I was able to wrap this up quickly. Good thing I had some free time. And yes before anyone asks, it is based on a personal experience of a friend of mine...I was fortunate enough to be able to witness the hilarity at the time.

Chapter 42: Family

Location: Brightforge residence, Central hub of Yau'le.

996.M41

When everything else fails, we only have one another to look for support and guidance.

- Captain Rex Fett, Adeptus Astartes Ultramarines Chapter

"Well...this is akwa-grk!"

An elbow to his sides destroyed anything he was about to say as he sat beside her. Uelesh sent him death glares that rivaled that of a bolter bitch, any further attempts of making a conversation with her ceased as her ultimatum was loudly and painfully handed out to him. Personally, he would rather not be involved with family matters even if it was Uelesh's. He knew how capable she was and had seen it firsthand, she has the right to settle any personal problems she has on her own unless if she asks for help or when he thinks that he needs to intervene. But one thing led to another and now he sat beside the woman he holds dearly, on the first comfiest couch he had sat on in ages while her parents discussed to themselves on the adjacent kitchen. He could vaguely hear them and basing from the tone of whom he assumed to be the father, it might not end well. Whether he was fortunate or unfortunate enough that the two were speaking in their eldar tongue, he was unsure but opted to choose the first one.

Rodemman sighed internally.

Nothing can get any worse than this.

The flaps of the curtain that concealed the kitchen opened revealing a tall, withered, angry looking eldar man. Rodemman unintentionally gulped when the man's eyes zeroed in on him. His spine was tingling, his blood ran cold, the hairs at the back of his neck were shooting straight up, everything in him screamed at him to run away from the aura that Uelesh's father was emitting. Yet like the proud man of Kallidia that he was, he stared back at the pair of green eyes. It felt like an eternity for him but eventually his frown softened a bit and was reduced to a cold, emotionless mask before moving towards the couch facing them closely followed by his wife. The latter had placed a tray with two pairs of cups and something that resembles a stylized teapot on the table that was, to his great relief, separating them.

It was not the best barricade per se but it was better than nothing at all. The guardsman glanced at Uelesh for any form of guidance but all he received was a stern expression and a subtle nod.

What was that!? Was that some sort of motivation? Approval? He internally screamed as the older eldar couple sat down.

What would father say at a time like this?

At the thought, a phantom image of father who still resembled the man he once remembered before leaving his home appeared. The image grinned at him.

"Don't mess up son!" He said as he gave Rodemman an encouraging thumb up.

The guardsman's eye twitched. Needless to say, he was not happy with the words that he got.

Okay, how about mother.

His mother appeared next. She was sitting on her favorite chair and was in the middle of her knitting session.

"Remember, keep a good first impression."

It took everything Rodemman had to not slap his own face in disappointment. He love his parents yes, but he does not need to hear the things that he already knows. He breathed deeply and settled himself.

Alright Rodemman, you can do this. You are a proud son of Kallidia and child of the Luludilius family. Take him down like a fardome!

Then enter a stray thought of Lumbule, Lofn's fardome meowing provocatively. He was not sure why that thought just popped in his mind but he had more important issues to resolve, an example was the obviously and surely displeased father that was sitting a few spaces in front of him. Uelesh's mother coughed, drawing their attention.

"I'm sorry for the commotion Uelesh and Rodemman." Ilroria beamed at them apologetically.

"Its fine mother, I take it that father is still as difficult as before." Uelesh replied as she took hold of her cup.

This caused her mother's smile to waver before reaching out for her own cup.

"Before I forget, Rodemman I want you to meet my father, Idrariel Brightforge."

The patriarch, now formally introduced as Idrariel continued to coldly stare at him.

"And father, meet Rodemman Luludilius, my lover." Uelesh announced before drinking the provided beverage.

Rodemman subtly breathed deeply.

Here goes nothing.

"It's a pleasure to finally meet you father."

...shit.

Three things happened simultaneously, Idrariel's left eye twitched, Uelesh choked on her drink and Ilroria snorted. It was at this moment he knew he screwed up.

Open mouth, insert grenade.

