Protected, no longer; Chapter 26

  • Chapter 26




    He carefully mixed the ingredients for the advanced health potion. He took the vial gently into his hands when the door was abruptly opened — Maltrys stormed into the study room and his twisted face looked at Ciel’nn. “Brewing potions again! Just like your mother!” he heard Maltrys hissing near him.

    Ciel’nn didn’t had time to get off the alchemy station before the elder mer grabbed him and threw him on the floor. His arm hurt when he had hit the stone floor and the young mer hissed in pain. The vial had  broke on the floor next to him. He wasn’t strong enough to hold  off the beating. Even if Maltrys was getting older, his beating was rough.

    Ciel’nn tried to reach for the broken vial. He managed to grab one piece of it and slashed at the elder mer, who yelped at the sudden pain in his arm. “S’wit!” Ciel’nn hissed and crawled away. He was partly afraid because Maltrys wasn’t finished yet, and partly angry for interrupted the alchemy practice.

    “You will regret this, whelp!”





    There were wounded soldiers sitting and mending their wounds near the Jarl’s long house when Ciel’nn and Rangalen arrived on the scene. The sounds of clashing metal and grunts came from the front gate, grunts of desperate men defending their home from the assaulting party. The civilians were still moving to safety. This was Nord territory so Ciel’nn waited to see how the young warrior would act. I have a bad feeling about this.

    The young warrior walked in quickened steps toward the wounded soldiers. “Who are we against?” he asked, frowning, his hand moving to the hilt of his sword. “Don’t know. They fight like seasoned fighters and have bear helmets.” He heard one guard saying. “Do you know how many?” Rangalen asked as he glanced at the Dunmer, who walked next to him. The guard was about to reply—

    “They are attacking from the other gate!” someone yelled. “They’re rough bastards! We can’t hold for long!”

    Ciel’nn bit his lower lip. They were surrounded and their odds were poor, very poor. Unless… he looked to Rangalen, who seemed to be thinking about something. Something needed to be done and fast. “Rangalen, do you know what we are going to do?” I have an idea, but do you have anything? They would have to fight, there was no doubt about that. The question was how.

    The young warrior nodded, “I have to rally them somehow.” Rangalen frowned again as he pondered as his finger traced the hilt of his sword. The Dunmer nodded, listening. “I’ll fight with them and try to inspire them. Where do you want to be?” He’d want Ciel’nn away from the battle, away with his still healing leg. He watched the mer raising his hand and pointing the roof of the Inn. “There,” he heard Ciel’nn replying. He wants up to the roof?

    “I have my bow and some poisons left. It might help if they are breaking through. I’m hoping it doesn’t happen, though.” Ciel’nn glanced at the Nord. “I need to get on that roof. Will you help me before you go rallying them?”  The young warrior nodded, but  Ciel’nn caught something in that gaze. He tilted his head. “We’ll survive this.” The Dunmer whispered, “I’ll try to not to fall off the roof.” He gave a casual smirk, but the Nord just nodded to him.

    Rangalen watched, along with a few guards as the Dunmer climbed carefully on the beam. They were counting on the mer if things would go south. Ciel’nn nodded to him and Rangalen nodded back — they were ready. “Alright men, follow me!” the young warrior raised his voice. He led the able bodied guards to the back gate as he put on his hooded steel helm, “We will not falter in the face of our enemy. We will not give in— no matter what happens, we’ll drive them back! I’ll fight with you!” With that, Rangalen raised his sword and charged towards the struggling soldiers, who gave him the way to the first bear-head warrior. “For Shor!” Rangalen shouted in a furious tone as he rammed his shield against the brutish warrior. This affected the soldiers, who were losing hope to win— their fighting spirit was renewed and they felt lifted up. They joined the shout for Shor and began to fight with renewed strength.

    For Shor? Not for Talos? Ciel’nn mused while he was sitting, balanced on the beam. He’s giving them his precious piece of Oblivion for sure. A smile curved on his lips while he kept an eye on the front gate, his bow ready in his hand. The Nords seemed keep the front gate controlled. He frowned as he saw one guard being knocked down and a bear-head warrior with his great sword broke through. He didn’t seem to be the chief of the assaulting group. Ciel’nn stood carefully on the beam. Azura watch my steps. He stood to kneel on the beam and notched his poisoned arrow. Just a little more.

