Matagot 9- The King and I.
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note. If I did, everything after the Yotsuba arc would not have occured, L and Light would've hooked up two eps after the chain went on and Near, Mello and Matt would've come in in some other fashion (Just because they rock). I do, however own some of the legends attributed with the 'Matagot', (which is a real French myth, who'da thunk it?) and the general AU.
Warning: AU, Yaoi/Shonen-Ai. If you don't like, please don't read! Rated for later content, possible swearing, definite limes and possible violence. LightxL, possible side pairings to be decided.
EXTRA WARNING!- This chapter contains mention of the Tarot and several cards in particular. Just in case someone out there has a problem with that, as the meanings listed actually hint slightly at further development in the plot, so I can't really remove them now.
Flames shall be extinguished with great force because it is bush-fire season and I hate bush-fires. Many Australians do.
Credit goes to my betas for this chapter- Shadow of Egypt and TsumeLover666 for a truly excellent job!
Thanks go to the following reviewers!! (italics anonymous)
Voice ('Tis glad I am that you found it again and continue to enjoy it!)
Thanks to everyone who wished me well with my studies, it's all going well! I've got a one week lecture recess next week, but unfortunately the recess is so we can do all our damn assignments!! D:
Anyway, I'm working on chapter 10, and hopefully, if all goes well, it should be out sometime next month... (crosses fingers for sooner)
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask them either in review or through PM, whichever you prefer!
Thank you all again for continuing to read, and without further ado, here's chapter 9! I hope you all enjoy and if you want to, feel free to leave a review!
"And this, Light?"
"It says, 'by Law, by writ of... the'?"
"Correct, continue." L said, nodding encouragingly towards the book.
L had agreed to help Light with his endeavour to learn the noble's script, having produced not only reams of blank vellum, a quill pen and the requisite bottle of ink seemingly from thin air, but also books written in the same language for Light to study from. All of this was currently spread across a conveniently placed low table in the living area of Light's suite of rooms, L having somehow managed to tug said table over to take the best advantage of the light. Surprisingly enough, L had turned out to be an adept teacher- neither condescending towards, nor easy upon, Light.
"...'by writ of the all-righty-'"
"Almighty, Light. Logic, you must remember to apply logic to what you read."
"I know, L, you cut me off before I could correct myself. 'By writ of the Almighty, He who shaped the Heavens and Earth, thee and thine are banished from...' ,well literally that means 'place of peace', but in this context I would be more inclined to say 'Heaven'-"
"That is correct."
"'... banished from Heaven. Go down into the mortal realm, that which is called Earth, and live out your days among the mortal men...' L?" Light asked, uncomfortably aware of how close he was sitting to the other man.
L seemed unaware, his thigh pressed against Light's as the older man leaned over to check the page of text Light had been reading. Light unconsciously drew his breath sharply.
"Mmm?" L hummed absently, frowning at the page.
"This story... it is not a canonical Bible text?" Light asked, pulling himself together.
"No, it is not commonly featured in the Bible- although it has often been referred to in Genesis in several obscure versions I believe."
"Then... what importance does it have? It is just... you would not waste such an opportunity for learning, and I had been sure you would pick something a little more... scholarly than an obscure Biblical story."
L did not answer straightaway, instead trailing his delicate, spider-like fingers over the lettering, an odd expression on his face. "Light is correct. I do not know why I chose to show Light this particularly, although it is excellent practice for his reading of the noble's script..." He trailed off.
"What troubles you?" Light asked, reading beyond the little that L was showing. "Did I cause you insult?" He lightly laid a hand on L's arm, automatically offering comfort. L looked back to Light, surprise written clearly on his face (Clearly, at least, to Light, who had become used to reading the miniscule changes in L's expressions.)
"Light has said nothing of the sort, it is just..." L answered, trailing off with a frown.
"If it is not something that I have said, than why do you seem so maudlin? And there is no need to be surprised by my concern; you ought to know by now that you are dear to me."
L's eyes widened and he stared intently at Light. "I... am?"
"Of course you are." Light said in puzzlement, tilting his head to the side, deciding that whatever it was he felt for L, it was safe to say that he definitely cherished L's strange company at the least. L's angular features softened into a small smile- one of the few and far betweenreal ones, albeit with a somewhat… strange quality to it, though Light was hard put to say what it was.
"Light refers to the friendship he claims with me. Of course..."
