From the moment you opened your eyes, you found yourself to be horribly, terribly, amazingly lost.
You managed to sit up, your clothes damp with morning dew, the chill hanging in the air sending a shiver down your spine.
You looked around, seeing you were in a forest of some kind. As far as you could see, you saw dense trees, underbrush and the odd smathering of flowers. Your head was pounding and your memory foggy from the night before. You remembered… Running? There was yelling and dogs and and arrows, one that hit your-
You plummeted to the ground as you got up and tried to put weight on your left leg. A string of curses left your mouth as the pain radiated up your to your thigh. You clutched your wounded leg and sat up again, brushing dirt of your clothes.
Your memory slowly got clearer as you took a moment to think, looking over the wound. It wasn’t to deep but it was red and not in the best shape.
You sighted and rubbed your eyes in a motion of frustration.
The village you lived in had… Chased you out? You had done something to piss them off but you couldn’t remember what. It was bad, you knew that. Not murder bad but… Bad. All you clearly remember was fear and the sounds of an angry mob. And the swishing of arrows zooming past your head. And then one hitting you in your calf and sending you crashing down.
You sighed, looking around again, trying to think of what way to go.
You managed to get up and limped to a nearby tree, tearing off a sizable branch to use as a makeshift crutch. It wasn’t much, but it had to do.
You did your best to ignore the terrible feeling of anxiety nagging at the back of your mind as you limped into a random direction. You had no food, no drink, no idea where the fuck you were,…
A downright recipe for disaster.
“Fuck, what was it again I needed to- shelter and water, right?” You spoke to yourself, trying your best to remember survival tips, hobbling along awkwardly. Your leg was throbbing at this point but you soldiered on.
You weren’t sure how long you’d been out or had been walking but everything was slowly getting darker and you were starting to panic. Hunger had reared its head and you still had nothing on you but the clothes on your back.
“Fuck- I’m- shit-”
“Who are you, state your business.”
Your heart almost leapt out of your chest as you awkwardly spun around and came face to face with a tall, svelte orc woman with long, slicked back and braided blond hair.
“I’m- my name- I’m lost.”
She eyed you suspiciously, her gaze darting down to your leg and the branch you were leaning on. You noticed the glaive she was holding. It looked very well used and amazingly sharp and you praised you wouldn’t become familiar with said sharp end.
“Lost?” She echoed, a pair or brown eyes meeting yours. You slowly nodded.
“I was chased out of my village.” You said. Her eyebrows furrowed. “Can you point me towards the n-”
You let out a startled noise as she picked you up. You dropped your branch and out of instinct, wrapped your arms around her neck.
“What- what are you doing?” You asked, feeling a blush creep up your face. She chuckled briefly, a hint of a smile on her face.
“You’re wounded, hungry and alone. I’m taking you with me. My clan leaves no wounded uncared for or the hungry not fed.” She said mater-of-factly.
You blinked a few times, very puzzled. But hey, there were worse things in life than being carried off by an orc lady. Stumbling through the woods at night with an untreated wounded leg for example.
“Whats your name?” She asked. You gave her your name and she repeated it. “It’s a good name. I’m Freiya.”
“Nice to meet you.” You said. She gave you a polite nod.
“Likewise, though it could have happened under better circumstances.”
This time you were the one to nod.
Freiya made her way through the trees with purpose and soon, you saw huts erected in a clearing. People were running back and forth going about their business and in the middle of this village burned a big bonfire casting eerie shadows.
“Eydis! Eydis, we have a wounded!”
You froze when Freiya bellowed as she came closer to the huts on the outside of the circular village. Some people - no, orcs - turned their heads in your direction.
The name was repeated a few times as Freiya carried you into the clearing, near the fire. A small part of you feared you might be chucked into said fire but that fear was done away with as a “short” (by orc standard) orc woman rushed towards you. Her red hair was intricately braised and she looked startled, carrying a bag over her shoulder.
“I’m here! I’m here!” She said, obvious out of breath. Her eyes immediately landed on the wound on your leg.
“Oh my- Follow me!”
Without another word, Eydis marched towards one of the huts near the fire. Freiya followed, still carrying you. You looked around and noticed orcs staring at you as you were carried away. You decided to ignore them, your face a warm shade of red and stared at Freiya’s bone necklace instead.
From the second you entered the hut, you were met with a very pungent, herbal smell. The hut was warm and when you looked around, it looked pretty cosy.
There was a bed pushed up against the clay wall, draped with animal furs and pillows. There was a broad table with some chairs near the other side, decorated with dried herbs, vials, jars, rolled up strips of bandage and other medical looking bits and bobs. There were shelves lining the wall across from the bed, lined with plants, books and personal belongings.
There was also a small fireplace where the redhaired orc woman was fanning a flame.
“Put them on the bed please, Freiya.” Eydis said, the beads in her hair clicking together as she moved to look back at the two of you. Freiya obeyed and put you down on the plush bed.
“Thank you. It’s good you brought them here right away. That wound looks bad.” Eydis said, pooring water from a pitcher into the cast iron cauldron suspended over the fire.
“I’ll leave you to work your magic.” Freiya said, giving you a modest smile. You waved her goodbye and tried to process everything that happened. Sadly, Eydis seemed to have other ideas.
“Let me look at your leg please.” She asked, pushing you flat onto the bed and ripping the fabric of your pants further to expose the wound. You were about to protest, wanting to stop her but she drew in a breath. One that made you worry.
“It’s starting to show signs of infection. Thank the Matron Freiyja found you when she did.” Eydis said, reaching into her shoulder bag and retrieving a jar.
“Can you- can you fix it?” You asked, a little nervous.
“Darling, I have yet to meet a wound I can’t heal.” Eydis said, handing you the jar and grabbing the pitcher and a cloth. She started cleaning your wound, trying to make some conversation. As she worked, you told her your name and about your foggy memory. She hummed thoughtfully as she rubbed a mix of herbs on your wound.
“You’ll need to stay here for a while then. I’ll see what can be done about your memory. Plus that leg of yours needs rest.”
Eydis got up and retrieved a bandage, stopping briefly to pick out some herbs and tossed them in the boiling water, amplifying the herbal scent in the room.
“I’ll talk to Vali. I’m sure he’ll-”
“What about me?”
You jumped as you looked towards the door. A huge orc filled the frame. He had long, brown hair styled in two braids and a ponytail, the braids littered with beads. He had a pelt draped over his soulders and wore simple clothing. Yet around his waist sat a broad belt with a golden buckle. He was probably the one in charge, you figured.
“Brother! Don’t scare us like that!” Eydis said, standing up with her hands on her hips.
Vali chuckled and walked a little further into the hut.
“Freiya filled me in.” He said, his gaze lingering on you. “You’re a long way from home aren’t you?”
You felt your cheeks heat up and nodded. Eydis let out a sigh, rolling her eyes as she got back to work, wrapping up your leg.
“They are.” She said, noticing your apprehension. “And they need to rest. I was wondering if you-”
“Can I have a word with them?”
Eydis pauses briefly but got up, wiping her hands on their apron.
“Fine. There’s healing tea brewing. Make sure they drink at least a cup.”
Vali nodded as Eydis left the hut, leaving you and Vali alone.
What do you do?
