Lotian, City of Light
Purple wakes up in a room with no shadows, i’m in Rel Jorgun? He thinks while looking around. His eyes wander around, moving from the ceiling, down the side wall and finally fall on Franklin looking at him. Purple jumps up, startled, getting on his knees before Franklin finally speaks.
“Ah, you are finally awake.” Franklin says in a humorous tone.
“Why am i here?” Purple asks, apprehensive, finally noticing Dix in the corner.
“I want to talk to you,” Franklin says, “without us trying to kill each other, you know.”
He didn’t tie me up, neither killed me, i guess i’m not a prisoner, not yet at least, Purple concludes.
“Alright then, say it.” Purple says, nodding to Franklin.
“First,” Franklin raises his index finger, “What’s your name?”
I didn’t tell him, did i? “My master gave me the name Purple.”
“Like the color?”
“Because of the cape?”
What about the cape? “My master says that too. Why do you say that?”
“It’s purple, isn’t that why he gave you that name?”
“My cape is black, is it?” Purple asks Dix.
“Well, anyway, i want you to help me...” Franklin lets the request hang in the air a bit.
“What?” Is he serious? “Why would i do that?”
“Well, you hesitated when we mentioned we are innocent didn’t you?”
“Yes you did,” Franklin insists, “i saw it.”
“Supposing i did, what then?”
“That means you have your own doubts about this whole situation, don’t you?” Franklin says, a confident smile on his face.
“Still you haven’t proven anything. Who was the real culprit?”
“We don’t know yet, what i can say to you is that this was a plot to take down the Dawnlight household, since we don’t know who did it, we don’t know why yet.”
“You still haven’t given me any proof of that.”
“Why would i do that? I mean, destroy Brownstone keep, i gained nothing by doing that.”
“That doesn’t prove anything.”
C’mon, help me out a little, there has to be something i can use to prove my innocence, that’s right.
“The time doesn’t match, the news was spread out through the newspaper before the incident even happened.”
“I passed by Brownstone keep at ten thousand,” Franklin continued, “more or less, the newspaper reported the destruction at seven.”
“If what you said is true, we barely missed each other.”
Purple sinks deep in thought, but Dix cuts him off.
“Why were you there?”
“My master called me to investigate the supposed disappearance of the keep.” He answers.
“Was he already there when you arrived?” Dix asks.
“I believe so, he chastised me for being late.”
“Who’s your master?” Franklin asks.
Franklin’s eyes widen and a spark of realization shines inside.
“He is the holder of one of the gravity spirits, it had to be him.”
“Why would it be him? He even said himself that he verified the cause to be a gravity spirit. Why would he run the risk of making himself a suspect?”
“Except for the fact that you can’t do that.” Franklin said in response.
“Can’t do what?” Purple asked.
“You can’t verify the cause, the most you can do is look at the damage caused and assume what happened. If you walk past a burning piece of wood, there’s no way to know if it was lighten by a wispshaper or by someone with a match.”
“If it is true...” Purple once again sinks into thought.
“There’s also that Wysin guy.” Dix interjects in Purple thoughts once again.
“That’s right, he hired Dix to steal from the wispshapers citadel in South Whisper.”
“Do you have proof?” Purple asks demandingly.
“There is no way of proving the zeroth division's involvement, and you know that.”
“Actually.” Orim’s voice comes from behind the closed door, he makes a grand entrance, “I have your proof right here.” The steel mage draws attention to the small ornamented box that he is holding.
“Put the table on the center wispyboy.” Orim says to Franklin, his voice carrying a smug tone in it.
“Franklin! Now is not the time!” Dix interrupts.
Reluctant, Franklin picks up the table and puts it in the center of the room, the other three join him, surrounding the table from all sides, Orim places the box at the center and opens it. A large pale silver nail, the size of a tablespoon is revealed.
“What does this prove?” Purple asks.
“If you are ignorant about most of what you hear, i don’t think you have the right to doubt everything.” Orim says to Purple, “This is a Soulless Cage.”
“Is this one of those steel mage’s devices?” Purple asks.
“Good! We got ourselves another Franklin, where did you find him?” Orim asks Dix.
“I don’t like him.” Purple says to Franklin, pointing a finger to Orim.
The wispshaper and the reaver share a fist bump, Orim sighs and continues.
“As i said, this is a Soulless Cage, clever stuff i tell you, it’s my first time seeing one.”
“But what does it do?” Franklin asks.
