Vitania didn’t let go of Detalia’s mouth until she couldn’t smell the Lycans anymore and when she did her hand was wet from tears and snot.
“What are they going to do to him? I can’t lose him Vitania I can’t.”
“They aren’t going to do anything to him because we won’t let them.” Vitania turned to Detalia and tried to be as there for her as possible even though she really wasn’t as concerned about Tal as she could have been. “As long as we can coordinate, they won’t kill him.”
“I’ve never fought anything in my life beside that demon, and even then that was mostly you, and those Lycans are ten times bigger than my full form I won’t be able to take them.”
“But you also won’t be alone. Come on.”
They jumped their way through the tree canopy down the path, following Tal and his captors, and by the time they got close they could hear cheering and jeering and growling from the clearing they were approaching. Vitania pointed to the trees and they jumped into them, getting as close to the edge as possible. When they did they were shocked at what they saw.
The sight was the most disgusting display of species indecency in any history of any world. Lycans everywhere, probably thirty or forty, most of them drunk and all over each other, stumbling into each other. The smell would have caused a human to back away let alone the super sensitive nostrils of Vampires and Lycans. Both the girls almost gagged at the smell of un-kept Lycan; a mix of wet dog, alcohol, blood and coitus blending together and wafting over everything their “town”. If you could call even call it a town as it was only made up of small tents haphazardly racked up, surrounding by small carts of various supplies and wooden counters. In the center of the clearing, Lycans were stacking branches and small logs around a pike, and attached to that pike was Tal. He was knocked out, they could tell by how his head hung loosely, and Vitania envied how he was spared of the terrible scent. Unlucky because it looked like he was about to burned at the stake like a witch.
Vitania leaned over to Detalia, whose mouth was gaping, in shock at what she saw.
“Detalia I need you to be calm.”
“What are they doing to him.” Her voice was off in the distance, almost eerily calm but still quite raspy, in complete disbelief at what she saw.
“They see him as a traitor and traitors in rogue packs are severely punished.”
“Who are they?”
“From their conversation with your main man over there, I would say this is the Ferehar pack he faked his death to escape from. I think he showed himself to draw attention away from us.”
Detalia’s fur had started to rise on her back and she was emitting a growl from deep in her throat. Vitania tried to get into her head.
“What you’re feeling right now is perfect, its exactly what you’ll need to execute absolute hell, but not until my signal. If we are going to have any kind of a chance to get him out of that, we need to be precise.”
They both regarded the centre of the town where Tal hung, and watched as the other Lycans shouted profanities, threw rotten fruit and random objects at him in rage.
Vitania motioned at Detalia at one of the trees to the right of the pike, and Vitania jumped into the one on the left.
They watched intently from their hiding places as they got a good look at the Lycan called Krawnex, making his way to the pike. They really had no plan, they just were hoping for the edge of a surprise attack, but she had to admit that the sight of Krawnex was both nerve wracking and disgusting.
He was definitely the largest Lycan there which probably gave him the only advantage used in rogue packs: physical. He walked with an air of arrogance and importance. The women fell at his feet, or made suggestive gestures at him just waiting to be the one he picked as he stalked through the crowd. It was revolting the animalistic display going on in front of her. His eyes though were a very different color than most Lycans in the way that they were a strange hue of auburn, almost all red. His facial expression was worn and old, one that had many battles behind it. He was obviously someone who deserved the title of Leader of the Pack, but Vitania felt no respect for him in any way. Other creatures may fear him but in her eyes he was just another Rogue and if there was anything her father had imbedded in her it was that Rogues should be taught where their places are.
She looked to Detalia who had also been studying their surroundings. She motioned to a couple of areas and when Vitania looked closer she was surprised to see guards with cross bows; a strange weapon for a Lycan pack but a weapon, and a lethal one if aimed properly, nonetheless.
