Prime Respite (Part 4)

Chapter 4

The seagulls gawk to the edge where the sky meets the sea. Their near identical blue blends in the infinitely far, mixed with orange and reddish gradient blessed by the drowning sun. Three of the maids lean against the ferry’s railing, gazing into the distance. Their thoughts sink, just like the sun, into possibilities of punishments for their desertion.

“Hey, I…” Eri speaks up. “I don’t know, I feel wrong.”

“Imagine what they have to say for our action.” Theo follows.

“The Primus will be mad at us, won’t he?” Rina says, her sight fixed to the ocean floor.

Eri takes a deep breath. “Oh my…” She whines. “I can’t believe I agreed to do this. Do I still have face on my return to the continent?”

“His leave takes about two weeks, right?”

Eri and Theo nods.

“Perhaps we might reserve another session of our seat here to return to the island.”

“And ask for an apology from him?” Eri asks.

“What else can we do? At least we realized we messed up.”

It is when the other maid, Hana, comes marching to their side.

“No, we’re not.” She says. “It’s Lena. She has the instructions yet she decided to disobey them.”

The three shares a glance. It is Rina who turns to meet her.

“But still, running away won’t do good either. How long do you think you can last with the Primus on your tail?”

Rina has a point. Their desertion is a disobedience to no one but the Primus himself. They just abandoned their purpose to serve the pinnacle of the authority. Who knows what consequences await? It could be death. If they return, they would probably still be punished. But at least they can still hold up to their dignity as the maids of Creatio Genetrix.

“We’re not going back.” Hana says, her sight sharp, her fist clenched.

“Maybe only you.” Rina states. “I’ll return with the others. Right gals?” She says turning to Eri and Theo.

“Yea I’m coming with her.” Eri exclaims.

“I shall redeem myself.” Theo says.

“You can leave us if you want.” Rina says to Hana before turning around.

But just after she takes a step to return to the railing, Hana’s right arm spring round her neck. On her hand is what appears to be a dagger. From the corner of her eyes, Rina sees the dagger carve a path through. It was too late to fight back. Once she realized it, the dagger has finished its job.

“Rina!!!” Eri yells at the top of her throat.

“No.” Theo follows.

Rina lays her right hand on the fissure running across her neck as she falls to her knees. Her hand wet with red liquid streaming out of the fissure. There’s something she wanted to say, but she couldn’t since that function has just been taken away from her. Hana shoves her, and she collapses.

“Hana, w-what…” Eri stutters calmly, with a taste of disbelief, as she gazes upon the body of her friend laying lifeless on the floor. Seeing that, she couldn’t resist the urge boiling inside. “Why are you doing this!?” She cries, pulling out her katana.

Theo follows suit. “Treachery.” She exclaims.

Hana sheathe her dagger and pulls out her katana. Her sharp sight, turns into one with full intent to kill.

“I said, we’re not going back. You are, not going back.”


It’s past breakfast. The sun is already bright above. But he can still give in to his drowsiness, thanks to the breeze transitioning between land and sea. His coat separates him from the sands, a makeshift mattress. The experience of sleeping in open ground with no shelter is reminiscent of the days when he was still scavenging supplies from hollow towns and settlements. The days after the annihilation. Before he settled in a hub, he used to rest in desolate shacks or buildings. Basically, anywhere he deems comfortable. Which is why resting on the shore like this doesn’t bother him.

The only thing is, he hasn’t had his breakfast. In fact, he hasn’t had anything at all since the night two days prior. Thanks to that his stomach is twisted.

“Sir…” He heard someone calling his name. Its voice is of a teenage girl, probably in her adolescence.

Since he couldn’t sleep anymore, he ran out of his sleep hours, he decides to respond by turning his gaze at her.

“Ow,” She flinches. “You’re awake.” She says. She has a long straight hair that goes all the way to her waist.

He responds with a deep sigh before turning the other way.

“Pardon me sir, I don’t think that is a place suitable for your rest.”

“I’m fine.” He replies.

“Ah, I don’t think so.” The girl states with a calm, charming tone that adds well to her alluring nature.

He leers again at her.

“When a prominent person like you decided to rest in a place like this, there’s no way anything is the way they are.”

“How old are you?”

“I’m turning seventeen in a week.”

He rises to sit, impressed by how the girl deduced that there’s a problem boiling inside him.

“So you know who am I?” The man asks.

“Of course. You are the leader of our glorious nation, the Artificial Creationists. The most powerful man in the world.”

He takes a deep breath as he picks several grains of sands with his right hand. “How should I live to that title, if a problem like this already pushed me to the edge?”

It is when his stomach grumble. The girl notices.

“Excuse me.” He says.

“Ah, you haven’t had your meal.” She then brought up her utilizer and begin to type into it. “There, please hang on a second okay sir?” She presents a smile that brightens her face even more.

“What should I call you?”

“Julia, sir.”

“What do you want?”

“Nothing,” She says. “I just happen to patrol around here and found you lying on the sands.” She turns her gaze to the horizon in the distance.

“Then why sit here with me?”

“I’m just taking a break, I’ve scoured a vast area just now.”

“This particular point seems to be convenient.”

Julia turns to him. “Wow, you’re quite the one with negativity.”

“You know how I’ve always adored girls of your age.” He says with a higher tone. “In addition to the meal you’re offering, you clearly are seeking my attention.”

The girl takes a deep breath. “Have you always been like this?” She says, her voice remains gentle despite the somewhat provoking tone of the man. “People can be genuine too, you know?”

The way Julia maintains her composure impresses him even more. He squints at the sands, trying to come up with an example of a genuine intention ever since he took power, which grounds the conversation to a halt.

The foliage behind them rustle. The splashing waves adds to the arrangement.

“Hmm,” Julia hums while turning her glance above, seemingly in an attempt to break the silence. “Ah, think about us. We could choose to live our life without concerning what’s going on out there. In fact, everything here is sufficient for our daily needs. But we decided otherwise.”

The man turns to her. He sees straight to the white of her eyes. The gentle touch of a girl entering her adolescence, such tenderness has been missing from him for decades. A reminiscent of how he got this far, the will to raise a daughter that shall see him through to the end. The first one hasn’t even seen the daylight, when the thralls took her away. The second did well sustaining the frail within him, until the thralls’ light blinded her away. His conquest is to ensure, that no thrall shall take another blossom that he nurtured.

“We ship our commodities abroad for the economy, and all of our men to meet your army quota.” Julia jerks her head. “That leaves us children here to guard the remainder of our people. And as your conquest goes, we begin to have less and less to give. And you start to toss us aside as you gain more territories.”

The girl’s glance turns into him, along with her bright smile that stuns him.

“But have we ever once protested against you? Especially when you are here? Or perhaps loot some of your valuables in your mansion?”

“I believe…” He mutters in a faint voice that hopefully doesn’t catch the girl’s ear. “It’s hard to believe there’s nothing behind that community effort.”

Julia chuckles, still with her heart-warming smile. She then gently shakes her head. “That’s our obligation as your citizen.” Her gaze turns into the point where the sky meets the sea. “As long as the beacon of civilization shines bright, as long as it marks its presence in history, that’s all that matters. I believe you are leading us there.”

Even though there’s a hole in her statement, that they still want the beacon of civilization to mark its presence in history, it is not a thing that they could be blissful of in practice. In fact, it might even be a grace that would never shine back upon them. To think that there are people striving for such cause…and not even once he thought of such dedicated communities…Maybe he really stands upon the sweat of countless people, excluding Microv, Derrick, and Sofiana, that wishes nothing in return from him, other than the wealth of his realm.

Maybe that’s what Lena is thinking. Looking back, ever since Sofiana disappears, his gears spin ever more sluggish. As if they lost the fluid that grease its surfaces and ease its rotary motion. Maybe she’s really willing to restore the discipline that he dropped, with hope that he would perform better than he is currently. And the improvement of his performance meant the quality increase of the citizens’ life.

The man nods. For a girl of her age, that thought and determination of hers are ought to be admired. One really could learn from anyone.

“An even simpler example is,” Julia continues. “Notice how I didn’t overpraise you with your titles. Instead, I view you sir as a conversation partner on par with anyone of my age.”

Even though it’s rough, it’s indeed simpler to grasp. Presenting over the top courtesy and adulation shows how one wishes to be noticed for either promotion or commendation, something that improves their privilege.

“Where were you educated?” He asks.

“Well,” She turns her gaze downward for the first time. “I wish I was.”

No formal education, as expected. Since this island’s resources are dwindling, it shouldn’t be able to sustain an educational institution.

“How are your parents?”

“My father died in the defense of Vaniyya. Which eventually fell before we retake it again.”

The battle where Microv fought to the very end, spared only through the fondness of the head of the Vindicator’s army at the time, the first empress herself.

“I’m sorry for your loss.”

Julia tilts her head and grins as soon as she glances at him.

“We’ve won anyway. You don’t have to worry.” She takes a deep breath. “My mother…, she was a labor in an orchard.”


“She just passed away due to a fever.”

“You couldn’t afford a cure?”

“Herbs commodities that made it here are rare. Hence, they sell them at a high price. Even with my job as a cook in the militia…well…” She cowers, resting her head on the wrapping of her arms. The girl who has held her composure wither under the fact that she couldn’t save her mother despite her effort. Perhaps even her father.

“My condolences.”

She nods in silence. Her eyes turn weary, as if it starts to drizzle.

As time flies, the man begins to drown in his thought. The silence through the passing hour along with the soothing atmosphere of coastal scene hastens the pace of his neuron. His daydreaming breaks as soon as Julia turns to her left. He follows her sight. In the distance, he makes up a figure running toward him. It appears to be a girl, of similar age to Julia. Her golden hair is full of brilliance under the daylight.

Julia rises up and waves at her.

“Over here!” She yells, although she never needs to do that.

“Here’s the package you’ve ordered.” The girl says.

“Much obliged, Vittoria.”

The golden-haired girl, apparently named Vittoria, nods with a stiff expression.

Julia then hands out the hand-sized container to him.

“Are you sure?”

Julia grins. “It’s not good to skip your meals you know? And it’s improper to reject when someone is giving you one.” She winks.

He raises his hands and let her place the container on them. Under the lid, are rice and blobs of other cuisines that isn’t in his preference. He suspects those are vegetables that he never knew.

For a moment, he turns his glance at Julia who sits again beside him, willing to ask whether she has other kind of cuisine that perhaps grazes his preferences. But the fact that the other girl, Vittoria, is willing to go through all the trouble of preparing the meal and delivering it here, even though she is an Android, holds him back. It’s impolite to ask the host for something else when they provide such treat, especially when there’s the bare minimum in their storage.

But clearly, he couldn’t reject it either. He has no choice. He raises the spoon given along with the container and scoop a piece into his mouth. His jaws begin to prance as the piece is basked in his saliva. Along with it is a taste that he had long missed.

Uttering no second thought, since he is starving, he scoops another piece and another. Eventually, the container is empty before he realized it.

“Ah, you’ve such an appetite.” Julia exclaims, clapping her hands.

“Impressive indeed.” Vittoria follows.

He takes a deep breath when Julia hands him a bottle of water. After taking a huge sip, he hands the bottle back.

“I’m in your debt.” He says to them.

“No really, you are not.” Julia says.

“It’s our duty to protect and serve the people.” Vittoria continues.

He squints at Vittoria as soon as they both stand up. The details of her features, especially her crimson eyes, and her pale skin, they trigger a reminiscence inside him. It’s like he has seen her before. But he couldn’t remember. Still, the fact that there’s a person in this struggling island that could afford an Android is disturbing.

“This doesn’t seem to be your birthplace.” He says to Vittoria.

“Ah,” Julia slips in. “We found her washed up ashore four days ago sir.”

“I am indebted to their deeds.” Vittoria nods.

His glare remains for a time, through the silence as he digs deep into his mind. But there’s still nothing to be found. In the end, his exhale is the thing that comes through.

“Perhaps I was being too cautious.”

Julia then hands out the container and the bottle to Vittoria and tells her to return. Vittoria gives a brief nod before hustling into the distance.

“Well then, I shall continue to patrol.” She says to him. “We’re still lacking manpower, even the cook has to do the patrol.”

“Don’t die.” He replies.

She bows before walking around him. Soon, she is nowhere to be found. He continues to recline on his coat, his sight to the skies covered by a formation of foliage that sway from one side to another.

And time flies. His daydreaming led to him skipping the time again. The peaceful atmosphere is just what he needs before he heads off for further conquest. Somehow things are getting messed up in his mansion. The reminder for his meal, the emptying of the fridge, they just felt unnecessary. Not to mention that he has punishments for the maids in mind. That girl Lena could really mean for the good of him. But his leave means his leave. A moment where he can do anything he want, being himself, slacking all day long, eating as much of his favorite food as possible, all that stuff. Being disciplined throughout the moment feels a bit off.

