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Having some little time twinnin’ with my babe

2022.01.23 20:48 EeveeEvolves03 Having some little time twinnin’ with my babe

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2022.01.23 20:48 vren55 [A Fractured Song] - Chapter 145 - Fantasy, Isekai (Portal Fantasy), Adventure

Cover Art!
Just because you’re transported to another world, doesn’t mean you’ll escape from your pain.
Abused by her parents, thirteen-year-old Frances only wants to be safe and for her life not to hurt so much. And when she and her class are transported to the magical world of Durannon to fight the monsters invading the human kingdoms and defeat the self-titled Demon King, Frances is presented with a golden opportunity. If she succeeds, Frances will have the home she never had. If she fails, Frances will be summoned back to the home she escaped.
Yet, despite her newfound magic and friends, Frances finds that trauma is not so easily lost. She is dogged by her abuse and its physical and invisible scars. Not only does she have to learn magic, she has to survive the nightmares of her past, and wrestle with her feelings of doubt and self-loathing.
If she can heal from her trauma, though, she might be able to defeat the Demon King and maybe, just maybe, she can find a home for herself.
Teaser: Frances and Timur are forced to recover from their fight, and end up having more trouble...
[The Beginning] [<=Chapter 144] [Chapter Index and Blurb] [Chapter 146 on February 6, 2021 or Right Now For Patreons ]
The Fractured Song Index
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The next morning, Goldilora took Timur and Frances’s group to meet with those that they would be protecting in the largest lecture hall of the Academy, which had been emptied of other students for this purpose.
Most were perhaps unsurprisingly, mages, wearing robes of purple or green robes with a purple stripe on them. A good number of the refugees, however, also seemed to come from several backgrounds, and there were both Alavari and humans among them. Frances swore she saw a female orc smith wearing an indicative forge apron, and from the flowery scent in the air, she was sure at least a few were herbalists.
Goldilora introduced Timur and Frances to a half-human, half-goblin mage, who despite his short height, carried himself proudly.
“The name’s Dayren, I represent these people,” said the half-human, half-goblin mage. He paused and winced. “Well, in a sense. But I don’t want to complicate things for you, Your Highness.”
“Of course, Dayren.” Timur shook the half-goblin’s extended hand. “I wish we’d met under more fortunate circumstances.”
“Yeah. But getting to the point of things… how big is your group and can you get Queen Titania’s assistance?” Dayren asked.
Timur’s smile wavered a bit. “Unfortunately, we only have ten, and I don’t believe I can get assistance from Titania. Her territories are far from here. However, Frances Stormcaller has graciously volunteered to assist us. She’s recovering from an injury, but will be combat capable in a few weeks.”
Dayren frowned and looked around Timur disbelievingly. “You have the Stormcaller with you?”
Frances, not dressed in her mage robes (which were needing a long overdue wash) stepped in beside her boyfriend and extended her hand.
“Glad to meet you, Dayren—” She blinked as Dayren took a half-step back, and a shiver ran through the refugees.
“Oh come on you lot. The Stormcaller is the last person who’d hurt you,” Goldilora groaned.
“It’s…” Dayrencoughed officiously, his eyes narrowing at Frances. “Your reputation precedes you, Lady Stormcaller. I… I must confess, though, that I’m somewhat mystified as to why you are so deep in Alavaria.”
“Frances was helping me to try to save Morgan, my niece, and was injured in the process,” said Timur. His tone had sharpened ever so slightly, and Dayren did not miss it.
“Why would that murderer help us?” demanded a voice from the crowd. As eyes turned, Frances caught sight of a dark-haired half-human, half-troll youth in purple and green mage robes, glaring at her. And although the half-troll could not be older than thirteen, Frances felt a deep sense of unease at the rage that filled her dark-blue eyes.
Dayren sighed. “Hattie, please—”
“She killed my father! Don’t ‘please’ me!”
Frances felt her heart drop to her stomach as the half-troll advanced towards her, drawing her wand from her side.
What could she do? What should she do? How could she fight this young half-troll when she’d killed her parents? Did she deserve to live after what she’d done? Not to mention, there were so many others whose parents she’d killed, or whose family members she’d killed. Except, Frances knew she had had to kill them, or else she’d be sent back to her own family
Wrapped in her thoughts, she realized too late Hattie had raised her wand to cast a spell. A form raced past her and wrestled the wand out of the girl’s grasp.
Timur threw the wand away, his eyes wide. “I’m sorry. I’m… I’m sorry, but I can’t let you do that.”
“She’s the enemy!”
“She’s the love of my life and she wants to help you.” Timur flinched at the horror and the surprise that came to life in the eyes of the crowd of refugees. To his credit, he didn’t back down.
Goldilora coughed loudly, drawing everybody’s attention. “We’ve all done things we regret. I for one married King Thorgoth and left my son with him.” She glanced at Frances. “All the same, I believe you should meet with the rest of these people at a different time, Lady Stormcaller.”
Frances swallowed, nodded, and fled.
Normally, when she was down, Frances would practice her magic, read, or cook something for her friends.
