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Archives: Hunt for Kiran

Chapter 8: Shinning Hill

    Thiana had been fortunate enough to have been picked up by a fishing ship. This trip had been rather chaotic so far, but she was still in good spirits. Once she had arrived in Shinning Hill, she looked to the captain of the ship, who had been more than helpful. “Thank you. I apologize if I inconvenienced your trip any. I am grateful for the rescue, I have no way of repaying you however.”

    She merely got a light nod in reply before they went to work unloading their catch. She had spent the trip sleeping and was well rested. Calling Theros to her side, she headed to the Tiger Lily Inn, where she had stayed at on previous trips. Now she had to find information on Kiran; hopefully he had been seen here.

* * *

    The ferry from Marmo arrived in Shinning Hill’s harbor a little earlier than anticipated. They had a good southerly wind, and while the ferry crew attributed it to good weather, they didn’t know that it had been Adriel’s summoning of Sylph they should be thankful for.

    Adriel had spent most of the trip sitting against the mast, opposite of Mica. Now both brothers loathed the sea, but Mica was far worse off than Adriel, who had only been suffering through sea sickness. Even on his empty stomach, he still felt queasy. He tried sipping water, but that had only given him something to heave back up.

    Once they reached the lake, he anxiously watched the harbor grow closer. Oh land...blessed land... he thought. Finally, the ship began docking, and as it came to a stop, Adriel struggled to his feet and picked up his belongings.

    Yrsanne had spent much of the voyage in the crow’s nest. Unlike Adriel, she found the water soothing. It was oftentimes the peace before her war, so the comfort a boat provided was the reassurance that her sword would not be necessary. Watching the sun arc from one side of the world to the other was a pleasure for her. The time alone was a welcome respite anyway.

    As the ship docked, Yrsanne’s lip curled in amusement. Adriel was struggling with all of it. Poor boy. The experienced sailor stood by his side, making sure his balance didn’t suffer on the way off of the boat. She wasn’t too interested in fishing him out of the water.

    Despite the spats that the elf kept having with her ferret, Parsley had found the trip to be quite relaxing and was definitely more than satisfied to be out exploring. Soybean had finally decided that sleeping was more important than traveling, and after Parsley’s efforts had long since died, it remained curled in the folds of her cloak—basking in the sun while it was out without much thought.

    The boat docking, Parsley smiled briskly and headed for the heap of misery that was her husband before she even considered leaving. “Mica? How are you? We’ve docked if it’s any consultation.” Her hand landed softly on his shoulder.

    Mica uncurled from his fetal position and stood. “Oh land. Blessed land,” he grumbled aloud. “I hate water.” The tall half-elf moved to leave the boat and its rocking behind him, finding safety on the docks. His fleet footing found himself away from the water’s edge as quickly as possible.

    Sythenra followed behind Yrsanne and Adriel, and like Yrsanne, she was ready to catch Adriel if he stumbled. The younger dark elf was staggering a bit as he walked down the gangplank onto the dock, but he didn’t fall. Adriel was doing his best to maintain his composure. Once he set foot on the stable dock, he felt a little better, but he was eager to get as far away from the lake as his feet could carry him. With his two guardians flanking him, Adriel picked up a quick pace toward the city.

    “Feeling better yet?” Yrsanne asked Adriel. She still found it amusing that he couldn’t take something so easy as a boat ride. The dark elves produced superb warriors of various arts, so seeing them brought down by a few waves seemed to ruin that good name a bit. Well, not Yrsanne’s name. Perhaps just dark elf men.

    Adriel sneered slightly and straightened his back, but he couldn’t respond to that question without sacrificing a measure of what pride he had left. It was bad enough that everyone on the ferry had seen him falter, but he wasn’t going to allow the people of this city to see him as a weakling.

    “Oh come now Adriel,” Yrsanne began, placing her hands on her hips. “You need not protect your manly image around us. After all, not only do you have two bodyguards from home, but they are both women. You have little left to protect.”

    “Stop teasing poor Adriel,” Mica groaned. “The damn boy has enough problems being the bastard son of Kiran, let alone have his manliness contested by a woman, dark elf or no. Besides, what happened on the ferry stays on the ferry.” The half-elf had a threatening edge to his voice when he ended his sentence. “It’s late, let’s find a damn inn and get hammered. We’ll collect information on the creature that spawned us tomorrow.”

    “I’m not teasing. I’m stating fact,” Yrsanne asserted softly.