"What else could I have meant?" Light asked, ignoring the gradually more vocal voice in his mind that kept prodding 'You know very well what else you could have- and had meant.'
"True enough. I..."
"Yes, L?" Light replied expectantly, curious to know what L wanted to say, considering the hesitancy in the older man's voice.
"I find... most unexpectedly, given the circumstances, that..."
"Spit it out, L." Light told him amusedly, disguising a decidedly strange sense of excited anticipation.
"I find... that Light is dear to me also." L admitted, voice low and quiet. Light gave a small smile in response, a somewhat unfamiliar feeling of warmth and... well... contentment at the awkward admission spreading through him.
"I am glad of that L. After all, a one-sided friendship is a tad difficult to carry on." he continued, teasing L gently, ignoring that stupid little voice that prodded 'Friendship? Ha!'
L's gaze left Light's as he turned his head to the side, hair tumbling over his eyes.
"Yes," he echoed. "A bit difficult."
They continued their lesson, though L produced another book for Light to read from for the duration of the rest of it. Their heads, both ravens'-wing black and bronzed gold, bent over the table, Light's clear tenor reading aloud, and L unusually quiet- even for him.
Neither of the two moved away from the close contact between their limbs.
Hours later, L heard quiet, near-silent footsteps approaching their position and (reluctantly) moved to a more decorous distance, ignoring Light's questioning glance as he did. The one approaching was far more polite than L himself, for if such as they chose not to be heard, they would not be. Even another of their kind would not be able to hear their coming, despite their... unusually strong senses.
There was a soft, polite knock at the door that was in keeping with the personality L theorized would belong to the owner of those footsteps, and a monotonous, young-seeming male voice asked entry. Light arose, trusting to L to hide the remnants of their studies.
When Light opened the door, there, at first, seemed to be no-one there.
"I am here, Marquis d'Keira," came a mild voice. By the time Light had looked down and noticed the pale boy, L had already sized up and was warily eyeing the youth, despite his diminutive size.
The young boy was as milk-pale as L, with eyes that were as coal-dark as L's had once been. Even his facial structure was outwardly similar. The difference between the two- near to the only visible difference at that- was the snow-white mass of curls the younger male bore, where L possessed straight, ebon-dark locks.
The child spoke. "I am Near, personal servant to the Lord Mihael of the Northern Wastes. I am here bearing an invitation from both milord and His Majesty for both the Marquis and... Ryuuzaki." Here he trained those dark eyes onto L with an inquisitive expression. "Your presence is required in the King's private library- it is not a terribly formal affair, and as such, His Majesty does not require you to wear your Court attire. I am to show you both the way." He gave a bow, waiting patiently for their answer.
"Very well. I shall find a cleaner tunic and clean my hands- I've ink all over them like some scribe." Light muttered this last part under his breath, though Ryuuzaki knew that both he and the pale one could hear him perfectly well. The brunet left the sitting room of the suite that he had been accorded as the 'Marquis d'Keira'.
"What is your name, child?" L asked the white-haired boy sharply as soon as Light was out of earshot. "Are you bound to Mihael?"
"I may be referred to as Near- as you know, names possess power over their owners. And as for my binding- Mihael does possess my chain," the boy L now knew as Near tranquilly said. "And I am no child- I am only a summer younger than Mihael, who is not terribly much younger than your Light."
"You jest, surely."
"No, 'Ryuuzaki', I do not. Whyever should I?" Near asked in genuine puzzlement.
L quirked an eyebrow. "Near is a pureblood, is he not?" he asked, though it came out as more of a statement than a question. Near shrugged, delicate shoulders rising.
"I do not know. My earliest memory is of snow. The earliest that features a living being is a vague impression of crystal-blue eyes and warmth," he answered. "Mihael had found me in the snow as not much more than a kitling- he had become lost in the blizzard that claimed his parents." Near did not elaborate much more, though L was quite capable of filling in the blanks.
"Near's binding is that old?" L asked sceptically.
"Oh, I am no longer bound to him."
"Did Near not just say-" L frowned.
"I said that Mihael holds my chain." Near clarified. "I am not bound to him in the fashion I once was."
"I do not understand." L said finally.
Near's eyes widened and something akin to shocked surprise leaked onto his perfectly blank features. "Are you not bound to your Light in the same fashion as I to Mihael? I had assumed your bond was not wholly of the customary nature of our kind, as is my own..." The younger male frowned thoughtfully, fingers coming up to curl into his hair, twisting a select lock in what seemed a habitual gesture.
