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Chapter 47B:

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October 19, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder

Enrie lifted her chin and met the Head of her Academy’s gaze without flinching.  “The original is safe, Head Wiltemika.  I didn’t dare have it anywhere it could be found while Lirnilalie and Ilonilarrona  were snooping around, talking about destroying it all.”

Wiltemika’s chuckle now had a bit of an edge to it.  “And what will you do with it?  It’s a very important document.”

“Our first step, of course, was to bring it to House Monitor Libkazaari.  There’s nobody we trust more with such things.  Now that she’s seen it…”

“If you couldn’t get in to see me,” Libkazaari asked slowly, “who were you going to take it to?”

“Head of School Wiltemika first,” Enrie answered easily.  “And then, we were going to go to my cousin Elalekorra.”

“Interesting choice.” Libkazaari hrrm’d thoughtfully.  “Wiltemika, I think that the students and I ought to take a field trip to Lannamer, what do you think?”

There was so much tension handing in the air that it seemed likely it would break Taikie’s tea engine, were it here.  Wiltemika seemed to be going through some internal struggle.  “Yes,” she agreed finally.  “There is quite a large chance that Lirnilalie and her team have not been arrested, or that it won’t stick.  Debereb is a Reeve, after all.”

“Pardon me, Head Wiltemika,” Enrie offered cautiously, “but it seems like there’s a problem here.  Is it anything–“

“Hah.  I’m afraid not everything can be repaired or even sussed out.  Thank you for the offer.”  Wiltemika coughed.  “Take the paper to your cousin, Lady Enerenarie.  Libkazaari, go with the students and make sure they are safe.  Perhaps take Korten with you.  After all, we wouldn’t want anyone to waylay our young prodigies.”

Something was clearly wrong, but you didn’t hunt someone else’s prey and you didn’t aim your spear at someone else’s target.  Enrie nodded politely.  “We can be ready to go as soon as you are, House Monitor.”

“Well, gather up your papers and your friends.  I’m sure they’ll want to see this through to the end, too.  And pack for two days’ travel; if you have clothing that isn’t uniforms, that would be useful, or I can provide something.  Zaydrie, boy, would you consent to some hair dye?”

“It won’t make me shorter,” Saydrie pointed out dryly.

“Ha.  Well put.  And it won’t, but it might help conceal you.  Well, it’s cold out, perhaps a hat instead?  I’ll see what I can do.”  Libkazaari was suddenly full of energy.  “Well? Go, pack, get your friends.  I’ll meet you back here in an hour.”

“We’ll be here.”  Enrie didn’t miss the looks that were travelling between Wiltemika and Libkazaari.  She wished she could be a fly on the wall for that conversation – but it wasn’t their target, wasn’t their problem.

“What do you think is going on?” Taikie mused as they headed for their arranged-upon meeting place with Riensin’s team.  “Something’s clearly wrong with the Head of School.”

“Blackmail,” Saydrie muttered.  “She had the look of someone who had no good choices.  She was stuck, and she didn’t like it.”

Enrie nodded slowly.  “Blackmail,” she agreed.   “That’s awful.  That’s…”  She couldn’t come up with a word bad enough.  “…awful.”


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