Vitania put a finger to her lips and dropped down from her tree right behind one of the guards. Detalia watched with curiosity that quickly turned to horror when he didn`t have time to think twice before she had covered his mouth and slit his throat. Once he had no air left she let him drop to the ground and went after the next one. Vitania’s hand shook slightly as she cut main arteries and veins and watched creature after creature bleed out in front of her. Her father had only captured Rogues, he very rarely killed them unless they gave him any grief she knew that, but she was slaughtering like it was second nature and part of her liked it. Liked the way she could feel the pulse under her fingers die down, the way the hot blood ran over her fingertips, the way she felt no remorse. She felt a smile spread on her face as the bodies under her started to convulse and then be silent lying in heaps of matted fur in the grass. When she approached the last guard she only cut his neck slightly before going for the femoral artery and feeling the blood soak her pant leg as she steadied him so he wouldn’t attract too much attention taking part in the falling and convulsing. What startled her was the thud she heard behind her and when she turned she saw a guard she had missed, a much larger one. She reached for her knife but didn’t need to when she noticed his eyes were wide but lifeless. His body fell forward and when she moved out of the way she saw Detalia panting, claws bloody and the back of the guard ripped to shreds.
“You didn’t see him.”
Each word took one breath as she tried to steady herself.
“Thanks.” Vitania felt her pulse die down and clarity come back to her, she tried not to let the sights of the guard around her bother her but deep down she felt a little guilty..
Their original plan ruined they resumed their post up a top one tree and watched the spectacle.
No one seemed to notice their fallen brethren as they were now all cheering as Krawnex lit the match.
Vitania sensed Detalia’s tensed muscles and before she could stop her Detalia had pounced, landing between Krawnex and Tal, kicking him and the lit match away from the pike. She was fully changed and growling at the now silent crowd, who were completely taken by surprise. Krawnex got onto all fours and looked at Detalia, confused and amused.
“Who this pup Tal hmm?”
Detalia never said a word she just stalked in front of Tal, blocking Krawnex’s path, letting out low growls and snaring at anyone that tried to get close.
Krawnex laughed and started to charge, Detalia stood her ground but she didn`t have to do anything because Vitania appeared in front of her with her wick fully extended braced for his attack.
Krawnex stopped his charge feet away from the three of them and stared down Vitania. Their met eyes, his completely red and hers completely black. Krawnex spat on the ground in front of her.
“Not surprised Tal make friends with Fangling.”
“I’m still better than the company he used to keep.”
Krawnex and the Ferehar pack growled and barked in response to Vitania’s insult. Detalia arched her back and growled back behind Vitania.
“You should care for your words Vampire, this my territory, long way from yours.”
“You have no idea how far away from home I really am. Besides, it seems you are all seriously out numbered.”
Krawnex gave a chuckle.
“There is many us, only one of you.”
“That’s all I need.”
They held each other’s gaze for a long while, neither Krawnex nor Vitania backing down. Out of the corner of her eye she saw movement as a Lycan lunged at her from the side. Vitania extended her wick and the sharp end dug in its chest. The wick spinning, she threw the torso into the crowd, never breaking her stance or stare. Krawnex growled and the pack began to advance but he held his paw out and spoke in a tongue she didn’t understand making them retract. Vitania kept alert, looking around while Detalia still paced between Tal and everyone else.
“Do you know pack rules?”
“A new leader was decided when the old one was killed.”
“Yes,” he drew out the “s” like a snake “you know history. Tal challenged me, but he ran, coward.”
Detalia growled and barked at Krawnex, tearing at the ground and biting at the air.
“Yes, he ran. When we found body dead, so we left him to forest darkness.”
“How stereotypical of you.”
Krawnex raised his eyebrow.
“To be totally barbaric and ruthless towards your fellow Lycan.”
He surprisingly took a bow in Vitania’s direction.
“Of course Fangling, it is us.”
