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Set in Heavensward after Lord of the Hive

As Ysera and Ysayle walked up, they spotted Estinien and Alphinaud speaking earnestly to each other. When Alphinaud spotted them, his eyes shone with relief. “Ysera! Lady Ysayle! Thank the Twelve!” Ysayle smiled ever so faintly as she gazed at Ysera. “That we survived the encounter at all was a miracle,” she said with a faint smile at Ysera, “A miracle I attribute to Ysera.” Estinien nodded, as if he expected it. “Never did I doubt you, Warrior of Light,” he said, then added with a grin, “Unlike some.” He turned to Alphinaud, his grin widening. “You were gone so long Master Alphinaud here nigh lost his wits with worry! Fretting like a maid for her sweetheart, he was!” the dragoon chortled. Ysera glanced at Alphinaud, surprised.

Alphinaud balked. “Estinien! Was that truly necessary?” the young elezen demanded scandalized, and Ysera noted the tips of his pointed ears turned a faint pink. “Not truly necessary but certainly true,” the dragoon chuckled. Alphinaud met Ysera’s gaze at last, his face a delicate hue of pink. He cleared his throat and averted his gaze, turning pinker still. “What matters is that the primal is banished and our promises are fulfilled,” he said quickly, “Come now, we should return to Vidofnir without delay! Every moment counts!” Before Ysera could get a word in, Alphinaud turned and all but sprinted away. Ysayle gave Estinien a stern look. “You are unkind Estinien,” she said sharply, “For all his experience and intellect, Alphinaud is still but a boy.” Ysera tuned the two of them out as she kept an eye on Alphinaud.

He was faced away from her, but looked noticeably more relaxed though the tips of his ears were still slightly pink. Ysera approached slowly. “Alphinaud?” she called softly. At the sound of her voice, his posture immediately tensed again. “Ah, Ysera!” He turned to face her, looking more composed, but his tone was slightly hurried. “Shall we be on our way to Anyx Trine, then?” he asked, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, “I would not have the dragons think we have forgotten our bargain.” Ysera nodded. “Lead on.” Before they started walking, however, Ysera placed a gentle hand on Alphinaud’s head. The young elezen started at her touch and looked at her questioningly. “Thank you for thinking of me,” she murmured. “Your support is not taken for granted.” She patted his head, a tad awkwardly, concerned that he would take offense to the gesture.

To her relief, Alphinaud ducked his head seemingly out of bashfulness, and not out of indignance. “It’s hardly something to thank me for,” he said humbly, “If anything I should apologize for having doubted you.” They started walking and Ysera shook her head, withdrawing her hand. “You should not apologize for being aware that I have limits,” Ysera replied mildly, “As much as I loathe to admit it, I do have them. To forget such a thing would be an oversight.” She smothered laugh. Alphinaud’s face fell slightly. “Would that I were able to fight alongside you.” Alphinaud said regretfully. “I for one am grateful you can’t,” Ysera retorted lightly, “Lest you show me up.” Alphinaud laughed, and the silence became more comfortable. “All I ask is that you know my limits a bit better.” she teased gently, “You won’t be rid of me that easily, Master Alphinaud.”

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