Genie’s Fifth Wish
Alaenia and Diss are on the quest to find Forc and save him (if possible). Forc has already left the country behind. As fast as they move on horseback, they can’t catch up. That’s going to mean a few tactics need to change. That means staying at the final town before the border for a little bit longer than Alaenia is open to. Although it would be nice to have a proper bath and clean comfortable bed.
Diss Weasher and I get back to the inn where several notes of added visitors are about. Extra servants. Extra annoyances for the staff. I frown as one person complains about the bed sheets.
“Don’t look. Focus on our task. Another noble is here.” Diss tugs me onward.
“Another? But we’re not noble.”
“I’m not noble. You classify. Don’t question that.” Diss moves into my room. “You look it. You act it. I wouldn’t be surprised you have a great aunt who walks around the king’s castle.”
“I don’t.” I think. I’m pretty sure my close relatives have no interaction with the royals. They may wander the noble’s estates though. I can’t say they wouldn’t have the classification of nobility. But the king’s court? No way.
Diss waits for em to open my door before we both go inside. “You have a collection of contracts, right?”
“Does it matter the quality?” I pull my bag out.
“Just somewhere I can put the information. It shouldn’t be more than a few paragraphs.”
He just needs a big enough sheet. I have those. He probably has something that would work. But a wish is easier to grant if created from the genie’s items. I pull out a contract sheet. It’s the lowest quality paper that’s in my closet. I place it on the small desk that comes with the room. I sit comfortably on the bed while he writes out the exact wish. He knows what he needs. He’s probably asked such a wish before. Creating items is exhausting. Knowing the exact spells he needs would make things better. “Can I have a second sheet?”
I nod pulling another sheet. “You’ll need to fold the edges together or clip it in some way.” There is a small book that can be used for knowledge gains wishes. It costs extra to have. Blank books don’t just come out of no where.
“I know. I realized if I don’t have the spell currently in my list, the wish will give it to me.”
“Wishes have created new before.” I relax. My magic will create the impossible.
“I’m not asking for new. Just the most efficient of the spells already created. It may take longer to write out if I’m not taking on the spells already made.” Diss reviews his work. He had to place part of the wish on each page so they both count as part of the wish. I’ve practiced using two pages before. The book doesn’t require practice. “You’ve done this before?”
“I’ve made a lot of wishes including duo page wishes.” I pick up the page to read. Nothing about the wish is unexpected. He already explained himself. “And you have it evenly between both pages making it the easiest wish. The answer should straddle evenly between both as well. Make sure to read everything.
He nods pulling out the necessary cost. “It will be helpful to have the list created as well. I can send it back to my group so those who don’t go into the field have something to use their spells on. The work itself shouldn’t take long even if it clears my list.”
“Will you really use all your spell slots?” I place the pages between us before me on the bed.
“If I have to for one. I may for two if it does need every slot. Anything open after that may have me working on a third or even fourth, but only if I can also keep my basic spells I always have available.”
“You have a ton of spell slots. It would concern me if one map required all of them.”
“Me too.” He places the money on the papers before me.
The knock on the door disrupts us from being able to make the wish. I slide the paper into my bag and he pockets his money before opening the door. “Yes?” I sit calmly on the bed as a staff to the place frets at the door.
“Would you mind vacating this room?” They look behind them while fidgeting with their hands.
“Vacating this room?” Diss looks to me. “Are you saying we should switch to another?”
“The space is becoming limited on this floor due to an influx of visitors.” More fidgeting. “If you can consolidate to one room we will cut the price in half.” What is going on?
I stand up. “Could a wish help?”
“Doubtful. We just lack space. You cannot create more space. Space contourism spells always end up hurting someone.” They bow to me. “Thank you for the offering. We understand the concern there. We will have concerns if we cannot gain this room.”
“Why this one?” Diss switches on a level of threat.
It has me move to stand at his side holding his arm. “If that is all that needs to happen for you, I can create a room within his. Half price, though. And a full meal service for tomorrow.”
“Acceptable as long as you remove the extra room before leaving.” They bow stepping back. “I will return with a cleaning crew. Please vacant before I return.” They click their heels, bow another time and walk off.
