Chapter 1: Of Consequence
The rukh has always been a curious thing to those who do not fully understand it. Acting as life it is both alive and yet it is not itself a living being. Some magicians argue that it is in fact energy - a collection of power that all life uses and returns. Some others argue it is life, something serene and satinet. Others argue it is both. The rukh is or is not to be whatever it chooses. It can take on the form of a loved one, it can create lightning and fire, it can heal the sick and the injured, and in some cases... it can bring life.
“Sin, I really think we should call the ships back, I don’t trust those clouds,” came a calm but stern voice from the freckled chancellor.
Ja’far and Sinbad stood on the west balcony over looking the sea that surrounded the Kingdom of Sindria, as dark clouds began rolling in turning the waves. The wind had begun to pick up, whipping violet strands of hair around the king’s face. He brushed a few locks aside while Ja’far neatly folded a few stray strands of silver behind his ears. Sinbad hated calling in the ships early. That meant the catch for the day was going to be low. There was an economic concern to it, as no doubt prices would raise a little for the day, but there was always a lingering fear in the back of the man’s mind about being able to provide for his people. What if there wasn’t enough?
As if he’d been speaking aloud, Ja’far pipped his voice up, “I’m sure they have caught plenty Sin, we should have enough reserves that we’ll be fine.”
Of course they would be fine, Sindria was always fine. With a hefty sigh Sinbad leaned back from the rail.
“Right, let’s call them in. I don’t want to lose any men or ships to the storm if possible. Send Yamraiha out to make sure they get back safely,” he ended giving a solitary wave to his advisor while heading into the palace.
“Sir,” Ja’far bowed softly, casting one last look to the skies before following the king inside.
He really... did not trust those clouds.
“Fuck this shit,” Judar cursed sending another bolt of electricity darting away from his body. Although the magi enjoyed traveling it was a fucking pain when storms were involved, “Did they really have to send me all the way here today? Next time that old hag is doing her own bidding.”
Though Judar had to admit, it was nice to be clear of Kougyoku’s persistent infatuation with the stupid king. Ever since Balbadd that was all she talked about these days. Fucking king hadn’t even bedded her yet, but Kougyoku went on and on as if they were passionate star-crossed lovers destined to be married. Get real... Did you see the husband your family picked for you? Not to mention the High King’s noted reputation for having a fear of commitment.
The magi fended off another bolt of lightning as he travelled through the storm clouds. The only bonus was that the dark ambience gave him some cover from actually being spotted by the king’s pestering generals. From what he’d been informed, majority of them were out right now, leaving only the stupid magician, the fanalis, and the king’s annoying lapdog in Sindria. Sinbad never seemed to go anywhere without Ja’far nearby. That man really was like a tote bag for the king. Probably kept all of Sinbad’s stuff tucked under those overbearing sleeves. Judar snickered mentally at the thought of Ja’far being a living caravan. The man was just about as crotchety as one.
Arriving at the familiar barrier, Judar was about to dismantle it when he felt another energy tap into the same defense. The magi’s eyes immediately narrowed and he traced the rukh to the source. Not too far off was the aforementioned magician helping guide in what looked to be a decent cluster of fishing boats. Judar cocked an onyx brow up in curiosity, keeping away from the magician. He wasn’t afraid of Yamraiha by any means. In fact her ‘magical genius’ title was rather laughable in the eyes of a magi. However, being caught on her radar would get the whole palace in alarm, and Judar did not want that when he was intending for this to be an entertaining and more private visit. No way Ja’far would let the magi and Sinbad be alone in a room. The miracle and magi alone together usually prompted either bloodshed or something else that was a pain to remove from the furniture.
Judar didn’t mess around with Sinbad intimately often, but when he did it was... strange. He’d observed Sinbad messing around with women and they always seemed to enjoy themselves, so how come when he and the king were together it was so ungodly painful? Judar never had a problem with Kouen and his brothers, or anyone in Al Thamen for that matter. Ah well, today wasn’t really the day to figure that out. Those sort of activities were best left to a bottle of the king’s finest wine and a visit to Kou on business.
Watching the ships pull in and Yamraiha soon to follow after, Judar left just enough time for her to slip inside the barrier before pumping a dose of black rukh into the magic shield. This kept the hole from closing completely which would be a pain to recreate again without alerting the magician her barrier had been broken into. Playing with stealth, the hole left open was about the size of a pinhole. Surely it would be unnoticeable to anyone but the magi, and it was just enough that Judar din’t have to expunge effort trying to force the stupid thing open. It was a lot easier to open a package if you already had a starting point to work with. This is why Judar always laughed at Yamraiha being a so called genius. What good was a magician if they couldn’t even feel their own magic being tampered with? Sinbad was a bit of an exception, but there were even times Judar knew the king was essentially fighting blind. It was almost endearing, if Judar actually had the word logged into his vocabulary. Prying the hole open wider for himself, the magi slipped into Sindria without a peep. Next time he’d put on more of a show.
Judar could see below the ships docking in Sindria’s main harbor. It appeared most everyone was helping out to bring in the day’s catch which was a good thing for Judar. That meant the palace would be short on guards and personnel. There were some benefits to Sinbad running a country about the size of a dot; limited staff being one of them.
The magi soared off towards the palace he could feel the king residing in. Judar was always aware of Sinbad’s magoi when nearing the king. There was no other signature like it, much as Judar tried to boast otherwise when the man was being stupid about joining him. Judar wondered if he rolled around again with the king if he could somehow convince him otherwise. The king was oddly agreeable when incapacitated, much to Ja’far’s aggravation. Come to think of it, Gyokuen’s request had been for Judar to send a clear message to Sinbad about their power. What better way then to convince the king first hand?
Following the noted pulse of the Sindrian king’s magoi Judar landed on a familiar windowsill looking in on the king busily doing his paperwork with Ja’far hovering beside him like a proud eagle. To Sinbad however, it more felt like the gaze of a hawk.
“Freckles have ya chained to the desk again eh old man?” Judar called out disrupting the peace. His voice was casual as he sat himself on the windowsill, one leg dangling inside the building while the other rested on the ledge.
The king whirled himself around in his seat hearing the familiar voice of unwanted company. The papers Sinbad had currently been working on fluttered off of the desk and onto the floor. His hand hovered over Baal’s vessel as Ja’far sprung into action. The chancellor had brought out his vessels on instant at hearing the magi, glaring daggers at Judar sitting before them.
“You brought this storm on didn’t you?” Ja’far immediately accused. He knew there had been something off with those clouds, and as usual his gut instincts were correct.
“Yah... like I really enjoyed flying through that,” Judar rolled his eyes at Ja’far, “You’re brain’s getting as grey as your hair freckles.”
Now Ja’far liked to think himself a patient and reasonable man, and most people would usually attest that he was given everything the advisor put up with. However, whenever Judar was added to the mix that patience seemed to go out the window along with the chancellor’s relatively placid demeanor. The former assassin was ready to unleash his vessel before Sinbad put a hand up in front of the man. Ja’far blinked in surprise before looking down at his king’s stern face. Why... why did Sinbad always stop him from putting this brat in his place? No doubt a question to be asked later once they’d have gotten rid of the intruder.
“Stand down Ja’far,” Sinbad replied standing up from his chair to face the magi. His body only slightly shielded his advisor. Sinbad was well aware Ja’far was an extremely capable fighter, even against someone like Judar; but if Sinbad could avoid having blood shed in his office he certainly would.
“I don’t really feel like having a small war waged in my office. And it doesn’t look like the skies are going to permit you two to fight outside.”
Always the diplomat Sin.
“What do you want here Judar?” the king continued, turning his focus back on the black magi.
“Cold as usual,” Judar feigned hurt, giving a small shudder as he brought his arms up around himself, “I actually came to discuss something with you, Sinbad,” the magi’s eyes immediately shot at Ja’far, narrowing pointedly as his grin widened, “and only you.”
Ja’far’s eyes narrowed even thinner in return as he resisted a low growl bubbling in his throat. The grip on his blades tightened as he momentarily contemplated disobeying his king once and wrapping a fine red wire around that grinning face. It was for Sinbad’s own good, really. Nothing good ever came of this one; but Ja’far’s loyalty to his sovereign’s will was greater then his intent to kill, and Ja’far decided on simply grinding his teeth in agitation.
“Any information you have for me can be shared now Judar. I have no desire to speak with you in private,” or at all for that matter.
“I’m sorry, was I giving the impression that was a request?” Judar’s wand flew up in an instant, red light shinning from the gem fastened atop the metal tool.
A cyclone of wind and electricity hurdled through the room blowing Ja’far back and into the wall. The white-haired advisor defended himself rather impressively, but Judar wasn’t using much strength. Blowing Ja’far though a few walls would not only raise awareness of the entire palace, but also make the room rather unsteady and Judar wanted to play right now.
“Ja’far!” Sinbad yelled back at his advisor, drawing Baal from his sheath.
“Ah, ah, ah~ Not this time stupid king,” Judar raised Ja’far up with his magic, suspending the former assassin in midair, “If you equip your Djinn I’ll be sure to use your chancellor as a human shield.”
With heavily gritted teeth, Sinbad sheathed his metal vessel again as Ja’far tried to grasp for some stable footing against the wall he was being suspended near. Although Judar would never admit it, suspending other people in mid air and forcing them to do his bidding took an absolutely ridiculous amount of magoi. It combined both water magic to manipulate their limbs and then gravity magic to actually levitate. Doing it on oneself was not so bad as it only required the manipulating of your own magoi; but to manipulate someone else’s was a rare skill, and one that took much practice as Sinbad well knew. Judar was getting stronger.
“There’s a good king,” Judar cooed condescendingly while he lowered Ja’far back to the ground, “Really Sinbad, this would’ve been so much easier if you’d just let me have my way in the beginning. Now look at your advisor. All because of you.”
Ja’far spit in Judar’s direction as a retort to that.
“State what you want Judar,” Sinbad glared darkly.
“I already told you,” Judar pushed himself into the room, letting the long black braid trail behind him as bare feet padded along the marble floor, “I’m not telling you anything until he’s gone.”
With a direct point at Ja’far from the magi’s wand, Sinbad sighed heavily, bringing his forefingers up to rub his brows together. He could already feel a headache coming on. Why was Judar always such a hassle to deal with? Not to mention the kid was rather persistent on frequenting Sindria. Sinbad lowered his hand after a moment giving a knowing nod to Ja’far to dismiss the advisor. Ja’far frowned at him but left the room as ordered. A silent look passed between the two, knowing that the other would just be within earshot if need be. Ja’far didn’t trust Sinbad alone with that brat for a minute and the king was all too welcoming to have his most loyal just within reach.
“That’s much better,” Judar stretched his arms out over his head, as the door shut behind the chancellor, “Doesn’t smell so much like dried up parchment paper in here now.”
“Why did you come here Judar?” Sinbad glared back at the magi now widely circling him. Sinbad had to remain in control of the conversation with Judar, lest he fall prey to one of the magi’s tricks. Although Judar was naive in many aspects of life, he was still crafty and very skilled at manipulation.
“I don’t even get a ‘hello’ now?” Judar saddled himself up close with Sinbad, bringing his face within inches of the king’s, “Don’t tell me you prefer bedding that advisor over me.”
“That’s not why you’re here,” Sinbad tried yet again to force the purpose out of Judar’s visit, “State what you want.”
This however... didn’t quite get the response out of Judar Sinbad had been trying for. He knew he would get some backlash with the magi the more he pushed for a real answer, but as Judar reared back, playful look vanishing from his face, Sinbad could tell this was going to be even more bothersome then normal.
Judar glared darkly at him. The false smile showing off those pearly whites slowly descended into a frown as he took a step back from the king, gripping his wand tightly in his hand. It was these kind of moments that made Judar hate this stupid king. Sinbad displayed such kindness to everyone else, but with Judar there was nothing but a hollow look in those amber eyes. Even when they were tangled up in satin sheets, spilling fluids and muttered words into the night the king’s look remained hollow. Too hollow...
Judar held their silent glare a moment longer before walking over to the king’s bed. Judar was tired, and he needed to refuel his magoi if he was going to be able to travel back home in the same day. There was only one way he knew of doing this without having Al Sarmen inject him with dark rukh. There was no way Sinbad was going to let him rest or eat though. The best Judar could do was stall for time. With Sinbad however, that was always a challenge. The magi ran over the options in his mind twisting the tip of his wand on the bed sheets, keeping his back facing Sinbad. He wasn’t worried about a surprise attack, both parties knew that was a stupid idea to try.
“Well,” Sinbad tried once more to get an answer out of the stubborn brat.
“Play with me,” Judar spoke lowly over his shoulder. Ebony bangs shielded his face from view, “Then I’ll tell you.”
Sinbad, being naturally skeptic of Judar’s words didn’t buy it. Folding his arms across his chest the king exhaled deeply at the magi.
“The information you have better be something important Judar,” Sinbad darkly replied after a minute, “I’m going to have to attend to my advisor and my bedroom wall now thanks to you, and I assure you having Ja’far worry about the damages is going to be a lot more inconvenient for me then having Ja’far himself be injured.”
Sometimes Sinbad wished he could actually force Judar to see what annoyances that kid left in his wake, but Judar would never understand it. The Kou oracle had been too spoiled and corrupted to understand empathy or even basic emotions. Sinbad didn’t like to ever think anyone was a lost cause, but with Judar the testimony was overwhelming; as Ja’far had clearly stated it many times. Still, the king being ever the optimist hoped he could break through that and find that touch of humanity inside of the black magi. He knew it was there. He could barely feel it from time to time when in close context with Judar.
“It’s about Kou,” Judar turned his gaze back to better regard Sinbad. His look was bored, and somewhat agitated which meant that the information was probably important. Most information that tended to be important Judar didn’t have the least interest in caring about, and this look was definitely a bearer of such.
“I don’t understand why you even do this when you pitch such a fit every time,” Sinbad grumbled walking closer to Judar.
