While Ganis was contemplating her training with Asclepius back in Katabasis, she was interrupted by the twins Percival and Dindrane. The two approached her merrily as they shared jokes and giggles. At first, Ganis thought that they were just passing by, but they came and stood beside her as they leaned on the edge of the ironwood deck. The Moroi found herself surrounded by the two twins she knew nothing about.
“That stiff Captain of ours ordered us to talk to you,” Percival spoke.
“Brother, that is a rude way of approaching a lady. Have I taught you nothing?” Dindrane scolded.
“Apologies. You look rather ravishing this evening, my lady. May I offer you a drink?” Percival offered Ganis a sip from a well-abused flask. The steel container had all kinds of scratches and dents, covering some tree-like pattern which seemed to be of some beauty in days long past.
“Careful, whelp! I am not one to be taken lightly and accustomed to this quickly,” rather annoyed by his overly friendly approach, Ganis confronted the young man.
Flicking his red braided hair off of his right shoulder, Percival bowed apologetically to Ganis to atone for his unwelcome friendliness. When he bowed back, Ganis noticed the subtle grey color of his eyes while he looked her straight in hers, “I was only intending to convey a friendly demeanor to our newest comrade. Forgive us, we are not yet accustomed to your likes and dislikes.”
“I hope my brother has not bothered you, for he always assumes that others would not mind his directness.”
“I apologize for behaving with such hostility. I was just dwelling on a painful experience,” while turning to face Dindrane, Ganis spoke. She took the opportunity to observe the woman’s features more thoroughly. The siblings shared the exact same features with a difference in their gender – red hair, grey eyes, and slender frame.
“Would you like to tell us about these memories in hopes of alleviating them?” greatly minding his tone and choosing his words, Percival offered.
Just before Ganis was about to reject the offer, she realized that this was the perfect opportunity for her to test the belief in her refined background story. After a brief pause, Ganis spoke, “I was orphaned at a young age and forced to join the Peacekeeper Core. Ever since that day, I have been making one wrong decision after another. In spite of being a Commander Protector, I was not fit for the responsibilities of command. My final decision to oppose the current Emperor Servak during the rebellion was by far the worst, for it bound me to the Necromancer, Asclepius, and his dreadful Katabasis. The time I wasted there, following some mindless orders, cost me an opportunity to redeem myself during the Behemoths’ war. I can never forgive myself for opposing Servak, unless I make amends for all the harm I have done.”
“Since you shared your story, I believe we owe you the tale of our past. Percival and I were born in exiled Partha to a single mother. We were poor and had to live on the kindness of others, or our own cunning. Since there was no kindness in Partha back in the day, we resorted to theft. One day, a glorious group of warriors passed by our house and inspired us to be more than common thieves. We sought them out and were warmly accepted in their ranks as spies and, later on, assassins. Our mother died a couple of seasons later. When Lyra arrived, our leader decided to join forces with the exiled Gallecian. After becoming renowned for our skills, Lyra invited us to join her own personal guard,” Dindrane narrated while looking at the stars above.
“Our stories bear similarities, but we grew to be rather different from one another. Perhaps your presence in this Ona might help me become one of you,” Ganis spoke. Part of her spoke sincere words, yet most of her just wanted to maintain her identity secret.
“It is truly an honor to have you with us. Can I call you beautiful now?” Percival joked.
“Only if you want to be clobbered to near-death.”
Not knowing whether she was joking or being serious, Percival released a fake laugh. Ganis’ joining in greatly relieved the young man, as it indicated the nature of her comment. Lightly and merrily treading away from Ganis, the twins continued to the lower decks.
The conversation with Percival and Dindrane stirred Ganis’ thoughts. She was confused regarding the mission at hand and how she could complete it quickly to return to Katabasis, where she found comfort. Although she claimed to hate fort Katabasis most of the time, Ganis perceived it more as a home than she had ever perceived any other place. It was truly where she felt most comfortable and serene.