Arc The Lad Fan Fiction ❯ Aftermath ❯ Chapter 13 ( Chapter 13 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter 13


Darc made his way over to one of the stuffed easy chairs and plunked down into it with a sigh.

Following, Delma took the crutches and leaned them against the chair before perching on the arm. "So what are we going to do now?" she asked.

"Well, I was thinking that Paulette and the rest of you ladies could use the public bath house and get cleaned up a bit then after you're done then we could go," Kharg shrugged. "I'm sure we'd all feel better for it."

"I'm sure we would," Ganz agreed, "though Darc's going to have to settle for a sponge bath. He can't get the cast wet."

"Ohh, that sounds interesting, I'd be glad to help you, Darc," Camellia said mischievously.

"Not likely, hag," Delma snarled before Darc could say a word.

"Red of anger,” Bebedora said, pausing from exploring the room.

This time everyone decided to ignore the comment.

"A bath sounds wonderful, but I have no clean clothes," Lilia sighed.

"Then it's lucky that there's extra robes in the bath house," Kharg said. "The attendants can even wash your clothes for you."

"Then let's go," Tatjana said.

Bebedora looked puzzled. "Bath? What is bath?"

"Follow me and you'll find out." Paulette led the women from the house though the Deimos seemed uncertain. Bebedora trailed along behind them.

Kharg sighed and plopped down in the chair across from Darc. "What a day," he sighed.

"They're probably out there gathering wood to burn the house down around us," Darc grumbled.

Ganz laughed. "Always looking at the bright side, eh?"

"Heh, heh," Volk smirked.

"They wouldn't burn the house down, would they?" Maru gulped.

"Doubtful, if they wanted to get rid of us they'd send the defense corps." Kharg pushed himself up. "I guess I should see what's left in the kitchen then try to cook something that won't poison us."

Darc folded his arms. "Oh, that's encouraging."

Ganz waved Kharg back into his chair. "Let me handle the cooking, Kharg. Living alone so long has made me a good cook." He went into the kitchen to look around.

"I'll go gather things for that sponge bath Ganz mentioned," Kharg said. He stood up and left.

"I don't remember saying I was going to take one," Darc muttered.

Maru bounded into the kitchen. "Can I help?" he asked.

"Sure, peel these potatoes while I get the roast seasoned and into the oven," Ganz directed. He checked to see if the wood burning oven was hot enough. Satisfied, he added herbs to the meat and slid it into the oven. He filled a pot with water and put it on the stove.

Maru picked up a small knife and went to work.

Volk glanced towards the kitchen then sat down in a chair across from Darc. "It has been a interesting day."

"Definitely, I just hope all is well in Orcoth and Drakyrnia," Darc grumbled.

"Gorma will take care of the Orcon and I'm sure Willowo will take care of the Drakyr," Volk said.

"I suppose," Darc muttered wearily.

Kharg came back into the room carrying a basin and towels. He set the basin on a small table next to the bed and laid towels on the bed. Getting an idea, he went up to his room to get one last item. He brought it downstairs and tossed it onto the bed with the towels. He pulled a chair over and put it between the bed and the table. "Alright, Darc, everything's ready."

Darc considered repeating his earlier remark about not saying he was going to take a sponge bath, but he changed his mind. He couldn't deny it would feel good to get clean. He grabbed the crutches and laboriously struggled to his feet.

Volk watched with faint amusement in his eyes. "Need some help?"

Darc snorted. "I can do it." He made his way to the chair Kharg had brought and sat down.

"There's a washcloth and a bar of soap in the basin," Kharg said.

Darc noticed a dark blue robe lying on the bed and looked at his twin, one eyebrow raised.

Kharg shrugged. "I figured you needed something clean to put on so your clothes could be washed as well." He drew a curtain shut around the bed, so his brother could have some privacy. "Yell if you need anything." He went to the kitchen to see if he could help.

"Nope, got everything under control. It will take about two hours for the roast to cook. That should give us enough time to clean up as well."

It was awkward and took forty-five minutes, but Darc managed to get clean as he could and struggle into the robe without dropping anything or falling. By the time he was finished he felt like he'd swam to Orcoth and back. He'd never thought a simple task like this would leave him so exhausted.

