Book 9 - The Mist in the Darkness - Chapter 31: A Heartless Clue

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httyyd
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Joined: 10/12/2013

All I can say for this chapter is, I hope you are prepared.

But as always, I hope you enjoy it too!

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Rest in Peace NarixuZen.  2004-2017

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Book 10 - The Shattered Axe

Chapter 17 - Back on Track

 

The Jarl Mollerson Mystery Series

All Chapter Links
 

 

Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies

 

Proud Leader and fellow member of:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.  The books go in chronological order.

 

The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2

 

The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!

 

Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2

 

On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36

 

The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46

 

The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51

 

Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth

 

The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18

Chapter 19    Chapter 20    Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23

Chapter 24    Chapter 25 and 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29

Chapter 30    Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34

Chapter 35 and Epilogue

httyyd's picture
httyyd
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013
Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

Don't know why it didn't change the second line in the first post, but oh well.

Again, no music mix for this chapter.  Pay attention to the emotions in the characters.

 

Also note the point of view.

 

The Mist in the Darkness

 

Chapter  31

A Heartless Clue

 

Annabeth's Point of View

 

         Out of everything I have been through, fighting in The Dragon War, going against Einar, and doing battle with Vixxen early on, I do not think I have ever been this nervous.

         And it is just formal banquet!

         Granted, there are all kinds of villainy and the worst of the worst here, but there are also others here too.  I am constantly looking around me to see who is here.  Skygge offers to take me for a dance, I accept.  I am still surprised how much he can clean up and look presentable.  Wearing all black, though he wears a light green shirt under his dress shirt, and his bright green bandana around his neck.  He takes my shawl and gives it to Harald to hang up.

         While we are going about the dance floor, I am not paying attention to him but to those who are around me.  The mysterious figure and anyone connected to Grimwald’s command I am trying to spot, but there is one I am particularly looking for.

         A few minutes in, Skygge is tapped on the shoulder, “May I cut in?”

         Skygge stepping back…

         It is Jarl.

         Skygge bowed and left.

         “Jarl.”

         “Annabeth.”

         In the middle of the floor, we stare at each other for a few moments before Jarl steps up to me, putting his right on my side and extending his left.  I put my left on his shoulder and take my right out to his leading hand.

         For the next several minutes, we both get lost in the dance.  Everything around fades away and it is just us.  Having a moment like this is something we have not had in a long time.

         Though I want it to last forever, the music stops and every applauds before the next song starts.  We both continue, but this time we are aware of the giant yaks in the room.

         Jarl tells me, “You are looking very charming tonight.”

         I was expecting him to ask me about the yak, but I guess he wants to go with the hatchet instead.

         “Thank you,” I reply, for some stupid reason I feel so nervous around him.  “You look quite dashing.”

         “Thank you.  Seeing your natural hair for a change, I forgot how beautiful it looks.”

         I feel myself blush a little yet become ever uneasy he has not asked me yet.

         So, I instead ask him, “Are you mad?”

         “In a way, yes.  But I cannot shake the feeling you have a very good reason for doing all of this, even better than the one you gave me last night.  I’ve known you for years and what you would do.  The love I have for you, I just can’t see you going to all of this just for revenge.  You’re not like that.  We both may have different directives coming here tonight, but we’re not enemies.  I’ll work with you if you’ll work with me.”

         “Deal,” I smile.

         He catches me up on what he has learned with Stormheart on Deondre’s notebooks and the upcoming secret meeting.

         He concludes, “And I’m guess that’s where you and Skygge come in?”

         “Yes,” I confirm.  “Skygge had sent out several messages across the sea to call in specific individuals that would benefit from knowing someone with the Shadow Dragon.  He still hasn’t told me how exactly I fit into his plans, but supposedly I am an integral part and can tip the scales in his favor.  I agreed to work with him to find the Shadow Dragon.  But in exchange, he leaves this archipelago forever and never threaten my family again.”  I pause as I watch his expression.  It does not really change, though I can tell this is difficult for him to hear.  “I guess without meeting me, the mysterious figure would not have come out of the darkness and into the public eye to be seen.  Skygge says he is very reclusive using only messengers to do his bidding.  Said he tried to meet one of those messengers when me and Aiyana ‘so rudely’ interrupted him.  What it is about me that is so fascinating, I do not know.”

