tagSci-Fi & FantasyQuincunx Ch. 13

Quincunx Ch. 13



Life gets more complicated


Grepp was first in, Xentha and he fell into discussion about Milova's performance as he walked over to help himself to cofftea. I sat back nodding my automatic agreement to her points as they began to swap tales of the evening.

Kenval and Bemnie came in together and I took the opportunity to excuse myself, bringing my candle to light it and retire to my bed.

Xentha snuck into my room whilst I still slept but woke me as she slipped in naked next to me and reached for the morning woody I was sporting. We made soft gently love, each of us orally pleasing the other till first I came and then satisfied her minutes later by adding a three finger prod.

She muffled her screams and groans with her hand as she writhed beneath me. I looked down on the lightness of her pubes with the glistening drops dancing in them, the warmth of the soft smooth skin of her thighs beneath my hands as she shifted.

We had breakfast together, she playfully teasing and picking arguments as we walked back smiling with the cloudless sky promising a fine day to come. I had the Wizards House on my mind, I meant to explore it this morning and banish those defensive spells.

We stopped back in the dorm and met Grepp and Kenval as they were having their first cup, I stayed long enough to pick up the book before telling the white lie of needing to talk to professor Swapswisle to explain my rapid departure.

I made my way to the back of the garden and the tradesman's gate that should be there and found myself confronted by the same spell as guarded the front. It read 'Fear, alarm, suspicion, lassitude, failure, darkness' and two other I didn't know.

I looked the unknowns up and concentrated on then the whole phrase as I drew on its faded strength, feeling its tingling power gushing into my outstretched hand. Despite its age the power was richer, thicker that simple word spells, making my fingers feel somehow warmer.

The spell was gone and I felt refreshed and eager, the gate were closed but not bolted and I squeezed through. As I rounded the curve of the grass crazed drive I could see the court yard and yet more spells warding the house, the skin crawling effect lessening as I dissolved more.

The door to the house was closed but looked infirm, the wood worn and weakened. The lock splintered the wood as I gave it a shoulder push and it swung open two inches on squeaky screeching hinges, I pushed it open further, firmly enough to wonder if it might snap with the effort as the bottom hinge protested more, and slipped inside.

There were older spells embedded here, wards against malice, ineffective but remaining still, and an odd air of magic to the dim entrance hall. The dust was undisturbed excepting it was a wind sculpted inch thick around the sill of the door, raising tiny puffs as I stepped further inside to explore.

I circled round the staircase and ignored the doors left and right which were probably receiving rooms and took the already half open one at the back, pushing the protesting door left an arc in the dust.

I was in a dark passage lit by a mossy skylight; further down was an arch and a dim room undistinguishable from here. As I walked closer still raising dust clouds, the view broadened as I approached, showing me a kitchen with a tangle of vines growing over the room's only window.

I turned back retracing my footprints to confuse my track and walked to the stairs, and followed the glow of light up the right branch, there was a glass walled corridor with doors on the inner side, these must be their private quarters looking out across to the other side and seeing the same façade across the yard in the centre of the house.

The house inside was free of harmful defensive spells with the ones remaining only ghosts of their original selves, a residual image reminding you of its former power. I spent a while studying them, finding its page in the book if it was one of the many unknowns.

I stood at the bottom of the stairs looking at one of the oldest and friendliest of the old magic protection spells and rehearsed its runic sound in my head preparing to try my first act of magic, reviving the beneficial spells now that I had rid it of all the aggressive ones.

I pronounced the phrase firmly and was delighted when the sigils began to glow and sparkle and its magic field grew. I went around the house again reviving all the old magic, leaving footprints everywhere as I sought out every single spell and either restored it or absorbed its magic.

The dust was going to be a problem, the roof, from my cursory check while I explored, looked sound still, though in the half light of the moss encroached skylight it was perfunctory glance around for spells. From the looks of it some of the furniture and fittings might be salvageable as well.

I was hot and sweaty when I finished, dust coating my clothes and face. My stomach told me it was near dinnertime but I needed to clean myself up first. I was back to an empty dorm, I put a pot of water on to wash with and sat and read more of the book while I waited.

