Blade Maidens: What Fools These Mortals Be – 22

“Today was a start. The last few jobs have been…challenging. I knew Melody would change things, of course. Ser and I have been traveling together for the better part of a year now, we figured out our own rhythms. I know when they need their flank covered, they know when I’m about to hit my limit on a spell. It’s comfortable, at this point.

Mel has her own rhythm, predictably. She’s fierce. Reckless, if I’m being honest. All claws and axes and little regard for anything beyond the enemy in front of her. And it gets worse the closer we are to the full moons, or–goddess–when she’s gone full wolf. I’m sure it served her well when she was operating alone, but it’s wreaked havoc on Ser and I for these last months.

I’ve tried to bring it up gently, offered to share some training forms or my copy of the notes Kaywen left me. But she laughed me off every time. “I can get stabbed in the gut and shake it off by morning. Who gives a shit?”

I do, obviously. I know she’s durable but that doesn’t mean I particularly enjoy watching her hold her entrails in until the skin stitches itself back together. And, while they’d never say it, I believe it bothers Ser even more than I. They set their jaw, in that way she only does when she’s barely stopping herself from striking whoever’s drawn their ire, every time Mel spends an evening with her blood coating the camp.

But they must have done something about it today. I had to leave for Splitleaf for a few reagents in the morning so I missed it, but caught a few raised voices on my way out of camp. Even more on my return trip, though. Bounty hunters, of course. Came looking for their coin and had the poor luck to find two very annoyed warriors and my unexpected arrival.

It went perfectly.

Mel held back. Stayed clear of Ser’s sword. Listened when I called out before casting a bolt. Didn’t even take chase when the cowards broke and ran. I don’t know what Ser said to her, but Melody clearly listened. I’m relieved, honestly. The woman is lovely company and has traveled as hard a road as either of us, but I was worried. If we can’t rely on each other in the thick of it, then this can’t work. But we’ve found our new rhythm. Who knows where it will take us now. ”

– An entry from Rowan’s Journal, date 6 Sulna’s Peak 877