"I believed there to be only one way of binding for such as us..." L murmured, absently nibbling at the corner of his thumb in his own habitual gesture, though one he had been attempting to suppress.
Near's face turned into a mischievous smirk quite akin to L's own pixie-grin. "Ryuuzaki did, did he?" L's eyes narrowed.
"What exactly are you getting at, Near?" L asked, dropping the irritating name-game he... occasionally adopted.
"Ah, I am sure that 'Ryuuzaki' would like to know."
"What would Ryuuzaki like to know?" Light asked distractedly as he re-entered, fiddling with the tiny buttons that ran the length of the tunic's back, unable to quite reach them.
"It is nothing, Light." L told the auburn-brown haired male, moving to assist, his long deft fingers making short work of the buttons.
"Shall we go now then?" Near asked blandly, face back to its motionless doll-like mask.
The two older males followed the diminutive white figure through the twisting halls and passageways, all three of them ignoring the whispers following them like wildfire with a lofty dignity. They finally came to a stop in a near-deserted corridor in front of a heavy wooden door. Without bothering to knock Near opened the door.
"Your Majesty, Mihael, the Marquis and Ryuuzaki accepted your invitation."
"I am certain that you probably worded it in such a way that they believed it was an order, not a request, sheep." Mihael chuckled amusedly, concentrating on the chessboard between him and an almost normal-seeming red-head.
"It really was just a request." the red-head murmured absently, attention completely on the board. "If you were busy with other affairs, please feel free to attend them- you needn't feel obligated to stay if you do not wish to." The red-haired man's fingers (which had been hovering over an exquisitely carved footman.) suddenly plucked forth a priest and moved it along the chequered board. "I believe that is check." he addressed the blond man gleefully, looking up with his emerald eyes flashing.
"Your Majesty?" Light asked in astonishment. He looked... young! Younger even than Light!
"His Majesty plays chess, does he?" L asked with interest.
"Please, just call me Matt here." the red-head said, flapping a hand at the two with an easygoing smile. "We are all discreet here, and I know I (for one) hate being always merely 'Your Majesty' or 'Your Highness' and never myself. And besides which, it's truly strange to be called 'Your Majesty' by people many times my senior. It makes me feel like such a fraud."
"I can relate to such distastes, Your Ma... err... 'Matt'." Light said fervently.
"Yes, I noticed your distaste when I addressed you, though you hid it extraordinarily well- even compared to the other noble's skill at hiding their thoughts. It is why I thought you might just be another interesting companion. And besides, I enjoyed your gift..." Matt trailed off for a second before continuing. "And the stunt with the cat immensely."
"Mihael would do well to heed my advice." remarked Near out of the blue.
"I am telling you to let me do this my way, Near. I am perfectly capable!" exclaimed said blond irritably.
"I know that Mihael is capable. But he would also do well to listen to others- more specifically myself - on a more regular basis." Near answered the blond noble's retort with tranquil serenity, as though he was quite used to such treatment and, judging from the tiny, almost L-like smile playing about the corners of his mouth, was even amused by it.
Mihael did not reply to this, instead picking up his finely-painted king and moving it backwards. The king picked up his delicate-seeming queen and brought it to bear, effectively trapping Mihael's most valuable piece.
"Checkmate, Mihael. Perhaps you really should listen to Near on occasion; he has quite the brain for one of such low birth," the green-eyed king crowed amusedly.
Light could not help shifting awkwardly in place at that statement.
"Oh shut up Matt!" groused Mihael, accent thickening.
"One of these days I'm really going to have to do something about all this disrespect you keep exhibiting." Matt replied, twirling his own miniature likeness between his fingers, brow raised in a further display of amusement. "I believe the dungeons are quite empty at this time of the season."
"You wouldn't…" Light asked in alarm.
"Of course not and well he knows it," snorted the odd king. "It's the only reason he does it. If for one minute he thought I'd follow through, Near wouldn't allow Mihael's nature to rule him. Provides the perfect balance for the impulsive foreigner."
Mihael muttered something in another language that had Near and L snorting in amusement.
"I'm fairly certain-" Matt said to Light confidingly. "-that he has just insulted me and perhaps my family in a most inventive way."
