Dragon Knights Fan Fiction ❯ Inside Tetheus's Head ❯ The Further Adventures of Tetheus ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]


<BODY>Welcome to the Further Adventures of Tetheus.
I've decided to drop the affectation of the last chapter, where no-one else
was allowed to speak.. I think we all have a good enough idea of how Tetheus
thinks and I wanted to let the others speak. This is mostly down to Ruwalk in
the next chapter.
As before, <i>italics</i> are his thoughts.<p>

<P>Tetheus is stalking the corridors of the silent Dragon Castle late one night.
Scouring for evil doers, keeping the castle safe for decent and honest folk and
also, um, well, you'll see.
<P>He sidles up to the nearest door.<I> Nothing up my sleeve.</I> A deft
movement produces a small glass, which he then holds up to the door. After
listening intently he puts it away again. <I>Asleep already. I must be a little
late tonight. I'd better hurry up and get to the twins room. </I>
<P>His step quickens then slows as he notices an odd counter-rhythm. Finally he
stops and listens carefully. <I>Not a thief, it's too erratic. Not a drunk
either, the step's very light. Maybe a dancer, but why a dancer would be
wandering through the hallways at night I do not know. </I>
<P>As a precaution he hides himself in a dark recess, one of his favourite
ambush sites and waits for the mystery dancer to arrive. <I>Hmm, the last time I
was hidden in here, I surprised Cernozoa. I think that was our first date. Once
she'd stopped screaming anyway. Now I think about it that could have gone very
badly. </I>
<P>The steps grow louder and the mystery figure comes into view. It's Alfeegi.
<I>Something's wrong. </I>Alfeegi is practically floating down the hallway,
occassionally he bumps into the wall, which causes him to start giggling.
<I>I've never seen him laugh, let alone giggle!</I> His eyes are glazed and
focused at a point a steady 10 inches beyond his face.
<P>'Alfeegi?' Tetheus slowly emerges from his hiding place and cautiously
approaches the amused Dragon Officer. 'Alfeegi?'
<P>Alfeegi freezes, then slowly turns in place to face Tetheus. A huge smile
breaks out on his face. 'Tetheus. I love you.'<BR><I>"What?!'</I>
<P>Alfeegi's face softens a little and he speaks more gently. 'I love you man."
He opens his arms wide and engulfs Tetheus while he's still confused. It's the sweetest and warmest embrace that he's ever been in.
Alfeegi's hair tickles his nose and Alfeegi's scent wafts up it, where it does
strange things to his nerves. Tetheus breaks the hold slightly.
<P>'Alfeegi?' <I>Alfeegi</I>...'Do you want to...'<BR>'Oh wow, look at that!'
Alfeegi lets go of Tetheus and floats across to the edge of the corridor. He
grabs something off the floor and lifts it up before Tetheus. His magnificent
prize appears to be...a frog. "I love this frog.'<BR><I>You do?</I><BR>'Look at
how cute it is.'<BR><I>I'm cute.</I><BR>'Wow, you can see, like the wisdom of
centuries in its eyes.'<BR><I>I have the wisdom of centuries.</I><BR>'And it's
so, so green.'<BR><I>I'm so, wait, it has me there. </I><BR>'Are you hungry
little froggy? Wanna go get some munchies with me?'
<P>Apparently the frog says yes, as Alfeegi disappears down the hall with him,
leaving Tetheus cold.<p> <I>Let me get this straight. <br>I just got dumped. <br>By
Alfeegi! <br>For a FROG!</I> <p>The bad mood lasts until the following day, when after
hours of avoiding Alfeegi, Tetheus finally knocks him down in the kitchen.
<P>'Tetheus!' For a change, Alfeegi doesn't immediately turn purple and instead
calmly picks himself off the floor. 'Are you okay?' Tetheus nods then helps
Alfeegi gather his scattered papers.
<P>'Alfeegi? Er...Is something different with you? Recently?'
<P>He looks a little surprised. 'Well, yes. Actually, I am trying something
new.'<BR>'And that something is?'<BR>'Well,' Alfeegi blushes a little. 'After I
nearly killed Ruwalk the last time I got Kai-Stern's expense report, he shouted
at me to take a chill pill. Considering that it only sent us a tiny amount over
budget, in the overall scheme of things, my reaction did seem
slightly...excessive. So I went and bought some chill pills. They seem to be
working, I feel a lot better.'<BR><I>Should I tell him?</I> 'Can I see the
pills?'<BR>'Sure.' Alfeegi rummages in his pockets, deftly juggling the various
papers until he produces a small bottle, which he hands to Tetheus. Tetheus
opens the bottle, smells inside, peers at the pills, then examines the label.
<CENTER><I>25 Chill Pills
<P>Take as required</I></CENTER>
<P>There are four left.
<P>Tetheus recaps the bottle and shakes it absently.