The grin slowly returned on the magi’s face as he spun himself back to face Sinbad bringing his arms up around the king. It wasn’t his favourite method of stalling for time, but Sinbad was entertaining enough to at least make it interesting.
“That’s not really any of your business is it Sinbad?” Judar whispered between them with a hungry smile.
“Considering what I’m about to do to you, I’d argue it is,” the sovereign replied, his own grin now slowly emerging on his face.
As much of a brat as Judar was, damn if the kid didn’t know a how to take a good fuck. Sinbad did his best to try not to think about how Judar had become so skilled, but the curiosity lingered as he began pushing the magi down onto his bed. Funny how only moments ago he’d wanted to have Judar off the sands of his kingdom and now he couldn’t see anything else beyond ravaging the magi until he was begging for salvation. Ja’far would blame it on Sinbad’s infamously incorrigible lobido. Sinbad was alright with that. The benefits were welcome to the king with time stalling as well. This gave Ja’far a chance to alert the other generals, just in case and it gave the king another shot at gaining insight to his enemy.
The few times the two had ever shared a bed Judar had been wildly inexperienced in what Sinbad would call real love making. The magi’s kisses were almost laughable if they didn’t feel so much like bites. However, there’d been something else unique about lying with Judar, something none of his brothels or other company could provide. Perhaps it had to do with being a magi but Sinbad could feel the rukh so much more clearly with Judar. Being close to the magi like this he could see the twisted corruption and manipulation in Judar’s magoi. The first few times Sinbad had let curiosity get the better of him and through his naivety thought he could change the magi for the better by manipulating it with his own magoi. Judar had immediately locked onto his attempts to alter his rukh and what had been a somewhat enjoyable romp in the king’s bed had turned into a rough night of hard sex that had left both of them battered and bruised the next morning.
After that first time Judar didn’t visit Sinbad at all for months until the king had stumbled upon another one of Judar’s dungeons. Damn if that kid didn’t know how to hold a grudge too as that had been one of the more trickier dungeons Sinbad had conquered in his youth.
The following times after Sinbad and Judar had managed to lay with each other Sinbad had been more subtle. Each chance with Judar like this was a chance to turn the tides to his favor, but the magi was so stubborn he couldn’t see that Sinbad was in his own way trying to help the feral magi. He would block off Judar’s magoi subtly instead of manipulating it outright, so he could gain the advantage and then slowly start to influence the other’s rukh. Gently, Sinbad would nudge Judar towards the natural flow again. Each time had ended in failure with Judar refusing to take that step into the light, but Sinbad would keep trying until the chance was no longer an option for him.
This time was no different.
Judar willingly flopped himself onto the king’s expansive bed with a coy grin, his wand still tightly clutched in his hand. The magi wasn’t stupid, he knew that Sin would try something with him again, the king always did.
“Not going to kick me out immediately after I tell you are you?” Judar teased holding his lips just beneath Sinbad’s.
“That’s up to you. You’re the one usually gone before I wake up,” Sinbad replied, locking his lips with the magi. Ja’far was not going to like this and for that the king mentally apologized.
Judar swallowed in the delicate taste of Sinbad’s lips, lingering wine and fruits resting in the cracks of that sensitive skin--sending shivers up the oracle’s spine. The black magi slowly brought his arms up around Sinbad’s neck. The king kept an amber eye open watching that wand rise with Judar’s arms. He pulled back briefly, hooking an arm around the oracle’s waist. His other extended outwards to hold Judar’s arm that carried the wand.
“This needs to go,” he husked between them.
Judar’s brows furrowed in rebellion, but if he didn’t comply with Sinbad’s wishes he wouldn’t be replenishing his rukh by feeding off the king either. If anything it would more than likely lead to another fight which would expend even more of Judar’s magoi. With an ungrateful hiss, Judar dropped the metal instrument to the side, letting it bounce once on the bed. A flash of hunger ran across the king’s eyes now that Judar was being compliant with him, and he threw his other leg over the magi, now boxing him in.
“Why can’t you always be this compliant?” he teased, pinning the oracle’s arms down on the pillows above Judar’s head. He knew Judar liked to play rough, anything less and the magi simply got bored with him.
“You’d get bored,” Judar countered with a roll of his hips.
Sinbad’s eyelids fluttered a moment, lowering his own hips to feel Judar move against him better. The magi grinned with satisfaction grinding up again. It wasn’t often he got to see Sinbad lose control, and if Sinbad had anything to say about it it would stay that way. The king caught onto Judar’s scheme in a minute as he sharply jutted his own hips down on the magi, making Judar tense beneath him. Sinbad chuckled at the reaction diving in to capture Judar’s lips once again.
Steadily the sovereign rocked himself against the magi, rolling his hips in a constant rhythm, stirring the heat between them. Judar opened his mouth wide for the king, letting Sinbad plunge inside of him and ravish the his moist caverns. The magi’s eyes rolled back on reflex as Sinbad found the familiar hotspot inside Judar that drove the oracle mad. His chest thrust upward’s feeling the king’s metal vessels run along his exposed patches of skin. Judar swallowed again on reflex, drinking in more of the king until Sinbad was practically deep throating him. His stomach tightened, trying to resist the moan building inside of him the deeper Sinbad caressed, but it was all in vain as he finally fell to his desires, moaning beneath the singularity.
Sinbad’s hands relaxed with Judar’s vocal pleasure, trailing down over the metal gauntlets that shielded Judar’s arms. The oracle’s hand immediately flew up, knocking the king’s turban off and burying themselves in Sinbad’s hair as the king began to elicit more keening noises out of the black magi. The sovereign parted for breath with a wet pop sounding between them. The oracle from Kou was already lightly panting, leaving his mouth open for Sinbad to ravish once more if he so desired, and the king indulged. His teeth descended on Judar’s lips, bitting and pulling gently until they were swollen and sensitive from his affection.
Judar wasn’t idle in his actions either, twisting his lower half around to raise a leg up to his desired king. The magi ran his leg against the man’s inner thigh, already getting frustrated with the amount of clothes on them. Judar let his frustrations be known with an impatient buck of his hips, holding back a whine in his throat as Sinbad moved his lips down to the oracle’s jawline.
Sinbad himself was already fast at work with his own agenda. Skilled hands cascaded down the magi’s sides feeling the familiar traces of ribs and lean muscles. By the gods did no one in Kou feed this kid properly? It wasn’t much of Sinbad’s concern really but it would’ve been nice to feel a little more meat on Judar like some of his women. Scaling along the individual bones, Sinbad tried to seek out the main channels of Judar’s magoi until...--there! Sinbad sunk his teeth into the magi’s clavicle to distract him as the king flexed his middle and index finger in, blocking the flow of magoi. Judar twitched with a small gasp, hands flexing against Sinbad scalp which felt... sinfully good as he pulled just right. The king himself better move fast before his own body became frustrated with him.
“Y’know...” Judar breathed, pressing his own kisses around the king’s temple as the man pushed himself lower on Judar, “Freckles is gonna be pissed... ‘f he comes in here an’ sees us... like this.”
“Let him,” came Sinbad’s reply, knowing it would stir Judar all the more into his willing hand. It’s not like Sinbad himself would really stop anyways if that happened. This wouldn’t be the first time Ja’far caught him being indecent and if the king had his way it certainly wouldn’t be the last.
Judar purred with satisfaction at the reply, letting the grin on his face widen. He writhed slowly on the bed, grinding his hips against Sinbad again. Red orbs danced with desire as he offered himself up to the king, silently feeding off the black rukh that naturally coursed through the king’s veins.
“Keep that up and I’m going to be pounding you into the bed raw,” Sinbad warned blocking off another path unknowingly to the magi.
“Like it when you do it that way anyways,” Judar muttered, bucking himself again to stir the king on.
In a flash Sinbad grabbed onto Judar’s ass, giving it a hard squeeze to drive his point. The magi let out an unexpected mewl, kicking his legs in frustration. Sinbad gazed down at him with sadistic intent; watching the red flush stain Judar’s cheeks.
“You want to open your legs don’t you Judar,” he cooed tauntingly.
Judar huffed with indignation at him, blowing a few locks of tussled ebony hair out of his face.
“I’ll kick you in the balls if you keep teasing me,” he threatened.
Mm, Judar’s bed talk could still use work, but Sinbad found the threat a bit stirring all the same. Foreplay was always a bit more fun when it was dangerous. With the way Judar was looking beneath him, his hair lightly tussled and chest heaving steadily beneath, a bit of danger was well worth its rewards. Not wanting to endanger his manhood however, Sinbad willingly shifted to let Judar spread his legs, nesting the king inside the cradle of the magi’s hips. Ah this was much better, now Sinbad could really feel the heat between them. Judar seemed satisfied with it as well the way he tugged at Sinbad’s shirt, pulling the man in closer. The magi’s hands traversed lower over the king’s chest, locating the tie for his top sash and gave that a firm tug as well.
“Off,” he ordered, which made the sovereign chuckle.
“So impatient,” Sinbad muttered while ignoring Judar’s demand.
Judar growled, conjuring the rukh around him, only to find that it had become rather difficult to do so. Hadn’t he been pulling in enough rukh to eliminate that imbalance in his own magoi? Sinbad in the meantime, had lowered himself down, hooking his thumbs around Judar’s pants to begin gently prying them off. The king could feel when Judar tried to summon the black rukh around them only for the magi to then find out he was cut off. Amber eyes flickered up to meet slightly panicked red orbs trying to analyze exactly what was happening. Judar’s look of innocence and panic never ceased to arouse him; not because Sinbad got high off someone else’s fear, but because it was one of the few times Judar actually looked human.
“The fuck did you do?” The magi immediately accused.
Sinbad ignored Judar for now, nibbling on the oracle’s inner thigh which much to Judar’s continued anger rendered him speechless for the moment. The oracle arched on the bed again, kicking his leg out as Sinbad began marking him. The man’s teeth worked at his inner thigh, making the skin flutter wherever he touched. Sinbad wasn’t being gentle about it either, leaving what would no doubt be bruises there tomorrow. As he finally broke skin, the sovereign began sucking away the few drops of crimson that managed to slither out. Judar was a panting mess on the king’s bed by the time Sinbad had lapped it all away. His chest was heaving for air, head lightly thrashing on the luxury pillows tangling Judar’s hair.
“Damnit...! You fucker!” Judar cursed, while Sinbad began nipping closer to the black magi’s loins.
All of Judar’s cursing and whining went straight to the king’s groin. The more he kissed and nipped around Judar’s erect organ the less Judar continued to curse and in its place began to moan again. Sinbad knew that the oracle was still pissed with him and probably would remain that way, but Judar was becoming more desirable now which was definitely worth it in Sinbad’s opinion. From his vantage he could see the flush had spread from Judar’s face to over the top of his chest. His nipples were perked beneath his choli, no doubt grazing against that rough brocade making them even more sensitive. Sinbad couldn’t help himself resisting the urge to play, and snaked his hands back up, pushing that skin tight shirt over just enough to pop those little nubs free for him.
Judar whined the entire time the king pushed up the fabric, the coarse weaves of the brocade not doing anything to slate his rising lobido. Sinbad’s hands were just as merciless as his mouth, twisting and pinching both nubs simultaneously while moving his tongue to kiss at the magi’s entrance. Judar completely fell apart, moaning and writhing on the king’s bed. His legs feverishly kicked in the air while his hands gripped onto the sheets, no longer having the comfort of Sinbad’s scalp or shoulders at their disposal. The magi was lost in his wanton desires, crying out the king’s name into the room with high-pitched whines, sweat beading all over his skin in the low light of the room. Damnit...! This wasn’t fair! He couldn’t breathe like this with his rukh cut off either.
The room began to warp in his vision as the rukh mockingly danced just out of reach. His precious black rukh fluttered further and further away from him, making Judar bite back a scream through clenched teeth as the king’s tongue prodded his hole. Judar’s skin burned and ached, leaving him panting to try and cool down. Sinbad must’ve realized this as he brought his tongue up, lapping away the first bead of precum before sliding himself back over Judar.
The oracle glared at the king through a heavy blush, still demanding an answer to his question. Judar’s kiss swollen lips were glistening with saliva as his cheeks puffed with hot air. It was a damn shame the oracle from Kou couldn’t be like this all the time Sinbad thought as he ravished those lips again. Judar arched his back as Sinbad kissed him, slapping his chest up against the king and his metal vessels. He could hear the Djinns whispering and laughing when they were this close. Judar needfully clawed at Focalor trying to coax some of the ill magoi from the Djinn to enter him again.
Unfortunately for Judar, upon touching the metal vessel Focalor only burned him with the amount of light rukh radiating from the king. Judar whined and thrashed his head back to the side. This wasn’t fun anymore. Sinbad was playing dirty and Judar was running out of black rukh to feed off of. Damn bastard wasn’t giving him any either from the looks of it.
‘Just a little bit more,’ Sinbad tried to encourage Judar with a few soft kisses, ‘You’re nearly there.’ Nearly all of Judar’s magoi had been blocked now, sealing off the black rukh entirely from entering him. There was nothing Sinbad could do to be rid of what was already inside Judar, but he could prevent any new tainted magoi from entering him, and judging by how Judar was reacting Sinbad had made a good move in doing so early.
“Sinbad...!” Judar finally broke into a whine, pawing at the king’s chest, “...Hot. ’ts hot.”
Judar was sweating heavily by now. Lidded eyes pleaded up at Sinbad for salvation. His pupils were becoming dilated with black bangs plastered to his forehead. Judar was finally cut off from the rukh; if only temporary. Sinbad smiled with that cold gaze Judar knew so well and kissed the oracle’s brow soothingly. Judar mewled again banging his fist against the king’s chest, pulling at the man’s clothes again.
“Take it off. Take... off!” Judar thrashed, rioting his body against Sinbad’s.
That was the king’s cue. The minute Judar started to get into his tantrum state it was no more fooling around lest Sinbad want to be about every shade of purple under the sun the next morning.
