SS: Genie’s Seventh Wish

[WIP: Genie Wishes] [About Cat Hartliebe] [Fantasy Short Stories] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books]

(First draft, remember. I’m making mistakes all over the place. Whatever. Enjoy!)

Genie Seventh Wish

With so many revelations happening in the little town on the border, Aleania and Diss need to just move on. She can weigh everything as they chase down Forc. Because even if he is no longer her friend and fiance, she does care a lot about him. There is always the chance he is being forced to do this. She needs Forc to say clearly he doesn’t love her anymore. He has to say they’re not best friends. Until then, Aleania will hold on to hope.

~~~~

Something wakes me up struggling to breath. I rush out of my bed. Nothing is limiting my breathing. Why do I feel like this?

Opening the door to Diss has me realize it’s the wish. I’m protecting him. Someone is straddling Diss choking him. He’s without magic yet. And he can’t seem to get a good grasp on the enemy. I move in and pull the enemy off as much as I can.

I have no skill.

But it’s enough for Diss to leverage out from under the person. The feeling against my throat calms as the person manages to escape outside instead of fight.

“Thanks.” Diss rubs his neck. “It wasn’t nice being woken up with a choke out.”

I rub my neck. I felt it as if my own. “The wish worked. I felt your pain. Did it help your protections?”

Diss nods. “I probably would have died. They were skilled and capable as an assassin. I don’t think they expected your wish or appearance.” Diss looks to the door. “How’d they get in?” He closes the door and locks it again. “Glad they didn’t attack you.” He scans me. I’m safe. Nothing happened to me.

I sit down trying to just settle with the weird wake up. It was like waking up to a nightmare. “What…?”

Diss sits down on the bed again flexing his hands. As I look, they have a light purplish color. “Poison to stop my response. It slowed me down. Then, choking me from a position I would struggle to counter. It’s as if they knew me.” Diss stares at the door. “I don’t know them. Not even sure who I messed with to earn that.”

A shiver moves about me. It couldn’t be random. It was definitely a planned attack. Why? “I’m…”

“Scared?” Diss smirks at me. He pats the bed space next to him. I’m slow to move there. He places an arm around me. “I’ll be fine.”

I look at the fingers holding me. It’s back to normal color. That helps. I snuggle against him. “It wasn’t five hours.”

“Nope.” Diss shifts to lie down. I follow him snuggling against his body. He’s alive. He’s warm. “Gonna sleep with me?” He treats it more a joke.

It’s a mix between fear someone will attack him and the nightmare of not breathing. I nod into his side refusing eye contact.

“I won’t complain.” Diss rolls on to his side looking at me. “Are you sure?” I nod again hiding as much as I can. “Alright. I wake up after my five hours, though.”

Once we settle back down, I let myself drift off.

I try to anyway.

The memory of lack of breath has me waking up several times. I keep touching my throat expecting something. It’s never anything.

Shortly after dawn, Diss shakes me awake. “Aleania. It’s morning.”

I grunt. I stare at him annoyed it’s morning.

He grins down at me. “I know. Sorry you were hit by that.” He helps me sit up. “I ordered breakfast. They’ll be here soon. We have to return the room to what it was before and double check our supplies.”

I nod yawning.

“If you can’t manage, we don’t have to leave today. I can pay for another day.” Diss thumbs to the door. “Jolt Eon is leaving today. I’ve been listening to their escape.”

“We’ll wait for them to leave first.” I stretch thinking. Staying here another day won’t make it easier on me. “Have you… Have you felt anything with…?” I exhale at Diss’s confusion. “Forc’s…”

“Ah. That wish. No. Shockingly no.” Diss rubs his wrists. Besides the one time shortly after we made the wish. “Once he’s reached a stand still we’ll teleport there. It takes a lot of spell slots, but I have it ready for the two of us.”

I gulp. A lot of high level spell slots. “So…”

“We’ll always teleport before bed. The closest town in the correct direction. We can’t rush there, but they should land soon enough.” He pulls out the map and scans it. “Where is he?” He holds it out for me.

I let the wish surface on the map. The wish to find Forc. He’s still moving. Now the map stays with him as center. We’re nothing but an arrow to the side. “He’s so far away.”

