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   Chapter 14 A Repeated Pain in the Ass (but not in that way)

The Slayer By Lady Lilium Characters: 27652

Updated: 2018-07-13 12:04


It was only a short distance to the front door. Sumaey walked a few steps back from Waltz as he led the way.

'I wonder what it looks like inside' Waltz was saying. 'I bet it's really cool' he gleamed.

'Yeah' Sumaey droned in a bored manner. 'Really cool.'

'I've never been inside a wizard's house before.'

'Have you not?'

'No.'

Sumaey glanced away, before looking back at Waltz.

'What does the witch's house look like?'

'Utterly ghastly.'

'Then how do you know you will like whatever the wizard's house will look like?'

'Because' Waltz said glancing back at her with a cheeky grin, 'I want to see the wizard's house, I've not been forced to appear there against my will, and anyway…' he continued facing ahead again, 'the witch always moves from one place to another. She always takes her stuff with her, but she doesn't have a house like this. Every place I have seen her in so far looked like temporary accommodations, you know, abandoned places…dark places…it suits her character really.'

'Maybe she does have a house' Sumaey suggested, 'but she doesn't want you to know where it is.'

'Now there's a thought' Waltz muttered. 'It never really occurred to me before.'

'I think you should use your brain a little more' Sumaey politely notified him. 'I think you might surprise yourself.'

'Ha ha ha….' Waltz grumbled at her, before facing ahead again.

'What is the witch's name that you serve?'

'I don't know' Waltz shrugged.

'Well how old is she?'

'Her age?' Waltz gave her a look as if she had just turned green. 'What difference does that make? Why should I even care?'

'The more you now about your enemy the more chance you have to hurt them' Sumaey replied with a level frown, speaking to him as if he were a particularly stupid dog. 'What do you know about her?'

Waltz turned away, brow furrowed in thought.

'Nothing' he told her at last, 'nothing at all.'

'Oh come on' Sumaey began.

'Nothing' Waltz interrupted, speaking loudly. 'Every time I meet her she has a different appearance, a young child…an old lady…eye and hair colour and height and girth are different…even skin colour…even species…she appeared as a siren once. And every time I meet her, I do so in a different location…well……maybe meet is too much of a generous word……more like dragged before her against my will.'

Sumaey sighed wearily, crossing her arms and shrugging her shoulders.

'She is powerful then.'

'To say the least' Waltz huffed. 'I am literally like an ant to her, and she could literally crush me in the same way if she wanted.'

'If she's is really that powerful, why doesn't she do her own missions?'

'Why would you when someone else can do your dirty work for you?' Waltz replied.

'Alright' Sumaey said straightening again, 'what's the worse thing she's ever made you do?'

'I'm not talking about that.'

'Oh come on…'

'I said I'm not talking about that!'

'Fine' Sumaey said, throwing her hands in the air. 'I was only trying to help.'

'How is bringing up the most traumatic experience of my life of any help?'

'Maybe you'd feel better if you talked about it?'

'Maybe you'd feel better if you filled your mouth with sand?'

'Is that sarcasm I detect in your voice?'

'No' Waltz replied flatly. 'Maybe you should fill your mouth full of sand.'

'Oh really' Sumaey frowned crossing her arms. 'You think I'm annoying?'

'Yes.'

'You should try living with yourself.'

'Why do you always do that?' Waltz glowered looking back at her.

'What?'

'Frown like that and cross your arms. You're even like that on the cover. You could try smiling once in a while, your face won't crack I promise.'

'Hey I've got a question. Why do you have pink hair on the cover when it's actually white-blonde?'

'Beats me' Waltz shrugged.

'You look ridiculous.'

'Not as ridiculous as you look' Waltz countered, 'all scantily dressed like that…people might get the wrong impression about you.'

'Only if they have a dirty mind like you' Sumaey snapped. 'And anyway, people might get the wrong impression about you.'

'What do you mean?' Waltz asked innocently.

'With pink hair like that? People might think that you sit on the other side of the fence.'

'Oh god' Waltz said panicking now. 'Do you really think so?'

