Miriamonyerk took one look at the state of my chain and with many tsking sounds and with her little clawed hands on her hips demanded I leave it with her. She muttered and worried at her apron at the amount of my blood that coated the inside of the cloth lining and metal links and handed me a robe to go home in. She told me to return in the morning for my armor, and for once I acquiesced. I went home with my cube clutched in one hand and the thick parchment letter from Elethor tucked safely out of sight. I was almost afraid of what it would say and so, I put it off, setting it on the small dining table, the blue wax seal enticing as I moved about my small galley fixing a meal for my beloved and best friend.
Aalairius had been beside himself when I’d approached him. He had clutched me to the plate of his chest and only let go when Toxemia had stepped up and said that I may need to breathe sometime in the near future. They had both returned to duty but not before making me promise to bring them dinner at their guard posts at Roah Fortress later that night. I had agreed, all too happy to spare them from the rations Aalairius always complained ‘taste like oppression’.
I worked carefully, lovingly preparing the Calydon meat dumplings that were their particular favorite and fixing the Cellatu porridge that I knew they would do without if they could. All the while my gaze swung back to the small table with its white envelope smeared at the corner with a bit of my blood, the elegant script spelling my name on its front, the blue wax seal embossed so carefully with his Legion’s crest begging to be broken. I set everything to steam and cook and went into our bedroom to dress.
The letter lay like an accusation in the home that Aalairius had built for me with his love and devotion. I felt as if I betrayed him somehow because I knew that despite my best intentions towards them both, neither would understand the other. I finished preparing the meal and packed it carefully into my cube, took my staff from the corner and picked up the white parchment bearing my name. I finally tucked it into the front of my dress near my skin and smoothed a hand over the spot to assure myself that it left no outward appearing line in the fabric. I would have to find the time to read it and soon… perhaps on my way back from Roah, but for now, my beloved awaited me and some decent food and so I left our home and went down the lane toward Elyos Square.
I stepped through the teleporter at the Exalted Path and into the bustle of Veriton Citadel and its open air market. I spread my wings and took flight through the Abyss gate and touched down lightly at Teminon Fortress into the bright light and hot winds of the Abyss.
“Sirona!” a light and airy voice exclaimed and I turned a genuine smile on the person that it came from. She was a sorceress and a dear friend whom I hadn’t seen in months due to her Legion activities.
“Ailsie, you’re back.” I said. She smiled, dark eyes lighting up.
“Where are you off to in such a hurry?” she asked me. I smiled wanly,
“Tox and Aal pulled guard duty at Roah this week, they asked me to save them from another night of rations.” Ailsie laughed, a wisp of her blonde hair escaping it’s careful knot to trace the graceful curve of one cheek. I always envied my friends beauty. Forever feeling so plain beside her.
“Well don’t let me keep you then. Have you eaten?” she asked. I shook my head. “Then come have supper with me tonight at the Dancing Dove in Sanctum, my treat.” I agreed happily. “Don’t be late,” she said as she slipped past me into the fortress. “I’ve news for you.” She called back. I nodded and went down the landing to catch a transport direct to Roah.
“About time!” Tox shouted from across the fortress proper, trotting up to me I grinned at him and opened up my cube and handed him several of the dumplings and bottled porridge before I even had the chance to step out of the alcove designated for arrivals.
He kissed my cheek and with a rakkish grin tipped his head back and yelled to the watch above us on the ramparts.
“Aal! Your woman is here! She has food! Delicious, delicious food.” He mumbled the last around a mouthful of dumpling. I laughed at him and took the ramp up to where Aalairius stood watch. He removed his helm as I approached and bent at the waist to kiss me gently before taking his meal into his large gauntleted hands.
“Thank you.” He murmured as he tucked in.
“I ran into Ailsie at Teminon. She asked me to meet her for dinner at the Dancing Dove.” I told him as he ate. He chewed and swallowed and nodded at me.
“Good, it’s been a while since you’ve seen her, I think you need a night out with another woman.” He smiled at me teasing.
“Well you can get those images right out of your head.” I told him. He laughed, a deep rich sound.
“When will you be home?” I asked him. His expression darkened a bit.
“Day after tomorrow. Try to keep out of trouble for the next day or so?” he pleaded. I smiled wryly and nodded, throat tight with guilt. I hadn’t meant to appear in Asmodae like I did. Truth was I still didn’t know how it was even possible. I talked a while more with Aal as he ate and finally when he needed to return to watch I kissed him farewell and used a scroll to return home to Sanctum.
I slung my staff over my back by it’s cord and wandered into Elyos Square, it was near deserted this time of day… I chose an unoccupied bench and checked the angle of the sun. It would be another hour or more before I would need to meet with Ailsie, and so now was as good a time as any. I plucked Elethor’s letter from the inside of my dress and broke the seal…