A Willing Abjurer Chapter 27: Old Friends Catch Up

There was a meadow with a large tree stump nearby. Jonathan led them there.

They still needed to talk about their game plan, but it was also important for Chester and Aderes to have a break after riding over from Malamut.

They sat down in the meadow, grass tickling their ankles. Wild flowers stuck together in large clusters, only a few wilted from yesterday’s sun.

Jonathan popped the cork on the bottle. He hadn’t chosen the hard cider, as the three still needed to be able to function.

“What have you been doing out here?” Aderes asked. She had pulled her skirt up with a belt for riding, and the clothing bunched around her thighs after she sat down.

“I’ve been working as a lumberjack out here. I can sell wood for a decent amount. There’s no one else who is a full-time logger on the mountain.”

Chester had been glancing at the scenery around them. He hadn’t really gone this far into the forest as a kid. When he heard the last part, he immediately stared at Jonathan with worry. His smile had fallen straight into a frown. “What happened to my dad?” There was a sense of underlying urgency in his tone.

“Your parents are both fine,” Jonathan assured. He started pouring the cider out. “Your father decided to be a carpenter. It’s better on his back.”

Chester let out a sigh of relief. “He always complained about his back,” he muttered. “What about mom?”

“She’s been working with your dad.”

“She always loved designing.” Chester downed his cup and sprawled out in the grass. He took another breath, letting it fill his lungs. The puncture wound in his stomach was gone, but he still felt like he could feel it sometimes.

“What is it?” Aderes asked.

“I should go visit them sometime, shouldn’t I.”

“You should,” Jonathan agreed.

“I’m not sure how to.” Chester sat up, his back towards his two friends. He cupped his drink in two hands.

“Most people don’t have to explain that they aren’t actually dead,” Aderes bluntly said. “You’ll figure out how you want to approach them.”

Chester hated how uncertain he sounded. “Will you two come with me when I go over there?”

“Of course.”

Chester looked over his shoulder, at his two best friends who had agreed in unison to help him face it. “Thanks…”

“Do you have any idea of when you would want to?”

“Not now. Maybe after we find a way to stop Ciley from being brought back.”

“Okay,” Aderes said and awkwardly opened her arms.

Jonathan sighed and opened his arms as well.

Chester squished his two friends into a hug. After a bit, he let go. He was definitely not trying to hold back tears as he desperately changed the subject. “What have you been up to, Aderes? I didn’t really see you much at the banquet.”

“Meetings with dignitaries and councils. There’s far too many trade agreements between Lembroke that I have to know about, or I might make some grave blunder.”

“How bad?” Jonathan questioned.

“The worst case would be war. If tariffs aren’t negotiated, possible starvation of some of my people. If agreements aren’t renewed or created, also possible starvation.”

“You’ve had to study a lot more,” Chester pointed out. “I wouldn’t drop by your office often, but I heard that old maid talking about how you used to only take breaks for classes or training your spear.”

“I had to study.” Aderes threw her second cup of cider back and poured herself a third. Her tone was somehow both defensive and quiet, like a prickly animal trying it’s best not to be noticed. “I needed to learn diplomacy, as was so brutally pointed out by both of you a long time ago. I didn’t know how to manage anything about economics or trying to keep the nobility in check.”

“I was in the streets before, and now. You’ve done a good job,” Jonathan complimented.

The silence took over for a bit, then Chester started to explain some of what he’d been up to in his undead life. He had been writing some songs; he only wrote the melodies, not the final lyrics. He had finally accepted he wasn’t a good lyricist and read a book or two back in Lembroke about lyrics. The undead bard wasn’t allowed to gamble, but he still snuck out to cheat people out of money sometimes.

Aderes and Jonathan found nothing about the last part particularly surprising. They were only slightly complimentary that Chester hadn’t gotten himself outed as an undead.

“Oh right, undead!” Chester exclaimed. He had suddenly remembered the main reason they were all there. “Who is this informant?”

“He’s a florist-”

“What,” Aderes flatly said.

“Let me finish,” Jonathan replied, irritated by the impatient judgement. “He’s a florist who sells flowers that never die.”

“That…” Aderes trailed off. She furrowed her eyebrows.

Chester hummed. “It’s not a weird knack?”

“I don’t think so.”

“If you’re wrong, we’re going to have to go find another necromancer,” Aderes warned. She put her cup on the tree stump.

Jonathan poured himself and Aderes another drink. “It’s currently our best hope. If I’m wrong, then we can go find another.”

“You’re saying go find another like it’s effortless,” Aderes said. “Necromancers don’t just fall from the sky when you want them to.”

They had a terrible feeling, like they had jinxed themselves, and quickly glanced at the branches above them.

Jonathan muttered something, relieved. He picked up his cup and took another sip of the cold cider.

They had already drunk half the bottle of cider. A cold drink on a summer day was always appreciated.

Aderes brushed some leaves off her dress as she stood up. “How far away is the florist?”

“His name is Marcus Varn and his place is only about a half hour ride.”

Chester stood up. “Food first?”

“Food first,” Aderes agreed.

“I already was planning on going back for lunch.” Jonathan was a bit confused. “Do you really think I would have had us just skip eating?”

“I think you can get . . . caught up in whatever you’re doing,” Chester tactfully said.

Aderes nodded, despite being guilty of the same thing at times. She picked up the bottle of cider, and passed Chester the cups.

“This is two to one and it’s unfair.”

“We want to eat,” Aderes shot back. “Start moving.”

Jonathan sighed.

The two friends dragged Jonathan to his feet, and the three walked back to the lumberjack’s home.


Reminder about first official fanday: Saturday June 24th, 2023. Check the carrd out above, or go to this twitter thread: https://twitter.com/TheSilverHunt3r/status/1657446101539074055

New updated version of An Unwilling Prince available! includes an unreleased short story https://ko-fi.com/s/ee384ebab2 (If you already bought version 1, I will happily send you a link to the short story)

If you want to see art of Biscuit eating a biscuit, click here or use this link: https://ko-fi.com/i/IX8X1LVAFS

<< Previous Chapter | Index | Next Chapter >>


About Ren

Writer of An Unwilling Prince. Longtime reader, fanfic writer, artist, and animator. Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/thesilverhunt3r Tumblr: https://anunwillingprince.tumblr.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *