Haral held the blackened stiletto at arm's length, his hand shaking. For all their training with weapons, he had never killed anything. And the thought that he might have slain a living creature, even to save his brother's life, scared him.
"Thank you, dear brother!" said Heraldas. "You have saved my life."
"And you mine," said the merchant, "young prince."
Despite his wounds, the merchant bowed.
And then, the fallen creature grabbed Haral by the ankle. Its head dangled off its severed neck to one side, and it hissed, "My blood will forever stain your blades with doom!"
Haral kicked at its arms, as he felt teeth and nails sinking into his shin.
"Argh!" his twin roared, drawing his blade up in an arch.
The merchant secured the creature's lower back.
Then, the sword of Heraldas plunged into the creature's heart, and a black puddle oozed out across the dirtied grass. Flies were already circling, with a droning buzz. And the sword, like the knife, was etched with an obsidian tint.
The wounded merchant gaped, and then muttered many unspeakable words under his breath. And then he ran towards the temple, leaving his wares, the corpse and the young boys behind.
The dead body beneath the sword moaned its final words, "I a-am b-but a h-h-harb-b-binger, harbinger."
The knife fell to the ground, tip lodging in. Heraldas and Haral, on either side of the creature, watched as the large white eyes darkened, and its grin fell into symmetry.