Bin awoke with a start. Master Path sneered openly at him.

“I may not be a secret treasure trove,” The centaur hissed. “But perhaps you could not fall asleep in my class?”

Bin grinned in response. The centaur took a step back, shocked. Usually the ogre looked guilty, trying to stammer out an answer.

“I was thinking about the Diamond Countess,” Bin said. “And maybe she did have relics. Maybe even forty-two.”

“Well,” Master Path muttered. “At least you are paying attention in class.”

“But does it matter?” Bin asked. “If there were relics?”

He looked at Path. “She gave peace to her valley for years. Who cares if it was her own power or a relic?”

“The historical relevance of the artifacts,” Master Path began.

“True,” Bin said. “But what about her friends? Did she hold the Valley by herself?”

Master Path stopped. That was not a path that had been explored.

“I’d think that even a great relic, or a great mage, needs a few friends to help.” Bin said. “Maybe instead of looking for her relics, we should be trying to see how she found friends that stuck together with her through the hardest parts of life.”

And having nothing else to add, he left the class again.

He almost ran into Raemillin. The elf had been lying in wait, trying to catch him in another sticky trap. Since Bin had left twenty minutes early, Raemillin had no time to prepare, and could only look dumbly at his foe.

Bin looked up at Raem, and smiled. “You’re mean.”

“You,” Raem muttered. “Are insignificant.”

Bin shrugged. “But I’ve got good friends. And you do too.” He smiled. “Aren’t we lucky?”

“Bin!” Ruby shouted. The ogre laughed, and ran past Raemillin to the Hoppi.

“You left class early? Again?!?”

“Wasn’t anything else to learn.”

Pidelle and Pidella looked up from their books. “Not true, there area still vast areas of the Diamond Countess’ life that are unaccounted for.”

“And I’ll learn them,” Bin agreed. “From you.”

Pidelle sniffed. “Let’s go to the Archives, then, you insufferable child.”

Raemillin could only stare in wonder as Bin disappeared with the Leaves. Nutrose looked back at the elf leader, and winked.

“What’s our next adventure?” Bin asked.

Kleb grunted, and winced. The wound was not healing as fast as he had hoped. Even with Ona tending to him nightly, it was taking its toll.

“There’s a tavern,” Ruby offered. “It’s reported to be haunted.”

“That’s great!” Bin said. “I’ll get Zib involved.”

“To scare him?”

Bin winked at Ona. “For drinks of course.”

Ona nodded. He looked at Nutrose, the dwarf rubbing a hand over his new ring. Nutrose glanced down, and up, and nodded.

He then dumped a glass of water on Bin. The two bolted through the Circle, laughing as they chased each other out into town and beyond.

Friends. They did so love to torment each other.

And now Bin knew that.

copyright 2018 Jack Holder

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