Chapter 26: Watchful Eyes

Chapter 26: Watchful Eyes

A Chapter by Sairek Ceareste

 

 

 

Sairek felt the odd touch of sudden conscious hit him as he awoke from his sleep. It was still night time, and he had looked around for a moment to see if somebody was nudging him awake. But glancing to his left, he saw Nayleen fast asleep inside her sleeping bag. And to his left, Cyial seated himself against the wall, who was now looking at Sairek with his red eyes dimly glowing in the nightlight. It wasn't pitch dark out, with the moon out and the sky being clear, it illuminated everything rather well. The effect seemed to have dimmed the glow the demon boys' eyes tended to have in the dark.

 

Sairek slowly propped himself up in his elbows as he yawned. He was still dressed in his formal clothes. He opted to in case there was an attack, he wouldn't have to be alert in nothing but his pajamas. He'd save those for whenever they were at an Inn or a guaranteed safe place.

 

"Had a nightmare?" He heard Cyial ask him, speaking in a hushed voice as to not wake Nayleen up.

 

"...No... I don't think so. Maybe I'm just a light sleeper. I'm still not used to sleeping out of my bed at the castle just quite yet... I guess sleeping is still a bit uncomfortable to me."

 

"I see." Cyial responded. "Well, it is nearly time for your turn anyways. You may as well wake yourself up now."

 

"Yeah, alright." Sairek said before letting out a wide yawn. He shook his head some, trying to get the sleep out of his consciousness as he fully seated himself up before soon sliding himself out of the sleeping bag.  His staff was right next to his right side, which he grabbed and used it to hoist himself up onto his feet.

 

"Are you still going to be up for a little while longer?" Sairek asked Cyial. The other boy blinked his eyes in thought.

 

"I guess so. I want to finish reading this chapter."

 

"What? Reading what chapter?" Sairek questioned with a quizzicle look, before looking down at Cyial's lap. He saw a book there. At first he thought it was the spell book he always carried, but he saw that instead to Cyial's left side. The book Cyial now held in his lap was almost three to four times as thick and rather than having the brown leather covering, this one was a hard cover that was red, with gold lacings that formed words that made out the title. Although Sairek couldn't make out what it said in the darkness. It was no doubt a story book.

 

"Where and when did you get that?" Sairek asked almost dumbfounded. He couldn't believe the small Acolyte had such a big book with him and he didn't even notice.

 

"I took it from the library before we left." He simply answered.

 

Sairek shrugged as he moved himself to sit against the wall to Cyial's left side as he tried to look at the book. But it was too dark for him to really make out the words, no matter how much he strained his eyes.

 

"I can't even read that in this darkness and it's a full moon out." Sairek sighed. "Does it not hurt your eyes to strain them?"

 

"Not really. I can see in the darkness better than other humans can. Not by much, but in a full night like this I can make out the words relatively easily."

 

"What's the story about? It looks like a long one." Sairek asked.

 

"It's a series. This book just has them all together, that's why it is so large." Cyial answered him, glancing his head towards Saireks' direction. "I just started to be honest since you guys went to sleep. I'm not very far into it. But from what I gather, it's about a group of adventures who have gone to slay a dragon who has begun wreaking havoc. The main character is a really young squire, I think about thirteen or fourteen years old. He wanted to prove to the King that he had what it took to become knighted. People make fun of him because he is really small, apparently.

"A knight himself decided to accompany the squire. He is somewhere in his late thirties or early fourties. He's the veteran of the group. He decided to volunteer to help the King's quest to slay the dragon.

"The third party member is actually the King's daughter. She snuck out of the castle, tired of living in it and wanted some excitement. But she is dressed up like a man; although the other two had found out about her, she hides her identity to everyone else."

 

"Escaped for almost the same reasons I did, huh?" Sairek chuckled and Cyial grinned a little in response. "Kind of, although this was just for excitement, not for freedom." Cyial responded before looking back towards the book.

 

"The fourth and final member for at least right now, is a woodsguide that is recently guiding them through a thick wood. Right now all four of them have set up camp for the night. The knight just got told telling a story to them all. It was kind of interesting."

 

"Well, if you don't mind it, could you tell me what the story was?" Sairek asked.

 

Cyial smiled. "Of course." he said before he shifted some on the wall as he flipped back a few pages on the book before glancing down a couple paragraphs before he began quoting from the book, or so it would seem anyways.

