Dreamweaver Chapter 202 Part B
(In a faraway place, somewhere between the Dark Dwarf Southern Province Capital and Shun’s present location
“What do you mean you lost the trail?!” Lyra shouted. She kicked at a nearby tree trunk so hart that it crumbled.
The two apprentices behind her cringed but are also scratching their heads. Both of them look at each other to blush.
“Um, sorry,” Edouard said.
Ahead of Lyra, the other girl remains unmoving.
“I don’t know this is so weird. It went cold awhile back. Err, the signal I mean. I thought if I got to where it last went dead that things would be OK,” Lula said not looking up. As they watch her Lula is trying to pick a scent on the ground or something.
“Can you really smell anything that way? You aren’t a beastman you know?” Jules asked.
“Quiet, don’t wreck my concentration,” Lula said.
“Witches are odd eh?” Edouard whispered to Jules.
Lyra continued to pace back and forth. Her apprentices are antsy when she’s like this because they don’t like being around her bad mood. “I need to find Sunghee. I need to find Sunghee…damn it,” Lyra growled. She looked like she would grind her teeth now as she paced.
“Boss, do you think they got eaten? It couldn’t be that right?” Jules wondered. He seemed nervous at first. It would be easy for him to think this to want to go home but in the end he wanted their sacrifices so far to mean something.
Lyra punched him in the face.
“Ouch!” he stumbled a bit but didn’t fight back. His cheek is swelling up now too. “Fuck…that wasn’t nice.” Then he spat in the ground.
“That wasn’t nice boss. I agree with him on this,” Edouard said.
“Whatever..” Lyra scowled. “You two seem to think you can question orders. This isn’t a church. It’s the military order backing a sponsored mission.”
“Well that’s true but it’s only sponsored because you are in with the bosses,” Edouard conjectured.
“Yeah well if you serve and sacrifice as long as I have you’ve earned it,” she said back.
Lula is still doing something with a witch technique that looks like a homemade compass using something like a bowl and water.
“What’s that?” Lyra wondered in low suspicious tones.
Lula ignored her innocently while she concentrated.
“Hey, I’m talking to you,” Lyra said.
“Oh…right. I’m concentrating just a sec. It’s a dousing technique only keyed for people instead of water or gold,” came the reply from the witch girl.
“Wait, you can do that for gold too?” Jules’ mouth fell open.
“Wait, if we can get gold why are we doing this instead?” Edouard whispered to Lyra.
Lyra even blinked a few times…it is a temptation of course. “Gold…huh?’
The others are stunned too.
Lyra was about to say something when Edouard whispered to her over the back of his hand. “Boss. If she can douse for gold…then, shouldn’t we…”
Edouard was interrupted when Lyra elbowed him to shut him up right when Lula was turning her head. “We’re sticking to the mission. Even if we’re tempted. We can go after gold after I find Sunghee.”
“Hmm…Sunghee or gold…huh…Who knew witches could douse for gold. Maybe I’m in the wrong line of work. When you put it like that…” Lyra is muttering to herself in deep thought.
They waited patiently.
After a few minutes Lula looked up. “Wow, that’s weird. I finally got the signal back. It threw me off because it was suddenly in the wrong direction. And I thought that was a false signal at first.” She still has the funny water bowl compass in her hand balanced.
“Something happen? They didn’t get eaten right? Jules is wrong…likes always?” Edouard teased.
“Laugh it up. HAHA, not funny,” Jules said with his arms crossed over his chest. He’s glaring at the others.
“I’m not laughing really,” Edouard said.
“I can see your attitude.”
“No, you shut up,” he said to the other one.
“Both of you two kids can shut up, or I’ll go nuts on both of you,” Lyra said.
“Are false signals possible?” Lyra asked her.
“Possible. But I know what to do to make sure. So no worries,” Lula answered back. Lula continued to be like positioning the water bowl compass contraption in different directions of East, West, South, and so on to try to see if she could get signals. “Hmm…that’s an odd direction.”
“What happened?” Lyra asked.
“I think they had a teleport accident of some kind; or a teleport by another person whose mana didn’t match up with their team. I don’t know much more than that other than the other mana source for the teleport wasn’t human. They are clearly in a vastly different location than they were before. This is like 120 degrees different and a couple of hundred miles off. In a way it’s not bad though because I was having trouble figuring out how to get underground. Now they don’t seem to be underground but are high up somewhere even,” Lula said.
“Wow you can tell that much?” Lyra asked.
“I can. Others wouldn’t be able to tell you that though,” Lula said.
Jules and Edouard both were trying to not stare at Lula’s short miniskirt and thin slender legs from behind. Lyra had nice legs too but she was always covered up, and would punch them in the face if caught staring at her.
“So is that in our favor or against it?” Jules asked.
Lula almost ignored him as she sat on her heels thinking. Then she finally took her witch hat off and stored the contraption inside of it.
“Hey that’s interesting. You use your hat for a magic inventory system?” Jules asked.
