Hernester looked up. The chanting had started again, or had it always been there. Maybe it wasn’t there at all and he was just imagining it. It sounded like another one of Master Bartlan’s spell chants. Hernester didn’t remember asking him once why he chanted, but he did remember being told that Master Bartlan just preferred it that way.
“He likes it.” Hernester whispered to himself.
There was a noise coming from the other room, the room Master Bartlan was chanting in. It was like a hissing hum. Hernester had heard that before, and remembered enough to recall a portal of sorts. He didn’t remember what it was for. The Master had told him not to touch.
“Don’t touch the portal.” Hernester whispered as he stared at the door. He had been asked to guard while the Master worked today. Or was it yesterday? He couldn’t recall how long he had been sitting, and watching the door. It was sure the Master was still at work though, so he would continue to guard.
He heard a pop, then a cackling laugh. Then another, and then yet another. He kept his watch on the front door. Finally, there was one last pop. The chanting stopped. He could hear Master Bartlan giving instructions to someone in the other room. He didn’t remember anyone visiting, but the Master often had visitors appear from nowhere.
“I need you to watch the school by the sea. Someone there banished the last imp. Make sure you aren’t seen. And you, I need you to watch the rangers. I’ve heard they have a new building. Keep an eye on them there. You! You watch the house where they were staying before. And last, you. You are going to the ziggurat for me. Don’t let anyone see you go in. Wait in the middle, and if someone comes for you, go with them.”
Hernester heard the window open in the other room, and the sound of many small feet scurrying about. He kept watching the door.