After a brief meeting in a small town, Ayron Glorand and Laurena Reaver found themselves as travelling companions, both in need to mutually traverse the Tenelunca Cave, as it’s not a solo-able journey by any means. After a few days, the two have made camp along the widening road some miles south of the cave’s entrance. Rolling hills flanked each side, blocking the horizon. Both were sitting in a quiet contemplation, while the camp fire flickered and spat embers, which died instantly on any surface.
Ayron occasionally took a bite from his roasted Pavorsus leg, thanks to Laurena’s hunting prowess. It tasted awful, but he didn’t complain. Laurena just nursed her meal, still skewered through with stick, distracted about past events. Ayron found himself caught staring by Laurena, who is more spatially aware than he had given her credit for.
“Why are you staring Solaran?” said Laurena, as she replaced her food with sharpening her jagged Dreadblades with a whetstone. Her head unturned her towards Ayron.
“My apologies my lady. I could not help but wonder,” he explained. Unafraid to look away after being caught.
“Wonder what? What makes me unnerved, because -”
“- No that was never my intent,” Ayron interupted. “Besides your are not nervous. If you wished me harm I would have been so already!” he said in his ever passive voice.
“So what is it you want to know?” she asked.
“Why, just how a woman of your inner beauty and grace, has eyes so clouded with hate, and a heart so leaden with grief,” Ayron inquired.
Laurena said nothing. She glanced under her hood towards Ayron’s face, illuminated through the fire.
“I was hoping to alleviate you from your pain, should you would allow it,” Ayron offered .
“And what do you know…of my pain?” Laurena asked, sheathing her weapon.
“I know you dwell on only one thing, of loved ones who have been taken from you.” Ayron asked as if he could see straight into her heart.
“I have long since gotten over that,” Laurena said dismissively .
“Have you?” Ayron insisted. “I suspect you have thought of little else, other than to see them avenged.”
“I am an Umbrian, it is our way.” Laurena deflected.
“Is it? I was under the impression that there was more to your people than seeking revenge. That you also know of honor and respect and comradery.” Ayron saw through the typical stereotype of her people, despite his inexperience of communicating with them.
“…and what do your people know of honour or respect, when your people are forced to live a life devoid of freedom,” rebuked Laurena.
“If you are referring to my people’s involuntary indoctrination…you may be right,” Ayron conceded. “But it does not deter them from peace, friendship or love,” Ayron admitted, with a mixed sense of guilt and hope.
“So why help me, I fail to see what you would gain?” asked Laurena.
“I was hoping to gain a friend, but more importantly, to not see someone capable of so much more than becoming a construct of hate,” Ayron explained, with genuine intent.
“I have been consumed by hate for far too long to be saved,” Laurena replied, as she rubbed the Noxia pendant with her finger and thumb, half caught back into her old thoughts.
“I do not believe so my Lady. You have the inner light of Lumia burning within you…I see it. Beyond your pale skin, white hair and blackened tunic, you glow with an iridescence aura of compassion,” Ayron boasted.
“No. You merely see the empty shell of a person, a person who could have been. No more, no less.”
“Then why do you strike at those who wrong others? Parry the blades of brigands and thieves, that would harm others, just as if they had harmed you. Aim to right the wrongs that would leave many without justice. Have a passion to help without the need for praise or personal gain,” Ayron said, trying to justify his inquisition. “It is that I wish to save.”
“Even if you could, and even if I wanted you too. It wouldn’t matter until-”
“-Until what?” Ayron interrupts abruptly.
“Until I rid the world of one particular monster,” Laurena replied, sullenly, as she wrapped tightly around her pendant and her teeth clenched to almost crush them at the thought.
“Would that really help,” Ayron pleaded. “There are always other monsters out there. Some of which are far larger and far gruesome.”
“Maybe so,” Laurena hesitated. “But none that gone this long with out punishment, none that have deserved my blades piercing their heart more than that of my quarry.”
“And what would you do when said monster is slain? Rejoice perchance?Live the rest of your life in peace? Or will you find yourself with nothing but emptiness?” Ayron asked, persistingly, as he finished the last his Pavorsus and dumped the remains on the fire, while embers spat forth from the slowly dying fire.
“I will be, set free,” Laurena said. She then laid down with her back turned to Ayron and the fire.
Looking one last time at Laurena with a genuine concern, Ayron turned on his back; to stare at the stars blanketing the clear night sky, and slowly drifted off to sleep.
Laura Steel © 2014