The group returns to the Tangibles Market. The local storefront of the Fabricators Guild is not all that far from the alchemy market. It's merely the front room of a larger building, but said larger building is still dwarfed by the Tharashk enclave the alchemy market centers on.

Upon the walls and room dividers on the customer side of the counter hang various wooden carvings illustrating various magical devices and listing their prices. Behind the counter are various cases displaying many of the items in question; the counter itself is a glass case with a wooden top, which itself contains a display of wands, various liquids in tiny vials, marble-sized beads with tiny runes painted on them, and simple rings and pendants with odd yellow jewels set in them. Tending this display counter are a slightly bored-looking middle-aged human man and a more energetic-looking young human woman who leans forward a bit as the group enters.

Althea glances toward Edgeworth, then steps up to the counter.
Amika looks to Althea eagerly. "So many new faces! Are you in charge? How can we help you?!"
Simos shakes his head but doesn't interrupt.
Edgeworth: For once, I feel spared a burden by Althea's insistence on being the one to speak...
Althea glances at Edgeworth again, looking awkward. Looking back, she responds. "Er, n-not exactly... we're, ah, hoping to acquire a spellbead of Greater Detect Magic."
Amika: Huh, not one we get a lot of requests for in that form, but let's see...
Amika lowers to one knee to look through the glass case on that side.
Althea: I have to wonder whether I'm crossing the line between keeping him in check and trampling on his investigation...
Edgeworth simply crosses his arms and looks down at Althea with a half-disguised conflicted expression.
Simos seems intrigued by the request, but seems content to merely observe for the moment.
Amika examines a number of the marble-like items quickly, still speaking. "I almost wonder if you're worried about someone having been defrauded lately. I mean, someone tried earlier even if I didn't see who..."
Edgeworth glares instantly. "What?"
Ellymoha glances up with interest at the assertion.
Nathaniel raises an eyebrow but doesn't comment.
Simos shakes his head. "This is why I say no one should go anywhere alone in this country, Amika."
Edgeworth: This may well be the second such incident we've heard of today, and certainly the first explicitly involving a claim of magic use. Please testify concerning the matter.
Simos frowns. "What was the first like?"
Dil raises an eyebrow himself.
Edgeworth: I only suspect something amiss concerning the first incident today. It is because we were unable to enlist House Medani's aid to have someone examined that we need a spellbead to begin with.
Nathaniel shakes his head slightly.
Amika: When I was taking my lunch break an hour ago in the park nearby, I felt a force touch my mind that I pushed off.
Althea looks startled.
Amika: But I didn't hear anyone chant, and when I tried to find who did it I didn't have any luck.
Edgeworth: I recall the book I was assigned concerning the basic properties of the eight schools of magic mentioning this. If one does resist an enchantment spell, one recognizes one's success in doing so instinctively. Only if one fails does such a spell's power cause one to fail to notice.
Althea: Given the circumstances, I have to consider it somewhat likely that this may be connected to our... difficulties earlier.
Althea frowns.
Edgeworth: I must agree.
Nathaniel: You think the receptionist at the Medani enclave was similarly targetted?
Dil puts a finger to his lip. "If you're right, then it couldn't have been a bard who did it. Their kinds of magic can't be cast without sound, even if someone otherwise knows that trick."
Althea: Which narrows the field of suspects substantially, given how common bardic training is here...
Edgeworth looks to Nathaniel. "I considered the possibility before, but it now appears far more probable."
Simos looks to Amika. "Maybe selling them a spellbead would be too little for what they're going to be facing."
Amika looks back to Simos. "I don't know, you seem too eager to see conspiracies sometimes..."
Nathaniel: Large games are one of the things that keep life interesting. Though in this case, the game is much more serious than what would normally be... permitted...
Edgeworth: This is clearly outside the scope of anything that could reasonably be called a "game".
Edgeworth looks to Nathaniel disapprovingly.
Edgeworth: After all, the saying "it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye" has easily been surpassed.
Nathaniel frowns. "I did allow that the stakes are unacceptably high in this case..."
Althea puts a hand to her forehead. "Let's focus less on what to call it and more on what to do about it, please."
