Back from another scouting trip I collapse onto the sofa while Tasha brings some tea and Belldandy sits opposite of me in the chair. The tray settles without so much as a quiver and Tasha floats back to inspect her work. Our housemaid ghost smiles with quiet pride and waits to see if I require anything else.
“Thank you Tasha. That was neatly done. I see you have been doing your lessons while I have been away.”
“Yes Miss Hermit. Miss Watanabe has been very helpful. I am up to two pounds now in lifting and can slide even more across the table. Is there anything else I can get you? I see you aren’t injured this time and your dress is hardly damaged. I trust all went well?” Tasha still has that British concern of fashion but she means well I know.
“No dear. But I do have to chat with Belldandy so you may do your other tasks.”
Tasha sinks through the floor, off to perform the daily cleaning to the apartments one floor beneath us. That is a handy skill.
“So Belldandy, how has been life in Babbage while I was gone?”
“The usual drama that always seems to exist here Iyou. Certainly nothing of import. You did get some mail however which I have kept for you.”
I tilt my head at this. I wasn’t expecting anything from Father or the Temple. I had just sent a pigeon last week. Belldandy hands me the crumpled up paper which she had tried to flatten out. I read it twice to make sure of the contents. Pencil smudges are hard to read sometimes.
“Where did this appear Belldandy?”
She looks a tad embarrassed, “Under a paper weight on the desk in the shop. One moment it was not there and another it was. It was almost like magic. I usually know when someone is in the shop.”
I smile at that, “I doubt it is due to a lack of your skills. Remember the kitsune I talked to you about who lives in Babbage? It appears he visited us. Tepic can be quite sneaky when he wishes it. It looks like he is asking for a favor for a friend of his. Any idea who Lisa is? I suspect she would be an urchin.”
“None sempai. I have been walking about the city and learning as you set that task for me but I have not heard that name in the streets or shops.”
“Not to worry Bell-chan. We have a few friends of our own.” I raise my voice a bit louder. “Tasha, could you come here please?”
Tasha rises from the floor and then we hear something fall to the floor below us. It appears that she forgot she was holding a broom when she heard me. They don’t go through floors well. “Yes Miss Hermit?”
“Would you go and find Mac and ask him to stop in please?”
“Yes Miss Hermit. Sorry about the broom. I’ll remember to lay it down first next time.” Off she goes to seek Mac.
“Mac is a great searcher and travels much more quietly than we ever will Belldandy. Use him when you need something found.”
“Hai sempai.” Belldandy blushes a delicate rose color as she recalls I mentioned this once before. Mac appears shortly afterwards as we have some tea and discuss shop business.
“Mac, ever hear of an urchin by the name of Lisa? She would have been seen with Tepic I would think?”
Mac is silent for a moment as he thinks about it and then smiles, “Yes Miss Hermit, I believe I have. The only Lisa I have heard Tepic talking to would be a Miss Felisa. Young girl though a bit older than Evie. Nervous child, always looking about. Hasn’t been in Babbage long that I know of.”
“Thank you Mac. You have been a help.” He tips his cap and leaves us. I get some paper and a quill pen and write a note to Tepic explaining that I would be happy to help. One should always keep your friends in debt Father says.
Dear Tepic. I will be happy to help you and your friend Lisa. Meet me with her in the grave yard. I will be home for a few nights. Yoi ichinichi o, Miss Hermit
“Bell-chan, do we have any stupid local pigeons in the coop right now?” Belldandy nods her head at that. “Get one, kill it and cook it with herbs and a little butter. Leave the bird and the note next to the paper weight on the table. Tepic will find it quick enough.’