The Assassin The Soldier And The Thief - Chapter 29 - Al Obeiid | Penana

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The Assassin The Soldier And The Thief
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Writer Nelso555
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  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
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The Assassin The Soldier And The Thief
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Chapter 29 - Al Obeiid
Dec 27, 2016
10 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!UzZoYNh5cr8ifBsvxVm9posted on PENANA

Samuel Ford wore a tightly wrapped turban for most of the way. Couldn’t Ariana do something about these damn flies? The black desert flies plagued the sands near the forest. Their bite was an irritating sting and no more, but the word irritating could not be taken lightly.copyright protection134PENANAaAXIDOmIIP

The plan was to stick close to the forest and head south until they spotted the old orc city. Rrak’Mel it was called, if Sam remembered correctly. The truth was he had never been there, and he hadn’t known anyone who had. But the stories were enough to convince him that the city was a terrible place to be, in fact, any city that was completely run by orcs was a terrible place to be.copyright protection134PENANALCpL1nyisK

He had heard that the city was built by an early group of Raetaii tribesmen and Surians. During an old feud a long time ago they played at finding peace by building a city together. This must have been before they knew the seriousness of the orcs because as soon as the city was built it was overrun.copyright protection134PENANAKB30dvvLrR

Regardless, it was the djann that Sam was more worried about. The djann city of Al’Obeiid rested right outside of the entrance into the temple of mount Khallem. He’d hoped that, based on their dress, they’d be seen only as Raetaii travellers and would be undisturbed.copyright protection134PENANAUBsSj5GGOp

The sun was at its full peak as Sam travelled along the shallow cracked road that lead them to Al’Obeiid. Faeirden seemed to be suffering beneath him – neither of them had seen water for days. Ashley followed close behind them on Star, her mare shining brighter than the moon. The forest had disappeared behind them now, a feint line of mountains rested to the south, and sand was everywhere else. Sam had never been this deep into the desert before. He had to admit, he was afraid – afraid of the djann and afraid of the sun.copyright protection134PENANAvz2Uk3iTlL

They rode in silence for a lot of the time, either there was nothing to talk about or they just didn’t have the energy, Sam wasn’t sure. After the first few days the time seemed to merge together. Sam had seen no sign of the djann or their city, but he was sure they were close, and he expected to see caravans and other groups nearby. As he looked drearily into the distance, he wasn’t entirely sure if everything he saw was real. He swore he saw shadows, but there was nothing around to cast them. It’s just the desert getting to my head. I could sure go for a drink right now.copyright protection134PENANAE6nH6BdBnE

He hoped the desert was cruel enough to play tricks on him, because he knew very well what the alternative was. But if the djann were following him, why hadn’t they approached him yet? The shadows became more and more as time went on, and soon he was hearing noises. There was little doubt now. The djann were onto them.copyright protection134PENANAsigVaz1QgP

“Ashley, don’t make any sudden moves,” ham said softly. “Don’t turn your head, and keep your voice low.”copyright protection134PENANAgLpiGKlZDH

Sam noticed how her slim body tensed. “Is it the djann?” she asked quietly. “Are they here?”copyright protection134PENANALiO8ZUKdv7

“Yes, I’m not entirely sure, but I think they’ve been following us for a while now.”copyright protection134PENANARYp7TzHUqX

“Well, what do we do?”copyright protection134PENANAKGJ9YqUkqx

Sam thought for a moment. “Until now they’ve assumed that we’re of the Raetaii. Remember, the Raetaii are neither friend nor foe to the djann, so we aren’t exactly safe, but if they find out that we’re Taellian, well, we’ll be in trouble.”copyright protection134PENANA2bPQkPK43g

“So if we sneak past the city and get to the temple without being seen we should be fine, right?”copyright protection134PENANAcUfB29bK4B

“I don’t think it’ll be that easy. The djann aren’t stupid, they’ll want to know what we’re doing near their city. If they approach us, keep your turban on and let me do the talking. They shouldn’t be able to tell the voice of a Taellian from the voice of a Raetaii.”copyright protection134PENANAIOisYgSSBi

