(1256) (Kaer Trolde) (Skjall's POV)
The entire banquet is everything what the game portrayed it to be. Mead is literally flowing down like a river, tables filled with all kinds of delicacies, bards and other kinds of entertainers filled the entire room with tales and music, finally fist fights courtesy of the Vildkaarls. Watching them fight is already giving me some ideas on their moves.
However, despite them having sheer brute strength, they really lack subtlety and dexterity. They mainly use their fists, even then their attacks are slow and easily telegraphed. They don't even realize the advantage of using all four limbs in a fight. While blocking their punches would be a bad idea, deflection or redirection works very well against them. All you need to do is redirect where their attack goes and then they will be thrown off balance and open to attack.
I shook my head as I continued to eat my fill as well as observe everything that is happening around me. My mother went with Donar an Hindar along with the other Jarls and their guests to eat at the King's table, she asked me if I wanted to come along, I politely declined saying that I would rather see everything this feast has to offer, Astrid already was long gone with some friends she said that were here and I haven't seen hide nor hair of her, it slightly made me worry.
The sun has just set beyond the horizon, coating Skellige with the light shining from the pale moonlight. I went towards a window to look at the view this place gives and it sure hell is one heck of a view. The light of the full moon gives the sea water down below quite a sparkling effect, also added to the effect of the light the torches give down at the Harbor. Skellige is a beautiful sight, despite its dangers, pirates, and dark creatures that inhabit here, it really isn't that bad of a place to live.
*Tap* *Tap* *Tap*
Someone taps my shoulder, I looked to where it was but saw no one behind me. I shrugged and turned back only to see the smiling face of my sister.
"BOO!" She exclaimed as I jumped back in fright and landed on my behind. She laughed hard as she clutched her sides at my reaction. I shot a glare at her, but it only served to make her laugh harder.
"Hahahahahaha! You should've seen your face, ohoho, priceless." She pants as she wipes a tear from her eye. I gave a huff and continued to stare at the view outside, completely blocking out my sister's voice.
"Oh come on, don't be like that Skjall, it was just all in good fun." She tries to console me, but I continue to block her out. After a few minutes passed I finally relented.
"Is that all? Because you wouldn't be here looking for me just to scare me like that." And it was true, Astrid doesn't do anything without a deeper reason, she was looking for me, not just to scare the hell out of me.
"You're right. I wanted to see if you would like to meet my friends?" Astrid asks me. In truth, I had little interest in meeting her friends, I am a man on a mission, or boy in this case. And I always kept an eye out on for Ciri, Hjalmar, or Cerys. But I couldn't see hide nor hair of them. I decided to just relax for now since I still have plenty of time before everything really messes up, I still have my new childhood to live.
"*Sigh* Fine, lead the way sister." I resigned to my fate and let my 8-year-old sister drag me by the hand. We escaped from all the noise the adults were making as Astrid took me from corridor to corridor that lead the way to the yard of Kaer Trolde to where the Tree was located. My eyes widen in shock at the three people just under the tree chatting amicably.
"Hey you three! Come over here and let me introduce you to someone!" Astrid shouted. Said three looked towards our direction. Hjalmar, he almost looks unrecognizable without the facial hair and gruffness, he wore a child version of his signature outfit in the future. If my information is correct, he should be the same age as my sister.
Cerys came to view and I can see that she already is a tomboy. Her hair is tied in a bun, and she also wore her child size default outfit, without the flannel wrapped around her though. I don't exactly know how old she is; I can only hazard a guess that she is a year or something younger than Hjalmar.
But my true focus was the one person with a very trying future ahead of her, all formally dressed fit for a royal like her. Despite her young age, being the same age as me, I can already tell how much more beautiful Ciri would be growing up. She was already beautiful in the game; I can only imagine how much it is in my new life.
Unfortunately, my staring didn't go unnoticed. Much to my chagrin, it was my sister. Of course it'd be her.
"Oooooh~ is my little tyke of a brother already feeling like a big man trying to impress a princess~" Astrid's teasing tone snapped me out of it, unfortunately my blushing was in full view. I can hear Cerys giggle at my sister's teasing. I turned away from everyone trying not to look at their faces, Ciri's more than anyone else. Great first impression there buddy.
After they've had their laughs and managed their composure. Astrid introduced me to them, and vice versa. Hjalmar and Cerys were just as they were portrayed in the games, with Hjalmar trying to look brave and strong despite his childish figure and Cerys as well was trying to look tough. Although, I can see Ciri giggle at her friends' antics.
"So, anybody want to play some hide and seek?" Cerys suggested. Ciri nodded without saying a word.
"Good idea, hey Skjall is it then since he's our new friend." Hjalmar said as he ran away and went for a place to hide. Cerys just shook her head and followed her brother's example. Astrid smiles in amusement at her two friends. While Ciri just stood there in front of me.
