I don't think I'll be able to update this on any sort of regular schedule- but I do have some more ideas for the story bubbling away and hopefully they won't take me 6 months to write up
Lodvico duBois watched his fiancée maneuver with overt care though the airship with the stoic face his race were famed for. It wouldn’t do for Phe to see his amusement at her circumstances and he didn’t feel like trying to reattach any body parts if she decided to take out her frustrations on him- or if she turned around too quickly. He was also keeping a subtle (he devotedly hoped) distance from her- the normally agile Mithra was having a hard time with her newest job’s tools.
The goblins of Elshimo would be in for an interesting time he thought without regret as she got settling for the trip to Kahzam. Lodvico had no love for the goblin beastmen.
“I still don’t see why I have to do this,” Phe grumbled after they were in the air. “Its not like we’re going to be going up against the Empire to retrieve the Folly.”
“No,” Lod agreed, “but you’re the one who suggested searching the Remnants and Eijanhar for its whereabouts and since we’re not in a rush anyway we might as well be as prepared as possible, which means-“
“I finish my dark knight training to use it as a sub. I know. I know.” She finished for him. “But do you know
how much this itches?! Or how much I sweat in the Death Jungles?!!”
Knowing a trap question when he heard it, Lodvico refrained from pointing out he’d been wearing heavy plate or mail armor for years in all types of weather conditions. It was only recently that he’d started wearing the much lighter armor of a White Mage.
“You’ll be able to visit your relatives at least,” he said comfortingly. “ I bet your aunt will be happy to hear about our progress in the search.”
“Oh, I just bet.” She muttered, shifting a strap holding her current weapon. “’Gee, sorry great-auntie, didn’t quite manage to find the gem because the ship I was on had to sink during a storm and I barely managed to make it to shore. So sorry, will try to do better next time.’”
With a short laugh, Lod pulled her tight against him for a brief hug. “And we will. We all knew this would be like searching for a needle in a haystack. We may never find the crystal.”
“Bite your tongue.” She advised with a smile. “I don’t trust any government to not abuse it. Especially the Empire,” She continued darkly. “They’re just too enamored with power- any power.”
“The Immortals aren’t the Empire.”
“Your point?” She shook her head. “No, I know you like the palace puppeteer but the Blue Mages are playing with fire- there’s a reason why the Orastery has never allowed the study of Beastmen magic. There are just some powers that are meant to be unknown to us.”
“Former Minister Shantotto might disagree with that.” Lodvico pointed out half-jokingly. He knew Pheonic had a deep respect for the powerful Black Mage the Windurstain children called the Wicked Witch of Windurst.
“Lady Shantotto loves power that’s true,” Phe acknowledged, “but she’s never gone so far as the Immortals have in her research. No Windurstian would.”
“And so the reason why you went through the Blue Mage initiation is…?” He asked looking over at her questioningly. Phe had the grace to blush at his look.
“Ok. Ok.” She huffed. “You want me to admit it? I agreed to be injected with that blue ichor -and I do mean ick
- because I was curious. I follow the Red Path- I’m neither white or black but something else entirely and I wanted to know what the Blue Path truly is beyond the rumors of the townsfolk.”
“So you allowed them to torture you for knowledge?” He asked quietly. Even now weeks after they’d returned to the capital city of Aht Urghan and her initiation into Blue Magic he found the thought of it unsettling and the memory of waking up to find her gone from his side still had the power to stop his heart.
Knowing something of his thoughts, Phe reached over to grab his hand in hers (she absolutely refused to wear the mail gauntlets until she absolutely had too). “I’m ok,” she reminded him. “And yes, I did it for knowledge. Hold your friends close…”
“And your enemies closer.” He finished the old proverb. “I know your reasoning but I don’t like it.” He admitted. “And I can’t help but feel you’ve started on a path that will only bring more pain. Promise me you’ll be careful.”
“I will,” she smiled lopsidedly. “Besides, its not Blue Magic you have to worry about right now but how much I end up blood tanking as Dark Knight.”
“Don’t remind me,” Lodvico advised with a grimace. “I’ve been trying to ignore that fact since we got on the ship.“
“We can always talk about the wedding plans.” She suggested wickedly, knowing that her fiancé was even less enthusiastic about the plans her mother (and his) were currently planning out like generals during the last battle of the Hydra Corps than he was about the end of the world. She looked over at him impishly. “Your mother had this idea about importing the red phoenix lilies from the Far East for my bouquet- and I know they’re expensive but they’d go so well with my-“
Her teasing was cut short as he leaned over and silenced her with a laughing kiss. By mutual agreement they decided the future could wait- and so could their wedding plans.