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EliteCommander The Commander of Elites

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EliteCommander and Borg




Ssarak started to walk a slight distance away from the others, mostly so they would not be interrupted, while motioning for Henri to follow. He continued to speak entirely telepathically. ”You need not speak aloud; I will hear your words as you think them. But, at any rate, the answer to your question, regarding the others, lies in perspective. A perspective of which you are in dire need, though you did not know it. They are, all of them, complicated individuals. Flawed, but friends that I can and do trust with my life. They all have their reasons for acting, for speaking, for being as they are, and they may not be as irrational or callous as you may think from your perspective.”

Reaching the corner of the nearest building, and finally getting the attention of most of the crowd away from them, Ssarak finally stoped and looked down to Henri. ”I want to show you that perspective in the…unique way of which I am capable. I want to show you the beginning, or, at least, the point where the majority of us really began to understand the stakes of all of this. The Demon attack, it was…a new beginning for most of us. The struggles and trials that brought us all to the College, to that point in our lives, they did not go away, but that new threat caused all others to pale in comparison. To understand all of these people, my friends, you have to understand the attack. I want to show you my memories of the attack; to let you experience it as if you were me. Although, to give fair warning, it was not a pleasant affair.”

"Hm... Neat. Not many with this type of ability from where I
came from."
Henri thought, sure that Ssarak would hear his thoughts.

"Although It's not that pleasant to have someone freely looking through your memories and thoughts." Henri said, looking to Ssarak with a serious expression. It seemed like he didn't trust him completely yet.

As he his voice continued on his mind, Henri simply heard with a sceptical expression on his face. He really didn't know where that was going. All that talk about to know the stakes about all that was honestly irritating Henri. He was literally being dragged to all that and he expected him to act like that was his business? While he would certainly do everything in his power to keep his ‘comrades’, those he trusted, safe, he honestly didn’t care about those who weren't his allies.

"You're already looking through my mind. So take a look at what I had to face. What I needed to do to survive on this world. It's not that pretty either. I learned the hard way to trust no one. There were many times I thought I would die when I was little. I survived all of them. I'm still here today.
So don't expect me to change how I am. I learned many things in the circus. One of them is that even when facing despair, one shouldn’t lose his sense of self, his essence."
Henri thought, his voice sounding dark and serious on his mind.

"I'm not easily surprised. Go ahead. Show me whatever you want. But I don't see where this is going. I have nothing to do with the attack and I have nothing to do with your business as you have nothing to do with mine. Again, I don't see how knowing this will change or even explain how I was threatened, mistreated and disrespected over nothing." Henri continued.

"While I'm indeed now a student of the college, don't expect me to try to protect those that I'm not sure that would do the same for me." he thought.

"I will hear you, but first I need to ask... Don't they need to 'understand' me as well? Do you think you have an explanation that is good enough to justify them treating me like shit? Do you expect me to shut up and lower my head like a cowering puppy while they treat me however they want? Do you expect me to do something to help and protect them after what they did to me? I have ZERO trust on them." He concluded.

Since Henri had invited him to do so, and his thoughts had brought the relevant memories to the forefront of his mind, Ssarak did oblige his request and view the memories that Henri mentioned. All the while, he listened silently to everything that Henri had to say, though he was mostly reiterating what he had already said to some of the others. Ssarak did not reply to what Henri had to say about the others, he just looked him in the eyes, both serious and concerned. ”Henri, trust me when I say that you need to see all of this.”

Without another word, Ssarak peered into Henri’s mind and began to merge some of his own selected memories into Henri’s consciousness. He blocked out any other distractions from the world around him to allow him to experience the memories as Ssarak wanted to show them. Henri was not merely seeing the images that Ssarak saw with his eyes, he was feeling everything that he felt. The sounds of steel clashing with steel, spells firing all around him, and the screams of death. He could smell the stench of blood and death in the air with Ssarak’s stronger sense of smell, feel the aches and bruises Ssarak had collected through the battle thusfar. Everything from Ssarak’s exhaustion and fear, to the mild discomfort he felt from one of his greaves being tightened slightly too much against his scales, Henri could feel.

