Forums Stories (series) Blood Oath By Mr KrUzz

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    AvatarMr kruzz
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    ep. 17
    .
    “Why are we here?” Row groans as
    Seamus finishes tethering their
    horse and carriage to a post next to
    the inn. They have just arrived in a
    small village only a few miles away
    from the capital of Lord Glasstien’s
    territory.
    “Because we need to rest for a
    moment while I plan our next
    move,” he answers with a sigh.
    “I thought we were going to Glass
    Gate,” Row whines. “I wanted to
    meet other bloodsuckers.”
    “Do you really think other
    bloodsuckers care to meet you?”
    Seamus tries to disillusion her. “The
    way those forest dwelling ghouls
    worshiped you is not a common
    thing. In fact, they were rather
    strange people in general.”
    “Don’t insult them,” Row snaps at
    him. “Look at this dress Noreen
    sewed for me. Isn’t it beautiful?” She
    twirls around so he can see her
    outfit in its entirety; an ankle length
    dress with an overskirt and a
    bodice.
    “It’s better than wearing boy’s
    clothing, I guess.” Seamus shrugs
    uninterestedly. He is more worried
    about where they will be spending
    the night than with what clothing
    his mistress chooses to wear. He is
    still merely clad in his shirt, trousers
    and tunic, along with a hooded
    cloak for hiding his face when he
    wishes.
    As if to answer his concerns, a man
    in classic barkeep attire pokes his
    head out of the front doors of the inn
    at that very moment. “Excuse me,
    are you travelers?” he seems
    extremely excited.
    “Um, yes…” Seamus does not know
    how to respond.
    “Oh, thank the stars. I’m nearly
    going broke here looking for
    patrons. Will you need one room or
    two? Will you be staying for a night
    or a month? Can you pay up front?”
    “Hold on, hold on,” Seamus tries to
    calm him down. “First off, how
    much is a room?”
    “Well it’d normally be ten silver
    pieces a night but I’ll let your lady
    friend stay for free if you share the
    room.”
    “What a gracious offer,” Seamus
    mutters suspiciously. “Why exactly
    is business so lacking in these
    parts?”
    “What, who said that?” the man is
    immediately flustered. “No, we have
    plenty of business. There’s no
    trouble around here, no sir. Not one
    tiny shred of…”
    “Enough!” Seamus loses his
    patience. “Tell me what is
    happening here or I might just brave
    the journey to Glass Gate tonight!”
    “Oh, if you’re heading to Glass Gate,
    you mind taking a message there for
    me?” the inn keeper squeaks.
    “Depends on the message.” Seamus
    crosses his arms.
    “If you could drop this letter into the
    box outside the Dust Pail Pub, I
    would be most obliged.”
    “Let me see that.” Seamus grabs the
    letter from his hand. It is sealed
    shut with wax on the front, which
    has been stamped with a peculiar
    symbol. “What is this?” He hands it
    to Row so she can examine it.
    “Oh no,” her expression is not a
    happy one.
    “What, what is it?” Seamus pries.
    “This seal belongs to the demigod
    Wan,” she explains. “This is a
    request for aid.”
    “You’re d--n right it is,” the man
    responds pompously. “We’re under
    plague here. There’s a thing with no
    form spiriting away all our women
    folk. During the past month at least
    ten men have lost their wives and
    daughters.”
    “That’s disturbing news,” Seamus is
    immediately on guard. Though she
    is a bloodsucker, his mistress is
    first a lady and therefore a probable
    target if they choose to stay here. “I
    think it best we move on.” Seamus
    places a hand on Row’s shoulder.
    She does not move though. “Come
    on,” he hisses while trying to drag
    her.
    “We can’t,” she whispers.
    “Why not? You wanted to go to
    Glass Gate, didn’t you? Well now
    you can.”
    “We can’t,” she repeats in an only
    slightly louder voice. “Wan is in
    Glass Gate.”
    “What? That’s impossible,” Seamus
    scoffs. “Lord Glasstien absolutely
    despises demigods. A good portion
    of the citizens of his territory are
    made up of bloodsuckers. It’s
    almost like a haven for them.”
    “Wan is there,” she raises her voice
    again.
    “There are no demigods in Glass
    Gate,” Seamus spouts sternly.
    “No, she’s right.” The innkeeper
    beams proudly. “If any demigod is in
    Glass Gate, it’ll be Wan.”
    “Is there something you both know
    that I don’t?” Seamus stares at
    them in confusion.
    “My mother has told me everything
    about the nine remaining demigod.
    Wan is the fifth most power after
    Ardine, Genlock, Lodar and Turok,”
    Row explains.
    “That doesn’t explain how he could
    be in Glass Gate,” Seamus
    continues being skeptical.
    “Wan’s power is that of a shape
    shifter,” Row answers. “He can take
    any form he chooses. Lord Glasstien
    could have him thrown out a dozen
    times over and it would still do no
    good. He is known as the man of a
    thousand faces. His weapon is Arma
    Scov; a wire he can control at will
    with a razor’s edge.”
    “Wow, your mother must have been
    quite the demigod fanatic,” the
    innkeeper is impressed. It is obvious
    he has no idea Lady Owleen was a
    bloodsucker on the run from the
    legendary nine.
    “So what do we do now?” Seamus
    asks. “If we can’t go to Glass Gate,
    then we’ll have to stay here.”
    “Oh yes, yes you will.” The
    innkeeper nods enthusiastically.
    “You might need this.” He pulls a
    shard of glass from the pocket of his
    apron and hands it to Row. “All the
    pretty girls in town have taken to
    cutting their faces so the spirits
    won’t want them.”
    “Are you serious?” Row’s eyes
    widen.
    “It’s merely a choice they have
    made.” The man shrugs. “Keep that
    with you, just in case.”
    “Is it just me or are human’s just
    plain crazy?” Row whispers to
    Seamus.
    “A situation like this is bound to
    cause some form of hysteria.
    There’s no need for you to worry
    though; even if you cut your face, it
    would not leave a scar.”
    “I’m not talking about me, I’m
    talking about them. What lengths
    will humans not go to?”
    “None.” Seamus shakes his head.
    “We are survivors.”
    “Just giving up would make things
    so much easier,” Row moans as the
    innkeeper leads them up into the
    building and up the stairs to their
    room. It is small with a slanted roof
    but it has a window, which faces the
    town square, allowing Seamus to
    keep an eye on his horse.
    “Oh, don’t worry, I’ll feed and water
    her for you,” the innkeeper assures
    him.
    “Thank you.” Seamus hands him ten
    silver pieces and a few extra
    coppers ones as gratitude.
    “So we’re just going to sit in this
    room until dawn?” Row asks when
    the man has left them alone.
    “I don’t see an alternative. You’re
    the one who’s too scared to go to
    Glass Gate now. I’ll just have to find
    another town nearby. We’ll travel
    from village to village during the day
    and rest at night.”
    “What about the spirits?” she asks in
    a playful voice. “Aren’t you afraid
    they will come to take your mistress
    away from you?”
    “You could always cut your face if
    you wanted,” Seamus plays along.
    “You know, it won’t heal,” she
    informs him.
    “Huh, what do you mean?” He
    raises an eyebrow.
    “It won’t heal unless I feed on you,”
    she answers.
    “I forgot about that,” he sighs. “I
    don’t very much like it when you
    bite me.”
    “Well too bad. It’s your
    responsibility now that Champaign
    is gone; like it or not,” she is
    unnecessarily stern. He nods to
    show he understands. He has no
    idea why but he has no intention of
    disobeying his mistress.
    §§§
    “Seamus, wake up.” Row taps her
    servant’s cheek repeatedly.
    When he finally sits up, he realizes
    that she is on top of him, straddling
    his chest. “What is it?” he asks with
    a yawn. “Are you hungry? Do you
    need to feed?”
    “No, look.” She directs his attention
    to the window. By the light of a
    street lamp outside he can see a
    shadowy figure standing in the town
    square.
    “What the…?” He stands up, letting
    Row topple onto the bed.
    “It’s not a spirit,” Row informs him.
    “Well, I don’t think it is. I can sense
    its presence.”
    “You can do that?” Seamus is
    surprised.
    “It’s more like a sense of its life
    force. I can feel the energy I would
    normally siphon from it. My guess is
    that it can sense me too.”
    “That’s not good.” Seamus peeks
    out the window again. He almost
    falls backwards in shock as he
    realizes the shadow is staring
    directly at him. He can even see a
    pair of silvery gray eyes glowing in
    the dark.
    “What? What is it?” Row pushes on
    his back to keep him upright.
    “It saw me,” Seamus gasps.
    “What do you mean?” Row pokes
    her head above the sill. She can see
    the shadow slowly walking towards
    the inn. “What do we do?” she
    whimpers.
    “First we find out what it is and if
    we can kill it.” Seamus grabs his
    sword and slings the scabbard belt
    over his shoulder before opening the
    window. The creature is still
    sauntering towards them. “Who are
    you?” Seamus shouts while
    stepping out onto the slanted roof of
    the inn.
    He can see the face of the shadow
    better now. It is rough and covered
    in patches of dust and dirt but there
    is not a single scratch on it. The
    absence of facial hair is the next
    thing to catch Seamus’s attention.
    There is not even the slightest
    amount of stubble. It is as if the
    hairs simply fell out. His actual hair
    on the other hand is much longer. It
    is stringy and dark with sweat.
    Altogether he looks like he just
    stepped out of the forest, with a dark
    robe covered in dirt to match his
    face.
    “Who are you?” Seamus shouts
    again while leaping off the roof and
    tumbling to break his fall. When he
    stands back up, he is a mere ten
    paces away from the shadow. “What
    do you want from us?” He draws his
    sword.
    A sudden pain in his chest causes
    him to falter though. It is a burning
    sensation which he can feel on his
    skin. It rises and fades in waves,
    almost like he can feel the shadow’s
    heartbeat. “You,” he points a shaky
    finger at the man before him. “Are
    you… Wan,” he whispers.
    The man does not answer. Nor does
    he move. He seems to be eyeing
    Seamus up and down with his
    silvery stare. How the seventeen
    year old can tell that he is Wan the
    demigod is beyond him. Perhaps
    part of Lodar’s power is speaking to
    him. “Why have you come here,
    Wan?” Seamus deepens his voice,
    trying to sound less afraid.
    Slowly the shadow begins to move
    again, first shuffling then striding
    towards Seamus. He comes to a
    stop a mere yard in front of him,
    tilting his head oddly as he
    continues to examine his face. He
    starts to sniff the air between them,
    similarly to the way Row sometimes
    does. “Bloodsucker,” he finally
    speaks in a hoarse whisper.
    “He knows, he knows, he knows!”
    Row squeals from the roof of the inn
    where she is still hiding. “He knows
    who we are!”
    Instinctively Seamus raises his
    sword, driving the tip toward the
    shadow’s face. The man does
    nothing to avoid it, letting it pierce
    his right eye, stabbing all the way to
    the back of his skull. “What the…?”
    Seamus steps back in shock, pulling
    the blade out in the process. He had
    expected at least some sort of
    resistance.
    “Is that it? Did you kill him?” Row is
    hopeful.
    Suddenly an earsplitting scream fills
    the air as the man covers his eye
    with his hand. “You stabbed me!”
    He roars at Seamus. “You actually
    stabbed me in the eye!”
    “What’s going on? Why isn’t he
    dead?” Seamus asks Row.
    “I don’t know.” She starts to shiver
    while covering her ears and
    crouching down.
    Slowly the hole in the shadow’s
    silver eye starts to close, eventually
    disappearing entirely. “No way.”
    Seamus shakes his head. “Can he
    do that? Can he heal himself?”
    “Theoretically, he can control his
    form at all times,” Row reminds
    him. “If he doesn’t want to have a
    hole in his eye then he can simply
    close it.”
    “But he shouldn’t even be alive to
    do that,” Seamus argues. “Can a
    demigod survive a blow to the head
    like that?”
    “I believe Genlock could,” Row
    answers, “just barely.”
    “But he’s not even fazed.” Seamus
    gestures at the shadow who is
    staring at him like nothing has
    happened. “What could survive that
    without even flinching?”
    “I could,” Row’s response is calm
    and immediate.
    Seamus’s eyes widen as the answer
    dawns on him. “He’s a
    bloodsucker,” he whispers to
    himself. “Wan is a bloodsucker with
    the power of a demigod.”
    “Maybe he killed Wan and stole it
    from him,” Row surmises.
    “Can a bloodsucker do that?”
    Seamus is in disbelief.
    “If he touched the rapture like you
    did then he inherited the power. It’s
    as simple as that,” Row explains.
    The shadow is not listening to the
    pair in the slightest as they debate
    his origin. Instead his glowing silver
    eyes are darting around, pausing
    every few moments as he takes in
    his surroundings. He seems almost
    uninterested in Seamus or Row. He
    actually starts to walk past Seamus
    after spotting something more
    interesting at the end of one of the
    streets that leads away from the
    town square.
    “Hey, where are you going?”
    Seamus tries to grab his shoulder.
    The shadow clasps onto his arm
    and yanks downward, flipping him
    over his shoulder and dropping him
    on the ground on his back. Seamus
    groans while rolling to the side just
    as the shadow attempts to stomp
    on his face with his boots.
    As soon as he is a good distance
    away though the shadow begins to
    ignore him again, heading down his
    chosen street without looking back.
    “What is he doing?” Seamus asks
    Row