"Make sure you count your fingers and toes while covering your eyes. Come on Astrid." Ciri says to me as she drags Astrid away. I let out a sigh as I covered my face with my hands and began counting.
"I, 2, 3, 4…" I counted.
"17, 18, 19, 20. Ready or not hear I come!" I shouted to signify my counting done. And went on the hunt.
(1256) (Kaer Trolde) (3rd POV)
And so Skjall went on the hunt. Looking for his sister and her eccentric trio of friends. Finding Hjalmar and Cerys were not all that difficult, given that they were actually fighting over a spot to hide in. Sad to say that they were the first ones out. Finding Astrid was actually a bit more of a challenge. It took him about half an hour before he found her hiding under a banquet table.
Finding Ciri though was the real kicker. He scoured through hallways and looked under every table at the banquet hall. After an hour long search he was about ready to call it quits and give up. Until he stumbled across something out of place. As he ascended a flight of stairs he saw a big pot that could fit a child inside. But that wasn't what caught his attention, it was the uprooted plant that was hidden away so it wouldn't raise suspicion.
Smirking in victory he looked inside and lo and behold, there was Ciri curled up inside trying to remain hidden.
"Found you!" Skjall says with a smile of victory as Ciri sighs in defeat. She tries to climb out, but the bottom of her dress gets caught and she trips as she falls out of the vase. Skjall's went on full instinct as he catches her fall. However, due to having the strength of a child and the momentum of Ciri's fall, the two went down towards the stairs. Skjall reacted and he hugs Ciri tight as they sled down the flight of stairs made out of stone, Skjall took the blunt of the slide as Ciri was on top of him as he used his back as a sled.
"Oof!" Skjall grunted as they finally reached the bottom of the stairs, Skjall let go of Ciri as he grunted due to the pain of sliding about 20 stone steps, his arms were spread out as he breathes heavily trying to numb the pain in his back. Ciri was still on top of him, her heart beating either from the bumpy ride down, or due to Skjall. Perhaps a little bit of both.
"Are… you… alright?" Skjall groaned. Ciri gave a snort in amusement at her new friend.
"I should be asking you that. You took all of that punishment, keeping me from getting hurt." Ciri says as she gives Skjall a peck on the cheek. The boy felt heat rising in his cheeks as Ciri giggles at his reaction.
"Thank you for saving me then, hero." She smiles as she was still on top of him. Ciri was about to get off and help him up until…
"ACHOO!" Somebody sneezed just around the corridor. Ciri quickly turns around, only to be met with a sheepish looking Hjalmar being scolded by an irate Cerys. Astrid though, was looking at the two of them with an impish smirk on her face.
"Well, well, well. It hasn't even passed midnight and already it's love at first flight… of stairs." Astrid jokes as she laughs at the red face of her brother and friend Ciri.
"How… long have-" Ciri was then cut off by Astrid.
"The whole time. When we heard a thud we went to see what happened, and well~ you know the rest~" Astrid finishes, her smirk never left her face. She walked towards her little brother and helped him get up his feet. He brushes himself off and points at the two Craite siblings.
"What's with them." Skjall asks. Astrid's smirk went even wider if it were possible as she points at the two of them with thumb.
"Well, we were enjoying the show and wanted to see what happens next. That is, until Hjalmar here had to ruin everything. Aww~ And I wanted to see my little brother get his just reward from the Princess." Astrid pouts as Hjalmar ruined a good romantic scene. The two however went red at that, Ciri a bit more so since if Hjalmar didn't sneeze then… She didn't really want to add more arrows in Astrid's quiver.
So after that the group of friends went back to the yard and gaze upon the night sky. Each one pointed at the constellations and told a story about them. When the feast's noise began to die down. Hanna went out and found her two children. She smiled as she found them together. She called out to them, saying it was time for bed.
The five friends then went their separate ways. Yawning as Hjalmar, Cerys and Ciri went to look for their respective parents. Astrid and Skjall went with Hanna as she guides them to their guest room. Hanna asked if they had fun while she was at the feast. Astrid wanted to say what happened with Skjall and Ciri, but a slitting gesture from her little brother caused her to back off, she bore a knowing smirk though all the way.
Skjall told his mother about how much fun it was playing with his new friends and was happy that Astrid introduced him to them. Hanna smiles all the way as her son tells her about how much he enjoyed being around Hjalmar, Cerys, and Ciri's company.
Despite of the things that is yet to come, he feels lighter enjoying their company. He made a vow to himself that whatever comes their way, he will be there to help and support them for what is to come.
"Even if it costs him his newfound life."
AN: And that's wrap. I'm really surprised that the story already has quite the following. Thank you for the support! Also, fanfic doesn't notify this but I re-wrote chapter 20 of my Monster Hunter fic because it was terrible at first so I had to change it. Anyways thank you my fellow readers and writers for the reviews if you like this chapter write it down in the Reviews. This is Fatalis0217. Peace!