Wandering Through Terran–Chapter 14

January 15, 2010

The sappiest scene I’ve ever written with some revisions…

Link…

Chapter Fourteen: Falston’s Response

Where Some Issues are Settled…

Vera and her crew landed the airship immediately, met promptly be a carriage from the city. Riding back, the driver gave them a quick run through of what had happened closer to the city.

How did she summon a forest out of nowhere like that?” Vera asked. “I thought she was talking more… longterm when she said that the earth wanted a forest here.”

Her totem is of the forest,” O-Ren explained. “She gains power from them. Still… I would have thought that raising a forest like that was beyond her skills.”

One would think so,” Vera agreed. She turned back to the driver of the cart. “What’s happening now?”

The dwarves and the Council of War are discussing what to do now,” he said. “Reports indicate that battles are breaking out all over Terran. We’re the first one to turn back the advance, so the question is whether or not we want to send our men out to fight the goblins again.”

How many men does Falston have?” Vera asked.

A small army, only about five thousand on active duty. We have about ten thousand in reserve.”

So it isn’t likely you would send much of a large force anyway.”

Not entirely helpful for your cause, I know. But history has been favorable to us when we have lesser numbers.”

puup

The day’s debriefings and reports done, Eseen walked with Dayspring through the trees of the new Falston forest. The pair moved slowly, watching blossoms drift out from the branches. Their three bodyguards followed not far behind, silently keeping watch.

This is remarkable,” he said. He constantly stole glances at the mage, hoping she would not notice or be offended. “You must have considerable power to accomplish this.”

This was the power of the Earth Totem,” she corrected. She noticed his glances and made many of her own, hoping she was not being too forward with him. “No mage or wizard or sorceress has the power to make a forest grow out of nothing. I was merely a… intermediate. Such a feat won’t likely be seen again anytime soon.”

Looking at the girl as she seemed to glide along beside him, Dayspring noticed how much more comfortable she seemed as they moved through the trees. Up until now, she had seemed too caught up in the newness of her surroundings for her real nature to come out. In the sudden eruption of the forest, Eseen clearly was more in her element and at peace.

Regardless, this is quite an achievement,” he said. “You must be proud to be a part of it.”

She looked at him and smiled.

I am,” she said. “And thank you. I know mom asked you to watch after me. I know that must get kind of annoying, watching after a girl like me all the time.”

No,” he said. “It isn’t annoying at all. And even though you probably don’t really need it, you’re worth looking after.”

I’m glad I have you looking after me.”

They both blushed and looked away. Feeling stupid, neither knew what a good thing to say would be and for a long moment they were silent. After a moment, Eseen moved closer. She leaned in close, lowering her voice to a whisper.

Want to lose our chaperons?” she asked. “I can think of a number of reasons why we should misplace them.”

Do you think that’s a wise idea?” he whispered back. “Your father would be very displeased if we did so.”

Don’t worry. My parents both tend to overestimate the amount of protecting I need. Besides, my mother did ask you to watch over me, so technically all points of honor are satisfied.”

Dayspring nodded in agreement, not really wanting to argue anymore than he had to. Regardless of the hows and whys of it, he simply wanted to be out from under the watchful eyes of Olaf and Rick. Time alone with Eseen was a particularly nice bonus to the proposition though.

Alright then,” he whispered. “You’ve made a very persuasive argument and convinced me. How are we doing this?”

puup

Vera arrived in the Council Chamber as Barnack spoke before the Council of Falston. With the battle past, Slant and Herb had resigned their posts on the Council of War and waited to testify their debriefings. Vera and O-Ren sat on the bench beside their comrades as the dwarf continued his lengthy oratory about how the goblins had escaped the dwarf built prison in the mountains.

The goblins escaped from their prison when some of their free brethren struck at the dwarves living nearby,” Slant whispered, bringing her up to speed. “They apparently had a lot of shamans and wizards with them. Some of them dressed as members of the Guardians of Sorcery.”

Very interesting development there,” Vera whispered in reply. She turned her focus to Barnack’s story.

And that was when our reinforcements arrived,” the dwarf continued. “Tradon, son of Dradon, arrived with a full host of fit and able dwarves. With them we retook the prison, but at that juncture the damage was done. We slew many goblins and men, but such was an empty victory with the number that found their freedom. Nearly all the goblins had managed to escape, fleeing for goblin strongholds that we had yet to ferret out. Regrouping the dwarf forces, I gathered an army to chase down the escaped. We continued to chase, but constantly found ourselves several days behind. We had great fortunate the day before yesterday, when we found the camp where they were massing for their strike on your fair city here. Making all haste, we marched here. As you know, we arrived this morning and joined the battle.”

