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Tannin de La Roche

"I'm the Best for a reason."

0 · 1,415 views · located in Irisu

a character in “Where Have You Been”, as played by shatari19

Description

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Name: Tannin de la Roche

Age: 23

Gender: Male

Appearance:

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Tannin is neither tall nor short, falling into a comfortable height of 5'6. He has brilliant blue eyes and dark, medium length hair. He also has a scar upon his handsome face that runs from his lower right cheek all the way across the bridge of his nose, and ends right below his left eye. When alone, Tannin is usually dressed in more casual clothing, still darkly colored. When working or with his fellow Assassins, Tannin is dressed in near all black. He always has a mask on to cover his scar.

Weapons: Tannin carries with him a medium length sword that isn't all that special. His true weapons of choice are his twin daggers. He goes nowhere without them.

Personality: Tannin is actually a rather sweet man once you get to know him. Though he is a murderer for hire, he only kills those that deserve death. He loves laughing and learning new things.

Likes:

+Reading
+Talking
+His Daggers
+Exercise
+Women


Dislikes:

+Being Told What To Do
+His Scar
+War


History: Tannin was born into the world as any other child is. His parents were of the lower class and barely had the means to make ends meet. Before Tannin was even four years old, his father left the family. Being the only child, Tannin took it upon himself to try and take care of his mother..to no avail. When the boy was only ten years old his mother was dragged from the small home and beaten to death in the name of the King. The poor child was forced to watch. Shortly after this event, he was recruited into the Assassins' Guild but the former Master, Makur. The older man had taken the boy under his wing, teaching him all of the skills that he would ever need in life. During the long hours of training, it was discovered that Tannin was quite agile and able to move more quickly and smoothly than his fellow assassins.

As it became apparent that Makur was grooming Tannin to take over as Guild Master when he was gone, a few other assassins quickly became overwhelmed with jealousy. The set up a job for the young boy's final test. Makur had trusted the wrong men to handle this. The man that Tannin was assigned to kill had been aware of the boy's arrival. He'd been waiting for the boy. He quickly outmatched Tannin and had knocked him out and tied him up against a wall. While the young boy was still out of it, the man took a red hot blade and began slicing the boy's face. Tannin had quickly awoken, screams filling his lungs. Makur luckily had followed the boy to make sure that he didn't run into any trouble. When Tannin didn't finish as quickly as he should have, the Guild Master investigated. The older man quickly overpowered the other man and quickly got Tannin out of the horrible building.

Tannin healed over time but would be scarred for the rest of his life. When Tannin reached the age of 17, he became the new Guild Master. Makur passed from the world of old age. Everyone in the Guild followed Tannin's word as law. They obey only him.

So begins...

Tannin de La Roche's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tannin de La Roche Character Portrait: Alissa Millaris
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Alissa was a bit surprised when she saw Tannin laugh at her silly remark, "You would be right. I try not to make a habit out of such things" he said after turning his head towards her looking at her, she smiled a bit seeing that he had not yet covered his . After she asked about what he did on his spare time, she was starting to feel a bit nervous. She wasn't trying to be nosy and she sure wished it didn't sound like that was the case, "Tell me, what is it exactly that a man like yourself does to make do with his spare time." she asked seemingly confident when in truth she was nervous now, even more so as she saw Tannin hesitating and taking his time with an answer. "I'm afraid that I do not have much spare time as of late" he said and she waited a bit looking at his bright blue eyes, "Though, upon the rare occasion that I am left with nothing to do, I often find myself either with Daeroch or reading." he continued and Alissa smiled again, she wondered what kind of books he would find himself interested in and for a moment she found herself eager to know exactly what books he had read, she was even more curious to know if he had read the same as she had.

"When I joined the Guild, I was usually too exhausted to do anything but read. Before that, I'd had no education and had never thought that reading was truly that important." He smiled at Alissa but she was focused on everything that he had said wondering how tiring it must be to be part of a guild. "I also rather enjoy a game or two of Senin with Verrengar when we are both in the Underground" he added. "What kind of games?" she asked in curiosity, she had a hard time imagining Tannin playing chess but somehow at the same time she wouldn't be surprised if that was the case seeing that Tannin was anything if not surprising to Alissa. However, the young man eyes were fixated unto something else, the window near the bed, he was quiet for some time and Alissa followed where his eyes were. Apparently the snow was just starting to fall in big amounts and at a rapid pace, "It seems that luck is not on our side." he said calmly to which she nodded as his eyes turned back to her and then moved to the outdoors of the room. He let out a sigh and Alissa remembered that she had been wearing the warm cloak while he was still in clothes that would surely leave him cold to the upcoming coldness. It would be only a matter of time before the room would be extremely cold.

"I'll be right back. I'm afraid that I need to change before it begins getting too awfully cold in here. I'll see if I can find us something warm to drink before I come back." he said calmly and with a smile before covering his smile with the mask again. Alissa stood up, meaning to follow him. In truth, she feared that he would leave her alone, of course at first she wanted nothing but to be away from the mysterious man but now that she knew the truth she feared that he would leave her to meet her true death at hands of her killer. It seemed like he knew what she was planning to do, so before he stopped her she spoke softly, "Let me come with you". However she was stopped, "I shouldn't be gone too long, m'lady. I would only ask that you remain here. It would only be too easy for one of Lorn's followers to seize you. I fear they would not be as kind as I. Though the Assassin's Guild is the largest group of my kind in the world, there are others that prefer to work alone. They must get by somehow and if that means killing an innocent woman..well I somehow doubt that they would care. " Alissa felt a sudden cold shiver at his words, she knew that what he has said was true, it would be a matter of time before the word spread that she was alive and out of reach from the king's protection. She remained quiet, seating down in the bed again, and looking at him as she saw him leave outside the room closing it immediately as soon as he stepped outside.

She let out a sigh and stood up again feeling a bit anxious. She stood up again moving closer to the window and starring at the beautiful snow that was now falling nonstop. Alissa loved the snow and the rain and she would always watch the raindrops and the snowflakes fall from outside her balcony, and this time it was not different. Seeing that she didn't want to make things worse by opening the window, though had she been at her home she would have surely done so, she placed her hand against the cold glass, wanting to feel closer to the snow as strange as it sounded, but back home it reminded her that she was still alive. Time passed and Tannin had taken longer than she thought was needed. She moved back and forth in the room, and finally she looked outside the window again. She saw a strange man looking directly at her, almost as if waiting to see her in the window, his outfit completely black and his face covered by a hood and a mask. Alissa felt a bit nervous and moved a step back at the sight of the man but her eyes were still locked unto the mysterious shadow. In truth she knew that he was a man by the muscular build the person had, she had a hard time imagine a woman with such body build. It was then when she heard a soft knock on the door and she was startled again.

She let out a surprised sound but noticed it was Tannin. She looked at Tannin a bit surprised and then turned her eyes back at the window where the person stood not so long ago but there was nothing but the white snow. Alissa couldn't hide her nervousness but tried to remain calm, hopefully whatever Tannin had brought to drink would calm her nerves, after all she wondered if she had imagined the whole thing after being stressed. He placed the tray at the small table again and then pulled his mask down smiling at her, "I'm afraid this is all that they had." Alissa felt at ease as soon as he entered the room even when the man that she has seen before made her nervous but she thought it would be best to ignore it ever happened. She finally smiled back seeing how he took the mask off without struggle, she then eyed his other hand which was now carrying a book, "I also picked this up for you." handing it to her. Alissa smiled widely at the book and appreciated the gesture seeing he had remembered her telling him she loved reading just a few minutes ago and that he had taken the trouble to find a book. "Thank you, it's very thoughtful of you" she said with a warm smile grabbing the book from his hands.

She grabbed the book and placed it on her lap as she seated down again, leaving some space for Tannin to seat next to her again of course. She grabbed the small warm cup but almost dropped it after the cup was extremely hot, "ouch..." she said a bit clumsy carefully putting the cup down again, "I am feeling warm already" she finally said almost to herself jokingly and with a small smile. "About the book, have you read it before?" she asked with a glimpse of curiosity looking at his bright blue eyes. The book had a leather cover so she couldn't really tell what the title was or any other kind of hint as to what the book was about. She wondered again what kind of books he would be interested in, unknowingly she bit her lip as she imagined him reading the same books she had. However, something told her that Tannin was actually living the adventures rather than reading about them behind a book.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Tannin de La Roche Character Portrait: Alissa Millaris
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Tannin was quite glad that Alissa seemed pleased with the book. He'd been worried that she'd not like it. Of course..why should he care? The thought puzzled him. What did it matter if she liked anything that he gave her? It's not as if he had to..he'd..wanted to. He wanted her to be happy. Tannin attempted to push such thoughts from his mind. He really shouldn't be allowing the young woman so close to him. Save for Verrengar, the only other people that he was close to was Kaya and Litania. Out of all three of the people, Litania most likely knew him better than the other two. Tannin had found the young girl wandering the streets, with nowhere to go. He'd felt pity for the child and had taken her in, at first only educating the girl so that she could have a decent life. When Litania had become old enough to discover what it was her 'family' did, she begged Tannin to teach her the ways of their trade. At first Tannin hadn't wanted to teach her, coming up with many reasons why he would not allow her to train. Unfortunately, Tannin quickly ran out of excuses and finally agreed to train the girl. Much to his surprise, Litania was a quick learner and quite deadly with a blade. The girl was very arrogant, almost to a fault. Her pride was great. Tannin was always quick to remind the child of her place. As of late, the girl was beginning to ask him if he would name her as his successor. He'd put off doing such a thing, fearing what the Guild would do. He knew what had happened when he'd been named and he'd almost died because of it. He cared for Litania and did not wish any harm to befall her.

Tannin knew that when he arrived back at the Underground that Litania would begin pestering him once again. She still had much to learn, however, and Tannin would not allow the child to gain the title without first being able to defeat him. She needed to be able to protect herself in the case that anything happened to him. When he'd taken Litania from the streets, Tannin had not intended to become so close to the girl. She was the only person in the entire Guild that knew what Tannin looked liked. Now, though, there was Alissa. She knew what he looked like and had not seemed to care that his face was marred. He had been sure that she was going to say something about the scar, but..as of yet she'd not. It perplexed him. He forced himself to focus on the beautiful woman. She'd already grabbed the book from him and was sitting upon the bed. It seemed that Alissa had purposefully saved room for him upon the bed. Tannin slowly made his way to the bed and gently sat down next to the young woman. His blue eyes were focused upon Alissa, watching her as she picked up the small cup. He smiled as she quickly realized that the object was indeed still quite warm.

The assassin smiled gently at Alissa, remaining silent as the girl was smiling and saying, "I am feeling warm already" Tannin continued to smile at the woman. He was glad that she seemed comfortable. "About the book, have you read it before?" Alissa asked. Tannin regarded her for a moment longer, before answering her. He simply watched her, taking in her appearance. When she bit her lip, he forced himself to move his eyes to her slender hands. He gently took hold of the princess's hand, the one that she'd burnt with the cup. He studied it for a long moment, making sure that she was all right. As he studied her smooth, slender hand, Tannin spoke softly. "I have read it once..a long time ago. It's called 'A Forbidden Heart'." He paused for a moment, his blue eyes finally turning up to look at Alissa once again. "It's just a silly love story, I'm afraid. Nothing too exciting but it was all that they had. When we arrive at the Underground, I have much more that you can choose from."

Tannin released Alissa's hand, then. He really shouldn't have held on to her for so long. He did not apologize, however. He saw no need to. He could feel the chill beginning to really creep into the room. It would be a rough night for the pair. Tannin doubted that he would sleep much. He was never able to when he was uncomfortable. He only hoped that Alissa would be able to rest. When they left the inn, their journey would be quite a bit more difficult, especially with the snow and piercing cold. He wasn't looking forward to the journey over the mountain. He doubted that Alissa had ever been that far away from the capitol and he couldn't help but wonder what she thought. Did she wish that she was back home? Or..perhaps she was enjoying the small adventure. He did not know. Tannin was quite nervous about bringing the Princess to the Underground. He was sure that Verrengar would not care..it was Kaya that he was mainly concerned about. The woman thought that she owned Tannin. It frustrated him greatly. He'd never shown anything but friendship towards the woman and she'd somehow taken it as something else entirely. Litania, on the other hand..well..Tannin wasn't quite sure how she would react. She was used to having his attention whenever she pleased but with Alissa..Tannin feared that he would have to learn to balance the two. He should probably warn Alissa..just as he should inform her of his surname. He hesitated for a moment, debating with himself. "There..is something that I should tell you." he said, holding Alissa's gaze. He was trying to force himself to inform her of everything that he knew he needed to say. "I should tell you..exactly who I am." He waited a moment, allowing the Princess to grasp what he was saying. "My full name is Tannin de La Rosche. I should have told you from the beginning and I apologize." Though Tannin still had no clue what had happened to cause his family to lose favor with the royal family, he truly held no grudge against them. His name meant nothing anymore. It was but a memory of the greatness that his ancestors had once held.

He waited for the woman's reaction, fearing that she would be angry with him. He could not blame her. After she'd spoken, he then continued, "There was one more thing, if I may." he paused, trying to catch her gaze. "I should warn you of Kaya. She will not take your arrival kindly. She believes that she owns me..I'm afraid. You will have to deal with her..there is only so much that I can do. I have not informed anyone that you are alive and with me. Most will not mind but I'm afraid that Kaya will most likely see you as a threat." With that, Tannin fell silent, turning his gaze from the woman. He would not tell her of Litania. He saw no need. He gazed at his hands, which were placed in his lap. He felt terrible about not telling her of his lineage from the start..and he felt terrible that Kaya would most likely hate the Princess the moment she would lay eyes of the young woman.