Simos looks aside. "If you'll need to divine traces of things like this a lot in a short period, a wand might be a good investment."
Althea winces slightly. "That... is a thought..."
Althea looks toward Edgeworth.
Edgeworth looks around for some indication of the price among the display carvings...
Edgeworth recoils at the wand prices. Most of these cost more money than we've spent in our entire stay!
Althea: It is difficult to say how long it might take for you to master your capabilites well enough to be able to cast this spell under your own power; a wand might prove a valuable long-term resource. Even once you can cast the spell on your own, being able to cast it more frequently than you would be otherwise able might still be a help...
Althea: I gathered you've realized, however... we are talking about quite a significant investment...
Althea: The economy of having 50 charges does make it a worthwhile investment if you're going to need that many, but... well, you are operating on the basis of debt here...
Althea: I doubt we'll need anywhere near that many to get through the current investigation, but...
Althea frowns. "There's also the matter that I don't normally carry that much platinum on me... but that can be remedied at the cost of a bit of time."
Edgeworth grits his teeth briefly. "Are there any alternatives you would recommend?"
Edgeworth begins looking the price carvings over further.
Althea: That you could use and that wouldn't be more expensive than a wand? About the only possibility that comes to mind is a minor schema.
Edgeworth looks blank for an instant, then mildly vexed. How many of the tools of this world am I ignorant of?
Althea: A schema is a type of magical artifact that functions as a sort of magical building block. Their nature and use can vary, but in particular it is possible to etch a minor schema with the same sorts of spells as one can imbue a wand.
Althea: Such an artifact functions as a sort of permanent representation of the spell itself. Unlike a wand, which has to be imbued by its creator with individual potential for each casting of the spell, a schema has no fixed number of times it can be used; rather, it is capable of being activated for its effect once per day.
Althea: Thus, it would be less flexible, but would serve as a longer-term investment.
Althea: It's also less expensive than a wand, though it would still be a significant cost.
Edgeworth smirks. "Given its permanent nature and the lesser cost, it would seem to be the wiser investment."
Althea: ...that said, it's an open question whether we could get one, even here. It takes a very powerful artificer or caster to produce a minor schema, so they are somewhat rare.
Edgeworth: I see...
Althea: Beyond that... we could always buy more than one spellbead. Even a score of beads would be a lesser investment than a wand, though still on a similar order of expense. If we concern ourselves only with the current situation... perhaps three or four beads would suffice for the time being?
Edgeworth looks back to the carvings, searching them...
Dil seems deep in thought about something.
Simos looks mildly suspicious of all the unfamiliar language.
Amika pouts, looking for all the world like a small child left out of both teams of a sports game.
Althea looks up toward Simos. "I don't suppose you would happen to have a minor schema of Greater Detect Magic available...?"
Nathaniel blinks.
Simos frowns and peers at Althea as though trying to size her up.
Amika blinks in surprise, then whispers something to Simos.
Nathaniel: I'd think you'd have more luck scrounging something like that up at Morgrave...
Simos's frown shifts to a more conflicted one.
Ellymoha grins in minor amusement but doesn't say anything.
Althea looks between Simos, Amika, and Nathaniel, then sighs and shrugs. "It was just a thought." She looks toward Edgeworth, awaiting an indication of his intent.
Edgeworth again touches his temple. "Strange; I would expect such a request to result in a simple yes or no."
Althea shrugs. "For something this rare, availability might not be so straightforward."
Althea: At any rate... I can procure funds if necessary... but we're edging into the limits of my finances here...
Edgeworth winces. "Is that so..."
Edgeworth: Are long-term investments normally such burdens on people?
Edgeworth: It would seem that under the circumstances, we have no real choice in the matter.
Edgeworth: We may well have to settle for spellbeads regardless of your answer. Hopefully three of them will suffice.
Simos: Pardon my asking, but why exactly are you chasing after this enchanter yourselves?
Althea: Er... that's not a question with a simple answer, to say the least.
Althea glances toward Edgeworth.
Ellymoha: You're not going to withhold a story this good, are you?
Althea winces and mutters something about Zilargo.
