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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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Christine

Bizarre Reunion

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A bag in her hands, Adawyn ran down the street, ready to get in from the rain and into a nice hot bath. The door of the inn was opened from inside by a boy, and she flashed him a thankful smile. “Thank you, child.†He grinned at her, and she bent down, pressing a gentle kiss to his cheek. “If you do that for all the young ladies, all of us older ladies wont have a chance with you.†She winked at him, and he moved back, allowing her to enter as much as she pleased. Shaking out the lower part of her cloak, she sighed, regretting wearing her nice red slippers. She should have known better on a day with dark clouds, but she had wanted to wear the nice shoes because they went so nicely with the red dress she wore. It was one of her favorites, the neckline low, yet still modest, and her curves were accentuated. She walked up to the woman sitting behind the counter and asked if she had recieved any messages. The woman checked, and she had none. Thank goodness, that meant her father hadnt found her yet. She liked Caemlyn and didnt want to move on yet.

 

Her hands went up to the hood of her cloak as she was about to set it down in order to allow her hair freedom, but a voice called out shocked her. “Covai Seriba! Where have you been?†Her head whipped around to the voice, and she saw two men. Slipping from her spot, she moved to stand behind a pillar, watching the two men. One left, leaving the one called ‘Covai’ by himself. Adawyn’s heart was racing. What was going on? Her family name was rare, and the fact that he had the same first name, same facial features, and the same age that belonged to her cousin was a bit of a shock to her. The man was sitting by himself, and she wrapped her arms across her chest. She was all alone in a big city, and she knew no one. Should she trust him and put herself out to him? She just didnt know what to do.

 

She turned to the innkeeper, who was a few steps away, and looked up from the floor to look into his eyes. “Who is that man over there?†she asked, acknowledging ‘Covai Seriba.’ He looked a little wary, and her small hand slipped out of her brown cloak, pressing a few silver crowns into his hand. “I must know who he is.†The man nodded, and beckoned her to the corner. â€He comes here on occasion, and is always dressed in black. He also knows many of us in the tavern business around Caemlyn. He is a private man, and I know no more than that.†She nodded her head, and turned back to look at the man. He had a glass of ale in his hand, and he was watching the gleeman in the corner. She had to know.

 

Walking forward, Adawyn had to remind herself to breathe. Light, what was she doing... she didnt know the man, and just because she had the same name as he did was no reason to believe that they were related. She was all alone in the world now... she would never return to be with her father. She knew that eventually, he would make her marry and then leave her the inn, and that wasnt the life she wanted. She wanted to run an inn of her own, something were she had adventure and excitement, and not be tied down. She wanted love, not duty. Light, she had to make a move now...

 

Standing beside him, he looked up at her, and she knew that it was him. The shape of his nose, and the way he swallowed the drink in his mouth... it was just like her father. Smiling to him, she slowly put the hood down on her cloak so that he could see her face. People often said that she looked like her mother, but had her father’s eyes. Perhaps he would see them too. Sitting down, she asked, “Mind if I join you?†He nodded his head, and she rested her elbow on the table, her chin resting on the back of her hand. He looked at her for a moment, and she offered her other hand to him. He took it, and he introduced himself. â€Hello, my name is-“ “-Covai Seriba, I know. Rather interesting name, by the way. Mine is Adawyn. I was hoping that you could help me.†He nodded his head. “You see, my father and I lived in the Four Kings, and about eight years ago, we were waiting on my father’s brother and his son. Its funny, because if my cousin is alive, he is about your age... and with your eyes... and with your name.â€

 

Covai looked at her in shock. “I was wondering if you were he. My name is Adawyn Seriba, and I was hoping that, perhaps, you could tell me whether or not you are my cousin, because he and my uncle went missing when they were traveling to meet us and begin and inn.†His eyes opened wide, as if he knew the story all too well. “Are you my cousin?†Her heart stopped and her voice caught, wondering if she had found someone in the middle of the world.