Sinbad pulled back finally removing his metal vessels and tops as he sat up between Judar’s splayed legs. The magi coughed, bringing the back of his hand to his mouth. Why was sex with Sinbad always like this? Every time Judar felt so drained. Was it because the king was only half fallen? What about Sinbad made things so different? Little did Judar realize what was really transpiring between them. Red orbs rolled back to the king who was now undoing the sash around his hips revealing his own eager cock. Judar swallowed dryly at the sight of it. Fuck... he forgot how big that stupid king was.
Thankfully, Sinbad’s threat about fucking Judar raw remained only a threat as he reached over Judar to grasp at the bedside table, and pulled out a small jar of oil. Judar watched with lazy eyes, trying not to focus too much lest the room begin spinning again. Sinbad coated his middle and ring finger in the solution bringing both digits to the magi’s already wet hole. The king rested a hand firmly on Judar’s hip before then gently wedging both fingers into Judar.
Judar hadn’t been expecting two and cried out into the room with a loud ‘FUCK’; both hands gripping either side of the bed. It wasn’t as if the magi wasn’t used to it, hell he’d taken worse and much larger without being prepped at all, but with the added effect of his lack of rukh already making things more intense it took quite a bit of will power to keep from coming at that alone.
Sinbad’s fingers were blazing hot as they searched around inside the magi, making Sinbad grunt with effort as his own back began to lightly coat with sweat. Damnit was Judar always this tight? How long had it been since they’d done this last? The sovereign’s cock twitched eagerly at the thought of being buried in that same heat that squeezed around his fingers and it took quite a bit of self control to keep his hand placidly bruising the magi’s hip instead of giving himself a few rubs to sate his desires. The deeper the king plundered inside of Judar the further he extended his own light rukh feeling it begin to fill the empty wells inside of Judar’s body now that his magoi supply had been cut off.
Judar felt the room spinning again as Sinbad delved further inside him. Sinbad’s fingers were so hot, burning him up from the inside out. His legs twitched and tremored with adrenaline coursing through them, his heart pounding wildly in his chest. Opening his eyes out of curiosity, he could see the white rukh fluttering around them the more the two got excited. Fucking perverted birds. It didn’t help that his own rukh was fading further and further away as well. Judar could see the black rukh becoming outnumbered, being swallowed up in the light. He clawed at it despite its futility, trying to bring it back in to him; but the moment he grabbed at the black rukh it would fade to white and flutter away from him.
A sudden jolt rocketed through him, forcing Judar to arch up on the bed with his eyes snapping open. He could hear Sinbad chuckle just beyond his view.
“Right here huh?” Sinbad curled his fingers again, pressing against that spot inside Judar that forced the magi to cry out like a bitch in heat. Sinbad curled his fingers harder, driving Judar mad with need. The magi screamed and cried out falling completely to Sinbad’s mercy. By the gods Sinbad could watch this all day, but with his own cock throbbing with the need to be inside that same magi writhing around on his bed--to feel those muscles fluttering around his organ the same way they were sucking in his fingers, Sinbad couldn’t deny it any longer.
Ripping the digits out of Judar, the magi collapsed back on the bed, gasping for breath. Sinbad reached over scooping another generous helping of the oil and coating his aching cock with it. The king groaned with satisfaction finally having something taking hold of his length and giving it relief. Judar could probably use the same seeing how the poor oracle’s length was all but raging with precum steadily flowing down the bulging head. Sinbad felt a bit guilty for that but it’s not like Judar didn’t deserve his own punishment.
“Going to bend you in half fucking you,” Sinbad purred over the oracle as he moved back on top of Judar.
The oracle forced his gaze up to view the king who had now grasped hold of the Kou oracle’s legs. Sinbad pried them further apart, not caring where Judar would put them so long as he got in as deep as possible. Sinbad would’ve preferred having Judar on his knees for this but seeing the kid’s face crying out for him as he fucked him raw was good too. The king curled his prize over, bringing his pulsing head to that sorrily prepped hole. Judar was completely out of black rukh now, and it was obvious with the desperate gasping noises he was making. Sinbad wondered if he’d perhaps taken in all that black rukh. Normally he wasn’t this cruel with his bed partners; even if they were like Judar. With an almost uncaring shrug however, Sinbad cast the thought away driving himself slowly into Judar’s quivering hole.
The oracle curled beneath Sinbad and shook with the king’s length filling him. His eyes watered and leaked as his muscles stretched to try and accommodate the man’s swollen length.
“Fuck...!” Sinbad allowed himself his own cursing as he worked his way into the magi. Damn Judar was tight. Was he doing this on purpose?
“Relax would y-“
“I AM!!” Judar barked immediately back at him, doing anything but. His muscles twitched and fluttered, slowly relaxing after Sinbad had been in him a while. Sinbad was hot, blazing hot inside of him. Everywhere the king touched it was hot. Judar forced his eyes open again weakly starring up at the king. His vision was going blurry with tears and that fucking light rukh... Sinbad was practically glowing with it.
“Go,” Judar gave a weak buck of his hips, swallowing back and odd tightness that had begun brewing in his stomach.
The word was barely out of Judar’s lips before Sinbad’s hips snapped forward penetrating himself deep inside the magi to the hilt. Something pounded in Judar’s ears with that slap, like someone thrumming at a door. Maybe it was the blood pooling in his head from this fucked up position Sinbad had curled him into as the king began to pull back. Judar shuddered as his muscles sucked in, squeezing around the sovereign’s organ as Sinbad pulled back. The king pushed himself in again with a heavy grunt, working up a steady rhythm.
In no time at all Judar was begging for more as his body grew used to Sinbad’s presence inside of him. Essence from his neglected cock dripped onto his stomach as Sinbad pounded into him with more vigor. Sweat cascaded off the king’s back as he pushed himself from his knees burying himself deeper and deeper inside the magi until Judar truly was bent in half trying to accommodate the man. It was a damn good thing Judar was as flexible as he was or this would have never worked otherwise.
Judar didn’t have to tell Sinbad to go any harder then he already was the way the man was mercilessly driving into him. Violet hair clung to the pair while Judar’s black braid became messy and unruly around his body. The sounds of wet slapping and heavy grunts soon began filling the room. Judar’s voice growing louder as Sinbad plunged deeper and deeper inside of him. He could feel it now, that familiar sensation of something trying to pierce through him. Each time Sinbad drove deep into him, ramming the head of his cock against his prostate Judar could feel it, something trying to penetrate him on a subliminal level. The pounding in his head grew louder with each forceful thrust rocketing into him.
‘Come on damnit!’ Sinbad cursed in his mind, pouring his magoi in with each thrust he drove hard into the magi writhing on his bed. It was so close, the sovereign could feel it the same way he could feel every muscle around him with his thrusts. He was nearly there. Judar’s black rukh was gone, his world completely smothered in white. Sinbad just had to break that last barrier; that last well of depravity inside the magi--his core. If he could just reach it this time...! If he could just...!--
“Sinbad!!” Judar’s voice shot through his ears and forced the singularity’s eyes open to the magi beneath him.
Judar had managed to grab hold of the king’s arms with a vice like grip that was nearly drawing blood. The oracle was sobbing beneath him with laboured breathing. The king felt something twist in his stomach at the sight of Judar so desperately clinging to him. He felt something hard lump in his throat at the trembling creature beneath him. Judar had already cum spilling seed all over himself in an errotic display. It was now or never, maybe. Judar was still in his climax and even if he was hurting, it was for his own good, Sinbad knew it had to be. This could finally be the way to reverse the rukh inside Judar.
“One more,” he breathed, pressing a kiss to Judar’s forehead, “One--More!”
Sinbad drove in with all his strength, feeling that barrier that had eluded him for so long burst open like shattering glass. Judar cried out again, clamping his muscles down tight around Sinbad as light clouded both their senses. The pounding that had been ringing in the oracle’s ears exploded with a sensation that knocked everything offline. Something inside the magi gave way letting Sinbad completely overtake him in that moment. The light rukh soared around the pair, flourishing into the air in a magnitude that was only thought of to be seen in legends. Time stopped for a moment it felt, and the world stood still. A flow had been altered and rewritten, a new course had been opened. It was almost the same as when Sinbad had been born. An unrivaled power was felt throughout the world, that changed the game entirely, and all the key players took notice. All the key players that is... except those who had so drastically altered the world again.
Sinbad didn’t know how long he and Judar stayed like that, limbs tangled around each other, desperately holding on as if they were all that was left. Sinbad wasn’t even sure if he’d passed out from it all. He’d never felt so exhausted as he did right now, and the same was probably true for the oracle he was entangled with. The king didn’t even realize he’d collapsed upon Judar who was still trembling beneath him. He pulled out slowly, to not injure the magi any further then he undoubtedly already was.
The black rukh that had been pushed away from Sinbad was now swarming around them, angrily screaming at the king for what he’d done to their magi. Sinbad would’ve brushed them off if Judar didn’t look horribly in need of their presence. Damn... so it hadn’t worked. Sinbad let out an exhausted, and defeated sigh, rubbing the back of his neck. A strangled gasp jolted his senses as the king suddenly realized Judar hadn’t been moving the whole time he’d been coming back to his own senses. Only now was the oracle of Kou trying to come back to this world as well but the kid didn’t look too well off either by the look of things. Much as Sinbad hated the brat for his actions, he didn’t actually want Judar to die. Sinbad moved over him quickly undoing the caps he’d put on Judar’s magoi reserves. The minute the first cap was removed the black rukh that had angrily been fluttering around them swarmed to their oracle in a hurricane. Sinbad braced himself, thanking Solomon that rukh alone couldn’t actually hurt anyone or he’d be a dead man. Speaking of... with a bit of forethought Sinbad casually kicked Judar’s wand out of reach and off the bed; just in case. It didn’t seem like Judar would be throwing any wild tantrums for a minute, but Sinbad would rather be safe then sorry.
It took a considerable amount of time for Judar to come to more or less. For what had seemed like one of the longest times the oracle lay nearly lifeless on the king’s bed, letting out strangled gasps for breath as the black rukh re-entered and cleansed him of the white impurities. Ironic how that which was white was considered impure. Slowly but surely though, his breathing steadied and the colour began to return back on the oracle’s skin.
Sinbad in the meantime had gotten dressed, keeping a watchful eye over Judar for a multitude of reasons. No doubt the magi was going to be pissed once he finally came to and the king best be ready for that moment. Besides, there was still the matter of Judar’s initial reason for being here.
“The fuck did you do to me?” finally came a raspy and labored voice.
Sinbad looked over on the bed to see Judar weakly pushing himself up. Limbs still shaky, Sinbad offered some assistance to help the oracle up, but it was promptly smacked away by the magi.
“Don’t need your fucking ‘help’,” Judar spat, pulling up his pants.
As he lowered his head to perform said action a dizziness overtook him. Something bounced around inside his stomach, prompting the magi to lurch forward, losing all the color in his skin again. Sinbad, being an expert in hangovers if there ever was one, knew that paling look all too well and reached over to grab a rubbish bin holding it in front of the oracle. Judar tried to ignore it making himself seem superior to such human weakness as getting sick, but another wave of that fluttering feeling of something shifting around inside him dismantled his resolve and the magi became violently sick. Sinbad’s skin crawled at the sound, looking away from Judar and trying to block it out. Sinbad was a very strong-willed man, but everyone had their weaknesses. On the bright side at least the chances were slim that Judar would have the strength to beat the crap out of him for this--at least for now. Sinbad made a mental note to have Yamraiha strengthen the barriers around Sindria the minute Judar would be gone.
After what seemed like ages for one who was never sick, Judar’s stomach finally settled, and the unwelcome feeling inside of him finally went into submission. The oracle lifted his head up, glaring darkly at the sovereign who had finally gained enough control of his own stomach to look back at the magi. Sinbad pulled up a washrag from his bedside and wiped away some of the trails of bile around Judar’s mouth. He didn’t notice it at first, but upon moving the cloth away his brows furrowed at the residue on it.
‘Black?’ Sinbad questioned, setting the rag aside for now.
Judar was still demanding an answer with his gaze, and after that little display it was only fair Sinbad told him. It’s not like he’d be trying it again anymore; now that he knew it wouldn’t work. The king exhaled a heavy sigh.
“I tried to help you, nothing more,” he stated, getting up from the bed. His eyes cast down to the wand on the floor--yup still there.
“Help me? How the fuck was nearly killing me in sex helping me!” Judar shot back.
Seemed the oracle was coming back to his usual self. Sinbad turned around to face Judar rather then keep his back turned to the magi and folded his arms over his chest. His gaze was indifferent to the oracle on his bed who still hesitantly clutching the bin just in case.
“I thought I could manipulate your rukh and make you see reason. Appears though that it is impossible for you to change.”
“You manipulated my rukh?!” Judar was beyond pissed now.
Truthfully, Sinbad had done more than manipulate it, but the less details the magi knew the better. The sovereign simply let his jaded gaze speak for him and let Judar come to his own conclusions. Letting the oracle spin his own web of conclusions was a lot better then actually giving fuel to his fire.
Judar managed to get off the bed, ripping his choli back down to cover himself fully, and grabbed his wand up off the floor. The black magi stormed at Sinbad with loose black hair whipping about, gem blazing on his wand he pressed the sharp tip right to the king’s throat.
“I AM GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU FOR THIS!” the magi screamed.
“Is that really wise Judar?” Sinbad countered while keeping his composure. There weren’t many times he could recall ever being thankful for Judar’s bizarre obsession with him, but right now it was probably the only reason the magi hadn’t simply destroyed the entire palace in a fit of rage. That didn’t mean that this saving grace would last him long and for that Sinbad had his bases covered. Judar hadn’t been out long enough for Sinbad to conduct an actual plan of defense, but he had enough time to conjure a good bluff that there was one.
“You’ve been out for some time now, time in which I’ve had to have this room completely surrounded by my generals and men. You might want to think about the actions you choose or they may be your last.”