Edgeworth takes a breath to regather himself before fixing Simos with a serious but not harsh glare. "I don't suppose you've heard about the open killing that occured recently?"
Simos sighs and rolls his eyes. "At least you specified the 'open' one. But yes, that one has a lot of people scared."
Ellymoha frowns.
Edgeworth: Hmm. The fact that it occurred at all implies that the Trust saw fit to allow it, and I cannot allow a crime of such magnitude to go unanswered in any sense.
Edgeworth: To seek truth and apply that toward justice is so much my duty that the very nature of this world recognizes it.
Simos: ...You actually mean that, huh.
Nathaniel: He's the 'atheist cleric from another world'. So yes, apparently.
Amika looks amazed. "Really?! I've heard rumors about strange clerics before, but this is the first time I've met one like you!"
Edgeworth recoils. "I'll thank you not to so casually describe me as 'strange'!"
Althea looks back and forth between Edgeworth and Amika for a moment. ...not gonna comment on that one.
Simos simply peers at Edgeworth with a raised eyebrow. "Is that where you claim that language you were speaking earlier came from?"
Edgeworth regathers himself and crosses his arms. "It is. Althea's capacity to speak it is apparently 'borrowed' through her own capabilities."
Edgeworth looks down at Althea.
Althea looks slightly uncomfortable offering her self-explanation this time. "I'm a seer. It's one of my powers."
Althea: I suppose that's not a reason for Cannith to find me particularly suspicious, at least...
Nathaniel: I'm to understand Illyvalen is fluent by her own merits at this point, at least.
Nathaniel: But that makes the two of you the only proper speakers in all of Eberron, apparently.
Simos looks to Amika. "For my own peace of mind, I'd be more comfortable if you let Amika listen in."
Edgeworth spreads his arms and shakes his head with a smirk. "I see no reason why not. All we've been discussing are matters of this world that are outside of my own experience."
Simos takes an item from a chest of drawers next to the door into the back area. It looks similar to a wand, but is slightly thicker with a reddish-pink crystal with deeper red swirls inside mounted on the tip.
Edgeworth: An Eberron dragonshard... Given that those are used in the creation of many permanent magical items and that resembles a wand, could this be some sort of permanent analogue?
Simos hands the wand-like item to Amika, who speaks a word and traces a three-dimensional sigil in the air with it before holding it out in Edgeworth's direction.
Edgeworth steps closer and touches the crystal. "I presume from context that this casts Comprehend Languages or a similar spell."
Amika looks delighted and relieved. "It does. Don't worry, Simos, that is a real language."
Simos: And he is letting us listen in...
Edgeworth nods. "Evidence is everything. I see no particular reason to deny it to you."
Edgeworth: Save perhaps some degree of dignity, but ultimately the truth is more important than my own ego... whether I like it or not.
Simos looks thoughtful.
Althea: For reference, that's another one of the alternatives which wasn't relevant for our immediate consideration: an eternal wand. It's not possible to imbue with the most powerful spells normal wands can be, but like a minor schema it's reusable on a daily basis. It can also be used to reshape one's prepared spells into the imbued spell, similar to clerics' ability to reshape their spells into curative or destructive magic. Unfortunately from your perspective, only arcane casters can make use of them.
Edgeworth frowns. "I see..."
Amika looks intrigued by the exposition. "We developed them during the Last War, you know. Magewrights can't master most war magic, so we developed a kind of wand that let them overcome that limitation. But obviously we've got other kinds now too."
Amika takes the eternal wand back to where it belongs.
Althea nods. "House Cannith is where you will generally find most expertise when it comes to the creation of magical artifacts."
Edgeworth: We have more important matters to attend to than the history of invention, however. It is imperative that we verify certain suspicions concerning our elusive suspect's activities.
Edgeworth: We must find out not only who is responsible for creating the situation in which Talbo Santor d'Sivis died, but why that event was allowed to play out.
Simos: ...You're either very brave or very foolish.
Edgeworth: ...I suppose I have learned from a certain someone how to skirt that particular line.
Nathaniel: ...
Edgeworth: Without the ability to check for magical traces in addition to active auras, it may be nearly impossible. We've had far less hard evidence to work with than I'm frankly comfortable with; without more, it may be difficult to convince anyone of what we discover.
