Gabriel shook his head, “Maybe if we’d listened to her and fought it together you wouldn’t have been hurt so badly. I guess we’ll never know. Important thing is before I could tell her anything about this person who was looking for those simple clay artifacts she mentioned.”
Tryst sat up with a gasp of pain and swung his feet over the side of the bed. “What? Who is this person?”
“Adbar. The Count Adbar said he was gathering them for a reconstruction project.” Gabriel said, “He claimed they were part of an ancient statue that it was his lifetime obsession to put back together. Called it the idle interest of a wealthy old man, but I heard a rumor it was supposed to bring the dead back to life or something.
“We figured it was just a story, but maybe not?” Gabriel sheathed his knife. “I thought you would want to know; he found a piece of it here and it wasn’t the first one he had acquired.”
“Adbar.” Tryst said, running his fingers through his hair. “Things do have a way of coming full circle.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Gabriel asked.
“Nothing that concerns you really.” Tryst said with a sigh, “But as long as I’m confessing my sins as it were; we attempted to save his wife from the Abyssal infection. We failed. She tore out her own throat, summoned a demon and set the High Forest ablaze. We managed to defeat that horrible golem, but the cost was great.”
“We saw the fire from here.” Said Gabriel, his voice awed. “You were there, fighting alongside a goddess?”
“Yes. We fought alongside Jorda and between us we stopped the monster.” Tryst said, his voice reverent. “It is a miracle we survived. A real miracle from a real Goddess.”
A commotion outside brought a smile to Tryst’s face. “-god rotting turnip eating slime! I’m going to go see my brother and if you stand in my way I’ll cut off your hand and shove it so far up your ass you’ll never get it out in time for a priest to re-attach it!”
“They’ve returned.” Tryst said, his smile growing wider. “I’d better get out there before she does someone harm.”
The door slammed open and a figure splattered in road muck and dust stalked into the room. Her hair was in a braid as thick as his wrist and hung all the way to the floor and tiny Brightstar flowers shone in it. A sword hilt protruded from above her right shoulder and a thin brilliant silver chain ran from the pommel to a bracelet on her right wrist. Incongruously, a mass of butterflies was flitting around her head, landing on her hair and her shoulders. She didn’t seem to notice them.
“Tryst! They didn’t want to let me in but they’re stupid.” She yelled, seeing him sitting up she ran to him and flung her arms around his neck. “You’re all right! Tryst you jackass we were so worried.”
“Easy Callindra, I’m not really in a position for this level of manhandling.” He croaked, “I just managed to regain consciousness, I’m practically an invalid!”
She let go immediately and stepped back, concern plain on her face. “Oh gods Tryst, I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“I must look like hell if you’re giving me that kind of consideration.” He said giving her a wry look. “But really you’re in no shape to be in a medical ward. Go and bathe sister, I’m not going to die any time soon. Once we’ve all had the chance to get clean we can discuss our next steps over a hot meal.”
To his surprise, she looked at him with tears making muddy tracks down her cheeks. “Yes, of course Tryst. I just had to see you. We were so worried… I was so worried. I don’t know how we would continue without you.”
Before he could respond, she turned and all but ran from the room.
“You could have handled that a little better.” Mili said, “But I’m sure she will forgive you. After all, you just woke up from a week’s long coma.”
“Yeah. I’m sure she’ll forgive me.” Tryst sighed, “I’ll probably survive the bruises too.”
“She loves you very much?” Asked Mili.
“We have been through much together.” Tryst said, making an effort to get out of bed. He paused, blushing slightly. “Do you suppose I might be able to get my clothes?”
Mili laughed, “Of course Sir Tryst.” She handed him his clothing and left him in peace to get dressed.
“I’m not a knight or a Lord.” He said after her retreating back, “Just Tryst please.” If she heard, she didn’t respond.