         “Sounds dangerous to be in meeting with such people only interested in what you are, not who you are.”

         “I’ll be careful,” assuring Jarl of my intentions.  “I will do whatever it takes to protect my family.”

         “And so, would I,” Jarl agreed, then looked down for a moment.  “I would like to apologize for how I treated you last night.  Regardless of what was said and how we disagreed, I had no right to shake you like that.  I let my emotions get the best of me and lost my self-control.”

         I stop my movement and lift my head up, kissing him.  Then lean back to gaze at his eyes, I whisper, smiling, “Apology accepted.”

         Though I want to say more, time is of the essence, “I’m sorry to run off, now of all times,” I put my hand over his heart.  “But the meeting should be starting any time and I don’t want to keep them waiting.”

         When I walk away from him, he calls to me, “Annabeth,” I halfway turn and look at him as he says, “I love you.”

         That gave me so much more confidence than I had before, I say back to him, “I love you too.”

         Jarl is right, I have a more important reason for working with Skygge.  And Jarl showing me support even if he does not agree with how I am doing it, he truly does trust me.  We are both learning to trust each other.  After years of knowing each other and now after being husband and wife, recent events made me start to question if he fully trusted me, and now him trusting me.  But the more things try to tear us apart, the closer we come back together.  We always come back to each other.  Now, I have no doubt in his trust.

         Walking up the stairs and into the throne room, I see to my left there are already several vikings here.  All but Skygge do I recognize.  They are all middle aged vikings who smile when I come in, but I just ignore them, though they get up when I walk into the room.  I am only here to see this mysterious figure.

         Skygge introduces me and one of the vikings says, “Hello there, lass.”

         “Knife to meet you too,” I pull out the knife from my hidden blade.

         The guy laughs then sits back down.

         Just to stay away from them, I sit in one of the chairs to the side.  Skygge is at the head of the table waiting for the rest to arrive.  After ten minutes of no one showing up, the vikings are getting restless and start to question why they are here.  Skygge pleads with them to stay.  But after another ten minutes, a few of them leave, which makes Skygge irritated.  He gets up and tells one of the vikings to go check on something, I could not hear what they said.  Did not think Skygge worked with others.  I thought he was a loner through and through.

         When Skygge started to pace, another viking, burly in nature, cracks a joke, “Getting nervous, little boy?”

         Skygge went over to the guy to say, “Who are you calling little boy?  I’m the one who will show you power beyond anything you’ve ever seen.”

         The viking stood up and is easily six foot, eleven inches, “All I have seen is a small boy who is lost in legends of old, power, and might.  If you’re smart kid, you’ll get out before this mysterious figure comes.  Why tip the balance of things with trying to take over the world, when you can just settle in, make as much gold as you want, and no one even knows you are there.”

         “If you leave now, you will never see the power that lies with the Shadow Dragon.”

         “If I leave now, at least I’ll have something to go back to.  See you around kid.”

         He and the other guy left and Skygge is there alone.

         “Why didn’t he show up.  He said he’d show,” Skygge kept muttering to himself.

         While I do not feel bad for him, I wonder what happened to the mysterious figure not showing.  Skygge went over to the windows which overlook the floor below.  He stares for a few minutes before seeing something, sparking his interest.  He looks directly at me, his eyes like daggers.  Just then the viking he sent off comes back.

         “The mysterious figure, he-,” Skygge cuts him off.  “I know.”

         He walks directly for me, “What’s happening?”

         Skygge does not answer but pulls out his knife, plastering me against the wall, demanding, “What did you tell Jarl?!”

         “I didn’t tell him anything.”

         “You had to have told him something, he was talking to the mysterious figure who then quickly left after seeing him.”

         Shocked to hear this, I do not know what to say.  My reaction made Skygge ease off and back away.

