( a few things before starting, I changed the swords name from the sort of lame Demonus to Abruptum which means the Abyss in Latin, a fitting name I think with his thirst and all, also I changed from First person to Third person as I want to grow the characters around the main character more and make it more inclusive, after I've finished the first volume i'll go back and change the first three episodes to the third person as well, let me know what you think and thank you =)
Episode 4: The Way Out
They had left the town of Belum in a hurry, Renald had taken all the extra weaponry and items into his menu to lift the load off Elvis and Randy, the rain drops fell heavy the size of small marbles bouncing off the armor and body. They had hid in alleys, scurrying about like rats, hiding from the beads of fire that emitted from the torches of the guards, fighting heavily against the elements, dancing weakly with the wind.
Screams were emitting through out the city like those of animals with broken backs, the last hurrah of life before passing over the familiar trench to the unknown of death. The knights on horses with heavy hoofs spat mud relentlessly around, a man like a shadow black against a torches light put his hands up asking for help from something that was clearly absent as the sword came with a low arc and sliced his back, his eyes fixed on the party as he slowly was swallowed by the mud that had amassed on the street.
" We have to get out of here and now" Renald spoke clearly not sure if this was the right choice with a furrowed brow, you could see him clenching his teeth almost to point of breaking as he punched the muddy wall. "Savages, I will kill them all" The sword moved in the hilt with anticipation.
Elvis stared at Randy whose eyes had almost lost their light he looked around timorously, a man pushed down a well of memory so dark the body hardly moved in the tar like substance that floated within, back to their home back to Moccus. "Yea.... yea...fuck... right if we go up this ridge theres a broken part of the wall were we can easily climb down, quickly now" as he spoke a fire ball flew towards the inn, the light first only a pin point but the illumination grew fast and the sound accompanied by a wave shredded the building, the fiery clam sign flew by them and the inside of the tavern was now open to the unforgiving outside, the air wave knocked the party down , Renald spitting mud as he stood saw Melissa surrounded by hell fire hued the color of orange, the protection barrier that she had cast was showing signs of cracking.
(sorry, you weren't half bad) he thought as he turned away from facing her. (I can't look at this)
He pulled both Elvis and Randy up from the mud, lifting Randy on his back as he was now incapable to move like a broken toy that could only move an inch, muttering some name that was lost in the rattle of the rain . Elvis led the way and they ran through the inferno, the night sky was now illuminated a dark orange, the rain had turned to soot slowly coloring the body black by way of rivulets, the last bit of light had been strangled, they reached the opening that led outside, Renald slipping and bashing his side on slippery rock unfazed as they ran for themselves, they wanted to live, to breath, to feel and the forest located at the outskirts was this hopeful haven in this land of soot, blood and screams.
They had run for hours, their armor chafed, sweat and rain confined mixed, they had kept fleeing even after they knew they were safe, because they did not want to face the reality, the truth that they had cowered in the sight of power, they had tucked their tales and ran, they were cowards but cowards that were still alive.
Elvis tripped on a branch and fell hard to the moss and the rock, however silent as he did. The sound of armor scraping rock shook Renald back to reality, he could feel his legs now aching, heavy and exhausted, they gave in and he fell to his knees, mouth wincing as one of his legs hit a loose rock, he let Randy fall, but he seemed to find his feet. Randy stared at Elvis who was grasping the ground and grass in his hand, squeezing it till it bled, trying to lose his regret in the temptation of the warmth and forgetfulness of pain .
" Why am I always this weak!" he shouted hoarsely, smashing the ground.
Randy sat next to him and held him, softly caressing his hair and put his fingers on his now bloody hand, it loosened and he gave off a whimpered as he fell out of consciousness.
Renald wanted to says something but his mouth only opened and closed, he for the first time saw them as real beings, blood in veins racing with history and thoughts. His jaw clenched as he watched them in the silence of the forest, a twig snapped, a bird chirped, the rain had finally seized, the dawns pale sky came to view with clouds like broken strips, a dirty purple of a bruise reaching towards the east.
