The trip to Cantania was rough one. The Ionian Sea was stormy during the entire trip. Just arrived at the coast, they loaded their luggage into an awaiting carriage. They arrived int he very early morning. The carriage was to take them to San Giorgio, the District in Cantania where Oratti lived. It was about an hours drive to San Giorgio. Ice-is watched as the morning dawn crept over the Autumn horizon. Soon after the carriage pulled in front of Oratti’s manor.
Although very early, oddly Orratti opened his front door immediately and ran out to their carriage. He was still wearing his pajamas and robe. He looked startled, and disheveled as he approached the carriage.
He quickly opened the carriage door, “Ice-is I’m glad you made it safely but there’s been an unforseen problem. You can’t come in just yet and perform the incantation.”
“What’s the matter?” she asked, as she stared at the carriage that was sitting in his courtyard at his front door. Oddly a horse isn’t hitched to a carriage in front of a his home so early. His horse and carriage are usually unhitched and stored in the stable at the back of the home. It looked as if someone had arrived at his home or was leaving. She wasn’t sure which yet. She assumed right away it was his vagabond guest that were just vacating.
As soon as Oratti was about to answer her, the door to the carriage in his courtyard opened. A husky built man dressed in a long dark coat and dark wide-brimmed hat stepped out of the carriage, looked over at them and walked into the house. He must had arrived just before Ice-is did. Right away she felt his guest wasn’t there just for a friendly visit.
“I see you have an early visitor.” She replied, “Who is he?”
Oratti frantically responded, “Look I can’t explain right now, but there’s some urgent business I unexpectedly have to take care of right away.”
Still bewildered, Ice-is starred past Oratti at his front door, she slowly replied, “Well okay, but……..”
Oratti quickly cut her off, “Look there’s an inn nearby that the coachman can take you too. I’ll tell him the name and location of it. He knows the area and he knows how to get there. Just stay there for the moment, and I promise I’ll contact you a soon as possible.”
He went to shut the carriage door back, but Ice-is grabbed it and held it open. “Wait a minute Pelias. You’ll contact me ‘as soon as possible’, when will that be? You know I’m pressed for time to! I can’t stay here in Cantania for too long.”
He quickly shot an answer back to her, “Within the next four to six hours, I PROMISE.” He looked back over his shoulder at his house. “This is VERY important business that I can’t put off. Ice-is PLEASE bare with me. I really have to go now.”
Ice-is nodded her head, “Okay within the next four to six hours, but if I don’t hear from you by then……”
Oratti cut her off again, “Don’t worry, you’ll definitely hear from me soon.”
Crystal Ice-is paused, and slowly replied, “Okay…..”
At that Oratti turned and quickly ran up the driveway, past the courtyard and up the steps to his front door. The door slammed behind him.
Later that morning Crystal Ice-is and her guardsman were settling into their rooms at the inn.
She opened her suite case, took out her orb and sat it on a small table next to her bed. She pulled a chair up, folded her arms in frustration and stared at the orb. She was determined NOT to wait longer than six hours, two hours had already passed. Now it was count down time. He had four hours left to massage her on the orb or she’d leave immediately.
As she sat there her mind wandered. She wondered about the strange man who showed at Oratti’s house so early in the morning. She wondered WHO he could be.
Her mind drifted back to when she lived with him for a short time. She tried to remember any guest he had then, he rarely had any. Crystal Ice-is knew he sold drugs, namely cannabis, but he NEVER sold it from his home. He mainly did ‘drop-offs’ and ‘pick-ups’.
Suddenly she remembered one cousin that visited, but that wasn’t him she saw earlier. She could remember two other gentleman that came to visit. One was a tall, thin, middle-aged, blond man. He was the one that came ONCE to pick up some cannibals from Pelias. The other visitor was a tall younger man with dark hair, who came to do some work on the house. Neither of these men fit the description of the man she saw get out of the carriage at Oratti’s home. She thought even further, trying to remember MORE. Then it came to her. There was one that called every time Oratti had to do a ‘pick-up’ or ‘drop-off’, but he NEVER came to the house. When he called on the orb the visual would be off and she NEVER saw his face. When Pelias wasn’t their he’d only leave his NAME and told her he’d call back. His name was, Elvis.
Elvis…….. that’s it. That stealthy looking man had to be him. Whenever Oratti received a call from him he’d rush off to the Province of Grosse Point to do a ‘pick-up, or ‘drop-off.’ He also did runs for him, he was basically a drug runner. That was it, that had to be him. He’d drop anything he was doing when this man called. And the whole situation seemed so sordid, earlier when Ice-is arrived. As desperately as, Oratti wanted Ice-is to come to Cantania and perform the incantation, he quickly changed his plans for this man. The strange man had to be Elvis, his drug dealing conspirator.
Now Crystal Ice-is mind was racing. Before she was nervous about coming to Cantania and dealing with Oratti, but now she was terrified at what situation she may have gotten herself into. Now she was anxious for Oratti to call, not within the next four hours but within the next four minutes.
She was worried about getting back to Mitroitis as soon as she arrived in Cantania because her loyalty laid with Triton and her position as Ambassador. She was terrified at the thought of Triton finding out she was anywhere near Cantania. It would look too suspicious. She’d have to account for trip there.
