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The kingdom through the.., p.13
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       The Kingdom through the Swamp: The Courts Divided - Book 1, p.13

           Kell Inkston

  Overlooking a great, horrific chasm is Love, armed with nothing but her bow, Worldloss, and her centuries of experience with this place that so few have walked. Standing upon a complex parabola, she carefully observes the movement in the insane canyon below.

  All below her are equations, impossible creatures, and sentient somethings that could not exist in any other realm; at least, in her knowledge of things, which would best be described as wide, but misty. With a calm expression she surveys the land down under, seemingly-limitless abysses of chaos and confusion, swirling about like a great blender of possibility. The realms of the physical and the spirit, the brutish and the noble, the living and the inanimate, the yes and the no, all meet here in this space, meshing out of their defined orders.

  Love spots at the edge of her vision a necromancer being placed into an enormous oven by the element Oxygen, among the most pretentious of the gaseous nobility. Guarding nearby is the concept of readiness and something not yet invented called the internet. She slides down the ridge, steps across a faint field of flowery quips, and then hops out of the carriage. In the most impossible way she can, she approaches the three under the gaze of more armies of nonsense.

  “Cheerio, chaps,” Love begins, quickly adjusting to their probable style of speaking.

  “Day,” the internet says.

  “Save tha’ queen,” the concept of readiness says with a bow.

  “And you, gov’na. Whatcha’ bakin’?” she asks.

  “Some squibble that thought it good t’have himself a lil’ chuckle on th’ entry mount. We’ll show ‘em. Almost knocked ‘is block off but we thought’a cook ‘em ‘stead. ‘E’ll make a fine puddy. That right?” Internet asks Oxygen.

  “Wot?” Oxygen says, too busy looking at the gigantic temperature knob to pay attention.

  “Tha’ squibble.”

  “Aye, wot uf’em?”

  “ ’E’ll be a puddy?”

  “Oh! Aye, a fine puddy,” Oxygen agrees with a half-existent nod. Love crosses her arms and hums.

  “Not’sa sure about that, gov,”she says.

  “Eh?” Oxygen grunts.

  “I could get y’somethin’ better I reckon.”


  “Yeh, swear on me mum,” Love says, swearing distinctively upon her maternal figure. Oxygen looks over to the Internet, and looks back.

  “What’a might that be?” Oxygen asks, skeptically crossing its protons. Love smiles, nods, and begins shuffling through her many layers of clothing. She was never much of one for wearing armor; simply not enough compartments and pockets for her.

  She pulls out a stuffed bear, and displays it clearly like a legendary artifact.

  “This’n?” she asks.

  “Smells like oldness,” Readiness comments.

  “I prefer the term ‘ancienticity’,” she replies with her usual calm tone. Readiness looks over to Oxygen.

  “Ancienticity is pretty good f’a puddy, aye?”

  “Aye, ‘spose so, but not enough to feed th’whol’uv’us. Wot els’a got?” Oxygen says, taking the bear and signaling The Internet to stop heating up the oven. Love searches her belongings again, and pulls out a card.

  “So wot? Sa’bloody card,” Internet says.

  “Yes, but it’s an ace, and the suit is spades,” Love says with a diplomatic tone. Readiness gasps.

  “Ohh! The rarest o’em all. Eh, Oxy?”

  “Yeh that’ll be tasty. One more thing like that n’it’ll be gold, lass,” the leader of the three says as it takes the card and places the bear on top of it. Love searches about her person some more, and a look of slight concern crosses her features. She pulls out a magic gem, glowing with a wintery radiance.

  “Crystal of the Cold World? Pretty big stuff with elite magi-” Love is cut off over the sounds of disgust and displeasure from the three somethings surrounding her.

  “Gross. Yeh got somethin’ else?” Oxygen says with a displeased scowl. Love goes through again, and pulls out an enchanted knife.

  “Shiv of the s--”

  “Humans, I tell ya’ two, c’n eva’ follo’ through wit’ter promsies,” Readiness says with an indignant nod. Oxygen shrugs.

  “True. Ya’ got anythin’a value?” it asks, pushing its face against Loves. Meeo, under the impression she has one last try, pulls out her ace in the hole.

  “My bow, WorldLoss.”

  “Ehhh, I ‘unno, la--”

  “Oh, it’s very dear to me. It was given to me by Reinen’s king before we lost him and Reinen split into all the Western Kingdoms. It was him that taught me that items are only tools that a person shouldn’t miss, because a newer, better tool is always on the way to help you with newer, bigger problems. After I gave him my old bow, he gave me this one, and it’s served me faithfully for thousands of years. However, if you really want it, I would gladly gi--”

  “A SENSICAL CREATURE IN OUR REALM, EH?” booms a voice from far away. The four look aside to see a great, nonsensical shadow-figure, spiraling over them. Love sighs, and enters a fletching stance.

  “Oh, why hello there,” Love greets, bow readied, but lowered to appear less threatening.

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