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    Demented
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Though not present in every chapter, this story will contain graphic violence and coerced sex/rape, some of which involves underaged characters. Keep this in mind before reading. 

MageCrafter - 23. Chapter 23

Marigold’s facsimile of a face hardened upon seeing the last person she intended to meet on the Bertolde Estate, or anywhere else for that matter. If the magic item had a heart, it would no doubt be beating much faster seeing the avatar of High King Vinal sitting down in the meeting room they had been directed to. The High King did not seem very pleased to see her either, as his eyes took on a much sharper and colder glint to them the second they rested on her form.

They said nothing at first as the Priestess moved into the room and sat down at the table opposite of the high elf gigantes. She barely took note of the fact that both their entourages responded to the increased tension in the room and fanned out to protect their respective charges. The High King’s men wore gear that was made from thick leaves from the gigantes’s vines. The intricate design resembled full plate armor with many segmented layers. They wore skirted leaves around their waist, adding further protection to their bodies.

The High Priestess knew from first hand experience that the armor the High Elf soldiers were wearing were far more effective than one would initially think leaf mail like that would be. Not only were the components that made up their armor stronger than any non MageCrafted metal, they were alive and would naturally heal damage on their own provided it wasn't extensive enough. They also acted with the wearer, offering a non magical variety of strength enhancement which allowed the user to lean on the strength of their armor instead of wasting their own energy in combat or labor situations. There were benefits to having access to living material that simply did not exist with other types of MageCrafting.

“I didn’t realize the Golden Maiden’s Gift Shop delivered. I was not expecting to see one of her trinkets here.” The avatar of High King Vinal said with barely concealed disdain in his voice as he took a sip out of a rose goblet he conjured up for himself. Marigold gripped her gloved hand in frustration at that jab at her being a Magic Item, and her Paladins and Clerics took deep offense to having their vaunted High Priestess belittled to something as insignificant as a trinket from a gift shop.

“What brings you out from your Lair High King Vinal? You haven’t taken interest in affairs outside of your lair in thousands of years.” Marigold asked, trying to keep her tone light and conversational. She did not want to get into another argument with the High King. It was clear his animosity towards her had not waned at all in these thousands of years, but she still wanted to keep things as civil as possible.

“I’m here regarding family matters. Not that a hunk of metal would know anything about that.” He added that last part with some venom in his tone before taking a sip of his goblet. The normally aloof and flirtatious tone that the High King employed had long since dropped off his face upon seeing the High Priestess. Neither his own guards nor the paladins and clerics behind Marigold understood the hostility between their two charges, yet the tension in the air was palpable.

“I suppose I should have expected you to stick your nose in affairs that don’t concern you however. That is how you operate isn’t it Trinket.” He emphasized the name he gave her, making it quite clear that he did not want to refer to her by her name or title. Her more aggressive paladins were beginning to reach for their weapons at the continuous insulting of their High Priestess, but she waved for them to stand down.

Marigold steadied herself, hoping against hope that Baldric and Kotik would be coming soon to alleviate this awful tension in the room as she tried to navigate this minefield. Though no one in the room other than the two who were having this terse exchange knew what their animosity was about, several of the more perceptive members on either side could surmise that it stemmed from something that happened long ago.

“Jayceon would not have wanted us to be like this…” Marigold started to say in a placating tone. However the High King's eyes immediately flared bright white as his face contorted into a snarl. Her paladins and Clerics immediately responded, pulling out their weapons and books in preparation for combat. Meanwhile the guards of the High king unsheathed razor sharp and quite massive leaf blades that she knew had quite devastating qualities to them. Should one of those weapons even graze one of her paladins or clerics skin, the resulting allergic reaction would almost certainly be fatal.

“Don’t you say Jayceon’s name to me or tell me what he would have wanted, you vile traitorous hunk of trash! Don’t you dare speak his name like you didn’t betray him when he needed you most!” The rose goblet that had been in the High King's hand was now far larger than before, coiling around the High King menacingly as its flowered head almost hissed at the High Priestess like a snake. She could already tell the inside of the flower was now packed with deadly pollen that could easily be violently ejected into the room and deal massive damage and even death to her guardians.

