Second day in new place was for Dante as cold as the day before. It was true that he was seeing Noctan’s in lighter, spring jackets but for him it looked like an invitation to freezing to death. Contended he went out after putting on a thick sweater, coat, hat and scarf. Although he heard child asking their mother if this mister is ill but he didn't mind. For him the most important thing was that his ass nor any other parts weren't freezing. At ease he started morning jogging. He liked to exercise and was already planning to find in the near future sport centre or at least swimming pool. In his work physical fitness was really important. At least it was what he was thinking. When he got to work his boss was already there. She was visibly unhappy. She looked at heated brunet and puffed.
" The case is discontinued." she said angrily and accurately threw paper to bin. Dante knew what that meant. Normally the case were discontinued because of lack of evidence and things like that but sometimes the reason was way more humdrum. Money.
" Someone paid for it?" He sat down behind his desk.
" Yea…." begrudgingly she looked at him. " They were so insolent that they returned all books to the library and even paid poor jeweller. " she threw another ball with the same precision and anger. After the ball went into bin she ignited it with spell. Dante was ready to run for fire extinguisher when he noticed that the blue fire is fully controlled by woman and after burning down everything inside bin it disappeared as quickly as it started. With appreciation and terror he looked at his boss scribbling something.
" So… Now we wait for a new case?" That question seemed safe for him, at least safe enough to not anger her more. Natsumi raised her head and looked him into eyes. He felt like she was trying to look through him. He swallowed his saliva which resulted in loud sigh from Natsumi.
" You are correct. In this city there are a lot of shrines and ruins. Sooner or later some band of brats will pull out something stupid. The longest time without case since I work here was two days." she got up and went to electric kettle sitting on the shelf " Fancy some tea?"
" Coffee please" he responded automatically,Natsumi growled under her nose.
" If ya bring some I'll make ya" She said and without thinking Dante threw her tin. She caught it without turning and made tea and coffee herself. She wouldn't risk leaving it to him. Her office was freshly painted and kettle was only a week old. She gave him a cup and sat with second one on her desk. " If you have some questions about city or whatever go ahead" brunet thought for a moment.
" Nothing comes to my mind sir. Oh wait one thing. When summer starts here?" She looked at him like he was a total idiot. Well it wasn't the first time she looked at him like that, he started getting used to it.
" Around the sixth month of the year, in that time the temperature rises to around twenty twenty five degre…"
" but that's still winter!" Dante interrupted her with disbelief. Natsumi laughed.
" For your first case closed I'll buy you some nice sweater instead of alcohol, okay?" She asked with a smile. He had to admit she was appealing woman with nice curves. Mean but appealing. Before he could give her a piece of his mind, commander went inside their office.
" You will get new prosecutor tomorrow" he let out a sigh " for now you have nice easy case. Probably a bunch of kids are loitering inside the temple ruins in suburban district named Kahrom" he passed inspector few photos of symbols from the temple wall. " Almost nothing happened but they found some killed pigeons who knows what this freaking brats can be up to. maybe it's another cult" he ended his screed. Natsumi sighed and put photos aside.
" From what I see it's none of big gods but it's better to check, just in case."
" Well they probably won't order us to discontinue this investigation." he murmured for what the rest of people in room gave him murder look.
" I'll take what's needed and we will go check the crime site. Dante, I heard you are magnificent in finding evidence and even tiniest presumptive evidence." she murmured standing on her toes trying to reach suitcase from cupboard. Solarian came to help her taking suitcase from top with ease. He handed it to her " You take it. It's prints collecting set, normally I don't use it." she was a bit angry he took it without asking her. I would do it, I'm not THAT short she thought looking at brunet who only smiled at her.
" Yes sir, no evidence will be unnoticed."
" Yeah, that pretty normal for clean freak." said dwarf before he left them. Natsumi put jacket over her arms.
" We're going. We will see how you will do during action." He noticed that contrary to what she said before she definitely was giving him a chance to prove himself.
" Yes sir." Of course he was driver again. According to her instruction he drove from low building centrum to normal living blocks district. He noted that in fact all cities looked the same. He didn't know how many district they passed. Finally the blocks gave way to single-family houses and villas. It was a typical suburban area. Woman pointed him a parking lot near the park.
" Deeper inside park. The ruins weren’t visible but last thaw uncovered them. You know how it is, it appears but it turns out there is no one to take care of it."
" In every city and country same problems." he said and laughed with woman. The park was well-kept, the trees had their first leafs and you could smell spring in the air. In some spots he could see small unknown to him white and purple flowers.