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Covai was stunned. At first he thought this woman had just been trying to pick him up, but he had quickly thrown that idea out the window. Part of him was hoping she could be right, but if somehow this was all some game…

 

Covai looked ‘Adawyn’ up and down. She did seem to look familiar, but Covai was in and out of Caemlyn fairly regularly. It wouldn’t be a far stretch to assume his name had spread, especially considering his ties to the Black Tower. But the fact she was mentioning his father was something he had never shared with anyone. Well, maybe he had mentioned to Koras and Zybnek, but that was years ago. Even by Daes Dae’mar standards, that seemed a little too far of a stretch.

 

Parts of Covai’s instinct were telling him not to trust this woman. Any woman who knew more about you then you them was trouble. But since Covai wasn’t going to let a possible link to his past slip by, he gave her the benefit of the doubt. After all, he could always kick himself later for it.

 

Distracted by the serving girl bringing him his meal, Covai nodded for her to place it on the table. Breaking on an corner of the fresh bread, Covai nodded for Adawyn to help herself as he broke the silence that has been building. Her confidence seemed to have slipped from when she first approached. Whether that was his fault, or she was just nervous, he couldn’t tell.

 

“So tell me, Adawyn, what was your father’s name?†To be honest Covai didn’t know what his Uncle’s name had been, but since she didn’t hesitate with a response, Covai guessed she was telling the truth. Nodding, Covai continued as he munched on the piece of bread he had broken off. “Fair enough. Tell me then….†Covai’s words were cut off as he noticed two men approaching them, their eyes on Adawyn. Covai gave his head the barest of nods towards the two. “…they friends of yours?â€

 

Seizing Saidin, Covai held it at the ready, ignoring the darkening mood the taint brought on. It perfectly fitted the situation at the moment. A dark, disgusting feeling of despair surrounding a freezing fire that could tear you apart, just like the heavy rain surrounding the shelter of the inn. Whether Adawyn was related or not, the men weren’t laying a hand on her as far as Covai was concerned.

 

“So how’s about you leaving this fella and coming with us for a bit, eh?†The taller of the two suggested to Adawyn as he leaned an arm of the table. If he wasn’t already in the void Covai would have blinked in surprise at the man’s stupidity. They definitely weren’t the usual type of customer for this inn. “Yeah, that’s right, two’s better then one, ain’t it sweetie?†The other added. Covai held back as Adawyn rolled her eyes before speaking.

 

“Well there’s no use arguing the finer point of logic with an idiot is there? They’ll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.†Covai felt the comment was half directed as a comment to him, half an insult to the two men. It also sounded frighteningly familiar.

 

Covai could see the man's hand clench as his attitude darkened. Both men were clearly drunk, but the taller of the two still seemed to be the more agitated of the pair. "What'd you say??" The irritation was plain is his voice. "She said because of your presence here, some village is missing it's idiot." Covai's voice as like ice from within the void, but he almost stumbled over the last as Adawyn spoke the exact same retort as he did.

 

The drunks finally got the hint on the second insult. Their hands were sluggish from drinking but Covai wasn't. He had both men's fists bound in air whilst they were still above their heads. Standing from the table, Covai stood to his full height. He was level with the taller of the two, and maybe two inches taller than the shorter. His hands knocked away the taller's punch before Covai's fist connected with the man's nose, breaking it rather loudly. Brandishing the hilt of his sword in the same motion, Covai was glad the shorter of the two men hesitated his attack and waited.

 

His voice rang clear through the now quiet common room, despite the fact he spoke only to the two infront of them. "You two listen to me. See these?" Covai tilted his chin up slightly, indicating to the two pins adorning his collar. "Do you know what these are? These mean I could kill the both of you before you could even blink. Now, I will give you both one chance. Turn around, walk away, and don't ever, ever come back here again, or bother anybody while they're in the middle of a conversation. Do you understand me?" Covai waited for the two men to nod and mumble their agreement before he let their bonds go.

 

Releasing Saidin after the two had left the building into the rain, Covai resumed his seat opposite Adawyn, who had remained quiet during the incident. His mood had taken a serious turn, but he was just glad there hadn't been cause for bloodshed.

 

Covai tilted his head to the side as he looked at Adawyn, his tone lightening "Guess that probably wasn't the most assuring performance, was it?"

