Jenario shifted his gaze to the shelves. “I have conducted many a research on various creatures, but my greatest discovery has yet to be seen—or perhaps you haven’t noticed.” He reached beneath the collar of his robe and pulled out a gold chain. At the end dangled a ruby stone.
Corrigan leaned closer for a better look.
“Looks ordinary at first glance,” Jenario continued. “But it’s what’s inside that matters.”
Corrigan squinted, trying to peer beyond the surface reflections.
“I see something,” Corrigan admitted. “It’s too dark to tell. What am I looking at?”
Jenario gently removed the stone from between the Black Wing’s fingers. Leaning close, he whispered, “Inside is the most precious thing in all of No’va – the tip of a unicorn’s horn!”
Corrigan stared. “Explain yourself.”
“Oh, it was quite easy, actually.” Jenario leaned back in his chair. “A unicorn will only give favors if you give her one. What I asked wasn’t much.”
“A horn? I thought you would have asked to study the unicorn itself?”
Jenario’s lips spread into a thin smile.
“Remember when you asked me how I knew the Lo-ans’rel name?”
Corrigan raised a feathered eyebrow, and Jenario nodded with a half smile.
“You asked for that?” Corrigan’s wings ruffled into view, and he had to stand. “You can’t possibly imagine the danger you’ve put yourself in!”
“I only asked to become a magic-user,” Jenario replied. “Now my potions are ten times more powerful, and will keep the Healer quiet until I’ve finished my studies.”
Jenario shrugged. “He gets released. Why? Are you worried, Corrigan? Did you want to release him from my dungeon for me? I’d rather not face an angry Healer anyway.” He chuckled and rose from his seat to stretch. “It’s late. Do what you like: hunt, fly. Don’t bother meddling with my things, though. Just a fair warning.”
With a slight bow, Jenario slipped from the room. Shadows from the outside hallway enveloped him in darkness until there was nothing left but the faint echoes of his footsteps fading down one of the corridors.