Dilandau makes a deal with the Grim Reaper as he lies dying, but what he agrees to do turnsout to be a little more difficult than he thought.
Chapter Three: Keeping the Pages in Order
Dilandau walked thru the streets of Freid having waited for the sun to set before entering the city. Summer was coming to an end and the nights were beginning to cool down to a more tolerable temperature and now Dilandau didn't stand out with a hooded cloak hiding his silver hair. Except for the occasional city guard and one or two guys passed out on the curb, the streets were empty.
Dilandau wasn't sure how long it had been, but since there were no signs of celebration, he figured it must have been a couple of weeks since the end of the war. He wondered aimlessly around thinking about his task and how to complete it. He stopped when he came to a dead end, not sure when he had ventured from the main road, but none the less here he was. Sighing, he turned around, heading back to find the main road.
As he turned another corner, the fifth, he'd counted, he came to the decision that he was lost. He had yet to find a visible street marking or even a street lamp, something to tell him where he was when a door was opened and several men stumbled out of it followed by a middle-aged women cursing and going on about drunks and the late hour. Dilandau knew the main streets would not be far from the tavern exit and figured he could hopefully follow the men to it.
Before Dilandau got the chance, the small group of men turned to look at him. Dilandau couldn't see much, but his empathy told him enough. For some reason, his standing there had threatened the men and now they seemed to want to rid the newcomer from their territory. Dilandau wasn't sure whether he should run or stand and fight. Coming to the conclusion that he had a better chance of fighting off the four men than running and ending up at another dead end he took a defensive stance and waited for the men to approach.
Dilandau knew something was off when the group began to surround him and effectively cut off any escape route. As he pondered what to do next a flash of metal and a crest caught his attention. These men weren't as drunk as he had first thought, nor were they common men. These were soldiers. Great I just had to run into a patrol. If they were four normal men Dilandau wouldn't have worried, but four armed soldiers are a little harder to beat. It didn't take long for the first soldier to make a move.
In the dim light it was hard to distinguish many features of the soldiers as well as Dilandau's own, for that he was grateful. The other three men moved in and tried to grab him as he dodged the first soldier's fist. Dilandau didn't think much after that as years of habit and instinct took over and he lashed out and kicked the man closest to him. His foot landed in the man's groin and he doubled over. Dilandau shoved that man into the soldier next to him. As turned to face the last two he was tackled into the wall by the third soldier and the forth helped pin his other arm. He watched the first two stood up and draw their swords and really wished he had thought to bring some kind of weapon with him.
Dilandau ran. He had found the main street and was making a bee line for the largest building in the city, the palace. He needed to be as far away from the bodies of the guards as possible before they are found in the morning. When they find them they will surely increase the amount of palace guards to protect the Duke. He had to get in tonight.
He wasn't really sure what had happened in the ally. At least he couldn't explain it. When he saw the two guards draw their swords and wished he had some weapon he suddenly began to feel almost dizzy...and there was this green glow. He had turned his head to the side to see what it was and was shocked to see it was coming from his hands. The glow began to take shape and formed two identical short swords. By the looks of them they were efficient in stabbing as well as slicing since it was sharp on both sides. There were spikes coming off an extra gripping point that half circled the hilt...
Dilandau had been interrupted from his admiring when one of the soldiers let out a cry and tried to run him through with his sword. He didn't know when the third and fourth had let go of his arms, but it only helped him maneuver away from the first man. Thinking fast, Dilandau dropped to one knee and, using his feet to launch him forward under the sword blade tackled the man in the legs, blades first. The end result being Dilandau lying in blood and half on top of a screaming, legless man.
Dilandau quickly stood up and slashed the second soldier across the stomach nearly cutting the man in half. The last two were stunned and didn't put up much of a fight for him. It was easy for Dilandau to decapitate them both in the same strike. Dilandau walked over to the legless man still calm and stabbed him in the heart with one of his swords. After checking to make sure the second soldier was dead he went over to each body and bowed saying a quick prayer and apologizing for having to cut their lives so short.
When he began to think whether he should find a sheath for his swords or rather carry them in his hands he was again shocked to see them fade away and his hands were once again empty. This was beginning to become strange and after coming to the conclusion that it was another one of his powers he began to look forward to what the rest of them were.
