I stormed down the streets to the group. I didn’t need to speak when I got there. They knew what I wanted. Destran pointed in the direction of some pirates who were retreating up one of the side streets. I continued on in the direction he pointed without a word. I caught up with the pirates quite quickly. There were five of them in a bunch surrounded by some villagers.
I let out a vicious animalistic roar which sourced deep within my soul. The villagers stopped and turned to face me fearfully. I pushed my way through them to come face to face with the pirates. They looked, and smelled, terrified.
“P…Please have some mercy” They pleaded pathetically.
“Mercy?” I laughed at the thought of it. ”Did you show mercy to the woman you were beating to death on the ground?”
“We never touched any women! I swear it! Please just let us go”
“Silence!” I bellowed at the pirate talking. “Do not spread your lies any further! You are not even worth the time it would take to kill you” I spat. The pirates looked hopeful, thinking I would let the go. “Fortunately I have a few minutes to spare so it wouldn’t be wasting time, just using time.” The pirates’ faces dropped and one even started crying.
I laughed at them. They were the lowest of the low in life and deserved to die. I unsheathed my sword and placed it at the neck of the first pirate and forced him to stand up to his full height.
“We…we won’t do it again!!” He begged.
“Oh I know you won’t” I smiled a cruel smile and pulled my sword away from his neck. He let out a small breath but then I struck at him with the sword. It sliced straight through his arm cutting it loose from his body. He screamed in pain and fumbled at the stump with his other hand. I pressed the sword against his throat once again causing him to stop whimpering for fear of cutting his own neck.
I put some pressure on the sword and it pierced the skin slightly. He was standing as still as possible trying to preserve his worthless life. I pulled the sword out from his neck but before he could even react I swung the sword in a horizontal arc and sliced through his neck. His head dropped to the ground and it still had the same expression of fear plastered on it as before. The rest of the pirates decided it was better to fight and die than just be killed. I wove between them like one of the dancers I had heard Yara and Destran talking about. I was as graceful as any bird and as deadly as a cornered tree cat.
Within seconds all four dropped lifeless to the ground. I loosed another animal roar causing the villagers to back off a bit more. I looked down at the ground and saw the blood pooling around my feet. I felt a strange sense of satisfaction from seeing their lives flow away from their bodies. It was almost relaxing to see.
I came back to my senses and realised I should return to the group. The villagers split to let me past and I could feel their eyes burning into my back as I strode away. I caught a glimpse of myself in a puddle on the ground. I was covered in blood, from my chest right up to my face. I could not return to Lyra like this. I wavered from my course and found a barrel full of water. When I left it, it was more red than clear. I continued back towards the group. I reached the square and found it deserted. I stopped and turned in a full circle to be sure I was in the right place. Then I caught Valenstar’s distinct scent in the air and followed it.
I followed the scent down to the edge of the water. There I found the group on the “boat”. I stopped at the bottom of the entry and waited for Lyra to come down to me. She greeted me with a big hug which I returned, glad that she was ok.
“Where did you go?” She asked quietly into m y chest.
“I had something to take care of. Don’t worry, it’s over now. I’ll take care of you.” I said comfortingly.
She smiled up at me and took my hand and stepped towards the boat. I didn’t move a muscle.
“Aren’t you coming?” She asked confused.
“I cannot get on that… thing” I said firmly.
She looked hurt and it pained me to see her like this but I could not get on something so strange and evil. I drew her closer to me and whispered into her ear;
“I love you Lyra, but I can’t trust this thing” I felt a warm tear touch my chest and realised that she was crying silently. Before I could comfort her, Destran called down;
“What is the matter?” He called from the boat.
“I will not step foot on that strange object” I replied immediately.
“Zahkon, you must come on board. It is how we will travel, and Lyra will be on board. She will need you to protect her if we run across another pirate ship!” Yara called down to me. I had not thought of that. What if she got hurt again? I couldn’t let that happen. I couldn’t let Lyra out of my sight again. I thought of the only solution that was acceptable.
“Then she shall travel with me on land”
“Oh no she won’t” She shouted back straight away. “You must learn to like the water, if not love, because it is a large part of Lyra’s life which you cannot ignore! The ship is made of wood, surely that will be comfort enough to you?” She implored. She clearly thought that was a good thing!
“Trees were killed to make this abomination!” I spat viciously at Yara.
“Zahkon, please” Lyra begged looking up into my eyes. I looked down on her and saw the tears brimming in her eyes. I couldn’t stand to make her cry, I musty swallow my pride this once.
I allowed her to take me by the hand and guide me up the bridge. I immediately hated the boat. Even when it was stopped it was lurching up and down on the water, this could not be safe.
“Ow, Zahkon please stop crushing my hand” Lyra said playfully pulling away her hand. I hadn’t realised that I had tightened my grip on her.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to, I just…”
“It’s ok” She cut in, “I understand”. She went on her tip toes and kissed me gently on the cheek. I smiled down at her and she led me into the cabin to sit down for a while.