Book 1 Chapter 6: Anger Or Insanity.
Slyfer shakes his head to clear it but it does not work he is angry so filled with fury he can’t control himself the only words he registers are those uttered by the orc in front of him as he stairs at the creature with his hate-filled eyes. “We fight barehanded.” Slyfer fights desperately for control over the anger the hate! His skin feels like it is on fire somewhere deep within himself he knows his body is changing!
Elyna and Trisha circles the group of soldiers to join the Princess and Slyfer. They stop in mid stride When see the black armored demon. The aura surrounding him is clearly visible it oozes with malice and hate. Death hovers in the air around him it darkens the sky as if it is steeling the very life out of the air. Elyna stops squinting trying to see what is in the center of the black mass of hate and killing intent. “It is Slyfer.” Whispers Trisha in Elyna’s ear. Crimson eyes turn to them and a voice follows seeming to echo with thousands of voices turning it into the voice of doom. It only says one thing; “Run.”
Narzroc seeing his chance throws a punch at the demon but as he touches the aura his hand ages thousands of years in front of him he tries to scream but nothing comes out. The skin on his hand shrivels up turning it into nothing more than bone covered by age old skin it then turns black and slowly starts to disintegrate into dust. Elyna grabs Trisha’s hand and starts running not caring where to just any direction away from that thing.
Trisha trips because she can’t tare her eyes away from the monstrosity that saved her life just earlier that morning. “How can that boy turn into this?” The grass and bodies around him turns to dust the same as the orc’s hand had. Slyfer starts to laugh. It rings all around them loud and evil with a thousand voices. The orc now on his knees clutches the stump on his arm. He looks up into the red eyes. The thing in front of him pulls back its arm across its body. It’s the last thing he sees. Swinging Slyfer gives the orc a backhand blow as you would swat at a fly buzzing around you. It connects with a boom! The orcs neck is instantly broken and he is sent flying through the air spinning like a rag doll limbs without life twist and turn into awkward positions!
He hits the shield wall with a sickening crunch. The men inside scream saying it’s the day of their reckoning a demon of the underworld come to take them to pay for their sins. Slyfer looks at his sword. “No a quick death is too good for the betrayers.” He turns to them and with two strides his body disappeares and reappears as he hits the shield wall sending shields and men flying in all direction! Men scream as they get crushed between their own shields and the person behind them.
It feels like a dream to Slyfer like his eyes are windows and he is only watching what his body does. All around him men shrivel up and turn to dust. He takes a shield from one and swings it in an arc around him decapitating crushing skulls arms, bodies of everyone around with the shield. Slyfer finds the blood gushing out amusing and starts to laugh but stops. “Browly, where is Browly.” The thought takes over every cell in his body. Crushing, throwing, ripping and destroying he walks through their ranks everywhere he goes death follows! He is death!
The elves now gathered together, watch from a distance as forty men are reduced to nothing but dust. The screaming is terrible it makes the princess want to wretch she wants to turn away and run from this monster. But she can’t and the same goes for everyone else. They stand in wrapt silence staring at the carnage. Aldowin joins them after he had gone to look for his cousin. He swears under his breath shivering. He too falls silent.
Slyfer grabs anything he can get his hands on to crush the puny insects around him. he even grabs a few with his bare hands roaring as he tares them appart while the demonic laugh still blooms turning everyone’s hearts to ice. He continues in his mad killing spree until. Looking around a roars in displeasure because there is nothing left to kill . Everything then goes deathly quiet.
It’s over as fast as it began. Slyfer stands in the middle of what is now a black patch of dead ground. The anger leaves him slowly ebbing away he suddenly feels tired, drained and dispirited. Sleep gnaws at him but he pushes it away. There is one thing he must to. “Where is Browly?!” He starts to search around try as he might he can’t remember killing or even seeing the coward.
“Sirena? Are you still in the air above us?” “Yes little one what you did down there I have only seen done once before.” “That will have to wait can you see anyone running from us?” “There are four one is on foot and three are on horses heading away from your position. Two are headed towards Atlantia and one is going inland the fourth seems to have no direction in particular. “How far is the lone rider from me?” “Not far he fled just when you hit the shields.”
Before Serina finished speaking Slyfer was already busy unstrapping his armour while walking towards the group by the river. None of them say anything as he approaches he avoids eye contact not wanting to see the fear and disgust in their eyes for what he had done.
