Shift World I Book IV Chapter 8
by Christopher W. Gamsby
Karp lightly blushed. "why do you ask that?"
"Rong's expression lingered in much the same manner after her display toward myself."
Baln wolfishly smiled.
"i'm not sure what he's anything to do with it... let's just start the meeting already." Karp sighed in exasperation.
"Indeed. Any indications of the route by which we shall proceed?"
"I think we basically have the right idea, but I'm not sure how to narrow it down."
"agreed. now the poisoner's on guard. i'm not sure they'll make a mistake."
"Certainly a precarious situation. What factors need to be considered to unravel this mystery?"
"well, who had motive and opportunity."
"All sailors possessed the opportunity, basically. Our three main suspects only revealed dubious motives, however."
"i guess..." Karp stroked her chin. "we can sift through their personal belongings for a stronger motivation. a letter home, maybe? a journal?"
"If they had those things before, they're in the water now." Baln rolled her eyes and then stared out into the ocean. "I wish we could just give them Time Waster until someone confesses. That would be so much easier than this."
"How sadistic! Don't be so cruel! Two gentlemen do maintain their innocence."
"you can always expect a sadist to be cruel..." A little smile creaked on the side of Karp's mouth. "i have an idea... let's play a game to uncover the poisoner's identity!"
- - -
"we're going to have a twenty-four-hour long contest to test your sailing skills!" Karp stood in front of Montis, Cogs, and Voceroy, who sat at a table in the main galley. Karp had wheeled in a slate with categories and subcategories listed in systematic order.
"the main three categories are general deckmenship," Montis smiled, and Cogs and Voceroy frowned. The category included knot tying, general ship repair and maintenance, line handling basics, and other skills an effective sailor needed. "administrative functions," This time, Cogs smiled while Montis and Voceroy frowned. Accounting, navigation, inventory management, scheduling, and most of the bureaucratic work required to keep a ship running fell under this category. "and finally, shipboard life." Technically the broadest of the topics, the central theme centered around cooking, cleaning, serving food, and other galley work. Voceroy sighed in relief while the other two seemed indifferent.
"we've developed this curriculum based on the senior crew members' assessment of what sailors of your experience should know about your jobs and about sailing. so, each of you will start with the category you're most experienced with and then move to the others." The three junior sailors nodded along, each looking partially relieved that they'd make a good impression at the start. Karp continued after the pretty obvious response from the contestants.
"after a short rest period with a large meal, each person will attempt another category followed by another break and a large meal, and then, the last category. each section will take eight hours. we'll give periodic snacks and breaks so you can keep your energy up." All three participants sunk in their chairs while hearing the time-frame. "i just want to let you know beforehand that we don't expect a strong showing in the categories you're unfamiliar with. just do your best."
Karp's logic when explaining her plan to Nordic was that a spy sent by The Demon's Wrath likely knew way more about every aspect of ship life than expected of their experience level. Also, any schemer could probably understand the examiner's intent and act more cautiously about getting things right. The more earnest candidates would likely try hard no matter what, even when stumbling through a category. As long as they paid attention to who sandbagged unfamiliar skills, they should easily spot the traitor. "finally, we'll start in about thirty minutes. we've provided a light meal to get you started!"
Karp stood before the crowd with a vexing smile as she motioned for galley workers to wheel in carts carrying stew and flatware. They placed a single bowl and spoon in front of each person. Cogs picked up his spoon and started shoveling food in his mouth. Montis and Voceroy more hesitantly started eating.
Cogs absentmindedly spoke, "Don't you see that the test has already begun?"
Montis furrowed his eyebrows while he sipped on some of the broth. "What are you talking about? This is just dinner."
Voceroy nodded along in agreement.
Cogs pulled his collar as he flushed a little. "Not at all! If we don't eat, they'll think we're suspicious of them... it's very clever."
Voceroy stopped eating altogether. "Hey, I think I've seen this before..." He looked up to Karp, who glanced at them with a devilish grin.
Montis stopped eating too and glanced at Cogs. "What's going on here?"
"it's fine. you two stop eating. oh, it looks like cogs is done already." Cogs sat staring into space with his eyes glazed over, his cheeks flushed, and a little drool dribbling down his face. "come out here. it's cogs. he's the traitor."