That aside however, he at least has to appreciate what Lena is doing. All of his personal maids, including those that accompanies him during his leaves, not one come up with merits that improves him as a person. Everyone is just following the procedure handed to them, which makes them no better than a mindless virtual intelligence in an endoskeleton doing household tasks.

And thus, he wonders…

How did this all began?

It’s not long until he notices something.

“Iva…were you that terrified of me? After everything between you and I?”

He finds himself climbing uphill when sunset comes, his coat hanging on his shoulders. This time, he’ll be in time for the dinner that Lena makes for him. The discord between him and that maid shouldn’t go any further, especially on his leave. Things will just turn bitter for everyone. Lena would be a subject to Microv’s wrath, and he himself won’t have the leave that he wished for, since his stomach is empty most of the times. Even now he wished to be in his mansion as soon as possible, and have anything that the maid made him. Anything.

This will be a sign of his appreciation. He shall rekindle his interaction with her.

“Sir…” He suddenly heard someone calling him from behind, followed by the noise of his panting.

He turns around to see the boy from yesterday.

“What do you want?” He asks.

“Lena isn’t the one that doesn’t answer my messages immediately.”

For a moment, the fact that they have been chatting for some time sounds quite disturbing. He stands in place with an eyebrow raised in the face of it, although his expression isn’t visible. It takes another second for the implication to seep in. Knowing that, he turns around and increases his pace. The boy follows close. On his way, he wishes that he’s too ignorant to understand what that implies.

It’s indeed dinnertime when he arrives. He opens the door to the unusual humid and steamy air of his mansion. From the spacious living room, he could make up a stream of high-pitched noise. He leers at the boy.

“Check every corner,” He says. “I’m heading to the kitchen.”

“Excuse my incursion, sir.” The boy bows at him.

“Accepted.” He responds while hot footing to the kitchen.

The steam is even thicker there. He finds a pot on an active stove with boiling water. After turning off the stove, he opens nearby window panes, trading the steam with the air outside.

“Sir, she’s here!” The boy’s voice echoes from another room.

He hurries there and finds the maid lies unconscious on the floor, alongside a mop that could squirt cleaner’s liquid to the floor. Her shirt is soaked by her sweat that covers her face all the way to her nape. And from the man’s point of view, he could make up what appears to be a bruise on her forehead. The boy is putting two fingers on the base of her head, just under the jaw where one could catch the beating of their veins. He then turns to the man who is standing beside him.

“She’s alive. But her condition is problematic.” The boy says.

“Lift her up.” The man responds with his gaze trained above and around him.


“Did I stutter?”

As soon as the boy places the maid on a bed, inside a room that he led him to, a flash of the past sparks inside his head. A glimpse of someone who was once in her position. A someone he used to cherish like his own daughter, even though she is not of his blood. A someone whom he risked his life to save.



The tender waves are dimly lit by the moon and the stars. The wind breezes through as armed Androids climb to the main deck of the adrift ferry from their speedboats. It carries cargo abroad for a fair share of gold from the main continent.  There are not so many citizens on board, but the Androids remain cautious as they scatter to the corners of the ferry. Innocents who are caught amidst the incident have their hands on their back and their face against the deck’s floor.

An Android officer then steps into the deck following his men. In total, there are ten more men on board, including him. He strides toward the maid with his head high. Hana salutes him as he walks over the bloodied bodies of the maids that were once her colleagues.

“Such convenience that we have two eyes on the island.”

“Request permission to engage sir.”

“Engage?” The officer says, raising an eyebrow. “Her majesty’s daughter has confirmed the absence of any ArC facilities in the area.”

“But his mansion is there.”

“What are you expecting?”

“He has his personal device in that place. In addition to this ship we are taking, we might extract useful intel stored there.”

The officer squints at her. “Can you name one useful intel that we would find?”

Hana falls silent. Her eyes shift from left to right continuously as the officer glare down upon her.

“We’re not going then. This ship is enough.” The officer turns around and gestures to his men to take control of the ship.


The officer turns back to the girl again, finding her with clenched fist and sight to the floor.

“Please, sir Warren. Let me have him. At least let me lay waste to his properties.”

“You have no idea what you’re up against.” The officer responds calmly.

“He’s just a slacking man who left his responsibilities to others. I can deal with him with a single swoop of my blade.” She insists.

“We only need to win over him, not murder him directly.” As soon as the officer says that, something glimmering in the face of the night fall from her eyes. It reflects the dim light of the moon as it plunges to the floor, wetting it. Seeing that, the officer eases down slightly. “Grudge, isn’t it?” He says.

“He took my parents away from me!” She exclaims, raising her face with glimmering eyes toward the officer. “At least they could rest in peace once I’m done.” She sniffs.

“I guess it doesn’t matter if you are killed in the process.”

Hana shakes her head.

The officer takes a deep breath. “I’ll have six men extract the intel you’ve promised. You can go and seek out his head.”

His statement is like a huge boulder that suddenly falls upon a narrow stream of tears, blocking their path. Hana begins to grin; Her face returns to shine with a glimmer of hope.

“Thank you, thank you very much sir Warren.” She puts her hand together and bows to him.

“You’ll have her support, but I’m only extracting her and the intel. Understand?”

“Understood, sir.”

The officer then calls out to his men. “Six of you come with her for a one-way trip.” He points at Hana.

Along with her bursting determination, a dim groan reaches her ears. She turns to the source of it, from one of her colleagues that turns out to be still breathing.

“Hh…hHan…a.” The girl with shoulder-length and slightly wavy hair calls for her, extending her bloodied arm.

Hana walks to her and kneels beside her. The girl grabs her forearm with the remainder of her strength.

“P-please…don’t do this…”

Hana sets her sight downward for a moment. “I’m sorry.” She says before pulling out her dagger and thrusts it against the dying girl’s chest, toward a point where her heart is supposed to be. It’s not long before her sights turn empty, and her grip on Hana’s forearm is let go.

“Now ready yourself.” The officer calls her from across the deck.

Hana quickly stands at attention. “Yes sir.”

“The Sentinel be with you.” He says, tracing a line from the base of his neck to his chest.

 Prime Respite

Prime Respite (Part 3)

Chapter 3

The sun just set. The delicate scent of the broth emanates through the dining room. Vittoria shut down the gas stove as soon as she is done slicing a cucumber. That’s when another girl comes up with a pile of small plastic bowls.

“That smells delicious.” She says. “I never thought you’d make an excellent cook.”

Vittoria leers at her while pouring the broth into each of the bowls before putting it aside. “This is the particular activity that my parents taught with the most excellence. They wanted me to be a decent housewife once I am married.”

“Ah, impressive.” The girl responds while shifting to the other side to place the bowls on to the trays set out on the counter. “With these, I’m sure everyone would set out with their stomach happy.”

“I…” Vittoria stops midway. “Would be grateful, if my dishes could fulfill that.”

“With this tempting smell, I’m sure everyone won’t let it pass.”

Not long after, two boys burst into the kitchen. They are Fred and Lennard.

“Julia, Vittoria, are you two done?” Says Lennard.

“Yeah, I can smell something great and that tickles my stomach.” Fred barks, like he usually do.

“How about you two help us out?” Julia smiles to them, her hands crossed behind her hip.

“Well if it meant larger portion…”

“Fred…” Lennard leers at him with a bitter sight.

“Okay, okay.”

The two boys help assemble the remaining platers. Then the four of them delivers the meals to the front counter of the dining room, where everyone else could take them. There are no chairs nor seating of any kind. So everyone just sit on the carpet-covered floor with their meals on their laps.

Vittoria sits between Fred and Julia, without any meal in her lap since she is an Android. It is not long before someone shoves a spoon into their mouth and yells out,

“Hey Vittoria, I swear I never had something this tasty since I’m here.”

“Yeah. Could you stay for maybe a week after you could afford a ticket home, please?” A girl follows up.

Similar cheers from twenty other teenagers fill the dining room. An incoherent choir to which her heart blooms and prances. She never thought that the praises hit gently on her soft spot. Her response is a simple smile that she directed toward everyone.

“It’s lovely here isn’t it, Vittoria?” Fred asks with a smooth tone.

Vittoria’s heavenly glee turns at Fred, blinding his vision. “I concur.” She responds.

“Hey, Fred!” A boy cries out from one corner. “You’re rooting for her aren’t you?”

“What the hell did you say!?” Fred yells while training his spoon at him.

“Uh, oh.” Another boy’s response follows up. “Looks like someone just got exposed.” He says, rolling his eyes.

“Come here you!”

The two boys make a hustle as soon as Fred’s tall stature rises from its seat and begins to march at them.

The chatter here and there across the room is in contrast with her solitary bedroom that saw the most of her shedding petals. The genuine cheers and jeers are a fresh breeze to the dull well-mannered speech of her servants which is most probably staged to exhibit proficiency in serving her. She breathes a relief knowing that her mother’s words could actually led her to such experience for once. However, it’s not long until the gray clouds her face.

A notification from her utilizer. The receiver is wired to her system, hence there’s no need for the utilizer to blip when it receives messages. Which is essential at this moment, since she strives to prevent anyone from noticing.

“I will be absent for a moment.” She says to Julia and Fred.


“Be careful.”

Vittoria nods before standing up and proceeds to the back. At the moment, everyone is busy with their own conversation. Even if they notice Vittoria’s leave, they aren’t really concerned. She goes all the way to the backyard of the small barrack, where there’s no one to see her.

Then she opens her utilizer.


From: Ag_Bloom

I’ll convince the rest to board the Ferry before dawn break, according to the schedule you sent me.


Her will to respond is suppressed by a gentle voice calling for her from behind. She hastily retracts her screen and leers behind her. From the corner of her eyes, she could make up a figure leaning against the side of the door, gazing upon her.

“Zen.” She says after turning around.

He jerks his head in silence. Thinking that he is curious of what’s going on, she turns her gaze to the skies behind her, before returning it to him once more.

“The stars. They’re magnificent.”

A chill starts to run down her endoskeleton as the boy lifts an eyebrow. She wonders whether he really saw what she did. She begins to heat her core, preparing to execute a backup plan should this one is foiled. But just as the water boils, Fred bursts through the door.

“Hey, hey.” He proceeds pasts Zen and head for Vittoria.

Zen leers at him as he nudges his shoulder.

“Tell me you are alright back here.” He says to both of them.

Vittoria turns away from him while Zen exhales and head back inside without saying anything. Fred turns his attention to Vittoria.

“Nothing.” Vittoria says, trying to shove his worries away if there is any. “I hope my parents, if they are still alive, see how I long for this moment.”

When she glances back at him, she finds his face with a little hint of red. His mouth is gaping, and he is frozen in place.

“You…the gathering right?” He stutters.

“What else?” Vittoria replies.

“Right, right. Reasonable indeed.” He says while rubbing the back of his head.

Vittoria then head back inside, followed by Fred.


“Ears on me, you delinquent lass.” His voice, so loud that it trembles the whole room, comes through my utilizer. His overwhelming tone is like a thunder splitting the sky. The following shock shoves me deeper into a point where I have never reached before. It’s the Primus’ right-hand man, Microv Edward. He’s the supreme leader of the maid section. Colonel Iva’s rank is just below him. “One more grumble and I swear to shove your arse down a pit where you’d wish we had executed you instead. Do you hear!?”

“Y-yes, si-” I stutter. And perhaps because of it…

“Do…you…hear!?” He calls it out even louder.

This feeling. The shivering view of my parents perishing into the ember to save me, the overlapping screams of my scattered people as columns of monarchs flew overhead in harmony. I can’t believe that this man brought a similar experience just by raising his tone.

“Yes, sir.” I respond with a sturdier tone. But then I begin to sniffle.

“Rest sort it out as well. For failure won’t spank only her.” He says. “Off you go.”

For the first time in years, a tear streaks across my cheek. A pain is throbbing my heart. Despite of it, I gaze up to everyone else. Theirs however falls bitter upon me. In the next second, Hana turns away from me in silence. Her sight is no longer as sharp as before. Her face is one that lacks of any will. She marches into the bunk without leering back. The maiden that I thought I could trust the most is the first that wavers.

“Hana…” I reach out to her, but to no avail.

“I’m sorry, Lena.” Rina says before following her.

Theo nods two times with her eyes closed without saying anything.

“Rina, Theo…” Still they ignore me.

“Um…” Seeing everyone walks away from me seems to have driven Eri nervous, evident from how she taps her indexes in quick succession. She then turns to me. “Uh, Lena. Just do what the man said okay?” She says. “This is for your good, for our good, for everyone. Okay?”

“Eri…, everyone…” The only words that came out of me as soon as Eri shut the bunk’s door.

Here I am left alone again.

It’s way past dinnertime already and we have no more task on the list for today. The Primus, once again, didn’t touch his meal. I wanted to reach for the bunk’s door, but somehow couldn’t. Something inside prevents me from doing so.

Then my tears break free.