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Character Portrait: Tannin de La Roche Character Portrait: Alissa Millaris
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Alissa smiled as soon as she saw Tannin accept her invitation to seat next to her and waited patiently for him to answer if he had read the book that lied on her hands now. Without a reasonable explanation she could come up with at the moment, knowing that somehow they were feeling more comfortable around each other brought a smile on her lips. And so, she smiled and he did the same, looking as comfortable as she did but he remained silent only looking at her. Unknowingly, Alissa bit her lip again, as she did when she was impatient, nervous or excited. She did so as soon as she noticed that Tannin's eyes were no longer fixated on her, instead they were gazing directly at her fragile hands instead. Alissa did not say anything but wondered for a moment if he had noticed she had burnt her hand a bit at the touch of the hot cup. She was surprised when he took her right hand carefully with his strong warm and firm hands; even more so as she remembered how their hands had touched before and how he had not het pulled away his hand from hers as he had done before.

Back at home had she gotten hurt, the royal doctor would have been called immediately, even had it been the smallest of things, something she truly despised knowing that her father’s concern lied only on who would take after the throne rather than the well being of his only daughter. Besides, her father had always been a fan of dramatics and was always overprotective of the only heir of the family. Truly, other than her mother and her Nanny, Jasmine, she had never seen sincerity when others concerned over her, sure they threw a big theatrics but none of it sincere that much Alissa was sure of, until now. Somehow, Tannin felt different, she could feel genuine in his concern and felt moved as he examined her hand carefully, studying her slender hands in extreme detail. "I have read it once..a long time ago. It's called 'A Forbidden Heart'." Alissa was even more caught off guard by the title of the book that lied on her other hand now and by his penetrating stare as he continued explaining, probably due to Alissa’s startled look, "It's just a silly love story, I'm afraid. Nothing too exciting but it was all that they had. When we arrive at the Underground, I have much more that you can choose from."

Not knowing what to say for the first time Alissa said or did nothing in reply, Tannin had managed to surprise her once more as he had done ever since they first meet back at her chambers, ‘what a talent of his’ a small curve drew upon her lips. Finally at her silence, he slowly released her hands not saying anything and not apologizing has he had before. Alissa waited for Tanning to speak again, especially since she noticed that he seemed distracted, almost wishing she could read his mind. She wondered what could have come across his mind and thought of countless options; even so she highly doubted that the one before would be any more accurate than the one that followed. Truth was, Tannin was a mysterious man with many secrets that Alissa had yet to discover, after all Alissa had always been curious and tannin did nothing to dissipate her curious needs. Back at home, she would always stare outside her window and watch people outside the palace, she would just watch and imagine what their lives where like, what hardship they could possibly have, etc. From the guards to the young florist; From the baker to the ill-tempered librarian. Of course, her window could only show her so much, that when she began her excursions outside the palace and when her father begun to pressure her more and more into marriage.

Trying to shake those thoughts off she turned back to Tannin who seemed troubled in trying to find the words, "There..is something that I should tell you." Unknowingly and almost as if he had read her mind, she wondered if Tannin would tell her more about himself. She already knew that he was the Guild Master but she wondered if he would be sincere about that and if that was what he was talking about. However, the look on his face said something else, there was something wrong... something off. “I should tell you… exactly who I am”. Alissa moved her eyes to the side trying to understand exactly what he meant, then was it true that he would confess to being the Guild Master? What more could it be other than what he had already confessed to before? Was there something else?

”My full name is Tannin de La Roche. I should have told you from the beginning and I apologize.” In truth, It took Alissa sometime to show any emotion, she was shocked and upset. She had heard the name of course, her father being the paranoid that he had always been had told her once a history about how the Roche betrayed the royal family after being great allies, friends even, how they had betrayed the royal family therefore they had been accused of treason. Alissa knowing how her father’s actions were often harsh, even at a young age, asked her father what he would do with the family to which the King simply replied with a “they will be dealt with according to the law”. Of course, the law was anything but perfect, and that much young Alissa could understand, young Alissa would never know that her father had actually decided to hunt down the entire bloodline of de La Roche as according to him “as the law mandated”. Little did he know that Tannin was still alive and had thought him to be dead. Alissa had ambivalent feelings towards her father, she loved him greatly of course but she knew that he was a man with many flaws, even more than the average person.

Hearing that his family was once marked as disloyal and treacherous made her angry, furious even, she had been taught to hate the family ever since she could remember. She wondered if all of this had been a plan from the beginning a form of revenge against the royal family, against her father, or if what he had said before had been a lie, about him not wanting to kill her and about him deciding to protect her. She clenched her fists for a moment trying to compose herself, “about that…”. Taking a moment before she could speak again, ”You bastard… What else haven’t you told me? Other than the fact that you are the Guild Master and that you have probably lied to me the whole time that you have even muttered a word! Alissa was upset and she couldn’t hide it in the slightest.

"There was one more thing, if I may.” Her eyes were on fire now, something he must have surely caught as soon as their eyes meet again. ”I should warn you of Kaya. She will not take your arrival kindly. She believes that she owns me… I’m afraid. You will have to deal with her… there is only so much that I can do. I have not informed anyone that you are alive and with me. Most will not mind but I’m afraid that Kaya will most likely see you as a threat.” Alissa was still breathing heavily from her outburst, ”Great…” was all she could say in response. Without thinking twice she stood up in a beat, she moved away from Tannin and headed towards the door, not wanting for him to follow she simply spoke harshly, "I need more fresh air". She took her book with her; despite she was furious at Tannin it was all she could do seeing that going outside to the cold was out of the question.

She stepped outside the door and slammed it as soon as she stepped outside, not knowing if Tannin would follow. She walked down the stairs and finally sat down at a nearby table, she picked up her book trying to calm down as best as she possibly could reading the first sentence of the book only to be distracted once again by a shadow that stood close nearby the main door. The open door sent chill down her spine though she was wearing the cloak that Tannin had gifted her. She starred at the shadow-like-figure and found that it had been the same that she had seen outside the window back at their room, somehow it or he did not move and seem to simply gaze at her. 'Who are you?!' she wondered over and over.

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Character Portrait: Tannin de La Roche Character Portrait: Alissa Millaris
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Tannin said nothing to defend himself after Alissa had shown her anger towards him. He'd even allowed her to leave the room alone. He now found himself sitting on the bed, by himself. He had expected Alissa to be angry with him. He should have been honest with her from the beginning. He sighed heavily, thinking about all of the things that he should have told Alissa. To say that he felt terrible was an understatement. Tannin wasn't sure how he was going to gain Alissa's trust back. He could only imagine all of the things that her father had told her about his family. That would certainly explain her anger towards him. He began trying to think of how he could apologize to Alissa. For all of the situations that he'd been in before..this was a first for Tannin. He rarely apologized to anyone. He usually knew exactly what he was doing. Around Alissa, however, his judgment seemed to be off for some reason. He did not understand it. Slowly, Tannin rose from the bed and slowly made his way over to the lone window, looking out. Though he allowed Alissa to leave the room, he still wanted to be watchful..and though he was still upstairs he knew that there was only one way out of the inn. From his current spot, Tannin would be able to see if the Princess left and he would be able to follow.

The snow was still coming down but at a slightly quicker pace now. It would not take long before the ground was completely covered. Their journey would be slowed due to the sudden weather. Tannin did not like it at all. The longer that they were out in the Wilds, the more likely that something would go wrong. That was all that they needed. Another sigh. He absentmindedly began toying with one of the cords that was on his outfit. Perhaps he should have went after Alissa. No..that would have served to only anger her further. He was no good at this. Dealing with women. It was one of the reasons that he would try to keep a distance from them. At least the ones that he could get to know. After all..there really weren't that many that would want anything to do with an assassin let alone the leader of the Guild.

The life that had chosen him was a lonely one. A simple fact that Tannin had long ago accepted. He had his Guild and he had his apprentice. Really..wasn't that all that he needed? Up until he'd met Alissa he'd thought so. Even now, though, waiting in the room for the young woman to return, Tannin couldn't help but miss her company. Something he'd not expected. At that moment, he almost left his current spot to find the Princess. The mere recollection of what she'd said to him not that long ago stopped him. ”You bastard… What else haven’t you told me? Other than the fact that you are the Guild Master and that you have probably lied to me the whole time that you have even muttered a word!" Her harsh words had cut him deep. He could not understand why, though. He should not care what she thought of him. He really didn't have to tell her anything about himself and yet he'd chosen to. Yet she was still angry with him. Hopefully she would calm down and understand why he'd not told her his real name or that he was the Guild Master.

Tannin suddenly heard a knock at the door. He turned his gaze to the wooden door and quickly made his way to it. He pulled his mask up and his hood, hiding his appearance. He opened the door to find the innkeeper's daughter. "I'm..sorry to bother you, Sir. Father sent me to see if you'd be ordering anything for your evening meal." she said quietly. Tannin was silent for only a moment. "Ah, yes. Whatever your cooks are preparing shall be fine. If you could just let my companion know when it is done and in here. I may be gone for a bit so you may go ahead and bring the meal in and leave in on the table." he said. The girl gave Tannin a slight bow before leaving him. He shut the door and made his way back to the window. Perhaps it would do him some good to get out of the inn. He gave a final look to the door before sliding the window open. He then proceeded to sit down upon the ledge and swing his body around so that he could exit the room. He slowly and carefully maneuvered up the jutting wood that made up the building. After a few moments he was on the roof, sitting now and watching the world below him. He'd left the window open and knew that the ledge would be covered with snow by the time he decided to go back. He briefly wondered if Alissa would return to the room any time soon. If so, what would she make of his absence?





The innkeeper's daughter had headed downstairs to place all of the orders for the evening meal. She saw the beautiful girl that was traveling with the mysterious man from the room she'd just left. Why was the woman down here by herself? The younger girl found it odd. She decided to pay it no mind. She went about her duties, trying to get through as much as she could before the meals were finished. After what had seemed like several hours but had really only been about one, the girl approached the woman. "I'm sorry to bother you Miss, but your companion asked that I inform you when your meal was ready. I was getting ready to take it upstairs to your room." The girl eyed the woman wondering if she would want to go ahead and eat or if she would wait for her companion. It was one of the things that the young girl liked to do. Imagine what their guests would do. She hesitated for a moment. "Well, sorry again. I'll be leaving it upstairs for you." With that, the young girl left Alissa and made her way upstairs. She knocked on the door but received no answer. She slowly entered the room to find that the window was open and the ledge covered in snow. She decided to leave it open, not wanting to anger the guests. Perhaps the man had opened it for a reason. She gently sat the tray down on the small end table and then left to continue about with her duties.





The sound of soft voices singing the King's Song. Tannin had heard the song many times in his life and he'd never cared for it. Even though he didn't like the song, he knew the words by heart.

Millaris, Millaris
O' Mighty King of Silanos.
From your High Throne you rule over the World.
Your subjects are loyal
Never questioning their King.
We've put complete faith in your line.

Millaris, Millaris
Lead us to the brighter days
Show the way to peace.
Quell all fighting and end those who would oppose.

O' Mighty King,
Whose blood is pure
Show us the way to a better tomorrow.
Hear our voices,
Hear our pleas.
You are the only one that can save us.

Your line has remained,
Even though the Traitors would have seen it fail.
You brought justice to their line,
None remain now that would betray.

Millaris, Millaris
O' Mighty King,
Hear your anthem,
Let your heart sing.
You are revered above all others.
Fear not for your life,
Or that of your line.
Your subjects will protect,
Now and Forever.


Suddenly, Tannin's eyes focused fully on his surroundings. He'd been up on the roof for some time and was now beginning to feel the cold. Perhaps it was time to head back into the room. He slowly stood, dusting the snow off of himself. He then proceeded to stretch and then moved into a crouch. He slowly began making his way back down the side of the building. After a few short moments, Tannin could feel he feet touch the window ledge. He entered into the room, as he'd exited, and came to stand int he small room. He wondered if Alissa had returned yet and if she had was she still angry with him? He knew that he would have to explain himself to her and he could honestly say that he was not looking forward to the conversation. He slowly turned around, hoping that the young woman had returned.

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Alissa breathed heavily not only because of her still-contained anger, which she could no longer vent out on Tannin, but because of her frustration and confusion on the mysterious man that appear to be following her. She tried acting indifferent in attempt to hide the fact that she had noticed his presence; after all, she didn’t know who he was. He could be another assassin after her head or a thief for all that she knew. Either way, she did not want to stay to figure out what he was after. She tried calming herself down and to look less obvious by reading more into the book that Tannin had gifted her not so long ago. She read the words on the pages carefully which, had she not thought that a murderer was after her she would have definitely gotten herself absorbed into the story, which so far had Alissa hooked on. Finally, after reading but a few pages, she could hear someone move closer to her.

All her façade of calmness had vanished as soon as she heard footsteps coming near her. She almost jumped out of her seat when someone gently tapped her shoulder and almost yelled in surprise in response to the sudden approach. However, she was able to somehow regain some composure as soon as she noticed it was none other than the young girl that had brought them their food earlier. She tried breathing less agitatedly as the young girl explained herself, "I'm sorry to bother you Miss, but your companion asked that I inform you when your meal was ready. I was getting ready to take it upstairs to your room." the girl said calmly. Alissa did not say anything in reply but felt relieved that the young girl had somehow presented her an opportunity to make a triumphant scape back to the room without hurting her pride along the way. She made a small comparison between her few option it was either going back to Tannin whom she was still extremely angry at or this other new unidentified threat that could possibly be after her neck after all.

The young girl noticed that she had startled Alissa and she did not take long to try to make amendments for it, "Well, sorry again. I'll be leaving it upstairs for you.". Alissa nodded in response expressionless as she stood up and moved away from her seat. She grabbed a napkin as a bookmark to remind her where she had left off and she moved towards the stairs. She discretely turned her heard on the main entrance but the shadow-like figure banished just like he had done before in the window. There was no sing that he had even been at the place, which to some would have been a relief but not to Alissa, it simply meant that he would most likely appear again when she least expect it as he had done twice now.

Before heading back though, she moved towards the girl and stopped her just before she headed back to her other duties. ”Wait…” she managed to say, ”I have a favor to ask of you” she continued sounding a bit demanding, after all the young princess was certainly not used to asking for favors. ”If I could only get a change of clothes… After realizing how bold her petition had been and at the face of the girl who seemed to be confused she continued talking ”I can’t repay you right now but I promise I will repay you as soon as I can! she said a bit embarrassed but determinate and full with promise. It didn’t take long for the young girl to answer to her petition and she handed her a small change of clothes. Alissa wanted nothing more but to take a hot shower to clean herself from the small journey that have had so far, besides who knew how long would it take for her to take a shower again.

