Facing Evil 11-07

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Stepping into the lounge beside Avalon, I saw the others immediately. Shiori and the boys were sitting at one end of the room, on a couch beside one of the pool tables. They seemed to be deep into a whispered discussion. Meanwhile, Koren was sitting by the window at the opposite end of the room, intently staring out at the grounds beyond. She had a pillow from one of the other sofas held against her chest like it was some kind of shield, and both of her weapons were set on the windowsill beside her.

They all looked up when the two of us came in, and Shiori was on her feet immediately. “Flick,” she spoke up in a voice that was near-panicked in a way that made it clear just how unhappy she’d been at the fact that I was alone in a room with Ruthers.. “Are you okay? What did he say? What happened?”

Flushing a little at the attention (specifically her attention), I coughed. “It’s fine. I mean, it’s okay. I think it went about as well as it possibly could. Actually, he didn’t really ask me much about what happened tonight. It was more about, uhh,” I paused briefly before continuing, “what Ammon might actually be. I’ll tell you guys about it later, but I think I convinced him that he’s a real threat, at least.”

It was obvious that Shiori and the others all had questions, but I focused on Koren. The other girl had pushed the pillow aside and was now standing there by the window, her eyes focused intently on me. Before I could actually say anything, however, she spoke up instead. “We need to talk, Chambers.” Gaze flicking toward Avalon briefly, she added, “Without your bodyguard, if that’s okay with you.”

I blinked once, looking toward Avalon. The other girl was tensing up, but I quickly put a hand on her arm (and subsequently tried not to be distracted by how firm and toned it was, I mean jeez). “It’s okay,” I said quietly, without looking away from the girl across the room. “Ammon won’t be back tonight.”

To Koren, I made a nodding gesture toward the nearby door. “Is the hallway private enough for you?”

For a moment, I thought Koren might say something. In the end, however, she just gave a short, curt nod. Collecting her Hunga Munga from the windowsill and hanging them from her belt, she walked past me and into the hall without saying a word to or even looking at any of the others on her way.

Squeezing Avalon’s arm before looking toward the others, I gave them a thumbs up. “Don’t worry, guys. I’ll be right back so I can tell you what happened with Ruthers. Just… give me a few minutes.”

That said, I left the four and moved into the hallway where Koren was waiting. The other girl was standing by the entrance doors, looking out at the grounds once more. When I emerged from the lounge, she glanced back at me for just a second before returning her gaze the other way pointedly.

After taking a breath and letting it out again, I started by stepping forward. “What did Gaia tell you?”

Her response was flat. “Why, are you trying to figure out how much you’ll be able to keep to yourself?”

I blinked at that before shaking my head. “No, Koren, I don’t want to keep any of it to myself. I just–”

“Bullshit,” she retorted, finally turning to face me. “Don’t. Don’t try. You knew.” Lifting a hand, she pointed at me. “You knew already. You knew before tonight. You knew before yesterday. How long?” Her voice turned to a demand. “How long have you known, Chambers? How long have you known?”

Biting my lip, I started to respond before stopping myself. My gaze turned slightly toward the door down the hall where the headmistress and Ruthers were having their own little meeting, and then I stepped past Koren. “Let’s go outside,” I murmured to her under my breath. “I need some fresh air.”

Thankfully, the other girl didn’t object. She looked the same way I had been and paused briefly before giving a single nod. Without talking, she walked through the main doors with me until we were out on the grass. Then she focused again, her eyes narrowing pointedly as she spoke two words. “How long?”

Knowing about how she was probably going to take the answer, I met her gaze anyway. “About two weeks. You remember when the headmistress had my group, uh, do something for her instead of going on the November hunt? There’s a lot more to that story, but that’s when I found out that we’re related.”

