Forums Stories (series) Blood Oath By Mr KrUzz

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    AvatarMr kruzz
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    ep.9

    While Champaign is off hunting
    ghouls in the forest, she tasks
    Seamus with looking after Row, just
    in case she fails to return. “So this is
    where you live?” Row twirls around
    as she enters his house, taking in
    every corner of the main room.
    “Um, who exactly are you again?”
    Seamus’s mother is no where near
    as enthusiastic.
    “I’m Row,” the young bloodsucker
    answers as if her name is all that
    she needs to know.
    “Ah yes, of course you are,” the older
    woman mutters sarcastically. “How
    could I forget? I guess that answers
    all of my questions. I’ll just be
    letting a complete stranger stay in
    my home because she told me her
    name.”
    “That’s awfully kind of you,” Row
    responds smugly.
    “Seamus, come here.” She drags her
    son into a separate room by the ear.
    “Who is she?”
    “She’s the daughter of the
    blacksmith,” he answers calmly.
    “She asked me to look after her
    while she leads the expedition into
    the forest.”
    “Oh dear.” His mother’s face
    changes from annoyance to
    concern. “What if she doesn’t
    return?”
    “Then we chop off Row’s head and
    burry her under the house,” he is
    only partially joking.
    His mom is not amused in the
    slightest though. “I’m serious,
    Seamus; we can’t just keep a
    random child here.”
    “We’ll worry about it if and when the
    blacksmith fails to return. Besides,
    I’m sure she can look after herself,”
    he mutters under his breath.
    “You’re taking full responsibility for
    this,” she warns him before leaving
    the building. She still has several
    more houses to clean even though it
    is already past dark.
    “Your mom is interesting.” Row
    enters the same room as Seamus a
    moment later.
    “Don’t touch anything,” he growls at
    her. He is not much happier about
    having to put up with a strange girl
    than his mom, let alone a
    bloodsucker. He is still trying to
    think of a way to free himself from
    his current predicament.
    “Do you suppose Champaign will be
    alright?” Row is worried.
    “I honestly don’t care,” Seamus is
    blunt. “If she doesn’t come back will
    that change anything at all?”
    “It will mean that you will inherit her
    responsibilities, including becoming
    my new source of sustenance.”
    “I knew that,” he sighs. The thought
    has actually been eating away at
    him quite a bit. Bloodsuckers have
    an abnormally long lifespan, at least
    twice that of a human. At some
    point Champaign will cease to exist
    during Row’s lifetime and she will
    be forced to seek out a new source
    of food. Seamus is beginning to
    wonder if he should be trying to end
    the rein of this particular
    bloodsucker before it has even
    begun. He is not confident that he
    could kill her though, even if he
    caught her off guard.
    “What are you thinking about?” Row
    can tell that something is weighing
    heavily on his mind.
    “I’m thinking of killing you,” he
    answers honestly. Row can not help
    but laugh. She does not believe him
    in the slightest. He stares at her
    blankly though, thoroughly annoyed
    that she is not even slightly worried
    that he might actually try to harm
    her.
    “So what do you do for fun?” she
    continues trying to have a normal
    conversation.
    “I like to climb things,” he answers
    dully.
    “Oh yeah, you are really good at
    that, aren’t you?” She recalls his
    attempt to escape from her when
    they first met by scaling the walls
    and rafters of the blacksmith shop.
    “I’m actually pretty good at climbing
    too.”
    “I know!” he shouts angrily. “I saw it
    first hand. I’m stuck as your
    pathetic servant because I couldn’t
    outrun you. You don’t have to
    remind me about it.”
    “Oh.” Her expression sinks. She had
    not realized how angry he was with
    her until now. Despite knowing that
    humans have a natural dislike for
    bloodsuckers she had assumed he
    would learn to enjoy her company
    the same way Champaign seems to.
    It had not occurred to her that he is
    technically a prisoner bound under
    the threat of injury or death. “I’m
    sorry…” she tries to apologize.
    “Don’t,” he refuses to listen. “Don’t
    pretend like you even care. I know
    how bloodsuckers think. You’re
    incapable of processing human
    emotions.”
    “I can feel things,” she argues.
    “Sympathy and empathy are not the
    same thing,” he disagrees. “You can
    attempt to understand human
    feelings but you will never fully
    grasp them.”
    “That’s not true. I’ve been trying
    really hard.” He is starting to make
    her feel bad.
    “You mistook a brawl for
    entertainment at the town square
    yesterday,” he reminds her.
    “They both involve screaming,” she
    moans while grabbing her head.
    Listening to him is almost painful.
    In truth he is almost correct about
    her. She finds it difficult to emulate
    human behavior. Normal things that
    seem to bother the weak creatures
    such as jealousy and greed make no
    sense to her. She has never desired
    anything in her life. The closest
    feeling she can equate to it is hunger
    which can be referred to as the
    desire to feed.
    “See, you’re completely clueless,”
    Seamus continues insulting her.
    “I am not,” she whines. For some
    reason she seems to value his
    opinion of her. Perhaps she actually
    desires him not to think poorly of
    her. “Wait, I think I feel something.”
    She grabs her chest. “I actually
    think I care about the way you see
    me.”
    “Well that’s great, you can emulate
    ego,” he scoffs.
    “I’m serious,” she is on the verge of
    tears. Never has a human’s words
    bothered her as much as his.
    Something about him is changing
    the way she thinks. She is almost
    learning what it means to be
    human. “Please, give me a chance
    to show you,” she begs. “Ask me
    anything. Present a scenario where
    a human and a bloodsucker’s
    choices would normally differ.”
