-Part 14: Intrepid-
Verindar smiled as Deren walked over.
Deren observed his features. He was handsome. Not extremely handsome, but his smile was attractive. It was the kind of smile that made you want to be around him. He noticed nothing else, except his odd, pure yellow eyes.
"So I can see your face now."
Verindar smiled broadly.
"Good! That means we are becoming friends."
"Does it now?"
Verindar rolled his eyes playfully.
"Let me tell you a story."
Verindar sat down in the dirt, and Deren sat down on the grass in front of him.
"There once was a man who was a slave. He had no possessions, and was himself legally the property of his Master. What do you think of him?"
"I feel sorry for him."
"Do you? Well, let me tell you something. This man was perfectly happy."
Deren was surprised, and his face displayed that.
"Yes. He was happy and cheerful all of the time, with no regard to his circumstances. Tell me, wouldn't you say that is... Unnatural?"
Deren spoke confidently and adamantly.
"It's more than unnatural. It's insanity."
Verindar smiled, and Deren caught a beam of pride in his eyes. In fact, he was proud of himself.
"You are very wise."
Deren was a little worried when he realized he had just agreed with the Wraith, but no one had ever praised him for his wisdom before, and he liked it.
"What happened to the man?"
"In the passing of time, he was beaten horribly by his Master for something he hadn't done. The man had seen another slave commit the crime, but he did not tell this to the Master, and died after two days of agonizing pain."
"At least he wasn't a snitch, even if he was a fool."
"Indeed. The worst of us have good qualities, and the best of us have faults."
The wall between Verindar and Deren replaced itself, and, as he walked away, Deren found himself smiling for the first time since he came here.
Deren had never had many real friends.
He felt, now, as though he did.
-To Be Continued-
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