They took a deep breath. "It's possible to explain all of this without sabotage, but 'sabotage' requires far fewer strange coincidences. Even the kinds of problems you're having are suggestive of sabotage: the fleas and rats are annoying but not dangerous in the short term, while carpenter ants can do serious structural damage in the long term. Like a two-pronged assault designed to make the complex uninhabitable without hurting anyone. Is there anyone who would have wanted the previous enchanting firm fired?"
"Aside from me?" Corydalis smiled wryly. "They're a large organization and they've been both difficult and expensive for years. They're well-connected, however. Perhaps they've inherited some enemies from their connections."
Smoke nodded. "Another possibility -- is there anyone who stands to gain if the seat of government left Courthall?" Replacing all of the wards would be a costly endeavor. Some of them were installed when a building was constructed, and were almost impossible to correct afterwards.
The draka's mouth thinned to a hard line. "That is an all too real possibility. Speaker Iris has wanted the government seat to relocate to Kindlewood for years, and the inability of Windbreak Enchantment to solve our latest problems has given her movement more supporters." Corydalis folded his hands before him on the desk, and leaned forward to study Smoke with intense gold eyes. "If it's not a problem with the wards, master enchanter, is there ought that you can do for us?"
Smoke considered. "There are ways I can help, although only one of them is what you hired me for. The existing wards are still sloppy and I can improve them in various ways. I can also install more gatherers and monitor the situation to help you find the saboteurs. Or I can take steps to mitigate the problems the vermin cause. I could even talk to Windbreak Enchantment myself, in case they're more helpful towards another professional."
"Ah. And in your professional estimation, which of these measures would you recommend come first?"
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