After receiving the small change of clothes, she walked in a slow pace trying to calm herself down before she was Tannin again. Once she had walked up the stairs, and when she thought that she might have been out from the unknown man, she moved much faster towards their room where she expected to be safe from harms way. Just as she was about to enter their room she saw that Tannin was also barely coming back , she remembered that harsh words that she had muttered before and for a split second she felt awful about ever saying them. Even so, that did not mean that she was apologetic or that she regretted it, not just yet anyways. Her anger was just at a boiling point and knowing her own hot temper she knew it would be better not to talk with Tannin, at least for the rest of the night.

After seeing Tannin, she remained quiet and simply let herself in into their room. She left the door open and did not say anything, she had barely taken a step away from the door when suddenly she stopped herself. She opened her lips to try and say something… anything really, she wondered if she should tell Tannin about what she had seen, to see if he could make any sense into what or who that man could be. At the end, she simply stayed motionless at the door and after a few seconds of her failed attempt to say anything she simply stepped inside and made her way into the bathroom closing the door firmly after she was in. She had her book on her left hand and the clothes on the right.

It didn’t take long for her to realize that taking a shower at such weather was probably not the brightest idea but maybe the shower could help her be at ease. She gently took off her cloak and hanged it nearby; piece-by-piece of clothing she was finally left with nothing but her boots. She took her boots off and upon noticing the knife she felt a shiver, it was most definite that Tannin had not been the one who had given her the knife, if not him then who? She placed the knife near the sink and finally, she let the hot shower cover her slim body. She wished that the water could wash away all her troubled thoughts, she tried cleaning her body from any uncleanness as best as she could. She could only hope that she could trust Tannin again, after all, her life depended on it.

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When Tannin turned around, he saw Alissa entering into their room. He remained silent, deciding that it would be best to allow the woman to speak when she was ready. His bright blue eyes were glued to her, almost seeming to see right through her. Alissa paused, not having taken more than a step or two into the room. Tannin watched her closely, wondering what was the matter. Alissa did not give Tannin too awfully a long time to ponder before she was in the bathroom. Tannin turned around and closed the still open window. He then made his way to the door and looked out in the hallway. He was sure something had happened to the princess as she'd been downstairs. He just wasn't sure what. He saw nothing and once he was satisfied he came back into the room and closed the door. He remained standing there for a moment. He released a silent sigh and eyed the still hot meal that the innkeeper's daughter had brought up to them. He suddenly realized that he wasn't even hungry. He'd been more concerned about Alissa having something to eat. It was a strange feeling for Tannin. Normally, he was only concerned with himself any time that he was out by himself in the world. He wasn't quite sure how he thought about that. Why did he care about Alissa and her needs? There had to be a reason. One that seemed to keep eluding the assassin.

Thinking back on the events that had happened earlier, Tannin was feeling terrible..miserable even. Something that he couldn't say that he normally felt. He slowly made his way across the room, and leaned against the wall, close to the window. He left his hood and mask on, slowly sliding down to the floor and he brought his knees close to his chest, wrapping his arms around his knees. He then buried his head in his arms. He was tired and wanted nothing more than to get back to the Underground so that he could truly rest. He just couldn't anywhere else. He was far too paranoid for that. He was starting to feel the long days that he'd been away and he was really hoping that they would reach Axijan soon. It would take a bit off of his shoulders. He feared for Alissa and her safety. Until they were in his home, he could not stop worrying about Lorn and his followers. They would be fine unless the ruler sent many after them. If that were to happen, Tannin would have no choice but to send the princess off on her own with Daeroch. The horse would see her to safety, Tannin had no doubt of this.

As he sat in the floor, the faint sounds that were coming from the bathroom the only inkling that another was in the room with him, Tannin thought back to earlier when he'd gone out to order supplies earlier that day. He'd decided that he needed to take a few precautions until they reached the Underground. As such, Tannin had made a quick stop at the one shop that would take letters across the two mountain ranges that crossed each other, the Kaluna and the Karhana. Tannin had sent word to Verrengar on what the man was to do should Daeroch arrive without him. They were to take care of the girl that would be with Tannin's horse, make sure that she was kept safe. They were to inform Lorn of her survival once she was hidden away. Tannin had made it clear in his letter that the girl was important and her survival was of the utmost importance. He couldn't tell Alissa what he'd done while he'd been out. He could only imagine how she'd react. Or..not react. He supposed that as of the current moment the princess most likely wouldn't care. She probably wanted to be as far away from him as possible. He couldn't blame her. He should have been honest with her from the beginning. He just wasn't used to sharing his surname with others.

Since joining the Guild, Tannin had been forced to hide who he was. He couldn't risk the King or his knights finding him. He could only imagine what would happen if it was discovered that he'd survived. His death would not be a quick one. He'd heard tales of what happened in the dungeons below the city of Silanos. It was not a place he would wish his worst enemy to find themselves in. How cruel fate was. He'd never done anything to warrant the wrath of the King. He'd been unfortunate enough to have been born into a family that had found such a terrible string of bad luck. Tannin wondered what tale her father had spun about the events that had taken place so long ago. That was something that he imagined he could never ask her. He could only imagine her reaction if he ever did. He was brought out of his thoughts suddenly.

At last, Tannin realized that he could no longer hear Alissa's shower. He supposed that she'd finished. He did not move, however, deciding that it would be best if he remained unmoving and silent. It was not long before he heard the bathroom door open and then close again. Tannin wondered if Alissa would notice him at all but even if she did he doubted that she would acknowledge him. It would probably be best if he just ignored her as well and attempted to get some rest. He released a soft sigh, one that was nearly inaudible. He could understand why she was upset with him. He needed to come up with a way to help gain her trust back. Suddenly, a thought struck him. He knew exactly what he could do. However, that would require speaking with the princess.

He slowly lifted his head, his eyes finding the young woman. Tannin was at a loss as to how to begin such a conversation with Alissa. It wasn't very often that he even thought of speaking of the event, much less with someone that he did not know very well. He tore his gaze away from the princess. He supposed he could just start talking. If she chose to listen, then so be it. If not, well..at least he'd tried. He took a deep breath before speaking.

"I was ten when they came to our home. My mother had been alerted to their arrival by a close family friend just mere moments before they barged in. She'd had enough time to hide me and threaten my life if I came out before they'd left. From the spot that I was in, they could not see me nor did they ever find me. However.." It was here that he paused for a moment. Even though it had been thirteen years it still pained him to talk about. He'd not been strong enough to protect his mother. Something that he regretted to this day. "I was forced to watch as your father's knights drug her out into the street and beat her to death. All because she'd been unfortunate enough to marry my father. If you could even call him that." He flicked his eyes back to the princess. He wondered what she was thinking. His head tilted to the right, almost as if he was either confused or taking in the princess's appearance. "After my mother was killed, I was forced to live in the streets for about.." A pause, attempting to recall exactly how long he'd been on his own. "Six months. It was then that my Master, Makur found me. Well..actually I suppose I found him. I tried to steal from him but of course he caught me."

Thinking back on his Master, Tannin was put into a slightly happier mood. He missed the old man and had cared for him greatly. It saddened him that the man had passed so soon after their meeting. "He took me in, allowed me to join the Guild. I was trained by Master Makur intensely for months. Once I was approved for my final test, or initiation, Makur named me his successor. In the Guild, the current Guild Master takes one student, someone to instill all of their beliefs and knowledge in, and if they prove that they are the perfect choice, the Guild Master then names the future Guild master. Well, there were several in the Guild that did not approve of my Master's choice. He did not listen to them and went ahead and sent me on my job. I prepared for my job as best as I could. I left for the target's location, not thinking that anything could go wrong. I suppose I should have foreseen something happening. Those that were so upset about my naming alerted my target of his impending doom." His eyes were down once again. He couldn't even look at the princess. He was struggling to finish his tale. "I arrived, but he was expecting me. I was only eleven and this man was quite a bit larger than I was. He managed to knock me out for a short period of time and when I came to, I was tied up in his basement, hanging off the wall. When he realized that I was awake, he took a knife and began to slowly drag it across my face."

Flashes of that night were flashing in Tannin's mind. The pain he'd been forced to endure had been so terrible. It had felt as if his face had been on fire. "My Master had caught wind of the plot against me. He was able to arrive before too much damage had been done. My target was taken care of and I was quickly taken back to the Underground and placed under close watch by our head medic. He did what he could but I was bed ridden for three months. I remember coming to, after being stitched up, Cassen, our medic, informed me had the knife been moved any higher, I would have lost an eye and that I'd been unrecognizable. I suppose I was lucky, if that's what you would call it. Those that had betrayed the Guild were dealt with. After I was able to leave my room, I threw myself into my training. I was determined to never be that weak ever again." He fell silent, still not looking at the beautiful woman in the room. He couldn't. Tannin couldn't even remember the last time that he'd told someone what had happened to him to cause him to hate his appearance so.

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The water was still running nonstop, pouring on Alissa’s face. She turned her delicate face towards the faucet, letting it stream water onto her entire face and body with hot water. A few minutes passed, and Alissa tried cleaning herself up as much as she could. Finally, she let out a sigh realizing she had taken longer than she had initially expected. She remembered that it was time to face Tannin; who, according to Alissa, must have surely been in the room waiting. It was time to turn the shower off, she quickly used a towel nearby and she quickly changed to her clothes not wanting to get cold, she grabbed the clothes the young girl had provided her before and soon afterwards looked for her beautiful red cloak that had been able to keep her warm ever since Tannin gifted it to her. She caressed the fur of the cloak with her hand remembering that softness against her skin, but upon remembering her anger at Tannin; her soft touch turned into a suffocating grip that tightened her muscles. She shook her hand trying to gain composure, something she had been trained to do ever since she was born.

It almost made her laugh when she remembered how her mother would always give her the eyes whenever she was being ‘unladylike’ or as her father loved to say whenever he had the chance ‘shaming the Millaris lineage’ . It was almost comical to Alissa how everything that she had been taught up to this point seemed useless. What would she do on her own, without protection and to make things worse, with an enemy powerful enough to threaten an entire guild of Assassins. She braided her hair thinking of the many endless possibilities of what could possibly go wrong in such circumstances, when a much lighter thought came across her, ’Surely I can bore them to death with the royal gossip, or if that doesn’t do the trick perhaps curse them in Latin. Better yet, I could teach them some proper princess etiquette and maybe, just maybe, they will spare me.'
A smile curved up her lips unable imagining the whole thing.

Alissa knew that there was no other choice for her other than Tannin, he was her only option and her only chance of survival, her life depended on him. Whether she liked it or not, she was in this together with Tannin, and truth was, he was the only one she had now. Going back to the palace would result in nothing but failure and bloodshed, regardless of the guards, Lorn would find her and surely kill her off. Alissa would’ve pondered more in thought but a cold chill covered her body forcing her to cover herself up with the red cloak. She had almost forgotten about the knife but she quickly retrieved it and hid it in one of the towels. She would hide it again on her boot for her own protection but she could not worry about that now. She finally headed outside of the room, letting the other clothes folded and racked up in a small wooden table nearby.

Alissa closed the door behind her as she stepped outside the bathroom. She stayed motionless and quiet, she was much more calmed than before but she was still confused and hurt. She eyed Tannin who was now close to the window but turned her eyes away as soon as he stared back. She didn’t know what she would say to Tannin, she was still unsure about whether she should say anything about the man that had been apparently following her, or if she should mention the knife that was secretly handed to her. Suddenly, Tannin broke the silence, he spoke softly, narrating what had happened to him "I was ten when they came to our home.” he started. Alissa listened carefully to his every word. “My mother had been alerted to their arrival by a close family friend just mere moments before they barged in. She'd had enough time to hide me and threaten my life if I came out before they'd left. From the spot that I was in, they could not see me nor did they ever find me. However.." A shiver covered Alissa, knowing what would happen next. She could see the pain in his eyes, unknowingly her body moved closer to him.

Tannin continued, "I was forced to watch as your father's knights drug her out into the street and beat her to death. All because she'd been unfortunate enough to marry my father. If you could even call him that.". As soon as he finished, Alissa could not contain her tears, she started sobbing just imagining Tannin’s suffering, her tears filled with sadness, disappointment and disgust towards her father. She knew that he was a cold and harsh man but this was taking things to a whole different level. Unable to contain her tears, she moved closer and closer to him, finally hugging him trying to comfort him, though in other’s eyes it would be mistaken as if he was comforting her. ”I’m sorry… I” she was barely able to say, ”I… I had no idea that my father…” she paused shaking her head, almost unable to believe that he deserved such title, ”I had no idea that the king was such a man…”. She paused for a moment, knowing that the assassing was probably confused at her actions. In truth, Alissa felt extremely apologetic to Tannin, she didn’t know the whole story, about his father’s betrayal but all she knew and all she needed to know was that Tannin was innocent, and in this case, a victim caught up in the whole bloody mess. He was just born into the wrong family… as Alissa believed she had been born into the wrong family ever since she could reason.

She hugged him longer than she probably should have, but when she calmed down she let him go and moved next to him. He spoke again, "After my mother was killed, I was forced to live in the streets for about six months. It was then that my Master, Makur found me. Well..actually I suppose I found him. I tried to steal from him but of course he caught me." Alissa tried cleaning her tears with her fingers as she listened to Tannin carefully again. She had never allowed anyone to see her tears before, apart from Libertas, Tannin was the first who had seen the young woman cry in such state. She heard how he joined the guild guided by his master Makur, she looked at him firmly and noticed when his eyes moved away from hers. He continued his story about his first target, that had gotten the best out of him because the other assassins had alerted him of Tannin’s arrival, ”, he took a knife and began to slowly drag it across my face." Alissa remembered his scar, which he always seemed too concerned to hide. She moved closer now, ”had the knife been moved any higher, I would have lost an eye and that I'd been unrecognizable. I suppose I was lucky, if that's what you would call it. Those that had betrayed the Guild were dealt with. After I was able to leave my room, I threw myself into my training. I was determined to never be that weak ever again."

