Lord Sunday. Home · Lord Sunday Author: Nix Garth. 55 downloads Lord Sunday (The Keys To The Kingdom) · Read more · Sunday Billy Sunday. Sunday Age 'Nix keeps his taut and energetic series moving at breakneak pace, [email protected] Web: ruthenpress.info National Library of .. Superior Saturday is fighting Lord Sunday up above in the Incomparable. Lord Sunday read online free from your Pc or Mobile. Lord Sunday (The Keys to the Kingdom #7) is a Fantasy novel by Garth Nix.
|Language:||English, Spanish, French|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Register to download]|
Lord Sunday is book 7 in The Keys to The Kingdom Series by award-winning author Garth Lord Sunday audiobook available from these online booksellers. Lord Sunday is the seventh book concluding Garth Nix's The Keys to the Kingdom series. . Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. Jesus Is Lord Free Online Bible Study Lessons: Evidences for Christianity, study a lesson on computer, open the saved lesson in your browser or PDF reader).
Anyhow, we get on a dragon and fly towards the sunset — have to wait for it, of course, cos Lord Sunday moves the sun around, but the Elysium always faces the setting sun. What with being. But his more sensible side said quite the opposite, remembering what he had been told about the Keys, and how the Seventh Key was paramount over all.
Perhaps I should get help first, like Part Six of the Will said. He shook his head and took out the Fifth Key. And make sure this house. At first he saw only his reflection, but that wavered, and he felt a surge of relief as the now-familiar carpet with its battle-scene motif slowly coalesced into a solid view, with the rest of the room shimmering into focus around it.
But just as it was about to become entirely crisp and real, the mirror shook in his hand and the vision wavered. Arthur frowned and gripped his wrist with his left hand to steady it, but the mirror continued to shake and twist, as if someone else was trying to take it away from him.
But just as he had with the Atlas, he felt an opposing force, one that grew stronger and stronger, until the Fifth Key flew from his grasp and clattered onto the floor. Arthur clenched his fist, but seeing Phineas watching him so intently, he managed to contain his anger. Instead of punching the walls, he knelt down and picked up the mirror, slipping it back into his pouch.
Just stay close behind. The hole 66 grew large enough for Arthur. Phineas put one leg through it, then hopped back again. Can I have it back, please, sir? I just have to have one to hand in. Arthur looked around the kitchen, and glanced up at the ceiling, to the room above where his mother was trapped in a small circuit of time.
At least I know where Mum is, he thought heavily, then stepped through the hedge. He found himself in a cool green alley between two hedges that were at least fifty feet tall. Above them he could see a perfect blue sky with a faint touch of white clouds — it looked like it might have been painted by some old master, and possibly was.
Probably the sun moved along a track, just like the suns in other parts of the House, though Arthur guessed that the one here would be more impressive, and move more smoothly than in any other demesne. He started walking along the alley, idly thwacking the hedges on either side with his fork. It was pleasantly cool between the hedges, with the dappled green light and the beautiful blue sky above. They combined to almost lull Arthur into a sense of peacefulness, but he knew it was only an illusion.
He was thinking hard about what he could and should do. Arthur stayed close to the hedge, keeping in its shadow. He had the unpleasant feeling that he was being watched, and there was a slight, sickmaking ache in his bones, a sign that sorcery was being practiced somewhere nearby.
He reached into his pouch and drew out the Fifth and Sixth Keys. Arthur held up his hand to silence Phineas again, then listened. There was something — a rustle in the hedge, as if a large rat was wriggling through the tightpacked greenery. At that moment, two enormous, green-skinned Denizens burst out of the greenery, as if the hedge itself had come to life.
Arthur shouted in fury, and tried to throw them forward, but they held on tight, and their long, gnarled toes dug into the earth like tree roots, to hold him fast.
His pouch flew open, and the mirror and the pen flew up towards his hands. In that same instant the tall green Denizens had erupted from the hedge, Phineas had grown and changed.
