The Land of Teuhyo
(Inspired by Dungeons and Dragons)
Chapter 6: The Shadows Start Talking
Everything happened in a blur. Bedivere rushed to Tom, yanking her sweater off and spilling several of her vials of potions as she tried to reach the dying man. Vulcan stumbled back, bumping into Aeron.
Hana pulled her knife and pointed it at Bedivere, then swung it around to the others. “You…w-will leave this town…” Her voice trembled and her throat croaked out the words “or the same fate…will befall you.”
Aeron stepped forward, pulling out his hammer. “Put the knife down, Missy…”
“We…do not need…to f-fight…” She was trembling, almost fighting with herself. “Please…go…”
“You just murdered a man!” Bedivere cried. “You think we’re going to-”
Hana pressed the knife against Bedivere’s neck.
“Okay, okay! Calm down!” Vulcan finally said, holding his hands up. “Jeez, can you stop swinging that thing? Let’s just talk about this.”
“T-There is nothing to discuss…” Hana closed her eyes for a moment. “Leave.”
“No.” Bedivere’s eyebrows furrowed and she reached up, pressing the tip of the knife with her finger. “I think we’re going to stay. And I think you’re going to. Put. Your. Knife. Down.”
For a moment, Hana’s eyes cleared. Her hand trembled and her grip loosened. Bedivere looked up at her hopefully.
Then Hana swung. Bedivere gasped and held her hands up as Hana brought the knife down, aiming at her face. The brittle blade stuck in Bedivere’s left forearm, and she cried out and stumbled back.
Aeron jumped in front of her. “Miss Be, move!” He grabbed his hammer with two hands, but instead of swinging at her head, the hammer slammed into Hana’s arm with a “thunk.” She stumbled backward, her arm swinging limply at her side.
“Please missy, put the knife down.”
Hana’s eyes lit with fire and she charged forward. Aeron readied the broadside of his hammer, but a pink blur jumped in front of him and, suddenly, Hana collapsed to her knees. Vulcan smiled and twirled his knife.
“Vulcan!” Bedivere cried. “Dammit, we need her alive!”
“Relax.” He hissed. “I hit her with the handle.” He gave her now limp form a gentle nudge with his toe. “She probably won’t be up anytime soon though.”
“We should get the healers then.” Bedivere looked around the bloodsoaked room. “They’ll know how to help with this…mess.”
Iah fiddled with the white locks in her hand, staring sideways at the wall. The effects of the drinks still hadn’t completely worn off. She hadn’t thrown up, but her stomach still felt like it contained a torture chamber, fitted specifically to her pains.
Nedjem rubbed her back slowly. “Do you need a bag?” He’d been asking that often.
She shook her head again. She just wanted to fall asleep. Fall asleep and wake up back at the Tab and Verne and pretend none of this happened.
“I…We wouldn’t have let them take you.” Nedjem murmured.
“What if you didn’t hear me?” Iah’s voice came out as a tiny whimper.
“But I did.”
“But what if you didn’t?”
“Iah…” He stood up and walked around to her side of the bed, squatting in front of her. “Do you really believe I wouldn’t?”
Iah blinked, as though she was suddenly coming out of a trance.
“I said I’d take care of you, remember?” He smiled. “And I…I know how to protect those I…”
Iah sat up a bit, very slowly. “Nedjem…”
There was a knock at the door. Well, more of a harsh pounding than a knock. “Y’all awake in there?!”
Nedjem stood. “Aeron?”
Aeron opened the door. “Um…we got a bit of a situation downstairs…”
“Is anyone hurt?”
“Miss Bell…and the bar lady…and Tom…You might just wanna come see for yourself.”
Nedjem turned to Iah. “I can handle-”
“No…” She sat up. “I’m fine. Besides, it sounds like there’s a lot of healing that needs to be done.”
Iah pressed her hands on either side of Bedivere’s arm, sealing it closed with a few words. “What about Hana?”
“She’s loopy. Alive though.” Bedivere shot Vulcan a glare. “Damn near killed her, you idiot.”
“I gave her a good whack on the arm.” Aeron mentioned. “You might wanna look at that.”
