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Fei
March 19th, 2013, 02:11 PM
Bad things happen at night.

That was the first thought that registered in Cyan's mind as he struggled to gain consciousness. He felt groggy and his limbs were unnaturally heavy. Dragging his uncooperative body in a sitting position, he let his eyes wander.

They were greeted with an ungodly amount of blood and gore. His sight was aided by the moonlight which bathed him, unhindered by walls, which were all lying broken and scorched around him. Cyan looked up sharply as he heard a loud groan but didn't flinch as the remainder of the stairs fell away, crashing loudly on the burnt ground.

The sixteen year old boy gazed around at the remains of what had been his home earlier that day- or maybe it had been yesterday. He didn't remember and he didn't care. Rising slowly to his feet, he began the arduous task of recovering the corpses of his family members from beneath the rubble.

He made himself stare at each lifeless face as he pulled down their eyelids, putting them to rest. The bodies, or what was left of them, lay side by side covered by pieces of cloth Cyan had managed to dig up.

As he'd moved from one corpse to the next, his bare feet had come in contact with a body part more than once. After discovering a slender blood splattered hand, he didn't check to see the others, he couldn't bear it. Cold fury began to bubble deep inside him, darkness began to stir, the thirst for blood slowly awakening.

Straightening up from the last body, he dug through the debris until he found what he had been searching for. Closing his fingers around the hilt of his father's aged sword, Cyan set off into the night.

The last embers of the fire had begun to die down, still they provided enough light to guide him through the pathetic ruins that were his little village. The smell of smoke and brimstone pervaded the air, having inhaled a large portion of it, he started to feel even more dizzy. His head spun as he gazed drunkenly at the aftermath of the attack by the Luthorians.

They'd come hard and they'd come fast. The villagers hadn't stood a chance.

All the farm lands had been set ablaze together with the houses, the little church and a few villagers. Defenseless women and children had been slaughtered like livestock. So had the brave men who'd fought to protect them even when they knew any resistance was futile. They had been no match for the ruthless and well trained swordsmen and the high quality armour they possessed.

As Cyan navigated his way through the village, the sword began to grow heavy in his untrained hand. His arms ached terribly and the dull thudding in his skull had increased to a steady pound. The horror of the night came back with full force to haunt him but remembering the way his mother had begged for the life of her children, Cyan strengthened his resolve and quickened his pace.

Raising the sword high above his head, the hilt grasped with both hands, he swung it in an arc repeatedly as he'd seen his father do, until his muscles started to sing. He walked without fear, letting his pain fuel his rage and allowing darkness spread through his mind like wildfire.

On reaching the edge of village, Cyan turned and assessed the burning remains dispassionately. As he'd suspected, he had been the only survivor of the raid. He smiled coldly thinking the Luthorians should have killed him while they'd had the chance. He kept moving and didn't look back.

At the foot of a hill a mile away from the burning village, Cyan stopped and crouched low behind some bushes. He'd sighted a fire at a clearing surrounded by some trees where a few horses were tethered. Moving as soundlessly as he could manage, he drew closer to the fire, pausing only when he heard raucous and drunken laughter.

He'd found the Luthorians, at least a few of them. That was better than nothing.

Before the night was over, he planned to let their screams fill the cold night air. He would tie up a few if he could, torture them for as long as possible. They had to feel the pain they'd inflicted, they had to beg for mercy that would be granted only in the form of death. Grasping his sword tightly, he strode boldly into the clearing and stood before the fire.

The men fell silent, a few casting wary looks at the soot and blood stained but determined youth with a dangerous look. Cyan's dark eyes glinted fiercely in the fire as he looked around for the captain. He didn't have to look far.

Swaggering out of his tent, his sword loosely held, walked a tall and heavily muscled man. His scarred face reflected amusement as he eyed Cyan with mild curiosity. Finally he looked away dismissively, finding the boy an insignificant threat.

"Run away, boy. I'm feeling generous this eve," the captain threw over his shoulder as he walked away.

"Coward," Cyan sneered at him, "do you fear me? Stand and face your last nightmare."

The captain paused and swung around to regard the arrogant boy. Taking in the poor stance and the pathetic looking sword, he started to laugh disbelievingly. The men closest to Cyan had begun to shift uncomfortably, not liking the look in the boy's eyes.

With a blood curling scream, Cyan raised his sword and leapt towards the captain who was caught unawares. He was dead before he hit the ground. In the same move, he shot out his leg, knocking down his nearest opponent while the rest of them struggled to gather their wits.

