Alda'hirakam ghar Ara; Chapter 68

  • Teldryn slashed at the taller mer viciously. He found it difficult as it seemed Vendil was a master of duel-wield - his slashes were blocked without much effort.  His gouges had a more sinister edge to them.And, on the top of all, the mer had heavy chitin armor. That left Teldryn with one option.

    With a snarl he changed his stance and renewed his assault on the tall mer. Vendil snarled back at him, but Teldryn intended to drive him toward one pillar near the pool.

    He winced at the gouged attack that cut his side. The older mer brought the blade in front of him and smacked Vendil into the face. Then he went full flourish motion with his sword. A series of fast slashes that left his enemy exposed.

    Teldryn felt weary but he continued until Vendil began to tire and lose his edge. His sword slashed down and cut the mer’s arm. The cry he heard was pleasant to his ears. Teldryn parried a weakened series of stabs, and he aimed his sword downward.

    Vendil’s scream of excruciating pain filled the chamber when Teldryn’s sword cut through below his belt-line. He doubled, gritting his teeth. His dagger dropped when the mercenary kicked him down as savagely as he had kicked the mocking mer. It would be only fitting for the mercenary end his life with one single slash.

    But the anger still flashed through Teldryn. He kicked Vendil again so that he rolled toward the edge of the pool.  Sheathing his sword, he turned quickly to look for Ciel’nn’s dagger. It wasn’t far away from him. With a few strides, Teldryn reached for it. With his gloomy thoughts, he returned to Vendil who was trying to muffle his whimpering.

    “You… Just finish—” Vendil hissed in pain, but the mercenary punched him in the face.

    “I’m not done with you yet.” Teldryn’s tone was cold. He knelt down and forced the mer on his back. Then he shoved the dagger into Vendil’s chest, making him groan.

    “Curse you—”

    Teldryn grabbed spasming Vendil and dragged  him closer to the pool. Where he then shoved the mer’s head into the water and held it by the chin. He held it until Vendil’s spasming and struggling faded away, and then became still. He waited for a moment longer before he pulled the dagger carefully out of the dead mer’s chest. The dagger he secured away and stood up with a heavy sigh.

    His anger was slowly ebbing away as he strode to his unconscious partner. He crouched to inspect the young mer. He still hoped the injury wasn’t severe, but he wouldn’t know until Ciel’nn would wake up. He noticed the cuts and frowned. He needed to get his partner out of this chamber.

    “Ciel’nn.” He touched the young mer’s shoulder before he gingerly picked him up in his arms. His partner still weighed less than he liked, but he guessed the young mer knew his diet.
    There were beds in the side rooms. I’ll retrieve his sword later. With that Teldryn  winced at his own wounds, circled around the chamber and headed toward the one of the side rooms.

    He laid the young mer on one of the beds and carefully removed his helm. Ciel’nn’s face seemed to be without bruises, but there was a bump in the back of his head. Teldryn frowned as he took a piece of cloth and wet it with a Well-being potion, hoping it would alleviate the pain. He then put the cloth on the bump.

    After that he tended the cuts and set another Well-being potion on the near by table, and began to tend his own wounds.

    Teldryn took his partner’s hand into his own as he observed Ciel’nn’s breathing, how his chest raised on each breath.

    “You know, it’s just hard to watch and wait when you’re like that.” Teldryn said in a soft tone. “I had a dreadful feeling when the bastard picked on you. I…never had such a feeling before.” He swallowed. “I have lost many companions on my travels before. Some to battle wounds, some by my own mistakes.” He looked to Ciel’nn. “But I’m not going to lose you. I need you to wake up, Ciel’nn.” He whispered as he gingerly brushed a stray hair  from Ciel’nn’s face.


    The raging snowstorm made their travel ever harder and slower. They had been traveling for three days now. Casseth shivered and wrapped his fur cloak tighter around him. The main camp shouldn’t be far off now. I wonder what has been decided. What has my father planned?

    “If it wasn’t for this storm we’d be there by now.” Sendel groaned. “I want a warm fire and a lot of furs, and someone to fuck with.” The thought brought some warmth to him and the savage reaver youth grinned. He then heard Feranos chuckling behind him. “Not you, Feranos.”

    “Aw, such a pity.”

    They laughed.

    “You better hope the new reavers have brought new women with them.” Dals said after a while.

    Casseth had laughed with them, even though he had concerns about the new reavers. But he let his friends have fun while they still could. Once we arrive at the camp - it will be a different situation for us all. We must be watchful. I hope Dram can give me a detailed report on the camp.

    Finally the fires of the main camp were ahead, Casseth observed. He swallowed as his mind raced through the possibilities of what had been decided. The young reaver stopped abruptly and turned to face his friends. Sendel shot a frown at him while Dals blinked at him. Feranos edged closer to him. “What’s wrong?” The rogue reaver asked him quietly.

    “I need your confidence that you stay with me no matter what happens?” Casseth looked to them seriously. He needed his friends when in these most uncertain times.