    {“The fact is that it has nothing to do with ‘manliness’,”} Adriel stated in dark elven, rather annoyed that she had made that assumption. Dark elves didn’t concern themselves nearly that much with appearances to the opposite gender. Women were considered equals, and often the pride of a dark elven woman was just as inflated as that of a man. He had embarrassed himself in front of the women, but the concern of gender had barely crossed his mind. He was ashamed of showing weakness to other dark elves. {“I do not want to show a sign of weakness before more humans. You have spent far too much time amongst humans, Yrsanne.”}

    Yrsanne responded with nothing more than a terse look to Adriel. Well, now you’re in a human town, she thought to herself. And that’s how you look.

    As the group left the docks, they climbed a set of stone steps up to the wall of the city. As they approached the guards standing on either side of the open gate, the two men gave a start and hurried to step into the path of the dark elves. “State your business in Shinning Hill!” one of the guards demanded.

    Adriel paused. He had been allowed to enter Salbad without conflict, and he realized he expected the same treatment here. He should have known better. With a moment’s thought, he stepped up to speak to the guards. He bowed slightly at the waist, acting as diplomatically as possible. “We have come to Lodoss in search of a dark elven criminal. We mean no harm to the people of Shinning Hill, we only wish to bring this individual to justice,” Adriel spoke. It was an exaggeration, and a bit of a lie. While Kiran was a criminal to dark elves, his punishment had been dealt. It was a personal quest of revenge.

    “A dark elf criminal?” the other guard asked, sounding quite concerned. “This sounds serious. Is this elf dangerous?”

    Adriel realized that he may have made an error in judgment. They were too concerned now, yet they also seemed to be eager to allow Adriel and his party into the city. “He could possibly be,” Adriel stated truthfully. “We do not know where in Lodoss he is, but we must search the city for him.”

    Both guards seemed to relax, and they were genuinely interested in helping. “If that’s the case, then perhaps you should see our captain. He has records of crimes committed recently, perhaps we may be able to help you find this criminal faster.”

    Adriel looked back at his companions. They were a little tired, but Adriel didn’t want to wait for the chance to loose a potential lead. No doubt, Mica felt the same. “Very well. We will see your captain,” Adriel agreed.

    Mica shifted his weight off of his back foot onto his forefoot. “Just how many dark elves are in this city at any given time?” he grunted. “I’m starting to wonder just how many rats ferry in daily.”

    Rats? Adriel sneered, annoyed at Mica’s comments. His back was to the others however, so they wouldn’t see.

    “There is no census,” a guard replied to Mica. “There are a few, but I would say there are probably more half-elves in the city. Tensions are strong here, I wouldn’t think it would be worthwhile to try and live here if I were as hated as they are. No offense,” he added toward the dark elves.

    “None is taken,” Adriel replied. He was aware that the war must have left deep scars on the people of Kanon. They didn’t intend to stay longer than it took them to find out whether or not Kiran was there.

    “Ralf, take them to the guardhouse so they can see the captain,” the guard spoke again, this time to his fellow.

    Ralf nodded and stepped toward the gate. “If you would follow me, please,” he said, then began to lead the dark elves into the city, following the east wall.

    As the group walked on, they found Shinning Hill preparing for night. The street they began on was the fish market, but stands were closed and the unsold fishes were tossed into a garbage cart to be dumped elsewhere. Adriel wore a disgusted expression on his face as they walked, finding not only the scent of fish beginning to spoil repugnant, but the waste of life despicable.

    Ralf’s lead brought them out of the market, along the walls of the city, until they reached a tower built into the wall. The castle was higher up the hill of the city, but nearby. The guard led them into the tower, which brought them into a round room at the base, with a staircase leading up.

    “Wait here while I get the captain,” Ralf said, then retreated up the stairs.

    Adriel stood in the center of the room to wait, though there was a table and chairs set up along the walls.

    Mica yawned and kicked at Adriel’s feet. “Stop trying to make up for being a sick puppy by wearing a stern look on that baby face of yours. We’ll fry that ferry rat my wife carries around in butter and have a good meal, eh?”

    Adriel groaned and shifted his balance as Mica kicked his foot. Why couldn’t they let the subject drop? “I am not ‘making up’ for anything,” he replied softly.