Henri would find himself in a place that was familiar, and yet frighteningly different from what he would remember. It was the dining hall of the College: a place that Henri had likely visited nearly every day for the past few months, a place to relax and socialize with friends. But now, it was their last, desperate stand against the encroaching horde of demons. Henri, on the front lines, would hear the cracking of bone and feel his axe the meat and sinew of a demon’s leg. One kill, with a seemingly endless army of savage and grotesque abominations pouring through the doors just beyond. All around him was death, not just of demons, but of guardsmen, soldiers, and the brave and desperate volunteers trying to resist the forces of the Inferno streaming in towards them. Several times, they struggled and were pushed back from the doors, each time adding more losses to the guardsmen’s numbers. Ssarak, and by extension, Henri felt the horror of an inevitable death approaching. While the demons could throw themselves onto their weapons seemingly without end, every dead guardsman could not be replaced. By the time the Fallen Demonmancer was carried into the chamber on his throne, they were having to step over the bodies of their fallen comrades to try and push the demons back out of the room.

Ssarak showed Henri the memory of the Fallen Demonmancer, carried into the dining chamber on a throne by his minions, then, by the power of his magic, starting to summon forth the Inferno itself in the middle of the dining hall. At that point, Ssarak ended the memory, though only for a moment. ”And it was not just me who experienced that terror.”

Ssarak once again showed him memories, though this time, not his own. Rather, he showed him selections of memories that he had witnessed in the minds of his friends and acquaintances over the years. They were not as detailed as Ssarak’s own memories, but they still carried a heavy weight, and showed Henri the scale of the battle around the College. But, there was one image that overshadowed all others, when the sky itself opened up as a portal into the Inferno. In all directions above him, Henri could see nothing but blackness, and a single demonic entity more massive than the entirety of the college, descending down upon them. It was only the equally powerful magic of the Archmage that closed the portal before it could arrive.

When Ssarak finally brought Henri back to the here-and-now, he looked down onto him with an expression consisting equally of severity and sympathy for what Henri had just experienced. “You see, Henri, that was not just an attack, and this is not just about politics or the College’s position in the world. That was a world-ending event, had we not stopped it. And it is not over. Against that, there is no running, there is no hiding, and there is no ‘getting out of it’. Not when the enemy has the power to consume the world in the fires of the Inferno. Whether you fight for someone else, or just yourself, fighting is the only option that exists for anyone who wants a chance of surviving it. That is why the others are taking this so seriously, and why they are acting that way towards you. They are not perfect people, and not all of them are particularly good at talking with others and conveying their ideas non-threateningly. Especially when what they have to say is a criticism of you. But, you see their intent now, yes? You see ‘why’ they expect you to swallow your pride when dealing with stuck-up nobles. Eania, Djarkel, their leaders do not understand what is coming, but we will need them to face it.”

Henri stood still as Ssarak started showing him his memories. Needless to say, it wasn't something pleasant. He was not only seeing, but he was also feeling everything that Ssarak did. He was being forced to experience and feel things he wouldn't normally. He could smell blood and death in the air with Ssarak's unusually sharp sense of smell. He could feel the how exhausted, tired and afraid Ssarak was, he could even feel his battle wounds like they were his own.

Henri found himself on a slightly familiar place. It was the college's dining hall, but it was engulfed in chaos. Demons everywhere, blood, screams and death. A small number of guardsmen and volunteers fought desperately against an encroaching horde of demons.

CRACK!

A strange sound came from something he was wielding as he saw a demon falling dead on the ground in front of him. It was an axe. Even though it was such an unfamiliar weapon for Henri, even if it was so heavy, unwieldy and unfamiliar, he felt almost like if it was himself swinging that brutish mass of steel, cracking a demon's bone, cutting through meat and sinew.

One more body to join a river of dead bodies was almost like nothing. The smell of demonic blood mixed with so many other different races resulted in a foul stench... It was hard to breathe, especially due to Ssarak's enhanced sense of smell.

Clenching his fists, Henri was sweating cold in real life as blood started to appear from the small cuts his nails were doing in his own hand from clenching them too hard. He was being forced to experience all that. Those weren't his feelings but he could feel them as vividly as if they were his own. It only made him even more annoyed and irritated. What happened had nothing to do with him. That battle had nothing to do with him until now.

Telepathy or mind reading weren't needed to feel the how incredibly annoyed Henri was at all that. He simply stood still as Ssarak ended the memory, only to start another one, this time, not his own. Once more, Henri was being forced to feel feelings that weren't his own...

This time, he saw the sky opening in a portal that seemed to go to hell itself as a massive demonic entity descended down upon the college. But worse than all that was the stare that Ssarak gave to him when everything ended. That stare... looking down onto him with a mix of severity and sympathy...

