I'll try to update this faster, sorry again! I had company all weekend and I spent a few days before getting ready for it. Seriously though I really want some reviews! I don't want to start doing that thing where I don't post another chapter before you review the last one - but I will if I have to. So please! It only takes like two seconds :D
Aela shot out of her seat, ripping the sword from her waist while she hunted frantically for her shield. The Silver Hand spread throughout the mead hall, already baring their weapons while her Shield-siblings were forced to fight with whatever they could find. The huntress watched the drunken Torvar embed a butter knife into a Silver Hand's eye. She was lucky that she even had her sword at hand.
One of the invaders charged at her with a silver greatsword. Aela barely managed to lunge out of the way, but because of her haste she slammed into a support beam. Growling in pain and in overall rage, the huntress rolled on the floor to escape the large weapon from slamming into her chest. Frustrated at the position she had been momentarily put into, Aela raised her foot and kicked her attacker's foot as hard as she could. Although it was covered by a steel cuffed boot his leg buckled and he fell to the wooden floor. His silver greatsword clattered to his side and while he struggled to grasp the hilt again the huntress stuck her sword through his head. Yanking the blade from his skull with some difficulty she frantically got to her feet, joints aching.
Looking around the mead hall for a few seconds she registered what was going on a bit more. Athis was blocking blows from a silver mace with an end table, his free hand trying desperately to reach his weapon that had fallen from his grey hand. Torvar had no weapon whatsoever and was using only his fists. He had already braved several silver wounds so it didn't pain him as much. He sported a few silver cuts on his arms at that moment but was pushing through the agony with clenched teeth. Njada was only wielding her shield and slammed it into a werewolf hunter, not having too much trouble. Farkas and Vilkas were fending off the blunt of the attack back to back, and they both had their weapons because they had been training mere minutes before the assault. Vignar wasn't there at the moment but had probably heard the commotion from outside, hopefully coming to help accompanied by Brill. Tilma was hopefully taking cover in the living quarters. Aela didn't want that poor old woman hurt. Ria was coming to Athis' aid to the best of her ability.
A boot slammed into the huntress' back, sending her face-first into the wooden floor. She had been distracted for too long, having been kicked to the ground. Turning around on her back as fast as she could she just barely saw the silver of a battleaxe being brought down. Shutting her eyes tightly Aela barely had the chance to raise her sword - the blow barely blocked. Sparks flew from the clashing weaponry, some of it hitting her flesh and making her hiss through clenched teeth. Backing up while she remained on the floor, the battleaxe was brought down again and again - each swipe nearly hitting her flesh until she finally reached the banquet table, using it to support herself while she managed to stand up.
Raising her foot she slammed it into the handle of the silver weapon, sending it clattering across the floor. The Silver Hand Khajiit glared at her, fanged teeth clenched together. He lunged forward, slamming his fist across her face. The claws buried within his furry knuckles ripped the flesh of her cheek apart. Yelping in pain, fine trails of blood dripping off her chin, she growled at him before lunging forward, slamming her forearm into his neck until she managed to slam him into a wall. Knocking him out with a headbutt she slammed her foot into his nose, hopefully injuring him enough to keep him down for a while.
The huntress turned around, now that she wasn't being attacked realizing that she should try to help her Shield-siblings. Njada was handling herself fine, Torvar had managed to snag himself a better weapon from a weapon rack. Ria was being distracted by a pack of Silver Hand that flocked to her when she got close enough, yet she seemed to be doing alright. Farkas and Vilkas continued to slice through the werewolf hunters like butter, not having a single problem with the combat. It was Athis who drew her attention mainly. He had lost his furniture shield and had backed into a wall, cornered by two Silver Hand. It looked as if they were toying with him, the elf's sword having been kicked a far distance from his reach. Before she could even begin to plan how she was going to help Aela leapt into action, sprinting towards her Shield-brother and praying to the Gods she got there in time to aid him.