    Footsteps clacked from the staircase spiraled along the wall, the guard was returning with his captain. As the two men made it to the base of the stairs, the captain gestured toward the table. “Please, have a seat,” he offered to the dark elves. Adriel obliged and sat down at the table. Sythenra took her place beside him. The captain sat as well, with Ralf standing at his shoulder just behind him.

    “Before I can continue, I need to know what sort of crimes this dark elf has committed. Perhaps it can answer some unsolved crimes here in our own city,” the captain said.

    Adriel hazarded a glance toward Mica before answering. There was one crime Adriel knew Kiran was most guilty of. “He has raped a number of women, human and dark elven. I am not certain if he has murdered, but it seems possible. Theft, I doubt, but then, I do not know the man personally,” Adriel replied.

    Mica snorted. “He’s a rapist first and foremost. If there are any unsolved rape cases in the last sixty years, chances are he’s your man. I’m not sure about the murder myself, I’m pretty sure I have a higher bodycount with the work I do for the temple of Marfa in Marmo, but I wouldn’t put it past him.” The half-elf assassin shifted his weight slightly. “He has a dark elf whore with a bitch dog that might make it to shore within the next couple of days asking about him. She’s in cahoots with him, so I wouldn’t put much faith in anything she may say, even if she pretends to be all charming and innocent. Anyone who harbors a criminal like him deserves the same justice as the criminal does.” Mica grinned.

    “Well, we don’t have any records older than five years, with the Occupation and all,” the captain replied. “As for rapes...I don’t recall any reported to have been committed by dark elves in the last year, though there were a few in years prior—mostly dark elves left behind by the Marmo. A few of them were killed, but I think most of the perpetrators escaped. If you can give me a description of your criminal, I might be able to find out if it was him who committed some of them.”

    Adriel paused, and looked to Sythenra. He had a description of Kiran, but Sythenra was the one who actually knew him. Sythenra took the cue and spoke up. “He is of average height, around six feet. He has blonde hair, coppery colored skin, and amber eyes. I have not seen him in over sixty years, however, so I cannot tell you if he has gained any scars, cut his hair, or anything like that,” the ranger told the captain, lowering her head as she talked. Kiran as a rapist. The gravity only just hit her now, despite hearing Mica talk about his mother earlier. Her involvement in the search was becoming less of an innocent desire to know why, and more of a vendetta to demand answers.

    “I’ll have to check my records. If you can come back in the morning, I’ll tell you if I find anything, but I’ll need a few hours. In the meantime, find yourselves an inn. Ralf will make sure no one turns you away, since not everyone takes kindly to dark elves here,” the captain explained. “I’ll make sure my guards know to keep an eye out for those two dark elves.”

    “Actually, we’ll do best to find our own lodgings for the night,” Mica retorted. He turned to his fellows and spoke in dark elven, {“It would be best if we searched for our own inn, rather than letting them choose it for us. If we can find an inn that will take us without a guard’s recommendation then we are more likely to find an inn that will have, or most likely has, housed our foul bred father in the past.”} Mica voiced his plan plainly to avoid confusion. {“The final choice, however, is in Adriel’s hands.”}

    Adriel listened to his brother’s offer and found that it made good sense. {“A good idea,”} Adriel agreed. “Yes, it would be best if we sought our own lodgings for tonight. Thank you for the offer, however,” Adriel politely said to the guards.

    The captain and Ralf seemed apprehensive after hearing them speak in their native language, but they didn’t voice their concerns. “Very well then,” the captain replied.

* * *

    The company of dark elves had tried several inns since leaving the guardhouse, all of which they were turned away from under the guise of being “full”, or else they were earnestly turned away. It was of no concern to Adriel, and he took it all in stride. After all, they weren’t only looking for lodgings, but for a place that Kiran may have visited.

    They came across a rather dilapidated old inn called ‘The Broken Cup’. It seemed shady, but it was likely that the innkeeper didn’t care who stayed there so long as they paid.

    “We should check this one,” Adriel suggested. The dark elf was getting tired, and now that he had recovered from his seasickness, he was looking forward to a hearty meal. Perhaps finally they would be able to get some rest.

    Mica nodded. “This place seems disgusting enough to have housed our ill bred sire,” he scoffed. “I can imagine no funnier thing than if we get turned away from this inn too. That would have to sting the old dark elven pride.”

    “By all means, you first,” Yrsanne said, nodding to Adriel. A part of her was hoping that the shady inn would have shady fellows with shady intentions. Then she could flex her combat muscles a bit.

