"This is where the scouts were seen yesterday," Rissa, tenth Warlord of Tiyan, murmured as she calculated the distance between the city and her destination.
Rissa, this was your decision.
Rissa shuddered and released her breath.
"Sirian, I'm not well," Rissa continued.
Sirian and Rissa led him back to the impressive hold at the center of the city and up a set of stairs to the second level and down a wide hallway.
Rissa was dressed in clean men's clothing, her hair braided once more.
Rissa looked down self-consciously and clasped her arms behind her back.
Rissa slung the door closed and moved toward a small table where her sword waited.
Sirian waited, his dark eyes going from Rissa to Taran, where they settled.
Several burly guards bowed to Sirian and Rissa and trailed them into the street.
Rissa, Sirian, and the guards headed toward the sparring men.
Sirian partnered with Rissa while the guards fanned out around them, one alert while the other four paired up to spar.
He looked in time to see Sirian fling Rissa over his shoulder.
Sirian and Rissa glared at each other with animosity that bespoke a brittle relationship.
Rissa looked at him hard.
Rissa bristled but straightened.
When Rissa merely nodded, accepting the insult, he felt the urge to shake sense into the oblivious woman.
Aside from the dark moods of Rissa and Sirian, Taran sensed nervousness in the guards.
Rissa was braced in the saddle as if expecting attackers at any moment.
He spoke loudly enough for even those in the back row to hear.
Rissa turned to look at him, then Sirian.
"The route is safe, Rissa," Sirian said firmly.
He caught a glimpse of Rissa through the melee and wrestled the horse for control.
Three guards surrounded Rissa, whose writhing, squealing horse was as much of a menace to her as the attackers flooding from the forest.
He reached Rissa and threw himself from his horse, keeping a hold of the reins as he smashed blows into one of the three facing her.
Rissa blocked the blow of the second and dropped, rolling as an axe split the ground near her head.
Rissa arced a blow toward him.
Relieved, he pulled the blowing horse to a halt and grabbed Rissa by the scruff of her tunic, unceremoniously hauling her up and dumping her on the ground.
Rissa grunted at the impact of his weight and squirmed.
You're not going anywhere, Rissa, he told her firmly.
Rissa searched his gaze, calming.
He had no intention of killing Rissa despite what she had done to him.
Rissa gazed at the maps before her, half listening to Hilden explaining their situation to her.
Rissa twisted, leery of her second.
Rissa, go and take care of yourself.
Rissa hurried back to the second bedchamber and withdrew an empty bladder from a crate.
Rissa stared at him, unnerved by his complete lack of empathy.
Rissa paid heed to his explanation of tactics, uncertain if they were truthful, but noting his assessments.
Rissa said nothing, waiting.
Rissa closed her eyes and sighed.
Rissa drew herself up to her full height and looked around.
Rissa looked up at him, face flushed.