Defination: free lunch
Something acquired without due effort or without cost.
"Tai-ray" a stiff voice asked from the doorway to his nest. Tai-ray moaned lightly but sat up. He could count on his hands the number of people who were either stupid or brave enough to call him his name. His mates not included, though both had been on the list before he had decided to court them. Something about them calling him by name hadn't annoyed him. That got his attention. This speaker, on the other hand, did.
"Yes Sakmi?" He asked yawning, his mates groaning either side of him, annoyed for being disturbed. None of them had been happy last night. Losing Ryraso had angered Tai-ray and upset Nel'os. Dyn'ad had spent the better part of the night comforting and reassuring them. After all, the healer could only run forever.
"Loror wishes to speak to you"
"I'll be down in half an hour"
"You have five minutes" Sakmi said firmly. Tai-ray hissed at him, his wings spreading wide but the man did not even flinch. He was used to Tai-ray's dramatics and was not afraid of the Winglord. After all, he would never harm him for fear of Loror's wrath. Though Sakmi knew, if he ever fell out of Loror's good books, he was going to make a very fast and strategic retreat somewhere Tai-ray would not find him. Ever.
"You have no right to order me around Sakmi!" Tai-ray hissed, his claws drawn ready to attack.
"Lord Loror's orders, not mine Tai-ray" Sakmi answered smoothly, adding insult to the injury was making it clear he had no respect for the Winglord's position. Loror was the only one who gained the title 'Lord' from him. Not that he didn't have respect for Tai-ray. Quite the opposite, but it was just so fun to ruffle his feathers.
"Get out" Tai-ray growled, rolling out of bed.
"I am to accompany you to the throne room"
"That bastard really doesn't trust me does he?" Tai-ray grumbled, knowing that was a wise move on Loror's behalf. Tai-ray would never flee from a summoning but he might turn up a little late.
"Wonder why" Dyn'ad and Nel'os said in unison.
Sakmi stood there in silence as Tai-ray got dressed, mumbling and cursing all the way. He didn't even bat an eye as Nel'os rolled out of bed naked and wandered over to the bathroom. He was... strangely used to the K'nairi. Like all D'mar, he had a charm which prevented him from becoming part of the link, but he had little doubts that without it, one would form easily. He understood them too much. Which is why he wasn't offended by Tai-ray threatening him. Nor by the leering look Dyn'ad was currently giving him.
"So Sakmi. Have fun last night?" Dyn'ad asked as Tai-ray got dressed, gaining the Winglord's attention. He knew that tone. That was a tone of voice which offered gossip.
"My private life is none of your concern" Sakmi said curtly, "But yes I did thank you"
"Ha!" Dyn'ad grinned broadly, "Finally sleep with him then?"
"Him? Who's him?" Tai-ray asked curious.
"No one who is of any concern to you" Sakmi said, giving Dyn'ad a look. Dyn'ad smiled back innocently but winked. He knew who but he wasn't going to tell his mate that. Tai-ray grumbled in annoyance but didn't say anything. He knew better then to try and get anything out of Sakmi. As for Dyn'ad... Still, if it was no one of any concern to him, whoever Sakmi was in to was human. Not not necessarily D'mar. Only not K'nairi.
"So this is it" a voice commented from behind Ryraso, "The last time we see each other"
"I hope not" He commented, turning to face Isst, "Be a shame if it was after all this time" The two shared a look of agreement.
Isst grinned at him cheekily, "I thought you were fed up of me" He teased. They had know each other so long now.
"I am" Ryraso said dryly before giving the warrior a hug. Isst hugged back awkwardly, the Namya not big on touching. They were as close a family but touching was reserved for partners or very close friends, "Look after yourself" He whispered, letting his facade drop for a few moments and letting himself shiver in sadness and fear.
"I will Ryraso, you look after yourself too" Isst murmured, gripping Ryraso tightly before declaring, "Brothers?"
