519 Last Question
It felt like a jagged spear had been stabbed into Coraline's chest. With every strained breath she took, it bored deeper into her lungs and scattered the pieces of her fractured ribs throughout her insides.
She could barely feel her cold, white-knuckled hands as she grabbed Lone's wrist and held on in desperation. Her hair whipped all around as the merciless winds battered the boy against the side of the ship, threatening to tear him away from her grasp.
"LOOONNE!!" Coraline screamed, "Don't let gooo!!!!"
"I'm NOT letting go!" The boy screamed back, "Just-- quit moving!"
"I'm not moving!!"
"Well, you're not holding STILL!!"
Tychon leaned one arm over a still-intact railing, "Are you having trouble, young lady?!"
Coraline angrily turned her head. She was tired. She was depressed. Her whole body hurt.
The green-haired noble... his hair somehow still-perfect even... an arrogant smirk on his face... he hadn't done a damned thing throughout the skirmish.
"I'm a LITTLE busy here, young master!!" She seethed.
"Haha... Really?" The noble leaned forward, ilms away from her face...
"Is this the best you can do?" He whispered.
Oh. No. He. Didn't.
"NO. IT. IS. NOT!"
With a burst of mana-empowered strength... strength that Coraline honestly did not think she had, she dragged Mister Lone onto the relative safety of the deck.
She collapsed onto her back, wheezing hard. Her lungs were burning. The muscles in her legs and butt spasmed and ached. Her heart pounded crazily in her chest... but... the pain was fading away.
Lone was already on his feet. He approached Tychon and inclined his head, "Thanks for that, Boss."
"Tss," Tychon scoffed. "We'll speak of it later."
What were they talking about?
Blinking the tears out of her eyes, she grabbed Lone's offered arm, allowing him to help her up.
"Hey," He smirked. "You alright?"
"Y-yeah... somehow..." Coraline muttered as she rubbed her side. The aching had dulled, leaving behind a peculiar sensation of... warmth... She was fairly certain it was going to bruise.
She shook her head in sudden realization-- "Mister Elladan! Oh, no... MAISIE! MISS MAISIE!!!"
She turned to address the woman at Tychon's side. The noble was gripping her arm... and not gently.
"Miss Maisie..." Coraline frowned, trying not to cry, "Can... can you cast a healing spell on Mister Elladan?"
The human woman grimaced... "Let me go."
"Do as the girl asks," Tychon narrowed his eyes, releasing his hold. "I'm certain you realize I am fast enough to prevent any more attempts at foolishness."
Coraline noticed that Maisie's arm was bruised where Tychon had held her. She could vaguely piece together that the woman was... unwilling... but a life was at stake.
"Please, Miss Maisie..." Coraline pleaded, "I don't want anyone else to die."
The human woman let out an exasperated sigh... "Fine."
⟬ Early evening, second sun. Eighteen bells until Cersei's Rest. ⟭
"Seven... hells..." Elladan rasped.
The half-elf began to hack and cough. Sweat poured down his forehead and tears down his cheeks. Agony wracked his broken body, as he grasped at his bandaged stomach.
Coraline watched him patiently... solemnly.
The injured Elladan had been moved to a bed in the infirmary. For the past couple of bells, she had sat beside him, contemplating everything that had happened.
Recent events had torn her apart... it made her doubt... everything.
It hurt her pride... so, so much... but she asked for Lone and Tychon to accompany her... to protect her.
Mister Lone agreed without complaint. He was... so very sweet to her. He stood by her side like a loyal pup... a steady rock she could rely on.
For some reason... Tychon acquiesced, as well, following them in silence. He stood by the door, quietly shifting the wooden tiles on his puzzle box, back and forth... back and forth.
Miss Maisie, the human woman, had fallen unconscious after casting her healing spells on the bloodied Elladan. He had taken a grievous stomach wound and he only needed enough healing to be treated at Cersei's Rest.
She went above and beyond... while also overdrawing her mana in the process.
It was purposeful... inflicting herself with mana fatigue in the process. As she wouldn't wake up anytime soon, Tychon carried her to her bed.
Mister Giorgio and Lady Lucrezia were shaken by recent events as well. They chose not to stray too far, staying in the hall just outside of Elladan's room.
There were so very few of them left...
The bedridden Elladan turned to meet Coraline's gaze...
"Where's... the goat?"
Coraline shook her head...
Elladan closed his eyes... "Bet the bastard... wished he had wings..."
He took another deep, pained breath... groaning to stave off another coughing fit... "Is... is that it, then?"
Coraline bared her teeth in a grimace... and she shook her head once more, "I... I have a question for you, Mister Elladan."
The half-elf opened one eye, "Yeah? ...Go ahead, then."
She looked back to Lone... and he nodded in understanding. If she didn't have him... Coraline wasn't sure if she would've had the courage to continue on.
She moved her hands as she had memorized... a series of intricate gestures that opened her mana circuits. Finally, she shaped her fingers into a diamond... "⌈Swords of Truth...⌋"
Elladan furrowed his eyebrows... "Sapling..."
"Mister Elladan..." Coraline gulped... "Where were you when Arod Highblade was killed?"
The half-elf closed his eyes and took a labored breath... "I see..."
"...Please," Coraline whispered... "Just answer the question..."
Elladan nodded quietly... "⋖ I was in the Ancient's room ⋗ ...putting a knife in his back."
Coraline grit her teeth, trying not to cry... "The only reason the Ancient would let someone in his room... was if they had Elven blood... and... because of Felicity... who had studied the Blades of the Forgotten King..."
Elladan closed his eyes... not agreeing or disagreeing.
"And... your class is Thief, isn't it? ...Only someone with the Thief Class could have planted the dagger in Mister Giorgio's room without being seen."
"Seven hells..." Elladan chuckled... groaning in pain, because of it... "That damned goat... he just couldn't keep his f*cking mouth shut, huh?"
Coraline nodded as she stood from her chair... "Thank you for your cooperation, Mister Elladan. We'll leave you to recuperate..."