“Damn it.” I grit my teeth. I can’t look up to them like this.

I don’t know what I was thinking, I found my body hustling to the main gate before I realize it. The delay between each step shortens as time goes, and the load in my head inflates with each step. My composed march to the main gate turns into a rush once I cleared past. With all my might, I split the night at a blistering pace, my legs from knees down whimper in the process. I couldn’t tell where I am going. All I know is that I’m taking myself as far as possible from everything. Eventually, I collapse under a sizeable tree, my face fell flat on the ground.

My tears are flooding, and I couldn’t resist the urge to commit all my voice into the weep.

Why did it end up like this? All I did is for the best of the Primus, for the best of his reign, and for the best of the citizens. How couldn’t they see that? How could they refuse the deeds that clearly will benefit the realm in the long term?

Suddenly I feel a presence. My breath is still caught, but I decide to raise my head and wipe my eyes. I was surprised to see who it is.

“Are you okay?” It’s Zen. He then kneels before me as soon as he asks that question. “What are you doing here this late?”

A small orange glow illuminates the place, originating from a lantern hanging on a wooden stake protruding out of the tree’s trunk. His face reflects off the glow, in stark contrast with the surrounding darkness. I see a pair of stars chasing each other as his eyes gaze down on me. It is as if the light comes from him instead of the lantern, even with his indifferent face that shouldn’t radiate anything.

The faint brilliance sweeps the glitter in my eyes away, and for some reason it manages to breathe my will back to life. I rise to my knees as I wipe the remainder of my tears away.

“I…” I sniffle. “I don’t know. Maybe I just need some space.” I say, turning my face away as I sit on my calves.

Zen exhales. His face remains indifferent. “Well, I guess you are welcome to stay.”

Just when I begin to wonder what he is implying, he sits before me, his back against the tree trunk. Those lustrous eyes now turn to the night sky glittering with stars from one end to the other.

“Wh…what are you doing?”

That indifferent face of his turns to me. “This place is my contemplation haven.”

“You don’t have any patrol duty?”

“Not my turn. But I’m on standby.”

A silence ensues for a moment. I never sit beside a boy I just met before. Especially one that drives this feeling inside me. This blooming feeling that still finds me scrambling for words to describe properly.

I shift and turn a bit so that my bottom sits on the grass while my back leans against the trunk.

“What happened?” He suddenly asks.


“There has to be a reason why you are crying up here.” He says with his face remains to the stars.

For a moment I am reluctant to share the reason. But knowing how he seems to be the only person I can talk to at this moment, I don’t have a choice.

“I wanted to change someone else’s behavior, but to no avail.”

“I see.” Zen responds.

Somehow, I was expecting more whereas I should have known that it’s the reply that he would provide given his personality. However,

“Well,” To my surprise, he continues. “One does barely step out of their status quo.”

“Excuse me?”

“Change has always been a subject of opposition. It’s never easy for anyone to move out of the place they are already comfortable with.”

My gaze falls to my feet as I come to realize. It is indeed difficult. But that doesn’t mean we should forever refrain from making a change. We won’t go anywhere if we don’t struggle to change ourselves. As long as we have the will, we would emerge victorious beyond our comfort zone.

“But they could if they have the will.” I say.

“But the problem doesn’t just stay there, it goes further to what preventing the will to rise in the first place.”

“What preventing the will?”

“Say, if you’re to organize a mass for one common goal, a change for better life, but then finds out that they’re only benefitting from you and ditch you on your most dire of needs, would you be willing to organize another mass?”

That feels too extreme. If it ever happens to a person, then it has to be traumatizing.

“You wouldn’t.” Zen answers that on his own. “Even when someone else is rallying, you would remain still, no matter how hard they try.”

I think I can agree. It’s almost impossible to overcome a traumatizing experience. The monarch swarm flashes into view as soon as I thought of that. The hellish view where only fear and despair can be found. The ember tide that sweeps through my village, engulfing everything including my parents. I wish every night that I can rest soundly without ever seeing such calamity unfolding again.

I snap back to our conversation and make my remark.

“I don’t think that could ever happen. What kind of person devious enough to benefit from a person who strived for their well-being?”

“My people, my former ones.”

His former people?

“No way…”

“The lower classes folk that I strived to protect, those I have created an association with for their own good, ditched me. My parents and the other higher classes took away their rights. I struggle only to alleviate their pressure. Until one night when I heard that the higher classes were plotting against me. My parents didn’t even bother to protect me, so I seek protection from the lower-classes. They denied my request, even exposing me in the process.”

Oh my goodness.

“I’m…” I feel like I have to say something, but I couldn’t come up with anything. “I’m sorry.”

His gaze turns on me again. “I was accompanied by my best friend when I left the little town, but covering me had cost him his life. And that’s how I end up here. Far from everyone, even the concerns of protecting the weak.”

“But you’re a militia in this place.”

“And so it seems. But my effort in every patrol is nonexistent. I even drift here for my personal solitude despite the order to stand by the posts.”

I exhale. That’s unfortunate. So far, I’ve only received warning from sir Microv. But the unfortunate that befall him drenches me in ponder. Should I really proceed carrying out my plan and risk a fate worse than death? Or should I just stop, and abide the orders that have been laid out?

“Could you, by any chance, restore the will that you’ve held out before?”

He directs his gaze back to the stars and exhales. The expression that he is showing makes me feel dumb for asking such question.

“I don’t think I have the heart for that anymore.”

That incident must have left a deep scar in him. And it’s most likely why he appears to be exhausted all the time. The lower-classes’ refusal have stripped him of his will. And now it seems like he only works for himself. If there’s one thing that he’s protecting, it’s probably the remainders of his heart.

“If you think you are willing to make a change, you have to be prepared for consequences such as those.” Zen shrugs. “I hope you don’t end up like me.”

With him, the night flies without a care in the world. It’s already late when I return to the mansion. Zen accompanied me all the way. I told him it was unnecessary, but he insisted that a girl of my age shouldn’t walk along a dimly lit road by herself. I never walk alongside a boy before. Even more awkward is that he is five years older than me. Regardless, it’s a sweet experience that pats me in the back, one that I barely had in years.

When I head inside, I notice something. The Primus refused to have his dinner, and we have had our dinner. Which means that the dishes that we washed, should have dried out by now. However, one of the plates is still damp, with droplet running across its curved surface.

Not long after Theo comes into the kitchen.

“Lena, how are you?” It feels odd that she asks me that, but I do appreciate that she concerns me after that scolding from sir Microv.

“I’m fine. Thanks for asking.” I flinch my head.

“I guess that extra plate serves you well.”

Extra plate?


“So it’s not you who made that noise?”

“I was outside, catching some air.”

“We were all in the bunk when that porcelain noise occurred.”

It seems like Theo is speaking the truth, she’s not the kind to lie. But if they’re not the one who is having a late-night snack, then it is…

I sigh. “He was snacking again, wasn’t he?”

“Apparently.” Theo says.

“Let’s just have our rest for now. It might have been a lot for us today.”

“It definitely is for you, I guess.” Theo smiles at me.

I smile back. I can’t be sure whether her smile is genuine or not, but it shines an encouragement. Knowing that at least one of the maids is still with me restores my confidence, enough to meet the next dawn. Everyone else is already wrapped up under their blanket. Theo follows suit not long after.

My mind drifts to what Zen has told me. I begin to consider whether I should continue with giving the Primus a proper meal, in proper times. Doing so would free me from sir Microv’s haunting words. But the prime value of this nation would remain tarnished. His improper meals might be irrelevant and insignificant. Yet, how many times have irrelevant and insignificant things caused the fall of kings?

Without my consent, those thoughts lull me to my dreams.


Day three. I wake up to my alarm at the same time as yesterday. I slept late, so the reluctance to rise from the mattress is immense. I even have a hard time opening my eyes. But I have to. There’s a work to be done.

However, as soon as I put on the maid uniform, a sight shocks me to the core.

“Hana? Rina? Eri? Theo?”

They’re nowhere to find around their mattresses.

“This…” This is a joke isn’t it? “Please tell me this is just a child’s play.” I say as I roam around the mansion. It turns out they’re also not in the mansion. My heart begins to race as I begin to search the gardens.

“Hana! Rina! Eri! Theo!” I call them out, as I trot around the garden.

Oh no.

For a moment, I couldn’t believe it. They’re really gone. My gaze turns to the direction of the settlement, where I got the groceries yesterday.

“Could it be…?”

No, no, no.

I streak alongside the dawn breeze flowing downhill, rushing my way to the settlement. My heart beats at a rate that I never thought it would reach. There’s still five kilometers left once I reach the main highway. That’s when I begin to lose my breath. The exhaustion from last night’s burst still has their grip on me. I couldn’t make it in time. Just as I thought of letting them go, a motorcycle comes up beside me. A brief grateful bloom from within when I see who it is.

“Z-Zen.” I call him, stuttering due to my heavy breath.

“I see four maids boarding a ferry for the mainland.” He said with a louder tone.

“Yes please.”

I hop into the backseat as soon as he flinches his head, gesturing me to head in. The motorcycle splits the air, which forces me to grip its back tail. We arrive at the settlement ten minutes later. Zen has to reduce his speed since crashing, no matter how minor, would cause inconvenience for the settlers. It takes another five minutes before we arrive at the docks.

I then hustle in as soon as Zen stops before the main entrance, hoping that there’s still time to catch them. How could they decide to abandon me? Have I really been that mistaken?

The ferry’s horn blares. Two men with uniforms blocked the path leading to the ship as soon as I reach it.

“Pardon, ma’am. You have to show that you’ve reserved a seat inside.” Says one of them.

“Please, let me in! My colleagues are there and I need to get to them!” I frantically gesture for the ferry, hoping that he would let me pass.

“The leave schedule is here. Do you have the receipt or not?”

“No, no. You don’t understand!”

Not long after, his colleague near the ferry gives the greenlight. The horn blares again. The staircase is lifted, and it begins to drift away from the docks. Only then I am allowed a pass.

I sprint all the way to the end of the docks.

“Hana! Rina! Eri! Theo!” I cry out their names at the top of my lungs.

It’s when Hana appears on the starboard deck and gazes upon me. But it’s too late. The ferry has gone far from the docks. I only see her waving at me with a bitter face, not saying anything. I probably won’t hear it either.

“No.” I said, as I collapse to my knee.

Why? Why is this happening to me? I raise that question as my eyes begin to well up. I can’t believe this. Just why. I was about to make things right. Why do they have to leave just as that is going to happen?

But my lament hits a sturdy wall. It’s too late. No matter how hard I cry, how deep my regrets are, they won’t change anything.

“Lena.” I hear Zen’s gentle voice reaching out to me.

I don’t respond, still soaked in my weep. Then I feel his hand on my right shoulder.

“There’s nothing you can do about it now.” He says.

Even if my weep won’t solve anything, it is still hard for me to stem these tears and get over it. I probably become an attention center in this dock, but that doesn’t matter. It’s like a small cut on the skin after having pikes pierced through my chest.

“Lena,” When Zen says my name for the second time, he raises my face to meet his. “Hush.” He said.

His cold hand is holding up my face. But somehow, I felt only warmth. His ebony eyes gaze straight into mine. I feel my soul is being embraced. His smooth feature which I already found captivating, is heavenly this close. For a moment, everything feels fine. And the wound that the maids have inflicted upon me seems irrelevant. The pair of stars I saw last night return. This time they bring a painkiller that I never thought exist.


“You are the Primus’ maid, so behave like one.”

“B-but…how could I?” Especially when a charge is waiting for me on the other side due to my inability to maintain the integrity of my team. “He is not going to forgive me for this.”

“Listen, you still have a chance. The Primus is still depending on you to take care of his mansion. He still needs you. You have to cast aside this regret of yours for a moment.”

I sniffle. He then releases his hand from my face. The hands that gave me warmth, enough to contain my tears.

“I…don’t know.” I say. I really couldn’t come up with any thoughts right now. This is just too much for me to wrap up in a brief amount of time.

“I’ll take you back. All the way before the Primus himself.”

It’s an astounding declaration. He’s going to stand with me in confronting the most powerful man in the world.

“Are you s-sure?” I stutter again.

“Come.” He says as he grabs both of my hand, pulling me up, during which I could only stare at his face in astonishment.

Zen pulls up his utilizer and speaks through it, seemingly telling his colleagues. Together we reach the doorstep of the Primus’ mansion, again. We climb the path through the gardens after getting through the main gate. And he is there, on the bench sitting at the fourth layer.

“Where have you been?” He asked while we’re on the staircase to the fourth layer. “And I don’t remember giving you permission to invite strangers.”

Zen and I share a glance before climbing up the stairs to meet him. So far everything didn’t go well between the Primus and I. That makes me wonder what will he pull out of his sleeve and lay down on me.

“Where are the others?” He continues asking.