" Snowdrops and crocuses." she told seeing his interest. He nodded. There weren't many people in the park. Dante only noticed in the corner of his eye old man with old dog. With picture of perfect cleaned park contrasted the centre of the park where earth has slipped uncovering parts of wall and black pitch entrance. Natsumi murmured while preparing shield spell. She didn't want to risk that some debris could fall on their heads. With contempt she looked at police tape with words " do not enter" on it. She gave Dante short ladder which he lowered inside hole, after that he climbed down, she followed him with grace. A yellow glowing lily appeared inside of her palm.
"Useful skill" he noted following her through the gap in the old wall.
"Be careful. I have no idea whose temple this is or what kind of security systems are here, if any survived, of course." she said carefully scanning now illuminated corridor.
"Look at the amount of dirt!" Dante wasn't too happy with the level of cleanliness of this particular place.
"And spiders." she added while picking up old branch and used it to tear off remains of spider web. It was a miracle that brunet didn't scream, instead he firmly grabbed arm of woman in front of him "Calm down sergeant." she said reproachfully while illuminating the whole place.
Temple, or more correctly chapel was in fatal state. One could wonder how plaster was even holding to walls. There were no traces left of paintings that must have adored walls in the past. The only decorations still in place were sculptures but even those were significantly time-worn.
Here and there were laying parts of columns that used to support vaulted ceiling which started to tumbledown and now several stones from it joined the fragments of columns. In its glory days chapel had beautiful red flooring of which only was left sad memories in form of singular faded, dirty red tiles laying on naked ground. On the remaining floor there were ineptly drawn magic circles and blood. Inspector raised her eyebrow.
"But there are no spiders, right?" Asked slightly scared man.
"At worst case I'll sign you for therapy after." she pointed to the newest circle. Seeing remainings of pigeon on it she nearly puked." For Lilith sake I'll never get used to it." she muttered turning her back to him. She created a second flower to help him with his part of the job. Dante opened suitcase he was carrying and began collecting traces and evidences. By illuminating the remainings of sculptures she tried to gather more information about this place. In the end she perfectly knew symbols of gods and demons of Nocte. Brunet pulled her out of thoughts.
" Five different people." he told her after a few minutes of intense covering place with dust and collecting presumably evidence. He was sure that specific was result of either alchemy or was "upgraded" with magic cuz all trips were too visible.
"Great, we will scan prints and we will check if we have them in our database. When you clean this eyesore mess I'll examine the circle and tell if connection was made. Some gangs and mafias use this method for communication." Calmly she contemplated walls of chapel looking for answers about patron of this place.
In Nocte the chapels and shrines were mostly built for goddess of the moon and her children but this one wasn't matching this pattern. She whistled coming to one of sculptures and cleaning it with spell.
" Did you find something?" Murmured Dante while taking off latex gloves after he cleaned the circle.
" God of pranks, behind the figure is a secret passage but we have no business of going there. Noone used it in loooooooong time." she joined him in front of the magic circle. With ease she looked at clean circle and put her hand above it. Dante calmly observed lifting particles of energy and lost in thoughts woman.
" Yeah the call was answered. Which is not exactly illegal, going here to do it was… Everything depends on the prints or to be exact if any of them are in out database." she got up for which her partner did the same.
" So finally we can leave this place." she could hear relief in his voice. When they returned to entrance they spotted that someone stole their ladder. Natsumi cursed "Should we look for other exit?" He asked seeing that hole above them is too abrupt to climb without any gear. Before he got time to protest inspector get on his back and with ease got outside.
" I'll bring rope for you." She shouted from the above. Calmly she went to the car and took the rope with knots from trunk. Rope often proved to be useful. Not for her but it was good to have it. Carefully she tied it to the nearest tree and threw it inside hole after checking its durability.
"You surely took your time." he murmured dusting himself after he got out.
" I'm way shorter than you so I won't be able to walk as quickly as you. "
" We should take a bath." he said after seeing the amount of dust on brunette. He was surprised by her reaction. She visibly reddened at some thought his words gave her.
" We have to bring the evidence we found to laboratory." she murmured getting into car and cleaning her face with moisturized tissue. She handed him the package with them, he happily took and used them. He rested comfortably in the driver's seat and adjusted safety belt. He washed his face and hands.
" Lead the way miss~" he said cheerfully. Once again woman took the role of navigator.
" If I lose my voice we will have to buy GPS." she joked when she was getting off from car in police station's garage.
" I prefer when you navigate." he answered while locking car. She stopped at stairs.