“I should’ve added zoom…” Diss clicks his tongue. “I’ll ask you for a new spell list including my new ideas for a map.” Once the map is out of my hands, it returns to us as center focus. “That can be for after this mission ends. Not like I won’t have days on end waiting for my wish to complete.”

“We’ve…” I look aside. I’ve given him enough information. He can find his family. It wouldn’t be enough except he’s a high classed Demon. He can use what information I gave him to find his real family. Where did he come from? He’s royalty… Or his father was…

“It’s safer if you seek it. Don’t act like I want to get caught seeking my family. Last night wouldn’t be the last time they’d attempt killing then.” Diss chuckles. “I’m going to need a partner or a safety net besides.” He frowns thinking. Then he turns to me. “We can teleport back to your place if I need to do another cast like that. Just realize it puts us back three days.”

I nod. But it would be safer to do that. “If we need something…”

“It’s doubtful.” Diss double checks the map before putting it away. “I can make small items without much effort.” He scans my outfit. I’m still dressed for bed. “Want a bath before leaving? It should wake you up.”

I blink staring at him. “You’ll…?”

He nods motioning to the bathroom. Soon I have a full hot bubbly bath before us. “I can stay if you feel unsafe.”

I look at the tub. I need the last minute relaxation. “I’ll leave the door open.”

“How about we fix the room first?” Diss holds a hand out for me. “I wish this room was the way it started excluding the magic used on the tub.”

“I could make that be added in without your words. I wouldn’t touch the bath.”

“And there wasn’t a change to it in the first place.” Diss nods. He leans forward letting me make my choice.

I small peck has the room outside the bathroom change. I watch as the second doorway disappears. “Let me know if anything’s off.” I push him to the door. I’m levaing it open, but I’d rather pretend I have privacy.

“I wouldn’t know. We’ll ask before leaving. It may require another wish.” Diss disappears out the door. “Hollar if you need me.”

I nod and keep out of his casual view. When will I be able to wash again? Not every inn has a bathroom. A tub is a luxery. Nobles stay to certain routes and suffer if they leave them. “I can always have Diss wish for one.” I hug my knees.

To teleport to a town would mean a safety net. That will only be so helpful, though. To hold that many spell slots marked for movement is…

Forc is still moving though. And quickly. A teleport would help matters.

The gate we’ll leave by will ask for our marks. Not every guard will need us to pull out our papers. I touch the necklace that will get me through in most cases. I’m legally allowed to travel. I’m legally allowed to work everywhere. Just like Diss.

“Home…” It would be safest if we made magical items at home. But to have three days taken out of our jounray for the safety is… We’d have no choice if we wanted to make something more complicated than the map. My wishes only go so far.

I take the time to clean myself.

Diss knocks before I’m relaxed by the water even if my hands are pruned. “The lord has left. Floor’s quiet.”

“Even the one at the end?” I stand up.

“That room’s still occupied. I chatted a little with a passing servent. Turns out they are the reason the inn is always fully staffed. They pay at the end of the work everyone’s salaries if the place didn’t get business.”

With a towel wrapped around me I walk into the room. It’s the one we started with. A quick scan shows me no details I could say are wrong. “Do they pay only if there is a lack of business?”

“Don’t know the full details.” Diss shrugs sitting at the desk. He’s facing me though. “Forgot clothes?”

I pout at him. My bag is out here with him. I didn’t want to get it wet. Not with his safety being here. “Should we go down and chat with them?”

“They’re basically the owner of the place.” Diss moves to the bed and lies down. “I don’t know what to expect.”

I pull out my adventurer outfit. It has me sigh. I wish I could set up my normal outfits as protective. That would take too much time though. It’s better I just wear protective items. “We should go visit.”

“If we visit and they have need for a demon or genie?”

I touch my necklace. Face on, it will show. I look over at Diss and his smirk. “We can’t stay…”

“Technically, the teleport can get us the same distance. I don’t think we’ll manage anything closer either way.”

“And if your spell is needed, we can wish.”

“The next closest settlement in the direction of Forc.” Diss nods getting up. “Ready?”

“I don’t know.” I’m wearing clothes. I put them on with a towel’s protection. Diss didn’t get up until I was dressed. I exhale and hide my bag under my jacket before double checking the room. “Let’s question first. It may be to our benefit.”