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    #964537 Reply
    AvatarMr kruzz
    Member
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    ep. 18
    .

    “How should I know?” She shrugs.
    “Maybe he sees something we
    can’t. He can transform his eyes
    into that of an owl or a hawk, you
    know. He can probably even see in
    the dark right now.”
    “What does he see; something
    worth letting a bloodsucker and her
    servant pass him by?”
    “You’re still thinking as if he were a
    demigod. This is not Wan,” she
    reminds him. “He is not duty bound
    to hunt us. In fact, most
    bloodsuckers simply ignore each
    other unless fighting over prey.”
    “So he’s not going to do anything to
    us as long as we stay out of his
    way? That’s brilliant.” Seamus is
    suddenly relieved.
    “In some sense, we’re not that
    different from him,” Row realizes.
    “We killed a demigod and stole his
    power too. We’re the same.”
    “Are you suggesting we try to get
    along with this guy; maybe travel
    with him for safety or something?”
    Seamus’s eyes narrow. He does not
    like the idea of keeping a second
    bloodsucker as company.
    “I wasn’t going to suggest anything
    like that. I was simply…” her
    response is cut short by a shrill
    scream emanating from the
    direction the shadow vanished in.
    “On second thought, he may simply
    be ignoring me because I’m not a
    girl,” Seamus recalls the innkeeper’s
    tale of pretty women going missing
    in the town.
    “You think he’s the one spiriting
    them away?” Row quickly catches
    on.
    “It would make sense. Shall we see
    for ourselves?” Seamus offers his
    hand to Row so he can escort her
    down the street. She nods slowly,
    despite appearing quite uncertain,
    perhaps even scared.
    At the end of the street, Seamus and
    Row enter upon a fearful sight; a
    young woman collapsed on the
    ground bleeding from the neck.
    There is a basket of bread a few feet
    away where she must have dropped
    it. The shadow is kneeling down
    over the woman, licking blood from
    his lips. “That’s better,” he whispers
    in his horse voice. “Fixing me eye
    took more out of me than I thoughts.
    Now it’s time for payback.”
    “For what?” Seamus jerks his head
    back in fear.
    “You didn’t think I was going to let
    that slide, did ya?” The shadow’s
    eyes flare as he speaks.
    “Oh, this is good,” Row gulps while
    cowering behind Seamus.
    “Perhaps we can work this out,”
    Seamus decides to try speaking first
    this time. “I didn’t realize who you
    were when I attacked you. I was
    confused. I had this overwhelming
    sense that you were Wan and…”
    “And I believed you were Lodar,” the
    shadow informs him, “how peculiar.
    I hold the memories of Wan, you
    see. I remember things about Lodar.
    I…”
    As the shadow continues ranting
    about how he can recognize the
    power Seamus has stolen a different
    sound drowns him out. “What a
    pathetic fool,” the eerily close voice
    of Lodar startles Seamus.
    “Huh, what, where?” Seamus starts
    to panic.
    “Ah, can you finally hear me?” a
    transparent figure appears in front of
    Seamus, directly beside the
    shadow.
    “You, you, you…” Seamus points at
    him while stuttering. “But that’s
    impossible. You’re…”
    “Dead?” the golden armored
    demigod answers for him. “To put it
    simply, yes, my body has perished. I
    however have imbedded myself
    deep into your mind. With the power
    of the Golden Clairvoyance and a
    little help from Arma Venture, I can
    manifest myself in front of you.”
    “Wait, you’ve been following me this
    entire time?” Seamus asks.
    “I’m not following anyone. I am a
    part of you now. My mind and
    memories exist within you. This
    happens every time a mere mortal
    inherits a demigod’s power.
    Interestingly enough Arma Venture
    has allowed me to take on a
    separate nonphysical form in order
    to communicate with you directly.”
    “So why have you chosen this
    moment to appear?” Seamus is
    curious. Just as Lodar is about to
    answer, a long thin wire springs out
    from the shadow’s sleeve, wrapping
    itself around Seamus’s neck and
    pulling him to the ground painfully.
    “Ah, there we are; Arma Scov,” Lodar
    seems impressed. Seamus reaches
    a shaky hand out to him while
    prying at his throat with his other
    one. “Do you expect me to help
    you?” Lodar leers at him.
    “What are you gawking at?” the
    shadow can tell that he does not
    have Seamus’s attention. “Look at
    me while I kill you,” he demands.
    Seamus wraps part of the wire
    around his arm and tugs as hard as
    he can, trying to rip it out of the
    shadow’s hand. It is too long
    though. He now has enough length
    to slip it off over his head at least.
    He starts to gasp and wheeze as
    soon as he has freed himself.
    “Pathetic,” Lodar scoffs. “What kind
    of simpleton has inherited my
    power? It would do you better to just
    give up and die. Let the rapture
    reclaim what you stole.”
    “Get out of my head,” Seamus
    coughs at him.
    “Who are you talking to?” the
    shadow is only becoming more
    annoyed.
    “Yeah Seamus, who are you talking
    to?” Row is suddenly concerned as
    well.
    Seamus has no chance to answer
    as the shadow pulls on the wire,
    dragging him forward by his wrist
    where it is still coiled. It digs into
    his flesh, drawing blood and grunts
    of pain. He stabs his sword into the
    ground with his free hand to keep
    himself from being pulled too far but
    it only serves to tighten the grip of
    the wire, which is continuing to
    wind its way around his arm, almost
    as if it has a mind of its own.
    “Remember, Arma Scov was made
    specially for Wan,” Row shouts at
    him. “It can almost change its
    shape just like him.”
    “It what?” Seamus is startled. He
    does not have to wait long to see
    the weapon at work though. It
    continues to wrap itself around his
    arm and eventually his entire hand,
    coating him like some sort of armor,
    all the while squeezing his flesh
    horribly. He almost feels as if it is
    trying to crush his bones. Without
    any alternative, Seamus resorts to
    sliding the blade of his own sword
    underneath the wire like a wedge.
    He can feel the edge of his blade
    slicing his arm but he ignores the
    pain. Eventually he is able to
    remove his hand from the mess of
    wires. It is now colored red though,
    dripping with his own blood. The
    shadow is taken aback for a
    moment, surprised by the seventeen
    year old’s determination. He is
    severely punished for his lack of
    concentration by Seamus who flings
    his sword upward from the ground,
    slicing his face in half.
    The shadow stumbles backwards
    while screaming in agony, clutching
    his bleeding face. It is a much more
    difficult wound to erase than the
    punctured eye but he still manages.
    Starting from the bottom of his chin,
    the wound slowly fades until his
    face is once again whole. “You’re
    going to pay for that,” he growls.
    “Oh, how wonderful,” Lodar’s voice
    is still wringing in Seamus’s ears.
    “Go away.” He swings his sword at
    the transparent figure.
    “I’m going to enjoy devouring you,”
    the shadow hisses at him. Seamus
    watches in awe as his jaw starts to
    extend past that of a normal human
    until his face has completely
    changed shape. Soon his body has
    transformed as well. He has taken
    the form of a great mountain
    panther, posed to strike at the
    distracted seventeen year old.
    Seamus attempts to duck as the
    panther pounces on him but his
    shoulder is caught by the creature’s
    sharp teeth, which drag him to the
    ground. He can feel the large cat’s
    fangs scraping against the bones in
    his arm, dislocating it from the
    socket. Row covers her mouth to
    keep from screaming as she
    watches his arm dangle limply at
    his side.
    “Oh my, that does look bad,” Lodar
    clicks his tongue.
    “If you’re not going to leave, then
    can you at least help me?” Seamus
    asks hopefully. “You must know
    how to fight Wan.”
    “Perhaps,” Lodar shrugs
    uninterestingly. “Then again, why
    would I help the likes of you?”
    “Like it or not, I am your new
    master,” Seamus tries to sound
    authoritative. “If I die, then what
    happens to you?”
    “I don’t really care,” Lodar scoffs.
    “I’m already dead. Threatening me
    won’t help.”
    “What about Wan?” Seamus tries to
    guilt him. “Don’t you want revenge
    for your fellow demigod? This is the
    bloodsucker that killed him and
    assumed his identity.”
    “Oh this terrible creature has done
    far worse than that,” Lodar laughs.
    “You’ve realized it already. He is the
    one kidnapping pretty girls and
    feasting on their life force, among
    other things; the very reason the
    town was asking for Wan in the first
    place.”
    “And you still won’t help me?”
    Seamus grunts while wrenching his
    arm out of the panther’s mouth.
    “I’ll have to confer with my
    colleague first.” Lodar waves his
    hand ominously at the empty space
    next to the panther. Seamus
    watches with interest as he draws
    something out of the creature,
    another transparent form just like
    himself. “Ah, here we are, this is
    Wan.” Lodar makes a presenting
    gesture at the silvery figure he has
    just summoned. He has long hair
    and a beardless face, just like the
    shadow did before its
    transformation.
    “Lodar?” The silver figure blinks in
    confusion. “Lodar, what is the
    meaning of this?”
    “It’s aright, old friend. Rest easy
    now.” Lodar pats his shoulder,
    something he is able to do since
    they are both equally nonphysical.
    “Where am I, Lodar?” Wan is still
    disoriented.
    “I think the name of this town is
    Quess.” Lodar glances at a rickety
    sign hanging above the main street.
    “I can’t remember how I got here,”
