by Chiisai Niji (地井際ニジ)
I hadn’t meant to eavesdrop, the first time I stumbled upon Blackmaster Asher doing strange, unnatural things to the corpses in his care. I had simply gone down to the dark chambers of the morgue to inquire as to whether Sir would like a hot cup of tea before he turned in for the night. Just being polite, you know, like anyone would. Blackmaster Asher often works late into the night, you see, preparing new arrivals for their last viewings. He kindly dismisses me to bed as soon as my yawning gets in the way of our work, and that night wasn’t an exception. ‘Yawning in their faces won’t resuscitate them, Hewett, and breathing your hot air all over the place won’t warm them now,’ he likes to say wryly, making me splutter and blush. It seems one of the things Blackmaster Asher truly enjoys, making me squirm in my skin while I turn five shades of pink. Not that it’s not embarrassingly easy to make me do, but, well. It seems he goes out of his way to cause that reaction in me, and if it makes him happy then I suppose I can tolerate it.