B5 — 28. Inside the Web

PoV:

1. Rachel Park (Our Determined Lunar Hare)

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Rachel took out her phone from inside the folds of her skirt to see how her friends were doing, invading their stream; Fiona’s beaming face shone back with Selvaria in the background, showing off her new suit that allowed her to fly for a short time.

Nia, Nora, Erica, Scarlet, and Alexa were answering various questions the hundreds of thousands of viewers asked; they were only able to respond to the paid donations with how many people were bombarding them with inquiries—mostly personal, but some regarding Mythic—and Fiona’s moderators were in a frenzy trying to keep things family-friendly.

Texting Scarlet as she explained Elinnila’s circumstances to Jeanne, Rachel followed the blonde toward The Palais Bourbon, where Solomon and Charlemagne were located; it made a lot of things easier when they identified with their legends.

Gisele made a small chirp when the small, brown-haired child—a powerful succubus in disguise—began to lag behind, breathing heavily and sweating at the exertion of walking so long in her fragile form.

Rachel had long heard her struggling lungs and muscles but wondered when she would actually voice her troubles.  She didn’t feel particularly bad for the devil; the fiend had tortured and destroyed more souls than she cared to count, yet she also didn’t hate Elinnila.

Jeanne caught her gaze with a tight mouth.  “Is it just an act?”

“I’m… fine,” she panted, trying not to look weak as she started adapting to their general attitude toward her; as a devil, Rachel expected her to fall in line once she learned her place in the hierarchy.

Still, it was clear that the fiend was coming through a bit of an internal crisis after learning she’d been freed from Lilith’s claws and—perhaps more importantly—her protection.

Rachel yawned, looking up at the dark sky—it was 4 a.m.—so dawn would be coming in about three hours, which meant they needed to return to Zippy in two hours at the latest so Scarlet wouldn’t turn to ash.

“Mmh-no.  Elinnila literally has the fatigue of a little girl since you didn’t want her to hurt anyone… binding her in that form when Yseress gave you the reigns to her contract.  I only have two hours before I need to go…  Mind grabbing us an uber?”

Elinnila’s small, pumping chest paused as she held her breath at the prospect of being able to get off her feet, hope brightening in her big brown eyes.

Jeanne sighed.  “I can…  I am not looking forward to explaining… this mess to Charlemagne.”

Rachel glanced down at her phone with Gisele; Scarlet had sent a text back, and they exchanged a few more as the blonde called someone to pick them up.

4:02 a.m. – Scarlet: We’re doing good!  Not many places are open, but it’s cool that flying over Paris and getting Mythic more recognition through Fiona’s platform is good for our reputation, as you said.  I never thought we’d actually pull in over four hundred thousand viewers on our first debut!

4:02 a.m. – Scarlet: How are things going on your end?

4:02 a.m. – Rachel: It’s wild!  Yseress bound a strong succubus to Jeanne and stripped her of basically all her power.  So she has a weak little girl tagging along that she can cleanse Paris of demonic activity with.

4:03 a.m. – Scarlet: No way!  So the cultist thing turned out okay?

4:04 a.m. – Rachel: As well as could be expected.  Keep drawing eyes and giving us a platform that will make France hardpressed to do something without getting backlash.  Just have fun, and keep streaming.  Meet you at Zippy in 2 hours.  Jeanne is calling us a car to see Charlemagne and Solomon.

4:05 a.m. – Scarlet: Charla-who?  And the ACTUAL Solomon?!  What’s he doing here?

4:05 a.m. – Rachel: Who knows?  I’ll let you know in a bit.

4:06 a.m. – Scarlet: Oh!  Charlemagne, that one old emperor dude.  I think I played a game with him once.

4:07 a.m. – Rachel: The car’s going to be here in seven minutes.  Seems they were close.  Don’t worry about anything; if we can prove ourselves more valuable to France than trouble, then we shouldn’t have problems getting things moving.  I do feel a bit bad for Jeanne, though; she seems to be dealing with a lot internally.  Have fun!

