Chapter 27: Preparation for the Expedition

Chapter 27: Preparation for the Expedition

A Chapter by Sairek Ceareste

 

 

 

Sairek opened his eyes, being greated by the brightness of the sun that was now in his face into his eyes which made him quickly look away, shut his eyes in pain and roll onto his side in his sleeping bag. Without even noticing it, he seemed to roll into something. He blinked his eyes a few times before soon looking down, seeing Cyial's face who was looking back at him.

 

"'Mornin." the demon replied.

 

Sairek blinked again, noticing he was laying right on top of Cyial. He quickly scrambled himself off the other boy who wasn't laying in his sleeping bag, but rather on top of it, the story book he was reading earlier in the night opened but facedown on top of his chest as he looked at Sairek who's face was a bit flushed in embarrassment.

 

"I... um... sorry... I woke up in the sun was in my eyes... I must have been staring into it in my sleep for a while..."

 

"It's okay." Cyial said as he looked at Sairek, not even bothering to seat himself up. His tail flicked out from under him along his leg.

 

"Um... why are you laying down, though...? I thought you couldn't sleep to keep Ralopa up...?"

 

"I'm not sleeping. It's been morning for a while now. Nayleen went out to just take a look around town. I've just been laying here reading and relaxing, waiting for you to wake up."

 

"Oh... I see." Sairek said, before wiping his arm across his forehead. He was sweating quite badly. He didn't realize how hot it was. His body felt like it was cooking. He could feel his clothes sticking uncomfortably to his skin. With that thought in mind, he removed himself from his sleeping bag before he melted inside of it.

 

"Damn... it's hot here... I can't expect much with a drought going on here though I guess... my throat is so dry... I really need something to drink..."

 

He began rummaging through one of the bags, but he couldn't seem to find any of the flasks or canteens he kept.

 

"...Where's our water?" Sairek soon asked out in a voice of stern worry. He glanced at Cyial who glanced up to him from his book.

 

"Nayleen took most of the water herself..." the Demon responded.

 

"She what!? She drank all of the water!?" Sairek hissed.

 

"No no no," Cyial quickly went, sitting up now to look at Sairek. "She took most of the water to give to the village. Some of them really needed it Sairek..."

 

Sairek relaxed a bit, although it still annoyed him. At least her reason to take the water was justified. "...But now what are we supposed to do without any water...?" Sairek muttered.

 

"She says you can proably use 'Waert' if we had to."

 

"...Waert isn't permanent water... it will dissolve out of our system after a couple of hours, and therefore become useless. You can't drink it. You can wash yourself in it and do about everything else, but consuming it isn't even optional. It has quite a dangerous feedback on the body when it begins to dissolve."

 

"I don't think she took every bit of water... just keep looking." Cyial suggested. Sairek sighed, as he began rummaging through more bags and bags of items. It took nearly five minutes and his frustration was going off the charts before he finally managed to grab a flask, which upon shaking it he felt some type of liquid inside which the obvious guess was water. Sairek quickly popped it open and began guzzling it down without a second thought.

 

Only seconds later did the Prince scrunch up his face, but managed to swallow the water as he let out a "Plahhh!!" in disgust. Cyial looked at him with a quirked eyebrow.

 

"Ugh...! gross! The water is like... lukewarm...!" Sairek coughed out.

 

"Well... water is water..." Cyial mumbled.

 

Despite his reluctance, he was thirsty enough to keep drinking. The more he drank, the more he felt his appetite was dwindling. He figured he may as well just skip breakfast and just wait for lunch. Cyial said it was late in the morning anyways. Maybe by then his appetite may had been restored.

 

After he had downed the flask, he was still feeling completely overheated. He glanced at Cyial who was still reading, and didn't seem to be bothered at all by the heat.

 

"Um... how long has Nayleen been gone for...?" Sairek soon asked Cyial.

 

"Um... she walked out not even a minute before you woke up..." he answered after a bit of thought.

 

"Okay, good." Sairek soon sighed.