I got to the refrec before the second bell and took a wall seat to share a table with two acolytes. I thought about Rash and when to tell her about the house, Miri would probably be at her lessons and Rash wasn't one to sit around, evening was probably the best time to catch them which left me free till then.

I was walking out when the magic phrase I'd walked past so many times leapt out. One was the symbol for food, eating, hunger and the other was full, contentment, enjoyment in combination. I spoke them under my breath and watched as they took new form and substance.

On the walk back to the dorm I contemplated a trip around the buildings, especially the council chamber, to see what residual spells there were that were worthy of revival. Bemnie was there when I arrived, sat back in the seat, feet up and half dozing.

"A penny for them," I quoted as my arrival stirred her.


"Oh just an old saying from my village, you were catching forty winks."


"Oh never mind, how are you?"

"Fine, I slept in this morning, first time in ages I've missed breakfast. I had to go over to the market for pancakes.

"I was up early, I've been trying to practice my magic, I can't seem to get it straight in my mind." I replied. "Maybe I need to do a bit more of that meditation Xentha showed me."

"Oh it's easy, honest, you've just got to get your thinking right."

Curromo came in.

"Bem, I thought I'd find you here, how's Kenval?" she asked by way of announcing herself.

"I don't know, I haven't seen him yet."

She came to a halt in front of her. "Do you want to come for a walk?"

Bemnie shrank back into the chair.

"I've got some juicy gossip."

Bemnie gave a small laugh. "Okay, wait while I get changed."

Curromo turned to me as Bemnie rose. "Is there any cofftea on?"

"I don't think so, I'll make you one if you want."

"That would be nice," she said as she sat and I stood.

I busied myself for the few minutes it took to prepare and left it to boil, standing idly leaning against the sink as I waited.

"You went out with Xentha last night I hear, Cal is still annoyed but serve her right, the first boy to get an invite into her room and you walk off to bed."

I gave a chuckle. "I took a while to get to bed, at least my bed," I said, letting her read between the lines.

"You and Xen!" she half gasped.

"She's a nice girl."

"I know, but she was being celibate till she got home, saving herself for a good time with her boyfriend when she got there." Her bewilderment showing in her creased face.

"I think you might have had a hand in it, telling her all about the ten you gave me."

"I was telling Calorissa and she was there. She'd sworn off sex since she finished with Swapswisle two months back. I was just telling Cal that you were the one to give her virginity to, I've had a few prods in my time and seriously you're the best. For her to share her first time with you would be the best thing for her."

"Well Xen bluffed her way through, she seduced me when we got back here after telling me that Cal was angling to get me to prod her."

I felt a little bit guilty talking this way, I wanted to bed both girls but Xen was the prettiest to my eye and I suddenly felt defensive of her.

"Well take her tonight, take her out for the evening then prod her when you're both merry."

"Ah, I was going to pop in and see Rash after tea, then there's the meditation on the setting sun, we could stroll to the market and get a cup of locatheot, maybe buy a bottle or two of wine and come back here for cuddly evening."

"I'll suggest that to her."

The words were barely out of her mouth when Bemnie opened her door.

"Ready then," she announced, half turning to the exit door.

"Talk to you later," Curromo said to me as she rose and followed.

I finished up my cofftea and took the cups to wash. I was going to stroll over to the library and do a bit more rote memorization of the sigils and their properties, I had seen the way spells were put together full of sympathetic enforcement and I needed full command of the set to do that.

I spent a nearly uneventful afternoon; Heen'll found me there by chance and took me to the bursars office where I was given a small purse with the first of a weekly allowance. The money looked strange but definitely spendable, Cal could have a meal there on me as well now.

When I wandered in for tea the newly minted spell made the food and the atmosphere that much better, convincing me further to rework more of the spells around here. Surprisingly Calorissa found me and sat next to me.

"Hi," she greeted me. "Mind if I join you?"

"No, not at all, I was hoping to see you, I'd like you to take me down the market tonight, I'll treat you to a meal if you'll show me the good eating places."

"That's an easy favour, it's been a while since I've been there but Plete's is the best, I can take you there later if you like."

