Chapter 10 (15th of Rumatan in the Year 6199)

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A wise man collects wisdom and holds on to it with greed

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A wise man collects wisdom and holds on to it with greed. A fool collects all other things and is equally enthralled with hording them.

Dwarven Proverb

Dwarven Proverb

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"All right. You got something to say? Let's hear it?" With a firm casualness, Reane reclined against the coarse bark of an elderly oak tree deep in the woods and far off the nearest well traveled road.

"Is all dis really necessary?" A tight, protective formation of Fimmirran soldiers surrounded her and Civn, swords at the ready. Remaining beyond the armored wall, Ittan, Sayra, Brentai, Anthony, and Sheala were only observers to the conversation.

"Considering you're working with the Imperials?" Reane folded her arms. "Yes."

"OK, OK," Civn put his hands up, accepting her perception as a reasonable objection to her not outright trusting him. "Look, cap'in, Civn know we've had our differences in da past. But Civn don't care one bit about de Empire. You know dat. Civn just want back what belong ta Civn."

"I don't know what you're talking about. We certainly don't have anything that belongs to you."

"Ya do. Ya just don't know it." He motioned in what seemed like a general and non-descriptive way. "Dat right dere."

Using only that general statement wasn't enough for clarification. Reane needed to pick up on some unspoken clues and grab some additional insight from his thoughts in order to piece together what he was referring to. "This?" She held up the finger upon which was nestled the emerald band, the one she had acquired during their previous encounter at the Red Moose. "You're serious? All this for a ring? Last I remember, you lost this in our game of Banar."

"Civn's mistake. Civn got greedy. Civn ask that ya please give it back ta Civn."

It was at that point when Reane was able to start piecing together the thoughts from her counterpart's mind that would help fill in the blanks. The ring was special to him, and to someone else; someone who had passed on. A woman, and one Civn cared about deeply. More deeply than anything, in fact.

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