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Melancholy of the Fallen

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Melancholy of the Fallen

 

Chapter 1

 

Fragrance

 

"Mystery creates wonder

 

And wonder is the basis

 

Of man's desire

 

To understand.

 

(Neil Armstrong)

 

The sound of feet slapping against the cobblestone pavement was heard as surely as the staccato of a storm. The person in question was dodging the late night revelers, they knew they couldn't ask for help. They tried screaming for attention previously, and the one's that went to her aide all died swiftly.

 

She wasn't facing anyone normal, this abomination that pursued her already knew the streets and the people in it better than the back of her hand. She tripped over a married couple and they shouted:

 

"Oi! Can't you watch yaself! We got a mite of work to do and you're interrupting ain't helping one bit!"

 

The verdant haired woman didn't slow her steps but her pride made her respond in kind as the events faded in the background:

 

"Send all complaints to House Karsten, we'll reimburse you any affairs."

 

Replied the woman who was in such a haste of movement that she threw several British pounds to the couple as an apology, yet she had to be swift. For the ripper was approaching swiftly.

 

She dodged and weaved through the lingering crowds, yet she made the fatal mistake of going through a back alley. She huffed and puffed, her blue uniform spattered with mud and residue, the eyes of the duchess were bloodshot, her face weary. She didn't want to be doing this, but to forfeit the actions would forfeit her life instead.

 

Right when she approached the end of the alley she realized that it was a dead end. Before she even had time to realize her error, she felt a piercing pain in the small of her back.

 

"AGGHHHHHHHHH…"

 

Screamed Crusch Karsten as she fell to her knees in overwhelming agony. With short breath she took off the knife from her shoulder that had been thrown at her, the blood spurting out of her wound just leaked down, forming a small yet increasingly growing puzzle.

 

"I'm tired, I'm exhausted, I do not think I can continue down this downtrodden path. Forgive me, Ferris. I've not been the best leader, yet for my path to be cut down so swiftly truly errs me."

 

Thought Crush as the last thing she heard was:

 

"Aren't you a resilient one? Good thing you choose the wrong path, of I could have missed you. I can't wait to look at how your insides look when you are opened up and the life fades away from your eyes. It makes me truly happy, to have such a strong willed victim."

 

The assassin was cloaked in the darkest black, they licked their crescent shaped blade and with desire lunged at their prey. The screams the duchess made were brief yet lingered in the environment, as the unnamed assassin performed their job with absolute delight.

 

(Scene Change)

 

"Hmph, this lady didn't have the best ending, I suppose." Observed a sharply dressed young woman, with a monocle on her eye as she peered at the crime scene. She wasn't alone as Scotland Yard was there, however her assistant was there, and trying not to retch he said:

 

"Holmes, can't we leave this to the other inspectors?"

 

She gave her assistant a piercing glare and replied:

 

"No we cannot. Watson you've been with me for far too long to just shy away from gruesome scenes, in fact. Now tell me what it is you see."

 

Her attendant gulped and sighed, used to the queer detective's ways. He composed himself and knelt by the body while taking a deep breath. His vision focused as he started picking up minor details that he hadn't paid attention to whenever they first arrived.

 

He looked at the crime scene with new eyes, heard the bustle of the foot traffic whom were moving slowly due to the curious bystanders. The cries of the other police officers as they told the crowd to stop interfering in their work melted in the background as he opened his medical bag and took out a magnifying glass.

 

He made sure to gingerly grab the victim's hand, noticing that the glove's had tears. Furthermore, he removed the sullied formerly white glove from the left hand of the victim and observed faint scratch marks. As his expression deepened, his partner turned around and pulled the white sheet that had been laid on top of the victim's body, to provide them with some modicum of decency. As well as to keep the flies and maggots from laying their spawn on the open wounds festering in this infernal heat plaguing London in 1857.

 

"Well, Watson? I'm waiting, in fact?" Stated the blonde haired and cerulean eyed young woman, faint magenta butterfly irises where visible as she glared at her companion, already wishing to follow up on leads and bust down doors, for this high profile case is already making her want to crawl into the closest pub and get sloshed.

 

"Sorry Holmes, I was looking at the victims fingernails. They are cracked and broken, signifying that a struggle took place. She had a bit of flesh under her right ring finger, yet her expensive gold inlaid ring is still present. Robbery wasn't the cause of death in this incident. Furthermore, her wallet still is packed to the brim with crisp pounds, sigh she was rather wealthy indeed. With a face that would turn heads no matter where she went."

