Dragonborn Chapter 347: 100 Kills
A/n: Jon’s POV returns again! It feels so good to be back at the mind of my homicidally main character.
For how long has it been since I thought so deep in myself, or maybe I was just thinking about myself all along without realizing. Funny, I never thought that one day I will indiscriminately kill people like that.
I always had this rule with Bandits. They leech on people like vermin so they should be treated like vermin, stripped away from their humanity and put to the sword. It was the best course of action for everyone.
But what I am facing this time was something I preferred not to think too much about. Still, when I am alone with nothing to divert my poisonous thoughts, my mind comes to me and I start thinking.
Was it really alright?
Condemning them to a literal hell.
Just because of what? Two months of captivity, a foot and a couple of fingers.
I can just fix all that and move on. Really. They won’t even come after me if I packed my shit and walked away.
Still, I wasn’t able to do so.
Something about this whole mess wanted to make sense of itself and it drove me mad. I can’t help it anymore, doing things like that was wrong. Just wrong. It won’t help me at all. All I needed is to kill one man, remove the cursed vine and do whatever it is I usually do. Ironically, the way to do that is to kill more of those people so that I can amass enough power.
Here I am trying to make sense of killing by more killing. I am sick of it yet it is all that I need to do in the end.
And here my number 99 victim. Just lying in his blood forfeiting his life to my cause being devoured by blue flames and running around as if it was burning him. It actually was. It was leaving white burn marks rather than black… as if it would make me feel any better.
Making sense of killing by more killing is just stupid. Funny, I am getting cold feet just one victim away from gaining more power.
“One more kill, Mortal.”
Still, I had to kill them and use their souls as means to an end… now that I put it this way, feels like I am the bad guy in the end.
How did it all start? I mean those Reachmen. Why do they have to be so stubborn about sharing the Reach with the Nords? Fuck who sits on the Throne! Life should never be the price for Pride. The deadliest of all sins.
Haha! Look who’s talking! Me, the sinner of Pride. I called myself Dare because I don’t stand my pride being dared. But I know better… it is just a facade for my little weak self to hide behind. I don’t know a better way to deal with this world than just acting high and mighty.
Despite knowing though, I don’t get why the Forsworn are so prideful despite being nothing but savages. They could have settled with Nords, grew their influence from being some simple minority to a potential ruling faction and ride the law.
But in the end, it is a racial conflict that can’t be resolved even if we Nords killed the heads of all Forsworn.
But how to resolve something with such a scale?
How to put down an entity as large as the Forsworn. They are many, spread around, unending. Even if I killed a thousand, I won’t even scratch the surface. I already annihilated Alaric’s army twice and that surely was more than a thousand.
Just what would it take, as I know, killing the king doesn’t end the war.
In my past life, I read that thing about chess. Not all pieces are what they are, the King, the Queen and the Pawns.
Why when all the Pawns die, the game does not end despite it being realistic and why when the King die the game is over despite being unrealistic? A nation can’t survive without its army but can survive without its king, another one will rise anyway.
That’s when the meaning of the chess pieces becomes clearer. The Pawn is the weakest but has a lot of potential, the Queen is the strongest, and so on. All the pieces represent potential and resources but the king represents what is really essential. What nothing can survive without.
Hope, Future, Time.
Take those away from a nation and you utterly destroyed it.
“… You know what, Xikil. You are a better listener than I thought you would be.”
“You are allowed to talk by the way.”
“… So, Mortal. Does this mean you are not killing them or you are going to kill them?”
“I don’t know. Power for souls, life for death. I don’t think I will wipe them out if that’s what you are asking about. They will make sure that there future goes on and survives.”
“And how is that?”
“Simple, they know that I know that their base in Karthspire. They know that I am coming one day. They must have migrated all their children away and brought reinforcements.”
“Children. That’s what you mortals consider future.”
“… Yeah. I think it is different for you Daedra. You don’t have a future to speak of.”
“HA! What are you talking about, Mortal? We are eternal. We may have learned fear and our thoughts evolve but we are unending. We are the perfect beings to serve our Lord. Unlike your kind, we are not flawed.” Xikil said while puffing his chest.
