Bitter 283

Britta immediately went back inside the temple.

The guards were stationed all along the main street. Outside stores, standing on corners, marching up and down. Here was an example where her teleport ability helped in no way whatsoever. Teleport took her away from a dodgy situation and placed her in a safe place, like the temple. Which was where she was already.

She peeked out through the crack between the temple’s double doors. Why were there so many of them? Surely they weren’t still looking for her over her slight indiscretion.

Could it be the explosion? Even though no one had been killed and no property destroyed, she could understand the authorities being on high alert. They didn’t know what had happened. It might have been some rogue mage who had something against poor people, or an invasion by monsters looking for revenge.

What she wanted to know was whether she had been identified and blamed for what had happened. That wouldn’t be good. Especially since it was her fault.

If she had just sorted out her initial brush with the law—explained it was a misunderstanding, maybe paid a small fine—none of this would have happened. Probably.

The important thing right now, though, was to get to her lunch appointment, find out what Frau Magda had to tell her, and then take some time out to think of how to proceed. Perhaps a little break until things calmed down would be a good idea.

The other thing she had to consider was whether she should destroy the book that had brought the dwarf back to life. That could end the whole matter in an instant. Only, if Dad’s little skill book had killed the two of them, what effect would destroying a book of resurrection have?

She opened her inventory and rummaged around for the book. She found it inside one of the gift boxes she used to create extra storage space.

It was small and covered in leather, very similar in look to Dad’s book. Just holding it she sensed there was a lot more power here. Maybe she was imagining it or maybe she had grown more sensitive to magic. Either way, destroying it seemed like her best way forward.

But rushing into doing something like that didn’t strike her as a great idea. She should at least try to get more information on how to go about blowing up magic books under safe conditions. Some kind of controlled explosion, maybe?

In the meantime, she had to find a way to get out of here. She was far too recognisable and didn’t have any way to magically disguise herself. As an illusionist, she probably had access to a bunch of spells that could do exactly that. It would have been very useful to have them at her disposal now. But she didn’t.

Levelling up and getting to choose more spells would really need to become more of a priority if she planned on getting better at dealing with minor inconveniences like this. Fighting monsters and finding treasure was all well and good, but there was a lot to be said for being able to walk down the street without being arrested.

She picked up the box and looked at it. Perhaps she could use it to help her melt into the background, just another citizen of New Town.

It took her a good hour to complete her disguise. The sewing room in the temple was proving to be her favourite place, and her high sewing proficiency meant she could do the most intricate work as though she’d been doing it all her life.

She left the temple with her clothes reimagined into a simple uniform, plain and functional. Long shorts, a matching jacket, a cap that was (intentionally) too big for her, and the words Post Office Delivery Service sewn across her back in the same style as the sign over the post office.

She hadn’t seen any posties wandering about town handing out letters and packages, but that didn’t mean they didn’t exist. She hadn’t seen a night sky until recently.

All she had to do was get away from the main street and then stick to less populated areas.

The box from her inventory was in her hands, held so it covered most of her face. She had her map open so she didn’t need to see where she was going—a few peeks every now and again would suffice.

She set off down the street, marching along confidently like she had somewhere to get to come sleet or snow.

It was nerve-racking. She passed a number of guards as she made her way to the turning that would get her out of the crowded areas. Mostly, she would spot their footwear—regulation town guard issue boots—and do her best to hurry away without looking suspicious. A difficult thing to do even when you were innocent.

There was also the problem of other people getting in her way. It was bad enough when she was unencumbered, but with the box it was quite a hassle.

“Excuse me, sorry, coming through. Important delivery.” She made up what she thought a delivery person would say. She had no idea if it made sense in this setting, but people did step aside to let her by. Even if she got caught, maybe they’d let her off for introducing the concept of mail delivery to this world.

Probably not. She assumed the concept already existed, otherwise people would be stopping and pointing, possibly running to tell others about this amazing idea.

Once she was clear of the main road, she stored her box and became more stealthy in her travels. Keeping to the side roads and alleys, she was able to get to the other side of town without incident. She did spot a couple of patrols, but they weren’t actively searching for anyone, just doing the rounds. Probably in an effort to calm the residents who paid most of their wages. She ducked out of sight and waited for them to pass.

The Slit Throat was indeed in the posh part of town, or almost. At the far end of the street where the biggest houses were, there was a collection of smaller, far less affluent homes.

Maybe it was where the servants lived, or just a plot of land no one else wanted for some reason. A dozen or so small houses clustered around an inn. She hurried across the road, checking no one was following her, and darted inside.

She’d made it. Only a small victory, but it still filled her with a sense of satisfaction.

The inn was a cosy affair. Low ceilinged with a large fire at one end. Very low ceilinged, in fact. She looked around at the locals, sipping their pints, staring at her. They were all dwarves.

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