“How many times do I have to tell you guys again? I can’t predict the weather!”
Ariel sighed a bit louder than she had to but it had no effect on the men – or rather agents. She really wished she had asked to scrutinise their badges. A bit too late to worry about if they were legit. Besides they did not seem like the types that took well to being questioned by the likes of her. KEA- Knights of Eternal Affairs. She had never heard about them and they sure looked more like federal agents than knights. Of course that would explain the sword.
“Our sources says you can predict the weather to a tee”, the man with the sunglasses said. Sir Roane was his name. No last name and insisted on the Sir. She doubted she could dislike him even more.
“Well, your sources can’t be very accurate, now can they? They didn’t happen to mention that I don’t predict the weather, the weather affects me, but I guess if you count a five second warning as prediction, I guess you have found your witch. They didn’t even think to mention my appearance. Amateurs. Are you sure you are not from the Agency of Paranormal Investigations? At least they admit when they know nothing”. She could not keep a sneer out of her voice.
“A five second warning is better than nothing I guess”, the other man said. His name was ordinary. A tad too ordinary for Ariel’s taste. Tane Arquinen. No Sir in front or in the end. Tane looked at his companion who shrugged.
From an inner pocket Tane took out a document. It looked way too official.
“It’s a court order”, Tane said not smiling. “You have been served to help our order”.
Ariel snatched the document out of his hands. And felt all the blood drain from her face. This was not “just” a court order. This was a decree from the Church. Issued to the Order of Eternal Knights and sealed by his Holiness himself. There was no mistake of the winged eagle perching on a branch, that always reminded Ariel of a carrion bird.
Yeah – she had never heard of the Knights of Eternal Affairs, but she sure had heard of the Eternal Knights. Or Eternal Night as they were known to be called in the stories.
“You gotta be kidding me!” Her voice was a pitch too high.
Her name Ariel of Sanara was printed on the document in unmistakably bold letters. Even if her index finger automatically tried to smudge it out. It had to be a mistake.
She looked up af Tane Arquinen and Sir Roane.
“I’m sorry, but we are not”.
“You- you are a priest! You are a fucking shadow priest! And you – Sir Roane with your mighty sword – are you his fucking minion!? Are you even alive?”
It hurt slamming her hands down on the counter top, but Ariel did not care. How dared they come into her shop. The cleansing alone would probably take her days even if nothing of her stock could be salvaged.
“Do you need ice for that?” Sir Roane asked unperturbed and pointed at her hands.
She jumped back and waved her hands frantically. Damn. Smoke drifted up to her nose and the several small fires would have spread atop her counter top if not Tane Arquinen had waved a hand over it. He said a couple of words Ariel did not understand and the fire was extinguished before it could spread.
“She could be useful as well”, said Sir Roane walking casually behind her counter to her sink to get her a wet cloth.
“Perhaps”. Tane still did not smile. “Lets hope it does not come to that. I’m afraid you don’t really have a choice unless you want to dispute his Holiness? Do you?”
Wrapping her hands in the wet cloth Ariel was taking her time. Her eyes going crazy trying to keeping an eye on the two men and the document that was untouched by the fire.
“No. I don’t want to dispute it. I’m not out to start a holy war”.
Tane Arquinen smiled. A nice smile. A nice smile that he should not have.
“I’m glad to hear that Ariel of Sanara. And to answer your questions. Yes, I’m a priest. And no, Sir Roane is not my minion. He has a free will even though he has been dead for a while”.
“The technical term, Tane, is that I never was alive”.
“I really need a drink. Do you guys drink?”