* Chapter 9: Further Investigation *
"I'd say that was a pretty good show," Claude said,
as they walked out of the tavern.
"What?" Rena shouted, still feeling the ill effects
of the concert.
"I said...nevermind." Claude looked over towards
Noel and Chisato to ask them about the concert, but they were
engaged in a discussion of their own. Maybe it was because of
the drinks he had had, but it looked as if Noel was blushing.
"By the way," Claude said again, "I have something
extremely important to tell all of you..."
"What?" Rena shouted again.
"Nevermind. I'll tell you later," Claude sighed.
* * *
"I found out something rather disturbing tonight at the
concert..." Claude said, when they were back at their hotel
"What?" Rena said. "Why didn't you tell us when
we were all together?"
"I tried," Claude said. "Noel and Chisato were
busy talking, and you were just plain deaf at the moment."
"Well..." Claude said, "you remember that one
man we bumped into just after we arrived here?"
"That one with the scar on his face?" Rena asked.
"What about him?"
"He wants to invoke the Crest of Annihilation..."
"Wha...how'd you find this out?" Rena asked nervously.
"He was at the concert. When I ducked out for air, he
walked outside and muttered something about the Crest being
finished soon," Claude said. "I did find out his name,
however. Orin Facet. I was thinking that we could ask Narl for
* * *
The next morning, Claude and Rena made their way back to Narl's
office, braving the elements, massive flights of stairs, and
annoying secretaries with one-track minds.
"Excuse me, Mayor," Rena said. "Do you happen
to have any information on an 'Orin Facet'?"
"Hmm...Orin Facet..." Narl said. "Let me check,"
He rifled through a large filing cabinet in the back, and soon
pulled out a small manila folder. "Here you go."
"Thank you," Claude said, as he took the folder from
Narl. He took out the sheets of paper and studied them. "Yes...this
should be everything. Mind if we keep this with us?"
"Sure," Narl said. "I have several copies of
"Thanks," Claude said, as he and Rena walked out.
"So..." Rena said.
"Well, it says here that he lives just north of Armlock,"
Claude said. "Maybe we should check there..."
* * *
Claude and Rena traveled north from Armlock until they came
across a small, but well furnished house, about two miles from
the city. By the time they arrived, it was already dark.
"Think this is the place?" Rena asked.
"Hold on," Claude said. As he walked up to the house
and peeked inside one of the windows, a shadowy figure walked
into the room and turned on the light. Claude quickly ducked
down, but not before seeing who the figure was.
"It's him..." Claude mouthed to Rena.
"What? Speak up," she said back.
"It's him. This is the right place!" he whispered.
"I can hardly hear what you're saying!"
"I said this is the place!" Claude said loudly. He
then covered his mouth, realizing his mistake.
Orin's ears perked at a noise outside his window. He looked
outside to see what it was, but finding nothing, resumed his
"Come over here," Claude mouthed, while gesturing.
"And for Tria's sake, be quiet!" Rena complied, and
soon they were both sitting underneath the windowsill, straining
for any clues.
"Heh heh heh..." Orin chuckled. "Only a couple
weeks more until the Crest is completed, then comes Phase Two."
An ominous chord emanated through his house.
"Hey, rockers, how ya doin' tonight?" a loud and
fairly obnoxious voice said. "This is Tank Sherman, and
that was Buying a One Way Ticket to Hell With Your Lives
by a hot new indie group, Lantis. Been getting a lot of requests
lately for that one. I went to their show last Saturday, and
they rocked the house down! I see great things for this band
in the future. We'll be back with the best of Nede's rock music
after this short break." The radio then cut to a commercial
extolling a local auto-body repair shop.
"You were right," Rena said. "We gotta tell
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