| Serene of Cyrodiil, chapter 7
, Comfort is given, Justice is taken...
Mar 30 2007, 06:37 PM
Joined: 11-February 05
From: Where I can watch you!!
Here is the link to: Minque's StoriesIf an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. Nicolo MachiavelliChapter 7, "Comfort is given, Justice is taken"
After spending a week in the good custody of Lloros Sarano I was back in Sarethi Manor again. Athyn, who had visited me every day while I was in the Temple, was ecstatic at having me back. I was worried about him; he had had too many traumatic things happen to him during the last six months, and now he seemed more exhausted and worn out than ever. In fact what he needed mostly now, and I too, for all that it mattered, was a vacation, a break from the normal struggle. I promised myself that when all this was over with we’d go…somewhere…that was, if I survived…
The prophecy by Sinnamu Mirpal was very clear to me, and it was also confirmed by the recent attempt on my life, because I knew very well who was responsible for that; the amulet I ripped off my would-be assassin was familiar; it belonged to the Venim family. I doubted Bolvyn himself was the one who tried to kill me, but whoever it was, it was on his orders, of that I was certain.
So all I had to do was to challenge Bolvyn Venim to a duel and then end his life, at the Arena in Vivec…?
Of course it was not that simple! I had to ponder a lot how I should let Justice be taken. I had to take active part in the government of House Redoran, to be able to get to know where the loyalties were. I had to know the standpoint of the other councilors and also raise their disposition to me.
Thorough planning was crucial here; otherwise I would be the one who would bite the dust. I also needed to train my sword-skill. I hadn’t used my Katana for a long time and I knew I had to be beyond simply good if I was to defeat a man like the Archmaster. I didn’t even consider another way of fighting him; a duel at the Arena witnessed by the Nobles of my House would be the only honorable way of dealing with this matter.
I discussed my plans with Athyn; naturally he tried to talk me out of it!
“Serene, I don’t like the thought of you being decapitated by Bolvyn Venim, In fact I don’t like the thought of you being decapitated at all. I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you!” he said, holding me close to him. “Why not let Sethyas do the fighting instead? He’s very skilled and…and he is a man! Besides, I know you do not like to take lives, even if taking this life would be justified.”
I took his face between my hands, kissed him deeply and sighed;
“I was convinced you would be the first one to stand behind me in this! I’ve told you about the prophecy of Sinnamu Mirpal…I’ve told you about my weird dream…and you know I am protected by Azura! You, Athyn Sarethi, the sun of my life, I love you more than you will ever know, and I beg you to support me now! The life of Bolvyn Venim will be taken by a woman, not a man, and that woman…will be me!”
Tears burned behind my eyelids as I once more kissed him. I was aware of his fear to loose someone dear to him and also the fear of acts of reprisal from the Venim family. But I couldn’t let that stop me; I had to do this once and for all or I’d never get peace at heart again.
Before he made an attempt to answer me I told him about a book Drulene Falen once showed me, “The Hope of the Redoran”. I actually never read the book but Drulene had told me what it was about.
“You for one should know that some things just have to be done,” I said, “If you hadn’t defeated your cousin back then, we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all.”
Athyn hesitated for quite some time before answering me. I could see in his face he’d given in to me, that he’d stand by my side all the way…This was of great comfort to me.
“I’ll go with you to Fort Buckmoth,” he said, sounding defeated and tired. “You will have to go through thorough training before you can even think of challenging the Archmaster, because that’s exactly what you’re going to do, right?”
I nodded and he continued;
“Since you are familiar with that confounded book, I think you know the name of the lady who used to train me when I was young? Shardie was the very best trainer to be found. She and I got on very well together and it is because of her that I have the position I have now…But you know all that.” Athyn paused, getting out a bottle of brandy and two glasses.
“We will need some fortification I think,” he said and offered me a glass. We tasted the beverage and he continued;
“Shardie has a daughter, named Shardie-Lee, who now is a master-trainer at Fort Buckmoth. She’s known as just Shardie and she is the one who I’d like to train you. Then you will have the best there is!” Athyn gently stroke my chin. “I care so much for you my love; I do not want to loose you.”
