Revis Saves the Kingdom…. From Matticus

Matticus couldn’t believe his luck. There were signs up all around the castle saying that there were free tacos. And it wasn’t even Tuesday!!!

He had just passed his fifth sign with an arrow pointing him in the direction of the free tacos. The further along he went, the more he started getting a bad feeling about this. Something about it didn’t feel right. The next sign was pointing him towards the dungeon. Something was definitely not right here.

But, he wasn’t about to give up. Not when there could be free tacos at stake.

Right after the last sign, the tacos came into view. He rushed forward to grab them. That’s when he noticed that he’d just ran into a cell. The door slammed shut behind him. His hand reached out for the tacos and, as soon as he touched them, he knew he’d been tricked. He turned around to a faceful of bars and his First Knight, Revis, standing on the outside of the cell.

“Those tacos aren’t real,” Matticus protested. “They’re papier-mache!”

“That’s the part you’re mad at?” Revis answered. “Not the part where I locked you in a cell?”

“You don’t tease someone with tacos! That’s not right!”

“If you want to get technical, those signs were entirely accurate. No matter what they’re made of, they’re still tacos, and they’re yours to keep. So, I didn’t lie to you.”

“I suppose that’s true. Ok, fine you win. You tricked me into a cell. Ha ha. You’ve had your fun, now let me out.”

“I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because you’ve done the people of the Kingdom wrong, and as the First Knight, it is my duty to protect the people of the Kingdom from everyone who would do them harm. Even you.”

“What are you talking about? What have I done to the people of the Kingdom?”

“You put in an automated system to handle the Kingdom’s information hotline instead of having real, live people handle the calls.”

Matticus laughed. “Would you expect anything less from the Jester?!”

“How can you defend this action? It is a horrible, vile thing that puts you on par with some of the world’s most evil villains. I may not be the best person out there, but I would never inflict an automated phone system on anyone. You should be ashamed of yourself…”

“Simple answer: I am an evil person.”

“And this is why I must overthrow you. To save the Kingdom from your evil tyranny.”

“Good luck.”

“What do you mean, ‘Good luck’? I’ve already captured you. You’re already in jail.”

“That is…. a fair point. So, now what?”

“Now, Jester, you are to be punished in a manner that will make evildoers think twice before they commit any misdeeds in the Kingdom again.”

“You don’t mean…”

“Yes. You will be forced to watch the kindergarteners of the Kingdom sing the song ‘Baby Shark’ 55,378,008 times in a row.”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“After that, you will be released and, if you commit another crime, you will be forced to watch the animated version of Dragons of Autumn Twilight for two straight weeks.”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

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Revis and Matticus Save the Kingdom Chapter 27

They ran through the forest for nearly an hour before finally stopping for a break. Matticus slumped against a tree, trying to catch his breath. Revis knelt down, his gaze on the ground. Suddenly, the Knight cried out and began punching the forest floor.

Matticus looked at Revis in confusion. “Did the vampires figure out a way to make the ground sparkly?”

After shooting the Jester a look that said that the sarcasm was not appreciated, Revis responded, “I hate having to leave them like that.”

“Then why did we? We could’ve stayed and helped them fight those bastards off.”

“Steph was right. We needed to go. What would happen to the Kingdom if one, or both, of us died while trying to protect those people? ”

Matticus gave a slight nod, conceding the point. Although, he hated it as much as his Knight did. “What now,” he asked.

“It’ll take much too long to walk to Long Beach,” Revis sighed, digging around in his pack.

After a few seconds, he pulled out a jar of black ink. Looking around, he found the largest tree he could see. He took a paintbrush out and dipped it into the ink. Revis quickly used the brush to draw an outline of a door, knob included. The Knight reached to grab the doorknob.

Matticus was about to tell his Knight how crazy he was acting, but to his surprise, Revis was able to grab the knob and turn it. The door swung open revealing the swirling colors of the roads of magic where there should have only been the inner rings of the tree.

