The rustling of paper was quiet in the darkened room, and was only disturbed by the scratching of a quill on parchment. A young man was huddled over a table in the room’s far corner, his entire focus on the paper in front of him. He was surrounded with piles of similar parchment, already full from his looping script and organized neatly in preparation to be bound. He took immense pride in his efforts to record the going ons of his home, despite the lack of interest he got from most those around him. It wasn’t for them anyway- it was for the future generations of scholars who would surely look back on this time with interest.
His red hair, often pointed out to look like the color of blood in the dark atmosphere of their home, hung loosely about his face, most of it tucked underneath a hat. A long piece of fabric hung down from the hat’s rear, covering his back against the cold. He wore burgundy robes, that were tight to his frame to provide any warmth they could, even though he hardly left the small well managed room that he spent most his time in. Hanging from his shoulders on thick cords were four black claws, each the length of his forearm and just as thick. He had discovered quickly what these claws meant, and treasured each of them as they came into his possession. His mother had often rolled her eyes at him, but never told him to put them away. His mother’s sister, Ammy to others but to him Neni, had even helped him to put them together on the cord that she provided, explaining that to do so would show pride in such a treasure.
He paused momentarily in his writing, listening to any sounds from outside his room. It seemed the yelling had finally quieted, and silence hung thickly in the halls once more. He sighed, before resuming his writing.
---At last it seems Mother has reached some sort of agreement with that hard headed man. He has been nearly impossible within these last few months, I can tell Mother grows weary even when he simply walks into a room. I had thought that no one would be more unmanageable than my Presbiter Rune, but I have come to find that I am wrong about that. He at least respects her to some degree.
I wish that Zacis Drasil would return soon. He has been gone for some time, after saying he had important business in the East he had to attend to. His last letter stated he was on his way home and will arrive at some point tonight. That will be excellent for Mother. Even if he teases her, at least he can make her smile. She does not smile much these days.
His letter also stated he was bringing home new members for our clan. He has described four of them so far, I will do my best to record that here.
The first he described was a woman whose name is not familiar to me. I believe it was Meili Zhen. He states that she had long black hair, a little longer than mothers. She wears magnificently long dresses of beautiful silk and is a very prestigious lady, if a bit unused to the ‘wild of our world’. He implies that she does not seem to have ever seen a day of battle in her life! Her home village must be very well sheltered. She is accompanied by a man he called Yin, and he stated that the man is her ‘voice’, whatever that means. He isn’t sure why they set out to join us, but he did say he had to save them from a Vadállat. I am becoming more nervous that they are appearing even as far as Zacis is traveling.
The other two he described are from a clan from the far east. The first was an unusual fellow, Zacis noted his eyes were not of the normal gold that we see so often. Well I should say, his aura to Drasil was different, and he inferred his eyes would be too- whatever that means. This man is silent, merely accompanying the lady that he is traveling with. This lady seems to be who Zacis went to get. Apparently she is an Icchorian who is very interested in the advancement of knowledge - that is to say, a very well learned lady. She has various ongoing studies in the field of Human anatomy and its relations with that of an Icchorian and has even made several steps in trying to reconcile those differences. Drasil only stated that it was important that she be here soon. Their names were Terutetsu and Aya. I will update more about them once I meet them.
In any case, I hope that whatever deal Mother has come to with that brute Viktor will get him to cool off and maybe even leave for awhile. He has been very abusive towards the others, and I can tell he absolutely despises me. I haven’t told mother, but he has threatened me on several occasions, and was the cause for my broken wrist last winter. I know Neni Ammy knew the real reason I was hurt, but she remained silent at my insistence. Otherwise Mother would have had too much on top of what she already worries about in the Clan. Ever since he came here a few years ago, insisting on not only an allegiance between clans but the hand of my Mother as his mate, it has been nothing but high tensions and anger. It still warms my heart to remember the look on his scarred face that day in council when he boldly proclaimed (not even asking!) that Mother would be his mate and she put him in his place. I could tell Neni was very proud of her, well more so than usual. Even Nyphein, my Neni’s closest advisor nearly smiled!---
The boy smiled to himself at the memory, chuckling as he recalled the look on Ammy's face. Viktor had been a warily welcomed visitor to their home a few years after their settlement had been established and Sayifle was sure that many agreed with the thought that he was an unpleasant individual to know. The man had been relentless in his dislike of the Human boy and his place within the society that his mother had built. He was of the mindset that Humans would never be equal to the Icchorians, and as such should be treated as lesser beings. He was alone in this thought, as his mother- Layrion, was the Elder and leader of their home, and would never allow such thinking to run rampant. She taught equality, understanding and compassion, and much to the boy’s embarrassment, he himself had become the face of such a movement. The Icchorians had all doted on him since he was brought into the Clan, many amused at his frailty and frank unawareness of their nature. It wasn’t but a few years ago that he had undergone something his uncle had to explain was puberty, which meant he was growing from a child to an adult and his body was adjusting to the change. When his voice broke during that particular meeting, and his mother had collapsed in a fit of laughter so loud she started to cry, he could have died from embarrassment. The memory only made him smile now, fondly remembering the sound of her pure joy - even at his expense.
