Lesson 3: Silence is GoldenA Chapter by Elliara
Marilira and Shinde are taken prisoner by Kind Darnus, ruler of the Dwarfs.
Lesson 3: Silence is Golden
The sudden sound of boots marching woke Shinde up with a start. Groggily opening his eyes, he rubbed the back of his head and winced. A swelling was beginning to form. Sitting up gingerly, he glanced around. The ground was hard and cold. The walls were also cold and felt like steel. A window hung high, letting in little light. Curiously, it was barred. The door was also barred with a small slit that could have been used to push food through.
Looking around carefully, he noticed a heap in the corner and swore deeply. Flashbacks came flooding back to him; the horse, Marilira sprawling backwards into him. He had no idea why they were there. Shinde half crawled, half dragged himself over to her. Looking down, he noticed her hair was matted, streaks of blood down her cheek, bruises and deep slashes covered her arms. Brushing her hair away, Shinde looked closer and saw that her eyes were swollen and also bruised. He noticed a tell-tale scar, somewhat carved on her neck as if she had been branded.
Beyond his own reasoning, he knew that despite her attitude, he felt a little compassion toward her, and the mere sight of her was giving him an angry feeling inside. He wanted to punish those that hurt her. Get a grip on yourself, and wake her up he thought bitterly.
Placing a gentle hand on her shoulder, he tried to wake her up calling her name softly. “Marilira. Marilira, its Shinde. Wake up,” he gently said.
He felt her stir slightly, and tried again. This time a groggy groan escaped from her swollen lips as Shinde helped her up. He watched her carefully before he noticed her speaking, “Where are we and what happened? Last thing I remember was being thrown into you...” The embarrassment crept into her face, and she turned away.
Shinde stayed silent with a stony expression and jaw clenched. He would under no circumstance let himself explore deeper feelings, not again. He gazed up at the pretty elf and said, “Someone took us. All I remember is being thrown on a horse with you.”
Shinde met her gaze, searching for something, until he saw her tremble and stumble to the floor. For the first time, he saw true emotion from her. Heart-wracking sobs cut through the stale and heavy air. Shinde watched as true fear glazed her eyes, tears streamed down her face like a rain storm. Not quite sure what to do, he awkwardly crawled to her and rested a hand on the back of her neck, soothing he in a way he didn't realize he could.
Rubbing the back of her neck gently and brushing her hair away, for the first time didn't notice her shielded expression, their was no shyness or a certain coldness. No, to Shinde, he saw her frightened and it scared him. Taking his hand away, he awkwardly asked, “You, okay?”
Shaking slightly and chocking back a sob, she answered hoarsely, “How would you feel if someone said you had great power, dumped you naked in a forest, and suddenly you're off learning magic before being kidnapped!” By the end, she was yelling and in hysterics, glancing nervously around
Shinde frowned, “You don't know then?”
“Know what?” she snapped back.
“I suppose I should tell you then, if Leader Raegir did not,” Shinde reluctantly said
“I've lived in Arkam'sul for two years now. Since I've been here, you tend to hear things, some strange, others out of curiosity mainly. Coming here has led me to understand things. A home mostly, but the library was my sanctuary. To lose myself in the pages of history, gave myself a purpose for being in Nys'ril,” he tiredly explained to Marilira.
“I don't want to know your life story, get on with it,” coldly said the girl. No amount of pity would get her to open up, not again.
“There is a legend,” began Shinde. “No, a prophesy, foretold before the fall of the first race, that an elven girl with no past will come to aid Nys'ril in a time of war. I don't remember the exact verses,” Shinde gushed quickly. He didn't mean to lie but he had to keep her close for some reason.
“Oh,” she said quietly. “So why me?”
Shinde fidgeted slightly and turned away not answering. He didn't want to tell her, he just wanted a friend. Licking his parched lips, he answered her quietly, “I...hoped that it would be you. I don't want to fight with you, I just want to be friends. It's just complicated to explain.”
Watching for a reaction, he noticed a flicker of relief and a slight slump in her shoulders. They sat in silence, each trying to avoid each other. Shinde's mind was whirling with thoughts. He had to figure out a way to get out and back to Arkam'sul. His thoughts were interrupted when he heard her voice again.
“How old are you?” she asked in a quiet voice.
“Sixteen,” she paused before saying, 'How long have we been here?”