 

"...Good?"

 

"My clothes are sticking to me because I'm sweating, and I'm beginning to smell bad. So I'm going to wash up behind that wall over there." He said, pointing behind a broken piece of wall in the next room over. "I just don't want Nayleen to come in suddenly and see me."

 

"I... understand..." Cyial uttered sheepishly.

 

Sairek sighed, as Cyial stared at him almost in a trance-like state. "...I know you're a boy, and a succubus, but please Cyial, you can control your urges. I know you can. You have done really well so far."

 

"I... I know..." Cyial said in a dry tone before giving a depressed sigh, but afterwards gave a faint smile. "I can control them. I won't look. I promise. I'll keep Nayleen occupied if she does come back for you so she doesn't see you either."

 

Sairek laughed a bit. "Okay then. Be right back." He said, before he grabbed his staff with him before walking over to the next room and hid himself behind the wall.

 

He leaned his staff against the wall in the corner as he slipped his gloves and boots off some distance from the corner along the side of the wall. He then unfastened the orange belt around his waist and from there, he tucked his arms into his shirt, pulling the heavy fabric off of him. It was a bit of a struggle as he squirmed around but he managed to pull the heavy fabric off as it thudded onto the ground.

 

"Geez...!" He heard Cyial call out from the other room. "I could hear that from here! Are you alright?"

 

"I'm fine! That was just my upper part of my clothes...!" Sairek called back, as he began unfastening his leggings now. They were lighter than his upper body of his clothes but yet, still heavy. Without the belt securing it, they nearly fell to the floor under their own weight.

 

Now only standing in his undergarments, Sairek slipped them off, and pushed his clothes far away from the corner he was in. He grabbed his staff from the corner of the wall. He wished he could wash for a long time but he dared not test his luck. He just wanted to wash the grime that had been collecting over the past few days. Standing at the corner of the room, he pointed the staff upwards, tilting the head of it towards himself. He then chanted out "Waert" as a gush of cool water began pouring onto his body in a thick stream, almost like a bucket of water that was endlessly dumping on him. Sairek kept this up for several seconds, as he held his breath in as to not accidentally breathe any of the water that was literally washing all over him. He soon stopped a moment later, pantting. It was hard to keep the spell up while trying to hold his breath. After a moments pause though, he chanted the spell out again, holding his breath as he rinsed himself off a second time, and soon repeated a third time.

 

He was soon satisfied, and although he wanted to keep himself wet just to keep the heat of the area off of himself for a while, he didn't want to get his clothes wet, nor cling to him. Lowering the staff a bit, he soon let out "Wuaie!"

 

A strong gust of wind blew, more than Sairek had intended in a big burst, rather than fanning the spell out than he had intended. He threw him off balance as he collided his bare right shoulder into the wall behind him. It caused him to hiss out an "Ouch!" in reaction.

 

"Are you okay?" Sairek soon heard Cyial's voice say from the wall behind him. Apparently not in the room anymore and literally outside the door.

 

"...Y-Yes, I'm fine... I... just stepped on a rock..." Sairek muttered, as he rubbed his shoulder with his left hand, massaging the pain away. After it had numbed away some, he pointed his staff at himself again, making sure to weaken the power of the spell some, he once again chanted out "Wuiaie!"

 

This time a more acceptable feeling of wind that didn't nearly blow him off of his feet came forwards and began drying him off almost like an overlarged fan. After holding the spell like this for a few minutes, almost with relative ease, even for himself, Sairek finally lowered his staff. His hair was still a bit damp and dripping with water now and then but at least his body wouldn't soak his clothes from being wet. Sairek soon began fitting his clothes back on, but only fastened up his undergarments before he soon heard Cyial say: "Oh... uh... hi, Naylenn."

 

"Hi. Is Sairek up yet?" He heard her ask him.

 

Sairek bit his tongue to stop himself from cursing out in even a whisper. He'd go and get his clothes but that was on the other side of the room where the doorway. Nayleen could probably see them if she was standing in front of it. His undergarments just happened to have been closest.