Sinbad was letting on a huge bluff, but it wasn’t as if the magi had any reason to doubt him. The oracle’s senses were still a bit screwy to sense magoi properly right now, and with so much rukh still fluttering about in the room it was hard to make out who all was there anyways. Clenching his teeth together with a repressed growl, the oracle stabbed into the sovereign with his wand, dragging it down along the king’s torso. Sinbad let out a wince, but tried to contain himself as best he could manage. Yelling in pain would only provoke Judar more and that could make his whole bluff fall apart.
“DON’T YOU EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN YOU STUPID KING!” Judar screamed in his ear before then storming past Sinbad and towards the same window he’d entered from, “You can forget about the message I was sent to deliver!”
With that the Kou oracle hopped off from the windowsill, landing on his carpet and took off into the air. Sinbad was amazingly relieved by the lack of violence Judar had shown him, but a crackle in the sky and he’d realized he’d let his guard down a moment too soon. The king rushed towards the window with just enough time to see a large trail of thunder magic hurdling into the Great Bell and White Aries Tower. A large explosion thundered through the kingdom from the blast, making Sinbad grip his sword tightly.
“JUDAR!!” He called after the oracle enraged. Majority of him ached to charge right after the magi for hurting his people, but the reasonable side argued that more lives would probably spared if he didn’t engage the magi and let Judar leave as the ‘victor’. Thankfully, that seemed to be exactly what Judar was intent on doing as he blasted through Yamraiha’s barrier and took off in the direction of the Kou Empire.
Ja’far was in the king’s room the second he’d heard the explosion thankful to see the monarch was alright. From his view he wasn’t able to see the large gash running down the sovereign’s chest until Sinbad turned around charging forward.
“Get the guards down to the Aries Tower to help the injured and have Yamraiha strengthen that barrier of hers,” Sinbad ordered, holding his hand up to silence his advisor.
Ja’far was a bit lost for words at the moment, hesitating only a second.
“Do it now!” Sinbad ordered, springing the advisor into action as Ja’far hurried after Sinbad to alert the staff.
‘The death toll in Sindria that day was anticipated to be 0 by bringing in the ships from the harbor early to avoid the storms. However, in light of recent events White Aries Tower took heavy damage from an outside enemy. Numerous official documents were lost in the fire that followed, but more tragically 22 lives were lost in the explosion. Our deepest condolences to the families of those that had lost their lives serving our great kingdom. Sindria will honor them with a moment of silence tomorrow morning. Funeral services are being arranged for the departed.’
Ja’far sighed, dotting the last line with ink as the official document to be read to the public from the king was finished. There were mixed feelings over revealing the culprit of the attack, but to lessen the citizen’s worries it had been agreed that it was best to be kept a secret. The advisor looked over to his sovereign who seemed deeply lost in his thoughts. Evening had fallen and the only light to be had in the room was that of the candles provided and the paler blue light casting in from the moon over the night’s sky. A bottle of red wine rested beside the king, half empty or half full it was anyone’s opinion to say.
“Are you still able to read?” Ja’far asked quietly from his desk.
Sinbad removed his hand from beneath his chin looking over to his trusted advisor. Not a word had been said between them during the chaos of the Aries Tower attack. The only thing out of the king’s lips after being told the official death toll had been ‘wine’. Sinbad had retreated to his room soon after, letting Ja’far speak for him. The freckled chancellor knew his king well enough to know how Sinbad wanted things handled. Ja’far knew Sinbad felt guilt for the lives that had been lost; that he was a part of the reason why at least 22 families had now lost someone dear to them, that some number of children would not be seeing their parent come home tonight, and that was unforgivable. However, Ja’far knew it wasn’t Sinbad that had fired that blast, and most likely tried to prevent it from becoming something worse. He wouldn’t push for the answers now though, now was too soon to ask for clarifications. There was still cleanup that needed to be done and a public that needed to be addressed. Sinbad was well aware of this.
“You don’t read a declaration of loss,” he replied to Ja’far.
You feel it.
Ja’far stood silent for a moment, holding the official scroll to be announced in his hands. Sinbad stood, leaving the bottle of wine behind him and gently pried the scroll from his advisor’s grasp, stepping forward to face his citizens.
Ja’far turned around after his king, watching the man’s back retreat from view and step out to face the crowds. The once-assassin clasped his hands solemnly together beneath the folds of his sleeves and bowed in respect, now understanding his king’s meaning.
‘I can see the loss etched into your back, but please do not think it is all because of you when there is someone else who shares the blame.’
That someone else as it were, had touched down on the lands of the Kou Empire only hours ago and was currently heading in to see his own emperor. Bare footsteps padded along the cherrywood panels of the palace courtyard, making way to the grand throne room. A pitter patter of light steps hurrying behind perked the oracle’s ears.
“Judar-chan,” a light voice rung behind him.
The black magi turned to see Kougyoku hurrying up to him, freshly out of breath with her attendant trailing well behind her. It was amazing Ka Koubun had been kept in service as long as he had. The princess’ cheeks were flushed with delight at seeing her oracle home again as she graciously lifted her sleeves to hide her reddened face.
“Did you get back just now?” she inquired.
“Yah, I landed about an hour ago. Needed a bath after going through that stupid storm,” he grumbled, turning to continue walking. Kougyoku took that as an invitation to follow despite Ka Koubun reaching out behind her to advise her otherwise.
“How was Sindria? Did you go to see Sinbad? Did he remember me?”
Judar froze at the king’s name. His fists tightened out of view and his eyes contracted with hatred. The princess innocently tilted her head, the golden chime on her metal vessel jingling in the air as lush black lashes batted at her oracle. The magi snorted with a laugh grinning down at her.
“Yah I saw him but he didn’t mention you at all old hag. He probably doesn’t even remember your name haha!!”
Kougyoku puffed her cheeks with a pout before bringing out her fists, playfully batting at Judar.
“Judar you’re so mean! You probably didn’t even greet him for me! And I am not an old hag!” she wailed pounding light fists against the oracle’s shoulder.
“Hey!” Judar barked back at her, raising a hand to cover the afflicted limb, “I have to use that arm you know.”
“Ah--“ Kougyoku, as if realizing her indecent behavior, flushed and coiled back from him bringing her hands back under her sleeves. She looked down at the floor a moment as they walked up the steps to the throne room, silently fretting over her actions.
“So... are you delivering a message back from Sinbad to the emperor?” she inquired sheepishly.
Judar turned from the top of the steps to look back down at the shy princess. It was remarkable she’d ever conquered a dungeon some days, but she’d proven herself on more than one occasion there was a lot more power under that meek frame than what you could see. It was one of the things Judar liked about her.
“Yah. You know how they get when they don’t get news right away. I’ll see ya when I’m done maybe,” he turned back waving a dismissive hand at her before entering the throne room.
Ka Koubun who had finally managed to catch up to the princess leaned down beside her whispering in her ear.
“My princess, perhaps it would be wise for us to wait for the priest in the main palace. Clouds are rolling in from south west. It will likely begin to rain soon.”
“Yes,” she nodded looking to the clouds coming overhead, “You are probably right.”
“You’re late magi,” a hooded man spoke stepping out from the shadows as Judar entered into the throne room. The oracle shut the large wooden door behind him, glaring over at the Al Thamen member.
“So what, I wasn’t given a time limit,” he shot back sliding his arms behind his head non-chalantly.
“You were supposed to deliver a message to the High King of the Seven Seas and then report back here at once.”
“I wanted to sight-see. You make me travel all that way just to drop off a scroll? You know how much magoi that takes up? I wanted to have some fun. If you wanted it done your way you should’ve just used a mail system like every other human.”
A chuckle echoed through the room. The hooded man that had been chiding Judar turned his head in direction of the voice and bowed in respect. Footsteps could be heard coming down from the grand throne, making their way towards the magi. Silk robes dusted along the spotless floor demanding respect to anyone they passed.
“If I recall Judar, it was you who wanted to deliver the message personally yourself. Was I wrong to indulge your request?” the figure moved towards them, guards standing on high alert though Judar seemed to act as though he were greeting an old friend with a cocky smirk on his face.
“Your majesty,” the member of Al Thamen bowed, excusing himself from the emperor’s presence.
“You are dismissed,” the voice replied, reaching a hand up to caress their magi’s face, “Now my cute little Judar tell me... what exactly was King Sinbad’s reaction to my coming into power?” Gyokuen smiled at her beloved oracle.
This really wasn’t how Judar pictured himself dying. Often he’d visualized a more elegant affair of it all; surrounded by Al Thamen traitors he knew had no intention to keep him alive past their goal, stepping in closer to bring him to his fall, or perhaps he’d be killed in a near final battle propelling the world into further unbalanced chaos. Whatever the visual it certainly hadn’t been this-- curled up in his makeshift bed comprised of pillows and stolen blankets he’d accumulated over the years praying to some unknown deity for them to just take him already. His arms curled tightly around his stomach as the pain briefly intensified with another wave of nausea rolling around inside of him.
Magi didn’t normally get sick, at least that’s what Judar had assumed. He was sure he’d eaten satisfactory that day, which under normal circumstances would probably make anyone else sick when all you consumed was meat, occasional bread, and enough peaches to require a small orchard dedicated to oneself. It wasn’t like Judar didn’t eat a lot either, scarfing down snacks and odd ends whenever he could. In fact lately he’d been even a little more hungry, swiping a meat bun extra or two on occasion. There was no real reason for it, just felt like it. Being a magi having a rather excessive diet was very normal; because their bodies handled such large quantities of rukh and magoi the prodigies were like living furnaces of life, and that furnace needed to constantly have fuel in order to continue that process.
“How’s his fever doing Ka Koubun?” Kougyoku asked softly over the shifting pile of blankets.
Her attendant Ka Koubun was using his house vessel to try and ease whatever could be causing the oracle so much pain. Judar did have a slight fever, but it wasn’t being caused by any illness he could find with his vessel. The heat was most likely due to the fact Judar had demanded for every blanket in the west wing of the palace to curl up into and was now overheating from it all. Kougyoku had tried to reason with Judar that if he were to take off a few of the blankets he’d be more comfortable, but of course the stubborn magi refused such logical advice.
“He does not have much of a fever princess, but there is something disturbing his natural flow of magoi,” Ka Koubun exclaimed.
“His magoi?” Kougyoku looked to her assistant. Her frail hand brushed back a few locks of Judar’s hair trying to offer her oracle some comfort. Normally Judar hated being touched, but she hoped that in the current situation he might be fond of it or at least have the sense of touch distract his mind away from whatever was causing him such distress.
Judar didn’t make any protests to her hand on him, letting the princess do as she pleased, and although it was a small action it did seem to help him a little. The oracle made a small noise, butting up against her hand to which Kougyoku obliged and ran her hand more firmly through his hair.
“I cannot make accurate sense of it princess. My apologies my magic is not powerful enough. From what I can assess though it would appear his body seems to be rejecting his own rukh.”
Kougyoku and Judar’s eyes both widened at that. This wasn’t the first time Judar had struggled with the black rukh, but since he had been a child first falling into depravity everyone had assumed the oracle was well past that state. Why would his body suddenly be rejecting the rukh again nearly a decade later? The young princess flickered her eyes briefly down to Judar with a worried expression, taking in the sight of whom she considered to be her friend. The black magi regarded her back silently exchanging thoughts with Kougyoku. Judar’s expression was reluctant but even he knew if there was something going on with his rukh Al Thamen would be getting involved one way or another, might as well make it easy. He sighed and buried himself a little deeper into his makeshift pillow pile giving Kougyoku his silent ‘ok’.
Kougyoku turned back to Ka Koubun relaying their silent message, “Ka Koubun please get one of our monks.”
Ka Koubun nodded, excusing himself to quickly find Al Thamen. Judar lay curled up beneath his mountain of blankets counting down the seconds until Al Thamen would come bustling into his room and whisk him away to be examined like those many times years ago.
Four weeks ago everything had been perfectly normal. Judar was lazing about as usual in one of the peach trees, picking out the few early ripened ones and chowing down. Kougyoku sat beneath the tree, letting her oracle drop down whatever peach blossoms he felt like and had started constructing flower crowns out of them. Judar thought it’d be fun to drop a rotten peach on her unsuspecting head, and he’d been right as she yelped and panicked at the rotten fruit juice now in her hair.
“Judar-chan that’s not funny!” she yelled up at him.
“Serves you right for sitting under there unsuspecting like a dumbass,” he laughed back at her, rolling over on the branch to better view the princess, “You’re training to be a general aren’t you? Generals are always aware of their surroundings old hag, remember that.”
Kougyoku puffed her slightly reddened cheeks at him, “As if you would know. You’re not even a general!”
“Nope, better than,” he replied back with a wide grin, before jumping down from the tree.
Kougyoku thought for a minute Judar was going to do something else mean to her, but instead he put another tiny peach blossom into her golden crown that housed her metal vessel before walking away from her back towards the palace.
“Judar-chan?” she called after him with a curious infliction to her voice, “Where are you go--oh...”
Kougyoku could see one of the black cloaked figures of Al Thamen standing on the balconies of the palace looking out at them. They must’ve wanted Judar for something again. It seemed the only time they ever emerged from the shadows of the palace was when there was work to be done. Kougyoku didn’t like them at all. Even as a child they frightened her.
The black magi walked up to the member casually, before heading inside with the man. Business was never discussed outside where plans could be overheard by unwanted company. Judar personally didn’t give a damn who heard, but whatever, it was their rules not his. Once entered into the palace again, Judar was greeted with the surprising sight of Gyokuen standing before him with several members of the organization surrounding her. The woman’s usual false and sweet smile rested on her face as she greeted him. Judar felt a small bead of sweat form at the nape of his neck. What the hell did she want?
“My precious oracle,” she greeted, “I received a recent letter from Sindria whom you visited only last week. Would you mind reading it to me?”
Judar’s eyes wandered over to the scroll in question, undoubtedly marked with the official seal of Sindria on it. However it appeared as though the seal had already been cracked, suggesting the letter had already been read. Judar flicked his gaze back at Gyokuen but said nothing, grabbing the annoying parchment from the Al Sarmen man holding it out for him. The magi unrolled the scroll at first upside down before then correcting himself and presenting it correctly to read.
