Alda'hirakam ghar Ara; Chapter 90

  • The storm seemed to ease up, but there was still something that made the young mer doubtful about how long it would last. They were heading back to Raven Rock and both mers kept an eye on the path ahead. The scene with the two creatures fighting still haunted the young mer. One of the creatures was a Dremora Lord, Ciel’nn remembered. I’ll never get used to them. They’ll never stop terrifying me. He took a deep breath and glanced at his partner. “I hope we don’t see the Dremora Lord.”

    Teldryn looked to the young mer and shifted closer to him, hoping his close presence would calm Ciel’nn. He also didn’t want to face the creature of Oblivion. He hoped that they had a passage to the town without any trouble. Even if Ciel’nn had said he was feeling good and ready almost for anything, Teldryn wasn’t sure if that was fully true. “I hope so too, Ciel’nn. But you have to tell me if you feel like they’re close, alright?” A nod from his partner was enough, and they fell quiet for a while.

    Ciel’nn eyed the terrain around them. The storm had built new ash piles and here and there were some pieces of trash. Some ruined books and broken branches were lying around. All kind of things except corpses. That would be something, the young mer frowned, then shook his head. There were more pressing matters than finding corpses.

    They both knew what was ahead of them.

    The Reavers were still out there. Well hidden and plotting.

    Sildras… Ciel’nn narrowed his eyes in annoyance. He hated the reavers more than the bandits in Skyrim. They were smarter than the latter in his opinion. Still, there was no saying how savage Sildras and his boys would be, but the young mer assumed the worst. There was no negotiating this time. His teeth gritted together.

    I know how you should die, Sildras.

    All of you.

    Will perish.

    The older mer had observed his partner quietly as his expression and whole being changed all of sudden. The change wasn’t dramatic but it was as if there was a shift in the air. Teldryn frowned as he knew that the reavers still remained at large. The nine bands in total. And by Boethiah, who knows if there’s more. He then reached for Ciel’nn’s hand and took it in his own, to comfort his partner. The young mer didn’t resist him, but Ciel’nn walked with him, Fort Frostmoth nearing them.

    After a while Ciel’nn stopped cold and gestured for Teldryn to be quiet, then they dropped into a crouch. He listened attentively as his now narrowed eyes scanned the area. He was certain he had heard something like a crack when someone steps on a dry branch.

    We’ve been watched, he gestured to Teldryn. The older mer frowned at him.  Ciel’nn shook his head and focused on listening again. Whoever was watching us wasn’t far away, he deemed.

    His head turned sharply at the sound and a slight smirk crept on his lips. Ciel’nn saw a glimpse of chitin armor before it vanished from his sight. Running for their lives as if he was a high threat to them. The young mer stood up and glanced at his partner. “Reavers. I have a feeling they’re up to something.”

    “Agreed.” Teldryn nodded and hoped it wouldn’t be any time soon. Not while his partner was still recovering.

    “You look worried, daelha.” Ciel’nn said as stepped closer to Teldryn. He had seen it earlier but hadn’t said anything until now. “Do you think they’re ready at the town?”

    Teldryn gazed at his partner’s eyes. “It’s you who I’m worried for.” His tone was soft. “I don’t think you’re ready for a full scale fight yet. No, listen to me, Ciel’nn.” He paused and put his hand on Ciel’nn’s shoulder. “You still need to take it easy after that ordeal. I can’t handle it if you’re not fully rested.”

    “We might not have enough time for that.” Ciel’nn’s words were a whisper and his face softened.

    “I know, Ciel’nn.” Teldryn wrapped his arms around his partner and embraced him. “But I’ll make sure you’ve gotten enough rest.” He paused for a moment and sighed when Ciel’nn wrapped his arms around him. “I have a gut feeling they’ll start whatever they’ve planned as soon as the weather warms up.” He put his hand on Ciel’nn’s upper back. “It might be the worst trial of all” He fell quiet for a moment, then added, “Nine bands of seasoned reavers… It reminds me of that crazy Nord and his flight into the bandit fort.”

    Ciel’nn held his partner and listened carefully. While he understood that the other mer wanted him to rest, it dawned on him that Teldryn’s words reflected fear. Fear for him and them both. The mer didn’t want to lose him. Nine bands of reavers. He had forgotten about that. Nine bands. Suddenly the idea of fighting them didn’t feel appealing. “I understand, Teldryn. I’m also afraid of what’s coming.”

    And I need to visit the Temple.


    Sildras, I can’t wait for the moment when my blade cuts through you.


    With Raven Rock ahead of them, Teldryn spoke. “We need to inform the Redorans about the reavers. That way we split the pressure with them.” He looked to his partner who nodded.

