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Just your average Joe.
Bagus Surya is the name.
From Indonesia.

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The intention was to bring the chair to the antechamber and, as silly as it sounded, to help her have a good footing while climbing up.
But then Solomon was there, tending to everyone's wounds and he did not appreciate the additional ruckus.

“Jazdia, Yvonne. In my pouch there is one last container of some pain salve, medicated ointment to promote healing, and some bandages. Take the canteen and clean your wounds with the water. Patch what you can, and where you cannot, I will tend to you. Allow me to see what I can do for Cedar first.”

The elf shrugged, "No, really, don't mind me. As you said, Cedar needs more of your attention." Still dragging her chair, but with less friction than before, Jazdia eyed the Bear man and gave him a thumb-up. "You did good, pal!"

There was an eery silence after she voiced her refusal.

“Jazdia. I will not accept your nonchalant behavior." Solomon insisted in a low tone. He was still tending to the bear, but the voice felt direct, concerned in a way that makes you feel the urge to explain yourself with an unconvincing excuse.

"Please take care of yourself, keep yourself rested," he said again. "There is no further need to exert. Stay here. Petra should be escorting the prince down shortly.”

So the key has been unlocked and the runes encrypted. That was one less loose end indeed, but Jazdia's objective was to find something she could use to wrap this case up nicely when they deliver the prince. The urgency to collect the item was immediate, but the elf had no way to explain it quickly.

"You heard the good doctor, elf. The Rosenving daughter added, though the 'elf' part was not necessary. We all deserve a short break after the whole debacle!"

"That's very nice of you all. Fine, what's the harm anyway?" she said with some sarcasm left and then took the salve from Solomon's pouch and nothing else. Other than that, she had her own supply of first aid kit.

The clattering sound of falling cutlery and thrashed porcelain sounded like a grimacing invitation, but she realized that the sacred table manner had been thrown out of the window long ago when Asevor initiated his unsophisticated spell against them. And thus now the long table was just a piece of wood for her to sit.

"Show me where it hurt the worst. Gotta take care of each other now, yeah?"

"Show it, huh? Here? Now? Heh, fine."

Jazdia only delayed for a mere second before unbuttoning her ruined vest and undershirt and placing them on the table, leaving only the brassiere to preserve her modesty. Burn marks stretched from her shoulder blades, collarbones, and shoulder down to her arms, and upper back. Some other was on the side of her midriff, along with bruises, and lastly, on her fingers and both palms.

"Should I take this off too?" she asked again, pinching the strap of her upper undergarment.

Standing under a shack that was once a stable, Jazdia braced for the impact when the blast report reached her. Immediately the elf hunkered down, instinctively shielding her face with the elbow as the shockwave ladened with splinters of ice and debris hurled toward her. The chaos ended as quickly as the explosion itself, but still did another number to her, who was now struggling to keep her balance. Thankfully though, there was no piece of metal rod or fittings sticking out of her torso. Speaking based on experience that was.

Shaking herself off from a mild concussion, Jazdia stumbled out of the ruins, immediately correcting her gait until she walk steadily again and have his eyes focused on something else. The peak of the tower was unchanging. No additional explosion, no fires or smoke or goddamn acid.

"Dead man's switch my foot!" she spat.

The path was muddy, and Jazdia was deliberate with her step as she hiked back toward the tower. The sun was shining again, finally, and she had almost forgotten how good it felt after a bad day, must be the retirement thing.

With no door to kick, the elf entered the room, smiling as she reached for one of the chairs and drag it across the room. "Everyone alive?" she asked amidst the irritating groan of wood against wood. "Good! Don't mind me though, No rest for the wicked they say!"

"Arrows fired..." huffed Jazdia through the comms.

30 seconds, she told to herself, it was too late now to question that decision, the time given was applied without any strategic consideration but instead a result of compromises calculated by what remained of her tactical acuity and a natural impulse to survive. Adding more seconds would shut her down completely, and certainly nobody would want that, would they?