" You will meet two of our lovely lab technicians today. They are.. specific duo." she said when he joined her with the suitcase in hand.
" Should I be worried?" He asked with his significant rakish smile what resulted in getting nagged.
" You wish." she laughed slightly and led him to a room in the basement. Inside between laboratory devices and magic circles were working elf and dwarf. Seeing that they have guests they stopped working.
" Hello. We have some prints for you to check, also this is my new subordinate. Dante, this is Arlo “ she gestured towards elf.
He had short honey colored hair and warm skin tone. It was easy to say he was one of the sun elves. They shook hands with exchanging courtesies. " And this is Ariel." she said observing situation with tone of interest.
" Dante, nice to meet you sir." he said while pulling out the hand towards dwarf whose face turned into strangely purple colour. Before he managed to notice what happened he was laying on the wall after really hard hit.
" Miss you clodhopper! How dare you not to notice my obvious female beauty!? You should tell after first glance! You common juice!" She growled angrily putting her hammer under table. Arlo whistled taking suitcase from inspector.
" Well de Rose, looks like you will still stay as the only person who correctly guessed her gender." said elf looking with pity at sergeant who was slowly getting himself together from floor.
" What can I say? I'm the only one who was mesmerised by her subtle beauty." she answered for what reddened dwarf returned to her samples." When you will be able to check prints?" She asked seeing how elf puts the suitcase aside.
" We will try to start as late as tomorrow if it's urgent… No. Fact you have nothing to do doesn't make it urgent" he restricted. Natsumi was searching for something in her bag for a moment.
" If I'll get it by tomorrow, let's say you will magically find here morning dew cookies and dwarfish bread. The real one." She said calmly
" We will finish analyse by evening." said Ariel squeezing Natsumi’s hand.
" I'm really grateful for your help." she bowed with a smile and pulled out her still dizzy partner. She let out a sigh and casted at him simple healing spell seeing he probably hurt his head.
" What.. exactly happened?" He asked a bit unsure rubbing his head. He was shocked how fast pain went away. He had no knowledge about magic and he didn't know how and why this happened.
He always thought mages have to say some kind of spell or do some gesture or both at the same time. At least it was how it worked in Solaria, state of the imperium he grew up in.
He noticed how many things were different between these two regions. Solaria always put on development of technology while Nocte was always proud in their Alchemy and magic.
In his town he met only few mages and all of them were running with wands. Magical crimes were also lighter and way less common.
" Oh you mistaken Ariel's gender so she got freaking mad at you, she hit you with hammer and you went flying on the wall. And you probably lost consciousness for some time." she ended her report about what happened.
" How often does she smack someone like that?"
" Well probably almost all or all newbies who are not dwarfs get hit. Oh and I never got smacked either." she answered pleased. They went back to their office. She cleaned pin board with spell.
" You have checked her with the spell, haven't you?" He asked interested which resulted in sincere laugh from inspector.
" I could give you long monologue about my dear grandpa who is dwarfish god but I'll pass. I just saw her going from women's restroom.” she answered grinning from ear to ear. Dante froze for a moment and a bit angry he gave her copy of prints.
" I managed to take two samples." he murmured. Inspector took them from him and pinned them on the pinboard under text saying evidence. She also included some photos from crime scene. Dante didn't dare to ask when she took them and from where she got physical copies. His head was hurting him from too much information.
" We won't be able to do more for now." she let out a sigh and took from her purse packed lunch. Seeing brunet getting near the kettle she started it with a spell. Dante jumped back.
" For fucks sake start telling me you will do something and not make me wonder if I'm starting to get schizophrenia!" She almost choked on veggies she was eating when she heard him raising his voice. Angry she threw paper ball at him.
" I'm eating!" She growled quickly swallowing another bite and pushed box with food aside " For fucks sake because of your whims I won't take a step back in magical development! What am I? Five circle idiot to shout like crazy what I'm doing!?" She growled angrily and got up to make herself some tea. Angry half incubus prepared instant soup for himself.
"I'll sooner go crazy than die here." he murmured observing her tea making process and how she added water to his soup " And five what?" He asked hesitantly.
" Maybe I'll prepare lunches for you and you will pay me every month?" She asked concerned about his body health.
" No need. I already asked some of my female neighbours." he answered happily eating instant soup. Natsumi didn't answer murmuring under her nose what she thinks about incubi. " You didn't answer my question." he said rebukingly slurping his noodles. She murmured and drank tea.
" Fifth circle, I forget yours order have almost no mages and they generally don't talk about it. " she finished her lunch" Besides what am I? Searching engine?"
