Mirrored from Sythyry.
Quendry, at least, has some new friends. The Cani are all one big family — I mean that quite literally, all the adults are married to each other in one degree or another. I do not think that this is a coincidence. I think that the Barency Cani students decided, family by family, whether they would come with us, and one family said yes and the other(s) said no.
As befits a Cani family, there are puppies. Six of them: Garkin, Semiravide, Dulcet, Hurue, Lusplin, and Warkiet, though I can’t tell who is who. They’re a touch younger than Quendry, but that’s fine because Quendry’s social development is not all it could be. Quendry’s evil father deliberately suppressed him; Quendry’s well-meaning but peripatetic mother has done what she could, which was not everything.
In any case, Quendry pounced upon them as soon as he could smell them, and instantly choofed them all for Knowing The Way Around, and, on having affan, started leading them on a tour of Strayway.
Feralan and Ochirion went chasing them down one or another of our many, many long hallways, because they are closest in age, and because Feralan has had far too much company of adults and monsters and demons and angels and similar boring whatnots.
Inevitably, since they are on a skyboat with many square miles of floorspace, Feralan collided with Prince Rastomil. We cannot wholly blame the bodyguards for failing to prevent this collision, since they were being quite overwhelmed by the puppyflood.
“Excuse me,” said the prince. “I believe that you have left your elbow in my liver. Or perhaps my spleen; I have never been quite sure which organ is under that precise bit of my waistcoat.”
Feralan started, “Are you…?” At which time, Wentalilla grabbed him from behind and slammed him against a wall, hard enough so that, in the end, Feralan needed to come to me for medical attention, and thus I heard about it.
Rastomil tugged his bodyguard’s tail. “I heard something snap. Perhaps his shoulder-bone, perhaps an ornamental filigree on the wall. If you would be so kind, Wentalilla, please put him down now. I am certain he has been rendered harmless, even if he wasn’t from the beginning, which I somehow suspect he was.”
Wentalilla snarled, “You are not in charge of your safety, Rastomil. I am. Shut up and let me do my job. This is not a normal child; it is an emotionally-mutant thing, spirit-tied to a demon. Its actions are unpredictable and not to be taken lightly. Hey!” The exclamation was occasioned by Feralan teleporting out of her grasp and some moderate distance down the hallway. He has gotten good with Locador spells for some reason.
“Hey, prince? Are you upset or angry or mad or furious?” called Feralan. “And if so, which one of those would you say it was? Oh, and that goes for your bodyguard too.”
Rastomil fidgeted with his tail. “I would say that I am upset — not mad or furious, perhaps a touch angry. I do not, as a rule, approve of my chaperones damaging my hosts. It’s not even the first time it’s happened. As for Wentalilla, I cannot say. If she has any emotion but a tightly-restrained fury, she has not seen fit to display it around me.”
“Are you upset with me?” asked Feralan, rubbing his shoulder.
“You have slightly inconvenienced me, and diminished my dignity. If I was upset with everyone who did both of those, I should have little time for anything else,” said the prince. “How badly are you hurt?”
“My shoulder hurts, here,” said Feralan.
“Wentalilla, since you damaged the boy, please do me the favor of repairing him,” said Rastomil.
Wentalilla glared at the prince. “I don’t like your attitude. He could be an assassin — or a distraction, getting me out of reach of you before the actual attack happens.” She made a show of looking up and down the hallway before striding towards Feralan
… and screamed, as a terrible black spike pierced her chest. hCevian was behind her, a floating sea urchin thrice my size, though in the perplexing way of Locador demons, he had stabbed her from the front. She shouted, “Rastomil! It is a trap! Run!”
“Exactly how is he supposed to flee from me?” asked hCevian. “But it is not a trap. I am protecting my friend from further injuries. You, not the prince, are my prey.”
“I am nobody’s prey!” shouted Wentalilla. She struck at him with a thick and well-enchanted shortsword, breaking off the spike through her chest and a dozen others.
“I amend my previous commentary; I shall provide a more defensive sort of defense,” said hCevian. He darted away, scooping up Feralan, and teleporting both of them to my workshop, and then to the galley where Arfaen, Phaniet, and I were complaining about a few things that seem unimportant in comparison. Feralan’s shoulderbone was not broken, though some tendons were bruised and twisted, and I did for him what healers have done for millenia for such injuries. hCevian had lost several spikes and suffered a wound to his primary surface, which I was able to heal with some improvised Healoc Locador spells. (Note to self: Work out some Locador demon healing spells, or at least a device. The usual ones don’t work on them.)
Back with the Prince, Wentalilla snorted and looked exceedingly competent and exceedingly dangerous. Which was unarguable: scaring off a Locador demon is not a small matter.
There were consequences of this turn of events, of course.