Saturday, 2 June 2018

Episode II - III Lessons of Restraint (Shard III)

A Cliff-top Duel

Lessons of Restraint
(Shard III)

“No wonder my brother showed compassion for you.” Aesothel snorted derisively and turned his back on Ghelta while examining something beneath his fingernails. “He’s always been fond of exotic women. I guess his hound-like sense of smell could pierce all those robes and sniff out the strangeness beneath.” He turned over his shoulder to glower down at Ghelta. “I’m not amused by exotic creatures. I find your strangeness repulsive.”

Paulk swung back around on his feet, ambling like a drunkard, and then lunged at Ghelta once more. He was able to get atop her, but not before Ghelta shielded herself with her long legs. She kept him slavering above her as he rested his weight on her legs. His black eyes swayed in his skull and he shook his half-bald head coated in shocks of brown hair, to shake over her like a dog shaking off water. Ghelta responded to the ineffectual actions by punching him square in the nose and pushing him off of her. The crazed boy fell to the ground and then pulled himself up while grasping his bleeding nose with a hand.

“Look at those eyes!” Paulk commented in a nasal voice as he continued to grip his bleeding nose. “I’ve never seen blue eyes before. I swear-” He tried to lean in toward Ghelta once more and got a kick to the side for his troubles. “I swear those orbs glow. They’re glowing at me!” He lowered his hand from the bloody mess of his face and began to laugh like braying goat. He stooped into a crouch and began to stare off into the distance.

Ghelta rolled onto her side and looked up to see Vhaydra standing near the cliff’s edge, holding her robes out with one hand. The wind whipped at the fabric and the hulking girl smiled as she let the breeze carry the robes outward and downward to the city below. Without the robes to protect her from the heat, her skin would turn red and begin to rash. She wasn’t built for these climates; Ylethus had said when she was still a small child that her parents had come from the northern lands where the world was closer to the night’s sky and the temperature was always chill. She had no replacement for those robes until Ylethus came back from his campaign which could be weeks or months away.

“I grow bored of this simpering little bitch.” Aesothel had come to his final realization about Ghelta. “Let her bake out here, and the gods willing, I won’t have to see her again. Vhaydra, Paulk-” He snapped his fingers and pointed to the ground beside his foot. “Come here. Let’s get back to the broden before Mother Kollchen sees us.” Like devoted hounds, both Paulk and the mass of Vhaydra followed after Aesothel as he began his walk away.

With several winces of pain, Ghelta lifted herself back up to her feet. Her eyes were slowly getting used to the severe light of the twin suns above but she could feel the irritation on her pale skin. Fear began to gnaw at the back of her mind and embarrassment made her cheeks hot. She had never felt so vulnerable in her life. She knew that the other children could be cruel and stupid, but she never thought that they could be this ruthless or petty.

She made her way back to the rock she had used as a quiet perch and wrapped her arms around her body as she slumped forward. Tears began to well up in her eyes and she tried to wipe them away with her dust-covered hands. The wounds on her body didn’t hurt as much as her pride. She looked up to see the cliffs of Alsira Thaenat around her and then let her eyes fall to the sandy rocks below her feet. There, in the shadow of the boulder she liked to sit on, she saw the tool that would allow her some redemption; a single fist-sized rock, half-buried in the sand.

Ghelta snatched up the rock in her right hand. She could feel the heft of it in her arm and the sharp crystal deposits coating it with the skin of her palm. The tears in her eyes stopped welling up and she could feel the lightning of rage coursing through her body. She turned on her heels and began running hard towards the retreating children.

Ahead of her, she could see their backs as they slowly made their way back to the wide wooden building called the brodenskappf. They were oblivious to her silent steps as she ran up to them. Once she closed the distance to a half-dozen yards, she wound her right arm back and launched the rock forward with all the strength she could manage.

The rock soared through the air for a few short moments and then as it fell back toward the world, it made contact with the back of Paulk’s skull. A small spurt of blood erupted from the wound and the boy fell forward. His body fell face-first to the ground limply. The boy wasn’t even aware enough to shield himself against the fall. Once his body finally remained motionless on the ground, his right leg began to twitch in the sand.

Vhaydra turned around and began to growl at Ghelta like a beast. The hulking girl let her growl erupt into a howl of rage as she began to charge forward and pick up speed in her run. Ghelta quickly looked to her right to see a nearby boulder sticking up from the ground and began to run sideways toward it. Vhaydra bent her charge in that direction and tried to close the ground between the two of them.

Ghelta was able to get within two feet of the boulder before Vhaydra was almost upon her. The massive girl gave another howl as her bulk tore through the air at Ghelta who lifted her feet into a skid across the ground. Vhaydra reached out to grab Ghelta’s arm in one of her meaty paws but the grab was easy enough to dodge. Ghelta allowed her right foot to lift and drop over her left as she continued sliding on the ground. She spun in the air like a top, barely constrained by the gravity of the world until her left hand sunk into the flesh of the larger girl.