“Another leap of faith,” Matticus muttered as he let his face go slack jawed in surprise, mimicking the expression he knew his Knight wanted to see.  Shaking his head in disbelief he let his gaze slide from the tree to the jar of ink to Revis’ bag and back to the tree.

“What?”  Revis asked.

“Another portal?  Matticus replied smoothly.  “Where does it go?”

“Wherever we need it to.”

The Jester peered around the Knight to gaze into the maelstrom of colors, trying to decipher where it’s exit might be but only getting dizzy in the process.  He looked away before the compulsion to fall over grew too strong to fight and focused on his Knight’s last words to bring himself back into the present.

“Wherever we need it to.  Wherever we need it to…  Wait a minute!”  Matticus grabbed the jar of ink from Revis’ hands.  Fuming, he asked, “You’ve had this all along?  Why didn’t we use this to get to Bruges in the first place?  How many miles did we walk that we didn’t have to?”

“I haven’t had this the whole time. I picked it up when we were world hopping. Wakko gave it to me when we went to the Animaniacs universe.”

“I don’t remember going to the Animaniacs universe…”

“Well, we couldn’t fit them all into the story, so a few of the universes got left out.”

“Yeah, but if you got this new thing from it, that means it’s an important plot point. Shouldn’t we have included it?”

“If I wanted logic, I wouldn’t be talking to a jester,” Revis sighed. “Besides, it’s too late. That part of the story is already published. We can’t add it now.”

Before Matticus could respond, Revis shoved him through the portal. As the bright light from the doorway assaulted his vision, the Jester vowed to stop letting Revis shove him through portals. It was getting a little old.

When he exited out the other side, he found himself staring face-to-face with two dragons. Normally, that situation would’ve scared him to death, but, since he recognized them as Rara and Grayson, he cried out in joy. He knew that meant his family was near.

“See, I told you they were still alive,” Rara said, throwing her husband a look of triumph and smiling happily.

Matticus thought she looked like she was about to go skipping along, which was a sight he wasn’t sure he wanted to see.  While he was sure it would be awe-inspiring, it also seemed terrifying.

“Okay, you won the bet, I’ll settle up later,” Grayson grumbled.

Matticus’ expression of joy lost a touch of its luster as confusion settled in, “Wait, what?”

Before either dragon could answer, Revis popped through the portal, nearly tumbling into the Jester, and if not for Grayson’s quick reflexes to use his tail to steady them, both Jester and Knight would have gone tumbling down in a heap.  The men found their balance and the dragon withdrew his tail allowing them to stand on their own again.

Matticus glared at his knight, for nearly knocking him over and pushing him through the portal, but his mood would not be deterred, so he looked back up to Rara, “It is good to see you but I’m sure you know who I’d really like to see right now.”

“Of course, Matticus,” she replied, “shortly, but first you need to meet with Deb and Dani, so we can coordinate our overthrow of the sparkly vampires.”

The two men started following Rara as she led them to Deb and Dani. Revis was a little skeptical about their ability to help. He was the First Knight of the Kingdom, and he had never heard of them before. Matticus seemed to know them, however, so he decided to go along with it for now.

As they walked, Matticus kept peppering Rara with questions about what had happened while they had been away. She told him repeatedly that she would go over everything once their meeting had started, but he kept asking more questions anyways. Revis began wondering if Rara had infinite patience. If he was in her position, he would’ve, at the very least, threatened Matticus until he stopped asking questions.

Suddenly, Revis stopped. Matticus quit asking questions to Rara long enough to ask one to Revis. “What is it?”

“I’m about to get attacked,” he replied.

Before Matticus could ask him to clarify, something materialized out of thin air to jump at Revis. The Knight caught it in his arms and brought it close to him. That’s when Matticus realized it was Revis’ daughter. He marveled at how the little girl, who was not yet even two years old, was able to sneak up on them like that.

“How did she do that,” he wondered out loud.

“Like father, like daughter,” Rara answered with a smile. “Come. He will know everything we say whether he is with us or not.”

