" You're off again?" Ian asked.

Henry had just tossed himself up onto his horse.

" My swordmaster is very sick, so I promised I'd be back as soon as I could," Henry answered.

" What's up with you and being filial lately?" Ian asked with a sigh. " I guess you've always been kinda weird, but damn, dude. It's like the past year turned you into a clone of Mr. Wortham."

" What, am I not supposed to be responsible? I'm a knight now, you know!" he said it lightheartedly, but Ian's smile in return looked a little tired.

" ...Right," he said. " It's kind of a different world, isn't it?"

Henry leaned down to him.

" Don't look so sad, Ian," he said. " No matter what, you'll always be my best friend."

" Yeah, sorry for gettin' squishy on you there, man," Ian said with a laugh.