Chapter Thirty Seven

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They moved quickly for the next couple of days and reached Garr without seeing or speaking to any other travelers. Selene did not know if it was due to Jon’s great stature and ruthless appearance, or rather some unseen factor that he and his three companions created beyond her view. Regardless of the circumstances, she was grateful for the peaceful, and quick, journey.

As they approached the gates of Garr, she began to realize how the city came to its less than inviting name. Instead of the normal white-washed stone that generally surrounded the great cities of the realm, Garr presented itself with a stone blacker than obsidian, layered in shard after shard of treacherous mortar. The top of the wall was jagged and terrifying, and the city seemed to scream go away.

Jon inhaled deeply. “Ah, the smell of despair,” he said with a chuckle. “There is not a more depressing city in all the realm, my dear, nor a more dangerous one. Stay close and speak to no one.” He pulled a small blade out of his belt, tossed it in the air, caught it by the blade, and handed the hilt to her. “If any hand reaches out and grabs you, feel free to give them a slice.”

Her mouth must have been standing wide open. “Don’t worry, me and the others’ presence should be enough to discourage any would be harm doers, but it is always best to be prepared.”

She took the blade and held it awkwardly. “How long must we stay here?”

Jon shrugged. “Until we hear from Kareth or we find somewhere better.”

“How long had it been?”

“What would that be, dear?” Jon asked curiously.

Selene waved the blade through the air with less grace than skill. “The last time you and Kareth were together.”

Jon thought about that for a moment. “Nine years ago was it?” He shook his head at the memory. “Aye, nine years. He and Alyssa left a few days after the Bone Tine War.”

Selene perked up at the mention of Alyssa. “He told me about her, but only about their time in the Sieltacor together. I suppose I should have known that they would go on to be together. Where is she now?”

A solemn look had crossed Jon’s face, replacing the cheer with sorrow. “She was killed in a raid by Vintish enforcers a year after they left us. I do not know much about what happened, Kareth is not the type to talk about things so close to the heart.”

She nodded in understanding. “I am sorry,” she said, dodging a walker that was busier with what was in his hands than watching in front of him. “She was your friend?”

Jon nodded. “She was something special. She brought light into our darkest days, beautiful songs into our silent despair. Alyssa cooked the best roast,” he said with a laugh. “Anything she touched seemed to instantly get better. She was a warrior mind you,” he added with a wave of his finger. “And no one ever made her cook or clean or do any womanly things, she did those on her own. I assume she couldn’t stand the food until she put her touch to it. I must say we were truly grateful.”

Selene lit up at the thought of a female warrior. “She fought alongside the men of the Silent Brotherhood?”

“In almost every battle,” Jon said with a chuckle. “I am not sure who feared her more, us or our enemies. She was a firecracker, as bold as she was beautiful, and Kareth loved her with every ounce of his soul, with every pound of his flesh.”

A man selling odd looking vegetables yelled at them some prices she didn’t understand, but she ignored him, too involved in the conversation. “Is that why Kareth disappeared for so long, he was in mourning?”

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