To Solidify the Mist: Cp33

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To Solidify the Mist
Chapter Thirty-Three

The soldiers of Octugree almost broke ranks as we approached the border of Mochsha’a property the next day. The sky was dark. Orintious spoke of the foul cloud of Decholl, but it looked to me like stalled storm clouds and not the black mist of our opponent. While the local soldiers seemed frightened by the sight of crossing into my sister’s property, I believe our group were excited to hopefully put the threat to an end.

Orintious had prepared his men for the attack of the bats. I saw the same vortex of creatures rush down that had killed some soldiers when we rescued Mochsha. This time a blast of flame disrupted the spiral of creatures with the soldiers surviving while some bats did not.

The same was not true of the regular soldiers. I heard screams of them suffering and dying. I believe that Orintious yelled for his men to advance hoping to end the threat before too many of the local troops were killed.

We suddenly were engulfed in darkness. Luckily, Orintious’ soldiers had lit flames to ignite their blasts of fire, and we also had Mochsha who was glowing red. Looking up the great black wings of Decholl could be seen as they flapped to keep him above the reach of our weapons.

“What are you doing? Mochsha, you cannot work with the nobles around here. You are superior to them. We are superior to them. Join me and we can gain complete control of this land.”

She replied, “Uncle, what wrong did the baron do to you?”

Decholl wavered in the movement of his wings as if the use of his title affected him. He did not drop far however before he had his wings pump to put him back up in height. Only then did he use his lungs to power his retort.

“WRONG? Our land was failing and your mother died with your half-siblings. Your father was having to start over, and I showed him how to succeed. Nobles are born into their service. You were born into greatness as well, Mochsha. It is time for you to claim it.”

“But, I have claimed it. This is my land. I –“

“NO! Mochsha, you have the potential for so much more! Listen to me, Girl!”

Having seen the earlier hesitation, I yelled out, “NIECE!”

“What?”

“She’s your niece!”

“Who are you, Boy?”

Orintious was now the one to yell out, “He is the one that called you an idiot!”

Mochsha declared at the top of her voice, “And he is my brother! That makes him your nephew!”

Heratin just said loud enough for us to hear him, “Vernallor, did you call our uncle an idiot?”

I replied, “If he will drop the high-and-mighty act, I guess I will apologize.”

Decholl screamed, “MOCHSHA, this was not supposed to be how things happened!”

“WE KNOW THAT ALREADY! Sorry, Uncle, but you are old enough to know that life is just not fair! It is now time to come down and settle things between us!”

I had not noticed Orintious’ men preparing the attack. The fact that they carried torches had been realized, but other devices I had not taken into account. While I had no preparations for the attack, I had to say that I did not feel that further conversation would have been productive.

Seeing Decholl covered in flames had the soldiers cheer. I however stayed silent really not expecting it to work. While I watched with the hope that an effective attack had been managed by the soldiers, it really did not surprise me to have their cheers silenced by Decholl not showing any concern for the flames on his body.

He screamed, “Your persistence is amazing!”

Mochsha yelled back, “Uncle!”

“Now you call me uncle! Now you recognize me as having a place in your life.”

“NOW? Now I know. You did not speak to me. I did not know who held me captive.”

“BUT YOU WERE HELD CAPTIVE! Didn’t you feel anger? Didn’t you feel fear? Didn’t you have one sensible emotion due to your situation?”

Mochsha’s red glow changed to green, a deep green very different than the bright pure colors I would see when she was around Orintious. “I guess I did not. I however kept waiting for my captivity to be explained. I turned to perfecting my spirit and seeking –“

“YOU WHAT? Girl, you were –“

I believe all three of us brothers yelled out in unison, “NIECE!”

“She is no niece of mine.”

Orintious replied, “Sorry, but you cannot deny blood.”

“Don’t tell me what I can and cannot do.”

“Aren’t you doing that to your niece? You are telling her how she should have acted. Well, she didn’t. What is worse, she didn’t for a really long time. In all that time didn’t you consider doing something different? In all that time, didn’t you realize that your plans were not going as you planned? In all that time, didn’t you figure out that you might be wrong?”

“HOW ABOUT HER?”

I saw Mochsha’s color change to a pure pastel green as Orintious stepped out in a prominent position only to use an arm to point to her. “She was gone from me for much too long. However, we found her to still be our sister. We found her to still be in good spirits. We found her glad to see us, and still loving us. We found her only to sorrow that she had been gone from us for much too long. She is the sister I remember, and I am so glad to have her back in my life.”

