Jorac stood in the council room, while Pergimtor glowered, and considered what he said. He’d demanded to speak only to the Head Wizard, and had eventually gotten his way. Oh well, he thought, this job paid better than most, but I can get another job. If Pergimtor doesn’t blackball me, maybe Cerom will take me back with the constables.
“So, let me get this straight. You took that mana-filled liquid – spirits of wine – back to Swampside?”
“Yes, High Wizard. It took us three days to get that ball back there. It was quite heavy.”
“And then you gave it away?”
“Well, we threw a party with it. Schrog talked the bosses there into hosting an area-wide celebration, and we volunteered to make the punch. It lasted until dawn, and the residents drank up all the punch. That’s where most of the silver we found went, too, to buy things for the party, pay guards and such. Most of the mana came from Darlora’s area, so back there it went.”
“I see. And the silver ball – what you call the Wolburn Sphere?”
“Well, that was what he called it. We broke it up with an ax, and it will get melted down for jewelry and such. We owed the swampies some of the silver, for helping us get it out of the swamp. A lot of it we spent on the party.” Jorac had carefully arranged not to have an accounting from Raah yet. He didn’t want to lie to a wizard.
The wizard sat down slowly and sighed. “Well, what’s done is done. You should have come to me, dammit! What I could have done with that liquid. . . I’ll expect a report tomorrow.”
“No, High wizard. A thousand pardons, but no.”
“No?” The wizard wasn’t used to hearing that word, and got a little upset. “No?!”
“High wizard, I believe you are the most powerful wizard on the council, correct? If I wrote that report, and someone with lesser power read it, how long before he had made a similar sphere?”
“Erm. . .”
“And all over the land, in caves and secret hideaways, those who would always be second or third rate wizards would hole themselves up, slowly gathering immense power. . . You see my point. No report.”
The wizard closed his eyes and sighed a deep sigh. “All right. No report. You may go.”
“You’ll want to speak to the scholar Gleben, to make sure he doesn’t talk about this too much. I did what I could, but you know the scholar’s mind.”
“Yes, very well. Anything else?” The wizard was impatient, but for him, this was polite.
“No, High Wizard, thank you.”
He walked to the door and said, “Oh, one more tiny thing. If you could ask the accountants to merely glance at the figures on my expenses, please. I promised my helpers some rewards, and left out some details. An audit might raise questions we don’t want asked.”
“Yes, yes. Have them send it directly to me.” He turned to a scroll, where he started drawing something round, then scribbled it out.
Jorac left, and closed the door behind him. He almost skipped down the stairs, all 156 of them.
* * *
Dorrie and Kimma were waiting in his office, a little anxiously. “How did it go?”
“I seem to still have a job. I even got him to agree not to look at the expense report too closely.”
Dorrie said, “Jorac, that’s great! Now we can get Kimma set up properly. She’s going to stay in my guest room for now.”
Jorac looked at Kimma. “What about Miz Madouve’s business – and your customers?”
Kimma said, “Hario and Hatlo are going to buy me out. Their ma knows the plants and potions too, and they think they can keep her out of trouble out there. Harder to find booze in the swamp.”
Jorac smiled and lowered his voice a little. “Barring the occasional giant silver sphere full, of course. Anyway, the best part is I got Pergimtor to agree that there won’t be any report on this. You should have seen his face – I don’t think anyone has said no to him in years. Which means, ur, well, I won’t be stuck here in the office tonight. Um, Kimma, would you care to have dinner with me? At a nice place, I mean.”
Kimma smiled at him, then Dorrie. “Dorrie thought you might be asking me. She says I’ll need a chaperone. She wants me to play the Noble Lady for her, help her get a better class of customers. Sounds like fun to me.”
Jorac turned to Dorrie and bowed. “Dorrie, are you free tonight?”
“I thought you’d never ask.” She grinned, and there was something like satisfaction in her tone.
“Go ahead, Kimma, tell him the other part.”
“Jorac, you know I grew up – well, you know, in a bawdy house. Anyway, I never – that is, I wasn’t. . .”
“You don’t have to worry. We’ll just start with when we met, okay?”
He could still see the doubt in her eyes.
“Kimma, I grew up on a sheep farm. And despite some of the jokes you hear, I never had my way with them, either, okay?”
Her laughter, and Dorrie’s, were music to his ears.
Kimma said, “Okay then,” and her bright smile made him feel happy, for both of them. “Okay.”
Jorac’s an ordinary city constable in the city of Vaggert; he’s allergic to magic but still takes the job of Wizard Constable, working for the city’s overbearing, officious wizards. He encounters cutthroats, slavers, poison frogs, crazed wizards, hidden beauty, and much more - this is not stereotypical “epic fantasy”, it’s a fast-paced, fun adventure story.
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