    The arrow flew and struck in the bear-head warrior’s neck. He yelled in pain and fell down, twitching. His eyes were trying to locate the archer, but he didn’t see anyone nearby, even the roofs were empty. He’d have to warn others only if he could get up, but his body was burning with poison. He could feel his organs failing. Dammit!

    Ciel’nn watched the man dying somewhat faster than usual. He had used an invisible potion after he had shot the arrow. Now he was waiting for another bear-head warrior to break through. He still could hear the racket from the back gate. I still have three of those potions left and then it’s dangerous game. His eyes turned to the gate again — The Nords were still holding it, somewhat.

    Rangalen slashed the last remaining bear-head warrior at the back gate and took a deep breath. He glanced at the men who were standing with him — they seemed to be vigorous and tired from the struggle but they had won this one. They had lost three original gate guards. “You two,” he nodded to the soldiers in front of him, “guard the gate.” He motioned to the three other soldiers, “you three with me.” With that, he left to see the front gate group.

    The Dunmer was aiming his arrow at the bear-head warrior, who seemed to be more than a warrior. Rangalen narrowed his eyes and decided to wait for the arrow first, that flew and struck the shield of the bear-head warrior. Ciel’nn moved his lips in a snarl and Rangalen couldn’t make out what he was saying. “Alright men, you go check the others while I’ll deal with that one.” The young warrior spoke in a low tone and readied himself.

    The red eyes narrowed upon the bear-head man, who stared back at him, eyes promising a full plate of pain. As if I’d let that happen! Ciel’nn gave a scowl while his hand went to the quiver— not many arrows left. From the edge of his sight he saw the young warrior, braced and coming towards the enemy. What is that stance now? The Dunmer frowned and waited. The young warrior was up to something. He observed from the beam how the battle between the young warrior and the bear-head more-than-warrior met and prepared to duel.

    During the fight Ciel’nn bit his lower lip as he was trying to figure out what would be the next move from the bear-head as if he’d been in Rangalen’s place. He’d dodge this and that. Stab! Dodge and slash at the man’s side. He grimaced when the young warrior got a hit on his arm. Fight back! He would help but was certain the young warrior wouldn’t approve if he’d shot an arrow. Those red eyes narrowed as he stared at the bear-dead warrior, following his every more. To Oblivion what Rangalen would say! I just can’t sit and watch him getting blows that could end his life. His hand reached for the quiver and Ciel’nn notched his last arrow, preparing to release it.

    Ciel’nn’s hand stayed on his bow when the young warrior let out a furious shout and swung his sword, cutting the head of the bear-head more-than-warrior. He witnessed the death of the enemy and looked to Rangalen, who let out a gust of breath and finally looked up at Ciel’nn, who nodded. Well done, Rangalen! Well done!

    The assault was over. The soldiers were being healed by Rissan and Ciel’nn’s health potions— the little he had left anyway. The casualties weren’t that high, but they would need to ask help from Whiterun or anyone who could spare the troops. Rissan came with Kust to meet the two friends. Ciel’nn looked to Rangalen, “Better that you tell them.”

    Rangalen told Rissan and Kust how Runil had tried to help the Dunmer and died in the process. He left out the grim words that were meant for Ciel’nn. Rissan’s face utterly collapsed as she sat on the bench, sobbing. “He was a kind altmer in these parts! How am I to heal everyone now?”

    Kust had fallen quiet and shook his head. His eyes found the Dunmer, “You should leave before the Jarl knows about this. I don’t blame you, though.” Ciel’nn narrowed his eyes, but then Jarl Siddgeir came marching with his best men. “Just great! Here comes the brat Jarl.” Kust said under his breath.

    “Well, well, aren’t we victorious. I heard the ruckus of the fighting, but I see you managed the assault. Why isn’t isn’t Runil healing the soldiers?” Jarl Siddgeir asked in an annoying tone, looking around.

    “He’s dead, my Jarl.” Kust replied in a low tone.

    “Why? What happened?” the Jarl demanded to know, crossing his arms.

