Death Raven

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Returns

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I take my time walking the tree line, attempting to sort through my whirlwind of thoughts. The crisp afternoon air was really what I needed to help me clear my mind. That and I just need time to be by myself. I was so used to being alone, being able to relax, and breath without anyone being there to judge me. It was hard to be around Kiela’s energetic self, now with Shawn there too... it’s overwhelming. I could feel them always watching me, and it felt like I was suffocating inside the cabin that used to be my home.

On top of that, Shawn is encouraging me to seek out a relationship with Kiela. Even though I know I need to stop while I’m ahead, I couldn’t help but play this dangerous game. My mind is telling me that my happiness isn’t worth the risk of her life. While my heart was screaming at the top of its lungs to take to the opportunity that I never thought I would have again.

I was nearly at the back of the house, so wrapped up in my thoughts that I wasn’t really checking the tree line. Suddenly there was a loud crash from the other side of the house, and I feel my heart rate spike. My body reacts before I could think, a cold feeling spreads quickly up my body from my feet as I melt into shadows and reform on the other side of the house in seconds. But I took too long...

My door has been kicked to splinters that lay scattered across the ground. The man I’ve dubbed Scarface in my head is now inside my cabin, slowly circling Shawn, who has a cut above his left eye. Thick crimson blood dripping into his eyes and causing him to blink fast. One of his arms holds a shaking Kiela close to his chest. She seemed so small and terrified as she clings to the larger man, his shirt balled up in her shaking fists. Her knuckles turn white with the force she uses to hold onto him.

Shawn’s breathing was coming fast and hard. his eyes were no longer their forest green color and replaced with a golden organ hue. He bears his elongated teeth as a growl rips out of his chest, the fingers on his free hand curl inward, each digit tipped with a long, sharp claw. Shawn must have been some kind of shifter. Though he was fighting off fully shifting, choosing instead to stay with Kiela. It wasn’t hard to see he was outmatched here, but I hope that I can even out the playing field.

“You really are dumber than you are ugly,” I growl darkly, catching the scarred man’s attention.

His smile demonically as he snarls back. “Same goes for you, lover boy.”

Kiela flinches at the sound of his voice, whimpering brokenly into Shawn’s chest. Her thin body shaking like a leaf caught in a thunderstorm. Shawn’s animalistic stare meets mine, his eyes flashing with pure hatred. I could practically feel the blood lust rolling off his body at this point, and I couldn’t blame him.

I feel my eyes start to glow their deadly golden color, “You’re not going to touch her.”

I extend a hand out to my side, a thick smoke forming around it. When the smoke fades, the curved black steel blade of an Egyptian Khopesh now sits in my hand. The edge, though sharp enough to cut through bone, had a lever of black smoky mist covering it. The vapors were small droplets of my concentrated death magic. It aged anything it touched, turning objects into rot and dust. My brothers and I call it a variety of names, but my father calls it to decay smoke. My control over it was one of the talents that Father cultivated in me.

My death magic rolls off my body like a dense fog, the wood floors hiss softly in protest as they dry out and turn to dust under its touch. Scarface looks over at me like I’m some joke, he even had the nerve to laugh. “What an annoying little shit.”

His eyes seem to glow slightly before I feel something slam into my back hard. It knocks the breath out of me, but I force my feet to stay planted, taking the brunt of the force. A small stream of blood trickles down my spine, and I shrug my shoulders. Whatever impacted my back, it doesn’t feel like it did too much damage.

My concern, however, is not on myself but on Kiela as she shakes harder, her eyes glowing brightly through her closed eyelids reflecting off Shawn’s shirt. I feel a wave of emotions that weren’t mine crash into me with crippling force, most of it is terror and pain. Shawn buckles slightly under the emotional attack. The man’s knees wobble, and his shoulder cave in like his curling in on himself, struggling to straighten his shoulders again. His orange eyes, though pain-filled, glare at the man between us with unbridle loathing.

