Nynkasi hauled the ore nuggets back with painful slowness. Literally. Her whole body ached as she left the realm of earth, and passing from Deepholm….oof. She kept stumbling in the waking world, as the heaviness of the place left her.  And with a final heave, the bag of ore was shoved and slung back into her quarters in Boralus, clanking and denting the wooden floor.

She collapsed onto the bed, groaning as she peeled off her boots, wincing as her gloves came off. There was still a deep, burnt, bloody cut on her hand. Where in the hells had an elemental…well, how in the hells had that chunk of metal gotten stuck in the poor thing? She reached for a flask and splashed some “medicine” on the wound, hissing under her breath, then the bandages…godsdammit, Fenix, I bet you’re fuckin’ laughing now. There was some angry Dwarvish muttering. Bloody elementium. 

She took a breath once the hand was bandaged even cracked open a window. For once, the brisk, biting air was welcome. It cleared her head, and she frowned as she looked up and out at the stars. Tomorrow she would have to go the forge. Not now, not when her body still ached and the power still crackled in her blood. No, she wasn’t going to call him up in this state. Not when there were so many doubts and thoughts banging around in her head. 

Nyn rubbed her temples, sighing. Mosur seemed to get on with Fenix. She, of all things, trusted the draenei. He seemed so…solid. Dependable. Almost too dependable, Zaanthe too. If they got anymore involved…she rumbled as the thought skittered across her mind, then cast it aside. Her first friends and she actually gave a shit.

A chunk of ore tumbled out of the bag as it slumped over, and she snatched it up, turning it over in her hands. Now what… the decision tugged at her. She needed to decide. Earlier anger had faded to a desire to survive. Acceptance. That was ok. She had made a mistake. She would serve her time. She could live with that. 

But when there was so much more…

She tumbled the ore nugget around her fingers some more. Warily prodding her own thoughts. A precipice. She knew how tied she was to the elemental. She could always feel the little tingle, whenever she glanced down at the smoldering embers of her braid. And whenever she thought about Da’s notes, the scant memories of the firelords back home… were those scars really marks of honour and battle, or a symbol of something deeper? No one would *talk* to an elemental, of course, but…

One thing her father had never denied was that everything came at a price. Nothing was ever just taken. Even with creatures thought to be dumb brutes. 

She released the breath she hadn’t been aware she’d been holding, and sipped from her flask, stretching out on her bed. Tomorrow, then. She would talk to *him*.

Author Wallaroo
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