“Speak clearly when you do,” Gyokuen advised him.
Judar starred at her a moment, furrowing his brows before rolling his eyes and reading the official letter.
“To the Emperor of the Kou Empire,
I write you with urgency in the matter of the northern ports. Since coming into rule over Balbadd tra--“
“Stop,” Gyokuen commanded, raising her hand.
Judar lowered the paper with an even more confused face than he’d started with. Gyokuen’s grin had for the most part faded, but she still carried a false pleasant air about her person, her eyes remaining locked on Judar.
“Does anything sound wrong to you in that letter my precious oracle?” she asked sweetly.
Judar starred at her with a slightly annoyed gaze.
“No?” Gyokuen tilted her head a little, “Read the first part to me again. Just the first part.”
Judar let out an exasperated sigh as he was ordered to read again. Damnit, why couldn’t the woman just tell him what was wrong instead of making him guess? The oracle hated politics to begin with, so why was she making him try to find something in a stupid trade agreement?
“To the Emperor of the Kou--“
Judar stomped his foot down with agitation now, resisting the urge to roll his head back at Gyokuen’s persistently annoying behavior.
“Did you catch it now magi?” she asked.
“I see. Tell me who is the letter addressed to?”
“Correct. And tell me,” Gyokuen stepped closer to him. Now the sweet atmosphere around her had dissipated, leaving the woman’s true darker self in its wake though her grin remained, “Is the Emperor alive?”
“That’s right,” Gyokuen nodded, “I knew you were a smart boy,” she ran a hand over the magi’s jet black hair, carding the locks through her fingers, “Didn’t you visit Sindria only last week to deliver a message about who the new ruler of the Kou Empire was?”
“...Yes,” Judar replied with a bit of hesitation now.
“And didn’t you come back the same day and report to me that the message about my coming in to power had been delivered?”
“Then why...” Gyokuen ripped the document away from Judar, clutching it tight in her hand, “Is there an official scroll from Sindria addressed to the EMPEROR of the Kou Empire?”
The oracle remained silent as Gyokuen threw the scroll to the floor, letting the metal rods clatter against the stone floor in wake of her anger. The sound of metal ringing through the vast chamber was the only sound that could be heard throughout the room for a moment.
“You are to go back to Sindria and deliver this message, and this time, you will be accompanied by Al Thamen, since you are incapable of delivering a message on your own.”
With that, the woman left just as quickly as she had come to call on Judar, the large group of Al Sarmen members escorting her. The one who’d collected the oracle to come inside had remained, assumably as the one who was supposed to escort Judar to Sindria again. The magi’s eyes flickered at the hooded man, letting an unamused hiss push past his lips. Judar wouldn’t say anything direct about Gyokuen--not when in the company of her organization, but he had a few choice words for the woman at times.
Now he had to fly all the way back to Sindria to deliver a stupid message he’d done originally only for the fun of messing with Sinbad? After their previous encounter Judar wasn’t exactly eager about flying back with only a week’s span of time between them.
“Something bothers you magi?” the Al Thamen man asked as Judar stepped over to pick up the discarded scroll. Surely he could do something with this to insult the king at the very minimal.
“Nothing’s bothering me. Let’s get this over with,” he grumbled while heading back outside.
Kougyoku saw Judar emerge from the palace doors again just as Ka Koubun was getting the last few clumps of rotten peach out of her hair. The princess brightened seeing her oracle again, hurrying over to ask Judar what had happened despite Ka Koubun’s stuttered protests to keep her still. As usual the foolish man tripped up on his own robes in a hurried attempt to follow her and landed straight on his face.
‘What an idiot,’ Judar thought.
“Judar-chan, what happened?” she greeted him with a polite smile, however upon sight of her oracle’s disgruntled face it vanished.
“Have to go back to Sindria,” Judar yawned stretching his arms over his head. There was no need for Kougyoku to get involved with something that wasn’t her business. By yawning he hoped to make the ordeal seem as casual as possible. A worried princess was an annoying one in his opinion. Kougyoku was normally a talkative person, but when something was on her mind that bothered her it was an endless see of verbal and mental questions.
Her grin returned ten-fold when Judar mentioned Sindria, “Eh?! You’re going to see King Sinbad?”
One could practically feel the dreamy aura coming off the princess now. Judar reasoned he’d never be able to understand that feeling. The magi knew she would want to go with and quickly conjured an excuse as the Al Thamen man began creating one of the magic carpets Judar would be no doubt be ordered to supply magic for as part of his punishment.
“You can’t come with,” the oracle waved the scroll on his hand with a bored tone, “political business and stuff, not something for you to see yet.”
Kougyoku pouted her face regardless, her hands curling into tight fists, “Why not? I’m going to be a general too some day. I should be allowed to know.”
“Forgive us princess,” the Al Thamen man stepped forward, bowing graciously to her as Judar took the cue to go ahead and get on the carpet, “These are orders from the empress, but if you have a message you would like to deliver to his majesty as well we will of course give him your message.”
For being royal pains in the ass on occasion Al Thamen did have its plus points for being able to manipulate humans to their will. Judar settled himself on the carpet as Kougyoku sent Ka Koubun to fetch her a scroll. The magi in the meantime contemplated how he would be granted access to Sindria again and face that bastard king after their last encounter. Sadistically, he imagined how far along they were in rebuilding the tower he’d destroyed and recovering all those documents. That freckled advisor probably hadn’t slept since that time and was walking around with bags under his eyes as he ran on black tea trying to get caught up with work. Judar snickered at the thought, barely noticing as the hooded man returned, handing the tiny scroll from Kougyoku off to Judar. The magi wrinkled his nose at it; it smelt like jade parfum.
“Don’t forget to give him my message this time!” Kougyoku called back as Judar began levitating them into the air. If only Kougyoku knew how ironic she was being at the time, she probably would’ve laughed.
With a burst of his magoi, Judar then sent the two off out of the boundaries of the Kou empire, southward towards Sindria again. It was no doubt going to be a long ride for a multitude of reasons as Judar cast red eyes to his travel partner.
“Care to tell me what exactly it was you decided to do in Sindria, Magi?” the man asked as they passed over the tall grass fields.
Judar said nothing, focusing instead on putting out as much magoi as he could to get them to Sindria quick as possible. He did not feel like having this conversation with this man, nor anyone else for that matter.
“I have to admit when you first returned I could’ve sworn there was the unmistakable mark of the first class singularity’s rukh on your person. Not to mention a considerable depletion in your magoi well beyond that of traveling. Are we expected to be greeted by an army when we arrive magi?”
Judar’s brows furrowed in anger at the memory, “He started it.”
“Magi, you were told specifically to deliver a message from her majesty and that is all. Any actions that you have taken to alter our relationship with Sindria you will have to carry the blame for. I hope for your sake that it was worth the punishment that awaits your arrival home.”
“I attacked their document tower if that’s what you’re worried about. The assholes wouldn’t let me in to speak with the stupid king so I did what was necessary.”
“You say this yet the king’s rukh was covering your person.”
“You are not a very good liar magi, I suggest you speak the truth of what you did or your punishment will only increase.”
“We fought ok?” Judar barked, pushing out more magoi to speed them faster as they neared the ocean line, “He was being stupid and that freckled advisor of his was getting in the way so we fought--“
“You slept with him.”
“I did not!” Judar practically screamed. Flashes of their tussling together roamed through his mind and how he had so foolishly been gotten the better of by the king. It was a sad reminder of how truly incompatible they were as king and magi and how Sinbad refused to except Judar as he was, and never would. What had the man even been trying to do to him by blocking off his magoi?
“Magi, your attraction to the First Class Singularity is no mystery to anyone. We have tried many times to bring him under our power, but you foolishly chasing after him because of the magoi he possesses is not part of our plan. You are to serve the organization first before your own desires or we will be forced to find a magi better suited to our goal.”
Judar slowed his output of magoi at that. Never before had Al Thamen verbally stated any thoughts about killing him. In the back of his mind Judar had always suspected such since Balbadd had opened his eyes, but part of him had always denied it was there. Perhaps this was because before Balbadd there had always been only three magi. The appearance of Aladdin was as unexpected as the strange power the boy had used on him during their fight. Why had a fourth magi been brought into this world?
Whatever the reasons... it didn’t bode well for Judar if Aladdin was turning out to be more powerful. The black oracle wasn’t exactly the most obedient either but that didn’t seem as critical.
“You understand now,” the man continued, “Your part in our mission is vital, but you are not irreplaceable anymore magi. For the first time in history now a fourth magi has appeared with a power greater than your own. We will use him if you are found to be worthless to us.”
Judar was silent, propelling them at a normal speed as they flew over the ocean towards the small kingdom.
For hours it stayed this way, silent as the grave between the two men with the sound of wind whipping by them and fluttering the tassels of the carpet as the only sound to signal they were still moving; still in this world. Judar knew the route well enough to Sindria now that he didn’t need to stare ahead to know what direction they needed to travel. The rukh always guided him to Sinbad; always. Even as a child the oracle had been drawn to it the first time he’d felt the miracle’s signature in the air. Confined to the palace, not allowed to go outside he would sometimes sit at his windowsill in his room aching to go outside whenever he felt that signature pass by. As he had grown older and stronger, he had felt many signatures of rukh in the world, and felt the signatures extend further. Judar could sense someone many kilometres away and be able to find them, and that power had continued to grow. As long as he headed south now, Judar need only travel halfway before being able to pick up Sinbad’s signature in the air. The king’s rukh was so strong and so unique how could any magi not choose him as theirs. Sinbad had to be the true king, he was the only one suited to the throne. Why couldn’t it just work?
Judar stared at the elaborate patterns woven into the Kou rug they travelled on. A dragon and a phoenix of power adorned the carpet. The oracle let a smile of melancholy grace over his lips as he reached a hand forward brushing along the protruding scales of the dragon’s back. Judar was in many ways like a dragon himself. A fore bringer of dungeons, guarding that which was valuable to him with rage and power. Sinbad being the phoenix, soared above the dragon, freely exploring the world and bring life and fortune to wherever it graced its presence. The phoenix always outwitted the dragon, mocking it with its cries as it soared above the binding weaves of the carpet. Judar raised his head following the bird as it soared into the skies. How nice it would be... to be that free...
“The moon is bright,
The wind is quiet,
The tree leaves hang over the window,”
A woman’s voice had been singing to him, before it then turned into muttering as if it was trailing away from him. Judar felt his eyes roll against his eyelids and slowly fluttered them open. Unfortunately the view that greeted him was not much brighter than having his eyes originally closed. Hadn’t he just been flying to Sindria a moment ago under bright skies? Where was he now?
“He’s awake your grace,” a man’s voice echoed. Judar assumed they were probably talking about him.
About a second later Gyokuen’s unwelcoming face came into the shallow light that kept the room from being pitch black. The woman brushed her hand over Judar’s face in a comforting manner as the oracle regained his senses.
“My sweet oracle, you had us worried,” she spoke to him soothingly, “Our member states that you had been flying to Sindria and had lost consciousness midway there. I know you are strong enough to make it to that place and back two times over before collapsing. So why is it you only made it halfway?”
“...” He’d passed out? Judar wasn’t even aware of that. One moment he’d been flying and the next he was--oh... apparently he had, “I don’t understand.”
Judar didn’t particularly mind he couldn’t go to Sindria for now, it was in many ways a relief, but at the same time collapsing on the ride there was not a comforting excuse either.
“Our brethren tells us you collapsed because you had exhausted all your magoi. Were you doing magic before you left my precious Judar?” Gyokuen continued to speak while moving away from him. Judar sat up finding now he was actually resting on an alter of sorts. The empress walked over to another one of the Al Thamen members. A large book was placed into her welcoming arms which she quickly began sifting through the pages of.
“I noticed while you were out of sorts that your rukh seemed to be in distortion so I began to pry a bit.”
Gyokuen raised her hand and two members of Al Thamen stepped up from behind, holding Judar down against the alter by his arms. The magi began to panic now. What was going to happen to him? Was this his punishment? What exactly had Gyokuen found out while he’d been unconscious? Under normal circumstances Judar would’ve been more verbal in protesting, and part of him was about ready to--but the fact that Gyokuen was the one restraining him forced Judar to hold his tongue. If there was anyone that knew how to keep a leash on the magi it was Gyokuen. Going against her will was signing your own death warrant.
The empress began muttering an enchantment holding her hand to a line in the book. By the third word that had fallen from her lips Judar had fallen back against the alter he was being held to with an excruciating pain taking hold of him. He screamed, kicking his legs out while his body thrashed around both in attempts to transfer the pain out of him and as a result from the sensation being enough to convulse him uncontrollably. The magi had no idea what Gyokuen was doing to him, but it felt nothing like what his normal punishments were. This was a very specific magic and from what he could tell by the feeling it was something unique to him.
The pain ripped through his spin as if someone had injected a needle into him and was now trying to pull something out of him. The jolt extended to his core of magoi as well, cramping his stomach as whatever it was that was being tugged at refused to budge. Where they trying to rip out his fucking soul or something?
“It is no use your grace,” a man spoke beside Gyokuen as she finally ceased her spell with a resented sigh, “It appears whatever this is it is attached to the magi’s own life force. You cannot extract it without killing him as well.”
Judar gasped for air, his body coated in a sheen of sweat from the magic that had been performed on him.
“What the hell was that?” he seethed through laboured breath and a raspy voice. The magi wanted answers and he wanted them now, regardless of his previous reservations.
Gyokuen, being the diplomatic woman that she was saw no reason to hide this from the magi since he’d brought it on himself anyways. She stepped over to him with the book in her hands, holding it out for him with a cold expression.
“Read it,” she commanded.
Judar shakily got up with a dark grin extended to her as well; his muscles still fluttering from the pain that had ripped him apart only moments ago. Focusing his vision as best he could manage he tried to make out the scripture in the low light. Even if he had perfect vision at the moment he still would’ve not been able to read it as the entire book was comprised of the old language he knew nothing about.
