Protected, no longer; Chapter 8


    Chapter 8


    He followed Maltrys to the tomb that was owned by the Dres. Ciel’nn hoped the Elder Dunmer wouldn’t force him to go there alone. He had his eyes cast down when Maltrys snarled in a stern tone.


    “Heads up, boy. You will fetch me some bone mold. I’ll be on guard. Go now!”


    Ciel’nn hesitated, but Maltrys opened the tomb door, and pushed him down the stairs. His face hit the dirt, and Ciel’nn winced at the pain in his arm. Slowly he pushed himself up, only to see the door closing.


    Ciel’nn found himself leaning against a small ruin of rubble, and sitting on a soft mass of grass. The sounds of fighting reached his ears as he brought up his hand to rub his head. The fumes were fading away, but he still felt fogged. The sense of imminent danger was overwhelming and real, as he held his head. “Rangalen?” he whispered, not sure why he did so though. Ciel’nn didn’t move for a while, and listened in. I just can’t sit here. I need to help them…


    The young warrior was thrown onto a ruin of rubble of ruins. He tried to get up, but his head felt dizzy. Frowning at their situation, Rangalen cursed. How are we to get past him? His concern for the Dunmer grew stronger by every minute.


    Weariness was in every fiber of her being tired as the huntress tried to fend off the Dremora Lord’s attacks. The Daedra seemed to be stronger. Sarade knew her skills were being put to the test. There has to be a way… She kept her eyes on the Dremora Lord, who grinned at her.


    “Hand over the Dunmer. This will be over soon if you stop being persistent.” Marquis growled. These two nords were headstrong to defend the poor Dunmer. The stubbornness of them amazed him, but it was pointless. He’d kill them and be done with it – however Marquis decided against it. He’d have time to play till they both were out of strength. A sly grin spread across his features while he walked towards the huntress. He had time…


    Observing the situation that wasn’t good for them, Rangalen stood, and tried to come up with a plan. He saw the Huntress showing signs of tiredness, and he couldn’t get close to the damned Dremora Lord without being tossed aside like trash. Gritting his teeth together, Rangalen charged again. He’d risk his life for his friends. He ran, and yelled.


    Sarade narrowed her eyes when the Dremora Lord was close to her. The sly grin made her feel sick in her stomach. She hadn’t felt this helpless since she had found her parents killed. Remembering the feeling again, the Huntress prepared to face the beast of Oblivion. Kyne, I thank you for your blessing... She tightened her grip on her sword.


    “Marquis!” Ciel’nn yelled from the top of the rubble ruin, and notched an arrow to a Forsworn bow. It felt heavy, but he had enough strength to do something with it. “You N’wah!” he snarled. This better work, or we will all suffer. Fear lingered in the back of his mind as his hand trembled slightly.


    The Dremora Lord, Sarade, and Rangalen stopped in their spots, and stared at the Dunmer, who let an arrow fly. It struck at Marquis’ throat, making him stagger backwards. “Argh!”


    The huntress realized this was her chance, and she prepared her spell with her last remaining strength. In her mind, she prayed for Kyne, and Sarade stepped towards the Dremora Lord, placing her hand on Marquis’ chest. “In Kyne’s name, I’ll banish you back into Oblivion!” she spoke, saying the words in her coldest tone, and a bright light came from her hand.


    A roar echoed when Marquis disappeared from their view. Sarade collapsed on her knees, she was exhausted. The spell had taken a lot of her will.


    The young warrior blinked, and found himself in awe. It had happened so fast, and he hadn’t had time to reach her since Ciel’nn’s yell. “How are you feeling?” he asked the Dunmer as he made his way to the huntress.


    “Mostly shaken, but alright. My head is still dizzy.” Ciel’nn replied, frowning. He couldn’t shake the feeling off when Marquis had been present. Even when the danger was gone, Ciel’nn felt restless. He observed the Nord helping the Huntress up on her feet. Sarade was quiet, but she sighed.


    “We need to find a place for the night, and rest before we leave the Reach.” she spoke as Rangalen supported her. “Ciel’nn, can you walk on your own?”


    “Yes, I can.” the Dunmer nodded, and hopped down the rubble. He certainly needed a well-rested night’s sleep.


    “That was too close. I hope he doesn’t return so soon.” Rangalen sighed. The young warrior felt a wave of relief washing over him, but he caught the wound on Sarade’s arm. “You’re hurt.” he said, and began to search a potion from his backpack.