    “Fine, you want to play that sort of
    game, so be it.” Seamus grins
    smugly. “You are walking down the
    street when suddenly a thief
    appears with a knife and demands
    all your money. When you refuse he
    grabs a random nearby person and
    threatens to stab them. What do you
    do?”
    “Well obviously I am stronger than a
    stupid thief,” Row answers
    pompously.
    “I thought you were going to
    approach this question like a human
    would,” he reminds her. “What
    would a normal human do?”
    “I suppose they would pay the thief
    in order to save the other person’s
    life,” Row surmises. “See, even I can
    figure that out about humans.”
    “Alright, let’s change the situation a
    little bit though. Now the thief is
    actually a crazed murderer. He
    plans to kill one of you regardless of
    money. Do you let him kill you to
    protect the other person or do you
    let them die to save yourself?”
    “How am I supposed to answer
    that?” Row whines. “It’s not fair.”
    “How is it not fair? It’s a simple
    question of self sacrifice.”
    “No it’s not,” she continues to
    disagree. “That sort of situation
    depends entirely on who I am in
    society. What if I were a lord or at
    least a descendent of one? The
    other person would be duty bound to
    lay down their life for me. If they
    were a lord then I would be expected
    to do the same.”
    “You’re thinking too logically,”
    Seamus grumbles. “That’s just like
    a bloodsucker, thinking before
    acting. Follow your emotions and
    make the choice to save the other
    person, regardless of stature.”
    “You’re simplifying it too much,” she
    growls back. “What if the other
    person were a child? Obviously I
    would feel more obligated to
    sacrifice myself for them. On the
    same note I would feel less inclined
    to save the life of a random man I’d
    never met before.”
    “I suppose I can see your point,”
    Seamus finally allows himself to be
    swayed. His example was a rather
    poor one. How willing a person is to
    sacrifice themselves for someone
    else is entirely dependent on their
    own character. Not all humans
    would make the noble choice. On
    the other hand a bloodsucker would
    not lift a finger to save a human.
    The question suddenly occurs to
    Seamus, would a bloodsucker
    sacrifice itself to save another
    bloodsucker? He is entirely unaware
    that Row’s mother did exactly that
    back in Massmede. “Do you see
    now why I…?” Row begins to gloat
    over her victory but stops mid-
    sentence.
    “Yeah, yeah.” Seamus rolls his eyes.
    “I suppose you are better at
    emulating human emotions than I
    thought.”
    “Quiet,” Row hisses at him. “I
    thought I saw something.”
    “Huh, where?” Seamus glances
    around the room stupidly.
    “Out there.” Row points to the
    window. Outside they can see the
    cobblestone street dimly lit by a
    single lamppost.
    “What did you see?” Seamus is
    equally curious and concerned now.
    “I’m not sure.” Row shakes her
    head. “My eyes might just be
    playing tricks on me.”
    “Just spit it out,” Seamus orders
    her. “I’ll be the judge of how
    important it is.”
    “Well… I kinda thought I saw a
    person climbing into the second
    story window of the inn,” she admits
    while twiddling her fingers.
    “You what?” Seamus is shocked.
    “That’s extremely serious. You
    know people have been
    disappearing, right? What if you just
    saw the kidnapper in the act?”
    “You really think so?” Row’s eyes
    widen.
    “Come on, we have to make sure for
    ourselves.” He grabs a lantern from
    the kitchen before exiting his house.
    “Wait for me,” she calls after him as
    she follows quickly behind.
    “Which window was it?” he asks
    while striking a match on his boot
    to light the lantern.
    “Front facing. The one you can see
    from your house,” she answers.
    “Hello,” Seamus whispers as he
    dances the light from his lantern
    over the glass of the window.
    “Don’t wake them,” Row whimpers.
    “If they answer then they weren’t
    asleep to begin with,” he informs
    her. The curtains behind the glass of
    the window sway from side to side
    ominously, as if they have just been
    disturbed. “I think you’re right.
    Someone just went in through
    there.”
    “What do we do?” Row moans
    unhelpfully.
    “You wait here.” Seamus hands her
    the lantern. She watches as he steps
    back in order to get a running start.
    It is actually impressive to see him
    scale the side of the building like a
    cat despite the fact that she could
    obviously do a better job. He
    slithers through the window silently
    but almost immediately falls right
    back out, having been pushed by
    something or someone.
    “Seamus!” Row shouts while
    tossing the lantern aside and
    opening her arms to catch him. If
    she were a normal human girl it
    would do no good but with the
    strength of a bloodsucker she is
    able to support his weight entirely.
    “Seamus, what happened?” she
    gasps while dropping him to the
    ground. She is unable to lift him
    properly for very long.
    “He pushed me,” Seamus spits
    angrily while standing back up and
    dusting himself off.
    “Who?”
    “I have no idea what that thing is.”
    Seamus points up to the window
    where a pale face is staring back
    down at them.
    “Clouse?” Row raises a confused
    eyebrow.
    “Clouse?” Seamus recognizes the
    name.
    “He smells just like Clouse… only
    different somehow,” Row mumbles
    to herself.
    “Bloodsuckers really are impressive,
    aren’t they,” Seamus is actually in
    awe of her for once. She hisses at
    him for mentioning her secret out
    loud though. “Wait a second; Clouse
    was the third person to go missing,
    wasn’t he?” Seamus realizes. “What
    he is doing here now.”
    “Why don’t you ask him,” Row
    suggests with a shrug.
    Seamus can’t see a reason not to.
    “Hey Clouse, where have you been?”
    he shouts up to the pale faced man.
    “That is you, isn’t it Clouse?”
    “Aye.” The figure nods.
    “Come down here so we can talk.”
    Seamus waves to him. The man
    seems confused but he obeys,
