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The kingdom through the.., p.16
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       The Kingdom through the Swamp: The Courts Divided - Book 1, p.16

           Kell Inkston

  Love steps out from her beloved door back into Liefholn keep. In the next moment she seizes the necromancer by the neck and gives it an entirely-threatening expression that quickly causes the mass of flesh, objects, and what-so-have you to understand that an attempt at escape would be a less than preferable survival strategy at the current time. She grasps the door, and pushes it into one of her pocket dimensions. Looking about, Love spots two guards in the royal lounge. The two share a glance, and then walk up.

  “Happy sappy salutations, Lassly. You must be the lovely lady that went to retrieve the Bad Sad Deadguymad,” the left guard, an elf, says with a curling smile. Love takes this to mean “Hello, madam. You must be the woman that set out to re-capture the necromancer,” and nods.

  “That’s me; have it right here,” she says with a nod. The right guard, a spook, squats up and down in a terrifying, no-nonsense manner. Of course, no matter how seriously the spook squats, he still looks unbelievably cute.

  “Us with come. Fairies to bring,” it says with a scary glare and a musical rhythm. Love, finding the spook far too adorable to find fearsome at all, nods again and follows the two.

  Love is led by the two guards into a large domed room with beds lined up in a circular fashion along a central pillar. This is the royal sleeping chambers, holding the beds of the king, queen, their one child, and their most valued guests; as the Reader can guess, fairyland royal culture is a bit stranger than the culture of its commoners. Lying about and still delivering casual chit chat, just in a different setting, is Order, Pitch, and Tylvania dressed in their evening attires. Order is the first to spot the three approaching, and quickly puts aside her wine onto her bedside table and gets up to greet Love. She would embrace her, but seeing the necromancer she decides to wait until later.

  “You made it!” Order exclaims with a look of disbelief in her eyes. Love hums.

  “Well yes, I suppose most of myself is still here with me- I think that’s safe to say. You would be surprised just how close it was by end of it all; I’ll have to tell you all about it sometime. That said I have the necromancer here. Would you be willing to interrogate it now?” Meeo says, looking over Order’s wistful nightgown, lent to her by Tylvania. Order looks over to Pitch, who then looks over to Tylvania, who promptly shakes her head. Pitch shrugs.

  “I suppose there’s no reason not to wait until tomorrow. As long as we keep a hand on it everything should be fine,” Order says with a relaxed smile.

  The necromancer laughs, sounding more like quiet, dog-like breathing than anything else. The group decides to ignore the necromancer’s outburst as most of them have never heard a necromancer laugh, thinking it’s just coughing, and the others do not necessarily care to know its thoughts at the moment. Love nods.

  “Oh I suppose that’s fair enough. Would it be better for me to go ahead and talk to it? I could have the word by morning, and with the necromancer it should be enough proof to ease the pretty fairies, right?” Love says, again offering her services with a smile. Order grins, glad to have her along.

  “That’s a good idea, but it’s late, and I’m certain it won’t be able to escape with all the guards, not to mention Law, keeping an eye on the halls. Are you sure?”

  “Hmm, how long have I been gone?”

  “A few hours.”

  “That so?”


  “In my time it couldn’t have even been half an hour. How ponderable,” Love says, raising a short laugh from Order.

  “You know how other places work, not every plane follows Omniverse time.”

  “Very true, Ranalie; please enjoy your dreamtime. I think it would be in everyone’s best interest to go ahead though.”

  “Eh, thanks, you too, Meeo; and yes, I suppose either way will work. Up to you,” Order says with a relieved smile.

  At that, Love asks one of the guards for directions, is given such, and then turns from the group with a bow of the head. She leads the necromancer to a private room with a table and two chairs, and sits down opposite to it. By this point the necromancer is being very cooperative, and has a completely different, almost confident disposition.

  From her person Love takes out a nice little note pad and rainbowy pen and clears her throat with the grace of a white crane raising her foot from the water.

  “Right, here you are. I suppose you would be the sort that would rather write than speak, so here’s a little pen and paper for you. Are you ready?” Love asks as she pushes forth the rainbow pen and cat-themed stationary. The necromancer, a cloaked amalgamation of mysterious horror, looks over the stationary shaped like a fluffy mainecoon with its dead, lifeless mask and picks up its writing utensil with a white, skeletal hand from its cloak. It promptly writes a check mark, and flips it to show Love, who smiles in response.

  “Oh, very good. Now, I’d like to ask you about the recent murders that happened here. A few fairies and elves and such, you know, those were the ones that died, and it seems that one of the assailants was without a doubt one of your buddies.” At that, the necromancer begins crafting its response in ridged, wild handwriting, appearing like the branches of dead trees.

  “I am aware,” the necromancer writes. Love nods.

  “Neat. So do you know why?”


  “Mhmm, so why-” Love halts her question, being interrupted by long, much louder laugh from the necromancer. It continues on for a moment, finding something so hilarious that it concerns its interrogator. She tilts her head a bit to the side, and is about to ask a question when the necromancer writes again.

