Chapter 16: Ambushed

Chapter 16: Ambushed

A Chapter by Gosia

 

May gasped, as she saw three men coming out of the bushes. They wore dirty, smelly rags and were armed with rusty swords. After a brief glance My also noticed that they were demons " with greenish scales covering their forearms and a good portion of their faces they weren’t doing quite as fine job at pretending to be humans as Aedain and Baltar did.

The loathsome smiles were plastered on their faces. One of them whistled as he scanned May up and down.

“Hello, pretty one,” he said, sending her a lustful look, grinning widely and sticking out his tongue which was split in half.

Scared May took a step back and whirled around with an intention of running at full speed. When she did so, she noticed, that two other demons blocked her way, springing out of the bushes and laughing, making her stay in place.

May cursed, when she realized, that thy surrounded her. Damn, why didn’t she stay with the group? Why she had to be that stupid?

“She reeks of the prince. She must be traveling with him,” one of them said, probably the leader. The demon’s obscene gaze lingered a little while longer on May’s knee-length braid. “She looks like a princess with that hair; surely the prince is quite attached to her. If we trade her for the Key, master Zhawn will reward us.”

The demons began approaching May, closing off every escape routes and reaching for her with their scaled arms.

May looked around helplessly, praying for the salvation. However, she was alone in the wilderness, far from human settlements. No one would hear her screams, no one would come to rescue " she was on her own.  The pulsing temples made it hard for her to think clearly; her breathing hitched when the demons made a step in her direction, looking gleeful. May shook her head, refusing to let the panic lose her senses.

“Wait!” she looked straight into the yellow eyes of the leader. “What do you want from me?”

A look of surprise flickered though the lizard-man’s face like he just saw a dog talking.

“What do we want from you?” he repeated May’s question, the corners of his mouth twisting in a smirk. “You’ll find out in a moment.”

The lizard-man made a hasty gesture and his comrade leapt on May, trapping her in their grip. She tried fighting, but she got immobilized before she realized what was happening. May kept wriggling, but the demons were holding her too well, not letting her move her limbs an inch.

“Your hair is so beautiful,” the leader said, taking May’s knee-length braid in his hand and examining it.

May’s eyes widened as he flexed his clawed fingers an inch before her face. Her breathing hitched with panic when she thought that he was going to slash her throat with his claws. The demon’s leader grabbed her long hair and pulled towards himself. May whimpered in pain when he pulled it with more force. Then she felt the pressure disappear and fell backwards, free of his grip. She saw that the demon was holding her long brown braid in his hand. The lizard man cackled, tossing the hair to the ground.

May felt his sharp claws brushing against her throat. She held her breath. The demon grazed her neck with his fingers, the claws breaking the skin near the artery " only to draw a little blood. The demon lifted his hand to the girl’s eyes, so she could see her own blood staining his fingers and then he licked the blood slowly of the claws.

                “Now scream,” he ordered.

 

 

                Aedain glanced at the path, from where he and his group came. Still there was no sight of the woman even though he purposely slowed down to enable the female catching up. Was she that idiotic to try the escape again, despite his previous warning?

“Hey, Aedain?” The black-haired demon frowned, as his underling Baltar opened his mouth to bother him again.

“What again?” Aedain asked without looking at his companion. The bald demon cleared his throat.

“Do you want me to go get the girl?” Baltar asked, looking at Aedain’s stoic face for reaction.

“Hn.” The tall demon didn’t slow down. “There is no need.”

Aedain clenched his fist, annoyed with that idiot woman. She should have stayed with the group instead of trailing behind. What was she thinking in that foolish head of hers? At least she would be taught a lesson, if she had to run behind them for a half of day. Aedain could still sense the woman in the vicinity so he knew, that she was walking after them. There was absolutely no need of bringing her back now.

The long-haired demon furrowed his brows as he detected someone or something in the vicinity, but there was probably no need to worry. Suddenly, he stopped and exchanged looks with Baltar. The bigger demon frowned.

“Looks like she has company.” Baltar noticed it as well.