    “We need to leave before it’s too dark.” Ciel’nn noted. “I don’t want to spend another night in this damned vale.” He shifted to move.


    “I have a horse nearby. Help me to it.” Sarade said, and let the young warrior help her.


    Ciel’nn strolled ahead of them, and he found the horse by some juniper berry bushes. “Must be hers” he mused, and approached the horse. “Come on, she needs you.” He took the reins, and walked the horse closer to the Nords.


    The flames of the campfire warmed as they sat around it. Rangalen had prepared a Horker stew that they ate in silence.


    Ciel’nn stared at ‘herb’ potion that Sarade had made for him. He wasn’t sure if he should drink it or not. Not that he didn’t trust her, but his mind was somewhere else.


    “Drink it, Ciel’nn.” she encouraged him. “It will make you feel better as well as clear your head from the fumes.” Her voice calmed even the young warrior who was sitting next to the Dunmer. It seemed Sarade was surrounded with Kyne’s presence which calmed whoever was around her.

    Ciel’nn sighed, and tasted the potion. He caught the taste of frost mirriam, jazbay grapes, juniper berries, and snow berries. To his delight, the potion wasn’t as foul as he had thought. It had a sweet after taste, too.


    Rangalen smiled. “Thank the Gods, you found us in time. I wouldn’t want us to end up being some witches’ present.” His smile faded in rapid fashion as the huntress turned her eyes on him, and he felt a scowl coming at his direction.


    “What in Kyne’s name you two were doing there in the first place? In the Reach no less!” Her tone had a sting, but remained calm. She wanted an explanation, a good one. Rangalen was her friend, so there must be a good, logical reason.


    Ciel’nn left the explaining to the young warrior, and he sipped the potion. He was aware of Sarade being serious this time. The Dunmer hoped Rangalen wouldn’t say anything silly. He listened to the Nord’s tale about them fighting bandits, him being injured, and how the healer had disappeared. The shadows played on the huntress’ face as she seemed to think over the facts.


    “They must laid an ambush when we rested at Valthume.” Rangalen added, biting his lower lip as he waited for Sarade’s response.


    “It was my idea.” Ciel’nn came to the Nord’s defense, and there was a silent moment for a while. He drank the rest of the potion, and felt the cloak of sweet slumber come over him. Instinctively he leaned on the young warrior’s shoulder.


    “Rest now, Ciel’nn.” Sarade spoke in a calm tone. “The Reach is dangerous at this time of the year, but with Kyne’s blessing you should be able to rest without any disturbances.” she told them. “We leave tomorrow.”


    Ciel’nn lowered his head onto the Nord’s leg, and closed his eyes. He felt a soft fur blanket was put over him. A tiny smile crept over his face as Rangalen caressed his hair briefly before he fell asleep. He trusted the Nord enough to sleep close to him.


    The sun was peeking behind the hills when Sarade decided to wake them up. The young warrior sat up, and noticed the Dunmer was stirring in his lap. He’d protect Ciel’nn from anything – even from Oblivion itself. “Morning, how are you?” Rangalen asked, a slight smile on his lips.


    Ciel’nn pushed a stray strand of his hair behind his ear, as he got up. “Morning you two. I managed to sleep, thanks to her potion.” he replied, still sleepy headed. He eyed the young warrior briefly – the Nord had certainly a great pair of eyes. Ciel’nn felt he’d get lost in them if he stared long enough.


    “Good to see you feeling better. The potion is an old recipe from my great-great aunt.” Sarade smiled now the first time since their rescue. She gave them time to wake up properly while she prepared their breakfast – tomato soup. The huntress wanted to get moving as soon as possible for they were still in the Reach, and her senses were on high alert. “Ciel’nn, would you tell us why you are hunted?” Sarade asked suddenly.


    Ciel’nn cast his gaze down. He didn’t want to talk about it now. Would she be mad if he told her he’d screwed up? It was his problem, and he didn’t want to get the Nords involved more than they were already. The Dunmer bit his lower lip. How in Oblivion could he even begin to explain?


    Noticing Ciel’nn’s discomfort, Rangalen frowned – he didn’t want his friend to feel this way, not after what had happened. “He’s not ready to tell. Give him some time.” he said as he put his hand on the Dunmer’s shoulder, and gave it a reassuring squeeze. “I believe you’ll tell us when you’re ready, and if you still want to.” The young warrior smiled at Ciel’nn.


