The school week passed uneventfully, Lily and Kat had decided to finish up all their work as early as possible just in case this demon thing started eating up more of their time. As such they spent most afternoons in the school library attempting to complete assessment that would be due later this term. Even the bullies seemed to take a week of for some reason, though perhaps it was just because Kat was so serious about getting her work done and they thought they might cross the line somehow by interrupting them and staying away. It was Friday afternoon, Kat and Lily were sitting in Kat's room.
Normally they would go to Lily's house to hang out being closer to school and less noisy, but the idea of Lily's parents overhearing their conversation overrode that train of thought and allowed Kat to keep her tail out which was much more comfortable. After a week Kat had regained the ability to walk around comfortably without, without difficulty. It was still vastly less comfortable and required some level of concentration, but it no longer majorly interfered with her day.
"So Kat, are you sure you don't need me to stay over and keep watch?" said Lily.
"It's fine, we don't have a spare bed for you and even if we did your parents wouldn't be happy at all. They certainly won't let you stay out late and I'm not sure if they'd think staying overnight here is better or worse than you running around outside" said Kat.
"Fine, I suppose just, be careful whatever happens, will we be meeting up tomorrow to discuss things or do you have other plans?" said Lily
"Um, I think meeting up tomorrow will be for the best, I'll text you in the morning and try and sort things out ok?" said Kat.
The two hung out for a while, talking about nothing for the most part. A week of studying in the library together had made the two well aware of what was going on in each other's lives, so they just killed some time before Lily headed home and eventually Kat went to sleep.
A flash and the sound of burning woke Kat. She flinched but kept calm, looking around more carefully this time. Above her was a rapidly spinning symbol of complex lines that seemed to shift as she gazed at them. It was time. Kat reached out slowly and just as her hand was about to touch the portal, she stopped. *This is probably a summoning portal. I think I must have brushed one last week when the light flashed*. Quickly jumping out of bed she got changed into one of her old outfits just in case something happened, deciding to leave her tail in full view this time before walking back over to her bed and pressing her hand against the portal. As soon as Kat's had touched the embers flickering off the portal, she was sucked in.
WE WELCOME YOU TO YOUR MANDATORY WEEKLY SUMMONING
BLOODLINE AWAKENING IS ON SCHEDULE NO CHANGES TO BE MADE
LANGUAGE MODULE CURRENTLY FUNCTIONING
CURRENT FUNDS 0
GOOD LUCK, AND MAY YOU HAVE A SUCCESSFUL CONTRACT
Kat burned the message into her mind, she might have forgotten the first one but now that things were serious and a lot more real then she had initially imaged Kat knew that anything she could gain from the system would be valuable information. *At least the backdrop is exactly as I remember it, and the colours truly are stunning. If I had the option, I could stare at this for hours*. As if to spite Kat's wish, the summoning ended at that moment and she appeared in a radically different setting to the first time.
She was in a dark room with only a sliver of moonlight coming through a window somewhere behind her and a number of candles dotting the walls. The room looked misused and hardly ever cleaned and yet as if to spite that first impression she noticed two chairs in perfect condition off to the side, and a man standing across from her in one of the most elaborately designed outfits she had ever laid eyes on. He wore a thick coat with a number of beasts depicted on it in various stages of attack, they looked almost alive like they were ready to leap to the man's defence at a moment's notice. Under that he wore a mostly plain shirt with a crest emblazoned over his heart, but Kat struggled to make it out with most of it being obscured by the cloak. She looked up to meet the face of an old man, and the eyes of an ancient being. Two ears sprouted from his side and his greying hair hung low around his neck. *Is this old man an elf? Wait if he's an elf and he looks that old just, how old is he really? Why the hell is he summoning me?*
The old man sighed, flicking through the book he was holding in his right hand."I King Therius, Cladius, Maximillionas, Barehembleden the 2nd Slayer of the Ancient Bone Hydra Learnie of the Forgotten Mines and Defender of the Kingdom do so declare" the King started in a booming voice before trailing off.
