To Solidify the Mist: Cp23

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To Solidify the Mist
Chapter Twenty-Three

We did camp by the road the next evening. Orintious came to the decision that we were going into town, so it would be best to let those of the town know. Just as the soldiers had been acting graciously to assure proper acceptance by any fairies, their attitude continued toward those on the road to assure that the locals understood we had no intentions of causing them trouble.

Due to the placement of a large boulder, we had no choice but to travel next to the road in getting to and from the large stream also used by other groups. As I came out to the stretch of dirt and rock, I looked to assure no one would pass and get me dirty again. What I saw however caused me to stop and stare. I took a position in the road to gain a better view, and I guess it was my actions that alerted a soldier.

“Any trouble, Master Vernallor?”

“Uh, yes. Get Orintious, quietly.”

Soon enough I had my older brother by my side, although he said, “I would not call that trouble, Vernallor.”

“Did you send for him?”

“Like you, or Heratin, I will hear him out before considering him trouble.”

Dechapper was the brother adopted before me. While he had not shown any sign of being immortal, he had not aged enough to be considered old. His thick brown hair grew straight up as if a mold that rose from the top of his head. He had a gray body whose arms and legs had a rectangular look instead of cylindrical, as if his bones were structural beams. Dechapper was a rather imposing figure, although I had come to enjoy spending time with him.

He rode with an elderly gentleman, and it was he that spoke upon approaching. “Our business was informed of a certain company coming to our town. Upon hearing of you, things sounded correct but I felt obligated to come and verify things before we open business tomorrow.” He scanned our group, then his eyes locked on the camp as he said, “Dechapper, that lady, she does appear to glow.”

I saw my brother look to me, Orintious, then Heratin before dismounting. It was obvious that he was trying not to acknowledge that he knew us. He started to proceed into the camp, but then turned to again stare at each of his brothers. He then looked back into the camp, and I heard him gasp before speaking a name.

“Mochsha.”

He rushed toward our sister. I ran with him. As our sister found herself tightly embraced, I let her know who held her.

“That’s Dechapper, the brother before me.”

I had not spoken loudly, and as Dechapper released his embrace to simply hold out Mochsha and look at her, he softly asked, “Does Father know?”

It was Heratin that answered, “No. We’re not finished, Dechapper.”

“Finished? Only you would complicate a rescue, Heratin.”

“Well, I’m not the reason she went missing, so stop accusing me of what we are up to.”

Dechapper paused, saw Orintious approaching with the elderly man, then quickly said, “We need to discuss things.”

The elderly man asked, “Are there any problems, Dechapper?”

“No, Lord Hersnell. Only the usual complications of any matter of this type. You were correct to assure certain basic facts. There are particulars for us to handle tomorrow, but all should be managed.”

“Good. Dear lady, I am the Esteemed Lord Hersnell of the Chancellor’s Usury and Insurance Association. We have had a sum of money on hold for quite a long time. So long that we had invested it in a rather unusual institution that works better with large sums, for protection of our other assets. Dechapper here was sent by this other institution, Eskrion Assimilations, to handle the transfer.”

Mochsha said, “I believe I am in good hands.”

“Yes, now the matter is most unusual, so things need to be handled in a proper style.”

Dechapper said, “I can assure you that the lady is true to certain conditions of the finances. I will however be checking over all the details of the arrangements to make certain no mistakes are being made.”

“As will I. Good day to you, Dear Lady, and to the rest. Are there any matters you would like to request at this time?”

Orintious replied, “As you can see, I have a sizeable company. If you could recommend a place for us to stay, it would be appreciated.”

“Of course. I do believe that I can help there. Will be looking forward to your arrival.”

We stayed quiet until the pair had mounted and ridden off back to town. That however started us wondering about a number of things. Mochsha was assured that she had met another brother, then told some more things about him. She found it strange that he recognized her, but I reminded her that even I, the youngest sibling, had seen her picture and heard about her. She then asked the question that had us all go quiet.

“Well, but why would he be here?”

I found the words to reply, “Well, you heard him speak of money. Dechapper does work with Eskrion Assimilations.”

Orintious said, “You should know the company, Mochsha. Sepretall worked for them.”

She nodded, although did not express much pleasure as she said, “Sepretall is almost before my time, Orintious. I basically only know him because it was his death that had you come to me with your desire.”

“Well, whatever is being done, it is involving us with family, so it will come out for the best. Let’s get some rest. Tomorrow should be interesting. Hopefully trouble free as well, but no promises there.”

The conversations continued until late. It seems that Minchell knew Dechapper, as did a number of the soldiers. While he could present himself very formally, he would become very friendly when taken away from business. He loved to fish, and I enjoyed many a camping trip with Dechapper to remote rivers to hopefully catch some rather exotic water creatures. It was as the conversations became broken up as other memories were sought that I finally found myself dozing off for the night.

The next day a number of things happened as we approached town. Town officials came out demanding a tax for us to enter the community. Once that was paid, some people simply dressed approached to say that an estate outside of town would be glad to accommodate us. While a number of comments were said about the order in which the people had presented themselves, many of the soldiers spoke with joy about having the liberty to enjoy themselves in town.