"I've got to see Rash and then I need to practice my meditation but I should be free just after sunset, shall I knock for you?"

"I'll probably be in the common room, knock if I'm not."

I wanted to tell her of my talk with Curromo, but I'd left it late. I didn't want her to get the wrong impression, so I had to breach it now.

"Curromo was over earlier, she came to see Bem, I can be terrible at catching hints, just a plain spoken farm boy."

She blushed, her cheeks colouring with the fork stopped halfway to her mouth.

"She told me how good you were and then Bem confirmed her opinion and Mo said she had another tryst set up. I've wanted to but I want it to be special as well, I'm just a notch to Kenval and the like and then you come along. I suppose Xen will be singing your praises as well after your session last night. I didn't think she'd change her mind about her celibacy thing but she clung tight to you. It was an anticlimax that shouldn't have been."

"I'm sorry, I had no idea, Xen told me you were hot for me outside but claimed the first option and I was aroused and went along with that. Tonight you're the one that's special, I'll do my best to make the night memorable for you."

Her smile broadened as she took the words in. "I know you will, you get full marks for tenderness and sharing from them as well. Ten out of ten."

I could feel my prodder reacting in my trousers, anticipating the evening's performance; it had never had it so good and was ready to prod her here and now. The excitement building in me at yet another pretty girl to make love to was asking to do it with me.

I finished only half my meal, joking about leaving room for later and pleaded my appointment with Rash, and yes I'd try to get them an audience, and left her smiling at me as I took my tray back. I navigated my way through and climbed the stairs to her apartment.

Miri was home, she answered the door and let me in.

"How's Rash?" I asked. "Is she home?"

"Not yet, she was to be an hour an hour and a half ago, we'll be eating in the kitchens again if she's any later."

"How's she getting on, I know of a house she could have, the locals think it's haunted and it's thick with dust but its right here on the parade and has at least six bedrooms and a ballroom."

"Oh that would please her, she can find nothing bigger than four beds, That's where she is now, getting introduced to someone who might have something."

"Well, I've come for my sword as well, I should have it even though I've got no use for it here, I've seen no one else wearing one."

"I've got it in the corner over here," she said turning. "It gets stares from everyone that visits, I'll be sorry to see it go in a way."

I walked over and retrieved it, fastening it to my belt and adjusting it for comfort.

"Tell Rash I'll be up to see her tomorrow after dinner, I'll take her to see it, a bit of tidying up and it'll be a fine place to live."

I bade her farewell and retraced my steps back to the entrance hall, heading straight for the tower and the climb to the top. The day was warm and bright, the sky at the eastern horizon was still to blue to show any stars but it was at least two shades darker than the patch left under the setting sun.

I spent some time looking around, drawing in the calmness that the perspective allowed. With the sun reddening my eyelids I let myself slip under, my breathing slowing as I found the stillness in me. I focused myself on the sigils, running them through and forming patterns, feeling the latent power in them and letting myself become part of the field that they formed from.

The sun was still a sliver above the horizon when my awareness came back, I felt refreshed and happy, I felt almost ready to try raw magic, pushing it past the symbols as my mind ordered its fabric.

Xentha suddenly spoke up behind me as I stood to stretch my muscles.

"You're getting good at that, there was an air of stillness that seemed to surround you, I didn't want to break it."

My heart jumped as I realised a little late who it was.

"Xen.... This makes me feel marvelous, it brings such clarity sometimes that lots of things make sense."

"We'd better get down, before it gets dark."

I held the trapdoor as she climbed down then followed as we descended into the gloomy depths. Out in the entrance hall she led me to a quiet group of table and chairs. She looked a little agitated, her face tense, her gait a little hesitant.

"Dav," she said quietly. "I'm going to be leaving early, my father has sent word that my brother will be here on business and that he'll take me home in a week when he leaves. I wanted to stay and attend the diploma presentation but he insists."

She leant forward conspiratorially. "So we've only got five days more, can I be naughty and ask you for another tryst?"

"Yes, and welcome, but why naughty?"

"Well.... More than once a week with the same person is... is...."

