The Seven Houses of Darklight
"What's going on?" Leguna asked alertly, but he wasn't worried for his own safety.
In such a dark environment, he was confident he could escape even if he was heavily surrounded. He had been in the business of infiltration and assassination for years and the only time he was captured was when he faced off against Saron.
It wasn't that he couldn't escape that time either. He simply didn't want to. So, there was no need for him to worry for his own safety at all. But he was still worried for Eirinn. While she was a high-order priestess, she was completely clueless when it came to combat. She couldn't even take out a common farmer, to say nothing of those sneaky dark elves.
Linq whispered, "Our household, House Elvin, has always had a bad relationship with House Andalir. The two houses have a blood feud with one another. Recently, we heard that House Andalir had set a few ambushes in anticipation of us in the Dusk Zone."
"Can't you get members of your household to receive us? Eirinn's the daughter of the matriarch, right? She should have that treatment at least."
"No! A party has been sent out to collect kobold slaves, and most of the rest have been sent to fight for domination of a mithril mine. There is no longer anyone the house can send to aid us."
"So how many days do we have to wait here?" Leguna didn't dare to take any risks for Eirinn's sake.
"In human terms, we'd need around a month's time. The value of the mithril mine is too high and our house has to obtain it no matter what. It should take a month before the house can send someone else out to us."
Leguna looked Linq square in the eye and furrowed his brow. While he could afford to take a month here, Innilis probably couldn't.
Before he left Melindor, he had done some research on the assassin's dagger. According to his and Gahrona's knowledge on poison, they concluded that it was incredibly dangerous. Even though Linq's solution managed to suppress it for the moment, it was hard to say how long it could last. Leguna and Eirinn had to get it as soon as possible before the toxin got activated again.
One month was obviously too long a wait.
Leguna asked, "How many men do they have?"
"I'm not too sure. But since they assumed it would only be Miss Eirinn and me, I believe they only sent an elite or two. Numbers don't mean much in a fight of elites."
"Is that household… the one that harmed Innie?"
"That woman was masked, so even I can't be sure which household she was from. However, it's highly likely that she's one of Andalir."
Leguna pondered for a moment and nodded. "Great! Let's go then!"
"Aren't you worried for Miss Eirinn?!" Linq said with surprise.
"I'll take care of her, don't worry about it," he said expressionlessly. He shot Eirinn a glance and she nodded obediently.
"I'm not afraid with you around." Nervous as she was, she didn't feel any fear.
Leguna didn't say anything else and got Linq to show the way. The three of them then stepped into the whirling portal.
"The laws of the planes limit the number of people that can pass through each day. That's why we aren't able to show up on the base plane en masse," Linq explained as he rubbed his temples.
Jumping planes was a nauseating experience. It was the perfect moment for the Andalir to launch a surprise attack then, but as the portal was built with the aid of all seven houses, anyone who tried to cause trouble would be doing so to the detriment of the seven houses and be regarded as their common enemy immediately.
On the way, Linq gave them an introduction of their destination -- Darklight. It was a large city inhabited by dark elves in the Dusk Zone. Quite a number of large dark elf houses resided there.
Darklight didn't have a central governing body. The elves in the know were aware that control of the city was split into seven sectors by the seven great houses. The smaller households could only barely scrape by with the scraps of the great houses. Even then, they were doing much better than houses that reigned more distant cities on their own.
That was why many elves flocked to the city. It also ensured that Darklight would have a constant flow of new blood. The newcomers would always stare greedily at the castles of the seven great houses and dream that they would one day be able to own one such castle. House Elvin was one of the seven great houses of Darklight.
Leguna looked at Eirinn and Linq, who was rubbing her heads, and felt a little confused. Before they made the jump, Linq had told him they would feel some nausea, but Leguna didn't experience anything like that.
Have I gotten used to jumping through the shadow realm with Shadow Blink? That was the only explanation he could come up with for his apparent immunity to the side effects.
Leguna looked around cautiously. When he was certain they had reappeared at the connection point on the other side, he relaxed his guard and observed the Dusk Zone.
It looked like they were in an endlessly deep cavern. There was no sky inside and most of the terrain was formed of rock and earth. Plants commonly seen on the base plain were hardly seen, replaced mostly by some algae and other plants that could thrive in low light. There were some other weird things Leguna wasn't sure whether were rock or plant.
Unlike the completely dark cavern, the Dusk Zone had some light. The source of the light was the countless glowrock art pieces and glow crystals, which were all over the place. Even some of the algae lit up the ground they were on.
However, it wasn't enough to illuminate the nearly fully dark plane. Strictly speaking, the intensity of light was comparable to a cloudy evening's. Normal humans would definitely be practically blind in that light.
"Drink this!" Leguna took out some potions from his dimensional pocket. He was once more impressed at how thoughtful Annelotte was for packing those in. Though she had never gone to the Dusk Zone before, she managed to prepare the necessities they required based on her knowledge alone.
The potion Leguna held out could help increase the night vision abilities of the user. Annelotte's enhanced concoction's effects could last up to a week.
After consuming the potion, Eirinn got quite used to the dark environment. She looked around wondrously at the foreign sight. After all, it was her hometown in a sense and she was curious and excited to see it for the first time.
Leguna and Linq patiently waited for her to have her eye's fill. She only realized a few minutes later that she was delaying the journey. Laughing awkwardly, she dashed back to Leguna's side.
Linq was a little stunned at the sight of her. As a dark elf, he had seen many a beauty, many of whom who looked more or less as beautiful as Eirinn.
But somehow, she gave off a completely different impression. She wasn't as proud as the female dark elves. As dark elf society was matriarchal, they often stood proud in front of their male counterparts.
This half-elf, however, was different. She didn't possess that arrogance in the slightest and didn't tease and seduce like the other elves did. She only acted as her own pure self and showed all her feelings on her face. Linq was surprised to see her looking at him with a friendly gaze. Eirinn wasn't even familiar with him. Why would a dark elf smile to someone whom they didn't know was useful or not?
All of a sudden, he felt his heart skip a beat. It was the first time he felt something like that.
Leguna stroked Eirinn's head lovingly and turned to Linq. "Let's continue. We wouldn't want to make the sods wait."
"Milady Angelista, are you sure we don't need to hide?" a young dark elf male asked. He held an enchanted longsword and his light metal armor glowed slightly. Most would think it a luxury for even high-order warriors, but that kind of equipment was the bottom of the barrel for dark elves. It was too bad, since his owner wasn't that rich.
"Idiot Cydek! Don't lump me together with you lowly males!" the dark elf warrior's owner, Angelista, spat. She looked really seductive and sensual. Most would admit that she was a head-turner.
Angelista knocked on the ground with her staff and proudly proclaimed, "Don't forget who your owner is! Even though I don't have the goddess' favor, Ross, I hope you can understand that the power of magic is irreplaceable!"
"I will take it to heart, Milady," the elf male hurriedly said with a nod.
"Good. Cydek…" Angelista flew into the sky and waved her dainty foot around. "Since you're so obedient, I wouldn't mind letting you kiss my shoe."Previous Chapter Next Chapter