"Darc?" Kharg called from the other side of the curtain. "Are you finished yet?"

"Yeah," Darc replied.

Kharg opened the curtain. "Feel better now?" he asked casually. He began gathering everything up. "Let me put this up then I'll help you get back on the bed."

"Spirits, Kharg, first Volk and now you! I can do it! Stop treating me like a weakling," Darc snapped.

"Easy, Darc. Just trying to help," Kharg said.

Darc snorted. "Well, don't try."

Kharg shrugged, but he waited until Darc had gotten himself back onto the bed before picking up the kilt and tossing all the dirty items in a basket.

About twenty minutes later the women came back all clad in soft robes, except for Paulette who'd stopped at her place and put on clean clothes. "She said one of the attendants would bring our clothes to us as soon as they did yours as well. I told them you were coming," Paulette said. She sniffed the air appreciatively. "Mmmm, something smells good."

Ganz came to the kitchen entrance. "That would be my special beef roast."

"I can't wait " Paulette said.

"I guess it's our turn to go to the bath house and get cleaned up," Kharg said. "You guys ready?"

"You mind keeping an eye on supper for a while, Paulette?" Ganz asked.

"Gladly, anything special I need to do?" Paulette asked.

"No," Ganz said, dumping the potatoes and carrots into the boiling water "It should be fine until I get back." He followed Kharg and the others from the house.

By the time they returned the table had been neatly set. Ganz, looking less imposing in the robe the attendants had given him, went to the oven to check the roast. "It's ready. Everyone grab a seat."

Dinner was as delicious as it smelled and even Volk had to admit he'd liked it. By the time they'd finished eating and cleaned up it was quite late, so everyone turned in for the night.

Kharg had expected to be awake half the night, but he was asleep in minutes. He began to dream. He was in a cave with two dragon statues and a carving of the dragon in the back wall. The carving suddenly had an eye and it looked at him. "Come to me, children of the made whole...come."

Kharg jerked away, barely stopping himself from crying out. He sat up and looked around. He was still in his room. He threw back the covers and left the room then went down to the kitchen to get a cold drink.

"Isn't it a bit late to be lurking around?" Darc asked suddenly.

Kharg started violently, nearly dropping the glass. "I thought you were asleep."

"Woke up about an hour ago," Darc shrugged.

Kharg nodded. "Do you want something while I'm up?"

"No, I'm fine, so why are you up?" Darc asked.

"Had a really weird dream." Kharg described the dream to Darc, not sure why he's doing so. "I've never had a dream like that before."

"At least you're not dreaming about giant, talking eyeballs," Darc smirked.

Kharg mock-groaned. "Don't remind me! That was disgusting. You'd think someone who wanted to destroy the world could pick a better form than that."

"Some people have no taste," Darc snorted.

Kharg laughed and much to his pleasure, so did Darc. He walked over and sat down in the chair next to the bed.

Darc struggled into an upright position. "So you're down here because of this dream?"

"Not completely actually," Kharg admitted, after considering the question. "I'm a bit worried about the future It's going to be a long, hard road. "

"For the Deimos as well," Darc grumbled.

They were both silent for a while as they thought about the uncertain future before them.

Finally Kharg sighed. "It's amazing how quickly things can change. I thought I'd spend my life here leading the defense corps when Lloyd retired, a life that was safe, simple and ordered."

"And boring?" Darc asked, raising an eyebrow.

Kharg chuckled. "Yeah, and boring, despite all the danger I never felt so alive as I did the last few months."

Darc studied his brother thoughtfully "Sometimes putting your life at risk can do that. I've learned that the hard way."

Kharg sighed. "Lilia told me how they called you a Deimos wannabe."

Darc growled deep in his throat. "Sometimes Lilia talks to damned much."

"She means well. We're quite a pair, a Deimos wannabe and a Human wannabe," Kharg said. He was shocked when Darc actually smiled slightly. "Do you realize this is the first time we've had a civil conversation?"

Darc folded his arms. "Seems odd to me as well. I liked it better when we were fighting.

"We can always have a rematch when you're healed, I'd like to spar with you as long as you aren't trying to kill me," Kharg offered.

Darc smirked. "Does that mean maiming you is allowed?"

