45 The Toulle City Magician“s Guild*
Despite the fact that they took the back entrance, Jane hadn't been able to close her mouth since she'd entered the Guild Hall. Nearly the entirety of the first floor was one massive communal room, boards posted on the sides with various jobs for the Magicians to take on in their own time. There were also consultation rooms to either side, though they were well hidden behind alcoves and impressive statues of some very famous Magicians of the past. The Lady of the Singing Sands Louisa, the Great Fire Breather Altair, the Shadow Weaver Caruso. Even Jane had heard of such famed names, such were the heroes of bed time stories since she was old enough to understand them.
Despite the clear admiration Jane showed, Arita did her best to hurry her along to a staircase on the side that led up to the second floor. Up here it was slightly more enclosed. A large meeting hall and a library dominated the floor, as well as the records rooms. A few administrative offices as well. Arita bypassed all of these Guild exclusive rooms and climbed another set of stairs to the third floor which was dominated by personal offices.
She had no hesitation in her steps as she walked to the far end of the hall where a large, double door office was erected, the door shut tight. On a plaque to the side of the door were the words, 'Guild Master's Office, Miracle Magician Lothwick Dannefor'.
Arita shoved open the doors without so much as a knock, Jane having no choice but to follow.
There were three individuals inside the office. Two men and a woman. The man behind the desk, the Guild Master himself, was an older man with scraggly white hair and beard. He had large round glasses perched on his nose and his skin was wrinkled terribly. While he had clearly not aged well, no one who knew who this man was would dare to cross him. After all, there were few who made it to Miracle rank without facing some very dangerous odds.
The man and woman before the desk were both younger. The man seemed middle-aged, with short brown hair and an elegant air about him that made him appear a vast intellectual. The woman was younger again, perhaps in her late twenties, and was one of the prettiest women Jane had ever seen. She was slim, with elegant curves and beautifully smooth chocolate skin. Her curly black hair was tamed to perfection, each curl placed strategically to make her appear all the more alluring.
As the doors banged off the walls, all three of them turned to face Arita and Jane with varying degrees of annoyance. The Guild Master simply sighed, as if expectant. The other two were significantly more miffed at the interuption.
"Ms Jekani, we are in the middle of a meeting, you should-"
"You should address me by my rank, Grandmaster Lokai," Arita snapped, "I address you by yours but if you continue to disrespect me I shall come up with a far more creative name for you".
"Well, 'Grandmaster' Jekani, I don't see how that has anything to do with your rude interruption," Lokai grumbled.
"I was in a meeting, Arita, this better be important," the Guild Master cut in.
Arita nodded her head respectfully, "The case you sent me on to Cordon, it appears that it was far more serious that we were led to believe".
The Guild Master raised an eyebrow in interest, but the young woman simply scoffed, "Please Arita, it was a simple Exorcism, I would think you were capable of such a thing".
Arita frowned, "Except it wasn't an exorcism, Lena, it was something else entirely. I have never seen anything like it, and so I have had no choice but to bring it back here for my seniors to ascertain its origins".
"What in gods name have you done now, Arita?" Lokai asked, "And who's the child you have behind you?"
"Newly awakened Wind Element Magician, her name is Jane," Arita stated, "I have brought her back for registration and enrollment into the Academy, but that is not the most pressing problem at the moment".
The Guild Master stood, taking up his cane, "You seem fairly serious, Ms Jekani, so I shall accompany you to hear your report for now".
"Oh please, another grant for your research into Elven Herbs is going to need a lot more discussion than whatever cr*p you're going to sprout today, Lokai. Come back when you have a better argument than the ones you've made before".
With that, the two other Magicians were left in the Guild Master's office as Arita retreated with the Guild Master back down the hall, Jane on their heels.
"What is it that has distressed you so, child?" asked the Guild Master.
"I assume you remember the report we received, Miracle?" asked Arita.
"I do, it was quite strange. A beast that survives on blood," the Guild Master stated, "And with the body of a young boy as well".
"Well...it is not as ridiculous as what we believed," Arita replied.
"Then it is true?" asked the Guild Master.
Arita nodded, "It also happens that while Cordon was awaiting a reply, they were starving the boy. The night before my arrival, he reached his limit, and a sort of survival instinct kicked in. He slaughtered 48 knights, their captain included, and was only subdued because Jane here awakened and caught him by surprise, wrapping him in chains made of Anthrite. Now that the instinct is subdued the boy seems more lucid, if not perfectly reasonable. If not for fear it could occur again I would have taken the chains off him myself".
"And you are sure it is not possession?" asked the Guild Master as they walked into the back yard of the Guild Hall. Arita's expression turned grim as she approached the cage behind her carriage then carefully lifted the cloth on one side.
"Positive," Arita replied, "You'll see why".
Lifting the cloth completely so that the Guild Master could see, Rassa was revealed.
He appeared to be sleeping, his back leaning against the bars at the back of the cage. Arita rounded the cage as the Guild Master took in the sight of the boy. Apart from being very pale, and having more muscle tone than was normal for his age, he appeared like any other twelve year old.
It was not until the Guild Master joined Arita to look at the boy's back that the Guild Master understood. He leaned forward, adjusting his glasses as he looked at the black Life Lines there.
"How interesting," the Guild Master spoke, "I cannot read them, and yet the mist has no problems with him".
"I thought the same. Despite the massacre the mist seemed almost...joyful".
The Guild Master turned to look at Arita in surprise, then reached up to pull down the cloth, "Keep him hidden, take him back to your laboratory. I shall consult with some old friends and come to see you tomorrow morning".
Arita nodded at the instructions, then indicated to Jane, "Shall I register her now or...?"
"I'll bring her with me. I'm assuming she knows the boy".
"Rassa is my best friend," Jane spoke, "You aren't going to hurt him, are you?"
The Guild Master looked down at Jane with a warm gaze, "I cannot make you promises, little girl, but I can say that if he does not give me a reason, then I will not harm him".
Jane seemed satisfied with that answer. Meanwhile, Rassa continued to sleep, unaware he was being watched so closely.