Chapter 7.2
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"Alright, so your duty is to locate and destroy the source. Furthermore, "Cyrus says, his voice suddenly firm. "Remember to look for the Core."

Raia's brow furrows. "How will we know if it has the Core?"

Cyrus looks her straight in the eyes. "You'll know."

Raiden lets out a sigh. "Let's just hope it's there, eh? Anyway, where is Milan? I haven't seen him around."

"Milan? He was out looking for a carriage for you two," Cyrus responds, then furrows his brow. "Why?"

A man appears in the doorway just as Raiden is about to speak. He has dark skin, buzz-cut blond hair, and is a couple of inches shorter than Raiden. He's dressed in a crimson coat, which indicates that he's a staff.

"Bishop Galbraith, a rental carriage has been hired for ten rubies and eightpence from here to the train station in the City of Yohan," Milan announces, his eyes widening when he sees Raiden and Raia. "Pardon me, have I interrupted something?"

Cyrus smiles. "Not at all; I'm about to dismiss them." He looks at Raia and Raiden. "I've already paid for your transportation. Kara, you take care of the rest. Treat Raia for the time being until she receives her pay."

Raia's ears perk up when she hears Cyrus. She carries only one sacred pound and twenty rubies. When converted to kon, her home currency, the rate is fifty-one kons, which she believes will not last long.

Her mouth twitches in frustration.

Raiden gives Raia a sheepish smile. "Sure thing. I'll take care of it."

"By the way, Raia," Cyrus says as he turns to face her. "I forgot to discuss your pay. We'll discuss it when you get back. Kara will handle the expenses in today's task." He gives her a wink and a thumbs-up sign.

Raia only nods. If that's the case, she'll save the rest of her money for personal expenses and rely on others to pay her bills until she receives her first paycheck.

"Anyway, Milan, I was looking for you," Raiden says as he approaches the man standing in the doorway.

"What's up, Raiden?" Milan expresses his surprise.

Raiden looks at Cyrus. "Are we now officially dismissed?"

Cyrus nods. "Yes. Go now and start preparing. Don't keep the carriage driver waiting too long."

"By all means," Raiden says, turning on his heels, unusually perky.

Raia looks at him as she reaches inside her coat. "Hey," she says, interrupting Raiden's exit. 

When Raiden looks over his shoulder at her, his eyes widen as something is about to hit him in the face. He spins and backpedals, catching it with his palms open. A jingling sound reverberates. His mouth gapes open as he looks at it. It's a tan drawstring pouch.

It's the bag of sacred coins he gave to the coachman.

Raiden lifts his head to meet Raia's gaze, her face unreadable.

"The carriage driver was gone anyway, so I took it rather than leaving it there," Raia says monotonously. She doesn't need to count to figure out how many sacred coins are in the pouch. It has about two sacred pounds in total, based on its weight and the sound the coins make. She can't just leave that much money for a random passerby to take.

Raiden's face flushes with surprise, but he quickly regains his composure and smiles at her.

"I see. Thank you," Raiden says in a small voice.

Raia did not tell him that night because she knows how he would react if she did. She doesn't know much about him, but his behavior that night revealed the type of person he is. They might just end up arguing, which is a waste of time.

Raiden looks at Cyrus and scratches his head, as if embarrassed. "So . . . I'll just grab a snack for us to take with us before we leave." He nods to Sonnet before leaving the room with Milan.

"Raia," Cyrus interrupts before Raia can leave.

She comes to a halt and half-turns to face him, arching her brow.

"Please look after Kara," Cyrus says in a soft voice.

Raia frowns and returns his gentle gaze with a cold one. "I'm not anyone's guardian, especially not another disciple's. It is his responsibility to look after himself, not mine. If he can't do it, no one can. Someone must be aware of this before entering a war."

Cyrus blinks as she turns and walks out the door, then comes to a halt. She looks over her shoulder, barely meeting his gaze.

"Kara is a warrior chosen by the angels. He may be a little careless, but I'm sure he doesn't need anyone to protect him," Raia continues, her voice low-pitched, almost crooning. She then closes the door behind her, leaving Cyrus and Sonnet stunned.