    The Huntress nodded, “I’m just worried. We leave as soon as you’re ready.”


    Ciel’nn gave a short nod, and he glanced at the young warrior. At least he had someone who understood him. It was a warming thought. It had been a long time since he had anyone who really cared for him. It was weird as the Dunmer couldn’t recall the last person who was there for him.


    They passed Fort Sungard as Sarade led them past it. It had been a close call for them not to be seen, but the Huntress made them stay hidden in their places while the danger passed by, and they were able to continue again. She meant to leave them at the crossroads of the Reach and Falkreath border.


    “I trust you two to stay out of trouble from now on.” Sarade spoke in a stern tone as she looked at them. “And, Rangalen. You should visit the Companions for training. It costs though.”


    “Exactly! They are in it for the gold only. At least that’s what Aela says.” Rangalen groaned, frowning. He knew Sarade meant good, but he couldn’t put up with the Companions. There must be other people who aren’t greedy with gold.


    Sarade shook her head. “Find someone else then. I need to get going. Stay out of trouble!” she said, and climbed on her horse in a fluid and light motion.


    “We will be careful.” Ciel’nn nodded, and they watched the Huntress riding south towards Falkreath.


    “We should go to Whiterun, and buy more supplies.” Ciel’nn suggested as he looked at the young warrior. “Maybe we can find someone who is willing to train you.” he added with a smile, and moved onwards the road.


    Taking a few quick steps to catch the Dunmer, Rangalen surveyed the area – he knew that he had been here before. Mostly a saber cat or two and wolves in the region. “What about the gauntlets?” He wasn’t sure what Ciel’nn wanted to do, but they promised the Orcs to get the gauntlets. Now it seemed less likely to happen.


    “We can go get them later. Valthume can’t be the only one with treasures, so we can look for other barrows as well.” the Dunmer replied in a calm tone, but it was shadowed by a distant fear of darkness. He cursed Maltrys to deepest Oblivion for causing him to have these nightmares. Ciel’nn only wished them to stop even it if wasn’t a problem every night...


    The young warrior nodded. “Perhaps we can ask a Priest of Kynareth for help with your nightmares as well?” Rangalen asked in a gentle and careful tone, hoping Ciel’nn wouldn’t mind. The Dunmer shot him a wide eyed look, followed by a silent frown, and a sigh – the Dunmer remained quiet for a while as they travelled along the road.


    Ciel’nn knew the Nord wanted to help him, but in his heart he knew it wasn’t that simple. It was not simple at all. Instead of saying anything, he gave the young warrior a tiny smile.



    Back to ToC


8 Comments   |   GailOlm and 6 others like this.
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  January 20
    The bond of love and affection between Rang and Ciel'nn grows deeper, while my heart grows warmer at seeing it :) I think I love Sarade. She's strong, but vulnerable, fierce, yet tender. The Stormcrown sits upon her brow very well indeed.
  • A Shadow Under the Moons
    A Shadow Under the Moons   ·  November 17, 2017
    Marquis makes a pretty intimidating villain. I get the feeling he was simply dragging out the fight and taking his time like he's playing with his food >.<
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  July 19, 2017
    The Dremora is certainly a nasty problem. I enjoyed the combat scene and Sarade is interesting with her faith in Kyne. And knows Banishing spells, full of surprises that one. :)
    • Caladran
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      The Dremora is certainly a nasty problem. I enjoyed the combat scene and Sarade is interesting with her faith in Kyne. And knows Banishing spells, full of surprises that one. :)
        ·  July 23, 2017
      Thanks! The Dremora is a one big problem alright. There will be more stuff about Sarade later. ^^
  • William McNee
    William McNee   ·  April 15, 2017
    That Marquis could be a problem going forward. I hope Ciel'n and Rang are prepared because Sarade might not be around the next time...:O
    • Caladran
      William McNee
      William McNee
      William McNee
      That Marquis could be a problem going forward. I hope Ciel'n and Rang are prepared because Sarade might not be around the next time...:O
        ·  April 16, 2017
      Could happen though. *grins*
  • GailOlm
    GailOlm   ·  April 11, 2017
    Nice writing on the battle scene. I also enjoyed the interaction between Ciel'nn, Rangalen, and Sarade.
    • Caladran
      Nice writing on the battle scene. I also enjoyed the interaction between Ciel'nn, Rangalen, and Sarade.
        ·  April 16, 2017
      Thank you! :)