106. A Tale of Bad Luck
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I've been feeling really poorly recently. I think I'm getting better, but I'm not sure. 


 

All was white. The area around them was near silent. No longer did the whipping winds hurl around the group with their banshee wails. Their steps left prints in the snow, no falling snow to hide away their tracks.

The giants remained behind Dark Harvest and Adam. Freya remained near Klara, and Adam remained near Freya. They walked in relative silence, though sometimes the giants would grunt with one another, and Freya would stop to whisper something to Klara before continuing.

The days passed by, each of them staying in their own little groups. Adam remained near Dark Harvest since Freya was stuck to them like a bee on pollen.

Many days passed by until they caught the sight of Muten. Adam stared down at all the buildings, the moving figures, the life. The white of the area was so different to the white of the expanse, this white was so much more welcoming.

“Finally,” Adam whispered to himself. He much preferred the temperate human lands, though did not ever want to think of himself as a southerly lad. He’d happily accept the civilisation of Muten to the emptiness of the snowy wilds.

Two giants made their way to greet the Chief, glancing down to Adam, nodding their heads at him, and then noting the strange forms of Dark Harvest. Their gazes fell onto Freya for just a moment, but they said nothing of her presence.

The group was taken to the friendhearth, where he saw a group of familiar face.

“Oh,” Adam said. “Hello.”

“Good evening,” Elowen said. “It’s good to see you again.”

“And you.” Adam bowed his head as he dropped down against a wall and sighed.

Elowen’s eyes flashed towards the Winterdotr, and her eyes went wide for a moment. “A-“

“Winterdotr!” Ylra exclaimed in delight. “I never thought I’d ever see one!”

Freya glanced between the new figures, her eyes eventually resting on Redboulder. Redboulder brushed his beard and nodded towards the girl, and Freya returned the nod.

Ylra walked over to Adam. “Why don’t you introduce us all?”

Adam introduced the two groups to one another and sighed. “I hear that giants have an issue with Winterdotrs.”

“That’s quite the understatement,” she said. “They despite one another, generally.”

“Why?”

“I heard that they betrayed one another. It’s why the giants need to sing in order to stave away the effects of the wind and snow outside their cities.”

Adam thought for a moment. “Our return was much easier,” he admitted.

“Obviously,” she said. “Freya probably had something to do with it.” Ylra then leaned in. “Just like how you had something to do with the black sun.”

“How did you come to that conclusion?”

Ylra smiled. “It’s very simple. Who do we know who is capable of doing something like angering a god?”

“I’m hurt that you would think I would do such a thing.”

“Are you going to tell us what happened?”

Adam sighed. “There was a minor issue. Nothing that we need to worry about.”

“What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything.” Adam paused for a moment. “It was Lord Sozain’s fault, mostly.”

“Sozain? God of Death?”

“That’s right.” Adam turned to Klara. “Klara there will attest that I didn’t do anything.”

“I wouldn’t say that,” Klara said. “Adam is right, in that Lord Sozain had something to do with the black sun, and that there was quite the issue.”

“What kind of issue?” Elowen asked, leaning in.

Adam glanced around to see Rojer was missing, and so was the child. “Hold on. Where’s the girl?”

“She’s with Rojer and the Prince,” Elowen replied.

“Is she well?”

“She’s doing much better. Now, about the matter of you angering a god.”

“I didn’t anger him at all. In fact, we’re fairly amiable to one another. Speaking of angering gods, Lady Arya was a little annoyed at me.”

“What did you do?” Elowen asked, worry filling her voice.

“We had made a deal and I didn’t do very well in keeping my end of the bargain. It was a fair complaint, something I am doing my best to work on. She forgave me, though I’m now Freya’s guardian.”

Ylra stared at him, furrowing her brows together. “You’re looking after a Winterdotr? Why am I not surprised?”

“Anyway, back to the black sun,” Adam said, clearing his throat. “Lord Sozain sent two beings our way. I was familiar with one of them because it’s quite literally a nightmarish being who fought toe-to-toe with a dragon whilst at its weakest state, and the other was something who…” Adam wasn’t sure how he should refer to Galahad. “Let’s say he’s quite the legend.”