Althea frowns, looking conflicted.
Nathaniel folds his arms and frowns slightly, looking to Althea, then to Edgeworth.
Edgeworth: It is not enough for us to know — it must be possible for others to verify and challenge what we present as well.
Edgeworth: This is, after all, no matter of mere idle curiosity!
Nathaniel blinks in sudden comprehension. "He wants you to buy the wand for him... And you're not going to say no..."
Althea blinks, looking up. Her expression remains conflicted for another moment, then firms. "...more likely the schema, if we can get it. And no, I'm not. This is his investigation, and it's not an unreasonable need."
Nathaniel's eyes widen. "Not unreasonable? You do know how much those things cost, don't you?"
Althea: Of course I do. I also trust him to pay me back. ...eventually.
Edgeworth seems surprised at Althea and Nathaniel's sudden decision to speak amongst themselves.
Nathaniel's expression darkens, but he doesn't say anything further.
Althea looks back to Simos. "I gather that it might represent some... difficulty to acquire a minor schema. Nonetheless, I note that you didn't foreclose upon the possibility."
Simos frowns. "...No, we didn't. We do have a need to retain one on the premises."
Ellymoha grins knowingly. "At all times?"
Simos blinks at Ellymoha's interjection. "It would inconvenience us if it were missing at the wrong time."
Edgeworth looks back to the humans behind the counter. "What is the nature of your need to keep one on hand?"
Amika's face scrunches with the effort of holding something back.
Simos: I'm sorry, but that's a trade secret.
Althea blinks, then frowns thoughtfully.
Edgeworth blinks as well. A trade secret involving keeping on hand an item that they could likely create something superior to for its primary known use?
Ellymoha: Even so, it is something you could replace, is it not?
Simos: Er, well, of course.
Simos still appears uncertain, however.
Amika looks almost pleasantly surprised at Ellymoha. "Huh, did you overhear?..."
Ellymoha grins again. "Careful listening is a critical skill for any musician. And it's certainly worthwhile for other reasons as well."
Dil chuckles. "Personal, practical, and more."
Edgeworth: I cannot deny that.
Althea puts a hand to her forehead but doesn't comment.
Edgeworth: Were I working with people less eager to interrupt, I would likely be spending more time listening than speaking at this moment...
Althea: I presume if you could replace it, that also means that you could obtain another on behalf of a potential customer if given enough time. Though our investigation might not allow very much of it...
Althea: Moreover, we will likely require spellbeads regardless, given the limitations present in the general use of minor schema.
Edgeworth: Indeed. I presume you know as well as I that time is of the essence when seeking magical traces even with the proper means.
Simos: But as you point out, we do have other products you could buy now without putting us out.
Edgeworth smirks. Which is a matter he scarcely seems more comfortable with himself. Perhaps a change of tactics is in order...
Edgeworth spreads his arms. "Consider this: Amika claims to have been unsuccessfully targeted by some hidden assailant's enchantment. We suspect this to be the same person we're seeking, particularly as we encounted suspicious resistance at House Medani when precisely that assistance would have made it easier to prove what was going on."
Edgeworth: Given that someone was willing to target Amika once in a presumed bid to prevent someone from arming themselves with the truth, who is to say that they won't try again?
Simos: !
Ellymoha's earlier good humor vanishes, and she starts looking somewhat distressed again.
Amika shifts uncomfortably, looking between Edgeworth and Simos.
Nathaniel maintains a neutral expression.
Simos sighs, then balls his fists at his sides. "...All right. We will have to charge you 1800 galifars for it, but we can operate without it for now."
Althea nods, then glances at Edgeworth. "I'll note that between it being a daily use only and the fact that operating it is still not completely without risk for you, we will likely still need a couple of spellbeads anyway."
Edgeworth nods to Althea. "I suspected that would be for the best as well."
Althea: Specifically, if you fail to operate it correctly... it's possible you might render it temporarily inoperative for more than just the day a use would cost.
Edgeworth frowns. "Would this be in addition to or instead of the sorts of risks inherent in the use of a scroll?"
Althea shakes her head. "It lacks the risk of magical mishap that a scroll or spellbead presents."
