At least it was getting a little easier to dodge attacks.
Meliora kept telling herself that as she managed to stay on her feet after yet another series of parried sword cuts.
Once she jumped back, Malum grinned at the way her sister was struggling to stay upright. She then took a glance at her hunting knife, and licked off any blood that managed to be spilt on it.
“Damn, you really have gone soft, if it took you this long to stay up,” she said while Meliora took notice of the cuts inflicted on her.
This insult seemed to break something within. Meliora then looked up quickly, and opened her mouth to let loose what counted as her destructive speech.
The instant Annette stepped into the next room, she could feel the entire room, if not the entire location, shake violently. She had been so caught off guard, only by leaning against the wall did she not topple to the floor.
“I’m guessing that’s a sign from Mel that I need to hurry up,” she said presumably to the slumped body in the chair before her. Once the aftershocks had ceased, Annette then approached her.
It certainly didn’t seem right to see Blaise so quiet and still. Her eyes were wide open, as though her feet were the most fascinating thing in the world to her.
Seeing her was a welcome change from Horse-Face at least. Annette quietly strode up to her, and waited for any sign of awakening.
Like the assistants before her, Blaise’s eyes then began to glow. She then lifted her hand and took hold of Annette’s arm.
“Hope ya know what yer doing when yer helping, Netty!” She said in a voice that held a slight echo.
Then came the scene. Annette silently hoped that she wouldn’t have to encounter Malum in this series of flashbacks.
At the first one, the setting was rather calm, and ranch-like. It looked vaguely like Sunny’s old home, but with a bit more Southern flair to it.
“I’m really hoping I don’t have to deal with racism here, or something,” Annette muttered as she approached the nearest living establishment.
Said house was a run down rectangular box of a place, with a truck parked out in front surrounded by dying grass.
Annette could just feel it crunching under her feet as she reached one of the windows. Peeking in, she saw a young girl with reddish-orange pigtails standing on a footstool.
In front of her was a working stove with a pot on top, the contents of which she were stirring. Sticking her head through the window, Annette could just smell macaroni and cheese in the process of being cooked.
The scene was idyllic in such a way, that it couldn’t be possible that something bad could happen in this setting. But, as always, she would quickly be proven wrong.
A door near the kitchen open, revealing an irritated-looking woman carrying a pair of suitcases. Behind her was a somewhat muscular man, begging and pleading her not to go.
“Ruth, please!” He cried out to her as the young girl looked behind her. “Think about Belinda! Don’t ya want her to know who her mama is?”
Annette raised an eyebrow trying to figure out who ‘Belinda’ was. The woman holding the suitcases growled as she turned to face the man.
“See, that’s one of the reasons I have to go, Claude! It’s always been about ‘Belinda May’ to ya! Ya always gave her more attention to her than to me! Doesn’t yer wife get to have any attention along with yer daughter?
“If she’s all ya care about, then I may as well take myself out of the picture! I need to find a real man who will give me the attention I deserve! I need to find myself without the two of ya!”
With that, Ruth stomped out the front door, and slammed it behind her. Annette then waited a few seconds for Claude or his daughter to do anything after this.
Claude then turned to little Belinda, and whispered for her to come to him. When she stepped off her footstool and walked towards him, he swept her up into a hug and held her close.
“I didn’t want ya to see that, honey,” he said to her as he then reached over and turned the stove off. “And I don’t know how to explain it to ya, but I may as well try.”
While she maneuvered to cling to his back, he adjusted her to make sure she didn’t fall down. “I suppose the best way to put it is: Yer mama doesn’t want to be here anymore.”
He continued explaining things to her as he went to sit down onto a worn-down couch with her. “But don’t ya worry. I’ll try to be both Daddy and Mama to ya. I’ll make sure ya have the best life I can give ya, all right?”
Annette couldn’t help but feel bad for the two of them, especially since she now realized that the girl would grow up to be Blaise.
She didn’t get much more time to mull over it, though, as the scene began to transition into the next.