Listening to Advice Really Does Pay off Sometimes
Sam didn’t remember Jdinrma-Hash smelling so much like dust and ash, but last time he’d been here there hadn’t been a collapsed church taking up half the town.
From what Henry said, the dragons had done a much better job destroying the cathedral than they had the castle. It was just a big pile of rubble that the locals had slowly been trying to carry away.
“If this doesn’t work they’re going to think I’m an idiot,” Sam grumbled to Henry, stretching out his hands and letting Chaos skitter from his fingernails to his chin.
“No, if it doesn’t work they’re going to think you tried your hardest to do something impossible,” Henry said. “I told them you couldn’t promise anything.”
Henry had convinced Sam to try and use that spell that would repair the damage of the church by telling him it was better to test it here in Jdinrma-Hash than on the castle where he might damage something he cared about. Sam had to admit, that was a good point. So he was going to try what he’d come up with. If it didn’t work, Sam figured, the best case scenario was that he could guide the rubble to fall on top of the townspeople so they didn’t spread any stories about his incompetence.
“Okay,” Sam said, letting out a breath. He let the power course across his skin, through his bones, and the focused it, forcing it to submit to the patterns he’d decided on. There was a cracking, a rumbling, as the rubble rose from the cathedral, and a big stupid noise as the people gathered around realized that coming to watch the Sorcerer King do magic was going to mean that he’d do magic.
The rubble moved, air whooshing as it did. Sam worked the Chaos into the knot he wanted it in, and it resisted him like the Forces did, not wanting to go where Sam directed it. Sam wasn’t even sure if this stupid spell was going to work, but if it failed, it was going to fail because the spell sucked, not because the Forces were being petulant.
Chaos dug into his bones with hooks, fighting back. Sam held firm, pushing it in the right direction. His grip on the rubble faltered for a moment, but he didn’t drop it, no matter the panicked shout that went up from the crowd. He didn’t have time for these stupid people, they were in the way and they were distracting him.
“Come on, you stupid…” Chaos pushed back at him, burning his arms, and Sam nearly stumbled, but he refused to be pushed around by an idea that tasted like hornets. It really didn’t want to bend into the shape Sam needed it to, and if he kept this up, it was going to…
It wasn’t going to work. Forcing it wasn’t going to work, the fucking thing had a mind of its own.
It had a mind of its own. Sam frowned, keeping the rubble in the air, and he tried something else.
It was hard, because he’d never done this before. Well, he had a few times, but not on a large scale like this. Sam was much better at just beating his power into submission, but since it wouldn’t submit this time, he had no choice but to…coax it. To try and ease it, gently, to fucking coddle the primal power of the cosmos until it did what he wanted because it had decided that was the right thing to do.
When it happened it was all at once, Sam’s knot snapping into place so quickly it staggered him, and Henry had to catch him. There was a crashing, but in reverse, and it lasted for several minutes, and when it was done…
There was a gasp, and scattered applause, which turned into full applause. Sam scowled. “Can I take that to assume it worked?”
“Yeah,” Henry said, arm around Sam, squeezing his arm briefly. “Good work. I’m impressed.”
Sam just sighed. “And surprised, I assume.”
“A little.” He kissed Sam’s cheek. “But you did it. It’s not totally rebuilt, probably because some of the rubble was carted away already. The magistrate’s coming over, be nice.”
“Whatever,” Sam grumbled, standing straight. “Magistrate.”
“Your Majesty, the cathedral is restored!” the magistrate sounded like he might fall over. “I don’t think any of us expected…dared to hope that you might…your power is truly incredible.”
“I was born with it,” Sam told the magistrate. “It’s nothing worth being proud of. I’ve never done that spell before, so the cathedral may not be entirely stable. Stay out of it for a few days.”
“And you’ll still need masons to come in and look at it,” Henry warned. “A lot of the stone was removed or may have been destroyed entirely. Repairs will still be necessary.”
