Chapter 171:

Alliance with Nun

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

The trio, the mayor, and Rom all exited Gwyn’s room and shut the door. For her part, Harlan refused to be carried again and settled for walking on her injured leg, all while hoping the doctor that patched her up wouldn’t see. Mem was left to watch over the Nonpareil as the group found a small meeting room within the hospital. Rom remained in the hallway while the mayor set his metal box in the corner.

The room had a small rectangular table with four seats on either side. Harlan sat in a middle chair, then Rheba and Fiona sat on either side of her. Abelard sat on the other side.

“They will be heading here shortly,” the blue and white Zenotote said as she entered the room last. She sat next to the mayor and crossed her arms.

“Now, I suppose we should get right to business,” mayor Abelard said. “Firstly, we should discuss the status of your two remaining team members.”

Fiona looked to Rheba. The Bentulousian warrior nodded.

“They are somewhere in Nunvo, but I have been unable to get in contact with them,” the blue princess answered. She kept her tone even and her expression as calm as possible; Hermina and Donn were at the forefront of her mind as she tried to imitate how they met foreign leaders and personal. She hated how awkward it made her feel.

Abelard rubbed his chin.

“They have evaded much of my agents as well. Who would have thought they were such skilled agents?”

The trio said nothing but all thought in unison. Hal was skilled, but they were surprised Odell was managing so well.

“We should head up and try to find them,” Rheba offered.

“And just leave Gwyn?” Fiona shot back in surprise. She quickly dropped her attempt to mimic her siblings.

The mayor shook his head. He wondered why the particular group in front of him had been chosen for such a mission but figured it would be best to hold his tongue.

“Rheba, you and I can’t leave the hospital,” Harlan said with a sigh.

“A warrior would never rest when companions are in trouble,” Rheba replied.

The room fell into silence until a knock at the door broke it. The two agents who followed after Fiona, Odell, and Hal in the shopping center entered the room. Though, Fiona had never seen them clearly and was completely unaware.

“Parden the intrusion,” the Hobusian, Felix, said.

“We’re just going to storm in!” the Netzian, Liv, added with a smile. They joined the side of the table with the mayor.

“We were just talking about their other agents. Would you be able to go retrieve them?” Rom asked the new duo.

“Of course,” Felix replied.

“Aw, but we just got here!” Liv griped.

“I would rather not send strangers to meet up with our frie- comrade,” Rheba said as she eyed the two agents.

“Why don’t you have Fiona go with them?” Rom offered.

“How does she know my name?” Fiona whispered to Harlan.

“You’re a princess to a foreign government; of course, they would know who you are.” Harlan calmly whispered back.

Rheba shook her head.

“I don’t think you’ve earned our trust. Not enough for Fiona to go alone with two of your agents.”

“Hey, I’m not that hopeless in a fight!” Fiona interjected. Abelard chuckled.

“I suppose we should get onto the next order of business. You were sent here as foreign spies, but I would like to propose a truce on that front. I hope it has become apparent that other dangers are lurking within my fair city at the present moment.”

“And how can we be sure the agents that attacked us were not aligned with you?” Rheba asked as she crossed her arms.

“I will give you access to our agents' records; you can take as much time to comb through as you like,” Rom said.

“Records of particular agents can be omitted,” Harlan added.

“These kids are feisty!” Liv interjected.

“Liv, shut up,” Felix hissed at her.

Abelard scratched his chin. He looked at each of the team members one by one before sighing. His light blue face suddenly became very stern.

“Look, you three, we have many bad actors running around at the moment. I offered a truce not so you can trust me wholesale but so that we can avoid unnecessary conflict. Two of you are injured, and I have four combatants who can subdue you. You can take the truce now, and we hammer out the details later, or I detain you, and we’ll talk again once this mess is cleaned up.”

Rheba began to slowly stand up and ball her fingers into fists. She gritted her teeth as the pain made it difficult to move. Harlan quickly began to examine the room for the fourth combatant the mayor claimed to have. Fiona’s purple eyes grew wide.

She teleported next to Rheba and grabbed her arm.

“We don’t mind a truce!” the blue princess shouted.

“Fiona?” Rheba shot back.

“You’re both already hurt! We can’t have anyone else getting hurt like Gwyn!” Fiona replied. Rheba jumped at her words.

“I agree with Fiona,” Harlan answered neutrally as her eyes fixed on a corner of the walls and ceiling, “they have more operative here than we previously believed.”

At her words, Abelard made a wave. On the ceiling, an Aqueenian-Bentulousian hybrid suddenly turned visible.

“You were in the museum, weren’t you?” the previously invisible agent asked.

“I remember your face….” Harlan replied.

“Amber,” she said as she jumped down and made her way to the last open seat of the table.

“I apologize for keeping her a secret,” Abelard said. “Rest assured that she was the last special agent anywhere close to this hospital.”

“And they mayor’s a terrible liar, so you’d be able to tell if he wasn’t being honest,” Rom added.

“Rom! Must you add unnecessary details?”

“If the truth hurts, I don’t know what to say,” the blue-white Zenotote said with a shrug.

Abelard sighed and turned to the trio.

“So, there you have it; we will go ahead with sending Liv, Felix, and the princess to Nunvo. As a show of trust, the remainder of us will stay at the hospital a while longer, so you can ask any questions you wish.”

“He just wants to stay away from paperwork a while longer,” Rom added.

“Your conditions are acceptable,” Rheba said as she gritted her teeth. It felt like she had lost somehow, and she realized she wasn’t cut out for diplomacy.