” uttered the pioneering family. Sirius raises his head and listened eagerly to what the pioneering family’s about to say. “Once there was a Saintesswhos being worried all the time about different things, even small things started to worry her, it became her hobby, worrying about the people, their problems, the church’s problem, and to problems to come. It made her sad and the people around her noticed that, and soon they started to worry about her sadness, they posted notices that states whoever makes the Saintess laugh will get a hefty reward. Many have tried but only to fail, one day a stranger came into the cathedral claiming he can make the Saintess laugh, in fact he can make her happy and not worry again, so the whole of Armonia came to watch how will the stranger make the Saintess laugh, the stranger came along with one creature, a cockatrice, he started mimicking the cockatrice, bended his knees and arms under his armpits.. bokbokbok! bokbokbok!.. after ten seconds the whole city is filled with happiness, turns out that the Dance of the Cockatrices is an enchanted dance to make people happy since ancient times.”
Sirius looking amazed of what he heard took the story into deep thinking.
“Ive never heard of this story..what book are you talking about?” asked Sirius.
“A very old one, you won’t happen to stumble upon it because its on the deepest part of the Armonia Archives..right Vincent?” said Roffenheim eyeing furiously on Vincent.
Vincent not knowing what he’s talking about don’t know what to respond, as he finally opens his mouth to reply Van cut him off.
“Yes..Ive read that legend many times, and tried it myself when Ornella is feeling down, it always cheers her up.” said Van.
“Yea..yes yes I have.. read about it too..” uttered Vincent.
-Several hours later-

All had assembled getting ready for Anis’s speech, Lora Constans making sure the make-stage outside the cathedral in the center of the city is in all set, while lots and lots of people started gathering in front of it to receive blessings from the Saint itself when she arrives, Van accompanied Patrick to check on the patrol groups, Sir William issuing the platoon leaders new orders for security, archbishops and senior priest gathering above the stage on their consecutive seats, the curates tailing among them, and in the center sits the Holy Chair where Pope Ludio will reside, rumor has it that the Holy Chair was used by previous Papals, but in truth its just an ordinary big chair.
“If I ever see him again I will throw him into the abyss!!” said Sirius.
“But Anis was happy afterwards, truly the method worked, but I think it’s a bit extreme.” Vincent replies.
“By the way where is Anis? Why isn’t she here yet?” asked Sirius.

The crowd burst into loud cheering as the doors of the cathedral opens and Saint Anis emerges looking stunningly beautiful with her elegant robe as pure as snow, as she walks toward the large stage four holy knights stride along her, a kid ran into the Saint and gave her an Asphodel fresh like stream and smelled like spring. She ascended the stage and took her place into the center podium, the cheering went on then came silence as the Saintess does her speech.
“People of Armonia, townsfolk, people of the continent and outside it, I thank you from the very bottom of my heart for coming here to join and celebrate our annually Flower festival. Im looking forward to make all of you a happy memory in this upcoming week, let us enjoy ourselves on different activities, feasts on different delicacies available, and meet new friends to share happiness with, but don’t forget the true meaning of the Flower festival, it is to remind us of our dearest loved ones who no longer walk with us here in this world, lets pray for them to have God’s grace, for them to have peace eternally, so I humbly ask before opening the Flower festival for us to pray sincerely to those souls, lets close our eyes and…”
As the crowd goes into silence and started to pray, Anis started to glow, a shining light emerges out from her body. Some people started to drop on their knees and pray so hard, some wide open their eyes mouth gaping burning the scenery that is happening right before them, and some are taken aback by the extraordinary event that’s occurring. It is no doubt they know it, its Anis’s ability to foresee the future, some considered it a gift, some think that is a feat on being a Saint, while others says it’s a curse. The light grew denser and denser, brighter than usual, Pope Ludio felt wary as the other priests did, the light coming from Anis changed from sparkling bright colors to dark tone ones yet even blindingly as ever. People started to panic, surely this is no normal foreseeing, something is happening, the sunny weather turned into cloudy so suddenly accompanied with thunder and lightning, the wind blew so hard knocking some stalls down. Holy knights started to move out in hope of quelling the panic amongst the people, some are running away, some are wailing, other pushes and shove those who are in front of them making the whole crowd a chaos, Vincent rushes to aid the priests on stage while Sirius ran to Anis, then a huge dark figure almost like a smoke emerge from Anis, everyone turned and saw what the image is, Sirius has no idea what it is or what they are dealing with, all he knew that his gut telling him it was death incarnate.

