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Return of the Double Agent: Part Eight


by precious_katuch14

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Also by shadowcristal

Cylene sighed. Her curiosity was always tugged wherever she went. Now it was being tugged by a pair of different voices loud enough to be heard from a distance.

      "What do you mean I should spend more time 'socializing' with the other court folk?"

      "Lisha, you can't keep holing yourself up in the library whenever we have visitors. You have to make your appearances as well... "

      "This is stupid. Jeran, just leave me alone."

      The Agent snuck around the walls and followed the ongoing debate. Her eyes instantly lit up at the sight of a familiar bespectacled yellow Aisha and her more familiar blue Lupe brother. Who knew what kind of secrets she could squeeze out of that simple argument between the two Meridellian celebrities?

      "Come ON! Don't be shy... it might even boost your confidence if you attend a shindig or two. Besides, they're formal and well-guarded so nobody can cause chaos."

      "Jeran, don't make me use this wand on you. Kayla's been tweaking it lately and she can make it spout mutant Kadoaties..."

      "Miss Double Agent, are you?"

      Whipping around in surprise, the blue Zafara steadied herself after coming face-to-face with two Draik guardsmen with uniforms bursting with Meridellian colors. She quickly scrunched up her face into that of an innocent bystander's.

      "What is it?" she asked innocently.

      "Melvin here..." one of the Draiks started to say, but the other cut him off.

      "What we'd like to say is that frankly, we don't like you, missy. You're a bit too suspicious for us."

      "And what are you going to..." Cylene stopped when she realized that the two guards had raised their spears to her throat. "You know, I'm a guest here."

      "Guests ain't doing no spyin'!" the Draik that had raised the objections spat out as he lowered his spear and stepped back to charge.

      The Zafara gulped, knowing that she was in pretty big trouble here. Apparently Skarl wasn't too careful with his guards, and he'd probably put them in front of her as they were his kinsmen. The only thing she could do here was to run, and to keep a low profile.

      Just as the guard started running, the Agent did the same. Having focused her mind on this urgent issue at hand, she had totally forgotten about Meridell's famous duo around the corner.

      Just as the voices of the siblings had risen to their respective highest pitches, a certain suspicious figure bumped into them, followed by another two pets that seemed to be a pair of guards.

      "Ouch!" Lisha cried.

      "Ouch!" Jeran cried, but his normally decorative armor was rather useful in this rushed run-on with the guards and that... Double Agent?

      Cylene wasted no time on the two pets but got up and took off as fast as she could. Those surprised looks were priceless and the distraction timed perfectly, but the consequences... How was she supposed to keep a low profile now?

      The two guards - being Draiks - decided to take flight and zoomed towards their quarry, which was headed for a door at the end of a corridor. Before she could reach out for the knob, the one named Melvin soared as high as he could without bumping on the castle ceiling and barred her from her sanctuary.

      "Look... we'll let ya off with a warning," he said slowly, eyes narrowed and still sceptical. "But the next time we catch ya, his Majesty's gonna hear about it. And we assure you, he isn't gonna be happy."

      He stepped aside and allowed Cylene to retreat into her room, where she flopped onto the bed and thought of nothing except how close that was and how she had carelessly shattered her own low profile. Thankfully the guards had probably been trained to be quite considerate, so she got off pretty easily.

      How many more close shaves would she have to endure during her time in Meridell? That last question made the Agent's head spin most of all.

      * * *

      "Think about what I've said. Just... think. I know you're good at that."

      Lisha rolled her eyes as Jeran walked away, his armor clinking. He muttered something about practicing some moves before leaving the Aisha alone. She turned around to see the whole hallway. Where had the guards and that Double Agent gone?

      Before she could pick a path to follow through the intricate passages of Meridell Castle, her eyes met a small rectangular object on the floor with a spiral spine. It was in a dark shade of violet and looked quite worn in a couple of places, as if it had spent a lot of time in one's pocket.

      The enigma was a notebook.

      It was Lisha's turn to be aroused by this strange yet common item. She examined it at every angle until she decided to flip through the pages and decipher the hurried, scrawled phrases written on nearly every line.

      At the very end there were some lines in a very fancy, cursive handwriting that seemed out of place compared to the rest of the notebook.

      Roses are red,

      Sapphires are blue,

      I like writing poems,

      And other writing too.

      Quite quaint, but rather amateurish, Lisha thought as she eyed through the next few poems, that were equally bad, if not worse. Who was capable of actually writing such bad poetry? Flipping back to the pages where the notes had been hastily scribbled upon the crumpled paper, the curious Aisha looked at the text closely.