    Wan groans. “I was hunting
    bloodsuckers in Glass Gate when I
    stumbled upon a den of them…”
    “That must have been years ago,”
    Lodar interrupts him. “I’m sorry, old
    friend, but you’ve been dead for
    quite some time. Normally your
    memories would be scattered inside
    the mind of your inheritor but I have
    drawn you out with Arma Venture.”
    “Why would you do that?” Wan
    grabs his head in panic. “I was
    enjoying my afterlife in blissful
    ignorance. Look at that disgusting
    creature. How am I supposed to
    continue existing knowing that thing
    is in control of my powers?”
    “Calm down. Jeez, I figured you’d
    leave well enough alone. I drew you
    out so you could come to terms with
    your demise and tell this boy that
    his revenge conquest is for not.”
    “For not?” Wan’s eyes widen in
    disbelief. “Are you telling me that
    none of the nine are planning on
    avenging me? Is no one else on their
    way?”
    “Look at me, Wan.” Lodar shakes
    him by the shoulders. “I’m just like
    you now; my days among the living
    have ended. All I have left is what
    you see before you.”
    “Are you telling me that two of the
    nine have fallen?” Wan gawks at
    him stupidly.
    “Excuse me, could we get back to
    the current problem?” Seamus
    interrupts them.
    “Oh, you mean your inevitable
    demise?” Lodar rolls his eyes.
    “Who is that?” Wan takes an
    immediate interest in the young
    man before him.
    “That is the new Golden
    Clairvoyance,” Lodar grumbles.
    “Oh what wondrous news,” Wan
    cheers happily. “He can fight this
    monstrosity to the death and
    avenge me.”
    “He’s far too green for such an
    undertaking,” Lodar disagrees,
    “besides, this one’s a sympathizer.”
    He gestures to Row who is now
    cowering behind a barrel next to the
    bakery where the woman the
    shadow fed on is lying.
    “He what?” Wan’s eyes pop as he
    stares at the young bloodsucker.
    “My, what a beautifully disgusting
    creature. Lodar, have you not
    trained him to avoid falling prey to
    such trickery.”
    “I’m afraid he was under her spell
    long before inheriting the Golden
    Clairvoyance,” Lodar defends
    himself.
    “Can one of you please tell me how
    to kill a bloodsucker with the power
    of a demigod?” Seamus shouts
    while rolling to the side to avoid
    getting slashed by the panther’s
    claws.
    “Impossible,” Lodar scoffs. “With the
    power of the Silver Shape Shifter, he
    can heal practically any wound,
    even eventually fatal ones. Your
    only option is to kill him in one
    blow; an impossible feat when
    facing a bloodsucker who has just
    fed.”
    “Stop discouraging him.” Wan slaps
    Lodar’s arm. “You could help him
    control Arma Venture and defeat the
    shape shifter.”
    “Arma Venture will be powerless
    against a demigod. I know this is
    hard for you to accept, but our time
    has ended,” Lodar responds
    condescendingly. “The best we can
    do is help our individual inheritors
    in their efforts to kill each other.
    Hopefully this skirmish will end with
    the demise of both.”
    Wan stares at Lodar for a long time
    before responding. “Fine.” He hangs
    his head in defeat. “I shall see you
    again in the heavens after the
    rapture, old friend.” The silver form
    of Wan dissipates as he returns to
    his host.
    “Are you ready?” Lodar turns his
    attention back to Seamus, who is
    still struggling to avoid being bitten
    or scratched by the panther, a
    difficult task with the use of only one
    arm.
    “You mean to get me killed,”
    Seamus spits at the spirit angrily.
    “Consider this my revenge.” Lodar
    smirks as he fades from sight.
    Seamus’s eyes begin to glow a
    bright yellow as the deceased
    demigod assumes control of his
    body. “You there; bloodsucker, fetch
    me my Arma,” Seamus shouts at
    Row. She quickly darts from her
    hiding place down the street, back
    toward the town square and the inn.
    Seamus follows close behind,
    drawing the panther after him. Row
    leaps onto the roof of the inn and
    dives through the open window of
    their room in search of the wreath of
    antlers she took from Lodar’s
    corpse. “What are you planning to
    do?” Seamus manages to say
    something despite not having
    control of his own body.
    “Arma Venture is a powerful
    talisman constructed for me by the
    wisest mystic in existence two
    hundred years ago,” Lodar answers
    using Seamus’s voice. “When I first
    gained the Golden Clairvoyance I
    knew no ordinary weapon would
    suffice. Arma Venture is a part of
    me; an extension of my mind. With
    it I can dominate the mind of any
    who are beneath me, mostly
    humans, animals and ghouls.”
    “Who are you talking to?” the
    panther shifts back into human form
    just so it can speak again.
    “Seamus, here!” Row’s voice rings
    through the air as she tosses the
    antler wreath from the roof of the
    inn. Seamus’s uninjured arm
    extends to catch it with ease. The
    shadow seems visibly annoyed at
    not having his question answered.
    His form shifts again as he dives at
    Seamus. This time he takes the
    shape of a large growling dog, with
    foam dripping from his teeth.
    “Here we go,” Seamus laughs in an
    eerie tone, the same way Lodar
    always does. Suddenly all of the
    doors to the surrounding houses
    open up, revealing entranced
    villagers marching forward like
    brainless soldiers.
    “Seamus, what are you doing?” Row
    shouts from the rooftop of the inn.
    “You can’t use these people to
    attack a bloodsucker!”
    “Oh don’t act so high and mighty,”
    Seamus spits at her. “It’s not like
    you care what happens to these
    people. Your late shining knight
    killed dozens of villagers without the
    slightest hint of remorse, all for
    you.”
    Row’s eyes fill with tears at the
    mention of Champaign. “Don’t you
    dare talk about her!” she growls at
    Seamus.
    “You don’t have emotions,” he
    continues to demean her. “You’re
    simply trying to emulate human
    behavior. In truth, all you care about
    is surviving and feeding.” At this
    moment the dog prepares to bite
    Seamus’s leg, only to have its teeth
    sink into the flesh of a random
    villager instead. “That’s right, my
    puppet; you exist to protect me,”
    Seamus mutters as he directs the
    rest of the villagers to converge on
    the dog.
    The creature starts to whimper and
    whine as it dodges attacks from the
    entranced people, carrying kitchen
    knives, pitchforks, table legs, ice
    picks and anything else they
    managed to grab before leaving
    their homes. After being clubbed
    and stabbed nearly a dozen times,
    the dog manages to shift into the
    form of a snake, healing all of its
    wounds in the process. It then
    proceeds to slither around the legs
    of the slow moving villagers, biting
    each one as it goes.
    “Stop it!” Row shouts while leaping
    off the roof and landing only a few
    paces behind Seamus. “I don’t want
    a repeat of what happened in Bos
    Stad. Please, just stop,” she begs.
    “Just try to make me,” Seamus
    cackles evilly. Without thinking
    twice the young bloodsucker leaps
    onto his back, slicing into his neck
    with her fangs. “What the…?” he is
    utterly shocked. He had not
    expected her to turn against him so
    easily. Slowly the yellow glow fades
    from his eyes, only to reappear in
    Row’s. It mixes with her normal red,
    making for a fearful orange.
    All of the villagers fall to the ground
    as soon as Arma Venture’s control
    ends. The snake quickly shifts back
    into the form of a man with glowing
    silver eyes, preparing to greet its
    new opponent. “So now there are
    two of us,” he whispers as he eyes
    Row up and down. Having just
    drained Lodar’s power into herself,
    she is basically the same thing; a
    bloodsucker with the abilities of a
    demigod. “Let’s see who is
    stronger!” The shadow darts toward
    her with speed reminding her of her
    late mother, Lady Owleen.
    This only serves to anger her more
    as she sprints away, kicking up a
    cloud of dust in her wake as she
    skids along the ground. As she is
    smaller and more nimble, she is still
    faster than the shadow. She forces
    him to chase her in a circle around
    the town square until she leaps onto
    a lamp post, taking a waiting
    stance.
    The shadow’s hands turn into
    fearsome paws which he uses to
    slash the pole straight through. Row
    lands on her feat but is immediately
    tackled onto her back. She uses her
    legs to kick the shadow off but he
    quickly scampers back. He is larger
    and therefore stronger than she is.
    She kicks him in the stomach and
    chest repeatedly, breaking several of
    his ribs which simply heal
    themselves a moment later.
    “It’s no use,” he hisses in his hoarse
    voice. “As long as I have life force, I
    am invincible.”
    “Then I’ll just have to break you
    over and over again until you run
    out,” Row growls while wrenching
    one of his arms out of its socket.
    The howl of pain that follows is
    short lived as the shadow quickly
    repairs the damage. “With so many
    tasty meals lying around, you’ll run
    out of energy before I do,” he
    snickers.
    “I won’t give you time to feed.” She
    digs her steel fingernails into his
    face and pulls his head to her chest
    before promptly snapping his neck.
    For a split second his eyes begin to
    gloss over as death almost takes
    him but it is not enough. Somehow
    he manages to repair his broken
    spine just before his life fades.
    “Impossible.” Row’s eyes are wide
    in disbelief. She keeps a tight hold
    on his head though, making sure he
    can’t escape.
    “If you won’t let go of me, then I’ll
    just have to feed on you,” he growls
    while digging his fangs into her
    chest. Row can immediately feel her
