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Trapped Ghost

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Oh no

Oh no, no, no, no

Fuck this.

You had a plan, your life was set, a powerful necromancer that could raise an army of shadows to do your bidding and skilled with a sword. You were the prince, and your sister the heir—you were her right-hand man. The two of you were to help guide your kingdom, keep it safe and in power—maybe, just maybe conquer a little land here and there.

Everything was fine.

Everything should have worked out.

So how in the nine-levels of hell, did you end up in the middle of a city that was on the verge of toppling over with no memory of how you got there?

Your dark clothes stand out slightly, with touches of gold embroidery along the ends and sleeves. You’re sure the boots are odd to them, and the jewelry you wear is too much for the area you’ve found yourself in. For a moment you pause in your steps, wonder if you should take the opposite direction to avoid any trouble.

You’re old enough to do adult things, but your youthful face might mislead them. Your sister and you had your grandmother’s genes. Or so your mother use to tell you.

Their eyes are on you, and you feel on edge.

….

Thankfully you have your bag and hurriedly place what possessions you like into the bag. You have no real money, no that’s not right, you have money, but something tells you it’s not going to work in this country.

There’s a marketplace, and you sigh in relief. Some of the items you wear are gold, they’re more for show than importance. Maybe you’ll be able to trade it for food or a place to sleep at least until you get your bearings.

“Excuse me—” you say with slight hesitation. You don’t want to come off haughty or annoyed.

Or desperate.

Being a target was not on your list. You know how you look, how you talk and how you stand. Despite having commoners for friends growing up, you’re still a prince, although, with a few drinks or the right company, you’re mischievous and a prankster.

The woman attending the stall stops for a moment, and smiles briefly, although a look of curiosity. She’s staring at you, it’s not shocking, eyes have been on you since you’ve stepped inside this city. It’s a city, right? Too large for a town, after all, but the air around here was thick and uneasy.

“Traveler, what can I do for you?”

You have questions.

“I was wondering, where… am I exactly?” a pause, “And can I exchange this for some of your fruit.”

You don’t completely recognize all of them, but there’s enough that you know were safe. She looks confused at the first question. Yeah, okay, it does sound kind of stupid, but it wasn’t your fault! It’s not like anyone said hey welcome to ‘blah blah blah’ when you first got here. And what letters you can see and the words they speak, the spell cast on you as a child was the only reason you could communicate.

It was better, mother said, this way you could help with diplomatic issues.

Honestly, you’d rather stab something or fight than deal with those types of things, but twins had to stick together.

“Ah, we don’t—trade much with gold like that,” she answers but you can see how focused she was on the slim ring you offered.

Shit.

“And you’re in Balbadd, traveler, are you lost?”

Balbadd?

What the fuck was a Balbadd?

“Ah—okay, um, thanks anyway,” yeah, you make an awkward exit.

So awkward.

Well shit, what are you supposed to do now? Annoyance prickles underneath your skin, how do you get home? How do you deal with all of this? You have to get home, you have to—

A pause.

Why the hell were people gathering all the way over there?

Curiosity calms your nerves and stills the shadows that listen to your beck and call. A good thing, how were you going to explain the undead coming to life to the people around here anyway just because you were annoyed?

You follow the crowd, eyes seeking the source, it looks like gates, a palace? Was this a kingdom?

 

Keep going

 

It’s a whisper in your ear, you’re conflicted and wonder if this was good or bad thing. Magic maybe? You’re a master of one school, while you novice in others, there’s this pull and so you follow with cautious and curious steps.

 

“He’s gone to talk with the king!”

 

So many of these people, they looked—

 

“Alibaba will help us.”

 

Who the fuck names their kid—

 

“So, do you think Alibaba will be okay, Morg?”

 

“Considering he had the loyalty and support of all these people out here, I’m sure he’ll be okay.”

 

You turn to those voices, a prickling feeling skitters across your skin and you narrow your eyes.

 

“I do too.”

 

“Ugh, what’s with this crowd, anyway?”

 

Blue, black, and pinkish red.

 

Your eyes watch a man with black long hair, there’s something about him that causes a shiver down your spine, and the shadows to mutter in your ear. You hush them. And hush the urge to follow. This wasn’t your home, and you don’t think this is your world.

The world feels wrong.

It’s too bright, it’s too dark, it’s too murky and muddy.

Oh.

 

Keep going.

 

Your attention shifts back to the pink and blue, wrinkle your nose in thought, what was the smart thing to do? Not get involved. But… you don’t know anyone, you don’t know anything, and right now, talking to someone might be your only way of getting any form of information.

Your feet lead you over, “Hey—” a great start, “sorry to bother you, but can you tell me what’s going on?”

The woman, Morg, stares at you, she almost seems gentle, but there’s a fierce aura around her. You can only tell, because of your sister, it’s the same feeling you got around her. And the kid, he can be more than, what, ten? Smiles, and greets you, he seems happy about something, or at least positive.

“You don’t know? Our friend Alibaba has gone to speak with the King,” he chimes, “to negotiate, hopefully, everything goes well!”

Negotiate?

Brows furrowed and you look confused, “Negotiate about what? Is that why there are so many people here? Is he some diplomate?” After all, how else would you get an audience with a royal, let alone a king?

“You’re not from around here, are you?” it was the girl who spoke, “You… smell strange.”

Cheeks turn a faint pink, smell strange? Who—who says that?! You bathe and keep clean and it was hardly fair considering all the walking and stress you’ve been under in the last two hours.

“I’m not, this is my first time in Balbadd,” you stumble over the word, it’s heavy on your tongue.

Puzzlement and curiosity are on their faces. It’s the truth, lying won’t help you at the moment, and if things turned sour, you were not helpless in defending yourself. The blue-haired kid remained smiling, while the other seemed cautious—she’s smart, probably knows that you could be someone suspicious.

“Are you lost, mister?”

You scoff.

“Lost? I think that’s an understatement, I didn’t know where I was two hours ago, and I don’t know how I got here, either, so,” a slight shrug, “Yeah, you could say I’m kind of lost.”

Silence between the two, like they’re communicating with each other right in front of you.

Rude.

“Well, my name’s Aladdin, and this is Morgiana,” the boy, Aladdin, supplies. “If you want, you can stick with us—I think that’d be okay, it’s not good wandering around lost, Mister.”

Wow… that a trusting person.

Way too trusting, was he stupid or just naïve? Probably the latter, you thought.

She, Morgiana seemed less convinced about the idea, but for the moment she doesn’t completely protest.

Stick with them? You purse your lips together, briefly fidget with the handle of your sword, and weigh the options.

Say no and go on your way, completely lost without any money or way to get home.

Or, stick around with these strangers, who hopefully won’t rob you or something.

“I guess,” you smile, it’s practiced and polite, “if you don’t mind, I’m just a little overwhelmed with everything. I don’t even know how to get back to my sister and home.”

Was that too much truth? Or just enough?

Morgiana’s eyes seemed to soften just a touch.

“Then, it might be…” she paused, “best if you stick with us, it’s not safe to wander around completely alone.”

She speaks as if she’s had experience in this, bad experience.

Noted.

“Yeah! And, I’m sure Alibaba and the others won’t mind, mister—”

A chuckle, “It’s (Y/N),” a slight nod, “Then, I guess I’ll be sticking around, I’m your care.”

Like you had a choice.

Great… just what the hell did you get yourself into now?


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