|Author: TypeAxiom||Original Source: Scribble Hub|
Seeing the change that came over the templar, no longer the spineless and indecisive person she had been before, Camilla finally relaxed. Kagriss did well.
After learning that Lucienne will keep silent, Camilla was pleasantly surprised. She had thought that Lucienne would report the slaughter to the Church, but apparently that wasn’t the case. She still had a way to deal with the Church even if Lucienne did report the incident, but it was nice to not have to show all her cards so early.
The rest of the day went by fairly quickly. After taking Kagriss around on a quick tour of the city to familiarize Kagriss with the lay of the land in what is essentially enemy territory, taking almost until dusk, they returned to the Cradle Gem to retrieve Kagriss’s books and added to the ones they had just bought.
After all that, they moved base to the outskirts of the city, settling in a plain inn in a well trafficked area close to the walls of the city where they could make a quick escape if necessary.
Lucienne looked around at the place they chose, memorizing the details of the surroundings. “This place is quite different from what I’d expect you to choose,” she said.
“Oh? What did you expect?”
“Something classier, I suppose, given how much wealthier you are now compared to before…”
Camilla shrugged. “I’m not too concerned with anything past the basics. The most important part is that the bed has to be comfortable. Nothing else matters or they are easily fixable. Even if there are pests, they can’t and won’t get near us so there’s nothing to worry about.”
“It’s kind of loud, though, isn’t it?” Lucienne said.
The sound of traffic coming and going outside leaked in since the window in the room opened out above the streets. She opened the windows and looked out. There were people talking and shouting, and the rattling of carriage wheels clattering over roughly paved ground were loud.
“There’s always silence spells and barriers for that,” Camilla pointed out. “And what I can’t do right now, Kagriss can.”
Lucienne looked at Kagriss.
Kagriss nodded. “I’m fine with anything that Camilla choses as well. I have no objections or complaints about a place like this.”
“Well…if you say so,” Lucienne said, closing the windows and making to leave. “I guess that’s it then. You’ll be staying here tonight? What about in the days after? How long will you be staying?”
“We’ll definitely be staying tonight, though depending on how things go we might move to another inn tomorrow or sometime later,” Camilla said, not bothering to hide her future plans. “As for how long we’ll stay, I don’t know.”
There was so much to do here after all. It’s more convenient to be in the city so she could access her contacts in the Church in Arvel and Justin. There were risks, and there were benefits, and to prevent things from going too badly due to traps, it was probably wiser to change rooms everyday.
Camilla had no idea how long it would take her to root out the traitor within the Church, but it wasn’t going to be happening soon since the traitor managed to lie low for what might have been many years. Someone that deeply rooted made it so that it was difficult to rule out anyone high-ranked, and those people were the most difficult to investigate thanks to the power they possessed. Camilla sighed at the difficulty of the task ahead of her.
“Okay…I’ll let the Church know,” Lucienne muttered, pulling the door open.
With the fact that they’ll be moving every day in mind, and the Church will likely send someone who was already familiar to keep tabs on them, Camilla smiled as Lucienne left. As the girl turned to pull the door shut, Camilla waved toward her. “I’m looking forward to seeing you again.”
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Kagriss waved at her as well.
For a moment, Lucienne stared at them blankly, only grimacing as she must have come to the same conclusion as Camilla did. The door slammed shut with a dull thud, the well oiled hinges barely making a sound.
The closing of the door seemed to have darkened the room. It was as if the sole candle in a room suddenly went out, leaving everything without light.
It was just Camilla and Kagriss standing in silence where they were when Lucienne left. Slowly, Camilla’s face turned red, though she couldn’t see Kagriss’s face.
Kagriss was standing closer to the door which they both faced, so all Camilla could see was her back. Kagriss’s silky black hair hung down, covering most of her back. However, Camilla could still see how the thin fabric of the dress clung to Kagriss’s body, outlining every curve and accentuating her hips.
Slowly, Kagriss turned around.
In the dim dusk light that leaked through the windows, Kagriss’s eyes seemed to glow violet, outshining every other feature and taking up all of Camilla’s attention until nothing else existed. There were only those two violet orbs in the darkness.
Only when Kagriss blinked did Camilla manage to break from her trance, shaking her head.
“What’s wrong?” Kagriss asked, sounding puzzled.
“No, it’s nothing,” Camilla muttered, then answered honestly. “I just got lost in your eyes.”
Camilla’s blush turned deeper, both at Kagriss’s lackluster reaction and at how she said something so embarrassing, like what a lovesick boy might say to his crush to try and catch her attention. Something she’d seen all too often and never thought that she’d join the ranks of.
Thankfully, the darkness of the room hid most of the color of her face and she looked down on the ground. “It’s nothing. Um…ah…”
She didn’t know what to say.
What should she say now? She had no idea what Kagriss was thinking right now and the emotions that she felt over their bond didn’t really tell her anything. Camilla hadn’t forgotten what she had told Kagriss before this in the forest after all, but she wasn’t sure if Kagriss still remembered.
Will Kagriss ask for it immediately, or will she wait a few more days?
