Seeking Elysium Volume 1 Chapter 37 2017-09-28T00:35:39+00:00

First Concert

I knocked gently on the door to the room we were using as a dressing-room.

“Ros, it’s me. Can I come in?”

“Uhhh- One minute!”

I looked to the mercenary who stood watch outside the door. He met my gaze, then quickly averted his eyes with a gulp. I heaved a sigh.

“We’ll be fine for now. Go help the others out at the entrance – it’s probably going to get rowdy soon.”

The young man nodded, as if relieved, and departed with excessive haste. He was the leader of the mercenaries I’d hired as security for this event, but he was always on edge when I was around. I recognised the behaviour as fear – he was afraid of me, for some unknown reason. It puzzled me, in honesty. I did not recall doing anything to earn terror of this degree.

As I contemplated the retreating form, the door to Rosalind’s dressing room opened and revealed its tenant, who was wearing that black dress which she claimed to have modelled after me. She watched the mercenary’s flight with bemused interest for several moments, then turned to me with a question in her eyes. I gave her my answer without having to hear the query.

“I told him to go help with ticketing, since he looked like he wouldn’t be able to do a good job anyway if I was nearby. I honestly don’t understand why he’s so scared of me. Him, as well as all the other mercs.”

Rosalind raised an eyebrow.

“Uh. Didn’t you find out his address and threaten to kidnap his family?”

“Yes, but that was because he tried to raise the price under some nonsensical pretense. It was justified! Besides, if he was so worried, he could have just had his band attack me. I’d expect him to be more angry than afraid.”

“Uh… they did attack you. You broke the arms of two of them and ran a wooden stake through the leg of a third. Unarmed. I think that’s a pretty good reason to be scared.”

“…Ah, now that you mention it, I think I do recall something of that sort happening…”

Rosalind sighed, but I could see the smile that lay beneath her show of exasparation. She stepped back from the door, permitting me entry to the dressing room. I showed myself in and seated myself on one of the chairs by the mirror, regarding Rosalind.

“Well? How’re your nerves?”

“Shaking like mad.”

I cast a glance down to her palms and saw that they were indeed trembling. I laughed.

“Come on, you’ve been at this for a year. There’s no need to be nervous.”

“Yeah, but I’ve never performed in front of so many people.”

“Fifty people, Five hundred people, what’s the difference?”

“About a factor of ten.”

I took her hands in mine – indeed, now that I had direct contact, I could tell that she was far more nervous than I had ever seen her. I had two options to alleviate her nerves – the first, I could talk to her slowly and try to calm her down by reassuring her about the show. The second, I could direct her thoughts elsewhere and distract her from the imposing imminence of the concert. I decided to adopt the second option.

“Hey, remember when you picked me up off the street?”

“When you put it like that, you make it sound like adopting a pet.”

“It’s not entirely wrong, is it? You took me in out of sheer curiosity.”

“Well, yes. Profit was the furthest thing from my mind when I brought you home. It was just a whim. But look where we are now. Who would’ve thought that the random stray I picked up would change my life so dramatically?”

“That’s for certain. Of all the things I thought I would end up doing when thrust into another world, becoming the producer of the world’s first idol was not one of them.”

“Idol? Is that another word from your world?”

“Yeah, it’s what we call performers like you, back at home. Though since you don’t dance, the label doesn’t quite apply. Perhaps it would be more apt to call you a songstress. Well, doesn’t really matter. Bottom line is, I’m just as surprised by this turn of events as you are.”

A silence fell over us, for just a moment. Then Rosalind spoke up.

“Hey, Ely. Why did you do so much for me? When the shop was in danger of closing down, you could have simply left – why didn’t you?”

A good question. Of course, it was one I was well-prepared to answer; I had thought the same numerous times in the past, but had always reached the same conclusion.

“Self-preservation and friendship. Working for you, I had an occupation to pass the time, and shelter and food was readily available – leaving would have deprived me of these and forced me to expend resources to acquire them again. Therefore, I stayed on out of self-interest. But the other reason is that you’re a friend. My only friend in this world, really. It would have been remiss of me to abandon you to your plight.”

“Ely…”

“Whoa, hold on, don’t start crying now, Ros. You’re going onstage soon. We can’t have you sniffling and puffy-eyed.”

Rosalind blinked away the tears that had started to form. Odd. She was usually less emotional than this. Perhaps it was a combination of nerves and sentiment. As I ruminated upon this, a knock sounded on the door, prefacing the voice of the mercenary leader.

“Ma’am. The hall is completely full.”

“Got it, thanks. Tell the others to go on standby.”

As I heard his booted footsteps heading away from the door, I turned to Rosalind.

“You ready?”

