In front of Karen stood two metal doors which separates the outdoors into an enormous room that is housed within a monumental sandstone tower. She put strength into her arms to open the doors and was greeted by shelves of books and vast areas of open spaces and tables. Stairs leading upwards in a spiral fashion revealed that the tower has many floors of study area as well as an endless collection of paper knowledge. She has entered the Karmic Library.
Her purpose? To fetch Iris back into their room to prepare for the gathering that will happen in a few hours. Upon entering the hall, the ambient temperature that she felt had drastically dropped due to the superbly designed and efficient ventilation system which allowed cool air to enter and hot air to be expelled from the hall.
I would’ve stayed here if I had known how cool this place is. The desert is too hot for my liking… Now, where is Iris?
She would not have to turn her head around before the dainty girl is found at the giant table that could be shared between twenty people. Sitting on the chair, her feet not long enough to touch the ground and with her chin on the table reading a relatively thick leather-covered book. Karen tip-toed over to her side and whispers over her shoulders, “what’cha reading?”
Iris gasped in surprise as she wasn’t expecting anyone to interrupt, but as it is Karen who did, she didn’t mind. It is her adopted mother after all, the person she loved the most and the person which her Will is created for.
“Hehe, The Three Deities!”
“Because someone said it during the meeting and I’m curious!”
“Alright, but we have to go now, we have to get changed and prepare. I don’t think you can borrow this book though.”
Almost every Karma will be gathering in the main ballroom of the Sandstone Citadel for the gathering. But before then, Karen, wearing a blue one-piece dress showing her modest cleavage is helping Iris tie her hair.
“Well, this is the only style I know,” leaving Iris’ hair in a ponytail. However, the child’s hair is decorated with a ribbon of a different design this time. One that is more elegant rather than plain.
While trying to make her daughter’s ponytail fluffier, the girl hits her with a question that figuratively punches her pride right in the stomach.
“Mommy, when are you going to find me a new daddy?”
Oof, no mercy.
She ruffled the girl’s hair in response, “Hmph!”
“Girls… They take forever…” Sakaki cursed as he waits outside of the room that Karen and Iris had occupied. Laughter and the occasional fun outbursts could be heard on the other side of the wall.
“Oh, hey Sakaki!” a woman’s voice was heard. It was Elizabeth. She is wearing a red one-piece instead of her usual white for the formal event. But unlike Karen, her chest is relatively flat so there is minimal cleavage. Sakaki thought of a mischievous heh and banished the thought of ogling her.
“Waiting for the usual?”
“Yeah… Where’s Howard?”
“Oh, he’s heading there with his old team.”
“I see… Hey Elizabeth… I couldn’t say it back in Yukari… But I’m sorry I made our team disband back then. I was too incompetent.”
“Ah, don’t worry about that, everyone was green at the time, it’s bound to happen, but thanks to you, we barely completed our task anyways. Everyone moved on, but it looks like we’re the only ones who are here.”
With their conversation finished, Elizabeth gave a “cya” to Sakaki. But before she took a step, he stopped her and said, “Hey, do you wanna come along with us to the gathering? I heard that Iris has an adorable dressing that Karen bought.”
Elizabeth heaved a smile, relieved that Sakaki had also moved on from their green days and said, “I would love to see Iris!”