Protected, no longer; Chapter 31

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    Chapter 31

     

    He was gathering plants in the nearby woods. The woods were quiet even if it was evening. A tender scent of flowers filled the air as he picked them up and put them into the basket.  Ciel’nn only hoped Maltrys wasn’t being too harsh fon his mother. The old N’wah has started to behave even more irrationally these past weeks. He couldn’t shake off the strange feeling, and the day had been odd enough already.

    Ciel’nn picked up Black antler and walked on the soft ground. He looked around for Chokeweed for a while before he found them. He knelt down and reached for the plant when a high pitched scream nearly pierced his sensitive ears. The basked he was holding dropped down as he abruptly stood up, his heart racing. “Mother…”

    Please, let me be wrong.

    It didn’t take from him long to run back to the house and circle around the fence. Ciel’nn gathered his courage and pushed the door open. The main corridor was dimly lit and it was empty. “Mother!” he called, panic rising in his tone. He walked further in the corridor until he was greeting by the dead body of his mother. She was stabbed to death in front of the old mer’s study. Ciel’nn couldn’t believe it - his mother was dead. His tears rolled down his cheeks. He felt like the house was sucked out of air.

    He shouldn’t have left the house.

    “Look at me, whelp!”





    Ciel’nn tried to stay warm - all bundled up in his fur cloak. The cold made the Dunmer have second thoughts about going to anywhere. Certainly they couldn’t go to the College anymore since a rebel Stormcloak band had them noted about Imperial activity nearby and it wasn’t safe. For now, they were escorted to Fort Kastav by the rebels.

    The journey to the fort was slow in the cold weather and the men were curious about the Nord. They asked him many questions like what was his standing in the Civil War, what did he think of their Jarl and why he was with a Dunmer. Rangalen did his best to remain neutral with his answers and he glanced at his friend. “We’re friends. What are you guys doing out here?”

    “We’re waiting for that asshole Tellik to come by. So, we can kill him.” Mathis, the blond man replied.

    “Really? What did he do to you?” The young warrior asked, wondering how many crimes Tellik had on his list.

    “He murdered my sister and her husband when they were returning from Solitude.” Mathis said in a low tone.

    “Tellik killed my father when he tried to defend the family farm. He’s going to pay!” Joften Grim-Hilt said, tapping the hilt of his sword.

    “He’s also after me.” Ciel’nn spoke out of the blue and making them all look at him. “Tellik almost killed Rangalen, too.” He had been quiet for most of the time and felt like sharing a bit even if they liked it or not. The man closest to him took a look at him and frowned. “You seem to be a normal dark elf like the others we’ve seen. I don’t get what’s so special about you for the asshole.” Ciel’nn heard the man saying. “Thanks!” The Dunmer flashed a smile.

    There were two kinds of men in Skyrim; ones who were after him for good or bad, and the ones who liked women more.

    “You’re the only one, who he can’t charm.” Rangalen joked, smiling. Of course, there were others, too. Honestly, the young warrior was happy there were men, who didn’t care about the Dunmer. Fending off the unwanted ones would be troublesome in the long run. Though, he had a feeling that Ciel’nn would kill everyone he didn’t like to have close to him. What a strange feeling and a chilling thought that was.



    Fort Kastav had been inhabited by the rebels as Ciel’nn saw it with his own eyes. The men had worked it to a live-able place and had guards posted around the yard and a few on a higher level of the the  fort. If there was any Imperial activity - they’d know it if an assault happened. Or, so Ciel’nn hoped the Nords knew what they were doing.

    The scouting party introduced the pair of friends to their friends. They were excited to have the young warrior, the former Captain Mistgaze’s son with them, and they eagerly asked if he could join them. More men were needed for their cause. Rangalen rubbed the back of his neck while he looked into their faces. “I… uh…” The young warrior didn’t want to be a rebel. It wasn’t for him and it wasn’t him.

    In the small corner of the kitchen, Ciel’nn found his way to talk with the big the man, who cooked the meals. He seemed friendly enough to talk with. “So, you cook for the boys, eh?” The Dunmer inquired in a neural tone. The small kitchen lacked certain ingredients. It was obvious how bland the food was or going to be.

    The cook turned to him with hazel eyes and smiled. “Aye, elf lad. That I do. Can’t leave them without food - they won’t live long without my meals. You must be that dark elf the boys keep whispering about. Name’s Haeen.”