“...Can’t,” he replied, lying back down on the alter. Sitting up was way too much effort right now anyways.
“Oh you can’t read it, how interesting considering what is currently depleting your magoi is an old magic from this very text, and specifically...” her eyes narrowed cruelly at Judar, “it is something only a magi can do.”
“I didn’t do any fucking old magic,” Judar spat, snaking his arms over his stomach.
“Oh?” Gyokuen replied, “Then explain to me why there is a ‘clone’ inside of you that you are pouring magoi over!” she yelled before raking her hand across his face.
Al Thamen had plans for this world, big plans that were coming to a head now, and by their father was this brat magi going to throw a wrench into it by deciding to make a clone of himself. Judar had always been rebellious, but Gyokuen considered it of no threat. Judar was stupid, beyond stupid, and they’d prided themselves in molding him that way to follow after them like an obedient dog. How had Judar come across such strong magic as this? What was that brat planning with this?
To her surprise though, the look on Judar’s face was one that was just as shocked as she’d been when the parasite had been initially discovered. Did he really not know what a ‘clone’ was? Judar was a good actor, but only at specific roles such as being cocky or abrasively sweet like the empress. Judar didn’t know the first thing about mimicking innocence or confusion. This was genuine.
Gyokuen took a step back now reassessing the situation as the black magi struggled to try and put together what was going on around him. Sensing their mistresses’ distress, one of the Al Thamen members stepped forward to her, speaking just out of range of the black magi.
“Your majesty, if I may be so bold as to voice my opinion it seems highly unlikely that the magi would know anything about creating a ‘clone’. He has never been taught such magic and has not had significant exposure to the other magi enough to learn such a technique. However, over a week ago when he’d returned from Sindria I had noticed an oddity in his rukh at the time. You were also aware of this your majesty. It is my theory that perhaps the First Class Singularity had done something to our oracle that may have caused this. You stated yourself it is not entirely like a normal ‘clone’.”
“I too have observed this your excellency,” another member spoke out.
Gyokuen looked back to Judar who still seemed to be lost in his thoughts trying to make sense exactly of what she’d said. The black oracle brought his hand over his stomach again, tracing along the flow of his magoi trying to locate this parasitic clone Gyokuen had yelled at him for. Normally, Judar would be yelling at Al Thamen to stop conversing amongst themselves and tell him what was going on but this seemed to have even the magi rattled rather deeply.
“Regardless if it is the First Class Singularity or not, I will not have some spell wasting our magi’s power,” she replied moving to look at another ancient book of spells.
“But your majesty,” the bold man followed her, “If perhaps it is the work of the First Class Singularity, and his magic is now inside of oracle creating symptoms of a ‘clone’ this may be to our advantage. If this turns out to be a ‘clone’ through our studies, we will posses a ‘clone’ comprised of our magi and the First Class Singularity’s power.”
“Not even Solomon’s proxy would be able to go up against such a power your excellency,” another member concurred.
Gyokuen was silent for a moment before then thrusting the book towards the man that suggested the concept to her, “Run tests to ensure this is the case. I want to make sure this is actually true and that this is not simply a spell draining our oracle of his power. If it is a spell I will be rid him of it.”
The empress excused herself and began making her way out of Al Thamen’s lair, heading back to her throne room. Despite the circumstances she still had an empire to rule and an image to maintain. Gyokuen couldn’t be bothered with all of Judar’s problems. The rest of the organization would be able to handle monitouring and testing the magi, it wasn’t like this was the first time after all. Judar was older and knew what was expected of him now, Gyokuen didn’t need to play ‘mother’ to a child that was all grown up as a successful killing machine.
“Your grace,” a member called out behind her, “What if the ‘clone’ may endanger the magi’s own life.”
Gyokuen paused for a moment, turning around with a soft smile, “Then we better make sure the ‘clone’ lives to replace it. If this is a ‘clone’ of the First Class Singularity and our oracle, then having the oracle who can be defeated by Solomon’s proxy stay around is rather pointless isn’t it?”
The men of Al Thamen were silent a moment before nodding in return with a harmonious agreement. They clasped their hands together with a deep and sincere bow to the magician before them.
“Yes your majesty.”
“Like hell I’m going to let this fucking thing suck away at my magoi! Get it out of me!” Judar protested when the message of his new ‘assignment’ had been delivered to him.
“We have already tried to do so magi, or have you forgotten?” The member of Al Thamen spoke to him.
The black magi bit down on the inside of his lip recalling that ungodly pain when Gyokuen had cast her spell on him. So that’s what they had been trying to remove. Much to his displeasure it made sense now. There had to be another way though, something these assholes were refusing to tell him. Gyokuen, as well as the entirety of Al Thamen didn’t simply give up on something if it didn’t work right away. Bringing Judar to the side of depravity had taken years, so it was highly unlikely they’d decided if one spell couldn’t do it it simply couldn’t be done. Something else was going on behind the scenes here, and Judar was determined to find out what. This was his body damnit, he should know more about what was going on with it than these selfish bastards.
“When you had returned from Sindria your rukh had a noticeable difference to it. What had happened while you were there with the high king magi?”
“None of your damn business,” Judar still refused to tell them. He could play keep away too after all, and the world be damned if he wasn’t going to. Judar didn’t have many cards in his favour when dealing with people, but if he could keep one he would hold onto it until the end of the game.
“Suit yourself, though telling us will be for your benefit. You no doubt brought this situation upon yourself magi. It is only natural that you will suffer the consequences of your own actions. We are merely trying to help you by gaining insight into what happened. If you refuse to allow us this information however, you only have yourself to blame if things don’t go your way,” The man stepped forward holding out his hand.
Judar glared at him, refusing to place his arm in the extended appendage.
“Give me your arm,” the hooded man demanded. One way or another, they would get their answers.
“Piss off,” Judar shot back.
Without another word the man reached forward grabbing Judar’s arm and extending it out to him. The black oracle fought back, scrambling on the alter to try and break free, his other hand slapping at the man to let him go. To his surprise however, something pierced into his back instead of his arm, which he’d been expecting to happen. Judar spun himself around to see another Al Thamen member backing away with a vile that had contained the same agent as that which had been used to turn when they’d been performing the rituals of changing the magi from light to dark. Judar sneered at them feeling a numbing sensation taking over his lower body. The drug was used when he was a child to make him more subdued and compliant to whatever experiments or procedures needed to be performed.
“Sneaky bastards...” he grumbled before his body became limp and compliant.
The magi remained conscious as Al Thamen shifted him on the alter into a position that he’d be more easily examined in. He watched with dull eyes as an incantation was muttered bringing his magoi into view. He could see the dark and light rukh fluttering along the channels of energy in his body. Everything looked normal for the most part until it reached his core. As the rukh and magoi made their way to his core it was as if it all was hitting a funnel in each channel. The flow slowed to a crawl from it’s fast paced speedways it normally travelled and sat around in a pool of energy. From what Judar could remember as a kid the core of his magoi had always been spinning the rukh, shooting it out to different channels and maintaining a high-speed of efficiency thanks to Al Thamen’s tampering, never had it actually been still.
The oddities didn’t end there either unfortunately. As Judar’s gaze travelled down lower he could see a new channel extending shortly outside of his core. At the end of the channel that was probably no longer then a centimetre was a small bundle of concentrated magoi. The magoi was bright and dense almost just as much as his core used to be when it was operating normally. Judar could see his magoi funneling into this parasitic channel slowly, but steadily as if it was one of the flow channels he’d always had. This little parasite that Sinbad had somehow created that time they were together was now completely at home in his body, drinking up HIS magoi. The sight was enough to make Judar lose all colour in his face. He didn’t know what this magic was, what else it was doing to him, and now he was being forced to keep it because it was some sort of ‘clone’ possibly? Judar didn’t even know what a ‘clone’ was!
Judar wanted answers from Sinbad now. What had this stupid king done to him? Much to his unpleasant knowledge it wasn’t easy to get those answers either. Going to Sindria and explaining this was practically giving the king bragging rights to victory and Judar wouldn’t have that. Not to mention there was still the matter of the two having left off on bad terms, as well as his apparent incapability to even travel to Sindria now. For now Judar decided he was going to have to extract this parasitic magic on his own since it seemed Al Thamen was becoming more interested in keeping it with each passing day.
Over the course of days that followed Judar began to develop some nasty habits of his own to try and get rid of the thing inside of him. He didn’t much like the idea of cutting himself open to abolish it, which was rather pointless considering it only had an etherial form so any sort of mutilation was out of the question really. However, that didn’t stop Judar from other attempted ‘remedies’.
The magi grew increasingly persistent on irritating Hakuryuu for sparring matches to exhaust his magoi which only ended up in a bizarre hilarity for the prince as he actually found himself starting to win battles against Judar every now and again. Instead of ending his flow of magoi to the parasite Judar himself would run out of firing power and end up collapsing on the sparring grounds in exhaustion or have a spell break on him during one of Hakuryuu’s attacks. The fourth prince did his best not to laugh at Judar’s frustration even if he wasn’t sure what was going on, but an agitated Judar being a sore loser was hilarious to watch.
Judar also took an increase interest in eating bizarre foods in hopes that something might poison the beast out of him. This also ended in failure only granting Judar a few rough nights of praying to the porcelain god.
The most drastic of the bunch though had to be when upon another examination of his flow of magoi it was finally revealed that by week 3 the ‘clone’ was finally developing cells and an attachment to his body, gaining a physical manifestation. Judar was now desperate to get this thing out of him, refusing to let some parasite take up residence in his own body. Having something sucking your magoi was one thing, but now having it actually start to manifest inside of him was something Judar refused to accept. The magi didn’t have many fond feelings about his body, but he sure as hell wasn’t keen on having it balloon out thanks to a parasite that could potentially kill him. Swallowing a deep breath as he stood atop a flight of stairs Judar let himself step forward and tumble down. He hated pain, and he knew it was going to end badly, but Al Thamen wouldn’t let him die now that he was potentially creating a great weapon for them. Hopefully a fall would be enough to cut that channel inside of him and dispel the monster in him.
Two hours of healing spells later and a scolding harsh enough to make one’s ears bleed it had unfortunately proven to all be for naught. Persistent little shit.
Now, as Judar lay in his bed of pillows, curled up like an armadillo it seemed he might finally have his chance. For the past 2 days he’d become increasingly more tired and lethargic, but he still maintained good eating habits for the most part. Things just... didn’t have their normal zest. All the food was bland and Judar felt increasingly weighted and groggy. This morning he’d refused to even get out of bed. He felt sick to his stomach and had even tried to relieve himself of any food that he’d managed to intake that day, which was little more then a few rice crackers. He was completely exhausted and drained of any energy which was probably even more worrisome than the nausea rolling around in his stomach. The whole day he’d remained in his room, pushing away anyone that tried to bother him. It wasn’t until evening fell that the symptoms had finally progressed to the point of intolerance.
It had started with a dull throbbing in both his head and his stomach and as the hours ticked away it had progressed more and more until it had become a sharp nagging pain. Kougyoku had overheard her magi making noise in his room. She had periodically checked in on him throughout the day, especially considering his somewhat curious behavior lately. Upon opening the door to his room at about dinner time she could see Judar curled up on his bed of pillows, groaning into them with a pale colouring to his cheeks. Immediately she had panicked and ran to Judar’s aid who surprisingly didn’t push her away this time.
“Judar-chan, what’s wrong?” she fretted over him while brushing some of his bangs aside which she found to be covered in sweat.
“Hurts--“ he grumbled, sinking deeper into his blankets and pillows.
“It hurts,” was all that Judar would repeat.
For the next few hours the princess and her attendant tried to do everything they could to make the magi comfortable and while they’d made some progress it wasn’t enough. Judar was beyond simple illness and required the care of Al Thamen. Kougyoku stayed with Judar while Ka Koubun fetched the monks, her soft hands trying to ease Judar’s pain as much as possible.
“Swear... gonna fucking kill that stupid king...Sinbad,” Judar cussed under his breath.
Kougyoku blinked at that. It was the first time Judar had really said anything beyond ‘it hurts’ or various curses with no real meaning.
“Sinbad?” Kougyoku repeated softly, “What did Sinbad do?”
“He’s the reason I’m fucking like this,” Judar spat.
Before Kougyoku could ask another question Ka Koubun returned to the room with a few members of Al Thamen right behind him. The hooded men immediately overtook the room, pulling Judar from his bed and into one of the mens’ arms. Judar let out a shout of protest, curling up even more as he was carried out. His makeshift bed was left in a disarrayed shamble of tussled blankets and splayed pillows.
“Judar-chan...” Kougyoku called after as he was carried away from sight. She tried to follow but she knew where they were taking the oracle was a place she could not access no matter how hard she tried.
The young princess stood abandoned in the hall outside of the magi’s room, her lower lip quivering with worry, and her magenta brows knit tightly. Her hands clutched nervously at her dress as her mind raced with what to do. She had never seen Judar so ill since he was a kid going through ‘training’. The oracle’s parting words didn’t sit right with her either. This was something Sinbad had done? While she found it hard to believe Sinbad could ever do something so cruel, she had experienced herself the king had amazing powers and was even able to force her Djinn equip back into her vessel without using a single vessel of his own to do it. Perhaps Sinbad was responsible, perhaps he was not, but if anyone could help Judar she would place her money on Sinbad over Al Thamen. Her eyes glimmered with a new determination, her lips firming into a thin line.
“Ka Koubun,” she spoke with her official voice.
“Yes princess?” her attendant cautiously stepped forward.
“We’re going to Sindria. Prepare me a carpet at once. I will not be told to wait.”
Ka Koubun’s eyes momentarily widened, but the princess’ tone had been absolute and as an attendant he was forced to obey, despite his reservations.
“Yes my princess. We shall depart immediately.”
By ship it would take better part of a week to reach Sindria’s lands, so in his mind Ka Koubun felt Kougyoku really shouldn’t have been complaining as much as she had when they made it in only two day’s time. Multiple times along the way they had to stop and rest for the princess’ health. Her magoi was not as expendable as Judar’s and Ka Koubun despite some of his previous behaviors didn’t want to see the princess in over exhaust-- that and if something happened to her he’d be stranded in the middle of nowhere which was completely unacceptable. One could suppose that’s where the real motive laid.
