The Spider’s Lair was surprisingly cozy and glamorous. It even smelled nice and flowery.
Somnion had been expecting something dark and dank.
“I bring you the Ice Crown of Nodark.” the demon bowed as he offered the treasure to the Spider. She was known to want blue treasures as compensation for her services. And of course, it was courteous to offer her a gift before asking for anything. If you failed to get on her good side, she would kick you out before you even had the chance to ask her anything.
Everyone wanted something from her, otherwise nobody would enter her cave and subject themselves to the dangers within.
“Ice Crown, huh…” she ran her fingers through her hair with one hand and motioned the demon to come closer with another: “Bring it closer.” There was slight intrigue in her eyes.
Somnion walked to the Spider and his new dragon familiar, nicknamed Sooty for her dark nose, followed along.
The Spider examined the crown, her keen blue eyes going over every detail, “It is quite the beauty”. One of her hands turned the crown around, another was petting the fur on her chair nonchalantly and one pointed at the iron chair opposite to her: “Sit down.”
Her eyes never left the crown.
Somnion did as he was bid, and Sooty climbed on his lap immediately. She was his shadow now.
She twirled the crown in one of her many hands and finally turned her eyes on the younger demon: “What is it that you want of me?”
She would at least hear him out, good. This was a promising start and Nion got straight to the point (he had heard she didn’t like vague suggestions): “There’s an ancient spell I’m looking for, and I heard you have a part of it.”
“Which spell?” the spider asked, but she didn’t seem very interested. Her eyes were beginning to wander away from the demon already.
Somnion described the spell. He knew it had been divided into three, thousands of years ago to avoid its misuse. It could destroy the natural balance and cause havoc all over, if it was used recklessly. Khepre had managed to get his hands on one third of it. Another was hidden away but Somnion had found it. And rumour was that this Spider had the final piece.
“You mean to complete it? That spell can cause ruptures in dimensional space.”
“I’ know, but my uncle and I will be careful with it. It will mostly be used for research.” he tried to be modest and seem respectful.
“Honestly, I really do not care what you want it for.” She examined her nails.
“Then, you will give it to me? I’ll pay, of course.”
“I don’t have it.” she was still examining her nails.
Somnion fell silent and felt a stinging sense of dissappointment. He was sure the lead had been good.
“….I do know where it is, but that knowledge will not come cheap.” the Spider continued and finally turned her eyes back to Somnion.
A weight had been lifted off his shoulders, if she knew where it was, he could finally complete it and complete his research: “I can pay with any treasure you want…”
“That’s a lovely pet you have there.” she interrupted, completely ignoring his offer, and pointed at the familiar on his lap.
“Thank you, but she’s not really a—”
“I want one exactly like it.” she smiled cunningly.
“Except make it blue.”
“I can’t just… it’s not that simple. I can’t just make one according to your requests”
The Spider leaned back, one hand still on the crown, stroking it. “Do you want your spell as much as I want a pet dragon?” she asked cheekily, knowing that she had the upper hand (or many of them to be literal).
“That is my price for the knowledge you seek. You can take it or leave it.” she smiled, as Nion was having a hard time finding words for this. “I know you made yours, so you can perfectly well make another one.”
“I’d need incredients and time to prepare and… I’ll need a part of your body, your blood and–”
Suddenly, Yami pushed herself forward with her arms bending like spider’s legs, there was coldness in her eyes and her tone was no longer nonchalant like it had been just a moment ago: “Boy.” she started menacingly: “I wasn’t born yesterday. I know what spells could be done to me with those.”
Even Sooty woke up and growled at the spider quietly, but Somnion managed to stay calm -although it felt like the temperature had just dropped drastically; “But without a part of your body, I can’t bond the faimiliar to you…”
“I am not giving you any part of me.”
This was a problem. Somnion needed her part of the spell.
“You could bring the incredients to me, and watch me as I do the spell?” he suggested carefully, not giving up hope.
The demon crossed her legs: “How about you bring everything here and do the spell in my lair?”
This was going to be a long negotiation…