Salis' Story

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: The Imaginarium

Chapter 18 (v.1) - Eto...

Submitted: September 13, 2019

Reads: 9

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Submitted: September 13, 2019

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I had finally made it to Eto. The ride across Lake Eto was uncomfortable and took longer than I had expected but it had actually been surprisingly easy to not only get myself but my carriage onto one of the barges that crossed the large lake. All it had taken was a few silvers to the right people and no one asked any questions, not even the soldiers that patrolled the docks.

If I had known how cramped the barge was going to be I would have considered simply going around the lake and considering the fact that it was powered by rowers and not sails it did not move fast.

It was only the first night on the barge when someone tried to rob me. Kitten, who refused to leave the carriage, had woken me up with a growl. I soon heard sounds of someone climbing on the outside of the carriage. I had left nothing in any of the outside compartments but the fact that someone was touching my things without permission really irritated me so I exited the carriage silently and knocked the man out. I then pulled him off by his clothes, careful not to make skin contact, and dragged him the the rear of the boat where I dumped him overboard.

No one bothered me for the rest of the trip.

When I finally disembarked two days later in Eto I once again bribed my way past the dock workers and soldiers.

 

Eto city itself was worse than I imagined. The smells alone made me want to gag. It smelled badly of urine, feces, body odor, and decaying bodies. There were also other smells I could not quite make out but I guessed one of them was the smoke that came from the pipes many of the people smoked.

The city was also very dirty. Even Porra-kel was clean in comparison. Most of the buildings looked like they needed to be torn down and rebuilt. Some of them looked like they had been patched so many times that I could not tell what the original part had been.

I also noticed beggars everywhere. Flaern's capital Flae had beggars too but no where near as many as I saw here and most of these were either naked or nearly so. Some groups of them even had what I could only guess was leprosy.

The worst thing I saw were the slaves. Most were naked and the bruises and occasional cut were clearly visible. I even saw a few being beaten for one petty reason or another. Several even looked like they hadn't eaten much and their ribs and hips stuck out.

I soon had to force myself to ignore the sights around me. The farther I got into the city the worse the smell and unwanted sights seemed to get.

Now that I was actually in Eto I had no idea where I was going or where I should look first so I thought about what I needed to do. The first was to get rid of this conspicuous carriage and anything I didn't need. The second was to find a way to get the magic draining collar off of me. The third was to find a way to get out of Toa Mirr.

I decided that I would try and do all three at the same time. All I needed to do was find a black market dealer. Not only could I sell my stuff to them but I could also hopefully buy information off of them.

I imagined it would not be hard to find one in a city like this. The only problem was getting someone to point me in the right direction and to not attract too much attention when I tried to find out.

I pulled my carriage over and called down to a drunken man in hopes that he would be more loose with his information.

"Oi." I said, trying to sound older and masculine. "Oi."

The man looked around a bit but didn't seen to notice me.

I reached into my coin purse and pulled out a copper coin. I threw it at him.

"Oi."

The man picked up the copper coin and then looked up to see who had thrown it.

"What'ch wnt." He said, barely able to form words.

"Do you know anyone I can go to to sell some things. Someone… that doesn't ask too many questions." I said.

The man could barely keep his focus on me. I hoped I hadn't wasted that copper on him.

"No qustns?" He said.

He rolled his head around as his alcohol filled brain tried to work.

"Ifv yu 'ad no qustns wy didj ya talk to…" The man's talking was annoying me so I just stopped listening.

I was about to pull away when someone called out to me. "You should know better than ta talk to tha drunks."

I turned back to the side of the road and saw a boy staring up at me.

"If ya need to find somebody I might be able ta help." He said.

The way the boy was looking at me told me that he expected some sort of payment before he would tell me anything.

I tossed him down a copper coin. He caught it easily.

"Who would hire someone your age as their carriage driver." The boy said. "Could ya introduce them to me?"

I tossed him down another copper.

"Does he live in Eto or somewhere outside? I hope it is outside."

I turned forward and started to drive away.

"Wait!" The boy yelled.

I stopped and turned back to him.

"Do you mind if I get up? I will take you to someone." He said.

"Just don't touch me." I said. I didn't want to find out about this boy's life tonight after all.

The boy didn't seem to think my comment strange and climbed onto the driver's bench.

"So, do ya hide your face because of some horrible injury?" The boy said as I started off.

 

"Stop here." The boy said.

I had actually not been driving long and now found myself on one of the smaller back roads in Eto. There were a lot less people here and the smell was not quite as bad but the people that were here looked to be a little more dangerous.

"I will fetch 'im." The boy said and jumped off. He ran into a nearby building.

In the meantime I noticed that some of the men had taken an interest in me. None came terribly close to my carriage but I watched them nonetheless.

A few minutes later the boy came back out of the building and was accompanied by a tall skinny man wearing some of the cleanest clothes I had seen anyone wear in Eto.

"I hear you have some things to sell." The man said.

I nodded.

"Will you be selling them yourself or is your master inside?"

I glanced back at the carriage. The only living thing in there was Kitten. I was looking forward to their reactions when they saw her.

"I will be selling." I said.

"And what might you be selling?"

"The carriage itself and most of the things inside."

The man nodded and looked the carriage over.

"A fine carriage." He walked to the back door. I jumped down and met him there.

"Kitten." I said. "I'm opening the door."

"Kitten?" The man said.

"My pet cat." I said, wanting to laugh. "She is not for sale though." Even though I had no problem with the idea of selling her Kitten would have other ideas.