“Entire floor?” Diss steps into the hall watching them go. “Something’s happening.”
“A full meal service and half the price will be enough. As I said before, we’re not nobles. We’re only paying as one.” I collect what few items I had about the room. Mostly I kept the things back home and pulled as needed. “It would probably be safer I’m with you while you create the item anyway.” I leave the room glancing back at it.
Diss sighs following me into his room. “You really don’t mind so much.”
I start moving items out of a corner. I need a space bigger than my closet. Something as large as the space he gave me during the trip out. “If you’re really worried, you can have the new room.”
Diss takes my hand. “I wish my room split into two.” He leans forward giving me allowance.
It does help. It makes sense. He wants to offer this because of the return. I lean forward taking the rest of the distance. A light brief peck on the lips. The magic whispers through me as the room converts into two. We stand in one and look at the new door to the hallway. The old one probably goes to the other room.
“Same bathroom, though.” Diss is looking. “I’ll hopefully have those spells ready. The lowest level can get me the water I need to fill the tub.”
I follow him through the bathroom and into the second bedroom. The comfort items are the same, but the space is limited. “I wish the rooms had the door between them instead of to the hall.”
“Another kiss?” Diss grins at me. I bite my cheek and nod. “So willing.”
“We have a full meal service tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it.” I wait for him to make the wish. Another kiss and the door switches to inside versus the hall. Although both lead to the bathroom. “And before we leave, you’ll need to wish it back.”
“Of course. Anything for the lady.” He grins offering a bow.
I huff at him while sitting on the bed again. We are in the room that reaches the hall. “Which room do you want?”
“This one. You’ll be safer further from traffic.” Diss nods. “And you did give warning about the room.” I nod. “Anyway, let’s return to our task from before.”
“They’ll come in a moment. It would be best to wait.” I get off the bed to open the door to the hall. The staff member has a crew with them. Five cleaners. It should be done really quickly then. “I wonder why my room.”
“Some of the nobles have strict conditions.” Diss looks out to the hall with me.
Once the cleaners are set to work, the staff member returns to us.”Thank you.” Another bow. They look calmer now. Things were falling poorly then. “I apologize if things progress poorly. The floor has now been booked completely. You will be seeing a few new faces.”
I look up and down the hall. There are at least ten rooms here. I haven’t seen anyone besides the staff, although I know someone is in the room at the furthest end. There has been an empty tray outside of it before. “Is this common?”
The staff exhales looking as I just did. “No. If we knew things were going to be this way, we would have enacted an insignia requirement for the floor.” They exhale looking me over. “But that would’ve stopped you anyway, would it?”
I touch my necklace. “We have papers, yes.”
“Of course you do. And to ruin the stay of a visiting royal genie is… I apologize.” Another bow before they leave us alone.
I snarl at him. “I am not a noble.”
“You own a town and keep it completely safe.” Diss waves his hand up. “Although if they saw my papers, they’d know where I should be marked too.” He chuckles as I close the door. “Royal genie and royal Demon.” He shakes his head sitting down before the bed. “Alright now for a contract.”
I exhale. My marks say I earned my genie title at seven. It does mark me high. I know that. I’m starting to realize what that would grant me. “I don’t want to be a royal genie. I have no interest.”
“I’m keeping you away from the courts as long as I can.” Diss motions me to the bed. “You have acquired a lifelong guard.”
“You just like my kisses.” I glower at him while sitting before the wish papers again.
“Yes. Glad you know.” Diss motions to the wish again. His money is back out. “Ready?”
I exhale and settle myself. “Yes. Speak the wish.”
The glow swirls around me and settles against the papers. I watch as words start writing.
“The money disappeared.” Diss frowns.
Here I was focusing on the fact the words started writing that I didn’t notice the funds disappearing. That means the spell I have with Forc is still active. We’re still friends and allies. I press a hand to my heart and think of him.
“The fiance still exists,” Diss huffs taking the sheet. It’s still writing. “Looks like I don’t know the best spells.” Some are a dash with a name and others have the dash with name and spell wording. “I’ll be studying all night.”
“You need sleep.” I pat the bed.
