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The Most Beautiful Kill [Part II] Oct 5, 2012
It was half past 10 o’clock, Dreven supposed. He was now waiting at the New Gnisis Cornerclub, as instructed. Elena had gone home to “freshen” up and make sure she was seen going to the Gray Quarter at a late hour. Their meeting was supposed to be spontaneous and "secret", but little did she know, more people knew than she would’ve thought appropriate… She had confessed the name of the man she pined for and Dreven had to fight very hard to contain his laughter at the extreme irony… It made him giddy to just think of it.
Dreven looked over at the bartender and owner of the club, Ambarys. They shared a secret glance and returned to their own business. The wily Dunmer smiled to himself. This had to have been the easiest encounter of his life in the business… Everything downstairs was set, and Ambarys knew what was going on and so the aftermath was taken care of as well. Dreven took a long drink of his ale and sat back in his chair, grinning from ear-to-ear. It didn’t get much better than this. Two weeks ago, when this entire plan was birthed, he wouldn’t have dared dream it would be this enjoyable… It seemed like it was only yesterday when Aren Silent-Blade, the man of this deluded woman’s dreams, engaged him at the Cheydinhal sanctuary…
It was ridiculous. The sudden influx of contracts since the Purification had been almost overwhelming. Dreven felt a small pang in his stomach when he remembered the ghastly event…it was not something he liked to recall. Following the ritual killing of all the older Brotherhood members and the subsequent battle at the Night Mother’s tomb, the Dark Brotherhood had fallen on some tough times: there was a now-empty sanctuary to repopulate and a Black Hand than needed new, loyal members. There were those that were already a part, the high-elf Arquen, Nearah, a lovely khajiit, a Nord named Aren Silent-Blade, and Dreven himself, but that left quite a few slots to fill; as such, Brotherhood members from other sanctuaries around Cyrodiil were summoned to Cheydinhal to assist for a short while.
It was utter chaos; contracts were coming in from all over for the relocated members and current members alike and sorting through them was a chore than Dreven was entrusted with. Although Arquen was the running listener (for almost 150 years now; she had ordered the most recent purification having seen it before), Dreven was 2nd in command being the second-oldest member of this sanctuary; intrinsically, he was the de facto Listener in her absence. Now, he was sorting through the recent contracts, trying to find the few that fit the brand of members he had on hand.
“(mumble mumble mumble) stealthy kill… Okay, I’ll give that to Reezaah… (mumble mumble mumble) to see his death come at him…okay, Bargranf can have that one…noisy Orc. (mumble mumble mumble) burn her to ashes….perfect for Aren…”
As he rounded a corner, checking off items, a burst of flame jolted across his path, inches from his face. He shouted and fell back several paces, the papers spilling from his arms and the smell of burnt hair in his nostrils. He immediately reached for his long black locks, but realized that they were tied back in a ponytail, as was his custom for work. He then realized that his forehead was unusually hot and slapped both hand on his eyebrows, putting out the small embers that had sparked there.
“DAMMIT TO THE LOWEST PLANES OF OBLIVION! MARISKA, I TOLD YOU NOT TO PRACTICE THOSE DAMN FLAME SPELLS INSIDE THE SANCTUARY UNTIL YOU GET BETTER AT THEM! I-“
He had stormed around the corner, not to find the petite and inadept female Breton mage, but the exponentially more experience Nord spellsword, Aren Silent-Blade. His fellow Silencer looked both concerned and frustrated; it came off as an odd mix of facial poses. Dreven furrowed what was left of his brows and approached his Brother in darkness.
“Aren? What in the names of the gods are you doing?!”
The slender Nord shook his head and then put a hand to it.
“I’m so sorry Dreven. I…I just had to let off some steam. I didn’t know you were coming this way.”
Dreven folded his arms and gave Aren a pointed stare.
“Quite a bit of steam. Here’s what I propose: you can either tell me what’s going on or you can let me throw one good punch at your face for singeing off my eyebrows.”
He ran a hand over the still-warm and burnt tufts of hair.
“They had just finished growing back from when those damned poison fumes burned them off…”
He shuddered. It was his own failed attempt at a paralysis poison that was the culprit. He had mixed too many parts Daedra venin and the vapor had not only knocked him unconscious, but burned off most of his eyebrows. Arquen had gotten an enormous laugh out of it and still brought it up randomly in conversation, particularly when he chided Mariska on her terrible prowess with magic. Aren chuckled and shrugged.
“Okay, fine. I’ll tell you. But first, let me help you with that.”
He pointed to the sheets of parchment scattered about the corridor. Dreven happily accepted the help and they gathered everything up together before heading to the sleeping/dining area. They sat at the table in the far corner and shared a bottle of apple juice and a hunk of salted beef. Aren shared with Dreven his recent trip to Skyrim. He had gone home, to Windhelm, to visit with his dying mother just one last time…and oh the experience it had been.
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