" I prefer to hear it from someone specialised in this topic." he threw away empty container and cleaned his lips with tissue and looked at her expectantly. Natsumi rested more comfortably in her chair.
“Order decided on ranking consisting of eight circles depending on talents and magical abilities.
First circle, creatures without any magical abilities. Second circle, born with an element of magic and without bigger magical abilities.
Third circle, creatures that to cast a spell need a wand, gesture and spoken formula. Fourth circle, slightly stronger ones that still need gesture and formula.
Fifth circle, creatures can cast a spell with just a gesture, for some they still need to chant. Sixth circle, they can cast all basic spells and some of the advanced ones with a gesture, they need help with more complex ones.
Seventh circle, all spells can be cast with just a thought, here you start having battle mages. Eight circle, small group of the strongest. People from fifth circle are able to get into Order.
Every mage from Order has a medallion on their neck in proper colors that lets someone from outside of it, to tell in which circle they are in. No matter if they work in police, archaeology or even medicine. “ She drank some tea after giving answer to her question. She liked human drinks and food. It helped her body regenerate more quickly.
Exactly body, every creature that exist in this realm no matter whether they were gods, demons or their derivatives, had a body. Body that could be killed. The more power one has, their body was in worse condition. She let out a sigh after being pulled from her thoughts by sergeant.
“And where is your medallion miss?” he asked curiously, wanting to know how strong is his superior. Brunette visibly panicked.
“By Lilith! I must have left it at home or in the laundry, or easel, or in books. Marcus will kill me this time for sure! It’s not the first time I lost it. “ Natsumi nervously started playing with a pen that was laying on her desk. Dante sighed.
“If you have such a crappy mess as in here, then maybe in exchange for food I will sometimes visit you and clean your house? " he asked after which woman sent him death glare, which got more gentle.
"I-its not that stupid." she answered, being happy deep in her soul that she would no longer need to clean by herself. Especially if her cleaning duty on ladder could go into history. What a beautiful vision.
“I like to clean. “ he responded and murmured “Magical crimes are tiring.”
“Especially since we didn’t get any solid case so far. I hope that this time I will get less corruptible prosecutor.” she laughed.
“Does it happen often?” he asked calmly, arranging things on his desk in a way that fitted him.
“No, it’s the first time someone was so stupid.” she said while making grocery list “As we are here alone…” she started hesitantly while looking him in the eyes with slight blush. Dante straightened, surprised by the tone of her voice.
“Yes?” he asked not exactly sure what to expect.
“Maybe we will hang a target and play darts? It’s not like we can do anything until we get the results.” she answered, laying slightly on the desk. She laughed with ease.
“That’s quite unprofessional.”
“For the last five months I was working alone on all the cases. Sometimes I talked with myself for whole day.” Natsumi murmured.
“I on the other hand didn’t have even a tiny bit of peace. “ he laughed slightly. She sighed and stood up. She gently opened the door.
“Thank you darling, tomorrow everything will be waiting for you.” she answered with a smile, taking a letter with results from Ariel.
“They hurried up. “ brunet said happily when woman sat on his desk. She peacefully opened the letter and smiled happily as cat at the sight of cream.
“Some aren’t in the database but one already was on probation for starting cult of Arwon, Lilith’s son. Poor demon filed a lawsuit against him and requested a restraining order. He doesn’t like when people bother or nag him. “ She said with a smile walking towards closet and searching for proper folder about the old case.
She had copies of all cases that she closed. No one ever denied her decision about keeping documents. “I have his address and number, we need to check in database if it’s still current.” she answered looking as brunet is turning on computer.
She murmured and took out with a spell his legitimation from her desk. “You will need it.” she said acting as if she didn’t forget about it. Brunet didn’t comment on it. He logged into system.
“His social security number?” he asked calmly
“ CZM20099912” She spelled it for him as he typed it into system.
“Registered address, Nebula Guttenmarcha 15/98. His probation ends in a few days.” he read the information shown on screen. Brunette shook her nose uhappy.
“In how many days?” Her voice was firm and impatient. She stood up and pinned note to board.
“Four days. “ Incubi answered after moment.
“So we have less than ninety six hours to close this case and to put him for longer into jail. Those are the worst. They never learn and always try. Plus that he keeps to sacrifices from small creatures but damn knows what idea he will get in his head. Is there nothing about where he is currently working? He must be registered somewhere.”
“He is registered in labor office as unemployed.” Dante answered after checking information. Inspector looked at him unhappily.
