It's Drakon having escaped from the beargirl. I wonder how he did it?

Such things one learns when bound by magic upon a dead tree stump!

"Madame!" cries the king's son, throwing his arms around the Assessor like she might be his longdead Mummy.

Madame's shirt not quite wrapping the daughter of the moon, not quite proper for the Assessor of the Mages' Circle. And the quick boy's eyes flashed beneath the horned moon, evidently registering her undress, and then the Vagari youth, bound by shimmering bindings upon the moonlit stump and watching.

Then the sleeping figure by the small fire – and the boy ran to the man, his weak big friend, in so touching a manner. Knelt by once great Borysko. Wept.

Rushing over to join them, Nyssa de Silva doused the mean but useful campfire under the merest flick of her slender fingers, as if them dribbling quenching water. She stirred the big man in her pulling at his arms. He obeyed like a doll, rocking upward from his bed on the ground, standing, shakingly, upon his bowing legs.

"Drakon, we must away from here – Now – There is a warrant on Borysko's neck and soldiers are coming."

"Drakon?...Little brother, where've you been?"

"Borysko."

"Not dead, no – and I've found you!"

"Borysko – She found me and kept me under her tree."

"Beargirl? – Where?"

Beargirl? – What's this beargirl?

"No time – Take Borysko away. I must hold this one 'til you are safe away."

"Madame – No, respectfully – You should go. I sense this...something you have been working here, between yourself and Borysko, and not done yet."

By no more than the moon shining above, Donovan saw the Assessor's gentler eye rest on the boy, just that moment: the pupil impressive and teacher pleased.

"I can hold him, Madame."

"Take me over there and I'll kill him and put an end to him ever breaking into our night again. Just walk me over."

"That may become necessary, but not this night. Not undo the little I've given you, Man." – and Nyssa de Silva's pointed stare did just start Donovan trembling that moment.

"I can, Madame."

"You come with us, Boy – then we find Her – but, first, I should stop that one grinning at us."

Humourous, how they dallied: runty boy, and consort of a cruel king, together standing up the big swaying swaggerer under the moon. And this riddle of a beargirl: intriguing, and more so, for both boy and his hobbled big fighter spoke of her, if real, as if of no small importance. Then this daughter of the moon shocked Donovan so that he could not hold his tongue.

"Drakon, add this to your haldan." – and, in but a twinkling, as she let the boy bear the man's weight, she bowed to his mouth and gave him the augmentation with her kiss.

"IT IS FORBIDDEN! YOU CANNOT! NO OUTLANDER EVER! –“

Nyssa de Silva flashed her stare. Donovan's throat tightened. Breathing in and out plainly allowed, but not another accusing word. She might guess it regardless, if not already listening, as her kind rudely were wont to do, and for his own satisfaction he held it before all his thoughts – TRAITOR!

Big Borysko wept for leaving the boy behind. Yet strikingly, and befitting his once-career, as that traitor to her people huddled him away under her arm into the dark forest he had still his violence to bleat: "A sore mistake, Madame. That one'll be back – same as in all the stories!"  

And perhaps some foresight there.

Donovan breathed in and out. Had he his wings, he might stretch them. Such a glorious sensation to stretch one's wings. But now here stood the talented boy, made temporarily more so, so that he might hold him here until Khoreia's borrowed soldiers arrive. Still, for his sister and himself a king's platoon presented no troublesome obstacle: none at all.

Donovan smiled, because really he held the boy here. Soon enough the Assessor's silencing would spend itself and speech return. And he might while away the night asking after Drakon’s many adventures, perhaps as well this beargirl.

---------------

Careful in her cups, so steady on her two legs, the beargirl departed the Pig and Bee long before the high moon's fall from the night. Happy, because she met again that man and he again gave her sweet berry wine. For whatever his reason.

After locking away beneath the roots of her tree that boy who had caused her this now-not-entirely disagreeable turn in her life, she had wanted a short visit again to the town. But only a short night visit. She did not trust this strange magic of the boy’s. Ever careful she should be.

Suddenly, where forest touched the town, a whimpering among the trees turned her. He lay in moonlight, doglike, though she knew he was a thing not unlike her. She saw the arrow. The length of it quivered with his breathing.

"Man do this."

He looked at her, his green eyes wide – “Please, take me to the mages."

The End

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