Chapter 828 Domino Effect Part 2
\'After that, I would just wait for Manohar to be Manohar, give myself the impossible task of catching him and use it as a pretext to strip the annoying Archon of her title if not even ending her career.\' Jirni thought.
Between her ancestral household, all the allies she had made during the years, and the excellent relationship she had with the Royal family, she was supposed to be safe from power plays, yet she was starting to feel cornered.
The worst thing was that for the first time in her life, Jirni was powerless against it.
Phloria\'s fate only depended on the army official part of the commission, while Orion could only rely on his fellow Royal Forgemasters.
There was no easy way out, no favor she could call in to solve the situation, nor any plot she could scheme.
Jirni Ernas was a resourceful woman, but taking on alone the six great academies, the army, and several noble families was too much for her.
Too much for anyone.
Yet she didn\'t despair, channeling her frustration in her job to make sure to do everything by the book.
This time, success or failure was almost the same.
Even if Jirni managed to find Manohar, she could still be blamed for being too late for it to matter.
Manohar or no Manohar, if Laruel fell she might be held responsible so Jirni\'s main concern was not leaving anything that her hidden enemies could use against her.
The silver lining was that thanks to Manohar\'s escaping streak, blaming her was a paper-thin argument, but that only if she was able to prove that she had left no stone unturned.
Archon Ernas, we just received a sighting report from Othre. Kamila said, showing her mentor only the interesting bits.
Kamila had worked her ass off ever since Laruel\'s crisis had started, barely taking the time off to eat, sleep, and see Lith.
Once he had departed, she had dedicated herself entirely to the manhunt.
Othre This is great news. Jirni checked the list of ingredients Manohar was after.
A fossilized Gorgon scale was among them, and according to the report, one had just reached Othre\'s black market.
Gorgons were officially extinct, so everything related to them was incredibly hard to find, even on the Royal trading channels.
Do you want to send a squad to check Kamila asked.
No time. Jirni shook her head, making sure to have with her all the Manohar-capturing artifacts that had allowed her to succeed the first time, plus some new pieces that Orion had prepared for her.
A squad would take too long and they would not get 100 meters from him without getting discovered.
Manohar can\'t Warp inside of Othre but he can still fly.
You and I will have to suffice.
Me Kamila was surprised.
I\'ve never received training to go undercover and if he recognizes me…
Manohar will ask you if Lith is with you.
He doesn\'t bother remembering insignificant details like the names and jobs of the people he meets.
Either he will just take you for a pretty face in the crowd or recognize you as Lith\'s plus one. Jirni cut her short.
The Mad Professor had an incredible acumen in recognizing someone\'s magical talent.
It was one of the reasons catching him was so hard.
Only a powerful mage could corner Manohar, yet he would recognize one on the fly and escape.
The two women changed into casual clothes and Jirni even altered her hair color, applying make-up on her face and hands to pass as a random thug instead of a hunter on the prowl.
She took her army amulet to perform a quick status update while walking towards the Ernas\'s Gate.
Where are you going this late You\'ll miss dinner. Orion asked.
He was having a hard time as well, working late hours to prepare anti-undead weapons for the army.
On one hand, Balkor\'s threat had undermined the Griffon Kingdom\'s stability for years.
On the other hand, it had forced them to develop the most advanced cutting-edge magic and tactics while dealing with Necromancers, allowing them to deal with the invasion from Jiera better than their foreign counterparts.
The Empire had never faced such a widespread undead phenomenon, whereas even though the Blood Desert had Salaark, she couldn\'t be everywhere at the same time.
Just a quick trip to Othre to check on a sighting report.
I\'ll be back in a jiffy. She said while giving her husband a kiss on the cheek.
Orion found it fishy since there hadn\'t been a single sighting in days and Manohar used to move mainly during the day to exploit crowds to go unnoticed.
At least, as unnoticed as he could go.
His antics and temper tantrums made him easy to find once he decided to come out, just like his genius made him hard to catch.
Yet Orion said nothing.
Jirni knew how to take care of herself and worst-case scenario, it was just someone wasting her time.
He went to the Ernas\'s Forge, ordering to not be disturbed until his wife was back.
Jirni and Kamila appeared from Othre\'s Gate located in the army\'s headquarters, going straight for the sewers after taking a map from the desk Sergeant.
The black market would change its location often, but it would always be found only by moving underground the city, away from prying eyes.
The sewers of a city as big as Othre were full of places to hide, allowing the underbelly of the society to move and gather without anyone noticing.
To find the black market required to know the temporary code and use first magic.
The army\'s information network had provided Jirni the former and training the latter, allowing her to follow the trail that would be revealed only by using the correct sequence of elements.
Contrary to what most would expect, the sewers of Othre weren\'t narrow and the ceiling was high.
The tunnels were as wide as the streets above, but instead of the pavement, there was a river of sewage separating two sidewalks made of grey stone wide enough to allow two city workers to walk side by side.
The air was damp and smelled as if something really big had died weeks ago, making it hard to breathe.
Do we have to follow the light Kamila asked while using applying magical plugs to her nose to filter the stench.
Even though it was late, several magical lamps were still lit, forming a path in the surrounding darkness.
It\'s just a safety measure.
If someone gets lost in the sewers, the lights will guide them to the nearest constable station, where they will receive help and have to give a really good explanation of what they were doing down here.
Only authorized personnel can enter the sewers, but both street urchins and homeless people don\'t care much for laws, only for survival. Jirni replied, while using the map to find their destination.
No one could possibly cover the entirety of the sewers in signs, so along with the code, the starting point was also provided.
Jirni had to use earth magic first to soften the dry clay that between bricks, then fire magic to light the fluorescent substance mixed with it, and lastly darkness magic to cover the mark.
What the heck Kamila blurted out.
After applying darkness magic, the arrow pointing north had turned to the east.
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