“Do you think they’ll actually go to war this time?” she asked, lifting up the missive and waving it in the air. The vellum crinkled, giving it the appearance that it had been read and considered several times.
“That isn’t our concern,” Breton replied. He hesitated before continuing. “It wouldn’t surprise me. Kelsh and Danar have always been at war. The question is whether or not it’ll be official this time. Unless they call the Council, we can do nothing.”
“If we don’t find him before someone else does, they’ll go to war with us.” Her brow furrowed as she picked up one of the root quills and dipped it in ink. The scratch of writing was the only sound in the room until she finished the reply. “We’ve been practicing since it happened.”
Breton didn’t need to ask what she spoke of. Something was happening, but he didn’t know what. No one did. He wasn’t certain if he could call it evil, but it wasn’t good either. There was one thing he was assured of: Whatever caused the feeling was dangerous and it was affecting all of the Guardians.
“Do Arik’s Queens feel it too?”
Riran nodded. “We want to help find him, but we can’t risk our mares. None of us have geldings or stallions. But, we can free you of this work and make it so you can go out and find him for us.”
She refused to meet his eyes, staring down at the vellum as though it held the secrets of the world within the letters written on it. The corners of Breton’s mouth twitched up.
“By ‘you’ do you mean me or the Guardians as a whole?”
Riran thrust the sheet of vellum at him. He took it and read through the document. The message from Kelsh was neither report nor letter, but the vague sort of missive that Breton hated the most. It wasn’t addressed to a man. It wasn’t even addressed to the Rift King or His Majesty. Even worse, the tone of the writing was so dismissive that Breton wanted to shred the page.
The sight of Kalen’s handwriting partnered with the careful and neutral tone of the Rift King hurt. The pressure in his chest grew until he wanted to lash out from the frustration of it all. She’d done it just right, even mastering the flicked curl added to many of the letters. It was a Kelshite habit that Breton hadn’t quite managed to convince the Rift King to remove from his writing.
“Are all of you this proficient?” Breton asked.
“Yes,” Riran replied.
“Get this mess cleaned up and I’ll think about it,” he said. He lifted Gorishitorik from the desk and held the old sword in the crook of his arm.
“We’ll need a few days.”
“Fine. Oh, Riran?”
The woman looked up from the stack of papers in front of her. “What is it?”
“Scheme against Kalen again and I’ll separate your head from your shoulders. Understood?”
Riran paled and jerked her head in a nod. Inclining his head, Breton turned and walked through the room, not caring how many of the stacks he bumped against on his way out.
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Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG – 13