Arthius stared at the woman in front of him removing his masque. She blinked at him a few times.
"Unh…" the woman groaned, Arthius could only imagine how long she was sealed in that tomb. "Where is…who sent you here" the woman asked. "What a beautiful voice…" Arthius dismissed the thought as he replied.
"A man named Isran, were you expecting someone else?" Arthius asked as he glanced over at the mess of bodies.
"I was expecting someone…like me at least "the woman replied.
Arthius smirked at this," You mean like them" he said as he nodded towards the bodies.
The woman glanced over, her expression still calm "Yes, but a little more alive…or whatever you'd call it"
Arthius had heard enough of what this creature had to say. He unsheathed his sword and grabbed her by the scruff of her shirt, placing the tip of his blade against her mid-section.
"Give me a reason not to push this through you completely" Arthius said with a growl.
Still with the same calm expression, the vampire said" Because that would be very unwise now wouldn't it?" It was then that Arthius noticed she had an elven dagger pressed to his throat. As he glanced down the woman grabbed his wrist that held the sword and pushed it to the side with great strength, Arthius mirrored her actions with the dagger. They stood there in silence, not breaking the looks at each other as they held each other's weapons at bay. It was then that the woman broke the silence.
"Look, if we end up killing each other than all you've done is kill another vampire, and all I'd do is kill some arrogant bastard thinking he's a god himself. If there's people after me, don't you think there's something bigger going on here?" she spoke without pleading, and Arthius could tell she was in no mood for this. That's when he noticed an elder scroll on her back.
"Is that an elder scroll?" he asked as he sheathed his weapon.
The woman suddenly grew tense." Yes, it is, and it's mine" she said as she crossed her arms.
"Then try and be careful with it" Arthius said plainly. The woman's expression changed to an amused one.
"Ha. Nothing can destroy an elder scroll. Why don't you worry about protecting your hide, and let me worry about my things" she said with an annoyed tone.
"I meant don't be stupid enough to lose it, considering that you were foolish enough to be sealed away in a tomb" Arthius stated with some venom. Her expression turned back into a calm one.
"Thank you for your help, I'll just be on my way" she said as she began to walk away.
Arthius just stood there, wondering what he should say. Then he heard a large cracking sound. He turned to see one of the Gargoyle statues come to life in front of the vampire girl.
"Damn" he said as he picked up his shield and ran towards the beast. It lunged itself at the girl, but Arthius knocked it from the side as he charged with his shield. It was knocked back but got its footing rather quickly and roared at Arthius. Arthius readied himself as he heard a large cracking sound behind him as another gargoyle rose from its slumber. Arthius quickly glanced behind him as the first gargoyle lunged. Arthius was tackled to the ground, trying to hold back the snapping jaws of the beast. He pushed it back slightly, but then it clawed him across his left arm, tearing his steel gauntlets and leaving a gash.
"Damnit!" Arthius shouted as he heard the second gargoyle lunge at the girl. "Try not to die" Arthius thought to himself as he shouted.
"FUS" Arthius shouted at the beast knocking it back as Arthius freed himself and readied himself for the gargoyle's attack. The beast roared loudly as it charged forward. Arthius readied to dodge but the beast was just too quick. When Arthius ducked, it followed and slammed him in the back. Arthius fell down but quickly recovered and avoided the gargoyle's pounce. "All right, let's see you catch this you ugly bastard" Arthius thought as he held his sword out pointing at the gargoyle.
"WULD" Arthius shouted as he was thrust forward with great speed. He found himself in front of the gargoyle with his sword thrust through completely. The gargoyle roared in the face of Arthius, blood splattering his face, and then it became silent as its lifeless body fell on the floor. Arthius looked down at it for a moment before stomping its skull until a fang fell out. He crouched down and picked it up. "Trophy" Arthius thought to himself. He then realized that he hadn't heard anything from the girl since he heard the gargoyle attack. He quickly spun around to see something he couldn't believe. The gargoyle lay dead, impaled by ice spikes and a slit throat. The girl didn't have a scratch on her and was simply waiting with her hands on her hips, meanwhile Arthius' left arm had been slashed and there was a dent in his back. They just stared at each other for a quick moment, the surprised look on Arthius' face never leaving him.
"Look" the girl began "how about we worry about getting out of this cave before we decide to split up?" Arthius simply nodded. The girl was about to say something else but something caught her eye and her face froze. Arthius followed her eyes to his bleeding left arm. Arthius immediately readied himself. The girl looked back up at him with a look of regret in her eyes.
"I'm sorry…being locked away for so long sort of…makes you miss out on meals…" she said with sorrow in her tone as she looked away.
Arthius relaxed slightly seeing she wasn't going to do anything." Well…let's hope you can wait a bit longer" Arthius said plainly as he sheathed his weapon and picked up his shield.
Trying to change the mood, Arthius asked "So how long were you in there anyways?" he asked as they continued down the cave.
"That's hard to tell, who is skyrim's high king?" she asked
Arthius paused "That's…actually a matter of debate. There's a war going on to decide" he replied.
"Civil war, good to know it hasn't gotten boring since I've been away" she said making Arthius chuckle." So who are the candidates?" she asked.