The huntress reached the first Silver Hand - grabbing him by the back of the head and slamming his face into the closest surface, successfully knocking him unconscious. The other had noticed her attack but was for some reason fixed on the dark elf before him - maybe having been wounded by the Dunmer and holding a grudge. Aela knew the feeling all too well. Before she could do much to stop it, the Silver Hand brought his blade hard against her Shield-brother's stomach. Athis cried out in pain, the huntress having absolutely no idea how badly a blow from silver must have hurt when it was in such a vital area. The writhing dark elf fell to his side, clutching his wound that was already gushing blood over the floor. Feeling herself surging with absolute rage, Aela reached forward with both of her hands and snapped the werewolf hunter's neck. His body slumped to floor but she didn't so much as give it a second glance.
Before she had the chance to kneel at his side and worry about his condition, Njada surprisingly beat her to it. Bashing aside a Silver Hand with her shield she staggered to her Shield-brother's side, the strong Nord's eyes glistening. The huntress was far more than surprised, knowing very well that the two did not get along in the slightest. The frequent fistfights that they had was all the evidence she needed but she didn't question it one bit. Even if a Companion seemed to dislike another that didn't mean the two didn't have a strong bond. Like herself and Vilkas. Aela thought him to be very conceited and a bit too knowledgable, but if he needed her shield at his side in a fight she would be more than happy to oblige. That was how the Companions worked. Loyalty was honored far more than anything else. Like Kodlak often said, you needed to be able to trust whoever was at your back.
"Aela!" A familiar, deep raspy voice called out to her from over her shoulder, making the huntress turn immediately around. Farkas had stepped away from his twin for a few moments to aid Ria, although she hadn't needed it much. But now the only slightly injured Companion was focussed on something else. Their beloved Harbinger had emerged from the living quarters to aid in the fight. Although he was doing more than well the huntress understood his concern. Their Harbinger hadn't been in direct combat for such a long time and it got them nervous. She simply nodded at him so that he could return to the fight he was dealing with before rushing towards her Harbinger.
Kodlak ran his sword through a burly, well armored Silver Hand with ease. He looked like a rabid animal of some sort. Aela had only seen her Harbinger go into his beast form one time before, and it had been absolutely astonishing. He was a large wolf when he transformed, his claws were also yellow instead of the usual white - a sign of age amongst people with beast blood. She didn't think that he planned on turning again but he looked so angry. It was extremely rare to see him with any other expression other than stoicness or calm. Now his teeth were clenched in rage and he would emit a violent warcry every now and then. She was absolutely enthralled with him at that moment and was almost unaware that she had gotten to speaking distance. He locked eyes with her.
"Aela! Take Torvar and get outside! Stop any more of them that try to come in!" He said. The huntress started to panic when she saw a Silver Hand nearly land a blow on her Harbinger's side, but he simply jumped out of the way and brought his own blade hard into his assailant's side. After killing the werewolf hunter he looked to her with a raised eyebrow, clearly confused as to why she was still standing in the same spot, "Go quickly! We cannot let any more get inside!" At those words she managed to nod at him before running towards the door, passing by several corpses and combat. From what she knew nobody had died, at least no Companions. The only one majorly wounded seemed to be Athis. Now that she thought about it, if they managed to fend off this attack the Silver Hand would be majorly crippled - maybe even gone for good. The thought nearly made her smile but she couldn't. Not at that moment.
The rest of Whiterun didn't much know what to do. The Guard didn't do much either - not knowing who the attackers were because they were far too organized to be bandits. Most of them simply watched from afar while more of them flooded through the doors. Aela burst outside, already thrusting her blade into two heads in mere seconds. They fell, their corpses blocking the doorway and propping it open. Not having time to kick them out of the way and also wanting to be able to hear the combat from inside in case she was needed once again, she descended a dozen of the stone steps before being halted by a silver shield. It stung when it touched her bare arm but other than that she was alright enough. Angry at the pain that had been caused the huntress brought her blade horizontally, slicing off a werewolf hunter's head. Having forgotten to grab Torvar in her haste she was surprised to see him already at her side, downing their enemies with a heavy looking wa hammer. The two locked eyes and had a mutual agreement regarding the combat, her still slightly drunk Shield-brother taking the right side of the staircase while she took the left. Her blade impaled itself through several werewolf hunters, over and over again before she could realize how much time has gone by. Before long Torvar had grabbed her arm, yanking her out of the way when an arrow nearly embedded itself into her forehead. In a sort of trance she simply nodded at him in gratitude. He didn't do anything other than smile and return to his combat. But there were only four more of the werewolf hunters heading their way.