He was now a commanding figure some ten feet tall. He stood above Arthur, holding the writhing Keys in the net with his left hand, while his right was held tight around a small object that he wore on a chain around his neck. The only thing that was not altered was the intense darkness of his eyes. He is very strong. While the grease monkeys regularly used the various moving chains to go between floors of the tower, Sorcerous Supernumeraries usually took the elevator, so this was a new experience for Giac.
The Chain ran in a broad shaft, going up one side and down the other. Each link was six feet tall and six feet wide, and had a flat space in the middle where the grease monkeys stood, sat, or even slept as the Chain rattled up or down. He peered a little towards the edge and gulped. And whose side am I on again? Will Lord Arthur take me on?
Anyhow, me and Arthur is like two fingers of a gauntlet. Or at least the thumb and the little finger. Suzy had begun to think they might be lucky and find that the floor 72 they needed, where the desks that controlled the elevators were located, was also abandoned. But they were now passing floors that were still fully staffed with thousands of sorcerers at their desks, their blue umbrellas now furled at their sides, since the ten-thousand-year rain had stopped. Fortunately they were intent on their work, and the few that glanced across did not find the sight of what appeared to be a grease monkey and a Sorcerous Supernumerary on the passing Chain to be of any interest.
She certainly looked thoughtful, staring at each passing floor, and hardly blinking. Maybe if we need a distraction, you do something. Only close examination would show that it was made of tiny, squirming letters of blue type rather than the usual glazed bronze. Giac followed, but got his umbrella caught in his legs and almost knocked both of them over. They staggered forward, Suzy brandishing the blue message capsule above her head. All the nearer sorcerers looked across from their desks, their eyes intent on the capsule.
Some kept up their two-handed writing, but most stopped. A second later, whispers began to cross the floor, and Suzy saw a ripple of movement spread out from the Chain shaft through the open offices as sorcerers all the way to the far western side of the tower turned to look.
The sorcerers there stared at her, the mirrors they were supposed to watch forgotten, the spells they were meant to be inscribing temporarily abandoned. Suzy walked farther in, towards the nearest bank of 75 elevators. She could see the iron grille doors of the closest elevator, but there was only empty space behind it, rather than the usual wood-and-glass door of a House elevator. As Suzy and Giac passed by the closer desks, the muttering behind them changed.
The whispers grew louder and sounded angry. Will any desk do? The sorcerer there was watching her, like all the others, but she thought he looked just a shade shorter than his neighbours, which probably meant he had been recently promoted to the green levels.
Choosing him for another promotion would likely create the biggest possible uproar. Suzy ignored it and stopped in front of the desk with the slightly shorter Denizen. He looked up at her, his eyebrows arched in surprise. As she spoke, she put the message capsule on the desk. Suzy ducked a more deadly letter-opener and ran around to the far side of the desk. Xagis was already crouching underneath it. Giac, on the other hand, was capering up and down and pointing out towards the exterior of the building.
She glanced over the top of the desk, was almost hit by a small tin of chalk that exploded open and powdered Xagis with chalk dust, 77 and saw that the Will had grown little legs and scurried into a drawer of the desk, where it was working away at something. The missiles stopped hitting the desk. Suzy took another look and saw the Denizens were all getting out from behind their desks and grabbing their umbrellas.
Giac was still jumping up and down and pointing. Suzy looked where he indicated, and saw that his diversion was not just a thing of words and invention. There were Newniths coming onto the floor — leather-winged Newniths, flying in on the western side of the tower. They wore flexible plates of dull red armour on their arms and legs, breastplates of the same metal, and closed golden helmets that had narrow eye-slits and crosshatched mouth-holes.
Wielding electrically charged two-handed swords, they were more warlike and threatening than any Newniths Suzy had seen before, more than living up to her threatening description of them to Giac.
