|By : Dagian|
Category: +G through L > Lineage 2
Views: 749 -:- Recommendations : 0 -:- Currently Reading : 0
|Disclaimer: I do not own Lineage2 nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.|
Although the day had dawned bright and clear, there was a considerable pall over the fortress. Word had spread about the four deaths the night before. The normally lively morning meal was held in a deathly silence.
As they finished their own meal, Einao took Starr’s hands in his own. “Promise me that you’ll take it easy today. No practicing.”
Looking at her hands held in his for a moment, she slowly raised her eyes to his. “I promise.” She reminded herself that technically she wasn’t deceiving him. He’d said not to practice. He’d said nothing about interrogation. So, there was no reason for her to be feeling the sting of guilt.
Nodding in satisfaction, Einao pulled her close and kissed her forehead. “I’ll see you tonight, maybe the noon meal if I can manage it.” He whispered lowly. With that, he turned and strode away from her, his thoughts already onto the patrol assignment and the new recruits that had just joined his unit.
Starr meanwhile made her way to Commander Aelaru’s office. Because of the nature of the ‘attack’ that had taken place, Aelaru had ordered that she stay away from the dark elf. It was his way of showing compassion for the ‘ordeal’ that she’d gone through. Now, she was standing in his office, requesting that she be allowed to question the captive dark elf once more. She didn’t blame him one bit for being confused and a tad reluctant to allow her to continue the interrogations.
Commander Aelaru stared at her in silent contemplation as he considered her request. “Are you certain you wish to face him again? He’s already killed a further four people. Do you want to be the fifth?” She’d be lucky if she was only his fifth murder victim. Aelaru wouldn’t put it past the dark elf to finish what he’d started last time before killing her.
Starr held his gaze firmly. “Sir, on the battlefield, it was a given that if I, or any other female, were captured, one of the worst fates to befall us was not death. It was the one reason I and so many other females, whether they be light elves, humans, dwarves, or even orcs, always carried a small sliver of fruit from the Hippomane mancinella tree.”
Aelaru rocked back in his chair at the news. He’d known that females would prefer death to being forcibly taken, but to willingly carry slivers of fruit from such a deadly tree into battle was stunning. “How could you possibly even get close enough to the tree to obtain some of its fruit?” He pondered aloud for a moment before shaking his head. Now was not the time to debate the methods the females took to protect themselves.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” He asked her, hoping she’d say no. “The replacement interrogator that I sent for should be here in two day’s time.” Really, the death of their only true interrogator had been unfortunate. Two weeks ago, the interrogator had been out fishing and had been attacked and mauled by a bear. It was an unusual death, but apparently a natural one. A brief investigation had been conducted and found that the bear had been attracted by the large catch of salmon the interrogator had caught.
Starr nodded her head in affirmation.
“Very well. You will be allowed to continue the interrogations. However, I will assign a couple of guards to always be present in the room with you during your questioning of the prisoner.” Commander Aelaru relented, reaching for a stack of scrolls from which to choose the most capable guards.
Tensing, Starr knew that the dark elf would not find that acceptable. “Sir, I believe the presence of guards will only serve to antagonize him...” She didn’t get to continue as Aelaru cut her off.
“If you are going to interrogate him, you will be guarded. This is not negotiable.” He gave her a hard look. While their central command had written her off as no longer a valuable asset to be afforded even the most basic of protections since her unfortunate injury, he hadn’t. Even if she never returned to the front lines, they owed it to her to ensure her safety. Leaving her alone with a dark elf that had proven not only deadly but had shown aggression of a personal nature toward her, was not something he intended to risk. “I will not risk that filth getting his hands on you and hurting you in ways that...” He shook his head, that thought sickened him. “I will not be the commanding officer who sent you to your death by way of a deadly fruit so that you could avoid a far worse fate. Those are my terms, take them or leave them, Starr.”
With a sigh, Starr nodded while biting out her reply. “Fine.”
Aelaru internally winced at the word. His own wife often used the same word, and even in the same tone of voice, when she was angry. He made his selection of the two guards who would accompany her and hastily penned their orders on a scratch scroll. “Take these duty assignments to Captain Idarin and Corporal Aeral. They are to ensure your safety while you question the mongrel.”
Starr nodded as she refrained from asking the Commander who exactly was going to protect them. While her safety was by no means guaranteed, she would be far safer than the two Aelaru was sending in with her. Taking the scrolls, she left to go find the two guards. Understandably, neither were pleased with their new assignment. She gave them time to prepare and then they made their way to the brig.
On their way to the brig, she informed them that even though they were to be in the room with her, they were not to interfere unless she specifically asked them to. Approaching the doorway, they all slowed to a stop and stared at the bloodstained ground just in front of it. The reality of the task in front of them settled like a stone in their stomach. The dark elf held inside was not just dangerous, but deadly. He showed no hesitation over killing. With a muttered, barely audible curse, Starr strode forward and opened the door, the two guards following her.
