Warlock

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 3 (v.1) - Contract: Niagraad

Submitted: March 31, 2017

Reads: 293

Comments: 20

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Submitted: March 31, 2017

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As they walked through the valley, both Spirit and Kathrina glared at Tsunami. Kathrina was conflicted as to why he had tried with such insistency to get her to go with him; why would a Seer want to bring a Warlock to his city? Fair enough, she knew about the Warlocks and might just prove useful to the humans, maybe even give them some kind of upper hand and begin a counterstrike against them, but she was a Warlock, and if they found out, they’d try to kill her. Yes, she also wanted to fight back against the Warlocks that had caused her to be where she was now, but she knew how strong Gahi was, and there was no way he would be defeated by a bunch of Humans, a reckless Seer and herself.

Tsunami was confused too. He had such a strong hatred for Warlocks since his Realm fell, but he, for some reason, felt the need to keep her close. She did seem different and he felt different around her, like he knew her already. One thing Tsunami had always been keen about was his sense of judgement; he could read people without even knowing them, and something about Kathrina made him feel… confident. He felt as if she might just be the key to humanity’s strike back against the Warlocks.

He frowned and looked back over his shoulder at her,  ''Kathrina, once we reach the city, you must explain that you're here to give us information'' he instructed, ''as for staying in the city, you'll have to try and gain a little sympathy to convince the stubborn guards... let me think… you were passing by on your unicorn, and saw the dead herb collector. Then, four Warlocks came at you, but before they could kill you, I came and killed them, saving you'' he suggested, a proud look on his face.

Kathrina scoffed in detest, ‘’as if that would actually happen’’ she mumbled.

''You told me you barely escaped the village you had stayed in which was attacked by Warlocks, so I suggested to bring you back to take shelter in mine'' he continued, ignoring her remark.

''Anything else?'' she asked, agitated.

''Oh, don't use any of your powers... except those that a Seer would use. So basic telekinesis only'' he said sternly.

For whatever reason, he seemed very confident and slightly happy that she had decided to go with him. But she, on the other hand, was still thinking negatively about the idea. However, she wanted to give his idea a chance. As they walked over a hill, the city came into view between two small mountains - it was huge. Two gigantic stone walls surrounded it, joined from each mountain with a small gate in between them. Buildings were built into the mountain’s sides, and there were many houses and buildings on the ground too, but the thing that stood out the most was the huge red-brick fort that sat at the back of the city. It connected the mountain’s sides just like the walls at the front.

Looking back at her, Tsunami smirked, ''welcome to Niagraad, the mountain strong hold'' he announced proudly.

 

Kathrina stared in awe, ''I've never seen a Human settlement so big'' she said as they continued moving towards the huge walls, ‘’it’s… how have the Warlocks not destroyed this place? It’s so close to Warlock territory’’

Tsunami smirked as he continued leading the way forward, ''it’s the largest in this whole mountain range. Most Seers reside here too, we live in the fort at the back; even though we’re here to help, the Humans like to keep us at a distance''

''Typical'' she mumbled, ‘’I see that the discrimination among Humans and other Humanoids is just as common as ever’’ she mumbled. She then looked down at Tsunami, ‘’are Seers the only non-Humans that live here?’’

He looked back at her again, ‘’no, there’s a wide variety of peoples here, but Humans treat them all like… well… animals’’

‘’This is one of the reasons why I don’t like to be around Humans’’ she mumbled.

Tsunami continued to lead the way as she and Spirit followed, still staring at the city ahead. As they approached the gate at the end of a muddy, brick bridge, two guards in red and grey armor stood tall, glaring sceptically at Kathrina. Her attention, however, was on the many tents, carts and wagons spread across the bridge. People were within the tents, muttering quietly while others were rummaging around in the carts and wagons. Refugees? She frowned and looked back at Tsunami, waiting for the right time to ask about them.

Approaching the guards, Tsunami nodded at them in thanks as he and Kathrina walked into the city gates, but they eyed Kathrina and Spirit strangely, mumbling to one another as she passed. She frowned irritably, trying to hold back her sly remarks in order to keep her identity a secret.

Glancing back at her, he noticed her uncertain look. He sighed and looked ahead again, ''don't fret, Kathrina, just stick to the story'' he said quietly.

Ignoring him, she glanced back at the campers outside, ‘’are those refugees?’’ she asked.

He looked back at her, ‘’uh, yeah’’ he answered, ‘’we get a lot of them here. But they’re not just allowed to come right in, the Baron has to see to each of them individually first to make sure they’re not spies or enemies’’ he explained. He then looked ahead, ‘’I was actually one of them before I lived here’’ he revealed.

‘’You were a refugee?’’

Nodding, he looked back at her again, ‘’there were a lot of us after the war; Warlocks never used to occupy the valley, but a small battle between Warlocks and some weird species of people broke out at the other end of it. Apparently, all of them were killed’’

‘’All of this weird species?’’