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He looked at her in shock for a few minutes, and then looked her over. She was about to start shaking, she was so nervous. Just the way he held himself... it was certainly a family trait. Her father always did that twitch in his lips, and the way his eyes searched her... it truly was almost like watching a younger version of her father. She glanced away, afraid of his glances, and he suddenly looked away, and she looked up to see serving girl put the meal on the table. He took a piece of the bread, and then beckoned Adawyn to take a piece. She actually hadn’t eaten much that day, so the thought of the bread was wonderful. She reached out and broke off a piece of it. Happily, she put a piece of it into her mouth, enjoying the warmth, especially after how cold and wet she was.

 

“So tell me, Adawyn, what was your father’s name?†Adawyn swallowed the bread, and said, “My father’s name is Edwin Seriba.†He nodded his head, and she took another bite of the bread in her hands. “Fair enough. Tell me then….†He looked over her head, and she turned to look at the men he nodded to. “…they friends of yours?†Taking one look at the men, she turned back around, her arms crossed, sighing. Honestly, could she ever escape men? She was sick of men being all over her, and always bothering. Didn’t they know, she had a brain? Did they not know that she was a person too? Men... what a bother they were.

 

She stared at Covai, and saw him watching the men. She really didn’t have time for this. “So how’s about you leaving this fella and coming with us for a bit, eh?†She felt the man behind her as he leaned on the table, and Adawyn put a smile on her face, turning to him. They were rather drunk, and only her training in dealing with drunks kept her from cringing at the smell. “Yeah, that’s right, two’s better then one, ain’t it sweetie?†Right... only when men were working. Other than that, two men were always just a bother. She glanced at him, holding back a grimace, and turned back to them to speak.

 

“Well there’s no use arguing the finer point of logic with an idiot is there? They’ll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.†How often had her father told her that? Too many times to count. The man closer to her, the bigger one, seemed to be a lot angrier than the other one, who hadn’t gotten the joke. Clearly, her point was being proven.

 

â€What’d you say?†Light... didn’t these men get it? Honestly, men thought that no was yes, and yes was please. She hoped she didn’t have to punch someone for them to get the point... her cousin might just think she had gone crazy. "She said because of your presence here-“ Adawyn cut off Covai, using another of his phrases. “Some village is missing its idiot." She heard the phrase stated at the same time as her, and she took a glance at Covai. This was really getting to be weird.

 

Finally, the drunks got the idea that she was not, and would never be, interested in lowlife men like them. She was about to punch one of them as they walked up to her, but were held back, their hands still in midair. What in the light? Covai stood behind her, and she watched him punch the tall man, then showed his sword to the other, who paused for a moment. Adawyn was scared. Something was wrong, and she didn’t know what. She just stood there, waiting, not knowing what to do and when to move.

 

Everything around them was still and calm, and Covai spoke to the men, his voice almost echoing to the room. "You two listen to me. See these?†Covai pointed to two pins on his collar. "Do you know what these are? These mean I could kill the both of you before you could even blink. Now, I will give you both one chance. Turn around, walk away, and don't ever, ever come back here again, or bother anybody while they're in the middle of a conversation. Do you understand me?" They nodded and walked away, and Adawyn sat there in shock as he sat back down beside her. Who was this man, and what was the power that had held back the two men. She had so many unanswered questions, and she still had no idea what was going on.

 

He was half smiling at her, trying to make light of the situation as things regained normalcy. "Guess that probably wasn't the most assuring performance, was it?" She smiled at him, and nodded, just a tad worried. What had just happened there, something wasn’t right, and it had to do with Covai. She had to know the truth. “I’m used to the comments, but the fight wasn’t exactly what i see every day...†She looked around, then stood, brushing off her skirts, and returning the hood on her cloak up. “Come with me, please. I think we both know that we are indeed cousins, and I have much to ask you, and this room might not be the best place to ask them.â€

 

He nodded and rose, and she silently walked up the stairs, leaving a few coins on the table to take care of his meal. He followed behind her, and she led him down the hallway, and into her room. He paused for a moment, as if not sure whether or not to enter, but she grabbed the sleeve of his shirt and pulled him into the room. “Don’t be such a baby!†she said to him as he came in. “Honestly, you are my cousin, not my lover, and no one else out here has any business knowing what is going on.†He nodded his head, and she shut and locked the door behind him. Taking a blanket from off the bed, she pushed it up against the door, sealing the crack under the door to keep open ears away. He watched her, and she pointed to the desk where a chair was. “Sit, please.†He did so, and her fingers went to the strings on her cloak, unlacing them. She slipped it off, shaking out her hair and brushing off her skirts.