'I wonder who the others are' Sumaey wondered aloud. 'Oh well…I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.'

They walked in silence.

'Why haven't we reached the door yet?' Sumaey noted.

Waltz stopped walking suddenly, glancing up at the door.

It looked to be only a short distance away, but they hadn't gotten any closer to it.

Waltz began to walk again, then he began to walk a little faster, and then he jogged, then he ran.

He was getting no closer to the door. In fact he hadn't even left Sumaey's side, who was standing still in one spot directly behind him.

'Curious' Sumaey mused; scratching her chin as beside her Waltz began to sprint.

He tripped, then fell on his face.

'This is some powerful magic' Sumaey continued, completely ignoring Waltz as he picked himself off the floor, sweating and panting.

'Dammit' he hissed under his breath. Waltz glanced all around him. 'Hey…when did it get dark?'

Sumaey tensed slightly.

The sky above was black, and the moon shone dimly behind the clouds.

'It's night-time' Sumaey breathed. '…When…? How….?'

'Magic' Waltz murmured. 'It can get annoying sometimes.'

Sumaey sighed wearily, placing her hands upon her hips and shaking her head.

'We should try looking for another way around' Waltz told her. He began to walk. 'Oh god!' Waltz cried. 'Help! I'm not moving!'

Sumaey groaned, grabbing him by the wrist and dragging him in the opposite direction. They walked away for a few seconds without turning, then Sumaey let go of Waltz, daring to glance back, Waltz did so too. They were indeed much further away from the house than before.

'This…' Waltz said crossing his arms and he considered his options, '…is frustrating.'

'Come on' Sumaey told him quietly, 'let's have a look around. It could be the house is just a decoy.'

Waltz nodded; unfolding his arms he followed Sumaey as she headed into the surrounding wilderness.

They gazed all about them as they went.

'It sort of looks like a garden' Waltz noted, seeing patches of open ground where little flowers sprung up, 'a garden…' Waltz continued, '…in a forest.'

Sumaey paused, taking in the closed world around her.

'It's beautiful' she muttered, 'but dark…'

She turned first one way, then another. 'There' she said pointing to a shed a short distance away. It was a small and shabby looking structure, completely unremarkable in every single way.

Waltz leant forwards to get a better look at the shed, squinting in the dark.

'There?' he repeated. 'It's just an old shed.'

'Exactly' Sumaey gleamed.

'Ah' Waltz clicked his fingers as it fell into place. 'A delusion.'

Sumaey nodded once at him, before turning back towards the shed.

She led the way, as Waltz trailing after, lingered a few steps behind.

'This is the sort of thing I would do if I were a wizard' Sumaey was saying, as she reached for the door. 'Create a fake house that looks grand, and make the real thing look shabby, so that no one would want to go there.'

'Genius' Waltz breathed. 'I knew you would figure it out.'

She opened the door. Inside the shed was utterly dark. There were no walls or floor that could be seen, only blackness.

'It's a portal' Sumaey realised, letting go of the door and allowing it to swing open. 'It must lead to the actual house.'

'Ladies first?' Waltz suggested politely.

Sumaey sighed wearily at this, taking the first step forwards and quickly vanishing into the dark. Afraid of being left alone, Waltz hurried after her, in no time he was consumed by the magic, and then he began to fall.

He cried out in panic as he felt his stomach tighten, experiencing the sensation of falling.

He hit the ground thankfully not too hard, landing on soft grass in a bright world.

Waltz picked himself up, as Sumaey beside him did the same.

'Uh-oh' Waltz said as he saw the caravan before him 'We're not supposed to be here.'

'What do you mean?' Sumaey asked, brushing the grass off her clothes.

'This must be a glitch, quick, let's explore and make the most of it before it corrects itself!'

Waltz immediately ran forwards towards the caravan, past the confused looking man with a beard and into the caravan itself while Sumaey remained outside.

'Hey!' Waltz called from inside the caravan. 'There's a dead dog in here!'

Sumaey glanced about her, seeing three vehicles, one white, one gold and the other purple.