Orintious gave the orders for the soldiers to go with the servants and set up things at the residence before allowing any leave. Heratin asked him about not having any security with us, but the older brother simply smiled. As if they had heard different orders than the others, I noticed about four soldiers turn to head into town.

The bank had a rather dignified front of black volcanic stone gilded in places, although was only a narrow section of the block of stores. There was a dignified presence on the inside, but a staircase going up had me feel that the true size of the establishment was in a vertical manner. Once inside, we were directed to the stairs where Dechapper descended with another man that I actually knew.

My brother said, “Just as the lady is allowed her escorts, I felt a need for some oversight. This is Monquier, one of the financial directors of my institution.”

I gained the impression that my two brothers sought to hide the fact that they also knew the man in their greetings. He shook our hands, then hugged Mochsha. As he had her close, I saw him direct her attention to something he held in his hand. She nodded seeing a picture of herself. The man then broke to turn our focus back on Dechapper. He continued to present the impression that our association would be purely business as he led us up the stairs to a tight chamber filled with a table and chairs.

Once we were seated, Dechapper said, “Mochsha, I don’t know how this is you, but Heratin told me last evening that the matter with you was not finished. Still, you are family, so I needed to call in Monquier.”

She said, “It is wonderful to meet you, Dechapper, but I am at a loss as to what this is about.”

Monquier replied, “A lot of money, Dear Lady. I have no doubt about your identity. Although I do not know you directly, our institution has dealt with your family for many generations. As I am sure you are aware, a previous brother worked for us over a century ago. I thus am aware of you. Further, I see in your presence two brothers that should know you very well, so I have to verify that it is you. However, what you might not know, is that you are also Dame Mochsha DeNachillin. While the estate is in ruins, its ownership has been retained by means of a messenger regularly notifying our institution of certain taxes needing to be paid. Two days ago, that messenger came with the announcement that the heir to estate would be arriving with a group of soldiers wearing two shades of orange. We are to release all assets to you.”

“You mean I have a past?”

“It would seem so.”

Dechapper said, “If I have a reason to go to Father, it will be on certain matters of the estate.”

Orintious replied, “Don’t go yet, Dechapper. This matter is not resolved. Vernallor gained an agreement, and we need to see it through. Maybe we can come away with all the answers with the usual research with Father simply to verify details.”

“Vernallor?”

“Our young brother is showing his love for mystery to be an asset.”

“Well, it sounds like I am going to need to plan another fishing trip with him just to get him to speak at length on things.” Dechapper winked at me, then said, “Might get Father to go with us.”

Monquier said, “Well, at this time we need to assure the identity of Dame Mochsha DeNachillim, which I believe we have done. The next matter is to assure that all assets are transferred to her.”

Mochsha asked, “Can’t that be put off to another time?”

“Afraid not, Dear Lady. Of course, our institution would be honored that you see fit to retain our security on your monetary holdings.”

Dechapper said, “Besides the money, we also hold the deeds to your properties. What we need to do is put everything into your name, then you can go your way. While this is the originating institution, I have no doubt that you are able to come to our actual offices should you need further services. Are you in need of any funds?”

“I could use some dresses, but I cannot say that we have any time to get them made.”

“This is a large city, Mochsha. Check with the tailors and they might have some garments they finished enough to show, so can quickly adjust and complete them.”

Mochsha spoke with the men concerning certain details. It surprised all of us to hear how wealthy our sister had become. Both Dechapper and Monquier however spoke of her money quickly disappearing in performing repairs to her property, but mentioned that she could then possibly restore it to its historic industry. Mochsha listened for a time, then spoke to the men to confide about details we had learned.

“Listen, the man who claims to be my father is still alive. We are going in search of my mother. That is the agreement Vernallor gained. He had the one claiming to be my father to allow us to speak with my supposed mother, at which time we are to then speak to the one claiming to be my father.”

Monquier replied, “Your parents are not listed as dead, Mochsha, but non-corporeal-absentia. That means they are no longer among the physical and not active about the property. As you have heard, our dealings have been through a messenger. A Nerframe.”

Heratin said, “Yes, we have met him. A most annoying and incompetent person. Mochsha, I would recommend that you fire him.”

Our sister replied, “But if he has been regular in keeping up taxes on the property.”

“He can notify you instead of these authorities. Of course that means you have to deal with him. Oh, hard choice there.”

Monquier said, “Dame Mochsha, let me say that I would agree with removing him from being an authorized agent. Take this out of the hands of whoever had been handling it, if just to assure that what is given is not taken away.”

Mochsha admitted, “He did not impress me. Okay, let’s start this process.”

It took a while to handle all the details. We brothers did what we could to entertain our sister between each signature she had to perform. In the end, she was presented with a purse containing the amount of money she requested. As we left the room, Dechapper sought for an additional detail.

“What are you plans, Mochsha?”

“Vernallor has been complaining that he did not get to shop while in Heracropolis. I thus plan for him to take me shopping.”

Of course, more happens than just the group shopping.