Kard inhaled deeply and let the breath out with little control over it. Right…A paladin isn’t our only issue. He took a moment to think about it, or at least look like he was before responding. “……I don’t think…that Hyperion would be like Ser Handsome…in that regard. I know where he stands on demons. We keep the obvious exception away, he’s fine. We keep him out of the seat of power, he’s fine. He’s a good man and a good Crusader.” He looks Doc in the eye. “I have faith in him.”
“He’s still informing the Holy Triumvirate on things he finds important for them to know. And there still could be an Assassin informant, for all we know, with all these new faces, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were five different informants from five different wannabe guildmasters!” Doc raised her arms in exhaustion. “The new baby orc is on a permanent one strike, did you check that? Who knows why! But he is! And the royalty! Do you think they’re fine with us? One of them probably has a member representative to make sure that things are going the way they want it to. Heck, the only one I trust right now is Elaias because we know that he’s DEFINITELY keeping tabs on us, through his weird little history keeping culture!”
Doc waved her arms in exhaustion, as Little Shit dragged a paper, still wet with ink, into Doc’s line of sight. Doc snarled. “I’ll finish writing the damn letter later.” She hissed at her familiar.
“…I have to say, I’m a little hurt. But I expected it, to some extent.” He couldn’t help looking toward at the weird bird on Doc’s deck. I guess I interrupted something important. “As much as that’s true, I think the Demon purgers do have a bit more of a stable head on their shoulders than the the other two. The Justicars being the most unhinged. Speaking of which…” he sit back down in a chair and groaned a little. “…Mir came up in conversation. So Handsome knows that Mir disappeared at some point. I don’t know what that will do for him, or what it will do to us. We’ve been gone a month, the Justicars could already know about it. But we don’t know…”
Doc’s face flashed with intense rage for the briefest of seconds, before it contorted into that of the mild rage she always had on her face.
“Don’t…do that.” Doc said. “She broke her contract by not coming back. By mentioning her to Ser Handsome…you made it so that if he ever sees her anywhere, he’ll kill her without a second thought.”
“Doc, we don’t know where she is, she could be dead for all we know,” Kard stood back up. “I’ve warned Jain to be more careful with what he says in the future, I couldn’t change the conversation away without arousing suspicion, or worse, a defensive reaction…” The last word trailed off as he realized the reaction that Doc had. Obviously Kard knew the whereabouts of Mir. Mir is off the radar now, no one should know where she is. Unless… He crossed his arms and tried to gauge Doc for more info. “Like that. Something’s up about Mir.”
“I’m just saying that there are people looking for her because she broke contract. And that’s the type of information I’d REALLY prefer people like Ser Handsome not getting remotely close to.” Doc said, closing her own arms, mimicking the shorter man’s body language.
Little Shit idly clacked.
“I know. It was bad. I couldn’t catch it before it was said, I’m sorry…but its out there now. It’s something we have to work with.” He took note of her crossed arms. She mimiced me. Crossing your arms is a sign of closing yourself off. I was right, she’s hiding something about Mir. She knows what she is. How much more?
He drops his arms and steps close enough that he’s arm’s length from Doc. “Please listen to me. We’re facing a huge threat right now. We’ve got religious persecutors, crazed demon hunters, and magic exterminators currently running the council ready to condemn us at every action. That’s a problem. And that’s coming from a guy who just reforged his faith. Royals are always going to be involved because we work for the council. That’s a fact. This is different! This a much bigger threat, because this isn’t a council based on the collaboration of every kingdom now! This is turning into a theocratic dictatorship based on a knee jerk reaction to the demonic invasions by these groups! They’re using it to force their morality and law onto the land instead of letting their governments handle this! And if we don’t do something, they’re going to use us to!”
He takes a moment to calm himself down. He hadn’t realized how much he was letting this get to him. “This is our problem now. And we can do something about it. YOU…can do something about it, I’m sure. But you can’t do it without help and without people you can trust. So let me make this clear. Now. You have me. If you can’t trust anyone else, not even your marshalls, you have me. Okay? Be as pissed off as you want, rant all you want, plot, scheme, cry, bitch, whatever. But you. have. me.”
Doc shrugged. “Not much we can do. I mean, we could kill Dis, if you want. That would probably make everyone happy. And I could guzzle memory potions until I’m stoned enough to act like an ideal commander. But that’s all PR. Otherwise, what?”
“The hell if I know…” Kard huffed begrudgingly. “It’s…I don’t know. But there’s got to be something beyond bitter sarcasm and disgruntled huffing from either of us.”
“I’ve just been taking it as it comes. Time moves forward, despite my best efforts to ignore it.” Doc sighed, and reluctantly took out a quill and scribbled a few lines on the paper that Little Shit was making a louder stink about.
“I’ve been speaking rules only with Ser Handsome. However much of an act that is…however sick he really is…his values still seem somewhat the same. And as for Hyperion…” Doc trailed off. “I have a deal with him, and I plan on…having a chat with Tulyar to ensure his safety.”
Doc shrugged. “Honestly, Kard, if you want to argue the HT being full of crap…this is not the place to do it. You might be better off in getting into politics. Although you’ll need a few extra hundred years on your life before you’re allowed to participate fully.”
“…I see…” He locked his jaw and looked down. “I guess that’s all I had to say. I, uh…I’m at least glad to know where we stand on this.” He turns to walk out of the room. “That part I said about that you can trust me? That still stands. I respect your views, just as I hope you respect mine. If you can’t accept those things…that’s fine, I guess. You’re the boss. You need to be at least a little paranoid about your men. Just try to keep yourself healthy and in working order.” He ducks out of the room after that, hoping to at least here some affirmation from her.
“I do trust you Kard. Well…as much as I can trust someone…anyway.” Doc said. “It’s just…I don’t have a grand plan here. Not even an inkling. I’m…I’m really doing this for my own mental health. Stay stressed. Stay aware. Until this –” Doc gestured at her gauntlet “–starts working in proper order. I still have a lot of things to fine tune. And a lot of memories I lost.”
Little Shit gave a chirp and Doc glared at her familiar with intense loathing.
“So…I don’t know what you want from me, Kard, but if you have any suggestions, you know where I am.”
Doc readjusted the sign on her door.
Commander of the Crusaders.
She was back.
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