Alissa was at hand’s reach from Tannin now, she was a bit hesitant but after a few seconds she moved in front of him as his eyes were still hiding from her gaze. She moved her hand close to his face, making his eyes face hers. She slowly caressed his face with outmost delicacy. Finally, she reached his mask, and slowly she attempted to take it off, after all Alissa wanted to see his face, his true face without masks and without lies. She didn’t know if he would push her away, but it was a bit too late to go back now. ”I’m sorry you had to suffer alone, I’m sorry that you had to live through all of that… I’m truly sorry. I am sorry I ever doubted you. I understand why you didn’t tell me your last name, the very same that has brought you so many misfortune.” she paused a moment, knowing that misfortune was an understatement to all of the horrible things that had happened to Tannin. “About your scar….” she said with a kind smile now, ”your scar shows how much you have improved, how far you have gotten, and how strong you have become.” with the tip of her fingertip she traced the scar that ran all across his masculine handsome face. Finally, she starred into his blue eyes and with a voice full of sincerity she said, “your scar is not weakness, it is strength.”

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Tannin continued speaking to Alissa,"I was forced to watch as your father's knights drug her out into the street and beat her to death. All because she'd been unfortunate enough to marry my father. If you could even call him that." When he fell silent, Tannin had not been expecting Alissa to acknowledge him let alone hug him. He'd frozen at first but sure enough his arms had automatically circled around the woman that was now attached to him. He held her tightly as she spoke through her tears. ”I’m sorry… I..I had no idea that my father…I had no idea that the king was such a man…” As Tannin listened to Alissa, he had to admit that he was quite surprised with her reaction. He'd not thought that she'd react the way that she had. For some reason, Tannin could not force himself to release or push her away from himself. He..enjoyed having her close to him.

Their hug lasted for what seemed like a rather long time. When her arms loosened from around him, so did his from her. His blue eyes remained focused on her as he continued speaking. "After my mother was killed, I was forced to live in the streets for about six months. It was then that my Master, Makur found me. Well..actually I suppose I found him. I tried to steal from him but of course he caught me." His eyes moved from Alissa as soon as he began speaking of how he'd attained his scar. He couldn't bring himself to look at her. He would not see the terrible looks he knew the princess was giving him. Instead, he merely continued on with his tale. "had the knife been moved any higher, I would have lost an eye and that I'd been unrecognizable. I suppose I was lucky, if that's what you would call it. Those that had betrayed the Guild were dealt with. After I was able to leave my room, I threw myself into my training. I was determined to never be that weak ever again." When he fell silent, Tannin still refused to look at Alissa. He hated this feeling of..insecurity. He wasd unsure of how the young woman would react..what she would say to him. He expected her to remain angry with him but he had already seen that she at least no longer as angry with him, at least.

Tannin had not been paying Alissa any attention as he made sure not to look at her. He had not realized that she'd approached him once again nor did he notice her hand moving towards his face. His blue eyes quickly flicked up to the princess's beautiful face when her hand had come close to him. He merely stared at her, wondering what it was that she was thinking. When she began caressing his face, he was truly lost. He'd never allowed anyone so close to him before and..he wasn't quite sure how to react. When the young woman began to slowly remove his mask, Tannin's first reaction was to stop her, however..he stopped himself. She had, after all, already seen his face. Did it truly matter if she removed the dark fabric that hid him away from those around him? Tannin gazed at Alissa questioningly, wondering what it was that she was intending to prove to him by showing his face.

”I’m sorry you had to suffer alone, I’m sorry that you had to live through all of that… I’m truly sorry. I am sorry I ever doubted you. I understand why you didn’t tell me your last name, the very same that has brought you so many misfortune.” The princess paused for a moment before continuing. “About your scar….your scar shows how much you have improved, how far you have gotten, and how strong you have become.” Tannin noted that she was now smiling at him and he was unsure as to why. Alissa then proceeded to run the tip of her finger along his scar. He wanted so badly to push her away, to tell her that she knew nothing of what she spoke of..but..something held him back. He could see that she was trying to comfort him and if he thought about it, she'd succeeded somewhat. He could not imagine himself ever being truly over being ashamed of his face. He'd gone so long with acting that way that he was almost unsure how to act otherwise. Alissa looked into Tannin's blue eyes and spoke with such sincerity..the kind that Tannin had never heard directed at him before. “Your scar is not weakness, it is strength.”

Tannin gently reach up and took Alissa's hand into his own, pulling it away from his scar. He did not move from her, however. He remained standing close to her, his eyes completely focused on her. He held her gaze as he remained silent. At last, he broke the silence, a small..saddened smile crossing his features. "Alissa.." He hesitated for a short moment, trying to gather his thoughts. His gaze never faltered from Alissa. "I did not tell you everything so that you could feel sorry for me. I told you so that you would understand. Though.." His smile changed then to one of happiness. Tannin released Alissa's hand and then gently took hold of her delicate chin. "I am glad that you are not so cruel a person as most I've come across throughout my life. Thank you." He continued to hold Alissa's chin, starring deeply into her eyes. The smile that had been on his face had slowly disappeared as he stood near Alissa. Tannin had not noticed that at some point their faces had gotten closer. As if suddenly realizing how close they were, he quickly released the princess and moved a few steps away from her.

He wasn't sure what he'd been thinking. He should have never allowed her so close to him. Why had he been leaning towards her? He had no business even thinking about kissing the princess. Their families hated each other more deeply than any before or after theirs. Even if by some miracle Alissa did care for him as he'd suddenly realized that he was beginning to care for her..he could not see them ever being able to truly be together. Her father would never allow it and he could not allow her to leave her home for him. He was not worth it. He pushed these thoughts from his mind. He needed to stay focused. "We should eat before the food gets cold..which I don't think will take too long considering how cold it's getting outside." He slowly made his way over to the bed and sat down, beginning to separate the food between them. After the young princess had joined him, Tannin handed her some food and drink. As they sat together, Tannin spoke. "I wanted to tell you about Litania. She is my..apprentice." His eyes eyed Alissa, hoping that she would not be angry with him for not telling her sooner. "I've been training her for..seven years now..I believe. However, I have not named her nor anyone else. Verrengar likes to remind me that if anything were to happen to me without a named successor, how the Guild would be thrown into chaos." He laughed lightly at this. "Anyway, Litania will be with me most of the time once we are in the Underground. She tends to stay in trouble so I find that keeping her busy helps to keep her nose clean." He fell silent, allowing the princess to take in all that he'd said. He was unsure how she would take to hearing that he was in fact training someone. He was sure the thought had at least crossed her mind.

Tannin smiled at Alissa. "You remind me of her..an older her. You will like her once you get to know her." He quickly finished his meal and sat his plate back on the small tray. He remained sitting with Alissa, enjoying their closeness. As he was quiet, his thoughts drifted to the princess once again. He couldn't understand how she'd gotten through all of his defenses..how'd she'd gotten him to care about her. When he really thought about it, Tannin couldn't say that he really minded. He..liked caring for Alissa. We'll be leaving early so it would be best to get as much rest as possible. I want to get as far as possible before having to stop. We won't be able to travel as fast as before. Daeroch will tire far too quickly. If we travel at a slightly slower pace, however, we should still be able to make good time."

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Alissa had said her part, wishing that Tannin could at least feel her sincerity. She did not stir or hesitate; feeling almost confident in herself, as if she was ready for anything that he could possibly say to her. Her eyes shifted from his scar towards his fixated gaze on her, silence fell on her lips and on so did on his. He gently grabbed her hand into his, moving it away from his scar, holding on to it as he spoke with a hint of sadness, “Alisa, I did not tell you everything so that you could feel sorry for me.” Inevitably she let out an inaudible sigh, she couldn’t help but to feel saddened by his words. There was no doubt that she felt responsible of her fathers’ own vendetta; one which had brought nothing but bloodshed and tears, a vendetta; the same that had caused Tannin to live the terrible life that he had. It was no secret that she felt apologetic, but another part of her admired him, his bravery, and his courage.

“I told you so that you would understand. Though…” Alissa’s ears and eyes were most alert, not knowing what he would do or say next. Truth was, she didn’t know how to console him, she had never really been close enough to someone enough for them to open up as Tannin had, and she had never been in a situation in which she had been so out of characted. She had never been close enough with anybody for them to open up with her and for her to do the same. Of course, there was Alexander but that was a whole different story.

Alissa was dumbfounded; she thought that she could handle whatever he would say only to discover that she did not know what to do. More than enough reason as to why when he spoke again she was caught off guard. One could only imagine her surprise when he grabbed a hold of her chin, "I am glad that you are not so cruel a person as most I've come across throughout my life. Thank you.". And that was all it took for Alissa to be at loss, she was dumbfounded, it had been true that she had somehow initiated this tender skinship between them, even so, his touch always caused her to feel undiscovered emotions to which she was yet a stranger. His smile had somehow changed to a much more lively tone, she wanted to smile back but she was still lost in his eyes. Somehow, their faces moved closer, unknowingly Alissa could almost hear her racing heart. Not knowing what else to do, Alissa closed her eyes wishing his could not notice how much he affected her, her blood seemed to be rushing through her cheeks turning them red.

She could feel him close to her, but her eyes remained closed. Before doing anything else, it seemed as if Tannin had also noticed their closeness. Tannin moved away just a few steps from her, giving her time to recover; it took her a few second to realize just how much she had been affected by the events that had just unraveled. She didn’t know what to do next, she finally opened her eyes to notice him a little farther away.

It looked as if minutes had passed before any of them said anything. . "We should eat before the food gets cold..which I don't think will take too long considering how cold it's getting outside." As before, he sat down on the bed, he divided their food equally as she was barely making her way to sit by his side. She drank a sip from the drink that Tannin had passed her as he spoke again, "I wanted to tell you about Litania. She is my..apprentice.” He said, soon explaining how he had trained her for years now, “…Anyway, Litania will be with me most of the time once we are in the Underground. She tends to stay in trouble so I find that keeping her busy helps to keep her nose clean.

Alissa remained quiet, she was a bit surprised that he had been so honest and that he had been comfortable enough around her to tell her about his apprentice, then again she wondered what had motivated him into telling her of her at all. She wondered what kind of woman she was; and for a moment wondered how close they were. ” You remind me of her..an older her. You will like her once you get to know her." He said almost joking. Alissa a bit confused at his remark she did not say anything, deep inside though a thought crossed her mind, ’I doubt it…’
she thought. Strangely she had not liked the comment very much, Alissa wanted to ask as to what he was referring to by saying such remark but something inside of her stopped her from saying anything.

Alissa started eating thinking of the woman Tannin has just mentioned, she started wondering who or what else she would encounter in their travel ahead and felt a bit overwhelmed. “We'll be leaving early so it would be best to get as much rest as possible. I want to get as far as possible before having to stop. We won't be able to travel as fast as before. Daeroch will tire far too quickly. If we travel at a slightly slower pace, however, we should still be able to make good time."

Without adding anything to Tannin’s suggestion Alissa had finished eating. A few minutes had passed and she did nothing but to remain quiet and stare at the window near her. The snow kept on falling, it was a truly beautiful sight, one that made Alissa be at awe. Before she could keep on starring at the snow, she couldn’t stop her eyes from feeling heavy, perhaps because of all the crying or because she was simply fatigued. Her eyes playing with her eyelids in-between open and close. Noticing her tiredness and before her head could tilt back and forth she simply curled up in bed and laid her head in the pillow nearby. She knew that Tannin was still sitting in the bed but she did not mind the closeness.

Before she could say anything to Tannin her eyes gave out. Even though It was true that the room was cold, she had somehow fallen asleep. Her body shivered from the cold every once but that did not stop her nightmares that had somehow taken control of her seemingly peaceful sleep. Alissa opened her eyes to an unfamiliar place, a small house in the outskirts it seemed. Outside of the small home, a large crowd of men in horses were approaching, the sound of the horses galloping because cleared and louder, finally they all came to a halt. Only a handful of men unmounted their horses, out of which two moved with determination inside the home. It only took one of them to take the door down with a brusque movement. Alissa’s legs almost gave up in surprise at the lout thud of the door falling to the ground.

Suddenly Alissa heard a loud scream from within the house, it did not take long to see one of the men coming out of the house pulling a woman violently out of her home. The woman screamed again at the tight grasp, the man laughed viciously on her failed attempts to get away. The man that had taken the door down had not gotten out of the house yet, as if he was still searching for something, or someone for that matter. Meanwhile the other riders took turns in pushing the woman, there was no scape. All of the riders had formed a circle disabling her to scape or to do anything. At the horrible sight Alissa shivered in anger, she knew exactly what would become of her if she would come closer to the crowd but she would much rather choose that fate than to turn her back to the defenseless woman that had done nothing wrong.

In anger and desperation, Alissa rushed herself to the crowd of riders, as she came closer she could see the woman wrapped her arms over herself in defense. Alissa pushed herself against hoping to reach the woman but it was helpless, Alissa could do nothing. Nobody could see her, not even the woman whose life was almost at the end of the line. The man kept beating her, Alissa tried shoving him off her but it was useless. Finally, as if they heard her choked plea the man stopped. The woman was barely able to mutter a few words before drawing her last breath, a small whisper in complete helplessness, “Tannin…”

Alissa almost found it difficult to breathe, the woman fell to the ground. Nearby the other man had finally found his other target, a young child being forced to watch his mother’s death. Tears streamed down his face, screams choked in tears and noises of suffering. Finally, the man left the home and the young child as if they had never been there in the first place, leaving behind a memento of a flag with a family crest to which Alissa was very familiar with. The crest of the royals…

Alissa woke up inevitably in tears, she was hyperventilating and having a hard time in catching her breath. She sat down immediately in bed sweating and almost white as a ghost. She couldn’t stop her tears from falling on her rosy cheeks and almost in a flash remembered most vividly every sick and twisted detail.

