Return to the mansion
You decide to just nod and agree to let Jates stay for now. You just ask that she comes back to Kaiti’s place before it gets too late.
“Yeah, don’t worry. I’ll head back there.” The small girl nods to you. “I just want to get a bit more used to this place first.”
You turn to Jutho and thank him for letting Jates work with him. “Oh, yeah! Of course! I should be thanking you, I think.” He quickly nods to you. “Is there anything else you needed?” You think for a bit, and decide to ask him if he knows of some way to make the effects of potions more permanent. “You don’t really know a lot about alchemy, do you?” He bluntly replies. “Potions are always temporary! It’s been every alchemist’s dream to be able to make a potion with permanent effects, but so far none have been able to do it. I mean, I made a potion once that had a pretty long lasting effect, but well… it had uh… side effects.” You hesitate to ask, but do so anyway. “W-well, a powerful potion has dangers involved. D-don’t worry though! It didn’t kill anyone! I mean, it almost did, but not quite!” You’re not too sure about this frog.
“Wait, all potions are temporary?” Myla speaks up. “Absolutely all of them?”
“Yeah! I mean, there’s some that can last a month or two if they’re super powerful, but those are rare!” He nods to the wolfgirl. You decide to ask him about potion poisoning and how long those effects last. “Oh, that’s… harder to say. I mean, it’s still temporary, but that can last for quite a while, depending on how strong the poisoning is.” You ask if he would be able to cure that sort of thing. “Hah! The last thing someone with potion poisoning needs is an alchemist! All more potions will do is cause more harm. They’d need a mage of some sort!”
“Eh… no luck then.” Myla sighs with a shrug. “But at least we know that all of my uh… ‘conditions’ will eventually go away.”
“Eh?” Jutho tilts his head, looking at Myla. “Conditions? Oh, do you have potion poisoning? Or just strong potions? What type?”
“You don’t wanna know.” The wolfgirl shakes her head. “And I ain’t telling anyway.” You laugh a bit at that, realizing that she’s a bit too embarrassed to say it.
With that all sorted, you decide to bid farewell to the frog alchemist, leaving Jates with him. You doubt that you’d gain much from a training session with Ken, so you decide that you’ll just take everyone back to the mansion for now. After a walk, you find yourself back in Kaiti’s home. Heading into the sitting room, you also find the catgirl herself.
[JATES IS NO LONGER FOLLOWING YOU]
“Welcome back. You were out for a while.” Kaiti greets you, back in her casual clothing. You nod to her, giving a quick explanation of everything that happened. She seems quite interested in the man you met in the library. “A scholar who studies Ancients? I thought most of those stayed in the Empire. Maybe the Alliance finally has someone like that. Hopefully he decides to publish his work sometime.” You ask her how things went with the Commander. “I’m glad you asked. It would turn out that he does indeed have work for you. Not only that, but it’s also a faster way to the Empire, should you like to leave sooner.”
“A faster way to the Empire?” Elykae asks. “Does he want us to do something there?”
“Yes.” Kaiti nods. “Primarily two things. The first is to do whatever you can to help the loyalists. The second is, if you are able, to recover his agents that were captured by the militarists. Of course, you will be doing this without official support of the Alliance, and as such, you’re completely free to do things your own way.”
“And what’s this ‘faster way to the Empire’ then?” Myla asks. “It’s not too risky, is it?”
“No, it’s not. It’s how we get anyone who urgently needs to enter another nation to where they need to go.” The catgirl shakes her head. “You’ll take a cargo airship. It’s not quite as comfortable as a normal passenger one, but I wouldn’t call it unpleasant.” You ask how quickly you could leave with that. “Cargo ships leave daily. If you want to wait for a passenger ship, it’ll be about three days. Otherwise, you can head out any day. Ah, and this method will also be cheaper. You’ll just have to pay for your own food.” You ask if there would be any sort of problems with entering the Empire this way. “No, it’s safe. We have personnel on both sides that will ensure that you are safely received. My only request is…” She pauses for a moment. “If you do take this method, please try your hardest to complete the tasks the Commander has given. He seems to have quite a bit of trust in you.”
[WAITING FOR INPUT…]
And now we have another choice. :V