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, January 27, 2013

Aresan Clan pt 108

Darma woke to a finger touching her lips. When she looked up and saw the black curly hair and olive skin, she smiled with recognition at Amida standing over her in the shadows.

Amida leant down and the two women shared a long kiss. As Amida retracted, she sniffed Darma’s skin with her nose, progressing down her neck to her chest, which was bare beneath the sheets. “You smell like Salles, don’t you?” She asked Darma, “Don’t tell me that it’s Salles I smell on your body?”

Darma gave a bashful smile and then she said to Amida in her characteristic way, “Please don’t be jealous. You know that it’s not the same thing with men. Men are more like useful instruments than lovers to me.” Darma laughed a little bit at her own words and had to restrain herself in order to avoid making too much noise.

“But you have a husband, and he is not him,” Amida whispered quietly, though in a tone of loud reprimand.

“Yes, but he is here to do what my husband can’t. Hopefully,” Darma said, “I don’t enjoy it. Well, actually I do, sort of. But only you have a place in my heart.”

Amida looked somewhat hurt when Darma said this, but she simply sighed and asked her, “Why do I put up with you?”

“I hope it’s because you love me,” Darma replied, and Amida sighed once again.

Mill and Strya had spent most of the remainder of the daylight walking towards Orinda. They plodded through unkempt pastureland and forest, remaining not just far from but completely out of sight of the road that connected Waldoon and Orinda.

They neared the city as the sun was setting and its colors were spreading across the sky. As they approached, they saw Orinda begin to separate from the thick forests that surrounded it, the large house of the Arbiter, standing prominently on a hill, being the most salient feature.

Strya stopped Mill at a distance comfortably beyond the territory of the Creature of Virtue. He turned to him and glibly explained, “I trust you can find your way to Orinda from here. It’s that place over there. Point your eyes toward it and aim your body in the same direction and you’ll be there. Though, I would recommend taking a more roundabout approach to avoid attention. I have other work to attend to, so I’ll leave you. I already did my part. And more. You have your instructions from Anders. Go forth and do your duty.”

Strya and Mill shared a sober goodbye, in which Mill thanked Strya profusely. After this exchange, Mill watched Strya disappear into the woods.

Mill turned back to Orinda and considered carefully how he could successfully approach it without getting killed. He had always relied on luring the Creature away and then hiding behind a false scent. But what could he possibly use to lure the creature away? Catch some game and slaughter it? With what? He had no weapons or tools. And how could he cover his scent?

This question he thought he could answer. He would start by bathing. There was a fairly small river that fed into the Orinda Lake that would have to suffice. He travelled through the woods to the banks of this small river. It was small enough that he could almost step over it, but he hiked upstream to a moderately flat section where there was some pooling just above a cascading set of waterfalls. He dipped his hands into the frigid water, which came from high altitudes in the mountains and thus practically numbed the hands at the touch. He scooped up some of it and splashed it on his face.

He fully undressed, first thoroughly washing the now worn and stinking clothes he’d been wearing for several days now. He dangled them from the branches of trees to dry. Then he subsequently plunged himself into the water. The creek was not deep enough that he could fully submerge his whole body, only parts. He bathed rapidly, so chilled by the cold water that he began to shiver. All he could do to dry himself was to scrape the water off his skin and wait for the chilly early evening air to dry him as he curled his body up to keep warm.

<-- Go to Part 107         Go to Part 109 -->

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

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