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When Alissa finished eating, Tannin noted that she fell quite silent and was merely looking out the window. She remained that way for a while and Tannin finished eating during this time. He said nothing, deciding that perhaps the young woman next to him simply didn't wish for conversation. He placed his things back onto the tray when suddenly he felt the bed move. He turned to look at the Princess only to find that she'd laid down and was already asleep. He remained where he was for a few moments longer than he really should have before rising from the bed. Tannin pulled the blankets up and around the young woman before blowing out the candle and then making his way to the wall. He leaned against it, slowly sliding down to rest in a semi-comfortable position. He closed his eyes and allowed sleep to take hold of him.




Tannin had been sleeping rather peacefully considering he normally didn't sleep so well when he was traveling. However, at some point early in the morning, just before the sun would come up, he awoke. For a moment, he couldn't understand why he'd awoken. He looked around the room, fearing that something was wrong. When his eyes finally came to rest on the bed, he'd not been expecting Alissa to be sitting up in the bed. The longer he looked at her, however, Tannin began to realize that something was not right. She seemed upset. He hesitated for a moment before rising from his spot. He slowly made his way to the bed and then hesitated once again. Now that he was closer, he could easily see that she was upset and crying. He could not understand what had gotten her so bothered. Had he done something and not known it?

This was something that the assassin was not used to dealing with. Sure, Litania had often gotten upset when she was younger, but she would normally calm herself. It was not because she was saddened or anything like that. After standing near her for a few short moments, Tannin decided that he needed to find out what was wrong and to try to comfort her. He removed all of his weapons that he normally kept on him, sitting them on the floor..out of the way. He then removed his boots. He sat ever so gently upon the bed next to Alissa. He then wrapped his arms around her in the hopes that she would calm down. He could tell now that he'd gotten closer to her that she was having troubling breathing..he needed to get her to calm herself. As they sat there together, Tannin just could not imagine what had upset her so. "Alissa? You must tell me what is wrong. Please."

However, he realized that perhaps he needed to help her as well. He then maneuvered their bodies so that they were now laying down on the bed..covered. Tannin gently pulled Alissa closer to his body, spooning her tightly. He hoped that this would at least help her to calm down. "You need to calm down..relax. You'll run out of air otherwise." he said softly..calmly. He knew that he should not bet in the bed with her but he'd known nothing else to do. He was beginning to worry for her. Laying there with her, however, Tannin realized how perfectly they seemed to fit together. Almost as soon as the thought crossed his mind he pushed it out. He didn't need to be thinking of such things. He gently placed his cheek against Alissa's shoulder, almost hiding from her. However, he was only trying to get her to realize that he was there for her..whenever she decided she wanted to talk.

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Alissa could only hope that Tannin would not notice her little breakthrough, she hated for people to see her cry, but it seemed as if Tannin had already seen her cry more times than anybody else had ever seen her in a lifetime. It was useless though, she noticed Tannin moving to her side sitting just a few inches away. She also wished for her body to calm down but it was too late, it was as if she could still hear the woman’s screams echoing in suffering, and as if the little boy’s eyes were upon her judging her for not being able to do anything to stop such atrocity. Suddenly, she felt Tannin’s arms around her, steady and firm trying to reassure her. Without thinking twice she wraps her fragile arms holding onto him not wanting to let go. Even so, her tears streamed down her face. Not wanting for him to see her in such state she buried her small face on his chest.

"Alissa? You must tell me what is wrong. Please." he asked gently, and all Alissa could do was shook her head in disagreement. She would never bring herself to tell him about her nightmare, just seeing such horrible dream had put her in such state, she could only imagine how he would feel remembering such memory. In a quick move, Tannin had managed to pull her closer to him, covering both of their bodies under the covers. Alissa was finally beginning to calm down, You need to calm down..relax. You'll run out of air otherwise." Obeying him, she started taking deep breaths finally being able to stop crying. Tannin’s head buried on her shoulder, Alissa felt his warmth , and felt as if they had known each other forever felt most comfortable at his side. She moved closer to him, somehow wanting to stay there with him for as long as possible.

It took some time for her to steady herself, she cleaned her tears and finally turned around towards his side hugging him once again ad burying her face oh his chest once more. She held him as tight as she could almost snuggling. Not knowing whether he would leave after she had finally calmed down she almost pleaded, “Please…” she took some time still surprised that he did not feel hatred towards her. Knowing that she was the daughter of a murderer, the daughter of his mother’s murderer. Taking her time and wanting to forget the first thing that had made her so upset, she was finally able to speak again, almost in a whisper,”don’t go”.

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As he lay there, holding Alissa, Tannin couldn't help but find himself relaxing..something that he'd not allowed himself to do since being on the road. Even though the young woman was still upset, he found her presence comforting. As Tannin was lost in thought, Alissa began moving a bit..most likely trying to rid her beautiful face of the tears that had been falling. Then she did something that he had not expected. She turned around so that they were facing each other and then began hugging him tightly, and buried her face in his chest. Tannin merely continued to hold her close though now rested his chin on the top of her head. When, at last, Alissa spoke..her tone caught him off guard. "Please...don't go."

Her plea brought a gentle smile to his face. He'd not planned on leaving her. He was still rather worried about her. Tannin knew that he really shouldn't stay there..in the bed with Alissa but she did not want him to move. In all honesty, he wasn't that sure that he'd be able to untangle himself from her. Because it was still so early, Tannin was still very tired..more so than usual. He just wanted to curl closer to the young woman and to allow sleep to take him. "If you are sure." he said, then closed his eyes. He was silent for a moment before speaking again. "It is still early..we should probably try to get some more sleep. I believe that once the shops open up and we are able to get our things we should be able to leave." With that, Tannin allowed himself to fully relax and he slowly fell into a peaceful slumber.




Tannin slept more peacefully in those few hours than he had this entire trip. When he opened his eyes, the first thing he realized was that they'd slept in. Something that he'd not planned for. The second thing that he realized was that he and Alissa were still laying as they'd been the night before. He did not wish to move..to wake her up. She'd had a rough night though he'd no idea what had caused her anguish. Ever so gently, Tannin moved so that he could get out of the bed. He decided to allow the young woman to continue sleeping. She needed the rest. He quietly made his over to where he'd left his things earlier that morning. He got ready quickly, pulling his mask and hood up, hiding his face once again.

When he was satisfied, Tannin silently left the room, making his way downstairs. He stopped to speak with the innkeeper, ordering some food for them. He then left, slowly making his way to the small shop that he'd ordered their things from. Once he arrived there, he only had to wait a few moments before the merchant handed him all of the things that he'd ordered. Tannin thanked the man and then paid him. He left the store and headed then to the stable. Daeroch was waiting impatiently..almost as if he'd known that they were leaving that morning. Tannin smiled and then began grooming the horse. He tried not to take too long, afraid that Alissa would wake and then panic because he was gone.

It did not take him long to get Daeroch ready for the trip. Tannin went ahead and tacked the horse and then began putting the items that he'd bought from the store onto the saddle..tying the items down so that they would stay on with no trouble. Once he was satisfied with his work, Tannin quickly made his way back to the inn. Once inside, he picked up the tray of food and then made his way back upstairs and into their room. He entered silently and sat the tray down. He turned, then, to the bed. He sat gently, and then gently placed a partially gloved hand upon her cheek. "Alissa? It's time to get up." he said, his blue eyes focused on the young woman completely.

Tannin could not place the feelings that he felt when he was with her. It was something that he was not used to. It confused him to no end. Perhaps it was best not to worry about it. In time, things would become clear. He smiled, though his face was still covered. "You were exhausted so I did not wake you when I awoke. You looked as if you could use the extra sleep. I've taken care of everything so when you are ready, we can leave. I've brought breakfast, if you are hungry. It will be some time before we stop so it would be best to eat well now." He fell silent, fixing Alissa a plate of food. "Did you sleep any better after you relaxed?" he asked, finally looking to the Princess. He offered her the plate, his gaze steadily focused upon her. Though he would never admit it to her, he rather enjoyed being so close to Alissa the night before. He would have plenty of time, however, to be close to her. They would be sleeping in a small tent until they reached their destination though he'd not told her. Hopefully, she would not mind too terribly. Thinking about it, Tannin could not understand why Alissa had found comfort with him. He could only imagine the kind of men that she was used to dealing with. Those that were the complete opposite of him. It was foolish of him to even hope that Alissa could ever have any sort of feelings for him.

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Alissa was glad that Tannin didn’t do anything to get away from her as he had done most times before by putting his distance in-between them. She couldn’t help but to smile gently while keeping her eyes closed. She was still very tired, all the crying had left her even more exhausted that not even the little sleep that she had gotten minutes before had been enough; even so, she did not want to go to sleep, she was afraid that the same nightmare would come at night and haunt her again. Even at her resistance, she almost fell asleep after Tannin suggested that they should both get some sleep but somehow managed to stay awake. She nodded not wanting to worry him any further and kept hugging him tightly. She waited minutes and allowed Tannin to fall asleep before her, during that time she couldn’t help but to look at him in his sleep.
Seeing him sleeping peacefully brought joy to Alissa, she had seen him asleep before that much was true but she had never seen him nearly as relaxed. After Alissa starred at him in detail she was finally truly at ease, knowing that Tannin was at her side was enough for her to forget what had troubled her in the first place. Once again she hugged him, only this time she did not bury her face to hide from his gaze, instead she lied close to his and finally fell asleep soundly.


Alissa was most comfortable in bed, somehow being next to Tannin had brought her warmth that she had never experience before. She had curled herself into a small ball wrapping her slim body in the blankets. It was then when she noticed a gentle touch in her left cheek. "Alissa? It's time to get up." said Tannin quite calmly, touching her almost as if she was fragile. She opened her eyes to notice his; he had covered his face once again with his mask’ Alissa, unable to say anything she simply starred. Feeling a bit flustered she covered her face with the sheets, wishing that she could also have a mask to cover her flustered smile. Truth was she had spent the night with a man, something she had never done. Although, she knew that what had happened was simply… something he had done to comfort her.

No, she paused she couldn’t allow herself to think of strange things, especially when somehow it felt like things like that wouldn’t happen again. She found it difficult to understand exactly what was going on between her and Tannin, all she knew was that she didn’t want to be with anybody else but him, not her treacherous father, not her submissive mother who abide by her father’s will or anybody else for that matter. Her thoughts were interrupted by he gentle voice, "You were exhausted so I did not wake you when I awoke. You looked as if you could use the extra sleep. I've taken care of everything so when you are ready, we can leave. I've brought breakfast, if you are hungry. It will be some time before we stop so it would be best to eat well now."


She nodded smiling before finally getting out of bed, she headed towards the bathroom before she even had time to think about food. Once she closed the door, she washed her face carefully and gently pat it with a towel trying to remove any trace that she had cried at all. She headed outside where Tannin was waiting for her to begin eating, "Did you sleep any better after you relaxed?" Once again she nodded with a smile. A moment passed before she spoke again”About yesterday…” she paused remembering how gently he had been to her and how he had comforted her, ”Thank you” she said gently. Perhaps saying thank you was a bit out of line but she wanted for him to know that she was truly grateful. She took the plate from his hand when he offered and for a moment their hands touched.

”I suppose we will be leaving soon?” Alissa before Tannin could begin to divide the food in two. She waited for him to answer patiently before she could ask something else, ”Tell me more about the Guild, what is it like to be the Guild Master? she asked now in intrigue. There were many things that Alissa wanted to ask but she supposed that they still had time for those once they started moving again.

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When Alissa thanked him, Tannin eyed her curiously. He could not remember a single time that someone had thanked him for anything. He was nearly speechless. The young woman did not seem to notice his silence and took the plate from him, their hands touching for a moment. Tannin tried his best to ignore the feelings that he got when this happened. Thankfully, Alissa spoke again, ”I suppose we will be leaving soon?” Tannin pulled his hood and mask down, turning his gaze to her for a moment before picking up his plate and slowly beginning to eat. "Yes. I already have Daeroch ready so as soon as you are dressed and have eaten, we can leave. The sooner we leave, the better. I want to get a good distance away from here plus we'll have to find somewhere to camp..which takes time." He fell silent, taking a bit or two. Alissa seemed to want to talk, however, as she asked another question. ”Tell me more about the Guild, what is it like to be the Guild Master?"

Tannin hesitated for a moment, silently thinking. "It is..very trying." he said, trying to think of the best way to explain everything to her. "I am actually rather busy most of the time. I am in charge of over a thousand people and three hideouts. I generally do not leave the main hideout, which is the one that we are headed to. Really, the only time that I do is when I'm taking care of a job or something similar. I take on the most difficult of jobs which usually require quite a bit more work than most of our others. These are the ones that I would trust none other with." He smiled then, eyeing Alissa again. "I am hoping that once Litania finishes her training that I will be able to allow her to take on some of these jobs. It would allow me time to focus on other areas of the Guild."

He finished eating and then placed his plate back on the tray. He merely sat there on the bed, waiting patiently for Alissa to finish as well. "If I am not busy with a job, I am usually doing paperwork or training. I promise..it really isn't all that exciting. Especially since we are located so far out in the country. Of course, when the weather is nice I often will take Daeroch out. Either way, I can not imagine ever doing anything else. I do not enjoy killing..quite the opposite in fact. It is a necessary evil in this world, I'm afraid." Tannin was still smiling, glad that they seemed to, at last, truly be getting along quite well. It was almost as if something had changed between them. He even noted that they were sitting much closer than they had been before..not that he minded.

[font=#FF0080]"It will be much easier to explain the actual hideout to you once we arrive, but I can tell you some about it. We house not only the members of the Guild but their families as well. It is far safer in the Underground that anywhere else on Irisu. Most everyone has meals together though I usually take mine in my office. For the most part, everyone in the Guild sees each other as family. We are all very close. We are not so different from everyone else in this world."[/color] He hesitated for a moment. "I have thought about it..and once we arrive you may write to your family, if you so wish it." He eyed her, watching her for her reaction. He was unsure if she would want to do such a thing..especially since she'd seemed so angry with her father the night before.

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Alissa was feeling nervous as soon as tannin confirmed that they would be leaving soon. She remembered the mysterious man that seemed to be following her, and hoped that they could get away from him as soon as possible and go unnoticed. She didn’t want to worry Tannin, but also didn’t want to keep that information to herself, especially when it was something that could affect them both. 'I suppose I could tell him as soon as we get out of here' she thought not wanting to worry about something that she did not have any control over. She asked him about the Guild, which took him some time to answer. "It is..very trying. I am actually rather busy most of the time. I am in charge of over a thousand people and three hideouts." He said, explaining more about his job, ”I take on the most difficult of jobs which usually require quite a bit more work than most of our others. These are the ones that I would trust none other with."

