Secret War: Warhammer 40,000

Chapter 2

I sighed while watching Taryst disappear between the curtains. I needed a drag of Lho almost as much as I did not want to follow that literal embodiment of psychotic paranoia.

I slipped out my ceramic box of Lho sticks from my flak jacket pocket and eyed the two guards while slowly beginning to open it.

They just stood there silent, deathly still.

I carried on, attention fixed on the guards, more interested as what they would do than the smoking itself. I opened the case, tugged out one lho: put it in my mouth then pulled out my igniter.

I hesitated halfway through the movement, expecting the guards to do something.

No, still motionless.

I shrugged and lit the Lho.

I inhaled the smoke and sighed it out, gladdened my stupidity did not cause my torso to be bisected by Laser fire and that, perhaps paranoia had not entirely taken Taryst’s mind...Yet.

I did not understand why Taryst had those two standing there. I had only seen such ostentatious bodyguards accompany planetary Governors or Lord Generals, perhaps he wanted to state that he too was deserving of such charges as those great and mighty servants of the Imperium? Being a great and almighty Rogue Trader and all.

Well actually, perhaps so. At least unlike many Lord Generals and Lord Governors out there (and especially the latter), Taryst had earned this power, this prestige. This was according to the research I had garnered, but I would not put it past Taryst to have that doctored.

I took another inhale and blew out the sweet smoke. Why do you want to talk to me, Taryst? So many reasons flew through my thoughts then, each more obvious that the last and even more dodgy than the one before.

I pulled out the Lho in between index finger and thumb, eyeing those still guards once more and found I envied them. Life for those two idiots seemed so simple, you stand and guard. Did they have to worry about political intrigue? No. Did they have to worry about their master’s constant berating at even the slightest of mistakes? Somehow I doubted it.

Alright, enough loitering, I thought putting the Lho back between clenched teeth. let’s get this over and damn well done with.


I walked toward the curtains, slowly, casually. Hands in the pockets of my flak jacket and the lit Lho hanging out the corner of my mouth.

I was almost there when a massive, golden gloved paw was suddenly held right in my face, making me stop.

“Excuse me, sir,” said the left side guard with forced politeness, the voice vox enhanced. “Would you be so kind as to dispose of the contraband?”

My brow furrowed heavily and I sighed, annoyed but unsurprised. I took the Lho stick by thumb and index finger and handed it to the guard.

“And the container as well, sir?”

Barely containing a groan, I snapped it out of my pocket, the movement so swift, so smooth that the guard took a few seconds to notice it was right in his face.

And why don’t you chop off my balls while you’re at it, huh? I thought sorely.

“I-I thank you, sir, now you may pass through, you will have your Lhos returned when you leave.”

I glared up at the much taller guard. I frigging well better, I thought as I passed through the curtains. or you may be waking up a eunuch.

That is, if you are not already, a eunuch.


I emerged into the living quarters and quickly took in my surroundings. It was a much smaller area than I at first thought, ten metres in width, fifteen in length. The crimson red walls lined with gold. Placed nicely in the room’s epicentre was a tasteful beautiful, white (with gold lining) marble water fountain with three wide, red couches around it. A small side table was set at each armrest, all covered in expensive liquor bottles. The couches were arranged three metres away from the fountain but otherwise, the room was completely and strangely, empty.

Most prominent was the door at the opposite end of the room. The adamantium door was a contrast to the rest of the decor it was hard not to note. It was quite interesting that Taryst did not seem to even bother hiding it, a fake door perhaps? Or perhaps I was looking into it a bit too much.

“My friend!” yelled out Taryst as he leaned back on one of the couches, “come! Take a seat I have amasec of the highest quality and cigars! Relax, we have much to discuss!”

I didn’t move an inch, “no. But I would castrate someone for a smoke of Lho.”

“Sorry?” Taryst’s eyes widened.

The corner of my mouth twitched, idiot!