Uelesh swiftly composed herself though there wer streaks of pink on her cheeks. Meanwhile, her mother seemed to be fighting a losing battle who had cupped her mouth while her shoulders shook.

"The pleasure is all mine." Idrariel replied through gritted teeth.

He didn't even bothered hiding the disdain in his voice or his actions. While he was glaring straight at him, Idrariel's hand was crushing the armrest that he was using. And most likely, he was imagining it to be either his skull or his spine.

"I...errr..." Was all Rodemman managed to blurt out before Uelesh's mother decided that his grave wasn't deep enough.

"Well then I suppose you can call me mother given that you have already done the same with Idrariel." Ilroria said.

The sound of wood cracking and fabric tearing echoed and in Idrariel's hand was the remains of the couch's armrest. His wife sighed in exasperation.

"You're going to have to fix that, dear." She told her husband who merely nodded.

Rodemman tried to look at Uelesh for guidance but found her face burried in her palms.

You had one job brain! Stupid, stupid, stupid! The guardsman screamed internally.

Rodemman thought he went deaf there and then as nothing but the ticking of a nearby chronometer could be heard. He could feel the tension between the three, more so the dark miasma that the Brightforge patriarch seemed to be directing towards him. Minutes felt like ages as he battled to keep himself calm. The guardsman had long accepted the fact that as long as he was with Uelesh and committed to her, these seemingly mundane fears would probably be as common as a guardsman dying.

"Alright, seeing that introductions are finished, I believe that now is the time to catch up." He had lost count how many times Ilroria had tried to start a civil conversation and in the process, simultaneously saving and killing him.

Figuratively of course.

"Okay." Uelesh responded.

She squeezed his hand lightly earning his attention. He didn't even notice that she had taken hold of his hand. He wondered if he had spaced out or something due to the nervousness that he was feeling.

"Where do you want me to start?" She asked.

Her mother and father looked at each other as if consulting the other for their question. For once since Rodemman met Idrariel, he saw a moment of uncertainty and worry before disappearing again in his usual cold expression. Not a second later, Ilroria spoke.

"From the beginning."

He heard Uelesh exhaled heavily beside him. She nodded.

"Alright, it's going to be a long story."

His partner launched herself in a long narrative. Explaining as much as she can in as simple as possible. She talked about her travels after the apparent breaking of their small family. She was calm when recounting the past three years. At times she would chuckle when she remembered a good memory, the three of them would smile at that. Even Idrariel would show the ghost of a smile during these instances.

But then came the tragedy that had befallen the caravan that she had travelled with and has grown attached to. Uelesh took a deep breath before continuing. He listened attentively, waiting if she would falter and need his support. She described what she had seen, what she had heard and what she had done. Rodemman was troubled when Uelesh became so detached unlike earlier. Her eyes stared into blank space while she continued to drone.

And tears were streaming down her cheeks.

"But the orks continued to grow in numbers despite my efforts. My blade was soaking with-"

"Uelesh." Rodemman said quietly as he shook her shoulder to earn her attention.

She stopped in mid-sentence. He watched as she looked back at her mother who had her mouth covered with her hands. She then moved to her father who was as still as boulder but had a shocked and saddened expression. Rodemman noticed as well that the eldar's shoulder sagged than compared but a few moments ago. Then finally, she turned towards him.

"I think they heard enough." As soon as he finished his words, Ilroria jumped from her seat and embraced her remaining child.

"Ta's ilya over sii'. Lle're eska, lle're varna sinome." The mother spoke in their native language preventing him to understand what she was saying to Uelesh

Idrariel stood up and moved to hold the two women in his arms.

" Amin hiraetha. Saesa...saesa..." He said.

By now, Uelesh was openly crying, wailing even and so was her parents. Idrariel's mask has broken as tears stained his cheeks. A small smile appeared on his face and without a word, gave the family the space and time that they needed. Exiting the house he stood on the front porch, he watched the stars begin appearing on the night sky accompanying the brrath taking twin moons. He noticed several stars were blinking in and out, he could only imagine that conflicts were being raged there as well or at least, in the system that the stars were in. He walked out onto the lawn, he was unsure why but he had the urge to do so.

