Korvarl shook his head with a heavy sigh, glancing at Valya. “We’re both lucky and unlucky, lass.” He decided. “Yer somehow not booby-trapped to death, but we’re gonna need a key. These things ain’t like nothin’ I’ve had t’break before.”
The sound of footsteps descending behind them prompted the dwarf to lay a hand on his weapon as he turned back toward the way he came… though he relaxed noticeably when he recognized it was just Malvolio and Allya coming to check on them. And give me paperwork. He noted silently, eyeing the sheaf of documents in the Templar’s grip. “Ah, just what I was looking forward to. Reading for the illiterate…” He muttered dryly. It was mostly a jest - he knew humans that could afford that much plate armor tended to be given some kind of education. Just not the kind that was useful when delving into old dwarf ruins.
Hard as it was to read by torchlight, Silvershield did his damnedest to skim the papers, grumbling at every useless document. “Bloody census-”
"THIS IS AMAZING!" Elnira’s voice had become slightly squeaky again as it pierced the darkness - and Korvarl’s darkening mood. He didn’t resist as she took the paper out of his hands, beaming widely. "This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!"
She kissed his cheek excitedly, and ran over to look at more papers.
Even under his thick beard and in the darkness, it was hard not to notice Korvarl blushing. He cleared his throat gruffly, trying his best to cover up as he looked through more of the documents… though his gaze did flicker back toward Elnira, each time bringing a small smile to his lips.
He’d scarcely finished reading with a small sigh of relief and a rub of his tired eyes when the Templar cut into his thoughts, however. "What do they say?" Malvolio asked. "Anything of use to us?"
“Surprisingly, aye.” The dwarf nodded, carefully stacking the papers again. “We’re gonna need to find King Hreidmar himself. Or rather, what’s left of him. Both th’ key to this place - an’ every vault in the city, sounds like - an’ Dainsleif are on ‘im, or at least in ‘is quarters. No point in lootin’ without snatchin’ both first.” Korvarl finished, tucking the papers under one arm. “So… unless you wanna check fer booby traps on these vaults the hard way, let’s get to ‘is palace. It’s tha’ big building in the center, or I’m six feet tall.”
Percula had gladly stayed by Caid as they - and Agethar and his dog - headed to the local temple in the hopes of finding the others. Halfway there Caiden’s stomach made quite a bit of a racket, and the pixie gave him a funny look; it was almost teasing as she eyed him up, though she quickly stopped before Agethar noticed, hopefully. She almost forgot he was present.
What they saw in the temple was noticeably scarier than Voros’s lack of lunch - it was a demon, apparently trapped in some kind of summoning circle. Saffron stared at it in unconcealed awe, though she couldn’t help but pout a little when Caiden inches in front of her, blocking her view ever-so-slightly. “H-heyyyy…!” She protested quietly, slipping around him with inhuman grace.
Agethar was - of course - automatically suspicious of the old blind guy, who seemed to have been talking to the monster, but Perky herself wasn’t so quick to jump to conclusions. Besides, the demon didn’t exactly seem unfriendly. Right now, anyway.
"May I ask to what purpose mortals such as yourselves would enter a place such as this?” The demon was asking, mostly that weird blind guy. “You spoke of those with you who fancy themselves demon slayers. I must warn you: if you came to slay demons, you should turn back. It is not myself of which I speak, but a far, far greater power. Unless you are here because of that binding upon your souls...?"
So polite! ...Wait, what? Bindi-
"I cannot tell you the nature of it, only that it is there. I sense a power hanging over each of you - the power of a binding contract. The only one present free from that binding," he pointed a long, black claw at Percula, "is her."
Caiden said nothing, but he did look at Percula and set his jaw.
It dawned on the pixie once she caught that look in his eye: she had been tiny and stowed away back in the tavern, when this all started. She remembered something Caiden had told her - that he hadn't wanted her to sign the contract... Agni's contract to return Dainsleif to him, one way or another. Now it was suddenly very clear why he’d done such a thing.
“...Wow, I didn’t think dwarves were weird like that.” Was the first thing that came to Percula’s mind, escaping her lips before she could even think about what she was saying. “Contract magic. Who would’ve thought?”
Perky shrugged to herself, wandering closer to the Huo - and the demon, as a result. “How do we banish this thing, anyway? Do I need to zap it or something?” She asked, more curious than anything, and not minding the humans in the room judging her magic. She’d cast spells in front of an Inquisitor before, after all. Venatori should be fine with it… and a weird old man who was tooootally not Gifted, too.