Chapter 20 - Part 1

The next day, it was decided by popular opinion that it would be a restful day, as there was not the same rush to return to Thornhurst as there had to get to Raiholt. Telthar’rion had been the one to suggest the idea, and everyone else had nodded, even Alyxandra, who knew that it would be better for them to be rested than to hurry back, despite the fact that she now wished to return more than ever.

A trace of animosity could still be felt between Aveyna and Aranaytha, although it seemed that the two had put it behind them. However, something of their conflict still hung in the air and permeated into the little conversation. they shared. Yvellen and Aranaytha kept their distance; there were no moments of tomfoolery to lighten the mood, neither did any words of remorse leave Aranaytha’s lips. Luan, recognising his master’s disappointment, felt depressed also, and curled up at Yvellen’s feet.

Alyxandra took the opportunity to walk alone, wandering through Westbridge and enjoying the solidarity, her mind also wandering on occasion, as she imagined what Alceren would be doing, whether he was safe. Alone with her thoughts, Alyxandra stroked the back of her hand, aware of a quiet, but present pain in the red marks that the amulet had left.

Aveyna was also outside, allowing herself a quiet moment of respite beneath the trees on the outskirts of the town. Her eyes were closed, her heart cold, as Aranaytha’s countless insults, like knives, stabbed her over and over and over in the chest. Feeling utterly miserable, and her mind weary, a single tear rolled down her cheek, the icy words still echoing in her mind. With her eyes still closed, Aveyna heard footsteps, at first distant, but drawing closer with each moment that passed. She opened her eyes and smiled.

“Hello, Telthar’rion.”

The End

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