Category: Casual Villainry

Casual Villainry Excerpt – Understanding

“Do you know why I haven’t talked to you about the uprising before this, Adrium?” 

It’s a question that’s been left hanging in the air for the past seven years. Throughout the entirety of Adrium’s physical growth into a late-teen. For many of those years, Adrium was under the assumption that she was learning to control her mentality to prevent another incident like the one with Guill. Talks of the uprising have always been to the side, business for her mother to handle, something she knew about but wasn’t aware of her own role in.  

“Because I wouldn’t understand?” Adrium guesses. 

“Oh, certainly not. I’ve been confident in your intelligence since we first met eyes all the way back then. The reason why is because I didn’t want to influence how you thought about it. It may even still be difficult for you now but, after all the training we’ve done, I want to know how you feel about it,” Cyrilla clarifies.  

The two are currently sat alone in Cyrilla’s bedroom. It became quickly apparent that Cyrilla and Adrium sharing a bed would not be viable on account of her rapid growth. There was even debate on if Adrium should receive her own room so she could grow up with some privacy, but after Guill was slaughtered that idea was thrown away. The consensus was that Cyrilla had to have eyes on Adrium as much as possible. For that sake, Nova moved out of the room, though she was partially hoping to take a spot in one of the rooms dedicated to fresher recruits. This did not happen, she now sleeps alongside Shiva and Anna, making her an official member of the R.U.N.N. elder ladies’ gang. Thus, Cyrilla’s room was left populated by herself, Regina, Castel and Adrium.  

“The idea of it is a passion, the drive that keeps everyone here together. Fuelled in part by spite but also oddly by relief. I found it difficult to understand for a long time but I think that’s the relief of knowing that someone is suffering alongside you. I must admit I think it odd, how everyone smiles when someone new comes this territory. It’s a bittersweet happiness drawn from the fact that another was suffering enough to come here and will continue to struggle for their lives.” 

Adrium looks out of the ‘window’ that she made beside her bed, feeling the cool night breeze flow in. This hole in the wall is just one demonstration of the contrast between her elegant speech patterns and how she actually acts. One night, she just wanted to be able to see the night sky from her room, so she put her fist through the wall. Regina made a fuss, thinking that the basketball-sized gap would be enough for creatures to crawl in, but truthfully the risk was measured. Since Adrium’s training, the monsters have been coming close to the base far less often. With the eloquence she learned from her mother, she made clear to her roommates that those creatures wouldn’t dare encroach on her territory. 

“We have to draw happiness from wherever we can, if we weren’t happy to see fresh faces then the uprising would have been abandoned a long time ago. It may not be the most moral thing to feel, maybe we should pity those who got to this point, but it isn’t us who wronged them. We need every member and they come when they need us. Until that need is gone, we have to keep going.” 

Cyrilla never really dropped her proper way of speaking. In theory, the years of being with the rougher sorts in R.U.N.N. would have changed her speech patterns, and to some extent it has. If she’s reporting to Anna or battling wits with Shiva then that ingrained properness will unsubtly fade. With Adrium, it’s different. Perhaps Cyrilla subconsciously feels that trained way of speaking is best for raising a child, though she might say she values the clarity with regards to Adrium’s particular condition. She stares at the wistful girl before her, hoping to meet her eyes but Adrium does not turn her focus. She doesn’t look at the members of the uprising much anymore.  

“Is that what you think of the uprising?” 

“I suppose it is. I hope that won’t affect your own thinking.” 

“I don’t believe I can reach my answer until after it’s done. If I understand correctly, what you mean is that a successful uprising will mean freeing those in suffering from their fates, thus justifying everything leading up to it. What I wonder is, what if it fails? All the uprising will have amounted to is a string of suffering, where hope was cruelly given to those who would lose it. Even if you managed to cause casualties among those upper class in the city, that just means your legacy would be anguish. If I were them, I’d more than likely make things even worse for the suffering to assure such insolence doesn’t happen again. I can’t say which of these two outcomes reveals the truth of R.U.N.N.’s means, therefore history will be the one to decide.” 

Somewhat put down by Adrium’s negative perspective, Cyrilla also turns her gaze to the hole. “About that… To tell you the truth, I’ve been hoping that you would be the deciding factor between those two fates.” 

“I thought as much.” 

“I would ask you to forgive me but I’m certain you already feel my emotions. You’re the light of my life, ever since I found you, you’ve brought me so much joy. Both as a mythical being and as a daughter. You came to me when I felt at my most hopeless, when my last guiding light was taken away from me.” 

Having made herself more interesting than the dark clouds outside, Adrium turns to face her mother. “That’s not fair. You know I’m weak to emotional talks.” 

“It’s the truth, something I should have told you before now, but… Well, it’s been admittedly difficult to gauge your maturity using normal standards. I certainly wasn’t like you when I was 7.” 

“I’m sensing that’s a good thing.”  

“Well, I’m one of the ‘suffering’, my childhood wasn’t exactly… Anyways, you’ve been my hope ever since I found you. You’re the one that can end all of this, all of the uncertainties and injustices. I want this uprising to end with you. I can’t force you to take that role-” 

“I’ll do it.” Adrium stands and walks over to hug her mother. Tears well in Cyrilla’s eyes, droplets which are reflected in Adrium’s own. Even despite the power she holds, these are the tears of a mother asking her child to fight a war. “I’m happy to have you as my mom. Your feelings are always so warm, even when you put on that focused face. I’m happy that you taught me to feel this way by myself and not just draw from what’s around me. Being a constant slave to the atmosphere around me, it’s scary to think what I could have been. You gave me the power to be the deciding factor, so I’ll do it. I’ll make both of our futures, if that will keep you warm like this.” 

Cyrilla can’t mask the happiness brought about by the gentle embrace of her powerful daughter. In a way she can’t express, Cyrilla feels unworthy, like she has still yet to fully understand the being currently holding her. So far beyond physical and emotional comprehension, yet comfortably fit within the pride felt for one’s daughter. Beyond feelings, there is only one thing Cyrilla can give to Adrium in this moment.  

“I have something to give you. It’s the thing that always reminded me to look forward even if the future looked its darkest.” From under her bed, Cyrilla produces the tusk of an unknown creature. “Back when I was away from base more often, when I didn’t have anyone to confide in, this is what kept me moving. It isn’t much, I’m not even really sure if there’s anything special about it past the sentimental value, but I hope that it might one day remind you to push past bleak times as well.” 

Adrium takes the tusk and looks it over. “I’ll treasure it. There will be no need for it to produce such a motivating function, however, for I will make the future shine by the end of this uprising.” 

Cyrilla sees her own look of resolve form on the face of her daughter. No better trait could she have passed on than this. Pride wells within her and any notion of the uprising failing melts away. “I know you will.”