It must have been well past midnight when the three captured Dovahkiin had been forced to cease their constant marching after being mercilessly led through the Lost Forest. It had been nearly an hour of walking earlier when one of the bears had had the most unpleasant idea of blindfolding the lot of them. The idea had not only been accepted as strange by the dragons but by a few of the bears as well for one had argued that it was plenty dark enough in the woods but the idea holder had confronted that the torch light would give away path details to the enemy.
While reluctantly accepting the blindfold that was tied across her eyes, Vahdinpeyt felt that the action proved both good and bad. On one hand, the blindfolding meant the bears were actually a bit intimidated that Zeymah, Nivahriin and herself might escape and quite possibly round troops and retaliate or do something equally as damaging. On the other hand that also meant that none of them had any idea as to where they were going and as they unfortunately learned, the slightest stumble would angrily set off one of the Kodaav. They were accused for a number of things, moving to slow, trying to escape or made some sort of jeer about their race being stupid which if the Kodaav was angered enough would result in one of two things.
The first was if they had nearly fallen over, that would mean getting thrown into the dirt, hard, then would earn a large variety of bruises. If the stumble had been meager they were harassed while continuing to walk and Vahdinpeyt figured it was to attempt to mess up their concentration even more and increase the chance of the first option happening. Which sadly, all of the three had stumbled at least a few times and earned their number of throbbing bruises. It wasn't just the blindfolds fault either; the uneven ground they were walking along could unsettle even the most sturdiness of feet, as Vahdinpeyt had heard from listening intently to the frequent cursing of the bears.
"Tighten their ropes," Boris said, his voice sounding none too pleased as his Russian accent coated his words.
Without hesitation Vahdinpeyt held out her waiting yet captured wrists before being jerked forward by her ropes nearly causing her to fall over. Thankfully, she caught her balance just in time for the bear to tighten her restraints which she noted were tied a little too tight for comfort. It practically felt like her veins were choking from the restricted blood flow and Vahdinpeyt felt a pang of irritation at the pain in her wrists.
She was being cooperative wasn't she? Why treat a behaving prisoner like this?
Caught up in her thoughts, she nearly missed her blindfold being ripped off her head as a brown bear, which she had come to know as Cameron, with a torch light appeared in front of her. She had to ground herself when she saw the look he wore, one that said she was a huge, ugly spider sitting on the edge of his perfectly ironed tablecloth. It was just like revulsion but more displeased and Vahdinpeyt briefly wondered how fast it would take for her to knock the look off his bloodied face. Silently she thanked Nivahriin for leaving him a marring gash on his face, for some reason it quelled the anger in her for a moment.
"Not a word." Cameron said threateningly in her face dissipating her thoughts of attacking as he moved to stand behind her and usher her to the front of the group. Along the way she saw that Zeymah and Nivahriin were undergoing the same treatment as their blindfolds were yanked from their heads. Enough sightseeing--She turned to keep her eyes trained on Cameron leading her before eyeing the aweing entrance to the Kodaav village.
Two rows of trees, taller than any building Vahdinpeyt had seen, were bent at an awkward angle so that they entangled their branches to their neighbors across from them. It was odd seeing such a different display in tree behavior
almost like they were hugging. Below the monstrous tree's protective embrace were several large gray boulders all being held up by several thick rope like vines so that it wouldn't touch the ground. A trace of white caught Vahdinpeyt's attention as she turned her head to look to the right of the vines but the sight made her blood run cold in her veins.
"Ah, enjoying the view are we?" Cameron snarled as he grabbed the frozen dragon at the back of her neck to shove her towards one of the low hanging Dovahkiin skeletons that seemed to cover the entirety of the wall. Vahdinpeyt gasped as she squirmed to get out of Cameron's hold, her panic rising as she scanned the wall while willing herself not to be pulled closer to the dried skeleton.
"Beautiful aren't they?" Cameron asked, his blue eyes alight with cruelty as he tightened his grip at the nape of her neck so she wouldn't be able to look down. Vahdinpeyt swallowed as her eyes glanced past the skeleton to the others that were strewn across the boulder wall and tried her best to hold back the lump of primary disgust and revulsion that crept up in her throat. The Kodaav hadn't just killed Dovahkiin men but women as well and
children. All of their corpses strung up like some sick display of a wild animal.
"Not good enough, I take it? Well don't worry we got prettier decorations inside." Cameron said as he yanked Vahdinpeyt from her beyond disturbed state at the number of bodies that were hung across the wall. There were more?
This was too much, and Vahdinpeyt knew what was too much. She had seen war, she'd even participated in battles. She'd seen mountains of corpses and remembered the feel of their lifeless bodies as her and her fellow soldiers carried as many as they could back to their loved ones in the village. She'd witnessed village raids, rape and gory deaths because it was just that, war. Every rule ever learned could be broken there with no consequence
but this? Her OWN people?
