Black Alchemy Hunter – Truth

The Yellow Diamond Hunter series was meant to have a lot of comedy. I don’t know where I lost that along the way.

This chapter was my intent to really bring back the comedy. Yet again, I chose a more “cheesy superhero” route, which I don’t particularly enjoy. I’d probably sell a lot more books and make more money, but I just don’t care for this style too much. It’s way too predictable in my eyes.

I’ve taken a more organic route recently. Just two days ago, I wrote Chapter 13 to Cullinan Diamond Hunter. In this chapter, Greer shows his face again. I manage to integrate more subtleties in the comedy and progress the characters’ background stories, like I do with the Barcode series.

The bit below is still a solid story, but I could’ve done so much more.

8 – TRUTH

As the others wait out the last few minutes before the meeting begins, Greer finishes arguing with his superintendent. The sorcerer attempts to bully his way through the conversation, but the superintendent remains unmoved. He keeps one hand wrapped around a roll of blueprints and the other tucked neatly in his pocket. He even yawns several times during their conversation.

When Greer begins raising his voice, the superintendent lifts the blueprints slowly and points them at Greer. Then, he explains, “Yell all you want, but I can only get you a block or two. Money doesn’t go as far as it did when you first built Absolute. And unlike before, there are no functioning buildings in this town. Starting from scratch will take more than a few million. Make a plan quickly, so we can get to work.”

Greer glances at Kami and Sol, who have begun showing interest in the conversation. Feeling the pressure of having an audience, Greer lowers his voice once again, and relents, “Use cheaper materials and start with stacked housing. It doesn’t need to be as pretty as the last. ”

The superintendent nods and says, “Just remember, Absolute wasn’t built in a day.”

Not long after the superintendent exits, Laurent enters the club while waving to everyone. “Thank you all for being on time. We’re still missing two or three potential members of the team, but we expect them to join up soon enough. For now, I want to introduce you to our employer.”

The doors to the club open once more. This time, Blas enters wearing a pinstripe wool suit and a long trench coat. He removes his hat and runs his fingers through his hair before flashing a smile at Kami. Sol still struggles to make out Blas’ face, but the telepath’s unique, deep vocals are a dead giveaway.

“Thank you, Laurent,” Blas says.

An incredible pain digs deeply into Sol’s right arm. He reaches inside of his jacket and massages his shoulder. The hunter can feel Blas’ true power more than ever before and it nearly causes Sol’s entire body to ache. The telepath has already begun working his way through everyone’s minds. The hunter is just the most resistant to the attempt. He is so resistant that he decides to carve a small alchemic equation directly into his flesh. The inscription will only hold Blas away for so long, but the temporary fix will have to do for now.

After drawing his own blood for the spell, Sol’s concern shifts to Rayne. To avoid drawing attention to the butcher, he observes her in a reflection from mirrors near the booths.

Rayne’s legs are kicked across a table, her arms are folded across her chest, and she is playing with a nail that she found in the street. The butcher has already carved her name beneath the table, and she is considering other subtle ways to disrupt Greer’s pristine establishment.

Her defiant behavior is much like it was when Sol first saw the butcher with Blas.

“Greer,” Blas says while removing his leather gloves. “Thank you for being a gracious host.”

The sorcerer sighs, “Please don’t waste my time by trying to kiss my—”

“As you all know,” the telepath speaks quickly in order to speak over Greer, “we’re presently searching for a man by the name of Leonardo Ruby. To address the elephant in the room, he is Sol Ruby’s father.”

The hunter looks at both Greer and Kami. Then, he says, “There’s a fatter elephant than that somewhere around.”

Greer takes a seat at the booth along with Kami. He watches her shift uneasily before asking, “What information do you have on his whereabouts?”

Blas replies, “We know little about Leonardo, but I’m sure that we can find his captor, Kode. The Demon of Pain leaves a trail of darkness around every corner. Our best mages are scanning all seven provinces for paranormal activity. They will find any increase in wild ramanga, violence, or black magic.”

“Don’t be so ignorant,” Greer objects. “The world is repopulating, so there are far more than seven provinces. Small communities like this one are formed regularly, and that’s where they’ll hide.”

The telepath dusts lent from his hat while muttering, “That could present a problem. Smaller provinces would be surrounded by darkness.”

The conversation is quickly filled with hammering and drilling sounds just outside of the club. Blas uses the pause to survey the minds of everyone in the room. Though he can read Laurent’s entire consciousness, he can only peer into Greer’s surface level thoughts and patches of Kami’s dark mind. He can sense that Sol’s spell is providing a temporary cloak, but it is also working for Rayne.

Blas vows to uncover the truth behind their relationship, but a thought that the sorcerer produces distracts him.

“What do you suggest, Greer?” Blas asks.

“Stop looking for darkness and dark magic. Start tracking ramanga movement—they’ll gravitate towards his energy. It’s much harder, but someone with a good understanding of statistics could find the pattern.” Greer smiles at Kami.

“I’ll get you and Kami a connection to our spatial analysis software. A few of my scientists are on the way. I’ll need to request more equipment, though.”

Laurent removes his phone and begins sending a text message to Blas’ team.

Greer points to the construction outside of the massive window and says, “We don’t have a facility for that.”

“Should I assume that you’re asking for my help in rebuilding Absolute?” Blas laughs while holding his stomach. Greer may be able to block many of his thoughts, but his desire to keep Blas far away from Absolute is clear. Before the sorcerer can produce a counter, Blas asserts, “No need to answer. My construction team is also on their way.”

Greer recalls his most recent argument with the superintendent. Without some financial backing, the city will stop all production within a few days.

Against his better judgment, Greer leans back in his chair and tells Kami, “Looks like we’ve got some long hours ahead of us.”

Kami sits upright and protests, “Does anyone care to ask whether I’m willing to work with Greer? He nearly killed us on multiple occasions.” She watches as Laurent continues sending texts and Sol gives her a thumbs up and a smile. “Great.”

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