“Browly fled during the battle I need someone to go after him with me.” Elyna steps forward the only one that seems eager to go. “I can track, I will go with you.” Slyfer goes to get his clothes and moccasins much better suited for the running they are about to do.
He returns and the rest of them are still waiting by the river , none speak they cant even bare to look at him. Aldowin is the only one that looks at his student but even he has fear in his eyes. Slyfer sees it and it makes him want to run even more.
He swallows down his heart that seems to have formed a lump in his throat. Something brakes inside him then and he feels his heart turn cold with sadness.“They fear me. Well it’s my burden to bear.” He looks over to Elyna. “You ready?” “Yes.” He starts at a fast jog. “How do you know what direction he went?” “I know a little about tracking myself.” Not a complete lie since the dragons taught him a little about it.
Elyna soon picks up the tracks of a horse in the tall grass and they keep to it. The stamina and speed inherent to elves and whatever Slyfer is makes a fast jog twice the speed of a human sprinting. Slyfer can feel the start of a huge headache but he pushes his thoughts towards other things. He soon goes into auto pilot. Losing himself in his thoughts like he used to when he went for walks in the valley only to end up back at the tree house without even able to remember how he got there. His thoughts turned to home the valley how far it felt right now, how long ago.
However the faces of the men he massacred keep returning to swim in front of him, fear and shock etched so clearly in the faces of his victims. “No, not victims. They deserved it, what they did, the deaths people like them have caused.Promise made promise kept. They all signed the treaty for peace.”
He feels a hand grab his arm he wants to strike out at whoever it is but Elyna’s face becomes recognizable and he stops himself. Concerned she looks at his sorry state.
“We have to stop its dark and we can only do harm trying to track Browly in the dark.” He wants to object but she puts a hand to his cheek its warm and he can’t help but like it. He realizes he has been crying and feels ashamed and wants to turn away but she stops him. “Do not feel ashamed taking life is not easy. This proves that you are not a monster hold onto it and never think of it as weakness. You must not lose your compassion for living things!”
Slyfer gives her a faint smile. “Thank you, I needed that.” She takes her hand away and continues as if nothing happened. “You need not worry his horse has also grown tired. He must stop for the night or the horse will be dead by tomorrow.” They make camp but they don’t light a fire afraid that it may alert him of their presence. Slyfer takes out his bed roll and starts squashing the grass to the ground to make a make shift mattress. He realizes she has not brought anything. “We can take turns while the other is on watch one can sleep.” She only nods. Which makes him feel stupid that is to be expected of course. She sees him take out a carefully wrapped bundle and puts it on his lap. The bundle starts to stir and big ears pop out. The expression On Slyfer’s face quickly changes to one of happiness turning him back into a young boy.
Pretending not to notice she turns away even though curiosity gnaws at her. She suddenly feels something climbing onto her. Her body goes stiff “Is there a mouse or a rat on my back?” Slyfer laughs at the warrior’s fearful voice. “No, not a mouse just Shcree.” The thing climbs on her head and suddenly big eyes pop out in front of her. She lets out a squeal but the thing called Shcree is gone as fast as it got there. Slyfer is on his back laughing at her expense. Huffing she looks for the creature. It zips past her in the air and lands on Slyfer. He holds Shcree up for Elyna to see. But Shree is clearly not impressed with the elf and turns her back to Elyna. “You frightened her.” Says Slyfer, unable to keep the humor out of his voice.
“I think it’s the other way around, why do you carry around such a strange creature.” “To me you are stranger then she is. Her name is Shcree I found her abandoned…… Where I grew up.”
Slyfer takes out the last store of his dried fruit and hands some to Elyna she accepts it gratefully being hungry herself. To her surprise Slyfer makes sure that Shcree eats first before he does. “I must apologize.”
Slyfer looks at the elf confused. “Why?”
“I. All of us misjudge you. The things you do are…. Scary to say the least but looking at you with her it’s like you are a different person.” A mask of sadness creeps over Slyfer’s face. “It’s ok I have realized I am more alone then I thought. I am not meant for this world.” Elyna is the one confused this time. Slyfer explains; “When you train your mind and you become one with nature do you feel like you belong, feel like you are truly a part of it?”
