Flame-Child: Part Two:
Chapter Twenty Eight - Reunited
Niyleen turned around and although she was dressed differently, she immediately recognized the Breton before her. “Carciel? You’re back already?”
“Not quite.” The Breton walked over to Niyleen and gave her a moist kiss that tasted familiar but different than the last one they shared. Pushing the Halfling away, the woman flashed a grin at Niyleen. “So, how have you been soft-gut?”
Niyleen’s knees buckled as she realized who exactly this was. Her mind tried to keep up with her heart as emotions began to take hold of Niyleen. “H-how—wh-wh-wwhe—y-y-you…”
“Geez, stop acting like it’s such a big deal.” Niyleen looked at the Breton and saw that her lips didn’t move. “Anyway sis, did you do it already?”
“Of course I did, Ciel. I’m not that much of an ass to kiss your crush in front of you. Heck, I wouldn’t have done it at all if you didn’t say you were okay with it.”
“I know Eoly. But it still brings up a major problem…”
“W-w-w-w-wait a second!!” Niyleen said, interrupting the siblings who gave her a look. “Carciel! What is Eolri doing back!? I… I thought she was… I thought I—”
“Haaa… you sure don’t seem to use your head much,” Eolri said with a disappointed tone in her voice. “Definitely a deduction of fifteen points. Don’t you remember what I said when we last met?”
“Five years ago?”
Eolri shook her head and sighed. “A few days ago. I told you that somehow I was alive again. Remember that you had a piece of my soul in you?”
Niyleen nodded and got to her feet. “Y-yeah… Sorry about that, I… seeing you suddenly was a bit much. But yeah, I remember. It’s great to see you Eolri.”
“And I you, milkdrinker,” Eolri grinned as Niyleen laughed. “Though I guess now that you’ve beaten Ruby, I can’t exactly call you that.”
“You can call me whatever you want to. Oh, Carciel. What were you saying earlier about there being a major problem?”
Caricel blushed and averted her eyes. “I-I-I-It’s none of your business idiot!”
“Don’t be so dishonest,” Eolri said playfully. “No one likes a dishonest lover.”
Carciel’s face flushed and she took a swing at her sister who dodged expertly. “EOLY!!”
“I joke, I kid.”
Niyleen looked at the two Bretons who were now wrestling each other and felt her heart feel fuller. (So this is how siblings act…) She watched them for a few more moments until Eolri knocked Carciel to the floor worrying the Halfling. “A-are you alright Carciel?”
“Don’t mind her,” Eolri said as she looked down at her sister. “She’ll be up in sooner or later. Help me get her into the bed well you? I wouldn’t want her to not only wake with a sore head, but be sore from sleeping on the ground.”
Niyleen nodded and the two women placed the younger Breton on the bed and sat beside it. “Hmmm… so this is your place?” Eolri said as she looked around. “I must say, it’s about what I imagined from you.” Niyleen gave her a stern look and Eolri laughed. “No wonder you and Ciel get along so well. You’re both so easily irritable. I love it!”
Niyleen rolled her eyes. “I bet you do.” She remembered how Eolri would make her and Nanae do impossible tasks and just laugh at them when they came back to her empty handed with fear written on their faces. She didn’t think of it much then because she was Eolri’s slave, but looking back on it Eolri was kind of an ass, a lovable ass, but an ass all the same.
“I do,” Eolri said. She relaxed and seemed to have a faraway look in her eyes. “I’m Hircine’s champion, you know.”
Niyleen looked at her and wanted to say something, but with Nega being Dagon’s champion she wasn’t about to judge. “I didn’t.”
“Ciel told me you wouldn’t mind me helping with your little crusade against Molag Bal,” Eolri got up and walked to the center of the room. “But to be honest… something about this is rubbing me the wrong way…”
“You remember everything right? That seems to be a perk of being a Champion that’s not an elf.”
Eolri nodded. “They tell you everything and then break you. From what I’ve seen, some require more breaking than others. It’s not… pleasant at all. Luckily I was a werewolf and simply had to fight my way to the top of my pack, but others weren’t so lucky.”
“Why did you even tell me this? Are you threatening me?” Eolri turned to see Niyleen with her fists up. “Listen, and I don’t mean to be rude, but I’ve been through way too much to be stabbed in the back by you now. Do if you’re going to betray me Eolri, just say so.”