I heard a growl inside. It was most likely from my comment.

"That was a cat?"

"She's a big kitty."

I opened the door. Kitten immediately jumped out and headed straight for the nearest alley.

"That is your pet?" The man said, his jaw agape. "Where did you get it."

"She just started following me one day." I said.

The man scratched his head but said nothing further about Kitten.

"Let us see what you have." He said eventually.

The man jumped inside the carriage and began laying everything out.

"How does five hundred gold for everything sound?" He said a few minutes later after having looked over everything several times.

"Seven hundred." I said.

I had had plenty of time calculating the prices of what I thought everything was worth in Flaern and hoped I had a general idea of what price range I should go for.

"Five hundred and fifty." He countered.

"Seven hundred." I repeated.

"You seem pretty set on that price." He said. "But six hundred is as high as I will go."

I had never expected to get the price of seven hundred gold.

"How about six hundred and some information." I said.

"What kind of information?" The man said.

"I need the services of a magic user and then a way out of Toa Mirr." I said.

"Finding you a way out of Toa Mirr is simple. It will take me a few weeks to set things up though. As for the magic user, that will be much more difficult. Most are fighting in Koa Flaer and the ones still here in Eto are not allowed outside of the palace unless on "business". I might be able to get the help of a noble but even two thousand gold would not be enough for their help."

I nodded. I had expected it to not be easy to find a magic user in Toa Mirr.

"Come back in a week and I will tell you if your way out of the country is ready." He said.

The man then called out to someone. A man immediately came out from the same building the boy had gone into. He was holding a large leather sack.

"Six hundred gold." He said. He handed it to me and left.

I set the bag on the ground and began counting it.

"Meticulous are you not?" The man said.

It took me a few minutes to count it all but it was all there and none of the coins appeared to be fake. I was actually impressed that they had prepared it as quickly as they had.

I nodded at him.

The man called out again and several of the men that had been lining the street came to the wagon. They then drove it into one of the wider alleys near the building the man had come out.

"Be careful with that money. Would not want you to get gutted." The man said.

 

 

After I had left the street with the black market dealer I decided to look for a place to stay. I was still carrying a bunch of supplies as well as the large sack of gold I had just recieved and I didn't want to be targeted by thieves.

The strange thing was that nobody really seemed to pay much attention to me despite the fact that I had covered all of my body except for my eyes. The only thing anyone really ever looked at was my bags. I wondered how many of them I would be seeing later that night.

A few hours after I set off I had found no place that was abandoned. I had not wanted to rent out a room at an inn but it looked like I was going to have to. The more I had seen of the city the more I knew the money I would spend on a room would be worth it. The only thing I was worried about was that I would be more likely to be found by any unsavory characters.

I eventually found myself outside of one of the less run down inns I had seen. I had seen what the insides of the cheapest inns were like and didn't want to sleep in the conditions I had seen. The more expensive inns were better but they were just as likely to be infested with bed bugs, roaches, rats and the like.

I soon found out that getting a room was going to be more expensive then I had though. The innkeeper had insisted that I uncover my face. This would not have been a problem at a cheaper inn but I guessed this inn wanted to keep out potentially troublesome customers. It took one gold piece to make him think otherwise.

Not long after I had settled into my room did Kitten come. Kitten harumphed at me but then jumped on my bed and began grooming herself.

"How much do you think I could sell you for, Kitten?" I asked the cat.

Kitten ignored me.

 

Later that night I was awoken by a woman screaming and when I had become more awake I could make out some men laughing as well. The memories I had taken from the men came back to me. They had laughed just like this when they were drunk and preparing to rape one of their victims.

I didn't want anything to do with the crime in this city and I knew I had no hopes of putting a dent in it even if I tried but could I just sit here and listen while I could do something about it. I wanted to go back to sleep, to take myself away from any stimuli, but I knew that I could not sleep knowing what was going on outside.

Against my better judgement I climbed out of my bed. Kitten looked at me knowingly but merely watched me and waited to see what I would do next.

I walked to the window. I had chosen a room on the second floor and would have to jump out. I turned back to my room, dressed myself and then grabbed my weapons.

The screams of the woman had become more frantic. I needed to find where she was soon or the scene I would find upon my arrival would not be pretty.

I jumped out the window. I knew aproximately which direction the screams and laugher were coming from and immediately began running. The streets were almost completely black with only an occasional light coming from inside a house so I had a hard time telling where I was going.

I had run so fast that in less than a minute I found myself staring at the backs of three soldiers. In front of them was the woman they had caught. One of the soldiers was in the process of tearing her clothes off while the others held her down.

One of the soldiers noticed me. "Hey. It looks like we have an audiance."

The other soldiers turned to look at me.

"Are you here to join in child?" The soldier that had been tearing off the woman's clothes said.

I simply loaded my bow and aimed it at them.

It was dark so none of the soldiers realized at first that I had been holding a bow. Now that I had it aimed at them the grins on their faces disappeared.

"Put that down child. We will have to kill you if you do not." Said the soldier in the center.

I answered him by shooting him in the neck.

He fell to the ground on his back and grabbed at the arrow protruding from his neck.

The other soldiers glanced at him once in surprise but quickly turned back to me and pulled out their swords.

"Your death will not be quick." The soldier that had seen me first said.

I shot at him. He tried to deflect the arrow with his sword but failed and he too had an arrow lodged in his neck.