 

Going to the closet, she hung it up, sighing at how wet it was. That was her only cloak too... she would have to get another one as soon as she was settled in somewhere... if she was settled in. Turning back to him, she brushed her fingers through her hair, and sat at a spare chair. Placing her hands on her lap, she smiled. “Wow, this is so weird. We never knew what happened to you two, and we were waiting for ages, so father just went ahead with the plans, but... light, tell me about yourself! How have you been these past years?†But Covai shook his head, almost confused. “Plans? What plans? You had better talk first.†She was confused, but she began talking anyways.

 

“Well, father was a merchant until mother died- I was twelve at the time- and then my father and your father were going to build an inn, and you and I would grow up together, since you were just a few years older than me. Well, since you never showed, father went ahead with the plans. It was successful, and I have worked there since the beginning. I am really good at it, and I know a lot about different cultures and customs. I also know a lot about finances and how to manage a business. I guess I just learned a lot after all of these years. Well, he wanted me to settle down, and there was no way I would do that, so I ran away. I will not marry, at least, until I want to, and I still want to learn about things and see things and have adventures.†He nodded his head, and she smiled. “Ok, I talked, now it is your turn... and include about what happened down there, because I am still a bit confused.â€

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"You really have no idea, do you?" Covai asked. It was great to finally meet a member of his family after all these years, but he couldn't help but be surprised by the woman's ignorance about current events. Sighing slightly, Covai stood. She'd either be able to accept it or not. If she did, he could acknowledge her as family. If not...then he'd just shut the memory of this night away as if it had never happened.

 

"Let me show you something" Covai said, walked over to the closet and pulled her cloak out. Holding it in front of him, Covai wove a small amount spirit and water around the cloak, causing all the water to slide straight off. Tossing the now dry jacket to Adawyn, Covai tilted his head slightly and looked at her, ignoring the fresh puddle of water on the floor.

 

"You've heard of the Lord Dragon's procalmation and Amnesty for male channelers?" Covai was glad Adawyn nodded, even if it did take her a moment. "Well you could say I'm one of them. Well, to be exact I AM one of them. A male channeler."

 

Continuing before she could interrupt, Covai tilted his head and pointed to the pins adorning his collar. "These two pins denote my rank of Asha'man. Sort of a male version of Aes Sedai, except we don't go around manipulating people to suit our needs." Covai was glad Adawyn was at least remaining silent for the moment. It made it easier for him to talk if she wasn't trying to interrupt him. "As for how I ever wound up under the Lord Dragon....well I'd better first explain what happened on our way to meet your those years ago."

 

"Father and I were attacked by a bandit one night on our way to meet you." Covai's voice remained steady despite the pain he felt from the memory. "Father was killed and I was next. I was furious with the bandit. I was scared as well, but the sight of father's body there erased everything else from my mind. All I could feel was anger, a cold fury inside me. Next there was a blinding light that felt as if a frozen fire was going to burn the flesh brone my bones. And that's when I first knew I could channel."

 

"The bandit escaped, but not unscathed. I couldn't control the power, and had no experience, so there wasn't a lot I could do. In the end all i could do was to bury father. Our horse had run off, where I didn't know, so I couldn't track it down. Since I didn't know where in the Four Kings we were meant to be going.... light, I didn't even know your name or Uncle's." Covai's voice sounded more bitter than angry. Helplessness was one feeling he truly hated. "There really wasn't much I was able to do. I ended up wandering for a while, getting by as I could before two men from the tower happened to find me. I was somehow channelling a fire to keep warm, and that's how they knew about me. They could sense my use of the power."

 

Resting his back against the door, Covai folded his arms across his chest and looked at Adawyn. "So there you have it. I'm a member of the Black Tower, and a fairly high ranking one at that, despite how I may look. I've even had the honour of meeting the Lord Dragon in person." Covai decided to pause for a moment. The looks on Adawyn's face seemed to saw she was still trying to properly absorb all the information he was giving her.

