Torshael and Tayne's Story: A New God for a New Mission

Chapter Twenty-One

Written in Collaboration with Dragonflight


The next few days were an uncomfortable mix of tension and boredom. Haiiro spent most of his time with his bond, since Tekas was usually resting or doing research on Rein, and Tayne kept himself busy with the Order, and that time was spent largely learning how to be a biped. He actually felt rather ready to be seen walking, handling things, and even eating in public by the time Tekasynos's packages arrived-- and that, surprisingly, only took a day and a half.

Whatever connections the infernal had, they were quick, efficient, and produced high quality goods, certainly better than the hand-me-downs with holes cut for his wings that he'd made do with until their arrival. He was now, however, the proud owner of one set of formal-looking attire, one set of heavy but sleek winter garments, and three sets of comfortable-looking casual clothes. Everything was in an array of colors he loved-- soft white, honey gold, chocolate brown, and pale blue, mostly, with a smattering of black, silver, and warm red-- and fit to perfection. Haiiro was afraid to ask how much the fine fabrics and exquisite tailoring had cost, but since there was no talk of price, he merely professed most heartfeltly that he was very much in Tekasynos's debt.

An extra package arrived, as well, which Tekas apparently had ordered delivered to Torshael. It contained a set of beautiful winter clothes, fur and felt and soft suede, that fit surprisingly well for Torshael never having had a tape measure or even knotted chord held to him. The supernal was nearly speechless at the generosity, but Tekas waved it off embarrassedly with the comment that it made up for saving his life. Tayne privately commented that he'd wondered just how much Torshael did do to him, with that Purification, but Haiiro was too polite to laugh and Torshael just glared at him before going back to admiring his new clothes.

The Order was busy while Tekas and the rest were recovering, as well. They finished cataloguing the artifacts from Ishtar's towers and reported with certainty that none of them were any type of phylactery-- which, really, would have been too much to hope for, though they had been looking, anyway. Everyone on Ishtar's "hit list" had been warned of their imminent danger and the majority had accepted the Order's protection. Only the infamous Hayate declined it, which Tekasynos, at least, didn't seem in the least surprised by.

The infernal himself, after two full days of recuperation and unhurried research-- during which Torshael finally started getting caught up on his sleep and Haiiro forgot he'd ever been uncomfortable in a human-like body, though he did wonder just how he'd manage to change back-- finally sent a note via one of the in-house messengers. Torshael took it with thanks and a smile for the young man, then turned back into the room. "Looks like the healers announce Tekas to be in perfect health again," he said, reading, "and he thinks he'll have something to share with Tayne."

"Well, we'd better go find Tayne and see what he has to say," Haiiro suggested.

Tracking down Tayne wasn't all that difficult, really. Torshael could pinpoint him with his mind alone, but there wasn't much need: he was, as usual, with one of the Order captains, currently going over the last of Ishtar's repossessed possessions. He readily left the last few pieces for later and followed them to Tekasynos's room. Torshael knocked politely.

"It's open," Tekasynos called from inside, and Torshael opened it for the rest of the family. Tekas was on the bed again, though rather than laying in it was more lounging on it, once again wearing his little reading glasses. He looked healthier than Haiiro had ever seen him.

"Well, isn't that a fetching look," Tayne grinned. "Glasses, Tekas?"

"Tayne," Torshael groaned.

"I'm just being friendly."

"Yeah, right."

"Yes," said Tekasynos succinctly, though without offense. "Glasses. Did you want to hear what I had to say, or not?"

"Go on, don't mind me," Tayne replied airily.

Torshael gave him another glare, then took the chair nearest the infernal's bed. "What did you find out, Tekas?"

"Well, it took me long enough to find what I was looking for," Tekasynos said. "It strikes me as odd that no one recognized the description... but it's possible he just didn't want to be recognized. There's only one god ever portrayed with all three of the traits you described: red hair, gold eyes, dark skin...." He paused to chuckle and shrug. "Yaashir."

Haiiro blinked. "Yaashir. The one Ishtar's trying to do away with."

"That makes more sense than it doesn't," Tayne mused. "Of course he'd be invested in keeping himself alive."

"The god of war is playful? And silly?" Torshael drawled, glancing at Tayne, who shrugged.

"Maybe he just likes me. I did manage to catch him, after all."

"I wouldn't know," Tekas said. "Most religious texts place him in an-- unpleasant light... but there's a lot of bias on the matter, so it's unlikely to be entirely accurate."

"And Ishtar's certainly not a good source of unbiased information," Torshael agreed. "I guess we'll just have to go with what we see."

"I'm glad he's involved," Haiiro said. "And helping out."

"Well, now that we know, I doubt we need to worry about him causing trouble," Tayne pointed out. "He has to save his own skin, after all-- if you can even say a god has skin. I'll let the Order know that if he shows up again, to trust him."

"I'd keep his name to yourself, personally," Tekas suggested. "If he wanted open recognition for that, he'd have been a bit less subtle about it... not that he was very subtle in the first place."

"I'd think what happened with him was about the opposite of subtle," Tayne snorted, halfway between annoyance and amusement.

"That might just have been because you were involved," Torshael replied archly, making Tekas chuckle softly. "Well, we'll keep it to ourselves, and just say we have it on good authority that he's trustworthy. For now, though...." He glanced back to Tekasynos. "You have a good bill of health from the healers, now? Feeling up to getting on the road again?"

"Well... if you want me to come along, I'd be more than happy to join you," the infernal said.

"Of course we do," Torshael smiled at him.

"They think you're dead, remember?" Tayne reminded him. "That makes you a secret weapon, of sorts, I'd say."

"I don't know about that," Tekasynos equivocated, rubbing awkwardly at the back of his head, "but if I can be of help...."

"You already have been," Torshael assured him, reaching over to pat his foot warmly. "I'm sure you will be, again."

Haiiro stared for a moment, sure he'd just caught Tekasynos flinching at the touch. But that didn't make any sense. Tekas seemed to like Torshael, especially now that he had mellowed out so much after being Purified. He'd even, all unasked for, given him some fine and probably expensive clothing. Why would he flinch away from him?

"So if that's settled?" Tayne asked, oblivious to the motion, faint as it was. "How about tomorrow morning, for our escape of this fine establishment?"

"Sounds like a plain," Tekas nodded, at least sounding completely unbothered. Haiiro was still confused, but he had to put his confusion away, at least for the moment. There were more important things to worry about.

Like walking into Ishtar's former base, and what might be lying in wait for them there.


Chapter Twenty-Two

Back to Torshael - Back to Tayne

Back to Haiiro'Hiwatari