Helgha sat patiently, waiting for Belsar to finish his rest. She didn't like that he was so careless and it grated on her instincts heavily, “Must you do this now? We are in hostile lands.”
Belsar dove a bit further into the water and swam out a bit, “What are you worried about, Helgha? Some wolves sneaking up on us? Everyone knows wolves don't hunt these areas.” he smiled knowing the words he spoke to be ironic considering the visions Aelred had seen just a few days ago. The news disturbed him, of course, but this wasn't the time yet for morbid moods, “Besides, these are my lands, Helgha. I'm not going to cower in them.”
“We've already been seen, lad, are you going to take the risk that they take action?” she snapped at him with quite a bit of venom.
The Marquis laughed it off, however, as he continued his swim, “Helgha, those cowards know better than to attack us. I'd have killed them by now; Even naked.” he slapped the water, spraying the woman, “Lighten up. If it's that big of a worry, go kill them.”
Rolling her eyes she sat and began to prepare food, “No. They will leave shortly, no need to bother with them.” she didn't even raise her head as the founds of footsteps rushed away from the pond and the sound of bows being released were heard, “It appears you are right as always. How do you do it?”
He took a stern look as he considered his answer, “To know a man is to look at all the options in front of you and choose the rock.” when she looked at him confusedly he burst out laughing, “As my father would say 'I have no damn idea!'” slowly he moved to collect his clothing before dressing and moving back to the camp. A few of the soldiers there made their salutes as he returned the favor. He was never one for formalities, but he would leave them their honor; It was all some folks had and all others sought.
Once inside the tent he saw a rather irate old man, “Where the hell have you been? I have been waiting for nearly two hours.”
“To be truthful, and I should as lying to you is an act of treason, I was avoiding you.” he didn't so much as smile as he moved to take a seat at the planning table. He was less than thrilled that Kythos had proclaimed that the Inquisition would be following them into the territory. It did solve several problems at once, however, and he would deal with it however he needed.
“The nerve- Very well. What are your plans for the assault. I wish to have this handled by nightfall.” he seemed confident in their situation which made Belsar raise his eyebrows.
“If you think I am going to send my men into this before we have scouts report properly then you are mistaken, your grace.” he sat, lied out over the chair lazily. He wasn't willing to send his men into a potential trap, “As you very well know, every loss is a potential enemy later. I will not risk losing this fight simply because you require expediency.”
The inquisitor looked at him with malice in his eyes, “What treachery. This must be handled immediately. You have withheld this information for long enough and now you wish to delay the extermination of this blight?”
Belsar sighed before taking a drink from his special flask, “If you wish to send your men in, then do so. I will send my rangers to assist you. They are quite skilled as I'm sure you've heard. They can make certain the flanks are covered and that none escape to spread this disease.” he took out a blade and fiddled with it.
“Is that all you can offer Dhamria? Pathetic. Here I was told you were courageous, prodigious even. Nothing like your father, I see.” he sneered as he tossed his insult. He saw that it struck a cord within Belsar, something that was rare, “I'm certain you will answer to him when the time comes, however. It's not too late to dedicate yourself entirely, my boy.” the Inquisitor left the tent after he said his part and Belsar slung a dagger at the post where his head would have been next to had he been inside. Sighing and calming himself, the young Marquis stood and moved to call for a meeting with his scouts and officers.
After giving out his orders Aelred looked to him, “Sire, those orders... You are going to lead the Inquisitor's men to their slaughter.”
“I cannot stop the High Inquisitor from sending his men, but I won't take those losses when we know what will happen. It will lose us this fight and you know it as well as I. What must be done will be painful...” he hung his head and placed both hands down on the table to steady his heavy shoulders. Aelred, seeing his pain placed a hand on his head, “My boy, I know the choice you make. You father would have struggled with it, too. He was your friend; Your mentor. It can't be easy. Not to mention all of the innoc-”
“Enough!” the Marquis tossed several cups from the table in a sweep, “I know, I know. Please. Don't remind me...” he reached his hand over to grasp his friend's, “One more time, Aelred? I know it taxes you, but I will do it this time.” as the man nodded both of their eyes glazed over as they seemed to be wracked with pain. Only a moment later Belsar jerked back and fell to the ground tears in his eyes, “No... You said she would be safe! You said they were meant to travel north! Damn it all, Aelred! I was so careful!”
Aelred's own confusion punctuated the conversation. The older man never so much as swayed after the vision, however, “I- There is something wrong, they should have been safe. The vision was quite clear. I am truly sorry, my boy.” he knew not what to say. It had been a long time since Belsar had cried and he didn't like how emotional the Marquis had been lately, “Are you certain you do not wish for Helgha and I to organize this attack?” he immediately held his tongue as he saw the Marquis's expression. He nodded and left the tent.
Drawing out a blade from under his tunic he turned it in his hand, this time it was made of wood, it almost seemed to be a wand. It depicted a pattern of briar wrapping around its length, all the way to the handle, “How could you, Algav? All of this? For what? The war is far from won...”