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Archives: Hunt for Kiran

Chapter 13: The Hunt: Shinning Hill’s Gates

    After the minor altercation between the guests of the Tiger Lily Inn and Mica, Adriel was glad to be back outside. Mica’s desire to find Kiran was greater than the concern over insults and even the disappearance of his wife. Adriel learned from the innkeeper that there were only two city gates and the port to worry about. They could easily split up to cover both gates, but Adriel worried that if Mica found evidence of Kiran first, he might not bother to tell him. {“Now, how are we going to begin this search?”} Adriel asked, seeking suggestions from the more skilled trackers of the group.

    It was still bothering Mica. What was it that Thiana wanted out of Kiran? If he could remember that detail it would be easier to think of which way Kiran would want to go. {“Two gates, four people. We could split up,”} Mica presented the idea in elven. Sure his accent wasn’t the greatest, but if Adriel was going to talk in his native tongue it was only polite to return the favor by speaking back to him in it. {“Since I doubt that your bodyguards will up and let just you and I go together, and probably neither of them wish to go with me alone, or leave you in the care of just one of them, I’ll check out the furthest gate. I’ve got good running legs and I can ‘act’ polite, I suppose. I should be able to send word if Kiran has gone through the gate by Sylph.”} If I’m not too tired.

    {“I am certain that one of my bodyguards could be spared to help you,”} Adriel replied. {“Sythenra, you should join Mica?”} Sythenra nodded to Adriel and took a step toward Mica. {“I will go to the north gate,”} Adriel stated, and without allowing a chance for Mica to complain about someone else going with him, Adriel took off running to the north, expecting Yrsanne to follow.

    Adriel’s expectations were accurate to a pin point. Yrsanne was happily behind him. As soon as they got out of earshot, she spoke up. “Thank you for not putting me with him,” she said curtly between breaths.

    Adriel glanced over at Yrsanne and gave her a small smile. He felt better connected with her, so he cared more for her comfort. His decision to send Sythenra with Mica was based on his own preference. She was so quiet that he sometimes forgot about her.

    The route they took avoided most of the crowds, so the two dark elves weren’t bothered in their run to the north gate. When they finally arrived, Adriel approached the guards and began to question them about Kiran. Word of the dark elf fugitive had made it to these guards, and apparently all the guards in the city. None of the guards who had taken shifts that day had reported seeing Kiran pass that way. However, if Kiran had used invisibility spirits the guards would be clueless.

    After speaking with the guards, Adriel and Yrsanne moved away from the guards. The younger dark elf had a suggestion. {“Yrsanne, can you try asking the local invisibility spirits if they have cloaked anyone leaving the city overnight? I know you are a far more skilled shaman than I am,”} Adriel said, falling back into his native tongue again.

    “Just a moment...” Yrsanne said quietly, turning to the side and closing her eyes. She whispered almost inaudibly, first calling them up and then communicating with them as best she could. It took her a minute to confirm what Adriel inquired before she thanked them aloud and opened her eyes. “None have called them. If he sneaked out, it was not with their help.”

    Adriel frowned slightly. “Very well, then there is nothing here for us,” he replied. “We should continue south, then and meet with Mica and Sythenra.”

* * *

    Mica took off quickly towards the south gate, proverbially dragging Sythenra along behind him. He had more than enough energy to spare, his anger of being insulted at the inn, the hatred he felt for his father, and the overwhelming desire to destroy the woman who let him escape fueled his body more than mere sleep ever could. He was even glad that his wife, Parsley, had left the search. Less dead weight for him to worry about trying to hold him back when he wanted to pound Kiran to mud and blood. Thiana was his main concern now, however. He’d even give a chance to Kiran to say how sorry he was after he tortured and killed the bitch that intruded on his search.

    Pick up the pace you lame brained bitch, he growled mentally at Sythenra who was still lagging behind him. Irritated, Mica stopped and ran back to the lagging woman and grabbed her sharply around the wrist. Sythenra gave a sharp yelp as the younger boy dragged her along at his pace towards the South Gate.