♠️ Stay silent
❤️ (Attempt) flirting
♣️ Take the humerous approach
♦️ Ask him about the village
♦️ Ask him about the village
Vali grabbed a chair from next to the table and sat down, his legs spread and his posture less than ideal. He crossed his arms and looked at you intently.
“Where are you from?” He asked you, voice low and rumbly.
“I’m- uhm. From a town nearby, I think? Its called Fallbarrow. I… I did something bad, I think? I had to run and I got hurt.”
Vali studied your face intently. You figured he was trying to see if you were telling the truth or not.
“I’m guessing I hit my head or something. I don’t… My memory is messed up.”
Vali quirked up an eyebrow and shifted in his seat.
“You did something bad, you think?” He asked and you nodded.
“I remember being chased and people firing arrows at me. But I don’t remember what I did.”
The orc rose from his seat and walked over to the fire, grabbing a cup from the table.
You repeated it to him and watched as he filled the cup with the tea Eydis had been brewing. As he handed it to you, you said:
“Can I ask a question?”
Vali gave you a nod and the cup and sat back down.
“What is this place? Don’t- don’t orcs live further north?”
Vali chuckled, seemingly amused.
“Most orc clans settle up north, yes. But mine took a different approach to life. The founders didn’t agree with a lifestyle of seafaring and pillaging and chose a more… Sedentary lifestyle. They moved down south and set up camp here and that’s where we’ve stayed for generations.” Vali said, gesturing towards the door. “We mostly farm, trade what we don’t use and keep to ourselves.”
You took a careful sip from the cup as he spoke, curious about this place you found yourself in. Vali kept talking, obviously proud of his town.
“We look after our own and the ill fated that stumble across here, like yourself.” You blushed. “But it pays to be wary. The fact you lost your memory is worrisome.”
You bit your bottom lip and looked away, scared you might be sent off to fend your yourself again. At least your leg was patched up. That’d grant you at least a fighting chance at surv-
“But you seem harmless enough, you’re wounded and unarmed… I’ll allow you to stay.”
Oh, alright. That’s a relief.
You felt your shoulders relax and you looked back at Vali, his expression serious as he studied your face. It struck you that he was rather handsome all things considered. He had a strong jawline, somewhat prominent cheekbones, very pretty eyes-
“Are you two done yet?!”
You both jumped at the voice belting from outside. Apparently Eydis had enough of being locked out of her own hut.
“Yeah.” Vali called back and not a second later the door opened and Eydis came barrelling in. She really seemed like the type to not stand or sit still for longer than a moment. You mused it was probably a good trait to have when working with the ill or wounded.
“So, what’s the verdict?” Eydis asked, looking pleased when she saw the cup of tea in your hands. Once she noticed, you quickly took another sip, ignoring the less than pleasant medicinal taste.
“They can stay.” Vali said, getting up. “But they’re staying with me.”
You almost spat out your tea, both Eydis and Vali giving you a slightly puzzled look.
“Are- I don’t want to impose. I’m fine staying somewhere e-”
“It’s a safety measure.” Vali said. A strange feeling made your gut wrench. He didn’t trust you. And for some reason this fact sat wrong with you.
“Ah… Uh… Sorry.”
Vali quirked up an eyebrow. You noticed him looking over towards Eydis who merely shrugged her shoulders.
“Either way, you can stay until you’re fully recovered. If you so wish, we will help you on your way to travel further if that’s what you want to do.” Vali said, his words carrying a weird air of formality to them. “Now let me-”
He bended over and wrapped and arm around your back and slid the other one under the crook of your knees. It was as if you were a mere feather to him as he effortlessly picked you up.
This was the second time an orc carried you around and man, you could get used to this.
“Alright. I’ll come over and check on you in the morning. Be sure to not put weight on your leg and keep it elevated.” Eydis said, Vali turning so you could comfortably look at his sister. “And finish your tea. It’ll help with any pain.”
“I will. Thank you.” You said, still cradling the cup in your hands that had gotten a bit cooler.
Eydis looked pleased with herself and nodded, putting her hands on her hips.
“Good. Now off you two go. I’ve got work to do.”
Vali chuckled and rolled his eyes as he carried you out the door, carefully minding your head and leg as he did so. He carried you across the square with the bonfire to the largest hut you could make out. You briefly looked around and once again people were starting. You could make out Freiya who had a small group of people around her who seemed busy bombarding her with questions.
“Uhm,… Is it weird for a human to be here?” You asked. Vali nodded without looking at you.
“Humans don’t often happen upon this place.” He said. “So pardon the staring.”
You looked back at your cup of tea which now had gotten cold enough to drink quickly, which you did. The medicinal taste made you gag and you heard Vali chuckle.
“Eydis remedies taste vile but they help.” He said, making you smile a little.
You reached the door to the hut which he elbowed open and carried you inside. The main room he carried you in was spacious and decorated with hunting trophies. There was a big table in the center, lined with two benches. There was a small podium up against one wall with a chair decorated with bone and fur and leather. You assumed it was a throne of some sorts.
There was a hearth to the left and a door next to it. Vali turned right and elbowed open the door there which seemed to lead to his living quarters. The setup was similar to Eydis’s hut with a spacious bed against the wall under a window, a small hearth with a comfortable looking armchair near it, a chest at the foot of it, a table with maps and books up against the other wall and a shelf with bits and bobs and more books.
“You can sleep here.” Vali said, putting you down on the bed. “I’ll sleep in the chair.”
You blinked a few times and looked back at him.
What do you do?
♠️ - Insist he takes the bed
❤️ - Offer to share instead
♣️ - Thank him and go to sleep
♠️ - Insist he takes the bed
“No, I can’t do that. I’ll sleep in the chair!”
Vali gave you an unimpressed look, crossing his strong arms. You were scooting your way off the bed when he stopped you, bending over and placing an arm either side of you as you sat on the edge of the bed.
“Knock that off. You’ll hurt yourself.” He said, causing you to pause. “I’ll be fine with sleeping in the chair. Now lay back down and rest.”
You felt like a scolded child as you scooted back further on the bed under Vali’s watchful eye.
“Yes but-” you started to argue, being cut off by Vali quirking up an eyebrow. You gave up arguing and laid back down, turning your back to him. You still felt like a mopey child. Clearly you wouldn’t win this, even if you wanted to. As you closed your eyes you heard Vali mumble a goodnight before leaving the room.
You weren’t sure when you’d fallen asleep but you woke to an odd rumbly noise. You opened your eyes and saw Vali fast asleep and snoring in his armchair in front of a dying fire.
You smiled briefly and grabbed one of the furs, quietly crawling out of bed and hobbling to the chair, draping the fur around Vali’s sleeping form.
You took a moment to look him over.
He was handsome in a rugged sort of way. He was surprisingly clean-shaven save for a patch of hair on his chin. His tusks were impressive and well taken care of. His hair was long and obviously a source of pride, being richly decorated with bits and bobs.
Before you knew what you were doing, you pressed a kiss on his cheek . Vali moved slightly and embarrasment hit you like a tidal wave as you hurried back to bed.
You laid down and tried to rest some more, trying to shake the embarrassment and praying he wouldn’t bring it up in the morning.
“Pipsqueak. Rise and shine.”
You groaned as you were shaken awake. When you opened your eyes, you were greeted by Vali hovering over you.