‘’Yeah, apparently they didn’t stand a chance against the Warlocks – and according to some people, some of this mentioned species aided the Warlocks. It’s just a story though. I wasn’t actually here when the war happened, I was still in my home Realm, but I’ve heard stories. The refugees came from villages and towns near the place where the war happened’’

Kathrina frowned and stared down at Spirit’s mane, ‘’an entire species… just… died?’’

‘’I don’t know’’ he sighed, ‘’like I said, it’s just a story’’ he said as he led the way towards what looked to be the town center.

There were many market stalls set up, busy people rushing around in and out of each building carrying groceries. Others were seeing to livestock, walking donkeys through the town square as they shrieked loudly. All of the people made Kathrina feel uncomfortable, urging her to turn back and leave. She couldn’t stand large crowds, but she had come here to undertake a contract, and she needed the coin, so she sighed and tried her best to ignore the people.

 

They soon stopped in the center of the town square. As they did, a rather chubby man walked over from an outside bar with a grin on his plump, red face, ''Tsunami!'' he greeted with a northern accent, raising his mug of mead, most of it splashing down to the stone ground.

Tsunami stepped forward and shook hands with him as Kathrina dismounted Spirit. She looked around strangely; was this place really threatened by a Werewolf? Everyone seemed so calm, going about their daily lives as Humans did. Not a single one of them looked to be nervous, sceptical or afraid. The last time Kathrina had dealt with a Werewolf, every Human within the small village suspected one another, even killed one another. But these people seemed to show no concern at all. Either that or her irritancy was affecting her judgement. She sighed and looked over at Tsunami, listening as he and the chubby man spoke.

''So, did ye come across anything mysterious?'' the chubby man mocked as he chuckled and waved one of his hands in Tsunami's face, his drink in his other hand.

''Not really, just a few basic Warlocks'' Tsunami shrugged.

''Oh, so the same ol' shit then?'' he laughed.

Nodding, Tsunami dragged his hand over the back of his neck, ''yeah... but that's not all'' he said as he moved aside and looked at Kathrina, ''this is Kathrina, a Seer... she was in distress, the Warlocks I spoke of were attempting to kill her'' he explained, an expectant look on his face as he stared at Kathrina.

The chubby man looked at her and the Unicorn, ''ye don't look like na Seer ta me'' he spat as he looked closely at her eyes, waving his drink around again.

Kathrina glared at him, ''and you look like you've eaten half the city’s winter supplies'' she growled.

Everyone around them fell silent, some trying to hold back laughter as they stopped in their tracks, spectating the conversation.

But the chubby man lost his grin and frowned irritably, ''so yer a joker too ri'?'' he asked, sipping mead from his mug.

Before Kathrina could answer, Tsunami sighed and shook his head, ''I saved her, but she has nowhere to go. I was thinking we could let her stay in the fort - we have many spare rooms'' he began as Kathrina and the man glared at each other. But as he looked back to Tsunami, Tsunami gained a stern look, seeing that he had his attention, ''she was already on her way here. She’s a hunter too, she heard about the Werewolf issue we’re having''

The chubby man’s face was quickly smothered with an intrigued, relieved look, ''aye right... I don' see no harm in it... but I don' like the way she glares at yer'' he smirked as he stared back at her.

''She'll be no trouble, I assure you. In fact, she seems to know a lot about Warlocks as well, she said she's been studying them for years'' Tsunami said quickly, trying to convince the man even more that Kathrina was going to be no less than a valuable asset to them.

He smirked again, ''well if yer wanna stay 'ere, ye can share some o' that knowing wi' us'' he spat as he sipped from his drink, ‘’it’s ‘bout time we got some dirt on those Warlock scums, time we fight back’’

Kathrina remained silent, still irritated by the man’s sloppy attitude.

''Quiet'un too'' he mumbled, but then stood up straight, a stern look appearing on his face, ‘’I’m Oswold, the Baron – show some re’pect!’’ he grumbled, coughing after he spoke, spitting mead to the ground.

She grunted in detest, but Tsunami was glaring down at her, an expectant look on his face. She sighed and looked up at Oswold. She reluctantly held out her hand, ‘’I’m Kathrina’’ she said.

Scowling sceptically, Oswold placed his hand in hers and shook it slowly, ‘’aye… odd name that’’ he said, ‘’you ain’t from around ‘ere, are ya?’’

‘’No, not really’’ she answered, pulling her hand back, wiping it on her robes as she scowled in disgust.

‘’Well, where’re ye from?’’ he asked curiously, sipping from his mug again.

Kathrina looked up at him and opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. She didn’t actually know where she had come from or where her home was. She had no memory of who or what she was before she became a Warlock. She had no idea where she was born, if she had family, friends – she was just… Kathrina. She shrugged, ‘’somewhere far away’’ she said simply.