However, she couldn’t practice her magic, she daren’t cook something in an unfamiliar kitchen, and as for reading?
How could she read anything when she’d just met the child of a person who she had killed?
So no, she wasn’t doing any of that, she was practicing her oft-neglected swordsmanship. An empty classroom was not a good place to practice swordsmanship, but Frances didn’t want to be disturbed and she didn’t want to talk to anybody to ask for permission.
The long, thin blade of her estoc, Alanna, cut through the air, as Frances stabbed at imaginary targets. She was sure she’d forgotten much of the forms she’d learned, but at this point, being unable to use any magic, anything would be better than nothing.
It didn’t make her feel any better, but it was better than just sitting there with her guilt.
“Lady Stormcaller, when I said get some rest, I meant it.”
Frances spun around to see Goldilora, arms crossed, leaning against the classroom door. She closed her door behind her and strode over to sit on one of the empty desks.
“I… it’s just light exercise, I won’t push myself too hard,” she said. Frances wiped the sweat off her brow. “Is there something you’d like to speak to me about, Goldilora?”
The ogre nodded, her eyes briefly dropping to the ground before they met Frances’s.
“I was wondering if you could tell me about my son.”
Caught off guard, it took Frances a moment to figure out that Goldilora was indeed asking her this, and another for her to consider how she should answer.
“What would you like to know?” Frances asked slowly.
“Anything and everything. What does he like, what are his interests. I… I just want to know more about him,” said Goldilora.
She tried to make it sound casual. Yet, the pleading in her eyes was all too obvious.
Frances found herself sheathing her sword and sitting down on one of the desks across from Goldilora. She found herself doing this because she was trying to collect her thoughts.
“I thought you said you wanted nothing to do with Timur?”
Goldilora stiffened. “That was years ago.”
“So… you changed your mind? Why?” Frances asked.
“He’s my son. I… I didn’t think about him, but well… I was curious. Then I started to hear from my students and my friends about his good work in the provinces,” said Goldilora. She took a deep breath. “I should not have been so harsh back then.”
Frances closed her eyes briefly. She didn’t know how to feel about what Goldilora was saying, much like how she had no idea how to feel about killing Hattie’s father—She shook her head and brought her mind back to the ogre’s response.
“I believe you, but I don’t know if I should be telling you.” Frances pinched the bridge of her nose. “Why won’t you just talk to your son?”
Goldilora sighed. “You’ve seen how he avoids me. As much as I want to, I can’t.”
Frances grimaced. “I still don’t feel like I should be telling you anything about him. He wouldn’t like that.”
“Stormcaller, please, you’re his love, and you know him, understand him better than anybody… it doesn’t have to be much—”
“No. I won’t.” Frances watched the dismay spread across Goldilora’s faces. “Because he’s my love, I won’t tell you unless he says I can.” Allowing herself to relax, she said in a softer voice, “I can ask him, though.”
Goldilora blinked, “Do you really think he will agree?”
“I don’t know, but… I don’t have a good relationship with my parents.” Frances stiffened. “They… they abused me. It is why I want to stay in Durannon.”
“I’m so sorry,” Goldilora said, and her tone was sincere. Frances smiled at that.
“Thank you. So… in summary, if you want to… to ask Timur for forgiveness, then I’ll help you,” said Frances.
Goldilora smiled. “Thank you, Frances. I won’t waste this.”
“Good,” said Frances simply. Getting back up, she wiped her face with the towel she had.
“You know, I… I was going to talk to Hattie, but I was wondering if you want to talk to her,” Goldilora said.
Frances pursed her lips. “If… if she really wants to, then yes. I… I’d like to say sorry. I know it isn’t enough. It’s not… it’s not nearly enough, but if it will make her feel better, I’d like to try.” She looked up at Goldilora. “Do… do you know where her father died?”
“No. Hattie doesn’t like to talk about it. I didn’t even know that you killed her father until today. All we know is that he was one of the war mages who went to war and never came back.”
“I wonder how she knows it was me then…” Frowning, Frances shook her head. “In any case, thank you, Goldilora.”
The ogre smiled, “You’re welcome, Frances.”
As Timur had been busy talking to the refugees the entire morning, Frances arranged to have dinner with him in their bedroom. The prince, however, initially ignored the food and quickly hugged her.
“Frances, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get to you sooner. Are you… how are you doing?” Timur asked.
“I’m… not great, but your mother offered to have Hattie meet with me. Hopefully, it will help her and me,” said Frances quietly.
Timur arched an eyebrow. “You talked to my mom?”
They parted, sitting down at the table. A simple stew was for dinner, and frankly, it was all Frances could stomach after the day’s events.
“Yes. She wants to talk to you, and apologize for what she did, Timur,” said Frances.
Her prince stared at her uncomprehendingly. “And you believe her?”
She nodded once, and just like that, Timur’s expression seemed to close. Hurt furrowed his brow and stiffened his lip.
“I don’t know. I… why now? I mean, she rejected me, told me she didn’t want anything to do with me. What changed?” Timur stammered.
“She said it was part curiosity about what you were doing, which then grew into pride as she listened to what you were doing for Alavaria in the provinces.” Frances pursed her lips. “Timur, you don’t have to talk to her if you don’t want to.”
