"Does it surprise you that much?" he asked.

Well, no one else has been able to hear us before-

-although I guess there has to be a 'first time for everything'.

"That's right. It's an extremely old - but still relevant - piece of advice." The old man smiled as he smoke. In fact, that was the first thing to notice about him, namely his smile.

"You're not the first either, I'm afraid."

What? With another word, Kate and Lynne continued to squeeze Josua out of the conversation.

"You're not the first pair I've met who could communicate with only thoughts. There's actually a tradition of such people from the country where I come from."

Where did you come from?

At this point, paid-little-heed Josua began to be very fed-up. "I still wear a crown on my head! I'm important! Why don't they pay attention to me?" he thought, but he didn't immediately speak aloud.

As if to appease him, the grimoire - yes, it was still his - it replied to him. It spelled out a beautiful word, with enough letters that Josua construed each as a puzzle; it was up to him to discover what they meant.

"Anti-quarian!" This time he shouted.

The man's beaming face swung sharply to Josua. "Ah, an old word! I love that too! Anything of the past, anything from older times appeals to me. Is that the next word that wonderfully old book has given you?"

Josua heard threat in that question, but if the old man thought he could take his book he was sadly mistaken.

"Are you a quarian, sir? Because it seems that I should be awfully careful around quarians. The grimoire is suggesting that I be anti-quarian, even. So are you friend or foe? Are you here to help or hinder? Will you talk to me, or will you keep wasting time with the twins?"

"Ah, the impetuousness of youth. I can admire that, in my old age. But I don't wish to make an enemy of you, Josua. You want me to help? Perhaps you wish me to explain my earlier statement, of foolishness, and of silliness to come?"

"Please. Before I sic my ________ on you!"

What did he say?

Where did he learn a word like that?

The old man crinkled his face in amusement, until his entire visage became a semblance of a smile.

"Do you really have a _________? Do you know how to properly use it?"

The End

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