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Twisted Logics

Old Vault Category: 
Old Vault ID: 

The sky looked crimson red as the flames licked the rooftops of the burning houses. Villagers were scattered around, consumed in panic, desperately trying to douse the fires with water from the well, before they spread to yet another home.

They had come again – the black raiders, for the second time this year. And the fourth time in twelve. At least the fourth time they had managed to reach the village. But they were not as many now, but that was probably why they were setting fires around the perimeter. Revenge. Revenge for the raids they had missed in the past years. Whenever they came now, there was more carnage and destruction than they had ever sown before, which was more than they had bargained for; this had to stop.

Where was she?

“Dada?” a shivering voice cried behind him. He turned and saw the boy in the door, fear struck, tears in his eyes as he gazed upon the burning houses in the distance.

“Get inside, boy!” He yelled angrily. But the boy didn’t move. He was about to run over and force him inside when a slashing pain hit his back, a crack piercing through the air. The man fell forward, gasping in agony.

A dark figure towered above him, whip in one hand, rapier in the other, grinning and hissing through yellow teeth. His horse rose to its back feet, letting out an ear-grinding screech, as its rider pulled the reins, letting his whip slash through the air once more.

“Please!” The man whimpered, and huddled “We’ve done nothing to you! Leave us be!”

The tall figure’s cold laugh sent shivers down his spine. He looked at his son, pleading to him to go inside. But the boy only stood, watching, paralyzed by the horror.

Suddenly there was a loud ‘thump’, and his attacker lay lifeless on the ground, blood pouring from a deep wound in his neck. He saw the raider’s lips moving slightly, his breath ending in short, quiet gasps. He frowned at the sloppy execution, afraid his son might see it. He looked around quickly, and saw the familiar shadow dance over the town centre, slicing yet another dark raider down. Sneaking up on them, slitting their throats, or using ranged expertise, before they knew she was there.

Heart in his throat he ran over to the crying boy, embracing him, cradling him in his arms, “It’s gonna be ok, son. It’s gonna be ok.”

He sat for a while, his sons head buried in his neck, shielding him from the carnage behind them, hearing the panicked screams slowly fade, and the roaring of the fires die out.

Then, all there was left was the quiet sobbing from frightened villagers, and hurried footsteps over the dusty ground as the wounded were being tended to, embers put out, and families searching their lost ones.

The shadowy figure went around picking throwing-knives out of its victim’s bodies and looting them afterward. He walked over, or stumbled rather, boy in his heels, clutching at his tunic. Meeting the rogue in the centre, he saw cuts and gashes bleeding through her armor, an arrow sticking through her shoulder.

“She’s bleeding, dada” The boy whispered, hiding slightly behind him.

“You’re hurt. Let our priest heal you.” He started, eyeing her with a frown. Blood still dripped from her weapons, and her face was splattered in the crimson liquid.

She glowered at him and the boy, and yanked the arrow out roughly. “I’ll live” She muttered. The boy’s eyes widened as he stared at her in awe. “It’s just an arrow.” She continued, and handed the bloody stick to the boy with a sinister wink. The man hastily grabbed the arrow out of the boy’s hands and threw it away irritably.

“Where were you?” he asked, anger, confusion and relief shivering in his voice.

“Delayed.” She answered impersonally, not at all pleased by his insolent moaning.

“Your ‘delay’ cost us many homes, and lives, we don’t pay you to be fashionably late!”

She pierced him with a cold, dangerous glare, “You pay me to kill them – not babysit you 24/7.” She averted her eyes and looked into the distance. “They’ve been stepping up their attacks lately; I barely cut one group down before the next shows up.”

“5000 gold coins a year, and you keep them away from us – from this village – such was the deal!”

Her icy stare fell on him once again

“Well your deal just expired.” She hissed, and took in the faltered expression in the man’s face “Double the wager if you want my continued services.”

“But… 5000 is all we can afford! We are mere farmers, not much money in our hands. These are innocent human beings, for pity’s sake!” He stuttered, and hesitated when he noticed her nonchalance to his words. The boy clutched tighter around the man’s leg, and he ruffled his hair slightly, hoping the woman would see reason. True the attacks had come more frequently – two in a year wasn’t good news, and he feared their resilience made them more vengeful. But that was no reason to give in – they would not have the dark raiders wandering freely in and out of their village.

She eyed them noncommittal “Well then.” She said. The man’s heart skipped a heartbeat in relief as she yielded.

“So you will continue to keep them away from us?” he asked carefully, hopefully.

“I wouldn’t count on it.”

With that she turned her back on them and slid back into the shadows before the man could protest. He cursed himself - and her with that, for the outcome of things. He should know better than to trust rogue mercenaries, but they didn’t have much of a choice.

The boy pulled his tunic “Is she a hero dada?” he asked, looking up at the man, the arrow in his hands again. He bent down to be on the same level as his son, and smiled a half-smile, stroking his hair.

“No, Theo, heroes don’t demand gold to protect the innocent.”

Twisted Logics © FairyPrincess

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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