After burning her body, the teens pressed forward. The walk remained quiet, Karkat kept his head hung low, his hands stuffed in his pockets, Terezi was walking next to him, her arm wrapped around his own, and her gaze was fixed on the ground as they walked. Jade was still sniffling every now and then, Rose had her arm wrapped around Jade’s shoulders, John had his head hung low, he had stopped sniffling not too long ago after Dave had reached up and began to gently ruffle his best friend’s hair.
Tesla didn’t understand why they had to waste time burning the troll’s body. It was a pointless thing, everyone dies, but not everyone lives. She also didn’t understand why they had been so upset about it, she had told them that she was good as dead, that she was a goner, and that she would be sleeping with the fishes once Sligo was done with her. They were all idiots in her mind, sighing she stops walking and turns around to look at them.
“Something wrong?” Rose asks, her tone low. Dave looks over at her then reaches over and holds her hand, giving it a tight squeeze before giving her a small smile, she smiles back at him and squeezes his hand back.
“Perhaps…….we should talk.” She states, this causes Karkat to glare at her.
“Talk? You want to fucking talk? Alright, we can talk. Let us start with the fact that you made us leave Nepeta behind to fight someone you fucking knew, was stronger than her. What the hell was up with that?” he asks with anger, Terezi then squeezes her friends arm, as if to keep him grounded. Tesla glares back at him, but she sighs as let’s the glare fade before folding her hands behind her back. “Now, your turn.” He hisses.
“Look, I know you’re angry. But, you also knew very well that it was dangerous to come back into this game and challenge Karter. So if there is anyone to blame here, it should be yourself. You came up with this idea, so why are you angry with me?” she explains to him, suddenly, she found herself on his back with Karkat on top of her while holding his sickle in one hand before lower it down to her neck. She glares at him.
“Whoa! Everyone calm down!” Dave commands, causing everyone to turn and look at him.
“Why should I!?” Karkat asks, Dave frowns.
“Nepeta was tired of bloodshed……..you should at least respect that.” Dave mumbles, Karkat frowns as he clicks his tongue then gets off of the monster girl who stands up and pats off the dust on her cloths. “No one is to blame here. She said she could handle it, she gave us the chance to flee and get a head start. We should be grateful for that……..Im not one to talk much. I blamed a lot of fucking people for Bros death. But I never once until afterwards, take a minute to really think over things. No one was to blame, sure, Jack was the one who killed him, but still, he gladly took him on with the intentions to wound him enough for us to take him down, or even slow him down for us.” Dave explains, Rose could feel his hand shaking slightly. He looked composed, but it was still very hard for him to talk about his brother.
“Why don’t we…stop and take a rest for now?” Jade suggests, nodding the group sit around each other. “Thank you Dave, for calming them down.” The green eyed girl thanks, Dave nods to her as he lays back, closes his eyes and removes his shades before placing them on his chest. He supposed he could take a nap.
“Huh? Hey…I can hear you this time.” The red eyed male states, looking around, he couldn’t see anyone. In fact, he didn’t see anything, everything was completely white.
“You can!? Oh that’s fucking good to hear!” the voice says, his tone happy, and very familiar to his ear. “Now that I got your attention and the connection is stronger, I need to tell you something.”
“Let me guess, turn back? Leave?” he asks, he could hear the voice sigh.
“Yes! Dave, listen to me, Kim Karter isn’t someone you should mess with. Look what happened with your friend Nepeta! Please Dave…” the voice begs, Dave shakes his head. “Damn it, Dave, wake up!”
Siting up and quickly putting his shades on, he looks around and then he feels John grab him and pull him to his feet, turning around the red eyed male growls sees Sligo in his wolf form, covered in his own red blood, and in his mouth was Nepeta’s severed arm. Karkat growls as his body begins to tremble in anger. Sligo then drops the female’s arm on the ground before going into his human form and rolling his shoulders before wincing.
“I thought I would find the feline….but I guess not. So that means she finally kicked the bucket huh?” he teases, Karkat glares at him, his teeth bared as growls emitted from his throat. The said wolf then smirks at Tesla.
“Since when do you like humans or trolls for that matter? Weren’t trolls the ones that killed your family? What was the name of the one who did it…? Kankri Vantas was is?” he mocks, hearing the name, Karkat suddenly charges at him, tackles him to the ground while holding his sickle to his throat. Sligo then begins to laugh, he knew very well that Kankri was Karkat’s ancestor, and he knew that bad mouthing him would strike a nerve. “Oh! What’s wrong?”