“I don’t understand the inner workings of it, only the general idea. In theory, it is used to hold a spirit inside, trapping it in steel. Going by the design, it is safe to assume that it is used to pierce something and extract a spirit.”
“Maybe it’s not something, but someone.” Franklin says.
“What do you mean?” Orim asks.
“Alard’s probably after the gravity spirit that my family holds, maybe his plan was to arrest my father and use this to remove it from him.” Franklin explains, “but my father never bonded with the gravity spirit.”
“Is this enough proof for you?” Orim asks Purple.
the reaver walks away from the table, who am i trying to fool here? why should i care what happens to him, if they happen to really be innocent, that’s a bonus.
“Alright, you convinced me, i’ll help.”
The three were about to celebrate when Purple continued speaking.
“I have one condition, you’ll have to deal with Lord Alard, kill him if you must. I want to free the other reavers, but i can’t fight him directly.”
“I was already planning on doing that anyway, alright, i accept your conditions.” Franklin replied.
“Great! But, what now?” Orim asks the other three in the room.
“If this was a plot against the Dawnlight family, there has to be some proof of it, mast-- Lord Alard always uses contracts in all of his business.”
“So we just get in and steal them?”
“Pretty much, though i doubt getting in will be easy. The Canton of Peace is very well guarded, by numerous other reavers on the outside, and some three wispshapers on the inside. Though now that i think about it, we might have a chance, i’ll need to go back and make sure.” Purple says.
“Why would we allow you to--”
“Alright, but don’t take too long.” Franklin interrupts Orim.
“Did you know that the name of this realm, Rel Jorgun, is Thalm for ‘Light’s Origin’?” Purple asks Franklin as they leave the Radiant Elk.
“Interesting, is that the reason why there are no shadows here?” Franklin asks in response.
“Maybe, but i do know that it’s from this place that the light from the glass spheres used all over Lotian come from.”
“I’ve always thought that it was some magical glass that emitted light.”
“They still are, in a way, the difference is in the specifics.”
“Why are you coming with me?” Purple asks.
“I came to take you back to Lotian, if you don’t have the crossing rights you’ll be lost forever among the trees.”
“I already have it, my father brought me here to get it when i was a child.”
“Alright then,” Franklin said, probing at the wounds dealt to his pride, “i’ll just go back.”
Back at the Radiant Elk, the steel mage, the grey one and the wispshaper wait for Purple’s return.
“He is going to betray us.” Orim says.
“If he takes more than a day, we’ll gather our things and get out of here.”
Then the door opens, from it, the innkeeper appears.
“There’s a man downstairs that wants to speak to you.” He says to Franklin.
Franklin and Orim exchange looks.
“Thank you, i’ll be down there in a few taks.”
The innkeeper leaves.
“Do you think it’s a trap?” Orim asks.
“If it was Purple, he would just come here. I’ll go check it out, you two go to another room, if something happens, you flee from this place, i’ll try to hold them off as much as i can.”
“Have you gone crazy?” Orim says to him, “you can’t fight a team of wispshapers alone, let’s get out of here while he waits.”
“If he is alone and this is an ambush,” Franklin objects, “the others will be surrounding the inn, we can’t simply jump out of the window and run away.”
He gets up and goes to the door.
“If you hear fighting downstairs, run away, i’ll try to keep them down there as much as i can.”
With his final instructions, Franklin left them there.
Once downstairs, he took a look around, searching for blacks and whites amongst the customers, Franklin approached the innkeeper.
“Where is he?”
“He is sitting there.” The innkeeper said rudely, pointing toward a man sitting alone on one of the tables facing away from the counter, “tell your friend that if he wants to stay here he has to buy something.”
“This bad attitude will make you go broke one day, especially if you keep refusing customers.” Franklin says in a teasing manner.
“Don’t speak to me as if we have a friendly relationship.”
Franklin reached for the bottle of ink embedded on the counter and yanked it away, putting it gently in front of the innkeeper.
“How about we begin anew? My name is Franklin.” He said, extending his hand for a handshake.
“Don’t patronize me, now go tell your friend to buy something already.”
Franklin smiled and left the disagreeable innkeeper alone, going directly to the mysterious figure.
“They told me you wanted to speak to me.” Franklin confronted the man, still standing.
The other customers, recurring customers, seeing a familiar scene play out moved to sit far away from Franklin. When the man got up, Franklin saw that he was wearing nobleman's clothes, after that, he recognized the greying hair and the sunken eyes with an intense look behind them.
Now we have a chance…
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