Chapter 85 - M.

Chapter 85 - M.


 

I’ve been to a dozen different libraries, thousands of times. The money for textbooks wasn’t always freely available. Most colleges keep a few prior editions of the textbooks behind the counter. There’s always a way if you’re desperate. Still, I’m shocked that Destiny is leading me through the central library as if I’ve never been here before.

Every now and then, we take a turn. We should be moving in a circle but it seems like our path is forever changing. She promised there were magical spaces hidden in plain view, that my mind just wasn’t able to see them. I’m starting to think she may be right, especially now that we stand in front of a pair of ornate double doors. Intricate symbols are etched into each door, none repeat and it doesn’t seem to have any real method to the designs. Still, it feels as if something powerful awaits.

We head through the doors, and there seems to be an equally large library here. Mostly elves, a few humans, some Goblins, Dwarves and even a few Orcs. There was indeed a magical library hidden away. Destiny makes her way to the front counter to get whatever we came here looking for.

I take the moment to explore and observe. None of the books seem to be in any real order. The Dewey Decimals System has no place here. Instead people seem to approach small orbs that give them information before they scurry off to their book. There’re no computers, or microfiche readers. Instead there are massive tomes placed on some of the tables, I’m not sure how a single person would move them alone. Each one appears to be handwritten and older than anything I’ve ever written up close. I’m not a master of languages, but I recognize some Latin in one, some Spanish in another and maybe even hieroglyphics in a third.

 “I got what we need,” Destiny comes back with a book bearing a large decorative “L” on the front.

“What’s that?”

“I told you, they like their little kingdoms. They keep written histories of the founding of their houses and all that. This book, has information about the Lewis, Dynasty,” she uses air quotes over dynasty. “Everything how the very first was turned, each subsequent leader. Traditions, allies, enemies and everything else.”

“That sounds as if it is more historical than anything we can actually use.”

“You would think, but like I keep telling you, they hold onto the past way too much.”

The first head, Letcher Lewis was a merchant who arrived in the American South from England. He was quickly married and set up shop. Soon he owned several slaves, and was deemed a success. Crazy how owning slaves meant you were successful back then. Soon a group of locals extorted him for funds and when he refused he was beaten, and bitten. They were vampires, who thought they had killed him, but he lived. He became stronger in secret, eventually killing them. Then he moved on to found his own town. It makes for a great story, except the whole slave owner thing.

Another interesting story, John Humphry Noyes was one of theirs. He led sex a cult, they didn’t call it that, but that’s what it was. His cult allowed Charles J. Guiteau into his cult. But the man was so insufferable they tried to get him to leave for years. They also wouldn’t turn Charles into a vampire. Charles later went on to murder President James A. Garfield. For some reason, all of their stories seem to start happy and end in something bad. Not that sex cult is good, but they weren’t hurting anyone.

“I got it,” Destiny smiles.

“What did you get?”

“An artifact within reach. The Chalice of Metamorphosis is the sacred artifact for their local chapter. If we take it while Chloe is in town, she’ll come to us.”

“What does it do?”

“Legend says if one of them drinks from the chalice it will allow them to use magic.”

“Can’t you use magic?”

“Different kind of vampire. I told you this, you weren’t paying attention,” she pulls out a polaroid camera.

“So do they do rituals with this thing or what?”

“Probably mostly for show. Things lose powers over the years, especially if corrupted by evil.”

“Are you serious,” I can’t help but laugh as she takes a picture of the page.

“What? It’s for research in case I need to reference it later,” she shakes the photo.

“But that camera, is so old.”

 “You’re being really judgmental.”

“Me?”

“Yeah,” she gets up and closes the book.

The journey out of the library is a lot smoother, we exit the doors and appear right inside the real library. Is it the real library? They’re both real. The library that I know, doesn’t have as many twists and turns on the way out. I wonder if I could get back there without Destiny. I’m curious if there were things in there that I might find useful. Maybe I’m part of some long history of wizards.

“Hey Destiny,” I stop call her back after we part ways.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?”

“What?”

“Making an enemy, or a bigger enemy of them? You’ve made them sound powerful.”

“I’m not worried, you shouldn’t be either.”

“I don’t want you to get hurt.”

“They haven’t been able to kill me so far, and I won’t let them kill you.”

“Yeah, but they haven’t been actively hunting you in the past.”

“Have some faith in me. My name is Destiny. Everyone knows you can’t run from your destiny.”

She gives me a quick kiss and heads off in the opposite direction. She doesn’t even glance back at me. Instead she pulls the picture from her purse and takes another look before tucking it away again. Part of me misses playing board games and sneaker shopping with her. It all seems so long ago now. Maybe I can get us back there somehow.

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