Once inside, they closed the outer door and locked it. She glanced at the two guards, silently asking if they were ready. At their tense nods, she unlocked the inner door and they all stepped inside the dank and squalid room.
Shin’s eyes opened and immediately landed on her. “You’ve finally returned, dur hrea.” He spoke lowly, his gaze intensely focused on her for a moment before flicking to the guards that flanked her on either side. His eyes narrowed as he returned his gaze to her. “Not what I expected...”
His meaning was not lost on her. He didn’t want them here. With a mental shrug, she pushed past the issue, what he wanted didn’t matter. He was a prisoner, nothing more. “It was a condition of my continued interrogation of you.” She spoke truthfully, although she didn’t elaborate, as she took in the various wounds and the filthy garments he’d been given to wear. He was covered in blood and his hair was particularly matted with it. And she was sure most of it was not his own.
They had clearly used several different methods to restrain him in the brief time he’d been here. She could see iron rods driven into the floor with a large bloodstain between them with broken shackles attached to equally broken chains attached to the rods. There was also a heavy iron chair with leather straps attached to various points. The straps had clearly been snapped.
Currently, he was once again restrained against the stone wall. Metal cuffs wrapped around his wrists and ankles and were secured to the wall directly using more iron rods. His neck, chest, and thighs were also encircled with iron banding, secured directly to the walls by the same type of iron rods.
“I see...” Shin growled lowly, his furious gaze locking on the two guards. “However, as long as they are here, I refuse to answer any questions you might ask.”
Starr used her magic and created a small chair and sat down primly in it. “Then essentially we are back to where we were two days ago.” She deadpanned while looking him square in the eye, forcing herself not to remember what had happened within these walls during that time.
Shin’s gaze slid over her form, remembering all that had been revealed to him that first day. “I beg to differ. But I would very much like to be where we were two days ago...” As expected, she ignored the taunt. His gaze flickered between her and the guards. He needed to get rid of them. As long as they were there, he had a feeling that she would be able to maintain her composure much more efficiently.
“You were caught in our territory. Why? What is your purpose for being here?” She questioned, her voice calm and even.
“Purpose for being here? What is anyone’s purpose for being here?” He mused back at her.
“What is your assignment?” She clarified.
“I’m afraid you’ll have to be more specific.” He drawled at her. “Over the years I’ve been given many assignments.”
“So, you are part of the dark elven military?” She continued.
“Hrea, one can take on assignments and yet not be part of anyone’s military.” He answered with a smile. “If a farmer hires someone who’s skilled at hunting to take out a predator that is killing and eating his livestock, or hires another person who is good at tracking, and killing, other individuals to rid him of raiders who abscond with that same livestock, he is giving them an assignment to complete. Which they are then in turn paid for completing said assignment.”
Starr groaned internally.
For hours they continued in this manner before she finally decided to call a halt to it. Her chair dissolved back into nothingness as she stood up.
Watching them prepare to leave, he spoke lowly, his tone deadly. “Hrea, if you want those two to continue breathing, I suggest you leave them outside when you next return.”
Her eyes met his and a shiver ran up her spine. His eyes were filled with murderous intent. Without a word, she turned and the three of them left the cell. Outside, the two guards nervously looked at one another. Starr chewed her lip for a minute in quiet thought before speaking. “I want the two of you to leave the fortress when I interrogate him from now on. I don’t care where you go, just don’t let anyone catch you during the time that you are supposed to be with me. If you are caught, Commander Aelaru will have all our hides. Go fish, go hunt, go spend time with your family, just, don’t be caught. Please.”
Idarin didn’t mind not facing that dark elf again, but he was concerned about her. “And what about you? He’s not safe...”
“I’ll be alright.” She reassured him with a tight smile. She watched as they left to go about their own business. With a sigh, she went and got her own midday meal, purposely avoiding all the places she might run into Einao.
Shin meanwhile spent most of the midday meal period going without so much as even water, not that this bothered him. However, it had been a bit irritating to see her literally create a chair of ice to sit on while he was currently being denied water. A rare breeze made its way through the only opening in the building, bringing with it the smell of cooking food. As he took a closer look at the window, he realized that the narrow and barred opening was more of a ventilation slot than a window. While he stared at it, a raven landed on the ledge. Shin’s face split into a grin as he both recognized the bird and took notice of what the raven was carrying in its talons. Several rough cuts of cured meat.
The bird navigated its way through the bars and landed on his shoulder for a moment before taking flight again. Several times, the bird hovered just in front of his face, holding the strips of meat in front of him, allowing him to eat. Once the meat was gone, the raven flew back outside the narrow opening, returning just a few minutes later with a rather large piece of stolen fruit. Shin recognized the fruit as a melon that had a high-water content. Eating the melon would be just as effective as drinking pure water, although he abhorred the taste of the fruit. Again, the raven repeated the action of hovering just in front of him, allowing him to consume the fruit before leaving.