 

"Um... yeah, he uh... went out looking for you..." Cyial's voice said.

 

"...But why is his clothes laying over there...? The hell?"

 

He heard footsteps coming towards him, but then heard Cyial's, or he assumed Cyial's footsteps, to quickly block Nayleen's way inside into the room.

 

"He's uh, drying his clothes. He washed them with waert, that's why they're in there and water is leaking out from the room... see?"

 

"Bullcrap. He didn't bring any spare clothes. He even told me on the first night that he didn't!"

 

Sairek winced at what she said. It was true, he remembered the first night of him leaving the castle that he told Nayleen he only had his pajamas and his formal clothes and that was it. Cyial didn't seem to miss a beat fortunately for him.

 

"He's wearing his pajamas while his clothes dry. I mean, they kind of look like normal clothes, right? Compared to the rest of this town. He is the Prince you know, he can't go everywhere smelling bad."

 

"...I guess... which also means he can't be too far. I'll just drops these by his sleeping bag and go out looking for him." He heard Nayleen say to Cyial. She heard her footsteps moving as Cyial replied with a casual "Okay. If he comes back here I'll tell him you stopped by and ask him to wait for you." He answered. Soon enough he heard Nayleen's footsteps leaving.

 

Sairek let out his breath. He had just washed off but his worry that he may have been found by Nayleen nearly naked had him nearly sweating again.

 

"She's gone now." Cyial called back out to him. Sairek looked out to see Cyial was now peeking in through the doorway. It did annoy him a little bit because he asked the boy not to look. What if he hadn't gotten at least his undergarments on? At the same time, he couldn't feel himself become angry he was peeking because he had just saved him.

 

"Yes, thanks..." Sairek sighed, walking back over to his clothes, he quickly began pulling his pants up as Cyial apparently withdrew himself from the doorway.

 

After a few moments, Sairek finally refitted himself to be completely dressed again as he left the room to look at Cyial who was seated right next to the entrance way, occupying himself with his story book. He hadn't made it much further than he had since earlier in the morning. Or maybe he did, but with the immense size of the book, it didn't look much like it. He wondered how the Acolyte even carried it inside his robe. Maybe there was thick pouch-like pockets on the inside. There were such robes in the castle that some of the soldiers who were adept in manipulating magic would sometimes use. Sairek glanced towards the room they slept in, and gave a dull look at the dozen or so flasks that was piled up next to the sleeping bag.

 

"At least she brought the flasks back..." he mused.

 

Cyial peeked up from his book at Sairek for a moment. "What do we do next? We can't stay here for long."

 

"I admit, I still feel a bit exhausted." Sairek muttered as he held his mothers' jewel in his gloved palm, it beginning to emit a faint glow as he was preparing his little packaging trick. "...However, this heat will do us more harm than good before long. Especially since we're nearly out of water now. We'll go through the rest of it fast if we stay here. At least it's relatively cool inside the mines, so we won't have to worry too much about that. The problem we face now is navigating the mines. It may be like a maze in there."

 

"Maybe we should ask the townspeople for directions?" Cyial suggested.

 

"These people don't go in the mines. The miners did. I don't these people know much about which way to go. I think we are on our own, but it should be alright. I have a plan." Sairek said with a small smirk as the items around the room began to flash and then soon fade away in time with the jewel in his hand, which his set down against his chest and then turned back around to face Cyial.

 

"You do?" Cyial asked, blinking at the Prince. He slowly pushed himself up as he bookmarked the page he was on and closed the book, beginning to push the large book inside his robes while still looking at Sairek.

 

"Yes. We just need to stick to the left wall of the mines. That's all." Sairek explained as if it was a matter of fact. Cyial frowned at the response to his question. "Sairek, I'm sorry to say it, but that is not much of a plan." He replied.

