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|This chapter just focuses on Karissa 'cus,, well that's just how the story goes. =P Oh yeah, and you gotta love a bit of piracy ;) =P||
Derrik sat by the flickering fire, thinking of his next move. The soldiers were asleep and Harvae was talking quietly to Karissa, who, or so it seemed to Derrik, was trying to ignore him. Derrik stood up and moved over to them. Immediately, Harvae stopped talking and looked up at him.
“Help her up.”
Karissa’s arms were still tied so Harvae pulled her to her feet.
“What are you planning to do now?” enquired Karissa staring with wide eyes at Derrik.
“As you have already discovered, after tonight, we will be travelling by ship,” answered Derrik. “The particular ship we are taking happens to be full of... how should I put this... lonely men. And for your safety, I think it would be best if they did not know who you are.”
“What exactly did you have in mind?” she asked defensively.
“As hard as it might be, we’re going to have to make you look like a man,” he replied. “So first I think we’ll have to get rid of some of that long hair you’ve got.”
“You obviously know nothing about
elves,” muttered Harvae.
“If you did, you would know that a female elf’s hair is sacred. If it is cut, then the person who did so will feel the wrath of the Tre-at. Or such is told in legends anyway, it’s really just nonsense that she happens to believe.”
“Well, I apologise to the Tre-at in advance. Anyway, she’ll be in a lot more danger in this world if they know she’s a woman. Hold her still and gag her or something, that whimpering is getting on my nerves.”
Harvae wrapped his arm around Karissa and pulled her towards him. He held her tightly and covered her mouth with his hand. Derrik unsheathed his sword and grabbed hold of Karissa’s hair. He heard her whimper as he shortened her hip-length hair to her shoulders. Harvae let go of her and Karissa fell to her knees.
“I swear to the Etarior that I will smile as I watch you die.”
“Give the stupid vows a rest,” Derrik said, walking behind Karissa and untying her hands. “Now that’s done, you need to dress like a man.”
Harvae picked up a small green shirt and a pair of trousers and handed them to her. Struggling to recover her composure, Karissa shakily stood and started to walk towards a clump of trees to the right of the camp, but Harvae stopped her.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“Do you expect me to change in front of you two?”
“How do we know you won’t run away?”
“Because she gave her word she would not,” interrupted Derrik.
“Oh but you might need more than that Harvae, because we all know your word counts for nothing. You might think I’m as dishonourable as you.”
Derrik let Karissa go and change into the clothes before Harvae got to angry. After a few minutes, she returned; the clothes hanging baggily from her slender body.
“Good enough,” Derrik said critically.
“Is it alright if I get some sleep now? Or are you planning on harassing me in some other way?”
“Go. You’ll need the sleep; tomorrow should be er, busy enough.”
As the morning sun rose into the pink-streaked sky, the small camp quickly filled with light. Derrik was the first to wake, then Karissa, then Harvae; the soldiers were grudgingly woken up by Derrik a while later.
The group sat down for breakfast and Harvae gave Karissa an apple and some water. Reluctantly, Karissa accepted and ate the apple. She’d had to, he’d taken away her other food while she slept. The apple seemed very dry, so Karissa washed it down with some of the water. Immediately, her head started to ache like before, like the last time she had accepted food from Harvae. I should have learned from my last mistake, she thought; never accept food from a traitor.
“See you on the ship,” Derrik said as Karissa’s eyes closed and she fell to the ground.
“Sir?” asked a tall, fair-haired soldier. “Why did you drug her again; I mean, was there another reason apart from stopping her from using her powers?”
“Last night, I made her look like a man, as best I could anyway, but she would and will never act like a man, even the way she walks would probably give away that she’s a woman. At least this way we can cover her face and just say that she- he- collapsed from heat exhaustion.”
Derrik thought his plan was good, but was it good enough? He wondered if the pirates of the Armonithis would be smart enough to realise that Karissa was a woman.
Harvae picked a surprisingly light Karissa up and the troop continued on their course. After two hours walk the group reached a small bay where a large proud ship was anchored. Derrik took a small wooden object from his pocket and blew into it. A shrill noise flew from the whistle and in return, a similar noise emanated from the ship. Soon after, a small rowboat was launched and two men paddled it towards them.
Derrik turned around and said something to Harvae in a hushed tone. Harvae nodded and Derrik completely covered Karissa with the blanket from her bag. The boat reached the shore after a short time and one of the men stood and bowed to them. Derrik, Harvae and the soldiers bowed back. The man helped them into the boat and they started to row back to the Armonithis.
When they reached the ship, the boat was hauled up to the deck and everyone stepped out of it. They were greeted by a tall, middle-aged man with a forked blond beard.
“Welcome my friends,” he said with a yellow-toothed smile. He indicated to Karissa and then asked, “What’s wrong with him?
“The idiot got heat stroke.” Derrik replied. “Can we find a bed we could put him on, Patarick?”
“Yes, I had a few rooms ready for you, though admittedly I was led to believe that there were more of you, around fifty to be more precise.”
