She and another mage from Sabertooth had accepted the task of helping out a team of researchers which was trying to make it rain in the Forgotten Deserts. If they could accomplish their task it would prevent the deserts spreading themselves out and could also increase the amount of oasises which could be used to establish settlements and trade routes. While it was unlikely that they could use this method to erase the deserts completely it would at the very least make it more habitable for both the civilized species and other living beings.
The issue being that their artificial cloud which was supposed to make it rain had been bombarded by a lightning storm and no longer functioned. Given that the desert was a dangerous place to be the researchers needed mages both for support and protection, since they couldn't easily get the giant lachrima out of the skies.
Itori and Knalla were currently at the airport located nearest to the desert, an outpost not large enough to be called a town. The head researcher wasn't planning to accompany the group, but did want to ensure that their departure would at least proceed without issue before she'd return to her own duties. The current issue being that she didn't believe that Itori and Gaia, the other mage, would be enough protection for the job.
"That's all very well, but we can't afford the resources to keep trying this again because your guild didn't send enough mages the first time around. I can't use promises and compensation, this needs to be done right the first time around." The woman wasn't being hostile, but she also wasn't hiding the fact that she wasn't pleased about the situation and wasn't going to use flowery words. Itori didn't mind that, since straightforward people often respected reason and common sense as long as they weren't of the unreasonably stubborn type instead. The kitsune bowed slightly, then indicated herself with one hand while displaying all five of her tails.
"I do understand your concern and the need for this project to be completed without any delays or failed attempt. As mages of Sabertooth we will ensure this for you. My companion, who should be arriving shortly, is an Ace of one of the strongest guilds in Fiore. I shall support her and together the two of us should be able to handle anything that might interfere with this project with little difficulty. Furthermore both she and I have abilities that can be dedicated to detecting any incoming threats which might otherwise be difficult to detect in advance."
The head researcher folded her arms, still not looking completely convinced. However eventually she let out an annoyed and somewhat resigned sigh. "Well, all right then. If you've got an Ace with you it should be fine. Just don't think that if you fail you'll get away with an apology and some promises that you'll send more mages next time. This project is important and if you don't do your job properly you'll learn just how important it is with your own body."
The threat was somewhat vague, but the kitsune ignored it and instead smiled. "Thank you very much for your trust. We shall complete our mission without fail." Knalla nodded curtly before turning around and walking away, heading for a group of researchers who would be boarding the airship as well and talking with them about the job at hand. Itori could listen in on them, but rather than letting them know about how sharp her hearing was by blatantly eavesdropping she looked out over the airship which was almost ready for departure, and then towards the desert they would be traversing with it. Somewhere up there was a massive lachrima designed to generate enough water for it to act as a raincloud for an extended period of time. She could see why Knalla didn't want to risk this failing: beyond the possibilities of making the famous Forgotten Deserts more habitable it was also a test to see how far technology could go these days. If this lachrima could be repaired and then successfully fulfil its intended purpose it'd show that the magic kingdom of Fiore had advanced to the point where they could use technological means to alter entire landscapes and biomes.
Walking over to the edge of the large platform the airship was docked at Itori gazed out over the expanse away from the desert, where vegetation was still sparse but there was at least grass, trees and animals. From that direction she was expecting her companion to arrive, Gaia the Tarot Mage. She was the last mage that Itori had to meet from the latest generation of Sabertooth mages, and one of whom she'd heard some interesting things. Apparently she could use her tarot cards both for divination and combat magic, which was definitely an interesting trait to encounter in a human. Kitsune relied on older methods for divination if they had the talent for it, but Itori had lived long enough to know that just because a method was older it didn't mean it was better. She was curious to see how impressive Gaia would be. As an Ace she had to be someone who managed to impress Kite, a feat which wasn't easy to do.
The weather also was good for this kind of mission. The researchers weren't happy about the lack of rain, but Itori was pretty sure that of all the things one could wish for while riding an airship, a storm from the heavens wasn't one of them. Come to think of it, despite her long life she hadn't often travelled through the skies. That in itself would make this an exciting experience.