Summary: An encounter with an Amygdala leaves Laurence in a catatonic state and Ludwig worried sick about him.
The creature was sitting on top of Odeon Chapel.
Laurence blinked once, twice. It didn't disappear. It just sat there with its too many eyes and too many arms. Like a grotesque, oversized wall spider.
Laurence closed and rubbed his eyes. Surely this was just a hallucination. Sleep deprivation probably. He opened them again and the creature was still there.
"Laurence, what's wrong?", Ludwig asked. Laurence suddenly was aware that he had stopped walking and stood there as stiff as a statue, just staring at the nightmare in front of him. Laurence had a hard time to detach his gaze from the creature and look into Ludwig's eyes instead. There was a flash of concern in them. Ludwig didn't seem to notice the creature above them at all.
"C... can't you see this, Ludwig?", Laurence asked, raising a shaking hand to point at the being. Ludwig's gaze followed Laurence' pointed out finger and worry flashed over his face.
"There is nothing there? Laurence, are you sure you are alright? Are you seeing things again? If you aren't feeling well, we should cancel the whole event."
Laurence shook his head: "No, no I am alright. Probably just sleep deprivation. I don't want to disappoint the people who have come here for the event."
Nonetheless, Laurence clung to Ludwig's arm as they crossed the last few meters into Odeon Chapel. Laurence couldn't take his gaze off the creature.
Just before they entered Odeon Chapel, Laurence had the impression that it blinked! He started to shake.
"I know one thing, once we are back into the church, you go straight to bed.", Ludwig said. "You are clinging so hard to my arm that it hurts. Your lack of sleep lately really is chipping at your health."
Laurence didn't answer. The realization that he was now iinside/i the building with the creature on it, made him shake even harder.
"Definitely getting you into bed once this is over.", Ludwig muttered. Laurence suddenly was painfully aware just how hard he had clung to Ludwig's arm and finally let go. He could see how Ludwig massaged the spot he had clung onto. Laurence took a few deep breathes. He had to calm down, relax. This thing wasn't real, it couldn't do anything to him. Just a hallucination. Just a bad dream.
Laurence got startled by the sound of a a tall figure stepping next to them, he recognized the man as the young priest who often would preach in or outside of Odeon Chapel. He remembered that the had some strange name, but he couldn't remember it and when his life would had depended on it. He only remembered that it reminded him of some sauce made from an exotic fruit which originated in a far away country.
"Vicar Laurence, Hunter Ludwig, it's good to see that you managed to come.", he said, giving them a church bow. Laurence and Ludwig both reciprocated the gesture.
"Father Gascoigne, it is good to see you too.", Ludwig answered. Of course, that has been his name. Laurence blamed his sleep deprived hallucinations for his bad memory.
Gascoigne stared at Laurence and Laurence could see the same wave of concern that had flashed in Ludwig's eyes: "Your grace, are you sure you are feeling alright? You seem to be awfully pale."
"That's just the lighting in here.", Laurence murmured. He could hear Ludwig huff next to him. The holy blade never approved how careless Laurence was with his health. He probably would make his threat true and stuff him into bed once they were back into the church. At least he had stopped shaking.
"I assure you, I am completely fine. I will be able to hold the mass and hopefully get some courage into our people by talking directly to them."
Holding a mass at Odeon Chapel had been Ludwig's idea. The great cathedral nowadays was mostly visited by nobles. The common folks barely had a chance to see Laurence. Ludwig felt that it would just be fair to come to them instead, to show them that he cared. Laurence had to agree to this.
They would be less likely to revolt when he would show his face around them and be there for them and if just for a few hours.
Still, he hoped that this all would be over quickly. Laurence stared at the ceiling of Odeon Chapel, wondering if the creature with the too many eyes still was out there. That thing had looked so ireal/i. Laurence suddenly doubted that he merely had hallucinations.
He shook his head, no, this thing couldn't be real. Such a creature couldn't exist. It was impossible for such a thing to be real.
"It surely will help our people to hear your words, especially with the threat of the hunt looming above us.", Gascoigne said. Hearing this words, Laurence remembered from where Ludwig knew him. Gascoigne was not only a priest, but also a hunter, though one of the independent ones, first established by Gehrman.
Once again Laurence wondered where Gehrman was right now. Maybe the creature on the chapel would knew? He shuddered again as guilt washed above him. He shouldn't think about this. It had been Gehrman's own choice.
After Gascoigne had led them into the middle of the chapel, he told them that he would let the people in now. While they were still alone, Ludwig fumbled around on Laurence' clothes.
"Your shawl is all messed up.", he said as he fixed it.
"What are you, my wife?", Laurence asked, but not without a grin. Which fell instantly when he remembered the creature he had seen sitting on Odeon Chapel.
It's just a hallucination. Ludwig hadn't seen it, it had to be a hallucination. But why was he feeling so uneasy about a mere hallucination? He probably needed to go to bed. He was only so freaked out because of the sleep deprivation.
Also, Gascoigne surely wouldn't lead people into a chapel which had some kind of monster sitting on it.
But when Ludwig couldn't see it, Gascoigne probably couldn't either...
