Protected, no longer; chapter 20

  • Chapter 20




    “Where are you?!” Maltrys’ shout echoed across the Daedric ruins. he had chased Ciel’nn there, knowing his son would be even more afraid. “I hope they’ll find you and take you away from disturbing my work. Useless S’wit!”



    Ciel’nn didn’t move, but he listened to the sounds of Maltrys leaving. He was afraid, as he barely dared to glance around the place. Lots of rubble. He knew he shouldn’t stay for long here - who knew if some Daedric Prince popped out on the view.  But, he had to wait until Maltrys had gone home, or better yet, died on the way. Ciel’nn frowned. That seemed unlikely since that old and deluded excuse of a mer was skilled with his staff and spells.



    The young Dunmer sat down as he leaned against the stone rubble, when he got an idea. What if he’d go to Mournhold and book a room for the night? Or perhaps Ce’vale was home…



    The afternoon sun shone weakly behind the clouds as they departed from Windhelm. They were escorted by four Stormcloack soldiers, who were ordered to scout a new path. The soldiers were curious about Ciel’nn’s notes which were given to Jarl Ulfric. The Dunmer simply told them that he had listened to the chatter at  the Morthal Inn. “You’d be surprised by what you may hear by playing the traveler role”  he said. It wasn’t a role to him, but it had helped him.



    The men pondered this while they walked down the road. Rangalen smiled as he listened to the soldiers and Ciel’nn - maybe things were getting better after all. His heart was still heavy from the news that Sarade had brought. His main concern was that if Ciel’nn would see Tellik - he’d do something unpredictable. The young warrior swore to himself to keep his Dunmer friend alive no matter what.

     



    “Will you  stop frowning?” Ciel’nn looked to Rangalen. “Those frowns will get the look of an old man.” He joked, smiling. One thing he liked was traveling with someone he could trust. They had been through some tough  battles and survived and things were going well so far for them. His sharp eyes caught something as he observed the Nord. “You’re wanting  to get into a fight already?” Ciel’nn worried. The things where they couldn’t do a thing were coming too fast. The Civil war, the bandits and not forgetting the Thalmor -  if he had been alone he’d leave for a far more peaceful area. He bit his lip -  all this was too much for him, but he couldn’t leave the young warrior alone. Not now. What in Oblivion do I do then?

    “Not necessarily, but I’ll do my best to keep us both alive.” Rangalen said in a low tone.



    “Yes, but I don’t want to see any heroics from you and getting hurt on my account. I can defend myself, Rangalen.” The Dunmer tried to assure his friend. He was sure he’d do pretty well unless the opponent was the Daedra Lord.



    “I know you can, but I’ll do my part” the Nord replied. “I will protect you.” He added after a short pause. You’re so fragile…



    Ciel’nn thought about this. From the beginning of their first meeting he had felt weird being protected. The Nord protected him because he cared. He had to accept it as it came. So he flashed a smirk.



    “That’s the Ciel’nn I want to see.” Rangalen commented and he observed the Dunmer looking away from him. It made his chest feel warm.



    “Are you two a couple or something?” the Patrol leader asked as he had watched their talking and behavior. He grinned as if he knew a secret.



    “What?” Ciel’nn exclaimed as he looked at the soldier and he looked to Rangalen with wide eyes. He promptly  pulled his hood over his head and stared the at ground.



    “Umm, we’re…” Rangalen mumbled after Ciel’nn had looked at him. The question had come out of the blue and the young warrior was confused - he didn’t know why.



    Why did he have to ask that question? Ciel’nn cursed inwardly as he he felt his cheek were flushed. Usually he was all cool and knew what was happening, and what he wanted. Why was this any different? He had no clue. The Nord cared for him and they were friends? That was the case last time Ciel’nn had made a reality call. We’re friends by any means. Though the idea of being together was thrilling, but he didn’t want to ruin the friendship. The loss of Celani still hurt and Ciel’nn had promised himself that he wouldn’t get too close with anyone else. Ever again.



    “We’re friends” Rangalen finally said in a more confident tone, after an awkward silence. He didn’t want to say anything else in case it would make the Dunmer upset. He wanted to be friends,and the young warrior had a feeling they were close friends, which was fine with him. It was enough for him. Ciel’nn’s friendship was all he wanted to the begin with. The affection Ciel’nn was giving him was alright in the name of friendship.



    The Nord’s answer made Ciel’nn relax and he was relieved by it. He gazed ahead as they passed Anga’s Mill. Wondering when the soldiers would leave them for the scouting mission Ciel’nn sighed as he glanced at the young warrior, who gave him a short nod. The Dunmer nodded back and he felt more himself.



