Unexpected Adventure, Part Twenty-Six
I gulped down my latte and stared at Skong. There was a very unpleasant sensation coming from him. My stomach twisted a bit.
I spotted a symbol etched on his belt buckle; two bent metal stakes crossed over a stylized eye. He was a Twister, someone that could embed magic—usually of the darker sort—into metal. They couldn’t use those abilities for their own motives, due to a magic contract between the elves and goblins a couple centuries ago, but that didn’t mean they hadn’t managed to find a way around that clause. And they still reeked of dark magic.
With a gulp, I scooted away. “Um, Regis?”
Skong grinned at me. His pointed teeth were very, very dirty. To Regis he said, “You lost the last one.”
“Yes. I need another one, with a few modifications.”
I had no idea why Regis was speaking so calmly. I crawled along the cushioned seats until I was right by his ear. “You know what he is, right?”
Regis totally ignored me and kept talking to Skong. “Can you give me something to knock out Fate’s guards?”
Skong chuckled. “It’ll cost extra.”
They continued their conversation, which was mostly vague haggling. They ended with a customary two-handed cross-shake. When the goblin left, Regis slid something foul smelling into his pocket.
So maybe he knew what he was doing. I crossed my arms. “What’d you get?”
Regis smiled. If the elf was as big of a bookworm as she made out to be, she’d be drooling when he showed her. He stood and left his empty mug on the table. “Let’s get going.”
Cloudwillow hastily slurped down the last of her drink. “C’mon, tell me.”
When they were outside and away from most people, Regis stopped. He pulled Cloudwillow into a thin line of trees. “This.”
He removed the silver disk he’d received earlier. Cloudwillow’s eyes went wide. She squealed, “Why and how did you get the Pernicious Pocket-watch of Et’ena?!”
Regis raised his eyebrows. “It’s a replica.”
“What are you going to do with that…thing?” Cloudwillow cocked her head sideways. Then, she straightened and shook her head. “No, we’re not using it. I know in the legends it could do some amazing things—”
“Like teleportation and instantaneous mind control,” Regis broke in. “Which is exactly what we need to get inside Fate’s castle.”
“But it’s evil! Whenever evil artifacts like that come into the picture, you destroy it, plain and simple.”
Regis shrugged. “Suit yourself.” With that, he turned and hurled the device into the underbrush.
Cloudwillow squeaked and dove after it. She held it like a hot potato. “You’re not supposed to throw it away either! Don’t you know anything about evil items of power?” She tossed it back at Regis, then stuck her fingers in her mouth. “Ow, it burns it burns…”
Regis winced. He picked up the Pocket-watch. “You know—”
Cloudwillow rolled her eyes. “If you use it against Peter or Fate, bad things will happen, and even if Peter gets a hold of it, it’d be better if he did than you. Because you’re the hero, and heroes don’t use evil objects of power.”
Regis smirked. “Don’t worry. It’s a bargaining chip.”