Regardless of their troubles in traveling however, the pair reached Sindria at mid-noon on the second day. Kougyoku used her clairvoyance magic to send message to Sinbad through Yamraiha’s barrier. Unlike a certain oracle the princess put manners above her wants and desires. She hoped, dearly hoped, that Sinbad would be able to recognize her voice through her transmission.
‘King Sinbad, I humbly apologize for the intrusion, but my Ka Koubun and I, Princess Kougyoku, have travelled from the Kou Empire to seek audience with you. It is an urgent matter,’ she communicated.
Sinbad was a bit more than surprised to hear Kougyoku’s voice ringing in his head that afternoon. He’d been in the middle of signing off on another order of stone and slab for rebuilding the White Aries Tower when he’d suddenly heard the meek princess’ voice ringing in his head. Yamraiha as well was roused from her study in her chambers. She could feel the light knock of the princess against her barrier outer barrier protecting Sindria. Gathering up her current literature the magician made haste to Sinbad’s office knowing he’d be receiving a message as well.
As the gifted mage entered upon Sinbad’s main office she took in the sight of the king at his desk, eyebrows lightly raised with his head lifting to greet her. A single glance from the king and Yamraiha could tell two things: one, the king had already received communication from the princess, and two, that she would be ordered to open her barrier for the young royal at once. Yamraiha had one question that remained before carrying out the unasked request however.
“My lord, what would the princess of Kou be doing all the way in Sindria without sending prior notice?” Yamraiha hoped the answer to her question had been relayed in whatever mental message Sinbad had apparently received from the princess.
The king stood from his chair, moving around his desk to head out of the office, “I’m not entirely sure myself,” he spoke to his magician, “However, I can tell she is alone for the most part and she stated it was an urgent matter. Please open your barrier Yamraiha, I will come to greet her,” he ended with a reassuring smile to his general.
“Sir,” Yamraiha clasped her hands together before formally bowing to her king. The general still had her reservations, but she knew better then to vocalize them before her king whom had already made his decision. Sinbad was a wise king and could see the path through any darkness, Yamraiha trusted him with her life and had since he’d rescued her from her old life in Magnostadt.
While Sinbad was fairly certain Kougyoku would never perform an ambush or underlying attack like Judar or some of the other rumored figures of Kou, the sovereign was no fool. His barrier was there for a reason, and precautions to ensure his citizen’s safety always came first. Too many times he’d opened his arms in welcoming too soon which had left him haunted for days on end. In fact, one of those instances still haunted him as he passed by the White Aries Tower currently in repair.
With Ja’far’s remarkable talent Sindria had managed to recover 40% of the documents lost in the explosion. Sinbad felt like a truly privileged man to have someone as skilled as Ja’far by his side. The former assassin always knew what to do whenever the king found himself unsure or in peril. Rarely was Sinbad actually in physical peril these days, having acquired so much power, but the moral support and political advising he’d received over the years had made Ja’far someone irreplaceable and close to him. Ja’far was a constant to reminder to Sinbad that anyone could be given a second chance to become something great. There was light to be found in all, and that no one was a lost cause. However, over the years as he’d seen more and more of the world that thought and way of life had become buried under the responsibilities and pressures of adulthood and being a king.
As the sovereign made way down the steps of the Sindrian palace to the courtyard, Sinbad smiled in greeting to the young princess as she landed. Guards stood at the ready to receive her, though they looked more wary, thinking the carpet belonged to another. ‘Sorry about that.’ Sinbad mentally added as he waved to Kougyoku.
“Young Princess, your visit to my kingdom is an honorable surprise, although you are always welcome in my kingdom,” Sinbad beamed down at her, instantly making the princess turn pink.
Kougyoku raised her sleeves to hide her reddening face from her interest’s view. Why did Sinbad always have to look at her with such charm?
“K-King Sinbad,” she stammered while trying to collect her nerves, “I humbly seek an audience with you.”
“Of course,” Sinbad rested a hand over his chest, “Although, I hope you don’t mind if two of my attendants join us seeing as you have one in company as well.”
Sinbad would not be taking chances this time. With Yamraiha accompanying their discussion the monarch would be able to tell the intent of Kougyoku’s message, whatever it may be, and for the other attendant in question with him, Sinbad would send for Ja’far. There was no notable reason for it other than Sinbad just felt more at ease with his most trusted advisor there beside him.
Kougyoku looked to Ka Koubun nervously. She was not much of a diplomat yet so she could not tell if this was a right or wrong decision to make. Ka Koubun unfortunately could only offer her little more then a bow of agreement as he had not had many political chances for dealings with the princess either. Small wonder why given his past performances.
Kougyoku turned back to Sinbad with the approval of her assistant, “Yes, that will be fine.”
Sinbad nodded and turned to Yamraiha, whispering softly, “Please send for Ja’far to come to the west drawing room. I would like you to accompany as well Yamraiha.”
“Sir,” Yamraiha clasped her hands, and bowed respectfully before going off to seek Ja’far. Knowing that the freckled advisor would most likely be working on recovering documents still, she made her way towards the White Aries Tower in repair.
Kougyoku’s eyes followed Yamraiha a moment, before seeing the White Aries Tower. At first it looked to only be going under reconstruction before she then looked up, following the construction to see what was no doubt burn marks scorched along the stone walls. The princess gasped while raising her fingers to her mouth; a bit unsightly for a princess. She knew those scorch marks could not be caused by anything brought on by mother nature, which meant they had been the cause of an attack. Now Judar’s cursing was starting to make more sense to her, as well as his once intended return trip to Sindria despite having only visited a short while ago.
“Oh Judar-chan...” she muttered under her breath in disappointment.
“Princess,” Sinbad called back to her, already making his way up the first few steps towards the palace. Kougyoku didn’t even notice Sinbad had already begun to lead her. She flustered a moment before running after Sinbad taking one more glance to the White Aries Tower before then slipping inside the main palace doors. Sinbad had noticed her gaze, but made no action to point it out. The princess was not connected to Judar’s assault on his palace so there was little point in bringing up what wasn’t necessary for their discussion.
“Would you like more tea princess?” Yamraiha offered holding out a silver kettle of chai tea for the young royal.
Kougyoku sat in one of the plush chairs opposed to Sinbad in the west drawing room, a small but lavishly designed table stood between them. A cup of tea that was now half empty resided before her, and uneaten tart rested beside the cup on a porcelain saucer. Sinbad wasn’t exactly good at picking out foods for guests from countries he hadn’t visited much. The room had been silent for what seemed like ages, although their last guest, Ja’far, had just arrived.
The princess sat with her hands in her lap, fists curling tightly as they scrunched up the fabric of her dress. She politely shook her head, rejecting the offered tea from Yamraiha as she stared down at her teacup. The semi-transparent reflected her gaze back to her as Kougyoku tried to formulate where to start her conversation. She couldn’t very well just come out and ask for Sinbad to look at Judar, especially not if her suspicions about the tower she’d seen outside were correct.
Sinbad sat across with his arms folded. Being polite to his underage company, he’d opted for tea as well for his conversational beverage instead of a usual glass of wine he would most definitely be needing after whatever conversation was to come. Ja’far stood close beside his king silent as the grave; mimicking Ka Koubun who resided close to his princess.
After several minutes of awkward silence Ka Koubun decided to make the first move seeing as how Kougyoku was going to be too shy to push herself to speak.
“Princess,” Ka Koubun whispered to her, using his house vessel to cover his mouth, “remember why you came here so urgently. Although it may be difficult to speak you are worried about your oracle’s health are you not?”
“Yes... I understand,” Kougyoku sighed reluctantly. How to open though after learning the destruction of Sinbad’s property was most likely the cause of someone she would now be asking the king to help? As much as it pained her to confirm this knowledge it needed to be done.
“Your majesty... The White Aries Tower, my oracle destroyed it... didn’t he?”
Not only Sinbad, but Yamraiha and Ja’far straightened in surprise as well. The king blinked in shock at her sudden accusation while looking at Kougyoku. The princess seemed to almost shrink in her seat knowing their eyes were on her. Even though Sinbad was angry for the damage and heartbreak that had been caused to his kingdom, Kougyoku was not responsible for Judar’s actions. He softened his gaze some at her, though he could not force himself to smile.
“...Yes,” he sighed after a brief silence, taking a sip of his own tea, “But you needn’t blame yourself for it princess. You are not the one who attacked my tower.” Or my most trusted advisor, Sinbad mentally added.
Kougyoku seemed to ease up a little at Sinbad’s words, finally shifting her arms out of their rigid state. However, her mood seemed to remain blue.
“King Sinbad... I travelled to see you today because I require your help,” she began.
“What is that princess?”
“Well... it’s not really for ‘me’ but...” How to say this? Kougyoku had to pick her words very carefully. She was in the first real diplomatic situation of her life, and the stakes couldn’t be higher in her mind. Her beloved king had his eyes on her, and she was about to bring up the person he was likely to be most angry at right now. Would Sinbad hate her too for requesting his aid to heal her oracle? The fact Judar had declared war on Sindria several months ago did not make things any easier either. Would someone as generous as Sinbad even think about helping someone who was now his enemy? Well... the high king had granted Kougyoku entry to his kingdom right? So... maybe.
“Judar-chan is in trouble.”
The princess’ timing, unknown to her, had been rather cruel. The sovereign was about mid-swallow when she had finally collected enough of her nerves to speak again. The king choked on his tea, forcing it down with a somewhat painful coercing of his throat. His eyebrows instantly narrowed at the mention of the black oracle’s name.
“Your family cannot assist him?” Sinbad inquired a bit more pointedly.
“I believe my family may be making it worse... along with our monks.”
Now there was a surprise, Sinbad thought sarcastically. Everyone had always been aware the life that Judar led would not last forever. Eventually that bratty attitude of his was going to get him what he rightfully deserved and Sinbad felt no need to step into it.
“Forgive me princess,” Sinbad set his cup of tea down, “But what troubles your oracle is not my concern.”
“--He’s dying!” Kougyoku interjected a bit louder than she had meant to.
Sinbad stopped mid-gesture; his body freezing momentarily. Even Ja’far and Yamraiha’s eyes had widened considerably. The king did not stay in a stupor as long as his subordinates however. His brows furrowed in thought at what Kougyoku had said. Why would the organization be disposing of Judar now when they had not achieved their goal yet? Something did not add up here.
“What do you mean by ‘dying’?” Yamraiha spoke up.
“I’m not sure entirely myself,” Kougyoku admitted, shrinking back into her chair somewhat, “but from what we were able to analyze it seems that the rukh in his body is being rejected.”
“Rejected?” Everyone seemed to be thrown for a surprise again.
As long as they had all known Judar, Ja’far and Sinbad especially, the magi had always done perfectly fine in the dark hold of the black rukh. In fact, during the display in Balbadd with Aladdin it seemed if anything that the white rukh was what he could not handle. So why after so many years would his body be suddenly rejecting the black rukh? Was there a time limit for how long one’s body could handle the black rukh infesting it? If Cassim and Dunya were any indications... Ja’far cast a nervous glance to Sinbad, but the king seemed to be more interested in hearing the details from Kougyoku instead of worrying about his own health; typical Sinbad.
“What about your monks?” Sinbad tried to keep the situation calm. Surely Al Thamen would not let go of their magi so easily.
“The last I saw they carried him off to be examined but--Sinbad, he’s been like this for weeks. His magoi is becoming smaller and smaller. He couldn’t even make it to Sindria and ended up passing out half way here when traveling,” Kougyoku exclaimed.
“For the past day or so he’s remained in his room and refused to come out. He’s barely eaten, and... the night Al Thamen took him away he was in so much pain... I couldn’t do anything!”
Kougyoku brought her sleeves to her face, trying to hide her tears as she weeped for her oracle. Judar was her first friend and someone she cared for very deeply. Although the magi was an asshole, Yamraiha did feel pity for the girl. Hell, even Ja’far wasn’t that ice cold, but as he moved his green eyes to Sinbad again the king was still starring very intently at the Kou princess with his hands resting under his chin. The sovereign still harbored a lot of resentment to Judar, but more than that he had to wonder if this wasn’t something Al Thamen had instigated, or if they’d already fixed this ‘rejection of rukh’ in the time the princess had travelled here.
“Princess, please get a hold of yourself,” Ka Koubun tried to calm her, “We are still in king Sinbad’s presence.”
Kougyoku sniffled, and wiped her eyes, but she kept her sleeves up to shield the lower half of her face that had become red from her crying. Yamraiha stepped forward offering the worried girl a delicate cloth to dry her face, which Kougyoku graciously took.
“Princess Kougyoku,” Sinbad started, “While I sympathize the pain you are going through I do not see a reason why you are coming to me with these issues. If the monks in your home have taken Judar, than it is likely he is in good care.”
‘You’re wrong!’ she had wanted to say, but what proof could she go on? It wasn’t like she had observed the hooded men and what practices they did with Judar. All she had to go on was her gut feelings-- and...
“You’re majesty... please forgive my rudeness in saying this but,” it was now or never; her ace in the hole for Sinbad’s help as her oracle’s life possibly lay on the line--she had to be bold, “Judar stated that you were the one that had actually caused this change in his rukh.”
“Princess!” Ka Koubun panicked.
Ja’far and Yamuraiha widened their eyes at her accusation. Kougyoku was rarely seen so vocal or persecuting, and to accuse Sinbad of all people was something no one would’ve expected. Sinbad as well seemed surprised by her outburst, which in turn made Ja’far narrow his eyes. If Sinbad was not involved the king would’ve remained stoic and brushed the accusation off with a usual laugh. Judar was well known for making false claims to get his way, but a surprised Sinbad meant he recalled something, and if Sinbad recalled something that meant there was reason to suspect he was now involved.
