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Flame-Child: Part Two: Chapter Twenty Nine - The Past Catching Up


blazingsai

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Flame-Child: Part Two:
Chapter Twenty Nine: The Past Catching Up

 

Last: http://www.loverslab.com/blog/156/entry-3580-flame-child-part-two-chapter-twenty-eight-reunited/
Next: http://www.loverslab.com/blog/156/entry-3597-flame-child-part-two-chapter-thirty-taking-the-castle/

 

Part One

 


A day after Nyleine left, Niyleen couldn’t stay in the lair with the Breton sisters for more than moments at a time. Between her worrying about Nyleine and the Syliel siblings’ subtle advances towards her being, the lair was starting to seem less like a safe haven and more like a risk to her sanity.

 

And so to pass the remainder of the time before the battle, Niyleen had picked up her mercenary work once again. Considering time was of the essence Niyleen, in an unheard of move, took five contracts that all expired a day before the encounter with Teresa. The constant back and forth without a moment's rest took Niyleen’s mind off of her worries and to her surprise with this last kill she had been able to complete four of the five contracts.
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“Haa… haaa… Casndal, you A’likr fucker…” Niyleen crouched and looked down on her mark with a smile. “Haaa… hahahahaaa! Nice crew you gathered… must have cost you quite a bit of gold. Shame that in the end, they were just as useless as you were. Thought someone like yourself would know better.”
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She stabbed the dead Redguard in the chest and used her sword to balance herself as she pulled out her last contract.
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“Let’s see here… who’s the last—!”
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As soon as Niyleen read her mark’s name, so many memories flooded her mind and she couldn’t help it when she began to feel a bit itchy. (His name has finally appeared… I’ve been waiting for this for so long…)
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Crumpling the last contract into her pocket she looked to the west. “From here it’d take a day to get to the Reach and a day to both find my target and turn in all my contracts…”
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I’ve got to tell you someth—You’re overworking yourself!

 

“And?”
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Niyleen began jogging at a quick pace. “I’m all set. Take out the Bandit Chief Endoen, collect my gold, relax for a day, fight Teresa. What’s the problem?”Pt2_Chp29_008.png

 

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You’re going to collapse. I can feel it, and you know you can too. This isn’t a matter of the mind, you’ve literally pushed this body past its limits. Dammit all, at least rest for a few minutes!!

 

But Niyleen had had enough of that. After the first contract she tried to rest back at the lair, but images of Nyleine, Lucari, and the Syliels kept plagued her mind making her almost break down. She didn’t want to feel that way, she didn’t want to face any of that. Niyleen knew she should probably meditate, but she couldn’t clear her mind for even a second so she could get in the mood to do so.

 

So she jogged, and continued to jog until she passed through Whiterun and into the Reach.Pt2_Chp29_010.png

 

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Finally arriving to her destination, Niyleen sucked her teeth. “Even if was supposedly abandoned, I never thought he’d be so fucking foolish…”
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The contract said that Endoen had been last seen around Four Skull Lookout, the same place where Niyleen had been cheated out of her share of a major haul. She thought she had killed everyone responsible for giving her portion to the Forsworn, but thinking back on it there were still two people who needed to pay for screwing her over. It had been pushed to the back of her mind ever since she went to Karthwasten, but Endoen and a female Bosmer by the name of Dagger also needed to be held accountable.
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Where’s the logic in this? Niyleen, stop! Stop and take some time to—

 

“I’ll make this quick.” Niyleen walked right into the lookout, right up to Endoen and drew her sword on him startling everyone. “Hey En, remember me?”Pt2_Chp29_015.png

 

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The Bandit Chief didn’t flinch. “Little Flame,” he said with a deep husky voice. “You were never one for formalities, were you?”
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“Cut the crap!” Niyleen snapped. “You know exactly why I’m here! So excuse me for not being formal!”
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Endoen sighed. “You can’t still be mad about the loot, right?”
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“Damn you to Oblivion!” Niyleen said, the vemon in her voice dripping from her lips. “You screwed with my money... Luckily for you, you can pay be back when I get the bounty on your head!”
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His men looked to draw their weapons, but Endoen signaled them to stay their hands. “If you were anyone else, you’d be dead, Little Flame.” He spread his arms as if inviting her to come at him. “It doesn’t have to be this way you know, but if it must… have at me.”
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Niyleen lunged at him, and with Endoen only moving slightly she completely missed him and ended up on the ground grimacing in pain.Pt2_Chp29_022.png

 

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“Still fiery, just like your namesake.” Endoen said as he finally took hold is his blade. “But I must say, I never imagined you becoming a merc. Even that’s too noble for the likes of you.”

