He wasn't inducted into the Order of Almiran Holy Knights as a member, but rather a provisionary consultant. This meant he observed some levels of the combat schooling and assisted with teaching the squires. It also meant that he had a full pass to the grounds and library.

The other knights there were oddly deferential to him, and it was uncomfortable. He felt like he hadn't earned it.

He found himself retreating to the library often, something he never would've done before.

Before that time.

When he was still with Mariposa, at home.

Now as he hunted along the shelves for information on spatial magic, his hand bumped into another.

" Sorry," a familiar voice said.

Aislin withdrew his hand.

" What are you doing here?" Henry asked.

" I just got back from tending to Grandfather," Aislin said. " I've been... studying back here. In the restricted section."

He cast his gaze away.

" Studying what?" Henry asked.

Aislin's hand lit down upon the cracked spine of an old book.

" You know how, in the past, people from other worlds came to ours?" Aislin asked.

" Yes," Henry answered, now suspicious.

" I like to read about them. The things they brought. I've always liked to hear about them, since I was a little kid," Aislin said, a little nervously.

" Is that so," Henry said.

" Like, today..." Aislin scanned over the shelf, and pulled out a thin, browned book. " I've been depressed over Grandfather's illness. I wanted to read about Annamarle von Archen. Nine hundred years ago, after the continental split, she was summoned to Bertrand during the Dark Ages. She revolutionized medicine and founded several colleges, but none of them are still open to this day. Many of her techniques have been lost over time."

Henry looked at the book in his hands.

" Do you think she could've done anything to save Ornstein?" he asked.

" It's frustrating," Aislin said. " I tried... using her technique of diagnosing consumption. But it's not what he has. The doctors don't know, either."

" Aislin."

" Yes?"

" It's difficult to lose someone you love, isn't it."

Aislin looked down at his book.

" Yes."