Timur nodded. “I know, but I’m wondering if I should. I mean, she’s my mother.” He looked at Frances desperately. “What would you do, Frances? If your mother… apologized and asked for your forgiveness.”
Frances sighed, “I wouldn’t believe her, but I think this is different, Timur. I’ve seen Goldilora try to take care of us when she could have just abandoned us to Thorgoth. Sure, she did need us, but there are little things that I think, shows she cares about you.”
“I know. I’ve… I’ve noticed them too.” Timur gestured to the well-furnished room they were sharing. “I mean, she got us pretty good rooms, good food, and even allowed our squad to have private meetings. I… I know all of that. I just don’t know what I should be doing.”
Frances swallowed. “But what do you want to do, Mataia?”
Her prince sat silently, hands twisted together on his lap, staring at his cooling bowl of stew. Frances watched him, letting her love have his silence. She knew that if he needed her input, he’d ask.
All the same, she got up, walked over, and gently wrapped her arms around him from behind. She hoped that it would help, no matter what decision Timur made.
“I think I do want to talk to her, but… can you come with me? I don’t know if I could do this alone,” Timur whispered.
Frances smiled and kissed him lightly on the back of his head. He shivered ever so slightly at that.
“Of course, Timur.”
“Thank you,” he croaked, his voice thick with emotion. He paused. “Do you mind if you… you can stay like this for a moment?”
“I don’t mind. Take as long as you need,” Frances said, squeezing her love tighter.
When they did finally part, their dinner was lukewarm, but the conversation they were having was fast, and mostly centered on the refugees.
“It’s not as bad as we first thought, but it’s not an ideal situation. Most of the refugees are skilled laborers, or mages, including several who are combat trained or are healers. Thankfully, all the children can walk and have rudimentary magic. What worries me is the number of orphans,” said Timur.
“How many?” Frances asked.
“Of the sixty-two students, twenty are orphans. The others have families, often with non-magical siblings. They don’t have anybody apart from each other, and while they have been receiving instruction, I’m not sure who is going to look out for them,” said Timur.
“I don’t think they will need someone to take care of them, Timur, just people they know they can rely on,” said Frances, thinking back to her early days with Edana. “They’re used to looking after each other now. I do think we ought to talk to them, though.”
“That’s a good idea.” Timur swallowed another bite of his stew. “We still are thinking about how we should get out of Alavaria. With such a large group, going westwards and then southwards toward Vertingen is our only option, but it’s just a really bad idea. Honestly, though, I can’t think of any other idea that might work because heading to the Lapanterian border would just make our journey longer.”
Frances didn’t know much about the geography of Alavaria, but she remembered quite vividly the story Timur had told her about Kallistos.
She also remembered a little tidbit of knowledge that quickly floated to the forefront of her mind.
“Timur, what about that goblin village you mentioned in the mountains? The one with the passage to the Greenway?” Frances asked.
Her prince’s eyes widened. “Oh. Oh! That… that could work! If that passage exists… it could be our way out of here!”
“If that passage exists. Also, you mentioned before we’d be heading deeper into Alavaria,” reminded Frances.
“At this point, with such a large group, speed is more important. We… just need to figure out if that passage exists,” Timur said, his voice trailing off into a morose grumble.
“How did you hear about the passage, anyway?” Frances asked.
“Two half-goblins, one called Dwynalina and her wife Anriel, had taken me in for my trip. The town didn’t have an inn, you see, and they happened to have a spare room. Anriel and Dwynalina knew all these stories about the passage and told me about how they’d explored it. I… I just don’t remember if she’d gone through the whole thing,” said Timur.
“Can we get into contact with them ahead of time? Send someone ahead? Epomonia is a centaur and if we can heal her, she can run the distance. Or maybe we can get Olgakaren to scout ahead as well,” Frances suggested.
Timur brightened. “I hadn’t considered that. I… I’ll have to talk to my mom about that won’t I?”
Frances nodded meaningfully. “She is a far better healer than I am. I… I don’t know what I would have done without her. I have seen nothing like the gas that Darius and Janize’s men used.”
“I know. I…” Timur frowned, and suddenly, his eyes widened. “Frances… this isn’t our first priority, but assuming we can get out of Alavaria, where are we going to resettle the refugees?”
Frances stared at her love, and as her mind drew a blank at his question, a horrifying emptiness started to fill her.
“Erlenberg?” she asked, and immediately winced. “Wait, no, that might not be the best idea.”
“Wait, why not? I thought they’d welcome Alavari?” Timur asked, crestfallen.
“They still will, but the city’s still rebuilding after the siege and with the continent at war, there aren’t as many non-military related jobs. The refugees are going to have a hard time rebuilding their lives,” said Frances.
“Ah, but at least they’ll be safe,” said Timur.
“Yes. I just wish there was somewhere else we could find for them. Someplace they can claim as their own,” said Frances, her tone wistful.
Her expression was mirrored by her prince, who sighed heavily. For a while after that, they ate in silence.
