Awakened corpses lay scattered at Rikvi’s feet. The necromancer let the tip of her greatsword rest against the ground as she tried to catch her breath.
“That’s what, twenty today?” Tove jumped down from the rock ledge she’d chosen as her murder-perch. No small number of bodies on the ground were feathered by her arrows.
“Twenty-four,” Rikvi intoned. “I am surprised you are not keeping better count, Tove.”
“Yeah, well.” The ranger shrugged, leaning down to pat her reef drake, Lashtail. “I’m not feeling very competitive today.”
Rikvi slowly turned and settled her heavy, green gaze on her. “You are…not feeling competitive? Is something wrong, cousin?”
Tove shrugged. “I’m here to be a thorn in Joko’s side, isn’t that enough?”
Rikvi would be the first to tell you that she was bad at relationships, be they familial or otherwise. The fact that she had a mate at all was a constant marvel to her, and one small part of her brain was always anxiously screaming, waiting for that to fall apart.
But there were many anxious corners of her brain and none of that was relevant to the task at hand which was…what was wrong with Tove? For something was wrong with the usually sunny skaald.
“…your mate,” Rikvi said slowly. “How is he doing, by the way? I am surprised he is not here with you.”
Tove shrugged. Tove, the woman who has a composed a dozen songs to her lover over the years. Tove, who is observant and thoughtful and aware of other’s feelings and basically everything that Rikvi is not, has nothing to say on the matter. “At his forge? I don’t track the man, Rikvi. But speaking of tracking, we have more patrols to hunt down.”
And that is how Rikvi knew what was wrong with Tove, despite herself. It wasn’t unusual for her own mate to be at home. He was a merchant first and foremost, a warrior second. He had the family business to attend to. Tove’s, on the other hand…
“You are not wrong,” Rikvi said slowly. “Let us be going, then.”
Tove was of Wolf. Her pack was important. Rikvi had been very casual in her attempts to drag her into the Vanguard, but perhaps it was time to dedicate more effort to it.
Along with…everything else. Rikvi sighed, and summoned her jackal. Tove was already casting about for the next trail to follow.