Imperium: Volume 3

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Chapter 22.

Oaken's P.O.V.

My head hurts. I couldn't help but pinch the bridge of my nose in fustration to the sudden news that just broke the tension in the room. So she managed to kill him after all, and supposedly taking the head off the snake, didn't kill the chain of command like we had hoped it would. I looked over to Bowdie who was leaning up against a cabinet with her hand still resting on her side. I was done listening, and all I wanted was to get her looked over.

"June, you guys have an infirmary or a place to wash up?" I asked.

She looked over to Shay who pushed himself off the wall and waited near the door for us to follow.

"Come on Bowdie, let's get you looked at. Rowen? Do you think you could take a look at her and make sure she didn't do anymore damage?" I said while looking at her. She just grinned and winked at me.

"Sure, I think we could all use a little break." Rowen said.

We followed Shay and left the others back in the weapons room. He led us into a small room with a single bed that sat in the middle of it and had an overhead light. For a small team, they seemed to have everything they needed. Which no surprise was easy to obtain since she could teleport now.

"I'll leave you to it." Shay said.

"Thank you." Said Rowen.

"Okay Bowdie, I'm going to have to check out your ribs and make sure you didn't damage them further. We will have to cut the wrap off, so once the pressure loosens you will feel alot of discomfort." Rowen advised her.

He looked over to me and we both helped lay her down on her back, and he went to shut the door.

"Oaken, I just need you to hold her shirt, and perhaps you can hold it up top so we don't expose anything?" He asked. I just nodded and did as he instructed.

I watched as he cut up from the bottom of the wrap to the top in between her breasts. He had me pull up her shirt and had me hold it tight across her chest so she wouldn't be exposed. As soon as the wraps fell to the sides and his hands brushed her ribs, she grunted and her knees shot up. Her bodies first reaction to the pain had her curl up.

"Bowdie, I know your in pain, but you have to lay flat for me to check things over." Rowen insisted.

"I....can' hurts." She said through gritted teeth.

"Just hold my hand Bowdie." I gave her my hand and she held it close to her as she tried to breathe through the pain as Rowen pushed on her ribs. Her eyes were closed and she tried her best to muffle the screams. She already had a sweat, and she was holding in her breath while he worked his way down from rib to rib.

"Okay Bowdie, I'm done." Rowen said. Her body suddenly relaxed and she laid there trying to catch her breath.

"You okay?" I asked.

She was breathing rapidly but was able to come up with a typical Bowdie response. "A piece of cake." Was what she said.

"Okay, let's sit you up and wrap you up again. Rowen said. Now please do us all a favour and relax as much as possible. We don't need you running around grabbing anyones attention." He said in a fatherly tone.

"As long as another flame thrower doesn't come our way.....I think I'll be good." She answered.

Mhmm." Rowen replied.

After we got her all tended too, Rowen suggested that she stay there and have a rest so we left her there. My next mission was to get us some new clothes, as we all still smelled of smoke and we were covered head to toe in soot. We made our way back to the weapons room, where I nodded to Raeve and he took his leave to go see his sister. I could tell Gunner wanted to go aswell but he reluctantly stayed put. I looked at my hands and saw they were black and covered in blood. My blood.
I found my hand up to my head and Rowen noticed so took a quick look at it.

"I'm fine." I just told him. "Just could use a shower and some clothes."

"You can use my room." June said. "It's just down the hall and it's the 4th room on your left."

I thanked her and made my way. It only took a few minutes to reach her room, but on the way I passed a huge bay window that looked out to the outside. The view was amazing. I saw that we were high up on a mountain cliff and I could see a set of stairs that took you to the top of the castle, as well as around it. It was definitely something I would check out later. I soon found myself in her room, and off the main room was a bathroom with a shower.

I rummuged through her clothes and found a set plus a towel and took to the shower. The water was surprisingly warm, and I let the hot water drain at my feet. The colour was a little off putting, as it was the colour of tar and blood. I winced as the water hit the wound on my head, but quickly got used to the discomfort. Once I was done I dried off and went to get dressed. She had a full length mirror propped up against the wall and I took to it. I saw my body covered in fresh bruises from my fight with the mercenary. The ones that caught me off gaurd, were the ones that lined my spine. Almost each vertebrae was bruised from where he through me up against the train cart.

It wasn't anything close to Bowdie's injuries, but it was evidence of a fight...a fight for survival. I placed on a white t shirt and black cargo pants and made my way out with another set of clothes for Bowdie. Rowen reccomended sponge bathes for a while, so we didn't have to change the wraps constantly. I found a small basin and poured in some of the shampoo June had in her bathroom and a wash cloth, so I could atleast wash her hair. A yawn quickly came over me as I left the room, and again made my way down the hall back to the infirmary. Raeve was no longer with her, so I made my way in and shut the door.

