Riathan sat at his desk with a report in front of him. Normally the usual state for him but the content of this report bothered him greatly. His sister sat lounging in a chair across from him, arm slung over the back and her foot kicked up onto the chair next to it. Idly turning a dagger over her palm, inspecting it. Her face was anything but casual, brow furrowed and her bright green eyes filled with anger and more than a little regret.

“Suspended? Rynn… that’s not like you. These injuries…. that went too far. ” Riathan started to speak again but Rynn held up her hand as she leaned forward, stowing her dagger and clasping her hands with her elbows planted on her knees, almost bent out of the chair with her long red hair hanging down on the side of her face.

“I know, Big Bro. I was…. SO pissed off. I knew I was close to the Silver haired Psycho I kind of lost focus.” She ran her fingers through her hair and rubbed her cheeks. She looked like she hadn’t slept in a few days since the mission. Or if she had it hadn’t been well. The light that pulsed through the Guild Hall’s walls and sconces only highlighted that fact.

“They understand though. They’ve been seeing more and more activity in the Bandits and the smuggling networks…. which I may have well handed to these Shadow people on a silver platter. That’s probably more so why you’ve got me spending the week here.” She groaned and leaned back into the chair with a creak, the wood feet skidding a little on the smooth stone of his office floor.

Riathan for his credit didn’t look extraordinarily upset. More than anything he was surprised and concerned for his sister. “You know you’re always welcome here. I’ve told you even though we don’t have the house anymore this can always be your home.”

She smiled softly and nodded, pulling her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms around her legs.

“Remember the tree?” He asked after a very long pause.

Rynn chuckled and her eyes instantly changed to a bit of a mirthful glance up at him. “The training tree?”

Riathan grinned and nodded, the guardian leaning back, dressed in simple monk robes this evening, having been at the Arena sands practicing with Gallant when Rynn made herself known in the Hall with the most dour look on her face.

“I remember when Dad had me training my combat stances under there for like four hours, completely soaked in sweat, hands were calloused from the practice sword and you snuck out with tea and biscuits when he went to tend to some Minister arriving.”

Rynn gave a big grin turning the chair around and resting her arms on it’s back and leaning on them. “He never even knew I was there.”

That brought out a chuckle from him. “Mom did. Saw the whole thing from the balcony. She told me she saw that as your training. You were always good at making yourself hard to find. But she was glad you always were there to look out for me.” He teared up and looked at her. “I’m still only getting snippets of while I was on the other side. I just…. don’t go over there too trying to protect me. I’m the big brother, I’ve got to make sure you’re okay too, Rynnie.”

Rynn slumped a little, a pained look on her face. She could easily accuse him of trying to guilt him, but the memories he’d just brought up were fond ones, and these days those were hard to come by. She grabbed onto them now for dear life. “I’ll try my best. I’ll always get your back, but don’t do anything dumb and heroic.”

Riathan nodded, looking down at his desk and sliding out a sketch of the arrowhead they had found on the bridge where the Lionsguard had been killed. A stabbing pain shot through the side of his head, which he winced through and stared hard at the arrow head. Willing the memory to return and unshroud itself in his mind.  A little bit more each time, a face shrouded in shadow, one very different than the silver haired woman Rynn had been chasing and casually chatted with Riathan after the shadow knights saved him from the Centuars.

“I’ll try my best.” He looked at her, eyes showing that determined look he’d always had when he was taking something extra serious.

Rynn shivered as she saw him make that face. “You’re getting more of it back then? Just… not enough for you.”

He nodded hand resting on the pommel of his sword, resting against the arm of his big office chair, the red velvet plush back supporting his fit form.

“I was taken. I wasn’t willing. Are they? Where are they from, who were they before the King took them? That’s been nagging at me this whole time. I need to know more… and the key to that lies in memories I can’t get back.  Not yet at least.”

“Then maybe you should find one and ask them. They… do talk, I’ve seen it. You even said as much that the consort you fought in the water was full conversational. If… angry and vindictive.”

Riathan gave a slow nod then, pulling a water skin up that was hanging off his chair and took a long slow pull of it. His eyes looking off in the distance as he was thinking.

“Think you might be right, Little Sister.”

“The other night not withstanding, I usually am, Big Brother.”

Author Riathan
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