The remaining soldier was almost to me but I pulled out one of the knives I had hidden up my sleeves and threw it at him. It bounced off of his armor and fell to the ground.

The soldier soon reached me. Instead of swinging at me with his sword he kicked at me. I dropped my bow and grabbed his leg. I then twisted it as hard as I could, causing him to fall.

The look of surprise in his face when he saw someone a third his size had so easily thrown him to the ground was priceless. The look when I brought my sword down on his neck was not.

"Th-th-thank you." The woman said after getting up. She then ran away.

I turned back to the bodies of the soldiers. I was disgusted at them. Not only were they using their position to prey on women but they were pitifully weak as well. I just hoped they were well paid.

A few minutes later I had finished checking their bodies. I had only found a few coppers on them but their swords would get me a few silvers each. I generally prefered gold but there was nothing I could do about it.

Now that I was done here I needed to get away. I didn't want to get caught near the bodies of some soldiers. I had had enough fighting in the canyon and didn't want be hunted like that again if I didn't have to.

It did not take me long to realize that I was lost. It was so dark and I had not watched where I was going so I was uncertain of where I was.

I heard another scream. It was much farther away this time and sounded more pained. I shook my head and ran in the direction it had come from. It took me a while to find the source but by the time I arrived at the murder scene it was too late.

Things like this happened all night and it was not until dawn that I found myself climbing in my window and was back in my room. If I had known how much violence went on in this city at night I would never have come here. When I was not chasing down some scream or cry for help I had been trying to find my way back to the inn.

The only good thing that had come out of the night was my new cache of weapons, various rings and jewelry and a lot of copper and silver coins.

Kitten was sitting on my bed and watched with a look that what was probably amusment as I set down my new belongings on the floor.

"Off." I said the Kitten and pusher her off the bed.

 

 

I woke up sometime in the afternoon. I was actually curious to see if my activities the previous night had sparked any talk though if last night was any indication people getting killed was not out of the ordinary.

I also wanted to sell some things so I made my way back to the street that the man I had sold my things to had been.

"I was not expecting you for another six days." He said when he came out.

"I have some more things to sell." I said.

I dropped the bundle I had brought on the ground. The man unrolled it.

"Looks like you have been busy." He said.

I shrugged.

"No matter. I suppose it is better that I do not know how you got these."

"How much?"

"Oh, about one gold and three silvers for the swords. None of the jewelry is particularly valuable but I will give you nine silvers for them."

I nodded.

"Good." He said and handed me the money. "Just a warning. Someone killed a few soldiers last night and there will be patrols looking for whoever did it."

With that done I now had no reason to stay outside so I headed back to my room. I just hoped I would be able to sleep this night.

 

For the next three days I repeated the same thing I had done on the first night. No matter how many murders and rapes I stopped there would just be more. On top of that the night patrols had increased. They were easy to avoid thanks to the torches they carried but they too had begun to investigate any screams or scuffles not in an attempt to stop whatever was happening but to catch me.

I actually was relieved about this. More often than not whoever was trying to rape or kill gave up on their victim when they saw the soldiers coming. On the third night I had not even had to lift a finger against anyone.

I had been so bored on the third night that I decided to liven things up so I visited Mr. Black Martket Shady Guy for some supplies.

"Hmm." He said, looking at my list. "Are you going to start dealing in alchemy or medicine? Let us see, a mortar and pestel. Some charcoal. Brimstone… that will be a bit expensive… Salt Peter… not as expensive as the brimstone but still expensive. Glycerin? I have never heard of it but I can ask my suppliers. Nitric acid? Never heard of that one either. Never heard of potassium or sodium either."

I hadn't expected for him to know about anything other than the first three items. I didn't even know the Calorin names for some of the latter ones or even if anyone knew what they were to begin with but I wanted to try just in case.

"When will you have them ready." I asked.

"I can have the first four items to you by the end of the day. The rest I could not say."

I nodded. "I will be back in a few hours."

 

 

 

The next thing I did was head to the closest market. I was going to get a barrel of lamp oil or anything flammable. I also decided to check and see if they had any citrus fruit but ended up finding none. In fact most of the food was boring and low quality.

I then went back to my room to drop off my newly acquired barrel of lamp oil. Despite it being half my size I found myself easily able to carry it without help. The best part had been the looks people gave me when they saw.

Now that I had my oil I had a few hours to kill before I would head back to get my stuff so I headed to a more wealthy part of town. Aside from my face being covered I actually fit in better here than where I had been and got less looks. It was amazing how having clean clothing that was not worn to the threads made someone's image so much better and thanks to some idiot that dumped me into a canyon I had that.

As I walked past the different shops I saw many things that made my inner greed grow hungry. First there was the carpenter shop filled with fine carvings, some expertly painted. Then there was a jewelry shop. It was when I got to a shop that dealt with dyes, fabrics, and other things that I stopped.

It made me wonder if there was anywhere I could by some cosmetics or hair dye. If I covered my white skin and changed my hair then I wouldn't have to cover myself like I had been doing. I was actually about to ask someone but decided that because of my blue eyes and Terra features that anyone who knew what to look for could see past any fake coloring I gave myself.

I eventually ended up at a decent looking outdoor food vendor. I decided to take a break and ordered the safest looking item they had. I then sat down on a nearby barrel and ate.

 

"Hello Little Big Sister Salis." I heard someone say.

I immediately jumped off the barrel and reached for my sword.

I heard a laugh and looked to my right and saw two boys looking at me.

