The night was quiet. Dead quiet. Nuin made his best to keep it that way, his footsteps barely hearable as he tiptoed his way through the palace's halls. No one seemed to be up at this time besides the entrance guards, and for that the Hisildi was glad, as they would probably become suspicious about his current state.
Nuin, known for being the tall, lanky advisor of the king; known for wearing as little clothes as he was legally allowed, was wearing a heavy, winer coat, clearly trying to hide something from the sight of any passerbys. He creeped his way further into the deeper chambers, making his way through the darkness to a room he was already all too familiarised with.
He briefly tensed up as he saw the light coming from the room. He already knew Túro would still be awake at this time, but part of him deeply wished he had been wrong.
The Hisildi swallowed hard, composing himself as he approached the quiet study. Before he knocked, he took in the room around him. Túro had his back turned to him, sitting on the large chair at his desk. At his right were several candlesticks, most of them already completely burn out, but one was still halfway through. He had been in there for a while now, but that was nothing new. What was nothing new too was the knowledge about Tû's short temperament after he hadn't slept for three days, and that part was what Nuin was most scared of at the moment. His knuckles then hit the wooden door.
"My liege, I have arrived from the scouting mission." he finally spoke up, straightening his back as much as he could while trying not to disturb the two bundles shielded within his snow coat.
"It was about time." Túro grunted, not flinching nor looking back at his dearest friend for the last centuries now. "Took you long enough. Where have you been? Your assignment was supposed to end weeks ago. Tareg wanted to send parties after you; but you are too predictable. I knew you would come back eventually."
"There have been complications, my king. I had to take some time to make a decision" the brunette explained. He did not need to go further before Tû realized just exactly what he meant by that. He put down the quill he was writing with, and Nuin didn't have to look at his king's eyes to sense the disappointed expression sculpted into his so perfectly carved face.
"You did it, didn't you?" He asked in a stern tone. His strong hands gripped at the edge of his chair, a common sign that he was containing his mixture of rage and discontent. Nuin was about to open his mouth to counter argue, but never had the chance to before Tû interrupted him. "Don't- I don't want to hear your justification. It was all I asked you to do, Nuin. You had one job- one job!" At this point Túro was up, his hands balled into fists at his side, but he still didn't turn to face him.
"I couldn't leave them there, Turiyo.." the taller elf simply murmured, looking down in a mixture of sadness and shame. "They were as good as dead if I left him there. So many of Fankil's men were nearby.." he added. The point hit too close home. Nuin knew by the way Túro's back muscles tensed at the name of the cursed Maia, but it was the only way he knew Tû would show them any sign of compassion.
At last, the blonde monarch turned to face the lankier elf, and gods, how saddened his eyes looked. Túro knew he was going to regret this. That was sure. But when could he ever refuse his spoiled Nuin anything? He could not.
The shorter elf walked towards him, unbuttoning the thick snow coat enough so he could peak inside. Two small, brown haired heads peeked out then. The two boys were incredibly young. When Nuin had come to him a few months prior telling him he had found children of a different kin sleeping in a valley, he hadn't expected them to be this small. They were no older than a fifteen year old elfling, but that's not the only thing Túro noticed. Both kids were extremely similar. Had they been seen alone, they could very easily be mistaken for one another.
"Ermon and Elmir are their names" Nuin announced proudly, a relieved and calm smile spreading on his face. He had given them names already. Great, now Túro would knew for sure Nuin would grow attached to them. The king shook his head unamused, pinching the bridge of his scarred nose. "They fell asleep just as we were entering the kingdom. They are tired, but certainly determined. They wouldn't let me carry them until they were already too sleepy to protest"
"They are your responsibility. They do anything foolish, you'll be accounted for it" the blonde announced, struggling to keep a stern tone while still facing the now beaming Hisildi in front of him.
Nuin did his best to give his old friend a bow, but couldn't do much without losing balance. "I promise you you won't be disappointed, my lord" Tû really hoped he wouldn't. He watched as the brunette turned around, taking the round eared twins with him. He was not sure if this would bring their lives to the better or worse, but he knew this would definitely change them.