The storm was relentless. The wind howled with rage sending fat droplets of water inside the small cave. The moonless sky crackled with thunder and the lightning illuminated the dark outline of trees.
A small boy snuggled close to his uncle out of fright. He covered his ears with both his hands as a loud rolling clap of thunder followed the lightning.
His uncle held the boy so close trying to warm his shaking frame. They were both hungry and tired, the raging storm made it impossible for them to go out and they tried to take cover in the small cave they found.
They were wet from head to toe–the boy’s uncle prayed silently that they stayed safe for the rest of the night. The man kept his eyes trained on the shallow cave entrance for any threat. He didn’t believe for an instance that a storm this powerful was enough to keep them away.
He held the boy close with one hand as the other hand tightened on the hilt of his sword he kept secured in his hip. His ears perked up at the distant snarls, he cursed as he picked the small boy and ran out the cave.
He tuned his senses to listen to any noise as he ran from the ghouls, scavenger creatures which fed on flesh and blood. Running through the dark forest in a raging storm was never a good idea. Even with his supernatural senses, it was hard to see through the night while the wind slapped his face without mercy.
He could hear the snarls getting closer and he tripped over a root sending the boy tumbling on the forest floor as they were surrounded by the vile creatures.
“Uncle Dimitri.” He heard the frightened voice of the boy calling from his right-hand side.
He could feel the Ghouls surrounding them for all directions. He wondered, how in the hell did the Ghoul King Gograk have joined hands with the enemies of the Royals to destroy the only hope for the Lycan Kingdom.
He stood motionless as the ghouls advanced. Luckily for him, one ghoul crashed into the others and a fight ensued between them allowing Dimitri enough time to slip out of that place.
Dimitri thanked his lucky stars as he quickly dashed towards the boy in darkness following his sound. He found him holding a tree trunk in fear while he frantically called for his Uncle.
“Shhh… quiet Lucian.” He urged the boy to calm down–wanting no more attention than they already had.
Picking up the boy and loading him behind his back, he climbed the tree efficiently. The boy clutched his uncle so close as if his life depended on it. Climbing to the maximum height, he secured the boy to the branch. It was only a matter of time before the ghouls follow them here and he needed to escape them.
The wind has picked up speed, and the trees swayed at the force. Travelling through the ground was impossible at this moment.
“Lucian, listen, we are in danger. I will kill them all before they get to us. You must stay hidden until I come back, do you understand?” He warned the little boy, who nodded vigorously as he hugged the tree branch tighter.
He climbed down a few feet and found a tree branch comfortable to stand he waited for the ghouls to come at him. He pledged the Royals he would keep their son safe, and he was planning to keep it until his last breath.
Dimitri held his sword tighter as the snarls got closer–he cleaved the head of the first ghoul and slashed the second one’s limb as it tried to get hold of his legs. The creature fell with an unpleasant ear piercing shrill, which echoed through the storm.
The wind howled like a madman as it mercilessly commenced its own attack on Dimitri, forcing him to stagger a few steps back. The tree branches shook with its animosity forcing Lucian off the branch.
Lucian, who was falling off the tree, got hold of another thin branch on his way down and held on to it with all his might. Somehow climbing between two branches, he hid his face behind the trunk to avoid the onslaught of the wind.
Dimitri could hear the boy’s whimper. Lucian was only five-years-old and small when compared to other Lycan children.
More screams followed as Dimitri continued to slash at his enemies without remorse. The ghouls kept coming, being on top of a tree they had no blind spot to attack him and Dimitri was like a ghost unleashed.
One creature climbed behind him as he fought two vicious ghouls. They seemed stronger than others and evaded his sword skilfully. Somehow Dimitri separated the head of one ghoul when the one behind him slashed him with its claws drawing blood.
Dimitri howled as pain filled his entire being, the other ghoul at the front pounced at this opportunity and Dimitri screamed when they bit down and chewed down his flesh. His sword slipped from his hands and they stumbled down to the ground hitting every branch below on their way.
Falling from a tree at least fifty-feet taller was not a pleasant experience.
The creatures were separated from Dimitri at the impact and he lay on the wet ground unable to move his limbs. His spine was broken and his wounds were bleeding profusely making it impossible to heal at the usual rate.
He couldn’t hear the snarls of the ghouls anymore–he wished they had died or knocked out at the impact.
Bodies littered the ground around him and the rich putrid smell of their blood filled his nose, making him gag. The downpour or the wind did nothing to take the scent away. There were at least fifty and more should be following soon. They always traveled in groups.
“Lucian,” he coughed and pain shot out from his spine at the movement.
“Uncle Dimitri.” He heard the faint voice of the boy. “Come down,” he whispered taking shallow breaths trying to be gentler with his injuries.
The boy had strong senses, and he was sure he would hear him. The downpour made it hard for him to breath and it took a few minutes before Lucian reached him.
“Lucian, come here,” he beckoned him closer.
Lucian’s body shook badly with fear and cold as he reached for his uncle.
“Prince Lucian Armand Orszak, listen carefully. Before I continue, I need you to trust me and promise me first.” Dimitri raised his hand weakly, and the boy promised without hesitation.
Dimitri smiled–the boy never broke his promise once he made them. It was how he was brought up–to always stand by his word.
“Lucian, as you can see I am injured and cannot accompany you anymore. They will come for you and I cannot let that happen. You must run and never stop or never look back. You must run until you are safe. Never forget your name and know this, no matter how long it takes, I will come for you, Lucian.” Dimitri finished taking short breaths.
“Uncle Dimitri, I don’t want to leave you,” the boy cried making his heartache.
“You promised me, Lucian.” Dimitri reminded him and the boy gasped looking at him.
Dimitri sighed, “Come close.” He kissed his forehead and cast a protection spell on him.
“Now, run my dear Lucian. Stay alive and don’t forget who you are. I will come for you,” he said releasing the boy.
“Do you promise?” he asked as Dimitri chuckled.
“I promise I will come for you if I survive this.” Dimitri couldn’t lie to the boy. He was dying, the injury was fatal and he would die if the bleeding doesn’t stop.
The spell he put on the boy would temporarily hide Lucian’s scent and he should be far away from all this chaos–when the spell wears out. He watched the boy as he got up and ran, his eyes closed and was claimed by the darkness shortly.