Alda'hirakam ghar Ara; Chapter 38

  • The spell failed, even if Ciel’nn thought he had it. His brows knitted when something went  wrong. Having a clear picture of the rune in his mind wasn’t enough. He needed to apply magick when pointing at the ground, but that’s where it failed. What if I do it differently? Ciel’nn tapped his fingers against his lips as he was taking a break.

    It wasn’t the young mer who was getting frustrated with all the failures. It was the Mage, Talvas, who had tried to explain in great detail and with clear images of how it should be done. It was as if the frustration, in person, was literally tapping his shoulder as he stared the mer. I have done everything within my knowledge and power to teach him. It shouldn’t take this long! But, he isn’t a mage. Maybe he’ll never learn a spell. The more he brooded, the more inclined he was to quit teaching. But perhaps, I should be more patient as Master Neloth is with me… Or, is he?

    “That’s it!” Talvas snapped, and got Ciel’nn’s and his partner’s attention on him. “Why should I bother with you? You’ll never get it right! I’m done!” He threw up his arms and marched briskly back to the tower. I have other things to do. The Mage slammed the door shut behind him.

    Teldryn lifted his brow and gave a mocking salute as the Mage left them. He looked to his partner. “Don’t mind him. He’s just an apprentice anyway.”

    Ciel’nn watched the Mage disappearing into the tower. “S’wit!!” His mouth thinned into a straight line as he rose from the stair. His hands squeezed into fists. Anger seared through him. A low, seething growl escaped between his gritted teeth. How dare he quit when I’m so close! I can feel it. He felt a comforting touch on his shoulder. Ciel’nn looked to Teldryn, and the mer’s soft and understanding gaze calmed him.

    The searing anger began to fade, but he still wanted to… hit the Mage with something. For being impatient with him. “I should’ve asked my friend, back at home, to teach me a few things or two.” The young mer finally sighed as he turned to his partner. “I was so close to getting it.” He put his head against Teldryn’s shoulder.

    To see his partner not cheerful and giving up, it soured Teldryn’s mood. He wrapped his arms around the mer and hugged him. “Hmm.” He held Ciel’nn for a while and an idea bloomed in his mind. I wonder… “I have an idea, Ciel’nn.” He leaned back a bit so he could lift his partner’s chin up with his fingers. Ciel’nn’s eyes were brighter as they focused on him. The older mer smiled. “I know it’s important to you. I can try to help you finish your rune training. What do you say?”

    Curious. It lifted his mood as a soft smirk crept on his face. He hadn’t thought of his partner  would even teach s him something else than blade dancing. “Is this one of your many tricks?” He leaned his head a bit closer that their lips almost brushed each other. “I’m all yours.” Ciel’nn planted a soft kiss on Teldryn’s lips.

    “Only the privileged ones gets this trick.” Teldryn grinned after the kiss. The younger mer chuckled. At least his partner’s mood had changed for the better. “Alright, let’s go somewhere else first.” He pulled away and took Ciel’nn’s hand in his own.

    “To the beach?” Ciel’nn asked as he let Teldryn lead him as he wondered how his partner was going to teach him. The mage abandoned me. I hope he stays an apprentice forever!

    The brisk breeze from the sea would have been relaxing if it wasn’t for the ash that occasionally flew with the wind. At the beach a family of a netch idly floated towards the water. It was as if the beach had its own world that was calm and timeless. Or, so it felt to Ciel’nn when he gazed across the waves. Calm and peaceful.

    The young mer shifted his gaze to his partner, expecting a litany of complex explanations of how magick was being used when casting a rune. “I hope you’re not going to try the same thing as the mage did.” He flexed his hands as, he prepared to follow Teldryn’s instructions.

    Teldryn stood and observed his partner. Heck, if I’m pulling this off yet! He shifted thoughtfully. If not, he might become even more confused. No, he shook his head inwardly. That he couldn’t afford. “Having second thoughts, Teldryn?” the older mer heard Ciel’nn asking and flashing a smirk at him. “No, I’m just hoping to be clear. Since Talvas couldn’t make any sense to you, and I must say I missed half of what he explained. I do it differently myself.” He paused to crack his neck.

    Ciel’nn bobbed his head. “I’m glad I’m not the only one.”

    “So, I’m asking you to forget what he tried to teach you with ‘the magicka is out there’.  Instead think of being below the blue layer that is magicka.” Teldryn said in a low tone. “Once you see and feel it, have the rune on hand and bring it through the magicka layer. Bring it down onto the ground.”

    “That sounds simpler.” Ciel’nn said in a neutral tone before he averted his gaze as he began to chew on what he was told.

    “I figured it would be best for you. Take your time.” Teldryn replied and surveyed the beach. It seemed calm. The netch family had moved further away. Nothing was threatening their lives, or worse, interrupting them.

    In his mind, Ciel’nn looked up to if there was the layer of magicka. It seemed to be like the surface of water. It was a mix of blue and deep purple shades with tiny sparkles. It’s beautiful. I wonder if all mages see it the same, he thought with his lips slightly parted. He saw and felt it. His fingers spread and the rune appeared on it. He reached for the layer of magicka with the rune until it sank in. The essence of magick filled the rune and Ciel’nn brought it down.

    He pointed at the ground and a weak poison rune appeared. The young mer smiled and looked to his partner. “It worked! But, it seems weak.” Then the exhaustion hit him. Ciel’nn frowned, but he suspected that it was from the spell. Well, he wasn’t born to be a mage after all.

