“Salahkah,” Gelmana spoke softly as she cradled their newborn in her arms. “It’s a boy.”
Salahkah smiled, his dark skin was like chocolate compared to her vanilla. Their son had been thrusted into the world only minutes before.
“We shall name him Akahsha, after my Grandfather.” Salahkah brushed Gelmana’s thick red hair. The witch’s nursery had a bed of fur in which was occupied by the young couple and their child.
“I was hoping for Helsotoh. We can always have another,” smiled Gelmana. “Akahsha should do just fine. Isn’t that right, little Akashy?”
The child looked up with a big smile on his face. He saw so much beauty in these two individuals who created this ball of joy. The Master Hunter and his witch wife had given life to this darling child. The family had integrated into Holstenkaft; the town wasn’t known for much other than being dry and arid, unless it was Winter, and then there was snow on the ground. Salahkah had given up his ranking in the Guild to start his family with Gelmana.
The two had met during one of Salahkah’s hunts, and they became swift allies, and even more swift of lovers. They both bore the sign of Augergarden, the ability to see creatures from the Feywilds in their realm. Akahsha was also given this gift and curse.
When Akahsha became 4, where he started dealing with peers, he found himself cast out for his strange abilities. The small boy was an eccentric talker, always asking people where abouts, what fors, and who did what. The adults were frustrated because they thought him uncivil. Akahsha would also speak to the faeries that were not visible to the common eye.
“Why does your child pester us,” a local villager of theirs, Eva, would say. She was a croney old cow, so said Salahkah. Gelmana agreed, and they responded with not much reconciliation in mind.
“Eva, I’d piss off and go back to Jack now.” Salahkah said with a strong verbal hiss in his voice. “Don’t you ever bother our boy, and he won’t bother you.”
They sat little Akashy down and told him to not talk with everyone, as some people in the town treat them differently than others. Of course, he was confused and not shaken at all. When he became old enough to interact with kids his age, he was five years old.
“Akahsha,” Grimden said, a larger half-orc boy who wore the same kind of rags that every townsboy wore at their age. “You’re weird, and you talk to faeries.”
“Well yeah,” Akahsha said in a matter-of-fact tone. “They’re my friends.”
The kids beat up on Akahsha for his ability to see the Fey. Most days he was just beaten with hands and feet, but one day, Salahkah was going to fetch water for Gelmana when he noticed his son leaning against the well. Blood poured from an open gash on his head, and there was a bloody brick beside him. Salahkah quickly covered the wound with his bandana.
He carried Akahsha back to the house and allowed Gelmana to take care of him. Salahkah followed the other boys’ tracks to a house in the middle of town. Grimden’s father stood outside of their house, raking the yard. The half-orc looked up from his yard work and saw the displeased father approaching.
“Salahkah, I wouldn’t come much further,” Orgadesh spat. “I’ll have to knock yer teeth out.”
Salahkah had his brows furrowed and his long sword sheathed on his belt. “Orgadesh, my son’s head was cracked open wide with a brick from our well. My son says your boy did it, and I tracked his prints back to here. Now you discipline your boy or I’ll be disciplining you.”
Orgadesh laughed a deep laugh. “I’d sure like to see you try, pig flesh.” He drew a club from his belt. “You can’t win this fight. I don’t care how many monsters you’ve killed, I’m the real deal. My tribe was a powerhouse back in the day, and their blood runs through my stacked body. I’ve smashed heads-in that were on taller bodies than yours.”
Salahkah let his eyes lose emotion and saw through the lines of this battlefield. Between them was a chest high fence, and there were plenty of people around to see. They watched intently as these two men from their village were about to fight. “I’d hate to kill you.” Salahkah said.
Orgadesh smiled wide. “That’s a shame, cuz I’d love to kill you.”
Salahkah put his left hand on the fence and launched his body forward. He did a full flip, and as he did, he drew the sword with his other hand and sliced through the air towards the unsuspecting Orgadesh. Blood splattered all around and the half-orc’s arm lay limp on the ground. The half-orc screamed and dropped his club. He grabbed his gored stump and tried to staunch the bleeding. His son ran out of the house and to his father.
“The next time you or your son come near me or mine,” Salahkah said slowly. “It won’t be an arm that you’ll lose.”
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