 

"A few centuries ago, back when King Harald IV ruled, who was known as a tyrant of a King, what was to be his successor, Prince Lenar, was accused of treason and attempted murder. You see, Herald didn't like his son, Lenar, despite being his father. Lenar didn't really wish to become Prince much like you Sairek.

He was a bit older but still a young man. His father during a feast purposely had one of his servants dip poison into his own food, but kept the amount of poison very minimal so it wouldn't kill him. When the servants found out that there was poison in his food, Herald accused his son, saying he was trying to have him killed so he could take the throne. And thus, a trial was taken.

"Now, trials worked very differently back then compared to today. Peoples' fates were often determined by the Gods. There would be two bags. One bag held a grape. In one bag, the grape was white. Picking that grape from the bag would mean that you was innocent. In the other bag, the grape was black. Picking that grape would mean that you were guilty of the crime. And you would then be executed."

 

"Yeesh..." Sairek muttered. quietly. "But... if he was innocent, he'd pick the white grape anyways, wouldn't he?"

 

"The King before the trial commenced rigged it. Instead of there being a white grape and a black grape, he put a black grape in both bags and kept a white grape out. This way no matter which bag he chose, he would be looked upon as being guilty for trying to poison the King.

The Prince figured the King would try to do something considering their relationship with each other. So when he was asked to pick a bag, instead of just taking the grape out and holding it out for everyone to see. He quickly took the grape out, put it in his mouth and ate it."

 

Sairek blinked in surprise. "He shoved the grape in his mouth so nobody could see it was a black grape?"

 

Cyial nodded. "The people were outraged at first. The King was furious knowing his plan was foiled, and he offered to reset the trial. But the Prince knowing what was up said 'Sorry, I thought I was supposed to eat the grape. But if it was the white grape, then the grape in the other bag should be black. And if I ate a black grape, then the grape in the bag should be white, and that will decide whether I am guilty or innocent.' So everyone agreed. And sure enough, when they checked the other bag, there was a black grape in it. And so, the Prince effectively avoided a certain execution."

 

Sairek mulled over the story for a little bit before muttering "Wow... good fast thinking."

 

Cyial smiled. "It's based on an apparently true story, you know. Something like that did happen."

 

"Oh, really?" Sairek asked in interest. "I've read lots of stories, but I don't recall ever hearing that one. Especially stories based on royalty."

 

"It's a rather old one that's beginning to become rather forgotten." Cyial replied. "Father Abbot told me it once a few years ago. I was happy to read it again in this book."

 

With that, Cyial soon let out a yawn, blinking his eyes and Sairek smiled. "I guess I'll take it over from here, if you want Cyial."

 

"Hm... alright. I normally don't feel tired so quickly but I guess today I've pushed myself quite a bit... by the morning I should be able to take this bandage off."

 

"Already, so soon?" Sairek inquired in an unsure tone.

 

"I'm a Demon." Cyial reminded him and Sairek soon rolled his eyes.

 

"That's your response to almost everything, is it?"

 

Cyial shrugged. "Just saying, is all... by the way, do you want to read the book yourself while you take watch? It may keep you entertained."

 

"Thanks, but like I said, I can't read it when it's this dark. I doubt I'll be able to do much reading on any other nights we're outside and at an Inn my time would be best sleeping and getting rest. I wouldn't mind you telling my the story on how things go in it now and then though."

 

"Alright, I see." Cyial said as he picked up his spell book from the ground and crawled his way to the sleeping bag Sairek himself had only momentarily been in and slipping himself inside as he set the two books beside him.

 

"Good night Sairek."

 

"Night, Cyial. Sleep well."

 

The two didn't speak anymore after that. Sairek listened to Cyial's breathing to eventually even out after a few minutes.

 

Sairek quickly became bored before fifteen minutes had passed. This was the first time he had to actually stay up and keep watch. He had nothing to keep himself occupied with other than his own thoughts, which were doing nothing but troubling him as of late. He needed to think of solutions to his problems; not of the problems themselves.

 

Instead of thinking about either of those two, his mind opted to think about the previous day. Or previous two days maybe, back when the Necromancer made his first "action" to announce himself. He thought both the two succubi and the incubus that was with them. They had said that the Abbot was after him. He never understood why they would have said such a thing. Were they just that hysterical? Or were they seeing things that he couldn't see? The Abbot couldn't be the Necromancer. Cyial himself seemed to have had a history for possibly most if not all of his life with the Abbot. If the Abbot was really after him, he was just the next town over. Surely the Abbot could have done something. And then finally, how ironic would it be that the Necromancer would disguise himself as an Abbot and work at a monastery? The Abbot even told him limitations Necromancers had. If he was after him, why would he hinder his progress telling him his weaknesses?