    The poison rune weakly gleamed on the ashen ground as Teldryn stepped closer to have a  look at it. “At least you cast it. Even if it’s a weak one, you’ve started the path of rune casting.” He patted his partner’s shoulder, with an encouraging smile. “Yet we’ll make a rune caster out of you.”

    “Do you really think so?” Ciel’nn stretched his back. “It would only be a backup spell.” Maybe he didn’t understood as well if the lesson came from a mage. No, he needed it to be explained in a simpler way. Talvas had gone to Aetherius and back with explaining how it worked, leaving Ciel’nn puzzled.

    “I’m sure you’ll learn it. You just need to practice it. Maybe you’ll find your own way to strengthen the rune.” The older mer nodded.

    They sat around the camp fire, having their tent behind them. Ciel’nn had prepared tea from dried elf ears leaves. The mage hadn’t come back to check on him all evening. He’s gotten enough from me, he concluded. Once I learn to make the rune stronger, I’ll show him! A mischievous smile danced on his lips. Having the mage stepping onto his rune was a thrilling idea. His eyes shifted to Teldryn. The older mer seemed to be thinking.

    Teldryn sipped his tea and frowned, then he sighed. “She was the most wondrous altmer lady I’ve ever seen.” He began quietly, and the young mer turned his head to listen. “We met at Blacklight. In a bookstore, where she was buying a book of The Alchemists Formulary.”

    “What was her name?” Ciel’nn asked gently as shifted closer to his partner.

    “Elante.” Teldryn scowled as saying the name still stung, even after all these years. “She was also looking for a mercenary. I was so charmed by her brilliant scholarly presence that I offered my services for her. She eyed me with her measuring look before accepting me.”

    The young mer listened to Teldryn’s tale of the past, focused. He hadn’t much experience from Altmers other than the Thalmor and the dead priest from Falkreath. Generally, high born Altmers were stuck up people in his opinion. He had a suspicion that Elante is a high born. He bit his lower lip as the older mer continued.

    “After two weeks traveling to an old ruins we made a camp. Or, more like I did and she watched. I did everything she asked me to do.” Teldryn sipped his tea, then went on. “The ruins were occupied by some cultists and she wanted to find a certain artifact from there. We fought the cultists; I with my sword and she with her spells.”

    “I had doubts about the artifact, but we eventually after some hours found it. She was so thrilled that she forgot my presence.” Teldryn fell quiet for a brief moment as he still recalled the moment. He was barely aware of his partner sitting close to him. “Later on the same evening, she called me to her tent. And, guess what she wanted? That’s right. We had one damn hot night.” His tone was bitter underlined with regret.

    A wave of sadness swept over Ciel’nn as he figured out how the tale would end. He almost felt the mer’s feelings. He tensed up, wanting to reach for his partner’s hand.

    Teldryn stared into the camp fire as he finished his tale. “In the morning, she threw a mocking look at me and said she had noticed my lust for her, and that I’d be never a part of her future as I’m a lowborn. She never had any interest in me. I was to escort her back to Blacklight where she left back to Summerset Isles.”

    Ciel’nn let out a low hiss. He didn’t want to see Teldryn upset, or angry. Not like this. The regret shone from the mer’s eyes, and Ciel’nn wished he could make it go away. He shifted to embrace his partner and placed a warm kiss on his neck. “I’m sorry you had—“

    “Don’t be sorry.” The older mer said, without pushing Ciel’nn away. “I’m glad she’s gone. Let’s us hope I don’t see her again. It’s my regret that I fell so low.” He sighed as he felt the warmth on his neck.

    “I’m glad you shared this with me, Teldryn.” Ciel’nn whispered. He shifted to look at the mer and laced his fingers with the mer’s own. “And, just so you know, I’m with you to the bitter end. To Oblivion and back.” He said in warm tone. I will also deal with anyone that tries to harm you.

    The older mer smiled to him and leaned closer. “Just don’t tell everyone I’ve gone soft.” To this, the young mer flashed a smirk. “You? Soft? I don’t know what you are talking about, Teldryn.”

    They settled to sleep after a while. Ciel’nn, in Teldryn’s arms, listened to the mer’s soothing hum. Although, the humming brought him comfort in the chilling night, he’d wait until his companion was asleep before he’d allow himself slide into to a slumber.

    An abhorrent roar echoed from the North and, after it a faint scream followed. The young mer’s eyes snapped open.





5 Comments   |   Karver the Lorc and 3 others like this.
  • GailOlm
    GailOlm   ·  November 6, 2019
      It was sweet of Teldryn to console Ciel’nn after Talvas
    criticized him. (L) I like the way you’ve described the different methods of learning
    magic and I believe I agree with Ciel’nn that Teldryn’s method sounds simpler.
    I loved h...  more
    • Caladran
        It was sweet of Teldryn to console Ciel’nn after Talvas
      criticized him. (L) I like the way you’ve described the different methods of learning
      magic and I believe I agree with Ciel’nn that Teldryn’s method sounds simpler.
      I loved hearing more about ...  more
        ·  November 7, 2019
      Thank you Gail. :)
  • The Sunflower Manual
    The Sunflower Manual   ·  October 30, 2018
    Wow, Ciel's training in so many things. He's a regular jack-of-all-trades at this point! And some roaring and screaming after another lovey dovey scene, hmm. Never any breaks...
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  August 23, 2018
    Nice to see more of Teldryn's past. So he's both worked for crazy nords and crazy Altmer. Ciel is a much-deserved break for him. :D
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  August 23, 2018
    That´s the beauty of the magic, isn´t it? There definitely is more than one way to achieve the same results. Telvanni sometimes do complicate things, hehehe. On the other hand, they wouldn´t be the most prominent mages in Tamriel without a reason.
    ...  more