It was almost nightfall by the time Bambrielle felt even remotely herself. She decided it was best if she went back downstairs. She stretched and made her way to the same room as before. Her senses still weren’t as sharp as usual, but they were much better, so it made no sense to lie around.
Lucas had about five laptops set up around him, with all sorts of additional hardware. He was clicking away silently, focussed on his goal. Onyx was shifting through countless piles of folders and papers, while Astrid consulted a map, marking things on it at Onyx and Lucas’ requests.
Astrid was the first to notice Bambrielle as she stood uncertainly in the doorway.
“Bambrielle, are you feeling any better?” The two boys looked up from their work as she walked in and sat on the sofa.
She nodded “So, what are we doing?”
“To be honest, I think we’re pretty much finished.” Lucas switched off his laptops one by one and leant back, hands clasped behind his head. “I am anyways.” He added.
Onyx scanned through the last few pages before agreeing that he too was done.
“Well, we have narrowed down the possibilities quite a bit.” Astrid pulled the map towards her and Bambrielle.
“The military were killed separately,” Onyx pointed to some of the red circles Astrid had made, “All were killed in their homes as they slept, and those places are marked off.”
“No magical being would want to kill the people who protect them, and the humans have all been minding their own business on the other half of the country,” Lucas stood behind the sofa and leant in to reach the map, “so the likeliness is they were a Halfling, which means they would have had to be right here at some point.” His finger rested on the last red circle on the map.
The circle was around a fairly large building labelled in black type: ‘The Ceres Institute’
“The plan is for two of us to go speak with Hibichi tomorrow,” Onyx folded the map carefully and placed it on his file of paperwork, “But we can just talk about that tomorrow, we should all try and get some sleep.
“Wait, so are we gonna have to leave the same way we came in?” Bambrielle asked.
“No need,” Lucas spread his insect-like wings and flew to the shelf on the other side of the room, throwing a handful of loose keys towards Onyx, who used his elemental magic to stop them, “We have keys.”
“It’s a good thing, really,” Astrid took one of the little keys from Onyx’s hand; “Climbing trees can be rather tiresome.”
That led to them all exchanging their stories of how they entered the building.
Being part elf, Astrid was able to communicate with anything living. She merely placed a hand on the biggest tree she could find, and it told her that the window on the top left was unlocked. So, she had climbed the tree and let herself in.
Onyx, being an elemental wizard, dug himself a tunnel through the earth under the house and caved it in once he was inside.
Lucas had by far the easiest way in. All he did was fly onto the roof and slide down one of the chimneys. Onyx was apparently not too pleased to get the soot out of the carpet, despite the fact that it only took a flick of his hand.
Then, Bambrielle told her story of the door at the side of the house, and the dark tunnel.
With all of their stories told, they went to bed. Bambrielle made sure to thank Onyx for his help that morning before she, too, returned to her room.