4:08 a.m. – Scarlet: Aww.  Poor woman.  I really do like her.  I’ll let the others know you’re doing good demon hunting.  Lmao!  The viewers want to know more about the hunt.  Oh, can we show them the little demon child?

4:08 a.m. – Rachel: Mmmmmmmh…

4:09 a.m. – Scarlet: Haha!  Figured.  I can tell them I asked!  Oh, Erica is shutting the demon thing down, too…  Why do we have to be so careful about what we show?!

4:09 a.m. – Rachel: Look at the number of people watching you.  More people = more scrutiny.

4:10 a.m. – Scarlet: Fair…  Good luck, Sis!

Rachel chuckled and shook her head at Scarlet’s messages; she would have had her little vamp-adopted-sister join her if she didn’t know having a fanged goth girl on the stream would attract way more discussion.

“Finished?” Jeanne asked, wearing a forced smile.

“Haha.  Thanks for being patient,” Rachel returned.  “I know this can’t be easy for you.”

“It really has been stressful,” she mumbled, playing with her thick double braid. “How do you get all of your information… and was it worth making a deal with a Hades Lord to achieve your goals—what did you have to sell?”

Rachel smirked down at the quiet devil child sitting on the curb beside her, suddenly interested in the topic by her silent observation; Elinnila was probably too exhausted at this point to do much complaining.

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you…” she whispered, thankful Yseress was sleeping after the exhausting effort of freeing her from Lilith; a few questions popped into her mind as they waited for the driver to arrive, who was being forced to stop-and-go from all the lights turning red—bad luck. “What happened to Izanami’s faction when she was captured by Lucifer?”

The small girl fidgeted with her dress, clearly uncomfortable. “High Lady Izanami is… was a very influential figure in the Lower Circles, and willingly left the 9th Circle to take residence on the 7th, which… is surprising given her power could easily hold land in the 9th.”

Elinnila looked up at the dark, starless sky. “The thought of being able to directly serve such a potent fallen deity while being closer to her direct presence was a powerful incentive for many devils and demons to gather under her banner, and… she never turned anyone away, no matter their station or lack of accomplishments.”

Recalling the endless sea of devils and demons that had gathered the moment Izanami called them brought on a shiver; all of those fiends were of the 7th Circle, who were more or less solar-system buster level that would generally never be able to manifest without extreme conditions.

The only way Wolfgang had been able to summon Yseress—who seemed to hold noble status in the 3rd Circle—was due to her nephilim affinity, beings that weren’t so bound to Hades as devils and demons.

Rachel’s ears shifted to the right as she heard their driver turn onto their street. “How is her faction fairing after her kingdom was destroyed?”

Jeanne paid close attention to the conversation as the little girl shrugged.

“High Lord Lucifer made a concerted effort in stamping out anyone who remained loyal to her since there wasn’t any threat of her retaliating since…”  She let the implication hang, possibly concerned about offending Yseress if she were listening.

Rachel nodded. “Well, haaa… I guess we won’t have much support when we go to rescue Izanami.”

Elinnila stiffened at the implication, eyes wide as the sedan pulled up. “You’re… going to attack Lucifer’s palace?  Please—please say I will not be a part of this, heh-he… very foolish escapade?”

Jeanne chewed on the inside of her cheek as they spoke, but an apprehensive tone entered her voice when hearing the admission. “You’re making war against Hades and Lucifer?”

Flashing her teeth, Rachel opened the door for Elinnila to take the middle seat and Gisele to swoop onto the passenger seat, making the driver jump. “Want to join—I mean, heh, what better crusade than to storm actual Hades?”

“Is that why you’re here?” Jeanne asked, entering the opposite side; the driver already had their destination from the app, but, by his expression, he hadn’t expected it to be one of his country’s heroines and Rachel, nor to hear such a conversation. “Are you trying to gain support from France to attack Hades?”

