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[pic https://i.imgur.com/E3kOE2O.jpg] [left Not too far, that would be good. Even after sleep Avia was a little tired. When they did catch up to Lucas Avia blushed slightly, remembering what Lucy had said. Now really wasn’t the time to even think about asking, not when other people were around. Plus she wasn’t even sure how she felt about it.
She didn’t want to interrupt, so she just approached quietly and stood just a little ways away so she wouldn’t bother them. She had no idea what they were saying, but it sounded pretty.]
"Not too far. We just had to go deeper into the woods than most people are comfortable with to protect our people." Lucy replied, looking at her as they caught up with Lucas, who seemed to be in serious conversation with an old elven man, speaking in elvish
[pic https://i.imgur.com/E3kOE2O.jpg] [left [#0b90e3 “Ah, I-I suppose. Thank you. For the help.”] Avia was red faced and obviously a little embarrassed. She couldn’t really imagine just asking Lucas right now. For now she thought they could just see whatever it was they needed to do in the elf kingdom, whatever Lucas’s father meant for them to see.
With things packed up Avia took her bag and started off into the forest with Lucy, figuring they would catch up with Lucas before too long. [#0b90e3 “How far is it?”] She wondered aloud. Avia wasn’t sure if they had far to go or not.]
"During the last Great War, dragon's were nearly hunted to extinction. Lucas' great-great grandfather saved them, and over time, they adapted mentally to fall in love a lot quicker than humans and elves. Look, my point is, it won't matter to Lucas [I what] you are. He will still be in love with you. If you don't believe me, ask him yourself." Lucy said simply, putting the last bits of food and supplies in the basket
[pic https://i.imgur.com/E3kOE2O.jpg] [left [#0b90e3 “Oh?”] That information was a surprise to her. Avia didn’t really know too much about dragons, now that she thought about it. Not real information anyway. She looked up at Lucy,[#0b90e3 “Why… is that? Sorry, I don’t know a lot.”]
Avia tucked some things in the basket a little more securely so the wine bottles wouldn’t break, hopefully, and added quietly,[#0b90e3 “I’m just human. Mostly. I think. Obviously… not entirely human. My father… hates anyone not human. So he...”]
She trailed off, not wanting to speak too poorly of her father. Despite everything she still loved him. With his hatred of non-humans and her appearance her childhood hadn’t always been easy, but at the end of the day he was still her father. Even if he had sometimes questioned that too.]
"I know Lucas... We grew up together. There's only three people he's ever looked at like that: His mom, his dad, and his brother. Lucas... well, as I'm sue you might have figured out already, he's not... how do I say this?... a [I traditional] prince. He'll fall in love with whoever he chooses to fall in love with. You have to keep in mind, he [I is] half dragon. From what I know about the dragon kingdom, they fall in love a lot quicker than humans and elves. They have to, otherwise they'd go extinct." Lucy explained, looking at Avia.
[pic https://i.imgur.com/E3kOE2O.jpg] [left Avia stood up as well, ready to pack up and leave. She was a little surprised by Lucy’s suggestion, but started cleaning up anyway, making sure things made it back into her bag or the basket. She did watch for a moment while Lucas went off into the trees. He was plenty capable of taking care of himself, she knew that.
What Lucy said startled her a little. Her face went a little red, and at first she opened her mouth, then closed it. Lucy wasn’t happy about it, but she didn’t sound like she was angry either. Avia lowered her head, practically hiding behind her hair and hunched over like she wanted to hide in the basket while she put things in it,[#0b90e3 “I-I don’t know what… You must be mistaken. He… I’m just… We’re friends. I think. I… I mean I only met him yesterday.”]
Avia was sure Lucy had to be reading too much into it. It was too ridiculous, because even with the troubles happening Lucas was a prince, and princes married princesses or high born ladies, and Avia was neither.]
Lucas smiled at her and slowly got up, taking Avia's hand into his own. "Yeah... yeah you're right." he said, looking at Lucy. "Lead the way Luce."
This was an old Elven custom. You [I had] to be led to the elven camp by an elf, or your chances of getting attacked were greatly increased.
"Actually, why don't you scout ahead Lucas? I'll help Avia clean up camp." Lucy replied.
Lucas looked like he was about to argue, but shrugged instead and went into the woods, to make sure they weren't ambushed
When Lucas was out of earshot, Lucy becan to clear up camp and said quietly to Avia "I've seen the way he looks at you." She didn't sound angry, or jealous, even. She sounded... sad.