He pondered for a moment and said, “To be honest, I have no idea. A day? A week? I don't think who ever took us cares. Whatever they want, it probably has something to do with you.”
Marilira gulped nervously, “Me? I haven't even been properly introduced” She laughed nervously afterwards.
More to himself, he muttered softly, “The prophesy.”
Curiosity got the better of Marilira and inched closer to the boy. Dragging a finger across the floor, she asked in a hushed voice, “Tell me about this prophesy.”
Before Shinde could answer, the door slammed open and a smug soldier stood before them. His sword gleamed in a prestige manner. His uniform, all black, and the symbol of a serpent wrapped around a star, glowed on his right breast. Without a word, Shinde helplessly watched him drag Marilira out while with a sneer said, “The King would like to see you, girl.”
With that, a screaming Marilira was dragged out leaving Shinde in a cold empty cell who listened to her dulcent screams fade into nothing. For the first time, he huddled into a corner and cried himself to sleep.
Marilira sat in a chair in front of an old throne. Her face had a stony expression, her eyes held no emotion, but a blankness; a void clouding them. Though her cheeks were tear stained, her eyes were dry. Her body was stripped of clothes and replaced with just a tunic. Her body was covered with lash marks, deep cut wounds were on her arms and back. Her whole body hurt with every move.
Staring blankly ahead, careful not to register any emotion, she studied the man sitting on the throne. He was short and barely reached the half way mark on the back of the chair. His skin was rough like leather but unblemished. His nose was beak like but off centered slightly. He was wearing a tan loincloth that reached just to his knees, and a gold ring. Marilira could feel the king's glare on her, chilling her to the bone. She watched him rise from the throne, and limp toward her.
Not daring to move an inch, the King crept closer, walking around her. He leaned into her and dragged a finger across one of her wounds. Marilira tried hard not to wince in pain, but couldn't. She jerked her arm out but said nothing. His breath smelled rancid as he breathed near her. His voice was sharp as it crackled across the room, “It hurts, doesn't it?”
Coming down to her level, face to face, Marilira noticed the same symbol on the King's forehead as the solider had. His breath had an earthy stench to it as he said, “Who are you?”
In a somewhat scratchy voice said, “M-Marilira.”
“What are you doing in Nys'ril?”
Figuring it would be better not to lie, she answered, “I am just a young elf, born in to Nys'ril not two nights ago. I don't even know who you are.”
A small smirk flashed across his face, and drew back slightly. His face contorted slightly before letting out a rich laugh that bellowed and echoed across the room. His eyes watered as tears of laughter ran down his face. Marilira was slightly taken aback and was frightened.
“Excuse me, but what is funny?” she asked in a squeaky voice.
“You are obviously not a prophet, girl. I am King Darnus, Rule of Dwarves and First Descendent of the Great King Elud, Ruler of Dwarves after the Fall of Ogres. I am awfully sorry for the treatment. Information came to me about a new addition to Nys'ril that would fulfill the prophesy, and I don't let elves run around free here.”
Marilira let out a sigh of relief as he said that. It was ridiculous for someone to think that of her. She barely knew what she was in this world. She stared blankly at King Darnus, not wishing to show or give another reason for torture. She tried to tune into what he was saying, but she kept feeling a sharp pain pierce the back of her skull. Suddenly, a loud voice exploded in her head.
“Marilira? Marilira, it's Shinde. Oooh, I hope this worked correctly! Wish I paid attention more. You need to get out and find me, We are in great danger...”
“Shinde? How...? I'm going crazy.” she thought, hoping he would somehow hear her.
“Trust me, this is weird for me too. Listen up, King Darnus is the one talking to you. Somehow when I do this, I can see what you see, but not hear, so you're going to have to tell me anything he said to you already. Listen carefully, your training may be limited but you'll do fine. Keep him talking, and see if you can make him bring you back to our cell, where I still am.”
“I'll try, but don't guarantee it will work,” she answered, a bit annoyed. Seemed to her, she was just a pawn to everyone.
Shinde could hear the annoyance in her voice, and stopped himself from retorting back. He needed to somehow get her to trust him. Sighing to himself, he answered, “Just try? Otherwise, I'll try to come to you.”
“Alright.” Marilira reluctantly agreed. She brushed Shinde out momentarily, when she annoyingly felt him still there.