"Whatever gave that impression, Your- ahem, Matt? I'm sure Mihael wouldn't be that disrespectful." Light responded, voice dripping with sarcasm.
"I'm not sure…" Matt said with mock-thoughtfulness. "It could have been the laughter…"
"Ah." Light nodded sagely. "That would give one such an impression, I suppose. Are you certain?"
"I suppose you ought really to do something about that."
"And what might you suggest, Light?" Matt asked lazily, quirking an eyebrow.
Light gave a boyish grin. "You're a royal- how many languages do you speak with your neighbours?"
Matt mirrored Light's grin. "I speak two with some fluency. Would you care to join me?" Matt asked, grin turning to a devilish smirk. Light laughed.
"That would be rather amusing… And I have a few insults I should like to serve to Mihael."
"He's already gotten on your bad side? It took him a seven-day with my court."
"Mihael was with me in the waiting chamber, and he took it into his head to push me into your hall in a manner most disrespectful. If you had not been so generous a monarch…" Light trailed off purposefully.
"You did seem rather graceless." said monarch acknowledged.
"It was merely a jest." Mihael rolled his eyes. "You just need to get a sense of humour."
"I have one." Light retorted sharply. "But as I said, if the King had been half as capricious as the rest of his court, he could well have interpreted my graceless entry as a deliberate attempt to demean a young and recently ascended king in the eyes of his courtiers." Light's golden eyes became gimlets, boring into Mihael's blue ones. The blond shifted, the only indication of unease. "And you should know, as a fellow noble, what the punishment is for inciting treason." he added softly, knowing that conspiring against one's rightful ruler must surely carry severe consequences.
"He is quite right, Mihael, that jest was in poor taste." Matt pointed out.
"I knew you wouldn't care." Mihael flapped a hand dismissively. Matt narrowed his green eyes.
"It is still a politically bad move." Near commented. "What happens if Mihael finds himself in need of a favour from the Marquis and finds him disinclined to assist because of Mihael's 'jest'?"
"I am not that angry over the matter!" Light protested weakly, somewhat uncomfortable with the blossoming conflict between the other foreign noble and his servant.
Nonetheless, Near continued, heedless of Light's interruption. "I believe I have spoken with Mihael about the dangers of such impulsive actions."
"Impulsive action!? It was merely a jest, Near!"
"Mihael has become careless in his time in this land. If we were in the court of the Czar once more, that sort of stunt would have been fatal for Light; Mihael knows this full well," the white-haired boy pointed out, dark eyes seeming almost to flash. "I cannot and will not allow Mihael to die merely because he has become lax."
"Calm yourself, and remember whose company you share." L pointed out warningly. Near's gaze shot to him.
"You would say the same to your Light." he said softly, but with a knife's edge to his voice. L made to reply, but was interrupted.
"It is well, Ryuuzaki." the king said faintly, beckoning the male and Light to follow him as Near and Mihael resumed their 'discussion', completely ignoring the other three. "Those two are forever at it hammer and tongs. One becomes used to such arguing." His expression turned pensive. "And yet you'll not see a pair more suited than those two."
"A… pair?" Light asked in astonishment, though managing somehow to hide his awkward discomfort as he felt his body remember L's almost-caress.
"Did you not know? They hide it admirably, though of course, they must if they're not to be hunted down as heretics."
"Your Majesty approves?"
"'Matt', Ryuuzaki." said male chastised. "And it is more a matter of looking the other way. Judging from your gift, Light, you know why I look the other way for them." Matt gave a small, bitter smile.
"Your royal blood would hinder any such relationship. The Crown must have divine favour from the Church- and the monarchy must get heirs. Is that why Your Majesty remains as yet unwed?" L asked the question in his usual blunt manner.
The red-head raised an eyebrow, nodding slowly. "Partly. And it is also that none of the ladies at Court who are suitable have half the wit I would like- they are empty-headed featherbrains. If I must marry, I would marry a woman whom can at least hold a half-decent conversation."
Light raised an eyebrow, connecting. 'What of the Lady Misa?' he wondered. 'If I were to introduce His Majesty to her, it would solve all our troubles nicely. She would be able to leave me alone and escape a distasteful marriage- they would get along well enough. Besides, who could wed higher than the reigning monarch?' he thought smugly.
"It seems to me," L said carefully, just as those thoughts flashed through Light's head, "that the Marquis knows a particular Lady with a similar attitude to yourself."
