Aug 01 2013

Chapter Four: Shattered Expectations (Part 2)

Chapter Four: Shattered Expectations (Part 1)
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So far the rest of the day was only getting worse by the hour. Itan was as sour towards me as ever, I stated to feel the toll of the assignment from earlier (I was quite certain one of those Humans was able land a blow on me, the bruise on my ribs was evidence enough), and to make matters much worse someone went ahead and bought the book once I went to check on it earlier. Needless to say, I was not a happy charr.

I walked across the Mustering Grounds during the waking night and Thoc was kind enough to tread by my side as I was sulking.

“Oh c’mon, Anavari!” I didn’t really make much of an effort to hide my displeasure, with all the sighing I was bound to have annoyed Thoc. “No point in complaining at this point. Garfas will probably get on your case a lot more.”

I knew Garfas would not get angry at me for being upset, but my demeanor would only encourage him to continue prodding. Either way I was not a person to complain out in the open, I just did what I had to and complained about it once no one was around, though this situation was a bit of an exception.

We both walked out of the gates and found the Massive charr standing by down the metal ramp. Thoc patted my shoulder before making his way back to his home. I walked over to Garfas with a noticeable frown on my face. He could definitely see the way I was dragging my feet because I hear his usual deep chuckle.

“Hey there cub,” he said with a grin. “Ready for a run?”

I looked up at Garfas’s face and drew my staff. With one swift movement I struck him over the head. The loud “TOC!” was audible throughout the citadel gates.

“OW!” Garfas roared as he immediately placed both hands on his head. “What was that for?!”

“You knew all along that there was more than one patrol!” I snapped. “You deliberately withheld that information so I would lose no matter what! I could have died you know…and I’m not a cub, you’re only a year older than me.”

Garfas simply looked at me with his arms cross and a raised eyebrow. “Do you really think I would let you go with your plan if I knew that there was more than one patrol?”

“Well…” I blurted with a bit of realization. It was true that Garfas and I spoke to each other on a regular basis, though were we comfortable enough to call one another friends? A friend would have warned me about the danger, though if he did not know about the danger then it would be understandable. “So… you did not know about the other patrols?”

“Of course not you stupid cub! That’s probably gonna leave a burse you know?”

I did not really regret striking Garfas, whether he deserved it or not.  I did jump to the conclusion that Garfas knew about the other patrols all along though, so I was wrong.

“Oh…” I said awkwardly twisting my staff. “M-my apologies…”

Garfas did not show signs of anger, which was a good sign. He simply bore his usual grin as he reached for one of my horns and gently shook them. The feeling was alien, I was unsure if I was supposed to take it as his way of scolding me or if it was the equivalent when one human would ruffle another one’s hair. It was definitely something I was not used to, nor have I ever seen been done to other charr around the citadel. I figured that it was simply another one of Garfas’ unusual mannerisms.

“Don’t worry about it,” he said as he walked over to a set of packs just resting on the floor. “And for the record, you’re always gonna be a cub compared to me.”

“I’m older than Thoc and you don’t call him cub!” I exclaimed being grateful for the change of topic.

“Yes but you’re shorter than him and built like a twig,” Garfas even lowered himself so that we would be at eye level.

“I hate to be the one to bring you this reality, Garfas. But I don’t need muscle to kill someone.” My brow twitched as I gave Garfas a toothy smile that was anything but friendly.

“Reading books only gets you so far cub,” He grabbed one of the packs and swung it over his back.

“What are those for?” I asked probably already knowing the answer. Garfas tossed on of the packs towards my direction and I was nearly knocked down by the sheer weight of it.

“You didn’t think I did a five mile run the easy way did you?”

I threw on the pack with a sigh.

“Of course, why should I expect you to do anything the easy way?”

“Oh quit your complaining,” he said with a laugh. “You ready?”

So we began to run across the Plains of Ashford with the stars in the sky and with a fairly heavy bag hanging from our backs. Overall it was not an excruciatingly painful experience, it was unpleasant I will give it that, but it was not as bad as I expected it to be. Garfas would slow down whenever I fell back and basically give me some encouragement. However it never ended up in him yelling. I did not want to admit it but I was actually enjoying myself.

