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YEAR ONE AND A HALF CHAPTER 6
At first there was only darkness. Then the beating pain came through and he felt as if someone was using his head as a drum.
"Ooohh..." Glottis mowned and stood up holding his head. He felt a huge bump on the back of his head and forced himself to stay standing despite how dizzy he felt.
But his skull was hard and he had an optimistic nature so he didn't pity himself for too long. He took a look around himself flapping his ears.
"So, you finally woke up," a woman's voice said and Glottis turned towards the voice seeing a familiar woman who sat on a brown box managing to look like it was a throne.
"Hey! Aren't you miss Ofrenda?" the demon asked and the woman shrugged.
"Yes," she answered. Then she took a look around not looking pleased. Glottis rubbed his head one more time.
"Where are we?" he wanted to know. Olivia snorted.
"I don't know and it doesn't matter right now. We can just wait," she said. Glottis looked through the small room quickly and then noticed a door which seemed to be the only way out.
"Don't bother, it's locked," Olivia commented when the demon was about to try it. Glottis didn't stop, but walked to the door anyway.
"It doesn't matter, I think I can break it," he said and hit his fist on the metal door trying to get something done. Olivia leaned against the wall and watched the demon in amusement. She didn't think he'd have any success, but watching it was more amusing than just sitting there.
Olivia had had much better luck than Glottis, she hadn't been knocked unconscious, but the seaman with a gun had got her here by threatening her with his gun and blindfolding her. Olivia hadn't been afraid, just amused, if the man hadn't wanted to hurt her there was a chance that no one would harm her later on.
She didn't know where she was, but thought it was a ship of some sort. At least the small metallic room talked for it and the steady vibrating of the floor and the distant humming made it even more likely.
Glottis gave up frustrated and rubbed his sore knuckles.
"No help, it's too well done," he said disappointed.
"Don't get too stressed, something will probably happen soon," Olivia stated. Glottis didn't say anything to that, just shook his head. He wouldn't give up, that was for sure.
"Hey! Anyone there? Open this door!" he shouted as if his previous whacking couldn't have been heard all around the ship. Olivia sighed and shook her head deciding it was for the best to let the demon do whatever he wanted.
The woman didn't really believe anyone would pay any attention to the noise the demon caused, their captors would appear when they wanted and explain everything if they were about to do it.
She couldn't say why they were there and whether it meant something special or not. It could be that it was just a mere coincidence, but it was possible that someone had come up with a plan of some sort.
To her surprise they suddenly heard a male voice.
"Shut up for a while, will you!" someone shouted angrily and there was clatter when the door was opened. Olivia gestured Glottis to step back, they would probably get no visitors if the huge demon stood right there ready to 'greet' anyone who came in.
The door was open and a seaman in a striped shirt came in, and both Olivia and Glottis immediately recognised him as the one who had been running around with a gun.
"Hey! You are the one who tried to shoot Manny!" Glottis exclaimed and before anyone managed to do anything he had grabbed the man from his collar and raised him in the air.
"Put me down!" the man shouted in surprise, but Glottis just shook him violently.
"Why did you try to harm Manny? I don't like it!" the demon said angrily and even Olivia got worried. She didn't think anything could calm Glottis down now and she didn't want him to crush the man. Not that she was worried about him, but she didn't think they'd get any information if Glottis was acting over violently.
"Let him go, a guy like that is hardly behind this," she said calmly placing her hand on the demon's arm. Glottis glanced at her.
"But I saw him shooting at Manny!" he insisted.
"Of course you did, so did I. But that doesn't mean the brains behind this isn't someone else," the woman explained patiently.
"Hey, I'm not an idiot either!" the man in Glottis's grab protested.
"Don't be childish, Pedro. You know quite well they are saying the truth," a new voice said and both Glottis and Olivia recognised it. Though only Glottis knew the name of the talker.
"It is you," Olivia remarked in thought when Nicander came in just as blue as last time. The man nodded and glanced at the seaman the demon was holding.
"Put Pedro down, please. He won't be any use to me if you break his bones," Nicander said to Glottis, who looked at him in suspicion.
"Why should I? Because of him Manny could have been sprouted!" he said and Nicander shrugged.
