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- Posted: Wed, 08 Aug 2012 20:25:15 +0000
A hundred flashes of memory ripped through her mind. Any semblance of control her subconscious had had of the memories was ripped asunder. Sometimes she woke feverish and raving quietly to herself. Eventually the hundreds of voices winked out one by one as her mental blockade slowly recovered from the head trauma she had received. Finally the gale of voices quieted to blissful silence.
Slowly she blinked away the sleep and opened her eyes. She was looking at the stone roof of the colosseum infirmary. A headache coursed through her head and her torso ached from the wound. Denre was glad she had cut the wound back open. The medics probably wouldn't have known how to treat the closed wound, and it would have raised suspicions that Denre would rather like to avoid. Glancing down Denre found her whole torso bandaged with a streak of dried blood caked onto the bandages where her gash was. Trying to sit up hurt so Denre decided to just lay for now. This reminded her of the last time she had been this badly wounded. Her fellow guild mate had gone rouge during a mission where they were hunting a huge band of notorious bandits. She had turned on Denre as they were fighting a group of bandits on the outskirts of the bandit camp and stabbed Denre in the gut. Denre had done the same thing on instinct, changed forms to cover the wound. She had collapsed and nearly died. A woman had come by later and dragged Denre's unconscious body back to her cabin where she had tended the wounds and provided residence while Denre healed. He had used the same method of treating it, cut the wound open. The two had made fast friends. That woman was dead now, taken by the ravages of time. That thought brought a rough edge to the warm fuzzy memories.
Denre's thoughts drifted back to what had transpired earlier. There had been that man, from the deserts. What had his name been?… Ah right it was Torbeth. He had known something, though he wouldn't part with it. What had he called her? The memories were fuzzy and hazed, she had hit her head. There was the storm of voices as well, she had really hoped that she would never again have to brave that. Shaking her head slowly Denre drove the memory of that from her head. The king had invited her to the banquet. Well at least she would get some food and to be invited as a personal guest of the royalty. That was certainly an honour not many received often.
The man had seemed unusually calm in the face of death, it was nothing she hadn't seen before although it was usually reserved for radicals who believed in a cause greater than themselves. This led Denre to believe that there were no doubt more men like him out there. The memory of what the man had called her returned then, a Kalison. Denre remembered the phrase from the time she had spent in the deserts. It was an insult if she recalled correctly, essentially calling someone worthless and without purpose. It was weird though, the man surely didn't go through all that effort of revealing his knowledge and trying to kill her just to insult her with common desert slang. Regardless as to what it meant Denre felt he should bring it up with Jhan, the man would know more about desert customs than Denre and may be able to lend some insight for him. Another thing occurred to her, the man had called her a Son of Kali. When they had encountered each other she was definitely female. The man had somehow seen through her choice of forms. What was his talk of true forms as well? This man had brought a horde of questions with him and no answers. At least his cryptic speech gave her a new place to start her search for the answers she sought.
Struggling to sit upright Denre glanced around the room, there were others in the infirmary. People who had been injured during the competition no doubt. None of their wounds were truly severe though, no other attempts had been made on the lives of the other competitors. The injuries were simply over-calculated blows that had injured more than simply "first blood". On a small table beside her bed lay her belongings, the knives her clothes and her gauntlets. Calling out for a doctor she asked to have her wrappings changed as these ones where dirtied with blood. Denre gritted her teeth and clamped her hands to the bedframe as the bandages her removed. There was a ragged gash across her chest that still wept blood slowly. Apparently she had done a bad job cutting it open in her delirium. She emitted a small gasp of pain as the new bandages were applied. the doctor stopped and asked if he should continue. Showing determination Denre told him to go on. Her knuckles were white by the time he was done but the new bandages had been applied. With a wound like this it would take at least a week before she could seriously exert herself and another two weeks or more before the wound would be healed enough for her to change forms without causing damage.
Once the doctor had left she gathered her belongings and stood. The pain nearly made her pass out again but she continued to the door. As she walked the pain lessened with the rush of endorphins to her body. On her way out the guards tried to stop her, telling her she should rest. She brushed them off saying that one does not simply ignore a personal invitation from the king. No doubt Jhandel would be attending this banquets and Denre wanted answers.
Her first stop was back at her warehouse. Applying her own bandages in a second wrap around her first ones Denre then donned a gown of relative decadence. It was a deep blue with golden highlights. Her current situation of poverty was not what it had always been, there was a time when she was held in high regard with several wealthy nobles and she had needed such clothes. Throwing them away had seemed like such a waste and Denre had decided to keep them. Hidden on various areas of her person Denre had her knives, she truly never went anywhere without them. In a profession such as Denre's one learned to expect the worst to happen at the most unlikely of times. Steeling herself for the walk to the castle Denre exited the doors of her storage room and back into the streets of Zenithis.