After an hour of walking a large mass came into view at the top of a hill. I knew this area, Char’s Triumph it was called. I knew it well because I would visit the area on occasion. The large mass that was coming up was a large metal statue; it was of a famous charr, Pyre Fierceshot, His eyes would always look down to the plains and watched everything that would transpire. His gaze was always piercing, as if he were looking over all of his fellow charr. Always watching, always observing. For some reason I always saw it as some sort of silent protecter, in my mind it sounded a bit ridiculous, though the notion of someone who was always watching over me gave me a strange sort of comfort.

“We can take a rest here,” said Garfas as he started making his way towards the statue. I followed suit and quickly dropped my pack once we were at the base of the statue. Allowing my legs to collapse, I sat down as I allowed my arms to go lax. An immediate sigh of relief escaped my muzzle once the burden on my back had been relieved. My breathing became deep; I could feel the blood in my veins coursing faster, the fatigue in my muscles. Then I could feel the ground next to me shake slightly as a large white mass slumped to the floor. The familiar raspy chuckle echoed in my ears.

“You are enjoying watching me suffer are you not?” I asked. Garfas reached into his pack and sipped a flask with water before answering.

“About time your furry little butt got some exercise. Feels good don’t it?”

“Oh I feel fantastic!” I said with mock elation. “I cannot tell what is better, the burning sensation in my lungs or searing pain in my legs.” I motioned towards my sore knees. “No doubt my ecstasy will be tenfold in the morning.”

“There you go acting all melodramatic,” Garfas jabbed my shoulder a little too hard. It took me a bit of effort in order to not be knocked to the floor by the sheer force of it, big oaf needed to learn how to control his own strength. “You’re lucky it’s just me listening to you complain. Anyway this is good for you, about time I got you to get around. Better than just sitting down and reading all day long.”

“Wait…” I said as I propped myself up with my elbows and faced Garfas. I did not expect Garfas to pay much attention to such a thing, I made an effort to be mostly invisible when I would be in my free time. Though I suppose I acted a bit standoffish even after the flame legion incident, mostly it was because I enjoyed lounging most of the day and Garfas would frequently take the warband out of thecitadel to do who know what. I never took much interest in it, why interrupt my reading time? Then I made all the connections. “So you are telling me that this was all a part of your plan for me to stop being lazy?”

“Yup,” Garfas simply gave me toothy grin.

“How dare you!” I said playfully punching him. I knew that my physical abilities could never have caused any harm whatsoever to him, so it was a given that anytime I would hit him that it was meant to be taken as a joke. “So how long had you wanted me to get up and do some actual physical activity?”

Garfas took his time in responding. He released a deep sigh and said, “About four months now.”

His response caught me off guard.

“Four months? But…” I mused.

“But what?”

“N-nothing, never mind.”

The incident with the flame legion was two months ago, I thought. What was that supposed to mean?

I searched my mind for something to get the conversation going. Garfas did not seem to care much; he just rested his head on the grassy floor and stared into the starlit sky. His white fur began to dance around as it was struck by the wind. I placed my arms behind my head and stared at the sky as well. The silence was beginning to grow awkward.

After a moment I realized that there was no reason to be uncomfortable, it was like what Thoc would always say, “You’re thinking about it too much.” So I shrugged off the thoughts in my head and replaced them with new ones. I mirrored Garfas and faced the night sky. I was not going to lie, this activity was a chore, but I enjoyed it. It made me feel welcomed, it was moments like this where I did not want to stay invisible. Then words escaped my mouth without much consideration of them, that was something that rarely happened.

“I was wrong about you,” I said as I continued staring at the countless lights in the black canvas before me.

I could see the white charr sit up out of the corner off my eyes. I noticed that his head tilted, wordlessly asking for clarification.

“You are much smarter than you seem,” I continued, talking just above a whisper so he could hear me. “I realized that you do it on purpose… It is a good approach, catches the enemy off guard.”

“…What did you think about me before?” Garfas’ voice sounded as calm as mine, even matching the volume I spoke in. the sound vibrated in my ears; it would have been unsettling if I had not known the charr, now though, I suppose I welcomed the sound of his guttural just as much as Thoc’s voice. I suppose it was now official in my head… he was my friend.

“…It was not good,” I said with a short laugh. “I thought you were an idiot, but that you could hide it with your ferocity. I thought everyone followed you out of fear instead of respect… I was wrong.” I shifted my gaze to the white charr, the night made him a bit more difficult to see, but my eyes could still see the furry mass in front of me. “You know what you are doing.”