"I see that Uelesh has decided to cone home."

Rodemman spun around only to find an eldar man walking towards him. He was dressed in light warrior armor but lacked his helmet and any form of weapon. The guardsmen looked at him curiously.

"Ahh forgive me. I just returned home as well from rearguard duties when I heard that Uelesh has returned home." The newcomer said.

He looked like, if compared to a human around his early thirties or late twenties. The stranger then nodded towards the Brightforge home.

"How are they?" It was a simple question though his voice held concern.

Maybe he's an old friend or neighbor. Rodemman thought.

"They're...fine I suppose. I had to give them some space. Uelesh had gone through some..." He trailed off as he searched for the right word without giving the stranger too much information.

He may be a neighbor or friend, but there was also a threat that this might be another of Leona's illusions. If she was able to infiltrate Yavin before, there was no doubt that she could manage to do so as well in Yau'le.

"difficulties. They're just sorting some things out between themselves at the moment." He continued.

The eldar nodded. "That's good. When Uelesh left them to join the merchant guild...well things got out of hand."

"What happened?" Rodemman blurted out in curiosity.

In response, the eldar shrugged. "It's the usual, some arguments there, a bit of yelling there, a lot of fighting everywhere."

"Why did it happen though?" Rodemman asked, somehow feeling quite comfortable conversing with this light warrior.

"Uelesh wanted to join Fonral's merchant guild again even after her being nearly killed during the invasion of Yul'Te. This was a few months after that by the way." The eldar explained.

Rodemman winced at the mention of the craftworld.

"Naturally, her parents strongly discouraged her. It led to an argument and the rest is history."

"I can't blame them though. They already lost their son, it's only normal for them to keep their daughter as far away as possible from danger." The stranger added.

"Which begs the question...who are you?" He asked.

Rodemman replied firmly. "I'm her lover."

"Oh? Never thought young Uelesh would fancy a man. She was a bit of...uhhh..." The eldar scratched his hair.

"Clueless? Innocent? Pure?" Rodemman supplemented.

"Ahhhh...somewhere along those lines I suppose. Not sure about innocent, no one remains innocent after being thaught by Farseer Lofn."

"True. Was Lofn always have been like that?" His question caused the light warrior to laugh.

"Yes, ever since I have first met her Lofn was and still is an unorthodox farseer."

The words were enough to elicit a chuckle fron Rodemman. It was true after all if a bit of an understatement. Both of them shivered when a cold gust of wind hit them.

"It's going to be a cold night." The eldar said to which the human agreed with a humm.

"I best be off now, wouldn't want to catch a cold or something. Same goes for you." The eldar announced.

"I leave Uelesh in your care. You best not cheat on her." The steanger told him as he glanced back to Rodemman.

"That goes to be unsaid. She's the woman that I hold very dear in my heart. Also I'd rather not anger Idrariel." Rodemman answered back with a laugh.

The stranger laughed as well.

"A wise man that you are. It's been good talking to you Rodemman Luludilius." He said before starting to walk down the street.

"Likewise." The guardsman responded while he watched the light warrior walk away.

Rodemman then turned to go back inside as cold winds began picking up. But just as he was going to enter, he realized that he had not asked for the eldar's name and most importantly...

"He knows my name...without me telling him."

Quickly he rushed back out. His eyes searched left and right but all he could see were the lampposts that were flickering to life and lights inside the nearby houses. There was no one on the streets but him. Rodemman thought of maybe the stranger lived on a nearby house but dismissed it given how he made no move to enter the houses within the proximity of the Brightforge dwelling. Somewhat disturbed and baffled, he began his return to the warm insides of the dwelling.

He was yet again interrupted when he took hold of the oddly shaped doorknob. A small breeze passed by the back of his neck as oppose to the earlier gusts that he has been experiencing and with it came something that he was unprepared for.

"Take good care of my sister for me." A whisper reached his ear.

It was the same voice as the stranger that he was just talking to. He looked back and found no one standing behind or beside him. Rodemman exhaled and smiled.

"I will...brother." He then entered without further incident, hoping that Uelesh and her parents has finally reconciled.