"Are you going to kill anyone that knows you?" The boy on the right said. He was the older of the two.

"A fight with her might be fun, Big Brother." The younger boy said.

It was then that I realized I had seen these boys before but could not remember where.

"Do you not remember us?" Big Brother said. "You were the one that saved us from the slavers."

It made sense now why I recognized them but how did they know my name? I had an idea but I wanted to confirm it.

"How do you know my name?" I asked.

"The one that gave you the same gift as us." Big Brother said.

"Yep! He came right after you left and promised to make us strong!" The little brother said.

So I was not the only one with the ability to kill with a touch.

"Do not worry Little Big Sister, He just wanted us to meet. We will not tell the soldiers you are here." Big Brother said.

"Please eat lots of life and get strong so we can play later!" The little brother said.

"Yes, we have been eating a lot so if you do not it will not be as fun." Big Brother said.

Eat life? Is that what I had been doing?

"I'd rather not play with you." I said.

"Aww, why not?" The little brother said.

"I don't like the taste of other people's lives."

The brothers looked around.

"Taste?" Big Brother said.

"Do you not have dreams at night?" I said. If they didn't I was not going to be happy with Servant.

"Dreams? Oh, you mean that?" Big Brother said.

"Oh yeah, the things you see when eating!" The little brother said.

"We have never had dreams but we do see things." Big Brother said.

So they didn't have the dreams? What a ripoff. I guess they still saw flashes when they were "eating" but it sounded nothing like what I had to go through.

Big Brother glanced over his shoulder and then turned to the little brother. "We need to go Loranthin."

Little Brother looked at Big Brother and then back to me. "He is taking us to… Ko… Koa… Koa Flaer!"

Big Brother nodded.

"He is taking us to Koa Flaer to eat. He told us that there are lots of places to eat over there." Little Brother said.

Koa Flaer? That was where Toa Mirr was fighting right now. I guess if a lot of people died there no one would notice.

"He says we can play with you when we finish there." Big Brother said. "So eat a lot here or it will not be as fun."

Little Brother nodded. "Toys that break easy are not fun."

Wait… now I was a toy?

"Bye Little Big Sister." Big Brother said.

"Bye!" Little Brother said.

I sighed.

 

As soon as the brothers left I sat back down on my barrel. There was still about two hours until nightfall and I was in no hurry so I just ate and thought.

About an hour later I found myself back at Mr. Black Market Dealer's place.

"I could only get four of the things you requested." Mr. BMD said and handed me the mortar and pestal, a large sack of charcoal, and two smaller sacks filled with the brimstone and salt peter.

I paid the man and then left.

As soon as I got back to my room I began. I had never made gunpowder before and only knew a rough estimate of what went in it so I began to experiment.

Nothing I did worked. I did get some sparks and crackling but never the explosive flash that I was trying to emulate. Thankfully what I had planned did not require perfect gunpowder. I was not planning on blowing anything up so I just needed noise and sparks.

 

 

By the time it was time for me to leave I had made enough feux gunpowder to fill a medium sized sack. I then filled some water flasks with oil and grabbed a few rags before finally grabbing my bow and sword.

I already had a spot picked out to set my trap. It was in one of the more run down sections of Eto and only the occasional drifter or evil doer strayed down the road. I also knew that some soldiers had come down this street once or twice the night before and hoped they would again.

I worked quickly. I put down a heavy dusting of my blackpowder in a rectangle that stretched all the way across the street. I then took out my oil and soaked the perimiter of the rectangle in hopes that it would ignite the powder. I also soaked some of the rags with the oil and placed the over the oil border and gunpowder in hopes it might help light the powder. I then made a trail that led behind one of the run down buildings.

Upon my hiding place on the roof of the building I waited. The night was quieter than it was when I had first arrived but I could still hear the occasional laughter, yelling, animal, scream, etc…

I saw the torches of the patrol of soldiers coming my way. I immediately pulled out two candles and lit them. It only took a few minutes for them to arrive and soon they almost on top of my trap.

"Do you smell somthin'?" One of the soldiers said and stopped right on the edge of the trap.

"Oil maybe?" The other said.

The soldiers took another few steps forward.

I was then that I dropped my candle onto a pool of oil at the end of the oil trail that led to the trap. The oil immediately lit and the flame spread quickly down the trail until it reached the trap.

The soldiers were soon surrounded by a pitifully weak rectangle of fire that would only scare a child and only prevent a baby from crawling over it.

"What!" Said one of the soldiers.

They both drew their swords and pulled shields off of their backs.

"Is this some sort of joke?" The second soldier said when he saw the fire.

Yes, it actually is. I thought to myself. It's just not working the way it was supposed to.

"Come out and we will spare you." The first soldier said, looking towards the trail of fire.

I readied an arrow. Instead of aiming at the soldiers I aimed at the powder near their feet as the arrow I was aiming had a small rag soaked in oil on its tip. I lit the arrow, aimed and then fired.

The arrow struck the powder and soon I heard crackling and saw flashes coming from the soldiers' feet. It only lasted for an instant. Only the powder near where the arrow had hit had gone off.

I heard what sounded like laughter next to me. I looked and saw that Kitten had appeared next to me.

"Magic!" I heard one of the soldiers yell from a place on the opposite side of the road where they had taken cover.

"I do not think so." I barely heard the other soldier say. "Probably some sort of trick."

