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Fyra
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Eleforian Elite Guard
Tomick had woken with Whisper's movement, and held her in his arms as long as she allowed before getting up with her and readying himself for the day. Dressed, armored, and with his pack slung over his shoulder, he kissed her lightly. "Of course he's there with the horses saddled. I don't know if the man sleeps at all these days." His movements were stiff and a little slow. The bruises that were splashed across his body threw aches through it. But, steadfast, he didn't complain. He had asked for it. His muscles would loosen as the day went on.

Sure enough, as they approached the stables, Shayne was standing by their saddled horses, with one extra for Brian. Echo's small form was a shadow at his side.

----

Brian woke with a jolt, terrified that he was late. He shoved his feet into boots, throwing his clothing on, and armor over it. It was light leather armor. He had not yet learned how to fight in anything else. He snatched up the small pack of things, nervous, but having been assured that everything would be provided and already packed. After checking his weapon swiftly, he rushed his way down to the stables.

----

Shayne smiled slightly at Exelder's startled reaction to his mare being saddled already. He nodded his goodmorning even as Echo smiled tiredly at the man. "You're the best suited we have, Exelder. You know well how to deal with the courts, and the Randatria stronghold has no standing. They were set in a poor part of town and are lucky that they are even still managing to stay afloat. Whisper set all those there on the path, but they have no leader... You have the skills they need." He smirked lightly, moving to grip the slightly younger man's shoulder. "Believe me, you'll neither be confused nor thanking me after two weeks there. Leading is not easy."

Before he could continue, as it was apparent he was about to become long winded, Brian rushed up into the stableyard, his sandy hair tousled around his young face. Wraith and Sunhigh took offense, tossing their heads at his quick movements. "Calm yourself, boy!" Shayne snapped, his voice rumbling as he moved to calm the two warhorses. The piebald, older than the other two, turned his head to look at the boy, and snorted.

It was a voice that was to be obeyed without question, and Brian did, slowing down and taking a deep breath. "Goodmorning, Sirs, uh... Lady." His eyes fixated on Echo, her long dark hair loose around her shoulders, and her ivory skin and sharply blue eyes making her unmistakable as the second-born twin of the Loreleis. She glanced at him, and with her father busy making sure that her sister's horse didn't break his ties, she moved to the piebald and gestured with slender fingers for Brian to come closer.

"Come. Get acquainted with your mount." Brian's eyes flickered briefly to the horse, but he couldn't keep his eyes from returning to Echo. His heart jumped as he came close enough and she reached out to pull him the last two steps. Admiration flew into his eyes. She was beautiful and strong. He straightened slightly, and then stared at the splattered patterns of the horse that was being given to him. "Well, let him sniff you!" Her voice carried the same tone as her father's, and he obeyed without thought, allowing his mount to sniff at his hands, shoulders, to lip at his hair slightly.

Shayne's voice came from a short distance away. "Some folks call him 'Curse,' boy. But I named him Lucky. He was a lucky turn out of a reckless breeding. But luck is as much a curse as it is a blessing, so most call him Jinx. I think the horse has Lady Luck's favor."

"Well, Sir... I figure I'll call him Lucky when things are well, and Jinx when he's being stubborn then." Brian smiled, having been clever to get Echo's attention, but with the reins in his hands, Echo blinked at him without humor, and went to stand by her father once more, waiting for her sister and Tomick to arrive.

Once they did, Echo stepped forward, half running to Whisper and throwing her arms around her stomach.
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Respite · Phenvast City


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