“So, who are we talking to?” Axra asked.
“There are three teachers who might be able to help us,” Twila said. “Ms. Solanis, Mr. Starsky and my mother.”
“Your… mother,” Axra muttered.
Twila nodded. “Ancient artifacts is one of her areas of expertise.”
Axra suddenly felt very nervous and exposed. She was going to meet Twila’s mom. What should she say? How should she act? Should she try to impress her or adopt a more humble attitude?
“Oh, there’s Mister Starsky,” Twila said. Axra looked over. He was an old dwarf with a beard going down to the floor and an absurd pointed hat decorated with ostentatious embroidered stars. “Mister Starsky!” Twila called.
The old dwarf looked over. “Oh, if it isn’t young miss Magia. I haven’t seen you in class for a while. You haven’t been slacking, have you?”
“I’ve moved on to independent study, remember?” Twila asked.
“Oh yes, I suppose you did,” he said. “How is that working out?”
“Well, I did find something of major interest,” Twila said. “And, unfortunately, very dangerous.”
“Oh,” he exclaimed. “Is that so?”
“It is,” Twila said. She explained to the old dwarf about how they’d found the chambre with Eritos and their journey to learn her identity, leaving out any mention of the djinn or their trip to the moon.
“A half goddess,” he muttered. “That’s bad, very bad indeed.”
“That’s why I came back,” Twila explained. “Do you know of any artifacts that might be of use in stopping her?”
“Artifacts for use against one such as that are rare indeed,” he muttered. “If you could find one of the divine artifacts it could very well do the trick.”
“Do you know of anything else that might help?” Twila asked.
“Something else…” he trailed off. He removed his cap for a moment to scratch his bald head underneath. “Miss Solanis might.”
“I’ll happily check with her, of course,” Twila said. “If you do come up with an idea, contact me with a sending spell.”
“Yes, of course,” he said.
“Hey guys,” Lysara said. “Still waiting for Twila to get back?”
“That was a short performance,” Lilly noted. “But I’m sure it was very good.”
“I wish,” Lysara said. “Seems like no one hangs out at the pub in this town. The library was pretty packed, but they wouldn’t let me play there.”
“Well, maybe the pub gets busy at night,” Lilly suggested.
“Could be,” Lysaa shrugged. “Hey, Bon…” Bonnie picked herself up from the ground and walked away. “Guess she didn’t hear me.”
“W… well, she is thinking really hard,” Lilly said. “I’ll go… make sure she doesn’t wander anywhere dangerous.”
Lilly hurriedly followed Bonnie.
“I… I don’t mean to pry,” she said. “But avoiding her… is it really a good idea?”
“I’ve decided what to do,” Bonnie said. “These feelings… they’re in the way. The only thing I can do is rid myself of them.”
“I… I don’t think it’s that easy,” Lilly said.
“It doesn’t matter,” Bonnie stated. “I can’t fulfill my duty t the Princess, to Nervius as long as they’re holding me back. So, I’ll relinquish them. I’ll make myself forget what I feel for her and I’ll go back to my duties.”
“Do… do you really need to force yourself like that?” Lilly asked. “I mean… can’t you love someone and do your duties?”
Bonnie put a hand on Lilly’s shoulder. “I respect what you go through for your love of the princess, but in your case your duty to protect her benefits from that. In my case, I don’t have any duties towards her. These feelings are nothing but an indulgence I can ill afford. The best thing I can do is forget them.”
Miss Solanis was a pale elf with long teal coloured hair and pale purple eyes. Twila was lightly blushing the entire time she was explaining the situation to her.
“My, you have been through a great deal,” Solanis said. “And you need to know some artifact that might aid you besides the divine ones?”
“Yes, Miss Solanis,” Twila said.
“You’re in luck, my faithful student,” Solanis said. “Lately I’ve been studying weapons forged by Hephaestus and left on the mortal realm. There are three with whereabouts that are unknown. The first is a staff called simply the staff of elements. The second is your friend’s blade, Todberührung. Which I suppose I’ll have to mark off of the unknown category.” She looked over at Axra. “I really would love a chance to examine it sometime.”
“Maybe once we’ve beaten Eritos,” Axra said.
“Of course,” Solanis said. “The final weapon is called Zerstörelicht. But I don’t know what kind of weapon it is or what it does. I can give you the last known locations for both the staff of elements and Zerstörelicht, though.”
“I would be most grateful if you would,” Twila said.
“I’ll get it written down for you,” Solanis said. “Be careful, Twila. This quest may prove dangerous indeed.”
“I will,” Twila said. “By the way, have you seen my mother around?”
“Moira went to Choltin along with Isaac and several others,” Solanis stated. “Something about a difficult spell that needed dispelling.”
“I see,” Twila said. “Well, thank you for your time.”
“May the Gods be sympathetic to your cause,” Solanis said. She hugged Twila. Far too tightly and long as far as Axra was concerned. What kind of teachers did this academy hire anyway? The two separated and Axra followed Twila out of the academy.