Three more drabbles for you.
The candles burned low, hardening wax pooling along the rims and in their holders. The body slumped across a desk stacked with books, a scrap of torn page clutched in its hand. Another book lay on the floor beside the chair.
“His heart must have given out, don’t you think?” The novice alchemist stared at his master, as they stood in front of the corpse.
“Perhaps. The healer will tell us for certain. Run along and fetch her. And inform the Grand Master.”
The novice ran off obediently while his master remained.
“You can come out from the shadows now.”
“How did you know I was hiding there?” The demon familiar stepped into the candlelight, the glow reflecting off his horns.
The master alchemist shrugged. “It’s one of my talents. Is this your doing?” He waved at the body.
“Not me. I was asleep in my realm before someone abruptly summoned me, to find him dead. I saw a figure fleeing out the door, and then you came.”
“How do I know you’re telling the truth?”
“You can’t.” The demon grinned. “But I am. I had no reason to kill him.”
“You’re a demon. Do you need a reason?”
“Now it’s my turn to ask the questions.” The demon’s grin widened. “How did you get here so fast? I heard the boy call for you and then you were in the doorway. He came after.” The demon stepped forward and sniffed. “I can smell the poison from here. His cup’s full of it. Will they find that vial on your belt has traces of the same poison?”
“What are you saying?” The master alchemist took a step backward.
“That you killed him. I don’t know why, not yet, but I suspect it has to do with those missing artifacts.”