“We’ll be off to Fort Buckmoth, first thing tomorrow,” Athyn concluded. “So let’s spend this evening as nicely as we can, shall we?”
We had far too much brandy, far too much good food and maybe far too much love, but I still remember that evening as maybe the last evening that I still was somewhat innocent.
My head was aching and I could hardly stand the bright sunshine the following morning as Athyn and I were heading towards Fort Buckmoth. He, too, obviously suffered from last night’s events because he walked by my side silently with his head somewhat down. The sun was warm and I was drenched in sweat under my full Imperial Armor. Athyn had to take off his robe and carry it; the heat, or maybe last night, took its tribute out of him, and his face was a tad more grayish than usual, with beads of sweat forming on his forehead and he had to stop a few times to regain strength. I was carrying a small satchel with a few shirts and an extra pair of trousers together with my usual herbs and plants; nothing much really but it felt as heavy as if I’d had stones in it.
We found Shardie-Lee sitting in the shadows in a corner of the courtyard when we arrived, her brown skin glistened with perspiration and she was drinking from a large jug. Four young soldiers were scattered on the ground, totally exhausted, apparently from the hard training.
When Athyn presented himself and me her eyes widened; “I’ve heard about you, Serjo Sarethi, from my mother!” she exclaimed with a smile, “Nice to finally get the opportunity to meet you!”
I let Athyn do the talking, for my stomach was in uproar and I merely felt like vomiting; the heat and last night affected me severely. I sat down in the shadows, taking a sip of water, thinking ruefully that I’d have big trouble getting to my feet again…armor is just not meant to wear sitting down…
Chomh fada agus a bhionn daoine ah creiduint in aiféiseach, leanfaidh said na n-aingniomhi a choireamh (Voltaire)Facebook
Jul 11 2008, 11:10 PM
Joined: 11-February 05
From: Where I can watch you!!
Next one, and it's dedicated to Mallie! Thank you so much!
Venim calmly pulled out his katana and strutted towards me. My own sword came easily to my hands, and I waited for him, poised on the balls of my feet, watching the point of his sword and his hateful eyes.
“Well, Serene, at least you have good taste in weaponry,” he said with an air of superiority, “I can’t say the same about your armor though.”
I began to circle my opponent.
“I don’t require ‘superior’ armor to hide behind. Unlike a coward like you,” I shot back, fixing him with a wry smirk.
The obvious insult enraged the Archmaster, and his ashen face furrowed into a distorted anger. Bellowing a war cry, Venim charged at me, his dai-katana pulled back to his side in preparation to land a vicious blow upon me. I stood absolutely still, my expression placid as I watched the towering Dunmer rapidly close the distance. It seemed that Venim was too enraged to realize that my behavior was odd. Rather than consider the fact that I merely waited, sword held in a guard position, he shouted another cry and swung the heavy Daedric blade towards me.
The force of the swing caused the air around the blade to sing in a high whisper, sounding like a demonic creature that desperately sought to spill my life force. It wasn’t until the last minute that I crouched to the ground and nimbly rolled away from the horizontal attack. Rising to my feet, I was surprised to find another sword swipe heading my way. He was faster than I had imagined! Still, I managed to get my own dai-katana up in time to stop the attack, pushing Venim back.
I backed away from the Archmaster, the crowd a distant buzzing in my ears. His speed with the sword was mind boggling considering how heavy it was. I now knew what the public said about Venim was true; he was an excellent swordsman.
Venim paused from the offensive briefly to gloat once more.
“It is not wise to make me mad, outlander scum,” he muttered darkly as he slowly circled me, “But since I don’t feel like practicing my technique today I’ll give you a choice. Throw down your sword now and I promise I’ll give you a painless death.”
I didn’t give his offer any consideration. I had decided to live as long as possible a long time ago. So, instead of giving him an answer, I launched an attack of my own. My move took the Archmaster by surprise, but he still managed to deflect my blade. What would have been a killing blow crashed against his pauldron, knocking him backwards.