 

Niyleen quickly got to a knee and readied herself for her next attack. However, with heavy arms, weak knees, and the inability to keep her breath steady, Niyleen knew that if she couldn’t end this soon that she didn’t stand a chance.
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Don't do this. You can barely stand! Just retreat for a bit, rest up and face him in a couple of—

 

Niyleen rushed at him and attacked in what was meant to be a flurry, but the Bandit Chief didn’t even bat an eye. “Guess it’s time to get serious.”Pt2_Chp29_026.png

 

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Endoen slashed downward with a fearsome amount of force, but Niyleen was able to deftly dodge it. Using her current positioning, Niyleen kicked off the wall and took to the air…Pt2_Chp29_028.png

 

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“Take this you son of a bitch!!!”
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As she was falling downward towards him, Endoen readied himself and counterattacked with another powerful attack that fell Niyleen on her backside and made her limbs go numb temporarily. “You can’t beat me dammit! Just like I said before, you’re not up to snuff you brainless bitch!”Pt2_Chp29_031.png

 

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With Endoen’s blade pointed directly at her chest, it took everything Niyleen had to not audibly gulp to get rid of the lump that had formed in her throat. (Shit… my body… it’s too heavy…)

 

One of these days you’re going to listen to me… You can’t beat him! You need to run. Now!
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Before Niyleen could think of a way out, Endoen lifted up his giant weapon and Niyleen was barely able to roll out of the way in time as he delivered yet another heavy downward slash that would have crushed her.
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“This bastard… Damn it all…” Niyleen said in a low haggard voice. She had managed to create distance from Endoen and was racking her brain to see how she could get out of this but she didn’t have nearly enough time. The Redguard quickly closed the gap and after Niyleen dodge yet another of his deadly swings, he dropped his blade and landed a heavy kick that sent her flying out of the lookout…Pt2_Chp29_035.png

 

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After hitting the side of the entryway caused her to turn midair, Niyleen landed face first into the stone ground. Her bones, muscles, skin, heart… she felt aches from head to toe, and regardless of how much strength she put behind her limbs, she couldn’t move an inch.Pt2_Chp29_040.png

 

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She couldn’t see him, but it wasn’t long before Niyleen heard the heavy footsteps of her mark come closer and closer to her. “Such a shame…” she could almost see the hubris emanating from Endoen with each word.
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Before she knew what was happening, Niyleen was then lifted off of the ground by her throat and Endoen peered into her eyes. “Did you really think there would be any other outcome? You were always weak, ‘Raging Inferno.’ You just caught a lucky break once.”Pt2_Chp29_043.png

 

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“Bastard…” Niyleen said through seething teeth. “I’m… I’m stronger than you… I… just…”

 

Niyleen gasped for breath as Endoen gripped her throat tighter, cutting off her air supply. “Excuses now? Is there no end to your shamelessness?” He squeezed even tighter until the Halfling’s eyes began to roll into the back of her head.
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“I guess that’s good enough… Time to go night night!” Endoen then slammed Niyleen back into the ground, knocking her unconscious.Pt2_Chp29_046.png

Part Two

 


(Where… where am I) Niyleen thought as she woke up. It was cold, dark, and something felt completely wrong. Niyleen tried to get up but couldn’t. Wriggling her hands, she quickly found them to be bound. (Shit… what in Oblivion happened?)Pt2Chp29_050.png.66ea676497b77049fe4381ef35e9cafb.png

 

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This is what you get for being boneheaded. You can’t function without rest you idiot! What if Endoen wasn’t lenient? What if he decided to kill you… or worse…

 

Niyleen tried to focus on Nega’s voice, but felt nauseous. There was too much going on around her. The lookout was in an uproar. People were being tossed to and fro and Niyleen kept hearing the all too familiar sound of flesh being severed. This continued for a while as she tried to free herself from her predicament. When she was finally able to get to a knee, the commotion died down.Pt2Chp29_051.png.17f23b4fbba51aabf40bc5630b2be380.png

 

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(I guess Endoen handled whatever that was…) Niyleen looked around for the massive Redguard and when she found him couldn’t believe her eyes. She saw him kneeling in defeat to some Nord woman wearing… the garb of a Markarth City Guard.

 

“By the order of Jarl Igmund, I hereby place you under arrest, Bandit Chief Endoen.”

