The sky eventually became murky. The horizon blended with the wet earth in front of us. It was surprisingly a welcomed change when it began to drizzle. Though it was wet and soaked through my clothes, I could appreciate that it was also cool and seemed to carry the smell of rot to the ground with it. For the time, Orr actually smelled clean.
We passed through coral and mushrooms that grew in the place of trees or on the hollow shells of where trees once stood. We trod through paths that still looked beaten or paved and we trekked across a bridge over a mighty chasm. Even though I was supposed to be looking out for potential threats, these things caught my attention instead. Orr was so much more different from any of the architecture I had seen in my life. Orr as a city was said to have been more advanced than Ascalon or Kryta, especially in the art of magic. Towering carved rings that disappeared into the clouds revealed to me just what people had meant when they wrote of such things.
Only a little further ahead did we find a place to make camp. Tobih seemed to be feeling a little better or maybe he was just hiding his pain yet again. Either way, it was a lot nicer to see that pure, unrestrained smile on his face again. We holed up in a decrepit building on the edge of a cliff. Though we were by the shoals, the building was far enough above that we could barely hear the waves hitting the stones and ruins at the bottom.
Rain still drizzled around us, but at least underneath the roof of our building the floor was dry.
“I will start a fire; we need to keep it low but at least we can cook on it,” Angel immediately began taking charge as we reached the camp.
“Tobih should get some rest. I’ll keep watch tonight,” I offered. Even if my ability to fight wasn’t as honed as theirs, I still had a keen enough eye to keep watch at least. “It’s probably the best I could do right now.”
“Why are you like this?” Angel looked up from her flint, “There is absolutely no confidence in that tiny little head of yours, is there?” Before she struck the flint and steel together I started the fire myself. The small flame from my palm began the life of a cozy fire below. She continued on, “You make me so angry. Just do what you need to do. There is absolutely no reason to bring up what you cannot do and if you cannot do what you want to then you have to work through it.” She was really going off on me this time. “Do you expect skill to just fall into your lap or something?”
Even if what she was saying was true it was maybe a little too much for me to handle at the moment. I felt like I was dealing with a lot right now. I felt like even if I made mistakes like this, she should at least try to realize that I had lost someone close and was now in unfamiliar territory. I felt like I was calm, like I was trying my best, but I slipped. I wanted to say something about it all, to try to tell her exactly what was going on in ‘that tiny little head’ of mine.
Maybe I wasn’t trying my best, though.
It was a thought that constantly plagued me. I had to tell myself that I was so that I could continue making an effort to be a better person.
Was it really working though?
“I…I’m sorry. You’re probably right.” I tried to at least show that I acknowledged what she was saying. “I’ll try to be better.”
Angel looked up at me after hearing my apology and after some time she found words for me, “As long as you do. Take care of the things that need it, Claire.”
The meaning I found in her words might have been deeper than she had meant them, but somehow her brief response seemed supportive. It seemed out of the ordinary for her.
Tobih sat next to the fire and peered at the both of us, “Glad that’s sorted. I don’t think I would have been able to rest if you two were fighting again.”
Angel ruffled his hair, “Wasn’t really a fight.”
“Maybe not for you,” he retorted as he straightened out his hair.
I looked around and saw that the camp seemed to be in order, “Right, I’ll still be keeping guard. You two eat and rest up.” I looked at Angel in particular, “bring some food out when it’s ready?”
She nodded and began unloading Ragnvaldr’s cooking supplies.
I walked to the doorway of the building. There were technically two entrances, but the other lead to the cliff. It was unlikely that anyone or anything would be able to scale it, at least not without making sound. I wasn’t seated too far from Angel and Tobih. We were within talking range, but for quite some time there wasn’t any talking between the other two and me. Tobih and Angel talked amongst themselves as she prepared dinner.
The sky was becoming darker and their soft voices paired with the silence was making it difficult to keep my eyes open and focused.
“Angel.” I called out quietly.
I heard the sound of a blade moving off of stone, “Claire.”
“I want to hear an Angel story.” I rested the back my head against the facade of the stone building.
From within the building there was a sigh. Even though I couldn’t see her face, I knew of the smile that would come right after.
“I’ll tell you the story of how I crafted my blade.”