Arc The Lad Fan Fiction ❯ Aftermath ❯ Chapter 15 ( Chapter 15 )
Kharg flinched as an upstairs door slammed loudly. "Damn."
"You want to explain what brought this on?" Ganz asked.
Kharg sighed. "Not really, let's just say I did something really stupid and let it go at that."
"You're hurt!" Lilia exclaimed, hurrying to Kharg's side.
"It's just a bloody nose and a few scratches. I've gotten plenty of them during training," Kharg said.
Ganz shrugged and tossed Kharg a clean, damp rag. "Clean yourself up, I'll fix some breakfast, so where is this cave?"
"In Dragon Bone Valley, I've been having some weird dreams and it seems Darc has been having them too. We're going to see if we can find some answers," Kharg explained. He began to wash off the blood from his nose then the shallow scratches on his face.
Lilia took the cloth, went and rinsed it out then brought it back and cleaned the cuts herself. "I don't remember seeing a cave."
"From what Darc told me your airship went down directly in front of the cliff where it was located. That's why we didn't notice it," Kharg explained.
"Then we'll come along with you," Ganz said, heading into the kitchen.
"They won't let you in, may not even let Kharg in," Volk said. He busied himself setting the table upright and straightening the chairs.
"What do you mean they?" Kharg asked.
"The stone guardians and the dragon spirit, Darc told us about it," Volk said.
Kharg looked interested. "I suppose we'll have to wait and see."
Soon the delicious smells of bacon and eggs wafted in from the kitchen.
Finished tending Kharg's cuts, Lilia set the table.
"Smells delicious, Ganz, you’re going to spoil us," Kharg said.
Tatjana helped Ganz bring the food to the table before sitting down.
Maru eagerly filled his and Bebedora plates and began wolfing down the food. " Mmmm, good, isn't it, Bebedora?"
"Eating is different, food is different. I like different," Bebedora said.
Lilia smiled at Ganz "You're a wonderful cook."
"Sure, one day he'll make some lucky girl a wonderful wife," Tatjana said.
Ganz gave Tatjana a sharp look for the wife comment then sat down. "Someone should go fetch Darc before the food is gone."
Kharg stood up. "I'll go get him."
"Are you certain that's a good idea after what just happened?" Lilia asked.
"Yeah, I don't think he'll kill me," Kharg said. He stood up and went upstairs. Getting an idea, he went to his room and gathered a few things before going to Darc's room.
Darc sat on the edge of the bed, glaring at the empty bucket. He felt a bit guilty for what he'd done to Kharg. It annoyed him that he felt that way. "Bah, stupid Human had no right." A knock on the door drew him out of his thoughts. "Come in!"
The door opened and Kharg walked in carrying what looked like a bundle of cloth. "I brought you some warmer clothes. You can't go traipsing through the snow in sandals and a kilt with no shirt. You'll freeze." He dumped the clothes on the bed.
Darc folded his arms. "I managed just fine without them the last time. I don't need your damned clothes." He eyed them. "Amazing, you actually have clothes in another color besides blue."
Kharg shrugged. "Do what you want, but after all we've been through it'd be really stupid to die of hypothermia."
Hypo...What?" Darc asked, brow furrowed.
"It's when your body gets so cold it starts to shut down. You feel like you're getting tired when you're actually dying," Kharg explained. "I really came up to tell you that Ganz has breakfast ready. You probably should eat, it's a long walk to the valley from here."
"See you downstairs whenever you're ready," Kharg shrugged. He left, closing the door.
Darc glared at the clothes. "I'll be damned if I'll wear those things."
Fifteen minutes passed and Darc didn't come down. Kharg finished his food and stood. "I guess I'd better go up and see if I can get him moving."
Just then Darc entered the kitchen. Delma stared, startled. He was wearing black pants and knee high boots instead of his kilt and sandals. He actually looked good in the strange clothes.
"Oh my," Camellia said softly in admiration.
Delma looked at the sage and saw she was staring at Darc. She frowned in displeasure then noticed the glass of water sitting in front of Camellia. She reached out casually as she could and bumped it. The glass tipped over, spilling it's contents into Camellia's lap.