'Never mind!' Waltz called, 'it's just sleeping.'

Sumaey turned to Waltz as he ran back out of the caravan.

'Hey! Look at the size of this hamster!' Waltz said picking it up. 'I've never seen one so big!'

'I don't think that's a hamster' Sumaey told him as he held the confused-looking guinea pig. She looked up at the window of the caravan then. 'Hey look a little white cat.'

'I hate cats' Waltz said, tossing the guinea pig over his shoulder and back into its enclosure. 'Let's look at that house!' Waltz pointed suddenly, running over to it.

Inside they found three noisy dogs. Sumaey sneered in disgust as Waltz fussed over the two terriers.

'I hate noisy dogs' Sumaey muttered as the third dog; a terrified-looking spaniel cowered in the corner of the room.

'But look how cute it is!' Waltz said, picking up the jack rustle and waving it in her face.

'Ug. Kill it.'

The world began to waver around them.

'Uh-oh' Waltz said as the world began to fade. 'The story is correcting itself.'

They fell through the air again, this time landing in the correct place.

'It's fun to glimpse behind the scenes isn't it?' Waltz said happily, rising to his feet again. 'Megurine Luka is a really beautiful woman.'

Sumaey stood up, dusting herself off again and completely ignoring him.

They found themselves in a strange forest, much like the one they had just left, but it was clear at a glance they were in a different place now. There was no garden around them, no shed, no house.

Waltz tilted his head back to the sky. 'Night' he sighed, '…still….'

'Come on' Sumaey muttered beside him, taking a step forward. 'Let's start looking around. The door to the wizard's home must be here somewhere.'

Sumaey and Waltz walked slowly, doing so in silence. Several minutes later, the forest around them became sparse, until it disappeared altogether, and Waltz and Sumaey were able to see that they were in some sort of canyon.

'Strange' Sumaey noted, glancing first one way, and then the other at the tall rocks either side, 'such a strange place for a forest to grow.'

Waltz remained silent, his attention flickering up to the moon shining brightly above.

The path through the canyon began to wind.

'You know' Sumaey began with a smile, 'it's actually quite beautiful here.'

Their path opened suddenly as the canyon parted before them, to reveal the most stunning view at their feet. In the distance, thousands of tiny lights shining in the dark, was a small town, all built on stilts and bridges and platforms above a shallow sea.

'Wow' Sumaey breathed, eyes wide at the spectacle.

Beside her Waltz folded his arms, grinning widely.

'Now that is what I call true beauty.'

There was nothing other than the town before them, around which was a sea as still and calm as glass, the great moon reflecting on its mirror-surface, and nothing but a single narrow road leading from the town, far off into the horizon and out of sight.

'A railway line' Waltz noted, leaning forwards and squinting as he tried to see it clearer. 'A train passes through here.'

'Must be quite a ride.'

Sumaey glanced below them. Their path dipped sharply before them, before it led to the town; there was a dense patch of woodland, through which nothing could be seen.

'I guess the path to the town leads through the woods' Waltz noted.

Suddenly a glow began to emanate from the centre of his chest.

'Not now' Waltz hissed from between his teeth. 'Sumaey!' he said turning quickly to her, 'meet me in the town!'

It was all he was able to say to her before he vanished.

Sumaey sighed wearily, turning away and back to the path before her.

She made her way onwards, alone this time, and ventured once more into the thick of the forest as she headed to the sparkling town upon the sea.

Sumaey walked along the lonely path for several minutes, until she heard a distant sound within the woods, breaking the complete silence.

There were muffled voices, muffled calls and the sound of weapons being drawn. Whatever was going on it sounded confrontational. There was a fight happening somewhere nearby.

Sumaey hesitated then, glancing behind her for Waltz, before she remembered that he had left her.

She faced ahead again, taking a deep breath, she put a foot forwards and made her way towards the commotions, veering off the path to do so.