“PFFT!” I instinctively tilted my head from the noise that escaped Garfas’s mouth. “That’s not true.” In the nearly nonexistent light I could see the white charr move next to me, even in this darkness his towering stature was obvious. “I do my best to fool the warband. First assignment we ever got from Itan was a vague as the one we had earlier, suddenly everyone started looking at me for help.”

My ears perked up when I noticed that Garfas’s voice was becoming much more solem, it was not like him to act this way.

“I guess from that point on everyone expected me to have the plan in advance, to always be prepared, because Itan definitely wasn’t going to prepare us. But the truth is… I don’t know what I’m doing. I just let the words come out of my mouth and hope that none of it gets us killed.” A low laugh escaped the charr. “For the longest time I always had the wellbeing of the warband in my head, it would stop me from sleeping all the time. I always figured that if anything would happen to them, then it would be on my hands.”

What is going on?  Was my first thought. Garfas was always so ferocious, so composed. Now however, I was seeing something else in his amber yellow eyes. Could it be… vulnerability? Was Garfas allowing me to see this side of him? How much did he trust me? It was in the prolonged silence where I was forced to shrug those questions aside and force out a response.

“Is that how you felt in the incident with the flame legion?” I asked.

Garfas nodded. “It wasn’t the fact that I could have died that haunted me, it was the fact that everyone else could have died because of my incompetence. Something changed that day, the safety of the warband was everything to me, as it should be. But…”

“But what?”

“I guess I’m just tired… I’m tired of carrying this thing over my back. Constantly worrying for everyone, but I can’t stop worrying about it can I? I am a charr after all…”

I was at a loss of words. I allowed my gaze to lower to the floor as I took a moment to process all the information. The warband was a family, and that was how a charr should see it. Of course I had only started understanding such a concept recently, still it seemed foreign to me, and now it seemed like I was not the only one who was unsure about it. More and more every expectation I had about Garfas was thrown out the window.

It did not seem that Garfas was willing to share any more on the subject either way, which was good, I did not had anything more to say about it either. So once again we both found ourselves staring into the infinite darkness of the sky.

“So why the weapon’s training?” I asked suddenly remembering the second part of our bet.

“I guess…” Garfas shrugged. “I dunno, maybe I wanted to see how you fought someone up close, maybe I wanted to fight by your side. I was just running my mouth really.”

“Hm,” I pondered over the notion. “I do not believe it would end well for me. I am a magic user either way, only natural that I keep my distance from the enemy.”

“Well that’s not what that book you wanted says.”

My eyes widened as my head began to piece together what Garfas had just said. As I looked back at him I could see the expression that I expected from him. A wide, smug, toothy grin.

“You. Did. Not…” I began.

He simply pointed at the pack I was carrying during the trip here.  I quickly rushed to it and tore it open, I threw out all the miscellaneous objects such as the flask of water, the spade, spare rations. Then at the very bottom, there it was. A thick tome bound in emerald green leather, the same book I had desperately wanted to read for ages. Well, it was days actually but it seemed like ages to me.

“It was YOU!” I shouted in realization. “You bought the book earlier today!”

“Well someone else bought it and I threatened that I would turn him into a blanket if he didn’t give it to me. So I ended up saving a bit of money.”

I began to stare at the book. “It’s for you stupid cub,” said Garfas as if he could tell what I was thinking.

“R-really?” I asked in disbelief. “You purchased this for me?” I could feel my tail curling around my leg, my claws slightly dragging into the leather. The urge to prop it open and read was unbearable.

“What would I do with a book like that?” Garfas stood up and walked over to his pack. “I’m not a necromancer; and I could only read a few pages from that thing before wanting to punch the writer in the face. But that’s the thing about books I guess, the writters words are there but their face isn’t.”

I continued to hold the book in my hands in disbelief, it belonged to me now, what seemed more unlikely was that Garfas went out of his way to get it for me. “Thank you, Garfas… I don’t know how to pay you back.”

“You can start by reading that chapter about close up combat, I didn’t get a single word of it but I’m pretty sure it’s useful.”

I opened the book to find that Garfas had placed a scrap of paper at the beginning of a particular chapter. It was titled “All we do is fling spells…WRONG MORON!”, it actually was titled that. I closed the book and placed it back into the pack, along with all the other things that I had thrown out.

“I will,” I said as I was once again burdened by the heavy weight on my shoulders once again.

