To Solidify the Mist: Cp21

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To Solidify the Mist
Chapter Twenty-One

Travel the next day was uneventful, assuming one does not consider the hunt for game to be something worth noting. I considered it odd to see the tactics used to gain a couple of goats, as I felt the soldiers to put more effort into killing the animals than they did to defeat the black entity. It must be said that he was confrontational while the goats would have run. Even though I simply stopped and relaxed while a few soldiers performed the hunt, I noted the amount of respect and attention given to the wildlife and felt the dark man could learn things about being a worthy opponent.

It was as we stood on a ridge and looked to the land ahead that the soldiers felt we were finally gaining sight of our objective. Further they found themselves concluding that the mountain fairy had indeed pointed us in the proper direction. Had they turned one way, they would have found themselves heading into the middle of the continent. There were a series of peaks along a ridge in the other direction that would have forced us to travel a great distance before again gaining a manageable route to the coast. The soldiers began the search for a good camping site while speaking of Orintious’ mother as truly being someone they could trust.

Even as the sky grew dark, it was noticed that a moving patch did not act as a mass of clouds. While the soldiers did gain weapons and spread their formation, I heard laughter from them. I did not notice any change in a plan, but I have to say that Orintious at this time made a decision about how to treat the coming darkness.

When the black winged person descended this time, he said, “I need to come to terms with you now. Your direction of travel will lead you to your doom.”

A soldier replied, “Terms? I hear the sound of wings that I have heard before. It seems to me that you really are not intending to gain terms.”

“You! The leader! You allow your men to speak for you?”

Orintious replied, “I told you that we were mercenaries. Those men work for me, but only because I assure that they get paid. Should one of them gain the authority of a paying customer, I could well work for them.”

“So, you allow that I could buy their loyalty from you?”

“Sure, go ahead.”

The soldiers laughed, to which the dark entity replied, “It seems that they do not believe I have the wealth.”

Orintious replied, “They know what I pay them, and most have seen the pay for quite a long time from me. They also know how I treat them.”

“How many children of Galabur do I have before me?”

“Four.”

I saw the head of the entity move to look over our group, and felt certain that he knew which four of us had the status of being siblings. “You know that your father, supposed father, is a creature of the depths whose base nature is even more vile than my present state?”

“And yet, here we are, standing together united in love proud of our existence and hopeful of our future. I’m the oldest, so the one to have spent the most time with our father. After all my years of dealing with Father, I am glad to have him as the patriarch of my family.”

“Well, I am sorry for I am about to do.”

Mochsha suddenly blared out, “DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?” I felt the entity showed the same expression in looking to her that I often saw in her as she looked to the older brother. “Father might indeed have been the creature you spoke of, but he crawled out of those depths and set himself to make something grand of himself. When he speaks to us there is a conviction in his voice of knowing that his path has worked, and in living with him we know that there is a firm foundation in what he provides to us. Why can’t you see that you can set yourself toward a noble future as well?”

“I WAS THERE! This is not who I was. It was taken BY FORCE! I have no other choice.”

“I don’t believe you. I believe even now that you are being confronted by thoughts telling you that there is another way. Take the other path. For yourself, take the other path.”

The dark entity took a step forward. One crossbow bolt was launched by a soldier on the side, and would have hit the being if he would have advanced further. He noticed the missile fly before him, then stepped back before asking a question.

“Can you guide me, Girl? Can you tell me something to have me see this other path?”

“Regret. Look at the options before you, and take the one you will not regret.”

“I am sorry, but I see regret in every option before me.”

Mochsha did advance, although I stepped behind her and found Heratin coming to my side as I did, although she did not allow our protection to prevent her from speaking. “Letting people live, not causing death, will bring you regret?”

“You’re going to the ocean. After speaking with a mountain fairy, you are heading to an ocean fairy. That will be your doom little lady, and I will regret that.”

Heratin quipped, “So instead of another killing us, you feel the better option is to kill us yourself?”

“When I spoke of doom, I did not mean death.”

Orintious replied, “You could not mean anything else. You are here to kill us.”

“What was done to me can be done to you, and your death is a better option.”

“We had a good conversation with the mountain fairy. She was kind, and treated us well. She sent us on this path, and our time with her had us trust her. Plus, the path she sent us on is indeed being shown to be true. Nothing in your dealing with us has had the same qualities.”

