The Pagemasters Vol 2 Chapter 5

 


Author: Literataku


Chapter 5:
A Glance Confines

 

 

Red carried me in his arm across town, it was both interesting and half humiliating. He was tired of me riding on his shoulders all across town and chose the slightly easier method, for him. I didn’t entirely have a choice in the matter since he outclassed me in every category aside magic at this moment. Sigh, well at least it’s more comfortable than the balancing act higher up. Let’s just not make this feel awkward.

The Inn seemed pretty good and fortunately still had a room available to rent. The convenience of Story Magic is sometimes a bit strong, though I am certainly not going to complain about this kind of cheat-like ability. Especially as I knew that this would probably be the second-best thing to happen in this kingdom until we get everything else straightened out.

The room as barely a couple tatami wide, only fitting for one person. I guess I’m sleeping in cat form too now. Sigh, fortunately, the mana drain of maintaining the transformation was low enough it was almost completely offset by my recharge and elemental mana absorption. I could keep this form up indefinitely if I had to. Though fighting with these cat instincts is getting annoying.

The window was incredibly small, too small for anything meaningful aside from letting in the outside air, but just big enough for Master to be able to fit inside or at least perch on the windowsill. Red opened the window for me as I prepared to attempt casting a signal spell, which was an interesting moment because I had not used one before.

“Rrrr.. |{Message}|… Dammit, it bounced back on me. |{Signal}|.”

“Ow… Blue-san.. watch where you are aiming that spell. My ears are ringing”

“Sorry, Red-san… |{Message to}| Clarion-sama.”

“You think that’ll work?”

I sigh and give a cat styled shrug. “Maybe… This spell casting is like trying to use console commands. If you don’t have the right phrase or combination it doesn’t work.”

“You sure it won’t screw up anything?”

“How would you know?”
“Point taken. I’m going to go down and get some food to bring up. Anything you want in-”

“Fish.”

Red gave me a quick look of surprise and tilted his head.

“It’s not the cat side… Well not entirely. I’ve been smelling that fish all day and it’s been who knows how long since I’ve had any sushi or bento.”

He laughed at me and shook his head. “Yeah, I guess I can understand you on that. I’ve been missing hamburgers and steak for a while myself. I guess I can see what I can do about that.”

I prostrated deeply on my paws toward him as best I could manage. “Dōmo arigatōgozaimashita, Red-san.”

“Don’t thank me until I’ve got food. And you don’t need to be that formal with me either. You screwed up, but you are working on fixing this mess.”

I sat up slowly looking at his feet. “Red-san…”

“But don’t think you’re forgiven yet. But stop being so… Apologetic Japanese. The Keigo is starting to get annoying.”

I sat up straighter with surprise at those words. I hadn’t even realized I’d been using polite speech with him and Master until now. Though… Thinking back on it, I guess I had started unconsciously using Keigo ever since Master and I were training in the White Space. I guess I didn’t even realize I never stopped.

Red stepped out of the room before I could respond. Leaving me to wait for him and master to arrive, I peered out the window, hoping one of the spells I used had worked. The sun was starting to set, which the window was facing away from. Not that it really mattered the height of the walls prevented most of the sunlight from reaching into the city once it had passed the afternoon hours, creating something of an early twilight-esque cityscape to look out across in spite of the glow of the setting sky above.

Getting a better look across the city the differences were in greater contrast to the inner part of the city. Most of the construction felt more… temporary, or newer in some ways. Not that I am an architect by any means. The buildings just didn’t have the same feeling of immovable sturdiness that the fortress-like manors inside have.

There was a fluttering noise coming from above and I glanced up to see a pair of pigeons landing on the roof of the Inn. I wasn’t sure how long it had been since I tried to contact Master, and I still wasn’t sure if anything I did worked. I am wondering how much longer I need to wait before trying again.