    strength fading. She has no time to
    push him away. Her only option is
    to respond in kind, sinking her teeth
    into the side of his face and drawing
    energy back from him.
    Seamus has only just managed to
    pull himself to his feet, and the sight
    before him astounds him. He is
    watching two bloodsuckers rolling
    around on the ground in a tug-of-
    war over each other’s very life force.
    “This is no good.” He can hear
    Lodar’s voice in the back of his
    mind again. “Both of them are
    equally powerful right now, except
    for the fact that he started feeding
    first. She’s lost this fight. He’ll
    finish her off shortly.”
    “Not if I can help it.” Seamus picks
    up his discarded broad sword with
    his good arm. He moves to tower
    over the wrestling pair, preparing to
    stab the shadow through as soon as
    he finds an opening to avoid hitting
    Row as well. Something odd is
    happening though. Row’s red orange
    eyes are now changing again,
    growing lighter as silver enters the
    mix. “What is this?” Seamus
    whispers in amazement.
    “She’s winning,” Lodar is equally as
    shocked. “Who is this child
    bloodsucker? Where is she from?”
    “I don’t know.” Seamus shrugs. “I
    can’t remember anything except
    that I am her servant.”
    “Oh yes, your memories. That was
    my doing, I’m afraid,” Lodar recalls.
    “Oh well, nothing we can do about
    that.”
    “There isn’t?” Seamus appears
    slightly disappointed. He has no
    idea who he was so he has no
    reason to miss his memories but it
    still might have been nice if Lodar
    could have helped him.
    “My best guess is that this
    bloodsucker is of royal decent,”
    Lodar continues to mutter to
    himself.
    “Royal?” Seamus is intrigued.
    “She must have been born of a
    bloodsucker and a noble. Every lord
    in this nation was a descendent of
    the great ruler King Doryan. He
    conquered all of this land over three
    centuries ago. Some say he was a
    fallen god; cast out of the heavens
    for intervening in affairs of the world
    below.”
    “That’s laughable,” Seamus scoffs.
    “The rest of the gods are still
    intervening. That’s what demigods
    are, after all.”
    “Everything known about demigods
    is pure speculation,” Lodar reminds
    him. “We can only assume that one
    hundred people were given the
    chance to better humanity by the
    gods over two centuries ago. The
    wide variety of powers we inherited
    makes me wonder how many
    different gods were involved. It may
    even have been a hundred of them
    as well. Either way, they have
    chosen not to interfere since, leaving
    us to our own devices and retrieving
    the given power via the rapture
    when we fall.”
    “Except when another human
    intervenes,” Seamus whispers while
    removing the wreath from his head.
    “Except when another human
    intervenes,” Lodar repeats.
    “But that doesn’t explain why you
    believe Row is of royal decent,”
    Seamus is still confused.
    “The one person a demigod can not
    disobey is a lord,” Lodar informs
    him. “As descendents of the fallen
    god Doryan, they carry heavenly
    blood. It makes them stronger, with
    a divine right to rule. Bloodsuckers
    who are born from a lord are more
    powerful than normal ones. It’s a
    whole new breed of sick creatures.”
    At that moment, Row finally
    manages to push the shadow off of
    her, having drained enough of its life
    force to weaken its regenerative
    abilities. It is nothing more than a
    hollow husk now. “That was
    disgusting,” she groans while
    spitting on the ground. “I’m not one
    for cannibalism.”
    “Is he… dead?” Seamus asks while
    poking the body with his sword.
    “Oh dear, your arm, let me heal you.”
    Row touches his dangling
    appendage. Instinctively he moves
    away though. “What’s wrong?” She
    stares up at him with her bright
    mixed orange and silver eyes.
    “I need to finish him off,” Seamus
    answers while turning his head. He
    doesn’t want to look at the blood
    pouring from her mouth right now.
    “I understand.” She backs away.
    “Make it quick.” Seamus raises his
    sword in the air and lets it fall with
    the weight of his weary body. The
    shadow barely flinches as the blade
    severs his spine. “Alright, now back
    away,” Row warns him.
    “I… I can’t move.” Seamus’s eyes
    are wide in fear.
    “What do you mean?” Row tries to
    pull on his sleeve.
    “I’m not in control of my body
    anymore. Lodar, what are you
    doing?” He knows that this is the
    demigod’s doing.
    “This is the way it has to be,”
    Lodar’s voice is stern.
    “No, I don’t want to do this.”
    Seamus shakes his head.
    “Move away!” Row screams at him.
    “Two of the nine have fallen,”
    Seamus’s voice changes as Lodar
    takes control of him again. “I need
    to protect the demigods at all cost.
    This is the only way I know how.”
    Row’s eyes are flooding with tears
    again as she shuffles backwards.
    There is nothing she can do to help
    Seamus and she refuses to be
    caught in the rapture herself. Her
    gaze is transfixed as the silver
    cylinder of light falls from the sky
    and encompasses the shadow and
    Seamus entirely. As soon as the
    glow has transferred to Seamus’s
    eyes, he begins to scream at the top
    of his lungs.
    Row watches in horror as boils
    begin to form on his skin, growing
    large and larger and eventually
    bursting in a spray of blood. His
    cheeks start to melt, exposing the
    bone underneath and his teeth. He
    is now covered in large burns,
    spanning his entire body. “What’s
    going on?” Row screams.
    “This is the rapture,” Lodar manages
    to halt Seamus’s screaming to
    answer. “He has gained everything
    that was Wan; his powers, his past.”
    “What do you mean?” Row takes a
    shaky step toward Seamus.
    “Wan was burned in a fire when he
    was ten. He spent the next six years
    of his life in a constant state of
    agony until he was blessed with the
    power of the Silver Shape Shifter.”
    “His power is what’s doing this?”
    Row gasps.
    “He is reliving the memory of Wan’s
    injury and the power is making his
    body experience it as well,” Lodar
    continues to explain
    “But why? This didn’t happen when
    he inherited your power,” Row
    recalls.
    “This time is different. Normally the
    memories of the previous demigod
    stay dormant and scattered. This
    time, he is holding Arma Venture.
    Everything is crystal clear. He is
    reliving every detail of Wan’s life.”
    “So it’s your fault.” Row’s eyes
    narrow angrily.
    “If you want to assign blame, then
    remember who killed me,” Lodar
    remains spiteful. Row grows silent.
    She continues to watch as Seamus
    twists in agony. There is nothing
    she can do.
    Finally Seamus falls to the ground
    unconscious as the silver light
    retreats into the sky. Row rushes to
    lift him up. The burns on his body
    have vanished, as have the wounds
    on his mangled arm. He is
    completely healed. Row drags him
    to the font of the inn where she finds
    the door slightly ajar. The innkeeper
    is peeking out with a look of fear on
    his face. “Is it dead?” he asks in a
    terrified whisper. “Did you destroy
    the spirit who has been plaguing our
    town?”
    “Yes.” Row nods. “Please help me.”
    “Of course, of course.” He lifts
    Seamus onto his shoulder and
    carries him back up to their room. “I
    and the rest of the town are truly
    grateful to you both.” Row does not
    respond. She simply waits for him
    to lay Seamus down on the bed
    before leaving the room. She lies
    down next to him and presses her
    face into his chest, feeling the
    warmth of his body and hoping she
    is able to comfort him in the
    slightest. He remains fast asleep
    though, not making a single sound.
    Unknown to Row, the spiritual form
    of Lodar has appeared again. He is
    pacing around the room, biting his
    fist and muttering words of concern.
    Eventually he waves his hand at
    Seamus and draws the silver form of
    Wan out as well. “What happened?”
    the younger demigod groans.
    “You lost,” Lodar answers honestly.
    “I see.” Wan smiles at Seamus. “I
    suppose he is my new master. Is he
    that bad, Lodar? Perhaps this is a
    good thing.”
    “Oh, it’s a very good thing. I have
    found something to curb my
    boredom.”
    “Oh dear,” Wan groans. “Please tell
    me you did not do this for reasons
    as petty as that. I would not wish
    the pain I have suffered onto my
    worst enemy, and yet you have
    forced this young man to feel the
    pain of my past for the mere
    prospect of curbing boredom? What
    are we if not century old sadists,
    Lodar?”
    “I have no idea.” Lodar shrugs. “All I
    know is that this pair intrigues me.
    The little one is a princess
    bloodsucker.”
    “Are you sure?” Wan’s eyes light up
    with interest. “I thought they were
    merely a myth; a product of Turok’s
    overactive imagination.”
    “They may have been when he first
    brought up his concerns, but they’re
    real now. They exist.”
    “What will you do?” Wan’s eyes
    narrow.
    “If I were still alive, I would
    obviously kill or capture her in order
    to gain the prestige and valor that
    would come with it.”
    “But…” Wan is still glaring at him
    with suspicion.
    “But I’m not alive,” Lodar reminds
    him. “I have no desire to gain
    prestige anymore. Right now I want
    to watch this princess and see what
    she does with her life.”
    “A very good response.” Wan nods
    approvingly. “If you’ll excuse me
    now, I would like to retire. I leave
    these two in your capable hands,
    Lodar.”
    “Of course, old friend.” Lodar bows
    before waving his hand again,
    sending Wan back to the depths of
    Seamus’s mind. It is none of the
    Silver Shape Shifter’s concern what
    happens to Seamus and Row now.
    He will not call on him again
    without good reason.

