It still hurts.

Gallant was in her office, leaning back in the creaking chair with her head put back and eyes closed. Her face twists with a slight hiss as her fingers run over the bandages underneath her clothes, careful not to push too hard against the bruises that were the reason for such medical care.

The fight was a few days ago. They said the wounds wouldn’t last that long outside in this realm, but she had doubts. The rib ever so carefully mended and the damaged skin seemed to confirm that hesitance and also confirm that she despised that realm and the spectre they chased.

Another sigh, and she pushes her palm against her side as she adjusts in the seat to sit properly. Her eyes remained closed, and she ran through the night again. The spirit was mean, his hits were strong, and his death was just a beautiful moment of karma. Yes, the pain was worth it to see the spirit get shattered by a swing and hit by Roderik in a small moment of justice. It was worth it to see the group so ecstatic to see the spirit disappear in a whimper. It was worth seeing Raithan have a relative praise him even when possessing him.

Okay, maybe not worth to see their leader possessed, but his relative was at least nice.

She was deep in thought and recollection when she hears shuffling of paper. The hand tenses out of memory, and she lets out a sharp gasp. Quickly the hand pulls away, and Gal opens her eyes only to curse under her breath.

Adilia’s fingers ran through her papers with such grace while eyes look over each page without bothering to look up or pull off her sunglasses. Her Ministry clothing fit her well, well enough to show the pistol that was strapped to the hip, and light enough to balance out the heap of envelopes and papers with her. Gods, the papers she always had…

The human exhales softly as the hands grip the edge of her desk and she pulls herself to full height, causing more wincing but the face disappears once steady. “Yes, please enter. Thank you for knocking.”

“I heard the missing Minister came home. Should thank your…comrades for that. We were worried we’d lose a good line. Still shaken, but what do you expect when the Mad King is involved. Wish I was there to see that madness.”

Gal continues to look over the gardens, nodding along with the comment. Yes, they were great people indeed, but she bet the smaller woman wasn’t being kind to them. Maybe just teasing the thought while her hands kept working, pushing burn papers and torn lists into envelopes and giving each a name to be delivered to. She didn’t think so many papers could have use, but granted she was never one for secret work. 

“I wish you used your own office.”

“It’s not safe.”

Yes, this was such a safer option with its large windows and bookshelves that were in view of those across the way.

Another sigh then a thud against the glass as her forehead hit the panel. She hated how this woman was her assistant. Yes, it was Adilia’s idea. Keep her low enough that whatever she did, they said, she’s new enough to get away. Snuck into the office of a Minister? Sorry, got lost. Digging through trash? Lost an important contact for the mentor. Charming a scroll keeper to the point of being tangled up in a corner with words dripping like honey into the ear while eyes remembered each word on the paper? Well, she needed to make friends somehow.

It was still frustrating. Each issue was brought to Gal, and she had to tell her to avoid certain areas, avoid certain people. Stay quiet. Thankfully no issues were too big, too promiscuous to the point for them to be suspicious. They were just annoying, much like the files she kept updating and sending to her higher ups.

Lords, why were they so dense today-

“Lady Turlough.”

Her head snaps and she looks directly into the shining eyes of her hurdle with a frown at the mention of her married name. Adilia wore a  grin at seeing the response, but manages to keep her hands moving as she ties twine around the envelopes and rests it near her, ready to send off to her commanders.

“Anyway, I asked if you were there. At the fight.”

“…And?”

“Were you?”

“Yes they were.”

“I already know of your group, I was asking about you specifically.”

Another pause, then a nod. “Yes, got a crack in a rib and some bruising, but alive.”

The hands stop and she pauses, the flowers in her hair flickering while she thinks and internally files away the wounds the other wore with old and rusty bravery. The head tilts, those flowers pulsing at a soft rhythm but soon stop and return to the steady hue. Adilia blinks then looks to Gal, giving her a teasing smile. “Well, do hope you have the wounds taken care of.”

Her comment gets an instant scoff and Gal’s expression turns to one of annoyance while hands wave her off. “So I’ve been told. It was checked by my husband, gave it a wrapping and we…checked everything once over. Gave me a cross talking about it too…”

The human wasn’t going to go in depth with that comment, and she wasn’t going to even if demanded. He cared, she knew that, and he got nervous. Real nervous. In the end he needed more attention than she, and once she was taken care of he was given all the care he needed. But Gods, Adilia didn’t need to know that. No one did.

The pause continues with Adilia who keeps staring at Gal, eyes narrowing just enough before they open wider, and the smile turns mischievous. There was something about the comment that had peaked an interest, a curiosity, that it started to turn gears inside the head of the Whispers agent. It was enough that it had her put down her file and pull a chair up to the desk, her chin in the palm of her hand.

“Such good hands, and such an improvement! It’s brilliant to see you aren’t-”

She didn’t need to finish the sentence, Gal already had an idea what the suggestion was. Gal turns to look to Adilia and here the gaze was deadly. Blue dances at their edges, threatening to consume the whole gaze. Hands grip the edge of the desk and as she continues to stare, a low hum started to fill her chest and extend through her body.

“…..Careful on your words now.”

Adilia continues to smile and taps the fingers against her cheek. It makes another gear start moving inside the head, and she has to continue even with looking death in the eyes. “Forgive me. You always speak of tales of adventure and fun from the past and nothing so new. Thought this was opening an opportunity for you, getting back out there instead of being so…Quiet.”

Quiet. She knew what she meant: Stagnant, boring, empty. It wasn’t something she hid, she knew it was a life she chose. To be close, to be careful and safe. She couldn’t keep the work of the Vigil going forever, and it helped with staying updated on the lands as well as issues nearby. She was honest, but still kept things close to the heart. There were reasons why she chose this path, ones she didn’t want to have out in the open. Ones that she won’t admit, even when on the deathbed.

But Adilia knew. Body language has a funny way of doing that.

The sylvari’s eyebrows arched as she watches her mentor shift ever so slightly, her eyes becoming more blue even as she tried to keep stoic. She could also see the look of agitation growing, silently asking why she was doing this, why so determined. She couldn’t say out loud, not yet, but she would if the right response was done.

Today. Today was a good start.

Gal only glares back, the blue taking over pupils and looking as if her eyes bled magic. The body hummed so hard now, causing a hand to go to the side and hold the injury with a grunt. This isn’t what she wanted, not by a long shot. This was her fault though, and now her teeth were baring and the nails were digging into the wood.

“You are so close to discovering flight Caldone. My timidness is for a reason, and I prefer it this way. Yes, I speak of the past, but dare not think its for a reason of sorrow. Now, if you have some idea of how I should do this job, then by all means explain away. If not, then I suggest you get your papers and get out… How you’re a Whisper is beyond me, but I do not stand for this.”

There’s a stillness in the air, heavy and thick with frustration, and one that fueled the agents mind. Part of her agrees that she should listen and leave the place, be a better person, but she’s so close to her goal. Who cares about the feelings of another? She needed this, she had to have it.

 And so, she stands up to be near eye to eye to speak to Gal from across the heavy desk and with a golden tipped tongue speaks, “ Says the old Vigil fighter. Aren’t you suppose to be good, honest, and more? Yet here you are, helping a spy get blackmail together to ruin lives.

” You should stop hiding behind the job Lady Turlough, go out. Maybe then, you can find yourself again, become a human instead of some shell who lets anything go by her, even treacherous things like me…Maybe, you can go running around, chase dreams and such. Who knows, you could find a cure for that husband of yours, once you’re done being such a coward_”

All Adilia saw next was a blur of a greatsword coming towards her.

Author MaddAce
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