Venim stumbled to a stop. He glanced at his pauldron and a shocked expression crossed his face. The ebony pauldron was cracked clear through, like a brittle pane of glass struck by a rock. The crowd roared their approval of the clash; they did not seem to care who won, only that blood be spilled. Venim´s eyes swept across the stadium, flaring in anger. It seemed he didn’t enjoy being embarrassed in front of hundreds of people. He pointed his sword at me.
“No more games. I gave you a chance for an easy death, but now…” he trailed off. I could literally see him shake with rage! “Now, I’m going to make you suffer and beg me to take your life!”
With that, Venim heaved his dai-katana above his head and charged. I followed suit, driving straight at him. It was a dangerous move, making a direct challenge to his greater strength. I wanted to fight with a cool head, not with my heart on my sleeve. We brought our blades down at the same moment, and they crashed against each other with such force that it sent both of us recoiling across the sand. I recovered first and with a battle cry I swung my blade diagonally. The Archmaster intercepted this strike and knocked my sword aside. He then went for a horizontal slash, which I narrowly dodged by sucking my middle in. The effort of the swing caused Venim to lose his balance, which I took advantage of, scoring a glancing blow against his broken pauldron.
Shards of ebony sprayed across the sand. One shard caused me to gasp as it brushed against my cheek, instantly cutting it. Ignoring the thin stream of blood running down my face, I leapt upon my fallen opponent, seeking to cleave him in half with a downward strike. Venim expertly rolled away and rose to his feet quickly as he brushed away the few remaining chunks of his pauldron. The crowd again roared its approval.
Angry that I had missed my chance to finish the fight, I charged once more. Unfortunately, Venim was prepared and swung past my attack, smashing his sword into my back. The force of the blow was astounding, causing me to crumple to my knees. I desperately tried to catch my breath as I struggled to regain my footing. I did not stay standing long, as an armored boot crashed into my back, sending me face first into the sand. A plume of the stuff rose into the air, only to be carried away by the wind. I began to cough violently to clear my throat. I rolled to my back, thinking that Venim surely was planning to finish me off. Instead I saw him playing to the crowd.
“Is this truly the best my fellow House members can throw at me? It looks like I’ll have to run an intensive training camp once I finish dealing with this bit--” he ranted before I swept his legs out from under him with a kick of my own.
Laughter rang throughout the Arena we rose to our feet. Venim reddened in embarrassment and anger, his head swinging in my direction, his red eyes smoldering. Growling in rage, he rushed at me.
I had learnt my lesson after my thorough beating just moments ago. I needed to fight with a clear head in order to beat this mer. I patiently waited to see what form Venim’s attack would take. Once I knew it was going to be a simple overhead chop, I brought my sword up to block the strike. Our swords clashed, and the force sent painful waves through my arms and into my body. Venim grunted in exertion as he tried to use brute force to batter down my defenses. I held our blades locked and used my greater flexibility to kick him away, then attempted a counter-attack. He neatly smacked my sword away and caught me with an upward strike, which sliced through my Imperial armor as if was paper and cut my shoulder.
Crying out in pain, I backed away from Venim. Sensing that I was in trouble, the Archmaster charged in with a heavy flurry of thrusts and slashes. The attacks were sloppy enough that I was able to either avoid them or block them, but each parry or block left my shoulder burning in agony. I clenched my teeth, seeking to fight past the pain in order to win this fight. I dodged another chop by Venim, and the momentum of his blade spun him away from the engagement, giving me time to breathe.
My rest was brief, for Venim whirled around, his chest heaving. He seemed more tired than I was! Perhaps I could defeat him in battle of stamina. I had just spent the last weeks in intensive training, including twice-daily runs in full armor. He, on the other hand, had been drinking Cyrodiilic brandy and carousing for years. His fearsome reputation had kept him from being seriously challenged and his skills had withered just as his endurance had lessened.
I decided it was time to test that theory as I plunged back into battle, pushing a swift pace with a flurry of thrusts and slashes. Venim tried to smack my blade away, seeking to counterattack, but I kept my grip and control. Even as he gasped, I could feel my breath coming easily and my legs felt fresh and strong.