“The other maid decides to abandon their duty.” Zen steps in front of me before I can finish my sentence.

The Primus turns his menacing gaze at him. When he gazes back at me, Zen is pushed back down the stairs. He is now where he was a few seconds ago. But nothing is pushing him. It just happens. I am left gaping for a moment. This superhuman power, perhaps it is why he is feared by everyone. I tremble as I think of anything that he might be capable of.

“Continue.” He says, calmly.

“With due respect sir, the other maids have abandoned the mission.”

“That scolding last night was too much?”

Perhaps he was referring to the night where sir Microv yells at us.

I lower my gaze. “It…was.” I said. But then I add, along with returning my gaze to him, “But I never thought of abandoning my duty.”

He is probably squinting at me right now. Zen is still in the same position, possibly held in place by the Primus. What else can he do with his powers?

“Regardless, this lack of discipline will not go unpunished.” He said.


Those words of his probe my nerve, provoking another rapid development. I now shiver not due to dread, but irritation at the irony just before me. For a second, my urge stacks up. And I don’t even think twice about it. I take a deep breath.

“Sir.” I say. “You have no right to dictate our lack of discipline.” I point at him.

His face might be concealed, but his mask couldn’t hide the gesture of raising an eyebrow. “Did your head crash into something yesterday?”

“No.” I take a deep breath. “I won’t let my discipline be judged, by a person who doesn’t have his meal properly.” I state, glaring back at him.

It is an intimidating sight. His stare is that between contempt and resentment. Even though his face hides behind his mask, I can still feel it. In fact, his mask makes it even more terrifying. Maybe that’s where the fear factor is all along. One couldn’t determine his feeling at any given moment. Feelings lead to actions. And since he’s the most powerful man in the world, it’s hard to determine what would he do next. But at this point, I’m pretty much used to it.

I take a deep breath. I guess that’s it. I’ve crossed the line. Perhaps it’s all I could manage against the most powerful man in the world. It’s something to be proud of however, since none survives his first glare. If he were to struck me down, right here and right now, it’ll be worth it.

It’s when I can feel something thrusting for my left cheek. A quick blow, perhaps powerful enough to cause a long-lasting scar.

“Not again.” A dim voice that I manage to catch coming from him.

Then something comes in to block it. They reach out and grip the blow that’s supposedly aiming at me. It’s hard for me to make out what it is, because both happened at a quick succession. And they left a shockwave that tosses me back. My back hits the path first. Zen rushes over and helps me recover. As soon as I do, the Primus is already walking inside.

“Get that boy off the lawn.” He gently says as he enters his mansion.

Zen and I share a glance.

“What was that?” He asks.

“That’s the highest authority snapping at me.”

“No, I meant the…”

I raise my hand and stops him midway. He must have meant the occurrence of the shockwave. I was as curious as him. But right now, I don’t have the space for that. That’s why I pretend to be oblivious.

“You should leave now.” I say to him.

He sighs and nods. “Stay safe, Lena.”

I nod back. It’s the last thing he said before he shut the main gate and off with his motorcycle.

With that, I enter the mansion. Suicidal thoughts start to flare in my mind. My limbs move at a slower pace, as if they are bound by weights. So much so that the distance between everything feels longer. I don’t know whether I can work in a state like this. I’m going to need a daylong idle. Contemplating, or even lamenting, everything that I did. Or perhaps considering to resign from this duty.

No, anything but resigning. I can’t let him view me as a deserter either.

But I can’t be idle. With everyone’s gone, all the task falls on me. I have to work on them. The Primus has already charged me for my inability to keep my team together. Let that be the last. I have to keep working. That’s when I thought of entering the kitchen and prepare his meal. This time, I resolved, to only make his preferences. But only serve them at proper meal times.

I come knocking at his room as soon as I’m done making his breakfast, since he’s not found anywhere. But there’s no response. I take it that he might not be starving yet. So I place the meals on separate metallic pots and put them on a heater to keep them warm. This is what the colonel told us to do when there’s still plenty of leftovers. We were told to standby for another cook because it is known that the Primus prefers that his preferences aren’t served in a succession.

It’s time for another task. Laundries, groceries, watering, sweeping, inspection, documentation, etc. I now have to do them all by myself. This place is so vast, that five maids is required to take care of it. No doubt, there will be tasks that left out. But I have to try. My duty is not over yet.

Come on, Lena. Cast your sadness aside for a while.

I proceed to water the gardens as soon as I’m done sweeping the mansion. And I find that it’s already past noon when I’m done watering, my second task of the day. I haven’t procured any groceries, so I rush for the grocery bag and head for the market. Unfortunately, most stands have close up shop. Hence, most items on the list is nowhere to be found.  Not only the tasks grew in numbers, I also have to deal with lesser groceries. Which is another problem, since that would hinder me in cooking his preferences.

The sun is setting when I came back. Comparing it with yesterday, my walk is slower. I can’t determine whether it’s due to my exhaustion or my unhealthy emotion this day. I’ve been working across the mansion all by myself. One thing for sure is that I sit with my limbs numb as soon as I put down the groceries. My head falls on the table. Just ahead are his meals that I place on a heater to warm. I examine closer, to find that it is still untouched since the morning.

This is strange.

When I knocked on his room today, I told him that I’ve made his preferences. Though I’m afraid that it’ll be the last thanks to the insufficient acquired grocery items. But why he still didn’t touch his meals? I decided to head for his room again. I knock on the door, only to hear no response from him. Since there’s no reason for me standing here waiting, I grab the door handle and turn it. The shock that comes when I found out that it isn’t locked is dwarfed by the one when I see that the Primus is gone.


Now him too.

This duty is a mistake in the first place. I shouldn’t have been assigned to this.

Prime Respite

Prime Respite (Part 2)

Chapter 2

The heavens are smiling down on earth. A river of sands resonates under their joyful spirit. Seagulls are gawking as they soar over them. Crashing waves shake the grains’ formation. The trees rustle as their branches shakes hand. An elegant arrangement. No concerns could linger as the breeze free of urban dust sweeps through the coastline. They flutter and scatter in their presence, away to where the heavens touch the sea.

“Who would occupy an island amidst nowhere with no strategic value?” A boy barks.

“Since the island we’re talking about is not under sufficient central’s watch, any opposition could pile their strength here and stab the capital from the back.”

“I think it’s just Zen who wants to stroll the shores. We still have the watch towers.” Fred responds.

“There’s still people up there, and therefore a chance that they miss something.”

Fred rubs his chin while leering upward. “Maybe we could conduct more discipline…”

“No use Fred.” The other boy exclaims. “No matter how discipline a watch can be, as long as they are human, there will always be a part of an event that went overhead.”


“Still though, it doesn’t really matter if the capital falls. As long as the people here are safe.”

As Fred drowns in his contemplation, another boy that they have been following for some time suddenly stops.

“Fred, Lennard, look.” He points ahead of him.

Fred and Lennard squints at the direction he is pointing to. There lies a figure with their face on the sands. Fred quickly rushes over the apparently unconscious figure.

“Fred, wait!” Lennard shouts as Fred gets farther.

He then flips the figure. It turns out to be a female Android, identifiable through the dim hum of the exhaust that Fred catches when he puts his ear closer to her chest. It also indicates that the Android is still active. She has a bright golden hair tied into two small bundles hanging on the back of her head. Her clothing is damp with grains of sands sticking all over.

“Quick, we’re carrying her back.” Fred says turning to Zen and Lennard.

“We don’t know who this lady is.” Lennard responds.

“That is a later affair.”

Just as Fred about to drag her into a shade…

“I-” a faint voice comes out of her mouth. “Where…”

“Y-you’re safe now, don’t worry.” He barks, stuttering in some part. “Can you tell us you’re name.”

It is that moment when her eyes flicker as it greets the bright day again.



The sheer size of the mansion left us gaping for ten seconds. Its grandeur stood firm on top of a hill, shining all the way to the horizon. Creatio Genetrix is obviously greater, but this mansion is a personal residence. Before the building are four layers of gardens with decreasing size laid on top of each other. Between them and the outside world are massive walls with magnificent mosaic inscription only the Primus could afford.

The first layer, the largest and the bottom-most, has four-meter-tall trees whose leaves shaped into conics with bulged base along its perimeter. Its timid slope links directly to the plains inside and beyond the outer walls. The second layer is smoothly linked to the first layer, and it is basically an open ground with carpets of grasses. The third layer is where the paving kicks in. There are intervals of stairs connecting the second and third layer. This layer is a haven for gazebos, decorative flowers, and pedestals. And the final layer is on level with the mansion. The fourth’s layer slope is vertical. It houses a fountain, a pond, several benches, chairs and shades. Just on the other side of the main entrance to the outer wall is a cliff that lead directly to the ocean.

We are sent ahead to prepare the gargantuan place. The labor mainly comprises of sweeping the dusts off the place. Rumor is that dust kills the Primus. The truth remains a debate. But the metallic mask everlasting on his face could shift them away from being myths.  The colonel suggests us to hand the task to one person, while the others are assigned to care the respective layers of the gardens. There has to be no room for mistake, especially in the first day. So, the colonel’s suggestion is our way to go. Eri would sweep the fallen leaves at the first layer. Hana shall mow the grasses in the second layer. Rina handles the sweeping of the pedestals on the third layer. And Theo shall restore the fountain and the pond at the fourth layer. I will be handling the dust in the mansion.

The sun almost dip below the horizon. We were just regrouping in the advent of our recently accomplished labor when we are notified of his arrival.

This is it. Our duty begins.

There’s a landing pad some distance from the outer wall. Eri, Theo and I stands by near where his jet would land. The cabin’s hatch opens as soon as the jet lands. And there he is.

The Primus, clad in his black mantle.

With him are his backpack and a suitcase. His stare falls at me as soon as we bow before him. Something about the light from his eyes is petrifying. As if they’re riddling through my body like bullets. I begin to lost count at how many times I told myself to shove it and remain calm. I wonder if Eri felt the same. Theo is probably losing herself. She managed to conceal it somehow.

My instincts led me to believe that Eri has the most energy of us all. So, I task her with carrying his luggage to the mansion. She steps forward when the Primus’ feet are at the landing pad.

“Allow me to lighten your load, sir.”

The Primus hands over his suitcase and his backpack to her. He then nods to me as soon as Eri hustles uphill, before following her.

“Theo.” I say to her.

She nods before turning toward the cabin’s hatch which is still opened. Right now, the crew of the jet is sweeping the cabin in case the Primus left anything inside. Theo would escort those remainder belongings that slipped through the Primus’ attention if there is any.

I followed close behind him. This leads to good news and bad news. The good news is I am walking close to the most powerful man in the world. The bad news is I am walking close to the most powerful man in the world. No one would dare to challenge the grandmaster of a grand militaristic reign. On the other hand, that is also an excuse for him to do anything he pleases toward me. And nothing could stop him due to the former reason.

It’s like marching across no man’s land under constant rain of explosive rounds. My body trembles with each crashing shell. But there are no shells, only our footsteps. I can hear the loud throbbing of my heart with each tick. This drives me to close my eyes and takes a deep breath. Along with it went most of the tension in my muscles. However, such brief interval reduces my awareness. And when I am least expecting it…


I trip on my own foot.

Hooaah!! I hold it deeply as much as I wanted to cry it out. I rise back to my feet as soon as my face fell on the path. The Primus notices. He halts and glances back at me. I don’t share his glance until I’m done shoving the dust off my uniform. I nod as soon as I have done that. The pain is infinitesimal, compared to the thought of what would happen next as the Primus glance turns into a glare.

W-what would happen now? What should I do? My thoughts are screaming here and there like a hornet nest. The throbbing of my heart now pummels me into the ground. But on the outside, my face is as composed as it can be. It’s all I can manage now.

Fortunately, he turns back and begins to stride again.

“Watch your steps.” He says.

“Yes, sir.” I respond.

That was startlingly anticlimactic Especially the way it comes from a strict person who enforces discipline to his subjects. Regardless, that cures the tension laid upon me since he landed.

Eventually we pass by the outer wall’s gate, where Hana and Rina are waiting. They then bow before his presence. The Primus sight periodically moves from left to right. I leer back as soon as he reaches the third layer and finds Theo finally made it pass the gate. It appears that the Primus left nothing behind, and that Theo has been trotting from the landing pad all the way to the gate. Hana and Rina close the gate and follows Theo uphill.

Eri stands at attention just before the mansion’s entrance.

“Excuse me, sir. Where do you want me to place your luggage?” She asks. The way she utters that question suggests that this is just another day at the office for her.

The Primus sweeps his sight from his left to his right again, before approaching Eri.

“Hand it over.” He says.

“R-right sir.” Eri complies.

Once he got his luggage back, he turns to me and nods.

He then disappears into the mansion.

I take a deep breath before glancing to the team.

“So how was it?” I ask, with a relieving smile on my face.

Theo crumples with both arms gripping and rubbing each other. Her face looks like she has just been blessed with a pleasure.