Rachel couldn’t help an internal chuckle at the wide eyes of Élie—she’d heard his name used from a call he had on the way over—and she didn’t particularly care for divulging this information to a random person.

“Hehe.  Jeanne, I operate by options…  Am I banking on France jumping to join me in some random venture?  No.  I’d love nothing more than to have your support, but I also don’t expect anyone to do me favors, so… what I’m trying to do is align our agendas, if that makes sense.”

Elinnila’s brown hair weaved with her swift head movements as the devil silently pleaded for her not to get involved since, by proxy, she would be implicated, but Rachel shut down her worries.

“Oh, and this campaign of mine will happen after I handle my other business; Mythic has two groups now so that we can split our focus between objectives.”

She shifted in her chair, smoothing out her purple skirt as they stopped at a light, watching the early risers beginning to take to the streets for their morning jogs at 4:30 a.m.

“Elinnila will be back in Hades, no doubt setting up Yseress’ plans for our invasion before we take one step into the Infernal Realm.”

“I’ll be doing what?!” she cried, shoulders drooping and tears watering her eyes. “High Lady Izanami’s affiliated kingdoms are in a mess!  What am I supposed to do as a succubus that is ‘supposed’ to be neutral…

“If I join any side of a conflict, it will get back to High Lady Lilith because my actions will put focus on her!” she stated, really trying to milk to sympathy points. “Think about it!  If you draw High Lady Lilith, that also brings with it High Lord Satan—why do you think we succubi are untouchable in Hades—it’s because we stay in our lane.”

The dots started clicking in her mind as she saw Rachel’s innocent smile. “You’re… trying to start a war…  You seriously do not have the slightest idea how many conflicts your one action of trapping me into this position will trigger!”

Élie’s face turned white as he turned, forgetting his blinker upon realizing what the brown-haired child was in the context of their conversation.

Rachel leaned back and played with her braided white locks around her front with a small smile playing at the corner of her lips. “It’s really elementary, Elinnila; Abraxas is preparing to assault our world, which means Beelzebub—his boss—is our enemy, who so happens to be…”

“Closely associated with High Lord Lucifer…” Elinnila cringed. “This will divide Hades and ruin all stability—it will become what it was like before High Lord Lucifer fell—lawless…”

As Rachel expected, the admission and worry Elinnila cried had a profound effect on the legend; after all, she’d tied a direct link with Abraxas to France, which then went straight back to her enemy, Lucifer.

The blonde’s arms were held tightly against her core while glaring at the seat in front of her. “All of this was planned…”

Twilight! Rachel internally cheered; she knew Jeanne wouldn’t say her name frivolously, but it was someone else confirming her own thoughts. For whatever reason—probably to put Scarlet on this path—we were positioned to handle Cuba… forcing Scarlet into a world of conflict and toughening her up while I provided the cushion for her to grow.

Scarlet is slowly becoming this Reaper of Blood that Twilight initially wanted, and she put us into contact with Izanami by manipulating Relica and Wolfgang… everyone.  If she got to someone like Jeanne, then she’s playing this massive game, but… is it all her design from the beginning?

Thinking about it as the saint did her own pondering, Rachel relaxed, blocking out the noise of France to connect all the dots she’d collected thus far.

Revilla was a major antagonist to Twilight’s plan and possibly her existence in the Reaper of Blood’s weakened form.

Naturally, dealing with the threat of Revilla by getting ahead of it was to be expected of Twilight, and The Reaper gained access to Adelle through Relica when she attacked Scarlet; the path was fairly simple after that—break Adelle out of holding and manipulate them both into disrupting the very plot the eldritch-corrupted, 8th-dimensional Hades Lord groomed Scarlet’s mother into executing.

That being said, Rachel had a hard time believing Twilight cared for humanity on this little tiny rock that was less than a speck of dust in the scope of the universe; no, Rachel didn’t have enough facts to fully develop a clear path that the horror intended to walk.

