146 A Disgruntled Party*
"What do you mean they signed a contract with Startree?"
From this less than impressed response, the informant could immediately tell that Lord Ishta Alamone was not happy with this news. The Informant silently cried that he couldn't change his information. He was sworn to deliver facts, even if that meant the facts wouldn't please his benefactor.
"In section 5 of the second floor, My Lord," the Informant stated, trying very hard to not let his voice quiver with the fear he felt, "Ebony and the man who accompanied her to the Theatre last night seem to have signed a contract for the charms with Falla Startree".
"That widowed fabric peddler?" hissed Ishta. He threw his glass across the third floor private room of the Blue Jade restaurant. It shattered against the wall and the Informant flinched, "What is with these stupid Eldovian women refusing my generous offers? First dear Miss Startree is widowed after being married only a year and rather than handing her business to me for twice its worth, she insists upon keeping it for herself. A woman! And a common woman at that, insists she can run a trade business. The gall! And now, another common woman decides that she is too good for my generous offer as well. I'd like to see them try. As soon as I get my hands on the method for making the charms they'll be finished!"
The Informant frowned, "Apologises sir, it seems I have not clarified, it appears that Ebony is not the head of this small business as we originally assumed. The man that accompanied her seems to be the one in charge. He was the one that signed".
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Ishta paused, "Why is this information only disclosed now? Who is he? Why hide behind a woman?"
"I...I don't know, Sir...he seems to appeared out of nowhere just like this Ebony did. We have no record of him before his appearance at the Theatre last night," the Informant stuttered.
Ishta seethed, picking up a knife and throwing it at the Informant who managed to dodge it just in time, "Do your job. And do it before you disappoint me further".
Ishta's tone was deadly, and the Informant left the room without further prompting.
Ishta picked another glass and smashed it in his anger, "Nobody refuses a deal with me! It is my Company's right and destiny to be number one in the world, no upstart is going to stop me from that!"
Ishta Alamone was the Lord and Master of the Southern district of Kalle in the country of Dagglen. He had been the Lord and Master since the age of 10 when his father had passed on before his time.
At least, that was Dagglen's polite way of saying he'd been betrayed and killed in the process. It was how most Lords of the eight districts of Dagglen passed on their titles. So then, how had the then 10 year old son succeeded a father who was betrayed and murdered? Well, their were many speculations about that...Ishta never confirmed nor denied any of them. A people fearful of what he did at 10 would be terrified of what he could do as a man should he be crossed. Still, he may have been an arrogant and terrifying bastard, but he was also the one who had brought Kalle riches in the last two decades. Enough riches to compete with the Sovereign of Dagglen. The Shah, Leopold Surren. They say even the great Shah didn't want to get on Ishta's bad side.
This Traders Festival was supposed to be Ishta's triumph. The time when he finally proved that his efforts had culminated in the greatest Trade Company of the known world. Yet his spotlight had been stolen by some upstart carving pictures into useless Evanine Crystals.
When they had first appeared, Ishta had ordered his people to carve the charms too, but no matter how they carved it, they never produced the same results. There must have been some secret to the process, something they were missing. Yet even when Ishta had generously offered 10% of the profits from charms made by the original carver, they had still refused. All they had to do was hand over the method, but it seemed that this group was not as smart as their invention would suggest.
No one crossed Ishta Alamone on his road to success, no one.
"Illai," Ishta spoke.
A figure seemed to fold from the shadows, a small pool of water dripping from around them as they did. Like the shadows themselves were made of liquid.
The figure's face was covered, but it was clearly a man from his tone. Ishta glared out across the room where his informant had left, "Find out what you can. I want to know everything about this man".
"As you wish".
The man seemed to splash into the shadows, like a fish diving back into water, and they suddenly reverted back to how they were before, leaving nothing but a damp patch on the ground.
If Rassa had seen this, he may have been able to pick out what this figure was. As it is Rassa had felt a disturbance, but had simply assumed it was any other Magician. After all, a Hybrid Magician was a rare thing, and a strange existence certainly.
Meanwhile, Ishta turned back to his dinner, it's lavish appeal looking like no more than dirt to him. Miss Startree was proving to be more of a problem than he'd originally foreseen. That husband of hers had been useless when it came to living, but he'd certainly given his dear wife everything he could before he succumed to the disease that had made him so sickly since birth. And what had his dear wife asked for? A Star Pavillion, the only one besides the Emperor's in the Eldovian Empire. The sickly sap had handed over such a precious and sacred place without second thoughts.
A place where one could communicate with the gods, now her private playground. Ishta had thought her nothing more than a spoilt child until she'd started earning a name for herself in the trade world. In his world. But that just made him wonder...
What did a little merchant's daughter want with a Star Pavillion?
And now she wanted a slice of that Charm Business pie. The bigger piece no doubt.
He would not stand for it. Not when he'd worked this hard for this long. That pie was his, slice and all.