Beasts Beyond The Wall - Part 16

Submitted by Apophenia on Sat, 11/23/2013 - 11:08

Kirk - Interruption

“Um, am I interrupting anything ladies?” I asked redundantly. I knew I was interrupting, that was kind of the point. I had arrived a little bit earlier and thought I would let them have their discussion but once they started yelling at each other I thought it would be a good moment to enter.

The two crying people who had just been screaming at each other both directed their ire toward me. Maybe this hadn’t been such a good idea after all. I stepped backward out through the door and I had just entered through. “Maybe I’ll come back later.”

I was just shutting the door when Yaju said, “No, come back.” I stopped shutting the door and stepped forward again through the door.

“Are you sure? You seem to be having an important discussion.” Now that I had entered the room it felt like I had entered the lion’s den. Hopefully I would be able to escape unscathed.

“Help me back to my bed.” Said Yaju. I nodded and moved over to her side helping her to her feet. With her arm over my shoulder I helped her cross the room and back into her bed.

“You shouldn’t try to move like that. You are still recovering from the poison.” I said.

“I think I will be fine. I managed to kill the Duke was suffering from the poison. I will be fine moving back and forth across the room.” She huffed as I pulled the sheets back over her.

“Yeah, a badly injured Duke who didn’t even know you were there.” Said Rika. There was still anger between them. I might have disrupted the worst of it but they were still taking shots at each other.

“Now, now, no need to fight. You both did an excellent job fighting the Duke and we would not have been able to survive without either of you. Also it would be good if you could both get out of the hospital without killing each other.”

Yaju turned her head to one side, “At least they should be able to give us separate rooms.”

I shook my head, “They can’t do that. This one room is already all the space they can devote to you. There were a lot of injures during that attack and all the hospitals and clinics in the city are full of the wounded. The only reason you have a room like this is because you are Hunters and are getting special treatment. Everybody else is being stuff into rooms wherever they can fit. Be thankful for what you have.”

Yaju looked sullen and broke my gaze and looked down at her sheets. She had spoken without realizing the situation and not she felt embarrassed about it.

I turned to Rika, “And you should know better. Yelling that loudly while there are injured people filling the two rooms adjacent to you. What were you thinking.”

Rika coughed a little bit like she was trying to shove away responsibility before saying, “We weren’t speaking that loudly. I’m sure they didn’t hear us.”

I placed my hand on my face, how was I supposed to deal with these two. Finally I removed my hand an turned to Yaju, “Sorry, your yelling distracted me. I was supposed to be her to congratulate you on waking up. How are you feeling?”

“Weak.” Said Yaju and I felt like there was more to her words then just her physical condition.

I looked over to Rika and asked her, “How about you?”

“Weak.” She said in almost the exact same tone as Yaju. The whole room felt more gloomy.

“I guess we all feel weak then.” I said, “However I’m trying to get stronger. Since Elizabeth does not have anything else to do since being fired she has been working on a final version of the crossbow that she let me use. She says that it will be customized for me and that I should have an easier time using it then the last one.”

“Crossbow?” Asked Yaju.

I nodded, “Yes indeed. Rika suggested that I use one of their weapons because my blood is weak and Elizabeth choose it as a good weapon for me. While it wasn’t very effective against the Duke I don’t think that was the fault of the weapon. Most things weren’t effective against him.”

“She also said that she would make a knife just for me.” Said Rika, “I told her that the last one was sufficient but she refused saying that all her work needed to be custom otherwise it wouldn’t work well. Considering she is making it I have to assume that she is right.”

“You are getting a weapon too?” Asked Yaju.

Rika nodded, “Although I don’t need one as much as Kirk. For me the knife is just an minor extension but it is still useful. Just another tool in the attempt to become strong I suppose.”

“Do you want her to make you a weapon?” I asked Yaju.

She shook her head, “No, I think it would just feel wrong to me.” She looked down at her hands and flexed them a couple of time. “I think these are all that I need. Plus I don’t think that these are where my weakness lies.”

I smiled, “Well that is certainly where my weakness lies. I had nothing more then some minor instincts to protect me which certain didn’t work against Noble Beasts like the ones we faced. Hopefully I’ll actually be able to fight after this. Elizabeth says she will give me some shooting advice when it is done. While a bow is certainly different from a crossbow she says there are some similar things that she can teach me.”

I looked back and forth between them, “So it looks like the two of you have calmed down.”

