Chapter Fourty: A Dead Man

Ellnar waited at the entrance to the Pass, calming herself, fear still evident in her eyes, but relief that her master was okay.

Jonrah took a moment to soothe her, repeating 'Everything is okay', to her, and himself.

As she calmed down, the bond between them was restored, and it seemed that Ellnar had entirely forgotten about the terrifying situation Jonrah had put her in. He was thankful for that. He didn't want her to resent him.

The rocks piled up to three feet high, creating a new surface in the Raggen Pass. No doubt the patrol was buried beneath the rubble, making Jonrah's task even harder.

Ensuring that Ellnar was calm, he left her outside the entrance, knowing that she would not be able to traverse the new terrain, let alone want to.

Jonrah was more steady on his feet, however, and as he jumped from rock to rock, trusting that they would hold firm, he came across the first mangled body. This man had taken a blow to the head, but that was not what had killed him. A thin stream of congealed blood was stuck to his forehead, emerging from his helmet. But his upper body was all that could be seen. The rest of him was buried beneath the rocks, no doubt crushing him alive. He could have been unconscious, but it would have been a slow death either way.

Only a few yards further, Jonrah encountered the second man. He looked moderately unharmed, save for the large rock pinning his left leg to the ground. He was still alive, and groaning, slipping in and out of consciousness. Jonrah would have left him to die under any other circumstances, maybe even finished off the job himself, but he needed this one alive. For now.

The rock was incredibly heavy, and as Jonrah lifted it from the man's leg, he saw that it had been broken by the weight. Bone was poking through the shins, and blood was pooling in the sandy earth.

He would not be able to escape, but he was alive enough to provide the help that Jonrah needed.

Upon arrival back at Ellnar's location, Jonrah threw the man from his shoulder, having carried him all the way. He landed against a rock, perching himself up, and seemed to be fully unconscious.
Jonrah did not want to show compassion towards the people that were responsible for his wife's death and his son's kidnap, but he needed this bastard alive, so taking out his water bottle, treated his captive to some refreshing liquid, which seemed to stir him.

After several seconds, the man opened his eyes, looking around the familiarise himself with his surroundings.

'Am I dead?' the man asked, removing his helmet to reveal his face. Younger than Jonrah had expected, only eighteen or maybe nineteen. Too young for the horrors of The Eden. The boy asked again, 'Am I dead?'

Jonrah did not want to utter such words, but felt he was forced to, for Jodar's sake.

'No. If only it were that easy.' Jonrah's cold threat brought a chill even to himself.

The End

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