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Keys of Magic - Part 10

“So where do we begin?” I asked. It was the morning after I had arrived at the capitol and I slept long enough that I think I was on a normal schedule again.

“The grand library is our first stop. It is the least risky so we will begin there.”

“The grand library? Do you think anything would still be there. It has been a hundred years and surely Eyyo would have had his agents look through it for anything.”

“True, it is likely that Eyyo has found all the secret information I would have stored there but it is still an option. Plus it is normal for there to be visitors to the library and it will be easy to find if it is still there.”

“Worth a look at least.” The grand library was the largest library in the kingdom and it held all kinds of knowledge. Records said that is was thousands of years old and that the gods were present when it got built. It was also near the center of the city and to took me a good twenty minute walk to get there. The old stone building still had a majestic look to it and dwarfed all the building around it. It wasn’t hard to believe that the gods aided in its construction.

“Given the history of this building it seems like a strange place to his information about killing the gods.”

“In my time there were no safe places to hide such information. Keeping it in the most obvious place right under their noses was probably the least likely place they would actually look. It was also easy to deny association with such knowledge if it was found here. It helped that until I started killing them no god thought it would be a remote possibility.”

I passed through the entrance way and by the large statues of some of the dead gods which looked down upon the visitors. The inside was as large as the outside suggested. Huge rooms filled with shelves and shelves of books. Yet despite the size the place was very empty. The grand library never saw as many visitors as it deserved.

“Is there a section that we need to look at? Where would you keep restricted information about killing the gods?”

“Assuming nobody found it in 100 years and disposed of it or moved it then the books would be in history section about the gods.”

“Right under their noses indeed. I’m surprised nobody found them during your time.”

“No many people studied the gods’ pasts. Considering how all encompassing they were on people’s everyday lives most people just took the gods and their whims for granted.”

I wondered my way through the shelves until I found the section that she mentioned. Then following her instructions I moved through the isles looking at the books and trying to find the ones she specified. Surprisingly some of them were still there. It took us a while to find them because they had been rebound and relabeled as records regarding the Slayer and her conquest of the gods.

“Strange how things change.” She commented. “Things that were heresy in my time became history in yours. I never would have thought that some of the books that me and my colleagues penned would become the basis of your history about me. I also still find it strange to think of myself as a historical figure that people have written books about.”

“Then are these the books that we need. I find it surprising if we managed to find what we needed so easily.”

“Only partially. The large volume about the different gods must be the rebound notes that were taken about each of the individual gods. I need you to check through it for the section about Eyyo. That is if it still exists.”

I pulled down the book and brought it to a nearby writing desk. It wasn’t that the book had been rebound, it had been completely replaced. While it was still the Slayer’s writings it was a copy of the original manuscript. It contained information about where the gods lived, their habits, and other things which I could only assume helped the Slayer kill them. Unfortunately the book contained not a word about Eyyo, the Cloaked Betrayer.

“Either the original information about him was stolen or the rewrite did not include it because of his influence. It is not here now however.”

“If you wrote it can’t you simply tell me what was in the book?”

“Look at the size of the book. There were many gods and many of the reports were were collaborations written by many people including me. I remember some of the stuff about Eyyo but not everything. Keep in mind that it was a hundred years ago. There are a lot of things that I do not remember as clearly as I could. I don’t want to rely on my incomplete and probably faulty memory except as a last resort.”

I nodded, “Alright, I guess that makes sense. I assume you have some other leads that will contain the information we need?”

“I have other plan but we are not done here. Assuming that the ‘Techniques of God Slayer’ contains the information I think it does I would like you to pull it down and reach it before we leave. I’ll try to help explain it as you go. It should describe the various weakness that gods have. Many of the techniques should also work against Apostates. Thinks like common blind spots in their powers, findings about how we believe that divine power works. It is kind of technical but I’ll do my best to explain things as you read them.”

I pulled the book off the shelf and brought it to a nearby reading desk. It began with a section called ‘Identifying the Divine’ and looked to be a rather dry read. However with the Slayer’s help I managed to get through it page by page. I’m not certain if any of it would actually be of use to me but the Slayer thought it would so I followed her advice.