I understand how he feels, but I shrug the emotional onslaught off the best I can. Dashing across the short distance that separated me and Scarface, my free hand forming the smoke around my body into a whip-like weapon. I bring my khopesh down with every intention of giving him another scar. Scarface, however, makes eye contact with me and smirks. I see it way too late to stop the motion, a slight glow from something under his shirt on the front of his shoulder. He puts his hand up, and my blade comes to a jarring stop just an inch away from his palm. My hands go numb from the impact, but I push through and keep pressing down on the invisible shield around him. Everything breaks if there’s enough force behind it.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Kiela suddenly pushes Shawn away, her eyes now open and glowing as bright as the sun. The emotions rolling off her were as strong as tidal waves. Tears like sliver streaming down her cheeks in rivers pure moonlight. Shawn looks at her confused as hell; clearly, he’s never seen this happen before. Then his knees cave, and he crumples to the ground, I assume, due to the strength of her emotions coursing through him.

I use my body weight to press in on the shield. Scarface’s arm shakes under the pressure, clearly struggling to keep the protection spell around him up. At the same time, I lash the whip to where I hope is under the shield around him. I malicious smile coming to my face as the pain comes to him. His screams of agony are music to my ears as the whip makes contact with his leg. The flesh bubbling up with rot and decay, as the leg gives out and causes him to stumble away slightly.

Kiela lets out a high pitched scream that makes my legs shake as she clutches her head crouching down. I couldn’t take much more from her, not if I wanted to keep fighting. “Shawn,” I manage to get through my gritted teeth. “do something about her!”

“What the hell d-” he started, but I growled and cut him off.

“knock her out!”

The smoke on my khopesh starts to hiss against Scarface’s shield, and I watch it begin to crake. Scarface laughs like a maniac, and in one sudden burst of movement, he throws the shield away from his body. The magic walls push me until I’m pinned against the logs that make up my cabin. My back screams in pain, as whatever happened to my back grinds against the wall. While at the same time, he lungs for Kiela, grabbing a fist full of her hair. He yanks her up against his body, Kiela stops screaming, and her body convulses violently. I struggled uselessly against the shield, pinned to the wall like some fucked-up art piece.

Shawn shoves himself to his feet, his bones cracking loudly as fur sprouts up across his skin. He shifts into an abnormally large lion a little over the size of a polar bear. His golden fur shining like armor. His mane flaring out as he throws his head back, roaring angrily. I adjust my magic, so all of the shadowy mist presses against the shield, eating it away. Leaving me only space to see what’s going on. I snarl as I watch something on Scarface’s rib cage glows, and the shield slowly starts to repair itself as he stares down Shawn.

Shawn circles the jackass till he has a clear shot he can take without hurting Kiela and pounces at him, claws extended, and razor-sharp teeth bared. Scarface sneers while a bright white light similar to when Kiel was shot down, hurls into the room, slamming into Shawn’s side. He roars in distress, making my small home shake and making my eyes ring. Shawn’s lion is thrown to the ground.

Glancing to wear the shot was fired from, two circular holes cut through the logs. One must have belonged to the bean that hit Shawn, the other must have been the thing that hit me before.

Kiela’s body stops shaking, and the light slowly fades from her eyes, along with the emotions she cast from her body. She stares at the floor; her eyes are wide with fear and sorrow coursing through them. The tears still fall from her eyes, coating her cheeks in silver.

White-hot anger pulses through my body, and I feel my magic snap out of my control. My decay smoke turned as black as pitch and lashing out against the magic pinning me to the wall. The shield shatters, disappearing, as Scarface grunts in pain as the enchanted items that made the shield smoke and burn. My body shakes and starts to turn an ominous gray color as the death I contain bubbles to the surface trying to escape. Blood lust rushes through my veins, tinting my vision red. I lung at him without really thinking, my blade cutting through the arm that had pinned me against the wall. The dismembered limb drops to the ground with a satisfying thump, and his shrieks of suffering fill the room. Call me the son of death, but I get a sick sense of joy listening to the sounds of his torment.