“No. Just us.”
“Well, that’s even better for you because you’ll have more space with just two in a room and a separate room for you Derrik.”
Patarick lead the small group below deck and showed them to their rooms.
Derrik bowed to Patarick and said, “I must see to my men. It would probably be better if we talked at dinner tonight.”
“Yes, in truth I must see to my own, I’m not sure all of them know quite where we’re headed yet. I will send someone for you later.”
Patarick bowed back and moved back to the main deck. Derrik walked into Karissa and Harvae’s room and asked Harvae, “Will you be alright with her in here?”
“Are you kidding? What could she possibly do to me? Well, without her powers anyway?”
“Nothing if she wants to live. How is she?”
“I’m fine,” interrupted Karissa, sitting up on the uncomfortable bed. “Can I change from these clothes now?”
“I can see no reason why not. You’re not leaving this room for the entire voyage so you can take the gloves and boots off as well. Though you will have to put them back on when we arrive.”
She nodded and waited for a moment and then said, “Well? Do you mind?”
Derrik and Harvae walked from the room and left Karissa to change. Karissa could have walked right through the door and tried to escape, but she knew that if she did she would be caught by the pirates. They would be much worse than Derrik and Harvae’s lot. At least with they had a reason for keeping her unharmed- whatever that was- the pirates however, she was sure, would not be so lenient.
After a quarter of an hour the two men returned to the room to find Karissa sitting on her bed, reading a large book.
“Why are you reading that book again?” Harvae asked in an exasperated tone.
“You say that as if it’s a bad thing?”
“You have read it twenty-seven times and I know I would have-”
They were interrupted by a knock at the door. Quickly, Derrik instructed Karissa to lie in the bed, facing the wall, cover herself with the blanket and to pretend she was sleeping. When Karissa had done so, Derrik opened the door. To his surprise, it was Patarick who stepped through the door.
“Patarick, is dinner ready so soon?”
“Yes and I just came to see if your man was well enough to join us,” replied Patarick walking over to Karissa.
He pulled the sheet down until he could see the hair that covered Karissa’s face. He pushed the hair from her face, his fingers brushing the smooth surface of her skin.
His eyes widened and he turned to the two men, but his face became unreadable as he said, “And when were you planning on telling me you had a woman?”
When neither of the two men answered he turned back to Karissa, who, it looked, was still sleeping. He placed his hand on Karissa’s cheek and turned her head to face him. Patarick studied the flawless perfection of her skin, her large, beautifully shaped lips and her long, curling eyelashes.
Derrik and Harvae looked at each other, both wondering how long Karissa would keep this up. Their query was answered almost immediately. Karissa’s eyes quickly opened, revealing her shining green eyes to Patarick.
His hands were large and rough and the touch of his flesh upon hers had disturbed her. Patarick’s curling blond hair hung in a loose ponytail and he had a short forked beard. His deep-set blue eyes showed that he was a man that cared for no one but himself.
She slapped his hand away from her face and sat up in the bed in an attempt to move back from him. The blanket fell down to her lap as she moved uncovering the silken blue dress that she was wearing.
“Aren’t you the feisty one?” Patarick said, grinning boyishly at her.
“Leave her alone, Patarick,” interjected Derrik.
“Oh no, I think that this...” he paused and looked at Karissa. “...lovely young girl should come with me.”
A chill ran up Karissa’s spine.
“No,” Derrik and Harvae shouted together.
“And what exactly do you think you can do about it?”
“It’s not us you should be worried about,” Harvae muttered under his breath.
“Are you seriously trying to tell me that this girl is more dangerous than... than you and your men?” Patarick joked.
“She’s not an ordinary woman.”
“Woman? Why on earth would you call her a woman? She can be no more than seventeen.”
“Twenty four actually; and I think it would be sensible for you to listen to them.”
Patarick looked at Karissa, who had spoken for the first time, the power in her soft voice unnerved him.
“Thank you ever so much; but I am the captain of this ship and you, are coming with me.”
Patarick drew his sword as he lent in to Karissa and caught the smell of her lavender-scented hair. Without warning, he grasped hold of her hair and pulled it sharply up. Karissa’s hand swept up to her head as Patarick forced her to stand, the sword placed against her throat. Derrik and Harvae could do nothing because if they succeeded, or even tried, the pirates would surely kill them and take Karissa anyway.
Patarick half dragged Karissa to the door. Through the pain she managed to look, almost desperately, at Derrik and Harvae before being pulled from the room.
“We need her back,” Derrik said quietly to Harvae. “Unharmed, if possible.”
Patarick hauled Karissa onto the deck. Most of the pirates stopped what they were doing when they noticed Karissa. They hadn’t seen a woman of her astonishing beauty in a long time. One of the pirates wolf-whistled at Karissa as Patarick dragged her into the captain’s quarters. Once inside, he let go of her and sheathed his sword. Then he locked the door and put the key in his chest pocket. Patarick walked over to a table and poured himself a glass of swirling red wine.