Tannin smiled and Alissa smiled back, he spoke again of his apprentice, explaining how he wished for her to take on some of the many tasks he had at hand, all which made her think even more of the woman Tannin kept on referring to. She wondered about what she thought of Tannin and still wondered by what he had meant by them being alike, a comment to which Alissa was still not very found of. Finally, Alissa finished eating but she did not move wanting to hear more of the Guild. "Either way, I can not imagine ever doing anything else. I do not enjoy killing..quite the opposite in fact. It is a necessary evil in this world, I'm afraid." Alissa found some comfort in his words, even when she had come to that realization even before he gave his confirmation. It seemed that rather than enjoying killing, it was something that Tannin was simply adept to. She did not like the idea of him murdering others, even when deep inside her she knew that they probably deserved it, she wondered if those murderers haunted his sleep as she had been haunted the night before. "Tiresome indeed" she repeated almost to herself.

Tannin suggested that he would explain more once they actually arrived to which Alissa smiled in anticipation, he would probably show her around too. ”It’s a date then…” she said looking at his eyes. Immediately after saying it she regretted it, she felt as if she might be crossing a line, she hoped that he had not paid any attention to her and she adverted her eyes away from his in embarrassment. ’What is wrong with you Alissa?’ she reprimanded herself. Thankfully it seemed like Tannin had not heard her silly suggestion as he continued speaking normally, "I have thought about it..and once we arrive you may write to your family, if you so wish it.".

Alissa had not thought of making contact with her family, truth was she wasn’t interested in the slightest after knowing what her father had done. She was not ready to hear his explanation if he even had one, but if she were to send a message she would probably send it to her mother and her mother only. Even so, she knew that her mother was most loyal to her father, even if Alissa would beg her not to tell her father it would have all been in vain. ”Thank you….” Alissa said still very doubtful of what she would do.

Not wanting to take longer than needed, Alissa was ready to leave. She got up and left her plate on the table, soon afterwards she headed towards the bathroom where she changed her clothes quite rapidly.”Almost ready” she said putting on the cloak that Tannin had gifted her, soon afterwards picking the book and the beautiful box that he had also given her before. ”All right, I’m ready” she said to Tannin. She waited for Tannin to leave the bed too before she did anything else. ”Let’s go” she said with a smile, heading outside the room.

She walked carefully down the stairs and towards the main entrance. There were but a few people inside the inn, distant chatter and..., ’no…’ Alissa thought immediately at the sight of the mysterious man that had been incessantly following her and Tannin. She didn’t want to alert Tannin or the man, although it was obvious that he was waiting for them. She walked as naturally as she could, but she could not hide her fear and nervousness.

Once they were out the inn she finally let out a sigh of relief, wanting to get out as soon as they possibly could, she did not want to wait much longer so she almost rushed in when she started walking towards the stable where Daeroch would be waiting.

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Tannin watched as Alissa got up, placed her plate on the tray and then headed into the bathroom to hopefully get ready. She was not gone very long before she came back out, dressed. She then proceeded to put her cloak on that he'd gotten her. Tannin stood as Alissa grabbed her book and the beautiful box that her cloak had come in. He pulled up his mask and then his hood. He allowed Alissa to lead the way though he followed closely behind her. As they walked through the main part of the inn, Tannin had has gaze flitting about to the few people that were inside. He did not see anyone that was watching them or if they were they were very good at hiding it.

However, when Tannin looked back to Alissa he realized that something was..off about her. Tannin also realized that the young woman was trying not to let him see that something was wrong. He frowned, his gaze looking about them once again. It was then that he noticed the man that was watching Alissa. Tannin quickly pulled his gaze away from the man. He was sure that he'd seen him before..but where? As they finally made their way outside, Alissa took off a bit quicker than before. He picked up his pace, following her as she entered into the stable.

Daeroch was back in his stall, patiently waiting. Tannin said nothing, still trying to remember where he'd seen the man before. Suddenly it hit him. The man was the one that had been sent by Lorn to inform Tannin of the need for Alissa's death. It was not good that he was seemingly following them. If he was after them, then that meant that Lorn at least knew that the Princess was in fact still alive. With these thoughts running through his mind, Tannin quickly checked to make sure everything was still tightly fastened as it had been only a few minutes before.

When he was satisfied, Tannin helped Alissa up onto Daeroch. He then looked back to the entrance of the stable, making sure that the man had not followed them. When he was satisfied, Tannin expertly pulled himself up onto his horse. He then proceeded to wrap his arms around Alissa, grabbing the reins. Tannin tried not to think of the man that was on their trail. It would only cause him to begin panicking. Something that he really didn't want to start doing.

Tannin quickly urge Daeroch out of the stable and out onto the street. He quickly nudged his horse into a fast trot, not daring to go any quicker while people were still walking about the street. "When were you going to tell me?" he asked softly, keeping his eyes before them. He wondered how long Alissa had known that they were being followed and why she hadn't informed him sooner. It bothered him that he'd not realized sooner that they were being followed.

After allowing Alissa enough time to answer him, Tannin spoke again. "He works for Lorn. No doubt he will continue to follow us. Do not worry. I won't let anything happen to you." As soon as Daeroch's hooves hit the ground outside of the small village, Tannin quickly urged him into a gallop. Tannin's arms tightened a bit around Alissa to make sure that she did not fall. He remained rather silent for most of their trip, worrying himself about their tail. They traveled for some time, not stopping once. As the day began wearing down, Tannin began searching for a good place for them to make camp at.

After continuing on for a short distance more they came across a cluster of trees that were being weighed down by the heavy snow. Tannin stopped Daeroch and then slid off, helping Alissa down as well. "We'll stay here for the night. Stay here with Daeroch." He left no room for any argument and he quickly began gathering firewood. This did not take him very long and soon he had a roaring fire going. It was then that he allowed the princess to move, telling her to sit at the fire.

Tannin then went back to Daeroch, pulling down the tent that they would be using. He unrolled it quickly, throwing the tarp over the two trees that were closest to each other. He then proceeded to tie down the corners so that the fabric would not fly away with the wind. He then pulled the thick blankets off of Daeroch and placed them inside. Once he was satisfied he quickly untacked Daeroch, save for his bridle. He then tied him to a fallen log that was nearby, allowing the horse to rest. Tannin then got into one of the bags and produced a few ingredients and a pot before making his way over to Alissa. He sat down close to her, and began fixing them something to eat. His eyes were constantly looking around them, worried that the man would attack at any moment. As he cooked, Tannin began to slowly relax a bit. He doubted that he would be able to sleep much that night but that didn't mean that Alissa needed to worry. "You need to relax. Everything will be fine."

He then got up and got two bowls and made his way back to Alissa. He sat back down and split the soup up into two portions. He then handed one to the young woman next to him. He then proceeded to pull down his mask though left his hood up. "So, tell me something. Why have you decided to trust me? I can not imagine that many would see me as someone that they would prefer to put their faith in to."

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“You’re a good man Tannin. Even if you can’t see it.”

Alissa kept quiet, she was determined not to say anything about the mysterious man until they had gotten away from the inn. She was still very tense, and hoped that Tannin had not noticed her strange behavior. Tannin helped her up Daeroch, followed by him sitting behind her. He wrapped his arms on her again as he had done before grabbing hold of the reins, if only he knew the unexpected feeling that such action caused in Alissa. She said nothing and simply eyed the entrance of the stable. Tannin urged the beautiful horse out of the stable and as soon as the inn was out of sight he spoke softly, “When were you going to tell me?” he asked demanding an explanation. Alissa was shocked at his inquire, a shiver covered her spine, she was speechless. Was there anything that she could hide from this man? She highly doubted it. She let out a small sound of surprise, not knowing what to say.

It seemed as if an eternity had passed, and every second of silence was sure not help her her case. Knowing that whatever she would say would only sound like an excuse to his eyes, she said nothing. ”I was going to…” was all she could say. How could she give an answer to something that she wasn’t even sure of. Not even Alissa herself knew why she had not told him sooner, had it been because she did not want to worry him more than necessary? Or was it something else?

“He works for Lorn. No doubt he will continue to follow us. Do not worry. I won't let anything happen to you." He said most reassuringly. Alissa said nothing but worried nonetheless at his reply. She should have known he was a man sent by Lorn. She knew that Tannin was right, he must have surely seen them leaving the inn. Lorn was a horrible man, one could only imagine what would happen if the mysterious man cam back empty handed to such tyrant. This was far from over and Alissa knew that very well, but somehow she was not only worried about her well being, she feared for him too.

They did not speak again the rest of the trail, Alissa only felt Tannin’s arms gripping harder on her. She wondered if he was also worried about Lorn’s man, it was unpredictable of when he would make his appearance and that thought alone was enough to drive Alissa crazy. Would they make it trough the night? Had that man already informed Lorn of her being alive? What would happen to Tannin’s Guild now? Those and a hundred more thoughts came to Alissa’s mind.

Alissa was far too lost in thought so that when Daeroch had been ordered to come to a halt by Tannin she was taken by surprise. Tannin slid off first, and then helped her get down. "We'll stay here for the night. Stay here with Daeroch." he said, but before Alissa could say anything he began moving around looking for wood. As soon as he had gathered enough he lit a fire, and soon after signaled Alissa to sit nearby.

She had been too worried to notice the cold, but as soon as the fire started warming her up she could once again feel her rosy cheeks. She put her hands near the fire in hopes that the fire could also bring her more warmth. Before she could warm herself any further and almost in a flash she remembered the hooded man. Feeling most alert she stood up looking everywhere in case he had followed them there. But it was all in vain, there was nobody else but Tannin and Daeroch. She noticed that Tannin had managed to set up the tent where they would be spending the night and saw him tying Daeroch into a log nearby.

In a few seconds he had sat down close to her with a pot and what seemed to be food in hand. She sat down again looking at him preparing a meal. She noticed that Tannin was also alert and in search of Lorn’s men. "You need to relax. Everything will be fine." But it was useless; no matter what he would say there was no way that she could be at ease. Even so, she knew that there was nothing she could do. Truth was she felt very defenseless, being unable to do anything frustrated her in more ways that she cared to admit.

Once again, Tannin got up, only this time he grabbed two bowls. He sat down again and served her a bit of the soup. Surprisingly he pulled his mask down, it seemed as if he wasn’t uncomfortable in Alissa seeing his scar, even so he kept his hood on. He then began asking her another question, "So, tell me something. Why have you decided to trust me? I can not imagine that many would see me as someone that they would prefer to put their faith in to." Alissa looked at him in the eyes for the first time in hours, the question had surprised her a bit, “You’re a good man Tannin; even if you can’t see it, or simply don’t believe it yourself.” she paused before she could continue hoping that he could at least believe her words. ”I choose to believe in you because even when it would have been much easier to simply kill me, you decided not to. Because, even though you have lived a hard life you try to help others, and because even though you don’t really have to protect me here you are, worried that Lorn’s men could come any second now”.

Alissa was upset, not with Tannin but herself, she was upset that even if Lorn’s men were to come she could do nothing but hope that they could make it alive and unharmed. She had practiced fencing before, but she hardly believed that it would be helpful, she had also taken archery lessons but what good would it do? She had no weapon but the knife on her boot, which did nothing to help her troubles. They also didn't have a bow she could use, besides she could hardly imagine shooting someone. She stood up in frustration and headed towards the tent where she lied down with opened eyes, wondering how she could sleep at all for the next hours.

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“You’re a good man Tannin; even if you can’t see it, or simply don’t believe it yourself.” Alissa paused for a moment before continuing. ”I choose to believe in you because even when it would have been much easier to simply kill me, you decided not to. Because, even though you have lived a hard life you try to help others, and because even though you don’t really have to protect me here you are, worried that Lorn’s men could come an any second now”. Tannin looked away from Alissa, her words almost seeming to cut through him. He said nothing, however her answer made him think. She spoke to him as if he was not as bad a person as he believed. He just couldn't understand it. Alissa had to be delusional if she thought him a good man. There was nothing good about him. There never was nor would there ever be.

He'd been so lost in thought that Tannin had not noticed Alissa get up from beside him. He finished eating and quickly cleaned the bowls and pot. He then rose, making his way over to where he'd left Daeroch's tack. Tannin put the items back in their original spots and then slowly walked back to the fire. He stood there for a moment, merely eyeing Alissa's form. She was upset, that much he could tell. He could not be sure why she was upset, though. Had he done something to anger her? Tannin tore his eyes from the Princess's form, taking another look about their small campsite. He could not see anything out of the ordinary though he wanted to make sure. He moved, walking silently around the perimeter of the site. As he was doing this and checking all of the possible places that the man could be hiding, snow began falling once again though more heavily. It would only serve to slow them down.

When he was satisfied that no one was close by, Tannin made his way back to the camp. He bent down once he'd reached the fire and stoked it, making sure that the flames were roaring before slowly making his way into the tent. Once inside, he pulled the flaps almost shut, though left enough space so that the heat from the fire could enter. The first thing that Tannin noticed was that Alissa hadn't even bothered to cover herself. He then gently pulled one of the few blankets that they had out from under her feet and then covered her. He then removed his weapons, leaving them next to where he planned to lay down at but left his boots on. He didn't want to be caught too awfully off guard. The last thing that he did, was to pull down his hood..he saw no need for it to be up.

Tannin then laid down next Alissa, though he made sure that there was a respectable distance in between them. He hesitated only for a moment before he spoke. "You are angry." He fell silent for a moment, his gaze flicking to Alissa. "Whatever the reason..you should let it go. Anger does nothing but cause you to act irrationally..which in turns forces you to make mistakes." This was something that he was often saying to Litania. The child just could not seem to get her emotions under control. Tannin turned over so that he could better see Alissa. He decided that perhaps it was best to get Alissa's mind off of whatever was bothering her. "Did you know that I have been all over the world?" He paused for a moment, waiting to see if the young woman would answer him. "That is something that I do miss. Since taking over the Guild, I am no longer able to travel as often as I would like. It is interesting to see how many different cultures that there are on Irisu. I remember visiting the city of Sulumvor. The inhabitants there are quite different from most. They dress in very vibrant colors and they almost are always celebrating something. They are..quite carefree."