 

Endoen spat at her feet. “You really think I’m gonna let a woman, let alone a corrupt guard, take me to Cidnah? Piss off bitch!”
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“So be it.” She then raised her blade over her head…
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…And with a single slash made Endoen draw his last breath.
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Glancing at his lifeless form, the woman looked around expectantly. “It seemed like they were celebrating something. But I didn’t see anything out of the ordinar—!!”
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(Shit…) The woman turned around and saw Niyleen, who had just gotten free of her bindings, crouching there without a weapon. Niyleen prayed that the Nord didn’t recognize her, but when she saw the grin appear on the fair skinned woman, she knew the opposite to be true.Pt2Chp29_058.png.491f7f891251855c2ab4328248e4ff84.png

 

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“Two of my targets for the price of one, it must be my lucky day!” Slowly the woman drew closer to Niyleen. “I’ll not slay a defenseless woman, ‘Inferno.’ Draw your blade and face me!”Pt2Chp29_060.png.60e37fedd6971c504ab77c65a5654197.png

 

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(But I don’t have one…) Niyleen rose to her feet and took a step forward when suddenly a wave of nausea and fatigue hit her and she passed out once more.Pt2Chp29_062.png.68316e4c031b1b32dc6d33844aee2c51.png

 

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* * *


When next she awoke, Niyleen felt weightless and refreshed. Whatever she’d been sleeping on had been soft, and smelled of juniper berries.Pt2_Chp29_065.png

 

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Niyleen rubbed her face into her makeshift pillow, when a voice said, “Finally awake?” before dropping Niyleen to the ground. Niyleen looked up and saw the woman from before glaring down at her. “Surprised?”Pt2_Chp29_069.png

 

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“A bit.” Niyleen massaged her head before getting to her feet. “I thought you’d want to turn me in?”Pt2_Chp29_071.png

 

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“I do.” The Nord tossed Niyleen her sword. “But more than that, I want to crush you. I want to make you rue the day you ruined my face, my eye, and tarnished my reputation!”Pt2_Chp29_074.png

 

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“Wait, do I even know you?” Niyleen said trying to put everything together. The woman’s face looked familiar, but that was it. (I didn’t remember ever messing up a guard’s face… Heck, my only interacts with the guards thus far have been either running from them or them taking hauling me off to jail…)
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Her words only infuriated the Nord further. “Two… two years ago, I was part of a detail that was escorting a shipment of silver from Markarth to Solitude. Ring any bells?”
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“Hmmm…” It took the Halfling a few seconds but the heist soon came to mind. “Heh, I remember that. Turned out to be a pretty messy job. It was supposed to be simple, ambush the shipment before it hit Dragon Bridge and a simple ‘smash and grab.’ But there was some crazy Nord bitch that just wouldn’t give up no matter—!”
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Niyleen looked at the woman again and put two and two together. “Y-you’re her!”
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“Exactly,” the woman said as she drew her weapon.
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Niyleen looked at her a bit harder and then something else clicked. “You’re…. you’re that bitch that also got me imprisoned! The one from Markarth! Heilda… something or another… You fucking liar! You said that you’d help us out, but you only caused everyone trouble!”
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Heilda shrugged. “It was on impulse. If I would have known that you would or could escape I would have never done so. Losing you after searching for you for so long… You don’t know how much that set me back.”
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“I WENT TO JAIL AND THOSE FUCKERS TRIED TO RAPE ME!!!” Niyleen lunged at Heilda who blocked her attack causing the two of them to lock up. “So excuse me if I don’t give a damn about you getting ‘set back.’”Pt2_Chp29_083.png

 

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Heilda used a kick to create distance and laughed. “There’s already a bounty on your head and you’re going to exacerbate things by attacking a public official? Not too bright are you? You’ll never be able to return to Markarth at this rate.”Pt2_Chp29_086.png

 

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“Who in Oblivion cares!?”
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Niyleen jumped at Heilda again and this time was able to remain on the offensive. Heilda had a good defense like Leijona, however that little nap of Niyleen’s gave the Halfling a little more of a spring to her step. Coupled with the fact that Heilda wasn’t nearly as sturdy with her footing, it didn’t take long for Niyleen to take the Nord off her feet with a tackle that took the Nord by surprise causing her to release both sword and shield.Pt2_Chp29_091.png

 

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Pointing her blade at the Nord prone on the ground, Niyleen said, “Listen here, I may not always act like it, but I’m not the same person I was two years ago. Heck I’m not even the same person I was two weeks ago.”Pt2_Chp29_097.png

 

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She sheathed her sword. “Go home Nord. I’ve got more important things to do other than wasting my time here.”Pt2_Chp29_099.png

 

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As Niyleen walked away she heard Heilda say, “Wasting time? WAISTING TIME?! How dare you treat me like an insignificant pion?”
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Niyleen stopped and turned. “But for me, in the grand scheme of things, you are. I’ve got to deal with more than you could possibly fathom. If I hadn’t been so stubborn, Endoen would have been dead and gone long before you arrived and the two of us would have never met. Our meeting was just plain luck on your part.”
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She could see that her words were having no effect on the Nord other than agitating her further. With a sigh, Niyleen continued, “Look, I have to deal with vampires, Champions, and Daedric Princes. Some no-nothing guard that I have to probe my mind to remember isn’t worth my time or energy.”
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“If that’s the case,” Heilda said as she struggled to her feet. “Then you’re going to have to kill me because I’m not going to stop hunting you down!”
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Heilda rushed at Niyleen, taking the Halfling by surprise. The Guard Captain was ready to strike ready to finish this in one blow… and as she intended, it did indeed come to an end with one final and decisive blow…Pt2_Chp29_105.png