“Ahh…The Primus.”

I sort of ignore that response and move on to Rina, who places her hand on top of her chin.

“Boy, walking behind him is surely an experience of its own.”

“How about you, Eri? You don’t seem to be nervous?”

Eri rubs the back of her head, while giggling. “Ehehe. Actually I do, that was just greater than I have anticipated.”

“But you made it.”


Before long, the Primus surprises us once again by appearing through the entrance.

“Lights on. Unless you want something sneaking up on you.” It is the only thing he says before shutting the door on us again.

“Y-yes sir.” The only phrase that came out of my mouth.

I clap my hands before long. “Alright gals,” I exclaim. “Let us keep it up.”

“Ooh!” Eri shouts. Everyone pretty much follows a similar affirmation.

An excellent news it seems. I hope we’re seeing this through to the end.


“What!?” Hana yells, her voice nearly shook the whole mansion. “There’s no way he would accept this.”

This is a color sergeant standing up and shouting at me. I have expected that she might burst into this after hearing my notion.

“Aren’t you concerned for his health?” I ask. “He has undetermined meal schedules, and he never had any vegetables.”

“Lena,” Eri barks. “I may be up for anything, but not against the Primus.”

“You still plan to live, don’t you corporal?” Rina follows.

“Ah…upsetting the Primus.” Theo covers her mouth with her hand as she chuckles.

Of course, everyone would strive against the notion. There is no bound in wealth and prestige one could chase in the ArC. Such generosity however, comes at a cost. No opposition against the Primus’ will in any form. It has been a stern norm for the citizen to remain silent about what the Primus should do, simply because no one wishes for an unfortunate end.

But discipline is also the norm of this great nation. The Primus, however, doesn’t represent the core value he had imposed upon his people, even in the most basic aspects of his life. If he is to continue representing this nation, this discrepancy has to end. For the order of the ArC, he has to be disciplined.

“What do you wish to gain by taking the risk of upsetting him?” Hana asks, her sight piercing through me.

That firm sight of hers is discouraging, I’ll be honest. But I decide not to let mine down. It’s that voluntary merit which doesn’t provide back for the executors. There might not be any gain for us in several time steps ahead. But I’m sure that the citizens will cherish their leader even more, as he outperforms his current self in the future. This isn’t about us anymore, it’s about the whole nation. Not everyone has the chance like us. Nor everyone who has the chance are willing.

So I say to her, “A better future.” Something about my tone pulls that piercing sight back. “There will be none for us to gain. But the people will certainly appreciate what we did.” I add.

The kitchen room fell silent. Everyone is sharing their glance with each other.

Hana exhales deeply before speaking up again. “I admire your will, corporal. I hope they can brave the Primus’ wrath.”

“You will be safe behind them.” I said, convincing them that they have nothing to worry about.

Hana then turns to everyone else. “Come on, let’s get back to work.” She says.

I’ve ordered Hana to remain in the kitchen and prepare for his dinner with me. Meanwhile Eri will mop up the mansion, Rina will document the interiors, and Theo will inspect the Primus’ office. I bring up my notes as soon as the sound of knife clashing against the cutting board fills the scene. The plan is in motion.

I bring more ingredients closer to Hana so that she could cut them, while I ready the stove. It’s an eight-burner gas stove with a smart feature that allows it to be activated from utilizers. But that feature is currently accessible only by the Primus. I have to ask for permission if I am to use them.

As the pan and pot is on the stove, I notice how the color sergeant cut through the ingredients with haste. That sight left me in awe. I wonder if such haste is necessary to reach her rank.

“Don’t just stand there.” She says to me. “Take care of something else.”

“Oh, right.” I just realize that I was standing still doing nothing, and she pointed that out.

I fill the pot with water and the pan with a bit of oil. Then I proceed to mix the pieces diced by Hana with the seasoning that I’ve made. The kitchen is quiet as we process the meal, apart from the noise of boiling water and crackling oil. Turns out, Hana is not the kind of person who sparks the conversation. Either that, or she’s just lacking any remainder attention to give. Or she’s still in disbelief that we’re about to cook something not of the Primus’ preference.

“So, uh…” I say, in an attempt to reduce the silence. “How long have you dedicated your service?”

“About six years.” She said in a composed tone, in contrast with the one few minutes ago where she was sort of rebuking me. “I got the corporal rank in my third year, and my sergeant a year after for some reason. Maybe they just admire my service, maybe.”

Maid sergeants are the lowest rank allowed to command a group of maids. The one that asks me to deliver the Primus’ dinner is the sergeant I am assigned to. Creatio Genetrix is massive. Many times greater than this mansion and its layered gardens. It’s divided into smaller sections, and the maid sergeants are assigned to those sections. Other than organizing the maids assigned to them, they also are the one who files in reports to the colonel, who oversees everything.

“I take it that being a maid sergeant equals to hard labor?”

“Well it’s the kind that you should be able to handle.” She says to me. “A shift of course. Haven’t heard any sergeants who are handling double shift.”

“Do you think I’m fitted to handle double shift as a maid sergeant?”

She halts her hands and glances at me. “Probably. I can’t say for sure.” Her hands continue to process the meal. “You seem to be keen on becoming one.”

“I mean, if they provide a better salary for it…why shouldn’t I be?”

Hana chuckles. “Hard to believe that you’re such a gold grubber.”

Well…I jerk my head. “I have my reason.”

“Hope it’s good enough.”

I could convince her that it is. But now is not the time.

Eventually, his dinner is ready. We put the meals on the trolley, covering them with cloches. While that is happening, I ask the other maids whether or not they knew the whereabout of the Primus at the moment. Eri says that he is in the living room. So I proceed there with the trolley, leaving Hana alone to prepare our dinner.

I conveniently found him on the couch, his sight fixed to the television screen in front of him. Along with the exquisite narration that comes out of the speaker, the screen shows a cluttered blob of men with swords and shields clashing, topped with flaming projectiles flying overhead. The way I can see just beyond the blob suggests that it is viewed from a slightly elevated position, probably the height of a horseback. It took me a second to realize that those men hold the same stance and movement, which indicates that the scene must be a simulation.

I take a deep breath before approaching the left side of the couch, where his feet are on.

Here we go. Each step adds more to my nerve than the previous. Perhaps it’ll be over this mansion’s roof by the time I reach him. I will be opposing the Primus. Forgive me, mom, dad, if anything goes wrong.

“Sir, your dinner is ready.” I bow to him.

His glance, once more, shifts to me. But this time it’s a bit longer. I can see in his eyes, though they are concealed, that they speak of his disbelief at how this girl decides to ask him about having his meal. This is perhaps the most peculiar situation I have ever been in. It is said that not even the colonel dared to ask him the same thing. Hence the action that I took must be the most daring one.

Whatever turmoil they speak of that should boil within whenever one surfs through the storm are crawling out of every corner of my joints. There is a colossal wave building up behind him, ready to surge at me. But what came to me are mere sprinkles.

“Later.” He replies, turning his gaze back to his television screen.

Again, an unexpected response. But he’s still not moving for his dinner, so my job isn’t done yet.

“Sir, you are advised to have your dinner as soon as possible.”

“And who advised me?” He asks, turning his sight to me.

I think here comes the wave. The very one that probably have enough force to rip me apart. But for his own good, and thus for the country as well, I have to embrace it. Because that’s not how an ArC citizen should behave, let alone their leader.

“Your organs, sir.” I said. “The civilization residing inside of you requires it to function properly.”

It then comes down to a staring contest. Everything seems to have escalated in a rate beyond my comprehension. Just a moment ago I was walking alongside him. Now here I am enforcing a proper meal schedule, to which he’ll probably retaliate with discontent. And whatever grave consequences he has in mind will be upon me soon.

But he just turns down his head, followed by a dim exhale.

“Fine.” He says, shutting down the screen.

He sits up and opens the cloche, before silently gazes down at the group of dishes that Hana and I have laid on the trolley. It’s not long until he glares on me.

“I thought Iva had filled you in.”

“Yes, sir.” I gently nod. “But you are in dire need of vegetable consumption. Hence I decided that these dishes would be best for you.”

He sighs before grabbing the mug of tea that we made for him. He then takes a sip while standing up before leering to me.

“I’m not touching them. I hope you don’t mind appreciating your own craft.” That’s what he says before striding away, presumably to his room.

I attempt to reach out, but reluctance binds me to a halt. And so he got away with his tea. Here I am in the spacious living room, left only with the dish trolley as my company.

            Damn. Why do I even think that he will touch this firsthand?

That is when I am notified by Theo who requests my assistance. I left the trolley and head for the Primus’ office where she should be. The office is at the top floor. The room is visible as soon as one reaches the fourth floor. It is separated by a glass barrier which perhaps bear the same role as those in Creatio Genetrix.

His office here is basically a curved desk encircled by bookshelves filled with old books, folders, and stacks of papers. There’s a screen on top of the sizeable desk with flowery patterns inscribed on it. I assume that’s his personal computer. The floor is all covered by thick wool rug similar to that in his personal lounge.

I find Theo on one corner piling the books on the floor.

“What do you need, Theo?”


The lack of urban activities equals the absence of manmade lights diluting to the heavens. In turn, the dark sea above is glimmering with bright dots lining up from one end to the other. The brilliant display has kept her face stuck in place, with her sight straight upon them for the last hour. The hut is located on a hill near the shore. Given that everyone there had fell asleep, save for some that has patrol duties tonight, the rhythm of clashing waves is still evident at best. Along with the breeze that tightens one’s skin, once could drown in ponder without any care in the world.

Few minutes later, she notices an increasingly bright floor from the corner of her eyes. She turns her attention to it and finds one of the strangers that took care of her since she came ashore yesterday.

“I’m sorry if you aren’t used sleeping on places like this.”

The girl shakes her head. “It’s okay. It’s not my concern.” Her eyes meet his.

Fred flinches his head. “Good to know.” He says, turning off his flashlight. Putting aside his gears, he then sits beside Vittoria. “Thinking about home?”

Vittoria turns her gaze back to the stars. “You could say that.” She says, her voice serene like a lake amidst the woods. “But here, it is calm. And the stars are all on the stage. Unlike the night sky back home.”

“It isn’t like this over there?”

“My house is as solitary as this place. But the lightings throughout its vast garden deprived me of this feature.”

“But it must be pleasant there isn’t it? Lavish meal, tender bed, and maybe a personal service.”

Something about that depresses Vittoria. Her sight, which was glimmering with the light of the stars, stales and turn away from Fred. She faintly shakes her head.

“If they took my friends away, what purpose does they serve?”

Fred fixes his sight at Vittoria. Her golden hair still doesn’t lose its glow despite the darkness.

“As long as you’re contributing, you can stay as long as you want.”

“My parents will look for me.” She says turning to Fred.

Fred leans closer. “Hey, I get that parents wanted their children safe. But sometimes you have to be frank with them. Tell them that you want to have friends, to touch the society.”

“You…” Vittoria hesitates. She then turns her gaze to Fred. “You don’t understand.”


The shivering breeze flow through the plains, leftovers from last night. The skies strapped a dark azure hue which grows more vivid with each passing tick. The birds are chirping as they depart their nest. I feed on the mild air to maintain the motion of my gears. So weightless they are that I could dismiss the tension of my muscles. The foliage rises when I come across them, as if they’re saluting me. A beautiful sight to begin the second day.

Here I am marching, along an abandoned highway which leads to a tiny settlement downhill. There is no transport available for the maids in the mansion. Something about discipline and the integrity of the environment here.

The supplies brought from the mainland only meant for dinner on the day of arrival only. After that we have to procure groceries from the local settlement. It’s a regard to local economies. But given the frequency of the Primus’ vacation and their duration, I doubt the significance of this deed.

Then I stumble upon an arching post on this wide yet desolate highway. Leaning against one side of the arch is a boy, seemingly of my age, with dark grey hair and pale beige features. His sight is fixed to the other pillar of the arch. He seems to be of that solitary kind. Not once do I see his detached emotion changes into something else. Anything that should represent what a human is feeling at the moment.

Apparently noticing my approach, he finally turns his gaze at me. His appearance is that of the Proxy but only the coat, which is covered only by an old fiber armor referred as Kevlar vest. His gun is dangling to his right, its strap wrapped around his neck.

For a moment our eyes met. Something suddenly blooms within as that lustrous eyes fixed into mine, something that I’m unfamiliar with. My nerve once more undergoes a rapid development, the same one that occurs during my confrontation with the Primus. Both insisted that I hold my composure. But rather than against punishment like in the former, it’s more of temptation in the latter. And for the first time ever, I’m imagining things that shouldn’t be. A vast grass lands in spring where he offers his hand while wearing a glimmering royal suit.

I snap out of my wild fairy land as soon as he starts to walk in my direction.