“I will.” Diss sits on the bed next to me while pulling out a spellbook. He flips through the pages. I note the book matches to the one I had at home for wish filling. “I may need another wish during this trip. My book’s almost full.”
“That’s massive already.” I look over his shoulder. When he notices he shows off the spells more readily. “Not all demons have a spell book. Is it wished into existence?”
“The cost wasn’t worth it.” Diss pulls out a pen. “I write it out normally.”
I frown and stop his pen from working. “Go ahead. Wish all your new spells were in the book already.”
Diss looks at his book and at me. “There may not be enough pages.”
“Wish it the way you need it to be wished.” I look at the book. It’s close to filled.
“We are sitting on a bed confined safely in an inn. And you wish to just help me.”
“I don’t even have to receive a payment.” I tell him. “You keep paying for everything.” I pull back smirking. “You want me to take a payment.”
Diss licks his lips putting the book down. “You want a payment. I wouldn’t mind offering such without a wish involved.”
I get off the bed and start organizing what things I can. “I offered to help and you’re refusing. I can just go read in my room while you sort things.”
Diss stands behind me taking my hand up while leaning his head toward my ear. His words are overwhelming, yet are completely normal. How does it do it? “I wish all my needed spells were in my spellbook.” I spin facing him. He still has my hand. It’s not like he’s holding me down or anything. He just doesn’t want me to flee without warning. He leans forward wanting to gain a wish’s kiss. To have the spell paid for with a kiss.
Forc needs this map. I can find him easier with the map. I let my eyes close and move closer agreeing without words. The magic flows through me. The small soft peck creates magic. I pull back touching my chest while scanning for the spellbook. This will make things easier for Diss. It will help Forc in the long run.
“We don’t need a spell, you know.” Diss leans forward again.
I hold my hands up against his chest refusing the contact. “I can’t. It’s one thing as payment to a wish, but another entirely to just…” I look at my feet. I want to. I’ve wanted to with Forc before. He never accepted more than light kisses. I want more. “I’m sorry.”
Diss backs off returning to his bed. “Okay. This really does help. Thanks.”
“I’m going into my room to read.”
“I’m going to eat in about an hour. If you’re awake, I want you to join me.”
I stand in the doorway between our rooms. I stare at him accepting the position on the bed. He didn’t fight for the kisses. The moment I refused, he backed off. As he should. I want it, though. I close my eyes reminding myself about the missing funds. Forc is still my friend and ally. He needs me. I need him. I want him. Diss isn’t part of our marriage and future. Diss is just my guardian. He will help me get Forc. I will help him find his parents. “That can work, I guess.” I sigh closing myself in my room.
Reading is a safe task. I pull out Forc’s favorite book. I open it and read the first few lines before putting it down again. This isn’t working. I shove Forc’s book back into my closet and pull out the most sexually arousing one in my collection. Before beginning, I lock my doors. Settling into the bed with a book will have to be enough.
“Alaenia?” Diss knocks on my door.
I shift and yawn. I fell asleep. Looking at the book, I’m more shocked than anything. The book was erotica, yet I was bored with it. My mind wandered to who is working in the next room. He didn’t match up with the hero of my story at all. My mind started into the thoughts of what if he was the hero…
Then he wakes me up by knocking.
I toss the blankets aside blinking a few times. “I took a nap.”
“If you needed an interesting book, I have a collection.” He tugs on the door handle. “Should I unlock the door or can you handle it?”
“I can handle it.” I pull my boots back on and go to the door he waits at. “Is it dinnertime already?”
“I need the break.” He glances at his watch. “I spent over an hour working. I knew I should’ve stopped at an hour. It should take extra long to get proper service downstairs.” Diss look to the hallway door. “Should we aim for it? Or get another meal elsewhere?”
“Aren’t our meals now free?”
“Because you tricked them into thinking that would be enough.” Diss nods motioning to the door. “If you’re ready, let’s go.”
I double check myself before walking to the door. I glance to see Diss had put his things away already. “Is everything ready for tomorrow?”
“Just about.” Diss holds the door for me. “We can order a meal if you don’t want to go down.”
I look at the last room down the hallway. They always order a meal. “I’d rather see who is downstairs and why is the noble floor filled.”
