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A City in Summer

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Mathew had never wanted to be an adventurer.

His dream was-is- to be a monk or a healer, though his training right now had tended to be heavily influenced towards the latter.
That healer training, in fact, was nearing its end at Candle Keepers Haven, the healer warrior sanctuary he's been training at since his 8th birthday when his mother was killed by the brutal barbarians, the White Men.

Which led him to his current problem.

His brother had left in a huff back when they had arrived together at Haven declaring he wanted to join the White Men years ago, and despite that betrayal...Mathew had made sure to pay passing witches for their Sight to see if his brother was alright. It had been over a year since the last witch or traveler had brought him news on his twin, until last night.

A monk had come in to discuss the centuries-long Pact they had with the Candle Keepers and pass along news of the latest from their own brotherhood of the Silent Nights.

Kethyu, the man, was a friend of Mathew's, of sorts and had pulled him aside after the formalities to tell him the latest on his brother.
Mathew looked out the window. The natural sea glass windows glinting it's coloured light in speckles across his snow-pale skin and turning his honey-blond hair into the amber of caught sap.

The Caravan he last knew his brother to be travelling with was attacked 2 months previously. And, according to Kethyu, all within the caravan had either been killed if they struggled or were taken prisoner to be sold off down South as killers for use along the barbarians southern border. It was something Alfred, Mathew's brother, would have loved to do, depending on his mood, at other times. But he had always expressed derision for the mind-controlled killers people bought to patrol its length and hurt any who tried to scale the border wall to flee from the violence beyond the wall. Not to mention that Mathew felt sickened at the thought of his brother's mind getting twisted and controlled in this way. His stomach settled but then turned to quicksand at the thought of the other option though, that Alfred might be dead...

His brother was misguided, and he wished he'd kept him at the Haven or called out to have help keeping him there. He knew his brother was violent and had spread the messages of hate that the barbarians used to spread to everyone...though now only The Right, the ones whose puppet leader was currently in charge of one of the barbarian enclaves, were the ones to mainly spread that message now. Most of the other White Men had become civilized and have stopped with their prejudice and violence.

His brother though had been taken in and corrupted by the men that had raped and murdered their mother in front of them. The men that had handed out blankets poisoned with a spell to pass along The Great Plague through their friends, family, and neighbours in their nation and in other nations that the barbarians desired the land and resources. By the Lady of Nature and Lady of the Dead, the land Haven was currently on was still a part of Mathew's old nation. The men in power were the descendants of the men that had murdered the fellow citizens of his old nation even...

Alfred had gotten caught up in the lies of grandeur. The lies the barbarians had said that their people were and should be superior to all others on earth. They taught him with their brutality in a sick case of Stockholm before their escape that it should be the way Alfred should think.

Mathew's head thunked lightly as he let it fall forward to rest against the glass. He didn't blame his brother. He thought it was wrong his brother was doing the things he was...spreading hate, judging people on their worth to live not on their actions but instead on the notions that the barbarians had beat into him...but he didn't hate him. He hoped even that his brother could still be saved. That he would find him alive and teach him to stop the people spreading the hate, to stop thinking in those manners himself, and to learn to treat others, all others, as human beings no matter what nation they used to come from.

Mathew sighed and stepped away from the window. It was time for him to feed the great white dragon Kuma, after all. Kuma would allow no other near, and the beast had been without food for too long today already.

However, he couldn't stop his mind from continuing to race and use all of his training to mentally track all of his knowledge of The Right and the mind-controlled border guards.

Ever present in his mind, even as he distracted himself with his day to day tasks over the next week, he had but one line of thought always staying the same in his mind:
What if Alfred was still alive? If he had been captured and was now murdering people at the southern border of The Right's nation to the south of his own nation...could he free him? Could he save him?

Deep down, Mathew felt that he had to. He couldn't fail his brother now. Not even after all his brother had done. He could still be saved. He knew it.