The Jester and two dragons continued into Long Beach where they wound their way through alleys and shadows to stay out of sight as much as possible until finally arriving at a business the Jester was unfamiliar with.  The signage proclaimed it to be a house of yards and he couldn’t come up with any conveyances where that name would make sense and so found himself longing for a beer to soothe his aching head.

Once inside he saw that the building had been abandoned and enough of the furniture had been removed to make space for Rara and Grayson to fit comfortably.  Deb and Dani rose from where they had been seated and quietly conversing.   They quickly dispatched with their pleasantries and began discussing how best to overthrow the sparkly vampires.

Hours passed quickly and as the day turned over to begin anew, they finally came to an agreement on how to proceed.  Deb and Dani slipped away to whisper into the ears of their expanded networks.  The dragons flew off on their assigned tasks, and Matticus went to spend as much time with The Queen and Little Prince as he could before the signal would tear him away from them again.

Revis and Matticus Save the Kingdom, Chapter 23

“Calm down,” Miss Four Eyes cried, pulling her arm away. “They escaped before the sparkly vampires could get to them. Everyone was talking about it. Two dragons showed up just as the vampires got to the castle. One of the dragons flew them to safety while the other held the sparkly bastards at bay. I don’t know where they went, though.”

Turning to his Knight, Matticus demanded, “Do you know where they took them?”

“Of course,” Revis answered.

“Take me to them at once!”

“They’re with Rara and Grayson, Matticus. They couldn’t be safer.”

“You don’t know that! I command you to take me to them this instant!”

Revis sighed and shook his head. “I know you’re worried about them. Trust me on this, my friend: Those two dragons would never let anything happen to them. Our families are a lot safer right now than we are.” When Matticus didn’t answer, and simply gave him the evil eye, Revis continued. “Besides, why don’t you just use your locket to talk to them?”

“My locket,” Matticus asked, confused.

Pulling the locket out from underneath his armor, Matticus opened it up. On one side, a picture of the Queen was carved. The other side contained a picture of the Prince. He ran his fingers over their images, missing them intensly in that moment, and spoke their names. Suddenly, an image sprang up from the locket. It was the Queen, holding the Prince in her arms.

“Matticus,” she exclaimed, seeing the same image of him that he was seeing of her.

“Are you okay?”  The Jester questioned, his knees giving out as he communicated with his wife.

While Matticus caught up with the Queen, Miss Four Eyes turned to Revis, “Don’t you have a wife and child too?  Aren’t you worried about them?”

“If Rara and Grayson managed to get Mattticus’ family to safety, I’m sure they saved mine as well.  Besides, I’ve been checking up on them with my own locket throughout our whole quest.  I’m not sure why he didn’t know about his…”  Revis let a wry smile slip as he glanced over towards the Jester.

Miss Four Eyes was going to ask what the smile was for, but Matticus had wrapped up his coversation and was ready to continue on, secure in the knowledge that his wife and infant were truly safe.  “The Queen told me about a gathering of people who want to overthrow the new vampire empire that is going to happen in some place called Long Beach.  We only have a couple days.”

“Okay,” Revis said, “let’s get over to Bruges and then head out from there.”

Matticus joined his knight in the small sailing vessel and the two got it prepared to embark.

“Do you want us to drop you off somewhere,” Matticus asked Miss Four Eyes, but, when he turned back to her, she was gone. Her head could be seen bobbing over nearby shrubs as she merrily skipped down the beach. “What a strange woman.”

The two men pushed the boat out into the water and embarked on their journey. Neither of them were very adept sailors, so it took them a while to get comfortable using the tiny ship. The return trip to Bruges seemed to take twice as long as the trip away from there. Matticus figured it was because he didn’t want to go to Bruges, but was very glad when they were able to leave.

As the city came into view, Revis sighed. “I hate this place.”

“I know.”

“Bruges is a shithole.”

“Bruges is not a …… Yeah, I know.”

They docked their new boat in the exact same spot the boat they had left in had been. Before they had made it too far, they heard someone harshly whisper Matticus’ name. Looking to the source, they saw Steph standing in a nearby alley.