When he looked up again he was looking past her, and lunging for Tal. Vitania pushed off of the ground catching him with her shoulder under the ribs, winding him, then both of them tumbling onto the ground. She had to keep him as far away from Detalia and Tal as she could. When she looked up again Krawnex had changed into full Lycan form and was again charging for her. Bracing herself she waited until he was close enough before doing a back flip, her foot kicking him full force under his jaw which sent him flying back and a shot of pain through her leg. When she landed the force on her ankle sent another shot of pain from her foot up into her spine but she stood her ground as he came charging back. He seemed to be even larger than before. Half changed he was maybe seven feet tall but he looked well over nine now, his every muscle grotesquely large under his un-kept fur. Her only real advantage was her own size, she could move faster than he could and get away from tighter areas. She waited as long as possible before vaulting into the air and bringing her wick down with a crack on top of his skull, right before his back legs reached up to catch her in the chest. Winded she fell onto her back, gasping for breath. She could feel the ground shake and knew he was running towards her. She was on her knees when Krawnex reached her again and he grabbed her around the throat, lifting her up off the ground like she was a paper weight. She could feel him squeezing her wind pipe, and hear her bones starting to give way. The Lycans around them started to shout and whistle, feeling prematurely victorious. She felt around for the grove she needed on her wick, and when she did let out a chuckle, as best she could. Krawnex gave her a disbelieving look.
“You think this funny Night Child? Death is funny?”
She looked him in the eye, and with a smile and raspy voice said;
“You tell me.”
With the flick of the groove, the blade of her wick shot out of through end, and extended through his chest, right at the perfect height to go straight through his heart thanks to the angle he was holding her at. She watched as his eyes widen and felt his grip slowly start to release from her neck. The pack around them had gone silent. She dropped to the ground and rolled out of the way as Krawnex fell forward, pushing her weapon deeper into his body, his eyes watching her as he slowly came in contact with the ground.
Vitania walked beside his now still body, and stood one hand rubbing her neck listening to her body heal, the other pulling her wick through Krawnex’s back and wiping his blood off on his shirt.
She turned to the silent crowd, where all eyes were on her.
“Do you see what happens, when you piss off a Vampire? Or worse, take her friend. You’re lucky I got to him before she did,” she motioned over to Detalia who was untying a now conscious and awestruck Tal off the pike, “or there might not have been a body left to bury.”
The Lycans just watched, watched her every move, as she turned and went to Detalia and Tal.
“What the- what the hell happened to him?”
“He got in my way.”
Vitania was nonchalant about it and helped hike up his other arm over her shoulder and to walk slowly towards the other end of the town. She could hear the Lycans shuffling, no doubt advancing on the body to inspect, or perhaps marvel, at the damage.
The threesome stopped and turned around to see an older Lycan close behind them, an apprehensive look on his face when his eyes met Vitania’s. He immediately looked at the ground and pointed at Tal.
“He’s been badly hurt, if you are travelling far, he will need medicinal assistance.”
Vitania made sure Detalia had Tal’s weight before letting go, and walked closer to the Lycan.
“Your accent is similar to his, yet you speak with more distinguish.”
“That’s because they’re related.”
Tal coughed out the answer and the Lycan in front of them sighed.
“My name is Elington Bloar and Krawnex was regrettably my nephew. I was trying to raise him in Saphyr but, he was oppressive and an angry child. I was his guardian and as such, I was also punished when he went Rogue as the council believed someone so young could not turn his back on his own kind without older guidance. No one believed me that it was Lycans he had met outside the city that had corrupted him, and I’ve stopped trying to make anyone believe me, I knew the truth.” He gestured towards Tal, “I was one of the medicinal officers in the Elders home, I can easily fix him up if you’ll trust me to do so.”
Vitania and Detalia exchanged concerned looks but Tal gave them a grunt that said it was okay and that he could really use it. Elington snapped his fingers and two burly Lycans came out of the crowd, picked up Tal, and carried him into one of the larger tents. They followed behind them inside and when they entered the tent they noted it was much larger on the inside than it looked.
The table in the centre of the room was similar to the table she had seen the sick Lycan laying on, it gave her shivers to think about it. Around smaller tables were set sporadically that had jars and boxes of various items; needles, thread, bandages, wraps, and containers with what looked like wax inside. The top of the table was covered in what looked like stale blood, and if the smell of that wasn’t enough, in on corner was a pile of old wound dressings. Off to the side there hung a pot over a small fire, the top of it clanging as the water below it was coming to a boil.