A wave of nausea twisted in Vahdinpeyt's stomach as she closed her eyes willing the images to part from her mind, she didn't want to look at this anymore. These were the people she was literally BORN to protect and here they were, disgraced even in death. Damn these Kodaav. So help her they would pay for this!
However, Vahdinpeyt didn't have time to dwell on her quaking vengeance because they were soon being forced to move once more and when she tossed a look back towards Nivahriin and Zeymah she noticed that their expressions were harder than stone. Good, at least she wasn't the only one sitting in a pot of seething anger.
Entering the large cave like formation at the base of the mountain of the boulders, all of the travelers were then cloaked in darkness as their feet skirted around uncertainty along the rocky ground. As they progressed, Vahdinpeyt noted it was getting colder and soon her feet were being dragged though water, then waded through knee high water. Where on earth were they?
It must have been a good twenty or so minutes when a large noise started to resonate within the damp caves and all Vahdinpeyt could think was thunder but it was constant and not coming as loud cracks. Then there was light, an odd blue hued light that struck through what looked like a waterfall and the group of Dovahkiin and Kodaav alike ventured toward it. Passing through the chilling water, Vahdinpeyt resisted the urge to shake herself off if nothing else but to get rid of the cold feeling.
Being shoved once more they were led onto dry earth and shortly after, being marched through a large lamp lit village. From the few Kodaav that wandered the dusty streets at that time of night, they all approached to greet the three Dovahkiin with looks of distaste and much to Vahdinpeyt's surprise most even had the nerve to spit in their faces. She could understand hatred, they were trespassers, but honestly was being caught on one's land such a crime to these bears? So over the top.
Suddenly, a stone hurled out from a hut window which landed its mark on Zeymah's shoulder taking him completely by surprise as he jumped from the blow. Turning his head to instinctively look in the direction of his attacker, the bears surrounding him pushed him forward, not tolerating him stopping even for a moment. Bunch of cowards. They were deliberately marking them as prisoners of the village so much now Vahdinpeyt was sure it was routine for any outsider.
Keeping her eyes trained ahead of her, a cold restless feeling overtook her stomach spreading into her chest and into the rest of her body as they approached a large stone building. Several pikes were resting outside of it nearly reminding her of an ominous graveyard as a chill ran up her spine.
"How about these decorations, eh?" Cameron sneered, his voice gruff from behind her as she narrowed her eyes.
The answer to her own question came quickly when they approached the guarded yard of the building. The pikes weren't just pikes
They had heads of all shapes and sizes as well. Some were skeletons, others were
still corpses but most all of them were Dovahkiin and Vahdinpeyt's stomach rolled as a dreadful smell reached her nostrils at the entrance.
Her once chilled blood now heating up as anger touched the bottom of her belly before twisting deep inside her.
They were using the heads of their brothers as decorations! How dare they! Their horns wreathed together to hang on the Kodaav's forsaken huts as if they were some common animal to be hunted in the woods!
With anger ever present on Vahdinpeyt's face, Cameron took notice as he rushed her forward once more forcing her to walk before kicking the back of her knees to kneel before a piked head. With a small struggle Cameron grabbed at the back of her head grabbing a fistful of hair causing her to gasp before forcing her to look directly at the pike. Her stomach rolled once more as a wave of nausea hit her as the rotting corpse smell gagged her Olfactory.
"Pretty, huh? Judging by your behavior I'd assume this is a friend
no? Hrm, family member maybe?" he taunted as Vahdinpeyt struggled against his hand trying to tear free but only succeeded in ripping a few strands from her head and giving her the beginnings of a headache.,"Or maybe no one at all. In that case, you should introduce yourself," he jeered as he tried to push her forward.
She pulled back, her eyes nearly watering from holding her breath to resist taking in any more of the corpses smell. A small struggle was then faintly heard before Cameron turned around to growl at his group members.
"Keep them quiet will you!" he snapped as Vahdinpeyt took this chance to struggle against him, ignoring the pain in her head as she tried to back away from the piked corpse, "Rude to even your own are you? Well, if you don't care enough to introduce yourself now maybe you will later when he's added to your final meal," He threatened quietly into her ear as she struggled once more before being brought up to her feet.
Vahdinpeyt turned, she'd do anything to never have to sit that close to a piked head ever again when her eyes suddenly widened as she took in Zeymah and Nivahriin. Both of them looked furious with both of their mouths wrapped in cloth, which Vahdinpeyt assumed was because of their resisting comments earlier, their eyes glowing with anger with their sights set on Cameron as he pulled Vahdinpeyt along.
She knew it was an outrage, hell she was outraged by being so degraded but they couldn't do anything, at least not now. They needed information from the chief and to get it they had to play prisoner. The three were then moved through the sea of pikes making them all feel a bit uneasy to their stomachs before they were all forced to their knees in front of a large door to the stone building.
