Oratti and Crystal Ice-is had finally met at the to perform the incantation that cure him of his sickness and save his life. Although they had got into a heated argument at first meeting they both saw reason and agreed to forget about past trifles and get on with business at hand.
Oratti handed Ice-is the incantation scroll. Ice-is slowly unrolled the aged flesh leather like scroll. She rolled it open to the very end. Her face contorted into a confused frown. She looked up from the scroll and replied, “Where is the rest of this page?”
Oratti with a surprised look on his face retorted, “What do you mean?”
Ice-is snapped back, “I mean the rest of the incantation! Can’t you see here at the end the bottom half of this incantation has been torn or cut away? Where is the rest of it?”
Oratti quickly snatched the scroll back and examined it. With a shocked look on his face he replied, “But it wasn’t like this when I first obtained it. I remember the first day Aydin placed it in my hand. I opened and examined it, and it was NOT cut like this. It had to be cut because it’s inked onto flesh which is like leather.”
Crystal Ice-is eyed him with a skeptical expression. “When you FIRST obtained it, it wasn’t torn? Hhhhmmmm……… so who else has had access to it besides you? Could it have been the Baby Mama tenant you have residing your home at present?”
“No!” Oratti shot back at here. “I took it straight to the safe I keep in my house and locked in tight as soon as I arrived home with it that day.”Oratti now looking as if he were frantically searching his memory began to shake nervously. His eyes darted backs and forth as he looked down at the floor a while. He finally spoke, “There may have been one person when I think about it now. There was someone encountered that day before I arrived home.”
Ice-is smirked and slyly remarked, “One of your cohorts or one of your whores?”
Oratti snapped back at her, “She isn’t a whore! Shut up will you while I think!”
Ice-is retorted, “Oh so it was a woman. So which one of your hoodrats do you suspect?”
Oratti quickly responded, “Watch your tongue! There was a woman, an old friend I ‘visited with’. It was the same day I returned from my visit with Aydin at his ship. As I was leaving the ship and walking towards my carriage I saw her coming out of a tavern near the port. She spotted me, immediately walked towards me and asked for a ride into town. She’s an old friend so I obliged her. We got to talking and one thing led to another.” There was a sheepish look on his face as he paused. He slowly continued, “Any way though I had planned to go straight home that day, we ended up in an Inn in San Giorgio, not far from my home. I paid for the room. It wasn’t long before we entered she asked me for money.”
Ice-is with a smirk on her face, “So Pelias, it’s business as usual In your romantic life, paying whores for their services. What’s wrong Mariah, the Baby Mama your housing isn’t doing the job for you?”
At that Pelias looked up from the floor, glared at her and angrily replied, “Would you just PLEASE stop. I’m trying to retrace my steps and tell you what happened.” He turned away from her and paced the floor backs and forth across the floor. He continued, “When I gave her money she complained. I told her that was all I had on me. She eyed a leather bag I had. It was the leather bag I carried the scroll in. I brought it with me because I didn’t want to take a chance at leaving it with the coachman and loosing it. She asked what was in the bag foolishly I told her what I had in it. I told her of the scroll with the incantation on it but I didn’t tell her where I got it from. Nonetheless she knew it was important to me. Later that night after our ‘encounter’ I fell asleep for a while in the room when I awoke it was nightfall, late. I got up dressed and checked my bag to make sure the scroll was still there. It was there but I didn’t bother to unroll it or exam it, I just knew it was there.”
Ice-is replied, “So what you’re saying is that you had a hook up with yet another one of your rachette tricks who not only demanded money but damaged your property out of spite. And you also confided in her the secret of the scroll? No one should know about this incantation.”
Oratti rolled his as and replied, “She was angry about the amount of money I gave her, and out of pure spite went through my bag and damaged the scroll. She probably didn’t take the entire thing because she knew I’d check my bag before I left. I suppose I didn’t check it well enough.”
