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The kingdom through the.., p.9
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       The Kingdom through the Swamp: The Courts Divided - Book 1, p.9

           Kell Inkston
 
CHAPTER NINE: GARDENING

  At this time the sun sets over the horizon, marking the end of the day period as it passes into one of the planet’s two twilights. Love and Lain whom, after looking over some bodies and their obviously-magical causes of death, are led by a dwarf with a really, very wacky hat to the scene of the crime.

  “Righto’ me mates. This be the scene of that crime so ghastly,” the dwarf, by the name of Buzzums the Bad-Smelling, says. Love and Lain look over the place.

  It is a clearing near one of the residential areas, foliage and grass burnt with what seems like assault fire. Loitering nearby are a couple of very-disgruntled spirits.

  “Hmm, thank you, Buzzums,” Love says with a dreamy look in her eyes, calmly looking over the scene.

  “Aye, missy. Best be careful though, those spirits over there were good friends of some of the victims, they likely aren’t much in the mood to see people who use that sort’o magic lookin’ around.”

  “No worries, they won’t mind us taking a look around at all,” Lain says with a surprisingly confidant glare.

  “Eh, yeah, alright mate. Can I go grab a drink now?” Buzzums asks with a tired look. Love nods.

  “We’ll be fine for now, thank you,” she says, sending the dwarf on his way to the nearby tavern. “Hmm, okie dokie, let’s take us a look,” Love says with a relaxed smile as she steps forward to look at the burns. Lain follows along with a sharp smile, waiting for the perfect moment to come out and reveal his secret.

  Love begins looking at the various markings in the ground, causing the spirits to approach.

  “By Omniverse’s Edge, you humans best get out of our sight. You caused enough trouble blackening up our friends with your depraved magic,” the front-most spirit says, giving the two an incorporeal scowl.

  “Yeah.”

  “Hell yeah!”

  “You tell ‘em!” the other spirits snap in encouragement.

  “Yeah?” Lain asks, allowing Love to continue inspecting the scene.

  “Yeah!”

  “Well how do you know it wasn’t a fairy? It’s not like magic is exclusive to humans,” Lain says, bringing up a perfectly reasonable point.

  “Ha! Nice try, human! Everyone knows that fairy kingdom law doesn’t allow the teaching of assault magic! It had to be one of those Kanvaneians!” the spirit responds.

  “Yeah!”

  “Totally! You got this!”

  “Humans suck! Breathing air is for looosers!” the others quickly add, sensibly contributing to the conversation by adding their own unique and valued perspectives on the matter. Lain pauses a moment in surprise, and thinks of an effective response.

  “That proves nothing! Could have been a self-taught mage, so it still could have been a fairy!”

  “Too bad the selling of assault magic books is banned!” The spirit says.

  “They could have gone outside the Fairy Kingdom to do it!” Lain rebuts.

  “Yeah right, as if a fairy would ever go and spend time with a bunch of dumb, bootless, swarbling, bedrizzled humans!” the front-most spirit snaps, his voice echoing through Lain’s soul. Lain smirks.

  “Do you even know who you’re talking to? I would know how fine both humans and spirits are because of my upbringing.”

  “Yeah?” The spirit asks.

  “Yeah.”

  “And how’s that?’

  “I’m half fairy!” Lain exclaims the moment before he reveals his neck, showing his strange-mark, a glowing birthmark received any time a fairy bears a child with a non-fairy partner- that said, Lain is fifty percent high fairy, and fifty percent human.

  There is a long pause of the spirits exchanging glances, and then the front one turns back.

  “Gross, the kid’s got Algandar’s syndrome,” he says, causing his companions to erupt into laughter. Lain’s eyes widen, and gains an indignant air about him.

  “W-what?! It’s an honor to be of the fairies and the humans. It’s ... it’s well rounded!”

  “Well rounded for janitor work,” the spirit says, gaining another round of laughs from the others.

  “H-how dare you! My mother--” By this point, Love has stopped listening upon finding a suspicious set of tracks. Thanks to her expertise in the rare art of realmancy, she can locate, know and see things that no longer, or shouldn’t, exist. The tracks are small, but obviously heavy, and having been here around the time of the killing. She takes a quick guess as to who or what it could be, owning so much weight while being of a smaller demeanor. She nods and turns to Lain, who is just now realizing that being half-blooded is considered incredibly lame in Liefland.

  “Mmm, Lain,” Love addresses. Lain turns his head quickly.

  “Y-yeah?”

  “I got a lead, you stay here and entertain the spirits for me- mmkay?”

  “Eh, yeah, alright. As I was saying--” and at that, Lain returns to his monologue, and Love begins stepping off into the dark of the forest’s side.

  As the irritated tones of voices ring out of earshot, Love weaves through the ink-black silhouettes of the wood, following the trail that no common eyes could see. She follows the trail of her suspect through the warm, whimsical air and comes into a small clearing.

  She’s beset with that strange, dreading feeling, like when you stare out a pitch black window at night, half expecting something to move, that shouldn’t.

  The foliage seems less healthy in a single spot, about the size of a person, and it is here where the trail ends. Love steps up to the path of dying grass, and quietly equips her bow. For certain now, she knows the true nature of the culprit. Necromancers have a strange love for waiting underground; she must have caught it waiting for more fairies to kill, creating more fake proof pointing to Kanvane’s involvement.

  Just the moment she creates her first arrow, the patch of dirt explodes to reveal a necromancer, another abomination of objects, flesh, and concealing clothes. This one is dressed in the robes of a standard Kanvanian magic soldier, and has designed its body to look especially human, but only from afar would one be tricked by its weak disguise. The necromancer, quickly identifying its hunter as more than a match, rushes away to escape. Love fires six bolts in eye-blink succession, quickly disconnecting the necromancer from its arms, legs, and one for the neck, tearing its makeshift head from the body. In response, the necromancer quickly spouts out new, cruder legs from its body, and begins its dash again. Love shoots those down too, her impeccable aim serving her perfectly, even in the dark. This time, Love makes the finishing move by reaching into her dimensional sheath, a magitech device that leads to a pocket dimension for holding things of unruly size, and pulls out a door.

  While The Reader might find it strange pulling a white door with lovely light-blue dragon flies painted on it out of something the size of a coin purse, I assure you that Love is a professional magician and has need for such things like white doors with lovely light-blue dragon flies painted on it. Yes, while she may be the only Royal Knight to run around with a door in her pocket, she is also the only one able to properly make use of having a door in one’s pocket; surely you understand, as we’ve all had situations when we could have made use of portable doors. In this case however, this door is not meant to take Love someplace nice, as she likes most every place she goes to. This door, which she calls Everlock, is for getting rid of things, a sort of nether closet, if you will.

  Love slams the door into the ground, turns the handle, and throws it open, the handled-side pointing towards the necromancer. As if a force from behind was pushing it open, the door swings wide, revealing an incomprehensible opening of horrifying madness. The necromancer is quickly assailed by grasping appendages of every imaginable variety from out of the door way, arresting their target and pulling it inside. Love then makes a smooth wave of the hand, closing the door-portal through magic. Now that the door is shut, she picks it up and forces it back into her dimensional sheath. She brushes her hands for dust, and turns about with the very same smile she had when
the necromancer was pulled into an alternate dimension by horrific arms of any imaginable variety.

  She’s going to have to tell Order about this. If Oa, the ancient lord of the necromancers, is sending its loyal forces as a distraction, she can guess that the great monstrosity of teeth and flesh is planning something, as necromancers never, ever travel alone; this could be unprecedented, an exception, or something much larger than expected.

 
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