"Well…the rebellion favor a man named Ulfric Stormcloak who murdered the previous high king" this got him a wild look from the girl, he ignored it and continued on." And the empire support the late high king's wife, Elisif the fair" Arthius told her. She pondered this for a moment.
"I have no idea who either of those people are…wait, what empire?" she asked a bit confused.
"The empire…from Cyrodiil" Arthius carefully replied.
"Cyrodiil is the seat of an empire!?" she asked. "Gods, I must have been down there longer than I expected, longer than we planned at least "she said to herself.
"Longer than who planned?" Arthius asked.
She looked at him as though he read her mind, as if she didn't say it aloud. She ignored his question and continued walking. About a half hour later, they left the cave and were standing outside the mouth of the cave.
"Well, thank you for all your help" she said. "I'll find my way from here". She began down the path as Arthius watched her go until he saw no trace of her.
"Back to Isran I suppose" Arthius thought to himself. He began down the trail and soon found himself at the bottom of the trail. As he began to walk away, he thought he heard something. He looked around but saw nothing.
"LAAS YAH NIR" he whispered as he saw a figures life force behind a tree not too far up the mountain path. He approached it and peeked around the tree. The young vampire girl was pressed against the tree slightly peeking over the side of the tree opposite to Arthius.
"Are you waiting fo-"Arthius was cut off as she quickly grabbed him and pinned him to the tree.
Her face became shocked when she saw who it was she had pinned, and immediately let him go. Arthius just shrugged it off as he continued on with his question.
"Are you waiting for someone?" Arthius asked with an annoyed tone.
She gulped as she searched for an answer "I…I was just waiting until you left" she replied.
"Why?" Arthius asked with a more serious tone.
"To…try and find my way home…" she replied with a nervous look on her face.
"Where are you trying to go?" He asked with a softer tone.
She looked at him cautiously" my family used to live on an island to the west of solitude…I would guess they still do" she replied.
"If I don't receive Mara's blessing from this I swear on Arkay himself…" Arthius thought. He began walking up the road and turned back to see her just standing there.
"Well come on" he said impatiently "We're not getting there sooner by just standing around"
She looked at him questionably, but soon started walking beside him.
"My name is Serana by the way" she said.
"Arthius" he replied holding his hand out towards her "pleasure to meet you Serana" he said with a smile.
Serana smiled shaking his hand "Likewise"
They travelled for a few more hours as they found themselves in the woods of Solitude, a day or two later and they'll be there. Arthius found a clearing he liked and told Serana to stop.
"This is where we'll set up camp for the night" Arthius told her. She simply nodded and went to sit down beside a tree to rest. As Arthius began to remove his armor and wear the spare tunic he had in his bag, Arthius noticed Serana staying quiet the entire time.
"How are you holding?" he asked plainly as he laid out his bedroll.
"I'm fine" she replied quickly.
"You're sure? You've been quiet for a while now" he said
"I said I'm fine" she said sternly.
Arthius stopped pestering her and continued to set up for the night. As he slid into his bedroll he thought more about Alduin's disappearance and wondered where in the divines he could have gone. He continued to think about this until he drifted off to sleep.
"Why didn't you do anything!? He'd still be alive if you only tried you bastard…I could give a damn about skyrim and her people, that's as much as they've cared about me…No! I'm saying I'm a damn god among men…He's all I have" Arthius opened his eyes as he was drenched in sweat. He gasped for air as he looked around. He saw two gold orbs staring down at him. He grabbed Serana and pulled her to the ground and got on top of her.
"You were going to feed from me" Arthius said glaring at her.
"YOU WERE GOING TO FEED FROM ME!" Arthius shouted at her.
"I was ju- I wasn't thinking, Arthius…" she said panicking" Arthius, I'm so sorry"
Even in the black of night Arthius could see the sorrow on her face. Arthius' usual rage somehow died inside of him as he saw the true sorrow she felt for what she was about to do.
"Come on…we need to find some stupid bastard so you can eat him" Arthius stated as he put on his armor and started down the road. A few minutes later, he heard Serana following him hoping she had pulled herself together. "Says the man who loathed for three months over a technical win" Arthius pressed onward. A few hours later they came upon a bandit camp as he heard a woman scream. He quickly hid behind a tree as he peeked at the situation at hand. There was a woman crying as a man was holding her down to watch as another man was on his knees pleading for the woman's life to a bandit dressed in dwarven armor. "Probably his wife" Arthius thought to himself. As he was about to pull out his crossbow, the man was struck down by one of the bandits with a steel greatsword. The woman screamed as she was dragged away by the man who just killed her husband, into a small building. Arthius' rage soon took control of him.
"Arthius, think about what you're about to do. Don't just rush in and-"Serana started.
"Too damn late." Arthius shot a bolt through one of the bandit's heads and loaded another bolt before rushing into the camp. There was a total of seven bandits, five men two women, and Arthius was ready to kill them all. He shot another bolt hitting a man in the chest knocking him down. Arthius equipped his sword and shield and readied himself for the attack. A man in fur armor lunged forward with a mace but Arthius simply blocked it and stabbed the man through the stomach and kicked him away. The second attacker was cut short when an ice spike struck her through the chest. Serana joined Arthius' side with her dagger in one hand and an ice spike in another.