Aedain didn’t answer. He sniffed the air. Without doubt, he could smell the scent of blood, the idiot woman’s blood. And Laismarans. He cursed inwardly.

He whirled around and lightly leaped into air. The air around him swirled, red light engulfing him. The winding crimson lines began making its way onto his skin, covering the neck, hands and even cheeks. Eren’s eyes widened when he stared at how the demon was changing. Aedain leapt into air, when something protruded the armor on his back and sprang out, as though had just grew out of his flesh.

With a loud swoosh, the demon outstretched the strange structure on his back and Eren could clearly see what it was " wings. However, those weren’t wings like birds had, fragile and beautiful. They resembled Meirch’s, for they were leathery, some parts were covered in crimson scales and there were long claws at their ends. Not waiting for Baltar, Aedain took off, batting the wings, as he flew above the forest.

Eren was staring at him, till the demon was out of sight. The shock and worry for May mixed on the child’s face, as he bit his lower lip. He said a prayer to mother goddess Illiana for his friend to stay safe when Meirch jumped into the air after its master.

“Faster,” Baltar muttered when similar wings protruded from his back.

 

                “You heard the boss, call for the prince or we’ll rip your spine out of you!” one of the lizard demons yelled at May, slapping her across the face. The girl’s head turned from the force of blow.

                “Aedain!” May called weakly, her voice shaking from fear.

“Louder, human b***h!” another demon ushered her.

May took a deep breath.

“AEDAIN!” May yelled at top of her lungs, her voice echoing throughout the forest.

“Again!” the demon commanded, grabbing May’s short hair and yanking it till the girl whimpered from pain. Suddenly, the angered grimace on his face vanished to be replaced by a look of confusion and bewilderment.

May stared, as the attacker’s hand fell limply to his side and he unexpectedly landed on the ground. She saw a long sword stuck in his back. The man tried to pull himself up, the blood flowing from the wound began making a puddle around his body. His limbs twitched for a moment and then he went still. May stiffened when she realized, that the monster had been just killed. She lifted her eyes from demon’s lifeless body and gasped.

In front of her eyes was none other than Aedain. The black-haired demon was standing still, calmly observing the scene. One of the swords on his back was missing from its sheath.

The leader of the lizard demons glanced briefly at his killed companion his gaze lingering for a while on the long sword which was stuck in the corpse.

“This blade… this is Sholais, the light,” he said and shifted his attention towards Aedain, who drew the remaining sword. “and the one you’re holding is Dorreach, the darkness. If you’re wielding the famed swords of the Ruanaidh clan, you must be Aedain, son of Kaellach who ruled over the Northern Domain.”

Aedain didn’t answer.  Instead he thrust his sword Dorreach into the ground at his feet and casually stretched his arms which seemed to anger his opponent.

The leader of lizard demons frowned, but smile reappeared on his face as Baltar and Meirch came. The demon’s gaze slid over Aedain’s comrade and the battle steed to stop on the little blonde boy with a sapphire necklace on his neck.

“So it’s true. You have both the Key and the Guardian,” the lizard-man stated the fact, his face almost radiating with self-confidence. “We want them.”

Aedain calmly finished stretching and reached for his sword. The enemy demons stiffened, expecting him to attack, but he hid the blade into its sheath.

“So you weaklings are after the Spear too,” Aedain said in a disinterested tone.

“Yes,” the lizard-man announced and pointed at struggling May held still by his two henchmen. “Now I will offer you a trade. Hand over the boy and no one will die.”

Aedain arched his eyebrow.

“A trade?” he said in a mocking tone. “Have you something of value to offer me?”

The lizard demon smiled triumphantly.

“I have her!” he grabbed a handful of May’s hair and pulled it, wanting to make the girl beg for mercy. However, May clenched her teeth and glared at him, not uttering a word.

“I can see that,” Aedain replied, not seeming to be fazed by the demon’s threats. “Do you have perhaps something else you wish to trade?”

The lizard man stared at Aedain, realizing that May was worthless as a hostage.

