Alda'hirakam ghar Ara; Chapter 63


    Ciel’nn and Teldryn were enjoying their breakfast, Ash Yam -Kwama Cuttle. The young mer was in a good mood while he sipped his pearl tea. He had been drinking since the events of the barrow. His waist was still healing, but Aphia had said it wouldn’t take long now. Overall, the young mer felt ready for the day.

    “We could find those Dwemer ruins today if you want to head out?” Teldryn said after sipping his tea. He had spent every moment with Ciel’nn when he  was recovering. He’d told him more tales of his past as he had known the young mer loved to hear them. His partner’s healing progress had been undisturbed as Aphia and Tenaru had paid them  visits in turns. Teldryn was satisfied with the healer’s work.

    The young mer looked to his partner with a smile. “Sure, Teldryn. That’d be exciting.” It was boring in the town, and Ciel’nn had nothing against going out and exploring places with his partner. It’s something he craved for. “I’m sure it will be a marvelous place.” He flashed a smirk.

    The young Redoran guard coughed as he came down the stairs. He removed his helm. “By Azura! It’s a stormy day out there!” He complained and brushed some ash off his chitin armor.

    “Hey, don’t brush it here!” Geldis snapped. “Soon there’ll be ash everywhere!” He began to clean the mugs and preparing the food for a few miners.

    “It is everywhere already, Geldis!” The young Redoran guard retorted. “I’d take some Sujamma.”

    “What’s wrong, Ondren?” Ciel’nn asked from his seat while he brushed a stray hair behind his ear. He was curious about what was going outside. The young Redoran guard walked to the table and Ciel’nn noted the clenched jaw as the mer avoided his gaze. Am I annoying you now? He felt his partner leaning close to him.

    “What’s wrong? Oh, nothing is wrong. It’s just one bloody ash storm outside!” Ondren retorted. Then he sighed and shook his head. “Just don’t go outside without a helm. We’re having a difficult time at the Bulwark.” He marched to a free table, but stopped as he saw two other guards sitting near the wall. “What are you doing here? Your shifts started fifteen minutes ago!”

    Amused, Teldryn watched the guards hurrying out of the Inn. “Not a good day for them it seems.” He mused before looking to Ciel’nn. “But if there’s really a ash storm from Oblivion, then we might have trouble to leave too. Best get the helmets, just in case.”

    On their way out of the Inn, Ciel’nn noticed Ralis sitting near the cooking place. The mer looked miserable and lost. His face wasn’t healed yet and his nose was crooked. I wonder if Tenaru dispelled him too. The digger glanced at him and flinched away. The young mer had a vague memory of hitting the digger inside the barrow. “I was wondering if I’d see you again.” Ciel’nn said casually. Then he added in lower tone, “Stay out of my way if you want to keep your life, digger.”

    Ciel’nn hissed as ash stung his eyes as he tried to cover them. He turned to Teldryn, away from the ash winds, and put his helmet on. Much better. Ondren was right after all. He looked up to Teldryn, who nodded to him. “Looks like everyone is wearing helmets.” The young mer heard his partner saying. Ciel’nn turned to look around the market and it was as the older mer said. “Let’s hope the ash storm fades soon. I don’t like helmets.” They ruin the hair and it stinks afterward.

    The Food and Drink stall merchant was Gilan Valsino. He greeted the two mer. “Greetings, sera. It’s one kind of weather, eh? I had to cover the edibles.” His voice was cheery despite the weather.

    Teldryn grunted. “Yes, straight from Oblivion I’d say.”

    “We’d like to buy some food for a trip.” Ciel’nn tilted his head. “Some ash yam and horker meat. A few bottles of Sujamma.”

    “In this weather?” Gilan asked as he began to pick the edibles.

    “We’re hoping it ends soon.” Teldryn said as he crossed his arms. He glanced over his shoulder. Eh, it’s Captain incompetent. The older mer recognized the Captain by his walking pace and how he carried himself.

    “It has been storming since last night I heard.” The merchant gave the food sack to the young mer, who in turn paid them. “Thanks.” He heard Ciel’nn saying.

    Captain Veleth walked to the two mer. “I’m glad I could find you, Ciel’nn. There has been a development. The Second Councilor wants to speak with you.”

    The scowl underlined Ciel’nn’s tone “I’m not interested in politics. Leave me—”

    “Please, he said it’s important.” The Captain pleaded. “He’s waiting for you at the second gate.” Then he strolled toward the Bulwark. His task was done, and now Captain Veleth could focus on the day’s task at the Bulwark.

    Ciel’nn leaned back and groaned theatrically. He’d run his hand through his hair if not for the helm. He bared his teeth. “Please, he said it’s important.” He repeated dully, devoid of any emotion. Anything, but not the politics. Can’t they handle it by themselves? He wanted to run away. Then he felt a hand on his shoulder.

    “Relax, Ciel’nn.” Teldryn said in a calm tone as he sensed the stiffness in his partner. “I know you hate it, but I’m sure they would let us be if it wasn’t that important. Let’s hear him out, then you can decide our next move.” He smiled inside his helm, but the older mer was certain his partner knew that from his tone. He tapped Ciel’nn’s shoulder. “Come.”

    The young mer followed his partner with a groan. “Fine. It better not be pitiful and waste of our time.” He nearly growled.

