The La-Iin Series
“The Sale-Dessu Spy Crew”
“When can I open my eyes, Father?”
“In a little bit.”
“Feels like it’s been a little bit for more than a little bit…”
“We’re almost there. Be patient.”
Eul-Bok grumbled as Sale-Dessu led him along someplace that made him unsure of where he was. ‘Where in the house is this?’
He heard a door open, and Sale-Dessu continued to lead him until finally saying, “You can open your eyes now.”
Eul-Bok opened his eyes and was surprised to see grass, trees, and Sale-Dessu’s messy backyard. He glanced around in surprise, his eyes wide.
Sale-Dessu smiled. “A year ago today, I managed to bring my first V-Puppet to life after thirty-two years of not being able to. Today is your birthday, Eul-Bok, and I wanted to give you something special to celebrate.”
“You didn’t need to do this, Father!”
“We’re in my backyard. I figure we’ll be fine.”
“Wow…I’ve been outside before, but never like this. It’s so weird in this new body! Hey, is that the button you used to glitch the world?”
Sale-Dessu scratched his head. “Of course it is, you know that already…”
“Wow!” Eul-Bok squeaked. “Thanks, Father!”
“You’re welcome, Eul-Bok. And you’re welcome to stay outside for as long as you like. You just need to make sure to stay in the backyard and be back inside before the day is over. That’s all I ask of you.”
“Father, if it’s my birthday, there’s plenty of things I’ll want to do that will have to be inside,” he said. “But thank you so much. I didn’t expect for you to do this, really! It’s such a surprise!”
“I’m glad you like it, Eul-Bok,” he said. “Hopefully someday it will be alright for you to go outside and wherever you want without any issue.”
“Well, I can wait for that day. For now I’m just looking forward to having a good birthday!”
“I hope you have a good day too, Eul-Bok.”
A group of people maneuvered their way through the streets of Bledger under the cover of trees. They dashed along the streets quickly and stealthily, and once they made it to their destination, they sat away from each other and began to talk in hushed voices.
“Did you hear what I heard? Something about “Father”?”
“Did you miss the part that implied this son of his was going outside for the very first time? Those are odd words.”
“I got a close look at the son, actually. Something bothered me about the way he looked.”
“He looked fake, almost. I could have sworn I saw something that looked like a ball joint.”
“Well, this man is a Warlock. It’s hard to know exactly what to expect with our kind. Though I’ve never seen someone replace a body part with a ball joint. Did you catch which body part it was?”
“I saw an undeniable one in the right elbow. But from my perspective, it seemed there were joints in the knees too, and I have no doubt that if there were joints there, there are joints elsewhere as well.”
“Hm, what a strange child. How Warlock did he look?”
“Not very. He was wearing traditional Warlock garb, but his skin and hair color were more typical of another species. I suppose it’s always possible he could be a Dualbreed, or adopted.”
“Or perhaps created?”
The others fell silent.
“We Warlocks–and Witches–are always finding new things to do with our powers. That is at the core of our nature, and curiosity is a facet in almost all our personalities. I doubt there are many of us out in the world who haven’t been curious about our powers at one point or found something, no matter how minor, that none other of our species had discovered before. So, perhaps this child is created.”
“Do you think it’s also possible that the child’s brain was transplanted into a fake body? Would you put it past a Warlock to cut open a child’s head to use for that purpose?”
“Not certain Warlocks, no. And we know virtually nothing about this man’s true character. He seemed fairly polite from what we saw, but who knows? If he is keeping that child inside, there could be a multitude of reasons. If the child truly is fake or within a false body, that would make sense, as would the possibility that the child was abducted or injured. Any way you slice it, it seems like a definite case of wanting to avoid suspicion for something.”
“And would you be surprised if his actions are truly suspicious?”
“Not at all, no. I’m sure even the most pure-hearted Warlock has gotten an unethical thought or two. The point is whether or not you decide to act on it. This definitely warrants more investigation, however.”
