The walk out of the temple was tense. Not a word was exchanged between the party as they traversed the invisible bridge and walked past the fallen corpses of the guardian statues. The silence stood in stark contrast to the shouting match over the mace. One particular image from that conflict stood out in Vendaal’s mind – when he had trained his bow on Arn’s head, steadied his breathing and lined up the perfect shot. If he had let go, he could have killed Arn. Vendaal turned the image around in his head a hundred times, thinking about the ways he could have missed, trying to convince himself that he never had any intention of really killing him. But no, he wasn’t able to shake the image of that perfect shot from his head.
This was in itself another contrast. Before the conflict, he had felt truly bonded with the group, the same kind of bond shared between members of a Bosmer hunting party. They were true kin to Vendaal, or near enough as makes no difference. But in that moment of conflict, the tensed string, the quivering arrow, the slow breaths, Arn became another target in Vendaal’s mind for a second. Just a second, but that second echoed through his thoughts as the team walked out of the temple in stony cold silence.