Magic's Heir Chapter 2
Jessica de Alkirk yawned loudly and took a big intake of the fresh morning air. Or, more accurately, fresh early-afternoon air. The sun was already high and casting its bright glow all across the wide valley where she and Kyle were encamped.
The young priestess let out an audible sigh. It was bad enough that she had slept most of the day away, but at least she was awake. Her lazy fiancè was still soundly asleep and snoring loudly. Their nights of staying up late having fun would have to stop soon, she thought gloomily. Once they became Meribia's leaders, they would have to start waking up at decent hours.
"Kyle, wake up!" Jessica yelled. No response.
"Kyle! It's already past noon! Do you want to make it to Vane today or not?!" There was still no response.
The feisty blonde growled and kicked her companion sharpy in the ribs.
"Ow!" Kyle groaned as he finally began to stir, "What was that for?"
"Nothing, honey," Jessica replied sweetly, "I was about to cook some breakfast. Would you like some?"
"Definitely, babe. Could you make me some bacon? And scramble me some eggs? Oh, and would it kill you to put some cheese in them?"
"You got it, sweetie," Jessica smiled, "Why don't you go down to the stream and wash up? Breakfast will be ready when you get back."
"Bah! Who needs to wash?" Kyle protested.
"People who want breakfast. Now hurry up."
As Kyle sleepily lumbered down the hill towards the stream, Jessica prepared a small fire. She reached into her bag and produced a loaf of cold bread. After cutting a few slices off, she began toasting them over the open flame. By the time Kyle returned, she had two slices of golden-brown, buttered toast and two perfectly burnt pieces of toast. The swordsman scouled.
"I'm guessing the two burnt pieces are mine."
"You idiot! Did you see me pack any eggs or bacon?"
"I figured you would've had the common sense to do so. Shows what I know."
"It's only a two day trip! We want to travel light."
"Can I at least have some butter?"
"I used it all."
Kyle grumbled to himself for a second before reluctantly snatching up his two pieces of toast. They finished their breakfast in silence before striking their campsite. After Jessica put the neatly folded blankets in her pack and Kyle rolled up the tent, they set out on the last four miles of their trip to Vane.
The walk turned out to be quite pleasant. Though the two lovers didn't say much to either, the scenery was beautiful and the weater was nice. There was a nice, cool breeze and the sky was full of fluffy, white clouds. Fish swam in the stream they were walking along and wild bunnies ocassionally scampered across their path.
Jessica used the time to reflect. In actuality, she and her friends had defeated Ghaleon six months ago, but it felt like a decade. One reason was that all the chaos of the aftermath had kept her quite busy. She had a number of duties to fulfill, being the daughter of Hell Mel and all. Not to mention that being one of the world's saviors warranted her quite a bit of attention. It was going to be nice taking a vacation to Vane, Jessica thought.
The real reason that so much time seemed to have gone by, however, was the fact that she hadn't seen Alex and Luna since they had returned to Burg. They had written each other a few letters, but that was about it. The heir to Meribia sighed and let her thoughts dissipate. She decided to enjoy the scenery for the rest of the trip.
Kyle and Jessica were in a much better mood when they reached the gates of the ruined city.
Although it was in better shape since its clash with the Grindery, signs of the destruction were still cearly evident. One such sign was the fact that the city still rested comfortably on the ground.
"Lady Jessica! Lord Kyle!" the guard at the gates greeted happily, "It's so nice to see you both."
"How come you said her name before mine?" Kyle asked suspiciously.
"Oh, shut up, Kyle!" Jessica yelled, and then turned to the guard and asked, "Do you think you could let us in? Mia is expecting us."
"Absolutely." the guard said and motioned to one of his buddies on the battlements.
The gates slowly opened and the couple walked into the city. The streets were cracked, but at least all major fissures had been fixed. A few houses were still in shambles, but most were at least inhabitable. Repairs were being done all about them as they walked towards the Magic Guild. Wooden boards were being sawed in half, nails were being hammered into those wooden boards, stones were being layed, men were shouting to each other. Things were definitely hustle-bustle, but it seemed to Jessica as if it was still an organized type of chaos.
They worked their way through the confusion and finally happened upon the doors of the Magic Guild, which seemed to be almost completely repaired. Jessica pushed the doors open and walked inside with Kyle trailing behind her. A middle aged, wiry-looking man looked up from a desk and pushed his glasses up on his pointed nose.
"Um, maybe I help you?" The man seemed somewhat offended at Kyle's unkempt appearance.
"Hi," Jessica greeted politely, "is Mia Ausa around?"
"Do you have an appointment?" the clerk asked dubiously.
"I guess Poindexter here must be new." Kyle sourly observed.
"Um, well, I have only been here a few months," the man admitted, "but I know how to do my job. I cannot let be letting vagabonds wander about, you understand."
"Are you looking for a problem, buddy?" Kyle stiffened.
"Oh, Kyle, calm down. The man's just doing his job. Look," Jessica said, turning to the man behind the desk, "I'm Jessica de Alkirk, daughter of Master Mel de Alkirk of Meribia."
"I find that a bit hard to believe," the man sneered.
"Oh, for crying out loud! I have a formal invitation from Mia herself!" Jessica yelled as she tossed the clerk the envelope with the Magic Guild's seal on it.
The clerk studied it closely for a minute then raised his head, "Oh, please forgive me, Lady Jessica! And you, too, Master Kyle. These are troubled times, you understand. You can never tell who is an imposter and who is not."
"Hey, it's no problem, old friend," Kyle said, "so do you think we can see Mia now?"
"I'm afraid she iss actually taking a test right now. She will nott be able to inherit the Magic Guild unless she completes her education, you understand. But Master Nash's classes are done for the day. He can entertain you until Mia is finished. It should not be long. Oh, and my name is Radpin if you need anything."
Men like Radpin used to irritate Jessica to no end, but she had finally gotten used to them over the years. She was surprised at how forgiving Kyle had been, but it was probably just some sort of act he was pulling. He did that sometimes.
Radpin lead them upstairs and down a long corridor. He stopped near the end of the hallway and knocked on of the doors.
"Yes?" a voice called from behind the door that Jessica recognized as Nash's.
"You have some guests. Lady Jessica and Master Kyle are here to see you."
"Oh, fantastic! Thank you, Radpin. I'll be right out."
Radpin scurried off down the hall, and Jessica waited with Kyle. She heard Nash scuffling around for a second, and then he opened the door.
"Cowlick boy!" Kyle greeted warmly, giving Nash a big noogie. "Hey, thanks for not making old friends wait like that."
"It's good to see you both," Nash said, ignoring the sarcasm, "it's been a while."
"Too long. How have you been, Nash?" Jessica asked. Although she and Kyle both disliked the young mage, she had to admit he had changed for the better. Mia must have done some serious work with him. If only she could have a similar affect on Kyle--
"I've been good, I guess. We were going to invite Alex and Luna, too, but.. well... you know."
"Yeah." Kyle said knowingly.
Jessica sadly felt the same way the two men did. She had spent her entire life being in front of important people, but nothing had prepared her for being at ease in front of a Goddess, Dragon Master, and White Dragon, as much as she missed them. She nodded in agreement with Nash.
"So what's the occasion?" she asked.
"Well, one of the reasons is we really missed you two. But also, there's some silly dream deal going on. It's stupid, really. Mia thought it'd help to talk with you guys about it." Nash said, obviously embarrassed. His face was a nice shade of crimson.
"Huh?" Kyle asked, sounding confused.
"Err, well, Mia should be done with her test by now. Let's find her and talk about it." Nash stepped out of his room and closed the door and the three set off to find Mia.
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