Home > Fantasy, serial > Whistle While You Work #7

Whistle While You Work #7

After the master magicians had regained their wits and the guests were removed to the dormitories, they gathered together to examine the great staff. It appeared so plain, like a piece of drift wood. It was worn and warped by the sea and the winds.

They studied it and held it. They swung it through the air and a few whistled or hummed simple spells.

But no matter what they did, none of them knew what it could do.

“This is ridiculous.” a tall, wispy man with no hair stomped his foot when he spoke. “I say, we let someone try it out.”

A round wizard, so hairy that one might have imagined he was a bear, laughed. “And I suppose you will volunteer to try it will you?”

The wispy wizard walked to the wall and sat down without a word.

Hennessy stood up and stepped to the table. “I think we can all agree that after what happened to Grand Master SiHeen, none of us are just going to pick up the staff and give it a try.”

Many of the wizards nodded, though the tall, wispy fellow crossed his arms over his chest and scowled at Hennessy.

“At the same time, I must admit that I am tempted to follow Markov’s suggestion.” Hennessy nodded towards the wispy wizard, ignoring the gape mouthed expressions of some of his fellows. ”Wouldn’t it be wonderful to simply snatch up the staff? We all dream of lifting it into the air and changing the world by swinging it through the air. I would love to lay claim to something as grand as a staff.”

Now all of the assembly looked at him. A few were already nodding.

“We must all consult our oracles and through coordinated effort, determine the power of this item. Only then can we decide who will wield it.”

***

Lady JoTaugh walked. She hated it, but she walked anyway. If she wanted to survive, she had to show that she was humble.

He would not have it any other way.

She was careful, sticking to the center of the path. The grass that surrounded her looked soft, but it was covered in sharp, bristling thorns that would have torn through her thick skin like a knight’s sword through a lady’s flesh. Her thick yellow blood would have turned the blue field green in seconds if she had stepped out of line.

He would not have it any other way.

She stopped unable to continue. She could not see him, but she could feel his presence. It was like trying to push her way through heavy snow, and she knew that it would just get worse.

“Why have you come?”

Her skin rippled at the force of those words like sheets drying in a strong wind.

“I bring a message. Those who watched the forging of the stick say that one without voice heard the whole of the song.”

“So?”

Lady JoTaugh blinked before continuing. “He is the same one who tried a song on his own. No training.”

A naked man shimmered into view in front of her. Lady JoTaugh closed her eyes and dropped to her knees. She lowered her head until she felt the dirt on her eyebrows. “You will visit him. You will offer him power and you will hide this from the other mortals.”

She did not move or open her eyes until his pressure was gone. It faded over time, and she realized that he had walked away. When she looked up, she found a path pushed through the tall grass.

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