So, yes, I chose to safe Patat and put Wyny in danger, that doesn’t make a bad person, right? Right. Right? Right Before I could get out of my hiding spot, something seemed to happen so I fled to the first place I thought to flee, the spot closest to the Square Market. yes, the privy I’ve appeared in before. It wasn’t empty this time though, that could’ve ended poorly but turned out fine. I think anyways because it all went really quickly. When I saw guards taking Melia, Meralda and Farenk away, I did the first thing I thought of, but then in my haste, *footsteps on stone down stairs, yelp*
[Music in background]
This is Nadec, my adventure. Written down in a better way than I can tell it.
[Music louder and solo]
Ch 54: Falling
Unlike the last time Nadec had appeared in the privy, it wasn’t empty. She bumped back-to-back against the man having a standing piss. He fell forward onto the privyhole, while she slammed her face against the door. She mumbled a quick apology and opened the door. Only a handful of people stood waiting in line in the small courtyard. She didn’t have to push her way through the inn.
Most people were outside on the Square Market, awaiting either the gutting of the gorwak or the fulfillment of the sixth day prophecy. As Nadec exited the inn, Blackie just caught up to free falling Wyny, catching him in one of her hands. She gently cupped him.
‘Thank balls,’ Nadec whispered. It felt as if the whole market let out a collective sigh. Patat lay on Blackie’s back, perfectly stuck between two of the dragon’s spines. Nadec couldn’t see from the distance, but she thought Patat showed more signs of consciousness than he’d shown when on the platform.
Blackie flew to her favourite perch, the highest tower, and managed to let Wyny climb down from her clawed finger into the open-windowed room. Nadec ignored the flutters in her stomach and looked over the Square. She ran, knowing it might draw attention, but not caring.
All over the Square, people began to move about. There would be no gorwak guts foretelling today, and their ruler’s precarious situation had been only short lived. Nothing kept them locked in the same standing spot anymore. Many lingered around, strolling through the many stalls. The stall Nadec needed, stood empty.
‘No,’ she whispered. A tight grip of panic around her chest clouded her judgment. It took her two full turns to see the cluster of guards walking away with two women and a man. Nadec’s mind spun with several ideas to solve the situation. She didn’t waste time on trying to think them over properly and followed her first instinct. She hardly gave Blackie any time to get ready before she Skipped to one of her claws. She hurried through a window of the tower, and dashed down the stone stairs spiraling down.
‘Wyny,’ she yelled, cupping her hands to her mouth. ‘Wyny, stop.’
The tower stairs were so narrow, and Nadec was trying to hurry so much, she tripped. The moment she felt herself fall forward, time slowed. There was no railing to hold on to, and she held her hands out to both sides in a futile effort to hold on to the stones. It was no use. The walls provided no grip. She plummeted down face first.
As if in slow-motion, Wyny appeared around the bend. Their faces came closer, and they made eye contact. His lips caught the full impact of her forehead. Instead of hitting her head on stone, it had hit another head. A strenuous second it seemed as if both of them would tumble down, but Wyny managed to keep the balance for the both of them. Nadec found herself growing red in the face as she struggled to get her feet underneath her on the narrow steps.
When she finally managed to stand on her own feet without needing support, she wanted to compliment him on his strength and balance. Instead, seeing his bleeding lower lip sent her in a stammering gulf of apologies and ashamed hand gestures.
‘It is quite alright,’ he tried to assure her as he magiced a handkerchief out of somewhere in his ridiculous outfit. Nadec was glad his codpiece hadn’t stabbed her in the eye. Somehow, during the balancing act, she’d ended up standing several steps lower than him, and it took all of her focus to keep from constantly looking at the thing.
‘Interesting moustache,’ he murmured. ‘Let us walk back up the tower, before either of us trips again on these stairs. We should have a few moments before any of my guards reach us.’
He walked up the stairs. Nadec followed, going between wanting to look down to make sure where she stepped, and wanting to look ahead of her—ridiculous outfit or not, the backside looked great.
‘I have to say,’ he turned to her as they arrived on the top level, ‘I knew you were planning on saving the gorwak, and because of that prophecy I thought I knew what you may have been planning. But I had not expected to be caught up in it. To be fair, when nothing seemed to happen, I considered all the options of how I could possibly help save him. I do not believe anyone saw it, but I did kick out in an attempt to remove the knife out of the butcher’s hand. You Skipped us before my foot could connect to it.
‘It would have had consequences I am not quite aware of, but I knew you consider him your friend, for some reason? I hope one day I get to hear that story. I could not let him be killed. Either way, mid-kick I suddenly found myself sliding over Blackie’s side. Before I could react to anything, I was in mid-air. It is astounishing how many thoughts went through my head at my impending death. I very quickly accepted it,’ Nadec realised he was babbling, ‘because it was my punishment for not telling you everything from the start. If I had told you the little I knew, it might have made a difference, maybe you would have told me who you are, even though I didn’t even know what was going on. But perhaps it could have stopped you from thinking I had betrayed you after our separation, and so much pain might have been spared. Also—’
‘Hush,’ Nadec laid a hand on his chest and gripped one of his arms with the other. His heart beat still throbbed quicker than it should. ‘You’re still flustered from the fall, aren’t you?’
