Alda'hirakam ghar Ara; Chapter 66

  • The ash storm grew more intense once they departed from Raven Rock. Ciel’nn couldn’t see ahead of him than a few steps at a time. He felt like someone was trying to stop him from going anywhere.

    The young mer was glad that his partner walked close to him. I wouldn’t know what to do if Teldryn would suddenly disappear. I need him close to me. Ciel’nn glanced at Teldryn, who sensed him looking to him.

    “Are you alright?” The older mer stepped closer so that their shoulders touched each other. It was hard to speak in normal tone  with all the ash flying around them.

    “It’s the ash storm. It’s too intense, don’t you think?” Ciel’nn leaned closer. “I don’t want to lose you in the middle of it.” He felt Teldryn taking his hand. “I’ll be right behind you, Ciel’nn.” He heard the older mer saying close to his chitin helmet. “I’ll find you if we get separated.” Ciel’nn nodded, but he couldn’t help the chills he was getting from the storm.

    Teldryn made sure he walked directly next to his partner. He also had doubts about the intense occurrence. But so far it had been only a storm. However I do sense some uneasiness from Ciel’nn. The older mer frowned inside his helmet. They were getting closer to the Highpoint Tower and Fort Frostmoth. It does bring back some memories. I’d rather not fight them right now.

    From the corner of his eyes, Teldryn noticed a shadow falling down with speed toward them. He turned quickly and pushed the younger mer out of the way. The falling shadow hit him partly before hitting the ground. It would probably leave a small bruise on his side. He heard his partner cursing while getting up. “What did you do that for?” The young mer hissed at him, but Teldryn pointed at the small hole in the ground. “Something came down from the sky.”

    Ciel’nn stretched his back and frowned inside his helmet. He stepped closer to the hole and studied the frozen creature. It had surprised look. “It’s a Riekling.” He said. “Frozen one.” He raised his head to look at his partner who then looked to the North. “How is this possible?” Ciel’nn continued as he looked at the frozen creature.

    The older mer turned back to his partner. “If we’re having an ash storm here, then could it be possible that there’s a snow storm up at the North?” He pondered, a frozen Riekling falling from the sky. It would need one damn strong wind to carry.

    “How should I know? I’m not expert on Solstheim.” Ciel’nn replied while standing up. “But, that sounds messed up.” He walked to Teldryn. “That the whole island is effected by a storm.” It shook the young mer. He still remembered the words what the Witch had said to his partner. He felt so small when not knowing what was coming, and from what or who. All that was unknown, he hated it because he did not know how to prepare for it. Ciel’nn was staring into the distance when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked to Teldryn.

    “We should keep going, but we can also think on this later.” The older mer said in a soothing tone as he sensed some uneasiness from his partner, again. He thought a moment and added, “You should know you’re not alone anymore, Ciel’nn. I’ll be with you through everything.” He gave a warm squeeze on the young mer’s shoulder which earned a nod from Ciel’nn.

    “I know, Teldryn.” Ciel’nn was a bit surprised by his partner’s words. It was as if the other mer knew what he was going through. He was thankful to have a such partner with him. “Thank you.”

    They left the frozen Riekling behind and passed Highpoint Tower from the South. Teldryn didn’t like the feeling of emptiness in the pit of his stomach. His eyes constantly searched for threats while his throat went dry. There’s something —

    A sound of alert from Ciel’nn’s lips was followed by a clink as he drew his sword from his belt. His eyes narrowed as he witnessed the ash shifting, taking the forms of ten ash spawns around them. What in Oblivion is this? The young mer took his stance. “Someone is trying to stop us.” Ciel’nn said in a low tone.

    The older mer hissed in annoyance. “Fucking ash spawn! I hate them!” He had his sword ready in his hand. “I think this is more, Ciel’nn. Get ready!” Teldryn narrowed his eyes and his mouth twisted in disgust.

    The creatures of ash let out a moan in unison as they heaved their molten weapons.

    “Boethiah inspire me!”

    “Boethiah guide my blade!”

    It was as if the Goddess of Destruction heard their call for her. The young mer felt his grip on his sword tighten and gaining speed between the aggressive slashes. The steps he took were light like he danced. And in the midst of that dance the raging ash storm was somewhere behind.

    Ciel’nn changed his stance and faced another ash spawn when he felt a molten sword slashing at his back. He dove, rolled away and looked up. Two creatures of ash were advancing on him and he was in a bad position. He winced as his back ached. Getting on his feet would be troublesome. At quick glance he didn’t see his partner close by.

    Did we get separated? N’chow!

    The  two ash spawn grunted as if they laughed at him. Ciel’nn gritted his teeth together and tried to back away, but they charged at him. Cursing, he rolled away again when the slash came down and tried to scramble on his feet, but the pain in his back forced him back down. Teldryn… Another slash came hard at him and the young mer barely managed to block it with his sword. At this rate, I can’t even fight Vendil.

    “Ciel’nn!” Teldryn’s shout came from somewhere. “Where are you?”

    “Here!” Ciel’nn shouted with a groan in the end. His sword hand had begun to tremble as he kept blocking the slashes.

    Teldryn frowned. The shout was weak. It could be possibly mean his partner was in trouble or injured. The thought of the latter made his body temperature rise. You lost him in the midst of fighting. He strained to hear any fighting sounds as he took direction toward the shout. He’s nearby unless this irritating storm twists sounds too. With determination, the older mer marched until the two ash spawns came into his view. He snarled and slashed out at them.

    Ciel’nn let out a deep breath when the two ash spawns crumbled down by his partner’s blade. He let go of his sword. He managed to smile inside his helm when Teldryn knelt in front of him. “The damn thing found a way behind my back.” He winced as he tried to get up, but Teldryn put his hand on his shoulder.

    “It’s the storm. Something in it I think.” The older mer nodded. “Hold on. I’ll give you a potion.” He took off his backpack and took out the bottle, then handed it to the younger mer. Teldryn watched Ciel’nn raised the cloth piece that covered the mouth and nose part before the opened the bottle and drank - all of it.

    “Something in it? I feel like something is trying to stop us, Teldryn.” Ciel’nn replied while feeling the health potion doing its work. If there was a cut somewhere on his skin, it slowly healed up. His back ached less, but it was still sore. “Do you think the Redoran guards fared any better?” Ciel’nn looked to his partner.

    “I’m not sure. This storm - it was beginning to feel like a test.” Teldryn replied in a careful tone as his partner stared at him. I know he’s thinking of it too. It just might be it. “You remember the moves I taught you?” A nod from his partner, and Teldryn smiled inside his helm. “As for Vendil and his team, we must proceed with caution. Now, let’s get you up.”

    “Agreed.” Ciel’nn let the older mer help him up with a careful wince in case his back would object. He pulled the helm cloth back down to his throat and nodded. “I remember all the moves you taught.” He said, gathering his sword from the ground. Still, he’d rather not face Vendil, or the members of the Morag Tong. Maybe Vendil himself, but not the others.

    They neared the Ashfallow Citadel and looked for the Redoran guards. If there had been a fight, the ash storm had covered the blood. Ciel’nn was certain of a fight, but he didn’t know what to expect from it. If they were the best of the Redoran, then they would have seen them. Probably?

    But they didn’t see them. No, Ciel’nn assumed the worse then.

    His eyes caught the sight of the Redoran guards laying on the ground just a bit ahead of them. “Shit.” He grumbled and looked to Teldryn. “There went two of Adril’s best men.”

    Teldryn signaled his partner to stay a few steps behind him as he edged closer to the dead guards. He suspected they weren’t alone. Slowly…



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