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Edric

The Warrior
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Edric's eyes snapped open, a desperate gasp dragging into his shredded lungs.

Ice that had impaled half a dozen organs began to shift and melt away, wounds knitting closed as the shards disappeared. Fingers, half frozen and raw from frostbite curled within the cold earth. He could feel the ebbing power flowing away, drawing into his flesh and healing him.

It did not use all the power that he'd taken at the Brothel, no, there had been far too many dead for that. But healing organs always took more, and thus the lion's share of stolen life slipped from his grasp. Gone with it was that strange call for more, replaced simply by exhaustion and weariness.

Ragged breaths became calm, pain dulled, and Edric slowly began to push himself off the ground. Slowly he crawled over to Noel, still slicked with blood. His voice a rasp. "N-Noel."

She was alive, he could tell that much from her voice and the pale light of her life.

"Are you alright?" It was a stupid question, but the only one that he could think to ask in that moment.
 
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Noel

Iron Maiden
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”Y-you’re an i-idiot.”

Edric’s sudden urge to protect her could have gotten the two of them killed. There wasn’t any doubt in Noel’s mind that he would have dealt with their frosty friend far better than she. Hell, for all she knew, he could’ve just drained the life energy directly out of the mage when he was in that weird misty form.

She continued to shiver, arms hugging her body tight. Her voice was still shaky but at least her teeth had stopped chattering. ”Don’t ever play hero like that again.” An acorn-colored eye glared up at him, ”I mean it.”

They’d all been warned about the dangers of the cold during survival training in the academy. How frostbite could set in, how your lungs could struggle to flow oxygen in extreme conditions, and the other dangers of hypothermia. But it was supposed to take hours, the battlemage they’d just fought had some sort of flash-freezing that set on in seconds.

”I’m fine,” she insisted, ”g-get the horses and l-let’s go.” Movement might help, or hinder, she wasn’t really certain.

Noel just knew she didn’t want to dwell on how they’d both nearly been murdered. About how Edric had put his own life at risk in some asinine attempt to save her.
 
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Edric

The Warrior
Messages
246
Character Biography
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Edric scowled as Noel practically bit at him.

Lips thinned almost instantly. "What?"

There was a genuine touch of confusion on his tone as he spoke. He didn't understand why she was mad, why she was so angry. There had never been a chance of him dying, not for a second. Not with all the power that had been coursing through his veins.

Noel on the other hand?

She could protect herself, but not in the same way he could.

"What the fuck did I do?" Edric bit at her. "I made the best choice I could. Knowing you could kill him just as well as me."

Knowing he would live, when she might not have.
 
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Noel

Iron Maiden
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Noel's annoyance didn't subside, if anything it only grew. "I barely won."

It was true, even if she only admitted it to bolster her argument. "I didn't need you to shield me. I would have been fine against that assault of his." Probably. Maybe.

She pushed herself up to her feet and brushed a shaking hand through stiff, half-frozen, hair. Warmth was slowly starting to return to her flesh, causing the pale hue it sported to subside a bit. What more was there to even say? Why was she even mad at him? The thought of him dying had upset her, sure. The thought of him dying because of her might have pushed her over the boiling point. She didn't want to address either concern right now.

"Forget it. We won. Let's just move."

A lingering thought still pestered at her brain and she allowed her vision to shift ever so slightly towards where their foe had fallen. Only where a body should have been there was simply a pile of frosted leaves and smattering of blood. Blood that trickled off and formed a trail heading away from them.

Someone the frost mage had survived and was now, seemingly, running away from the two Dreadlords.

"Shit."
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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246
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"Yeah!" Edric said with a slight scowl, still not really understanding what the issue was in the first place. "We won! So why are yo-"

Edric noticed Noel's glance over his shoulder, then the curse passed from her lips. In an instant he turned on his heel, glancing to where the body had been laying moments ago. Lips thinned, and he quickly let out out the same curse.

He took half a step forward, intending to follow the path of blood, then glanced back towards Noel.

They had gotten lucky the first time, and maybe they could get the man if both of them worked together...but he had used a lot of his magic. Lips thinned for a moment, and then he jerked back and moved towards the horses. "We need to head off the road."

Until now they had gotten lucky, assumed they were in the clear, it was obvious that wasn't the case.

Hunting that mage might have worked. They might be able to kill him, but they also might not. He wouldn't take that chance.

Not when he had a promise to fulfill.
 
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Noel

Iron Maiden
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The anger had faded and been replaced by fear. Fight or flight instincts kicked in and she was grateful when Edric agreed with her own sentiments of picking flight.

Noel plucked her bloodied hairband off the forest floor and wiped what she could off on her scarlet cloak before putting it back into her black locks. Keeping the platinum hairband on her at all times had become like a second nature to her and it often felt like a safety blanket of sorts.