  “Go on,” it writes. Love pauses a moment, nods and smiles, and then speaks.

  “Well, I suppose I was going to ask what is so funny to you, necro-person?” she asks with a wide, cloudy gaze.

  “You knights do not know how well the cards have been played. We’ve won.” Love hums in thought.

  “Is that so?”

  “Yes, I was laughing because I just received word.”

  “Word from whom?”

  “My fellows of the everlasting existence.”

  “Well isn’t that nice. I suppose they care about you, then?”

  “As one limitless creature to the other, we feel great pain when one of our own is destroyed.”

  “Hmm, well it’s always good to have some friends that can relate to you then. So, what did they say?”

  “I’m shocked none of you have noticed their activity. I was notified that two of my kin have stolen into this palace and spirited away two of your resting knightlings,” the necromancer writes. Love reads over the note, and looks back up to the necromancer with pool-like serenity. Though she seems calm, the necromancer hears a rise in the volume of her breath.

  “Where are they now?”

  “They are awaiting their deconstructions by our lord’s command,” it writes, “deconstruction” being the term necromancers use for when they tear creatures asunder to get at their singular, sortable parts.

  “Oa ... it’s near?”

  “Very near. I would show you where our lord is if you are willing to cooperate,” the necromancer writes, underlining “willing to cooperate” two times right as it finishes. Love thinks a moment and then smiles back.

  “I would be interested in cooperating, but one question, if I may,” she says with an amiable, friendly nod. The necromancer laughs and writes a quick question mark.

  “How do I know that you’re not just fibbing to make me go check on them so that you can escape?”

  “Fortunately, my kin tell me they were interrogated before they were knocked unconscious. The male’s name is Lain and the female Aoline. Lain is from Kanvane, who studied in Ragnivan in the fiel-”

  Love raises her hand to stop the necromancer’s writing. “Well, I suppose that’s enough, I believe you. I’ll follow along,” Love says lightly. The necromancer nods and regrips the pen.

  “You will tell no one, bring no one, only the two of
us; we leave immediately,” it says. Love nods.

  “So be it, let’s be on our way,” she says as she gets up from her chair. The necromancer draws a smiley face to show its pleasure towards the situation, and follows her to leave. Love and the necromancer make the turn to the final hallway, only to find an obstacle.

  Standing stoically in the warm night air is Law, watching the three bound minions as they grumble to each other and occasionally trade jabs. To most his expression would seem blank and responsible, but Love knows very well that this is the face he makes when he’s down about something. Usually there’s at least a glint of humor in his eyes, but there is no joy to be found.

  Love thinks a moment on how to pass him, and then carefully casts her selected spell. She takes the hand of the necromancer, and it promptly disappears from sight. Leading it by the hand, she approaches Law, meaning to pass.

  “Good evening,” Love greets. Law looks over, and his gaze quickly lightens up.

  “You’re back. I’m- ... When did you return?”

  “Just a few minutes ago, but I’ve been given another assignment so I’ll be heading out again.”

  “... Really?”

  “Yes. Is everything fine on your end?” Law looks over to the side.

  “Well yeah. Apparently Aoline le- well, it’s nothing really, just a little trouble with these minions here. Listen, I need to, I guess, say I’m sorry.”

  “For what?”

  “You know. I just ... I thought I’d fixed that part of me.”

  “Well I’m still improving too, so we can be sorry together.”

  “It didn’t hurt, did it?” Law says, looking aside.

  “Yes, it hurt,” Love says with a snide, humoring smile.

  “Ah, wel-”

  “But I don’t mind, as the honor of raising such a fine young lad as yourself is more than worth the price.”

  “Thank you, Meeo.”

  “Oh, Hosy, no one’s around that would care.”

  “F-fine ... mother,” Rayull says, with an awkward tone. This quickly raises a laugh from Cooking Minion and snickers from the other two; the moment Law begins to turn his head to the three they silence themselves.

  “There we go. Now I’ll just be on my way. I suppose I’ll see you in a bitty bye,” Love says with a smile and a nod. Law grins.

  “Yeah, see you,” the dragon kin says in a way Love finds altogether lovely. With a casual wave off she leaves, feeling secure in her deception.

  “Oh, what exactly is this mission by the way?” Rayull asks, stopping Love before she gets to the keep doors.

  “Some top secret recon, so don’t you tell anyone, alright?” Love says. Law huffs.

  “Come on, like the minions are going to rat to Chaos?”

  “I suppose you’re right. Okay; Order wants a bottle of Wist White,” Love says, issuing another round of snickers from the minions.

  Law sighs. “I should have known… Is she usually like this? A drunk, I mean?”

  “Usually worse,” Love says with a secretive coo. Law clears his throat, and looks about as if embarrassed.

  “Well, alright. I guess whatever works for her ... I … love you,” he adds, watching the minions in the corner of his vision. Love smiles, nods back, and exits the castle with the concealed necromancer. The necromancer now takes the lead, and draws her through the quiet nighttime streets, and then into the woods.

  Everyone in the Fairland keep is at ease, unaware of the danger, but it seems for Love that her night is only just beginning.

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