The Outlawed Hero- Chapter 7

  • Chapter 7

    "Amazing." Farengar said in a hushed tone. Taking the Dragonstone from my hands, the Court Wizard ran a hand over its runed surface, his eyes filled with intrigue. Without looking up, he reached into his robes with his other hand and produced a jingling leather pouch. My payment. I extended a hand and he dropped the pouch into it, before turning his gaze to me.

    "Well done, very well done indeed. To be quite honest, I didn't expect you to come back. Especially after the last few..." He shook his head quickly, waving a hand at me. "Anyway, thank you. I'll be sure to tell Jarl Balgruuf about this, don't you worry." I nodded, tossing the coin pouch up and down a few times before tucking it away on my belt.

    "Where is the Jarl now? This on- I don't see him on his throne." I cocked my head slightly, fingering the hilt of my sword and watching the Court Wizard quietly.

    "Ah, he's about somewhere. If not on his throne, he may be on the balcony, or perhaps in his-" The mage's voice was quickly cut off by another's, deeper and more refined. Turning my head to the doorway of Farengar's chambers, I immediately saw the Jarl standing there, a serious look on his face.

    "You," He pointed at me, not even seeming to notice Farengar, "come with me, the matter is urgent." Seeing no other choice, I shrugged and made my way over to him.

    "What's wrong?" I asked, my ears beginning to twitch. I took a look back at the robed form of Farengar, still inspecting the Dragonstone, before focusing on the Jarl again. Balgruuf spoke quietly, his eyes flicking to Farengar as well.

    "A dragon."

    I hurried up the steps to the war-room, a dimly lit behind the Jarl and was greeted by two of Balgruuf's most trusted warriors, arguing amongst each other in angry voices. Balgruuf's brother, Hrongar, seemed close to throttling the Dunmer housecarl Irileth, who was glaring at him through narrowed eyes. Both of them had their hands on their sword hilts.

    "Silence!" Balgruuf nearly roared as he saw what was happening. "Brother, Irileth, calm yourselves! This is no time for petty squabbles among ourselves." Both warriors fell silent at their Jarl's words, taking a step back from each other. I quickly made my way to an open space, folding my arms and waiting for the Jarl to speak. The two warriors glanced at me but stayed silent, obedient. "Now," Jarl Balgruuf said, his eyes flicking between Irileth and Hrongar, "where is that guard, the one who saw this 'dragon'?" Hrongar waved over a man hidden in the corner of the room, and he hurried over, focusing on the Jarl.

    "This one." Hrongar nodded at the man, who quickly began to speak.

    "Y-yes, I was there when the d-dragon appeared, my Jarl. It... it destroyed half of the Western Outpost, and killed almost all of our men. I- I was told to run, to bring word to you, so I don't know what happened to the other survivors." The guard sighed, and I noticed him shaking. The Jarl nodded slowly, and clapped a hand on the man's shoulder.

    "You've done well, son. Get back to the barracks and rest, you need it." The guard quickly nodded and thanked Balgruuf, before running down the steps, making his way to the barracks. I watched him go, before turning back to the Jarl, almost awestruck.

    "A dragon..." I muttered to myself, shaking my head in disbelief. The Jarl clasped his hands together, rubbing them and turning his gaze to the three of us in turn, his eyes hard.

    "You heard the man. That dragon destroyed an outpost. It killed loyal men of Whiterun." He took a step forward, focusing now on his brother and the Dunmer. "I trust the two of you with my life, and the lives of all the other men and women in this hold. And you..." He turned to me, pointing his finger at my chest, "you came back from Bleak Falls Barrow, with the Dragonstone no less. I don't need to tell you how many others died trying to fetch that piece of rock for Farengar." He stepped back again, eyeing us all once more. "You have all proven to be capable warriors, and capable warriors are what I need at a time like this. Irileth, Hrongar, take a squad of guards each and make your way to the outpost. You, Na'jad, is it? I want you to get into that outpost before that dragon comes back, and round up any survivors in a safe area. Then, and only then, are you to join battle, if it has begun." I cocked my head at this, and inspected the claws on one of my hands for a moment, appearing casual.

    "I suppose I can do that. But I am not in your service. I work for coin, and I'm afraid that is my only motivator." I saw Balgruuf's face contort in anger for a moment, before he spoke again, his words harsh.

    "Very well, if you do what I have ordered, you will receive double whatever Farengar has paid you for retrieving his Stone, as well as..." He frowns, considering, "the title of thane. Killing a dragon must be worth that much." I allowed a small smile to form on my face, and nodded, pulling my hand away and nodding at the Jarl.

    "That seems acceptable." Clapping my hands together, I turned to the two stern faced warriors next to me, my smile growing. "Now, who wants to kill a dragon?" The two of them frowned at me, but nodded slowly and, at the Jarl's leave, we made our way quickly out of Dragonsreach, Hrongar and Irileth running to the barracks, while I pushed my way through the gates of the city, my eyes immediately falling on a great plume of smoke in the distance, rising up through the otherwise clear blue sky.


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