Xagis took his umbrella and rushed to join the ranks of sorcerers that were forming to oppose the Newniths. There were at least fifty of the invaders already on the western edge of the tower, and they had hacked off the heads of the closest sorcerers, who had not been quick enough to get out from their desks or grab their umbrellas. Suzy saw winged Denizens appear behind the attackers too, swooping down at the hovering Newniths that were waiting their turn to come in, an aerial battle commencing.
Suzy looked across at the elevator bank. There was still no sign of an actual elevator behind the grille door. There was no answer. There was a lot of noise now, with the Newniths and Denizens shouting and screaming, the zing of fire bolts, the squeal of umbrella spikes on armour, the clash and thud of the two-handed swords striking through desks, umbrellas, and Denizens.
It came out of the drawer and jumped to her shoulder, becoming a raven once more. Which was unfortunate, as Xagis and a couple of the nearer Denizens happened to be looking back at that moment. He raised his umbrella, which spat a bolt of fire at Suzy.
Suzy and Giac slowly walked backwards towards the elevator, with Giac holding his umbrella open in front of them both. The Will bounced off the floor and ceiling to cover their retreat, knocking more Denizens over like bowling pins.
Suzy wrenched open the grille and the door behind, but a fire bolt caught both of them as they dove in, and they rolled around on the floor, shrieking and smoking, until the Will flew in, slammed the door shut, and turned itself into a blanket that smothered the flames. Double ow! She looked around wildly, but apart from herself, Giac, and Part Six of the Will, the elevator was empty. There was no operator, and the small bandstand in the corner was also vacant.
Some of the buttons in the middle were also affected by this blight, and were generally dull. She looked up at the Will, who was flapping near the ceiling. Unlike the military or FBA suits, it was bright yellow and had evacuee printed on the front and back. Ellen showed her how to put the suit on, which was to step backwards into the connected over-boots and then pull up the front inner toothless zip and pull down the outer zip, before folding over the big Velcro tabs.
The gas mask was next. It was a simpler version of the military ones, without a radio or other electronics, and it smelled rubbery and disgusting. Ellen demonstrated how to put it on and clear it, closing the intake valves and breathing out hard. Leaf was trying it for herself for the third time when Ellen got a call from outside.
Major Penhaligon is waiting for you outside. Even decontamination will be welcome. She had to wait while it buzzed and hummed, before the outer door opened to let her into a pressurised tunnel of clear plastic that led to another portable air lock structure. This one took several minutes to cycle through, the progress of pressure equalisation and door opening being indicated by a row of tiny led s that slowly changed from red to green, a process that Leaf found weirdly mesmerising.
Major Penhaligon was waiting outside the final air 84 lock. Chen was with him, and another soldier whose name tag read williams , who was carrying a large medical backpack marked with a red cross. Follow me, please. The back ramp was down, and they trudged up and sat on the benches inside, the soldiers on the left and Leaf on the right.
She felt a bit like it was an audition. The ramp closed after them, and the personnel carrier rumbled off. He stretched out to show a folded map to Leaf. It had been circled in red pencil with a question mark, and unlike nearly all the other buildings did not have its name or other information printed on the map. Ominously, there was also a shaded circle drawn on the map. Leaf looked out through the small, very thick armourglass window.
It made everything look blurry and it was initially hard to work out exactly where they were, but she soon recognised a building and got her bearings.
There were no signs outside that indicated the building was a hospital of any kind. It looked just like the other low-rise oldish office buildings on the street, sharing with them the hallmarks of the micronuke attack, as all the windows facing East Area Hospital were shattered, and there were burn marks across the facade.
There had been some trees out in front as well, but they were now only blackened stumps. Leaf felt a momentary doubt as she climbed out the back of the personnel carrier.
What if all the sleepers were gone, transported back to the House by yet another machination of a Trustee? Then Major Penhaligon would think she was a nutcase, or a real troublemaker— She was thinking about that when Martine suddenly burst out through the front doors.
