Moving right along, Chapter 2 of Rage of the Cursed (How do people like that name by the way?) Introduces our mysterious ‘killer’. I’ll probably be sticking with the story for a few chapters. Let me know what you think about it by clicking on the circled ‘plus’ at the bottom of the story and leaving a comment. (also remember I’m looking for challenges for future B.O.S.S. installments.)
Rage of the Cursed 02 :Ender of Wars.
Loki caught the scent. The scent of spilled blood pointed him to the culprit where Xallion’s nose could not. He tore through the forest, blade drawn. The cold air made the tracking that much easier, the sloppy manner his prey trudged through the forest may as well have been a beacon.
He drew closer, his muscles tensed in anticipation of combat. His Wolven blood hungered for blood, he would have to feed. Xallion regained control, enough to redirect his rage to a nearby deer. He leapt, focused his fury on the buck. It realized too late, crumpling as Loki tore out its throat with savage accuracy.
The beast’s heartbeat faded between his jaws, the satisfaction of a kill slaked both his bloodlust and his hunger. Thank you for your sacrifice, friend. He stood, sharpening his focus on his real prey. The buck could be skinned and cooked later. It would make a fine meal to fill the bellies of men, but Loki hunted as a wolf.
He wiped away loose blood from his muzzle and resumed the hunt. His quarry moved slowly, moving as a hunter as well. He fell into the man’s shadow. Xallion would use only one fang to end his life, even if Loki wished to use a mouthful of them.
Xallion crouched behind a bush, looking over his target. He was a big man, standing close to Seven feet tall. Tattered furs covered his muscled body, and two axes were lashed to his belt. He hunched over a scrap of paper, eyeing it with scrutiny, and muttered in the old tongue.
A L’kavrikan. This didn’t surprise Xallion, the brutality of the Northern Nation had been known to all. However, this brutality meant little in the face of a sneak attack. The man sat on the spot, letting out a noisy hum.
Xallion hesitated, his human side questioned the honor of slaying a man with his guard down, Loki saw it as opportunity. He readied his blade and prepared to pounce.
The man sneezed, rubbing a burly hand under his nose. He spoke a word the same in both old and new tongue. “Wolven?”
Xallion forced back Loki urges to strike. I’m upwind. He shouldn’t be able to smell me.
The man leapt to his feet, twirling his axes into position, and grinned. A thick tangle of black hair framed his scarred face. Fresh blood caked his front with dripping globs falling from his chin. He called into the forest, something Xallion new well enough. “<Bring it on.>”
For once, Loki and Xallion agreed. He stepped out into the clearing, sword ready and waited at full height. The man sized him up and babbled in the old tongue. Xallion’s racing blood made it too difficult to translate.
Xalllion pointed his sword. “A lunatic like you cannot run free. Attack or explain that—”
His prey answered with his axes.
Xallion caught the first strike with his blade. The man pressed against him, gauging his strength and only brightened his grin. He babbled old tongue again, only ‘Wolven’ came through clearly to him.
He yanked back his axes and swung both in a lateral slash. Xallion hopped back, both axe blades squealed across his armor. He raised his blade to counter, but the man halted his slash and swung again.
Two deep gashes carved through his Rhialnin steel. Xallion retreated another step, letting out a low guttural growl.
The man flicked an axe to the ground, and jabbed a thumb to the center of his chest. “K’rros.”
A name? He’s introducing himself? In combat?
Xallion greeted him back with a downward slash. He didn’t dodge it.
The blade sunk into the thick hide at his shoulder. He glanced over at the slash, not losing his smile, and clapped a hand on Xallion’s shoulder to match. The sheer power brought Xallion to one knee.
“<Good Doggie,>” K’rros said in old tongue.
Loki’s rage erupted and he lashed out, digging his jaw into K’rros’ other shoulder. He didn’t flinch. Instead he let out a hearty laugh, and then bit him back on the exposed part of his neck.
Xallion’s head spun. The lack of malice in the air contradicted his tranquility. This man had no intention on killing him. He pushed him away, calm and slow. K’rros’ miserable little man teeth hardly left a dent in Loki’s tough hide. He plucked his sword from K’rros’ shoulder, which barely cleaved through the first layer of skin.
He searched what little words he knew in the old tongue. He cleared his throat. “<Why?>”
K’rros’ eyes lit up, paused to consider and said two words. “<You’re different.>”
I’m different? Xallion scowled at him, he maintained his growl, but it came from him out of habit with the scent of fresh blood mingling with the blood of his victims. He turned his sword and pierced it into the soil. K’rros did the same, discarding his axe behind him like a piece of trash.
What’s going on? Do I have the wrong person? Xallion glanced over at the discarded scrap of paper. Raised a warning finger and picked it up.
“<You like my Poems?>” K’rros said.
Confusion quelled Loki’s rage and Xallion unfolded the paper to find a finished series of lines written in verse. The same violent words had been organized into an abysmal arrangement of butchery.
K’rros moved to look over Xallion’s shoulder; he turned to him and growled. “<Back. You stay back.>”
K’rros laughed, taking a step back and folded his arms patiently.
“<Why you fight?>” Xallion said.
“<War is bad.>” K’rros said, finally losing his grin. “<So if I kill people who fight, the war ends.>”
Xallion questioned his translation of the words, but they had been so simple, he couldn’t have misunderstood. K’rros is doing the same thing we are?
Xallion chose his words carefully. “<No kill innocent?>”
K’ross gasped. “<No. Only who fight.>”
“<Why you no kill me?>”
“<You’re different.>” K’rros grinned. “<I’m fighting you for fun.>”