~o0o~ Chapter ~o0o~
Mallac pointed to the still sticky pool of dark blood in the middle of the dirt road. "He was a farmer, nothing fancy. Livestock and crops. Not native to the area. A newcomer, moved here about 20 years ago, Never came into town much always busy with his crops and such. His wife's name was Aleaka. They fell on hard times. Livestock got sick, lost most of his herd. Crops failed due to the weather we've had lately. It was just last week I saw them in town, arguing in public, right over there at that market stall. He slapped his wife. Everyone saw it. I was out on patrol tonight, found the body myself. Still warm."
Quaraun wasn't listening. He was hurt and tired and drifting along as though in a dream. It had not yet occurred to him that the candy Gremlin had given him was drugged, so he was still eating it and still seeing and hearing things that no one else was.
ZooLock had been trying to listen to Mallac, but he spied a man in a robe and his attention went to the stranger instead. Soon ZooLock had left the group to approach the man.
"Ah, are you one of those socialist druids?" ZooLock said.
Unicorn wasn't listening to Mallac either. He never was. His hyper mind was picking up on everything else going on around them.
Two men were talking in the street as the group passed.
"Extra stallion?" One man said.
"Yep," the other answered. "Don't know what to do with it. Can't have 2 males with my female in the stable. They'll get to fighting and one of the males will be dead by morning."
"Geld it," said the other man.
"Geld it!" Unicorn exclaimed.
He stopped walking with the rest of the group and glared angrily at the two strangers, then marched up to them, with hell fired angry in every inch of his little five foot one inch tall body.
"How dare ya geld a stallion!" He screamed at the man.
The two men jumped, startled by the Faerie's intrusion.
"I ought to skewer ya!"
"UNICORN!" Quaraun yelled, running to stop him before he killed anyone.
"Come on," Quaraun grabbed the Faeries arm and tried to pull him back.
"They be wanting to geld a stallion!"
"I heard, let's go, it's none of our business..."
"Would ya want to be castrated?"
"You know my thoughts on that."
"I know exactly ya thoughts on that."
"It's just a horse, let's go..."
"JUST A HORSE!" The Phooka shrieked, becoming hysterical. "What the hell am I?!"
"Right now, you're supposed to be a Human, because we're in a Human village."
"They is gonna geld a stallion."
"And what am I supposed to do about it?"
Quaraun sighed and turned to the two men who were gawking at the strange pair that had just interrupted their conversation.
"Why are you going to geld a stallion?"
"My mare's in heat and a wild stallion showed up in my stables. We caught the brute but now he's fighting with my stud stallion."
"Would you sell him?"
"To you?" The man chuckled. He'd never seen another man dressed up like a fancy saloon girl before and was trying very hard not to burst out laughing at the fancied up Elf.
"Yes. To me."
"You gonna dance a can-can for the boys?"
Quaraun closed his eyes. He hated dealing with male Humans.
"Then what are you doing dressed like a frou-frou?"
"This is how I dress. Will you sell me the horse?"
"How much you willing to pay for it?"
"How much are you asking?"
"How bout you put on a show for us?"
Quaraun pulled out his wand.
"How bout I ram my wand up your ass and let it blow your head off?"
The two men jumped back at the sight of the rainbow wand, swirling in oil slick colours and sparking blue lightening from it's tip.
"Are you one of them wizards?"
"I'm a Necromancer, yes."
"A Necromancer? Wearing a pink dress... Are you? You're that... you killed Gibedon... you're the one... you're the one everybody talks about... building up an army of Liches to take over the world..."
"Yes, I'm the Pink Necromancer. I know I'm the one every body around here talks about. I wish they'd all shut up. Now are you gonna sell me that horse or not?"
"Ya said 'I wish'," Unicorn pointed out a few minutes later, after the men finally sold Quaraun the horse.
"Aye, ya did."
"What did I wish for?"
"Everyone around here to shut up."
"Great! Now they'll probably all lose their mouths or something. Why did you make me buy that horse?"
Unicorn stopped and looked up at the horse that was now trotting along with them.