The Knight and Jester ducked into the shadows when she motioned them over, “You can’t be here.”  Her eyes darted back and forth between Revis and Matticus, and she nervously glanced beyond them and over her shoulders.  “It isn’t safe for you.”

“Why not?”  Revis asked, his hands dropping to his sheathed daggers.  Catching Steph’s nervousness, he too began to scan around for any sign of trouble.

“Bruges is overrun with the sparkly pests, and despite their proclamations that the two of you are dead they’ve been secretly passing around flyers with your pictures on them that have instructions to kill you on sight.”

“I hope it’s a good picture,” Matticus joked.

Steph and Revis glared at him, and the Jester shrugged in response.

Revis turned back to Steph, “Bruges was already crawling with the vampires the last time we were here and we made it through okay…”

“You don’t understand, nearly the entire populace has been changed in the last two months,” Steph interrupted.

“What?” Jester and Knight asked in unison, their voices carrying in the otherwise quiet alley.

Steph put a finger to her lips to remind them to be quiet, “Come on, I’ll show you a secret way out of the city.”

As she led them through a series of alleys and empty buildings, Matticus whispered, “If they’ve turned almost everyone, why are you still here?”

“They still think I’m on their side, so they’ve left me alone. I’ve been trying to sneak out anyone they haven’t already turned. So far, I’ve only gotten about twenty outside the city, but it’s better than nothing.”

Just as Matticus was about to ask another question, his foot grazed a board leaning up against the wall. The piece of wood fell to the floor of the abandoned building with a loud thud. Steph glared at him while Revis lightly smacked him on the back of the head. “Be more careful,” the Knight quietly commanded.

Steph grabbed the Jester’s arm and began pulling him along, but the damage was already done. A group of five sparkly vampires came into the doorway behind them. “It’s them,” the closest one yelled. After pausing to take in the scene before him, he continued, “And Steph is in on it with them!”

Revis pulled something out of his pouch and threw it at the vampire’s feet. It exploded in a cloud of smoke. The Knight grabbed one of his companions with each of his hands and pulled them out of the vampire’s sight. “Looks like you’re coming with us now,” he told Steph.

“I wasn’t overly fond of this place, anyway, but…,” Steph said as she broke free of Revis’ grasp and skidded to a halt.

Revis stopped running as he felt Steph break free and Matticus bowled into him with a curse and further shushing from both his Knight and their guide.

“But what?” Revis asked as he disentangled himself from Matticus.  “We obviously don’t have a lot of time.”

The sounds of shouted alarms and a gathering storm of feet drove home that very point.

“But,” Steph replied with a roll of her eyes, “you’re going the wrong way.  Perhaps I could take the lead again?”

The Knight made an overly dramatic bowing gesture as way of an apology and then swept his hands forward to usher her back into the lead.  Steph made a curtsy.  Matticus laughed.  And as they were about to embark again, Matticus’s laughter came echoing back to them, distorted and menacing by a wave of encircling vampires.

“Why do I get the feeling,” Matticus said, an edge to his voice as he drew his magic sword from its scabbard, “that you are going to find a way to blame this on me…”

Revis and Matticus save the Kingdom, Chapter 15

For the first few seconds after he went through the portal, all Revis was able to see was a bright light. When he was finally able to see something else, he found himself looking at the angry face of Matticus. “Why did you do that,” the Jester demanded. “And what took you so long in following?”

“What are you talking about,” Revis asked innocently. “I stepped through the portal right after you.”

Matticus didn’t believe that for a second, but he was so grateful that he was no longer alone that he let it go….for now.

Revis turned his attention away from his companion and began surveying their surroundings.  The walls of the small room were made of dry mud. A white door, made out of some material that he had never seen before, was the only other thing in the room. Not knowing what else to do, Revis went to inspect the door. He was wondering how he was going to open it, as it had no handle on it, when it opened by itself.