 

He himself, was beginning to seemingly have visions while the other two apparently were not. He wondered if that was because Nayleen wasn't inept in magic at all to really get any and Cyial never got them because he was a demon. Or maybe it was unique to just him? His jewel seemed to have somehow be a key to triggering the responses; unless he just happened to call upon the power of his mother's jewel at the right time and it was just by pure luck he had a vision at that moment.

 

He wondered what he had seen, or more specifically why. What did it mean having the Necromancer put his hand through his chest? What did it mean? Was it simply a warning, or a death threat?

 

Sairek shook his head annoyed. Why did he bother to think such things? He was frustrated to have no answer but even if he could come up with a reasonable answer himself, how would he know it was the right one with so little information, so many holes and a large lack of understanding?

 

Instead he tried to think of what they should do about the mines and the soldiers who have apparently gone on strike, or at most have completely rebelled. But he knew so little of that too, that his mind was blank of ideas until he just sighed and gave up, slumping his form against the wall.

 

He had nothing to do but wait for time to crawl on forwards for a few hours. And nothing but try to pay attention to his surroundings was what he did. Every so often he had to pop outside to check the sky to see where the moon was shining. He figured he'd wait until it was around two-o-clock in the morning before he'd wake Nayleen. That would have him awake for four hours. Between all of them, since at least they went to bed together, that would have left them each four hours of watch time and eight hours of sleep between all of them together.

 

When eventually four hours did manage to crawl by, he was almost elated he could get back to sleep and have Nayleen take over. He moved over beside her and gently shook her to get her up. Nayleen rolled over to her side, still fast asleep.


Sairek sighed, holding his face in his gloved left hand. Eventually removing his hand from his face, he began shaking Nayleen again, less gently. This time she began to stir until Sairek saw her eyes popped open and she sat up in a gasp, staring at Sairek wide-eyed.

 

"Um..." Sairek began as she just blinked, looking around, confused before looking upon Sairek and soon letting out a sigh. Sairek cocked his head slightly to the side in question as he sat on his knees. "Is everything alright?" he asked.

 

"Ah, yeah yeah. Just had a bad dream, I think." she replied.

 

"A nightmare?" Sairek asked as he straightened his head back.

 

"No, I don't think it was really a nightmare. Just a bad dream. I can't even really recall much about it to be honest. It's kind of hazy."

 

"Don't dwell on it I guess. I can't even remember any of my dreams I have." Sairek replied.

 

"What about the one you had before we arrived at this town?" Nayleen asked him. Sairek frowned as he recalled that his reaction was almost the same as Nayleen's. His right hand rose up and wrapped around his mothers' jewel that tied his hood together as he spoke while thinking about it. "Just like you, I can't remember even the slightest detail, other than I woke up feeling kind of frightened. Or at least uncomfortable on the inside like I had been scared. Maybe it may be better not to know, but I wish I knew what I had dreamt about to make me feel that way."

 

Nayleen shrugged, sitting herself fully up now. She looked out of the doorway, although all she'd most likely to be able to see is nothing but darkness. Before long, she looked back towards Sairek. "Well, I guess it's my turn to take watch now, since you woke me up right?"

 

Sairek nodded, as she soon slipped herself out of the sleeping bag, standing up, she stretched. Sairek winced a few times as when she stretched, a few pops and cracks were heard. The sound made Cyial shift a bit in his sleep.

 

"Is that really necessary...?" Sairek mumbled as he watched Nayleen rolling her right arm around in circles.

 

"What? Laying on the ground a lot will make you stiff. It's good to make a few cracks and pops here and there. Just don't do it too much." Nayleen said to him, which caused the Prince to just roll his eyes as he crawled himself inside of the sleeping bag, replying only with a "See you in the morning, Nayleen..."

 

Sairek lay his head down and closed his eyes. And despite the fact the sleeping bag was no where near as comfortable as his bed should have been, his still lingering fatigue and exhausted body made it seem differently. More and more did he drift, and was almost there until a loud scream filled his ears and his eyes opened instantly and he sat up straight. It was a female's voice, but it certainly didn't sound like Nayleens'. It didn't even come from the room. Sairek looked to his right spotting Nayleen there, who was staring back at him.

