TotTSM – Part 6
(I thought there was already a part six here, so the next page was listed as Part 7. Either I lost a post somewhere or I miscounted.. My bad. XD)
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Venturing into the darkened tunnel, Voren took each step as if it were his last. Who knew how stable this brick floor was? Any moment he may place a foot down too hard and fall to his death gods knew however far down. But so far. it seemed to be intact. Much to his relief. Although WITH each step, he was playing a game of wills with two dynamically opposing parts of his brain. One part wished to continue forward, other wanted to return to the entrance. Or at least make sure the way back TO that old metal door was still clear, lest they wind up lost for good.
At least no one would miss me..
He thought with a biting, bitter inflection; a twinge of remorse coming to his heart to think about Freah. The woman he adored and had meant to build a family with had since been quickly married off to another man several weeks back after the incident. Her parents couldn’t have her wed to some kind of novice magic worker who brought danger to their city after all… If there was one MINOR sense of satisfaction it was that he knew the child she was with wasn’t her husband, but his own.. Let her explain that to him someday on his death bed..
Voren wanted so badly to be a father, to live comfortably with his partner, but.. in the end Freah had bowed to the pressures of her family and proved that in such times of crisis, she couldn’t be counted on. It was a shame. Truly. For he thought he had known her better than that.
Finally the first half of his brain won out. All things considered, what did he have to lose? Already the city pariah, he didn’t give a damn what happened now..
And yet…he sighed, waving the torch in front of him to scorch any low-lying spider webs. If I didn’t care so much, why am I still hanging around? Why don’t I just take off and settle elsewhere? It’s not as though this place or these people hold any love for me now. I didn’t even DO anything for their anger and condemnation.. If only they knew..
And believed– Interjected another piece of Voren’s mind.
… Yes, and believed me when I tell them what happened. Half the time they look at me like I’ve got two heads, then they act as if I’m a Dirga incarnate.. If I were really some evil magic worker, bent on scaring people to death, wouldn’t I have done something before then?
One would think.
Ah. But it’s never as simple as that, is it. It’s not enough to simply be told and believe.. To think of some random entity swarming at the foot of our gates is too much for them to stand. So hatred of me is their way of coping and not worrying. But even so.. Why do I stay?
You know why.. he chided himself.
Yes… I suppose I do. But Freah’s already married. I can’t break it up. Besides, she’s pregnant with my child. Cleverly disguised under her new husbands name.. I stay, not for her, but for it- the child. So that I may see it grow up and offer my love from the shadows; as a casual friend and stranger..
How do you know it’s yours?
Voren had to stop then, eyes going wide.
Because.. I believe her. We were together. pre-consumating our arranged marriage and the like. Because she swore I was her’s and vice versa. I’ve never had a reason to doubt her or her character..
Until now. You’re sure she wasn’t with another? If she was so easy to fold on you when you needed her the most. When you needed her to stand up and defend you, even if it meant being an outcast like you are now. How do you know she wasn’t entertaining the hearts of dozens of others?
“ENOUGH!” he shouted; with the echo carrying on for several minutes. Hot, angry tears now streaming down his face.
All of this inner fighting had quite distracted him from the tunnel itself. As long as he didn’t fall or trip than he simply plodded forward. Steadily on burned his torch, growing smaller and smaller as he argued with himself. At least he was always guaranteed to listen.Voren hadn’t yet realized it, but thus far the tunnel with its old- ancient cobble stone and brick walls had continued on in pretty much a straight line; albeit with some minor twists and turns. And subconsciously, he noticed some faded lines or marks in the wall that if he did wind up lost, could probably follow back with ease.
Shouting at myself.. No, I’m not utterly INSANE.. Voren spat and continued on down the gently winding tunnel. Which was roughly six inches taller than himself, but with plenty of room on either side. Its top was also rounded like a sewer line, not squareish such as a building or some such.
It- the child is mine. I know it. Freah … what we had is gone, but I suppose I have to forgive her don’t I? She could not help how she was.. Voren sighed; trying rather hard to push his thoughts aside as he wandered further inside this creepy, black tunnel. That seemed to stretch forever..
At last when his torch was nearly gone, Voren spotted a small door which resembled the one he had come in through just a head. Darting do it, his eyes traveled over it’s surface for some time as he worked how to open it in his mind.. Finally with a giant shove, the door opened inward, and Voren found himself in a rather bleak looking basement or dungeon of some kind. He would have thought it was unused or had been abandoned were it not for the single flaring wall torch on the far right wall.
Stay or go, stay or go. same ol’ dilemma.. I’ve come this far, might as well push on, see where it takes me..
With footsteps light as a feather, Voren crept on. In the dim light of this room, perhaps used more so for storage now than the detention of prisoners or something, it was difficult to tell exactly where one was stepping, but even so, after what felt like an hour of stepping and listening, stepping and listening, trying to hear over his own thunderous heart beat, stepping and listening..
Now by the light of the single solitary wall torch, Voren was able to decipher a rather large metal door before him, preceded by a small set of steps. Voren listened at the door for some time before he got brave enough to slowly pry it open. Moving ever so painfully slow to avoid any creaking hinges, albeit unsuccessfully towards the end.. As soon as the door opened, the blast of light cause Voren to squint and shield his eyes… which all too soon settled on a rather large and glaring crest upon a far wall.
It can’t be..he gasped.Staring at this thing dumb founded.
I’m in… the Palace?! …
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