“If it wasn’t for the fact that you almost immediately ran and connected yourself with another kingdom, I would have rid this realm of your filth ages ago. It is only the fact that destroying you would cause all out war between our two nations that is holding me back from doing so. Do not press your luck with me any further than it already has been!”

Each side of the table stood in battle ready stances for quite some time, the warriors on each side staring each other down on behalf of their respective rulers. They were fully prepared to lay down their lives in combat should either of their leaders give the order to do so. Thankfully neither the High King nor the High Priestess seemed willing to take it to that last step. The threat of all out war between the two nations was just enough to keep their personal grievances in check for now. What killed Marigold was she knew that the High King didn’t used to be like this, and it was largely her fault that he was so filled with rage, and perhaps why he hasn’t seen fit to leave his Lair in quite some time.

If she could fix the mistakes of the past she would, but such power was not hers to wield.

Not anymore.

 

***

 

Kotik felt a bit unnerved seeing the copy of himself in the bedroom. Lord Baldric’s creation didn’t move just yet, he was still working on the interior of the illusory figure’s body, but it held an uncanny resemblance to the Lynxian. The younger teen couldn’t help but walk around the copy of himself, looking at it up and down while his tail swished about curiously. Several of the people within the room took quite a bit of appreciation at the sight, finding his adorably inquisitive and wide eyed expressions rather cute.

“I’ll be basing this copy’s behaviors and mannerisms off of what I’ve seen from you so far,” Lord Baldric said with a bit of a grin on his face. Despite the seriousness of the situation he was quite enamored with his love circling around his copy and looking at it from every angle like he was. He had been like that himself when he first learned how to make illusions of himself. The sensation was sort of akin to looking at a three dimensional reflection of yourself instead of a mere two dimensional one that you would find in a mirror. “It’s not going to be a perfect copy of you since it won’t have your mind, but it should be enough to fool my father at the very least.”

Shahnaz grew a dastardly grin on her face as she shimmied over to her master and whispered something in his ear. Lord Baldric’s face nearly broke almost immediately upon hearing her idea, and though the situation demanded a certain level of seriousness his more youthful teenager impulses ended up winning out.

Within an instant, the copy of Kotik took on an exaggerated, romantic gaze as it reached out to lord Baldric.

“Oh Lord Baldric, my one true love! Please hold me in your arms forever and ever!” The false Kotik spoke in such an effeminate way, swaying his hips back and forth and clasping his hands together in an almost pleading manner.

The real Kotik’s face lit up bright red with embarrassment at his copy’s behavior and stood in front of the figure, yelling at it like it was sentient.

“H-hey! What’s the big idea! I don’t act like that at all! Cut that out you!”

“Oh Lord Baldric, My heart yearns for you my love!” swooned the false Kotik.

“Q-QUIT IT!” He was blushing to the tips of both his ears now as he tried to cover his doppelganger's mouth and prevent him from saying any more truly embarrassing stuff with his own voice. The other three in the room were beside themselves with giggles at the antics, happy for the distraction of the dire news they had been speaking about moments earlier.

It was at that moment that the door opened and another version of Lord Baldric slipped into the room.

“We’ll be out in a moment, father, let me just get Kotik ready and we’ll head down to the meeting room.” The double said, making sure not to open the door very wide before closing the door and locking it for good measure. There were now two versions of Lord Baldric and Kotik within the room and despite the bed chambers size it was starting to feel a bit cramped with the doubles presence. Kotik found the double of Lord Baldric especially strange since it carried itself and acted so much like the Baldric he knew and loved. It also seemed to have something else that struck Kotik as very strange.

“Lord Baldric, why does your copy have emotions?” He asked the young lord inquisitively, absentmindedly keeping his hands over the false Kotik’s mouth as he did so. The double of Lord Baldric was the one who chose to answer.

