Lord of Azure Flame Chapter 22: The Hunt
Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:14 PM
"I... am alright," he murmured gently. "I had a bad dream. Memories I'd... rather have forgotten, but can't seem to lose track of. But nothing else - you don't have to worry about a strange drunk, little one."
He heard something that nearly drove him into a panic, an aftereffect of the dream - noises, from inside the stables. He calmed himself, trying to explain to his shattered nerves that it was almost certainly just one of the several animals kept inside, and not more of those... things. He still found himself wanting his blade, though - it sat inside, next to his steed, and the pile of discarded armor. He pushed the darkness from his mind, for the moment - there was nothing that could harm him in this settlement. He... They were all safe here. The only things that could hurt him lived in his past.
Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:17 PM
Faint memories of servants insisting that he eat all the food on his plate played in his mind before he finished his cup and what he'd set to his plate and took note of the goins-on as he headed for his room. It would be the first time in a long while that he'd slept in an actual bed. However, there was a reason for that. The condition of the bed worried him. Who knows how sanitary the last one to sleep there had been? Forcing the thought from his mind, he made a mental note to ask Arrin and Tessa if they would like to explore the town in the morrow. Perhaps he would also ask that servant boy if he was still around...Tobe, was it? The four of them were the youngest in the group. Oh, and if that other girl was around, she could come, too. It might be a good idea to see what the others around his age thought about their situation. After all, children made the best intelligence-gatherers.
As he was thinking, Beau happened to pass up Arrin and Isotov. He was so lost in his thoughts, however, that he didn't notice them.
"In a sense," Raemond replied, noting the girl approching. She apparently didn't notice that his hands were tied behind his back yet and, from there, to his horse. At this point he was only waiting for Heinz's return - most likely accompanied by this "Morgan" he spoke of before. He supposed there was a good chance of his being executed. There was on reason to trouble this girl with his dread, however. He had decided long ago that he would face problems like this calmly and with reason. He didn't yet recognize who, exactly, this girl was.
Edited by Mercakete, 12 January 2011 - 09:37 PM.
Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:19 PM
You gonna eat some of that?" Alf addressed Aiya, pointing to the meat he was reaching for.
Edited by Dark Sage, 12 January 2011 - 09:19 PM.
Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:30 PM
"Was you talkin' to Altion?" Tobe pestered. "He's all sad 'acos he likes some lady, ony I saw her hangin' round somebody else. I donno how good a idea talkin' t' him is if yer arready sad," he stated with a tome that he thought conveyed wisdom. "Donno why he's even that sad anyway, she's a good enough sort but she's kinna scary when you make her mad, I think he's scairt o' her. Grownups don't make no sense," he added, then clapped a hand over his mouth: talking like that tended to get him kicked, when he was in the palace. "Beggin' yer pardon, o'course," he mumbled apologetically.
Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:48 PM
"If he wishes to be sad, then that's his own decision. For some people... sadness is really the only thing left to them, after everything else is gone." He shook his head - it was faint, but there was the hint of a weary smile. "And I'll have to agree with you - adults are a confusing and troublesome lot. You should stay a child, as long as you can."
Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:56 PM
Iso: Eh, I guess I've just been arguing with her long enough to know she's disinclined to do anything other than glare at people.
Iso's attention went to Beau as he arrived. Not saying anything he simply gave a small polite wave.
Helios decided to head inside before getting too deep into thought about cooperation. Viveka gave it plenty of thought though. In fact long after she waved goodbye to him and began leading Susann into the stables she continued to think about it.
Viveka: (That is something to consider.) Bye then. (I'm not doing too well right now, I can admit that, but I'm not going to just ignore something like this. I should speak to the General again when I get a chance ... and I'm not feeling like crap. There might still be a way to salvage this mess.)
While Tobe conversed with the unfamiliar human, Susann gnawed away at her reins only to find herself making lousy progress. One of the other horses was watching her from an adjacent stall and shook his head. What was she thinking? That human was simply interacting with another human. Humans did that. Why was she trying to get to them? He gave her a soft whinny hoping she would settle down. She snorted back at him and continued gnawing at the reins. The wingless one clearly didn't understand the danger in allowing a frail little human to wander around without its parents present.
Posted 12 January 2011 - 10:01 PM
Posted 12 January 2011 - 10:01 PM
Then, Beau went from his somewhat-annoyed yet casual explanation to his own cheery questions, "Actually, I was just thinking about you. This is a place I have never been to, so I was wondering if you and a few others would like to explore it with me tomorrow." He gave Isotov an acknowleging nod as well, though it was clear enough that he wasn't invited.
Raemond looked back to the curious girl. Then he recognized her. His eyes darkened for only a moment before he closed them. (This is foolish. I would have killed to protect Althea. She likely has similar reasons for striking down her foes.) Opening his eyes again, he answered in his somewhat-defeated tone, "I am alive. As to where you saw me, it is the same place I recognize you from, I am sure: when your group met the Reformist Templars in battle. I was unable to strike a blow durring the fight its self, however. I do not sense a crimson weapon on you...though...I'm unsure exactly what to all this... All the same, you are friends with one of the wielders, are you not?"
Edited by Mercakete, 12 January 2011 - 10:18 PM.