“So we need to try to catch him at his house. We need interrogation order, we still don’t have prosecutor so I will go and ask commander. Case is still ongoing. “ She sighed. “ Why does this bureaucracy must be such a pain in the ass.” Dante laughed slightly.
“For order.” Natsumi murmured something and walked out of office leaving him alone. She came back about a half hour later. She fell onto her chair and waved him paper.
“What time is it?” She asked calmly after which Dante looked at his watch.
“It’s half past three in the afternoon, we spent most of our time in the ruins.” he answered.
“About twenty minutes of driving to Guttenmarcha. “ she murmured counting something in her mind “ I don’t want to pull you into overtime. “ she laughed slightly and stood up, taking her jacket from coat hanger. “Are you going?”
“I am.” he said and quickly put on his winter coat. Before getting into car she cleaned it, herself and her partner with a spell. They had to present themselves well. She murmured sitting in car and looking at the traffic jam in front of them. Uhappy she pouted her mouth and looked at her partner.
" I forgot about rush hour." she murmured.
“Everywhere is the same. In soles in the rush hours you can even sleep in the car. While being driver.” Being bored Natsumi turned on player and slumped in the chair. Surprised he looked at her and asked “You.. Listen to metal?”
“And classical music.” she answered observing situation on the road. She murmured unfastening the belt and going to the back of car between seats. Dante strongly focused on traffic jam in front of them to resist the urge to look at his boss from behind. He felt that it would end badly for him. Woman searched there for a moment and then with pride took out police siren.
“Boss, it’s not that urgent case.” He answered which made her send him a death stare “We can use this time to get to know each other better?” he added at which resigned woman sat again in the front seat.
"If you want" she murmured watching him out of the corner of her eye. " You have something besides tail?" She asked slightly interested.
" Yeah, horns and wings but it would be better to not show them in the car." he chuckled.
" You have wings from your father?" She asked curiously.
"Yup, I need to be careful in demon's plane." she nodded at his words.
" That's understandable. You undoubtedly have one set of horns plus visible light wings for sure would give you trouble." with glee she spotted they moved a bit forward.
" And you?" He asked pulling her out of her thoughts. He had to admit, he was really curious about her race.
"I only have wings. But my hair act like they are in water and ends disappear in ether." she answered, she was a bit lost in thoughts.
"Oh, are you an angel?"
" I'm Chaos." she answered for what brunet started loudly laughing.
“Because you are muddler it doesn’t make you chaos.” she said with ease, driving normally. Natsumi only mockingly raised corner of her mouth. He managed to realise that he is stubborn in his beliefs and that explaining such things would be useless.
“Think what you want. “ she answered with relief seeing they are driving forward. Soon they drove into small estate. Inspector looked around and pointed to a block of flats. She frowned seeing door locked by code one would need to tap into using intercom. She opened door with a spell.
“Police should be happy that you aren’t a criminal.” He murmured going inside behind woman. She laughed slightly and started going up the stairs.
“On the third and..” She murmured when Dante seeing state of door put on gloves before knocking on them. “He is inside.” Natsumi said after checking flat with spell.
“Looks like he doesn’t want to talk with us. “ he murmured using ringbell. “Police, please open.” he said firmly, without any effect.
“Listen sweetie, it may work in Soles but we are in Nebula. “ she said before smacking her fist on the door “OPEN UP YOU CRAWLER OR I WILL MAKE FROM YOUR ASS SUCH DRAGON SLAUGHTER THAT EVEN YOUR BORN MOTHER WON’T RECOGNIZE YOU!” They could hear the sound of a chair falling over inside the flat and after moment the sound of lock being opened. Soon door was opened by a middle aged man. He was portly built and in his light hair one could see traces of gray. He wasn’t dressed bad or good, he was wearing stretched t-shirt and worn out jeans. He looked terrified at impatient woman.
“M-miss de Rose. “ He stated it more than asked. How could he forget woman that two years ago almost put him behind bars.
“We have few questions to ask you sir, nothing very scary.” Dante said calmly.
“I don’t know anything.” he swore, at what woman grunted.
“We have evidence that you know something sir and it will be better if you answer.” she said strictly walking behind him inside. Natsumi blocked knife with spell and looked at Dante “Write. Attack on officers. We have interrogation order, will you speak here or in police station?” she asked strictly at which man shrank within himself and sat down in the armchair.
“Here, here.” he murmured resigned.
“Why were you in temple in Bhagaal park,sir?” Natsumi asked with the same strict tone.
“I wasn’t there.” he answered coldly.
“Should I give you elixir of truth sir?”
