Everything about his appearance spoke of order and control.
He was wearing a perfectly ironed black suit that didn\'t show a single wrinkle despite having been used for half day.
Not a single hair on his head was out of place, every one of his movements was slow and calculated.
His stern expression was reinforced by his gold-rimmed glasses which made his calculative gaze look cruel rather than wise.
Your guild is doing an excellent job, I don\'t see why I should welcome this man into my home.
I\'m sure there are plenty of free rooms in the city\'s hotels and that he can afford to pay for his meals. Krame only spoke to Friya, ignoring everyone else.
\'Wow, this guy is as stingy as you are.\' Solus thought.
Both her and Lith were surprised at being treated like that.
It was the second time in a single day that someone had looked down on him.
Your Lordship, Lord Verhen is an excellent Healer and the Ranger in charge of the Kellar region.
I\'m sure you realize that his presence can be of great help.
The snowstorm could isolate the city, if not even your mansion, for days. Friya said.
You are an excellent Healer, Lady Ernas.
Why would I need two Besides, I doubt he can be of any use.
No truly talented and sane man would ever work as a civil servant.
It still has the word \'servant\' in it and proves a lack of ambition.
What about my mother and my father, then Friya hated to use her parents\' names.
The whole point of leading a mercenary guild was building her career outside of her family.
Yet the \'sane\' part prevented her from using Manohar as a model.
Please. The Viscount scoffed at her naïve attempt of manipulation.
Your mother chose a noble career that allows her to uphold and influence the law.
She protects us from the scum of the earth.
Your father\'s talent is bottomless.
He is an Arch Duke, a warrior, a Forgemaster, and a leader of the Knight Guard.
This man, instead, took the job of a watchdog with no further career path.
Rangers usually drop out of the army or drop dead.
He\'s barely more than a vagrant with a hundred masters, and as soon as the winter lockdown ends, I\'ll be one of them.
Now please get out of my office.
I have work to do.
What a dick.
I\'m sorry, Lith. Friya said after they left the Viscount\'s office.
Follow me, I\'ll show you your accommodations.
Didn\'t he just say that I\'m not welcome
Yeah, but he never said no either.
I know the type, if I take you in as my guest, he\'ll never dare to complain to my face.
You\'ve changed a lot, you know The old Lith would have glared at Krame until he pissed his pants. Friya looked at him with curiosity.
If I killed every single noble that treated me rudely, I\'d have been called the new Balkor for years by now.
I don\'t care what Krame says.
He\'s just an irrelevant road bump on my path. Lith replied.
I wouldn\'t be so sure.
He\'s using the events caused by the Church of the Six to get Count Cestor removed and become the next city Lord.
He\'s likely to succeed if you ask me.
What events The Griever is not a plague and a few nutjobs aren\'t enough to dispose of a loyal servant of the Crown.
You would be right, if Cestor was competent.
Ever since he joined the Church of the Six, those fanatics have harassed every mage of the city.
They say that magic is an insult to the gods and all that crap. Friya said.
What That\'s enough to outlaw such a religion.
Harming mages is a serious crime.
Why has no one contacted the army or the mage association about this
Because the city is split into two factions.
One follows the Church\'s dogmas and wants to kick mages out of the city.
The other one is collecting evidence to get rid of their opponents and seize their properties.
Neither faction wants to involve the army, it would ruin their plans. Friya said.
Then why did the Count call me Wasn\'t that shooting himself in the foot
Maybe he really has gone mad. Friya shrugged as she opened the door of Lith\'s room.
It was barely bigger than a storage room, with just enough space for a bed and a wardrobe.
Sorry to give you the worst room, but it\'s all that\'s left.
Don\'t worry, I\'ve been in worse places. Lith lied.
The only reason he had accepted staying there was to keep an eye on her.
The situation in the city was too odd, and Lith had noticed how Friya was on edge while dealing with some of her guild members.
\'Damn, I can\'t leave the city during a snowstorm.
The army locates my position every time I make a report and a single Warp Steps only crosses about ten kilometers (6.2 miles).
\'I can reach a mana geyser with it, but for a normal mage it would be suicidal.
Now that I have a better understanding of the situation, I might as well play ball.\'
As soon as he was alone, Lith called his handler and explained everything to her.
My assessment is that Count Cestor is insane or being manipulated, while Viscount Krame is willing to exploit the chaos that will ensue as the conflicts escalate to further his political agenda. Lith said.
I\'ll contact my superiors and let you know their decision.
Until then, investigate this Church of the Six and the Griever.
If your friend is right about the means of contagion, then Zantia could be the rehearsal for something bigger.
Gods, I\'ll never understand why people are willing to hurt those closest to them for the pettiest reasons. Kamila\'s voice was so sad that Lith understood she wasn\'t talking about Zantia, but rather about herself.
He called her on her civilian amulet immediately after ending the call.
He had recognized the hologram\'s background as her home, so there was no risk of interrupting her job with his paranoia.
Kami are you alright Lith said noticing she was crying, which made him sick with worry.
It\'s just a rough moment for me.
Everything is fine. Those words made Lith shiver.
In his experience, when a woman said those three words, they were usually a lie.
No, it\'s not.
Yesterday you were in a bad mood, then you behaved oddly during lunch, and now this Kami, if you don\'t talk to me, I don\'t know what to do. He said.
At the mention of lunch, she laughed amid the tears.
I was perfectly normal at lunch, silly.
I\'m just on a diet and couldn\'t stand watching you eat while I starved. She chuckled.
But you are right about the rest, I\'m not fine.
I went to visit my sister and seeing her like that broke my heart.
I don\'t know if I can save her anymore.
I feel so helpless that it\'s driving me crazy.
Lith didn\'t understand much from her rambling, but he let her talk and cry as long as she needed to.
Seeing her breaking apart like that hurt him deeply.
Kamila always smiled and she always had a nice word for Lith, turning his perpetual frown upside down.
He wanted to drop everything and run back to Belius just to embrace her.
Is there anything I can do It was all he could say when she was done talking.
No, but thanks for the offer.
I\'ll explain everything to you once you get back.
I promise that the second time it will make sense. She chuckled.
Thanks for listening to me.
I feel much better now.
Don\'t worry, you did nothing wrong.
This time. She laughed harder, making him smile.