    0
    #964779 Reply
    MsquareMsquare
    Member
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    What a powerful one now row servant seamos has the powers of two demigod therefore they re untouchable next pls

    0
    #964872 Reply
    T. D WordsmithT. D Wordsmith
    Member
    • "Posts & Comments"1463
    • ☆☆

    Wow

    0
    #964883 Reply
    AvatarMartin
    Member
    • "Posts & Comments"1823
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    Interesting

    0
    #965103 Reply
    AvatarMiracle Mimi
    Member
    • "Posts & Comments"494
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    Interesting next

    0
    #969949 Reply
    AvatarMr kruzz
    Member
    • "Posts & Comments"856
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    ep 19
    After burying Lodar’s body properly,
    Brand and his two trusted vassals
    continue their trek through the forest
    on horseback. The demigod has not
    told either one of his companions
    what his plans for the near future
    are. Too afraid to challenge a
    bloodsucker as strong as Corvic and
    not powerful enough to stand
    against Turok, Brand is at a loss
    about what to do. For now he plans
    to keep traveling and hope that his
    companions do not perceive him as
    weak.
    They are only an hour away from
    Bos Stad when a sudden pain in
    Brand’s throat forces them to stop.
    He lurches forward, falling off his
    horse and rolling on the ground
    while making a strange gurgling
    sound. “What’s happening to him?”
    Prain asks her father while trying to
    help him. She positions him on his
    back and presses her lips to his in
    an attempt to force air into his
    lungs.
    He coughs and sputters for a
    moment before shooting up into a
    sitting position. “What is it, milord?”
    Gall asks cautiously. “Do you still
    feel the loss of Lodar, even now?”
    “No.” Brand shakes his head slowly.
    “It’s Wan. Wan just died.”
    “That’s not funny,” Prain does not
    believe him.
    “He’s not joking,” Gall can tell that
    his master is serious. “Are you sure
    about this, milord?” he asks.
    “I feel it in my spine,” Brand
    answers, prompting Prain to start
    massaging the afflicted area.
    “This is getting out of hand.” Gall
    strokes his graying beard. “Do you
    suppose someone is going around
    killing demigods?”
    “I wouldn’t put it past Corvic to do
    something like this,” Brand
    mumbles.
    “What will you do?” Gall asks in a
    serious tone.
    “I don’t think I have a choice. If
    memory serves, both Husk and
    Kifflan should be traveling on the
    other side of Lord Glasstien’s
    territory. I will not wait for them to
    be slaughtered like Lodar and Wan.”
    “Like I said, we don’t even know if
    Wan is really dead,” Prain tries to
    argue.
    “Shut up, silly girl. Do not question
    your master’s declarations,” her
    father scolds her.
    “It’s alright, Gall.” Brand touches
    Prain’s face to show that he is not
    mad. “I enjoy my declarations being
    challenged. It makes me all the
    more wary of the things I say. I’m
    sorry though, but I am sure that Wan
    has met with some sort of injury. If
    it is not already too late, then he
    definitely needs our help. We shall
    ride for the city of Glass Gate.”
    “Yes Sir,” Gall shouts obediently.
    Prain frowns while pushing Brand’s
    hand away from her face. She is not
    opposed to him touching her, just
    his overprotective attitude. She
    does not need him to defend her
    from her father’s ridicule. It seems
    he can only see her as a child who
    needs protecting.
    It is not surprising considering the
    fact that she was only ten when she
    became one of his vassals. Brand
    had been twenty years old when he
    inherited the power of the Red
    Warrior. Since then he has not aged
    in the slightest, making him and
    Prain the same in appearance but
    not actual years. In his mind she is
    still the ten year old girl who always
    followed her father around. She does
    not know how she plans to do it but
    she is desperate to make him take
    her seriously.
    §§§
    It is nearly a day before Seamus
    wakes up after inheriting the power
    of the Silver Shape Shifter from the
    shadow bloodsucker that defeated
    Wan. In fact, he sits up in his bed at
    the inn, screaming at the top of his
    lungs. Row, who had been resting
    her head on his arm while sitting in
    a chair next to the bed is jolted
    awake as well. “What? What is it?”
    She glances around in confusion.
    “I can feel it.” He starts to pluck at
    his skin. “I can feel every single
    burn. I can feel the flesh melting off
    my face.”
    Row places a hand on his forehead
    while shushing him. “It’s okay
    now,” she whispers while trying to
    push him back down onto the bed.
    “It’s over now. Those are memories
    of Wan’s. They aren’t yours.”
    “But I can feel it,” he repeats. “It
    happened to me.”
    “I know, and I’m sorry.” She presses
    her cheek to his to comfort him.
    “Just try to forget.”
    “Ha,” he almost laughs. “I can’t
    remember a thing about myself but I
    have an entire novel about Wan in
    my head now. Some things just
    aren’t fair.”
    “I know.” Row continues to stroke
    his black hair. It has grown longer in
    the five years since she first met
    him, making him look slightly less
    civilized than he used to.
    “By the way, who are you?” Seamus
    lifts her onto the bed so he can stare
    her in the eyes. She tilts her head in
    confusion, not understanding his
    question. “Lodar says you might be
    something called a royal
    bloodsucker. I have no idea if that’s
    true or not.”
    “It’s true.” She nods. “I am the
    daughter of the late Lord Ironglave
    of Iron Grove.”
    “I see. I guess that makes you his
    heir, doesn’t it?”
    She shakes her head quickly. “I am
    the youngest of his children. The
    oldest is a bloodsucker over sixty
    named Drogen. If he has perished
    since leaving Massmede then the
    right falls to his younger brother
    Corvic.”
    “And if Corvic is dead?” Seamus
    asks tactlessly. Despite the fact that
    these two bloodsuckers are
    obviously her older brothers, he
    believes she has no emotional
    attachment to them. In his mind,
    bloodsuckers do not have emotions
    at all.
    “Corvic isn’t dead,” Row answers
    sternly.
    “How do you know? He could have
    met a demigod and been…”
    “He’s not dead,” Row repeats in an
    almost angry voice. “Corvic is a
    manipulative genius with a thirst for
    power. He was cast out of
    Massmede by my father before I was
    born. I have never met him but I
    have seen paintings of him. He is
    almost fifty years old with a
    feminine face as round and beautiful
    as my mother’s and black flowing
    hair to match.”
    “He sounds like a spoiled brat,”
    Seamus scoffs. “Can he even fight?”
    “He once took on two demigods at
    once,” Row answers calmly. She is
    not being smug or proud of her
    brother; she is simply stating facts.
    “What? Really? Two of them? Which
    ones? How did he survive? Did they
    even survive?”
    “Last I heard from my mother,
    Ardine gave up fighting after her
    encounter with Corvic. Turok came
    to my castle and kicked in the front
    door like he owned the place.”
    “So that’s why you don’t like your
    brother,” Seamus surmises. “He’s
    the one who led Turok to your
    home.”
    “Who said I didn’t like my brother?”
    Row is taken aback. “I love both my
    brothers. I hope I have every chance
    to meet them on our travels.”
    “But you sound so solemn when you
    speak of them,” Seamus is flustered.
    “You sound like Corvic did
    something you can’t forgive him
    for.”
    “On the contrary, Corvic is exactly
    what bloodsuckers should aspire to
    be. I’m the disappointment. If I meet
    him he may kill me just for being so
    weak. I’m giving his family a bad
