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The Tree Throne

by Gregory Fahrenbruck about a year ago in fantasy
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Chapter 8

Juun and Page both watch as I place a hand mirror between the three of us on the table. Both look confused and I sigh, “we’re in a mirror, thus what would the properties of the mirror be?”

“Reflection,” Juun answers, “Just get to the point, you are the only one who understands magical items. It’s good to see you not panicking though.”

“She’s a pain when she is,” Page comments and I glare at her.

“Earlier I saw myself in Vivian’s eyes, and now I’ve been looking at mirrors trying to see if I can see myself like I did. But no luck.”

“And why can’t you see yourself in anything else?” He asks with a shrug, being clinical with me as for the past few days I have been panicky, but this is something I understand, something which I can grasp and explain in this world which I know nothing else about.

I give them both a smile, “We’re still in a magical item which contains a devil, that is the information we knew before entering. It’s just my assumption at this point but Spade…” I look at the smile coming over Page’s face before shaking my head at her, though it remains, “As much as it annoys me as I’ve said before, but Spade is the core of this world we’re in right now. It’s a rare magical skill that comes from out preforming a standard sealing. The skill of the thing being sealed, in this case a Devil would pale in comparison to creating a core.”

“A duel core?” Juun questions and I hold up a hand in a fist.

“A duel core wouldn’t work as the item can only contain one core.” I demonstrate this by knocking one fist away with the other. “This is a layered core,” I bring back the knocked away fist and close it over the first one. “The magic Spade used to do so is stronger than the initial seal.”

“She is quite skilled,” Page smiles, praising her own sister.

“But that is in itself an issue, Page...few have that kind of knowledge, and I only know of such an ability because of managing the void pouch...I can hardly do it to anything of this degree. To create a world within a magical item is rather unheard of.”

“So going into your staff is out of the question?” Juun jokes.

“The only reason why we have a world here is because of the mirror, a mirror reflects things, so it can imitate a world. But this world is that of the future, so already the mirror must have had magical properties before it became a seal for the devil.”

I bring my attention to the mirror placed between us now, “A mirror which shows the future, a seal for a devil, and a layered core creating a universe using all three properties. But this combination gives us the forth characteristic of this world. I’ve been off since being here. Magic is non existences here, all of what we’ve seen in the technologies which we’re—me in particular—are unknown to us.”

“That’s caused by the seal,” the two respond in tandem.

That much is oblivious I tell myself but still watching the mirror as my assumptions are just that, I have no definitive proof of this theory but combining numerous high level magics is hard to being with, let along having them all contained in a single item. The item must be made from incredible skilled craftsman and this mirror isn’t even mentioned among the books I’ve read.

“Of the numerous magical items through the lands, this mirror isn’t mentioned in any of the books I read. It’s must be a well crafted item, but because it’s sealing a devil, it could be that the information has been erased from history, or that it’s so old and has been forgotten. Either way, I can’t use any magic, and to fix that we need to connect the two worlds that are within this mirror.”

“There is only one world,” Juun tells me and I express with only my eyes that he is wrong.

“There are two worlds, it’s how this world is constructed to keep magic out of this. The Devil is sealed in this world which lacks magic, while being stripped of it’s magic within the second world. They are the layers. When Spade made this world and became the layered core, to protect herself she separated the magic that the Devil had with a mirror of her own. Which is why within only the people dwelling in the mirror, like Vivian I can see that world. Because they are fragments of that magic leaking into this world.”

“I’d love to understand how you think, Tamma, but you can’t understand this world, yet still you understand something as complex as that, that of which I am even having a hard time wrapping my head around.”

“So how do we escape and save Spade?” Page stands, walking toward me, “I have a far better grasp on what you’ve just told us than him.” She looks at Juun with a snicker and back to me, “it’s what I think it is, right?”

For once I am kind of glad Page is here, she can help me annoy Juun, but that is besides the point. “All we have to do is brake the layer, doing so we should be able to find Spade, then we need to get out of here...but we only solve that one issue, how we solve getting out of the mirror is going to rely on Spade and how she made the layers.”

Juun scratches his head, “And we break the layer, how?”

“I’m the only one here with an abundance of magic, everything else is a reflection of the world Spade created. Page, do you have any magic?”

“Yes, some healing magic...the language which the populace here speak is a variant of it so because of that it’s possible for me to use my healing magic.”