They looked at each other for a second before they broke their gaze both looking different directions. I continued, “You don’t have to agree on what is the right thing. That will bring you into conflict but there is no correct answer to those questions in this world. However there is something that I agree with Yaju about. You should do what you will not regret.”

I looked over at Rika, “If you decide that you should continue doing what is necessary then you shouldn’t doubt yourself. The world is difficult enough as it is.”

Rika asked, “Did you listen in on the whole conversat…”

I interrupted as I stepped backward through the door again, “Any now I really have to go. I need to go see Elizabeth to find out how the creation of the crossbow is going.” I waved, trying to deflect the new ire coming off both of them, “Get better and try not to kill each other while I am away.”

I shut the door and ran. If I got far enough away then they wouldn’t be able to chase me because they were too injured and hopefully by the time I visited again they will have calmed down. I managed to make it out of the hospital before I slowed down. By now any pursuit would have stopped, hopefully.

Now I head to my destination. It would be impolite to lie about my destination so I began heading toward the mines. I knew that Elizabeth’s workshop was around there. Now that I had meet her it was fairly easy for me to tell where she was. It was on the other side of the city but that wouldn’t be a problem.

A few minutes of running later I was near the workshop. I focused on Elizabeth and could tell that she was working at the forge, likely making something like my new crossbow. I furrowed my brow. That was weird, she smithing techniques. Then it slowly began to dawn on me.

I concealed my presence and got closer. I approached the outside of the workshop which was partially built into the mountain. I could tell that she still hadn’t sensed me. I was able to silently open the door. I slipped inside and stopped in the doorway into the workshop proper.

I leaned up against the doorframe and said, “Working hard I see.”

There was a clatter of metal as Elizabeth jumped and dropped the piece of metal that she was working on. She spun around holding her hammer before she finally spotted me. She took a breath and then sat down on the anvil.

“Geez, Kirk, you gave me fright. Normally I’m able to sense people who enter my workshop.” She said.

I grinned, “Well, one of the small advantages of being good at sensing things is the ability to know what other people are capable of sense. It is fairly easy for me to tell what I need to do to conceal myself from somebody else.”

“Well, maybe instead you should know what kind of shock it would create for people.”

“Sorry, I wanted to see what you were doing?”

“Trying to steal my secrets are you?” Her words were fairly light hearted like she didn’t really expect me to figure out what she was going.

“Oh, I figured that out a while ago. Back when you first gave me and Rika those weapons.”

“You what?” She stumbled backward over the anvil but managed to catch herself. She had a shocked look on her face, “You can’t possibly know…” She trailed off not wanting me to trick her into telling me the secret.

So I finished her sentence, “That you forge the weapons using your own blood?”

Her mouth hung open and she moved it several times trying to make words but it didn’t work. I continued, “The blood of Beasts and Hunters usually has unusual properties allowing them quite unusual capabilities. I imagine that you use your own blood as a bonding and strengthening agent the weapons.”

I continued, “I suspected when I held the crossbow. It felt unusually warm in my hands and didn’t feel like a weapon at all. More like an extension of my body. No normal weapon could ever feel like that. Afterward I was able to examine a couple more of the weapons and I became certain that this was hope you made them.”

She looked defensive and she held up her hammer looking at it like she was trying to decide if I would forget everything should she hit me with it. I held up my hands to forestal her. “No need to be reckless. I’m not going to tell anybody. It is certainly an usual technique and I would imagine that some people might balk at the methods but I certainly do not.”

She relaxed and sat back down on the anvil. “Oh, good, um, you don’t mind?”

“No really. Compared to transforming mostly into a Beast, giving irresistible commands, or being able to detect Hunters from miles way your ability is basically comparable.”

“Well, I suppose there is that.” She seemed to have finally recovered from the shock. She lended over and picked up the pieces of metal that had cooled on the floor. She examined in and then put it back into the fire to heat up again.

“You could probably tell Alfred though, I don’t think he would mind.” I said.

This caused her to stiffen again before she turned and stuttered, “I.. I… I… don’t know what you mean.”

I grinned, “No matter then. The less people who know the techniques the better for you. If the government were to find out I don’t know what they would do but it would probably be monumentally stupid. That is usually how it goes with them.”

“Yes… exactly.” She stuttered, “That is why I am keeping it a secret.”

“How did you learn to do this?”

“Luck mainly. I knew my blood had usual properties since I became a Hunter. It clotted more than others and was sticky and more metallic then other Hunters. If I hadn’t been a blacksmith before I became a Hunter I probably would have never thought to try anything.”