U.O.T.W. Chapter 273 Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Chapter 273 Strengths and Weaknesses 

     

    Once they left Whiterun, Sotek paused and lifted his head up as he smelt the breeze blowing easterly from the plains. Such an action caught Aela’s attention. As she watched his tail happily flap about she giggled and spoke softly, not wishing to disturb his senses.

    “Close your eyes, it helps”. 

     

    He chuckled slightly then did as Aela said.

    “The wolves have been busy. There’s blood on the wind, deer”. 

     

    “That reminds me, we haven’t eaten”. Then Aela opened her eyes and saw Sasha, instantly her smile disappeared, leaving a heavy frown on her face. “Oh yes, we’ve got you with us”. 

     

    “I’m a werewolf as well you know”. Sasha stated rather forcibly.

     

    Aela snapped back at the impetuous ‘pup’.

    “Of course we know, we can both smell the beast blood in you. That doesn’t mean anything”. 

     

    Sotek glanced across the plains and issued his commands. He was the alpha, Shadowscales or not.

    “Right, you kill what we say, when we say, and when we say stop, you stop”. 

     

    Aela angrily gave Sotek a shove.

    “We’re not hunting with her”. 

     

    “Red hasn’t eaten much and Scarface needs it. Today, or tonight we hunt, like it or lump it. It’s your call. You know what happens if we don’t”. Sotek stated. He felt the same but he knew needs must.

     

    Aela glared across to her with envious eyes but the she started laughing. “Ok we’ll hunt now. Sotek my love, you lead”. 

     

    Sotek cast a confused look at her.

    “Ermm right...” The next second he changed into Scarface.

     

    Scarface stood to full height as he took in the breeze through his nostrils, sniffing a few times. He could smell the blood from the deer killed by wolves hours before. Sasha stepped back a few steps in surprise.

    “Bloody hell! What the hell is he, a werebear?”

     

    Aela snorted at her in contempt for her lack of knowledge.

    “Werebear? Don’t be bloody stupid, they aren’t that big”. 

     

    “Then what in the name of Hircine is he?” Sasha asked as she looked at the large beast that stood in front of her. 

     

    Aela smiled wickedly.

    “That’s an easy one. He’s Red’s”. 

     

    Sasha looked twice at Aela.

    “Who the hell is Red?” At that moment Aela changed as well. In no time at all, Red stood up and nudged Scarface.

     

    Scarface held her in his arm while she rested her head in his chest. The next second he howled out as she bit into his chest as she eyed Sasha. Scarface gave Red a slight snarl as traces of blood trickled down his chest; a snarl which she quickly returned. 

     

    Sasha glared at Red then she changed herself. It only took her three seconds to change but even as she did so, Sasha noticed Aela’s transformation took half the time as she did. Within moments her werewolf form stood there alongside Red. But where Red’s fur was a burning red, Sasha’s werewolf was completely covered in shimmering silver. Red’s eyes fixed intently on the werewolf and as she stepped forwards, Red snarled at her, snapping with her jaws. 

     

    Scarface growled at his mate, basically telling her to behave but Red growled straight back at him. Scarface was just about to bear his fangs back at her when something else caught his attention. He lifted himself up as he sniffed once more at the wind. His senses were on a razor wire, separating the various smells. Suddenly he growled at the pair of them and dropped to all fours. Within a second he was running along the plains, and picking up speed as he ran. 

     

    Both the others ran as fast as they could to catch up but Scarface showed no interest in who was following or falling behind. Instead he ran as hard as he could, his paws thundering across the plains. The silver werewolf started falling behind Red, but soon even Red was left chasing dust.

     

    In the distance they could see the western tower, Red looked at it with concern as she saw that Scarface was running straight for it, but then she could smell the same thing that had caught Scarface’s attention. Within a minute Scarface was at the tower, he scrambled up a large stone ramp then launched himself over the surprised guards who scattered, straight into a Dragon that was flying close to the ground in a sneaky dive to launch a surprise assault.

     

    The moment they impacted, both the Dragon and Scarface attacked each other even before they tumbled on the ground. Scarface’s claws broke through the dragon’s scales with ease as he tore at the scaly hide. Scarface slashed out wildly, ripping into the dragon’s side. The Dragon reared its head around and bit Scarface’s hind leg. It bit at him once more then pulled hard, ripping Scarface off him. Within a second it threw Scarface away like a rag doll, sending Scarface crashing into the tower wall. A second later however the dragon too thudded into the ground as it cried out in pain. 