Addled by the strong drinks they'd consumed and their heavy armour, they were poor opponents even for Cyan. No more than three had managed to escape on their horses, he let them go. He had his wounds to tend, the gash on his thigh was starting to throb almost unbearably.

So he hadn't captured any of them- there was always tomorrow. He'd grow much stronger and faster than any of them. As long as he was alive, their tomorrows were numbered.

Cyan stood silently in the darkness surrounded by the dead, mutilated bodies scattered around the clearing. His sword, dripping of blood, glowed crimson red in the moonlight. He felt like killing something again.

Throwing back his head, Cyan began to laugh.




CHAPTER 1

10 years later


The man was dressed in dark, conservative colors so that he blended seamlessly with the night. His left hand remained seated cautiously at the belt attached to his trim waist. An unstrung bow leaned against the muscled thigh of his right leg, his dark eyes roamed the valley beneath, searching for their prey.

The Lady Ruona, at least that was the title she'd borne some five years ago when she'd still lived within the walls of the kingdom. Few knew the true reason the fair lady and her father had been banished to the very outskirts of the land. He was one of those few.

Isolated from the rest of the kingdom with no maids to do her bidding she was outside now, attending to her chores. Retreating into the cover the dark forest provided, he watched her, his eyes giving nothing away.

He took in the weary look on her pale face, the untidy bun balanced awkwardly atop her head and the slump in her shoulders as she tried repeatedly to get a fire going. A clay pot which seemed to be filled with dirty plates sat beside her. At last, the pitifully meager pile of dry wood and leaves began to crackle as the fire came alive. Her golden hair glowed in the firelight and her expression brightened with the small triumph.

He smiled unconsciously, reminded of his little sister who'd always rejoiced at the tiniest accomplishment. She'd been a lively little thing with a heart that was pure and true. That had been before she'd been brutally murdered. The smile froze on his face as unbridled fury took over.

Closing his eyes briefly, he drew in a cleansing breath, battling to contain his emotions. When he reopened his eyes, they were winter cold. His face was expressionless as he continued to watch her.

Staggering slightly under the weight of a large bucket, Ruona made her way to a nearby well, her tattered skirts swaying lightly. At a glimpse of slender legs he felt a stir in the pit of his stomach. He shook his head unconsciously, his lips tightening in disapproval.

Ruona bent forward towards the well, her back facing him, preparing to draw water from the muddy depths. Cyan was bored with watching, he decided it was time to act. Picking up his bow, his hands moved effortlessly through the motions of stringing it.

Reaching behind him, he plucked out an arrow from the quiver on his back and without pause, balanced it in his bow. His aim was flawless with a precision that could only result from repeated practice.

For the first time in ten years, Cyan hesitated.

Just then, an aged man walk out of the dilapidating cottage moving slowly towards the golden haired girl. Cyan cursed fluidly as he was forced to retreat once again into the shadows to prevent detection. The bow landed silently beside him on the grass as he dropped down next to the nearest tree and prepared to spend the night.

For now he would watch and wait. For now.



CHAPTER 2



The noise grew louder with each passing second. When Ruona knew could bear it no longer, she kicked back the bed covers and flung herself out of the bed. As she hastily pulled on her robe, she wondered how her father could sleep through the deafening noise.

Unreasonably angry at being forced out of her bed by the relentless pounding at the door, she abandoned all thoughts of caution, seeking only to vent her anger on the intruder.

"Coming!" She called out irritably, moving towards the door.

Flinging it open, she prepared to shower the unwanted visitor with a few choice words of her displeasure. When she found that she was only as tall as his stomach however, she swallowed her protest. Gulping nervously, she took in the stranger at her door.

By goddess, he was tall. Taller than any man she'd ever seen with dark eyes and even darker hair. He had a lean figure, his shoulders were broad with long, well muscled arms and legs. His face was darkly handsome but remote. He was clothed expensively in dark colors, his pale skin standing out in stark contrast.

"Yes?" Ruona asked, her voice squeaky. She cleared her throat, self consciously straightening her shoulders and trying to look dignified. But with her hair tumbling untidily all over her face and clothed in a night gown several inches shorter than society found proper, she could hardly imagine she'd manage it.

He looked around the cottage, ignoring her while his dark eyes quickly assessed the small room.

It smelled faintly of smoke and pine. There was a fireplace right across the room that looked like it hadn't been used in years. A low wooden table which he suspected was termite infested, sat at the middle of the room holding nothing but the last remains of candle wax.

Towards the back of the room, a large curtain had been hung to act as a make shift room divider. Moth eaten, blue linen curtains hung limply over the two small windows, positioned at each corner of the cottage. In a word, the room reflected abject poverty.

