Baron busied himself in the watchtower, where he lived secluded from the rest of the castle's occupants. He had converted the area to a small dojo, where he could train privately. The tower also gave him an advantage over everyone else. It was the highest point in the empire. He could see most of the happenings in Galvenston from the large windows that circulated the rounded wall.

He awaited the presence of Saffron. He was given strict orders to train and find proper attire for him. He was not to scare him, least of all push him away. Those orders were easy to overlook, strong armies were not raised with sweet words and kind gestures.

Saffron walked in with his simple tunic and that ridiculous pot on his head. He eyed Baron curiously as he swung at a solid formation of clay. It did more damage to his fists than anything. Baron's knuckles bled angrily. The wayward man's eyes grew wide when he saw the state of his hands. This was pain, bloodshed, a minor display of what was yet to come. 'He was smart not to wince at my pain.'  Baron thought, 'it would soon become his own.'

He stopped for a moment gesturing Saffron to come closer. Once he was within reaching distance Baron swung at him to test his reflexes. They proved to be sharper than his mind. Saffron ducked and Baron's fist collided with cast iron before Saffron's makeshift crown shattered to the floor behind him. Saffron stood up instantly reaching for the pieces. Baron took advantage of his distraction and aimed a well placed kick at his chest. Saffron landed awkwardly onto the sharp pieces of cast iron. Instantly his hands became bloodied like Baron's.

“In this world Dragon, there is no time to pick up the pieces.” Baron reached for the clothes Sage had asked him to dress Saffron in. He waited for Saffron to stand up, then tossed him his shirt and trousers. “Put these on, and see to bandaging your hands.”

While Baron waited for Saffron he stuck his head out of the window. The sky was soft shade of purple.It reminded him of the lavender that grew outside his mother's lair.He briefly allowed himself to miss her, and those he had abandoned for the life of a mortal. “Some assistance would be nice mother.” He whispered fastidiously, gazing out at the sky. A moment later he felt a drop of moisture hit his nose. Baron blinked in confusion as another drop hit his face. Followed by more at a rapid pace. Rain, after the a summer's worth of dry spells. It truly was a miracle. He ran out of the tower taking the stairs two at a time. “Sage!” He yelled as he found her in the courtyard rejoicing in the rain with their people. She was exuberant her hair drenched in the moisture. She was standing amongst Pierson and Lei Shan- who for once was smiling. Her eyes met his in the rain. He pushed his way through civilians to embrace her. She didn't understand the extent of his happiness, “The Gods, my mother, someone- has answered our prayers!”He said breathlessly.

The rain picked up, ruthlessly but it was still much welcomed. “Siren.” He whispered. He wasn't sure she had heard his deceleration of faith. She was more concerned with the rain, with consuming herself in it. The civilians around them had gathered pots, pans, reflective bowls, anything that would hold water. 

Baron clutched Sage's hands, overjoyed just to have shared this moment with his friend. Their eyes met. Her smile transformed to a look of empathy. He thought something had passed between them, a moment so intense that neither words nor actions were required.

He could see the reluctance in her eyes as she stole her attention away from him. He followed her gaze. Instantly they were looking at Saffron, his hands improperly bandaged and clothing bloodied. Her eyes shot towards him again. Only this time they were filled with accusation. The hurt on her face stayed embedded in his brain for quite some time, the words she whispered echoed relentlessly in his thoughts. “How could you?” She had asked before running to the aid of the newcomer. It wasn't that he was badly injured the man was fairly resilient in fact. Baron knew what had bothered her most of all was that he had inflicted pain on an innocent, one who she asked him to protect. He knew the next morning she would remember him for who he really was. Inhuman, a cruel halfling bestowed with too much power.

The End

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