Cedar better makes every arrow count.
"This ere storm aint endin till one a us is 6 feet un'er. No, afores yas asks, aint nuthin I kin do 'bout 'at. That fuck'r gits away, I'm one dead bear; storm'll eat wha's left a me, tryin to peg 'im. ... ...

I kin try an keep 'im pinned high up. Wuz plannin' on killin' 'im up'ere anywhoo.."


So it was a no.

The wind howled without any sign of slowing down, Jazdia's golden hair draped behind her, and soon the ribbon that binds it together in a ponytail unfastened; it had withstood the acid fog, torrential rain, and fire, but sadly the raging tempest was its breaking point.

There was nothing special with the hairstyle, really. It was her favorite because she liked everything neat, tidy, and orderly, and abhorred everything that strayed out of the plan, out of the calculation, and out of her already flexible acuity to improvise.

Her loosened-up hair perhaps signified the control that has been slipped out of her grasp. But instead of hating herself or anything for it, she decided that the energy spent on it would not be worth it.

"DA PRINCE! DID YAS FINDZ DA PRINCE!?" asked the bear, for the first time in their frustrating and windy conversation he sounded concerned.

"We found him. He is on the top of the tower." answered Jazdia, jumping down from the rampart to the roof of a random house below. "If anything, that should be more reason to keep Asevor away from this place." she continued dryly, there was no option left but to be remarkably calm, and it was surprisingly easy when the impulse to murder Asevor waned because the Cheating Wizard was no longer in sight.

"If you want to lift him any higher, then do what you have to do. My arrow can't reach any higher than this, so you are on your own, pal. We will take shelter in the tower. Good luck."

Reaching the ground now, Jazdia looked up to the sky and winced. She pulled out the enchanted arrow in her quiver and whispered a modified code into it. To another arrow, she did the same.

"On second thought, I have some regards that need to be delivered to our floating wizard. I have programmed my arrows to explode in 30 seconds upon reaching your altitude, do whatever you want with them, but I hope it's not something as shallow as martyrdom. Again, good luck."

After saying that, Jazdia nocked the arrow and pulled the string as far as she could. The arrow soared straight into the sky, trailing through winds, and missed Cedar a meter away, another arrow followed suit.

Without any assistance from her enchanted vision, it looked like there was a line made of a ghostly glow being established between Petra and the spinning bear above. And that was all.

This plan hinged on the details yet the storm and distance made it difficult to scrutinize, the wind was not slowing and they had only so much time at hand. The downward current felt like it was going to tear her skin when Jazdia activated her communication device.

"You are making one hell of a mess here," she said, for now, the replies came in erratic rumbles of wind hitting the microphone. "If you heard my last message, good. If not, I am not going to repeat it." Pausing, and still no reply, Jazdia exhaled a breath before continuing. "You need to calm down. Asevor has a bomb powerful enough to level half of the city with him, and I swear to God it will happen if we stop him right now. He is trying to get away from the city, and currently heading to the southwest, seemingly lost all sense of direction. Luckily it's all plains outside the city. Now, if you want to keep your hide and alive, keep the pressure on him, slow him down until he is far enough from the city, then we take him down. How's that sound to you?"

From here, Jazdia could confirm that her order had been carried out, and thus without waiting for the item to be handed properly, the elf immediately barked a new command. "Take this trinket the bear above, I want to speak with him, Pronto!"

A question still remained whether Solomon's undead could receive verbal instruction from just anybody, or worse, that reanimated thing has a will of its own. This was the only chance, and if this doesn't work too, she would have no choice but to shoot Asevor down now.

The hurricane sucked Asevor and threw him against the tower. Down below, Jazdia waited in anticipation to blast him with another missile, but like a rubber ball, he bounced back, yet managed to stabilize himself to hover away slowly. Despite the unexpected occurrence, the elf steadied her aim. Asevor should be easier to shoot down now; his shield already had more cracks than the barrier itself.