     

    By now Red and the silver werewolf was upon it, both of them joining in the fight while the guards fired at it with their bows. Red quickly glanced to where Scarface was but he was motionless, lying on his side. The silver werewolf attacked the dragon’s wounded side but within a second the dragon had gripped her leg like it had done with Scarface. It lifted her up with ease as it prepared to throw her, but Red attacked its neck causing it to drop her. Within moments Red was tearing away flesh and scales, but the dragon pulled itself away just enough to snap at Red. It just started shouting its fire breath at Red when it was suddenly pulled the other way by two large paws. Scarface, who had by now recovered, ripped into the side of its face while Red renewed her attack at its neck. Within a few seconds Red found herself slashing at bones as she ripped right through the muscles.

     

    The dragon fell to the floor limp and lifeless as the scales started glowing. Sotek changed form, as did Aela and Sasha, but she stayed lying prone on the floor where her silver werewolf fell. Sotek absorbed the soul from the dragon then approached the stricken Shadowscale. Her leg was torn to pieces and she laid there screaming as she held her thighs. Blood poured out between her fingers from the wound. Aela grabbed a piece of leather which she used to bite on when she was hurt and held it in Sasha’s mouth. She immediately bit on it as she screamed through clenched teeth. Aela looked at her leg and immediately felt sick. From above her knee the scales were ripped off, with bones sticking out at multiple places. 

     

    Sotek cast his healing spell flooding the area with golden light. Sasha screamed out even more as bone bonded and the limb healed. Thankfully, she passed out as she slumped on the ground. 

     

    Irileth, to whom Sotek hadn’t realized was at the tower, walked over to them, eyeing Sasha suspiciously.

    “She’s a werewolf? The Jarl’s not going to like this. Who is she?” 

     

    “Just a visitor”. Sotek quickly stated. “She’s not stopping and the Jarl doesn’t need to know”. He silently wished Irileth wasn’t here. The last thing he needed was the Jarl and Proventus sticking their noses in.

     

    “Not going to need to know? Sotek, with everything else, he needs to know”. Irileth vehemently stated.

     

    “There’s enough mistrust and problems already. This will just make things worse. What would you prefer? Us three to have stood back and let you face the dragon alone? Please, we weren’t here, you haven’t seen us; any of you”. 

     

    The guards all shook their heads; a few answered which gave Irileth little choice.

    “I didn’t see you”. 

     

    “Nope, not for days”. 

     

    “Seen three werewolves? Nope I was too busy fighting a dragon”. 

     

    Irileth poked Sotek in the chest and conceded, against her better judgment.

    “Very well, but I don’t like it”. 

     

    Aela snarled out at her. As she spoke she pointed to Sasha.

    “Yea well I’m not keen on her either, so if you really want to, you can kill her”. 

     

    Sotek rolled his eyes at Aela.

    “Enough already. Irileth, can you help Aela put her on Scarface’s back?” 

     

    Aela snapped at him instantly.

    “What? No way! If she can’t follow then it’s tough, we leave her behind. When she recovers she’ll have to head back by herself”. 

     

    Sotek snapped back at her.

    “Don’t be so bloody stupid, put her on”. Without another word Sotek changed. Scarface dropped his shoulder as Aela and Irileth struggled to place Sasha over his back.

     

    Once they did so, Aela climbed on. She kicked her heels in hard in Scarface’s side and scowled.

    “Move it”. 

     

    Scarface snarled at her, but within moments they headed off across the plains keeping to the southern side. Aela pointed to the north, as she snapped her directions at him.

    “That way you moron”. 

     

    Scarface just ignored her and followed the mountains until they arrived at the lake. Once he stopped, Aela dismounted then pulled Sasha and let her fall to the ground. Sotek changed back and shook his head at her. She could tell he wasn’t impressed but she was past caring. 

     

    Once they set the camp up Sotek laid Sasha on a bedroll and covered her up with a few furs, then he and Aela sat there staring at each other across the fire. After a few minutes Aela got up then sat next to him.

    “I’m sorry, I know I have an attitude, but they caused all of this”. She roughly grabbed Sotek’s arm and put it around her then tucked herself into him as they sat there. “She rattles my cage, ok. She really rattles those bloody bars. There I said it, now I’m not saying a bloody word”. 

     

    Sotek held her tight and then whispered in her ear.

    We’ll find out all we need to. Listen well my hound, here’s what we’re going to do”. 

     

    Shortly afterwards Sasha murmured as she started coming around. Sotek got up then soaked a cloth in the lake then rested it on her forehead. She opened her eyes and tried to get up.

    “Stay there, rest”. 

     

    “My leg, oh Sithis my leg”. Sasha murmured as her senses started kicking in.