“Oh right that…all witches do. That is if we have time space element. Most witches have at least some time space element ability but it’s often so low that we only get it for magic inventory. And it’s ingrained into us as a culture to like these pointy hats that everyone seems to think we worship, but we don’t really. For us with time space element it’s easy to store inventory in dimension pockets. But if you think you can rob us…” she gave him a cold look.
“Oh no it’s good,” Jules tried to downplay it.
“So will the teleport accident or whatever mean we’ll have to travel further or less than before? What now? Can you get us a course to recover?” Lyra wondered.
“Well in this case it’s got pros and cons. But yes I can get us back on track. We will have the chance to avoid going underground again. I don’t particularly care for traveling underground actually so this isn’t a bad thing; since it’s easy to get surprised by nasty critters. If they are sneaky and they usually are then they get too close before you can react and I don’t want that. But on the other hand we’ll have to travel slightly further and go through a goblin empire territory,” Lula said while looking at a map she pulled out.
“Err…did you say a goblin empire?” Edouard asked stunned.
“Shit, shit, shit…why is it always goblins? Damn it!” Jules complained with a sore expression.
“Yeah I did. But don’t worry I’ve used this map before and gone through this area. We should be fine if we’re careful,” Lula smiled.
“Well it does make sense that it’d be goblins. They are the most common type of creature on this planet and both them and orcs cover large areas of ground,” Lyra explained.
“Soon this will be all over too,” Lula’s smile was even bigger. But the other two thought she looked obsessed.
“But you did say a goblin empire right, not a small kingdom?” Lyra wondered.
“Yeah but it’s no biggie. This is one of their smaller empires. This whole section of kingdom we’ll be going through was given to the chief son of the Sun Emperor’s sixth son, not the first son. So his territory is way less than the others because he’s still learning how to manage things. We can probably cross the whole thing in less than a month and be where we need to be. The other good news too is that the signal we’re tracking is no longer moving!” Lula smiled again.
“Not moving? Is that good? Or is that bad? If they were dead they wouldn’t move. Help me figure this out,” Lyra wondered.
“It’s a live signal, but has some kind of weird interference that’s making it hard to track. But luckily I’m detection pro. So I can find our Shun and Sunghee team easily. Soon I’ll be with my honey Shun!” Lula suddenly is making strange noises of someone mentally imbalanced…
“Um boss that’s weird,” Jules whispered to Lyra, who nodded.
“So um…it sounds like you know a lot about monsters,” Edouard noticed looking at Lula.
“Well yeah, some people think I am good at that. And I do military intelligence well too but momma wouldn’t let me become a demonologist,” Lula’s face scrunched up.
The other two stiffened a bit hearing that. You had to be fierce to be demonologist material. Plus demonologists were hunted by paladins so they aren’t sure what to think now.
“No worries I didn’t become one. And I know about paladins too,” Lula conjectured.
Edouard was more forgiving. He decided to distract Lula out of her episode.
“Can you tell us more about the goblin empires?” Edouard wondered. He was partly fascinated and really wanted to know what she knew of goblins since it sounded like she’d been this way many times. The goblins everyone hated but there was no mistake that they were a prolific race with lots of territory.
“Normally a goblin emperor or King may keep as much territory as he can handle. But if he’s successful then they’ll eventually get to a point where it becomes harder to manage everything by themselves. So they may end up carving up pieces and having their prince sons manage things and forward the gold, and riches to them in administration costs. They won’t give them to generals though for fear of uprisings. But being clannish the goblins will for a time be dominated by a strong father, who is probably aging by the time this is going on. He may have less stamina as part of why they may work a system like this, or he may just be after mineral wealth. Another typical strategy is if a goblin emperor has 7 sons, he may give each parts of the outer territories that are buffer states to create a hedge against enemies. This way is popular too so that they cannot worry about the buffer while concentrating their attention on other territory gains and so on. Also it’s common for the prince sons to have to outdo each other in competitions for the most troops produced and human concubines given to the head emperor every year. Since I do a lot of magic intel type of operations getting to know that much is child’s play,” Lula said.
“What? If you knew all that why aren’t you helping us with the war?! The Vyskland Empire needs this secret intel!” Jules cringed.
Lula frowned. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m still undecided on the fate of humans. The world is probably better in the hands of humans than it is goblins and orcs, even with human problems coming up. But I’m not a human. And humans have caused a lot of trouble. My race is a witch, even if I look like a human teenager girl; I am older than you to by the way. Actually I’m older than probably all three of you combined just barely. Oh where was I? We tried to help the humans once. Did you know that? It was right before your people attacked us and took our kingdom and castles. The witches kingdom once proud and beautiful and holding back the orcs and goblins for millennia was no more then. And you still didn’t figure out that part that we had been one of the lynchpins holding them back before with a few other races. And your folk genocided us, so I feel temptation to hurt humans sometimes even though I haven’t yet. That’s why a lot of witches say screw the humans and let the world burn. But the problem is if that happens then there won’t be anyone to fight the orcs so we feel conflicted too. Plus human children are sort of cute in a way…until they grow up. I’m only doing this now to help you because I want to meet Shun soon. And Lyra meeting Sunghee somehow was a weird fate that happened. But I don’t actually trust humans that well. And I do have grievances against them.”