The Knight took his daggers out and looked for whoever had just opened the door. When no threat made itself apparent, Revis took a cautious step back, thinking that they were dealing with someone else who could turn invisible. As he stepped back, the door closed. An idea struck him. He stepped forward again and watched as the door opened back up.

“Is that some sort of trick?”  Matticus asked as he took a step closer to the door.  “Have you pulled something else out from your bag of wonders?”

“No, the door is opening and closing on it’s own,” Revis replied, scratching his cheek in thought.  “It must have some magical charm on it.”

Matticus looked askance at his Knight and then the door.  He didn’t like the idea of trusting sorcery in a world he wasn’t familiar with, especially when whoever probably controlled that magic was also responsible for sending the sparkly vampires into his kingdom.  “Well, we’re here, some of us for longer than others, now what do we do?”

“Come on,” Revis said as he sheathed his daggers and stepped towards the doorway to have the opening appear again, “let’s see what’s on the other side.”

With that, the Knight stepped out of the small room.  Matticus cringed as Revis crossed the threshold, fully expecting there to be a trap or for the door to close again on his companion.  When nothing happened, he quickly followed Revis through the door, with a little skip over the threshold just in case there was a trigger his Knight had been somehow lucky enough to miss the first time through.

The room they stepped into was constructed in the same manner as the one they just left. It was just bigger and had furniture, including a bed, table, and storage chest. Revis wanted to open the chest to see what was inside, but it was locked. Normally, that wouldn’t have stopped him, but this lock was unlike anything he had ever seen. Strange glowing symbols covered the lock plate. He reached out to touch one of the symbols.

“Are you crazy,” Matticus scolded. “You don’t know what will happen if you touch that.”

“That’s why I’m going to touch it: to see what will happen when I do.”

“This is a wizard’s domain. Those symbols could mean a magical trap.”

Revis was about to argue further when they heard something coming from the outside of the other door in the room. He pointed at the door they had just come from. As quickly, and quietly, as they could, they walked back through the door. Just as the door closed, they heard the other one open. A loud crash soon followed it. That’s when they heard a man yelling.

“What an idiot,” the man hollered. “Those were the droids we were looking for, you moron!”

“What’s a droid,” Matticus whispered.

His Knight ignored him and went back to listening to what was happening in the other room. He couldn’t be sure, but it sounded like the man was talking to himself.

“What’s a nerfherder?”  Matticus whispered again.

The man in the other room was ranting so loudly about something idiotic his Captain had done that there wasn’t any concern that the Jester’s whispered questions would be overheard, but Revis silenced Matticus with a glare anyway.  The jester shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes.  He knew that Revis had no idea what was going on or what their next should be either.

Though, if the man yelling in the other room was the person they were looking for, and was a magician of sorts as well, Matticus was loathe to confront him until he had settled down.  Magicians, he had learned, were volatile at the best of times, and irate ones were best to be avoided at all costs.

The Jester was, therefore, mortified as he saw Revis step towards the magic door again as the noise from the other room begin to dwindle down.  He reached out for his Knight, trying to grab hold of the man’s armor and halt his progress, but Revis eluded his grasp.

The door swept open, and the man from the other side said, “What?  Who’s there?  Show yourself or I’ll blast you!”

The threat of being blasted confirmed that the man was indeed a magician and as Revis stepped through the door, Matticus followed knowing that they were about to enter a foray they had little hope of winning.

With his hands up, trying to be as nonthreatening as possible, Revis stepped into view of the other man. It was indeed the man with shiny bone armor. In his hands, he held the most peculiar looking magic wand that Revis had ever seen. Suddenly, red fire shot out of the end of it. The fire went a foot wide of the Knight’s head and left a scorch mark on the wall behind him.

With a voice that sounded surprisingly different than the one he was using before, the man swore, “Dammit!” He began ripping his helmet off as he muttered, “The targeting system in this thing blows. No wonder my squadmates can’t hit anything.”

By the time he had finished removing the helmet, Revis had closed the distance between them and was holding his daggers at the man’s throat. “I could kill you with a twitch,” Revis threatened.