     

    “Your leg's fine, I healed you. You’re going to be ok. Just rest until the shakiness and the shock dies down. Are you thirsty?” Sotek spoke with a caring tone and he even stroked her arm, causing Aela to glare at him.

     

    Sasha smiled weakly at him and replied.

    “Yes please”. 

     

    Sotek passed her his flask, which she sipped from. She sat herself up then removed the furs from her leg. She had visions of her leg covered in scars and heavily mutilated but she was surprised once she built up the nerve to actually look at it.

    “It’s fine? There’s no broken bones or anything, I can’t even see any scars”. 

     

    Aela sat there pulling faces at her, but Sotek eyed her with some concern.

    “Can you walk?”

     

    Sasha nodded.

    “I’ll try”, Sotek gave her his hand and helped her to her feet, but she fell forwards slightly. Sotek grabbed her before she had a chance to fall which only proved to rattle Aela more. 

     

    Aela rolled her eyes at her.

    “Oh get a bloody grip, you cry baby”. 

     

    Sasha rested her hands on Sotek’s chest as she stood herself up again. “I’ll be ok, thanks for your aid”. She then took a few paces forwards. “See I’m good, thank you”. 

     

    Sotek pointed to the lake and gave the Argonian girl some advice.

    “Have a swim, get your leg moving”. Then he turned his attention to Aela and openly chastised her. “I remember when you had a busted ankle. You didn’t exactly run around, did you?” Aela just glared at him, but he ignored it. “I’m going to get some food. Sasha, get yourself in the lake you’ll feel better for it”. 

     

    Aela started walking towards Sotek, eager to get away from the other girl.

    “I’ll help hunt”. 

     

    “No you won’t. I’m going by myself, you wait here”. He instantly headed off back towards the plains.

     

    Aela stood there staring at him walking off then Sasha spoke aloud, rattling Aela even more.

    “He’s angry”. 

     

    “You shut the hell up! It’s your bloody fault”. Aela snapped. She was annoyed at Sasha but also at herself.

     

    Sasha just laughed. She knew she was under Aela’s skin and she was determined to dig in deeper.

    “Yes? How? I just did what you told me to”. 

     

    Aela glared angrily at her. 

    “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” 

     

    Sasha smiled whilst trying to be as smug as possible. 

    “You told me to get a grip so I did. He’s got a lovely body”. 

     

    “Why you smug bitch! You watch yourself; whore”. 

     

    From what she saw from Aela she was hardly impressed. Sasha sneered at her.

    “Huh? Really? Like I’m afraid of you”. 

     

    Aela snapped back with all the hate she could muster.

    “Oh you should be”. The next second she changed once again. Red took two steps towards her then howled out ferociously. Having changed earlier, all Sasha could do was take a few steps back. She found herself backed into a tree. Red walked up to her then swiped at where she stood seconds before, tearing into the tree bark. Only then did Aela change back. “Don’t bloody push me, and stay the hell away from him! You hear me”. 

     

    Sasha quickly recovered though. Aela didn’t manage to scare her off but she did confirm to Sasha just how much she was getting to the Huntress.

    “Oh, so you’re worried? What’s up, afraid he’s going to chase my tail as well as my ass?” 

     

    Aela ran at Sasha as she threw a punch, slamming her fist into the Argonian’s face. She fell to the floor but instead of getting up she kicked out at Aela’s thighs, sending her to the floor as well.

     

    Within fifteen minutes Sotek returned to the camp. He threw down a dead deer then he looked at the pair of them. Both Aela and Sasha sat there facing each other, both of them equally covered in cuts and bruises.

     

    Sotek picked his bedroll up and a few furs then started walking off along the shore line. Caught in a panic, Aela called out to him.

    “Hey, where you going?” 

     

    Sotek snapped out his reply.

    “Further along the lake”. 

     

    “Why are you taking your bed roll?” 

     

    Sotek stopped then half turned to the pair of them.

    “Because I’m tired”. 

     

    As Aela watched him walk off, she felt like a little puppy left behind.

    “Well when are you coming back to camp?” 

     

    “When I’m ready to deal with you two. You dumb ass bitch”. With that he headed off once more.

     

    Aela spent the next few hours between staring at the fire and looking out along the coastline. Every so often she would cast a quick glance at Sasha who was doing the same. Aela unsheathed her dagger then proceeded to start cutting off some venison which she cooked on two splits.

     

    Sasha sat there watching her for a few minutes the she walked around the camp picking up a few plants. She tore them up and dropped them in a small pot which she carried in her pack then proceeded to dice up some venison which she added to the mixture. She tipped in some water from her flask as she stirred her stew. 

