I opened my eyes slowly; my whole body was aching terribly. I had no idea for how long I was asleep, but I was still in the same posture, knees brought to my chest with my head resting on them.
I got up. The lighting was very dim ;it hurt my eyes, which already felt swollen and fluffy. I opened the door slowly. It was impossible to peak outside without having to get out, so I just stood there, trying to figure everything out, my father's words haunting me.
What should I do? Where would I go? How will I escape? How will I survive? Will I even find a place to live in?
Many questions, no answers. My fate was a mystery.
I bit my lips hard as I thought of something to do. I had to escape the Imperial City. I had to escape Cyrodiil. I could go somewhere, and try to make a living, but how? And where?
I doubted anyone would welcome a runaway... A criminal... amongst them. I laughed bitterly at the word. I was only guilty by association, but that was enough for the Empire. My father told me many stories, but only now did I really believe them.
I was on my own. That's all I knew. I didn't have any relatives in the city, and I didn't know many people. I couldn't trust anyone.
First things first, I told myself. Over thinking wasn't going to solve anything.
The first thing that had to be done was escaping from the Imperial City. The sewers under the city were my only way out. My father told me about them when we arrived here, in case of an emergency. And just at that moment, I wondered if he knew that something like this would happen.
Tears began rising in my eyes as the events of the day played over and over in my head. I took a deep breath to steady myself. It was not a good time for crying. No time was good for crying.
I stood up, and moved towards the vault. I needed money for the journey. The large, steel vault was locked. I silently curded my luck. The key was probably in my father's room. I jut hoped it wasn't in a complete mess. I didn't want to spend hours searching, I wanted to get away from here as soon as possible.
Looking again at the door that led to the rest of the house, I swallowed hard. I wasn't ready to get out. Fear was coursing through my veins, but I couldn't hide here forever. I had to get out at some point. And now was better than later.
I opened the door, and slowly got out. There were some sounds of talking. My heart was throbbing hard in my chest, and I tightened my grip on the dagger on my belt. Of course, I wasn't alone in the house.
Reaching the room's door, I took a peek. Two soldiers stood near the entrance in the main hall, which was a mess with all the broken glass there. They seemed like normal city guards with their armor, and they were busy chatting about something I didn't care to listen to.
Moving slowly and close to the wall, I managed to sneak my way to the stairs, the darkness sheltering me. But I knew my luck, because I ended up stepping on some of the broken glass, causing noise that alerted the guards.
"Stop right there!" One of them yelled. I climbed the stairs as fast as I could, my instinct taking full control.
The house around me was a mess, and I stumbled a couple of times, but it didn't slow me down. I was running like a lunatic, powered by fear. My heart threatened to rip through many chest.
Reaching my room, I jumped to the small balcony, then to the street. The two guards were behind me.
They weren't going to be able to keep up, not with their heavy armor. I was much faster, and that gave me hope.
It was pretty dark, and the moonlight barely illuminated my wbackThe guards were yelling as they stood helpless on the balcony.
I continued pacing through the lanes, terrified. I didnglancen dare to glance back, out of the fear that I was still being fofollowed. I kept assuring myself that I was safe for the moment, and murmuring a silent prayer.
Finally, I reached a dead end. There was no one behind me, thank goodness. I stopped, gasping for breath. My lungs burned so hard but there was no time to rest. I calmed myself as I realized I was heading in the wrong direction. I needed to go back near our house, to the entrance of the sewers.
My footsteps felt so heavy. I didn't want to go back there. What if they saw me again? The thought alone made me shudder. but I didn't have much of a choice, so I simplky stuck to the cold walls of the buildings as I moved slowly, hoping I wouldn't lose my way.
After a little time, I reached our neighbors' house. My home was still guarded and I knew I couldn't even think about passing there. I kept moving in the direction of the sewers, and as I got near, a guard patrolling the way ruined my plan.
My lips pouted as I watched him, standing near the entrances. I couldn't go there without him noticing me. Why did everything have to be so complicated?
I scanned the area quickly and realized there were no other guards near. Good.
I had to distract him... But no, that wouldn't be enough. He might not fall for my trap, and I couldn't risk being exposed. Plus, a yell from him could alert other guards. It was near risky.
There was only one safe option, which was killing him.
I had to kill him. Grant him a very quick and silent death. That was my only solution.
A voice rose in my head telling me that this man was innocent and he probably had a family to feed, but I shoved the voice away. This man was standing between me and freedom. This man was protecting those who took my father. This man would kill me, had he gotten the chance.
Hate and rage were boiling in my veins, infused by all of my tears and pain. This man deserved to die.
I circled around the buildings so that he could not see me. I pulled my dagger and snuck slowly until I was a few feet behind him. My hands were shaky and I considered backing away and pretending that I never even thought of this, but I forced myself to remain still.
I got closer then I charged and placed a hand on his mouth as my dagger dug into his neck, a final muffled groan escaped his throat as his blood splattered and hit my face.
The sight of blood made me a bit dizzy. I yanked the dagger, causing more blood to flow from him, then backed away slowly as his body hit the ground, a part of me not believing what I just did. It was sick. I hunted many animals, but I never killed a man. This made me feel so... I didn't know how to describe the feeling. It was alien.