Though she was wearing a scarf over her head and a surgical mask, it was easy to tell just from her staring eyes that she was absolutely terrified. She almost fell down the wheelchair ramp, towards Sergeant Chen, who rushed forward to catch her.
A thing from the House. Take care of this woman. Could be real trouble. Then he stepped back and readied his own pistol. Chen, stay close. Miss Leaf, you wait here. Chen followed, and Leaf, despite being told not to, followed Chen.
A sleeper staggered out of the top of the ramp, took several steps, and then was horrifyingly gripped by a long green tentacle. It wrapped around the old man and yanked him off his feet and dragged him back out of sight. There was another scream, and then silence. It was followed by another, and another, and then the main body of the creature rounded the corner.
It was the size and shape of a small car, with dimpled, tough-looking hide that was bright green. It had hundreds of foot-long legs under this central torso, and three big tentacles in total, each of which was easily thirty feet long. On top and in the middle of its main body, there was another shorter limb, perhaps a neck, about three feet long, which supported a sensory organ that resembled a daisy, hundreds of pale yellow anemonelike tendrils swirling around a central, darker yellow orb.
As Major Penhaligon took a step forward, these anemone 88 tendrils all turned towards him, as if they could sense his movement. He stopped, but most of the tendrils continued to point stiffly at him, with only a few still fluttering on the sides, as if they were watching for other potential enemies. There was a slim braided lead attached to the collar, and the lead stretched back around the corner. She was answered a moment later when a humanoid figure stepped out from behind the creature.
He was greenskinned, seven feet tall, and wore a tailed coat made of autumn leaves and breeches apparently of green turf. In his right hand, he held a scythe, the butt planted upon the ground.
The staff of the scythe was at least nine feet long, and the curving blade stretched behind him, 89 from shoulder to shoulder. It was made from some dark metal that did not reflect the light. He waved one negligent hand. Leaf noticed that his thumbnails were a darker green than his skin, so dark they were almost black. Who are you?
Come to me. Major Penhaligon was whispering on his radio again, and Chen had moved her aim to the green Denizen. Walk to me, child, ere I set the beastwort upon your companions. As he shouted, he and Chen started shooting at the beastwort. Leaf turned and sprinted as fast as she could for the doors, the booming shots echoing around her, followed by the clomp of boots as Penhaligon and Chen caught up with her.
Chen picked her up under one huge arm as they crashed through the doors, Major Penhaligon turning around to fire several times into the leading tentacle as it almost grasped his leg. While the bullets hit, they appeared to do little, if any, damage. The vehicle had turned so that its turret machine gun was facing the door of the hospital, and its back ramp was open.
Chen took Leaf out one side, with Major Penhaligon close behind, and as they ran for the ramp, the machine gun started to fire deafeningly over their heads. Williams and Martine were already inside. They scurried back as Chen, Leaf, and Major Penhaligon hurtled in, and then Chen pulled the lever to close the rear ramp.
As she scrambled up, another tentacle came in the other side of the ramp. Chen hacked at it with her combat knife, but its flesh was like a rubbery sponge. The knife simply rebounded off, no matter how much force Chen applied.
Then the tentacles fastened themselves completely around the ramp and ripped it off, the heavy armour plate torn in half as easily as a stick of licorice.
The door went flying through the air to crash into a burned-out car across the street, and the beastwort slithered into view. Chen and Major Penhaligon tried to push Leaf back 91 behind them, as if they could somehow shield her from the monster, but Leaf resisted. It took all her courage to get out the next few words, but she managed. There is little time. I just.
I just hope Arthur can save me. Even distorted by the mask, the surprise and shock in his voice were evident. She flinched under his touch, and felt a wave of fear so intense that she almost fell.