Light shot a glare at L. Trust him to think of the same thing, and steal Light's thunder to boot.
"Oh he does, does he? If that is so, then why, pray tell, has Light not snatched such a gem for himself?" Matt asked amusedly, addressing L.
"Frankly, I have no interest in the woman." Light told the king. "And because, unlike myself, people would care what lovers you took outside of wedlock." he added with quiet compassion. L looked at Light with a tiny hint of surprise on his delicately-boned face. "The Lady I am thinking of is the picture of discretion. If you were to take lovers, she would breathe not a word. She knows she will not wed for love as a noble. She is clever, and none could fault you for choosing her. Her bloodline and appearance are both impeccable."
"If she is such a treasure, then why is she not wed?"
"She is only recently come to Court- her family's lands are in the countryside." Light explained.
The King nodded thoughtfully. "And what might this Lady's name be then, hm?" he asked, giving a canny smile, as though he had already figured it out.
"Her name is the Lady Misa of the Amane House, heiress to the Duke of Felrawthy."
"She also bears the title of Comtesse` d'Angelline` from her mother's family- it is an estate passed through the maternal line." added the young, red-haired monarch thoughtfully, picking up a crystal decanter filled with an amber liquid, pouring a measure into one of the glasses beside it. "Whiskey?" he asked. L shook his head.
"I do not drink Your Majesty." He told Matt serenely, who shook his head, apparently giving up on having L refer to him by name.
"I do not wish to be impolite, but I'm afraid I've no head for liquor." Light told him, glaring at the decanter of golden-brown liquid, remembering how it had apparently made quite the fool of him. Matt raised an eyebrow dubiously, but did not insist.
"Suit yourself." He shrugged, sipping at the drink with appreciation on his face.
"It would seem Mihael and his companion are reconciled." L suddenly announced. Light tilted his head to the side, listening. Indeed, there was nothing but quiet, the raised voices having lowered to a tolerable murmuring.
"They must be; it's as silent as the grave." Matt remarked casually, flopping back onto one of the oddly worn (considering it's placement in the King's personal rooms) armchair positioned by the fireplace (which was, as yet, unlit.). His features stretched into an easy smile, lifting a deck of cards from the side-table carved from some darkish-grained wood. "Care to play a round or two?" he asked. L and Light exchanged a glance, L shaking his head minutely. Light shrugged.
"If you like." He replied, sitting down as the King dealt him his hand. This signified the end of their previous (somewhat awkward) conversation, loaded with hidden meaning.
Those little gatherings continued over the course of the stay of the Duke's entourage at Court, always with the same five people (or, occasionally, four and one kitten that would either drape over Mihael's neck or sit on L's lap). They had a routine, of sorts; L and Light would arrive last, and a game of chess would be played between Matt and Mihael, and then occasionally Near might play against L. Whiskey would be shared out, and then while Mihael and Matt chatted amicably about minutiae, Near and L patiently taught Light the finer points of chess; something which Light picked up at lightning speed. At some point after this would always come a call for a game of cards (usually from Matt, who seemed to enjoy all games with a passion). It was at this point of one such gathering that something... unusual occurred.
"Cards now, gentlemen?" asked Matt. Everyone nodded assent, aside from L and Near, both of whom never played and seemed to be content to watch. The red-haired King picked up the cards with a flourish, automatically shuffling them deftly.
"Those are not the usual cards," L noted sharply. Mihael turned over one of the deck.
"He's right- someone's put Near's 'divination' cards here instead."
Light looked to the white-haired youth. "Divination cards?" he asked in amusement. "Careful who finds out about that- those fanatical priests may decide to burn you for witchcraft!" he joked. Both L and Near glared at him. Light shifted uncomfortably in his seat. 'Well that was intelligent.' he thought to himself, wondering how on Earth he could have forgotten about the burning sentence that he himself had rescued L from. They both seemed to notice his discomfort and accepted it as a silent apology.
Near nodded solemnly, speaking in his usual monotone. "Now that the cards have been shuffled and dealt you must read them. Obviously they must have something important to say to turn up like that." The three would-be card players each raised an eyebrow. Matt shrugged, grinning.
"There's none of the clergy here to see us- we may as well. It's all merely a bit of fun anyway, is it not?" with that, he turned over his three cards. The first bore a picture of two lovers, each bearing a cup with their wrists linked in the pagan joining ceremony. At the top was the number two in Roman numerals.
