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Idella tapped the soaked tip of her quill against the lip of an ink pot. Bleeding away the excess ink, she put it to paper. The upper floor of her shop was as neatly kept as the main floor, sparsely furnished and containing a belongings of mostly bookish variety. Moonlight filtered into a single window, casting a pale square on the floor. Idella lit her writing desk with a single candle, opened her journal to a fresh page, and sighed.

Ryo slept on a nearby couch, his height just barely fitting the modified but otherwise human-sized furniture. Idella eyed him, biting at her lower lip. She made the mental note to purchase a larger couch, and perhaps a chair so the tall man’s knees wouldn’t bump the underside of the table at the slightest twitch. Internally, she blinked at her sudden need to accommodate him, the maturing nature of feelings for him clearly reaching a new chapter. This gave way to a worried smile that was briefly lived till she finally pressed quill to paper.

February 22

    Ryo is here. I asked him to stay because of Zenrozem. Not because I think the demon will escape, not after the container Salvatore and me constructed to cage him in, but it was things he said. Things about the Legion, about Ryo’s family, and claiming that he had an immortal soul. I knew the moment Drakku — the Draenei priest who healed Templars after the fight, I met him today, I think he was checking up on Ryo — asked to speak with Zenrozem, there would be some trouble. Demons will bargain with anything they have. But it doesn’t erase that what he said unsettled me and now I wonder if disposing of the soul in the way we planned is wise. If it is immortal as he said, wouldn’t he just resurrect elsewhere? Or he could be stretching the truth, like making his own soulstone tucked safely away on a Legion ship. That could let him resurrect, too. Or he could be lying, trying to buy time so he can escape. All of this fits into a Nathrezim’s persona. They’re the ultimate manipulators. That’s why the Legion lets them infiltrate like they do.

    But Drakku did gleam important information, too. Even if Zenrozem is lying, we should take time to determine the nature of any demon’s soul before using or disposing of it. I think I’ll suggest that as protocol. The Legion is always coming up with new ways to counter warlocks, we’re always locked in a race of wits. Now my next assignment is to find out if Zenrozem was telling the truth.

    I guess I was a little selfish, too. I know the container we made won’t let Zenrozem escape, at least not overnight. And he can’t be heard like he was before. But I saw Ryo’s reaction when the demon said those things and I didn’t want him to be alone. I guess I played the damsel card. I didn’t think Ryo would stay if I didn’t. It’s not that I’m not afraid of Zenrozem, but I’m afraid of what Ryo would do with the information he got. Drakku seemed worried, too. I think as a Draenei, he’s seen things like this before. It seems that’s why he wanted to talk to Zenrozem in the first place. He also has a very detailed knowledge of Light magic. It’s not a field I could ever do, but it’s always fascinated me. Maybe he would be willing to show me more about how it works.

    I think I can determine the immortal soul thing quickly enough. But to reverse it… I don’t know yet. I know who I have to talk to to find out. She’s been quiet lately. I think as long as I continue my studies, she doesn’t mind. And I’ve had so many assignments lately that I’m sure she approves. I’m not sure if she’ll approve of Ryo, but… it’s not her business. Even with the contract. Everything else she wants is going just like she asked. 

Idella strayed on the last line, the ink blotting the paper. Blinking, she gently used a cloth to soak the extra ink then continued.

    Kage came over, too. I haven’t seen her in forever. It reminded me of simpler times when we were studying together. She was working on a study of Illidari tattoos and examined Ryo’s. I used to love academic pursuits like that and I still do. Now everything I do feels so… urgent. But this is what I wanted and I’m getting good at it. Kage promised to share her notes with me and I really look forward to it. I think Miss Bixink would love to peer review them too, she of all of us is the most dedicated to academic pursuits. I miss her, I think I’ll find her, too. I think she’ll want to know all I’ve worked on, especially with what I might have to do with immortal souls.

    I really should get some sleep. I don’t know if Ryo’s an early riser but I think he’s the type to be. I think I’ll make him tea in the morning and see how he feels. Then we need to get to work. At the very least, if anyone tries to take the container, he’ll be here. So maybe I’m not so selfish after all?

– Idella

With a sigh, Idella tucked away her quill and the inked words faded into the paper. Tying the book closed with a leather lash, the warlock checked on Ryo’s couch accommodations one more time then tucked herself in bed.

Author Ari
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