"Ouch, you're very sadistic, aren't you?" Kharg retorted. He yawned suddenly.

"What's your problem? Are you bored?" Darc asked.

"Not a bit, but I think my body just remembered how much sleep I've lost." He stood up. "I really want to find a way for us to get along, Darc. Our parents are both dead and now all we have is each other. All I ask is for you to think about giving me a chance. Good night." He walked away and went back upstairs.

"Good night," Darc muttered quietly, laying down again. It was nearly an hour before he dozed off again.

Darc was awoken by Ganz moving around in the kitchen and the smell of food cooking. Muttering, he sat up.

"Would his Majesty prefer breakfast in bed or would he prefer to come to the table?" Ganz asked, grinning at Darc.

Darc waved his hand dismissively. "I will come to the table, vassal," he said haughtily.

Ganz smirked and turned back to the oven. He stopped when someone knocked on the door. "Damn." He went to the door and opened it.

Two women stood in the doorway, each holding a basket of neatly folded clothes. "Good morning, Ganz, we brought everyone's things back."

"Thanks, ladies," Ganz said, he allowed them in to put the baskets down and paid them then they left.

No sooner than Ganz had closed the door Delma came down the stairs. "Is that our clothes?" she asked.

"Yeah, they just got here," Ganz said, returning to the kitchen.

Delma dug through the clothes until she found hers. Flashing Darc a smirk, she found his as well and tossed them at him.

Darc caught the items easily. "Thanks."

Delma nodded then darted back up the stairs, presumably to get dressed.

Ganz dug in the basket and found his own clothes then walked over and pulled the curtain around. "There, that will give you privacy to change. I'll be back in a minute."

Darc heard Ganz go upstairs. He wasted no time in shedding the robe and putting on his kilt.

An hour later everyone was dressed and at the table for breakfast. A soft knock sounded on the door just as they were finishing.

"Come in!" Kharg called.

The door swung open and Paulette walked in, but she wasn't alone. Duncan was with her.

"Morning, Paulette, Duncan," Kharg said.

"Good morning, everyone," Paulette said cheerfully.

"Morning, Lord Kharg...and to you as well Lord Darc," he added.

"That sounded like it hurt," Darc snorted, not impressed.

"Darc," Lilia chided softly. "Please, there‘s no reason to be rude."

Darc muttered something under his breath and struggled to his feet. One of the crutches skidded and he had to grab the table to keep from falling.

Delma leaped to support him, giving Lilia a fierce look as she did so. She followed Darc over to one of the soft easy chairs and made sure he got settled comfortably.

“Kharg, I was wondering if you would come with me to speak to the corps. They would like to see you and you are their commanding officer after all,” Duncan said.

“Sure, I’ll do that. I’ll be back later everyone,” Kharg said then followed Duncan from the house.

An hour later Lilia was in her room fetching her ortena when she heard someone scratching the door frame. Startled, Lilia turned. "Oh, it's you Delma. You surprised me. Did you need something?" She noticed how intently the Orcon was staring at her and it made her feel a bit nervous.

Delma stepped into the room and closed the door. "Yeah, I do. We need to have a little talk about your behavior towards Darc."

"My behavior? I'm afraid I don't understand," Lilia said, extremely puzzled.

"That's the problem, you don't understand. Why do you keep pushing Human beliefs at Darc?" Delma demanded.

"He's among Humans, he should know their ways, especially since he is part Human." Lilia was even more confused, not seeing why Delma was upset.

Delma snorted in disgust. "Are all Humans as dense as you? He's also Deimos and their ways are the only life he knows. You're upsetting and confusing him."

"I don't mean to, but I thought..." Lilia began.

Delma snarled suddenly. "No, you're not, I'll admit that it would be good for Darc's Human and Deimos sides not to be warring with each other, but he has to find a way to solve that, not you." Delma scowled at Lilia. "He's trying to unite the Deimos and he can't think like a Human to do that. Human ways will get him killed among Deimos, so I'm telling you, back off." With that Delma left, slamming the door.

Lilia was left alone to think of what Delma had said.



I guess Delma really let Lilia have it. Boy, this was a long chapter! I didn’t know I could do such long ones! R/R please!