Before Oswold could ask anymore questions, Tsunami stood beside Kathrina and smiled, ''I'll show her to the fort and then the city. Once she's settled in, she'll get started on the contract and share what she knows... right?'' he asked unsurely as he looked back down at her.

She nodded slowly.

''Best be on yer way then'' Oswold instructed as he turned around, walking back over to the outside bar he had been drinking at. As he returned to his drinking, the people in the town square also got back to what they were doing, leaving Tsunami and Kathrina standing in the center.

 

Sighing, Tsunami looked down at her and frowned, ‘’well, let’s get a move on’’ he said. Tsunami led the way through the city as Kathrina followed, pulling Spirits reigns to make her follow. As they walked a fair distance from the town center, Kathrina glared ahead at Tsunami.

She frowned, ''who was that fat fu-''

''That was the Niagraad Baron, Oswold. He's in charge of the forces we have here. He's a nice guy, rather funny to be blunt. But he does have his bad side and trust me, you don't want to get there'' he explained, looking back over his shoulder at her.

''You sound like you're talking from experience'' she frowned curiously.

He laughed slightly, ''oh I am. When I first arrived here as a refugee, it was in the dead of night and I was starving. I snuck into the city and stole bread from one of the stalls, and someone saw me. I was confronted by him - but he let me stay as I was useful, being a Seer. I didn't get out of his bad books until a Warlock attack, my unique abilities have helped folk a lot around here''

''I'm not here to make friends, it’s just somewhere to stay for a short while'' she said, uninterested in what he had just told her.

''Well, still, you should avoid him for now, he'll give you hell for that comment you made. As funny as it was, you should have stayed silent'' he smiled.

''Whatever you say'' she mumbled.

He then frowned irritably, ''you're so stubborn'' Tsunami grumbled as they followed a path towards the fort, ‘’at least try to be a little glad that you’re here’’

''I am who I choose to be, so deal with it'' she snapped, ‘’I told you I didn’t wanna come here, but you bugged the hell out of me until I agreed to’’ she mumbled.

He smirked, ''Are you trying to make me regret bringing you here? Because if you are, it isn't working''

''No... I just don't feel safe here. As tall as the walls are, something will bring them down one day''

Tsunami frowned strangely, ‘’you don’t have much faith in anyone else, do you?’’ he asked.

She glared ahead at him as he looked back at her over his shoulder, ‘’you underestimate Warlocks’’

‘’Perhaps you overestimate them’’ he suggested.

Kathrina frowned and remained silent. She couldn’t be bothered to fight with him, especially over Warlocks, a subject she despised discussing. As he led the way, she stayed quiet, hoping that he wouldn’t try to start another conversation with her. All she wanted to do right now was get started on the job, but it didn’t seem like that was going to happen for a while. Tsunami now wanted to show her the fort and the city; she didn’t disagree though, it would be helpful to get to know the area she was going to be working in.

They soon came closer to the huge fort that sat at the end of the city. More Seers were hanging around, chattering and crafting weapons, others brawling, some drinking and others laying blind-drunk in the mud like pigs.

She frowned in detest, glaring around at the disgusting Seers. They were just as sloppy as Humans and not a single one of them looked worried about the fact that there was a murderous beast rampaging through their city. Was she really going to have to be around these kinds of people? The thought only increased her urge to leave.

''Tsunami!'' one called from his table, making Kathrina flinch in shock, ''come join us for a drink eh?''

''Not now, Sphinx, I've got other things to do'' Tsunami replied, smirking as he glanced back at Kathrina’s startled face.

''Aight'' he called back, rocking back in his chair.

As they passed by, Kathrina stared at Sphinx, disgusted by his sloppy nature and his rather dirty beard - ''don't they ever clean?'' she snapped, sharply turning her head to glare at Tsunami, ‘’that guy looks like water hasn’t touched him in months’’

''Sphinx is who he chooses to be, so deal with it'' Tsunami mocked, smirking as he glanced over at her.

''Very funny’’ she grumbled, ‘’but seriously, they all look like… well… animals. Look at that guy!’’ she exclaimed, pointing to a middle-aged man swimming in mud, desperately fighting another over a bottle of rum, ‘’who does that?!’’

He shrugged as they walked past the brawling Seers in the mud, ''to be honest, I don't really pry into the other Seers’ lifestyles, I just focus on my own. Anyway, here we are'' he said as they stopped at the entrance to the fort.

Kathrina gazed ahead, staring at the huge brick fort. It looked a lot larger up close, made of both cobblestone and red brick. It was coated in moss and vines and looked older than any other building she had seen whilst following Tsunami. There were multiple glass windows in the walls and there seemed to be just three floors, judging from the windows. The courtyard was mostly gravel, a fountain in its center and a large stable to the right. The sound of whining horses, clashing metal and chirping birds echoed through the air, a stagnant smell lingering around the area, something Kathrina just couldn’t work out what it belonged to.

