|Once and Always|
|Book: Once and Always, Chapter 10|
Chapter 9: Identity and Reason
Chapter 11: A Forgotten Past
Chapter 10: Secrets, Truths and Lies
For three whole days, the four searched and searched for some clue to Omeggadon's identity. After finding squat, the instead turned their attention to the Ring of Anderville. On the fifth day of searching, they finally found something.
"I had to look in the wrong section. How could I be so stupid?" said Suzuka slamming a large book onto the table where the others were sitting, and then sitting down herself "I checked this out weeks ago for a bit of light reading."
"This, is light?" said Drako, and Suzuka gave him a look of annoyance
After some searching through the book, Suzuka finally found what she was looking for. "Here it is." said Suzuka "The Ring of Anderville is the legendary ring of the Water Spirit."
"I think I remember my mother telling me about her." said Guiche
Suzuka continued "The Ring of Anderville is a powerful artifact with astonishing powers. A powerful weapon, it can bring back someone from the dead as a form of puppet, and it can control others bodies while the victim retains their minds. Any other uses for the ring are unknown. Sounds like the sort of thing that really should be kept under guard."
"A ring that can control others and bring back the dead with some false soul." said Hermione "No wonder she was after it."
"She's still after it Hermione." said Suzuka
"But something doesn't make any sense." said Guiche "It can't 'really' bring the dead back to life, so why does she think it will revive this Omeggadon."
"Because she probably knows something about the ring that was never documented." said Drako
"That does seem likely." said Suzuka closing the book "But I don't think we'll find any more information in the academy. All the other books related to powerful, dangerous, items seem to have been removed."
"So now what?" Hermione asked
"We need to get some real information out of our parents and their friends, without them realizing what we're up to." said Suzuka
"We could use a Shape-shifting Potion." said Guiche
"A what?" Drako, Suzuka, and Hermione said at the same time
"My mother was an excellent potion maker, and invented a few herself." Guiche explained "One of them was the Shape-shifting Potion, and she taught me how to make it, and almost all of her creations. This potion allows the drinker to temporarily transform themselves into the physical form of another."
"This is fantastic Guiche!" said Drako "How long will it take to make?"
"I know all the steps and shortcuts, but regardless, it's still a pretty complicated potion. Then there's the ingredients. I know what I need for the potion, the key is getting all of them, and that's not going to be easy. I'd say I can have it ready in about two weeks, maybe three."
"Two or three weeks?!" said Suzuka
"Calm down." said Guiche "There are other ways of getting secret information besides this potion. We can try some of them while I'm preparing it."
"Any ideas?" Hermione asked
Within the next day, Guiche started brewing the potion in Montmorency's old potions room, while Suzuka, Drako, and Hermione started coming up with other ways to get information.
"You really think this is a good idea?" Hermione asked while riding on Ro with Suzuka back to the Vallière Mansion. Ro now had a reins and saddle on her
"I didn't want to come back here," said Suzuka who was holding Ro's reins "but Agnès said that my aunt Eléonore was the best person to get us into the Underground Library. And if I just sent her a letter asking her to come, she'd think something was really up. We're just lucky that Agnès didn't seem to suspect us."
Within a few minutes, they landed outside the front doors of the Vallière Mansion, dismounted, and went inside.
"Welcome back miss Suzuka. Miss Hermione" one of the butlers said in greeting
"Thank you Greggory." said Suzuka
"So, you're back are you?" said Karin Vallière who just emerged from the door to the living room
"Yes." said Suzuka
"Well don't say 'yes' in that ungrateful tone. I thought your father said you weren't coming back."
"Dad can't really stop me from coming back on my own accord. Besides, I'm here to see aunt Eléonore."
"She's in her study." Karin said then wandered off
"Still as unbearable as ever." Suzuka said to Hermione
With the butler Greggory as an escort, the did find Eléonore in her study.
"Suzuka!" said Eléonore, hugging her she saw them "What brings you back here?"
"It's the Underground Library at the academy." Suzuka said, trying to sound convincing "I'd like to know more about Halkeginia's history, and the school library isn't much help. Agnès said that you would be the best person to get us in there."
"There's more than just history records in that place." said Eléonore "And the last time Agnès and I were there, the bridge collapsed due to my ignorance of the warnings, though the magic off the place must've fixed it long ago. Anything in particular you seek?"
"Mainly the history of Tristain." Suzuka responded
"Alright then. Agnès was right in saying that I could get you in no problem, so we'll go down there on your next day off. Send me a message when you find out when."
Later outside the mansion;
"Well that was easy." said Hermione as Suzuka helped her onto Ro.
"Aunt Eléonore will do anything for me." said Suzuka, getting onto Ro herself, taking the reins, and hurried Ro into the air. "But still, I think she agreed a little too easily. I get the feeling that she knows what my mom was hiding from me."
Back in Eléonore's room, she watched Suzuka take off with Hermione on Ro through her window "Oh Suzuka. I hope you're not after what I think you're after." Eléonore thought to herself
Later at the academy;
"How did it go?" Drako asked as Suzuka and Hermione dismounted Ro
"She agreed to go on my next day off." said Suzuka "But she agreed more easily than I thought she would."
"Suzuka, you worry too much." said Hermione "By the way, where's Guiche?"
"He fell asleep in front of the cauldron." said Drako "I took him back to his room. So when is your next day off?"
"I'll have ask Scarron." said Suzuka "Hopefully it's before Guiche finishes the potion."
The following day, Suzuka found out that her next day off was the day after the next, and she sent this news to Eléonore. With the date set, and Guiche's Shape-shifting Potion on the way, they prepared to find out what they could about Omeggadon and what happened in the past.