When they were finished, the pair continued to work on brainstorming and planning routes to take the refugees home. The conclusion, though, was much of what they’d discussed earlier.
The potential tunnel to the Greenway was their best bet if it did indeed exist.
Timur, having changed into a clean shirt and shorts for the night, sat down on their bed. “I suppose it’s decided then, we send Olgakaren and Epomonia together to reach the village?”
Frances, in her spare nightgown, nodded and joined her prince. “I think so. You think this Anriel and Dwynalina would help you, Timur?”
The trogre swallowed. “I don’t know. I just have hope. They… they were very kind in letting me stay in their home.” He pursed his lips. “I’m sorry I don’t have a more definite answer.”
“I know, but there’s no need for you to apologize. I know far less about Alavaria than you do, and you’ve been so patient in teaching me,” said Frances.
Smiling brightly, Timur squeezed Frances’s hand. “By the way, I was thinking, Frances. If… if we were to say… move in together, what would you want our home to look like?”
Frances was a bit surprised by this question, but as she went over it in her mind, she found herself thinking deeper and deeper about it.
“I’m not sure. I… I’ve been traveling a lot these past few years, Timur, never really staying in one place for more than a year,” said Frances quietly. “I… I don’t know how a home should look like, or what it would need.”
“That’s alright. But what would you want it to have?” Timur asked. “I mean, I think I’m being posh here, but I want it to have a nice big bathroom, central heating, and all the modern amenities the palace in Minairen had.”
“What kind of amenities, Timur?” Frances asked, unsure what exactly was considered “modern” by Alavari standards.
“Toilets that flush, running water and oil lanterns. A nice drawing or reading room where we can sit together, read, and cuddle.” Timur hovered a hand over Frances’s shoulder and at her nod, wrapped his arms around her. “Like this.”
Frances giggled, “Would it have a big sofa and lots of shelves for books?”
“As many as we can fill the walls with,” Timur exclaimed.
Frances loved that image. “Maybe we can have a table with board games to play with our friends. You can invite Aloudin, Epomonia, and Olgakaren. I can get Elizabeth, Martin, Ayax, and Ginger.”
“That would be fun, though, I imagine a bit awkward at first,” said Timur, scratching at his chin. He glanced at Frances. “Wait, Aloudin?”
She looked up at her boyfriend’s perplexed expression. “I think that you two get along quite well, even though he is older, and he likes you.”
Timur stammered, “But… as a friend? He just wants to take care of me because I’m related to Teutobal.”
Frances nodded. “Maybe, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t your friend, Timur. If you’re not sure, why don’t you ask?”
She let her boyfriend ruminate on that as she gathered her thoughts on what she’d want her home to look like.
What did she want her home to look like? Her home on Earth… she’d forgotten how it’d looked. She remembered it as having a vinyl sheath stylized to look like wood on the outside, but she couldn’t remember the exact color. The inside had been a light blue? Or had it been an off-white?
She wasn’t sure. She did remember the walls of her closet had been white, with a single lightbulb. She could remember the blood that stained the walls and floor, her blood.
Frances flinched, shaking her head fiercely, drawing a worried glance from Timur. As much as she wanted the same modern appliances that her home on Earth had, there were bitter, agonizing memories that accompanied all of them.
“I’m fine. It’s just that if we have a house, I don’t want a walk-in closet,” Frances said in a quiet voice.
“Oh. I see,” Timur whispered, in a tone that said that he understood perfectly why. He rocked her softly in his arms, and she wrapped her arms around him.
“I’m sorry. I brought the mood down,” Frances whispered.
“Don’t be. You’re thinking about what you don’t want in a home. That’s important too,” said Timur. “You lived with Edana for a time, though. What did you like about the places you lived with her?”
“The kitchens. Edana always had access to a large kitchen. I want one where I can cook us meals and then you and I can enjoy them right then and there,” said Frances suddenly, remembering her first meals with her adoptive mother when she was thirteen. The small circular table sitting on terracotta tiles, the fire in the stove crackling as they ate.
“Ooh, that sounds delicious. Hmm, we’ll probably need a good pantry to supply that kitchen.”
“It should be underground, so it’d be nice and cool.” Frances hummed to herself. “I’m not sure what I’d want our house to look like though. I just know I don’t want it to feel cold and stiff. I want something that’s kind of warm and well… rustic. Like… like the cottage Edana and I lived in when I first arrived in Durannon.”
“Oh, you told me about that. It was in the forest, right?” Timur asked.
“Yes, though, I don’t need it to be in the forest. I just… really liked how comfortable and cozy that house felt,” Frances said quietly.
“You should go there with your mother again on a trip. A mother-daughter trip” said Timur.
Frances bobbed her head. “I like that. Thanks for the suggestion, Timur.”
“What kind of color would you like the walls to be?” Timur asked.
“I’m not sure. Maybe…”
The conversation wound on and on until the night until the pair were lying side by side and fast asleep
“Are you ready?” Frances asked.
Timur nodded. He raised his hand and knocked on the door to his mother’s office.
Goldilora replied, “Enter!”
