Wayward: Chapter Six

Footfalls roared down the main corridor almost as quick as the alarm had sounded, the keep was emptied in mere moments. Razien crept low out of the courtyard, he’d seen all the guards go, but he couldn’t be sure one or two may have stayed back to keep a watch on the gate. Thankfully, as he looked out into the antechamber, he found it empty; he expected no less, but to be wary was best. Of course, what was he to expect when he had made such a convincing show of a nighttime kidnapping. Slipping down to the smith’s hadn’t been an issue and returning to his room no more of a problem than the latter. Aside from slashing open his arm, creating a scene of struggle in his bedchamber, all had been a breeze. With little effort, Razien slipped open the main gate and was out into the chill, crisp late Autumn air. It would be winter before long, but he had his mind set on being in warmer place before the first snowfall had him stuck wherever he ended up. First, more so than anywhere else on his mind, was Seras, the birthplace and likely homeland once more to Sirius. She was a threat if she set her mind to coming after him, and Razien was intent on dispatching the Fox before she could even think to lay a paw on him.

As he made his way down the incline from the gate, beset on both sides by jagged cliffs, Razien felt a change in atmosphere and the thud of a body clapping to the ground. At the slope’s end, a form was rising to its feet, there was little guesswork he would have to do to determine who it was. Rushing on the Jackal, Razien almost had trampled him before he was to his feet. For a second, the Wolf considered to keep on at that pace, leave the Jackal in the dust for him to give chase, but thought better of it. Rising fully, Torqariyan spit a bit of blood into the dirt before starting up, “You’re a real funny one, you know that Raz? Here I am, just trying to figure out what we’re going to do about you and how to give you over to Verillia without killing you, and you set me up as your murderer!”

“You’re not handing me over to Casseda, not you and not any of the other Lords. You can’t stop me and you won’t stop me. Now I’m giving you a chance, Tor, you can help me and stay out my way. Cross me, and you won’t cross blades with anyone ever again,” he held open his long coat and gestured to the thin, serrated blade sheathed inside.

Irritation molding into some form of contempt, Torqariyan spat with incredulity, “A knife? You’re going to tell me to go run off because you have a knife? I almost wish I hadn’t been the first to find you, I’d like to see how any of the others would handle you and your meager threats.”

“Just go on your way, Tor, you can live a life like you always wanted this time. Your people free of slavery’s yoke, not marked as some form of malign creature, and with all the benefits of being who you are deep down. Just walk away,” Razien attempted to persuade, but as it seemed to him, it was in vain. With little change in his resolve, Torqariyan proceeded forward, his every movement broadcasting an intent for violence.

Zipping through the air, the knife could almost have materialized from it’s place in Razien’s coat to Torqariyan’s paw; the actions had occurred so quickly and smoothly. For an instant, Razien was a bit taken aback, he had forgotten just how easily the Jackal could manipulate his portals, it had to be the only way he could have managed to catch the blade. He growled back at the Wolf; his patience were about at their limit with him. Keeping his eyes locked on the other man, Torqariyan turned the blade over in his palm to take it with the other paw. Swiping it through the air once sent a slash of crimson across the dull, dry earth, a bad omen for anyone. As he crossed the distance to the Wolf, he slid the knife’s edge into his belt, trying to focus his mind and not act too rashly. Before he was within arm’s reach, Torqariyan was regretting not coming at the man with all he was worth. A blast of energy to his chest reminded him just what this Wolf was all about in the end.

 With a hiss that would shame any viper’s, the Wolf regarded the Jackal, “This is your last warning Tor, you stay back, and I won’t have to kill you. I’ll sort out the rest, and then you and I shall have it out proper.” 

“The others aren’t going to be as level-headed as me, Raz, they’ve all been given incentive to see you dead, and I can’t think of many who wouldn’t be swayed,” Torqariyan shot back trying to right himself but having trouble with the pain in his chest.

Looking up the slope to see the main gate begin to quake, Razien turned tail and started south, “We’ll have to see about that, Tor. Until next time.”

 “There’s nowhere you can run I won’t find you! I found you in your home, and I will find you each and every time you think you’re safe! I’ll follow you to the ends of this world and then the ends of the next! So keep running, Raz, I will always find you!” the Jackal cried out, finally finding his feet but not a trace of the Wolf. Shrubbery in the treeline beyond shook a bit, but aside from that, all was still and quiet looking south. Meanwhile, the cacophony within Roya spilled out of the opening gates. Better cover all my bases here. Do the rounds and make sure a few of the others are aware of Razien. Maxin and Siri shouldn’t be hard to sway or far off from here. That blood-marked fool will thank me for it later.

 Blood, filthy reeking, cursed blood, that was close. He’s gotten faster, too fast for his own good. If he’d have pressed on with it, I might have been forced to take him down first rather than last. Torqariyan, you fool boy, you never really learned all that you should have, but I can hardly blame you, you were pushed on so quickly. Razien sighed and sunk down in the hollow of a tree some distance into the forest. He had run south into the woodland, no further east or west, as he could still hear the violent torrent of the Camora off to his right. Had he the time and planning behind it, Razien could have easily taken a canoe downstream to reach Seras, but that was luxury he couldn’t have dreamed of possessing at the time. And only now did he begin to consider a different course than heading straight on to the Fox village and laying waste to their precious goddess. Just a stone’s throw away, far closer on foot than Seras from Roya, sat Eren’s Field among several other Coyote clans’ holds. That would be a far safer and simpler mark for him to hit, the divine smith couldn’t contend with his power on a typical day, but with the addition of Shar-Ikell, it would be a slaughter. 

A day’s rest, multiple days of rest to be more honest, gave Razien a wealth of energy and Erkinan to draw on to keep him moving through the night. The guards of Roya searching for his pseudo-assailant were left well in the dust before the moon had even begun to crawl to its zenith. Careful to mind his consumption of the very much coveted power, Razien only used a touch of his Erkinan to help him lay down a decent amount of space between him and the other Wolves. Even if Mishonrayel would be a very meager challenger to him, he still wanted to have as much of his reservoir available to him at the time. The truth was, Razien wasn’t sure how much Erkinan it would take to draw and use the spectral sword and couldn’t risk being felled by an overuse of Erkinan. If what Torqariyan had implied was at all true, the Wolf would have to be careful not to again end up in Karhan’ Dharian. One wrong move could lead him there, well within the reach of Verillia or Metrux, and he would be able to do nothing against them. No matter the cost, Razien wasn’t going to allow that to happen, not for him, not for Sareffin, and certainly not for the others, misguided as they were. If he could be the cleansing tide to wash over the Rh’euleen and expunge the filth that weighed on them so, then he would do all he could to make it so.

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