 

Running a hand through his hair, Covai gave Adawyn some time to let her thoughts collect themselves before he gently prodded the converstation again. "So, should I continue, or would you prefer me to leave now?" He was no fool. Amnesty or not, hundred's of years of predjudice didn't just up and disappear overnight. Even if that 'night' were to last entire lifetimes, there was no garuntee it would be enough.

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He seemed almost angry at her. "You really have no idea, do you?" No idea of what? She had a few ideas as to what could be going on, but so much was going on, she would believe anything, and no idea was out of the picture. She frowned at him, shaking her head, and he rose from the desk, walking to the closet. "Let me show you something." She watched as he took out her cloak and suddenly, the water slid off of it and onto the floor. What in the light? It had to be a magic trick of some sort! He tossed it and she caught it, holding it in her hands. Why did she have the strange feeling that one of the things she wanted to study and learn about was his secret? She was afraid to ask, but could he channel? The pins on his jacket, the dark clothes, the secrets, the fight, her cloak... was he a channeller?

 

"You've heard of the Lord Dragon's procalmation and Amnesty for male channelers?" She looked up from her thoughts and nodded. Oh light, he was a channeller. Her heart leaped, and she half wanted to jump up and down, half wanted to kiss him. Light, she was related to a channeller! That had to be the coolest thing ever! Adawyn had been raised to be very open minded to different ideas and situations, and this was one of them. She wanted to know more and learn... light, a real channeller! “Well you could say I'm one of them. Well, to be exact I AM one of them. A male channeler." She opened her mouth to tell him it was amazing and to start asking questions. She wanted to know it all.

 

He cut her off, and she let him speak. Perhaps her questions would all be answered as he spoke. "These two pins denote my rank of Asha'man. Sort of a male version of Aes Sedai, except we don't go around manipulating people to suit our needs." She figured that they had meant something, as he had mentioned them before during the fight. Nodding her head in understanding, she kept her mouth shut. "As for how I ever wound up under the Lord Dragon....well I'd better first explain what happened on our way to meet your those years ago." She nodded and sat back, listening to his story.

 

He continued on, and she listened. Light, the poor thing. Her father and Adawyn had been hoping that they had only been held back by something that was other than death, but they had always known that there was some horrid reason they had never appeared. To think that they were attacked... She was certainly glad that she had found him, and she understood why he hadnt come to find them. He didnt even know... light, at least they were together again. Family was everything- she learned that after losing her mother and regaining her father. Sad thing was, with time, her father had forgotten that she was his daughter, and treated her more like a business partner. That was what the marriage was... a business move. He would gain an heir for when he died, and she knew that in her heart, her mother would have wanted her to be as free as she wanted.

 

Covai was still standing, and he leaned against the door. He seemed so angry and so hateful, and she pitied him for a moment, but the more she watched him, the more she understood he didnt want to be pitied. That was certainly a family trait- they all had too much pride to ever pity themselves and would never receive pity. They were tough and would fight back no matter what- it was in the blood. If she was him, she would certainly still be angry. Of course, as a young lady, vengence wasnt something she should be thinking of, but that was why she ran away: so that she didnt have to be a young lady.

 

 

“So there you have it. I'm a member of the Black Tower, and a fairly high ranking one at that, despite how I may look. I've even had the honour of meeting the Lord Dragon in person." A smile slipped across her face. The Lord Dragon himself? Well, her cousin was no fool, and if he said that he was indeed the Dragon Reborn, then she would believe him. And high ranking... she could learn anything she wanted to know! "So, should I continue, or would you prefer me to leave now?" Her mouth dropped wide open. Leave? No way!

 

“Covai! You are amazing! You have a great power! Of course I don’t want you to leave. I want to know all about it, and I want to learn!†She hushed her voice and ran up to him, giving him a big hug in excitement. He stood still, watching her. “You have no idea how much I want to know! Don’t leave, you are family, and I wont lose you again. Can I come with you there? Can I meet HIM?†He put his hand over her mouth. “Teach me!†she said as he let her speak again. “I want to know it all!â€

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Covai watched Adawyn with surprise. Perhaps she was living proof the madness of the taint was in fact infectous.

