“See? No reason to worry. I think Eveline actually liked you a bit.”
“Yeah, well Legate Hard-ass sure didn’t,” He retorted.
Elain waved nonchalantly. “Don’t worry about him. He’s just a braggart in fancy armor. His bark is far worse than his bite. My brother is still ten times the commander.”
“Speaking of that, what was with that blindside hostility back there?” Sam asked, referring to the captain’s vote against his freedom.
Elain shrugged. “I’m not sure. You shouldn’t take it personally, though. Armand has a tendency to be distant and tough at first. It takes a while for him to get used to someone new. I’m sure he’ll come around once you’ve proven you’re not going to stab him in the back.”
They walked in silence before Sam finally said the question that had been on his mind since Elain had found him. “Elain, be honest with me. Do you know how to get me back to my world?”
Elain gave him a sarcastic grin. “What? Do you not enjoy my company? Why frankly I’m a little offended,” She said with a mocking tone. Sam tried to keep his face serious but couldn’t manage to withhold a small smile. Elain returned it with another dropping the act. “Honestly, I’m not totally sure how- or if- we can send you back. You are literally the first person we have ever seen come through the portal. However, it would seem that we can help each other.”
Sam looked at her with an obvious question on his face as she continued. “It’s simple. I need to understand these anomalies and how they are working, and you need a way to get back to your home. If you will help me with my research, I can gain a better understanding of the portals which can lead to discovering a way back home for you.” She turned, stopping Sam right in front of her. With an excited smile she extended her hand. “So, will you be my research partner?” she asked enthusiastically.
Sam knew what she said was true. This girl was quite intelligent and between her talent and the knowledge of the library accompanied with his firsthand experience, collaborating with her was the best chance he had of finding Josh and getting home. He extended his own hand and gripped her delicate one, giving it a light shake. “Absolutely. Where do we start?”
A figure that had remained completely unseen watched the two mages shake hands from under a hooded cloak. Obscured, he had been observing the two since they left the council room, listening from the nooks, crannies, and shadows he hid in. He was but a ghostly shade, invisible and nonexistent to those around him.
Good he thought to himself. And so it begins. As the two mages walked off towards the Grand Library, he swung down from the window frame he had been hanging from, landing nearly silently onto the nearby stone floor of the veranda a floor below him. This meant he had to get to the sleepy town of Dunwoodton quickly. Important events were in motion.
The Mage would have to fend for his own for now. The Warrior was about to be put into play.