Iah looked over at Tom’s body. “He’s…”
“I tried…” Bedivere said softly. “There’s…no life left in him. Thanks to her.” She stood. “Speaking of her.”
Hana had been sitting silently until then, but as soon as Bedivere got to her feet, she began struggling. “You’re making a mistake. They’ll hear. They’ll come back for you.”
“Good. Maybe they’ll buy me a drink this time. Well, on second thought, maybe not.” Bedivere crossed her arms.
“You…” Hana’s face began to twist and contort in pain. “Need to leave.”
Bedivere looked around at the others, then sighed. “No, but YOU need to start talking, because I don’t care about them. What I’M going to do to you…it’s gonna feel a lot worse.”
Hana seemed to break. Her lips trembled and her eyes filled with tears. Despite being twice her size, in front of Bedivere, she looked so small.
Bedivere pulled out a green flask. “This is a vial of Greenbearic acid. Last time I used it, it was to dissolve solid bone. What do you think it’ll do to human skin?”
“Bedivere…” Nedjem stepped forward. “I don’t think that’s necessary.”
“She won’t talk otherwise!”
“What if she can’t?” He said. “What if they…did something to her?”
Bedivere looked back at Hana, who looked like she was having an existential crisis on the floor. Her face was crumpled in a look of pain and horror, and every few seconds she’d twitch.
“Goodness, why didn’t I…” Bedivere knelt down in front of her and looked at her closely for a minute. “She’s charmed.”
The others looked on curiously.
“My Grandpa would know how to dispel this…” She stood up and sighed. “But he’s not here, is he?”
“Can we send for him?” Nedjem asked.
“He wouldn’t have a hope of getting here in time.” Bedivere crossed her arms. “Infuriating.”
Iah stepped forward. “I could heal her…”
“Unless you have a Dispel Charm spell, I don’t think it’ll help.”
“I could hit her again.”
They tied her up. It was all they could do to help her at the moment. With nothing as a lead besides the small amount of info Tom gave them, they had to make sure no one else tried to get in their way.
“I’m sorry.” Bedivere said “I have nothing against you but…I can’t have you hurting us. Or yourself.”
Hana didn’t look her in the eye. Aeron lifted her up and placed her on the nearby bed. “It’s just temporary, Miss. We’ll be back for ya in a jiffy.”
The two met the other three outside. Iah rubbed her ams. “What did Tom say?”
“He mentioned a temple, and something about…Enca…”
They all turned to look at Vulcan. “What?” Bedivere said.
“When I stabbed that one guy in the hall, he said something about Encarnacion and how she wasn’t scared of me. Which, I mean obviously, cause she ain’t met me yet~”
“Right. Did he say anything else?”
“No. He stabbed me though.”
“Fair.” Bedivere looked around. “Well, what next?”
“What about the temple?” Aeron said. “Is there…one ‘a those around here?”
“There’s a temple to the Goddess Adele, The Engineer.” Bedivere replied. “I’d rather call down reinforcements from the college, but…”
“Well…you saw how receptive Tom was to my questioning. The government and the college have never been on the…best of terms. I think they’ll hesitate before getting involved, even with my Grandfather prodding them.”
“Just tell them it’s a super big emergency!” Iah exclaimed. “And that you really need help, like, right now!”
Bedivere laughed. “Child, you’re precious. If only it were that easy.”
“Not even if you say please?”
“Not even pretty please with sugar on top.”
“We could sneak in.” Vulcan said.
“We’d get caught.”
He scoffed. “Are you joking?! I never get caught!”
“I doubt that.”
“You wanna bet on that?!”
“I bet you 20 silver you’ll get caught the second you step on church property.
Vulcan’s yellow eyes seemed to shine. “Wait, really?”
Bedivere looked around at everyone else.
“If he gets caught, he gets caught.” Nedjem shrugged. “Plus, could yield some useful information considering how little we know.”
“And if all goes sour, I do got this.” Aeron held up his hammer.
Bedivere sighed. “Fine. Okay. But this is on your head, not mine.”
They left Hana tied up on the bed and stepped out into the cold night air. Behind the panels of rickety wood, a figure moved away, disappearing back into the darkness.