“What’s wrong, Eunica?” Aura asked, seeing her friend staring out the window as the rain poured outside. Aura doubted that her new friend was worried about the mud and puddles that were forming in the grass and garden surrounding the parameter of the house. Her gaze seemed distant and her smile was now an apathetic flat. Shepard stood next to the chair Eunica sat on, keeping watch over both his master and the now unattended Gaspard, who was drooling water onto the floor, giving the home a slight scent of the sea to it.

“Oh,” Eunica snapped out of her trance, blinking a few times, “what is it, Aura?”

“You look sad. Did--” Aura frowned, lowering her head with her eyes looking up at her. “Did I make you mad?” This childish side to her was exactly the reason Eunica could be anything, but upset with her. She had no choice in the matter of her confinement.

Eunica shook her head slowly. “Don’t you worry about that.” She stood up, placing a hand on the window, mindlessly tracing a droplet of water, struggling to determine its path as it sometimes went in the direction she predicted and sometimes not.

“Do you want to be outside?”

Eunica shook her head once more. It was difficult to explain to Aura, but ever since that short investigation two weeks ago, she wanted to get back into the swing of things. The retired life was nice and cozy, but she could not deny the thrill she felt while on the hunt for the truth. Sometimes it was scary for her, but afterwards, the feeling of having that weight pulled off her shoulders was a very good one. It was just, she felt it was wrong. Everyone thought things of her, because of her background working for the International Magic Patrol and in The Vigil. As a Deathsayer, she had to uphold the ideals of justice, freedom, and brotherhood. She never truly took on any work for any form of justice. Either her curiosity had been piqued, or she was in it for the money. Freedom. Now, there was something she did not know how to feel about. Was she truly free from her old life? Quitting her work was proving as difficult as putting down the bottle. As for brotherhood, it was no secret she was not a team player by choice. Her idea of teamwork was to do everything, so that the others would not get hurt. She turned to look at Aura. “Maybe,” she said, “but that would mean leaving you here.”

“I can come with you,” she said. “I like it outside.” She gave Eunica a genuine smile.

“It’s a dangerous world out there.”

“That doesn’t stop you, though. I’ll be with you, too.”

“Aura,” Eunica turned around and sat on her chair again, “do you wish to pursue your father?”

“I thought you said I don’t need to know,” Aura said, looking down.

“You’re an adult, Aura,” she said. “Part of being is making your own decisions.” Eunica put her elbow on the arm of the chair and rested her head in her hand. “I only suggested it to you.”


“Think about it, will you?” Eunica stood up and walked over to the kitchen. “I’ll go make dinner. Leftovers are okay, I hope.”

“I liked yesterday’s dinner,” Aura said, nodding with a smile. “Yes.”

The rain still was coming down as the silently ate their dinner. Shepard stood next to Gaspard, making sure that the only thing the little dragon
chewed on was the gem a man had given him to teeth on.

“Eunica?” Aura said as she finished her plate. “Do you want to look for my father?”

Eunica nearly choked on her food from the question. Was she really that easy to read? She coughed a couple times and forced what she had down. “It’s your choice,” she panting, as she dabbed her mouth some with a napkin. “What you want is what matters.”

“But you’re an adult too, aren’t you?”

“I am, but…” Eunica bit her lip, trying to find the right words to explain what she felt. All she could say was, “He is your father. I won’t pursue him, if it will only make you upset, rather than give you the answers you seek—“ and the answers I seek as well, she thought.

Aura lowered her gaze, thinking hard about the choice she was going to make. Then she thought about Eunica, who seemed very interested in her father’s books. Untranslated, they were useless to either of them. Eunica was a mage like her father too, but she would not leave her. She would get to go with her, wherever this search took them. Nearly fifteen years had passed without her knowing. The feeling of being abandoned for so long gnawed at her once she finally took notice. She remembered looking in the mirror and thought she looked like both Cinderella and Rapunzel. Her silver hair was so long that it trailed on the floor somewhat and her clothes were raggedy and dusty. Eunica was no prince or knight in shining armor, but as she looked at the woman, she could feel the elegance she expected from one emanating from her. “I do.”

“Even if the truth may not be something you like?”

Aura paused and thought about it once more, before nodding. “I do.”

“Then, I will tell you what I learned so far,” Eunica said as she began to recount her encounter with Garret Calhoun to Aura, this time not leaving out the details. “If we want to know where to go next, we need to pay him a visit again.”