“Hmm, sorry do you have any Lho to smoke?” I rephrased as smoothly as possible.

Taryst’s look of shock disappeared, “Yes young Attelus come, sit I have plenty.”

I sighed and hunched in defeat, beginning to approach. I really didn’t want to move an inch but saw little choice in the matter, Taryst’s over-friendliness was getting on my nerves.

Taryst leaned over his couch, opened one of the draws on his table and took out a rather fanciful box.

“Here, take as many as you want young Attelus,” he said, sliding the box open and holding it out to me.

My jaw set. Why did he have to continually call me ‘young Attelus’? Attelus would just do, I knew that I was young, I did not need to be constantly reminded by someone else besides Glaitis. She still called me “child,” a rather dated title seen as though I was twenty-three frigging years old.

Keeping my annoyance again silent. I nodded thanks and drew out two, meanwhile pulling out the igniter.

I smiled, finding it funny that the guards outside would make me give up my lhos but forget my igniter which I could potentially do more damage. I was skilled in that aspect, my father had taught me how to turn anything into a potentially lethal weapon, even lighters, especially lighters, he was an equally avid smoker of Lho as well.

“You still stand young Attelus, come and sit.”

“Thank you, sir, but I would rather stand,” I said, trying for the soft yet forceful tone that Glaitis had taught me.

Taryst shrugged, “if you wish it rather.”

I slid one of the Lhos into my mouth and lit it, drawing the smoke deep, “yes, thanks, but now might I ask why you called me here?”

“Ahh yes my young friend,” said Taryst as he suddenly got off of his seat and moved to another table, opening a draw. “I have been studying into your records, your curriculum vitae.”

My eyes turned into suspicious slits, ‘and how exactly did you get your hands on my “curriculum vitae”?’

“I had a young friend of yours look into it for me; you know the one, the young friend under my employ, the young friend who you had secretly hired to look into my past for you.”

I winced, “Vex-”

‘Vex Carpompter’ confirmed Taryst as he pulled out a data slate from the table’s draw, “the young ingenious hacker. How very audacious of you young Attelus to try such a trick under my very nose. You would have gotten away with it as well, but for-.”

My jaw set yet again, “reasons you will not divulge?” I finished.

“Exactly!” he grinned. “You are smart young Attelus, too smart for your own good it seems, using the very person who inspects the system to check the information.”

I was not sure what to do, was Taryst going to kill me?

Vex, he even had almost unlimited access to the cogitator systems of Taryst’s whole corporation. Actually, I had completely forgotten about my under the table agreement with the infamous hacker. It had seemed like such a small request and seemed even smaller after the pathetic results.

“No young Attelus I am not going to kill you if that is what you are thinking,” then his eyes turned into evil slits. “I was tempted to before, though. Very tempted.”

My brow furrowed, I was beginning to dislike where the hell this was going, “you were tempted to until you saw into my files, right?”

“Answer me this young Attelus,” said Taryst, “did you act on the volition of your teacher, or your own?”

I hissed through my gritted teeth. I hesitated in my reply, seeing that my very life may be depending on my next sentence and so I chose my words very carefully and told the truth.

“No, Glaitis did not ask me to do it, not directly anyway, I was acting under her teachings.”

“And does she know of your attempt at espionage?”

“Again, no, not that I know of anyway.”

Taryst smiled and fiddled his data slate with a large thumb, “I see young Attelus, your answers confirm what your records state. I can see that you are nothing like your ally, young Elandria, she is a blunt instrument, she knows very little besides how to kill people in a very gory, all be it, very pretty fashion. You, on the other hand, are a far more subtle instrument, infiltration, espionage, assassination in your very, very short career you have done it all have you not?”

All I have done very well. I shrugged, trying very hard to sound nonchalant and keep the welling pride from my tone. “Yes and no, I have been on many missions but mostly the more menial stuff. I have done some infiltration but most of what I know Glaitis has taught in the theoretical, not the practical.”

