Victor chuckled lightly, "So am I to assume that you aren't, in fact, a fan of Hobbes?"
I laughed, "I wasn't before that blighter hit my in the balls, but I most certainly wasn't a fan after."
It felt good to laugh with a friend. I had been helping Victor out most days, with a few taken out for completing small quests for the Bowerstone guard. We had been hard at research to try and find where the next body part was; or in Victors case, keep checking that the process would work properly. It was difficult to find all the information needed, so we kept exchanging stories while we did so. It was mainly myself telling the stories; since Victor inherited this job, he was unable to mingle with other citizens, without the scorn they tended to give him.
I will admit that this whole process didn't sit right with me. I was helping him reanimate a dead body that all the signs tell me could go wrong, but he assures me that they were wrong, and that the magical mixture that the body will be pumped with will prevent any problems occurring. I absolved to leave him to the final process when the time comes, which Victor said that he understood. He was noticeably sad his only friend would not stay, but then he laughed saying that he will need the time alone with her to check that everything went well. I jibed him about what "tests" he would be "performing". His face turned a bright red and he mumbled he would be checking that all of her limbs were strong, leaving a wide-open opportunity for more innuendo; I left it there, knowing the graveyard keeper was not used to friendly banter.
I was currently reading "The Trial of Lady Grey: The worst witch Albion has seen", which undoubtably contains the most pivotal information about where she would be. However, Victor had never managed to read more than a page of the book, before throwing it away in sheer disgust. I will admit that the book is unashamedly ruthless against Lady Grey, and more than a little self-important for a simple Trial notation, however I found it a fascinating read. I wanted to know more about who the woman was, and how they tested her to be a witch.
From reading the book, I found that the main point against her was her seduction of the Hero of Oakvale, my predecessor. When I saw him mentioned, I brought out a book I had yet to read, simply entitled "The Hero of Oakvale". Using the two books together had managed to broaden the picture for me, however, it did make locating the body parts take more time. Victor didn't seem to notice that I was doing extra research and slowing the search down. More often than not, he forgot I was there, and he enveloped himself in the science of the reanimation. This gave me a wide berth in which to explore his library for anything pertaining to the Hero and Lady Grey.
I did find a few books to help my research, including a steamy romance novel entitled "The Lady and the Hero", which in the interest of research I read. It didn't give many more details, and obviously flaunted many other details, however it was a fun read. If this depiction was accurate, then I would suggest that the legs I managed to bring back from under a Hobbit slurry pit would be closer to useless in any practical application. I wrote that particular book off as being fictitious, however I will admit I read it more than once.
The book that was more useful was a book entitled "Jack of Blades: A Warning from History". This book covered the main gap I needed to fill to conclude my decision on whether Lady Grey was innocent or not. The case against her was that she made the Hero of Oakvale evil, hence she was a magic seductress to have been able to corrupt a man holier than Avo himself. The Witchspotters suggest that it was her fault that he had been corrupted, and that when she died he returned to himself. However, "The Hero of Oakvale" and "Jack of Blades: A Warning from History" prove otherwise; this man was being deceived and manipulated from the start, and from what it appears he hit a breaking point after being under pressure for so long. However, when it came to the ultimate choice between power and good, he destroyed the power and wielded Avo's Tear until he died. Around the time he seemed his darkest, was his first fight with Jack of Blades where his mother died. This information was how I judged whether Lady Grey caused him to be "evil".
After my judgement was decided, I spent time deciphering the riddle that hid where her upper body was buried, using the book showing the old map of Albion to help me. I had been working on the riddle for about a day before Victor interrupted my train of thought with his exclamation.
"How many books do you have open at once?"
I looked around the table strewn with books, where roughly four were open and a further seven were piled up. I looked up at him with a smirk, "enough."
Victor laughed before exclaiming, "imagine if the towns folk saw this! Their mighty hero, burrowing through books instead of doing their work for them."
I grinned, "Aaah they won't believe you if you told them. They seem it impossible that I would do anything but fight…or maybe take the occasional job for money."
"Oh of course, you're a natural at forging weapons too. What can you not do?"
"Hey I'm not a natural at forging! It was part of my training while growing up, as was studying books. Theresa was trying to teach me the same things her brother was taught back at the guild."
My chuckling subsided as I saw the look on his face drop. It finally set in what I had told him: my mentor was as old as the old legends about Albion. Legends that are five hundred years old. But there was one legend in particular Victor would care about.
"She…she was alive…when…" he raised his eyebrows to finish the question.
"Yes, Theresa was alive when Lady Grey was. I believe they were around the same age."
Victor started to bounce around, and started to ask "Can I…"
I cut him off, which was wrong but I had to nip this in the bud, "Sorry, but you shouldn't even know about her. Barely any of the gypsies from camp know. I've let my tongue be a little loose, so I am sorry Victor, but I can't let you speak to her."
Victor nodded, his excitement a little subsided. I'm glad he didn't push the issue further.
"Besides, I have just figured out where the next body part is."