Once she was done taking in the sights, she sighed and looked over at Tsunami,  ''how long do I have to stay here?'' she asked irritably, flicking a fly away as it hovered in front of her face.

''Just give it a chance, Kathrina. You shouldn't judge something by its cover, you know’’ he said, looking down at her, ‘’I think you’ll like it here, and maybe you’ll make some friends. I mean… I know I’m glad you’re here’’ he said.

''Whatever that's supposed to mean... I don't want to be here, we both know that'' she grumbled.

''That may be so, but trust me, it's not all bad here'' he said.

She looked over at him expressionlessly, ''yeah, sure’’ she muttered.

Tsunami looked down at her, confused. He felt as though his efforts to try and make her feel more comfortable were useless. But he wasn’t going to give up. He sighed and looked to his right,  ''Joe!'' he called. A small Seer dressed in strange ocean-blue robes over by the stables stopped tending to a horse and looked back over his shoulder at Tsunami, ''come take Spirit to the stables!'' he requested.

The Seer was slightly taller than Kathrina and looked younger than Tsunami; he had a light brown belt tied around his waist, no weapon sheathed at his side. As he rushed over, his long, light brown hair floated violently in the wind. It wasn’t as long as Kathrina’s, but it did fall down near to his waist, tied loosely at the bottom with a blue piece of string. His skin was an almost amber color, a tone Kathrina had never seen before; it made her think that he wasn’t originally from around these parts of Alvenguard, and that was probably the case. A lot of Seers came from all over the Realm.

As he slowed and stood beside Tsunami, she glared into his light green eyes as he curiously stared back.

She then turned to Tsunami, ''what?'' Kathrina asked, ''why can't she roam free? She hates being in enclosed places''

They looked at her strangely, but she handed Joe Spirits reigns and sighed sadly. He pulled them tightly as Spirit reluctantly followed, looking back at her in distress.

''That was sarcasm, right?'' Tsunami asked as they continued to walk up a path towards the huge wooden doors of the fort.

''No, it’s true. We had to travel through a mountain range once, the path was very tight, and she didn't like it one bit, panicking and whining through the whole journey'' she explained, looking back over her shoulder as she watched Joe pull Spirit into the stables.

''I thought Unicorns were fearless creatures'' Tsunami asked.

Kathrina looked up at him, ‘’they are, but everyone’s afraid of something, right?’’

‘’True… what are you afraid of?’’ he asked curiously.

‘’Nothing’’ she lied, ending the conversation.

 

As they approached the doors, two Seers held them open. They walked in and stood in the entrance hall; a small group of Seers were sitting at a table eating and chattering quietly to one another. A pair were in the far left corner, clashing swords as a small crowd cheered them on. To the right, more Seers were playing cards quietly. Kathrina frowned, seeing that there wasn’t a single woman in sight – but that didn’t really surprise her, who would want to live around a bunch of sloppy men like these? Just looking at them made her want to throw up.

The floor was covered with a large red and golden colored carpet, candles and torches lined along the walls, a giant chandelier hanging from the ceiling, the candles shining bright. The walls were also lined with hand-painted portraits of regal-looking men, horses, gryphons and even a dragon. The walls were all made of oak wood and looked like they were regularly tended to, the wood glossy and spotless.

She sighed and looked up at Tsunami again, waiting.

Already looking down at her, he smiled, ''come, I'll find you a room''

''How many Seers actually live here?'' she asked curiously as they began to walk up a twisted stairway to the left of the doors they had just walked in through.

Tsunami frowned, ''well, there are about thirty of us right now. We come, and we go, some moved on... some even died in battle'' he explained, ‘’but none of us stay down in the city. Even though we help the Humans, they’re still wary of us’’

''Are there any female Seers here? I mean, I've only seen-''

''Oh, there are’’ he interjected, ‘’but they prefer to spend their days in the city'' he said, ‘’they only really come here to sleep’’

''I can see why'' she muttered as she looked down at the Seers in the courtyard below, fighting over a spilt drink. She scowled in detest, turning back to face Tsunami as he continued leading the way up the stairs.

As they reached the top of the stairs, Tsunami led the way out into another corridor and down a hallway, passing many wooden doors. He stopped outside the one at the end next to a huge painting of a wolf and smiled, looking down at her as he turned to face her, ''this one’s spare and my room is just across the hall'' he said as he pushed the door open, ‘’so I ain’t too far away if you need anything’’

Kathrina barged past him and walked in, looking around irritably. A large bed with quite new-looking sheets was laid out under a large lake painting against the far-left wall, a table against the back wall of the room, a few empty shelves hung here and there. The walls were red and gold like the carpet that covered the entire floor. Two windows were on the outside left wall as well as a door which led out onto a balcony. The chandelier on the ceiling was silver and a few torches were lined around the room on the walls. A few other, blurred paintings clung onto the walls and she could notice some of the wallpaper was peeling away. 