“She doesn’t believe you ready yet?”

“Yes,” I answered, knowing I should not be divulging such information, but my instinct for self-preservation was overwhelming my instinct for keeping secrets. Also, Taryst probably knew this already. “I did not start my training of the “finer arts” of the Assassin’s trade until my employ into mamzel Glaitis’ mercenaries.”

“I see, how about a test young Attelus, the ultimate test to see if you are finally ready. I want to employ you.”

I raised an eyebrow, this I actually saw coming, “Tch! You want me to spy on Glaitis you?”

Taryst raised his own eyebrow, “you seem surprised despite your forward guessing.”

I’m surprised that you’re so damn predictable, I wisely refrained from saying.

“Young Attelus, do you truly want the life of an assassin? One living always in the shadows? One of death and thanklessness? Or would you rather a life of meaning, a life of profit, a life of happiness? I can get you that, a way to escape, a way to get away.”

I glared up at Taryst. Was this coincidence? Just as I am beginning to have doubts, Taryst here comes to me with this request and giving me such incentive.

I did not believe in coincidence.

Also, I could not help remember my conversation with Glaitis’ before, “trust nothing, suspect everything.”

Did she guess that Taryst would pull such a stunt? Or did she already know that he would?

If either were the truth, there would be no way in hell I could hope to keep it a secret.

Was it again, potentially a coincidence?

I genuinely hoped that it was.

Taryst looked at me with an expression that was almost sympathetic, “I know what it was like to be your age, to not know who or what you are. It’s hard young Attelus, take your time in your decision, but I have to ask that you make up your mind before you leave. Though my indecisiveness was of a completely different subject, the struggle is the same.”

I sighed, could I betray her? The woman, who had saved my life, took me in, cared for me and taught me everything she knew. Potentially destroying six years of hard work and struggle?

It was for freedom. Which I was not sure would be worth it, this was a harsh universe. I was beginning to believe that the term “freedom” was a word that could only be used with irony, that it ever being literal of use, was forever lost.

“No.”

“Excuse me?” asked Taryst, seeming almost bemused.

“No I can’t do it, I-I just can’t.”

“Why?” carried on Taryst, beginning to sound forceful.

“I have my reasons,” I said, sounding timider that intended, not expecting such a change in Taryst he sounded almost childish, almost sulky.

“No! I know why!” he snarled. “I have heard of how you act around her, like some little, pathetic, love-struck puppy! Can’t you see that she is using you like some mindless pawn! Like a slave!”

“What?”

“You have two ears and are smart. Apparently, you know exactly what I said.”

“You- you think I am in love with her?”

He just glared at me.

I scoffed. “Don’t be ridiculous! She’s three times my age! And Like a mother to me, that -that’s disgusting.”

He grinned. “To be honest I don’t blame you young Attelus, I would be head over heels for her as well. If she was my type, of course, beautiful, intelligent, confident, deadly”

“Sh-shut up!” I meant to snarl, but rather whined and I felt my face flush.

He shook his head, “so can’t you see this is unhealthy? That it is all the more reason to do what I ask?”

I swallowed, “I-I can’t I just can’t Taryst, do you know what you exactly ask? What the consequences will be if I’m found?”

Taryst nodded, “I do, I researched your employer before I hired her services and your death would be...Very painful indeed, but if you succeeded, the reward would be worth it!”

“How?”

“I would make you rich! And you could go back to your home planet, live an easy life of luxury and wealth. A life of freedom and meaning.”

I gritted my teeth. ‘Trust nothing, suspect everything’ the meaning of that motto was double jointed to say the frigging least, Glaitis I knew meant herself as well, she could in all truth never be trusted, ever.

I knew why Taryst would ask me to spy on her. He was a paranoid, psychotic but from time to time I could not help suspect that Glaitis had some hidden agenda that was far, far bigger than me, bigger than even Taryst’s corporation.

