Odis and Other Smelly Things
Crowds upon crowds upon crowds of nimrods were parooding the streets in the wake of the poisoned King of Upitar and barreling Captain of the Guard. Odis and Yerowslii could barely take a step without having to shove, throw, or straight up blast someone who got in their way. Well, Yerowsli did the blasting. Odis…Odis just tried not to get hit while he struggled to be within shouting distance of the keeper.
With Ula somewhere in the storm of cloaks, neither of them knew what was going to happen next. At least when Yerowslii removed someone from his path, he did it safely (sort of. No one died.) But who knew what Ula was capable of? With the man’s plan being exposed, the reality was there would be nothing stopping him from completing it now.
Yerowslii leaped over the sea of on lookers, running alongside the fractured walls.
Sorry Odis. I have a job to do.
The mass of wizards erupted with fascination. Most of them could barely quick run let alone do it alongside a stretch of cracked building. The wind gushed against the keeper’s stubble face, oh how he wished his beard was that of a true wizard right now!
Lunging over spread of windows, Yerowslii was struggling to stay perpendicular to the structure when down below, in the crowed, the voice of the dingo fired upon his concentration.
“Yerowslii! Yerwoslii! Yerowslii!!!! Wait up! Wait for me! I can’t run like that, Yerowslii!”
Tripping over an upright stone, Yerowslii lost focus and gravity again seized him. He’d pound Odis for this. The crowed shattered but not as badly as his hand and arm.
One arm may have been damaged but that still left one available to clench Odis’s mouth shut. “Now, in the midst of me chasing down Ula, YOU THOUGHT NOW, WAS A GOOD TIME TO SHOUT FOR MY ATTENTION!?!?!?!” His hair was fluttering upward and some would say it was on fire. “YOU THOUGHT NOW!?!?!?!? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?”
He let go of Odis’s mouth. “Search the back allies. I’ll take the rooftops to watch from above.”
“That is a great plan—you are really good at plans—”
“Search!” he should’ve received a metal for not smiting Odis right there.
“But I have a better one.”
“You?” the blaze in the keeper’s eyes turned to a dark abyss, swallowing up any remaining mercy.
“Mhm.” Odis nodded and turned forward. “You see. We’ve actually already passed them. They’re not going to just flee out the main gate—that’d be foolish…” You’re a fool. He couldn’t help but think it of him, “…they’d only make it a hundred veccas before Ula killed them. They’re taking the railcars below the festival, you see. It makes much more sense. Less crowded and a direct shot to Blacksea Bay where the king’s royal ship is docked.”
Yerowslii may have wanted to disembowel Odis into a gazillion tiny pieces, but he had a point. Oh gosh. Why’d he have to be right? Why couldn’t he have just said something stupid like, I think they’re flying. Or, they probably didn’t go anywhere and are being held by an invisibility cloak (not a bad idea actually.)
But no. No, Odis had to say something intelligent.
And surly enough, drops of blood stained the steps to the underground railway system. Now the question was did Ula get the same idea?
With a hand smothering his nostrils, Odis complained, “It reeks of piss down here!”
“That’s probably because there is a bunch of piss down here, Odis.” There really was. The sewer system wasn’t ten meters away from the rail system. Building two separate tunnels would have taken twice as long and made the upper levels less sturdy.
“At least we know which way they went.” Yerowslii hopped into the rail trench. The festival center was the final stop on a two-way rail system. Venders and talent acts hauled their cargo in from Blacksea Bay and using the rail system, making Yinna really the only time it got used. And boy did it get used.
Broken carts and dozens of spare parts loitered the walls of the terminal. And the festering brew of excrements only seeped the further they went into the tunnel. One would think the colder temperature would neutralize some of the smell, but it only gave it a bite.
“Yerowslii?” his voice was more annoying now that it was nasally.
“What Odis.” He really wasn’t in the mood for breathing, let alone chatting.
“Do you think I’ll ever become a wizard?”
What! “What?” What kind of stupid question was that? It was either in your blood or it wasn’t. “One doesn’t just become a wizard, Odis. You have to have magic in you.”
“Well my parents had magic in them, does that mean I have it?”
“Not necessarily. Sometimes the magic is locked away, or, just not in you. Or sometimes it is. It’s really hard to say, nobody really knows how it works.” Yerowslii was telling the truth. No one really knew. It was either in you or it wasn’t. “But you’d know by now if you had it.”
“What do you mean?”
“You discover it at a young age, usually. You either blow something up or light something on fire or surround yourself in sparkles. Then, you just know.”
“Is that how you get an invitation to The Rolling Hills?”
“No stupid. The Rolling His is for the most gifted magic wielders. You get kidnapped by the magic council first. Then if you’re deemed worthy by them you get sent to The Rolling Hills.”
“I’ve always wanted to see the Hill City of Magic. Have you been there?”
Of course he’d been there! He’s the Keeper of Upitar! Granted, it was only twice… “Not in a while.”
“Is it as beautiful as they say?”
Who? “Uhmm. Yeah. Sure. I guess so.” I’d been a long while.
“One day, maybe I’ll get to go there. One day.”
“Sure, Odis, maybe you will.” Thank the goodness that up ahead was the end of the damn tunnel. Yerowslii didn’t know if he could take anymore of that conversation. He hated talking about the wizard council, especially after the incident.