Chapter 101:

Temples and Puzzles - Part 3


“So, as I said before, that whole ley line thing is preposterous.” Minako continued, moving energetically through the room as she did so. It was as if this one subject was something like a huge interest for the kitsune, which made sense considering her reaction during that one meeting.

“This much is what I know too. But can our inquisitors agree?” The other archipelan agreed right away. They had the sameish background, so that wasn't unexpected anyway. Knowing that, against the older theory, spiritual energy wasn’t an orderly force with a patterned flux was common knowledge here.

Meanwhile, at the Federation, the whole ley line theory was still the main one, even if there was some arguing around it. And even that was only known by a minority since most of the population couldn't be bothered with it.

“Don’t know, don’t care. That’s Anna’s job.” Said the member of 'most of the population', cleaning her hands off the situation.

“That’s a terrible way to think ‘bout it, but kinda’s how it works.” The thinking side of the inquisitor duo answered without much energy, but she wasn’t willing to say more. “Fer now, I’ll agree with ya, ‘kay? It’d be a loss of time to go too deep on it now, and I’m more interested in this temple thingy anyway.”

“You’re interested?!” The kitsune almost ran over Annabeth after her comment, approaching a little too much for comfort even if still away enough to not be punched away. “So, there’s this bit of the ‘ley line theory’ that goes about how holy sites and other landmarks draw spiritual energy, you see? They call them ‘ley spots’ due to that, and the existence of those was the reason why the whole theory existed even.”

“Yer on point ‘ere. It took a very powerful mage to even notice it, but it became much easier to find proof fer the whole thingy after knowin’ it was there.” Anna added from the side as, she too, knew a lot of useless information and wasn’t against sharing it. “After that, the whole theory took flight until someone else kinda tried to map the whole thing and ‘saw’ that there were no lines connectin'em.”

“I’m sure it was some fucking rich guy who never got laid…” Col also added, even though her bit was a little harsher and less useful too. The funny part was that she was on point.

“Exactly for both things! The original research was about how ‘ley spots’ affected holy magic and sanctification, but most forget about this bit. And most ignore the whole optimization theory that came out of it.”

“Matches with what I know.” The redhead nodded in understanding, even if she had yet to grasp the point of this whole refurbishing. “Anyway, about the temple thingy…”

“I got it!” Karim called suddenly, cutting Anna’s sentence on the process and then explaining what she was going to confirm. “This whole ‘build a temple’ thing is about making one of those ' ley spots’, and this whole moving around is something that helps this process. Did I get it right?”

“Oh, so this place is a temple now? I always thought you needed more shiny things to make it work...” Colette commented from her chair, keeping her low level of focus on the situation all through it. Her friend still knew this much was only on the outside and, although she was sure to forget most of it, the brunette was actually trying to follow along.

“That’s it. How the objects are positioned in a room and how the rooms are positioned in a building, everything about a certain landmark can change how good is the ‘spot’ and how easy it is to sanctify the place, you see? And I know exactly how to make these! Even the sanctification parts.”

Clerical vows worked in a similar way to holy magic, meaning it was a way to borrow spiritual energy directly from the Circle of Reincarnation. It was a powerful skill to priests and spirits aligned to the holy element, but like holy magic, it was very limited due to how it had to be used. Nominally, the user had to complete a vow and be inside a sanctified area for it to work.

It still had its uses, of course. Creating a location that could turn a random group of D-threats into something like an upper C or a lower B even, was useful no matter what. Still, there weren’t that many priests or people capable of accepting the vows to become one, so again, it ended as a niche and hard-to-use skill.

Even on the other condition, the holy aligned spirits, it was still a problem due to how few they were. The only species that had this capability were kitsunes, some rare variants of fairies and golems, and the extinct angels.

It wasn't something powerful enough to warrant a heavy compliment, but it was obvious that Minako was waiting for something. At least, how she was puffing her chest and standing in Anna's front seemed to say so.

“Seems useful, I guess. It’d be better if we had people with vows other than ya, but it helps with the oracle thingy, ‘aight?” Anna spoke in a shallow try to stay neutral before she would say something wrong.

“No, no. It also helps Karim, I’m sure of that!” The fox kept going with her proud speech and acting, although she had now drawn all attention to the petite blondie. “I’m not sure of why, even after trying to ask many and many times, but her fast recovery when we were fighting at the temple made me sure of that. Either that or she’s some monster neither of us can define.“

Anna wasn’t paying attention during this part of the battle, so she wasn’t sure of what was being said here, but Minako's last sentence drew her attention. Or, to be specific, it remembered the redhead of the hard time she had to find out what her partner was.

For one, not being able to simply see her species was weird.

This wasn’t much proof of anything, but it still gave a weird tingling. It was as if there was something that she was missing in this whole talk. And this tingling, summed with all else, drew the inquisitor’s eyes to the little witch.


“Anna, you shouldn’t…” Col tried to stop her friend before she would ask something that was way too personal, but the redhead still ignored her and kept going.

“Wanna explain yerself?”

“No, not really. It’s something personal and I don’t like talking about it… And I'm sure this discussion is over, like that other one.”

She was talking about their discussion a few days ago at the Tortuga, Anna was sure of it. It was another case of the 'good cop' using the same swindler tactics Annabeth liked to, though.

And this kind of acting was enough to make her smirk with excitement even with all the tension in the air.

“I guess we changin’ subjects then…” She turned back with the same smile still plastered on her face. “So, why you decided to turn this room into a temple, fox? Kinda random, ain't it?”

As usual, Anna was good at making the mood swing with her words, even if she was just asking things at random to change the subject. And, although it didn’t seem to recover the somewhat shocked Minako, it defused the situation well enough.

“Oh, this? I kept looking at this map of yours with no idea of what was happening when I felt like doing it, you see?” The temple-building shrine maiden shrugged off in a way that didn’t feel as if she was lying at all. "I like puzzles, but am very bad at them, so I got bored and did the first thing that went through my mind..."

It didn't seem to be a lie at all. Still, it was such a weird answer that, once more, Anna didn’t know how to react.

For one, wasn’t it too random that she would get the idea of rebuilding a room just from looking at a map? Refurbishing the whole place like this was…

“…somethin’ that makes all the sense.” The overly observant girl uttered, completing her silent thoughts aloud out of surprise at her discovery. And then, in a single moment, she climbed the table and looked at the map and the room at the same time.

“I know where we need to look, gals.”

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