With spears mere inches from their throats, Vahdinpeyt watched as Boris made his way around the Dovahkiin before knocking respectfully on his chiefs door and after a moment was let inside. Vahdinpeyt skirted her eyes over to Nivahriin and Zeymah and her eyes widened momentarily, the two's hardened expressions made them look more like generals than she was. She frowned slightly; she could hardly blame them after all they were raised in a foreign land with tribesmen.
The sound of the door opening drew Vahdinpeyt's attention again as she looked forward, this time only two emerging from the door, one being Boris and the other being the Kodaav's chief whom she knew as Lars. She narrowed her gaze at him suddenly thankful for having to sit through all the boring council and war meetings her father dragged her to, at least she'd have an upper hand in familiarizing names. Then with rough hands and sharp spears the Kodaav forced them to bow each doing so reluctantly, Vahdinpeyt eyes glowered upward, while her body may have been forced to bow her gaze would not lower to him.
"Bow," Cameron growled in her ear as he went to put his other hand on her head to try and force her down when Lars held up his hand as a sense of recognition glimmered in his eyes.
"Come now, Cameron. You can't expect a member of royalty from another kingdom to bow to a chief without first gaining respect," he said as Cameron looked down at Vahdinpeyt his face showing reluctance as he backed away from her. "You Dovahkiin are usually too proud; let me show you my unfaltering respect," he continued as Vahdinpeyt narrowed her eyes at his mocking tone while she was allowed to bend upright. Even a bow would not cover up the degradation of their
Lars bowed low, his eyes never venturing up before finally withdrawing to look Vahdinpeyt in the eyes. It was custom for a dragon member to bow to an authority figure to return the favor of respect but right now she wanted nothing more than to disobey tradition. This poor excuse of honor was hardly worth a nod. When she gave only the smallest of acknowledgements Lars set her with a small glare, he clearly didn't appreciate her lack of respect.
"Well princess, I can see you came all this way just to stir up trouble though I really wish you would have stuck to your own kingdom," Lars showed his distaste clearly through his tone of voice.
Vahdinpeyt huffed, there was nothing more she disliked then someone with a big mouth throwing the word princess in her face.
Honestly, she preferred being called general. After all, she went through hell and back to earn that title.
Her tail swished across the ground in slight agitation as she eyed Lars but she knew not to make too many sudden moves now, lest the Kodaav warriors that held their spears to her neck might just adjust their position to where her head was rolling into the dirt.
A muffled noise was made beside her and it took every ounce of her will not to turn to look at Zeymah and Nivahriin to see who had made it.
Ah! How was she going to explain that she wasn't just a general but a princess? She could play it off that it was just a random name that Lars attached to her or had mistaken her for someone else but
No they wouldn't buy that. What else could she do?
Though with a subtle cough from Lars her attention was brought back to the situation at hand.
"Lars," she stated her gaze growing hard as she addressed the chief, "I came to request an audience with you," she explained as Lars kept her stone like gaze before looking over to the pair of men opposite of her.
"I see, so that's why you're here. But what of them?" he asked gesturing towards Nivahriin and Zeymah beside her. Vahdinpeyt offered them a small glance when she noticed that both of their eyes were on her, a mixture of emotions playing along their expressions as Lars set his sights to her, seeking answers.
"Traveling companions," Vahdinpeyt stated simply as she looked back to Lars who grimaced before forming a frown over his brown bear features.
"State your manner of affairs then, you have my audience as requested," He replied as Vahdinpeyt kept her gaze hard. She had at least hoped for an unrestrained presence with the chief but then again she never planned on two certain someone's to accompany her.
"I've come to discuss the Kings' generals, the five that went missing," she stated once more as Lars' expression betrayed nothing of his thoughts.
"What about them?" he asked his tone seemingly bored; as if he was not all that interested in what she was saying.
"I need to know if you managed to kill or capture any of them," She said, her muscles tensing in her back as she forced her entire body to still.
"So the king's still looking for his subjects gone astray. Pity," he possessed not one hint of a question in his voice. "You know, I may have to think about whether they had ever been presented to me before. Why don't you and your 'companions' stay overnight, I may have an answer for you tomorrow," he said, a small smile playing on his lips as Vahdinpeyt felt her heartbeat start to quicken.
That wasn't a good sign. It was like she was a rabbit trapped in a fox den and even worse she had brought two innocents along with her. This did not bode well and urgently she wracked her brain for some sort of distraction.
"I'm sure you'd remember a formidable opponent," Vahdinpeyt retaliated, attempting to bite her tongue from saying anything further. She had to lure him out if she had a chance of pulling more information from him.