“Okay, maybe I was there.” he murmured unhappy bending under the pressure coming from how she looked at him. “But that’s the only illegal thing I did!”
“Who did you summon?” she asked strictly at which he went silent. Angry she repeated. “Who did you summon?”
“I don’t have to answer.”
" Sir, are you sure?" She asked coldly. Man loudly swallowed his saliva.
“A-Ariesta, water nymph, she w-wasn’t happy from our sacrifice and… she didn’t speak at all.” he murmured. Natsumi nodded.
“You are getting ticket for assaulting an officer and entering area that’s under police protection, paid at the cash desk at the main police station.” she gave him a ticket and left with a partner.
“What now?” Dante asked looking at lost in thoughts woman.
“We are driving back to the police station and finishing job for today.” Natsumi sighed.
“She lives in his city. I even remember her address. There won’t be any problems with catching her but that’s for tomorrow. Don’t let your head hurt over it.
“You don’t like overtime miss?”
“Not when I’m hungry. “ she said meanly. He laughed slightly, it fitted her according to him. Natsumi quickly said goodbye with him under the Police station and walked to her house. Sometimes she walked there, sometimes she tok bus and other times she teleported herself. Today though she was walking only to a tram stop.
She was worried about who someone was interested in. Even though Ariesta was a nymph she was quite close with Lilith. Something didn’t fit there to her. She sat down comfortably in tram after validating her ticket. She was pulled from being lost in thoughts with a scarier thought. Hell, she had to find her medallion otherwise Marcus would kill her. Or grandma. Or both.
She let out a sigh getting from tram after long time. She took a deep breath smelling sea that close from here. She had view on the big blue water through window in her bedroom. With a relief she entered her garden and using a spell she watered flowers. In house she gently petted pair of yearning cats and started making dinner-supper.
She didn’t plan on introducing Dante into every detail of the mission. With a bowl of veggies with curry spice and rice she sat in salon and pasted his photo into an album. During those seven years he was her fifteenth partner. Some lasted longer than others, some only a few hours.
Most policemen didn’t even have an inkling of an idea about magic and belittled it’s possibilities. Even inhabitants of Nocte did that, and what to say about a Solarian? She waved her head distastefully. She will need to temper him first and then think if he’s even a material for good partner.
Dante being delighted with his latest purchase of thick wool underwear was feasting on his morning coffee while waiting for his boss. He was getting used to the coldness of Nocte. Even if the cold meant ten degrees above zero. Even though the temperature where he lived was similar, warm wind and warm sea current made winters warmer and temperature felt different. In Nocte at this season the strong, cold wind was blowing reminding it's a territory of snow gods. The sleepy woman entered the office and laid on her desk almost immediately going back to sleep. Dante froze stupefied.
" De Rose?" He asked hesitantly. Woman was quietly snoring. Perplexed he looked around the office. Her actions were highly unprofessional in his eyes, yet he was too afraid to wake her up. He knew way to well what sleepy woman meant.
Unsure about it all he prepared tea for her. Pleased with himself when electric kettle didn't blow up, he lost control over his appearance and started wagging his tail. He poured water to brew instant tea and hesitantly put the cup in front of her. Gently he patted her arm and took a few steps back afraid of being hit with boiled water. Woman straightened and swallowed whole cup of tea in one go
" Thanks le Noir." she said and gently rubbed her face " We have a lot of work to do. Ariesta will be here in police station around nine o'clock. She will then travel out of state to visit her family."
" You said you don't work overtime." he said sternly which made woman blink a few times.
" Yeaaa I said that." she responded calmly. She was playing with empty cup in her hands looking at visibly angry man.
" Madame, you scheduled witness and seeing your state madame I can say with a hundred percent certainty you madame did something else too." he harshly accented every madame in sentence.
" Miss." she corrected him out of reflex but it didn't changed his expression. She murmured trying not to bulge under his gaze. In the end he was her subordinate and she wasn't obligated to tell him everything.
" Miss" he said coming to her desk and resting on it. She let out a reluctant sigh.
" She is a family friend, I had to call her to make sure she is okay. I took advantage of this opportunity and asked her to come and to testify." even with her explanation his face was still condemned, she could also see something like anger in his violet eyes.
" That's all you have to say to me?" He asked firmly which resulted in firm and short answer from a woman.
" Yes, that's all I have to say." Angry he came back to his place behind desk dissatisfied with her answer.
" We should trust and rely on each other as partners." he said while looking at her condemningly. She got slightly confused after hearing it.
