Chapter 2A Chapter by Darruesh Eetraydes
The child swung his sword low at the soldier’s shin. The soldier easily blocked the sword, and used his strength to force the blade up high. The child couldn’t begin to defeat someone whose very profession was fighting. The soldier kicked his metal covered foot into the child’s stomach. The kid lurched over grabbing his stomach. The soldier smiled. The soldier eyes danced over the woman’s body. He licked yellow black teeth, and began to walk closer towards her. She screamed and clawed at the man. The kid flickered on the edge of consciousness, but his mother’s scream gave him some strength.
The child grabbed the man’s boot, “stay… stay away” he struggled to say with his broken ribs. The soldier lifted his foot. Before he brought his foot down atop the child’s skull, an axe cleaved his head from his shoulders. Hot blood gushed the neck, and the soldier’s head landed right in front of the child, with his facial expression still wearing that perverted smile.
“I didn’t say you could kill the child, or claim his mother. We were still having a discussion” Prius said to the headless body.
The woman ran over to her son, and helped him up. The child looked at Prius, and nodded in obeisance. Prius smiled and with a wave of his hands sent the other soldier’s away. The child’s jet black hair reflected the fire light from the building and the fire in his eyes.
“What is your name boy?” Prius asked.
“Thomas” he answered.
“No, from now on your name will be Roric” Prius told him.
“Roric” the child said again. The child repeated it over and over until it sounded good to him. Prius sat his gauntleted hand on the child’s head and smiled.
The woman’s eyes were wide with fear, “why are you doing this to our city?”
“I think I can run it better. It’s as simple as that” Prius answered. “Now Roric follow me into our city” he added, but the woman kept a firm grip on her son.
“You have practically destroyed our city. There is little let to run” she yelled. She absentmindedly dug her nails into her son’s shoulders.
“Then I will run what’s left” Prius responded as if it didn’t matter. “Our city could be so much stronger. The petty merchants control everything. Even now you can hear the clash of battle, but it isn’t men fighting for their homes and family. That sound you hear is mercenaries protecting the merchant’s money. They didn’t even try to protect anyone else” he finished passionately. He gripped his axe tightly.
“So you are doing all of this for the people?” she asked sarcastically. Prius stared at her with a murderous gleam in his eyes.
“I do this for myself because it is my dream to rule. You people I step on are just the necessary sacrifice to make my dream come true. In my dream, the people under my rule are happy to be blessed with my leadership” Prius said, smiling. “Keep up that tone though, and you might not make it to the end of the dream” Prius added. She shuddered and looked down at the ground.
“Ok, I understand milord” she responded.
“Good now follow me” Prius commanded. Lord Prius led them through the streets. The stink of bodies and screams of the dying assaulted them. Ezrai, Angela, and Aslet followed closely behind them. A man crawled towards them. His left hand, a bloody stump, His eyes were bewildered, but he continued to crawl onward.
“Help” the man groaned.
Prius looked down at the man and continued to walk on, but he recognized the face. He stopped and looked down at the man one more time. “Is your name Mark?” he asked.
“You…you know me?” he asked.
“Of course I know you. I’m Roric Prius, remember? You used to pick on me when we were kids.” Prius said. Mark’s face turned completely pale. If it was from the loss of blood, or knowing that the kid he used to bully was now a ruthless killer, Prius didn’t know but it didn’t stop him from smiling at it.
“Mark, oh no what happened?” the woman asked. She knelt down beside him and cupped his face.
“Oh, so you two know each other?” Prius asked. His smile grew larger.
“He and my dad were best friends, when my dad was alive. Mom says he has been taking care of us ever since” the boy answered. Tears fell freely from his eyes, but his legs wouldn’t move.
“Get away from him” Mark whispered. He struggled to regain clear vision.
“Don’t worry Mark, they are safest with me. I’m going to raise the boy as if he were my own, and the beautiful woman… don’t worry I can handle her” Prius laughed.
“No, I won’t let that happen!” Mark said. He used the woman to help him stand. Blood pumped profusely from his wound.
Prius smiled,” strike down this man, and I won’t harm your mother. Fail me, and she will suffer nothing but atrocities day in and out” he promised. The boy looked at Prius with a mixture of emotions. Surprise, fear, hatred, and probably a myriad of others Prius couldn’t guess. Prius didn’t really expect the boy to do it, but he decided it’s better to break his spirit now before he gets older.
“No, Thomas don’t do it!” his mother screamed. Mark’s face twisted in pure anger, as he stumbled towards Prius.
“Oh God of Knowledge save them” Angela begged. Aslet grabbed his daughter’s head and pushed it into his chest. She sobbed quietly and Aslet held her all the more tighter. Aslet eyed Ezrai to see how he was taking this. Ezrai didn’t move, his expression unknowable because of his feline face, but he did hear him whisper to himself.
“It’s just like what happened to me.”
The child’s sword quivered in his hands, just like his legs quivered. His eyes darted left to right. He wanted to save his mom with all of his being, but his body wouldn’t respond. A lump in his throat wouldn’t allow him to talk either. He just couldn’t do anything, and Mark stumbled forward with a crazy look in his eyes.
“Move Roric, if you can’t kill him I will” Prius commanded, and with one hand swatted the boy to the side. Mark ran towards Prius with his head down and shoulder low. Prius put all his weight on his back foot, and tightened his abdominal muscles. Mark crashed into Prius and tried to grip his legs, but with only one hand he couldn’t. Prius closed a gauntleted hand and punched Mark in the back of his head. Mark crumbled to his knees, and tried to shake his head free of cobwebs. Prius laughed and grabbed a hand full of his hair.
“Run!” Mark said groggily.
“You are more worried about them than your own life?” Prius asked.
