The Sun Door Part 11
by Joe Solmo
“Quietly now,” Drejnin said and moved forward. I passed the message on and crept forward trying my best to stick to Drejnin while making as little noise as possible. The passage started to widen as we continued on up. The voices got louder I could make out some of the words now.
“This is all your fault you know, Sreg,” I heard one voice say.
“Me! I’m not the one who tossed the farmer’s son across the field!” came another voice.
“He wouldn’t have confronted you if he didn’t find you with his sister, my brother!” came the first voice again.
“Arguing isn’t going to get us outta here, right Skrat,” came another voice. We were reaching a well-lit chamber of some sort. Drejnin motioned for me to approach him so I made my way along the wall towards the chamber and peeked inside. There was four cages in the corners of the earthen room. An opening in the opposite wall lead farther from the chamber somewhere. In the middle of the room was a wooden table with two people with their backs to us.
“Will you please shut the hell up? You guys are going nowhere until father returns and decides what to do with you,” one of the guards said.
“Come on, you can’t possibly blame a man for his basic needs,” one of the men said.
“That need was my sister!” one of the guards said and pointed a rusty sickle towards the cage with one of the prisoners in it. Drejnin tapped my shoulder, the one I didn’t get shot in thankfully, and pointed towards the guard on the right. I nodded and slowly made my way over to the guard in the chair. I turned around to get approval from Drejnin but he was already beside me and clunked the other guard over the head with the pommel of his sword.
“What the…” the other guard said as I tried to crack him over the head and almost missed. The glancing blow only made him mad as he rose from the table, but a quick fist from Drejnin sent the young man into dreamland.
“What is this place?” Drejnin asked one of the prisoners, a scrawny man wearing all leathers. He must be an outdoorsy type.
“It’s a wine cellar,” the prisoner said eyeing us. “You guys going to let us out of here, right? Is that a dwarf?” he asked incredulously.
The rest of the guys entered the chamber and studied the situation. There were four prisoners, a man with long brown hair and armor sat in one cage, a huge bald mountain of a man sat in another, the leather man was in a third and what looked like a teenage boy sat in a fourth reading a book. I wasn’t even sure he noticed we were here.
“What have you been imprisoned for?” Dead-Eye asked while looking through the guard’s belongings, presumably for liquor.
“It was really just a misunderstanding,” the man in leather said.
“Excuse me, kind sir,” said the man wearing the plate armor. “What my brother means is that these country folk took offense to something he did, and we didn’t mean to upset them. You see the farmer’s daughter was a little less virtuous then we assumed upon arrival. When one of her brothers found out their sister’s promiscuity, well he came after Sreg, and our other brother Moose here,” he said pointing to the mountain of a man. “Well Moose can be very protective and doesn’t know his own strength, he tossed that poor boy out of the upstairs window and halfway across their corn field. The rest of the family and farm hands surrounded us and well, we ended up here,” he said.
“Drejnin, what are we going to do with these men?” I asked and kicked the cage that housed the teenager, he now knew we were there.
“Do you know the way out of this area? Can you lead us out of the jungle around here?” Drejnin asked them.
“Yeah open this cage and we will lead ya outta here, no problem,” the man wearing leather said.
“You speak for us now, Sreg,” said the teen in the cage on my right.
“Would you rather rot in here, Skrat. You want that farmer to come home and hear about what happened with his daughter? These guys are our ticket out of here,” Sreg said and stretched his arms making his leather creak.
“What do you think Zeeg?” asked the teen, Skrat.
“I think you are forgetting it is us that will make this decision,” Dead-Eye said polishing off whatever it was the guards were drinking before we interrupted. I was surprised the dwarf hadn’t said anything this whole time, I had to turn around and make sure he was there, he was watching the teen in the cage and standing between Hall and Myder.
“Well in all fairness,” Zeeg said pointing towards his large brother. “I am pretty sure Moose could get us out, he can barely fit in that cage as it is. We chose not to escape because he didn’t want to hurt anymore people. I assure you Moose is very sorry about the farmer boy, but if I told him too he would free us, wouldn’t you Moose?” he asked.
In a grumble the large man replied. “Yes.”
“Let’s leave em,” Dead-Eye said and peered down the passageway leading from the room to wherever.
“Moose, enough of this, stand up,” said Sreg, and the large man did. With a strain he put his back against the top of the four foot cage and popped it apart. When that mountain of muscle was standing full upright he was a head taller than Drejnin, and more muscular. The largest son of a bitch I have ever seen. He walked over to the man in the armor and pulled his cage apart in a show of strength. I quickly stood behind Drejnin as the man made his way from cage to cage.
“I don’t blame you for distrusting us,” Zeeg said, “but we will still show you the way out as a sign of good faith.” Just then the two guards started to move and groan. The teen walked over to them and sprinkled some sand over them while mumbling some words and then they were still.
“Magi?” I asked.
“A student of, or at least I was,” Skrat replied and lowered his head as if in shame. I guess now I gotta keep an eye on this one.
“Now that’s none of their business, brother,” said Zeeg who handed out their possessions from a chest in the corner. Dead-Eye seemed disappointed that he didn’t get to the chest first.
“Four brothers who look nothing alike, how strange,” said Hall examining Sreg’s arm that had a cut on it.
“Are you saying something about my mother?” Moose said and rose to his full height, now wielding a giant warhammer covered in strange runes that I doubt I could even lift. Hall put his hands up on the defensive.
“Now Moose, I meant no disrespect. I was just saying that you guys don’t look anything alike. For instance you are twice the size of either of your brothers,” he explained. That seemed to settle Moose down, well that and the skinny one, Skrat, telling him it was ok.