I didn't wait to see what the soldiers would do next and grabbed the bag that contained the last of my gunpowder. I then lit the top of the partially oil soaked bag on fire and tossed it at the soldiers.

The bag hit the closer of the two soldiers. Immediately the same popping and flashes as earlier happened as the powder that burst from the bag caught on fire. The soldier began screaming as sparks and burning powder entered his armor.

"Better?" I said, turning to Kitten.

Kitten yawned.

I then took advantage of the distraction I had given to the soldiers and returned to the inn.

 

 

 

The next day I decided to take a more measured approach to my gun powder. I bought some measuring equipment. I then spent the rest of the day refining my mixture of gunpowder. I still had not quite gotten my recipe to the point that it exploded the way I knew it should but it ignited much more easily.

My tests later that night were much more successful as well. I had actually forgone the oil perimeter and just fired straight into the powder. The result was still not what I had hoped for but I didn't get laughed at by Kitten again.

The next day I was so close to the gunpowder that I was aiming for that I even bought several small jars. I had then packed the jars full of gunpowder in hopes that I could use them as bombs. I had even attempted to make fuses but didn't have time to do much about that so used strips of rags instead.

I then made some molotov cocktails with some extra jars. I had plenty of lamp oil left so I figured it was the best use for it.

For the remaining time until I would go on my night patrol I continued to experiment with making fuses. I wouldn't get the results until the next day because I often soaked the cord I was using in water and oil but I hoped to find which ways made the fuse burn quickly or slowly.

 

 

Tonight when I left I decided to stay on the rooftops as much as possible. The houses and other building were close enough together that, other than when I needed to cross a street, I could easily jump the gaps between them.

I had also decided that it would not be good to stay too close to the inn I was staying at. All it would take was one observant person and the next thing I would know some soldiers would begin searching the area around my inn.

A few hours into the night I heard Kitten growl at me. She didn't look like she was mad at me but was instead warning me about something. I had never had her help me like this before so I stopped and did my best to see what would finally get her to help.

It only took me a minute to see. In the direction I had been coming from I saw figures running from shadow to shadow down on the road and at least one of the figures on the rooftops on each side of the road.

My instincts told me that I would have a better chance standing my ground and attacking first than letting them catch up to me and forcing me to stop. I probably could outrun them if I dropped everything but I had no idea what I would find ahead of me.

I readied my bow. I aimed at the figure on the rooftops just behind me and shot just before they jumped. The figure showed no signs of knowing that I had shot at him and the arrow caught them in the chest mid jump. The force of the blow nearly pushed them back onto the roof behind them but they simply bounced off the edge and then fell the the ground.

I quickly went to aim at another of the figures when I noticed movement in my peripheral vision. I turned just in time to block a kick but the blow snapped my bow in two and sent me stumbling backwards.

"You have improved Child of Terra." The attacker said in a familiar voice.

"Bad Kitty?" I said, recognizing the voice.

The man sighed. "I wish would not call me that. If someone hears you call me that…"

"Bad Kitty." I said loud enough for the other figures to hear and pointed at the man.

"You would be doing us both a favor if you did not do anything unesesary." He said and put one of his hands on his hip.

I hurriedly glanced around me. The men on the street had nearly reached me and at least two more had climbed onto the rooftops.

"Do not expect your friend to come and save you this time. We promise to make your death quick."

"What happened to the job offer?" I asked him.

"I cannot say. I only know that I was ordered to kill you this time, and after the last time I am more than happy to do it even if you look like a child."

I edged towards the edge of the roof. If I was going to fight I would rather do it where I had more room and there was no where to fall off of.

Bad Kitty pulled out a short sword from a sheath at his hip. It was crystal forged.

Some of the men were now directly under me. If I were to jump now they would simply stab me as I landed.

Instead of pulling out my sword I grabbed some flint and a candle from one of my pouches.

"What are you planning?" Bad Kitty said and readied himself to attack.

"Just stay there and I will show you. You can be a good kitty for once can't you?" I said.

Bad Kitty laughed.

I hurried and lit the candle.

"I will not allow you to finish whatever you are planning." He said and lunged at me.

I dodged Bad Kitty's attack, grabbed a molotov cocktail from the large pouch off of my back, lit it and tossed it as hard as I could at the two men under me and then jumped off of the roof just in time to avoid Bad Kitty's follow up attack.

One of the men slashed at the molotov cocktail just before it hit him, shattering it. The oil still caught fire and not only covered him but also splashed onto the other.

Despite this, the fact that they had just been caught on fire only distracted them briefly, but it was still enough time for me to land and roll out of the way. By the time I had recovered from my roll I had to roll again to avoid a sword strike from the closest of the two.

I pulled out my sword as soon as I finished my second roll and immediately had to block a second sword strike.

"Pull back." Bad Kitty said after he jumped from the roof onto the street. He then looked at the burning men for a second as they stepped back and then shook his head. "Extinguish the flames and see the healer."

The two men knelt down and began covering themselves with dirt in an attempt to stop the flames.

"Brainwashed soldiers are such a pain." Bad Kitty said. "They never disobey an order but they will also do nothing unless you tell them."

Great, I now had to fight some brainwashed lackeys that didn't care for their well being.

I grabbed my last two molotov cocktails and lit them.

"Still resisting?" Bad Kitty said and lunged at me.

I threw them both on the ground directly in front of me in hopes that the flames would create a barrier between us.

"Haaaaa!" Bad Kitty yelled and jumped over the flames.

