Atop a stony plateau overlooking the lands of central Idalos, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from the rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence; firm in its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the many factions set aside their conflicting agendas and see this through?
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Ymiden 8th, 710
“Seriously Icarus?” The woman made a noise somewhere between disgruntled and distressed as the body of her teacher helplessly swayed and flopped like piece of paper in a windstorm.
The pair didn’t often go into town. Etzos wasn’t kind to Immortal followers and Icarus loved to preach the words of multiple Immortals. Night loved his stories about some of them. She’d already started to pick favorites like Ethelynda. Some were her favorites because they’d ruled over things that had been a constant in her life, like Treid and his moons. Though, when it Etzos, if he was going to preach Immortals she tried to keep a distance and focus on something else. Not out of embarrassment, but for the simple fact and Immortal following human would get a little more leeway than an Immortal following half-Avriel.
On the rare occasion the pair were in town and he wasn’t preaching to anyone who would listen, it was usually because Icarus was drunk. Icarus liked to get drunk. He rarely got to indulge the vice since Night had started living with him. Extra fruits and fermentable goods he would use for the sake of alcohol were now necessary to keep both of them fed. She’d felt guilty for a time until Icarus had admitted it was better for his health that Night used the goods instead of Icarus ingesting them as alcohol. That didn’t stop him from drinking like a monster inside of town though.
Usually he kept himself at least partially conscious, but today was different. Totrial he decided that he wanted to be an absolute pain. The half-breed muttered under her breath as she tried to support the wobbling form of her trusted teacher and friend. He reek of alcohol but she couldn’t pick up exactly what type was on his breath. The Master drank often but she tried to avoid getting close enough to tell what. Her father didn’t drink at all. He was against it entirely for reasons he’d never informed her of.
Nightshade more often than not fell into his camp of understanding, agreeing with her father. Icarus was just another reason for her to agree. The man couldn’t defend himself if he needed to at the present moment. He was completely out of it, relying on Nightshade to keep both of them out of harm. Truly a terrible decision all things considered. The half-breed could barely protect herself most of the time, and in a city like Etzos no one would run to save a half-breed screaming for help.
Really, this was generally just a bad idea on Icarus’ part, no other way about it. They weren’t making any progress like this, the half-breed realized. If they wanted to get back to the area where they were staying in a reasonable (safe) amount of time they were going to have to move faster. There was no way that they were going to move any faster given the way that Icarus was walking though.
The man in question continued to wobble back and forth. For every step second step he took he seemed to have the urge to take one back. It was unbearable trying to drag him through the streets while people look on at what they thought to be a mad man, raving about this or that in a drunken slur. She was going to throttle this man the next morning if they both actually managed to survive till morning. Given the way it was already starting to become dark she had a terrible feeling that they weren’t going to get home accosted by any means. A lot of good the guards were going to do if the pair got attacked, so they just had to walk quickly. Leave it to Nightshade not to bring a sword when she needed it.
Of course, a half-breed with a sword was going to be treated like a criminal most of the time so really it was a tactical move! She at least wasn’t as much of an idiot as Icarus was in this situation.
“Okay, you oaf, we’re gonna try and speed this along,” the half-breed muttered. It was more so for her sake than it was for Icarus. The man just made noises that didn’t even sound like words at this point while he leaned against the half-avriel, head rolling about in an alcohol induced haze. Feking slob.
The woman moved Icarus as best she could so that he was leaning against her back. Once he was pressed against her back she kneeled down slightly so she could grab his legs and pull them up. “Goodness gracious, why are you so heavy,” she growled under her breath as she tried to position Icarus into a semi piggyback ride. As much of one as she could position the less than cooperative drunk into anyway. Drunk people, in her own opinion, were heavier than not drunk people. She’d done this before when Icarus was injured and he was fairly heavy but it hadn’t felt like he was this heavy. No, this heavy was something only a drunk trying to roll off your back could be.
