The sun hung lazily across the cloudy sky of Granden Garde.
Danyel stood, waiting. He had replaced his scuffed and scratched armour, and he stood leaning on his sword, his ragged blonde hair falling across his face.
He heard a noise, and turned to see a large framed man, with long, dark black hair, wearing loose robes walk slowly towards him.
“Danyel,” Bruad said, a small smile coming to his face.
Danyel smiled back and they gave each other a small hug.
“Why here?” Bruad said as they broke away.
“She said here, midday. I’m just glad she’s talking again,” He said.
“She was distraught,” He said.
“Distraught isn’t the word, she was destroyed,” Danyel told him.
Their came a groan from the distance, and the familiar shape of the Windglider loomed into view from below a cliff in front of them.
At the helm, Nerui, dressed in her usual leather armour, turned the great big wheel. The whole ship slowly dipped towards them.
She gave a half smile as it touched the ground.
They heard the flame turn off, and she disappeared for a moment, before reappearing at the ladder at the side.
She ran up to them and gave them long, tight hugs.
“Hi boys,” She said cheerfully, but the hurt was still clearly visible behind her eyes.
“Its good to see you again,” Bruad told her.
“Yeah,” She said, not meeting him in the eye.
There was a silence.
“So, any news?” She asked.
“The Unholy are being a pain in the arse and are causing havoc on their way home- but they’re weakened after Juhra’s death so their more a nuisance to farmers than anything,” He told her, “The Syndicate went in as they came out, and sealed the mountains. Reports are that they’re rebuilding,”
“I meant personal news,” Nerui said, smiling at him.
“Oh,” He smiled back, “My family have disowned me, they can’t deal with the things that people have been saying,”
Nerui gave him a sympathetic look.
“But, I thought the new King made sure that about what had really happened with Streylen?” She asked him.
Danyel made a small ‘meh’ noise.
“High class society,” He shrugged, “What are you going to do?”
They all laughed for a few moments- real laughter.
“They won’t reinstate me as the Kings Guard, either. I’ve been demoted to the lowest position,” He said, “Everything’s changed,”
“What about you, wolf man?” Nerui asked Bruad.
“The pack are wary of moving around in Rillwynn, so they are staying at the border for now,” He explained, “A lot of us died in the battle, and even though they don’t show it, I can feel them blaming me. Your father visits regularly, he talked to Skrule about the Halara giving the pack a designated zone- so we could set up a town and start trade routes to Ulissryn, like the Clans have. But I…”
“You can’t settle back into that life again,” Nerui finished for him.
“It seems we all have that problem,” Danyel said.
“Why haven’t you changed your armour? Its ruined,” Bruad smiled.
Nerui looked at the floor.
“Memories, I guess,” She laughed.
“Bet it doesn’t have the amount of stuff Deadrick’s magic pockets had in them,” Danyel joked.
Something clicked in Nerui’s mind.
She could suddenly feel it in the breast pocket of her armour. Deadrick’s words came flooding back to her.
"If the worst happens, open it, if everything turns out to be sprinkles and fairy dust, give it back, understand?"
She reached into her pocket and pulled out the sealed envelope that Deadrick had given her before the big battle.
“What’s that?” Danyel asked.
“Deadrick gave it to me, in Ulissryn,” She said, tearing into the material like a young child on her birthday.
She opened it, and pulled a slip of paper from it. She handed it Danyel, and dove in for the heavy object at the bottom.
“It’s a key,” She said, examining the long chunk of brass.
“A key for what?” Bruad asked.
“Search me,” She replied, “What’s that?”
Danyel handed her back the piece of paper.
“It’s a map, it’s got a location just northeast of here marked on it,” Danyel told her.
Nerui smiled when she realised what it all meant.
“It’s just like him to do something like this,” She said quietly.
Danyel narrowed his eyes.
“To do what?” He asked.
“This is a map and key- to his house. To his knowledge, and his weapons,” She explained.
Danyel’s face lit up.
“He wants us to continue what he started,” Nerui said, returning the two beaming smiles in front of her, “Well boys, up for some more adventuring?”
They all exchanged gleeful looks, before looking at the Windglider, which sat looking like the physical embodiment of everything they wanted at the edge of the cliff.