Ghelta stopped her movement with her seizing hand and used the torque in her body to bring her right hand, clenched into an upturned fist, into the side of Vhaydra’s neck. The pressure of her fingers and the palm of her hand struck the base of the giant’s skull and carried into the soft tissue of her neck. Ghelta could see Vhaydra’s eyes glass over and then roll upward into her skull as a crunching feeling came from the impact.

The weight and momentum of the hulking mass continued forward, but Ghelta was able to trip up Vhaydra’s feet with a swipe of her leg. After this, she was able to easily guide the girl’s body to the ground beside the rock. She let Vhaydra’s body hit and roll towards the rock and be pinned underneath some of it. The girl's arms were splayed around her haphazardly and her white eyes began to quiver in their sockets.

Ghelta freed herself from her skid and hiked up one of her legs on the rock for leverage. She lifted herself up two feet into the air and let her other leg drop hard down upon Vhaydra’s neck. As her foot struck bone, she snapped her foot and broke the larger girl’s neck easily. The rage-filled satisfaction roared up through her body as she snapped her eyes back to see Aesothel staring at her some distance away. His jaw was slack and his eyes were wide with a mixture of fear as well as shock.

Aesothel whipped his head away from Ghelta and began running as fast as he could away from her. He almost tripped over his own feet in panic but managed to stagger his way into a full sprint. Ghelta felt a predatory smile creep upon her cracking lips as she tore after him. The thrill of the hunt roared through her veins and focused her mind into a keenly murderous edge.

With each step as Ghelta ran, she could feel an energy building up inside of her. At first, it started as rage, but within a few heartbeats, she realized it was something else inside of her welling up and ready to burst. The rage inside of her seemed to take on a cold and distant personality separate from her own. The feeling was exhilarating and intoxicating as something deeper than her own thoughts boiled up within her consciousness.

The fine hairs on her arms and legs stood on edge as crackling energy coursed through her flesh and nerves. The crimson hair flowing behind her seemed to crackle with energy and the nerves of her scalp screamed as each hair seemed to flex and move like quills. Without thinking she found herself reaching her hands out before her as if to grasp at Aesothel despite is distance from her.

Her legs continued their sprint, pressing against the weight of the world to throw her in leaps and bounds at her prey. The distance between them was closing, but she would not reach him before he got to the brodenskappf. She felt the energy flowing over her in waves and focusing on her fingertips. With one more heartbeat, she could feel a connection between her hands and the back of Aesothel as he ran.

Reacting purely on impulse and instinct, Ghelta reached that energy out to Aesothel and pulled on it. She felt a snap between her fingertips that roared to life inside of her body. She felt the echo of that snap return to her from Aesothel’s body as his legs lifted up from behind him. He clawed at the ground like a scared animal as his legs continued to lift and pull him back toward Ghelta.

Aesothel turned his body to look up and back at Ghelta as threads of ephemeral energy built up, crackled, then dissipated between his body and hers. He continued to be pulled backward as she closed the distance between them. His eyes were afire with fear and his mouth gaped to draw in sharp breaths.

With one last snap of energy, Ghelta’s legs pushed against the ground and sent her soaring up and forward into a massive lunge. The wind whipped against her crimson hair behind her and her ice-blue eyes glowed with unhallowed energy. Aesothel continued to claw at the ground behind him as he remained with his back on the ground, looking up in horror.

Ghelta’s legs impacted the earth and sundered the rock on both sides of Aesothel’s body. The cracking rock roared like thunder and in response, the panicked boy pissed himself. The soaked silk of his pants clung to his body and turned a yellow tinge. Ghelta remained unphased by this as she crouched over him and reached her hands towards his face.

The coursing energy in Ghelta’s body erupted forth once more from her fingertips toward Aesothel’s screaming face. Indigo tendrils bled forth from Ghelta’s eyes like slithering snakes and then leaped into the boy’s sockets. Blood began to erupt from his eyes and boil up from the pores of his face as the dark energy drank his life away and imparted Ghelta with portions of his essence.

Ghelta no longer felt like herself; she was more a passenger in her body as something dark had taken complete control. She could see and feel what was happening, but she was removed to some shadowed corner of her mind. The exhilaration of it all made her feel drunk on pleasures she had never before experienced. The power erupting from her and funneling through her was more than she could have ever dreamed. She was now a supreme predator beyond the concerns of moral or physical limitations.

Please donate a portion of your essential energies to sustain this fiction.
The ritual involved only takes a moment over at Top Web Fiction and does not require any sign-in or log-in.
These energies are wiped away every week, so sustained energies on this ritual would be most appreciated.
Thank you for your sacrifices to allow us to take over your worl-... Erm, to keep this story going.

No comments:

Post a Comment