I hope you all had a great week and are getting to wind down for the weekend. Here is the update to Zak's Part 42, give it a read if you are a little lost with what is happening.
Mortis was on edge. He could sense the creature coming toward them, but they seemed trapped in this world with no way out. He was unsure of how many days had passed since they had come here because he didn’t trust the sun nor the moon as it travelled across the unknown starry sky. The humans around him were starting to get tired and struggling with the daily slog of outpacing the creature. While the initiates seemed to be adapting well, Adiran and Helga weren’t.
Helga wasn’t used to walking or riding on Derric and was always complaining. Adiran was suffering from headaches constantly and was now refusing to eat anything or sleep. He had convinced the group that he didn’t need it, but Mortis knew better. He knew why he didn’t want to sleep.
Noxus once more came to sit next to him to tend Magna. Her fever had finally broken that day, and she had been in and out of consciousness the last hour as the sun dipped below the horizon. They had been forced to stop as running in this landscape at night was too dangerous. The fire was barely lit when Magna’s eyes fully opened, and she blurrily looked around her.
“Adiran!” Called Mortis.
The mage, who was giving instructions to Derric, spun on his heel. The joy that burst forth in his chest at seeing Magna’s open eyes was indescribable. Mortis found it difficult to decide who reached his side quicker, Adiran or Derric.
Magna! I’m glad you’re awake!
The wolf, and almost cat-like beast, licked Magna’s cheek before burying his nose in her neck. If he could cry in this form, he would have. Magna, having no recollection of what happened, was confused at the attention, until she looked up and saw Mortis. Then it all came flooding back. The revenant sat perfectly still as she tried to get to her feet. He wasn’t sure if she was trying to escape him or stretch her stiff muscles, but he did sense fear.
Magna reached for her throat and felt the scar. What she had first thought to have been a horrible nightmare, was proved to be true. She stared at Mortis as he pulled his helm from his head to confirm what she already knew.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” she rasped.
“How could I tell you that I was one of the creatures that killed your father and injured your brother?”
“You are my friend; you should have told me. Should have asked before you-”
“Enough of that,” said Adiran as he folded his arms around his niece to pull her close to him.
Magna froze, Adiran had always been cold to her, even more so than her father. She wasn’t used to him showing any affection to her. Everything was confusing, and she felt hot tears gathering in her eyes.
It’s okay Magna. Look, I can shift into other animals now.
Derric came to stand next to her, pushing his weight against her to let her know that he was there. Adiran squeezed his niece once before he released her and asked, “What were your dreams filled with? You called out to your brother so many times.”
“Now you want to know my dreams.” She wanted to be angry with him, but she felt her lower lip trembling as she spoke.
Adiran sat down and pulled the girl to sit next to him, “Yes.”
With tears rolling down her cheeks she told him of how she met her brother and that he had tried to protect her from a dark entity. Adrian had valiantly stood before her with a light on his left wrist, and somehow, he had managed to scare the creature off.
“But that’s all I remember. I couldn’t get to where he was again.”
Adiran felt the familiar pain in his chest and almost allowed his own emotions to come to the surface. They had come so far already, and now there was nothing that was going to stop this event from progressing. He took a deep breath and rubbed at his left arm before saying, “Magna, we need to have a talk. About the sword, and the shield, and your brother.”
“I didn’t say anything about a shield.”
Just before she could query anything, Derric’s head snapped to their rear and his ears flattened against his skull. Magna felt pale when a growl escaped his throat.
Beyond the fire, Magna saw two people get to their feet. A large man hefted a war hammer over his shoulder and turned to face the gathering dark. A woman with a trident followed suit, but she remained facing the fire. Her cold eyes came to rest on the girl, and she asked, “Can you fight?”
Life! He could sense it ahead of him. It was familiar and alien. Aaron found himself moving toward it. Instincts he never knew he had forced him to get as close to the life as possible. This could be food or an opportunity to spread.
His mutated flesh craved bother opportunities, but his mind struggled to find a way to think logically. The more time he spent like this, the more of himself he was starting to lose. Perhaps these were his companions. Maybe they could help him, or maybe he could feast upon their flesh to spread more, get away from his brothers and sisters.
In the distance, he could see the fire. He could just make out the shapes of those that were around it. Food! He needed to eat something that didn’t taste of rot and corruption. Aaron tried to reach out with the mental link the initiates shared but found there was nothing. Were these not his companions? He was sure he smelled Gorox. But how could he do that? Wasn’t he a man? What was he now?
The thoughts continued to confuse him until only the instinct to feed was left. He pushed himself to move forward. He only needed a few minutes to reach them. The last thought of a man left his brain as he sunk his tentacles into the ground. He opened his mouth and spewed forth a challenging roar. The ground before him sprouted crystals. Now he was protected. Now he could reach his prey, at last.
The crystals before him shattered as a white shape barrelled toward him. He would have been amused if he hadn’t sensed a cluster of crystals within the creature. The distraction of the beast was enough to prevent him from sensing the one who was behind him. However, he realised it too late when a massive hammer was brought down on his head.
I think I will leave the battle scene for @zakludick to complete. Have fun bud!
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