    name by running and hiding like a
    coward and relying on humans for
    my survival.”
    “Hey, I don’t think you’re weak.”
    Seamus touches the side of her face.
    “You may run and rely on humans
    but you are not weak. You proved
    you were of royal blood last night.”
    “Um, that was actually the night
    before last.” A guilty expression
    spreads across Row’s face. “You’ve
    been asleep for a long time.”
    “Oh no, what about our schedule?”
    Seamus crawls across the bed to
    stare out the window, jostling the
    small bloodsucker around in the
    process. “Wait, when was the last
    time you fed?”
    “There is a sheep ranch not far from
    here. I’ve already replenished my
    strength,” she explains. “Thank you
    for worrying about me though.” She
    flashes him a fanged smile. Seamus
    tries his best not to shudder. The
    memory of blood running down her
    face is more than he can take. He
    wants to see her as an innocent
    child, not a monstrous creature who
    could kill him at a moment’s notice.
    There is a smell of food wafting up
    from the kitchen below, which
    prompts Seamus to throw on his
    boots and descend the stairs. “Good
    morning, young sir and madam,” the
    innkeeper greets them with a smile
    and a bow. “Let me first extend my
    thanks to you. You were
    unconscious following your bout
    with the spirit and I was not able to
    give you proper congratulations.”
    “You know what happened?”
    Seamus is surprised.
    “The whole town knows.” He beams
    proudly. “Don’t worry about your
    tab. Practically everyone has pooled
    together to pay for your stay. We
    was gonna try buying a favor from
    the demigod Wan, but treating you
    to a few finer things will be much
    cheaper.”
    “Ha, Wan,” Seamus mutters while
    trying not to smirk. It is ironic that
    the very person they were planning
    to pay to deal with their spirit
    essentially turned out to be the
    culprit. They may never know that
    though. “So our breakfast is free?”
    Seamus confirms while sitting down
    at one of the long wooden tables in
    the dinning hall.
    “Well your meal will be free,” the
    innkeeper mutters. Seamus shoots
    him a suspicious glare. “I simply
    meant that the girl seems
    uninterested in the food I’ve
    prepared,” he explains quickly.
    Seamus turns his glare to Row who
    simply shrugs. She has not been
    making it too obvious that she does
    not eat human food but someone
    was bound to notice eventually. “We
    can’t stay here long,” Seamus
    whispers after receiving a wooden
    plate of bread, meat and cheese.
    “I don’t really want to stay here,”
    Row admits. “Everyone is looking at
    us.”
    Seamus glances around the dining
    hall to confirm Row’s suspicions.
    Everyone in the room does indeed
    seem to be giving them awkward
    looks of interest. “Perhaps they too
    know we are the ones who dealt
    with their spirit.”
    “Something’s still off though,” Row
    remains on guard. “They don’t seem
    to want to congratulate us; they’ve
    left that job to the innkeeper. They
    actually seem suspicious of us.
    Maybe they are wondering how we
    defeated a spirit if we are not
    demigods ourselves.”
    “All the more reason to leave,”
    Seamus reaffirms. Row nods in
    agreement.
    The rest of their meal is silent and
    quick as Seamus wants to be
    traveling again as soon as possible.
    Row simply watches him eating,
    licking her lips while focusing her
    eyes on his. It is extremely
    unnerving for him. He almost
    wonders if she is imagining feeding
    on him.
    A separate thought enters his mind
    about letting their lips touch for
    some reason but he quickly
    squelches it. He can’t remember
    that he had similar thoughts back
    when they first met but his reason
    for refusing to dwell on them
    remains the same; she is a
    bloodsucker with life or death
    control of him. He can not afford to
    think of her in any other way, no
    matter how entrancing her
    appearance may be.
    Outside of the inn, the situation is
    not much better. All of the villagers
    stare at them as they walk past,
    whispering belittling remarks under
    their breath. “Where exactly are we
    going?” Seamus asks as Row leads
    him down the street to a small
    shop.
    “A nice woman came and took our
    laundry from the inn yesterday,” she
    informs him. “She said she’d bring
    it back today but I don’t think we
    should wait.”
    Seamus nods in agreement while
    glancing down at his clean clothing.
    Row must have been the one to
    undress him while he was
    unconscious, a thought that bothers
    him slightly. She is wearing the
    dress that Noreen made for her. The
    white nightgown she wore during
    her fight with the shadow was
    soaked in blood. Hopefully the
    launderer will not find it too
    suspicious.
    Row knocks on the window to the
    shop, prompting a woman with a
    small face to slide the curtain aside
    to peek out. She nods when she
    recognizes her customer and
    shuffles to the front door to allow
    them in. “That sure was a lot of
    blood,” she makes an offhand
    comment while handing Row a
    bundle of clothing including her
    nightgown and Seamus’s outfit from
    the night they killed the shadow.
    Seamus waits for her to pry about
    its source but she does not. Instead
    she leans down to whisper in Row’s
    ear. “I’d leave town if I were you.
    While everyone is grateful for your
    help, I’m afraid the innkeeper saw
    everything. He knows your secret,
    child. We all know what you are. As
    long as you don’t attack us we will
    keep our distance but I really
    wonder why your kind tries so hard
    to fit in with humans. You’re
    different; accept that.”
    Seamus grits his teeth. He wants to
    argue with the woman and explain
    that his mistress is at least trying to
    emulate human emotions but he
    can’t. He knows that he is just as
    prejudiced against bloodsuckers
    and ghouls as the rest of the people
    in this town. He has asked himself
    the same questions they are asking
    now a hundred times; why do
    bloodsuckers try to coexist with
    humans?
    Row is staring at the laundry woman
    with calm eyes. She is not bothered
    by her brutal honesty at all. Perhaps
    she is incapable of taking offence
    like a human would. Seamus can’t
    remember but she once argued quite
    forcefully with him about his
    opinion of her. Perhaps she only
    cares what he thinks and no one
    else. Either way it appears as if she
    has no emotions at all, just like the
    people of the town assume. She is
    only proving them right.
    “Let’s go.” Row hands Seamus their
    laundry as she turns to leave. He
    does not argue and simply followers
    her back toward the inn where their
    horse and carriage still is. Again the
    eyes of the villagers follow them as
    they pack their things and set off in
    the direction of the edge of town.
    Seamus is extremely worried about
    his mistress as she is remaining
    completely silent. When offered the
    chance to be worshiped by the
    humans and ghouls in the forest she
    was overjoyed. It stands to reason
    the opposite reaction would put her
    in low spirits. For some reason
    though, she is acting like it does not
    matter at all. Perhaps she is used to
    it by now.
    As they reach the far side of the
    village they notice a group of
    children gathered in the shadows
    cast by the nearest buildings. They
    seem to be laughing at them.
    Seamus is forced to bring their
    carriage to a halt when four older
    boys move to block the path that
    leads out of the village. “What do
    you want?” he asks in a stern voice.
    He is in no mood to deal with rowdy
    children.
    “Why are you leaving so soon?” the
    tallest one asks with a smug
    expression. “Don’t you want to stay
    a while?”