     

    Aela sat there watching Sasha as she cooked but the Huntress didn’t pay notice to her own cooking. Her attention was pulled back to her deer meat when a piece of venison tore away from the split and landed on the glowing cinders. She managed to rescue it after several attempts of trying to skewer it with the split by quickly stabbing it with her dagger. She held her arm where she received a minor burn for her troubles.

    “Oh, for fuck sake”. 

     

    Sasha gave a laugh.

    “You’re not really going to eat that are you?” 

     

    Aela just blanked her. She shut her eyes tightly as a single thought ran through her mind. ‘Pretend she’s not there and she’ll disappear. Pretend she’s not there and she’ll disappear’. Aela then opened her eyes and cursed quietly while Sasha sat on an old log as she ate a bowl of her own stew.

     

    Sasha helped herself to a second serving then served some up in another bowl. She walked over to Aela and placed it besides her.

    “You can eat it or leave it. It matters not to me”. 

     

    Aela cut off a piece of semi burned venison then stabbed it with her dagger which she used as a fork. Even the smell of it screwed her face up. She took one bite then spat it out at the fire and shoved the plate on the ground. She cast a second look at the bowl. Aela hated to admit it but it did look appealing and as for the aroma, it was making her really hungry. Grudgingly she picked up the bowl and cast a quick glance at Sasha.

    “Thanks”. 

     

    Sasha gave Aela a pleasant smile, which just rattled Aela even more. “You’re welcome”. Aela ate it quietly and then she moved away from the fire as she watched the shoreline while she waited for Sotek to return.

     

    An hour later, as Aela looked across the shore, she saw a familiar figure slowly walking towards the camp. She rose to her feet and as casually as she could she walked up to Sotek but all the while she could feel Sasha’s eyes burning into her back.

    “Hi, enjoy your walk?” The moment she said it, Aela cursed herself. ‘Enjoy your walk? Bloody hell, what’s up with me? That’s so bloody lame’. 

     

    Sotek threw her a funny look as he walked past her. He sat by the fire then turned his attention to the burnt venison which Aela had miserably tried to cook. He picked up a piece then sniffed at it. A second later it joined the burning wood as he threw it on the fire. Knowing she could out do the Huntress, Sasha offered him a bowl of stew.

    “Here have this; you look like you could do with it”.

     

    He took the bowl from her but then he scrutinized it heavily.

    “Who cooked it?” He knew straight away that Sasha did, Aela couldn’t cook anything. 

     

    Aela slumped down next to him. She cast a look at Sasha as she replied grimly.

    “Sasha did”. 

     

    Sotek examined the contents of the stew almost as if he was searching for something. He shifted around pieces of meat as he scrutinized it. After several seconds he placed the bowl beside his feet and rejected Sasha’s offer.

    “Thanks but I’m not hungry”. 

     

    Aela stared at it for a second then picked it up and shoved it in his hands.

    “I’ve had some, its fine. You need to eat, so eat”. 

     

    Sotek peered into the bowl once more then placed it by the other side of his feet out of Aela’s reach. Sasha, sat there watching him, then her gaze fell on the bowl.

    “You said we would trust each other here and yet you won’t eat the same food as us because I cooked it. So, when is this great miracle of trust going to start?” 

     

    Sotek looked down at the bowl by his feet then he casually picked it up. But however much to Aela’s and Sasha’s surprise, he simply tipped it onto the fire.

    “The great trust miracle can happen as soon as you’re prepared to answer my questions, which had better be now”.

     

    Sasha gave him a quick glance but she could see he wasn’t messing about. She drew a deep breath then prepared herself.

    “Very well, ask away”. 

     

    “Do you know what Huinzi has asked of me, ‘if’ that was him asking? Do you know what he has asked me to do?” 

     

    Sasha shook her head.

    “Not entirely, no. I presume he means for you to kill someone”. 

     

    “Kill someone? No, not exactly. This question’s for the pair of you. Earlier, when you both had a fist fight, who was it that threw the first punch?” 

     

    Aela cast her head away from him. Her eyes slowly followed the shoreline where Sotek went off earlier that evening.

    “I did”. 

     

    “Why?” 

     

    Aela felt a slight lump in her throat. She gulped then turned to face him but inside she knew she had failed him with her lack of restraint. Instead of looking at him in the eyes she found herself unable to do so, she just stared blankly at his chest avoiding eye contact altogether.

    “Because once again I lost my temper. Sotek, I’m sorry”. 

