91 Chapter 91 Witchy Woman
Chug and Tekaun had some issues the first week. There was a serious cultural shock with both sides. Apparently, the meaning of certain gestures, like crotch grabbing, are wildly different. Tekaun also had to deal with a number of the male craftsmen being unhappy taking orders from a woman, but apparently the fourth night they had a drinking contest and they listen to her now. Not exactly a strategy Joseph could take, but it worked for her. For the most part, the vast number of Joseph's own people, being at both sides, kept many situations from escalating.
The sewers were already half completed and several building foundations were complete. Given that the first week had almost no progress while they were settling in and learning the basics of the basics, Joseph was extremely pleased. They even preferred to stay in their tents so the need for houses could be put off.
Joseph still insisted on the barns being built to house any injured from the frost, though. His hope was that Stephan would be able to learn REGENERATION soon.
Over the past three weeks he finally managed to finish learning EXTINGUISH FIRE. His AMCC finished deciphering the base for WATER, WEATHER, and HEALING and had started on MIND CONTROL from splitting the LAW rune back apart.
"I told the witch doctor I was in love with you. And then the witch doctor, he told me what to do." Joseph started to whistle the rest of the tune as he went through the paperwork on his desk: material requisition reports, civil incident reports, etc.
"What are you doing, Master Joseph?" asked Stella.
"Wondering if I should send Derek to site 2 yet. The amount of rock they need is huge. But starting next week, I need him at site 1 to finish the foundation and the main throughway. If the foundation for the center square isn't done, then everyone will just be sitting there waiting. But that means I waste a day of his time in just traveling. What's up my dear, Stella?"
"No, I mean, were you singing and whistling?" she said, shaking her head.
"Maayyyybe?" he said, confused.
"Why?" She looked very perplexed.
"Um, because I was in a good mood I guess."
Stella looked at him. "Why were you singing about a witch doctor?"
"Oh, well, it was that or Marie Laveau. Down in Louisiana, where the black trees grow, lives a voodoo lady, named Marie Laveua."
"Master Joseph, why are you singing about black magic?" Her face was scrunched in concern. It was actually a cute look, with her small button nose.
"Well I was feeling like a magic sort of tune and figured you would object to my first choice."
"What was that? It has to be better than witch doctors and voodoo ladies."
"Uh. Every little thing she does is magic. Every little thing it turns me on."
Stella looks at me. "Continue with the witch doctor song. It sounded interesting."
A reply from the king arrived. Dominic was going to go through a trial with all of the evidence that Joseph provided. The king was holding him, until he could hear appeals from the noble houses who sponsored him as per procedure. If he was found guilty of treason, without the chance for the noble house to disavow his actions, then it would make the noble house lose face.
The king's report indicated that it appeared Dominic had a personal hatred for Joseph. Dominic suspected Joseph of being merely a puppet, and was trying to prove it, so he had brought a number of spies among the mages he had brought. The rest of the mages he brought, were considered useless trash by the noble houses, which is why they were allowed to come up here.
Those idiots gave up on them too soon. Joseph had high hopes for several of his students. He also marked all of the children about to graduate from his father's people, who had potential, to accept as apprentices if they wished to become mages. He still hadn't given up on finding a way to increase magery outside of the system's life points.
Joseph was sitting at his desk, looking over reports when he felt a sudden jolt. Dashing outside, he knew what had happened immediately. Stella wasted no time in following him, and as he barreled out of his office, his guards took up the chase. When he rounded a corner, he found two mages standing over one of his students. The man was dead.
It was obvious from the condition of the body that they had been punching and kicking him, probably to get him to talk. When he uttered a few words, he had promptly fell down dead. He broke his magical contract, which was how Joseph knew he had died. The two begged for forgiveness. They hadn't believed that he was actually having his students sign magical contracts. They told him, the student had muttered, "First you need to feel…"
Joseph understood why his student was dead. It was always his first instructions, that they needed to try and feel for the mana, so that they can begin to focus on it. A group of mages showed up to see what was going on, and when they heard what the two had done, informed him that they would deal with the two. Joseph nodded and left.
As word spread through the city, it was obvious none of the other mages had any idea what the student was talking about, but all of Joseph's students agreed, he went too far with his statement. He later found out that the mages had hauled the two bullies off for trial, and they decided they had forced his student to break the contract with the penalty of death. The two never showed back up, and Joseph never asked what happened to them.
He ended up gaining four more students. They decided he must have something worth learning if he was using authentic magical contracts in order to keep the secret.
Later that same day, he overheard Stella humming the witchy woman song, to herself, as she was working on sharpening her daggers. He grinned at her, but she never looked up to notice. He was sure he hadn't hummed that one, so how she heard it was a mystery. It would be fantastic when he pointed it out to her, he was sure.