He tossed her a look, one that obviously stated she was a fool and she tried her best not to jump up from her spot on the ground to shake him for whatever he knew. Which he did know something but instead of answering he only gave them a curt nod which had confused her at first before she realized she was being yanked to her feet.
"I might have and while our chat was fun princess, I think I'll need a day to think over your request for information. Till then, I think you should retire for the night," he eyed Cameron for a moment,"Though before you do, I'm going to have Cameron see to it that you learn some new manners when addressing me. Your behavior was hardly tolerable," he finished giving another nod as the three were pulled away from the chiefs house and Vahdinpeyt felt her gut wrench.
Why that no good cheating bear! She huffed while trying to find a grip on her anger as she tried to reason with herself, they were for a fact in Kodaav territory and the only way to get anything out of them was to play by their rules.
With her blood running hot through her veins, Vahdinpeyt chanced a glance over at Nivahriin and Zeymah who both fixed her with subtle wide eyed gazes and her throat tightened considerably. This was so frustrating! She couldn't do anything to help them and at this point she wasn't sure if any of them were going to make it out of this village alive.
When Vahdinpeyt tore herself away from them she looked forward once more to observe a small thatched roofed of a large cabin, her heart beat in her ears as a sudden chill reeled its way up her spine once more. She knew what this was. This was where her people were sent to die. When she turned to look over at Cameron, the brown bear barred his teeth at her in a near smile, a sick and devastating smile as Vahdinpeyt took note of the new gap in his teeth hoping that the first steps she would take in this cabin would not be her last.
Dirt floors met them as Vahdinpeyt tried to take in the surroundings of a seemingly empty hut with the exception of a large tub of murky water in the middle of the room and a large trap door embedded in the floor. Vahdinpeyt's heart dropped into the pit of her stomach as her body stiffened at the sight of the room. It was cold inside, but it didn't come from the exposure to the night air
No, it came from something else, something ominous and Vahdinpeyt felt her insides begin to quiver as chills stroked her spine.
Cameron then stepped in front of her before walking to the alleged trap door where he opened it with minimal force then motioned to his men to bring the lot over. With the uncomfortable feeling getting worse, Vahdinpeyt stepped forward as she was hastened to the door then upon looking inside of it she realized it was just a smelly, black pit. A cold burst of air then swept up from inside nearly pushing Vahdinpeyt back before she grounded herself. What was that?!
"Alright, in you go." Cameron said as Vahdinpeyt whirled her eyes on him. Inside? Inside there?! She clamped her jaw down hard as she tried not to protest, she couldn't go in there, not with the feeling she was getting. Hell, all her instincts were telling her to make a break for it.
Vahdinpeyt swallowed hard as she was shoved inside, her blue eyes trying to adjust to the darkness as her nose burned from the foul stench when a chill like no other gripped at her entire body. It was like death had put his many hands on her to see if she was still of the living or not and she stopped. She suddenly felt
When met with her hesitance once more Cameron pushed her forward forcing her to go lower on the staircase that descended into pit and slowly she made her way down, her insides twisting into unmanageable knots.
When her feet met even and hard rock flooring, Vahdinpeyt assumed they had finally finished their journey down the stairway from hell and were in some kind of deep underground cave. Light casted behind her as she turned to find its source only to see a torch being steadily lit by Cameron before it glowed to life. It must be so dark that even the bears were having trouble making their way into the pit and when ushered forward down the narrow stone passageway Vahdinpeyt felt her stomach lurch again as if she was going to be sick. The stench was becoming unbearable!
With the light illuminating the way down the clammy depths of the cavern Vahdinpeyt soon found out why she felt so sick. Dead bodies had become apparent much farther in. With their wrists still shackled to the cavern walls, Vahdinpeyt felt it hard to stomach as she noticed there was nearly every single phase of a rotting corpse.
"This is where our decorations are made," Cameron sneered who seemed to have been watching Vahdinpeyt's emotions fleet across her face. Not wanting to 'meet' any other of her fallen brethren she turned slowly as the group made its way farther in before a large cell made of stone came into view.
Vahdinpeyt yelped as two brown bears tore at her, their fingers ripping through her hair as she wrestled against them, their fists colliding along her body leaving several bruises to bloom across her. Damn, it hurt but what could she do? They already had her fully restrained, her wrists still tied tightly with rope, her mouth gagged with a white cloth and her ankles restrained just enough so she could walk. At first she had felt proud that they needed to do more to keep her down as they had quickly learned she wasn't afraid to bite or use her feet in a manner of defense. However, now when getting the crap beat out of her she figured maybe she shouldn't have been so
Sucking in a straggling breath and closing her eyes, Vahdinpeyt proceeded to hold it counting slowly to ten as she endured the beating while reminding herself every time she counted to ten that she could last at least ten more seconds when finally she couldn't take any more pressure. Snapping her eyes open as her breath released the air within her lungs she choked on a painful cough.