    Adril Arano was waiting for them at the door to the second barracks. He had a serious look and a stiff posture, Ciel’nn noted on their arrival. It wasn’t his concern though. The Second Councilor nodded at them. “I’m glad you decided to come. Let’s talk inside.” Adril said in a careful tone.

    “So much secrecy.” Teldryn said in a tone as they followed The Second Councilor inside the barracks. Things must be dire then. He eyed the corridor that led to a room ahead of them. His partner was all quiet until they reached that room. He must be brooding now. Play this right and carefully, Second Councilor.

    The room had a table with a small Azura statue, and four chairs. A single lantern gave light into the room. Once the door was closed, Adril turned to them. “Take a seat if you want.”

    “I’d rather stand, and get to the point.” Ciel’nn snarled in a low tone as he removed his helm and breathed the air. It wasn’t clear, but better than outside.

    Adril sighed as he crossed his arms. “Very well. After everything you've already done for Raven Rock, I hate to ask for more but I can't risk Councilor Morvayn being killed.” He observed how the young mer’s brows shot up, but Ciel’nn remained quiet. “The Ulen Family of House Hlaalu, a rival Great House, has placed a death mark on the councilor's head.”

    Ciel’nn had crossed his arms but tapped his chin with a finger while he had his eyes on the Second Councilor. It’s a political game, I’m sure. And a death mark points to Morag Tong. He frowned. It was a game in which the young mer didn’t want to get involved. Still, things could get ugly for Raven Rock if the Councilor would die. “Go on.” Ciel’nn heard himself saying.

    And Adril explained what had happened before. Councilor Morvayn once had ordered a member of House Hlaalu to be executed. “I have my suspicions that there are some hostile, undercover Hlaalu members here in Raven Rock. They’re only suspicions, but I have no leads to go on.” He said and glanced at the older mer, who didn’t give away anything. Azura, be merciful.

    It would have hit home had he been a member of Hlaalu, but that was in the past. He didn’t have a House to belong to.  All he felt was amusement, but he had to keep it under control. He didn’t want to explain to Adril any of it. Any of his past.

    Members of the shit House Hlaalu? After the Councilor? Ciel’nn mused as a mysterious smirk spread on his lips. Would I get to kill some of  the Hlaalu? There was a low chuckle in the back of his mind. He’d gladly end the life of a few members of that rotten house if he’d get a chance. He let the Second Councilor bite his lips for a moment longer.

    “What would you want me do, Second Councilor?” It came out as a low purr with a delightful undertone.

    The tone of his partner surprised him as the older mer’s lips parted. Teldryn had to look to Ciel’nn, and he noted his whole posture had changed. He had seen it before, of course, but it was more relaxed now. He felt his mouth dry and out of breath. You’re not a Saint, that’s clear. You never were a Hlaalu, you’re something else. And I’m with you, to witness your growth.

    Adril blinked. He had expected the young mer to refuse, but his reply had taken him off guard. Quickly he cleared his throat. “I would like you to be my eyes and ears in town. See if you can discover something.”

    Ciel’nn simply nodded. Of course, he’d have to find the culprits first.

    “And, speak with Geldis Sadri at the Retching Netch. He if no one knows a good gossip.” Adril added. “Come back to me when you’ve found something.” He walked to the door, and looked to Ciel’nn again. “Thank you.”

    My pleasure, if I can get to kill some Hlaalu.

    “Don’t thank me yet, Second Councilor. Only when it’s due.” The young mer said and turned to his partner while Adril left the room. His partner still had his helm on, but it didn’t bother him. “Well, this is interesting, would you say? If there’s really Hlaalu behind this…” Ciel’nn mused as put his hand on Teldryn’s arm. “I’d.. We’d get to end their lives…” He whispered as if it was a big secret in which he reveled in.

    But that death mark must have meant the Morag Tong. Be careful, Ciel’nn.

    I’ll welcome them to try.

    Teldryn smiled as he caressed his partner’s cheek. “You’d enjoy it, wouldn’t you? I know how you hate the Hlaalu.”

    “I’ll relish in their deaths, daelha.” Ciel’nn purred with his eyes sparkling in delight. He enjoyed the gentle caressing on his cheek for a moment longer. “We’ll kill them, Teldryn.” The young mer whispered. He’d enjoy fighting and killing with his partner who he had chosen for himself. It brought some stability and comfort for Ciel’nn. He closed his eyes as  he took deep a savoring breath.

    “Alright, let’s go find Geldis.”

    Mirri Severin hurried up the stairs when she bumbled into the young mer. “Hello, handsome.” She smiled apologetically. But he snarled at her as he side stepped to go downstairs. Someone’s in a bad mood, she thought. Then the Dunmer lady left the Retching Netch.

    Whistling happily, Geldis noticed the two mer returning. “Back so soon?” He raised his eyebrows. “Can I get you something while you’re here, Ciel’nn?” The Inn keeper noticed the young mer’s curious look as if he was wanting to hear some gossip. “Well, then, what do you want to hear?”

    Teldryn leaned against a pillar and waited for his partner. Meanwhile he’d keep an eye out. He had to admit this task, asked by the Second Councilor, felt thrilling. He had known the mer had been at it for years. Perhaps now it would have an end. Now that he and Ciel’nn were on it.

    Ciel’nn looked to Geldis as he rested his arms on the counter, playing it as casually. “The Second Councilor said you might have heard something about the Ulen matter?” He said in a quiet tone. He smiled as the mer’s eyes sparkled in mischief.



    Back to ToC



0 Comments   |   Tralient likes this.