Sometimes, you have to make your own destiny.

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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Chapter 5, Pt. 3

Silay thought the guard was coming to bring food the next morning, so she was surprised to hear keys turning in the lock. The door opened, revealing two of the Guardsmen who had arrested them. The one holding the key ring jerked his head to the side. "Out. Follow me."

Exchanging worried glances, Riya and Silay fell in between the two Guardsmen, one in front of them, one behind. They followed him back along the route that had taken them to their cell, and up the stairs to the ground floor of the Guard House. They went into a room off the central entrance. A man was standing there, waiting for them.

Silay looked around the room. Stacked on the floor in front of the man was all of her and Riya's belongings. She then looked up at the man, and her eyes widened in surprise. "Jarlen!"

The alchemist grinned at Silay, then glanced at the Guards. "I will take it from here."

One of the men hesitated for a moment. "You do understand that you are responsible for the actions of the thief?"

Jarlen nodded. "I understand."

"All right then." The Guardsman removed the collar from Riya's neck and started to leave, but turned back at the door. His eyes flicked quickly over the three people in the room. "Good luck." With that, he pivoted on his foot and left.

Riya rubbed her neck where the collar had been as she watched the Guard leave. "What was that?"

Jarlen tossed her a pack from the floor, and Riya caught it instinctively. "Grab your bags and follow me. I'll explain as we go."

Riya shouldered the pack, and grabbed another one, looking at Jarlen through narrow eyes. "So, I'm free to go?"

Jarlen helped Silay pick up her bags before straightening and answering Riya. "In a sense. You're free to come with me. Well," he amended, "You're free to go with Silay."

"With me?" Silay looked up in surprise from tying her dagger back on.

"With you." Jarlen raised his eyebrows. "I thought I told you that the Seer had asked people to be on the lookout for you. Did it not occur to you to demand to speak with the city seer or Healer?"

Silay's cheeks reddened. "No. It didn't."

"It should have." Jarlen hoisted the last pack onto his shoulders. "But that's not important anymore. We need to get moving. I have horses waiting for us."

"But what about..."

"I've arranged for your donkey and wagon to be boarded."

"All right." Riya dropped the bags she was carrying. "But I'm not going anywhere until I know the conditions of my release."

Jarlen glanced at Silay. "You know, when I said you should find someone to travel with, perhaps I should have been more specific."

"Riya's my friend!" Silay words were defensive, and proclamation surprised here, but she realized it was true. "Besides, she can help. She knows magic."

"Which is the reason I gave the City Council as to why she should be allowed to accompany us in this unquest of yours." He sighed. "Thanks to Talis, there's no longer any secret about the plague. I explained why Silay might be able to stop it and that you," he looked at Riya, "were assisting her. It was decided that if you succeed, you'll be a hero, and if you don't, you'll die earlier than you would if you stayed here. Either way, in light of the plague, punishing you seemed a bit arbitrary." 

Riya picked up the bags she'd dropped. "Thanks then, I suppose." She gave a sarcastic bow.

"There's still a problem." Jarlen and Riya turned to look at Silay. "I don't know how to ride a horse."
A little less suspenseful of an ending than the last few posts. And now there's another character joining the unquest! Dealing with dialogue between more than two characters is a challenge for me (perhaps because I also struggle with that in real life), but challenges are how you grow. Hopefully, it won't be so painful you don't want to keep reading. 

1 comment:

  1. Proofreading :)

    was all of her and Riya's belongings (were)
    and proclamation surprised here (+ the, her)