His quiet reverie was broken by a highly accented voice cutting into the darkness.
"What do you have to smile about, sniveling blood sac?" A hulking man stood in the doorway, cold golden eyes burning into the boy's own startled green gaze. The man wore thick armor that clanked as he walked, and it was concerning that the boy hadn't heard him approach.
"L-lord Viktor!" The boy stood, bowing hastily. "I did not hear you enter."
The dark haired man didn't say anything, closing the door behind him. It was then that the boy felt a chill settle in. Anger radiated off the Iccorrian that he was now trapped with. When the golden gaze fell to his papers that were laid out from his work he started to shake slightly.
"I was just doing some documentation...I'm sorry if I-"
"Did I say you could speak?" He strode across the room, grabbing the topmost paper, the one the boy had been working on, and started to read it. As he read his expression became dark, and the boy trembled. He knew he couldn't explain this away. The boy flinched as the entire table of papers were flipped with one easy movement from the warrior.
"You take me a fool, do you Human? You dare to think you have any standing over me?!" His voice was low and dangerous as he backed the boy into a corner. This moment more than any other made him realize the true power that the Icchorian held within their Human-like bodies.
The boy's mind raced. He could be diplomatic like Ammy if he focused, he just needed to swallow his fear. "You can't kill me. Mother will chase you from the Clan, the alliance will be broken." He hated how his voice trembled, breaking towards the end. He could feel the strength of the man, the golden armor rattling did not need to clue him in.
Viktor's face broke into a feral grin, his eyes shining with glee. "Well it works out that I'm leaving then, doesn't it boy?" His hot breath ghosted on the boy's face and he felt his heart stop. Suddenly an armored hand gripped his throat lifting him from the ground, his legs kicking feebly. He weakly clawed at the gauntlet with his own unarmored hands, the only stains on them had be from ink and never blood.
Viktor took amusement in how he struggled. He gave a squeeze before tossing the boy across the room, watching in satisfaction as he hit the stone wall with a thud and slid down coughing. "This will be long and slow, little Human. She favors you so, unable to see how weak and unworthy you are. If you are out of the way, she will only see reason."
He drew his sword, smiling at how green eyes widened at his approach. "And don't think they'll come storming in here to save you. I overheard them say they were going to the surface tonight, far from here." He raised the blade, savoring the scream that ripped from the boy's throat as the cold metal dug deep into his shoulder. The Icchorian breathed deeply as the scent of blood filled the room, withdrawing his blade and striking again, this time into his other shoulder. "It is a shame my bonded won't Sin now, I would love to just drain you. An empty shell would be pleasing for her to find."
The boy bit back his cry on the second strike, trying not to give the man satisfaction in his pain. He wouldn't be able to hold out for long. He should have paid more attention to his Mother's lessons in combat. He'd always thought her insistence that he learn battle techniques starting at the age 8 had been overkill, but now he desperately wish he'd taken them seriously. His thoughts were interrupted by another strike, this one to his leg, around his mid thigh. There was no stopping his scream this time, having been caught unawares.
"Are you going to beg?" Viktor taunted, twisting the blade.
The boy shook his head. Viktor laughed, reaching down to run two fingers through the boy's blood, admiring the red on his beaten gold gauntlets.
"That's a shame. I might have let you die quickly if you begged loud enough."
He jerked the blade out once more, then grinned maliciously as he let the cold metal sink into the soft flesh of the boy's stomach. "You are a fool boy. Not wearing armor in a den of those much stronger than you." The boy coughed, blood splattering Viktor's face, who frowned. "You could use a lesson in manners."
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