"Well, it all started when i was just a little kid..." Jack started conversationally. "You see, Urysus --" He stopped suddenly. "Why should I tell you people! It's none of your business what my past is like!" With a huff, Jack jumped to his feet and walked across the campsite to sit alone.
"Banana! I'm still hungry!" He wailed. I rolled my eyes and looked into the cooking pot. There was about one scoop of stew left. I put it into a bowl and walked over to Jack.
"That's the end of it." I said, holding out the bowl to him. He snatched it out of my hand and wolfed it down, shoving the bowl back into my hand in seconds, clean as before i had given it to him. I took it in amazement and collected up the rest of the dishes.
"I'll wash these up."
"Thank you Brena." Yara said, gratefully. Destran and Lyra chorused their thanks as well. I had to wrestle Zahkon's bowl out of his distracted hand. I had to hold my self back from waving a hand in front of his face, but obviously he was deep in thought. I put all the dishes in the large stew pot and looked around for a conveniently large and clean puddle nearby. That's one good thing about the marsh, the abundance of fresh water, even if it is kind of buggy.
I found a spot just out of the circle of firelight, I knelt by the puddle and began scrubbing the bowls and spoons clean of the soup. The marsh seemed too quiet after a minute, besides the small splashes I caused, and the small murmur of conversation from Yara and Destran. I stopped washing for a minute when I thought i heard the sound of a large bird. I shook my head and continued, taking it as simple marsh noise. I finished the bowls and moved on to the pot when I felt some one tap my shoulder. I spun and stood, finding my self face to face with Urysus.
"Wha-!" I managed to get out before he clamped his hand over my mouth. I protested, my voice muffled my his clammy hand.
"Please, Miss Brena, I need to talk to you!" Urysus whispered urgently. I glared at him over his hand, he seemed to take that as a yes and led me away from the clearing. I tried to keep track of where we were going and just as i was getting lost, Urysus stopped. He let go of my face and stepped back a pace.
"I must warn you about ... that monster!" He said, his voice still hushed. I crossed my arms and tilted my head.
"You mean Jack?" Urysus flinched at the name, but nodded.
"He plans to kill you! All of you!" It was my turn to flinch. Jack was a lot of things but a cold blooded killer was not one of them.
"I don't--" I started.
"You have to believe me miss, you are all in great danger!" Urysus insisted. I shook my head. Urysus continued. "You think he cares about you? You think he..." Urysus exploded into noises that I couldn't make sense of.
"He will kill you all! The fact that you've started to trust him, to like him even, will only make him enjoy killing you even more! He killed his whole family, and he LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!" Urysus roared. I stepped back, eyes wide, like a scared rabbit. Urysus quieted, calming slightly.
He sat on a nearby log, gesturing for my to sit beside him, I sat, hesitantly beside him.
"I trained him. I trained him to be the best warrior this land has ever seen..." Urysus began to tell me about Jack's past.
"I used to serve the king; I was his most trusted advisor. Then in the waning days of the Great War, a boy was discovered in a small village. That was Jack. Jack was brought to us and he had the most amazing abilities, he could regenerate from massive damage, and had unparalleled strength! I was ordered to train him into a soldier, a weapon of war, and as the loyal servant I was, I agreed. But as time went by Jack became corrupted by power, I could see that evil was slowly taken him over, and I could do nothing about it. Then one day, days before he was to join the battlefield, he betrayed his country and king and deserted. He went back to his village and killed them all to test his strength! He left his little sister until last. He then swore to kill me and has hunted me every day since then for twelve years. I'll never forget the look on that poor girls face... he did it with a smile." Urysus finished with a sigh. I sat, shocked.
"What can we do?" I wondered aloud.
"Get away from him as soon as you can!" Urysus stood and started to leave the area. "That's all I can leave you with. Good-bye Brena." He left and there was the sound of flapping wings and... cackling? I couldn't be sure. I hurried back to camp, grabbing the now dry dishes on my way.
"What took you so long?" Destran asked, concerned.
"I...wandered a little far and got lost." I said quickly. I glanced up at Jack, he seemed to be having a spaz attack. I started to run to him, but stopped myself. Jack righted himself and ran over to me instead.
"Banana! Guess what I just realized! I like stew! I had no idea before!"
I rolled my eyes at the ridiculous comment.