Lys: Courage, Beloved

Lord Ambrosius exited the room, and all eyes turned to him. Aithne could see worry and concern, but no despair. For that, she breathed a sigh of relief. Lord Artos lived.
But the barest flicker of fear showed itself for a fleeting moment, and that struck something near terror in her heart. Lord Ambrosius feared nothing. He always knew exactly what was happening and what to do about it. For him to fear was grave indeed.

The minute it seemed he would look her way, she lowered her eyes back to her work. But that flicker burned in her memory, and she searched it as Jason searched a wound, looking for the reason behind it.

It took some time, but she determined that it did not seem to be fear that Artos would die- she did not think he would've left the room if it were so, anyway. It was fear of an unknown. Something that did not show itself- that was cloaked in darkness and hidden even from his farsight.

An evil beyond that of Cunorix's sword.


As the older lord exited the room, Cathair turned away, lest his presence be noted and unwelcome. There would be time for loyalties later. There was much to be done later. He did not look forward to any of it, save demanding his due from Cunorix. There was the boy's mother to be faced, news from home to tell Aithne- and nearly all of it bad...

He looked over at her. Pale, haggard, yet otherwise unchanged in the ten years that had passed. How, he did not know. Then he looked closer and saw the barely masked fear in her eyes, and he came over to her. Putting an arm around her shoulders, he kissed the top of her head. "Courage, muirnait. The battle is already won."

His heart warmed when she rested her head on his shoulder, leaving off drying her hands. "Thank you, gra. I needed to hear that."

But they both knew that comfort was another thing that would have to wait, much as they wished otherwise. They parted and returned to work again, each wondering what the next few hours would bring, and each praying the hours would end well.

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