Crossbreeds Part 2: Chapter 29 A New Charm by RedPhantom ()
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Nim led Shay and Jaidu to Ann’s lab and laid Remtani on the worktable. Then, he shut the door. Jaidu seemed uncomfortable with that, but Shay seemed to trust him.
“Princess Ann has this place shielded. No one can scry us. No one can transport in. The only way in is through that door. Prince Remtani will be out for a few hours. Princess Ann will be back before that. Now, let me see that charm.”
“I found all the pieces,” Jaidu said as she dumped them into his hands. She matched a bead with each finger and nodded. “Yep, all of them.”
Nim wondered if she could count. There were only five beads. He had found most humans outside the nobility didn’t put much effort into educating their kids, usually only focusing on what they needed to know to carry on the family’s trade. But, they could usually count to five.
“Oh, you’re bleeding!” Jaidu exclaimed.
Nim saw the blood on his hand and wondered where it had come from. He rolled up his sleeve. Sure enough, there was a cut on his arm. The burn he had gotten years ago had caused too much nerve damage for him to feel it.
“That looks deep,” Jaidu said. He was surprised she hadn’t reacted to the burn scar. Most people did. Instead, she turned to Shay, whispering something. They seem to be arguing a bit. Finally, Shay gave her something which she in turn gave to Nim. It was a healing potion.
“This was supposed to get rid of the bruises so Prince Remmy wouldn’t know that Father hit me, but I think you need it more. Besides, Prince Remmy saw what my father was doing.”
“Thank you. We can replace this for you. Andy just made a batch.” He put some directly on the wound and drank the rest.
He then examined the bracelet. The cord had been cut. That destroyed the spell. If the knot had just come undone, it was possible that putting the thing back together might have restored the spell, but not now. Why would anyone cut it though? It’s not as though it had any value, just five simple wooden beads on a cord.
“Can it be fixed?” Jaidu asked.
Nim shook his head. “I’m afraid not.”
“What are we going to do?”
“Make a new one,” Nim said.
“I don’t know how,” Jaidu said.
Nim smiled. “That’s okay. I don’t have the strength to cast that spell. We can get the stuff ready for Princess Ann, okay?” Jaidu nodded.
Nim helped Ann design this lab and used it occasionally, so he knew where stuff was. He gave Jaidu a new cord. “Put the beads on here,” he told her. While she did that, he found the supplies Ann would need. There weren’t many.
Then, they waited. While they waited, Jaidu asked him questions about his relationship with Joanne and about Baj-tisk. Shay seemed to think she might be pestering Nim, but he didn’t mind.
He wondered how his own daughters might compare. He decided quite differently. Growing up in Sen-gan or even Baj-tisk, they wouldn’t be as sheltered. They’d be educated. That was, of course, assuming he ever had any.
Ann and Andy came shortly.
“How’s the arm?” He asked Ann.
“Good as new. What about yours?”
“It’ll never be like new, but the cut’s gone.”
“Did you even know you’d been stabbed?” Andy asked.
Nim shook his head. “Not until Jaidu said something. We owe her a healing potion.”
Andy nodded. “I’ll make sure they get some.”
“What happened?” Ann asked, turning to Jaidu.
She hesitated, looking at Shay. Shay gestured that she should answer the question.
“My father hit me and Prince Remmy was trying to get him to stop. He had my father by the shirt. Then, the bracelet came apart, and Prince Remmy told me to get Prince Andy,” Jaidu said.
“The cord on the bracelet was cut,” Nim said. “It’s useless. Jaidu and I started making a new one, but I can’t cast that spell.” As a mage, he wasn’t very strong. It was his Augmenter abilities that allowed him to cast many of the more powerful spells. He couldn’t use augmented magic to make this charm though.
Ann nodded. “I can do it.”
Shay stepped forward. She made a few gestures to Jaidu who translated. “She wants to help.”
“Thanks,” Ann smiled. “I made the last one. I can do it again.”
“No,” Shay said. “Remove spell.”
“No one can remove it,” Ann said. “Most can’t even see it.”
“Not see. Feel. Sensitive,” Shay whispered. To Nim, it reminded him of talking with Drepal.
“I worked with… someone, once. Before…” She gestured to her collar. “Special tricks to feel… hidden spells.”
“Let us discuss it,” Ann said. She took the other two into the study and cast the spell to prevent eavesdropping.
