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Archives: Trials of the Half-Elven

Chapter 11: After the Storm

    Both girls seemed to be in a sour mood, so Nat let them be. Instead, he wanted to find out if this Azala elf was really his father. Azala had gone upstairs, but his friend was still at the table. Nat went over and took a seat beside her.

    “Hello there,” Nat said to her.

    Mia glanced up at Nat, raising one of her scarred eyebrows. “’s bad form to be hitting on me with one of your other girlies over there,” Mia replied. “I’m probably a little old for your tastes.”

    “Actually, I’m not hitting on you,” Nat replied with a chuckle. “Not that I wouldn’t, you are beautiful, no matter how old or young you may be,” he added with a wink. “I’d like to speak to your friend Azala. Perhaps you can help me?”

    If he’s going to talk to Azala about what I think he’s going to talk to Azala about I should have put money down, Mia thought. “Sure, what about?” she asked the half-elf, with a very good idea of what he was going to say.

    Nat found it hard to say. Would he even be able to tell Azala? “It’s...rather personal,” he replied to Mia.

    “I have a pretty good idea,” Mia replied with a smirk. “He’s not in the best of moods, but if you’re respectful, he’ll probably listen.” The elven mercenary stood from her seat and moved toward the stairs. “Follow me,” she said.

    Nat gulped, finding it harder to face this moment of truth, even if the outcome was nothing more than a mere acknowledgement of each other’s existence. The half-elf forced himself to follow despite how heavy his feet felt.

* * *

    Olula stomped up the stairs in a hurry—not to get where she was going, but to get away from where she was. She couldn’t believe Thangroth and Trent had slept in for so long. She needed Thangroth’s support downstairs, but Nat had been there to keep her out of trouble at least. The half-elf knocked at the door of Thangroth and Trent’s room once she found it and waited for an answer.

    His mind still in a dense fog, Trent awoke from the deepest sleep of his life to the sound of tapping at the door. The young man barely scraped together enough dexterity to put his trousers on before staggering to the source. Trent opened the door and recognized the blurred shape as Olula, but the look of annoyance was lost on him. He half-yawned as he greeted her and then leaned against the door frame, his body threatening to fall asleep where he stood. “Wha timesit?”

    “I’m not sure. Late,” Olula replied. Her bad mood was obvious in her voice. “In the morning, that is.”

    Thangroth woke after hearing Trent and Olula and sat up in his bed with a large, jaw cracking yawn. “Mornin’,” he said. Hearing Olula vaguely state what time it was, he glanced toward the window. “Sorry lass, these beds are mighty soft. Looks like we overslept.”

    Trent snapped awake when he heard the venom in Olula’s tone. “Sorry, I took some fire root to help me sleep, I guess it was potent. We’ll get dressed and be down in a minute.” She really sounds upset, why didn’t she wake us sooner if oversleeping was such a problem?

    The half-elf nodded sullenly to Trent, then turned away to let him prepare for the day.

    As Olula walked away, Thangroth piped up, “Mayhap it’s our friend Kiran’s departure that has her so blue.” The dwarf hopped out of bed and began to change into his traveling clothes.

    Trent closed the door and rolled his head to the side, allowing several audible pops to come out of his neck. “I dunno, maybe,” Trent replied “Kiran’s one of the few people within a thousand miles with any inkling of what that girl has gone through.”

    He then reached up to a rafter a few feet above his head and started doing a few chin-ups, an excellent workout for an archer. “...two..Not a hell of a lot we can do...three...’cept cut down and shoot anyone that comes after her...four...”

    “Aye,” Thangroth replied. “We can only give her the support of our steel and hearts.”

* * *

    While leaving Trent and Thangroth’s room, Olula saw Nat down the hall, standing in the entrance of another room alongside one of the three elves who were staying at the inn. The female of the group, to be exact. He said something nearly unintelligible, then the woman pulled him into the room. She wasn’t quite sure of what was going on, but her mind jumped to the most unpleasurable conclusion; she was taking him to bed. Olula blushed as she continued walking downstairs. I don’t know, but why am I getting jealous over someone I hardly know? she thought.

    Olula returned downstairs to find Flora and Krisatris deathly silent at the table. “Trent and Thangroth overslept,” she informed them, then sat down beside the girls. Her breakfast wasn’t finished, so she began to eat, though it had begun to chill.

    “Oh,” Flora replied to Olula Looking at Kris and then back at Olula, she asked, “So, what will we do today?”

