He had known it would come and had prepared. There was nothing truly worrisome that they could do to him. Still, it was always good to take precautions. He was glad he did, as he looked down at the chaos below. It was chilling, seeing what the Scrubs were capable of. It was so defiant of what he had always been told, of what he always knew.
Only over these past few weeks had he come to understand the priorities his world had so convinced him were skewed. His family had to come first. No matter what, he had to protect them. Fighting back at this point would not do them any favors. He had to wait it out, but that did not mean that she had to suffer, watching him squirm beneath the Scrubs’ new demands. She needed to be far away. He was glad for a friend in a good part of the kingdom. There was peace there, as far as he knew, and the air was healthier. His daughter would flourish there.
He looked up at the sky as the light dimmed. The sun seemed to have disappeared. It did not worry him; this was a common occurrence. The ash had condensed into the clouds above and blocked the light. The hot, wet wind would blow it away soon enough. It made the air thick, though, and often the dominant sounds were the chesty coughs of those who would not live much longer. Anvard had been like this for as long as he could remember. He sighed lightly. He could not wait for his daughter’s first letter to him, describing the place where she had been sent. He had been there once before, when he was young.
He remembered breathing there.