''How old is this place?'' she asked, looking up at him as he stood beside her.

''I don't actually know, I haven't been here long either, but I've heard some say that Seers have lived here way before the city was built in front of it''

''So, the fort was here before the city?''

''Apparently, but I don't care much for the history of this place'' he said sadly, ''I just want to go back to my own Realm''

She frowned and wandered over to the bed, sitting down, ''yeah, I know how you feel. I want to return to the kingdom at some point, just to see if he is alive'' she said, a despondent look appearing on her face, ‘’I can’t stop thinking about it’’

He sat next to her and sighed, ''so, what happened? I mean... the day you fled?'' he asked curiously, but then flinched slightly as she glared at him, ‘’y-you don’t have to tell me’’ he said, ‘’just… you know… if you ever wanted to talk about it, I’ll listen’’

Kathrina glared defensively at him. He was so persistent to get to know her, but she didn’t understand why. Why was he so interested? She was just a Warlock, he was supposed to hate her like everyone else. But his curiosity made her feel slightly warmed. She didn’t know why, but Tsunami made her want to let her guard down a little. He was actually trying to get to know her instead of judging her because of what she was. She also felt that he might be right; perhaps talking about what had happened would make her feel better? She didn’t know, but she wanted to try.

She looked up at him and shrugged, ''it was just like any other day: waking up and getting ready for training. I went to meet with him in the grounds. At first, he looked a little nervous, but I just thought it was because I was so close to mastering my abilities. But it turned out he had something to tell me'' she started, frowning as she spoke.

''What?'' he asked.

She took a deep breath and sighed deeply, ''as soon as he saw me come out of the doors, he rushed over and told me I had to get out of there as Gahi was looking for me... to kill me''

''Seriously? He just threw that straight at you? No warning?''

''No warning. He grabbed hold of me, pulling me out of the grounds and towards the exit of the kingdom. He didn't say anything, except that he'd see me in the future'' she said sadly, ''I didn't question him, because I trusted him. So, I just turned around and left him, no proper goodbye... nothing''

''And there was me thinking that Warlocks were emotionless''

''What do you mean?''

''Well, you're clearly upset, every time you think of the subject, you sadden''

''Well obviously, I lost everything that day. I lost a home, a friend, and now I’m just… alone''

''I know how you feel-''

''No, you don't! You really don't!'' she said, raising her voice, ‘’you have friends, you have a home – I have… nothing’’ she said, gritting her teeth as she tried to hold back her emotions. She quickly stood up and walked over to one of the windows, staring out at the city, ''it's just... everything seemed fine and then one day... just… one day, everything changed, and I lost everything'' she said sadly, ''and now I'm going to be like this for the rest of my life, always running, always alone''

He frowned sympathetically, ''but you don't have to be alone, Kathrina. You are alone by choice, all you have to do is trust in other people and you'll see that you're not alone. I was like you when I was thrown into this Realm, but I made friends, I found a place to call home. I still wish every day that I could go back, but I know that I can’t''

''Friends? I don't need friends to be happy, I just need to see Gahi die'' she mumbled angrily, ‘’he did this to me’’

Tsunami could see he wasn't getting through to her at all; she was intensely stubborn, but he wasn't going to give up on her. Back in the valley, he had found that acting the same confusing way she did actually got her to listen, so perhaps that was the best thing to do – again. He sighed and stood up, ''look, I'm clearly not getting through to you. Fine, if you want to run for the rest of your life, then go, I won't stop you. But maybe if you stopped being so pig-headed, you would see sense in what I've been trying to tell you!'' he snapped as he glared over at her.

Kathrina slowly looked over her shoulder at him as he walked out of the room and slammed the door. She sighed and thought to herself - maybe he was right? Maybe this was her chance to finally stop running. This place looked safe, it felt safe… for now. Maybe just this once, she could try to settle down somewhere. Tsunami wanted to help and help was something she had never been offered before. She looked down at her feet and slowly closed her eyes, ''okay'' she whispered. She turned around, walked out of the door and started to look around for Tsunami.

 

Outside, Tsunami was in the stables trying to help Joe contain Spirit who was panicking as they tried to grab hold of her. She kicked her legs back, sending buckets and brooms flying as she shrieked loudly, violently thrashing her head. Joe had tried to get her into a gate, but she refused, fighting them both. They both had to dodge her huge horn, the lethal weapon destroying a wooden beam as Spirit lunged her head to the side and hit it.

Joe then lost his grip on her reigns, falling on his back. As his back hit the floor, he groaned in anger, ''who in the hell had the idea to bring a bloody Unicorn in here anyway!?'' he yelled.

''Just help me get hold of her'' Tsunami laughed as he helped Joe to his feet, the unicorn trying to scurry away towards the exit.

Just as Spirit was about to make a break for it, she stopped and calmed down.  Kathrina walked in, looking for Tsunami, grabbing Spirit’s reigns; she stroked the beast’s mane, calming her down in just moments.

