Leona waited with Lucrezia for the client, the Verdici matriarch, to appear and give additional details concerning the disappearance of her three sons. She was also waiting for her job partner Maelie Priscia to join her so that the pair could get additional details on the missing merchants and the wares that they were carrying to their destination. Leona heard what sounded like the clicking of heels coming from behind her and turned around to find an aqua-haired young woman standing a short distance behind her.
The young woman was taller than Leona by a few inches and she wore a beautiful outfit composed of an immaculate white dress from Midi with floral print patterns and golden shoes. Although that was not her intent, she made Leona's green, white, and gold outfit look shabby in comparison. That was fine. Leona did not have to be the most elegant mage in the room to do her job effectively.
"Hi Maelie. It's nice to meet you." Leona greeted her guildmate in a simple manner, trying not to sound too cheerful in a household that had recently suffered loss. Moments later an older woman with shoulder-length gray hair and pale blue eyes wearing an unadorned black kimono walked out of a back room with an unsteady gait. Lucrezia noticed this and hurried to her mother's aid, supporting the older woman with a firm arm.
"This is our mother, Lucia Verdici. Mother, these are the mages you hired, Leona Jarnefeldt and Maelie." Lucrezia said to her mother, who appeared to be not entirely here, at least mentally. Perhaps it was due to grief. Perhaps it was simply from old age. Maybe it was a combination of both, but it was not Leona's place to question what was going on with the client. It was her job to complete the task given to her by the client.
The older woman lifted her head up and acknowledged the Silver Wolf mages standing before her.
"Oh, wonderful!" The older woman exclaimed, rousing herself from her grief-induced fog. She then addressed them in a voice that almost dared to hope.
"My sons were on their way to Cedar to take some of their goods for sale to the people there. My oldest son Enzo sells furniture while my two younger sons Cosimo and Lorenzo sell carpets, tapestries, and other textiles. We last heard from them around two weeks ago, when they first started their journey." Lucia explained to Leona and Maelie. The older woman paused for a moment, then resumed speaking.
"I heard rumors of a beast stalking the woods of the road they took. It was a four-legged beast, one that stood taller than two men put together. I warned them not to take that path, but they told me it was the quickest way to where they needed to go. They said that their weapons would protect them from whatever danger was out there. They took that path anyway." Lucia explained further. She seemed to be slipping back into melancholy the more she talked about the disappearance.
"I warned them. Now they are gone. Gone." She softly said to no one in particular. Lucrezia looked at the two mages with concern in her eyes. Leona could not think of anything to say that could console the two Verdici women, so that task would fall to Maelie.
[Post Word Count: 583]
[Leona's Word Count: 1,148/1,500]