    climbing down from the window in a
    sort of daze. “What’s wrong with
    you, Clouse?” Seamus leans close to
    him, trying to get a better look.
    “Don’t.” Row quickly pulls him back
    as Clouse lunges at him with his
    mouth open, almost like he is trying
    to bite him.
    “What on earth?” Seamus’s eyes are
    wide in shock. “What is he?”
    “He smells like a ghoul,” Row
    answers.
    “Are you saying he’s been turned?
    How?”
    “I, I’m not a ghoul,” Clouse seems
    suddenly scared. “Please, you have
    to help me. He’s going to kill me.”
    “Who’s going to kill you?” Seamus
    asks. “Start from the beginning.
    Where have you been?”
    “He took me.” Clouse’s eyes dilate
    as he starts to remember. Seamus
    and Row both note that they are
    almost glowing yellow by the light
    of the lamppost, just like a ghoul’s.
    “Who took you?” Seamus tries to
    keep him focused.
    “The man. Well, he wasn’t a man,
    not anymore. His skin was gray and
    he looked like a ghost.”
    “You look like a ghost,” Seamus
    admits.
    “Don’t say that,” Clouse hisses at
    him. “I’m not a ghoul; I’m not like
    him.”
    “I hate to say it but I think you are.”
    Seamus eyes him up and down.
    “Did this man feed on you? Is that
    what happened? Did he drain you of
    life until you turned into this?”
    “He said he was helping me,”
    Clouse whimpers. “He said I would
    feel so much better when he was
    done. He lied to me; I don’t feel
    stronger, I don’t feel more alive. I
    feel dead inside. I feel lonely and
    weak and hungry; oh so very
    hungry.” His eyes flash a bit brighter
    as he says this, causing both
    Seamus and Row to back up.
    “What’s wrong?” He can sense their
    fear. “I’m not a ghoul, I swear.”
    “I’m sorry.” Seamus retrieves the
    lantern Row tossed and relights it.
    “What are you doing?” Clouse steps
    towards him.
    “Stay back.” Seamus warns him
    while waving the lantern at him.
    “Hey, calm down.” Clouse takes
    another step regardless.
    “Why are you here?” Row speaks up
    suddenly.
    “Huh?” Clouse’s eyebrows twist in
    confusion.
    “Why did you come to the inn?” she
    clarifies. “Whose room is that?”
    “I don’t know.” He shrugs. “I only
    came because he told me to. He
    told me to find more people to join
    him. He turns a different person
    each night. He wants to make an
    army of us.”
    “Oh no,” Seamus groans.
    “I didn’t want to do it,” Clouse
    whimpers. “I have to do what he
    says though. I can’t go back empty
    handed.”
    “This is why I hate bloodsuckers.”
    Seamus glares at Row.
    “This isn’t the work of a
    bloodsucker,” she argues. “He said
    he was as pale as a ghoul.
    Somehow a human got turned and
    now he’s turning others.”
    “He was probably turned by a
    bloodsucker,” Seamus spouts
    accusingly. “Even if he wasn’t, there
    wouldn’t be any ghouls if it weren’t
    for them. All of this is their fault
    originally.”
    “If you want to blame someone then
    blame the demigods,” Row spits
    back.
    “Demigods protect us from the likes
    of you,” Seamus defends.
    “Demigods nearly drove us extinct,”
    Row shouts. “Before they showed up
    we were always careful not to create
    ghouls excessively.”
    “How do you justify creating these
    creatures at all?”
    “They keep the demigods busy.
    Without them we’d have been killed
    off a long time ago,” she explains.
    “Such a selfish species.” Seamus
    rolls his eyes.
    “Um, it seems you two are busy,”
    Clouse laughs nervously while
    backing away.
    “Not so fast.” Seamus smacks him
    in the face with the lantern,
    shattering it and spilling burning oil
    all over him. Clouse begins to
    scream and run in circles.
    “What did you do that for?” Row
    demands.
    “I’m not letting a ghoul run free,”
    Seamus answers sternly.
    “He is our only lead at finding this
    intelligent ghoul who is turning
    other humans. Do want him to
    continue?”
    “Well…” Seamus doesn’t want to
    admit that she is right. His chance
    to do so is cut short by the sound of
    Clouse falling over. The fire has
    spread down from his face to
    encompass his whole body. Even if
    they tried there is no way they can
    save him now.
    “Well that’s just great.” Row scowls
    at Seamus. She can’t believe how
    easily he is letting his prejudice
    against bloodsuckers cloud his
    better judgment. “How exactly are
    we supposed to find the rest of these
    human ghouls now?”
    “Maybe we don’t need to,” Seamus
    whispers.
    “Of course we need to!” she starts to
    shout again. “If we don’t deal with
    these disappearances then the
    council will vote to contact Turok for
    aid and I’ll have to move and you’re
    sadly mistaken if you think we’re
    leaving you behind so you can tell
    him we were even here. No, you’re
    coming with us when we run, dead
    or alive.”
    Seamus is not even listening to her.
    He places a finger to his lips
    warning to be quiet but she is too
    angry to obey. “What is wrong with
    you?” she demands. “Why won’t you
    answer me?”
    “I think we’re in trouble,” he mutters.
    “You’re gonna be in trouble if you
    don’t…” her sentence is cut off by
    Seamus as he grabs her head and
    turns her around. She falls
    completely silent as she realizes
    what he has been looking at this
    entire time. There are four
    humanoid figures surround them, all
    just as pale and pasty as Clouse.
    “Nice of you to kill our friend,” the
    apparent leader speaks first. He is a
    tall man with more muscle than
    Cabith yet not overly large. He has
    long black hair that seems sleek
    with sweat or grease, probably from
    living in the forest for however long.
    “Who are you?” Seamus demands.
    He already has a pretty good idea
    though. All three of the other human
    ghouls are familiar faces from Bos
    Stad. Each one went missing during
    the past week. “I’m so sorry,” he
    sighs while looking into Doreen’s
    eyes. She is a sixteen year old girl
    he knew from around the village.
    She was always so lively and
    vibrant. Now she looks pale and
    dead.