    “Ciel’nn.” The Dunmer introduced himself. “Really? What’s the whispering?” It was puzzling because they had just arrived and the rebels were already talking. Ciel’nn frowned slightly as he looked to the man.

    Haeen leaned closer and said in a low tone, “That you’re the Nord’s bed mate. You have the looks.” The big man shrugged. “They are just bored. Probably.” With that, Haeen returned to his cooking. “There’s some hot water if you want to make tea. I heard elves likes their tea.”

    “He doesn’t swing that way.” Ciel’nn grumbled.

    A bed mate? Either the rumours have gone wild in the past three hours, or the boys are in dire need. Ciel’nn wondered if the men relieved themselves with each other. He shook his head to push away that image. Still frowning, the Dunmer made some snow berry tea for himself and sat down on the nearby bear fur covered chair. Yet again, he shook his head and held the warm cup of tea. Silly Nords… Ciel’nn opened his mouth to ask if they had any who liked men, but he chose to be quiet.

    Better not.

    No matter how warm the bear fur bed was or, how soft his pillow was, Ciel’nn couldn’t sleep. Even prayers for Azura didn’t help, so he just stared at the ceiling. The Nord was sleeping tight on the next bed, lightly snoring. Nothing doesn’t concern you at the moment, eh, Rangalen? I wonder how many meads you took this time? … I miss the homeland. Changing his side, the Dunmer closed his eyes in hopes to fall asleep.

    The shouts of alarm woke the young warrior abruptly. Were they under attack? The shouts where muffled. Rangalen’s first thing was to check if the Dunmer was still asleep - he wasn’t! Where in Nirn was Ciel’nn? The Nord felt high concern rising in his chest as well as a dreadful panic. He put on his armaments and his sword and shield from the chair by the bed. “Anyone seen the Dunmer?” Rangalen called out, but no one answered. Were they outside already? Fighting… Imperials? He didn’t know, but the young warrior dashed to the hall and to the doors. Please be safe!

    “Die Imperial!” Mathis shouted from the upper level as he shot an arrow at the enemy as Rangalen pushed the doors open. To his horror, the rebels were in a full fight with the Imperial assault party. It was chaotic, and yet he didn’t see the Dunmer. “Have you seen Ciel’nn?” He shouted over the noise as he pulled his sword out, preparing to fight.

    “He should be somewhere.” Mathis shouted back and shot another arrow. “They sneaked while some of us was sleeping. Killed the youngest of us.They are so going to pay!”

    …should be somewhere? Rangalen wanted to rant about unclear information, but instead he let out a low growl and charged towards the nearest Imperial. They needed to end this fight soon. He looked around to see if the Dunmer was close by. His shield bashed at the Imperial soldier’s arm and prepared to strike the man down with fury. “Do not falter!” He found himself shouting supportive commands. The words became his own and flew out of his lips. It was a strange sensation, but the young warrior kept going and slashed at his enemies.

    Die, N’wah! Ciel’nn though as he shot a poisoned arrow towards the Imperial Officer. He was cloaked in the shadows on the Captain’s Quarters’ roof. The assault had started right after he’d fallen asleep. Now the cold night air made his throat hurt. There wasn’t even time for a hot drink. So the Dunmer did his best to help the rebels. He let another arrow fly, missing the target. N’chow!! Here is too cold! My hands are freezing. On that moment, Ciel’nn heard the young warrior’s war cry and rallying the rebels, but the fight seemed to be going on forever.

    The rebels fought furiously under the young warrior’s war cry. They didn’t even think about dismissing the feel of being under his guidance. “For Shor!” Rangalen shouted once more, but he came to realize that the Imperials were more experienced in fighting and gaining an advance. No, this can’t be happening! Shor give us strength. With Shor in his thoughts, Rangalen rammed into the next Imperial soldier.

    Ciel’nn tried to find some cover for a Imperial scout had seen him on the roof. There wasn’t a lot of hiding places for the Dunmer. He let out a curse, cursing everything, starting from his father and went on to anyone, who had meant harm for him. “N’chow!” An arrow struck his shoulder and Ciel’nn fell down from the roof onto the level where Mathis had been, now he was injured or dying. Ciel’nn gritted his teeth together as he tried to sit up. He held his shoulder and looked around - the scout didn’t seem to continue his attack on him, but it was only a small comfort for Ciel’nn. Leaning against the wall,  his eyes shifted around the fort yard to see the young warrior. The fight went on with the Imperials pressing on the rebels.