But she fought against it and remained upright. Only, through the rainbow prism of her tears, she saw they were not the doors of the hospital. They had become one tall arched door, decorated with a thousand swirling patterns and shapes, pictures of things that had happened and things that might yet come to pass, a confusing kaleidoscope of colours and movement that Leaf knew she must not keep looking at, lest she be so drawn in she lost her senses.
In other words, it was the Front Door of the House. He had seen that sorcerous steel before, binding the Old One to his clock, so he struggled even harder. But the Denizens were too strong, and they were aided by the unseen power that Arthur felt pressing down upon him, the power that he knew emanated from the Seventh Key that Lord Sunday must be holding in his hand.
As one of the Denizens fastened a chain to the manacle on his right hand, Arthur summoned up all his strength. He made a slight gesture with the Key that lay hidden in his cupped hand. Arthur immediately lost his voice, his next few words croaking away into unintelligibility. He could feel the sorcery in the manacles. It felt like a terribly cold current in the metal, eternally running counterclockwise around his wrists. They felt so strong he doubted whether he could break them even if he managed to get back the Fifth and Sixth Keys, which seemed unlikely.
Arthur wished he could see what that Key was, but it was entirely hidden. Whatever it was, it had to be small — though it might grow and change, Arthur thought, as Sunday had changed himself. Lord Sunday looked up, and Arthur followed the direction of his gaze. There was something above them, a black dot against that beautiful blue sky with its whispery clouds.
The dot grew larger and larger, swooping down towards them from some great height, and Arthur saw it was a huge dragonfly. It descended very quickly to hover up above them, its wings almost touching the tops of the hedges on either side.
It was a very big dragonfly. Its body was about sixty feet long, and each of its multipart, buzzing wings was easily twice that length. The ladder unrolled itself as it fell, ending near Lord Sunday, who quickly began to climb up it, effortlessly taking three or four rungs at once.
The Denizens holding Arthur looped his chains around the hook, the Denizen above waved to some other unseen crew, and the rope was hauled up, leaving Arthur dangling some thirty feet below the dragonfly. It was a very painful position, with his arms twisted behind his back and the manacles on his wrists supporting his entire weight.
Arthur knew that prior to his transformation he would have been screaming in pain as his arms were dislocated at the shoulders. Now, though it hurt a lot, he merely grimaced and contained his pain, the anger inside him still stronger than any other feeling. Part of that anger was addressed to himself. How could I have been so stupid?
Arthur thought. I should have got out of here somehow, as soon as I knew it was the Incomparable Gardens. The two tall, green-skinned Denizens shinnied up the rope ladder, and it was drawn up.
Its legs, which had been dangling just above Arthur, retracted against the vast abdomen. The dragonfly zoomed up and jinked sharply to the right in a move that sent Arthur swinging on his chains, jerking his arms enough to make him let out a small gasp.
Arthur forced the pain back down. Then, with a herculean effort, he leaned forward till he was head down, hooked his feet through his linked arms, and swung through so that his manacled wrists were now in front and above him, and he could hold on to the chains rather than having his whole weight supported by the manacles and his wrists.
With the lessening of the pain, Arthur found he could concentrate on other things, like looking around. The dragonfly had settled into level flight at about a thousand feet up, Arthur guessed, giving him a panoramic view of the Incomparable Gardens.
In other circumstances, it would have been a wonderful vista. Below him was a patchwork of hundreds or possibly thousands of different gardens, all separated by corridors of tall green hedges like the one in which he had been 98 ambushed.
There were gardens that were small and green and tidy; gardens of russet and tan that sprawled across many acres; there were deserts and low rolling hills and swamps and even several beaches that bordered portions of ocean no more than a hundred yards long and wide.
Amid the patchwork of gardens, there were several other locations that occupied much larger areas. Not that it really matters, thought Arthur. He needed to concentrate on what he was going to do, instead of wondering about what was happening in the battle between Saturday and Sunday — or, for that matter, the battle in the Upper House below them, between the Piper and Saturday.