(How could such beauty exist in such darkness)
He lay his back on a boulder, covered in moss, "a sign of a healthy forest" he could hear in some distant whisper of a memory of his mother, it made him feel at peace and as he let his guard down he fell to a deep slumber.
There in the darkness he saw the face of the man slowly swallowed by the mud, but it was his own face, eyes hollow he couldn't move as he felt the mud creep in his nostrils and eyes, everywhere under his skin, cold yet inviting, loveless yet at peace and dark yet comforting, he felt good here, here he had nothing he could lose.
A crackle of a fire startled him and he reached for his Abruptum, it was missing as was his armor. Heat had returned to his cold body, it made him feel ill with emotion. The campfire felt sticky with warmth and next to it sat Randy snacking on some poor wood creature, ripping it to parts with his heavy teeth bones and all. Realizing that the steady breathing of Renald had ended he looked at him, the unseemly warthogs face turned into the biggest smile his teeth shone with bones lodged in them, Randy jumped to Renald and gave him a hug, making Renald grunt from the pain.
"I'm so, so, so happy" The nostril twang heavier than normal probably enhanced by the tears Randy wept. "I thought maybe, you'd never wake up, that I did, that I did"
Renald trying to push off Randy " The pain still there so i'm sure i'm alive"
Flustered Randy got off "Sorry, sorry" looking down ashamed at his outburst.
Renald noticed the bandage wraps made of something like linen, they wrapped his shoulder, part of his face, abdomen and leg. Where his armor had rested were blotches of red from blood and a rash, it felt like millions of small needless, or like sand paper ripped it every time he moved.
" Did you do this?" Renald asked
"Yes, yes, yes, It was the least I could do" Nodding and bobbing his head like pigeon does as it struts.
" They already feel better thanks" Renald smiled half heartedly while touching his side.
" Special wraps they are, from Elvis, he can make them, he's a bit of a mage" He did a mechanical heheh as he said this putting a hoof to his mouth " Wouldn't give them to just anybody, they have some healing properties so they should help but your body seems to be healing quickly by itself, should be fine by the morn, a huge splinter of wood had lodged in your shoulder from the back" He was still nodding, showing the size by raising his two arms up, moving them a bit closer and then farther with a concentrated look.
Renald was taken a back and felt at the place where he said the wood had pierced the armor and flesh and felt the tinge of pain that made his body tense up.
( I hadn't felt it at all, how much blood did I lose, how am I still alive)
He realized he was only level three at the moment, this brought a nefarious smile and a sharp gaze towards the future upon his face.
( how strong can i become, I must find out) he clenched his hand in to a fist covetous of the enemies power. He wanted revenge , not because he cared for the people that much, not because they had done it so savagely, no, he wanted revenge cause they had made him scared, they had made him run like some weak quarry.
Renald hadn't noticed that Elvis had come back from the forest with two boars on his shoulders, Elvis had his eyes fastened at him and he saw the committed face and unbeknownst to him nodded in agreement, he wanted to follow Renald at least until his quest was over, at least until his revenge was over, he was sure if he followed him he could by symbiosis reach his own goals.
The depths of the forest had become silent as if witnessing the beginning of something, a change of the ways, from the silence voices started to billow like smoke, a song was sung, a sad and wryly song, with forlorn notes of longing.
Renald looked around in haste at the tree lines for enemies, however Elvis and Randy sat at the fire with ease enjoying the beauty that came.
" The unwanted sing this, the poorly buried, the ones who be forgotten in deep caverns or swamps, they sing longingly for the ones now dead that will join them in their choir, the unblessed, the lost and the lonely, they sing to erase the pain and when the pain hopefully after years lessen they move on through the one big door" Elvis scratched his chin as he said this and then lay back on a rock and gave himself to the melody fully, he for once looked wise beyond his years, the music had let the layers fall.
Renald laid back, staring at the clouds as they streamed a long the sky full of stars, so bright and clear, the moons so close they seemed as if they were tied upon a string and if cut would fall down upon you and this wondrous planet were even the dead sung, magic was real and his closest friends were two warthogs. He gave a soft laugh at that.
(We know our own, don't we us pigs) he thought.