The galley's rear door opened, and Nordic the Shark and Tark and her Dragon Guard entered. Nordic looked to Montis and Voceroy. "Get out, we need to talk to Cogs." The young men fled. "I'm surprised this worked so quickly..."
"me too... i think this dose is even less than we received. i thought it would take at least two or three meals to show anything." Karp's companions joined her at the front of the room. "i guess this's what i looked like?"
"More or less. A little more drool, maybe." Baln chuckled, but most of the room seemed in agreement.
Karp scowled. "hey you, why'd you poison us?"
The young man stared blankly.
"It's nearly impossible to get through to them like this. We're going to have to wait until he comes out of it in a little bit..." Nordic spoke with a degree of certainty, but being the expert on taming, Karp didn't want to leave it at that.
"i wonder..." Karp shuffled up to the man, bent down slightly, and met his eyes with hers. She smiled wide, and he followed suit. "why'd you poison the crew?"
"To save the empire!" Her intuition proved correct. The followers of The Demon's Wrath weren't just feigning being friendly. The smiles and gentle voice contributed to the condition.
"how would that have saved the empire?" The young man didn't speak, so Karp gently touched his face, and when he looked back to her, his smile widened.
"If you don't listen to The Demon's Wrath, the empire will crumble. If the empire crumbles, so will our dream of running ships."
"what'd the demon's wrath tell you? it's ok to say."
"He told me not to let any ships sail without his permission. If they tried, give them some of that powder with dinner..."
"now that we're sure let's wait till he's in his right mind again to ask more questions."
"Hmm, I'm still not sure how you knew this would work..." For some reason, Nordic wasn't asking Karp directly, even though he made his intention clear.
"you can count on a sadist to be cruel, and there's no way the demon's wrath would leave such an important mission to someone he hadn't tamed."
- - -
Nordic the Shark stood on the ship's bow with Cogs tied by the wrists. As the ship's captain, Nordic presided over a trial. Cogs had quietly stood by while Karp's team described the evidence they found regarding the poisoning. Of course, all the physical evidence was circumstantial, but his confession damned him. Karp guessed that allegations of coercion couldn't overturn a verdict during a captain's trial. If Cogs complained about being fed Time Waster, no one would care.
"How long have you been working for The Demon's Wrath?" Everyone clearly saw the young merchant's impending guilty verdict. If he threw himself on the mercy of the court, he'd at least have a chance to live. At least that's what Karp thought, and likely someone bright enough to give the whole ship the run around for several weeks understood that as well.
"Since the beginning..."
"The beginning of what?" Nordic's stern face screamed that he wasn't going to accept half-answers.
"Since before I even came on your ship."
"Was our ship captured because you spied on us?"
"I don't think so. I was sent here because he planned on capturing it. I never sent reports back or anything."
"Then, what were your orders?" Nordic crossed his arms and stared down at the young man.
"At first, I didn't have any. I was just supposed to learn the trade like every other merchant. After The Demon's Wrath boarded, my orders were to stop the ship from sailing without his permission."
"Is that why you drugged the crew?"
"Yes. To force the ship to turn around and return to port."
"You're a bigger fool than I thought!" Nordic turned to Tark. "Princess, are you convinced of his guilt?"
"Yes. I differ to your judgment on recompense." Because of Tark's stature in the empire, she technically had the authority to declare the final verdict and set punishments. However, subverting a ship captain's authority endangered good order out at sea. The last thing anyone needed during an emergency was uncertainty over who to listen to. For that reason, Tark and Nordic worked out a verdict before the trial even began.
"Cogs, you're guilty of sedition, mutiny, and the attempted murder of everyone aboard this ship." Cogs had a horrified, confused look on his face.
"I DIDN'T TRY TO KILL ANYONE!" Cogs screamed while backing away, but a pair of senior sailors grabbed him and held him in place.
"You fool. What did you think would happen if you kept drugging the crew on our way into a storm? A bunch of fazed out sailors without even the motivation to react? The ship would sink! That was The Demon's Wrath's plan all along." Cogs sank as the realization of what he'd done plowed into his bones. "Your punishment is death by drowning!"
The senior crew holding onto his arms dragged him to the ship's railing.
"Cut his hands free!" Nordic barked to his crew, and they dutifully obeyed.
After freeing his hands, they hurled him over the railing. He fell two stories onto the ocean surface with a splash. The ship pulled away as the young man struggled to fight the current. He found his bearings and swam in the direction of land.