" It's not a matter of lack of trust." she muttered under her nose and got up upon hearing knocking on the door. " Come in!" After a moment a young nymph entered the office. Nymphs were common in both Solaria and Nocte.
She was delicate as morning mist (like any proper water nymph should be), her fair skin had slight blue glow, her hair was similar to spring stream. She gave pure, elegant vibe calming even the most restless heart.
She was wearing a light dress, too thin for this cold weather in Dante's opinion. She sat on the chair near Natsumi's desk and without word gave her a box. The brunette only nodded and hid it in her pocket.
" Oh so now you have a partner?" She asked hesitantly. She had a pure melodic voice reminding listeners of spring's first warm rain.
" Yeah, don't pay attention to him. You will tell me everything that happened in the forgotten chapel ruins. I also need to ask for your permission and to inform you that whole conversation will be recorded, is that okay with you?" She asked while taking out a tape recorder from the desk and putting it on top of it near nymph. It was standard procedure so Dante was surprised seeing how the tape recorder surprised her.
" You don't use… spell for that?" She asked hesitantly.
" Magic training tired me down a bit and you know I prefer to not waste energy when I don't have to." she answered and turned on the device. After asking her a few basic questions about her personal information came time for main part of questioning.
" I was shocked that someone summoned me as I'm one of many spring rain nymphs. And in such vulgar manner! And with what they summoned me?! With a dead pigeon! I still feel bad for answering but I was so shocked that I didn't know what what tempted me to answer. With pigeon! You understand that miss?! Not even with flowers or such!"
" What did he want from you madame?" Dante asked with a calm tone which made nymph become visibly puzzled.
" He was raving about money and object I no longer have in my possession." she blurted out a bit embarrassed.
"What object was it?" He asked the next question. Natsumi frowned upon his behaviour. She didn't like how he was interfering with interrogation. Ariesta was truthful and could accidentally tell way more than was needed.
" Gift from employer. Sadly I had to give it away to someone with agreement from my former boss since I didn't feel well with having it." she answered confused looking at Natsumi for help.
" So you couldn't help him since you didn't have what he was looking for?" Inspector changed the course of questions.
" Yes! I was so disgusted with this all that I broke the call. What a horror! No respect for basic rules of summoning!"
" Can you describe the rest of people that were accompanying the man?"
" Sadly no, they were all hooded and only he was speaking." she answered crestfallen.
" Ok, understand. Please tell me madame is it this man?" She showed her photo.
" Yes it's him!" Answered pleased nymph.
“You will need to stay until the court briefing, thank you for your help.” she turned off the recorder. It was boiling inside Dante. Natsumi gave her piece of paper with written spell on it “Protective amulet. It will be useful for you until court briefing, after that go as soon as you can to your family.” she said and squeezed her hand.
“Thanks, I hope it’s not what I think it is.” Arieta said and after farewell left the office.
“Why did you stop me from questioning her?” He said angrily.
“Because we would lose another case if she would tell what it’s exactly about.” She responded with icy tone.
“ How come?!” he growled clearly irritated. Angry woman took out from pocket a small box and showed him teardrop made from ruby framed in little basket.
“This way.” she said again with same icy tone. Surprised he walked over to her and looked at the trinket without taking it away from her hand.
“Because of this?” he growled.
“Ruby from Lilith’s necklace, I will always recognize this energy… You… Don’t sense such things, right?” She asked and saw how half god’s face turned red.
“M-maybe not fully, I feel that it has some kind of aura but..” Natsumi grumbled and turned the ruby into earring by casting a spell on it, after that she put it on.
“Listen now, no matter what happens you must make sure that nobody will take this earring off from me. If it will be needed because I will have an accident… you need to protect them as the most important thing to you.” Only after this he noticed that she has identical earring in the other ear.
" That's one or…?"
" That's two demons. One was the most powerful servant of Lilith, you don't want this dude to roam freely." she answered firmly. He didn't answer. Grandma told him about might of Lilith and how frightening her creations were. He sighed.
" I promise I'll do all that I can to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands but to help you with it you need to start trusting me."
"Well, that's a fair condition." she reluctantly agreed " Well all right, from now on I'll initiate you into everything but I also have one condition." she said with a tone that didn't take no as an answer.
" What condition?" He crossed his arms on his chest and frowned awaiting answer.
" In a moment." she answered and left there. After prolonged moment she came back and handed him a small crystal feather ready to be attached to something. " I was missing wire to frame it before." she murmured. Involuntary he started laughing at her idea. He didn't believe in talismans especially ones like this. Surprised he took feather from her. He weighed it in his hand. It was really light and looked like glass but for sure it wasn't glass. It was too fluffy and nice to touch.
