I lost track of time. My mind was flooded, but I couldn't cry to let go of the feeling. That sticky, gross feeling in my mind back then.
Lieutenant came in unexpected, cautiously stepping on the floor as if she was expecting a trap of some sort. She then sat by my side and meowed. She sounded sad too. I got on my knees and swore loyalty to him once again. It was already dawning and the throne, perfectly alligned with the sun, started emmitting a golden gloss. I for some reason remembered then a relative who painted sunrises. This would've been a kind of strambotic canvas for his living room, I laughed mentally. A skeleton kneeling besides a black cat facing the remains of a legendary king, the sun blazing the back of its throne in the debris of the largest castle ever.
Done paying my respects, I got up with Lieutenant on my shoulders and turned towards where we camped. A few steps later, we found Reliquitus looking for us. Looked like he'd slept with his helmet on.
-Oh, my! I was worried you had left, master! I've packed everything-he said while wagging a bag- and I'm ready to part. Awaiting further instructions.
He looked and spoke like a soldier, but threw up words like a child. His mancave voice didn't match his attitude at all. I gestured to him in order to make him follow me. I then showed the king's skeleton to him.
After an instant of disproportionate surprise for a paladin of Stärk-eh, he kneeled once I told him to. He seemed to understand my intentions, because he grabbed some ceremonial incense from the bag and lit it up. Then procceeded to say a prayer. A few more minutes in silence, we got up and left the place after I'd written a wakare note and burnt it, for it to arrive at its destination. Let's just hope everything about the afterlife the Great Bishops say is true.
We then resumed our walk, this time towards the allegory of wisdom itself, a place built within the roots of an ancient Qûlker from before the second Batr'ardzak; the Archmage's tower, where the immortal Elder could be found.
Afterwards, I checked and compared maps I found in the castle with recent ones to see how things had changed. To begin with, what the actual heck had gone on while I wasn't alive?
Borders were a real mess. So many new feuds and kingdoms. It was frustrating. Geography hadn't substantially changed, but the quality of the cartographers appeared to have gone down in an impressive way.
I ended up using the old maps for geography.
After a few hours of travel, I stopped. My throat...
It felt like it was on fire. Lieutenant and Reliquitur went mute as I emmitted "hms" on the ground, shaking. A minute after that, the pain stopped.
I got up and made the sound again. Lieutenant hissed and Reliquitur tripped and fell.
-Master!-He shouted- You've talked!
I was frankly surprised. I guess my lack of an inferior jaw made the sound kind of erratic to me, but they understood my thoughts as words-with an honourable, ancient accent, as Reliquitur described it to me. Apparently, the liquid Karola gave me had worked. "a few days after usage", like she said.
I was able to "talk" again for the first time after hundreds of years. Or not, I did not strictly speak. People understand the ssounds I emmitted, which meant progress. I could be the one asking questions, then.