Chapter Seven – Complementary Colours
“Goodbye again, guys. I hope I can do this without you,” Eldrian began. They stood before the gateway they all entered through earlier that day. “I’ll let you know what we discover, and tell Lucy that I promise no more demons will be sneaking magic items out of this place once I’m done here.”
“Good luck, buddy,” said Kevin.
Daveon, however new to the party, offered the boy a kind smile. “Yes. Good luck.”
The gate reopened. After the stones shifted apart, the three departed through the hidden door. They all made their way back to town, as in the meantime, Eldrian had business to take care of. Pachama, Huanca, and Urco stood still dressed in their vibrant colours, and they continued to escort him everywhere he went. As kind as they were, it wasn’t in their agenda to trust anybody with full access to their secret society.
Once again Eldrian stood in the beautiful garden. He watched the wizards closely as they practised their trade.
“I know we have business, but do you mind if I talk to the others?” Eldrian asked.
The three looked between themselves. Pachama spoke up, and nodded with a smile across her face. She looked to the man in blue. In response, he looked immediately to her. There was little hesitation in his reaction.
“You may return to the library, Urco. I can watch him,” she said.
“Of course,” he replied obediently and made his way off.
“Huanca. You may continue your study.”
“That sounds wise to me,” the man in red said with a nod, and departed as well.
The eyes of the woman watched Eldrian wander off towards a group of Inca wizards.
Two boys and a girl, perhaps just a bit younger than him, were passing around a glowing purple and white sphere back and forth. It bounced off their hands like a volleyball, and their eyes were alight with glee. When Eldrian came closer, the girl caught the ball, and it sparkled away into nothingness. He gave them a greeting, but they looked as if they were observing a rare breed of animal. None of them had likely seen outsiders, or at the very least, rarely have.
When they spoke, their accents were heavy. They luckily were able to speak his language even if it was much cruder than the three monks that welcomed him.
“You’re from outside?” the girl asked.
“Outside this temple place? Yeah. I’m from Canada. Your home is outstanding.”
“Is it true that magic is still hated out there?”
“Hated or forgotten. Coming here is like a haven for me. We can’t even use magic much without worrying about being caught by spellbreakers.”
“We’re free to use magic here, mostly. Though we dare not go against the Three. It would be against our faith to disobey them. The monks lead us and protect us.”
From behind, they turned for a moment to the sound of Pachama’s voice. She was calling out to Eldrian.
“We may spend one hour out here,” she said. “And then we head inside, and begin the investigation.”
One of the boys walked up to him. He looked to be much younger than the rest. His eyes were bright despite his darker complexion and pitch black hair.
“Can you show us something new? We can show you what we know in return.”
With a flick of his wrist, Eldrian had within his hand a black disk. He flicked again, and one side popped out to form a top hat—holding it from the brim. With a smirk, he popped it into his head and took a bow. The three giggled. For the next hour, Eldrian was incredibly happy.
Around the same table they sat again, but now it was only the three monks, and then Eldrian. The room was quiet. This time the tone was much more serious. There was no tea, nor was there another soul around but the four. In front of him sat Pachama. To his right, Urco, and to his left, Huanca.
“Things are growing dire,” said Huanca. “We can not afford to lose more of our secrets. There must be a traitor among us. It could be one of our people, or one of us. Somebody allowed this demon entrance and exit of our temple.
Urco looked to him. “It could be one of us. We can not rule anything out. It could be me, or even you.”
“Me?” Huanca furled his brow. “By this logic, it could just as easily be you, as you said. Do not give me that look, Urco. What were you doing this past hour?”
“I was organizing the library, as was my duty for the day. What were you doing, Huanca? These studies of yours could be anything.”
“They were studies of a better way to protect our sacred relics.”
“Yes. A perfect way to access them.”
“Please!” shouted Pachama. “We are getting nowhere by arguing. All three of us are suspects, as is every other person that lives here. The culprit could be listening now, wanting us to fight.”
“You’re right,” Urco said.
Eldrian looked between them as they bickered. “Could be Pachama too,” he said bluntly as he pointed forward his finger.
“Watch your tongue,” snapped Urco.
Huanca glared at the boy. “If you start us fighting again, Eldrian, you will be even more suspicious than the rest… Pachama is right. We need to work together to make certain not a single thing leaves this place again, and especially not in the hands of a demon. And you do serve the Demon Princess herself.”
“Well, what else is there to steal from here, exactly?”
“A few things,” the woman said. “The Holy Avenger. The Hammer of Thunderbolts.”
“The Life Infuser,” added Urco.
“Quiet,” snapped the man in red as he looked to Urco. “We should not share every secret of ours.”
Eldrian stood up from his chair. “I’m here to investigate on behalf of my own curiosity and interests, and Lucy. Yes, the Demon Princess. You want to protect your people? Well, I’m going to do absolutely everything in my power to help.”
