“…Tartic root from the Vesper Fields of Dworin Island, eh, this list will have us going all over Voyia. It could take at least five months to gather all of these items. Aye, Voyia Master, do you not have a network that could gather them faster than using several small search parties?” Greyson, tapped his pipe against his cheek as he glanced over the scroll on his red oak desk. He blew out another puff of smoke. The stench of tobacco increasing in his modest quarters. Could he not tell how horrible it smelled in here or had he become immune to the odor?
Caleb’s smile slightly tightened. He crossed his arms over his lean chest. “You can just address me as Caleb. I do, but if I start requesting all these items, it will likely arise questions as to why. Each member of the Council of Twelve tries to keep an eye on me to make sure another country isn’t gaining an advantage. And the majority of the time I am able to evade them, but I have had a few contacts betray me. So, I can only entrust these requests to a few of them and besides using search teams not tied to me will better ensure Azalea’s privacy,”
“Aye, keeping the doctor lassie safe is just as much a priority as finding this cure. I have four small groups in Katkin just about to finish a contract that can handle the items around that region,” Greyson snatched the quill pen from the left corner of his desk and started initialing the ingredients his company could find.
“We should have them use parcel seahawks to send the items back because of the Werwin Clan contract,” Fletcher said. He sat on the edge of a worn, wooden chair with his elbows resting on his knees and hands clasped together.
Greyson let out a throaty snarl, pounding his fist on the desk. The boom caused papers to flutter into the air and bottles of ink and ale to rattle. “That’s right we still have one more assignment to finish for those dastardly monkers. Aye, they won’t be able to search for the items until after that. That’ll add on probably three weeks,”
“That’s alright, we are going to have to venture out ourselves in the Northern Tri-Country and potentially to Natandre as well. The Tessilia nobility in their own research into the Purowick Scale have pinpointed the effectiveness of half of the ingredients in that region, so Caleb requesting them would potentially be suspicious,” I shifted my position in the partially tattered wicker rocker I sat in. The frayed pieces of hay scratching the exposed skin on my arms. I should have kept my coat on. I gave it a sidelong glance from where it hung on the wooden coat stand by the entrance of Greyson’s chambers.
“So, us five will split up the Northern Tri-Country than?” Wylie gestured a circled around everyone in the room, but Greyson. Lyle and him leaned against the west wooden wall. Both of them on either side of a round window.
“I will be travelling to the islands in the Northern Ruprejo Sea,” Caleb said.
“Good, I’m not interested in going back to the Mraga Isle any time soon,” Lyle muttered as he shoved his hands in his pockets. His green eyes focused on water outside the window. I thought the remaining three of us felt the same way, which is likely why Caleb intended to take those locations.
The three islands we had just come from, the Mraga Isle, Fandra Isle, and Amoria Isle were located in the Northern Ruprejo Sea. Coam Island was partially in the Northern half of Voyia, but it was considered to be a part of the Southern Half with the remaining two islands of Voyia, Slothia Island and Dworin Island. The countries of Carntwin, Tessilia, and Griznel formed the northern land mass of Voyia. And Natandre, Katkin, and Hudmela made up the southern land mass.
“Because Natandre is just across the Priefeen Narrow, we should go there on foot as well. Most of the ingredients are located there given the diverse botanical scape of Natandre, so we should send two people there,” Caleb said, eyeing Fletcher and me. A set up wasn’t obvious at all.
“Lyle and I can take Carntwin and Grzinel,” Wylie flashed a toothy grin while wiggling his eye brows at me. He never knew how to be discrete about such things.
“What about the ingredients in Tessilia? We will just be wasting time by not having them split up as well,” Lyle growled with flared nostrils. His face beginning to redden.
Fletcher’s clasped hands became rigid as he lowered his gaze to the floor. “Azalea said that her and Remi could handle those ingredients as we were leaving,”
Lyle went to object, but was stopped by Wylie elbowing him in the side. He hunched forward suddenly and glared at his older brother. Wylie placed a firm hand on his shoulder. “It seems like everything is decided than, so let’s split up this list and get on the road!”
Everyone nodded their heads in agreement as Caleb rose from his seat and went over to the list. Greyson and him began discussing which ingredients Caleb would request and the ones the Honor in Arms would obtain.
My eyes drifted to the left and were met with the warm browns that were Fletcher’s. He gave me a soft smile. “Are you ok with this?”
This would be are first time being alone for more than just a few hours. After his harsh rejection in the past, did I really want to be alone with just him for so long? I had forgiven him and understood why he had done it, but that didn’t just make things ok to the point where I’d be willing to get together with him. Though that was everyone’s intention, it didn’t mean it would happen. I still was unsure whether I wanted to follow fate or carve out my own path, but I had told Fletcher we would see where things went. And going to Natandre would allow me to be true to those words.
“Yes, I am,”