The Path Is Smooth and Rocky

Thrynn opened the gate and tossed Lurren through by the arm then followed out behind her.

She stumbled past the gate guard who had tried to bribe her for coin earlier while trying to not lose her balance. One thing for sure, this man is moving down the list and may make her Dislike category. By now, she was mad at Thrynn for manhandling her and decided to have a long chat with him regarding it. Grabbing his arm to drag him over to a more private area, she tugged hard and only flipped around, landing face first into his chest. “Why won’t you move!” she cried in desperation while moving back from him and rubbing her nose.

He just pointed toward the stables and calmly asked, “Didn’t you want to come to the stables?”

Her eyes darted toward the horses then back at Thrynn, she hated people who were right and showed no fear in displaying it. Lurren withdrew her hand from the oversized arm and walked over to some man leaning against a pole by the horses.

The man wasted no time in sizing up Lurren. “Too lazy to walk, eh? Well, you’ve found the right place.”

Lurren snorted in a disgusted way, “Hard to believe considering how bad I have been treated here.”

“Huh?” Hofgrir Horse-Crusher asked.

Waving her hand in the air, she answered quickly. “Never mind, I’m looking for someone who works for you.”

“I sell the horses, not my assistant. Whatever you need to talk with Shadr about, you can tell me instead. It’s my stables.” The deep voiced man replied and motioned with his head toward the horses to emphasis his point. “Got horses that need shoeing, so make it quick.”

Lurren ran one hand through her hair and turned to Thrynn, who just stood staring at her. “It’s a personal matter.” She returned her attention to Hofgrir after deciding Thrynn was too much of a pain to deal with.

A small smile came upon Hofgrir’s face, “So, he finally decided to get some? Good for him.”

Lurren tossed her knapsack to the ground and put up her fists, “Why you dirty little…let’s go!”

Hofgrir laughed deeply from his chest, “Sounds like I’ve got a challenger. Come on, whelp…I’ll drive you back to the snow!”

Thrynn sighed as he stepped forward and grabbed her by the waist then carried her away from the stable master with her fists flying in the air. “I’ll have your head!” She hollered at Hofgrir.

Shadr came outside to see what the commotion was about. He realized this was the woman who wanted to help him and chased after Thrynn. “Wait!”

“Will you put me down?” She growled at Thrynn while still dangling in the air.

He simply dropped her from his grip and watched her fumble for footing.

One finger shook up at his face while her voice matched its anger. “You are just a big over-sized promise breaker!” She promptly slammed her foot down upon his foot then walked away in pain.

“Are you okay?” Shadr asked as she hobbled her way toward him.

“Yes, yes…he is in more pain.” She replied upon reaching him. “I have spoken to that woman. You are no longer in debt to her.” Though she wished her foot was no longer in pain and made note to not do that again to his foot unless it didn’t have any covering on it.

He couldn’t contain his excitement at this news and hugged her. “By the Eight! You did it! I don’t know what to say. I thought no one in Riften even cared about me.” Shadr dropped an invisibility potion into her hand. “Here, I was saving this, but you should have it. I thought I might need it if Sapphire came for me, but I don’t need it anymore.”

Lurren smiled at the young boy and thanked him for the gift. “It is not necessary, I was glad to help out. You let me know if anyone does this again to you, next time I won’t be so nice about it.”

Shadr was so relieved to be free of that debt and having his life back. He wanted to see the woman in Riften he had eyes for. Maybe Marise will join him tonight for some drinks. He definitely had something to celebrate and she was whom he wanted to share his joy with.

Lurren decided to just walk away without even looking at Thrynn or saying anything to him. His glaring eyes were deep in her back for stomping his foot, which she believed the stone man didn’t even feel. Perhaps a quick carriage ride would be better than hiking their way to Helgen to avoid any blood shed between them. She quickly dismissed that idea, deciding that exploring would be more fun and the possibility of Thrynn getting lost or killed along the way would be useful.

Thrynn wasn’t happy with her or with this whole bandit story she tossed at him. His eyes watched her walking down the road. The woman with the strange eyes and personality like none other was driving him crazy and he had only just met her. No, there was something else about her that haunted him. He fell in behind her, keeping his distance but following close enough to help her should trouble arise.