Diss takes my arm. “I will not leave your side. No wishes, remember. Require a full write up first.”

I nod. That’s the better option given. This person hasn’t left their room. Who are they?

The walk down the hall has us see several servants. The staff have to clean up the rooms that were just all filled. Where is Lord Jolt Eon going? A few disgusted murmurs come from the staff too.

I pause looking into the room. It’s a mess. I gasp drawing eyes.

“Lady, I apologize for the removing you from your rooms.” The staff member I dealt with yesterday. I scan the room taking the allowance to see more. “Some people do not pay enough to be worthwhile.”

“But if we deny them, we deny all the Eons.” Another says picking up a wet towel that was half under the bed. “What did they do?”

The head staff member has me duck out of the room. “We’ll handle this. Are you planning to stay much longer? If you leave before noon, we can ready for the next person.”

“Any later and we pay the day.” Diss tugs me back on our route. “I know. It was a pleasant stay. We thank you for your kindness.”

The staff member pauses before we reach our destination. “Are you interested in Room A?”

I nod looking at the first room where someone lives. That’s the indictation. “Who lives there?”

“This used to be a noble house.” The staff motions to the grand place. It does make a level of sense I guess. “Lord Toise. But he did not hold well to his worth. His daughter took what value she had to turned the house into this. Over all it makes profit.”

“Most of the time.” Diss glances to the mess of a room we passed. “Is that who lives there?”

“Child of. Lady Toise stays to the king’s castle mostly. She may not have title and allowance of many, but her name is well enough that she has something.” The head staff grins. “She visits often enough.”

“Visits.” I stare at the door. The owner of the house visits. “And the child stays.”

“Bastards do not normally have rights.” The staff member looks to the door a moment before sighing. “We’ll be busy all morning. Let us know before you leave so I can your room.”

“Sure.” Diss smiles as the servant goes into the messy room with a sigh. “I wonder if this is the normal Eon actions or use Jolt’s crew.”

“Or just while on vacation.” I shake my head. “Only a fool doesn’t care for their surroundings.”

“So a Toise lives inside. A bastard. Who was their father?”

“A noble or…” I shrug.

Diss knocks loudly still with my arm in his. We look together. I wonder if he hides my necklace. It would offer the same distance from my occupation as his card. It has to be on us. We don’t have to always show it.

The door is slow to open. A mop of black hair greets us first. We expected an adult. We were wrong. “Yes?” High squeaky voice of a child. A legit child. I blink a few times as this child before us scans each. “Are you here to question about my meals? I said it would be fine no matter what.”

We just stared. We weren’t expecting a child. “No, we just wanted to see who lived on the floor.” I look to Diss. They’re something odd in his face. he’s trying to hide something important. I let that go to focus on the child. “What’s your name?”

“Blast.” They sigh. “I… It’s been a while since I lost control.”

I chuckle kneeing before them. Now it’s more even. A child. “Are you a demon?”

Blast nods. “Yup. But I’m too young to take the tests. Mom said I could gain a trainer in a year if I work hard enough.”

“Eleven is the first time you can legally work with someone.” Diss says. I look up at him. He’s still hiding something. What?

“Yeah. I… I can’t go to school. It’s not allowed.” They sigh. “My power says something. And there is concerns with… What would I write as my name? People here know about me. I’m not really hiding, but I know what some of the nobles say.” They look down the hall. “I know what Demon school would be like. We can’t pay for a trainer that has to forgo quests.” Blast rubs their face. I spot tears. “I can study the books.”

I look over at Diss. “Can…?” I bite my cheek turning back to Blast. “Do you like living here?”

Blast nods smiling now. “Everyone who works here is the sweetest. I get all sorts of gifts and things.” The voice breaks. They cover their mouth. “Mom said I won’t recieve the same treatment when I turn into a man though. Everyone loves a child.”

“Thus the request to train.” Diss says quietly.

“Yup. Mom has been deciding who to ask around.” Blast sighs. “It feels as if it’s…” He shake his head. “I hope to meet a Demon who would ask me on a quest. It’s been my fantasy.” He chuckles hiding his head. “I’m just a stupid fool. Don’t mind me.”