    The soldiers left them before  the Nightgate Inn and Rangalen observed the area. He didn’t see anything but a rabbit and a fox running near by. A cold wind blew from the north,  penetrating through their clothing. He deemed they had enough day light to get to the Whiterun borders if they’d hurry.  “Best to keep moving” he said, turning towards the Dunmer, who had  wrapped a fur cloak around himself. “Where will we go next?” Rangalen asked as they kept walking toward the Nightgate Inn.



    Ciel’nn was quiet for a moment. He recalled he didn’t have enough ingredients for the poisons. “I was thinking that we’d head to Riverwood after we have passed Whiterun. There’s someone I need to see for my poisons” he said. He hadn’t seen Anise since the first time he found her cabin. He had been in Skyrim just a few weeks. The old witch had given him food and she taught him about the ingredients for poisons. It would be about time to see  her again. The Dunmer hoped she was still alive.



    Rangalen waited at the large pine tree as Ciel’nn went to scout ahead. They had stopped because Ciel’nn had a terrible feeling. A little more walking and they would be within the Whiterun region, but if the Dunmer said that he needed to scout then he did so. The young warrior sighed, looking around at his surroundings. Hopefully it’s wolves. His attention turned to the grim looking Dunmer. Rangalen’s heart sank. “Tell me  that it’s wolves or a couple of Imperials at least” he said, hoping for the best.



    Observing his friend Ciel’nn tried to think how best to say it. Better to say it as it was. He shook his head slowly, “No wolves or Imperials.” Ciel’nn brushed a stray hair off his face. “It’s worse” he said, lowering his voice, “It’s the Bear-heads. At least four of them at the cross roads.” He paused and he watched the Nord stressing up. “We can’t sneak past them - they’ll see us.” He had an idea how to deal with this situation, but it wasn’t a favorable one. Ciel’nn took off his backpack and searched for a small bottle of poison.



    “By Talos! What are we going to do? Turn back and go the other way around?” Rangalen groaned. The situation seemed to be hopeless in his eyes. Isn’t this what Sarade asked us to avoid too? I’d fight the Imperials or the common bandits, but these Bear-heads… I don’t know. His fighting spirit had begun to fade away. “What are you doing, Ciel’nn?” he asked as he watched the Dunmer dipping the arrowheads into the small bottle.



    “We’re going to fight them, but in a way you haven’t seen before.” Ciel’nn replied with a brooding smile. He took another arrow and dipped its head into the bottle. “I’m poisoning some of my arrows as part of the tactic.” He raised the arrow and examined it as if it was masterwork. “We’ll have the advantage of position, Rangalen. I’ll be damned if we don’t use it. We’ll  poison all of them if we have enough time.” The Dunmer explained his plan and he looked at the young warrior. “What?”



    “You’re… dangerous!” Rangalen breathed. He was excited and mildly terrified about the aspect of Ciel’nn being deadly with poisons. A chill went through his spine when he witnessed the smirk spread across the Dunmer’s lips.



    A nice compliment. Ciel’nn smiled. “Oh thanks, but it’s not just any poison. I’d tell you how it works but we don’t have much time” he said as he finished. “Listen, this is the plan.”


    Hopefully this will work.


    Notching a poisoned arrow on his bow, Ciel’nn aimed carefully at the farthest Bear-head warrior. He had told Rangalen to be ready to charge when the second arrow was shot. He took  a deep breath to steady his aim before he let it fly. He notched another arrow in a fluid motion and fired it at the second closest Bear-head. He heard Rangalen preparing to charge as to play the bait, which wasn’t his idea. The young warrior had volunteered for it and Ciel’nn didn’t like it a damn bit.



    The Bear-head roared when the first arrow had struck him on his lower back. It stung painfully through his reinforced leather armor. He grunted as he snapped the arrow off and examined it. A typical steel arrow, nothing special about it as he could see. The Bear-head warrior tossed the arrow away and turned in the direction he thought the arrow had come from. His companion had also gotten an arrow in his upper back and  he was cursing, being not able to reach it.



    “Find them!” the Bear-head yelled and his companions searched the area.



    They had discovered the young warrior who was charging at them, and the two closest to Rangalen began to advance towards him. “Just a boy! This will be easy!” they said with malicious grins on their faces. Rangalen raised his shield as he prepared to fight them. The young warrior shield bashed the first warrior and he noticed him stumbling sideways, as if he was having a strange pain sliding down his back, and he  fell on his knees. Must be the poison! He pressed onto the second warrior and prepared to fight.