“Is this a good idea?” Nim asked. “We’d have to remove her collar.”
“And that’s bad?” Ann frowned.
“She’s collared for a reason,” Nim said.
“Yeah, because they’re cruel and don’t trust magic,” Ann argued. “Nim, they tried to collar you for scrying your chosen. Kamlia told my dad to collar me.”
“What if she does try to cause a problem?” Andy asked.
“Unless she’s an immortal, I can shield her. If she is immortal, I have two Augmenters to help me.”
Nim growled. He had been her mentor and didn’t like it when she was over confident.
“She’s not immortal. If she was, she could have freed herself,” Ann pointed out.
There was a knock at the door. Ann answered it and admitted Emeton.
“I leave for one morning and the shades might have come. What in the world happened?” He demanded.
“Kamlia was beating Jaidu. Remtani stepped in to protect her. He lost his charm and attacked Kamlia. He’s under a sleep spell in my lab.”
“And how did you break your arm?” Not much got past Emeton these days.
“Remmy did it. I made him think I was Andy so Andy could get close. He saw through the spell and broke my arm so Andy would have to let go. Nim drained him, and Remtani stabbed him, but he’s fine too.”
“That reminds me. I should get Jaidu that potion,” Andy said and hurried out.
“What potion?” Emeton asked.
“Jaidu gave Nim a potion for his arm. We said we’d replace it for her bruises. Shay won’t let her near Shunati.”
Emeton nodded. “So, can we not replace the charm?”
“We can,” Ann said.
“Then why aren’t we?”
“Shay said she might be able to help us remove the spell. But, she’d have to be uncollared.”
“So do it. That’s barbaric anyhow.” Although Emeton was a mage, he wasn’t strong enough to receive burns from eta-vie. But he still didn’t like how it felt. He couldn’t imagine what it would be like for a stronger mage.
“Let me contact Dae and have her send Sapphire over to open the locks. They look too difficult for me to pick and I don’t think Mom would want Kamlia to know of her past.”
“Sapphire’s here already. She brought the kids for some lessons. I haven’t found Pt’this so they’re probably upstairs.” Emeton told her. When Pt’this lived in the palace, he had a suite of rooms above Ann’s. They were still his to use as needed.
Pt’this? Are you with Sapphire? Ann sent. He growled in reply. He hated being interrupted.
We need her in my lab as soon as possible to remove Shay’s collar.
Give us a moment, and she’ll be down.
“They should be down shortly,” Ann said.
Moments later they appeared in the study. Andy walked in at that time and bumped into them. “Signal, will you?”
“What’s going on?” Pt’this asked. He watched Andy give Jaidu a healing potion.
Ann explained the situation again. Sapphire went to the lab.
“These locks are normal metal,” Sapphire observed. “They aren’t spelled are they?”
“Not anymore,” Andy said simply.
Sapphire nodded and started working on the locks. Pt’this hovered as always.
“Give me room,” Sapphire insisted. Pt’this backed up less than a step. She glared at him.
“Can we get this done before he wakes up and stabs me again?” Nim requested.
“You didn’t disarm him?” Pt’this asked.
“Of course I did, but I disarmed him the last time too, and he still got a hold of a knife.”
“He has weapons hidden all over the palace,” Ann reminded her uncle. “But none in here.”
“I’m working as fast as I can,” Sapphire said. Sapphire had finished the two wristbands and was working on the collar. Nim was surprised at the extent of scarring. He had thought his arm looked bad. It might explain why his scar hadn’t fazed Jaidu.
“Very skilled. Tough locks.” Shay said.
“I’ve had practice,” Sapphire said.
“Father’s going to beat her for this,” Jaidu told them.
“No. We won’t let him,” Andy assured her, glancing at Emeton who nodded.
“Got it,” Sapphire said as the lock clicked open. She removed the collar.
Shay breathed a sigh of relief. She made some gestures to Jaidu.
“She says it would be best if we left the room. Princess Ann and Prince Andy can stay to supervise,” Jaidu told the others.
Emeton deferred to the mages. They agreed so the group left.
Image Comments (5)
Kordouane () 8:41AM | Sat, 03 April 2021
Wow !! Marvellous scene and text a very nice job well done !!
zaqxsw () 9:13AM | Sat, 03 April 2021
Fantastic installment... They should've let Remtani kick Kamlia's ass. I wonder why Shay was collared in the first place.