“Welcome to Laot. We hope you don’t disturb the peace.” He then steps aside and extends his arm to the end of the highway ahead of me. “This way.”

That’s it? Nothing else? What a straightforward boy. I wonder whether this behavior exists within the vicinity of his friends.

“You don’t even run a check on me.”

The boy is silent for a moment, his indifferent gaze remains on me. “I believe you don’t intend harm to the people.” He jerks his head. “That uniform of yours, despite the blade on your hip, you don’t have the gut to oppose the Primus by harming his people.”

It’s true that I don’t intend harm. But the lack of gut to oppose the Primus? Sort of.

I take a deep breath. His composure is admirable. And the way he deduces that I am safe just by skimming my appearance amounts to the acceleration of my heartbeat, perhaps. The last time I felt this way is on that evening where I lost my parents, and that is due to adrenaline topped with the chaos circling around me. But this time, I feel serene. It’s like I’m safe from any harm.

“Anyway, where could I get groceries in this place?”

“There’s an open market at the town square. There might not be anything, since merchant ships rarely docks here. But I hope there’s sufficient.”

Judging from his manner, he’s probably underestimating the goods available there. They can’t be that scarce, can they? If it is, then it could be a problem. Nevertheless, I appreciate the humility.

I bow to him. As the Primus’ maid, an image of humble, obedient, and elegance has to be emphasized in everyone’s mind. But before I proceed, my mind blurts something that I never thought would even come up.

“I’m Lena. What’s your name?”

Hold on what? Did I just…did I just introduce myself to him and asks him his name as well? There should be no issue but…well, we should do our best to avoid unnecessary contact shouldn’t we? I stand in place as red berries are falling from the branches.

But to my surprise…

“I’m Zen. Pleased to meet you.” He nods.

Phew. I am times grateful when he replies.

“Pleased to meet you too.”

I nod back before clearing the arch. How surprised I am to find the boy still has his gaze on me when I steal a leer to him. I yank back my head to the front as soon as possible.

When I am nearing the market Zen told me about, I pull out my grocery list. There are not much people here in the town square. It is not that different compared to downtown during the end of my second shift. The market consists of individual stand with their particular product, instead of a large store under a single corporation. But the way the owners of their respective stands communicate with each other make it seems like they are an integrated system comparable to supermarkets.

I sweep from one stand to another. It’s exciting how I fill up the grocery list in a span of fifteen minutes. Well, most of it at least.

The last item on the list is available on a stand near an edge of the town square. There stands a young girl with golden hair. She has two little bundles just at the back of her head, each tied with a crimson ribbon. Her expression is quite detached, similar to Zen. But in contrast, the girl appears to be stacking with concerns.

“Four of them please.” I say to the girl while pointing to the items.

She just nods in silence and begins to wrap them.

“Here you go.” The girl says before handing the price, which then I paid with given credits.

“Thank you.” I said, bowing before putting the wrapped items in my grocery bag.

As soon as I turn around, I heard the girl speaks again.

“You are new here.” She says.

I turn back to her. Given that no one is around, and that she’s looking at me, she has to be talking to me.

“Uh, I don’t live here.” I reply. “My master does.”

“Your master?”

“His mansion is uphill,” I said pointing a thumb to the supposed direction of the place. The girl follows the direction of my thumb. “And he doesn’t live there either. He’s on his leave.”

“How long is he planning to stay?”

“About two weeks.”

The girl looks to her feet, her right hand covers her lips slightly. Her face meets mine again a moment later.

“I see.” She says. “Good day, it has been a great talk.” She raises her right hand.

That has to be a parting gesture. But her stiff expression makes it feel unusual. Nevertheless, I bow and wave back before making my way out of the market.

On my way back, I find Zen leaning against the arch pillar again. For a person to stick in the same position, doing nothing but watching over the surroundings this long, I think I’m impressed.

Again, he notices me and stands up. He nods and says, “I hope you enjoy your visit. Please come again.”

I bow in silence. Then I glance at him for a moment, specifically to the seemingly captivating features of his face. For some reason, that warms me and sparks a jolly in my heart. Then I clear the arch. That’s when I heard Zen says something.

“So, you’ve met the girl?”

Huh? That question compels me to turn my attention.

“Uh, never mind.” He says, turning his face away from me.

Perhaps he is talking about the golden-haired girl. Is there anything about her that I should know? Maybe she is a new inhabitant of the Laot? A migrant from somewhere?

But I don’t have the time to interrogate him. Having a meal is most probably the first thing the Primus do as soon as he wakes up. We better have his meal warm and ready by that moment. I continue my trek along the highway back to the mansion. This time, visibility is better compared to my walk downhill.

The maids have already taken to the field. Theo and Eri handle the gardens, while Hana should be sweeping the interior. Rina and I will do the cooking.

As I’m about to make a turn toward the kitchen, the Primus makes a pass. He walks before me leisurely under his polo shirt and his trouser, both black. On his right hand is a bitten block of cheese the size of his grasp. He then halts and glances at me. He still has his visor on, but this is the first time I get a glimpse of his face as his metallic mask is slightly opened, enough for him to shove the cheese to his mouth. What’s even more bizarre is the azure tear visible on his right cheek that left me gaping for the moment.

“Sir…” I stutter. My face is full of astonishment and disbelief.

“I haven’t eaten a whole cheese in a while.” He says before glancing away and continue his walk.

For a moment I stand in silence. I assume he took that from the fridge. If that’s the case, then I have to consider a prevention. I rush into the kitchen with my grocery bag. There I find Rina on one side of the counter, cutting an onion.

“Did you see him took that cheese?” I ask her while putting the bag on the table.

She just nods.

“Why didn’t you stop him?”

My word seems to have struck something as her knife stops midway. She then turns to me.

“Were you expecting me to stop the most powerful man in the world?” Her glance turns into a bitter gaze.

“It’s necessary to keep it that way.” I reply.

She then turns away from me. “I…I can’t Lena.” She stutters. “Abiding to what you’ve set for him is already a thorn for me. Do you really intend to shove our careers further down the stake?”

Damn it.

It appears that these maids couldn’t be brought to advise him directly. I guess I’m on my own. It’s my idea after all, and my responsibility should be the vanguard.

“Fine. You stick to what you’re doing. I’ll handle his control.” I say to her. “Right now, let’s just focus to preparing his breakfast.”

She nods, seemingly in hesitation. She probably thinks that preparing his breakfast isn’t necessary since she knew that he already has a block of cheese for that. And the way she cuts the onion seems like she is doing it to pretend that the Primus isn’t on the fridge, taking the cheese.

Oh well…

So, we make the breakfast and put them on the kitchen table. Yes, on the kitchen table instead of the trolley. Rina concerns me on that matter. I say to her that he will have to walk here and grab it by himself.

Now it’s time to notify him. I again ask the maids through the utilizer on his whereabouts. Eri says he’s lounging on a swing in the fourth layer. I spot him after a minute stroll. The seat of the swing is made out of arrays of teak planks which are fixed to a metallic frame. His head is lying at one of the cushion pillows placed there. He is flicking the air over and over with his right hand, while his legs are hanging over the other hand-seat.

He notices me as I step closer.

“I’ll not have something other than those in the list that Iva gave you.” He says.

“Would you rather not have anything at all for breakfast?”

“I have had a block of cheese. Anything in the fridge should work in a couple of hours, assuming you’ll deviate from my preference list.”

Such is the attitude of the most powerful man in the world. He has no respect toward those that made him his meals. Perhaps even to the meals themselves. As if his preference will always be available to him twenty-four seven.

“Sir, I warn you.” I raise my tone in such a way, hoping that he would hop off from that swing and have his breakfast. “You have to have your breakfast, immediately.”

“I’m surprised you didn’t bring it here, as you were instructed.”

“I see those legs function properly a couple minutes back.”

“There are plenty of things to think about that they barely move.” He responds, his right hand is still flicking the air. “Even if I do, there’s no guarantee I’d have something that you made. Judging by last night’s dish.”

This man…

Has he always been like this? This is the most powerful man in the world. The brilliant beacon of discipline for his citizens. How could he become one with such slothful attitude?

“I take it that you’re not taking your breakfast.”

“Unless you commit to the instructions given.”

So be it then…

I make sure once again that no one is in the kitchen. Then I take his food and throw it in a plastic bag, which then I throw into a bin. I proceed with the fridge thereafter, which I empty. Its content is placed in the kitchen shelves that I lock. The Primus doesn’t bother taking care of his own place. That’s why the maids that accompany him are given such feature, managing the locks and keys of this place.

For a moment, I couldn’t comprehend what I just thought. I felt like a mad woman. But on the other hand, it is the sense of discipline that he had enforced upon his subjects, upon us. It would be a shame if he himself is lacking of them.

Then comes lunch.

He is still in the same swing, only now he is snoozing. Thanks to the swing’s shade, he doesn’t risk overexposure of noon’s light. I attempt to wake him up, but to no avail. Guess he’s also skipping today’s lunch. I made the same decision as with breakfast.

Only an hour later, when I was about to clean the kitchen, I find him standing before the empty fridge. He glares to me as he shuts the fridge’s door.

“Why are you doing this to me?” He asks.

Once more, I let a stream of air in to fill my lungs.

“I have to, sir.” I say to him. “That’s not how an ArC citizen should behave, let alone their leader.”

His glare goes on, but I don’t back down. Rather I decided not to. There lies my fate, behind that glare reinforced by his mask. A fact that pierces through my heart like pikes, a bundle of them. Ironically, the pain isn’t there. Perhaps the previous confrontations have drilled through enough for the pikes to thrust without hindrance. Something that none have ever experienced.

Still, if his glares are pikes, then the consequences further behind is an entire cannonball. He will definitely charge me for this. Perhaps, execute me right here, right now.

But again…

The man takes a deep breath. And just walks past me.

I watch him disappear into the other room, as I stand here wondering whether this could really work out in the end.

Prime Respite

Prime Respite

“Discipline is the norm throughout the Artificial Creationist, abbreviated as ArC. The man behind that however, doesn’t represent the core value he had imposed upon his people. Yet he is the face of this great nation. Such preposterous discrepancy has to end. What will become of us if the people discovered that fact? For the order of the ArC, he has to be disciplined.”

To restore what she had lost during a massive raid, Valeska Helena (Lena) wormed up as a maid all the way to Artificial Creationists’ government center. There, a shaded man who runs the nation dwells, a man referred to as ‘The Primus‘. When he set his sight for a soothing break, the maid command assigns Lena to lead a handful of maids in his company. In a remote island near the equator, not only she has to cope with his indiscipline, but also the sins he had once committed.

A serial story written by PrimDom – G’19.
Illustrations by Von Grenadus – G’18.

  1. Prime Respite (Part 1)
  2. Prime Respite (Part 2)
  3. Prime Respite (Part 3)
  4. Prime Respite (Part 4)
  5. Prime Respite (Part 5)
  6. Prime Respite (Part 6).
  7. Prime Respite (Part 7).
  8. Prime Respite (Part 8: Final).

Prime Respite (Part 1)

Chapter 1

Under the shades of the gleaming celestial bodies drifting amidst the sea of darkness, he watched from his vantage point as hundreds of men are heralded toward a camp complex. Arrays of domes made from timber gobbles up the weary men with their heads down and hands over them. Watching over those men are his forces, clad in their harness. Heartless Androids built specifically to become war machines. They push over those that lag behind, and pull collapsed men aside dragging them to a specific dome reserved for them. But why should that matter? Those men are cattle anyway.

At least that’s what he thought.

It is what they deserve. Those thralls, if not handled properly, could bring catastrophe to the civilization. The worshippers of divine powers, he works day and night to ensure no quarter is given for them.

Eventually, the last of the dome’s gate is shut.

“Everyone’s in.” A voice comes through his utilizer.

The man turns to his colonel who is standing to his right and nods. The colonel nods in return. He brings up his utilizer and calls out to his men.

“No temple shall be finished tonight.”

As soon as his words spread through the complex, all lightings are cut. The complex below turns into a sea of darkness. What remains is the glowing dots of the Androids’ harness, marking their presence to nearby friendlies. They begin to surround the domes, and pour them with a liquid. The weary men inside aren’t aware of this as they gave in to their drowsiness.

The Androids that pour the liquid then retreats as their larger counterpart strides in and take their place. The contraptions attached to their arms begin to whir. They raise their arms and aims them at the domes.

“Now.” The colonel word relays.

And within the next second, hell breaks loose.

The man, still in his vantage point, witness as the red rooster prances with grace and vigor.  Their radiant nature outshines the celestial bodies. Their eloquent gesture plays to the rhythm of the frantic and incoherent chorus of those trapped inside the domes. So vigor they are, that distant observer would mistook the dawn breaking.

His sight is fixed to the blazing field. The chorus, that sings great agony aloud, begins to inflect his lips’ edge upward.

A wonderful play, the man thought.

A relieving show, sufficient to soothe the cavities in his heart.