"Hey, how would you like your hair washed?" I asked her.

She yawned. "That would be wonderful." She replied.

"All right, scoot all the way up and let your hair hang over the edge." I told her as I grabbed a small table to hold the basin and then proceeded to wash her hair.
We were both quiet and I watched the clean water turn to the same tar colour that came off of me.

"Oaken?" She asked hesitantly.


"Do you want to tell me what happened out there?" She asked.

I paused for a brief moment. "What do you want to know?"

" close were we to..........." She didn't finish the question. I already knew all to well what she was asking.

How close did we come to dieing. A playback filled my head. The mercinary walking up to me before I sprayed his body with metal; the hit to the head and my eyes looking down the barrel of his gun; being kneeled down infront of the flame thrower. By my count that was 3.

"Not even close." I answered. I finished with her hair and scrunched it with a towel to dry it before I dumped out the contents of the basin and filled it with more water so I could wash her down.

"I got some extra clothes here if you want to get dressed." I told her. I helped her sit up and she proceeded to strip and put her pants on. Just before I could get her shirt on the door swung open and in came Gunner.

"Dude! The door was closed!" I blurted out. Thankfully she was wrapped so it wasn't too bad.

"Shit! Sorry Bowdie. I....I just wanted to let you know they put some food out for us and some beds." He said with his gaze towards the floor.

I sighed. "Thank you Gunner."

"Yep." He said quickly and turned out back towards the hall.

I turned back to Bowdie. "You go ahead, I'm going to take a look around." She nodded and followed Gunner who was waiting for her at the end of the hall.

I headed back towards the bay window, where I saw the stair case. I found a set of stairs that led to a door that would take me outside. Once I stepped out, I found myself on a terrace overlooking the steep drop below. I don't think I've ever been so high up. You could barely make the bottom, as it was lined with the thick brush of the pine trees. I looked to my right and saw the staircase that led to the roof and I made my way up. It was quite a climb to reach the top, but once I made it...the view was..enchanting. It was like I walked through a film of cloud and once I reached the top we were almost level with the mist. To the normal eye, you wouldn't be able to take in the view, but it was like it didn't exist for me.

It was pitch dark out, but the moon was at its fullest and I could barely see the stars in the sky. I was wondering what time it was. If we were on the other side of the world, the time would be different here. I walked towards the banister where the mist layed the thickest and I let the cooler air kiss my face. I breathed in the misty air and allowed it to fill my lungs, till I felt the pressure tighten in my chest. I closed my eyes, and the image of the gun being pulled up to my face had them shoot open. I felt my hands tighten on the banister as I let my head drop down. Was this what it was going to be like from now on? Any chance I got to breathe would be tormented by the images of the men I killed?

"How do you see it?" I turned to a voice behind me.

I watched as Shay slowly walked up beside me and looked over the view.

"What do you see?" I asked instead.

"I don't see shit." He said. "But then again, I don't have eyes like yours."

He hadn't really talked much so I didn't notice it before, but he had a slight accent that I couldn't place. It wasn't like Wolfgang's and he didn't look to be from here. His skin was alot more tanned then Wolfgang's and his hair was a dark black and had deep brown eyes.

" do you see it? What's it look like to you?" He asked again.

I leaned on the banister with my elbows. "It's beautiful." I said.

"Si ellos son." He said.

I looked to him and he quickly turned his attention to the foggy sky. I wasn't quite sure what that meant, but I'm assuming he just agreed with me.

"You wouldn't happen to know the time would you?" I asked.

He pulled up his sleeve to reveal his watch. Right away I took to the tattoo's that covered him.

"1 a.m." He replied.

Holy, time flies. "I guess I better get back in." I said before taking one last look of the view. I took my leave and headed back towards the staircase as I walked away from Shay.

I walked back to see Gunner and Bowdie making their way to a bedroom they lined up for us. It had a single bed and a few cots. Of course Gunner and I took to the cots and let Bowdie have the bed. I took off my boots and got situated, so I was now laying down and facing the ceiling.

"Good night." Said Bowdie.

Gunner replied as did I. I tried to calm my mind and imagine the view that I just took in, but my head weighed heavy. I looked over to Gunner who was passed out within seconds, and Bowdie wasn't far behind. I sighed and turned over to my side.

So this was what it was going to be like.

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