Alda'hirakam ghar Ara; Chapter 48

  • Ciel’nn rolled away from the ash spawn and got on his feet. It had hit him with brutish power, and the young mer was certain it’ll leave a bruise on his arm. With a hiss, his eyes narrowed as he observed the ash creature. These are tougher than the ones at the fort. Maybe they are drawn to the treasure as well? The damned thing aimed another strike at him. Ciel’nn took a defensive stance and prepared.

    Teldryn gave his last most vicious slash to the ash spawn he was facing. He didn’t stay to watch it crumble, but he turned to see how his partner was doing. A frown latched on his forehead as he noticed Ciel’nn not fighting to the fullest. The way the young mer was holding his  left arm… The older mer hissed and rushed to help. “Hold on, Ciel’nn!”

    The last standing ash spawn leaped into a maddened rush toward the young mer who was backing away to the treasure chest. The ash creature raised its molten blade in the air.

    Suddenly the ash spawn seemed to stop. For a moment it was still, but slightly edging forward towards the horrified mer, who now leaned against the chest. It was only steps away from him.

    Teldryn shouted.

    The ash spawn’s blade came down and it exploded into many frozen ice flakes.

    Ciel’nn had his sword up in a last defensive position , but when the ash creature had been impaled with a huge ice lance, he had to cover his face. He almost thought his life was forfeit. But it wasn’t new to him. He had been many times in this situation before, and it was still horrifying. Especially when you’re vulnerable and hurt.

    “I thought you’d need some help.” A voice came from above, from their side.

    Teldryn cursed under his breath. For a moment he had feared he was too late to act. It was too fucking close! With relief washing over him, the older mer looked briefly up to the cliffs. “Talvas.” The mage nodded to him, but he seemed to be worried for some reason. Teldryn had no time to ask what it was. He hurried to see his partner.

    Ciel’nn gazed at the mage while he carefully sheathed his sword. I’d be dead if not for him. I’m not sure if Teldryn would have arrived in time to help me. “Thanks!” He looked to Teldryn who frowned. “The damned thing nearly broke my arm.” The young mer sighed. “Guess no fighting for a while.”

    “Thank Master Neloth. He’s having a headache from the ruckus you caused here. He sent me here to check it out.” Talvas said. “I seemed to arrive just in the nick of time. Your arm needs mending. Come inside and rest. We might be able to start teaching you some scroll making.” With that he walked back to the tower.

    Even the mage knew Ciel’nn’s arm was in a bad shape. “It’s alright. We need your hand mended and you rested as well.” Teldryn  said in a soft tone. “But before we go inside  I’ll open this treasure chest. Give me a few lock pics.”

    It took several tries from Teldryn to pick the lock. Ciel’nn handed him a pair of lock picks whenever the older mer broke the current ones, and then he advised him with a few insights of how to get the lock open.

    The lock finally clicked and Teldryn pushed the lid open. “There’s a handful of varied gems and the infamous Deathbrand Boots.” He looked to his partner who smiled. “Great, we’ll get the gems and sell the boots.” Teldryn nodded. He grabbed the gems and handed them to Ciel’nn. He reached for the boots. “These are also partly made in Stalhrim.” The older mer noted. “Alright, let’s go to the tower.”

    Ciel’nn nodded as he looked at the gems in his hand. One sapphire, one emerald and two amethysts. Not a bad catch. They walked to a side path that led to Tel Mithryn.

    “How did you get your arm hurt?” Teldryn asked as he looked to his partner as they walked at a modest pace down the path.

    “I, uh…” Ciel’nn frowned. It had happened so fast. Did he make a wrong move? Or, maybe a wrong stance? There would be no excuse for this. “I did something wrong. A miscalculation.” He brushed a stray hair behind his ear. “Those ash spawns were tougher than those we’ve faced before.” It was more than that, but the young mer thought his partner knew how it was.

    “Were they? I didn’t notice anything, but they were certainly persistent on killing us.” Teldryn replied thoughtfully. “In any case, if you find yourself in trouble, lead the opponent toward me, alright? It was too close for comfort.” He then felt Ciel’nn leaning his head on his shoulder and looking to him affectionately.

    “I’m sorry, Teldryn. I promise I shall lead every grass hopper to your direction.” The young mer smirked as his partner scowled. Then he added in a more serious tone, “I’ll do as you ask, daelha.” His partner smiled. Ciel’nn had heard the panicked shout and he was sorry he had caused a reason to worry. He hadn’t meant it. He didn’t want to see the other mer in despair or hurt because of him.

    Drovas was thankful for the mudcrab meats that they brought him. “These will be a nice addition for today’s dinner. I only hope Master Neloth likes them too.” The steward had said. He had watched how Ciel’nn scribbled a recipe from his outer memory for him. The young mer mentioned that if Drovas followed the recipe accordingly, the results would be drool worthy. Drovas once again was thankful for the recipe and ushered them out. He had a dinner to prepare.

    At the tower, Neloth had been less than joyous to see the two mers. He still had a hammering headache and complained that his research was delayed for hours. He had yelled for Drovas and tea. Neloth’s day was in tatters, and he refused to rest.

    The Wizard mumbled something strange when Ciel’nn and Teldryn had retreated to wait for Talvas at the other side of the tower. Ciel’nn frowned at Neloth. He thought the old mer was losing his mind from the endless researching. He wouldn’t be worried if one day the Wizard opened a book and got sucked into it, never to be seen again. That’d be something. The young mer sighed.

    The lift hissed and Talvas hopped down from it. “Alright, we can go to the Steward’s house where we can heal your arm.” He waited for the two mer to move when he saw Neloth coming toward them with a strange expression. “What’s wrong, Master?”

