Episode 31: A Shinigami
Isabelle watched Arthur looking through a rough-bound book of parchment sheets sandwiched between two thin pieces of wood. "What's that?"
"Oh, it's just a record of various interesting people that I've met. I keep notes on those that might be useful to me later."
She blinked. "That seems a little cold."
"Nah. I remember a lot more than what's in this logbook, but I kept notes for the Empire. There's a clean copy sitting back at Silver Order HQ. Right now I'm looking through to see if there's someone that I've forgotten about who might be able to help us out here."
"Well, I haven't seen anybody so far, but I did run across an entry on someone that I met almost exactly one year ago. I wonder if I'll get to see her again?"
"One year ago? Did she stop by the town?"
"No, I was out on a recruitment mission for the Silver Order. They occasionally call old members out of retirement to do diplomatic missions like that."
"Really? So this isn't the first time you've gone adventuring since you retired?"
"Well, the others weren't combat missions. Not intentionally, anyway. This girl, for example,"—he flipped the book around so that Isabelle could see a sketch of the person that he was talking about—"is supposedly the priestess of a Shinigami, a goddess of death. Not that I've seen this 'Shinigami' in anything other than some artwork drawn by the priestess, but you get the idea. She lives in one of the other Imperial Kingdoms but was forbidden to join the military until she was older. I still hold out hope that we'll be able to get her some day, but it's not very likely."
"I'm sorry. Did you recruit anyone else?"
"Nope. I had a lot of promising leads, but none of them ever contacted us."
"Well, don't try to recruit me. I've already got a job."
"You're a freelancer," he said, grinning. "You don't want the steady support of a job with Avallonis?"
"No." Her voice was hard.
He shrugged and put the book away. "It's time to sleep; we've got a long ways to go yet."