He opened his mouth and closed it again. He nodded. ‘I suppose I might be. Forgive me, I did not mean to say so much, I—’
‘Hush,’ Nadec said again, putting a finger on his lips. She frowned and removed it straight away. Why was this a trope in so many movies and stories? It just felt awkward. Not to mention she wasn’t certain how clean her finger was. ‘Again I wish we had more time, but listen, my servants and… someone else I know, have been captured by your guards because they openly associated with me. I thought they’d be safer for doing so, but as usual, I was wrong. Can you please do something? Please have them released?’
The pained expression on his face told Nadec what he was going to say.
‘I am not certain if I can do anything at all. It, aaah,’ he squeezed the bridge of his nose,’ it is the Order, they control everything. I have been such a fool. I never realised who had all the control, and how much control they had. They kept me outside of everything. They never included me, and I never questioned it. Such a fool.’ Nadec pressed her lips together and lifted the inner ends of her eyebrows, feeling sympathy towards him.
‘I have tried to regain more control ever since I returned from my abduction. I have already found and hired a private tutor. I know what planets are now.’ His proud smile as he said this, radiated like a beacon. It was everything. He put his hands on her arms and pulled her closer. Very close. Close enough for his codpiece to bump into her fluttering lower tummy. ‘I will do what I can to get them to release your friends.’
One of his hands ended up on her waist. With the other he removed her hat and wig. ‘Hey,’ she said weakly in an attempt to stop him from doing that.
‘I merely wanted to see your face.’ He dropped the hat and wig—respect for other people’s property belonged on the list of things he still needed to learn—and brushed her hair from her forehead. It must have been looking like a mess. Nadec wasn’t certain what was going on. He’d never been this forward. What had happened to his more reserved side? He hugged her tighter, which was a good thing because the way he looked at her may have buckled her knees. Does that ever really happen? she wondered, fighting hard to keep from getting lost in the moment, as he seemed to be doing.
‘You’re still under the influence of your adrenaline from the near death fall.’ Her words came out reluctantly. She cursed at herself for not enjoying the moment. He blinked, before resuming his adoration.
‘You are right. I have never felt this alive. I almost died. Only one big regret circled through my mind over and over as I fell through the sky. I never told you how much I cared for you. And also never acted upon it.’
‘Oh, but you did,’ she cut in. Inwardly, she rolled her eyes at herself. Really determined to destroy the moment, aren’t you. She had trouble believing this moment was real, so maybe that was why she had to sabotage it. Alright, doctor Ichau, unregistered therapist, perhaps you should just shut up and let things happen.
Confusion still blanketed his face, so she elaborated: ‘Eh, yes, the other day you told me you trusted me completely. So, there you go, you have told me.’ He blinked several times in quick succession.
‘Yes, indeed I did, but that was not… that was not all, that did not—’
From somewhere down the tower, yells for ‘lord Pagewyn’ sounded. Nadec twitched in shock, wanting to back off, but Wyny held her tight.
‘No, not letting you go before I tell you. Nadec, I am fond of you. I may be close to being in love with you.’ The voices came closer. Wyny yelled down: ‘Yes, yes, I am here, do not worry, I am perfectly safe. No need to hurry and trip on the stairs.’ The hand which held her waist, circled around her back. His codpiece felt super uncomfortable against her, but she ignored it. She couldn’t keep ignoring the growing urgency.
‘I should really go,’ she croaked, trying to push away. He resisted for a moment, before letting her go.
She bent through her knees to begin Skipping, but kept her eyes on his face. He looked so gorgeous, and sad, and worried, and adorable, all at the same time. Oh screw it, she thought as she straightened and pressed herself against him. Their lips touched, and the kiss that followed elicited a groan out of Nadec. Balls, first kisses are always the best kisses.
The voices sounded excruciatingly close now, and the footsteps made her back crawl. She detached from the kiss and stepped back, starting the Skipping process again.
‘That was…’ Wyny began to say. Nadec hummed agreement until hearing the rest of the sentence: ‘strange. I have never kissed anyone with a moustache before.’ Nadec her eyes still rolled as she appeared on Blackie’s back.
‘Let’s do a victory round before leaving, shall we?’ She said to Blackie as she tore her moustache off and pocketed it.. She checked Patat in front of her as Blackie let herself drop off the tower to fly over the Square. Some of the people had left, but most were still present—the Market was a constant area of entertainment during the CorFest. It didn’t take long for almost all to look up and point. She asked Blackie to keep steady, and managed to stand up on her back. With the sight of the awestruck people beneath her, and feeling victorious, defeated, and elated, she Skipped them back to the statue.
You have been listening to Nadec, chapter 54 Falling
Narrated, adventured and lived through by myself, Nadec. Written in a better way than I can tell it, by Astrid Jef.
Don’t go just yet, we’ve got bloopers coming up. [music on background]