Derric’s paws scrambled against the glass-like rocks as he tried to flee the magic-imbued knight. Mortis could barely contain the magic which flowed through his body. He uttered a single word and a sigil appeared over the hole where the writhing tentacles were starting to rise from. The signal grew for a second before shrinking to become a pinprick of light. Then fire exploded from the pit of tentacles. It looked like a geyser of fire and rock and an unearth screech sounded. The smell was indescribable. The tentacles that had been surrounding the knight and werebeast quickly retreated in an attempt to protect the hive, but nothing could survive this attack. Soon the pit was a smouldering pit of charcoaled tentacles, and the entire area seemed to heave in response.
Mortis, not even panting from the exertion then lowered his arm and turned to the Derric, whose mouth was hanging open. He had never seen a display of power like this before. He had almost forgotten what Mortis had done to achieve it. He felt a growl build in his throat and he turned to the knight. An armoured hand shot out and gripped the skin on his neck before he was effortlessly lifted from the ground.
“Now for you.” Growled Mortis.
If anyone had been within earshot, they would have heard the shrill cry of a wolf which was abruptly ended.
Magna woke in agony. Her throat hurt and she couldn’t raise her right arm. Her eyes opened slowly, and she could see nothing but a dusky red haze before her. At first, she thought her vision was clouded by blood, but no matter how hard she wiped at her eyes the strange colour wouldn’t disappear. After some time, she managed to get to her feet shakily. She didn’t remember much, but she remembered the tentacles and Mortis.
She looked around her and saw nothing but red. She had no idea where she was. Her head spun and she was forced to sit down once more. Now she noticed the blood. It leaked from cuts in her arms, dripped from her head, and coated her shirt. It was too much blood, too much to have soaked the material this much. Was she dead?
The thought horrified her, and she rushed to her feet and tried to call out to someone, anyone. But as soon as she opened her mouth, she realised her voice was gone. She wanted to shout, scream, but nothing would come. Instead, she collapsed and started to cry. Her life had been cut off before it had begun. She hadn’t even had time to say goodbye to her mother and brother. The thought of her brother made the tears come more readily. He was going to die now because she failed. She failed.
“Do you truly believe that?”
The voice startled her so much that her head came up fast enough to make her dizzy. Once her vision cleared, she saw Jonathan standing before her in his best dress armour. He looked younger, sterner, and was staring down at his daughter with a look she couldn’t decipher.
“Well then girl, do you believe that?”
Once more she opened her mouth to say something, and this time the words came out in a soft squeak. “I’m dead! Who is going to save Adrian?”
“So, they placed this mission on your shoulders.” The old king sighed but continued to stare down at his daughter. “It was never meant to be yours when the time came.”
“Because I’m a girl!” she spat at him, surprising even herself with the venom in her voice.
Jonathan blinked before taking a deep breath. Magna was prepared for him to scream back at her like he always had when her temper had gotten the better of her, but not this time. The dress armour seemed to fall away from her father, and he was left with the soft leathers he wore when he relaxed in the castle. He sat down and pulled her into his lap to hug her to his chest.
“I’ve treated you unfairly your entire life. I’m sorry.”
Magna was sure that she was dead now. Her father was never known to apologise for anything. Tears came to her eyes again. She couldn’t remember the last time he had held her like this.
“You’re not dead. You didn’t fail.” He said softly as he continued to hold her tightly to his chest. “I need you to believe that.”
“Then why are you here?”
“I’m dead, you’re in between, hurt, but healing. This is where souls rest before death, giving the body a chance to recover. If recovery is possible, then the soul returns. I couldn’t recover.”
She cried then, out of fear, pain, and finally seeing her father again. Jonathan sat with her in his arms and gently started rocking her. Magna then remembered the only time he had done this before. It was during the time plague had swept through the city and she had gotten sick. He had spent nights sitting up with her, nursing her fever and making sure she ate and drank.
“I miss you.” She managed to say through her sobs as she clung to him.
“You have to go back; you cannot stay here.” Whispered Jonathan as he kissed the top of her head.
“But I’m tired and everyone expects so much of me…”
“My dear, you will be queen one day, this is but one challenge you must get over.”
“I don’t want to lose you again.”
“You never did. I am your father, a shitty one, but I will always be with you. You need to fight to go back. It isn’t your time yet. You still have years of pulling your hair out at stupid nobles before you join me. Chin up, least your crown slip.”
Magna shook her head and cried louder while clutching at her father. Her nose was suddenly filled with the scent of orange blossoms with an undertone of decay and her eyes snapped open. It was dark now. The pain from her injuries was more severe now and she groaned in pain.
At first, she wasn’t sure where Mortis’ voice came from, but then she realised she was being cradled in someone’s arms. Her face was pressed against soft fabric, and she felt legs below her and arms around her. However, they felt wrong, they didn’t feel the way they should.
“Is the pain manageable?” asked Mortis once more.
As more of her senses returned to her, she realised she had been wrapped in a bedroll and there was a fire behind her. Then it struck her odd that Mortis would be sitting without his armour, he had never done that before. Then the memory of the digging teeth returned to her, and she pushed herself away from him in horror. He held onto her for a few seconds before realising she was terrified, then released her.
Magna fell back and saw beyond the fire lay Derric. His fur was blood-stained and he was unmoving. She scrambled from the bedroll and searched for her blade, anything to protect herself.
“Magna, I need you to calm down.” Said Mortis as he got up.
The moment he did, Magna saw him for what he really was. Mottled purple flesh stretched thinly over an ever-grinning skull. Balefire danced in empty eye sockets, and wisps of hair barely clung the mottled skull. Shrivelled fingertips reached for her arm but missed. She wanted to scream, wanted to run, but her legs collapsed under her, and black spots swum before her eyes. She started to hyperventilate as the undead monstrosity started to walk toward her.
Derric painfully rolled over and allowed his tail to thump on the grass a few times before he struggled to his feet. He limped toward Magna before sitting down next to her and licking her tear-soaked cheeks.
He will not harm you.
“What the hell!”
Mortis, realising he was terrifying the girl sat down once more and sighed heavily. “I couldn’t tell you what I was. Not with what was happening in your country, especially with what happened to your father.”
“What are you?”
He’s a revenant.
Derric lay down next to Magna and sighed.
And he saved our lives. He even managed to remove the crystals from my body.
All I can say is have fun explaining this Zak!
Mortis Custos Parts
|by @lex-zaiya||by @zakludick|
|Part 1||Part 2|
|Part 3||Part 4|
|Part 5||Part 6|
|Part 7||Part 8|
|Part 9||Part 10|
|Part 11||Part 12|
|Part 13||Part 14|
|Part 15||Part 16|
|Part 17||Part 18|
|Part 19||Part 20|
|Part 21||Part 22|
|Part 23||Part 24|
|Part 25||Part 26|
|Part 27||Part 28|
|Part 29||Part 30|
|Part 31||Part 32|
|Part 33||Part 34|
|Part 35 - You are Here||Part 36 - Coming Soon|