[Krystoff] The Cage (9)

KRYSTOFF: Here’s where you’ll be staying. It isn’t much, but I didn’t think you’d want anything extravagant anyway.

JUN: It isn’t much, he says, before escorting me into a room that’s nicer than most rooms I’ve been in across my lifetime.

I drop my backpack on a nightstand and take in my surroundings. The only thing it’s really missing is a window, but since this mansion exists in some kind of… pocket dimension… there’s no natural sunlight to be had, so I guess the lamps and occasional outside ventures will have to do.

REGENALD: Is it to your liking?

JUN: Yeah! Thanks. I hope it wasn’t a hassle to set it up for me or anything.

KRYSTOFF: Hardly. No one’s touched this room in decades, so it just needed a good shakedown.

After poking nosily into some empty drawers and dressers, I sit on the bed experimentally. It’s soft but doesn’t sink under my weight. Not that the mattress Lady had me sleeping on was bad by any stretch of the imagination, but this one’s nice nice. Like I’m kinda daunted by the idea of sleeping on it and soiling it with my physical existence. But I guess I’ll adjust.

JUN: Huh.

I lie down, and I don’t want to get up ever again.

JUN: Good night.

KRYSTOFF: Don’t sleep. It’s noon.

I pull a pillow over myself, since I’m lying on top of the blankets.

JUN: Good night.

KRYSTOFF: Stop it!

He stalks over with a huff and pulls the pillow off of me. I look up at him, probably looking pretty stupid, and find myself laughing. Much to his confusion.

KRYSTOFF: What is so funny? You’re acting ridiculous.

JUN: Let me have fun. I’m enjoying the room you’re lending to me. Isn’t that a good thing?

KRYSTOFF: You drive me mad sometimes.

JUN: Come take a nap. Then you won’t be so cranky.

I grab him by the wrists, and he’s caught off guard enough that pulling him down doesn’t take much more than a tug from me.

Now it’s his turn to be flustered. He looks utterly unbalanced by this entire situation, his face darkening with either irritation or embarrassment, and which it is matters less to me than the end result. I smirk and tighten my grip on his arms so that he can’t escape. I always forget what a pushover he is when I really put my mind to antagonizing him.

JUN: I want to stay here.

KRYSTOFF: W-well, you are! This is your room now, idiot.

JUN: I mean Duen. I want to stay on Duen.


JUN: Yeah. If that’s okay.

KRYSTOFF: Of course it is…

His expression softens.

KRYSTOFF: I’ll make it happen. If you’re really serious about it.

JUN: Yeah, I am. I like it here. I like the people I’ve met, and I want to make a new life for myself here.

KRYSTOFF: Okay. Then it will be done.

JUN: Thank you, Krystoff.

In my periphery I catch Regenald desperately trying to open the bedroom door to leave, so I let Krystoff go and stop being gross. He hesitates for a moment before putting distance between us.

KRYSTOFF: I’m—going to go take a shower and attend to some business. Let me know if you need anything. We’ll eat dinner later.

He means I’ll eat dinner and he’ll drink tea, but wording it as a shared activity makes me smile nonetheless.

JUN: Okay. See you later, then.


He picks up Regenald and carries him out like a fussy cat, closing the door behind him. I lie back down and stare at the ceiling, and the roulette in my head squeezes the trigger to merciful silence.

>Life in the mansion

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