A sailor holding the container of Time Waster used as evidence heaved it into the water. Karp walked up to Nordic, curious about what she just saw.
"is this normal for trials on a ship?"
"Normal? Most trials are for petty grievances: starting a fight, stealing food or supplies, and the like. It's tradition for guilty verdicts during capital offenses. Throwing the criminal in the ocean, if that's what you mean. This is only my second time doing it in all these years..."
"oh, i see. aren't you afraid he's going to make it back to land and cause trouble later?" The captain and crew laughed, and Karp felt foolish again.
"Even under the best conditions, he might reach land after fighting those currents for three or four days. With his hands tied, he'd drown right away. Now he has a few hours to think about what he's done. If he had his way, everyone on this ship would be dead. Don't feel an ounce of pity for that eel." The Shark almost spat on the deck while he said that last part. "You could even blame him for us not being nearly as prepared as we should be..."
Nordic pointed to the horizon stretching out before them. Black clouds rolled with bolts of lightning illuminating the sky and sometimes hitting the ocean's surface. Karp wasn't looking forward to spending the next few days sick inside her cabin.
- - -
Sea Breeze creaked as it rolled back upright. The last few degrees of roll before the ship stopped sickened Karp because it often felt like the vessel would slightly shake. The disorienting effect made it hard to tell which direction the deck was about to move. Karp ended up laying out on her bed with one foot resting on the cabin's floor while gripping onto a wooden bucket. Luckily, the clean bucket meant Karp improved from the day before.
After an intense moment of internal debate that felt as though it lasted for several minutes, Karp placed her trusty bucket on the floor and stood. Pushing herself to walk turned into fighting to not fly forward as the ship's rocking changed directions. Karp grabbed on to the wall and rested while she waited for the vessel to right itself. Karp exited the room and traversed the passageway.
After about ten steps, Karp stopped and waited for the ship to straighten since it rolled so far she couldn't use the deck anymore. After two more rests, she decided to ask forgiveness for stepping on the wall instead of spending all day walking one passageway. Upon approaching the stairway, an embarrassed look crossed Karp's face as a sailor rounded a turn.
"Good morning, Scorpion. Feeling better, I see." The sailor smiled, and Karp noticed that they also walked on the lower section of the wall. As the ship straightened, the sailor returned to walking on the deck and spoke while passing by, "Don't forget captain said not to go topside until further notice..."
"oh, i can't even imagine. i'm just going to take a small peep outside." Karp gave her customary halfhearted grin, and the sailor walked away with a worried look. Karp mumbled to herself while ascending the stairs, "why would i even want to attempt to go outside?"
At the top, Karp turned to a watertight door that led to the main weather deck. Instead of opening it and stepping out, she pulled open a sliding plank and looked outside. Waves lapped over the side railing and crashed onto the deck before retreating and falling back into the ocean. Waves battered the forward starboard side. Only half of the mainsails were up and positioned cock-eyed to the wind to lower the gale's power coming from the stern.
Karp wondered if this meant the rough seas slowed their movements, but it was probably necessary given the crew's caution. In fair seas, the sailors moved freely about the deck, adjusting the sails or performing maintenance as needed. During the storm, the crew only went topside in groups while tethered to lines anchored to the ship's superstructure. Even more people helped hold the lines as a fail-safe if the anchors detached.
As such, the crew had only gone topside a total of three times in the last several days. Twice had been to replace broken lines, and one time, the wind changed direction, and the sails needed to be corrected. After small changes, Nordic had compensated for the angle using the rudder. Apparently, that time, the difference was too significant to offset, and if the crew didn't risk their lives to change the sails, the whole ship could have drifted far off course. Luckily with so many extra experienced sailors lounging on board with nothing to do, and any repairs had gone smoothly. If not, the journey could have been even more nauseating.
As Karp watched the deck, a particularly nasty wave crested over the bow. Roiling water shot toward the door and splashed through the plank's opening, soaking Karp's face. She choked and gagged on seawater while violently shuddering the window. "i just had to look..."
Karp stumbled down the hallway, coughing, and stuttering as she cleared viscous liquid from her lungs, nose, and mouth. She walked to the galley, hoping that fresh food and water would make her feel better. After stumbling in, Karp made her way to a buffet-style serving area. A small scoop of sticky rice covered with glazed meat and a dinner roll seemed like the best choice for dinner. Soup hadn't been served in the last several days, probably because the constant sloshing would just create a big mess for the crew to clean.