Crystal Ice-is slowly shook her head and replied, “I knew sooner or later that one of the whores you mess around with would be the death of you someday. Do you realize if we don’t get the ending of that incantation it won’t work. Even though we have a large portion of it, I MUST have the ending. I need the ENTIRE incantation.”
“Alright, alright!” He snapped, “I heard you the first time. I’ll just have to track her down.”
Crystal Ice-is retorted, “So which one is it? Maybe you should go through index list of women you have employed at Metro Carriages. Oh I’m sorry, of course I forgot not all the skanks you come across were previous employees of Metro Carriages. You do have the occasional tricks you pick off the streets.”
Oratti replied, “You are incensed with your cheap jabs at me and the company I keep. You HAVE to stop it!”
Ice-is folded her arms and tilted her head to one side, “Okay Mr. Pelias Oratti what do you suppose we do now?”
Oratti replied, “Just give me some more time. I’ll try to contact her via my orb, see if she answers.”
Ice-is rolled her eyes tilted her head up to the ceiling as if exhausted then replied, “Okay FINE Pelias. You try to contact her, in the mean time I’ll be in my room.”
Oratti, “Fine, thank you. I’ll let you know as soon as possible when and if I reach her.”
Ice-is, “I hope it’s soon because you know I’m on borrowed time here in Oz.”
Oratti frantically nodded as he walked her to the door, “Yes, yes, yes I know. Please give me a little more time. I’ll get back with you soon.”
Ice-is walked out and quickly trekked down the hallway to her room. Oratti struggled to the a desk in his room where an orb sat. He was getting weaker and weaker. His bones ached from the disease that was tormenting his body. It tired him out quickly. Now he only wanted to lay down and rest, but he had to push himself and call Blondie the woman he suspected of stealing part of the incantation.
He tapped a few digits onto the orbs base. After a few beeps, from the orb woman’s face appeared, and she answered, “Hello Pelias, what is it? What do you want?” She snapped at him in a rude tone.
Oratti quickly snapped back at her, “You know damn well why I’m calling you, and you know what I want! I want the bottom half of the incantation you stole from me!”
The woman retorted, “Why do you suspect me? Why would I do such a thing?”
Oratti, now furious, yelled at the orb, “I’ll get that piece of incantation back if I have to pry it from you cold dead hands!”
Blondie coldly replied, “You can have your scrap of dried up flesh, but you’ll have to pay me for it.”
Oratti grinned his teeth in anger, “Okay fine, but I need it as soon as possible. How much do you want for it?”
She replied, “I need a thousand Denars for it. I can meet you somewhere tomorrow for the exchange and don’t think I’m dumb enough to come by myself. I will have some people with me.”
Oratti snapped, ” You FOOL I’m in Oz now. I’m here because this is where I was to meet the sorceress to perform the reading of the incantation. You are in Cantania, there’s no way I can meet you anywhere by tomorrow?”
She replied, “Well that’s your problem. I told you can buy it back and it’s up to you as how you’re gonna get it.”
Oratti thought to himself, then answered her, “I know, I’ll have one of my co-workers from Metro Carriages meet with you in San Giorgio. He’ll have the money for you. You tow make the exchange and he’ll have to have another worker sail here to Oz to bring it to me.”
They talked some more and made the arrangements as to where she’d meet his co-worker. When they were done talking she made one last snide comment to Oratti, “Well nice doing business with you Pelias. I’ll see you sometime later maybe when you return to Cantania.”
Oratti retorted back to her, “You won’t be seeing me anywhere no time soon or ever. I must have been a fool to get involved with a scheming whore like you!”
She smirked at Oratti through the orb. He waved his hand over the orb in disgust and her pudgy face slowly faded away.
Oratti sat at the desk for a moment alone in his thoughts. What now he thought. Now I’ll have to tell Ice-is it might be nearly another forty-eight hours for his worker to travel across the seas to Oz and deliver the rest of the incantation. He prayed she’d have more patience and he prayed his body would hold out another forty-eight hours.
…………………………. to be continued.