Prelude to a Daring Rescue pt2

As Reise stepped into the long hallway packed with varyingly styled doors, he began to dig in his pocket. Taking out another key. One that looked far older than the one used to open this place. Before he started to walk away he marked the door they came through just in case.

Surprisingly they walked for a long while before Reise stopped at a door far different than the others. Even Severos could feel it. All the doors here looked different, their only matching factor was the trim where the door met the wall. This door however was trimmed in old wood. “Watch yourself, and mind your manners.” he said, unlocking the door. As Reise pushed the door inward it brushed an old brass bell, causing a ‘ding-ding’ announcing their presence. The room they stepped into was large, and full of standing shelves that ran from the door to the rear of what now Severos could clearly tell was a shop of some kind. Though it was dark and hard to tell right away. The only light seemed to be coming from an orangish sunset through opaque windows stencilled with what looked like gibberish.

“Soiruc s’oroh?” Severos asked.

“Ignore it.” Reise said taking a step forward.

As he walked down one of the many tightly packed aisles, Reise ran a finger along a shelf. Leaving a trail through the accumulated dust. “And to think, this place used to be spotless.” the man remarked.

“Hard to keep it clean when you are so busy.” a voice said from the dark.

A memory came to Severos helping him place the voice. He could even almost feel the cold water splash his face again. As Reise…the first Reise. Stepped into view. Wearing a slightly sour face. “I’m starting to regret letting you take over.” he stared daggers at the dark haired Reise.

“You begged me for help.” the dark haired man responded.

“Doesn’t mean I have to like the outcome. Don’t let me keep you…we both know why we’re here.” he said turning, giving the two a wave and stepping back into darkness before vanishing.

The two had only taken a few steps before another voice interrupted them. Severos having another memory come flooding back. An old man, with green eyes, covered in scars asking him for help getting a girl out of a magic pendant. “Still keeping our promise I hope?” the man asked Severos.

“Yes...How are you here…?” Severos asked.

“Wish I could answer but I don’t have the time. Maybe one of us will tell you one day.” he replied to his young companion. “Keep her safe…I’ll be watching.” he said as he too faded.

“Can’t believe I let myself become that.” the dark hair Reise said bitterly. “No fight left in him.”

“What do you mean?” Severos asked, “That’s the you who I knew best, and he always seemed alright.”

“He was weak, and blinded by-...” Reise stopped himself as they reached the front counter.

Sitting behind the shop’s till was a man with unkempt blond hair, wearing a strange striped hat.

“It’s about time you showed up.” the newly apperated man said.

“Why are you here?!” Reise snapped back at him.

“I could ask you the same thing.” The man looked up from the brim of his hat smiling. “I don’t recall giving you permission to take the wheel.”

“I don’t need your permission. I was in control before you were even a thought!” Reise barked.

“Yep, there it is. That temper again.” the hat man said.

“Reise…Who is that man?” Severos whispered, but slightly too loud, for the man in question overheard.

“Oh, Severos. Long time no see.” the hat man said only to receive a child-like confused response. “Oh..right. We’ve meet…well sort of complicated, but what about me isn’t, right?” he joked with Severos ignoring Reise who was staring daggers into him.

“Formal greetings are in order. I am Horo Inu. The real Horo, he’s not. Not really, anyway.” the hat man explained. “Now excuse me for a moment.” he said, turning back to Reise. “You are done. I’m taking back control.” he said standing leaning gingerly on a cane.

“Like hell you are.” Reise reacted furiously. “You’ve had your time, and you failed, now it’s time to let someone who ca—”

The man calling himself Horo interjected. “I’ve had my time? That’s pretty rich coming from you.”

Reise went to open his mouth again, but Horo put up a finger, and turned attention back to Severos "If I wasn’t clear before, I'm the real Horo. This Riese as you call him is more a psychosis, you might say" Horo explained. “More a mechanism of survival and preservation, rage, pure id.” he added.

As Horo was speaking to Severos, Reise suddenly and without warning lunged at Horo in a seeming attempt to strangle him but before he could even clear the counter he found himself with the tip of a blade against his neck. “Your brashness is predictable.” Horo retorted, not even looking at him. “Now go to your room.”

Reise slowly stepped back. Not breaking eye contact with Horo. As Horo turned to return to conversation with his young friend Reise lunged at him again, hands outstretched in an apparent attempt to go for the neck. But the split moment between lunging and throttling Horo’s neck, Reise vanished like a port’s morningly fog layer.

“Okay.” Horo said with an air of exhaustion, mock dusting off his hands. “That’s done. Now!” he said, turning attention to Severos once more. “I want to apologise for making you go through that. This was just my best opportunity to get control back. I’m sure you and I will get along swimmingly, I’m Orla’s favorite, I’m sure I’ll become yours.”

Horo snapped his fingers. “Right, he brought you here to get magical stuff. Right then follow me to the back, It’s where I keep the good stuff, and the dangerous stuff. Might take me a minute to remember which is which, but It’ll be fine. Don’t dally.” Horo tapped the cane on the floor before tossing it and carrying it high like he was leading a parade.

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