“Five more minutes.” You mumbled, grabing the fur you used as a blanket and pulling it over your head to ward off the orc.
“Its almost midday. Time to get up.” He said, yanking the blankets away from you. “Eydis wants to check up on you and my other sisters insist on meeting you.”
“Sisters? Plural? How many do you have?” You asked, sitting up and rubbing the sleep out of your eyes. Vali chuckled.
“Three total. Now c'mon. Time to get some food in you.”
You yawned and stretched your back, moving to the edge of the bed. Vali picked you up again and you wanted to protest.
“Eydis said you needed rest. Plus I think you crawling out of bed to tuck me in already could get Eyd mad at you.”
You felt hear flush to your face again.
“You looked cold…”
Vali snickered as he carried you to the main hall. A few orcs were hanging out, some enjoying their lunch while others were playing card games.
You noticed two orc ladies and Eydis sitting together. Those must be Vali’s sisters.
“So you’re that stranger Eyd won’t shut up about.” The tallest of the three asked once you were within earshot. She had long, dark green hair pulled back in a braid. Her features were sharper than her sisters and she was built for agility, it seemed. Her eyes were a hazel colour and bored into you, causing you to look away.
“Alfhild, don’t scare the poor thing!” Eydis said, followed by the noise of her smacking her sister on the arm.
Vali sighed and put you down on the bench next to Eydis before wandering off to the door on the other side of the hall, leaving you with his sisters.
Nerves almost got the better of you as Alfhild and the smallest of the group looked you over. The orc sitting next to Alfhild was the shortest you’d seen so far. She was broad shouldered and lanky but had a cute face. Her hair was the same colour as Vali’s but cropped short and stuck out in every which way.
“So, how’s your leg.”
You snapped out of it as Eydis addressed you.
“Oh uh, it… It still hurts but not as badly.” You said, looking down at it under the table, Eydis following your example. “I slept fine too.”
“That’s good. I’ll need change the bandage and such once you’ve eaten.” Eydis said, patting her bag which sat on her other side. You gave her a smile.
“Now, meet my sisters. That is Alfhild” she pointed at the one who adressed you earlier. “She’s the oldest of us four. She travels a lot so it’s lucky you caught her here.”
Alfhild bowed her head slightly as a greeting which you replicated. The corners of her mouth quirked up slightly though the smile didn’t reach her eyes.
“And that’s Ylva. She’s the baby.”
“Don’t fucking call me that.”
You looked over at Ylva, who seemed less than pleased to be here. In all honesty, she reminded you of a moody teenager.
“Nice to meet y-”
“Whatever. Alfhild dragged me here. I don’t care about-”
“Will you be nice?” Eydis interupted her, seemingly peeved. The sisters started bickering and you awkwardly sat there, praying Vali would come back soon.
And as if your prayers had been answered, the door opened and Vali returned with two bowls of stew. He sat one in from of you while giving his sisters a stern look. Alfhild seemed unfased while Ylva and Eydis fell quiet.
You quietly ate, pretending really hard you weren’t there when Alfhild spoke up.
“Brother, what’s your plan for this stranger?”
You felt a sinking feeling in your stomach as you glanced over at her, then at Vali.
“They’re staying untill they’re better. If they want to leave, they can. If they don’t… We’ll sort that out.”
You glanced back at Alfhild who looked you dead in the eye, not really pleased.
“Ever the gracious chieftain.” She said, sarcasm dripping of her words.
The rest of your meal was rather uneventful. Eydis tried to keep the conversation light while Alfhild kept an eye on you and Ylva was brooding. Once the meal was over and Eydis had changed your bandage, you and Vali were left alone, Alfhild and Ylva not bothering to say a proper goodbye.
“So, what’s Alfhild’s deal?”
Vali snorted into his tankard of ale he’d gotten earlier. He put it down and shook his head.
“She was supposed to be chieftain but she stepped down. Claimed being a leader wasn’t something she cared for. Doesn’t stop her from getting involved though.” He said.
“She sounds fun. And Ylva?”
“She hates being the youngest.” Vali said. “She never outgrew her teenage rebelliousness. She’s slow to warm up to people.”
“Your siblings are a cheery bunch.” You said. Vali snorted again.
“Yeah, you can say that again.” A sigh left Vali’s lips. “Alfhild also is kinda mad I haven’t taken a mate yet. I’ve taken up running this place three years ago and she thinks its a travesty I haven’t bothered continuing the family line yet. Eydis low key thinks the same but she’s… Nicer about it.”
You furrowed your eyebrows, resting your chin on your hand.
What do you do?
♠️ - Ask more about orc customs
❤️ - Flirt
♣️ - Ask to explore the village
♠️ - Ask more about orc customs
“Can you tell me more? I don’t know much about… You guys.” You motioned vaguely towards the rest of the hall. “Or if I did, I don’t remember.”
Vali quirked up an eyebrow and stared back at his beer. Before you could say anything, he downed whatever was left and picked you up.
“Where are we going?” You asked, wrapping your arms around the chieftains neck.
“We’re going to the temple.” He said, walking you out the door. A few orcs looked in your direction but didn’t seem to pay you much mind anymore. It seemed like the novelty of your presence had worn off fast.
You spent the trek towards the temple looking around. You saw mostly orc people. There was one half elf you spotted who was carrying a little, pale green child on her hip. You saw an orc woman lean over and kiss her cheek before walking off, an axe slung over her shoulder. You also saw a dwarf discussing wares with an elderly looking orc gentleman who seemed a bit hard of hearing, judging by the dwarfs shouting.
But aside from those two, you didn’t see any other non orcs around.
“So temple, huh?” You started, trying to make some conversation. Vali nodded, ducking under a clothesline.
“Yeah. We have those, believe it or not.” He said, walking to the door of a richly decorated hut. It wasn’t as big as Vali’s home but it was close to it. It had a long, rectangular shape and a vaulted roof. A symbol hung above the door that you weren’t familiar with.
Vali elbowed the door open and carried you in.
The room was vacant, lined with benches all aimed towards the center where a statue stood. Vali set you down on a bench and walked over to the statue, patting it on the hip which was roughly at shoulder height with him.
“Alright time for some education.” Vali said, clearing his throat. You couldn’t help but crack a smile.
“This lady here is the Matron,” He patted the statue again. You took a good look at it now. The statue was an orc woman with soft features and hair that was weaved in intricate braids and peppered with beads, just like Vali’s. Her stomach was round with the sings of pregnancy and one hand rested on her tummy wile the other was stretched out to the side in a surrendering gesture almost. She was dressed in long, elegant robes that almost seemed to accentuate her pregnant state.
“She’s the orc mother. We all stem from her.” Vali continued. “She started life as a man which was an issue because the only other orc was also a man. She prayed long and hard to her Gods to give her the body she was meant to have and they gave her that in exchange of her expanding the orc horde. So she did.”
You had the feeling Vali himself had heard this story a lot by the way he rambled it, motioning with his hands as he spoke.
“Our culture is kinda based around this, yanno.”
“Actually, I don’t.” You said, pulling up your healthy leg and resting your chin on your knee. “Please, tell me more.”
Vali cleared his throat again.
“Well,… Our clans are basically just sort of family units. We aren’t necessarily related by blood but we treat each other as such. We take care of our own because through the Matron we’re all sort of related.”
