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Kasuin
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The Sublime Overlord of the Realm
Whisper turned and looked. There was no one there except herself and Tomick. His eyes glanced at her and then away and she frowned, a sort of misery in her eyes. I've been rather cold to him for this whole last week. I've treated him as if we were... nothing. Just because I don't want to hurt my sister. But she means the world to me and I don't want her to feel that I don't feel her pain and share it with her! But I also don't want to chase Tomick away either... By the Mane, living is so hard! Decisions are so hard! No matter how she raged at herself and tried to explain her actions, all she could see was that Echo was hurting and that she had caused Tomick's hurt to become larger by avoiding him. Everything's my fault. A decisive commander should shoulder the blame and take actions to correct the problem. Even when this problem is one of the heart and not the team.

With Wraith taken care of, she slid the stall door shut behind her, the large horse snorting softly, flicking his tail at her back with anticipation of something yummy to eat soon. Whisper kept walking until she stood in front of Sunhigh's stall, Tomick still beside his own large beast. Just the sight of him made her hungry for his arms, she realized with a start. Despite the bow of his shoulders and the uncertainty that seemed to line his face, she wanted him still. It's not the sex that I want. I want the comfort he provides, the ear that I know always listens to me. Just because he can't beat me in a Challenge doesn't make him something that I can simply cast aside and come back to when I want it. He's not a coat or a well-worn sofa. I can't just... I've been wretched to him. He doesn't understand we Lorelei women any better than he might understand the Court women, or us probably even less even though he grew up beside us. I just hate hurting my sister. I know she feels me. I know I feel her and right now she is hurting. Despite the fact that I want him to press me up against the stall wall and kiss me and hold me tight because I am so damn tired of being in command, of the pressure, of the responsibility, of the duty, especially when tomorrow I might just be marching up face to face with a man who would have been my brother in every way, I have to be... Whisper. It's all I am.

She opened her mouth. Tomick... I know that... that I've not been very attentive to you lately. She glanced away, her arms behind her back nervously as she leaned against the wall. Her dark hair covered parts of her face, her expression was one of sadness, condemnation, and nervousness. How did I grow so far apart from him that I'm afraid that he'll reject me? I'm... I'm doing my best to take care of... of Echo. And when she... When she's hurting like she is, you know that... that I take care of her first. That I put her first before... everything else. Whisper suddenly realized that she had no way of figuring out how to apologize to this man she cared about. The normal words didn't seem enough to fill the space, the need to explain herself was overwhelming, and she couldn't even bring herself to do more than glance at him for a few seconds at a time with her one unobscured pale blue eye, almost wishing to tip her head more foreward to drop all of her forelocks over her pale skinned face and sorrowed expression.

----

The innkeeper woman smiled and nodded. Room's we have. Not many travel uproad right now. I suppose Henry would have stopped you at the road and got you to stop for the night to turn around tomorrah. Name's Maeve. We've a washing room out back. The common room is three coppers a person. A private room is two silver a room, but the bed's big enough for two or three depending upon the two or three. Stable room is included in private room fare, three extra coppers for oats per horse. If you want a heated bath, that's two coppers. Cold water is free, but you need to haul it yourself from the well or our stableboy, Willum, will haul it for you for a copper apiece. Dinner is included in the private room fare though seconds is four extra coppers per person. Two copper an ale, no finer to be had this way until you reach Taelothloren itself and those elves there will give you the mean eye whilst they serve you. I'll give you a smile for your trouble. One gold and I'll cover your horses' stall room and oats, your room, your food, your heated water, and all the ale you want. I'll even throw in some scented soap. What'll it be, ladies? The large woman smiled and glanced up at the man coming through the doorway. No rush if you need to count your coppers. Her prices were actually quite cheap even if they just wanted to drop one gold piece onto the counter. If they added everything that everyone might potentially want together, they would come to about even with extra food for themselves and their horses as well as a bath for everyone with heated water. A second private room would cost more, but then everyone could share a bed in some way. A single room would mean that some people would sleep on the floor, but they all had bedrolls that they could lay out.

Mender walked through the door and stood behind Juli and Echo, smiling pleasantly. Do we have a room yet?

Maeve winked at the women. I see now why you ladies don't need company. This one's good enough for you both! She chortled good naturedly and smiled fondly at Mender who blushed brightly red in embarrassment and swallowed.

Juli turned away from Maeve up at the counter and spoke quietly as she looked at Echo. Echo, do you think Whisper would have a gold on her? She's got the funds set aside for this trip. I mean, I've got a couple of coppers in my purse. Juli shrugged. Echo and Whisper would have been the two with the largest amounts of money on them simply for being who they were. Mender held his palm out with three silver coins and five copper ones. I do think that the gold would bring us the best value if we have it. Maybe see if she'd include a second room at half price too? I mean, a gold and a silver wouldn't be too bad if we had it on us.
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To Kill Your Blood · Uruhyo Forest


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