With those final remarks the two separated. Sharing a look of sadness, then Isst closed his eyes and sighed, "Ry, I hate to say this now, but I fear if I don't I will never get enough chance too"
"Don't you even dare" growled Ryraso, knowing full well what Isst was about to say.
Isst grinned, "Told you so!" He was referring to the warning he had given Ryraso all those years ago when he had first left the little valley to go to learn healing from the K'nairi. His warning that you either failed, or got caught by the K'nairi. Something which was very true, but at the time Ryraso hadn't believed it. At the time, he was ignorant of the link. Now he was almost too painfully aware of the thing.
"Fuck off" , Ryraso pulling on his bag of supplies before heading to the meeting up. On purposely not saying goodbye to his friend. It wasn't goodbye, not yet.
Tai-ray stormed down the corridor. The conversation with Loror no having gone well at all. He yelled in frustration before punching the wall. A big crack in the wall from the force of his hit. The pain reached his mind and he breathed slowly, forcing himself to calm down a little.
He had been luckily. very lucky had he had caused the Namya a massive blow by destroying the ship. That fact alone was the only reason he was still standing. He was going to have to more careful in the future, or risk the K'nairi losing the Winglord and the new one being a wingless human. Even if said human was very powerful. Loror would not be able to hold the link. They would fall into ruin with him as there head.
As it was, he was still in Loror's good books. Mostly. He just had to tread carefully for the next few weeks. Luckily Loror had given him permission to catch Ryraso for his own. Loror had seemed almost impressed by his decision to drag every traitor back for their due desserts.
But then again the Namya would be 4000 men down by the end of the process, as well as completely people to defend them in the air. There were a few humans who were able to fly using magic, but none of them could fly well enough to be of any really threat to the K'nairi as a force. Maybe a few K'nairi on there own, but not a division. Plus Tai-ray would be kidnapping them as well. Black ops. As far as he was concerned, anyone who flew was under his domain. That hadn't been lost on Loror, but again he was fine and supported it.
Loror could all Tai-ray insubordinate all he wanted, but even he couldn't deny Tai-ray was loyal and very clever. It hadn't been lost on Loror that places that before were out of D'mar reach would be vulnerable because of the order. Some places had only been safe because of the K'nairi Caw who had been stationed there.
"You shouldn't punch the walls" Sakmi commented as he appeared by Tai-ray's side, a piece of paper in his hands.
"Not a good time Sakmi!" Tai-ray growled between gritted teeth. He was about to attack someone and he did not want that person to be Loror's lapdog.
"I have your orders" Sakmi offered the roll of paper, "Loror has given the next six months to sort out your empire. Under the condition you and your men retrieve the majority or more preferably all of the K'nairi caw by that time." Tai-ray blinked, looking at Sakmi in disbelief. Loror... Tai-ray knew he had been impressed and was looking forward to the possible effects to the D'mar's fight. But to actually be given his support. "He also has promised that if you succeed, an order will be sent round that anyone who is found to harm a human caw will be put at the mercy of the K'nairi"
"He isn't mad"
"No, he is. But he knows better then to stop you in a matter such as this" Sakmi commented dryly, Tai-ray taking the piece of paper. "Also on their is the path to one of the Namya strongholds. The one Inai is planning to sent Ryraso too"
Tai-ray blinked twice, "You know where Ryraso is going to be sent"
"Yes, and now so do you. I included a map so you can work out the best place for an ambush. I don't know the team which is being used, but I do know there are several human caw in the bodyguard division. I would suggest making sure you don't know any of them before killing them"
"Why would I kill them?"
"I know you"
"True" Tai-ray allowed, "Samki, why are you doing this?"
"Its my job to find these things out. Ryraso is caw and therefore the fact he is being transferred means I am duty bound to tell you" Sakmi shrugged, "Also if things work out the way Loror is hoping, the end to this war is coming and when that time comes, we will need someone with the healers knowledge" Tai-ray looked Sakmi up and down but nodded, not quite happy with the answer, but willing to let it go. It was never a good thing to look a gift horse in the mouth, even if it was from doubtful sources.