Lhurriel, used to traveling on the road for long periods of time, drifted to sleep for not a few minutes. Her arms were still linked tightly around Kaeden's back from habit, but her mind drifted into a period of rest as the sun glowed brightly in the sky, its warmth soaking into their bodies as the magicycles purred softly in the countryside. Even in her half-conscious state, Lhurriel could vaguely hear birdsong and nature's natural sounds; once trained, no warrior or mage could ever be truly relaxed and unguarded, even in sleep.
She jerked herself awake when she felt her ride stop, and had to drag a sleeve across her dream-glazed eyes before she was fully awake. She listened intently as Kaeden introduced the other guards, but was a bit put out that she didn't recognize any of them. Lhurriel didn't spend much time with the Palace soldiers, but she went to their training fields regularly, and she was well on the way to being known throughout the palace as one of the best magicycle fighters.
At the Palace, there were several varying difficulties of obstacle courses for soldiers and guards to hone their magicycle-battle skills. On one of the most advanced courses, there were even simulated battle exercises, complete with sun-powered machines that fired holographic grenades and blades at a magicycle driver. Though the holograms didn't actually cause damage, mages often magicked them so that the effect was similarly simulated for those who dared to challenge themselves. So far, Lhurriel had been the only mage and one in a few warriors to make a run through the advanced course relatively unscathed.
Still, Lhurriel was always happy to make the acquaintance of other guards and soldiers from the palace.
"'Tis my pleasure, Hawk. I've worked with several scouts in some of my past missions, and I've always found them to be a great help." Lhurriel gave a gracious, thankful smile and bow for each of the soldiers that she was introduced to, glad to see that they were not uncomfortable in her company.
"Please... call me Lhurriel," she implored of each of them. "I'm simply not comfortable with titles and all... and I'm really not lady enough to be called as such. Lhurriel is fine." Remembering Kaeden's comment about Lord Atadel, Lhurriel turned to him.
"I'll contact Corsair- I mean, Lord Atadel - right now, and warn him about our arrival. I need to speak with him about my magicycle, anyway." With a regal nod, Lhurriel spun on her heel and walked along the line of trees, trying to find one suitable for her purposes. When she found a large, thick-trunked tree, solid and straight, she stood in front of it, an impassively blank look on her face. Lhurriel pulled a thread of water magic from her personal supply, sending streams of water twisting and spinning around her body. The detached look in her eyes showed that this was a spell she used often and easily. Flicking her fingers in the direction of the tree, Lhurriel made herself comfortable on the ground, sitting cross-logged as a panel of ice solidified and formed against the tree.
More magic, another spell - Lhurriel had to increase her concentration, shutting out the stares of the guards and Sir Alydarr in order to cast the communication spell. Making a wild guess, the mage grinned as an image of Corsair's face appeared in the ice, a black headband holding back his rich black hair as he worked on a magicycle. Even though he could very easily transform into a lord, Corsair was definitely not averse to working alongside his men on magicycle repairs and improvements.
"Corsair! Sir Alydarr wanted me to warn you that we were arriving tonight, probably just before sunset." Lhurriel had the supreme pleasure of watching the young lord whirl around, and his eyes alight with pleasure at the sight of her in the mirror that he left positioned in his workshop.
"Ree! Of course, of course, tell him it's fine. I've prepared extra rooms in the house like you suggested, and told Cook to make us some extra food for dinner tonight. I'm assuming you also want to hear about your new magicycle?" The man grinned wickedly at her, blue eyes sparkling with mirth. Lhurriel smothered a shout of laughter and nodded, leaning forward with her elbows on her knees.
"We finally got a hold of the soharii crystal that you managed to pull out of the mines for us. It's amazing, Ree-" Corsair's eyes shone brightly, clearly passionate about his work though everyone knew he didn't need to personally involve himself in the manufacturing, "You've outdone yourself. The quality of this crystal is almost as perfect as you can get, considering you hardly even needed to smooth out the rough edges. Once you come tonight, all you'll have to do is cast your usual panoply of spells and wards on it, and it'll run like a dream. Your magicycle," he continued, "Has basic mage controls on it. Made of our lightest and strongest alloy, the way I know you like it, and this time I programmed it so that it can only be turned on by you or someone you've given a bit of your magic onto. No more accidents like Sir Morath, ah?"
Lhurriel's eyes widened at the mention of each new feature that he'd installed - he'd gone much further with her custom model than she'd requested. She wondered how much he was going to charge her - she wasn't as rich as he, certainly!
"No, of course not. Thank you for the work, Corsair... but I know this was a rush job, and all of those custom features must cost a fortune. How much do I owe you?"
"Two hundred gold pieces." Lhurriel gasped and had to struggle to keep herself from punching the ice she'd used for a medium. That WAS a fortune!
"One hundred," Lhurriel said flatly. Most custom models of magicycles that Corsair worked on cost only about fifty gold pieces at the most.
"Rush job, darling. Try again." Lhurriel wanted to growl, but she settled for an irritated glare, resigned. It had been a rush job... he'd managed to build the thing in three days, after all. Most models took at least a week. He'd probably had to put aside all his other assignments in order to work on it...
"One hundred and fifty gold pieces presented when we arrive, two hours in your workshop tonight after dinner." She saw his eyes light up in pleasant surprise, then glee - he never refused a chance to put her magic and expertise with crystals and magicycles to good use.
"One hudred and twenty-five gold pieces, three hours in the 'shop tonight, and a kiss when you get your magicycle, then. I'll see you in a few hours." With a chuckle and a charming wink, Corsair waved at her and bent back over his work. Lhurriel shook her head in disgust, mourning the loss of so much of her hard-earned money, and made the ice disintegrate into magic, absorbing it into her body again. With a sigh, she flopped back onto the ground, the back of her neck cool against the moist grass. Closing her eyes, she promptly fell into a light doze again, one arm flung over her eyes. She did, however, keep one part of her alert for Kaeden's voice.