"Five on two, not bad" Arthius stated with excitement. Serana raised the dead woman as her zombie.
"Five on three seems fairer" Serana said as she glanced around the five bandits now surrounding them.
"But not as fun" Arthius said as he lunged forward clashing swords with a man in steel armor. Serana shot a spike at one of the men to which he ducked. She kicked him hard in the face and he stumbled backwards as the woman charged Serana. Serena's zombie struck at her with her steel war axe. Arthius ducked a swing from the man's blade and tackled him to the ground. The man tried to stab Arthius, but he grabbed the man's arm and forced it towards him. Arthius then pushed down sending the man's own sword through the bottom of his head, Serana shot another ice spike at the man to which he once again dodged. He grabbed her arms and forced them upwards as he got close to her face.
"You're head's going to make a fine piece to my little collection sweetheart" he growled. Serana became furious and opened her mouth revealing her fangs. The man gasped in terror as she hissed at him, and then sunk her fangs into the man's neck drinking his blood. Arthius turned around and saw that Serena's zombie was dispatched, and the woman was charging towards her.
"Serana" Arthius shouted. Serana quickly turned to her oncoming attacker and let the man drop dead on the floor. She sent a spike flying at the woman and it struck her in the shoulder. Two bandits remained as Arthius charged the smaller one and swung down at him. The small man tried to parry but Arthius sword went straight through and sank into the man's shoulder, the larger man who was an orc swung his Warhammer down as Arthius quickly moved out of the way. He charged the man but was struck to the side easily by the orc. The orc then raised his hammer but was shot in the chest with an ice spike, and Arthius took the chance to kick his knee knocking the orc to the ground. Arthius stood up looking down at the orc for a moment before slicing its head off. Serana joined him cautiously as she felt the rage radiating from him. They both turned when they heard a small grunt of pain. The woman was on the ground holding her shoulder. Arthius walked over to her with a calm expression, then put his boot to her throat and pressed down until he heard a satisfying crack as her neck broke. Serana watched, not in fear, but more in interest. Arthius made his way over to the small building, opening the door. The woman they saw being dragged off was huddled into the corner sobbing, wearing tattered and torn clothing. She looked to be no older than thirty with curved, long, brown hair that went past her shoulders. The bandit leader was sitting in a chair looking at her, he turned his head and saw Arthius standing in the doorway. He quickly stood up and unsheathed his greatsword.
"Well then, come at me" the man said angrily.
"Let her go first" Arthius said as he turned towards the woman in the corner. The bandit looked over to her and smirked.
"You've served your purpose, now leave" he said to the woman, She quickly scrambled to her feet and rushed past Arthius out the door. They both watched her leave before the bandit spoke up.
"Well then, what are you waiting for?" the man asked. Arthius simply backed out through the door, and Serana entered the house.
"Oh I see, you want a taste of what she got?" the man smirked as he looked Serana up and down. Serana closed the door, locked it, and turned back towards the man revealing her fangs. The man jumped back in fear as Serana lunged at him.
An hour later, Serana exited the house with her belly full. She saw Arthius crouched down beside the woman as she cried over her husband's corpse. Serana began to walk over but Arthius waved her off. He got up and started to gather his sword and shield.
"I'm sorry for your loss. I wish I could have helped him" Arthius stated. The woman stopped crying and turned towards Arthius.
"Did you see him be killed?" the woman asked. Arthius nodded.
"You watched as they cut my husband down and you did nothing!? How dare you!?Why didn't you do anything!? He'd still be alive if you only tried you bastard!" The woman shouted at Arthius.
Serana spoke up with venom in her voice "we just saved your damn life, how could you-"Arthius motioned her to stop talking.
"He could still be alive!" the woman shouted again.
"He could be, but he's not, and I'm sorry" Arthius replied. She went back to crying at his side and cursing the divines. Arthius and Serana continued down the path. A few minutes later, Arthius asked "So how was your meal?"
"Enjoyable I suppose, the man must have been a little girl in a past life or something to scream like that" Serana replied.
Arthius chuckled, "How does it taste to you, I mean how does blood taste to vampires?" Arthius asked.
"Bitter yet sweet. Like sweetened ale." Serana replied" some tastes much better than others though"
They arrived at the coast the next day and found a small boat that led to the island.
"Well, this is it" Serana said plainly.
"Yes it is, good luck with your family" Arthius stated as he walked away. "Don't leave her" he thought to himself. He glanced behind and saw her watching him leave, standing awkwardly as though she didn't know where she was. Arthius turned to her.
"Would you like me to take you to the island?" he asked politely.
"Yes" she replied a little too soon for it to be subtle, and Arthius smiled at this. He sat in the boat and helped Serana in as well. He began rowing at a good pace occasionally looking up at her. Every time he did, she seemed to be looking anywhere but where they were headed. They soon reached the Island.
"You didn't exactly say you lived in a castle" Arthius said as he stared at the construction.
"Yeah…home sweet home"