My body’s forward momentum brings me to a stop with my blade held to his throat. The wisps of smoke brush against the soft flesh on his neck, causing it to blacken and fester. I grin, loving the smell of his rotting skin and the power that bubbles through my vein. This was always the part that I enjoyed the most and despised because I loved it so much. It was the power to hold a man’s life in my hands on that razor’s edge of life and death. The man is utterly powerless while I hold all the cards. The very moment when I feel like the god I was born to be.

“release her now, and I might let you live,” I growl softly, my voice dripping with venomous hatred.

Scarface sneer looks pain, his voice ragged and soft from having his throat slowly turned to rot. “you have no idea who you’re messing with, kid. Kill me, and there’ll be thousands more at your doorstep.”

A sinister smile pulls at my lips, and my voice sounds distorted by the power I’m barely containing. “I am the heir of death’s throne. Killing is what I do for a living.” Pride fills my voice like a black cloud on a stormy night.

“Then do it.” He challenges.

I don’t hesitate any longer to cut his head from his body. The body falls to its knees, blood slipping from its cut throat down to soak into his shirt and coat. The head thumbs onto the ground and rolls away from the body with a delicious wet sound. The body then follows suit, rehydrating my wooden floors with his own pool of blood.

I take a deep breath, trying to stuff my magic back under my command. It fights my control, rearing its ugly head as to strains against the confines of my skin. Slowly the unwieldy death recedes back into my body. A wave of exhaustion slams into my body and sets in my bones. The blade slipped from my hand and turned to smoke before it could hit the ground. I sway a little, my breathing ragged and uneven. This body was not used to channeling so much pure power. I feel thoroughly drained, unstable on my feet.

I stumbled over to Kiela, who fell to her knees after being released and hadn’t moved since. I carefully kneel in front of her and keep my voice gently. “Hey, little raven.”

She doesn’t look at me, her eyes stare into space like a mindless zombie. I reach out to touch her, then think better of it and let my hand drop, not wanting her to freak out again.

“Kiela, my lady. You’re safe... come back to me... please...” I whisper, slowly waving a hand in front of her. Ever so slowly, her eyes seem to start to focus on me again.

“there you are, my raven...” I smile at her.

She seems to struggle to keep her eyes open. Her head falling limp before she blinks and lifts it back up again. Shawn’s lion finds it way over to us then, laying down beside us facing the broken doorway.

“it’s ok, raven... you can sleep...” I gently place my hands on her shoulders, moving slowly as I lay her again, Shawn. Kiela lets her eyes close using a wing as a blanket.

I feel something press up against my thoughts, as Shawn’s voice bounces around in my mind. “you should sleep too. you both can use me as a pillow if you want.”

One glance around my house, at the corps and Distraction, I knew I would be able to rest until I had it clean up. I shake my head and struggle to my feet. “can’t... can’t sleep. Work to do...” I brace myself against the closest wall, trying to get my legs to stop shaking.

“Sit your tired beat ass down now. Once Kiela realizes what happened, she’s gonna want you here and alive.” His colossal head motions for me to lay down against him and next to Kiela.

I smirk tiredly at him; he couldn’t walk in a straight line, much less move with Kiela using him as a pillow. “can’t make me...”

Shawn form rumbles with a threatening growl as he stares me down his golden feline eyes. “I can, and I will. All I have to do is get up in a way that lets Kielas head not hit the floor hard. Try me, bitch.”

I couldn’t help but laugh a little at being called a bitch by a lion. Then the smile drops as my eyes find the headless body. “I just want to get rid of the body before she wakes up.” I try to reason with him.

“Leave it. It’ll help Kiela ground herself when she wakes up.”

I feel the little energy I had left in the body slowly slip through my fingers. My body gets more burdensome. “You sure..?”

He nods, his voice a stern order. “Sleep.”

My body slides down the wall I supported myself on. My sleep hazy mind slowly comes to realize something as I settle at the base. “you got hit... how bad?”

“I’ll live,” comes his reply. It was too fast to be true, and I managed to find a little something left in me to be concerned about him.

“that... that not an answer...” I mumble passed a yawn

“sleep and find out in the morning.”

I nod and feel my body fall sideways, but I’m asleep before I could feel the impact.

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