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    AvatarMr kruzz
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    ep 10
    .
    ..
    “Do not pity them,” the leader
    laughs. “I have freed them of the
    prison chain that is humanity. They
    are now stronger and faster and
    smarter?”
    “All they are is animals,” Row spits.
    “Ghouls are not bloodsuckers. They
    don’t even compare.”
    “Is that what you are?” the leader
    finally takes notice of her. “I thought
    you smelled different somehow.”
    “I am a royal bloodsucker, heir of
    Lord Ironglave and Lady Owleen.
    You would do well to listen to me.”
    “Is this the part where you threaten
    me?” he laughs again. “I’m not
    afraid of a child, little one. I know
    why you wish to rid this town of me.
    You fear the demigod Turok. For
    someone so proud of your lineage
    you’re quite weak.”
    “Isn’t he scared of Turok?” Seamus
    asks.
    “If he isn’t then he’s a fool.” Row
    shakes her head solemnly. “Perhaps
    he plans to have turned this entire
    town into a ghoul army before Turok
    arrives. It still will not help him
    though. There is a reason Turok is
    still alive after two centuries while
    most of the original hundred
    demigods have fallen. He is not
    weak. He will tear through this town
    like water.”
    “Are you trying to frighten me off,
    little girl?” the leader’s laughter is
    becoming annoying. “I fear no man,
    demigod or not. Even one such as
    Turok can not stand against an
    army. Once I have defeated him I
    shall go on to slay the rest of the
    remaining demigods. I shall be the
    herald of a new age of ghouls.
    Humans and bloodsuckers will be a
    thing of the past.”
    “I pity you.” Seamus can see tears
    filling Row’s eyes. “You shall taste
    the sting of Arma Tua like my
    mother did.”
    “Arma what? Aren’t those the
    mythical weapons given to the
    demigods two hundred years ago?”
    Seamus asks.
    “They’re real,” Row assures him.
    “Champaign almost died by one of
    them; Arma Tua, a powerful axe
    with the ability to ignore one’s
    armor at will. It is impossible to
    defend against. Demigods didn’t
    gain their titles by accident.”
    “You’re really scared of this thing,
    aren’t you?” Seamus’s eyes are
    wide. He has never felt pity toward
    Row before today. He almost feels
    bad for the loss of her mother and
    the death that awaits her if she ever
    encounters Turok again. It is not
    enough to sway him though. He still
    needs her to release him from his
    servitude.
    “Enough talk,” the lead ghoul
    growls. “I will show you how
    powerful I have become.” He bares
    his teeth, which are just as sharp as
    the wolves in the forest. His
    fingernails have also grown like
    claws and his eyes are glowing
    yellow. He is more animal than
    human now.
    He and his three subordinates all
    pounce at once, pinning both Row
    and Seamus to the ground. Their
    claws and teeth immediately start
    tearing into the pair’s flesh, causing
    them both to scream. This is the
    most pain Seamus has ever felt. Of
    course, Row has not been so lucky.
    In fact, this is nothing compared to
    the wolf which nearly swallowed her
    alive.
    It almost comes as a surprise to the
    other ghouls when Doreen starts to
    scream in place of Row. The young
    bloodsucker has sunk her fangs into
    the former human’s arm and twisted
    it painfully. It almost seems ready
    to snap clean off. As ghouls are in
    essence the husk that is left when
    all life force has been drained, there
    is practically nothing for Row to feed
    on. Instead she rips the flesh from
    Doreen’s arm, straight down to the
    bone, rendering it useless without
    any muscle to move it.
    “Wha-what did you do?” she
    screams. Row’s eyes are glowing
    red and her mouth is dripping with
    blood. She has already let her
    instincts take over. Luckily for
    Seamus the three other ghouls
    choose to leave him alone in order
    to attack Row all at once. Though
    his wounds are deep, he has
    suffered no permanent damage in
    the short time they were upon him.
    Row takes a stance as the three
    ghouls charge at her. She bites into
    the only other female’s shoulder and
    flingers her into the air like a rag
    doll. She crashes to the ground a
    few feet away from Clouse’s body
    just as the leader tackles Row. He
    pins her to the ground again and
    bites into her throat, attempting to
    suck out her life force. It has been a
    while since she has fed though and
    there is hardly anything to take.
    Row uses her legs to fling him off of
    her before pulling herself to her feet
    just in time to avoid being pounced
    upon by the third and final ghoul.
    With her remaining life force drained
    she is weak though. She is barely
    able to stumble out of his reach as
    he scampers along the ground after
    her. When she trips, he is upon her,
    sinking his teeth into her flesh and
    ripping it from her torso. She wails
    in pain at first but quickly falls
    silent, making only a slight gurgling
    sound as blood pours from her
    mouth.
    Seamus has managed to drag
    himself out of the street. He has just
    slumped against the door to the inn
    when the lead ghoul grabs hold of
    his legs and pulls him backwards.
    He digs his fingernails into the
    ground but it is no use. They
    actually begin to peel off as he is
    dragged over the cobblestone once