“I am Lord Baldric. My mind is a copy of his and I carry all his thoughts and feelings inside of me just like he does.”

“Y-You can copy your mind? I don’t think you told me you could do that!” Kotik said with some alarm in his voice, not sure how he should feel about this. Lord Baldric decided to head off questions before they really started piling up as they did not have much time to go into explanations.

“Yes I can, I can make a whole bunch of them in fact. I’ll make sure to include an explanation about it in one of our magic lessons in the future. Right now however we need to get our plan moving.”

With that the others in the room crowded around Lord Baldric as the copies of himself and Kotik moved towards the door together. Before the door opened, Lord Baldric encased the four of them in a hollow dome of liquid with very interesting properties to it. Though those inside of the bubble could only barely see what the dome was doing, it was in effect projecting the room around it onto its surface in such a way that it made itself nearly invisible. No matter what angle someone would look at the dome, it would be barely perceptible.

The clone of Baldric made a point of opening the door wide as he led the false Kotik out with him. The stressed and frazzled Duke did not take much notice of what was happening at all as he led the illusory clones away from the room at a brisk clip, lecturing the two of them about being on their best behavior during the meeting. He certainly did not see the nigh invisible dome moving out of the room and heading in another direction.

Kotik and the others at first thought they would be walking down the hall on the floor, avoiding maids and such as they moved their dome down the various corridors towards the lair, however they were soon met with a much different answer.

The dome they were inside did not only serve as a method of concealing them. It also highlighted a vapor stairwell that was originally not visible to them when they had came into the room in the first place. Much to their surprise, they were able to plant their feet tentatively on the vapor stairs as they followed the young lord higher and higher into the air until they came to a whole different pane of ice made with the same properties the dome like bubble was. To those below, this ice floor that stood halfway from the ceiling and the floor was entirely invisible, perhaps even more so than the dome because of how stationary it was. This floor did not go from one end of the hall to the other either, rather it was it’s own mini corridor that snaked in the air above the stone floor below.

“Whenever I need to move through the estate without being seen,” Baldric began, “I have these temporary halls constructed for me to walk through. Sometimes I make it into a tube and fill it with water to expedite myself towards the lair, but that takes more preparation than I had available to me. This is also the safest method.”

“I always wondered where you vanished off to.” Shahnaz said as she walked along the path. Several were suffering from mild vertigo whenever they looked down at the floor below them, especially since they did not see their own shadows on the ground below. To anyone looking up, it would look like nothing was there at all. The vapor that had served as the stairwell up to the elevated floor was already gone before they even turned a corner.

 

***

 

Berhanu tried to keep his tail from tucking between his legs as he stood with his fellow comrades in the meeting room. The tension between the High Priestess and this foreign ruler had been alarmingly potent and it was not clear whether or not they’d erupt into all out combat at any moment. They had thankfully brought the tension back to the point where they simply were not speaking to each other, but none of the soldiers on either side had sheathed their weapons since their heated exchanges.

In some ways, The Werewolf Paladin could not believe he stood among the ranks of these noble holy warriors. He did not even think himself worthy enough to serve as the guardian of the Silbel Temple’s resident MageCrafter much less act as a guardian for someone as important as the High Priestess, yet that seemed to be where his life had been going ever since he had clawed out of Preja Bog all those years ago. It had actually been meeting that MageCrafter all that time ago that ended up setting him on the path that led him where he was today.

Though the youthful MageCrafter of Liquefied Gold was not allowed outside of the Silbel Temple without heavy protection, there was a time when he lived on his own as something of a protector for his hidden village.

Berhanu met the lad back when he was just an alchemist and blacksmith those years ago, almost directly after the werewolf had escaped from Preja Bog. He had been so lost and scared at the time when he had stumbled upon that secluded village of Goblins. Though much of the land surrounding Preja Bog is uninhabited save for some brave souls who mine for ore near her lands, that only applied to human settlements. The hidden villages that shrouded themselves so far outside of human eyes while still being outside of Babica’s Bog Lair was another matter entirely. They were the home of goblinoid and even some orcish races within Silbel that wanted to live outside of the reach of adventurers.