    Adriel chuckled at Mica’s comment and stepped toward the inn’s door. The young dark elf entered, holding his head high as he examined the patrons. There were a few men in the common room, a homely barmaid, and a scrawny man behind the bar who looked to be the innkeeper. Any conversations that had been going on ceased with the entrance of a dark elf, and several men eyed Adriel suspiciously. He paid them no mind, however, and proceeded to the innkeeper.

    “We wish for room and board for the night,” Adriel stated.

    The innkeeper looked Adriel over, then replied, “Ten gold per dark elf, but I’ll let yer human friend stay fer five. I ain’t about to turn away payin’ customers, but ye understand, Shinnin’ Hill ain’t too fond of darkies. It’s fer my own protection.”

    “Your deal is acceptable,” Adriel replied. He suppressed a smirk as the innkeeper called Mica human, but they would save a few gold pieces over the mistake. Gracefully, Adriel seated himself at the bar to continue speaking to the innkeeper. “I wonder, have you served many dark elves over the years?”

    “A couple, what’s it to ye?” the innkeeper asked, seeming suspicious of the question.

    “We are seeking another dark elf in Lodoss. A man by the name of Kiran,” Adriel replied, then provided a little more information. “He is of average height, with blonde hair, coppery skin, and amber eyes. Does that sound familiar?”

    The innkeeper thought for a moment, but shook his head. He was no longer suspicious, he now seemed unconcerned. “Don’t remember any darkies like that comin’ through ’ere.”

    Adriel took him at his word, then bowed his head to the man. “Thank you. We will need four beds, and meals for five, if you please.” He assumed that Parsley and Mica could share a bed, as it would be more efficient.

    “Alright, git yerselves a table then. I’ll git two rooms set up for ye.”

    “Very well,” Adriel said, then left the bar and sat down at a nearby table with Sythenra.

    Mica’s nose twitched at being called human. While he didn’t care for being called of either race, it was best that he didn’t correct the innkeeper, to save money at least. “Pars, we’ll share a bed.” He poked his wife in the forehead to make sure she was still alive, due to her silence since they left the ship. “That ferry rat of yours better not get any ideas to cuddle with us or I’ll skin it and wear it as a loincloth.”

    Yrsanne followed Adriel loyally to his seat, taking his other side. The whole bodyguard situation felt pathetic, but what else was she to do?

    Parsley’s silence had been utterly awake to her. Every thought carelessly flowing through her mind like a gentle breeze, and some things being deposited while others were sorted for more thought later. Besides, she had never actually traveled much outside of the home and there was so many things that she had seen for the first time.

    Without really knowing, her steps had kept her close to Mica during the walk and Soybean had long ago fallen asleep in the folds of her robe gathered up around her neck. The extra warmth was nice and she had simply acknowledged it with a smile. Instinctively she had stopped when everyone else did and hadn’t considered speaking had it not been for the sudden contact of skin on skin that her husband’s finger made to her forehead.

    “Hm?” Blinking her eyes a few times to re-materialize what seemed like yet another new place into her view, Parsley looked up to her husband before digesting what it was he had said to her. “Oh, of course.” A small nod and she had given her husband a half lidded stare. “Soybean won’t touch you. He knows you don’t like him and he doesn’t really stick around much either.” Her hand gave the ferret a small scratch on the head and the dark elf sighed lightly. What was it she had been just thinking about? Oh, right—had she made sure there was no food left to rot back at the house? Back into her thoughts the dark elf went, but with a little less concentration this time, in case someone else were to involve her in the current happenings around them.

    Adriel was a little disappointed that they found no clues on Kiran, but he didn’t expect to find any information that easily. He was tempted to continue searching tonight, but he was tired from spending the day seasick. Adriel was looking forward to a meal to fill his empty stomach, but the food that they were given was poor. The meat was a cheap cut full of fat and gristle, the bread was going stale, and the potatoes were the only thing worth eating out of the entire plate. Adriel picked at his dinner, and polished off a glass of the cheap wine, despite its bitter taste.

    A couple of drunkards, not too pleased with the sudden influx of dark elf patrons, decided to make a deal about it. Taking up an empty flagon in his hands, he tossed the cup rather unskillfully at Yrsanne’s head. The aim was off and terrible and hit Mica’s back instead. The hot-headed half-elf jumped at the sudden attack on him and glared at the thrower.