“You’re being quite vague.”

“I shouldn’t really say much more,” he said. “It’s rather unbelievable. I watched two godly beings fight above me, and after raining down Fireball after Fireball, I realised there was no place for me there. Luckily, the pair left to fight somewhere else.”

“You’re purposefully skipping all the best parts of it, aren’t you?” Ylra frowned.

Adam reached up to scratch his chin. “Well, Galahad did cut a mountain in half.”

“Which one was Galahad?”

“He was the one who fought the nightmarish being. He’s like me, using both magic and blade, but…”

“But?”

“Much stronger.”

“How much stronger?”

“He cut a mountain in half.”

“You did say,” Ylra said. “What do you mean by that exactly?”

“He cut a mountain in half horizontally, like snapping a biscuit in half.”

“Biscuit?”

Adam rubbed his forehead. “Imagine a mountain in front of you. It goes from the left to the right, as far as the eye can see. He cut a mountain that wide in half, to the point that the top half of the mountain fell down behind.”

“What?”

“It’s true,” Klara said. “We watched two gods fight.”

“Yeah, but they both left into a tear. Galahad was caught, though he left his hat behind.” Adam pointed to the flat cap which Freya had taken a liking to. “He asked me to keep it safe for him.”

“How do you always get yourself in trouble?”

“That’s just my luck. In fact, immediately after they left, I fought a dragon.”

Ylra’s jaw dropped. “Excuse me?”

“Yeah. It landed down right in front of me. I was already weakened from the fight and I was running low on mana, but I fought it. Freya helped, but we couldn’t really do much since it was so powerful, so we got out of there. I appeared right beside Dark Harvest, but they were in combat with two icewyrms. It was an awkward situation all around. Then Gant and the other giants appeared. They managed to deal with the two icewyrms easily enough.”

“You’re forgetting the fact you basically killed an icewyrm solo after fleeing from the dragon,” Hisan said.

“Gant softened it up, and it was distracted with you. I won’t take credit for something the pair of you set up.”

“Why don’t you start the story from the beginning?” Ylra said.

Adam went through the entire travel for them. They listened intently to his words, each of them going from one facial expression to the next.

“I can’t say I envy you,” Ylra said.

“I’m glad you’ve returned safely,” Elowen said.

“What about Lotag and Gutt? They left before us, have they returned?”

“Not yet,” Elowen said, shaking her head. “Though an iceworm is quite difficult to defeat.”

“Especially if they don’t have an Adam fighting alongside them,” Ylra joked.

“I heard Adam had returned,” Rojer said, carrying the princess in his arms. She was still bundled in thick furs, remaining out of sight.

“You missed the craziest story,” Ylra said. “Adam fought a god and then a dragon.”

Rojer’s lips turned upwards into a smirk, and then he looked to Redboulder. Quickly his smirk disappeared and he looked to Adam questioningly. “What?”

Adam sighed, though before he could speak, a giant peered her head in. “Adam,” she said, “the Prince wishes to speak with you.”

“Looks like I’ve got to regale the tale to the Prince first,” he said, hopping onto his feet. “I’ll tell you it later.”

Adam followed the giant out, following her towards the thronehearth, where Prince Aksak was waiting for him. The Prince motioned with a hand to the seat nearby, and Adam sat down opposite him.

“Chief Joti has informed me of the journey,” he said. “It seems that you were beset by quite some luck.”

“Mistress Fate does favour me,” Adam joked.

“I have noticed. I’d like to speak with you about your journey, if you are so willing. I know you may be tired, but there was an incident near the end during the black sun. It seems that it involved you in some way.”

“It’s quite complicated.”

“I had spoken with Entalia previously about a matter. I don’t know if she told you that she had spoken to me about the creature in question, but did Entalia face the creature which had appeared during the black sun?”

Adam raised his brows in surprise. “I think it’s the same being.”

Aksak brushed his beard. “Please tell me the events of the journey in as much detail as you can spare,” he said.

 


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