Harold's eyes popped open, bringing him awake and Victoria in to his view. She sat above him, holding his sword above his chest and the point touching his chest. He thought quickly and smacked the side of the blade, making a small cut in his shirt as it passes. Victoria's eyes grew wide with surprise, but she had little time to prepare.
Harold thrust his palm into her chest, knocking her back, and jumped up. He pulled the knife that he had taken from her a while back and watched as the woman slowly recovered. Of all the women who could have fathered his child, why did it have to be this accursed woman? It could have been a prostitute for all Harold cared, just so long as it didn't have to be the BLOODY HIGH VIRGIN!
"Damnit, why are you so hellbent on killing me?" Harold shouted at her. He was mad. She claimed to want to save their child, yet did something like this!? "You're being counter-productive, High Virgin."
She cringed at the title, obviously aware what she had lost. Harold, despite his wants to assure himself that she was fine, let her slump. She deserved that hit he gave her. She had tried to kill him. What did the bloody woman expect from him?
Victoria finally stood up straight, gripping the sword tightly. Harold wanted it back, but he wouldn't chance rushing the woman. Even an inexperienced swordsman could be dangerous if they found themselves cornered or outmatched. And Harold was NOT about to dismiss this woman of threat. That would be foolish.
"I will avenge my-" Victoria froze, her gaze focusing on something behind Harold. He guessed what it was and froze.
A few leaves crunched.
A few more.
There was something walking up behind Harold. He knew what it was, but not what type it was. For all Harold knew, it could be waiting for him to turn. Or it could be peaceful and just curious, but easily startled. The best action was to wait and pick the best opportunity to strike.
After all, Shadow Beasts were NOT something to be taken lightly.
Harold waited, thanking the stars that the damnable High Virgin did the same. The last thing he wanted was her freaking out and shrieking or attacking. Doing so would probably kill them both, depending on the beast.
Finally, Harold heard a footstep that placed the Shadow Beast just behind him. He calculated it's size by the sounds it made - a gruff breathing noise - and Victoria's frightened expression and struck.
He felt his blade connect, sinking into rough skin, and finished his tactical turn. He came face to face with an enlarged snakes head.
Harold jumped back, leaving the knife in it's scaled face, as the Shadow Beast chomped where he had been. It's body, thankfully, was that of an enlarged dogs. Sometimes, instead of the snake head being on a different body, the shadow beasts were just enlarged snakes. Those kinds of Beasts were the most dangerous.
The Shadow Beast cried out and rubbed it's head on the ground beside Harold's bed. He continued to back away until he was beside Victoria, who stood frozen at the sight of the snake-headed Shadow Beast. She must have never seen one before. Otherwise, she would be a little more helpful.
"Hand me the sword," Harold demanded of her. Instead of listening, Victoria stepped away from Harold. Foolish girl! Did she want them both killed? How could he protect them without a weapon? "Hand me the blasted sword!"
"No! It belongs to me!"
Harold cursed, but ignored her. Thankfully, the Shadow Beast was still trying to remove the knife from it's head. Well, if Victoria wouldn't give him his sword, then he would have to help himself to her knife. Again.
Harold rushed the Shadow Beast, a plan formulating in his head. He just hoped the snake-headed dog did not have venom glands. The Shadow Beast stopped rubbing the ground at Harold's advance and ducked when Harold went to grab it's head. Curse the stars. Harold needed to get that-
The Shadow Beast clamped onto Harold's side.
Harold cried out from the pain, but managed to find the hilt of the knife with his hand. He quickly pulled it out and, with one strike containing all his strength, chopped the creature's neck halfway through.
The creature collapsed Harold. He felt the venom entering his body. He ripped the head of the creature off his side and crawled to Victoria. She looked scared still, but somehow had a smile on her lips. It was a longshot, then.
"High Virgin... You have to... suck the... venom out...." Harold managed. With the last of his strength, he ripped off his shirt, bringing the bleeding holes in his side in sight. His life was in her hands. She could save him. But he doubted it.
'Finally," Harold thought as he slipped into unconsciousness, 'I'll be able to join that man and tell him of his daughter. My, he will be disappointed...'
Darkness took Harold.