Laurence felt a headache coming.
During the whole event, Laurence couldn't stop thinking about the creature. He had to do his best to not let it shine through, how... afraid he truly was. Yes, he was afraid. Of that thing. Sweat had formed at his forehead and he had a hard time suppressing the need to shiver. Hopefully the people just thought that he was sweating because the chapel was a lot warmer from the inside that it had looked from the outside.
At least he didn't had gotten one of his nosebleeds.
He needed to calm down. He shouldn't freak out about this so much. He merely did had hallucinations.
But somewhere deep inside Laurence knew, that it wasn't. He just wanted to believe it was a hallucination.
Like the shadows he always would see flashing by when wandering through Yharnam.
A few hours later the mass was over, the people were satisfied (with the occasional threat blurted at him, but these people quickly shrunk under Ludwig's glare) and Laurence had a splitting headache indeed.
Now he even welcomed going to bed.
Father Gascoigne thanked them one last time and led them out of the chapel.
Once they were outside, Laurence felt like a dozen eyes stared at him.
He slowly turned around to see that the nightmarish creature still was sitting on Odeon Chapel.
He clung to Ludwig's arm, shaking like a leave in the wind.
No way that this was a hallucination when it still sat there after several hours had passed.
"...Let's get you into bed.", Ludwig said while they walked back to the church.
Ludwig had made his threat true and ushered Laurence right into bed once they were back into the church.
But even after several hours had passed, Laurence hadn't managed to get to sleep. Instead, he just tossed and turned around. The creature of Odeon Chapel too fresh in his mind.
Eventually, he gave up. He got up and dressed himself. Maybe wandering around the church would calm him down.
Laurence slipped out of his door and started to wander aimlessly. Only the occasional church hunter on duty crossed his path which were quick to gave him a respectful bow.
Laurence stopped at a window located in one of the upper floors of the church. It was one of his favourite places. He could look over the whole town of Yharnam form there.
He even could see Odeon Chapel.
With the nightmare creature on it.
Laurence backed away.
The temptation to go into Ludwig's room and just cling to him for the rest of the night was strong, very strong, but...
Would he really let get himself down by some creature sitting on some tiny chapel?
Why was he even scared?
That was his town, dammit, and he would show this creature that he wouldn't back away!
Half an hour later Laurence found himself in front of Odeon Chapel, the creature painfully near, apparently staring at nothing.
By the great ones, what had he been thinking?
It was even iscarier/i at night.
No, that wouldn't be it. He came here to face his fears, not getting eaten by them. He took a step forward.
And backed away instantly when the creature cocked its big head into his direction.
No, not backing away. That wasn't what he had come here for.
He took another step forward and loudly said: "You! I am not afraid of you! Whatever you are. This is my town and what where you thinking making it yourself comfortable here?!"
His voice oozed confidence, but in reality he was so afraid that he felt like pissing himself.
The creature blinked and Laurence had a hard time to not actually piss himself at this sight. Dozen of eyes, suddenly opened up looking like purple little dimensions.
It was far too unreal.
A part of him told him that he should go, just turn around, go back to the church. Climb into Ludwig's bed and forget about this whole nightmare.
But his pride forced him to go even nearer to the creature.
"Look, I am not afraid of you.", he said, spreading his arms.
The creature's head followed every single one of his movements.
When of the long arms of the nightmarish monster reached down and grabbed him, Laurence was suddenly aware that he probably had made on of the worst mistakes of his life. He should have just crawled into Ludwig's bed instead. Instead of having a nice sleep next to his boyfriend however, he was lifted in the air, hanging limp because he feared any struggling could hurt. The creature's grip was strong. It was holding him slightly in front of his face.
And then he was hit with the weirdest sensation that ever had occurred to him. It was a voice, but he didn't hear the voice. Instead, it felt like it was in his head, coming from all sides at once.
iYou. Enjoy the glimpse into the nightmare. Your own future./i
Somewhere deep inside him, Laurence was aware that his bladder finally had given, he was wetting himself, staining his pants. He didn't manage to be embarrassed though. He was far too distracted. By the pictures that flooded into his head.
A distorted town, that strangely resembled Yharnam, beasts, loads of beasts, locked in an eternal fight with the hunters, a grotesque horse like monster, a flaming beast, the biggest one he had ever seen.
Laurence already did had a bad headache, but now his head felt like splitting apart. He opened his mouth to scream, but no sound came out of it.
Then it was over as soon as it had started. Laurence hung completely limp into the grip of the nightmarish creature. He was aware that he seemed to fall, but before he could hit the ground, all senses left him and only darkness remained.
(Author's note: So, I headcanon that Laurence has an absurdly high insight and is able to see the lesser Amygadala.
And while frenzy is some bullshit for game mechanics, from a lore stand point it is super interesting to explore and this is what I want to do with this piece. How it works like outside of game mechanics but more when it would be real.
This piece is probably not going to be super long, but I still want to divide it into chapters to make it easier readable instead of a oneshot.
Also, hooray, look at me starting another WIP instead of working on my already existing ones... My apologies, I had a huge burst of inspiration and needed to get this out.)