Contract with the Magi (MLR Frustrations)
The Bishop bowed his head, and sighed wearily. "I am sorry, my child, but the mage's guild has not yet released you. The gods, willing as they are, leave us no choice in the matter." He paused, slowly shaking his head. "We cannot accept you into their order of servants until you are completely free, both in body and soul, to do so. First you must complete your contract with the magi before the deities of this fair land will offer their secrets to you."
Gaeldi blinked furiously, trying to hold back her tears. She could feel the magic grow with her frustration, tingling as it danced along her fingertips. She listened dismally while the Bishop spoke until finally, unable to take any more, she cried out.
"But why?!" she begged, trying to understand. "Haven't I done enough? I've completed my studies, mastered my spells, and proven myself time and again in battle! By now my patron should have provided Vryce's mage with the monstrous eggs he demands for each class, and if not, he shall soon -- it was promised!" Gaeldi's voice rose with each agonising question. "I've even followed the path of alchemy, which many of the immortals have not yet dared to tread!" Finally she paused, breath labored and chest heaving. Gaeldi bowed her head in silent apology to the Bishop before again raising her gaze to his. "Why won't the magi release me on my own path to immortality?" she whispered.
The Bishop sighed again, and smiled kindly. "Your successes are many, my child, no one casts doubt on that. You have found your way bravely down both the Path of Shadows, and the Path of War. Your travels down the Path of Magic are nearly complete, and soon, child, you will begin you journey down the Path of Prayer. I promise." Gaeldi's hope grew with the Bishop's kind words, but when he paused, her heart began to sink. His smile remained, but the Bishop could not disguise the grim tone of his voice when he continued. "However, the magi require your skills for a while before they will release you fully from the guild. They have sold your skills to the Trade Post Master as repayment for training you in the magic arts." The Bishop paused, glancing at a piece of parchment that until that, moment, Gaeldi hadn't noticed. "Your contract requires assistance in the safe passage across the land of goods worth the sum total of five million Medievia gold coins," he read, squinting at the parchment. Quickly, he looked up, one eye still half shut. 'You are to report to the Trade Master, outside the southern gate, within the hour!" he barked. "Go!"
Startled by the change in tone, Gaeldi gulped, paling visibly. "Y-yes sir!" she stammered, before quickly spinning and hurrying out the door.
Shaking his head slowly, the Bishop watched her go. "Do not fear, my child," he whispered. "The gods are watching out for you. I feel they have great plans for you, little one." He smiled gently, tucking the parchment back within his robes. "And as my prayers are answered, you will be within our order soon. Very soon."