I was left there alone waiting in the little guest room. It was a good five minutes or more until John came back with the tea. He entered the room and placed a tea pot down on the small table next to me, along with two cups.
“The lady will see you now Theo.” He told me making his way back to the door then holding it open.
Then Serin stepped inside the room…
I almost had to hold in a gasp. I hadn’t seen her looking this way before. Every other time I had seen her she had either been in her adventurer’s gear, or like the first time I saw her when she was wearing smart clothes. Sure, she was clearly beautiful then, but this was something else. She was wearing a blue dress. It clung to her figure perfectly, it didn’t even show much skin, coming all the way down to her feet. The top was cut in at the shoulders and wasn’t particularly revealing down the front either, but I think all of this made the impression stronger.
“Good morning Theo. Is everything okay?” Serin asked as she entered the room and walked over to the spare seat at the table.
I had basically stopped to stare the entire time without greeting her.
“Yes. Fine, I was just thinking how good that looks on you.”
“Really? I just felt this would make a nice change.”
“Yes, it really suits you.”
“Thanks.” She said blushing slightly.
John pulled out the chair for Serin and she sat down opposite me at the small table. He then poured out tea for both of us while we sat.
“Is there anything else you require my lady?” He asked.
“No that’s everything, thank you John.”
“Then I will take my leave.”
John gave a quick bow, then left us alone in the room together.
“Well how have you been? I hope you’ve rested up since you returned from our journey.” Serin asked once we were alone.
“I’ve been good. I definitely feel a lot more refreshed after sleeping in a proper bed and not spending every day travelling or fighting. How about you?”
“Yes, there’s nothing like the feeling of a soft bed once you return from the road. I’ve been well, although I have had things to attend to since I've been back.”
“I suppose it isn’t the same for you as me. You must have plenty of duties to attend to.”
“Yes, I do. But there has been a lot to plan since we returned, our success has caused quite the commotion.”
Jules had said something about that, but I hadn’t really thought anymore about it.
“It has. That’s part of the reason I invited you over today. Well, I was going to anyway, because I thought it would be nice for us to spend the day together and have lunch. This evening there will be a bit a gathering as well.”
“Yes, well the town’s guild master wanted to do something to mark the occasion. It isn’t every day that one of the demon lord’s officers is taken out and well there are lot of people that would like to meet you.”
“Yes, you were the one that managed the feat!”
“I don’t know… I feel like it was luck more than anything and I’m sure, I didn’t kill her.”
“But she is dead, and you were the only one that managed to deal them any damage.”
“So, what is happening tonight?”
“Well, it’s like I said, a gathering. A small party. The guild master did suggest holding it in the guild hall, but I decided it would be nicer if we held it here and that way the number of people able to come would be reduced somewhat.”
“Just how many people are coming?”
“Well, the guild master and all of the ranking adventurers in the town, and a few other important figures that have an interest in this sort of thing. Don’t worry it isn’t going to be a formal event and no one is going to expect you to give any speeches or anything.”
“I hope not!”
“It’s just a chance for them all to meet you and for our party to be congratulated on the achievement.”
“I suppose that won’t be too bad… Is that why you sent me these clothes?”
“Yes, well I thought it would be nice if you had something smart to wear and there was little time for you to go and find something for yourself. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Not at all, I quite like them. Thank you.”
“Good, I’m glad. They do look good on you.”
“Thanks… So, what was it you wanted to do today?”
“I was thinking a walk around the gardens together before lunch would be nice. The weather is great again today and the gardens stretch all the way down to the river. It’s very pretty this time of year.”
“Okay, sure. That sounds good to me.”
“Great, we’ll head outside once we’ve finished the tea.”
We sat there talking about what was going to happen this evening while we finished the tea. I was quite interested to see what the other girls looked like in the clothes they wore to functions. Apart from Altria, I had only ever seen them in their work clothes.
Once we had finished, we made our way out into the gardens. They were really something, well kept and full of carefully planted flowerbeds. I spied a few female servants here and there tending to the place. I was glad to see that they all looked as if they were well treated and taken care of. I wouldn’t expect any less from Serin.
“Have you thought anymore about what that demon woman said back in the dungeon?” I asked Serin as we walked through the grounds.
“No, I haven’t, I can’t say I’ve had much of a chance. Not that any of what she said means anything to me…”
“I suppose it wasn’t much to go on.”
“You sound like you’ve been giving it some thought?”
“Yeah, a little, there’s just something I would like to look into, but I’m not sure where I would be able to do so.”
“What is it you want?”
“I’d like to look into the history of this world. I think if I had a better understanding of that perhaps it would make sense to me.”
I didn’t let on to her where I got the idea from. It seemed the less people that knew that Liz was looking into these matters the better. Not that I didn’t trust Serin.
“The history, what would you like to know exactly?”
“I’m not sure, everything that I could find out.”
“Well, I have a fairly well stocked library. If I recall I have books on the formation of the alliance and the countries. I even think I have some works on the origins of many of our customs and religions. You would be welcome to look there any time you like.”
“Thank you that would be great. That’s exactly the sort of thing I wanted to look into.”
“I’ll show you the library when we return to the house. I doubt you will have much time to look today, but you are welcome here anytime.”
“Don’t mention it. Anything you can find out would be a help to all of us after all. I can’t promise that you will find what you are looking for though. I’ve read through many of those books and nothing springs to mind, about what she said at all.”
“Well maybe a fresh set of eyes and perspective will help.”
“I hope so.”
We carried on our walk through Serin’s gardens until we came to the river at the end. The river cut through the city and from here you could make out much of its path as it wound its way out towards the city walls. From here the city looked beautiful. She really was lucky to have such a house.
“How do you like it here?” Serin asked as we looked over the view.
“It’s breath taking. You can see most of the city from here. I didn’t realise there were any spots like this in the city.”
“There aren’t many like this in the city and this is the only place with such a clear view across. I often come here when I need to clear my head or just to pass the time.”
“I can see why.”
We stayed there taking in the sight for some time until finally Serin pulled on my arm.
“Come, we should go back. I’ll show you the library. You can have a look at the books while I check on our lunch.”
“Okay lead the way.”