I drum my fingers on the table, eyeing the elf in front of me carefully. She looks back with that casually, neutrally beautiful face, her head tilted to one side, long black hair refusing despite all reason to get in her eyes.
“I’m ready to stop playing this game now.”
“Venne-ei et venne-du, wicke.
I will follow your lead, witch.”
I lean back in my chair, gather my words.
“Okay,” I sigh. “You know what I want to talk about.”
“I do not.”
“You have never encountered a tame elf, and you have suspicions about me.”
Wrong… half-right… no, completely right, but not how she’s trying to imply.
“You’re an Akashic Librarian.”
She raises a thin, delicate eyebrow. “I am willing to entertain this as a hypothetical.”
we weren’t playing any more games. Let me be clear here: you are
an Akashic Librarian. You keep the Record of All Truths. Your aura makes no sense otherwise. This is not a question. ”
She crosses her arms. She has an intensely annoying way of faking bemusement, as if I’m some machine acting out of order. At least she stays quiet.
“I bring this up because you’ve been playing me. You know
all this shit about the Philosopher’s Stone that you’re pretending not to. If you’re tired of helping me with experiments that get nowhere, all you have to do is talk. Why haven’t you?”
She looks off to the side, her movements slow, her hair seeming to float after her.
supposing you are right. The Akashic Record does not only catalogue secrets. It keeps them as well.”
“But you’re helping me with my experiments. Look at me. If you’re trying to keep a secret, why are you helping me dig it up?
“I would be helping you play at digging it up.” She re-establishes eye contact, that coldly crimson gaze again looking at me like a puzzle. “Secrets kept in the Akashic Record can be learned nowhere else. There are bindings. The knowledge is not replicable. Even the keepers would not know it.”
I stare at her. She stares back, unaffected by my face, which could be showing any combination of shock and anger right now.
“So you’re saying – hypothetically
– that the quest for the Stone is fucking hopeless. You’ve just been playing with me for weeks and that’s it.”
“No, let’s drop the hypothetical. You’re saying it’s hopeless.”
“While the secrets of the Philosopher’s Stone are bound, they cannot be learned.”
“And you, who knows this, have been pretending to help me discover it.”
“That is the scenario that is-“
“True. Or. False.”
Pause. Her eyes start to brighten. She looks at me with a steadily growing grin. “You know I wouldn’t lie to you, wicke.
She turns away, hiding her smile just as it begins to show teeth, and goes for the door.
She opens it.
“True,” she says.
She closes it behind her.…You know I wouldn’t lie to you?