    “You mean do we still stick with you when and if the new ones might offer us better chances? I say fuck them, Casseth. I mean we did swear a blood oath with you, and I intend to keep it until we die.” Sendel put his hand on Casseth’s shoulder. “And if they even try something, you’ll just have to ask me, and they’re dead.” His grin was savage but also warm.

    “I agree.” Dals said, stepping closer to them. “We wouldn’t follow any other reaver than you, Casseth.” He hid his surprise of his friend showing uncertainty, but he guess it came from Arnas being dead. He missed the Scout.

    “Yeah, and if you need to poison someone, I’m right here.” Feranos said with his eyes shining. “We got your back, Cass.” He had seen some doubt in Casseth’s eyes whenever he mentioned the meeting and the archer admitted he was suspicious himself. What if they didn’t work well with Sildras?

    They’re loyal to me. To the end. It seems I had nothing to worry about. A warm smile crept on his lips. “Then, let’s enter the camp and keep your eyes open.” They nodded to him and the young reaver led toward the camp.

    A figure was leaning against a tree. The figure was cloaked in white fur and seemed alert. The young reaver approached it, his friends following closely.

    “Stop.” A female voice said harshly. “Look at me.” She commanded as she straightened up, turning to face them. The reaver woman peered into their eyes. “You’re reavers, but which band?”

    Casseth suppressed his urge to frown. They have put out a guard already. “Sildras’ band.” He replied evenly.  “Who are you?” He needed to know some things before he would go in. To his surprise, the reaver woman smiled at him wickedly.

    “I’m Vermith The Ebony Wielder, from the allied band of Sildras.” The woman replied. “It seems you arrived at the right time.” Vermith shifted in her place. This young reaver and his little band of friends are returning from somewhere. “Were you on a mission?”

    He saw the the handle of the ebony battle axe poking from behind the woman’s shoulder. He looked to her eyes again. “An allied band?” Casseth asked. “We’re hunting a mer who killed our friend.”

    “Whoever it is you’d better forget him. We have more serious issues right now.” Vermith said in a low tone. “Yes, an allied band, but perhaps Selvura is better one to explain to you as to why.”

    “Serious issues?” Sendel interjected, finding his heart racing for the reasons he didn’t know.

    Vermith looked to the young savage reaver. Her face twisted in anger, but her tone was still low. “Vother.” She watched the faces of the young mers paling.

    “Fuck!” Sendel crossed his arms. He had hoped the tale of Vother hadn’t been true.  A fairy tale to scare the young reavers like him, but no, the asshole is a fucking true story now. He gritted his teeth, he fisted his hands. “No fucking way.” He growled.

    “Thanks for the warning. I must find Dram now.” Casseth said and gestured at his friends to follow him. “You’re in time to join us in the raid on Skaal Village tonight.” He heard Vermith saying before he began to lead with heavy steps.

    The camp was arranged differently and the glanced he got from the veteran reavers offered a chance to observe them in turn. The looks were calculating and evaluating as if they were measuring his worthiness. Casseth forced himself to not show his unkind smile. Instead he masked his face with blankness.

    Sendel eyed the new reavers, as they strode through the camp, with a frown. His eyes wandered casually around the camp, checking the weapons of the new reavers. In his mind he made mental notes of each veteran reaver’s appearance attached to the weapon the person carried. Scar face with a glass sword. Hooked nose with ebony daggers. He scowled when his eyes found the giant of a mer with a daedric battle axe. Sender averted his gaze and realized they were closing on the other side of the camp that was mainly dominated by Sildras’ loyalists.

    They were greeted by a new face. The mer nodded to them as they passed. Dals made a note that the new face was neutral. As if he knows us, or he’d been told. They entered the familiar space where the campfire was burning, and some of the tents were improved by new furs. The place was a real shelter from the snow storm as it was between two large cliffs.  The delicious scent of soup simmering made his stomach reply in hunger. He strode to his tent and flopped on the bedroll with a sigh.

    Feranos walked casually toward the campfire and sat on a spare bedroll. It felt so good to be sheltered from the damn storm. He was thankful that they had food and shelter. It was then when he noticed the lady reaver at the cooking pot. She seemed gentle by her face and tired in her eyes. The young rogue pondered their situation, now that they had Vother among them. The lady mer glanced at him. “It’s ready soon. I heard you’ve been away on some mission.” He heard her saying in a gentle tone.

    Casseth had waited for his friends to settle down before he’d seek out Dram. He saw Selvura leaning against a rock and watching over something he couldn’t see. He approached her and the Second in command looked to him.

    “It’s good to see you back, Casseth. Dram wants to see you as soon as possible.” Selvura said with a warm smile.

    “He talked to you?” He asked and she nodded.

    “He awaits you in his usual place.”

    It was surprising that Dram would seek the Second in Command to speak, but Casseth guessed his brother had his reasons. And it was more surprising that Selvura showed that she actually cared. He then nodded to the woman and headed to the hidden passage.



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