My Path to Magic 2: A Combat Alchemist

My Path to Magic 2: A Combat Alchemist by Irina Syromyatnikova Read Free Book Online

Book: My Path to Magic 2: A Combat Alchemist by Irina Syromyatnikova Read Free Book Online
Authors: Irina Syromyatnikova
the windows of the police headquarters.  There was no sense in closing the curtains; the fourth floor was above the roofs of neighboring houses.
    Conrad Baer glanced over the room again, making sure everything was ready for tomorrow's work: current papers were stacked accurately on the edge of the desk; folders with files took their place on the shelves of bookcase; sharpened pencils and a gold-plated "eternal" pen rested in the pen holder. He had a passion for order, so his forced move to a smaller office did not affect the quality of his work. Except, perhaps, for meetings: his subordinates had to carry chairs from the accounting department.
    The captain sighed : soon he would have to change his habits. If his relationship with Ms. Oakley developed further, his future wife would be unlikely to allow her husband to work 24/7, despite all her patience and understanding.  Did he really need to work so hard?
    He had already opened the door and stepped over the threshold w hen the phone on the desk rang. He did not expect any calls: not many people knew the captain's habit to work on weekends, especially at such a late hour. After some hesitation, Locomotive picked up the call.
    "Captain Baer."
    "Hello, my friend, am I too late?"
    The captain recognized the voice in the tube.  All of the alarm bells in his soul began to ring at once: he disbelieved that dark magicians could remember any good you did to them, especially the magician who called him tonight. It was Larkes, the former senior coordinator and head of Redstone's NZAMIPS. Baer knew that Larkes was skilled in the art of mental trickery and could portray a good friendship, never really experiencing it himself. The fact that Larkes called his subordinate for the first time in the year and a half since he left the region meant he needed something.  Judging by his attempt to invoke the captain's sympathy, that something was not quite legitimate.
    "You caught me by chance; I was going home," the captain muttered in a friendly voice into the phone, noting on a sheet of paper the exact time of the call.
    "I heard you are having guests from the capital?"
    "Yeah, some auditors," the captain replied a little carelessly. "They haven't talked to us yet."
    "I see, " the other end of the line replied calmly. "Why now?"
    "I have no idea. Is there any problem?"
    "No, no. Can you find out what they want?"
    "I would prefer to stay low," Baer said sincerely. "My hair hasn't grown back yet from the last time."
    He heard a low chuckle in the tube, "I understand. Well, I am not going to keep you any longer. Call me, if anything."
    The captain waited till he heard some short beeps and hung up. The offer to call was a formality, like any mention of "favors" or "I owe you" that Larkes threw out thoughtlessly, not interested in whether the callee actually knew his phone number to call back.  His former boss was one of the reasons why Baer portrayed himself as a stupid policeman - for self-preservation.
    He wrote on a piece of paper the end time of the call and immediately dialed the operator: "It is Baer. Find out where the last call came from, but without fanaticism. Report to me by tomorrow morning."
    The policeman hesitated for a few more moments, then locked the room and went down two floors.  He knew that his boss was still working; Satal was too agitated from arguing with his capital counterpart to go home.  He was about to spend the night in the office in order to not frighten his three children by the looks of a brutalized dark. Satal had already thrown a prudently stored blanket over two pushed-together chairs and changed his official suit to soft jersey pants and a knit jacket. The office smelled of mint.
    "What's up?"
    "Perhaps it's nothing serious…"
    "Go straight to the point. I am about to sleep."
    "Larkes just called me : he wondered what the visitors from the capital wanted."
    The s leepiness in the coordinator's eyes changed to sharp concentration:
    "What did you

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