Chapter Three, Page Five, The City of Locked DoorsMature

The stranger raised his good hand, Pathomancy coalescing into his fingertips as another two-winged creatures landed around Noir. The Pathomancer sneered, "You're in the Vaurun's territory, fool, and I have no doubt that he would very much like to speak with someone like you. So you're going to come along with us, and you're going to do it quietly or I'll set my friends on you."

The shadows exploded, impaling the Pathomancer and all three winged monstrosities instantly. Noir continued forward as their corpses tumbled down the skyscraper's wall.

Well there goes another two-bit night thug, at least until tomorrow night. I wonder who this Vaurun was?

Another two-bit night lord wannabe with his two-bit thugs undoubtedly. He won't last a year if all he's got are fools like that.

More importantly, look at your clothes! you've already started to ruin them.

Noir glanced at his coat sleeves where the shadow leeching had already begun to corrupt the white fabric. He shrugged. No matter, they'll just replace it whenever it gets too dark.

This is why I said we should join Kore Byren's group, no leeching. Think of all the money you're going to waste. Shame on you!

It's just a coat. His tread slowed and then stopped completely as he reached the edge of the pipe road and stared down into the abyss. A swath of cleared ground extended out before, a triangle where three skyscrapers should have been. Now, there was only a squat, many-pillared facsimile of the palace surrounded by a grove of natural and Hemomantic trees. His hands closed to fists in his pockets.


I'm fine. Gritting his teeth, Noir vaulted off the pipe, turning as he did so to latch onto one of its vertical brethren. The shadows immediately latched on his hand, stalling his descent until he vaulted again. He caught another pipe several floors down and vaulted again. He continued in this fashion until the freefall gave to the Shadow-Steel floor with a crash. Noir straightened and strode across the Academy's campus, every shadow pulsing with his steps.

A pair of Shadow-Guards formed as he began ascending the stair, their tall forms plain and translucent. His lips curled in disgust as he came before them. The Shadow-Guards lifted their hands to forestall him, but Noir just marched past them as a storm of gnarled Shadow-Vines emerged from the walls and enveloped them. They struggled for a moment, and then vanished with a gasp of released shadows.

The End

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