Chapter Four: Roslyn Learns What 'Identity' Means

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Roslyn Learns What 'Identity' Means

Vulnerability is a feeling for victims, Roslyn thought as she walked the Paris streets. The rain pelted down, misting her silver eyes like rusted filaments, or the thin layer of fog that engulfs the skin on windy wet days. Today was that type of day- a shivering front sent chills down her graceful spine. the water picked up such tremulous force from the downfall that it scraped her skin as a notched grater would, meant to carve out designs or shred down food.

And the moon, the great and powerful moon, was a pie in the sky- its craters large and reflective over the Valentino pond. Glossy lily pads shimmered on the surface, looking waxed. The rain soaked them like sticky sheets of plastic, thin, fragile.

Roslyn paused- drawing a breath from a moonbeam. She drew her strength from the moon. Even as a little girl, Roslyn found that her immense deadliness grew even more overwhelming during the full moons, and she often waned with the moon itself. Example number one- it had been a new moon when Roslyn encountered The Knight.

But her time of the month came around the same time as the glossy, craterous rock form waxed into power. So deep within her, there had to be a sort of... inner connection with Luna. She was... the lunae filia, the daughter of the moon, and it was her job to carpe noctem. Seize the night.

To put it gently, odd and tremulously queer things happened in the time the moon rose to power. Roslyn’s red dagger took on a new, silvery glow. her own silver eyes seemed more intense, way more intense, scary even. Pippa had commented frequently on these tiny details. And Roslyn had yet to fail in killing her target, when doing it during the full moon.

Today, she would not fail. She already knew that- it was a fact. The Knight would never be so bold as to show up at The Valentino household, where even in the depth and coverage of the night, someone would recognize her. Anyone. Knowing it was a Valentino as the target was the only reason Roslyn had accepted. She had been in quite a slump since the... incident.

She swiveled her head away from the Valentino pond, with its ancient elks and its diamond-like frosted surface. The way the moon made it twinkle, snow on freshly cleaned shards of glass.

Her target was Christoph Valentino, the son and heir to the Valentino mansion. Like The Citadel, this mansion was once used for religious purposes- before the Industrial movement swept across the French country lands and especially the cities. It was scary, beyond doubt- tall, black spires with delicate details that made them resemble oversized spiders. These spires rose above the great black cathedral doors. Outside the immenseness of the architecture, an array of swamps and ponds sprawled next to the simple dirt path.

Roslyn was stunned, really- amazed. She knew no one brave enough to  live in these black, gothic spires- other than the Valentinos. If necromancy existed in real life, the Valentinos would have an army of the dead guarding the place.

Do not get me wrong, young reader. This family is not composed of necromancers. There is no such thing, of course. But hypothetically speaking, they might be working on a certain invention that is quite... Frankenstein-esque.

The immediate Valentino family was known throughout the land as more than queer. The wife had long black hair, like Roslyn’s except it was straightened into spikes. Her eyes also seemed... death black. There is no other word to describe them- if one stared at them for too long, one would... collapse. Dead on the spot, even. This wife always wore a bone necklace, her good luck charm for warding off evil. It just attracted evil, and everyone knew it but her. She was also an avid alchemist, spending half her days in the cellar, perfecting this or that liquid medicine. Roslyn had done her fair share of research on the Valentinos, to begin with. It was the wife, Viola Valentino, whose projects with the dark arts and the dead were known well within the walls of Paris. And even a few countrysiders had heard of it.

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