I could only hazard a guess how large that goal indeed was. I was some pawn in that plan, yet every time a strange, powerful feeling in me had made me deny it, some feeling that was foreign and strange to me.

Was that feeling love?

“Take your time young Attelus,” said Taryst, “it is a hard favour to ask, I understand completely.”

“No!” I stepped forward, “I have made up my mind!”

‘And?’

And I answered without hesitation and with the truth. It felt good to be real, to be genuine for the first time, in a damn long time.


I left Taryst’s quarters, trying hard to mask my haste. On the way out I had almost forgotten to retrieve my Lhos. Lucky for the guard I didn’t.

I caught the elevator and twitched in impatience the whole ride down, tapping the tip of my boot on the floor.

I had told Taryst, no.

The rogue trader had taken the answer in due course and did not try to convince me otherwise again. Perhaps he had known that he could not change my mind, or he didn’t care. The look in his eyes almost exclaimed the former, seemingly accusing me of foolishness and cowardice all at once.

Perhaps I was a coward and a fool. But I was not about to risk my life for what could easily be a lie. There was no guarantee that Taryst would keep his end of the bargain, the odds would not at all be in my favour.

Afterwards, I had tried to levy some information of Vex’s fate from the rogue trader, but to no avail. Taryst was too smart to be coerced into slipping on his words.

As much as I hated to admit it I liked the little nerd; I did not wish to see him dead over such a trivial matter.

Actually, why I was still alive was a wonder in itself. Taryst had more than enough reason for shooting me, just on the grounds of trying to infiltrate his systems and even more for flat out refusing his request. Letting me live would make sense if I found Vex dead, it would send the message: “do not cross me again young Attelus, or this will be your fate.”

It would indeed, I would not be crossing him ever again.

Despite myself I could not help smile my evil smile, the sentence went through my thoughts as a perfect recording of Taryst’s voice, everything from tone to demeanour.

When the elevator reached my intended level, I slipped out the sliding double doors and ran down the corridor, heading to the northern side of the building that was where Vex’s office was. Nimbly I dodged and weaved my way through the many of Taryst’s employees in the road.

It took me only five minutes to reach the cogitator workers section. I had earlier learnt the layout of the lower floors (the ones I had access to anyway) The quickest way to get here or there, just in case.

I fast walked through the lines upon lines of cogitator banks, each having a thin, decrepit serf sitting, typing madly. The clicking sound turned into a crashing as thousands upon thousands of fingers pressed keys. The noise enveloped the entire two hundred by three hundred metre cavern in its near deafening cacophony.

I fought the need to cover my ears and started to approach the entrance to Vex’s office.

I paused near the door. I was cool, calm my face set in determination, if Vex were dead in there, it would make little difference, just another death and one more did not matter in a galaxy this vast. It was not my fault, Vex had accepted the bribe, it was his own fault for going through with it. If he was truly as smart as he claimed he was he would have told me to shove it.

But maybe it was my fault, how old was Vex? Fourteen? And if so, perhaps it was his youthful ignorance that had made him take the job, and then it would indeed be my fault.

I sighed and reached for the door, but again hesitated as I realised something that made my guts churn. I wasn’t armed! Who was not to say that someone wasn’t standing over poor Vex’s corpse, a silenced gun trained at the doorway, waiting for me to enter? I glanced about. They would not need to silence the weapon; I doubted that even the roar of a bolter could be heard over that racket.

“Oh, this is depressing, really!” I exclaimed in frustration, so loud that even a few of the nearer serfs looked up from their work and glared at me in disapproval.

I grinned as an idea hit me.

“Hey everybody! You know who is a damnable frig wipe!” I yelled even louder and with even more looks of anger. “Oh come on! Can nobody can guess!”

“Shut up!” said one as he got off his stool.

“Shut up, huh?” I grinned at the man. “Huh! Shut up really? He must be a really big frig wipe if he beats Taryst!”

