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.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 29

The sun was setting over the ridge amid sounds of birds in the trees, while a large eagle floated above and twirled through the air and Lipmon walked forward, feverish and delirious. Without paying much attention to where he was going, he nonetheless headed in the right direction.

“Just over this ridge I’ll be able to see the town,” he thought to himself, and when he got to that ridge, there was still another ridge yet higher. “Each slope has its final crest,” he said, repeating an old proverb. When he got to the next ridge, there was still a further ridge even higher. “Just over that next ridge,” he thought to himself.

Only a few ridges more and he reached the top of Orinda Pass and could finally just see the valley of Orinda-forr. He couldn’t yet see down to the bottom where he thought the village was, since the ground sloped down gradually below him and the trees were in the way. “Just over that next ridge he thought,” as he approached it.

As Lipmon persevered in this way, he didn’t notice he was being stalked. The Creature of Virtue was approaching from his left side, just slightly upslope, moving in the same direction as he moved, but silently edging closer to him as he approached the village of Orinda-forr.

Gradually the valley opened in front of him, but he still could not quite see the village. “Just over that next ridge,” he thought, now moving easily on the slightly descending slope.

Moments later he saw the village all at once, though his attention did not immediately capture it. Dim lines of smoke gleamed in the low sun reaching high above a cluster of squat buildings mostly hidden beneath the trees. A few modest sized swaths of land had been cleared and he could see part of a small lake hidden at the edge of the city. He could even see a grand road entering from the far side of the city, which led up to a bridge into the city crossing over a river that emptied into the lake. He assumed this might be the primary entrance to Orinda, but he didn’t want to bother circling around unless there was a wall or something impeding his entrance. His weak body sought the path of least effort, occasionally tripping and rolling himself down this slope half-alive. He only thought of hopefully collapsing on the foot of the first doorstep he could find.

He coasted down the slope toward the valley floor, starting to feel confident that he might be able to make it. His fever was bad and he’d slept poorly the night before and sometimes he would hear voices speaking to him as if he was slipping into a dream. He began to lose sight of the town as he came to the floor of the valley and was now surrounded by the trees, but he was so close that he let himself fantasize even of laying down to sleep under the warm of a thick sheet and nourishing liquid touching his lips and a voice talking to him, and him even pouring out his story to his rescuer. He dreamt the whole Fourth Order mustering troops for the salvation of Tann, and him leading them to Still Creek-forr where they would chase after the troops that kidnapped Tann and rescue him back. He dreamt of the child in his throne once again, touching Lipmon’s shoulder in thanks as he bent before him. He planned out everything in his fantasies, all the way forward to the child’s salvation and his deep gratitude.

Lipmon thought of water washing away the dirt from his skin. He thought of the touch of food to his mouth. He thought of the warmth of a fire and sleeping and dreaming and letting himself wile away the time once again.

He didn’t know that at that moment the creature was nearly upon him. He was moving as quickly as he could, but he was still stumbling as the swift-footed creature sauntered slowly beside him approaching closer.

Only moments later, the creature leapt into the open and roared. She lunged from a rock above Lipmon directly at him. Lipmon was knocked down but his instinct to live was still alive. He struggled with the creature and pushed her to the side, grabbing her head and pushing her off of him. The creature rolled over once, but sprang onto her feet before Lipmon could even begin to pull himself up.

<-- Go to Part 28         Go to Part 30 -->

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

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