Tainted Victory – Chapter 2, Part 6 (Page-a-Day)

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Raisor mouthed something that was quickly blocked by Colt’s cloak. “That Evelyn is right.” He hooked his arm around Raisor. “No animal speaks. Some have vocal cords like ours, but you want to stay away. Those cords are used to trap us.”

“Yes, I know. I’ve fought a couple Tourrares once.”

“So have I!” Colt said. His voice jumped like he found a friend. “Tourrares are quite tricky you know…” their voices were extinguished in the rain. 

“What should we do?” Claudia asked.

“I think Olivier should get a bed,” Hugh said. “I’m sure the comforting would be helpful.” He looked at Olivier. “Would it?”

“Would what?”

“Would you like to take a bed?” Claudia pointed to one of the beds. 

“Of course. You never turn down free food or lodging. You learn that quick on the road.” Olivier creaked to his feet. Claudia looped her arm around his and walked him over to the bed not covered in dog hair. 

“When this is over maybe you can teach me to use some actual magics,” Claudia said. 

Olivier handed his staff over to her. “You are already tapping into the realm as it is with those runes. There is little more I could teach you.”

“That cannot be true!” Claudia proclaimed. Evelyn and Hugh looked back at her before returning to their conversation. She sheepishly placed the staff next to the bed. “I just,” she straightened herself up, “I need to know how to really use magic.”

“You do. Runes are the base of everything.” Olivier got comfortable in the bed, wriggling around before resting. “This mattress is not great, but who would complain about that?” 

“But… I?” Claudia was unsure where to go. “Runes…”

Olivier gave her contouring face a once over. “I see. I’ll give you some basic lessons after this whole ordeal.” He turned over. She smiled and looked back at Hugh and Evelyn. “Can I take this bed?” She pointed to Hounder’s shedded fur, but meant the bed. 

“Take it,” Evelyn said. She looked through the windows. Her gaze said she could see beyond the blockade of water. 

“I wouldn’t recommend going out there,” Hugh said. He moved his gaze from her to the freshly edited map. “Doctors orders. Those other men might be good fighters, but not thinkers.”

“You’re not going to join your horse and buggy in the stable?” Evelyn asked.

“No, I am going to stay here.”

“Are you afraid of the rain, Doctor?”

“No, just afraid of the sickness that comes with it. I don’t want to be the reason this does not succeed.” He looked her over again. Her gaze didn’t break. “Where were you going?”

Evelyn tilted her head upwards to the falling sky. “I think the best approach would be to wait until the rain settled down, then move to a new location.” She turned to face Hugh. “Care to join me?” 

“I am unclear by what you mean, though have a guess.” Hugh returned to the chair he originally sat in before everyone arrived. 

Evelyn laughed. “Don’t be ridiculous. Mixing business with pleasure before a mission is not good luck.” She walked over and took the seat across from him. The candle between them started to flicker wildly. “But what is your plan? Sit in that chair all night?” 

“Prepare. I mean I will be most likely sitting if you want to know the physical, but all of this just seems so odd.” He crossed his arms and laid them on the table. “A dragon attacking a castle is not normal.”

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