-The Neutral Grounds, outside Mr. Bank's home, 9:00 A.M.-
Wearing her green, white, and gold outfit with Argent Gloves on her hands, backpack of supplies on her back, Ranger Laser Rifle slung on her right shoulder, and the knife her brother had made for her stashed in her right boot, Leona had arrived on the outskirts of the Neutral Grounds on the back of Winged Lion roughly fifteen minutes ago. She followed the directions in the letter and was now standing outside a large, gray eight-floor building with a decidedly austere look. There was no decoration to be seen, only a stark, imposing, and industrial exterior that loomed tall over visitors. Leona was not particularly intimidated because she had recently survived a clash with Pergrandian soldiers... besides, Sombras Manor and Haunted Castle were a lot more intimidating than Mr. Bank's home.
Holding the instructions with the password in her right hand, Leona walked towards the front entrance, which was a large, heavy and dull gray metal door that looked so sturdy that nothing short of anti-tank munitions could even dent it. Once she stopped in front of the door she noticed an intercom grille to the right of the door and walked over to it. The moment she stopped a male voice challenged her.
" The voice asked. Leona looked down at the password written on the paper and leaned over to the grille.
"Scientia potentia est.
" Leona read the password into the grille.
"Very good, Wizard Saint. You may enter.
" The voice told her. Moments later the thick metal door lifted up and exposed a pair of thick wooden double doors. Leona walked over to them, put her hand on the right doorknob, and twisted it, then went inside.
-Inside Mr. Bank's home-
Leona shut the wooden door behind her and the thick metal door slid down into place over the doors, sealing Leona in and keeping further visitors out. Leona looked around her and saw that she was standing in a rather large foyer that opened onto an equally large area that looked a lot like a hotel lobby. It was every bit as austere as the outside of the home was. There was no decoration of any kind save for immaculate beige wallpaper, the occasional brown leather sofa, and a red carpet with gold borders lying beneath her feet and covering a small section of bare gray marble tile floor.
"I trust that your trip to the Neutral Grounds was not too difficult. Now that you're here, I'd like for us to discuss the business that I've called you here for.
" The voice said to her. At the far end of the lobby elevator doors opened onto a stark gunmetal gray elevator that could accommodate at least ten people.
"I'd like for you to take that elevator, Wizard Saint. Don't worry about selecting a floor once you're inside. I'll take you straight to my office.
" The voice instructed her. Leona obeyed and began walking towards the elevator until she was standing inside of it. Once she was inside the door closed.
-Inside the elevator-
Leona stood inside the elevator and looked to the right of the door to see a standard control panel with all the usual buttons. She stood in the center of the elevator and felt it began to move. She looked at the small screen above the control panel and noticed that the elevator was going all the way to the top. Even though she was the only one in the elevator she could not help but to feel cramped like she was standing in an upright coffin.
-On the eighth floor-
A minute later the elevator door opened up to a large office space with a single wooden desk and a large blank screen towering above the desk. A large red carpet with gold borders led the path from the elevator to the office. With nowhere else to go, Leona stepped off of the elevator and walked towards the desk.
As she walked she looked around and saw wooden bookshelves on both sides of the room filled with books arranged perfectly by size. She stole a glance behind her and saw another bookshelf filled with perfectly arranged books. The Wizard Saint could not help but to notice that everything was in perfect order, suggesting that Mr. Bank was an orderly person. There was also no other decoration whatsoever... there were no pictures, no framed diplomas, certifications, or degrees, nothing to suggest the space belonged to someone. She reached the desk and looked towards the monitor, expecting someone to greet her or for instructions to flash on the screen.
Leona waited patiently and was soon greeted by the image of a man's face looking at her. He had black hair, a neatly groomed mustache, and wore a nice suit and tie... at least from what she could see from the neck down, which was not very much. The Wizard Saint took a step back and an amused chuckle sounded.
"The Wizard Saint of Courage, huh? Perhaps that is a misnomer if the mere image of my face can startle you.
" The male voice greeted her. Leona recovered from the surprise and kept her mouth shut despite her indignation. She was just surprised, that was all. It was not every day that a green and black face popped up on a monitor.
"Anyway, I'll get a chance to test your mettle soon enough. But before I do, allow me to introduce myself in a little more detail. I am Mr. Bank. My first name isn't important.
" The voice introduced himself as the same Mr. Bank who had sent her the letter.
"I'm a billionaire who has contracted your services. I've heard and read that the Wizard Saints are supposed to be Fiore's best mages, but I've never met one until today. I do hope that your performance on the task I'm about to assign you is better than my first impression of you.
" Mr. Bank told her, using a tone of mild disappointment in the last sentence. Again Leona kept her mouth shut despite her indignation. She tried to hide it, but her effort must not have been good enough because Mr. Bank spoke to her.
"I can see it in your eyes, Wizard Saint. You want to prove me wrong. You want to prove to me that you've earned your title. That's good. You're not just a run-of-the-mill mage with a grand title because you've got something to prove.
" Mr. Bank noted approvingly. Leona could not disagree with that. She had done a lot over her career, but she was always looking to prove to the world that she had earned her title many times over.
- Mr. Bank:
[Post Word Count: 1,122]
[Total Word Count: 2,258/10,000]