Alda'hirakam ghar Ara; Chapter 58

  • Sincano and Cirion watched how the miners worked at the barrow. The excavation was back in progress. It had been halted for hours because of an ash storm. But as long as the Lady was satisfied so was her guards.

    Sincano couldn’t understand why the Lady had offered her help to the digger, Ralis. He deemed the digger as a ghastly mer. The way he looked at the Lady was improper. Sincano scowled. The mer should get lashes for that. He turned his gaze to the Lady who sat in front of her tent. She’s  content for this project. His face shifted when Elante looked to him with a smile. The black haired guard found himself smiling back at her. All is well.

    The blond haired guard kept an eye on the digger. He didn’t trust him or liked him, but he had no choice. The Lady had said to him and Sincano that the digger would help her to reach her goal — whatever that was. Cirion didn’t know. All he needed to know was that the Lady was protected and happy with her research. It has been a while since she shared a night with me. This excavation is so boring. All that we do is sit and wait. His mind drifted to happier things such as returning home. Hopefully she’ll be mine then. Cirion sighed and gazed around the excavation site.

    The digger looked at his journal, biting his lower lip. The time Ralis had spent with the Lady, it shut the voices out of his head. But now they had returned, even hungrier and demanding. Demanding for what? Ralis wasn’t sure. What he needed was a distraction that Elante provided, but she was more interested in the excavation and the relics that waited for them. She hadn’t asked about the mercenary anymore. It was more like she was waiting for something. Ralis took a deep breath. I really need a distraction from these voices. Maybe I should tell her about them. Would she care to hear?

    Watching everything that happened around her, Elante smiled contently to herself. Even if the mining was slow, she wasn’t worried. There was plenty of time to wait. This place was going to be perfect for her plans, Elante  just knew it.  All she needed to do was wait for the time being. Her thoughts circled around the mercenary while a concealed smile played on her lips. Perhaps I should send Cirion to the town, to see if Teldryn has returned. But she wasn’t in a hurry. Elante only needed to know that the mercenary was in town.

    Before the day turned into evening, sudden screams came from the dig site. Ralis had rushed out from his tent. He leaped toward the ramp and down to the door. The door was pushed open and a dying miner collapsed in front of him. “What happened there?” Ralis asked, his head pounding. The miner looked at him with unfocused eyes. “Draugr woke up…The miners are… dead…” The mer managed to say before his eyes closed and his body became limp.

    Draugr? Ralis frowned. He took a deep breath.

    Bring more people… A voice whispered in Ralis’ mind. I need more.

    “What was that?” The Lady asked in an annoyed tone at the start of the ramp. She had the black haired guard next to him, his hand on the hilt of his sword. “We can’t pause for a day, Ralis.” Elante added whilst she fixed her hair with a few hand moves, her eyes never left the digger. I need that barrow.

    Ralis sighed. “I’m afraid we hit a snag, my Lady. Apparently there are draugr inside. They killed the miners.” He looked to the Lady with pleading eyes. “We don’t have mercenaries or guards to deal with them.”

    The Lady narrowed her eyes for a moment as she weighed the situation. They didn’t have mercenaries, that much was true. She brought her hand under her chin and glanced at her black haired guard, who had looked to her with a confident smile.  I want to keep him and Cirion close to me, but I guess I don’t have much choice. The work must continue soon. Elante sighed and gazed down at Ralis. “I suppose we could use my guards, but why don’t you go to deal with them?”

    Ralis gasped as he nearly sagged. “I’m not a fighter, Lady. I wouldn’t make it far.”

    And you won’t go far anyway, Elante thought. “Very well,” She turned to Sincano. “Dear, would you get Cirion out of your tent and go deal with the ghastly creatures?" She touched his cheek while she smiled.

    “Yes, my Lady.” Sincano gave a polite nod and marched towards their tent. Elante looked to Ralis with a mysterious smile. “As soon as they deal with the draugr you can hire more miners and perhaps some mercenaries this time.” Then she thought of her guards. At least they’re more competent than you, Ralis.

    Sincano returned with Cirion in tow. He looked to the Lady. “We’ll clear the Barrow soon enough, Lady.” He smiled  and Cirion nodded. “In no time.” Then they marched down the ramp, pushing the digger rudely away from the door. They stepped over the dead miner as they entered the barrow.

    “Be careful, dearest.” Teldryn had said and they had hugged each other before Ciel’nn left for his quest of gathering information. He had left Teldryn in the company of Tenaru. It had taken less persuasion than the young mer had expected, but he was glad it eventually worked out. Tenaru had promised to bore his love with tales of her exploits on the homeland.

    At least he’s not alone.

    Ciel’nn had left through the other gate, up the hill while blending with the shadows. The trees offered some cover for a short time when he needed to stop and observe the immediate area ahead. Then he was  quietly moving on again. The ash barely shifted under his feet as he crept closer and closer to the excavation site.

    Teldryn’s certain it’s Elante.

    A part of him wished he’d find something that would show Teldryn wouldn’t have to be worried about Elante.

    I could still kill her.

