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The room was filled with a gloomy atmosphere. But the ancient furniture or the closed-drawn curtains were not completely the cause of it. A few months ago, the flat was a noble place and every person in it, seem to float with the surroundings. Yet this beautifully had given each outsider a chill feeling. The only thing that changed in the last couple of months was that now actually someone lived here and not only stayed over for one or two days.
A man covered with black velvet was kneeling on the floor in front of a couch. He was a middle-aged man with tough facial features but a smooth and pale skin. The dark circles around his eyes and his colourless lips made him look sickly. But irrespective of these facts his charisma was amazing. Every woman with a touch of ambition would fall on her knees just to comfort him. However, there was no one to console him.
He looked with bloodshot eyes at a girl in front of him and stroked her cheek. Her eyes were empty and lifeless while she stared into air. Whatever he tried, she never gave him a proper response. If he would not care for her, he could return to himself of a few months ago. Yet he could bear to watch her die.
She was young, maybe did not even reached full age, with long dark hair. Her body looked fragile and she was even paler than him. Once she seemed to be beautiful, but now she was a wilting rose. The only thing to hear, which reminded one that she was still alive, was her vague breathing.
A knock on the door roused the man from his thoughts. He gently touched her hair while he stood up and glazed at her a last time. Then he turned away to open the door. His movements were cumbrous and he seems to be taken down by the depressed atmosphere of the room.
As he opened the door, the dim corridor light was flooding the dark flat. His face darkened only after a second, when he saw his visitor.
“Leave.”, his voice was harsh, “I’m not in the mood of dealing with any uninvited visitors.”
His opponent, a younger man in his early 20ies, bowed down.
“I’m sorry to disappoint you, but master Coenred is prevented for some reasons. I’m …”
“Which reasons?”, barked the man and let his control slip away a moment.
“Well, he is recovering from some severe injury from a clan fight.”
The man growled the moment the visitor finished speaking and was already about to close the door. Though the young one stepped in.
“I’m really sorry for the trouble, but I’m his substitute.”
Surprised by his action, the older man examined his visitors. Sure his voice and language were still polite, but his actions were daring. His visitor had clearly a different reason than to substitute his wounded teacher.
“What are your real reasons?”
The air between them got colder and each of the men were staring at one another, until the young visitor backed down.
“I’m interested in troublesome cases.”, he admitted.
“That’s all? Nothing more?”, dug his opponent deeper with a grouchy tone.
Slowly the visitor realised that this was not just a silly game between two old men, where he stepped in. He felt the tension in the air and seemed to think about a way out. Yet he composed himself and grinned at the man before him.
“Well, I like woman too.”
The stiff atmosphere exploded in an instant and the visitor found himself pressed against the corridor wall, the other mans face only a few inches away. An elbow crashed his ribs and breathing got impossible. Thinking was luxury and no muscle in his body seemed to listen to him anymore.
Two green eyes stared madly at him.
Then a voice began to speak.
“Did Coenred told you anything about this?”
He needed some time to understand the words, while the wall behind him cracks. Coenred. Crack. Master Conred.
Then he understood. Furious he wanted to scream.
‘Hell no! If I had known, who was the fucking bastard behind this hole hide and seek play, I wouldn’t even considering to substitute this insane old geezer.’
But he could not speak. The eyes were still staring at him. He shook his head. Thereupon the weight from his chest got lighter. The wall behind him cracked one more time.
“Good for him”, the voice paused, “otherwise I had to kill him.”
The green eyes gazed at him endlessly, till they suddenly looked back to the flat, only to stared at him once again.
“So do you want to work beneath the same conditions?”
There was no way that the visitor could have said no at this time.
“Which conditions?”, cawed he.
“Never tell anyone.”, answered the voice, while the green eyes seemed to see through everything.
“Yes, sir.”, he brought out under pain.
As soon as it was said, everything disappeared. The oppressive feeling and the weight of his chest. The young man sucked in the air and tried to stay calm. The man before him pointed at the open door.
“Step in.”
The exhausted older man vanished in the darkness of the flat again. Without any other hesitation the visitor followed him and entered the gloomy room. He felt the sudden change of the atmosphere and searched the room for its source. Then he found the man kneeling next to a dead looking girl. He closed the door behind him.
“I assume that you know who I am.”, the old man spoke while looking gentle at the girl.
“Yes, sir.”, he paused and expected the man to continue, but then he dared to bring himself to mind again, “I’m Namus from the Adservio clan, student of Conred.”
“I see.”, said his opponent absently.
Nimus came closer to get a better look at the girl, but she still seemed to be soulless in his point of view.
Abrupt the man stood up and looked at his visitor.
“Wake her up.”, this time his voice wasn’t harsh, but rather precatory.
Doubtfully the young man knelt next to the girl. The worried man gave him way without a word.
He touched her cold skin and his fingers run along her arm. On her head he laid his other hand with caution. He felt her vital points and checked her response on stimulating them. In the meanwhile he asked a few questions about her condition and how long it has existed. But he always kept an eye on her.
After a while he lowered his hands and sighed. Then he stepped back and stood up. Both men were looking at one another again.
“Well, you should already know that she is soulless.”, began Nimus, but the man shook instantly his head.
“She isn’t made.”, insisted the man.
“There are a few cases of soulless births.”, explained the visitor again, but this time he threw a short look at the girl again. If she was born soulless she would be long dead. She was definitely to old to survive until this state.
The man looked painful at the girl. While their meeting she never moved or blinked once.
“At the moment she is nothing more than, well, a doll.”, pointed the young one out, “Let her die. It’s not a proper life for a girl like her.”
“I can’t.” With every new bad news the man looked older. “I just can’t.”
“Why? Who is she?”
“She is my daughter.”, whispered he gently.
The visitor starred shocked at the girl. This was unexpected, but gave these hole setting sense.
“How are you going to help her?”, asked the father and looked up from the girl in the stunned face of his visitor.
“Ahm, you can’t help a soulless …”, spluttered Nimus.
“She isn’t soulless!”, scream the worried man and cut with his voice the air.
Silence filled the air for several minutes.
“Didn’t you say that you are interested in difficult cases?”, flared he up, “You got your case. Now solve it.”

Do you want to know, what Nimus is doing now? Check it here!