Return of the Double Agent: Part Four
Also by shadowcristal
"And won't we dance again, my fair lady?" she heard the
king sing in a badly managed tenor voice. Following proper work ethics, Cylene
wrote it all down, shaking with suppressed mirth. With eyes as large as teacups,
she followed as the king started waltzing a ballroom dance with his MSPP Plushie.
"Dum, dum, dam," sung Skarl in an off-key tone,
even worse than Jeran. Cringing at the horrible sound, the Zafara watched as
the king heaved his heavy body around and finally dropped the plushie from exhaustion.
Sitting down in this small space, Cylene's only
wish was to have this fat king waddle out the door, so she could at least get
up and get her limbs moving. But alas, the king once again walked to the closet.
What was it now? The Zafara wondered, curiosity
overwhelming her urge of movement. She stayed still, like the perfect spy, and
watched as the king pulled out another plushie.
No surprise. Skarl dragged himself out on the
floor with a finely made, life-size Court Dancer Plushie behind him and started
to dance again. Cylene smiled a cynical smile. So that was how he exercised,
if not anything else...
"Nice," she commented softly. "What a laugh."
But the agent immensely regretted dropping the
comment as the king stopped moving. He hurriedly stuffed the toy back into the
closet and shut it. Watching closely if there was anything strange lurking about,
Skarl began composing himself as though he had not been doing any dancing.
Much to Cylene's horror, he began to search.
At first she just sat there, frozen in shock. If she tried to move, she could
easily be spotted. And once she was spotted, everything would crumble to pieces.
The Zafara tried to inch closer to the door while
King Skarl rooted underneath his bed. With a quick glance at him - hoping that
he wouldn't look up too soon - she threw the door open and closed it behind
her. The Double Agent had escaped again and was now pretending to walk down
the corridor nonchalantly.
She was so engrossed with her close shave that
she barely noticed someone short with long ears bump into her.
"Move it," said the voice of Lisha behind a large
"You're going to fall down and hurt yourself
if you don't keep your eyes on where you're going." Cylene hoped that her fake
hospitality would throw off her suspicions.
The yellow Aisha gave her a casual look before
going on her way, still not tearing her eyes out of the book.
Frowning a bit, Cylene left the scene, taking
out a mirror to see if the Aisha was suspicious enough to look around. Lisha's
eyes never once left her book as she turned around a corner and disappeared
into another hallway.
The Zafara shook her head and returned to her
room, where she neatly copied all the observations she had made from her notebook
onto a couple of purple-colored sheets of paper.
After that task, she went out to join the various
pets that were situated at the court to have some lunch. By now, the Agent was
shocked at the fact that she had actually gotten used to that fat blue piece
of cheese's disgusting way to eat.
She shook her head as she picked up her cutlery
and started eating in a very textbook-type manner. After the tremendously long
lunch, and enduring the useless chatter of some court females who simply insisted
on having a loud conversation about the best hairdo, Cylene slipped away from
Now seemed like the time, and if she delayed
any longer, well... perhaps they'd be suspicious. Casting a glance at a certain
short yellow Aisha in the room, Cylene thought again. They were already suspicious
enough, at least one of them...
"Excuse me," someone said sharply, "I would like
a word with you, Agent."
She looked beside herself and met King Skarl's
serious gaze. He definitely was the image of seriousness, despite the fact that
he was clutching a napkin dotted with food bits and stains. "Have you been forgetting
why I recruited you?"
Cylene absently played with one of her long sleeves.
"No," she answered truthfully. "I was... uh... getting to that right now. May
I please ask for your permission to move on straight to the Citadel like what
you have requested me to do?"
"Very well," he answered gruffly. "If you'll
excuse me, I was only out here to remind you. I absolutely detest cold lunches."
And with that, he walked back to the dining hall, twirling his napkin as he
Shrugging, the Zafara moved on, telling off a
couple of suspicious Ixi sentries at the front door.
The Ixi eyed her carefully as she left, and Cylene
was beginning to wonder if she had left a couple of splotches from that horrendous
Meridell Gravy on her face until they turned away and let her out of their sight.
Not good. As a spy, she could not afford drawing
too much attention to herself. On the other hand, she was going to leave anyway...
But one must not be careless, just because
of that, the Zafara berated herself as she walked on, putting on an emotionless
mask as she walked out of Meridell and into a certain, evil-looking glade.
Habitually the Agent checked for any curious
pets that might interfere, and was satisfied that there were none. Entering
the glade, Cylene could hear mumbles that escalated into ugly muttering, and
She did her work well; the Zafara had to admit
as a flash of darkness swept through the glade and brought her high up in the
sky. Perhaps this was what they meant with flying?
Wrinkling her nose distastefully, grateful that
she could show her feelings for once, Cylene decided that she did not like to
"fly". Just as soon as that thought finished, she found herself standing on
solid cloud, in front of a certain menacing, purple-and-black, cloud-shrouded
Even though Cylene already knew that Lord Darigan
was now a good guy instead of a villain, she still found his domain seemingly
emitting a strange aura. She stepped up towards the gnarled double doors and
watched a couple of Darigan Skeith guards arguing.
They stopped when they saw the Zafara approaching
Raising an eyebrow, the larger Skeith said, "You
look like someone who's come to see the lord."
"I am," said Cylene. "Is he... erm... available?"
He nodded. "We'd like to warn you in advance
that he doesn't like being interrupted whenever he's talking politics. Lord
Darigan sometimes gets into quite a temper, you know. And if you try anything
funny, we've got friends inside who know that there's more than one way to catch
"I'm not a villain," she said. "Or a villainess,
if that's how you like it."
"Very well," said the other guard. He and his
compatriot slowly opened the doors, grappling the handles with their long spears.
Cylene found herself staring inside, where a large dark domed ceiling, several
purple and black tapestries, doors bathed in shadows, and several shady guards
He does keep up, Cylene thought, remembering
the time she had spent on her last mission here. Fumbling around the rather
dark hallway, the Zafara concentrated on following the guards.
They led her through rich, dark oak door that
had vines of mahogany and ebony intertwined in a spiral, a staff of power. The
Agent found that the door was shut behind her and the guards left, leaving her
alone with Darigan.
She turned around to meet the ruler of the Citadel,
expecting him to sit on the throne chair in his dais, but alas, she was wrong.
The misshapen Korbat had stepped down and was advancing towards her with light
steps, as graceful as a dancer.
"Welcome," Darigan greeted in his rich timbre,
extending a hand. Narrowing her eyes, Cylene realized that he was measuring
her up as she had done with him. She'd have to trust him and be careful... until
he showed himself not to be reliable.
But she wouldn't be the first to seek trouble.
That would just be stupid. Attempting to keep an open mind, the Zafara heartily
grasped Darigan's hand and shook it gently.
"How are you, my lord?" she asked, but he did
not reply. The hand that she had grasped left her and waved at the guards at
the doors for a dismissal.
"Private audience," he explained, as he walked
back toward the dais. "Now, shall we talk business?"
"Ah... yes, sire," said Cylene.
"Good. Have a seat." Darigan pointed one clawed
finger towards one of the twisted chairs in the corner. The Zafara slowly pulled
one towards him and sat down in front of him. For a moment there, she thought
that some kind of vines would spring out and trap her.
The agent aimlessly played with a jagged splinter
protruding from an arm rest while the ruler of the citadel started rooting through
a sheaf of papers that looked as though they had been handed from someone to
someone else constantly.
In fact, Cylene nearly jumped when Lord Darigan
stared back at her, his mouth twisting into a somewhat mischievous smile.
"Been spying around Meridell like I told you
To be continued...