 

As Watson lamented the fate that had happened to the young woman. He felt a cane slightly hit his shoulder, making him yelp in pain. Sherlock Beatrice Holmes looked at her partner with an exasperated face as she pointed out the most glaring detail:

 

"Everything you said was fine and proper, I suppose. Yet Natsuki Subaru Watson, you've missed the most obvious detail, the open wound in the victim's lower intestines, quite an oversight from a doctor himself, I wonder?"

 

Subaru coughed as his cheeks reddened, he hadn't missed the wound exactly. More like he grew distracted pondering on the circumstances of the victim's demise, that he didn't finish his clinical assessment. Now, that he turned his eyes towards the victim's gut his eyes narrowed as untold rage could be felt.

 

Beatrice narrowed her eyes as she understood what it was that had triggered her partner to act in such a manner, and she waited for him to point it out:

 

"The sheer gore of the intestines being spread haphazardly through the cobblestone road; dictates that the assassin was thoroughly involved, in making sure the victim's guts were treated with the upmost attention…. This has to be the actions of The Ripper."

 

Watson found a card in the duchess sleeve, and he whiffed gently, a familiar scent was grasped and Holmes noticed as well.

 

As they both looked at the victim with a somber mood they were interrupted by a steely voice:

 

"Detective Holmes, Doctor Watson it is a relief to see you both at the crime scene."

 

They turned around and witnessed a gravely old gentleman, wave away two constables whom he ordered to assist with the pedestrian traffic. Dressed in an impeccable blue tailored suit, alongside a cane of polished oak. He cut quite the imposing figure. Both Holmes and Watson got up and observed their sometimes friend, at times a royal pain in their arse when it comes to investigations.

 

Holmes walked up to the gentleman and tilted her head as she replied:

 

"Inspector Wilhelm Lestrade, I would imagine you have a busy schedule with coordinating the upcoming royal gallery. For you to come all the way out here to this crime scene truly makes me think about if I may have missed something, I wonder?

 

Wilhelm scoffed as he looked at the detective with her doctor as a partner and his face turned grim as he pulled them to the side, away from prying ears. As they all got closer to Wilhelm he finally spoke with solemnity in his voice:

 

"The victim I've just been informed is Crusch Karsten, visiting dignitary and duchess of the Netherlands. Her murder is already being spread around in the gossip columns faster than my men can take them down. Sigh, this is not a good image for our country."

 

Both Watson and Holmes looked at each other with some alarm as Wilhelm kept talking:

 

"We are already getting pressure from the monarchs of the Netherlands to find the culprit, as well as our own Queen."

 

At the final statement Natsuki Watson hurriedly asked a question:

 

"Wait a minute, que… Queen Emilia wants us to find the perpetrators?!"

 

At this question Wilhelm sighed once more and tapped his cane on the ground with some force as he replied:

 

"Listen carefully, apparently the tragic victim was coming to the Queen with an agreement for an alliance. Now, this is all in shambles as other players of the game are pointing fingers at one another. We have been tricked and the death of the duchess has left our foreign relations in a perilous moment. The investigation and apprehension of this vile murderer must be conducted swiftly and without error. Can the Queen count on the both of you?"

 

After learning such sensitive information both Watson and Holmes looked at each other and minutely nodded. Holmes furthered their pledge with a response:

 

"Inform the Queen that we will find the murderer in four days, I already have a heading and wish to depart since there is nothing more to learn here, in fact."

 

Wilhelm pulled out his pocket watch and gazed at the time as he gestured his assent. He put the pocket watch back and concluded:

 

"Inspectors Natsuki Subaru Watson and Sherlock Beatrice Holmes, please at the behest of our royal majesty find the culprit, and let the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland breathe in relief that they can walk the streets unafraid."

 

Both Watson and Holmes replied back as they started leaving:

 

"The Queen can count on us, Lestrade if we need support or assistance we will surely be in touch, farewell for now and I'll let Watson update you regularly on our findings."

 

With those final words Beatrice Holmes and Natsuki Watson left the scene, both of them gazing at the card they managed to find in Crusch Karsten's sleeve, their faces grim yet determined. Wilhelm stepped towards the corpse of the woman and raised the blanket as he gazed her peaceful face. If no one noticed her wounds, she could just be laying down and resting in satisfaction. The old man felt weary in his bones as tears fell down his face and he whispered quietly:

 

"I failed you, my lady. Yet, I have put the two best inspectors in the world on the case, please rest peacefully with our Lord and I shall see you soon."

