Title: Everything’s Different
Writing Prompt/Inspiration: Another scene for my really big idea. Takes place after “The Sahar House”, but before “Celestial Gold”. I’m not entirely sure what the story wanting to be told here is, so I’m just writing scenes as they come to me, hoping that eventually I can find the plot and piece together the scenes. This picks up from “Everything’s Different, part 1“.
* * *
Seth listened to her story with growing anger and amazement. That Braeden tried to rape Noa angered him. Braeden was one of the original clansmen. He’d taken care of Noa as a baby, along with her uncle and Arctic. But the fact that she had travelled on foot from Mihlak, in the southern states of Merdicci up north past Hershey City and into Somerset was incredulous.
“You walked from the Merdicci Provinces into Aingael territory? Why would you come into Arellas, you know what the Aingael would do to you if they found you,” Seth replied in a hushed whisper.
“Technically,” Noa said, “we’re in Senka, which is neither of Arellas or Chernobog.”
Seth narrowed his eyes and frowned, “Noa, you’re in a city that has your two greatest enemies on either side. Senka is no safer for you than Arellas or Chernobog is.”
“Don’t worry, Seth,” Noa answered, “I am not staying here. I only came to find you. I need a favor.”
“Anything, you know that,” Seth said, relaxing a little.
“Without dad, er, Arctic here,” Noa amended, “I can’t stay on my own. Merdicci could only be safe for me for so long. And now that Braeden is looking for me…well I have to move on.”
Seth nodded in agreement, but wondered what favor Noa was getting at. “Where will you go?” he asked.
“Nowhere yet,” she said. “I don’t have the money. But Arctic used to tell me he had a secret stash hidden for emergencies. I don’t know exactly where the stash is, but I do know it’s on Lagrima.”
“No, Noa,” Seth said sternly. “You can’t travel to Lagrima. The clan is gone, there’s no safe passage through Chernobog. Especially not for you.”
“It’s the only way I can escape. I mean to head across the sea to Koqui. Arctic talked about it all the time. But I need money for passage on a ship and I need money to start a life once I reach Koqui. Arctic’s hidden stash is the only way. And it’s on Lagrima.”
“Noa, Lagrima has been abandoned for years. There’s no telling who or what lives there now. Not to mention you’d have to travel through Chernobog to get there, and that’s too dangerous for you,” Seth explained, trying to talk Noa out of it.
“Either I go with you or I go alone,” Noa stated simply.
She was stubborn enough to do it too, Seth reasoned. He sighed and leaned back in his chair, debating. “Fine,” he answered unhappily. “But we’re not travelling through Chernobog unarmed and we’re not leaving tonight. I have a room here; we’ll stay here for a couple of days and gather supplies.”
Noa grinned and nodded as she rose from her seat and walked around the table to hug Seth tightly. She planted a soft kiss on his cheek, “Thank you, Seth.”
“As if I really had a choice,” he muttered. “Come on, let’s go to the room, and we’ll talk plans.”