"Yes, let's stick to the brush," their horses were rested enough for it to work for awhile and if they stuck close enough they could still navigate using the roadway. Noel fetched both of their horses and steadily climbed onto her steed.

It wasn't until she was planted firmly into the saddle that she could grasp just how tired she already was.

A full day of riding was going to be a struggle but they had no choice. Once Edric was mounted she kicked off and her horse began its careful gallop through the trees and bushes of the thicket that ran parallel to the road.

After a few moments she spoke her mind, "I don't think he was in any shape to follow pursuit us." Though she'd really rather not find out.
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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Edric didn't think so either. Though he had only seen the mans body for a handful of seconds. He cursed himself quietly for not checking longer, not even using his magic to tell if the seed of life had fled the man's corpse. It would have been the smarter thing to do.

"Hopefully." He called out over the sound of the horses galloping.

There was no way to tell now, and in truth that wasn't what worried Edric. "We just have to hope he was alone."

His lips thinned.

"Or that he can't send word ahead." Back in Vel Anir they used pigeons to deliver messages over long distance. Sometimes, if it was really urgent, there were a few Dreadlords who could walk in dreams or speak into minds even over hundreds of miles.

Edric had no idea if anyone in the Radiant Church had such powers. "We'll have to be careful."

Even more careful.

"Maybe steal some clothes on the way." These robes might be too dangerous.
 
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Noel

Iron Maiden
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A brief frown touched Noel's lips. She wasn't a fan of the Radiant Church but she'd come to like the red cloak she'd acquired. It was the warmest piece of clothing she'd ever owned and she was partial to the way it looked too. Changing clothes made the most sense though and maybe she could still get away with wearing the cloak, especially as she was still trying to warm her frigid bones.

"Makes sense," she agreed with the idea. The closer they got to the coast the more obvious Radiant Church Justicars would be. Easier it would be for anyone else looking for them to spot.

Noel wanted to scream though. It was such an obvious mistake by both of them. They had a window, however slim, to finish their pursuer off and they'd blown it. Maybe it wasn't their fault. Edric had appeared to nearly die but then, gods his magic, and Noel couldn't believe she still had the strength to even strike back at him.

Though she doubted Proctors at the academy would've seen the display as anything but weakness.

They kept going, largely in silence, until they were able to spot something on the main road from their vantage point in the trees. A large merchant cart with three or four guards escorting it. "You wanted clothes?" She asked tentatively as the cart drew nearer.
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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246
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As their horses slowed and Noel asked her question, lips thinned.

For a brief moment he considered it, watching as the cart slowly began to draw closer. He spotted the three guards, one of the merchantmen directing the horses. He frowned for a brief moment, glancing at Noel. He was still tired, weary. Even with the pool of strength he still had.

Noel didn't look much better.

After a few seconds he shook his head. "No."

His voice was soft, quiet. There were a dozen reasons to attack the cart, to kill all of them and simply take what they needed. But Edric was tired, he was weary, and more importantly...he was just tired of killing. He had done enough of it in Sene.

"Too much noise." It was a good excuse, at least he thought. "Another thing they can use to track us."

Edric was sure the Proctors of old would have beaten them for taking the weak way out, but in that moment he didn't care.

He bit his lower lip. "Better to find a farm, a clothesline or something."
 
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Noel

Iron Maiden
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Noel didn't disagree with his logic. She was still regaining the feeling in her toes from earlier and she assumed Edric wasn't at his best either. Still, it was hard not to see the lightly defended cart as anything but fortuitous.

"Farm clothes," she nodded. "We'll blend in well enough in that I suppose." They were in the middle of absolutely no where.

She couldn't have imagined high fashion was of much concern.

Though the notion of dressing like farmers from some far away land did trigger a thought in her head. "Had you not been this... what do you think your life would have been?" A silly, pointless, question but the ride towards the docks was beginning to feel like a bore.

And as Noel wasn't going to apologize, or discuss, her earlier outburst a pointless conversation seemed the only one they could possibly have.

"I reckon that I would've been a blacksmith." Given that's what her father had been. "Or perhaps I'd have joined the Guard on a permanent basis anyway." Seemed fitting. Fighting was all she had ever really known.
 
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Edric

The Warrior
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As they turned their horses away from the main road once more Edric glanced back towards the Caravan. A part of him wondered if he'd made the right call. If it would have been better just to slaughter the guards and take what they needed.

The Proctors would have said so, but they had been wrong about so much. His lips thinned, and as they began to ride he couldn't help but feel that seed of doubt in his chest.

He half turned to Noel as the horses trotted along, her question sparking memories in the back of his mind. For a moment he simply frowned, clutching the reigns tighter as he considered. "The Guard seems like where I'd end up too."

It was what he was best at after all.

"My father was a mason though." He added. "Maybe I'd have joined him."

Edric frowned for a moment before he chuckled and added. "My mother worked in the Archives."

It seemed funny to him, given his antipathy of their studies.