After a few more hours of riding Sam began to feel worried. Why aren’t they doing anything yet? The shadow of the djann lingered all around them, until two riders on horseback waited for them in the centre of the path. One was much older than the other. Its cracked skin was pale grey and its eyes were a dim blue under a purple cowl. It carried a long wooden staff. The other was perhaps the elder’s body guard. This one was tall with smoother skin and a deep red garb. It carried a great sword on its back. “My kin have been following you for some time,” the bodyguard said in a deep voice. “What is it you want from our city?”copyright protection134PENANAqEuguO6fT9

“My respects to your people and their great city,” Sam bowed slightly. “We were merely traveling to our caravan east of Mount Khallem.”copyright protection134PENANAw54LH7VSSZ

The bodyguard rode up close to Ashley, slow and intimidating. He stared deeply into her eyes. “If only that were true…”copyright protection134PENANAuAOM2N3VFE

Shit…copyright protection134PENANAd6jHnOwt3p

A misty blue light radiated from the end of the elder Djann’s staff. It’s… magic! The light seemed to flow into Sam’s body, eroding at his mind. His eyes felt a heavy burden and the desert began to spin and glow. He heard Ashley tumble from her horse, and the distant echoing of a voice. “All you Taellians take us for fools…” And then Sam was asleep.copyright protection134PENANADzuIlcPg4I

When he awoke it felt like his skin was on fire. The sun screamed down at him. His hands were bound to a post and he was stuck in a wooden cage. That’s right… the djann captured me. Where’s Ash?copyright protection134PENANAgyi4llRogx

Sam looked around, and eventually found Ash asleep in a cage nearby. Where the hell am I? His turban had been removed but all his clothes remained. His weapons were gone though. There were buildings all around, made from sand, it looked like. There were voices and noises coming from everywhere. He could hear… laughing.copyright protection134PENANA3uEmc1aIve

A worn-out playing ball rolled towards him from behind one of the sand buildings and bumped into his cage. It was soon followed by little dark figures, dressed in desert robes, their skin dark and cracked with only the faintest fractures of blue. They were laughing and playing, so small. Djann… children!copyright protection134PENANA89ODR9PHqT

One of the boys walked up to the cage and stared at him for a while. Sam was so surprised that he didn’t know how to respond. A female djann – probably the mother – ran up behind the boy and placed her hands on his shoulders. She wore a green silk dress that dimmed the colour of her dark skin. “Don’t go near the Taellian, Dhoen, he could be dangerous. Please, tell your friends to go and play by the well.” Her voice was smooth and somewhat sweet. A djann mother and child!copyright protection134PENANApGsILN3Dck

The area seemed to have come alive with activity now, as children ran around playing their games, and mothers either chased after their children or strung up clothes or cooked meals. Behind him, he heard a monstrously loud moan, and turned around to the field of sand. Giant reptiles! Surely each one was the size of a building. They had brown-green skin and massive shells. They were turtles, he realised, massive sand turtles. And the djann were riding them with saddles loaded with god knows how much stuff.copyright protection134PENANAafOOC0QMJm

Sam was without a doubt sitting inside the city if Al’Obeiid. I wonder how many Taellians have ever been here. I wonder how many have been here and made it out alive. Ash was still asleep and the djann seemed to more or less ignore Sam completely. They gave him water every now and then but that was all.copyright protection134PENANA1RvPunZj5p

Night fell and Sam barely slept. It was cold in the dark of the desert. Sam was worried about Ashley, who hadn’t awakened yet. He even asked one of the djann, a woman, if she was okay. The female told him that Ash was weak from her travels, and even more from the spell that had been cast. She told him that no harm would come to Ashley, and they even gave her a blanket to fight the cold. The woman wasn’t allowed to speak anymore after that, but Sam still had so many questions.copyright protection134PENANAdv6GeRthvG

Morning eventually came with the rising of a red sun. Sam waited, and waited and waited, but there was no way for him to escape the city. He was seriously in trouble this time, until…copyright protection134PENANABFVquyrlka

Sam absolutely could not believe it, he even passed it off as an illusion, but it was certainly real. A human, a young man, with blonde hair and a female companion, and he carried a pocket watch. Christel bloody Saan!copyright protection134PENANAHl2dbwAaQG

Christel noticed Sam immediately, and looked as if he had seen a ghost. As the thief approached his expression changed from whatever it was before into sheer amusement. “Samuel Ford, is that really you?”copyright protection134PENANAz4bGKpyeH3

