The sun had been risen for quite some time when we finally made it back to the outpost. We weren’t so far away that we couldn’t basically just throw a stone into it, either. Even if we lacked the amount of sleep we needed to get, the morning was peaceful and from the looks of it, we were all awake. Splashing around in the water might have been a good idea after all.
Kiffi was talking to one of the Sylvari in the camp, a different one than from the night before. She recounted the things that had come up during their watch in significant detail. I listened in for a moment as we passed by, “…and Tullia spotted a risen soldier further down the road. We think it was scouting out the outpost; I think you should anticipate an attack in the next two days. You’ll need to…” So the refugees did more than stand guard, waiting for battle. They had taken initiative to scout further for dangers that may affect the place of interest.
Even though I was a part of their guild, I was still learning about them and how they functioned. They were obviously okay without the guild leader, Tobih or even someone like Angel, who was not only good in battle, but in planning.
I took off Tobih’s shirt, which was now stained with blood. The water hadn’t managed to clean it completely and blood stains were difficult to begin with. I hung it over the side of the cart. We wouldn’t have the luxury of riding to our destination anymore. It would attract too much attention in the land of the undead. Everyone would have to gather their things and carry what we needed. The rest of the guild had assured us that they would deal with our dolyak and cart.
We would have to leave soon, though, to maximize our time in daylight. At night, we wouldn’t be able to see quite as well; we planned on taking turns, like the Refugees had before, to let two people sleep at a time. However, we had not yet decided on who would be taking said watches. I was more concerned about Angel’s supposed inability to sleep. At what point will she need to? When does this mean leaving her with Tobih?
“You should get dressed,” Tobih reminded me as he walked past, snapping me out of those troublesome thoughts. I looked around and didn’t see any appropriate place to, though, even when I had walked inside. The hut was a single room with too many openings to the outside.
“Looking for something?” Ragnvaldr asked as he approached. He was pulling his coat off and folding it across his arms.
I looked up to him and then back around the room, “Just… Some place to change…” Noting that I had basically been soaked to the bone, we both agreed on my next words, “I’ll need to be changing…everything.”
He laid his coat down on the floor and paced the room. Ragnvaldr then picked up his blanket and held it up, “Will this do?” He had cleverly created a space between the wall and the blanket.
“What a great idea!” I heard Tobih shout from across the room. He marveled over Ragnvaldr’s ingenuity.
I nodded to Ragnvaldr, “I”ll be right back.” I grabbed my spare clothes from the cart and headed back to him. He had turned around, holding the blanket to his back now. He motioned me behind it and I took that offer.
After I was finished with my changing, I folded up the wet clothes and moved from behind the curtain. Ragnvaldr rolled the blanket up and tied it to his pack. When he finally stood up and looked at me, he commented, “This brings back memories.”
“It’s like we’ve come full circle,” Tobih laughed, “I didn’t know you still had those.” Ragnvaldr, in the meantime, was staring at me intently.
“You look better in that kind of skirt,” He told me, “short in the front and long in the back. It’s nice.” His comments made me blush a little, especially when he stood so close to me.
Angel pulled her backpack over her arms. “Okay, lovebirds, we need to be going.”
I finished packing what I could carry. I left my more sentimental possessions with Kiffi, who promised to take care of them. It seemed as if we were all ready to leave now. When I stepped out to meet up with the others, all of the guild gathered around us.
“Take care of them, Claire,” Kiffi asked of me and added on just as quickly, “And yourself. Just be safe.”
I nodded,”I’ll do my best, Kiffi.”
“…and then you pour the stock in?” Cinder was talking to Ragnvaldr about food it seemed. She was still taking mental notes on his cooking.
Ragnvaldr confirmed, “Yes, but don’t bother draining the fat from the meat first.”
She looked down and then back up to him, “I shouldn’t have any problems remembering it, but just in case, I better be able to ask you later.” It seemed she had her own way of telling us to stay safe. Ragnvaldr chuckled to himself.
Tullia had met up with Tobih, who was still lamenting over not being able to bring all of his weapons. “If you start to feel dizzy, tell someone,” She was concerned but it sounded more like she was scolding him in advance. “Don’t forget to eat, you’ll need the energy. Do you have your handkerchief?”
“Stop worrying so much, Tullia. I have my handkerchief,” He nearly pulled it out before he quickly hid it away. “Ragnvaldr makes sure we eat… Do you think I should have taken my mace?” He looked around and pulled off his backpack.
The sylvari placed a hand on his shoulder, “I want to see you again.” He stopped what he was doing and flashed her a smile.
Kau and Zen had crowded around Angel, who sat against the wall of the hut we had camped out in. “The bodies have to be burned,” Kau reminded her.
“I know!” She sounded irritated, as if they had just insulted her intelligence, but the two of them continued to talk to her just the same.
“Go for their legs, it should slow them down.” Zen spoke slowly when he did speak. Was this their way of telling her to be safe? I honestly didn’t know them as well as the others in the guild. They had chosen to speak with Angel instead of anyone else, which made me curious of their relationship to one another. Angel seemed to detach herself from most people, even within the guild. Yet here they were, speaking to her as if she were a dear friend. Maybe she was.
Each of the female guild members moved to hug Tobih after Tullia had her talk with him. They spoke a few words that amounted to wishing him luck. He smiled brilliantly to each and every one of them. Tobih picked up his backpack, forgetting his worries about his weapons, and spoke to his guild. “I know I’m taking a dangerous and perilous journey. I plan on not only making it back, but to make sure everyone else does as well. I’m leaving the guild in your capable hands just a little longer.” He looked down to Kiffi, “Kiffi will stand in my stead, but continue to keep your ideas united. I’m so proud of you all.”
“I hope you don’t hold any…” Tobih paused for a moment. “…What’s the word I’m looking for…” He whispered to himself. Kiffi was stifling her laughter. He shook his finger triumphantly and continued to speak. “I hope you won’t hold any resentment towards Claire. I chose to go on this journey myself and I would have done the same for any of you.” I saw him glance to Tullia momentarily. “Please, keep working together with Tyrians to unite us all. If not for peace then to help everyone band together for a great cause; fighting the dragons.” His smile never faltered, “And with that, it’s best that we’re off.”