An Unsettling Finding

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An Unsettling Finding

Postby DarknessHuntress » March 17th, 2019, 11:59:31 pm

Night fell swiftly with the onset of a violent thunderstorm. Tucked away in the alleyway behind the shopping district, a lithe, black shape twisted deeper into the shadows. Behind where the form disappeared, a cream piece of torn parchment lay. Smudged writing filled the paper, but almost everything was illegible.
Fat rain drops began to pelt the earth, damaging the writing even further. After a particularly close lightning strike, yet another page could be seen nailed to the alley wall underneath one of the few eves that left part of the alley dry from the downpour.
A passerby turned into the alley, stooping to view the parchment before they tore it from the wall. Their shape was hidden by flowing robes, and a hood masked their facial features from others’ views as they quickly strode away from the shops. Whenever they passed another Magi scurrying to escape the rain, the form hunched its shoulders and moved faster towards the edge of town.
Cautiously, a few hours after the Magi left, a Raza cobra emerged from the depths of the alleyway with a note carried around its neck. Slithering stealthily to where the first note was previously pinned on the dry wall, the reptile used its tail to place another piece of parchment in the same place before sliding to the light post and winding up to the junction where the light was held. There, it waited patiently for a Magi to pass, indifferent to the rain.
After the midnight guards switched posts, a Magi came slipping past the alleyway, almost colliding with pole. He was gasping for breath, chest heaving as he glanced over his shoulder. The cobra looked down and flicked her tail through the bright flame of the light, making it flicker briefly. The Magi straightened and peered into the alley, but after several moments of silence except for the occasional drip of the remaining water droplets from the storm, he continued on his original path in a less hurried state.
However, he didn’t get far before he turned around and returned to study the alleyway only to be blinded as a bright strobe light flashed near the parchment on the wall. The man jumped and cautiously approached the note. His lips moved silently as he read the note to himself, pausing to gasp as smoke began to rise from the paper and it burst into flames. Once the parchment was consumed, a charred shape remained on the wall as a reminder that the note had indeed existed.
Spinning on his heels, the Magi darted out and away from the alleyway- disappearing into the darkness of nightfall. As he left, the snake slithered down and into a crevice between the wall and the ground.

---

Several nights later, the Magi from the alleyway held a small gathering with a few of his close friends, “We have collected several clues from outside the prison. Alethin believes it was an inside job- from one of his potion suppliers. Apparently the love potions were tagged by Officals before he bought them, and someone gave up his location.”
“We know that… and we know that we have several human suspects. But how do we know which is the true culprit?” One of his friends spoke up, “Adela can’t write who did it, and she definitely cannot speak, even if she could.”
“I’ve found proof of who it was. Wherever the notes were found- a black shape was seen, or a black scale. According to the authorities’, a black Raza cobra was also with the informant when he told them about the potions and the location of the cart.”
Soft gasps filled the shocked silence. “So… you’re telling us that Alethin set himself up?”
“Yeah. He wanted a break from the swarms of Magi he was getting every month, and it’s a good reason for him to drive up the prices. Besides, who doesn't like an inside job when it gets you closer to the harder to get, already confiscated items that you can't find elsewhere."

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DarknessHuntress
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