    “I can heal his arm.” Neloth replied in a weird tone and reached for the young mer’s arm.

    “Don’t you dare touch me!” Ciel’nn hissed, but Neloth managed to point his two fingers to the injured spot on his arm, and spoke a few strange words. The young mer’s arm tingled and changed. He heard the gasps from Teldryn and Talvas. Having a bad feeling, Ciel’nn was horrified to look at his arm that felt really odd. His muscles tightened and beads of sweat formed on his forehead. He looked slowly down at his arm.

    The young mer let out a shriek at the sight of his arm. It wasn’t his arm anymore. It was a… tentacle. A green and purplish tentacle with a life of its own. Ciel’nn’s heart raced and he felt dizzy before his legs gave out.

    Teldryn winced, but managed to take hold of his fainted partner. “S’wit! What did you do?!” He barked at the Wizard. “You better know how to fix that before he wakes up.” He looked to Talvas.”Do you know how this is cured?”

    Neloth mumbled something indifferent before he straightened up. He strolled to his study without a concern about what he had just done.

    Still horrified at the young mer’s tentacle arm, Talvas bit his lower lip. It was now clear that Neloth wasn’t himself. He had gone insane. Talvas would find out how, and if possible, he’d bring the old Neloth back. The new one was far too much to handle. He looked to Teldryn. “I can try, but I can’t promise anything.”

    “Well, get to it. Find something that helps you and quickly. Then come to the Steward’s house.” Teldryn snapped before he lifted up his unconscious partner on to his arms. He looked down at the restless face of Ciel’nn. I hope you don’t see nightmares.

    When Ciel’nn came to, he refused to open his eyes. He kept himself still as if he was asleep, in hopes not to feel nothing. He’d freak out again if he’d see… that thing that used to be his arm. It had given a fright of his life to his heart. If it was a permanent thing, he wouldn’t know what to do.

    There was someone in the room with him. Ciel’nn could hear the breathing. It’s probably Teldryn. Then the door opened.

    “Is he awake yet?” Talvas’  voice asked as the door was closed.

    “No, he’s asleep.” Teldryn sighed.

    Talvas walked closer to the bed and looked at the resting mer. “You know I did my best, right?” He asked Teldryn. “It scared me to Oblivion, too. What concerns me more is Neloth. He’s not himself.” He paused as he sat on the chair nearby. “All I could find was this book about Hermaeus Mora, and I’m naught but scared of the findings.”

    The older mer frowned as he glanced at the mage. If Neloth has gone beyond the edge, then what hope had they to get him back to his old self? Further more, was Tel Mithryn safe to visit anymore? There was no telling what the crazy wizard might do next. He felt a touch on his hand.

    “Teldryn?” Ciel’nn whispered. “Is it over? Do I still…?” Please say it’s back to normal. Please…

    Teldryn looked down at his partner. He’s still afraid. He put his other hand over Ciel’nn’s own. “I’m glad you’re back. Talvas did his best, but it seems back to normal now. The… thing put up a fight though.” He paused to stroke Ciel’nn’s cheek. “Hey, it’s alright now! Take it easy. You’re safe.” He said in a calming tone as he saw his partner almost losing consciousness again. “There you go, breathe.” He added as Ciel’nn began to relax.

    Ciel’nn turned his head to study his hand. He did so with a half frightened heart. He moved his hand and fingers slowly. It was healed alright and it didn’t feel odd anymore. The young mer sighed and look to Talvas at the other side of the bed. “Thank you again.”

    The mage managed to smile. “You’re welcome, Ciel’nn. I’m glad my study paid off somehow.” Then he frowned. “But we have serious concerns now.”

    “Neloth.” Ciel’nn muttered, and the mage nodded to him. He had been right since they came to Tel Mithryn. By the tone of Talvas’, the situation seemed dire. We need to leave before something awful happens again!

    Teldryn looked to the mage. “What are you thinking, Talvas?” He had a bad feeling about this situation. It certainly didn’t look good. At least Ciel’nn was back to normal.

    The mage had a wary look. “I fear this is a case of Hermaeus Mora and Neloth is being Mora’s puppet.” He swallowed. “I might have to bargain with the Daedric Prince of knowledge, to make Neloth back to his old self.” As horrible as it sounded, Talvas was ready to sacrifice something in the name of research and Neloth still had a lot to teach him. He wasn’t about to let his master slide into madness. At least, not yet. “And, if Tel Mithryn is to fall into the wrong hands… I’m… I’m not enough to defend it.”

    Ciel’nn narrowed his eyes as he felt some tightness in his chest. The mage was his friend. A friend? Yes, and he didn’t want to see any friend doing Daedra business willingly. But Talvas was a Telvanni apprentice. He knew there would no stopping his friend if he decided to go beyond his help. This whole Herma Mora was getting too much for him.

    You pick the wrong friends, Ciel’nn.

    “Let’s not fall into despair just yet.” Teldryn said in a calming tone. “You should keep eye on him for the following day, Talvas. To see if it gets any worse. We don’t know for certain if he’s within Mora’s grasp.”

    “But, it’s still likely.” The mage pressed on.

    “Even still.” Teldryn replied.

    Then the door was opened, and Drovas looked at them. “The dinner is ready”



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2 Comments   |   Tralient and 2 others like this.
  • The Sunflower Manual
    The Sunflower Manual   ·  October 30, 2018
    Bweah. I wanted to see Ciel do things with that tentacle arm of his, you know...

    *slither slither slither
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  October 24, 2018
    Oh boy, Neloth has gotten Mora's tentacles up his arse now. And lol, I got the image of Harry Potter here, how the teacher removed the bones from his hand. :D
    Now I'm curious how they going to bargain with Mora.