She turned to King Darnus and asked rudely, “If it was just me you wanted why get the boy too?” Marilira didn't realise he was talking, and didn't care about her attitude.
“You dare speak to me like that, you insolent girl?” he smacked a hand across her face and sneered in her ear. “I despise elves, girl. As for the boy, I wanted you to watch him suffer. Your future is in front of you, protect it.”
“Guards! Take her back to the boy. Enjoy your stay, elf.” He cackled harshly as Marilira was dragged roughly away. She didn't scream or yell, she just willingly let the guard take her. The last thing she saw was a laughing dwarf king, and then darkness took over.
Shinde was pacing. A terrible habit he picked up from the older boys when they were thinking. Since Marilira was dragged out of their cell screaming, he did not eat or sleep. His eyes were swollen, his throat parched from screaming, his fists were raw and bleeding from pounding the walls. He was tired. He wanted answeres, and apparently pacing was the way to get it. He tried to get to Raegir but he was too weak, or he couldn't get through. So he waited. As he paced, he heard the door open and a heap was thrown in.
He rushed over and helped her up. He didn't have to question who it was, he knew it was her. He noticed the ragged tunic and the new marks on her body. A large red welt was on her cheek. He figured King Darnus had slapped her.
He saw her move slightly and faintly say, “...Shinde...”
Kneeling beside her, he whispered quietly, “I'm here.”
He felt awkward being so sensitive to her. It destroyed his warrior image, but in this moment, he didn't care. Even though he was keeping silent about the prophesy, he knew in his heart that she was the one, he just had to bring it out of her. Besides, she was his responsibility.
Helping her up again, he sat down next to her and asked, “What happened”
She shivered next to him, “Just that he was mistaken.”
Shinde could tell there was more but he didn't push. He didn't need another reason to push her away. Instead, he just sat in silence next to her, contemplating what to do next. He noticed her watching him with rapt attention before her voice filled the room again, “He also said that my future was in front of me and that I needed to protect it, when I asked why he brought you here too. You know what he's talking about?”
A blank expression glazed over Shinde's eyes. He gulped nervously and fidgeted slightly. He realized since they were stuck here, she had no idea what King Darnus was talking about. Turning to her, he said, “Yes and no. He said that he was mistaken about you? It means he knows about the prophesy.”
“What is the prophesy?” she asked once again, hoping to get an answer this time.
Rubbing his tired eyes, he said quietly, “I will tell you when we leave this place. In the meantime, we need to figure out how to get out of here. I've searched this room inside and out and I honestly can't find anything. This place is barred shut. Nothing moves, its rock solid in here.”
He noticed her standing by the door, examining it carefully. After a few minutes, she mumbled loudly, “The flap. We could probably push ourselves through and figure out a way out of this horrid place.”
He felt her gaze on him, as it dawned on him that she was right. He stood up and went to stand next to her. Talking mostly to himself, he whispered, “We could explore, since we must be in the isolated part of this place. Okay we need to plan this carefully, and I need to teach you how to fight. It's the only way to get out safely.”
Marilira nodded silently next to him. After a small, awkward pause, she said, “How do you propose we do this then?”
“Since we don't have any weapons, we need to use punches and kicks. We need to heal, but its unlikely they will let us.” Grabbing her hand, he placed her in the middle of the room facing her, and continued to say, “You need to understand that fighting can be a life saver but it can be deadly also. Only use it in the direst situations, like now”
He went on to explain the theory and showed her basic moves before they practiced. Everyday, they practiced, when guards would come down they would pretend to not care. The flap would open, and food be pushed through, but it was left untouched. Every night, one of them would sneak out and mentally map the place, before hastily returning to the cell.
As weeks passed, and the two elves trained, Shinde noticed a slight change in Marilira. Her coldness and mask of emotion she wore around him started to come off. Her determination to fight gave Shinde a quite proud feeling. He felt like her mentor. Shinde noticed that she smiled more when he talked to her, she opened up a little more than before, and he was intrigued by her.
They were sitting quietly in their cell until Shinde spoke up and said, “I think we need to make our move.”
Shinde watched Marilira for a reaction. When he didn't get one, he walked over and tapped her lightly on her shoulder, while crouching down next to her. He said it again, “I think we need to make our move.”
“I don't think I can do this,” Marilira stated quietly without looking up at Shinde.
He frowned. To him, she was doing great. “What's the problem?”