As far as he could see with the wind in his eyes and the constant swinging back and forth as the dragonfly changed course, the manacles were all one piece of sorcerous steel. They had no keyholes or bolts or any other obvious fasteners, and the chain ran through protruding eyelets that were half an inch thick and seemed as much part of the manacle as the main band, with no signs of welds or any weakness that might be exploited. It was likely that they could only be unfastened by the Seventh Key, or some similar power.
Perhaps Arthur, with all the other six Keys, might be able to command his release if he was not opposed by Lord Sunday. He brought his wrists together and tried to get the fingers of his right hand under the left manacle, to see if he could bend or break it with his now otherworldly strength. But the manacles were too tight, and in his heart he knew there was no chance that they could be opened by any physical act. Made with sorcery, they could only be undone by sorcery.
Next, Arthur tried to summon a telephone, as he had done in other parts of the House. But whether he asked for one aloud or simply tried to will a telephone into existence, nothing happened. Always, he felt the unseen pressure of the Seventh Key working against him.
It was clear that he could not prevail against it. Despite that, after a bit of a rest, or as much of a rest as it was possible to have while swinging on chains under a giant dragonfly moving at full speed, Arthur tried again. But all he managed to do was give himself a raging headache, to add to the pain in his wrists and shoulders. Eventually he just let himself swing by his chains, and tried to think. He was in a desperate situation, Arthur knew that much.
While he now was very hard to kill, Lord Sunday certainly had the power to slay him if he wanted to, though if he did want to, he presumably would have already done so. Arthur thought about that a little more. Also, if he did kill Arthur, then Sunday could never take the other Keys. They had to be handed over willingly. It was possible that Lord Sunday might not even want the other Keys. Arthur had no idea what Sunday really wanted.
After all, it was Saturday who had set the fall of the House in motion, and Saturday who had invaded the Incomparable Gardens, because the Gardens were the only part of the House likely to survive the onrush of Nothing that had already taken the Far Reaches, the Lower House, and who knew what else by now.
As Arthur was effectively an agent of the Will, and the supposed Rightful Heir of the Architect, Lord Sunday was automatically his enemy. But maybe we can work something out, he thought. We both have to stop the tide of Nothing, to save the House and the rest of the Universe. Arthur sighed as his thoughts continued into less optimistic regions.
Who am I kidding? Dame Primus would never agree. Besides, who knows what Sunday is really up to? I have to escape! But how?
He sighed again, the sigh turning into a grimace of pain as the dragonfly changed direction again, swinging Arthur out wide, scraping the manacles across the raw wounds on his wrists, no matter how tightly he held the chains above the manacles. With the pain came an unexpected realisation. But he was not angry now, and he felt no great store of rage waiting to explode within him.
I am weaker without my Keys, thought Arthur. But I am also more myself. They were heading towards a new landmark, a tall green hill that was still several miles away. It looked a lot like Doorstop Hill in the Lower House, though it was significantly higher and the bottom slopes were terraced and dotted with trees. There was also something on the crest of the hill, a low building or construction of some kind, but it was too far for him to easily identify.
Directly below him, the variety of gardens continued, still divided and penned in by the tall green hedges. Arthur watched them flicker by as he desperately tried to think of some stratagem to gain his release. He let his eyes go out of focus, half-lidding them against the rushing wind, and the gardens below blurred into a patchwork of many shades of green and brown and blue.
Blue, thought Arthur. He blinked and refocused. There was a lake and, about half a mile beyond, one of those strange, truncated oceans dumping its waves onto a two-hundred-yard-long stretch of cutoff beach. Navigable waters, thought Arthur, swiftly followed by a single, piercing image of a tall, white-bearded sailor with deep-set eyes of the clearest blue, wielding a harpoon that glittered and shone with the most powerful sorcery.
This was the Mariner, second son of the Architect and the Old One, who had sworn to aid Arthur three times, and had already done so twice. I have to call him straight away, since he could take ages to get here. Which means I need my medal. Nor, after a few attempts, could he pull himself up high enough to get his hands near the pouch, because when he did so he started to spin around violently.