He continued to gaze at Alissa. Now looking at her he could easily see that she was rather tired. He smiled gently at her before speaking again. "You should get some rest. You are clearly exhausted and you will be no good tomorrow if you are falling asleep during the ride. Sleep. There is no need for you to worry. I am a light sleeper..no one will sneak up on us tonight." Tannin closed his eyes, deciding that perhaps that would help Alissa to fall asleep. He pretended to sleep though he would not really sleep that night. He couldn't. He would never forgive himself if something happened to Alissa.

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Alissa did nothing and remained in the same position as she had when she first lied down, her legs were curled up and she was using one of her hands as a pillow. Her eyes were still open and her mind drifted much farther than the camping site or any other place in Irisu. She remembered what Tannin had said about being the Guild Master, how strenuous it must have been, she also wondered how he could live in such exhaustive state on a constant dose.

When thinking of being a ruler she also thought if such stress had caused her father to lose his mind as he had. That would explain many things of her father, though Alissa would never find justification for what he had done. The man was far from perfect, that much was obvious she could only imagine that he had done other things that he was hiding from her.

Before she could think of anything else, she heard Tannin entering the tent and semi-closing the flaps behind him. She didn’t quite turn around though, she didn’t know what she would say after she had walked away in the middle of their conversation. She was surprised when Tannin pulled a blanket from her under her feet and instead covered her, warming her up. She flipped herself around now to face him, she noticed that he had taken his hood on and now lied close to her.

”You are angry. Whatever the reason..you should let it go. Anger does nothing but cause you to act irrationally..which in turns forces you to make mistakes.” he advised her. She couldn’t help it, it wasn’t like she enjoyed being angry but her emotions had just stirred at the thought of Tannin getting hurt in protecting her. She couldn’t stand the simple thought, and that simple thought was enough to upset her.

Tannin changed the subject, telling her about his adventures was enough to distract Alissa. Alissa loved adventure so she couldn’t help but to smile a little the more he told her about his."It is interesting to see how many different cultures that there are on Irisu. I remember visiting the city of Sulumvor. The inhabitants there are quite different from most. They dress in very vibrant colors and they almost are always celebrating something. They are..quite carefree."


Alissa was most fascinated by his stories, for a minute she had even forgotten of the threat at hand. For a moment Alissa looked like a young child listening to fairytales, she couldn’t help it. She had grown up hearing that she would never be able to leave the castle, so most times she wondered what her life would be like if she were to live somewhere else.

She wanted to ask many questions to Tannin now, she wanted to know what it was like in other cities and other Providences, she wanted to know it all but she was cut off before she could even ask a single thing, "You should get some rest. You are clearly exhausted and you will be no good tomorrow if you are falling asleep during the ride. Sleep. There is no need for you to worry. I am a light sleeper..no one will sneak up on us tonight." She couldn’t quite disagree or debate seeing that she also thought that he must have been just as tired if not much more than she was. ”I wasn’t angry at you…” she said not wanting for him to misunderstand. She didn’t want to worry him furthermore so all she could do for the moment was simply turn around for him to think she was sleeping when the truth was far from it.

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When Alissa spoke, Tannin found himself smiling, though she could not see it. He kept his eyes closed but decided to reply. "I know. You acted much as I did when I was younger..when I was unable to defend myself as I can now. I did not like feeling useless." Tannin fell silent in the hopes that Alissa would soon find sleep. She truly did need it even if she didn't think that she did. He found himself tensing slightly at every little noise though he did try to hide it. He was glad that there was distance between them otherwise he was sure she would have asked him what was wrong.

The night went by rather slowly and a few times Tannin found himself trying to drift off to sleep. After about five in the morning, he rose from the warm makeshift bed and gathered his weapons, placing them back in their rightful place on his person and then quietly exited the tent. He sat down near the fire, stoking it once again. He just had a really bad feeling..almost as if something was going to happen. Once he was sure the fire wasn't going to go out, Tannin left the camp, making himself unseen. He knew that if Alissa realized that he was gone and couldn't find him that she would begin to panic but he trusted that she would at least remain in the tent.

As he was hidden, Tannin pulled up his mask and hood, hiding his appearance. Time seemed to pass quicker than before and soon the sun was up. Considering how much snow had fallen it was a rather beautiful morning. As Tannin sat by himself, he found his thoughts drifting to Alissa again. Why he couldn't stop thinking about her, he did not know. He did know that he shouldn't be thinking about her. Their families were enemies and he could see no way that they could ever be in a relationship..not that he could see Alissa ever caring for him in that manner.

Suddenly, movement in the camp forced Tannin to focus on what was going on around him. It seemed that their tail had finally caught up with them. Tannin watched as the man entered into the tent and a few moments later came back out, pulling Alissa after him. Tannin quietly moved closer, remaining hidden. For the moment, the man had no intentions of killing Alissa. "Where is the assassin that you are traveling with?" he demanded harshly. When he was not answered in the manner that he wanted, he spoke again..his voice rising. "You will tell me where he is NOW or I will force it out of you, girl." This statement did not make sense to Tannin. He knew that the man would kill Alissa after he'd found Tannin.

The man pulled out a sword, holding it rather close to Alissa's beautiful face. He seemed intent on making sure that the young woman understood that he meant what he'd said. Tannin moved then, getting closer. The man spoke again. "I am Delban. I'm Lorn's right hand man. I do not enjoy being toyed with. I know for a fact that you've been traveling with someone from the Assassin's Guild. I mean to kill him as he has failed in his job. But..I suspect you already know this." The man moved the blade away from Alissa to only hold it so that he could strike her. However, he never touched Alissa.

Tannin had come out of nowhere and rammed into the man, forcing him away from the Princess. They both toppled over. Delban tried to recover as Tannin rolled up to a stand. The two merely glared at one another for a moment. "Ah..there you are. Pathetic. Lorn should never have trusted such a important task to one of your kind. You are all the same..the scum of this world. I will see to it that all of those that live under the colors of the Guild will be slain..in the most horrible of way.."

Delban then flew at Tannin. The assassin quickly pulled out his sword blocking the furious attacks that were thrown his way. He moved with more grace and precision than his opponent. Delban, however, obviously did not believe in fighting fairly. He tried everything in order to get a hand up on Tannin. At last, as the man was moving to attack Tannin once again with his sword, he pulled out a hidden dagger. Tannin was unfortunate enough to not see the blade until it was too late. Delban quickly flipped his sword around, ramming the assassin up side the head, quite hard. This caused Tannin to stumble. He'd not been expecting the other man to move as he had.

Tannin landed on the ground, disoriented from the hit. Suddenly Delban took the dagger that he'd pulled and struck Tannin across the should blade, cutting deeply. The assassin reacted immediately. Tannin rolled his body around as the man pulled back from the strike. Tannin then proceeded to swipe his leg against the other man's, causing him to fall to the ground. He'd never even seen the man pull the dagger out. He had no idea where it had come from. Tannin quickly got up, trying to ignore the searing pain in his shoulder. He could already feel the blood rushing out of the wound.

Delban got up after Tannin and they soon found themselves clashing their blades once again. They fought for some time longer, though now the stain of blood was upon the ground where Tannin had been. As he fought, he slowly began to forget the wound. This time, however, Tannin landed a few good strikes to the man, wounding him rather badly. The worst of the wounds occurred when Tannin plunged his blade through the man's side. Though he had missed anything important, if the man did not receive any medical attention within the hour..he would not make it. He now lay upon ground and Tannin deftly pulled his blade out of the bleeding man. He leaned down, so that they were close. Tannin then spoke to the injured man, speaking so softly that he doubted that Alissa could hear. "If you live long enough to see Lorn again, tell him that the Assassin's Guild will be in touch. Next time, I will not be so lenient. I suggest you stop trying to tail us."

Tannin moved away, his blue eyes glued to the man. Delban quickly got up..with some trouble and then quickly made his way from the campsite. Tannin did not move but simply remained standing where he was, watching the distance. When he was satisfied that the man was gone and wasn't coming back back, he slowly moved closer to Alissa. "You are unharmed?" he asked, concern shinning in his gaze. Now that he was standing there before the Princess, he could tell that his head was bleeding where he'd been struck the the hilt of the other man's sword. He then slowly left Alissa's side and made his way to where Daeroch's tack was. He quickly found the small bag of medical supplies that he'd thought to bring along. He then pulled out the same small pot that he'd used the night before. He made his way to the fire and scooped snow into the pot. He then placed it on the fire, waiting for it to melt.

He pulled down his hood and mask, revealing how badly he'd been struck. He could feel his head throbbing and his shoulder felt like it was on fire. When the snow had turned to water and was boiling, he dipped one of the cloths that he'd brought with them into it. He then gently pressed the cloth to the wound on his head. His eyes closed, trying to block out the assault of pain that he was feeling. "Alissa, I need you to do something for me. I can't see or reach the wound on my shoulder. I can tell that it needs to be stitched or else it will get infected and I won't make it." He opened his eyes, turning his focus back to the young woman. "I need you to help me..please." Tannin handed Alissa all of the medical supplies, including the bandages and needle and thread.

Pulling the now discolored cloth from his head, Tannin moved and entered into the tent. Once inside, he removed all of his weapons and the his cloak and mask. Lastly, with great pain, Tannin pulled his tunic and vest off so that Alissa could get to the wound. He then laid down on his stomach, closing his eyes. He could only hope that she could do this for him, otherwise he would die within the next few days.

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Alissa heard Tannin explain how he too had felt useless when he was younger, she nodded remembering how he had told her of how he gained his scar and simply remained quiet for the rest of the night. If she could have guessed she had barely gotten but a good three hours of sleep, that is almost overdoing it. Even so, she was thankful that her dreams that night had not contained anything other than a pitch black darkness. She woke up only to notice that Tannin stepping out of the tent, she trembled a bit not knowing if he had seen the man that had been following but after seeing that he did not make any sound and quietly left the tent she calmed herself.

As soon as Tannin headed outside, Alissa waited for a few minutes before she too headed outside. She knew that Tannin would have highly disapproved but at the moment all she wanted to do was to get out at least for a few seconds. The first thing she noticed was the beautiful snow that had piled up from the night before, then her eyes shifted to Daeroch who, like her, waited patiently for Tannin’s return.

She moved closer to the beautiful obedient horse, once she was close enough she carefully stroke Daeroch’s crest. She smiled at the beautiful creature remembering her own, Libertas. She wondered how her old friend and old companion was doing and hoped that she was being tend to. Shoving any troubled feelings regarding anything she did not have any control of and remembering her actual situation she moved quickly back to the tent.

Alissa had barely managed to enter the tent when someone else followed after her, it was none other than the cursed man that had finally managed to follow their trail. Alissa barely managed to scream to alert Tannin but as soon as she did, he violently took ahold of her, he shook her demanding answers, "Where is the assassin that you are traveling with?" Alissa did no answer. The man in anger forced her outside the tent, Alissa looked at the man most defiantly, something not even herself had expected.

"You will tell me where he is NOW or I will force it out of you, girl."
She shook her head, the man’s grip now grew tighter almost unbearable for Alissa, ‘That should leave a bruise’ thought immediately Alissa. She let out a small sound in pain, and knowing that the man was most unpleased at her silent it wasn’t a surprise when the man pulled a sword against her face. She could feel the cold metal against her skin sending her chills.

""I am Delban. I'm Lorn's right hand man. I do not enjoy being toyed with. I know for a fact that you've been traveling with someone from the Assassin's Guild. I mean to kill him as he has failed in his job. But..I suspect you already know this." Alissa was most frightened that much was obvious even to a blinds eye, but if she were to die she did not want to die in fear. Adrenaline pushed in and anger mixed with a rush, “You can tell Lorn to go to hell,” she said most defiantly after spitting on his face. Alissa could already see what would become of her when the man cleaned his face followed by an angered grunt. The man pulled the blade out of the side of her face only to prepare himself to slay her, the young woman closing her eyes in fear waiting for his deadly move.

In a matter of seconds Tannin shoved himself against Delban severing his grip from Alissa. Both bodies rolled to the side, and both quickly took a stand as soon as they could. The man spoke first dissing Tannin and threatening him, “I will see to it that all of those that live under the colors of the Guild will be slain..in the most horrible of way.."

Soon afterwards everything was happening far too quick for Alissas eyes, she saw both Tannin and Delban fighting most furiously, it was obvious that the repugnant man did not fight fairly. Alissa could do nothing but to watch as the two men fought, it wasn’t until she saw Tannin stumbling down in pain that she let out a horrified scream. Alissa was in tears as the man pierced through his skin once more. Soon enough though, Tannin recovered and returned the favor by doing the same.

As soon as the man fled from the campsite Alissa felt like she could breathe again, she ogled Tannin trying to see just how bad he had ben injured, "You are unharmed?" he asked in full concern, Alissa nodded immediately cleaning her tears that did not allow her to see Tannin’s injury very well. Alissa could see blood on his head, quickly she moved along with Tannin and helped Tannin with the medical supplies. Tannin had managed to heat some water into the pot and soon afterwards took off both his hood and mask only to reveal a bloody mess.

She could not hide her immense shock, Alissa had been taught first aids and immediately recognized that such wound would need to be cleansed and tend to immediately. As soon as the water was boiling he used a cloth to place it on his head, "Alissa, I need you to do something for me. I can't see or reach the wound on my shoulder. I can tell that it needs to be stitched or else it will get infected and I won't make it. I need you to help me..please." he said handing her all of the medical supplies.

Alissa helped Tannin inside the tent seeing him in great pain. He took his armor and everything else from him so that she would tend his wound. Alissa knew what she had to do, and she was grateful that her father had been so strict in giving her lessons from horse riding to first aid.