I hadn’t managed to break through his defenses, but Venim was fighting a completely defensive battle now rather than initiating any offense whatsoever. I abruptly switched my attack to a chop and our blades locked against each other once again. This was a battle of strength, which I seemed to be losing. I had to stop trying to match his strength and rely on my speed and stamina!
And stop I did, as I abruptly broke the lock and slammed my katana hilt right into his hated face. Venim staggered back, blood pouring out of his broken nose. Spitting out the blood that ran into his mouth, he cursed loudly. I guess he wasn’t happy with me ruining his “rugged” face. He was so busy snarling curses that he didn’t paying attention to my next attack. With all my might I swung my dai-katana and it landed flush upon Venim´s cuirass.
The blow sounded like a hammer striking a pane of glass, and Venim´s ebony cuirass shattered in much the same way. The force of the blow launched Venim off of his feet, his eyes a mirror of pain and surprise. A plume of sand erupted off of the ground as the Archmaster crashed to earth, briefly hiding him from me.
The crowd was completely mute, eyes trained on the cloud of sand, waiting to see the state of Bolvyn Venim. The first sign I noticed was a dry, raspy snicker. At least it started like that; it quickly developed into full-blown laughter. It was then that the dust finally settled and I saw Venim standing there, a gaping hole in his cuirass, his shoulders shuddering in mirth. The crowd clapped politely. I guess I was beginning to win some over.
Venim´s eyes glinted dangerously. “That’ll be the last strike you make,” he informed me as he readied his dai-katana once more.
I raised my sword into a guard position and closed the distance between us. I barely noticed that now encouragements were being shouted to both of us, rather than just him. My shoulder was a dull throbbing lump, and the arm felt like a dead weight. My cheek stung as blood and sweat mixed together.
Despite all that, I still felt I had the upper hand. I had just broken Venim´s protection. He had to feel vulnerable now. But he also seemed more determined than ever. No matter; it was time to end this.
I engaged Venim once more, unleashing a relentless attack of thrusts and slashes. Venim calmly defended himself before pushing me away. As I backed up, I stumbled. With my balance lost, Venim went back on offense. His attacks were many, and hard. Each blow sent waves of pain down my arms, but still I defended against them. Yet, my strength was waning, the battle and blood loss finally taking their toll upon me. My defense felt feeble before Venim´s strength. I saw victory slipping through my hands.
I was failing…
Chomh fada agus a bhionn daoine ah creiduint in aiféiseach, leanfaidh said na n-aingniomhi a choireamh (Voltaire)Facebook
Posts in this topic
minque Serene of Cyrodiil, chapter 7 Mar 30 2007, 06:37 PM Black Hand Its back! And up and running! Wonderful... Mar 30 2007, 07:51 PM jack cloudy Ah, so she gets some training. Sweet, now we can s... Mar 30 2007, 08:18 PM The Metal Mallet Excellent way to start this chapter Minque. We de... Mar 30 2007, 10:15 PM blockhead Ooooooooooooooooooooo. This is ... wow ... great.... Mar 30 2007, 11:34 PM Lord Revan Yes, heavy drinking never seems to be good for you... Mar 30 2007, 11:40 PM mplantinga I enjoyed the way Serene convinced Athyn to back h... Mar 31 2007, 04:59 PM BSD-IES Another of the classic TES fanfics. So beautifully... Aug 14 2007, 12:00 AM Lucidarius Serene fighting Bolvyn Venim, now that I would lik... Aug 30 2007, 01:53 PM minque [b]Ok...at last! Hopefully I´m over the ... Sep 23 2007, 08:44 PM treydog Woo-Hoo! She's back, she's back....... Sep 23 2007, 09:59 PM The Metal Mallet I have treydog's exact same sentiments. I am ... Sep 23 2007, 11:23 PM blockhead Serene is back! YAY!
