Tales around Mirateia 13

Around the time Azran was halfway through the story about how Ira┬┤s little sister Eza had earned herself the unofficial title of "little commander" among the members of the imperial guard.   "And then I heard that she went to some of the new guards and because they didn't know better, they did as she said" Azran said.   Azran was about to begin again after having taken a sip of the ale he had brought when someone in a hood came up to them.   "Are you the ones looking for a lift?" the hooded figure said.   "That depends on who is asking," Ira said while slowly moving her hand towards one of her hidden knives.   "The harbour master send me, he said I should go to this inn and that you would be easy enough to spot, turns out he was right," the hooded figure said.   Both Ira and Azran looked at each other and gave a sign for the figure to sit down, having sat down the figure who introduced himself as Tristan began to explain the task the harbour master had put forward to the two of them, their task was to free one of the harbour masters men who had been taken prisoner by one of the gangs in the city and since the harbour master could not have the city guard getting involved the task came down to Azran and Ira, a third party.   After what felt like an hour where Ira and Azran asked questions about their task, where it was to take place, how many people would be at the place and such. Having told what he could, Tristan left the inn to let Ira and Azran prepare for the task.   The two of them went to scout out the area, it was in one of the more run-down parts of the city in a warehouse located on the bank of the river running through the city. From what they could see from their position, was that it appeared that the gang didn't have too many guards on the outside at least. Spending some time to get a better understanding of the area and find escape routes to when they have to get the captive back to the harbour area. During the exploration, Ira discovered that if they were to climb some of the materials placed along the wall up to a ventilation hole in the wall just under the roof, they should be able to enter the warehouse without being noticed as materials were blocking the view for the guards guarding the front side.   Having scouted out the area, Ira and Azran set about to gather some supplies that they would need. Having brought some potions in case their target was unable to move and needed a potion to regain their strength. Walking through the market Azran spotted a shop selling flasks selling all sorts of liquids and after a short conversation with the seller, he brought one of the flasks containing a light blue liquid.   Back at their inn, while Ira was in the room they had rented getting the things ready, Azran headed to the stable saying he had to fix some things before he would come to the room.   "Where have you been Azran, thought you would come up to our room," Ira said as she entered the stable where she saw Azran sitting on a chair, his sword laying on his lap and him putting some of the blue liquid he brought earlier on a piece of cloth before applying it to his sword.   "hey Ira, sorry forgot the time and got distracted," Azran said   "I can see that, mind telling me what that blue stuff is? it's not your normal oil that's for sure" Ira said lifting the flask of liquid to get a better look.   "Oh, this? well, the seller told me that it's used by putting it on a surface to protect it from being destroyed by animals and if getting in contact with the bare skin it will give a slight burning feeling, or at least that's what he told me. So I thought that if I put it on the blade of the sword it might give me a slight advantage when I get a hit in" Azran said putting some more of the liquid on the cloth.   "Hmm, seems logical enough, can I put some on some of my arrowheads?" Ira said.   "Sure, knock yourself out" Azran answered.   When the sun was about to slip beneath the horizon, Ira and Azran began moving towards their intended target with a slight detour when Azran went off to get a piece of roasted chicken.   "What? I get hungry when I'm nervous" Azran said before stuffing his mouth with the chicken, Ira just shook her head.   Arriving near the warehouse they got to the place Ira had spotted earlier and began climbing their way up to the ventilation hole and making their way into the warehouse.   Inside, they were on top of a walkway going around the top of the warehouse giving them a relatively clear view of the scene where a group of maybe 10 armed people were standing and to the side at one of the centre pillars, the person that Ira and Azran were supposed to get out of the building alive.   "So I'm counting at least 10 people, not taking into account the handful outside, what's your plan?" Azran said looking around.   "I see some of them have ranged weapons, I will try and move over there," Ira said pointing towards a section of the warehouse where the content of the warehouse would block the gang members' view of her while she could move from cover to a shooting position and back again easily "and then I will try and focus fire on those while you should be able to get the rest of them before the gang members outside even know what is happening" Ira continued.   "Not a bad plan, alright let's get to it them"   As slowly as possible Ira began moving towards her cover and shortly after arrived with one of the arrows that had the blue liquid on it ready to fire when she looked over at Azran giving him a nod.   "Be careful Azran" Ira thought for herself.   