The entity almost again advanced, but stopped with his face showing stress as he asked, “And on what matter did you seek an audience with the mountain fairy?”

I answered, “To solidify the mists of our past. You are correct about our father, but what my older brother said is correct as well. Still, our father’s past is not ours. We were adopted. Some of us feel that our future could be made better by knowing the direction of the path behind us and those who had guided the steps taken.”

The black man looked directly at me as he said, “I would say where you are looking will not meet those goals.”

“I do not believe you. I believe you are attempting to only have us see certain dim ghosts of our past and trying to control what final shapes they take.”

“You trust fairies?”

“You did not hear us speak of complete faith and devotion to what the mountain fairy told us. You heard us however say that we were finding her words to be true. We thought about acting along our own observations, but felt to at least show the mountain fairy some respect. We are now glad that we did. I am sorry, but we are also glad that we have opposed you. We do not trust you.”

The hand of the dark entity pointed around to the various soldiers, then said, “I am speaking to the boy! That is all!”

Orintious said, “I will not allow you to advance. However, Vernallor, approach.”

As I took steps forward, he asked, “That is your name, Boy? Vernallor?”

I asked, “How about yours? Is it truly Derchallog?”

“No. The mists behind me will not call me by that name. When I look to them, I hear the name Decholl. I was from a land called Nakallog. The land no longer exists, although I altered my name to try and keep its memory alive and solid.”

I heard Mochsha gasp, then turned as she quoted some strange words. The man collapsed to his knees with his great wings lifted up to the sky. Hearing the lady stop, he quoted something that I felt were the same words in a language we could understand.

"Nature will cease / And no land will have peace / That Decholl will stride upon / Hope I have cast / As a thing of the past / What Nakallog did not reckon” He looked to my sister as he said, “It is a horrible poem, but true. I thank you for not quoting it all.”

Mochsha replied, “I could not find a translation. Usually, due to our training, if we can say the words we can understand them. I brought the text to Father to have him help me, but we could not understand it. He said it was from this world however, and so I came here seeking those who might tell me what it says.”

“They are dead. Most I killed, but I have to say that some simply met their end in a more normal fashion.” He then turned his face to me as he said, “Boy, Vernallor, that is my demand upon you. Do not trust that fairy. Come back to me. Listen then to my words. Hear me out.”

I replied, “We are actually willing to hear you out now.”

He rose while saying, “No. I have failed. I fully admit defeat at this time. Still, the war rages on. Do not think this conflict between us is over. If you truly seek to solidify the mists behind you, you are going to find me. If you really want to see me as I am, and know the truth of the matter, you will come back to me.”

I looked to Orintious, then to Mochsha. Both however simply stared at me with what I felt was trust in me. Not knowing what else to do, I stepped toward the entity with my hand out.

He asked, “Is that a sign of agreement?”

“If you don’t shake then there is no agreement. I however am saying in ignorance that I will give your request some weight. You however are stating that you mean well. Note that I expect to learn whether this handshake was made in honor or whether it was another foolish attempt by you to do us wrong.”

“You’re not a fool, Vernallor. I can say that I have found none of you to be fools. Your sister is correct. I need to rise above my state.” He reached out and took my hand, then as he gave it a good shake he said, “We have an agreement.”

I watched as he then stepped back, turned, then had the stars return as his dark presence left our surroundings. I found myself actually wondering about who the entity was. As I watched the skies, I listened as the men returned to their normal activities.

Orintious came up to hug me as he said, “Well, done, Vernallor. I was wondering if this meeting would gain any value. You indeed managed to gain some terms that could do well for us.”

No sooner did my older brother release me than I felt the arms of my sister come around me. “Oh, Vernallor, I was so worried about you. You did well, very well.”

I replied to both, “Well, he didn’t tell us how to contact him, so I assume he will be watching. Still, I would hope that he at least won’t be bothering us.”

Orintious replied, “I am keeping my men on alert. Now, get some sleep knowing that you had a good day. I’m proud of you, Vernallor, and I want you to sleep well with pride in yourself. Also, Decholl was correct that this war is not over. I thus want you refreshed to continue to benefit our number. Sorry, Vernallor, but in doing what you did you made this partially your fight.”

And our group moves on to their destination.