“You are such fools.”

The wings again faltered. Instead of Decholl this time strongly flapping to restore his place above us, he shifted his form to glide over us before flapping to power his flight. I am not certain of the others, but as I saw the darkness from his wings leave us I thought about what plans we needed to enact.

From the local military came the voice of Baron Amonter. “You are correct! We are not prepared for a threat of this type. However, I saw and heard enough to verify everything about your story. Win this victory, and I will assure Mochsha her place in my land even as I seek to retain Orintious.”

The older brother replied, “Thank you, Baron. I am sorry about the seriousness of this threat, but expect to give you a full report once we have settled the matter.”

“I will be waiting to get to know all of you better.”

As I heard the baron order his men to fall back, Orintious stepped toward me to say, “Can we fight this battle split? I really would like to keep all of us together.”

It was Heratin that replied, “You should be safe with Mochsha, Orintious. She has been rather secure with only Vernallor, and you are a much better fighter. Once you get Nerframe in the house, you might be surprised at how safe it becomes.”

I tried to support his words with my own logic. “We cannot afford to be wrong. We need to quickly discover what we can of this threat. The best way to make use of our time is to split up. Anyway, once we get to the water, he cannot follow us.”

Orintious said, “I’m trusting you, Heratin.”

The middle brother replied, “Trusting me? I dare say that if you don’t trust Vernallor, you shouldn’t let us go.”

“He’s still the youngest of us. We are the older siblings. It would help if you would act like it.”

“I’m the one that just had his life restarted. I would say that Vernallor is older than me.”

Orintious sighed, then looked to me to say, “Vernallor, take care of Heratin.”

Heratin cheered, “ALL RIGHT! Now we have things settled properly. Come on, Vernallor. Let’s go show our older brother up.”

I nodded to him, but first shook hands with Orintious. I saw him smile to me, then wink. He then took off directing Mochsha and the other ladies toward the house. I then looked around, but it was Heratin that voiced the question.

“Older brother, do you know the way to Bectim’s Pond?”

I was about to say something about referring to me as the older brother when a soldier stepped up to say, “I know the way, Heratin. I studied the map the witches had quite well, and have been advising Orintious. It was poor for distances, but from what I have seen on the march it has been pretty good on relative positions.”

Heratin softly spoke to me, “You see, it is now just my name.”

I replied, “You will learn as you grow older that respect is something that has to be earned.”

Laughter sounded from the men around us. Heratin just glared at me for a moment. He then smiled while making a comment.

“I guess I earned that one. Good pick up, Vernallor. Now, let’s go prove you right.”

We did not rush. While the sky did not have the blackness of Decholl’s presence, there were still a number of bats active. As we feared, a swirling vortex of the flying mammals did form. The soldiers proved themselves to have not come unprepared, or be out of the ammunition, when they set the blast that disrupted the deadly spiral before anyone could be hurt. Soldiers gave Heratin and me instructions about assuring our safety speaking of the rules on the use of the weapon. Basically, we told the soldiers to keep to their duties, then we did what we could to rush to our destination while also staying safe.

I swear that I did not see the rush of black. The soldiers acted just as surprised as me to have Decholl suddenly in front of us. They drew their weapons, but I simply advanced upon him. While I had something I was going to say, Decholl rushed out his words to speak first.

“Why are you going this way?”

I replied, “Why are you stopping us, Uncle Decholl? Planning on locking us up for the next many decades?”

“Might as well. It might teach you a lesson in foolishness. You won’t kill me.”

Suddenly shock showed on his face as Heratin drove his blade into the entity’s body while saying, “It’s called being divine, Uncle Decholl. You are just a monster. I have the blood of a goddess in me. While Vernallor might have the sword intended for me, don’t think I did not have access to some really dangerous weapons.”

Just as he had appeared suddenly, Decholl went away in a quick burst of black. Heratin spun obviously looking for the being. The soldiers also spread out as if to find him, but that just gave an opening for the bats to create their deadly spiral. As another burst of fire happened, Heratin signaled us to move away.

He said, “I know that I did not kill him either. Listen, Vernallor, no offense, but I don’t care if you or Orintious is right. I just want this deviant uncle of ours dealt with.”

A number of soldiers spoke their agreement. I definitely could not speak against the older brother being the one to solve the problem. I agreed that this matter needed to be resolved, but in no mood to give up I signaled the soldiers to again start moving.

And they go into the water to find a secret.