“I remember that day,” said Garfas. “I did most of the work while I gave you the easy part.”
“I beg to differ,” I responded. “Crafting a passable hilt took quite a bit of dexterity.” Garfas simply released another laugh. I forgot how much I enjoyed such moments, how the nonsensical banter would be a distraction from that which needed my attention. I planted my staff on the floor before me and allowed it to hold me up as I leaned against it.
“I find myself wondering about the warband,” I mused. It drew the larger charr’s attention as his face went back to neutrality. “I wonder if someone’s finally overthrown Itan, or if Thoc has created another new invention. All the memories sometimes feel so distant, at times it seems hard to believe that I belonged to all of it.”
“You belonged to it,” reassured Garfas as he placed a hand on my shoulder. “I wish I could tell you everything, but—”
“It is understandable,” I said. “It would only do more harm than good.”
“Y-Yeah…” I could see the longing in his eyes, Gafas quickly drew himself out of his mood and returned to a stoic expression. “Well, I have to get going. Will you be alright? You look worried about something.”
“Aren’t I always?” I asked as I did my best to sound lighthearted. I knew I would not be able to mask all of my emotions from Garfas, but he knew enough to know that I wanted to deal with it on my own. In the end he tugged at one of my horns and began to make his way deeper into the city, he vanished behind a large crowd of people. At that moment I remembered that I had wanted to show Daniel my find. I rounded towards the Salma district and continued onward.
Once I arrived home and made it through the door, I tensed up. My eyes went to Daniel who was standing at the center of the room, he stood in a combat stance, keeping his knees bent and keeping an arm ready to strike. In one hand he had one of his usual daggers and my sword in the other. The fur on my back spiked out as I saw his fingers coil around the hilt of my blade. The human glanced back at me, as if I had caught him in the middle of something private.
“A-Anavari!” He said as he quickly drew himself out of his stance and awkwardly held the two weapons in his hands.
“What…” I said with an air of discomfort. “What are you doing there?” The human looked behind him to find the couch and slowly backed into it, slowly sitting down on it.
“Oh, Just doing some combat practice. Gotta keep at it or I’ll get rusty, you know?” He offered a sheepish chuckle as he tossed his dagger aside, for a moment I was worried that he would do the same with my sword, instead he gently placed it on his lap.
“You were using my sword,” I pointed out. The human paused as the remorse became evident in his face.
“I was practising and noticed your sword down here. I guess I got a bit curious.” The human held out the forked blade to me with both hands. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have touched it.” I approached, restraining myself from sprinting over.
“I-It is alright, Daniel.” I said as my hand slowly reached over to the the hilt. Without thinking I quickly swiped the blade from his hands and spun it around my fingers. I made my habitual motions that I would normally do around a fight, swinging the blade at the air in front of me once and spinning it again to the sheath at my back, only to realize that I did not have my sheath with me at the time. It was still at the corner of the room where the sword originally was. Realizing how odd it must have looked I moved over to the corner of the room and properly placed my sword back into its scabbard.
As I rounded to face Daniel there was an awkward silence between us. I would always grow furious on those rare occasions where someone would touch my sword, and Daniel was present at those times. I realized however that during those certain instances however, what exactly caused my to grow angry would be ambiguous to outside eyes. It seemed that this fact just became apparent to Daniel. He was not like the countless muggers that I had encountered however, it still felt as if he was prodding at something he should not have however.
“It’s a nice sword,” said Daniel breaking the silence. “It’s obvious the blacksmith took a lot of time to make it.” I looked down at my blade absentmindedly nodding.
“Yes,” I said. “He did…” I trailed off as I was briefly brought back to the image of the person who made this blade. Garfas flashed before my eyes. I shook my head slightly, trying to shake the image from my head.
“Something wrong, big guy?” asked Daniel.
“It is nothing,” I said. “I just remembered Garfas that’s all.” This was the first time I had brought him up to Daniel, my reluctance was still evident, yet I still wanted to share a small part of it.
“I’ve heard you mention him before,” said Daniel.
“He was part of my warband,” I said. “He taught me how to fight with a sword, I may not be an expert but my magic made up for that. That is also why the blade was made in such a way.” I pulled out my sword halfway out of its scabbard. “it helps me channel my magic through it.”
“Clever,” said Daniel as he offered me a warm smile. There was something off about it however. His eyes were looking at me, but they were somewhere else. Distant and disconnected to the present. I could tell that his thoughts were lingering into memories that loomed over his shoulder.
“Yes,” I said placing down my sword by the table. I decided to change the topic and bring out the book I found in Slim’s library. “I found what I was looking for by the way.”
“Oh?” Daniel’s eyes lit up with a fake light. A pretence of cheerfulness that I was never able to pick up on until now. For how long had it been staring me in the face? “What did you find?”
“Back in the citadel, most of my magic was self taught.” I explained. “I would use the books of an asuran necromancer. This was the last volume of his works.”
“Interesting title there,” Said Daniel. “The fundamentals of death for the dim witted…”
“You should have seen what the first book was called,” I chuckled as I began to flip through the pages.
“So what is it you want to learn off of this?” asked Daniel. “I know you’re not really a master but you’re still pretty good.”
“I have been holding off on learning more for a while now,” I mused. “Perhaps I really do want to become a master. I am uncertain to be honest.” I stopped on a page with a skull, emerald flames enveloped the white bone as a subtle glow was drawn into the empty eye sockets.
“Well that spell looks useful,” said Daniel as he rose from the couch.
“Useful is good,” I said. “And with the fringe creeping up behind us, useful is what we need.”
For the remainder of the evening I sat with Daniel and read off of the book. Reviewing a few of the spells, and explaining the theory behind them to the human. A few of the spells I could cast on the first try, others required practice or were simply too volatile to cast inside the house. It felt nice to connect with Daniel again, I had felt that we were both drawing apart for a while now. With the turmoil of the fringe and trying to pay our usual expenses, we had both surrounded ourselves in our own distractions. I realized that I needed to make time for him, despite my own disorders, I needed to stay in the world I now belonged to.
It was nice to be with Garfas, and I would do what I can to continue seeing him, but there was something I could not deny. I was not going to return to the citadel, that much was evident to me. Whatever it was that happened to me, for whatever reason I wiped my memories, it must have been for a good reason. To have left behind Thoc, Mara, and even Garfas would have taken something beyond my imagination. Regardless of my desires to return, to share tea with mara once again, to see another one of Thoc’s inventions, I needed to come to the realization that all of it was a past life.
This constant search for something to entertain myself was simply a way to run from my own thoughts. Perhaps it was me trying to linger on that life for just a little longer. But I needed to focus on the present. My life was with the secros now. It was with the human who was sitting by my side, with the extortionist informant, the cowardly norn with a pet pig, the asuran observer that exhumed cheerfulness. It was far from normal, and much further than what I was accustomed to, but it was the family I had now. A dysfunctional one, but a family none the less.
“Everything alright, big guy?” asked Daniel noticing my prolonged silence. I glanced over at the human and gave him an earnest smile.
“Yes,” I said. “I am simply coming to terms with something about myself.”
“Aren’t we all?” chuckled the human. Suddenly we heard a knock at the door. I placed the book down on the table in front of me and walked over to the door. It was Serenity.
“Is Daniel there?” She asked. “He’s going to want to hear this too.” seconds later Daniel appeared by my side.
“What’s up Serenity?” Asked Daniel. Serenity looked at both of us with a concerned yet excited gleam.
“We have a lead,” she said.