I arrived soon enough at a garden where Joan's mother, Helen was sitting. There was some leftover disturbance in the air from magic, so maybe she was practising just now?
Her large body was in a red and purple airy dress with a silk sun hat. She honestly looked like the evil step-mom in those aggressive colours, luxurious fabric and opulent jewellery. She smiled when she saw me coming close, "Welcome back Lilith! How did it go?"
"Could have been better but it could have been worse. We were too late to save two young women but managed to save a group of kids and another woman... sort of." I then told her about what we saw and how I brought them back to integrate and for the victims to recuperate.
"...So now I'm thinking of personally visiting the church and making them clean up. It's a good way to make all the other churches shaken and to check if they have any issues they were unaware of, especially if I make it public." Mrs Apicius paused when I ended my words, she looked at me and shook her head.
"If you make things public, this will harm the reputation of the church and even you will make an enemy of those who should be your most reliable friends instead." I agreed with her on that but it's something I already considered.
"Making it public can have a positive effect depending on how this is handled. I will make sure this won't harm the church so it's not a problem. If they still can't accept it just for their pride then they are people who would do me more harm than good to associate with; I'm not someone with the patience to compromise my thoughts just to make a friend." She frowned after she heard my response; she wasn't convinced.
"Lilith, this is the church we are talking about. The public will welcome you or reject based on what they have to say about you. Don't make enemies with such an immature mindset." Her tone was almost scolding but I wasn't bothered since I could see she was like this because she thought of me as family and not because she looked down on me.
"I know there are dangers involved which is why I wanted some help. The Apicius family is a merchant family, right? To make sure what was mentioned doesn't happen could the Head help me with..." I laid out a simple yet effective countermeasure while waiting to hear her thoughts on it, I sat nervously while waiting for her to speak up.
"Hmmm.... yes, yes... that could work. I'm surprised nobody used this idea bef- no. It's only possible for someone like you, Lilith, to use this to counter the church. Alright, I'll go and talk to Max and prepare the needed channels so wait a day before you go. My daughter will be coming back tomorrow at noon so she can go with you too." She stood up as she spoke, her mind already elsewhere.
Joan's coming back soon! It's been so long since I last saw her and I honestly just miss her. I haven't had the chance to talk to her properly other than the trip in the carriage to this city, yet I still feel so close to her. 'Is it because she was the first person I ever met in this world? Plus she was my first sexual experience to boot lol.'
The head maid had stood at the side the entire time, resting under the shade of a fruit-bearing tree and now she stepped up before I even took a breath to call out to her. Now that's a pro amongst pros!
"To wherever they would place the nun to recuperate. I'll check up on the kids after that." She nodded and we walked away from the main building this time, she led me further into the garden and towards a long, rectangular, marble building, her delicious behind was tempting me to follow her steps.
I looked away before I got a hard-on, I was on a way to visit a rape victim you know, I can feel my fingers curling at the image in my mind if she saw me with a tent in my dress!
"Joan was on her last ropes when she went on an expedition to find the succubus progenitor's grave. It was last ditch effort to find the grave and any artefacts related to lust so as to hold onto her sense of self. Thank you for appearing before her at the moment she needed it most." The head maid turned to me and bowed, her erotic body was hard to register due to the overflowing elegance and perfect posture.
"I'm also happy that I was able to meet her, I would have felt very alone and panicked if not for her being there when I woke up." I couldn't pretend I wasn't thinking with my especially created lower half at the time so being thanked so seriously pricks my conscience.
To move on before my embarrassment become apparent, I asked something I wanted to ask from the moment I saw her, "Head maid, I heard from Joan that she thinks of you as her aunt or even her elder sister. So I'm sure you're close, do you feel like she would be truly willing to go along with her parents ummm... idea for both her and me? I mean the marriage." Still a little shaky with the vocab... I keep fumbling the words too. So difficult!
"First of all, I hope you understand that Joan is no housewife. She is someone with too much drive and the ability to sit at home and warm your bed all day. She isn't all that against you having a few other women do that for her but you must respect her ******. She has thoughts about how to direct the family business and what she wants to do with it." A touch of steel appeared in her voice.
"You should speak to her yourself about her future plans. If you can accept that independent part of her, then I think you two can get along well." She was facing forward as she said this to me, leading me to where I asked her. Yet, why do I feel like her eyes are evaluating me? In all honesty, I feel like this was more of a family inspection than what Joan's parents did.
"I think I understand, it would be nice if we can help each other achieve our dreams. I'll talk to her when she comes back, let's take care of everything today so I can focus on my time with her tomorrow." I never once thought of Joan as housewife material, I mean... this is Joan we're talking about. This was, however, a good reminder that a discussion about the future beyond just marriage was necessary between me and Joan.