Malachite ducked backwards, barely dodging the drougr's long, ebony, enchanted sword. He stumbled back behind the drougr's throne and fell onto the ground. The drougr lunged forwards, swiping his sword in a deadly arc and would have cut of Malachite's legs if he had not rolled out of the way. Malachite swung his Imperial sword (stolen, of course. Nobody likes the Imperials!) and slashed half of the drougr's ribcage to the ground. Bones clattered and the drougr rapped Malachite's hand, causing the sword to clang to the wall of the cave.
The drougr snatched up the Imperial sword and flung the blade towards Malachite's head. Malachite ducked and scampered away, searching for any kind of weapon to fight back with. He wrapped his fingers around one of the drougr's old ribs and cracked it against the drougr's ebony sword that was swinging towards his face. The bone snapped into bits and Malachite backed against the wall behind the throne. Suddenly, all the light in the room brightened, then dimmed as the wall between the drougr and the throne glowed a light blue and Malachite felt a gust of wind blow his hair back.
The Drougr raised his sword and prepared to swing the final blow… and an arrow disintegrated his head. Malachite cringed as the bones smashed to the ground and his sister, Iveri, walked silently into the room carrying her trademark bow. She cleared her throat and her voice rang throughout the cavern "Umm, you're welcome?"
Malachite grinned and picked his sword back up. "Thanks." He weighed the Imperial sword in his hand and after a moment of consideration, dropped it and placed the drougr's ebony sword in his sheath instead.
"Find anything?" Iveri asked, searching for loot. They often found caves in the wilderness of Skyrim to try and find money so they could move out of the slums of Ivarstead into Whiterun or even Solitude if they could.
"I saw a chest in front of the throne, but the drougr popped up before I could pick the lock." Malachite replied.
Iveri scoffed. "Pick the lock?" She picked up Malachite's old sword and bashed the chest until it burst open, spilling the contents all over the floor.
Malachite rolled his eyes and scanned the knick-knacks on the floor and picked up a small amethyst. "This is good, but not very big…"
Iveri pocketed the jewel and asked "Find anything else? Anything?"
Malachite shrugged. "Well, that wall had some sort of magic in it, when I was about to get killed by the drougr, it glowed blue and sent wind everywhere. Maybe we could read the enchantment and make a spell and sell it to the College of Winterhold."
Iveri eyed the wall suspiciously. "Glowed? All that's on that wall is a bunch of scratches. Like tally marks, but some are slanted and sideways."
Malachite stepped towards the wall before replying, "Yeah, except for right… here." He traced his finger along the word PUSH engraved in the wall."
"There's nothing. Just three slashes up and down and two that make an X. No words." Iveri said.
"No, right here! It says push in big, round letters. It's obvious."
"You're tracing slash marks. Let's get you home. Maybe you're delusional from the near death experience. We can ask Olipi when we get back to Ivarstead. But, for now, unless you have any real treasure, we need to leave and get home before sunset. Besides, I want to check the snares that Torel taught me on the way back."
Malachite glanced at the word one last time and it seemed to wiggle in blue light for a second, and then he agreed and followed his sister through the tunnel leading to the surface. "Wait!" He said, eyes widening. "Torel taught you snares?"
Iveri laughed in her annoying, obnoxious laugh and said "Last week, when you were with Klatch stealing your 'amazing' sword that lasted about a week. We went out into the forest and built snares."
There was an awkward silence as they continued the hike uphill. When they reached the surface, Malachite finally broke it. "You go check the snares, see if you can get us a free dinner. I'm going to go to Whiterun and see if the trader has good money."
"No, no. If we split up, you're going straight home. You need to have your head checked for glowing, blue, invisible words before you go stay in Jorrvaskr again. Last time you went there, you came home with hay fever. There's no telling what'll happen this time, especially if you have head problems. Go home. I'll be there before 10."
Malachite shook his head and started trudging towards Ivarstead. "Fine. But I get the berries tonight!"
Every night, Malachite's and Iveri's mother mashed up berries almost into a pudding for a desert, but there was hardly ever enough for more than one person.
"Fine. Whatever you want, little brother."
"See you soon little sister."
They always argued about who was younger because they were twins. But Malachite wasn't thinking about that. His mouth made the friendly words as a reflex, but his mind was different entirely. Torel? Torel? She talks smack about Klatch when she's going off in the woods to snuggle up with some bard who thinks that just because he can sing well, every girl in the universe loves him! Torel? And I'm not crazy! The wall really glowed before she showed up!
All this floated around in his mind as he hiked towards his home, and when he was sure Iveri was deep in the forest near his home town, he made the best bad decision in his life.
He tucked his undershirt and light leather armor into his belt, checked his new ebony sword, and sprinted north for Whiterun.