(It’s all coming together now… Isn’t it? Diss saves the day. He’s the type, isn’t he?)
Genie’s Tenth Wish
When your family doesn’t tell you everything, it comes as a shock. It would have been a better shock if it happened while I was at home. Like how my mother was a royal classed genie just like me and my grandfather. I get to find out because the kingdom who claimed my mother belonged as queen, has taken interest in me.
Just because I’m good enough for royalty doesn’t mean I was looking for it.
Diss… He’s not truly royal. Just because we’re figuring out his father was a prince when he was born doens’t mean he would be the crown prince now.
Forc could protect me from this… I think. Except I still haven’t managed to get to him. He’s still moving away from me.
Now I’m alone in a foreign country as one of its princes stares me down. Diss better come back soon. With magic that can get me away from this prince.
Not that I’ll offer my genie power up to have it happen. I’m not my mother. If I just marry Forc like was the plan in the beginning, the kingdom can’t do anything to me. You can’t just kill royal genies. That’s not allowed.
I’m rooted to the ground. All I can do is watch as the prince organizes himself among his entourage.
It feels like forever. It also feels as if I’m the rabbit caught in a trap. Diss tried to offer freedom, but it didn’t work. He shouldn’t be gone too long. I know he readied a teleport to me spell.
“Perfect.” The prince grins at one of his cohorts. He pats the horse as they bring it away. Then he’s back on me. A deep bow has me even more annoyed. I’m wasting time.
Why is Forc’s wish not helping me out of this? It should be able to. It should force me to keep moving forward. Even with another wish keeping me plastered.
“It is a pleasure to greet you, Lady Alaenia Heam. Your mother was said to be a great beauty. I am happy you take after her.”
I huff arms crossed. Not that I’d ever suggest disrespecting a country’s prince. But if he is forcing me to stay here and suffer, then I won’t be the fawning lamb.
When the prince steps over to me to take my hand, I back off.
The root spell won’t stop me from protecting myself. Thankfully. I’m used to countering it. This wish is difficult. I need to be here and listen. I don’t need to be touched.
“My. I have yet to find someone willing to back off of a gentle handshake.” The prince pouts in such a way that makes me want to gag. He plays. “No mind. I do not need much. Just your royal signature on a marriage document. Come, come.” He motions me after him.
I watch without following. A level of pressure hits me, but I’m stronger than that. I don’t have to listen. It’s not my wish. And I have one telling me to listen not agree and follow demands. “Excuse you. I am not some prize that claims royalty. I am my own person and I’d rather die than be forced into such a title.”
The prince spins. “You would?” He motions his hand to me.
The arrow is deflected to the ground before hitting me. I don’t even let the nerves shake lose. I had to expect that. Which wish offered me that? Or did Diss offer me something before leaving?
“You do not have guard. Your wishes will run out eventually.”
Still my wish accepting the fact I’m rooted denies me the chance to flee. After several arrows slamming into the ground before me I start flinching. I need a different option.
He’s not talking, why must I listen? I close my eyes focusing on Forc’s wish. There’s nothing for me here. Bring me closer to Forc. As close as you safely can. It’s time I focus on the person I need at my side.
I exhale feeling the glow and magic move through me.
Then I teleport.
I open my eyes wishing I knew where I was. I check my closet for something. Several new items are there. Diss. I find the map.
I am not far from the stupid town with the stupid prince. A double check in the closet have me clueless as to how to use Diss’s weapons. I hiss before running. I need to get where I need to go. The wish will send me the right way. I won’t grow tired. Not easily.
Diss won’t leave me alone for long. He can’t.
Wait… Diss gave me his weapons. He’s upping the price owed. He is paying for my safety with random items. I want to cry. But that will only limit me right now. The reason the arrows could keep coming was because Diss kept offering more.
I am quick to pen a note. It’s a mess, but I only half need to pay attention to my run. The wish won’t let me trip. I shove the note into my bag.
When I pull my hand out, I spot another note in there. I pull it out reading, “I wish I was beside Aleania Heam.” It’s signed and everything. Everything is done perfectly.
I glow squeezing the note. I need Diss.
I’m still running when Diss appears ready for battle. He faces the town in question until he spies me just running away. I have to slow and stop and wait for him. “Diss.” I am quick to gain his hug. “We need to hurry.”
“I wish we have your two best horses from your stable.” He leans in kissing me roughly. The magical zooms through me, but he isn’t done. There’s something more. Something missing. When he pulls back he closes his eyes. “Sorry.”