    Ciel’nn stopped in the shadow of a large rock. He frowned. Kill her now? He didn’t have a reason to kill her yet. He shook his head and swallowed as if his throat was dry. Where  had  that had come from? But he didn’t have time to think of it further. Ciel’nn shifted to move.

    The excavation site was in his sight, and Ciel’nn stopped behind a bush to survey the place. There three main tents and nine smaller tents. Three tents for Ralis and the Altmer party, he assumed. The smaller ones were for the miners, but he didn’t hear anything from those tents, either they were sleeping or still mining.  It made his mission slightly easier.

    The young mer made a safety roll toward the big tent’s shadow. He stilled himself once he was on one knee down, listening intently for a moment.

    Heavy snoring reached Ciel’nn’s ears. Someone had been hard at work today, he mused. Slowly, he shifted to check the invisibility vials on his belt, but he didn’t drink any yet. Tenaru was kind to make these for me. They were some high quality potions, and part of his escape plan if things went south.

    If Ciel’nn was honest with himself, he was excited, but also nervous. He edged slowly toward one tent’s flap, and peeked in. Ralis. The mer was sleeping on his bedroll while whimpering. There was a Sujamma bottle close by the bedroll. Ciel’nn shook his head and left to check the next tent.

    The two guards slept contently, and snoring when Ciel’nn gazed at them. They also had the scent of Jasmin. This drew the young mer to only one conclusion. They sleep with her, too? Only to be thrown aside. Without a sound he left the tent.

    One more tent remained.

    Be careful. Teldryn’s words echoed in Ciel’nn’s mind as he approached the tent. She’s a mage. His heart began to race once he crept closer to the flap. Carefully he moved he flap aside and slipped in. A strong scent of Jasmin invaded his nostrils.

    I think I’m going to have a headache here.

    Ciel’nn stilled himself as the Altmer woman was asleep on her bedroll. Her face was calm, but it also looked bitchy to him. Breathing  as steadily as possible, the young mer turned his head to look around at some things that lay on a small travel table. There were a variety of books on rituals and a few scrolls that remained a mystery. He saw a journal and carefully reached toward it.

    The Altmer woman shifted in her sleep and let out a contented sigh. Ciel’nn bit his lower lip and began to read the journal. He felt like a thief who had a crush on a rich woman. Although, he despised thieving except when it was the only way to get food for the day. It was a ridiculous notion. He briefly scanned a few pages ahead. The journal belonged to Elante. He kept reading briefly, then stopped when his eyes found Teldryn’s name. His eyes narrowed. What is she planning? Ciel’nn glanced at Elante.

    Her eyes were open, looking at him. “What are you doing, dear?” Elante asked while she lay here confidently and with a mysterious smile.

    Ciel’nn’s lips parted, but his throat constricted, and in panic he closed the book and grabbed the vial from his belt. He turned to leave while he managed to open the vial and chug it down in one gulp. Then the flap let in cold air, and then the young mer was gone. With the journal.

    “Guards!” Elante screamed while she scrambled up.

    Ciel’nn ran like an ashlander. He had the agility and the speed when escaping. He ran wearing the chitin armor as a second skin. It didn’t slow him down. He knew when he became visible again and still ran straight to Raven Rock, but he didn’t head to to the smaller gate. He ran to the cliff and saw the Temple close by, down below.

    Jumping down to the lower cliff was slightly dreadful as Ciel’nn almost slipped in a hurry. He had to regain his balance before continuing to the ground level. His legs shook when he slid down to the level of the Temple. He waited only a brief second before he opened the door.

    “It is very late.” Galdrus Hlervu noted the young mer sitting on a bench near the Shrine of Azura. He frowned at the youngling, who seemed to be out of breath. Alertness reflected from  his eyes when Ciel’nn looked at him.

    “I just…need some time.” He offered a hasty smile. “For my thoughts.” He still held the journal in his other hand. He held it tight. The Temple apprentice nodded before walking away from him. Ciel’nn closed his eyes for a moment, calming his heart and breathing. A moment was what he needed.

    He opened the journal again and took a deep breath. His mind darkened as he read it from the start.

    I hope it’s nothing that could cause distress for Teldryn.

    Show me  a reason enough to kill you.

    His eyes narrowed and his teeth gritted together when what he was looking for was in front of his eyes.

    You can’t have him. He’s mine, bitch.

    Now I have a reason to kill her.

    Ciel’nn read again the pages that had caused him such agitation. He’d need to calm down before he’d return to tell the news to his partner and Tenaru. It was easier said than done.

    I need to protect Teldryn from her.




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2 Comments   |   Tralient and 1 other like this.
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  November 28, 2018
    Ralis and voices and Elante needing the barrow. Interesting. Is she hearing Ahzidal too? 
    And that was quite a rush, Ciel getting caught and then running. Wonder what was in the journal. 
    • Caladran
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      Ralis and voices and Elante needing the barrow. Interesting. Is she hearing Ahzidal too? 
      And that was quite a rush, Ciel getting caught and then running. Wonder what was in the journal. 
        ·  November 28, 2018
      Elante doesn't hear Ahzidal, but she wants the barrow for her own plans. :) And, part of journal will be revealed on the next chapter or so.