The Pagemasters Vol 2 Chapter 4

 


Author: Literataku


Chapter 4:
Peace is Distant, Shapeless

 

 

There is something about walking through a city on your own versus with someone else. Especially when your body is only a couple dozen centimeters off the ground, everything about this place felt so much bigger now that I was walking down the pathway on my own four paws. And the length of walking, trying to stay easy on my paw pads from all the rocks scattered around as the paved road along here. A city guy wishing for dirt roads, there is a good laugh for everyone else.

I felt fairly fortunate that no one seemed to pay too much attention to me as I strolled down the way. The guards gave cursory looks but no one seems to be stopping me for now. My shadow continued to point the way back toward the outer city, taking it in good stride I started dashing down the way, giving myself little boosts of speed with wind power so my strides would be longer, every centimeter helped in this body, and it was good practice.

Passing the gate into the outer city was pretty easy, more people looking around I could chance getting around a little faster until I felt a set of eyes staring at me. Crap, I guess I’m now being watched again. Why was I being watched though? Am I the only black cat in town or something?

I try losing them slipping deeper into the crowd and weaving through people, getting closer to the stalls and going behind a few. It was a good thing the tracking spell didn’t have a time limit or care if I went out of my way. Even after I tried a few things I still couldn’t shake the feeling, either someone had really good vision or I was being tracked magically instead. I would need to talk with Master about that later, or Vi if we could have time again.

In the meantime, I would just ignore things and move onto dealing with finding my way back to Red. I could feel the need of getting back a little more important now, Master would probably be annoyed we had separated so early but I think he would be pleased we found the third Pagemaster. A Pagemaster I was currently ignoring everything about going on in my head because I couldn’t handle it all right now.

I distracted myself listening to the crowd and catching the sweet smell of cooked fish once again. Mmm, I’m getting hungry, thank you cat like brain for distractions. Red first and then food. But the fish smells so good! Grrr getting way too distracted, thank you cat like brain for little attention span.

Ignoring my instinct to try and snag a fish from the stall and bolt I managed to find my shadow’s rendezvous point. Looking up there was a sign of a guy falling into a giant round circle. I guess this is the Leonida’s Pit. It didn’t take long for someone to open the door so I could slip inside, the place seems to be pretty busy serving all the travelers that had come into the city for the big celebration. Red was sitting over at the Bar nursing a large tankard and listening to the mountain of a guy talking quietly, this place seems busy enough you could hold a few secret conversations when you need to. At least as busy as it is today. Sneaking up underneath his barstool I sat down and listened to what I could, hoping I hadn’t missed too much.

“…. Prophet hasn’t mentioned anything about the problem to the west. There is movement starting on the border with the Mourcelines. We’ve always had movement and border skirmishes for decades, its just our relationship with that kingdom. But this new territory noble they gave the border to? He’s thirsty for power and land and he’s a monster all on his own in battle.”

“So you think he’s probing the land to start an invasion?”

“Heh, more like he’s trying to get us to attack first. They guy isn’t smart on his own but he has a clever tactician behind him. If anyone makes the wrong move on that borderline we’ll lose half the kingdom to him before we can even mobilize the army.”

“There aren’t any hotheads in the border guard is there?”

The man shakes his head and takes a long gulp of beer. “Nay. The king is wise enough to keep only the calmest minds on that border. But this new group in town, Pie-rats or something… the Prophet’s group or whatever they are. They aren’t the friendliest looking bunch though surprisingly they haven’t done anything to disrupt the peace aside from drinking and spreading rumors about what the Prophet has been saying.”

I was listening to the conversation and frowning slightly. The motives all felt off, What does Hook have to gain from any for this. Unless it’s all just a ruse to try and draw me out into the open. But it didn’t make any sense that he would get the right choice. Not unless he had something that….

He remembers everything from before! But wait… This was the first time he’s escaped from Neverland, right? How would he know where to go? It still made no sense, at least some idea was starting to form about how I knew Heide’s name back at that village. BUt this… I still had no clue. And the Prophet thing… Accurately telling the future wasn’t some power he had, not that I recall from the animated movie anyways. What little I remember from it.

“What if this is all a ruse to try and draw someone out? Drastic actions or some kind of hidden extortion? Or what if he’s turning trying to turn the people against someone?”