“That you’re my aunt, you mean,” Koren shot back immediately. “That’s when you found out that my mother is your mother’s daughter. You’ve known for two weeks, two weeks that we’re related. You knew we were related last night. When I was telling you about what happened to me as a kid, what happened with the Hiding Man and all that shit, you knew. You knew that whole time and you never told me.”

Before I could say anything to that, she went on. “Were you ever gonna tell me? Or was my knowing the truth about my own family just too inconvenient for you? How long were you going to wait before telling me the truth? When it happened to fit into your personal schedule? How many different conversations were you planning on having with me before you let me know, ‘hey, by the way, I’m your fucking aunt’?!” At the end, her voice had risen into a stage-whispered shout, more of a hiss than a yell. Even as angry as she was, Koren at least had the sense not to actually go around shouting that out loud.

My mouth opened and then shut as I took a moment to avoid floundering or babbling. When I spoke, it was as calmly as I could make myself talk. The last thing this situation needed was both of us losing it. “You’re right,” I said quietly, but firmly. “I knew for too long and I should’ve found a way to tell you before now. It wasn’t fair to wait for so long, and I know it must look like I was hiding it from you. I don’t know, maybe it even looks like I was lying to you by omission or using you somehow or… or… I dunno. I don’t know how it looks, exactly. All I know is what I did. I knew you were my niece and I didn’t tell you. It never seemed like the right time. Because, let’s be honest here, Koren, finding the right time to drop a bomb like that is kind of hard. Would you have believed me, or would you just call me crazy? Would you run off and start babbling about it to people that shouldn’t know about any of it?”

“Let me guess,” she retorted, “Everyone you want to know about it is allowed to know. But anyone I want to trust, I need to run it by you and the Official Committee For Flick’s An Awesome Person.”

Wincing at that, I hesitated, looking at her seriously for a second. Various responses ran through my mind. In the end, however, I just shook my head. “That’s not fair.” Her mouth opened to retort, and I pressed on. “I mean it’s not fair to either of us. It’s not fair for me to expect you to just toe the line and never tell anyone anything. And it’s not fair for you to throw something like that at me just because you’re upset. You’re entitled to be upset, Koren. I would be too. But please, just… let’s just talk, okay?”

For a second, I thought she was going to snap at me. Her mouth opened while her eyes narrowed, but she stopped herself. She just stood there like that, squinting at me before heaving a long, heavy sigh.

“Fine,” the girl muttered. “You’re right, okay? I got all pissed off and worked up and I wanted someone to throw it at. You were convenient. You still are. I’m still not happy with you. You should’ve told me. But I get it. Hard to find the right time, hard to be sure I’m not gonna blab because I’m such a stupid gossip—oh shut up, I know what you think. And you’re probably not wrong. I don’t think before I talk. I’m not some perfect little angel. I never claimed to be. But I deserve to know when I’m talking to my own family. I deserve to know when my family has been in danger, before it blows up in their face.”

“I didn’t really think your family was in danger before now,” I started to point out. “And I told Gaia she needed to get someone to take care of them as soon as Ammon left. I’m sure he’s telling Fossor all about it, but up until that point, I don’t think he really knew who you were or what your family was–”

“Not them!” Koren blurted. “You, you fucking idiot. I deserve to know when you’re in danger. I deserve to know that the girl that’s running off after that psychotic piece of shit is my aunt. What if something happened to you and I only found out the truth later, huh? Don’t you think that maybe, maybe I deserve to know that I’m related to you? Or that my grandmother has been in the hands of some evil fucking plague causing bastard? Who, by the way, happens to be the son of a bitch that we were just reading about for our project! Don’t you think you could’ve mentioned that at some point?”

My mouth fell open. “You’re mad because you didn’t know we were related before I was in danger?”

Her arms flailed. “I think I’d rather know the truth before you end up getting kidnapped by some mind-controlling piece of shit or the plague-starting monster that helped spawn him!” Again, she restrained herself from actually shouting, turning it into a hiss. “You could’ve told me at any point last night. I confided in you. I told you the truth about what happened to me, and you just stood there and listened. You could’ve told me we were related. You could have trusted me. But you didn’t. You chose not to.”

