Storm-Fallen

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3: The Hero

An assassin? Here? Myalin leaped forward, swinging his great axe from his back in preparation. His eyes jerked about the crowd in search of the enemy, which became glaringly clear as the audience melted back into itself. A hooded individual stood in isolation. A tense silence filled the air. The threat removed the hood that masked its identity causing those close enough to see to gasp.

A strange feeling of familiarity flooded into him as her reddish eyes, resembling two calm flames, pleaded. "You don't understand. I'm not an assassin," she said.

For some reason he believed her. Even though she was Ru'ara, she seemed different. Myalin had seen their clandom and their way of life some cycles back, and he knew they weren't so different than the Khraw, in that there were those that wanted peace as well. There were also those that wanted war and nothing more than the complete annihilation of the other. The Magistratus appeared to be apart of the latter, and proved as much as she ordered for her immediate arrest.

The action was swift and the supposed threat was soon dragged off, unconscious. He hadn't noticed the protective stance he'd taken in front of his leader until the Magistratus ordered his ease. The other Liberators had taken up post around her in a similar fashion but were already falling back to the rear of the stage.

A Khraw wearing the traditional warrior's garb, a black tunic sown with grass root at its edges and a battle belt at the waist, trotted up the wooden steps of the stage and approached the Magistratus. The young warrior hesitated with the presence of both his leader and the legendary Myalin.

"My Magistratus, as Semogh over this event, I suggest I move you to a safer location. Who knows what the Ru'ara may have planned? She could be a distraction...for a possible greater attempt at your life," the kren warrior said, barely keeping composure over his nervousness. Myalin studied the youth and realized he was quite young for a Semogh in the military.

"Do you not think this might be the safest place," said the Magistratus, gesturing to Myalin and his axe that seemed likely to weigh down the hand of any other kren. The Semogh jerked his dark-green eyes between the two of them and nodded in agreement.

"I apologize, my Magistratus, how foolish of me. You are surrounded by our best warriors, of course-" he said before being cut off by his leader.

"Please, be gone, we can't delay this any longer," the Magistratus said with a dismissive wave of her excessively long-nailed hand.

"Yes, my Magistratus." The Semogh made a straight-backed salute, bringing the spear up to his side and placing one hand behind his back, before turning on heel to leave.

"Wait," called Myalin, and the warrior turned, looking confused. The Magistratus' eyes went wide for a moment, then tightened to a squint as Myalin continued. "I know I'm no longer in a position of authority, but I suggest thinning out your warriors in front and placing sentries near the back and on rooftops. These are our Krenon, no need to make them feel untrustworthy."

"Yes, my kin Myalin, thank you for the advice."

"What is your name, Semogh?"

"Levion, my kin," the Semogh said with a bow.

"You show promise. Continue on as you are, and you may become Nam'el. That is all, you may go," he said before returning his attention to the Magistratus, who seemed on the verge of seething.

The leader of the Union leaned in, the top of her hat dangling down the side of her face, and whispered in harsh contempt, "I can't tell whether you're more daft or arrogant, maybe a little of both. I decide who becomes Nam'el, not you." The Magistratus feigned a broad smile, convincing the thousands of eyes still watching them that everything was just as it should be, and combined with the hat, it was hard for Myalin to take the krena seriously.

He didn't respond to his leader, but instead lifted the axe. The Magistratus eyed the weapon curiously as it was above her head. Then, it was brought down slowly into the back latch securely strapped to Myalin's otherwise bare upper body. Someone cheered out among the crowd igniting a wave of renewed excitement. The Magistratus saw the opportunity to invigorate the crowd once more and she took it.

Seizing Myalin's arm, the leader raised it high into the air to comfort the uneasy audience. The Liberators on stage were praised once again for their skill and heroism, and cheers of celebration filled the calm afternoon air once again. Myalin returned to his post next to Jozz, who looked indifferent to the whole affair, and watched as the Magistratus performed her speech ballet once again, driving the event forward.

Myalin's mind wandered to the hooded krena. She reminded him of someone. Someone he once loved. Saveen was her name. He missed her. At least during the times his mind drifted to things he no longer wanted to remember. But she couldn't be her, she was far too young, still, the same fire burned in those red eyes of hers.

He wasn't sure how much time had passed standing there in the hot sun, but his blood was warm and moving. He needed to find shade or use this newly acquired energy, either way he needed to get away from here. Thankfully, horns sounding down the various streets signaled the official start to the celebration and the thousands of Khraw jostled around the stage like a sea of green water around an island in the Bonewaters.

The Magistratus turned to the four Liberators on display behind her and motioned to congratulate them one last time more personally. Myalin, however, gave the krena a spiteful glance before hopping from the side of the stage. Krenon folk strode past in a hurry, but were still aware enough to respect the war hero's personal space. He passed through the crowd with ease as he headed for the Union building near the southern section of the city. Families played festival games he'd never had time to learn as a child, and the smell of freshly cooked meat drifted past his nostrils. He refrained from flicking his tongue lest he be overwhelmed with the urge to eat. This way of life wasn't meant for him. He felt a knot growing in his stomach as he looked at his surroundings and a sickening unfamiliarity was dumped on him like a bucket of water. He was a warrior, and that was all.

He lengthened his stride in an attempt to clear the chaos of the city center, until a small kren stood in his path. He must've been less than one cycle, because he still had a thick tail which wrapped around to the front of his leg.

"What is it young one?" Myalin asked over the shouts and laughter coming from all around them.

It took a moment before the hatchling spoke, and when he did it was nothing short of a mumble against the roar of the crowd.

"What was that? Speak up."

"You are my hero," the Krenon youth proclaimed, finally looking up at him. Myalin didn't know what to say and after a moment he didn't say anything. He started to step past the hatchling when he heard the small voice once again. "Wait, where are you going?"

"I'm going to kill something. Come if you wish."

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