“Reinforcements are on their way. You’ll have to give the Key to me,” the demon hissed out.

Aedain smirked.

“I do not react well when someone wants to rob me of my property,” the said and flexed his fingers, the claws reflecting the sunlight. Then, without any warning, he leapt forward, moving at such speed, that May could barely discern his movements. The other demons had the same problem, for they got confused and the attack surprised them completely. In a split second Aedain was already in the midst of their small group; none of them even had the time to scream, when the parts of their bodies and intestines began flying around. The demons’ leader backed away in the commotion.

 May froze in terror as a fragment of a leg glided inches from her face. Horrified, she stared at the black-haired demon, not sure who scared her more " he or the demons who just took her hostage.

Aedain looked as calm as though nothing had happened just now. He was standing in the middle where a bloodbath just occurred in front of May’s eyes. The mutilated bodies were laying at his feet, the limbs laying further from their owners; everything was covered in guts ripped out of the demons’ bellies and blood.

May was staring at the scene as though she was in a trance. The overwhelming sensation of death invaded all of her senses " she could see the massacre, hear the gurgling sounds the demons made while drowning in their own blood, feel the splattered droplets of their blood on her cheeks, smell the nauseating stench of blood and death. It felt like May wasn’t there, she wished she wasn’t there. All of this felt surreal, May felt apathetic, not believing that this was happening in front of her eyes.

 May sensed that the demon, who was gripping her, started to shiver uncontrollably when Aedain turned his attention to him.

“One more step and I’ll kill her!” the terrified lizard-man threatened, threatening to slit May’s throat with his claws.

Aedain, however, didn’t stop. He smirked, what scared the girl out of her wits. May couldn’t even follow what happened afterwards. He leaped forward with such speed that the girl noticed only a blurred shape. Suddenly, he appeared right beside her and the lizard demon. He moved his hand and May saw his sharp claws ripping the flesh of the man’s arm. The torn off limb fell to the ground, freeing the girl from the grip. She staggered forward and somehow regained her balance. She turned towards Aedain and the man, moving clumsily as her body felt heavy and numb.

At first, the demon stared in disbelief, surprised that his arm was no longer attached to his body. Then he yelped in pain and started to back away from the Aedain, staring at him with horror in his eyes.

“Please, spare me! Forgive me!” the lizard-man began pleading for his life as he clutched the bleeding stump.

Aedain said nothing, slowly approaching the demon, flexing his fingers. May watched in horror Aedain piercing the man’s chest with his bare hand. The arm dove into the flesh past wrist. The demon screamed in pain and coughed blood. Aedain waited patiently until the end of man’s agony and then the pulled his arm back, ripping out the man’s heart. The lifeless body fell on the ground. Aedain emotionlessly glanced at his victim and crushed the still warm heart in his hand.

May’s eyes widened in shock as she took in the scene. The dead bodies lay on the ground, the smaller fragments of flesh and guts were everywhere. And Aedain was standing in the middle of it, calmly shaking the drops of blood of his claws.

May shook her head, staring at her feet. She was still shivering " she has never seen so much blood in her life and it was only the second time she saw someone dying before her eyes. She averted her gaze, not wanting to look at the mutilated corpses. She felt as though she was about to vomit.

The sight of the Aedain ripping those demons apart with his bare hands terrified her, it scared her more than anything else that happened today. She knew, that Aedain was dangerous, but until now she didn’t really realize how much. His speed, his strength, his mercilessness… He was a true demon, there was no doubt about it.

“Aedain!” suddenly Baltar spoke up, grabbing Meirch’s reins and leading the beast towards Aedain.

The long-haired demon nodded as he retrieved his sword Sholais and slid it into its sheath.

“I know,” Aedain muttered. He grabbed May’s arm and shoved the petrified girl behind himself.