I placed my dagger back in its place, my gaze never leaving the now dead man. My hands were still trembling, but I didn't care anymore. I knew that I should at least feel... bad for killing a man. I took a life with my own hands! But I didn't. I could feel nothing but numbness inside of me.
I shook my head; no time to dwell on this. I started moving the rocks that blocked the entrance quickly, hoping no one would come at that moment.
As the last rock was moved, I crawled inside the sewer, and started dragging some of the rocks back. I started sliding slowly down the path, wanting to just jump and get it over with, but I couldn't risk a broken foot.
The sewers were very dark and tight. I pursed my lips as my feet hit the cold water that reached my ankles. I moved in the sewer, feeling blind. The walls were rocky and wet, and there were sounds of rats. I could feel the things running past me, even touching my feet and shins. I shuddered at the thought. Large rats weren't my favorite type of animals.
Sighing deeply, I continued walking and feeling my way. I was so close to being free, and away from this place.
The road was very long and I began wondering if I was going in circles. The loss of sight didn't help at all. I continued walking though, feeling more hopeless with every passing moment. But finally, I saw light ahead of me, light coming from outside. It illuminated a small part of the sewer.
Relief swept over me. I thought I would never get it out.
I reached the exit, finding the lake ahead of me. The coast on the other side wasn't that far. I sat on the side, and let out a deep sigh before my tears began falling again. I felt tired.. So very tired. But I managed to escape the city. I just had to swim to the other side.
But still, I wasn't completely free. I had a long trip ahead of me.
After a few minutes of stillness, I finally got up again, wanting to get as far away as possible from here.
Swimming wasn't difficult for me. My father taught me how to a long time ago. I was a bit tired when I reached the other side.
As I got outside of the water, I felt a cold chill. I was so glad winter was over. It wasn't that hot yet, but I couldn't help but shudder at the thought of swimming in frozen water in the cold winter.
I took one last glance at the city. It looked like a dark shadow from that distance. There were only some lights from the large castle in the middle of it.
One would think it was empty... even haunted. I didn't dwell on the thought. I knew better.
I hated the city, that I was certain of. I never really liked it in the first place, but the memories of what happened earlier made me furious and sad and bitter. The Imperial City became a sign of fatality.
Despite the tiredness, and the way my body seemed to beg for a rest, I kept walking. I couldn't bear being near here. I stull didn't know where to go, or what to do. I just wandered like that, guided by the moonlight. I didn't know where the main road was, but I did not dare to even search for it. Many guards were roaming it, that's for sure.
I was crying again as I remembered everything. I managed to escape, but was I going to manage to survive? I had no clue where I was going. Chances were I'd end up eaten by wolves or taken by bandits. I felt stupid. I was helpless and hopeless. Whatever awaited me, it was not better than the fate of death in the Empire.
A voice in my head yelled at me, saying that I still had a chance to survive, that a slim chance was still a chance. I wanted to believe it, but I couldn't. But I also remembered my promise to my father. He didn't want me to escape only to give up. I had to do something. I had to take revenge on those who took him. But even that was sounded stupid. How would I manage that? I was nothing but a lost girl now. And this is the Empire I'm talking about. If there had been any sort of rebellion, they certainly kept themselves hidden. And they most certainly didn't accept just anyone amongst their ranks.
But wasn't my father a part of a rebilion or something after all? Didn't they call him a traitor?
I still didn't know anything. My father never spoke of anything. But suddenly, all of those secret meetings in the nights... Even the reason why he returned to the Imperial City despite how much he hated it made sense.
I clenched my jaw tightlly in an attempt to suppress an exasperated yell. How could I not see it?
Still walking, I tried to not think about it much, to keep myself distracted, until I saw smoke coming from a distance. There were people there.
My heart was beating hard in my chest as I got closer to the fire. From the distance, I could see what seemed like a camp.
I climbed a tree slowly, the trees that surrounded the area were large, but I had no trouble climbing. As I reached a good height. I slowly stood on one of the tree's large branches, and by holding onto another one, I started walking on the branch, until I almost reached its end, then I jumped to another tree.
I kept repeating what I did with no trouble, thank the Divines, until I was on top of the camp.
There was a man sitting there as a guard, while three others were sleeping. The man had a large form, and a bright blond hair that marked him as a Nord. He didn't wear an armor, but still had a large sword next to him.
There were two horses standing beside the camp, and some large sacks near them.
Those people didn't look like bandits, or that's what I had hoped. But they certainly were travelers. I just hoped they weren't headed to The Imperial City. In fact, I prayed they were heading outside of Cyrodiil. They were Nords after all, they could be going to Skyrim, their homeland.
The thought of having someone to guide me made me a bit relieved. I wasn't going to run into their camp of course. All I could do was follow them from the shadows. It was at least better than wandering aimlessly.
As I climbed down, I felt exhaustion sweeping through me, I walked around, trying to find a small tree cave that's not far from the men's camp to sleep in.
I found one quickly, and rested their, letting sleep consume me.