Adelaide Jade Regent
Shalelu was deep in meditation. Despite the crowd of sleeping bodies in the room, she still managed the focus necessary to drift through the tides of her mind. She wandered through the Forests of Varisia with her sister and her dear friend Ameiko. Though another figure watched from a far. A figure she desperately wanted to be closer too. He stood among the trees, blending into his surroundings. The chase please her. She set off towards the figure. Considering his size, he seems to flow from tree to tree. Always just out of reach.
“Shay!” Whispered the voice. “I’m wait!” he spoke softly. With a start, she awoke.
Shalelu stretched and glanced around the room. It was quiet with just the murmurs of her sleeping companions. She looked towards Theibar’s position across the room and found him gone. He’d turned in earlier than her. From what she could gather, he’d overindulged in Minkai rice wine with Sandru. It had left him fatigued.
Pulling on a silken kimono she’d purchased with Theibar, she got to her feet and quietly crept from the room. Elegantly traversing her sleeping friends that lay still on tatami mats. The compound was quiet. Most were sleeping by this late hour, with only the occasional guard patrolling the many corridors and walkways.
Shalelu found Theibar sitting quietly in a small court yard. She’d mistaken him for one of the many courtiers who had taken up temporary residence within the compound. On a second glance, she noted his formal kimono. She was surprised at how well it suited his large frame.
“Did you sleep well?” Shay whispered in elven. Theibar noted her use of the word sleep. One of the many concessions they’d adopted while living among the humans.
“My dreams were disturbed. Likely the sake.” He replied, standing and turning to look at her. She smiled and slowly made her way in close. Standing before him, she placed her hand upon his cheek. Theibar smile and rubbed his face against her soft palm.
“I’ve been thinking about what I would wish to do after tomorrow.” Theibar was determined to keep this conversation private, and the elven language provided the isolation he desired. It also seemed appropriate given the messaged he wished to convey.
Shalelu tilted her head for him to continue.
“I’d like to remain here in Minkai. I believe Ameiko will need guidance during her reign.” The thought had crossed Shalelu’s mind. She’d also reached the same conclusion. As she began to speak, Theibar stopped her. “I’d like you to stay with me, Shay.”
“Of course I will stay. The immediate danger will take some time to pass.” She replied.
“You misunderstand. I wish for you to stay with me. As my companion.” Shalelu was shocked. She paused for the briefest of moments before smiling. Theibar watched as her smile turned to laughter. Theibar studied her. Her laughter was a mystery to him.
“Your companion?” Shalelu said.
“Is that a no?”
“Nothing would make me happier than to stay here, with you.” The two embraced. “Although there is no need to be so formal.” Shalelu whispered.
The long sleeves of Theibar’s kimono seemed to encompass her entirely. This was the longest physical contact either of them had experienced with one another. After a moment, the two broke away. A sound of yelling come from beyond the compound’s outer wall. The two elves paused to study the sound. The once teacher and apprentice mirrored one another. As sudden as it was, it was gone again. Theibar spotted two ninja scaling the roof tops, moving in to study the sound. He also caught a glimpse of an elven ninja watching them from the rooftops to their right. Like the sound, it was there then gone again.
Theibar found Shalelu’s gaze once more. His cheek flushed with the anticipation of combat. They relaxed.
“I think,” Theibar starting, reclaiming Shalelu’s hand and drawing her in. “this journey has turned out to be more eventful than we could have believed. Demons, spirit forests, cultist townsfolk,” Theibar paused to recall his embarrassment in Ravenmore. “and even deadly snow storms and transparent elves.” It was Shalelu’s turn to blush. “I consider it one of my life’s great accomplishments to traverse the world and restore an empire.”
“I think it is something that…” Shalelu began, but broke off as Theibar continued his train of thought.
“And presuming we survive tomorrow, my reward will be you.” Shalelu held his hands tighter. The two studied one another’s eyes. They traced one another’s cheeks and jaw with their fingertips. Their bodies seemed to sway and respond as two dancers. And at last their lips met, bringing two together as one