“Might be rowdy. You’re not used to rowdy.” Diss locks out door for us. “But if you have any requests, let me know.”
“I should be fine.” I hop down the steps finding comfort in my dress instead of leathers.
“You may gain attention because of your necklace. Should I block the sight of it?” Diss offers a thing I never would have mentioned.
I stop once downstairs to stare at him. “You have that spell for me? Why?”
“Because some areas really make it dangerous for a genie. There are places I don’t even show off my abilities as a Demon. There could be the excessive requests associated to our abilities. Or it could be hatred for our kind. I’ve been keeping a spell ready for the just in case. It can hold for twelve hours, too. As long as I don’t end it beforehand.”
“You have a lot of hidden knowledge.”
“I was planning on traveling with a genie for my wish, recall. I figured out the best ways to protect you. Your necklace cannot be removed, but it can be hidden. I figured out several options. Your coat only blocks its sight so far.” Diss motions me onward. “If people treat you as just another noble lady, then realize I did that.”
I touch my necklace while walking. I will see feel it there. He only would block sight of it. “I like being considered a genie.”
“You aren’t used to rowdy places, Alaenia.” Diss pauses as we reach a doorway to the dining room. It’s insane. Busy may be an understatement. “I see a table.” He takes up my hand and quickly moves me through the room to a table by the far side. It’s big enough for four people, but Diss moves two of the chairs away. It takes a while before Diss gains attention.
I just stare at the activity. Things can be hectic back at the village. But there just aren’t enough people to make this level of chaos. It’s not rowdy though. Not like books explain rowdy. Even though there are a lot of people, people are following normal order of things. The only real different is the loudness. There are more voices and to hear your conversation over the rest, people seem to be fighting for dominance. And the staff is calling to each other about orders, as well. It’s chaos, but calm and orderly chaos. “I like it.”
Diss looks at me. He ordered whatever meal would be fastest. “You like this?”
“There are so many people. They’re happy. Things are controlled well enough. I don’t have any reason to fear. Books had me worried about going places. And you seem to make me more uneasy. This isn’t worrisome at all.” I smile leaning on my elbows. “I like it.”
Diss reviews the place. “And you say you don’t want to join court. This is pretty comparable to court.”
“It is?” I sit up straighter.
Diss moves to point out another table. “That’s Count Jolt Eon. He came with the party that’s filling the floor.”
“A count? Dad’s better dressed.” I frown thinking it over.
“I wonder what your actual title is.” Diss questions. “Your genie rank is higher, but still. What consideration do your parents get walking around? What did your grandfather acquire title wise? What will you?” Diss relaxes watching me. “You telling me my parents were fleeing something makes sense. This power grade isn’t common for the low class. I have to have something with title in my history.”
“But that doesn’t mean you earn the title.” I point out.
“I can earn my own title. I want to find out the whys. How did I end up where I did? Where did I come from?” Diss shrugs. “Based on how my family responds to me, I’ll join with that noble ring or another.”
“Are you planning to join the royal court?”
“Not necessarily, but somewhere.” Diss shifts looking out at the room. “I want to make up my mind where before a king decides I’m required.”
“When does that happen?”
“If I keep this up? I probably have less than five years before a noble says ‘Mine’.”
I think of the knowledge I’ve been given from his wish. It hasn’t been much. “If you help me take a real bath tonight, I can meditate on it while soaking. I should get something if I focus.”
Diss sighs. “Fine. I have other things to do anyway. I’ll fill up the tub with warm water and leave you be.”
“I promise to get something.”
“Any random calls to ‘My liege’ will be ignored.”
“Probably for the best.” I nod. “The wishes can control me especially if I desire the knowledge.”
“Explains the price really.” Diss watches as food comes to our table. “Thank you so much.”
“Anything, Master.” A deep bow before walking off.
“Master?” I question.
“As I pointed out before, we qualify as nobles. Any genie who is marked before they reach thirteen shows signs of having a genie in their ancestry. Demons are based on sleep requirement and number of slots.”