Elington walked over to the pot and carefully dipped in a cloth, ringing it out slightly and dabbed gently at Tals rope burns and the sores on his ankles and his feet from where he had been strung up. One of the larger Lycans came over with a cup of something giving off the an incredibly foul odor, but when he brought it to Tals’ lips he didn’t hesitate in ingesting it in one gulp.
“Daimin here was my right hand man in the Elder’s home for many years, he was there from when a cub. He offered to lead us out of the city on the day we were banished, and disappeared with us know that if it came to a certain point, Krawnex, would be able to best me in any contest of strength or endurance if he needed to. I am definitely not a fighter.”
He smiled up affectionately at the burly Lycan, who gave a small but equally affectionate smile back. Until his eyes met Vitania’s in he resumed expressionlessness, like the guards at Buckingham Palace.
“Go ahead Daimin, don’t be rude, say hello.”
He was still smiling when he went back to addressing Tals’ wounds.
Daimin looked down at Vitania and Detalia in silence for a few moments. He then let out a low grunt and nodded his head in their direction, which Vitania returned. Detalia on the other hand, apparently emotionally exhausted, launched herself into his arms and began to cry and blubber. Daimin stood wide eyed holding Detalia in his arms and not letting her falter, looking straight ahead at the tent wall, completely awestruck and not able to do anything.
“Thank you for bringing him in here and I know it wasn’t your choice to tie him up and I believe you are a good Lycan and were probably a wonderful help to Elington in the Elders home and it was so brave of you to come out here and protect Elington and--.”
“Dear child,” Elington tapped her on the shoulder, “how about you come sit down over here. I can get you something that will calm your anxiety.”
Daimin was sufficiently blushing as Elington detached Detalia from his arms. Letting out a small chuckle and looking at him with shining eyes, he handed Daimin a tissue to wipe off Detalias’ tears and snot that was now stuck to his fur. Elington ran his hands over Detalias’ arms once he had finally gotten her to sit down and was looking at her eyes which were now very red and puffy. He then looked at Vitania.
“How often has she Changed?”
Detalia looked up questioningly at him, still sniffling, and Vitania shrugged her shoulders.
“This is the second time I’ve seen her Change completely. But she hasn’t been a Lycan long.”
“It’s true,” she was starting to regain composure at the distracting conversation, “I’ve only experienced a couple full moons.”
“You should probably lay down as well then. That change took quite a toll on you. Do you see how your veins are very noticeable under your skin right now?” He spread some of her fut on her forearm to show her the buldge. “Your body is still getting used to the intensity of Lycan blood, you’re lucky the only thing you got away with is distress and blood shot eyes.” He held up a broken piece of a mirror for her to see the damage. In the inside corner of both her eyes tiny blood vessels had broken and the whites were starting to go completely red.
“It’s normal for someone whose been recently changed to have these effects, especially if the Change before this has been timed and pretty mild. This Change was driven by emotion and rage, protecting your Maker.”
“He’s not just my Maker, he’s my whole life.”
“Regardless dear, you need to lie down and rest.”
“I don’t want to leave Tal.”
“I’ll watch him Detalia.” Vitania tried to sound like she cared about him, which was difficult, but she didn’t think Detalia would read too far into it right now.
“I don’t want to be alone either.”
“I will keep watch over both of you, I promise.”
Vitania knew she could take any of the Lycans in the pack, and that they were afraid of her. She wouldn’t be able to defend herself against a surprise attack if she was on her own which she knew and it made her uneasy but she smiled at Detalia reassuringly, trying not to show her how physically exhausted she was. Detalia let Daimin lead her from the room tent, and once they were gone Elington turned to Vitania, knowing they could no longer be heard by sensitive ears.
“Where did you find a Lycan newly changed at such an age?” His curiosity at immediately peaked.
“I really don’t think that information is any of your concern.” Vitania could feel her eyes start to turn, when Tal coughed slightly and opened one eye to look at his doctor friend.
“But if you must know I changed her.”
“You don’t sound too happy about it.”
