the rest of chapter 32
Gerad jerked when he felt a hand on his shoulder, he turned to see Dahrin grinning at him.
“Make some kind of noise, sheesh.” Gerad complained.
Dahrin chuckled, “Sorry, where's Calhan?”
“I'm here.” Calhan answered from the back corner of the room, making them both startle. He looked older in the dim light of the single candle. Dahrin put the throwing spike he had whipped out away sheepishly.
“Now, down to business. Dahrin, where is the Spirit temple?” Calhan asked as Dahrin took a seat in the remaining chair.
“Its in the desert, only way to get to it is to walk. There are guide posts along the way, but you can only see them in the day-time.” Dahrin answered rubbing his temples, the wine had dehydrated him, giving him a slight headache. Gerad passed him a jar of water and Dahrin drank from it while they waited for Calhan.
“Do you think Ganondorf has set something else free?” Gerad asked, his voice only slightly betraying his worry.
“We can only assume that he has. Dahrin, do you know the entire history of the temple?” Calhan asked sounding more fatigued.
“Not all of it, no. But we do have someone who can help, she's the wise-woman of the nation. She lives out in the desert and only comes to get supplies once a month.” Dahrin replied, “If you need to know something, she'd be able to tell you.”
“When will she be here next?” Calhan asked leaning forward in his chair. He laced his fingers in front of his face as he waited for the answer, leaning his elbows on the table.
Dahrin shook his head, “Its toward the middle of the month, she's already come and gone. She comes towards the beginning, like clockwork, it'll be a couple of weeks before we see her again.”
“We don't have that long I'm afraid.” Calhan mused. “Can we go to her?”
Dahrin leaned back in his chair crossing his arms over his chest, “I think it's possible. The journey isn't anywhere near pleasant.”
“Do you know the way?” Gerad asked leaning his elbows on the table.
Dahrin nodded, “Yes, my mother made sure I knew. What do you need to know the history for anyway?”
“To see what we're possibly up against so we can better prepare for it.” Calhan replied. Sighing he sat back and rubbed his eyes. Gerad stifled a yawn.
“I believe it is time for bed, the sun will be up in a couple of hours.” Calhan said smiling slightly. He stood and made his way to his bed. Gerad nodded as Dahrin stood and left the room heading for his own.
Gerad and Calhan were bunked together as were Meria and Selene. Gerad made ready for bed and blew out the candle.
Gerad snuggled into the covers, the night being slightly chillier than what he was used to, sleep finally claimed him.
“Be on guard little Hero.”
Gerad woke up groggily, his dreams slowly fading into half remembered fragments. He rolled over in the early morning light and saw that Calhan still slept in his bed. Gerad remembered how he had looked in the candle lite, a stark difference from how he looked now sleeping peacefully. Gerad sighed as he got up and got dressed, trying to be quiet.
A soft knock came when Gerad had gotten half way dressed. Calhan stirred slightly but remained asleep.
Gerad threw on his shirt and opened the door slightly. Selene smiled at him through the crack.
“Morning.” Gerad said softly as he opened the door the rest of the way. Selene came in followed by Meria and Dahrin. Their escorts quietly saluted Dahrin, fist to temple, and left.
“What time is it?” Gerad asked rubbing his face. He glanced out the window and saw the sand covered courtyard they had crossed the night before. Gerudo soldiers were drilling in the yard.
“Its about an hour after dawn. Here.” Selene replied putting a bag of something on the table along with a corked jar.
“Breakfast.” Meria supplied as Gerad peered curiously into the sack.
He lifted out a hunk of bread and a slice of cheese. He took a bite out of the bread and set down the rest to pour himself some water from the jug.
“Thanks.” Gerad said around the mouthful, “Have you told them yet?”
Dahrin nodded, “Yes, the supplies are being loaded as we speak, it'll take us most of the day to get there. We'll need to leave soon.”