Now that got more attention, and that was exactly what I was looking for, so I stepped through the door and found.

Vex was standing alone, utterly unharmed, inspecting one of his many Cogitator units with an intense expression. His attention snapped to me as I intruded space and his eyes widened with surprise.

“Hey, Attelus I didn’t- Gak!”

Bang!

The “Gak!” was him getting cut off mid-sentence by me, grabbing him by the collar of his tunic and the “bang!“, me slamming his back against the wall.

“Wh-what did I do?” he whined in his pitiful way, well as whiny and as pitiful as one could be when being suffocated. But Vex achieved it better than most would.

“You little bastard! You frigging little bastard!” I snarled, accompanied by another violent slam. “You told them!”

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” he gurgled back. “Told them, what?”

My anger turned in on itself as I pulled him from the wall, spun him about and smashed him hard against the nearest Cogitator.

“Were you born an idiot or did you lose the brain cells along the damn way!” I snarled. “Our agreement, remember? The one where I paid you one thousand throne gelts, and you would check the systems to look into Taryst’s past, remember? Remember!”

Each ‘remembers’ was accompanied by a violent shake, which threw around Vex’s head like whiplash.

Vex could only gurgle back, his face almost turning blue.

I let off a little pressure, a little.

“I don’t know!” he hoarsely managed, and then tears started to well in his eyes. “An agreement that I look into the system? I don’t remember it by the Emperor I swear! I swear!”

Then the tears started to flow freely down his face, “I swear!”

It was then when the realisation hit me. Then guilt followed, and I let go of Vex’s collar. Still crying the young hacker slumped onto the floor and curled up in a fetal ball, whimpering pitifully.

I stumbled back; Vex’s mind was messed with his memories of the whole incident erased by some warp touched freak! I should have realised it, damn it! Taryst had psykers place the blocks on our minds! Of course, he would have them for other uses!

And I had just strangled an innocent person who did not know why. Even if Vex had remembered our agreement, it would have been plucked from his memories without any knowledge.

I cursed, this was all my idiocy, my fault. I should have remembered that Taryst had psykers, how stupid was I to forget-

I cut myself short as my eyes widened in epiphany. But one reason why I had done it was because of the blocks! Vex had told me that they had done it to him as well! I was no expert on those warp touched. Perhaps, with their knowledge of how they had placed, the block knew they could have bypassed it. That is, assuming Vex had even been blocked at all.

I looked down at the whimpering and shuddering form. My brow furrowed heavily. I started to feel a potent and almost intoxicating mix of contempt and rage begin to well at the pit of my gut. How pathetic! I felt the overpowering urge to kick the kid while he was down.

Teach him to toughen the hell up.

Don’t make this any worse than it is if Glaitis finds out, I thought, forcing down the rage, the contempt.

Then I turned and stormed out the door, leaving the pathetic foetal form of Vex to writhe in its self-pity.

It would also explain how Taryst knew I was having second thoughts.

I was right, the damnable Rogue Trader had left me a warning and through Vex also! An even worse one than if I found him dead. I winced as the words echoed through my thoughts, “do not cross me again young Attelus, or that will be your fate.”

But this time the ominously similar sounding voice of Taryst laughed.


I sighed. I stood in my shower, the high pressured water crashing against my thin, pale but solid body.

My usually rigorous, daily training lasted five hours with a fifteen-minute break between each hour. It was disciplined and harsh like my father had taught me. It seemed my daily regime was the only thing I kept consistently disciplined.

The schedule was this; the first two hours were dedicated to swordsmanship, the next two on unarmed combat and if I had the time I went over to Taryst’s shooting range, spending the last hour practising firing drills, both Garrakson and Torris would almost always be there and so I would go to for the company as well.

That was before poor Torris got maimed of course.

