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Eleforian Elite Guard
Echo kept her walk a little slow to keep an eye on Shad. She was unsure just how hard Shayne had knocked him about, but his equilibrium still seemed off. "I'm not sure where I'm going yet. Just...out of the medical wing. Perhaps we can find a bit of calm in one of the gardens, if they're not all ruined..." She led him out of the building. "Valeer Kel... he's a.. well, he's a Kel. They're one of the greatest Leosinian families, practically a dynasty, they've been here so long. But they've bred for strength too much. Hulking, but unattractive." She sighed as they came to a bench that had once been surrounded by bushes and trees. The stone was scorched, and the bushes still stood, somewhat.

Sighing, she sat down, and patted the space next to her for him to sit. "It's not usually this crazy... at least, not like this." She amended quickly. Pulling a foot up so that she could fiddle with steel bells, she looked out over the ruins of what had once been lush gardens. Part of her wondered if her father's old thinking stone had survived. "It's not always just the religion that makes things seem crazy. I mean, Leosine is not a peaceful god, but we are orderly when we are not in war. This...this is the aftereffects of war... From what Kel said, it was the Cult of the Blood, worshipers of Xicus, who did this..."

She shook her head slightly and looked over at her companion, eyes swirling with a mixture of emotions. "This is not the home I wished to come home to... The Order will beggar itself in order to rebuild and keep contacts in the Court... and no doubt, we will be used as mercenaries to help clean up the town, gladly, but it is going to be dangerous nonetheless... I expected to be able... to rest easy, to recoup without having to think about much aside from improving my magic and growing strong enough to get my child back... But there is so much more here... and I'm not sure how much I will be able to help Father with Court... I've been gone this whole time... I'm not sure how many nobles will welcome me back as the Court Bard..." She was musing aloud for the most part, worries and exhaustion riding at her.

Echo continued to fiddle with her bells, leaning against Shad somewhat once he was beside her, and it was a short while before her ears caught a familiar step coming over the scorched gravel. Her head raised. "Echo?" Her father's voice rang out as easily as her own often did, rippling through the air on its timbre alone.

"Here, Daddy." He came around the corner and into easy sight and though he scowled at Shad, his blue eyes softened at the sight of his dark haired daughter, so alike to his wife that waited for him.

"Whisper told me of your journey." His voice was matter of fact, and gruff, as usual.There was an underlying tone though, of hidden grief that made Echo look up and as she met his eyes, he nodded in response to the silent question. "Yes, she told me of your child as well." His eyes came to rest on Shad, cold and accusatory.

Echo was on her feet in a flash, protective as she noted where her father's gaze was. "You can't blame him, Daddy! He didn't know! Not until I was bargaining and Gideon had confirmed that there was one at all!" Her arm circled around her stomach

Shayne didn't take his eyes off of Shad. "I can, and I do, Echo. He took advantage of you, and would have left you alone and with a babe had you not by chance run into him and bargained for his life." Deadly, quiet anger lay in his words and there was a gleam in his eye that was like Whisper's when she was close to raging. His next words were directed at Shad. "What've you got to say for yourself? What type of man are you, to sleep with a woman and then leave her behind as though she were chattel? " Thoughts tumbled through the man's head, glaring at Shad, partially admiring the bruise that was spreading over the man's jaw, but mostly, holding himself back from losing it. Years of living with bloodlust and rage had trained the man to be able to hold himself in check. Every muscle was relaxed, ready to move, but he held himself in place.
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Respite · Phenvast City

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