She nods matter of factly.“Yes all of us are part of nature because we are a part of this world it is natural to feel like you don’t belong at first but once you become one with everything it changes and it’s hard to find yourself again.”
Slyfer sighs. “Not me I have done what you said and I accomplish it but even while I am connected to everything when I look at myself through the eyes of nature. My life force everything about me does not fit that is why I say I don’t belong. You and the elves only proved it what happened today proved it.”
Elyna opens her mouth as if to say something but closes it again unable to think of something. Slyfer smiles a sad smile at her and says. “Its ok, it is my burden to bear. I am what I am even though I don’t know what that is yet.” She puts her hand on his shoulder. “You are no longer alone you saved all of us today and they only fear you because they do not understand you. But tonight you have made a friend.” This time the smile on his face turns him into the handsome young man he truly is. Elyna returns the smile “You must get some rest I will wake you up when it is your turn to watch.”
Slyfer turns to his side and falls into a deep sleep immediately.
Elyna extends her consciousness beyond their little camp and becomes one with nature. Her consciousness keeps getting pulled toward him though. He is like a bright sun shining among fading stars. She feels immeasurably small compared to him. “So this is what he meant.” His life force is bright giving life not dark as it was today she focuses more on him. She turns white. Inside him is something even greater she wants to go more but she feels like something very dangerous is watching making her hair stand on end. “I will have to do this the good old fashioned way.” She pulls her consciousness back. Resigned to listen for anything out of the ordinary.
“Aldowin you owe us answers. What happened today? What is he? Who is he? Where did he come from?” Aldowin sighs clearly getting irritated. “Why I think that is obvious he is the one that saved us today or did you forget already princess.”
She stomps her foot. “Stop avoiding the question!” All the elves are gathered in the tent. All the elves want answers and Aldowin can’t give them any. Mostly because he made a promise but also because he simply doesn’t know the answers.“I don’t have all the answers but what I can tell you is that if a war comes he will be our only defense our only light in the darkness our pillar so to speak.”
“Today he looked like the darkness in carnet!”
“Yes he did and here we stand alive and breathing thanks to him!”
A long silence follows…
Aldowin mutters to himself. “They said this may happen I just never expected it from my own people.”
“Who are they?” Asks the princess not letting up.
“His adoptive parents.”
She clenches her fists frustrated with Aldowin “Give me a straight answer Aldowin or tomorrow we leave without you!”
Eluna regrets saying it as soon as she the words leave her mouth. She steels herself what’s done is done.
Aldowin is quiet for a while then shrugs. “As you wish we will go with plan B. You have failed their test and Slyfer cannot be entrusted to my people.” Aldowin looks older than ever before but he squares his shoulders.
He then bows formally. “It has been a pleasure seeing you all again, I hope when next we meet that it will not be upon the battlefield.” He takes the cape off representing his house and puts it neatly on the table. His face nearly cracks as he take a shuddering breath.“I renounce my claim to the house of my father for it shames me. I renounce my claim to sword master of the high elves for it shames me.” Looking directly at the princess he says. “I renounce my claim to be the protector of house Lutherin.”
With that he turns to walk out. The princess catches his arm tears staining her cheeks she know she has just made a big mistake. “Please tell me one last thing before you go.” He looks at her with contempt and it causes more tears to run down her face. “Now that you have failed I can tell you even less! But listen well if you spread what has happened here. You will not be able to run or hide from the wrath that will be visited upon you!”
“Is he worth it?”
“Yes, not only because of what he represents but because of who he is and what he means to me personally.” Trisha steps forward. Aldowin looks at her irritated but more kindly than he did at Eluna.
“Lo – umm uh Aldowin why does he have two dragons on his sword.”
“You were trained in our culture and what swords represent?” She swallows unable to believe what she now knows is true. “Yes.” Aldowin reaches out and ruffles her hair. “In that lies an answer to all of your questions. Figure it out!”
He sees the shock and horror on Eluna’s face and she slumps down onto her chair. “What have we done?” Aldowin turns his back on the high elves for the second time in his life but this time he knows there is no turning back. He walks off into the darkness leaving the fools to their doom. He can hear them clucking and talking like chickens among each other trying to persuade themselves that Aldowin is crazy.