 

Sairek held his left index finger up. "Like I said, I don't know the mines inside out, but I know them somewhat. We may end up coming to a couple of dead ends here and there but sticking to the left side of the wall should most likely take us to the exit to them, that much I remember. I remember a couple of years ago when they were making the shortcut, they gave us a map at the castle of the mines back then. It's probably changed a little bit since then but if my picture-memory is correct and they haven't blocked it off for some reason, then the left side should eventually lead us out."

 

Cyial blinked at Sairek, as he was still confused. "I still don't understand, though. You mentioned we're going to Cilhde next... so am I to believe there is a shortcut through the mines through the mountain to there?" He asked. Sairek remembered yet again he told all of this to Nayleen and not Cyial. "Yes, that's what I discussed to Nayleen before you sealed up the entrance with your magic."

 

"But what about the undead? We can't just leave the town vulnerable, can we?" Cyial asked with a worried expression on his face. "And then there's still the chance of people inside the mines themselves that need help..."

 

"I don't like to say it Cyial, but I doubt there are any survivors inside the mines. It's been days since anyone came out. Even somebody who didn't have to worry about the undead would have had to starve down there, let alone a group of people. Even the soldiers who rebelled have not come out yet. And, as for the undead... there's no way just the three of us can purge the place. We've had two close encounters with the Undead as it is. We have no clue on how to actually navigate the mines other than my faded memory of seeing a crude drawing that was a map as well.

"My plan is to get to Cilhde, alert any military that is residing there, and to go through the mines and purge them, as well as assist Dandoran and Lamen if there's still a chance, all the while sending a team of scouts to the castle to inform my father of the situations we have. Cilhde is a small town, but it's quite a popular place for travelers and merchants because it connects to quite a few many places. You could almost call it a pit-stop on some crossroads. It's a small village, but it has one of the larger Inns inside of Ceareste to house all the travelers."

 

Sairek fiddled with the cloth of his right arm, trying to get some folds out of the clothing as he continued to explain. "We're going to be spending quite a bit of time there, I think. The Abbot will most likely make his way there," Sairek watched Cyial perk up hearing this. "...but I don't know if we will be staying there long enough to meet him..." ...and almost immediately Cyial sunk back down. The sight almost made him laugh out loud, despite Cyial's apparent disappointment. "It really all depends how long it takes to go through the mines and how fast he has traveled himself."

 

"What will we spending so many days inside of Cilhde for then?" Cyial asked him after a moment, seeming to shake off any disappointment or any hopes that had gotten too high. Sairek gestured with his left hand as he spoke. "Just... trying to gather information, really. A lot of people pass by the town. Who knows, somebody may know some information about the tree. Maybe we can even get some news about the area that may help us, or learn of a couple of shortcuts from other people that could help us. It would be a bit faster than reading books like we tried in Lamen..."

 

"There is also a Monastery there too..." Cyial spoke up. "Not nearly the size of that one in Lamen mind you, but I guess I should check in there as well. Maybe the Abbot there may know something as well."

 

Sairek put his left hand under his chin as he thought for a moment. "...I guess you still are technically an Acolyte after all. You still need to do your duty that you had sworn to. But with you traveling with me the Monastary should be more than happy to give their full co-operation."

 

"I'm still a Demon though... I am not sure how they would react to me." Cyial mentioned in a bit of a mumble.

 

"They won't. Just hide your tail. I mean you can't do much about your eyes or the hair color but I never second guessed anything. Besides, even if they did know, I'm with you." Sairek said with a smille as he patted his chest with his left hand. "I'll make sure nobody treats you badly just for being a Demon as long as I am with you. I promise."

 

Cyial gave a faint smile in appreciation. "Yeah, thanks Sairek."

 

Sairek then noticed something that seemed to be missing about Cyial. He blinked a few times until it completely came to him. "Cyial... where's your spell book?"

 

"Oh," Cyial let out as if in realization himself, although he didn't appear to be confused. "It's inside my robe. I figured it may not be best to present to everyone that I am an Acolyte of a Monastery while we are here. I might get flooded for pleas of help." Sairek watch Cyial's expression turn into a sad frown. "I'm not some holy figure who can solve their problems just because they plead to me... they will most likely plead to me to stop the drought and I can't do that..."

