Meddling in Foreign Affairs

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 22 (v.1) - Tyrlim

Submitted: August 09, 2019

Reads: 12

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Submitted: August 09, 2019

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The next morning, Dismas woke up early, but was incredibly reluctant to get out of bed. He played with Terry’s hair lazily for a few minutes, admiring her peaceful face and thanking his luck for bringing her into his life, before finally convincing himself to get dressed and get his stuff ready to go. As he was finishing up putting clean clothes in his backpack, her heard movement from the bed behind him. Terry mumbled something that he was unable to decipher, so he turned around to look at her.

“You say something?”

“It’s cold, get back over here,” she mumbled a little more clearly.

Dismas couldn’t help but smile as he walked over to sit at the edge of the bed. He gently moved some of her loose hairs away from her face. “You know I have to leave.”

“Aya and Byulat will understand if you’re a bit late.”

“Really? I’m pretty sure Byulat has no understanding of emotions,” he deadpanned.

She tugged limply on his hand. “Well, Aya will understand at least. She’ll keep him calm and distracted and such. Just stay here a few minutes.”

Dismas’ will was breaking down extremely quickly, so he decided to get up. He really couldn’t afford spending the entire morning with Terry, despite how much he wanted to, but she refused to let go of his fingers. “If I never leave, I’ll never be able to come back.”

She pulled his fingers to her mouth, close enough that he could feel her lips moving as she spoke. “Ten minutes won’t make a difference.”

He shook his head. “If I stay here for ten minutes, I’ll lose the will to leave, and it’ll turn into a morning, or even a day. You have no idea how much effort it’s taking me to not crawl back into bed right now.”

A mischievous smile crossed her face, and Dismas realized it was probably a mistake to let her have an idea of how much power she had over him. She sat up and wound her fingers into his relatively short hair in order to pull his face to hers into a kiss, forcing him to put some of his weight back on the bed so that he wouldn’t fall on top of her. He was a bit ashamed at how quickly he gave up on pulling away from her and turned to intensifying their kisses. Only when there was a knock on the door did Dismas realize that he still needed to leave.

“Rowell? You awake?” Byulat’s voice came through the door.

“Yeah.”

“You coming?”

“No, he’s staying with me for a few more minutes. You can wait,” Terry answered before Dismas could.

“Wait, Esther is in there with you?”

Dismas stood up again, and Terry protested. “Well she is my wife, isn’t she? And I’ll be out soon, don’t worry.” He grabbed his backpack and put it on before giving Terry one last kiss. “I’ll be back as soon as I can. Love you.”

“Love you too, I’ll be waiting.” Terry’s smile was sad, but Dismas glad to see she wasn’t crying like she had the night before.

He missed her as soon as he was out the door, but knew that he needed to go. He had already wasted too much of their time here, and Zlato wasn’t going to find himself. Byulat was standing in the hallway, looking like he was a little bit dead inside. “You okay?”

“Esther was in your bedroom.” Dismas nodded. “And you were both unsupervised?”

“Byulat, I’m beginning to think that you don’t understand what marriage is.”

Byulat’s cheeks reddened considerably and he started making sounds which could have been words if he wasn’t so flustered.

“Well, I’m gonna go now. We should get out of here before you think too much about how Mara came into existence and die from all the blood going to your face.”

Dismas had to hold in a laugh as he walked down the stairs. Byulat was incredibly entertaining to tease. Aya was eating breakfast, and so Dismas joined her. After a few minutes, Byulat came down as well. Yael gave Dismas some medicine to keep infection at bay and they were on their way within half an hour.

The road to Tyrlim was incredibly boring, but it was the fastest way to get there. It skirted on the edge of the logging forest most of the way, and would take about a week if they traveled at a leisurely pace. Dismas was reluctant to leave that morning, but now that he was moving it was a little better. It was nice to not be stuck sleeping all day, and the forest was somewhat okay when he wasn’t deep in it. The edges were actually a little pleasant.

Dismas could tell that Aya was a little unimpressed by how old the trees were, which made sense because the trees she grew up with were huge. It was a lot easier to find good places to sleep for the night when they could walk into the forest a bit off the road. It made Dismas more comfortable to know that any person walking down the road at night wouldn’t see them, and Aya seemed more comfortable amongst the trees.

While they were walking, they saw very few other travelers. It was a small road that really only connected Rephiym and Tyrlim. And unless someone needed wood, they had no reason to go to Rephiym. Because there was nothing there. Except wood. And his family, but that wasn’t really relevant to anyone but Dismas.