 

"What was that?" he asked.

 

"I don't know." she replied.

 

Not even a second later a second scream echoed through the night air. It sounded outside the building for sure. As if signalled, both of them begun to stand up. Sairek then looked down at the floor though and saw Cyial still asleep. Apparently not hearing the scream in his slumber, or at least unable to comprehend it.

 

"We can't leave him here alone." Nayleen told him as if she had read his mind. Sairek bent back down, shaking the other boy franticly. Sairek knew he was awake when the crimson eyes that glowed began staring back at him. Despite being shaken awake, Cyial appeared to be absolutely calm and soon began to yawn.

 

"Cyial, get up, hurry. Trouble is happening outside." Sairek said urgently. Cyial's body seemed to have stiffened at hearing that and sat up straighter, but Sairek gave the demon boy not much time to get himself up. He was already scrambling over for his staff. When he turned around, Nayleen already had her knives sheathed at her sides, whilst Cyial was scrambling up with his pair of books in hand, quickly stuffing the story inside of his robes.

 

Being closest to the door, Nayleen strode out first, followed by Cyial and than Sairek as they moved their way out of the ruined building and sprinted around it. In the darkness under the setting full moon, he spotted two small figures standing not far from where they were staying. Both figures were huddled together.

 

"What's wrong? What's happened?!" Sairek called out to them as the trio got closer, eventually skidding to a stop when they reached the two figures, who were both girls, looking only about Cyial's age. The trio breathed heavy from their hard sprint as one of the girls pointed upwards.

 

"There... There was..." she began.

 

"There was a what?" Nayleen urged, but in a calm voice.

 

"A bat..." the other one finished.

 

The other three looked at each other before Nayleen ran her fingers through her hair before huffing in frustration. "You three were screaming and waking the town up over a stupid bat...? You two are twisting my melon here! I thought there was a flipping murder scene going on!"

 

"Nayleen, calm down..." Cyial tried to reason. Sairek took a single step away from Nayleen before looking at the two girls. "What are you two doing out at such an hour anyways?"

 

"Looking for food..." one of them mumbled.

 

"It was a weird looking bat!" The other girl soon shouted out, arguing with Nayleen, who looked very unamused and only stared at the girl with a dull look with her arms crossed. "Oh yeah? How creepy can a bat get?" Nayleen muttered at the girl.

 

"Well, it was big. And it had bat wings, but it was a skull!"

 

All three of them suddenly tensed as Sairek and Nayleen glanced at each other.

 

"That sounds like the Skull-bats you were talking to me about when we were going through the cave yesterday..." Sairek muttered.

 

Nayleen glanced back to the girl. "Did it make a sort of rattling sound as it flew around?"

 

"Yes, it sounded so of like... " she said.

 

"...That's a good impression." Nayleen said blinking.

 

"It wasn't me." the girl soon responded, before the pair of them soon shrieked again and began stepping back.

 

Sairek, Nayleen and Cyial turned around at once as they saw the faint form of a skull with bat wings swooping down at them, clattering its jaw. It was heading straight for Sairek, who soon readied his staff in preparation, but before he could do anything, Nayleen soon jumped right in front of him. Rearing her fist back, she let out a "HIYAH!" and threw her fist out, punching the Skull-bat right in the middle, which the thing exploded into pieces and its wings floated down to the floor. Nayleen dropped her fist back as Sairek stood dumb-founded at her.

 

"I... er... good... job..." He merely muttered as she turned around to face both he and Cyial, but moved her head to look at Sairek.

 

"This can be a major problem, Sairek." Nayleen soon responded sternly. Sairek lowered his staff to the ground raising his eyebrow at her in a questioning manner. Seeing that he was waiting for an explanation, she continued. "I don't think that Skull-Bat came from that cave we were in. That would be quite a distance for even them. And I never mentioned it, but I guess it's pretty obvious that they are in fact a manifestation of the undead..."

 

"You mean that..." Cyial began, as Nayleen glanced at him. Sairek needed to think it over for a couple of seconds but soon the expression of realization washed over onto his face. "You're saying that... Dandoran's mines may now also be infested with undead now too...?" Sairek uttered.

 

"Exactly." Nayleen replied.

