The Crimson Robe - Chapter X. Sight
Descending on the bodies of those,
who have lost in
Dripping from the bodies of those,
who were not
Sneaks towards the fires of those,
that are afraid of the
The poem "Silent"
written by Adhasaria Inásdhe
Uttermost South of the World, Kinn-Sala, Ray Vélérón, 2022. Part of the Infinity
»And there is no possibility?« Arvhiû had to restrain himself from shouting at the healers. The anger broke his face into a grimace of powerful emotions. He sat there and saw nothing. Except blackness.
»You are lucky that you have survived«, he received as answer from a female Alb.
Her name he had forgotten, as he forgot most of present events, since he was hit on the head with the broken lance. His ability to remember things was functioning perfect until the battle of Turmag - after that it had gotten unpredictable. »We have opened your skull and could take out many of splinters and even were able to save your eyes.«
»But why can't I see?«, he shouted loudly and buried his fingers into the bed beneath him. »Of what use are they to me if they show me nothing?«
»That we do not know«, she answered mildly. »It may be that a fragment has made its way into your head so far that we cannot get it out. We are afraid to that we might cause more damage rather than fix it with another try.«
»Or it is the affects of the strike. The concussion«, he heard the voice of another Alb. »To be honest, we do not know.«
Arvhiû let out a long and ongoing shout as if he could drive with it the darkness from him. He felt no pain, he suffered no illness or affects - except for his blindness. He wanted to return immediately to the war to punish mankind for their deeds - but an archer without vision? For what am I good now?
He tried to relax, raised his hand and touched over his face, found his eyes and realized that they were opened.
But as he hit them slightly with his fingertips, he felt nothing. Not even the lids closed out of reflex.
Again did Arvhiû scream of anger and helplessness.
»We will give you something to drink in order to soothe you,« said the Alb maiden and he felt her hand on his chest. »Give yourself some time. You have enough of it. It may be that you will see again.«
A vessel was set unto his lips. He drank the sweet tasting liquid and felt after five long breaths not anymore so agitated.
His anger was replaced by an unbelievable hate. Hatred upon mankind. A hatred that he had not felt like this ever before. Destructive, abysmal, yearning. »Where have I been brought?«
»You lie still in Vélérón, in the temple of healing«, the maiden sounded bewildered. »I tell you this now to the third time.«
Arvhiû turned his face away from her. »I forget it again and again«, he whispered. By the Infames, the splinters have penetrated my mind and made it become a strainer! »Leave me alone.«
»As you wish«, said the male voice. »On the table next to you stands a small bell. If you need anything, ring it.«
He heard how steps were taking up distance towards him, a door was opened and closed again, then it was silent. Should I need something, he repeated in his thoughts melancholically. Of course do I need something! Can't they give me new eyes, or a new mind that allows me to see again?
Arvhiû knew that the healers, especially those who cared about hurt warriors, understood their arts better than anyone else. They seemingly had reached what was possible.
He saw the armoured soldier in front of him, how he swung his weapon and hit him with it, the cloud of splinters that whirled about him. He heard the sounds of battle, the neighing of horses. He could remember every little detail - and yet starred into the nothingness.
I have to have revenge, otherwise I will never find my peace! Arvhiû formed his hands to fists. I will let mortal kind pay, slaughter them, rob them of their lives.
And it came into his mind how he could accomplish that!
The blind cultists of the Imperishables had come to his mind, the guards of the Bone-tower that had let themselves be blinded through their will in order not to fall into insanity, once they looked upon the face of the imperishable Sibling-couple. They were supposed to be one of the deadliest kind of warriors who orientated themselves by their ability to hear. Every noise of clothing, every buzzing of a blade cutting through air gave them information about their enemy and enabled them to best warriors who could see. In absolute darkness they were undefeatable.
Could I reach with my archery the same potential? Arvhiû had his doubts that he could go after such standards. He had to train his ears for many years to perceive a target from over fivehundered steps. To that came the sounds of his surrounding, wind, voices ... No, that will not work!
He had been a master archer on thousand steps and more, could bring an arrow perfectly into its wished destination on a distance of two miles.
Over. It is the past. Again boiled the hate for mankind up and pushed the soothing effect of the drought aside. They have taken from me the most valuable, my uniqueness and specialty. No one else could measure up to my skills. No being wherever upon this earth!
From Arvhiû escaped another scream, that however brought him no satisfaction. The urgent wish to kill the mortals in the most gruesome ways became stronger.
I will blind them! They shall suffer what I had to. Blind them, let them run. That hunt will bring me joy. It is so much more fair if both hunter and prey cannot see!
The idea grew roots in his mind. The guards of the Imperishables! They have to tell me how they accomplish to fight like that despite their blindness.
He reached after the bell, grabbed it and let it ring. Arvhiû did not doubt on the fact that he would become as much of a master as they were.
While he held the bell, another idea came to his mind.
The door was opened. »You have called, master?«
A slave! Then I can try it! The slave had his voice lowered, Arvhiû heard how he moved slowly closer into the doorway. These slaves were little more than objects, mortals and oárcos that were captured and forced into serfdom.
Quick as a lightning did the Alb let the bell fly into the direction from where the voice had come.