“We would rather you not be here for too long, Eldrian, lest our people begin to think us soft to outsiders.”
“Three days. Give me three days, including today. Does that sound reasonable?”
The monks looked between themselves and nodded.
“That is shorter than I thought,” responded Urco. “You seem confident that you will be able to help us…”
“If I can’t, then I apologize, but since I’m only staying for two more days, I have a request. I want to spend the day with each of you individually. And today, I want to talk with Urco.”
The man in blue swallowed as he wiped a hand up his forehead and across his smooth scalp.
“Of course,” he replied. “Anything to help the ones I care for. Come with me to my library, and we can be alone, if that is fine with the others.”
Urco stood up, and walked around to the table to gesture towards Eldrian for him to follow. He was still to be escorted, but at least he could speak with the Three on their own. It would be much easier to figure things out this way. The two of them left the room, and began down the smooth walkway of the temple.
It wasn’t long before they stepped into a sprawling room of bookshelves filled with tomes of varying colours and sizes. A staircase ascended up the middle, where even more shelves sat beside railings decorated gold. One could be lost within these books for an eternity.
“There lies books here written centuries ago,” spoke Urco as they walked inside. “But I am afraid I am unable to give you freedom to explore.”
“Darn… Well, can I ask you something? What do you think of Pachama and Huanca?”
He sighed a quiet grumble beneath his breath. “They are wise. We used to lead as a more proper team, I assure you, but the sands of time wore our relationships. The oldest among us is Huanca. It was then Pachama who joined, and finally myself. We were once more friendly with one another, but things came between us.”
“Eldrian. While I was in here earlier, I contacted Lucy.”
“You have connections to the Demon World?”
“I know what that sounds like, but yes. She told me everything, and Lucy never lies about things like this. You are a fine wizard, and a protector of good.”
With two hands, Urco thrust a wave of energy from his arms apart. A bubble surrounded them, roughly fifteen feet wide, and no longer did the sound of whistling air come to Eldrian’s ears. They were in a soundless barrier.
“Suspect me as much as you would like as the culprit behind all of this, or take my word when I tell you I am not. The only fact that I know for certain is that I love Pachama. I always have. Her beautiful eyes, her cheerful laugh, her smooth head. But, Eldrian, us monks lead our people, but we are also not allowed to marry. It would be against our ways to fall in love. Nobody must know. And I have grown to believe that Huanca suspects this, and wishes me to step down, but I care too deeply for our people. Is this selfish?”
“I think disallowing things like that is selfish. Who made up those rules? But I’m an outsider. I don’t really know about any of that. Thanks for telling me, Urco. I appreciate it.”
“I do not know if I trust you enough, or if I simply want all of this to end, but now it is in the hands of fate. Please do what nobody else dares to do. Continue to investigate the Three.”
“I have one more important question, and then we can talk for the rest of the day, or whatever. I assume you don’t have video games around here. Does Pachama like you back?”
The man in blue lowered his head with a somber smile. From within his clothes he pulled out a card, and he stepped up to the boy to show him the contents. It was a love letter, written and signed by Pachama herself, directed to Urzo.
“Eldrian… Please always remember that love stinks.”
“I know,” he replied. “I heard that in a song once.”
In the meantime, Kevin, Deena, and Daveon sat on a bench together back in Aguas Calientes. The sun was making its way to the horizon, but the area was still bright and filled with noisy crowds, barking dogs, and peddling merchants. The three looked between each other.
“So, what’s there to do until Eldrian comes back?” Kevin asked.
With a charming smirk, Daveon replied in the same smooth tone he always uses to speak that he’s unable to turn off. “There’s much to enjoy in Aguas Calientes, friends. The plush grass, the gorgeous trees, the fluffy animals. Oh, and the people!”
Suddenly a group of four young women came seemingly out of nowhere. It wasn’t magic, however, but the power of giddy schoolgirls. They swarmed them, and with hearts in their gazes, they looked Daveon’s panicked reaction over intently.
“It’s him~!” screamed one.
“He’s so cute.”
“Uh,” Daveon started with widened eyes. “Actually, forget the people. Let’s back up a bit and focus on the fluffy animals instead. Who’s with me?”
Deena and Kevin raised their hands.
Before he could stand, the girls grabbed him by his arms, and started to tug him off the bench. They swarmed him like an violent flock of geese, and there was hardly a hope of him escaping their vicious grips. The girls screeched and giggled as they started to drag him away.
“We love you, Daveon~!”
Deena stared blankly and muttered, “This stinks.”
With a shift of his gaze left and right, Kevin didn’t know how to respond. He stood up from the bench to stretch his legs, and watched as the poor boy struggled to escape the crowd.
“It does… I think I heard a song about that once,” he said quietly.
Stay tuned for Chapter Eight – Three Two One!