‘What did you DO,’ Ja’far was practically glaring daggers at the man now, which Sinbad could feel poking into his shoulder. However, the king had a few more questions he wanted to ask Kougyoku before allowing Ja’far to rip him apart limb from limb in private.
Judar’s body was finally rejecting the black rukh, and this was because of something Sinbad had done? Had the magoi manipulation he’d performed actually worked? The king was almost at the edge of his seat now, looking at Kougyoku with a new fire in his eyes. Oh Al Thamen would be sent a cruel blow if this turned out to be true. The old adventurer inside of him was positively enthralled at the possibilities. Ja’far on the other hand was about ready to go into cardiac arrest for similar reasons.
“Princess, what did Judar’s rukh look like exactly?” Sinbad inquired.
Kougyoku stuttered a bit. She hadn’t actually seen Judar’s rukh herself. Looking up to her assistant Kougyoku granted Ka Koubun permission to speak. The attendant, while not widely trusted by Sindria at all much like the oracle in question, now had a chance to redeem himself more or less. Ja’far still starred at him like a pissed off camel, and Yamraiha had her staff at the ready to determine if he was going to be a lying snake again or not. Under pressure from their piercing gaze Ka Koubun set down his house vessel on the table.
“While I am not a skilled magician, from what I could tell his rukh was flowing in a way unnatural for any body, even more than what would even be considered normal by a magi’s standards,” he began, “While examining him the night our monks took him away the oracle did appear to be rather ill. Although no illness plagued him his rukh was at a complete stand still--some of it being pushed away from his core.”
“If you desire for proof I’m sure your magician has a way of checking my attendant’s house vessel’s magic history since it had been used on Judar,” Kougyoku spoke up.
Yamraiha looked to Sinbad who gave her an affirming nod. She reached forward with her staff, lightly tapping the fan to pull up it’s magical history. There were many recent spells of magoi replenishing, mostly from Kougyoku’s hasty travel, but with a bit of searching Yamraiha was able to pull up the proof they needed. Energy spells and magoi reversals... hundreds of them, all failed. Spells for pain, spells for fever, it was akin to looking at a medical record for a busy night in the hospital wing.
“Incredible...” Yamraiha whispered under her breath, “Sinbad you must see this.”
Yamraiha, with a glowing light from her staff, expanded a particular spell that had initially revealed Judar’s flow of magoi before all the reversals and manipulations had started taking place. With the help of the general’s magic they could see the same flow of magoi Ka Koubun described having witnessed that night. Although it was a poor representation of the rukh’s flow being symbolized by water molecules, it was clear to see everything was at a complete standstill as Ka Koubun had testified.
“In a normal person,” Yamraiha began to explain, as Ja’far stepped closer to view, “These water ways would be moving water molecules through them as an accurate diagram of a person’s energy channels cycling raw energy and magoi throughout their body. You could almost think of it like how the blood or nervous system works. For a magician these particles move a bit faster, for a magi it’s... close to the speed of sound, given what their bodies are capable of wielding. They need a very efficient and high-speed system.”
Everyone stared at the diagram with fascination now as Yamraiha continued to explain. Sinbad and Kougyoku had both risen from their chairs to view closely as she continued.
“For these channels to be at a complete stand still... I’m not sure how he’s even alive...” She admitted, knowing it would upset the princess, but there was no other way to put it. In all her years of magical practice Yamraiha had never even heard of a situation where one’s flow of energy could simply be stopped like this. Ja’far cast a glance to the princess who had lost some colour to her flushed cheeks, but she was remaining strong, determined like everyone else to see what was going on in Judar’s body.
“When a person dies, these channels completely disappear as the rukh returns to the great flow. What this is more representative of would be perhaps if someone was in a comatose state. Even then however, their energy still moves, albeit much more slowly than it used to.”
“If you look closely here,” Yamraiha directed their attention to Judar’s centre. The small ‘clone’ that had been visible to Al Thamen upon examination could not be viewed by Ka Koubun’s magic in the same manner. Since he could only view with water magic his analysis had been rather limited.
“Here at the centre, something very weakly is actually pushing his flow in reverse. You can see how all of the water molecules are sort of clogged up right around this area. Something is trying to push it back, but it is such a weak push the flow can neither move forwards or backwards leading to the standstill.”
With a wave of her staff, Yamraiha let the diagram disperse, leaving the house vessel alone on the table. There was a moment of silence that befell the room. Everyone had been momentarily rendered speechless by what they had witnessed. After a few moments Sinbad finally spoke to break the silence while Ka Koubun moved to retrieve his vessel upon the other’s words.
“It is likely your organization already knows of this as well,” Sinbad pointed out to Kougyoku.
“Yes, I understand,” Kougyoku nodded, “But... if Judar-chan’s black rukh is being rejected I fear they won’t be able to help him as they only work with the black rukh. You reversed my magoi with manipulation that time in Balbadd. Never in my life had I experienced something like that before, or even known such a technique existed. I don’t believe our monks have the same knowledge of rukh and magoi like you do king Sinbad. If Judar has a chance of being healed, I believe his best chance is by your hands.”
Not to mention once again that Sinbad had apparently been the source of this, but it seemed Kougyoku was finally making a breakthrough in her plea for help. Putting blame on Sinbad was something she didn’t like doing, and the diagram could not confirm this claim either.
“Sinbad,” Ja’far finally spoke up, “While I can’t say I support this decision I would like to converse with you privately a moment about this. Please forgive my rudeness princess,” Ja’far turned mindfully to Kougyoku with a warm smile on his face, “this is an important matter for us to take into consideration as well given the standing between our countries at this time.”
Sinbad held an impressive pokerface as he excused himself from the room knowing without a doubt Ja’far was using his political version of ‘I am going to wring your neck until you explain what the hell is going on and why we’re in this situation’ voice. No sooner had the king and advisor stepped into another room out of hearing distance, did Ja’far lose his facade and grabbed onto Sinbad’s shoulders, shaking the man in a bout of violence.
“What. Did. You. DO?!” he demanded with exasperation, “Don’t tell me you didn’t do anything either, I saw that look in your face when the princess had brought up the rukh. I also know you two did more than talking that day he came to visit. Talking would not have--“
Ja’far stopped himself. There was no need to bring up painful memories of the lives lost that night, especially when the damages and losses still weighed so heavily on them.
“...Please, just explain to me why we’re in this situation.”
Sinbad saw no point in trying to cover up his actions with Ja’far. The assassin was always able to make quick work of his lies like anything else that opposed the silver haired man. However, for one who so openly embraced the concept of sexual deviance and enjoying life, even for a man like Sinbad it was a bit hard to speak about given his partner in the subject was Judar. A small flush graced his cheeks as he scratched at the base of his head. It wasn’t as if he had to go into all the details of their sexual encounter--just the relevant ones, which really weren’t all that sexual when pulled out of context.
“I was only trying to help him,” Sinbad exhaled, folding his arms across his chest. His initial blushing and nervousness had vanished leaving a confident king in their wake. Well... falsely confident given the position they were now in regarding Judar, “I performed a magoi manipulation on him to see if perhaps he could be changed. It seemed to be working when I had performed it initially. I could feel his body changing and accepting the white rukh into it but...”
But Judar had looked horrible afterwards--probably in a similar state to what he looked like now most likely. The king felt a pang of guilt enter his heart while Ja’far raised a hand to fend off an oncoming migraine.
“Sin, why must you always get involved with him? He is no good, you know this,” Ja’far sighed.
Sinbad furrowed his brows in disagreement, “Ja’far, this kingdom was built on the promise that people’s circumstances can be changed, or did you forget this lesson?”
“Forgive me,” Ja’far apologized, “But this is different. Judar is...”
A hopeless case? A lost cause? Those same words were said about all of us at one point Ja’far, and we have shown them differently. You also had been tied to a cruel organization that saw you as no more than a tool. If the magi would accept the help offered to him, he could turn into something else, something better--or so the monarch hoped.
“...What happened after?” Ja’far moved the conversation ahead.
“...” Sinbad was quiet again, leaning back against the wall of the room. He lifted his head up and to the side, not looking at anything in particular; but he couldn’t keep his eyes on Ja’far for this next part. Call him selfish, but Sinbad didn’t want to see the look on Ja’far’s face when the advisor learned Sinbad was directly linked to Judar’s attack on the White Aries Tower.
“His body struggled to accept the white rukh. I panicked and reversed it again, allowing the black rukh to connect with him once more. He was out of it for a while, but he came to and left,” That is to say, after throwing up in Sinbad’s rubbish bin and destroying part of his palace.
“And now his body is rejecting the rukh again only it’s his own this time,” Ja’far continued, bypassing over the attack of the White Aries Tower. Sinbad’s faults and mistakes tended to weigh much more heavily on Sinbad’s shoulders than he let on. Ja’far knew this, and hoped that by passing over it as well until the king was ready to speak he could somehow ease the crushing weight on his monarch, “How do we know this isn’t something Al Thamen has done to him and not you?”
“I can’t be sure,” Sinbad shook his head, “But it’s highly doubtful Al Thamen would want to do anything to alter Judar’s magoi after spending so many years molding him to what they wanted.”
“Kougyoku also mentioned that these oddities had been observed weeks ago, which puts the time frame of this mishap closer to you Sin,” Ja’far raised his head up to look at Sinbad.
The king moved his amber eyes to regard Ja’far, no emotions or words were exchanged between them for a moment. However, a single thought was shared by the two in place of silence.
‘What should we do?’
As king and vessel, Sinbad and Ja’far approached many heavy decisions like these together. This gave the advantage of looking at the obstacle at hand from many different perspectives; allowing for more ideas and result in a better outcome. The two had become so in sync over the years now knowing how the other would examine their opinion and stance on the situation there was barely any communication necessary to draw the same conclusion.
Sinbad had to go to the Kou Empire.
Judar was the Kou Empire’s oracle, and it wouldn’t look good if he did end up dying. Eyes would then be pointed at Sindria and Sinbad himself. The monarch new his country was strong and that he had the support of the Seven Seas Alliance, but he did not want to endanger his citizens if it could be avoided. The Kou Empire was also getting stronger, and it wouldn’t just be the empire angry at him if Judar died.
“There is no hard proof that you are the cause of this Sin,” Ja’far spoke, “Going to the Kou Empire however we--“
“Alone,” Sinbad interrupted his companion, “I will go to the Kou Empire alone,”
“Sin! They could already be speculating that you are the cause,” Ja’far exclaimed, “If you go there alone--“
“I’ll seem less suspicious,” Sinbad held an absolute gaze at his advisor, “Bringing you, or any of the others with me would appear suspicious given that I have always visited the empire in the past alone. Besides, it’s been a while since we’ve had communication with them, I can use that as excuse for my visit. Our trade negotiations have been on hold for close to a month now, and fall will be starting soon, so it’s critical we get those ports in Balbadd opened again to us.”
“I don’t like the idea of you going there alone Sin,” Ja’far still remained unconvinced.
“I’ll have their princess with me as an escort, I doubt Hakutoku will come at me with claws drawn if his daughter is at my side. Besides,” Sinbad rested a hand on his advisor’s shoulder, “I won’t go ‘completely alone’.”
Ja’far’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
“I’ll have Yamraiha set up communications between here and the Kou Empire, that way I’ll be in contact with you and if things get hairy I can use the portals with my Djinn equips to get back in one peace if worse comes to worse. No worries!” he beamed with a wide grin.
“...If I didn’t already have silver hair I’m sure by now I would mostly have grey hairs from you,” Ja’far remarked at Sinbad, smacking the king’s arm. If Sinbad had this so well thought out why couldn’t he just tell Ja’far up front instead of making him worry? The advisor swore that his king really did take pleasure in making his work difficult. Ja’far didn’t want to believe Sinbad was legitimately this thick-headed.
“We good to go then?” Sinbad asked for confirmation. Although Ja’far couldn’t really say no, he liked to hear verbal approval from his most trusted advisor.
Ja’far let out an exasperated sigh, feeling his migraine returning with a vengeance, “Suppose we don’t have much choice do we?” he concluded.
“Not really,” Sinbad grinned, patting Ja’far’s shoulder again before leading the way back to the drawing room to report their decision to Kougyoku. Ja’far was going to need a good smoke after this to calm his nerves. Either that or invent the future aspirin.
A/N: I apologize for the severe lateness of this chapter. I hope you all enjoyed it and I promise Chapter 3 will be released much more quickly.
Chapter 3: Note from the Author
I'm sorry to say this work has been abandoned. For the past year I have actually brought myself back into Magi and studied the characters again in hopes of resuming this work because I really don't like leaving things unfinished. Unfortunately, with where Ohtaka has taken her series I'm just not able to connect timelines and create a continuous flow with this story in response to the Magi-verse in canon. I like to try and tie my stories so they can seem plausible in their canon verse before veering off near the end to their own development. Given the changes in a lot of the characters that play a major role in this work, such as Sinbad, Judar, Arba, Kouen, and more continuing this story from where Magi was in 2013-2014 compared to now these characters will seem horribly out of character and very little is going to make sense. I just can't justify continuing under these circumstances with respect to their characters.
I would like to also express that in addition to the aforementioned reason above, writing this story has been a huge challenge personally to myself. Writing a story with this sort of a theme is extremely controversial these days. Each time I have posted a chapter I have been terrified of receiving backlash for it no matter how hard I will attempt to explain things and sooth waters. Yes, this was intended to be an MPreg fic, but I wanted to do something unconventional with it and through convincing of many of my friends at the time was encouraged enough to post online. I was absolutely terrified of doing this. I would like to thank all of you for so much positive feedback in response to this work. All of your positive words and encouragement was my main drive in attempting to push on. Each chapter was a complete war within myself to gather the courage to post it. Thank you so much for putting up with me and reading this work. I am incredibly sorry that it's not being continued for all of you that enjoyed it.
I hope that even with the end of this fic as incomplete as it is, many of you are still enjoying Magi (and Sinbad no Bouken). Thank you for the positive experience. If you have any questions for me at all (though I doubt you will) feel free to comment below and I will answer them to the best of my ability for you.