'Alfeegi?'<BR>'Yeah?'<BR>'You're running a little low, would you like me to pick
up some more pills for you?'<BR>'Why yes. That'd be great.' Alfeegi looks
genuinely pleased and a brief prick of conscience hits Tetheus. It's quickly
stifled. <I>A frog! A FROG!</I> 'I got them in the new shop in town. It's just
off Holly Street, Kharl's House of Apothechemy.'<BR>'You mean
Apothecary?'<BR>'Yeah, of course. Thanks Tetheus. I'll pay you back.
Promise.'<BR>'Oh don't worry about it.' <I>Although I would like to know what
happened to the frog. </I>
<P>Tetheus bids Alfeegi goodbye and heads off to town. He's stopped again, this
time by Ruwalk.
<P>'All right Tetheus?'<BR>'Ruwalk, can I have a word?'<BR>'Sure.'<BR>'I was
talking to Alfeegi...'
<P>Ruwalk turns around. 'Where is he? Do I have time to escape? Kai-Stern's not
back yet is he?'<BR>'No, it's not about that. Look. He's...' Tetheus stops and
starts again. 'Did you tell him to "take a Chill Pill?"'
<P>Ruwalk pauses, confused for a second. Once he realises that Alfeegi isn't
after his blood he thinks seriously about the question. 'I think I might have
mentioned something like that. But I yell that sort of stuff at him at least
twice a week.'<BR>'Well, he's finally done something about it.'<BR>'What's ...
Hang on, now I think about it, he's been...calm lately. I just thought myself
lucky and decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but he's been almost
serene.'<BR>'I want to check out the place he's been buying the pills from. It's
a new apothecary shop in Holly Street. Would you like to come with
me?'<BR>'That's a good idea.' Ruwalk looks thoughtful. 'These things are never
usually without serious side-effects.'
<P>Tetheus looks impassive. If it were anyone but Ruwalk he'd probably have made
an excuse to go alone but...<I> it is Ruwalk and we never get to spend much time
together.</I> Ruwalk natters away as the two make their way to the shop.
<I>There were what, three voices coming from your room last night? Or was it
four? </I>He glances at the cute and much shorter guy striding along beside him.
<I>I have heard a few orgy rumours and I'd like to be invited. Cernozoa swears
she's never been involved, so maybe it is just gossip after all! </I>That
thought makes Tetheus happy. <I>That way I could be the one to corrupt you. I do
know more than any of the other clowns in the castle. After all, who taught the
twins all they know?</I>
<P>Holly Street arrives all too quickly. A small lane that branches off it is
severely dwarfed by the new building plonked in the middle of it. The house
looks like it's being held up with thumb tacks and chewing gum, not to mention
string. A huge and gaudy sign hangs from the top of the building. KHARL'S HOUSE
OF ALCHEMY. A small boy is teetering on the roof, trying to affix the sign more
securely. Several people below are wagering on the number of bones that will be
broken when he falls.
<P>'That daft get.' Tetheus mutters to Ruwalk. 'Apothecary my ass. That's an
alchemist's shop. Can't he tell the difference?'<BR>'Yeah. Alchemists aren't
known for their healing cures ever working. They can turn you to gold, but they can't even stop a simple cold?'<BR>'Maybe Alfeegi has a reading
problem?'<BR>'What?'<BR>'Well, maybe he has problems reading. When it comes to
something like this, you want to be pretty careful.'<BR>'Maybe that's why he's
so anal about us filling in forms properly. My second cousin had a reading
difficulty.'<BR>'Yeah?'<BR>'He couldn't read a word unless it was on yellow
paper.'<BR>'What?'<BR>'Honest truth.'<BR>'Maybe yellow paper would calm
Alfeegi's temper then.'<BR>'The pills seem to be working. Maybe we should give
the alchemist a try first.'
<P>Tetheus looks doubtful. Alchemists are not usually trustworthy. For one
thing, spending a lot of time with mercury fumes tends to drive them a little
batty. For another, they spend more money on their gold-making schemes than they
ever earn back and for a third, well, they all got a bad name after that mad
yokai alchemist started up. What was his name again? Unfortunately, Ruwalk has
already stepped inside the shop and Tetheus hurries after him.
