Nidhoggr

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Chapter 8: Infiltrating the court

“Ceremony… Ceremony… I don’t see it anywhere.” Angelique said as she placed the tenth book on the side. She rubbed her eyes. We’ve been going at it for the entire day already. After the mess the Fairy Court Marshals, we weren’t allowed to train with the others anymore.

I had the sneaking suspicion that the Court themselves had ordered the Academy to exclude us. But I had no proof, of course.

“Argh! I’m going crazy just sitting here!” Lily yelled and threw one of the books behind her back. The redhead ruffled her hair and groaned softly.

“Right, right. Here, some coffee.” I said as I brought three cups of the jet-black stuff. Lily grabbed one of them without asking and gulped it down immediately. I was impressed by her drinking capabilities, if nothing else.

“Just what are we looking for anyway? You pulled me out of the infirmary, just so you could have one of your pathetic searches in this dusty old library? I’ve got shops to visit, you know!” The redhead complained while she grabbed another book.

“We’re looking for anything that can make the Fairy Court panic. Anything at all. But information about their ceremony is the best.” I answered while I finished another book.

The books were filled with lots of knowledge, sure, but nothing about ceremonies of the Fairy-variety.

“Perhaps we’re looking at it the wrong way. Remember, our information comes from them. It’s only logical that it might be twisted.” I offered. The girls slowly nodded and put down their books.

“So… What should we be looking for then?” Lily pondered. That was a question I couldn’t answer. If we ignored the naming of the spell, there was nothing to go off. And reading through all Fairy-related spells was such a pain in the ass…

“Well, we can rule out any spells that activate almost immediately. A ceremony takes long, most of the time.” Angelique reasoned. I nodded; That was some sound reasoning.

“All right, I’ll go get the books.” I said and walked away. While I was reading through the titles on the back of the books, I heard an unfamiliar voice from the entrance of the Academy Library.

“The Fairy Court? But--?!” The voice that responded got cut off by a slap. I quickly looked around and grabbed three books that looked interesting and hid them behind me shirt. A second after I grabbed an unrelated book, the Fairy Court Marshals burst into view.

“You there! Get away from those books!” A figure yelled and pushed me aside. I grunted, but didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to make a scene.

While I walked away, I heard several books falling into some kind of velvet bag. Probably to be locked away forever, I assumed.

“Let’s go. It’s getting too noisy in here.” I said to Angelique and Lily when I reached them. The two girls nodded and walked outside.

We decided to go to our house as soon as possible. There was no point staying in the library any longer with the Marshals watching our every move.

“So… I guess they’re panicking?” Lily asked between grunts. Her leg still hadn’t healed completely. But she managed to walk, at least.

“My best guess is that that guy said something he shouldn’t have. They want to prevent people to research whatever magic they have planned.” Angelique continued.

That seemed logical and all, but we still didn’t know when they were going to invoke the spell.
When we got home, Angelique set about dumping all the threatening letters into the bin. Lily grabbed a cold beer and dropped into the sofa. And I… I was forced to cook dinner, like always. Not that I minded.

“What’s our next move?” Lily asked as she devoured a piece of meat. She licked her lips and washed it down with a cold glass of water.

“First, we need to know what spell they’ll use. Then, see if we can counter it somehow. Lastly, we need to know the time when the entire thing goes down.” I answered. Angelique nodded before she gobbled up some mashed potatoes.

“Argh… So much work. And I haven’t even seen half of the clothes on sale.” Lily sighed. The redhead ruffled through her hair. I chuckled; Always thinking of shopping, that one.

“Well, if we fail this, you won’t see sunlight for a long while.” I rebutted. The scarlet-haired vixen bit her lip and played with the dark-purple ends of her hair. Angelique shivered when she thought about the prospect of spending her life in a prison cell.

“N-Now I’m feeling all nervous…” She whispered. I saw how the colour drained from her face as her imagination started to run rampant. Her hands started trembling, and she started mumbling to herself.

“I’m not feeling good about this entire situation, but we need to stay calm.” I placed my hand on Angelique’s trembling fingers. Slowly but surely, her breathing steadied.

“Of course! Like hell I’m going to leave those cute dresses alone for some Fairy Court!” Lily yelled as she finished her dinner.

After we finished our dinner, we all sat around the kitchen table. Each of us was reading through a book. I had a book about advanced Fairy Spellogy while Angelique dug through the text of a book titled ‘Ancient Fairy Rituals’.