The orange light streaks through the curved glass enclosing halfway of the hall. One would struggle viewing the western mountains from the hall at this hour. They will have to squint against the dazzling light. Those who does could admire the view below and beyond, the complex and the terrains that enveloped it. Although the light brought discomfort vision wise, the warmth that comes with them balances out the cold atmosphere of the hall.

I lost count at the total hours I have spent standing here, gazing at this mesmerizing view. Although there are other observation points here in Creatio Genetrix with equally captivating scenery, none beats this one. I think. I always hustle my work every time I am given this hall, so that there’s time for this lovely pause.

“Lena!” I hear a voice from one end of the hall calling my name.

I turn to the approaching maid as soon as possible, for she is my senior. “Here, ma’am.”

“Dinner’s ready.”

Hearing that, I hastily reach for the cleaner and the sweeper. “Will be there.”

“Nu-uh.” The senior maid’s voice halts me. “Just go for it, I’ll take care of them.”

That’s very kind of her.

“Thank you, ma’am.” I say, dropping the cleaning equipment before holding my ankle-long skirt up and bending to the maid. I then hurry my way to the mess hall.

I’m lying if I say that I’m not starving. But it’s not my dinner. The call for the maids to have their meal is ‘Break time’, and it applies to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, depending on their shift. Whenever the mealtime is mentioned, the meal is none other for him in his chamber that perches atop this structure. The ruler of this great nation, who have uplifted the civilizations through technological might. The policy that he enforced pushes the citizens to the boundaries of human knowledge. All that for the outmost sophistication for the living.

But, to my capabilities, that purpose is still way beyond. At least they allow me to serve as a maid in this nation’s white house. At least, I am a section of the pillars upon which the nation’s pioneers stood. It’s a great privilege.

I storm the mess hall and skims the entire room, looking for a trolley prepped with meals on it. I stumble upon one of the maids stationed there at the moment.

“Where’s the dinner?” I ask her.

“You’re the one tasked with it?”

I nod.

“Over there.” The maid extends her arm to one side of the hall.

There I see a trolley being stormed with several maids holding food trays sealed by cloches.

“Here you go.” One of them says, handing the trolley to me as soon as I got there.

“Thank you.”

I begin to push the trolley into the elevator and heads for the topmost chamber. The elevator opens at a sizeable lounge, perhaps enough to cram fifty people inside it. There are cushion seatings in each corner with teak-framed table before them. Beside those seatings are cambodia and ferns that has symmetrical stature, perhaps a fruit of genetic engineering. A wool rug with curving fractal patterns covers the floor. In the center of it all is a fountain with the ArC insignia on the top. Hanging on the walls are tapestries, the most remarkable is the one that has the same insignia lying on top of two crossed shovels at the center of concentric circles. As far as my knowledge goes, it stands to represent this nation’s light which shall one day reach the edge of the solar system. The shovel though, I’m not sure. Perhaps it has something to do with laying a fine groundwork.

His office is just at the end of the hall opposing the elevator. There’s another hall perpendicular to that direction. To the left is his personal room, and to the right is his personal bathroom. It is perplexing how he doesn’t integrate the bath into his personal room, but I guess that is not my concern.

“Dinner.” I call out.

Not long after a maid opens the office door. She holds the trolley, her glance falls at me.

“I’ll take it from here. Wait outside.”

I share her glance and nod. There shouldn’t be any doubt. She’s the one directly serving him at the moment. She knows what she is doing. So, I let go of the trolley, which she then pulls inside before closing the office door. I step aside, my back to the wall beside the office door.

The Primus.

The most powerful man in the world. He who have created a haven that has nurtured me, allowing me to bloom in wealth. He must be a venerable one. The one who shed a radiance of discipline to his subjects. It has to be exhilarating to hear how he become such a person. Unfortunately, he doesn’t appear anywhere. And there’s not even a word that reached me. Hence, I am still adrift about the twist and turn of the man. Perhaps his work comes with thick layers of curtains between him and his citizens. Well, I could only wonder for now.

One thing that unsettles me however, is the fact that he is having dinner at barely sunset. Why?


A military officer bursts through the cramped room filled with combat gears and gadgets. There, a female Android is sitting on one of the chairs before an elongated table, her attention is fixed to her desktop.

“Pardon my late arrival, ma’am.” The officer says.

The female Android glances at him for a moment and present a grin. “Only one-minute past. Sit down, Warren.”

The officer marches toward her, the loud thudding of his footsteps fills the room. He reaches for a chair near the Android, his ornaments and decorations glitter under the only lighting in the room.

Once he sits down, the Android turns her chair in the officer’s direction.

“What did you find?”

“There’s a small region, far to the east near the equator.”

“What’s over there?”

“An ArC airship from their HQ is reported to head towards and depart from the region periodically. We believe they have a secret base over there which might hold details beneficial to defeat them.”

“You seem confident that it is a secret base.”

The officer tilts his head. “Well, the analysts do. I suggest we send a unit to spy on the area if we are to attempt an assault.”

The Android raises an eyebrow, her crimson eyes share the officer’s gaze. “Are you saying that this is an opportunity to…”

“Correct, ma’am.” The officer nods.

The Android sighs. “Very well.” She says, tapping on her utilizer. “Avantia, come over here dear.” She calls through.

“Yes, mother.” A serene voice crackle through, like a droplet of water on a solitary lake in the middle of a night. The cold response breezes through her utilizer, enough to cool the cramped room.


That one was a mistake. She was feigning an opening and I fell for it. Perhaps I could really score a hit if I am quick enough. The next thing I know, is that she goes for my stomach just when my katana is heading for the top of her head. A quick diagonal slash upward that flickers my shield red. The spar is over. The instructor maid and I unsheathe our blade and step backward. An applause follows our bow. I don’t think my performance is worthy of it. Nevertheless, it sparks me that I laid an excellent show.

The instructor approaches and points at things that require improving. I nod, thanking her for her inputs. She then retreats and dismiss the practice.

Every citizen of the Artificial Creationists is obliged to at least capable to operate a weapon. It is one of the requirements to acquire the citizenship. This allows them to protect themselves during hostile assault before reinforcement comes. Such mandatory practice also applies to the officials. They even have to excel at them. Our weapon of choice is the katana. In real combat, we would use a blade of similar design. The difference is that it could emit a lethal energy wave, sufficient to cut through humans and Androids in a swing.

But I doubt I would ever really use my combat gear. The front is far away from the ArC’s capital. And our enemies don’t seem to threaten this city anytime soon.

It’s almost three AM when I head out to the plaza. I see fellow maids stride away from and into Creatio Genetrix. There are not much people around, spotting them is like finding pine trees in a pine woods thanks to their uniform. A handful of vehicles occupy the hollow parking lot, perhaps belonging to the officials who decided to work overtime.

Unlike the other maid, the dormitory complex I live in is not within the complex of Creatio Genetrix. It lies on the outskirt of the capital, at least thirty-minutes transport and ten-minutes’ walk. The housing area is quite remote, so the transport wouldn’t reach it. I stride on one side of the paving. It’s a little bit dark since the lighting is reduced. But I need not to fear any unsavory intent pouncing on me. Ahead of me there’s an intersection. On one of the skirts stand two men clad in their combat gear. The military, the Proxies. Beside the police, the Primus also utilizes them to maintain security in towns and settlements alike. Their presence among the people suppresses the unsavory action probability to non-existential.

My dormitory complex is a two stories u-shaped building that houses as much as ten rooms, each is four by three meters wide, enough to hold a settler and their essential belongings, such as clothing, gadgets, and maybe books. I sigh as I come across a sink which has a pile of plates, presumably used ones. Oh, well.

This tiny addition for the day won’t hurt I guess. Indeed, this place has meals available for the inhabitants. It’s included in the fees and are served for lunch and dinner. It’s up to the inhabitants to be considerate with each other as the meals are placed on a sizeable table in the dining room. These plates must be a remainder of the dinner and apparently no one is willing to wash them.

Just as I rinse them with water, an adolescent man emerges from his room nearby. He yawns as he stretches his arm overhead. Then he tosses an empty bottle toward a bin across him. He misses, and the bottle fell on the floor, triggering a jarring noise that permeates the place.

My face frowns at this behavior.

“Excuse me mister,” I say turning to him. “That bottle won’t creep toward the bin by itself.”

“Shut up, miss.” He says, his face turning bitter. “Just because you’re cute doesn’t mean you could boss me around.”


“That’s not how an ArC citizen should behave.” Indeed, it is the behavior that clashes against the prime virtue of our leader, discipline.

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever.” And that’s the end of it. He just walks back to his room and shut the door, leaving me to handle the waste.

I proceed to my room after all the dish washing. As soon as I arrive, I pull out my headband and a pin that has been sticking on the base of my frill tie for the entire evening. The pin represents my rank amongst the maid of Creatio Genetrix, a maid corporal. I began my service two years ago. And I reached this rank just last month. They claimed to be indebted to my discipline during both of my shift, that they appreciate me with this fast promotion. Well if it meant a raise in my salary, I wouldn’t deny it.

I don’t think of changing after I pull out my tie and loosen the button on my collar. Maybe it’s really me, but my head just slams into the pillow. And my body sinks into the bed laid on the floor. I turn to gaze the ceiling, laying an arm against my forehead. Normally every maid is assigned to one shift, and there’s actually more to be done there than meets the eye. Only those who have completed the contract are allowed to double their shift. I did, since I wished to earn more.

Only two more years before I can afford to purchase a piece of soil and some seeds, which will deplete both my life savings so far and the amount I’d earn after those years.

I close my eyes with a smirk on my face, knowing how fast time does fly. I let out a deep breath.

“Just a bit more.”


Under the dark azure shade of the sky, I see monarchs trace a winding, twisting path. But they all agreed in a specific direction, forming a turbulent column that only trails above. Their wings gleam the colors of the embers as they flutter through the air. A fine contrast against the darkening sky. One could recline and appreciate the sight during the evening pause without a care in the world. Just as they don’t have any as they streak across the heavens. Until one of them stops midway and crash lands on my palm.

I then clench it to suppress the sudden heat, that of boiling waters, which is somehow caused by the fallen monarch. That’s when I realize the scorching atmosphere rising. I rise up to a vigor crowd of flames, trampling the houses all around in their excitement.

Black smokes creep here and there, hindering my view. There are just embers on timbers. I look around, only to be met by villagers running amok. Their screams are all that come to my ears. For some reason my whole body felt painful. As if a dense wooden pillar just fell upon me. I trudge through the mess, calling out to my parents.

“Lena!” Suddenly I make up a voice calling for me.

“Mom, dad!” They’re ahead of me, in the intersection of the village’s plaza. Mom is on the cobblestone path, seemingly powerless to stand. Dad is attending to her while reaching out for me.

I reach for them.

But as soon as I do, a twister of flame sweeps the street behind them. It gets closer, and before long they’re reduced to ashes that fly with the wind.

“No!” I cry, in a futile attempt to save them.

The twister keeps getting closer. It topples me to the ground and stops before me. Just as I thought I was about to be engulfed, it opens up to reveal a woman figure. She is decorated with ornaments only the royals could afford. A diadem lies atop her head. Her crimson eyes are gazing down on me. My whole body is throbbing. My breath shortens. And I think I’m getting some skin burn. There’s no way I could mount a resistance against her.

“Why are you doing this!? Why?” I lob the question to her.

But a cold stare is her only answer. She raises her right hand and snaps her finger.

The embers turn into swarms of monarchs, the same ones that I’ve just witnessed, storming in all directions. Some of them stream past me. Their columns coalesce high in the sky, before eventually diving in.

To me.

Then I snap out of it. Surrounding me are other maids in groups, chattering with each other. Looks like I just fell asleep. I came to sit at one corner of the maid lounge to ease my muscles. But it appears that my drowsiness is at it again. Fortunately, it’s break time so I won’t run into trouble anytime soon.

I take two eggs and a cup of coffee for this break session. This is one of our accommodations. The system would then reduce a value worth of our consumption during breaks. As soon as I finished wiping my mouth, my utilizer flickers, notifying an incoming transmission.


From: CG Maid Command

Invitation to see Maid Colonel Iva at the end of the break time.


Huh. The colonel wants to see me. What’s it going to be this time? A special task? A punishment I am unaware of? Or perhaps, another promotion? The buzzer rang and slaps those thoughts away just as soon as they begin to take root. The break time is over. It would be the duty of the maid stationed here to clean up the mess.

I trace my way back to the main hall and head for the elevator. The maid colonel’s office is just one story below the Primus’ chamber. The level has arrays of rooms separated by transparent glass. Each is packed with high ranking personnel, both officials and maids. Most of them have their sight fixed on their screens. Their fingers swiftly run across the keyboards. There’s at least one or two people hurdling in and out of the chambers carrying their tabs, a document viewer device. None bats an eye, even when they streak past me. It has always been like this here. Although the glass confine any sound, the rush still fills the serene hall.

