Castle Anvard

Megren knocks on the kennel door, her usual triple knock, but excitedly urgent, and not quite complete before she is opening it.

Lanisen is just getting to his feet when she enters, surprised and a little wary. Five or six pups from the spring litters start up a chorus and trot to meet her, tails flipping wildly.

Megren says, “Aaah.”

Lanisen says hastily, “Leave it, leave it, c’mon, to heel.” Mostly they ignore him, and he follows after to distract them. “Hi, sorry.”

Megren kneels to try and take control via returned affection. “It’s okay, it’s okay.” She has a bag in her hand.

Lanisen plops on the ground as well and shortly is just as swarmed with pups. “Don’t usually see you here this time of day,” he comments once order is more or less restored.

Megren lifts the bag, a huge grin crossing her face.

Lanisen squints one eye at her.

Megren extends the bag toward him. It is heavier than it looks.

Lanisen asks, taking the bag and hefting it curiously, “What is it?”

Megren says, “Open it, open it.”

Lanisen does so, side-eying her warily.

Inside is an odd metal device. It has the crossbar of a sword, and is fashioned something like a sword grip, and something like a crossbow grip.

Lanisen pauses once the bag is open enough for him to see what’s inside, and he hesitates before drawing it out.

Megren sucks in her lower lip and watches expectantly.

Lanisen hefts it in one hand, hesitates again, and carefully fits his hand to the grip.

Megren says, “He said if it seemed not totally useless he’d get you a blade and see about balance.”

Lanisen draws in a breath. “It’s, it’s good, it’s…” He turns his wrist, looking at the fit of it in his hand.

Megren sucks in her lower lip hopefully.

Lanisen says, “It– it makes it so… I’m holdin’ /here/, mainly, instead of…” He pauses again. “It’s, I dunno what it’d be like with a blade.”

Megren’s lips split into a grin again. “We can find out!”

Lanisen seems both interested and apprehensive. He chews the inside of his lip, still staring at the mock hilt. “What’s, what’s his name, who made it?”

Megren says, “Eren, one of the apprentices at the blacksmith? He’s out of Lancelyn Green I think, been here about as long as me.”

Lanisen nods, a little absently. He draws another breath. “I’ll, I’ll talk to him.”

Megren says, “I’ll go with, if you want.”

Lanisen says, “All right.” He pauses a second, then sets the hilt down with visible reluctance. “Do you– are you busy?”

Megren asks, “You want to go now?”

Lanisen pauses again, then nods. “If that’s– I mean, it’s not, if you’re busy…”

Megren says, “Sure, yeah, we can.”

Lanisen asks, “You’re not– I’m not keepin’ you from something?”

Megren says, “Adrian says at least three days until I can pick up training again so I’m keeping up with the boredom anyhow.”

Lanisen grins slightly at this. He rubs the side of his face, still looking at the hilt, then nods. “All right, let’s go.”

Megren says, “Yes.”

Lanisen picks up the hilt and gets to his feet, offering her a hand up.

Megren accepts it. A puppy spills from her lap and tumbles happily toward its sister for wrestling.

Lanisen says under his breath, “Okay.” He takes a deep breath and says, “Eren, huh?”

Megren says, “Eren, yeah. The–” she pulls her hair forward and lifts it so that it falls in her face at just under eye length. “–you know?””

Lanisen nods in recognition. “I didn’t know his name,” he confesses.

Megren says, “He says he thinks it’s a very interesting experiment and maybe it could change how we even think about grips.”

Lanisen says, a little overwhelmed, “Oh.”

Megren says, “He sort of talks like that.”

Lanisen nods, pulling his lips between his teeth. “Let’s, let’s go,” he says. “I’m about to lose my nerve.”

Megren opens the door for him.

Lanisen follows after, clutching the hilt, and pauses to shoo a puppy back inside.


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