Let's kick off Episode 9 back in Rider's camp again :)



Scene 1: Beyond All Hope

2020 B.C.

"Will you ever continue the story?"

As ever, Rider did not turn to face her when he answered. Kept his gaze fixed on the task to which he tended — whether shaving his face, cleaning his blade, or any other act, the task would always matter more to him than her. "What story."

Lachesis cleared her throat. "The one you told, some nights ago. About your past, all of the things that set you on this path."

He paused, which made her doubt whether he would respond at all. Though sometimes, such as now, his words were colder than the silence into which he often fell. "I am in no mood to tell."

Such had been his reply, these past few nights. Lachesis sighed. "Is it because you're still... upset about Chrysaor?"

Another pause. Colder, longer. This time his silence answered well. Ever since discovering that his closest friend had inexplicably abandoned camp, some days ago, Rider had seemed to descend to new lows; these past few nights as his bride had been utter hell.

For all the time that they'd been wed, his heart had been hopeless and dead, but after suffering the sudden loss of a brother, that despair seemed deeper now. Lachesis wished that she could help, but she hadn't the faintest idea as to how.

Even without any idea as to how, she figured that she might as well attempt. "Perhaps his loss isn't worth being upset..."

Rider seemed to be in no mood to consider such a thought.

"I mean to say that... he might not have been a true friend."

Even at that, her husband's silence didn't end.

"I know that no one in this camp is certain why he left, but I have reason to suspect..." before her next words, she took in a deep breath, "...that he might have gone to find someone. A girl once in this camp, a girl of whom... I think you both were fond."

Those words at last had some effect, as Lachesis had known to expect. She watched as every beautiful muscle in her husband's back visibly tensed. Had he been facing her, she was sure that she would've seen his bay-blues darkening, jaw flexed. "How would you know this."

Now it was the wife's turn to fall into silence.

Rider turned to glare at her, bay-blues dark indeed and demanding an answer. He spoke the words more slowly now, almost as if she'd been too stupid to comprehend what he was asking the first time around. "How would you know this."

"Like I... like I said, no one is certain. I just have my suspicions."

"And have you any reasons?"

Silence again. She found herself wishing that she had never mentioned it, uncertain why she had. It might have just been in an effort to get his attention. Which she now realized was rather sad.

"You know — others in this camp have told me that they saw you speaking with Chrysaor, not long before he left," Rider declared. "I made nothing of it, when they mentioned it. But now..."

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