Firey Flames- Do you really want spoilers?
K.T. Winters- I don't really know what to say except that I'm extremly grateful for your review. I mean wow! Thanks a lot!
Spoiledfashionista- I don't find you annoying at all, I enjoyed reading your reviews! And about Phi, I hope you'll warm up to him, this fic is about his journey as a person anyway, I don't wanna say too much. Btw, I wasn't sure if you voted for Sitamun X Phi.
EternalVertigoForver- My girlfriend gave me that line, and after seeing her in action I kinda believe it.
Attic-window -I've come to have Memer as one of my favorite characters also. Btw thanks a lot for offering to draw it means so much for me.
Chapter 17: Word on the Street
Memer only let the rim of his tankard touch his lips but didn't actually drink any of the ale. Outwardly, he seemed like any other traveler that had too much to drink, but he was actually pretending- and doing a very good job of it as well- people revealed more things to a drunk rather than someone sober.
This was his umpteenth attempt to gather information since they arrived in Ivoire. By hopping from tavern to tavern, he had gotten a good enough view of happenings and under currents in the city. People had also revealed to him physical appearances of important servants within the Tower, and their corresponding charges. If anyone would know anything about the actions of the wizards, it would be the servants.
The servants had a wonderful quality- they were invisible. Not invisible in the sense that they possessed the same powers as the thieves, but invisible because nobody noticed that they existed, especially the nobles who employed them.
Throughout the history of Geffen, all of the plotting and intrigue, servants played key roles such as spies, saboteurs, and if need be assassins. Who else would have the least difficulty moving around the estates, moving things around without any suspicion, and emptying a vial of poison into a chalice? Another wonderful quality that servants had, were that they were expendable- at least that's what the wizards thought. If they were caught, kill them immediately so they couldn't say anything.
Memer had found out an adequate enough of information from the citizens, but he needed validation and that could only come from a servant, and a particularly high ranking one at that. That was when he began waiting outside the Tower. A simple letter, unsigned but speaking from the person of a secret admirer, was sent to the servant's quarters. Servants flocked in and out of the tower in groups not going below three. But not one of them was the servant that Memer needed.
He waited for about an hour until someone finally came into view and even though she wasn't in her white and gold Tower livery, Memer recognized her immediately. She was maturely beautiful with soft tresses of blonde hair spilling over her shoulders, her eyes were somewhere between green and yellow, and finally her most recognizable trait was her incredible bosom- Gateau Paldout.
She proceeded down the boulevard and Memer followed a good distance behind her. He had arranged for them to meet in the tavern of the Smoky Mirror, in the letter he had told her that he had admired her from afar for years and only had the courage to show himself now. She was indeed a helpless romantic like the people informed him and as expected fell for his soft endearing words.
When she reached the Smoky Mirror, Memer waited outside for a while. This was all part of the plan, to let her simmer for a time, and once hope seemed lost he would enter, like some hero in an overly cliché romance story. So he waited until she got up from her seat, a crushingly sad expression on her face and he finally entered.
He was well dressed, in a rich velvet coat, his face was cleanly shaved and his hair neatly pulled in a ponytail behind his head. He didn't say anything at first but he caught her eye. She approached him and asked if he was looking for her, he gave his most dashing smile then nodded. He thought she would have fainted right then and there; he took her by the hand to a table and bought her a drink.
It had taken only a couple of minutes before she was piss-roaring drunk and spilling out everything she knew. Memer maintained his own seemingly drunk state, and listened closely to everything she said, and more importantly everything she implied.
Her words validated all the rumors that had been going around the city. Half a month before the Tome was stolen, Acidus were seen leaving the Tower, in the cover of night. It was only happenstance that some citizens actually saw them leave, and it was lucky for Memer to find those people. Also, the previous people whom he had spoken with had no idea who had ridden the Acidus, but Gateau told him that her charge-the Prince-was one of those who had left. She had also confirmed the arrival of the pharaoh of Morroc and his extended five-day stay because the Prince had not yet returned. A princess of Morroc was gifted to the Prince, some concubine wench were Gateau's exact words.
Though, the most striking clue that she had given Memer, was the book the Prince had brought home with him. She couldn't describe the book very well since she didn't take a good look at it, and the ale was probably retarding her memory. All she said was that it was extremely heavy. It could have been any book, there was a possibility that it was the Tome, or maybe it was just the unusually large diary of the Prince, but the coincidence was just too unnerving.
Everything seemed to fit together, the timeline, the book- everything. Memer fought hard the urge to run out of the tavern and leave Gateau right there. Gateau had stopped talking about the rumors now and had begun ranting about a Moroccan princess- concubine wench to be exact, but Memer assumed no difference. This rumor Memer had also heard of, if it could be called a rumor, it was more of a scandal.
Apparently some princess of Morroc had been filling the Prince's head with ideas about equality among the magic-users and non-magic users. Memer saw no wrong in it; in fact he thought it was a very noble pursuit. Though, he also knew about Geffenese mentality, and believing non-magic users and magic users were equals was as near to blasphemy as it could get for them.
"And now, the Prince is even considering opening a school for non-magic users! It's just so scandalous, we non-magic users know our place don't we?" said Gateau in a slurred manner, that it was almost impossible to understand what she was saying.
Memer bent over a kissed her on the forehead, "You already told me everything that you could. Thank you." She stared at him a smile quirking on her lips. Suddenly, blood filled her face, and she blushed to the point where she almost resembled an apple. Her eyes rolled back before she fell on the table face down and snoring.