    again. “Let’s hope you prove better
    sustenance,” the ghoul hisses while
    biting into the back of his neck.
    Seamus is unable to even scream
    as he feels his blood spurting out.
    Suddenly the sound of a whimpering
    animal draws all four ghouls’
    attention away from their prey. A
    pitch black wolf is leaping from
    rooftop to rooftop as fast as it can.
    How it even got past the tall wooden
    gates of the village is a mystery. It is
    very obviously being pursued by
    something though; a figure clad in
    armor, sprinting through the streets
    below with fierce determination.
    Without anymore roofs within
    jumping distance, the wolf lands in
    the middle of the street, directly in
    front of the inn. It has a look of utter
    fear on its face. With the street filled
    with ghouls it can’t decide which
    way to run. As they are practically
    unconscious neither Seamus nor
    Row are able to notice a splintered
    arrow s---t protruding from where
    its right eye should be.
    It has just decided to charge toward
    the collection of people fighting in
    the plaza when the armored figure
    appears from the street corner
    directly behind it. It leaps at the lead
    ghoul, trying to catch him off guard,
    but is too slow. It falls to the ground
    with a horrible whimper as a slew of
    arrows strikes it square in the back,
    directly between the shoulders. “Got
    you!” Champaign shouts as she
    tosses her bow into the air.
    The four human ghouls all stare at
    each other in utter shock. They have
    no idea what is going on. The armor
    clad blacksmith seems unaware of
    what they are though. It takes her a
    mere moment to recognize her
    charge underneath the second male
    though. “Release her!” she shouts
    while drawing her sword.
    “Who… what…?” he is too confused
    to comply.
    “I said get off her!” Champaign
    brings her broad sword down on
    him, slicing his head from his
    shoulders without the slightest bit of
    hesitation.
    The leader and his two remaining
    followers quickly leap away from
    their prey before the former knight
    can dispatch them as well. “Who are
    you?” the leader asks.
    “I should be asking you that,”
    Champaign spits angrily. “What
    have you done to my lady?”
    “Are you not aware of what she is,
    human?” the leader asks. “She is a
    bloodsucker. She is an enemy to
    your kind.”
    “And what are you then?” she
    counters. “From the looks of it you
    are all ghouls. You are not welcome
    in my town.” She moves to tower
    over Doreen who has not yet
    recovered from her torn arm and is
    unable to flee.
    The other female ghoul winces as
    Champaign stabs her through the
    skull, killing her instantly. “Go, now.
    We have to go.” She tries to drag her
    leader away.
    “I’m no coward.” He shoves her off.
    “I’m not afraid of you.”
    “You should be.” Champaign grits to
    her teeth as she takes a stance.
    Row’s eyes flutter open at the sound
    of her guardian’s voice. “You’re
    pathetic.” She spits blood at the
    lead ghoul. “You wanted to face
    Turok but you can’t even fight a
    measly human.”
    “Shut up!” His anger is taking over.
    He crouches down like a cat before
    leaping towards Champaign with
    his claws out. She turns sideways
    to avoid him easily while also
    slicing off a good amount of his
    flowing hair. His eyes glow brighter
    as he hisses angrily. He spins
    around to charge again but
    Champaign has already retaken her
    stance.
    This time she doesn’t move, letting
    him tackle her to the ground while
    trying to bite through her armor,
    which is practically impossible.
    Before he can retreat she has
    brought the hilt of her sword down
    on his head. He falls backwards
    dizzily as the glow fades from his
    eyes for a moment. He is able to
    recover in time before Champaign
    can swing her sword at his throat
    though.
    “What’s wrong?” the former knight
    taunts him. “Did I hear my lady say
    you were planning to take on
    Turok?”
    “Yeah, that’s right. I’m going to turn
    Bos Stad into the largest stronghold
    imaginable,” he answers while
    scampering to his feet.
    “Why?” Champaign is genuinely
    curious. “Were you not human once
    yourself?”
    “Humans are weak,” he scoffs. “I
    was a vassal for a lord for ten years.
    Do you know what I have to show
    for it? His lordship and I were
    attacked by ghouls while traveling
    throughout his settlement. Luckily
    his lordship managed to escape… by
    throwing me from the carriage as a
    distraction.”
    “Oh you poor thing,” Champaign
    clicks her tongue. It is unclear
    whether or not she is being
    sarcastic. The former knight rarely
    displays anything resembling a
    sense of humor.
    “I will have my revenge!” the ghoul
    bellows. “Lord Glasstien shall pay
    for abandoning me. He will face the
    nightmare that I have become.”
    “And to have your revenge you must
    annex the citizens of Bos Stad?”
    Champaign asks cautiously.
    “I need an army. I need to be
    powerful enough to defeat lords and
    demigods alike. I plan to create a
    new world where ghouls can live
    freely. My days as a human are
    over. This is all I have left.”
    “Well then I am sorry, sir, but that
    makes you my enemy.” Champaign
    raises her sword.
    “Why can’t you understand?” he
    growls while leaping toward her
    again. By now his eyes have started
    glowing once more. He seems
    strangely stronger than before,