[pic https://i.imgur.com/E3kOE2O.jpg] [left He was right that it probably wasn’t going to be easy. It certainly was a daunting task, but Avia was hoping his father’s suggestion to come here would lead to things working out alright. Avia was eating her breakfast slowly, her appetite greatly diminished.
When he mentioned that he was scared Avia looked over at him. She looked worried as she put her hand on his shoulder,[#0b90e3 “Anyone would be. I’m scared too, to be honest. But you aren’t alone, at least. I... “]
She trailed off, not sure what else to say. She looked down at her breakfast again and rubbed Lucas’s shoulder reassuringly,[#0b90e3 “The best thing for now is to keep moving. I think I’ll go nuts if I sit still, you know?”]]
Lucas smiled back and accepted his food, but didn't really eat much. His father's death was still on his mind. "Thanks for trying to make me feel better, Avia, but I think you know as well as I do that if I don't go back in a while, someone else will take the throne... Someone unwilling to give it back up."
He sighed deeply and met nobody's eyes. "I'm scared, Avia." he admitted
[pic https://i.imgur.com/E3kOE2O.jpg] [left Without good options for breakfast drinks Avia returned to sit by the fire, listening to Lucy explain about the Harvest Festival. It sounded really interesting.
Avia looked at Lucas and offered an encouraging smile,[#0b90e3 “I’m sure we’ll figure things out and you’ll be able to go home. We don’t know if things are really so bad.”]
She was worried that things were [i worse] than they could see, but she didn’t want Lucas to have to worry too much about that on top of his fathers death. At least not until they could get some more solid information.
Avia took the plates and served up the breakfast on them, then handed them out. [#0b90e3 “We’ll need to eat whatever the case. It sounds like it’s going to be a long day regardless.”]]
"Well, unlike from what Lucas has told me about human Harvest Festivals, the festival lasts all day, ending with a magnificent feast of whatever our hunters can find. The one who gets the most food is given a blessed tool as a gift. Whenever Lucas comes, he always wins. He's already gotten a blessed shield, sword and satchel, right?" Lucy said
Lucas nodded and added "But there all... well, I can't say their home, can I? I don't really have a home anymore."
[pic https://i.imgur.com/E3kOE2O.jpg] [left Lucas reaching out for her hand was a little bit of a surprise, but that only showed on her face for a moment before being replaced with a bashful smile. She curled her fingers around his hand gently and looked at the fire. He needed comfort and support right now, and she was glad he was comfortable enough with her. She wasn’t entirely sure what to make of it though. Did he consider her a friend at this point?
[#0b90e3 “The Harvest Festival?”] Avia had been to human harvest festivals, but she had a feeling an elf harvest festival would be different. She just wasn’t sure how. She looked at Lucy, openly curious,[#0b90e3 “What is it like? Oh, let me get plates. Or something.”]
She gave Lucas’s hand a light squeeze before letting go to hunt through the basket to see if there were any dishes to eat off of. Sure enough she found two little ceramic plates and two cups, and went to her bag to get one more set. It was just enough for the three of them to eat and drink. She went back to the basket and started looking again with a little frown,[#0b90e3 “I’m not sure what he packed… it looks like a lot of… wine? Which doesn’t seem like a good choice for breakfast… I suppose that’s what he had on hand though. It’s sweet of him.”]
She was almost musing to herself more than actually telling them. The innkeeper had been very kind to send them off with anything, let alone such a generous basket.]
When Lucas looked back at her, his eyes were full of gratitude for changing the subject. "Not much, just some eggs, ham and bread..." Lucas muttered, slowly reaching out for Avia's hand. He half expected her to pull her hand away, but e wanted her to know how he felt without him saying it in front of Lucy
"I guess, but we don't have a lot of time. The Grandmaster is waiting for you both. He hopes you'll be willing to join us for the Harvest Festival but if the king is... Well, we should let our people mourn."
Lucas shook his head. "No. I know how important the Festival is to you guys. Don't postpone it on my account. I'll tell everyone later."
[pic https://i.imgur.com/E3kOE2O.jpg] [left Avia nodded, looking rather distressed. She glanced at Lucas. He was having a hard time, obviously,[#0b90e3 “There was an attack…”]
Avia looked at the girl again. She wasn’t sure Lucas was ready to go into details, or have her talk in detail about it, so she changed the subject,[#0b90e3 “Ah, I’m Avia, by the way. It’s nice to meet you, though I wish it were under better circumstances. Did you want to join us for breakfast?”]
The way she looked at Lucas when she went closer to the fire was full of concern, but she didn’t voice it. She doubted he wanted her fussing over him. Instead she knelt down next to him by the fire and held her hands closer for warmth,[#0b90e3 “That smells good, what are you making?”]]
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