    “That was the last thing you are ever going to do!” Mica growled as he charged across the room to get at the drunkard. One of the drunk’s friends got up and threw a punch at Mica, who, distracted by his primary target, took the hit on the cheek. Mica lost his footing and crashed into another table knocking a few patrons over.

    Parsley had, herself, been mindlessly picking at her food with a slight look of disgust on her face. Things here didn’t even seem to have a nutritional value and despite her best intentions she had avoided eating most of it all together. The sound of flagon whipping past her ears caught her attention well enough, but the sudden growl that had broke after it brought the dark elf’s blue eyes straight up off of her place and directly after her husband’s moving figure.

    “Mica!” A chocolate hand had outstretched itself to perhaps snatch a piece of his clothing as he passed by, but her aim had been far too slow and the fight had already ensued before she could open her lips once again.

    When the table crashed, Parsley had already been on her feet, and she hurried to apologize to the patrons that had been bowled over. Soybean leaped from her shoulder during the commotion and had situated himself under the former sitting place of Parsley. “Just ignore it, Mica, please. Shedding blood here is just a waste of your time—they’ll only do it again.” Brushing away pieces of the table off of Mica’s chest and face, she promptly hurried to helping him to his feet.

    Adriel left his seat and placed himself between Mica and brawlers, his arms casually crossed over his chest. The dark elf wasn’t as eager to fight as Mica, but he would defend himself if necessary. He didn’t draw his sword yet, but if they came at him again, he could have it out in an instant. “Mica, these men are hardly worth our skill,” Adriel said to his brother. However, his words would probably serve to rile up the men further. Adriel half recognized this, but he wasn’t about to lower himself to peacemaking with these brigands.

    The innkeeper wasn’t pleased to see the dark elves causing trouble, even if it was no more than their presence. “Hey! Take it outside!” the innkeeper shouted from the bar. He didn’t bother to get between the men though, he was content with telling them to leave, or calling the guards, but certainly not getting involved himself.

    Yrsanne frowned deeply when Mica got up, but Adriel rising only angered her. It was her head if something happened to the precious dark elf boy. “I’ll take care of this,” Yrsanne said calmly. This needed to stop. Now. Though Adriel didn’t draw his sword, Yrsanne did. Men like them needed to be showed that their lives were on their line. Keeping the sword behind her flowing skirt as she came up behind Adriel. With great grace and speed, her blade whipped up to the throat of the foremost brawler’s throat, causing him to stop.

    “Don’t be so pathetic,” Yrsanne said to Adriel before turning to the brawlers. “Your friend’s life is in my hand. If you don’t want his blood on the floor, you will do as I say.” The brawler adjusted himself, as if to get ready to try something, but Yrsanne nipped the idea in the bud by pressing the tip of her blade a bit harder against his gullet. “You all will walk out of this tavern slowly, while facing me.”

    Sythenra joined Yrsanne, standing between the dark elven men and the humans. With her sword drawn, she held it ready to defend her ward. “It would be wise to listen to her,” Sythenra added, speaking to the brawlers. The ranger was frustrated by Adriel. She had been hired to protect him, and here he was, putting himself in danger. Nehen would be furious if any harm came to her son.

    Privately, it was reassuring to have a comrade stand next to her, especially a dark elf woman like herself. Though Yrsanne’s narrow eyes never left the eyes of the man she held at her blade tip, Reassurance aside, she didn’t need the back up. If the fight picked up and Sythenra took her kill, there might have to be a problem.

    Mica pouted. He wanted to beat some people into bloody pulps but the men were backing off now that the dark elven party started paying attention to them. Mica sighed and gave Adriel a half hearted smile. “Aww...I wasn’t going to bust them up too bad, just enough to make them have to crawl to the nearest temple.”

    A light sigh left her lips and Parsley watched the events. Her hands patted at the dirt that had gathered on her pants and readjusted the cape about her shoulders absentmindedly. Her husband had just seemed to walk around her and the woman didn’t know how much to deal with being completely ignored—so she simply stood there until things had heated up once again. Her lips parted, and she considered speaking once more, but instead simply gave a small sigh and moved to sit back at her seat and pick at her food again. Oh how things had already seemed to be changing for her. Perhaps she should’ve stayed at home...

    When the small nudge at her legs remitted Soybean’s presence to her, Parsley fed him scraps from her plate. It wasn’t like she was eating them anyways.