He furrowed his brow, looking as if he’d just said something strange without meaning to.
“Sounds fascinating.” You said, tilting your head slightly. Vali gave you a bit of an awkward smile.
“It’s… I suppose it is.” He said, sitting down next to you. “Eydis- because she’s a healer and a midwife she’s kind of like a priestess.”
You gave him a curious look. He took this as a cue to continue.
“Births are sacred to us. It’s a continuation and expansion of the horde the Matron began.” He said, sounding almost like a dad giving his child The Talk. “They’re celebrated with a two day feast. One, uh,”
Vali chuckled. “One that nine months later results in more feasting.”
You snorted, amused.
“But because Eydis helps with these things, she directly serves the Matron by helping other people give birth safely.”
“That makes sense.” You said. Vali leaned forward, his hair rings clicking against each other. You studied the braids that framed his face, peppered with beads of all colours. You’d seen most orcs wear them around the village.
“Whats with the beads?” You asked.
Vali looked down at one of his braids before answering.
“They kinda serve as talismans. Greens for good health, red is for success in battle, purple to indicate you’re a leader…” He said, plucking a green bead out of his braid. He looked at it for a moment.
You gave him a surprised look but leaned in anyway. Vali took a lock of your hair and braided the bead into it.
“There. You need it more than I do.”
You felt your cheeks flush with heat and thanked him. He shrugged it off.
“No need to thank m-”
The pleasant moment was interrupted by the door to the temple opening. An older orc woman shuffled in, a dusty looking fur slung over her shoulders. She was leaning heavily on a gnarly looking tree branch that had worn smooth through use.
“Oh dear, it seems I interupted a lover’s moment away.” She said, letting out an amused little laugh.
“Sif, it’s nothing like that, you old coot.” Vali said, getting up. The old lady eyed you, her gaze lingering on the bead in your hair.
“Oh, of course, of course.” She said, mockingly convinced. “Pardon me for making assumptions.”
“Yes, you better be sorry.” Vali nudged her arm in a friendly yet teasing gesture. You had a feeling these two had history but you felt like you’d already asked enough.
“Are they the stray Freiya found?” Sif asked, shuffling to you. You got a closer look at her. Her face was well worn with age but she looked friendly. One of her tusks was missing and her grey hair was pulled back in a braided bun, also peppered with beads that looked as worn out as she was.
“Yes, I am.” You said. “Pleasure to meet you.”
Sif grinned her teeth bare in a wide smile.
“It isn’t often we find humans. Last one we found was my son in law.” She spoke, leaning heavily on her stick. You tried not to feel a little nervous under her studying gaze. It stayed quiet for a moment and behind Sif you saw Vali roll his eyes, moving back towards you. Sif raised her hand and Vali froze.
“I’m sure you’ll make him happy.”
“Alright. That’s enough. I have stuff to do. You probably do as well.” He said, giving Sif a pointed look. Sif merely nodded sagely, a twinkle of amusement in her eyes.
Vali picked you up again and gave Sif a nod. You wished her goodbye and she waved, sitting down on he bench where youd been sitting a moment ago.
The door closed behind the both of you, Vali sighing.
What do you do?
♠️ - Ask if he can show you more
❤️ - Ask what Sif meant
♣️ - Offer Vali to teach him about humans
❤️ - Ask what Sif meant
"What did she mean?" You asked, arms wrapped around his neck again. Vali froze for a moment, sighing.
"She... There was a misunderstanding. That's all." He said, walking back to the center of the village.
Vali grumbled, his cheeks turning a rosy colour.
"She probably thought you were being prepped to serve the Matron." He half mumbled, ducking under the clothesline from earlier. Your cheeks turned red in turn.
"Oh. So she though that we-?"
A slightly awkward silence settled over the pair of you as Vali kept walking. You were wracking your brain, trying to think of something to say but before you could, Vali's home was in front of you once more.
"I hope I didn't cause you trouble." You said as Vali walked into the hall. He scoffed.
"She's old and a little senile. People will hardly believe anything she says."
Things had gotten a little livelier and a gnome you hadn't spotted before was off to the side twiddling away at a harp while singing. A lovelorn, young orc girl was making eyes at him, her elbows resting on the table as her chin rested in her hands. You couldn't help but smile a little.
Someone had lit the fire as well and-
You were breathing hard, the smell of smoke heavy around you as you scrambled up. You felt like a hunted animal as you started running, screams of people behind you.
There was fire.
So much fire.
You felt the heat fade begin you as the distance grew. Your heart pounded harder as an arrow whizzed past your right ear, scraping your cheekbone.
"GET THEM! THE MURDERER!"
"Hey. Hey. Come back to me. C'mon."
You were breathing hard and fast, the memory fading as Vali came back into view. You were in his room, he'd sat you down on the bed and was sitting on his haunches next to it.
"There we go. Deep breaths. In through your nose, out through your mouth."
You did as Vali told you and you felt your body slowly relax. The memories swirled through your head again and you looked down at your bandaged leg which throbbed dully.
"I did- I Remember- Fire-" You chocked out as tears welled up in your eyes and started pooring down your cheeks. "I did something bad."
"What are you talking about?" Vali asked, one of his warm hands on your arm.
You sobbed, rubbing at your eyes with the heel of your hand. You suddenly felt yourself being lifted again and ended up in the orcs lap. You couldn't help yourself and cried, digging your face into the fur shrug on his shoulders. He petted your head and gently shushed you until your crying died down to a tired whimpering.
"You okay there?" He asked, voice soft. You nodded, feeling embarrassed over your breakdown.
"I'm fine. I just remembered something." You started. "There was fire. People called me a murderer. I must've-" you let out a sob again.
"Hey, hey. That's just-... It's not the full story." Vali said, still holding you in his lap. "Maybe they got you confused for someone else."
You stayed quiet, to drained to argue. Vali didn't press the matter either and you stayed there, quietly.
You don't know how long had passed but twilight was settling in as someone knocked on the door to Vali's room.
"Chief? Chief, Chieftain Narfi has arrived. He's getting kinda pissy cause you're not here." A voice rang out. Vali groaned.
"Tell him I'll be right there!" Vali yelled back and he looked down at you.
"You heard him. Think you'll be okay on your own? I can get Eydis if you'd like company?" He asked. You shook your head.
"I kinda wanna be alone for a bit."
Vali nodded, gently manouvering you off of his lap. You sat on his bed and watched him leave, your hand going almost on instinct to the braid he'd weaved into your hair.
You must've fallen asleep shortly after because you woke up when the sun was shining through the bedroom window. You saw a bowl of something on the table across from the bed and you sat up, wiping the sleep from your eyes.
You glanced over to the armchair and found it vacant. You frowned at this, wondering where the heck Vali had slept.
With a sigh, memories of last nights goings on came back to you. An uneasy feeling made its home in your gut and you wrung your hands together.
Trying not to focus on it, you crawled out of bed and carefully made your way to the food on the table, taking a seat at it. As you poked at what turned out to be porridge, you made a mental note of what you'd want to do today.
You were in dire need of a bath and other clothes, you'd have to go to Eydis so she could check on your leg, you wanted to explore the village as best you could,...
Being cooped up in a room all day was hardly your idea of a pleasant time.