Swallowing, Timur opened the door and strode in, followed by Frances. The Pedagos of the Academy was looking at a much older-looking map, a book open beside her. As they entered, Goldilora straightened and stiffened.
Timur took a deep breath. “Hey mom, I heard you want to talk to me?”
Goldilora looked frighteningly like Timur when she was confused. France suspected it was because of how their eyes were so similarly shaped.
“Oh. Oh! Wait, you want… you want to do this now?” Goldilora asked.
Timur nodded after a second of hesitation. “Yes, and I’d like Frances to stay.”
“Alright. Would you like some tea? Maybe some water?” Goldilora shook her head. “Sorry.”
“It’s fine,” said Timur. He took the seat in front of Goldilora’s desk, Frances joining him silently beside him. Unable to look at his mother, he sat, head bowed for a long moment. “So, what do you want to say?”
Goldilora clasped her hands and swallowed. “I wanted to say that I’m sorry for abandoning you to your father. I know that it isn’t enough, but… I deeply regret that.”
His face flickering through multiple emotions, Timur finally let out a deep sigh.
“I… I accept your apology, but…” the trogre prince winced. “I can’t forgive you. Not yet. I’m sorry.”
Goldilora wiped her eyes. “I understand.”
“Can you please explain why?” Timur said, his eyes narrowed. “Why did you change your mind about me?”
Goldilora smiled, “You hear a lot of stories from students of this school. They talk about a prince who managed to ensure tax rates stayed reasonable and negotiated fair agreements with the people of the towns. A trorc who cared about Alavaria and its inhabitants, no matter whether they were half-human or fae. I… I was proud of you for that, Timur.”
She gestured to the map. “You also helped a good friend of mine, my mentor in fact. She lived in the town of Thornspear.”
Timur started. “Wait, Thornspear? On the Pekara Mountain Range?”
Goldilora nodded. “Yes, you remember Dwynalina and her wife Anriel?”
“Of course, I lived with them while I was there,” said Timur.
“Huh, she didn’t mention that. Then again, I suppose she wanted to keep your privacy.” Goldilora smiled, “Dwynalina was the one who told me about how you helped the town recover from the landslide and acquire aid to help them rebuild their homes.”
Frances glanced at her boyfriend. “You did that, Timur?”
Timur scratched the back of his hand. “I wasn’t even there fast enough to help with the landslide. I just got them money and laborers so they could put their lives together. I didn’t actually help that much.”
“Timur, that’s still important, and in a way, more important for the town than just rescuing people,” said Frances.
“I… I see, I just… I don’t feel that way,” said Timur, much to Frances’s dismay.
Goldilora cut in, looking very uncomfortable. “Speaking of Thornspear, I think I might have a way to get the refugees out. There might be a tunnel from Thornspear to the Greenway.”
Frances’s eyes widened. “Timur was telling me about that, but we weren’t sure if that tunnel still existed.”
“You heard about it from Dwynalina too?” Timur asked.
“I’ve actually been there with Dwynalina, but never all the way to the Greenway. I’ve been trying to find a map to get you all through there and information on that passage,” said Goldilora, pointing at the map on her desk. “The tunnel is… not just any tunnel. It’s a full side-road to the Greenway, meant to connect Thornspear to the Greenway and it was well-built in its time, with numerous supporting columns.”
Narrowing his eyes, Timur studied the map. “Huh, well that’s promising. Though, I have to ask… why would there be a road there?”
“It seems that Thornspear was a major mining and farming town in the Goblin Empire and so they built a connection to the Greenway to facilitate that.” Goldilora grimaced. “If only we could confirm the road still exists.”
Frances glanced at Timur, waiting for him to voice the suggestion he’d made last night. Only, the prince didn’t respond. A strange, hesitant expression came over the trogre’s features.
Puzzled, Frances said, “Timur suggested to me last night that we can send Olgakaren and Epomonia, our centaur and harpy companions if you could heal them.”
Goldilora nodded. “Good idea, son. I’ll be tired out by it, but I can heal them up quickly.”
Timur stared at his mother. He just sat there for so long, that Frances gently reached over to squeeze his arm.
“Oh. Sorry, thanks Goldilora.”
The ogre mage opened her mouth, closed it and let out a quiet sigh. “You’re welcome.”
“Timur, can I ask a… a question?” Frances asked.
They’d already briefed Olgakaren, Epomonia and Aloudin and his squad, and then had lunch. Now they were heading back to meet with the refugees.
The prince flinched, “What did I do wrong?”
“It’s not…” Frances took Timur’s hand. “It’s not that you did something wrong. I’m just worried about you. You kept saying that what you did wasn’t enough, like how you do for a lot of your achievements.”
The prince winced. “Frances, I know that, but I don’t feel like I should do differently. It just… it just feels right.”
“But it’s not. It’s not fair to you,” said Frances. She squeezed Timur’s hand, but while he squeezed back, he couldn’t look her in the eye.
“Maybe, but it doesn’t make sense otherwise.” Timur met her gaze. “If… maybe I’m not the useless prince, but if that’s the case, why did my mother reject me in the first place?”
It was a good question, and yet it twisted Frances’s stomach into knots.
“We could ask Goldilora if you want, Timur,” she said.
“I’m not sure if I want to know,” said Timur. “Besides, maybe she doesn’t want to tell me.”
“Alright.” On impulse, Frances wrapped her arms around the troll quickly. “Just… don’t forget that you are worth everything to me, Timur.”