“Don’t get me wrong, I love Detalia. And although she had nothing in her mortal life, I don’t think she really understands the world she has gotten herself into.”
“To be fair, I don’t think you ever intended her to know about this life, since you were trying to get away from it.” Why was she trying to defend him?
“So you found her in your new home?”
“Well, she found me too, but yes.”
Elington looked at the ground, and they all sat in silence before being pullled out of it by the pack members growling and howling at something outside. Cursing, Vitania and Elington ran from the tent to see many of the more burly Lycans encircling around something new that had entered their clearing. Vitania made her way through the pack, which wasn’t that hard seeing as they were still quite unsure what to think about her, and couldn’t believe what she saw when she got to the middle.
Dressed in complete Viral uniform wielding a sword, was Sycon Falkrie, shouting profanities and orders at the now silent crowd, his back to her.
“Not so fierce now are you creatures? Where is Miss. Masters? I--.”
She cut him off with a cough and watched the expression on his face change at her sight.
“Vitania! Hurry! I have them right where I want them!”
She raised her eyebrow and glanced at the pack. He shouted at her again.
“Vitania come on!”
He stopped wielding his sword and looked at her, confused. He walked quickly over to her, never taking his eyes off of the crowd.
“What are you doing?”
“They aren’t going to hurt you, and they sure as hell aren’t going to touch me.”
He stood there for a couple seconds, still confused and mouth open, until Vitania grabbed his face and turned his attention in the direction of where Krawnex lain quite still, the blood pool surrounding his body finally still. Sycon looked at the body and back at Vitania a couple times, before wiping the look of shock off his face. He stood up straight and looked at her, hands on his hips.
“Well then, I see. And unfortunately for you and your father, I’m going to half to bring you in.”
On the last note he launched himself at Vitania. Her response to this was an immediate vertical jump in the air in which the tip of her boot caught Sycon under the chin knocking him back. Vitania then came down on top of him, landing with the sharp end of her wick at his throat and the other hand holding down the hand brandishing his weapon. He looked up at her from the ground with a look of impression, and something else that danced behind his eyes that made it difficult for her to concentrate.
“Sycon, for being so brave as to come find me, I’m going to have to kidnap you. Welcome to the crew.”
The look quickly changed as Vitania took his weapon and sheathed it on her own belt, making her way back through the crown, Sycon following her.
“You can’t expect me to-you aren’t really-I don’t think this is orthodox.”
“Listen,” she turned and pointed a finger at his perfect face pausing for a moment when she locked eyes with his, having sudden gut-wrenching urgers, “you came looking for me, and now that you’ve found me you need to know that I can’t go back to Drean until I have all the answers to all my questions. Which I won’t be disclosing to you so don’t even ask. I would let you go as long as you promised not to tell a soul where I was or who I was with, but I don’t know a thing about you except that you’re an army brat and bred to be honest, so you’re stuck here.”
She turned from him with all her will power and headed back towards Elingtons medicinal tent. She pulled back the tent flap and wavered ever so slightly, and Sycon was suddenly there at her side holding her up and examining her facial expression.
“When was the last time you drank?”
She looked up at the dark sky rolling her eyes and shaking her head.
“Not since this morning.”
Tal, who was now sitting up, raised his eyebrow at her as they walked in. She felt flushed and knew she was blushing but brushed Sycon off and found cool water to splash her face with. Without looking up she made the sarcastic introductions.
“Tal this is Sycon, my knight in shining armour coming to rescue me from the bad lands of Ardtrea and will be joining us on our journey because we can’t have him going back to Drean and trying to lie to my father. Because as we all know, my father will know Sycon is lying and we just can’t have that come out now can we. Sycon this is Tal, the Maker to my Lycan friend Detalia, who is currently resting elsewhere from her very exhilarating rescue mission.”
At this point she turned around and addressed both of them.
“We have no choice. This is the way it has to be. You’re either friends or enemies and if you guys are enemies well Sycon, that means you and I are enemies too.”
She stood in silence watching them eye each other.