 

"...S**t..." Sairek cursed angrily. Before glancing at the two girls who were watching the three discuss. He figured he couldn't just let them discuss this.

 

"I know you two are hungry, but it'd be best for you two to head on home. It's dangerous outside at night. Hurry along now. If you must go foraging for food, please do it after it's light out so it is not dangerous anymore." Sairek raised his left hand up, with his index finger out. "If you both do as you are asked, I'll give you something of mine to you and your households. Okay?"

 

"...But I'm hungry no--" one of them began to say before the other one shushed her.

 

"Okay!" She said before beginning to drag her friend off. Sairek sighed as Nayleen just shook her head and Cyial just shrugged.

 

"Now they're splitting my melon..." Sairek muttered before glancing at the broken pieces of the Skull-Bat Nayleen had smashed.

 

"What are we going to do?" Cyial questioned. "If there are undead leaking out of the mines, they could start attacking people in the town, Sairek..."

 

"I know..." Sairek groaned. He didn't want to do this now. He was still completely exhausted.

 

"You still need rest, don't you...?" Cyial soon mumbled. Sairek nodded as he pressed his left gloved fingers against his head. "You don't know how much my head is pounding right now... this lack of rest is going to start killing me if it continues..." he muttered.

 

"Well, we can't rest if the town isn't safe." Nayleen tried to reason with the Prince. "The people doing something I wasn't too concerned about, although still in the back of my mind admittedly. But with undead this close, I am not so sure resting is even an option, Sairek."

 

Sairek kept his fingers pressed into his head as he tried to think of a temporary solution.

 

"...What if I sealed the entrance off, for now...?" Sairek soon suggested after a moments time.

 

"...Sealed it off?" Nayleen questioned as she shifted where she stood. "How so?"

 

"I'll just put a wall of dirt in front of the entrance." Sairek explained as he dropped his hand from his head to his side. "Then they can't get in the town."

 

"But... aren't there people inside the mines too? If you closed off the mines, you would close off them as well." Nayleen reminded him.

 

"...D****t..." Sairek muttered.

 

"Not necessarily so." Cyial soon joined in. "Sairek may not be able to wall off the undead that way, but I can wall them out, without blocking off any potential survivors who may be inside."

 

"Really? How so?" Sairek asked.

 

"I can work specific Yggdrasil magic. All you need to do to wall off the undead is have a thick wall of Ethereal energy." Cyial explained to Sairek. "In other words, Ralopa."

 

"I thought Ralopa was meant for deflecting and reflecting attacks?" Sairek asked, pulling his staff closer to his middle as he let both hands loosely grip the weapon.

 

Cyial shifted his body to face Sairek as he hugged his leather book to his chest. "All ethereal barriers are used for that, but they can be used to ward demons and the undead away as well. Ralopa is more or less, a wall of Ethereal that can simply be stretched and bent. In most cases, I make it a small sphere and then bend it towards the person I wish to protect from an attack. I can make it to block off the entrance."

 

"I see..." Sairek commented, but then Nayleen spoke up. "But wouldn't that tire you out, keep it up like that?"

 

Cyial grinned a little bit as if pleased Nayleen asked the question. "To a human, it might. But Ethereal in my body being released would be more of a relief than it would be stressful. Manipulating Ethereal like that to create a small shape is simple. Admittedly blocking off the entrance is a bit harder, but it is mostly trying to keep the shape together while it is under pressure is what makes most casters of the spell exhausted. It's like mentally pushing something with your mind that is pushing against you."

 

"If you are sure that it won't burden you Cyial, then go ahead. We'll follow you, then after that we'll go and finish our resting."

 

Cyial nodded, almost as if excited, he began jogging ahead towards the mines of the entrance, the succubus's tail flicking behind him. Nayleen and Sairek followed after in a walking pace. When Cyial was far out of distance, Sairek heard Nayleen beginning to whisper to him.

 

"If there are survivors inside the mines... isn't the sooner we get in there, the better?" she asked in a hushed voice.

 

"I'll be frank, Nayleen," Sairek began. "I don't think there are any."

 

"But..." she started, but trailed off. Sairek assumed she probably agreed with him but still clung onto a small possibility.

 

"It's been days as that older couple had said that anyone that went in there has come out. You've saw yourself how ruthless and dangerous the undead can be. Even if the undead were not of a problem, they would have starved in there by now. I don't think there is anybody alive in there."