Ruona bristled at the once over and prepared to repeat her question. Immediately she opened her mouth, he looked down at her as if he'd only just acknowledged her presence. The words died in her throat.

"Is your father home?" He inquired quietly.

At the sound of his voice, Ruona felt her blood run cold. This man was dangerous. She took a step back before she could stop herself. Mortified at showing her fear, she rushed forward to regain her former position and ended up running into him.

Automatically, his hands shot out to steady her as she reached forward to grab his arm for support. Her father emerged then from behind the large curtain still in his bedclothes.The old man opened and closed his mouth several times but no words escaped his lips. Cyan released Ruona unceremoniously and walked past her to stand before her father.

"Greetings, your Grace," Cyan said, bowing slightly from his waist, his lips twisted mockingly.

Ruona felt like she'd been slapped, she inhaled sharply seeing the stricken look on her father's face.

"What- what do you want with us?" the old man stammered after recovering from the use of his former title.

"Not very articulate are we?" Cyan observed, "You seemed to have no problem shouting out orders for your men to slaughter innocent people in those days."

The old man looked terrified now and tried to back away but found there was nowhere to run. Cowering under Cyan's chilling stare he began to plead.

"Please, I was just following orders-"

Cyan held up his hand for silence. Ruona ran to her father, putting her arms around his waist to steady him while she shot Cyan a look of pure hate.

"You," Cyan said pointing at her, "are coming with me." His voice brooked no argument.

"Over my dead body," Ruona spat at him defiantly.

"No, over his dead body. My quarrel is with him, you are his penance." Cyan said, inclining his head towards her father.

"He's an old man-"

"The more reason why he wouldn't be a total loss-"

"He's never done anything to anyone-"

"Could you swear that on your mother's grave?"

Ruona faltered, her blue eyes unable to meet his.

"What kind of respectable gentleman murders an old man?!" she cried desperately.

"I've never been either and he is a cold blooded killer," Cyan returned equably.

It had been the calm manner with which he'd answered her questions that had disconcerted her. She'd been practically screeching at him yet his voice had never been raised by even a single octave. Her heart began to beat faster as she struggled to come to terms with what was happening. If she didn't do anything, her father would be killed.

"So if I go with you...?"

"Yes, your father will live, regrettably," he intoned.

She lay her chin against her chest, her shoulders hunched in defeat.

"I don't have all day. Decide now," Cyan said tightly with a dangerous edge. She looked up at him slowly, fighting to hide her fear.

"I'll go- go with you," she stammered, "I just need to get a few of my things first. B-but you won't hurt him while I'm gone-"

At Cyan's sharp look she fell silent. His eyes followed her suspiciously out of the room. Turning back to the old man, he regarded him with disgust.

"You, sir, are a snivelling coward," his voice dripped with venom, "what kind of father would sacrifice his only child just so he could live out the rest of his pathetic life-"

Cyan narrowed his eyes looking closely at the man, he'd noticed a momentary shift in his attention to the window beyond him.

With a sinking feeling in his gut, he swiveled around to look out the window. He had just been in time to see Ruona's golden head disappear behind the well.

In mere seconds, he was out the door, striding purposefully towards the well. From her current position, Ruona's view of the cottage was completely blocked so she did not see him until he was just a few steps away.

"Going somewhere?" Cyan asked conversationally.

Barely stifling a scream, Ruona picked up her skirts and fled into the forest.

"Ah, the thrill of the chase,"Cyan whispered, smiling for the first time that day.

Reaching the edge of the forest, he easily picked up her trail. After he'd adjusted the pack on his back, he began to follow it, running through the trees and flying on the wings of the morning breeze.

Bandage
March 19th, 2013, 06:57 PM
Unfortunately I could not read this in its entirety, but the part that I did get to read was great. Until you mentioned the sword I had no idea when this was taking place and I liked that. Sort of a universal opening.

lowprofile300
March 20th, 2013, 11:55 PM
@Fei,
I have been reading other genres lately, so this is very refreshing. I am intrigued by your style of writing, it's very good. Cheers.

Fei
March 21st, 2013, 11:09 AM
@Fei,
I have been reading other genres lately, so this is very refreshing. I am intrigued by your style of writing, it's very good. Cheers.

thanks ;)

Fei
March 21st, 2013, 11:10 AM
Unfortunately I could not read this in its entirety, but the part that I did get to read was great. Until you mentioned the sword I had no idea when this was taking place and I liked that. Sort of a universal opening.
thanks for reading, hmm @ 'universal opening' not necessarily a bad thing :P