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Hard Priorities

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Forcing herself forward, Kel fought her emotions. She was very tired, but she wasn’t going to stop walking before she could be sure that the elves weren’t going to follow her further.

 

She was already missing her big oaf.

 

A lot of people saw him and judged him as nothing but a brute. It was true, he was born to his calling and ruthless with his marks and enemies. But he had been gentle with her, and that’s how she saw him. She had been leading her bounty hunters all over the Pentarchy before he had stepped into her tent.

 

It hadn’t been love at first sight. A lot of hard work passed between them before they were ready to call each other `lover`.

 

Bloody days, those had been. His blade had been named before he’d come to her, but he helped her name hers, in Xadia. They had made quite a pretty amount of coin together.

 

“Fight has a way of puttin’ together what goes together”, he had laughed as they were crossing the breach back into the pentarchy, asking for her hand in marriage.

 

They had attempted to settle down with that money, wanting to have a quiet life restoring his parents’ farm. It quickly became clear that the farm was no longer bearing fruit, much like their attempts at family. Eventually they came back to mercenary work.

 

Mostly because they were good at it, but also because living a long, peaceful life seemed to matter less now that they couldn’t have kids.

 

Now, it was almost over. She would find the abnormal pair and their dragon who had caused all this and put all three of them down. Then, she would avenge her husband, thousandfold if possible.

 

Fury lit a fire in her eyes.

 

---

 

Interpreter Chalise was waiting for a message from the operation at Larwein. Today was not her turn to serve Lunaris Regem - the lord had business in Veltis-Tiram - and she used her freedom to compose a set of letters. Finally, around midday, a Noticar brought her the arrow she had wished for.

 

“Excellence”, it started in Torlan’s untrained code, “We have partially achieved your assignment. The Dragon Prince and his two kidnappers are nowhere to be found. The traitor Helmond is dead. We are still looking for the Prince.”

 

Annoyance warped her forehead. The boy was not as eloquent as his father but nearly as useless. How was it that two teenage delinquents were able to continuously escape her grasp?