It nearly felt as if her lungs had been kicked squarely into her back before dislodging itself to rest in her stomach but she felt confused. They weren't intending to knock her out? That's usually how this ended but if they had any intention of doing it they would have aimed more for her head right? Though she was sure the thought of kicking her sharp horns on her head retreated when they figured out the damage it had done to the last guy with Nivahriin
Vahdinpeyt quickly asserted herself to sit upright as she braved the possibility of another blow for even thinking of rising up from the floor. She hadn't seen either of the men she had traveled with for a few days now
or had it only been a few hours? It was difficult to tell when she was kept in complete darkness whether in their separate cells or being brought up above to endure an 'interrogation.' She was starting to fear the worst for them. Had they been beaten into a coma? Or worse killed?
"Oh, what's this? I believe I've hit you too hard, princess. I suggest you get back on the ground," one of the bears snapped as Vahdinpeyt looked up at the pair, her vision nearly blurring as she shook her head in defiance.
"Hm, have something to say?" the bear asked darkly as he approached her and Vahdinpeyt resisted the urge to struggle against her bindings. With a subtle look of irritation the bear pulled off her gag.
"Where are the others?" she questioned once her mouth was free, finding it hard to speak as her throat and abdomen protested from any manner of talk. One of the bears laughed.
"You'd like to see them hm? Well, we might be able to arrange that," he smirked over at the other nameless bear who quickly returned it.
"A rough house beat down? Sounds fun. Better call Cameron, he's been waiting for a chance to get some pay back for his face," the other responded before the other bear grabbed Vahdinpeyt by the hair, dragging her writhing body into a corner where he shackled one of her feet to the cabin wall.
"I'm surprised he hasn't already, though it's believable. I heard that Dovah caused a lot of trouble when he was put down for interrogation. I'm sure he was owed a couple bruises," he yanked the chain sturdily before turning his back on her.
Her heart leapt in her throat in both fear and joy. Nivahriin. They HAD to be talking about Nivahriin. Silently she wished that he didn't do anything too stupid to set the Kodaav's off though she felt herself nearly smile at the thought. Nivahriin would probably have given them an earful
She just hoped it didn't cost him too much. What of Zeymah though? He was still missing in the bears conversations and she felt an impeding dread grip her heart, which could only mean one of two things: either they had killed him or he was just a compliant prisoner. She hoped it was the second option.
The door to the cabin opened rattling her thoughts back into the present as she tiredly looked up only to have her eyes widen. There was Nivahriin and Zeymah. Her throat constricted at the sight of them, both were in bad shape as she noted the several bruises and cuts covering the entirety of their bodies but thankfully nothing looked broken. The men looked up tiredly nearly matching her gaze as they assessed her the same as she did them.
A small inkling of relief pooled slowly into her belly. At least they were alive--A pang of guilt struck her. Why did she cause trouble like this?
"Look at what we brought you, princess. Company," one of the bears said as Cameron stepped forward taking the bindings of the two men before shoving them into the wooden floor. Vahdinpeyt's stomach lurched. They looked even worse up close and she had to remind herself not to look away otherwise the Kodaav would see the weakness she felt.
"Since you requested a formal beat down I thought I'd oblige," Cameron continued to speak as he kicked Zeymah over, his face contorting with a small look of pain as he looked over at Nivahriin, "Who to start with first?" he asked slyly before yanking up Nivahriin roughly by his tethered hands, "I think you'll do. As I recall we had a score to settle."
Nivahriin fixed him with a glare that looked like it could melt steel.
"No," Vahdinpeyt protested, her voice constricting with the pain that wracked her body as she pushed against the wall wishing she could stand.
Cameron's eyes bolted up to hers as a dangerous electric shock began to stem between them.
"No? Well I believe you don't have a choice here, princess," he shoved Nivahriin up against the wall, a resounding ompf escaping his mouth as he gave her a glance. One that warned her to stay out of it and she felt her earlier relief evaporate into anger.
"Don't touch him," Vahdinpeyt demanded, her voice suddenly coming out with esteemed authority. She would not allow this. Not it front of her, not where she could see, not at all. Cameron raised an eyebrow at her before looking over at the other two bears who simply shrugged.
Since you're so eager, on second thought, I might start with you. After all, I did promise to beat some manners into you," he dropped Nivahriin, his body slumping against the wall as he glared over at her but she didn't care, not with her anger threatening to billow over.
"Try me," Vahdinpeyt spat back, venom leaking in her voice as it laced with defiance as she watched Cameron linger over Nivahriin.
"Must have a thing for these two, eh?" he questioned, "Not just any princess would offer up herself to get beaten to spare travelers
I guess even Dovahkiin women can play two lovers. Just shows the royals can be loose to," he taunted and Vahdinpeyt knew it was to deliberately anger her and at this rate it was working because in that instant the small thread that held her anger in check snapped.