As they started getting close to Tyrlim, Dismas subconsciously started moving slower. He hadn’t been lying earlier when he claimed that it smelled bad. That many people living all together could never smell good. But it was a very good place for someone like him to earn money, which is also why he made sure that Byulat and Aya didn’t have anything stealable on them. As he was checking them for valuables, Dismas realized that he still had both the dwarven rings hanging on his neck. He had intended to give one to Terry, but it had completely slipped his mind. He would just have to give it to her when he came to visit after they found Zlato.

The city was in view on the morning of their eighth day of walking. It was large, but not as big as the mountain of Dragstyenost and not as magnificent as the trees of Maiorsem. The edges of the city were right next to the forest, but the main part was higher up on the cliff overlooking the Northern Sea. The castle was right on the edge of the highest point of the cliff, and was the tallest building in the city, so it seemed to tower over everything else. Dismas had never really been in the wealthier parts of the city because there was plenty to steal on the fringes of the city, and there was less law enforcement there. Now that he knew that he was good at going unnoticed, he was seriously considering going there and getting all the gold he could. Even if someone called the authorities on him, he could find an alley or something to hide out in until they lost interest in him. But that would probably have to wait, they needed to prioritize on finding Zlato and getting the letter translated. Maybe if they went to the upper city on their journey, he could steal a little bit without Byulat noticing.

There was a wall around the city, but the guards weren’t very strict about who came in. King Tobias was a very friendly king, and wasn’t too worried about any attacks. It certainly helped that most travelers came from the south along the main road, and had to travel the entire length of Tyrlim before coming to the main city. If there were any armies or bandits coming to attack, they would be seen ages in advance. It was one of the advantages to having an almost impassable desert along the entire western side of your lands.

The guards at the gate gave Byulat and Aya a few strange looks as they walked up to the city, but didn’t stop them. Dismas led them to the marketplace first, so they could start gathering information. Byulat also suggested staying in one of the nicer inns so that Aya wouldn’t be in danger due to her elven heritage and there would be less risk of another attack, so spending time in the market gave Dismas time to gather a bit more gold to pay for it.

By the time it was starting to get dark, they still had no leads on where Zlato might be. They had asked around a bit, but no one had seen a dwarf other than Byulat that wasn’t doing normal dwarf things, like selling stuff. The dwarves they saw in the marketplace had also not seen or heard of him, but one recognized the name from when he visited the year before.

“Why don’t we ask the King?” Aya asked as they started walking up to the nicer part of the city to find an inn.

Dismas looked at Aya like she had grown a second head. “Why on earth would he know where the dwarfie is?”

She shrugged. “Maybe he has better informants than we do. There’d be no harm in checking.”

“She makes a good point, Rowell. Even if he knows nothing of Zlato, the situation is important enough that he should know about it, and may even decide to help us investigate,” Byulat commented.

Dismas sighed dramatically. “Well, Dismas, why don’t you just meet all three of the leaders of the Eastern Lands. Why not, you’ve already been forced to talk to two of ‘em! Might as well make the last one voluntary!” he said to himself.

“Right, so can we go talk to him tomorrow instead of just wasting our time wandering around here?” Byulat asked.

“I mean, I guess we could try? I’m not sure how meeting with King Tobias works. He might turn us away if he’s busy or whatever.”

“There’s no harm in trying!” Aya said optimistically.

Dismas shook his head. Aya really didn’t understand that kings were busy and probably wouldn’t bother with every little person that had something to say to them. Maybe the fact that they were an elf and a dwarf together would get them enough attention to get an audience. “If worst comes to worst, I could prob’ly sneak in. I might end up doing that either way, just to have a look around.”

“But why would you want to do that? If they’re willing to meet with us, we should trust them!”

“How do we know that they’re not the ones who took Zlato? They could be trying to start a war between Dragstyenost and Maiorsem. So I’ll just make sure that they’re not hiding anything.”

“But why would they want to start a war? Tyrlim is peaceful from what we were taught in Maiorsem.”

“I’m not saying they are, I’m just saying that it’ll be good to double check.”

“The thief has a point. We could make sure that we are not being deceived, and he may find out more useful information,” Byulat said as they walked into an inn.

Dismas nodded and walked over to the woman behind the counter. “Do you have any rooms open for the night?”

“We have a few, so long as you’re able to pay for it.”

“We only need one. I have money, but not so much that I’d indulge in multiple rooms.”

The woman nodded and asked for a few gold pieces, which Dismas reluctantly handed over. She smiled when she took the money, which led Dismas to believe that she’d asked for more than the normal price. He would’ve been slightly more upset about it if it was actually money that he’d worked for, but he was really off his game after spending so much time at home. They were led to their room, which was pretty nice, and even had three beds. Dismas had been mentally prepared to sleep on the floor, so he was very happy, and fell asleep almost immediately.

 


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