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Dertrik, who had been brushing down Shade, stopped and faced Reniko. He looked stern. “I’d rather not, and I really think it’s best if you don’t either. Those caves are not very stable. A cave-in could happen and trap or even kill you, Renny. I think you should at least get better prepared before you go up there. Make a trip to town and get some better equipment. Old rope and a torch don’t seem to be the best things for this,” Dertrik finished as he pulled out the dusty rope and torch from Reniko’s pack.

I hate it when you’re right, Dare. This is definitely going to delay me,” Reniko acquiesced, but was glad that Dertrik had not tried to forbid her the trip. She didn’t need him acting like her mother as well. One was bad enough.

Dertrik looked at her with worry as she began to make her way out of the stables. “Reniko,” he called after her. Reniko stopped and looked back at Dertrik. “I’m worried about you. You’ve been unusually distracted lately. What’s gotten into you?”

She paused and looked at Dertrik. “I don’t know. I guess that dream last night just hit a nerve. Like –” She just shrugged. “Come on. You’re right, I’m not thinking clearly. Maybe the trip into town will help clear my head.” But it wasn’t just the dream. Reniko had been feeling increasingly restless ever since Dertrik had told her that she was going to be sparring with him and that her training was coming to an end. She felt like something should be happening and this sudden appearance of a light was just the kind of distraction that she needed right now.

Dertrik followed Reniko out of the stables and back to her home. “I think I’ll let you handle the shopping trip. Claire is expecting me back soon.” Reniko nodded and gave a small wave as she went into her home and Dertrik headed to his own. She was glad Dertrik wasn’t coming. She wanted to be alone right now. Maybe a trip to town would help put her thoughts in order or at the very least she would be without the coddling.

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