" Yes sir inspector." he attached it to his phone and put it back inside his pocket almost immediately forgetting about it. Pleased she nodded.
" When prosecutor shows up we will handle him evidence and let him lock the dude." she answered calmly " If our opponent doesn't play fair we also can't do it fair." she smiled at that thought.
" Yes sir." he liked his boss’ attitude. He clearly remembered how many cases he had to close because of financial frauds and similar situations and how often he would argue over it. He grimaced. It was the reason why he was here.
Natsumi murmured opening the door with spell through which fell inside man around twenty. He was wearing wrinkled and askewly buttoned suit. He was slim and as man kinda narrow in shoulder. He was almost as tall as Dante yet it was visible he didn't exercise as much as sergeant.
Short, chestnut hair was going in every possible direction and you could spot the blink of madness in his emerald eyes. He was a demon which they could feel from the moment he went inside. Excited he looked at woman and bowed down. His action proved his young age.
" Yes?" She asked while getting up and almost jumped back when man grabbed her hands.
"I-it's an honour to work with you miss! Real honour! I'm Lucifer, new prosecutor assigned for magic department. I was trying really hard to get here!" Natsumi let out a sigh. It was rare for someone to work here on their free will and even rarer to not run away after working there for some time.
" Natsumi de Rose, I hope for fruitful cooperation." she said and fixed his buttons and after a moment tie.
"O-of course!" He sounded really excited. Dante was a bit surprised but slowly he started getting used to all Noctan's quirks. Natsumi let out a sigh and with spell she took comb. She sat new man on free chair.
" It's your first assignment, isn't it?" She asked trying to comb his hair.
" That's correct! And with someone like you miss!" He was visibly excited like fan meeting their idol. Brunet came closer and took comb from woman hand with experience styling demon's hair. Pleased woman handed over to Lucifer box with case files and evidence.
" Here you go, everything you need to take the case to the court in one box." she said for which demon, if it was even possible, beamed up even more.
" Of course! I won't let you down miss!" He said and ran off. She shook her head with small dose of pity.
" He will work out, commander did a good job. I doubt this one will risk and take a bribe." she said happy with the outcome. Dante looked at her and sat on the desk next to her.
" He will work out if he won't pull out some shit in front of judge."
" I heard he is a really reasonable boy. He is just overly excited by his first job as prosecutor. Say, weren't you excited by the first case you lead?" She asked chuckling quietly at some memory. He murmured and scratched his chin.
" Better not talk about it." he responded which resulted in nudge from woman.
" By the way, how your family reacted for your transfer here?" She asked calmly changing topic. He shuddered at this grim reminder.
" They don't know yet." he admitted it reluctantly.
" Well you should, you are here for three days already. I'm sure they are worried." she said emphatically. Malcontent he sat more comfortably.
" My mom is probably used to it. I have two brothers, you know. I'm middle child and ideas of oldest one are probably concerning enough for her." he said shrugging his arms.
" Will you tell me more?" She asked interested. He took out his phone and showed her his photo with two brothers on the beach. All three had swarthy skin and violet eyes. They were mostly different in hair colour and probably by height but it was hard to tell since photography only showed their busts.
" This blonde is my older brother, Horacy he works as a model, and this ginger is Dymitr, he works as chef." he started and murmured seeing unstoppable wave of laugh coming from a woman.
" Does he beat you with ladle when you try to enter the kitchen?" She asked still laughing.
" With rolling pin." he murmured visibly not pleased with memory.
" You all must be a really hot stuff." she said thoughtfully noticing that all three brothers must more or less workout.
" That's pretty normal for half incubuses." he shrugged. One thing was clear, he couldn't complain about being attractive.
" Maybe." he noticed that after this short sentence she didn't show any more interest.
"And you?" He asked breaking the silence between them.
" What me?" She asked pulled out of thoughts.
" Won't you tell me about your family?"
"Oh, except for my mother we aren't that close." she admitted. A bit anxious she started playing with her hands. She murmured not sure of his intentions when he gently grabbed her hands.
" It's ok. Not every family can and have to be super close. It's nothing bad." he gave her a warm smile. She murmured something under her nose and turned away from his gaze.
" Thanks." she said aloud after a moment. " I'm pretty sure we will get more serious case soon." she got up and stretched with a yawn.
" Professional intuition?" He asked interested.
" You could say that. Now sit, we have boring day full of writing reports ahead." she joked sitting in front of her computer.