Orion Ernas was known to be a terrible liar, yet no one doubted his words.
Everything he had said except for the reason of his staying was true.
His honesty was one of the reasons why Jirni loved Orion and yet now it caused her a great deal of pain.
He had gone off script, using that opportunity to vent out the burden that had eaten at him for over a month.
Jirni Ernas had an awful reputation, but the sight of her crying in the middle of the street, after being rejected in such a cruel way despite all of her beggings was beyond pitiful.
She dusted her dress while calling for a stagecoach and then went to the Silver Swan, one of the best hotels in Ruham.
The quarrel between the couple made every person with a dirty business sigh in relief.
Orion hadn\'t come to protect Manohar, just to get away from his wife\'s attempts to reconcile.
At the same time, however, it put the City Lord, Marquis Hassar Beilin, in an awkward spot.
On the one hand, he couldn\'t ignore the visit of someone as important as Jirni.
If he didn\'t invite her over at least for a tea he would lose a lot of face.
It was common courtesy between nobles to offer each other hospitality and help, especially during hard times.
If one of his political rivals reached her first, they would exploit the opportunity to make friends with Jirni and destroy Beilin\'s reputation.
On top of that, avoiding her without a good reason would make people think that he had something to hide, which was true.
On the other hand, however, inviting the wolf in the sheepfold would have been dangerous.
After all, Jirni\'s methods weren\'t a secret and the entire thing might have been staged.
The Marquis waited a few hours, following the developments from a safe distance by using his house staff as his eyes and ears.
As he had feared, Lady Ernas received several invitations from the most important noble households of the city, starting from his political opponents.
She accepted them all, telling her story to whoever was willing to listen to her with insignificant variations from time to time.
The only questions she asked were if any of her hosts had ever had a similar problem and how had it ended for them.
Soon Belin was forced to invite her as well not to be the only one left out.
Lady Ernas gracefully accepted it despite coming so late, yet she had to postpone her visit to the following day since she already had a busy schedule.
\'Damn my paranoia!\' The Maquis thought while walking circles in his office.
\'Not only have I become the laughingstock of the city, but I\'m also forced to rely on third hand information that my enemies might as well have made up.\'
Everyone was curious about what had brought Manohar to Ruham and why he had yet to leave.
After consoling her to the best of their abilities, Jirni\'s guests had asked her what she knew, which wasn\'t much but still better than nothing.
The Marquis knew nothing of the content of those conversations except what the servants had overheard, shared with other servants external to their household who had then reported it to his own.
By putting them all together, it seemed that Manohar had come to investigate a plague caused by a traitor who was embezzling city funds for the Undead Courts in order to gain access to a secret vault.
Only a small part of that ridiculous story was true which meant that either the investigation was running in circles or that Manohar was onto something and was muddying the waters for the fun of it.
The Marquis spent the hours until the meeting with Jirni wondering if his role in the disappearance of the weapons had been discovered and what could have possibly gone wrong.
\'I\'m not dealing with the Courts and certainly, I caused no plague.
On top of that, I have a perfect alibi for the day of the crime.
Even if the vault Manohar is investigating is actually the armory, I can always frame one of my rivals.\' He kept repeating to himself, yet his mind refused to calm down.
As for Jirni, the moment she was away from prying eyes, she wiped her on-cue tears and had a good cup of tea to stay hydrated for her next performance.
How did my host behave after I left She asked.
After bawling her eyes out, she would always let one small detail slip at a time to study the reaction of her mark.
She always started with an absurd story to make them feel safe just to mention a secret vault once they lowered their guard and were already anxious to get rid of her whining.
The usual. Friya shrugged.
As soon as you left the house, they called all of their friends to gloat about your misfortunes and boasted how they manipulated the high and mighty Archon Ernas into betraying state secrets.
The reason why Jirni kept a schedule was to allow her daughters to know where she would be and give them the time to find a place from where they could intervene in the case Jirni needed backup.
They also had to monitor who would leave or enter the house after Jirni and listen to the calls that her host would make.
Tapping a communication amulet required being close and above to it for the array to work and to know when the call was made.
In a city with an air sealing array, both issues could be solved by staking out a mark from a nearby building.
Unless one had access to Spirit Magic, of course.
The girls had actually opened small Steps to listen to the conversations, even those with the servants, and take a look around.
Yet they had discovered nothing of interest.
It was worth the shot. Jirni sighed.
Keep up with the good work for the City Lord.
He\'s our main target and I\'m sure that one way or another he has heard all of the rumors that I spread.
Between the wait and the bits of truth I inserted in-between lies stinging at his paranoia, I bet that he has no idea what\'s going on.
If I\'m right, we are going to have a reaction from him, but not in my presence.
Don\'t worry, Mom.
We already scouted the place and I know where to set up our stakeout. Quylla said.
While Jirni visited the nobles, Orion and Phloria used their Knight\'s Guards\' tools to further the investigation.
They checked the entire City Hall with spells that allowed them to find any trace of magical activity in the previous 24 hours and the time frame was even longer if powerful artifacts had been employed.
Unfortunately, they found nothing.
This is simply absurd. Orion said after trying and failing to find any trace of tampering on the magical locks.
Each one of these doors is protected by powerful arrays during the night.
I get that as long as one knows where the armory is and how to open it, they can access the vault, but how did they enter the room in the first place
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