James nodded, and pushed the door shut. He also turned the small lock in the handle presumably for good measure, before turning back to the rest of the room. Cerys stared around herself, gaping at the wide room that she now found herself in. It was spacious, and amply decorated for a room so far from the main floor of the castle. There were rugs and tables, chairs and even bookshelves. She wondered what sort of room it was, and how long James had known about it, but she dared not speak even a word just then.
“Come, come, young man,” the older voice beckoned. “I see you have found your friends.”
He walked across the room, gesturing for the others to follow him. It was brighter on that side, and the chairs and couches were in a sort of rough circle. The several cloaked figures who had been sitting on them rose, save for one– he, in fact, was not wearing a cloak.
“Welcome, your grace,’ one of them said with a slight nod.
“Than you, your excellency,” James replied, bowing to the man. Then her turned to the others and greeted them on by one. “Your grace, my lord, sir– your highness!” He bowed lower.
The last man pulled his hood closer and put a finger to his lips.
“Pay him no mind for now,” one of the other lords said. “Come, tell us instead who you have with you.”
“Of course,” James replied. He gestured first to Cerys. “This is Cerys Westminster.”
“How lovely,” one of them said. He pushed back his hood to reveal a head of thick blond hair. It came down just past his ears and glimmered in the lamp light. He looked older than James, though not old enough to be anyone’s father. “A pleasure to have you with us.”
“A- a– Thank you,” Cerys stuttered. She felt herself blush, and wished she kick knock some sense into herself.
Thankfully, Jame did not call attention ti her behavior. “This is her close friend, Himeko Takamori,” he went on.
“How good of you to join us,” the golden-haired noble replied.
Himeko bowed to him. “I am honored that we have your trust enough to be here.”
“And this is Bayani– how did you say it?”
“Masipag,” Bayani told him.
“Ah, thank you,” James said. “Bayani Masipag. He is a little bit younger than the girls, but very determined to be of help to us.”
“Welcome to the castle,” the noblemen said. Then he looked over at Peter, who had his arms crossed over his chest and a glum expression on his face. “And this young man?”
“This is Cerys’s brother, Peter Westminster,” James explained. “And I believe you are familiar with our elvan all, Nashtra Rindell.”
“Of course,” the nobleman replied. He gave Nashtra a wide grin. “It is good to have you with us again.
“As always,” Nashtra replied with a respectful nod.
“My friends,” James said, gesturing to the blond nobleman, “may I introduce my close friend and ally, Ridley Mathias, eldest son of Richard Mathias, the baron of Wistlan.”