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When Ronan was born, Neri was so thankful to have made it to that moment. Her time adventuring was finally over, even if she had never said it out loud. He was her first priority now, the guild would be fine without her. It took a few weeks to settle into a routine. When Ro wasn’t sleeping, he was wrapped up against Neri while she went about housework. If someone had told her a year before that this is what her life would be now, she wouldn’t have believed them. She went from constantly being close to death to scrubbing dishes and cooking dinner as any wife and mother would. 

Another month went by and Neri started hunting again, Ronan on her back in one of the wraps she started hoarding a few months before he arrived, quiver on her hip, which was new, and bow in hand. The first trip out was a bust, Ro cooing constantly over the new environment eventually devolved into cries. She found a small stream and sat with him in her lap, the sound of the water running and her out of tune humming calmed him down enough to fall asleep and she left the forest empty handed. Over time, though, his almost trained response of complete silence to her crouching became normal, and she was able to bag smaller animals, and each hunting trip ended with a stop by the stream. 

Introducing him to water in the wilds was slow, but by six months he was completely unafraid, sitting up against Neri’s legs and splashing wildly with no shortage of laughs that made Neri’s heart soar. The first time she took him swimming he was eight months old. She had begged Rian to take some time away so they could take a trip to the river. Ronan’s face lit up when he saw it for the first time, his little arms reaching out. She knew he wouldn’t settle until he was close, so she took him to the edge and unraveled the fabric around the two of them. As she stepped into the river, she watched as the light danced in his eyes and threw a beaming smile back to Rian before sinking down slowly, letting the water come up to their chins. A series of countdowns and dips beneath the surface followed, staying under a bit longer each time. She kept a close eye on his chest making sure he was breathing okay before she let him go, staying close as he swam as if he learned ages ago. 

Every moment she spent with her boys flashed in her mind as she stared into the abyss in front of her, once again so close to death when her whole life was miles away back in Wintervaeld unaware of the danger she was in. Miz assured her she would see them again, but the trust she had in him wavered slightly after he had lied to get all of them out here in the first place. They barely made it out when they had faced his patron the first time. Over time, they had all gotten stronger, but that only meant the beast was stronger as well. 

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