The leader of the lizard demons returned. He scowled looking at the four corpses of his associates. But, then he smirked smugly and snapped his fingers. As he did so, the bushes around May and Aedain’s group began rustling. May barely managed to snap out of the shock when faced with the imminent danger once again. The girl looked around nervously and released a terrified yelp, when she saw more of the lizard-like creatures emerge from everywhere. May spun around, counting the enemies. Twenty… twenty one… there were more.

However, the number of the opponents didn’t scare Aedain; quite the opposite actually. The demon began laughing as though the situation was merely a funny stand-off show, not a threat. When his laughter subsided he stared into the eyes of the lizards’ leader.

“Is that all you’ve got?” he asked mockingly.

The reptile-like demon gasped, visibly surprised by such reaction.

“What?” he hissed out, mix of anger and uncertainty in his shaking voice. “I will take the Key with force. Fight me, you coward!”

Aedain arched his eyebrow, his face expressing amusement.

“You and your pathetic minions will not even warm me up,” he stated, folding his arms. He glanced at Baltar, who bore an excited smirk on his roughly shaped face. “I am leaving them to you, Baltar. Finish it quickly.”

Baltar nodded and spun the heavy axe in his one hand as though it was lighter than feather. His face betrayed impatience and child-like joy.

May flinched, as the mass of lizard-like creatures rushed onto Baltar, who was standing still till the last moment possible, not showing any sign or worry or nervousness. The girl gasped, feeling her stomach twist when the demons leapt on the lone opponent, till he vanished beneath their bodies. May sharply looked at Aedain, who wasn’t fazed by the development; he calmly observed the fight, looking far too relaxed. The girl went back to staring at the scene, she had the horrible feeling that Baltar was already a goner.

The leader of the lizard-like demons smirked, certain of the victory, but then a low hoarse yell resounded through the air and his minions were sent flying in all directions. Baltar emerged, swinging his battle axe skillfully as he sliced every one of his adversaries. May winced when it began literarily raining bodies; the still mutilated carcasses of Baltar opponents limply fell to the ground, very still and very dead, all twenty-something of them. May couldn’t avert her gaze from the pile of limbs, she stared at the aftermath of the massacre half-believing that it actually had happened for real. With the corner of her eye, the girl noticed one of the opponents still moving. The lone survivor was coughing blood and trying to grab his weapon. Baltar shook his head, when he spotted the demon he failed to kill.

“Oh no you won’t do that!” he exclaimed merrily and jumped to him. Sighing, he lifted his foot and with full force stomped onto his head, breaking the skull into pieces like a watermelon.  Baltar stretched his arms lazily. “Gotta love this job!”

The lizard-demons’ leader paled visibly, apparently not expecting such turn of events. His eyes darted sideways, looking for an escape route. Then, he made a daring attempt to flee the place of the massacre. His fingertips glowed as he pointed his hand at Baltar, who was eager to take on the last opponent.

May watched, mesmerized, as electric sparks began forming in the palm of the reptile-like demon. It looked like he was about to fire something at the bald demon, but in the last moment the arm moved sideways and the lightning was sent flying straight at the place where May and Aedain were standing.

The girl wanted to scream, to move, but she couldn’t " all she was capable of was to stand still like a statue and stare. Aedain kept his cool. He managed to parry the lightning bolt with his sword Sholais; the clash of his blade and the energy caused explosion of light. May peeked from behind Aedain to see what was happening. The demon prince was still standing, unharmed. His opponent was dead already, with Baltar’s axe pining him to a tree.

“He made a nice move just now,” Baltar commented as he walked over to retrieve his axe. “But he was way too slow.”

Aedain nodded, looking rather bored than impressed by his companion’s victory. He turned his back to the corpse which was split in two halves by Baltar’s axe, and placed the swords back in their sheaths. May noticed, that something strange was happening with the dead body of the lizard demons’ leader. The both halves began to twitch and moved on their own towards each other. The demon let out a gurgling sound which sounded like laughter.

“You think you’re so tough, Aedain?” the lizard-like man managed to utter. He coughed blood and smiled mockingly. “You’re not the only one who’s after the Spear. There is another. Compared to my master you’re weak like a child, you will die of his hand.”

