4. The Prophecy and the Stowaway (part 1)

          Rushing out the door, Levi ordered the princess to stay put, where she would be safe and out of harm’s way, but Hataru was much too curious so she peeked out through the doorway as Levi’s men battled. She gasped when she noticed a familiarity of the aggressors. These were the same men who had imprisoned her! Yes, there's the fat man who has a pet parrot, there's the one with an awful overbite, she whispered under her breath, and that's the ugly brute who tied and locked me up!  Why are they here?

          One of the aggressors singled out Levi, egging him on for a fight with the daunting light of bloodlust in his eyes. Tight, black garments clothed his body, and the remains of dried blood stains were splattered on his inky robe. Bone-studded armor only added to his demon-like appearance. Despite his dark mien, the man did have one light about him ─  his snow white bangs, quite distinguishable from his remaining Stygian body of hair. No man could ever look half as threatening as he, the princess was convinced. With sickening speed and flexibility, the  dark one outmaneuvered his silver-haired counterpart, and Hataru blinked twice when she saw the mysteriously eerie man’s lips form a cold smile, as if he held the clawed man’s life in his own hands.

          Thud! Levi landed on his back ─  tripped by his opponent's blade. He began to stumble up, but... Slam! A hard, metal-toed boot crashed into his side, possibly snapping a rib or two. Again and again, the black and white haired man kicked the captain in the side, in the face, his arms, his legs, and  every vulnerable place. Every contact between foot and body was rewarded by a howl of agony. On his hands and knees, as if bowing before his adversary, Levi wheezed. A slight trickle of liquid drew a vibrant red line from his his lip to his chin as he crouched there panting.  After a pause to simper over his handy work, the evil man leaned forward, whispering toxic words into the fallen man's ear. Hataru couldn't hear him, but she could see that they upset Levi more than she thought possible. Incredulity flashed across his face before transforming into slanted eyebrows, bared teeth, and curled, odious lips. The collapsed captain spat back a fiery sentence or two, yet again Hataru couldn't hear. Holding her breath, Hataru was a frozen captive of the event before her. 

The End

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