The stench of burning rot smothered her as she traversed the furnace that was once an elvish village. The great trees that had once served as homes were rapidly decaying and she knew this corrosion could not occur naturally. It must have been triggered by a Keeper. No, not a Keeper, a Defiler.
Ignoring her parched throat, Elize reached through the magical flames and touched the closest great tree. Her glove enkindled the moment her fingers made contact with the bark. The woman neglected the pain, forced the fusion and halted the decay. The tree was almost lifeless, but she didn’t need much, just a location.
It took her seconds, yet by the time her hand retreated her clothes had already caught on fire. The scalding sensations were rapidly intensifying. Elize pushed deeper into the elvish village. They were generally small and numerous, so it didn’t take her long to reach the center.
There, atop a small pedestal, she found the focus core. Her left hand reached out and took it.
The animosity inside of her demanded that she break it. Elize, however, knew better, the discharge would kill her and right now she couldn’t afford to be dead. She extinguished the crystal and dropped it. she would collect it later, after she got her hands on a new pack.
Without its power source the raging fire was already beginning to die down. The trees would probably not survive. Perhaps another of her kin could save them, she could not. In the end Elize was a force of vengeance, not one of preservation.
Her eyes peered through the smoke and fire. No living being could escape her sight and with the death around, she had little trouble spotting the two figures standing on the outskirts of the village. With quick and unstable steps she headed towards them.
Her limbs were becoming unresponsive. Her mind was blurry from the lack of oxygen and pain. She didn’t remember how long it took her to walk out of the flaming pit. She didn’t remember how the soldiers noticed her.
Perhaps she stepped on something crunchy or perhaps it was the smell of her burning flesh. That was unimportant. They did see her coming and their trained eyes drank in the horror.
Her naked body was covered in gaping, smoldering wounds. Half of her scalp was seared away. Her hair was reduced to small, burnt chunks. Bloody tears of agony trickled down from her, somehow preserved, eyes, their emerald hue, splattered with red.
The soldier on her left was too petrified to move. The one on the right started to take small, shaky steps away from the monster. She made her way towards the latter.
Elize staggered as she threw the first punch. It was a weak punch, yet it connected. Her tattered body instinctively grasped the momentum. The punches became heavier and heavier as she continued to pound, as the soldier fell beneath her.
She didn’t need to hit him to steal his life. She wanted to, so she continued to batter the body. With every strike her wounds mended, with every strike her strength returned, with every strike her mind cleared. Elize rose from the body, its chest and head utterly destroyed.
The other soldier stood where she left him, unable to move, mesmerized by her newfound beauty, frozen by the horror.
Elize pushed back her raven hair and slowly walked over to the elf, her green eyes locking his brown in place. A slow, soft hand gripped his throat, forcing him to his knees.
It was then that Elize realized what the soldiers were doing. There was a pile of burning bodies a few meters away from her – two adults, one child. Another family obliterated by the crucible of life. I wonder how many more will be shattered by the time I’m done…
She turned her heads back towards his.
“Where is the rest of your unit?” her voice was cold, lifeless.
He couldn’t answer. Fear’s grip was stronger than hers. All he managed to do was raise a violently shaking hand, pointing to the east.
Elize curtly nodded, tapped Fire and crushed his windpipe.