Monday, October 3, 2016

City of Curses: Night of Fire 1



Olain tossed the book aside.  "You wrote a lot of these."

"I still do."  I looked up from my parchment.

My younger sister didn't like books.  She didn't like to read.  She tapped her fists on the table.

"Olain, you're bored."  I observed.  I would've asked, but I knew that look on her face.

"Maralda..."  Olain shrugged.  "I don't know.  Papa keeps insisting I spend time with you."

I tried not to grit my teeth at that word.  I distrusted my father.  The Inculti Vampyre seemed to procreate at the same rate only some rodents could match.  Olain, yet another

Inculti dhampyr.  One with just the Inculti name, not the Tyranus cognomen.

This generation, they seemed to be shaking off the old Tomasi tradition for the sake of something new.
 

"I've noticed it."  I continued to look over my writing.  Editing.  Proofreading.  My hands looked the same as they always had.  Yet I still forgot key words in sentences.  Worse, I'd never kicked my habit of using the same verbose words over and over.

"Well..."  Olain peered
 over my shoulder.  Her darker skin reminded me of her Ramelin mother.  "There was this fight the other night."

"You do that a lot."  I didn't look up.  The girl seemed to gravitate to fights the same way I'd fled the Blood Quarter in my youth.  Except I did it to write stories.  Olain did it because the girl seemed addicted to fighting across the Bridge, in New Crux.

"Someone said something the other night, it made me think."

"Dangerous."

"Ha ha."  Olain's voice grew a bit serious.  "The Old Prince, he treated Sorcerous and Dirters equally, didn't he?"

I paused.

"He didn't do anything about it either."

"Well, I..."  Olain paused.  "A Dirter told me that the New Prince gave all the Dirters rights."

"More or less.  What are you getting at?"

"What happened to the Old Prince?  And... er...  the Delver..."

"Spit it out, Olain."  I looked up from my editing.

"You were there, right?  The Delver really can't kill anyone she wants, right?"  Olain didn't meet my eyes.  There was guilt there.

"I'm curious why you ask."

"She didn't seem very happy when I mentioned it."  Olain admitted.

"You told-"  I paused, collected my thoughts.  "You insulted the Delver of Ranza Island?  Why were you there?"

"There might've been some cider after the bout, and a dare to collect some Ranzites-"

"Olain, I never tried to get into the troubles you seem to make for yourself.  The Delver isn't someone you want to be your enemy."

"Maralda... She just seemed like a cranky halfling.  She couldn't take a joke."  Olain paused.  "And I think I ran pretty fast after saying she couldn't kill me like she did the Old Prince."

"Ugh."  I put my head on my desk.

"What?"

"Fine.  We're going to Ranza, then I'll tell you want happened."

Olain looked at me shocked.

"No!  That crazy halfling witch will turn me into glass!"

I tried to suppress my frustration.  "You want to learn about the Night of Fire, what happened twenty years ago?  Or do you want me to keep editing my papers?"

Olain let out a puff of air.

"Between the cranky halfling costing me three sphinxes and this, I kinda wish I'd stayed home with Papa."  Olain complained.

"Me too."  I added.