"Eeeeek!" Camellia squealed, leaping to her feet. "Delma!"
Delma smirked slightly. "Ooops, sorry about that."
"You did that on purpose!" Camellia accused, stomping her foot.
Delma snorted and rolled her eyes. "Please, why would I do such a stupid thing?"
"Maybe it was because Camellia was staring at Darc....OUCH!" Maru yelped, rubbing his shin and giving Tatjana a hurt look. “Why‘d you kick me?”
Tatjana shook her head. "Be quiet, you talk to much and don't keep quiet when you should."
Darc rolled his eyes at all of them in general before sitting down. Much to his annoyance the only empty chair was next to Kharg.
Kharg had sat back down when Darc had entered. "I thought you said you weren't wearing those things, little brother."
"I wasn't, until I considered the alternative," Darc grumbled.
Kharg raised an eyebrow. "What alternative was that?"
Darc snorted. "Freezing my ass off in that damned valley."
Everyone burst out laughing, except Bebedora, who just gave everyone puzzled looks.
After Darc had finished eating they were ready to leave.
Kharg grabbed a warm coat then glancing at Darc, tossed him his other one. "Here, Darc, you'll need this."
Darc caught the coat instinctively, considered throwing it back at Kharg then decided to just keep it.
Ganz handed Kharg a couple packs. "You both might need this. Food, medical supplies and a few other things. Are you sure you should be doing this? Darc's leg isn't even fully healed yet."
Kharg accepted the packs. "I think that we have to."
Ganz frowned. "Fine, but if I end up having to resplint your brother's leg I'm going to strangle both of you."
Darc snorted at that, walked past Kharg and out the door, closing it behind him.
Kharg said a quick bye to the group and hurried after Darc. He found the Deimos waiting at the castle ruins gate and headed towards him.
"Kharg! Wait! Wait for me!" a familiar voice cried.
Kharg stopped at once and turned as Paulette came up to him.
"Where are you going? It's still very early," Paulette said, tipping her head questioningly.
Kharg smiled at her. "Dragon Bone Valley, we have business there, but it shouldn't take long."
Paulette frowned. "You're going alone?"
Kharg glanced over at Darc. "Darc's coming."
Paulette gave him a glare. "We should go with you. You might need us."
Kharg shook his head. "From what Volk told me this place we're going to has some kind of guardian that won't let anyone enter, but Darc. We don't even know if I'll be allowed to enter."
Paulette gave Kharg a blank look. "Guardians? Enter?"
Kharg glanced at Darc and he could see his twin was getting tired of waiting for him. "Go to my house, the others will explain. I have to go, Darc's getting impatient."
Paulette glanced at Darc then sighed and nodded. "Alright. Just be careful." She kissed Kharg on the cheek then hurried off.
Kharg's mouth fell open and he stared after her in stunned shock. He didn't know how long he stood there, but suddenly someone slapped him across the back of the head. "Hey!" He whirled to see Darc standing behind him. "What did you hit me for?"
Darc snorted. ""Stop standing around drooling and gawking at your lover and let's go." He snatched one of the packs out of Kharg's hand and slung it over his shoulder then headed for the gates.
Kharg followed. "I wasn't drooling and Paulette's NOT my lover."
Darc just snickered.
"Damned Deimos," Kharg muttered, picking up his pace until he was next to Darc.
They had gotten halfway through Isulo Forest when a low rumble of thunder and a flash of lightening caught their attention.
Kharg looked up into the rapidly darkening sky. "Damn, this is going to be a bad one. We'd better find some shelter before it hits."
Darc looked up at the sullen sky himself before nodding in agreement.
Glancing around, Kharg was relieved to see the footpath he knew led to Ganz’s shack. "Come on, this way." He took off with Darc close behind.
They made it just in time, minutes after they entered the shack and closed the door it began to rain so heavily that you couldn't see three feet ahead of you.
Darc sighed and dropped his pack to the floor. "Damn, figures this would happen."
Kharg shrugged. "At least we'll stay warm and dry, but this looks like it may last a while." He dropped his pack as well. He went over to the fireplace and wasn't surprised to find firewood and kindling neatly stacked nearby. Soon he had a fire going. "There, that's better."
