“Ilara…” I hear Jeremiah’s voice next to my ear, and a wave of revulsion sweeps through me. “I can practically hear the wheels turning in that head of yours. Don’t be foolish.”
Caleb laughs darkly, reading my expression. “She’s not the foolish one here.”
“I guess it never occurred to you,” Sylas adds, sneering at Jeremiah like he wants nothing more than to crush his skull. “The only reason she never fought you before is because she used to love you.”
I can feel Jeremiah tense at those words, and I use his distraction to carefully change my stance.
“Your chances aren’t so great now,” Caleb says, and I see the way his hand tenses on his bow, ready for my signal.
Sylas tilts his head, keeping his gaze locked on Jeremiah as he speaks to Caleb. “I call hands.”
Caleb grins. “I call balls.”
I feel Jeremiah chuckle dryly against my back, the hand around my waist pulling me just a fraction tighter, holding me more like he did when we were lovers. “Things could’ve been different between us, if-”
I’m so disgusted, I don’t want to hear another damn word. I drop the pendant I’m clutching to grab his wrist with both hands. I hear Sylas and Caleb move then, turning on Jeremiah’s men, as I pull his wrist against me, shove it down and away, and twist myself under it before he can regain his grip on me.
He grunts in pain as I lock out his wrist, and hurl him to the ground. I hear the satisfying snap of his elbow and a scream, and then I have my other sword out, leveled at his chest. Clutching his arm, he glares up at me, gritting his teeth against the pain.
He reaches for his staff with his good arm, but I get there first, kicking it out of reach.
“I don’t think so,” I say, looming over him. “You’re going to pay for what you’ve done.”
“I didn’t think you had it in you,” he manages, his breathing labored. Out of the corner of my eye, I see his hand moving as he watches me, but I’m already expecting his next move.
I cut him down before he can even draw the dagger he had hidden.
It’s over. There’s finally some justice for the people he’s killed.
Taking a deep breath to steady myself, I turn my back on him for the last time. I see the pendant I had given him lying on the ground, and crush it beneath my boot.
Raising my head, I see that Sylas and Caleb have already defeated Jeremiah’s men. One of them is dead, but the other is only wounded, holding a hand to his injured side.
“Not a sound,” Caleb says to the man, watching him closely.
“I didn’t expect him to come to us,” Sylas says, approaching me. Resting his hand on my shoulder, he gives me a comforting pat. “But he’s paid now. He can’t hurt anyone else.”
“Now we have this one to give us the information we need to clear our names,” Caleb says, narrowing his eyes at his captive.
“Let’s take him to the Silent Blades contact,” I say, picking up the short sword Jeremiah had taken from me. “We can’t stay here now.”
The others agree, and we quickly gather our things. Who knows when someone will wander upstairs and see the bodies? We can’t be here when that happens.
Wrapping our cloaks around ourselves, we draw up the hoods to hide our faces. Sylas drags the injured man with him, holding a hidden blade to his ribs as we make our way down the stairs. We draw some notice as we head down into the noisy tavern below, and I adjust my hood nervously. We can’t afford to be captured before we prove our innocence.
Most of the people here are drunk, luckily, or not to observant. They see us, and dismiss us just as quickly. Some don’t even look up from their drinks or cards.
We take back alleys to reach the contact, wanting to stay far away from potential patrols. Along the way, we pass a crowd of people, down a side alley. Through the gaps between the people, I catch sight of a guard crouched over a dead body, and I pause.
Sylas stops short behind me with his captive, following my gaze.
“Jeremiah?” Caleb wonders out loud.
I shake my head. “I doubt it.”
“Karinn,” Sylas says.
“I don’t like this,” Caleb mutters. “We need to get out of Tevinter.”
We hurry away from the scene, not wanting to be noticed. It feels like it takes forever as we following the winding alleyways to get to the contact. By the time we get there, all of us are on edge.
I feel like we’re being watched. Every time we pass a side alley, I half expect someone to attack us.
It takes us a while to settle things with the Silent Blades contact. Her and her men interrogate both us and the man who served Jeremiah. After sending some of her people to investigate the address the man gives her as Jeremiah’s hideout, she finally releases us.
“What about the magister, and the relic?” I ask her as we’re about to leave.
She shakes her head. “We don’t have enough people to go after her right now.”
“We could call on the Blades,” Sylas says, and I can tell he wants to go after her. “There’s still a chance to get the relic, and avenge Briall.”
I feel a twinge of guilt. If we had agreed to help him, would he still be alive now?
Caleb shakes his head, crossing his arms over his chest. “Let’s go home. The relic’s only an issue if we get close enough for this crazy magister to use it against us. And there’s nothing more we can do for Briall.”
I want to go back to Denerim, and start re-building the Blades, but Sylas’ words give me pause. I feel partly responsible for Briall’s death.
(What do you choose?)
~ Confront Karinn. I can’t feel at peace until I’ve avenged Briall. Besides, who knows what she’s planning with the relic? (5h: Unfinished Business)
~ Enough. Forget Tevinter, and forget Karinn. It’s time to focus on the future of the Blades. (5i: Re-building)
For easy navigation, and do-overs. ~ DA FF: Blades (Chapter Master Post)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, lore, etc. are the property of BioWare, and their respective writers. The only things that are mine are the original characters and plot of this story – DA FF: Blades. I am in no way associated with BioWare. No copyright infringement is intended. This is for entertainment purposes only.