Timur wrapped his arms around her, grinning brightly. “I won’t.”
The refugees and Daryren were not happy about the plan, but as Timur laid out their options, the majority had to agree that it was the best option.
“This is still a rotten plan,” hissed an orc blacksmith.
“Yes, Blazey, it is, but as the prince mentioned, it’s that or we get caught by Thorgoth,” said Dayren. His expression softened for a moment. “He’s already caught most of us.”
The smith sighed and nodded, as did the other refugees. Some of them looked sullen and angry, but the others just seemed tired.
Frances didn’t see Hattie, but just after they wrapped up the meeting with a plan on how to get to Thornspear, she noticed Hattie approaching her. She braced herself, but the half-troll just stopped in front of her, her hands balled into tight fists.
“I want to talk,” said the youth.
“Okay, where?” Frances asked.
Hattie sat herself down on one of the lecture hall’s many seats and Frances carefully took a seat beside the youth, resting her hands on the desk in front of her.
“Pedagos Goldilora… she said that I should talk to you and get closure,” said Hattie.
“You don’t agree with her,” Frances said.
Hattie’s tense shoulders fell for a moment before she immediately tensed up. “Why did you kill my father?”
Out of the corner of her eye, Frances could see Timur watching her from a distance. Still, she forced herself to focus on Hattie’s narrowed dark-blue eyes.
“When and where did your father die?” Frances asked. “I’m sorry, but I don’t know his name, and I… I can’t remember how many times I’ve fought Alavari.”
“You killed him at Westfall Pass,” Hattie said.
Frances flinched. “But that… that was three years ago. I wasn’t even called the Stormcaller then.”
“His comrades told my mother and I that a flash of lightning arced through the sky and electrified him. It was you! Are you denying that?” Hattie hissed.
Frances wracked her mind, but to her shame, she could honestly not remember killing a troll mage with lightning during that battle. It’d taken place over several days. She’d cast several lightning spells during the prelude, the actual battle, and during the pursuit.
“No. I… I just don’t remember,” Frances said. She wiped her eyes. “I’m sorry. I—”
“What do you mean you don’t even remember killing him?” Hattie asked, her eyes wide.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I know you loved him. I don’t want to kill anybody if I don’t have to—”
Hattie stood up so quickly her chair flew back, crashing to the ground.
“Then why did you kill him? Why did you kill him? He was good and kind and because you killed him nobody protected us when our neighbors burnt our house down and killed my mom!’
“They—” Frances reached out and immediately pulled back. She wanted to hug the poor girl in front of her, but she also knew that would be the last thing Hattie would want. “I’m so sorry.”
“I don’t care about why you’re sorry. I want to know why you killed him!”
Hattie’s words hit harder than if she’d slapped Frances. They landed so hard because Frances already knew the answer.
She swallowed. “Because he was trying to kill me too.”
“You’re an Otherworlder, you can’t die,” Hattie said.
“No, but… if I was sent back to Earth, my parents would probably have killed me.” Frances forced herself to meet Hattie’s eyes and found the half-human was staring at her, incredulous. “I’m sorry, Hattie, but… but unlike your parents, who loved you an—and who wanted the best for you, my parents hated me.”
“What… but… no. You’re evil. You’re horrible. You’re a murderer!” Hattie cried. Only her voice was faltering.
“I’m sorry. You… you should be angry at me. You have every reason to be angry at me—”
Hattie drew her wand. Timur moved, but Frances quickly raised her hand, stopping him.
“Please stop saying that! You aren’t supposed to be so pathetic! You’re supposed to laugh at me and fight me so I can just kill you and avenge my father,” Hattie said, her eyes filled with tears. “You aren’t supposed to say sorry!”
Frances slowly reached forward and pushed Hattie’s wand aside.
“I… I’m sorry, Hattie. But I don’t want to fight you, or hurt you more than I already have.” Frances closed her eyes. “I don’t want to have to hurt anybody, but King Thorgoth wanted the humans conquered, he wanted me dead. I didn’t want to hurt anybody, but I don’t want to die.”
Hattie stared at Frances for what seemed like forever, before thrusting her wand back into her belt and storming off without another word.
Frances, burying her head in her hands, found gentle arms wrapping around her.
“Frances dear, you did all you could,” Timur whispered.
“I know, but I still ruined her life!” Frances buried her head into Timur’s embrace. “And I had no choice! I just hate that there was nothing else that I could have done!”
“I understand, and I’m sorry,” Timur said, cradling his crying love, trying to dry her tears with his sleeve.
Author’s Note: Unfortunately I have some bad news. I recently finished training at my new job as a welfare officer and with the training wheels off, things have gotten super busy and I’m adjusting. Updates are alright but I’ve had no time to edit Book 1 of A Fractured Song for self-publishing. So I’m going to re-distribute updates until I can get Book 1 published. Updates will be continuing but will be fort-nightly until I can get Book 1 published.
I’m really sorry about this :(
Question of the day: Coffee or tea? I like both, with a preference to coffee though and people are going to hate me for this, I like instant coffee b/c it’s fast XD
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2022.01.23 20:48 ComanderCupcake Sometimes i feel like a shooting star, everyone someone sees me they ask for something

