Angel: “Uh, oh, Rb’s frowning.”
Demon: “It must be about your part of the story, because my part is perfect.”
Angel: “Hardly. Should we ask?”
Demon: “You ask.”
Angel: “Me? Why me?”
Demon: “Safer for me if you take on enemy fire.”
SIPPING TEA WITH THE EX-ASSASSIN AND THE TYRANT PART 5
The voices of thousands echoed against the walls of the ruins, “All Hail, Queen Angelus!!”
Mecten cursed the priests who made him leave his pack behind as the ceiling crumbled debris down onto his head while searching through the ruins trying to find Sherris. The few pilgrims not killed by vicious shadow wolves were finding places to hide away from the approaching army. Most of the survivors were either skilled fighters or lucky thieves.
None of them saw a faery inside the ruins. The one faery he found dead was male. Not his Sherris. Had Sherris been one of those killed in the valley?
His heart sunk fearing the worst. The worst being not that she was dead, but that her crazy sister had her.
Sherris was no warrior. She didn’t have many skills at all. Born a princess, she was raised to be diplomatic, elegant, and spoiled.
Skirting around a hole in the stone mosaic floor, he chuckled to himself. When he found her outside the walls of the Faerius Kingdom, she was cloaked and trying her best to fit into the dingy inn she was staying that night. Tralie had set up the meeting because Sherris was looking to hire someone.
Though new to the outside world, she wasn’t fragile, eagerly learning what she needed to survive on her own because home was not home to her. Her father, mad with lust and blood, turned his greedy eyes toward her. Sherris barely got away with her life.
Wanting to rescue her sister, Sherris hired Mecten. The job seemed easy enough seeing how mild-mannered and refined she was; he expected the younger sister to come along willingly.
Angelus was nothing like her sister. The moment Sherris escaped the kingdom Angelus killed their father and mother to assume the throne. When Mecten approached her and mentioned the eldest sister, the look in the insane queen’s eyes was that of pure malice. He wasn’t sure at whom, himself or Sherris, because he found himself running from waves of flames headed straight at him. The flames were easy enough to douse, but if she hadn’t been Sherris’s little sister, the queen would be dead by his hands.
For that weakness, sparing that winged witch, the shadow of Dark that always hung over Faerius was now a thick blanket under Angelus’s rule.
Sherris pushed pass the loss, though sadness clung to her for several seasons. She was so strong.
They spent seven glorious years together until a year and a half ago, when she caught him assassinating a high-priced target. He had no idea that she was headed for the market that day. If he had known…
“She left? Just up and packed her things without a word or explanation because she saw you kill a target…? Didn’t she come from a violent family? It’s not like you used that violence against her. Hell, she saw me kill one of my own customers and didn’t shy away from my bar… Love is more fickle than I can understand. Or maybe there is more to why she left,” Tralie had said but Mecten didn’t believe it. The elf didn’t see that look of fear in those beautiful eyes.
Shaking the past out of his mind, Mecten skulked within the shadows of the ruins slowly watching each step and making sure he avoided any dangerous creatures. It wasn’t hard, since all the noise the soldiers behind him made, echoed through the ancient castle scaring anything with a sense of danger in the opposite direction. Those fools were going to bring the place down on everyone’s heads. The only thing that might be holding up the walls were the thick creeping, black vines and the trees that seemed to have grown in the middle of what used to be corridors and rooms of the Blighting Kingdom’s castle.
Cracks in the ceiling, showed glimmers of light from a sun that would be setting in a couple of hours. He had to move faster, or he would be bumbling around in the dark. His eyesight was good, but his night vision was another story.
The thought of Tralie popped into his mind. Why hadn’t he asked her for more information? He was in such a hurry to find Sherris he didn’t stop to ask the important questions. Why would Sherris be attending this event turned death festival? How did Tralie know about this? And how long had she known?
Tralie was as close to a best friend as Mecten had. He trusted the elf with his life and secrets. Even if he never came to her about Sherris, why hadn’t the elf come to him? In the end, she did, didn’t she. When he feared the answers, Tralie gave it to him anyway. Sometime she did that, giving him information he didn’t ask for, useful or otherwise.
“Did you know that the healing tea of Light is the only known potion to cure anything?” Tralie had once told him, smile gleaming, as they sat in a foreign bar drinking. It was fifteen years ago, their first meeting. The elf had just finished assassinating the king of Morhavin while Mecten had assassinated the male who hired her. The coincidence made them instant friends. Tralie was a female version of himself. Both probably the best assassins in the world, able to drink almost anyone under the table, the only difference was Tralie knew more about everything.
“It even cures curses! Can you believe that? But it’s only available during the Festival of Light held every…” She counted on her fingers before laughing, “Wow! We’re some lucky fools. None alive today have ever witnessed the festival.” She had said then downed her ale before asking for another mug.
Why would Sherris need to attend the Festival? Was she aiming for the tea? Or did she plan on enjoying the Temple festivities?
Mecten froze, something eerie crawled over him as the feeling he was being watched overwhelmed him. He spun around just in time to catch a shadow wolf by the ruff of it’s neck. Another one came at his ankles, but the wolf he was holding became its prey instead when Mecten tossed the beast he was holding. Both wolves went tumbling backward. Where there were two… He whirled around, ducking just as one jumped over his head.
No weapons and his vow to never kill again was a disadvantage for a man trained to kill. Three more came from the shadows, skulking, green eyes gleaming, starving for blood. Before he could think of a counter, his foot gave way to the caving stone floor that dropped him through several unstable levels of the ancient ruins. One by one, he fell through hitting each crumbling stone barrier that made him realize even old fragile rock still hurt on impact. Disorientation and pain joined him on his continuing descent, until unconsciousness smashed into him.