It was only a short distance she walked before she found the source. In an unremarkable part of the woods within the thick foliage, was a knee-high lake, disappearing back into the darkness, it was impossible to see how big it was. Within this lake were three men, soldiers by the look of them, they were fighting against a strange creature within the lake, a creature which at first glance looked to be some sort of water elemental.

It was animal-like, but stood straight like a human, with pointed ears, shaggy hair and horns. It had three clawed fingers, and very long-thin wings at the very bottom of its back, and spikes running down its spine all t

he way to its long tail. It had many rings around its body in various places, and skin that was light blue.

(For a picture please refer to the cover – he's the one with blue skin…obviously…)

Sumaey hung back for a moment, watching the scene unfold before her, she clung to the shadows.

She saw that the men were attacking the strange blue creature, which was trying desperately to defend itself. It appeared frightened, surrounded and was outnumbered; the men advanced upon it, one of them raised his sword to strike as the creature fell to his knees in defeat.

'Stop!' Sumaey called out suddenly.

The men turned around freezing, shocked to see her there.

'Who are you?' one of them demanded.

'My name is not important' Sumaey answered swiftly. 'What are you doing with that beast?'

'Who are you to make demands of us?' another spoke.

'And who are you to attack a beast so helpless?' Sumaey countered.

The three men exchanged a glance.

'He's done a lot of damage' the other man spoke, 'we set out to find and kill him to put a stop to the trouble he's been causing.'

Sumaey listened closely to these words. She looked back down to the water elemental. She didn't know if she was mistaken, but it looked as if there were tears in his eyes, and he showed the same raw and innocent fear as a child, and Sumaey felt pity for him.

She drew a deep breath, and stepped forward.

'He is mine' she spoke.

'What?'

'I said he is mine' Sumaey repeated. 'My master is a great and powerful wizard, he gave me this creature as a gift, but a nasty storm scared him off and I've been searching for him ever since.' She paused then. 'He is terrified of lightning.'

The men exchanged another glance with each other, this one confused.

'A gift?' one of the men said sceptically.

'Yes.'

'What is his name?' the other man asked suspiciously.

Sumaey glanced down at the creature who crouched low in the water, as if wanting to hide in it.

'Spirit' she said at last. 'His name is Spirit, and he is mine.'

The creature gazed up at her with wide eyes, wearing a strange expression that looked suspiciously close to admiration and awe.

'He is your pet?' one of the men said.

'If you want to call it that' Sumaey said. 'He is very dear to me. Please, don't hurt him….'

The men hesitated.

'Fine' the leading man said sheathing his sword. 'But if we see you again and you're causing any trouble' he said casting a dark glare down at the elemental, 'I swear that if we catch you again we will kill you. Your master saved you this time…don't ever come back.'

The elemental crouched fearfully under the man's stare, body hunched submissively.

'I mean what I say' the man spoke loudly to Sumaey as the men either side of him sheathed their own weapons too. 'If we catch him causing trouble again, there will be no second chance.'

'I understand' Sumaey bowed low. 'Thank you for your kindness…it won't happen again I promise.'

'See that it doesn't' the man replied.

Sumaey turned to the elemental then.

'Come on Spirit' she spoke softly. 'Come here…it's alright…'

The elemental exchanged one last fearful glance towards the men, before slinking away from them, moving on his hands and knees in a crouched position through the water and towards her.

He reached the edge of the lake where he stopped, gazing up at as he knelt before her.

Seemingly satisfied by this gesture the men moved out of the lake, walking briskly away, their eyes lingering on the two before their silhouettes were swallowed by the darkness.

Sumaey gave a heavy sigh once they had gone, and the sounds of their footsteps had faded.

'That was dangerous' she said, 'I could have been hurt or even killed by them.'

She turned back to the elemental who knelt silently before her.

'What trouble have you been causing?' she asked him, but he only stared up at her in wide eyed silence.

Sumaey looked back into his face. One of his eyes looked as if it were tattooed, with a heavy black outline all around it, with a sharp black line running down his cheek from his lower eye-lid, beside which were two black dots side by side.

'You're a strange creature' she said to him, before turning away to abandon him there.

It was then that the creature spoke to her.

