A Promise Kept-Chapter 4: The Beast

     That night, the creature was frustrated and malice pulsed through him as swiftly and surely as his blood. Though the magicks coursing through his transformed flesh had healed the leg wound he had suffered battling The Enemy, he was weary of walking.  As no horse would dare be near him, he had no choice in the matter. He was faster than a mortal man—faster, perhaps, than the swiftest steed—but being on foot also meant The Enemy would not be far behind.

     As he neared the western gate of Killidane, the beast could smell the salty sea air. It brought images into his mind that he found puzzling, but they were quickly replaced (as his memories always were) with the words of his queen.

     “Travel to the Isle of Katus,” she had commanded. “There, you will find the pirate queen of the Thieves Guild. Slay her and bring me her head for my mantel. Destroy anyone and anything that stands between you and your target. I have made you immortal. Fear not the sword or spear of Men. Bring me, as a tribute, the head of the Thief King’s bride, Ven Islen, and the Guilds will cower before me.”

     The sabre in his hand was aflame, as it always was when he intended harm. Its eldritch power would cut through the stone of the gate and any man, woman or child that crossed his path. He would procure a boat (his mistress had assured him he would know how to sail it) and deliver death to the long-lived Katati. The word would spread quickly among Men, Elves and Dwarves. If but one of the queen’s emissaries could cause such destruction and slay so many, what hope could remain when the full fury of her armies came to conquer? And hope, the queen had reminded him, had long been her most persistent enemy.

     Half a kilometer from the gate, a scent in the breeze found its way to the beast. A familiar, hated scent.

     “You’re growing slower,” The Enemy said. “Weaker, too, from the looks of you. That’s the trouble with your mistress, you see. She fears me and, thus, always overreaches. The sort of magick that brought you out of the ground simply isn’t meant to last. She’s tried to make a permanent pet of a fruit fly.”

     The creature roared. His lust for blood was always stoked the hottest in the presence of The Enemy. He had been created to bring death to the magician, yet, after several encounters, the wizard still lived on to taunt him and thwart the schemes of his mistress.

     “You had to know I wouldn’t let you anywhere near Ven Islen. I’d sooner die…not that I’d let that happen, either.”

     The cursed steel in the beast’s hand flamed hotter and brighter. The creature roared and charged. The Enemy would die that very day. He would not rest until it was so.

 

Chapter Five: A Second Death

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