Perhaps it was how many times she had to readjust her hold on him, or maybe it was the added weight of the alcohol if that made any sense, but Icarus felt heavier and she struggled not only to keep him under control but to keep him safely placed on her back. That wasn’t to say he was actually stable where he was placed on her back. The man seemed like he could roll off at any moment, and all the half-breed could really do was play a constant tug-o-war as she walked, trying to get them both to where they needed to be.
At the very least they were finally moving forward at a constant rate, one foot going in front of the other. It was a little faster than actively dragging Icarus so she was grateful for that, but oh boy, did it ever require more brain power. She had to predict exactly which direction Icarus was going to try and roll and then attempt to continue keeping him on her back.
In addition to that, it took a lot of physical power as well. Human beings tended to weigh a good amount depending on who they were. Icarus was a big boy and therefore weighed a good amount. He was currently in the process of crushing her wings under his physical weight. Her feathers were sticking at odd angles and every time he moved he seemed to shift more feathers into awkward positions. It felt unnatural at best and outright painful at worst. She was at the very least hopeful that he wouldn’t break or bend any of her feathers. Yeah, she couldn’t fly. Yet. But hopefully after they were done with training she’d finally be able to!
She’d never be able to fly if her feathers got too messed up before she even got the chance. Deciding to lament she pointedly ignored the fact learning how to fly and building up the proper strength would take at least another arc which was plenty of time for feathers to properly grow back. Let alone the chance that she might just molt off said feathers.
The half-breed tried to keep her breathing steady, taking long deep breaths as she carried the much heavier Icarus. Constantly in out, just trying to focus on putting on foot in front of the other instead of the constant pain that came from carrying Icarus.
As she was walking a hand came to wrap itself around her wrist. At first she assumed the hand was the hand of Icarus, until she realized that she couldn’t move forward anymore. Panic said in instantly and she dropped Icarus like a sack of rocks. It mattered very little who had wrapped their hand around her, Icarus was in less danger in a situation like that than she was. She was suddenly very aware of three factors. It was dark. She was a half-avriel. She was a woman. These three factors weren’t friendly factors, no no, these were death factors.
Turning around with as much force as she could muster she managed to rip her hand away from the grip holding onto her. She glared at whoever had grabbed her. It looked to be a single man, grubby for all intents and purposes. “Where ya goin’ little birdy,” he growled in a voice like rocks slamming against one another in a fight for dominance. She narrowed her gaze as she took a step back.
Icarus seemed to sober up slightly at the appearance of a threat, standing up and moving closer to the half-breed when moments before he couldn’t manage to effectively stand. Unfortunately he still swayed from side to side in an obvious display of true drunkenness. Had be been messing with her before or did the possibility of a threat really sober him up that much? It didn’t really matter to the half-breed since it meant that Icarus was currently well enough to run. As long as they were able to escape this creep.
“Hey, don’t be greedy bub, lemme take the birdy for a spin,” the goon gave an agitated huff in an obvious misunderstanding to the nature of their relationship. Ew. Gross. Freaking disgusting. Icarus was basically a secondary father. She tried and failed at not making a both horrified and disgusted expression. Icarus tried to speak up to clarify and possibly talk down the bozo, but he was too drunk to speak faster than the man could see Night’s expression. On top of that he was likely still too drunk to make coherent sense.
There was a sparkling of rage in the man’s gaze as he noticed Night’s expression. “Now listen here you little b-” he started to approach with what absolutely seemed to be dangerous intent. On arm was reached out as though to grab at Nightshade. Adrenaline and instinct both kicked in at the same time. The moment that hand found purchase on her shoulder she grabbed his arm and proceeded to half flip the other man, throwing him off balanced.
He… he was much lighter than Icarus.
A sudden idea came to the half-breed. The man’s back was currently turned to her thanks to her sudden movement. Grabbing the cloth at the back of his neck she dragged him backward to gather momentum and then chucked the man forward into a wall. It went to fast for the low class goon to respond. He was probably just some idiot that was nearly as drunk as Icarus, but personal safety took importance over compassion in a situation like this.
“Run,” she said as she grabbed Icarus by the wrist. It took all of 10 bits for them to make it the rest of the way to where they were staying when the original walk had taken them 30.
word count: 1876
Common ~ Ith'Ession ~ Lorien
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