Memer emptied the contents of his tankard in quick successive gulps before he took out a second letter from his coat pocket; he slipped it under Gateau's sleeping head. The barman gave him a quick disapproving look, his sudden switch from drunk to sober seemed to be a suspicious. He gave the barman a wink before he flicked a silver coin across the room. The barman caught it with one grimy hand; he nodded to Memer implying that he had forgotten the entire incident. Memer nodded back and finally left.
Gateau woke up long after, under the prodding of a tavern maid. It was dark and the tavern was going to close for the night. Gateau's head felt like it was split open by an axe and she couldn't remember much of what had happened. She realized the presence of the folded piece of paper in front of her. She unfurled it and began to read.
The letter contained a story of the wonderful day she spent with her secret admirer. Supposedly, they had gone out of the city, and went boating in the lake where he professed his love for her, but when they headed back he realized that he didn't deserve her and decided to leave fearing that he could not give her what she deserved.
Gateau continued reading, and her wild imagination began filling up the empty patches in her memory with what the letter said. Soon, she believed the letter from top to bottom and clutched it near her heart; she would never forget this day, and her secret admirer. She stood up from her chair and left the tavern, singing to herself like a woman in love.
Memer immediately made his way back to the Blue Candle. Gateau had told him much of what he needed to know, the Prince of Geffen of all people! Why him? Memer asked himself.
He recalled the first time he had seen the infamous Prince of Ravens. A few years back, the Roi of Geffen had arrived in Prontera for an assembly of the rulers of the world. He had brought along his sixteen-year old son, political training maybe but Memer didn't dwell too much on it.
Memer was just newly ordained into the priesthood after years of hard work, but he was surprised to see that the sixteen year old Prince was also wearing the garb of a wizard. To achieve such a high rank for one so young was truly impressive.
Memer also remembered the excitement that the Geffenese Prince caused. Aside from his face that became the dream of every single Pronteran female, it was how he directed the Geffenese soldiers with such a stern air and bearing. The soldiers followed his orders, but they didn't follow him like subjects following a monarch out of necessity, but like true soldiers carrying out the commands of their general out of respect.
If the Prince truly had something to do with the stolen Tome, then a party of three wasn't enough in the least. The Prince of Ravens was given titular command over the entire Raven Army of Geffen, but something told Memer that for this specific Prince, it went a little beyond title…in fact it went way beyond.
He finally arrived at Blue Candle and burst through the front door like a deranged man, luckily a dancer and a bard had arrived in the inn so none of the patrons had taken notice of him. Mistress Tynine though, saw him and deliberately hindered his path up the stairs.
"Isn't it nice to have an ensemble perform in the inn?" she asked in a light inviting voice that would have been completely pleasant if she didn't stare at him with stern unwavering eyes that would have pierced through most men's skulls.
"Yes very nice," hastily replied Memer as he tried to move around her, but she moved as he did and continued to block his path.
"Not too many inns have the same pleasure us ours, it's a shame that your mistress does not come and watch. What does she do up there all day? And if she's not she's away with that other servant?" the question was addressed to no one in particular, as if she was throwing it into the air for anybody who could catch it.
Memer wanted to role his eyes, but couldn't do it openly. Apparently the intrigue had seeped it's way even to some of the commoners in Geffen, maybe it was just in the city of Ivoire, where they were exposed to the wizards the most. Memer just couldn't believe that Master Ferme's family would have any intent like this.
In his mind, Memer scoffed at the Blue Candle. Supposedly they were an inn known for letting their patrons keep their privacy; it seems that the ever-invisible servants were exempted from the rule.
"I would like to return to my Mistress now," said Memer sleepily, he met Tynine's stare and tried to recall the way his sister stared at him whenever she wanted to make him do something. He remembered his sister's deep-purple eyes penetrating like some menacing shadow into your brain, and prayed to Odin that it was materializing in his own eyes.
Mistress Tynine let out a deep ragged breath before she backed off, Memer spotted her hand jerk to attempt to wipe something from her eye but it quickly locked up to her side.
"Much thanks," said Memer as he proceeded up the stairs. He first checked his and Liguel's room and found nobody there, so he moved to Boudica's.
The other two were pouring over all the notes they had gathered the preceding days. There were papers, containing timelines, possible suspects, and the like, scattered all over the floor.
Liguel and Boudica turned their heads once Memer entered. "Did you find anything out, Memer?" asked Boudica
Memer walked across the room, careful not to step on any of the papers before she jumped on the bed and took a relaxed position. "More than you can possibly imagine," he replied.
The knights stopped shifting through the papers and brought their entire attention to Memer. "So you found out who stole the Tome?" asked Liguel, his hand clenched for a spear that wasn't there.
"Not entirely, but someone revealed evidences against a person. I can't call those evidences anything else but strong. I mean we may have found our man, our only problem now is proving it."
"Stop speaking in loops Memer! Just give us the name." snapped Liguel beginning to get impatient.
Memer sat up and looked at both of them for a moment before he spoke. "The Prince of Ravens." There was a moment of stunned silence…no it wasn't a moment, nobody really knew how long it lasted, but there was a stunned silence.
Okay update for the Pairing: (This includes feedback from my friends who haven't reviewed but have read the story)
Phi X Perenelle- 8
Phi X Sitamun- 10
Boudica X Phi- 2
Boudica X Liguel- 8
Perenelle X Salochin- 2
I hope everybody remembers Gateau, she was Phi's head maid
Memer seems to play the Geffenese game somewhat well…end of Tip
This chapters has taken some time after the preceding chapter, so don't be weirded out by the time gap.
Also, the offer is still open for the artists! Advanced thanks once again
Please don't think to lowly of Memer, it was a necessity, and Gateau seems to be happy in the end!
The servant assassins are obviously different from the assassin assassins
Gateau- means cake in french