You forced yourself to eat as you glanced around, your eyes falling on a few books haphazardly stacked on the table. Unable to reign your curiosity, you read the spines.
"Art of War and Leadership, Fantastical Histories of Crearurekind, The Tale of Gudrun Brightaxe, Tusk Love-" You paused, eyebrows furrowing at the last title you'd read. A quick sideways glance to the door later you had pried the book from the pile and glanced at the cover.
The tips of your ears turned red at the illustration on it. There was an orc on the cover dressed in little more than a fur loincloth. He was holding a human girl whos nightshirt left little to the imagination and who's mane of red hair seemed to defy all laws of physics.
Your curiosity once more got the better of you and you opened the book at a random page.
'-his hands settled on the backs of Guinevere's thighs as she hovered over him, her wanton gaze betraying the lust she felt for him. Oskar's feeling of passion were mutual in the most visible way a man could show them, his cock hard and str-'
You slammed the book shut, staring at the cover again. Part of you was convinced you'd never be able to look at Vali the same again. As carefully as you could, you placed the book back where you found it and finished your breakfast. Your mind kept drifting back to the book and you made a mental note of trying to read it when Vali wasn't around. Just for research.
You pushed the half eaten bowl away and carefully got up, testing your weight on your wounded leg. You'd imagine that if you were careful, you'd be able to make your way around.
What do you want to do?
❤️ - Seek out Eydis
♠️ - Find a place to bathe
♦️ - Read more of the book
I apparently mixed up chapters and didn't publish one. Thank you @needcanondestiel for bringing this to my attention!!
♠️ - Find a place to bathe
You found yourself unable to stand the smell of yourself. You literally couldn’t remember last time you took a bath. So wary of your hurt leg, you limped into the main hall. A few orcs were once again passing the time through gambling and whatnot and a select few gave you a halfhearted wave.
You waved back and hobbled towards the door when a large hand settled on your shoulder.
“Where are we going?”
You looked at the orc the hand belonged too. He was dressed a little more in what seemed like a uniform and was carrying a spear in his other hand.
“Oh uh,… I was wondering if there’s like,… A bathhouse or something. I reek.” You said, crinkling your nose for emphasis. The guard nodded and seemed happy with the answer you gave.
“There’s one nearby. Go towards the bonfire, turn right until you get to the well. It should be on your left. Its attached to the rock formation.” He said, gesturing while he spoke. You thanked him and he kindly held open the door for you as you made your way outside.
It was a nice morning. The chill of autumn hung in the air and the trees bordering the village were turning all sorts of beautiful colors. You found yourself smiling as you limped towards the bonfire. It wasn’t lit this time around. It was just a massive pile of dry wood currently being shielded by a tarp of some sorts.
A few orcs had set up shop and were selling wares in a little market. One orc woman was peddling apples and pears while another one was trying to sell hair beads. Others were selling choice cuts of meat, fabrics and one gentleman that seemed elven in nature was selling books. You cursed the fact you didn’t have money on you. A gift for Vali and Eydis would’ve seemed like a nice gesture considering their kindness to you.
You turned left and after a few minutes you saw the well and the bathhouse. The building was completely wooden and steam seemed to rise from the roof. Next to the door hung a sign with a simple depiction of a steam bath. You let out a sigh of relief as you entered the building.
A bored looking orc teenager of indiscernible gender sat behind a counter, picking at their nails. They perked up a little seeing you.
“Welcome to the bath house. You’re the new one aren’t you?”
You hesitated a bit but nodded. The teen seemed a little unimpressed as they eyed you up and down.
“Alright. Let me tell you how this works here. You go in there,” they pointed towards a door to the right. “You take your clothes of and take a towel with you. You then enter on the other side and there are the baths. It’s pretty straight forward from there.”
“Do I owe you an-“
“Nah. This is free of charge.” The orc cut you off. “You’ll only have to pay if you need extras.”
You were curious about these extras but the sound of a warm bath was far to tempting to resist. You thanked them and walked into the room the orc had pointed at. It was a medium sized room with little cubbies stocked with towels and free space to put your things. They were all vacant, you noticed.
You carefully shed your clothes and unpeeled the bandage from your leg. The wound was closed and the wound was scabbed over, looking like it was healing well. You found yourself relieved again as you wrapped the towel around yourself and put your clothes and shoes in the cubby in front of you.
You walked towards the door leading to the baths, and as soon as you opened the door, a wave of warmth and scented oils washed over you. You felt yourself get giddy as you looked around. The baths were two hot springs coming forth out of the giant rock formation. The two springs were encapsulated by a wooden building and it all felt nice and almost tropically warm.
You grinned as you saw you were alone. With a little giggle you shed your towel, dashed as best as you could to the pool on your left and did a cannonball, sending water every which way.
When you came up, you heard a chuckle to your left and all blood drained from your face. You glanced over and saw Vali sitting to the side, arms akimbo over the edge of the pool and leaning against a rock. How you’d missed him was a mystery to you.
“Having fun?” He asked, one eyebrow raised. You slowly sank under the water out of embarrassment but swam his way. Your vision was blurry but you could see enough to determine that he was just as naked as you were.
You popped up and sat down next to him on the ridge there, pulling your legs up to your chest and wrapping your arms around them.
You glanced at him and nodded, earning another hearty chuckle from the orc.
“Well, it’s good to see you not be in a bad way.” He said, scratching his chin. You felt yourself blush again.
“Yeah. It’s nice to not be inside too.” You said, slowly lowering your guard but still making sure everything was hidden from sight. Vali seemed to notice and looked ahead of him.
“So you doing better?” He asked, reaching over to the side to grab a bottle of scented oil. You watched the muscles on his back move and bit your lip. You now noticed the beat themed tattoo on his back and upper arm. The shrug he sported had hidden both of these from view until now.
Then it came to you that you needed to answer.
“Oh uh, yeah! Yeah. The rest helped.” You said, watching as he started to wash himself. You found this to be very unfair. You cleared your throat and copied him, rubbing some sweet smelling scented oil into your skin.
“You uh,… You like books?” you brought up, trying to be less awkward through small talk. You swore you could see Vali’s movements faltering.
“Yeah. I like to read.” He said, suddenly very interested in rubbing his lower arm. You connected the dots and thought you might as well be forward.
“Tusk Love, huh?”
Vali sat up straight, his cheeks a mottled red as he looked at you, embarrassed.
“Listen, it’s a good story!” he said, oils forgotten. You giggled and forgot about your modesty for a second, sitting a little closer to Vali and playfully rubbing your shoulder against his arm.
“You’re almost giving me ideas.” You said, amused at the fact Vali was a little embarrassed at the dirty book he kept hidden in plain sight. You noticed his arms move and he covered his groin.
What do you do?
♠ - Continue flirting, in earnest this time
❤️ - Pretend not to notice
♣ - Ask him what he’s doing
♠️ - Continue flirting, in honest this time
You looked at Vali's face again, his cheeks a warm red colour under green skin. His hair, unbraided and undecorated, fell before his face as he tipped it forward.
It was adorable how bashful he was being, this 6ft11, broad shouldered orc.
"You're cute." You said, eyeing him.
You felt all sense of embarrassment leave you as you carefully brushed his hair put of his face, tucking it behind one pointy ear.