Loose? Loose! How dare he mock her innocence that way! If he had had the smallest inkling of intelligence to look into Dovahkiin tradition he'd know most dragons only chose one lover and under most circumstances would remain with them for life, not gallivant with two at a time. Hardly believing the anger that was compiling up inside her, she stood up despite the pain from the beatings as the agony started to fade into the distance before she soon felt nothing. The lashing crossing her back hardly stinging as a trickle of blood exited her bruised mouth, her hair sticking to her face from sweating.
Cameron seemed amused as he looked down at Nivahriin as if trying to contemplate her behavior without looking at her.
"Don't lay a hand on him," she growled in warning, the malice of her threat even surprising herself. She sounded dangerous as if she could spit acid any moment. Cameron had enough bravery to laugh, oh so he thought this was amusing?! Her palm twitched, drastically curling it into a fist. If she could only get him within range
"Or what?" he taunted as he offered her a leering gaze before reaching down to grip Nivahriin by his hair before swinging him back in forth in front of her, "You'll make me?" he asked and Vahdinpeyt resisted the urge to scream.
Damn him! Leave him alone!
"I'll send you screaming," she threatened darkly as her gaze hardened into that of stone and Cameron laughed once more.
"That's a pretty big threat coming from such a tiny opponent. I wouldn't want to crush you just yet, but your smart mouth needs to be put in check. Inra?" Cameron asked as the only black bear who had been keeping watch stepped forward.
"Think you can teach her a lesson?" he questioned and the bear frowned for a moment before looking over at Vahdinpeyt, his gaze unreadable.
"Of course, sir," he replied before striding past Cameron to approach Vahdinpeyt and she steeled herself as she tried to step forward only to remember her foot was chained to the wall.
"Coward," she hissed and Cameron snapped his head in her direction.
"Wait," he commanded stopping Inra in his tracks as he turned to look at Cameron.
"Sir?" he questioned turning his head to look back at him.
"Coward?" Cameron inquired, "Interesting choice of words, princess. Who are you addressing?" he continued, his tone of voice daring her to call him coward once more.
"You, of course, seeing as you're too scared to even take on a bound dragon much less a female one. You'd rather pick on a guy," she retorted as she recalled the insults that Nivahriin had thrown at Cameron when they were first captured, "But I guess that just goes to show how much of a coward you are. In fact, I'd be embarrassed. I feel bad for the rest of you," she jeered as she eyed Inra next who seemed taken aback by the nature of her voice, "It must be horrible having to take orders from such a low life that lets his strong men do his dirty work. But we all know why that is," she continued as she glared back up at Cameron who looked like he was going to blow a gasket from the rage that overtook his face, "The coward's fist is as soft as a newborns," she finished as Cameron stomped forward, Nivahriin seemingly forgotten as he was dropped to ground.
"Would you like to find out how soft they are pink one?" Cameron asked, his voice barely holding back his rage as he approached her, Vahdinpeyt offered him a full smile.
"Please, if I can even feel them," she replied sarcastically and in the next instant his fist was thrown at her face but he was to slow and she quickly ducked out of the way.
"Damn you!" Cameron growled as his fist smashed into the cabin wall causing the wood to splinter around them. Finding his fist stuck inside the wall, Vahdinpeyt took her chance to slam her head against his stomach before dragging her head upward as blood threatened to blur her vision.
Cameron roared as he used his other hand to grab at her head and pushed her down to the ground, hard. Nearly dazed by the force she hit the ground with, she quickly glanced up to see Cameron raising his foot with the intent of smashing it into her. Drawing a quick breath she moved, kicking her bound feet upward and twisting her body towards the wall, she nearly missed getting her pelvis crushed into a thousand pieces. He raised his foot once more and Vahdinpeyt used her body weight to thrust forward narrowly missing his foot again as it came slamming down on the chains that connected her feet together as well as the one that tethered her to the wall practically desinigrating the large chains into dust. Ha!
Jolting forward, her still shackled feet clanking against the hard wood, she chanced a glance at the other bears who were already starting to make their way toward her.
"No! Let the wench be! She's mine," Cameron growled as he finally plucked his bloody furred first from the wall and he fixed her with a dark glare. Vahdinpeyt took a step back as she tried to think of some way to get her hands free, if she could manage that she could knock him into next week. Trying to contemplate her situation, Cameron took no pause as he charged toward her. Then when close enough, Vahdinpeyt ducked just around his arm that was outstretched to grab her and flew her tied fists back to smash it into the side of his face before turning quickly to ram her shoulder into his bulky form disarming him. As he fell forward, Inra approached to grab Vahdinpeyt from behind as he quickly dropped her into the floor causing her to sputter and cough at his crushing weight.