"Never. Do. That. Again." Henri said with a very severe expression.

[color=ed1c24][i]"Don't you look at me like that, Ssarak. I don't need your sympathy. And those who look down on me often regret that. You're already inside of my mind. Do something useful and look at WHO I AM, Ssarak. Tell me, what can just one circus artist such as myself do against apocalyptic powers? Nothing.[i][/color] Henri said to him in his mind.

"Pride? Do you think I survived all this time because I'm proud? I am alive because I don't pick fights i can't win without analyzing the situation very well. I am alive because I don't start meaningless confrontations, Ssarak. I survived all this time because I learned with my parents, with the people at the circus, to always smile even in the worst circumstances. There is no use in thinking about things that are completely out of your control. If you spend your days thinking about when you will die, you'll miss your entire life doing nothing. I will do whatever it takes to repay the trust that those whom i consider 'friends' have put on me. But don't expect me to care about your problems if you don't care about mine." He continued.

"Once again, for the last time, no sane noble would talk to me, a lowly circus artist. They're on their castles, enjoying their gold and endless food. And I will be very far away from them. And even if they do talk to me, my answers will only depend on how they approach me. If they say whatever they want, they'll hear what they don't want." Henri continued.

"I only recently joined the college. I have nothing to do with the attack. Don't try to make me carry the same weight that you, who was personally there has to carry." He completed.

"How can you expect me to trust people who treated me like that or even call them allies? Even after all what you showed me, that question still stands. Nothing that you showed me justified your friends actions. Threatening and disrespecting someone who is supposed to be your 'ally' like that and still expecting him to help you whenever you call his name? You're surely messing with me..." Henri completed, looking at Ssarak.

Ssarak remained ever calm in the face of another of Henri’s emotional outbursts. This one, after all, was more understandable than some of the previous ones. ”Do not worry, I shall get to that point, but first, It is understandable for you to be upset; what I showed you was quite a lot to take in. And you saw how terrible it was to live through. But, if I may criticize, the error of your thoughts now are that you are still thinking of yourself as the person you were in your past. You are far more than a circus artist, Henri. I am far more than a soldier, Mar is far more than a huntress, Alaira is far more than a mercenary, Althalus is far more than a, well, whatever he was. And Lyn is far more than a little girl. We were all born with the potential to be something greater. I do not think you understand the sheer power of the blood flowing through your veins. A novice mage can be a fearsome combatant, a more experienced mage like myself? My magic could decide entire battles. And at our highest levels of mastery…”

Ssarak paused a brief moment, his expression seemingly contemplative. ”…we become gods among men. That is the potential locked within you, which the College can…unlock.”

Henri heard carefully what Ssarak had to say, looking at him with hard eyes. Yes, he was irritated and annoyed with all that, but Ssarak had yet to say where he wanted to get with all that, but when Ssarak started to talk about power, about how Henri wasn't who he was in the past, and above everything else, that they were gods amongst men, Henri couldn't help but let out a sarcastic chuckle.

"I am still Henri Larue. Nothing will change that fact. We shouldn't let a little bit of power rise up to our heads and make us change ourselves or our essence. Magic can be powerful, but we are far from 'gods'." Henri said, with a sarcastic smile as he said the word 'god'.

"Nothing is forever, Ssarak. No one is immortal, everything ends. It doesn't matter how powerful a mage can be, I doubt they can do anything with a dagger on their throats." he continued.

"Do you know what makes me 'strong', Ssarak? What makes me strong is what I learned being weak. While the strong sharpen their fangs, the weak shall sharpen their minds. I came to the college to learn more about my aeromancy, something I don't even know how powerful it can be. Not to forget everything that makes me, myself. Sure, I will help those whom I consider my allies, those whom I trust and I don't expect to study on the college for free, I have no problems in doing things to 'pay' for my stay such as doing a few missions and odd jobs, but don't expect me to deal with problems that aren't mine. I can't do anything about the attack you guys suffered. Don't try to drag me to it and say I'm responsible for something that happened in the past." Henri thought to Ssarak, concluding his little speech.

"Do you understand what I'm trying to tell you, Ssarak? It doesn't matter how much stronger I get, it wont change who I am, my essence. I will still be Henri Larue, I may even become a 'mage' as you like to say, but I will always be a circus artist. Nothing will change that, nothing can change my past, my origins, my experiences. I'm sure you saw in my memories the names others call me... 'Rogue', 'cunning', 'sly', 'devious' & etc." he thought.