Ira took careful aim at the enemy archer with a crossbow that also had the best position to hit Azran as he would make his way down to the floor level, letting the arrow loose it flew straight and hit the target under the neck killing him instantly, almost before the arrow had hit its target Ira had another arrow ready and aimed for the next enemy archer, letting the arrow go it flew in a perfect line and hit the target between the eyes. Azran took the confusion that Ira had created to jump down to the floor right behind one of the gang members but because of the proximity to the man Azran grabbed his dagger and hit the guy in the side causing him to fall incapacitated before Azran moved towards their target, the prisoner, on his way he avoided a swing from one of the gang members by crouching and in a circular movement Azran swung around trying to swipe the legs of his attacker but didn't get enough force to knock him down and only managed to lose his balance but by losing his balance he narrowly avoided an arrow fired by Ira.   Taking advantage of the distraction the near-miss of the arrow had caused to the enemy Azran moved in for the kill and in a precision only fitting for a trained legionnaire he hit the enemy near the heart causing the gang member to fall dead to the floor while retracing his sword from his last kill, he failed to spot the enemy coming from behind but luckily for Azran the gang member swung his blade a bit too early and low and only managed to cut Azran across the back below the right shoulder blade.   The cut made Azran stumble for a second before he swung around to face this new attacker but just as he was about to attack the enemy got stiff and fell backwards with an arrow embedded in the neck, Azran quickly looked up at where Ira was hiding, dodging the arrows being fired her way.   "Thanks" Azran yelled towards Ira, receiving thumbs up in return.   Looking around, he could see that the bandits were beginning to surround him and the person they were here to free, moving backwards so he was closer to the prisoner, Azran took one of his knives and tossed it towards the prisoner so the guy could pick it up with even with his hands still tied to his back. With the target now free and getting up on his feet Azran now began to look for ways out, the only two options he could think of was the same way he and Ira had entered, the other was out through the front door but from all he know there was a whole lot of gang members on the outside, yet he had that little voice in his head wondering why those had not come to help they must have heard the fight by now.   "Can you see that ladder over there?" Azran gave a nod towards the ladder.   "yes, but how are we going to get to it?" the guy answered, bending down to grab the knife he had used to cut the robes with   "That's my problem, you just make sure to get to the ladder and out of here," Azran said.   Just as Azran had finished his sentence an arrow flew over his head and hit one of the enemies in the shoulder, making the best use of the impact of the arrow Azran ran towards the wounded gang member and gave him a cut across the chest not enough to kill him but he was out of the fight. looking around that left only 6 enemies, not the best odds he had faced but not the worst either. sensing something moving out of the edge of his eye he narrowly managed to get his sword into position to block an attack from one of the enemies.   Pushing the enemy to the side knocking him over as well, Azran used the momentum gained to attack the leg of one of the other enemies, making his sword go clean through the leg, having the enemy fall to the ground clutching his wound. Making use of the distraction provided by Azran, the guy he and Ira come to free made his way to the ladder and out of reach of the gang members he made his way towards Ira's position.   seeing that Azran now needed cover to get out of there, Ira aimed her bow towards the closest enemy to Azran and fired, hitting him in the chest. Azran began to make his way towards the ladder and reached it shortly thereafter, he could hear Ira firing a few more arrows.   Azran made it to where he and Ira had made their way into the warehouse, coming up to it both their target and Ira had made it out of the ventilation hole and shortly after Azran followed.   For the next half an hour the three of them evaded the gang members that had followed them when they found out what had happened at the warehouse, they even saw some of the gang members talking to some of the city guards which just meant that the three of them had to evade more people. Half an hour later the trio stood at the place that had been agreed to as a meeting place after the task had been carried out.   "I really don't like this place," Azran said looking around.   "Me neither but it's not exactly because we can do this in public," Ira said putting a reassuring hand on Azrans's shoulder.   "I see you made it, that's good" a familiar voice came from behind the trio, it was the harbour master. When they turned around they could see he was accompanied by several soldiers.   Ira was the first to speak "what is this? What's with the soldiers?" Ira said while reaching for one of her daggers.   "Oh, those? well, those are just there to make sure you don't do anything stupid... Princess" the harbour master answered with a cheeky smile.   Hearing the last part both Ira and Azran froze in their place, unable to move their body, Azran saw a person standing between the soldiers and judging by the movements of the mouth and hands, Azran guessed that the person was a mage and that they had cast a spell on them. Shortly after he felt someone trapping his arms and moving them to his back.   Someone grabbed Ira's hands and moved them to her back while putting a bag over her head and lifted her up on their shoulder, while being carried away she could hear one of the soldiers ask.   "What about the guy, her companion?"   "There is no bounty on him, so just get rid of him" Ira could hear the harbour master answer knowing all too well what was about to happen and screaming inside because she could do nothing to prevent it, not even scream out loud.   Having turned around the corner, Ira all of a sudden felt a sting in her chest as if some connection suddenly and brutally had been severed.

Cover image: by Gayle Porter Hoskins


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18 Mar, 2022 18:29