15 - A Risk


As we sit in the dimly lit room, the tension among us is palpable. Gavriel, still recovering but ever stoic, and Ivar, who’s been oddly contemplative of late, both watch as I cue up the video sent by Rhiannon’s parents.

The screen flickers to life, revealing their faces—Malachi, Cassian, and Rune. Their expressions are ones of worry, a mirror of the emotions churning within me.

“We did not send any hunters after you,” Malachi states firmly, his gaze piercing through the screen as if he could see us on the other side. “We don’t even know where you are.”

“We wouldn’t risk anything where Rhiannon is involved. All we ask is for our daughter to be returned safe,” Cassian says. “Then we can talk about peace, about helping you regrow your kingdoms.”

Rune, the soft-spoken one, nods in agreement. “We want a resolution, not continued conflict.”

As the video ends, the room falls into a heavy silence. I glance at Gavriel and Ivar, gauging their reactions. Scepticism is etched deep in their
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