 

"Okay, calm now." Covai nodded for Adawyn to sit. "There's a few things to get straight first. I can't teach you Saidin. I can tell you about it and show you some things, but thats it. And no, I seriously doubt you'll be able to meet the Dragon. I met him myself only after the fall of the Stone of Tear."

 

"As for coming with me...." Covai paused to think. He could see no reason why not. The Black Tower was public now, and there were new additions and their families arriving all the time. So it only made sense that since Covai had been there longer than most, it wouldn't hurt to bring a family member along.

 

"Okay, I can take you to the Black Tower if you wish. But I have three rules and conditions you have to agree to before I can take you there, since I can't garuntee you can just walk around for the day and leave again. One, Do not go wandering about without me, or at least someone else who I've introduced you to. I don't want you getting into an accident around there. Two, if I seriously tell you to do something or to leave, you do it. No questions, no arguements. And most importantly of all, number three..." Covai left the seriousness in his tone hang in the air for a moment to let the seriousness of this last condition sink it.

 

"... you do the dishes after dinner." Covai felt his mouth twitching into a grin at the sides. There would be no need for her to do the dishes, but he at least wanted to see her response to his last rule, particularly if she really was as stubborn as he was guessing.

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"Okay, calm now." He pointed to his original chair and she sat down, smiling. She was bursting with questions to ask him, and smiled happily. "There's a few things to get straight first. I can't teach you Saidin. I can tell you about it and show you some things, but thats it. And no, I seriously doubt you'll be able to meet the Dragon. I met him myself only after the fall of the Stone of Tear." She pouted her lip at him for a moment. He wouldnt teach her Saidin? Well, that would make sense. She had once heard someone say Saidar was for women, but that would make her an Aes Sedai... eek! And not meeting the Dragon... it was probably for the best, because Adawyn knew that she would freak out in a heartbeat.

 

"As for coming with me...." Her puppydog eyes came out, and she watched him as he thought about it. She would love to go with him. It would be like the brother she never had. Even better, she would be away from her father and free, but not alone. And perhaps she would, for once, have a real friend. And how many friends did he have? Perhaps, for once, she wouldnt just have an old man and customers to be her friends. Maybe she could even do somethings for herself for once instead of always doing things for the good of everyone, like marrying that idiot back at the in...

 

"Okay, I can take you to the Black Tower if you wish. But I have three rules and conditions you have to agree to before I can take you there, since I can't garuntee you can just walk around for the day and leave again. One, Do not go wandering about without me, or at least someone else who I've introduced you to. I don't want you getting into an accident around there. Two, if I seriously tell you to do something or to leave, you do it. No questions, no arguements. And most importantly of all, number three..." Adawyn was so excited! She was going to the Black Tower! She didnt know where exactly she was going or what would be there, but she knew what it was she was leaving behind. This sounded much better. The first one sounded like a big brother rule. The second one... well, he was just like her father. Do things now, ask questions later. So typical of the men in her family...

 

But the third one had her worried. "... you do the dishes after dinner." Adawyn burst out laughing and stood up from him, putting her hands on her hips as she stood before him. She was so much shorter than him, but the way her eyes glared down to him, she knew he was probably about to burst out laughing. “You are a grown man. You will wash your own dishes. A homecooked meal doesnt come without a price!†He burst out laughing, and she laughed along with him.

 

Hugging him, she wrapped her arms around his neck, resting her head on his chest. He hugged her back, and she sighed happily. “I am so glad I found you. Now, you have family again, and I actually get the big brother I wanted.†She pulled back and smiled at him, doing a fake punch at his cheek. “You can be my big, mean brother, and I’ll be your bratty little sister. Sound fair?†He nodded through his laughter. “Good, so when do we go?â€

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"As soon as you agree to do the dishes." Covai grinned. When Adawyn still kept joking about it Covai's face and tone turned more serious. "Adawyn, listen to me. I'm serious, when we get to the Black Tower, if I tell you to do something you need to do it. You may just see me as a brother, but no one else there does."

 

"Like I said, I can take you to the Tower, but its your own choice, and don't expect to be able to make demands whenever you feel like it while your there. You won't be able to roam freely, but you're not going to be locked up in a cell either."

 

"Now is as good as never, so is there anything you needed to collect or gather before we go? Or any last questions?"

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