 

"I know..." Sairek said with a sigh. "This is probably something to do with Yggdrasil wilting... and that concerns me. Entire areas may have strange weather like this and it will only get worse until Yggdrasil is somehow cured." Sairek then shrugged as though about it a bit more. "Or heck, for all I know this could just be an actual legitimate drought. But the fact it's fine in Lamen over only a few mountains and such is rather odd. Dandoran and just the plains outside of town being effected by the drought only is very strange..."

 

 

"D****t, there you are!"

 

Sairek looked away from Cyial, who turned around to look at the doorway as Nayleen walked herself in. She glanced at Sairek, who blinked at the way she was looking at him.

 

"Your hair looks different..." she pointed out.

 

"I washed up while waiting for you while you were gone. It's still damp." Sairek explained in a tone of fact.

 

"...So that's what was going on, huh?" Nayleen mused with a smirk.

 

"Well, you were about to waltz in on me while I was stark naked. That would be a moment I wouldn't have soon forgotten any time soon..." Sairek muttered. He felt color flushing slowly to his face. He cleared his throat some though as he spoke again. "I didn't mean to have you go on a wild goosechase for me out there though. Sorry."

 

Nayleen shrugged, as if not caring. She looked around the room some, seeing it was empty. "I guess you already know what I did then?"

 

"The reason is justified enough. I don't mind. Just please ask me next time you're going to do something like that." Sairek replied. In truth he was still annoyed she just up and did it without at least asking him, but he figured he may as well just ignore a small detail. Nayleen would counter him with something anyways on why she did what she did.

 

"You would have said no." Nayleen said, as if to prove his point inside his own mind. Sairek shrugged at her. "You can't possibly know that..." he sighed at her. "I would have said yes."

 

"But you would argue with how much I took." She put in quickly. Sairek just rolled his eyes at her.

 

"I'm ready and I believe Cyial is ready. Want to head through the mines now?"  Sairek asked.

 

"Yeah. I think I'm going to become sun burnt if I stay here much longer." Nayleen muttered, pulling a tangled strand of her hair with her left index finger.

 

"Good, off we go then." Sairek stated, taking the lead, leading them all out of the house. He didn't even get two steps before he felt something tug on his cape on his back. Sairek turned around to see Cyial holding the red fabric in his hands.

 

"...What is it Cyial?" Sairek asked.

 

"..Umm...." he began, looking off to the side and to the ground in a shy way as he released his grip on Sairek's cape. His hands then came up, fiddiling his fingers for a moment.

 

"...Well... it was those two girls last night..." Cyial started.

 

"Yes?" Sairek urged him to go on.

 

"Well, you'd said you would... you know." Cyial finished.

 

Sairek sighed. "I don't even know where they live, Cyial... I--"

 

"Don't worry about it." Nayleen suddenly cut in. "Already taken care of for you, by yours truly. I found both of them this morning." She then winked at Sairek. "I figured I may as well 'cause, you know, you would forget."

 

Sairek gave Nayleen a dull look. "Yeah, thanks. You're such a good sport for having my back."

 

Nayleen crossed her arms. "It's the smaller things that are the most important, you know."

 

"Uh-huh..." Sairek let out in sarcasm, before glancing at Cyial. "Anything else?" He asked. Cyial merely shook his head. "I'm ready," he answered.

 

With Cyial's signal of being ready, he followed Nayleen who stepped out the door ahead of him and Cyial following behind them both.

 

"Ah right," Sairek began as they walked towards the entrance. "The way we are going through the mines is by sticking to the left wall, by the way." Sairek said outloud, aimed towards Nayleen, who looked back towards him.

 

"What good will that do?" She asked him curiously.

 

"To keep it short, once saw a map when this shortcut was built. It was on the left side, most of the actual mining is on the right. The place probably has a few more tunnels and such and we may run into a few dead-ends, but we will most likely sooner-rather than later reach the exit. The map didn't scale how large the mines actually are though. Judging from how long it took just to get to the first intersection, it could still take a few hours before we get to the other side of the exit."