“Try it,” the man responded, showing that he had the wand held at the Knight’s stomach.

Matticus watched it all unfold as his eyes went from the smoking smudge on the wall to the wand held against his knight.  He wasn’t sure what a targeting system was, or what that had to do with the magician’s ability to perform his magic, but he knew that Revis had little hope of surviving a magical blast from that range.

At least they were at a standoff, if Revis moved the man in the bone white armor would surely unleash a devastating spell, and if the magician moved then Revis would quickly dispatch him.  That meant that Matticus was free to tip the balance back into their favor.  He just had no idea how to do it.

He considered pulling his flaming sword and using it as a distraction to draw the sorcerer’s attention and hope that Revis could break away from the wand, but the weapon was too close.  He couldn’t risk it.  He considered trying to talk the men out of their current situation but didn’t have the best track record with that sort of thing.  The seconds seemed to stretch for hours and the Jester’s mind raced from idea to idea.

“This is stupid,” he muttered as he launched himself at the pair.

“What?”  The magician caught sight of the mid-air Jester and his hand jerked slightly away from Revis to brace himself against the impact.

At the same moment, Revis activated his magic ring and turned invisible.

The blaster fired, filling the air with a surge of electric power.

Revis and Matticus Save the Kingdom, Chapter 13

The horde of vampires, hearing Jaded’s voice halted their pursuit at the broken door.  Revis and Matticus were caught between them at one end of the hall and Jaded at the other.  The early morning sun set them to sparkling and, despite their brooding nature, they managed to smile at the thought of capturing the Jester.

Revis considered going invisible, but he knew the vampires were gathered too thickly to sneak past them back the way they had come, and he sensed that Jaded might be able to see through his trickery if he tried to slink past her and head deaper into the compound.  Besides, he was too far from Matticus to grab him and turn him invisible as well.

Then again, he knew they wanted Matticus alive, so if he could sneak out, perhaps he’d be able to rescue the Jester later.  He wasn’t sure that was a risk worth taking and time was quickly running out.

The vampires slowly picked their way through the remains of the broken door, and Revis half turned to keep and eye on them.  On the other side, Jaded began to move forward as well.

“Now would be a good time for one of your brilliant ideas,” Matticus nervously stated, his eyes never wavering from the advancing Jaded.

“Maybe you should have a brilliant idea every once in a while too, your Jesterness,” Revis laughed bitterly as he pulled something out of his gauntlet.

It was a whistle.

Matticus tried not to let the surprise, and some hopelessness, show on his face. What good would a whistle do? “Yeah,” the Jester spouted sarcastically when Revis blew into the whistle. “You showed them with that one. See how they’re all running in terror from the mighty whistle?”

All his Knight did was smile as he backed the vampires up a little with his sword. Suddenly, from the back of the hallway, a scream erupted. Then another…and another. Soon, all of the vampires were screaming. Even the ones closest to them screamed, dropped their weapons, and ran away. A second after the last one left, a dragon chased after them through the hallways, its fangs gleaming dangerously in the torch light.

“Thanks Grayson,” Revis called as the dragon passed. In response to Matticus’ quizzical look, the Knight said, “Rara’s husband. We can’t leave him out of this. That would just be rude.”

Jaded’s expression quickly changed from confident to fear as she lost all of her support. She turned to run. Revis took his sword and threw it like a javelin. The blade sank deep into the back of the vampire’s knee, causing her to fall forward onto her face. Drawing his daggers, Revis walked up beside Jaded. He flipped her over and put the point of both of his daggers underneath her chin.

Matticus watched the scene unfold, and wanted to yell at his knight to make sure he didn’t kill Jaded, they needed her alive, but his mind was stuck on what Revis had just said, “Leave him out of what?  Our quest?  The fun of killing sparkly vampires?  And how long have you had that whistle?  And why didn’t I know about it?  And what other tricks do you have in your bag, Revis?”

