Chapter 80:

Interlude: Hard to Understand


Rich people are weird and Colette always knew that. It was one of the things she first learned when she became an inquisitor even.

The more money and prestige someone had, the harder it became to understand how that person thought. It was so bad that the buff girl soon decided to not bother about understanding. She had other people to do that for her either way.

It was half caused by having met the two Solomons, but it was still someone she decided. And it wasn’t as if it was a skill she needed to keep her job anyway.

Even when under this mentality though, Col still found Minako to be way too much of a weirdo.

What was the point of wasting time and money to get someone to pick them up by car when it wouldn’t even be half an hour's walk to the temple? It was a total waste in exchange for absolutely nothing.

And that was only the tip of the iceberg of chaos that this fox demon was.

Her house, her infatuation with the current Annabeth, and how she acted during the event with the dolls, all of it made no sense to the brunette. It was bad enough that, if the fox wasn’t someone literally capable of reading the future, Col would never have accepted anything suggested by her.

“Thanks for the drive.” The kitsune thanked the priest driving them around as he opened the door of the car. “Let’s go, Col. The person we need should be inside somewhere…”

“Somewhere, like, you have no idea?” Col asked with a glare as she left the car on her own. “Is this a good idea? I don’t want to be cursed or something of the kind for no reason…”

“You’re not going to be cursed, silly Col. You’re going to have your worries solved by a millennial technique one of my priests knows." Minako explained as both of them climbed up the stairs toward the temple. “Or that’s what I think she said that one time...”

“Not very assuring no matter how I see it… But well, you’re the oracle here, so your predictions are probably right.”

“Oh, they are very accurate if I can say so. I couldn’t take one about going here, but I have a good feeling about it!”

“Say what?” The brawler girl stopped in place as she questioned what she had just heard.

“A good feeling about it?”

“No, no. Before.”

“Couldn’t take a read?”

"Yes, that! Why you didn't read something that important?!"

“I played around with my deck too much and got drained, you see? Three readings in a row are my limit at the moment.” The kitsune once again explained as she waved her hands for no clear reason. “I should be rested enough to try again in half a day or so. It could be faster, but Karim’s house isn’t a temple…”

“And this ‘feeling’ of yours, is it something related to the oracle thing?”

“Obviously not. It’s just my perfect and unbiased intuition.” Minako puffed her chest and the five tails on her back stood like a peacock’s as if to illustrate the amount of confidence she had. “It works perfectly two out of three times.”

Colette finally noticed how wrong were the assumptions she was working with until now. For her, oracles were the kind of thing that either worked at will or by a whim of the Circle. Hearing that this one had charges and could barely do three readings without getting tired was news to her.

Any inquisitor knew about oracles, but most of them had barely enough to know the overall idea of their abilities.

All they had to know was that fighting one was troublesome and needed a flawless plan or overwhelming force, so all else was unnecessary. And of course, like Col, most had no idea of how ample was the ‘oracle’ designation they used.

If she had asked Anna even, it would be very clear that her assumption wasn’t that far from reality.

Minako’s self-proclaimed intuition was, in the Church’s view, part of her skills too. It just wasn’t defined as such in the Archipelago due to its minimal effect. A minor effect was still an effect, though.

Asking the redhead would also get her information about dream seekers, chronomancers, and prophets, all of which had the same core skillset but used different tools.

“I… I don’t want to be here anymore…”

“Don’t be like that. I know these stairs are awful, but we’re almost there already.” The shrine maiden answered, losing the whole point of the complaint as she resumed the climbing. And since Col knew she would end up shoved inside a boat right away if she fled now, she followed suit.

A couple of stairs later, they arrived at the courtyard they had used as a battlefield some days ago. For obvious reasons, there were no statues there anymore, but all else was back to normal by now. The only abnormality was how well they were received this time…

“I guess being friends with the boss changes a lot, eh?” She said while staring at all priests and kitsunes that would stop their work to bow towards the passing by Minako. Her words seemed to call the ears of the local boss, who turned around with a huge smile almost right away.

“Do you mean it?!”

“What?! Yes…? Well, there’s no spears or whatever pointed to me this time, so…”

“No! The friend bit. Do you mean it?”

The brunette stared at her walking companion for a while, trying to get the right answer to the sudden question. It wasn’t one she had heard for the first time, though, so it didn’t take much to understand the situation.

“You two likely fit a bit better than she would ever admit, eh…”

“What do you mean?” It was now Minako’s turn to ask in confusion as the reminiscing inquisitor spoke about what she was thinking at the moment. “Who’s she?”

“It’s nothing. Just another friend of mine, I guess…” Col deflected the question as this other friend of hers wouldn’t be very happy if her past went far and wide. “And anyway, I mean exactly what I said. At least for now.”

“That’s another step forward then...” Minako smiled to herself with an expression that made the other girl think twice before asking anything more. A feeling that only worsened when she heard further. “A little more endorsing and Anna will surely try me out.”

As usual, rich people were weird.

But well, Minako was both a kitsune and an archipelean, so maybe, being this weird was usual to rich people around here... Why she would want a woman, and worse than that, why she would be after Annabeth, was still leagues away from anything Col could explain.

In these situations, though, the best was always to change subjects and pretend nothing was happening. That was the second thing she learned, by the way.

“So… What about solving my problem now?”

“Ow, right, I almost forgot.” The five-tailed fox broke her weird grin and turned back to the temple’s door. “Follow me. If I remember well, the person that learned hypnotism was working in the kitchen the last time I saw her…”

“Hypnotism? What the fuck is…?”

“Don’t worry about the details, just trust your friend!” The over-confident raven-haired girl started to push the inquisitor inside as she spoke, which wasn’t helping much with the trust bit. Still, it wasn’t as if she had many other choices or if she could be bothered to worry anymore.

Either way, the worst that could happen was she end up the same as before, right? 
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