Chapter 19

Faust gave his report of their quorum meeting to Lord and Ambassador Astrella with his mile wide grin still in place, despite his twinging back.

“I think it went rather well. I can't think of anything that wasn't conducted accordingly.”

“Me either.” Herz barked a laugh. “Nice venue, for a start. 'In conclusion, Bonetti was dismissed with the words 'piss off.' Very explanatory.” Herz smirked at Faust and Lily rolled her eyes.

“I'm pleased Ursus was there to add some sanity.”

“Pfft! That's only because she wrote out those minutes! Making herself look good.” Faust sniffed. “Where's Ben? I can't wait to tell him about all this.”

“He's in there with Kore, he's been in there for hours, Faust, I feel for him.” Lily said in sympathy.

“It can't be easy for him to just sit there while she's so sick. He lost her once before.” Faust said. “In the months just after we found them, obviously it came up in private conversation, but the look of grief on his face was enough to cut the subject short every time. I'll knock before I go in.”

Faust found Jyp asleep on the floor next to the bed, and Ben asleep over the bed, sitting on a chair. He looked exhausted and Faust knew he'd been spending all of his off-duty time, and quite a bit of his on-duty times, right here worrying. Kore's stitches had been removed and all the surface bruising had gone. Her arrow wound had left her with an angry looking star shaped scar, but Sillix had made an excellent job of repairing it. The ribs and other dislocations were still supported but they too, were healing well, and healing straight. Faust smiled when he saw a hairbrush in Ben's hand where his sword usually was and the tell-tale blonde hairs in it meant it hadn't been used on Ben's own black hair.

“Big soft wench.” Faust whispered. “I'll come back later.”

“No need Faust, you have a tread like a war-elephant.” Ben sat up stiffly and rubbed his eyes. Jyp also woke up and tried to get closer to Kore than Ben was. “I presume the meeting went well?” Faust's grin remained intact as he nodded his head and proudly handed Ben his meeting minutes. “Piss off.” Ben started to laugh. “Very official.”

“It worked. Jyp, you're invited to the next one, my friend. I'm thinking Bonetti and Marx, might discover who Loram DeGaise's sole beneficiary is and they could have a few unkind things to say about the Little Lady.”

“Oh? Jyp taking sword.” Jyp began his routine of gently washing Kore's now almost non existent wounds.

“Yes and I'll eavesdrop with mine.” Ben agreed. “They'll get more than unkind if I overhear it. I'll do it Jyp.” Jyp was trying to get the hairbrush from Ben.

“Why do I have a heap of noisy men in my room?” Kore croaked and all three men crowded round the bedside.

“Kore!” They all shouted at once, thus alerting Lord and Ambassador Astrella too.

“In fact, why do I have another room in my room?” Kore squinted against the light at the plus surroundings she was in.

“You're in my bed.” Ben smiled.

“Try harder, it didn't even wake me. Ouch!” Kore tried to sit up and every part of her body ached and burned. “The arrow.”

“Jyp have throwded it onto fire.” Jyp was hopping from one foot to the other, trying his best not to grab Kore and crush the wind from her with a hug. “With this arm.” He flexed his right arm in front of him. “Special arm. Little Lady see?”

“Military?” Kore laughed in surprise. “I thought you said they could go and jump?”

“Is special, as Jyp said, not ... common ... soldier.”

“Kore!” Lily Astrella darted over, sending Kore into a panic, more so when she saw the huge frame of Lord Astrella in the doorway. “Cadet Rowan has gone for physician Sillix.”

“Leo!” Kore made the connection between the physician and her brother. “Jyp, help me up, I have to ...”

“I don't think so.” Ben sat on the edge of the bed. “Kore he's fine, more than fine. If Sillix gives you the OK then we have a lot of catching up to do.”

“But Leo ...”

“He's OK Kore. We wouldn't tell you any differently.” Faust told her. “He's still resting in the infirmary, but he's absolutely fine, as you'll find out soon. Ah, physician Sillix.”

“Tell him I'm awake and I'll be over to see him later!” Kore shouted as everyone else left. “And Shawn and Blacklock! Jasmine! Tell Jasmine I'm OK ... oof!” Sillix had wedged her back into her pillows. “OK I'll sit still. How long have I been here?”

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