Moludri’s boots barely touched the pine needled ground, his speed was met with aggression. He gritted his teeth behind the crimson scarf that fluttered like a ribbon in the wind behind him. His Katana beaming with the silver shine like the moon on a clear nights sky. And the stars glittering above in plain sight. His katana blade met Tadena’s warhammer’s shaft in a blocking crossed pattern. The clang was heard throughout the forest. Tadena immediately countered with a clear precision kick to Moludri’s chest to break the lock.
This was vengeance. Burning deep within.
Haezid, brought up his two handed battle axe and growled his battle cry. He indeed felt free from his armored burdens. His vision never so clearer. The wind carried his strength. The fire within him was awake, and wanted to end the very life of Tadena, the man responsible for the death of his best friend. His distance closed with Tadena and the Red Blade in close proximity, to bring his battle axe over his head and sever Tadena in half.
Punishment. Eye for an eye.
Khodesh, with the ash remains of Zrathrum still on her face, was determined. Clear minded and on the defensive. She went to a blocking stance by bringing up her two handed sword to deflect a counter from Tadena. She felt her inner beast blood take over. Her eyes began to transform to amber. Goosebumps flooded her skin and her hair began to stand. Her growl deep, dark, and vicious.
Peace was never an option.
Tadena heaved his warhammer with supreme strength, and expert accuracy. Haezid blocked the swing with his battleaxe and punched Tadena in his heavy plated armored solar plexus in an upwards motion. Tadena felt nothing as he returned the favor by bashing Haezid with his armored helmet in the face. Haezid immediately retreated to gain distance, blood pouring from a laceration on his forehead.
Moludri saw the opening he needed and went to remove Tadena’s leg. He dove and curled into a ball, to launch up like a coiled snake and went to swipe Tadena’s left leg above the knee with his Katana. Tadena moved out of the way, and his armored thigh took the damage from the katana. The gritty sound of blade on plate was loud and sent sparks. Moludri ducked low and brought his Katana up in a blocking stance.
Khodesh drove her sword into the ground with the point facing down, and growled to the sky, bursting though her armor as she bulked up in a furry muscular form of herself. Pointed ears, long snout, fur of darkness, eyes bright amber, and claws that were deadly and sharp. Salivating, and growling as her hair stood up.
Victoria and Gene watched the very same woman who helped them escape the castle, turn into a horrific creature.
“And that’s why you don’t trust strangers.” Looking over at Gene. “If she wanted to eat us, it would have happened by now!” Gene replied as he pushed her down. She got back up and they both sat behind the log to watch.
Haezid wiped his face, open mouthed, in a deep state of shock, “Gods! She’s a werewolf!”
Khodesh unleashed her animalistic fury and leaped with great height, her strength far outweighing all three of them. There was no stopping this pain train, it was coming right for Tadena. Her claws out and salivating, she lunged forward at Tadena with two hard swipes from her overly muscular arms, slashing his plated armor open in a cross slash pattern. Tadena took two steps back to absorb the power from Khodesh.
Tadena went to swing his warhammer, and Khodesh grabbed it in mid swing. Tadena and Khodesh were grid locked. Her bottom claws dug into the surface, her free hand grabbed the armored left shoulder of Tadena, claws sinking deep past his armor. Tadena did not so much as scream as blood poured from the holes. Khodesh’s brutal strength did not falter. With her left leg, she brought up her claws now caked with dirt, into the stomach of Tadena, disarming him as he stumbled back.
Moludri saw another opportunity as Tadena stumbled back, he dropped his katana and drew his stiletto. Keeping himself low to the ground he got behind Tadena, and his arm and body became like a spear, driving his stiletto into the back of Tadena. First where the heart was, the left kidney, and the right kidney. His trifecta attack. They pierced his armor and flesh. Tadena screams echoed in his armored helmet.
Haezid yelled his battlecry as Moludri was clear from danger, and drove the battle axe into the damaged armored chest of Tadena. It sank deep with a wet sound as it pierced flesh, and blood spurted from the deep gash. Removing the battleaxe, and as Tadena fell to his knees, Haezid timed his next strike at the neck. It came swiftly across his left side and like an executioner punishing a criminal, it severed Tadena’s head with a solid swipe. With a thump, his lifeless body slopped to the crimson colored pine needles.
Khodesh stood, salivating, growling deep and menacing. She scurried forward and began to devour Tadena’s corpse to feed. Digging into his torso, ripping through armor and flesh to get to his insides. A rib cage was tossed over her head, her fur and muzzle coated in blood. Once the rib cage was gone, she shoved her muzzle into his body and began her feasting.
“Should we uh,” Haezid swallowed, “stop her?” Haezid said, as the bleeding slowed from his forehead.
“Not wise. Werewolves are brutal and we would be outmatched. I have never seen one before. Only in literature.” Moludri was watching Khodesh rip and tear into the remains intently.
Khodesh howled at the sky, covered in blood all over her fur. Blood mixed with saliva coated her muzzle giving it a pink color. Bones were scattered across as Tadena’s body was far from recognizable.
She stood up on her back legs, as her eyes began to change colors. She gripped her muzzle and head, growled as she went down to the ground. She writhed and growled, slashing around as her body began to transform back to her human form. Her growl descended to a scream, as her form took hold. Khodesh laid in the puddled remains of Tadena, breathing deep and coughing. She was naked and exposed.
Moludri turned away as not to stare.
Haezid walked around, keeping her at a distance for assessment of the situation. He noticed that Khodesh was still in a daze. He felt safe enough to approach her as he knelt down next to her as she shivered.
He reached for her hand, and held it.
“It seems we all have our secrets.” Haezid said to her.
Khodesh, looking at him wide eyed.
“If you wish to kill me, I will not fight you. I am vulnerable. Weak. I have no strength left. Please, the only thing I ask, is make it quick.” Her eyes weld up with tears. “I am a monster.” Her voice cracked.
Haezid smiled down at her, and moved her hair away from her face with his free hand. “We are all monsters, Kho. You just happen to be better at it than the rest of us.”
Haezid released her hand and lifted her weak body up with his arms, carrying her in front. Her beautiful figure exposed to nature. Khodesh looked up at Haezid, and smiled briefly before she saw darkness. Her weakened state drove her to unconsciousness.
“We have a long journey back to meet up with Krilge, we have to find linens to keep her warm.” Haezid said to the back of Moludri, who also saw the two children.
“I am afraid I have to be on my way. I must bring the head of Tadena the Evil to my masters to ensure the job was done”. Moludri said with his back still turned, holding the severed head. He did not want to be caught staring at Khodesh’s naked form.
Moludri had a flashback of the last time he saw his wife, alive. He shook his head to halt the memory, and store it for a later time.
“You are a fine warrior, Haezid. Your journey will be watched from above, the divines will protect you. You will not see any danger. Should you come across any dangers, I will send my shadow far and wide across the land to your aid.” He walked away from Haezid, Khodesh, and the two children to pick up his Katana off the battlefield.
“What the hell is a shadow going to do for me?” Haezid grumbled.
“I am Moludri, a Red Blade assassin. I am a shadow.” Replied Moludri, as his figure slowly turned into a dark vapor and disappeared as he kept walking.
* * *
Hours passed after scouring though the castle for linens, they made movement back to the Orc village. Krilge stood outside the gate to the village, anticipating their return as he felt their presence come closer. Offering them healing ointments, food, and a place to rest.