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    AvatarMr kruzz
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    ep. 20

    .

    v “Just move out of my way,” Seamus
    refuses to engage in conversation.
    “My dad says you’re a monster; is
    that so? Are you one of those
    creatures that eat people?”
    “If you don’t move, then I’m going to
    have to run you over,” Seamus
    resorts to threatening the boys.
    “Oh I’m so scared.” They pretend to
    shiver. “My dad says that you’re
    going to attack us all in our sleep.
    He stayed up all last night watching
    the streets to make sure you didn’t
    come near our house. He has a bow
    and arrow ready to shoot you on
    sight.”
    “As do I.” Seamus retrieves his long
    bow and draws the string back.
    There is no arrow but the boys still
    flinch when he releases the string.
    “You’re just asking for it now.” Their
    confidence has drained slightly.
    Slowly they disperse, allowing
    Seamus’s carriage forward finally.
    “Wait,” Row whispers before the iron
    wheels manage to cross the line
    that represents the end of Quess.
    “I’m not waiting for anything,”
    Seamus snaps at her louder than he
    intended. He is still annoyed from
    having to deal with the children.
    “I smell something though.” She
    starts to sniff the air like usual.
    “Please don’t tell me…” Seamus
    groans. She grabs his head and
    directs his attention to the shadowy
    cover of the trees. There are several
    pairs of yellow glowing eyes
    watching them. “Ghouls,” Seamus
    whispers. “What are they doing? I
    thought they only came out at
    night.”
    “The cover of the trees is dark
    enough for them,” Row answers.
    “My guess is they’ve noticed Wan’s
    disappearance as well. They
    perceive the town as weak and this
    is their chance to strike.”
    “Strike at villagers traveling during
    the day?” Seamus raises a confused
    eyebrow.
    “No, they’ll attack the town come
    nightfall,” Row surmises.
    “Then we have to leave now,”
    Seamus urges.
    “We can’t; they have the whole of
    Quess surrounded.”
    “Maybe they won’t attack us. They
    won’t waste energy on one carriage
    leaving when they have a whole
    town ripe for the taking, right?”
    Seamus remains optimistic.
    “If they have enough ghouls to
    attack an entire town, then one
    carriage will be easy pickings. They
    won’t even waste any energy killing
    us. In fact, they may even gain some
    by feeding on us.”
    “You’re a real ball of sunshine, you
    know that?” Seamus is becoming
    annoyed with her pessimistic
    attitude, though he knows she is
    correct. “What can we do then?” he
    defers to her intelligence entirely.
    “The best we can hope for is an
    opening to slip away while they are
    attacking the town tonight,” she
    answers.
    “Should we warn them of the
    impending danger?” Seamus asks in
    a worried tone. He can already
    guess her response.
    “It’s not like they would believe us.
    Don’t you dare ask that I try to save
    them either. I’m not risking my life
    for people who wouldn’t do the
    same for me. Besides, it wouldn’t do
    any good; I can’t beat this many
    ghouls. It’s just not possible.”
    “I wasn’t going to ask you to.”
    Seamus shakes his head. “I’m pretty
    sure I’d be no help either. I don’t
    even know how to control either
    Wan’s or Lodar’s power. It took
    them nearly two hundred years to
    master their abilities and we still
    managed to kill them.”
    “Wait, don’t you have Wan’s
    memories?” Row recalls. “Doesn’t
    that help at all?”
    “I have flashes of his past,” Seamus
    disillusions her. “Controlling their
    power is not all about knowledge.
    The amount of stamina it takes to
    shift form repeatedly like Wan is
    immeasurable. The only reason that
    bloodsucker managed it is because
    he just fed. I have no way to
    replenish my strength. My mind is
    no where near as overbearing as
    Lodar’s either. I would more likely
    end up being the one controlled if I
    tried to use Arma Venture.”
    “If only you had Maumolla’s power
    too,” Row sighs.
    “The Violet Champion?” Seamus
    draws on Wan’s memory to identify
    Row’s meaning. “She has unlimited
    stamina, doesn’t she?”
    “Her weapon, Arma Vec is more
    taxing than any of the others,” Row
    informs him. “It literally drains the
    wielder and their opponent of life
    and mana as they fight. Only
    someone with extreme endurance
    training or Maumolla’s power can
    use it without passing out.”
    “Why would one of the great
    masters make such a weapon to
    begin with?” Seamus is appalled.
    “Remember, the great masters were
    the best craftsmen of their time.
    They mastered almost a thousand
    forbidden techniques each.
    Weapons like the Arma are so
    powerful that they are banned. The
    great masters each received one
    chance to practice their skill when
    the demigods first rose to power.
    Each of the hundred demigods
    requisitioned a different weapon
    from each of the great masters,
    specifically designed to compliment
    their abilities.”
    “A wreath that can amplify the
    Golden Clairvoyance. A wire that
    can coil into any form, just like the
    Silver Shape Shifter. A staff that
    drains the wielders life force, perfect
    for the Violet Champion,” Seamus
    rattles off the three Arma he knows
    of.
    “A large butterfly axe that can pass
    through anything and inflict
    massive internal damage.” Row
    shivers as she remembers the first
    Arma she ever saw.
    “Arma Tua,” Seamus recognizes it
    from Wan’s memories. “What
    exactly is Turok’s power?”
    “I don’t know.” Row shakes her
    head. “My mother never saw it in
    person until she died by his hand.”
    “Why do I feel like killing Turok will
    be much more difficult than
    defeating Lodar or Wan was?”
    Seamus is starting to worry.
    “Because we didn’t actually fight
    Wan,” she reminds him. “That
    bloodsucker did all the work and
    then got sloppy.”
    “Then how are we going to go on
    living like this? We got lucky twice
    but it’s not going to happen again.
    If we meet another demigod, we are
    done for,” Seamus is now the
    pessimistic one.
    “We’ll have to try drawing on Wan’s
    memories to learn how to fight
    them. I’m sure with Arma Venture
    you will remember something. Until
    then, let’s just focus on escaping
    this godforsaken town.” Talking
    about demigods appears to have
    shaken Row’s resolve slightly.
    “Let’s hope the villagers can stand
    having us stick around for a little
    longer,” Seamus tries to laugh as he
    turns their carriage around, heading
    back towards the inn.
    §§§
    “How long do you think they’ll
    wait?” Row asks as Seamus glances
    out the window of their room again.
    There is a mob of people in the
    street below, all holding torches and
    swords, ready to behead the both of
    them as soon as they decide to risk
    going outside.
    “You’d think they’d be more
    grateful,” Seamus grumbles while
    pulling the curtain closed again.
    “It’s human nature to hate those
    who are different, isn’t it?” Row
    sighs.
    “Different is an understatement.”
    Seamus frowns at her. “You eat
    humans to survive.”
    “Are you afraid of me?” Row asks
    while crawling along the bed they
    are both sitting on until her face is
    only a few inches away from his.
    “Do I frighten you?”
    “Honestly, I’m terrified of you,”
    Seamus admits. “I keep wondering
    at what point it will become
    beneficial for you to simply turn me
    into a ghoul.”
    Row looks extremely hurt by this
    statement. It seems she still does
    care what he thinks of her for some
    reason. “You know, you’re the
    closest thing I’ve ever had to a
    friend,” Row whispers, prompting
    Seamus to scoot a little closer to
    her, almost letting their noses
    touch. “What are you doing?” she is
    surprised.
    “I’m showing you that I’m not as
    afraid as you think,” he whispers
    back. “I swore to serve you,
    whatever that may entail. You need
    not worry about my personal
    feelings.”
    “But I do worry,” she admits. “It’s
    not a façade like everything else
    about humanity I emulate. I actually
    do worry about you. I worried about
    Champaign as well. I can’t explain
    it.”
    Seamus is taken aback by her
    honesty. He does not know how to
    respond though. “It’s almost
    nightfall,” he tries to change the
    subject. “We’ll have our chance to
    escape any minute now.”
    “Yeah. We will.” Row’s expression
    remains solemn. She was almost
    hoping for a response to her
    statement. She still has no idea
    what Seamus feels toward her apart
    from loyalty of servitude.
    Seamus peeks out the window
    again in time to see the crowd
    below shifting in the street. They
    have noticed something odd
    happening around the rest of the
    town. Some of the ghouls from the
    forest must have already begun
    their attack. “The lights; the lights
    are going out!” one of the men
    shouts while directing everyone’s
    attention toward the streetlamps. In
    the distance Seamus can see them
    dimming. The ones closest to the
    edge of town are indeed going out.
    “What’s happening?” The people are
    starting to panic.
    “It’s the bloodsucker’s doing.” Some
    of them try to remain focused on the
    window of the inn but the majority
    are too scared.
    “Here they come,” Seamus whispers
    as a flood of ghouls pours into the
    village square. Pitch black animals
    with glowing yellow eyes surround
    the mob and begin to pounce on the
    people one by one, starting with the
    torch bearers. Slowly the light
    outside the inn starts to fade.
    “Ready?” Seamus clasps Row’s
    hand tightly. She only nods in
    response.
    A sudden knock at their door startles
    both of them. “Please help us,” the
    voice of the innkeeper resonates
    through. “I know you can help us,
    please try,” he begs.
    “I’m sorry,” Seamus’s voice is full of
    genuine regret.
    “Please, I beg of you.” He pounds on
    the door. “My family is here. You
    have to do something.”
    “Let’s go,” Row’s cold demeanor
    has returned. For a moment
    Seamus is left wondering if she only
    acts warmly upon occasion to mess
    with his head. If he didn’t know
    better he would say she were flirting
    with him like some of the girls back
    in Bos Stad often did. He has no
    actual memory of it though, just a
    general idea of what it was like.
    Seamus pulls Row out onto the roof
    through the window, just like the
    night they fought the shadow. They
    run along the slanted structure until
    they reach the post where their
    horse is tethered. Seamus leaps
    first, pulling Row after him with
    ease. She not only looks like a
    twelve year old, she is as light as
    one too. The animal is already
    spooked though. It whinnies while
    raising its front hoofs in the air,
    kicking at the dark creatures now
    surrounding the inn.
    “Go!” Seamus shouts while cracking
    the reins. Row undoes the rope
    binding it to the post. The black and
    white mare gallops forward a few
    paces before rearing back, twisting
    itself and the carriage around the
    post. The ghouls in the village
    square have taken notices. They
    bound towards the helpless horse
    as it continues to panic. Seamus
    cracks his reins again, trying to urge
    the mare forward while also
    attempting to scare the ghouls. It
    does not work though.
    In a matter of seconds the black
    creatures have swarmed on the
    horse, digging their teeth into its
    flesh and dragging it to the ground.
    Seamus draws his sword and leaps
    out of the carriage to protect it but it
    is too late. They have already torn
    too much flesh from its bones. In an
    attempt to save it some pain,
    Seamus slashes its throat before
    turning his blade on the ghouls.
    He actually manages to chop off the
    head of one of the boars while it is
    distracted. His accomplishment is
    short lived though as soon a swarm
    of birds descends upon him from
    above, pecking at his face and
    arms. He staggers backwards
    before falling to one knee. He props
    himself up with the sword while
    trying to shake the birds off. They
    swoop up into the air, preparing to
    dive at him again.
    “Are you okay?” Row calls to him
    from the safety of the carriage. “Can
    you heal yourself?”
    “I’ll try,” he grunts while trying to
    imagine his form changing. Perhaps
    he can shape shift into something
    fierce enough to fight back.