Noticing her, Tsunami frowned sadly, ''oh... I guess you've come to get her to leave then?'' he asked unsurely.

''Actually, no’’ she said, pulling Spirit’s reigns, leading her into the gate Joe had originally tried to get her into. As she then closed the gate with Spirit inside, Kathrina looked over at Tsunami, ‘’I thought about what you said and you're right, I'll stay'' she said.

''Really?'' he asked, relieved.

''Well, yeah, I can rest for a little while'' she smirked as she picked up a carrot and fed it to Spirit.

''So, what I said actually got through to you then?'' he scoffed, folding his arms in front of him.

Kathrina sharply turned her head to glare at him, ''I... well… yeah, I suppose it did, I should stop running, learn to trust others, whatever’’ she grumbled.

Joe watched them as they spoke, unsure whether he should say anything or not. But as they fell silent, he laughed nervously, ''uh... you want me to go?''

''No, we're fine'' she snapped, ''I just came to tell you that'' she said, turning back to Tsunami, ''now can we get out of this place? It smells like something’s died in here''

‘’No it doesn’t’’ Joe frowned, looking around, ‘’I clean this place every day’’

‘’Well you clearly don’t do a good enough job’’

Tsunami then laughed forcefully as he pulled Joe back before he could yell, ‘’let’s uh… save the jokes for later, huh?’’ he suggested.

She shrugged, ‘’whatever’’

‘’I’ll catch you later’’ Tsunami said, walking past Joe as he frowned irritably at Kathrina who followed Tsunami out.

 

The pair walked out of the stables and Tsunami began to lead the way through the city. As he did, he looked over at her, ''so, what made you change your mind... again?'' he asked curiously.

''Like I said, you're right. I should stop running and let go of what happened in my past, or I'll be alone forever... and I don't want that'' she admitted.

He smirked, ''well, if you're not gonna yell at me this time, I'll tell you: I know how you feel. I lost everything in one day too... in a matter of seconds actually. Everything I knew and loved was pulled away from me''

''But you know of their fate, I don’t know of his. He could be dead, he could be alive... I don't know'' she said as they walked back down the path that led to the town square.

''Who is he? You haven't told me his name or anything about him except that you trusted him''

''That's all you need to know. I trusted him, and I don't trust easily'' she said simply, looking sadly down at the ground.

''Well, you obviously care about him - and don't bother to deny it, I can tell, your tone seems to change when you speak about him'' he said with what seemed like jealousy, ‘’were you two… like… a thing?’’

''Listen, Tsunami, he was just someone I trusted and someone who helped me escape Gahi's claws- that’s all'' she grumbled.

He wasn't at all convinced, but he dropped the subject, seeing that she was getting agitated. He led the way along the path, turning left onto another path. He silently led her towards the left mountain, passing many crowds of chattering people. He wanted to ask her more, but he had probably already asked her too much for one day. As they reached the mountain side, he led the way up a huge staircase carved into the mountain’s side all the way up to the left wall. As they reached the top, Kathrina noticed several other Seers standing there, staring out into the valley.

A few barrels and crates were scattered around containing swords, shields, arrows, bows and water. It looked just like any other scouting post, but this one was a lot larger than any she had seen before. They slowly walked along the top of the wall and stopped when they reached Tsunami's post next to a flagpole. A few meters away stood another Seer; he looked like he hadn't slept in days, a look of terror in his eyes.

Tsunami sighed and then turned to face the valley below, ''this is where I scout,'' he said, ''I prefer to stay here rather than go out on the long-range scout posts. That's where I was when I found you'' he said, changing the subject.

''Why in the world are you a scout?'' she asked slowly.

''What do you mean?''

''Well, what use are you and your sword up here? It's not like the Warlocks are over thirty meters tall'' she mumbled.

''Oh... well quite a few reasons. First of all, my abilities make use from up here; I get a clear view of enemy positions. Secondly, I have sensing powers, an ability that allows me to sense incoming organic matter; from up here, I can sense incoming danger from miles away'' he said proudly.

She frowned slightly, ''but isn't that what the long-range scouts are for?'' she asked, confused.

 ''Well... yeah, but it is still useful if they miss anything'' he explained, but Kathrina didn't seem too interested as an awkward silence fell between them.

'’Well, do you have any ideas on where to start with that contract?'' he asked curiously.

''Actually, yes'' she said, ''were there any witnesses?’’

He nodded, ''that's Cadet Shanloe’’ he said, pointing over to the tired-looking man opposite them, ‘’he's stationed on top of the wall during the daylight’’ he explained, but then looked over at the Seer, ‘’Shanloe!'' he called.

The cadet gasped and stood up straight, shaking, ''S-Sir!'' he called back.