Several books and what felt like an eternity later the Slayer said, “Good, that should be sufficient reading for one day.”

“You know I normally consider myself well educated with a good love for books but at this rate I’ll be a wizened old man who does nothing but read books.”

“Stop exaggerating. Also on your way back to the inn I want you to walk past the Temple of the Faiths.”

“The Temple of the Faiths? I don’t know if anybody uses it anymore now that the gods are dead but it still there.” So I went that direction on the way back to the inn. Another one of the major monuments in the capitol beside the Grand Library. A century ago it was the center of the worship of the gods. These days it was the equivalent of a tourist attraction. Instead of priests it had tour guides which showed you around and told you about the different gods.

Large marble pillars, carved statues of the gods likeness. It was a sight to behold. I stood outside the entrance and looked up at the grand building. “I’m here. What do you need me to do?”

“Take a tour.”

“Is there a reason for this?”

“There are several avenues we can take for information at this point and if I keep going after the least risk option I doubt we will ever find any information. Eyyo has probably hidden everything that would be information that we need so I’m going to try the dangerous option. I need you to attract Eyyo’s attention. If there are any people who still support my cause and know that Eyyo is still alive it will also gain their attention.”

“So I’m bait.”

“Exactly.”

“Great…” And then I went and took the tour of the Temple of the Faiths. I hadn’t actually done that before, it would have attracted a lot of attention if a known noble when on such a tour. This time however I was in disguise and nobody knew who I was. I did however try to be conspicuous. I asked questions and stood awhile examining each of the statues. An hour level I had taken the whole tour and had begun to leave the temple.

“Good.” I heard the Slayer say.

“What, did you notice something?”

“Yes, there are some people who where across the street from the temple that watched you as you left. Very intensely I might add. Try to make it rather obvious where you are staying. Just walk casually back to the inn.”

I grumbled to myself a little as I walked back to the inn. I was getting deeper and deeper over my head as the Slayer lead me farther into her plans. If I wasn’t careful then I would probably end up dead someday soon. I could still feel the cold metal of my signet ring pressing against my chest. I was wearing it on a chain under my shirt so I could use its power at any time.

I arrived at the inn and took dinner in the dining room near many of the other guests. I took my time about it enjoying what I was hoping was not my last meal. Then I retired to my room. Normally I would have gone to be soon after that but I needed to stay awake. It was rather a pity when I learned that the Slayer was not capable of sensing the world around me while I was asleep. It would have been really convientant if I could go to sleep and just have the Slayer wake me up if I got ambushed.

Instead I had to stay up with the lights out in my room waiting for anybody to ambush me. It was a long wait in the darkness. I grew more and more nervous, too much to even continue conversation with the Slayer. Eventually I heard something outside my room and braced myself. I gripped the hilt of my sword and waited.

It was a tall man who came into my room in the middle of the night. He was cloaked and hooded so that nobody could see his face. He was smaller than the assailant who had attacked me at my family keep so I was less worried. As he took some steps into the room I quickly drew my sword and placed it against the man’s throat. “Hold still or I will kill you. Who are you? Who sent you?” I wasn’t yet certain if the man knew that he was working for Eyyo and I didn’t want to alert him too much.

The response however was different then I expected. The air around the man quickly grew hot and I just had enough time to jump back before the area around the man burst into flame. The heat forced me to drop my sword to prevent it from burning me. Damn, the man was an Apostate. Why was I not completely surprised. It was about that point that he reached out his hand toward me. I proceeded to jump out the window.

And that is the story that lead me to being cornered in an ally but three brutes and an Apostate. Not the most brave story I admit but one full of danger. I was certainly in danger right now. They had chased me through the back alleys but my unfortunate lack of local knowledge caused me to become trapped in a dead end with nowhere to run from them.

“I hope your plan is going well.” I mentally commented to the Slayer. “An I allowed to use Zillk’s power yet. That would be really handy you know.”

“No yet. We still need to wait.” She responded. “Try talking to them to delay them.”

Talk, great, that would certainly work. I held my position in the alleyway as the three people got closer to me. “I don’t suppose we could talk this out or something. I’d rather not have to die. I have money.” I made a good impression of sounding desperate because I really was.