“Argh! Why do these books always have to be so boring!” Lily suddenly yelled. She closed her book, ‘The Magic of the Fairy Court’, and leaned backwards.

“Did you expect anything else from those stuffy old guys?” I responded. Lily smirked and shook her head.

“Here!” Angelique yelled. Lily yelped and almost fell from her chair.

“Fuck, Angelique!” The redhead groaned angrily. ” You’re gonna give me a heart-attack!” The squid-girl mewled and curled up. It seems the days where she had been bullied by Lily were still part of her memories.

“I-I… I didn’t mean to yell. What did you find?” The redhead said before she glanced over at the page that Angelique pointed at.

“O-Oh, right… Uhm, here it was. It’s about a complex spell to completely enslave a person’s mind for a long duration.” Lily leaned over and looked at the complex magic circle. It was actually three magic circle interwoven into one.

“Hmph. Seems like they’re going to try and force a confession out of Tanya that way. However, there’s something bothering me.” I turned to her and waited for her to continue.

“You see, they needed Tanya for their plans. But couldn’t they just fabricate a confession and say it was hers?” She had a point. There was no reason for them to get to our teacher; What were we still missing?

“You’re right. However, there’s no use worrying about it. We’ll see tomorrow.” I said with a yawn. It was already past midnight, and we were required to go to school tomorrow.

What a pain.

“Sure, sure. I need my beauty sleep too.” Lily said before she plucked herself from her chair and walked up the stairs. I followed her while Angelique put out all the lights. We said our goodnights and slept like logs.

The next morning…

“Why.. are people staring at us?” Angelique whispered in a scared tone. She hid behind Lily and me. She was right, though; Everyone we passed stared at us, pointed at us and whispered to anyone around them.

It was bothering me, to say the least.

Lily, however, didn’t seem to be fazed as she proudly strutted forwards on her red heels. Her voluminous hair waved back and forth with every step. She loved the attention. I tried to keep my eyes on her hair and not on her bouncing voluptuous chest. Her pointy elf-ears swayed with each step of hers.

“It’s because I am so grand, of course!” The redhaired vixen announced. I rolled my eyes. I looked around. My gaze fell on a newspaper at my feet. I snatched it from the cold cobblestone and glanced at the headline.

“… or maybe because our faces are plastered all over the news?” I pointed at the paper in my hands. The redhead turned around and looked at the article.

" The traitors unmasked! The strong and loyal Fairy Court will escape these liars for what they really are in front of the people!” Lily read the first sentences of the article. Angelique shivered when she realized her face was on the front page of a newspaper.

“Tsk. They’re getting cocky. They’re calling us out and turning the public against us.” I realized. That was a smart move; That way, they prevented anyone helping us. In another way, they isolated us so that no one could know about our plans.

“It says here that they’re going to broadcast ‘a very true confession’ on television in three days. Every high official is going to be there.” Lily continued. So that was their plan? Broadcasting a live confession would certainly make us look bad and be enough for a trial.

“All right. So we know their plans now. Question is, what are we going to do about it?” I wondered. There was no way to stop them… was there?

“Ha…haha…Ahahahah!′ I realized something. The Fairy Court might think they’ve cornered us. However, they also gave us the opportunity we need.

“Tell me, did you ever want to be on television?” I asked to the two girls behind me. Angelique shook her head. But Lily eagerly nodded.

“Hell yeah! My face is too precious to be shared with only a few people, after all!” The redhead laughed. I rolled my eyes.

“Well then. I presume the Fairy Court to be quite busy with the preparations of the ceremony and the paperwork for all the high-ranked people. So why don’t we… pay them a visit?” I offered. Lily frowned before her face split open with a naughty smirk.

“I love the way you think. If we want any evidence against them, we’ll find it there. They are too smart to leave evidence elsewhere. The guards will be pre-occupied with the main hall, so we can roam around on the other levels.” She tapped her finger against her smooth chin.

“…You’ve been to the Court already?” I asked. The redhead shrugged and nodded.

“Yeah. I drank one too many and yelled against one of their officers a year ago. Those tightwads immediately thought I was going to attack them, so they captured me and brought me to trial.” Lily explained. That was news to me!

“Blegh, I still can’t get over how that Oberon looked at me.” The redhead shivered. I turned to her; that’s a name that was familiar to me. But where did I hear it before…?