         “You really don’t know do you.”

         My heart racing as to what is happening.

         Skygge orders me, “Go get Jarl.”

         “What?”

         “Go get him and bring him here.”

         “I will not, we had a deal.”

         “Well, the deal has changed,” Skygge takes my arm, dragging me over to the window.  “You bring Jarl here, or you can say bye to your friends.”

         He points out Jarl, Asvord, Hiccup, and Astrid in the crowd.  There are four vikings standing by themselves, not talking to anyone, but keeping an eye on Jarl and my friends.

         Skygge calmly talks in my ear as I look below, “If you so much as tip Jarl or the others off, so help me I will make you pay like I have wanted to do since the moment I knew how the attack happened.”  He steps back, leading me to the door.  “You tell Jarl to come here, for whatever reason, but get him here.”

         I start to open the door, but freeze.  My heart and mind races to try and find a solution, none can be found.  Entering the banquet hall again, suddenly everything does not look so grand anymore.

         Finding my way towards Jarl and the others, I try my best not to look afraid or worried.  Jarl is the first to notice and come over to me.

         “The meeting was kind of short, how did it go?” he asks.

         Every idea I come up with, would be a lie to him, so I simply say, “I need you to come with me.”

         “To the meeting?” he wonders.  “I thought that Skygge would not want me close to the meeting.”

         Hiccup asks, “Why do you want Jarl to go?  Is there something wrong?”

         I try to repeat my remark to stay on script, but Jarl waves the others off, “I’ll go.  No need to question Annabeth.  If she needs me, that’s good enough.”

         The kind remark this time had the opposite effect, like needles sticking in my heart for leading Jarl into a trap.  Going up the stairs, going through the hallway, going to the conference room…  The unknown of what Skygge is going to do…  I question myself, “Where did I go wrong?”

         The moment after I walk into the conference room, Jarl walks in…

         Clang!

         A hit over his helmet makes me jump and gasp, followed by someone else grabbing me.

         Skygge remarks under his breath, “Aren’t guys supposed to take their helmets off inside?”

         He grabs Jarl, standing him up.  Jarl though disoriented from the hit, manages to say, “With the likes of you here at this party, therefore I keep my helmet on.  What’s with the greeting?”

         Skygge lets him go although has the other viking hold Jarl’s arms, “You’ve been a pain in my side for too long.”

         “The feelings mutual,” Jarl returns.  “Though, I’m not a pain in my side, so maybe it isn’t mutual.  But why the hit over the head?  Did I make you mad?”

         “I’ve told you and told you, to stay out of my way,” Skygge throws a right cross, point blank, hitting Jarl.

         I yell, “What are you doing?!”

         “You keep quiet if you know what is good for you,” Skygge turns to point at me before throwing a left cross at Jarl; I then struggle to get loose, but the viking has a firm grip on me.

         Jarl is oddly calm about this and gives Skygge some tips, “Throw a punch from your chin.  You’ve dropped your other fist twice now.  Had I had a free hand I could have caught you with a right hook.”

         “What did you tell that man you were talking to?”

         “Your footwork could use a little work too.  You’re off balance.  Had I had an equal shot at hitting back, I could have knocked you off your feet by now.”

         Skygge goes into a fury of punches, laying into Jarl.  I try to get free.  Kick and jump, no use.

         “Answer me Jarl, or we will be here all night!”

         “If you haven’t gotten the hint yet, I’m not telling you what the guy said.”

         Skygge takes a step back and I see Jarl’s face.  Bleeding out his nose, one left eye twitching, “Oh Jarl…,” I start to cry.  “This is all my fault.”

         “This isn’t your fault, Annabeth,” he tells me when I think that it is.  Jarl asks Skygge, “What’s your plans with the Shadow Dragon?  Are you going to get your revenge with it?  Or will you move on to something else when find out the truth about it?”

         Skygge comes back around, “What do you think you know about the Shadow Dragon?”

         “Plenty,” Jarl replies.  “And you won’t get it out of me.  For once, I’m one step ahead of you.”