“Before thirteen?” I pause. It’s not like I didn’t know Forc had high consideration because he was marked before he finished puberty. Everyone knows he’s a high consideration. But to have that be the case because of genie ancestry? “But…”
“So… Does Forc have a long lost cousin? Great uncle? Who was his parents running from? How was he born into a family of pure demons? Alaenia, you’re missing key pieces. I don’t know them, but it would be beneficial to figure it out.” Diss asks while starting on his meal.
I take a bite thinking it over. The wish to find him didn’t give any answers. I can use a map to see his placement. I can feel as he feels if I focus. I know who has him currently and direction and speed of movement. But I don’t have any whys. And the why is probably more important than his placement. “Do you think he is a stolen child? Or an adoption gone wrong?”
“I don’t know.” Diss taps my plate. “That’s a conversation for later. You need to have a full belly to handle meditating on my issues while soaking.”
I nod. Once we finished with the meal, we return to our room. Diss does as I request this time. Once he is secure with the bath in my hands, he leaves me. I can undress without his notice. The door is unlocked though. He has the spell to unlock it, so I only have his word about not bothering me.
My first task is to clean up the dirt and grime I have acquired. It’s not much. His clean wish worked wonders. After I spend the time rubbing myself down with soap, I let my mind wander. Wandering is the first step. If my mind has any thoughts to focus on it could screw up the meditation.
Thoughts about Forc come forward. Diss’s words worry me. I didn’t put two and two together. Training boost the time a genie gets their necklace. I didn’t think ancestry had that much to do with it. Although… What am I missing? It feels like I’m missing everything.
That won’t help though. Getting bothered over Forc’s missing knowledge won’t help. I don’t have a wish active that will help. Meditating will help me get information on Diss not Forc.
I allow Diss to come to my forefront. His image settles in my head. Everything I have learned about him. Everything I have seen. The more open he is, the easier this should be. If only there was something to work with from his birth.
He knows he should be a noble. That helps. Noel and Jacob. Who were they? I let my mind settle on Noel. Specifically her. I recall the knowledge of a teenager dropping Diss off. “Not Noel.” I can feel that. The knowledge he was dropped off by someone else.
Who are you Noel? My mind slips into someone’s else’s view of a bathroom. Ornate fixtures. It’s beautiful. I reach down to find a baby bump.
“Noel, does it hurt?” A girl’s voice. I scan her wanting more details. Little hair cut short like a demon. But the covering is that of a normal servant of a noble house. Well kept to say consideration, but not high class.
“Not at all. Just…” Noel says, who I feel as if myself. “To think this happened. We weren’t careful.”
“I warned you.” This woman. She’s the one who dropped Diss off. She left without a word. No indication of anything. “I can eliminate a lot of the concerns, but not all of them. And you jumped him when I wasn’t even present.”
“I used the spells as you said.”
“And you aren’t as skilled with them.”
Noel huffs rubbing her stomach. “Now what? We cannot stay on vacation forever. Nor can we come back with a baby.”
“People are already guessing. You’ve never hid before.” The servant rubs a washcloth over my body. No over Noel’s body. I don’t have someone with me. “Not once in your life have I seen you wear so many layers.”
“People will just think I’m sick.”
“Shush you.” Noel comments harshly, but her aide only chuckles. “What am I to do with this?”
“If it is a daughter like me, then, I can take it in.”
“And if people realize who the bastard child is?”
“Daughters aren’t given the same consideration. Just hope for it to be a girl. It will be safe in your life as a girl.”
“A fifty fifty chance, then. If I have a daughter I’ll be safe. And if it’s a boy?”
“There is a concern with succession.” The girl says patting the enlarged stomach. “But you’re a girl, aren’t you? You can be the strongest demon in existence, but as a girl you wouldn’t worry anyone over succession.”
“I wouldn’t mind a son who isn’t qualified for the royal line. We can pretend it is no one’s child.” Noel nods. “But if it can cast…”
A loud knock shocks me out of the dream. I look to the door. “Diss?”
I can hear his shuffling as he comes to the door. He knocks softly. That means the knock was in the meditation. The wish had me learn a lot without learning a lot. I rush out of the water and wrap myself up in a towel. I am quick to reach his door just to see real life. “I… That was…” I grab his hand worried. He is a threat to a king. Someone’s line of succession should include him. There’s no way he doesn’t qualify.
