Chapter 20: Reward

The clouds glowed with a dusky reddish hue as Valois stepped out of the hole in time. As it sealed up behind him, a wave of heat slipped through to ghost across the nape of his neck, but the flames that it presaged could not follow it. He shook his head sadly as he slipped into the image that he always presented at this place. It paid to show the same face every time one visited here. People were mightily suspicious of change.

The deliverance of payment, and the fervent hope that it is enough.

Read the chapter here, then please return to this post if you have feedback.

6 responses

  1. Well isn’t this a nice surprise! An update and its not even Friday! Anyways, I can’t believe that this newborn baby is the most precious thing to Gunther and he doesn’t even know she exist. What about Mortimer? Does he hold less value than his baby sister?Who also doesn’t know she exist. In fact, now that I think about it, Cornelia didn’t tell many people about the fact that she was bringing a new life into the world… which is kind of an important event to most people.
    Also, couldn’t Valois just teleport up the stairs using his powers, or would that be rude to the, uh, almighty overlords?

    • Heh. The update is a day early because the official Sims forums are going read-only for an upgrade for several days on Friday, and I wanted to make sure the latest chapter update (plus info on how to follow on the blog and Tumblr) was on there before they stopped accepting posts.

      Okay, onto your thoughts about this chapter. The main thing to remember is that we’re viewing all of this through Valois’s eyes. To him, a newborn child is a precious thing. There’s the whole ‘innocence of youth’ thing going on (the very reason why, historically, young children were used by many sacrificial tribes in real life; the sacrifice of a very young life was considered far better than an older one), the fact that she was born with the original intent of trying to bring Gunther and Cornelia’s marriage back together (although we all know that was a moribund prospect, at best), and the fact that I need Mortimer around for later in the story :p

      If we were to look at it from Gunther’s point of view, if he knew about the whole thing, then he wouldn’t have been able to decide between Mortimer and Ysabell anyway. Mortimer would have edged it, naturally, but he would have been guilt-wracked if he’d chosen his son only to leave his newborn daughter to be sent away. Trust me: you’ll be seeing Mortimer again soon, anyway.

      I think a surprising number of people would have known Cornelia was pregnant (after all, she couldn’t stay indoors like a nun for the final months when it would have been obvious). Family friends would have known (the Altos, for instance) etc, but it would have been awkward for Valois to have listed them all in the chapter. It’s safe to assume that everyone who did know about her has now forgotten about her. And, as to why Gunther didn’t know, well… Valois is a master of time, and a clue was given in the previous chapter when Agnes sniffed that Gunther had been gone “for months“. When Gunther left Sunset Valley Cornelia wasn’t ‘showing’ (and yes, the business has ticked over while he’s been gone, but when he returns things will be… difficult).

      Lastly, hehehe. Valois has been a thorn in Death’s side for millennia. They like to try and annoy him whenever they can, and there’s a power around that house that even he can’t get around.

  2. Wow. Even though I saw it coming, it was rough to see a newborn baby handed over to Death. Just creeps me out. I wonder how Gunther would feel about Valois if he found out what he sacrificed to spend eternity with Valois. I find it hard to believe that anyone would sacrifice their child for their own happiness. Parents are usually more selfless than that … good ones are anyway.

    • I’ll let you into a little secret: Gunther will find out at some point. Cue fireworks ;)

      Thank you so much for all the lovely comments as you’ve been reading. It’s been wonderful to come back intermittently while doing boring housework (lol!) and see them :)

  3. o.O Valois is having the Lords transform Gunther into an immortal so he will never be lonely again? Something tells me Gunther will be… displeased at this news, simply because he wasn’t given a choice in the matter. However, there is something romantic at the core of the twisted action, LOL, Valois finally found someone he wanted to be with so much that he was willing to make them live forever.

    • Gunther has actually just found out in the story, so keep reading to discover his reaction ;)

      But yes, behind Valois’s twisted and seemingly-selfish actions there is a deep and desperate love and fear of losing it. He’s realised that Gunther was made for him–his soulmate, in effect–and he’s petrified of losing him.

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