Chapter 77:

Storing the Plan B - Part 1



“What, shorty?”

“Can you explain what’s this, please?”

“Can do!” The inquisitor pointed to the recently arrived and carried wooden crate that was sitting in Karim’s living room. “This is, as ya can see, an unconscious winged demon. An ifrit even.”

“Oh my, oh my, is that so…?” A happily smiling blonde girl turned to her partner in a way that was as unsettling as it could be, only to blow up on her right after. “THEN WHY IN THE TWELVE HELLS IS HE AT MY HOUSE?!!!”

As the customs person had said, a wooden crate had arrived soon after the call and Karim received it without a problem. The deliverymen even brought the ‘fragile’ cargo to her house as it was, in theory, some piece of important equipment.

Of course, the whole lie undid itself the moment the crate was opened.

It was almost a little too surprising, to the point that the cop even took a while to react to it. Still, the moment she did so, her mind should’ve gone into overdrive just to get any reasoning on why the captive enemy was sleeping in her living room.

Explaining everything would be a little too bothersome, though, so Annabeth was willing to pretend all was fine or, at worst, throw some abridged information.

“You remember that thingy ‘bout I not havin’ support from the continent?” She started with the best expression of innocence she could, although this one only managed to piss the petite girl more. “So, this lad is mah’ current plan to keep goin’, y’see? He was bossin’ that whole smugglin’ operation with the dolls, so he’s likely able to get me supplies.”

“Smuggle? I know you get smuggled goods from time to time, but are they necessary enough to bring A DAMNED CRIMINAL TO MY HOUSE?!!!”

“Yeah, kinda. I’ve gotta silver bullets to spare, but the spell ones’ll run out soon.” The redhead explained while setting two different rounds at the table, a silver cartridge and a black one. “I also need spare parts for mah’ guns and catalysts that ya archipeleans don’t produce.”

The silver bullets weren’t produced around here too, trade secrets and all, but they were easy to get. The Astellian Federation even exported them.

It was in limited numbers and of inferior quality to what Anna used, but it was still doable. Annabeth also kept a few thousand of these bullets inside her bedroom as they were easy to keep.

Everything else was still a problem, though. Locally produced weapons wouldn’t do much to fix the continental weapons she had. Spell bullets were as hard to make as ofudas, if not worse, and they needed rare raw materials one couldn’t get outside the continent. And lastly, catalysts were simply so unknown to archipeleans that they didn’t even have the theory behind how those crystals were made.

As it was obvious, she relied on outside support a lot. Cutting it was the best way to force her to avoid trouble for a while for a reason. Anna's plan was to, of course, ignore this very clear warning and find a way around this limitation.

There was only one theoretical flaw in what she was saying.

“Don’t you have a stash full of equipment stored with the army?” Karim asked while remembering the small detail Annabeth herself didn’t actually remember. “Why it seems like you need every single thing you use then?”

“I don’t think I’m supposed to tell you ‘bout this, but well… That stash is rubbish. I can, in an emergency, use what’s there, but it won’t go well with mah’ usual equipment.” The inquisitor explained as she tried to remember the exact inventory of her emergency supplies and got hold of Louise’s brief. “I won’t even find a single catalyst there. That’s more ‘bout appeasin’ y'all than helpin’ me, y’know?”

“That… That makes sense. I’m not even sure why I thought your people would let us keep anything good.”

“It ain’t that bad. It’s one or two generations outdated, but’s usable.” The redhead gave shoulders to her partner’s complaint and then went on to something else. “But anyway, that’s why I need a smuggler. And gettin’ him on our side may also help weaken this dammed Eden Workshop…”

“Eden Workshop?”

“Oh… Yeah, you don’t know ‘bout that…” Anna backtracked on her slip of information as she got too focused on reading the papers. “So, the people we fightin’ against call themselves Eden Workshop. Not sure why and not sure how so few know ‘bout it, but that’s how thing’s are.”

Anna was starting to notice that she was slipping a little too much when talking with Karim lately. Letting information she shouldn’t let go and controlling how she would speak about non-humans.

It wasn’t exactly a problem, but it was starting to bug her mind. Going soft at this point in time would be very troublesome, so she had to keep an eye only to be safe. Having to follow Karim’s unnoticed rules was already troublesome enough without shifting away from the mission.

“Do you plan to say how you got to know that?”

“Nay. I don’t plan to fer sure, unless it’s necessary to let y’know.”

“Fair enough. I somewhat did the same a few times already, so I can’t complain...” The short cop answered with a glint of sadness in her voice, maybe because she was more invested in the partner thing than expected. “Well, what you’re going to do with this guy anyway? We can’t just ask him nicely and let him go.”

“That’s easy, shorty. I’ve gotta the perfect way to deal with it, ‘kay?” Anna spoke as she got up and ran to her bedroom, returning with a pair of chains she had prepared right after asking the succubus boss for custody of the ifrit. “We’ll seal him with these. Simply, ain’t it?”

“Can you do it? I hear this kind of spell is very troublesome…”

“But of course I can! I may not look like, but I’m a specialist at all four schools, y’know?”


“Shut up, shorty.”

Repairing her own seals had given enough experience to the inquisitor to make her very able of making simpler seals. Things that could weaken someone or seal something like a spirit’s racial ability even. It needed some upkeep and was somewhat limited, but it did the job.

The other option would be a blood contract like that other one, but these were very much illegal and a little too dangerous to be worth the job.

Both seals and contracts were in the creation school of magic, by the way, as they ‘created’ new rules in the world with their spells without a real upfront cost. They were considered different from transformation spells, which covered more than half of all spells, and turned spiritual energy into an effect, instead of only using said energy to enforce the new rule.

They were a very finicky and hard-to-deal concept still, and of course, these kinds of spells were barely ever used in the archipelago.

“Anyway, since you can do it, shouldn’t you start?” Karim asked without bothering with the call to shut up about correcting Anna’s magical theory. “I don’t want to have a fight inside my house when this guy wakes up…”

“I’d kinda prefer to see what he does without a seal first… Sealing someone unwilling to cooperate’d be too much of a problem, y’see?” The redhead holding chains said, even though her words wouldn’t make much sense to her partner. “I’ll explain then… I don’t wanna keep an eye on him all the time, gotcha? If he’s unwilling to cooperate ‘aight away, I might just… y’know… deal with it.”

“Hey, didn’t we agree with not killing, dammit?! Even more inside my house! It’s MY HOUSE!!!”

“Yeah, yeah, I know… But this time enters mah’ first article, shorty.

And he’s either helpin’ or dyin’ ‘ere.”
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