Her eyes were blazing with emotion. “You chose not to tell me. I could’ve lost—I mean—you could’ve disappeared before I even knew we were related. So yes! Yes, I’m mad about that. I’m mad because I have family here and they didn’t tell me. You didn’t tell me. And now, because you didn’t tell me the truth, my parents might be in danger. I exposed myself to that bastard. Now he’ll know there’s someone else that’s immune to his power, and when he tells his daddy about it, he’ll figure it out. And when he does, my parents are gonna end up right on that piece of shit necromancer’s fucking ‘to-do’ list!”

Ouch. Yeah, she wasn’t wrong. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but Ammon finding out about her was at least a little bit my fault. The fact that she didn’t know why she was immune, that she hadn’t known any of it, meant that she had exposed herself to Ammon without knowing how bad that could be. And Koren’s immunity being revealed put her mother, my own sister, right into Fossor’s crosshairs.

“You’re right,” I said quietly. “I should have found a way to tell you about it. Especially last night. I was waiting for the right time, but I don’t think there was going to be a better one. You confided in me, you told me about the monster. I should’ve found a way to just tell you the truth about our family.”

“But?” she prompted, still meeting my gaze with her hands clenched into tight fists at her sides.

I shook my head. “But nothing. I should have found a way to tell you, a way to bring it up. You do deserve to know the truth. I just didn’t know how to bring it up in a way that you would believe without running off. I didn’t know if I could trust you, Koren. That’s the truth. I don’t know you that well, and what I do know is that you like to gossip. I’m not trying to attack you or anything, that’s just the truth. You like gossip and you don’t really think about what you’re saying before it comes out. I didn’t know if I should tell you the truth, because if other people find out, it could put all of us in real danger. Do you understand that? Do you know what Ruthers will do if he finds out you know the truth? That we all know the truth? Do you really understand how bad that would be, Koren? Because this isn’t a game.”

I saw the way her expression twisted up defensively, mouth opening to spit out a retort. But she stopped herself. Visibly and audibly breathing out, the girl took a moment before giving a single, short nod. “Yes,” she said shortly. “I know it’s not a game. I know how bad it would be. The headmistress made it really clear, believe me. I just…” She heaved a sigh, deflating a little. “I wanted someone to blame. I wanted someone to be mad at. Don’t get me wrong, I still think you should’ve told me. But I guess I overreacted a little. Like I said before, I wanted someone to be mad at and you were convenient.”

I hesitated, then slowly nodded. “Can we just say that we both screwed up a little and leave it at that?”

“Okay,” Koren agreed in a quiet voice before squinting at me a little. “So, what do we do now?”

After thinking about that for a minute, I offered, “Why don’t we start with you telling me exactly what Gaia told you, and I’ll fill in the blanks.” Before she could say anything, I added, “I promise, I won’t leave anything out. What you do with the truth is up to you. I have to trust you. I owe you that much.”

******

So we talked it through. Afterward, Koren said that she needed time to think about everything. She also said that she was going to call her parents as soon as it was late enough and make sure they were okay. I resisted the urge to ask to talk to her mother. That was a conversation that would have to wait.

At the moment, Gaia and Professor Kohaku were escorting me back to the dorms to make sure everything was clear while the others stayed in the lounge. On the way, Kohaku had taken me aside to apologize rather stiffly for what happened. Apparently she had been checking the beach to make sure there weren’t any underage students down there having midnight make out sessions when Ammon took her by surprise. Her first hint that anyone was behind her was the boy’s voice. Which, considering all the powers that Kohaku had, said some pretty scary things about Ammon.