The young girl moved as fast as she could, she searched for water to clean her hands and prevent Tannin from getting an infection or otherwise. She picked the boiling water quickly and moved inside the tent again, she soaked another cloth in the boiling water and soon after placed it on his shoulder wound. She placed the needle inside the boiling water in trying to stabilize it before she stitched his wound. She applied pressure wanting to stop the bleeding; she was able to cleanse the wound thoroughly taking her more than a few minutes. In trying to calm Tannin, she spoke softly to him, ”you know, in moments like this, having to take more than 7 different lessons a day does not seems even half as bad.” she said smiling, wanting to help him not to concentrate as much on his pain.

Once the bleeding stopped Alissa picked the needle from the pot, the water was still very hot so that she burnt herself a little as soon as she took it out. She took the tread and inserted it inside the needle. She stitched the wound as fast as her delicate hand allowed her, thankfully she had done a great job, much better than she had initially thought she would.

She then proceeded to help him with the wound on his head. She did the same, cleansed the wound, stopped the bleeding and she did the best she could to tend him. Once she had finally succeeded she let out a sigh of relief, she had been too focused on helping Tannin that she hadn’t really had time to worry. She had been taught to stay calm in order to tend to a wound and to transmit calmness but in truth she was worried almost to the point of sickness. “how are you feeling? Did it hurt badly? I’m sorry, I tried to be careful.” she said most apologetic. “I’m sorry you got hurt…” she said with her head looking at the floor now. She had never felt so helpless in her life, having to see Tannin fight was almost unbearable, she knew that was part of his job description but that did not meant that she had to like it. Before she could add anything else, she kept her head download, not being able to look at his eyes, "Please..." she paused for a moment, "Teach me how to fight" she said now looking at his eyes most determinate, almost with a fire in her eyes. "I don't ever want to feel like that." She looked at him who was most obviously tired and felt embarrassed of her words, "you don't have to say anything right now, just think about it" she said not leaving him time to reply, she didn't want for him to dismiss her idea.

She had done a tourniquet on the wound on his head, seeing everything that had happened and knowing that he hadn’t been able to rest the night before she spoke softly, “you should get some rest for now, I highly doubt that he will get too far ahead, besides you can really use some sleep.” she said almost begging him, hoping that he could listen to her and hopefully take a nap. She covered him with the sheets nearby knowing it was still cold. Again, she didn't give him time to argue with her and she headed outside to keep the fire going, she moved to Daeroch and fed him as well as she gave him a caring pat, almost as if notifying him that Tannin would be okay. She didn't take long before she headed back to the tent and carefully looked at Tannin with a face full of concern and kindness.

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As Alissa applied pressure to his wound, she spoke trying to keep him calm. ”You know, in moments like this, having to take more than 7 different lessons a day does not seems even half as bad.” The pain that he felt as she tried to get the wound to stop bleeding was terrible. He buried his face into the blanket that he was laying on, in the hopes that this would ease the pain..it did not. Soon, though, Alissa was letting off of his shoulder. Not a few moments later she was stitching his shoulder up. Tannin once again tried to focus on anything except for his shoulder..though he was failing miserably. Had his shoulder not been hurting so badly, he knew that he would have barely felt the hot needle.

At last, the pulling and tugging stopped. Tannin could feel himself breathing a bit more, now. Then, Alissa began cleaning the wound on his head. During this he almost fell asleep. Her gentle hands had been steadily lulling him into a doze. When she stopped, however, Tannin's eyes opened once again, though he did not move. “How are you feeling? Did it hurt badly? I’m sorry, I tried to be careful....I’m sorry you got hurt…” Tannin tried not to move, though he could see Alissa from the corner of his eye. "Much better now. Thank you. I have been through worse. The pain was nothing campared to some wounds that I've gotten." Tannin hesitated for a moment before continuing. "There is no need for you to apologize. None of this was your fault."

After a few moments of silence, Alissa spoke to him once again. "Please...Teach me how to fight" Tannin could not believe what he was hearing. Slowly, and with some difficulty, he rose up on his uninjured arm, turning to hold Alissa's gaze. She was serious. "I don't ever want to feel like that. You don't have to say anything right now, just think about it"

The assassin did not say anything. He did not make it a habit to train anyone other than those in the Guild and even then Litania was the only one that he truly concentrated on. Could he train her? He could not think very well, his head was beginning to hurt once again. Alissa suddenly spoke again, however, saving him from having to decide upon her request until later. “You should get some rest for now, I highly doubt that he will get too far ahead, besides you can really use some sleep.” Tannin could tell from the way that she spoke that the Princess really did want him to rest. He gently slid back down, allowing himself to lay upon his stomach once again.

Alissa covered him with a blanket and then left the tent. Tannin supposed that there was no harm in getting some rest. He was exhausted and he couldn't even think straight. He gently closed his eyes, trying to relax. Alissa was gone for a good few minutes..or more. Tannin was unsure. However, when she did reenter the tent, he could feel her gaze upon him. "You are making it difficult for me to rest." he said as he tiredly opened his eyes, looking back at the young woman. However, there was a small smile on his face. "Perhaps if you were to lay down as well..I would know that you are safe and then I could sleep."

He closed his eyes once again, hoping that Alissa would at least sit near him. He was still on edge from earlier and if she was wondering about there was no way that he would get any sleep at all. Slowly, Tannin felt himself slipping farther and farther into a deep sleep. Just before he was completely asleep, he mumbled the words, "Thank you."

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Alissa starred at Tannin full of concern, even though he had claimed to be in worse conditions before she found no comfort in his words. The thought of seeing him in a worse state made her almost sick, and she remembered that there was still a long journey to arrive to the Guild. She knew very well that he was badly injured and that it would take him some time before he could heal, she prayed with most desperation that the rest of the trip would be peaceful and that they would go unnoticed.

It was obvious her concerned gaze was far too noticeable as Tannin spoke softly, “You are making it difficult for me to rest. Perhaps if you were to lay down as well...I would know that you are safe and then I could sleep." Alissa obeyed after his words realizing how exhausted he must have been and sat down close to him but keeping her distance. After all, she didn’t want to accidentally touch one of his wounds. It was then where Alissa noticed a different side of Tannin, a much more vulnerable and gentle version of him, had she not been worried sick a smile would have crept up the curve of her lips. She knew that she needed to stop starring at the young man and allow him to rest but her eyes obeyed her not.

Finally, Tannin fell asleep but before doing so he barely managed to say two words that brought a gentle smile to Alissa’s face, “Thank you”. Alissa nodded not saying anything in return, she didn’t want to disturb his peaceful sleep. Suddenly she noticed a strange reaction on her body, her hands were still shaking from the fear of seeing him endangered, and even more so after seeing that much amount of blood. She had washed her hands but it was as if the blood had never left. Even though she had been calmed and determinate before it was still the first time that she had treated such a serious wound, it made her nervous to think that she had done something wrong.

For minutes, Alissa remembered everything she could from her medicinal lessons. Trying to remember if she had followed from most insignificant to most essential instructions, she would never forgive herself if her poor medical skills would cause Tannin more harm than the one that had already been done unto him. Finally, feeling confident enough that she had done a good job she had finally allowed herself to calm down. She lied down close to Tannin, allowing herself to somewhat relax, and after several minutes after her eyes too gave out, allowing her to fall asleep once again.



Hours had passed, and Alissa had managed to open her eyes, unaware of what time it was exactly; she could have guessed it was hours past afternoon, everything has happened early in the morning and now it was starting to get late. She sat down and stretched a bit, her arms stretched widely when suddenly she felt an unexpected pain on her right arm, it was then she noticed a purple spot in form of a bruise that had formed on her arm. Delban had grasped onto her quite strongly, so in truth she was unsurprised at the sight of her new ugly purple mark.

Alissa sighed, and then headed outside the tent quietly; she didn’t want to wake Tannin up, he deserved every single second of rest that he could get. Once she was outside she was determinate to cook something for her and Tannin, truth was she hadn’t eaten much of the soup Tannin made before and they hadn’t quite gotten much of a chance to eat anything. She collected ingredients from the things that Tannin had gotten near the market when they were still in the inn and managed to cook another soup. When the soup was boiling and ready, Alissa served a portion in a bowl, one for Tannin and one for herself. She grabbed both bowls carefully not to get burnt and she headed inside the tent again.

She looked at Tannin for a moment and hesitated in waking him up, finally she decided it was better to wake him up now that the soup was still warm. She carefully approached him bending down to where he was laying down, she moved hair from his bangs that were covering his face and gently moved it behind his ears. She smiled endearingly trying to wake him up, ”food’s ready” she said.

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How long he slept, Tannin did not know. Though laying on the hard ground with no pillow was normally not comfortable, Tannin found that he was rather comfy. Almost suddenly, however, he thought that he heard someone trying to wake him. Their fingers gently moved some of his hair and then the person spoke. ”Food’s ready” He did not move at first, simply laying in the spot that Alissa had found him. He was slowly becoming aware of a dull throbbing in his head and he was sure that his should would start hurting the moment he forgot he'd been wounded and moved too quickly. At last, he opened his eyes and quickly focused on the beautiful young woman that was near him. Slowly, Tannin moved..sitting up. Though he'd struggled a bit, he hoped that Alissa had not noticed.

He took the bowl from Alissa as she offered it to him. He eyed it for a second and then back up to the Princess. "You didn't poison this, did you?" he asked, a smile on his face. After waiting a moment for Alissa to answer, he laughed lightly. "Thank you." While trying not to move his injured shoulder, Tannin slowly ate. He was actually surprised at how good it was. It did not take him long to finish though when he was done he remained sitting there with Alissa. He'd noticed the look that she'd been giving him when he awoke. He was..unsure of what to think about it. It was a look that he was unused to and he had no idea what it meant. It..bothered him that he had come across something that he did not understand.

At last, he rose and slowly exited the tent. He sat the bowl down near the fire before making his way over to Daeroch's tack. He dug into one of the bags, finding a new set of clothing. He pulled the clothes out and quickly disappeared. He made his way from the campsite, far enough that he was sure that Alissa could not possibly come across him. The clothing that he'd pulled out matched exactly the outfit that he'd had on before. He got dressed as quickly as his shoulder would let him. His other set would just be burnt, there was no need to travel around with the torn and soiled clothing. He needed only to get his armor and his weapons from the pile he'd taken off earlier.

Tannin slowly made his way back to the campsite and immediately entered the tent. He gathered his weapons and armor, putting each item in their proper place. His eyes flicked to Alissa for a moment. "We can not linger here any longer. We have already been here for too long." He then smiled gently at the young woman. "If you could, while I am getting our things together, you can burn these old clothes and perhaps get our dishes cleaned? I will take care of everything else." He waited for Alissa to speak before beginning to roll up the blankets that they'd slept in. He exited the tent and made his way over to Daeroch. Gently, he sat the rolls down and then began tacking his horse. He was doing fine until he went to put the saddle on the large horse. The pain that he suddenly felt was sharp and felt almost as if the wound was on fire. He did not stop, however, though he was sure the look on his face gave away how much pain he was in.

Once he was finished, he tied on the blankets and then went back to the tent. Quickly, he began taking down the small tent. This, too, he rolled and the tied onto Daeroch's saddle. When he was finished he made his way over to Alissa, standing rather close to her. He was silent for a moment before finally speaking to her. "Are you ready?" he asked, looking to the young woman. Tannin knew that he needed to rest in order for his wounds to heal. They did not have that luxury, however. He removed the wrappings that Alissa had placed around his head. Then, he pulled his hood and mask up. He then held out a hand for Alissa, offering to help her up. He then led the way back to Daeroch and then proceeded to help Alissa up onto the large horse. He then followed her up, trying not to think about the pain that seared through his shoulder.

Tannin nudged Daeroch into a fast pace. As they made their way through the woods, Tannin only used one of his arms to direct the horse. By doing this he was letting up the pain in the other arm. "We should arrive at the base of the mountain by tonight. After that, it will hopefully only take us a few more days before we arrive." In all honesty, he was looking forward to being home again. He'd been gone far longer than he'd meant to and he could only imagine how things were going. He hoped that Lorn had not done anything against the Guild after having found out that Alissa was still alive. Regardless, he could not say that he'd made a poor decision. He was glad that he'd decided to spare Alissa's life. He was even starting to think that he was becoming rather fond of her.

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Alissa smiled as Tannin took the bowl from her, "You didn't poison this, did you?" he asked with a smile, Alissa simply rolled her eyes with a playful smile, “I guess you’ll have to find out” she replied jokingly to which he laughed lightly. Alissa waited patiently as Tannin ate the soup and hoped that it would be of his liking. In the meantime she played with her cloaks warm fur, she didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable, mostly because she knew it was still impossible for her not to look worried.

In a matter of a few minutes, Tannin was attempting to get up; immediately and without thinking it twice Alissa helped him being outmost careful of not touching him anywhere near his wounds. He left the tent for a few more minutes but Alissa did not follow him, instead she stayed in the tent as she waited for him to get back. During the time he was out preparing things she too tried to store some of the things inside the tent, she knew Tannin would want to move along.

It wasn’t much of a surprise to Alissa when Tannin told her they needed to move along as soon as he entered the tent again. She nodded in agreement, even though she knew that he was in no condition to ride Daeroch were they to stay longer there the more in danger they would be in. "If you could, while I am getting our things together, you can burn these old clothes and perhaps get our dishes cleaned? I will take care of everything else." Tannin asked with a smile, before he gave her any chance to refuse he was already doing things on his own. In truth Alissa wanted to help out much more but it seemed as if he had already taken care of most things.

Alissa did as Tannin asked; as soon as she had finished her doing she moved closer to him. ”Are you ready” Tannin asked to which Alissa replied with a small “always am” and with a smile. Tannin helped her up Daeroch once more, soon after he also mounted the beautiful horse. Alissa knew very well that he was in pain, it was obvious he was trying to hide it from her. "We should arrive at the base of the mountain by tonight. After that, it will hopefully only take us a few more days before we arrive." he said perhaps in trying to reassure her.

"Please..." she began speaking carefully trying to find the right words to pull her attempt to help off, "let me ride Daeroch. I am a good rider, you can't really do it in your state; you'll only make it harder on yourself and it will be even more difficult for you to heal. If you're to guide me through the right path I am sure I can handle it."