“The King is too well liked aside from a few fringe elements-”

“This Blue Warlock. What if he’s not the villain? What if he’s trying to turn the people on someone who might be able to stop him? Or if he’s secretly in league with the foreign noble, what if the Blue Warlock is someone they are worried about?”

“An interesting idea. No one has seen this warlock at all. I’ve guessed he’s just some fake thing to drive up tension. But a real person who could be an ally they are trying to drive away. There is some merit to that thought. He’s the only thing they have consistently disparaged since their arrival. A wedge to be driven between this guy and the kingdom before he arrives.”

“It fits better, right? They want the people to be looking out for him, to hate him. They want him out of the way or taken care of for some reason.”

“There is some merit to the idea. I will give that. The problem is that the Blue Warlock needs to show himself or the Prophets predictions are disproven so people might doubt what he says. Otherwise, I feel sorry for the guy if he shows up. The guards are already on orders to detain him if he shows up.”

Oh great. Now I’m stuck in cat form the entire time until I can prove I am not going to destroy the city. I can’t say exactly what is going on happen in that regard. I don’t know what will need to be done with this story. I don’t recall hidden plots and Pirate Captains trying to kill Pagemasters in Sleeping Beauty. Guess Karma had been taking it easy on me for a while, time to ramp everything back up huh?

Red stayed quiet and drank from his own tankard, mulling over things. I decided I should probably let him know I was here and tapped his boot with one of my paws. He took a glance and shook his head. What? I was just saying I’m here. I wasn’t asking to jump onto the bar, probably more disgusting up there with the snoring ugly guy drooling on the counter versus down here with the spilled drinks and- Sniff- Oh god I regret everything!

Please. Please tell me that no one has done that where I am sitting. Or at least it’s been cleaned or deeply buried under a thick layer of dirt. I am going to need a bath after all of this. Maybe I should just get out of here before I discover another smell that I absolutely do not want to be aware of in this bar.

As I contemplated this the door opened and two of the burliest men I’d seen outside of Mr “Wall of Muscle” sitting next to Red walked inside. They looked so very out of place here, these guys should be out on the high seas singing sailing songs. Their outfits were definitely not from this period. At least I don’t think it is… What period is this anyways?

I’m getting off the story. Pirates. I’m pretty sure they were pirates… I could even smell the salt off their clothes, it was faint but not completely covered by the smell of the city dirt. The swab shirts and patchwork pants stood out among the villagers of drab tunics and the adventurers in leather armors. Everyone paused a moment as they entered.
“The Prophet has a new vision that comes to him and declares it be shared to all who will listen. ‘The Blue Warlock will ensure the dark Queen of Fairy curses the Princess in two days. He will be among the crowd, be vigilant and do not let him escape from the city when he arrives.”

Well, he does have two things right. I will be there, and I have to make sure the curse happens. No one will be able to see me or should know about my cat form however so there isn’t much chance of them actually being able to find me. I guess let’s hope the Dark Queen can handle herself without me needing to do anything. At least I can use some magic in this body.

Red stepped down from the barstool, picking me up and holding me in the crux of his arm. Careful with where you put your hands! But thank you for rescuing me from the floor. I want to be blissfully ignorant once more. Better yet, I want a modern bar to drink in.

“Thank you for the drink and talk. Excuse me, but I have some work to be done before last light falls. Hopefully, I’ll have some good news to share on the morrow.”

“Aye Hero. I hope you have the same as well, for all our sakes.”

Carried along I sigh, trying to look content as we passed by the pirates, thankfully they paid us little mind. Getting outside the tavern, the feeling of being watched fell upon me again. What the heck is this? I’m starting to get a little annoyed.

“We should find a place to get in touch with Clarion-sama.”

I nod slightly, wondering about something as I closed my eyes and focused. We need a place to sleep and hopefully chat with Master in privacy. Focusing the magic into my tail, I pointed it at Red and tried to cast a spell. “|{Guide}|”

Red looked at me with interest as I flicked my tail down toward his feet. Feeling smug with myself after being able to cast magic in cat form, and getting the spell to work without needing any other problems. Getting there slowly, but I’m starting to feel like a real magic user and Hero. Using his shadow as a pointer we walked through the city to find a good Inn to rest at.


 


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