"Hardly. Pedro is such a bad shooter that didn't even hit his target, not to talk about a waiter who just happened to be there. He wasn't supposed to shoot at Calavera, Nick Virago is our main target," he said.
Glottis thought about it for a while flapping his ears.
"Oh, all right," he said dropping Pedro. The seaman stood up and quickly backed away from the demon glaring at him.
"I hate demons," he muttered.
"Why do you want to get rid of Nick Virago? He doesn't seem to be anyone important," Olivia asked and Nicander turned to look at her.
"Ah, always after new information. Usually I don't like talking about my business, but because neither of you will be able to escape and warn him I can as well tell you something," he said. Glottis frowned.
"What do you mean we won't be able to warn him? Are you going to get rid of us?" he asked. Nicander laughed.
"Of course not, I just had to get you out of the way for a while. Even I would get in trouble for killing a demon and it's not good for my business if Maximino doesn't get his girlfriend back. When this is all over and Nick Virago gone you may return to Rubacava," he assured the demon.
"Oh? Good, Manny is probably worried by now," Glottis guessed not thinking about it anymore. He wished it to end soon though, the sooner he was allowed to get back to meddle with his machines the better.
"You were about to tell us something about Nick Virago," Olivia reminded managing to sound like she wasn't impatient at all. Nicander nodded.
"Yes, but not here. This small trap probably doesn't fit any of us," he said.
"I think it's fine," Glottis said, but no one paid him any attention. Nicander led them away from the small room and the demon didn't even think about not following.
"Is this your ship?" Olivia asked walking beside Nicander and the man glanced at her.
"Want to know everything, do you? No, it is not mine, but belongs to someone much more important than me," he answered.
"Perhaps the same person you promised to introduce me?" the woman guessed and the man nodded.
"The one and the same."
They walked to a pretty small corridor that turned wider and finer. There was a dark red carpet on the floor and even walls were painted so that they looked prettier.
The doors of the cabins were made of dark wood and flowers were carved on them. The one who owned the ship sure had weird taste, in the Land of the Dead a flower was the symbol of pain and suffering and only few preferred it anywhere, expect in threats.
"This way. Here you should feel more comfortable," Nicander said opening one of the doors and leading them in a big and luxurious cabin. The floor was covered by calming blue carpet, there was a nice view on the sea from a small window, paintings hung on the wall and there was some dark furniture.
But what was the most beautiful thing in the cabin was a graceful black piano. It shone and seemed to be calling everyone to try and play it.
"You may go, Pedro. Practise for the next attack," Nicander said gesturing the seaman to leave and he obeyed closing the door behind him.
"Maybe it now is the time for answers," Olivia said sitting on a chair and crossing her legs. She took an approving look around herself, she would like to meet the man who owned all that.
Nicander nodded taking a seat too. All of the chairs were too small for Glottis so he stood going through the cabin with his gaze.
"I want to get rid of Nick Virago purely for revenge," Nicander started and Olivia tilted her head in interest.
"Revenge? I thought he just died so it's very unlikely that he might have hurt you somehow," she commented.
"Maybe if I was angry for something that happened in this world. But it's not like that, I was unfortunate enough to know him when we were both alive," Nicander answered and from his voice Olivia could sense the man was truly angry. Whatever Virago had done it had made Nicander hate him.
"What did he do? Put you in prison?" she guessed thinking that law matters had to be involved somehow. Nicander snorted.
"In prison? That wouldn't have stopped me, I had powerful friends even when I was alive. But no, he did something worse. Something I will never forgive," he said.
"Yes?" Olivia pressed. She had thought Virago was just a mere adventurer who would never become anything, but maybe he wasn't like that at all? Maybe he was already something worth of getting Maximino's attention?
"He killed me. Nick Virago poisoned me five years ago to get a better position in illegal business. I had everything I had ever wanted; I was rich, powerful and known within the underworld. And then that simple young fool came and took everything from me. Now it is my turn to destroy him in this life," Nicander said.
It was late when Manny returned to Juelo's cafe. He had walked all around Rubacava to ask if anyone knew the card. Unfortunately no one had known anything and finally he didn't even see anyone anymore. The whole city had seemed to be deserted and because he didn't feel like trying the casinos -- he doubted they would have even let him in -- he had decided to return.
