Dalaena had come home after asking Lord Damyen for leave to see her brother and wish him luck on the tournament, expecting that he was going. Lord Damyen had given her such a look as could have murdered a person. But he allowed it, demanding she be there no more than a few days. He had ordered his own guard to accompany her, but she intended to take some of the Dawnrose guard back with her, and her father agreed.
                She felt it would be an all-too-quick journey to Ascocen, but she had to return. So a day after her brother had left, she decided to leave too.
                But her mind was so conflicted. How could she leave her mother when she was clearly in so much pain that Dalaena felt she must be there, even if it was just to be there and give support to the woman she once admired most, and yet, what would that accomplish?
                There was nothing Dalaena could do to make her mother better, and her mother hadn't given her blessing. What she needed to do was take the advice that she had offered her brother. If nothing could be gained from staying and waiting, then she must act and do what needed to be done. Her death was not a certainty, she may yet live, but regardless of what happened, she must continue her own life the best way she could. Where she was needed now was in Ascocen, where she might actually be able to do some good. She would govern the city beside her husband; she would be a good wife and bear him children that could one day spread happiness and peace throughout the land. She would do whatever she could, in her distant seat, to keep her family safe.
                Her leaving did not cause quite the stirring her brother’s had, but there were many who loved her. The people she had grown up with had come to see her off and those she had visited when they were sick or down on their luck as part of her charity visits were always grateful. She had some talent in healing arts too; so many people that had arrived on the day had been her past patients.
                But most poignant was her father. Her mind went back to her brother leaving. And if mother did pass away, it would just be father and Deglan. Her heart went out to him. It would kill her if he were lonely.
               There was no room for weakness in Ascocen she had found. She had to be strong, and now so did Edaran. 

The End

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