The colonel’s aide let me in after my report.

“You were looking for me, colonel?” I said after I present a bow.

The maid colonel glances at me, her fingers are still laying on her keyboard.

“And another four, so you might want to sit down.” She turns her gaze back at her screen as soon as she says that.

“As you wish.” I respond before sitting on the couch before her.

Colonel Iva is a stiff woman in her thirties. She taps on the keyboards like there is no tomorrow. Rumors say that she has dedicated her service since she is ten. The longest serving maid in Creatio Genetrix. Another noticeable feature about her is the scar on her left cheek. It seems to be a product of internal bleeding. I wonder who have defiled this woman’s grace by inflicting that scar upon her?

Her room is silent, with just the hum of the air conditioner. It would be disrespectful should I say anything and interrupt her focus. If I wanted a conversation, she should be the one who incites it. Hence the wait feels like forever, as the colonel kept her attention to her screen. I am left here, with my sight periodically shifting from one direction to another in an attempt to keep boredom at bay.

As I let out a deep exhale, the colonel’s utilizer flickers. Following it is the voice of her aide, informing the arrival of a group of maids. They then enter the room not long after and ordered to sit beside me. There are four of them and I am surprised to see the pin on the bottom of their neck. They are all maid sergeants. One of them, is a maid color sergeant.

The colonel then clasps her hands and place it on the desk, her attention is shifting to us.

“First of all, congratulations that you are selected for this task.” She says.

From the corner of my eye, the four maids are sharing a glance. My sight remains to the colonel.

“The Primus is taking his leave. And that’s the drill.”

My nerve is building up as soon as the colonel said that. That statement of hers triggers a rapid development of my nerve.

“We have to care for him.” Says one of the maid sergeants.

“Correct. Basically, you’re about to do the same there with what you are doing here. Only you have to be more cautious as to not upset him.”

“Why not hand this task to maids of higher rank?” The other sergeant asks.

The colonel jerks her head. “In the light of improving the discipline and composure of junior maids, we tend to prioritize them for special task such as this. Besides, the privileges would serve you well too.”

            I dare myself to glance at the other maids, the one sitting next to me shares my glance.

            “You’ll be departing in forty-eight hours. There will be no orders for you until then. Prepare everything, combat gear included. More details will come later. And once again, at all cost, do not upset him.”

            “We’ll do our best ma’am.” The sergeant beside me responds.

“And for the person in charge…” The colonel sets her glance to her screen briefly. “Valeska Helena.”

My heart sank as soon as my name is on the line, followed by a blow to my gut. A sweat streak through my right cheek. I can feel the maids’ gaze on me, even though I don’t see it. Perhaps they’re as astonished as me.

“B-but,” I glance at the sergeants. “We have maid sergeants here. Why me?”

“Sir Microv’s order. Perhaps only heaven knows.” The colonel sighs. “There won’t be any change. That’s the decision. Dismissed.”

I raise a hand in an attempt of further complaints, but the sergeant beside me pat my left thigh and nod. I let out a deep breath and nod back. Not long after, we find ourselves bowing to the colonel before heading out of her room.

Just when I thought we’re about to part ways, the sergeant that was sitting beside me reaches out. She is the maid color sergeant.

“Congratulations.” She said calmly, before giving her hand. Her brown hair is straight and goes just slightly beyond her shoulder. There are two bundles on both sides that are brought up and tied on the back of her head. She also wears a glasses with an ebony frame.

“Uh, yeah sure.” I grab her hand while scratching my head.

“It’s Hana, Tanaka Hitohana. Pleased to take your command.” She nods, before presenting a smile that appears to be genuine and affectionate.

“Glad to hear it.” I reply.

Hana leers to the three maids behind her before looking back at me. “How about a session in the lounge?”

“Uh…” A tea time between us would be excellent indeed. But I don’t think I am willing to sacrifice a bit more of my accommodation for this tiny affair. Thus, the options are either I won’t get anything there or…

Hana grabs both of my shoulders. “On me.” She says, jerking her head.

I really am not sure about this. A senior, placed under my command, is treating me. But before I wrap my thought around it and decide…

“Come on. Time is fleeting.”

“Eh!” I grunt as Hana begins to pull me by my hand. The other three maids proceed ahead of us.

I guess an hour or two to get to know each other won’t hurt.

We pick a table surrounded by a continuous seating that has one of its side against the wall. It’s Hana who sits there. The rest of us sit opposing each other. Hana treats me a chocolate puff cake with a thin layer of cream crust on top, and a cup of hot mango tea. What a kind woman. My grateful conscience lead to a personal promise for something to honor this in the future.

I crumple in my seat. My hands lay on my thigh and my sight fixed down to my tea. My sight keeps looking around as my courage to speak is still dressing up.

“Gee, you’re not used around strangers, aren’t you?” The maid beside me exclaims. But before I can make up my mind to say anything, she gives her hand.

“Shabrina Agonskaya, Rina.” She says. “I’ll be right behind you.”

“Pleased to lead you.” I grab her hand.

Rina has a bob cut of shoulder length with bangs covering her forehead.

“My turn! My turn!” The maid opposing me barks out. “Hi, Lena. I am Erika El-Nabila.” She says with glee. Her eyes closed and her chest is puffed out as if that’s something to be proud about. I think her voice just vibrates across the vast lounge. Or maybe it’s just me who isn’t used to hearing loud voices. “Call me Eri, okay?” She continues, opening only her left eye and doing the gesture. Her hair is also of shoulder length but it is a bit wavy compared to Rina’s.

“Eri. Noted, no problem.” I respond, trying to keep up with her vibe in which I failed worse than I thought it would be. My awkward glee is what remains of me.

And that’s when the final maid, who is sitting beside Eri, gives out her name.

“Fiona Theodora, Theo.” She says, grinning at me before raising her right hand. “Pleased to meet you.” She nods.

It appears that she is not the one who talks a lot. Her hair is braided and lies in front of her left shoulder.

“Pleased to meet you too.” I nod back.

They all seem to be women in their twenties. That makes me the youngest one here. Seems like the only challenge would be overcoming my hesitance to command them around.

“By the way,” I say in an attempt to incite a topic. “You gals seem to have known each other for quite a while.”

They share a glance with each other. It’s Hana who speaks up first.

“Perhaps dating four years back. Eri and I were colleague in the ArCademy. We got assigned to different unit when we enlist for the maid service. It is when I meet Theo, we were both privates back then. Meanwhile Rina here is my drinking partner in this lounge.”


“Tea of course. They don’t make alcohol beverage here. Even if they do, I still desire to keep my face.”

It is relieving to hear that she is not the type that likes to go wild.

“Hey, hey Lena.” I turn to Eri as she calls out to me. “I hear you’re the only corporal with double shift.”

“Basically, the youngest corporal with the most work for her rank.” Rina chimes in.

“Yeah,” Eri says to Rina before turning to me again. “How do you manage that? Doesn’t that exhaust you? And threw away any time you have for, having fun?”

Those questions have me turning my sight away for a moment. Does it exhaust me? Definitely. And yes, I haven’t had any fun since I enlist to the maid service. Actually, I never had any ever since my settlement is sacked. My parents were the wealthiest folk there. They perished with their lands in a single evening. Since then, I never thought of anything but working to restore the wealth of my family, their name, their glory. Because I’ve promised myself then, I won’t rest until that goal is achieved. After that, who knows? I will decide that next once I had restored my family’s wealth.

But I can’t say that in front of strangers, even if they will assist me in the operation.

“You can say that I have a decent focus at my dream.”  It is only what I could think of. I never really thought of how could I keep up with the intense labor. It just happens.

Eri rests her elbows on the table and put her head on her hands. “Woah, that’s amazing!” She exclaims. Something is gleaming from her eyes. “I want to be focused too.” She then fixes her glance to Hana as soon as she said that.

“I don’t think that’s how it works.” Hana said, raising an eyebrow.

Rina sighs while Theo slightly covers her lips as she chuckles. It is when that question comes to me.

“Have anyone here ever came close to him before?” I ask. Since we’re going to care directly for the Primus, I might as well consider which one of these maids have encountered him.

Hana looks to the ceiling. “I think I haven’t.”

“I do.” That’s Theo who said that.

Everyone’s gaze turns at Theo.

“Where were you at that time?” I ask her.

Theo shakes her head. “I was ordered to clean his lounge. He was there at the time, sitting on the couch, his sight at the tapestry across.”

“How do you feel?”

She takes a deep breath before turning to me. “Well, what can I say? You will hear time ticks, along which you’ll keep praying that no mistake will take place. It’s like your life is on the line. And when you slip, there’s a whole ocean opening up to swallow you.” Theo says, putting her head on her right hand. “I wonder how will he persecute me should I slip that day. It must be a pleasure.”

Huh!? A pleasure in persecution? Something is not right with this girl.

Apart from that…

One’s sense of duty can really spikes when they are beside the person who created the duty. It is normal that one wishes to not fail when their chief is watching them directly. Part of me wishes that she is just overexaggerating. The Primus is just another chief that we respect and we wished not to disappoint. As long as we don’t think too much about it, whereas doing so would drive our focus away from the task, everything will be fine.

“Well, given the rumors around, his glare is still a thing to be terrified about even when he wishes no ill will to us.” Rina says.

“That should’ve been expected.” Hana responds. “That mask of his, no one really knows what he feels. Plus, he probably has plenty of internal enemies, that’s why he tends to glare at anyone he meets.”

“To make sure no one has the opportunity to stab him in the back.” Rina says.


“But why would he have internal enemies?” I ask. “He brought wealth to his domain, not to mention the flourishing scientific development that supports it.”

“Yeah, I know.” Hana says. “But you know how hostile he is toward every religious state, down to its individual citizen?”


Hana takes a deep breath. Her face is frowning in the process. As if hordes of murky clouds come to her shade.

“You weren’t paying attention, were you Lena?” Eri chimes. She leans closer and starts to whisper. “I heard this from someone, he once persecuted an entire religious community by gathering, before then burning them in their sleep.”

Huh!? I freeze. For a moment, I couldn’t believe what she said.

“Not to mention his expansionism. It’s probably the reason why we’re clashing with the Vindicators right now.” Eri continues

“I guess that’s what you get for being a hardcore scientist.” Rina says, chuckling slightly.

Only Theo who doesn’t speak that way about him. Her face is still away from us since she stopped talking, supported by her right arm. She grins as she is breathing with her mouth slightly open. I guess that’s owing to her seemingly bizarre imagination. It does seem like he can take everyone’s life anytime, anywhere, and anyhow he wanted. Nevertheless, he created a sanctuary where no beggars could be seen. The impoverished could sign up for a labor and have meals three times a day with their salary. They could even expand their properties a few years later.

As long as that is kept, nothing else matters right? As long as our proper service is kept, nothing will go wrong right? Right?

            I brought that thought home, where the colonel’s message just arrived as soon as I open the doorstep of my dormitory. I then open my window, letting in a stream of evening air that I barely appreciate since I am not used at arriving during these hours. Then I sit at my bed, opening my utilizer and connecting it to my tab so that I could view the details sent by the colonel.

It covers plenty aspects, from the team dossiers to the handling of the Primus’ private properties. The Primus’ leave venue is his mansion at a remote island southeast of the main continent. Of all the content written, what interest me first is his meal schedule. The interest stands upon the fact that he had his dinner before sunset.

And how my mouth gapes as soon as I see it.

The Primus eats whenever he feels like, so be prepared. And that’s it, there is no schedule.

“So that’s why.” I say in a manner that reveal how odd that sounds to me.

Just after the ‘schedule’ is his meal preference. The colonel lists all the dishes that had been presented to him the most throughout his reign. They all however, has one thing in common.

“No vegetables…”

Really? He never once consumed any vegetables?

Oh my.

I take a deep breath as I slam my head on the pillow. My gaze is straight to the ceiling. An evening breeze slips through the window, fluttering a bundle of my hair. The foliage outside rustles to their rhythm. There are no structures shambling under fire, no suffocating thick smokes, and no people scattering in panic in contrast to that evening. Only the hum of my room’s exhaust and the engines of one or two vehicles passing by. If only my parents and I made it here in the first place.


The Primus watches over us. As long as our gears spin, there is a delicate warmth under his spotlight. But who watch over him? Is anyone aware that he might catch a case of stomach or intestines failure? The cooks, his personal maid, and even the colonel doesn’t seem concerned. Most importantly, such routine is a blatant act of indiscipline. Other than the hilarious possibility of his demise due to organ malfunction, what will become of us if the people discover that fact? Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the national security and order would proceed as well as currently in his absence.

I feel the need to do something. The chance is right in front of me.

But do I possess the audacity to commit the ordeal? Especially at the risk of upsetting The Primus.

Since he held the string over us all, everything I’ve worked for will be at stake. And once he is upset, I’m done for.

Prime Respite