“Is that so?” I couldn’t help but smile. “I think I pity your kind now.”
“Pity? HA! By a mortal?”
“Yes. Your kind is eternally doomed in servitude.”
“That’s what we desire.”
“Is that really true? Do you even desire anything? You are created and programmed to do a set of tasks that the Daedric Princes give you. You are the perfect servants. You are eternal, you don’t need to be fed or cared for, you can just be used without wearing off and when you do, you get resurrected over and over again. Your kind may be ‘Eternal’ but doesn’t have ‘Life’. By that, you don’t have Future, you don’t have hope, you don’t have freedom. You are just an NPC in my opinion and I think your Ego itself may not be real. Just another thing granted to you by your creator. And may God have mercy on those who are forever the slaves.”
“Mortal… you really say interesting stuff that I don’t fully comprehend. I am not sure what it all meant but I am sure they were all said to make you feel better about yourself.”
“I can’t argue with that. But I feel really better about myself now that I’ve said all that. I hope you feel worse… or do you even feel?”
“Mortal, at least I can do that.”
“Truly? Then let’s put it to the test. When was the last time you felt joy?”
“… Not long ago, about fifty years ago we were chasing that mortal that trespassed a certain place and was running really fast. Took us almost a day of chasing to catch him. And there was that time with a Clannfear that bit on my commander’s sword and started running. It was a good chase.”
“Oh! So you are a chaser. Good, we have a situation here. Someone up that mountain is watching us for quite the time now. I am afraid that I don’t have the means to catch him quietly without doing a fuss. Can you do it without uttering a word the way I taught you?”
“Haha! Chasing a Mortal? That’s what I call sport, hold this and don’t lose it.” Xikil handed me the Soul Sigil Stone and disappeared in the darkness of the night.
The half-witted idiot! All I needed is some time to study a thing or two about stone now that I have some magic power.
I was thinking of using my own Essence inside the Vine to weaken it for a short while. It is a bit exhausting but will work.
I just had to push some of that Essence violently through the vine until it reaches the Sigil Stone this us it to pull some Essence from the Vine weakening into some degree.
It started as I expected but became quite painful. The process was draining me but in the end. Here was it.
I could feel it!
She is there.
I stood up facing Markarth which I haven’t been to in a few days by now.
Seems like I need to go back.
“Mortal, look what I found!”
“No, let, me, go… AAAH! HELP!”
Xikil brought a man to me. A Breton-like man with some fiendish facial features, a Reachman.
“You got him without making a noise? I am impressed, Xikil.”
“What? No! He heard me coming and started running but he was slow. Mortals are so weak.”
“Sigh!” I think there is no hope for that fool. “Fine. Speak up, Reachman. Why were you following me?”
And as always, no response came.
Torture was an option but the Reachmen are a bit nasty and used to that stuff. Still, the Mace of Molag Bal can make people sing in the end.
His name is Morven, apparently a Forsworn spy in Markarth and he was up to me the moment I appeared in Markarth. I didn’t need to know much about him, he works for Nepos the Nose. I know both Morven and Nepos from the game. Nepos is an Elderly Reachman undercover in Markarth that works as a double agent for both the Forsworn and the Silver-Blood family of Nords.
Things are not what they seem like.
Nepos has a nose on that attack that targeted Wulfur.
That was an answer that made more questions come to my mind but one thing Morven said that made me curious.
It was about Alaric, he was always called the Prince but I didn’t notice anything about that… the Prince must be related to a King, and there is no king in the Reach but the King in Rags.
I killed Morven with a mace to the head.
“Looks like I need to go to Markarth after all.”
I looked at the Soul Sigil Stone that absorbed Morven’s Soul as the 100th. I could see it glowing with power. Something awakened in me.
A new spell.
I could feel it as if a memory was being engraved in my head.
I simply handed back the Sigil Stone to Xikil and cast the spell.
“Hahaha! Motherfucker! Not only I was going to Markarth but I got a ride too.”
The next spell I got was a Conjuration spell of a lissome form curveted and twirled at the edge of my vision, its expressions blank of all emotion but for the avid hunger of the arsonist.
A Cold-Flame Atronach.