My "sequel" to my first LS story fic. Procrastination kept me from writing this for a while, but hey, at least it's here now.

And since I'm already at it; I want to "promote" my Last Story com on lj so that there might be some more action in the future. And there could be discussion and icons and fic, all the good stuff. If you feel like it, check it out. It's called "lazulis_island". I'll also post a link in my profile.

Now have fun reading.

The knock on the door was too soft for Therius and too forceful for a maid. Asthar frowned with curiosity and walked over to open the door personally. He was quite surprised when he found the black-haired Lady Mercenary from the library in front of him. She held "The Revised History of Lazulis Island" in her arms.

"Good evening, General Asthar," she said and nodded politely.

"Good evening."

"Here, I've brought you the book." She held it out for him. He hesitated for a second before accepting it and smiling.

"Thank you, Milady. But you didn't need to come yourself. I am sure you have more important things to do than deliver books." A tiny smile, almost as quiet and humbly as the rest of her demeanour, appeared on her face.

"I've wanted to ask you something. May I come in?" Asthar was a tad confused by the sudden request, but he saw no harm in it. And the way she was looking at him – directly, determined and with a hint of hidden strength –, he felt this might be important. So he nodded and stepped aside to let her pass. "Thank you." He closed the door behind her and walked over to a small desk standing next to one window and put the book down.

"Please take a seat," he said and gestured to the cushioned stool at the foot of his bed. She shook her head.

"No, thank you. I'd rather stand."

"Very well." He nodded and took a few steps towards her, tilting his head curiously. "What do you want to ask me?" Her face was oddly changed when she looked at him; he wasn't sure what was different, but he definitely felt it.

"I've heard rumours about you." Asthar blinked, then raised his hand to his chin and stroked his beard. "You're investigating the dying of the earth, aren't you?" She stepped closer, her gaze intensifying and boring into his. Asthar's smile vanished.

"Do they say that?" She nodded. "Why do you want to know?" Her gaze suddenly changed and fell.

"I'm trying to find a cure for the death of the earth." Asthar paused surprised. "It is a very personal matter, but I need to find the reason why the earth is decaying." Her eyes were filled with strength again when she looked up – strength and hope. "If you're researching the decay as well, maybe we could combine our forces."

"Four eyes might find more than two?" She nodded. Asthar turned slightly, looking out of the window up in the sky; seagulls were floating through the air, crying loudly. Could he trust the lady or was she a spy? Count Arganan had proved himself to be unhelpful to Asthar and sometimes even defensive. He knew the rumours about the count; if Asthar would bother him too much, the count would certainly try to get rid of him. He needed to be careful. Asthar turned back to the mercenary; she was watching him and the hope in her eyes was still strong. She seemed like an honest woman, Asthar thought. He already had that impression the first time he had seen her.

"What is your name?" he asked.

"I'm Mirania," she answered – her expression didn't change.

"Lady Mirania, let me be open with you. I do not know if I can trust you with this." She nodded – her expression still did not change. Maybe she had expected that. Asthar's mouth curled upwards. "But I'm willing to dare it." Her face lit up and the tiny smile came back. Asthar offered her his hand. "Lady Mirania, let us combine our efforts." She looked incredibly relieved when she took his hand – she had a surprisingly tight grip.

"Thank you, General Asthar. It's good to know I'm not alone." He nodded, still smiling.

"My sentiments exactly." He threw a quick glance over to the clock. "We should exchange our findings, but I'm afraid I have no time at the moment." Mirania nodded in sympathy.

"It's no problem. I need to join the others for a mission in an hour." Asthar grinned broadly.

"Very well. I'm looking forward to our next meeting, then."

"Me too."