Chapter 3: KarmaA Chapter by SpiritedTales
Angel tapped his plated boots against a tree, waiting impatiently for the "Spoiled Brat" to return. He recently had an argument with her about the idea of cutting her hair. She was against it completely. Angel had to tell her that there isn't many commoners that have very long grand hair as she did. Lanni took some time to think about it and then eventually she sighed and gave in. The white haired Rotheran sat against the tree, and picked up a blade of grass. He held it between his hands, and cupped them near his mouth. He then, blew into it, letting out a weird high buzzing noise. He pulled his hands away and held the blade of grass in between his fingers. The wind started to pickup, the grass piece sailed in the wind. Angel let it go and watched it dance in air until it eventually descended down the hill and toward the town below.
"I'm all done!" Lanni said, skipping over to the tree. Angel looked up to see a neatly short cut, smiling, spoiled, energetic, noble girl.
"What do you think?" Lanni asked, doing a little twirl to showcase her newly cut hair. Angel barely looked at it and grunted in response. He stood up and picked up his bag, "Okay so we are going to be entering a town. DO NOT draw attention to yourself." Lanni smiled, "Not a problem!" Angel shook his head and started down the hill, with Lanni following.
It was fairly rundown for a town so close to Boreas. The town houses had missing boards in the side, and one house looked like it had signs of fire. Some of the locals were boarding up houses with pieces of wood that could be found from pieces of furniture. Angel walked by a cart that had a broken wheel that nobody seemed to bother fixing. The locals were dressed in tattered clothing and most of the shops were closed, signs saying that the owners have moved to Boreas.
"What happened here?" Lanni asked, walking closer to Angel. Angel didn't move away from her. "I guess bandits," he replied quietly. They passed another house that was completely wrecked and seemed pillaged of any valuables and signs of life. Dried blood stained the porch of the building. The two walked into the inn that stood in the center of town, untouched by dread and gloom the rest of town showed. Angel opened the door and walked in, he was instantly hit with the smell of cooked food. Lanni's mouth started watering at just the smell.
"Hello! Welcome to the town of Cassel!" the greeting came from a large man that had a working mustache and small round eyes. With his balding hair and hearty laugh, he was the model working class man.
"Yes, would there be a room for two available?" Angel inquired. The man nodded, "Yes sir! Comfy beds, nice view of the mountains. All ready for ya for 'bout 34 drakes." Angel's surprised was outweighed by Lanni's disgruntled face.
"That cheap?" Angel asked in a sarcastic tone, "What's the catch?" The man walked around the counter, a ring of keys jingled on his belt.
"Well I gather you had a nice look around at the state of the town, yes?" Angel and Lanni nodded, "Then you would see that money is needed. The inn is untouched by bandits and the locals because merchants on the way to Boreas need to pass through here. So the Inn is the mainstay for money here," the man walked out of the room and opened a door, behind door, was steps going upstairs.
"Please, if you would?" he held the door open motioning for the two to go up, they did so and the man closed the door behind them.
Angel reached the top step to see two beds 6 feet apart adorned with colourful blankets. A nice big pelt rug of the Krag Bear stretched in front of both of the beds. Many pictures were hung around the room, some had the Boreas Castle in it, others had simple paintings of forests and wildlife. There was a fire to far side of the room, and a grand window that had a clear view of the beautiful mountains. Angel walked to one of the beds and threw his pack on it. Lanni ran to the other bed, and fell upon it.
"Ah! This is so much better than camping outside," she said gleefully. Angel took his sword from his hip and laid it against the wall near his bed.
"I know, this way I won't have to hear you moan and groan about how hard the ground is." Lanni sat up, "Oh be quiet! You’re the one who kept taking the best places to sleep!" Angel shrugged, "Then stop sleeping on top of rocks then." Lanni threw a pillow at Angel, who caught it with one hand without looking.
"I suggest you get some sleep, we have to leave early tomorrow," he threw the pillow back at Lanni which hit her square in the face. She sat up and threw the pillow back to the head of the bed. Angel took off his gauntlets and his pauldrons, revealing many scars. Lanni gasped at the sight of the many cuts and burns on his shoulders. He placed the pieces of armour on the ground near his sword. He looked at Lanni who was still staring at his past injuries.
"You should see the ones on the rest of my body," he said, laying down on the bed. Lanni sat cross-legged on her bed watching the Rotheran try to sleep.
"How many battles were you in, Angel?" she asked laying down on her own bed. Angel grunted, "I suppose if you counted all my scars you would know, I get injured only once per battle." He put his hands behind his head.
"I thought Rotherans were the best fighters out there? I mean, I thought they can never be injured so easily."
Angel laughed, "You’re right, we LET ourselves get hurt. This way we can prove how many times we have fought and won. This shows honour and pride of the Rotheran. Some of the older warriors are barely recognizable because of the scars they have accumulated in their long lives." Lanni shook her head, "Such a life... It seems so..."
