Part 6: The Traitor
Rain pelted the dark streets as a hooded figure darted through an alleyway. He dodged a large pile of waste, ignoring the weak yapping of the stray dog that was always sniffing around there, and stopped beside a dark door. He rapped on it four times, each consecutive knock faster than the last, and a flap in the door opened almost immediately.
“Avenite,” was the whispered password, and the flap snapped shut. The door opened, and the cloaked man slipped inside.
The room was dark save for the small, flickering fire in the corner. At first glance, it would seem as if the room was empty. The Alchemist lifted his hood from his head, sighing as rain flecked from the cloak and dripped to the floor.
Using the light of the fire, a young man sat in the corner of the room, scribbling onto a piece of parchment. His eyes were oddly glazed and two hovering, identical stones glowed in front of him, casting pale green light onto his gaunt face.
“Seeing again, Cornelius?” the man beside him asked, his long, red beard almost touching the parchment as he leaned over to see.
“Don’t… touch!” Cornelius snapped, his quill scratching so fast on the parchment it was almost a blur.
“Any news from the castle?” asked a dark-skinned man, sitting on a leather armchair in the corner. As the Alchemist’s vision grew used to the darkness, he made out Krim’s silhouette.
“Uldrid has delivered the rumours to Queen Cassandra,” the Alchemist replied, pulling the wet cloak from his shoulders. “She believes that her sister is plotting to overthrow her throne. With that and the threat of the Giants in the north, I think they’ll barely notice we’re gone.”
Krim chuckled. “Queen Cassandra will definitely notice you’re gone,” he remarked.
The Alchemist smirked. “The silly girl doesn’t even realise I’m hypnotising her most of the time.” He imitated her in an exaggerated, high-pitched voice. “‘I frightened my guards. I frightened myself.’ She really believes that she can be Queen of this wretched kingdom.”
“Let her keep it,” Krim yawned and cracked his knuckles. “The scouts have confirmed a safe passage to the east. We’ll be out of here in no time.”
“Good,” the Alchemist picked at the rug with his long fingers. “And one step closer to…”
“Immortality,” Krem finished the sentence for him, a hungry look in his eyes.
“The answer is to the eastern lands of Theldiniya. I just know it. Once we’re there, we will see the Dragons, take their power, and become kings ourselves.”
The Alchemist grinned. “Once Kouzel gets back, we’ll take our spies and march.”