I crashed on the bed completely worn out from my lessons with Llyrin and Ervyna.
“By the Three I’m tired,” I thought to myself as I laid on the simply made cot located in the furthest right corner of the room. “And tomorrow I have to train with Llyrin again.”
Just thinking about it made me even more fatigued. I sighed at the thought.
“Well, if I want to get some shut eye, then I’d better get ready for bed,” I said to myself in the barracks room.
Standing up and looking around the sand colored walls that were lined with candles for some lumination showed that the barracks were full with at least thirty cots and bunks with accompanying drawers. It could house probably twice that number. However, the only occupants in the room were myself and maybe fifteen or so other soldiers who were either playing Shenanigan Cards or preparing themselves for bed. The remaining beds were unfilled, mostly due to lack of recruits.
I looked around the room for a bit before taking off the shirt Llyrin gave me and my chitin boots and gauntlets. I was soon wearing nothing but my undergarments and my mohawk.
A guard came through the door at the furthest left corner of the room and told the mer that were playing Shenanigans that it was lights out. The mer threw their cards on the table and grumbled, but didn’t complain too much as they removed their armor and headed for bed.
I followed suit and pulled a fur blanket out from my cot side drawer and pulled it over me. I blew out my candle for some extra darkness to help me sleep and faded off to sleep.
It was barely dawn when I awoke to the sounds of barrack horns. Everyone jumped to their feet and put on their armor. It was inspection time, for the soldiers anyways. They all rushed to strap their Bonemold on before Llyrin came for inspection. Llyrin came through the door to the barracks along side another guard to see if the men were readied and were squared away. He was a sight in his heavy chitin armor, adorned with gold and black ribbons, like the priests at the Temple.
I quickly donned my chitin boots and gauntlets and threw my shirt on as well. I may just be a sellsword, but Llyrin is strict about the shape of his men, even the hired ones.
“ALL RIGHT YOU FETCHERS, STAND TO!” Llyrin barked at is men. Llyrin damn well knew how to make an entrance and his men listened too, some of them shaking a little where they stood.
“Now all of you fall in!” Llyrin commanded again watching to see if anyone took their sweet time. None did, especially not I. Llyrin doesn’t like it when people drag ass.
We all stood in a line in a row in the middle of the room where the cots and bunks left space to walk between. We were shoulder to shoulder and stood at attention.
Llyrin began his inspection by starting at the far right end of the line and making his way to the end, where I stood. He began inspection by looking over his mens armor and making sure that they were in top condition.
He pulled his ebony scimitar and tapped the chest piece of every mer in the line, all making the same dull thumping noise to test the thickness of the armor. He got to about the sixth man in line and tapped on his chest piece with his blade except this time it made a lighter tink sound.
Llyrin stopped and looked the man over, and tapping on his chest piece once more and making the same tink, tink, tink sound.
“Soldier, your armor isn’t up to par, go to the smithy and have it bolstered. If you don’t you will surely be ran through,” Llyrin said sternly. “If I inspect it again and your armor is not up to par I will reprimand you for negligence of Dres property.”
I found Llyrin’s words ironic considering the fact that Dres is known for slavery and they aren’t the kindest to them either, but that’s none of my business. I’m here to get paid to fight, not give my opinions.
Llyrin finally went through the rest of the inspection without issue and finally came to me, the last man in the line.
Llyrin looked me over, then smirked. He told the men to fall out and go to their respective posts, save for me. He looked at the guard accompanying him who was carrying some chitin armor and gestured to the guard to hand over the armor. The guard walked over to me and handed me a full set of some of the most well crafted chitin armor I had ever laid eyes on.
“Sero I decided to get rid of your old chitin armor because I felt it wasn’t worth repairing such Netch dung craftsmanship,” Llyrin said with his arms held casually behind his back. “This, however, was crafted by Grendis Rolovo, one of the finest smiths in Morrowind, may it serve you well.”
“L-Llyrin I-I-I don’t know what to say except thank you, I don’t know how I could begin to repay you,” I blurted out, ever grateful to have such fine armor and to have such a generous friend.
“You can repay me by helping me win this war Sero,” The Dark Elf said with conviction.
“I’ll certainly do my best,” I said as I stood there, armor in hand.
“Well, when your fitted up come see me in the sparring room, you’ll need more practice,” Llyrin said as he turned towards the door and walked out with the other guard.
I was filled with gratitude beyond measure that Llyrin would go out of his way to provide me with such spectacular armor. I hastily removed my worn chitin and tried on the new light chitin armor that Llyrin gave me. It was breathtaking.
After I was done admiring my armor I went out the door and walked down the sand colored corridor that connected the barracks to the training room. The other soldiers were sparring with each other and Llyrin was walking in between the rows that they formed, evaluating their stances, their strikes and ripostes.