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t cut your head off!” the troll warns, pressing the sickle closer to the other’s neck. Grinning, Sligo lifts his leg and kicks the teen off of himself before getting up on his feet and wiping the blood and dust off of his arms. Karkat then lets out an angered scream before charging at the wolf.
“Karkat, don’t!” Dave warns as he cashes after the troll but yelps in pain as the said monster throws the small troll on top of the human. Groaning in pain, Dave sits up as Karkat gets up and quickly turns around, but, he feels a piercing pain in his midsection. “Fuck! Karkat!” blinking, he could see Sligo’s grinning face, slowly looking down, he could see the older male’s hand piercing into his stomach, looking up at him, Karkat coughs up blood before jerking forward as Sligo pulls his hand out roughly then jumps back a few feet before Dave and John could attack him. “Shit, Shit, Shit, Shit, oh fuck! Karkat! Hey man, look at me!!” Dave begs as he grabs the teen’s shoulder’s and eases him onto his knees. Karkat coughs once more as he looks up at the Knight.
“Red blood? From a Troll? Now what kind of freak are-“
“Don’t you dare finish that!!” Dave cuts in, Sligo could feel the death glare coming from behind the human’s eyewear. He could see the teen’s fists shaking as he held onto the troll. Sligo then bursts out laughing as he watches the human gently lower the red blooded troll to the ground before allowing the remaining female troll to kneel down and press her hands to the wound. Turning to face him, Dave then summons his sword as John had his hammer out, ready to attack the shirtless male.
“This is will be fun.” Sligo mumbles with a grin as he sees John charge at him, smiling goes into his wolf form then using his jaws he stops the teen’s hammer. Looking past him, the said male gets a shocked look noticing that Dave was gone.
“Looking for me!?” turning his gaze, Sligo release’s Johns hammer, and attempts to doge it, but he lets out a whimper feeling the blond haired teen’s sword cut deeply into his side. Shaking his head, Sligo growls at them, bearing his teeth. John then smiles at Dave, giving him a nod. A silent ‘good job’ for landing a hit. You shouldn’t take your eyes off of the person you’re fighting.” Dave points out, Sligo growls as he lets out a growl.
“Perhaps your friend should have kept her eyes and attention on me instead of thinking about you lot.” The male explains as he goes once again into his human form. He was gripping his side as blood flowed from the wound. Sighing Sligo then holds out his other hand and to the shock of the group of teen’s, (Mostly Dave’s) Dave’s Caledscratch appear in his hand. The wolf/human then smirks seeing the look of disbelief on Dave’s face. How was it possible that he had the same type of blade as he did? He got that sword from Davesprite. It couldn’t be forged from just any kind of sword.
“H-How…? But, Dave has-“
“His in his hands? Yes. This is what I can do. How do you think I beat your little troll friend? Copying her claws, speed and accuracy wasn’t so hard. If anything was child’s play. But, I have to say….this sword is pretty nice.” Sligo explains, he lets his other hand fall to his side as Nepeta’s claws appear. Seeing that, Terezi frowns and looks away, keeping her gaze fixed on Karkat’s wound, pressing down a little harder, she jumps slightly feeling the male cup her cheek, making her look at his eyes.
“N-not so hard…...don’t worry, they’ll handle him…..” the former troll leader explains to her, she smiles slightly and nods as she lessens the presser on the wound. Looking up, she could see Jade standing on her left, and Rose on her right, both with their respective weapons in hand and ready to guard the two if need be.
Looking past them, she could see that for some strange reason, Dave and John were having trouble syncing up with each other, something that wasn’t normal for them. Perhaps it was the fact that Sligo could copy their weapons and moves that made it harder for them to sync up? No, that couldn’t be the case, because if it was, then Dave would no way in hell be able to sync up with Karkat or even any of the others.
“John, switch out with Rose.” Dave commands as jumps back, but he could feel Sligo’s imitation claws cut his cheek. Glaring at the monster, Dave looks at John who looked a little hesitant about even stepping away for a minute from his best friend’s side, but he knew very well that a Knight of Time and Seer of Light were practically unbeatable when the two worked together. Then again, Dave’s brother had a tough time beating Kim and her people. Nodding, John jumps back and lands next to Rose who then disappears and reappears next to Dave with her wands in hand. “Alright, let’s show him-“
“Rose, Dave watch out!” Tesla cries out, getting a shocked look Rose watches as Sligo appears in front of her brother and grabs his throat before disappearing and reappearing a few feet away, holding the red eyed teen a few inches off the ground. “Fuck! Sligo knock it off!” Tesla commands as the stone on her necklace glows bright before the light fades and reviles that she was once again in her Dragon form. “Let. Him. Go.” She growls, the wolf smirks as he tightens his grip, causing Dave to let out a chocked sound as he claws at the monsters hand without much success.