Next, Arthur tried swinging his legs up so that he could hang upside down. But a few attempts showed him that even though he could manage to turn upside down and get his hands near his belt pouch without going into the same sort of spin, there was no way he could undo the pouch and get the medallion out, at least not without a very high chance of the medallion and his yellow elephant simply dropping out and being lost forever. He was still trying to work out how he could get the medal when the dragonfly began to descend.
It was still flying towards the terraced hill Arthur had seen, only it was no longer aiming for the top of the hill, but at a point about halfway up. Arthur swung himself right way up again as he got lower, and tried to stop his spin. There was something on the terrace that had caught his eye, and he wanted a better look. He got it, and he felt a chill colder than the icy steel. On the terrace halfway up the hill, lying flat, was a twenty-foot-wide clock face, with vertical numbers of blue sorcerous metal.
The clock had long, sharply pointed hands, and next to their central pivot was a small trapdoor. Or at least, Arthur thought, there was no one chained there yet. It continued to flap there too, as Suzy tried to wedge herself into one corner to keep steady, with Giac in the opposite corner. Even more alarming, every now and then a tiny globule of Nothing would explode through the floor and exit through the ceiling. This mostly happened near the back of the elevator, and the three passengers kept well away.
If the Nothing actually hit anyone, it would dissolve everything in its upward path. Even a glancing pass might destroy a hand or foot. It was also a frightening indication that Nothing was continuing to impinge on the House. If there were globules and particles of Nothing loose in the elevator shafts, it was likely the Void had breached more defences.
Some of them are black.
The one I chose is a little tarnished, and the verdigris is spreading, even in this short time. There was a gold ring behind the panel. Or hit very hard. As it did so, the elevator slowed suddenly, slamming Suzy and Giac to the floor.
A few seconds later, there was a terrible impact. The elevator exploded around them, throwing them into the air again in a storm of splinters and broken floorboards. Before they could fall back down, everything tilted over on a sharp incline and all three of them slid down the wall and ended up in a confused tangle in the dangerous corner where the Nothing globules had turned the elevator into a sieve.
Finally a bell went ping and the inner door slid open to reveal a bent and buckled grille door that was hanging off its hinges.
Beyond it lay a guardroom, where a dozen somewhat surprised Denizens uniformed in the buff coats and grey trousers of the Moderately Honourable Artillery Company were snatching up and readying their musketoons, pistols, sparkizan halberds, and swords. Suzy had a moment of doubt, which was unusual for her, as she wondered whether the artillerists had gone from being moderately honourable to dishonourable, joining the Piper or Saturday.
Then a Gun-Sergeant, his sleeves resplendent with gold stripes and crossed cannons, gestured to the other Denizens, who lowered their weapons a little, though not so much that anyone in the elevator would have a chance to break out. The gunner with the slow match near the cannon also lifted this burning fuse away from the touchhole, but not enough for anyone to get comfortable.
He was about to add something else when he was interrupted by three distant horn blasts from somewhere outside. Giac promptly obeyed, and the Will thrust its head under its wing. Suzy, however, was about to ask why when there was a sudden titanic blast outside. The stone walls of the guardroom shook, and the elevator canted over even more, till it was almost horizontal, and Suzy was sitting on what used to be the wall. Suzy grinned and mimed cleaning her ears out with her fingers.
It actually helped, so she kept at it, and looked in surprise at her blackened fingertips. And what was that explosion? Marshal Dusk will vouch for it, as well as for me. He works for Lord Arthur, same as the rest of us. Someone smoking in the Nothing-powder store again? The ruckus died down, and the burly Denizen turned back to Suzy. He paused to offer an elegant salute, which Suzy returned with less elegance but considerable gusto. Am I right in presuming that I address a Part of the Will?