So she string pulled, and the arrow flared, ready to be fired. The wind was a bit choppy but she could always compensate for her aim.

Until a small, red star appeared on the Wizard's staff.

The glow in her eyes faded as if the instinctual self-control in her decided that she had seen enough for now, and should work on minimizing the consequences of her failure.

Undrawing her bow in sheer disgust, Jazdia rushed to look for Cedar, who seemed to be more enraged than herself. The wind howled around him, whirling in such force it already lifted his enormous body and had him spinning mid-air.

His spinning figure raised a hand then sweep it down. And suddenly a massive downdraft roared with an increasing intensity.

"Ced! Do not pull him!" she shouted. "Stop your spell now!

The bear-shaped spinning thing above peered down. His voice echoed in the raging tempest with a mix of confusion and resolution. ''Listen lady, this kinda magic dont work that way! At this point, it's him or me, its gonna take one of us, an' 'ats 'a onluh way it' gunna stop!'

Ugh, maybe stop was not the correct word. Being mindful with her phrasing in a critical situation like this was never been her forte; on one hand, she had a message to relay, and on the other, she must not let that old wizard sniff the knowledge she had. It was all about the game of balance and she despised it.

"Ced! That wizard MUST NOT have his shield broken on this ground, or you are at risk of causing an unmanageable level of collateral! Civillians will die!"

The entire city would be damned if Cedar didn't get the message, but whatever. Climbing the stairs leading to the inner wall, Jazdia prepared her arrow and activated her comms. The last communication established was with Yvonne, and the damn thing was still with her.

Glancing down to the tower entrance, she saw Petra. The undead had the ability to propel herself up using her spectral form. That way she might be able to reach Cedar.

"Miss Rosenving, this is Jazdia. Hand my Kompass to that fancy ghost, yeah that's her. And take the others back to the keep, now!"
When Admiral Silas Delving arrived on the premises, his sister was sitting at the table in the middle of the room, already getting comfy without a care in the world. In front of her, a pot of tea and assortments of snacks had been served, and she immediately munched one down.

"I thought I asked you to stay there and wait for me."

Part of him wanted to reprimand her, but he realized it was probably his fault too. The fate of this mission was sealed when he decided to allow her to tag along, and Kirsten being herself should be the last person he would expect to follow an instruction.

"Sorry, should have told you earlier..."

It was nobody's fault. Her sister was not briefed about the situation; even if she was, Silas knew Kirsten would not care.
Pulling a chair on the opposite side of her, the Admiral sat down and tried to ease the situation. What was done is done.

"Fine, you win," he said in a more relaxed tone, to the delight of his sister. "We've spent this whole morning on horseback. I can spare some time for a snack, we are waiting for our horses to be delivered anyway."

It was a slightly forceful excuse. A trip from their estate to Hdur barely covered half of their journey, but Silas was just trying to appear more amicable and made their conversation sound more natural. Make no mistake, he knew exactly where they were, and not a minute passed without him rubbing the pommel of his sword.

Helping himself with a slice of sweetbread, Silas kept his eyes on a seemingly-good-natured elven man on the counter and a fastidious young girl who yelled they were now running out of croissants to sell. His sister had downed a whole serving for herself, and he now had the chance to accept the invitation.

The bread on his hand was soft, it tasted sweet, delicious, and Normal and he hated it because it was normal and delicious.

He excused himself and stood up.

"Err, brother, what's wrong?

"It's nothing," Despite saying that, Silas rallied a great effort to maintain his gentlemanly demeanor. He walked to one of the windows facing the street, expecting to see his subordinate, but he saw none of them.

The admiral turned, cold sweat trailing on his forehead when he realized that Kirsten was gone too, and at their table, there was an elven man. He waved at him, green eyes glanced as if mocking his confusion. Where is my sister? He would give the man an ultimatum, if he wanted to test him he would get it!