    “It won’t work,” the familiar voice of
    Lodar rings in his ears. “It took Wan
    years to master his power and that
    bloodsucker had a distinct
    advantage over you.”
    “What if I let Wan take control of
    me,” Seamus suggests. “You did it
    once before, didn’t you?”
    “It doesn’t work like that. Wan can
    only manifest himself with my
    assistance,” Lodar explains. “He
    can’t posses you the way I did; that
    is strictly a part of Arma Venture.”
    “Then you can possess me,”
    Seamus surmises.
    “I could try.”
    “Promise me you won’t try to hurt
    Row,” Seamus demands.
    “I would gain nothing from
    continuing my crusade now that I
    am dead,” Lodar informs him.
    “Besides, I’m rather curious about
    this special creature you serve. I
    wonder what impact a royal
    bloodsucker might actually have on
    the world.”
    “Special?” Seamus repeats in an
    unconvinced tone. It is not that he
    doesn’t believe Row is special, he
    just can’t believe Lodar would care
    about such a thing.
    “Oh yes, everyone who realizes it
    will want a piece of her,” Lodar
    adopts his normal condescending
    manner. “You best keep her safe
    from ghouls or other bloodsuckers
    who might want to make her their
    queen.”
    “Queen?” Seamus is again
    skeptical.
    “She holds the divine blood of
    Doryan; the right to rule both human
    and bloodsucker. Some may
    perceive that as a threat and a
    reason to eliminate her.”
    “I understand,” Seamus finally
    decides to take Lodar seriously.
    “Now, help me protect her.”
    “I’ll do what I can.” With Lodar’s
    words, Seamus’s eyes begin to glow
    bright yellow. He is not holding
    Arma Venture so the power is still
    weak. The ghouls seem slightly
    startled by his sudden change
    though. Some of them even seem to
    believe he is one of them due to his
    matching yellow eyes. It is not
    enough to deter the majority though.
    There are wolves, rabbits, raccoons,
    skunks and even a few bears
    converging on him from all
    directions.
    Seamus’s eyes begin to flicker as he
    struggles to overtake their minds.
    He forces a few of them to back
    away but there are too many. He is
    too busy trying to control Lodar’s
    power to even bother swinging his
    sword as the wolves and raccoons
    begin to bite his legs. They rip off
    several pieces of his flesh and
    retreat to a safe distance to eat but
    he barely seems to notice. He is
    now on the verge of passing out as
    the strain of taking on Lodar’s mind
    and power is far too much for him.
    Just as the yellow light leaves his
    eyes, he notices a slew of flaming
    arrows raining down upon the flood
    of ghouls. The creatures scream in
    anguish as their flesh starts to burn.
    Seamus manages to look in the
    direction of the arrows’ origin. There
    is a silhouetted figure standing atop
    the saddle of a brown steed. “Are ye
    alright?” the voice of a boy no older
    than sixteen calls to him. “Oy, alive,
    are we?”
    Seamus reaches a hand out toward
    the figure before collapsing on the
    ground. “Come on, come on,” he can
    hear Lodar’s voice in his head still.
    “This will take everything I’ve got.”
    Slowly the fresh wounds on his legs
    start to close as Lodar uses Wan’s
    power to the best of his knowledge.
    “Well that’s an impressive trick.”
    The silhouetted figure lets out a
    whistle.
    “Who are you?” Row pokes her head
    out from the carriage. As she is
    slightly closer than Seamus and
    slightly higher off the ground she
    can see him a little better. To her he
    is not pasted against the night sky,
    which is glowing with the reflection
    of a burning town.
    “My name is Nuve.” He bows to her.
    “I’m a ghoul hunter.”
    “I see.” Her eyes dart from side to
    side as she examines him. He has
    longer hair than Seamus’s which is
    also much lighter. His eyes are
    sapphire blue rather than emerald
    green and he is at least a year
    younger with no signs of facial hair
    whatsoever. He is wearing a red
    tunic over a white shirt with a
    brown cloak. Row gasps as she
    spots the weapon he used to launch
    his barrage of arrows, a crossbow
    built into a metal right arm.
    “Ah, I see you noticed.” He flexes the
    iron appendage. “It’s alright to
    gawk, I’m not shy.” He flashes her a
    flirtatious grin. “I’m not ashamed of
    my injury. This is the staple by
    which I make my living.” He folds
    the sides of the crossbow down into
    his arm before flicking his wrist to
    extend a rather wide blade. “See, it
    has every use you could imagine.”
    “Th-thank you for saving us,” Row
    stutters. “You didn’t have to.”
    “Oh, but I did,” he disagrees. “I could
    never abandon a fellow human in
    trouble. You are humans, right?
    Wait, of course you are; what am I
    saying? Why would ghouls attack
    their own? What is your name, by
    the way, milady?”
    “Row,” she mutters shyly.
    “Row?” he repeats with a perplexed
    expression. “Is that short for
    something?” She shakes her head
    slowly, not wanting to tell him her
    full name. “Oh well, the name
    doesn’t, matter. You are the most
    beautiful woman I have ever seen.
    Might I ask if you are betrothed to
    anyone? If you are not, let me be the
    first to offer my bid.”
    “Excuse me.” Seamus suddenly
    rises to his feet, startling both Row
    and Nuve.
    “Ah, hello there, sir.” The young man
    leaps off his horse, landing a few
    feet away from their carriage. “My
    name is…”
    “I heard your name,” Seamus cuts
    him off. “I heard everything. I’m
    injured, not dead.”
    “You don’t seem very injured now,
    do you?” Nuve struts around their
    dead horse to stand in front of
    Seamus. Their difference in height is
    as minute as their difference in age.
    “How old are you?” Seamus is
    glaring at him.
    “Does it matter?” Nuve rolls his
    eyes. “I’m old enough to be a ghoul
    hunter, let’s just leave it at that. I’m
    much more interested in learning
    how you recovered so quickly. Are
    you by chance a creature of the
    night as well? If it weren’t for your
    eerie green eyes I’d say you were a
    ghoul or a bloodsucker yourself.”
    Row instinctively looks down to
    avoid letting him see her red eyes.
    In the dark they could pass for
    brown when not glowing though.
    “I’m neither ghoul nor bloodsucker,
    so stay your blade.” Seamus pushes
    the wide knife back into Nuve’s
    metal arm.
    “Aren’t we snippy?” The younger boy
    grins at him. “Am I to assume she’s
    your fiancée?”
    “My what?” Seamus is taken aback.
    “Wha-what would give you such an
    idea?”
    “It was just an observation. You’re
    awfully protective of her. I can see
    why though. I can imagine every
    man within riding distance lining up
    for a chance to kiss those succulent
    lips. I’ll pay you ten pieces of gold
    just for one night with her. You look
    like the sort that’s desperate for
    money, am I right? What’s she
    worth to you? I’ll take her off your
    hands for a thousand.”
    Seamus responds by punching Nuve
    in the face, knocking him flat onto
    his back. “Alright, I deserved that.”
    He is not even slightly upset. “She
    could be your sister for all I know. I
    shouldn’t have treated her like an
    item to be bartered or traded. Let
    me start over, milady.” He rises to
    one knee and lifts Row’s hand with
    the intention of kissing it.
    Seamus slaps it away before he can
    though. “Ouch.” Row rubs her sore
    fingers.
    “What do you want from us?”
    Seamus asks sternly.
    “Nothing much.” Nuve shrugs. “I’m
    just trying to get acquainted with
    this lovely woman.”
    “Do you always pursue children?”
    Seamus asks in a serious tone.
    “My-my, there is no such thing as
    age when a woman is concerned. I
    will wait ’til she is older if that’s
    your concern, stranger.”
    “Enough!” Seamus shouts. “It
    appears you have managed to drive
    the ghouls back for the night at
    least.” He gestures to the burning
    town which is far too bright for the
    nocturnal creatures now. “If you’ll
    excuse me, we must be off before
    they return.”
    “Oh that won’t matter,” Nuve
    chuckles. “I’ll be staying in town
    until I’m sure it’s safe. I’ll stand
    watch night after night if I have to.”
    “Well that’s very kind of you.”
    Seamus tries to move past him.
    “You know, you aren’t gonna get far
    with a dead horse,” Nuve stops him.
    “If you like, I’d be willing to put you
    up at the inn for a few nights. You
    could have your own room and I’ll
    share one with the lady…” his
    attempt to flirt with Row again is cut
    off by another punch to the face
    from Seamus. He manages to stay
    on his feet this time though. “Wow,
    for someone who almost died a
    moment ago, you sure know how to
    hit.” He is completely unfazed. “My
    offer to put you up still stands
    though.”
    “We don’t need your help,” Seamus
    refuses. Despite their intention of
    beheading them, the villagers
    already promised that everything in
    town would be free for them in
    exchange for defeating the spirit.
    “Well, if you change your mind…”
    “We won’t,” Seamus growls at him
    while leading Row away by the
    hand. She winces as he squeezes it
    tightly in the exact same part he
    slapped. “Sorry,” he mutters while
    loosening his grip.
    “It’s okay,” she responds in a low
    voice. She is not sure why he is
    suddenly being so protective of her
    but it is not exactly unwelcome. She
    would much rather him act like this
    than be afraid of her.
    “Ah, back so soon.” The innkeeper is
    peeking up from behind the bar of
    the inn when they enter. “It sure was
    lucky that ghoul hunter was here.”
    “Yeah, very lucky.” Seamus’s eyes
    narrow. He is almost positive Nuve
    was sent for the same way they
    planned to send for Wan. Whether he
    was called to deal with their spirit
    or in fact Row is a different matter.
    “Will you be staying another night?”
    the innkeeper chuckles nervously.
    “It’s still free, right?” Seamus is still
    glaring suspiciously.
    “It’s complimentary, yes.” The
    innkeeper nods. “Anything for our
    town heroes. Naturally I shall be
    offering our new ghoul hunter friend
    free lodging as well.”
    “Naturally,” Seamus repeats
    ominously.
    “The same room again?” the
    innkeeper asks. “One bed is still
    alright?”
    “What? One bed?” Nuve pokes his
    head through the door of the inn.
    “Are you two actually sharing a
    single bed?”
    “It’s none of your concern.” Seamus
    shoots him a disgruntled look.
    “Of course it’s my concern. How can
    you share the bed of a lady before
    being wed?”
    “Weren’t you the one offering to buy
    a night with her for ten gold pieces?”
    Seamus reminds him.
    “Wow, that’s something you don’t
    want to do,” the innkeeper interjects.
    “Really? Why?” Nuve’s curiosity is
    piqued.
    “Trust me, you just don’t.” The
    innkeeper wipes the sweat from his
    brow with a handkerchief. An angry
    scowl from Seamus warns him not
    to say more. The last thing they
    need is this strange ghoul hunter
    learning that Row is a bloodsucker.
    It will not be long before someone in
    the town tells him though. They can
    not stay long.
    As soon as they are back in their
    room, Row drags Seamus to the bed
    and pushes him onto it. “Hey,
    what’s gotten into you?” he is
    surprised.
    “You need to rest,” she spouts in a
    shy voice.
    “I’m fine, really?” he tries to protest.
    “You almost died again,” she
    argues. “I don’t want to lose you
    too.”
    Seamus stares at her blankly for a
    moment. He holds no memories of
    Champaign and has no idea why
    she is so upset. What he does know
    is that she is showing genuine
    emotion again, something he is
    starting to enjoy seeing. “Okay, you
    win.” He pats her head. “I’ll rest
    tonight.”
    “Thank you.” She flashes him her
    normal fanged smile before crawling
    into the bed next to him. It is not
    strange as this is how they have
    been sleeping since arriving in
    Quess. She places an arm over his
    stomach while pressing her face
    against his chest, trying to take up
    less space. He is actually tired from
    his short skirmish and therefore
    barely notices.
    For the moment at least they are
    safe from ghouls and angry
    villagers. Tomorrow will tell if they
    should be worried about their new
    ghoul hunter friend.

    0

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Reply To: Blood Oath By Mr KrUzz

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