The Mystery Unfolds
The letter that Autumn wrote went to her friend Cheru. She knew that if anybody had information, it'd be him. Ever happy to exchange gossip, Cheru immediately came to the city where Autumn had been studying- a place where different styles of architecture built by different species existed side by side. It was meant to represent the unity of the city, which valued knowledge and serenity above all. Autumn was studying magic here in hopes of becoming a wizard and using her abilities to help others.
Cheru came carrying Lief the whoo on his shoulder- Autumn had sent her pet with the letter. As soon as the little whoo spotted his mistress he left Cheru and nestled on her shoulder instead. She rubbed him on the back of the neck and he made a happy little chirping sound.
"Hey Autumn, it's been a bit!" Cheru said cheerfully, waving as he approached. "How have you been?"
"Hi Cheru!" she responded joyfully, rushing forward to give her friend a hug. "I'm well, but I've stumbled across something really weird and I am hoping that you have some information that could help me figure it out."
Cheru clapped his hands. "Awww yes, I hope I've got something good for ya, gimme the lowdown!"
Autumn started walking to her room, where she kept all her research. Cheru floated companionably next to her as she explained what she'd found.
"So I've been studying a particular dimensional rift," she began. "There's something odd about it. Usually a rift is unstable. The flux energy takes someone traveling through the rift to a random point. But this one goes to the same location in Karramesh, every single time."
Cheru considers this for a moment. "I didn't realize that was possible. So somehow a rift exists that is a direct portal to a specific point? Where is the other side of it located?"
"That's the oddest part of all," said Autumn. "The other end appears in a set of three locales across Ranebo at what appears to be set intervals. It's like a stable portal that appears on a schedule and always ends up at the same destination."
"Oh wow, that's really weird." Cheru scratched his chin.
"Tell me about it!" she said. "I think someone made it on purpose. But who, and why? And how? Either it's something harmless, in which case, I hope they'll teach me how they did such an interesting incant, or whoever is behind it is up to something. I kind of suspect it's the latter, because otherwise why not share your findings about such a valuable application of magic, and also..." she trailed off, thinking how to word the next part of her findings.
"Also...?" Cheru was trying not to press but he knew this was about to be good.
Autumn looked about. Were they alone? They seemed to be but if she was going to throw weird accusations around she'd rather not be overheard. "Wait until we're in my room, I want to show you something."
The two friends power-walked the rest of the way, trying not to appear to be rushing but failing at appearing inconspicuous. Luckily, nobody was particularly concerned or even really paying any attention to them so in no time they had reached Autumn's chamber unbothered. She opened a drawer in her writing desk and pulled out a small notebook. She laid it, open, on the desk and took several folded papers out of it, opening them and spreading them across the desktop for Cheru to see.
"Look at these news reports," she said, pointing to the notepad. "I've taken these notes about the locations... it's the same places that rift appears! Eggs were stolen from all of those areas, close to the times the rift opens there. I know that's not proof by itself, but it seems like a pretty big coincidence to me."
Cheru gasped as he looked over the clippings and her notes. "Oh wow. You're right. We don't have enough to present to the council probably, but... I mean egg stealing is pretty bad."
"Right." Autumn nodded. "So the thing is, Cheru, if you haven't heard anything and don't know more than I do about this, I really think my next step is to go to that location in Karramesh. I think I want to try to find what I can, or at least see if I can recover some of the missing eggs. I understand if it sounds too dangerous to come along, but--"
"Too dangerous?! Are you crazy?!!! If you tried to keep me out of this I would climb inside your satchel, of course I'm coming along!" Cheru laughed. "Besides, it will be safer in a pair, we can watch out for each other."
Autumn hugged him tight. "I knew I could count on you! Thank you Cheru!"
He hugged back. "Yeah, yeah. Come on, let's get packed and plan our next moves."
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