Bursa, Takheit Republic
October 16th, 1029
October 16th, 1029
The only noise in the room was a small scratching noise of parchment as something scratched across the inked words, a fingernail stopping only at some parts of the documents to tap thoughtfully. A once blank piece of paper to the woman's side had been scribbled with tiny, messy notes filling every empty corner that could have been found, but far too many ended with question marks or had been scratched out. And now spindly fingers picked up the cluttered note page to set on the small desk over her lap, feather pen lifted to scratch another suspicion, another theory out before being set back in the well with a small sigh.
With a series of tiny pops her back hunched over from several long hours of staring at paper straightened up, and her arms moved to lift the short desk off her lap and free her legs under the covers. With another stretch more pops of her aching joints, messy pink hair spilling this way and that in each movement. Her head turned to the right, light glinting off the thick rectangular lenses of her reading glasses a moment before her grey eyes winced back from the bright sunset beamed almost directly through the window.
With some effort she moved herself from the center of the bed and the mess that had become her workspace, struggling to move her legs out and to the side with the little room for maneuvering she had left herself. It was a process trying to fold the limbs underneath herself and then turn to stretch them out again, feet slowly setting on the rug to steady before she stood.
The small dresser beside the door had atop it a bowl, long stopped steaming, and a letter that the innkeeper's daughter had left there on her request. It was only after she picked up the bowl of soup and brought it to her lips that she appreciated the length of time that it had been since that interaction that she barely remembered, cold liquid barely palatable in her mouth when the point of the spiced soup was to be had warm. Resigning herself to finish it later, she put down the bowl and picked up the letter, blade flashing out of her sleeve to cleanly slice the envelope open before disappearing with similar flourish.
Holding the letter with her right hand, she picked out a cold steel crucifix from her vestments and clasped it in her left, closing her eyes and offering prayer. "Heavenly Father, your servant invokes your name for this small favor, illuminate that which she cannot see and protect her from what her foolishness may expose her vessel to." The whisper was spoken at blistering pace, syllables only barely distinguishable.
The woman opened her eyes, but nothing happened.
She put away the crucifix and pinched out three pieces of paper from the envelope, unfolding each starting from the first. Seeing the seal of the inquisition and some meaningless names, she put it to the side, and looked to the other two pages.
Cardinal Cecilia Daub, seat 1.692 of the Ecclesia Parvus. Under blessed order of the Choir, the Inquisition's Daemon Hunters have dispatched an escort to your person for the sake of your safety and as an aide to your work, which till now has been obstructed by a lack of manpower and impossible deadlines. Considering your health and status, that you have been left without such...
The paper was tossed to the side, and Cecilia quickly combed the third sheet of paper - a copy of the request from the Choir passed on to the Inquisition, before tossing it too to the side and taking off her spectacles to pinch the bridge of her nose. Five years - and now, for no evident reason, the Choir decides that she has need of an escort? And a Daemon Hunter, no less? This was a multi-layered farce, and one she was too busy to care and decipher.
Deciding to move on with her life, long having given up on the large scale games the fools love to play from their cushioned chairs, she gathered the pieces of paper and the envelope, sprinkled a pinch of sawdust from the pouch at her hip, and with a short phrase the paper went up in smokeless white flame leaving no trace.
She would have to wait and see whether this new game of theirs, playing with the exile, would turn to a blessing or curse for her. In the meantime, she had her job to do.
Not wasting the effort she had spent to get up, she did make sure to finish the soup before laying back down in bed and immersing herself back in her studies. It was an uncertain time later, pen tracing new details on a fresh sheet of paper under candlelight, that she heard a knock on the door to her room.
"Excuse me, Lady Cecilia, are you still awake? There is a woman asking after you downstairs." The young voice of the innkeep's daughter sounded out, and there were a few moments before she seemed to realize something and spoke up again. "Would you like us to send her up?"
Cecilia breathed in deeply before replying in as loud a voice as she could - barely above typical speech, but still much firmer than what she usually managed, "You can send her up."
It was only after she heard the footsteps echoing down the hall towards the stairs that Cecilia carefully moved the desk from herself, careful of the burning candle, flipped all her notes and the records she was reading from face-down, and made sure her left side was cleared for a bit of movement. With a short, sharp exhalation she let herself down to lay on the pillows, fingers toying with the pouch at her side and glimmering metal under her sleeves even as her eyes peacefully rested shut in the dim light of the night.
"Come in," She mustered in response to the knock at her door a short while later, sunken eyes turning with determination to see who would be visiting her on this cold October night.
Aron the Aron