Chapter 141:

Setting Out in the Morning

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

In the morning, debates began on how the team ought to be divided. There were three sections of Nun left, and they argued if they should split into groups of three or two.

"Three will be a formidable force," Rheba said. She, Hal, and Harlan thought it best to keep their teams larger.

"True, but we are already a formidable force. Teams of two would let us cover more area," Gwyn rebutted. He, Fiona, and Odell thought it best to cover more space with who they had.

"I understand we fought well in Horizon, but the three of you are technically inexperienced. There was already someone after you yesterday," Rheba argued while looking specifically at Odell and Fiona.

"Then we'll split up with one experienced person and one inexperienced person. Even in a group of three, we could still have three unexperienced together," Gwyn shot back.

Rheba bit her lip. She was used to punching people more than debating them.

"Fiona and I have also been trained in royal combat; we aren't completely helpless," Odell added.

"As long as you have a Needaimus," Rheba shot back.

Odell shyly looked away.

Harlan sighed; she took a deep breath and spoke up.

"I believe it may be best for us to split into two rather than waste more time on this matter," she said. Daylight was already burning, and she thought it best to move out sooner than later. Rheba's expression matched the one Caesar made before being stabbed. Had she known anything about the earth, she would have simply said, 'et tu, Harlan?'

With the decision made, the team quickly split up into new groups.

Fiona and Harlan would head to the center part of Nun. Rheba and Gwyn would head to Nunan in the east. Odell and Hal, after pleading from the former, would head to Nunvo in the north. Their trip would begin at the station for the extensive train system that connected all of the massive city. Each duo got on a different line and headed to a different city section.

Hal and Odell sat in silence for the first several minutes of their trip. The prince awkwardly looked around the train car for something which could spark a conversation while the soldier sat with both arms crossed.

Surprisingly, Hal was the first to speak up.

"Pray tell, why were you adamant to traverse to Nunvo?" he asked.

Odell jumped at Hal, starting the conversation. He looked nervously around the car as he debated how much he should share. After a few moments of thought, a new consideration came to the grey prince. If Hal was an ally, why was he keeping it a secret?

"Well, you see, when we met my father before the city, he gave me this letter," Odell said as he pulled the letter. One of Hal's green eyebrows raised higher.

"To whom should that letter be delivered," he asked.

"Some guy named Tancred, supposedly he owns a detective agency in the vo part of Nun."

"And you believe such a character ought to be trusted?"

Odell shrugged.

"My father seems to believe so. I figured it wouldn't hurt; otherwise, we will just be wandering in circles."

Hal nodded.

"We shall humor your father then." The green-haired Netzian was well aware they had no leads as well. The journey was starting to take its toll on him, and he was more focused on returning to his sisters. The thought that they could have gotten into a lot of trouble since his delayed return shook the soldier to his core.

"Great! The next step will just be to find where this guy is...."

"Your father neglected to tell you?"

"I think he forgot in the all the rush to give me a specific address...."

Hal sighed.

The rest of the train ride was left in awkward silence. Odell wondered if he had said anything to upset the soldier, but Hal simply had nothing more he wished to speak about.

After departing in the northern section of Nun, the duo began the awkward task of asking for directions. Odell had no qualms and happily stopped the colorful citizens of Nun to ask. On the other hand, Hal awkwardly moved to get others' attention.

"Pardon me, are you acquainted with a Mr. Tancred?" Hal asked a Bentulousian woman in what might appear to be a party gown but was regular wear in Nun.

"Oh, that old fool!" the woman suddenly shouted. It surprised Hal, but he remained calm and collected as he faced her.

"We seek him," Hal added. Some of his awkwardness faded as the conversation suddenly became mission-focused.

"Yes, if you know, that would be great!" Odell suddenly jumped into the conversation after hearing the woman shout.

"Yes, I know the fool, and you would be better off seeking a different detective!"

"We have reasons we cannot. He's an old family friend," Odell happily said. He tried to be friendly, but his smile irked the tall Bentulousian woman.

"Really! Then would you give him a message from me?" the woman asked.

"Sure!" Odell said.

In almost no time after his agreement, Odell was slapped across the face.

"You can find him on Queen's Street. Tell him the message was from Lilly!" The woman stomped off, leaving the duo behind.

"Do you think I can just paraphrase?" Odell wondered aloud as he held a hand on his face.

"Jokes are for the dead to enjoy, keep serious," Hal muttered.

"I don't know about– hey, hold on!" Odell was about to refute Hal, but the Netzian soldier sped off. They had the name of the street; it would be no time at all before the duo encountered the friend of King Fio.