|Author: TrashyHuman||Original Source: Scribble Hub|
“So, what have you found out, Jennifer?”
Lachersia stood with her arms crossed in front of Jennifer who had just come out of the room after digging through a small hill made out of notes and documents.
They haven’t had much time to talk with each other as Jennifer was completely immersed in reading the various documents foregoing other needs she had like sleeping and eating and even had to be spoon-fed as she paid her attention to the papers in front of her.
Even when she was bathing she had a bundle of papers on hand and spent three times as much time soaking in the water than usual.
Needless to say, such a lack of attention made Lachersia very upset, and because of it, her tone with Jennifer was much stricter than normal.
Jennifer was very drowsy at the time Lachersia asked the question though, so she completely missed this nuance and began to explain with a drowsy voice and half-opened eyes while slowly shifting through the giant pile of documents and made Lachersia forgive her anyway.
“Here are the tax records from the Duke’s personal household. As you can see on this page…”
“This money trail leads us to…”
“The birth records from the city and the local church aren’t matching. Don’t they compile the birth records by using those from churches and hospitals?”
“I originally didn’t find this bit of information very important at first but if you look at the annual records here, you can see a very interesting pattern…”
“Isn’t it strange how a B-3 rank warrior and a B-3 rank priest had settled down in such a small village? Of course, it doesn’t mean much in itself but if you add it to the previously-established fact that the tax records on there are far too clean and perfect to be true and the strange geography of that place, it makes the place all the more suspicious, doesn’t it?”
“According to this piece of information, the Duke usually wears these kinds of clothes when at his territory”
“Yes, it’s because he apparently has a habit of going off to hunt once a week whenever he’s in the mood…”
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“But we will need to personally infesh- inbeti- investigate thaaat plaacccee…”
By the time Jennifer finished telling Lavenna the results of the investigation, she began falling asleep as she spoke. Lavenna safely caught her and carried her off to her room and put her to sleep.
Jennifer was very soft, warm and comfortable to hold in the arms and the lecture she gave Lachersia was very long and tedious to listen to and adding up to the fact that it was getting late as well as the added circumstances of… Whatever, Lachersia just found it a good opportunity for them to sleep together. Both had slept comfortably, though Jennifer’s awful sleeping habits made Lachersia regret the decision half-way through the night when Jennifer’s foot somehow ended up on her neck.
The early morning brought with it the lovely singing of birds, the soft glow of Antess and the intent of the humanity’s symbol of Justice and goodness along with the mages’ symbol of wisdom and dignity to go to a different region to commit the act of kidnapping and extortion.
In other words, it was a very ordinary morning for Ulte as summoned heroes and Grand mages who have attempted kidnapping and other bad deed were rather commonplace at the time. What was the world coming to? Sigh…
It didn’t take them much time to prepare. After all, Lachersia was the most powerful Grand Mage in the kingdom and all of its neighbouring countries. She naturally had many magical artefacts that would increase her firepower, survivability or quickly make breakfast on the road. The latter was actually appreciated much more than the other two by the seeker of the arcane truths.
It wasn’t very odd for Lachersia to just disappear for days, weeks and even months on end as it was rather common for mages to forget about things as they immersed themselves in research. Such ability to get easily obsessed about the same thing for long periods of time was a thing they slowly but firmly developed after decades of plunging their thoughts into the abyss of the magical secrets of the universe. This ability to stay concentrated on the same thing could only be rivalled by powerful religious fanatics from those churches of the Dark Ones but their abyss was a topic for a completely different discussion.
If anything, it was very good news for her vice-leader in the Academy as she didn’t get to see the ever so young Grand Mage who looked just as young when she first met her three decades ago. A mage’s lifespan was longer than that of an ordinary person but it wasn’t equally long for every mage and seeing somebody completely unaffected by the passage of time while you find more and more greying hairs on your head every day and feel that life has already gone by before you noticed could be a bit… depressing, if anything.
And thus, Lachersia and Jennifer took off to the land of the cold and winter without any problems.
The Northern lands. That was how the utmost Northern region of Trelos-Agapi was called.
The temperature there would never exceed 0 degrees Celsius all year round and the lands were filled mostly with snow. Life would be very tough there if not for the existence of the second most powerful Grand Mage of the kingdom, Tern Yigh Qermen.
This particular Grand Mage never involved himself in politics and it was incredibly hard for anybody to get ahold of, regardless of their wealth, title or military rank. Not even the Duke who was entrusted with the lands had any sway in the decisions the Master Tren would make and few people knew much about his character or motivations.