The inside of the shop does not match Tetheus's worries. There are no bubbling potions, no mad experiments in the corner. The shop is well lit and brightly, garishly coloured in red and gold. Several tables display the all natural ingredients presumably used in the alchemist's pills and potions. A narrow counter cuts off a portion of the shop, near the door, behind while is row upon row of drawers marked with arcane runes. <i>It does look a lot like an apothecary shop. I can see where Alfeegi went wrong.</i> Behind the counter is a smiling man. Most of his body is covered by a long cloak and his blonde hair is cut and styled in a birdlike manner. Speaking of which, there's a rather large one perched on his shoulder, glaring at Ruwalk. <p> <i>Yes/No? Yes/No? He is cute but what's with the bird? Does he want to be a pirate? An eye patch, a peg leg and the smell of rum would complete the look. His expression's a bit gormless. I'll put him down as a maybe not for now.</i><p>
'Customers, excellent! Customers. What can I do for you? Ease the pain of piles? Create a love potion? Turn lead to gold?'<p>
Tetheus officiously approaches the counter.<p>
'I understand that you sold a quantity of "Chill Pills" to an occupant of the Dragon Castle earlier this week?'<br>
'Chill Pills? Chill Pills. Um.' Kharl the Alchemist ponders deeply. 'Ah yes. I did sell some dried frog pills, they're useful for those of a highly strung nature. I believe that the person who bought them was a dragon, about yay high, dun hair, odd cut. Very odd cut. I have...an acquaintance that runs a beauty parlour. He could sort him out with a very dapper cut quite easily. He's very good, did mine you see.' Kharl shows off his hair. It's certainly, eye-catching.
Ruwalk eagerly leans over the counter and catches Kharl's eye.
'Are there any side effects with these pills? Is there anything we should watch out for?'<br>
'Well of course!' Kharl speaks swiftly to assuage their fears. 'All potions have side effects, we just have to manage them. Medicine never affects different people in the exact same way. It takes a while to tailor an unguent to a specific person. If a potion makes you drowsy, then I add caffeine. If it makes you spiteful, I add cinnamon and of course mint is added in the case of halitosis. What side effects does your friend currently exhibit?'<br>
'Well," Tetheus starts to count them off on his fingers. 'He's reasonable, but floats around the castle at night, occasionally bumping into the walls and giggling continually. Oh, and he's now in love with a frog.' <i>Not me. </i><p>
Ruwalk goes into shock as Tetheus starts to list the symptoms. His jaw is now on the counter, catching an amazing amount of flies.<p>
'All that? Why didn't you say anything?'<br>
'Not to worry, all perfectly within my ability to correct.' Kharl looks very relieved. 'Please wait here a moment.' He disappears through a door and from it the two dragon officers can hear the sounds of various, heavy objects being moved, small seeds being spilled and weighed. Kharl mutters as he works, but nothing that he says makes any sense to the two. <p>
'Tetheus! Why didn't you tell me how badly those pills had affected Alfeegi?'<br>
Tetheus shrugs. 'That's why I brought you down with me. Besides,' Tetheus has been inspired and looks at Ruwalk reproachfully, 'I didn't want any gossip about Alfeegi and his <i>condition</i> spreading through the castle.' <i>Will you buy that my dear?</i><br>
It seems that he does. 'I can understand that.' Ruwalk looks quite uncomfortable. 'After all, there are some amazing rumours spreading through the castle about me. You wouldn't believe some of them.'<br>
<i>I think that I can believe them all. </i>'Really? I hadn't heard.'<br>
'Thank goodness. Some of them are utter filth! I wouldn't want them to affect my job. I hope Lykouleon doesn't hear any of them.'<br>
'Don't worry.' Tetheus risks putting his hand on Ruwalk comfortingly. <i>We've touched! I could wet myself!</i> 'Lykouleon, I mean the dragon lord isn't the type to listen to unfounded allegations.'<i> There are too many floating around about himself for him to dare throw any stones. </i><br>
Ruwalk lets out the breath he was holding and returns Tetheus's grasp. <i> Ooohhhh, uugghhh, uh!</i> 'Thanks. That's what I thought, but it's nice to hear it from someone else.'<p>
Kharl's return saves Tetheus from trying to speak.<br>
'Here you go. One bottle of Dried Frog pills. Please give them to your friend and come back with any new symptoms. I'll tweak the formula until it's perfect.'<br>
'Thank you very much Kharl.' Ruwalk smiles at Kharl and takes the bottle. <i>His eyes are following Ruwalk far too closely. Back off!</i> 'We'll be sure to come back as soon as he's tried this batch.'<br>
'Farewell!' Kharl waves at Ruwalk and sighs as he heads to the door. <i>I was right. He does want Ruwalk.</i> 'Oh,' he looks at Tetheus. 'Got what you wanted?'<br>
Tetheus pays for the pills.
'And a love potion.' He indicates the leaving Ruwalk.<br>
'I'm sorry sir.' The alchemist shrugs. 'I don't have a potion strong enough.'<br>
Tetheus coughs loudly and his face hardens. 'I assume that you have all the neccessary licences to operate a pharmacutical outlet in this part of town?'<br>
Kharl stammers. 'N.N.Next week. I've have something for you first thing next week. Guaranteed!'<br>
'I'll be back.' <p>
Kharl watches Tetheus stalk out and then turns his head. 'Garfacky? Break out the big guns, we'll be working all weekend.'