The grounds were being pored over with a fine-toothed comb by not only the security team, but the rest of the staff as well. That amounted to a lot more teachers than I had ever interacted with, considering there were different instructors for the higher grade levels. They were all looking over every inch of the grounds to make sure there were no more surprises. And they were also interviewing everyone who had ever even possibly been within range of Ammon’s voice. Just to be safe, everyone that the staff hadn’t personally seen unconscious since then were being made to sleep temporarily to make sure that any possible commands would (hopefully) disappear. They weren’t taking any chances with this stuff.

Professor Mason was emerging from the building with his daughters as we approached. Sands and Scout both took one look and broke away from their father to come running toward us. Scout was out ahead at first, but as she got close, the girl slowed before coming to a stop. Her expression dropped visibly, and the quiet girl squirmed there on her feet. I could read the shame and worry in her eyes.

“Scout,” I said softly, my gaze meeting hers. “It’s okay. It wasn’t you. It was him. You weren’t the one pulling the trigger, he was. I’m.. I’m sorry. I’m sorry he took control of you. I’m sorry I couldn’t stop him from… from violating you like that. I’m really sorr–” My words turned into a yelp as Scout lunged to hug me. Her arms wrapped around me before squeezing tightly while her head shook violently.

She was upset. More than just upset. I could actually see the way Scout was physically shaking. Being controlled like that, being made to hurt someone, made to hurt a friend, she was taking all of it really hard.

Sands latched on as well, both of them hugging as tight as they could. “You’re okay? I mean, really?” the girl asked, and I could see the same question in Scout’s expression as they finally released me.

“Good enough, I guess,” I answered honestly. “Though I’m not sure what they’re going to say to… everyone else…” My gaze lifted, and I watched as more of the students that Gaia had put to sleep slowly emerged from the building. They were all staring at us… at me. They remembered. They remembered the voice telling them to hurt me specifically.

Gaia was the one who spoke. Her voice rose to fill the whole area even though she still seemed to be speaking in a conversational tone. “Yes, we have had a breach. A Stranger who has taken a specific interest in Miss Chambers, the same as could happen to any of you. But he’s gone now. Do any of you still wish to inflict harm upon Felicity here?”

When no one raised their hand, the headmistress nodded in satisfaction. “Good. I believe Chef Escalan is preparing a special very early breakfast. Would all of you please go there now while we return your dorm to its normal state. Then you may return and sleep, or remain up, whichever you prefer. We will relax curfew, detentions, and all other scheduled events for the rest of the day. If you have questions or concerns about what happened and what we are doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again, speak with your track adviser. Is there anything else?”

There were more questions, lots of them. Gaia answered a few before repeating that they should see their track advisers. She sent them on their way then. They went, but most of them continued to stare at me on the way.

Sighing, I looked toward the headmistress. “Can you really fix the dorm that fast?”

She smiled at me. “Felicity, do you believe this is the first instance of people losing control and damaging part of the dorm? Considering the powers we work with, not having a method of easily and quickly rebuilding would be grossly incompetent.”

That said, she gestured for me to follow. The twins came after, followed by their father. Gaia led us to a corner of the girls’ dorm, crouching there before laying her hand against it. “This,” she announced, “is the keystone. Do you see this inscription here?”

I leaned close before nodding. “Uh huh.” The inscription was written in some old language. Latin, I thought.

Carefully, Gaia ran her finger through each of the grooves in the inscription while murmuring under her breath. I could feel the power in the air as the letters started to glow with soft red light.

Once she reached the end of the inscription, Gaia slapped her hand against the stone. The power I’d been feeling turned from a slight trickle to a massive flowing river, and I heard the building itself move.

Stepping back to look up, I watched with wide eyes as various windows that had been broken magically repaired themselves. Bits of wall that my classmates had shattered in their attempts to find me were replaced and looked as good as new. It was like time was rewinding itself to put the building back to the way it had been.