I'm so glad you... Sep 24 2007, 12:38 AM Lucidarius These are great news, Serene is back and preparing... Sep 24 2007, 12:30 PM Tellie Wohoo, and update again, really good minky :)
And... Sep 24 2007, 08:45 PM jack cloudy Hmm, so the secret to total behind-whacking is foo... Sep 24 2007, 08:48 PM minque Thank you all...for nice comments, heh..maybe I ha... Sep 24 2007, 08:59 PM mplantinga It's great to get another update to this belov... Sep 25 2007, 03:32 PM Honorius Well, now that i find the last installment posted,... Jan 22 2008, 07:00 AM minque Ok folks, so we go a bit further again...heh this ... Jun 9 2008, 12:05 AM mplantinga Thanks for another intriguing update. I particular... Jun 9 2008, 04:21 PM BSD-IES Cool! It's back! I've just read th... Jun 9 2008, 07:37 PM Black Hand Hmm, Sethyas' words look a tad bit familiar to... Jun 10 2008, 09:10 PM treydog What I like is that you so perfectly portray the c... Jun 11 2008, 08:59 PM minque Ok folks! Because you've waited patiently,... Jun 28 2008, 05:14 PM Black Hand Serene has a secret. Indeed.
To quote the wonderf... Jun 28 2008, 07:55 PM minque
Serene has a secret. Indeed.
To quote the wonder... Jun 28 2008, 10:02 PM The Metal Mallet It is awesome to see you continue this lovely stor... Jun 29 2008, 09:10 PM minque At dawn I took a bath, a long hot bath to regain f... Jul 2 2008, 10:12 PM Lord Revan I hope that slap stung Venim for the next hour. :g... Jul 2 2008, 10:27 PM mplantinga I actually found myself holding my breath for that... Jul 5 2008, 12:11 AM BSD-IES
I am a little worried about how the previous inst... Jul 5 2008, 11:38 AM minque The Archmaster looked at me, and I never had seen ... Jul 5 2008, 06:15 PM mplantinga It's good to see Ilmeni and Serene getting alo... Jul 8 2008, 05:00 AM Black Hand Nice to see Serene and Ilmeni getting along. As pl... Jul 8 2008, 05:08 AM Kiln Dang I haven't had time to read in a while. H... Jul 8 2008, 06:21 PM minque Yes, Blackie, someone's helping me.. ;)
So ... Jul 8 2008, 06:27 PM The Metal Mallet Hehe, I'm sure some people are going to pick u... Jul 10 2008, 08:53 AM Black Hand Sweet! I know this fight is going to be good t... Jul 10 2008, 05:08 PM The Metal Mallet
Sweet! I know this fight is going to be good ... Jul 11 2008, 07:55 PM minque Well Mallie, even if she wears Ahemmusa clothing s... Jul 10 2008, 08:13 PM Black Hand Sorry for not commenting before, the uniqueness of... Jul 13 2008, 10:43 PM mplantinga "I was failing..."
That can't be ri... Jul 14 2008, 07:49 PM minque [size=3]The dedication of this goes, a third time ... Jul 17 2008, 09:37 PM Black Hand Awesome. Just Awesome. Jul 17 2008, 10:22 PM mplantinga Very nice. I will admit that I can't make up m... Jul 17 2008, 10:34 PM minque [i]So after the battle there will be some normal l... Jul 23 2008, 10:51 PM Black Hand Ahh, Serenes getting some of her own time back, mo... Jul 23 2008, 11:45 PM mplantinga Well, whether or not she wished to be Archmaster, ... Jul 24 2008, 05:27 PM Kiln Very good, I like the description and crisp dialog... Jul 25 2008, 03:23 AM The Metal Mallet Good stuff. The death experience was a nice addit... Jul 25 2008, 07:46 AM minque Last update until end of August! I'm going... Jul 31 2008, 06:49 PM Black Hand Hmm. Renie taking on the task of Death of a taxman... Aug 1 2008, 10:55 PM mplantinga Her compassion for others is turning out to be her... Aug 6 2008, 04:34 PM minque Any kinds of negotiations on an empty stomach are ... Aug 21 2008, 10:26 PM Black Hand Ver nice! SGM. Yeah that Foryn can be a challe... Aug 22 2008, 07:13 PM treydog And yet another cliff-ra... um cliff-hanger stoppi... Aug 22 2008, 08:19 PM Daedroth And yet another cliffracer? haha :lol: Aug 22 2008, 11:07 PM mplantinga Superb; a cliffhanger. Just what I always wanted.