'Love.'

She turned back.

'What?'

'Love' he said again.

She gave him a peculiar expression, confused at the word he had chosen to speak to her first.

'Go back to where you came from' she told the elemental. 'I have my own business.'

She took a step backwards, watching to see what he would do next, but this time he didn't move, and he didn't speak.

'Don't cause any more trouble' Sumaey told him as she turned and walked away, 'I won't be there next time to save you.'

She walked away, leaving him to his fate, leaving him to fend for himself again.

Once she had gone, the elemental spoke another word, a single word.

'Kindness…' he said.

Sumaey left the creature alone, making her way once more towards the strange town. She found the path again and continued on her way. It was only a few minutes walk from there until she reached the entrance to the town. There was a great sign above the road, welcoming all visitors to the town, and directly beside the long path built within an arm's reach from the water on a long wooden platform, was a railway line. It stretched out of the woods Sumaey had just come from, but leading from a different direction. From where Sumaey stood she could see a tunnel through the foot of the canyon where the tracks followed, to places unknown.

Sumaey considered it only briefly, before turning and looking ahead again.

There were a few strange characters around her, but it was mostly quiet at the entrance to the town. Within however, even from where she stood, Sumaey could see the crowds, jostling for space upon the wooden platforms, some sitting in boats upon the water for more space, some even upon the wicker rooftops of the smaller buildings.

Everyone was laughing and smiling, everyone seemed happy.

'Welcome to the attraction!' a young man on stilts declared to Sumaey, striding up to her. 'Please, laugh and eat and be happy!'

He leant a little too far back, waving his arms comically like a windmill, he toppled backwards towards the ground, only to be caught by several figures who happened to be in the right place at the right time.

'Thank you my friends!' the strange man declared. 'It seems I am in your debt!'

They pushed him back up, the man wobbling precariously as he was lifted into the air once more and back to his feet. Once he was standing again, the crowd cheered, waving at him, many holding tiny little flags brightly coloured high in the air.

'Welcome!' the stilted man said to Sumaey once more as if it was for the first time. 'Welcome to our home!'

As she watched, a second man appeared, falling from somewhere high up and unravelling himself from a great sheet of silk.

'We think you will like it there' the second man told Sumaey, hanging suspended in the air as he grasped the long cloth expertly with strong hands and feet. 'Our home is a wonderful place filled with joy and good food. Please, please experience it.'

Sumaey couldn't help but smile at the two, even laugh a little at their antics.

'What peculiar folk I find here' Sumaey said, first glancing at one man, and then the other.

'Peculiar' said the suspended man, 'but wonderful…'

'And kind…' added the stilted man, producing a bouquet of slightly squashed tulips from the inside of his red velvet jacket.

Sumaey took the flowers gratefully, her smile widening in amusement.

The stilted man bowed awkwardly to her as the suspended man gave a flourish of his hand, before swiftly climbing back up the silk. Sumaey watched him go, before turning back to the stilted man, now walking away from her in his great strides.

Sumaey grinned to herself, taking her first step forwards onto the wooden path. It was only a few steps she walked until another figure approached her, a man dressed in vibrant colours and dyed hair and a heavily painted face.

He took the flowers from Sumaey, scrunching them up in his hands and cupping them to his lips. He breathed over them, tossing them into the air quickly. The scrunched up petals of the tulips had swiftly changed into many little dragonflies made of glowing red light, they fluttered and danced away, flying low over the glassy sea, their beautiful reflections beside that of the moon upon the water. Sumaey laughed out loud at this, and the man grinning widely bowed low to her, tipping his brightly coloured hat, before moving on.

'I think…' Sumaey muttered quietly to herself as she breathed in the sweet and salty air around her, '…I am going to like it here very much.'

Far away in some unknown and unremarkable place, Waltz trudged through muck that reached up to his knees.

His mood was sour, and he grumbled to himself as he moved along.