Rose growls as she watches helplessly. She knew that it was far too risky for her to attack this man without him using Dave as some sort of shield. She looks over at John and he looked as if he was borderline panic attack form not being able to do anything, suddenly, she looks up at Tesla who was in her dragon form, her long, sleek, black tail was flicking from side to side in an agitated manner, her thinner than butterfly like wings were spread out wide behind them. Rose felt a little safer knowing she had a dragon standing behind her and ready to rip the man apart. Looking back over at Sligo, she could see the man holding Dave much closer to his own face, she freezes, fearing what he was going to do to their beloved friend.
John growls as he watches the man reach up with his other hand and then he quickly plucks off the teen’s sunglasses, Dave had his eyes tightly shut, this causes Sligo to smirk and gently runs the claws he had on his hands down the blond’s cheek until he had it resting under the male’s chin. Dave growls as he feels the pointed tip of the claw, against his skin. And it was becoming harder and harder for the teen to breath. Coughing, the teen cracks his eyes open and glares at the male.
“My, my….eyes are red as the blood that runs through my veins and like the troll. You and your brother are very…strange. Apparently, from what Karter says, the name Strider just brings about danger, misery, and death. Anyone who carries the name is bound to a life full of nothing but misery and despair.” Sligo explains as he then tosses the teen a few feet away behind himself. Once on the ground Dave coughs roughly and curls into a ball, attempting to catch his breath, but he kept his eyes closed tightly.
“What do you mean by anyone who carries the name ‘Strider’ is bound for despair?” John asks, Tesla then uses her tail to wrap it around John and pull him back slightly, trying to keep the humans a good distance from Sligo just in case he tried anything. She knew very well that there was no point in trying to get to Dave, the teen was too far for her to reach him in time, and Sligo would get to him before anyone else could. Sligo sighs as he rolls his eyes.
“Dave! Dave, you have to get up!! I know you feel weak right now, but you have to get up!” Dave then opens his eyes slightly after hearing the voice, nodding he groans and attempts to get up, but he gasps in pain after feeling Sligo slam his foot down on his head, keeping him pinned to the ground. Sligo then stares down at him with a blank expression, one that made the red eyed teen glare at him.
“It’s said in legend, especially on Derse, that for many years the name Strider was always a name that brought upon nothing but Death, misery, despair. Striders are all normally part of aggressive classes, and that normally leads to the Despair and misery that the legend speaks of. Both for themselves or the people they care about, and there was always a defining trait of all Striders…” he explains, looking past the teen eh could see that one, good kick, he could send the boy over the Cliff. Turning his head slightly, he stares at the group.
“Which is…?” Rose asks, a little scared to know. Reaching down, he grabs a fist full of Dave’s hair and lifts his head, then turns it to make sure it was facing the blond haired girl.
“They all have an unnatural eye color. They also all tend to have this…natural calm about them, but the second they had a loved one torn away from them, or a loved one, stops loving them, it starts to mentally destroy them. Their weakness is the need to be loved by the person they love most. And when that is ripped away from them…heheh…well, you can say that it never ends well for them. It is also said that none of them have ever been anything other than a Knight and Prince. Many people say that the Strider name is one of hope, but they don’t know the long standing history about the name like we monsters and Trolls.” Hearing that, Jade gives the male a confused look.
Jade then gets a shocked look. Did that mean that Karkat and the others knew about the history behind Dave’s last name? Did that mean that they could have prevented the death of his brother? She then looks over at Terezi who was glaring at the male, she then turns to look at Jade, seeing the look on the human’s face, and she frowns and looks back down at Karkat, his breathing still uneven. Jade then glares at Sligo.
“Explain.” She commands, the wolf glares at her but sighs.
“What? Where you not aware of the fact that the Trolls knew the fate of the two Striders that where in the game? Oh, wait, I should say three. Even if ‘Bro’ wasn’t all that great.”
