Previously: The Legend of Leonard Letterman, Pt 33
“Your sister?” Coppa exclaimed, his eyes roving over Wilhelmina as if looking for someone he’d once known.
“The Letterman,” Xandi intoned with another thin smile, her voice slow and deep, rich like a decadent dessert.
Silence fell over the motley band, giving Leonard the impression of the calm before a storm. He was not wrong.
In a surge of motion and sound, as if a match had struck and caused each to explode into action, Coppa, Ursa, and Wolfhart rose from their chairs, voices crashing into and over each other to be heard.
“-didn’ you tell us your sister was-“
“-is the meaning of –“
“-far more of an explanation-“
-was all that Leonard managed to catch in the swarm before all three abruptly halted. Wolfhart looked most abashed by his outburst. His eyes darted to his father, who remained calmly in his chair, observing Leonard and Wilhelmina with a new, searching look. Wolfhart slowly sank into his seat, recovering his statuesque posture, a red tinge creeping up the side of his neck.
Coppa looked sheepish and scratched nervously at the back of his head, also taking his own seat again. He gave Osric an apologetic smile before resuming his surveillance of Wilhelmina, igniting Leonard’s curiosity about the young man’s persistent interest in her.
Of those that had taken their feet, only Ursa remained standing. Shea rolled her eyes again and crossed her arms over her chest, leaning heavily to one side so that her hip jutted out. She looked bored, but her narrowed eyes told a different story.
“There is much to discuss, and though we must work swiftly, we cannot be hasty in our actions, but the time has come, my friends. The truth must come out and we will put an end to the destruction, and the portals, once and for all,” Osric emphatically imparted to the room, looking each in the eye in turn.
Most everyone in the room seemed to take heart from Osric’s words, but Leonard noticed that neither Ursa nor Wilhelmina appeared altogether pleased by them. It gave Leonard an uncomfortable sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.
“Here’s as good a place as any so….” Osric gestured to the open chairs at the far end of the table.
Wilhelmina brushed past Leonard and her brother and took the open seat at the head of the table, smoothly swinging her pack from shoulder to lap in one easy motion. She settled back in her seat and smiled at Ursa, who looked like she’d swallowed something vile.
Without missing a beat, Osric walked around Wilhelmina to take the open chair on her left that would place him between her and Ursa. He gave her a reassuring smile before sinking into his seat, waiting for Ursa to follow suit, before waving Leonard over to take the last empty place around the table.
Leonard hoped he didn’t look as much of an imposter as he felt. Sitting among proven fighters and magic wielders, those with formidable skill and power that would be useful in the days to come, Leonard feared he had already served his only purpose, and that his presence would all too soon become obsolete; this left him all the more confused and swimming in convoluted emotions and thoughts, torn between the desire to be safe at home where things made sense, and being able to help the obviously dire situation.
“I realize we all have questions and feel our own are the most pertinent,” Osric began, cutting off Leonard’s more self-deprecating thoughts and redirecting his attention to the moment at hand.
“But I ask that you be patient. Everyone will have a chance to speak. Collectively, I believe we have the same, if not similar goals, though perhaps with different motivations. As we move forward, we must be open with each other, willing to trust each other, if we have any hope of seeing this through.” Osric ended with a pointed look at Ursa, who sat with a sour look on her face as if she’d sipped old milk.
“Do we blindly trust those with a supposed Letterman, now? Disregarding our own eyes, ears, and intellect?” Wolfhart asked in a low, challenging tone.
Osric’s face hardened as he leaned over Ursa to better look the other man in the eye. “Do not spin my words into your own malformed creation, Wolfhart.”
Sitting back in his seat, Osric continued, addressing the entire group, “We have reason to believe that we have been given false information, and so we must reevaluate what we know to be true, and what should be called into question, before we can act accordingly.”
A strained moment passed while the information was absorbed, burrowing into their hearts until the stillness was broken.
“Whose words are choosing to doubt?” Nox calmly inquired from his place at the head of the table, opposite Wilhelmina.
Osric looked uncomfortable, dropping his eyes to the table and taking a steadying breath before returning his companions’ gaze and replying in a low tone, “Etta.”
Click here for Part 35!