If you find mistakes, pls tell, thx. I don't like mistakes.
I was asked about reading my work on other sites.
The answer is simple: Currently I am not active in any other networks than royalroadl.com. Only here, I correct mistakes and errors.
If you read it anywhere else and have to pay for it, or have to deal with an annoying amount of advertisement, You Are Being Betrayed.
You would do good if you make other people in that network aware of it. This is a free project of mine for the purpose of having fun. And if people try to make money with it you shouldn't bother visiting their website.
I have no problem with translation and reposting of the story, as long as the person in question isn't doing it for money or stealing my identity.
The only one whom I actually allowed to have my work on his website is Armaell who invested the time to compile them into pdf.
“It’s always the gardener!”
- The Journey to the Afterlife
***Kingdom Newerth, Capital City***
This is becoming overly complicated and I am not into complicated stuff. At least not when it involves the lives of those who are close to me.
Complicated point number one. I created a complete mess in that interrogation cell and they simply let me go. As if what I did was completely normal under the circumstances. The only one who seemed at least a little fazed was Clarity.
Complicated point number two. Are they suspecting something? Was it some kind of sick test to make sure how far I would go? But how did they even connect me with the spirits? Pure deductions and suspicions? I am fairly sure that there is no solid evidence. Maybe Charles's gift is more capable than Marcus allowed me to see?
I turn around the last corner and head directly towards my shop. It's late evening, so the shop is still open and Adea is usually hanging out there. After a long time of fighting my conflicting feelings I decided that I can't trust Adea with the knowledge about the pathways. My guts are telling me that I can trust her, but my brain says no. Despite her regained memories, Adea is still a different person. As Jazira, she always looked out for me… apart from that one incident when she abducted me, and my parents went out of control to get me back.
Our roles as protector and disciple are now reversed. I haven't known her long enough to be completely sure about her reactions towards my plans.
She and her mother lived an entire lifespan in this realm. They have ties to this place and won't give it up that easily. Or am I making it too complicated? It's not like they made the best of memories in this city. But with the third prince Adea found someone who she likes. And things are looking good for her. Young love can be the cause for some seriously stupid decisions.
I'll have to protect her in a different way than giving her sensitive information about the pathways.
Reaching for the bracer on my left forearm, I imagine three pieces of jewellery. The mana crystal obeys without trouble and forms the items I wished for. Once they are in my hand, I concentrate to embed the necessary enchantments into the items.
Enchanting mana crystals isn't an issue of power, just one of knowledge. The crystals themselves are already pure energy, so the process of enchanting them is just a matter of forming the spell matrix. Which means that the crystals are only as good as the knowledge of the enchanter.
Once I am done, I enter the shop and notice with satisfaction that all three of my pets are at home. Patricia is in front of the shop, serving the customers. Jimmy is at the bar and Adea is at her usual place, doing homework. First, I head over to Jimmy and smile at him. He is standing behind the bar and doing some calculations regarding the monthly income.
After a few moments he notices me and looks up. His brows arch and he looks at me as if I am about to do something really horrible to him.
As if... though I have to admit that four out of five times I am up to no good.
“Do you like Patricia? She is investing a lot of time in you,” I assert.
His eyes narrow as he tries to find the correct answer. It’s cute that he still thinks he can avoid trouble with the right choice of words. “She is beautiful.”
I poke his chest. “You've indeed learned a lot since I started to take care of you. But this time I want to know what you really think.” Leaning in closer, I whisper, “How is your private time with Patricia? Would you stay with her, even if she didn't know your true name? Should I give you the chance for a little payback? I could lock her up in the basement and find out her true name...”
His face reddens in anger and he forces the words from between his teeth. “Don't... hurt... her!”
“Stretch out your hand.” I command, putting power into my voice.
Jimmy's expression slackens and he reaches out. I take his hand and place two of the trinkets in his hand, then I whisper a set of instructions into his ear and let go. He closes his hand around the items and forms a tight fist, an expression of disbelief and shock on his face.
I am honestly not sure if he is about to laugh, cry, hug, or hit me. What's interesting to watch though, is the fact that the redness of anger is replaced by pale dread as he walks out of the store and across the street.
Maybe a bit too much compulsion?
Nah! I turn around and head for Adea who is doing her homework at her usual place. She eyes me with suspicion as I approach her. When I am close enough, she whispers, “You did something to Jimmy! Didn't you?”
I raise both eyebrows and take the seat next to her. “I thought you don't like him?”
Adea snorts and shrugs her shoulders. “Mom likes him. I am not so low as to be mad at her for finding someone who she is happy with. My initial reaction was just so bad because she really surprised me. She could have told me sooner. What made her think that I'd disapprove of her finding one guy to go steady with? In fact, having one man is far better than dozens.”
Smiling, I place the third trinket in front of her. It's an earring. “Then you will like her reaction when Jimmy returns. I just returned from my visit to the palace and brought something that's important for his future.”
Adea's eyes start sparkling as she reaches for the earring. “That's so beautiful! It's made out of the same crystal as the ones you are wearing!”
I smile and nod. “Yes, I am a very generous person.”
Adea purses her lips as she inspects the item. “This feels strange. It's almost like... his items. There is so much power. Are you sure that you don’t know where your parents are?”
“It's a mana crystal. I enchanted it with a little protective charm. Please wear it at all times. Something dangerous is going on with the spirits. If you have this, I will be able to sleep much better.” I take the earring from her and close the clip around her right ear. The item melds firmly to the skin, making it almost impossible to remove.
My little pupil reaches up towards the earring. “How do I take it off?”
“You can't,” I answer, smiling.
She drops her hand. “What if I want to take it off?”
“You can't.” I answer, still smiling.
“Are you joking!?” she calls out.
“Nope.” I pat her head. “Keep it for now. It will keep you safe when I am not here to protect you. When you become a god for real, you will have it off in no time.”
Now it's Adea's turn to become worried. “Is it really that bad with the spirits? There are rumours at the university, but everyone is saying that the people are exaggerating.”
I shrug. “Who knows. I think it’s better to take precautions than to be sorry later.”
Through the window, I see Jimmy returning from across the street. In his hand is a hand-picked bouquet of flowers. They are apparently fresh from the palace garden inside the park. The flowers there are unique to the city. A gardener is tending to them twenty-four-seven. I point at the scene and pat Adea's shoulder. “Oh! Oh! This is going to become good! Just watch!”
Adea's mouth opens in surprise. Sadly, her jaw is unable to fall further. Otherwise it would have surely hit the table. “You...”
I allow myself a girly squeal as Jimmy heads directly for Patricia who is serving a pair of customers. He drops to his knees, offering her the flowers and the two rings I gave him. Everyone is looking at them and Patricia's forehead is furrowed in honest surprise. Jimmy is saying something.
For a moment, I fear that she smells my involvement in this, but then she screams in delight and snatches the rings away from him.
Sealing the deal, she puts one ring on Jimmy and the other on herself. People all around start clapping and whistling. The rosy atmosphere is a little dulled as someone who looks like a gardener comes across the street, shouting.
I put a hand around Adea and sigh. “That's exactly how it should be.”
Jimmy starts bowing to the gardener, apologizing. His face shows no remorse at all.
Adea shakes her head. “You are evil. Was it your idea to steal the flowers from the palace garden? You knew that would happen.”
I lean my head on Adea's shoulder. “Oh, child. You've forgotten so much about your previous self. Such things aren't memorable at all if everything is perfect. Now they have something to look back to and laugh.”