Chapter 93: Anatomy of the Soul

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We know the Eight destroy knowledge, which is why this library must remain hidden. Saefel Caeld's library has been warded, and is guarded, and the great Vault of Knowledge of Qin is likewise guarded and warded. They have destroyed the heritage of the Soulsplitters of the Kai'Draen, and if not for our intervention, would have done the same to the Tethyd races that guarded the Abyss.

-The Necromancer's Notes, Mission Statement, Paragraph 7


The first thing Karik'ar knew was pain. Not agonizing pain, but a sharp, constant, annoying pain. "Karik'ar!" 

He twisted, trying to shove the pillow over his head. "Karik'ar! Wake up!" 

The Kai'Draen groaned, sat up, and gave Indra a venomous glare. "Indra, I am sleeping right now. Or, rather, trying to sleep. Why are you here?" 

"Oh, um," Indra said, "you accidentally took one of my books home." 

"How do you know?" Karik'ar growled. They had gone to the library for research, and she had helped him find a few books on Vesperati anatomy, which Panacea needed. It was a crazy idea, trying to heal something that had long since scarred over. It was one thing when someone broke their bone, and he could get to them within the week, but... years later? That's something completely different. Panacea would have to destroy and wound to create and heal. 

He still had Mirsari's hair, tied up in a tight coil, in an envelope, but it wasn't the hair that worried him. The envelope had a letter too, from Thaen. You better fix this. That was all, and Thaen was infatuated with this girl. 

"I checked out five books, and I took home five books. One of them was yours," she said. "You have one of mine." 

"Ugh." Karik'ar rolled out of bed. "Let me find the book," he groggily muttered. "No, no, that one's on Vesperati, no, not that one... not this one... aha!" He pulled the leather bound tome out from under the stack of books he had accrued next to his bed. "A History of the Agyar Nobility. Why are you looking up that?" he asked. 

"For Laidu. Kazalibad referred to him as an Agyar prince." Indra said. 

"Honestly, if his face wasn't scaly, and his nose was less snout-like and more like a human, he does kind of resemble an Agyar, come to think of it," Karik'ar said. "He has a big nose. And those really heavy-lidded eyes." 

"An aquiline nose and half-closed eyes are the signs of the Agyars, along with dark hair and tall stature," Indra said. 

"I can't tell for the last two," Karik'ar said. "Laidu doesn't have hair, and he's shorter than me. Everyone's shorter than me, he said, looking down at Indra.  

That was around the time Karik'ar realized he wouldn't be going back to sleep. "I'm going to quick change. There is something you can actually help me with," he said. 

"Oh?" Indra asked. 

"Yeah," Karik'ar said as he undid the drawstring of his sleepwear pants. "Does the Library have any books on magic?" 

"Yes," Indra said. "You'll need to either demonstrate magical ability or pass a theory test to be able to access it, however. Some of the knowledge contained within is considered... 'sensitive' stuff. You don't want anyone wanting to know how to make de-ossifying solution, for example." 

"That's the stuff you used on the bandit. The stuff that dissolves bone, right?" Karik'ar asked. 

"Yes," Indra nodded. Her eyes widened for a heartbeat or two when the Kai'Draen dropped his pants and strode over to his dresser. "Forgive me. This may be a rather odd and personal question, but that loincloth you're wearing. Why do you wear it?"

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