DAY 9: The Elori – Part IX

Kilgalan’s face burned with rage; a deep hatred coursed through his very being. Every fiber of his body was invested in the achievement of this one goal: Revenge.

The tempest around him reflected his heart, for there was great unrest and agitation there; emotions he had no idea existed welled up in maelstroms and added to the confusion of his sensations. Vindictive thoughts plagued him like a persistent parasite, thoughts which he could not recall thinking at any point in his life. These feelings were new to him. As such, he did not know how to control them. He cast all his inhibitions and wisdom aside for the sake of indulging the passion of the moment.

He spurred his horse on. The beast tried its best to obey its master, but it could only go so fast, and that wasn’t enough for Kilgalan. The boy snapped the rains repeatedly and kicked his steed in the ribs with the heels of his shoes, crying, “On! On! Our errand is important!” The urgency in Kilgalan’s voice seemed to be enough to hasten the horse’s gallop, if only by a small margin.

Everything around Kilgalan was obscured in a maelstrom of rain and wind, serving to add to his confusion and agitation. He could feel hot tears running down his face as the rain spattered against him and the wind battered him without a whit of mercy. He turned to his right and saw the vague silhouettes of trees passing by him, to his left, and the contours of tumbling hills. Ahead, a gray abyss; behind, the same.

Then the terrain changed. The ground grew more sloped and precarious, the outcroppings more frequent and dangerous. The sky seemed to darken as he passed into this forsaken territory, reflecting the doom that now resided in his heart. He felt a vague sense of foreboding as he rode on, one that he could scarcely explain. Everything around him grew wicked and sharp, the soft, pastoral contours and colors of the land behind him fading into naught but inconspicuous vestiges. He turned his eyes to the road ahead and did not look again at the scenery. A solemn expression passed over his face. His eyes narrowed. He was intent now, and wholeheartedly focused. Nothing would deter him on this path if he could help it…

Then, a crack of lightning, and the side of a cliff was illuminated for a brief instant. It was only that brief instant, though, that Kilgalan needed; he perceived, in the transient light, the cave wherein the weapon lie. It was very inconspicuous, nestled between two crags that nearly obscured it, but to the keen eye it was easily spotted. Kilgalan grinned in satisfaction and snapped the reins. His horse pressed forward, and they came to the cave entrance. Kilgalan dismounted, tied the horse to one of the crag-projections, and then entered the cave. All at once, he was deluged by darkness.

But he managed to see a flickering light up ahead, just around a bend, and he rushed towards it.

When he came around the corner, he took the torch from the wall sconce and waved it a few times back and forth to survey the immediate area. That done, he proceeded down the passage, his breath echoing audibly off of the cave walls. He could still hear the thunder outside as he pressed further onward, giving the whole place a sense of darkness and evil, to him, was unprecedented.

Then, he heard music. A plaintive tune; soft, but audible, and both evocative and sentimental. He attuned his ear to it as he walked forward. It was a strange contradiction, hearing this beautiful lay played on a harp while the tempest raged on without and the darkness brooded within, but it was pleasant and agreeable. He wished it not to stop, and, in fact, it didn’t. He had the melody as a companion for a good five minutes before he came into a circular chamber, torches lining the walls at regularly spaced intervals and light gleaming off of various gold and silver objects. The walls were decorated with elaborate carvings and intricate designs, the product, surely of weeks of work. Kilgalan marveled at these for a time, running his torch past the walls in fascination. But his curiosity was not to last. Without warning, four torches blazed on around a chair near the edge of the chamber that had hiterto been obscured by darkness; on it sat a girl, looking to be about fifteen, gazing detachedly at Kilgalan as she spoke: “State your name.” Her voice was feeble and quavered as she talked.

The girl’s face was cadaverous and pale, a ruined testament to what must have once been a bright and cheerful beauty. Her lips were cracked and bleeding, her eyes dry, bloodshot and motionless; her arms were as thin as bone, her legs equally so, and she was clothed in naught but rags and a shawl. Her hair was lank and untidy, falling, unkempt, down her rough back and almost to her waste. But the defining characteristic of her entire person was her countenance, so grave and twisted that one could not help but feel pity for the poor soul; every time her eyes wandered to Kilgalan, a pleading look came over her face, and she sobbed a little sob before resuming her stoic composure. Kilgalan’s countenance and demeanor reflected the sadness that he harbored for this unfortunate little creature as he said, “I am Kilgalan.”

Her eyes wandered towards another side of the chamber and said, “Kilgalan? I don’t know you.” The feebleness remained, but now it had been supplanted by an uncanny sweetness, as if some part of her old self remained in her gaunt uniform.

“I have come to retrieve the weapon,” Kilgalan said firmly. “Tell me where it is, for I am in haste.”

“Why do you need it?” she asked indifferently.

“Because I must avenge the death of my father!”

“Is that it? And you need this weapon to do this?”

“Yes, I do!”

“Very well. I must ask you one last question before you retrive the weapon, though; do you bear the brand?”

“The brand?”

“I must have proof of your infusion. If you have been branded on your right shoulder with the symbol, then I will let you take the weapon.”

Kilgalan, knowing that he had been infused, withdrew his shirt and then turned around so that the girl could see. When he returned his gaze to the young lady and donned his shirt, she said, “You may now have what you seek.”

“Bring it forward, then,” Kilgalan said. “Let me have a look at this grand weapon.”

“You’re looking at it right now.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

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1 Comment

  1. May 17, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Oh my goodness, this plot is really heating up. I cannot wait another minute for the next installment.

    Oh, might I add that the writing was yet once again impeccable. Your descriptions of people, places, and feelings are top notch.


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