“Of course I am. They are like family” Mark spat. Mark’s eyes found the woman’s. He held the stare until Prius jerked his head back.
“You love her don’t you?” Prius asked. Mark swooned and struggled to get his bearing. Everything from Prius, the woman, the sky, was hazy to Mark. He heard the question, but couldn’t bring himself to answer.
“Answer the question Mark. She should at least what’s in your heart before you die.” Prius told him. Mark looked at her with red shot eyes. He sniffed as tears began to fall.
“Natalie I love you. I’ve always loved you. When Terry first introduced us, I was smitten” Mark confessed. Prius let go of his hair, and without Prius’s strength, Mark fell to the floor.
“I love you too” Natalie told him. Tears fell down her ash covered face, leaving streaks.
“I’ve waited so long to hear you say those words, but I also have a confession” Mark continued.
Natalie kissed him and whispered, “It doesn’t matter-“
“Yes, it does” Mark interrupted. “Terry wasn’t killed like I said he was.”
Natalie stared at him. Her heart skipped. She stared into Mark’s eyes searching for the answer, but was afraid of what she would find. Natalie slowly backed away from Mark and held on to her son. Prius also stared at Mark, and wondered just what the hell is going on.
“While… while Terry and I was on the road delivering goods, he told me that he was going to ask for your hand in marriage. I told him I was happy for him, but inside I was angry. I knew that I had missed my chance to be happy with you forever” Mark said. He struggled with each word. His heart pounded harshly in his chest, and he could feel his body getting colder.
“So what did you do, kill him” she accused. Her tears dried quickly as anger took hold in her heart. Natalie shook, and the only way she stopped herself from lashing out was holding her son, who shook as well.
“I didn’t kill him, though I might as well have. Bandits did attack our caravan like said before” Mark stammered. “They attacked us at night, while most of us were sleeping. Terry and I managed to get to on a horse, we shot off into the night, but the bandits chased after us on their horses.” Mark looked into her eyes, though he struggled to keep his head up. Mark licked his cracked and dried lips.
“We ran away for a long time, but they wouldn’t give up the chase. Terry said that both of us wouldn’t be able to get away on one horse” Mark choked. “I’m so sorry, I’ve wanted to tell you the truth for so long, but I knew you would hate me” Mark cried.
“Finish the story, what happened?” Prius demanded.
Mark closed his eyes and spoke in a voice barely above a whisper, “I thought of a future with you Natalie, and how I could only have it with Terry out of the picture, so I pulled a dagger out of my boot and stabbed my best friend. His grip lessened, and he fell out of the saddle, asking me why.”Natalie and her son held each other close, crying.
“Let’s leave this wretch to whatever finds him. Death is too good for him” Prius said. Prius wrapped an arm around each of them, and continued on through the burning city.
“That was horrible” Angela thought out loud. “Who would do such a thing?”
“Someone’s dream has to end for yours to be realized. It is the way of the world” Ezrai told her.
“Of course a monster like you would think that,” was Angela’s only reply. Ezrai stared at her for a moment, anger flickered with his feline eyes, and Angela could only meet his gaze meekly. Both of them stopped turned their gaze as a flash of green light emanated from over Mark’s body. A man heavily cloaked in dark clothing, with a want stood over him. Red horns stuck out through the hood, and a red hand also held the wand.
“Where did he come from?” Ezrai asked.
“He was there the whole time, just under a spell of invisibility” Aslet answered.
“Oh right I always forget that your golden eyes sees everything.”
Mark’s eyes flickered open to see the hooded figure. His vision was clear, and even though his wound throbbed, he knew he wasn’t bleeding anymore. Mark’s eyes grew wide when he looked closely under the hood. A man with ruddy red skin, obsidian colored hair stared at him, with his eyes as pitch black as his hair. Mark tried to crawl away and the figured laughed at him.
“I saved your life Mark. Is this how you treat your savior?” the figure asked.
“You are a devil!” Mark screamed in fear. The figure only chuckled harder.
“Not quite my friend, but you aren’t far off” the warlock responded. “Now, since Lord Prius was nice enough to give you to me, we should really be off.”
“Off where?” Mark asked. The hooded figure moved closer, and chanted some words. With his fingers he traced unholy sigils into the air in front of him. Mark felt an alien presence enter him. His mind became filled with images of demons tearing at Natalie’s flesh, and Terry reaching out for him with bloody hands, screaming.
“Well you shall become my sacrifice, and that is just a present to keep you occupied in the meantime” the figure said to Mark, though he knew that Mark couldn’t hear him. Mark screamed and thrashed, struggling to get out of the imaginary Terry’s bloody grasp, which forced him to watch as the demon’s explored Natalie’s body.
Suddenly the images wavered before Ezrai’s, Aslet’s, and Angela’s eyes. Piece by piece the colors became less vibrant, and a pulling sensation struck their hearts. The sky, the smoke, and Mark’s screams became a distant memory, as the world they resided in turned back into the pages of the book. Ezrai blinked several times, and shook his head as the light from the Arcanist stone washed over them all once again.
“That’s a crazy spell” Ezrai commented.
“Thank you, I created it myself, but did you see that guy?” Aslet asked excitedly.
“Of course we did dad, what’s up with you?” Angela asked concerned.
“I always had my suspicions that Lord Prius had some type of spell caster with him during his campaign, but no one could ever confirm who it was.” Aslet replied. He paced back and for muttering to himself excitedly.
“I think your dad likes mysteries way too much” Ezrai whispered. Angela could only shake her head and wonder what her dad was going to do this time.
© 2010 Darruesh Eetraydes
Stone of Arcanist
AboutYo whats up people! I'm a 19 year old class clown from Texas. I've recently gotten into writing and I'm trying to get better at it. I'm better at telling stories orally, but hey I got start at some po.. more..