"You know... there is this story I used to heard when I was little that said that the very thing that makes a 'mage' an incredibly hard opponent to deal with isn't just his magic. But the fact that he is crafty, unpredictable, creative and... cunning. Nobody never knows what a mage will do next. How will he deal with said situation." Henri completed, looking to Ssarak.

Ssarak gave a low sigh, which was one of the few outward signs of their telepathic conversation. ”You tend to reiterate those points, Henri, but you should pause a moment and listen to mine. You said that you could not have the power to do anything about an ‘apocalyptic’ threat, but I am telling you that you can. And, more importantly, that you have no choice if you have any desire to live. Even if you had no friends that you wished to protect, the enemy shall not give you a choice of whether or not you ‘want’ to be involved. You are involved, no matter what you do. Every single living or undead person in this world is involved, from College students to the most remote farmer peasants in the far ends of Djarkel. You saw what I showed you, yes? When that kind of power is brought down upon the world once more, there will be no escape. No running, no hiding, no staying ‘uninvolved’. That is not a choice that is open to you, or anyone else. It is not ‘our’ problem, it is yours. The demons will make it yours. You can try to face it alone, or with the support of the most powerful mages in the world. If you would prefer the latter, I can help you get along with them, and them with you. You just have to be willing to listen to me.”

"Oh, so here is where you wanted to reach with all this? Do you still think it's my fault that they treated me like that? You know the only thing i want? I want them to FUCK OFF. I don't even talk to Athalus, Alaira & etc... I don't even know them. The same goes to Tyrael. To listen to you, you say? I'm always listening. But your friends Tyrael, Alaira and Athalus don't seem to respect me as a person enough to hear what I have to say or even to try to see things by my point of view." Henri thought to him, once again, irritated.

"Everyone has a choice, Ssarak. To be involved or not. The demonic attack on the college was YOUR problem. Not mine. You can't change that. What will happen in the future regarding the demons? Only time will tell. These farmers you talk about, are they doing anything about this apocalyptic powers? No. You want to be a hero? I want to simply live my life RIGHT NOW. I don't want, nor I do need to carry the weight of the world on my back. When the time comes, I will see what can I do." he continued.

"Don't throw your expectations on my back. My future concerns only one person, me. I am the one that decides what I'll do with it. Don't expect me to play hero with your friends. I will do whatever it takes for me to survive, but that's it. I am NOT responsible for what happened on the college with the demon attack. You say I can do something about those apocalyptic powers. We will only discover that when the moment when I need to fight for my life of for my comrades arrive."

"Until then, the present is the only thing that matters. I advise you to do the same, lest you want to waste your life planning, without ever enjoying the present. Plans are useless, Ssarak. They are only useful to waste your time when you see nothing will ever happen exactly the way you planned. That's why I don't plan anything. I simply follow the wind." Henri completed, with a smile. It was almost ironic for an aeromancer like him say that word. Maybe it was exactly because he was an aeromancer that he saw the world that way? Or it was because he sees the world this way that he became an aeromancer?

Ssarak huffed, almost like a laugh. ”It is amusing you should say that, considering how vital well-made plans have been to my success on virtually all of my missions. Why, that Fallen Demonmancer in the memory I showed you was killed by a stratagem of mine. My mageblood excels at perfectly executing complicated plans. Ah, but this is not about your thoughts on the merits of improvisation. This is a bit more important than that. I hope you can see that I am trying to convince you to stop acting against your own best interests. If I am not being humble, then I would say that I am a fair amount more patient than many of my companions. It does not take a master tactician to realize that having powerful allies improves your chances of survival against powerful enemies.”

