"Andy!" Harry called to her again, as the unkempt brunet kept wildly gesturing to a supposedly bleeding Quintus.
The poor man kept trying to shake his head with this awkward smile that garnered more pity from Andy than he intended.
Andy looked back at Lucy whose already trying to get back to sleep, before stomping toward Harry and Quintus.
Quintus was a man even darker than Lucy, and he towered over Harry and Andy by nearly afoot. Even sitting down as he was, he was not looking up much.
People from across the Secan Sea tended to be tall, but few like him.
Andy had put a bit of thought into whether they were as gentle.
Quintus tried to assure her, "The cut was nothing more than a graze, can't even see it." His accent was the heaviest when he spoke Rayne.
Sometimes it sounded like someone from Seca, which he was, with the way he emphasized vowels with an added 'g' or 'h.' But other times he uses Kronish pronunciation, emphasizing the 'c'.
I get what Harry was talking about. I could honestly listen to Quintus read a thesaurus, Andy thought back then. Many found Quintus to have this calming energy about him.
Quintus maintained his awkward smile as he tried to tell her, "I wanted to shine my club, I hear all the time that folk in Gronina like shiny things, what better way to catch their attention?"
The need to refuse help made Andy shakes her head at him, and prompted her to take his hand without asking. "Spare me the excuses," she said, "just show me your hand."
He presented his large hand to her, one which made both of hers seem small. She checked it over, finding a bit of blood but no cut.
No need to break out the kit, more like a handkerchief for all this blood.
"Do you need this?" another voice said behind her, as he handed her a handkerchief.
Quintus and Harry both jumped and screeched as Malum appeared behind her. He shook the handkerchief as she turned around to glare at him.
"You knew I was here," he stated, more so than questioned.
"Sorry," Andy said as she took the handkerchief, "I forgot to be afraid of you."
"Hmm." Malum turned and walked back to his seat at that, his black cloak flowing behind him.
"Show me the other hand," she told Quintus after cleaning the blood off a hand that's clearly never been wounded.
"It was this one, I'm telling you, I'm-"
"Oh god, just show me your other fucking hand," she snapped him, assuming him to be lying.
"Okay," Quintus said rather quickly, as Harry laughed beside him.
As she found with Quintus's other hand, this was both devoid of blood and a wound. She shot Harry a quick glare, causing the Earl of Iron Rock to make an exasperated face at Andelyn.
"What's your problem, did you talk to Jack already?"
Andy gasped before grinding her teeth and throwing Quintus's clearly intact hand aside.
Harry chuckled again at her expense, even going so far as to wag his finger at her. "You know you're not supposed to do that until you get your morning coffee."
Her fists twitched at her side and she appeared as if she were about to strike him.
Andy threw her hands up, shouting, "Oh fuck off!" and she spoke with disgust, which only made Harry laugh harder.
She sighed, "Men," before looking to Quintus, arching his brow at her from his seat. "Am I wrong, Quint?"
Quintus chuckled and wiped his hand of it. "You will have no argument from me."
"Good," she said as she took a seat next to him.
Harry muttered, "Hey, that's my-"
She ignored him to ask Quintus, "Are you ready for your match?"
Quintus looked away to sigh, showing off his white pearls as he grimaced. "I'm ready for today to be over."
Andy let out a little groan. They'll never have a chance like this again, and they're all treating it like a job.
Well, it is a job, but it has so many fun perks after you're done fighting everyone.
Still, she nudged Quintus's arm. "Don't tell me that the adoration of a roaring crowd doesn't excite you? They'll call you their hero when this all over, even if you kill people from their side.
"Yes, because I would have killed someone from someone else's. It... I am a foreigner to all the nations here, but I cannot help but find your communal practice rather sad. War...
seems rather useless to me, I supposed, money being my only gain."
"Is there no war in Seca?" Andy questioned Quintus, with a distinct lack of belief in her tone.
"I do not know, I... we... the people of my tribe did not record things like events as you do. Writing and reading is for entertainment, to pass time, and count livestock.
We certainly never came together to buy warriors from other countries.
"It's bewildering, come tomorrow maybe a third of them at most will still love use and the other two will seek our heads. Don't forget, only one of the big three nations of Gronina can hire us.
After we're done showing them what they can buying, they'll start the bidding war before resuming the actual one."
Andy hadn't spent much time thinking about that fact. She leaned back against the wall, after having her mood royally bummed.
"I mean, you're right," Andy said, "if we do well out there, and Krone opens its deep pockets... we could end up fighting Raydorn."
"I don't envy you if something like that happens," Quintus admitted, bringing his hand to rub her shoulder. "I'm lucky, my kin are across the sea, unconnected to all that's going on here...
and if we were to fight against Krone..."
Andy looked up at him, thinking about how Quintus's time under Kronish rule must surely twist his feelings. She looked over at Lucy and saw how it didn't quite mess with everyone's mind though.
"Are you still going on about that?" Harry questioned as he unscrewed his flask, a flask Andy immediately began eyeing.
"How do you sleep at night?" Quintus asked him, Rayne's phrasing getting the best of him. Andy twisted her lips, having listened to Quintus's caring tone not quite match his strong words.
"Listen," Harry started, "my family helped build Raydorn, House Thorn is one of the five great houses to escape Krone.
We built the country's military, we built the Black Legion, and did it all from Iron Rock to protect the crown and her enemies."
Harry, despite his youth, appeared so old to Andy now, with his flask in his hand, and his mustache coming down to his chin, full of resentment.
He was so much younger before he had to put this all together.
"Now the crown has not only his Stormguard, but his own standing army, knighting people left and right, trying to recapture what our boy, the Aurora Knight is doing out there."
As if on cue, they heard Jack's partner dismember someone in the ring, causing a prompt scream from the arena. Then came Jack's cheering.
"That king out there, Mightus, how pretentious is that? Him and his grandfather are the reason why my father started taking contracts in the Isles and the Tribal Lands...
" Quintus tilted his head and stares at Harry.
Harry raised his hands and apologized, "Sorry, Seca, I know. Point is... we had to stay afloat, care for the soldiers Raydorn had abandoned.
" Harry leaned back and crossed his legs, appearing accomplished despite the staining color of his beard.
He crossed his arms behind his head as he said, "I'm taking the Black Legion to its natural conclusion.
I built it up with talent from across Gronina, and now I'm selling her services to the highest bidder."
"You'd have been fucked if it weren't for this war," Andy reminded him.
Harry waved that off as yet another scream rang out from the arena. "Oh, this was a long time coming. Anyone paying attention could read the tea leaves.
The Kronish Empire is a greedy one, and Raydorn is a country born from that empire's deserters.
This was inevitable, and Krone biting off more than they could chew going after Susannan territory at the same time, well, that was just icing on the cake."
"To think," Quintus muttered to himself, "if Raydorn hadn't taken Susannan territory out from under them both, Raydorn and Susanna might have been allies."
"Like I said," Harry joked without being funny, "blame it on Mightus, that fucking prick. I wonder how he must squirm sitting next to the Emperor and Dynastan right about now.
Who do you think is fatter? An emperor or a king?"
Quintus began to stand as he told Harry, "I'll be sure to find out if I can get a glimpse of him. It's time."
Andy turned and looked up at him stupified. It's like he can hear everything a mile away.
As the crowd's cheers only grew louder, filling the Tribus Senso Eilean with their cries of adoration, the bars raise for the Black Legion's champion.
The Aurora Knight.