Most of the palace was quite except for the servant areas. Some servants just going to bed and mostly kitchen staff were beginning to round up the morning's breakfast ingredients. This was the only door not watched by the palace guards so it was his best shot at getting into the large building. With the early hour he would only have to avoid the kitchen staff and maybe a guard or two if he used the servant hallways.
It was easy to slip passed the tired kitchen staff and find his way to his target's room. There were signs posted in the small hallways, there the help the new servants find their way from one place to anther and as quickly as possible. Sneaking by a hallway patrol, Dilandau quietly pushed the door open and slid into the room.
The room was not as extravagant as he had thought it would be. There wasn't anything that would sell for more than 20 pieces in the market and one could find better quality of things there as well. What he had thought would be a mountain of cushion and pillows was a plain blanket barely big enough to cover the entire bed and one lone, flat pillow.
The peak of sunlight coming over the horizon warned him of the time and he quickly began to look for a place to hide. The room, having only one closet and a small trunk at the foot of the bed, places to hide were limited. Hearing a small knock at the door Dilandau made a dive for the bed and crawled under hoping he would have time to move before the housekeeping came to make the bed.
"My Lordship, It is daybreak and your bath is being prepared..."
"Good morning Marie... Thank you....I'll have my breakfast after my bath...Please let me know when it is done and can you let my advisors know that I will be out of the castle most of the day...They don't need to know why."
"Yes Lordship, will that be all?"
After the door was closed Dilandau heard the rustle of fabric and the creak of the bed as the Duke got up. His feet dangled over the side of the bed before finding the soft slippers and putting them on. Once his feet were covered the Duke went to the door and, slipping on a robe, left.
Dilandau, not having much else to do decides he would spend the day exploring the castle and try to figure out the schedules of the staff. That might take a couple of week with the size of this place/, Dilandau thought crawling out from under the bed. I might as well get started.../I really need to find something else to where to/... He really needed to figure out what "Death" meant when he said he was supposed to prepare the Duke... /I don't even know what it is I'm suppose to prepare him for...All I know is he is suppose dto be ready for something when it comes.
Eight Days Later
Dilandau stood in the shadows watching the young child study. I still don't understand...How am I supposed to prepare him if I don't even know what I have to prepare him for? How am I going to get him to trust me? I don't think he'll recognize me but he'll know my name. For all I know he'll have me arrested then publicly executed.
Dilandau's thoughts were broken when the child stiffened and glanced up from his studies. Dilandau pressed himself further to the wall, not ready to face his new charge. The young boy relaxed again, satisfied for the moment and continued with his work. A few minutes later the boy began to pack up his things and left the room. On his way out the child placed a folded slip of paper on the floor then went on his way. Dilandau was curious of this since the boy quite deliberately made sure it the writing in the outside could be read from the other side of the room.
Dilandau's questioning nature took over and he ventured from the safety of the shadows to pick up the paper and see what was inside.
Stranger it read on the outside. Upon opening the folded paper Dilandau nearly dropped said item. It wasn't the neat handwriting that thru him off even though it was neater than his own, it was the large question scrawled across the sheet. Who are you?
Chid knew that he had been there. Dilandau didn't know how but the kid knew. Looking at the paper again and reading the simple three word question he herd it asked in his head.
Then Dilandau did drop the sheet when he realized the voice wasn't in his head and looked up to the open doorway.
There standing in his green tunic and white undershirt, strange hat and all, was the Duke of Freid, Chid. Chid was giving him the look only a child could give an adult, one of curious innocence.
"My Lord," someone called from down the hall, startling the two. Footsteps were herd coming down the hall from around the corner. Chid, thinking fast, began shutting the door and whispered the stranger hoping he had herd his quite command.
"Training hall, tonight." And the door was shut. Dilandau could still hear the older man outside the door and pressed his ear to it.
"My Lord...Here you are...I thought you were right beside me...when I turned you were not there."
"I apologize; I thought I had left the candle burning..." The rest of the conversation was lost as they moved further down the hall and out of earshot.
The last scene was the oneI wrote that inspired this story. Hope you like this idea. I don't fin many fic with Dilandau and Chid in them and felt I should attempt to whrite one of my own. I hope you are enjoying the read. Please read and review. Much appreciated
PS Don't own, Don't Sue