“We should get going,” Drejnin said.
“I will lead the way, good sir,” said Zeeg.
I waved Dead-Eye in front of me this time, I didn’t want that crossbow in my back. In fact I let everyone go in front of me. It didn’t take long within a minute or so we were under the floor of the farm house where the brothers had ran into trouble. The farm was built pretty close to the ruins of the dwarf city that they connected their basement with the tunnels underneath.
Quietly Zeeg lead the way up an earthen ramp to a set of wooden doors set at a forty-five degree angle. With a finger to his lips he slowly pushed on the doors until a one inch ray of light shot down the ramp at us waiting below. He peeked outside for a moment and opened the doors farther. The cellar vomited up its bile of humanity and we were behind a large, but decrepit house. With a peek around the corner of the old building we made a dash over to the barn which was about fifty feet away, once inside we shut the door most of the way and looked around for horses, but there wasn’t any.
“So which way are you guys headed anyway?” asked Sreg while checking the string on his ash bow.
“Beardy knows the way apparently,” I said pushing the little asshole towards these brothers.
“Northeast,” he said giving me a dirty look and stomping on my foot. The nerve of some people!
“Little man funny,” Moose said in his two boulders grinding against each other’s voice. Great, all we needed was a stupid giant.
Drejnin and Zeeg were discussing something in whispers towards the back of the barn that I couldn’t hear, so I took a swig off of a bottle Dead-Eye had found in the hay. I swear that man can find alcohol like a hound can track criminals.
“There you are!” came a female voice over by the barn door. Every head spun towards that direction as a young woman walked through its opening. She lifted a finger towards Sreg and said, “You were going to leave without coming to see me again.”
“Is this the daughter Sreg?” I asked looking her over. Early twenties, fiery red hair, curves all in the right places, I gave my approval.
“Fyinta, you know what your father would do if I stayed here, we have to leave. I wouldn’t want you to get into trouble because of me,” he said.
“And what of my brother, the one your dim giant decided to skip across the corn field like a stone on the lake,” she said. “He may never recover from that.”
“I’m sure everything will be fine,” Drejnin said walking up from behind us and stood in front of the woman. “May I see your brother, I may be able to help,” he said.
“I can assist,” Hall said.
Together with the woman, who wouldn’t leave without Sreg they left to go to the farm house where the farm boy was holed up in one of the rooms dying from injuries. I wish I had seen the big goof throw him, I bet that was a sight to see.
“Ok, well the rest of us should maybe try to get provisions. Is there any damn horses on this farm?” I asked. We looked around and all we found was a plow horse that had seen better days, so it looked like we were going to have to walk our way north east.
I glanced towards the jungle behind us and thought about Serius and where he was right now. Well it looks like Dead-Eye and I can never bitch about getting the boring duty anymore, this trip has been nothing but exciting since we left. If that dontu was out there somewhere, could he track us? What was taking him so long if he could? I had a bad feeling about the guy.
Drejnin and Hall came back about ten minutes later each carrying a large sack. They entered the barn with smiles on their faces, which I thought was odd for Drejnin. He threw his sack towards me and told me to pick it up, I glanced inside. There was a bunch of food inside, enough to keep us moving for some time. Now, I was smiling too. I guess the woman was appreciative of Drejnin’s healing powers.
“No horses?” The Dreymorian asked looking around the barn.
“Just that ancient plow horse,” Myder said.
“Ok let’s head out, we don’t need to hide anymore, they will let us leave,” Drejnin said and slid open the barn door the rest of the way. Together we walked down the wagon path towards where the main road intercepted the path from the barn. We kept our eyes peeled just in case those guards from the wine cellar woke, but it didn’t happen.
“Listen, Beardy,” I’m sorry I have been picking on you,” I said turning towards the dwarf. The farmer’s daughter also gave us cloth that fit the little man a lot better. “What is your name anyway?” I asked.
“If I told you, you would just make fun of it,” he said.
“What is it, Longfellow?” I asked with a grin. That got a chuckle from Dead-Eye who was watching us, and also from the Magi kid.
“See what I mean!” the dwarf said and folded his arms.
“Come on, I swear I won’t make fun of it,” I said to the ticked off runt.
“It’s Weebly,” he said with a resigned sigh.
“HA! A dwarf has wee in its name?” I said not doing a good job of holding back my amusement.
“I told you,” he said with narrowed brow.
“Look, I’m sorry Weebly. I won’t laugh anymore,” I said but was unsure if I could keep that promise. Just one look over at Dead-Eye turning red from trying to keep in the laughter sent me over the edge and I burst out as well. Weebly gave us both dirty looks and walked faster until he caught up to the brothers and sulked up there.
I felt bad for a few seconds and then Dead-Eye passed me a bottle, and we drank and walked for a while remembering the good old days. Most of the day passed without a hitch and we made camp for the night. The one brother, Sreg was really handy with that bow and brought down a nice buck for us. We sat around the fire drinking and eating until we had passed out. The only one that didn’t seem into the party was Drejnin. Was he worried over Serius, or the beasts coming back for us?
After a bottle or two were empty the dwarf came around again and shared his own peoples drink with me. It was the strongest shit I had ever put in my mouth, after that I was done for the night and had to sit back from the fire, which made the dwarf laugh at me. Well now we are even. I wonder if giving me the bottle was part of his dastardly little people plan. I have a hard time trusting anyone in case you haven’t noticed yet. Ha! Weebly! Giggles. That was the last thing I remember until the next morning.
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