Sunlight stung Griever’s eyes as he opened them, causing water to well up and blur his vision. His body, despite holding multiple swords in it before he had passed out, simply felt a little stiff. Either he was dying and felt no pain in the process, or Bash’s power was amazing.
‘Another compliment, despite being a repeated one,’ the annoying Gear said amusingly, ‘I’m touched, truly.’
“You owe me five minutes of silence,” Griever grumbled as he sat up. Around him, the dead – and their suffocating stench – spread far. “How long was I out?”
‘In your time, it would be ten minutes and fifty eight seconds,’ Bash said with a nonchalant tone. ‘I wish you had woken just two seconds later so I could have a perfect eleven minutes. It would have been a first.’
Griever checked his body over, finding holes and blood where he expected them – on the left side of his body – and a lack of holes in his body. It was surprising; given the risk he had taken, but pleasant. Almost pleasant enough to make him forget that the bodies surrounding him were those of his brothers in the White Boar.
“You like numbers?”
‘Not really numbers, just interesting things.’ Bash answered. ‘Now do me a favor and find Jadencaer.’
“The Gear?” Griever stood and located the body of Gallag Heron, still with a hole in his stomach and sporting a pile of blood on the Abysman body under his mass. “Think I can use it?”
Bash laughed, causing Griever to growl in annoyance. ‘Oh God no! Only a fool would think they can use two Gear!’ The Gear continued to laugh, though letting it die down after a bit.
“Then what do you want with it? Isn’t it worthless without its ‘bonded?’” Greiver asked the Gear – once again in the shape of a metal band on his forearm.
‘He shouldn’t be used by another since the brute is dead, but just to be-‘
It only took Griever a moment for him to realize what had silenced the Gear. Gallag Heron was still alive, if only faintly enough to be watching Griever without moving. From the lack of flying weapons, it was obvious that the giant of a man was no longer a threat. That, and a ring that had not been there before now circled his right ring finger.
“Still alive, huh?” Griever spat. “Should’ve kept your eyes closed.”
A forced laugh came out of Gallag’s mouth, accompanied by blood. “Just… wanted to… say… fuck you…”
Griever growled. “You started the fight, bastard.”
A smile crept across Gallags face, annoying Griever more than he already was. “Your grandfather… was the one… who started it…”
“Wait, what?” Griever grabbed the man’s tunic and hauled him up, adrenaline pumping enough to make the feat easy. “What about my grandfather!?”
Gallag coughed, sending more blood out of his mouth. “The White Boar… It was… Destroyed…. Because… your name…”
“My name?” Griever shook Gallag and growled savagely at the dying man. “What do you mean my name destroyed the White Boar!? Don’t die on me yet! Don’t you fucking dare!”
‘He’s gone, bonded,’ Bash whispered, barely audible outside of the rage building up in Griever. ‘Leave him be.’
Griever cursed and ripped the ring off Gallag’s body before dropping him. “You heard him right? The White Boar was killed because of me! Or, more importantly, my name! The name I took from my grandfather! You heard him, right?”
‘I heard,’ Bash said calmly, ‘I also heard a man desperately trying to fight to his last breath. A man willing to shake you up if he could.’
Yeah… Griever breathed in deeply and out, then repeated. He forced himself to be calm. Anger was dangerous if it wasn’t channeled properly. And thinking his grandfather’s name was the cause of this? His grandfather had been known as the Lionhawk, the Eternal Lion, and by the name Griever as well. He was a legend, though only around Hamish in the northern countries. Anyone could connect them, maybe even enough to guess Griever was related. If they had and done their math, then they could assume he was the Lionhawk’s grandson. It was unlikely, but plausible.
“I’m fine. And I got your ring.” Griever placed the second Gear on his finger, almost expecting something to happen. When nothing did, he breathed a sigh of relief.
‘Don’t want Jadencaer’s power?’ Bash tested.
Griever shook his head. “Don’t want more voices in my head.” He looked around at the bodies that lay scattered across Edmint plains. “Let’s leave, though. As much as I wished for a proper burial, I don’t know when more men like Gallag will come.”
‘Smart,’ Bash commented, ‘And you might need a bath.’
Griever looked at his clothes covered in blood and the flag on his trousers nearly all red now. The Gear was right, of course. And he couldn’t go into town like this, either. “Let’s be on our way, then,” Griever told the Gear.
As he turned to leave, though, he paused and looked back toward the corpse of the White Boar. ‘I’ll avenge you,’ Griever promised the man, and all the others as well, ‘And I’ll find out the reason behind this.’