She looked back at me with eyes that held a trace of hesitation – a trace that quickly disappeared, confidence taking its place. She took a deep breath and nodded. I opened the door and took her hand, leading her up to the stage we had prepared, where a crowd of hundreds waited, chattering among each other. Ideally, I would have liked to hold the concert at night, for the sake of establishing a good atmosphere fitting for Rosalind’s surreal voice, but that was impossible due to a lack of lighting – the town hall had artificial lighting, but it was largely weak and scattered, and Rosalind’s image would be completely drowned out by the darkness if she were to perform at night – a fact unaided by her black dress. As a result, the light of the afternoon sun streamed through the windows, illuminating the hall.

It was hardly an ideal stage for Rosalind’s first large-scale performance, but there was nothing we could do – I had looked into hiring a magician with an Affinity for light for the duration of this performance, but while the Affinity itself was common, its manifestations tended to be weak and ineffectual. There was no magician-for-hire in the area that possessed the ability at the level we required.

Such thoughts raced through my mind – thoughts about what could have been done better, what could have been done without, all the ways in which something could go wrong. But the moment Rosalind let go of my hand and strode onto the stage, these thoughts vanished, leaving me preoccupied with nothing but the sound of her footsteps on the wooden flooring – footsteps that echoed loudly throughout the hall that had abruptly gone quiet. Such was the nature of her confidence, of her aspect – Rosalind’s poise drew the attention of all. When she strode forward, it was impossible to look away.

Her footsteps continued to echo as she walked to the center of the stage. Facing the audience, she delivered a deep bow. Then she took a breath and began to sing.

“O beautiful vine,

encroach then upon me.

Bind me to you;

a bond everlasting.

Please don’t let me go,

please keep by and chain me.

Your thorns, though they pierce,

so sweetly they hurt.

 

I found you alone,

exhausted and thirsting.

A black-haired unknown,

robes dirtied yet fine.

 

A curious void,

a sight not yet seen.

Taken by mystery,

I then took you in.

 

O beautiful vine,

encroach then upon me.

Bind me to you;

a bond everlasting.

Please don’t let me go,

please keep by and chain me.

Your thorns, though they pierce,

so sweetly they hurt.

 

You told me you hailed

from a land far afield.

I asked for its name,

you laughed as you said:

 

‘A name I can’t give you,

but I’ve travelled afar.

Would you not rather hear

of my journey thus far?”

 

O beautiful vine,

encroach then upon me.

Bind me to you;

a bond everlasting.

Please don’t let me go,

please keep by and chain me.

Your thorns, though they pierce,

so sweetly they hurt.

 

The months, they flew by,

a flurry of laughter.

You lent me your aid,

you showed me new heights.

 

The friendship we shared,

was a sight like no other.

But fate, in its envy,

tried to tear us apart.

 

O beautiful vine,

encroach then upon me.

Bind me to you;

a bond everlasting.

Please don’t let me go,

please keep by and chain me.

Your thorns, though they pierce,

so sweetly they hurt.

 

We struggled and strove,

to find a solution.

The future seemed dark;

I could not see a path.

 

You gave me the answer,

you made us a plan.

The key was my voice,

and thus we began.

 

O beautiful vine,

encroach then upon me.

Bind me to you;

a bond everlasting.

Please don’t let me go,

please keep by and chain me.

Your thorns, though they pierce,

so sweetly they hurt.

 

The world spreads before us,

my dream is at hand.

You’ve brought me so far yet

I can give naught but thanks.

 

So let me just give you

these verses I sing.

I sing of our friendship;

I pray for your dream.

 

O beautiful vine,

embrace, then, this victim.

Thus bound to you;

a bond everlasting.

 

Please don’t let me go,

please keep by and chain me.

And I in return will continue,

to sing.”

 


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  • Bananeeg

    So breaking a few legs is such a common thing for Ely that she just forgets it .. Ha haha *cold sweat*

    “Your thorns, though they pierce, so sweetly they hurt.” “… and chain me.” Hohoho will the next Rosalind merchandise be fur cuffs, whips, candles, and leather harness, belts and so on? haha

    • ExtantLily

      nuh that’s sold in the specialty store that they open later.

  • mjkj

    Beautiful… <3

    Thank you for the chapter… =)

    I hope their success will be astonishing…

  • malkarath b.

    … Ros couldve propositioned in a SLIGHTLY more subtle (and less kinky) way… But hey it works. Would have been nice to get a crowd reaction at the end… Maybe thats just me. Ah well.

    As always thanks for another excellent chapter. They make long boring days a little shorter.

  • Age Reapor

    Fck, ive read deaths and some sh*tstuff nonchalantly but this beautiful song made me tear up