So we went through all the pages from the box my parents left me. It was incredibly disappointing. Nothing about the magic at all. Just a lot of my parent’s backstory and why they remained on Earth instead of getting back to Parelelo after my birth. apparently they wanted to preserve my innocence for as long as possible, which is also why they didn’t tell me about their other life and my future life—I still think that was a terrible mistake—and they thought it would be good if I had the knowledge from modern earth. Did I tell you before that they used IVF to get pregnanet? That’s why they began travelling to Earth a lot. Anyway, this intro is a bit long, but I just thought it was an interesting piece of information.I was supposed to meet with Kridec in the stockhouse but she never showed so I Skipped to Blackie to get some confirmation of a suspicion I had, and to give Kitty some Blackie-time. *purrs*
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This is Nadec, my adventure. Written down in a better way than I can tell it.
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Episode 36: Uncle Jodec
The box didn’t teach Nadec much about the Lines. The pages didn’t explain how all the powers worked, nor how many there were and what they did. Her parents merely referred to several book titles and where to find the books. They were in the castle of course, in some sort of secret room. They did disclose that the room could only be entered by someone having access to the full powers. This was a safeguard which had been built in by their ancestors, to prevent anyone else from learning about it. They mentioned it was a reason for why they couldn’t speak too much about it in the pages they left. It had also something to do with the tradition of starting the specific heir education only three years before the Coronation.
Because of the lack of information, the box was a big disappointment for Nadec. She’d thought she’d learn about what was to come, but no, she would have to wait until the Wooden Water Crown dropped on her head to know more. They didn’t even give her anything about Skipping, even though they said they suspected it was one of her basic Lines.
The more Nadec leafed through the pages, the more frustrated she got. There were too many strange little rules and customs here in parallelogram. Paralelo, she reminded herself, forcing her mind to forget the mock name she’d given it.
Some of her questions did get an answer. Why she’d never heard of this area before, for instance. Her parents had left Kridec and Stetem with precise instructions on what to tell Nadec. That included a fake map and incomplete information on creatures and cities. The map had been mostly true, but they’d erased her kingdom and had drawn a massive lake instead. Nadec shook her head, comparing the fake map with the real one they’d included. The differences were obvious now. The strange geography of the fake map didn’t make much sense. She should’ve seen it before. But then, this had been a completely new world. She couldn’t have known what was possible.
Despite the lack of the magic explanation, Nadec and Melia still spent late into the evening reading many of the pages, sorting them into order of importance, and trying to come up with a plan to rescue Patat and stay safe inside of the city. They went to bed with a rough outline of what they’d do.
‘Ten more days.’
Nadec sat at the desk again. She tapped the pencil against the sheet. ‘It doesn’t mention when it happens. Is it at midnight. Is it at noon? Is it random? Or is it at the time of my birth?’
‘I would expect it to be the last, mistress.’ Nadec glanced at Melia. ‘Oh, apologies, I mean, uh, Cedan. It is all so very complicated, the way the Crown drops and the rules which go with it. So if everything would be normal, and your parents were still ruling, the crown would automatically fall on your head. Your parents wouldn’t be able to stop it, not unless you agree. In which case a ritual has to be performed to stop you from being the heir. It is what Kridec did. She didn’t want to be the heir after Jodec disappeared, so they performed a ritual, effectively making your mother the heir.
‘However, according to that hastily scribbled note, he might still be alive. Death would have automatically transferred the heirdom to Kridec, which is what they assumed. But if he was still alive, he should’ve been the one to receive the crown either way, because the Transfer ritual wouldn’t have worked. One cannot transfer heirdom if one isn’t the real heir. So the only way that could have happened is if…’ Melia looked up from the note. Nadec was content to let her talk for now. It felt good to give her own brain a little rest. ‘If he wasn’t here at the time of his supposed coronation, or performed a Transfer ritual himself. But why would he do that?’
‘What had Kridec said about his Lines?’ Not thinking wasn’t an option for Nadec apparently. What had her aunt said about him? Not enough. Not enough by far.
‘Here, these are the pages your parents wrote about your family.’ Nadec frowned at Melia. Pages about her family? She didn’t remember reading those last night. She squeezed her eyes shut and pinched the bridge of her nose. Not enough information by far, but still enough to give Nadec a headache.
Melia continued, seeing the confused expression on Nadec’s face. ‘You merely placed them in a separate pile yesterday, you didn’t read them. I believe your words were: I’m too buggered to get into family drama right now. I do not know what bugs have to do with this, but we went to bed not long after that. Remember?’
‘It’s an expression, it means being exhausted. Don’t ask me where it came from, I wouldn’t know.’ Nadec grabbed the pages, leafed through them and speedread the one about Jodec. Lines of Deception and Skipping.
