“I know where your mother is and how to reach her. Are you interested in meeting her?”
Aurora asked this question knowing what it meant for Emilia. No matter how much older she got, she was but a child right now.
And every child had an innate longing to meet the one who birthed them. In that case, Emilia was no different from a normal child.
Aurora should have been disgusted to use such a weakness to her advantage but she could not back down. If she took her words back now, then her reputation was as good as gone in Emilias eyes.
“My mother? Shes still alive?”
Emilia sounded like a lost child. Aurora could see how much her words were eating away at Emilias heart.
“Your mother is alive but in a complicated situation. I am in no place to tell you why you were left behind by your mother. But I can offer you a chance to find out why you were left behind.”
In retrospect, what Aurora was doing was no better than dangling a carrot in front of a hungry horse.
From the second Aurora had decided to deploy this tactic, she knew she had Emilia in the palm of her hand.
“I want to take your offer. I can talk to the people who look after me and tell them that I want to go with you.”
Hook, line, and sinker. She had the teen on her side now.
“Of course. But it would be better to let me talk with the adults. They will take it much better if they heard the truth from me.”
Aurora was not concerned about the objections people would pose toward her taking Emilia.
Emilia was an orphan child and no one in the Horax village had enough resources to take care of her and still maintain the household.
As such, Emilia was as good as a charity case as one could see. And no one would object if Aurora did take her away.
The real problem was the tower and its twisted ways. They could pose a serious threat to Aurora in a political sense if she did not have appropriate permission to keep Emilia with her.
That was why Aurora needed to get written confirmation about what she was purposing and what it meant for the people involved. She had to draw the line between legal and illegal means.
And if Aurora could transfer Emilias guardianship over to her, then it would be the best-case scenario.
“Alright. I will let you take charge. Lets go back now.”
Emilia looked relieved and Aurora wanted to chuckle. What an amusing child Emilia was, scared but not willing to show it.
“Yes, lets go back. The faster I set up the protective barrier, the faster we can head back toward your mothers location.”
“Yeah, Yeah. Lets go.”
Horax village was just as primitive as Aurora had thought it to be. Their homes were not even lined up properly with protection and the village did not have a single magical enhancement lined up.
It was a pitiful sight to see in current times but it did not surprise Aurora to see such depravity in such a backward land.
Since this village could provide neither precious resources nor magical supplies, there had been no need to invest in such a place.
For the tower, it would have been better if this place did not exist at all.
But even saying this, they had sent some of their best rookies to this place which emphasized that they knew this palace had some importance to the tower.
So, did it mean that Minerva knew about Emilias existence? It was entirely possible but Aurora knew it was too late for the tower to interfere now.
“Ill go back home for now. Come and find me once you are done.”
“Sure. Get some rest since well be departing tomorrow for our new home.”
The child cheered at her words before leaving toward a shabby hut. It had seen better days in its lifecycle and Aurora was sure it would collapse any day now.
It was lucky for Emilia that Aurora had arrived when she had. Things would have ended up as a disaster otherwise.
“Now, lets see. System, check the perimeter and find the most optimal security solution.”
Aurora could have done the check herself but she felt too lazy to do that. Her system was more than capable of keeping up with her requirements.
[Affirmative. Checking for appropriate solutions.
…Implementing security protocol…
…Connecting to natural power source…
……Security protocol completed]
Aurora felt the second the magic barrier went up. It was powerful but nothing a high-level beast would not be able to breach.
But the barrier was good enough to keep the village safe for a long time. Higher-level beasts did not leave the abyss. Nor were they mindless creatures hell-bent on killing and revenge.
This village was as safe as it was going to be without a permanent guard in place.
Aurora breathed a sigh of relief once she was done with her work. The barrier was up and the village was safe.
That should have been the end of things but her luck was not that good. She was soon found by the last person she wanted to see in the village.
“What are you planning? Why did you come here? Are you following us?”
Quince seemed to have a lot of questions about her work and her habits. He did not hold back anything once he started firing off questions.
Aurora wanted him to slow down but even she knew it would be impossible to change Quinces mind once he had decided on something.
“Would it matter if I said that me being here right now is a coincidence? And I have no intention of staying here for longer than necessary.”
“I will be leaving this place tomorrow so treat my presence here as a hoax and forget about it.”
Aurora did not want her whereabouts to reach the towers ears. Especially Minerva was a big no-no in her book.
“I cant do that. I will have to report what happened back to the tower. You are too suspicious to not be taken care of.”
Aurora flinched at the brutal words Quince let out. Even at fourteen years old, he had a sharp tongue and an even sharper temper.
Aurora was just glad that the teen seemed to not run dry on his emotions like in his last life.
“Well, if you cant accept my words, how about a trade? I will give you a special grade healing potion and in turn, you do not speak of my involvement in anything.”
Auroras proposal was met with a keen eye. Highest-grade potions were rare to come by, especially the healing kinds.
They were expensive and well-sought after.
Had Aurora not had a trump card, she would not even have gambled with those words. The funds needed to procure even one of these potions were out of this world.
Especially since there were only two ways to get this potion- by a goddess and by clearing the high-level bosses of the abyss.
Both were something no ordinary human could do.
In this way, Aurora was telling the kid that she was dangerous and had the backing of a goddess behind her. He would not tread so recklessly now.
“So this is how it is. I understand why you are so confident now. Fine, I agree to your trade but I have a condition of my own.”
Quince was willing to negotiate which was a rarity to see. Aurora did not know if she should be impressed or amused at such a turn of events.
“Sure. Ill see if I want to help you out once you speak your mind.”
“Tell me what you know about the tower and its secrets. I wont spend my life as a puppet for an origination I cant even see through. Since you decided to go against the tower, there must be a deep dark secret it must be hiding”
“And what will you do once you learn of this secret? Will you leave the tower?”
“This…I will decide once I know its secret.”
Quince looked to be in doubt. There was something that was bothering him for sure.
Aurora had not expected to be at this crossroad with Quince this early in life. The last time she had been here, she had been dying and Quince had been the one behind most of the planning.
The poor fool had been controlled like a puppet his whole life and he had not been able to escape even after knowing the truth.
But it no longer had anything to do with Aurora.
“There is nothing like that with the tower. My reasons for going against it are because of my personal feelings and nothing more than that.”
Though, I wont trust the tower 100% if I was in your place. Just be careful and protect Clove for me.”
With those confusing and parting words, Aurora left the teen with more questions than answers.
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