I winced as I remembered. Again I had forgotten to visit my comrade in arms at the medicae! That would be, what, the fifth day in a row? I couldn’t even recall that either.

Throne did my limbs ache! Today was certainly not the first, but hopefully the last were I would neglect my regime, not saying I didn’t train, I did, but way too hard, and had ignored to stretch before also. After I had retreated from my crime scene, I had retrieved my weapons from security and went straight home to my hab block. Immediately, my sword was out and I was slashing the air in a blind and rusty rage. My years of training and discipline were thrown out the window. I barely lasted half an hour before I was gasping for breath and weak from exertion.

But my anger was all but spent.

I was an idiot, a complete and utter idiot! I had no excuse to beat up on Vex, even if he had willingly told, I should have seen his treachery coming and planned for it in advance. ’Trust nothing, suspect everything” those words could not ring any more accurate right now!

No, I had to lose myself in my anger. I’ve had that problem ever since I was a child something would happen that would anger me, and I would hurt people, badly.

‘A blind rage’ I heard it called once, I could not recall who had said it exactly

It was as if something had taken over me. I would lose control, and all I would do is hurt the one who had done me wrong, no matter what.

My father had taught me how to control that side of myself, how to curb it if it occurred and I had learnt it well. But with Vex I slipped and fallen into that abyss, that was the first time in a long time, going on six years now.

That I did remember and that I remembered well.

Poor Vex Carpompter, he did not deserve my wrath. All of my repressed anger from the last six months was almost taken out on the kid; he was lucky I didn’t kill him.

No, I thought. I was lucky that I didn’t kill him.

I shuddered at the thought, and the soothing feeling of the constant stream of hot water disappeared entirely as a horrible sensation of sickening guilt welled in my guts.

Taryst was right! Sudden rage overtook me, and I punched the tiled wall. Blood intermingled with water and pain erupted through my hand.

I am a coward! A bully who takes out his anger on those weaker than him because he is too scared to take it out on those over him!

That is the very definition of cowardice.

Sighing, I turned off the faucet. I tried to ignore the agony of my left hand and my dullened, aching limbs. But I could not ignore that both were of my own volition, of my idiocy.

It was quite depressing really.

I walked out of the bathroom, a towel wrapped around my waist, my face foul.

I caught a glimpse of the form standing in my room, and that was all I needed to see. In the blink of an eye, I snatched up a nearby knife, about to let it fly.

But stopped mid-movement, and felt my face flush as I saw that the form was Elandria, who was also aiming an Auto pistol at me.

“Drop it,” she said.

I immediately did as told.

“Now kick it over to me.”

I looked at her with hooded eyes; I had bare feet damn it! But gingerly I kicked the knife to her, which bounced and rolled over the carpet.

“Mistress Glaitis wishes to speak to you,” she informed in her emotionless voice. Her mask was off so that I could see her just as emotionless, pale, attractive heart-shaped face. The gun still pointed at me.

My embarrassment disappeared as my eyes widened in fear. My palms were suddenly wet with sweat. I had guessed that my teacher would want to talk to me, but I was not at all prepared for it.

“J-just let me get changed,” I stammered as I scrambled to gather some clothes from that of the many that lay about, and could not help be embarrassed at the messy state of my living quarters.

“You have three minutes,” she stated.

“Okay, but, uhm, can I, uhm, have some privacy, please?”

“No.”

I sighed, then the sudden and impatient twitch of the Auto pistol made me jump and search all the faster. She had me, hook line and sinker, or for want of better cliché, I was caught out in the cold. Never in my life had I felt so helpless and exposed, that was why Elandria was a real assassin, and I was not, though she lacked my training of deception and espionage, she still knew bloody well how to catch those at their most vulnerable, and she certainly had succeeded with me.

Though, I could not help but wonder what would happen if I had actually thrown the knife? I may have got her; she had not reacted to me until a full second after I had stopped the throw.