He blinked, then it felt like some unknown forces pulled him. The admiral instinctively gripped his sword and unsheathed it, his fair feature glowed with radiant light, and suddenly he found himself sitting on the same table. Meanwhile, Kirsten emerged behind the counter, lifting a tray full of bread and bumping fists with the Baker's human daughter. "Ohh, so that's how you make a perfect roll!" she bubbled.

The elven man was now sitting in front of him, unmoving, either waiting for Silas' next reaction or whatever. A trace of glow could be seen gradually fading in his eyes as he placed a weapon on their table; an otherworldly pistol with a tubular muzzle and body full of jagged sides. It looked heavy and solid, like something carved out of stone.

And Silas did the same, his saber rested on the table with its edge pointed at their host.

"To what do I owe the pleasure of having the Admiral of Kindeance Navy visiting my humble establishment?" he began, his voice was dignified, but lacking any musical ring the elves were famous for. "I saw you visited Master Stockton before, how was he? Quite a grumpy fellow, but honorable. I get my shipment of butter, cheese, and raisins from him."

At first, he was alerted, but now Silas stared at the man curiously. "Your concern for your neighbor is commendable, Master Baker. But believe there is something more worthy of your time than grazing on a small thing like this."

"Not a small thing, Ser Silas." said the man. "I know Master Stockton has, or-- sorry, had some ties with your family. As far as the contracts between him and your family go, I take no part in them, but Hdur is a small town, and if a single actor missing from the distribution chain, the impact on the economy would be considerable. For example, people get their staple food from me."

"Speaking like a true Kindean I see... Pardon my insensitivity, but I am afraid the best I do is to suggest you file a complaint to the constabulary if the situation affected your business somehow."

"Ah, because it was you who said that, perhaps you could help me forward my concern to your brother? Please? I am afraid after the Black Serpent incident yesterday making an appointment with Ser Aaron would be rather difficult."

"I am sure someone as resourceful as yourself would not need my help."

The elven man lets out a hearty laugh.

"An average peaceful citizen like me would always need help. To seek Peace, Sir Silas, something that perhaps insignificant for your family, but you've heard my words before. You took away peace from a not-the-most-pleasant guy around and it's the whole community who suffers the consequences. You feel me?"

"Master Baker, I am deeply sorry for your predicament, but again I am not the one who can help you, and I am here to enjoy some bread."

Baker's hallow eyes feigned no emotion when he leaned forward. Silence fell between them for a time.

"That's very noble of you. If only your Usuals had a similarly ordinary intention when they walked into my home some time ago."

"They were under my father's order."

It was simply the truth. No provocation, nor mockery whatsoever. Silas had heard about this man, heard what he could do, but seeing his unreadable eyes, he felt anxious, not threatened. Like staring at a large boulder planted on the hillside. The dangers were not yet measured and he would have a plan to deal with it. But uncertainty was still there and it echoed a clear waning; if any of them instigate a violent confrontation, both of them will die.

"True." said the man finally, still with a steely expression."That small detail was the only reason we still have this civil conversation right now, and I trust you would not follow the same mistake your father did."

"That was never my intention, I am here simply because my sister wanted some bread."

"Then I welcome you."

Despite the implied tension, it was as genuine as it gets, bringing a slight confusion to Silas who expected the situation to escalate. For the entire part of this exchange, he tried to distance himself from his Father's doing, but now he felt the offense burned him, and this one Baker had stepped out of his boundary.

"You are an interesting man, Master Baker. But I couldn't help but point out the faults in your ideals. You said you seek peace, but people like you often failed to be self-conscious... to realize there is something bigger than themselves. Those... who unfortunately barged into your establishment, those men, were the right hand of something bigger than you. Any wise man who truly seeks peace would let them be, and both parties would carry on with their lives, peacefully."

The elven man finally let out a thin smile, but he remained in silence, giving Silas a chance to continue.

"When you pray for the rain you have to deal with the mud as well, that's how the world works."