In a way, it appeared to her that Twilight had manipulated things in a way that might get Scarlet to eventually accept her, and, as a mind that could arrange all of this—play with beings such as Revilla—Rachel didn’t fool herself into thinking she could comprehend the entity’s motives quite yet, but discovering the direction she was pulling the world was something she could draw conclusions on.

Jeanne, predicting Izanami would bring Lucifer into the mix, setting things up for a large war against Hades, and now Solomon’s sudden appearance, it all went back to the mysterious figure.

Elinnila was slumped against her seat, apparently in utter shock as she considered what she’d been pulled into and the trigger she was meant to be to start divisions in Hades.  Yet, it also meant that it was in her best interest to get Izanami’s fractured factions back into the fight on the 1st and 2nd Circles—their starting point and staging ground—and the tribute to the Cerberus at the gate of the 3rd gave her access to Yseress’ palace.

It was slowly dawning on her that she had a new mistress—a nephilim—and her survival now depended on how well she could rally the scattered armies around Yseress’ name as she took charge in the rebellion against Lucifer.

Jeanne had experienced nothing but a whirlwind since Rachel entered her life—then again, she was the personification of misfortune, so it came with the territory—but so far as it went along the lines of what Rachel wanted, fortune could come to her allies from the bad luck of their shared enemies.

“I… cannot promise anything from France, but I can see the importance of your mission, Rachel; I will do what I can to help you bridge our goals so that we all may benefit…”

Rachel’s passive smile shifted to the woman as her fingers tightened against her dress and her face set. “Although, I will make it clear that I will not tolerate being left in the dark as I was before.”

The driver slowed to a stop in front of the building where the legends were waiting; it was after hours, but the Israeli military detail that appeared to have escorted the legend were inside, waiting for them to open the doors.

A small laugh bubbled up Rachel’s chest as she looked at Jeanne. “Why do you think I’ve been so open with you after learning about your past experiences?  I gain nothing from manipulating you… heh, behind giving you a devil problem, but it was for France’s benefit!”

Elinnila’s brown eyes could kill as she glared at her. “Humph…”

“You probably did save many lives… huu-haaa, and skip a lot of red tape by shoving these weaknesses in our faces, but I suppose you have done a lot of good by it, so I can’t complain.”

Rachel breathed an internal sigh of relief that her plan had worked out, even if Yseress’ random wrench had forced her to improvise; the nephilim certainly had a devil in her.

Getting out of the car after thanking Élie for the ride, Rachel walked around the back of the vehicle with Gisele taking to the sky, leaving Elinnila to struggle to close the door. “Can I ask you for a favor?”

“Hehe.  It depends on the favor,” the blonde mumbled, waving the driver off. “I did want to thank you for being so understanding of our position, as well, Rachel…  You are taking France into consideration within your plan, which does help me to put faith in your direction.”

“Trust is built one brick at a time,” she returned.

Jeanne paused on the front step as Rachel stopped; no one was around them, and she couldn’t sense anyone listening in.  The blonde caught her drawn-in full lips as a gut-churning tug pulled against her breast—the threads of misfortune showing her a desirable path—yet it was such a hard topic to bring up.

“What is it?”

Elinnila smirked, glaring away. “Got the crabs?”

Ignoring the taunt, Rachel forced a smile and rubbed the back of her neck. “I wanted to ask you if you’d help Anthony’s group—he’s leading our daytime team—but…  Huu-haaa.  In the spirit of transparency… and I’d like you to keep this between us—including you, Elinnila…”

“Ugh… secrets I can’t tell…  The worst kind.”

Seeing her agitation, Jeanne stepped closer, vision wandering the empty area to make sure they were alone, but Gisele was already searching the sky for threats; Rachel let her play guard.

“Okay?  My report on what you’re doing here to the Prime Minister will include the reasons you are here and my own opinion… that is as much as I can do, and I cannot promise to keep what you say to myself.  I’m sorry.”

Rachel breathed in and laughed. “That’s fair, I suppose…  It’s a bit personal, but my whole reason for pushing things so fast is because my mother was taken prisoner by an incredibly powerful creature, and I don’t know how long I have before… before I can’t rescue her.