The two apprentices stood there, not able to verbally continue.
“I didn’t know that. Sorry,” Lyra said.
“Are you sure you didn’t?” Lula asked pointedly.
“Well not the full details but some of it,” she admitted.
“That’s not good. I thought it was the elves holding them back no?” Jules said.
“Primarily it was the elves as the chief cornerstone with us and the fae almost like their counselors and supports in a triad operation. When the elves were gone we struggled badly and were so stressed in resources that it left us vulnerable. Some noticed that and acted against us. Now only the fae are left. But the fae had a stiff rivalry with us and would never admit we did as much as they did partly because they had more resources than us, but it was our people that had been feeding the intel in all the wars and countering the enemy intel. That always played a huge part in the battles. And the fae have always been blind because of pride,” Lula said.
“Wow,” Lyra was taking all of this in.
“Um boss, we better be nice to her,” Edouard whispered a few paces away to Lyra.
“Give it a rest. We have common short term goals. We might be able to build trust with her if you shut up now,” Lyra told Jules.
“Thank you,” Lula said.
“Don’t mention it. But just so you know, not all humans would do what happened to your people Lula. And we don’t approve but we often are less powerful than our tyrant bosses. We aren’t as self sufficient as witches and so our lives can be controlled and twisted to their wants easily,” Lyra said.
“Wait, what did you mean by that? Why are you telling her that?” Edouarrd wondered. He can tell something is up.
“The Witch home territory was bordering the Vyskland Empire, Edouard,” Lyra said.
The two apprentices now have long faces. They understood their position now. All three of them dependent on a witch, who could easily want revenge if she so desired.
That means…Lula could easily want to kill them at any time.
Now the pieces were coming together. Always it seemed one more piece would uncover itself the more Lyra learned about the truth of what had happened and what was happening on this world.
“Wait do you mean the battle of …” Jules started to mention something but Lyra’s hand clamped over his mouth.
“Not another word. But yeah, that battle…and it wasn’t even a battle. It was a tragedy that screams of shame against what our people did,” Lyra said.
Currently Lula turned away and was charting their way forward. She was thinking of other things, or she might have gotten upset.
“I’m sorry Lula. We’ll try to help you any way we can,” Edouard said.
Lula grunted hearing it. “Thanks. Just don’t die. I don’t want your blood on my hands even if we don’t trust humans too much. And most especially so I don’t get blamed if you die, either.”
“So, a month in goblin territory huh? How will we keep them from finding us? I mean that’s going to be a real pain in the ass,” Jules scratched his head.
“Well…I have a way but you won’t like it. But on the other hand if we really do have a military intelligence mage then we might just be able to do it. This might be the only way we could have done it too with her help,” Lyra said while noticing Lula’s smile twisted into a wicked predator face.
Lula appeared to be in the middle of some kind of odd magic scan, which was pointed at the geography around them.
“Boss? That look she’s giving…”
“U-uh,…yeah, I’m worried too…” Lyra’s face paled.
“Is this safe?” Jules said in follow up.
Lula was holding up something awful that looked like yellow and brown water in some kind of test tube vial with a rubber stop cap. “Oh don’t worry! Even with your faults I hate goblins more than humans. So things will be justttt finnnneeeee.”
“I swear that looks like bear piss or something,” Edouard paled.
“Wait, what?” Jules cringed.
“Oh you know of this trick?” Lula said.
“Uh, shit, I was right?! Ahh fuck,” Eduoard said.
Lyra blinked a few times in disbelief. “Wait, bear piss?”
“Yeah, how else did you think we were going to avoid having them smell us while we stealth through? Without it, there’s no way we’d survive. Goblins noses are better than some wolves. We can’t use dog or wolf piss because they enslave those and so that only attracts them. There aren’t any elephants in the area or lions either, which goblins don’t like. The only way you can sneak through their territory is wearing bear piss,” Lula said with a triumphant smile.
“What’s an elephant?” Jules asked to Edouard. (The Vyskland Empire was too cold for elephants and Jules often skipped his elementary school lessons as a formerly pampered nobles’ child.)
Edouard looked at him and shook his head in disbelief. “Later…on that.”
Lula was still holding up that shitty looking awful piss filled vial…
Jules puked in the bushes… “G—no!’
[Witch lore; Witch race people on this planet often have at least two magic elements but other races usually only have one. Witch elements by an average witch have a 60% chance of having a time space element connection, but that connection is usually at less than 20% strength compared to their main element, usually only allowing for some minor skills.]
[Typical witch ‘Inheritance’ skills; levitation, magic inventory, gravity attack defense buff, and feather fall.]
[Witch lore; female only race, which use other races’ males to breed, being a witch doesn’t guarantee lesbianism but is in fact the opposite;]
[Witch lore; witch race typically has twice the amount of mana as a human, but as a race all witches are job restricted to either, 1] Witch class, or 2) Mage classes; there are no documentable cases on this world of knight, hero, or close combat classes. Rumors persist but are unconfirmed that Emperor class witches are the witch races’ versions of a hero job class.]
[Witch lore; additional point, military intelligence mages often encouraged and sought after in witch culture.]