"Brutish?" Angel cut in, looking at Lanni from the corner of his eye. Lanni shook her head again, "No, it seems a bit out of place with our world. Such dutiful and honoured acts like that would be welcomed and adored in the earlier era's. Sadly, such acts aren't for this politically set world."
Angel looked away from Lanni and up at the ceiling, "Yes... You are right. Politics is what ruins this wonderful time. Underhanded murders for power, cheating the population of its needs and nobles becoming power hungry, show no honour or valour. It's pathetic." Angel's voice was tense. Lanni picked this up and changed the subject quickly.
"So why am I blessed with your presence? Why are you so far away from home?" Lanni asked again, rolling over to her side, facing Angel.
"After the war last year, I left Rotheran on a boat that sailed to the Kingdom of Ritz for supplies." Lanni gasped, "Ritz? That's an Elvish country isn't it?"
Angel nodded, "We trade with them for cloth and some different kind of ore that is there. Rotheran weaponry is so strong because of the Zodiac Ore traded with Ritz. Anyways, I was in Ritz for a little while until I made myself a boat out of the generosity of the people there," Angel stopped to scratch his head, stretch his arms. He continued, "The boat didn't hold up too well, it was eventually destroyed while I was at sea, and I floated to the corner of Sylph. I woke up to a little boy poking at me with a stick, I admit I wasn't nice to him but I was in no shape to be sprinting after him. He saw that and got help from his village. They took care of me for awhile until I was better. I left them and began to wander. So, a year or so later, I ended up in the coldest place on the continent." Angel looked over. "So that's how I'm here," Lanni was breathing softly, her eyes closed, her delicate face at peace. Angel smiled, I talked her to sleep he thought. He looked back up at the ceiling, and closed his eyes. He slowly drifted off into sleep.
Angel's eyes opened very slowly, a searing pain was ripping it's way in his head. His eyes adjusted to see that he was on the bottom floor of the inn, chairs were toppled over, tables overturned. Angel lifted himself off the ground slowly, his throbbing head beated with pain. He rose to his feet and walked very slowly to the door to the stairs. He grabbed the door and pulled it open, he then took each step slowly. A ringing in his ears made the throbbing worse. He got to the top step to see that the room was completely ransacked and destroyed. He looked at his bed to find that his sword and armour was gone, but then his eyes darted quickly to the other bed to see that nobody was in it. He went on one knee and lowered his head to look under the bed, nothing.
He slowly rose back up. "Where are you…" he whispered. "The bandits took her," a hearty familiar voice said. Angel turned his head and saw the Innkeeper covered in blood that was not his own, holding a bloody katana in one hand, and a bag in the other.
"They took the girl... but I managed to get your sword and armour back," The man moved limberly to Angel and gave him back his possessions. Then the man walked to one of the beds and sat on it.
"I thought they would never attack the Inn. I had an agreement with the Bandit leader's son… Why did Nall break his promise?" Angel froze, everything came together. Nall saw me and the girl together, so he thought that her and I had something more than we did. So then ideas of revenge crept into his lowlife mind. Angel clutched his head with his hand, "Damn!" The Innkeeper sat quietly on the bed. Angel opened the bag and began to put his armour on. Every now and then, sharp pains in his head with sear through his mind, setting his nerves off like fireworks.
"You’re going to find them aren't you?" the man said breaking the silence. Angel slid the sword onto his hip strap. He put his gauntlet on and faced the man, "I’m not just going to find them, I’m going to kill them like I should have," He turned and stumbled suddenly to his knee's. The Innkeeper ran to his aid, seeing the blood on the back of his head.
"You need to slow down for a second. Let me treat that." The man ran to the stairs and pounded down them to the floor below. Angel started to sway back and forth, losing consciousness.
"Must... rescue... spoiled…" And with that, he fell on his back and nodded off.
"Bwahah, a catch we have landed us, that we did!" a crackly voice said. Lanni started to awake, the putrid smell of something was really strong. It was nauseating.
"WAKE UP!" A voice boomed. Lanni's eyes opened wide to see that she was tied and gagged. She looked around to see she seemed to be in a wine cellar, but rather, she was in a very large cage inside of a wine cellar.
"You’re a rather pretty lil' thing to be hanging around with some Rotheran. We decided to take you from him to piss him off, AND to have a lil' fun with you on the side," a man reached out to touch her face, she moved away from the hand like it was afflicted with the plague.
"Ahaha, oh yes Nall, this is a beautiful one," a hooded man said.
"I know, two birds with one stone. We get pleasure from this girl, and we get the satisfaction of killing Mr. Angel," the man named Nall said, licking his lips toward Lanni. The men laughed as they turned and left the cellar. Lanni tried breaking free of her gag and restraints on her wrists and legs but no use. She lied against the bars of the cage, looking down at the dirty stone floor, starting to cry, and hoping that cold Rotheran would save her.
© 2010 SpiritedTales
Belleville, Ontario, Canada
AboutMy real name is unimportant, but only the attempts at writing I make. I love writing as it is the only way to shape the world as I see fit, the one way I can play god. Well at first I was going to .. more..
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