If it were anyone else besides her and Glaitis, I would have let it fly, without hesitation. Perhaps that was why Glaitis had sent Elandria; she knew I had a weakness for the fairer sex, a weakness that she could exploit, a weakness I needed to eliminate.

It took me two minutes to hurriedly slip on my clothes from the floor, smelling, day-old tunic. I had tried hard to hide as I put it on and had succeeded with admirable grace.

I nodded to Elandria and walked out the door, but she followed me down the apartment building’s corridor.

“Where are you going?” I asked over my shoulder.

“With you.”

My jaw set. “To escort me right?”

‘Yeah.’

Barely, I kept the fear from my face, if Glaitis was having Elandria guard me, the master assassin was meaning business.

I swallowed, really meaning business.


It took us twenty long minutes to arrive back at Glaitis’ base of operations and all the way I had Elandria holding her auto pistol in my back. Every single step made me dread more and more whatever Glaitis had in store for me. I struggled to hide the fear even with my back to her. The stress of suspense was almost overwhelming as my heart thudded in my chest. I had never bothered to try garner any information from Elandria knowing full well it was futile I doubted that Glaitis would have told her anything and everything I tried to say to Elandria she answered with mindless monosyllables. For her, it was not entirely out of character, but it was doing nothing to help my nerves.

We rode the elevator up to Glaitis’ office. Taryst had given the master assassin the top floor of one of the rogue traders many separate buildings that surrounded his main tower. Naturally, she is the leader of a very professional and well-off company of mercenaries, she only got the best for her living quarters.

The elevator arrived, and the doors slid open. Immediately I was prompted out with a shove of Elandria’s pistol. My teeth on edge I hesitantly complied, and we entered into the foyer beyond. It was no more than six metres wide, a corridor. At each side and lining the stark white walls were long, black leather couches and our boots echoed over the polished back marble tiles. The contrast between hers and Taryst’s quarters could not have been much more apparent.

Glaitis never kept any guards, which showed her arrogance in her abilities, an arrogance that was entirely justified. She has survived for this long, and I also have seen her skills first hand, and they are quite breathtaking. I gritted my teeth as Taryst’s words echoed through my thoughts. I was not in love with Glaitis! And he was a fool for ever thinking so.

A woman sat at the end of one of the couches, her smooth, long legs crossed together as she reclined back. Her high boned, youthful and attractive heart-shaped face was on the profile as her large eyes studied a data slate intently. Her long, violet coloured hair was pulled back into a ponytail and relief washed over me as I saw who she was.

Castella Lethe didn’t look up as Elandria, and I approached her, “tsk, tsk Attelus what have you done now?” she sighed with a smile as she bounced her crossed leg.

Despite my anxiety, I could not help but grin. I liked Castella, she was always charismatic, always friendly and she had a fun, dry sense of humour I could appreciate. If any woman I would be accused of being in love with, I rather her than Glaitis. She was also confirmed to be Glaitis’ successor if ever the master fell and I agreed. Castella was an excellent choice she was extremely extroverted, confident and held almost everyone’s respect in the company. Except for Elandria who seemed to despise Castella for the reason that I could not, or cared not enough to comprehend.

“Completed yet another assignment, I see,” I said, trying to slow my advance but Elandria was intent on not letting me.

Castella snorted, “of course Attelus, would I be here if I hadn’t?”

I shrugged, “goes without doubt Castella. I was actually making sure that you were not some fear induced mirage.”

“Wow, Attelus. If you are that scared shall I say a little prayer for you?”

I frowned and furrowed my brow, “I was actually hoping for a more, proactive form of help.”

She shrugged, pouting her full lips. “What could be any more proactive than the divine intervention of the Emperor mankind himself? Ohh, wait you don’t believe in that thing, do you? Oh well, never mind you’re screwed then. Bye!”

Before I could make a coherent reply, I got shoved through the glass double doors, and I could not help wonder. Why the hell she was just sitting out there?

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