Seriously, not feeling to good recently
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2022.01.23 20:48 QueeLinx Editorial board: Wyoming's redistricting process shouldn't be this difficult

Editorial board: Wyoming's redistricting process shouldn't be this difficult submitted by QueeLinx to USCensus2020 [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 Subject-Ad-3838 My first ever mini!! Please be kind

My first ever mini!! Please be kind submitted by Subject-Ad-3838 to BloodAngels [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 undead-rat Crossovers.. Please!

Hello, Ive come to the conclusion that I love crossovers and would like to read some more. I prefer a Naruto going into the other world. Ehm, I really like Kakashi centric ones, but I dont really care as long as its well written. All fandoms are allowed. Uh no super power stomps either.
Thats it.
Sorry for the formatting, im incapable of it.
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2022.01.23 20:48 aagupte What advice do you have for someone about to graduate college?

submitted by aagupte to AskReddit [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 CodenamePeaches Serious Question. About Cooper Kupp.

If Cooper Kupp wasn’t white would teams take him more seriously. He’s wide open so many plays. Sometimes it’s due to route running sometimes they just don’t seem to cover him other times they put Linebackers on him. I can’t imagine teams treating Adams, Hopkins and other top WRs like this. It’s honestly a little disrespectful IMO. I’m not trying to make it a race thing but I’m just curious if anyone else who thinks that plays a part?
submitted by CodenamePeaches to LosAngelesRams [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 Base887 Building Inspector for your City's building department. Not very exciting, but wth.

submitted by Base887 to AMA [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 I_rlyLikememes What’s the worst thing your parent/family member caught you doing?

submitted by I_rlyLikememes to AskReddit [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 rekuneko goober meme

goober meme submitted by rekuneko to Hololive [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 Fire_Ice_Tears Journaling to share

Have you ever journaled with the intention to share with your therapist? What exactly are you writing about? I find my journaling to be me telling a memory as I remember it and then trying to psychoanalyze myself and avoiding feelings. I’m guessing T wants me to include feelings, but everything feels so awkward. I don’t know how to talk about feelings or what I feel. And showing her as it is seems like I’m trying to be the therapist and I feel embarrassed.
submitted by Fire_Ice_Tears to TalkTherapy [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 Big_Douf Form 3 turn around times

I've been waiting for a form 3 to clear so I can start my form 4 since the beginning of the month. I'm tracking that form 3 processing times have gone up with the relaunch of eform 4s. Can was purchased on 03 JAN 22 and my SOT sent their info the same day. I have confirmed the form 3 has been submitted and is just waiting for approval. Has anyone else been experiencing waits this long? I'm trying to get it here asap because I'm on PCS orders and going TDY next week. Trying to expedite this can.
submitted by Big_Douf to NFA [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 doobieroo PPPP