“Everything I do is laying the foundation around that one goal—everything else is just steps to get there; it is my top priority—but that doesn’t mean I won’t help those that help me.  All battles I jump in the middle of are to get stronger to achieve that end.”

Her eyes and voice became somber. “I really don’t care if it is the world I have to destroy—not that I want to do that—and I believe if I have your support, I won’t have to place my mother against the world…  Mystic is preparing to fight Dagon—a powerful eldritch creature comparable to gods—among many other entities, such as stirring up Hades and potentially making enemies of other nations that get in my way.”

Jeanne listened to her carefully, showing she was taking her seriousness to heart by deliberating on her resolve.

Her shimmering blue irises lifted to stare into Rachel’s illuminated, four-leaf clover eyes.  “Hmm…  In short, you are telling me you are apathetic toward humanity as a whole and would like me to ground you so as not to turn the world into your enemy by being a mediator to your decisions?”

Elinnila grunted. “I’d much rather see a boring mortal conflict than go back to Hades.  What’s wrong with destroying a planet or two?”

Rachel walked forward to proceed into the building. “Honestly, I don’t entirely know why I told you that.  Haha.  Sometimes I plan things down to a T, and other times, I’m riding on the waves of misfortune!  I guess this is what you call faith.  Take that as you will.”

Jeanne smiled and joined her. “You certainly do know how to make an entrance, I’ll give you that, Rachel.”

“Hehe.  Momentum is critical in life!”

Calling to the Lunar Phoenix, the bird fluttered down to rest on her shoulder; they went through the doors as the Israeli soldiers opened it, and she let them guide her to the room the two men were sitting in.  Oddly, both hadn’t said a single word since Rachel had zeroed in on the pair, seemingly taking the intermediary time to scroll through information on their phones.

Rachel’s broad field of vision took in the whole room as her ears tilted forward, scanning every twitch the pair made when they entered the comfortable office space Charlemagne had been granted.

The man had a sharper, younger, and more intense appearance than Rachel expected of the legendary emperor of Rome; cleanly shaven and with a mane of lustrous black locks that fell to his shoulder blades, Charlemagne didn’t smile when they entered, his large, penetrating eyes centered on her.  He was large and strong—of lofty stature—though not disproportionately tall, which was similar to the legend he sat with.

On the other hand, Solomon wore a handsome smile, showing tanned skin and possibly even thicker snow-white hair than Rachel, yet it was far wilder in appearance compared to her straight, protective locks.

She guessed he had many items of magical origin from their unusual design, and tattoos on his left arm held a devilish appeal while his right showed angelic symbols by Elinnila’s hiss, hiding behind Jeanne—the trembling succubus was actually terrified of the Israeli legend.

“Welcome, Rachel,” Solomon cheerfully greeted, his warm, topaz irises shifting to the quivering child behind Jeanne as the soldiers closed the door. “Oh, a relatively powerful devil you’ve brought to our meeting, Jeanne…  How did you come to possess a sealing binding of such intricacy?”

Jeanne’s shoulders slumped at Charlemagne’s critical stare, but Rachel wondered if that was just his default look.  “Let me explain…”

Rachel took one of the nearby seats—Gisele floating to its back—as, to her surprise, Charlemagne got out of his chair and came out from behind his desk to order another brought in for the fidgeting child; his voice was surprisingly smooth and low, not having the gravelly tone his brooding demeanor portrayed.

The story took less than ten minutes; the pair didn’t interrupt once, taking in the blonde’s detailed report, and to Rachel’s relief, she left out the details regarding her mother.

Charlemagne was the first to speak, focusing on the squirming devil.  “Rooting out the evils within France is certainly a powerful entrance, and conducting it in a manner that wouldn’t embarrass us shows me you aren’t trying to play any political games.  If your other team continues down this same route, I can only offer my support.”

