Orion didn\'t complain about his daughters abusing his trust nor about Jirni taking part in the group hug.
He could see how worried his little girls were and how happy having both of their parents in the same room made them.
Girls, I understand why you did this, but the matters between your mother and I cannot be solved just by talking while sitting at a table and drinking tea. Orion broke the embrace and took a couple of steps back to look Jirni in the eyes.
You can\'t bandage a deep wound and wait for it to heal.
It remains hidden from sight, but it keeps bleeding and festering.
On top of that, a Royal mission is hardly the place to discuss our marriage problems, especially in front of Manohar!
He pointed at the god of healing who had been making retching sounds ever since he had regained consciousness.
I know that, Dad. Phloria said while keeping an eye on Manohar who was slowly regaining his mobility.
I just wanted you two to meet in the hope that by spending enough time together you can at least build a small bridge over the abyss that Mom created with her schemes.
Orion remained silent.
Phloria had already admitted that he wasn\'t responsible for the situation which didn\'t leave him much to say, at least in the presence of his daughters.
\'The problem here is that this time I didn\'t do anything wrong.
Jirni kept me out of the loop and let me grieve Quylla\'s fake death like a moron because she considers my love for our children a weakness.
I can\'t trust a person like that and without trust, there\'s no relationship.\' He thought.
Is the mission real or is it a ruse as well Orion said after moving his gaze onto Phloria.
It\'s very real and it\'s also as good as solved. Manohar jumped up.
Then why are we here Jirni asked.
The Royals wouldn\'t waste our time like this if not for a good reason.
Because there are still a couple of details to clear up and because they don\'t trust my methods. He replied with an annoyed snort.
Professor, keep up like this and your next title will be the god of understatements. Quylla said.
In theory, the case is open and shut just like the Professor said, but reality begs to differ.
A few weeks ago, a surprise inspection revealed that some of the most powerful artifacts in the capital\'s armory have gone missing.
The Kingdom opened a secret investigation in order to not alert the culprit in the hope they have yet to escape.
As you know, an armory is hidden and protected, but it doesn\'t require imprinting to be opened because the City Lord might die or be kidnapped during a time of crisis, which would leave the city undefended.
All the city\'s officials with high enough clearance can open it.
On the other hand, however, anyone who knows where it is and how to open the armory can access it at any time.
Still, only a handful of people have the codes so the number of suspects should be very small.
You said weeks ago.
How can the case not have been solved already Jirni asked.
Here comes the problem and why they sent me. Manohar said.
What anyone who isn\'t a Royal Forgemaster ignores is that even though those locks can\'t recognize the magical imprint, they keep a log of who successfully opens them and when.
Each official is given a different entry code to avoid foul play.
The Royal Forgemaster who came here before me discovered that the code belonged to the City Lord, Marquis Beilin.
Yet he had a rock solid alibi since at the moment of the theft he was attending a party in front of several witnesses.
To make matters worse, while trying to discover if the Marquis was a willing accomplice or if there was a leak in the security of his household, the stolen weapons have been put back in their place by using a different code.
I can understand a traitor, but two Orion was flabbergasted.
And here comes the worst part. Manohar glared at his audience.
He hated being interrupted.
This time not only did Countess Metra, the noblewoman holding the second code, have a rock solid alibi as well, but one of the city guards claims to have seen her leaving the building at the time of the crime.
Maybe it was just someone looking like her or disguised as her. Phloria shrugged.
No, because he saw Metra coming out of her own office, which needs imprinting.
Yet the people who went with the Countess to the city gardens on that very same night swear that it was her and not a body double. Manohar shook his head
They can\'t be all her accomplices nor can an impersonator fool nobles and servants that have known Metra for years.
A shapeshifter Quylla blurted out in surprise.
She was aware that Emperor Beasts and Awakened could freely change their appearance, but for regular people, it was just a myth.
Manohar didn\'t know about it, but being capable of shapeshifting himself, he knew that there had to be at least a few non-idiot mages out there capable of doing the same.
It was the secret behind his many successful escapes and he wanted to keep it that way.
That\'s my hypothesis and the Royals agree with me. He nodded.
They sent me here to make sure that the two nobles weren\'t under the effect of the Golden Griffon\'s slave spell and to capture the shapeshifter.
Arresting the culprits would be easy, but we have no idea what they used the weapons for.
On top of that, there is no telling if they are actually responsible or if they are just being framed.
Worst case scenario, we are dealing with a creature that can imitate not only a person\'s physical appearance, but also their magical imprint.
The existence of such a person would compromise the entire security of the Kingdom! Suddenly Orion\'s marriage problems took second place.
That\'s why you are still here.
What I don\'t get is why we are here.
Manohar was the best diagnostician of the Kingdom and the leading expert in the field of life forces.
He was the most suitable person to recognize a shapeshifter in disguise, no matter how good their ability was.
The nobles have already been interrogated and examined multiple times with no success.
On top of that, there have been more cases of people being seen in two different places at the same time. Phloria said.
Dad, our task is to use the city arrays to track and find the shapeshifter.
Mom, your task is to keep the Professor under control and help him to investigate the two nobles.
The Royals don\'t trust me just because I told them that the best way to find our guy is to put Ruham on lockdown and to let me experiment- I mean, use my potions. Manohar said with a scoff.
That\'s a ridiculous idea. Jirni said..
Taking a whole city hostage to search for someone who might not be here anymore would set a very dangerous precedent and undermine the trust in the Royals.
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