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The Sublime Overlord of the Realm
Alaric nodded in acknowledgement of the younger man's words. I will see you then. Captain Duchannes left then and Alaric glanced over the work space once more just to be sure he hadn't left anything behind. A glint from underneath the table caught his eye. His stormy eyes glanced around for a moment to make sure that there was no one around before he uttered his spell. Esto mihi in ventum verba afferam. A small burst of wind was guided past his fingers and aimed underneath the table. It was enough to push the round-edged item just far enough to not be under the table any longer. He would have smiled, but he thought better of it as he stooped to pick up the copper coin and slid it in his pocket.

The trip to his room wasn't a very long one, but he took his time. He caught sight of Captain Duchannes and his lieutenant briefly as he made a corner. They were walking mostly silently though the lieutenant was trying to be funny. Obviously he was failing. A few people passed by him in the hallways, trying to avoid him, saluting silently if they accidentally made eye contact with him. He didn't mind. Alaric had too much on his mind already. While he would have rather not gone out, his team was just that sort of team. They got frustrated, they drank. They got excited, they drank. They got emotionally compromised, they drank. At least he could keep up without making a fool of himself. Dera slid out from a corner and walked beside him silently for a moment before glancing at the side of his face. You're worried about something, aren't you? The man stayed silent. And they bailed on us, didn't they? The baby captain and the cow pie?

How did you guess?

Dera smiled. A woman's intuition is a deadly weapon. Didn't you know that?

Alaric glanced at the woman with her short, spiky dark hair. She reminded him of a magpie. Pretty and sly. You were guessing, weren't you?

She shrugged. Iona will probably be quite heartbroken, knowing how taken she is with Lieutenant Tennisson. Alaric rolled his eyes. Dwalish and I shouldn't have any issues at the very least. I have no idea what the others in Squad five think of me nor do I care, just to let you know. I don't like working with any of the other squads, you know? They don't understand us.

The man nodded. I know.

And Io...

I know.

All jests aside, I know that the other lieutenant doesn't like Iona at all. If he orders me around, I won't do it. I know what he thinks of us. He'd probably think we're disposable fodder to in a fighting situation. He may be above my rank, but he's still young and, quite frankly, he doesn't deserve my respect because of how he acts around Iona. I get that she's a bit of a twat, but she'd kill herself if she thought it would save my life. She doesn't deserve his derision. Alaric could see the fire in the woman's grey eyes. She might have been a quiet and contemplative sort, but she was utterly loyal to those whom had earned her trust.

The man sighed heavily. I know. It will take some adjustment. Iona will still issue your orders or I will. In a pinch, there is Captain Duchannes--

Dera snorted. He is inexperienced and then promoted someone just because they were friends.

Alaric stopped walking and cleared his throat. Like it or not, our squads will be working together. You can hate every single one of them, but we have a job. This isn't about personal issues. This isn't about pride or loyalty. This isn't because it's something fun to do or even if it's something we wanted to do. We are going to be working with them, like it or not.

I won't--

And I know you won't like it. Iona won't like it. Roz will take it however the both of you take it so I'd appreciate it if you could fake like you can do this without having issues because I don't want her upset that you both are seeming like you're angry at her too. I'd appreciate that you don't take this out on me either. I didn't choose this; we were chosen. Their team and ours. Not because the Captain-Commander thought it would be fun, but because he thought we'd be the ones that could best work together to accomplish the task. You're the most level-headed person I have on the group save for Rilyn. I'd like your support in this. She opened her mouth too quickly so he helped her shut it. I don't need your answer now. Think about it. Think hard about it to see if you can do this, not for them, but for me.

Her mouth closed and she looked away, her face flushed with unsaid emotions. He knew she was worried, not for herself, but for the rest of her team or she would not have approached him about the issue at all. Dera had more loyalty than most people he knew, but so did he and she knew that. We're still going out to the tavern tonight.

Thank the gods for that. I'll need it.

I know. They continued walking to his room. The black wolf sat at his door, its tail wobbling back and forth in a lazy wag, keen yellow eyes watching them approach silently. Roz must have gotten in through the window. I am hoping that she shut it too. Sounds like there will be a storm later. He unlocked the door and entered to find the other three members of his squad sprawled over his room. Roz sat on the chair before his desk. Iona lay on her side on his bed, her head propped up on her hand. Rilyn sat cross-legged on his area rug. Dhembet simply entered as soon as the door was wide enough for the wolf to slip past Alaric's legs.

They've cancelled on us! Dera's statement was a clear announcement. Rilyn, Roz, pay up. Iona and I have hungry pockets!

Roz groaned and fished about in her clothing for her penny pouch. Rilyn chuckled and shrugged. I'll pay up later when I'm wearing my other pants.

Io, he owes you then. You'd be the only one who can make him pay a cent of what he owes. The bald-headed man chuckled again and Iona rolled her eyes as she flopped over.

I suppose we're not going to the tavern? Disappointment laced her voice.

Alaric settled his papers along his desk and pulled his window shut. No, we're still going.

Yay! Roz clapped her hands and Dhembet jigged in a circle, influenced by his partner's sudden excitement, issuing a soft bark.

Iona sat up. So why'd they cancel?

Alaric shrugged. Captain Duchannes said there was a storm coming and urged us all to stay indoors.

Iona snorted in surprise and quickly devolved into laughter as she rolled about on his bed, her legs kicking wildly in the air. Dera rolled her eyes. Roz laughed too. Rilyn smirked. That's one hell of an excuse to avoid us.

Alaric's stuff all compiled the way he wanted it on his desk, he looked around at all of his teammates and shook his head lightly from side to side. It wasn't surprising that they laughed. Let's go. Make sure you all grab a cloak unless you trust Iona not to get you wet when she comes home drunk off her ass.

The other four laughed again even though Alaric had been completely serious. Together, the five of them went to the Buckle to drink and talk and, at the very least, reinforce the bonds that they had already developed between them.
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The Second Talbot · Phenvast City

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