That trouble didn’t take long to find her when she approached Fort Greenwall, located south-southeast of Shor’s Stone, northwest of Riften. A bandit guarding from the wall shouted down at her, “That’s close enough!”

Lurren stood before the fort opening barricaded with wooden spikes and looked up at the bandit.

“I’m warning you….back off!” The bandit hollered at her.

In no mood for any bandits, ex or not, she withdrew her bow and readied it. While staring up at the bandit, the released arrow went flying through the air and landed directly in the bandit’s forehead. He promptly fell over while his clan members spilled out of the fort in force toward Lurren.

“Lookee here. Looks like we got ourselves a hero.” A female bandit outlaw screamed while charging Lurren.

“Funny, wonder how they knew that.” Lurren thought as she switched to a two-handed steel greatsword and leaped at the bandit with blade swinging.

Thrynn withdrew his bow and considered putting one arrow into Lurren’s rump but instead started shooting arrows at the bandit she was engaged with.

The team didn’t pay much attention to each other as they worked through the bandits from the rookie to the more trained highwaymen. Each rebel fell to their knees before falling over dead until the fort was free of them and Lurren stood safely in the courtyard.

She was picking through the bodies looking for clues on the leaders she was seeking when Thrynn walked up next to her. A few bodies contained the book of bandits that she would scan quickly, in hopes of some notes written by the bandit. Tossing them aside, she stood up and shook her head at the senseless life these people were living. “What a waste.” She muttered mostly to herself though Thrynn heard it. “Let’s go.”

He watched her head out the other fort opening before glancing down at one of the books she threw aside. Thrynn retrieved the closest book and opened it to find much to his surprise at the volume of information about the different bandit clans. His breath was sharply inhaled when he saw the entry regarding the bandit lords. “I don’t care who you are they will always be stronger than you.” Thrynn turned his head at the disappearing woman and wondered if she had even read the book.

Lurren was deep in thought over how to approach this bandit situation. “Who would even want to offer information about these lords without worrying about their own safety?” She wondered. The only person she could think of was the brute following her and talking to him was out. Even then, he may not know so having him along is rather pointless. Lurren smiled thinking that in one quick swift comment, he would be gone. Not that he was hard on the eyes but that he was dangerous. It was that kind of danger haunting her. Why is it every person she has seen in Skyrim were not given a second thought but this man gets far more, like three, four, five to the point that she lost count. Nylus’s image came into her mind, his smile wrapped around her, his whispers, ‘I’m with you, my love.’ That was all she needed to calm down and go forward, with or without Thrynn.

Behind her Thrynn kept following at the same distance as before while thinking something happened between them at the stables. She had built a wall to keep him out and away from her. That was fine with him since he didn’t really care about her or this stupid mission. Being out of the Cistern was a great relief; he was more of an outdoorsman and being cooped up in the guild headquarters had started to wear on him. Dirge was there to help with any problems the guild or Maven may have, and there was always the courier if Brynjolf really needed him back.

She kept them to the main road with a few battles along the way consisting mostly of wolves and some bandits. Each step closer to Helgen became more difficult; she was tired from pushing her body to its limits and needed to rest. An old shack used by an alchemist, that was nowhere to be found offered a place for her to sleep. Leaning against the open doorway, Lurren inspected the small room filled with different clutter, ingredients and some food. Outside stood an alchemy table with herbs and flowers growing in a garden surrounding it. The knapsack landed on the floor as she sunk down into the bed. How good it felt to be off her feet.

There was nowhere for Thrynn to sleep or even sit in the shack. He stayed out front, leaning against the shack while whittling a piece of wood he found. It was a craft very few knew he had, let alone being a master woodworker. His father taught him the trade, a skill he could always find work with. Sapphire still kept the bird’s nest with the egg inside carving Thrynn gave her for a birthday gift. Niruin keeps his bottles of Black-Briar Mead in a rack Thrynn crafted for him. He was working on carving a small wolf to keep as his souvenir from this trek because he never noticed Skyrim’s wolf problem until now. He sat cross-legged on the ground and fell asleep while leaning against the wall.

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