Set between Duel of The Renegades and Ninia, Mistress of Shadows
Villa De Karkaldwin, The Farmlands, Pryldahn, 1438 ATC
As Venser and his lover Sanna strolled along, their one year old daughter Rowena tried to stay awake. Her tiny limbs felt heavy along with her eyes as it took her a lot of will to keep them open while the little girl learned to walk like a pro.
She didn’t suppress the yawn that escaped her mouth very well head drooping for a moment.
"I think it's time for a nap..." Venser was quick to reach down and lift the little girl into his arms, and Sanna smiled and looked down at Rowena. The young one eeped and shook her head trying to wake up more.
“Rest, my little bundle of joy..." The golden gypsy cooed, taking her up the stairs to the nursery room, trying not to wake the other children.
“Hmm, we should go warm up some milk for our little girl. It'll help her sleep."
“I can go do it.” Sanna kissed Venser on the lips softly, followed by her daughter on her forehead, beaming down at her before walking off to the kitchen.
Rowena rubbed her eyes, staring up at her father clearly being sleepy. Her legs twitched while she held on and was taken to her special crib inside the nursery. The mobile had stars and Pryldahnian dragon gods going around in a circle. The little girl babbled and instinctively cuddled closer to Venser’s body keeping warm as she tried staying awake. After a few minutes, Sanna came up the stairs into the room with the warm bottle of milk.
The golden gypsy d'awwed at how cute her daughter looked when sleepy and had her husband lay her down in the crib.
"Okay, my little one, time for your bottle." She sang.
Rowena yawned as the nipple was set into her mouth, the infant's suckle impulse kicking in on its own as she drew out the warm milk. She took her time to drink and looking up at her parents with a smile as they watched over her. Her happiness grew ten fold as Sanna began to sing 'Hush Now Quiet' now to her. As she sang through the first verse, Rowena's tiny hands slipped from the bottle falling to her sides as they became heavy. Luckily for the infant, her father's hand held it gently in her mouth, allowing her to keep drinking. Her big green eyes slowly closed as she listened to the second verse, still suckling way on the warm milk as it filled her little tummy. All these elements combined had completely lulled Rowena into a state of bliss as the world faded to just Sanna's warm motherly voice. Once the golden gypsy finished singing, Venser nudged her gently.
Sanna beamed at her beloved and gave a nod of affirmation as Venser rubbed his jaw with both hands to warm himself up, before singing quietly in his rich, deep voice.
"Lavender's green, dilly dilly lavender's blue... You must love me, dilly dilly, for I love you... Lavender's green, dilly dilly, lavender's blue. If you love me, dilly dilly. I will love you. Let the birds sing, dilly dilly. Let the lambs play. We shall be safe, dilly dilly. Out of harms way..."
Rowena slipped into slumber as her father finished up the song, and looked forward to the very next day when she would be loved and care for by her family. Her eyes became heavy as Venser brushed her hair back and kissed her softly on the forehead.
"Good night baby girl... I love you." Venser whispered.
Sanna's heart was fluttering again. Her husband looked happy, and him looking happy made her feel happy. And, evidently, her looking happy made him happy, resulting in the current warm tide of happiness surging back and forth through her heart. She loved Venser and the daughter they made together so much it hurt a little, a sweet, tingling pain in her chest, and the fact that Venser clearly loved her back made her feel like she was basking in the sun on a warm day.
"Venser... Thank you for the life you've given us. I love you so, so much..." Sanna said gently turning to look up to Venser, who moved forward and placed a finger on her lips.
"Shhhh..." He smiled before moving his hand to cup her cheek, his touch so light, so tender. And then lean in to kiss her deeply on the lips.
"I love you too..."
They walked out of the nursery and back to their bedroom, hand in hand. Whilst walking down the hall Venser lookaway away from the golden gypsy and out the window, pondering about life and his own personal feelings, his face going neutral. Looking over the marijuana fields and the land and expensive house he owned. The massive two stories made of elaborate marble decorations, inlaid marble paneling, door jams and built around a courtyard with a fountain.
"Hey love, I know the other women are just getting to bed, but I'll meet you in there okay? I want to walk around check up on everything before I turn in." The handsome bearded man said suddenly facing his lover, and Sanna noticed he has suddenly told cold and contemplative, but she still respected him.
"I will wait for you, beloved." The golden gypsy wrapped her arms around her man andnoressed her lips to his while Venser held her close and kissed her passionately, before planting an extra one on her cheek as Sanna slipped away. Once she did and closed the door to their shared room he walked down the hall towards his study, before stopping to gaze out one of the windows. Again at all the land he owned.
And what it took to obtain everything. Venser thought about his adventure on the Slender Sea and that cult that Nodessa spoke about. That would have been another adventure for another day.
He thought about all the men he had killed and all the ruins he looted. The ruins, the monsters and orcs were justified, nothing more than pest control.
Maybe those men, bandit, criminals, had families, of course. Somewhere, as no one came from nowhere and everyone had a set of parents. Kids maybe? Who knows. Venser felt some regret, but at the end of the day it was just another job and as long as it benefitted him and his family.
He shrugged and looked to the many small buildings that littered the landscape around the farms, storage buildings, slave quarters, before walking to his study.
Venser thought about his slaves, purchased from the Capital. Many of them, obviously captured from the Alphonse Islands and the other smaller ones in the Slender Sea were often kept in terrible condition. Dirty, starved, ignored, when people should never be treated that way. And the man saw it as a fair exchange, the slaves would serve his family and exchange he would feed them and make sure they were always in excellent health and had enough rest when they got it. Some of them were quite beautiful... And he could always produce more with them to grow his big, happy family.
All of this was his. Venser had created all this not by himself, but he had a lot of help on the way, and he was thankful for it.
He tried not to think too far into his past, and how much he had worried about money, and all of his struggles. And everyone he had to kill and all the chaos and suffering he had ever caused as he rounded his desk and sat down.
He briefly remembered the land where he had come from. The smog heavy sky of Pantia in comparison to the clean blue sky of Laguna that was always filled with stars and visible galaxies no matter the time of day. The port city, the bright lights, mechanical freighters, smoke. Even in the summer the air was gusty, foul, gritty. Unlike here.
The people back there were awful. Always angry, dependent on technology, socially distant, in your face greed with no accountability, always fueled by extreme political partisanship that never ended.
Everything was awful and that port city he was born and raised in, Armonia, always brought out the worst in people.
But how was he any different? Venser pondered. Using his rare magical abilities to kill and steal to get what he wanted. Thinking about his entire fighting career caused him to reach down and run his fingers over the folding sword he always had clipped to his belt.
One of the last few possessions from his old home. One drenched with the blood of hundreds. One from a land corrupted by high technology and decadence.
Laguna was so much cleaner, simpler. Magical.
And Venser loved it.
"I have made scores of mistakes in my life. Everyone has in some capacity. It just depends on the severity of them. We all carry baggage of differing weights and sizes, and we carry them, often times alone. But sometimes, with friends or family, we can carry them together. But... They all know my line of work. Everything I do. I do it for them. I love them, and they love me. And everyone who doesn't love me eventually will."
Standing, he smoothed his left hand over his desk and exited the room, gently closing the door behind him. Venser walked past Soarin and Lucinda's room, briefly peeking in, before peeking inside of the nursery at the sleeping Rowena.
"I look at you and see my pride, my joy, my love, and my perfect daughter. Despite any flaws you could have. You're perfect to me, and you always will be, no matter what you do or grow up to be. I will always love you.”
Venser thought to himself of everything he loved. He would pay for them, protect them, and provide for them no matter the cost or the depths he would have to sink to.
No matter what.