    “Well, first we need to try and find a reputable courier that will send my message to Derrick’s family,” Olula said. “Then I need to try and find a way to talk to the king...” The half-elf was daunted by that task. Where would they even start? She was determined to see this matter through, however.

    Flora blinked. “So, we are going to mail the stuff out first then we are going to see the king? Is that right?” she said to Olula.

    “Well, yeah,” Olula said, a little frustrated. “It’s not like it’s not like we can just waltz into the castle and talk to the king. There’s probably some tedious procedure. It’s best to get the easy task out of the way first.”

    “Yeah, you’re right,” Flora said, smiling at her. “Are you going to be okay?” Flora started to play with her fingers a bit as the smile stayed on her face. “Do you feel comfortable?” she asked. “If anyone gives you a problem, please, just tell me. I wish to help you out as much as I can,” she said looking up at Olula. Flora had no clue why she was asking these question or telling her things like this. She just felt comfortable being around some girls.

    “I’m fine,” Olula replied, but the statement was empty. She wasn’t fine, she was miserable. She was torn over Kiran’s intentions, she worried about his safety, she felt overwhelmed by her aforementioned task, and she was mildly frustrated with Thangroth and Trent. Not to mention the sudden attraction to Nat, and the spike of jealousy when she saw him upstairs a moment earlier.

    Flora sigh softly as she watched Olula. “If there is something the matter, please tell me. I am here to listen and help in any way I can,” she said as she smiled once again.

    Olula looked at Flora sincerely for a moment. “Well...it’s a lot of things...” Olula started. “Umm...for starters, I don’t know what to think about Kiran, or if I should worry about him. Despite that, I’m still worried about him! And I don’t know how I’m going to be able to speak to the king, or if it’s even possible, but I need to tell someone about what happened to me in my home town.” The half-elf sighed heavily and hopelessly.

    Flora started to think after Olula finish. “Well, I don’t know what to say about Kiran or about the king. Don’t think so hard about it. Just relax and clear things out....” she said, then paused. “... Well, put your thoughts at rest and just think about the king. Umm... lets see, think about what happened and fix it up. Just stay relax and don’t think about it to hard,” she said. “I hope I am not confusing Olula, I am kind of confusing myself,” she said then giggled.

    Olula shook her head and began to chew on her thumbnail. “It’s not really that easy to put aside,” she replied. “Oh well, let’s just focus on breakfast.” The half-elf took another bite, and realized that at least ten minutes had passed since she had come back down. “I hope Trent and Thangroth didn’t fall back to sleep...”

    Flora laughed a bit. “Isn’t that cold by now Olula?” she asked to her. She looked at the stairs and blinked. “I hope not also Olula, I am sure that they are not asleep.”

    Trent and Thangroth were seen walking down the stairs to the common room, assuming they missed the chance for breakfast they were both eating salted deer meat that Trent had saved up. Both were fully dressed and packed, explaining why they hadn’t come down right away.

    Trent sat down and mentally prepared for some sort of verbal lashing from Olula or jokes from the others about him rising from the dead. Having grown up around light sleeping elves he heard them all and none had managed to become endearing. Falis I hate morning people.

    Flora looked at Trent and Thangroth. “Morning,” she said to them as she smiled sweetly. “Did you sleep well?” she asked them.

    Thangroth shot off a giant grin towards Flora. “Like the dead,” he replied. Meanwhile Trent made slight wince from his oddly prophetic thought.

    Olula’s mood was still sullen and she finished her breakfast, which was indeed cold. She didn’t feel like bothering anyone to heat it up. “After you eat, we need to send that letter to Derrick’s family, still,” she said to Trent and Thangroth. “And then...we need to figure out how to get an audience with the king,” she added, feeling a weight drop in her stomach as she considered what seemed to be an insurmountable task.

    After Olula finished her chilled breakfast, she stood up. “I’m going to go talk to the innkeeper about where I can find a reliable courier,” Olula said. “Does anyone want to go with me? I don’t see a need for all of us to go.”

    “I’ll go with ye, lass,” Thangroth said, and slid out of his chair. He had scarfed his breakfast down in a hurry.

    Flora yawned a bit. “Have fun,” she said to them. She looked at Trent and then out the window, she was just about ready to go. She wanted to continue her journey, but first she had to finish helping Olula.

    With Thangroth being the only volunteer, Olula gathered up everything she needed and headed for the door. “I’ll be back soon!” she said, waving goodbye to Flora, Trent, and Krisatris. Thangroth gave a nod to the group as well, before he followed her out.

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