Listless Vice skipped through a thick book with a dark brown cover before closing it with a loud smack and placing it a pile of books that was balancing on the small table next to her. This one wasn’t good either. Flashing her red eyes up to the shelf again she examined the rest of the books that were stored there. Most of them were clothed in a jacket of dust that must have taken at least a year to grow. With her finger raised she glided along the books until she found another title that captured her interest.
Amn Saecla. (Races of Amn)
Quickly she scanned the index and skipped past Elves, Dwarfs and Beastkin to find the pages about Inuiks. A frown appeared in her forehead as she read the content of the article. While reading she strolled backwards and kicked a chair back so that she could sit down on it. The chair was pretty dusty too, but Vice didn’t care about that now. She placed her legs on the table, unintentionally hitting the enormous pile of books that was still trying to stay balanced, making it fall over and land with a lot of noise on the ground.
Hurriedly the owner of the dusty library came running to the noise. Even though he was an elf his face as bleak and bloated, his eyes small and watery, his back crooked like he was carrying a heavy loath. He clearly spent too much time in the pub.
‘Is everything all right m’am?’ His voice was weak, just like the man self.
Irritated that she had been interrupted by her reading Vice looked up. Frightened under the glance of her red eyes, which seemed to glow up in the dusty and dark library, the man backed away slightly.
‘Yeah, yeah, fine.’ Vice waved the man away while turning back to her book. Sighing she flipped through the pages. She halted briefly by one of the pictures of the anatomy of an Inuik and examined how the wings were attached to the back.
The man eyed her wearily, but didn’t move away. Maybe he was afraid to leave her with his books or perhaps he was just too scared to move. It was that Vice couldn’t enter the library without him otherwise she would just have forced the door open. But things weren’t always easy. This library held a spell over it that defended it against unwanted visitors. Without the owner Vice couldn’t deactivate this spell and would she find a closed door or maybe not even a door at all, she wasn’t sure. There were more libraries with this trait as it served for a good protection. Knowledge was dangerous, especially in the hands of those that did not quite understand it. The problem with this spell was only that if the owner died without naming an heir the library could get lost forever. The library in Nayru probably held another method.
Turning more pages Vice halted briefly by a description of the merpeople, but the book didn’t seem to know much about them. That was a shame. Closing it with a smack resulted in a cloud of dust in her face. She sneezed, rubbed her nose and placed to book on the now empty table (the rest of the books were still on the ground). Then she stood up again and walked back to the shelf under the observing eyes of the owner.
She knew that he probably tried to figure out what she was up to, but that he was to afraid to ask. It was clear that the library wasn’t that popular by the local people, perhaps because of the small collection of books or the fact that a more proper and bigger library was not too far away.
She kneeled and looked on the lowest shelves. The books weren’t sorted by name or author or anything at all, which was very frustrating, but also had it good sides. When everything was a mess you most of the time found something you did not expect to see. Not that she expected that much in such a poor library, but, hey, if there was anything that Vice learned the last fifty years than it was that everything was possible. Yet it seemed that this trip had been a waste of her time. Sure, that last book was pretty decent, but the rest utterly failed to intrigue her.
She rose back on her feet and looked over her shoulder to the man who was still considering his options: walking away or staying.
The man’s eyes shot towards her.
Vice rolled her own eyes. ‘Is it safe to say that these are all the books in the library? You don’t have any others that are kept elsewhere or are borrowed at the moment?’
The man thought about this for a moment. ‘There are two out at the moment.’ His creaky voice sounded hollow in the quiet room. ‘One of them being –‘
‘I found something.’
The man’s sentence was cut short by a dark red fairy that had suddenly appeared above the man’s shoulder. The man, who wasn’t at all prepared for that, jumped up and scoffed to the side.
‘What did you find?’ Vice asked curious. Nyx was a rather solemn fairy that tended to sound a bit depressive. She wouldn’t comment on something unless it was worth commenting on. This was actually fine with Vice, who talked enough for the two of them most of the time.
‘ “Summoning from the Abyss” ’ Nyx was also always very straight to the point.
Vice mouth fell open. ‘That can’t be true.’ She said. ‘There is no way that Voco e Vorago is here.’
‘I never said it was Voco e Vorago. I said it was called Summoning from the Abyss.’ Nyx floated over to Vice.
‘You are aware of the fact that the translation of Voco e Vorago is Summoning from the Abyss, yes?'
‘I am.’ Nyx stated. ‘But this is not Voco e Vorage. It is Summoning from the Abyss.’
Vice sighed. Sometimes Nyx was even worse than she was when it came to being perky. ‘Show me.’
‘This way.’ Nyx spread her small wings and lead Vice to the back of the building. The man strolled after them. In the back was a door, hidden behind some piles of books.
‘Eh, that place is private, m’am.’ The man tried to comment.
Vice shot a glance to him as Nyx hovered before a small hole in the door through which she had probably entered.
Askari in the mean time did his best to find the main square. He had ended up paying for both his and Vice her drinks back at the tavern and he had the feeling that Vice had somehow made him pay those drinks without her being actually there. Slightly pissed now he strolled through the streets of Monark careful not to trip over stones again. He was sure that if he managed to fall again Vice would be there behind him and she would laugh. Loud.
Now is it a fact that most Beastkin have a good sense of direction. Why this is, isn’t exactly knows. Most of the researchers stated that it was because of their beastlike appearance that made their instincts come out more.
Askari is probably the only known exception to this trait. His direction skills were far below average which had let too many hilarious (from Vice’s side) and irritating (from Askari’s side) situations in the past. Askari knew that Vice knew that he had a bad sense of direction and he also knew that she knew that he knew that she knew that. It was irritating to say at least. She had left him alone in an unknown and (very) big city probably while knowing that he would get lost. Still she had done it. He was so going to kill her. He could hear her voice already:
‘You got lost? How? I told you exactly where you had to be.’
And he could see her smirk already. He was so not going to let that happen.
Still it happened.
How it exactly happened was not clear, at least not to him, but the fact was that an hour later he still hadn’t found the main square and he was currently staring at a sloppy old road with sloppy old houses filled with sloppy old furniture if there was any furniture at all. The stone road had ended long ago.
With a twitching brow he looked back to where he came from, but the view wasn’t different. How had he ended up here in the first place? He should have noticed that the stone road changed into a sandy one? Grunting he turned around and trudged back. If he just could revisit all the steps he had set than he should come by the same tavern from which he started, should he not?
‘Is something the matter, sir?’
Quickly Askari turned to the side and his catlike eyes narrowed while they glided over a dark elf in sloppy old clothes. Arg! He thought irritated. Everything here is sloppy and old!
‘Actually yes, there is.’ He said turning to the elf unaware of the red eyes behind him. ‘You don’t happen to know where the main square is, do ya? I think I’m lo... lo...’ He cursed under his breath. Vice made him say this, it was all her fault. ‘I’m lost.’ He finished.
The red eyes of the dark elf flickered. ‘I’m sure I can help you find your way.’ He said holding out a hand.
Relieved Askari shook it. ‘Thanks, you don’t know how much that means to me. So, which way?’
‘Just follow me.’ The elf said still holding Askari’s hand as he pulled him towards an even small street. ‘I know a shortcut.’
And eager Askari followed.