It had been a long standing accusation from humans that Goblins were nothing more than Minions of Babica encroaching on human lands. They fail to point out that Goblins have a longer history in the country known as Silbel than humans do, and that the goblinoid races have faced a near genocidal purge on multiple occasions from various human kingdoms that have risen and fallen over the centuries.

Silbel has a more passive approach to Goblins, merely allowing Adventuring guilds to put standing bounties on all Goblin heads, offering coins for every goblin ear an adventurer brings into the guild. Most humans in Silbel don’t even consider Goblins demi-humans, but simply some variety of mindless monster that infests areas instead of a thinking feeling being.

This particular Goblin village was quite well protected, as he had discovered when he stepped on a trapped teleportation rune. One moment he was crawling through the woods, sneaking towards the village with the intention of stealing some food, and the next moment he was trapped in a cage in a cave somewhere else entirely.

He was so scared thrashing in that cramped cage, yelping and trying to talk through the unfamiliar shape of his mouth. At the time he had only just started getting back his sense of self. He was not sure who or what he even was, all he knew was that the giant woman scared him and he didn’t want to go back. His thoughts were so simple and primal, driven by fear and a need to survive. His panic had only gotten more intense when a red skinned goblinoid peered around the corner with goggles and thick gloves to hear what the ruckus was about.

“Who be making that racket in me cages?” Came the youthful voice of the goblinoid that Berhanu later learned was a juvenile hobgoblin. His ruddy red ears were enormous and flopped about expressively as he lifted up his goggles, revealing a smattering of monocles that magnified and enlarged his eyes. With some flicks of some switches on the side of his head the monocles all rotated out of the way while the goggles he had been wearing rested on his forehead. His irises were deeply purple and quite big on his rounded face as he approached the Wolf thrashing about in fright in the cage. Paired with his diminutive stature that was common with goblinoid races, he actually seemed quite adorable.

“Why do The Babica pupper be tryin ta sneak into me village? Me teleportation runes only activate if ye be tryna steal or do other nefarious deeds within the borders of me village. What The Babica be playin at?”

He leaned in and stroked his chin, squinting one eye and then another as he looked the werewolf over. “Unless ye not be workin fer The Babica? Ye face be screamin fear somethin fierce, and The Babica’s puppers normally just look heckin pissed and hungers.”

Berhanu had shook his head fiercely at the time to indicate that he didn’t work for Babica. This made the Hobgoblin boy’s face light up with interest and curiosity while his ears flopped about excitedly. “Well me be damned, ye be understandin me speakin? Me don’t think me heard of one of The Babica Puppers gainin their thinkin brains back after she be workin her mojo on them. Can ye speak Pupper?”

Berhanu had tried, but it only sounded like whines and barely formed half words more than anything else. It frustrated his excited nerves greatly even trying, as he was still quite mad at the time. The Hobgoblin lad raised his thickly gloved hands and gestured for him to calm down.

“Relax yeself pupper, ye don’t need ta be sprintin before ye even learn how ta crawl again. She scrambled ye brain up good and changed ye mouth on top of that. Ye probably gonna need ta learn how ta speak all over again. Ye lucky ya ran inta me pupper, cause me no havin the love for The Babica that the other villagers have. Stick with me and me will get you back up and thinkin proper again lickity split like.”

That chance meeting had set Berhanu on the path that ultimately led him to take his oaths as a Paladin of the Golden Maiden. He truly did not feel like he deserved to be among all these strong and fearless men and women around him who carried the title of Paladin alongside him. However he tried to keep such thoughts off of his features as he focused on watching the hostile ruler and his green clad soldiers behind him.

It had almost felt like an eternity in that standoff before the doors of the meeting room had opened up and revealed Duke Bertolde, Lord Baldric, and the mysterious Kotik that so many that were here were there to see. At least that’s what they looked like. However the Werewolf’s nose picked up something strange in the air about two of the three that had come inside the room, something he almost immediately could identify.