She didn’t know how long she’d have to wait for Oratti, because his loyalty laid with this man Elvis, and his trade. Now she was wishing she’d let him walk out those tavern doors in Camden, when he said he’d search for another sorceress. Maybe she should have let him do just that.
As she was sitting there pondering her situation, her Cydonian orb began to beep. Good, she thought hopefully it was Oratti. She waved her hand over the orb to answer it. Instead of Oratti, Belos’ face appeared in the orb.
“Hello Belos.” She began, but something was odd about the way he looked. “What’s up?”
He answered back quickly, “Nothing much, at least not HERE at Beaumont. But I had to call to see what’s up with you and how things are going. Have you reached Oratti’s home yet? Have you done the incantation yet?”
Crystal Ice-is responded, “Yes we made it here to Cantania before dawn. We reached Oratti’s home just after dawn break. I haven’t performed the incantation though, not yet, it’s been delayed for the moment, but I can’t explain it all right now. Right now I’m having serious regrets and an anxiety attack right about now if it doesn’t get underway soon.”
Belos’ eyes widened, “Wow, really? Well you told me to keep you up to date on everything. I have some bad news, and I have some good news. The good news is that NOTHING has happened here at Beaumont yet and Triton hasn’t inquired about you. The bad news is that I’ve heard some whispering on where Triton is on his investigation of the crypt robbery. He’s had a break through, and he now KNOWS who all is involved.”
Crystal Ice-is braced herself, “Oh God, PLEASE Belos, I don’t think I want to hear it”
Belos smirked and replied, “Well get ready honey. You wanted me to keep you informed and here’s your update. I’ve heard through the grapevine through one of the guards who’s assigned to Platamon Castle, that one of Triton’s spies has found out who’s behind the caper. I’m told he KNOWS that Pelias Oratti definitely paid Aydin Reis and his crew to operate this heist for him.”
Crystal Ice-is was nervous before but now she was more terrified than ever. “Oh my God, he knows everything now, which more reason for me to high tail it back to Mitroitis. If could find that out, he can find out I traveled here.” She slumped back in her chair and held her head down.
Belos replied back, “No Ice-is your just panicking now. Just relax and keep your head. There’s one other thing, he named a person that’s working with Oratti. I never heard of him before, his name is Elvis. I don’t know the last name but I’m told he’s the one who informed Oratti of the incantation that would heal him. He enticed Oratti to go after the incantation because there was something else in the crypt that he really wanted, and that was the will of Baribus. Well I hear that this Elvis is working with………”
Crystal Ice-is cut him off quick………..”Wait a minute Belos! You said Elvis?? Oh my God, that’s a man I KNOW Pelias used to work with, and I think I saw him today at his house. He’s the reason Pelias put me off and delayed the incantation performance. Some strange man showed up there. He said, he had to finish some business with him. And I KNOW for sure of a man who used to call the house when I lived with him, his name was Elvis. I’m sure it’s the SAME man.” She was both surprised and relieved at the same time. At least she knew now for sure who Oratti was working with.
Belos looked shocked, then spoke. “Well lady you BETTER be careful. I’m told this Elvis fellow is the one who has direct connections to Salvator Giuliano, the Prime Minister of Cantania. Oratti doesn’t have any connections. Elvis only used him to get the will. We know Oratti’s main objective was the incantation to save his life. And I’m hearing that Oratti isn’t the one who funded the heist either. It was all Elvis’ money, probably some of if funded by Giuliano. The Prime Ministier and his entire Council in that country are a corrupt bunch of thugs!”
Now Crystal Ice-is just stared blankly into the orb. She was still in shock. She didn’t know what else to say. “Well I guess I’m in deep now Belos. Oratti doesn’t message me on this orb in the next few minutes I think I’ll get the hell out of Cantania on the first thing floating in the Ionian Sea.”
Belos looked back at her, ash he tried to stifle a laugh. “Come on Ice-is, just stay calm. Triton knows you’d NEVER be involved in something like this.”
Crystal Ice-is replied, “Yes but if he finds out I’m here or that I traveled here for any reason he’ll be suspicious. This entire country may have a targe it on it soon. And I’m SURE Oratti and Elvis both have targets on their asses. They BOTH made a huge MISTAKE when they crossed King Triton’s territory. When Triton and his men will definitely come for Oratti and Elvis. And I don’t want the infrared on my head. Fuck all that…… I will raise the hell up out of this country and leave Oratti here to rot. He can read his own damn incantation!”
At that Belos could no longer hold his laugh in. He burst out into laughter, shook his head and said, “I’m so sorry Ice-is, ‘read his own incantation’ you know that wouldn’t work. He kept snickering, but I supposed they do have TARGETS ON THEIR ASSES, but you really need to CALM DOWN. Just do what you have to do and get back here pronto.”
Belos was always good for some comedy relief. She shook her head and smiled back at him. “Okay Belos, thanks for messaging me and keeping me informed. I’m about to message Oratti right now and get this ball rolling. I’ll call you back as soon as I can.”
Belos smiled back and replied, “Okay Ice-is be careful. I’ll talk with you later, bye for now.” He waved his hand and his face faded away.
………………….. to be continued.