Chapter 24: Iron Scars

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We have scarred the new generation. We have marred them. I have marred them. We saw the world as our world, and only ours, and we didn't care who we scarred. We ruined a generation, and for what? So we could feel better?


There was something in the look Karik'ar gave her that made Skaria certain that this was urgent.

The Kai'Draen's arms and forehead glistened with a thin layer of sweat, which wasn't surprising, seeing as he had been chopping wood and clearing fallen trees moments before. The storm Skaria had rustled up had been a strong one. Much stronger than her normal squalls. And she hadn't passed out before. Of course, she still felt like crap after rustling up a squall.

"What's wrong?" Skaria asked. Karik'ar gave her a small glare, before stalking back up to his room. "Okay then," Skaria muttered. Karik'ar got moody sometimes, she knew.

There was a click as Karik'ar opened the door. "Get the scholar." The door slammed shut. Skaria glared up at the door for a second, before rising from her seat. She wore a sleeveless tunic and a pair of trousers. And of course, her viper blade was sheathed across her back. And her long knife and shorter utility knife were buckled at her side.

She looked at Rhea. "I'm going to take a stroll. Just...don't bother Karik'ar, alright?" she asked. "I think he's a bit moody." Rhea grimaced. "Just leave some food by the door, knock, and tell him it's there."

Rhea nodded. "Alright." Tom was walking by, and she grabbed his shoulder. "You hear that? Don't bother him."

"I know," Tom said, rolling his eyes. It was funny to look at. The kid was adorable in his own little, special way. In all actuality, he reminded Skaria of some of the kids at the castle. The ones who weren't totally corrupted by the witches.

"Anyway, apparently Indra needs me," Skaria said. She walked across the inn and opened the door. "I'll be back," she promised. 

Skaria walked across the path, just at the edge of the forest. Day Specters still prowled inside, and once or twice, Skaria swore she saw movement, darting between trees deep in the woods. But they were cowardly creatures. They didn't dare confront her out in the open. They might have worn human skin, but they were animals. 

However, the gate was still closed. Usually, if someone needed to enter the city, the gate would be opened. But seeing as Skaria was the only one who wished to enter, and seeing that there was only one guard on duty, that wasn't likely. But that was why they had a second way of crossing the wall.

She drew the knife as she approached the tower. The guard was sitting on the top of the platfor, staring out into the distance. Last time, she had shouted and he had yelled at her for waking people up. This time, she had a better way to attract his attention. 

Skaria angled her knife, reflecting sunlight into a little patch on the wall. Slowly, she adjusted the angle, before bringing it up to the guard's face. He blinked, shielded his face, and then  squinted down at Skaria. "Alright, what do you want?"

"I could use a lift," Skaria said. 

The guard ducked back, before tossing a rope ladder over the edge. The wooden rungs slapped against the log side of the tower, before stopping a few inches below the ground. Skaria smiled as she grabbed the first rung and started up.

After a few minutes, she reached the top. "That was quieter," the guard commented. "Still half-blinded me."

"You're a guard," Skaria said. "Stop complaining." She took a few deep breaths, before walking down the side of the wall, on the tiny ledge used to get on top of the wall. 

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