Red stepped back inside the room with food, my mouth was watering so much it was hard to not drool. While there wasn’t any fish he had managed to procure a couple of good-sized slabs of meat. It smelled delicious, perfectly grilled and seasoned I had to wonder if the cook was some miracle chief. We ate in silence waiting to see if Master would arrive before the sun completely set. I’m slightly ashamed to say I was kind of glad he didn’t arrive while we were eating, even if I was getting worried.

Red sat back with a sigh after finishing his plate and leaned into the chair, taking a sip of the tankard he brought with his meal. I settled for water from the basin, hoping it was clean enough. I didn’t want to risk alcohol and this body. It’s so small I’d probably get drunk way too fast for my own good.

“So, want to talk while we wait? We’ve not really done much aside from training and fighting since we met.”

I looked at him, straightening up slightly and curling my tail around my forelegs. “Your right, we were either fighting, training or dealing with the villagers until now. So.. Um…What do you want to talk about?”

“How about what life was like before this? What did you do for a living? Any family or friends you miss?”

I sighed and looked out the window. It was a subject I guess it would be good to speak on, he is supposed to be my guardian and backup of sorts. “I was an accountant for a publishing company. I lived alone in my apartment and wrote stories for fun and as a side job. My parents started traveling the world last year and I don’t have any other family. My friends are mostly my readers and guildmates for Storm of War. what about you?”

Red listened and nodded slowly. “You ever hear the name, Daniel Harmon?”

I shake my head, tilting it slightly. “Doesn’t really ring a bell…”

“Guess you don’t pay attention to martial arts magazines. I’m listed as one of the best new martial artists in the world. Undefeated in MMA, Fencing and Kendo. I’m also the guy who choreographs fight scenes with swords and weapons for some of the major Hollywood films. I was in town for a magazine interview when the storm hit.”

“No wonder you are so good at fighting. I guess I’m pretty lucky to have you protecting and teaching me.”

“Heh. You seem to learn fast for an accountant. Outside of your lack of reading the area, you catch on pretty fast. You never did any martial arts before, like in high school?”

I shake my head, trying to ignore flashes of memories that may have been mine.

****

An Elven swordsman sneering down at me as I lay on the ground panting from exhaustion. His rapier pointed to my neck. “This is what the most powerful Pagemaster is capable of? I do not care if you think you cannot die, if you can’t even hit or damage your opponent immortality has no benefit unless you think merely outliving all your enemies will make things right.”

Climbing back up to my feet, I take a deep breath and ready myself once more. We had been fighting almost non stop for three days, forcing myself to drink recovery potions whenever I felt faint or tired. I would do this. I won’t stop until I’ve won this battle. I would beat him with only my power if it was the last thing I did before I used the **** again.

******

“No… not that I can remember. The closest I got to that was fighting games for the most part.” Which was pretty much true. That flash didn’t mean anything if I don’t even remember any lessons from that guy.

“Must have a knack for it then. Or this new body gave you some muscle memory to work with. I can tell, it’s like you trained before.”

I shook my head slightly. “Master said muscle memory is only as good as what you had before you get this new body.” I couldn’t exactly say why I might have such a thing, I can’t even mention the visions to anyone but Vi.

Red frowned and gave a shrug. “Well, then I guess you are just a natural at learning movements and magic. It could be a side effect of being the Blue Pagemaster or something. There is still a lot we don’t know about what you or I am capable of.”

I nodded slightly, I knew that for a fact. Especially now I’m starting to find out that I don’t even know myself that well either. Do I try to find my memories? Are they worth anything? Were they stolen or did I do this voluntarily? Shaking my head to drive those thoughts away, for now, I recalled something about our discussion

“Red-san… You didn’t say if you had any family or friends you missed.”

Before he could answer, a fluttering of wings interrupted us as Master landed in the Window. Looking very agitated as he looked at both of us. The smell of dinner was still wafting around in the room, the breeze from outside too light to clear it away quickly.

“Well, I hope you two have some good information to share because I just saw the Jolly Roger floating outside the Eastern Gates.”


 


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