Once they were back to the capital, Jonathan spent some time with Aderes and Chester, talking privately to keep others from overhearing their plans. Unfortunately, Emlyn and Millan had already left to go back. There was a temporary alliance to keep the subjugated countries in power, the states, rather than the central government in Pinscher. Besides, the sanctions were clearly for the purpose of restriction, to cripple, as opposed to anything of worth gained from them.
The three friends talked a bit more about their plans to investigate, and agreed to avoid the grave site until they knew more or brought their source there. With the time that had passed since the resurrection, all the clues at the site were likely gone. They did have some information as Chester had tried to remember some of the symbols and wrote them down when he was on his way to Lembroke. Jonathan, strangely, found he could understand the symbols. They were about life, death, rebirth, soul, and consciousness.
Jonathan narrowed his eyes and walked over to the door. He saw Aderes reach for her spear as he swiftly unlocked and pulled the door open. “You two, inside,” he dryly ordered.
Bas and Joseph came in. The prince tried to hide his anxiety by all but strutting inside. Bas jutted out his chin and stuck his hands in his pant pockets. On the other hand, the scholar shuffled in and his shoulders were hunched together. Joseph seemed smaller than Bas, but that was simply because he was doing his best to disappear into the ground.
“How much did you hear?” Aderes questioned. She hadn’t leveled her spear at the two teenagers, but it was still in her hands.
Bas exchanged a quick look with Joseph, but didn’t answer.
L’ua, perched on Bas’ head, spoke up. He had his wings spread out. “We heard something about necromancy.”
Jonathan stared at Bas and L’ua, then Joseph. “You told him.”
“Yes?” Bas chuckled, nervous. “It was actually quite funny. They argued about a lot of things, and never really came to a conclusion. L’ua is really interested in anthropology and Joseph is an actual, licensed scholar even though he’s younger than me. I’m going to teach L’ua how to send letters later.”
“Alright, alright. I’m Chester, I’m undead now.” He got up and walked over, smiling at them. “And you must be L’ua the dragon.”
Another hour or so of conversation passed and Jonathan was ready to go. The last train of the night was leaving soon and they would need some time in Malamut before the celebration. It wasn’t too hard to bundle Bas and L’ua off and onto a horse, despite the cold wind from the higher mountains that started to run through the valley.
Jonathan double checked their passes when he, Bas, Oceton, and L’ua arrived at the station. He only had two, but the non-humans with them wouldn’t be counted.
L’ua was staring at the station around them with glee. His excitement was only compounded by the arrival of the train.
Jonathan looked at Bas meaningfully, making sure that the prince would keep an eye on the dragon. He did not want to have to look for a dragon, small or large, amidst the crowd.
They somehow made it onto the train without issue.
L’ua did, however, demand a tour of the cars from Bas. This also, surprisingly, didn’t result in an uproar. There was one uproar on the train that resulted right before they were in Celtie. The small amount of arson that occurred was not something Jonathan approved of, yet he did help with it.
Most of the time in the cabin: L’ua and Bas talked, and Jonathan read one of the novels from Aderes’ collection. Jonathan quite enjoyed this arrangement.
“Horses are noble creatures. Do you think they would be like cousins of mine?” L’ua asked.
Jonathan looked at them skeptically as he pulled the cabin window open. It was a lost cause to correct them at this point. He opened his book again and took comfort in the fact that if anyone were to overhear, they would assume it’s a child talking to his pet; if they realized there was another voice responding, then Jonathan could easily claim the eavesdropper was imagining it.
“How old are you?”
L’ua tilted his head. “I am about 67, but in comparison to a human age span, perhaps 16 or 17.”
“Really? I’m 16.”
Jonathan put a bookmark in his book as Bas and L’ua argued about who was technically older. He sighed as he stared out of the open window. Somehow, he was surrounded by children in this world. The man wasn’t sure if there was a weird habit he had gotten, or some sort of curse had passed to him. More realistically, he knew that it was because he had started following in Micah’s footsteps, this sort of thing was what happened when one helped others, particularly brats with a lack of positive role models.
“Jonathan, something wrong?”
“No, nothing.” Jonathan sighed and opened his book again.
Once the two humans and two creatures got to Celtie’s capital, they got off the train and stopped at a small cafe. The horses were tied outside.
Bas was already in the midst of a whispered conversation with L’ua about what to buy. He tended towards sweets, while L’ua seemed to want to try something spicy. Fortunately, Bas was more than rich enough for both of them to be happy.
Jonathan put his hand in his coat pocket. His fingers hit a thin piece of paper; the ink on it had been worn away and it had been creased from being folded into a small square. “I need to go do something quickly. Just stay in the cafe while I’m gone.”
The younger two didn’t seem concerned at this announcement. Bas nodded towards Jonathan and went back to arguing with L’ua.
Jonathan glanced around the nice, glass windowed cafe———which seemed to be used to a clientele of merchants and nobility———before going back onto the streets. He pulled his red coat tighter around himself as the rain poured down from above.
I’m declaring the first official fanday to be Saturday June 24th, 2023. Here’s a link to the twitter post that contains information and rules for the event: https://twitter.com/TheSilverHunt3r/status/1657446101539074055
What is the best flavor of ice pop?