Ukaor's cloak hissed inches above the ground as he strode towards me and, with a flick of his intricate wand, sent my entire being slamming into the wall.
He had changed since I last seen him. Granted his beard bragged a few more inches, but it was his fiery personality that really struck me.
"Another one?" he spat.
"Ah c'mon, old chap," I groaned, struggling to get to my feet, "You don't remember me?"
He guffawed and slammed me back down with another one of his notorious spells, "I'm not sure you want me to."
It saddened me to see him this way. Had I really been gone that long?
"Of course I want you to," I said gently, removing my hood to reveal my slightly whiskered face, "I owe everything to--"
"Yeah well that's what they said too."
"Who?" But then I knew. The noble king and queen whom this man had trained me and many others to work for in turn for a large sum in gold was who. Enraged at their reluctance to raise the taxes on their people in order to pay him back, he had decided to take matters into his own greedy hands.
He neared and clutched a handful of my tunic in his bony fist, "and do you know what I said to them?"
I peered into those dark eyes, trying to find the soul I had known before behind them, "No, only what you said to me."
That seemed to catch the powerful Ukaor off gaurd a little--a skill he himself had taught me. I had been a mere lad of twelve that night he had banished all of his apprentices, proclaiming himself an enemy of the royal family. Yet, I seemed to be a favorite of his and he'd asked me to stay and help him. When I fearfully declined his response was...
"'Feel free to return if you ever change your mind. You will be highly welcomed.' Not to complain or anything, but a bruised back wasn't exactly the welcome I had in mind."
He scowled, "that's because you haven't changed your mind."
"What makes you think that?"
"Statistics," he grumbled, "You'd be the first out of hundreds not to betray me." He shoved me back into the wall and left me to crumple to the floor as he lifted his wand, "Besides," tendrils of darkness began to swirl around him, "You couldn't keep up with me anyways. You're only a scavaging ranger--I am a mighty warlock!" The spell swallowed him whole and he disappeared with a loud swoosh! It left the air stricken with fear at the escape of perhaps the world's most dangerous villian.
I had to stop Ukaor, scavaging ranger or not, for the sake of planet--and for him.