"Now, if that's enough," a familiar Russian voice sounded from the doorway.
Everyone's eyes flew to the open door and instantly the bears backed out of the polar bear's way letting his large frame enter the room. He glared down at Inra first and slowly the black bear moved out of his way letting Boris have his look at Vahdinpeyt, a large frown covering his features.
"Your more trouble than we thought little Dovah," he said as Vahdinpeyt fought to catch her breath from the returning of oxygen, "Agile," she wasn't sure if she was to take that as a compliment or not then he turned from her to approach Zeymah who still rested on the floor his gaze set as indifferent as Boris took him in next, "Strong," He continued as Zeymah's eyes widened considerably before Boris took in Nivahriin next who seemed unsure of the situation as Boris stared him down, "Hrm
" he grumbled as if searching for a word for him next but then shook his head, "Full of purpose," he muttered before looking at the bears around him.
"Take them below; stick them all in the same cell. It seems they won't fair as well if this situation happens again if their kept together all the time," he ordered and without hesitation the bears scurried to collect the wounded dragons, "Feed them as well," he added after a beat and for a moment all eyes were on him.
"Did I stutter?" he growled and the scurry was on once more and Vahdinpeyt was jostled to her feet as she was reminded that her entire body hurt. As she was lead to the pit of hell once more, she turned to look upward at Boris who was kneeling beside Cameron, distaste clear on his face.
"When will I talk to the chief?" Vahdinpeyt questioned suddenly as she tried her best not to wince as she was being prodded to go down the stairs. Boris looked up at her his gaze impassive.
"Soon," he stated and with that Vahdinpeyt was lead down the steps of the cavern and led into a different cell where Nivahriin and Zeymah were waiting, their bindings in the process of being removed.
Not saying a word ,Vahdinpeyt let herself be led to one of the far corners and began her own process of being unchained which didn't take long considering Cameron nearly did it already.
The bears stayed for nearly ten minutes unbinding before proceeding to put bowls of what appeared to be a chunky form of soup in front of them and Vahdinpeyt's stomach lurched in protest. No way could she handle eating right now. After a moment, the bears clanged the bars of the cell shut and journeyed their way back up the stairs. Briefly she wondered if they would be out of ear shot if she decided to speak though when she turned to study the men in the adjusted darkness she wasn't so sure that she wanted to speak at all.
They both looked absolutely furious as if she had committed some kind of crime against them
or maybe she had? She set her jaw as she looked away from them. Did they even have a right to be mad at her? She swallowed. Well
maybe they did. After all, she acted like an idiot in hopes to spare them both a beating but she couldn't help it. She was taught to protect and while she had let her own anger get the best of her it was for a good cause. Though truthfully she didn't think she could bear seeing them being hit in front of her when she could do something about it. After about a good ten or so more minutes left to their thoughts, they finally broke the silence.
"Not hungry?" Zeymah inquired darkly as Vahdinpeyt fought the urge to look at him.
She was irritable and tired and felt that such questions should have been refrained from being asked. Of course, she wasn't hungry. She was too busted up to be hungry
and even more so Cameron's words from when they first entered the Kodaav village unwillingly rang through her mind. She was already disgusted enough, she wouldn't let any remote feeling of hunger overwhelm her into eating Dovahkiin flesh despite it being a lie or not.
As if reading her mind, Nivahriin reached over to touch her hand in a friendly manner which instantly grabbed her attention as her blue eyes connected with his stern green ones, "I wouldn't let what he said bother you," he said reassuringly as Vahdinpeyt broke her gaze to look at the food in front of her: a gray mess of slop, fit enough for any scavenger desperate enough to eat it. Still the thought of becoming a cannibal kept her appetite at bay. Besides, wasn't he cross with her? After that stunt she pulled, she could hardly believe he was even speaking to her.
"You need to eat," Zeymah urged, his gaze hardening at Vahdinpeyt's seemingly uncooperative movement to even take the bowl. He knew if she was going to continue with her rash decisions to try to protect him and Nivahriin he would at least feel better if she would eat something. If nothing else but to keep her strength up and put his nagging mind at ease. She turned her head to him though her gaze was off. Her eyes looked nearly silver
steel like as if a cold metal had encased her once powder blue eyes.
"No, I am not hungry," she stated simply as Zeymah clenched his jaw at her tone.
Nivahriin narrowed his eyes at her; this wasn't the look of the tumbling half crazed dragon he had met in the woods. It was like she was someone different, not the fumbling general with trying skill but a no nonsense authority figure. His eyes widened at the realization but opted not to say anything. He couldn't address that issue now, not with her acting so
strange. Putting the subject of eating at rest, he turned to look at Zeymah who judging by his expression must have been thinking the same thing and together they both decided to drop it.