“I don't think I can pull this off. It's too much. Sometimes silence is golden, and I think I'll just sit here in silence.”
Shinde was about to answer when the door slammed open, and two guards appeared with swords drawn. Jumping quickly to his feet, he mentioned in a sarcastic tone, 'This is getting old, dudes.”
He pulled Marilira to her feet and whispered quickly to her, “Pay attention, Marilira. This could be our only chance.”
“Halt! You ruthless boy! On the order of King Darnus, we are ordered to execute those in alliance with Raegir Aldadel.”
Shinde laughed quietly and said, “Yeah, you're going to have to fight me first!”
Marilira was suddenly wide awake and glanced nervously at Shinde. He sent her a quick thought, “Silence is golden.”
Silently, both Shinde and Marilira rushed forward, and the watched each other put their weeks worth of training to use. One of the guards charged directly at Shinde, and like an expert, Shinde dodged nimbly out of the way and threw a punch, clocking the guard in the jaw. Stunned, the guard stumbled backwards, giving Shinde another opportunity to knock the sword out of the guard's hand and into his own with a swift kick to his stomach. Shinde watched the guard slam backwards into the wall with a thud and slid downwards into a crumpled heap.
Scrambling quickly, Shinde turned to help Marilira, and noticed she was struggling. She was locked strongly in the guard's arms, and couldn't find a way out. Charging toward the guard, he swiped at him from behind, leaving a dark gash into his back. Screaming, the guard dropped Marilira, and watched her tumble away, but swept her leg out to catch the guard's leg. Shinde took his other chance and kicked him, while slashing his sword against his chest, except this time he plunged it into him.
Marilira gazed wide-eyed at the dead guard in front of her. Shinde noticed her fearful gaze on him, and mumbled quickly, “No time to dwell on it, let's get out of here.” He pulled the sword out of the guard and grabbed Marilira's hand.
He ran outside of the wide open door, and quickly closing his eyes, the map they drew on the floor of the cell suddenly filled his mind. He whisked Marilira in and out of the hallways, carefully avoiding any other guards that might be lurking in the recesses of the prisons. He paused momentarily between running to find their way out according to his mental map. He always prided himself on his ability to recall pictures in his mind, and this was one time he didn't mind having the skill.
They reached the southern entrance of wherever they were, before quicky dashing into an empty cell. Shinde paused briefly to catch his breath, and to make sure Marilira was alright, for she had not said a word since they made a run for it.
Gulping for air, Shinde asked her breathlessly, “Are y-you okay?”
Marilira stared at the ground. He noticed her frown deeply, and did not look at him.
“I'm sorry for doing that back there, it was instinct and I wasn't thinking. I'm not trying to scare you. Please, talk to me?” he asked nervously. He had just started getting her to warm up to him, and could not afford to lose her at this point.
Marilira just shook her head and said quietly, “We still need to get out of here. If I remember correctly, there are three guards up ahead at the entrance, but we need to act quickly before they sound the alarm.”
Shinde gave her a slow nod, and let out a frustrated sigh. He wished things would go smoother with her. It was like she didn't want to open up to anyone, not even as a friend. Shinde peaked out of the cell, and noticed two guards walking along the back hallway where the entrance was. He pushed his thoughts of Marilira aside, and said in a serious tone, “Here's the deal. Two guards pacing the back hallway at the moment. Guarantee the third one is standing at the entrance. We need to take them by surprise. Do you think you can handle this?”
Marilira nodded to Shinde, and said to him, “What if I use magic?”
Shinde looked at Marilira with a pensive look. Perhaps, if she conjured some wind … he thought to himself and did not share it with her. “Actually, yes, that could work.” He peaked around the corner and saw the guards standing with their backs to the wall and staring in their direction.
Looking back at Marilira he whispered quietly to her, “I want you to conjure wind, and use all your concentration to levitate it toward the guards. They are looking in our direction. You need to be as quick and swift as possible. It needs to be strong. Concentrate, Marilira. You did great with the water, do the same thing with wind.”
“What will you do?” she asked. Shinde noticed a hint of wary in her eyes.
“Don't worry what I'll be doing; I just need to trust you can conjure the wind.” Shinde said almost guiltily. He didn't want to tell her, he planned on killing again. It would probably just upset her.