Finally, Gaia lowered her hand away from the building. Her voice was light as she explained. “Every evening, each building is… I suppose the best explanation would be that it is recorded. We record it and if anything happens, we simply reset the building back to the state it was in at the time of the recording. It is–”

“Oh my god,” I interrupted. “It’s like a computer’s restore point. You do back up and restore with buildings!

Professor Mason chuckled behind me, and Gaia smiled as well. “Yes,” she confirmed. “I suppose that is an apt comparison.” Looking to me and the twins, she gestured. “Now that we know you are safe among your peers, you should go to the cafeteria as well. Eat something. They will stare, but the best thing you can do is endure it. Believe me when I say that you are not the first and will not be the last to be singled out like this.”

Swallowing, I nodded. The twins and I started to walk back after they each gave their father another hug.

“You sure you’re okay?” Sands asked, making a face. “Fuck, I know you said that kid could control people, but… I guess I just sort of figured I’d be able to resist, you know? But… when he said to hurt you, there was just no… I couldn’t think about anything else. I wanted to make you suffer.

Noticing Scout’s cringe, I nodded. “It’s okay, guys. Like I said, it was him, not you. Hell, the only reason I’m immune is because he’s–” I stopped talking.

“Uh, you were saying?” Sands prompted, looking toward me. When she noticed my squint, the girl frowned. “What’s wrong?”

“Because he’s my brother…” I said slowly. “Ruthers was asking why Ammon claimed to be my brother, so I told him it was probably because some splinter group turned my mother into a Heretic after she abandoned us and he’s their failed experiment or something.”

“Good thinking,” Sands complimented, but I could already see Scout’s frown start to match my own.

“That’s not the point,” I replied while shaking my head. “The point is, he brought it up. Ruthers is the one who asked why Ammon was claiming that. Only I didn’t say that in my report when I got back from my birthday. I never said anything in the official report about Ammon calling himself my brother. And tonight, there wasn’t time. Kohaku was unconscious after Ammon used her. Everyone who could have heard him say something was. There wasn’t anyone who could tell him the truth and was conscious.

“So how did he know? How did Ruthers know that Ammon calls himself my brother?”

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24 comments

  1. For some of you, that wasn’t much of a cliffhanger because you already pointed it out… you brilliant and perceptive readers you. It does, however, finish off this arc. We’ll have an interlude next, to be chosen by our lovely donators.

    If you didn’t see the message about it on the last chapter, we have updated art on the art page and reader Squornshellous Beta has put together a list of what powers and abilities every character has shown up to this point. A link to that is on the cast page, or you can click here

    If you’d like to keep this story up the list on Top Web Fiction (a thing I love you all forever and ever for), you can click right here.

    Finally, the tags for this chapter are: Avalon Sinclaire, Columbus Porter, Don’t Feel Bad Koren – Now You Can Start Bugging Flick About All The Birthday Money She Owes You., Flick, Forget Buildings – Imagine How Great A Restore Point Spell Would Be On A Car., Gaia Sinclaire, Koren Fellows, Professor Kohaku, Professor Mason, Sands, Scout, Sean Gerardo, Shiori Porter

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, that was possibly one of the better ways that conversation could have turned out. I have to say that Koren took it quite well, all things considered.

    In the meantime, long may the overdue paranoia over Ruthers surveilling/espionage capabilities begin to grow and thrive. I’m counting down the chapters until she figures out some form of the memory enchantment that can protect them from Ruthers. In the meantime though, they’re stuck playing the “I’m not sure if you know that I know” game and constantly going over every conversation they’ve ever had in Crossroads to try to guess what Ruthers has guessed.

    If I’ve got the timing right, we’re now due another attack from Zeke (is that the right person? I’m thinking of the guy that complained about Herbie before the first hunt.), directed towards Flick over the mind-control incident. And since he’s going to be relying on second-hand accounts I can only guess what he’ll make of it.