“Would you care for a drink, lady?”
Karissa ignored him and sat still on the floor, massaging her head.
“Are you deaf? I asked if you wanted a drink.”
“No,” replied Karissa plainly.
Patarick walked to his bed and sat down. He looked at Karissa and found that her emerald eyes were staring straight back at him. Not many women had ever dared to do that before; but this one didn’t seem scared at all. It will be interesting to see how she reacts over the following days, he thought as he smiled to himself.
“I have no idea what I find so... enticing about you, but as I sit here I find myself thinking; what is so special about you?”
“I think you will also find that I am not likely to tell you any such thing.”
“You will if you want to see tomorrow.”
Karissa let out a cold laugh, devoid of happiness.
“That was pathetic! If you are going to make threats you should know who you are talking to.”
“Then tell me, who am I talking to?”
“Do you want me to kill you?”
“I asked if you wanted to die.”
“Yes, I heard that bit, but why do you ask, woman?”
“Because, if you don’t want to die, then you should let me off of this ship now.”
“I think not.”
“No one can ever say I didn’t give you a fair chance, which is, by the way, much more than you deserve.”
Karissa stood up and turned towards the door, then started to walk away. Before Karissa reached the door, Patarick intercepted her and pulled her towards him, kissing her. He held her head there, so that she could not pull away from him. When she realised this, Karissa quickly slapped him. Patarick drew away from her when he noticed the deep, repugnant glare in her eyes.
“How dare you!”
“Well, I couldn’t let you leave, could I?” he replied, half-laughing.
Karissa was about to slap him again, but Patarick caught her hand, mid-swing. She tried with the other hand but Patarick grasped hold of that also. Karissa looked from her hands to Patarick, her face surprised.
“I know; I’m fast.”
Patarick pushed Karissa back into a wall and held her there.
“Now, are you going to behave yourself?”
“Let... go... of... me!” Karissa yelled as she struggled in vain to free herself of his grip.
She hated that she was by normal standards strong but could do nothing against Patarick. She just wasn’t strong enough to get him away from her. His mere touch disgusted her.
“Obviously not,” replied Patrick, kissing her again, this time on her neck. “Just answer me one question; what exactly is a beauty like you doing with a group of men like Derrik? Are you related to one of them perhaps?”
“Um, I- I’m just the reason why we are heading to... where ever we’re heading.”
“So you were a prisoner then-”
“And am still.”
“Why did you hesitate?”
“When I asked you if you were related to any of Derrik’s men. I know you’re not related to him.”
“I... I don’t know what you’re talking about. I just was trying to put the fact that I’m a prisoner into a way that your tiny brain might understand.”
“You will tell me the truth, or next time, I’ll do more than just kiss you.”
Karissa snorted, “You’re going to do that whether I tell you anything or not.”
“True, but you should consider this; I do not care whether or not you still have the use of your hands,” he replied with a small smile.
Karissa’s eyes widened in horror and she said, “I- I’m... I’m married to Harvae’s brother.”
Married? At first he thought the idea daft, but when he considered the matter, he found it was highly logical. After all Karissa was an extremely attractive young woman and most women were married and had children twice over by the age of twenty-four. One thing nagged at him though; there was something odd about Harvae; something inhuman. And when he thought about it, there was something odd about Karissa too. She was almost too beautiful to be real; too beautiful to be human.
“You’re not... Kiratze... are you?”
Karissa shook her head.
“Are you Paliarin? I thought we were the only Paliarin that crossed the sea-”
“Um... Yes, I am Paliarin.”
“Oh really? What is the Paliarin nickname for the Corvial Mountains?”
The blank look on Karissa’s face told Patarick all he needed to know. She had no idea what he was talking about. Patarick smiled inwardly. There was always a way to tell if someone was lying.
“You’re not, that means you’re not human, are you?”
“Of course I am.”
“You’re not a very good liar, girl.”
Patarick started to push her hair from her face.
“Don’t,” Karissa said desperately.
Patarick tucked her hair behind her pointed ears and gasped.
“You’re-you’re an elf. W-what kind?”
“I’m not telling you anything; you’ll have to kill me before I give you any information whatsoever.”
“I think it would be easier if you just told me.”
“Oh well, you’ll just have to deal with that yourself”.
“It would seem that I have some work to do then; so you won’t mind going to sleep while I’m gone, will you?” Patarick said, releasing one of her arms again and putting his thick hand around Karissa’s neck and lifting her feet from the floor.
She struggled for a minute or two; then passed out. Patarick let go of her neck and carried her over to his bed. He stood back and gazed at her petite frame lying on the large bed. Then quietly he strode from the room.
|The Prophecy of Cadyze: Chapter 12||“Just because I died doesn’t mean I’m dead!”|
|The Prophecy of Cadyze: Chapter 13||The Prophecy of Cadyze: Chapter 8|
|The Prophecy of Cadyze: Chapter 7||The Prophecy of Cadyze: Chapter 1|