After half-filling a mug with water, Karp sauntered over to Nordic the Shark, who ate his dinner alone. Karp always had a skewed perspective when it came to authority and propriety. Slart, the senior-most manager at the general store, acted as a de facto vice chief of the village. Korg the Whitecoat, her master and world-famous shifter, ruled as the most powerful man in the region. Many people greatly respected those two but avoided them in off-hours to keep that part of their life separate. Karp imagined the sailors acted similarly with Nordic.
"hello." Karp greeted The Shark as she sat, and he looked up with a smile.
"Hello, Scorpion. Wow, I never imagined you being a dainty eater!" Nordic looked at her plate with only two small scoops of rice and a couple chunks of meat. Karp let out a burbling groan, and The Shark laughed. "Oh right, I had heard you were having a rough go of it... but you seem to be doing well. Right now, there are professional sailors too sick to leave their racks."
"yeah... i mean, you look a little tired but otherwise unaffected."
"Certainly, you can understand. I haven't had more than a few hours of sleep in the last three days."
"isn't there someone you can trust while you sleep?"
"Of course, there is! Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to sleep at all!" Karp had finished her meal and gave him a look like she didn't really understand. "You see, there are a hundred little decisions a captain makes on any given day. Most of the time, those decisions are delegated out or made en masse. Given the circumstances, I give out orders more often, and the crew has less freedom to decide things on their own."
"i see. i'm sure you're also working overtime to keep the ship on track with how much it's moving around."
"Actually, we can't navigate what-so-ever in these conditions. We can't see the stars, there are no landmarks around, and dead reckoning is useless."
"dead reckoning? should you be using words like that?"
"Ha! That just means we guess our location by knowing our speed and header. We really don't know either that well at the moment."
"we're just drifting lost?"
"No." Nordic chuckled. "We have a compass on the bridge that lets us know our general heading. So, we adjust the ship to keep an approximate south-easterly direction. Once we're out of the storm, we'll find our position and adjust from there. The main thing now is to survive the storm and then go to our destination."
- - -
The next morning, Karp left her room to the sounds of people running around the passageways. The ship still rocked and pitched as violently as it had the days before, but Karp slowly acclimated more to the motion. She didn't feel nearly as sick as the previous days and hadn't vomited in a while. Karp stopped a passerby. "what's happening here?"
"One of the masts cracked, and we need to fix it before it snaps. There's an emergency meeting happening now on the matter." The sailor ran off toward the galley, and Karp followed her into a packed room. Nordic stood at the front with the chalkboard they used for the 'game.'
"Good, everyone's here now. As much of you've probably heard, we discovered a crack in the second mast. If that mast breaks, the falling debris could punch a hole in the hull and start flooding the upper compartments. It's no exaggeration to say, we could all die if this problem's not addressed."
"i'll volunteer!" Karp called out from the back of the room, to everyone's surprise.
"Excuse me?" Nordic scratched his head and gave Karp a confused look.
"i'll go out and fix the mast so no one else has to be put at risk." Since Karp spoke in a dead inflection with a matter of fact expression, she gave off an air of having thought gravely on her decision. That must have been even more amusing for the crew because they all gave uproarious laughter.
"Oh... Karp... why..." The Shark couldn't contain his laughter, and it spread even further to the rest of the crew. Tark turned around and gave Karp a sympathetic look, almost to say that if Karp hadn't said anything first, the attendees would laugh at her instead. "Oh my. Thank you for a little levity in all this. We're going to have three teams of twenty people, all trained in this exact drill, working together to fix the problem. I appreciate the offer, though."
Karp's face reddened as the realization sank in that she was an outsider and probably the least experienced sailor on the whole vessel. No captain in their right mind would ask someone so incredibly unqualified to try and fix such a vital problem themselves. "ah, right. well, if you need anything from me, let me know."
"Ok, sure... I'll come to talk to the shifters after this about how you can help..." Nordic continued on to explain the plan. One team temporarily bridged the cracked mast while another handled their safety. The last prepared a permanent fix in one of the cargo holds. Karp began to feel foolish for letting her imagination run wild and think they would have a single person dash off and somehow fix it themselves.