Posted 12 January 2011 - 10:30 PM
"Donno how long that'll work out for," Tobe muttered. Hearing the horses moving about, he turned away. "I better go see what they's up to afore they all start neighin'," he explained, and headed back, finding Susann as the source of the disturbance. "Whassamatter with you now?" he asked, climbing up on a fence rail to pet the pegasus.
Posted 12 January 2011 - 10:37 PM
Esphyr made a small cough as she finished making the odd noises. "Either way, she can't be a zombie. There has to be something in there that's still alive. Kill that, and... well... I don't know. It might kill her, it might make her stronger, it might do nothing... but it's better than walking into her traps whenever she wants us too."
Posted 12 January 2011 - 10:42 PM
Once Tobe came back over, Susann ceased her escape attempts and rose her head up to receive his petting. She didn't mind it, especially with him this close. Hopefully the unfamiliar human would vanish before he up and wandered off again. For the time being she wanted him close by and defensible, at least until his mother and father realized they were missing him.
The other horse simply stared curiously. He always thought the winged ones were superior since they could fly away and mock the wolves but this one seemed to misplace all her affection on humans, and in a weird way; a motherly way. She needed help perhaps.
Posted 12 January 2011 - 11:36 PM
Posted 12 January 2011 - 11:43 PM
Tobe was getting sleepy again. "G'night," he muttered to Susann, curling up next to where she stood. Wasn't much colder here than the hayloft had been, really.
Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:18 AM
'I told you, Althea, I won't let your mission fail. You have my aid.' The monk had ridden up and dismounted, guarding one of the valkyrie's flanks while she was moving in on Esphyr. He'd been on the opposite side of the woman from her, and hadn't managed to either interpose himself, or strike her down to prevent the killing blow. There'd been nothing left for him to do but apologize before he fled the field, but at the time she'd barely registered any of that. The dying woman's smile, and her words had stabbed her through the heart as surely as Tessa's own blade had done to the other woman.
Stepping back a bit, she stuttered. "O-Oh... I see. You were... the monk by her side... What of the other monk, the one I healed? Did you meet up with him?"
Nodding at his question about her affiliation with the weapons, she was about to reply in words when Arrin burst in. "Yes. Him for one. But several others as well are also dear to me."
The mage himself wasn't wasting any time, though, evaluating the scene and clearly noticing something she had missed. "Knots?" she started to ask, puzzled, before realizing that that was the cause of the man's odd posture, and first curiosity, and then the bombshell revelation had distracted her from the details. "I suppose I could try... but it might be better not to?" While not actually asking a question, her tone here clearly ended on a high note, a dead giveaway of her uncertainty.
Edited by Balcerzak, 13 January 2011 - 12:19 AM.
Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:33 AM
"Don't worry, Beau... Though I would appreciate the freedom, escape was not the foremost of my thoughts," Raemond mentioned. Replying to Tessa, he answered, "Yes, that was I. However, I travelled to Altenau after my encounter with your group. I didn't see any other Reformist Templars since that...battle. ... Though I understand your wanting to protect your friends, it is difficult for me to...be in the company of my friends' killers. Both sides had their reasons for fighting." He was trying to force his anger away. His voice was still calm, but on the verge of eerily so.
"That doesn't matter. Heinz is taking care of things. We should go back inside," Beau suggested, casting a hateful glare at the monk.
Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:35 AM
Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:45 AM
"Well... We can bring him inside yet still leave his hands tied? If he managed ahold of one of Charlotte's tomes or something and killed you, I could never forgive myself." As this seemed a reasonable compromise to the girl, she started to work on the knot between the horse and the man's wrists, leaving the latter knots entirely untouched.
"...And you. Well, it will be difficult for you I'm sure. But," she paused to steady her voice, "But it was also difficult to be your friend's killer as well. Suppose we'll be suffering this one together now, won't we..."
Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:57 AM
The child had decided to stay close by and quickly fell asleep. That was good, she thought. Now she could look after him until his frustratingly irresponsible mother returned.
Lev thought back to the previous night during the flight to Worthington. It had been one of the few times he'd had an interesting chat with anyone in the group.
He smiled. It was more than he could expect from most people he knew. He then spotted Worthington in the distance. The lamps helped significantly.
Lev: Hey, Tas! We're here, follow us down and start to slow so you can land! Use the light if you can!
With that he began guiding Kiev down toward Worthington. The riders would land within a couple of minutes if successful.
Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:58 AM
Raemond smiled a little. "They do have a point, though. Why would you allow me to stay out here, possibly until the morning? Morgan might not be coming to check on me until then," he put forward with a reasonable tone and a calm, somewhat defeated smile. Beau glared back at him. Raemond knew the boy hated him. These two -- demonic or not -- were giving him a way out, though.
Posted 13 January 2011 - 01:06 AM
"Uh, shouldn't you kids be getting to bed or something? This doesn't really seem like a good activity for you all to be doing." he said, somewhat concerned. What would kids be doing with a tied up priest he thought to himself.
Not receiving an answer about Pary, Charlotte decided that everyone seemed busy. She took a glance at one of the mugs on the table, still half full. I've never had any alcohol before...but it is said to dull pain. Maybe just a little will make me feel better she thought to herself, taking the mug and gulping down some of the bitter ale.
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