     

    Sotek sat there for a few seconds the rose to his feet and walked over to the tree line. He stood there watching Aela for a few seconds, until Aela looked across at him. She tried not to but she couldn’t help but look at his eyes. She saw in them what she feared she would see, disappointment. Sotek gave out a loud sigh then sat by the fire, but this time he sat on a log away from the others.

     

    Sasha gave Aela a smirk, she couldn’t help herself. Aela stared at her and then turned her gaze to the fire.

    “I should have stayed behind; I knew this was a mistake”. 

     

    Sasha knelt down in front of the fire and played on Sotek’s emotions. “Sotek, you can’t blame Aela. She’s under a lot of pressure, you both are. The General, he said some things about what you’ve both been doing for the Imperial army. Your both tired, stressed, neither of you have had anytime to yourselves. Look, all I’m saying is don’t blame her; you both had it rough lately”. 

     

    Sotek gazed at Sasha for a few seconds then he turned to Aela and snapped out his orders.

    “Pack up, we’re heading back”. 

     

    Aela looked at him with surprise.

    “No, don’t. I’m sorry I lost my temper, I really am. I’ll head back, I won’t send Vilkas out here, I’ll just wait for you to come back. Sotek, stay here, I’ll go back”. 

     

    Sotek picked his pack up then dug out of it a piece of parchment and a short stick of charcoal. He hastily wrote a short note on it then folded it three times in to a square.

    “Aela, get your ass back to Whiterun and give this to the Harbinger. There’s a shift in the moon Aela, now get the hell out of my sight”. Aela grabbed her pack and threw it on her shoulder, as she did so she glared across at Sasha then she stood there and stared at Sotek. 

     

    Sotek just shook his head at the Huntress.

    “I can’t help but feel disappointed Aela. Every action has repercussions and there is always a choice. You should know that by now. Get the hell out of here”. Aela gave Sasha one more glance then she turned around and headed off through the trees towards the plains.

     

     

Comments

9 Comments   |   A Shadow Under the Moons and 4 others like this.
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  August 26
    (Sorry for the repost, I think the "more" button was broken)


    “Your [leg's] fine, I healed you."
    "He sat by the fire then turned his attention to the burnt venison which Aela had miserably [tried] to cook."
    "Sotek gave out ...  more
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      Ebonslayer
      Ebonslayer
      Ebonslayer
      (Sorry for the repost, I think the "more" button was broken)


      “Your [leg's] fine, I healed you."
      "...  more
        ·  August 28
      Added it to the ToC... 
      Speaking of ToC.... I need to get that sorted out.....
  • Shy Knight of the Shovel
    Shy Knight of the Shovel   ·  August 19
    wait another Werewolf and she isn't a Companion? that is weird, but then again Hircine does like his Mortals to fight for him in his Hunts. speaking of the Wolves Jim is going to be one. :)
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      Shy Knight of the Shovel
      Shy Knight of the Shovel
      Shy Knight of the Shovel
      wait another Werewolf and she isn't a Companion? that is weird, but then again Hircine does like his Mortals to fight for him in his Hunts. speaking of the Wolves Jim is going to be one. :)
        ·  August 28
      Sounds good Shy. More werewolves and less vampires will only help Skyrim to be a better place lol.
  • KaiserSoSay
    KaiserSoSay   ·  August 18
    Wait, so when did Sasha reveal herself to be a werewolf? 
    By "Will be a while", I'm guessing you mean 100+ chapters later, right?
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      KaiserSoSay
      KaiserSoSay
      KaiserSoSay
      Wait, so when did Sasha reveal herself to be a werewolf? 
      By "Will be a while", I'm guessing you mean 100+ chapters later, right?
        ·  August 18
      Sasha? Ermm..... Ah.

      “I’m a werewolf as well you know”. Sasha stated rather forcibly.
       
      Aela snapped back at the impetuous ‘pup’.
      “Of course we know, we can both smell the beast blood in you. That doesn’t mean anythi...  more
      • Sotek
        Sotek
        Sotek
        Sotek
        Sotek
        Sasha? Ermm..... Ah.

        “I’m a werewolf as well you know”. Sasha stated rather forcibly.
         
        Aela ...  more
          ·  August 18
        Now I've stated it, I wonder how far out, on target I'll be. :^)
  • A Shadow Under the Moons
    A Shadow Under the Moons   ·  August 18
    Aela really should've tried to make stew herself, it's much harder to burn food in a pot.
    • Sotek
      Sotek
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      Aela really should've tried to make stew herself, it's much harder to burn food in a pot.
        ·  August 18
      Haha
      I've plans to turn Aela's cooking around.... Will be a while though.  (I keep saying that don't I)