 

"Then why are we going to go through the mines if you don't think there's any one worth saving inside?" Nayleen soon asked him in a tense voice.

 

"I admit I don't really know the landscape of my own kingdom very well. However, I am supposed to know the matters of what is happening in each of my towns. The mines main purpose is indeed to be a mine, which was generally used to transport stone from here to Lamen. However... it goes through several mountains. It can be used as a nice shortcut as well."

 

"A shortcut? To where?" Nayleen asked him with a raised eyebrow.

 

"To Cilhde." Sairek answered, pointing to the south, where was tall canyonous walls surrounded the town, as Dandoran was built at the base of a mountain. "There's a lot of mountains in that direction, but that is where Cilhde is. Cearestes' landscape doesn't really offer much in the direction one can go to go from place A to place B. Almost all shortcuts have to be taken via cave systems, unless you feel like scaling mountains. But then the journey would take longer, be more exhausting, and it's rare it'd be much of a shortcut if one at all. The mines can dig under this mountain and we can pop out of the mines to the otherside. After that, we will only have to walk through a small valley in order to get to Cilhde."

 

Nayleen crossed her arms as she thought. "...That reminds me, I never really told you what kind of direction we need to travel in, did I? I just told you we need to get to Kior..."

 

"You've been leading us south west most of the entire time. I'm not up in my knowledge of geography, but I still know some things." Sairek commented.

 

By now, they had reached the steps of the mines, where Cyial stood on top of the steps, waiting for them. Sairek and Nayleen both climbed them to meet up with the demon child.

 

"Is right here okay?" Cyial asked Sairek. Who thought for a moment.

 

"I'd do it a bit inside of the mines. I don't think the town besides those two girls really know there there is even any undead present inside the mines. The further we lay the wall, the less chance of people noticing for now and accidentally stumbling upon the undead. For now I'd like to keep the situation hidden. These people already have enough on their hands, I don't want to give them anything else to think about. I'll inform the soldiers of Cilhde what's wrong and to--"

 

"I'm sorry," Cyial interrupted suddenly. "But Cilhde? We're going there?"

 

"Oh right, I'll explain later when we get back to the house. But yes we're going there." Sairek explained with a wave of his hand before going back to the topic at hand. "Anyways, once we get there I'll get a scout to send a message to my father about the situation of the undead being here. As well as the undead in the forest, I just hope we're not too late in relaying the message about that, if he hasn't gotten word already... there is no way we can clear the undead from the mines here by just ourselves. It was difficult enough just getting through the cave and forest, and our encounters were rather sparce..."

 

"I understand." Cyial said before glancing inside the entrance. Sairek stepped forward, holding his left hand near his staff as he spoke out the magical word 'balinzer', lighting the head of his staff in flame which illuminated the way a bit. The trio walked forwards into a the tunnel of the mines, staying close together. Sairek lead the way with his light as the three took a left turn together.

 

"How far are we going in?" Nayleen asked Sairek.

 

"Until the first fork of turns. I assume there's going to be some somewhere." He answered.

 

"Mind you Sairek," Cyial began, "...the further away I am from the spell, the more strain it will put on me. Some distance isn't hard to handle but too much, I will have no choice but to retract the spell.

 

"Don't worry. As far as I am away the forks are not too far apart. It's a bit of a walk but the tunnel if I remember correctly sort of loops back around a bit." Sairek explained, and as if in cue, the turns became a tight right turn, from where they were walking in the southwards direction before, they had turned around to where they were walking to northwards. The mines themselves looked rather bland. Just grey smooth stone on the floor they walked on, and the ceiling, with wooden supports along the walls to make sure the stone did not collapse in. The tunnel was actually surprisingly wide and large, at least eight feet each.

 

Before too long, the tunnel opened up quickly, almost into a square like room with two forks to go. One was forward, while the other was to their left.

 

"Here is where we will set up the barrier to keep the undead out." Sairek commented, as he tapped his staff on his right side of the wall gently. "The entrance is just beyond this wall here, so it shouldn't put too much distance between you and the spell, if only by a few feet."

 

"I see." Cyial said with a nod of his head, opening his book as he turned to a bookmarked page with just a couple flicks with his gloves fingers. He held the book in his right hand as he held his left hand out. A look of concentration was on his face before he soon let out the word "Ralopa!"