“Shut……your mouth. Bro was the fucking best.” Dave mumbles as he stands up on shaky legs. Sligo then looks at Dave who was hanging his head low, making sure to keep his eyes hidden and unseen by the others. He already got enough shit from the kids at school about his eyes, he didn’t need to get shit from them either. “He was one of the strongest of all of our guardians, he beat your damn master after all.” Dave says, a smirk appearing on his face, seeing that, Sligo growls and goes to attack the teen but next thing he knew, Tesla had launched herself at the wolf and was now pinning him to the ground with her claws. He looks up at her and growls, but he knew very well that there was no way he was going to overpower her.
Running over to his friend, John grabs Dave’s shades and hands them back to the blond who takes them and places them back on his face. Looking up he smiles at John and nods in a silent thank you, looking over at the others, he could see Jade tending to Karkat’s wound, by the look on her face, it seemed as if he was going to be okay, he would live, but he would need to be watched and protected until that wound of his healed. He then looks at Tesla who had Sligo pinned to the ground, summoning Caledscratch he walks over to him and points it at the monsters face, Sligo looks up at him and smirks.
“I don’t know jack shit about what this legend is about us Striders, but let me tell you something, I think it’s a load of bullshittery. It was just you, running your fucking mouth seeing you enjoy to hear yourself fucking talk to damn much.” Dave explains, the said wolf merely rolls his eyes but says nothing more, shaking his head Dave then looks up at Tesla. “Let him up.” Looking at him, the girl nods slowly as she releases the other male as he gets up and lunges at Dave, who quickly side steps, throws his arm around Sligo’s neck pulling im down while his free hand rested at the top of his head. “I would suggest trying anything.” Dave warns, as he tightens his grip around the red eyed wolf’s neck.
John couldn’t help but feel nervous. He had never seen his friend get so angry, or threaten to snap someone’s neck if they attempted to move. Dave was normally always calm, and kept to himself. He would fight if needed, but, he wouldn’t kill in cold blood. Then again, if he killed Sligo, he can’t say it would be in cold blood, it would have been because he took Nepeta’s life, and he hurt Karkat too.
“Tell me everything you know about Bro’s wish.” Dave commands, Sligo smirks up at him.
“Let’s just say…you didn’t matter to him at that tim-“ hearing a loud crack, Jade and Rose stare in shock as Dave then releases the monster, letting his limp, lifeless body hit the ground with a thump. The group merely stare at the red eyed teen who had his head hanging low, his hands balled into fists.
“D-Dave…?” Rose calls, she flinches as he looks up at her, seeing that Dave quickly looks away from her before sighing and walking past her over to Karkat he kneels down next to him and looks up at Terezi, she smiles and nods. He sighs in relief.
“Good job girls.” Dave praises, Jade nods slowly as he looks over at John. “We should probably just…stay here. I’ll go ahead and scout, then come back. Keep an eye on Kar.” And with that he walks away.
“Oh, so I don’t need to be asleep to hear you anymore?” Dave asks out loud as he continues to walk down a road with his hands stuffed in his pockets. He could hear the voice chuckle.
“No, thankfully. That fight somehow strengthened our connection with one another. But, anyway, are you okay? You seem……out of It.” the voice asks, it was full of concern and worry. Dave couldn’t help but smile.
“Yeah, just……ugh I don’t fucking know. Shocked at myself? I guess? Seeing Rose react that way, seeing the looks on their faces…….I guess that just threw me off.” He explains as he frowns as comes to a stop as he stares down at his feet. “I guess…….I am a little down about it?”
“Well…….I understand how that feels……..to have the people you love look at you with such……..fear? Maybe? If that’s what you want to call it. But, don’t worry. They were just shocked is all, please cheer up.” Dave sighs as he nods.
“Hey, now that I think about it….what’s your name? Where did you come from?” he asks.
“Well…….all in due time Dave. All in due time. Well, I’ll leave you alone to your thoughts.” After that, Dave knew the voice wouldn’t talk to him again for a while, sighing he looks up at the dark, starless sky.
He didn’t really know what came over him, but he was just….angry. This was a repeat of what had happened two years ago, he was watching his friends all slowly, being killed one, by one. He didn’t need to relive that, it was nightmare inducing enough. Shaking his head, he looks back at the road he had come from. He was debating whether or not if he should head back, or just go ahead of the group. Of course, he would have no idea where to go if he went ahead, but then, he didn’t want to make anyone feel unconfutable. Rubbing the back of his neck, he turns and heads back.
He had a feeling that tonight was going to be a long night.