Relaxing again, he waited for Starr to come back. Hopefully without her little entourage. He’d hate to have to kill them in front of her. But, if it proved necessary, he wouldn’t shy away from it.
Once finished with her meal, Starr stalked slowly back to the brig. She didn’t dare hesitate outside, too much of a risk that Aelaru would see her and wonder why her guards weren’t with her. Opening the outer door, she ducked inside and took a minute to gather her thoughts.
Shin watched the door with anticipation. There had only been one set of footfalls that he could detect. And they were light. As the door opened and she, and she alone, stepped through, he grinned. “You’ve returned, and so quickly too, min hrea. I confess, I missed our little conversations that we were having the other day. The others that had the misfortune to come speak with me were so very dreadfully boring.”
Starr glared hatefully at him. “How dare you make light of the people you’ve killed.” She snarled at him, her magic unconsciously flowing around her, lowering the room’s temperature.
Shin continued to smile engagingly at her, however, he was elated to feel the temperature of the air drop. He’d been right. Without the benefit of her guards watching her every move, she was less controlled with her actions. His face twisted into one of seeming remorse. “Now, now, I did warn you that anyone else who attempted to question me would lose their lives. It’s not as if I enjoyed ending their lives. But I am an elf of my word.”
Her magic coiled around her hand, solidifying into the shape of a throwing dagger. “So am I.” She hissed venomously. “I’ve done as you’ve required and sent my two guards away. Now I want some answers. Real ones. And if I do not get them, I promise you will feel pain the likes of which you’ve never felt before.”
Shin laughed, the sound echoing in the room. “I’m not sure you can carry out such a threat, hrea. But I wouldn’t mind seeing you try.” He taunted her, keeping a wary eye on the newly formed dagger.
Starr bit back a growl. He wasn’t taking her seriously at all! “Why did you come to the fortress?” She snapped.
“Because the fortress exists.” He answered her in a flippant tone.
Her response was swift. The icy dagger flew across the room and buried itself in his bicep.
He hissed at the sudden but expected pain of his flesh being pierced. No doubt she’d intended for the extreme cold of her weapon to add to the pain but in reality, it only served to numb it.
Afternoon turned to evening, and still Shin refused to answer her questions in a manner that she found satisfactory. This caused her to create more weapons and use them on him. By the end of the evening, he had been impaled by multiple daggers in various parts of his body. Starr glared at him, chest heaving from the exertion of using her magic in such a tightly controlled manner. Casting long range offensive spells was one thing. Creating and maintaining specific shapes of various weapons took significantly more effort and precise spell control.
Shin watched her closely and decided now was the time to spring the first trap. “You’ve put in so much effort today. I’d hate for you to be discouraged. Come closer, and I’ll answer one of your previous questions.”
Starr laughed mirthlessly at him. “I’m not that big of a fool.”
“Come now. I admit that I’ve been less than friendly towards the others. However, I have no wish to unkind to you.” He gave her his most sincere look before continuing. “It would be a shame for you to have worked an entire day and not gotten a single piece of information from me. What would the commander think?”
Starr cursed colorfully and Shin’s eyes narrowed. Had he lacked the knowledge of their language he would’ve thought nothing of what she’d just said. However, he was knowledgeable. And for reasons he couldn’t fathom, her sudden and vicious use of profanity bothered him immensely.
Cautiously Starr stepped forward, closing the distance between herself and the dark elf. She stopped a foot away from him, closer than she wanted to be. And still he shook his head.
Again, she took a tiny step closer, closing the gap between them even further.
Straining against the iron that held him, he leaned forward and whispered to her. “I was sent to gather intelligence on the people residing in this fortress.” True enough. He had to have intelligence on the fortress itself and the people within before he could snatch the treaty papers. “Oh, and I really must insist on you using my name in the future. It’s impolite to not properly address the person you are talking to. I would use yours, but unfortunately for me you haven’t provided it. Perhaps that could be rectified during our next meeting?” Of course, he knew why she hadn’t provided her name. Most likely she knew of her status of being a highly coveted prize for anyone who captured her and brought her back to the dark elven High Command.
He breathed in deeply. “You still smell of the perfume I so love. However, it is tainted. Your lover, I presume? It’s also not as strong as the other day. Surely the two of you weren’t interfered a second time?” He sniffed again, concentrating more closely.
“That’s none of your damn business!” She snapped, pulling herself away from him quickly, her face flaming red.
“Oh, I see.” He replied, his tone one of understanding. The smell of her lover was so faint because her own was overpowering it. “Well, you know where to find me when he lets you down again. I’ll be more than happy to provide you with my services whenever you should need them. Day or night.”
Without another word, Starr turned on her heel and stormed from the room, slamming the door behind her. How the hell could he know all of that?! She knew their vision and hearing were superior to her kind but was their sense of smell superior to their own as well?!
Glossary for Coitus Interruptus
min bel – little fire
min kacha – little beauty
arra – Queen/queen
dur – ice
hrea – Princess/princess
deth – eternal
lua – holy
fis – light
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