Page 17Mature

            Armand, however, turned the other way, headed directly for the main building of the palace complex. The council would be in session soon and he had to make it on time.

            As soon as he had traversed the grand staircase to the entrance of the palace and passed through its large ornate doors, he was met with the sight of his sister, Elain in her usual silver court Mage robe. There was also a stranger standing there; a Mage, telling by his tapered ears. He had a very short, neat hair cut made up of chestnut hair and pale blue eyes. He too wore a robe, but his was decidedly less ornate than his sister’s, sporting a simple white color.

            As soon as Elain met Armand’s eyes, she smiled. “And here I almost thought you would be late.” She said sardonically.

            Armand rolled his eyes in mock frustration. “Good morning to you too, Elain.” Elain responded by throwing a welcoming hug around the captain.

             “It is good to have you home again, brother. I was beginning to worry that you had greater allegiance to your job than your own sister.”

            Armand could definitely admit that he was something of a workaholic. However, when you were a Captain of the Guard, it took being a workaholic. Armand parted the embrace, giving his sister his usual half serious, formal grin.

            The grin wavered as he turned towards the stranger. Something was off about him. He was very quiet. Armand had learned a thing or two in the military, and one fact he picked up was that there are two major kinds of quiet. There’s the quiet where someone is being pensive and calm, and then there’s the quiet where someone is desperately trying to turn invisible, and the stranger belonged firmly in the second camp.

            He obviously was reading Armand’s mind, because he visibly shrank further back into his nervousness. “I’m afraid we have not been properly introduced,” the captain stated.

            Samuel’s panic was plain as day as he desperately tried to create a cover story. Luckily, Elain intervened to save him. “He’s a new scribe. He’s assisting me in presenting something new we’ve found. Very important for the council to hear.”

            Ah. That explains it. He dropped his suspicion. It made sense that this new scribe was so nervous. He probably was scared to death by the prospect of presenting something to the princess, let alone the entire assembled council. “Well, good luck to both of you then.” Just before entering the main hall where the council met, Armand added, “And it’s good to see you again, sister.”

The End

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