This is my chance, Sam realised, if I can get him to get me out then I can head straight for mount Khallem. But how do I convince him that I’m on his side?copyright protection134PENANAUjJQKdobyI

“What on earth are you doing in Al’Obeiid?” Christel laughed.copyright protection134PENANAlg4otfU4qL

Sam sneered. “Sight-seeing, what you think I’m doing here?”copyright protection134PENANAKZPWGzmeN3

“Do the djann know who you really are? Twenty-first com…”copyright protection134PENANAiIn1y7eWjN

“Shhh! Or they’ll kill me for sure.” Sam had to choose his words carefully. “Look, I don’t know what your business is in Al’Obeiid and quite frankly I don’t care. Arlandra Knight told me that you know an awful lot about Garn Pallerii. Whether it’s gold or something else that you want from him, I can help you get it. All you have to do is get me out of here.”copyright protection134PENANAFF3K3x0XBq

The thief was silent for a moment. In fact, the entire city seemed to grow quieter as Sam awaited Christel’s response. “Yeah… No,” said the thief.copyright protection134PENANAJlqyi68ElW

“What!” Sam cried, mostly in anger. “Why?”copyright protection134PENANAIDE5EcdT9w

“I got things to do,” Christel explained. “You’re smart, so I’m sure you figure something out. If not, well, have fun rotting away… if they let you, that is.”copyright protection134PENANAHPbLzeizcU

And just like that Christel Saan, along with all of Sam’s hopes of escape, vanished.copyright protection134PENANAZWfquxwDcS

Afterwards Ashley finally awoke and Sam spent some time explaining everything that was going on. He told them about Al’Obeiid, and about how amazed he was by the djann, although he excluded mentioning anything about Christel. Best not break any hopes she may have had. As the sun continued to climb the sky transformed into the most stunning orange-red colour, and the clouds swept along it like a marvellous canvas, painted by someone who was just full of emotions.copyright protection134PENANAzUveZard4A

Sam planned on falling asleep, and just when he thought the Djann still weren’t going to take any notice of him, one of them approached his cage. It was the bodyguard from before, dressed in an orange turban that drank in the sunrise, but fought against the hard features of his face. The bodyguard didn’t say a word to Sam as he unlocked the cage, and suddenly Sam’s heart filled with a rush of panic.copyright protection134PENANAKLpVwZaPyn

“You and your friend are free to go,” The bodyguard said coarsely.copyright protection134PENANAJyjZZOxvsJ

Sam was so taken by surprise that he was utterly speechless. “Wh… what?” Ashley had heard him too, and she was sitting up with wide eyes.copyright protection134PENANAn1DTfD3GR8

“You heard me, take your things and go.” The djann escorted Sam and Ash out of the city safely on their horses, and with all of their weapons. Then the gates were closed and they were all the more closer to Mount Khallem.copyright protection134PENANAhBTHxqGHgf

“Why did they just let us go?” Ashley wondered.copyright protection134PENANA5ZOpZNexiG

Sam wondered just the same. Surely it wasn’t the thief… Sam assumed that he’d never know.copyright protection134PENANAhGHUAXyEEp

The mountain towered above them like some kind of God, yellow and dusty, and forgotten in its time. Sam was cautious at first, however he never expected what he actually saw. Tracks. Two sets made from horses, and another two that were similar however much older. Someone else has come to the temple, he realised with concern, who could possibly know about what I was doing?copyright protection134PENANAMW0FDx6jfm

The entrance to the temple was grand. Carved into the base of the mountain, its sand pillars rose high above him, digging into a ceiling that was so far away. A hundred sand steps led him up, mostly corroded away by the desert wind. Everywhere there were carvings of some ancient language, and Sam could only wonder what they could have meant.copyright protection134PENANAzlmnKmaYTt

As he entered the temple he drew his sword and took out his gun. A few more steps and he would find the answers he longed for. Only, as he went inside, the answers were beyond anything Sam could understand.copyright protection134PENANAFaam5KkDoY

A man dressed as a shadow turned towards one with blonde hair. They were arguing about something, however they both turned towards Sam with faces of utter confusion.copyright protection134PENANA3bU4RyCXSS

“Arlandra!” Sam muttered. “Christel! What are you doing here?”copyright protection134PENANAjrdGPY2ZXV

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