Vahdinpeyt gazed up as the burning light of a torch startled her awake, a large figure with frighteningly bright red eyes gazed down at her. She furrowed her brow in resilience as the creature's white teeth formed a disgusting smile above her.
"Vahhhhhhdddddiiiiinnnnnnpppppeeeeyyyyyyttttttt," it hissed, the voice gargled and dark as she tried to scoot away from the figure but found her legs shackled and when looking up once more found the creature was holding her chains in his clawed hands.
It neared her, gaze narrowing in anger yet its sick smile still ever present as Vahdinpeyt felt her bravery shrink. She had to get away. She needed to leave. Panic laced around her heart as she felt a cold draft sweep inside her stomach wrapping her in tight vines of fear.
"No," she whispered as the creature kept nearing her as her heart started to race, "No," she said, louder, her voice coming out more fearful and surprisingly the creature paused before looking at her.
It's red eyes glowing ominously as it twisted its black hand to reel her in by the chains attached to her legs.
"NO!" she repeated, panic filling her stomach as she rolled around on the ground trying to dig her claws into the stone floor, her tail thrashing every which way as she cried out once more. As she twisted she kept demanding it let her go as she continued to scream, telling it over and over again no. As if the word held some sort of power that didn't affect the black mass of the creature but yet still foolishly used it. No. When she was finally a few footsteps from her captor, she was shaking uncontrollably as fear bit into every nerve ending she had.
"Vahhhhdddddiiinnnnpppppeeeeyyyyyytttttt," it hissed before launching its black frame at her its claws glinting in the blackness and teeth shining, sharper than needles. Then the eyes, those terrible red eyes!
"Vahdinpeyt!" Nivahriin hissed urgently as the restless pink dragon beside him startled awake nearly jumping from her spot of rest, her forehead soaked with slick sweat and her blue eyes shining with fear, "You were having a nightmare," Nivahriin continued, his voice softer as he watched Vahdinpeyt reach up to hold her head as she wiped the sweat from her face before turning to him, her fear still very present in her eyes.
"Nivahriin," she gasped quietly, her voice straining as she tried to gather her bearings while taking in her surroundings.
She was still in her cell with the guys, not in a dark pit...Well not the one in her dream at least.
She exhaled, her body shaking wearily as she once more scanned the room. Nivahriin was sitting right next to her, green eyes large and expectant and in the far corner Zeymah was fast asleep, his mouth slightly parted with his arm resting beneath his head to cushion it. She turned her gaze back to Nivahriin, his eyes still brimming with some kind of expectancy.
"Did I wake you?" she whispered as not to disturb Zeymah from his sleep and Nivahriin nodded slowly.
"You were having a nightmare," Nivahriin repeated as Vahdinpeyt gave a heavy sigh of disappointment.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you up," Vahdinpeyt said in response as she flopped back down onto the cave flooring, her blue eyes narrowing at the low ceiling. Looking back over at Nivahriin she noticed that he hadn't moved and for some reason seemed lost as if contemplating her words and Vahdinpeyt frowned, "Is something wrong?" she asked preparing herself to sit up.
What if she had said something wrong in her sleep? Very rarely did she sleep talk but--Nivahriin shook his head his suddenly guarded expression giving away nothing.
"You were in a fit. I was just wondering if you were alright," he said then paused and Vahdinpeyt waited patiently. He looked like he wanted to say something else, "Do these nightmares happen often?" he questioned suddenly and Vahdinpeyt felt her whole body stiffen.
What was it to him if the nightmares happened often or not?
"Not really," Vahdinpeyt said, her voice practically stinking of a lie.
In fact, she had had plenty of nightmares in her lifetime, most of them the same. Nivahriin's expression hardened telling her that he didn't believe her white lie however; instead of calling her out on it he offered a small shrug thankfully playing along.
"I only ask because it seems every other time you doze off you have one. Even before being captured here
" he drifted as if poking for some clue.
Vahdinpeyt kept her expression carefully blank at his concern. While it was true her nightmare's had increased, she was sure it was probably because of the stress of the situation she was in nothing more. However, Vahdinpeyt knew Nivahriin would never believe that so she was left with nothing to defend herself against his question. Honestly, what did he expect her to say?
"They're just bad dreams," Vahdinpeyt stated simply, "I don't control when they come and go. Sometimes they just happen more often," she said trying to chalk up her disturbance as Nivahriin eyed her looking a bit uncomfortable but held his silence.
Then after a thoughtful moment he spoke. "Well
You're fine now. You should try to get a little more rest," his voice seemingly doubtful of her explanation though Vahdinpeyt could hardly blame him.
"You too," She answered quietly, a seething unease tearing into her belly as she turned over onto her side facing away from Nivahriin as he adjusted himself to try and find a comfortable position on the cavern floor.
What was with that dream