The uncertainty was a bit grueling, since Camilla didn’t know how to feel, and if she should prepare herself for this and that, or if she should just relax. Oh no, Kagriss could feel her chaotic emotions, couldn’t she…
Camilla held her breath as she waited for Kagriss to say something, but after a few seconds stretching on to almost a minute, the atmosphere between them became awkward enough that she wondered if Kagriss was waiting for her to do something. But the problem was Camilla didn’t know what to do right now.
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She put her fingers together nervously, totally unlike the person she was before. To Lucienne, she was an enigmatic undead with a mischievous streak to her, yet still characteristically callous. To Leland, she was a former templar worthy of respect based on her achievements and strength.
Alone with Kagriss in this dark room with only a sliver of dim light to lend a gentle ambience, all those formidable images of Camilla melted away as she stood fidgeting with her fingers, unsure of what to do or say. “Um…”
Camilla’s mind almost blanked out. It was so embarrassing to be acting like this in front of Kagriss.
As she struggled to regain her pace, Kagriss came to save her, swooping in to rescue her from the depths of her speechlessness and embarrassment. She gave Camilla something to talk about that Camilla didn’t have to drag out from her addled mind.
“What do normal people usually do in this situation?”
Kagriss’s question cut through the fog that had suddenly risen up in Camilla’s mind and Camilla’s thoughts snapped to it. “T—this situation?”
“Yes, this situation, like having just returned from a long journey.”
“I…don’t know about journeys, but sometimes I have to travel quite far to complete an objective and return…” Camilla said. She thought back on her experiences.
Kagriss jumped onto her words with a fervor that was rare for her—well, it was rare until recent days. “Objectives? Like clearing undead and mana beast hunts?” Her eyes were shining, but she abruptly caught herself, coughing as if to hide her sudden realization. “Sorry, let’s go back to before…”
Personally, Camilla wouldn’t have mind talking about her past, but considering that Kagriss didn’t have much to talk about in return, they both agreed to leave the topic for the future. “Well, when I return from such a trip…the first thing I like to do is take a long soak to relieve some of the stresses of battle and travel, I suppose?” She closed her eyes, reminiscing about the feeling of hot water around her, almost seeping into her muscles to help them relax. “Magic helps a lot on the road, but nothing beats a bath.”
She felt the air from Kagriss’s sudden movement before she thought to open her eyes, but when her eyes flew open in alarm, she saw Kagriss grabbing onto her arm and leaning in close. It was really way too close, especially when their respective heights put Kagriss’s ample breasts right in her face.
Just when Camilla thought she had recovered from the thought of being intimate with Kagriss for the first time in a long while, and only her second time at that, the thought rushed back into her mind.
Along with it, blood rushed to Camilla’s face once more and she barely caught Kagriss’s next, excited words.
“A bath! I want to try a bath, Camilla!”
“A—a bath? Yeah, of course!” she said, agreeing without even thinking about Kagriss’s request. But did this place even have a place to take a bath? This place wasn’t particularly expensive, but neither was it cheap, so probably. “I’ll go ask!”
Camilla fled, wrenching her arm away from Kagriss’s grip and charged out the room.
It didn’t take her long to find the owner of the inn on the first floor. The first floor of the inn was actually a small tavern, and the owner Abigail—a pretty woman that Camilla suspected was unmarried considering how harried she was—was taking orders from a table.
Although the tavern was fairly quiet, thanks to its small size, it was still quite busy. Camilla felt a bit bad about bothering Abigail at a time like this, but she did promise Kagriss and she didn’t want to keep Kagriss waiting…
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Watching the woman from the door that led to the back where the stairs were, Camilla waited for a moment when Abigail was finally free to run up to her, trailing behind the woman as she headed toward the back.
Sensing a small presence behind her, Abigail turned around, recognizing Camilla. “Oh, hi! Is there something you need?” she asked, sweeping loose hair that had escaped from her ponytail from her face. Sweat made the individual strands stick to her forehead.
Seeing how busy Abigail was, Camilla hesitated, but only for a moment. “Do you offer baths here?” she asked.
“Baths?” Abigail echoed, furrowing her brows. Just as Camilla was about to apologize and head upstairs to take Kagriss out to bathe somewhere else, Abigail nodded, and then shook her head. “Kind of…we do have a large tub, but the water must be heated and transported upstairs. It’s tiring and expensive, and as you can see…” She nodded toward the room behind Camilla, indicating the customers.
Another person entered just as Camilla turned, further emphasizing Abigail’s point.
Basically, Abigail simply didn’t have the manpower to provide a bath for Camilla and Kagriss, even if Camilla was willing to pay. But if it was Kagriss, then Camilla didn’t really mind working a bit harder. What would be difficult for normal people like Abigail wasn’t really for her, after all.
“It’s okay, I can do everything myself. I’ll pay, so can you tell me where the tub is?” she asked.
Although Abigail cast her a doubtful look, she nodded. “Follow me.”
I’m going to post the next two chapters rather than wait a day in between. However, that means there will be a day without updates afterwards.