Purification episode 109: Venom’s Price

Shin glanced forward, catching a glimpse of his aunts as they rode in the front. He looked around, there was no sign of any trouble. Caide rode beside him. She was bandaged from her wounds.

“What?” she asked.

“Oh, It’s nothing really,” Shin said.

“You’re too undisciplined,” Caide said. “You need to watch your side and look ahead. The side where your comrades are doesn’t need to be watched.”

“I don’t understand you,” Shin muttered.

“What part of me don’t you understand,” Caide asked.

“For instance, why did you save me?” Shin asked. “I get why Mister Axel came to our rescue. If my aunt and I had been killed then Typhon would have moved on and we’d have lost our chance. But… but there was no reason for you to risk yourself for me. No one would have blamed you if I’d died.”

“There was a reason,” she said.

“And what would that be?” he inquired.

“It’s because I more than like you,” she said, giving him a slight smile. They rode in silence, she looked at him and laughed. “Well, you don’t have to answer me right away. But when you’ve had time to mourn I’ll expect one.”

*****

The first thing Lilly heard was voices. They seemed so distant at at first but slowly, ever so slowly, they came into focus.

“Princess, forgive me for saying so, but this should take precedence.” It was Bonnie’s voice, something sounded half-hearted about her statement. Lilly wished that she could see her face, but something was wrong.

“Don’t give me that shit about priorities!” Axra shouted, Lilly had never heard her sound so angry. Well, aside from the incident with Reginald. “She needs a cleric and she is the priority! Nothing takes precedence over that.”

“I’m not saying that she’s not important,” Bonnie stated. Lilly could feel a cloth around her face, was hat why she couldn’t see? “However, a cleric will still be able to help her in days or even weeks. But we have a small window of opportunity to get the staff before the Titans are vanquished and it becomes…” Her argument was interrupted by the sound of a sword being drawn.

Lilly managed to get up and fumbled her way towards the sound. “Axra, stop it… please. You… you shouldn’t be…” she nearly fell over but felt a pair of arms around her. Twila’s, she realised. She allowed herself a slight smile when she heard the sword go back into its sheath.

“You need to be more careful,” Twila said. “The effects of the poison haven’t fully dissipated yet.”

“S… sorry,” Lilly mumbled. “I’ll be fine… so don’t worry. I just need to…” she reached for the cloth. Axra’s hands grabbed hers.

“You don’t wanna take that off,” Axra said. “Not yet.”

“The serpent’s venom damaged your eyes,” Twila explained. “I don’t know… when your vision will return.”

“Or if,” Velvet’s voice added. After a moment he spoke again. “What? Doesn’t she need to know that?”

“Or if,” Twila conceded, her voice quiet. “We were just discussing whether or not to return to the city and find a cleric for you.”

“N… no, we… we need to keep going,” Lilly said. “I mean… with the Titans and Gods fighting the clerics… they probably…”

“Don’t have any power right now,” Bonnie muttered. “I hadn’t thought of that.”

“Dammit!” Axra cried, her voice was much closer to Lilly. She was probably stooped over her. “Fine, we’ll keep going. Bonnie, you and Lysara can stay out here and watch Lilly. We’ll leave the horses and wagon with you.”

“I understand,” Bonnie said.

“W… wait,” Lilly protested. “I… I know that I can’t see, at least right now… but I can still look after myself. I… I’ll stay away from the fighting. I…” she reached out and grabbed Twila’s hand. Then grabbed Axra’s. “M… my place is with you two. And, besides, you… you may need the extra manpower. S… so please… please don’t leave me behind.” She made an effort to steady herself, she didn’t want to cry, not now. She wasn’t even sure if she still could.

“She will be able to move around normally pretty soon,” Twila whispered, probably trying not to be heard. “And she has enough experience fighting blindly that she shouldn’t be a burden.”

“I would feel better with her close to me,” Axra whispered back, her voice slightly louder than Twila’s. “But I’m worried about what could happen if we’re fighting something strong.”

“I’ll stay close to her,” Twila whispered, Lilly would have to pretend that she hadn’t heard them. ” I can sling spells from a distance and be close enough to keep her safe.”

The two whispered something further, lowering their voices so that Lilly couldn’t quite make out what they were saying anymore. Bonnie jumped in as well. Lilly thought she heard Zerstörelicht  mentioned but wasn’t sure what they were saying about it. Were they going to take it from her?

“All right,” Axra said, her voice loud and clear. “We’ll all go.”

The sound of someone approached her, something they were wearing shuffled across the ground. Robes? Lilly felt a hand take hers, Twila’s.

“Just be careful,” Twila said. Lilly nodded.

Footsteps approached them. “Here,” Axra said. Lilly reached out. Zerstörelicht! Axra was handing the bow back to her. “Use it to protect yourself while you’re hanging back. If you hear anything approach you while the sounds of battle are still going, fire away.”

“Th… thank you,” Lilly said. “I’ll do my very best.”

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About ktulu007

I don’t really like talking about myself, but for the curious I’m Deutsch. I’m the second oldest of three children, four if you count my adopted sister. We largely grew up without a father. Writing has been a major passion for me since I was small. I like to write online because it offers me some freedom to experiment with different genres and provides me with more of an audience than I would normally have access to. One of my bigger influences has always been my youngest sister. She’s very socially aware, an excellent judge of quality when it comes to writing and very supportive of my efforts. Whenever I write I ask myself “would she find major problematic elements in this that I need to change?” and I try to be socially responsible enough and good enough to be as good of a writer as she thinks I am.
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