Chapter 64: A hive of illness
What the dwarves suffer from is not a kidney infection, like the elves. They seem to be dehydrated, and have diarrhea with blood that comes out, together with their excrement.
This can only be dysentery. Now that the river is clean, the entire river will improve. Yet, for now, the water the dwarves are drinking is still going to cause them trouble.
It is lucky for the dwarves, that I still have goldenseal tea bags in my bottomless bag. They have parasites in their intestines. What they need is the tea, and plenty of water.
The nurses are quick to make the teas with my goldenseal. I made them first drink some themselves, even though they didn't look sick. A person can carry the dysentery even without having any symptoms.
I spent my time, making the dwarves drink their tea, and at least a glass of water every half an hour. When the clock chimes for ten in the evening, I finally realize how tired I am.
The nurses are still going from bed to bed. Yet, I decide to call it a day. With a hazy mind, I go, searching for the inn. There is no one out and about. It is too dark, for me to notice the plates with the street numbers.
It takes me fifteen minutes to realize, I am lost. I try to backtrack back to the hospital. I really should have asked the nurses for direction. My nose gets a whiff of a familiar scent. One which I am not ready to acknowledge. I pretend not to have noticed the man, as I walk with a quicker pace towards the hospital.
That doesn't stop my pursuer. I can't lead him to the hospital, I realize with a start. He is going to burn everything.
I take a right turn, and find myself in a deserted street. There are no houses around. This is as good of a place, as any. I turn around, and come face to face with my father.
"I'd congratulate you for adding to your hoard, but you practically do charity work, son," Ajax says. Just what is he doing in here? I am not ready to bring him down. No matter what, my inner dragon is roaring in my head.
"Why are you here?" I ask him. So far, I have always managed to hide from him. Did he come in here because he thought that he can make the prophecy null and void by killing me?
"Can't a father see his son, from time to time?" His tone is leveled, but his frown is telling.
"When have you ever cared about me?" I ask, my bitterness clear in my voice.
"Fair enough," my father's admission hurts, no matter how many times I am faced with his lack of care for me. "What are you doing in here? And what made you hang around necromancers? You stink of their mana."
I tilt my head to the side. Do I really? I don't sense any difference in my scent.
"That is my own business," I retort. Ajax puffs out smoke from his nostrils.
"Ungrateful whelp," he snarls. I take a couple of steps back. "Ok, let us try again, shall we?"
I can see it takes Ajax's whole self-control, to speak calmly with me. I used to think that he loved me, when I was little. Back then, he did show up from time to time, with a new toy, or a new book. I became a healer, just to impress him. Now, I have a whole different conviction for my chosen path.
"I came in here, to kill a Dread Lord. I can smell him, but don't know where he is. You reek of his mana. Did he perform a ritual on you?" Maybe once, I would have mistaken Ajax's indignation as something that was for my sake. I know better now.
"You can't have him," I say, my hand going towards my dagger. As tired as I am now, I don't know if I can pull off a transformation. Yet, I will not hand over Sorix just like that.
"He robbed all the graveyards from here to Corum," Ajax snarls. "Not just the ones of the humans, but all the dragon tombs as well! If you protect him, then I will deal with you, just like how I will deal with him!"
I didn't know that Sorix desecrated the dragon burial sites. If he keeps that from me, what else does he keep for himself?
"You will find that I have grown stronger, since last we fought," I say, as I take out the dagger. I coat it with my mana, and the blade turns crimson.
"You are a healer, Giv. If you don't turn him over, you will see just how weak you really are," I don't like it when Ajax calls me Giv. It would imply that he is actually fond of me. Which he is not, of that I am certain.
"Let us see if you are correct, old man," I know the jab worked, when Ajax begins to shift. I dredge up all my mana, and focus it on my legs. Just as the black dragons appears, I throw my heated dagger at his tail. The dagger explodes, making a bloody mess out of the tip of Ajax's tail.
My father roars. I don't know if it is because of the pain, or the indignation of being hurt in his most powerful form.
"Come on, old man, come at me," I then begin to run in the direction of the exit of the town. The slight light from the candles that are placed on the tunnel guide me.
I wince, when I hear a house being smashed by Ajax's bulk. I try to lead him through the streets, but he seems to have no care about the destruction he is bringing to Trelia.
When I reach the stairs, I notice a problem. The exit is not big enough for a dragon to pass through. I will have to fight Ajax on the stairs. At least I have the high ground.