Quest for Pandaria

Part 4 of 4

Chen didn't have the heart to be anything but tired. It was true that Menrim, that all the tol'vir, had suffered horribly. It was true that Bathet and the other Neferset had done terrible things. It was true that Bathet had rightfully resented Menrim. And it was also probably true that nothing either sibling could ever have spoken would have prevented Bathet's fate that afternoon.

Chen barely knew the brothers, and yet...

"What do you want us to say?" Chen asked heavily. "My niece and I, we can't absolve you. We can't absolve Bathet. We can't change anything for anyone. What's done is done."

Menrim wiped his eyes on his arm and seemed to collect himself somewhat. "I know," he whispered, "I know. But... thank you, for having tried." He inhaled.

"Li Li," Menrim began, "we talked about your travels yesterday while your uncle was away. I cannot imagine you want to stay here in Ramkahen after all this."

"You got that right," Li Li said.

"If you follow the Vir'naal River south, you will come to the Lost City at the river mouth. It was once a stronghold for the Neferset, but they were driven out during the war. My family had a small boat. From what I know, it is still there."

Menrim held out a large iron skeleton key. "This is the key to the lock on the mooring chains. Take it. You can get out of Uldum much more easily this way. The currents to the south are not so bad, and the winds should be calmer since Al'Akir was defeated. Please," he said. "It is yours."

Li Li reached out and took the key from his hand.

"Thank you," she said quietly.

Tears slid from Menrim's eyes as he nodded. "I do not know if there is any recovering from what has happened to my people. Maybe the days of the tol'vir are over. I will try to be better than I was. I wish the two of you luck in your journeys. I hope you find whatever it is you seek," he finished.

"I wish you peace, Menrim," Chen said softly.

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Tears slid from Menrim's eyes as he nodded. "I do not know if there is any recovering from what has happened to my people. Maybe the days of the tol'vir are over. I will try to be better than I was. I wish the two of you luck in your journeys. I hope you find whatever it is you seek," he finished.

***

Menrim turned and walked away, back toward his home, alone.

Li Li and Chen returned to their rented room in silence. Their mood was heavy as they prepared for bed. As Chen checked their haversacks to make sure they had everything ready to leave first thing in the morning, he noticed that Li Li had smoothed a sheet of paper on the floor in front of her.

"What are you doing?" Chen asked.

"I'm writing a letter home," she answered. "I figured I should. It's been a while." She looked up at him. Something occurred to Chen.

"I'd like to write one too," he said.

Li Li pulled some scrap paper and another stylus from the depths of her bag. Chen sat on the floor in a different part of the room and flattened the blank page before him.

Dear Chon Po, he began.

I owe you an apology.

The tauren knelt beside Lintharel, careful not to upset the balance of the lifeboat. She spread her fingers over the night elf's midsection, covering the wound. A green glow bloomed from her palms, wreathing Lintharel in light.

Lintharel inhaled violently, gasping and coughing, and attempted to sit up. Both Atropa and Nita gently restrained her.

"Peace, my friend," the tauren said. "You will be well soon enough; there is no rush."

Lintharel reached out to take Nita's hand. "Thank you."

Atropa gripped Nita's broad forearm. Tears still gleamed in the night elf's eyes. "And I, too, thank you, so very much."

"It was the least I could do," Nita answered. "I have been scouring the ocean all night. There are many survivors, both Alliance and Horde. I will do my best to guide everyone to land."

"Once I have regained my strength, I will help," Lintharel said. She gave Atropa a reassuring smile. "It will not take long."

Before she left, Nita cast minor spells on Baenan, Trialin, and Atropa as well. Baenan sighed happily as the pain from his bruises melted away.

"Thank ye, Nita o' th' tauren," he said. He rubbed his chest, noting how it no longer ached at the touch. His fingers brushed a lump beneath his tunic.

"By Muradin's hammer!" he exclaimed, pulling out Talithar's necklace, both rings still threaded on the gold chain. "I fergot I had this."

"What is it?" Trialin asked.

"It was Talithar's," Baenan answered softly. "He was a blood elf on th' Horde ship. He saved me life. The rings were his and his wife's."

Nita furrowed her brows. "What?"

Baenan turned to his sister. "Trialin, do ye remember Vyrin Swiftwind, o' th' Farstrider Lodge?"

"Back in Loch Modan? O' course I do."

"Talithar was married to her," Baenan said.

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