C.o.t.w Chapter 138: Not All Marshes Reflect Sunshine



When they reached the wooden gate of Lilmoth, they saw the city festooned with various tribal decorations. A large reed table was set up where the two Argonians would've been talking about mud puddles and Hasir saw the residents sitting at the table singing merrily and drinking the liquid that Hasir realized a bug musk. A memory flood back to him on the waters of though as he cursed himself for not following up on his promise to obtain the recipe from Morrowind. 


He shook his head to clear it of this unnerving thought and also saw Inigo, Xelzaz, Iskenaaz and, unsure whether or not theyy should be there, the companions, though they were drinking a more comfortable choice: mead. He chuckled as he knew Aela would be all hot and bothered by the close proximity to what she calls 'filthy lizards'." 


Hasir saw this and couldn't help but chuckle at her discomfort. He walked over, his tail wagging about like an excited snake behind him, and sat beside Inigo and whispered into the khajiit's ear about the uncomfortable Nord. Inigo started to laugh but fell deathly silent when Iskenaaz cleared his throat. 

"We owe Hasir a great debt for ridding us of the traitorous An-Xileel. No more will they darken our doorstep with their Molag Bal loving ways. As Sharp-As-Night informs us, Tigress and a Saxhleel named Garrus assisted them. It dries my scales that Veexith had the misfortune of being mixed up with such swampscum..." He shook a rapidly intruding thought from his mind and sighed, "anyway, no use crying over spilled bug musk. Now, raise your mugs to honor these brave heroes."


They all lifted their clay mugs and echoed as one.

"Praise be to the Saxhleel, a bright sun in a rapidly darkening sky." 


Inigo leaned over toward Hasir and asked who the An-Xileel were. The Argonian shrugged this off and eyed Ceralyne joining the gathered Saxhleel. He did'nt know she was attending as well. He wondered why she got invited. He got up and walked over to her seat opposite of Iskenaaz. He growled when he past by the bench Xochitl and Garrus were sharing and gestured to the elf to come sit with him and Garrus, she did. 


Hasir looked awkwardly from Garrus to Xochitl.

"Garrus, I thought you left her deep in the mud."


Garrus nodded, eying Hasir concernedly.

"I did, at least, I thought I did. The problem is that no matter what I do, she keeps crawling back like a fungus. I can't get rid of the lying bitch."


The whole table jumped in fright as they heard a sound of metal on dragonskin as Hasir's axe was removed from its sheath.

"Well, if she keep clinging to you like a fungus... better to forcefully remove said fungus before it has a chance to grow again." Garrus gave Hasir as scared, almost worried look. "Look, Garrus, this had got to be done. If you would be reptilian enough to do it, I guess I'll have to do it. Make your choice: which part of the wolf do you want? the padded paw or the fanged mouth?" Garrus sighed and muttered his answer. Hasir nodded and swung the axe in a wide arc. 


Several onlookers gasped as Xochitl's head painted the grass with blood as it rolled. Garrus looked shocked as the headless Argonian slumped onto the grass, blood pouring from her empty neckhole like a river funneled into a narrow stream. He and Ceralyne stared at each other is disbelief.  

"Why did you do that? You can be so hot-headed at times." She said; eying him was venomous inttent. "You could have just calmly told her off fo something." She said in hopes of offering an alternative, completely ignoring this was far from useful.  


Hasir looked thoughtfully from Garrus, Ceralyne and the headless body.

"You may be right, Ceralyne. Can you ever..." He turned around and glared at her, "You know what? No, I'll not apologize nor give you the satisfaction of being right. She," He said, gesturing to the now dried up scaly riverbed. "deserved what she got. She was downright rotten to Garrus. Oh that right." He said with a small laugh. "you haven't properly met. Garrus, Ceralyne. Great, you've met. Good."


Ceralyne seemed to melt in her seat like a fungus shrinking back from an imposing tree trunk.

"I didn't mean that, I only meant..." 


The rest of her sentence was drowned out by Hasir's next sentence which bit harsher than the last.

"What? Do I also have to introduce the headless body as well? Oh right, you haven't met her either!" Hasir yelled. "Ceralyne meet the meatsack that used to be Xochitl. There. Everybody happy?" He said, looking for any naysayers. The next thing he knew, his right cheek felt like it was on fire. He shook this off and saw the elf disappear into one of the mud huts surrounding the now empty table.