I reach out and take his hands. “That’s not stupid. Is your mother a demon?”

“She is, but…”

“Can’t train you.” Diss adds. He isn’t watching the child.

“Sometimes her friends come about to help, but…”

“You want to distance yourself from your family so you can prove something.” Diss adds again.

The child stares up at Diss. “How do you…?”

Diss chuckles patting the child’s head. “You act like it’s strange. How long do you need sleep for?”

“Five hours.” He pouts. “Mom only needs four. It’s really annoying.”

“It’s still a really good number. Have a idea to your spell slots?”

“I’m upper… But… It’s more than twenty. I haven’t been able to prove any higher.” Blast sinks a little. “It’s hard to train by yourself. And if I do something dangerous, Mom will…” He sighs deeper.

“I know how it feels.” I smile at him.

His eyes widen. “You’re a Demon too?”

“I’m a genie.” I touch my necklace. Diss looks away. He’s hiding it.

The child’s eyes go to Diss as well. “You’re the Demon.”

“Yeah. I’m protecting the genie on her quest. I’m not dropping the illusion though. You can imagine what it looks like.”

Blast nods looking at me. “One day I hope to be a genie’s protector.”

“That’s a long way off, kid.”

I frown at my friend. “Diss, it’s not like he can control the fact he’s just a child. How’d you feel at that age?”

Diss huffs. “Annoying.”

“Don’t disregard him.” I growl up at him.

“Are you… a couple?” Blast looks between us. He shakes it off. “Of course not. That’s not how it works.” He sighs poking the ground. “In a year, I’ll…”

Diss scoffs and hands a book to Blast. “It’s from before I earned allowance.”

Blast stares at the thing. “What do you mean?”

Diss rubs my head before kneeing at my side. “I do get how you feel. There are a lot of spells you can practice that won’t harm anyone. Try filling your head with the upper level clean spell. See how many you can fill. Then do the job of your friends.” Diss motions to the floor.

Blast looks out at the mess. The hallway is clean. “I probably should’ve thought of that.”

“I doubt you have an upper level clean spell. It’s meant for serious battle and destruction.”

Blast chuckles. “Maybe not, but I do have one. I could’ve tested it.”

Diss taps the book he handed off. “If you haven’t found someone, I’m stuck waiting out a genie’s wish for a while. I can train some. No quests. It’s suposed to be a year long wish.” Diss reviews me. “So I shouldn’t have any quests until that’s over. Minus guard the genie.” He thumbs at me. “We’ll come back around once her quest is over. See if your mom is open to it.”

“She’ll probably want to meet you.” Blast stares at Diss. “Are you… Are you exactly willing?”

Diss shrugs. “As I said, I’m stuck being stationary.” Diss is quick to pull out his card. It duplicates. A small spell probably. One he keeps active always. “You can give this to your mom.” He pulls out a piece of paper and writes my information on it. “And let her know this is the genie I’m working with. She’ll probably consider it safe enough if you moved there.”

“Move?” Blast shivers looking to the floor again. Someone grumbles while moving a heavy looking bin out of one of the rooms. Laundry. “I…”

“Try to help them. There is more you can do here than you realize. And if you do that even as a man, you’ll recieve the treats and gifts. Trust me.” Diss stands back up. “We’ll come around again soon.”

“Um… Do you have a scrying mirror?” Blast looks into his room. Most demons do as long as they have slots that allow it. “I… It’s how I reach Mom.”

Diss nods. “Can I see it?”

I stand in the doorway as Blast shows off his mirror and tools to Diss. I let them chat a little. Diss takes time showing off his spell books and mirror. I try not to interfere. It’s not my place. I’ll be the reason he’s stationary. Because he wants to know his family.

Once Diss and Blast promise to call each other, we separate. Diss doesn’t talk for our walk back to our room. It’s not as if we have anything that needs doing or handling.

“It was like a mini me.” Diss covers his face once we’re safely behind closed door.

I stare at him. That’s what he was hiding? “You could tell he had demon powers.”

“Bastard noble.” Diss scoffs staring at the distance. “But his mother could keep him.”

“He knows her and interacts with her, but cannot follow her until he’s proven something.” I point out. That’s what Diss is at. He’s proven soemthing. He can enter his family with that proof. If he finds them and wants to.