Edgeworth: I find myself reminded of the concept of surge protection, though now is hardly the time to discuss parallels with my own world in depth.
Edgeworth: Very well, then. ...I, er... apologize for burdening you to this degree, but this demand is more than merely my own.
Amika seems deeply interested in the English conversation, particularly once Edgeworth makes this assertion.
Althea nods and turns back to Simos. "I will need to make arrangements with House Kundarak before making the purchase, of course. We will also need to acquire two spellbeads, I think, which I can pay for immediately."
Amika grins and fetches the beads she located earlier from within the glass counter display.
Simos takes a breath, then heads into the back area. Faint pounding, crackles, and rumbling pass through the back door while it's open.
Althea pulls out 22 pieces of platinum and 5 pieces of gold and places them on the counter before Amika, accepts the spellbeads, and hands them to Edgeworth.
Edgeworth pockets one, then closes a loose fist around the other and focuses on his meaning for the spell within.
Edgeworth: This sense of connection... This is indeed reminiscent of what it was like when I realized what the meaning of curing a light wound was in the context of my beliefs while holding a wand of the same.
Dil simply nods approvingly of Edgeworth's immediate apparent action.
Edgeworth pockets the second spellbead and looks to Amika. "Furthermore, I would greatly appreciate if you would write down an account of the incident that occurred during your lunch break."
Amika grins thoughtfully for a moment. "You seem to have some use for it, so I do have a condition..."
Edgeworth glares. "Condition?"
Amika: Er... make that two... one, please stop glaring!
Edgeworth grits his teeth and recoils. "Um, right, sorry..." He clears his throat and quickly recovers his composure. "And the one you had in mind to begin with?"
Amika: I would like to know more about the story behind you and your magic. It isn't every day you hear about an atheist cleric!
Edgeworth sighs and glances over at Dil. "Dil has been documenting my progress all this time."
Dil nods. "I should be able to get you copies of all of my notes once this is all over."
Amika grins. "All right, let me get some paper."

After Edgeworth takes Amika's statement, the group has a short discussion in which it decides to have Nathaniel be the one to accompany Althea to the nearest House Kundarak bank to obtain a promissory note. Being forced to wait for the time being and having little new evidence to consider right away, Edgeworth spends the intervening time studying the display carvings and asking questions of Amika and Dil about various magical items for sale.

Once Althea returns, she hands the note to the considerably less occupied Simos, who in turn hands her a long strip of silver divided by a pair of shallow rounded grooves into one long central segment and two shorter segments at each end. A pattern of engraved runes covers one side almost entirely except for the grooves in question. The middle portion of the other side is similarly densely covered, but on that side the short segments differ — each has a centrally-located hole, one has an Eberron dragonshard embedded between the hole and the groove, and the opposite end has a larger carved rune in the corresponding position instead of a dragonshard.

With that transaction completed, Edgeworth does his best to wind down the conversation and the group steps out into the early afternoon sun.

Edgeworth: That conversation was more fruitful than anticipated. At the very least, I have managed to confirm that directly harmful magic items are not something the Trust tolerates the sale of within Zilargo.
Edgeworth frowns. That being said, it's also clear that their definition of "harmful" is narrow enough to exclude many enchantments...
Althea hands the strip of silver to Edgeworth. "Do you want to head back to the Archive, or just get started right away? We're likely to be observed wherever we go, though part of the question is by whom..."
Edgeworth accepts the item. "Unless you believe anyone might interfere, I see no reason to hide or delay."
Edgeworth examines the strip carefully.
Edgeworth: While much of the writing carved into it appears the same, some of it is different — and all of it is smaller. I can't help but be impressed with the sheer physical craftsmanship...
Dil: Schemas of this kind are more like scrolls from an arcane perspective, but for us their use is more like a spellbead.
Dil grins. "And you seemed to figure that out the rest of the way easily by yourself."
Edgeworth spreads his arms and shakes his head, still holding the minor schema in one hand while doing so. "I have built the beginnings of a frame of reference by now, thanks in part to you. Given that, I can finally begin to apply logic to what I encounter."