 

With those final words the blanket was laid down again, and the beginning drops of rain served to mask the old man's silent lament.

 

(Scene Change)

 

In the poor area of the Harrows lay a dilapidated building, really it should have been torn down quite some time ago. With the rotten foundation of timber, and the mold it served no purpose other than to get people sick. Yet, this building also housed quite a secret, one that brought our intrepid duo to. As both Watson and Holmes looked at the building silently, it was Watson that broke the silence and said:

 

"The fragrance on the card does not match the scent on lady Karsten. Therefore, this card is a clue, it may have been snatched from the murderer. Traces of blood were on the card and it was held desperately, perhaps the lady thought to aid her future murder investigation, however that in itself speaks volumes. Sigh, I don't know Beatrice, I just know I want to catch this person and rip them apart with my own hands…. Their actions are vile and unaccounted for, they shouldn't be terrorizing London like this…."

 

Holmes looked at her partner silently who was distraught and patted him on the back. She knew why he was in such turmoil, and it pained her heart to see her dearest friend and companion be in such a state of mind. She sighed and spoke up:

 

"Your hypothesis is indeed correct, the fragrance and scenery of the card are indeed not part of the Duchess possessions, in fact. She must have fought hard and bravely in order to even acquire this tidbit of information. Thanks to her efforts we can narrow down our search, I suppose. Now let's think of what we know. Firstly, the card in question has a particular fragrance only associated with the high end perfumes available from the East India Trading Company. Therefore, this card may be a mark of high society. Secondly. We know that the dragon and sword depicted on the card speaks of the criminal syndicate of Lugnica, so we must me cautious. I fear this is no regular assassin, and may be part of Lord Roswall Blackwood Mathers group. Of course, we have no evidence for these suppositions yet. However, we will find them and soon. It all starts in this rotten building, or should I say loot house?"

 

Subaru sighed yet his eyes gained an expression of determination, he believed in his partner who had caught heinous and horrible people in the past, such as Jamal and Todd and put them to the noose. He composed himself with some effort and took several steps forward and knocked on the door.

 

They waited and knocked once more when they heard a gruff old voice:

 

"For the Whale?"

 

Both Subaru and Beatrice expected such events, and read off the card the following phrases:

 

"A harpoon."

 

"For the Dragon?"

 

"Our Royal Arse."

 

"And we are to the Nobility?"

 

"Shitbags."

 

After another couple of minutes several deadbolts could be heard turning and the door opened briefly. A giant of a man blocked their entry, his eyes widened in surprise since these two were unknown and Beatrice cleared her throat and stepped up to the giant. She barely reached his chest yet she carried herself as someone that was infinitely taller and more sure of themselves. He stepped back as she spoke with a commanding and regal voice:

 

"My name is Sherlock Beatrice Holmes, and this is my partner Natsuki Subaru Watson, we have several questions for you, if you don't mind in fact."

 

Without the giant even knowing they had already entered the building and where looking around. The sights they saw caught their breath as they swore. In front of them where all kinds of magic accessories such as bracelets, mana stones, and enchanted daggers and weapons. As Watson was inspecting a pack of cards they finally heard the giant speak:

 

"HEY! Ya ain't members of Lugnica, how did ya find this place?"

 

Watson stopped his inspection upon seeing a familiar brooch with a lion's head and whirled to the giant and he took a breath. For he aimed his percussion pistol, engraved in oak with dove-tailed German silver blade front sight. A .54 caliber and 5 inch gun that packed a mean punch. The giant raised his hands at this unexpected outcome and he flinched as Subaru shouted:

 

"Just having all of these illegal magical items is enough to haul you in for life. Yet, I recognize that brooch! It's from House Karsten, whose duchess was just murdered yesterday night. Tell us, how this item of immeasurable value is in your loot house?"

 

The giant was nervous and about to speak when a carved blade could be seen flying out of the shadows that they couldn't see. The giant never expected it. Yet the knife slit his carotid artery and he fell down to the ground bleeding. Both Subaru and Beatrice were shocked at this and stood side by side. As Beatrice pulled out a small Dillinger pistol and looked around their surroundings. She spoke:

 

Watson, prepare to retreat, this doesn't bode well for us, in fact."

 

"No kidding, what the hell was that? One moment we are talking and the next he's breathing his last. Fucking unbelievable," replied Subaru as he shouted:

 

"Hey! Step out and surrender your weapons quickly, you are outgunned and outmatched."

