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Archives: Cian’s Quest

Chapter 3: Disturbances in the Night

    Kylia walked down a street of Roid. It was late out and she was getting cold. At least the Inn was not far off, but then she hated walking at night. Even for her talents she never felt safe in the darkness. “Come on, it’s just your mind acting up again. Those guys are not gonna show up again, considering...” As she was about to finish, two of them came up in front of her by some apartments. They looked right pissed and ready to beat her into the ground.

    “No woman gets the better of us! Maybe you should learn to stay out of others troubles. Looks like we’re gonna have to teach you what he learned...”

    She watched as the biggest of the two lunged forward. Grabbing his arm, she found he was hard to try and toss down so she was sent into some barrels. As she crashed into the barrels she grimaced, pulling herself up despite just impacting. She seemed unsteady as the pair rushed her and she just backed away. Her weapons were in her room at the inn. she could do little against these thugs, so instead she screamed for help loud enough to pierce the night.

* * *

    Ciprian sat bolt upright after hearing a scream. He first glanced to Cian, but the boy was fast asleep across the room in his bed. Sleeping on the floor didn’t allow him to fall into a deep sleep. As he became more conscious, he could hear the sounds of a struggle outside. Such things weren’t tolerated in the Holy City. Ciprian hopped out of his bedroll and ran to grab his sword.

    The knight, clad in only a pair of pants for sleeping, threw open his door, ran down the stairs and burst through the front door of the building. He saw the two thugs and the woman they were harassing. He drew his sword, tossing the sheath into the entry, and pointed the blade towards the men.

    “In the name of Falis, I order you to step away from that woman!” Ciprian shouted in his most authoritative voice.

    The two men looked at Ciprian and then each other. They were annoyed at the interruption. They stopped attacking her and decided he was the more immediate threat. “Mind your own business and walk away, we have business here. I don’t think you want to get hurt.”

    As they were distracted she managed to get up and slowly move towards a patch of shadows. Using them to hide, she waited breathlessly for them to leave. As they confronted this man she also picked up a few shards of broken glass and sent them at the men from behind. They struck true and took the biggest one down to the ground with the shard in the back of his right knee. The smaller one whirled around in time to avoid being hit in the head and took the hit in the shoulder, he looked crossed.

    “Damnit, we should have just finished this earlier! Sorry Bralin, looks like you’re on your own here. I’m not gonna stick around any longer.” He then tried to run around Cip and escape, leaving his friend behind who just looked at him in shock. The smaller man was quick, and moved quite dexterously.

    Kylia stepped out of hiding and looked at the scene, she brushed her hair from her face and looked at her rescuer silently as she leaned against the wall to help her stand. “Thanks, who are you?”

    As one of the men ran, Ciprian grumbled to himself, “Damnit, I don’t want to go chasing after criminals again.” He lowered his blade and looked to the woman, then caught his breath. Dark skin, long ears, she was an elf! And a dark elf at that. Falis, all he wanted to do was sleep. “Ciprian, Holy Knight of Valis. What brings a dark elf to the Holy City? You’re not exactly welcomed here,” he said sharply. Ciprian approached the man called Bralin, who was apparently hamstrung, and pointed his blade to the man’s face. “Don’t go anywhere,” he said.

    Kylia looked to the man and swallowed before speaking, the least she could do is thank him. “I’m half-dark elf and my name is Kylia Shadowstorm. Thank you, Sir Ciprian, for helping me. I am a traveling apothecary among other things. Those men beat up another man tonight because of a slight insult at a tavern tonight. I tried to help him but wound up with them after me as well. I guess the gods are on my side after all.” She then moved forward slowly, she would not be content to let only this one get caught. His friend had to pay too, but only to catch the man. “I’ll find his friend and bring him in. The city guard might be leery of me, but I am a member of the Merchants’ Guild. I just need to get back to the inn and rest it off. Perhaps if you would stop by the inn tomorrow I will prepare a mixture of your choice as a reward.”

    She then made it to the man she hamstrung, looking at him she went close to his face. He was obviously in pain and it looked like shock at what she did. “Next time maybe you’ll steer clear of me Bralin, as I took it easy on you...” She then pulled the shard from his leg and pointed to between his eyes, indicating she could have not been so merciful.

    She’s only half-dark elf, and a member of the Merchants’ Guild, Ciprian thought. Can I trust her? She’s still part dark elf. Well, it’s too late to concern myself with that. “Well, there should be a guard on patrol on the next street over,” Ciprian said, considering to just let her go on her own, but that wouldn’t be very chivalrous. What if the guard was even more skeptical about her? What if the other man was waiting for her? “I’ll walk with you till we find the guard, milady,” he offered, though somewhat reluctant.

    “Thank you. I’m sure that his friend is already gone by now. I just want to get back to my room and get some sleep. At least you are not walking away like many would.” She looked around and when he started off to the where the guard was, she followed him. She was nervous about this. What if the guard was going to blame her? She would rather not even deal with the guards, even for this. After a few steps she hesitated and stopped, her nerves getting the better of her. “Are you sure that the guard will even take me seriously? Or perhaps they will make me look like the attacker. I’ll just head back to the my room at the inn myself since its so late. I don’t want to take a chance. Thank you for any help you have given me, sorry if I woke you up.” Once she had spoken, she looked back to the man on the ground. He was not going to be a problem anymore, she hoped. Perhaps she should still give him a warning, so he did not cause more trouble. Heading back, she looked him in the eye again, with a look like she did not want to do what she was about to do. “I’ll even spare you the legal trouble, just try to stay out of trouble Bralin.”

    Ciprian was quite surprised by her sudden change of heart. The guard would take the orders of a knight, even if it meant helping a half-dark elf. “Well...if that’s what you want,” Ciprian said, scratching the back of his head, his sun-bleached hair rumpled from sleep. “Which inn are you staying at? I’d like to check in on you tomorrow morning, if that’s acceptable,” he asked. If he couldn’t help her tonight, he could at least make sure she didn’t have any more problems.

    Ciprian glanced down at Bralin. It was obvious he couldn’t walk. He would have to take him to the guard at least, whether it was for punishment, or to get him healed.

    After he spoke, Kylia looked at him and nodded lightly. She knew how this all sounded and she wondered what he thought. Perhaps in a small way he was suspicious of her motives, but then she was not trying to sound like that. She was merely more concerned about making enough of a profit to buy more supplies when she needed them. “The Mindful Eye is the name of the inn and such is acceptable, it is a few blocks northwest of here. I don’t trust guards that much, and I have some work to get done so I can restock for the market tomorrow. I should also get some rest for the road too, I must take my leave now.” She then smoothed over her outfit and quickly retouched her hair so it went back neatly again. She also made sure that her pouches were still secure. After that she headed off towards the inn, hoping that the next days profits would be better than the previous.

    “See you tomorrow morning then,” Ciprian called after Kylia as she walked away. He gave a heavy sigh as he watched her go. Bralin was crawling off, dragging his leg behind him. If he could at least limp somewhere, Cip wasn’t going to go through the trouble of helping a thug who attacked a merchant. The knight turned back to his building and went to retrieve his sheath.

    Exhausted, he climbed up the stairs and returned to his apartment. Cian was still fast asleep. If he was tired enough to pass out in mid-sentence, Ciprian doubted even Kardis’ Resurrection would wake him at this point. The knight leaned his sword against the wall, locked the door and basically fell into his bed roll in front of the fire. It didn’t take too long to fall back to sleep.

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