It\'s always a pleasure to meet an alumnus of the White Griffon, no matter how unsuccessful they have become. He said while extending his hand to Phloria first and Orion later.
You have grown into a fine mage, Lieutenant Colonel Beanpole.
Thanks. She replied with a voice that carried the warmth of an ice age.
Nice to meet you again, Jirni\'s plus one.
For the umpteenth time, I have a name! Orion tried to crush Manohar\'s hand but no matter how hard he tried, the god of healing didn\'t even flinch.
\'He sure is stronger than he looks.\' Orion thought.
And I\'m too busy to remember something as insignificant as a name so I call things as I see them. The Mad Professor had long since learned to keep a hard-light construct over his hand during greetings.
Petty people always held petty grudges for petty reasons.
Then you have to fix your eyes because we are divorcing. Orion said.
Congratulations! Manohar patted him with such obnoxious honesty that only years of discipline kept Orion\'s hands off the god of healing\'s neck.
I was certain that no man could bear that hag forever.
Let\'s toast to your new life as a single man.
Manohar offered him a drink that Orion poured into a nearby decorative potted plant that shapeshifted in front of his astonished eyes into a catatonic frog.
I didn\'t expect it to work even on plants, but there are side effects when it\'s not used on animals. Manohar poked the creature multiple times but obtained no reaction.
What in the gods\' name was in that glass Orion put his hand on the hilt of the blade in outrage.
It\'s supposed to make humans-
I meant why did you give it to me Orion cut him short, glad that every single note of the army regarding Manohar mentioned to never accept food or drinks from him and to consume only meals preserved inside one\'s own dimensional amulet.
To get rid of the two of you, of course. The Never Magus couldn\'t believe that Jirni\'s plus one was stupid enough to need an explanation for the obvious.
Beanpole here would have been too busy taking care of you to notice my escape.
What would have happened to my father Phloria pointed her estoc, Reaver, at Manohar\'s throat.
Yet instead of showing fear or remorse, he exploited the opportunity to study the Forgemastering techniques of the Ernas legacy with his spells.
He would have just fallen into a deep slumber for a few minutes before- The frog turned back into a plant, except now it was bright pink.
Then it exploded, filling the air with fragments no bigger than confetti.
Did you just try and kill a member of the Knight\'s Guard Phloria was there for less than five minutes and she was already sick of him.
Of course not! That potion wasn\'t intended for plants and, as I said, at this stage of development side effects are to be expected.
After all, Alchemy is a little more art than science. Manohar said.
That\'s the definition of cooking, not Alchemy! Phloria said while Orion had to use every ounce of his considerable strength to keep her from ruining her future with a charge for manslaughter.
At that point, he didn\'t care for Manohar\'s life more than for that of a rabid opossum.
Alchemy, cooking, who cares My point was to get out of here before-
The door opened again and this time Archon Ernas and Assistant Professor Ernas walked in.
Orion, Phloria! What are you doing here Jirni dropped the uniform hat that she carried in her arm from the surprise.
Jirni, Quylla! What does this mean Orion let go of Phloria who slammed against the wall.
Manohar! Manohar said in outrage.
The only thing that he hated more than being forced to work was being ignored.
Shut up and sit down while the adults talk! Jirni\'s glare reminded him of his mother, Sitri, and scared Manohar to death.
I mean, Mo\'om.
I mean, Ma\'am. He sat down quietly, hoping it wouldn\'t end like that time when he was still a young boy and had decided to find a way to destroy the lost cities for good.
His mother, Sitri, had been surprised when a Constable had knocked to her door, looking for her still eight years old child.
The man had sat at their kitchen table along with mother and son.
Then, he had explained as calmly and politely as he could that even though the Kingdom appreciated the promising youth\'s sentiment, kidnapping and sacrificing the neighbors, no matter how obnoxious he considered them, it was still an act of forbidden magic.
The child\'s many inquiries at the local school of magic had raised more flags than a Royal parade, alerting the authorities.
After Sitri learned how her son had planned to turn her toolshed into a Lost Toolshed to study the phenomenon up close, she had spanked him so hard that Manohar could see her hand in his nightmares.
It took Orion a second to notice that Quylla and Phloria weren\'t surprised in the least by the allegedly unexpected development and to draw his conclusions.
Phloria Rose Terra Ernas, you owe me an explanation!
What explanation Since both of you are too stubborn to make the first move, we arranged this mission so that you can finally talk.
I can\'t stand seeing you suffering any longer. Usually, when Orion used her middle names, Phloria knew she was in trouble.
Yet this time he wasn\'t ashamed of her actions.
You lied to me and manipulated me to bring me here.
You two are just like your mother!
Thanks. Phloria and Quylla replied in unison.
Why are you thanking me I\'m scolding you. Orion was so shocked that he had to sit down.
Mom is a beautiful, cunning, badass woman.
Your words are a compliment to us. Quylla said with a shrug, making Jirni blush with joy.
Quylla Nimea Daphne Ernas, you lied to me and manipulated me to bring me here.
I\'m so proud of you. Jirni hit Manohar in the middle of the forehead to make him faint and keep him from escaping while she was busy hugging her daughter.
Mom, I don\'t have middle names. Quylla said in confusion.
You actually do. Orion said.
After the last gala, we decided that even though we are not your biological parents, we are still your family.
So we gave you the middle names that we had agreed upon in the case we had a second daughter.
At those words, Quylla started sobbing and held Jirni tight.
We decided to keep it a secret and surprise you during your next birthday, but with everything that happened, you didn\'t want to celebrate and at that point, the divorce had already started. Jirni said.
Thank you, Mom. Quylla released Jirni and hugged Orion.
Thank you, Dad.
There\'s no need to thank us, little one.
We gave you middles names also because they make scolding you much more effective.
Also, I\'m still mad at you. Yet his words and his tone didn\'t match as he caressed Quylla\'s head.
Phloria joined them in the embrace, sniffling a little, and so did Jirni after striking several of Manohar\'s nerve clusters for good measure, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.
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