"The Two of Cups." L remarked. "Love and passion, union and affinity." Those words sounded just strange when said with L's removed monotonous voice.
"But reversed." pointed out Near. "And so, the meaning: - unrequited love, isolation, emotional pain and disillusionment." Matt's face went pale, though he didn't say a word.
The second card bore the picture of an older man in a red robe sitting on a gold throne with a staff in one hand.
"The Hierophant." Near continued. "In this case- marriage."
The third card showed a black-cloaked figure looking sidelong at three over turned cups, with another two standing.
"The Five of Cups. Grief and loss," Near said simply.
"But some cups are still left on the card- oughtn't that mean that it's not all bad?" Light asked.
L turned suddenly darkened grey eyes sharply to him. "Very good- you are right."
"Mihael." Near said, turning to him expectantly.
Said blond snorted, turning his three over. "Three of Pentacles, Ten of Cups and Temperance," he said. "And I know what they mean, Near." Under his breath he continued; "I've been around you for how many years? Of course I picked some of your meanings up."
Light tentatively reached for his own three, flipping them over. There was a great intake of breath from all and sundry save the cartomancer himself and Matt.
"The Tower." Near said quietly, pointing at the first card. "Misery, distress and ruin. Calamity, disgrace and deception." He pointed next to the middle card, in which a naked lady poured an urn into a lake and another onto the ground, with stars above her head. "The Star. While it can be a happy and hopeful card, in this context I would be highly inclined to use the alternate reading. Loss, deprivation and abandonment." In a highly uncharacteristic show of sympathy his voice softened as he pointed to the final card. "But, you see? According to this card, all is not lost." He sent a quick glance to L before continuing. "The Lovers. Attraction, love, the beginning of a meaningful relationship, and trials overcome."
L left the room abruptly, ignoring the various calls to come back and rejoin the group. Light watched, puzzled yet wanting to get up and follow, though torn as to whether it would be wise to risk running after his servant instead of staying in the King's company.
'Tower, Star, Lovers, Tower, Star, Lovers, Tower, Star…' The litany of the cards drawn to Light kept repeating, despite L's best efforts to shut it off. He let out a hiss of frustration, anger and pain, unknowingly startling a liveried servant hurrying in the opposite direction. He was not a cartomancer, and his strength was not best focused through inanimate objects in the areas of divination and seeking of the future. Despite this however, he knew enough of the art well enough to interpret the cards and apply them. The Tower alone would have been an ill omen of great worry, but when taken in conjunction with the message of abandonment… L knew all too well where that came from.
Their Court visit would be over soon, and then he and Light would be returning to the Duke's manor, with only Mikami as an ally, and a dubious one to his mind at best. If L allowed Light to return to that place, the foretelling of the cards might well come to pass- something that he would do much to prevent. Yet at the same time, the only chance for L to gain his freedom- that most treasured of prizes - was for them to return there, and he knew that was the truth with all that he was. Therefore, he was at an impasse. Should he endanger Light, the master he was not only bound to, but one whose life he would choose to protect, even at the cost of his own? Or should he allow their return, risking certain danger to potentially earn freedom from servitude, something that was hard-wired into all of his kind to seek out, trusting to his own strength (and to a certain degree, Mikami's) to keep Light safe?
L looked down at his hand, which he had flipped palm-up, staring at the far too short life-line. He closed his eyes for a minute, before ducking into an alcove behind one of the tapestries along the wall and decided to hide from his dilemma in a mind that did not think so much like a human's.
I just love the way Near interacts with L in this chapter, they're kind of cute. :3
If anyone has questions about the Tarot cards mentioned (including Mello's- I didn't mention those because they really aren't terribly plot-integral, so... Besides, I can see Mello just brushing the issue of his 'reading' off in that fashion, at least in public.) , PM me and I'll do my best! I read the cards, but I'm very amateur. I have therefore put quite some research into these meanings just to make sure.
The next chapter as I mentioned isn't quite ready for typing so I'm envisaging a month approximately for it to be written and typed. I'm hoping I can do it far sooner, but with luck you'll have chapter 10 before next month sometime. (Apologies!)
Chapter 9- Done!
Chapter 10- In the process of hand-writing.
I hope you all enjoyed, and if you'd like to, feel free to leave a review!