-Thirty minutes has passed-

Anis woke up on Sirius’s arms, he held Anis like he wasnt gonna let go of her. Dark clouds slowly parted, giving way to the sun’s forgiving light, the wind seized its wrath and turned into cool breezes.
“W-what happened... i felt.. dizzy.. and dreamt about... something unfamiliar... i dont- !!!!” Anis grasped, stopped in the middle of her sentence when she finally saw Sirius, full of blood and covered with wounds, still the knight held her with care, like she is the only precious thing in this world. “Sirius!! Sirius what happened to you?! What on- !!!” her eyes grew wild on the scene, dozens and dozens of corpes, children crying for their dead parent, some still on shock with what happened, she saw Vincent helping some priests who are stuck from some debris, Lora assisting those who are still alive, Pope Ludio doing whatever he can to heal those who got wounded, then finally she reverted back her eyes on Sirius, holding her firm, down on bended knees, like protecting her from anyone who harms her. She gently holds Sirius’s arms and notice that hes not concious, tears started falling from her eyes as she hugged him back, suddenly William walk beside them, along with Berthe and Patrick, William ordered two holy knights to carry Sirius and to treat his wounds, and went back to finding other survivors, Berthe was holding Anis’s hands tightly whike patrick stood behind them.
“What happened??!! Whats.. going on? I dont under...stand??” said Anis while still sobbing.
“You... got some wounds too, Berthe would you mind getting some Holy Water down at Apostadero? Ask Mitchel about it, i think she still have some, tell her i sent you, and please make haste.” said Patrick to Berthe.
“Hey! Dont think you can order us arou- OUCH* Berthe stop! No no no!” said Charles while being dragged by Berthe sprinting ahead Apostadero.

“Th-there was this light.. i dont know, suddenly i felt dizzy, i thought i was dreaming, I saw... something strange..”
“What did you saw??” pressed Patrick.
“I saw.. monsters.. large numbers, they are surrounding me, like.. like the whole place was filled with them, then suddenly i.. i was holding something.. a weapon, its like me but its not, my body is moving on its own, I jump and swoop down the monsters, slew them, one by one. I was wearing some kind of... armor, I.. all i know is that i fought every last one of them.. “ explained Anis. Suddenly she realized something, instantly pain and regret greeted her. As tears falls from the Saintess face she asked “Was it I who did this to them??”. Patricks gaze went stern, his body rigid, not able to look her to the eyes, at that very moment Anis only felt distraught.

Meanwhile Berthe went down to Apostadero to get some holy water from Mitchel, as she and Charles walk the path passed many injured, may it be ordinary townsfolk, nobles, priests, curates, holy knights, or memento moris, all are being treated and it made the place looked like a hospital than a sacred ground. She spotted Mitchel in the center of the place, handing holy waters to those able to use it as healing remedies, Berthe quickly went into her.
“Hey woman! We need some ho-“ commanded Charles but has been cut abruptly.
“Go right near the second tent along the corner, theres a red box, now go and dont bother me!” ordered by Mitchel.
Before Charles could argue, she went rushing to the pointed direction, and began searching the tent, she saw the box that was supposed to have holy waters in it but only saw one left. She picked it up not knowing if its enough for her dear friend, another batch of casualties entered the place, howling agony and pain, the place is pure chaos. Before Berthe could go back someone had pushed her unintentionaly resulting her to offbalance, as she fell on the floor the holy water was spilt. Charles barking and cursing to the man who had pushed Berthe, but she didnt mind him, for in the corner of her eye she saw a mirror, a very old one with rusty frame and full of dust and cobwebs. She didnt know what is it for but she felt.. strange, finding herself walking towards it, the mirror was broken, though you can still see your reflection into the glass. She walked slowly, gazing to the image that stare back into her, not knowing what does it mean, Charles averted his attention from the man to Berthe for she had walked away into the far end of the wall, as he closed to her he saw what was Berthe had been staring all along.
“Who in the holy name of Armonia are you?...”
For the image staring back at them was still Berthe, only not wearing a memento mori uniform, but a Saints Robe while holding a holy Rod of Armonia.

by Roffenheim Family