Shinde watched her as she held her palm out, her eyes closing gently as she concentrated. He saw her twitch as the magic coursed down her arm and into her hand. He could see her palm open, and the slight wisp of wind come forth. He looked directly at her face, which was scrunched up, her lips were moving silently, and in a faint whisper she said, “Sphaeir!”
Shinde could feel the magic coursing through the room, powerful and almost humming. The ball of gray light floating in Marilira's palm, grew larger and flew upward. He felt the hair on the back of his neck, stand on end as the wind was blowing and swirling around in the room. Shinde saw Marilira shaking slightly, but the wind she conjured grew stronger, and watched in awe as he saw her move the ball of light, which was now bigger than the both of them, out of the door, and whisk itself down the hallway.
Looking out at the door, he noticed the guards alert and watching carefully. He whispered to Marilira, “Stronger. We need to gust them to one side.”
He turned to her, and watched her twitch again, and the wind filled the hallway and room. Shinde felt the rush and whistling of it through the air. He risked another look around the corner and saw that the guards were stuck in the middle of whirlwind of wind, and heard them crash into the wall with a sickening thud. He tapped Marilira twice on the shoulder and sent her a quick thought, “You did it. Now time to fight.”
She relaxed a bit, and stumbled down in the floor to regain some energy. Shinde knelt down beside her, and said to her, “You are looking flushed, you okay?”
Nodding, she said in a hoarse voice, “I'll be okay, that was something I'm not used to doing, considering I only did magic once before.”
A quick smile brushed over Shinde's face, before helping her up. “Are you sure you are up for this again?”
“Yes, I feel better now.” In fact, to Shinde, she recovered quite remarkably; she was now poised and full of energy again.
“You know the drill. Take them out, grab their sword and we're out...” Shinde paused. He heard it before he could register what it was. A slight pulsing sound that rang through the hall, and then it hit him.
“The alarm, Marilira, run!” he shouted at her, before he sprinted out, with Marilira behind him. Running faster now, he saw the guards that Marilira gusted into the wall were in a crumpled heap. Glancing the other way, he saw more guards walking their way. He tossed a sword to Marilira, who nimbly caught it and said to her, “Remember our first lesson. Go!”
Both charged forward, and clashed into an intense sword fight. Shinde quickly drew his sword and used his well put practice and quickly knocked sword after sword out of the guard's hands, before slashing them across their chest. He snatched a glance at Marilira, and noticed she too was doing well. Her one and only lesson with him, and she was doing remarkably well, until he saw the guard catch her in awkward position and slashed her arm. She screamed in pain, and Shinde quickly without hesitation, killed his own guard and attacked Marilira's guard.
Again, without any pretense he slashed the throat of the guard and grabbed Marilira into his arms and rushed toward the entrance. Screw the guards, we need to get out of here, he thought.
He heard Marilira in his mind say frantically, “Put me down, you dolt. I can still walk!”
Chuckling, he put Marilira down and said, “Sorry.”
Shinde looked back and saw the guards heading their way and the entrance was starting to close up. Grabbing her hand tightly he ran full force toward the entrance.
Marilira screamed beside him, “We're not going to make it!”
“Yes, we are!” he roared and took one might leap, another skill he hated to show off, and into the air they flew over and up the rising gate, landing in a heap on the other side, and heard the clunk of the metal chains and gate close with a loud clang.
Breathing heavily, he looked at Marilira, who had fear and worry written into her face as he caught her gaze briefly.
“How did you do that?” she demanded breathlessly. The shock of what just happened did not wear off.
“Magic.” Shinde said with a wink, and did not explain himself further.
Getting up he, brushed off the dirt and realized he still held the sword he killed the guard with. He offered Marilira his hand, to help her up. He watched her reluctantly put her hand in his, and he felt a jolt in the back of his navel when her small hand touched his own. Raising her up, he quickly took his hand away, and shook off that feeling. It was nothing, forget about it, he thought.
“Now what?” she asked.
“I have no idea.” he answered. “I guess we have to walk for a bit and sent up camp. Night will fall soon, and we don't want to linger around here too long, in case King Darnus decided to come look for us.”
With that, he and Marilira walked forward into a looming forest not knowing what the world had in store for them.
© 2011 Elliara
Life's Little Lessons
About20 years old, and a senior in college. I love to write fanfiction and this is my first attempt at writing a fantasy novel. Writing keeps me occupied, but its what I do on the side. more..