Written for the Watermill Grimoire Project.

“Ha, I escaped the flame and the bity ity tatanua floats away. No harm to me. The soul whispers death to ears. I’m Cik.” Rattling in place, as he shifted from foot to foot on the paved floor, Cik broadened his smile to a splendid row of teeth.

“I’ve many things to do. I’m with the Archive you see. I’m Cik. Nice to meet you. You ask what I do or where I’m from. Ha, I care not what brought me here. I’m warrior, Guardian Against the Flame. I control the Sacred Red Box. No flame can lick, our flesh unscorched.”

These questions flicked in Cik’s thoughts, his purpose intact and his heart juddering confidence. The hateful flame held no will over him, as long as he watched the Sacred Red Box. It was his duty, and as a warrior of the Malagan and now a member of the Archive, to be steadfast in his resolve to prevent the fiery from consuming them all. “Tick or tack, I’ll quench the evil if it dares to come. Tick or tack. Flame a petty thing as long as Cik be near.”

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