         “Oh, you think that.  I can make you talk,” Skygge says looking at me.

         Jarl laughs, “You won’t do anything to Annabeth.  You say you need her.  For what I don’t know.  Come to think of it, maybe I’m only a half-step ahead of you.”

         “Shut up!” Skygge hits Jarl again, causing Jarl to spit some blood out.

         “Shut up?  I thought you wanted me to talk,” Jarl chuckles, shaking his head.  “Make up your mind will you.”

         For as many times I have seen Skygge be sure of himself, this is the first time I have ever seen him confused, disjointed, and erratic.

         Jarl keeps talking back, egging Skygge on, “No wonder you have to think so far ahead and be one step ahead of us.  When something doesn’t go right for you, it really doesn’t go right.  That’s why I have back-up plans for my back-up plan.  Then back-ups for the back-up’s back-up.  What I’d be concerned with Skygge…  Is…  Is getting too far ahead of yourself.”

         Just then Jarl collapsed in the guy’s arms and fell to the floor.

         “Jarl!” I call out.

         His collapse made the viking holding me to ease up, I elbow him in the stomach, throw my own right cross, and rush to Jarl’s side.

         “What’s happening?  Jarl, what’s going on?” kneeling down and looking over him, Jarl has lost nearly all of his strength in his body and his eyes look weak.

         As I try to inspect him to see what is wrong, Jarl reaches up to grab on to my locket which came out and is hanging from my neck.  I grab onto his hand, which he uses to pull himself up, whispering in my ear, “Trust me.”

         His grip strengthens on my locket as he slowly falls back to the floor, closing his eyes.

         Repeating, “No,” several times, I wonder why he is slipping unconscious.  Skygge hit him sure, but Jarl’s taken worse and lasted longer than others and still stood back up.  Why is now any different?  Color starts to fade from his face, and I start fearing the worst.  When I lean my ear down to his heart…  I…  I…

         “Jarl’s heart has stopped beating.”

         Skygge throws me off Jarl, I am too stunned to even care.  But in doing so, my locket chain breaks off, Jarl had that good a grip on it.

         “She’s right,” Skygge confirms.  “His heart isn’t beating nor is any air coming out of his nose.  Well, this is unexpected.”

         I slowly crawl back over to Jarl, in total disbelieve as to what just happened.

         One of the vikings told Skygge, “You weren’t supposed to kill him.”

         Skygge snaps back, “I didn’t mean to kill him.  Didn’t know I hit him that hard.”

         The other viking mentions, “If Stormheart finds us here with this body, we’ll probably join him.”

         I lose track of what they are saying as I can only stare at Jarl’s body.  As if my own Heart was ripped out of me, I feel so empty right now.  I do not know what to think.  I never thought this would happen.

         Knowing Jarl would want to keep my locket, I check his hand.  Inside his hand is my locket, but also something else.

         A dart from his mini bowcaster.

         It is…  Was one of his newer designs where more of a single liquid solution could be housed inside.  They are similar to what the Dragon Hunters use but are able to be shot by the bowcaster.

         I find it curious as to why he was holding it for he was not wearing his bowcaster.  I pocket the dart and then fold his hand back over my locket, putting both hands on his chest.

         As tears finally streak my face, I kiss his forehead, whispering, “I’m so sorry, Jarl.”

         Skygge hurriedly grabs my arm, “We need to go.  If you try anything else, the same result will befall you.  I don’t ever care now.”

         My anger is boiling inside of me but at the same time, I solely thinking of Jarl.  He would not want me to put myself in danger, if not for me, but for our children…

         Now it hits me.

         But Skygge does not wait for me to start grieving but manhandles me to start walking.  Skygge starts leading me out, across the floor, and up the stairs to exit.

         I lose focus as to what is happening as I mount my dragon.  All I can think about is Jarl’s last words to me, “Trust me.”  What did he mean by that?  And why was he holding the dart?

         I think to myself, “Even after he is gone, he is still finding clues.  Now it is up to me to solve this mystery.”