Noir City 8

Nin gazed at the gloomy city outside his apartment window. It had been 8 weeks since he’d last seen Yewna. She wasn’t even able to give him a goodbye, but instead only managed a passing smile. The 58th King dropped of his daughter at Crowning College standing very firmly between the pair. He then gave Nin a bus pass to an engineering firm that dealt with research and development of various anomalies. The great king entered his flag ship and with the rest of the fleet returned to that far off floating kingdom of Ronalee.

And with that, Ninombir was off on an adventure of his own.

Thoughts of Yewna accompanied every moment of every day. Only in his work was he able to satiate the longings. Coming home brought it all back. 

But, why did he feel so strongly? They had only had one conversation. 8 weeks was a long time though. Eventually the sickness of unrequited love began to fade. She was becoming like that of a passing dream, lovely and unreachable. He was even beginning to say goodbye to the dream, the connection so deeply felt must have been in his imagination. He’d had a good talk with a lovely girl. He’d saved her life even, and now he was thriving in his new work. 

There had been legends of a way to travel beyond this world. Some said it came through the magic of living books. Books that would trap you in its pages for all of eternity. Others claimed ancient gateways could be constructed, called lurks. These magnificent things could take you to a realm made of light and shadow, dreams and nightmares.

Ninombir worked for a very respectable scientist, Professor Grumbold. Together they were trying to recreate the lurk and they were nearly there. 

Ninombir thought of this while sipping his covfefe. The bright moon struck at his heart between the clouds. It was a perfect crescent, just like the Crescentium family that Yewna was a part of. 

“No.” He said to himself, “She is closed to me and It’s time to move on.”

A steady knocking of the door caught him off guard. He opened it and was bombarded by a flurry of hands and wiry hair which pushed past him. 

“I know what you’re going to say!” The owner of the intruder lamented, sounding oddly like his boss.

“Professor Grumbold?”

The professor brushed Nin away, “But I had to come tell you in person as soon as I was able.”

“Tell me what?”

The employer was all smiles, “That we have funding my good man; funding for the next 50 years if we produce the proper results!”

Nin opened his mouth to say something, anything. The short professor nearly stuffed it with the two invitations. “All we need to do is demonstrate its potential!”

Ninombir grabbed his invitation, off-white textured card, words scribbled in scarlet ink, and all written in the old language. Only the strongest and most ancient of families wrote in this language, that and maybe a king or two. 

Professor Grumbold sat in Nin’s high back chair. “Okay then,” He said in a teacher’s tone. “Read it all back to me.”

Nin took his time and read, “Taking knowledge of the food.”

Professor shook his head, “You are invited to a grand dinner!”

Nin nodded and continued, “Show us the meaning of wonder, winsome, nothingness, everythingness?”

“Warp! Show us a way to the warp!”

Nin nodded and continued, “And many of your coffers will be lamenting no more.”

“Gold my good man! They’re giving us pots and pots of gold! Now look at the date.”

Nin did, “5 weeks should be plenty of time to…”

“Weeks? Look again please.”

“Hours, seconds, moments?”

“Days, you thief of joy! It says five days!”

Ninombir gave his employer a wry grin and allowed the man to push him out the door.

“No rest for the wise and wicked my man! Let’s show these rich fools a lurk or two.”

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