Part 10: A Fro Man
Alright. We got a witch with a lot to explain and a real short life expectancy.
...somewhere. Where'd she go?
Yes. Is something the matter?
That's him. That's the culprit.
We're arresting you under suspicion of spying for Waisen. You will be brought before-
Wait, what? What? Where did you get that from?
You will be brought before our king, where he will pass judgment. If you make this difficult...
I've lived here my whole life! How could I be a spy?
Are you going to come quietly or not?
Please, say no. I'd love the excuse.
You do realise you could take these guys.
Yes. Then I'd be a murderer.
You don't have to kill them. Just rough 'em up a bit. Make sure they can't chase you.
It's fine. It's not like I'm guilty. It's just a misunderstanding or something. We'll get it cleared up.
...yeah. I guess.
Not a child.
...how about "Not a friggin' spy"?
Yes, sire! He was seen associating with a Waisen knight. That was the intruder we were pursuing.
Associating? Did you not see what-
Speak when spoken to!
But they're ly-
Silence! Remember where you are, boy!
Haughty. Overbearing. "Boy." I found myself wondering if we could settle this with a duel.
Ahem. We also have reason to believe that black magic was used on the scene.
You recall the witch, sire? We found the boy in her house. They must be working together.
You are so full of shit. You are a shit singularity, dragging everything around you into an infinitely shitty microcosm.
Okay, she's gonna vouch for us. See, good deeds come back to you.
The Waisen knights are monsters. Real monsters. They're a lot bigger than him.
Dot, please. This isn't the time.
It's true! They look like horses and they have giant scythes. I saw it.
Well...that was a knight, dear. This is a spy. Allegedly. He'd have left his scythe at home.
But he didn't-
Dorothea. That's enough. I will deal with this.
Soldiers! What is the punishment for treason?
Indeed. I will take his head. And a Waisen head, so be it. Have it displayed as a warning. But if I should find the head of an innocent Kaleilan hanging on my gates, I will remember that I acted on your word. And you will hear of it.
Now. Are you certain of your accusations?
Maybe not completely certain, your majesty.
King Xenonbart, a just ruler.
But he's still a suspect! That intruder was looking for him, I'm sure of it. And don't forget the sorcery, sire.
Take him to the dungeon.
But I didn't do anything! You can't just-
That is for me to determine. Until I do, I won't have you running amok.
I leave this in your hands, men. Now go.
King Xenonbart, a tyrant.
So...do you know anything about the prince, then?
Prince Valdo, obviously! Everyone's saying he was assassinated, but that...
That can't be right. No, it's nonsense. He's the smartest, bravest, handsomest prince in the world. Who would want to do that to him?
How should I know?
He's your prince, isn't he? If you are from Waisen.
Fine! If you're going to be like that, I'm leaving! See if I ever stand up for you again!
"Good deeds come back to you."
Don't. Don't even go there.
There's a lot going on, you see. Monsters on the rise. Waisen preparing for war, looks like. Not to mention all the usual business. I wouldn't be surprised if he forgot all about you.
That'd be awful, wouldn't it? You'd starve in that cell.
That's it. They're urn filler.
What? What does "mm" mean? Do it? Don't do it?
Okay. One mm for "yes", two for "fuck yes."
ARGH! What the hell is wrong with people?!
Shoulda let me torch those bastards. They had it coming. Save their asses from a monster and this is how they say thanks. Fuck's SAKE. Sick of humans and their bullshit.
Uh. Not you. I meant in general. You know.
Ah, just ignore me. I'm pissed off.
I'm going to be late.
It's past eleven by now. It must be. I'm going to be late for Fana's again.
Are you serious?! That's the big concern right now? That's top of the list?
I have to take care of her, alright? She needs me.
Why? She has her grandma.
Not for much longer.
Oh! Right. Man, that sounded dark.
Aren't you a criminal or something? You better stay in your cell.
I didn't do anything. They got the wrong person.
'Course. Nobody ever "did anything." I don't know why we even have prisons.
Fro! For what purpose have you hijacked this midget?
Uh, not to sound rude, but who exactly are you?
Do you not see the crown.
The king's upstairs. I've met him. He's taller.
Who, Bart? Nah nah nah. I just let him think he's the king. He does all the work, I lounge on the swag heap. Perfect setup.
Yeah, Yumil. Fro is obviously the true ruler.
One day he will rise to reclaim his frone!
Do you have a name?
...okay, but king who?
Hah! I abandoned my true name years ago. Call me whatever you want.
guess what i vote for
Ah, whatever. Doesn't matter. Fro it is.
What is all this stuff? Did you steal it from-
We don't use the s-word in here. I bring this stuff down from the castle, because it is the king's. Which is me. That's where it came from. No stealing.
Now look what you made me do, god damn it!
Gonna be all on edge for WEEKS now. Sonovabitch.
Do you know a way out of here? Because I'd really like to get out of here.
I know several. If you want one, it's going to cost you. I can't have every Joe Schmo waltzing in and out of my palace.
I don't have any money.
Find my hat for me, then.
I lost my favourite hat a little further down the tunnel. Bring it back to me and I'll show you how to escape.
But you already have a crown. Why would you-
THE KING DECREES THAT YOU WILL FIND HIS DAMN HAT
Should I be doing this? This is technically a prison break.
Hey, that hole was there. That's on their heads. You can't be blamed if they don't do proper maintenance. Hell, they should be grateful you aren't complaining about the facilities.
I sincerely doubt they're going to see it that way.
Look at it like this. You shouldn't have been in there to begin with. Now you're just setting it right. Also, let's not forget the whole "Durr hurr we're letting you rot to death" thing. What else are you gonna do?
What you're doing is more important than the law. It is more important than the king, it is more important than anything else will ever be. The world is at stake here. Remember that.
How many other hats do you think are down here?
For crimes against fashion!
Basically the same path you were going down, only go left instead of right. Follow it to the end and you'll see a locked door and a ladder.
You'll have to take the ladder first. It goes up to the cemetery. I got a key stashed in one of the graves, it opens the door, and you're out in the plains. Simple. Any questions?
Which grave is the key in?
Figure it out.
...I'd prefer not to desecrate more than one.
That's what you get for making me say the s-word.
This must be the door.
And there's the ladder. Ready to get your hands dirty?
Not really, no.
What are you looking at?
...I could go just back home from here.
Whoa. Whoa. Bad idea. Terrible idea. They find you skipping jailtime and they really will lop your head off.
Besides, you needed to get out of town sooner or later. We have to start looking for the rest of the spirits.
Rest? I thought you were the only one.
Nope. There's Mieli, the forest spirit. She'd be closest, I think. Should probably go after her first. Then there's Neaki the ice spirit, and Ur the lightning spirit. It'll take all four of us to put the new world together.
And I have to find them? Why weren't they in the book to begin with?
That'd be more convenient, yeah.
I don't make the rules. If I did, none of this would happen in the first place.
But this...Mieli, was it? She could be anywhere. Where am I supposed to look?
She's the forest spirit.
The forest. Would be a good bet.
Look, I know you don't want to go. Especially not like this. I wouldn't either. But having the book was bound to shake things up eventually.
You can't do this just staying as you are, living day to day in a little routine bubble. If you're gonna write the world properly, you have to get out there. Broaden your perspective. See how things work outside your comfort zone.
I can't even tell Fana I'm leaving.
After we've searched the forest, we'll come back. Yeah? Test the waters. Maybe in a few days, things quiet down a bit...y'know, it's a big town. They probably won't notice you.
Come on, let's go. You'll feel better once you get writing again.