Chapter Fourty-Eight: The Short-Lived Solution

When Jonrah emerged from the inn, he was struck by how quickly the darkness had consumed the small camp. Warmth contrasted the icy sting of the mountain air on his face as the dark blood soaked through his clothes, almost invisible in the poor light.

He ignored the few people that remained outside, none of whom acknowledged him beyond a glance, and none of whom noticed the incriminating evidence dripping from his clothes, creating an almost unnoticeable trail of crimson splashes as Jonrah trudged on toward the stable at which Ellnar waited patiently.

The boy had not made a sound - almost welcoming death, as if he deserved it. So young, he had been. Jonrah could have been ravaged by guilt, was his mind not distracted from all else by the horrible truth that had been thrust upon him.

His son had been taken in order to be cast against his will into the slave trade... In the present day, slavery was unthought of - an unspeakable evil that remained a historical mistake. All men knew it was wrong, and should never be repeated. All men of the West, at least.

Jonrah reached for the rope that had appeared before him, barely realising he had walked to the stable, and looked at Ellnar, the rope holding her in place. He trusted her not to run away, the rope was simply for show. Ellnar was his only ally now.

As he loosely considered cutting the rope to save time, he realised he had left his knife protruding horribly from his prisoner's ribcage. He had slashed the boy's throat, allowing his blood to drain out to the wooden floor, staining it a sickening maroon, but as if it were not enough, as if the boy was responsible for the hurt that Jonrah had experienced over the course of the last week, he looked into the boy's eyes as the life drained from him, bringing the knife up and stabbing into the flesh that lined the unfortunate's stomach, creating a large gash which released little more than a spurt of blood, followed by a disgusting spectacle as the internal organs spilled out. Jonrah repeated this motion, stabbing randomly, gashing and slashing violently, unaware of the monstrosity and the disrespect he was treating the corpse with. No Western man would behave in such a barbaric way, even to his greatest enemy. But Jonrah had been changed.

He collapsed, watching Ellnar's look of concern as he put his hands on his reddened shirt, transferring the blood to his face as he held it in his hands. Just thinking of Jodar lost in a world of horrors, the disgusting result of The Eden, made Jonrah wish he could destroy them all. Reduce them to dust. Crush them in his hands. Savour their death, their sorrow... These bastards had destroyed his family, torn them apart. Scattered them between the worlds of living and dead, dividing them between opposing sides of Crensun.

Jonrah shakily got to his feet, ignoring the melted snow that was now soaking through his clothes, mixing with the blood of his enemy, watering it down. He stumbled, almost falling, as if drunk, but the only intoxication he was experiencing was the despair of loss. He took a hold of the small shack to steady himself, spinning himself round simply to get to his armour, which remained hidden beneath snow.

The red of his own blood appeared on his hands as it unsuccessfully attempted to warm his body as he dug through the increasing amount of snow that lay between him and what seemed like the best possible solution. If Jonrah had been thinking clearly, he would not have even been in this mess. But his judgement was tainted with the poison that The Eden had created - a poison which had grown out of hand, and was now to turn around and be their own downfall.

Jonrah felt the grip on his blade provide a sort of shallow comfort as he held it tightly. Jonrah knew deep down that this would prove to be neither productive nor intelligent, but he was determined to exact revenge on those who were involved in his suffering, and the suffering of his family.

He began with those on the streets.

The End

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