    Yrsanne’s eyes narrowed as she stared the racist fool down. “Take your steps wisely,” she said quietly, leading him towards the door. “Your friends, tell them to follow you.” When he complied, she led him to the door. He began to turn and move away, but her blade tapped his chin and halted him. “If my blade finds your throat again, it will be to slice it. You should hope I never lay my eyes upon you again.” Yrsanne stepped forward, gripping her sword then in two hands, into the position to thrust it straight through him. She began the move to push forward and the man fell back through the doorway. Yrsanne slammed the door after them and sheathed her blade. As she passed by Adriel, she looked down on him. No wonder Adriel needed a body guard. He didn’t have the strength to do what he had to.

    Adriel smirked at Mica’s comment. His brother was in better spirits tonight, and that he was thankful for. Mica was still unpredictable however, and Adriel was baffled by what to expect from him.

    His smirk disappeared after Yrsanne shot him a glare. What was that about? he thought, but it only took him a moment to remember why the two women were with him. Right, they have to protect me... It was shameful. He was a capable fighter, and shaman in his own eyes. His mother was just overprotective. Yrsanne had seen him fight in the forest against the gargoyles and the bandits; hadn’t that proven his ability to her? The drunken brawlers were hardly worth his time and effort! Yrsanne and Sythenra had no reason to concern themselves here. Adriel lifted his chin and returned to the table, maintaining the poise of a dark elf, superior to the humans around him.

    Parsley had returned to her seat and quietly fed her pet ferret. She seemed to be trying to be unobtrusive, but it was hard for a woman as colorful as her to hide. She baffled Adriel as well. He had never met a dark elf woman as meek as her.

    Yrsanne brought herself to a seated position with her usual grace, but she didn’t look at Adriel. Perhaps the glare was too much, but it didn’t forgive his foolishness. She shouldn’t have had to do anything. She wouldn’t have, if he had approached situation with the care it deserved. She knew he could handle himself, but on the same token, a cocky attitude in a fight could get him injured or worse. And who would the blame fall to when they returned? Her. It was not something she was interested in, to say the least.

    Sythenra sat back down beside Yrsanne, shaking her head. There were a few choice words she had for Adriel, but she didn’t dare to say them. He was reckless, no matter how skilled he was, because he lacked experience. It was no wonder Nehen had sent them to watch over him.

    Mica grunted, “I’m bored.” He went over to the table his companions had seemed to flock around and flopped in his chair. “I kinda wish the innkeeper didn’t mind the ruckus so I could get some exercise.” He yawned openly and scratched his head.

    “Hmm...” Adriel tried to consider a way to relieve his brother’s boredom and his own, but he yawned as well and realized how late it was and how tired he was. The dark elf concealed his yawn behind his hand. “We should go to bed and rest for tomorrow’s search,” he stated and stood back up. “I am going to sleep now, at least. Who will share a room with me?” He didn’t mind if Sythenra or Yrsanne shared with him, but he secretly hoped it wasn’t Mica and Parsley.

    Yrsanne got up right behind Adriel. As much as she was displeased with him, sleep sounded good. Of course, her eye couldn’t be taken off of him, no matter how skilled he was. At no point would she be told she was not thorough. “Shall we?”

    Mica sighed. “I’m not really tired. I feel awake and in the mood to crack some skulls, and...” he glanced over at Parsley and gave a suggestive wink. “I’d be willing to...forgo violence for companionship, dearest.”

    Sythenra’s face contorted slightly in disgust. “I hope you realize I’ve been left to share a room with you,” she informed Mica. Despite how intimidating he was, she wasn’t going to keep her mouth shut if he wanted to make love to his wife in the same room as her. Though...she doubted Mica did much ‘love making’, per se.

    Mica’s face fell a little. “Ah...I..see. Ahem.” He shifted uncomfortably. “Well then, I think I’ll take a stroll to cool off then.” He patted Parsley’s head and walked off with a small sulk. Aww, and here I was hoping for a little cuddle and action before a possibly annoying day tomorrow.

    Sythenra just sighed when Mica left to take a walk to cool off. Men, she thought as she leaned back in her seat.

    Parsley sat silently with Sythenra for a time, but she couldn’t dispel the feeling that she was out of place. She yearned to go home, to go anywhere but here. Maybe she’d just go for a walk. “I’m going for a walk,” Parsley said and stood. Not knowing if she even wanted to come back, she picked up her traveling pack and her spear. Without affording an explanation to Sythenra, she headed out the door into the night.

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