The La-Iin Series
“I wonder what Sale-Dessu wants if he’s the one summoning us and not the other way around.”
“Maybe he actually did something useful this time,” La-Iin said. “Every time I go over there he’s made no progress.”
“I guess we can only hope then.”
La-Iin opened Sale-Dessu’s door and walked inside. There was an unfamiliar stench in the air, and it made her nose wrinkle. The house itself felt warmer than usual.
“Where’s that coming from?”
La-Iin didn’t respond and tried to track it down. When she flew into the room she and Sale-Dessu normally held meetings in, he wasn’t there, and the scent had died down somewhat. La-Iin turned around and followed the scent.
“I wish I could transform into a bat. Then this would be so much easier.”
“La-Iin, is that you?” The voice sounded far away, but La-Iin could always recognize Sale-Dessu’s voice. She flew in that direction and was almost instantly overwhelmed by how powerful the smell had gotten. She flew backwards and covered her nose.
“Could you explain the stinky stew, Sale-Dessu?”
“Hello,” Sale-Dessu said cheerfully, as if he hadn’t noticed Bes-Isa’s comment at all. “I’m making potions. I found an old potion book in my library and I decided to make every single potion in here.”
“That explains a lot.”
“I’ll never drink a potion again…” La-Iin groaned.
“It’s not just for curiosity either,” Sale-Dessu said. “Some of these are for Eul-Bok.”
“What could he need potions for?”
Sale-Dessu smiled. “I may have found a new way to make him autonomous,” he said.
“I’m not going to tell you two yet, because I don’t know if it’ll work. But if it looks good, I’ll make sure to tell you. Maybe I’ll have Eul-Bok tell you himself!”
“He’s the last person I’d want to hear exciting news from. He’d just ruin it.”
“When you say tell us himself, do you mean like walking, or…?”
“No, still levitating,” he said. “I’d like to tell you before he becomes autonomous if I can do it, because if it’s not that draining, maybe I’ll do him and Bes-Isa in the same night.”
“I’d like to be done first.”
Sale-Dessu chuckled. “I would, Bes-Isa, but I promised Eul-Bok he could go first. Don’t worry, you’ll get your autonomy soon enough.”
“So not fair…”
“What kind of horrible stinky potion are you making right now?” La-Iin asked.
“This? This numbs pain and causes pleasure instead. I was considering it for if Eul-Bok needs any sort of pain suppressant, although I’m not so sure about the pleasure part…”
“Do you know what kind of pleasure it’s supposed to be?”
“No, I have no idea. The book wasn’t that clear on that…anyway, it just needs to heat up for a little while longer, so if there’s something you wanted…”
“Is it really safe to be heating something in a room like this? Seems fire-prone.”
“I have counteracts,” Sale-Dessu said. “And I’ve done this and more dangerous things in here before. I’ll be fine.”
“So if you can make Eul-Bok autonomous, what species will you make him?”
“Normal. I think that might be all I can do…but I’d like it if he had Warlock powers like me. And since that’s possible, well, I’ve been considering it…”
“If you do that you should give Bes-Isa Witch powers too,” La-Iin said. “But only if she becomes autonomous because otherwise that’s stupid.”
“What would you do with Witch powers though, Bes-Isa?” Sale-Dessu asked. “I have my assumptions but I can’t work off just that…”
“Much better things than you. Can you imagine what you could do to people with powers like that? That’s why I think using it to sate your curiosity is stupid. With powers like that, you could rule. With powers like that, you could kill! ….not that I’d murder anyone, but I mean, it’s a lot of power. I could do the things I’d want with that sort of ability. More than La-Iin could ever do, I’m sure.”
“You say that and you’ll never become autonomous.” When La-Iin looked up at Sale-Dessu, she noticed his eyes were shut tight and his expression pained.
“Did you drink one of the potions, or are you just overreacting?” La-Iin asked. Sale-Dessu opened his eyes and shook his head.
“The idea of me having the powers of a Witch give you indigestion? Now that’s just not nice.”
“Who wants to be nice?” La-Iin said. “I approve of your reaction if that’s what it is.”
“It’s not that…” He sighed. “I was just thinking about something…”
“Thinking on the tragedies of childhood? Backfiring powers, perhaps?”
“…I told you I would never tell you about my childhood,” he spat. His visible eye gave Bes-Isa a cold glare.
“Don’t think getting angry is going to cut it. You just make yourself more obvious that way. Geez, how did it get to this? I suppose being around us so much made your guard slip?”
Sale-Dessu put a hand on his left arm and sighed. “…I’ve been thinking about something lately. I was trying to put it out of my mind. You just reminded me of it again. That’s it. That’s all I’m telling you.”
“Well, I guess an explanation on your constipated expression is better than nothing….”
“Not your stupid childhood again,” La-Iin sighed. “I just want to know more about the potions and autonomy.”
“Sure. I’d actually rather talk about that…” Sale-Dessu smiled again, but La-Iin could tell it was slightly pained. “…the potions really do stink, don’t they?”
“You’re only just noticing that now?”
“Sometimes too much of a bad smell numbs your nose,” La-Iin said, looking as though she were recalling a traumatic incident.
“Why don’t we step outside for a little bit? Once it clears up in here I can tell you all about the potions I’ve been making today.”
“Alright. Could you explain all the garbage in your backyard too?”
Sale-Dessu had taught La-Iin that day about a whole variety of potions–potions to simulate states such as drunkenness, or potions to grow out fingernails. La-Iin had ended up calling most of them stupid, but Sale-Dessu was used to that–and today it seemed like La-Iin felt everything was stupid.
She seemed more interested by his backyard and the water-powered train and the various old and broken projects he hadn’t worked on in ages. He made a note to clean both them and his house up. He always seemed to forget to do that, and the idea of the house becoming too cluttered made him shiver.
Still, he always watched Bes-Isa with a wary eye. Her words, speaking of the power to kill with the powers of a Witch, only reminded him of his mother and that horrible night he had lost her. It had been on his mind recently, and it was unsettling to think about.
He had to wonder, was Bes-Isa right? Would it be much longer that the only one who knew about his childhood entirely was himself?