The scent that was on Baldric and Kotik wasn’t real. There was an attempt to mask the subtle scent of ice and water in the two figures with an illusory smell, but his werewolf nose coupled with his lucid mind that was already on alert for trouble saw through it almost immediately. He was about to voice his concerns before Duke Bertolde Spoke.

“Thank you all for coming today. My son and I would like to formally welcome you all to the Bertolde estate and Silbel. After we handle the matters that are on the table, my son has offered to open up his private showing of the Bavaram circus to those in attendance here as a show of good faith and good will between our respective nations.”

The Duke sounded as noble and put together as he could, but it was clear he had been momentarily put off his game by the sight of so many drawn weapons. He even half considered dropping the offer considering the tone he was feeling in the room, but he had gone through with the prepared speech anyway to see if that would help ease some of the tensions.

‘High Priestess,’ Berhanu projected through his helmet to the High Priestess near him. This more than warranted direct mental communication with his superior instead of his next in command. ‘ I have a strong suspicion that the two lads with Duke Bertolde are impostors created by Lord Baldric.’

‘I was under much the same impression, thank you for affirming my suspicion Paladin Berhanu.’ Marigold messaged back to him as she adjusted herself in her seat, figuring out how she was going to broach this topic.

“THAT LOVE IS FALSE! IT’S A FALSE SILBEL STRANGLER! WHERE IS THE TRUE ONE!?”

All turned to face the crazed shrieks of someone who had stepped out of a secluded area of the meeting place, holding onto what looked like a boy in acrobat tights as he got closer. It looked like a Hareling, a normally quite docile and friendly race of demi-human, however the expression on the pink Hareling’s face said he was anything but. The insanity and rage that etched on his features was so strange and unnerving on a race known for their warm hugs and friendly dispositions. They were almost stereotyped to be the friendliest race in the world, yet this creature radiated a murderous rage like nothing many of them had ever felt before.

“IMPOSTOR! FALSE! GIVE ME MY LOVE NOW!”

Several soldiers from both the High Kings and the High Priestess had moved up to deal with him, but at least a couple of each staggered where they stood with Exhaustion gripping them. The Hareling laughed maniacally in such an unhinged manner that it sparked a twinge of fear among a few of the soldiers, especially as they checked on their staggered comrades.

“STAY WHERE YOU ARE, ALL OF YOU, UNLESS YOU WANT YOUR FRIENDS SOULS DEVOURED WHERE THEY STAND!”

The High King let out a snort of derision, which made the Hareling almost lose his train of thought as he glared at the green haired ruler. “What, do you have something to add!? Hand over my love or your minions perish! You as well Duke,” The hareling pointed at Duke Bertolde, “I have my Geas inside of you as well now! If you do not get your son and my love in this room in the next ten minutes I will have my Geas devour your very soul! Do not try me!”

“Enough of this farce.” High King Vinal said with a snarl as he gestured to his rose, which fired off one thorn from it’s vine directly towards the Hareling at high speeds. The hareling was hit right between the eyes with the thorn, and at first it didn’t seem to do much more than puncture into his forehead. However, to the horror of the Paladins and the Duke, and even some of his own soldiers, Vinal’s power became quite evident to everyone in the room.

The pink eared bunny scraped and clawed at his forehead in panic as a blistering rash began to grow and boil on his head in a spiderweb pattern. The maddening itching was like nothing he had ever felt before and it only got worse as the thorn began to grow and spread out beneath his skin. No matter how much he scraped and clawed at his face it did not seem to alleviate the horrible painful itching at all, in fact his eyes soon became blinded with clear liquid and blood alike as his blistering skin burst explosively. The acrobat boy scrambled away from the shrieking Hareling, and even though some of the liquid had gotten onto his own skin it didn’t seem to do anything to the boy like it was doing to the hareling.

Within moments the creature that had been trying to hold the room hostage began to gargle as his throat closed up and his bubbling and blistering flesh continued to explode mercilessly from the intense allergic reaction. Before he hit the floor, he didn’t even look like the hareling who had initially revealed himself, his face had become too bloated and blown apart by this point to even identify him.