“He never mentioned his father. Just his mother. He has no idea probably.” Diss sighs. “Is it because they don’t know?” He sighs pulling a few items out. I don’t notice what before they’re gone again. “Nothing I can do about it.”

“If his mother offers a few options, could you?” I scan Diss. He nods slowly not looking my way. “Because you’re not completely blind.”

“Yeah. Technically I could use what knowledge you’ve given me to find my parents. And once I know them, I can decide if I want to attach to the house. It’s less dangerous to let you find the information. You’re still writing the past, though. The spell will eventually work to the present.”

I nod. But that won’t be for a long while.

“Considering the level of blind we went in with, you’re moving quickly.” Diss stands up looking about the room. “Let’s call for a check over. Then we can take our leave.”

That makes sense. Once we succeed in our check, I cannot help staring at the door at the end of the hall. If we didn’t go meet Blast, we never would have learned anything. By the information we gathered from the staff, they aren’t allowed to say much.

“Let’s go. We want to at least leave honesty even if we teleport further.”

“Let the kingdom know we’re travelling.”

“If we’re on the royal register, we’ll ping. Doubtful. You are eyed by nobles, but I doubt by a king.”

“And you?”

“I would’ve dinged it already. I haven’t done much of anything since entering a few weeks ago.”

“Minus find me.” In my seaside village protected by genie magic. I hope everything is safe when we return.

“Well, that was my goal. I don’t see how that would get me on royal register. We should be fine.” Diss grabs my hand as we escape the building. We paid for our stay. We were marked safe to leave. It’s not noon yet. I glance to the windows of the second floor. Blast isn’t on this side. “Did you want to see if he’s looking for our escape?” He smirks at me.

I was spotted. “No. We said our good byes. Let’s go.”

“Your decision. Let’s go. Follow my lead. We’re probably going to have to show papers. I don’t want to lose the illusion.”

“That’s okay. We’ll definitely be marked down as leaving. It’s important to leave a trail.”

“For who?”

I shrug looking forward.

“Was it a wish’s remark?”

“I don’t know.” I frown. “Sometimes the words aren’t want I wanted them to be.”

“You’re guarded by more than just me aren’t you? What Demon owed your grandfather a debt?”

“How should I know?” I scoff at him.

Diss chuckles tugging me by my hand. “First the horses. We need to send them back. We can visit with them again in the future.”

“I was planning to.” I take over lead position. I know where the horses are.

The horses are easy to deal with. Diss had several teleports readied today. It will leave us safer. Showing off the papers has us getting clearly marked as leaving the country. A few innuedoes by the guards is all we got before we are given the allowance.

All I could do was stare at the mountains before us. The hills around us will be tough enough. There is no way we’re going to manage the mountains.

“Tell me when you want to quit. We can stop then.” Diss walks us forward. “Wish we took the horses the first way?”

“No.”

“It will only be an hour or two before the trail gets tougher.”

I nod. “This is the closest the settlement can get while being safe from…” I shiver. The mountains are dangerous.

“Yup.” Diss nods to the fences on either side. We’re already getting dangerous terrtain. “Every few years, the countries agree to pay for a clear out of the trial. It should be every few months, but getting two countries to agree to anything is huge.”

“Not even for a normal clearing of the pathways?” I look at Diss. We’re making decent time, I guess. Will the trial be nice enough for us to travel and talk at the same time? Will we need the climbing gear? Will I have to give up before getting too far?

“Who pays what? Where is the damage? Which demons will be sent? It’s complicated. I would suggest to get a commitee going for the trial. All the trials honesty need help yearround.”

“Would you join it?”

Diss frowns thinking it over. “No. This shouldn’t go to someone like me. It should be a strong Demon, but one that can’t do the quests anymore.”

“Do you think you’ll ever stop agreeing to the quests?”

“Hand in my title?”

“No. That I know you’ll never do. But right now, you seek and accept a lot of requests. You are actively being a Demon. You can keep your license without using it.” Many in the noble quarters do.

Diss sighs stretching. “You know I never thought I’d agree to an apprentice.”

“You didn’t even suggest payment.”