I block his attack. I nearly staggered under the blow. In fact, his blow almost felt inhuman. Not even Martu had come close to hitting this hard. If my sword hadn't been crystal forged it would probably have shattered.

Bad Kitty whistled. "I knew Terran's were strong but even as a child you should be no stronger than a grown man."

It was then that I noticed I had finally been surrounded. The two men that had been on the roof had jumped back down and were now on either side side of me.

"Good bye Child of Terra." Bad Kitty said.

All three of the men lunged at me. I jumped back just in time but not far behind me was a wall so I could only retreat so much more.

I grabbed one of my jars packed with gunpowder. I had dropped the candle when Bad Kitty had attacked me. It was still lit but it was the oil fire behind Bad Kitty that I would be aiming at.

I threw the jar in a high arc over Bad Kitty's head and then rushed at the man on my right. The two men rushed me as well but Bad Kitty had his eyes on the jar and was backing away from it.

I met swords with the man I had rushed at. He skillfully blocked, but before he had the chance to counter and just before the other man reached me the bottle hit the fire.

There was a large crack as the gunpowder ignited. It wasn't as loud and spectacular as I had hoped but it was enough to stagger my attackers and gave me just enough time to roll past them.

I ran as fast as I could. At the same time I pulled out my flint and another jar of gunpowder. The men were right behind me and it would not be long until they caught up to me.

I heard a loud thump behind me. When I looked back I saw that Kitten had tackled both of the men.

Keep running. I heard a voice in my head say.

I had no problem running away from these men. Even one on one I knew I would have a tough time.

Duck! The voice said.

I did. Not long after I did so I felt something rush past my head. It was a ball of fire. Now that someone was lobbing magic at me I needed to get out of the open even more as avoiding another one would be even harder so I headed towards the nearest alley.

I had nearly made it the alley and was about to enter it when I finally looked back. Bad Kitty had finally turned himself into a cat and was fighting Kitten. The two men were ignoring the fight and would enter the alley behind me soon.

I lit the rag on the jar of powder I was still holding. I then tossed it at the feet of the two men and lept in the alley. I soon heard a shattering of pottery but there was no explosion.

I also soon found out that the alley I had entered was filled with rubble from a collapsed wall. It was not high and I could climb over it but not fast enough to avoid the men, especially if they had throwing knives or something.

I turned around and pulled out my own throwing knives, dropped my bags and then threw.

The first knife I threw was just a little too early but the second hit the first of the men in the shoulder as he turned the corner. I didn't have time to throw another dagger so I charged him in hopes that the small alley was too narrow for the other to get to me and that the injury I had inflicted would be enough to make a difference.I also hoped that my small stature would give me greater room for maneuverability and would work to my advantage.

I clashed swords with the man. His strength did indeed appear weaker thanks to the knife sticking out of his shoulder but whether or not it would be enough…

It was. With each blow we traded he seemed to get slightly weaker and thanks to the fact that he could not swing his sword very wide to avoid hitting one of the walls I began to push him back.

Then the unexpected happened. The second man pushed the man I was fighting into me. It was all I could do to keep myself from being stabbed as he fell. I managed to keep myself from falling but my sword was now pinned between us. The second man then took the opportunity to stab at me.

I gave in to gravity and let myself fall to the ground. While the attack missed me it also meant that I was now pinned under the weight of the first man.

The first man abandoned his sword and grabbed my neck. There was nothing I could do. My right arm was pinned and my left arm alone could do nothing to the heavy grip of the man. Instead I tugged at the fabric covering my neck. If I could only get a little skin contact…

Unlike the other men I had killed this way I felt no real emotions, all I felt was energy, or whatever it was, entering my body. In an instant I felt the strength leave the man. He was soon dead.

Now all I had to do was take care of the last man and I could get out of here.

The man standing above me stabbed at me. I pushed the limp body off of me towards the attack. The sword pierced the dead man in the back and erupted from his chest, spattering blood all over me. The sword had also nearly made it to me but thanks to its short length was a few centimeters away from my skin.

I used all of my strength and pushed the body to the side before the remaining man had a chance to pull his sword out. The man did not fall but let the sword go.

The man kicked me as I tried to get to my feet. I blocked the blow with my arm but was sent stumbling backwards and then landed hard on my butt.

The man pulled out two small daggers and rushed at me. I barely had enough time to roll out of the way before he reached me and he only managed to give me small cuts on my shoulder and back. My headwrappings also fell off, letting my hair spill out and revealing my face. Not that that made a difference right now…

I sprung to my feet.

The man had wasted no time and was charging at me again. I attacked him with my sword but the man blocked my sword with one of his daggers and then slashed at me with the other.

I lept back. The dagger missed my skin but cut a huge gash across my clothing.

I attacked the man again, except this time I only used one of my hands to swing the sword. The man blocked my attack again and countered with his dagger. This time, instead of jumping back I used my free hand and caught the man by the wrist.

I was wearing gloves but I hoped if I tried hard enough I could drain him through the leather gloves. It worked but it was not as quick as it would have been without the gloves.

The man pushed my sword away and attacked me again. He was visibly weaker and I easily dodged his attacks. A moment later I tried attacking him again. This time he only barely managed to meet my sword with his daggers but I was now too strong for him and I pushed my sword past his dagger and slashed him across the chest.

This was not enough to kill him but with a quick stab I pierced his heart. The man's body went limp and fell to the ground. I then pulled my sword out and wiped the blood off on the man's clothes.