“Enough!” Shouts the princess fear and hurt clearly showing in her beautiful features. “Trisha you must go with him to confirm the truth of his claim. I do not think he will reject you since you are not truly one of us. Do not tell him I sent you but that you went on your own.” Trisha collects a few things and stuffs it in a backpack. Looking back at the worried faces of the elves she nods and disappears into the darkness. Trisha can’t make heads or tails of what she is feeling so she pushes her feelings aside and readies herself for what comes next.
Slyfer feels a hand on his shoulder. “It’s time. We must go.” Slyfer opens his eyes but his mind still feels groggy. “I haven’t slept like that since we left the valley.” It occurs to him that the old ones did not feed him any images of war. “Well to be fair I did ask for it only before battles.” That thought brings back yesterday. Slyfer steels himself and gets up ready for the night watch but the sun is already starting to creep up over the horizon turning the sky into a brilliant array of colors. Elyna walks over and hands him his pack.
“I thought you could use some rest so I left you to sleep. Besides you look so cute when you are drooling.” The last comment stops any objection he wanted to make and he blushes not understanding the reason.
Elyna smiles amused at his discomfort. To Slyfer’s surprise Shcree is on her shoulder. “Did you two make peace last night?” Says Slyfer pointing at the ball of eyes, ears and fur. Elyna suddenly adopts her no nonsense demeanor again and hands Shcree to Slyfer this time her cheeks are red. “We must go. I had a better look at the tracks and we are closer than I thought.” Not wasting any time Slyfer puts Shcree in his backpack with an opening where she can come and go as she pleases. They set out with the same pace. Slyfer wants to go faster but they could miss something if they go too fast.
Aldowin sitting lazily on a rock soaking the sun on his skin and he is at peace. A peace he knows won’t last for long. Opening his eyes it focuses on the person whom he knows is going to disrupt his peace. The object of his scrutiny is none other than Trisha. “What would she want with me? Unless….” Amused he sits up and waits for Trisha to reach him.
“Master Ald-.” He interrupts her. “It’s just Aldowin now.” Pursing her lips she tries again. “Aldowin-.” “No you cannot join us. I am no fool the princess sent you.” She stops for a moment clearly thinking of something to say. “I will follow you anyway you can’t stop me.” Aldowin laughs at this. “I may not be able to stop you but your anatomy will.” This angers the kitty cat as Slyfer calls her. She pouts.“Just because I am a girl does not mean that I am weak. I know how to track I may fall behind but I will be close!” Aldowin leans forward with a wicked smile. “You cannot track what does not walk on the earth.” Touching the point of her nose he follows. “That’s what I meant by your anatomy.”
Exasperated but not yet defeated Trisha sits down next to him. “I am not here only because the princess sent me. I…. I also feel connected to Slyfer in a way and I don’t know why.” Aldowin sits closer and hugs her. “You poor, poor thing.” He suddenly pushes her of the rock. “Nice try but I have about two thousand years on you and I am not an idiot.” She sits up and crosses her arms. “If you know anything about dragons I must come with you!” Aldowin raises one eyebrow. “Finally some truth. Tell me why it is so important to you.” She sighs. “Because I was not abandoned like the elves believe. My mother and I were running from them.” Aldowin more interested helps her up. “From who?”
She sits down next to him once again. “From the humans with the black dragon painted on their armor. They caught us and my mother….. Fought giving me a chance to escape, so I ran but they soon caught up with me. The humans were arguing about who would have me first when it appeared.” Trisha’s eyes were close to tears. “I had never seen anything so beautiful and nor will I ever again. A green dragon so big that it blotted out the sun descended upon them. They tried feebly to put up a fight but it was over in seconds. With one blow the dragon destroyed them all and saved me. Princess Eluna found me two days after that.”
Aldowin suddenly gets up. “You may accompany us but you will only report what I tell you to report. Slyfer must never hear of this.” She looks up at him confused. “Why must he never know.” Aldowin once again irritated looks at her. “Because despite what you may think of him he is naive. He does not know this world all he knew before he came here was our valley a true paradise compared to this.” Aldowin gestures around him. “Those men yesterday were the first creatures he ever killed. Can you imagine how he must feel right now? The anger you saw and feel from him is not his own but that of his ancestors so to speak. It is forced on him and you and my people judge him!”