"Um, I do so declare" Flipping through the various pages of the book "That if you accept this contract you will be bound to this room for the duration of two hours and um" the man flipped through more pages "you are unable to strike at me" more pages "or attempt to" the man flipped through yet more pages struggling to figure out what he needed to say "attempt to disclose this meeting to others for the duration of this contract. Do you accept?" the man finished.
*Um, do I accept? Is there normally a discussion here? Are we negotiating the terms or is he telling me the terms? Guess two hours is fine I can accept that. The notice before said I needed to do one contract a week and I don't want to get in trouble with that thing.*
"I accept" Kat said. She was going to continue speaking but at that moment a red chain appeared between the two, wrapping around each of them quickly before sinking into their skin. *Holy shit what was that. Damn, I think these contracts are a lot more binding than I initially thought. Ok it's fine I agreed to help the man for two hours. That's fine.* It was at this moment the King moved himself from his circle to one of the chairs before collapsing into it and gesturing for Kat to do the same.
Kat walked over and took up a spot on the chair across from the King, letting her tail curl around her and rest in her lap before looking up towards the King waiting for him to speak."I… I need advice, my advisors are all corrupt, my family is dead and I would like your help" said the King
*Ok, be calm, collected, we just need to give him a simple answer and pretend we are way more knowledgeable than an ancient elf*
"How is it that you believe I can assist you when your advisors cannot? I have even less a stake in your kingdom than the advisors?" said Kat
"Demons like yourself cannot lie, I plan to use this to get some answers for important questions" said King
*Wait what… I can certainly lie, or at least I think I can? Is he wrong or am I just not demon enough yet for it to matter.*
"If that is what you wish for Therius, please ask away" said Kat
"Ha, to cut my name so short, I suppose that is fair, I'm not much of a King anymore and I'm certainly not your King. First I want you to tell me which of my advisors truly is corrupt and which of them were forced into this by the others" said Therius
"Therius, I'm a demon not a god, I have no knowledge of your advisors" said Kat
The King seemed to sag at this and responded "I'm not surprised really, I had to try you know, but anyway I guess I'll continue. What are the chances my wife and son were murdered during my hundred year meditation"
"Therius, how am I supposed to answer that question, I don't have any information other than what you have just told me. With only that I could only make a poor guess" said Kat
"Ah yes, I suppose that's right. In that case let me ask you what are the chances that my kingdom survives my death" said Therius
*King, please you're killing me with these questions, how am I supposed to know any of this.*
"Therius, I have no more knowledge of the future than you, how could I possibly know the fate of your kingdom, I don't even know what it is called, I have only just entered this plane, and you have told me nothing of yourself of the state of the kingdom" said Kat
"Huh, I didn't really think about that" said Therius
Kat was dumbstruck *What was even your plan then? What did you think was going to happen when you summoned a demon? Is it just me? Am I the dumb one here? No surely not.*
"Um anyway can you share with me some demonic knowledge perhaps? Perhaps a way to keep the ancient forest healthy" asked Therius
*Oh, boy do I have an answer for this one* "Burn it" said Kat
The old man spluttered "What do you mean? How would that help the ancient forests? Wait you can't lie… hmm" The elf seemed to seriously consider himself for a moment. A minute past, then ten. The silence continued to stretch before the King said "I just don't get it, how does that make any sense?"
"All forests need something from the soil, this helps empower the growth of new trees and bushes which in turn helps the animals thrive. The charcoal and ash released when you burn a forest to the ground is extremely valuable" said Kat.
The King paused, and then started cackling madly.
"A way to improve the ancient forests, we've been researching for generations, thousands of years, and it's just handed to me. Hahahaha, I can get my kingdom back with this information." The King got up and sprinted for the door throwing it open and running down the hallway cackling all the way.