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Solver of problems

AragmarJul 12, 2022, 11:53:02 AM

Part 5

Doom or Dare

Rem was shaken to his core; knowing the legends and meeting a real Stitch in person were two different things. This poor soul had suffered greatly and, evidently no longer desired to remain among the living. If this unnatural, wretched existence could even be called life. 

Who was the real monster here – the Stitch or those who created it?!

No, Rem had a duty as a devoted Kannite to at least attempt, try saving this girl's spirit!

If this monstrosity was crafted with the use of alchemy, maybe Felk and Rem's other associates could find some way to help it? No longer controlled by Countess Levoah's arcanist, the creature had completely surrendered to his mercy.

He turned around and, after unleashing a tired sigh, addressed the Stitch:

“I have a better idea. You have a problem and I, Rem, am a solver of other people's problems. If you would come with me, I promise to do everything in my power, find a way to help you!”

The tormented creature pondered how to proceed for a few moments and then slowly stood up. The Stitch looked at Rem with her gray eyes and uttered with her harrowing child's voice:

“I accept... even if hope for me maybe deceased. Warrior, at the very least, make sure none could exploit this broken cadaver of mine and slaughter more innocents.”

“By my own soul, as a devoted Kannite, I do solemnly swear this shall be so!” - Rem stated, and his voice echoed with surprising power, despite all wounds he'd suffered.

“Master Rem,” - Felk whispered inside his mind - “I must caution you about showing yourself out on the streets, a full blown arcanist monstrum in tow.”

“Follow us, but do so with caution, girl. My persona has recently attracted the attentions of certain and rather deathly elements. Could you make yourself invisible once more?” - Rem's voice was laden with tire when he addressed the Stitch.

“I... I cannot invoke my flicker ability, not yet, not until that which you have wounded regenerates fully.”

“Then we will discover another way to hide your visage from the prying eyes of common folk and my pursuers. Climb the ladder, but wait for us to scout around the sewer lid first.” - Rem advised and eyes squinting from intense pain, slowly climbed up the ladder.

He gently pushed the lid and only a tiny bit, enough so Felk's empowered by mana sight could survey the wynd.

“Not a single soul here, master Rem, only a bunch of Doomers in the far distance. I can see they were partying up here, and until recently - a few minutes perhaps. Had we exited the sewers earlier, we'd be exchanging blows dead center a crowd of helpless, intoxicated people. I can pick up some voices from the alley where our people should be, but nothing like a commotion or a battle. Though, I would advise you to be cautious since having exhausted even some of my own Unlife mana, anything that I conjure now would be at half-strength at best...” - Whispered in his mind Felk, while Rem slowly pushed the lid aside, all quiet-like.

Indeed, even if Rem would burn with desire to be extremely cautious, his aching all over body refused to obey. The long they stayed here, out of sight and reach from their allies, the easier would be for Levoah's underlings to discover and slay them. That alley where his reinforcements awaited him was so close and yet, so far away. 

With Felk's magiks drained and his own body wounded, the solver of problems indeed found himself in dire straits. Since he wasn't in the business of giving up but rather surviving and solving, Rem dragged himself out of the sewer. He then gave the Stitch a sign to follow and limped his way through many piles of rolling on the pavement bottles. They did reach the wynd's corner, yet to reach their destination, the three had to stroll out on the open street.

There were an odd group of partying Doomers here and there. Rem also heard the chants of a priest, who progressively got near with each passing second.

“I cannot float so... you'll have to toss me! I will roll down the pavement and into the alley. Our people will be immediately alerted, without us risking the open street. Remove the helm first, for it will clang and this might be too much for even the drunken Doomers to not notice.” - Felk said with notable hesitance.

“What if your bony face gets stuck in a pile of poo?” - Despite all the pain, Rem found some strength to jest.

“Well, you'll ask our new follower to throw you, so you can come unstuck me. Don't forget to bring a perfume-scented handkerchief so you can wipe all the nasty stuff.”

Rem bit his tongue and not only to stop the escape of a snigger or two, but because of the pain. He quickly lobbed the now helm-less skull, his aim good and achieved a nice parabola. Felk landed more or less exactly as they expected and thankfully, rolled down the pavement, deeper inside the alley. Not a minute had passed and two of Rem's associates came out, a cargo cart behind them. 

Swiftly, the waggon's very familiar dwarven driver navigated the street. Bortom sent his wife, Loriane, since he almost expected Rem to crawl out of the sewers in pieces. She quickly touched Rem's most savage chest wound with a small wand and he felt much better. Even though healing spells did offer tremendous help, there was also a price to pay. Most probably a day of full rest would be needed, for him to restore all of his stamina. Strutting around nearly asleep would greatly aid all of those opportune assassins... end him.

He'd change his decision for nothing; a soul saved in the eyes of Kan, was perhaps the most priceless, benevolent act a Kannite could perform.

Tenaros and Miverna immediately aimed their weapons at the ominous-looking figure behind Rem, even though he gave them a sign not to worry. The ork duo helped him get in the wagon and then, oh-so-hesitantly, covered the Stitch with cart's thick tarp. Indeed, the tormented creature was finally out of sight, yet not completely out of trouble.

So strong was the sweet scent of the Stitch's flesh, that it overwhelmed the all-prevalent smell of alcohol. The swiftly walking down the street priest was Irohan, as it was clearly heard from his now louder and louder chants. He'd also notice that, it was nigh impossible to conceal and they had to do something and do it quick.

On top of all that, this street was kind of wide and well lit – an intersection even. Perfect spot for Levoah's goons to observe foot traffic or set up an ambush.

Rem was tired, yet, driving the wagon while covered with his hooded cloak, was a feat quite possible with his remaining strength. He'd send Loriane to delay the priest for a few minutes. Something which she as a Irohan herself, the crafty dwarven woman could easily achieve. The orks would keep their guard up and protect the wagon, while it reached the alley entrance. The sooner they got there, the better! If this is your choice, vote 1 in the comments below.

He shouldn't risk it, but... Rem decided to split the two orks and send Miverna to block the priest's way. Better he stay out of the way and lie hidden, together with the Stitch under the cart's tarp. Tenaros had to be protection enough and besides Loriane was a far better wagon driver. If you choose this course of action, vote 2 in the comments below.

Sod it! Rem ignored the Irohan's presence and immediately ordered everyone to move. He and the Stitch would stay hidden, while Tenaros and Miverna escorted the wagon. Even if that priest sniffed the arcane scent out, chances were, he wouldn't know nearly enough to figure what it actually is. So far luck favored the solver of troubles and Rem was willing to try it one more time. If that is your choice, vote 3 in the comments below.

Link to Solver of problems, episode 2 part 1.

Link to Solver of problems, episode 2 part 2.

Link to Solver of Problems, episode 2 part 3.

Link to Solver of Problems, episode 2 part 4.

Link to Solver of Problems, episode 2 part 6.