''Come here, we need to speak with you about the beast''

He shivered and gulped, ''uh, yes Sir''

As he walked over, Kathrina stared at him closely; she could see that he was scared out of his mind, his entire body trembling.

''This is Kathrina, she's here to kill the Werewolf that has been seen around the city. You need to tell her everything you saw and anything you know. Do you understand?''

''Y-Yes, Sir'' he mumbled.

''What did it look like?'' she started, ''eye color, fur''

He thought to himself, ''uhh... it was... brown... yeah… brown... and yellow eyes'' he answered, twiddling his fingers together as he spoke.

''You don't sound so sure'' she frowned.

Tsunami looked at her strangely.

''No... I'm sure'' he assured her.

''So, did you see it kill somebody?'' she asked impatiently.

''Um… no, it just... stood and looked at me. It had blood in its mouth but... I didn't see or hear it kill anybody''

She sighed, ''you can go now’' she said as she turned to Tsunami, ''the Werewolf isn't killing anybody?''

''Not as far as we know. Nobody has been reported injured either. Although some people have been reported missing outside of the city. We sent some hunters out a few nights ago, but they could still be out hunting’’ he assumed, ‘’do you think it’s after the livestock?''

She frowned, ''but have you actually noticed any missing livestock?’’ she asked, and as he frowned unsurely, she sighed, ‘’so it’s just roaming the city at night to scare people? No, there's something else going on here'' she said sceptically, glaring over at Shanloe as he returned to his post.

''Like what?'' Tsunami asked curiously.

''Shanloe said he saw blood in its mouth, so where did the blood come from?''

Tsunami thought to himself, but couldn't come up with an answer, ''so what do we do to find it?''

''We have to wait until dusk, when it is in its wolf form. When it shows up, I'll capture it. I need to find out what it wants'' she said, looking out at the valley, ‘’if it’s not here for food or sport, then there has to be some other reason why, and I wanna find out’’

Tsunami sighed and then also turned to face the valley below, ‘’yeah, I guess we should’’

 

As they stood there, silence fell over them. Kathrina’s mind was clouded; her thoughts shifted from the contract to something else entirely. After their small discussion, she found herself thinking more and more about her friend. Back in the valley where she had met Tsunami, he had said he could help her find answers, so maybe he could help her return to the kingdom to help look for her friend. Now that she had thought about it, she wanted to accept his offer. She wanted to find out who she was, and if her friend was still alive or not, and either way, she felt as though she’d still have somewhere to return to after, someone to be with. But she was going to have to tell Tsunami about her friend before she could ask him for help, right?

She frowned and glanced over at him, ''Elijah'' she said, breaking the silence, ''his name was Elijah''

Tsunami looked over at her as she stared out at the valley again, ''the one who you trusted?''

She nodded slowly, ''and no matter how hard I try, I can't stop thinking about him. I… I need to know if he's still alive or not''

''What was he like?'' he asked curiously as they both sat down. He continued to look over at her as she spoke.

''Well... different'' she said plainly, ''he was nothing like the others, he wanted to help me rather than control me''

''Forgive me, but I don’t fully understand'' he frowned.

She took a deep breath as she stared up at the sky, ''I am a different kind of Warlock'' she said quietly, ''A Deviant. Our abilities are much greater than those of any other Warlock, including some of the Princes. We were created to serve Gahi as he was the one who gave us our abilities’’ she started, looking down at her lap.

Tsunami stared at her, waiting for her to continue.

Kathrina sighed quietly, ‘’each of us were assigned to serve one higher rank Warlock for the rest of our lives - obviously, I was assigned to Elijah. At first, I was hostile towards him, I hated the idea of being under someone's command for my entire life... but he was different, I witnessed the way the other Deviants were treated, some were even killed for incorrectly following orders. But he was always so kind, so understanding... like he too hated the way we were treated’’ she said, looking over at him.

He nodded slowly, listening to every word she said.

She looked back down at her lap and dragged her fingers over the stone below, ‘’then one day, he did something... I don't know what, but somehow... I was free... I could think and act alone, my mind was my own... and it was the best feeling I have ever experienced - being an individual’’ she smiled, ‘’the need to serve Gahi was just… gone’’

Fascinated, Tsunami nodded, ‘’so, he freed you somehow?’’

Kathrina nodded and sighed, ‘’well, as time went on, he taught me to master my other abilities. We would spend every day together, training or just talking and I knew I had found someone I could finally trust. He made me who I am today. If it hadn't been for him, I wouldn't be here right now, either I'd be dead... or worse, still trapped in compulsion, being controlled, used’’ she frowned, ‘’I still don't fully understand why he did what he did, but I am grateful. I owe him my life, but... I don’t know if he is still alive, he might have been caught... I didn't even get to thank him or say goodbye'' she said sadly.

Tsunami slowly put his arm around her and pulled her closer to him as she mourned, ''I promise you, Kathrina, I will help you find him'' he said.