Day 12. My buddies and I love all genres of music. That’s why we love Bonnaroo. We’ve been diving in and finding a bunch of gems. Hope you’re finding your gems. Best part of Roo, finding new music, and of course, all the Bonnaroovians. Hey Pigeons, be a gem and play Horizon.
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2022.01.23 20:48 skrebute Need help! Considering major gear switch

Hello everyone! To be honest, I've searched the Internet, read a massive amount of various subreddit posts, reviews, watched hours and hours of Youtube videos and still feeling like I can't decide. Maybe because it's my first major switch and it feels like delaying saying sentimental goodbyes to my favorite worn-off shoes that really beg greeting the trash bin.
Sorry. Let me be more specific. My adventure with photography started back in 2014, when I received my first camera with a kit lens - Nikon D3200 with Nikkor's 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6. Nothing special, your typical dog and family/landscape photos, just a hobby. After two years I bought the Nikkor's 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 and started doing wildlife shots. Still nothing too special.
Fast forward to 2022, I'm still rock and rolling with the D3200, never bought any primes because I was only using the 70-300mm for everything. Now I switched to portraiture and event photography, have a few paid gigs here and there. There are potential wedding requests waiting and now I really feel like I've drained everything I could from the gear I have right now. I always had an alibi, that the gear wasn't all that important, it was the person who was behind it, which served me until now. It was mostly a financial issue back then. It's time for a switch.
( these are the pictures that I've managed to take using only one lense with my D3200, to paint the full picture of my situation)
I've been considering selling my good old friend that made me start loving photography and switch to a full-frame camera. Read a good deal of excellent reviews about Nikon D750 and the Sony a7iii. But the problem is - one is a DSLR and the other one is mirorless.
I have small hands (lol), so the ergonomics are not the most important factor. What is important, is the practicality and the potential I can reach with the camera - not spending millions and millions of cash on optics right from the start. That's why I haven't made a switch to Sony yet. I fancy making videos, too. But let's be honest, Nikon D3200 is like an elephant in a ballet troupe in terms of any kind of videomaking.
Maybe there's something else besides the D750 and the Sony a7iii I could consider? Please, kindky share any useful information!
I appreciate any kind of advice, opinions and help.
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2022.01.23 20:48 crytoloover $BOON 10000x BUY OPPORTUNITY | $wag Kelly Edition | BOON MEME COIN OF THE YEAR 🚀

submitted by crytoloover to coinmarketbag [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 juicygoblin Tank progress over a few months! First scape I’m really happy with

Tank progress over a few months! First scape I’m really happy with submitted by juicygoblin to Aquascape [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 tearaist57 I’m here for it

submitted by tearaist57 to 90DayFiance [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 Macintoshk If Gary Clark really wanted to kill Derek when Cristina was operating, couldn’t he just shoot his head on the OR table? Instead of threatening to shoot Cristina in the head?

submitted by Macintoshk to greysanatomy [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 SratchyBoobyBAMBAM [Top Notch Video] Based Principles to Navigate this Brave New World

[Top Notch Video] Based Principles to Navigate this Brave New World submitted by SratchyBoobyBAMBAM to Positivity [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 neotralas Stay Strong Brothers💪 Lithuania is with you 🇱🇹

We love you guys, i know Ukraine is strong and prideful country and you will not gonna let these pigs take your homeland. Keep your heads up 🇺🇦✊
submitted by neotralas to ukraine [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 Whookimo An alternative way to verify other than phone number.

I know a lot of people using discord don't have phones, and there are also a decent amount of people who do have phones, but only have a VoIP number, which doesn't work for discord's verification system. For me, my family uses a VoIP because it's cheaper than the non VoIP services with the family package. I can't join a lot of servers because they require phone verification and I can't do that. Allowing people to verify another way would be greatly appreciated
submitted by Whookimo to discordapp [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 lesclaypoolbass My quiet male roommate turned out to be a nice guy...and is starting to act creepy. The "good for you" message was in response to me complaining how guys on tinder aren't too great

My quiet male roommate turned out to be a nice guy...and is starting to act creepy. The submitted by lesclaypoolbass to niceguys [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 Inner-Juices Best Opponent/Matchup for Ikuro Hashizawa (Baoh: The Visitor)

Best Opponent/Matchup for Ikuro Hashizawa (Baoh: The Visitor) submitted by Inner-Juices to DeathBattleMatchups [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 20:48 badov_pl Can't play with mods

Can't play with mods
Error after turning game on

List mods #1

List mods #2

I installed like they wrote on Nexus, anyone know why I can't play my game? Steam Version
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