 

Now that I had taken care of the two men I focused my attention on the other fight that was still happening. I could only hear the two large cats here in the alley but judging from the noise their fight was still going strong.

I ran out into the street. Not far away I saw the two cats grappling with each other.

Both of the cats had their fair share of injuries. Not only were they clawing and biting at each other but they were also using magic. Kitten had several claw marks and a bad looking burn. Bad Kitty also had some claw marks, as well as a bite mark and a less severe looking burn.

The area around them was in even worse condition. Several of the buildings had caught on fire. Some of them even had pieces of ice sticking out of them. I also noticed several large pieces of wood and furniture that looked to have been thrown around.

Go back out of sight. I cannot guard you from his magic. Kitten said to me.

No sooner had Kitten said this when Bad Kitty focused on me. A large ball of fire had formed near him and was soon launced at me. I raised my sword. I had actually had some training at the school to defend against magic with whatever I had and my crystal forged sword was second only to a crystal forged shield or armor.

The fireball slamed into my sword. The crystals in my sword did their job and the fireball was nullified.

I should have taken the opportunity to retreat back into the alley but I instead pulled off my gloves and then rushed towards the two cats. Kitten didn't say anything but resumed her attacks on Bad Kitty.

Bad Kitty backed away from Kitten and at the same time I saw I saw several pieces of furniture and large pieces of wood lift off the ground. Instead of being thrown at me Bad Kitty threw them at Kitten. None of them hit Kitten but it soon became apparent that that was not what Bad Kitty had been trying to do. He had put enough debris between him and Kitten that she would not be able to reach me in time to stop him from attacking me.

I had nearly reached Bad Kitty. Kitten was trying to move the debris out of the way but by the time she had finished I had already reached Bad Kitty.

How brave. Bad Kitty said to me. Trying to fight me without magic? Yes, I do know you cannot use it well if at all.

Instead of using magic Bad Kitty lept at me. I dropped my sword and grabbed at his outstretched claws. It looked as if he had been expecting to deal with my sword somehow so my barehanded attack caught him by surprise as his aim had been made for if I had still had my sword.

This gave me more room to maneuver and I ducked under his claws and the grabbed his front legs.

"Thanks for the meal." I said.

The cat's life force quickly entered me. Aside from the feelings of confusion, waning confidence, and a strange sense of regret for having to have to kill me, I noticed that not only was his energy stronger but it "tasted" different as well.

I fell on my back, the air almost getting knocked out of me, as Bad Kitty's body finally slammed into me.

I wasted no time and pulled myself out from under his body.

"I hope Helnion won't get mad at me for killing you." I told his body. "She really did want to make you a good kitty."

Kitten came up to Bad Kitty's body. She poked at it and then sniffed it.

"We should go." I told her. "Don't feel like fighting anyone else."

Kitten nodded.

I looked at the scene around me. I saw no one and was actually surprised that no one else had come, if only to watch. I did know one thing. Thanks to all of the fires that the cats had started someone would be coming, and if it was like Flaern there would be mages to put out the fires.

For a second I thought it might be worth staying to see if I could get one of the mages to take the collar off of my neck but I doubted they would do anything other than attack me so I retrieved my things from the alley and began to make my way back to the inn.

 

It was slow going back to the inn. Now that Kitten no longer had the help of adrenaline her wounds had started to affect her and she had a hard time keeping up with the puny human. Avoiding the patrols hadn't really helped either.

When we finally made it back to the inn I found we had another problem. Kitten couldn't climb to our window. I offered to try and carry her but she simply huffed at me.

This meant we would have to go in the normal way. Normally the inn keeper would probably been asleep at this time of night but with all the noise that had happened and the noise that the soldiers that had been mobilized since the fight were making I would be surprised if anyone in this section of the city were still asleep.

"If you turn into a person you could just walk in with me, you know." I said to the cat.

Kitten huffed at me again.

"Come on. I want to see what you look like."

Kitten sat down and started licking her wounds.

"While you're at it you can use your magic and take this thing off." I said and unwrapped the cloth covering the magic collar on my neck.

Kitten ignored me.

"I guess Kitten gets to sleep outside tonight." I said and started climbing.

When I was in my room I looked back out the window. Kitten was still there but seemed content to stay where she was.

"Good night." I called down to her and then shut the window.

I began undressed myself so I could look at my wounds. For the most part I was fine but the two cuts on my back I would need to take care of before I went to sleep.

There was no mirror in the room so I could not see the cuts on my back and shoulder but they weren't too deep from what I could feel. They also had already stopped bleeding. I wanted to disinfect them but the only thing I had access to was salt. I didn't know if it would be enough to stop an infection but it was better than just leaving it and if my last wounds were any indication these ones would be healed in no time anyways.

I fell into my bed. I was happy the night was over. Well, the waking part. It was the sleeping part that I was now not looking forward to. Well, except maybe dream I would be having about Bad Kitty. I hoped his dream would tell me where the cat people came from.

 

It hadn't taken me long to fall asleep and as expected I started dreaming about the men I had killed.

The first two dreams were almost identical although the second was not as clear, but thanks to the fact that both men were almost constantly in each other's presence it hadn't made much of a difference. They had been taken to a special section of the castle in Eto when they were young boys. There they had not only trained but were also brainwashed using magic. Thankfully their memories became more and more fuzzy and disjointed as their individuality and emotion was stripped from them and I did not have to experience much of what had happened to them.

