Krysemna, a place yet to be written...
Seen January 22nd, 2019
Posted November 25th, 2017
729 posts
8.7 Years
Swords and Books - The Usual
Janek Tibor Kovac

“‘Tis the Onion Sword of legend, honest,” the twig of a hume asserted, beaming as Janek held the sword up. Looking along the edge of the yellow blade, he doubted the storekeeper’s claim. It looked too clean and unused, almost like a sword fresh out of the forge. “I bought it meself from a respectable trader outta Dorter, an’ he assured me of it’s authenticity.”

Slightly interested now, Janek glanced at Harish and asked, “How much did you pay him for this, then?”

“It can be yers fer five-thousan’ gil.” The storekeeper was a little quick to answer that question.

“Hm…” Janek weighed the sword in his hands, then swung it a couple times, taking care to avoid the other displays of equipment in the shop. “How about this? I can pay you that, but first…” As he spoke, the Jack Knight pulled a pouch out of his satchel and set it on the counter; it jingled with the movement, causing Harish’s grin to grow wider. He then pulled another pouch out, this one substantially larger, and set it next to the first pouch.

“One thousand, or five thousand,” Janek explained, his eyes leveled at Harish, whose grin began to falter. “It depends on the sword’s authenticity.” Then he lay the Onion Sword on the counter and drew his own talwar. Despite the protest leaving Harish’s lips, Janek slowly dragged the talwar’s edge along the other sword’s blade, shaving off a thin layer of gilt. Beneath it shone bright steel.

Avoiding Janek’s stare, Harish mumbled, “Mm, I musta gotten tha’ confused wit another sword…”

“One thousand gil.” He dropped the larger pouch back in his satchel, then sheathed his talwar and grabbed the gilted sword with its scabbard. “For the sword and your trouble. Good day, Harish.” Leaving the shop behind, Janek shrugged to himself. Just sunk half of what I earned yesterday. Oh well, better than someone else being fooled.

...Where was I going? Oh, yeah. He had been distracted by the fake ‘Onion Sword’ display while walking to Rolf’s Reads. The bell jingled as Janek pushed the bookstore’s door open, drawing the attention of a scholarly nu mou. “Good day, Kovac,” he greeted with a nod, setting a book down. “Day off, I take it?”

“Yes, sir, Niketas,” Janek answered, smiling back. “It’s been a while, but I’m back to see what new books are here.”

Niketas nodded again. “Take your time, then. We have had a number of books come and go through here.” As Janek passed by, the bookkeeper drummed his fingers and blinked a few times. “What was it… I may have something for you, young man, but I need to find it again…” He shuffled off through the bookcases, leaving Janek to his usual perusing.

That was how his conversations with the nu mou often went, so Janek made a beeline for the collection of books on magic theory. Soon a nearby table was littered with books and his own journal and pen as Janek looked through book after book, looking for something he hadn’t learned already. Or tried to learn, rather.

He was busy scratching another note in his journal when Niketas came around a bookshelf and shook his head. “You’re still trying to reach beyond your bounds, Kovac?”

“Hm?” Janek looked up mid-thought. “Oh. If you want to call it that, yes. I’m just trying to learn what the theorists are talking about. Some of it is still gobbledegook to me.”

“If you say so.” Niketas lay a pair of books in front of Janek before easing himself onto the bench with a grunt. “I daresay these may be related to what you described before.”

With a curious glance at the nu mou, Janek pulled one book toward him, checking the black leather cover and inside of it. “No title...this is an old script, Niketas. Where did this book come from?”

“An old friend who trades here often… I forget her name…” Niketas began drumming his fingers again, lost in thought. Janek waited for more, but it was apparent that Nik wouldn’t say anything until he remembered the name or moved on. So he picked up the second book; this also had no title, but it was bound in blue cloth and wood, and the first couple pages were in modern Ivalician script. “I shall have to ask her again,” Niketas said, returning his gaze to Janek. “I do not remember where she picked up these two books, but the contents are sure to interest you.”

“I’ll take your word on it. I didn’t realize how late it was getting,” Janek added, glancing at a grandfather clock against the wall. The sun must be setting by now. “I’ll put these other books away, sir.”

The bookkeeper waved his hand dismissively. “Don’t bother, young man, that is my job. And those two books are yours, now.”

“No, sir, not after the effort you made--”

“Consider them a gift, then,” Niketas interrupted. “I have already told Rolf, after he looked at them.”

Janek was speechless for a moment. From what he had heard about Rolf, the owner of this bookstore, he hardly ever let any books go without a price. “Uh, thank you, Niketas.” He put his new books inside his satchel and waved at the nu mou. “Have a good evening.”

“And you as well, Kovac.” Niketas pushed himself up and began recollecting the scattered books as Janek left. Just what might these two books contain?

Outside the door to Rolf’s Reads, Janek stopped. A green chocobo stood in front of him, ridden by a moogle dressed in the attire of Kingmarch messengers. “Sir Janek Kovac, kupo?” the cavalier asked. “General Lorr Klauser has summoned the demon knights to the White Wing war room, pronto, kupo!”

“All seven of us?”

“Yes, kupo, so don’t dawdle!” Glancing at the second sword on Janek’s waist, the moogle asked in a more casual tone, “What did you find, kupo?”