I hold the reins of my two best horses. I pat my love’s nose. They’re saddled and everything. My family was ready because Diss made comments. “Get on.”
Diss nods managing that with ease. “I thought I lost you. I tried using the teleport to spell, but it fizzled out. To have that level of guard around you? To deny me access?” Diss hisses. “I’m marked prince, then. The spell is probably deny another prince from getting close.”
“Sorry.” Once on horseback, we start walking. It will be faster this way. I don’t want to push the horses. “I thought it would help.”
“It’s not uncommon of a wish from someone like me. I don’t think I could buy a house now, though.” He looks at me. “Still open to a renter?”
“We need to restart the wish.” I sigh.
“I need to go on a few quests first. To wish prince title… Ugh. That is not worth the cost.”
“Don’t worry. If it can protect you, I’ll manage. I’m not living paycheck to paycheck. It’s not that bad.”
“Are you open to becoming king?” I scan him.
“No way. I figured noblehead would suit me. I’d find someone I can connect to. It would offer me a home of sorts. A family. The group is one in a way, but they can’t give me security.” Diss shrugs. “This is a different direction than I imagined. But I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised given you figured out who my father was.”
“He asked for her.” I watch the road. I need to stay calm. The wish is having me move. We’re going the same speed as Forc is. We won’t catch up, but it’s something. He’ll stop soon. “When my mother disappeared, your father asked to marry Annette Noel Obsurgen. Noel.” I can feel the desire in him. “He was denied because she wasn’t a strong enough demon.”
“Typical.” Diss huffs. “It’s good to know he asked, though. He still picked country over love.”
“That’s not atypical among royals. At least not according to records.”
Diss doesn’t respond to my words right away. He lets us fall into silence. What should I say to counter it? It’s unnerving. I disrupted Diss’s life. “Would you marry me if it meant the rest of my family couldn’t bother you?”
“Are you proposing?”
“Not in so many words.”
“But wouldn’t that leave you earning king’s title?”
“I can forgo. Just because I pick you doesn’t mean I automatically gain title.” He tilts his head watching our direction. “I would if you wanted it. But since neither of us is looking, we can just disappear. It would force someone else to step forward.” Diss grins. “Would be amusing.”
“I am going to marry Forc.”
Diss shrinks. “Again… You… He left you. He didn’t get kidnapped. He left of his own free will.”
“You can’t be certain.”
“The guard who saw him leave is. They chatted as if normal. None of the code words were said.”
Diss nods. “Forc set up code words for an in case situation. He didn’t use them. He left because he wanted to. No one forced him.”
I gulp. “It can’t be…” I shiver trying my best to just accept. Everything points to that. There has to be a reason why. “He was so…”
“He isn’t your fiance anymore.”
“He never told me no. He never cancelled our engagement. He has questions about his life and family and everything, but he always loved me. He always wanted to be with me.”
“I give up.”
I close my eyes willing the tears down. Forc broke the wish for a reason. Just like he left for a reason. Just like my parents, his didn’t tell him everything. That’s what this quest is revealing.
Why were we living in a seaside village and not the capital? Why were we tending to farmers and not nobles? Why did I think everything was perfect? I was just missing so many pieces of information. I didn’t know. Why wasn’t I told?
“Part of me feared learning the truth about my family. I was an orphan. Turns out I’m a noble bastard. It was pretty certain to be the case. Why did my family give me up? What happened? Was it worth learning?” Diss pauses.
I sniffle without saying anything.
“As much as part of me said it wasn’t worth knowing, I also knew I would be dragged into a noble house if I kept up my actions as a Demon. So to forgo learning the knowledge, I had to forgo my abilities. My option was learn who my parents were or give up questing.” He smirks. “So I went for it.”
“Do you regret it?”
“I’m more indifferent.” Diss sighs. “You even gave me my mother’s name.” He looks to me misty eyes. “No Obsurgens exist. The family died off. Killed during a burgurly gone wrong. I heard about it since one of my teachers were requested to help fix the problem. All of them. Dead.”
“But if she married…”
“It’s possible. Thanks for the hope.” Diss looks forward again. “But I can’t ask my mother’s family for support. And my father’s… I wouldn’t want to ask. I should just accept the next noble then. Perhaps not in this country.”
“Where you have prince titles.” I grin.
“I see your tears, Aleania. Don’t act like you are managing the crushing weight of everything. I want you to tell me everything you saw. I’ll keep an eye out for threat. That prince will probably ping you eventually. They’ll chase in their own way.”