    “He tried to help my friend,” Rangalen gritted his teeth. Something on the Jarl’s face shifted that the young warrior didn’t like. He had an uneasy feeling about this scenario. He was ready to defend Ciel’nn if he needed to. The Jarl didn’t seemed to notice their effort to protect the town. And to think he’d wanted to serve the Jarls when he was but a toddler— Rangalen shook his head inwardly. He would never serve the selfish or scheming ones. Something in Jarl Siddgeir ticked him off.

    “If the elf is to blame, he can go!” Jarl Siddgeir suddenly said. “I’ll ban you from Falkreath!”

    “My Jarl, isn’t that a bit rushed?”  Nenya asked as she had heard everything and approached them. “They have helped to defend the town.”

    “It is decided!” Siddgeir boomed. “Leave at once!” He gestured at Ciel’nn with his hand and toward the gate.

    “Well, I’ll be off, too.” Rangalen growled and attempted to follow Ciel’nn.

    “I’ll need your kind of men, warrior.” Siddgeir addressed the young warrior, but he got a disgusted look from him, “I won’t serve Jarls like you, you lousy excuse of a ‘Jarl’!” Rangalen shot back with a growl and hurried after the Dunmer. Milk-drinker!

    They walked slowly down the path. Ciel’nn felt his leg was better, but his walking was still a bit slow. He hadn’t had a good night’s rest yet! He felt upset even if the Jarl’s behavior wasn’t surprising. He’d guess Sarade would be able to fix that, but it didn’t matter anymore. “Where would we go to now?” he asked in a quiet tone. Runil’s message was still in his mind. Find someone else to fight the angered one. Like I’d know who to find! Ciel’nn was certain he wouldn’t be able to sleep on the coming night.

    Rangalen looked to Ciel’nn as he walked. “We can find the Hunter’s Rest and rest there. It’s obvious you can’t walk a lot with that leg until its fully healed,” he replied and frowned. The mer had the sad look again and the young warrior tried to come up with something with which he could cheer him up. It was difficult because he still couldn’t forgive the mer. He wondered what Sarade would say about it. A thud made him look at the mer, who had fell on his knees. “Are you alright?” Rangalen asked, slight concern raising up to his chest.

    “I can’t walk anymore,” Ciel’nn replied. He felt tired, balancing on the beam had taken the strength away from his legs. His still healing leg ached, but not much. “How much longer will we have to walk?” he asked, looking at the young warrior.

    Biting his lower lip, Rangalen thought quickly. “We can’t stay on the road, so… I’ll carry you,” he said. “Come, I’ll help you.” He knelt down to let Ciel’nn climb on his back. “Alright, hang in there.” Rangalen made sure the Dunmer had a good hold on him before he continued the walk. “It’s alright, Ciel’nn. We’ll rest and then we’ll find someone to help you.”

     

     


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Comments

5 Comments   |   GailOlm and 2 others like this.
  • A Shadow Under the Moons
    A Shadow Under the Moons   ·  Fri at 5:48 AM
    Some good character growth here. Rang did a proper job of rallying the troops and organising their forces. I liked 'brat Jarl', it's a good title for Siddgeir :3
  • Caladran
    Caladran   ·  September 7
    Thank you for comments and support, guys! :)
  • The Lorc of Flowers
    The Lorc of Flowers   ·  August 23
    Very well written battle scene. Was tense enough and definitely entertaining. I wonder where are these bear-heads popping out from. They certainly are more organized and skillful than regular bandits. Also wonder what's their game. Plunder maybe?
  • William McNee
    William McNee   ·  August 23
    I love how both Ciel'nn and Rangalen played to their respective strengths during the battle. Despite his injuries, Ciel'nn is still a formidable opponent and Rang's training has really seem him blossom as a warrior and leader.
    Trust Jarl Siddgeir to...  more
  • GailOlm
    GailOlm   ·  August 22
    Quite an intense battle! I liked reading about the parts Rangalen and Ciel'nn played in defeating the bear-head warriors. I was glad that Rangalen had a comeback for that nasty Jarl Siddgeir! Poor Ciel'nn hasn't even had a chance to completely heal. I sur...  more