While he was not becoming even close to aggressive, Ssarak’s friendly attitude had become more serious. ”And we do not always get to pick our allies, but there is more to them than you know. Alaira, she was once so...exceptionally infuriating. We were assigned to the same mission once, and I felt like smashing her skull with how bull-headed and temperamental she was. But now? She is only ‘somewhat’ infuriating. Her judgment has improved considerably, and I would consider her a friend. Particularly interesting, considering she met me with a preconceived distrust of Esyire. She is still aggressive, of course, and she is not the greatest at talking with others, but her heart is in the right place. I am afraid the way the others have reacted to you may have colored her opinion of you, since she does trust her friends. Althalus? He was thrown rather unexpectedly into the role of being a father to Lyn. And as someone who has been a father himself, I can say that Althalus’ attitude towards you makes perfect sense.” Ssarak chuckled. ”I am sure you have noticed that Lyn has taken a liking to you, and at her age, well...that is a concern for any father. He could have handled it more diplomatically, but can you see where he was coming from? That he has reasons for saying and doing the things he does? That is what I wanted to show you, in all of this. They all have reasons for being as they are, and for many, those reasons are the same. That attack I showed you, even if you are not willing to fight our enemy, we are, and we take this fight very seriously. Like it or not, as long as you are with us, you represent the College, and nobility will be willing to talk to you because of that association. When you tell my friends that you are willing to talk back to and disrespect an Eania noble, even one that deserves it, then that threatens our mission. It threatens them, my friends. Do you understand? The reason that they have been rude and aggressive to you is because you have been threatening their lives with your actions. Or...threat of actions, as it were. Your words to them were the equivalent to putting a knife to their throats, only in a more indirect way. Does their aggression not make more sense in that context?”

Henri was visibly getting tired, seeing as that conversation would lead nowhere, at least to him. As Ssarak continued talking through telepathy to him, in real life, it was very apparent that Henri was getting impatient.

"My essence, who I am will never change. You can complain and pout as you want, but it will be useless, just like your plans. I wonder what you will do when one of these 'carefully planned stratagems' of yours turns out to be completely useless." Henri replied.

"Regarding Lyn and Athalus... You mean that just because Lyn likes me, that's enough reason for Athalus to act like an idiot? Huh... nice double standards you got there..." he continued.

When Henri heard Ssarak's next words, saying he was putting a knife to their throats, his expression visibly changed. Instead of the amused expression with a sarcastic grin on his face, there was simply a serious expression. It was clear that he had enough of that. That conversation was clearly not entertaining nor interesting for him anymore.

"This conversation is going nowhere. You don't understand me even looking through my mind. I got to say... for a genius strategist, you're denser than I thought you would be... I'm not putting a knife on anyone's throats, stop being so dramatic. You all think me just as an arrogant rogue who talks too much but wouldn't be able to handle the situation when things get ugly, right?" He asked, with a sarcastic laugh.

"Honestly, I don't care what you all think. I'm alive today even after so much has happened. That's enough proof I know how to take care of myself. I know how to clean my own ass, Ssarak. Don't worry, I'll make sure that my actions won't affect you and your superhero friends. After all, you guys are the chosen ones to save the universe, am I right? And you have Mr. Genius strategist who never fails with you... What could possibly go wrong?" Henri said, this time out loud in a sarcastic tone as he gave his back to Ssarak, slowly walking away.

"It's funny... Even though you're talking about the nobles, some of you are awfully similar to them. Talking, acting and thinking like one of those stuck up idiots... Maybe I should never have come to the college. I heard about some quite powerful rogue mages... I suppose you guys from the college dislike them as well, right? Perhaps I should instead try to search for one of those..." Henri continued, walking away without looking back at Ssarak. That entire conversation was just an immense waste of time. And like that, Henri simply shrugged as he walked away. He was already disappearing amongst the crowd even before Ssarak could reply, so there wasn’t any way to say what would he do next…

Ssarak was not making much of an effort to follow Henri, and yet, Henri could still hear him in his mind. So as long as Ssarak could remain close enough to maintain his mental connection to him, the conversation would not be so easy to escape. ”Understanding you? You mean to say that I do not understand the circus family you were born into? The Larue, your family? You told me to read through your mind, and I did indeed oblige your request. Certainly, your upbringing was not the easiest imaginable, living without citizenship and the protection of the law. You had to do what you must to survive, but you did have family. People you loved and cared for, and I know you are not happy being away from them. I do not think you are as selfish as even you think you are; I know what you are willing to do for your family. Perhaps you would be happier returning to them, going back to your parents, your brothers, your sisters. But you should know that we are fighting for them as well, just as we fight for every other person in this world. I have tried to compromise with you, and to help you understand my friends just as much as I understand you. But, ultimately, I do not wish to force you to accept my reasoning. I would recommend returning to your family, but your life is your own. Or, you can stay with us and learn to expand your magical ability to help better protect those you care for. I can help my friends understand you better, and for you to understand them, so that you can actually start getting along. They are not unreasonable people, I can promise. All I need from you is the willingness to compromise.”