"Not the civilized world that I know." the reply came out sharper than Silas had expected. "I'm sorry to say this, but the rain and mud were always there, to each for their own purposes. It's just... there were always people like you who picked up the mud and throw it around thinking they have the right to decide who deserved to be smudged and who is not. You said people like us should be more self-conscious, but I gotta ask, are you self-conscious enough?"

"I am afraid it has nothing to do with the peace you seek."

"It does, on a grand scale. Your father has been scooping up mud for years, secured it in a large cauldron, and then added gunpowder into it, threatening to smear us all with something called war. He backstabbed his lord on the back, deceived him, and kidnapped his heir. You pushed a fair and reasonable man into madness, and now his wrath is focused on you, all who bear the name of Delving. What do you think he would do next?"

Silence ensued between the two, and Silas hated to be one who have to break through it.

"Master Baker, you think you know better than us," he said in a short chortle, then that smile faded, and a scowl replaced it, fire blooming in his golden eyes. "I think I understand my father's grievance a way better now. You, a foreigner, came to our kingdom and do whatever you please. For years we tolerated you and now you spouting nonsense as if you know about our homeland. Pardon me, but it is... insulting."

"You can call it whatever you want," the elven man shrugged. "doesn't change the fact that your King trusted his foreign agents better than you. Calm yourself, Ser Silas, I understand a man like you has a lot of things to not say."

"I don't have anything to say anyway." It was a pathetically thin veil of lie, and Silas himself had no idea why would he say something so easy to read like that.

"Maybe not, true. But I will do you a favor because it seems your path are destined to be intertwined anyway. You are dealing with a fanatically loyal Samurai, who shredded your associate's strongest champion to ribbons and burned his warehouses to the ground. His friend is a vicious scion of Rosenving who used to be your peer."

"With them is a legendary doctor cloaked in enough urban legend to make a storybook, and a Hybrid Bear who controls plants and weather.
And finally, my former boss. They departed this midnight, dead set on liberating your prince. If you want to stop them you should go now, but I suggest you shouldn't"

"You advised me to not stop them after ratting them out?"

"The information I provided above can be easily gathered overnight by a trained spymaster, and the details about their departure were not given out of malice. Admiral Silas, I simply give you an opportunity to make a better decision. Better than what your father and younger brother picked for themselves."

He paused to look at Kirsten, who walked out of the baking area with a bright smile and a basket full of bread.

"The king's punishment will be severe and indiscriminate. Save your family from this madness."

After saying that, the elf picked up his gun and walked back to his counter.

"Those bread! How much do I owe you?"

"It's on me!" said the elf without turning back. "Not every day an Admiral having a brunch in my store."

The Admiral and his companions arrived at Hdur, though his official order was for his father's men to stay clear from the city, there was something that needed to be ironed out.

The infamous bakery was located in the middle of the town. Other than the inviting smell of freshly baked loaf, there was nothing extraordinary about it; a two-story wooden building that seemed to give off the impression of a humble establishment, it always has its windows and door open, and strangely seemed to have more room for a mere bread shop.

Silas knew a thing or two about the owner, a very friendly elven man his father once described as an utter eyesore, like the town of Hdur itself.

The admiral dismounted from his horse and ordered a junior officer to take their horses to rest in the nearby military barrack and bring fresh replacements.

"Stay here. This won't be long." Leaving Kirsten on the terrace, Silas and the rest of his men hurriedly entered the General store, meeting with the owner himself who seemed to have been waiting for him. The eldest of the Delving brothers gave the owner the antique money, but he refused.

"Keep your money! Our business... end." He glowered, making a cutting gesture with his hand. "I know what your father did, a terrible mistake. No, I refuse to have anything to do with it. Get lost!"

The admiral sighed, slightly taken aback by the unwelcoming gesture. He picked up the coin and asked earnestly.

"Please be civil, Master Stockton. Every disagreement can be sorted out, and--"

"No! Not this one kid! Not even your daddy could. You tell him that! Barked the owner again, this time he pointed at the door "Now! Do you have wood for ears? Get lost will ya! I have nothing to say anyway."

