The Guildmaster

Despite herself, Laura was amazed at the complexity of the guild.  Everything was ornate and sophisticated, and the room was buzzing with life.  Quite a change from what she was witnessing a total of half an hour ago. 

Dante walked up to her and put his hand on her shoulder, causing Laura to jolt.  "Hey,"  he said, "let me show you someone."

The two paced across the room slowly.  Laura still felt weak in her knees and stumbled quite a bit.  Dante, being a gentleman, braced her against his shoulder to keep her upright.  After walking through a few stone archways, the companions found themselves at the foot of a very decorated golden door.  "Anch'io Homonculous"  Dante whispered quietly. 

Just then, the notches in the door all lit up with green radiant light.  A giant crack appeared in the center and split the door in two.  The remaining gold melted down into the floor.  Behind the magical door stood a thin, balding man wearing ornate green robes.  He was reading a book when they disturbed him, but he put it down and stood up dutifully.

"Hello, Guildmaster."  Dante said respectfully.

"Likewise, Dante."  He said, looking at Laura.  "Now what is this treasure that you brought with you?"  The Guildmaster smiled, showing his gleaming white teeth.

"Her name is Laura.  She is the sole survivor of the Mon Garnage raid."

The Guildmaster began to walk down the hallways, Laura and Dante following behind him, conversing as they walked.  "So I assume the negotiations failed, then?"

Dante nodded and scratched the back of his neck shamefully.

Suddenly, the trio came to a stop at a flight of stairs.  The Guildmaster smiled down at Laura and wiped the tears off of her cheeks with his chapped hands.  "Come child, it is time for you to get some rest.  Dante and I have much to talk about, but your eyes have seen far too much for one day."

Laura followed the old man up the marble stairs and through a hallway. There she found dozens of rooms, each with two beds, two dressers, two trunks, and a bedside table.  The Guildmaster walked up to the farthest left of these and sat Laura down on the comfortable bed.

"Now, now, child..." He said, soothingly.  "The nightmare is over now.  All you have to look forward to is the light of day."

As if it meant something to her, Laura sat straight up at the mention of the word 'nightmare'.  That word described everything perfectly.  The last twenty-four hours must have all been a nightmare.  Nothing could be that terribly depressing and horrible.  Not even storybooks had such cruel fates.

It was then that the Guildmaster interrupted her thoughts once more.  "You will be sparing a room with one of our brightest students, Whisper.  She is playing in the woods right now, but she should be back by dawn.  Please get some sleep, Laura."  He said, before holding her tightly once more and then disappearing into the corridors.

Nightmare or no nightmare, Laura thought, The only way i'm going to solve anything is to sleep.  And she laid down on her new bed comfortably.

Despite her optimism, her tears flowed anyway, as if they were meant to wash the wretched nightmares away.

The End

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