All that damage had come from one of the thorns from High King Vinal’s Rose Vine he had been using as a goblet not but a few minutes earlier.

However Vinal was not simply sitting there as this was taking place. As the Hareling had died that horrible death, the High King had handed out flower cups much like his rose goblet from earlier to his own men. Each one who drank from the goblet felt their fear fall away from them with a warm glowing feeling in their body. They still had the curse of exhaustion inside of them, but the geas had been dissolved and dismantled in their bodies before they could do any more damage.

Marigold had rushed as fast as she could across the room to the acrobat boy, touching her glove to his chest and hitting him with a warm golden glow that cured the lad of his fear and the geas inside of him before it ate his soul. Unlike her own Paladins and Clerics who had a layer of protection with their attunement slots, the boy had nothing of the sort safeguarding his soul. A normal person with a geas inside of them would face instant death of not only their body but their soul should they disobey someone like that horrible hareling. She had seen what creatures like him could do to people in the past, and it was the only reason why she had not said anything about how brutally the High King had chosen to kill the hareling. Anyone with that power was not someone to be shown mercy, she knew that much from her time in this world.

“The little bastard was a FearCrafter, a wretched agent of the Dark God of Fear.” the High King spat on the floor towards the hareling, knowing that the creature must have agreed to commit some truly heinous deeds to acquire such power, “Haven’t seen one of their ilk in a long time. Normally they are a pest to deal with, however if you find a way to rid yourself of all fear inside of your body either magically or through willpower it will break apart the geas inside of you. It’s easier if you use a magical aid to just temporarily make you immune to fear when handling these cretins, then they have no power over you at all..”

Duke Bertolde felt himself stagger from the exhaustion curse that had hit several of the soldiers earlier, and he noticed with some alarm that the High King hadn’t handed one of the cures over to him.

High King Vinal did not address The Duke, instead turning to his son. “I can easily cure your father of his Geas as well, but I will need you to stop playing games with me. Why are you trying to keep my nephew from me boy? Your answer had better be good if you expect me to save your father’s soul. I don’t know what time limit that psychotic hareling put on that Geas your father has inside of him so you better start either coming up with answers or bringing my nephew into this meeting place as soon as possible.”

Marigold turned on the High King with alarm and disgust on her face at his proclamation. “You wouldn’t dare allow the duke’s soul to be destroyed when you could have done something to prevent it!”

The High King turned on the High Priestess with his eyes glowing menacingly. “Don’t you tell me what I dare to do or not to do trinket! This welp tried to trick me, keep my nephew from me and take him Pantheon knows where! What obligation do I have to save his father when he won’t even face me in person!”


The Duke’s breathing came so haggardly as his second attunement slot was destroyed. His face lit up with confusion and alarm as he gripped his son’s shoulders before crumbling to the floor. His body trembled with powerful exhaustion that made it hard to even breathe properly as he tried to stay conscious. He could almost feel whatever that terrifying Hareling had done battering at his third attunement slot even now as he lay drooling on his own stone floor.

“Answer me quick boy! Your father doesn’t have much time!” Vinal yelled forcefully at the Copy of Lord Baldric while he prevented Marigold from approaching the Duke. The High Priestess responded to being blocked from aiding the duke by spreading her arms wide and summoning forth an array of hovering gauntlets of enormous size, each made of glowing gold and seemed to be under her direct command.

“Stand aside Vinal!” She roared threateningly at the High King, “I will not allow you to let a foreign dignitary die during a diplomatic meeting when it could be prevented! You will start war if you allow such a thing to transpire!”

“W-Wait!” The illusory Baldric said, finally finding his voice and raising his hands up in alarm. He had been so lost the second the Hareling had made his appearance and started yelling so loudly about the Silbel Strangler. It had hit the copy of Baldric like a dear in headlights seeing someone that not only knew that dark secret about Kotik, but claimed to be Kotik's lover. What did that even mean? Then there was the Geas that had been made inside of himself. Thanks to his awareness of the nature of magic items and his nature as a copy of Lord Baldric, he had been able to immediately identify when the Hareling had crafted the item inside of his body. He had figured out enough to know that this Geas wanted to attack his attunement slots.

