Chapter 20

Chapter 20

A Chapter by Isemay

Kaduil watched his Syreilla riding off with the elves with a sick feeling in his stomach. She had everyone laughing with her little tricks to antagonize the elves but he’d seen her face when she’d woken him. Golden-haired Syr wore her defiant charm like a mask. As far as he could tell the mine was the only place she let it slip.

Batran stood next to him while the others went back about their business. “That little show with the manacles was for you. She doesn’t want you to worry.”

“I should be going with her, Batran. Syr-”

“Syr can take care of herself. I sent a few things with her so she doesn’t starve. She’d probably eat the horse before she tried their elvish food.” He clapped Kaduil on the back. “Did you get any sleep last night?”

He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth, he wouldn’t be staying up with Syr again for a long while and the thought made his throat close up. Shaking his head, he cleared his throat and swallowed against the painful tightness. “No.”

“Go get some rest, no one will fault you for-”

“No. I need to work.” It wouldn’t be enough to clear his mind but he couldn’t sit in their bedroom and think about his golden wife off with elves. Off hunting a monster that wanted to steal her.

The heat of the forge and the ring of the hammers called to him. He went back to steel, not the gold Batran had been encouraging him to work with. Steel felt right. Solid and strong. They needed swords to sell and Kaduil set to work, pouring his energy and focus into the metal. By the end of the day, he had a rough forged weapon that needed cleaning up. Batran sent him home before he could set to work on that.

Home was where she was supposed to be. Kaduil went below to her bath and washed before he trudged up the stairs toward their bed. Batran was waiting in the main room.

“She asked me if I’d ever made door locks.” Kaduil frowned at him holding his wadded clothing in front of himself.

Barking a laugh, Batran pointed at a cloth covered tray on the table. “I brought something for you, you haven’t eaten all day. Syr will give us both a kicking if she comes home to you having starved yourself sick.”

He nodded. “She should have stayed Batran. They could find Vezar some other way. She wanted to stay.”

“I know. But he needs to be found quickly, and Olthon says if she can be convinced to turn on him the bonds might be broken even if they can’t kill him.” Batran looked apologetic. “I want her free of that thing, Kaduil. You didn’t see the way he looked at her, or the way she seemed to be in a haze around him.”

“I saw the way she needed to get to him, she couldn’t let him be alone. But the more she was with me the weaker it got. Syr was herself this morning. She should have stayed.”

“Go get your clothes on, I’ll sit with you while you eat.” Batran looked at him the same concerned way he’d looked at Syr.

Walking heavily up the stairs, Kaduil pulled on clean clothes. The memory of his golden-haired wife in his shirt and nothing else was as strong as the memory of her bent over the bed and begging him not to stop. He wouldn’t be able to sleep in the bed tonight.

Heading back down to eat he was surprised by the sight of Batran holding one of her little glass figurines. The dwarf looked up and smiled grimly, “She’s so fond of these little things. She liked seeing them here?”

“She said you were probably right that she’d say yes eventually. Her worry was that she’d be a horrible wife she’s afraid she can’t stay in the mine as much as I would want.”

“I thought as much, anyone who saw her watching you knew she adored you.” Batran set the piece down carefully. “Eat. I’m not staying here all night to mother you.”

Kaduil snorted. “Good.” Once he started eating he was surprised to find he was hungry. He polished off the roasted goat and mushrooms, the heaps of soft roasted vegetables well spiced, and the stone bread. Syr just called it dwarf bread, that she had a taste for it was a source of amusement in the mine.

After the meal, and after Batran had left, Kaduil changed his mind about sleeping in the bed. Syreilla would be back, and she would be coming and going. He needed to get used to sleeping there alone again on some nights. Pulling her pillow close he sighed and fell into a restless sleep.

Morning found him out of sorts and still tired. Breakfast was not going to be brought to him like an invalid, not unless Syreilla was fetching it. He dressed and went to fetch his own food. Steaming kave helped to wake him and put him back into a better mood.

Kaduil went back to work and remembered to stop for the midday meal, which earned him some ribbing. He was trading barbs with another smith when word of someone using Syreilla’s name came down to him. A man from Riken’s Run.

There was no keeping something like that quiet after the way she’d left. Kaduil wanted to speak to the man himself, if she sent him he might have a message. He was stopped at the door to the visitor’s waiting rooms.

“Mordaeg says you have to wait, I’m sorry Kaduil.” Throkil shook his head.