It liked to be recognised. But now I serve Lord Arthur. We must all be on the adjacent tile before it moves at sundown. She was familiar with the way the Great Maze was divided into thousands of mile-square tiles that moved at the end of every day, often travelling great distances in a single minute. But she did not possess one of the almanacs that officers used to work out which tile to get on in order to move to their required destination.
She stepped out of the wreckage of the elevator as she spoke, and walked closer to Dusk, turning to one side for a moment so she could look out the narrow window in the thick stone wall. Most of the Army has already gone over the course of the day. I command a rearguard that has been destroying our siege train and larger guns, since we cannot take them with us, and there is the slight chance the Piper or some other enemy might swoop in and retrieve some for later use against us, before Nothing completely destroys the Maze.
It flew to the window and peered out with its sharp black eyes. Where are they? Have they remade themselves as Dame Primus, or are they still divided?
You do not happen to know where Lord Arthur is, by the by? Doctor Scamandros judged that shaft to be too compromised by Nothing, or we would have used it ourselves. He stiffened in alarm and looked away, as if he could ignore the presence of the sorcerous bird.
Marshal Dusk took a silver pocket watch out of his sleeve and flipped it open. We have less than an hour. We must march to the next tile at once. It moves to the Citadel, and our last working elevator is at the Citadel. She stumbled forward, her arms outstretched to stop herself — and encountered no resistance. Instead, she went straight through the Door, and fell screaming into darkness. She was still screaming when the Reaper caught up with her, his scythe casting a bright greenish light around him.
She was more floating than anything else. But if she looked away from the Reaper, or shut her eyes, the sensation of falling returned. Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word or God, save us. Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, save us. Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in Agony, save us. Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, save us.
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, save us. Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us. Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, save us.
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us. Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, save us. Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, save us. Blood of Christ, victor over demons, save us. Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs, save us. It is later revealed that Arthur's mother is trapped in a time loop and is being displayed as an exhibit in the Incomparable Gardens.
He cannot interact with her; when he looks out of the windows he can see nothing but green leaves draped against them. Soon after, a Piper's child employed as a gardener enters the house with a flaming pitchfork; Arthur grabs and deactivates it, then forces the boy to lead him out of the house. As they leave Arthur's house, they are ambushed by Sunday's Dawn and Noon, and the Piper's child reveals himself to be Lord Sunday in disguise. After chaining Arthur up by his arms to a colossal dragonfly, the form of transport commonly used in the Gardens they fly him over the Gardens to a smaller replica of the clock face to which the Old One is bound.
Arthur, his Keys overcome by the superior power of the Seventh Key, tries to escape by using his own innate powers to form something out of Nothing. He fails to create anything, but he brings his childhood toy, Elephant, to life. He sets it to search for his confiscated Keys; meanwhile, he calls the Mariner to come and rescue him. Hours later, the Keys are sent to him and Arthur is able to free himself.
Leaf has ventured to the Middle House via portal and has joined forces with Suzy's band of motley Raiders. They attempt to infiltrate the Upper House in order to prepare elevators for the Army of the Architect to get through to the Gardens. Arthur battles with Lord Sunday, who also has to contend with an invasion by the combined forces of the Piper and the now-subservient Saturday.
The battle is taken to the Elysium, the epicenter of creation; it is here that the seventh part of the Will a withered apple tree is kept in a gilt cage. The Mariner opens it at Arthur's behest, but is killed in the process. When Dame Primus bites into an apple from the manifestation of Part Seven of the Will, the Will is made whole; Arthur unknowingly becomes its channel for its intended purpose - the destruction of the House.
The Old One is freed, and He steps into the Will; it is explained that the Architect split Herself in two at the beginning of Creation to speed the evolutionary process The Old One is in fact a part of Her, but he had to be chained up when his views grew distinct from Hers, and the manifestation of the Will is the Architect in Her entirety.
She reveals that, bored with life, She wished to return to Nothing to see what it was like to die.