The trio of initiates headed back down the mountain, walking with their newly captured pegasi.
“Hey,” Inés said “can we just keep the pegasi and let the Old Timer have the staff? I can always fight with one that isn’t as good.”
“What are you on about?” Sylvie asked.
“These guys are awesome,” Inés stated. “And we can get to Drahaven much faster with them. So, why not keep them with us?”
“I agree with Inés,” Serena stated, stroking her pegasus. They chose to come with us. I don’t think they want to be given away.”
Sylvie looked at her own pegasus and sighed. “It’s not that I don’t understand. I’d like to keep mine too. But we made a deal and, as warrior priestesses representing the Goddess, we have to keep our word. Even when we’d rather not.”
“I really wish you could be less sensible sometimes,” Inés said.
The three continued towards the old weapon smith’s home in silence. They arrived all too quickly. There was no sign of the old man. Nor was there any sign of their horses.
“I wonder where he went,” Serena said.
“Could he have made his way into town?” Sylvie asked. “But why would he have taken our horses?”
“Guys, the door’s open,” Inés called.
“Don’t go into other people’s homes without permission!” Sylvie exclaimed.
But Inés was already inside. “Yo, Old Timer!” she called. “You there?”
She looked around. The house itself was barren. No furniture. No food. No signs that it had ever been lived in. She moved up the stairs. It was likewise deserted. Then she moved back down and into the basement. There was a single wooden table.
On the table were resting four weapons. A battle staff that looked to be made of metal with an ornate grip in the centre. There was also a rapier with an elaborately carved and decorated handle, inlaid with lapis lazuli. The point looked devastatingly sharp. There was also a pair of tonfa. Made of a strange, crimson coloured material that Inés had never seen. They had amethyst inlaid in the handles.
She walked over and picked up the staff. It was considerably heavier than her old one, but nothing she couldn’t handle. She tried a few manoeuvres with it. It had weight to it and she had no doubt that she could crush some heads with it.
“I told you not to come in here,” Sylvie said. She looked over at the table. “What is this?”
“It looks like he made weapons for all of us,” Inés said.
“You don’t know that,” Sylvie stated, her eyes drawn to the rapier.
“Hey, I found a note!” Serena called.
“Bring it here!” Inés called.
Serena ran in and handed Inés the note before bending over the table to examine the tonfa.
“Are you going to read the note or just stare at her bum?” Sylvie asked.
“I was just about to read it,” Inés said. She read it with Sylvie looking over her shoulder.
The note was short and too the point. “Gotta leave. Won’t be back. Leaving the weapons and taking the horses as payment.”
“So, that means we get to keep the pegasi, right?” Inés said. “Since he was the one who changed the deal and all. It also means these weapons are for us.”
“I suppose it does at that,” Sylvie stated.
“Yes!” Serena declared, jumping with joy. Sylvie and Inés looked over at her. She had the new tonfa in her belt. “But I don’t get it. Why would he make weapons for Sylvie and I? We never asked him to.”
“An excellent question,” Sylvie said. She picked up the rapier. It was very well made. Better than any she’d ever seen, in fact.
She removed her old rapier, set it down and took the new one. Inés followed suit, dropping the tonfa she had been carrying for Serena.
“Maybe he just thought we needed them,” Inés suggested. “The ones he made are very obviously better.”
“That doesn’t hold up,” Sylvie stated. “It’s not a good business move.”
“Then why do you suggest he did it?” Inés demanded.
Sylvie shook her head. “I really wish I knew.”
The three headed back outside to where they’d left the pegasi.
“Hey, if we’re keeping them then they’ll need names, right?” Serena asked.
“Mine is Blitz,” Inés spoke without hesitation. “On account of her great speed.”
“I’m going to call mine Dusk,” Serena said.
The two looked expectantly at Sylvie. She sighed. “In that case, mine is Demure. Happy?”
The three untied the pegasi and began heading further down the mountain, back towards Wicadia. Never knowing that they were being watched by two figures. One was a tall, attractive woman with grey eyes and chestnut coloured hair. The second was a somewhat stocky, bearded man who walked with a golden cane.
“You did well,” the woman said.
“Naturally,” he answered. “There’s nothing I can’t make. I just wonder how you’ll explain this to father.”
“No explanation needed,” she said. “I merely saw them provided them with weapons for the task ahead. Should they elect to use them against young Scotius, that will be their choice.”
“You know bloody well that they will,” he scoffed. “That’s why they had to be able to absorb lightning magic, is it not?”
“A precaution and nothing more,” she said. “It’s just happen-stance that it would be useful against a potential danger to them on their journey.”
“Fair enough,” he grunted. “I won’t exactly shed a tear if the little bastard gets what’s coming to him. Later, Sister.”
In an instant he was gone and she was alone in her observations.