“Why? I want to ask if he has a message from Syr.” At the look on Throkil’s face, Kaduil had a sinking feeling the man had some sort of news that they wanted to keep from him. “Has something happened to Syr?”

“You have to wait.” The dwarf didn’t want to meet his eyes and Kaduil began to curse loudly. The door opened cutting him off.

“Get in here, he says he has something to tell you, Kaduil.” Batran looked incensed.

He barged ahead, the nervous looking human stood as he entered. “You have a message from my wife? Syreilla?”

“She’ll come back as soon as she can. The girl wanted me to smuggle her back to the mine, said she’d take the hiding Batran’d give her without a second thought.”

If she’d asked to be smuggled back something had gone wrong. The elves had done something. “What happened? Is my wife safe?”

“She didn’t want me to carry that message to you, she wanted you to stay safe in the mine. The elves caught up to her again I’d imagine, I don’t know if she’s safe.”

His heart was pounding and he looked at Batran, he’d shake the answer out of him if he had to. He realized the fury on Batran’s face hadn’t faded. “What did they do?”

“One of them struck her and she says Olthon is pulling at her threads like Vezar. She needed me to know the elves aren’t trustworthy. Syr attacked them with magic to get away but… they’re elves I doubt she can fend off four at once.”

“I’m going to get my wife.” Kaduil could feel the hard knot forming in his belly.

“She didn’t want that, she said you’ll bring your axe to plant in someone’s head and get killed. The girl obviously cares for you, the way she touched that knife…”  The man was apologetic.

“I’m going to bring my wife home. Those beardless knife-eared tree-fuckers can find some other way to catch their quarry.” He stormed out, supplies, his axe, some armor, it didn’t matter that he didn’t know where she was exactly. Kaduil knew he could find her. She was going to come home.

By the time he’d gathered his things Kaduil found that Batran had arranged a short wagon and had it loaded with a box of travel rations and two dwarves of Clan Hammersworn with more experience in fighting to come with him. “She ran back up toward the road like she was trying to make her way back here,” Batran told him quietly as he was getting on the wagon and taking the reins. “They’ll probably be taking her down that road. When you catch up to her, tell her, tell she’s not going to get a hiding. Bring her straight back.”

“I will.” The elves would be traveling faster if Syreilla didn’t keep slowing them by trying to escape. But a group of elves and a troublemaker like his wife would be noticed. Kaduil set out at a brisk pace.

“We’ll find her quick enough. Syreilla’s known for her temper and her dirty tricks around Lew and Pale. There’ll be talk of her wherever she goes.” Weran was trying to be reassuring.

“He married her, he knows that. We want to try and get where they’ll be taking her so we’re not wandering lost finding places they’ve already been. Find Vezar and they’ll bring her.” Bafran insistently pointed out. “If she was sending someone to wait for her away from the mine, where would she send them? Pale?”

“Maybe. But she doesn’t like to go there by herself since they tried to put her on the block.” Kaduil wanted to keep going down the road to find her. Toward Brosa would get him that direction. “Maybe Brosa.”

“We’ll go to Pale first, to be sure. We know what horse he was riding at least.”

“He can change his face. The elves think they can’t find him without Syr. We should go after her.” Kaduil could feel something almost like a rope pulling him, he needed to go toward Brosa.

“The elves are going to be faster, Kaduil. We need to get ahead of them. Syr’s not going to take them straight to Vezar. She's going to lead them around by the nose. We can look for the horse in Pale and find out where the rider went.” Bafran was making sense, and as much as he wanted to go toward Brosa, he turned toward Pale when they finally came to the fork.

In Pale, asking after the horse and rider led them to The Good Queen and Miss Jenet. She was more than happy to send the dwarves to Brosa after the man who’d stolen away one of her better girls. They put their cart on the track from Pale to Brosa and followed them. Syr would head that way eventually.

Kaduil tried not to think about what might happen if she tried to get away from the elves again and he wasn’t there, following on the right road, to scoop her up and take her home.

© 2017 Isemay

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Added on December 27, 2017
Last Updated on December 27, 2017
Tags: thief, dwarf, elf, dragon, gods




Bitten by a writing bug! Review my writing and I will gladly return the favor! I love reading other people's stories, and I try to review honestly and give constructive criticism. I love receivi.. more..

Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Isemay

Chapter 2 Chapter 2

A Chapter by Isemay

Chapter 3 Chapter 3

A Chapter by Isemay