There were two things Griever wanted more than anything in this situation. The first, as much as he hated it, was to give this kid a second chance at life. It was only partially due to pity, because Griever had always felt bad killing kids on the battlefield. Yes, he had once been one of those kids, but he had wanted this life. The ones he killed – for the most part, at least – were forced into the army. This ‘trainee’ of the wolves could have been forced as well.
The second reason, however, was that this was the perfect stress relief exercise.
‘You can’t be serious…’
“Shut up, Bash,” Griever growled, “He needs this too. He needs to be taught the hard way, else he won’t learn.” Griever stomped on Rave’s hand – the one containing the knife – and kicked the weapon it released away. The boy grunted, but didn’t cry out even when Griever twisted his foot. “Pain is the best teacher.”
‘There are other methods!’
Griever kicked the boy in the side again, feeling a small pleasure in the act. He had always been violent, of course. Battle was the best outlet for this, but… “So, bounty hunter,” Griever sneered, making sure the others in the woods could hear as well. “What are you going to do now? I thought I might have a real fight after all this time.”
‘You’re not helping your situation at all!’ Bash yelled at him, anger rising in his tone. ‘They’ll just kill you both! And I’ll let them!’
Ignoring the Gear, Griever stomped on the boy’s back, pushing a grunt out of Rave. His plan wasn’t to JUST beat up a helpless lad. It was to get out alive. “I thought if I played along you could give me a good fight, boy. All you’ve done is made me even more bored! And what’s with that fighting style? You want to learn to fight like a man, join the army or something!”
‘Ah,’ Bash commented, ‘Your trying to fool the Black Wolves into thinking you’re not the Bloodfist and getting the boy to reconsider his choice of job. I still don’t like the method, but… I can forgive you.’
Foolish Gear. It could read Griever’s mind and it still thought only the best of this situation. Maybe he should clarify it more, then. Every kick or stomp brought a sense of relaxation to Griever, like he had just won a small battle. It was a pleasure to deal pain, maybe a dull pleasure compared to the honorable battles won in the past, but a pleasure nonetheless.
So, Griever spent the next few minutes beating the kid until he was sure Rave wouldn’t be able to move for some time. He didn’t even feel remorse, honestly. Beating the kid had given him a chance at surviving, as the Black Wolves might think him dead and leave him, hopefully passed Griever off as someone other than their target, and relieved a great deal of pent up stress from that bastard Gallag and his last words.
Everything worked out.
‘I don’t understand you,’ Bash said as Griever spat on the boy to give extra insult to injury. ‘Calling an act of evil just if it causes the just outcome doesn’t change the act of evil.’
Griever growled. “There is no evil, you stupid Gear. Only what you believe is right and the options available to make your beliefs a reality.” Louder, he spoke to the boy. “Wear out on me already, boy? Pity, I guess impersonation wasn’t something I was alone in. You couldn’t pass for the daughter of a warrior, much less a fighter of any caliber.” Griever leaned over and pressed his hand on the boy’s throat. “Huh, he’s dead.”
‘You are a very good actor,’ Bash whispered, almost inaudible.
“Think he’ll make it?” Griever whispered to the Gear. The pulse he had felt was weak.
‘A few fractured bones and a lot of bruising,’ the Gear explained, ‘But nothing that would be too serious. He will, however, be bed-ridden for a few weeks at the least.’
Griever made an act of looking around, started to drag the ‘body’ toward the woods, but then dropped Rave’s legs and shrugged. “Guess it doesn’t matter.” He made sure to strain his ears as he started walking, listening for movement.
There was none and, for some reason, it bothered Griever.