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, January 7, 2013

Aresan Clan pt 97

Jule was led up the stairs and out of the storage room where he’d been held. When he reached his room, the door was opened and he was let inside. A crowd of Sages lingered about him, making sure he made no attempt to flee. The spritely old weaver moved around the room quickly gathering up his possessions into his bag.

When he began to pull the bed away from the wall, Noone told him, “You can take everything except for the books.”

Jule looked at her with a truly pained expression and complained pathetically, “But these are my most valuable possessions. You don’t understand what it takes to collect this much. I’ve been building this collection for years.”

“I do understand,” Noone replied, “Which is exactly why I want to keep these for the Cloisters. Consider it payment for the watermill. Besides, what do you need such books for?”

“To learn. I can read, you know,” Jule said with great pride, “And I learned the languages I know through reading these books. I learned my Omnian by reading (and by listening, of course). I learned the Aresan dialect and the Fire Tongue.”

“I take it you didn’t acquire these by legitimate means,” Noone added.

“I couldn’t afford that,” Jule said with an apologetic smile, “Many thefts over many years. I’m going to miss these books, I can tell you that. You better take good care of them. These things are valuable. They ought not to be manhandled by the grubby fingers of young novices. They should be handled by people who appreciate them for what they are.”

“We’ll take good care of them,” Noone said, leading Jule out of the room with his bag in hand. The crowd of Sages remained on all sides as they moved through the hall, into the gallery and out the door.

They walked Jule downhill to the base of the valley and continued in that direction. In the distance they could see a crowd of Itinerants walking towards them. At the center of this crowd was Amida, dressed in her same brown frock and bearing on her shoulder the bag she’d packed when she’d left.

The two groups stopped once they were within vocal range. Noone told Jule, “Tell him: Welcome, we’re pleased to meet him.” Jule translated, shouting the words in the Itinerant dialect.

Erek-Monte who led the group gave a hearty laugh, and, as soon as he laughed, the rest of his group followed. He shouted back at Jule, in his own language, “And welcome to you too.” He gave a mocking bow towards Noone and laughed again. He asked, “So, we’re going to exchange then? You send our guy over, we send your gal, and from hereon there is no bad blood between us? All is forgotten?”

After Jule translated, Noone nodded and agreed, “All is forgotten. So long as it doesn’t happen again.”

Jule translated for Noone, but decided to add, on his own, in both languages, “I just want to tell everyone that Noone took my books. All my books. All of them. I loved those books.”

Erek-Monte simply smiled and laughed when he heard this, commenting quietly to his men, “Such lot of weight to carry round those were.”

Noone nudged Jule forward and he began to bridge the gap between the two crowds. Amida was released and she simultaneously walked towards the Sages. “Lovely as ever,” Jule said, as he passed by Amida, “I’ll miss your pretty face.” Amida didn’t say anything, merely turning her face away from him with the intention of denying him the sight of it.

“May I ask you why you destroyed our watermill?” Noone asked in Erek-Monte’s direction once Amida arrived. Jule translated and Erek-Monte listened to him, but he didn’t have anything to say. “For the Fourth Order,” Noone added, “You did it on orders of the Fourth Order, right?”

After hearing these words translated, Erek-Monte immediately replied, in Omnian, “Yes. Fourth Order,” shouting at Noone with a big smile on his face. “Money,” he added with a hand gesture to emphasize the point.

Just to make it clear, Jule said, in Omnian, “The Fourth Order hired us to commit an act of sabotage. They paid us handsomely.”

“Yes,” Erek-Monte said again, in Omnian, “Fourth Order.” He and all of his men seemed to be holding back the laughter as he said this. “Good bye,” Erek-Monte shouted in Omnian, turning around and ordering his men to follow him.

Noone didn’t reply, ordering her own crowd to follow her back to the cloisters.

“Do you think he’s telling the truth?” she asked Eloh who walked beside her

“Not likely,” Eloh replied.

<-- Go to Part 96         Go to Part 98 -->

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

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