13: Opposing Sides Divide

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Hey guys, sorry for the long wait and the short chapter. The long wait is because of an off-set sleep schedule and the shorter (2k) chapter is because... well... it's crisper this way.

Things had been going well since Dex came home

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Things had been going well since Dex came home. He was pretty civil with the royals, friends with Keefe, and a fatherly figure to the triplets, but Sophie could still tell that he was on edge about the whole ordeal of Sophie working so closely with the royals. Dex seemed to watch Fitz like a hawk when he was with Sophie, but when Sophie wasn't there, Fitz said Dex walked right by without as much as a nod. Fitz seemed to be in good spirits about it, saying Dex would probably warm up to him eventually, but Sophie couldn't help but worry about the whole thing. Dex didn't usually talk to the members of the royal family, but even he gave Alden a brief nod in the hallways. However, Dex wasn't cold to all of the members of the royal family.

Surprisingly, Dex made an effort to be exceptionally civil to Biana. They weren't necessarily friends, but if Dex was forced into light conversation with her, he didn't seem to mind. He never talked to her initially, but Sophie suspected that he liked the way the princess helped watch over the triplets, which, though a small step, was something.

Other good news was that Keefe and Dex seemed to get along really well. Sometimes they'd go into the village together to get drinks and come back laughing about some joke, sometimes they'd sit and polish armor together, sometimes they'd go off and tinker in the forge downstairs. It really depended on how long their break was or if the triplets were around or not. Sophie didn't usually hang out with them together, since someone had to watch over the triplets, but Sophie hung out with Keefe in her break time or at social gatherings where the royals were swarmed by nobility and she hung out with Dex when it was the two of them watching the triplets. Their days were pretty busy, but somehow they all managed to make time for one another.

Most days, Sophie spent most of her time with Biana, going around and talking with different nobles or family members, going to help in the village or with the knights, or simply just sitting together in whatever quiet space they could find. They had a lot of fun talking about the triplets, Biana's son, their families, memories, and the latest crazy thing some noble did when in one another's company, and it made Sophie's days very relaxing. Every other day, Sophie would "get stolen away from Biana" by Fitz to have tea and secretly practice telepathy together. For some weird reason, the two really seemed to click, but there was one problem. Sophie hadn't exactly told Dex that Fitz knew about her telepathy, much less was practicing with her.

Alright, maybe Dex wouldn't be furious like she feared, but he still wouldn't be happy. Sophie suspected that over the years, Dex had been jealous of Sophie for having Alden as a mentor for a special ability. Peasants didn't usually get trained for special abilities and even though Dex claimed that his ability was "useless" as a servant working for the palace, Sophie suspected that his technopathy meant a lot to him. After all, even Kesler, Dex's father, was a talentless elf, meaning he didn't even have a special ability. Not everyone got one, so manifesting in something was a pretty big deal. Actually, in order to be a noble, you had to have a special ability, so peasants who manifested were able to consider themselves low class nobility or high class peasantry by ability rite, but you had to have paperwork for it. Dex was the only one out of the two of them to actually have paperwork for his special ability in the government folder because they decided that keeping Sophie's abilities off record would ensure that no one wanting to abuse her powers could target her or her family, but even so, she got ability training, not Dex. A peasant could join nobility if they were professionally mentored in their ability, but since Sophie, the properly trained elf out of the two of them, couldn't get the paperwork, the Dizznees couldn't be nobility. Besides, if Sophie was nobility, then she couldn't live with Dex and the triplets since they weren't actually related, and Sophie knew would choose her family over a fancy title any day, but did Dex?

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