“Meria and I are already packed, the only ones left are you two.” Selene said sitting down in one of the three chairs.
“I'll be ready shortly.” Calhan said from the depths of his covers.
Meria and Selene smiled as they stood to leave. Dahrin followed them to the door.
“I'll send an escort, see you in a bit.” Dahrin said over his shoulder as he and the girls left.
Gerad munched some more on his cold breakfast in silence as Calhan got up and dressed. His bones creaked and popped as he stretched.
“Ok, old man?” Gerad teased as he handed Calhan some food.
Calhan grumbled as he took it, “Thanks, whipper-snapper.”
“Anytime.” Gerad replied smiling as he and Calhan left the room. Waiting outside the door was a Gerudo soldier. Her slanted, burnt amber eyes looked them up and down as the nodded in greeting.
“I'm to escort you to where the others wait. Please follow me.” Her voice was strong and slightly muffled coming from lips hidden by a piece of cloth that covered the bottom half of her face. She turned and set off down the corridor not waiting for a response.
“Charming.” Calhan grumbled as he followed her. Gerad stifled a chuckle as he shut the door and followed.
Their silent guide escorted them all the way to the front of the fortress where the others waited with a camel.
“We're not taking the horses?” Gerad asked.
“No, the wise-woman is afraid of them. And we need to do everything feasibly possible to get her to not have a reason to dislike us.” Dahrin replied, “Going to be hard enough with bringing all of you.”
“Doesn't like company, I take it?” Calhan asked wrapping a cloth around his head.
“Yeah, that's an understatement.” Dahrin replied. He finished securing the last pack onto the camel, dodged a spit expertly and started out toward the desert.
Wrapping their cloaks more securely about themselves, the others followed him.
The camel, perturbed at missing its mark turned its head and spit at Gerad. The glob hit him full in the chest.
“This, is going to be a long day.” Calhan mused.
The journey through the desert was hot, gritty, and stinky with the camel for company. Dahrin told them to only drink water when he said to and they paused sparingly as they went. Finally as the sun was getting close to the horizon, Selene could make out a small hut in the distance.
“We're almost there.” Dahrin said pulling on the camel's reins drawing it closer to him. He took a wooden peg from one of the packs and hammered it into the ground. He then tied the camel's reins to the post.
“Alright, lets go.” Dahrin said pulling down another pack and setting off toward the hut.
“We're just leaving it here?” Meria asked surprised.
“Yeah, grab a pack and follow me exactly.” Dahrin replied pausing and waiting for them to catch up.
“Why?” Gerad asked pulling down a a pack for himself and Selene.
“She eats camels. And we need him to get back.” Dahrin replied.
“Oh.” Gerad said in surprise. The group followed behind Dahrin as he started snaking his way to the house.
“Are there traps or something?” Selene asked as the snaked back and forth.
“Yes, that's why I said follow me exactly.” Dahrin replied.
As the sun inched closer to the horizon, the hut in the distance slowly got bigger. Just as the sun touched the rim of the world they stood in front of the hut.
Dahrin put his pack on the ground and signaled the others to do the same. They followed his command and waited for whatever was to come next.
They waited some minutes when the door slowly creaked open. Dahrin kept his eyes on the door while the others glanced nervously at each other.
When the sun disappeared over the horizon a ear piercing shrill filled the air. Something short, fat, and feathery rushed out of the door heading straight for them.
As the group reached for their weapons, Dahrin rushed forward and decked the thing in its large feathery headdress. It collapsed backwards unconscious.
“What is that?!” Selene asked her voice shaking.
Dahrin sighed, “This, is the assistant. I'm gonna get it now-”
“Firefly!!!” a voice screamed from inside the hut followed by an older woman. She had long silver hair, a straight nose, amber eyes, and a deep scowl. She was quite beautiful for her age.
“Who's that?” Gerad asked.
Dahrin grimaced, “The witch doctor.........My grandmother.”
teehee silly granny