NO BONES FOR BARROWS
It was the night after their gathering. Viktor sat for some hours at his desk, the empty parchment glaring back at him. He had stared long enough that he figured his ambivalence would write itself. Never good with his words. Who would he even write to? His favorite orange tresses lingered behind the curtain of his eyes, so much still to say. He cleared his throat - washing the thought away.
If things did not go as planned, what message would he deem necessary in his passing? Viktor knew it was dangerous, but matters often were. So many times he had seen it, letters left behind after a poor soul’s death. As if they knew their end was imminent. Here and now, he felt nothing. Even after he opened the window to his quarters, the wind did not whisper and the crows did not confide. It was only the moon who kept him company, kind enough to ignore his slew of cigars. He even placed one atop the nightstand for tomorrow.
In the end, he relented, deciding he’d spare words for when they could be heard. Instead, he passed the time by rummaging through his desk. Various letters about fittings and something or other were piled, supposed duties he would attend after he was done. Viktor sighs, scribbling a quick message on the back of one of these missives before stuffing it back into an envelope, alongside a humble key. With the help of a raven, it was sent on its way to a Redenford estate.
It may have been the letter, but the sudden urge gripped him to speak with his children. To leave his father a letter too. What of Victoria? Josef was waiting for him - when would he tell Nicholas? They’re probably sleeping. It’s late after all, said the moon. Tomorrow, the Raev decided. That night, he was graced by a dreamless sleep, a final mercy. In the morning, Viktor departed for Ando Alur with braver company than he. They would see it through alive, he thought, and he’d have another tale to tell.
As the sun rose the following day, Viktor var Ruthern would not be there to see it. His work was done.