A Scholar's Purpose: A Story of Elska (ch. 5) by Acton Bell

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Lyrel was awakened by a feeling of rage tightening her chest. It had taken her a long moment to realize the anger, and the hurt and sorrow underlying it, were not hers, but D'quin's. She didn't question her conclusion. She accepted the fact that she was connected to the quiet Byshen.
The anger wasn't what drew her into the next room. It was D'quin's pain that she wanted to ease.
The man who was arguing with D'quin was very like him in a superficial way, though there was petulance about him that Lyrel felt instinctively that D'quin was incapable of displaying.
Lyrel didn't know what each inflection of their voices meant and she had only the barest understanding of the concept of Elska, but she understood the argument. She could not let D'quin do what he was preparing to do, though it thrilled her to know she meant that much to this man who had been a stranger only days ago.
Her entrance surprised them. She stepped into the room, putting herself between the two men. The stranger looked at her with disgust, hostility and some curiosity. Lyrel lifted her chin in response. His reaction was not unknown to her. The Elysium were a breed apart, never truly accepted by the other races. Drawing herself up, she said, "Do not speak to your Family of this affair. I make no claim on this man and will receive no offer from him."
The part of her that was always the Scholar noted with detachment the curious wrench of her heart at her disavowal of L'ars-K'a'lil. She half-turned to look at him. The face that had become so familiar so quickly was pale. He looked as if he were about to speak, to argue perhaps. Lyrel knew if he did, she was lost. She would not allow such a sacrifice to be made for someone as unworthy as herself. She said, "This Scholar thanks you for your aide and your trouble Head of House. My presence will trouble you no further. Fare-well." She exited quickly before either man could react.
Outside the building she drew a deep breath before beginning to walk. She listened for D'quin's step behind her and didn't know if she felt relief or disappointment that it did not come.
His brother, for that was surely who that man had been, would speak sense to him, she told herself. L'ars-K'a'lil D'quin will set aside this strange bond and continue to serve his crèche.
She understood service to the crèche. It was D'quin's purpose to serve his House. He could not perform his duties successfully and well if he claimed a bond with her. Therefore, she would renounce the bond and L'ars-K'a'lil could continue to fulfill his purpose.
But no matter how often she told herself this over the course of the long walk to her lodgings, Lyrel could not make herself accept it and move on. She wanted to deny that his service to his crèche was the most important thing. She wanted to believe she could stand at his side and there would be no repercussions; but Lyrel was not so naïve.
It was not until she had paced the floor of her small room for the length of the night that she thought to wonder about herself and what she would do next.
If she remained on Byshen to complete her study, D'quin would come to her again.

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