The Breton glared at her and then gave her a motherly smile. “Ninety eight points, minus two for being too quick to fight. By Julianos, you’ve become exceptional, girl. I always believed you would, but you exceeded even my expectations.” Eolri shook her head. “Relax little Niyle, I’m not going to backstab you. But I need to know, why are you facing Molag Bal? It’s a sure death sentence and you know this.”
“I’ve got to save Lucari if it’s the last thing I do,” Niyleen said unflinchingly. “I did this. It’s my fault that Lucari became a vampire. Your sister told me she found out how to cure it from some guy in Morthal, and at the very least I’ve got to try and help her.”
“I see…” Eolri waited a few seconds before asking another question. “If either Ciel or I got turned like that Nord did, would you do all of this for us?”
Niyleen blinked. “W-what? I-I—”
“She’d say that she would, but she wouldn’t because she’s just a liar,” said a voice near the exit. Niyleen looked over and couldn’t believe who was speaking those words. “Isn’t that right, dear Sister?”
“Nyleine?” Niyleen looked at her sister and even she had changed. The younger Halfling looked like she was ready to take her life.“What are you talking about? Why would you hurt me so with your words?”
“Did you have a good laugh about it? Did you like it that I was running around playing sister?”
“Seriously,” Niyleen said reaching out to Nyleine. “I don’t know what you’re getting at. I love you, and I’ve never tried to hurt you since I’ve come here.”
“Then why didn’t you tell me that we're sisters!? REAL sisters, and not just two vessels sharing the same soul!!”
The lair fell silent as Nyleine’s words lingered in the air and an air of awkwardness fell over them.
“Hmmm,” Eolri hummed garnering the Redguards’ attention. “You know what? From what I was told and can now remember, that actually makes sense. Apparently you, especially Nega, used to go on and on about your cute little sister. How you wished you could have been a better role model, and how you longed to see her. It… seemed to have been endearing.”
Nyleine’s gaze fell back upon her sister. “You… I poured my heart out to you! Let you know how eagerly, how desperately, I wanted to see you. How I longed to be your flesh and blood sister and not just soul bound! W-why didn’t you just tell me…”
Be easy on her, Nega said with a bit of concern in her tone. Regardless of her upbringing, she’s the most innocent person in all of this. Don’t make her—
“I didn’t tell either of you anything for good reason,” Niyleen said with a scowl. (By Julianos they don’t make it easy for me do they?) The Second and Nega. Now Eolri, Nega and Nyleine? She had had enough with being teamed up on for one day. “This amulet I wear, that I should have never stopped wearing, isn’t for show. Not telling either of you was the most logical thing to do.”
Nyleine looked at her with a bewildered look in her eyes and Eolri couldn’t help but grin. “Logical,” Eolri said. “Please, impart your so-called knowledge upon me.”
Niyleen rolled her eyes at Eolri’s weak sarcasm. “Nyleine, I know you and Carciel pretty well despite not knowing either of you long. Nega tasked you both with dangerous assignments, assignments that you both very well had a chance to not come back from at all.” She walked over to Eolri. “I know how both of them would react to such news. If I told Carciel that she was just a handicap given to us by the Daedric Princes because shit tends to hit the fan after you die each cycle, if I told her she was just a replacement, what in Oblivion do you THINK would have happened when she saw you?”
“I ended up telling her anyway—”
“You think that would have helped anything,” Niyleen said almost screaming. She knew that Carciel was resting but right now, she would not allow Eolri or Niyleen to belittle her judgment especially when she knew in her heart she was doing what was best for everyone. “If you would have told Carciel that I was right, that she was just a replacement, she would have died! Even if you didn’t kill her, she would have died inside! Don’t you know how badly she wants not to be anyone’s replacement? How hard she tries to be uniquely her? If I would have told her that, she would have ceased to be the Carciel I know and love!”
Niyleen let that hang in the air without adding, ‘as a friend’, like she knew she should have because what did it matter that she only loved Carciel as a friend? The ghost was right, Niyleen may not feel like she fit in anywhere, but that didn’t mean that she didn’t have people she loved and depended on like family. That didn’t mean that she was without friends. Her love of Carciel, Nyleine, Eolri… and Lucari didn’t need to be labeled. It may not have been qualified as the same kind of love, but she loved them each equally in their own way.
