Legends Of Zyconia Part 21

Utopia City

Celarus shivered, a man possessed. Terrek assumed the shiver was in response to an internal chill. Celarus had been this way for most of the night. Two healers sat on either side of him. One attempted to feed him while the other tended to his wounds and attempted to bring feeling back into his chilled body. The storm was over and a feeling of calm had descended on the army. Many silently wondered why Terrek would help such an archenemy.

Terrek sat near the entrance of the tented wagon observing Celarus closely. Diana sat beside him, her arms around him. half asleep on his shoulder. Terrek felt sorry for Celarus. He obviously had taken the worst of the fall they'd shared. He must have been wandering deliriously for days and then encountered the storm. Terrek mentally winced with pity, but he was glad it wasn't him lying there in agony.

The problem was what to do with Celarus if he managed to survive. They couldn't just set him free. In no time he'd be back as leader of the assassin army, terrorizing and killing innocents. But he was another human being and he was in pain. They couldn't just let him die and Terrek couldn't bring himself to kill an injured, unarmed man. Even if it would be a mercy killing in his present state. Miraculously Celarus's shaking slowed and his eyes opened wide.

"Terrek - Terrek," Celarus rasped.

Terrek gently woke Diana and moved beside Celarus so that he could see him.

"What is it?" Terrek said, a hint of hostility in his voice.

"I - I realize now you were right. I just spent so long obeying the Vicar that I forgot what was really out there, how decent so much of Zyconia is. If could go back to my youth now I would change so much. But I guess since I'm going to die now it doesn't matter anymore," Celarus swallowed as tears filled his eyes.

Terrek suddenly felt severe anguish, like his soul was bleeding inside.

"It does matter, it matters to me and it matters to the Maker," Terrek said emotionally, squeezing Celarus's arm.

"I'll do my best to make sure you live," Terrek continued, "so you'll have a chance to change all that."

"We're in sight of Utopia City. Terrek, I think you should come out," Perrin interrupted.

Celarus's face became distorted again as his shivers returned in full strength. Celarus grabbed Terrek by the shoulder.

"Te - Terrek wait I must warn you - I - I - warn must - you," Celarus once again became delirious.

Terrek held Celarus as still as possible.

"What is it you must warn me about," he asked levelly.

"Celarus can you understand me?" Celarus gave no sign of acknowledgment.

"He can't hear you." replied one of the healers. Terrek slammed his fist into the wooden floor in frustration, then stood and left the wagon.

Terrek stepped out of the wagon and ran into someone listening at the door. Terrek apologized as he lifted the fallen man to his feet. Instantly he realized it was Lynx. Lynx backed away quickly.

"Sorry Commander. I didn't mean to block your path," he said quietly.

Lynx turned and disappeared into the crowds. Terrek starred after him, paranoid and suspicious.

Terrek gazed into the distance. A small stone city could be seen on the slope opposite them. Diana stood beside him.

"Alright, we can't assume that the tablets were right and that these people are really hospitable, so a small group of us is going to have to go over to make first contact." Tenek said addressing his aides and the army behind them.

"Hemoth. Perrin, John. and Jason you will come with me. Zachary you are in command in my absence, make camp for now." he ordered.

The army dispersed. Diana put her hand to Terrek's cheek and stroked his dark hair back.

"I know I say this a lot. but be careful out there," she said worriedly.

"I will," he promised as he held her close.

Gently he pressed his lips against hers. He could feel the rising and falling of her chest. She was so delicate, so fragile, yet seemed stronger than he did sometimes, in so many ways. He drew back and looked into her eyes trying to ignore the rising thoughts in the back of his mind.

"I'll be back soon, I promise," he whispered as he stepped back to join the others.





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