Return of the Double Agent: Part Eight
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
"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
"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
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
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
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
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
At the very end there were some lines in a very
fancy, cursive handwriting that seemed out of place compared to the rest of
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
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
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
"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...