This is a continuation of the Mortis Custos part 17 by @lex-zaiya.
To start at the beginning of the story please see the links provided at the end of this post!
Viewer discretion is advised due to gory violence! Undead! Swords! Death! Beware!
The two beasts faced off against each other.
Friend! The white wolf insisted.
Calm yourself boy. The massive bat-like creature said. Your friend is hurt, we need to see to her wounds. He lumbered closer but the wolf put itself between Millmor and Magna.
The wolf snapped its jaws. No closer! You eat Humans! You drink Humans!
The Ghoul King growled and reared up to its full height. Do not challenge me! You stand down! "Magna!" The Ghoul King called. "I need you to wake up!"
There was no response. The lycanthrope was still quite smaller than the Ghoul King. Millmor was glad that he did not need to defend himself from the wolf nonetheless. Not only did he not want to hurt Derric, the boy's natural abilities meant that he could inflict serious harm on him in any case.
"Magna!" The Ghoul King called again. He screeched into the darkness and they came to him. A dozen of his most powerful ghouls. He commanded them to take a perimeter and seem menacing to the girl.
The lycanthrope could not charge at any which one of them for then she would be vulnerable. Not one of them would be able to take Derric's assualt. Just in case the wolf decided to attack he ordered them all to scatter and return should that happen.
Some time had passed. Magna eventually stirred. Clutching at her shoulder, she stood. All around here where ghouls who proceeded to scatter into the forest. She turned in the direction of growling and snarling.
Before Magna, it's muscles bunching beneath white fur, the giant wolf was growling, facing the horror beyond. The Ghoul King's face was drawn in a snarl, its fangs dripping with the blood and saliva.
What am I doing here? A few night's ago and none of this would have been real. She thought.
"Stand down pup!" The Ghoul King's mental voice rang out in her mind. Instead of a feral roar, it was articulate and masterful. There was a note of command in the mental voice that made her feel as though it was said by a member of the nobility.
"Friend! You leave alone!" Derric said mentally while the wolf growled more.
"I am glad to see that you have bonded. You must not challenge me. It irks me." The Ghoul King sat back on his haunches.
"You drink the blood of humans, you will drink her."
"Magna, I think it is time that you intervene," Millmor said to her audibly. "It seems as though Derric has grown instantly fond of you. Though it is admirable that he stands off before me it will be many years before he can challenge me to combat."
Magna had to suppress the questions that these statements implied and walked forward calmly. Making sure that she was putting enough distance between herself and Derric to make sure she does not startle him.
It was her turn to raise her arms wide and put herself between these two creatures. A massive, unnatural wolf beast and the bat-like Ghoul King behind her.
"No." She said. Looking into the wolf's eyes. "Friend."
Adiran felt a slight tingle in his palms. The feeling was not severe yet but he knew what it meant. He was coming close to the end of his reserves.
The ghouls in the area had stopped running in and out of the night and were picking over the remains of the dead that were left behind. They were merely examining most of the bodies. Ghouls did not seem to consume rotten meat.
There was a commotion as two and then three ghouls fought over the still warm remains of one of their own. The sounds of them hissing at one another while they tore at the wet flesh was sickening.
"The night has been won." Mortis said while he wiped his sword clean with a rag. "No more undead will come to harass us."
"No doubt whoever was in control of the undead here had decided not to stick around near the Ghoul King." Adiran agreed. He looked around, searching for Magna. Is she alright?
"Indeed. Two of the Kingdoms of the night that will forever wage war on one another. They were not prepared to face off against the likes of Millmor." Mortis said. He sheathed his sword. "Fear not. Magna and her friends are alright. I do not have much time. I would prefer it that you give me some space."
"What are you going to do?" Adiran asked.
"The oath that binds me is also a curse." Mortis said somewhat stiffly "I need some privacy." The knight stalked off into the night where it was dark.
Adiran settled down to meditate. He cast a minor ward over the area so he would be alerted to any changes or approaches of an enemy. The ward gave him a hightened sense of the surroundings. He could tell that Mortis was moving from corpse to corpse. He shuddered to think what the knight could possibly be doing to them. He was still chilled at the thought at what the knight had shown him.
Who knew that our family knew such things already?
A trio of figures came out of the night from the other side of the clearing before the cottage. The Ghoul King has several wounds on his body, leaking blood. The two children looked well enough.
"Are you alright Millmor?" Adiran asked.
"It is noting but a scratch. One good feeding and I will heal well enough." The massive bat face grinned. "Do you care to volunteer?"
Adiran shook his head. "I think not."
"Are you alright niece?" Adiran asked and Magna nodded her head. "At least the Ghoul King and the lycanthrope was on our side and provided protection."
"Actually it was the children that came to my aid." Millmor said with a growling chuckle.
"And the lycanthrope? Where is it?"
Magna raised her arm and pointed down and the scruffy looking boy that walked beside her. "Right here."
He stared at the child, calculations running through his mind of the magical and alchemical requirements. "Impossible. How is he able to maintain a form so much larger than his body?"
Millmor gave a toothy grin. "Call it a family trait!"
"Where is Mortis?" Magna interrupted.
"He...uh... he was on patrol to..."
"I am here!" The knight proclaimed and stepped out of the darkness. The knight was in the process of wiping his gauntlets clean. Adiran tried to see what was on them but there was not a lot of light.
Magna walked to Mortis. "I have something for you." She played a large pointed tooth in the knight's palm. "We can each add another tooth to our necklaces."
"Indeed! A Dreadthing!" The knight exclaimed.
"She buried her sword in its chest before we finished it off." Derrick spoke up.
"I am very proud. Though I caution you not to take these beasts lightly." The knight shook his head. "Just like me, thrown in the deep end with the toughest of rivals. It is..."
"It is insane!" The mage roared. "There was no Dreadthing in the cabin, you took my... the Princess right into danger!"
"It's not Millmor's fault!" Derric shouted at the mage, his little hands balled up. "I needed to save him!"
Adiran stood, frowning at the child.
How am I going to manage our mission if I need to look after this child?
There was not much that he could argue or else it would mean fighting millmor and his ghoul army. Not to mention the boy. Adiran sighed. "Can we at least rest the rest of the night? We will set out tomorrow morning."
"No!" Derric wailed. "I don't like the sun! It scares me! I like the moons more. Why do we have to go during the day?" The boy clung to the massive bat.
"You ought to know. Horses and humans see better during the night." The Beast replied.
"But it's so bright! It burns!"
"We will figure something out. Look, Magna will be there."
The boy turned and regarded the Princess with a frown. "Why would that change my mind?"
It was Magna turn to frown. "Am I not your friend? Remember? In the forest?"
Millmor placed a claw on his face in a very human expression. "He is still very young Magna. He does not always remember what happens between taking forms. You will have to be patient."
Magna started at the little pouting boy and sighed. "Right. Let go then, time for rest." She began walking towards the cottage. She did not wait for the others, Derric set off after her.
"You can't just go in there! It's my house!" Derric shouted.
Adiran watched them go. Magna replied something to him and he yelled at her again. "Well, I suppose we made a deal." Adiran said.
"That you did." Millmor replied. "And remember, keep that lizard out of my forest!"
"What is with that?" Adiran asked. "Have you seen them before?"
The Ghoul King snorted. "Judging by his age, I knew his parents!"
Your turn @lex-zaiya! That's all the time I have for this episode! Enjoy pushing us to the next scene!
Here is an explanation of Chain Stories and the current Chainstory Library
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||You are here!|
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