“Why did we start investigation in the first place? Although I’m certainly interested in seeing where this goes, I’m still not completely sure why we’re staking out some guy’s house. How did you even find out where he lives?”
“It was a long process of trial and error. I know you are not the strongest Warlock, but never underestimate your abilities. Just because you’re unsure of how to use them doesn’t mean you completely lack the potential to exert them to their fullest.”
“I hear you.”
“And as for the reason why we are doing this, that’s simple. As you may know, Astineth Eir-Tyuj takes up residence in our neighborhood. Perhaps you’ve never heard of her. She is an infamous Witch part of the Astineth family, the name of which she made famous herself. She is said to have been one of the greats in her hometown, and she possessed not only a wide array of powers but a knowledge and skill in their usage paralleled only by other Witches whom have been called greats.
“But her greatness is not the reason for her infamy. As I said earlier, I don’t doubt that almost every Witch or Warlock has had an unethical thought pass their mind at one point or another in their life. Eir-Tyuj seems to be no different in that regard. However, she was one of the ones who acted on such unethical thoughts. While not on the level of mass slaughter or mass mind control, she showed a mastery of the ability to warp reality–one of the most inexplicable and powerful abilities we possess. She used this consistently and constantly.
“Reality Warping isn’t easily detected even by other Witches and Warlocks. Most will believe this has been their whole reality or that reality has taken an irreversible turn. Even some species studiers and scientists, as well as other greats, have been fooled. Eir-Tyuj’s realities were notable for being mostly disturbing in nature. Realities where entire cities were laid to waste. Realities in which the mass genocide of various species occurred. Horrible realities that no sane person would want to live through.
“This was a consistent aspect of Eir-Tyuj’s work. Her defenders often cite the fact that she was trying to find a way to prevent such realities from coming to fruition and was searching for a way to prevent them. But her opponents point out the fact that she showed an immense mastery of the skill. Most likely she could control all aspects of the reality she created. This is not a skill many Witches possess. Most created realities take some unexpected turn. Therefore, there is nothing out of the ordinary she could look for to prevent the reality, because already she knows all aspects about it. That, and the fact that she never said once herself that she was trying to do this. She always responded with apologies to the people who were affected but with a cold attitude to their relatives who were concerned and rightfully angry.
“With that background out of the way, this man, whoever he is, has been seen visiting her on occasion. Sometimes a flash of light is seen from within her house; I have no doubt that this is him teleporting into her house. Eir-Tyuj has gotten virtually no visitors since she began to live in our neighborhood. That she would now is abnormal. Is this man a significant other? A relative, a friend? Whatever he is to her, I wanted to investigate him for the purposes of finding out what reason he was visiting Eir-Tyuj for. After all, he could be conspiring with her.
“But I never expected to find out something so interesting. It seems this man deserves our research, no matter what his relation to her is or his reasons for visiting her. There is something truly suspicious going on, and I will not rest until I have found out what it is.”
“Why do you care so much about Eir-Tyuj, Baal-Mist? Are you scared of her power? After all you’ve said, I must admit I am. But she’s very old. What could she do?”
“Age has never gotten in the way of Witches before. And as for the reason I want to do this? Let’s say it’s personal.”
“Today’s been a lot of fun so far, Father. And you really are powerful! I hope I can find out just how you do it. I know you’re curious about powers in general, but I want to know more about how they work. What is it that makes that button warp reality? Why can we transform items into other items? What’s the intricacies of Hex Change Operation?”
“Usually, finding out how how our powers work is easier than finding out how to use them,” Sale-Dessu said.
“I see.” Eul-Bok blinked. “Hey, Father, did you feel uncomfortable while we were outside earlier? I felt like someone was watching us.”
“I was on-edge. I thought someone was going to pass by and see you, even though we were in the backyard. That’s probably what made you nervous.”
“Yeah, probably.” He said. “It was just really unsettling. It kind of ruined the experience for me. But still, I hope I can go outside again someday.”
Sale-Dessu opened his mouth to speak. “But not today! Today, I’m just happy to be inside, practicing powers with you.”
“I am too, Eul-Bok.”