[strike]Gee thanks, now I want to go off a draw Gilbert in a horribly tight, horribly pink leotard to torture everyone else with the image!![/strike]
Decided to take a break from novelling and decided to start yet another possible spin-offy novel/story thing since I only have another bajillion of these sitting around -- why not add another one?
Presto! Have a prologue thing. (Oh & ignore the Disneyland's, I just forgot what I called that other country and it's in my notes at home so I've added Disney land so I can't forget to change it later :P . . . I hope)
Adi Sanch had everything he wanted. He had everything he wanted and more. He even rather felt he was the luckiest man in the world. No he knew he was the luckiest man in the world. He had the best friend a man could ever ask for -- who wasn't a dog -- he had a high paying job where he particularly didn't have to do anything, and, best of all, he had just been married to the love of his life: Indah.
Everything was perfect, but perfect never lasts, and so he met Louhi.
"This is Louhi!"
Ji Ryiochi, the apparent best friend, stood next to the most startling looking woman Adi had even seen in his life. She was tall, thin, bony, wearing what could only be considered cliché for a woman going under the descriptions of what she did and holding in her hands what looked to be a jar of pickled frogs. The most stunning thing about her was that, despite everything else, Adi actually thought she was rather beautiful -- but not as beautiful as his own Indah, naturally.
Of course he was now also thinking that Ji was completely insane. Glancing to his left he exchanged a smile with Pietra, the look on her face assuring him that she was rather having the same line of thought. Still, he knew better than to say so, and with an adequate bow of his head Adi greeted the pale woman as if she were any normal guest. Normal guest she most certainly was not though. He made a matter of pointing this out to his highness that very evening.
“What is the meaning of all this Ji? I’m beginning to wonder if all the stories are true, that you really are mad!”
Ji merely smiled a private kind of smile, not even faltering in his steps. “Well of course I am mad Adi. I married a white woman from Ember did I not, but that all worked out now hasn’t it? Trust me this will be worthwhile.”
Adi shook his head slightly. “This is different to Pietra though, it would be impossible not to come to love Pietra but this? Magic? I mean seriously, do you want to be laughed at? I know I will not hesitate to be among those that do.”
Ji stopped to turn to his friend, still smiling that smile. “You will not be laughing my friend. Not once you see what can be done with it. This will end the strife between (Disneyland), I promise you that.”
Adi shook his head again thinking that magic was merely something children wished upon to solve their problems; not grown men. But in the end of course, Ji was right: he would not be laughing.
“This Louhi, who is she anyway? Apart from a witch that is!”
“She is from Lafayette.”
“Ah, yes a perfectly respectable abode,” he muttered sarcastically.
Ji ignored him. “From everything that has been gathered about her she has travelled a lot though. I rather get the impression she does not remain in one location for too long.”
Adi rather felt like saying she probably would’ve been laughed out of every place she arrived in.
“She is dangerous though. Do not get me wrong, I am aware of this but money will buy anyone and I certainly have enough money.”
“I think we have different opinions as to how exactly she is dangerous,” Adi said slowly. “Why deal with her directly anyway? Can’t you find out what you want some other way? It is only information that you want now isn’t it?”
“Why but of course Adi,” Ji nodded, not fooling his friend for a second.
Information indeed -- his friend was certainly mad.
“That is why, until we can be fully certain that this woman is trustworthy,” Ji continued, unperturbed by Adi’s obvious disbelief. “You will be dealing with her!”
Adi simply sighed. He could have said no, he should have said no but Adi rarely got asked to do much of anything, so much so that it rather bugged the man and therefore all he did then was nod. He would rather have the matter entrusted to himself than to any of those whose job it was to do such things for the king anyway; at least he knew he was trustworthy and he rather felt he was good of knowing it of others too.
So foolishly, he came to trust Louhi and, perhaps even more foolishly, she trusted him back.
“I should like to meet this woman,” Indah smiled, smoke curling about her mouth.
If ever Adi had a bad thing to say about his missus it would be that she was rather like kissing an ashtray; he was not so foolish as to say so however.
“It shall have to wait though, I am to be in (Disneyland) for two months,” she continued, idly stroking her husband’s hair.
She gave him a coy look. “You tell me she is pretty. Is it not appropriate that I should be jealous?”
“No, not about that, I meant why are going to (Disneyland) again so soon? I thought things there were relatively calm at the moment.”
