Tsir sprinted calmly away from the girl, how curiously she hid her pain, her unhappiness. All to please and lighten the mood of those around her, sacrificing herself for the good of all. He sighed and slowed his pace to a calm walk, it was a noble idea but a futile one; one that could get her and those around her killed. Crickets chirped loudly and birds sang, the night around him was waking and breathing in with life. Pausing, his eyes turned to the skies and twinkling stars above. Every glint was like a diamond had been placed among the black sheet that was the sky.

"Death Bringer," A stern voice called to him. Tsir shut his eyes and slowly opened them, taking one last view of the silver disk in the sky. Its luminous form pouring silver-white light over him. Finally he turned and came face to face with the god who held his soul, Anubis. The god towered over him by two feet, his molten red-gold eyes stared at him from behind his black muzzle. The god had the head of a black Egyptian Pharaoh hound and the body of a well toned, tanned man. In one hand he bore a flail and the other a crook; two objects that symbolized power and dominance. 

From the top of the god's dog head, between his tall, sharp ears; sat the small golden slab that connected to a royal blue fabric. The fabric was interwoven with gold stripes and hung down part way down his back, and chest. Around his neck, Anubis wore the royal gems that sparkled brighter than the stars above. Lastly a snow white linen, wrapped with a red and turquoise belt. The god of death smiled and held out his hand, a ring with the god's name on it. Tsir bowed and kissed the ring, staying bowed as the ring was withdrawn from his face. 

"Fool!" The god growled, lashing the flail across his face, each of the tiny leather whips had metal teeth in them that caught in Tsir's flesh and tore long gashes across his skin. Blood ran in  rivers across his face and dripped to the dirt below. Tsir knelled, his eyes shut and his face calm. The wounds on his face began to stitch back together and the blood upon his face withdrew back into the healing wound. Not a single trace was left of the god's strike. "Why did you disobey me?!" the god snarled, pushing his black muzzle in his face. Tsir didn't move, his breathing was slow and easy. 

"I have not disob-" The flail dug into his other cheek, ripping more wounds and drawing more blood. The pain that flared in his flesh, was like a crackling fire. Taking another deep breath, Tsir kept his face calm and his eyes closed. Anger and aggressiveness would not win, there was nothing he could do but sit and take his punishment...not matter how undeserved it was. 

"Do not speak unless spoken to! Why did you leave the girl's side?! She is your charge! You are to watch over her and guard her, yet you were strangely absent when she was attacked. Explain!" Tsir finally opened his eyes to see the glinting white teeth of Anubis just inches from his face. The breaths that poured from the dog faced god were cool and cold, whispers of death that brushed across his newly healed skin and tickled his ears. Quietly, Tsir spoke. 

"After finding her I followed her to a large group that she met. It appears that the group is now formed, they all have protected her. Even an Elf who had no reason to intervene. The fighters, including Aria, were very capable in taking down their foes. If anything had gone awry, I would have intervened." Anubis stood back to his full height, the mix of a snarl and a laugh falling from his maw. 

"They were almost overrun! Then you meet her for the blink of an eye?! Unacceptable!" Tsir stood, his movements rigid but his face betraying nothing. 

"I dislike groups, Anubis, she is surrounded by many others; a wolf, a sprite, an elf, and a man who has great potential with magic. I do not want their curiosity and incessant questions that mortals always ask. Anubis brought a heavy palm across Tsir's face knocking him to the ground. The dirt he landed in, kicked up in a heavy cloud, coating him with the fine brown dust. 

"I don't care if she was surrounded by the gods, I don't care if they protect her or care for her. She is your charge and you will stay at her side no matter the company that she has. Do you understand me Tsir?" Tsir felt the pulse of blood under his cheek from where the god's palm had struck him, the heat fanning from his skin. Tsir stood, brushed himself off, and gazed upon the god; not showing a shred of emotion. Worse punishment had been adorned upon him. 

"I understand," Tsir bowed lightly. Anubis gave a gruff growl and turned. Before he evaporated into a black smoke, the god whispered. 

"Disobey me again, and I will tear off your ears. Maybe when you grow back new ones you will hear and understand my orders better." Then the god was gone. Tsir felt like a small piece of him had been ripped out. Never as a mortal was he submissive, but when he was the servant of the god...especially the god of death; he had learned to be silent and humble. 

"Aria..." he trailed off, trapped in his thoughts. He sighed heavily and walked back through the forest, the cold and damp night around him bringing a small comfort. His feet carried him over the forest terrain until he reached the edge of the clearing, where the redwood sat. His eyes flicked over their sleeping forms, a small frown appearing for only a moment. He could sense Aria...she was so near, Tsir turned away and scaled the redwood. This time only going high enough to sit watch comfortably yet be able to jump down if needed. Tomorrow night, when she was alone...he would tell her, he might even allow her to know his name, something that he had never told anyone since his life in Egypt. Maybe he would not tell her everything but enough to satisfy her need to know. 

She was such a curious girl...

The End

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