The dreams of both had been short and thankfully not mentally scarring like the others had. I hadn't even experience the brainwashing for some reason. I had been lucky.

Next came the dream I was looking forward to.

I found myself in a land I did not recognize. I also couldn't understand the flashes of words I would occasionally hear, at least at first. What I did see were lots of cat people that looked almost exactly like Bad Kitty. I also saw that only the pregnant women and the young children used human form, unless someone had to do something that required a thumb.

I saw no cats like Kitten.

The village Bad Kitty grew up in was primitive. The only technology it seemed they had was simple houses, farming tools made of wood and stone and their bows and axes were made with wood and stone as well. In fact I saw no metal, not even for decoration.

Bad Kitty himself had an uneventful childhood.

It was when he was older that things turned for the worse. A large war started. Not only was this cat tribe involved but I saw tribes of other animals.

Aside from the cats I saw wolf people, mouse people(human sized mice), horse people, rabbit people(also human sized), even tribes of people that transformed into insects and arachnids. I saw no flying animals in their numbers.

All of these tribes had come together to fight just one enemy. This enemy, as far as I could tell, were just normal humans. I had no idea what had started the war but Bad Kitty's feelings towards them were not only anger but also fear for, unlike the tribes, the normal humans had technology. A bit of which was even more advanced than what I had seen in Flaern.

Still, what the animal tribes lacked in technology they made up for in numbers and magic ability. In fact it seemed like most of the humans could not even use magic.

The war was quick, and aside from a few battles that involved humans that possessed great magic ability, the animal tribes tore through their enemy. The magic attacks of the animal tribes were so strong and fierce that I imagined even the Flaern magic users would have a hard time handling them.

Another thing I noticed was the resilience that the animal tribes had. I saw some take injuries that would kill a normal animal but live. Their wounds also healed much more quickly than usual.

All of these things were what contributed to the quick defeat of the humans. I imagined it only took a few weeks for their downfall.

What happened after was not pretty as well. Most of the animal tribes seemed to want to kill all of the humans. Bad Kitty was one of the few that didn't want to.

It was this choice that led to his banishment.

He had been led to what appeared to be a giant invisible barrier. Several of the tribes held a large ritual and a hole in the barrier was opened. Bad Kitty and several hundred others were led to the other side before the barrier was closed.

Bad Kitty's life after this was harsh. He and the others found themselves sandwiched between a small stretch of coastline and a vast ocean.

This stretch of coast was not well suited to settlement. There were no animals and no room to grow crops. The only source of food they had was whatever they could get from the ocean and it was not long when the conditions caused conflict among the various members of the different tribes thanks to the limited supply of food, the close quarters and a disease outbreak.

Not long after a group, mainly consisting of cats, volunteered to leave and see if they could find a better place to live. The other tribes were more than happy for the chance for extra space and several rafts were built from the small grove of trees that stood next to the barrier.

Bad Kitty's group soon left. No matter which way down the coast they went they found access to the shore blocked by the barrier.

When they saw that the farther they went the farther the barrier went away from the shore they decided to head into the ocean. They had no idea just how vast the ocean was.

They had only been in the open ocean for three days when their first storm hit. It was not a terrible storm and it even helped replenish their water reserves.

A few days later the second storm hit. This one was more severe and persisted for a few days but it too passed with time.

It was the next few weeks that took the toll on the travelers. Not only was there no more rain but it had begun to gradually become hotter and their water supply began to run low. Several of the cats even resorted to drinking the ocean water as they did not know the risk. The next few days were terrible as the group had to watch those that had drank the water slowly become delerious and then eventually died.

Finally another storm came. It was the worst storm by far and the waves were fierce and the rafts were pulled away from each other. Bad Kitty never saw them again.

Bad Kitty and the two other cats on his raft survived the storm. They even managed to save their water barrel from being contaminated by the ocean water.

The three floated for another week or so and it was then that they spotted land. The three cats paddled their way to shore.

It was not long after that they came into contact with their first people, humans. The cats were unsure of what to do. They had found themselves stuck in a land full people just like their old enemies.

The humans were frightened of the cats and soon several hunting parties had formed and began hunting them. The cats easily killed their pursuers but soon after a stronger hunting party came, one with magic users. The cats were overwhelmed. Only Bad Kitty had survived and only then with serious wounds.

Bad Kitty had finally woken up. He found himself in chains, collared and in human form. It was not long until he also found himself being experimented with. The collar not only sealed his magic but also made him unable to remain in his cat form and his captors found it fascinating.

A few months later Bad Kitty found himself sold to the king of Toa Mirr himself. It was there that he was made part of the Toa Mirr abduction and assassination elites.

The only notable thing after this was when I saw myself. It was strange seeing my actions through another's eyes. It was also satisfying feeling his frustration at his failure at capturing me.

Thanks to me he had found himself stuck in Eto where he took care of undesirables until news of my arrival. He had even spent some time in that accursed canyon looking for me.

It was about this time the dream ended. I had been hoping to see his fight with me and Kitten but it didn't happen.

 

 

I woke up that afternoon feeling strangely rested. I also saw that Kitten was asleep next to me, her wounds already well healed. I thought back to the dream and wondered if she had been in there somewhere. I hadn't noticed her in the group of exiles and hadn't even seen any other cats like her.

I got out of bed. Kitten opened her eyes and looked at me.

"What do you say we take a break for the next few days?" I said.

Kitten made a sound that I took as agreement.


© Copyright 2019 DivineEternal1. All rights reserved.

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