    perhaps due to determination,
    perhaps due to having fed on
    Seamus for at least a short while.
    Either way Champaign is fully
    prepared. She uses the flat of her
    blade to block his claws and swiftly
    slice them off. Unlike Row’s they are
    not as strong as steel. He is hardly
    daunted though. The pain he
    receives from each blow she lands
    is nothing compared to the penalty
    he will suffer if she defeats him,
    which will most definitely be death.
    It is universally accepted by humans
    that all ghouls and bloodsuckers are
    to be killed on sight.
    “What is your name?” Champaign
    asks as her eyes follow the ghoul.
    He is pacing back and forth just out
    of her reach, looking for another
    opening. “I feel you deserve at least
    that much; a name on your
    tombstone. All of your subordinates
    were once fellow citizens of Bos
    Stad but you are obviously not from
    our village.”
    “You want to know my name? Sure,
    I’ll tell you. One day you will all
    revere me as the spark that started a
    new way of life. I am the dawn of a
    new era. I am the herald of the age
    of ghouls. I am Rashad the beast.
    Fear me.”
    “So the name is Rashad. It is a
    noble name, indeed. ” Champaign
    nods approvingly. “I only wish you
    were still human.”
    “Oh stop preaching,” Rashad scoffs.
    “You have betrayed humanity. You
    are a sympathizer and an
    accomplice of bloodsuckers. If I
    were to turn you, you might actually
    choose to become my ally. Is that
    possible? Why don’t you give it
    some thought?”
    “I already have a purpose.”
    Champaign shakes her head. “Even
    if I succumb to the horror that is
    inhumanity as a ghoul I shall
    continue to protect my lady. I will
    not follow you.”
    “Well that really is too bad,” Rashad
    hisses while leaping at her again.
    This time he stays low to the
    ground, dodging each swing from
    her sword with ease. He may have
    once been a human but he has been
    developing his skills as a ghoul ever
    since the day he turned. He really
    has abandoned his former life for
    this one. As he said, what choice
    does he have?
    After trekking through the woods for
    several hours and chasing the one
    eyed ghoul wolf all the way back to
    the village, Champaign is more than
    a little tired. Rashad however seems
    full of energy and intent on fighting
    to the death. If only the former
    knight had the rest of her expedition
    with her; they might assist her in
    making quick work of this human
    ghoul.
    Eventually Champaign gives up
    swinging at the quick footed ghoul
    all together. Instead she stands
    perfectly still, waiting for him to
    attack her. He circles around her
    multiple times, looking for the
    slightest opening. Of course even
    when she is not facing in his
    direction it is difficult; she is fully
    clad in armor making it impossible
    to actually injure her even if he were
    fast enough to strike in her blind
    spot.
    “What are you waiting for?”
    Champaign resorts to baiting him.
    “Aren’t you planning to transform
    this whole village into your loyal
    followers? Wouldn’t it be best to
    eliminate people like me first? Hurry
    or the sun might come up. I’ve
    always been curious why ghouls
    only hunt at night? Does the sun
    burn you? I can’t wait to see.”
    “Shut up!” Rashad takes the bait. He
    may have accepted his new life as a
    ghoul but that doesn’t mean he
    does not have regrets. He does not
    enjoy being looked down upon like
    an animal. With his rage clouding
    his judgment he circles around the
    former knight one more time before
    darting towards her from directly
    behind. It is not the opening he was
    hoping for but it is the best he will
    find.
    It doesn’t seem to be enough
    though. Champaign spins around on
    her heels the moment his claws
    reach the space between her armor
    on her torso. His hand is caught and
    yanked painfully, tearing the tissue
    within and eliciting an animalistic
    yelp from his mouth. He once again
    attempts to scamper back to a safe
    distance but he can no long bound
    or pounce.
    Champaign’s blade catches him in
    the back of the leg as he turns to
    run. He tumbles forward and comes
    to a stop a few feet away from
    Seamus, who is still unconscious.
    The seemingly small wound on the
    back of his thigh is bleeding
    profusely though. Champaign must
    have nicked something important.
    “Wha-what’s happening to me?”
    Rashad demands in a slurred voice
    as his vision starts to blur.
    “A healer once told me that ghouls
    pump blood at a faster rate than
    normal creatures. With a proper
    wound in the proper place, you can
    latterly cause them to bleed
    themselves to death.”
    “Ha, nice try, but I can keep myself
    alive through sheer force of will.” He
    reaches out to grab Seamus, hoping
    to replenish his life force through
    feeding.
    “No!” Row, who he had not seen
    approaching, leaps at his arm,
    sinking her teeth into it and severing
    it from his shoulder.
    “Huh?” he is too shocked to
    respond. “I can’t feel…”
    Row’s eyes are glowing red as she
    curls up in front of the inn door like
    an animal protecting its kill.
    Champaign can guess that she is
    restoring herself by feeding on what
    little life force Rashad’s arm
    contains. A few years ago it would
    have been enough to make her sick.
    Now she is practically used to living
