This is a continuation of the Mortis Custos Part 21 by @lex-zaiya.
To start at the beginning of the story please see the links provided at the end of this post!
Viewer discretion is advised due to gory violence! Undead! Swords! Death! Beware!
Millmor stalked forward, his movements deliberate and methodical. For some reason the Ghoul King looked far less relaxed and far more intimidating in that moment. The massive bat-like creature came to rest just inside the lengthening shadows.
“Family concerns you say.” Millmor repeated the statement coldly and paused for a moment. “For you and for me there is no such thing!”
“It’s my own business and none of yours!” Adiran snapped at the creature. He stood up, even as he leaned against the tree, he brought power forth to his palms.
“That is also incorrect! Bring forth that magic boy and I will hold nothing back!” The Ghoul King had stood, teeth bared. “Do not be foolish! We are at war and you are royalty. The matters of the self, even the matters of family when you are placed in those ranks… you do not get to place those things in secrecy when the whole nation rests of your family’s doings!”
“My family never knew what I was doing or what I was interested in.” Adiran said glumly. “Lest of all the common people of this land.”
“Yes, you were always the strange one, a mage in a family of warriors.” Millmor agreed. “I have seen you before, scuttling here and there on your self-made errands and dealing in secrets.”
“It is my secret doings that have kept the darkness at bay!” Adiran retorted. “Besides that you say you have kept this forest clear of the undead, I have gone far and wide. The wards that I placed all over the continent has been slowing their advance, slowing their ability to rend tears into this world and bring the full might of the Army of Terror forth! Dreadthings are one part of it, this is why they must resort to raising the dead here…”
“And where did you learn of such wards, hmmmm pup?” Millmor interrupted, he took a step forward in the lengthened shadows.
“I am a mage.” Adiran said, taking a step backwards. “I have studied many an ancient tome.”
“The magic you speak of is either one of two things.” The Ghoul King sat on his haunches.
“And how would you know that?”
The Ghoul King shrugged. “Oh I have eaten a lot of mages.” He smiled wickedly. “Yet some have even been my friends. Wards protecting this dimension from another place is part of the same magic that brings things forth from another place. Thus… either you are dealing in lost, forbidden magic…”
They stared at each other, piercing blue eyes stared into yellow bestial eyes, the pupils were like a cat’s.
“Or… You learned it from a God.” He Ghoul King finished. “Usually this means that you either work for one or you have sacrificed something to gain one’s favour.”
Adiran said nothing. There was nothing to say at this point.
"It is a knife's edge young mage." The Ghoul King said sombrely. "Look at me and you shall know the cost of toying with powers that you do not understand."
They heard a neigh that alerted Adiran to the approach of the others. Millmor had probably known of the party nearing their position. Mortis was in the lead with Magna behind him. Derric had his arms around the girl, but he did not seem all that worried about falling off. It seemed instead that the ancient child wanted nothing more than to drop down and run.
"Millmor!" The boy yelled. "I am riding on the running dinner!"
"Those are not for eating young pup!" The massive bat creature grinned.
Magna looked decidedly grumpy, she rolled her eyes. "I have told him that about a thousand times already. He keeps on insisting that he should eat the horses."
Millmor gave a gurgling chuckle. "Now Derric. You will be leaving me now."
"You must go with these people. They are on a quest and they need your help... your destiny and theirs... cross paths. This is one of those paths."
The boy seemed about to object. "I will come back soon."
The Ghoul King nodded, then seemed to almost bow before Mortis and then to Adiran. "Take care of him for me. I will be running escort until you leave the forest. A day's ride beyond you will need to switch to daytime travel, albeit slowly. Derric, don't make a face. Your kind can handle the day time. Do not worry."
Without a further word, the Ghoul King turned and leapt into the nearest tree and dissapeared. The party made no further comment on this and proceeded down the track past Adiran.
Trailing far behind the rest of the party, his Nightmare approached. Adiran fished out a leather glove from his pocket and put it on, then took out a fistfull of ground sulfur and garnets and held it out for his steed.
She greedily snorted and began eating it out of his gloved hand. He could feel the heat of her breath through the leather. After she was done, he dumped the rest of the powder on the ground and mounted up.
He rode to join up with the others, passing by the youngsters, he joined Mortis at the lead. "We have not really discussed where we would be going next, but you are going in the correct direction." He remarked.
"Although you have asked me to accompany you, now that you have come this far, it is simple to understnad where you are headed." The knight replied.
"Is that so? Is it so obvious?"
"How do you even know about the place we are going to?"
"That's easy." Mortis replied. "I have been there before!"
Your turn @lex-zaiya!
Here is an explanation of Chain Stories and the current Chainstory Library
Mortis Custos Parts:
|by @lex-zaiya||by @zakludick|
|Part 1||Part 2|
|Part 3||Part 4|
|Part 5||Part 6|
|Part 7||Part 8|
|Part 9||Part 10|
|Part 11||Part 12|
|Part 13||Part 14|
|Part 15||Part 16|
|Part 17||Part 18|
|Part 19||Part 20|
|Part 21||You are here!|
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