“And the language which I use is far older, but it’s like I was isolated out of you two, maybe because Spade sensed how strong my magic was and wanted to make sure we couldn’t break out.

“I doubt that is the case, I think it’s more that the mirror has a personality of it’s own and divide your magic from you because of your abilities and how they’re comparable to that of the Devil held within.”

Juun is scratching his chin and a grin comes to his face, laughing at what Page just said, “You’re like a Devil I guess. It explains at lot actually.”

“Shove it, Peon!” I yell at him. But what Page says does make more sense than Spade knowing others have entered the mirror. “But this brings up a very troublesome concern. Why is Spade doing this…”

Turning to Page, I furrow my brow, “does Spade have anything to do with the Cultist?”

“Do we even know that this is related to them?” Juun interjects.

“She’s a Dead Man, she has a statue in the museum, same as us.” I retort and Page simply shakes her head.

“She’s been at the monastery since I’ve been there. She has never shown any kind of contentment until the last few weeks she was there.”

“Then what changed,” Juun questions.

There is a pause, a moment of hesitation before she answers. “I think it would be the old nun that showed up, she was there to inspect Keeper Robins duties as the head of the monastery. She reached out to Spade, and then she became very secretive to even me, leaving not long before you came.” She grows softer as she speaks of this, the Monastery being destroyed is still fresh in her mind and I can tell she’d rather not recall those memories.

This old woman, we’d need to seek her out when we leave this mirror...I clear my throat, trying to lessen the tension Page brought up, “There is plenty for us to go off of now, we have more answers now than when we began even if they only relate to the mirror. Going after that woman will come when we leave the mirror, but I think we need to try to keep the Devil from getting out...that maybe what Spade came here to do, willing or not.”

“To free the Devil?” Page questions, as almost a cry, not believing what I just said.

“Page, there is a good chance your sister is being mind controlled to do this, so I forgive myself for not considering that, I was under the understanding that she was doing all of this on her own…”

“Don’t just assume stuff, Tamma,” Juun chuckles, “we’ve gotten into plenty of messes because you do.”

“It’s because we never have the full story in those cases…”

“Don’t assume my sister is bad right off the bat.” Page yells.

“But you stole our gear.” I yell back, approaching her as I’m blocked.

“You two,” Juun gets in my way, blocking me from Page, “We know our Gear is safe, Ool has it, we understand the mirror far better now, and we know there is a third party which could have possible influenced your sister into doing something. Lets be happy with what we’ve learned and look forward to the coming festival in celebration of us.”

I step back, looking at Juun who looks really excited...in fact he’s had that smile on his face the entire time we’ve been talking, “how far off is this festival?”

“Two weeks, well one, once this weeks over.”

“We see the Devil at the end of this week, Vivian wants us to see it’s harmless but they are creations of the mirror’s magic so it would be something that is in stasis can they even wake up a Devil?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well I would assume, though as you two clearly disagree with me I am wrong in this thinking, that a Devil sealed wouldn’t be able move in a seal but who knows now, this is all within Spade’s control and how ever she has imagined the world is what we’d get. It’s a bit much to even take in.”

“Lets take a break then,” Page says, happy for a good point for her to cut in and end the conversation, she seems more exhausted than anything but we haven’t done much for that to be the case. “I’m thankful that this may not be my sisters will, so I thank you for bring that to my attention,” she says at me, “we should get along, it’s bad for us to not to, at least in this situation.

“Well said.” Juun pats her on the back with his large hand, “lets get some rest, we’ll be seeing that Devil soon enough and I have more work to do in the morning to get the festival ready.”

“Sounds good,” I answer and sit back down, bring the mirror in front of myself. I can only see that other world in the eyes of those that are fragmented here. Which means I to am fragmented. I may be able to use the language of old to cast spells but without my other half, my words have no strength to them...this mirrored world has lost all magic if we’re to believe it’s an actual future of Osanndann. But it could also easily be that magic has been forgotten given the technologies used. I feel it’s more that then an actual seal, though I’m just nit picking…

“If that is the case,” I say to myself as Juun and Page both leave for there separate rooms, leaving me to stare at the mirror. “Then my staff would still have the magic imbued in it due to my heavy usage.”

My hand holding the mirror tingles as I squeeze it’s handle tighter. The Devil, Spade, and my Staff, those are the keys to escaping this place. But once we do leave we’re in even deeper waters with the King’s Guard coming after us.

fantasy

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Gregory Fahrenbruck

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