“That… that doesn’t change why you didn’t tell me…” Nyleine said.
“Look at me. Look at me!” She said turning her sister so their eyes met. “Tell me, HONESTLY, do you think I don’t know exactly what you would have done?”
“W-what do you mea—”
“You haven’t changed,” Niyleen said grimly.
What in Oblivion!! What are you doing!?! You bitch! Can’t you see that you’re upsetting—
Niyleen slapped herself in the face to drive her focus away from Nega’s voice. “You’re like the old me that I had to deal with on the Summerset Isles.”
Nyleine looked at her shocked. “You went to the Summerset Isles?”
Niyleen turned from her. “Yeah, and I became more… like myself,” Niyleen said with a nod. “Regardless, you’re eager to please. Too eager. You’ve told me stories of how fierce, merciless, strong, and sadistic you were. Stories where people’s lives meant nothing unless they could help you towards your goal. But when I look at you now, you’re none of that. Sure you can change your hair and the clothes you wear to try and look the part, but inside you’re still my little sister who cares so much about me that at times it’s insufferable, but always loveable.”
“If I would have told you,” Niyleen continued without missing a beat. “That we were in fact siblings, that’s all your head would have been filled with. Not the hagravens you were supposed to defeat, not the Champion you were supposed to dispatch, heck, not even with the severity of the situation we currently find ourselves in with the Daedric Princes! All you would have seen was me.”
“You don’t know that,” Nyleine said in a low hushed tone while casting her eyes downward.
“Don’t I?” Niyleen looked her sister in the eyes and smirked.
“‘Oh! Me and dear sister are actual sisters! I can’t wait to see her, and hug her, and basically do whatever it is she asks of me because I want to be the most perfect sister that ever lived!’”
She noticed that Nyleine’s face began to look more and more pained and dreadful with every word she spoke. So she stopped imitating her sister and gave her a stern look. “You would have become careless and took unnecessary risks to speed up us reuniting and would have probably gotten in way over your head. I wanted to protect you from that.”
Eolri looked down at the defeated Redguard and then to her former lover. “What’s wrong with you Niyleen? That was cold… way more than I thought was in you.”
“Cold?” Niyleen laughed. The whole situation was bogus and somehow because she was being overly blunt she was looking like the bad guy. “Cold, like saying you’re going to give someone a reward and then having them undergo the most painful torture they’d ever felt? I’m not cold, only my logic is. Why would I risk either of your lives with information that had a high probability to cost you your lives if shared?”
“She’s right you know.” Everyone looked towards the bed and saw Carciel sitting there with a grin on her face. “It’s the one thing I’ve truly hated about Niyleen. It may not seem like it, but her way of doing things tends to typically deliver the best results… or at least the results that she wants. Save for the Lucari incident, but she could never have predicted our battle with Teresa.”
“So do you understand now Nyleine? I was only trying to do what I thought was best for you at the time. I never meant to hide this from you.”
Nyleine stood up and faced away from everyone. “Ha… hahaha! I-I knew it was like this! I n-never doubted m-my sister’s love for me! Not one m-m-mo—!!!”
Niyleen suddenly embraced her sister from behind, making sure to hold her tight enough until she could sense that Nyleine was feeling at peace again. “You did well sister,” Niyleen whispered into her ears. “You did very well… So you can just let go now.”
And that’s exactly what she did. Niyleen turned her sister to face her and Nyleine didn’t have any shortage of tears. Niyleen continued to hold onto her bawling, trembling younger sister until she had let out every ounce of herself in tears, crying, ‘I love you’s, and ‘I’m sorry’s.
“I’m sorry,” Nyleine said as she pushed her sister away. Her face was a mess, but Niyleen knew she was feeling better about everything. “I’m sorry that I showed you this side of me. And… I’m sorry for depending on you like a helpless child. You’re right. I’m the only one that hasn’t changed.”
“And that’s fine,” Niyleen said reassuringly. “All we can ask is for you to be you.”
Niyleen tried to embrace Nyleine but her approach was blocked. “I… I need some time to think…” the younger Redguard said avoiding eye contact.“How long do we have until the battle?”
Niyleen backed off, sighed, and gave a knowing smile. “Ten days.”
“Then I’ll be back in nine.” Without a word to anyone else, Nyleine swiftly exited the lair.