                “You are a talkative corpse,” Aedain stated. The demon whirled around, his long hair swirling, as he reached out with his hand. He crushed the lizard-man’s head effortlessly. As the skull cracked and brain leaked out, the carcass stopped moving once and for all.

“Persistent b*****d,” Baltar muttered. Seeing May stare at the scene in horror he decided to add some explanation. “Most of the reptile-like Laismarans heal rather fast.”

The girl nodded stiffly, acknowledging the information. In her opinion the ability to heal could explain a lizard’s re-growing tail, not the two halves of the body linking anew. But, she decided to keep her opinion to herself " the world of Callesmere still had many secrets to her.

Aedain turned around and calmly started walking away, continuing the march, leaving May behind. She hung her head, wanting to avoid looking at the pile of massacred bodies. Staring at her feet and stumbling as her knees didn’t want to stop bucking, May followed Aedain.

Then, she caught a glimpse of something glittering, making her forget the macabre scene she just had witnessed. It was bizarre, but all the shock and fear fled her mind as though they never had been there " the object’s bluish glow seemed to have consumed those fresh, traumatic memories. May walked over towards it and picked a sapphire necklace on a golden chain, she recognized to be Eren’s property. She brought it to her eyes, examining it closer; the sunlight was reflecting in it in such way, that it seemed that blue fire was burning inside the crystal. The play of light must have deceived her sensed, because she could have sworn, that she felt a gentle pleasant warmth radiating from the sapphire.

“Woman.” May yelped and jumped, as she heard Aedain’s voice. She was so busy studying her finding, that didn’t notice, when the demon approached her. She tilted her head up and fought the urge to take a few steps back. The man glared at her, as he was towering above the girl. She clasped her hand shut around the jewel and hid it behind her back. Aedain narrowed his eyes.

“Show me that,” he demanded harshly.

“Show what?” May answered, trying her best to make an innocent face. The demon growled, showing his sharp fangs. The girl took a step back, scared of him displaying his anger. Defeated, she sighed and showed him the quartz shard.

“It’s only Eren’s pendant,” May said in her defense. However, Aedain seemed to be very serious about the ordinary piece of jewelry.

“Give that to me,” He said dryly, outstretching his hand.

Seeing her hesitation, the tall demon snatched her wrist and squeezed it brutally, ignoring May’s whimpers. Her fingers flexed, releasing the sapphire pendant, which fell into Aedain’s other hand. May yanked her arm, freeing her wrist from the man’s hold. She took a step back and sent him a poisonous glare, angered, that he hurt her completely without a reason.

However, something stopped her from complaining " she saw, that Aedain’s hand was literarily smoking, as though it was on fire. Small trickles of smoke were surrounding the palm, which held the pendant; May could clearly smell the odor of burnt flesh.

The black-haired demon behaved as though it was nothing extraordinary in having a hand fried by a piece of jewelry. He approached Eren, who was sitting on Meirch’s back and handed him the pendant.

“Watch it better, boy. If you lose it, your precious attendant will lose her head,” he said.

Eren bit his lower lip and nodded. He reached out and took the sapphire. He quickly put it on, hiding the gem under his tunic. May was staring at the boy, not quite being able to comprehend why the kid’s belonging nearly burnt Aedain’s hand. He didn’t show that he felt any pain, but she saw, that the inside of his palm was red and covered in nasty blisters " it had to hurt.

“It is nothing for me. Any lesser Laismaran would die though.” May’s eyes widened, when Aedain spoke all of a sudden. 

“So you can read my thoughts now?” she muttered.

“You were staring,” he explained, shrugging his shoulders.

“Oh,” May muttered, averting her gaze from Aedain.

Suddenly, May felt a touch on her cheek, clawed fingers brushing across the bruise in the place, where the demons’ leader hit her face. Surprised girl looked up at the demon; his golden eyes met hers.

“You’re hurt,” he stated quietly.

May pushed his hand away and glared at him.

“It’s nothing,” she said sharply. “It doesn’t hurt more than my neck did this morning.”