Silas nodded, and for that moment it looked like he was going to leave in peace. But his departure to the door was to ensure that it has been locked should.

If only the situation was not that dire, he would have laughed, or maybe smiled at the fat man's foolishness.

As Silas walked back to the counter, his men began to flank the innkeeper and apprehend him. A burly man he was but lacked any real physical strength. Certainly no match against two well-trained marines.

"What sandwich fuck are you---"

After some futile struggles, a rope was tied to his ankles. Those marines threw the rest of it on the ceiling beam while one of them elbowed him square in the face. And soon, the store owner found himself hoisted up, hanging upside down.

"Master Stockton, deepest apologies but I am not here on behalf of my father," said Silas, ordering his men to stop lifting him at eye level. His sword was drawn and pointed at the store owner's neck. "I am here for Fredricus' goons, and you are the only person with the connection."

The store owner was well past the part where he should scream. His head was as red as a tomato, and when of the marines stepped closer to beat him some more, he grunted and gushed out his breakfast toward the Marine's trousers and boots.


"Right... clean yourself up." The admiral tossed a perfumed handkerchief at his soiled man, then returned to Stockton "And you better start talking unless you fancy dangling above your own puddle of puke for the rest of your days. Why did you give my father the wrong report? Who killed the Usuals? Was it the freelancers?"

After some more coughing and snorting the remaining stomach acid out of his nostril, the store owner blurted. "It was not them!"

"Who then?"

"First. Go fuck yourself and your daddy, you nitwit fuck!

Another marine stepped up and bashed his stomach with musket stock. "Answer the question, sir."

The store owner's large body swung like a literal punching bag, his stubby arms reached down, clawing the floor and his own puke, desperately trying to stop himself from the dizzying oscilation.

"Oh god! My leg! Fuck me, I don't know! I... as clueless as your men! They said when they tried to storm the Bakery this early morning their weapons suddenly yanked off them and glued to the floor. They only saw the Baker and his daughter, and this one young girl with a blindfold!"

"So none of them saw any of the Fredricus'agents?"

"thweep Ptah! Fucking no! And I too barely know about what they looked like except there should be a she-orc, elf, bear, two men, and two women among the group. None of the surviving Usuals saw any I described above yah! Because those who saw them are probably dead."

Exercising the utmost patience, Silas leaned forward and lowered his voice. "How did you know that?"

"What? Your daddy had more than two dozen men stationed here last night and now nearly all of'em are dead motherfuckers! Do you think this Baker and his gals did it, by themselves? Khack ptoyy!"

"The only person I saw riding out of town was a blonde man with some armored soldiers and they were heading to the capital city. That's why the report said the agents were still here because, fuck! That's all I know and your father wasn't a patient man!"

There was a pause. Silas walked closer to the man, looking at him in the eye.

"Master Stockton, did you see those agents or not?"

"Boy! I told you I or my men didn't see them!"

Smiling, the admiral turned around and sighed, time was running, and here he already spent more than what was allowed. "This is a general store? Correct? Where the local blacksmith gets their equipment? From you of course."

The marines began to thrash the place until they found a plier.

"The fuck are you guys doing! Hey! You've got what you wanted. Put me down, boy! Hey!"

"Gents! Master Stockton here is lying through his teeth, so now I want those teeth removed. Get on with it."

"No! No! I really don't know! Get off me you Delving bitch! No! Wrrrgrgg!!!"

Leaving the general store, Silas was saluted by his subordinate.

"Apparently yesterday Madame Matilda requisitioned several horses and a carriage for some unspecified reason, leaving only three steeds for us to borrow. Ser, you can have two for yourself and Miss Kirsten, but I am afraid the rest would need frequent rests."

Slightly annoyed by the muffled screaming coming from the store, Silas rubbed his temple before answering. "That can be arranged. Where is Kirsten, by the way?"

"Oh, I saw her going to the bakery."

When the door closed behind him, Admiral Silas Delving felt as if a weight heavier than this entire estate had fallen off his shoulder.