 

"Okay." Nayleen said without any fuss. Within moments they were climbing the steps to the entrance, and walking their way inside. When they were under the shade of the mines and only a few feet in, Nayleen let out a "Phew!" as she glanced back behind them. "It feels so much better in here compared to out there. I'm surprised the villagers don't hide in the mines to get out of the sun."

 

"I don't know why either, but it's probably a good thing they don't... Once we pass through the first intersection, this place will be of danger to the town again. We need to hurry to Cilhde as quick as possible." Sairek reminded her as he held his left hand near the head of his staff before chanting out "Balinzer,"

 

Walking through the tunnel they went through a bit earlier in the morning before the sun had even risen up, they ended up back next to the barrier of Ethereal Cyial had put up. Standing in front of it, Sairek glanced to Cyial, who glanced back at him.

 

"Take it down." Sairek instructed him. Cyial gave a nod, as he reached inside his robes, pulling out the leather brown spell book and flipping to the corresponding page. He didn't even really make much of a motion as Sairek felt the barrier dissipate. The only thing Cyial did was let out a relieved sigh, and then he was worried when Cyial stumbled a bit. He made a motion to catch him but Nayleen beat him to it.

 

"You okay?" Nayleen asked in a worried tone, as Cyial held his book in his right arm to his chest, holding his head with his left hand.

 

"I didn't even notice the barrier was damaged... something... tried to get out, but it seems the barrier was strong enough to keep standing long enough for the thing to lose interest..."

 

"That means it did its job... hopefully it won't try it again before we send help..." Sairek muttered as he stared out at the intersection of a left-hand turn, or going straight ahead turn. Of course they would be taking the left turn. He thought for a second before he turned around behind them.

 

"...In fact..." Sairek began, as he extinguished the balinzer spell, coating them all in darkness, on the exception to Cyial's crimson eyes which blinked in the inky black dark.

 

"Hey! What are you doing!?" Nayleen called out in the darkness. Her voice echoed town the tunnels.

 

"Relax, just give me a second." Sairek said to her, as he pointed his staff back the way they came. He had to imagine the tunnel in his head, as he soon called out "ethirul!" There was a light rumbling, before the ground shook a bit. He heard Nayleen and Cyial both yelp out a bit in surprise, scrambling to the wall to Sairek's right as he faced away from them for balance. The rumbling didn't last long. Soon, Sairek held his hand near his staff again before chanting out "balinzer!" a second time.

 

When the orange light returned, Nayleen and Cyial gasped a bit as Sairek stood in front of a pile of rubble blocking the entrance they had come from off. Sairek turned around and walked back towards the other two.

 

"Y-Y-Y-Y" Nayleen began.

 

"You?" Sairek questioned if that was what she was trying to say.

 

"Yes! You!" She said pointing an accusing finger at him. "Why did you just collapse the entrance way! What if we get stuck in here and there IS no exit!?"

 

"Then I just move the rubble out of the way with the same spell. Besides, it's collapsed in, so we know for sure this is the entrance if it ever comes to that. Nobody can wander in here and become endangered and no undead will be able to come out and threaten the town. It may be a bit of a problem for the soldiers coming through to help the town when we get to them but a small price to pay to keep the town that's completely vulnerable safe from harm."

 

"Urrgghhh..." Nayleen let out in frustration. "You should like... ask us, or something first!"

 

Sairek tilted his head innocently, but failed to hide the grin that was ever present on his face. "But Nayleen, you would have said no." Sairek teased her.

 

Her mouth opened, as if trying to counter him, but no words came out. In the end, she only crossed her arms giving him a sigh.

 

 

 



© 2013 Sairek Ceareste


Author's Note

Sairek Ceareste
Chapter posted on: March 06, 2013

Last Updated on: N/A [Text is now fixed on the 13th of March]

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Added on March 5, 2013
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