Elsa Byrd scooped up the coins and deposited them in her purse. Right before she shut the door she leaned back and said, "Oh and call me, dahling, as soon as you're back from Royal Knight land. I so enjoy our little chats."
It had been a week since the eccentric architect Elsa Byrd had accepted the job of designing the new and improved Fire Breathing Fortress. Now, Lord Void's study was in chaos. The large oak table was enveloped in massive sheet of parchment, and quills and ink bottles were scattered everywhere. More parchment was piled upon seats and upon the floor. The only seat not buried under parchment was occupied. Elsa Byrd sat at the desk, perched upon an a stool and a pile of books, grandiosely wielding her favorite quill, a gaudy and ridiculously large phoenix tail feather. The quill never stopped moving, it's tip skittering across the parchment like a spider. A suddenly knock interrupted her sketches.
"Who's there, dahling!"
Lord Void opened the door, his eyes flaring. They widened when his saw the condition of his study, then they flicked to the figure at his desk.
"Miss Byrd...I was not aware you...ah...had taken up residence here..."
"Void, dahling, there you are at last!" Elsa Byrd flashed a mouthful of teeth, "Oh yes, so con-vee-niant, isn't it, I being here, dahling?"
"Very." snapped Lord Void, "I would say make yourself at home...but I see you already have..."
Lord Void began to take a step forward into the sea of parchment, but was halted by a shrieking, "MY GOD, STOP!"
Elsa Byrd was in the air, her slim black want flicking, and Lord Void was pushed backwards into the door. Elsa Byrd swooped like a hawk to the parchment, continuing, "My god, dahling, you make me go insane! This is a disaster, DIS-AS-TER, dahling!" She began scooping up papers with her wand and sending them in all directions. "Oh, how art is disregarded, oh, how it is stepped upon! I used to design for GODS, and now I have a fumbling wizard to work for! The agony! Why don't you look where you're STEPPING, dahling!"
Lord Void just barely managed to control himself from detonating the entire Grolling Fortress, and growled, "My apologies, Miss Byrd. I will take note on where I step from now on."
At once Elsa Byrd's actions ceased, and she sat back down on her stool.
"Very good, dahling, how wonderfully we work together!"
I could eliminate you in a second,
thought Lord Void, but I won't, for you can design a fortress and I cannot.
"How is the fortress coming?" he managed to say smoothly, carefully making his way through the study.
"My god, yes, it is sheer brilliance, dahling, sheer brilliance!" Elsa Byrd cried, and went on into a long and incomprehensible description of the fortress-to-be. While she was talking, Lord Void poured both of them a glass of wine.
Elsa Byrd, seeing the prospect of wine, instantly broke off her monologue to down a glass, then asked, "And where were you, dahling, these last days?"
"I was," said Lord Void, "negotiating with the Royal Knights. As of yesterday, the Dragon Master land is fifty square miles bigger, and the Royal Knight treasury four million coins richer."
"My God, dahling, fifty square miles! That is pooh-pooh, a mere slice of grass, a chunk of rock! That is NOTHING!"
"Fifty square miles of land connecting Dragonar to the west coast." Lord Void explained mildly.
"Coast? Coast? Whatever are you wanting coast for? Beachside property is USELESS! My god, there are pirates and raids and fish and smuggling and tsunamis and storm surges and floods and storms and -- you see dahling. Invest inland instead, much more profitable."
"One can't ship slaves from Anka Dolour from inland."
Elsa Byrd's bulbous eyes widened. "Then you have gotten smart at last, Void, dahling! No more hired labor, no more wage disputes. Slaves!"
"You ever heard of a man named Yuri Firetresses?"
"Yuri Firetresses?" Elsa Byrd nodded, "Nice man, good with kids."
“We go back a long time. He’s a Dragon Master, you know, and he’s now the governor of Anka Dolour. We’ve worked out a little…deal. Once Caimlin has built me a fleet, slaves will be shipped from Anka Dolour to Port Firetresses, my new port.”
“Very good, dahling. And slaves will build my Fire Breathing Fortress?”
“My fortress, yes.”
Lord Void stood and nodded slightly.
“I shall leave you to your work.”
“Excellent, dahling. You do that…”
Lord Void exited and sighed. Elsa Byrd may have been the biggest pain in the mega blocks Lord Void had to deal with, but he had caught a glimpse of the plans to the new Fire Breathing Fortress. She was the best, and he could stand her a little longer knowing his fortress would be the best he could ever imagine.