"We saved him from fate worse then death."
"And what are we gonna do with him?"
"Ya could ride him."
"I like walking."
"Then I'll ride him."
"A horse riding on a horse?"
Unicorn shrugged. "No one here knows I is a horse, now does they?"
Quaraun watched Unicorn talking to his new pet horse. He wondered why a horse would want a pet horse, but had long ago learned not to question Unicorn's ways.
Quaraun looked around wondering where ZooLock had gotten off to.
ZooLock was still talking to the robed figure on the other side of the road.
"What happens to widows," ZooLock asked the robed figure. "Are they expected to marry the brother or something?
"Achieving emotional revenge isn't easy," the man said in response. "But it does look good on resumes."
Quaraun turned his attention back to Mallac. The Human soldier was still talking about death and murder and blood and guts and war. All things Quaraun had no interest in or stomach for. It was Mallac's contempt for half-Elves that caught Quaraun's attention though.
"I guess you could call this a curse," Mallac was saying. "As human society really isn't all that comfortable with half-elves, especially if they can't really tell for sure..."
"I need to go to sleep," Quaraun said abruptly.
"What?" It wasn't a question. Clearly Mallac was taken back by the fact that Quaraun had dared defy him on any level.
"I said, I need to go to sleep," Quaraun repeated himself.
"You're helping me solve a murder."
"Because I said so."
"I don't like people who don't like Elves."
"You've had nothing good to say about half-Elves."
"You don't know what the half-Elves around here are like."
"No, I don't and I also don't care."
"How can you not care!"
"Soilders don't let things like sleep get in their way."
"I'm not a solider..."
"You are working for me."
"I need to rest. Please just let me rest. I'm tired and I hurt."
Mallac begane yelling at the little Elf.
Quaraun looked around for something else to listen to. He saw ZooLock still talking to the robed figure.
"Dragons will get together a couple times a year to mate," the robed person was saying to ZooLock. "The eggs are all laid in a communal cave, a couple dragons hang around said eggs to point the young in the right direction, and then babies pretty much raise themselves."
"Argh!" Quaraun jumped, startled by the hand on his shoulder. "You!"
GhoulSpawn was standing there.
"Are you following us?"
"I don't think so, why?"
"You keep showing up. Everywhere I go."
"Oh... uhm... I live here."
"In this town?"
"What are you doing with Mallac?"
"I don't know. I was wondering that myself."
"Are you okay? You don't look so good."
"Aren't you a full blooded Elf?"
"I thought you lot didn't sleep."
"No. We sleep. Just not as often as others. I only need four or five hours of sleep a week, but I still get tired and need to rest every day. And Mallac has decided I don't need any rest today."
"I'm sorry? I don't understand. What's Mallac go to do with you sleeping?"
"He thinks I need to solve these murdered as he can't."
"You didn't know about them?"
"No, I... uh... I had heard. I try not to think about it."
Quaraun gazed across the road to ZooLock again.
"Borage Blossoms are a lovely blue hue and taste like cucumber!" the squid headed priest was saying to the robed figure he was still talking too.
"There are so many Demons in town," GhoulSpawn said.
"What?" Quaraun looked up at the half-Elf.
"Those Demons," GhoulSpawn pointed to ZooLock. "There's more and more of them showing up every day."
"Is that a Demon, ZooLock is talking to?"
"And Demons are not usually in town?"
"No. They only just started showing up."
"And you're obsessed with Demons aren't you?" Quaraun asked the Half-Elf.
"You keep talking about Demons every time we see you, which seems to be quite a lot."
Both Elves turned to face Mallac.
"That's the yellow haired half-Elf I was telling you about," Mallac said to Quaraun.
Before Quaraun had a chance to answer, GhoulSpawn ran off.
"Hey!" Mallac called out to a few of the other city guards. "Go get that damned thief."
Without question the others ran off after GhoulSpawn, but the wizard was long gone. He'd ran through a portal and was no longer in the area. The Humans, however, not knowing this spent the next few hours searching the area for the strange yellow haired half-Elf.