Adelaide Jade Regent
Guard from a far
Tensions were high on the eve before the storming of Kasai. Smiths hammered at heated steel, and sergeants shouted drill formations across the field. Theibar and Shalelu sat beside one another, each working to mend armour and arms.
Theibar recounted the last time the group had sat together. Despite the nature of his longevity, it seemed so long ago. It was unfortunate that this chance to sit with his comrades was on the precipice of a revolution.
The silence between the two elves was a comfort. For most, the two appear to rarely speak. They simply sat along side one another. Even during the hunt, they remained silent, anticipating each other’s movements and flow. This suited them both quite well. Despite their elegance and grace, neither possessed notable charisma. Any attempts at romance on either part often ended in awkward exchanges.
Satisfied with the keenness of his blade, he placed it back into the scabbard and turned to look at his companion. Shalelu glanced at Theibar from the corner of her eye.
“Shay,” Theibar started. “Tomorrow, I want you to keep your distance.” Shalelu paused and turned to face him. She studied his face, perplexed by this request. ”I want you to stay safe. Do not come into the fray.”
Shalaelu permitted a slight smile at the realisation of Theibar’s intent.
“If, for whatever reason you find yourself with your back against the wall,” he continued. Reaching into his pocket, he produced a small statuette and handed it to her. “May this protect you, and keep you safe.” Shalelu allowed Theibar to place the statuette into her hand. She studied it. She knew the significance of the item. The luck it possessed, and the spiritual ally that waited inside.
“I can’t accept this. You need it more than I.” She exclaimed. Theibar laughed.
“I’ve seen your skill with a blade, Shay. If you lose your ranged advantage, you won’t fair long.”
Shalelu’s soft expression turned to an icy glare. She was unappreciative of her former student’s criticism, though her crippled ego quickly recovered.
“Thank you.” She said, placing her hand over his.
“One final thing, Shay.” He paused. “I know I do not need to say this, but Ameiko must make it to the throne. She is more important than any of us, more important than me. I expect that you will do your best, at the exclusion of all others, to keep her safe.”
Shalelu withdrew her hand and stood, her face a tangle of frustration and anger. “We will all get through this. We will see her to the throne.” She turned to walk away. “Do not be so willing to throw away your life.”
Theibar knew his role and position on the field of battle. He felt it important to clarify with those he cared about. He knew that there was a very real chance that he would perish. To him, to die in the heat of battle, to die knowing he gave his life in service of the future Empress brought him comfort.
“I give my life to Ameiko,” he called after Shalelu. “But I give my heart to you.”
Shalelu paused. She’d longed to hear such sweet sentiments. However she’d imagined a setting less militant. Shalelu moved close and placed her hands on Theibar’s cheeks. Her eyes darted back and forth, taking in the whole image of his face. Without a word, she leaned in and kissed him on the forehead. Theibar smiled.
“Your bow work is as poor as my swordplay.” She whispered. Theibar chuckled at such a prospect. Shalelu joined with a delicate laugh.
A sudden clearing of the throat from behind them drew their attention. “Excuse me, Master Theibar. You are needed.” Stated the small human samurai, clearly anxious for interrupting such a tender moment. Theibar sighed. Shalelu straightened as Theibar stood. Looking down at her, he smiled.
“I will be your guard from a far. And I will guard you as I will guard anyone else.”
Theibar grinned and returned her favour with a kiss to her forehead. With that, he turned and followed after the samurai.