He looked at you, a hint of confusion in his eyes. You have him a half smile and leaned in, gently pressing your lips against his.
Kissing an orc proved to be an interesting endeavour. His tusks pressed into your cheeks as he kissed you back, one hand leaving his crotch to cup your face.
You broke apart and with a sudden move, Vali hoisted you into his lap, both of his hands settling on your hips. You felt his erection press up against your thigh. He wasn't fully hard yet but he was definitely getting there.
You kissed him again, your hands cupping his face fully this time. You both leaned into the kiss more, his arms wrapping around your waist. When air became a necessity, you broke apart again.
"Well this... This escalated fast." You joked, making Vali chuckle. He gave you an earnest smile, pressing a soft kiss on your lips again.
"It did. Do you want to... Continue?" He asked, looking away briefly. The short-lived bout of confidence he had, already gone.
"I'd... I'd like to." You said, gently pressing your pelvis against his crotch. Vali let out a breath and gently pressed back, his hands settling on your hips.
"I don't- I don't think it'll fit." He said, his face growing even redder. You looked down again. The water distorted everything a little bit but he was definitely big. And you were inclined to agree with him.
"Well there are... Other ways." You said, sliding of his lap. Vali let out a small noise of protest which you hushed with another kiss.
"Can you get on the ledge for me?" You asked, patting the edge of the pool. Vali got up and sat on the side of the pool, spreading his thighs a little. You put your hands on his knees and gently pushed his legs further apart. You slotted yourself between them, sitting up on your knees on the ledge under water. You pressed another kiss on his mouth, slowly kissing down to his neck. Vali's breathing sped up as you ran your hands down his chest. You noticed the little rings pierced through his nipples. You flicked one and Vali flinched, a hand coming up to cover the jewelry.
"Careful." He rumbled. "Sensitive."
You chuckled and rested your hands on his strong thighs.
"I'll keep that in mind."
You kissed his chest again and kissed further down, over his tummy until you reached the line of hair going down from his belly button that lead to his dick.
You looked up at him and carefully wrapped a hand around his shaft. His dick was girthy, your fingers unable to enclose fully around it. Vali froze as he looked down at you, his brown eyes slightly widened.
You kept looking up at him as you kissed down his pelvis further. He was squirming in his seat, suddenly nervously looking up at the entrance.
"What if someone- fuck."
He cursed as you kissed the tip of his dick, your hand slowly moving up and down his length.
His thought was immediately forgotten as he watched you, mouth hanging open a bit.
You ran your tongue over the head of his dick and you saw him shiver slightly. A small part of you wondered if he'd ever had this done before.
That though was cleared from your mind as a large hand settled on the back of your head. You carefully took the head of his dick in your mouth as you sped up your hand a little, looking up to see the orcs brow furrowed and his eyes squeezed shut in concentration.
It dawned on you the poor guy was probably holding himself back.
Your free hand settled on his thigh for leverage as you started bobbing your head up and down at a steady pace in tandem with your hand. You heard Vali cuss under his breath and felt him tug on your hair slightly. You dug your nails into his thigh as retaliation and he drew in a sharp breath, thrusting up in your mouth slightly. You gagged and drew back, coughing.
"Oh shit, are you okay?" Vali asked, looking very worried. "I didn't mean to-"
You held up your hand to interrupt him, Vali falling silent as you caught your breath.
"It's fine. Just... Be careful." You said, chuckling briefly. Your hand wrapped around his dick again, idly jerking him off again as he looked down at you. He leaned down and kissed you again, all gentle and careful.
You felt your heart flutter as he drew back and gave you a tender look.
Feeling a little cheeky, you moved your hand a little faster, rubbing your thumb over the ruddy head of his dick.
The orc groaned and you instantly wanted to hear him make more noises, public space be damned.
You took his dick in your mouth again, letting your tongue swirl around the head of his dick before sucking. Vali let out the start of a moan but covered his mouth with his hand. You reached up and tugged at his arm, shaking your head. Vali seemed hesitant but uncovered his mouth, just as you took him in his mouth as far as you could.
Your efforts were rewarded with a beautiful moan from the chieftain and you were just about to pounce the man when-
"What are y- OH MATRON!"
Your heart skipped a beat and you drew away from Vali as fast as you could. Vali unceremoniously dove back into the spring.
You covered your face and peeked between your fingers at the unfortunate person who found you two. It was the teen who directed you.
"If you don't mind, this is not the establishment for that... Stuff." They stuttered out, voice strained from embarrassment. "I'm going to have to ask you two to leave."
You cast a sideways glance to Vali who looked very red in the face.
"Very well." He said in a surprisingly steady voice. "I apologize for what you had to see. I'll see to it you'll be compensated for your trouble."
"Yeah uh,... Thanks." The teen turned on their heel and speedwalked out of the room.
What do you do?
♠️ - Offer to go back to his room and finish what you started
❤️ - Walk of shame out of there and part ways
♣️ - Finish before leaving
Chapter 8: Chapter 8
♠️ - Offer to go back to his room and finish what you started
The pair of you let out a laugh, giving each other a nervous glance. You bit your bottom lip for a second, lost in thought.
"Do you,... Wanna go somewhere private and..?"
Vali gave you a look and nodded quickly, his eyes darting to your mouth briefly. You smiled fondly and kissed him before hoisting yourself out the hot spring. Vali watched you for a bit, appericiating your body before he followed. You both went into separate dressing rooms and you rushed getting dressed, crinkling your nose at your dirty clothes. You'd have to ask Vali for help after you...
You walked out the room, leg still sore. The skin pulled a little painfully as you took a few steps but it was nothing you couldn't deal with. Whatever Eydis had given you must be some sort of miracle cure.
The poor teen was now half hiding behind a ledger of some sort, seemingly trying their best to pretend they hadn't just caught you with the chieftains dick in your mouth.
A moment later, Vali joined you. His hair was pulled back in a simple ponytail and was still void of its accessories. It was weird to see him like that but you liked it.
He gave you another look, one of want, before he walked past you and put a small pile of coins on the desk the teen was sitting behind.
"You tell no one of this, understood?"
"Tell who about what?" The teen asked after a peek over the ledgers edge at the money. Vali gave a nod and then turned, half dragging you out of the establishment.
The walk to his house was a hasty one and you noticed people looking your way with a mix of curiosity and worry. But right now all you wanted was to be under the orc who's hand you were holding.
And soon enough, with the slam of a door, you were in his room. He kicked it closed behind him and you were sure the rumour mill was already working overtime.
Your thoughts were silenced as the orc kissed you again, almost feverishly so. A careful shove and you landed on his bed, dragging him down with you. Big hands made short work of your clothes, haphazardly tossing the garments aside. You undid his garish belt and yanked his pants down, happy to see he was still hard.
"How are we-" Vali said as he found his place between your thighs, his erection resting against your folds.
"Hold on, we can just-"
You squeezed your thighs together around his length, laying your legs up against his chest. The orc sat back, holding your legs together.
"But what about you?"
You gave him a grin.
"You can eat me out later." You said, Vali grinning back. He gave a tentative thrust, mouth dropping open slightly.
"Oh, that feels," he paused looking down as he started thrusting steadily. "Fuck, that's good."
His hair was starting to escape his ponytail and framed his face. He was building up a sweat and you watched him, feeling yourself growing wetter and wetter. You'd love to have him in you but for safety, this would have to do.
