145 A Signing and A Sealing*
The Blue Jade Restaurant was just as lavish and high end as its name suggested. The three floor system prevented the rabble from mixing with those who could afford a more 'authentic' experience. The general public, at least those who could afford it, were crowding the first floor. Despite the expense, it seemed no one wanted to miss out on the famous dishes that the restaurant had to offer. Everyone sitting on the first floor seemed to have made special effort to dress up so as not to impact on the aesthetic of the grand hall.
Rassa had yet to step into the restaurant, he had seen it and heard about it in the past couple of weeks, but seeing as he didn't eat he was not exactly inclined to go. However, as soon as he did step inside, he understood immediately why Sharli and Iah had insisted they go shopping for better clothes. Despite his new clothing – which Rassa had insisted was just fine with a clean shirt and new pants with a jacket – Rassa felt his attire to the Theatre the night before would have been more fitting here. Still, he didn't let it get to him as he stepped inside and was met with a waitress standing at a podium greeting guests.
"Hello Sir, welcome to the Blue Jade Restaurant, is it your first time eating with us?"
Though they did not outright say anything, Rassa's company were all mildly shocked that the woman was so composed before Rassa. He may have thought he was underdressed, but there was a reason the others hadn't insisted he dress up more. The women silently seethed that no matter what he put on, Rassa never looked anything less than regal. Kit was silently proud to be called the man's student. Aegin, dressed very similarly to Rassa, was the only one amongst them who couldn't bring himself to care. Fashion had never been his thing.
"Yes," Rassa replied, "We're meeting with Miss Falla Startree".
The woman's eyes flashed with recognition and she changed her outward appearance in an almost imperceptible way to become even more courteous, "Of course, Sir. Miss Startree is awaiting you in Suite five of the second floor. If you'll follow me".
She led them with a dignified air through the first floor hall and to the stairs at the rear of the hall, climbing them undeterred. Rassa and Aegin simply followed without fuss, a demeanour which the others tried and failed to copy as they gazed around the restaurant in amazement. So this was what it was like to be treated like you mattered. Like you had the coin to back you up should you fall into trouble. It was a vast difference to the streets and slavery they'd previously been accustomed to. Were still accustomed to if they were being honest.
The first floor was large and open, big enough to fit several hundred guests and not make them feel boxed in. The second floor was just as large in terms of size, but appeared more private thanks to the cordoned off sections for separate groups. They did not appear all that sound proof, but gave the appearance of private sections at least, gossamer curtains covering the entrances.
Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
The waitress, or was it more appropriate to call her hostess thanks to her air? Led the group to the left of the staircase. The staircase was like a line separating one line from another. Odd numbers on the left, even on the right, and a long open space in the centre looking down on the first floor. Rassa found it outright incredible was immediately curious how it was achieved because from the first floor it appeared to be a roof of several paintings. The others too appeared surprised. The hostess seemed to notice their surprised and proudly continued leading the way, giving no explanation.
If Rassa had to guess, it was a light magician who specialised in illusions. It was a rare path for light magicians to take considering it was not taught at the academies, but it was entirely possible for them to achieve.
Upon coming to the third section on the left, the hostess pulled aside part of the curtain covering the entrance and gestured for the group to enter.
Falla awaited inside, Layn beside her along with two other men and a woman, all of whom Rassa had yet to meet but from their appearance he assumed they were all under Falla's employ.
They stood as Rassa's group entered.
"Glad you could join us," Falla smiled in a business-like manner.
"The pleasure is ours, please," Rassa indicated for them to sit and everyone did so. After a moment Falla indicated to her party and begun introducing them.
"You've already met Layn, he is my secretary and closest advisor. I could ask for no one better to do the job. And this is Talia, Dane and Louis. They are three of my staff, and also those that I have handpicked as the teachers you require".
Rassa nodded a greeting, "You have met Ebony, unfortunately we are not set up enough to have official positions, but I believe she serves the same purpose that Layn does to you. Aegin is, for the most part at least, my intelligence officer and advisor. This is Sharli and Iah, the two you will be instructing in administration and such, and finally Kit, Charm Craftsman".
Kit seemed slightly surprised by the title, but knew better than to question it. He hadn't actually been allowed the carve a rune into a crystal yet.
"It's lovely to meet you all, I hope we can all work well together in future," Falla greeted, then she indicated to Layn, "I realise its improper to present before we eat, but I thought it would be better to use the dinner as a celebration rather than a business discussion".
Layn handed over two copies of the contract, Rassa quickly read through it, ensuring the terms were as he and Falla had stipulated the night before. After a moment, Rassa nodded, he turned to Ebony then. She brought out a smaller contract, and handed it across the table as Rassa explained, "This is the agreement for the individual you choose to learn how to craft the charms. I believe the terms are fair but please let me know otherwise".
Falla unrolled it and read, frowning as she finished, "A blood contract?"
"It may seem a bit extreme when I explain it, but please understand that it is necessary to prevent the secret from leaking out," Rassa stated, "One of my lesser used abilities is that of blood magic. Among other things, this allows me to seal contracts using magic. Upon signing with their blood, the parties involved in the contract are bound to its terms until the contract period ends".
"That sounds no different to a normal contract," said Falla, "Why this part about punishment?"
"Blood contracts bind the soul of an individual. If a contract is broken, at minimum it will cause them immense pain. A pain unlike anything you could comprehend because it is felt in the soul itself. It will also alert the other parties to the broken contract. It is more common howver that breaking a contract signed with blood will simply kill an individual," Rassa explained
The table looked shocked, those unversed in Rassa's condition confused as to how he would come to acquire such a thing.
"That is quite the extreme punishment," said Falla, a frown on her face.
"I would not insist on this contract if I did not believe the ability I was giving this individual was equally powerful," Rassa stated.
Falla hesitated a moment, meeting Rassa's gaze before she nodded, "Very well".
Her party looked surprised she had agreed.
"Will you insist the same of our contract?" asked Falla.
"I will not, unless you ask it. I believe that you will be true to your word".
Falla nodded, "In that case, I see no reason to wait any longer".
Layn brought out ink and pens as well as a pot and a wax stick which he prepared to melt as Falla took one of the contracts and one of the pens.
Rassa took the other and they each signed, Layn melting enough wax to stamp before the contracts were switched and signed and sealed once more. Following which, they were rolled up and put away.
"Very well, let us eat to celebrate!"