    with this terrifying creature and
    watching her feed on everything
    from stray animals to the former
    knight herself.
    Row does not seem to enjoy the
    taste of ghoul at all though. As her
    glowing eyes glance over the
    bleeding stump that remains she
    catches sight of Seamus’s limp
    form. She is still in control of herself
    enough to know she attacked
    Rashad to protect him. She doesn’t
    however realize anymore why she
    would do such a thing. She is so
    hungry right now and he smells like
    nothing more than food.
    Champaign can tell what her
    mistress is thinking. As a proper
    human she should attempt to stop
    her. However she has abandoned
    humanity in the service of her
    mistress. She has no emotional tie
    to Seamus and sees no reason why
    she should not let her charge
    consume him. It would definitely
    eliminate the chance of him ever
    revealing their secret. His death
    could simply be blamed on the
    humanoid ghoul bleeding and
    sobbing in front of her.
    Champaign’s focus shifts as she
    realizes that Rashad is not
    completely immobilized. He is still
    dragging himself toward Seamus
    with his one remaining arm. “I can
    do it,” he whispers. “I’ve seen the
    ghouls in the forest re-grow their
    limbs with enough raw flesh. Come
    here little one, your suffering will be
    over shortly.”
    Champaign stabs her sword into the
    ground between Rashad and
    Seamus, blocking his only chance
    to recover from his two mortal
    wounds. “This meal belongs to my
    lady,” she informs him sternly.
    Rashad’s eyes widen pleadingly.
    “But, but, I need him. I need to
    survive. I need to take my revenge
    on Lord Glasstien.” Champaign
    doesn’t respond. Instead she lifts
    her armored foot as high as she can
    and brings it down on the poor
    ghoul’s skull, knocking him out
    cold.
    “Oh god,” his final subordinate
    gasps in fear. She has been
    watching throughout the entire
    ordeal without making a move or a
    sound. “Please, please don’t kill me.
    I never wanted any part of this.
    “Just let me go. I’ll never bother you
    again.”
    Champaign shakes her head. “If I do
    that, you’ll just continue to feed on
    others.”
    “I won’t, I promise. I’ll eat animals
    in the woods. I won’t ever come
    near another human being again.
    Just please don’t kill me,” she begs.
    “I’d like to believe you, I really
    would,” Champaign’s voice is cold
    and cruel. The ghoul turns to run as
    the former knight retrieves her bow
    from the ground where it landed
    after she tossed it. She has made it
    almost a block away before
    Champaign’s final arrow catches up
    to her, puncturing her in the back of
    the neck bringing instantaneous
    death.
    Row’s eyes are glowing red as she
    watches. Not a single hint of
    remorse shows on her face. Her
    attention quickly returns to Seamus
    though. It is lucky that he has
    passed out from blood loss or her
    might be screaming at the top of his
    lungs at this very moment, trying to
    wake the town so they all can see
    the truth about the bloodsucker that
    lives amongst them.
    “Alright, here we go,” Champaign
    grunts as she lifts her charge from
    the ground. “You have to hurry; my
    men will be here any minute.” Row
    does not argue. She sinks her fangs
    into her guardian’s exposed neck,
    drinking her blood and life force
    deeply. Champaign struggles to
    remain standing as Row siphons
    more than she has ever before, a
    definite necessity in order to recover
    from her wounds.
    The hungry bloodsucker seems
    entirely able to control herself this
    time though, stopping long before
    her guardian’s life is even in danger.
    “Thank you.” She smiles up at
    Champaign weakly after she sets her
    back down.
    “What about him?” the former knight
    gestures to Seamus who is still
    lying face down on the cobblestone
    street. “Shall we leave him?”
    “No.” Row shakes her head. Despite
    his obvious hatred of her, she holds
    no ill will for him. She in fact might
    even regret it later if she decided to
    let him perish. Ever so gently she
    presses her fangs into the already
    existent wound on his neck in order
    to transfer some of Champaign’s life
    force to him.
    Almost immediately he begins to
    cough and sputter, jerking violently
    while rolling over to stare at his
    savior. “What did you do to me?” he
    groans.
    “He’s fine,” she sighs while standing
    up.
    Seamus has just pulled himself into
    a sitting position when the sound of
    approaching footsteps draws his
    attention. He turns his head to look
    as eight men clamor to a halt in
    front of Champaign, all saluting like
    good soldiers. “Men.” She salutes
    them back. “Is this all that’s left of
    you?”
    “What did you expect?” Nordis, who
    has adopted the job of leader,
    responds coldly. “You left us to fend
    for ourselves in the middle of the
    forest.”
    “I’m sorry.” Champaign’s eyes
    widen. It is obvious she had not
    even considered her men’s safety
    when she left them. “I had to protect
    the village. Who knows what a lone
    ghoul could do among defenseless
    civilians. I thought you could handle
    yourselves. You volunteered after
    all.”
    “We’re not soldiers, sir.” Nordis
    continues to glare at her. “What are
    you exactly? You look like an actual
    knight clad in glimmering armor.
    What are you?” he repeats.
