Her Words Destroyed My Planet
Brynn was walking down the streets of the rougher area of Brightvale when she saw him exit one of the taverns. He had something pressed to his chest, but she couldn't make out what it was before he disappeared down one of the winding allies. Brynn followed after him, quickening her pace in order to catch up.
She caught up to him as he turned another corner. "Hanso!" He turned upon hearing his name, and that was when Brynn noticed the blood.
"You shouldn't be here," Hanso said. He cast a nervous glance back in the direction he had just come from.
"What happened?" A bruise was beginning to form around his left eye, and he was bleeding from several cuts on his face, though it was nothing compared to the blood soaked cloth he was holding off to the side of his stomach.
"Got into a fight," he said. "I'm fine. You should leave, this isn't a very nice area."
"I'll go," Brynn replied, "but I need you to come with me."
"I haven't done anything," he said sharply, his usually care-free manner gone.
"You're hurt, you need medical attention. As I am on patrol for this area tonight, it is my duty as a guard to assist you. Regardless of what you may or may not have done." When he didn't respond, she added "and... I'm kind of lost."
He smiled slightly as she said that. "Was chasing after me really that important to you, sweetheart?"
"I wouldn't call it chasing; you weren't going very fast."
"Cut me some slack, I was injured." He glanced down at the cloth he was holding, and sighed. "I suppose it would be best if I went back with you."
"What happened?" Brynn asked again as the two neopets began to walk back to Brightvale Castle.
"Do you remember what happened yesterday with Kanrik?"
Brynn nodded in reply. She could vividly recall the murderous look Kanrik had given Hanso after she had returned his stolen item to him.
- x -
"Sir, please calm down," Brynn said to the blue Gelert. "I have returned your item, now I must ask you to leave the-"
"What about him?" the Gelert demanded, gesturing to Hanso. "The item he tried to steal was of great value to me, and if I hadn't gotten it back..."
"He will face the consequences for his actions, and-"
"And if you find your way out," the Gelert interrupted Brynn again, addressing the Ixi thief this time, "you'd better not come crawling back to the guild, or I'll have your sorry-"
"Kanrik!" Brynn yelled. "Please stop threatening him. I have asked you to leave, and if you do not comply I will be forced to restrain you, lest you try to harm him."
"Watch your back," Kanrik hissed at Hanso as he left.
- x -
"You didn't go back to the guild, did you?" she asked, concerned.
"No, I'm not that stupid! I... just went to one of the taverns, I didn't think he'd be there. But he was, along with a couple of his friends..." he trailed off, but Brynn didn't need to hear the rest of the story in order to know what had happened next. They continued to walk in silence until they reached the castle. Brynn led him down into the dungeons, and then off to another room with a desk and a couple of chairs. He had been interrogated here before by guards, most of their questions receiving snarky answers rather than useful information.
He sat down the desk, and watched as Brynn rummaged through one of the drawers, pulling out a roll of fresh, white bandages. She set them down on the rough surface of the desk, along with a cloth, and then left the room after he promised to stay put. She returned with a jug of water, which she also set down on the desk. Having assembled the needed supplies, she poured a little bit of water on the cloth, and handed it to Hanso to clean his facial wounds with.
Brynn then removed the bloody cloth he had been using. Her eyes widened slightly, and Hanso stopped dabbing at his face with the other cloth. "Is it bad?"
She didn't reply, her blue eyes fixated on the torn fabric around the wound stained with blood. After cleaning the wound as best she could, she set the cloth down on the desk, and set to work wrapping the bandage around it. She was nearly finished when the door to the room opened behind her.
"Brynneth? What are you doing?"
Brynn turned, her stomach sinking when she saw who was standing in the doorway. It was King Hagan, and to say that he looked unhappy would be an understatement.
"Your majesty, I can explain," Brynn said, stepping away from Hanso, the remainder of the roll of bandage still in her hand.
"There's no need to explain," the King of Brightvale replied. "It's clear that you have a soft spot for this thief."
"He hasn't done anything wrong!" she protested. "He was hurt, I just brought him here to bandage him up."
"Hasn't done anything wrong? Brynneth, he has been convicted of multiple accounts of theft! I cannot allow you to continue to pretend that he's anything more than a thief. You are letting your feelings get in the way of your responsibilities. You were such a promising pupil, up until you met him."
"I won't let it happen again," she replied, blinking back tears. She wouldn't cry in front of King Hagan, and she certainly wasn't going to cry in front of Hanso.
"I know it won't. Brynneth, I think it would be best if-"
"No!" she cried, interrupting him. "I can do better, please just give me another chance! I promise you that if he commits another I'll... I'll..." she was unable to finish her sentence. She knew full well what the consequence for multiple accounts of theft were, but she didn't want to say it.
"Give him the proper sentence for his crimes," the King finished for her. She nodded, though she was lying. She knew she wouldn't be able to go through with it if it came to that. The King was silent for a few minutes as he considered this. At last he sighed, and said, "Very well. You may have another chance. But if I catch you bending the law one more time for him, there will be consequences. For the both of you." With that he left, shutting the door behind him.
"Don't." She finished wrapping the bandage, handed him back his jacket, shirt and belt, and then waited for him to redress.
"I'm sorry," he said once he had finished. "I swear, I-"
"Just go!" she yelled. "I don't care where, as long as it's anywhere but here! You've almost cost me my job more times than I can count, and I've had it with you! After today I never want to see you again. Do you understand?"
"I understand." Brynn watched as Hanso left the room, and waited until his footsteps faded before sitting back against the desk, and burying her face in her hands.