Arc The Lad Fan Fiction ❯ Aftermath ❯ Chapter 16 ( Chapter 16 )

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

Chapter 16


Darc woke early the next day and glanced over at his twin. he was still asleep. Standing up, he picked up his sword and buckled it around his waist then stretched. He went to the door and opened it. The rain had stopped and the sun was bright and warm. Nodding to himself, Darc left, closing the door behind him.

Kharg rolled over and opened his eyes. "Morning, Darc." When no answer came he sat up and looked around. Darc was gone. What the hell, did he leave me behind? He got up and headed for the door.

Just then it opened and Darc walked in. "About time you woke up, are all Humans so lazy in the morning?" He was holding a skinned and gutted rabbit.

Kharg forced himself to look casual. "I was tired I guess." He looked at the rabbit. "What's that?"

Darc rolled his eyes. "It's called a rabbit." Sarcasm dripped from his voice.

Kharg couldn't help grinning. he liked it when Darc got sarcastic with him. It was better than being ignored. "And?"

"It's also breakfast, unless you'd prefer that shoe leather you call meat again," Darc snorted.

Kharg made a face. "No thanks, but how'd you manage to kill and skin it?"

Darc sneered. "I conjured it out of thin air."

Kharg laughed. "Seriously Darc, how?"

Darc studied him then shrugged. "Lucky shot with a rock and the claws do come in handy occasionally." He moved to the fireplace and carefully impaled the rabbit on the spit to cook.

"What can I do?" Kharg asked.

Darc shrugged. "You could find plates and silverware while I keep an eye on breakfast, unless you want to eat off the floor with your hands."

Kharg pretended to consider then shook his head. "No, I don't like that idea." He began to search through the cupboards.

Darc sat down by fire, turning the rabbit occasionally to make sure it was cooking evenly.

Kharg found tableware and set it out then joined Darc on the floor. "So you can hunt and cook. What other talents are you hiding?"

Darc snorted. "It's no big thing, I learned to forage out of necessity."

Kharg studied Darc with interest. "Necessity?"

Darc let out an annoyed growl. "Geedo tended to starve me as punishment. I had to learn to find my own food, including raw meat."

Kharg shook his head. "I guess the shoe leather would have seemed like a feast in that case."

Darc nodded with a bitter smile. "When you're really hungry you'd be surprised at what you're willing to eat." He laughed, but there was no humor in it. "You'd be even more surprised at what you enjoy."

Kharg frowned thoughtfully, but said nothing more.

An hour later the rabbit was cooked. Kharg accepted his portion and tasted it. "Delicious."

Darc smirked and turned his attention to his own food.

After cleaning the dishes they'd used and repacking their gear, they left. It was just after midday when they arrived at the entrance of Punoir Ravine.

Kharg lowered his pack to the ground and sat down next to it. "We might as well stop for lunch." He offered Darc a piece of dried meat. "Shoe leather?"

Darc smirked and dropped his own pack before taking the meat, but he paced restlessly as he gnawed at it.

Kharg shook his head, gnawing on a piece of the dry meat himself. "You know this is also a rest stop and watching you pace is wearing me out."

Darc just sneered. "No one is making you watch."

Kharg chuckled. "It's kind of hard not to."

Darc shrugged, but sat down and took a long drink from his water skin.

"We should be to the valley before dark if we keep up our pace," Kharg said.

"In a hurry all the sudden?" Darc smirked.

Kharg smiled. "Well, I am curious about this place and I'm looking forward to seeing it."

Darc finished off the piece of dried meat. "You make it sound like this is just a fun little jaunt in the country. It's not."

Kharg grinned. "What? You aren't having fun?"

Darc gave him a look that clearly said he thought his older twin was mentally unstable.

That made Kharg laugh again. "Come on, Darc. It's not that bad. At least we haven't tried to kill each other yet."

Darc grumbled. "Give it time, I'm sure that will change."

Kharg pretended to pout. "You're hurting my feelings."

Darc rolled his eyes and got up. "I'll hurt more than your feelings if you don't start acting your age." He

picked up his pack and slung it over his shoulder. "We've wasted enough time."

Kharg mock sighed as he stood and picked up his own pack. "Just when I thought we were actually getting close."

Darc glared at him. Turning, he stalked off without looking back to see if Kharg was coming.

Kharg bit back a snicker, knowing it would just make Darc more annoyed at him.

Darc was seething as he walked. Sometimes it seemed Kharg was purposely baiting him into an argument. Most of the time he couldn't decide if Kharg was joking or serious. It infuriated him.

Kharg caught up again and fell in step next to Darc. "Spirits, slow down a little, the cave isn't going to disappear, remember?"

Darc scowled.

Kharg grinned. "That was what you said this morning."

Darc gave him a sharp look. "And you didn't listen either, now I just want to get this over with and go back to Orcoth."

"Back home?" Kharg asked quietly.

Darc shrugged. "It's the only one I've ever had."

Kharg was quiet until they reached the entrance to the Dragon Bone Valley. "So you're going back to Orcoth because it's the only place you know?"

Darc let out an exasperated sigh. "I have responsibilities there. How many times have I said that? You certainly are dense sometimes."

Kharg snorted.

Darc scowled. "Don't do that."

"Why? Because I sound like you when I do?" Kharg grinned.

Darc just sighed. "I'm not getting into this."

Kharg sighed as well. "You know there is another place you could call home if you wanted."

"Yewbell?" Darc snorted. "The villagers would just love that."

Kharg raised an eyebrow. "Are you saying you actually care what they think?"

Darc rolled his eyes. "Their opinions mean less than nothing to me, but I have no interest in living among them."