“Ah, so I should be jealous then,” Indah smirked, sucking in more smoke. “And you should know better. Things will never be calm in (Disneyland). Not unless both rulers are dispatched and replaced by women.”
Adi rolled his eyes, again wondering at how Indah had managed to keep her position when she so hated all those she seemed to work with.
“Ji is not so bad,” he found himself saying automatically. “He is trying to change things here at least. He does not agree so much with tradition and the superstitions of this place. Perhaps he is a little unorthodox but what can we really expect?”
“He never should have inherited so young. It went to his head, I don’t care what you say, the man is a fool,” she quipped pulling herself off the divan.
Adi said nothing; for there was certainly no way he could say that the man was not a fool.
“Now promise you shan’t fraternise!” Indah grinned, lighting another smoke.
“Perhaps I should ask the same of you.”
She smiled again, “Perhaps.”
Now Indah was beautiful: beautiful in a way that most would only notice upon knowing her. Many said she was a hard woman to get to know, which was in fact a truth, but none would deny that she was not a woman worth knowing.
Louhi on the other hand was rather more beautiful in the conventional meaning of the word, especially once she had been hauled from her own bizarre attire. She seemed awkward and uncomfortable in the traditional Arafurian apparel, but as much as Ji would say so otherwise, he really did not much like to be laughed at.
“So, do you turn people into frogs then?” Adi did not have much interest in the woman’s chosen career path but he was expected to be conversational, to find out more about her, so he tried his best.
The woman peered up from her compilations for the king, a smile tugging at her lips. “Only if they ask for it!”
Adi smiled a little, perhaps a little bit awkwardly. He still had some doubt as to the existence of any form of magic despite some of the things he had been shown over the past week.
“You cower so much sir. Do I make you uncomfortable?”
She was grinning fully now.
“Of course not,” he responded quickly -- a little too quickly.
“Hmm,” she grinned again. “I promise you Mr Sanch, if I had wanted to turn you into a frog I would have done so by now. Please sit down, you are making me uncomfortable standing there so primly.”
He did, and relaxed a little.
“That was not so hard.”
She returned to her writings, leaving Adi to watch on with exceedingly dull enthusiasm. He had not expected to get so bored.
“What exactly is it that you do here Mr Sanch, surely you could be elsewhere?” she asked, not raising her head.
Adi shrugged, feeling slightly childish in doing so. “I don’t do a lot to be honest. I’m known technically to be an advisor but mostly I think Ji keeps me around so he isn’t alone in getting bored among all his politicians.”
“Ah, so the two of you are close then? He trusts you?”
Adi narrowed his eyes, suspicions rising. She noticed.
“I see I have made you uncomfortable again. I shall not ask about him if you wish. I mean only to make conversation; this must be boring for you.”
“Ah, yes, perhaps a little.”
She smiled again. “Well then Mr Sanch, what would you like to talk about?”
“Well, why don’t we just start with you? It’s not every day that one comes across a witch. That can’t just be something you go out and get an apprenticeship for.”
And so two months later Adi Sanch was fairly certain he knew nearly everything about Louhi Small, and Louhi rather thought she knew him too. She would have rather liked to know him more.
“She did spend a number of years in (Disneyland) but you were right, she stays in no place long and she has no allegiances to anyone but herself I believe,” Adi informed Ji with a slight smug grin. He had been quite pleased about himself in worming the stay in (Disneyland) out of the woman. She was no fool and she was fully aware of the endless animosity between the two countries.
“Hmm? She told you this now did she?”
“Of course, she trusts I want have her hung for suspected treason.”
Ji seemed to titter to himself quietly. Raising a questioning brow Adi crossed his arms. “What is it?”
“You’ve been stringing this poor woman along now haven’t you Mr Sanch.”
Adi tossed his head. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
Ji continued laughing. “She is aware you are married isn’t she?”
Adi gave a non committed shrug. “I don’t believe it ever came up.”
“You’re a horrible man!”
“What? You got what you want now didn’t you?” he grunted. “You can read those things without fear of spontaneous combustion.”
Ji glanced down at the information and procedures he had wanted compiled. “Hmm, it is more comforting to know that I can trust to discuss matters with this woman, true enough, but today shall be an awkward day for you I am sure. Indah shall be back and I do remember her requesting an introduction.”
Adi shrugged again. He was doing it a lot lately.
“Let’s just hope she does not attempt to turn you into a frog then shall we?”
He shot his friend a callous look. As it were he would have preferred to have become a frog.