What they knew, however, was that he was the sole reason the Northern Lands weren’t as unforgiving as they would be otherwise, which was why he was loved by the people.
Jennifer and Lachersia were currently enjoying the tea they were offered close to his abode that was carved deep in the frozen mountains that stood at the outskirts of the region.
The tea had hints of bergamot in its flavor and was very refreshing and delicious. Its name was quite a mouthful for Jennifer as it came from the tongue of a different country. The tea was called something along the lines of “Yupoe Treete Rppe” or at least it was close enough. Jennifer had noticed that when she spoke to people (mainly Lachersia), the movements of their lips didn’t match with the words they were saying so she came to the conclusion that the language was translated somehow. She was now trying to learn the language of Trelos-Agapi and it seems that her ability didn’t extend to the languages outside the country.
Still, the tea was delectable. If only they were offered something more than that. Like a meeting. They’ve been standing on the cliff of the mountain for good fifteen minutes but except for two cups of tea that were floated over to them when they came, they had seen no other sign of the Grand Mage’s existence.
Not that Jennifer minded, of course. The view from the cliff was even more delicious than the tea. The sheer feeling of space, volume of the landscape, the feeling of unrestrained freedom it provided was something that Jennifer couldn’t get enough of. The mountain chains that were thoroughly buried under the snow extending into all directions, with huge forests covering the sides of the mountains like soft fur on a beast and the shining and the glittering sparks under the Sun, coming here was worth it if only for the view. It was a little cold though, but not unbearable.
This Tern Yigh Qermen was certainly strange though. If he didn’t welcome guests, why bring the tea? Or maybe he was just shy. It was certainly understandable. With Jennifer’s supreme adorableness oozing off and changing the world into a better place, it was only natural that one would feel shy and unworthy of existing under the same sky as her. Not to mention Lachersia, who was as beautiful, no, even more beautiful than any view or terrain in any world. Jennifer looked at Lachersia again and saw her act as if everything was normal and not at all out of place. The latter noticed Jennifer’s gaze and smiled, which caused Jennifer’s heart to melt a little bit, not that she would ever show it on her face.
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Lachesia explained that she had dealt with Tern before and it was just that he was greatly introverted so he had built a huge cave system deep into the mountain and sealed the entrance with a great many magical restrictions that barred both entry and exit as well as exploded while releasing countless death-traps in case somebody caused him to feel too shy, so every time he wanted to get out it would take him quite a while to do so. He could though send small things out, like letters, arcane lances and, in this case, tea.
Well, Jennifer wouldn’t judge such eccentricity. In the first place, it was them who came to the Grand Mage uninvited and without prior announcement. It was only natural to put up with small inconveniences.
Ten or so minutes later the cliff shook a little dangerously and the stone floor close to them sank and expanded into a mouth of a cave out which a middle-aged man with a with eye-catching long pointy ears and round glasses crawled out of.
They had to come here first, as the Northern lands were considered the domain of Tern and there was an unspoken rule among the really powerful mages that if one of them decided to operate on pretty much any scale personally within another’s domain, they had to notify the lord of the domain first to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.
Besides, Tern and Lachersia were good friends… almost as close as good friends… acquaintances… Anyway, if the Northern lands were ever faced with a danger that Tern wouldn’t be able to deal alone Lachersia would come to his rescue… likely. Anyway, it wasn’t bad to say hello every now and again.
“So, Tern, remember that time around two hundred years ago when you borrowed the Birdblight Vine from me? I recently remembered about it and…”
So, Lachersia said her greetings.
These few words caused the ever-so-prideful Grand Mage of elven descent to shiver a little as if he could still be affected by the weather and he instantly put on the most lovely smile that he could muster that was filled with so much goodwill that some religions would instantly canonize him as a saint and some people on Earth would instantly declare him to be a rare species as his smile was definitely a thing to protect.
“Lachersia, it’s been such a long time! How have you been? Are you feeling well? You are as every bit as beautiful as the last time I’ve seen you~ And who is this adorable little baby girl? Is it the rumored summoned heroine? What a lovely young lady~”, dismissing the strange chill he felt when he came close to Jennifer he began speaking with vigor “Come inside, both of you! Why are you standing out here in the cold? Would you like some tea? I have recently, a decade back or so, found a new kind of fruit from that Empire in the South, they called it olives, you really must try it out! It’s so delicious”
And that’s why Lachersia and Tern were good friends.