|Posted on June 20, 2014 at 2:05 AM|
Neither Julan nor mentioned a word about the kiss on the way to Sadrith Mora, and nothing was said as we headed back to Balmora either. We didn't need to, though.
When we arrived in Balmora, I decided to rent two rooms at the Eight Plates and stay there while Julan and I trained some more in the morning, but when I arrived in Balmora, I saw a familiar face walking down the streets.
It was Caius Cosades, carrying a bag full of glass bottles that clinked as he walked down the streets. He knew I was there, for he gave me a look and urged me to follow him. I sighed.
"Something the matter?" Julan asked.
I didn't reply.
"Come along," I said grimly.
That was when Julan followed me through Balmora, until we were in front of Caius's house. I opened the door and saw that the older Imperial was smoking from an interesting looking pipe until he saw me with Julan and scowled.
"I won't be discussing your orders while your friend is here," Caius snapped.
"But, I -"
"Tell him to wait outside," Caius ordered.
I sighed and turned to Julan.
"What is going on?" Julan asked. "Why doesn't he want me to be there? Is there somthing going on I should know about?"
I sighed. If I told Julan who I really was, both Caius and Julan would be rather unhappy, to put it lightly. I knew I couldn't tell him the truth.
"Just let me talk to Caius for a few moments," I said. "I'm sure this won't take but a moment."
Julan scowled. He wasn't pleased with. I could tell.
"Fine," he said gruffly. "I'll be back at the Eight Plates if you need me!"
That was when he turned around and went back down the streets. I turned the opposite way and went into Caius's house.
I shut the door and laid my eyes on a very unimpressed Caius Cosades. The smell of burnt sugar was still rather strong, but I ignored it.
"You're late," he said pointedly. "I've been expecting you back here for almost a week."
"I'm sorry," I said. "It's just that I've been really busy."
I had been busy; getting used to my new life in Vvardenfell was one thing, then I met Julan and started training him. Then, I met his mother.
Oh, I had been very busy.
"You should be," Caius told me. "Remember who gave you that life. The Empire. Now, never mind all that, it's time to get ready for your first assignment."
"Assignment?" I asked.
"Yes, your orders," Caius responded, handing me a coin purse. I counted the amount. It was almost two hundred septims! "Go talk to Hasphat Antabolis at the Fighters Guild here in town. Ask him what he knows about the Nerevarine secret cult and the Sixth House secret cult."
I raised my eyebrows, remembering the conversation I had with Julan a few days ago about the Nerevarine. I didn't know much, but I knew it was strange for Caius to ask about such a thing. The locals probably wouldn't like it.
"The Nerevarine cult?" I echoed.
"Yes, the Nerevarine cult," Caius replied irritably. "And the Sixth House cult. Don't forget that."
"Wouldn't dream of it," I replied.
Caius then handed me a folded up letter.
"You'll have to do him a favour first of course," Caius said. "Probably an ugly one."
I winced, not wanting to know what "ugly" meant.
"That's the way these things work," Caius continued. "But do it anyway, get the information and report back to me."
I nodded and left, making my way back to the Eight Plates and back to Julan.
"He WHAT?" Julan exclaimed. At this remark, it was my turn to ask him to keep his voice down.
"I'm sorry, Ulina, it's just…" Julan lowered his voice, "why would an old Skooma addict like Cosades want to know about the Nerevarine cult?"
"I don't know," I said flatly. "I just need to help him. I can't tell you why...just believe me."
After we ate, we headed for the Fighter's Guild, me taking the lead and Julan skulking behind me. I had to agree with Julan. Something didn't feel right about Caius's orders.
Hasphat Antabolis was a short Imperial man with short dark hair and brown eyes. He was sitting in the Guild's dining hall, eating, when we saw him.
"Can I help you?" he greeted.
"I'm with Caius," I told him. "I -"
"Ah, so you're the one," he nodded, looking me up and down. I shifted my eyes and turned to Julan, who was giving Antabolis a suspicious look.
"Let me guess," Antabolis said, "old Cosades wants information. Well, I can probably help. A little this for that, you understand I'm sure."
I nodded. Caius had warned me that this man would want some sort of favor.
"Old Caius, canny as ever," Antabolis chuckled. "Now there are some Dwemer Ruins nearby called Arkngthand."
I turned to Julan. He was scowling now, and I didn't understand why. I made a mental note to ask him why later.
"I need you to run over there and fetch me a Dwemer Puzzle Box," the man continued. "It should be a little copper cube, about the size of a fist with symbols on one side and lines on the other. Circular design. Should be very easy to see."
Antabolis held out his hands and made a shape with them for demonstration.
"I'll do it," I said.
"You agreed to go inside a Dwemer ruin," Julan said airily. "You actually...agreed to go inside….? Dammit, Ulina! Daedric ruins are safer than those places!"
"Daedric ruins?" I echoed. Such things existed?
Julan only shook his head in response.
"Looks like we have some work to do," he said.