Chapter Thirty One

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Selene was staring at Kareth intently, knowing that first light was not far off, but not daring to interrupt even a moment of the tale. He had assumed pacing around the small room while he told his story, a grave look on his face.

"Alyssa dragged me out of the crypt that night, which actually turned out to be sometime during the middle of the day in Osprey. When we actually exited the old decrepit building we were met by a throng of silent stares and curious glances from the people of Osprey." Kareth's gloomy look faded as he remembered the finer parts of the story.

"So, there we were, a crowd of children of all ages exiting along with a plume of smoke and dressed in bland, grey and brown robes." He paused for a moment. "It didn't occur to me at the time, but later I found out that well over half the acolytes perished along with the crypt, including Haggs and Caesos." His smile was replaced with concern. He tightened his jaw before continuing. "My arrogance caused their deaths. They deserved better than that."

Selene could sense the sorrow flowing off of him. "You did what you had to. I am sure that all of them would have done the same thing."

Kareth looked deep into her eyes. "That does not justify my actions. That does not bring them back." He swallowed and resumed pacing around the room. "After we made it to the streets, Alyssa and I met up with Red and a few other Teros that he assured me where loyal to my cause. For the next few weeks we did what was required to survive and saved up enough money to get us a ship to Tilry. It was not an easy task, but we made our way together." With that he spread back out on his cloak. "But now we must get some sleep, first light is fast approaching and we will need at least some rest to make the trek to the City of Glass."

Though Selene wanted to hear more, she knew that he was right. "Goodnight, Kareth," she said as she laid her head down.

"Sleep well, my dear."

She drifted off almost immediately. The night went quickly and she was woken by a soft tap on her shoulder. It was still dark, but her eyes were used to the night and she could see Kareth's soft eyes looking down on her.

"It is time to go, my dear," was all he said before leaving the room as silently as a soft breeze.

Selene dressed quickly and went down to the main dining hall. It was lit by only a few dim candles, but she could see well enough. The room was empty. She moved slowly, careful not to run into anything. The stale stench of mead and blood drifted off of the wooden rafters. It smells so much like home, she thought.

A rustle came from the back room, followed by Jon emerging from the kitchens. He carried three burlap sacks over his shoulder full of what she could only guess was food and provisions. He smiled when he noticed her.

"Pleasant morning, Selene, have you broken your fast?"

She had not noticed how hungry she was. "No, not yet."

"Mary will fix you some eggs. I'm pretty sure we have some bacon back there as well."

Selene could not remember the last time she had tasted bacon. Her mouth watered at the thought. "Thank you, sir."

He waved at her dismissively. "I am no sir, dear, just Jon. And there is no need to thank me for anything." He pointed to the door where Kareth was entering. "Thank him."

"The horses are dressed and ready." He noticed Selene. "Morning, have you eaten?"

She smiled at the question. "Mary is cooking me some eggs," she paused and made way for an even larger grin. "And bacon."

"Bacon eh? Jon, you bastard, everyone knows that only lords and ladies are allowed to have bacon." Kareth said jokingly. "Where did you find it?"

Jon only shrugged. "Sometimes the extravagant Lord Borlay misplaces certain wagon trains. It seems, occasionally, they are full of salted beef, mushrooms, and even butter." An impish grin had crossed his face. "Oh, and he also enjoys Marwyn Red with almost every meal."

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