On a ship with a standard crew size, someone like Karp may have been asked to join the safety team or the final repair team as just an additional worker. However, with three times the workers of a standard ship, Nordic favored having experienced sailors even complete the seemingly unskilled work. Synergy and chain of command remained important in such a precarious situation. Hence, the ship's upper brass compiled teams as best they could by the sailors' home ships lead by one of Nordic's officers.
After waiting a few minutes for the individuals to check their assigned team and clear out, Nordic strolled up to Karp, Drom's Troupe, and the Dragon Guard. "Well, that was quite amusing, thank you. I think that shows what a different world Shifters are in compared to everyone else."
Karp gave an awkward smile; the other shifters seemed to be thinking over the statement with perplexed expressions. The non-shifters in Drom's Troupe nodded in agreement. "well, it's just in my nature to attack things head-on, i guess."
"Exactly what I mean, Karp. On a ship, though, most things don't just boil down to leave it to the single most competent person to bear. At least not on one that will make it through the journey. Generally, sailors won't even consider solving a problem that way unless there's no other option. Onward to how you all can help.
"Normally, the final repairs would have to be completed sometime after the storm finishes when the whole crew can work on the temporary splint. There normally wouldn't be enough people left to cook dinner or lookout for water damage. So, that's what I'd like for you all to do. There are still a couple of people left in the galley, but I want you to help them make dinner. Also, have a few of you help secure spaces. Though, to be honest, anything that would have fallen by now probably has."
- - -
Rong the Turtle and Tan the Wyvern volunteered to move from space to space and clean up anything that spilled over due to the inclement weather. Tark helped the bridge maintain an estimate of their location and facilitate managing the ship while Nordic concentrated on repairs. Ban the Water Drake volunteered to work with Drom's Troupe members to run information between the sailors creating the permanent fix and those patching the mast on deck. Meanwhile, Karp the Scorpion and Baln the Coral Snake had agreed to help Voceroy and Modge, the cook who worked for caravans under the protection of Drom's Troupe.
Obviously, Voceroy had the most experience working in a ship's galley during a storm, which lead him to work almost entirely unaffected by the present circumstances. Modge often did prep work from the back of a moving wagon, which gave him a good deal of experience working under unusual conditions. He fared pretty well. Karp and Baln, however, had no experience cooking under anything but pristine conditions.
In fact, Karp generally only ate raw food when left to her own devices. Dried fruit, vegetables, jerky, and nuts were her usual meals, which she would eat for months at a time in the Shift World. Even after building a full set of cooking equipment in an attempt to please Wili, she had never really bothered using the stove to do more than test if it worked.
Baln cooked a little more competently since she often infiltrated keeps in her capacity as one of Tark's top spies. Posing as a worker could be the quickest way of entering a new household. During the prolonged search for the followers of The Mandrake, Baln learned cooking since keeps always needed that skilled labor. However, she only had the skills of a trainee cook, let alone some kind of chef. Baln and Karp worked together to saute vegetables for the day's side dish, given their overall lack of competency.
Karp pinned down a carrot with her left forearm while taking a chef's knife in her right hand and bringing it to the thin side and slicing. She managed an almost uniform 1/4 inch thickness in the first four cuts, but then the ship rocked. Her slice cut diagonally to where it started at a quarter inch and then thinned to 1/100th of an inch. She tried correcting the motion and ended up with an entire carrot's worth of mismatched pieces.
"You're leaving too much on the end." Voceroy chided Karp. "The more we throw out, the less we have to eat..." The young man backtracked when Karp eyed him.
Karp put the end back on the cutting board and tried positioning the knife around her forearm. "Be careful not to cut off a finger!" Baln absentmindedly warned her while cutting up food herself. Karp couldn't help but wonder if Baln's forked tongue spit a mean-spirited venom or a harmless gibe.
"Can I make a suggestion?" Karp looked up to Voceroy and made a face reading something like 'go ahead' or 'hurry up.' "Just hold it down by the greenage growing from the top..."
The carrots were left nearly untouched after being plucked from the field, which also meant they had to cut off the inedible plant top after washing off the dirt. Now, however, she could use the plant part as a handle to cut up more of the root if she left it on the stalk.
While concentrating on cutting up the vegetables, the ship rocked especially violently, and Karp thrust her hand out to catch a wooden bowl which held cut-up ingredients. Baln, however, wasn't paying attention and her bowl of zucchini slices crashed to the deck. Most of the contents stayed inside, but some spilled out. Baln picked up the few laying on the dirty ground and scurried over to a trash bin.
