There was still much to be done before relaxing to the merriness of the festivity at night. Devnet was kept running up, down and sideways all over the village following and endless list of errands, favours and obligations that had to be done before night fall. And life did not stop for a celebration, so there were still the daily chores too. Helping Vanora with her children’s laundry for an instance. It wasn’t much of an obligation, but the poor woman had already so much in her hands, preparing the tavern for the evening, Devnet hadn’t had the heart to forsake her to the overwhelming pressure of other chores.

Luckily, after this she was finally free to go to her room and prepare herself for the party.

She was coming out of the laundry, a basket full of Vanora’s bastards’ clean clothes resting on her hip, when she saw Lancelot sitting on the grass a few metres from the building, his face turned towards the soft hilly landscape and the harvest fields around the fortress. A timid dusk sun was sinking low, shyly showing itself through the rain clouds to the west. Its light caught in the man’s hair, making it seem almoust blue. She smiled and made her way towards him, taking a sit beside him and putting the basket beside her.

-How come you’re not at the tavern? You should be passed out drunk by now-she commented, studying his face. His eyes were serious as ever, dark depths that held so much behind, but the corners of his mouth twitched into the shadow of a smile when she sat beside him

-We’re all waiting for nightfall. That’s when the real fun begins-he flashed a smirk at her, his eyes playfully mysterious-At night everything break loose and dark things come out to play-.

She laughed and nudged him playfully. They fell into a reflexive silence. The sunset light mixed with the shadows in the aftermath of rain seemed to feel the air with a strange tingling sensation, “magical, in a way” she thought. When she breathed in deeply, she could smell dampness, and nature and light.

-Thinking about what you’ll do once you’re free?-she asked, closing her eyes to enjoy a soft breeze that lifted and swirled strands of her dark long hair.

-First I’ve got to stay alive until the discharge papers actually get here -he answered with a bitter laugh.

-You’ve been staying alive for fifteen years, despite my secret attempts to kill you. A couple of weeks won’t change anything-she assured, a smile on her voice.

Lancelot didn’t answer straight away, but seemed to think deep into his soul before whispering:

-I never actually believed I’d live to this day…-.

Lancelot’s confession caught her by surprise. She opened her eyes to find him back with his grave mood plastered over his handsome features. Her lips pouting with concern, she reached out and placed her tiny hand over his.

-But you did-she replied softly, closing her fingers around the palm of his hand and giving it a reassuring squeeze-You’ve survived woad attacks, and Saxons pirates, and fatal wounds and the damn climate of this bloody Gods forgotten island, as you always complain-she smirked- And you’ve actually managed to survive the hordes of angry roman soldiers looking for your blood every time they found their mistress in your bed. To be honest, you’ve lasted longer than what I expected-the last remarks were more of a joke in an attempt to lift his spirits. It seemed to work for a second.

-Wow, petite. Your faith in me moves me to tears-he replied with a hoarse laugh.

She stared at him long. She knew him. Knew what it meant when his jaw was clenched so hard it seemed he was going to break his teeth, and his eyes seemed to wonder and lose themselves in nothingness and his breath was tense because he was trying to keep calm despite the storm bursting inside him.

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