It was a blur to her eyes. One moment she can feel her lips curl and the acid dancing on her tongue. The next…

She was going to need a new desk. The blade was so embedded into the wood that it was splitting it down the center, and with each small exhale or tug it creaked heavily. There was a light smell of burnt wood and burn marks stretched across the full top of it. The blade itself glowed lightly, the magic tracing up the arm and through her body to give her a haunting glow just under her skin. And she wept: Her eyes were pure blue with any trace of human in them with tears streaming down to stain the skin.

“…..Shit.” It was so sudden, it wasn’t like her to do that, gods why_

“My, my, dearest Gallant…. Really not able to control yourself, eh.”

The eyes shift up, and even through a haze she can make out Adilia, just standing there with her gun unholstered and pointed directly at Gal with a thumb ready to pull back the hammer. She was beaming. There wasn’t much that she smiled for, Gal knew. So the fact that she was so full of joy, it sent chills up the spine.

“You did that on purpose, didn’t you.”

Adilia remained in her spot with the weapon high, still smiling that Cheshire smile. She didn’t need words to admit it. Like Gal, her body language gave her away, and it was direct: Yes, yes she did.

Gal has to wipe away the tears as they began to sting on her skin, letting a low growl came from her as they are flicked off and she grips her side. She could feel it, the swing and hit caused a tear in bandages and her wound. Nothing huge, but it stung enough to have her fall back into the still standing chair, still keeping the eyes on her assistant. Her hand uncurls and she lets go of the weapon.

The sylvari on the other hand kept her weapon up, not bothering to drop it when the other struggles. All she does instead is prop her foot up on one of the sides of the desk, letting it creak under her. As she stands, she watches the other’s eyes, and can’t help but let the smile widen.

“You didn’t think I was just going to let you remain untouched by this? You’re smart sometimes, but a damn fool as well…”

“Yeah, yeah I know. I have people let me know that too,” Gal snapped back, not holding back the acid on her tongue. She was pissed now, but pain kept her from going so far. Also the fact the blade was still a good foot into the desk. Damn, it was impressive at least. “But that doesn’t make sense, remaining untouched. The Whispers know us. Why try this nonsense.”

A shift, a creak, and Adilia rests her elbow on the heightened knee, the pistol remaining level with Gal’s face. “They know, but this was not up to them. This was a personal thing. See, I noticed it once here: You were quiet with it, the whole issue that was here. You felt dead, lost, just…fine with it all. Once Vigil who was true and joyous, so virtu_”

“So virtuous and courageous, I know. Dammit, I trained with them and held rank, not just skipped about with them like children. And that doesn’t matter when connected to here. The Ministry remains separate and their own power.” Gal lets out a long sigh and puts the head back, rubbing one eye to dispel any remaining presence. By the time the hand is away, her eye is beginning to become normal, albeit a hint of it remaining in the pupil. It doesn’t bother her enough, and she continues.

“I told you before, do not mistake my silence for being fine with this. I hate the mess here too. It was a situation I had to deal with, something I regret…..But before we speak elegantly about the woes of greed and the loss of all things jovial, please tell me why you decided to make me take a swing at you!”

As Gal’s tone increased, Adilia kept smiling. Yes, the eye twitched at the annoyance at her interruption of a speech she had ready, but she could just deal with it. At the question, she shrugs and looks around, but keeps the pistol on her. “ Causing injury to a fellow member is alarming, isn’t it. Imagine if someone else saw this! Saw that you attacked someone over being kind and trying to protect your dignity. A horrid spiral from grace and a loss of this job.”

Gal is the one to shoot a look and mutters something about Adilia’s tone and after a couple breaths she leans back to sit again, now not even bothering with the pistol aimed at her. If she meant to shoot her, then it would have happened. This was for show, for emphasis. All it did was make the human mutter annoyances.

 “You have more than one reason. You’re not that easy from the time I’ve known you.”

She was smart indeed. Adilia nods to the comment and shrugs once more, shifting the weapon in her hand to be switched to the other, and puts her chin in the palm. “True. No, I wanted to see just what drove you as well. You often being so quiet and hidden, I didn’t know what made you react. Made your heart burn. You seemed so dead here, I didn’t know what you were. A human, A former captain in training, or just a husk. I didn’t know what I could use on you if I needed to persuade.”

The human wasn’t going to deny it: This had to be the dumbest way she could test that idea. Yell insults, tease the idea that she wasn’t the best wife or person. Basically tell her that she wasn’t what she used to be. While true, going after such things and people was the dumbest thing she could have done. Why did she think it was an option to push that. All she could do was sigh again and rub her nose, trying to stay so calm.

