23. Repairs

Arganan was bombarded with information the moment he woke up – much to his and Calista's ire, mainly. Asthar and Dagran were particularly concerned over the Count, but everyone had their own piece to say about what happened after Arganan lost consciousness and after successfully fleeing the Last World to make it back to Lazulis and the Gurak Continent.

The war was over. That, for sure, was certain. Calista was already drafting up a proper peace treaty, and Zesha and Zepha effectively took over Zangurak's place as King ("for now," Zesha stated when being asked about whether he and Zepha were officially Kings).

Zael and Calista had also returned the Outsider to space – both halves – once and for all. Arganan wished he'd been there to see the mighty rock returned to whence it came, but he was glad that the land was no longer decaying. In fact, the land seemed to be renewing itself faster than he'd seen in years. It helped boost the morale of the people, and it was boosting his as well.

The next few days involved ironing out the peace treaty, settling things for good between the Gurak and Lazulis. Some of the Gurak even came to Lazulis to co-exist with the human citizens, and weeks passed by with repairs continuing to go underway. Arganan busied himself with making sure things were in order, that the castle was no longer falling apart, and checking in on his niece and loved ones to make sure they were okay.

Sir Therius made a full recovery from his injuries, and so did everyone else. With the war being over, Arganan knew he had to focus on maintaining peace and letting everything just settle down.

Though it did beg the question – what was everyone else going to do now, with the war being over?

There were rumors that General Asthar and Sir Therius might leave Lazulis and head back to the Empire's mainland. And with Dagran and the other mercs having fulfilled their services during the war, they technically were no longer contracted to Arganan and could leave almost anytime. Zael intended on being a knight still, that Arganan knew, but what about Mirania, Yurick, Syrenne, Lowell, and Dagran?

As soon as he could, he managed to arrange for Asthar and Dagran to both speak with him about all of this – because he didn't want to lose either of them so soon.

"I want you to stay. If you can." He glanced between both men, swallowing lightly. "But I know that you two might have your own commitments."

"Actually," Asthar admitted, "I plan on staying here in Lazulis for the time being – I spoke with Lady Calista and figured that it would be helpful if I stayed here to help oversee repairs and the remaining Lazulis Knights. Sir Therius will be heading back to the Empire's Mainland in a week from now so he can train more knights for Lazulis Island."

He was both relieved to hear it, and understood why this could happen. After all, Lazulis did lose quite a few people, especially the knights, during this whole war and especially during this last invasion.

"Does he know?" Arganan asked.

Asthar suppressed a laugh, but a smile spread across his face. "He does. I informed him just the other day."

Dagran raised a brow, looking toward him. "And here I thought I was the cruel one, not telling Zael and the others until we were done dealing with Zangurak. You waited until yesterday?"

"I wanted to see if he found out!"

And apparently, he didn't, Arganan thought as he let a chuckle leave him. He wasn't surprised that Therius never figured it out until someone had to spell it out to him – but at the same time, it was funny knowing that the white knight was that oblivious to others in love.

"What abut you?" Arganan looked toward Dagran. He knew Asthar would be fine – but what about Dagran? What was he up to?

Dagran hesitated, gaze drifting away from both Asthar and Arganan before it met theirs again. "I want to stay." Dagran scratched the back of his head lightly. "I just…can't think of a good reason to stick around publicly without people getting suspicious."

Oh. Dagran had a good point there. Sure, he was technically retainer in Arganan's court still, with the intention for both him and Zael to be knights at the time, but Arganan doubted that Dagran actually wanted to be a knight. He knew that he'd been looking out for the other mercs, trying to find a better life. And it would be hard to explain Dagran sticking around with the war being over, especially if he wasn't in any full official position here at the castle.

And now that everyone else had figured out what that better life was for themselves, what was he supposed to do?

"You don't want to be a knight, do you?" Arganan asked.

"Wasn't really the intention," Dagran admitted, shaking his head. "But it was better than being a sellsword."

But what would fit Dagran well? It was obvious he liked his privacy, wanted to live well enough at least, and it would be a shame for him to be off on his own after everything.

"I think I have an idea." It was Asthar that spoke up. "Lazulis is in need of new people in roles other than knights, considering the losses we've suffered during the war. What if you became the castle's spymaster?"

Arganan's good eye widened at the suggestion. Being spymaster meant looking after more secretive situations – something he knew Dagran was good at. Something private.


Dagran's eyes lit up at hearing that, and he looked between Arganan and Asthar. "You'd trust me with that?" He asked.

"To be fair, it was your connections with the Gurak that helped us figure out Zangurak's plans." Arganan managed, offering him a smile. "I think I agree with the General

"You're the one that helped me save face in front of the others by claiming I was a double agent." The younger man pointed out, but Arganan saw a smile at the edges of his lips. "But if you really are serious about this, I accept the opportunity."

"Good." Arganan smiled back at him. "Because I am serious about it."

At least they could both stay, Arganan realized. They were here, and they were alive, and they weren't leaving him – and he was glad that they were still here after all this time.

Author note: Thank you to everyone who's been reading "Avoiding His Doom" so far! I really appreciate the support and love you've given to this fic. I have two announcements:

Firstly, my Tumblr account was recently terminated (June 3rd) and I currently have been given absolutely no explanation as of why this happened. I have already contacted Tumblr Support for further assistance and clarification, and I hope to get answers and help soon. In the meantime, if you have been following my The Last Story content or any other fanfic content of mine through Tumblr, please start following me at Twitter and Facebook (links to those are in my profile!). I will also start sharing links to the updates on my official author website (link to that is also in my profile) so subscribe to that as well! I hope to get my Tumblr account back soon, but in the meantime it's best that you follow me on the site and my other two social media accounts to keep up with updates.

The second announcement is that there are two chapters left, but there will be no new chapters posted next week on June 13th. This is because my first original novel, "Winner Takes All," will be published on June 14th! If you adore original murder mystery fiction, please check it out and let your murder mystery-loving friends know about it! The link to my official website to learn more about it is on my profile page of both and/or Archive Of Our Own depending on where you're reading this message, so search up my site to find out more info about it! Pre-orders are currently available if you want to make sure to grab a copy. Fanfic updates will resume the week after, on June 21st.

Thank you for your support in advance – it means so much to me that I finally have a first book published, with more to come!