    Mica dragged Sythenra all the way to the south gate and tossed her forward a bit. “You’re slower than a constipated mule,” Mica growled at her. “Do your thing, ask the invisibility spirits if he came this way. I’ll deal with the guard.” Mica left her where he tossed her and moved to the guard. “A dark elf male, a dark elf female, and a mutt. Did they come this way during the night?”

    “How should I know?” asked the guard. “I just got on shift.”

    “Who would know?” Mica growled.

    “Probably the last shift,” the guard answered again. “Why?” Mica couldn’t restrain his fist any longer. Lashing out he smashed the guard’s chin inward. He coughed blood and glared at Mica. “What the hell?” he growled. Luckily for Mica he hadn’t broken the kid’s jaw.

    Mica cracked his knuckles and stared the kid down menacingly. “This can go one of two ways: one, you tell me where the last shift went, or two, I beat it out of you and your mother wonders where your corpse was hidden.”

    Mica’s threat was met with a clap on the shoulder. Mica’s glare shot back to an older guardsman. “I apologize for the mouth on the trainee, sir, but you should probably refrain from hurting him any further.” Mica relaxed a bit and the man continued, “I was on last shift. We didn’t see anyone pass through, but we did leave post momentarily during the shift change. When I came on the gate was open and there were footprints heading southward. A dog’s footprints were amongst them.”

    Mica sighed. It wasn’t concrete proof, but it was enough. “I’m sorry,” he said to the younger guard. “The man I’m chasing often puts me in a foul mood. I’d like to get to him before he hurts another person.”

    The older guard answered for the younger. “He apologizes for shooting off his mouth,” the guard sighed. “Unfortunately, regardless of him shooting his mouth off or not, there is a penalty for striking a guardsman. Usually it’s a couple nights in jail followed by a modest bail. Since you seem in a hurry, I’ll let you off for just paying the bail and his healing bill.”

    Mica sighed. “Seems fair enough,” he grumbled. “How much is that? Does a Raiden cover it?” he said, lifting a coin out of his pouch. The older guard snatched it from Mica’s hand.

    “That is more than enough,” the old guard said with a smile. He went inside the guardhouse and came out with another guard to watch the post while he dragged the younger one off to the temple.

    Sythenra returned to Mica and shook her head. “No. He didn’t summon any invisibility spirits,” she answered. “Did you find anything out?”

    “There’s a possibility that Kiran, Thiana the whore, and her mutt passed through here. I’ll summon a Sylph to ask Adriel of his own progress,” Mica stated.

* * *

    As Adriel and Yrsanne walked to the south gate, a Sylph spirit delivered a message to Adriel. After listening for a moment, he replied to the spirit, {“We found nothing, we are coming to meet you.”}

    Turning to Yrsanne, he explained; “Mica asked if we had made any progress. I do not know if he has found something.” The young dark elf began walking again. They were avoiding the crowds of the market by following the streets around the square. The few people they did meet on the streets gawked or quickened their pace when they saw the pair of dark elves. Adriel was eager to get away from their glares, but he maintained an air of aloof dignity, as if he didn’t notice the humans.

* * *

    Adriel and Yrsanne hurried across the city to meet Mica. To Adriel’s relief, his half-brother had waited. Mica and Sythenra were at the gate, though Sythenra was standing out of arm’s length from Mica with a sour look on her face. For a moment, Adriel felt sorry for leaving her with Mica. {“Did you find anything?”} he asked as he approached.

    {“There’s a possibility that the whore, our father, and the whore’s mutt went this way,”} Mica stated. {“The gate was unguarded for a moment while the guard was changing. Sad to say, no one watched them depart, therefore no need to use invisibility spirits, but our one major clue is that there were dog footprints beyond the gate, and it was ajar.”}

    {“It seems to be our only option,”} Adriel replied. {“Let’s pursue it.”} The dark elf moved forward, eager to be on the road after his father.

    Yrsanne continued her silent following, as there was nothing that needed adding. Conversation would only serve to slow them. She held back any wise cracks for simplicity’s sake.

    Mica followed Adriel silently. He was still trying to remember what Thiana said on the ship. Something about Kiran...but then the terror of being aboard a ship removed a chunk of the memories from his mind. He shot a glance at Sythenra who doggedly followed behind.

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