Lex relaxed back into the couch. It was so cushy that it almost swallowed him.
There was a television on in the background but Lex couldn't get invested in the story so he'd come over to the window. Why should he care what the morons on television would do to impress some stuck up bitch? It wasn't like they were going to suddenly fall in love as soon as the cameras went away.
The whole hotel room--no, the hotel suite--was loud. There was another television in the bedroom, and even one in the bathroom. Despite the soundproofing he could hear people moving around in the rooms around him.
It hadn't occurred to him that Soraperion's dumpy little apartment was so quiet, but compared with the hotel rooms that he'd been staying in recently it had been a silent paradise.
There was a knock on the door, and when Lex answered it he found a pizza guy standing there.
The guy's eyes automatically flickered past Lex and into the room, and his eyes widened. From the door he could see through the living room with the big fluffy couches and out through the floor to ceiling windows that looked out over the strip. A week ago, Lex would have been even more impressed than the pizza guy was.
Lex flicked out a wad of cash and handed the guy a fifty. He could have just stolen the pizza, or Sora could have taken over for a few moments and made the pizza guy forget he'd ever delivered it but Lex wanted to use some of the money he'd picked up. Why have it if you didn't use it?
The pizza guy handed him the pizza, and when he looked down at the money he started to object, but Lex just said, "Keep the change" and shut the door in the guy's face.
It had been surprisingly easy to get money with the suggestions that Sora's voice provided. With magic, he could make people see what they wanted to see, or sometimes what he wanted them to see. He could go around a casino and skim coins or even chips away from people without being noticed. He could walk through the walls into a bank vault, or just make people give him money. In only a few days he'd built up a few thousand dollars worth of spending money, and that was beyond the money that he'd paid for the hotel suite.
There was a stirring at the back of his head, and Sora's voice spoke up. Still awake? he asked.
Something bothering you?
"I don't know. Yeah, I guess."
Tell me about it.
"There was this girl, back before I met Soraperion."
Reeeeeally, Sora said, and Lex blushed.
"Nothing like that. She was only fourteen. I . . . uh, well, I was taking care of her because she didn't have anyone else left. She disappeared from our apartment a few weeks after we arrived in Las Vegas."
Did she run away?
"She didn't seem like the kind of person that would just run away. I thought something bad had happened to her, but I searched around the neighborhood and I couldn't find her."
Soraperion was looking for his box, you are looking for your friend. What's her name anyway?
"Lia. Celia, actually."
We'll find her then. I'll show you a few simple locating spells first, and there are always non-magical options. Money talks.
Lex got up and got the book out of his suitcase. He'd originally bought it for clothes, but he hadn't bothered to really buy anything other than a a black shirt and a black pair of jeans in one of the stores on the main level of the hotel. He'd never really had money to fool around with before, and he'd spent more on the shirt and pants than he had per month for the apartment where he and Lia had lived in.
He laid the book out, and flipped it open. Like usual, the book opened to a set of blank pages in the middle. If you didn't ask it for anything specific, it always seemed to fall open to a blank page.
We're going to be doing a finding, Sora said.
"Findings," Lex said, and the pages of the book blurred until it had reached the right pages.
Most of this is specific stuff for whatever Soraperion was looking for, but we should be able to use it to find your friend as well. The voice seemed to be looking over the pages with him, and it nudged him.
That symbol is the basis for a finding spell. It looks like a web because that's what it does. It creates a web, and each strand goes off and looks in a different direction. If any of them touch your friend, or come near her, then it will send a message back to the middle of the web, where we'll be waiting for it.
A symbol appeared in his mind, and Lex dutifully copied the symbol out into the air in front of him, until a web formed in the air.
De ja vu, Sora said as the search spell begun to take form. Lex paused, remembering how single minded Soraperion had been as he pursued the box, and then shook off the feeling, and continued to follow Sora's directions.