    On a more optimistic note, they’re due a relaxing jungle hike/family bonding time in the jungle after the next Interlude, right? Okay, scratch the “relaxing” part, but you get the general idea. On a (not really) related note, when is Flick going to ask Shiori what she was doing outside and be introduced to Porkachu? And, since you’ve managed to side-step it this chapter…

    …WHAT DID KOREN SEE AMMON DOING IN THE LIGHTHOUSE?

    Ahem, incidentally if I could get that restore point installed in my room it’d be great, I’d gain entire hours back from tidying it. It kinda reminded me of Forging from one of Brandon Sanderson’s novellas.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. …WHAT DID KOREN SEE AMMON DOING IN THE LIGHTHOUSE?

      Oh, well that’s easy. I don’t mind answering that right here and now. What did Koren see Ammon doing in the lighthouse? She saw him doing the thing that allowed him to enter the school grounds without being detected.

      😀

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Technically she saw him doing the thing that let him LEAVE the school grounds, not enter them.

        I’m still trying to figure it out, but my best guesses are: 1) it’s to do with the rope that Flick felt connected to. 2) it’s to do with a power that the Hangman had possessed pre-mortem.

        Like

  3. “It was obviously that Shiori and the others all had questions”
    obvious

    “I deserve to know when my family has been in danger before it blows up in their face.”
    Should probably be a comma after ‘danger’. It reads really awkwardly otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Before I could say anything to that, she went on. “Were you ever gonna tell me? Or was my knowing the truth about my own family just too inconvenient for you? ”
    Me: Uh, no. She was trying to figure out how to tell you, since you can be quite bitchy at times. Like right now for instance.

    “But I guess I overreacted a little. Like I said before, I wanted someone to be mad at and you were convenient.””
    Me: At least she can recognize that Flick isn’t who she should be hostile towards.

    “Finally, Gaia lowered her hand away from the building. Her voice was light as she explained. “Every evening, each building is… I suppose the best explanation would be that it is recorded. We record it and if anything happens, we simply reset the building back to the state it was in at the time of the recording. It is–””
    Me: Hah, a physical version of Norton Ghost. Rather handy isn’t it?

    ““So how did he know? How did Ruthers know that Ammon calls himself my brother?””
    Me: That’s a rather pertinent question, indeed. I don’t follow the comments here closely, so I don’t know the guessing that occurred.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Personally, I think Ruthers was bluffing her out. The conversation he had with Gaia in her interlude indicates that whatever magic rendering Ammon and his relatives mutually protected from each other’s powers is a known spell and effect, enough that Gaia used it to argue that Ammon is Flick’s brother. I imagine this has been a common topic of discussion among the Committee members, and Ruthers used the information to try and get Flick to slip up in whatever she didn’t say the first time. Which she did.

    Apart from that, the conversation between Flick and Koren went better and worse than I thought it would, better overall. Koren always seems to impress me when I underestimate her and disappoint me when I overestimate me.

    All that staring at Flick when the students woke up is a bit foreboding. Like I said before, Flick is going to be the center of the school’s rumor mill after this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So… Ruthers Knows Too Much.

    Option 1: he knows about Fossor and Judith, but (fitting his personal narrative), believes that Judith went willingly, as part of her EVIL PLAN to bring down Crossroads and let the Strangers TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!!!!

    Option 2: Ruthers knows the truth about Fossor and Judith, and has been lying to everyone about it, playing the part of “paranoid nutjob” well in excess of his real feelings. Why? Well, either he’s doing it of his own free will… or he isn’t.

    Ugly thought: Stranger/Alter powers tend to run in family lines. And Fossor has been repeatedly called a Necromancer — one who controls the dead. I did sort of wonder how a single man managed to sacrifice his entire world to give him an army of ghosts to make use of. If he has anything like Ammon’s power, but with more skill and subtlety in using it… I could see Ruthers being ordered to act according to Fossor’s master plan, *and* to forget that Fossor placed any sort of controls on him. So Ruthers (and everyone else) think he’s doing what comes naturally, but….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So now Koren knows. I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

    Hopefully, they can find the mole at Crossroads. Then, Flick can meet Koren’s family.