    “I’m a blacksmith,” she lies to his
    face. “Who all did we lose?” she tries
    to change the subject.
    “Anthon and Garth didn’t make it
    back and you already know what
    happened to Heidus,” Nordis
    answers solemnly.
    “What about Cabith?” Champaign’s
    face shows genuine concern for
    once. If she had to choose a favorite
    from her makeshift expedition it
    would have to be the smart
    mouthed merchant.
    “He stayed behind at the gate to
    make sure none of the ghouls could
    get in. They seem wild enough to try
    scaling the walls tonight, much like
    that wolf you chased in here.”
    Nordis gestures to the dead animal
    on the ground. “My god, what
    happened here?” he finally realizes
    the carnage they are standing in.
    “Here, this is the ghoul responsible
    for the disappearances.” Seamus
    points at the only surviving human
    ghoul, still unconscious from
    Champaign’s blow to his head.
    “What should we do with him?”
    Nordis’s eyes are wide in awe.
    “He won’t last long as he is. Lock
    him up but don’t treat his wounds,”
    Champaign orders. “We’ll have the
    council pass judgment tomorrow.
    This way the people of Bos Stad can
    have peace of mind that this whole
    ordeal is over. There is no need to
    contact Turok or any other
    demigods now.”
    “You really don’t like the demigods,
    do you?” Nordis frowns at her while
    directing two younger men to carry
    the unconscious figure towards the
    town lockup. “We’ll inform the
    council of this first thing in the
    morning,” he assures Champaign
    before giving a final salute, which
    she returns. “Oh, one more thing;
    Cabith didn’t look too well when we
    left him. I’m not sure he’ll make it
    through the night.”
    “Goddamn idiot,” Champaign
    grumbles. “Thank you for
    everything, Nordis, I mean it.” She
    waves as she sprints off in the
    direction of the gate.
    “Sir, don’t expect me to follow you
    into battle ever again,” he calls after
    her. “I’m wise to you now.” She
    pretends not to hear him as she
    disappears down the street, leaving
    her mistress behind with Seamus
    who is still propped up against the
    door to the inn. He is quickly yanked
    to his feet by Row though, who
    proceeds to drag him along the
    street in pursuit of her guardian.
    Cabith is propping himself up at the
    entrance of the village with a spear
    when Champaign finds him. “Dear
    lord, what are you doing, man?” she
    snaps at him.
    “I really don’t know,” he laughs
    while wheezing. “I suppose I didn’t
    want the rest of the men to see my
    final moments.”
    “Why haven’t you gone to see
    Roderick yet?” she demands.
    “If he can fix this, I’d pay to see it,”
    Cabith coughs while opening his
    trench coat to reveal a large hole in
    his stomach.
    “What happened?” Champaign
    gasps.
    “One of those d--n birds flew
    straight through me,” Cabith
    answers with a groan. “I didn’t even
    realize the damage it’d done at first.
    So, do you think Roderick can fix me
    up? Be honest now.”
    “Of course he can.” Champaign
    smiles at him sweetly, surprising
    both Row and Seamus. Never have
    they seen the former knight show
    any sort of positive emotion. She
    seems to be shaped entirely out of
    solemn experiences and stern
    expressions.
    “You’re lying,” Cabith scoffs. “Don’t
    you know better than to lie to a
    dying man?”
    “I’m not lying,” Champaign assures
    him. Everything’s going to be just
    fine. Close your eyes now, you must
    be getting tired. I’ll carry you to
    Roderick’s tent.”
    “Ah, that’s all I need; to be carried
    by a woman.” Cabith’s protests
    seem unnecessary though as he
    soon passes out from blood loss.
    “Why did you lie to him?” Seamus is
    visibly upset.
    “Because he’s going to be fine, isn’t
    he, Row?” the former knight turns
    her attention to her charge.
    “Oh no,” Seamus groans.
    “I don’t think I have enough life
    force to help him though,” Row
    argues.
    “It’s alright, just borrow what you
    need from me.” Champaign offers
    her neck to the bloodsucker. “We
    just need him to live long enough for
    Roderick to heal him properly.”
    “Are you sure?” Row is cautious.
    “Does this man really mean that
    much to you?”
    “Despite everything he has done in
    the past two years he’s still the only
    reason either of us is alive today,”
    Champaign reminds her. “I’ll be
    damned if I’m going to let him die
    when I know we can save him.”
    “As you wish.” Row shrugs before
    biting her guardian once more.
    Seamus is slightly unnerved by her
    calm reaction. It seems she is still
    not as good at emulating human
    behavior as she thought.

    0
    #961010 Reply
    AvatarMartin
    Member
    • "Posts & Comments"1823
    • ☆☆

    Getting interesting

    0
    #961155 Reply
    olayintanolayintan
    Member
    • "Posts & Comments"8095
    • ☆☆☆☆

    Enjoying it..

    0
    #961179 Reply
    jummybabejummybabe
    Member
    • "Posts & Comments"20020
    • ☆☆☆☆☆

    loving this

    0
    #961327 Reply
    AvatarMiracle Mimi
    Member
    • "Posts & Comments"494
    • ☆☆

    Next

    0
    #961387 Reply
    ⓞⓝⓔⓐⓛ32ⓞⓝⓔⓐⓛ32
    Member
    • "Posts & Comments"13160
    • ☆☆☆☆☆

    Next.t.

    0
    #961458 Reply
    ebubeebube
    Member
    • "Posts & Comments"8695
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    yap save him or you quyz are doom

    0

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