Torvar slammed his warhammer into one of their heads, Aela downing two more before the last fled in a panic. If there were any more they must have already run off. The attack was over. Aela smirked ever so slightly, letting out a long breath that she had been holding in for a while. Her knuckles were blindingly white from holding her hilt but she couldn't let it go for some reason. Also her shoulders didn't untense in the slightest. Torvar turned from the city first, the huntress looking at him. When he gasped and his eyes widened, her brow furrowed. It was then that she knew.
Somebody had died.
Turning around as well what she saw wasn't what she had expected. She assumed it would be Ria. She wasn't a whelp anymore, that was for sure, but she was the most inexperienced out of all of them. Maybe Njada. She had been distracted by Athis' wound. Maybe Athis himself, the wound he received being too painful to endure. Perhaps Vignar and Brill arrived and Brill risked his life to save the old man's. Although it seemed far fetched maybe Farkas or Vilkas had fallen. But it wasn't any of those people.
It was Kodlak.
Aela dropped her sword to her feet. The blade clattered down the steps and landed at the bottom, in front of a watching guard. Her mouth hung open. Her silver eyes widened so far she thought they might fall from her skull. Everything inside of her suddenly hurt. It was immensely different from Skjor's death. That one had been unique because of she and Skjor's previous relationship. But Kodlak had been like her father. He had brought her into the Companions. He had taught her several new techniques. He had made her the woman she was that day. And now he was gone. Everything shattered.
Aela fell to her knees. Her eyes were dry as the deserts of Elsweyr for some reason but everything inside of her hurt. It was then that she heard Farkas cry out something impossible to understand before he rushed to their Harbinger's side. He knelt down. He was crying. Vilkas walked towards him as well, putting a hand onto his brother's shoulder plate in a comforting way. Aela felt her heat shatter at the sight of the burly Companion's tears. But for some reason she still didn't cry. Even though she wanted to.
"What in the name of..." A familiar voice was said from behind her. The huntress knew who was behind her. But she was so confused. It hadn't happened. He was faking. He was still alive. He had to be, "...what's going on?!" Footsteps stomped towards them. It was then that Aela felt familiar eyes on the back of her head but she couldn't speak. Couldn't even move. Almost couldn't breath.
"It's the Silver Hand. They finally attacked..." Torvar's voice slurred. She wasn't sure if it was from sadness or from how drunk he still was. But she didn't care. What was going on?
"What?! Is everybody alright?! Aela!" Annika reached her Shield-sister's side, a hand on her shoulder. But she couldn't move. Her eyes remained open. She didn't think that she had blinked in a good few minutes because her eyes were stinging. Was she crying? The Dragonborn shook her shoulder but it did nothing. The huntress' silver eyes were glued to her Harbinger's body, "Aela! Are you okay?! What are you..." Her voice trailed off. The soft hand left her shoulder but she barely even felt it. It was then that her vision started to get patchy and black. Her head hung low. And then the anger occurred. But it made no sense whatsoever.
The huntress shot to her feet, her fists clenching tightly. Annika looked at her. The two locked eyes. It was only when the silver ones drifted that she noticed something else. Something that made the pain become even worse than it had been before when she thought that had been impossible.
The amulet was gone. The amulet of Mara no longer hung over her neck. Aela gasped aloud, the anger now turning into more emotional agony. That was why it took so long - why the Dragonborn had been gone for such a long time. She had been with somebody. Somebody who wasn't Aela. The huntress found her eyes now suddenly filled with tears. She couldn't. She just couldn't. While she stood, devastated, Vilkas came forth and pulled Annika aside. He was shouting at her. But suddenly Aela could barely hear. She fell down hard onto her back, just barely being caught by Torvar. She had fainted. And her life had fallen apart.