The door creaked nastily when he pushed it open and stepped in the dark cafe. It was quiet everywhere, it seemed Velasco and the others had left. He'd better be quiet or he'd wake up Juelo and that was not a nice thought.
Manny wasn't tired at all, he was way too worried about his friend, but didn't come up with anything to do. Maybe he could do some of the work that waited for him tomorrow and leave at the docks to ask about the card in the morning.
He switched the lights on trying not to make any extra noise and just then he noticed he wasn't alone after all. Nick sat on a chair leaning on the table and seemed to be sleeping. The mop was placed next to him and Manny guessed that either Juelo had let the man stay as a thanks for his short time at work or he hadn't noticed the lawyer was still there.
Well, whatever it was he didn't care. Manny decided to have some coffee and think about the situation then. Maybe he'd come up with something.
He walked to the cupboard and eyed what was inside in thought. Everything was nicely organized, when no one bought anything there was no need to move the items around.
The small box with coffee hit his hand and he took it down looking inside. Hmm, it seemed to be okay. New hadn't been bought in a while, but Manny believed he dared to drink it anyway.
After placing the box on the table he took a cup for himself and went through the cupboards once more before closing them and starting to make some coffee.
"Shouldn't you be sleeping like all normal people do?" a sleepy voice asked and Manny whirled around the cup in his hand. It seemed Nick slept a very light sleep if he managed to wake up because of the noise he had created in the kitchen.
"You know I can't sleep before I find out what has happened to Glottis. You wouldn't be sleeping if one of your friends was missing." Manny answered.
"Really?" Nick asked sarcastically. Manny shrugged.
"Then again, lawyers don't have feelings so they don't have any friends," he commented.
"How funny, Calavera. Just shut up and let me sleep, that stupid idiot nagged at me the whole evening and I want to forget it," Nick muttered taking a better position against the table and raising up again when Manny clinked spoons together.
"Juelo? You should be happy that he's not your boss and that you don't have to stand him every day."
"Could be one of the few things I'm pleased with right now."
Manny sat on a chair to wait for the coffee to be ready. A moment ago when he had had something to do he had been able to control his nerves, but now all he could do was to think about his missing friend.
"I sure hope he is all right," he muttered.
"Who?" Nick asked frustrated and sure he wouldn't get any sleep tonight.
"Glottis, my friend. You know, the demon," Manny answered and the lawyer shook his head.
"No, I do not and neither do I care to know."
"You know, I'm not surprised you decided to be a lawyer. You are just the right type, cold without feelings and highly annoying."
Manny played with his cup and Nick watched it for a while. He didn't say anything, just seemed to be deep in thought.
"I'm pretty sure you would make a good lawyer too. But I don't think either one of us wants to talk about it and because you don't seem to have anything intelligent to do I suggest you'd take a cup for me too," he said.
"What do you think I am, a waiter?" Manny asked annoyed.
"I don't feel like answering that question, Calavera," Nick stated sighing in frustration. He couldn't understand how such an annoying person could have been born.
"All right, I am a waiter, but I only serve customers. And if I remember correctly you don't have any money," Manny said not standing up.
"Perhaps, but I did your job here and if I still had skin my fingers would be blistering. So I've worked and deserve payment for it," Nick threw back. Manny sighed and slowly stood up to get the lawyer a cup.
"You know, this is really childish," he stated while checking if the coffee was ready and Nick shrugged.
"You started it," he said.
"What makes you think that?"
"A real lawyer never starts anything if the reward isn't big enough."
"You are weird," Manny commented and poured them coffee.
"I don't hang around in a nightly city looking for a missing demon," Nick said.
Suddenly Manny remembered what he had thought about at the docks and placed his cup down drawing one of the cards from his pocket. Nick had clearly been the target of the shooting incident so he could as well warn him despite what a crook the lawyer was and ask if he knew anything about the cards.
"Happen to know what this is?" he asked giving the card to the lawyer, who just glanced at it and was about to give it back, but stiffened in the middle of the move.
"Where did you find this?" he asked on guard and rubbed the card between his fingers as if not believing it was real.
"Does that mean you know what it is?" Manny asked innocently. Maybe he'd finally find out what had happened to his friend and what was in the beginning of this mess.
To be continued...
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