Wordlessly, they walked back to the town guards, where they were met by Captain Lyrus himself. His wide shoulders and large sword, coupled with his dark, narrowed eyes and stern face, caused the group to be a little apprehensive. Once they were all assembled, he began to speak.
“Comrades,” he began, “it is clear to me that there has been some deceit in your assistance here.” They froze; Aveyna now realised that Telthar’rion had not been wearing his hood. They listened, stone-faced, holding their salutes in silence as they awaited their punishment. “However, in light of your brave and selfless service to Raiholt and to Yalandir, in addition to your alliance with the true recipient of the letter, we have no choice but to honour and thank you for your actions. You are welcome here always, and the people shall always be indebted to you.”
Maintaining their salutes, the Blades of Twilight smiled, before a wave of fatigue swept over them. “Consider yourselves off-duty for tonight. There is a tavern in the town square, named The Hooded Mage, tell the owner that Captain Lyrus sent you, and he’ll grant you the night’s rest free of charge. Happily, the group of them obliged - they left the guards, who were more than happy to deal with the bodies, thankful to have survived the attack with their help, as they traveled through the quiet until they reached The Hooded Mage. Once they were inside, they landlady asked them for their payment.
“Captain Lyrus se-” Telthar’rion began, but he was interrupted by the landlady.
“Ah, I see, you’re more of those hero types, are you? Do me a favour and don’t break anything while you’re here. I know what you’re like.” Too tired to argue with her generalisations, despite the destruction part thus far having proved true, they clambered wearily upstairs and flung themselves upon their beds. They were asleep before the stars had a chance to shimmer again.
While the Blades of Twilight were enveloped in their peace, and the guards began to take away the bodies, a movement, a vibration, went unnoticed. The movement among the black and red heap, masked in shadow, became larger as a figure rose from the dead mound. Slowly, and quietly, the figure removed its hood, allowing its long, raven hair to swathe across its back. Retrieving one sword, then another from the fleshly wreckage, the figure walked into the darkness, seen by no one, and heard by only the cold, silent moon.