The direct response left Rachel with a charming smile.  “I appreciate the candid response.  We don’t have a lot of time before we need to return to our boat, but I’d like to continue this discussion; we can go into more detail on the angelic vision my sister-in-law received tomorrow.”

His fingers steepled on his desk as his dark-blue eyes drifted to Rachel, a small half-smile touching his face.  “We can discuss more details regarding your position against Hades and the reasoning when you return… including the devil you hide within your body.”

Grin becoming strained, Rachel gave a helpless shrug.  “Hehe.  I may need to have something to recharge her…  You wouldn’t happen to have any Crystals we could jump into real quick?”

He studied her for a moment before shaking his head.  “They have been popping up more recently, but we have a strong force and system in place to handle it between the various Knight factions across France…  I will make the request and give Jeanne the information if one appears.”

Charlemagne’s left eye narrowed a tad further upon centering on the blonde.  “I do require your time for a few minutes, Jeanne, and Solomon has requested his own chat with you, Rachel.  Would that be acceptable, given what time you have left?”

“I’m fine with that,” Rachel said, rising to her feet; she was happy to get a chance to better analyze the Israeli legend since he’d been utterly silent throughout the exchange.

Jeanne nodded, tight expression shifting to Elinnila, who had done her best to remain out of the line of focus, and the dark-haired man addressed her concern.

“Hmm.  Solomon, would you mind examining the binding to check its security before you leave; what is the condition of her confinement?”

“Of course.”

Elinnila flinched as his sparkling topaz eyes settled on her, and he rose to his feet to approach the quaking succubus.

“I-I’m not—I’m completely sealed!”

“Hehe.  No need to be so frightened, Elinnila…  You have a beautiful name,” he whispered, kneeling down to her level to look at her kindly.

“Thank you.  Umm…  What sorcery are you going t-to do on me?”

“Nothing so drastic,” he laughed, holding up his left arm to take her small hand in his own.  “Will you let me touch your neck—you can guide me there?”

Elinnila’s spiraling brown eyes were wholly focused on the charming man.  “You aren’t… going to tamper with it?”

“I promise,” he smiled, impressing Rachel at how calm he was with the succubus; she had no doubt he could see right past her transformation to what she truly was, and the power within the rings on his left hand held powerful bindings of netherworldly origin.  “You have control… whenever you’re ready.”

“Mmgm…”  Elinnila’s feverish eyes said she didn’t feel like she had control, yet she slowly lifted Solomon’s hand to her slim throat.  She tensed as the crimson collar appeared around her neck.  “Y-You’ll only look?”

“Mmh…  You must have been in so much pain; you’re so strong, Elinnila.”

“It did hurt…  Yseress is very… good at crafting and manipulating contracts…” she whimpered.

“Indeed.”  Solomon gently pulled back the child’s brown hair to examine the full piece before following the chain to Jeanne’s wrist, where an invisible bracelet had been clasped.  “I have never seen something so artful… yet cruel.

“The reason she does not have so much as a thought of resisting is the penalty is… perhaps the most extreme punishment I’ve seen of its kind.  Elinnila’s very Infernal Essence will be twisted, rotation by rotation, like a rag, until it snaps, and each twist is… beyond the scope of words to express… in a lasting torment.  She will not rebel.”

“Like I said…  I’m already dead,” Elinnila brokenly mumbled.  “I’d rather die in the 2nd Circle than provoke Yseress’ wrath…  There is a reason not a soul would cross her below the 4th Circle.”

Rachel hadn’t quite expected that extreme of an answer.

Solomon straightened and produced a piece of hard candy from what Rachel guessed was a pocket dimension, presenting it to the stunned devil.  “For being brave!”

A lump dropped down Rachel’s throat at the scent that carried to her, and the devilish force within her pulsed with the desire to devour the unguarded divine energy.

“I smell…  Heavenly dew!  H-How did you get something so sweet?!” she cried, snatching it and unwrapping it in excitement.  “I’ve only seen devils in the 3rd Circle taunt those lower than them with it…  Mmmh-hmm-hmm!”