There was a bright noise, someone groaned of pain; quietly ringing did the bell fell to the ground. »For what have I deserved that?«
»Where did I hit you?«
»On my nose, master.«
»Damn! I had aimed for your mouth.« Still rejoicement filled Arvhiû. His ability to aim he had not fully lost: His arm could be led as well by his ears not only by his eyes. I will let someone make me knives ... Viragôn! He will think of something! They have to be blades of such sharpness that they will cause cleaving wounds if I only scratch my foe. »Help me to put on my clothes. I do not know where they put them. We go to Dhsôn. To the Bone-Tower.«
He swung his legs out of the bed and was suddenly filled with confidence. »And bring the bell.«
Arvhiû stepped with the help of the servant into his clothes that seemed to be made of silk. Apparently it was one of his own garments, his two daughters had brought it for him.
He touched the embroidery on the edges of his arm, the cloth smelled like Parnôri, his oldest. It touched him that they took care of him although they were living quite far away. Both had chosen the life of having a farm, down by Dhimâl and had nothing to do with battle or conquest. To the beginning he had regret that but now ... I could stay at Parnôri's for a time until I am ready that I ...
»I ... forgive me that I speak without being asked, but the destination ... Have you not heard of the mysterious pest, master? All Kinn-Sala is in uproar because of it. Many have fled already to the outside settlements because of it.«
Arvhiû’s thoughts were interrupted through the words of the servant. »Since when do our people need to fear diseases?«, he asked condescendingly.
»It seems to be a suffering that hunts down the Alben and against which the healers have no cure. They have tried, so they say, even already to look all over the realm for a cure.«
Arvhiû usually did not believe the ramblings of a slave, but this mortal sounded convincingly and not like he would exaggerate. »And only Alben get sick? No animals?«
»Yes, master. A test of the Infames maybe?«
Arvhiû stood up. Together they walked towards the door, his right hand he had laid upon the shoulder of the slave to let himself be led by him. As soon as the guards of the Bone-Tower would have trained him, he would not need any further help anymore. »Tell me what happened,« he ordered while they walked on.
»It began before roughly forty moments of the Infinity. One called Arganaï was the first victim. He had just made it out from captivity from the Dhorôn Athun and warned the Imperishables of them. They found him one morning in his room and he looked like, so they say, as if he would have popped open. His intestines oozed from his inner, they appeared like being dissolved as if someone would have poured acid over them. Soon after, more Alben died, and they all died the same way as Arganaï.«
»From where came the Alben?«
»It were guards like he was and had slept in the same room. After that the disease began to spread in Dhsôn and only Alben are affected, no animals, no.«
Arvhiû and the slave had reached the stables as he could perceive from the smell and sounds about him.
»Wait, master. I will just prepare us a small carriage.«
»Continue, while doing so.« Arvhiû removed his hand from the slave's shoulder and let him go. He felt lost and hated the feeling. From the best archer to a helpless baby.
»More I do not know,« came the voice from a bit more far away. The servant did what he was supposed to. »Only that Vélérón's scholars stand before a riddle and cannot explain it. The details I do not get told usually.«
»But it began with the Alb ...?« Damn memory!
»Arganaï. Poor soul. He lost during his flight from the Dhorôn Athun his arm. And now such an end. No creature deserves such. He has suffered terribly they say.« A rumbling was to be heard, wheels turned and rolled with a faint noise over the ground.
»He cannot suffered as much as they tell, for otherwise his screams would have woken up his companions«, held Arvhiû against the servant. He can make the most ugly grimaces and can insult me and I would not even realize it.
»Or it has first destroyed his lungs so that he could not scream anymore.« By the mentioning of the Dhorôn Athun, he remembered a conversation of two healers he had overheard. The monsters had dared to attack the city to the north-east, between Rivâlgis and O'Kinndhur, but he had forgotten how the whole thing had ended. »How does it look in the north?«
»You mean the assault of the Dhorôn Athun, master?«
»What else?« He hurled the bell after the servant. By the tone it made he perceived that he had hit him again, but not as wanted on the head.
»Where did it hit you?«
»At the throat, master«, he received as answer. »Shall I return it?«
The steps came closer and Arvhiû held his hand open to the servant. After a moment, the metal of the bell touched his fingers.
»The realm is safe. But they say here in Vélérón that three towers have been strongly hit by the enemy catapults. The guards were surprised that the Dhorôn Athun could build machines that could hurl stones over such a great distance.«
»What happens now at the northern keeps?«
»The Imperishables let them be fortified again as well as it is possible through the continuing siege. The enemies could not yet advance to the walls. Right by the middle they are forced to turn around by our own catapults.«
Arvhiû rejoiced when he heard that. »They will never make it over the walls and into the city,« he said. »How far are you with the preparations? I wanted to leave still today!«
»Soon ready, milord. May I take your hand in order to help you entering the carriage?«
Arvhiû reached out his hand and his fingers were grabbed. Quicker than expected he sat in the carriage, obviously a smaller vessel for one horse to be pulled.
The travel began.
He thought of the Dhorôn Athun. He regreted it even more to have lost his sight, for when would one get the opportunity to witness the second downfall of a race? The first he knew only from legends. Poisoned. He smiled. How easy they were to defeat. This time they will have learned. The warning from the danger they owed to ... »What was the Alb's name again?«
»What Alb, master?«
»The one that escaped!«
»A hero, without question.« He was already at the Bone-Tower in his thoughts, speaking before one of the guards so that they would begin his training.
After that the realms of men awaited him!
I will practice, until I fall asleep of exhaustion and as soon as I wake up, I continue. No time to loose otherwise there will be no enemies left for me.
»Master, I warn you as soon as we reach Dhsôn. Because of the disease.«
Exploded and rotten in his inner. »One could say that he disliked the food of those who took him captive«, Arvhiû mumbled and tried to perceive as much as possible about his surroundings. His hearing became his most important sense.