      "Skarl dances with plushies," it said. Recalling that day she had seen the king stroll off to a certain unknown part of the castle, Lisha figured that the writer might very well be right in his or her statement. But just exactly who was it?

      Her bespectacled eyes skimmed the other phrases that came after it. There was something about Jeran dressing up as a Weewoo, and Lord Darigan baking pink fluffy cakes. They were well-kept secrets... until now. Someone must have found them all out.

      The yellow Aisha was deep in thought. Who would be interested in such gossip? But it hit her pretty quickly.

      "That Zafara..." Lisha pocketed the notebook and started to think again. After a full minute of deep analysis, she turned and walked towards her room, watching to make sure nobody got suspicious or started to ask her too many questions.

      The morning was young; Jeran's little sibling had more than enough time.

      * * *

      Having wandered the whole day without seeing that suspicious little Zafara, Lisha was forced to retreat to her room for some rest. She placed her weary feet upon a stool and grasped that cursed notebook tightly. Slowly relaxing, the Aisha realized that she had acted stupidly by running around all day trying to find the author of all those mediocre poems, and that she could put her brain to better use. After all, she didn't wear her glasses for nothing.

      If she couldn't find the Zafara and confront her, what other ways were there? That weird little thing was enjoying the hospitality of her king (though she had to admit he wasn't the greatest thing since sliced bread), as untouchable as a diplomat. If only there was some way...

      Of course, she could just tell all that to the Zafara... But the spy seemed to have disappeared, and it was pretty impossible to arrange a meeting. Unless...

      Flipping through the pages, Lisha was hit by an idea. Her lips curved into a thin smile as she stopped on that one page that said "Possibilities List". How ironic, to think that the spy had written her own doom.

      Jumping up as a result of this brilliant concept, Lisha winced as her worn shoes touched the cold stone floor. There was no time to lose. Perhaps the Agent wouldn't bother to find that dangerous notebook, but considering all the secrets she had written and that unfinished poem on the last page, she just might.

      In any case, she had to get working. The Aisha moved lithely through the corridors and quickly towards her destination… to King Skarl.

      As usual, King Skarl was found hanging around the throne room. But instead of lounging about doing nothing, he was holding an unfolded scroll and his eyes were skimming it rapidly. He looked up mildly to see a small figure burst into his personal space.

      "Lisha," he commented. "I understand that you are at liberty to see me whenever you need to, but that doesn't give you a valid excuse to scare me like that!"

      "Sorry, Majesty," she answered. "But... I was wondering if we had some free time this afternoon."

      Skarl stroked his chin and gave her a curt nod. "Nothing much has been happening."

      "So..." Lisha scuffed the floor with her shoe as she went on, "I was struck with this really brilliant idea of you and Lord Darigan having a little... gathering. Something like a celebration of the friendship forged between the two kingdoms?"

      She held her breath as the king pondered this statement with a glazed look. But before the Aisha knew it, the ruler of Meridell was nodding even more vigorously, and what was more unbelievable was his response.

      "A jolly good idea, Lisha!" he exclaimed. "I must go send the invitations right now! This afternoon must not go to waste!"

      "So it's going to be today?" asked Jeran's sister hopefully.

      "But of course! Come; help me send out the invitations! And why stop at Lord Darigan? I'm going to ask him to invite some of his subjects as well! The more, the merrier! And less leftovers will go to waste!"

      * * *

      Meanwhile, as the invitations to the surprise celebration of the kinship between Darigan and Meridell or whatever-it-was-called were sent, the Zafara Double Agent was having some troubles of her own.

      She had turned over every piece of furniture in her room at least thrice, or perhaps more, and she was getting even more impatient and anxious by the second.

      Where was her trusty notebook? All her secrets were inside, along with some confidential bits of information that were for her eyes only. Cylene shuddered to think about what would happen if it fell into the wrong paws, especially if they also found out that she was the owner.

      The blue Zafara got down to her knees again and looked under her bed. At first, her heart leapt at something flat that caught her eye, but it turned out to be a squashed dust bunny. Cylene resisted the urge to scream and pound the walls in frustration.

      Suddenly, as she gathered herself and tried to think of the other places where she must have dropped the notebook, there was a knock on her door.

      Had someone found it? Her fingers trembling, the agent fumbled with the knob and found herself face-to-face with two Ixi sentries wearing the exact same serene expression that seemed somewhat eerie.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Return of the Double Agent: Part One
» Return of the Double Agent: Part Two
» Return of the Double Agent: Part Three
» Return of the Double Agent: Part Four
» Return of the Double Agent: Part Five
» Return of the Double Agent: Part Six
» Return of the Double Agent: Part Seven
» Return of the Double Agent: Part Nine



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