In a desperate move, the copy cut off himself from the Main body's attunement slots and isolated the Geas inside of his crafted body. The creation didn't have any attunment slots to attack, so it writhed about inside him as a concentrated being of fear that the copy of Lord Baldric didn't know how to deal with. He couldn't even reach out to the main body for help because the Geas could potentially hop over to his main body and attack his attunment slots if he did so. This version of Baldric's mind was effectively cut off from the rest of the copies until he got rid of this geas inside of him and it terrified him to think about. Terror that only seemed to make the geas stronger inside of him. He tried desperately to quash the fear as he focused on saving his father.

“Pl-please save my father! I-I don’t know how to do this myself!" He hated how strangled and frightened his voice sounded as he pleaded to Vinal, "I promise you High King, I am not doing this to spite you! I have to do this! I have to take Kotik!”

“Then answer my question boy!” Vinal Spat at the Illusory copy of Baldric who was now stooping over his father and cradling his head in his arms. The Duke shuddered and lost consciousness as his third attunement slot was eaten through, paralyzing his body entirely. The frantic clone of lord Baldric who was trying to process everything that had been happening so fast finally couldn’t hold it back any longer as he shrieked in panic at the High King.

“Cernunnos told me to do this okay!? I-I met his avatar! I met him in a Tavern! He told me Kotik had to stay with me! He said I couldn’t let anyone else have him! You have to believe me! Please don’t let my father die!”

Baldric had been so distant with his father lately. He had felt so detached from him, not even meeting with the man in person. Yet in this moment as his father lay so helpless in his grasp he felt so scared about losing him. More scared than he ever felt in his life. All his power meant nothing cause he didn’t know how to cure fear like these two high rulers seemed to know almost instinctively.
Tears of relief came out of the doppelganger's eyes as Vinal growled and stepped aside for Marigold to rush in and cure his father of his Geas. However, the damage had long since been done to his attunement slots. It would take the Duke months to recover from the paralyzed state he was in now thanks to him losing all three attunements in so short a time. The illusory Baldric’s body was trembling as he hugged his father, wishing that he was doing so with his own body instead of this false copy.

High Priestess Marigold turned on Vinal with her facsimile of a face contorted in rage. “We could have prevented this! Either one of us could have! What do you have to say for yourself!?”

Vinal glowered at the High Priestess before looking down at the illusory copy of the boy.

“I expect an explanation from you, In person, about your meeting with my Uncle Cernunnos. Kotik is my nephew, boy, and even if he’s been entrusted to you I am not going to just let you slink away with him and pretend I don’t know he exists. Where is your real body going to be?”

“W-we are heading to the Undersea Kingdom of Triton. I am the Vicar of the Pantheon of Water…”

A noise of recognition came into his voice. “I notice you said Vicar and not MageCrafter. That lends some credence to what you say boy. So that would make you the Emperor of the Seas eh boy? Well then that should make this easy. Arrange an audience in your throne room and we’ll discuss this like proper rulers. Send that invitation quickly though, boy, this day has made me quite aggravated.”

Copyright © 2020 Demented; All Rights Reserved.
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Well, know wasn't that just special.  I wonder how long before people realize that the Hareling was screaming about the Sibel strangler while looking at Kotik.  

Have to wonder why the High King and Marigold hate each other so much, or I guess really why the High King hates Marigold so much.  We may need to have a little history lesson.  

I still am not sure that running away like they did was truly the right move.  Surely, Baldric should have realized that his decoys would not full those with this much power.  This was a major mistake on his part. 

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I don't like Vinal at all! I hope Baldric's dad gets better soon. And Kotik's dad comes to Vina and stops him for good or maybe Kotik will, 'laughs evilly'!

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