Darc settled down in one of the few chairs near the fire. "How long is a while?"
"Could be a couple hours, might last all day, you never know," Kharg said.
Darc grumbled a bit. 'Spirits, I hope not."
Kharg pretended to be hurt. "Come on, I'm not that bad of company."
Darc rolled his eyes at his brother. "I could argue that, I meant that I want to get this done. I have other business to tend to and this is wasting time."
“I’m crushed, Darc. I always thought that I was at least a little bit pleasant to be around.“ Kharg sat down as well, savoring the warmth of the fire. "Not much that can be done about it, we can't very well go running around the forest during a thunderstorm." Suddenly he got up and began to rummage around in his pack.
"What are you doing?" Darc demanded.
"It's already past midday, might as well have a bite to eat if we're going to sit here," Kharg answered. He pulled out the bundle of food and opened it. “Dried meat, dried fruit, bread and cheese, it isn’t going to be the most elegant meal, but it’s better than nothing.”
Darc snorted and leaned back in his chair. "I've eaten far worse."
Kharg gave Darc his share and began to eat.
After Kharg was finished he stood up and went to the window then looked out. "Still pouring out there."
Darc finished the last of his portion then joined his twin. "Nasty." He moved away and looked around. "What is this place?"
Kharg turned to face his brother. "It's Ganz's house, we met him when we were coming back from the valley when we first met Lilia. So when did you meet her?"
Darc sneered at bit. "You don't want to know."
Kharg studied him. "I wouldn't ask if I didn't want to know."
Darc shook his head, looking slightly amused. "Let me reword that, I don't want to tell you."
Kharg smiled at his brother's stubbornness. "I sense an interesting story here. Come on, Darc, let's hear it."
"If I did tell you'd probably stab me," Darc grumbled.
Kharg held up his right hand. "I swear no stabbing will occur."
Darc snorted. "Idiot, fine. We hunted her down in Asheeda Forest after we found out that's what the Dilzweld wanted."
Kharg frowned. "You hunted her down?"
"Humans were considered our enemies then you know. It was just Delma, Volk and me then We got separated after defeating a group of soldiers led by the woman with your group, Volk went after her.. Delma and I went after her We found her by the stream. Delma stabbed me in the back and I lost consciousness..." .Darc paused and frowned, obviously not liking the memory.
Kharg wanted to say something, but he forced himself to be quiet. He was afraid Darc wouldn’t continue if he interrupted.
Darc took a deep breath. "When I regained consciousness she was still there. She'd tended my wounds when I asked her why she'd healed a Deimos she said it didn't matter if I was Human or Deimos when I was hurt."
Kharg couldn't help laughing, imagining Darc's reaction "I'll bet that was the last thing you expected from her."
Darc nodded in agreement. "From any Human for that matter. We talked a bit about why the soldiers were chasing her and the spirit stones. I decided she had to much valuable information to let her go, so I took her back to Orcoth as my captive."
Kharg frowned, not liking the thought.
Darc noticed the frown. "She went willingly, though I have to admit locking her up in the dungeon."
Kharg gave Darc an sharp look. "So you took her captive and locked her up?"
"Locking her up was best for her in Orcoth, otherwise the other Orcons would have killed her and I paid for it. The Dilzweld came and took her, costing some Orcons their lives in the process."
Kharg sighed and nodded. "I'm not going to stab you, though you deserve to be punched."
Darc growled slightly. "Try it and I'll give you a few more scratches."
Kharg backed off, hands raised in mock defense. "I surrender."
It was dusk when the storm finally ended, but it was still raining though not nearly as hard. Neither of them were eager to go on in the dark, so they decided to spend the night where they were. Supper consisted of the same things they’d had for lunch.
"Bed's not big enough for both of us," Kharg remarked.
"I wasn't planning on sharing it with you anyway. Take it, I'm used to sleeping on the floor." Darc spread out his bedroll and settled down.
Kharg shrugged and laid down, but it was a long time before either if them slept.
Done, now remember this is a rewrite, like chapter 14, so if you haven’t reread 14 you should go do that before you read this. R/R please, thanks!