“Since it’s been ten second and neither of you seem to be moving to rip the other ones throat out, I will take that as at least a civil enough agreement that you won’t kill each other, which is all I need from both of you for the duration of this trip.”
Tal spoke up, without taking his eyes off the Vampire Viral now in his midst.
“What makes you all of a sudden boss of this trip?”
“Well let’s see,” Vitania held up one hand and started to tick off reasons on her fingers one by one, “it’s my mother, it’s my problem, it’s my life and it’s my secret so I think I should be the one calling the shots on what happens.”
Tal gave no response and Sycon looked at Vitania with concern, which was cute and slightly annoying that he cared. It really wasn’t fair, the distraction he was providing, even if he didn’t know he was doing it. She never really got into relationships due to obvious reasons back home, and now she was fawning over a pair of blue eyes at the most inconvenient time.
“We aren’t staying here long Sycon, just for the night and tomorrow we are heading to the Mountains of Is.”
“Mountains of Is? Why in the world would you need to go there?”
“Right now it doesn’t matter why we need to go there, it just matters that we are going. Can you handle that?”
She raised her eye brow and Sycon bowed low.
“I can handle anything and will stand by you, albeit against my will.”
He let loose a devilish smirk as Vitania nodded , stifling her own playful grin.
“With that note, we need to sleep. Tal, if you’re feeling better Detalia is down a couple tents and would love to see you up and about. See you all in the morning.”
She left it at that and walked out of the tent in the now cool night air. She was going to take up space in the tent next to Detalia and Tal and made sure the tent beside hers was empty for Sycon, but really she wouldn’t have minded wherever he decided to sleep that night.
Daurin Falkrie paced the room, every now and then pausing to flip a table or chair. Kynthelig watched the rage with his head in his hand, as he had for the last few hours.
“This is an outrage! First my son goes off watch to go find you, and now he’s out there somewhere looking for your daughter and it’s going to be sunrise soon!”
“Daurin will you please calm down. Both of us know quite well Sycon can handle himself--.”
“If it wasn’t for your little seductress Halfling, he wouldn’t even be out there in the first place!”
Once those words were spoken Kynthelig was out of his chair and had Daurin by the collar, faces inches apart, but neither man backed down.
“You take that back about my daughter.”
“Not until my son comes home!”
“Gentlemen, do we really need to stoop so low as to ripping each other’s throats out? But if you insist, I will need to get front row seats to the show.”
Kynthelig let loose Daurins collar as a cold chill swept over the room. The candles that had been lit were snuffed instantly and the only light that bathed the room was the moons last rays before disappearing into the oncoming sunrise.
Out of the corner of his eye, Kynthelig saw movement, and he turned to watch a beautifully dangerous creature slip out of the shadows. It was tall, slender, and pale like a Vampire, yet this was no Vampire.
Jet black hair like the darkest hour before the dawn fell straight around seductive curves and contrasted against the ice cold blue eyes. The black dress she was wearing was low cut, with thin straps, that clung to every inch of her body accenting any and every feature she did have. It fell off her hips though and flowed with her movement, draping the floor, although it never seemed to meet it because all around her ankles rose a black fog, blending the gown with its surroundings.
Kynthelig knew who it was, after he set his sights on the blue in her eyes.
Daurin let out a gasp and fell to his knees, bowing as Midian ignored him by stepping over him.
“Kynthelig. I’m not surprised you do not cower in front of me, but you really should learn some respect for your Goddess’s.”
“I respect my Goddess’s Midian. It’s the demons I have no patience for.”
She let out a giggle as she glided towards him, running her thin fingers under his chin. Her hair seemed to move with or without a breeze and the sensation of it running over him was something he could actually feel causing him to shiver through whatever armour he had on.
“You know what I could do to you, I have more power in my baby finger nail than you have in your whole body, but I come with a proposition.”
“I don’t make deals with demons.”
She let out another giggle, smiling a devious smile that showed razor sharp teeth and she stopped in front of him, wrapping her arms around his neck and coming in close, her next words coming out in a whisper with a superior tone laced dangerously between them.
“Normally no, but when they concern that of your daughter, you should reconsider who has the higher power.”