It was something he needed, a moment of calm, free from his father's incessant demand, so he could think better; examining this already rotten venture. Obviously, his father had a lot of trust in the defense system installed and he was right to do so. His decision to stay put was also sensible enough, all things considered.

All in all, the plan would have a very good chance of success.

If only they didn't have to deal with that one last piece.

Silas could see that the plan was starting to fall apart when Fredricus' hirelings dismantled Black Serpent. Forced his brother to retreat in the most shameful way imaginable, and then discovered his father's hidden armory. If a Delving family was personified, it would be in the form of a half-naked man presenting lies and deceit in front of the king to save his skin. With a small bit of reputation left to preserve his dignity and distant merit kept being echoed by an unseen supporter so the king would not behead this pathetic usurper.

Walking down the stairs, Silas was expecting to meet with his father's trusted aide, but he found one of Aaaron's informants instead, one unassuming sailor with a scrawny build. And he was bearing ill news.

"Some of Sir Jonas' 'Usuals' stationed at Hdur were found dead this morning, the rest went missing. Killed in a similar fashion; gunshot wound. Pinpointly aimed at the head or heart."

Admiral Delving, The Gold Saber listened with an uncannily calm expression. "Go on."

"A new team has been dispatched to look for the missing men, should we send a dozen more of our men to storm the bakery?"

The bakery was the suspected place where the freelancers had taken the refugee. Since this morning His father had instructed his men to create a ruckus in that place to lure them out. Not only did the team remain undisturbed, but those thugs were also beaten handily by the owner himself. And now the death of the Usuals standing by in that area further exacerbated the situation.

"Give up the pursuit." as he said that, his resolve was shaken. He did not look at the informant anymore, but rather a distant somewhere beyond the ornated wall of this manor, the place where the Achilles heels of this entire operation were being held hostage. "Tell everyone in your division to stay away from Hdur until further instruction."
"What about Master Jonas? Should I report this to him?"

"No. From now on you will only report to me, unless my father specifically asked for it. You are dismissed."
As the informant saluted him and went about his business, another person stepped up. "I have something to report too... master." She cooed, blocking Delving's way. "The house is squeaky clean and I would be more than happy if you could put in a good word for me next time you speak to our esteemed Father."

The admiral forced a bitter smile before giving his little sister a headpat. "Don't take Father's word to heart. He meant well."

The slight change in Kirsten's expression made him feel like an idiot. He lifted his hand, realizing he shouldn't have brought that up, but he himself didn't know what to say, and thus, that not-so-comforting word was left hanging between the two for a few awkward moments later.

"I... need to go." he said, even so, the eldest of the Delving Brothers was still trying to be lighthearted. "I would love to stay for a while, but you know nobody gets to relax after coming out of that chamber."
As he walked, Kirsten followed him by his side.

"Don't you hate it having to keep up the mask of admiralty? Shouldn't home be the place where you can let your guard down?" She said, tilting her body toward him before swirling to get his brother's attention by holding his hand. "This is your first visit after six month worth of expedition. Come on, at least have lunch with me!"

Kirsten would always be like that, a ray of sunshine in this gloomy place. He could imagine those hurtful words their father barked at her when he was not around, and it was equally hard to imagine that girl could still remain upbeat despite all things.

"Kirsten! Kirsten, listen to me," he called after realizing that the maid in front of him had towed him several steps already.

"I can't." He looked at her and smiled bitterly. And it was answered with two big amber eyes staring through her trendy black-rimmed glasses, right into his soul. That kind of stare that would make you feel bad to the core.

"Orders from Father, I know," she shrugged and walked away. For one moment Silas thought his sister was sulking until the young woman reached for one of the twin two-handed swords displayed above the fireplace and test-swing it with one hand.

"Well then, if a lunch can't sway you... I can go with you instead." Approaching Silas again, Kirsten leaned forward and gave him one of her most radiant smiles. "And this time I'll take no for an answer!"

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