“I want to see Forc.” I cry.
“At this point, so do I.” Diss glances to me. “Tell me what you saw.”
I try my best to recall everything. I may be a little off. Diss listens carefully without comment. It helps to just repeat all the visions. I don’t know who created the wish. I don’t know everything. And I can’t try to seek more until… I need to be under the wish’s threat and at a safe stand still.
“That just sounds like trouble.”
“Your wish being active probably made it easier for me to see. I don’t know why Forc’s wish had me want to stay and deal with them. I didn’t want to agree to anything that guy said. He fiddled with his staff, horse, and people for several minutes. I was not under any real threat until I said I’d rather die than marry him.”
“Not a comment I’d make to someone.” Diss chuckles. “I doubt he’s heard that before.”
“I can’t even say who it was. He never mentioned a name.”
“I’m beginning to like him already.” Diss rolls his eyes. “He had a proper genie and Demon with him. Do you think he can cast?”
“Should be able to. Otherwise the title wouldn’t be a thing.”
“Assumptions. We don’t know how much or what his spells are. They didn’t use magic against you.”
“Or maybe they tried. As if they could have sent a sleep spell at you to no effect.”
“I was under a forced to follow command I could refuse. Probably would have been harder if Forc’s wish wasn’t there.”
“Strange it didn’t make you go considering it said you had to stay.”
“Glad I could persuade it I was better off heading for Forc.” I sigh. It does help I could escape. “And thanks for the items and note.”
“More than anything I wished I had the chances to have more wishes with you.” Diss reaches out to rub my arm. “No matter what I’ll chase you to the ends of the earth. You have a lifelong guard. Promise.”
I smile at him. “I’d rather a lifelong friend.”
“Does that mean I can chase you to the end of the earth?”
I laugh. That sounds silly. “If required, I guess. I’d rather you just come visit us in Brick.”
“For our random flings?” Diss wags his eyebrows at me. I roll my eyes calmer at least. “Threat approaching.”
Such a short ease. My muscles tighten as I kick the horse into a higher gear. I flinch when I hear an incoming arrow. It reflects as it did before.
“Seriously?” Diss glances back. The prince’s group is barely in sight. “That must be magically improved arrows. No one gets that good.” He sighs and tosses me his reins. “Guide my horse.” He switches around in his seat flinching over the uncomfortableness. “I hate doing this.”
“What? How am I to guide both horses while running…?”
“They’re friends. They’ll probably stay together when we’re in this situation. Pass me my crossbow.” Diss holds his hand out for me. He doesn’t even wince when an arrow flies between us.
I pull the crossbow out of my bag watching the forward. I’m guiding two horses now. I am leaning on my wish to not screw us up. Diss will handle the battle. I shiver thinking of the arrow onslaught from before.
Diss shoots a few bolts at the distant group. “Same reflect shield up. Not surprising. I doubt they realize my power grade yet. They’ll assume our shield will drop soon.” He grins, I can hear it. “It won’t.”
“If they have a reflect shield… Shouldn’t that reflect back on them?”
“Arrows aren’t boomerangs. They get reflected away from us normally to the ground. Few things actually get reflected back on the attacker.” Diss puts the crossbow away. “Can I have my gun, please?”
“We got it the same time as the crossbow. Metal thing about the size of my hand.” Diss holds his hand out. “I can shoot my magic to target further away. It’s an essential when facing off with such distances. They’ll probably need to be closer before hitting us.”
I pull out the metal tube with handle. A gun. For shooting magic. I had no idea.
“Thanks.” Diss settles in his saddle. It should be uncomfortable at this pace and in that position. Most would consider a saddle uncomfortable while galloping. I’m used to it. At least I am on my personal saddle on my personal horse. “I wish I had my collection of prank spells available.” He looks to me. “Price it.”
We can’t kiss like this. There’s no way. “Six compliments about my body.”
“You’re too easy on me.” Diss grins. He points the gun and shoots at the ground between us and the enemy prince. The area gets treated for a campsite, although the additions are missing. Diss always has camp prepared. “You are as if an angel descended. A glowing raidance of perfection. The epitome of beauty and perfection. There is no other genie I would prefer to go on quests with. My night would be perfect if all I could do was stare at your heavenly body. Your hands are so soft and smooth and tease so readily. When I am given the chance to just touch, it is as if the heavens have opened up gracing me with everything I hope and dream for.”