Kharg sighed and dug his coat out of his pack. "Guess we should get going." He pulled out two pairs of gloves, put on one pair, then tossed the other pair at Darc.

Darc muttered, but pulled on the warm clothes and followed Kharg into the valley.

Cold wind and snow whipped around them as they walked, stealing their breath and vision.

Kharg moved closer to Darc so they wouldn't be separated. "So where is it?"

Darc peered through the swirling snow, silently cursing the weather and trying to get his bearings.

Kharg frowned suspiciously when his twin didn't answer. "You do know where we're going, don't you?"

Darc sniffed disdainfully. "Of course." He took a deep breath and headed off, praying he'd chosen the right direction.

Kharg shook his head and followed, not sure of his brother's sense of direction in the wildly blowing snow.

Darc had to bite back a sigh of relief when he saw the entrance to the cave in front of them. "We're here, come on."

They entered the cave and nothing stopped them. Once he was inside Kharg looked around in amazement. "Wow." He studied the statues then moved closer to examine the carving on the wall.

Suddenly an eye opened on the carving. "So you have finally found each other, children of the wind," a mellow, amused voice said.

Kharg leaped back with a startled yelp, not expecting the carving to come alive.

Darc burst out laughing at the look on his twin's face.

Kharg glared at him. "It isn't funny!"

Darc managed to regain control of himself. "Yeah, it is, you ought to see your face."

A soft chuckle came from the dragon spirit. "I see you wear Windalf's ring, young Darc, it suits you well."

Darc wasn't in the mood for small talk. "So what do you want?"

The spirit laughed again. "Always so blunt, most would say rude, but I am fortunately not so easy to offend."

Darc scowled and folded his arms. "You didn't bring us out here to discuss my manners."

"Or lack of?" Kharg asked, the chance was to good to pass up.

Darc glared at him.

"You have not yet made peace with each other I see. You struggle to separate instead of allowing yourselves to become one. That is not good," the dragon spirit chided.

Darc shook his head. "What did you expect? For us to burst into tears and fall into each others arms?"

The dragon spirit's voice turned sharp. "No, but I hoped for some level of tolerance after all the two of you have been through. I suppose drastic measures are needed before I can do what I had originally planned."

Darc frowned suspiciously. He didn’t like the sound of that. “What drastic measures?”

The dragon spirit chanted softly and a strong wind came out of nowhere, swirling around them. "These drastic measures."

Suddenly the cave walls faded and they found themselves in a strange forest.

"Oh damn!" Darc growled.

"That sums up my feelings exactly, what the hell happened?" Kharg asked.

Darc glared. "How the hell would I know? I didn't even know it could do that!"

Kharg turned slowly, looking all around him. "Do you think we're still on Ragnoth?"

Darc sighed. "Somehow I doubt it. That would be to easy."

"So do I," Kharg admitted. "I suppose the first thing we should do is try to find a town, so we can find out where we are."

Darc sneered. "That should be an interesting conversation. I can hear it now, excuse me, we somehow were sent here by a talking dragon carving, so we were hoping you could tell us where we are, never mind that one of us has horns, scales, claws and fangs."

Kharg stared at Darc for a long moment then began laughing He laughed so hard that he was soon doubled over, clutching his sides.

“What the hell is so damned funny, you idiot?” Darc growled.

Kharg just shook his head and took a deep breath. "Never mind, let's go find some civilization." He headed off.

Darc shook his head. "Lunatic." He followed his brother.

Before long they paused to remove the warm clothes they'd put on. It was pleasantly warm where ever they were. That done, they continued on their way. Two hours passed and finally they found a path. Figuring it would lead them to a town, they headed down it.

Kharg gave Darc a concerned glance for the third time. He had started limping an hour ago, but refused to rest.

Darc caught the look and gritted his teeth in annoyance. "Would you stop looking at me like that? I'm fine!"

Kharg scowled. "No, you're not fine, you're limping. We should stop and rest.”

Darc glared. "For the last time, I don't need a rest!" He hissed despite himself when a sharp pain shot through his leg. He tried to suppress it, hoping Kharg hadn't heard.

Kharg had though. "Stubborn bastard." He caught Darc by the arm and pulled him to the side of the path.

"Kharg..." Darc growled.

Kharg ignored him. "Sit down and stop being so damned stubborn!"

Darc glared at his twin, but sat down on the soft grass. His leg was aching, but he’d die before he admitted it.

Kharg dug out the food and passed Darc his share. “We’ll need to restock in town when we get there. This is the last of the dried meat.”

Darc smirked. "And that's a bad thing because?"

Kharg laughed. "Wow, you really don't like the stuff, do you?"

"No," Darc grumbled. "It's disgusting."

Kharg grinned. "This does mean you'll be stuck doing the hunting and cooking until we can get more."

Darc shrugged. "Not like it's anything I'm not used too."

"Good, maybe you can teach me how to cook," Kharg said.

"Not after that remark about poisoning us with your cooking," Darc snorted. "I value my hide to much to take that risk."

Kharg laughed. "Well, it was definitely worth an attempt."

Darc gave his twin a smug smirk. "The attempt failed miserably."

Kharg drank deeply from his water skin. He finished his meal then leaned back against a tree trunk. "Nice and peaceful here, I have to give it that much."

Darc glanced around him then shrugged. "I suppose, but we should get moving." He started to get up.

Kharg pulled Darc back down. "Just a minute, tiger, not yet, give the leg time to rest."

Darc scowled at Kharg. "Stop mothering me, I'm your age, remember?"

Suddenly there was a soft click behind them, a sound they knew to well.....the sound of a gun being cocked.



Hahahaha, I did another cliffhanger! Fun! R/R please!