Tainted Victory – Chapter 4, Part 5 (Page-a-Day)

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Hugh stood alone. Evelyn was on the far side of the throne room. He looked to the beheaded dragon carcass. It began to rot and stink. The stench covered whatever burning was being done in the kitchen. His gaze shifted to Evelyn. She beckoned him over. He followed the stench of the dragon and moved to her. She had finished writing in the ledger. It was closed and gripped between her pale hands. The contrast between the ledgers thick leather and her hands struck him in an odd way. It made his stomach twist. He placed his healing hand on his stomach to no effect. “What is wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong.”

“Should we be talking?”

Evelyn gave him a puzzled tilt. “Yeah. We just have a little longer to look out after Sir. Up His Own.” She pointed her quill behind her. 

“He really could be killed at any time. We must be vigilant.”

“Even after he’s left the job?” Evelyn slid the quill into the ledger. “I do not like him now. I could not stand being his partner in adventures.”

“I agree that it is hard to judge when we should stop trying to protect him. After the job if he’s killed he’s killed. Normally, unless I see it, I cannot help. But I know this person will die. How could I not help?”

“I thought I was going to have to pull him off the edge when he did his whole…” She twirled her finger upward. 

“Do you think he noticed you trailing him?”

“If he did, he did not let on.”

“Should one of us be with him now?”

“We know where everyone is,” Evelyn said. “He’ll be fine”

Night came faster than the storm could break. Every met in the kitchen after some healing and restorative magic by Olivier and Hugh to eat chicken. They sat around the royal dinner table. It stretched the length of the dining hall. Candles were placed all along the middle to cast the mildest of light on the festivities. During the perimeter search Siguard and Colt found the ale house in the back corner of the castle gates. They rolled the barrels in. By the time the dinner ended most of them were dry.

Discussions of what the next steps of their adventures took place. Goblet discusses returning home with his winnings and helping to build the town into something grand. Colt said that he and Hounder had a job tracking a Roostien nest, a gargantuan bird creature that sends its young to crush towns and take the cattle for god. Siguard mentioned his wanting to join one of the armies out on the front lines and kill the Blues. Claudia and Olivier discussed the specifics of her further education, while Evelyn said she knows that the East has some very rich treasures she had an eye on. Hugh said he just wanted to resupply and go to another town to help people. 

Raisor never made it to the dinner. No one had seen him since his tantrum and walk-off after their failure to move the dragon. They wrote it off as him just leaving before everyone else. Siguard reminded the table that he was a younger warrior, and not used to the demands of the crown. Olivier returned with his own anti-crown sentiment.

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