Part Three

 


When Heilda began to stir, Niyleen saw how comfortable she seemed and smiled. “So you can make a face like that too… You Nord women are stubborn, but amazing… I’ll give you that.”
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“Eh?” Hearing Niyleen’s words, Heilda opened her eyes and saw Niyleen looking back at her.
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Seeing as the Nord seemed refreshed, Niyleen let the remaining magicka dissipate from her hands. Gripping her head in confusion, the Nord tried to come to terms with her current situation. “Y-you!? What are you—!! How… why am I alive?”
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I’d like to know this as well. Letting her live is only going to cause more problems in the future.

 

(Like the future matters if I can’t stop the Cycles anyway.)

 

Haaa…. Fair point.

 

“Well… To keep it simple, I all but killed you. Then I healed you. No need to thank—”
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“Why did you do that,” Heilda said interrupting Niyleen. “Are you insane? What were you… what happened to my clothes!?”

 

“Oh those? I had to remove them to stop some of the bleeding,” Niyleen said nonchalantly. “You know, Restoration might be an awesome school of magic, but with my lack of experience with it, even it has its limits.”
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Heilda looked upward at Niyleen with a look that contained both her sadness and confusion. “Why… why didn’t you just let me die? Death would have been better than having to live with the knowledge that someone like you saved my life. Do you wish to further shame me!? I… I can’t face Igmund like this…”
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“I think I’m remembering you a bit more now. Yeah… Now and then, you’re far too wasteful with your life.” Niyleen looked down at Heilda and frowned. “I’d know because I personally act the same way..”.
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“But I know you have people that hold you in high regard, people that love you, people that would mourn you… If you’re going to be so free with your life, why not live it for them?”
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Heilda took in Niyleen’s words but her anger wouldn’t subside. “You’ve shamed me twice, Inferno. You gave me these scars, ruined my eye… and now these wounds…”
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“That may be so, but in both cases I also gave you time. Time to spend with your loved ones. Time to laugh, love, protect, serve. Your heart may not want to admit it, but you’re a bit glad that you aren’t dead. Glad that you get to see whoever it is that you love once again.”
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“Look… I’m sorry that you tangled with me in the past and I messed up your reputation. I’m sorry that your hate for me has a chokehold on all that you do, and I’m sorry for my poor bandaging job. But you can’t stay like this. You’ve got to release your hate and anger towards me, else you may end up doing something you regret.”Pt2_Chp29_116.png

 

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Heilda was silent for some time before she said, “Then… what am I supposed to do about you? I’ve still got a mission to complete…”
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Niyleen thought about it for a moment before tossing Heilda her blade shocking both the Nord and Nega.Pt2_Chp29_119.png

 

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What in Oblivion are you doing!?!

 

“…Tell them that I’m dead. Tell them that while fighting you, I fell from a cliff that’s impossible for anyone to survive from. Tell them that my sword is the only thing left of me. Even if no one else believes you, Faleen, the Jarl’s jousecarl should be able to verify that the sword is mine which’ll give some more validity to your story.”
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Heilda couldn’t believe her ears. This wasn’t the same woman from the rumors or her memories. “Why are you doing this…”
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Niyleen shrugged. “I’m… I’m getting tired of hurting people. I still believe that stealing from the rich to give to those in need and fighting to protect myself and the people I love are both noble causes. But fighting pointless fights… committing crimes wantonly…”
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“Four out of my last six fights have made me realize, I may be strong and agile, but hurting people without just cause isn’t where my heart is. Not anymore.”
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“Great! Good for you for turning over a new leaf! But then what about all the bounty hunters… all the men that were sent after you? Do their deaths mean nothing? If you were going to act this way, why resist at all?! And ducking your sentence… you think that’ll help those men rest in peace?”
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“I’m not ducking anything,” Niyleen said adamantly. “I’ve got something to finish up. If I’m still alive at the end of it, I’ll turn myself in and do my maximum sentence. You have my word.” Niyleen didn’t wait for Heilda to respond before starting off back towards Whiterun.Pt2_Chp29_126.png

 

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You think that’s going to be fine? And what were you thinking giving her your sword like that? You’ve used that blade ever since you sent your mother the blade she gave you back…

 

(It’s going to have to be… I’m not about to shed another life that I don’t have to in order to get Lucari back and end the Cycles.)

 

I see… listen, I still have something to tell you. Will you finally stop blowing me off?

 

(Haaa… Fine… Now’s as good a time as any…)Pt2_Chp29_128.png

 

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