“Grand Master, it would appear that someone is approaching our workspace.”
In no time at all after alerting Astrid of the presence outside, the Homs returned to their usual tasks of synthesizing. Though interested in who their visitor was, they were wholly devoted to accomplishing whatever their master assigned them.
“Ah, a guest, hmm?” Astrid walked over to the window to take a little peek, noting, “Oh, it’s just Sterkenburg’s little student. He’s harmless as a fly, don’t bother with him.”
She took her seat once more – concentrating on deciphering some difficult notes – but was constantly interrupted by the loud, abrasive sound of knocking upon the door. After a few knocks too many, Astrid answered the door.
“What do you want!?”
With that naïve smile he so often had on his face, Gino bluntly replied back, “I’m here to win the whole competition, so my master can finally see how powerful I’ve become! And to do that, I challenge all you alchemists to a duel!”
“Hmph, someone like you wouldn’t put up much of a fight.”
“Hey now, don’t underestimate me! I’ve got lots of skills at my disposal, you know. Training pays off,” Gino confidently retorted. A bit clumsily, he unsheathed his sword, still grinning from the excitement.
Astrid was not amused. “A fight? Indoors? I don’t think so, kid.” Not above playing dirty, she dug the heel of her boot lightly into Gino’s left foot, leading to a yelp and loss of balance on the young man’s side. As he stumbled about, Astrid and the Homs tied him up, working through all the kicks and punches the other threw at them.
“This isn't… urgh… a fair fight at all!” Gino exclaimed.
“When did I ever say I fight fair?” A sinister smirk spread across Astrid’s face. “Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to let Sterkenburg know where you are. Though you’ll be a very good bargaining chip, if need be.”
Gino wanted to argue back, but sighed instead, accepting his fate. At least he knew the alchemists could make decent food for their “prisoner.”
It is now Day 5. This phase will end on January 24 at 10:00 PM EST. You may now vote.
Well now we know how two people were silenced.