The Courts Divided

by

KellInkston

24.1 - Contact and Receive (AKA: Part Twenty Four: Dresmond Ulveroth Edition)

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A note from KellInkston

Well that's a pretty tactical-sounding name.

The three knights embark on their mission, going down to the first floor, exchanging a set of permitting glances and then splitting up to complete their various tasks.

Dresmond floats cautiously down the east halls, footsteps on the edge of perfect silence. He passes a few inattentive guards and keep workers, straight into the official’s working chambers. Dresmond rounds a corner, ducks into the pitch of a door frame, and looks over the working chambers.

Four guards split into groups of two, casually chatting as they guard the communications room and the logs room. It is only now that Dresmond realizes the three of them lacked to discuss what their policy on covert engagement would be. Regardless, the only way he’ll be able to get by will be to procure and use an effective disguise, which is unlikely considering he is a human, or else to win a fight against four guards at once. He thinks it over, sighs, and is about to make his move when he hears several deep, metallic crashes from behind.

“HEY YOU FAIRY F****! GET YOUR WEAK ASSES OVER HERE! IF I DON’T SEE A WHOLE F****** CREW OF FAIRIES RUNNING TO STOP ME RIGHT NOW, I’M GOING TO LEVEL THIS ENTIRE F****** KEEP!” a very-familiar voice yells, using a sort of language Dresmond is all too familiar with.

Dresmond quickly ducks deeper into the frame as the four guards rush to the source of the dragon-kin’s voice, not noting the rather suspicious shadow pressed into the corner of their eyes. Dresmond waits a few seconds more and exhales in relief; he quite admires Rayull’s way of getting attention.

Dresmond presses on into the empty hallway and right into the communications room. There is a single elf sitting in the middle of the room, jotting out notes with several inactive chat-stones laying on the table. He sneaks up behind him, draws his knife, and in a visceral instant presses the point against the elf’s back while constraining him using his free arm. The elf jolts in his grasp, and begins quivering as he does his best to display that he is unarmed.

Dresmond takes a deep breath, and begins in the deepest, scariest voice he can muster.

“You,” he begins, quickly causing the elf to jolt again in sheer horror.

“M-m-me?!”

“Where’s the stone to the R.K. Offices?” Dresmond asks, making sure to exhale on the back of the elf’s neck as he speaks, as per commonly-accepted “creepy assassin/nasty criminal” etiquette. The trembling elf points over to a vast array of shelves, and directs Dresmond’s gaze straight to the one labeled “Righty-Mighty Royal Knighty”.

“Sweet dreams,” Dresmond says right before he forces the side of his hand into the elf’s neck, knocking him unconscious.

Dresmond goes up to the shelves, opens the box for the chat stone to the Royal Knight offices, and sends a spark of his mana into it; the way most would activate a magical device that runs directly off of the user’s magic power.

“Hey, Hollen, what do you need?” a young, feminine voice says from the stone. Dresmond guesses Hollen is the elf he just KOed.

“Knight Vanguard Dresmond Ulveroth here. You need to put me on to Redemption ASAP,” Dresmond says to the point.

“Oh, on what grounds?”

“International emergency.”

“Wow, uh, okay. Got it. One second,” the voice says before she goes off a moment.

Dresmond waits at the desk for Redemption to get on, but is cut short as a gnome walks up to the door.

“Higgity hey, Hollen. I was tiggity told we should evac- hell’re you?” Grumpsy the gnome asks in the usual Liefland gnome dialect; considered just slightly less infamous than the Liefland elven dialect. Before Dresmond can react, Grumpsy spots the unconscious Hollen, presumes him to be dead, and emits the most blood-curdling scream Dresmond has ever heard, comparable only to the conjoined screams of death and bloody-injuries he was assailed with every minute while on the battlefield. He has no proper term for it, but were he asked to describe it, he would liken it a cross between a drowning cat, a lightning strike, and a pre-pubescent girl being thrown off a cliff- an unbearable, unfathomable sound. Grumpsy rushes off to get help, but is tackled down by Dresmond before he can escape. Dresmond knocks out the gnome with more speed than he’s done anything else previous in his short life; he had to stop the noise. The gnome goes limp as he drifts off to enjoy peculiar gnome-dreams, leaving Dresmond to his peace of mind, and the chat stone. At the edge of his hearing now emerging from the ringing screech of the gnome, Dresmond hears the scramble of a wave of guards rushing to his position. He quickly stuffs the gnome in a hiding spot, pulls out his wiring, and ties up the elf into his chair to look as though he were just resting. In the last few wintery seconds Dresmond finds his own spot and silences his breath.

A group of eight fairy folk soldiers rush by, only one sparing a glance into the room to spot Hollen, seemingly sound asleep even amidst the chaos unfolding, and a very inconspicuous, very normal bump sticking just over the various piles of small chat-stone boxes in the corner of the room. The group passes by just when Dresmond hears Redemption’s voice ringing from the stone on Hollen’s desk. Dresmond gets up from his hiding place and picks up the stone.

“Hello?” Redemption, thousands of miles away, asks with his own stone.

“Sir, Knight Vanguard Dresmond Ulveroth here.”

“The one I sent on the Liefland mission.”

“Yes, sir. The operation has taken a turn for the worse, Necromancers were involved in the killings, and now the fairies are certain we have been working with them to overtake the royals and steal the seat at the High Tea.”

“... How did that happen?”

“Apparently my superior, Knight Love, made some ... interesting tactical decisions tha-”

“Short, please.”

“They think we’re terrorists because Love exchanged a necromancer for the other two lower knights in our group.” There is a short silence.

“A prisoner exchange, with necromancers?” Redemption says.

“Y-yes sir. We have absolutely no time and we need reinforcements immediately.”

“Even though there hasn’t been a single documented event of necromancers exchanging prisoners. Just let Order handle this; she’s good friends with Pitch and Tylvania. I don’t think this will be a bi-”

“She’s scheduled for execution tonight, sir.” There’s another silence, this one a bit longer.

“... What?” Redemption asks, his tone instantly sharping in seriousness.

“Pitch’s hand was forced by his advisors. He thinks the people will rebel if they don’t pin it on someone tonight.”

“... for fu- ... really?”

“Yes sir.”

“I’ll be there as soon as I can. Caliburn unfold these damn necromancers.”

“We’re doing our best out here sir, but I don’t know how long we can—Oh, shi-” Dresmond stops short, feeling a dark, angry presence behind him.

On the other side of the stone, Redemption can hear a short scuffle, and then a lasting silence.

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A note from KellInkston

Rekt?

Yeah, I'm thinking rekt.


About the author

KellInkston

Bio: Hey, traveler!

My newest preorder is here:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085QFM5LR

Join us at the discord for fun, games, and literary analysis! :
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Thank you for your readership!

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