    He wasn’t sure if he had passed out, but Ciel’nn opened his eyes to see most of the rebels dead. The young warrior seemed to be still fighting against three Imperials. His shoulder was burning and aching. Slowly he made it to the edge and slow-dropped himself down to the ground level. Must help him… It was painful, but Ciel’nn was determined and took out his blade. Azura help me…

    Ciel’nn froze in his place as he felt the familiar feeling of dread and danger. He slowly eyed around the area, but couldn’t see anything. His heart raced when he turned around only to see a dreadful Dremora Lord! Ciel’nn couldn’t move for he stared at Marquis, who wasn’t far away from him. Something was different about the Dremora Lord, Ciel’nn noted briefly before he turned and tried to run towards Rangalen and the Imperials. No, not now! He ran, but he stumbled on a dead Imperial and fell down. Desperately the Dunmer tried to get up, but with the pain in his shoulder it was beyond possible. He started crawling while tears rolled down his cheeks. “Rang…”

    The gauntleted hand that grabbed him from the ground, made Ciel’nn shout from the top of his lungs. “Rang-!” He managed before Marquis muffled him. “Quiet! He can’t help you now. You’re coming with me!” The Dremora Lord snarled in a sneer and, to Ciel’nn’s horror, started to move towards the portal he had opened. Ciel’nn tried to struggle from the grip, but his strength was fading quickly.

    The young warrior bashed the Imperial with all his strength when he heard the cry for him. Rangalen turned, his eyes widening, to see how the Dunmer was being carried by the Dremora Lord. Marquis! Abandoning the fight with the Imperials and his shield, he dashed towards his friend and the fiend. He ran as fast as he could - time seemed to slow down as he saw Ciel’nn extending his arm with immense fear in his eyes. The Dunmer was going into shock.

    “I have plans for you.” Marquis snarled, clearly being satisfied that he had finally gotten his favorite prey. Ciel’nn could only watch in horror as the portal came close while he kept his hand extended, regardless of the pain in his shoulder. He kept his eyes on his friend. Rang…

    Rangalen ran and leaped with his last strenght, hoping he’d reach them before the portal, but the last thing he saw was Ciel’nn was horror struck as thinking ‘this is where I die’ as the portal closed before him, and fell on his face. If he had a little more time, he would… He would… The young warrior stared in disbelief at the spot where the portal had been.

    “Ciel’nn!!”

    Both Ciel’nn and Marquis were gone.

    “Damned Troll’s Blood!” He cursed, realizing his failure to protect his friend. Rangalen gritted his teeth together and fisted his hands till they became white and hit the ground. “Damned Daedra and Oblivion!” Another fist hit the snowy ground and the shaking crept over the young warrior’s body.

    The remaining Imperials came to him and Rangalen lost it. He grabbed his sword from the ground and lashed out with a rage at the enemy; slashing one at the side, knocking with the hilt of his sword and slashing at the groin for the second one and he brutally beheaded the last Imperial. Only then, Rangalen collapsed back on the ground, on his knees and with sagging shoulders. He brought up his hands on his face as he silently cried, ignoring the wounds he’d gotten during the fight. Ciel’nn…

    Had the Gods abandoned him? He felt hopeless…Being helpless was a crushing feeling. He wasn’t able to protect his friend. It was quiet and snowing slightly. What was it the Dremora Lord had said before?

    “You can’t even protect a dog.”

    I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Ciel’nn.

    Ciel’nn…

     

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Comments

3 Comments   |   A Shadow Under the Moons and 1 other like this.
  • William McNee
    William McNee   ·  November 21
    Doesn't look good for our heroes being seperated like that...:O
  • The Lorc of Flowers
    The Lorc of Flowers   ·  November 21
    Yeah, I wonder if they relieve with themselves too :D
    And boy, Marquis showing up is definitely not a good thing. And dragging the Dunmer into...Oblivion? Not going to end well. But maybe we'll finally get some answers.
  • A Shadow Under the Moons
    A Shadow Under the Moons   ·  November 21
    Oohh. Well, that can't be good. Didn't expect Marquis to suddenly pop up like that.