|Posted on June 20, 2014 at 1:15 AM|
The walk to Ghostgate wasn't actually that long from Balmora. On the way, I explained to Julan how I actually came to be in Vvardenfell.
"You're a convict?" he asked. "By Azura, you're not on the run, are you?"
"No, they released me," I replied. "I suppose I'm an ex-convict now."
Julan shook his head. "As if we don't enough problems without the Empire dumping their criminals on us," he said scornfully. I glanced at him. "No offense to you personally of course."
"Just out of general curiosity, why were you in prison, anyway?" he asked. "Were you actually guilty of what you were arrested for?"
I felt a lump in my throat.
"I don't like to talk about it, but I suppose I should say I was protecting my sister," I replied. "So no, I didn't do what they accused me of."
"Protecting your sister?" Julan asked.
I wanted to tell Julan. He had been with me for a little over two weeks. If I could trust anyone here on this strange, alien island it would be him.
"She accidentally used magic when she was angry with our stepmother," I explained. I suddenly remembered Eriama's face. So full of fear…
"We weren't supposed to use magic, you see," I kept explaining. "In fact, all I knew was Restoration. But Eriama...she knew a bit more and…"
I bit back a sob.
"It was an accident," I said. I saw Julan's face. I couldn't read his expression. "But I couldn't let her rot in jail. She was only sixteen at the time."
"How long ago was this?"
"Almost two months ago," I replied.
He put an arm around my shoulder.
"I'm not going to judge you for it," Julan assured me. "You did what you had to. I would have done the same...maybe. Now let's get going to Ghostgate."
I nodded, still not liking the Ghostgate idea.
As soon as we got there, Julan opened the gate and I followed him until he told me to stop.
"Right! That's it!" Julan cried. "Thanks for everything, Ulina, but I suppose this is goodbye."
I literally snapped then.
"Seriously?" I gave him a bit of a grin. "You're literally just going to leave without any explanation?"
"I...I can't explain it to you, Ulina," he replied. "You know that. It's to do with my sacred mission."
I shook my head. "Not even a clue, Julan? Really?"
"Why do you care anyway?"
I looked above and saw that the skies were darkening. They looked almost red.
Because you could get yourself killed, I thought. And if you do, I'll feel responsible.
"Isn't it dangerous up there?" I asked. "You could die!"
He shook his head.
"I…" Julan hesitated. "Look, your concern is touching, but I'm ready for this."
"Ready for what?" I asked.
Julan glared at me, but I ignored him and grabbed ahold of his arm.
"Fine," he sighed. "But you have to promise you won't say anything."
"I swear on the Gods," I whispered.
Julan shifted his eyes. "I'm going to Dagoth Ur."
Dagoth Ur? I thought.
"Just who is Dagoth Ur?"
Julan shook his head. "You don't know. I shouldn't have expected better from an Outlander. But he's the devil. He's causing all this trouble. The blight...it's all him. I'm going to his citadel so I can hunt him down and kill him."
I suddenly gripped tighter onto his arm.
"There is no way I'm going to let you do that, Julan."
"Yeah?" Julan snapped. "What in Oblivion would you know about it anyway?"
"You just explained to me that he's the devil, Julan," I answered. In all honesty, I didn't want to know who Dagoth Ur was now. "That's all I need to know! He'll eat you on toast!"
Julan was fuming now. "We'll see who has who on toast! You have no idea who you're talking to, so shut up!"
No idea who...I scowled.
"I know I'm talking to an idiot Ashlander," I shouted. "Who not so long ago needed saving from Clannfears! How long ago was it? Almost three weeks ago?"
Julan let out a groan of frustration.
"You're never going to let me forget that, are you?" he snapped. "Sheogorath! Well, think what you like, I'm going up there. Coming?"
I looked up above. Red Mountain was very rocky. There was no way Julan would survive an hour on his own. Oblivion, there was no way I'd survive an hour on my own.
"Of course," I told him icily. "Someone has to make sure you aren't eaten alive."
Without another word, Julan stalked up the mountain, me following behind him.
Why would his mother send Julan on a sacred mission to kill the devil? I thought. Surely his mother would want him to be safe?
Julan was only a year older than me, though. He was an adult. He could do as he liked. But still, that just wasn't right.
The air was filled with ash now, and I did my best not to breathe it in or let it get in my eyes. At the same time, I couldn't help but feel angry at Julan for attempting to try and kill the one responsible for the ash storms, and angry at a woman I hadn't met for sending him to do so.
"Did you say something?" Julan asked.
I shook my head.
"Sorry," Julan said. "Must be the wind. Nevermind..."
We continued trudging up the hills, and then Julan stopped again.
"OK, I can't hear you when you whisper like that!"
"I didn't say anything," I tried to assure him. He only glared at me and replied with "don't tease me! I'm trying to concentrate!" leaving me confused.
After a few more steps up the hill, Julan turned around and grabbed me by the shoulders.
"STOP DOING THAT!" he bellowed.
"I'm not doing anything!" I protested. "What is it you think I'm doing?"
"If you're trying to make me paranoid, it's not working!" he shouted.
"You're making yourself paranoid, Julan. You're-"
"SHUT UP!" Julan's voice echoed all through Red Mountain. Then, after he was done shouting, he continued upwards. Something is very, very wrong, I thought.
"ARGH! Shut up! SHUT UP! I am NOT listening to you!" he yelled towards the sky.
I ran towards him, but he pushed me away.
"GAH! Get away from me! Get OUT of my head!"
"Who are you talking to?" I asked.
Julan didn't answer, he just kept yelling.
"Ugh! No! I am NOT... Argh! Stop it you s'wit!"
"Julan, can you even hear me?" I asked.
"No! That's, that's not TRUE! That, that's not why I'm... ugh. I am Indoril Nerevar reborn and you will not-"
I grabbed ahold of him and this time he didn't push me away. This time, I saw a flicker of relief in his eyes.
I suddenly realized that for the whole time, he wasn't talking to me.
"It's me," I told him. "We need to get out of here -"
That was when he broke free and began shouting again.
"No... uh... get... out... my... head!"
That was when he collapsed.
He didn't respond. I rolled my eyes and sighed and then dragged him back down to Ghostgate where I knocked on one of the doors.
"By the Three!" the woman who answered exclaimed. After a few moments, two guards - Ordinators, I later learnt - carried Julan inside. I followed behind.