“You are pale.” Diss brings me over to a chair. “Sit, relax. I’ll get your clothes.”
I shiver realizing what the wish said. “You may regret learning the truth.” I close my eyes as they hoped it would be a girl. Hoped they could take care of it. No, there was no way. Because Noel was caught with his child. Jacob is within the line of succession somewhere.
“Huh?” Diss comes over with my clothes. “Did you say something?”
My jaw tightens trying to come to a conclusion. How does anyone explain this? “The wish worked… The past is easy to see. It’s stationary.”
“Was it terrifying? War?” Diss taps my head with a handkerchief. “Should I get some food called for you?”
“Events are more likely to match the history. Noel was in the bath. The one who brought you to the orphanage wasn’t Noel, though. It was her servant. A demon. All demons.” I exhale. “How many kingdoms are run by demon kings?”
“Pretty much all of them.” Diss chuckles. “Don’t tease me with such a question after seeing my parents’s past.”
I stare at him as if he considers the past a joke. I stare until he shifts and looks away. “Noel and her servant were hoping for a girl because it wouldn’t ruin the line of succession. If it is male and passes the test…” I shiver again.
Diss helps me into my dress while growing pale himself. He isn’t lost or teasing over the fact I’m basically naked.
The wish is working.
It’s terrifying information I’m acquiring too.
“Uh… Do you have more information?”
I shake my head. “Noel was in an ornate bath on vacation. Her servant was the one giving your parents safety to play through demon magic.” I explain as best I can, but there was little more learned during such an dream. “I may request a collection of different king’s regalia.” I pause weighing what I know of Jacob. He couldn’t’ve been king back then. “Is it possible to get pictures of all the princes who were around our age just before you were born?”
“To see if one strikes a chord?” Diss nods. “Not right now, though. I can acquire such with some conversation and a few coins. We can aim for that after we reclaim Forc.”
I grip my chest feeling his warmth there. My need to chase him down. “Unless he dies first. I don’t think I can…”
“Even if a dead body is what we find, Alaenia, we must save your friend.”
I nod leaning forward to hang my head between my knees. “Forc is alive.”
“And safe. I haven’t felt any pain and the spell is still active.”
I exhale. Forc has to be safe. He’s following the requirements of his captors. That’s how he isn’t injured. And even if they try to injure him, Diss will take the damage. I can heal Diss before he dies. Let them think there is stronger magic floating around Forc. He has a genie for a friend. I’ll protect him completely. I have to.
Diss pulls his boots off and places them beside his bed. “Are you okay?”
I nod briefly.
“You didn’t fight me calling Forc a friend. Shouldn’t you?”
“He is a friend. I want us to be romantic and sexual. I desire it. But he fears those relationships until he turns twenty.”
“That curse leans on only a fool gets married after just meeting a person.” Diss relaxes on his bed.
I double check how my clothes fit. Because of the chaos of getting out of the tub, there was no hiding my body from him. I should know better than to dive deep like that. “I’m sorry for freaking out.”
“I don’t mind you freaking out naked. Do it as often as you like.” Diss grins.
I throw my towel at him and stalk to my room. I freaked out for him. And he only sees it as a reason to tease.
“See you in the morning, Alaenia.” Diss calls out as I slam my door closed.
The slam wasn’t necessary. Locking it is. The doors to my bathroom and his bedroom are locked. He can get in if absolutely necessary. Or maybe he can’t. Before he had a unlock spell ready. What spells will he have ready come morning? He wants to create the maps. He can. In a day, he’ll make complicated maps so I can always find Forc. He’ll have at least two. If that takes the bulk of his spell slots what else will he have? Will he be able to fight? Will he lean on the fact he has physical training?
While laying down, I focus on the feeling of Forc close to me. Diss will help me get there. He knows many of the genie tricks already. I am capable of anything if it is wished of me and the price is paid. “We’re still friends.” We’re still allies. I calm myself enough to sleep remembering the coins as they disappeared earlier. I should value the sleep. This bed offers a comfort I cannot normally get outside of home.