Despite Ssarak’s powers, he would find out that the mental connection between him and Henri was slowly getting weaker and weaker as Henri continued walking. Sighing mentally and physically Henri made it so Ssarak knew how unsatisfied and unwillingly to continue that conversation he was, but he still heard Ssarak’s voice on his mind. But not even Ssarak could follow him forever. Not when he was on a city.

“Oh, don’t fool yourself, Ssarak. You do not understand me and my family. You simply watched my memories through your eyes, you never experienced them by yourself and most certainly, you don’t know my family. We’ve been through some very bad situations and we were always able to deal with them. One way or another. That’s how the Larue live. We adapt, we survive. We know how to take care of each other and we know how to take care of our own.” Henri said.

“That said, I am smart enough to know when my presence isn’t welcome. And that’s exactly the case on the ‘college’. Honestly..? I don’t even understand why but i don’t really care anyways… You say you are fighting for them? Hah… No, Ssarak… You’re fighting for your own hides, for the nobles whom you appreciate so much and love to lick their boots, for the kings and money. Nobody cares about us, foreigners, outsiders.” Henri said, his tone getting visibly more irritated as he saw himself forced to continue that fruitless and useless discussion.

“Oh, but don’t worry. Your recommendation, albeit incredibly obvious, is in fact, correct. The college doesn’t have a place for me. I am not one of your own. Expand my magical ability you say…? You know… You guys aren’t the only ones who are knowledgeable about magic. There are a lot of rogue mages around the world. People that, just like me, realized that the college wasn’t a place for them, that the college would never ‘accept’ them as they were… I just need to find them. Besides that… I’m more than able to protect myself and those around me the way I am. Strenght is not the only thing that is able to win fights, Ssarak… You, more than anyone else, should know about that.” Henri said with a mental chuckle.

“The connection between our minds is getting weaker, Ssarak. Not even you can follow me forever. It’s time for us to part ways. It was a short time I spent on the college, but I can safely say that it’s not a place for me. It will never be. Your ‘friends’ see me as nothing but an outsider, not even worth respecting or treating fairly… I’m sure that if i spent another month in the college, around so many enemies, I would either poison someone or stab them… As a last piece of advice, don’t try to follow me or find me… You won’t be able to.” Henri said, those were the final words Ssarak would able to hear from him as their mental link became weaker and weaker, before being completely cut off.

Again, Henri underestimated Ssarak’s capabilities. He would be able to follow him, at least closely enough to stay within his range, particularly since he could simply wait outside whatever building he chose to enter. However, the real choice was whether or not it was worthwhile to follow him. From all that Ssarak had learned from speaking to him, and reading into the depths of his mind, his assessment of Henri was not optimistic. Henri’s particular brand of stubbornness seemed quite insurmountable. No amount of reasoning, evidence, or emotional appeal was likely to budge his decision. It was hard to diagnose from only the samples of thoughts he had seen, but it felt as if Henri was paranoid. He was dismissing most of what Ssarak was telling him as lies, even without any real evidence or a solid reason to doubt him. Perhaps it was a genuine mental issue, or perhaps just a trait picked up and heavily reinforced from his upbringing, but the only way Ssarak would be able to affect his perspective would be to become more forceful with his magic. But, that was not something he wanted to do with someone who was still technically an ally. At the very least, if he was not associating himself with the College, then any trouble he got himself into would be his own problem.
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Lyn, Shimmerstone




Lyn was smiling now. A small glow spread across her expression as she hung close to Alaira, both ignorant about the information about the shapeshifter being spotted. She had mentioned some of the things she hoped to do with everyone during the festive and had some ideas how to proceed. Including bring her godfather some treats from the city vendors when meal time came around. She hoped he would at least try some of them.

Her boots navigated across the cracks easily despite her eyes being focused on Alaira. Gradually she felt her mother’s eyes turned and follow her, driving away the joy away with suspicion. They locked eyes causing Lyn’s head to tilt. Without another word, Mar ate up the distance between herself and her daughter.

“Lyn where have you been?” Mar hissed slightly with concern lacing the words.

As her mother clasped her shoulders, Lyn’s confusion grew. She could see the worry in the features but the cause eluded her. Something wasn’t right and she could feel it deeply in her core. Lyn looked past her mother into her father’s eyes, quietly asking him what was up and found hself relieved that Henri was nowhere in sight. She wasn’t sure if she could handle the emotional drama right now.

“Yeah, Alaira found me. What’s going on? Why do you look so worried? Did something happen?” Lyn asked as she pulled off her mother’s hands, grasping them in her own.
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