It was a quiet walk back to the citadel. It seemed that Garfas wanted to relax for the rest of the exercise, it mattered little to me, my mind was on the heavy tome I was hauling. There was a noticeable bounce to every step I took. Then I heard the deep and raspy sound of Garfas clearing his throat, I instinctively looked over.

“I think I get it now,” Garfas mused.

“Get what?”

“The reason why I want you to train with a close quarters weapon.”

“You have been thinking about that this entire time?”

A nod from the white charr confirmed it. “I think it’s because of your face…” He spoke as if realizing a sort of hidden truth. He did not glance towards my direction, nor did he notice that I raised an eyebrow that demanded clarification. He simply stared at the sky while one of his digits stroked his bony chin.

“So…” I began. “Are you going to elaborate?”

“Well you see it reminds me a lot of someone I knew when I was still a cub in the fahrar.”

“My face reminds you of someone you knew as a cub…” I repeated so he would know that I was listening.

“Yeah, he was a cub too, also had black fur like you. You see he had a face that wasn’t the least bit menacing, just like yours.”

I was not sure if I should have taken that as a compliment or an insult.

“People will bother you because of it, they’ll think you’re not strong enough to defend yourself and they’ll take advantage of that.”

Well he had a point there, throughout a large part of my life I was treated like that.

“What makes you so certain?” I asked.

“Because I treated that cub like that,” Garfas’s voice was stoic, yet his face showed slight signs of remorse. Had it not been for the light of the torches posted across the roads I would have not been able to notice. “Bullied that charr because he looked like he wouldn’t fight back. He never took the time to make any friends so it’s not like anyone would come to his rescue. He just sat there reading his books, he would come with a new one everyday too.”

This is starting to sound familiar.

“I would take his books sometimes, push him around and stuff. One day though I saw something shining from inside his shirt. It was a medallion…”

…wait, a what?

“It was this large silver disk,” continued Garfas. “So I tried to take that from him too, then he snapped. Before I knew it, I was on the floor, he was on top of me and he was working on clawing my arm off. Someone had to pull him off me.”

My eyes went wide with shock as I started eying Garfas up and down. Then I pieced it all together. I had barely entered the fahrar and already I was labeled as the strange one. It was the least of my concerns at the time; I was just informed that my Sire was not my real father and I was doing my best to get my mind off it, hence the excessive reading. Suddenly a white cub that seemed about a year older than me started picking on me for no apparent reason, well I know the reason now I suppose. He was significantly taller (and stronger), so there was not much I could do when he started taking away my books and calling me names. I did my best to simply brush it off; in fact it was an excuse to not think about my Sire, however it became impossible to ignore once I saw him reaching for my medallion. This was a time before I knew magic so all I could do is try to claw at him and call him obscenities as I was pulled away from him.

“So after that I learned too late that the medallion was obviously something important, so I went to apologize the next day, but I couldn’t find him.”

Garfas was right. After the incident I did not want to risk anyone else wanting to steal the only inheritance I had from my real family, so I chose somewhere else to spend my free time; that was when I met Thoc. It was all so long ago; I had barely given it any thought until that moment. The same white charr that bullied me was standing right next to me. He grew quite a bit, there was no way I could have recognized him now. It was him though, it could not have been anyone else.

Do I tell him? I thought. Does this change anything?  Then I wondered if it even mattered. It was all a trivial quarrel between cubs, it was not like I held a grudge, and it was not like Garfas was still the bully he used to be. Why complicate things? So I decided to remain silent on the matter.

“So you want to train me to fend off bullies?” I asked with a grin. “Garfas I did not know you cared so much.” I made sure to end the sentence with mock flattery, it was about time someone had eased up the tense atmosphere.

Garfas looked taken aback, as expected, a frown formed on his face.

“W—Well…” He stammered. “No, it’s just that I figured you should know how to defend yourself in all fields of combat, not just magic. You know, from a tactical point of view!”

“Is that so?” I asked, I suppose I had enough fun for now. “Well in that case I want to get on with the weapon’s training. I want some damn sleep and I want it soon.”

“You still want to do that?” he asked in disbelief. “We can just call the deal off and tell the others that you did it, I’ll vouch for you.”

I shook my head. “I made a deal, and I cannot walk away from it. Besides there’s a specific weapon I want you to train me in.”

“Which one?”

“A sword, it is light, fast, and it has much better reach than a dagger. Can you help me with that?”