“Please stop.” I rub my cheek. I did ask for it.
“But I can go on.”
“You reached six. Please, focus.”
“Fine, fine.” Diss points his gun above the group. “Bet they aren’t ready for a goo treatment.”
“Will the pranks be reflected?”
“It couldn’t be used as a prank if a normal reflect spell reflects it. You have to specifically have a cancel. Which they’ll probably figure out before too long.” Diss fires.
This time, a mass of green goo covers everything I can see about the followers. I giggle trying my best to focus foward.
“Slowed them down a touch. Sorry you can’t watch this.” Diss grins. “Next up Attraction: Insects. My one friend hates that one.”
I can’t watch. Every time I glance back there is a slightly different troublesome event occuring for the prince and co. If only it was a stage production. But right now I have to focus on what’s before me. I have to keep aiming for Forc. Because that’s the wish. If I trust the wish, we’ll be safe.
Those thoughts happen as the horses slide as if ice appeared below them.
“Shit.” Diss shifts in his seat. “Moment.” Before too long everything is back to normal. “I should’ve thought to have Surefoot already active.”
“Slippery Trail. It’s a common enough spell that doesn’t reflect. Of course they’d have it.”
“Then reflect it.” I motion behind us.
“I don’t have it saved. I have the prank list as ones that cause no harm only annoyance. It’s set to be a small enough weight on me I won’t get a headache if I wish for it.”
“Too much knowledge means a migraine.”
“Yeah. Or I’d ask for a more complicated list. I know what I can ask for. I know my spells. I am limited on the options from before.” Diss nocks his gun again. “I can double up on spells. If I offer a horse’s favorite meal plus distraction, they may end up having to take time to fix it.” He weighs things. “Sounds like the best option out of what I have.”
Diss exhales when the spells occurs. “Worked. Let’s hurry forward.”
“I wish you had teleports.”
“I have something. But I cannot use it while they are in sight. We’d still get followed.” Diss watches their scene unfold.
“Uh…” I stare in our direction. It was a road. Now the trees are in all directions.
“Trust the wish. They don’t realize you have one active.” Diss shifts in his saddle to face forward again. “Ugh. Fighting on horseback sucks. Setting up my saddle helps some, but. Such crap.” He puts the gun away. “I’m going to mirage us. You cannot use any wishes until I say its safe.”
“Because I can use wishes.”
“Even the one with Forc. Get an idea of the direction you need. See your trail and shut it off for now.”
I shiver. Ignoring it would be painful. And I’ll be following it while ignoring it. I have never done that before. I grit my teeth checking for anything out of order. No. Just go straight for quite a distance. This path works. It’s strong and capable. It’ll get us closer faster than any other route. I nod letting my wish subside. The moment I do it’s pain.
“Sorry about that. I’ll let you know when you can restart.” Diss whispers out a spell. Then he does a second. We keep moving forward. As I look to my left and right several copies of us are headed in different directions. I blink. If we don’t use magic, they won’t necessarily be able to guess which one is the right one.
I’ll hold on to the pain. The pain will mean we can escape securely. We really can’t reach Forc with a tail. If we’re fleeing, we can’t help him.
We continue our gallop longer than I would like. I don’t think I ever pushed my horse this much before. She’s managing well. Same with the one Diss picked. They were used to magic, but not battle. They were used to my fun runs but not full on galloping for nearly ten minutes.
As if I knew it would happen, the pair slows down to a trot. I can’t blame them. I exhale rubbing her neck. “Thank you.”
“I was able to boost it long enough.” Diss looks behind us. No one is following. “No magic yet. If I felt safe using magic, I would double up on the horses.”
“Is that why they managed for so long?” I reach out to rub Diss’s horse.
“They’re good quality horses. They go out practicing their running plenty. And this was a perfectly kept road. It was straight and clear. It was perfect for the gallop. Weather even suited.”
“Diss…” I lean forward as my horse returns to a walk. She really needs a rest. “How about we walk for a bit?”
“Feed the horses you mean?” Diss slips from the saddle rubbing his back. “I don’t mind horseback normally.” He stretches as our group slowly moves forward. “You handle the horses. I would rather be moving forward, but we can make a short camp for their sake.”
I hop down and let the horses continue the slow walk without the weight. They need the cooldown period. Full gallop is not something you just stop doing. “I’m so proud of you two.” I stand between them. It is a comfort. I’m safe because they managed. I reach into my closet. I should take care of my horses. I need to give them a full care and treatment. “I’m going to need a stable.”
