A few hours later, soldiers sent out by Ormellius arrived at Simion’s hideout and were shocked to see the carnage of the battle that had taken place there. Faces drained of colour began to search through the bodies to check on any survivors. In the middle, separated from most of the bodies, Savlian Matius rested face first on the ground. Blood loss from his wounds had caused him to fall into unconsciousness and the soldiers immediately took him down and sent him to the barrack’s infirmary. They then began the solemn task of collecting the dead that Savlian had foolishly led to their demise.
It took a full week for Savlian to completely recover physically from his battle with Simion. Mentally was another issue. Throughout the week, Sethyas’ final words had kept repeating in his mind. Obviously the fact that Savlian had killed Simion had displeased the assassin. Still, Savlian was having a hard time believing that a man could flip dispositions from maniacally insane to passive, wounded victim in a heartbeat. If the possession was at fault for Simion’s crimes, and the Captain was beginning to believe such a reason more and more, Savlian still felt that at times it was Simion himself that was trying to kill them. Wouldn’t killing him then be justified? Somehow Savlian was beginning to think not.
Savlian thoughts also drifted to all those loss during this whole ordeal. Sure, Kvatch was a better place without the likes of Hlodir, Simion, and Vernon, but was the cost truly worth it? The Town Guard has taken an extremely heavy loss due to Simion’s assassinations and the battle with Hlodir’s bandits. Innocents such as the homeless Madsen and Bernise also dismayed Savlian’s conscience, so deeply in fact that he dreams were being haunted by the good people loss. It resulted in fitful sleeps that left him haggard and distraught. Still, life had to go on. He still had a job to do.
Shortly after being cleared from the infirmary, Savlian made his way to the Count’s Castle decked out in his uniform. Despite the troubles of recovery and the sense of loss, Savlian couldn’t help but feel of small sense of restored vigour while wearing his uniform. As he passed through the gates, the men attending returned warm welcomes and salutes. Savlian returned the gesture, happy to see that his men still had trust in him. It was another worry he had as he rested in recovery. Despite the hell the Town Guard went through, his men appeared to understand that Savlian himself had experienced the brunt of it.
It wasn’t long until Savlian found himself before Ormellius’ quarters. After a sharp knock, the Count bade the Captain of the Guard entry. Ormellius, dressed in well made, but reasonably plain clothes, smiled as he exchanged a handshake with the Captain.
“You look much better than the last time I saw you,” Ormellius stated.
A quizzical look crossed Savlian’s face. “I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t recall seeing you after fighting Simion.”
Ormellius waved the remark off as he went back to his chair and gesturing for Savlian to take one. “That’s because you were still unconscious. I checked up on you right as you were brought to the infirmary. Sethyas had told me that you have been seriously injured.”
“You’ve spoken with Sethyas?”
Ormellius nodded. “He and Taris arrived with the corpse of Simion. He told me what happened once they got there and I allowed them to take Simion back to Vvardenfell. I immediately issued soldiers to get you once hearing your predicament.”
A small smile crossed Savlian’s face as he listened to Ormellius’ words. He was touched to hear that the Count cared about his well being. It appeared that things were mending between them.
“What do you think about his rendition of the fight?” Savlian decided to ask.
“Well…” the Count began, pausing as he looked closely at the Captain, “I believed him.”
Savlian looked away. “I apologise for being so foolhardy. At the time I simply believed Sethyas’ concept to be ludicrous. I’m sure if I really thought about it –,” Savlian began before Ormellius cut him off.
“Captain! You were simply doing what you thought was right at the time. In the current state you were in at that time, it would’ve been difficult for you to process things quickly. Both Sethyas and I agree with this. He certainly wasn’t happy about how it ended, but he has accepted it and left that day. I suggest that you don’t try to communicate with him less you bring up those dark feelings once again,” Ormellius said sternly, yet with care and conviction.
Savlian nodded and his mood brightened. “Thank you, sir.”
Ormellius stood and clasped hands with his Captain. “We must put this dark time behind us. I can’t have you living in misery. I need you to keep this town safe. A lesser man would’ve broken long ago, but not you. I like to think I’m a good judge of character so please don’t make me disbelieve that notion,” Ormellius said smiling.
Savlian visibly squared his shoulders and stood to his full height. “You are right, sir. Expect the best out of me. This Captain isn’t going anywhere!”
A small, cool breeze lapped water against the beach. The Redoran Canton of the city of Vivec loomed in the background as several robed figures stood before a coffin and an open grave. One figure, dressed in a deep red robe lowered his hood and revealed himself. Sethyas stood before a small gathering of Morag Tong assassins, Taris stood by his side. One of their own was being put to rest today.
“Brothers and Sisters, we are here today to remember one of our fallen comrades. Simion Mandrake was a skilled member of our guild. During his time in the guild he served Mephala faithfully. For that, we must remember him. In his retirement, he suffered from a vile possession and did many inconceivable things that would tarnish the good name of our guild should it have been known he was one of our own. Yet, in the end, he died as himself, a Brother of this guild. It is this reason why we honour him today as we would any other member,” Sethyas stated, placing a fist over his heart. “So please, Brothers and Sisters, let us pay our respects to our fall comrade.”
With that, Sethyas knelt down next to Simion’s coffin. “May Mephala guide you on to the next life,” he murmured softly before rising to allow the others to do so.
Taris clasped a hand on Sethyas’ shoulder. “I couldn’t have said it better myself.”
Sethyas nodded, a solemn look on his face. “It is what he deserves,” he simply stated.
Well, that's it! Done! Finito! Whatever else that means "it's over". Yet, do not fear loyal readers (and I definitely mean loyal due to the amount of breaks I've been taking!), I do intend to continue posting stories here. My next one I don't expect to be as long as this one, but I hope it proves to be as successful as I believe "Bloodlust" has been.
I'd like to thank anyone who has read even a portion of this story, even if they haven't posted a comment. Still, I'd like to specially thank those who have posted comments: your praise definitely kept me motivated. I'd also like to thank Chorrol.com for creating such a wonderful site with wonderful people. I'd also like to thank all my fellow writers here as their stories have certainly entertained me and have also provided ideas and techniques that will certainly help me to be a better writer in the future.
Cheers to you all!