Garfas had a sly smirk on his face, once again not a very good sign…for me at least. “Get ready cub cuz I ain’t going easy on you.”

“Oh joy…” I said sarcastically.

In no time at all we had arrived back to Hero’s Canton, I was relieved to be back home, but I knew that the night was far from over. As soon as we entered Garfas immediately started towards him home and I followed suit. It was a small hut, yet it looked comfortable enough; I always wondered where the white charr lived. It turns out it was a simple, mostly metal, house.  Nothing very special about it, it did have a second floor with a window though. I could see Garfas digging into his pack, after a few seconds I saw him extract a spiked metal disk. I recognized this sort of key, apparently Thoc had set up the locks for Garfas’s house at some point. Garfas inserted the disk into a slot at the center of the door, instantly I heard a faint click, and the door propped open.

Garfas motioned me to walk in, so I went in and heard the door close behind me. I could hear a switch being flipped and quickly saw a bright yellow light illuminate the room. The first thing to strike me as odd in the room was that there was only a single couch, the second was that the floor and walls were padded.

“I use this room for practice,” said Garfas as he tossed his pack aside. I did the same and continued to advance towards the center of the room. It looked like the padding was soft enough to cushion most falls, but it was also stiff enough for it to not affect my movement that much.

“Your living room is a… sparing room?” I asked curiously.

“Pretty much,” Garfas walked over to the corner of the room where there was a finely polished weapon rack. After tracing his claws to the various hilts, he picked out two wooden training swords. He held one loosely in his hand. “Catch!” he said as he tossed one of the swords to me. I caught the sword by the blade and immediately heard a grunt of disapproval. I saw the white charr walking over to me while shaking his head.

“What? I caught it!”

“That’s your first mistake cub,” I could nearly see the smugness that came with his voice. “You can’t catch a sword by the blade, you’ll cut your hands.”

“This is a wooden sword, Garfas.”

“But you have to treat it like a real one,” Garfas took my sword and stepped back a few feet. “One more time.”  He tossed the sword towards me once again, this time I swiped it from the air by the hilt.

“Is that satisfactory?” I asked testing the weight of the weapon in my hand. It was a bit lighter than expected.

“Better,” Garfas nodded as he drew closer. “Now let me show you how to hold it.”

For the remainder of the night Garfas taught me what the basics. To hold the sword as if it were an extension of my arm, to be quick on my feet, to pay attention to how an enemy moved, to make sure the pointy end would hit a vital spot. It was mostly common sense really, much of it could be applied to my magic as well, but it was not magic I was dealing with. So it took me a bit of effort to get the hang of this new weapon. After the basics were done, Garfas had me spar with him. By the end of it I was exhausted covered in bruises, and too tired to move. I believe I even collapsed from the combination of all the day’s activities. Before I could even get back up and tell Garfas that I had enough training, I fell asleep on the padded floor.

A ray of sun shining on my eyes tore me from my slumber. Right then and there I could tell that I was not in my own home, I made sure that my bed was nowhere near the sun. Instinctively I moved to sit up from the cushion I was currently resting on, and I immediately regretted it. The exertion from yesterday’s events had finally decided to catch up with me. My muscles tensed up and punished me for the slightest movement with a jolt of pain. I threw myself back into the bed and did my best not to move.

“Damn you Garfas,” I said under my breath, then my head started climbing out of its sleep. I then realized that if this was not my bed then that meant that it belonged to Garfas, I acknowledged the possibility that I could be in a guest room, but that was soon thrown out of the window once I took a sniff of the bead. The white charr’s strong scent wafted into my nostrils; it was similar to freshly cut grass, maybe he spent a lot of time laying around in it. More importantly If this was Garfas’s room, then where was the hulking mass of white furr? I decided to fight the pain and at least make an effort to sit up.

I started looking around the room after rubbing the sleep off my eyes. It was simple, a bed, a rack for clothing, pieces of armor were on a corner along with a thick wooden chest. At the very end of the room I could see several hooks on the wall next to the door. Propped on one of the hooks, I could recognize the thick coat that I would always wear. That was when I started looking at my attire, it was the same outfit I wore yesterday, except my thin cloth shirt was unbuttoned.

“Curious,” I muttered to myself as I buttoned my shirt. With a loud grunt I stood up.

“Was that you, cub?” I head a loud raspy voice from outside the room. The door opened and Garfas peeked his head from the edge of the door frame. “Looks like someone’s finally awake. Sleep well?”

