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Prodding Mardichi

That night Deragan stood under the night sky staring. The brightness of the moon vivid. He’d waited hours for it to creep over the horizon.

There was a round of cheering as it came into view.

All my knights know the significance.

As long as it shines…My angel is out there somewhere. Her soul alive and ready to fill another body. His chest ached from the constricting in his heart and his throat was tight from swallowing the emotion choking him since the first hours of the morn. Too overcome with gratitude to ponder how it was possible.

“I wish you were here.” He whispered upward.

When you come back this time it will be safe.

I’m going to kill him.

Raese watched from a distance, sensing Sebastian’s approach.

“How does our leader fare?”

“He grieves.” Raese said blandly.

“Are you prepared?”

“Have you ever known me not to be?”

“Only when dealing with your wife.” Bast flashed white teeth.

“That is your fault.” Raese turned waspish. “You could have warned me. You could have played more fairly. Rather than moving me about like some pawn in your games.

“My games amuse me.” Bast laughed.

Raese’s green eyes lit.

“Calm, calm.” Bast made a levelling motion. “You know how your wife feels about you getting squirrely.”

“Squirrely?” Raese spat. Twisting his wrist, making his staff appeared in hand. The green orb atop glowing brightly.

“Whoa!” A deep timber interjected as Raese was lifted from the ground. His surprise causing his staff to vanish. “Hold wee bairn.” Mardichi dangled Raese. “Ye no’ be attackin’ our dear friend ’ere.” He gestured to Bast who looked superbly amused.

“I’m not attacking…I’m considering killing. Despite a life-long friendship!”

Mardichi gave him a rough shake like a hound with a rodent. “Play sweetly.” He set him down.

“Have I mentioned?” Raese glowered. “How distasteful I find it when you treat me like a child.” He stalked off.

“On grea’ occasion!” Mardichi declared. “Tha’ is why I fin’ it so endearin’!” He took another deep dram from the ale horn he’d been toting throughout the day. Giving a satisfied smack.

“You are rather a bully.” Bast commented.

“Ye like me bullyin’…”

“You think that merely because I’ve been your friend far longer than most would tolerate you. But that doesn’t make it true.”

Mardichi grunted and shrugged.

Bast reached over and gingerly gripped the ale horn, sliding it from Mardichi’s hand. “I’ll just take that. We don’t want you to be overlooking which side you are on amidst the fight, and sending those club hammers,” Bast nodded towards Mardichi’s fists, now clenched in ire at the removal of his drink. “in the wrong direction. Now do we?”

“Now ye speak to me like a bairn?” Mardichi’s voice rose.

“I do not fear you.” Bast skittered from reach. “I revel in your clumsy attempts to get ahold of me.”

“Bu’ one day,” Mardichi declared. “I will. An’ yer wee li’l arse will be a mite sad me did.”

“I would bet a mite more than ‘a mite.’” Bast laughed.

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