    It took a while before the remaining Bear-head warriors noticed Ciel’nn. He had crept closer to them,  with his blades out, when they weren’t looking. Ciel’nn waited for the first Bear-head to move, but he didn’t move - instead he had locked his eyes on the Dunmer. The other one had moved closer to him with intentions to engage in a fight with him. Ciel’nn decided to play their game. He also moved closer while he changed his stance.



    They circled each other for a moment before Ciel’nn did the first move out of the blue. His sword slashed at the side of the brutish warrior who hissed in pain. With light-weighted steps Ciel’nn changed his stance again and dodged the warrior’s sword strike. He did his best to taunt the warrior so he would slip and make a mistake move, but he seemed to have time for games. He’d eventually fall.



    The warrior collapsed on his knees; his pain was beyond Oblivion, his vision was failing him. He was poisoned and paralyzed! Was it the first arrow? Damned dark elves and their tricks! He tried to look at the Dunmer who walked towards him. Who could imagine a great warrior like him would fall because of an arrow? “Who is your leader?” he heard the Dunmer asking him. “Huh?” He didn’t hear very well anymore. The poison was dissolving his body, a bit by bit - he’d be dead soon. “Ain’t… telling you… Damned dark elf…” The warrior fell dead on the snowy ground.



    “Well, that was fun. Are you hurt?” Ciel’nn asked the young warrior who had been close by watching the scene. He began to search the warrior’s minimal belongings for any clues.



    “I can’t believe it! We’re still alive!” Rangalen beamed, enjoying the moment of victory. “That was something! I’m a bit bruised.”



    Ciel’nn smiled before he said seriously. “That’s because of the poison. I don’t think we’d have won without it.”



    The young warrior pondered this reply for a moment while Ciel’nn kept checking the warriors. “You’re right, of course.” These bear-head warriors were tough ones and they fought with ferocity which made Rangalen doubt they wanted a fair fight. Still, it had been a good fight in his opinion.

     

     

    Back to ToC

Comments

10 Comments   |   GailOlm and 3 others like this.
  • The Lorc of Flowers
    The Lorc of Flowers   ·  July 20
    If you can't win a fair fight then make it an unfair fight. Clever. And I wonder what exactly those poisons do. What kills the victims? Suffocating? Hemorrhage? Something else? 
    • Caladran
      Caladran
      The Lorc of Flowers
      The Lorc of Flowers
      The Lorc of Flowers
      If you can't win a fair fight then make it an unfair fight. Clever. And I wonder what exactly those poisons do. What kills the victims? Suffocating? Hemorrhage? Something else? 
        ·  July 23
      It effects on the body's nerve systems when  they starts to actively moving (disturbs many  body functions). Good enough for explanation? :)
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  July 18
    One quick question. Have you considered adding, 'Previous' and 'Next' tabs to help connect your chapters? Have a think on it. 
    • Caladran
      Caladran
      Sotek
      Sotek
      Sotek
      One quick question. Have you considered adding, 'Previous' and 'Next' tabs to help connect your chapters? Have a think on it. 
        ·  July 18
      I'll think about it and probably will add them later when I'm not so tired.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  July 18
    Nothing like that "We're friends" awkward moment is there.
    Seeing  Anise's name pop up was a bit of a surprise. clever using her as a witch for poisons.
    • Caladran
      Caladran
      Sotek
      Sotek
      Sotek
      Nothing like that "We're friends" awkward moment is there.
      Seeing  Anise's name pop up was a bit of a surprise. clever using her as a witch for poisons.
        ·  July 18
      That was fun to write! Thanks for reading! :)
  • DeltaFox
    DeltaFox   ·  July 18
    You really know how to handle fight scenes. I can get deeply immersed in them. :) Most of my fights depict first few moves and then jump to the end. And congrats on reaching chapter 20. :D
    • Caladran
      Caladran
      DeltaFox
      DeltaFox
      DeltaFox
      You really know how to handle fight scenes. I can get deeply immersed in them. :) Most of my fights depict first few moves and then jump to the end. And congrats on reaching chapter 20. :D
        ·  July 18
      Aw, thanks! I really try to keep fight scenes simple, and I'm glad you get immersed in them. Thank you for reading! :)
  • GailOlm
    GailOlm   ·  July 17
    Nice writing of the fight scene. I especially like Ciel'nn's use of poison. 
    • Caladran
      Caladran
      GailOlm
      GailOlm
      GailOlm
      Nice writing of the fight scene. I especially like Ciel'nn's use of poison. 
        ·  July 18
      Thanks! I think it's time for Ciel'nn and his poisons. :) Thanks for reading!