"Is it as good as your book?" You teased, feeling his thrusts stutter for a moment. He nodded, looking at you almost a little feverishly.
The word sent a shiver down your spine, settling in your groin. Vali looked beautiful, disheveled, lost in pleasure. You were so lost in admiring him you almost didn't notice him coming to an abrupt halt, nails digging into your calves as he came, an impressive amount of cum painting your belly white.
He panted, looking at you. He didn't speak but you could read him like an open book. At least you thought so.
He was lost in thought, eyes roaming from your tummy to your chest and settling on your face.
The brief moment of eye contact was broken by him spreading open your legs and leaning down, a little awkwardly shuffling back to accommodate for the rest of his body.
Before you well and truely registered what was happening, his mouth was on you.
You felt his tusks pressing against your thighs, his tongue greedily licking away at you.
You dug your hands in his long hair, earning a grunt from the orc. You bit your lip, trying so hard not to make to much noise, knowing there were people in the next room. But you couldn't help yourself but moan as you looked down and saw Vali stare up at you with an intensity that almost sent you over the edge.
With an almost merciless suck on your clit, he sent you over the edge proper, your back arching off the bed as waves of pleasure washed over you.
Vali rose from between your thighs, breathing heavily. His lower face and facial hair were coated in your slick, a small part of you finding it funny.
"That was... Something." You breathlessly said, using Vali's bedsheet to wipe off his cum. The orc let out a noise of disapproval but laid down next to you. You noticed he was hard again but you were to spent right now to try anything further. Plus your leg had stared to ache a little worse.
"It was." Vali said, resting a hand on your thigh. You put a hand over his and felt his thumb gently stroke your skin.
You looked to the side, seeing the stack of books again. Seeing the spine for Tusk Love, you got curious.
"Have you always had an interest in humans?"
You looked back over to see Vali give you a confused look.
"What do you mean?"
"The book. It's about an orc and a human."
Vali snorted, brushing his hair out of his face.
"Not... Really. I've," he paused, clearing his throat. "I've gotten off to the thought of me being the orc in that story but I've... I don't have 'a thing' for humans."
You nodded, cuddling a little closer to the living stove that was Vali.
He moved his arm to wrap around you and you smiled a little. A moment of content silence passed as you two cuddled.
"I need new clothes. These one's are dirty."
The chieftain let out a chuckle and got up, grabbing his own pants and putting them back on.
"I'll lend you some of mine." He said, walking to the end of the bed and opening a chest. He tossed a few things at you: a linnen shirt, a pair of black pants, a much more practical belt and a woollen jacket, obviously hand knit.
"They'll probably be a bit big on you but that'll do. I'll ask my sisters if they have anything else for you."
You thanked him and got dressed. He was right. Everything was baggy on you but comfortably so. You struck a pose, making the orc chieftain laugh.
"Matron, you're quite something aren't you."
What do you do?
♠️ - Have the "What are we?" Talk
♥️ - Go have a bit to eat together
♣️ - Continue goofing off
Chapter 9: Chapter 9
- Go have a bite to eat together
You gave the orc across from you a grin and wanted to retort with something but were interrupted by your stomach growling loudly. Vali snorted, shaking his head.
“Have you eaten yet?”
“I… I haven’t.” you admitted, looking a little sheepish, crossing your arms over your stomach in a vain attempt to muffle any more noise your stomach could make. Vali gave you a bit of a disappointed look, gesturing towards the door.
“Let’s get some food in you.”
You followed the chieftain as he left his room. You noticed a few knowing glances cast in your direction and you could feel blood rush to your face. Eydis came towards you two, her face dusted with a blush as well.
“Vali, while I appreciate you finally let loose, we could all hear it! I’m sure you didn’t know but-“ Eydis continued lecturing her brother and you fought the urge to giggle at the sight. You glanced around the room briefly and noticed an orc setting the fireplace alight. You thought nothing of it until the fire took and-
You looked down, your hands covered in blood that wasn’t your own. You looked past your fingers as panic gripped you like a vice. There were two bodies on the floor, the hut you were in completely ransacked. You recognized the two people, laying in a sickly, bright red puddle.
You scurried over to them on hands and knees as smoke slowly filled the space you were in. You turned over one of the bodies and were met with the pale face of your childhood friend. You let out a blood curdling scream. The door to the hut flung open a moment later and-
“Hey, hey come back to us. You’re safe.”
You blinked and the hut and body faded from memory. You looked up from your hands to see Eydis’ face, twisted into a concerned look. Vali stood next to her, looking worried but trying to not show it. You were breathing hard, more memories slowly coming to you. Things you’d suppressed through shock.
“I know- I know what happened. Why I was forced to run.”
Vali looked at you a little puzzled. He opened his mouth to speak but Eydis lifted her hand to stop him.
“That can wait for now. We need to bring you down from all this. And your leg needs a checkup. Brother, can you carry them?”
Vali rolled his eyes but picked you up. Eydis turned to leave the hall. It was now you glanced around. The other orcs were keeping mostly to themselves, a few odd ones giving you worried looks. You ignored them and cuddled up against Vali’s chest.
You felt the worry ease from your body slowly as you felt Vali’s warmth and the steady thump of his heartbeat. You closed your eyes and tried to shut out everything. The memories, the panic, the worry,…
Sadly you were torn from your happy place to quickly. You found yourself in Eydis’ hut again, the smell of dried herbs and medicine almost overpowering.
“Now then,” Eydis began as soon as you were put on the bed. “Lets take a look at that leg of yours.”
She shoved up the pant leg which was far to loose on you, undoing the bandage. Vali walked towards the fire that was lit, peeking into the cauldron that was boiling away. He leaned in and came back up with a disgusted look on his face that made you chuckle.
Eydis seemed to only be focused on your leg, letting out pleased noises as she inspected the healing wound.
“Perfect. You’ll be right as rain in a few more days.”
You looked down at your leg and where there had been a nasty wound a few days back was new, pink skin that formed a rather cool looking scar. You blinked a little dumbfounded.
Eydis gave you a knowing grin.
“Orcs are tougher than humans, which means our medicine is too. It appears it accelerates healing in “weaker” species. Be glad, it would have taken much longer otherwise.”
You didn’t respond and merely marveled at the almost completely healed wound on your leg. You ran a finger over it and winced slightly at how tender it still was.
There was a moment of silence that includes Eydis getting up and slapping away Vali’s hand as he tried to get a taste of whatever medicinal brew was boiling away.
“Now, I’ll make you some tea. You can talk about what you remember is you want. But if you feel like it’s to much, you’re free to stop. I even encourage it.” Eydis said as she took the cauldron of the fire and set it on her table, presumably to cool. She replaced it with a smaller one and sent Vali off to fetch water, the latter of whom grumbled as he left the hut.
“I was falsely accused of something.” You carefully started, pulling your legs up to your chest. “I remember going to my best friends house. I saw smoke and ran inside. They were-“
You stopped, squeezing your eyes shut. Eydis sat down next to you, putting a hand on your shoulder in a comforting gesture.
“Her and her mother were dead. They were robbed. Something was thrown in the fire and it was spreading.” You continued, trying to keep your breathing even. “Someone found me over his body. They thought I did it.”