“My camp won’t be good enough.” Diss pulls out the map he made. He cannot use a spell on it, but there are marks on the civilations to say whether a stable is there. “The next town has what you desire. It’s still quite far, though.”
I look up at the sky. The sun is set to high. Midday. “We should stop for food and rest.”
“I’m weighing where and how. Let me know when the horses need to fully stop.”
“They can walk without our weight for hours. There’s no need to think they need anything more than a little food between now and the town.”
“Then feed them. We need to stop for a meal.” Diss scans the area. “I’ll look for a good stopping ground. A place I can illusion trees instead of us.”
“Because your magic will bring attention.”
“Don’t know. They may not know about me yet. Getting a signature from a spell isn’t easy. I didn’t send one I created. I sent ones I learned as a child.” Diss continues stretching while walking with us. “I just used them in a new way.”
“I look forward to a real rest. I wasn’t expecting today at all.” I exhale while getting the feeding bags out for the horses. I wince a little as my heart pounds against me. The wish wants notice.
“Trouble?” Diss helps me with the final clip.
“The wish begs me to listen.” I flinch a little. “Do you think its safe I…?”
Diss hisses glancing behind us. We made time and space, but the moment I use my magic it will be noticeable. They’re searching for me. “If it hurts to that extent, then yes.”
I release the wish calming me completely. The moment it has a chance, my feet kick up the speed and I’m not following the road.
“Hold it.” Diss grabs my arm. “Where are you going?”
“The wish is pushing me hard.” Stopping myself is creating pain, but not as much as ignoring it did. I place my hand on my horse. The direction and requirements are still into the woods.
“Alright. Best you get back on the horse, though. Might limit things.” Diss looks at his. “No galloping, though. Promise me. Nothing is more important than having me next to you right now.”
I nod getting back in the saddle. And I take the horse in the direction of the wish. Waking slow enough for Diss to follow. I want to move faster, but I refuse it’s pressure. Why am I being pressured? If I sink, though, I won’t go slow. “Do you think he needs me?”
“Or someone seeks him.” Diss hops on his horse. “I’ll follow at the pace you set. You won’t hurt the horse, so galloping is still not an option.”
“If a wish…”
“I wish I could be at your side whenever you face danger.” Diss takes my hand.
I shiver. The concept is… “Cost that you can pay at current?” Diss nods waiting for me nervously. “Two top level spell slots. You may pick which gets erased and replaced with the wish.”
Diss grits his teeth probably going over what he has left. “I can afford it. Go ahead, Aleania. Take my magic in exchange of yours.”
I can feel the tears. I’m fighting a wish and building a new one. I’ll be completely safe with it. The cost is high. Top level spell slots aren’t cheap. “This will renew every day if you let it.”
Diss nods. “I know. I did study genies after all.” He leans forward taking a short kiss. “I wish to exchange two top level spell slots so I can always be at your side while you are in danger.”
The warmth of my magic slips around me as tears still drift down my cheeks. Diss is strong enough to pay the cost. He is willing enough to pay the cost. And what it means says a lot. Because top level demons only make such a wish when there is a long term relationship. Because money cannot always be exchanged, but power always can.
“Alright, sink in. I’ll follow you everywhere if required.”
I let my wish forward sinking into the feeling. Why am I in a rush?
Images accost me of Forc facing off with those he traveled with. The fear he has because of them. He’s terrified. This isn’t just the wish to find him acting up.
This is my wish with Forc to never leave him alone.
I let the magic take me. We’re not teleporting, but we’re rushing. The pace is brisk although not a gallop. That would be too dangerous here. The trot will have to do as my heart stutters in my chest.
Forc needs me.
Which means up until this point, he saw his capturers as allies.
I try not to think too hard about that. Or about the fact Diss is closer to my heart than Forc has been.
Did Forc know this was going to happen?
Was he expecting?
Did he want… Could this be a path to learning his history? Like Diss requested me to show him his?
I need to just focus.
The wish has me slow down as we reach close to a tree line. I would have teleported there if showing up mid battle scene would be best. No. I’m required to offer support from the side, hidden and not.
We stop before being noticeable beyond the tree time. Diss throws out magic around us as we get to see what’s happening.
It’s not good.
I don’t think I could help though. Because I already have a place in this fight.
Forc doesn’t fear the SAFARI group that took him. No. He fears the prince caravan who found him instead of me. What are we going to do?
I’m horrible leaving you with a cliffhanger. What do you want to have happen?