... Aug 25 2008, 05:31 AM minque My dera loyal readers!
I do owe you an apology... Dec 7 2008, 10:09 PM Burnt Sierra
My dera loyal readers!
I do owe you an apolog... Jan 4 2009, 07:27 PM mplantinga I will always look forward to new installments, ev... Dec 8 2008, 05:51 PM treydog Seconded. I am more than willing to wait patientl... Dec 8 2008, 08:46 PM The Bean I finally got round to reading this. Yays!
Ah... Dec 11 2008, 11:50 PM minque
I finally got round to reading this. Yays!
A... Dec 12 2008, 12:25 AM redsrock You better update at TESFU as well! Or....or..... Dec 12 2008, 12:38 AM minque
You better update at TESFU as well! Or....or.... Dec 13 2008, 09:45 AM redsrock Good. Because we need good writing over there. Not... Dec 13 2008, 05:08 PM minque At last! I'm apologizing for my very long ... Apr 10 2009, 04:25 PM Black Hand Excellent update! Nice to see you're back ... Apr 10 2009, 07:54 PM mplantinga After the previous installment, I wrote that Seren... Apr 12 2009, 07:16 PM minque Thank you very much, Blackie and Dr Planty, I real... Apr 14 2009, 09:13 PM Colonel Mustard An update. FINALLY!
So Varus is dealt with, a... Apr 14 2009, 10:30 PM mplantinga Another problem dealt with. I'm glad to see th... Apr 15 2009, 02:03 PM Black Hand Awesome. Killed that guy twice! Oh and yes, ve... Apr 22 2009, 02:55 AM minque Ok my loyal readers, it's time to wrap up chap... Apr 22 2009, 04:01 AM mplantinga An exciting conclusion to chapter 7. It was an int... Apr 23 2009, 01:48 PM Colonel Mustard An interesting conclusion, Minque. I'll be loo... Apr 23 2009, 06:42 PM Black Hand Oh, snickerdoodles! Sorry, I hadn't seen t... May 9 2009, 04:58 PM treydog The solution to Foryn Gilnith was elegant- and bro... May 11 2009, 05:42 PM Black Hand It has been seven months!
MORE> SERENE... Dec 10 2009, 08:58 AM minque Ihhh...you're right! And the only excuse I... Dec 11 2009, 12:51 AM Remko Read the entire thing (where's chapter 8?? *ta... Apr 8 2010, 06:27 PM minque Thank you ever so much for nice comments! I tr... Apr 8 2010, 11:06 PM Remko There is one thing I really wanted to know: Is Ser... Apr 9 2010, 11:22 AM mALX
There is one thing I really wanted to know: Is Se... Apr 9 2010, 05:35 PM minque
There is one thing I really wanted to know: Is Se... Apr 9 2010, 10:05 PM haute ecole rider Well.
I wanted to read the WHOLE thing before com... Apr 11 2010, 05:58 PM Doommeister I've just finished reading your stories, and I... Nov 4 2010, 08:20 PM treydog Posting this for Athynae- who is too modest to pos... May 14 2011, 02:34 AM mALX
Posting this for Athynae- who is too modest to po... May 14 2011, 07:58 AM SubRosa I finished reading the entire thing a few months a... May 14 2011, 02:45 AM minque Oh my my...I'm almost crying here....Thank you... May 21 2011, 09:15 PM treydog
Oh my my...I'm almost crying here....Thank yo... May 21 2011, 11:23 PM minque
One note- the Athynae who wrote the poem is not... May 21 2011, 11:29 PM Grits I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Serene’s story, ... Jun 2 2011, 01:24 AM Doommeister gah still no update? why so cruel minque? update p... Jun 20 2011, 10:30 PM Athynae Patience Doomeister, Mother is working on it she a... Jun 21 2011, 03:51 AM
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