Trisha can see Aldowin is making himself angry building up on his sorrow at having lost his people, his house everything. Pacing up and down Aldowin looks at her again. “I fear for my student if you and the other high elves are the best examples out there………”
“I…. did not know.” Trisha looks confused. Aldowin sits down again deflated and tired. “For the life of me I can’t think of a reason why he went after Browly though he is going to get an ear full when he gets back in the meantime you are going to help me.” Trisha looks up surprised “Help you with what?” Aldowin points at the Salamandraco. “To remove the armor from those poor creatures.”
Slyfer and Elyna creep closer making sure to make as little sound as possible. Browly is in a rocky ravine below them. He had found a small creek trickling away in the middle of nowhere. The spring was obviously bigger in a time long gone. The ravine must have been caused by the water thundering through here Slyfer can almost see it in his mind.
Browly does not relax for one second. He is a rat but a rat can be dangerous when cornered.
Slyfer shuffles closer to Elyna. “Can you make the shot?” She takes a moment to look at the surroundings. “Yes but while he is on his horse it may dash off with him on it.” Slyfer takes another look. He is exercising a lot of restraint by not just storming the oath. “I have an idea. He never saw my face so he doesn’t know me. With my old clothes I would look like a lost child.
Keep an eye on him while I change.” Slyfer shuffles back a bit and takes out his old torn pants and shirt he uses to wrap Shcree in. Elyna looks back turns crimson at the site of his milk wight cheeks proudly on display. She quickly looks in front of her again. “You could have warned me.” He leopard crawls back. “Warned you about what?” She gives him a dirty look. “Never mind.”
Browly waits patiently for his horse to finish drinking not because he is a patient man but because if he wants to survive the horse must live. He suddenly hears something coming from his left. He is just about to bolt when he hears a voice of someone talking to himself. “Where did he say it would be? That old man he never speaks clearly always riddles!” Browly sneaks a peek and what he sees almost makes his mouth water. A rather tall and masculine teenager with black hair is walking without a care in the world mumbling to himself.
The teenager would have drawn the eyes of any girl anywhere even with the torn shorts and shabby dirty shirt. But that’s not what interests Browly a lot of soldiers and even some of the men in the hierarchy like boys but he never took to it. It’s the pack the boy carries there may be food inside!
Browly takes another look around careful to make sure the teen is alone. He may be big in fact he is only a little shorter than Browly but he does not have a sword. He suddenly steps out from behind a rock that he was hiding behind. “You there! Halt in the name of the High Lord Chronos!” The boy jumps back startled and quickly looks around for a way to escape but he sees Browly’s horse and resigns himself. Browly steers his horse closer. “What have you got in the pack?” The idiot teen just stares at his feet.
Feeling completely in control Browly draws back his hand to slap the teen for his insolence. He is just about to land his blow when the teen looks up. Browly’s heart stops cold.
It’s the red eyes the demon’s eyes! The demon grabs his arm in mid-swing and with a mighty tug pulls the brute clean off his horse throwing him into the bank where Elyne is hiding. Slyfer laughs like a mad man. “I told you fool I am your answer and you run away before I can give it to you. How rude you humans are.”
Elyna wants to come out but Slyfer gestures for her to stay. “You have two choices.” Browly moans in pain he broke his leg when he hit the embankment. “Oh shut up.” Says the demon and kicks his leg laughing while he does it. He suddenly stops as if remembers something. “Where was I? You have two choices. One I eat your soul like I did with you friends back there.” Slyfer knows he can’t really do that but the idiot in front of him does not. Browly turns even more pale sweat beading on his face. It kind of reminds Slyfer of a frog. “
No a frog is too pretty for this thing.” He kicks Browly’s broken leg again. “Are you listening dog?” Between clenched teeth comes a yes. “Good, now option two is you tell me who sent you and I don’t eat your soul.”
Elyna watching this gets Goosebumps. “Is he angry or simply insane?” Slyfer steps on the broken leg. “No one! No one sent me.” Slyfer stops turning his head sideways as if listening to something. He leans closer and whispers. “ Liar, liar pants on fire.” Browly’s pants starts burning. He screams and tries to kick his leg in the dirt but it’s the broken leg and it only causes him more pain.