    “I think that’s a good idea. Do you know how many reavers per band?” Ciel’nn sighed when the Bulwark came in to their view. Hopefully they’d get to rest some time.

    “I’m not sure. We might have to ask Slitter about it.” Teldryn replied and heard an instant grunt. He knew well Ciel’nn’s disgust for the mer but didn’t said anything. Instead the older mer observed the Bulwark. There were some Redorans shoveling the ash in front of the wall. It was a good thing; the ash had been piled up high enough to climb over.

    Coming to the Market, Ciel’nn noticed Ralis staring at them in shock. It struck him as odd, and he frowned.

    “You’re… alive!” The digger gasped and seemed to be at a loss. Fear flashed across his eyes as he took a step back.

    “What?” Ciel’nn tilted his head. He thought I was dead?  He glanced at his partner who frowned and stared at the digger intently. Then he saw Tenaru waving her hand at him.

    “I’m glad you’re well, Ciel’nn! Ralis was seen with a questionable person some weeks ago.” The Alchemist said from her stall. “Asking about you too.”

    “So,” Teldryn said, his eyes still on Ralis, “you and the assassin were plotting my partner’s demise, weren’t you?” He growled and stepped toward the digger. “Ciel’nn, leave this to me. Go to rest.”

    Making connections on his own, Ciel’nn shot a grim look at the digger. He could feel the slight grown down in his throat, but his partner wished him to go rest. “Alright, Teldryn.” He could feel that the older mer was up to something which didn’t spell good for Ralis. Giving a dreadful look at the digger, Ciel’nn strolled toward the Inn.

    Teldryn waited until his love was gone, and he eyed the guards who were changing shifts. Good, he could make his move now. He snarled at Ralis, grabbing his arm. “You’d better come with me. Now.” The older mer quickly glanced at the Alchemist who frowned first, then gave him a short nod. It’s good to have friends here. The digger hesitated and the older mer gave him a push. “Move it! We’re going for a little walk.”

    Ciel’nn was having some lavender tea when Ondren found him. He looked to the young Redoran Guard with a tired smile. “Ondren.” He sipped his tea. It was good to see familiar faces after some weeks away.

    “Ciel’nn.” Ondren replied and sat down on the opposite chair, then glanced at him. “Good to see you doing well, friend.” To this the young mer grunted and the young Redoran guard frowned. “We had a strange mer asking for you some weeks ago. He talked with Ralis too. Have you heard of him?”

    “Do you mean the assassin?” Ciel’nn asked while sipping his tea and his tone fell into a whisper. “I met him.” He noted Ondren’s concerned look. “Don’t worry, he’s with the Wizard now.” And he’ll probably suffer a lot.

    “Ouch. What happened out there? If you don’t mind me asking.” Ondren glanced around the Inn. “Where’s Teldryn?” He had been mildly worried when the assassin was found talking with the digger. Those kind of types Ondren didn’t like at all. Seeing the young mer back in town was a relief as he seemed unharmed.

    “Teldryn will back soon.” Ciel’nn replied. “As to what happened…” He looked into his tea cup. “We ambushed him and I got stabbed. And You’ll have to ask Teldryn for what happened after that because…” The young mer sighed and put his stray hair behind his ear.

    Because I don’t want to relive it again.

    There seemed to be more, but the young Redoran guard didn’t want to pry for more as Ciel’nn didn’t want to share any more of it. “It’s alright, I’m just glad you’re alive and back, Ciel’nn. Did you know that the Alchemist, Tenaru, wanted to send a search party for you two after the Captain got to know about the assassin?” He paused to see Ciel’nn glancing at him. “But the Captain said no as we have other concerns.”

    “Reavers, right?” Ciel’nn inquired.

    “Yes, how did you know?” Ondren grew serious.

    “Well, we saw five reavers at Bujold’s Retreat some months ago. There are more though. We need to speak to your Captain, Ondren.” Ciel’nn said in a low tone.

    Teldryn walked down the stairs and looked for his partner. Geldis from the counter noticed him and nodded with clear relief in his eyes. He nodded back. “Can I get some Sujamma, Geldis?” Then his eyes found Ciel’nn. Always the shadowed table. A soft smile crept on his lips as he walked toward the table. And the young Redoran is there as well.

    “There you are, Ciel’nn.” The older mer greeted his partner who flashed a smile at him. Teldryn then nodded to Ondren. “We need to speak with the Captain.” He grabbed a chair from the next table and sat on it. It’s good to be back.

    Ondren nodded to the older mer and swallowed. “Yes, we have a Reaver problem. They have sighted some reaver activity nearby the Brodir Grove.” He didn’t like it at all. It reminded him of the Orc’s gambit over the town, and now the Reavers might try it too.
    Azura, preserve us.




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