    Also, the past chapters were very intense. The highest points with Ammon trying to make Shori drown herself and Ruthers announcing he was going to interview Flick.

    Awesome moment for Flick for fooling him. 🙂

    Thanks for updating. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hmm, the conversation between Flick & Koren could have been worse. Koren’s understandably pissed over how being kept in the dark means that she unwittingly placed herself & her family in even more danger, as well as sharing something personal while being kept in the dark about something personal of major importance to the both of them, and wants to lash out at something. But at the same time, Flick made a good point about why she delayed for so long, not only because it’d be hard to find a good way to tell a story like that, but also because since Koren’s a real gossip, there’d be a chance she’d blab in front of the wrong person, which would be a Bad Thing.

    Nice moment with the twins there, though again, Scout’s going to need some help to help move past this.

    Though things are going to get awkward for Flick for a while, as beyond the love triangle focused on her & Ruthers’ attention, she’s also going to be the focus of everyone’s attention & the rumor mill for a while.

    And the thing where the dorm had magic built into it, which acts like a saved restore point to undo any damage is a pretty neat trick.

    Don’t Feel Bad Koren – Now You Can Start Bugging Flick About All The Birthday Money She Owes You

    That would be kind of funny to see, lol

    Imagine How Great A Restore Point Spell Would Be On A Car

    Tell me about it- would have come in handy a few years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice moment with the twins there, though again, Scout’s going to need some help to help move past this.

      Oh she definitely will. Luckily, Crossroads has a therapist.

      Like

  9. I’m honestly surprised Flick was able to tell Koren that much without the information geas interfering. In the end, how much of the everything to think through did she actually get?

    Like

    1. I think -and I could be wrong- that Flick was only explaining the current situation to Koren. As I understand it, the memory spell erased everything about Joselyn from before it was cast, and people can talk about her and the things she did after it was cast without any difficulty.

      Like

    2. I’m honestly surprised Flick was able to tell Koren that much without the information geas interfering. In the end, how much of the everything to think through did she actually get?

      There are two different spells at work here.

      1: Erase Joselyn the Heretic from everyone’s memory. This… well, erases her from everyone’s memory. It also constantly prevents the people who were involved in the spell from sharing their knowledge of her with anyone. It does not, however, prevent someone else (like Flick) from piecing together enough information to figure out what happened. Nor does it prevent her from sharing the knowledge that she’s put together or learned with anyone else. She’s not sharing a specific memory, she’s sharing what might as well be a made up story because she never experienced it. It’s like the difference between reading someone a story out of a book and telling them about a personal experience. If that sounds oddly specific, it’s because… well quite honestly the ability to erase memory like that is absurdly powerful and requires some very strict guidelines to avoid being an instant win button.

      2: Censor and edit information in books/records/pictures/etc. This is the one that prevents the knowledge found in them from being shared with anyone. That’s because the object itself is enchanted and retains that specific magic, aka: don’t retain this information.

      With all that said, how was Flick able to tell Koren about their relation considering the fact that Joselyn the Heretic having children was censored? Because Koren is a blood relative/close enough to the subject themselves that the censor spell ignored her.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So the censorship spell only prevents transfer of knowledge explicitly contained within censored media and subsequently shared by a subject? Conclusions drawn or built upon that data or derived by correlating with other data, is exempt? Independent reconstruction of the data is also exempt?

        (So for example, if the records accessed had only hinted at or implied the existance of Flick’s siblings, she would have been free to share that information when she realized)?

        This would also imply subjects who gain access to the censored information not directly through the controlled media should be exempt. For example, Shiori heard everything secondhand, and should theoretically be able to tell anything to anyone she wants, since there’s no direct tie from what she knows to the censorship spell.

        Liked by 1 person

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