“Nope. And if that’s not brought up… It’s just room and board.” Diss shifts uneasily. “To think I’d do that. It’s just… He felt too close to home. The bastard child. The unwanted. The undesired.”

“He seemed wanted.” I glance back to the town. It’s in view, but we can’t hear it anymore.

“You don’t see it from our perspective. His mother lives at the king’s castle. He’s stuck here. He wishes to be either be with his mother or have a normal family life there. He may not care about the noble life, but he knows his lfie isn’t normal.” Diss looks at his hands. “I was called bastard when they realized I had so many high level slots. I was gotten rid of.”

“You weren’t killed.”

“Blast was only given one step more than me. He’s still hidden away. If he is a proper Demon, he could come forward. He could claim his position as his father’s child. Or at least as Lord Toise.” Diss shakes it off. “Let’s talk about something else.”

The topic is pretty tame. I assume both of us are still focused on the previous topic. Blast Toise is a bastard child. A future Demon. And if things move forward as it looks, Diss’s future apprentice.

“Watch your step.” Diss cuts our words off for the sake of the path. An alavache was recent? I climb over a the dirt and rocks now covering our path. He looks over the place of a pretend path. “Maybe I should clear it some before we travel. This path should’ve been okay for horses.”

“Not your place.” I slip and land face first in the dirt. “I hope you have a bath spell ready for after this.”

“Picking naked?”

“Picking anything if it means I won’t be covered in dirt.” I huff standing back up.

“It’s cause I’ve already seen you naked right?” Diss helps me over the rest of this rumble. It’s not the last time something is in our way. I stare at the mess. We’ll need climbing gear. Not yet though. This will just be tough to manage. “I wonder how far you’ll manage before giving up.”

“A wish guides me up this slope. It can renew my powers.”

“Damn… You even know those tricks?”

“As long as the wish requires me to go up a path I won’t get truly winded.” I stare at the thing. I can’t truly injure myself. I will find a way. If I don’t move forward but desire to fall, I’ll eventually teleport. Grandmother told me that’s normal. It happened once. I hated the feel of it, but I was able to finish faster without pain.

“I’ve studied a lot about genies. It taught me various spells for my own gain.” Diss glances at me. “You don’t actually need me, do you? Since the wish requires so much, you can backhand people who deny you allowance to follow the wish.”

I am slow to nod. “I would root them or teleport them away. Mom was upset I did that to her. But I can’t deny the wish.”

“Root or teleport. You use them readily, then?”

“Yeah, but I won’t teleport with the wish to the next town. I’ll just get over whatever is slowing me down.”

“Like the mountain.” Diss points forward.

I shake my head. “Over a sheer part of the cliff or a missing piece of pathway.”

“Ah, so it’s limited.”

“Stories have it my grandfather could gain more control of his push forward spells. He practiced with the ones he had with Grandmother.” I glance at Diss. “The ones you seem to be wishing of me just because.” I sigh walking forward. We’re fine to move forward right now. “Still, I have to persuade the magic I cannot reach Forc for some reason. I have to make it be a reason. If the reason is sound enough, the magic acts up and whisks me forward.”

“So you could say the mountain is in our way.” Diss points out.

“I could. But I wouldn’t know where to go. What would it mean to say the mountain? As if I cannot cross it without help.” I shake my head. “I can’t cross it without help. You asked before if I could solve the wish without help, I could. But… I would be useless once I reach Forc. Unless he wanted…” To kiss me. It would be my only hope to moving forward.

“You worry about the money disappearing thing. He could’ve claimed your no longer friends for a selfish reason. Or to protect you. I’ve lied about that before.”

“Forc can’t lie.” I chuckle. He’s the worst person I ever knew when it comes to lying. So for them to believe him… He had to make it truth. If he denied myself friendship… Is it for the spell to break? Or is it to protect me? Or does he want em to give up? Could they know we follow? I have to follow. This is a wish. I touch my chest looking at the mountain.

“Hold my hand.” I reach out for Diss. I need him with me. I’m screw at solving this without him. This pathway is too much even with our supplies.

We’re going too slow. This eats up too much time.

The mountain is in our way. We can’t get to Forc this way.

I never did like teleporting. My magic does though.


[WIP: Genie Wishes] [About Cat Hartliebe] [Fantasy Short Stories] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.