Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Lithos: The Rival in Repose

"Um... Lithos?" asked James, stepping aside so he could see. "Why is there a kobold sleeping in your blankets? Is there something you need to tell us?"

"Darkstabber's sacred vulva," Lithos muttered, and Archibald shot him a look. "That little shit."

Lithos wasn't usually so vehement, so he immediately had the others' attention. "You know them?" Whisper signed. 

Lithos sighed and then nodded. "Lissorkalkin. Kalkin for short. He's... His family are tinkers. They come into town in their wagon train maybe once a year, looking for work. Kalkin's different, though. He's got dragon blood. He's a sorcerer." Lithos sighed again. "And he's been trying to prove that he's better at magic than I am ever since we met."

"Okay," said Amergin slowly, "but why's he sleeping in your bed?"

"He was probably trying to steal my grimoire," Lithos admitted. "Like I said, he wants to prove that his way of doing magic is better than mine. That's one of his arguments: he doesn't need a book to do magic."

"Okay," said Archibald, even more slowly, "but why is he sleeping in your bed?"

"Because I trapped it," Lithos admitted. 

"You what?" asked James, looking at him. 

"Magical trap," said Lithos. "I'm a wizard, I can do that. Master Flyleaf showed me how." 

Whisper was scribbling on his slate, and they all waited for him to finish. When he turned it to Lithos, it said: You can set magical traps? 

"Sure," said Lithos. "It's not hard. Kalkin could too, except his magics don't include the right spells. Which is why my way of doing magic is better."

"Should we report him?" asked Archibald. 

"Or kill him?" asked James. She was smiling the sort of calm, imperturbable smile that had always made their classmates take a long, involuntary step back.

Lithos shook his head. "No, we'll do something worse."

Amergin, almost reluctantly, asked: "...Worse?"

Lithos nodded. "Yeah. Muzzle him and tie his hands. Then I'm going to make him listen while I explain how much his sorcery sucks compared to my wizardry. Dumbass thought I'd keep my grimoire hidden in my bed, and that he could sneak in here invisibly and take it. Instead, he gets to listen to me lecture."

"Diabolical," Archibald said, in a tone of soft awe.

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