ES: Origins

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Re: ES: Origins

Postby Graybeard » August 18th, 2010, 8:23 am

[No, Sarine isn't going to become a regular protagonist in this -- not yet, anyway. It's about Lorrin, not about Sarine, and about all the stuff that happened ... before. However, she does figure in it, after all, so her turn for a brief bit of spotlight:]


Chapter 18: Sarine

There wasn’t much doubt that this wound was going to be lethal, even for an elf. As Lorrin watched, the Rinkai woman gave the sword a twist – rather overdoing it, Lorrin thought, and judging from the murmurs of the crowd, he wasn’t alone – before withdrawing it. She did something that Lorrin couldn’t quite make out, causing the glowing blade to retract into the form of a small, purple crystal, as the dying man pitched forward.

“Well, that wasn’t so exciting,” Vlado Ordiel grumped as the crowd began to disperse. “These two weren’t very skilled. A good duel goes on for most of a day, and you’ve never seen so much damn elf blood in your life.” The tone of his voice suggested that he definitely thought seeing elf blood was a good thing. “These two made all kinds of stupid-ass mistakes that should have got both of ‘em killed ten times over. Hell, I could’ve taken either of ‘em myself.”

Pontus rolled his eyes. “I’m sure you could have, Vlado.” He managed a sly wink in Lorrin’s direction. “Come on, let’s get back to the mess hall, dinner might even still be warm.” He turned to go … but Lorrin wasn’t quite ready to leave yet.

The victor in the duel had already disappeared in a throng of well-wishers, leaving three elves with the body of the defeated combatant. Lorrin recognized one of them as Sarine, the small weapons master who was supposed to teach him, although their lessons hadn’t started yet because of her reassignment to the investigation of the Slow Fall tower. The other two elves were simply standing patiently over the corpse, neutral expressions on their faces – but Sarine was frantically pumping magical energy into one Healing spell after another.

Quite in vain, of course, as one of the standing elves pointed out, his expression unchanged. “He’s dead, Sarine. There is nothing you can do for him. Leave him and let us prepare his body for his journey to the land of Exitialis.”

Sarine’s eyes flashed with exactly the same kind of passion Lorrin had seen in them when Noboo Hazegawa had died, and she said some of the same things that she’d said then. “Dammit, Kinnik! If you’d got out here and helped me instead of sitting on your ass, it might not have been too late! We could have saved this man … and he died because you couldn’t be bothered to do anything about him!”

The standing elf rolled his eyes in a manner almost exactly like what Pontus had done moments earlier, when Vlado had said something over the top. “Sarine, you know the rules. This was a duel of honor. They fought it between themselves, and it was their choice to fight it to the death. If Lauriah had wanted to show mercy, it was her option to do it. She didn’t, so –“

Sarine interrupted. “Lauriah is a clumsy bitch who doesn’t know any way to fight except brute force, but that’s beside the point. Kinnik, we shouldn’t just throw lives away like this! Life is too precious a thing to waste on –“

It was Kinnik’s turn to interrupt. “Viradior Sarine, everyone is well aware of your views on our social conventions,” he said evenly. “Now please excuse us.”

The orange-haired woman threw up her hands in frustration, stood, stalked away from the others without another word … and noticed Lorrin watching the scene. She was still plenty agitated, that was clear from her face, and she fixed him with a glare.

“Well, what are you looking at?” she said hotly.

I don’t know, but it’s a hell of a lot more “human” than most of my human companions are, Lorrin thought, as he finally turned to leave the arena without answering the challenge.

END OF PART ONE
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