 

Sairek didn't really notice anything in the thin light of his own balinzer spell. But as he stared in front of the entrance to the room, now and then he could make out a faint shine or glimmer that seemed to float in the air; almost like seeing the shine on a thread of spider silk. Cyial soon let out a breath, dropping his left hand as he closed his book and clung it back towards his chest.

 

"Are you sure this will keep the undead out?" Sairek heard Nayleen ask Cyial, whom nodded. "Unless there's something else that isn't demon or undead, or we have something like another Wyvern or like that cramped inside these mines, then it should keep any threat out of the town and in turn keep us safe."

 

"Okay, I'll take your word for it." Nayleen said as she interlaced her hands behind her head. "Well, we're done here. Let's head back so you two can get some sleep."

 

"Well, I didn't mention it, but I can't sleep while keeping the spell up..." Cyial mumbled, as if he had just been caught in a lie. Sairek glanced at Nayleen, who gave Cyial a dull stare.

 

"You left that out on purpose, didn't you?" Nayleen muttered.

 

"Really... it's not much of a problem. I don't need as much sleep as both of you two do..." Cyial said in a shy kind of why. Nayleen began to lean over the small Acolyte.

 

"No, you need just as much sleep as we need so that way you are well rested!"

 

"Not to intrude Nayleen..." Sairek began, "... but on the very first night you--"

 

"I did nothing." She shot back at him with a glare. Sairek stepped back in response, but not before muttering: "That's exactly the problem..."

 

"But Nayleen..." Cyial started in protest. "If I don't do this then nobody would be able to sleep and the entire town could be in danger. At least this way you two and the rest of the town will be safer for at least the rest of the night..."

 

"He has a point, you know." Sairek commented to Nayleen who just sighed, before muttering "Whatever," and began storming off back towards the entrance.

 

Sairek sighed when she went out of earshot distance. "Why is she such a handful...?" he muttered to nobody in particular. He heard Cyial speak up though. "I think she's getting... getting... um..." Sairek glanced at the small boy as he stared at the floor, apparently trying to think up a word to describe it, but he soon just shook his head. "I don't know the word for it. But I think she's feeling useless..."

 

"What? What do you mean?" Sairek asked, literally surprised Cyial thought this.

 

"You and I are making sacrifices, but Nayleen hasn't... well, I don't think she feels like she is contributing much."

 

"That's nonsense. She's helped me a bunch of times already. She helped evenly at Lamen against that bunch who kidnapped me. She helped guide us through the forest to get to the cave... and that was just after meeting you, let alone prior to that, she's saved me even more times."

 

"I didn't say she hasn't done much, but I don't think she feels that way." Cyial reminded him.

 

Sairek began walking forward, motioning with his left hand to Cyial to do the same so they weren't left too far behind Nayleen. Sairek spoke as they walked. "If she does feel like that, all we have to do is remind her. Then again, Nayleen being Nayleen, that may sound easier said than it is to be done..." he muttered.

 

"It could be another reason -- I uh... nevermind..." Cyial sheepishly said. Sairek looked at Cyial who's face was now tinted red, even despite the orange glow of his balinzer spell.

 

"What?" Sairek urged on with a quirk of his eyebrow.

 

"Nothing..." the Demon boy muttered.

 

"What?" Sairek said again in a sterner voice. Soon Cyial sighed and caved in.

 

"She's... um... of that point of age where girls can be... there are times at her age where... well there's points where she..." Cyial winced and looked away from Sairek, hoping he didn't need to continue anymore.

 

Sairek's face turned a bit red. "You really... think so?"

 

 

"Really think what?"

 

 

Both Cyial and Sairek jumped as Nayleen stood there, her hands on her hips as she looked at the two. They were at the bend in the tunnel.

 

"That... I... uh... that blue is an excellent color...! Right Cyial?" Sairek stuttered.

 

"...Yeah. It really is..." Cyial soon said after a hint of hesitation.

 

Nayleen squinted her eyes at the both of them.

 

"I'm keeping my eyes on the both of you from now on, I think..."

 

Sairek rubbed the back of his head with his glove as he glanced at Cyial, who could only shrug in response.

 

 

 

 



© 2013 Sairek Ceareste


Author's Note

Sairek Ceareste
Last updated [March 05, 2013]

Changelog:

- The entire chapter has been completely scrapped and changed. The whole, entire chapter, every bit of text, dialogue, and even name is different.

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Added on April 12, 2012
Last Updated on March 11, 2013