“Please sit down, young Goldentongue” Pithic said wearily.
Unlike their usual mental sparring appointments, this meeting was not taking place in the tired old man’s quarters this time. Accommodating two fellow Disciplinary Officers for this encounter needed more space after all. Poor bastards, Pithic thought, looking sadly towards his newly appointed assistants. Of course it had to eventually end up like this. Pithic was simply not enough to deal with Samir’s antics. How could one man investigate this mischievous bastard all on his own when a simple clue threw them down a rabbit hole of nonsense and madness? How could one even find a small droplet of proof when the suspect reveled in seemingly creating complex clues that would take the investigators down a path of confusion and mayhem, only to finally be revealed as a dead-end lead? Indeed, after following one such lead, Pithic ended up in a city bordello once, only to be surprised with a birthday cake (how could he have known???) and celebration in his honour, all “pleasure expenses paid for by a gracious admirer of his”. Bards were even hired to sing his love-making praises to the crowd with songs using lurid verses.
No, Pithic was not enough to deal with this, so he had to beg for an assistant to help him make progress. He was surprised that he was given four of them. Quite so.
So while two of them “were in the field”, so to speak (one was literally in one it seems!), the other two would help question the subject of their obsession. “Let us begin” he said, pessimistic of the outcome already.
Korith immediately cut to chase.
“So, Mr. Goldentongue, you seem to have vast swaths of time unaccounted for within the walls of the Academy. We know that you are on a mission for the heads of the schools, thus we are unable to ascertain your exact whereabouts at all, but still, we would be curious to know if you had any… extracurricular activities outside of your Masters’ purview?”
“You mean like taking little vacations here and there? My dear Korith, that would be VERY unlikely on my part! For that to happen I would have to have written approval from one of my… aids? Three of you are now frowning at me right now and I’m sure none of you would approve such a request, yes? The other two aren’t even here, so there’s that. No, my dear Kor, all my time spent outside these walls are to do our masters’ bidding.”
“Even in Geb?” interjected Vithnya, her eyes burning with a smoldering hatred towards Samir.
“Eh? You saw me go there? Huh, I must’ve missed that one” Samir mused aloud.
“Indeed. We lost trace of you in the dark markets, apparently looking for ‘grafts’ or some such. Whatever that is, I highly doubt that our Masters would need such vile items for your secret mission of yours!”
Samir shrugged nonchalantly. “Then run up to them and tell them about your discovery, dear Vith. Just make sure you skip the part where you are using spies to follow a sanctioned Academy agent on a secret mission for them” He smiled, apparently obvious to the eyes looking back at him, shooting daggers.
Pithic raised his hand, calmingly entreating the room to settle back. “Be that as it may, we are here to question you about the few… incidents that occurred in the past few weeks. Chief among them is the disappearance of this “Spellbook of Dyslexia” you and your friends brought back from the Dream Plane. Would you have anything to do with that?”
Samir’s eyes grew wide in (mocked) indignation. “Why, Pithic. How could you even think that I would have anything to do with that? You’ve heard the higher-ups! A spellbook where you can change but one letter to a spell name and change its purpose is to be kept at a ‘safe distance from students of the Academy. Especially you, Goldentongue!’. You were there when they said it. The whole population of the Academy was there during that speech if I recall…”
Korith smashed his hand on the table. “Oh please! We know it was you who took it! Why else would the first victim of this theft be your mortal enemy, Theofyr?”
Samir burst out in laughter. “Ha! Like I’m the only one who incurred the ‘attention’ of this high-pitched buffoon while within these walls! Your obsession with me has clouded your mind, my dear chap. Quite so!”
Korith did not relent at that. “So you are telling me that you have nothing to do with Theofyr running away from the privy in terror after finding out his stool was in fact a small metal child, running after him while chanting ‘daddy!’!!”
“Now, if you believe that I’ve impregnated dear Theofyr with the fruit of my loins, I would highly recommend that you brush up about the birds and the bees… See, when a man loves a woman very much…“
“Enough!” Korith screamed, standing up. “I know it’s you who did this and I will not rest until I see you hanged for all of your sacrilegious deeds done within these most sacred walls! Mark my word on this! I know it’s you that created a man made out of acid, riding a pig in the outer courtyard! Who else would made the scorched stones in the shape of a phallus, huh? Who else?”
“…have you tried questioning Mavrikos? That boy is so sexually repressed because of this god of his that I wouldn’t be surprised that he sleepwalks on some nights”
It was Vithnya’s turn to rise up, pointing a finger at Samir. “Enough! We know it was you! And it’s just a matter of time before we pin ALL of these so-called ‘pranks’ on your sorry hide! Your corpse will dance at the end of a rope; that I guarantee! Half the students had to shave their heads when a bunch of creatures made of glue fell from the ceiling during a feast! My own daughter had to celebrate her wedding bald! You’ll pay for this, you scoundrel!”
Samir sighed theatrically. “Is it my lot in life to be so condemned for crimes I am innocent of? No matter, I will investigate this event myself! That way, I will prove my innocence to you so that you could point your wrath towards the proper culprits. I’ll start with that shady Hasdrubal fellow. No, no. don’t let the appearance of friendship between the two of us fool you. I shall remain impartial in my endeavour, just for you, dear Vithnya”
Pithic groaned in defeat. “How can you possibly think we won’t discover who did all these deeds, Samir?
You are being investigated on a multitude of events that occurred since the theft of this spellbook.
You are the sole suspect on the following:
- The courtyard suddenly filling up to the brim with rubble;
- The students’ dormitories suddenly bursting with a thousand voices, speaking nonsense all throughout the night.
- The Academy’s monthly open debate session turning into chaos after all present could only communicate with grunt and by thumping their chests;
- Numerous students reporting being constantly licked by an invisible force while using the privies to relieve themselves;
- Making the whole Divination wing stink of a pungent musk for days after tampering with their scrying tools somehow;
- Getting students drunk off their asses by somehow enchanting their practice swords to inject alcohol when being hit;
- Wiping the memory of some students of their spells for the day.”
“Shall I go on?” Pithic asked, casually flipping through a thick stack of parchments.
“Hey, far be it for me to decide for you how to waste your time investigating an innocent chap, dear Pithic. Is that all? I have an appointment in Geb soon and must prepare these old bones of mine for the trip. But alas, this is all I can give you, as it’s a secret mission, eh? Eh?!” Samir intoned conspiratorially, winking in a caricature of a bad play.
Pithic simply sighed…