“You know? The boss of the Fairy Court. He’s a real perv, but his powers are undeniable so no one dares to speak out against him.” Oberon, huh…? I smirked and shrugged. We had three days to prepare ourselves to safeguard our own lives. It’s not like we had any other choice; If we wanted to make a stand against the Court, we needed solid evidence.

No pressure.

So we trained. We trained hard. Those three days were the most active I’ve been in my entire life. We trained from when the sun rose to the moment the sun hid behind the horizon and then some. We ignored school.

We got stared by our fellow students every second of the day anyway, and that ticked me off!

Those three days flew by like they were nothing. However, at the end of the third day, on the evening of the broadcast, every single one of us felt like we had become stronger. Not much, but still…

“So, you two ready?” I asked the two girls beside me while we walked towards the Fairy Court HQ in the Southern part of the city. I saw how Angelique feverishly nodded and tried to keep her hands from trembling. Lily smirked; but I could see how she pinched her arms to keep her nerves in check.

And why wouldn’t they be?

We planned on entering the Fairy Court HQ without permission, grab whatever evidence we could find and rub it in the Marshals faces.

Not my usual go-to plan when I have a night out, but it’s decent.

When we arrived, we saw about ten guards standing in front of the entrance. They seemed to check every guests’ identity before letting them in. The windows were no good either; I saw several guards peeking into the courtyard in front of the HQ.

The entire building looked like it was build for the purpose of showing off. Lavish marble staircases leading to grand, wooden doors with golden accents. Copper-coloured windows lined the red brick walls while the flag of the Fairy Court flapped in the breewe from the highest point.

“So, what now? If we can’t get in, we’re doomed!” Angelique whispered in a panic. But Lily had a confident smirk on her face.

“Don’t worry, we can get in through the back entrance. When I lost my trial and had to pay, I kinda… fled through the kitchens. It’ll be so busy in there, they won’t even notice us.” The redhead revealed. I threw her an unbelieving gaze before she set off. Angelique and I quickly followed her.

The kitchens were quite easy to get into, surprisingly. We stole some crates with vegetables from a nearby container and used those to follow a row of other people that delivered food. Once inside the building, we made ourselves scarce and immediately went for the upper floors.

Every floor were a guard had been stationed was a no-go, so we could only go on the highest floor. According to the golden plates drilled into the wall, this was Oberon’s office.

Perfect to dig up some dirt.

“Alright, we’re in.” I said when my Mark devoured the spell used to keep the door shut. Lily carefully pushed the door open before she stepped inside. Angelique followed suit and I closed the door behind me.

“Now, where to look…?” I mumbled before I pulled open a random drawer. It was filled with official-looking documents, but nothing looking even remotely related to our problem. My squid-like companion gazed into a pair of boxes, but she didn’t find anything either.

“I’ve got it. Here it is. Plans for the ceremony and… huh?” The redhead held up some kind of floor plan. I walked towards her and glanced over her shoulder.

I saw various drawings, incantations and such; They all talked about a manipulation spell that can control a person for about a hundred years. That was much longer than any spell I knew. Normally, spells wore off after an hour or so. A day, maximum.

A spell that had effect for a hundred years was simply unheard off!

“This is … the mall?” Angelique said in her soft voice. Now that she mentioned it, it did have something like the floor plans of the mall. But why would the Fairy Court have this? Did they plan on going on a shopping spree something?

“Let’s take this with us. You’ll never know when this might come in handy.” Lily said before she put the folded map in her back pocket. The rest of it went into my pocket. Angelique said she was too nervous and would only lose it.

“All right. Next stop, the main hall!” I said and carefully sneaked out of the office again. I found it weird that there were no guards here. Very suspicious…

When we arrived in front of the main hall, I gulped. I heard countless people from behind the mahogany wooden doors. Too many people, I thought to myself.

“Well then, shall we?” Lily asked eagerly. I took a deep breath to calm myself and nodded. I looked around and didn’t see any guards. Weird…

However, that mystery soon solved itself.

We pushed the heavy wooden doors open and were greeted by a huge amount of Fairy Court soldiers, flanked by twenty Court Marshals.

Of course, I should’ve known.

“Ah! Now you see with you own two eyes how depraved and low these cretins are, ladies and gentlemen!” A pompous voice announced from the back of the grand room.

Shit. We walked into that one with open eyes!

Now what?

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