The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 4

After the soldiers were feasted Alles approached the boy and looked over the quiet lump hidden inside the sack. “I’ve got to check one more thing before we go,” Alles announced out loud, “I need to hear him speak.”

“So far as I know, the boy’s a Sable-eye, his powers are only in his eyes,” Jesek said, “Anyone who looks into them is under his control. But I’ve never heard of a Sable that’s got two powers. Only his eyes can captivate.”

“We’ll need to be sure first,” Alles said.

“I don’t think the boy even talks,” said Imann, the soldier who’d been standing guard over him.

“I’ll get him to talk,” Alles said, now walking towards the boy. “You all keep out of earshot, and cover your ears,” Alles said to his soldiers as they retreated from him. He picked up the boy and walked him further out of earshot, shouting to his men as he receded, “If I do anything unusual, tie me up or something. This boy’s going to be impossible to deal with if he’s also a Sable-tongue.”

Alles set the boy down upon the ground as his men put their hands over their ears. He knelt down and got close to the boy and he spoke softly and father-like to the boy, “Do you have anything to say to me?” The boy sat motionless. “What’s your name? What’s your mother’s name? How old are you? How do you feel?” The boy gave still no response.

“As you can probably hear and smell, your village of Still Creek has been burning for some time. In fact, now, at this moment the village where you grew up and which contains all your memories and everyone you love, is ashes. Your family is surely dead, if they were among these people. And I’m the one responsible. Do you have anything to say to me? Some insult perhaps? Some unkind words?” Alles paused. The boy still said nothing.

“What’s your name boy? You do know your name?” Alles waited and the boy was silent. He touched the shape under the cloak and it felt like the same boy he’d first veiled on the pedestal. The boy did nothing at Alles’ touch except for turn its head towards him and reach a hand out to touch Alles’ hand, trying to grab his fingers from under the cloth.

“You do know how to speak don’t you? Do you say anything? My name is Alles. I am the one it is your duty to loathe. Maybe if you just want to scream angrily at me.” But the boy was still silent inside his black pouch. “Well if you don’t have a name, we’ll give you a name,” he said, now picking up the boy and walking him back toward his group. They stared closely at him, their hands still over their ears.

Alles spoke out loud, “The boy doesn’t speak. We’ll leave it at that. We needn’t worry about him, but we’ll give him a good buffer while we carry him. And I also want you to be wary of touching him, in case he may also be a Sable-touch. And definitely we must keep his eyes covered at all times. But before we go, I want a thorough search of the surrounding area, make sure no one has survived.”

Several soldiers walked off and scoured the areas around the village with no new discoveries. There were surrounding fields, but apparently the morning preparation for the boy kept them from their farming and everyone was in the village when they attacked. So far as Alles and his soldiers could tell there were no survivors, no witnesses to report the destruction of Still Creek-forr. The village had quietly disappeared and would be soon forgotten.

The soldiers grabbed some few livestock they could capture, then they walked as a group in the direction of the sunrise up and over the hill, which had concealed their initial arrival. They reached the stash of their supplies where several attendants and servants idled around quietly, consuming a meal of their own from the supplies.

A small, dark palanquin waited empty for the small boy. It was black, cushioned on the inside, and had two windows with narrow, angled slits so the boy could see out and no one could see in. They’d also added in a small slot through which to insert food. Two long poles were put through notches at the bottom of this enclosed chambers, and thereby four soldiers could lift the palanquin and carry it over the slopes and passes of the mountainscape through which they traveled.

Alles placed the boy inside the palanquin and unwrapped the cloak, while closing his eyes. He then slid the door in place and locked it with a large, wooden bar. “You’ll be safe in there,” Alles said to comfort the boy.

The party gathered itself, aimed itself in the direction from which it came and then departed up out of the valley towards the nearest pass.

<-- Go to Part 3         Go to Part 5 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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