'….I hate everything…'

Sumaey moved into the heart of the town made of lights. Hanging within every shop, on strings over the heads of the moving crowd and on the top of every building, were little glass jars, shining brightly of many colours. On closer inspection of one of these jars, Sumaey discovered that each jar contained a little fairy, pretty and happy little creatures they were. One of them waved to her merrily, and she smiled back.

'Hey pretty lady!' a voice called to her. 'Come to my bar and let me give you a drink!'

Sumaey turned, seeing through the crowd a podgy man waving at her.

'I haven't any money' she told him flatly.

'Don't be silly' the man laughed at her. 'It's free! Everything is free here! Come and sit. What's a pretty lady like you doing alone?'

Sumaey moved across the wooden path, weaving slowly between the bodies as she stepped closer to the man.

'I am waiting for a friend' she told him.

'What better place to wait then at a bar, with a drink?!' the man sang happily to her, pulling forth several bottles and mixing them in a large beaker.

He poured this beaker into a smaller glass. Sumaey saw there bright pink and bubbly liquid.

'What is it?' she asked curiously.

'We call it Heaven's Taste. It's sweet yet with a sharp bite. Try it! I think you'll find it delicious. Everyone does!'

Sumaey took the glass, bowing her head she smelt the liquid. It indeed had a sharp scent to it as the man said, yet something delicate alongside.

Sumaey brought it to her lips, taking a small sip.

'Oh goodness' she said, hand going to her mouth. 'It's delicious.'

The barman simply grinned at her, picking up one of the wet glasses he had recently washed and drying it.

'Stay here as long as you need' he told her, 'and drink as much as you want.'

Sumaey leant forwards on the bar, resting on her elbows and swirling the liquid in the glass with a hand.

'I wonder what Waltz is doing now?' she mumbled to herself.

At that particular moment, in the area that Waltz happened to be, it conveniently started to rain.

'Oh great' Waltz grumbled under his breath. 'Bloody perfect. Just what I needed about now.'

He clambered awkwardly up the rocky slope before him, the mud causing him to slip several times. It was a precarious climb, and he regretfully dared himself to glance down to the fall below him.

His stomach churned, and he began to feel a little sick.

Waltz sighed wearily, continuing his ascent to top of the rocky hill.

It was several hours later when Waltz returned to the place he had been taken from. As usual however, he was not as gracefully placed in the exact same location as he had vanished from.

There were several people on the edge of the bright town looking out at the sea when they saw a figure suddenly appear in the air several feet above the water. His brief wail was cut short as he fell like a stone, landing ungracefully in the water. Picking himself up, he made his way towards the town.

Several of the people backed away as he hauled himself up onto the wooden platform. Some were a little nervous of his sudden appearance, others were downright amused.

The mud had been cleaned from him when he fell into the water, and many whisperings would circulate through the town quickly after that, all muttering about the white-blonde haired man that had fallen from the sky.

It was the rumours about Waltz's sudden appearance that reached Sumaey first, before the actual man did.

'Oh there you are' she said to him, after he had been randomly wandering the town for several hours, hoping to stumble across Sumaey eventually. 'Is it true you fell from the sky?'

Waltz took a seat sullenly next to Sumaey, leaning forwards on the bar.

'Yeah' he grumbled miserably at her. 'That witch has a sense of humour that suits her alone.'

Sumaey passed a drink to him, and Waltz took it gratefully.

He sipped the pink bubbly liquid.

'Hmmm' he said. 'This is really nice. It's delicious in fact.'

'Yeah' Sumaey beamed. 'That's what I said when I first tried it.'

He turned to her, resting his chin on his palm.

'So how do we find this door to the wizard's home' he said.

Sumaey smirked then. 'You know I completely forgot about that.'

'What even is this place?' Waltz mumbled to himself, leaning back in his chair and taking in the scenes around them, the happy people, the lights, the bright colours.

'I don't know' Sumaey replied meekly. 'But I do know this……it is beautiful here. I almost don't want to leave.'

'Yeah' Waltz said leaning over his drink. 'I feel the same. Hopefully the witch won't summon me again in ages.' He stared down at the bubbles in the glass. 'What a pain' he grumbled. 'I wish I'd never met her.'

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