Queen of Darkness II
Chapter IV: Elesis’ Story, Part 2
“That will be enough, I can do it by myself from here on. Thank you for your services.”
”And the matter of my pay?” snapped the guide, not missing a beat.
“Ah yes, that. Now, this is a bit awkward, but...” Elesis scratched her head, blushing. “I don’t really have much money.”
“You give me my money, or I’ll kill you and loot your corpse.” threatened the guide, reaching for his pockets to remove a pair of daggers.
They were standing on the stone bridge that separated Kanavan from Serdin, right in the middle of the Gorge of Oath. Falling from it was certain death.. It wasn’t really the first place you’d want to pick a fight. Elesis looked down, slowly removing her sword from its sheathe.
“Well?” pressed the guide. “You saw me kill that drillmon, I can kick your *** from here to Ellia.”
“I can take you.”
Elesis muttered, under her breath.
“What’s that, you little child?” the guide asked patronizingly. “Am I getting my gold in cash, or from the loot of your body?”
“I said, I can take you.
” Elesis drew her sword as she spoke, and took a step back, prepared for a charge.
The guide scoffed. “As if a 15-year old could win a fight against me!” and it began. The guide lunged at her, but Elesis sidestepped, running behind him. As the guide turned to face her, Elesis swung her sword at his hands.
While it missed the hands themselves, they were not the targets. Hit right out of his hand, one of his daggers went flying, down to the sharp and jagged rocks far, far below. Stumbling a moment to adjust his balance, the guide growled. “Beginner’s luck.” Lunging at Elesis, she could not move enough in time, and the guide’s remaining dagger sliced through her left shoulder.
Grunting in pain, Elesis swung her sword at the guide’s neck, which he dodged. But when the guide began to run back for the second shoulder, the returning sword hit him; Elesis bringing it back for the rebound. While the part of the sword that hit him was mostly blunt, it struck him right in the face, and he took frantic steps backwards.
He accidentally stepped off the stone bridge. Screaming in fright, he wildly reached out with the hand that Elesis had knocked the dagger out of, managing to grab onto the edge of the bridge. Dangling from the natural bridge, the guide called out to Elesis. “Please! Help!” His grip slipped a little, and now he hardly even had a grip on it.
Elesis stood still. Am I a murderer?
she thought. Should I leave him here to die? Does he deserve to die?
She looked at him, and all she saw was a man who had been forced into fighting. He probably had a family back at home that would wonder why daddy didn’t come home.
Like her father.
Elesis knelt down, and grabbed the guide’s hand, pulling him up, until he was fully on the bridge again. The guide breathed heavily down at the stone for a few seconds, then stood up, and looked her in the eye. “Thank you.” he said. “Thank you, thank you, thank you. You just saved my life.” Elesis blushed, as the guide went on. “But it’s a shame there’s no one here to save yours!” the guide suddenly screamed, jumping at Elesis and knocking her to the ground. Her back hit the hard stone, and the man held her down, raising his dagger to slit her throat.
“And that,” he smirked, slowly lowering his dagger. “is why you should never trus-GAH!!”
While he had been busy monolouging, he had not noticed the loud sweep of the harpy’s wings. It swooped down, savaging his back with its claws. The man leaped back from Elesis, trying to get away from or kill the harpy. As he shielded his face from the Harpy’s claws, Elesis rose and picked up her sword.
In one stroke, it was over. The harpy was dead, its head lopped off, and the guide was plummeting down the gorge. Elesis was free to pass into Serdin, perhaps assume a new identity, and search for her father. But there was that strange grinding noise...what was that?
Elesis looked over to the Kanavan side of the bridge, and gasped, as she saw a drillmon – native to the area – drilling away at the natural bridge, cracking it severely.
And then the cracks started spreading. And they were approaching the very stone Elesis was standing on.
Elesis ran. She ran and ran and ran, as parts of the bridge fell apart behind her. Finally, she made it off of the bridge, as the majority of the bridge fell behind her, and the once mighty bridge was reduced to a crooked pathway, practically impossible for a human to traverse.
Well, that shouldn’t cause any future consequences
. Elesis thought.