You looked up to see Eydis’ face filled with concern. You felt yourself shake, tears welling up in your eyes. You wanted to say something but all that came out was a sob. Eydis immediately gathered you up in a hug. You sobbed against her shoulder, so lost in your own grief you failed to notice Vali had returned.
You ended up crying until no more tears were left to cry and your voice was hoarse. Eydis ended up giving you a cup of tea and wrapping a quilt around you. She gave Vali a ‘we need to talk’ look and disappeared out the hut, leaving you to nurse a hot cup of tea and your grief.
You must’ve fallen asleep once your tea was gone because you suddenly opened your eyes and found yourself in Vali’s room. It was dark out and the orc was sitting at the table with his books and maps. A few candles cast shadows on his face and made him look almost ethereal to you.
He must have noticed you had woken because he turned his head to look at you.
“Did you sleep well?”
You nodded, scooting off the bed and making your way to him. Without saying much, you crawled in his lap, the orc wrapping his arms around you.
“Eydis told me what happened.” He said, voice soft. You didn’t really respond, trying to deal with the slew of emotions thrust upon you. “I can help set things right, or at least try?”
You looked up at him, confused.
“I have a few options.” Vali said, looking back at the map. “I can send an envoy to open up talks, I’ll speak on your behalf and in your favor of course. Or we could travel there ourselves if you feel up to it. I’ll make sure you’re safe.”
You looked at the map too, noticing he’d correctly sussed out where you’d come from. The village of Redwicke.
“But, if you so wish, you can also choose to do nothing. You can live here with us. We’ll make you a home and you’ll be one of us. It’s all up to you.”
You stayed quiet, thinking everything over.
What will you do?
♠️ - Have him send an envoy
♥️ - Travel there together
♣️ - Leave it all behind
Chapter 10: Chapter 10
♥️ - Travel there together
“I want to go there. Together.” You said, pointing at your village on the map. Vali let out a hum, looking at the map and then at you.
“Are you sure?” He asked, giving you a slightly concerned look. You nodded, tearing your eyes away from the map to look at him.
“Entirely.” You said, not feeling as sure as you sounded.
“Then we’ll leave in a day or two. You need some time to recover.” He said, pressing a kiss against your temple. “And food. Can you hop off my lap for a second?”
You, albeit reluctantly, got off of the chieftains lap. Vali got up and disappeared out of his room, coming back with some food. Bread and stew, nice and hearty.
“Eat up.” Vali said, putting everything down on the table, urging you to sit. “You need it.”
Without much complaining, you all but devoured your dinner. Vali sat on his bed, watching you with an expression that was hard to decipher.
“Can I ask something?” He spoke up, breaking the peaceful silence that hung in the room. You nodded, looking back at him briefly before scarfing down the last bits of bread and stew.
“Would you-” He paused for a second. “Would you consider becoming my mate?”
“I know it’s only been a few days that you’ve been with us but… I like you. Obviously.” He let out a nervous chuckle. You looked back at him, a little in shock. He continued talking.
“And when we slept together it just… Felt right. I’ve gotten feelings for you and I’m hoping you feel the same about me?”
You felt a million things at once, it all being overwhelming.
“It’s okay if you don’t. I under-”
You clasped your hands over your mouth, eyes wide as you stared back at Vali who looked equally as surprised as you.
A smile slowly spread over his face.
You nodded, hands still over your mouth.
“That’s- great!” He said, his laugh sounding relieved. You slowly lowered your hands and slipped off the chair. Vali got up too, meeting you in the middle.
“You’re my mate then.” He said, softly as he cupped your cheek in his large hand. You turned your head and pressed a gentle kiss against his palm.
“And I guess you’re mine.” You said with a nervous chuckle.
Vali leaned down and pressed a kiss on your lips, and for a moment, everything seemed perfect.
When you broke the news to Eydis, she was elated. Vali’s other sisters seemed less than happy but Vali assured you it was just because they were sour grapes.
Then when the news broke you were traveling to Redwicke to set the record straight, Alfhild seemed to… Not be on board to say it lightly.
“No. You two are not going.”
Vali’s jaw tensed as his older sister crossed her arms, seemingly unimpressed.
“You don’t have authority over what I will and won’t do, Alfhild.” Your mate said, words dripping with venom.
Alfhild looked you dead in the eye as she spoke to Vali again.
“You stick your dick in a human and suddenly you’re willing to risk your life to rectify some… Petty squabble.” She looked back at her brother, her words cutting you deeply. You felt tears sting the corners of your eyes but you refused to give her the satisfaction of seeing you cry.
“They are my mate and I am your chief, and I won’t tolerate talk like that. Whether you’re my sister or not. You veto’d that right when you turned Father down.”
You glanced up at Alfhild. There was rage bubbling under her calm facade, her nostrils flared and her eyes narrowed. Her talon like nails were digging into her shirt.
A sudden loud clap sounded and it took a moment to register that Alfhild had slapped Vali.
“Enough you two!”
Eydis finally spoke up, forcing her body between her siblings, spreading out her arms.
“Don’t get involved in this, Eydis.” Vali said who was now glaring at his sister.
You wanted to say something and opened your mouth to do so but you found your voice unwilling to cooperate.
“Vali, you know better than to pull that card. And Alfhild, I don’t like it either but he’s right. He’s old enough to make his own choices.”
You stood there, feeling guilt as the siblings glared at each other. It was Alfhild who broke the silence.
“Fine. Perhaps when he and his… mate return, he’ll have grown wiser. If they even make it back.”
All eyes turned to you as you spoke up, Alfhild looking at you as if you weren’t worthy of the dirt below her feet, Vali seemingly urging you to not get involved with a pleading look.
“You heard me. We’re going. If you don’t like it, then that’s your business.”
Alfhild opened her mouth to probably berate everything about you but Alfhild stepped in again.
“Okay enough, all of you. Break it up, take a fucking break. Nothing good will come from you bickering like children.”
Alfhild turned around after a tense pause, her braid whipping behind her and rinkling with all her beads and decoration.
As soon as she disappeared from sight, Vali’s shoulders slumped and he let out a shaky sigh.
“Pack your stuff. We’re leaving first thing in the morning.”
Eydis looked at Vali with confusion.
“Vali, don’t make rash discisions. Redwicke is a full days travel away on foot. Your mate isn’t fully healed yet-”
“We’ll take Luca.”
Eydis threw up her hands and shook her head.
“Who’s… Who’s Luca?” You asked, quirking up an eyebrow.
And lo and behold, the next morning you were leaving for Redwicke, seated on the back of a grizzly bear while Vali lead him with a leash.
It was early in the morning, a chill still hanging over the land.
Eydis and Ylva came to say goodbye, Alfhild unsurprisingly wasn’t present.
“Be safe, alright?” Eydis said, hugging both of you. You assured her you’d be fine. Ylva just said a terse “Bye.” And Vali patted her on the shoulder.
And with a final wave, you set off to confront the people who tried to kill you.
You suddenly felt a spike of anxiety but tried to ignore it as you held onto the saddle you were sitting in. Vali was whistling something and seemed wholly unbothered by it all. Oh, how you envied him.
What will you do?
♥️ - Ask what Alfhild’s deal was
♠️ - Come up with a “plan of attack”
♦️ - Stay silent