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“Congratulations Rohl, a fine victory. Now your reward,” the captain called to the small assembled group in front of him.

“If it’s more gods dam mead,” Rohl muttered under his breath.

“As many rounds of mead as you’d like,” the captain called.

“Yay.”

“And this,” the man continued as one of the waiters brought over a small black expensive-looking glass bottle.

“Liber Bacchus fine wine, the best money can buy, store it in his room, this is no occasion for such a fine vintage.”

“Thank you,” Rohl replied sincerely as he eyed the bottle, such wine was far beyond what he could afford, a truly luxurious reward. The only issue he could see was finding an occasion worthy of such a vintage.

The captain just waved his thanks away before replying “Now go return to your companions, it seems an argument is breaking out.”

Rohl followed the captains gaze to see Ell and Rose glaring at each other with Tay standing to one side, completely ignorant of the atmosphere around her. Knowing what Ell could do, he soon went over and intervened.

Taking Ell’s hand he pulled her away from the other adventurers and led her to their seats just a few steps away, using the excuse of too much alcohol as the reason for his abrupt interference. All of the other adventurers soon returned to their seats, the almost argument was immediately forgotten, mostly due to the high levels of intoxication of those present.

With everyone engrossed in their own business, Rohl was free to talk to Ell although his speech was still slightly slurred.

“I won us some expensive wine from the game,” he said in an attempt to lighten her mood.

“What kind?” she asked barely hiding the curiosity in her voice.

“Liber Bacchus”

“It will do.”

“It will do?” Rohl said in surprise “that wine’s worth more than a goat, what’s got you in such a bad mood?”

“Idiots. Not you in case you’re wondering.”

“Oh,” Rohl replied after taking a few seconds to process, he was glad to not be the cause of her annoyance, but then she had also insulted him whilst doing so. “What can I do to cheer you up?”

In return, she only gave a suggestive glance towards a tray of deserts in one of the waiter's hands. Rohl knew what that meant, he wasn’t chuffed about it but if it cheered his friend up then he would do it besides the alcohol was taking away any embarrassment he might have felt about such actions.

After a short walk to retrieve the tray of sweet delicacies, he returned to his seat and let Ell rest her head on his shoulder as he fed her the sweet treats. They were small sugary honeyed biscuits wrapped in a hard coating to prevent the honey from moving during baking. The coating was rather frustrating and fiddly to get off, and Ell wasn’t about to go through all that effort when she could make Rohl do it. He was a bit of a pushover sometimes, but Ell had done a lot for him, more than anyone else, he could afford her this small effort in return.

Ell was happily devouring sweet after sweet as she rested on his shoulder, perhaps the alcohol had finally caught up to her. Rohl could only smile as she continued to demand more sweets. Disko upon seeing this had drunkenly taken his other shoulder demanding his share of the delicacies, Rohl obliged, he was a friend and had carried Rohl’s injured self to a healer after all.

He might have refused if he wasn’t incredibly drunk but he doubted Disko would do this if he also wasn't very intoxicated. It got a bit much when Freya sat across from him, her mouth open hinting for her own sweet, he gave her one. This continued for a short time until Captain Valhalderson made his way over, Rohl wasn’t about to continue putting things in his daughter's mouth when he was around.

Fortunately, he ran out of the delicacies shortly after the captain arrived, saving him from any embarrassment.

“We all have patrol tomorrow, the company will turn in soon, you all included,” the captain spoke offering no room for disagreement in his voice. Not that Rohl would have dared do so, besides, he was tired and drunk anyhow. Every second he remained awaked just made his eyes more droopy and his head drop.

Soon after the captain's words, the hall began to clear of people, most of which left with drunken clumsy steps, Rohl included. After a few quick goodbye handshakes and hugs to certain adventures and mercenaries, he found himself heading back to his room where he collapsed onto his bed, his body laid flat out and facing upwards.

What he didn’t expect was Ell joining him soon after. She laid cuddled up next to him and gently laid her head on his outstretched arm, all whilst giving him a look that dared him to question it as she did so.

“Massage my ears,” she all but ordered.

“What?” Rohl said almost not believing what he had heard.

“It’s relaxing for us dumbass, and it’s your fault for doing it earlier. Besides, I have to sleep close in case you get attacked, another thing you owe me for.”

Rohl only chuckled slightly before obliging the elf “Very kind of you to sleep here and protect me.”

“I know, now get on with my reward.”

Rohl did so as he sunk himself into the comfort the bed provided and attempted to make conversation with his companion.

“So what’s the plan for tomorrow?”

He got no reply, instead, Ell had somehow already fallen asleep which left him in a terribly awkward sleeping position and no way out of it that wouldn’t lead to Ell waking up and stabbing him for disturbing her sleep. With a sigh, Rohl accepted his fate and attempted to drift off into sleep himself. All thoughts of the creature attacking him were dispelled after one last look at the elf asleep on his arm, her presence provided him with the strength and comfort he needed to prevent any fear from overcoming him.

That and the distinct smell of fellowberries put away any remaining worries he may have had.

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Arthur-67

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