Hasir got up, blanked Garrus concering look and knocked on the hut door the elf had just disappeared into like mist though a crack in a wall.

"Ceralyne, I... erm... I'm sorry, can we talk? I was not in my right mind. Look, I'm sorry I snapped at you, please open the door." He pleaded. Juding from the silence, he knew the elf was either crying a river or busy composing her thoughts.


After a few minutes, Ceralyne opened the door and let Hasir in. He sat down on the bed opposite a dresser near where the elf stood; shooting daggers at him.

 What you did back there was hearttless and insensitive. How could you treat me like a burnt piece of wheat amongst an otherwise pristine field? It was degrading. You pointed me out in front of the whole flock. You painted me as the black sheep even though I did not know those of whom you spoke of." She crossed the room and sat down upon the bed he sat on and sobbed into his armor. He looked like he had just been confronted by a haj mota and was devoid of any weaponry to do battle with.


He gently pulled the elf off of him and turned away. He had no idea of how to proceed in the uncertain waters of romance.

"I know what you want of me Ceralyne. You want me to feel sorry what I did and, maybe even, comfort you bodily. While I do feel remorse for my actions. I cannot satisfy yoru other need. The Saxhleel never were ones for, pardon the expression, creature comforts. We communicate through imagery and communion with the Hist. The hist are kind of like a hivemind that we were born from but before you think we blindly swim without knowledge of our destination, we still obtain our higher consciousness. We just do not believe in the physical acts of romance or procreation."


Ceralyne moved closer to him and kissed his cheek and started stripping him of his armor.

"You know your problem? You think too much and that can be at odds with what your heart wants."


Hasir eyed her apprehensively.

"What does my heart want?" He asked. 


Ceralyne leant him back onto the bed and mounted him.

"Us. Together as one. What happened happened and there is no redirecting the river's course. Let tit be still for one night. Who knows?" She said, stripping off her own armor. "You might learn to relax a little." She said as she kissed his bare chest.


He just lay there; his emotions warring with his logical mind for sole ownership of his bran. One side determining what the Saxhleel must think of him and the other knowing that something this just felt right, like he could unconsciously see their spirits melding into one. After a few minutes of indecision, the scaly wall began to break apart mud clum by mud clump until a hole of acceptance appeared and a wave of surrender washed over him and he took the plunge into this new chapter in his relatively short book of life.


A few hours later, Hasir awoke to find Ceralyne fast asleep beside him. Not wanting to wake her, he sild out of the hut flap and walked over to the stables, found his Welwa Ravager eating bugs that were provided by the stablehand, paid the required gold and mounting it, steering it towards the city gates. Sights set on his next destination, 


Ceralyne awoke and went outside to find the Argonian about to venture under the archway when she called out to him, leaning against one of the city's many stilts.

"Where do you think you're going?"


He tunred the Welwa around to face her.

"Ceralyne, I... erm... well, I thought since Xelzaz gave the congratulations speech, I would high-tail it for the my next destination. I figured I gained enough of the Saxhleel's trust that I would leave it to them to delegate whomever they wished to accompany me on my mission. Now, please don't delay me any more, I am off to Elsweyr to convince the Khajiit."


Ceralyne folded her arms and fixed him with a questioning look.

"Elsweyr? Why there? Don't you want to come to my home? You said you would visit my home city of Alinor when we first met back in the temple of Kynareth, remember?"


Hasir nodded halfheartedly. He did remember but he did not want to start a race war between the Saxhleel and the high elves.

"Of course I do. I just don't want any anymosity between your people and mine. They will not take kindly to a Saxhleel dating a high elf, and besides, high elves are very protective of their own; not to mention suspicious of outsiders. The high elves of Summerset are very selective of who their kind mate with." He said, somewhat arrogantly


Ceralyne strode over to him and put her hand on his; easing it away of the reins.

"If my parents, or anyone for that matter, say anything about us, I will defend you with everything I have. I know you better than they do. Please, do not run away to some distant land because of your fear of doing something different than what is socially acceptable but instead embrace it." She mounted up behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist. "We shall go to Summerset. I want my parents to met the one whom I have chosen to be mine."


Hasir gulped audibly.

"Yes, I get that, but wouldn't they shun one of their own have an Argonian as a mate?


The elf placed a long, slender finger on Hasir's lips.

"Stop thinking so much and go. This bird flies where she will, unhindered by the wind."


He rode out of the city and splashed through the marshes in the direction of the Summerset Isles.

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