“Hehe.  I’m glad you like it.  Rachel, might I have a second?”

Clearing her throat as Gisele returned to her shoulder, Rachel chuckled and walked outside with him to wander the halls; her Lunar Phoenix kept her eyes trained on the much taller man.

Once out of the guards’ earshot, she whispered, “Why did you treat her like an actual child?”

Solomon held his hand behind his back, a soft smile touching his eyes.  “Devils are God’s creatures as much as angels, and heavenly dew is a harmless delicacy to lesser fiends; it does little good to hammer at an already broken devil.

“Allowing her to regain a semblance of dignity in the form of playing her games—treating her as the small, helpless child she now sees herself as—gives her a sense of lost security that can bloom into a bond of its own… without a cord.

“Specific kinds of kindness can go a long way when dealing with devils, where demons favor a more… domineering approach that places trust in their master’s power, which reflects on their pride.”

Rachel was surprised at the wisdom, but legends always said the man had no equal in said quality.  “What was it that you wanted to discuss?”

His gaze wandered between the artwork of the historical French building, yet the words that left his mouth made Rachel sigh, realizing another player had entered the field.  “Twilight is expecting Jeanne to guide you to her, and I am confident she is aware of my own curiosity involving her many plots, which she knew would keep me invested within her circle…”

He paused as they reached a waiting room, his glowing, gold irises showing nothing of what was on the legend’s mind.  “I would like to speak with you in private after your destined meeting with Twilight and ask if you could arrange a time for us to see Revilla?”

“Hmm?”  Rachel’s narrowed eyes and half-smile shifted to the side to give Solomon a thoughtful look.  “Now… that is an interesting request to make of me unless you expect me to gain some form of rapport with the French government in the coming days.”

“Hmm-hmm.”  He held up a neatly cut piece of paper for her to take.  “If you accept my quite unreasonable request, write in the location and time of the place you wish to meet, and I will be there.”

Showing a charming smile, Rachel took the item.  “I’ll keep it on me.”

Giving her a departing nod, he moved to the exit; Rachel observed his exodus while twirling the piece of paper around her fingers.

Solomon had correctly assumed she knew of Twilight’s existence and positioned himself in a rather interesting spot; the real lure about his approach was the hints that he could provide her with a much larger view of the overall board, and he was willing to share it, given his price was met, which wasn’t cheap.

Count St. Germain, and now Solomon…

Returning to Jeanne, she waited outside for three minutes until she was done; Charlemagne had some kind of warding device that blocked her hearing.

When the doors opened, Jeanne was beaming.

“Good news?” Rachel questioned, and Gisele gave a chirp that said she was beginning to like the blonde.

“Umm…  Maybe?  Eh-heh, I don’t know how you feel about it, but… I’ve kind of been shackled to your side until you’re out of France.  Is that okay?”

“Yeah!  Scarlet would love an update on her mom,” Rachel laughed, motioning the devil to pick up her pace; she still seemed in a daze while sucking on the hardened heavenly dew.  “Guess you’ll be sleeping on our floating turtle tonight; need to stop off to grab some clothes?”

Her blue eyes brightened, and her French accent thickened.  “Do we have time?”

“If we take Fiona Express!  Hehe.  I texted her; she should be here in the next few minutes.”

“Oh!  It will be my first time flying.”

“Heh-eh… I hope you’re okay with being on the stream.”

“I have no problem with it,” she smiled, seemingly happy she hadn’t been rejected.  “Thanks for having me!”

It didn’t take long for Fiona to rocket them through the sky to the blonde’s house, which was a relatively humble flat for her standing and fame; she didn’t have all that many outfits either, which had her a little embarrassed when Nia brought it up, yet everyone complimented how incredible she looked in the simple outfits.

Swiftly throwing together a suitcase and snatching her general grooming items, they took off to Zippy to meet up with the day crew as the sun began to peek over the horizon at 7 a.m.


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