Thank you master dwarf,” Malcom said. “I speak for all of Falston when I say that we appreciate and are honored by your aid. Every man, woman and child owes you and your fellow dwarves their lives.”

Nonsense,” the dwarf replied. “It was our failures that led to this battle in the first place.”

Regardless of how and why you came to be here, it was a much appreciated and well-timed intervention,” Willamina said. “We would like to formally welcome you and your fellows to rest and recuperate here for as long as you would need to.”

The dwarf nodded his appreciation as he stepped back. The Council waited as Slant moved to speak to them. He regarded them calmly, looking to each of the councilors before beginning. He was quick and to the point, having provided written testimony before hand to expedite the process. He reached his conclusion quickly.

Tomorrow I ride for Aven,” he said. “I think the fate of Terran will be decided there, as will a great many other things. Today, we decide a great many things.”

puup

When Dayspring and Eseen disappeared, Olaf and Rick felt a momentary panic for two very different reasons. With the second ninja there as well, they decided it was best to split up and search the forest for their wards. Each of them went in a different direction, sifting through the fresh undergrowth.

Do not disturb the forest too much,” the ninja warned. They had yet to hear her name and did not truly wish to ask. “There is a great power at work here. We would be wise to not upset it.”

Whatever you say,” Olaf said.

They continued to search the forest with extreme care and consideration, stepping lithely through the young ferns and small trees popping up around them. The shadows around them played with their minds, tricking them into believing that their query was moving nearby. Olaf listened to the sounds of the forest around them, hearing birds chirping.

There are birds already moving in, he thought. Incredible. If there ever was a sign that this is a miracle, this was it. They see it as a new world to explore. I guess we all do at this point.

Crack!

The blow came out of nowhere, striking Olaf in the head. Looking up, he saw Rick standing over him with his sword in hand. Looking up, Olaf gave a calm shrug.

This is how it’s going to be then, eh?” he asked.

Tryps will never belong to the snowmen,” Rick replied. He flipped the sword in his hand to drive it down on Olaf. “You and your kind will never rule. So has King Lang ordered, so it will be done.”

Skirt!

Rick stared down at the blade sticking out of his chest, surprise on his face. He dropped the sword in his hand to the side as the ninja stepped out from behind him. He looked on her in fear.

How?” he gasped. Some blood squirted out of his mouth. “You went the other…”

If you see me,” she began. “It is because I wish for you to. I have little tolerance for those who fail to see the art in killing.” She cut his throat before pushing him to the ground. She dug her blade from his back as she turned to Olaf. “I know you were both killers. Crude and sloppy, but still killers. Your intent had a nobler origin than his, which is the only salvation you have right now. I now warn you: I can kill you with a word.”

Duly noted,” he said. He stood and looked down on her. Seeing he draw her blade free from the body, he could not help but be impressed. “I am clearly no match for you. Would you do me the courtesy of your name?”

My name?” She gave a slight laugh before she bowed to him. “My name is Katsumi, Olaf of the Tund. My friends call me Kat, and someday I may permit you to call me as such and regard you as friend. But for now, you should regard me as Katsumi or Lady Ninja.”

Understood. Thank you, Katsumi.”

puup

Dayspring held Eseen close as the sat in the tree watching the sun set over the mountains. She purred gently as she pressed closer against him. The two had talked at length in the hours since their escape, learning every detail they could of each other’s life. The calm beating of his heart was relaxing as the sky played above peaks in the distance. Sitting together on the branch, they just embraced the glow of the evening.

Olaf says you’re supposed to be the next king of Tryps,” she said hazily. “I don’t think you were supposed to know yet, but that seems like something that you should. I don’t think we’re tempting any curses right now, so I’m telling you now.”

It is a good thing to know,” he said without much concern or care. “That’s explains him and Rick.”

Yeah. One’s supposed to kill you, the other’s a bodyguard. I thought they were both trying to kill you when you first came to the temple.”

So did I.”

She fell silent, just listening to the gentle beat of his heart. He held her close, breathing in the smell of her hair.

You smell good,” he whispered.

Nobody’s ever said that to me,” she replied.

Most of the others didn’t spend a lot of time in barracks.”

She giggled gently against his chest.

You smell good too,” she said softly.

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