Edgeworth looks to Althea briefly as well, then gives the minor schema another once-over before gripping it tightly in one hand. "Miss Cissot, if you would please stand before me."
Ellymoha: A-all right.
Nathaniel: He shouldn't be able to mess this up too badly, at least.
Edgeworth holds his free hand up in a complex configuration.
Edgeworth closes his eyes for a moment, then opens them to glare perhaps overly intently even for him as he firmly declares the spell's purpose in the form of an order.

The runes on the schema pulse pale blue briefly, Edgeworth feels the magic he's connected to shift and deepen its connection, and once again he finds himself needing to mentally hold an awareness of more "colors" in place and strain to focus on it. The alien "colors" seem brighter than last time; ordinary colors seem muted by comparison. To the others, Edgeworth's eyes appear to have shifted to a faintly-shimmering blue.

Edgeworth: ...There most certainly is a faint residue of some sort on you.
Althea nods. "Though most likely a different kind than that which you observed previously..."
Edgeworth: Indeed, it differs from both what I saw on Ms. Vadin and your armor.
Edgeworth: Now that I think of it...
Edgeworth gradually looks each of the others over.
Edgeworth: There does appear to be an active aura around Althea as well, but that too differs from the trace on Miss Cissot.
Edgeworth then looks down at himself for a moment.
Edgeworth: ...It differs from the energies of the schema and those lingering on me from Dil's earlier healing spell as well.
Edgeworth double-takes at the schema after a moment. "What...?"
Althea raises an eyebrow.
Edgeworth moves the schema around slowly and holds it in different positions relative to himself.
Althea frowns, then blinks.
Dil blinks, then puts his finger to his lip.
Nathaniel frowns. "Something wrong with the schema?"
Edgeworth: No; I believe I've merely observed evidence of something unrelated to the case.
Edgeworth then lowers the schema.
Ellymoha: Hmm? You didn't stumble on their trade secret, did you?
Althea: I sincerely doubt they would have parted with it if a caster could divine their methods just from observing it with its own spell.
Edgeworth's eyes fade back to their usual steel grey. "Given the current limits of my own skills, I must ask, Miss Cissot: has any sort of spell been cast directly upon you in the last several days to your knowledge?"
Ellymoha shakes her head. "I don't have any bardic training, only musical..."
Edgeworth glares. "And yet, there is evidence that something has been!"
Ellymoha steps back. "I-I... I d-don't..."
Edgeworth: I am not accusing you of anything. Remember, we went to such lengths to obtain means of detecting even faint traces of magic due to my suspicion that the false Rayhan compelled you to deliver that warning.
Ellymoha looks down. "R-right... then could you not look at me like I'm the culprit...?"
Nathaniel: ...
Edgeworth's glare melts into a blank stare. One would almost swear that my glare has been strengthened by this magic I've attracted as well.
Ellymoha relaxes visibly and mutters something about being half-archon.
Althea: I think we've established the point as well as we can under the circumstances.
Althea: It's most likely, though not certain, that the false Rayhan was in fact our culprit. Our main remaining lead to pursue would be the names we got from Rayhan herself.
Edgeworth: The resistance we're facing is more than a mere obstacle, however — it's also a potential secondary lead.
Althea: ...In the short term, however... it would probably be a good idea to see to meals, given the hour.
Edgeworth stares incredulously at Althea. "A meal?! At a time like this?! At the most we might be able to spare a moment to buy muffins to eat as we walk."
Edgeworth: Though now that she mentions it, I hadn't even noticed that I was hungry.
Althea: ...I see no problem with haste in the general sense, but we won't be at our best without sustenance, and things are likely only to get more urgent from here...
Edgeworth glares at Althea. "We're already finding evidence of active resistance. We haven't the time to sit down."
Althea eyes Edgeworth. "I wasn't exactly suggesting we head back to the Library district and leisurely discuss our investigation for an hour."
Dil: Most of the food stalls in the chef's market nearby should still be open for several more minutes. At least one of them should still have something ready to eat.
Nathaniel: I presume you have everything you need from—
Ellymoha: I'm not leaving now. This is just starting to get interesting.
Nathaniel blinks and frowns. "He'd better know what he's doing..."