BOOK OF IMMORTALS

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RHYERS - Ebony Marshall's Cry

InnerCircle City, Mane Country

RHYERS

Rhyers leaned down to assess the deep track of a Firoque. Though they were rare creatures he’d been seeing more of them over the years.

Something not human but not yet beast. Purely evil, nonetheless.

It looked much like a human track but with an added toe near the heel and lighter track as they stepped more quickly.

Never moving at their leisure. Always at Radix’s command.

He could tell from the depth of the track how fast it moved. He could see where it had missed a step in the dirt and saw the slight disturbance of bark along a tree and knew the Firoque had been travelling fast enough it had lunged off the tree as it ran. Narrowing his eyes and seeing the slight deviations of the tracks, he was able to determine when it lunged, swerved, misstepped. He could assess the clumsiness of the creature, the newness of its evil.

He could determine an approximate size of it and knew it was female.

Possibly a Yearner. Females sometimes turned into a particular type of demon which could beckon men to their death. Lure them by oozing pheromones that most men were susceptible to. Most were just cimmerii. Becoming mottled with the dark furred patches, their eyes blackened, and they became disturbingly ugly.

As he followed the trail further, he found bits of wisping dark fur and knew that its body would be covered in this rather than a mottle.

She is indeed a Yearner. He steeled himself against taking in the scent of it any further. Knowing when he drew near enough, it could affect him if he were not careful.

As he neared, he heard a sound.

As he focused his hearing over the distance, letting bits inside him adjust to form the more acute eardrum and ear form of the wolf, to pick up on it. That slight shift made the words he was hearing clear.

“Samuel! No. Please help me!”

Rhyers followed the trail, lunging over a stand of bushes and landing barefoot in a puddle. The feel of mud around his toes so familiar he hardly noticed. His lithe body twisted and moved as he ran. Animalistic even in this form.

When he rounded the corner, he saw the Yearner hanging on a young man who was staring at her intently. Pupils dilated as she caressed along his chest. Her hand dropping to massage his inner thigh as she pressed her breasts against him.

Her black fingernails gripping the young girl’s forearm. Biting into her tender skin until it bled. She drug the girl further behind her and began backing up from him. His eyes so focused on the dark Yearner he was blind to the distress of his little sister. Numbed to everything around him as she kept him entranced. Massaging her body in a provocative way to keep him mesmerized.

Rhyers stood where he was, utterly silent. Realizing she was easing toward him. From the direction in which she had come.

Intent on taking the little girl to Radix, no doubt.

He tilted his head and let her bring the little girl straight into his reach. The panicked youth had her heels pushed in and was tugging at the vicious fingers of the brown skinned woman. But she was well overpowered by the dark evil pumping through her larger captor.

He dropped his hands to the child’s shoulders to slow her resistance, so she’d no longer hurt herself fighting the Yearner.

Calm down.

The girl’s head lifted to assess him with huge dark eyes. He pressed a finger to his lips to silence her. And mouthed ‘it’ll be okay’. He drew his two fingers down his eyelids in a gesture that told her to close her eyes.

You won’t want to see.

She fearfully did so, and he reached over her to catch the woman’s neck. Wrenching it to the side so fast she’d no time to resist. She collapsed with a dull thunk.

The girl’s eyes shot open but Rhyers’ hand descended over them as he crouched next to her. “Don’t look. It’s a terrifying sight.”

The little girl whimpered and nodded.

When he slowly moved his hands, he could see the wrinkles in her eyelids from being closed so tightly.

The moment he cracked the neck of the Yearner, the girl’s brother had begun blinking rapidly to dispel the chemical’s the bleak being had unleashed in his brain. He shook his head and put a palm to his forehead. Wincing against a blinding headache. He looked up and met Rhyers’ light-green gaze.

Rhyers’ jerked his head in a gesture summoning the other man to come over and comfort the child.

It’s not my place.

Samuel Marshall rushed over to stand next to his sister. Whispering comfortingly in her ear as Rhyers rose and caught the Yearner’s limp arms. Dragging her into the nearby brush to hide the body from the girl’s eyes.

You don’t need to see this. You’ve both been traumatized enough.

He nodded to Samuel who knelt in-front of her. “Ebony. Ebony. It’s okay now. You can open your eyes.”

She slowly blinked large, dark eyes at her brother. Filled with tears. “It’s okay now.”

“She’s gone.” Rhyers stepped behind her brother, into her view. Nodding down at her.

She looked at him. Searching for answers in his face.

“We’re going home.” Samuel said slowly.

“Will he come too? To keep us safe?” She asked brokenly. Bottom lip trembling as her eyes flitted to the trees around them.

Samuel turned his dark head to look up at Rhyers waitingly.

Sure. He nodded. I’ve nothing better to do, just now.

“Yes.” Samuel said. “He will. We have some things to discuss anyway.”

Like what? Rhyers wondered. What am I getting myself into now?

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