Chapter 15 - Silent Killer
Unable to pry himself away from the soldiers surrounding him, the Veemon warrior Flynn was forced to watch as King Rathman ran along after Queen Lillian and he immediately panicked, fearing for her safety. He would have to get away from the soldiers he was currently fighting with and fast! Rathman would no doubt catch up to Lillian in no time and Flynn couldn’t risk him harming her or the child she carried!
He would not allow it!
Meanwhile Lillian continued to jog along at a steady pace through the darkness of the thick and dense forest around her. Her breathing was fast and shallow as she tried to navigate her way around the thick trunks and tall shrubs of vegetation. Every now and then she would take a quick look behind her, just to see if anyone was closing in and each time she could see several figures moving along behind her. They were Rathman’s soldiers and they were closing in on her fast!
What she didn’t know was that she and the pursuing soldiers were not the only ones moving about in the darkness of the eerie forest. While the soldiers continued to give chase, they too were being pursued by an unseen force; a deadly force.
“She went that way!” the taller soldier announced to the shorter one, pointing ahead with his outstretched finger.
As the shorter solider looked ahead to see signs of movement, he hadn’t noticed what was happening in a matter of seconds behind him. A darkly-dressed figure suddenly emerged and with a few slashes of his sharpened blades, disappeared back into the darkness.
“Are you certain she went this way?” the shorter soldier asked, turning back to face the taller one.
“Gggh...” was the only response he was given.
The shorter soldier paused when he didn’t get a reply from his companion and began to make his way back towards him. The darkness around them was intense and it was hard to see anything besides what was right in front of them.
“Hey, what’s wrong with you?” the shorter soldier asked as he moved in closer. “Why aren’t you speak-”
He stopped mid-sentence and his eyes widened in terror as he saw the crimson blood spilling out from the gaping wound sliced into taller soldier’s neck.
He’d almost been decapitated!
Not only that, but he’d also been impaled against the tree trunk by his own long sword, piercing him right through the stomach! In a matter of seconds his companion had been brutally killed less than a metre away from him! How was this even possible?
“What the hell?”
The soldier stepped back, consumed by fear as he stumbled on a thick root protruding from the ground for a second. Too afraid to cry out for help, he glanced around in the darkness for anything moving.
Summoning up enough courage to run he shook his head and turned to break into a sprint, but sucked in a short breath of air as he came face to face with the black mask of the assassin, Salid!
Before he had the chance to react in any way the Bounty Hunter Assassin instantly stabbed the soldier through the neck with one of his long bladed daggers, making sure to insert it all the way up to the hilt as the soldier began choking on his own blood.
Salid watched the soldier face to face, peering into his eyes with intrigue as the life drained from them and he eventually slumped down to the floor. Salid managed to pull the dagger out of the soldier’s jaw before his body hit the floor. And the very next second the darkly-dressed figure was gone again, on the hunt for any other soldiers chasing the Queen. It was true; Salid was as merciless as he was lethal!
After what felt like hours of running, Queen Lillian paused for a moment to catch her breath and take a quick break. She couldn’t continue running like this; her tummy ached and her back was killing her! Breathing quickly, she looked back expecting to see signs of movement as she had every other time before, but instead saw nothing but the still darkness of the forest around her.
Where were all the soldiers chasing her? Had they given up their hunt? Had she somehow managed to outrun them?
She wasn’t going to wait around long enough to find out!
Turning to sneak away even further, Lillian was startled as her face smacked straight into the solid frame of a much taller and larger figure now standing before her.
Losing her balance she fell backward, landing on the leaf-covered floor below her with a small grunt. As she glanced upward she expected to see the large trunk of a tree before her, but was horrified when she instead noticed the massive giant-like man looming over her!
“What the...” she whispered to herself in sheer terror.
It was the Warlord, Drovan; one of the three Bounty Hunters sent by King Xytsis to retrieve Lillian and he alone was a terrifying sight to behold. Standing at close to seven feet tall and with a muscular body, the Warlord’s brown eyes were locked onto hers as he began to move in towards her.
Instinctively pulling herself backward and away from this monster of a man, Lillian shook her head as she pleaded.
“No, please... Leave me alone!”
Seemingly ignoring her pleas, Drovan bent down over her, his massive arm reaching out to grasp her just underneath her chin. Lillian flailed her arms about wildly, hitting and scratching at his massive arm as he then began to lift her up by her throat, higher into the air until her feet dangled helplessly above the surface of the ground below.
Lillian let out a series of grunts and groans of discomfort as she kicked her legs and pulled desperately at his chunky fingers, wrapped powerfully around her neck. He wasn’t choking her, not entirely. His hand was positioned carefully enough to balance the bottom of her chin on his fingers so she could still breathe. But all he had to do was twist his hand even slightly and he could snap her tiny little neck!
“The Master will be pleased when I return you to him...” the mammoth of a man suddenly spoke with a strangely deepened voice.
Lillian’s emerald green eyes were wide with fear as she continued to struggle beneath his grip. She felt a sudden sense of relief as the massive man then began to lower her down to rest her feet on the floor once again. His eyes remained fixed on hers as he grabbed her firmly around her left wrist and she struggled within his grasp.
“Let go... please.”
“Come quietly and you will remain unharmed, your highness.” he warned, tightening his grip on her tiny wrist and causing her to wince in pain. “Make any attempt to run...” he paused and lowered his head “... and I’ll break your leg!”