Chapter 65:

Reasoning Together

Lovely kNight

“You’re earlier than I’d expected you would be. And I’d thought you were going to be pretty dang early anyways. You really do raise the bar for knights the kingdom over.” Vestil greets me while snickering to herself.

True to her statement I’d arrived with quite a generous amount of time to spare. The sun had only began to catch the clouds in its deeper hues of daffodil.

“I’ve been looking forward to this meeting all day. I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”

“So spirited! Anything for your beautiful bride. It’ll be a little bit of time before we start so we’d might as well make the best of it.”

She leans against the desk at her back and folds her arms coolly. For the time being it’s only us, so we both speak casually as friends.

“Amazing how much can happen in a single day. Just yesterday we’d dined together and then caught that meeting. And by now it’s already been an entire 24 hours since that assassination attempt.”

“Have you heard any more news on the situation?”

“There have been a few details unearthed. Good thing is that with how hot and pressing this issue is and the fact that both the Sunshine Steel’s private investigators and the knighthood are investigating, things should be popping up like fireworks quickly enough. For a starter: given the calculations, it’s obvious that the shooter had been behind cover. Likely inside of a building. With type of arrow fired, it’s obvious that the weapon was a crossbow. Though we’re all still wondering just what the reason for the attempt was. Just like yesterday, the most we can do is take our educated guesses.”

“Has anyone been taken into questioning? Since it’s a possibility that this could be a matter of heirs, I would expect there are at least some suspects so far.”

“Well, we haven’t gotten our hands on enough evidence to have any substantial warrants. But that hasn’t stopped us from attempting to investigate those nearest to Pegacae including his right hand and his caretaker from youth. But the problem continues to be the fact that the entire family is the definition of private. Suffice to say that it’s been a struggle digging up anything at all. I’ll have to get back to you on that. No doubt that we’re not going to let a single second go to waste.” She clutches her fist tightly while she speaks.

“Any acts against the Sunshine Steel Group could potentially destabilize the community and throw it into a downward spiral of paranoia. The sooner this incident can be solved, the better. I’m sure that the common man has their own concerns over what would happen if the group fell into the hands of any unsavory leaders. Prince Pegacae has been well liked and is known to treat his workmen and associates with incredible respect and kindness. The people love him so you can imagine the uproar if anything befell him.”

“You’ve got it on the nose.” She sighs and lifts a wry smile. “I’m not liking the implications of this event. The faster we can cool it off and close the case, the better. We need to make sure nobody thinks or even dreams they could ever get away with terrorism. If we can solve this within one week I’d bet that it’ll put an airtight lid on that jar.”

“What about the prince himself? Is he well after what had happened?”

“Publicly released reports have stated that he’s made a full recovery thanks to the group’s own hand selected medics and curates. Though I’d imagine that sort of was only made to calm the community after what had happened. Sure there are some forms of magic and medicine that can mend injuries quickly, but even with the best I’ve seen, a moderate wound would still sting for a day or two later.”

Her talking about mending magic leads my mind to recall Juna’s own injury when she’d been cut by her own sword. Though my having been a fledgling magician was partially to blame that my work wasn’t nearly as fine as it could have been. It had stopped the bleeding and dulled the pain when paired with the first aid I’d applied with the medicinal kit. I remember that Juna had felt a stinging for a little longer than a week following.

“Do you suppose it’s possible that there’s a hidden, private faction of magicians who could potentially mend such a wound within a single day? It is the Sunshine Steel Group, after all. Their money has been funneled into a variety of research. Some of which the public has yet to see the fruits of.”

“We wouldn’t be talking about an entire day. That’d be giving them too much credit. The prince was reported to have gone back to work early the next morning so at most he would have been treated through the night. In reality what that would require is a form of magic that could absolutely mend a wound within a single night. I’ve never once heard of anything that potent. And even if there was magic like that, it would require such strength that it’d likely exhaust its caster in mere minutes. Even if said casters were at the peak of their abilities and used the correct affinities in their coding.”

“Maybe you’re right.” I sigh to myself. “The different levels of mending magic can only do so much. One can’t simply continue using the same type repeatedly and expect it to heal up a wound entirely by itself. It’s probably for the best that both magic and medicine would go together to fix injuries like what he’d endured. Taking a bolt to the shoulder isn’t exactly something you can shrug off.”

“Ha. Shrug.” Vestil snorts. “But you’re right. It was said to have pierced him pretty deeply. Deep enough that it would likely never fully heal if not for the correct resources. It’d been said that it’d even damaged bone upon entry. He’s a lucky man to have his fortune to help him. Plenty might have been left debilitated for some time.”

“He’s deathly serious about his business if he’d gotten back to work not even a day after his injury. Most leaders would likely have taken an entire week off after that.”

“He sounds like you. I still remember that time you’d dislocated your shoulder and kept going. It was stupid of you but it was kind of cool too. Maybe you’re both long lost brothers or something. For all you know you could be next in line for the fortune.” She sends me a wink in jest.

“His hair is black as coal. I’d doubt it.”

“Eh, stranger things have happened.”

I glance out the window to watch the sky slowly darkening with the parting sun which is set just a few clicks above the hills. Soon Vestil’s entire squadron begins to funnel into the meeting room. We silently agree that it’s best to cut our conversation short, so we wrap it up with one final thought.

“All this magic talk is getting me to think over whether or not I should get back to studying. I know an alright amount, but I could definitely know much more. Even if I’m not the greatest for anything outside of offensive types.” I think aloud.

“It would never hurt to try. I, on the other hand, am a horrible magician no matter what type or element. I’d have to leave that sort of thing to you and Juna for our three man band. But when the day comes that someone invents mending magic one can use on themselves, that’ll be the day. I’m sure every mage and even civilian would scramble to learn that one.”

“Only problem with an idea like that is that using one’s own magic reserves on themselves in such a way would be a bit self defeating, wouldn’t it? It’s challenging enough to use enchanting and assistance magic on oneself. If self mending magic were to be discovered then it would be nothing short of a breakthrough with incredible applications.”

“Like I’d said before: crazier things have happened. I won’t rule it out, but I’ll be a healthy skeptic as well. Good thing your wife has you covered in that department so you can focus on your own swordsmanship.”

She allows herself one last chuckle before standing attentive with erect posture. She begins to greet her fellow knights who file in. And when the sun rests above the distant horizon, the meeting begins.