“I’ve heard about you Lady Turlough. To see you as this was not what I wanted to see. I became so disappointed. It was only time before you actually gave up and did something stupid, fall to temptation_”

“Temptation is seeing my husband basking in sunlight with the pets, happy and unbound. Temptation is seeing my partner be happy as she stands in the middle of battle victorious with passion in her eyes. Why in all of the realms anD MISTS WOULD I BE TEMPTED TO ANYTHING HERE IN THIS HELLISH REALM.”

“You don’t like letting me finish, do you.”

“Phrasing you tit.”

“Language!”

She heard enough anyway. “Caldone what you did was damn foolish. You pulling such a stunt has now put me on the line, even with the Whispers. They will ask why I drew my blade on you, why I destroyed this room, why over and over. No good will come of this, nothing at all! How am I supposed to even tell them the reason!”

It was here when Adilia finally put her pistol back into its holster with a soft click and she took her leg from the desk. Another creak, and the desk buckled but didn’t collapse. Her gaze looked over it and then back to Gal who was now rubbing her eyes again to regain her normal appearance. All she could do was shrug and smile back. “Well, disappear for a few days then. Hide, cower, doesn’t matter. By the time you return they won’t care. They’d dismiss this, why think they’d worry about this.”

Gal wanted to yell, bicker more about why she wasn’t as concerned about this. But as she stood and opened her mouth, something clicked, and the world slowed.

It was never a secret of her dread with this place. It was corrupt, cold, and distant from those she love. To escape the place was always a dream, and so when they ask to travel and her to take notes, its bliss. But recently they ask less and less, her restraints to tight she feels suffocated. On top of it, the world burns around them and they never bother to watch what happens. Nothing from the North where talks of dragons have spiked, or the south where the body of one lies, still filled with mystery. East still had refugees, where some are here and trafficked across the Fields. West the jungles still feasted, though weaker now. So many things, so many thrills that she begged to see again.

And then there was Nemo. His wounds, his isolation. It pained her. And Kory, her recent requests and the need to see the Guardian again. She had plans for each, wishes for them at this point, but she was stuck here. Bound.

Disappear for a few days then.

Her eyes lock again with Adilia and the mouth closes. The gears inside her head click away, ideas turning in her head. Hands move about, rubbing her palms and making small motions in the air. Then, she points to the Sylvari with this strange expression. One of slight insanity.

“I need you to take this to the guards.”

…….Excuse me.

Gal held up her hands and then began to talk, the eyes still filled with that wild look. “ Make this event take as long as possible. Wrap it up in mayhem, paperwork, something. A few days, a few weeks. Say you came in and found everything like this, claim it was someone finding information. Your job, but hide it. I can use my injuries, then that leaves you to do what in the world you want. Visit, investigate, travel- Adilia please understand what I am saying here.”

She did, she most certainly did, and it was brilliant. Yes, this was more information to hang over her head, Gal was no fool with this, but she could see it in her eyes: She wanted just a moment of freedom. Maybe she really was broken here, ready to escape. This was a good enough chance. And this gave the young Agent a chance to lie, to pretend to be concerned and get closer. It could work out for them both. They could do this well enough to get something out of this.

“You know this holds heavier over your head than what just happened. I basically have you in my hands, to play when I want.”

It’s a pause, but her mentor nods slowly. “Yes, I am aware…But do you really want me to back out of it?”

The smile returned, that Cheshire smile. Adilia shook her head in response and rubbed her hands together. “ I’m sure I can do more so you’re around my finger in no time. Lying to your leaders, how wondrous…What should I get in return?”

“I’ll think on that. For now though, to have this work, I need you to take my place. Not just here, but with my Guild. Work with them, let them know what happened. I know I can’t just out of…words. As you do, fill me in. I can step in for you from time to time.”

Gal reaches to her weapon and grips the handle tightly. In a whisper the blade begins to hum and shift in the wood, and with a large jolt it comes out of the wooden top and back into Gal’s hands, then starting to fracture and dissipate into small threads of magic. After its gone, the desk lets out its final noises and with a large crack and whine, it splits in two and collapses into a large pile. Both look at it with silent amusement, but Gal steps back, grabbing her coats.

“I’ll go tell them if you wish to gather things,” Adilia hums, stopping when she sees the other shaking her head.

“No need, I can come back later-I will send you letters, and I will need you to deliver them. I will be on you like a damn hawk, making sure you behave. Above all, protect my husband and protect Kory if they are there without me. Protect them all. It’s so crucial. Their safety is important to me.”

There in the destroyed room, they lock eyes and make a silent agreement. Gal’s shoulders relaxed as Adilia smiled once more and gave her a nod. A passing of the torch for a moment in time. It was enough for them both, just for now.

Once files were hidden and more of Adilia’s work could be dealt with, they leave. At her meeting, Gal will get the pass for her temporary. She will take it and work for her, all the while Gal will breathe and find something missing. Discover new things and explore once more. 

She’ll also work on hunting down a specific Norn. 

Author MaddAce
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