“You command me to live?” Drakmor echoed as Sage reached the large hallway of the castle's second story. On the far end stood Drakmor poised in front of a tall and narrow window that was only inches wider than his own frame. Sage resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Sometimes Drakmor was daft and selfish with his own pity, yet she needed him as a fighter.
He approached her, no longer fearful that she would shoot at him again. “What makes you think you have the right?!” He asked with a little more rigor.
Sage crossed over to him. She had never slapped someone before. It was petty and beneath her. When her open palm connected harshly with Drakmor's cheek it was in act of desperation. It took him by surprise as it truly stung.
“You slapped me?” He roared.
Sage smiled at his anger. At least it was an emotion fueled by life itself. Drakmor; walking around spineless and feeling sorry for himself was starting to grate on her last nerve.
She threw down her bow in frustration. “There is as much to live for as there is to die for!” His eyes grew wide at the sight of her fury. In a gentler voice she added, “ I can't truly command such a thing. You are a great warrior Drakmor. I am sure you have saved more than you have killed. If you live you will continue to save lives all the same and in time I'm sure your heart will heal. Wouldn't your sweet Valeria have wanted that for you?” She asked genuinely.
Drakmor looked thoughtful. Slowly he nodded. Sage knew better. That darkness would always settle in his core and it would be his choice to keep fighting against it or to simply give into it. Briefly he met her hopeful gaze before diverting his eyes. “And what if I chose death?” He asked quietly.
Sage's soft gaze turned into a piercing glare. “If you die than those lives which you have yet to save...they die with you.”
Before Drakmor could respond Calla rushed into the hallway. Her eyes widened at the sight of them standing closely in the shadows. “I came down here because I heard voices. I'm sorry Miss I didn't mean to interrupt you and Master Vayr...”
Sage held up her hand to stop Calla's train of thought, though her cheeks warmed as she said. “We were simple conversing about something. Nothing more.”
Calla stepped into the dim light of a wall candle. The petite servant clutched at her stomach. She had put on weight though it all seemed to focus on her stomach. She clutched her abdomen as if she were in pain. “Are you alright?” Sage asked.
Calla averted her eyes just as Sage came to her own realization. “Are you with child?” She asked bluntly, forgetting that Drakmor stood besides her.
Calla sighed. Her hesitation confirmed Sage's speculation was right.
Sage laughed and clapped her hands together excitedly. “That is marvelous! Oh but horrible timing, in the midst of this cruel war. Tell me who is the father?”She asked eagerly.
Calla looked away. Was that shame in her eyes? Sage wondered. Had she offended Calla somehow? She glanced at Drakmor, but he seemed as clueless as she did.
After a drawn out moment Calla lifted her head to stare Sage in the eye. “Baron.””
Sage started laughing again.“You jest. You and Baron have never had relations. I would know it. I know where your loyalties lie my humble mistress. Tell me for real?” The room grew tense and if possible...more quiet.
“Tell me.” She repeated slowly.
Calla began to cry. She covered her red and blotchy eyes with her hands. Sage could barely make out the murmured apologies. Abruptly Calla returned to her own chambers. It took a moment for it to sink in. Calla was telling the truth and that meant she was carrying Baron's child.
Instinctively Sage picked up her bow and began muttering insults about the half God. She turned to leave the hallway and seek Baron in his tower, but before she could make her escape she felt a hand on her arm. “Let go of me!” She screamed at Drakmor.
“Not until you control your emotions. Sure the halfling screwed up, but taking your anger out on people with that damn bow does not help the situation any. Focus, get your head in the game!” Drakmor said making futile references that only one of his own place and time would understand.
Sage ripped her arm from his clutch. “I know not what you talk about but Baron should be taught some respect!”
“Your just realizing this now? On the eve of war! Please any other day and I will help you teach the Halfling a lesson, but now we all need to focus. Push this distraction aside. Save your anger and use it against your enemies.”
Sage threw her bow down. Drakmor was right. She couldn't afford to be angry or hostile towards Baron right now. Anything that distracted or upset her was likely to upset Baron as well. She slouched against the wall and pressed her palms into her eyes.
Tomorrow she would go about, acting as if things were fine, as if Baron were truly hers, but then if this war saw the light of another day after tomorrow she would order him to marry Calla and raise their child together. It was the right thing to do, she assured herself.Though it would not be easy, taking an arrow to the heart was more favorable than doing the right thing this time...