Browly throws up his hands and starts begging “Ok, ok I will tell you just stop. Please stop!” The fire stops abruptly. Slyfer crouches down in front of Browly. Boring into him with his red eyes. “Who sent you pig? Tell me or I will cook you in your own fat.” Slyfer looks up at the sky with his hand scratching his chin. “I am not a very good chef I always overcook things. Burn it to a crisp I do.” Slyfer looks at Browly. “I suggest you answer me.”
“It was Alexo. Alexo sent me.” Slyfer stands up straight. “Alexo? Are you sure?” “Yes Alexo he is the Chronos representative on the council! Now please let me go.” Slyfer turns his face into one of shock. “Let you go but I can’t you haven’t proved it yet! The great Alexo won’t send a pig like you to do what you tried to do.Who do you think sent me? Alexo such a great man knew that some of his lesser subjects would try what you did so he sent me to stop you.”
Browly’s face turnes ugly to behold. “It’s a lie! I tell you a lie he just wants you to shut me up so that nothing can be leaked.” Slyfer stops pacing and pretends to be in deep thought. “Can you prove it? If you can we can take him down even put you in his seat at the council.” Browly falls quiet thinking hard. Slyfer kicks his broken burned leg. He can’t have the fool think clearly. “Well can you prove it?” Kicks him again. “Yes the saddlebags look in my bag tied to the horse.”
Slyfer gives Elyna the signal that she can come out. The red fades in Slyfer’s eyes and he is once again the normal teen. “Watch the bug for me please.” He walks over to the horse and calms it. Going into its mind he makes it believe he is a friend. The horse quiets down. Searching the bag he finds a pouch of gold coins with a note attached.
My informant among the high elves has told me that they are going to send a representative. Go north- east towards the plains close to the flouting mountains. Find them and destroy them.
I do not think that I have to tell you what will happen if you fail.
He looks at Elyna. “Your people have an informant. I would wager that it is Lookin he probably believes you dead.” Anger is clearly on her face. “How dare you? You have no proof of this.” He gives her the note and walks over to Browly. “You are free to go. But Browly if I ever see you again you’re a dead man and judging by your master’s words I suggest you don’t go to him either.” Slyfer was too tired of killing he felt sick in his heart with the just the though of taking another life. So this time he ignored the voices screaming for vengeance in his head.
Turning around Slyfer starts to walk away. Elyna’s face turns into confusion then shock. “Slyfer look out!” He looks behind him and Browly has some sort of weapon in his hand. He pulls the trigger and everything goes into slow motion. Slyfer can see the projectile coming but his body can’t move fast enough. It hits him in the shoulder and is quickly followed by another bang smoke rises from the muzzle and the second projectile is on its way. Slyfer summons magic and with that pushes himself out of the way. He then summons all the wind magic he can muster and sends it towards Browly the force of it hits him and a scream rings out the wind slams him against the embankment and he gets crushed between the force of air and the embankment wall into a piece of meat!
What is left of him is a sickening sight. Clutching his shoulder Slyfer advances to the stain that was Browly a moment ago.
He bends down and picks up the weapon that Browly was holding. “What kind of weapon is this?” It is completely made out of steal. It doesn’t look all that dangerous. Slyfer gives it a closer inspection. It has a long barrel that joins to a handle. In between the barrel and handle is a trigger like mechanism. Slyfer points the weapon towards the ground. And slowly pulls the trigger. A curved piece of steel on the back slowly moves backwards as he pulls it kind of reminds Slyfer of a hammer. The hammer suddenly shoots forward with blinding speed a loud bang goes off again followed by some blue smoke.
Slyfer looks at the ground and there is a hole. “What are you doing you buffoon don’t play with things you don’t understand.” Elyna walks over and pulls his shirt down over his shoulder so that she can have a look at the wound. “It goes right through!” Slyfer puts the strange fire-stick thing into his backpack.
Elyna takes out a piece of cloth and wraps it around Slyfer’s shoulder. It’s made of a strange material and to Slyfer it kind of stinks like rotten eggs. Elyna doesn’t miss the look of disgust on Slyfer’s face. “It’s made from the leaves of an Uma tree. It will stop the bleeding and prevent infection.” Slyfer keeps his complaints to himself although he has to admit the pain in his shoulder is dulled a bit.
Slyfer wincing with pain gets up and hooks his backpack over his unhurt shoulder. He is just about to start walking when he turns back to the remains of Browly with an idea starting to form in his mind.