Thirty-two

Thirty-two

A Chapter by Isemay

Kwes managed to sit up somewhat to look incredulously at Syreilla as Odos broke into laughter. 


“If you can make Lady Rook promise to spare people her dragon’s fire, Edun, you’ve just become a very important person in the world!” The old man was grinning and the woman with him looked relieved.


“Edun…” She held out her hand and the boy went to her. 


It looked as if they were speaking quietly as they walked slowly back to the house. Odos, however, was loud, “Help me get your brother down, a little bit of walking might do him some good. Mylena will let us stay the night as long as you stay outside, Rook.”


“I can do that. The horses that belonged to his father and brother stay here as do all of the money and food we took-”


“All of it?!” Kwes steadied himself on Odos as his feet hit the ground and he wished he were well enough to scramble out of the way of his sister’s icy glare.


“All of it. You’ll have an easier time getting more than they will, my little magpie.” Odos smiled faintly. “Though your sister may look in on them.”


“I’m not allowed,” Syreilla’s pained murmur seemed to take the older man by surprise. She gave a jerk of her chin toward Kwes and offered him her arm, “Uncle said that’s how your fledglings were found. He may have been put in danger already.”


“I have an idea to help with that. I’ll need your brother to help me spin a tale of you trying to convince Uncle to let us travel across the doorstep and failing.”


“And me calling for Vezar to see if he could argue on my behalf?” She smiled ruefully. “Someone will need to tell Edun not to argue about it.”


“I’ll send him out to talk to you, he can bring your dinner out.” Odos gave her a peculiar smile, “Do you think you can pretend to be out of sorts for the rest of the journey?”


“What do you mean ‘pretend’, old man?” She gave him a sour look but Kwes saw a small spark of mischief in her eyes.


“Try to do better than that, Syreilla.” He couldn’t keep the grin from his face as her mouth dropped open.


“Your Magpie is trying to provoke me, old man. Did I ever tell you about Galot?”


“No, but I thought it was odd that he was suddenly a very quiet, polite man after you agreed to discuss a job privately with him.”


“I don’t think he ever looked in my direction after that. He never walked quite right again either.” Syreilla narrowed her eyes as she gave him a tight smile, “Don’t try to provoke me. The only thing you’ll gain from succeeding is a limp and nightmares. The only reason you won’t get worse is that you’re my brother.”


“Why don’t you start sorting things, I’ll send Grimgrip to help you.”


Syreilla squeezed Kwes’ arm before she turned back and as they made their way to the house he couldn’t help but ask the old man, “She was bluffing wasn’t she? She wouldn’t actually…” 


“With my rooks it’s hard to tell.” Odos smiled faintly, “It’s best not to provoke her.”


Inside the small house, Kwes took a seat in a relatively comfortable chair by the hearth and nodded at Cyran as the man came in with an armload of wood. Odos went to find Mylena.


“How are you feeling?” The priest frowned slightly at the way he was holding his belly.


“I’ll be fine, I think.” Putting on a wan smile he decided to start their lies a little early. “Syreilla was worried too. Despite what Master Odos said she tried to arrange for us to shorten our journey. I briefly met her friend Vezar. I expected something more… impressive somehow.”


“She summoned him?” Cyran’s eyes widened, “How?”


“He comes when she calls.” Odos came into the room with Edun, “Ask Master Grimgrip to help you and Lady Rook with the sorting.” The boy left and the old man smiled faintly, “She goes if he calls for her as well, she said. She’s on Uncle’s bad side but she doesn’t want harm to come to Vezar.”


“I would refuse to cross into his realm, I…” Cyran shook his head, “He may not be what I have thought him to be but…” 


“Unless you’re a little mad like my rooks, or have no concept of mortality, the thought of going through that doorway strikes fear into your heart. It’s why she held the door open and let Mylena stare through it as she threatened to set her alight and kick her inside. Part of her scolding for that from Uncle was a refusal to allow us to pass. He wasn’t inclined in the first place but she’s treated the door and the threshold like her own personal shortcut before. 


“I imagine he’s regretting giving her the ability to open it.”


“He cannot take it from her?” Cyran knelt and began to feed the fire.


“No, she wouldn’t be able to help Vezar if he did. But he’s strong enough in comparison that he can toss her back out if she steps inside. I think she charms him and provokes him in turn.”


Kwes shook his head and gave a small laugh, “I love her but I think I want to spend the rest of my life as far from her as I can once this journey is done. I may just spend some time relaxing at The Bent Elf.”


The priest’s huff of disapproval and disgust put a grin on his face. 


“The two of you would benefit from some time there being rubbed and with a few of the girls bathing you. It might get the sticks-” He held his stomach as he started to laugh at the man’s hurried departure.


From the doorway, Cyran sourly asked, “Are all of your birds so,” he paused as if hunting for the word.


“Infuriating? Challenging? Offensive?” Odos offered in an innocent tone, “They’ve all been called worse, nephew, and deserved every word.”


“Lady Rook, at least, doesn’t tolerate such iniquity.” 


“If you approve of that terrible woman perhaps you should stay outside with her.” Mylena inched slowly past the priest in the doorway with a look of distaste on her face.


“She can be frightening, but she has a good heart.” Cyran frowned. “She does not tolerate-”


“Neither do I.” She pointed to the door, drawing herself up.


The man turned to leave with an accusingly disappointed look to Odos.


“Cyran?” The old man waited until he turned again, “Speaking of iniquity, I advise you not to do any praying. It would do more harm than good.” 


The priest frowned and went through the door and out of sight.


“All of your husband’s things and probably a bit more will be left here for you.” Odos settled into another chair. “All of the money we took from the bandits, all of the food we took from them, as well as the goods.”


“What about,” Mylena took a deep breath, “about their bodies?”


“You’d need to ask Lady Rook if she can make inquiries about them. I don’t advise going to where we left the remains of the bandits, what she did to them will give you nightmares.”


The woman shuddered.


“In her defense,” Kwes spoke up with a careful tone, “They did try to murder me and she takes that sort of thing personally.”


“If you’re her brother…” Mylena looked him over nervously.


“He’s mortal, blessed with luck and quick wits by their divine father but she inherited a bit more.”


“Ah.” The woman relaxed. “Her father should have looked after her better if she was so mistreated as a child.”


At the way Odos, face hardened, Kwes spoke up, “He’s heard that quite a bit, I think. He’s done much better since, in looking in on his children, and who would expect a mother to discard her child. Much less a child so lovely and delicate as Lady Rook must have been.”


Mylena folded her arms and looked at the floor before nodding. “I’ll have Edun ask her. I think she’d do anything for him.”


“She has a tender heart and children touch it in a way no one else can.” Odos rubbed his temples. “We should get things ready so that we can rest after dinner.”


“You can rest now, old men shouldn’t be running around like this. You should be in a warm house with your children and grandchildren letting them take care of you.” She huffed and then eyed Kwes as Edun and Grimgrip came in carrying sacks, “If you weren’t injured I’d put you to work.”



© 2021 Isemay


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Added on January 30, 2021
Last Updated on January 30, 2021
Tags: thief, dwarf, elf, dragon, gods

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Isemay
Isemay

Germany



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Spent some time away from here but I've come back to peek in and post again! Review my writing and I will gladly return the favor! I love reading other people's stories, and I try to review hone.. more..

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A Chapter by Isemay


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