'Against custom and mores', I thought. 'Same as I can make love to Webbi but never share a bed with her.'

"Naughty." I answered for her, smiling.

"Well you know what people say about smoke and fire."

"Yes," I said with a chuckle.

"We can do it in the tower, it's the perfect place."

"That's fine by me, but we'd better bring some matting, I've got a bedroll that would be perfect."

"Can we do it tomorrow?" she asked enthusiastically.

"Mm, yes," I said, raising my eyebrows slightly at her as I wondered what it would be like to make love before meditating.

She was beaming now, her voice more animated and I could see the excitement on her face. I was as pleased as she was; making love to her was a sweet erotic pleasure.

"We'd better go, we've been her long enough," she said standing.

It was quite dark by the time we got home, Xentha magiced the candle alight and went to start the cofftea while I manually lit the other three. I settled down as the light grew brighter and looked at Xentha as she busied herself with the makings.

She was attractive to my eye, she would make a fine wife and partner, better in many ways to Rash. And then there was Webberli, the girl from back home that I would probably marry. The world could be a funny place.

"Here we are then," Xentha said, breaking into my thoughts. "It'll be ready in a minute or two."

She sat in the next chair, curling into the back to half face me.

"Are you going out tonight? Grepp and Bemnie are going to the Lamb's Pen, I'm thinking of going with them, Curromo will probably be there as well."

"No, I've got other plans for tonight."

"Ah yes, last night's unfinished business with Cal." She said with a grin. "Bem said you spoke to her."

I felt a little disconcerted talking to her about prodding another girl, there were few secrets around here.

"Yes, she's taking me to the night market."

"Is that why you're wearing your sword? You'll need to watch your purse there; night is the favourite time for pickpockets and cutpurses."

"What, no spell to guard it?"

"Yes but no one really bothers."

The lid on the pot started clinking as the pot started to boil.

"Ah, cofftea coming up."

She stood and walked over to make the drinks. As soon as I'd finished mine I was intending going to call on Calorissa, my prodder was beginning to twitch at the thought of her sweet Furrie and the prod that would come after.

She brought the cups over, setting mine in front of me.

"Do you have night markets where you come from?" she asked, sitting herself down.

"There was one in Bravermouth, but it was only a small one on the docks itself, there's only a weekly market in my village." I replied.

Our conversation drifted on about our homes and customs until long after I finished my drink, the arrival of Grepp saw me take the time to drop my sword in my room and bid them a good night as I exited and headed over top the other dorm.

Cal opened the door on my first knock, widening it as she saw it was me and inviting me in with a wave of her hand. The anticipation of having sex with her had my prodder stiff in my pants, I wanted to do it now but I also wanted to take her out and get to know her better.

"Let me just put a coat on and I'm ready," she said gaily.

I watched as she walked over, feasting my eyes on her slim figure and taut backside, her skirt swaying about her knees as her hips moved. I tried to picture her nude, her dark haired bush contrasting with her creamy thighs, her pink slit opening up at the touch of my tongue.

She put her coat on as she walked back, pausing and waiting for me to join her as she opened the door. It was a half bright moon and we strolled to the gates with her telling me about some of the food choices that would be on offer.

The market was light with rush torches, flames flickering and throwing shadows in the slight breeze, it wasn't as crowded as I'd supposed it might be from all the talk of it. We wound our way through, stopping by some stalls as she examined the wares, while I drank in the sights and sounds.

We ended at a restaurant where she led me inside. We talked of our backgrounds over a meal of grilled legs of some small game animal, the native name of Jugged Harei, meant nothing to me but it was tender and went well with the plate of veggies we shared.

We spent maybe an hour enjoying the meal, then after we strolled back by a different route. As we got near to the edge of the market I stopped her.

"Do you want to get as bottle of wine or something to take home?"

"We can get the wine at the Bullberry Bush; it's on the way home from here." She answered happily.

I let her lead me on till we came to a two story thatched inn, we walked through the outside tables and into the bar. I knew at once from the looks we got that this was a 'local's' bar, there was no outright hostility shown but there was a surely regard in the was the eyes followed us.

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