“Of course,” the magistrate said. He was probably bowing a lot. “We can’t thank you enough. The repairs were going to cost so much, and take so long. Now we can afford them. Now we can…” he sounded like he might cry. “Thank you.”
Sam resisted the urge to destroy the church again, just to hear him cry in the fun way. “It was my duty as your king. Tomorrow the dragons who destroyed the cathedral are going to come here and apologize.”
“They need to. You’ve nothing to fear from them. No doubt you know about the sedition they were helping spread, but they want you to know that they’ve changed their minds about me, which they’ll tell you themselves tomorrow. They also have some suggestions about the cathedral.”
“S-suggestions, your Majesty?”
“Yes.” Sam took a breath, trying to remember what Henry had told him to say. “The Catechism is a foreign religion to the plateau. Under my reign, people are free to worship whatever they choose, be it the northern church or something older. I want everyone in the plateau to be free to decide for themselves.”
“That’s…a noble goal, your Majesty.”
“It’s just the right thing to do.” Sam didn’t care what gods people worshipped at all. Which he supposed was almost the same thing as what he was saying aloud, actually. What did it fucking matter? “The dragons will discuss it with you tomorrow. I’ll be there as well. In the meantime, I’m afraid that took a lot out of me and I have to go rest for a short time.” Sam needed to go to fucking bed, but he couldn’t say that.
“Wait, your Majesty…we’ve put together a banquet in your honour. Especially now, it’s the least we can do for everything you’ve done.”
“I…” Henry pressed against Sam’s back, just a little. “That’s wonderful. Thank you—lead the way.”
He did, and Henry guided Sam to follow him. “Not part of the plan,” Sam muttered.
“Just play along and don’t maim anyone. You did well today.”
“And now I’m being punished.”
“You’re the one who wanted to be the king,” Henry reminded him. “We’ll do something fun when we get back to the castle.”
“Like what?” It had better involve bloodshed and severed body parts to make up for this shit.
“I don’t know, I’ll think of something.” Henry kissed him again. “Hey, Sam?”
“What?” Sam was too tired for this.
“I’m proud of you.”
Sam stumbled, but Henry helped him cover it. And they went to the stupid feast, Sam feeling better than he had a few minutes ago.
6 thoughts on “Villain, 59”
Sam’s not just going to make them say sorry, is he?
I am suddenly reminded of. https://www.oglaf.com/ingratitude/2/
Making the dragons apologise just feels like it would be a great opportunity for one of Sam’s favourite mind games. Although maybe Henry will talk him out of it.
😀 I mean, considering that Sam now has an agreement with the dragons to bring back the dragon-worshipping religion, it’s safe to say that something like that might just be on the table. A lot of people in Ech’kent are probably about to get to know dragons pretty closely.
Henry has been talking Sam out of more and more horrible shit lately. Which seems like it’s probably not going to end well as he eventually gets tired of being told what to do…and we all know how Sam reacts to that.
There’s no actual dragon religion, is there? It’s all just dragoncock and blowjobs.
As Eddie Izzard says, Cock or Death.
Sam should vent his frustrations of being told what to do on the dragons. Make them his.
There was definitely an actual dragon religion, but…there was also a lot of dragoncock and blowjobs. And lots of dragon buttsex. Lots of that. Cock or death indeed.
It’s very likely that the dragons will be the targets of Sam’s frustrations…he’d much prefer they were his pets than the other way around, after all. 😀
Heads up, the Next (Series) link here is broken.
The idea of using a healing spell on a building is very cool, and a sign of how much insane potential Sam has if he actually learns to work with his power. Is that a good thing, though?
Yes! Because Sam and James will need all the power they can get their hands on to join forces against the true foe: banquets!
Thank you! I’ve fixed that now. 😀
Sam has a fairly simplistic understanding of how his power works, and to be fair his magic is pretty straightforward and brute strength based. So yes, if he really learns what it can do he’ll be really powerful. Because truly, banquets are the greatest enemy of them all, and he and James are on the same page about this.