Llyrin walked to the middle of the room and called everyone to attention once again. We all filed in in the middle of the room awaiting further command from Llyrin
“Listen up fetchers!” Llyrin commanded. “Today I’m going to show you how to fight like a proper Dres soldier! You will be sparring with yours truly. I will see if any of you need improving and which of you are fit for battle. We will go from left to right until everyone has sparred with me at least once.”
With that we began the session. First up was a soldier I did not know the name of until Llyrin called him.
“Hort, you’re up first,” Llyrin pointed to him with his scimitar.
Hort stepped forward a few times and turned to face Llyrin. Hort, like the rest of the soldiers, were clad in full Armun-An Bonemold, and equipped with a steel longsword and bonemold shield.
Llyrin took a stance with his sword pointed out towards his opponent and his knees slightly bent, ready for anything that the soldier could throw his way.
The soldier unsheathed his sword and readied his shield for a charging assault at Llyrin.
“AAAAAAHHHH!” The mer yelled as he ran towards Llyrin, shield raised.
Llyrin sidestepped the mer and tripped him, much like he had done with me the previous night. The guard crashed into the floor dropping his shield and losing his weapon.
“Only s’wits announce their attack with a battle cry,” Llyrin jeered. “Now get back up and fight like a proper Dres soldier!”
The guard scrambled to his feet and picked up his sword. I’m sure under is helmet he was flush with rage because he charged for Llyrin again attempting to thrust his sword into him only for Llyrin to parry it with his ebony scimitar. Llyrin’s parry broke the mer’s stance and caused him to hunch over slightly leaving him open. Llyrin took the opportunity to simply smack the side of the mer's helmet, pissing him off even more.
Llyrin walked away from the soldier with his back turned and the soldier tried to take advantage of this. The soldier regained his stance and charged once more towards Llyrin.
Llyrin parried the blow by swinging his sword behind his back and driving his opponent's sword into the wooden floor. He then followed his blade up the soldier’s and stopped just short of the mer’s neck.
“It seems you need more training, I recommend trying a more subtle approach to your targets instead of wildly running at them,” Llyrin said as he gave his usual smirk.
He went through the rest of the soldiers with ease, some needing improvement like Hort, and others being satisfactory to Llyrin’s evaluation. Then Llyrin came to me.
“Sero you’re up,” The raspy voiced elf said.
I stepped out of line and faced my teacher once more. I unsheathed my chitin short sword and took my stance.
Llyrin was the one to make the first move this time. He came at me with an overhead slash, and I just barely dodged his attack. Even though he had missed it did not throw his balance. He regained his stance immediately.
I acted like I was going to go for a right slash, but at the last moment switched for a left slash. It worked! Llyrin tried to parry my blow but missed entirely. My sword bounced off of his left pauldron making a twing sound.
While the blow caused me to recoil instead of him I was surprised I actually managed to land a blow at all. By the look on his face I’d say Llyrin was too!
Llyrin attempted another swing at me and I sidestepped again, this time to the left. I used my window of opportunity to get some distance between me and Llyrin to see if I could coax him into running at me.
“What’s the matter? Getting slow in your old age?” I playfully mocked.
“Oh, I’ll show you slow Sero,” Llyrin said with a smirk.
It worked because Llyrin sprinted at me like a Cliff Racer on a Skooma binge. I used his speed to my advantage however by just ducking under his blade and sweeping his leg out from under him. His heavy chitin armor betrayed him and caused him to crash to the ground, and losing his grip on his blade in the process.
I pointed the tip of my sword at him as he lay on the ground and he simply looked back up at me in utter disbelief. His shocked face turned to his trademark smirk and he laughed a little.
“You need to have a better grip on your weapon old mer, and a better grip off the floor as well,” I said as I smirked under my chitin helmet.
“Well, well, well Sero, you’re shaping up to be a worthy investment after all,” The Dunmer said with a tone akin to a proud father. “Now help me up you fetcher!”
I sheathed my sword and helped my mentor off of the floor.
“Alright everyone, this concludes today’s lesson. I want all of you to turn in now. Those of you who are battle worthy be prepared to ship out by sunrise because you’re going to the front lines to take the fight to those scally bastards.”
I suppose that meant me too. I would soon find out come morning.
As always criticism is always welcome. Like the first two I slapped this one together in about 2 hours and its 10:35 standard eastern daylight time as of me making this comment so I'll go off to bed now. Nighty Night!
You may not think so yourself but you’re pretty talented. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything you’ve posted so far and hope to see more soon.
I'm humble, but I do know I'm a decent writer, but criticism is always welcome. Anything I can improve upon is good for myself and the reader.