Where is it…where is it…where is it…



The tavern above was filled with drinking and laughter as the gnome, dressed all in black, felt along the stone walls and flooring of the guest room. An unfortunate bystander rested unconscious on the floor nearby. She didn’t have time to feel sorry. Someone would come looking. Find her.






Robin’s hand stopped where the wall felt unusually uneven and felt around the crack in the stone. It looked natural enough. It was supposed to. Damn, she was clever sometimes. With a not-so-gentle push the panel opened and a stack of books fell at her feet.



She barely noticed the dust coating the covers as she shoved the old books into her pack. They were all books on magic. Every single one. Maybe there was something wrong with her. She’d spent years in these books trying to figure out what.



The dwarf hadn’t moved in a long while, Robin knelt down and checked the woman’s pulse. It was there, thankfully. She hadn’t meant to hit her so hard. She allowed a trickle of healing mists to help with the pain and hurried off through the rear entrance of the tavern and into the snowy night of Dun Morogh.




“So, ya found him.”



Star gripped Min’s sleeping body close to her as the shadows in her room seemed to speak of their own accord. “Master…how—“



“Never could keep me out of a locked room, could ya, girl?”



She shook her head and stared hard at the spot his voice wasn’t coming from. “No. Why are you here?”



“To save your ass.”



Star glanced to Min. Still asleep. She leaned down to give him a kiss, but decided against moving. She wouldn’t leave him. “Tell me here. Even if he is just pretending to sleep. There’s nothing you can’t say to me in front of him.”



The human man seemed to peel away from the shadows themselves. “They’re on the move. Including the little goody girl you got here. Girl’s got some talent.” He paused, frowning. “Kill the spell-flinger?”



Star frowned back, gripping Min’s hand. If he wasn’t awake yet, he was certainly going to be. “No. If she’s moving there’s a reason. And I bet killing her will cause someone else to die. She’s good at that. As for the other…how good?”



The human looked grim. “Almost like trained by me. Almost like you. What’s the end game here?”



“That’s always been the problem. I don’t know. I have Min to worry about right now.”



He smirked, chuckling. “That’s why it’s moving now. She plays one helluva game of chess, eh? I’ll keep looking.”



“Yeah, she does.” By the time the last word was out of her mouth, the man was gone, vanished as if he never were. “You’re the only damn person that COULD break into my house and live.” She muttered and cuddled up again with Min.




Ceera leaned back in her lab, feet propped on the work table. “So, what do you think?”



“It’s definitely a good idea. If you’re looking for redemption, that is.” Relina looked up from the board game between them, frowning. “How do you…always win these?”



“I’m glad we could have this family time. Quality time.” She eyed the board lazily and waved a hand, moving the piece into a winning position.



“You could at least let me win once.”



“My dear, Relina, I never lose at any game I play.”



Star’s mother frowned and began putting the pieces back into their box. “What is that supposed to mean?”



“I don’t like to lose.”



“But you might lose in your next endeavor. They aren’t exactly very trusting. What in the hell did you even TELL them to get them to listen to you for so long?”



“A story I’ve never told anyone else.”



Rel frowned and put the box on its shelf. “And…you think a story will get this….this…Rann and Kage…was it? Their attention enough to help you get in?”



“Yes, I believe the younger one said everyone deserves a chance at redemption. Or some such naivety, but it was beautifully phrased. You can’t all think I’m a villain forever. I have to get out in the world again.” Ceera sighed. “My talents are being wasted in this lab.”



“Your talents…?”



“I’m brilliant, dear. I’ve proven that.”



“Right. Well, I need to get going.” Rel grabbed her coat from the stand and headed towards the door.



Ceera watched her go with an amused smile. “Still afraid of me, huh?”



“I’d be a fool not to be.” The door shut behind Relina, leaving Ceera alone in the lab once more.

Author Robin
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