Saying his knight’s name snapped him back to reality and he finally manged to get out his command, “Don’t kill her, Revis!  We need to know who she is working for.”

The daggers trembled, but Revis kept from doing any serious damage, “Who DO you work for, Jaded?  Don’t think about lying, I’ll know if you aren’t telling the truth.”

Matticus watched the fire in her eyes flare as she snarled in response.  Her fanged mouth lashed out but Revis’ daggers kept her at bay.  She looked ready to lunge anyway and force the knight to stop her but a loud crash broke her determination and all three turned to watch as Grayson ripped through the wall and threw the lifeless bodies of two vampires into the hallway.

His tail scraped the far wall as he spun and disappeared into the maze of rooms and halls.  The click clicking of his talons were easily discernible among the screams echoing through the building.

Matticus looked back in time to see Revis’ hand shoot out, striking Jaded in the temple with the hilt of his dagger. A slightly dazed look crossed her features. “No more games,” the Knight shouted. “You’ve led us on a long chase, tried to kill me, and threatened to use my friend to hurt his family. You’ll tell me what I want to know, or I’ll do something I promise that you won’t like.”

“You’re going to sing?”

Matticus barely managed to keep from laughing at Jaded’s shot against Revis. Calmly, with a smile that was starting to scare the Jester a little, Revis put one of his daggers away and took the sword out of Matticus’ hand. “Don’t say I never warned you,” he said as he laid the blade across the exposed flesh on the back of her hand.

Since he had previously threatened to do this to Len, Matticus knew what Revis was about to do. He turned his head just as the sword erupted into flame. Matticus grimaced as he realized that he needed to breathe in through his mouth to avoid the smell of burnt flesh.

“That’s just one spot on the back of your hand. I’ve got the whole rest of your body to go,” Revis warned. “Now, I’ll ask you again. Who do you work for?”

“I don’t work for anyone,” Jaded replied. When she saw the look on Revis’ face she moved quickly to make sure he didn’t burn her again. “Wait! I’m telling the truth. I don’t work for anyone. There is someone who gives me all my minions, but he doesn’t give me any orders.”

Revis and Matticus exchanged frowns.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Matticus stated flatly.  “What are you doing out here then?  Looking for something?  Who told you to start looking for it?”

Jaded grimaced before answering, “I’ll tell you everything you need to know… everything I know, but if you don’t do something to help me first I’m…”

Her words trailed off and Revis and Matticus looked from her burned hand to the sword still protruding from her leg.

“Quick, pull the blade out, and I’ll give her some healing potion,” Revis instructed with a quick gesture towards the sword before he dove into his bag looking for the bottle that could set Jaded right.

Matticus pulled the metal free from the flesh as smoothly and gently as he could, and then Revis tipped some of the liquid onto the wounds.  They watched as the burn disappeared and the gashed leg mended itself.

“You really will have to tell me where you got all this great stuff.”

“I know, but now isn’t the time.”

“I know.”

The wounds healed, and Jaded’s eyes fluttered for a few seconds before she fell into a deep sleep.

“Should we wake her?”

Before Revis had a chance to answer, Jaded, eyes still closed in sleep, screamed. Her body began to convulse. Matticus knelt down next to her and held her shoulders down, trying his best to keep her still. “Do something,” Matticus commanded. “We still need to get answers from her.”

“I only know how to bandage battlefield wounds,” Revis protested. “Actual sicknesses are beyond me.”

Not knowing what else to do, Revis poured what little remained of his healing potion into Jaded’s mouth. Her body continued to spasm for a few more moments before finally calming. Both men breathed a sigh of relief. Then, her body began shaking again. Matticus and Revis backed away as Jaded started rising off of the ground.

They watched in amazement as the light that surrounded her began to fade. Her twinkling began to diminish, as well. Jaded’s body slowly lowered to the ground and stopped having convulsions. The Knight and the Jester looked at each other, neither believing what they just saw. Revis’ potion not only healed her, it also had an unintended side effect.

Jaded was no longer a sparkly vampire. The potion had made her human.