“Tell me most of the blood isn’t yours and that one of your new strays is the kid’s brother,” Bane said in the voice of a man who couldn’t handle any more insanity. Taelan patted him on the shoulder, leaving a bloody handprint on his shirt.
“Most of it isn’t my blood, and we picked up the right stray,” Taelan assured him good-humoredly. “And as an added bonus, I just killed the commander of the Ver’dohnian forces.”
He continued past Bane, leaving his lieutenant stunned for all of five seconds.
“Right, I forgot I was working with the good guys for once.” Selissa sighed and rubbed two fingers against her forehead. “Just don’t blame me if there actually is a curse and we run straight into it. I refuse to be held responsible for your martyr tendencies.”
“Look who’s talking,” Darius said sarcastically. “Remind me again, what exactly are you getting out of this, except for a clear conscience?”
He might have saved her life, but Selissa was beginning to think she didn’t really like Darius at all. At times like these, he was too much like her and she never really get along with herself to begin with.
“I’m sure I’ll be fine,” she said, the venom lacing her words clashing with the pleasant smile she offered Vael before turning on her heels and walking away. Her yearning for physical training had been replaced by a strong desire to set Vael’s hair on fire and she wasn’t entirely sure Taelan would appreciate her burning down his subordinates.
To Selissa’s great relief, Vael took the hint that the conversation was over and didn’t follow her. Yet a small part of her felt a tiny bit disappointed that she didn’t give her an excuse to fling a ball of magical fire after her. A very small part of her, of course.
“I’m a big girl,” Selissa said dryly. “You don’t need to hold my hand.”
“I wasn’t talking about me,” Bane said. “You’re taking Vael with you.”
Vael let out a hiss and Selissa found herself sharing the sentiment. “I’m doing what? She’s not going to watch my back, she’s going to stab me in it!”
Selissa took a look at the guardsman standing in the room, scowling at Ardeth while Josiah was tending to another patient. While recognizing him as one of the rebels who often stood guard at the main gates, she also noticed the blood running from a wound at his temple and from his cracked lip.
“What happened to him?” Selissa asked as Josiah hurried over to her after finishing up his work. On the bed, Ardeth’s lip twitched slightly.
“He fell down the stairs,” the assassin said pleasantly. Selissa looked at him with a raised eyebrow, wondering how exactly someone managed to fall down the stairs of a one-story building. But seeing as no one tried to deny it, she decided not to ask.