Visions II: To Save an Ogrin - Part One
A/N: Thank you for reading. This is the second part of the Visions trilogy. The first is Visions: Journey to Shenkuu. Read it or else you shall be thoroughly confused.
There was a large expanse of stars before Nil, almost exactly like the ones she had seen from Faerieland. She traced out the constellations she knew, taking more time than normal to find them because of their altered positions. The week she had been here had been hard, but it was much better than her previous experiences. Those were behind her now, though, and she wasn't going to let them slow her down, no matter how many reminders there were of what happened.
Her mouth opened in a wide yawn and she rubbed her eyes. I'd better get to sleep, she thought, rising from her seated position on the balcony that overlooked the city. It was an impressive view, though she had gotten used to it by now. Besides, there wasn't much to see at night after all the lanterns had gone out.
Nil headed down the hallway, heading towards the rooms that she and the other students at the temple slept in. As she passed by the front entrance on her blind side, she heard the Ogrin Master's voice. Quickly, she ducked behind one of the pillars, peering around the side with her good eye.
The elderly Ogrin stood at the doorway, greeting a Kougra dressed in a knight's clothing and a blue Ixi that wore an intricate jacket. There seemed to be one more in their company, but she couldn't tell who it was in the dark. Still, she didn't like the feeling she got about the third visitor.
"Just don't let the petpets out next time, Hanso," the Kougra scolded the Ixi.
"How was I supposed to know they'd rampage?" the Ixi replied, holding his hands up defensively and an annoying smile on his face.
"Come in, all of you," the Ogrin Master said. "You must be tired from your journey. If you don't have a place to board, I have a room you can stay in for the night."
The three visitors entered and Nil saw the third traveler. It was a blue Wocky, the same one she had seen in Altador.
What's he doing here? she wondered. A small vision intruded into her mind, providing the answer. It was of the Wocky and King Altador. The Wocky told Altador of an assassin out to kill all who had tried to stop Xandra, which included Altador and four others.
"So he's here to kill the Ogrin Master," she whispered, backing into the shadows. "I can't let that happen."
"Nil? Is that you?" the Ogrin asked, turning his blind eyes towards where he had heard her whisper.
For a moment, she thought it would be better to just hide, but she knew better than to hide from the Ogrin Master. "Yes, Master," she said, coming out partially from behind the pillar. She carefully kept the right side of her face hidden, hoping the Wocky wouldn't reveal her secret.
"Shouldn't you be asleep already? Why are you still up?"
"I... couldn't sleep that well, so I decided to get some air," she lied, nervously fingering her earring.
"Well, it's fine. I was just thinking that Brynn here could share a room with you for the night and I didn't want to disturb you. Since you’re up, then there's no reason you can't let Brynn stay for the night."
Nil nodded, eying the blue Wocky. He was looking at her curiously, as if he was trying to remember who she was.
Maybe he can't, she thought hopefully.
"Can you lead them to their rooms?" the Ogrin Master asked.
"Of course, Master," Nil replied quickly, covering her right eye with a hand. "If you'll follow me, I'll get you settled in for the night."
The Wocky's eyes grew wide in realization and she knew he had figured her out. Still, he didn't say anything.
I'm dead, she thought as she walked them down the hall. I am so very dead.
She reached the only empty room in the temple, carefully keeping her face turned away from the group as she opened the door. "Well, you two are going to sleep in here. It's a spare room that we always keep empty in case of a visitor. Brynn, my room's right next-door. Go on and get your things while I clean up."
The Ixi and Kougra left and Nil was alone with the Wocky.
"I didn't think you'd actually be here," he said, approaching her carefully. Nil turned on him, allowing him to see her blind eye. "I mean, I thought it was chance at first when you stopped me in Altador, but now that you're here, I know it's not a coincidence."
"You're not going to hurt the Ogrin Master," Nil growled. "Not so long as I'm here."
"Well, aren't you just a little hero," the Wocky mocked. "Going to save everyone, I suppose. The Ogrin Master, Brynn, Hanso, Jazan--isn't that right?"
"I am not some hero. Saving Altador was a coincidence and the Ogrin Master is the only one I actually care about. I don't care what happens to the others, but if you hurt the Ogrin Master, I will stop you."
The Wocky smiled. "I'm not going to kill him, but I will hurt him." Just as Nil was about to hit him, he called, "Brynn! Hanso! Glad you're back!"
She quickly went to the door that lead to her room and disappeared inside.
Why did he have to show up, she wondered, heading over to the mat that served as her bed. Just when everything was going right, that...that thing had to show up and ruin it all. There's no way I'm getting out of this now, and if he finds out about Karan, everything will just get worse from there.
Brynn entered and Nil covered her eye with a hand again.
"Sure is dark in here," she said, setting down her bags next to the spare bed. "Is your eye alright?"
"I just bruised it up during training," Nil replied, searching around in her bag for a piece of cloth to cover her eye. "If I cover it, it'll be fine." She found a strip of fabric and quickly tied it over her eye, making sure Brynn hadn't seen it.
"These mats are really the beds?" the Kougra asked, sitting on the spare bed.
"Yeah," Nil said. "If you wake up in the middle of the night, try not to make too much noise. I have to get up before the sun."
"Wow, that early?"
"It's not actually early. The mountains hide the sun for a few hours, that's all. Now good night."
"Good night," Brynn replied, though Nil could tell she wanted to say something else.
The Kyrii ignored her, though, and rolled onto her side. Slowly, she faded into sleep and dreamed.
All was peaceful and calm. The grass swayed gently in the morning breeze and everything around the elderly Ogrin seemed renewed, even though he could not see it. Just by the sound and smell of it all and the way the air felt, he could tell the land had been refreshed in the night. Still, something seemed amiss. He felt as if someone was nearby, hiding in the shadows somewhere.
"Hello?" he called. "Who's there?"
He heard footsteps behind him and recognized the sound of a Wocky's feet. There was something about the way he moved that seemed threatening.
Something whizzed through the air and the Ogrin Master instinctively blocked it with his walking stick. It was clear from the sloppy movements that it wasn't one of his students, and from the strong force let him know that whoever it was intended not just to spar, but to do him harm.
"Who are you?" the Ogrin asked, backing up a few steps.
The attacker just swung again, clearly feigning to the head and coming down towards the arm, where the Ogrin blocked him. They broke apart for a moment, then the attacker continued with a volley of strikes. Every movement was matched with ease and the Ogrin quickly disarmed his opponent.
He raised the end of his staff to the Wocky's throat and asked once more, "Who are you?"
The Wocky did not reply. Instead, he shifted his weight slightly. The Ogrin didn't let his guard down and he quickly blocked the weak swing to his head. Unfortunately, he had not been prepared for a stronger blow to the opposite side of his head.
As the Ogrin Master hit the ground, Nil jerked awake, panting heavily and sweating through her fur coat.
She quickly got up and ran outside of the room, heading for the area she knew the Ogrin Master would be. Her heart pounded in her ears and her legs burned as she sprinted towards the open training field, where a crowd had gathered. She stopped just outside the group, adjusting the piece of cloth over her eye.
A whisper broke out into the crowd and Nil heard someone say, "Someone get the medic, Anshu. The Ogrin Master has been attacked."
To be continued...