Aedain’s eyes went cold again. The demon looked at her disheveled clothing critically. He grabbed the edge of fabric and slid it back into the right position, covering May’s bare shoulders.

 “Woman, get yourself on Meirch,” Aedain ordered harshly.

May looked at the winged stallion and winced, not really willing to get anywhere near that nightmarish creature. Meirch neighed, as if he was thinking the same as the girl.

“No, thank you,” May refused politely. Aedain kept glaring at her. “Or maybe I’ll reconsider.”

May made her way to the demonic horse. She stopped by Meirch’s side and looked up. The stallion’s withers was over six feet abound the ground level.

How the hell I’m supposed to get on this thing? It’s too tall! " she thought, as she tried to jump somehow onto the saddle or pull herself up with her arms, without any effect. Meirch roared impatiently.

“Don’t complain,” she spoke to the stallion. “I’m trying to… Gah!”

She yelped, as Aedain grabbed her by her waist, lifting her off the ground and yanked her onto the saddle. May clutched the edge of the saddle. She stared at the black-haired man, surprised, that he lent her a hand.

“Thank you for helping me out,” she said to the demon, smiling shyly at him. “And thank you for saving me from those men. I’m really grateful.”

“Hn,” Aedain turned away from her. He stood still with his back to her for a moment and then spoke quietly. “Such food does not suit me.”

“What?” uttered May, not knowing, what he was talking about.

“The fruit,” Aedain said.

May looked at him, still confused. Then she realized, what he meant.

Did he just apologize? " May thought, surprised. She wanted to question him more, but then  Aedain turned his attention to Eren. He bent and grabbed the child. The kid squeaked with fear as he lifted him from the ground and gave an indelicate toss. The little boy landed on May’s lap.

Then the black-haired demon turned around and started walking away. Meirch moved, led by Baltar. May had to grip the saddle to keep her balance.

“Move out.” Aedain said.

May flinched as the memory of the massacre returned, engulfing her mind in paralyzing fear and numbness. Why did she forget that a moment ago? No, it wasn’t it. She didn’t forget, she just didn’t care anymore, the sight of death didn’t evoke any emotions in her. May stiffened, worried about herself, for she realized how unnatural and unsettling it was. One moment she couldn’t think straight and the next thing she knew was argue with Aedain " how could she have forgotten about the massacre?

The sapphire on Eren’s chest was glowing faintly till the light faded completely.

 



© 2013 Gosia


Author's Note

Gosia
I did some minor changes in the story - fixed the issue with the direct speech, corrected some typos, split the overly long Chapter 2 into 3 separate parts (that's why the chapters' numbers are messed up).
I also removed the bandits' attack scene from Chapter "Ambushed" and replaced it with the attack of the lizard-demons who were searching for the Spear too.
I changed May's title from "princess" to "Lady".

My Review

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Reviews

The different breed of demons is interesting. Are they weaker? They seem to be. I like the edited version better but the resolution to May offering Aedain food fell flat when compared with the original. This is probably because too much has happened between her offering the food and him reacting to it. But overall, much better. There's more depth and a little bit more exposition. Also, the inclusion of the sapphire was interesting. Can't wait to see how it plays out!

Posted 10 Years Ago


They're dragons!!!! I never saw that coming!
I especially liked the part where May was afraid of heights.
And she finally got the scroll!!!
Aedain is a d****e.

Posted 10 Years Ago


Gosia

10 Years Ago

Thanks for the review! Yup, the douchebags are big lizards. I was wondering about May's fear of heig.. read more
JR Darewood

10 Years Ago

I didn't personally find it redundant at all.

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Added on August 26, 2013
Last Updated on October 1, 2013


Author

Gosia
Gosia

Poland



About
Hello, my name is unpronounceable for most of humankind, but fortunately it can be shortened to Gosia. I’m an university student in my twenties, about to face the real life very soon. I’ve.. more..

Writing
Chapter 2: The Lady Chapter 2: The Lady

A Chapter by Gosia