She sat there, trying to hold her tears back, ''I didn't even get to say goodbye''

''I've had loved ones taken from me too'' he said sadly, ‘’I – ‘’

''No'' she said quietly, her speech slightly muffled where she was resting her head on Tsunami's shoulder, ''it wasn't like that... he was just the first one to ever care about me''

''I understand - trust me, you and I are not so different, we've both been through a lot'' he said quietly, trying to comfort her.

She frowned and pulled away from him, staring back down at the valley, ''I used to dream about seeing him again. I promised myself that I would see him again, that he was safe. There has not been one second since the day we parted that I haven't thought about him... not one second have I not missed him... I feel… incomplete without him. Even though I prefer to be by myself, I still wish he was by my side. Warlocks do not feel... but I...'' she sighed, ''I... feel'' she whispered, confused.

''You... feel? But Warlocks have no emotions... how can you feel? What do you feel?'' he asked curiously, leaning closer.

''I feel... empty... alone. It’s not that we don’t feel… we just… don’t understand what we feel, I guess’’ she explained.

He stared at her, both curious and confused. He could see something close to sadness in her eyes as she stared back, ''you are different, Kathrina. To me, you seem almost human. The way you speak... with such emotion...'' he paused and stared at her, she was staring back strangely, like he had offended her, ''well, changing the subject, why don't you tell me about you?'' he suggested, ''like how old are you?'' he asked nervously as he stared at her curiously.

''Why are you so interested in me all of a sudden?'' she asked, looking over at him, ‘’we were talking about Elijah’’ but then, she sighed deeply, ''I don't know, he told me I was Eighteen or something''

Tsunami seemed shocked, ''what?'' he asked – she was so small and didn’t look eighteen at all. He had at first thought she was no older than fourteen, but he was clearly wrong.

''Surprising, isn't it? To think that someone as young as me has such a dark past already''

''Well, not really. But how can you not know how old you are?''

''Warlocks are created, not born'' she said plainly, ‘’remember?’’

''What do you mean?'' he asked, ‘’like… explain that to me again’’

She frowned in revolt, ''I... have witnessed it. They take a Mage, or a Seer, even a Human... they strip them of their memory and power, if they have any. Then they force the power of a Warlock into them. They call it Lucious-kinus, this power. Some don't survive-''

Tsunami was horrified, ''I had no idea... I always thought Warlocks were born like seers... but created? That's... that's...''

''I know. Unimaginable, horrific. But it’s how it is. I don't know who I was before I became a Warlock, but I know for sure I wasn't Human... or a Seer, nor a Mage. I was something else... but I'm not sure what''

He was finding it hard to take in all he had just been told, ''I... they turn Seers into Warlocks?'' he asked, almost as if he was panicking.

She looked over at him strangely, ''what's wrong? You're shaking-''

''They wipe their memories... they...''

Kathrina then realized - ''did they take someone from you?'' she asked quietly.

''N-No, I... I don't know... I...'' he paused for a moment, ''they... were going to make me a Warlock?''

''What? They caught you?''

''A long time ago... it never occurred to me until now. I was wondering why they kept me alive for so long. But after I was pulled from my Realm, Gahi locked me away. I didn't know what he wanted with me, but he insisted I was kept alive. But somehow, my powers returned, more powerful than before, allowing me to escape... I don't remember much, but I felt as if the power of Poseidon had been bestowed upon me-''

''Poseidon?'' she asked strangely.

He nodded as he looked down at her, ''he is the God of my Realm. There was an old story that said a worthy subject would be granted his power in the time of need... I guess that was my time of need''

Kathrina’s intrigue was piqued. The thought of a whole new Realm as well as the talk of Gods had her excited. She didn’t know why, but she was enjoying learning all these new things. She shuffled closer and gazed up at him, ''can you get back to your Realm?''

''I don't know. But as I said... it's gone. I watched it... burn...'' he fell silent for a moment, ''but as I've been saying, you and I are not too different. We are both young and been through a lot already. It might not seem like a good thing to share, but both our pasts are dark. I guess it can be a good thing that we have something to relate with''

Tsunami was right. They were both so young to have been through what they had, losing their homes, family and friends. It wasn’t a great thing to have in common, but at least they could relate.

A gentle breeze passed by as Kathrina's dark brown hair floated slowly, revealing her shimmering green eyes more clearly. As she looked up, her slit-like pupils thinned. Tsunami’s pure black eyes didn't reflect the light like hers, but his short white and blue hair glistened gently.

''So... why do Warlocks eyes look like cat eyes?'' he asked suddenly, ''I mean, do they work like cat’s eyes? Allowing you to see in the dark?''

''You ask the most obscure questions, Tsunami... but yes, I suppose they do look and work like those of a cat'' she said, a faint smile showing on her face.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tsunami and Joe frown when Kathrina mentions Spirit's hate for enclosed spaces


© Copyright 2018 Kathrina Csernis. All rights reserved.

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