 

As both partners held their breath and anticipated a deadly scenario, they were surprised when a giggling sound was heard, and a woman walked forward. She had a cloak on that was as dark as the deepest sin, and she also wore a revealing outfit that outlined her bust quite prominently. She licked her lips and her long ponytail swayed in the wind, they both knew who this individual was, yet she spoke first as she tossed a large crescent kukri knife around:

 

"Ara, Ara this simply won't do. If it were any other inspectors I wouldn't care as they would be simple to dispose of. Yet, look who we have here. The infamous Inspector Sherlock Beatrice Holmes, alongside her charming companion Watson. This…. It's simply magnificent," she grinned in ecstasy and looked down at Watson's hands and noticed her missing card. She clicked her tongue as her expression seemed to say she was enjoying these affairs and continued speaking:

 

"I see, my last victim was quite spectacular as well and managed to steal my card, oh well it is rather unfortunate. You see, I can't let anyone know about who was responsible about the assassination of Crusch Karsten. Soooo….. ~both of you will perish here.~

 

Watson raised his pistol and shouted while pulling the trigger:

 

"Elsaaaaa Greinhartttt! TODAY YOU DIE!"

 

The woman in question simply took the bullet in her forehead and stumbled to the floor. But Subaru and Beatrice weren't fooled, she took off her gloves and declared:

 

"I really hate magic, in fact. El Minya!"

 

Dozens of shadow crystals manifested in the air and rushed towards Elsa, who instead of being dead by a bullet hole jumped up and avoided the barrage. She flipped around a table and hurled it at Beatrice, who had to jump out of the way to avoid the collision. Subaru fired off his gun as he moved around and tried to find a magical weapon in this loot house that could give them an advantage. He clicked his tongue when he heard a click. Indicating that he had run out of ammunition.

 

As he hurried to reload he saw a knife headed his way and he tried to avoid it, yet it managed to slice off some fingers holding his pistol. He screamed and tried to stem the blood wound yet his breathe was cut short by a sensation in his stomach. He saw red and dropped to the floor as Elsa had sprinted forward and disemboweled the confused doctor.

 

He felt pain, he didn't feel pain. He was terrified, yet he was at peace as well. He smiled, yet he also frowned. For the curse of his life was beginning once more, he saw darkness, he fell, and fell, and fell, as the last thing he heard was:

 

"NOOOO SUBARUUU!"

 

"Ahhhhh, you have such lovely guts."

 

(Scene Change)

 

"Your hypothesis is indeed correct, the fragrance and scenery of the card are indeed not part of the Duchess possessions, in fact. She must have fought hard and bravely in order to even acquire this tidbit of information. Thanks to her efforts we can narrow down our search, I suppose. Now let's think of what we know. Firstly, the card in question has a particular fragrance only associated with the high end perfumes available from the East India Trading Company. Therefore, this card may be a mark of high society. Secondly. We know that the dragon and sword depicted on the card speaks of the criminal syndicate of Lugnica, so we must me cautious. I fear this is no regular assassin, and may be part of Lord Roswall Blackwood Mathers group. Of course, we have no evidence for these suppositions yet. However, we will find them and soon. It all starts in this rotten building, or should I say loot house?"

 

Watson shook and trembled as he heard these familiar words. He had barely heard them before entering the loot house with his partner. He doubled over and vomited as he trembled and tears fell from his eyes. He held his stomach as horror invaded his mind at what was a very painful death. He didn't want to live anymore, yet he did. He didn't want to suffer anymore. Yet he will. Such is the life and death of Natsuki Subaru Watson, a poor doctor who just wants the misery to end, yet he knows it will continue.

 

As he trembled and shook he felt his face getting slapped. As he gasped at the sudden action he noticed through blurry eyes the concerned expression of his partner Beatrice. She sighed and embraced him as to comfort him. As he melted at her touch and cried some more she said:

 

"I'm assuming the loot house is more dangerous than we expected, I suppose. After all, you just Returned by Death, didn't you?"

 

Authors notes:

 

Hello this is a fic for Pidgie's gift exchange dedicated to Sub. Pidgie is a wonderful person whom this couldn't have been possible to do without her dedication and concern, as well as her tireless goodwill and passion to make sure this endeavor could succeed.

 

This is hmm a mystery fic in the truest sense I suppose, yet will also have light elements of magic and such. Why? Cause it seems interesting to do this, also I always wanted one person to know about Subaru's struggles and it makes sense to me for it to be Beatrice. Anyway hope you enjoy Sub.