"Hey, what are you doing? We can't afford to throw out good food! Just wash it off!" At Voceroy's chiding, Baln slithered over to the sink. "Hey! Don't use so much freshwater! We can't waste like this until the storms are done!"
Voceroy shouted, which Karp found off-putting. She wondered if he always spoke like this in the kitchen, despite his meek presence everywhere else. "i wonder how you'd do in a fight..." In Karp's experience, people who compartmentalized themselves this much could either be the worst of best fighters imaginable. Either they turned on a dime and ferociously attacked, or they became so out of sync they wouldn't even block obvious attacks. Karp knew that most people saw her as the former, someone that could turn violent in a heartbeat, but she never actually felt much different when fighting. Since the young man started shaking a little when a topic other than cooking came up, Karp imagined the cook as the latter type of fighter.
"I bet he's not that good. Should we give him a try?" Baln looked up at him while cutting, and Voceroy looked like he entered a full-blown panic for some reason.
"Look, we just need to work as efficiently as we can. I'll try to be more careful about what I say." Voceroy put his hands up in a defensive posture while waving his palms.
"i have no idea what you're talking about, but should you really be waving around a knife at us?" Even with Karp's lack of knowledge about safety out to sea, that seemed like sound advice.
"Yeah... what exactly are you trying to say to us?" Baln gave her usual impish grin, which made her intentions a little difficult to discern.
"I'm not doing anything!" Voceroy dropped his knife on the counter and walked to collect Karp and Baln's cut vegetables. The two women watched him nervously walk from his counter to theirs and collect the nearby bowls. He dumped them into a wok affixed to the side of the stove. He returned with bowls of different ingredients. Modge snickered in the corner. Karp looked at him, and he stopped the instant she made eye contact.
"what's so funny?" Karp started cutting from the new bowl that Voceroy brought.
"As intense as ever, I see..." Modge swallowed and went back to preparing the night's main meat dish. While Karp tried to figure out what was happening, a volley of footsteps came racing down the hall.
"i wonder what that's all about."
"Who knows? Many things can go wrong out here that you wouldn't even think about when not on a ship. Like what? Tripping, for instance. Someone trips over a line or something while fixing that mast, they'll be at pretty serious risk of getting washed overboard. It's not so bad with so many people holding onto safety ropes and such..." Voceroy spoke so calmly and matter-of-factually that it seemed he may have experienced that firsthand.
The sound of many people trudged up the hall and past the galley. They grunted and groaned as they passed. "It won't be too much longer. We need to hurry up..." At Voceroy's warning, Baln jumped on heating up the stove to cook the vegetables while Voceroy and Modge started cooking the meat and grains. Karp finished chopping the last of the ingredients and rushed them to Baln, who dumped them into sizzling oil. The cooking dish occasionally popped and settled again as Baln stirred the vegetables to prevent burning.
Karp reached over for a shaker of salt and, without being prompted, poured some into the frying pan. She stopped and looked over to the spice rack and had no idea what any other containers actually held. Baln encouraged her to try something, but Karp froze and decided that the salt would taste fine since she usually ate everything bare.
As the dinner finished, a loud creaking crack came from the above deck, and Voceroy shouted again. "Ok! Last push! We're either about to celebrate or mourn! Let's go!"
A few minutes after that, a ruckus group of sailors started piling into the galley. Inaudible speech broken up by laughter and hands slapping tables told the cooks that everything went well. Just as the group became loudest, the whole meal came together, and the temporary cooks wheeled out trays of completed food. Nordic had allowed the crew to drink two mugs of beer as a reward, which increased their mirth.
Sometime after the celebrations, Karp pressured a few of the crew to let her know how the food had been. The overwhelming consensus was that it tasted alright, with the vegetables being undercooked with too much salt and no other flavoring. It looked like Karp wasn't destined to train as a chef.
Thank you for reading up to current, please consider purchasing the full book. Book IV has a special prologue summarizing the events of Book III from Karp's perspective and special Epilogues that shows events from the book from other people's perspective.
Maybe consider purchasing and reading the Light Novel. Then, enjoy new colored illustrations (also available in the illustrated edition!) posted online each week. You could also enjoy reading the tale from a new perspective once you know the 'whole' story.
Book IV Chapter 9 will be posted May 25th, Please come back then!