It's going to start coming slower, folks. My buffer is drying out as I'm posting faster than I'm writing. But here's the next little bit.
Dominions of Glory: 6
Dilirian didn’t change out of his armor until just before dinner, which meant Baelin wouldn’t have time to head over to his farm and replicate it before coming back tonight. And he would have to come back tonight. Forden simply wouldn’t allow him to be out there alone while he was still recovering. Still, Dilirian let Baelin give the armor a look over, his chest puffed out, an annoying grin glued to his face.
Baelin examined the scales that made up the armor. They were thin and roughly triangular. He checked to see how they were attached, since he’d likely have to do that part by hand. These had several small holes for string to be looped through, which were then attached to a leather jerkin beneath.
There didn’t seem to be much else to their construction. Even with Magic, making a scale shirt and pants would be extremely time consuming.
Satisfied with looking the armor over, he gave it back to Dilirian. “It’s not bad,” he said. “Wait until you see mine.”
Dilirian’s smug smile faltered, but he quickly put it back in place. “We’ll see,” he said.
Baelin hoped he could make it properly. He knew he could make the scales better than what Dilirian had, but attaching them to the shirt would be tougher.
“We’re going up into the mountains tomorrow,” Dilirian said, carefully laying his scale out. “It’s a shame you can’t come. I bet you’d like to get revenge on a few of those little devils.”
“I had my revenge,” Baelin said. “I killed the ones that attacked me.”
“You know what I mean,” Dilirian said. “Finish off their family! Wipe them out of the mountains so people can feel safe again. I wish you could join us.”
“Me too,” Baelin said, though in truth, he didn’t. He certainly wanted the devils gone. He didn’t want to spend all winter worrying they might show up while he was cutting fire wood. But at the same time, he didn’t want to fight them. He wanted to take care of his farm and finish stocking up for winter. If winter came anything like last year, he’d be snowed in as often as not.
“Kelly’s here,” Forden called from the front of his small house.
Dilirian rolled his eyes. “She’s all yours, Baelin. Try not to get the pox. I’m not sure this one’s clean.”
Baelin reached over and punched Dilirian as hard as he could in the arm without even thinking about it.
“Ouch! Hey!” he cried, rubbing his arm furiously with his left hand.
“You should listen to Forden,” Baelin said firmly. His legs both burned from the sudden shift in weight.
He walked out of the back room and found Kelly sitting patiently in Forden’s smooth, oak rocking chair. As he entered, her face lit up in a smile, and he was pretty sure his did as well. They spent the next two hours awkwardly fumbling through a conversation, both sharing in an abundance of blushing cheeks and general embarrassment. When Kelly finally left, Baelin never knew how happy he could be to see her go, if nothing else because he didn’t think he could handle making a fool of himself any longer.
“That went well,” Forden said dryly as he entered the room. “You two seem the perfect pair, you have as much to say to one another as two rocks from different rivers.”
Baelin frowned as he tried to figure out what Forden was implying.
“A joke, lad. It was a joke. And not a good one, apparently.”
“I don’t like it when you pick fun at me.”
“You can like it or not as you will,” Forden said. “A man needs to grow some tough skin if he’s to make it in this world. You’re better off learning to laugh at yourself or shrugging it off.”
“Just because your old skin has turned to stiff leather doesn’t mean I want mine to,” Baelin said. “I like that my skin doesn’t look like it’s sat in the sun too long.”
Forden stared at Baelin in silence and then burst into laughter. “I do believe you caught my meaning. Next time though, try giving some verbal hints that you’re not out to actually wound my poor old heart. I may have dried out leather for protection, but what’s underneath is as fragile as glass. Now, go to bed. You still need rest, and I imagine you’ll want to be up to see everyone off on the hunt.”
“You’re not going?” Baelin asked.
“I’m too old to be traipsing about the mountains, and far too old to be seeking out trouble in the form of devils. This old sack of bones is just happy when the piss drips out like it should.”
“I didn’t need to know that,” Baelin said.
“Deal with it,” Forden said, and he blew out the lantern in the room and left Baelin to the darkness.
In the darkness, Magic spoke to him most clearly. Or rather, Baelin’s mind tended to be freer so he was more apt to hear Magic’s never ending drone. Right now it was begging to be used to make the armor Baelin had been thinking of, to sharpen the edge of his sword, to turn Dilirian’s sword to pudding, just to see the look on his face. To kill the devils.