‘That’s what she mentioned about him, the Line Of Deception. I can imagine what that one does. But I might be completely wrong too. He can Skip as well… That’s interesting. He would be able to teach me a lot, having done it for all those years. If we ever find him.’ And if he is on our side, she added in her mind. ‘Which is not something we’ll add to our to-do list, it’s challenging enough as it is. It feels as if there is something more, some connection I should see. Frankdamn, my brain isn’t working properly.’
She took a sip of her tea and almost spat it out. It had grown cold.
‘What’s the time? We’ve been working on this for longer than we were meant to, haven’t we?’
‘The castle’s bells have struck ten a while ago. Oh, you were supposed to meet with Madam Ichau at eleven. She’ll be surprised to see the dragon is no longer in the building.’
‘Okay, I’m leaving.’ She stroked Kitty, bent towards him, and whispered: ‘sorry buddy, I have to go. Aw don’t give me that look. You’re so cute, but I need to get up. Oh no, don’t purr, that’s not fair. Come, off the lap. Ugh, fine, I’ll take you along.’
Melia’s eyes grew wide. ‘But, mistress, …’
‘No mistress-anything while we’re in private, remember? Anyway, I’ll make it work. I can make a bag out of this sheet or something…’ She looked around the room for a solution. The best solution was to leave him behind, and Nadec knew that. But it didn’t feel right. Kitty would be happy to get out of this room and visit Blackie. She put his harness on.
‘I’m an idiot.’ She slapped her hand against her forehead. ‘I can just Skip to the stock house, there is no need for us to go outside. This Skipping thing really hasn’t become second nature yet. You coming along? Of course you are. Hold on.’ Nadec froze at her own words. They brought back a memory. A memory which could come with an awful conclusion, if the suspicions it conjured proved true. She had another reason to visit Blackie now.
‘Wait, I need to practice. I Skipped you once without touching each other. I have to try doing that again.’ She lifted Kitty on her shoulders, and began gathering the power in the usual way. ‘In case I don’t manage to take you along, you could take a quin and meet me there. Or buy me some dre—’ She Skipped.
She avoided ending up in the well this time. Skipping was easier without having to transport a few tons’ worth of dragon. She cursed as she noticed Melia wasn’t with her. She checked inside the well, just to be sure. No, there was no tall servant-like woman drowning in there.
Kridec wasn’t there yet, so Nadec settled in to wait. She waited until the bells of eleventh hour sounded. She waited until she had to change her position. She waited until the gong of the half hour sounded. She waited until the doors opened, and Melia entered. They waited until twelfth hour rang. They waited until Nadec’s stomach growled loudly enough for Kitty to jump up, his tail thick, the hair on his back up, pupils dilated.
‘Sorry buddy, it’s okay, come.’ She comforted Kitty while talking to Melia. ‘I suppose she’s not coming. Perhaps she changed her mind about seeing the statue.’ Or perhaps something bad happened. ‘I can’t wait any longer. Do you mind staying here while I go to Blackie? Or no, it is probably better that you go back to the room, since they saw you leave. They should see you come back as well. If they ask if I’m alright because they haven’t seen me yet, tell them it’s none of their business.’ Melia’s eyes widened a fraction. Nadec sighed. ‘Not the proper response, I suppose? You just tell them whatever believable and acceptable thing you want then.’
‘Do you believe Madame Ichau is all right?’ Worry painted Melia’s face. ‘She is not the kind of person to not uphold an agreement.’
‘Yeah. Yeah, she’s proven that. She’s a woman of her word. And Stetem, him as well, I suppose. Don’t worry, I’m sure they’re fine. Go back to the inn. I’ll see you there.’
Nadec Skipped with Kitty to the location of the statue. Blackie welcomed them with a wagging tail and tongue out. Kitty meowed towards the dragon, giving her all the headbutts and purrs. Nadec asked the dragon if she could replay the voices she’d heard in the cave. It confirmed her new suspicions.
They Skipped back to Hexago, straight to their inn’s room, leaving Blackie behind once again. Melia jumped up from the desk seat as soon as they arrived.
‘I have news from Madame Ichau. She’s sent Farenk here with a note.’ Melia’s voice trembled. ‘I’ve read it, mistress, I could not hold myself, I needed to know because I worried. They have left the mansion as a precaution, under the guise of going on vacation. Farenk is being kept in charge of the main chocolate production, as he’s been doing for the past year. So that is still the same.’ She smiled. ‘They are all right. It is all good.’
Nadec took the note from Melia, giving it a swift read. She nodded.
‘That is all aunts and uncles accounted for then.’
Melia scrunched up her face in confusion. Nadec grimaced, something between a smile and a pout.
‘I know where my uncle Jodec is.’
You have been listening to Nadec, chapter 36: Uncle Jodec
Narrated, adventured and lived through by myself, Nadec. Written in a better way than I can tell it, by Astrid Jef.
Don’t go just yet, we’ve got bloopers coming up. [music on background] Find us on Twitter @astridjef and @nadecandkitty.