“I suppose so…” I replied with a yawn. A quick glance out the window and I could tell that it was close to mid-day. Then Garfas decided to step into the room… that was when I discovered that he had minimal clothing on, then again, I was probably fortunate that he was wearing anything at all.

“That’s great!” Garfas seemed to be cleaning his claws with a rag. “Your stuff is by the front door in case you were wondering.”

“Um…” I found myself having to rip my gaze off of Garfas. I wanted nothing more than to point out the obvious, so I did. “Y—you… where are your clothes?”

Garfas looked down at the loincloth between his legs, then he looked at me curiously.

“Well it’s not like I sleep in my armor,” he said. “Is it bothering you?”

“No!” I replied quickly. “Do not mind me, it is your house after all. I was just stating an observation that is all.” I made my way towards my coat and closer to Garfas. Once I threw on my coat I faced him once again. “Well it was an enjoyable night, Garfas. As exhausting as it was, we should do it again in the near future. It was very nice of you to allow me to sleep here; I apologize if I was any inconvenience.”

“No problem, cub,” I could see a smile form on his face. “You were really quiet at night and you didn’t move one bit, no trouble at all.”

Wait… did I share the bed with him. Once again I could feel my tail curl around my leg. I did my best to make nothing of it, it was difficult though. Once again I had to force my thoughts aside for the time being.

“Well I suppose it is best if I cease pestering you,” I said. “I shall see you later then.”

“You sure you don’t want some breakfast?” Asked Garfas pointing down the hall with his thumb. “I’m cooking a bit of boar, there should be enough for the both of us.”

“N—No thank you,” I said. “I really need to get going…”

“Oh…” Garfas’s face quickly took an expression that was even more unusual for him, it seemed as if he became nervous, but that was impossible for Garfas. Then It occurred to me that maybe he wanted to spend some more time with me, even though I just stayed the night. “Okay, well make sure you get some more sleep…”

“M—Maybe we can share a meal the next time we train?” I asked. “If that is alright with you.” I did not know what I was doing, all I knew was that I did not want Garfas to act so out of character. I found it unsettling. Fortunately my words were enough for him to sport a faint smile.

“Alright! What day is good for you?”

“Um… how about two days from now?” I offered.

“Then we can train once our warband duties are done!” Garfas once again tugged at one of my horns, I was still not used to such treatment. With that we both began to make our way down the hall, it resulted that we were in the second floor of the hut so we both made our way downstairs. As soon as I entered the sparing room I quickly caught the scent of cooked meat coming from the room to the north, I suppose that was the kitchen.

Without further delay I began to make my way towards the exit, next to the door way my pack and my staff tied to one of the straps. I threw on my pack and held on to my staff for support, walking was starting to seem like a bit of an ordeal. After a final goodbye I moved over to the door and swung it open, and then something unexpected was behind it.

Thoc appeared to be just about ready to knock on the door as soon as I opened it. He bore a blank expression upon seeing me.

“Anavari?” He asked with Interest. “You didn’t come back last night,” I believe that it should be mentioned that I share a home with Thoc. “I’ve been looking for you… and you are leaving Garfas’s house…” Thoc leaned to the side in order to see past me, what he saw was Garfas in nothing but his loincloth, inclined by the entrance to the kitchen.

“Morning Thoc,” waved Garfas as he sipped on a cup of what I expected was coffee. Thoc waved back awkwardly and giving me an inquisitive glance.

Someone bury me now please.

“Okay, first,” I said after a long drawn out sigh, “this is not what it seems—”

“And what does this seem like…?” asked Thoc.

“That is not important!” I answered as I lowered my voice. “Second, I will explain everything when we get home so there are no misunderstandings. Now can we just leave?”

Thoc nodded.

“Good, now let us be on our way,” I said as I took the brown charr by the shoulder and started towards our home. We both continued in silence.

“You’re gonna have to explain what happened you know…”

“I will,” I said grunting in discomfort from every step I took. “However I would appreciate it if you did not tell the warband that I stayed the night in Garfas’s house.” Suddenly I saw someone from our warband walking by, by the look on their face it would appear that they just heard my last statement.

“I think you just told Cinder about how you spent the night in Garfas’s house,” pointed out Thoc.

“Yes…” I sighed sliding my palm down my face. “I am aware of that.”

Someone just please bury me now.

Chapter Four: Shattered Expectations (Part 1)
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