This is a continuation of the Mortis Custos part 13 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!
Well that is a rather young person to join our party... let's see what I can do with it! Also I see that the boy very well does know of the ghouls and the Ghoul King. I will just roll with that.
Magna felt a flush come to her face. This little twerp!
"What do you mean? Oh great a human?" She crossed her arms. "Is that how you greet guests?"
The Ghoul King grinned at the two youngsters, his teeth glinting in the lamplight. He set the boy down who stared up at Magna defiantly. "Humans are cruel! I don't like them! You can go home now."
"But... uh... You're a human!" She exclaimed.
The boy shook his head furiously. "Am not! I am a ghoul! Just like the others!" He pointed at the forest where there were yellow eyes reflecting in the cottage's light. He gnashed his teeth at them and made growling sounds.
"Really?" Magna replied. Glancing at the Ghoul King who was not being helpful at all. Perhaps it was judging her ability to deal with this little wild child. "What is your name?"
"I am Derric Gravedigger!" The boy nearly shouted.
"I thought it was Derric Grimcrusher?" The Ghoul King enquired with a grin.
The boy seemed less sure of himself. "Well, uh... I think Daisy doesn't like that one." The boy cooed and clicked his tongue to the darkness. The female ghoul that Magna had interacted with before scampered out of the darkness and approached the trio.
"Daisy?" Magna asked.
"She does not really have a name. Not in human words. So I gave her a name. She's my friend!" The ghoul was close enough and Derric grabbed the small ghoul by the neck and embraced her. At first, the ghoul seemed surprised and tried to squirm out of the boy's grip and then went still.
Magna noted that the ghoul drooled over the boy's shoulder but did not even dare open her mouth near this strange child.
"So... you gave her a human name." Magna said gently. "You speak. Daisy does not. You are a human."
"I'm not!" Derric yelled standing up his hands balled into fists at his sides. Daisy had hopped to stand at his side and crouched, hissing at Magna. Magna did not feel like she would need to defend herself though.
"Derric." The Ghoul King said gently. "I know you hate Humans because of what had happened to your mother. But she is of your kind. You are a Human. Even though you hate some of them. Not all Humans are the same. Each one is different and each one will make their own decisions and acts differently."
The boy hung his head. His eyes were full of tears. He tried to speak but failed.
"Your mother was Human and you loved her right?" The Ghoul King continued. The great bat beast stooped low and rested his head on the boy's shoulder. Derric put his arms around the craning neck and sobbed into the beast's mat black fur. "I am the Ghoul King. I would know if you were a ghoul. But you are uncursed. Never have I let you taste the flesh of a Human. You hunt other creatures in the night."
"Maybe I should become cursed!" The boy said in a muffled tone.
The Ghoul King withdrew and stood on his hind legs. He looked at the boy sternly. "I have told you much about the world, but not everything. You may never become cursed Derric. Promise me you will never do such a thing!"
"Promise!" The shapeshifter roared.
"I promise." Derric managed to squeak.
"Within your blood is the lineage of a King. A King I swore to serve." The Ghoul King explained.
The boy looked at the Ghoul King. "You never told me that!"
"You were too young. Derric I need you to go with these people."
"Oh great. More humans." Derric rolled his eyes.
Magna saw that Mortis and her uncle were emerging from the forest and came into the lamplight.
"And who are the others?" Derric asked.
"Others?" The Ghoul King whipped his head up to look around. "What others? The ghouls have not reported to me of other beings in the forest."
"What? There are lots of them Millmor." The boy said. "I can smell them."
Magna looked around her, her hand on the hilt of her sword. It did not look like Mortis, nor Adiran seemed to be on alert. Magna waved to them to hurry up. "Is this some joke?" Magna asked nervously.
"The boy has keener senses than even I." The Ghoul King explained. Millmor was what the boy called it. "It is part of his range of abilities."
There was suddenly a shadow blotted out the moons and the stars. Only the light of the lanterns in the cottage remained. Things began dropping to the ground out of this shadow.
"They stink!" The boy yelled. "There is more than just human things here. They are not like this girl!"
Magna could not see. She moved backwards to the cottage and drew her sword, holding her other arm before the boy to keep him back and protect him. She could not see Mortis and her uncle anymore.
What was going on?
"A Shadow's Veil." The Ghoul King growled. He bared his teeth and roared into the night. Chittering and chirping answered him. Yet there were other growls and moans in the darkness. Shuffling human-shaped came into view and Magna felt a chill creep up her spine.
The dead have come again!
The necklace she had made from the tooth felt hot against her skin. She could smell something, more than a stench but just as rotten. It was her sense for the magical.
"Dreadthing!" She barely managed to breathe when a massive, furred creature lunged out of the darkness, its human-like skull set into beastial shoulders.
It was going straight for Magna and Derric but it was intercepted by the Ghould King. The two massive creatures tumbled into the darkness, slashing and biting at one another.
A dead man was reaching for Magna, shuffling forward when Daisy jumped onto its chest, making it fall. The little ghoul slashed at the zombie with her sharp claws and with three strikes managed to decapitate it.
All around there were the sounds and half-seen images of ghouls and undead fighting one another.
Magna saw a ghoul being caught by three of the zombies and they tore into it, gripping it by its arms in legs while another began ripping flesh from its exposed body. Entrails fell to the ground as the ghoul screeched.
There was too many undead.
Another dead man managed to get close enough to Magna and Derric. The boy was wailing. More for the sight of the dying ghoul, than in fright. Magna slashed with her sword and caught the zombie across the arm, severing the limb.
It came on, implacable.
Magna fought hard to master the terror that threatened to make her numb. She could not fail. Her brother's life and that of her whole family rested in her hands now.
Gripping the sword in both hands she spun and swung a low kick that made the zombie fall down. It was taller than her when it stood. It began to rise, its hands and knees on the ground and she threw all her weight into a downward chop at the thing's neck.
She missed, but the blade cut straight through the back of the zombie's skull and out through its face. Decayed flesh and bright brain matter fell to the ground.
In a surreal moment, she realized something. Their brains were still remarkably intact and somewhat healthy. While the rest of the body was rotting, there was still some blood in this part.
Another zombie stepped forward and she simply stabbed at its face. The blade sunk into the thing's head and it toppled over, lifeless. Her sword was wrenched from her hands as the weight of the body fell.
Other zombies were too close for her to retrieve it.
"Quickly! Follow me!" Derric said, pulling on her hand. They ran into the cottage just as there was a blast of blinding light at the far end of the clearing.
Your turn @lex-zaiya! Dropping you right in the middle of the struggle! Have fun!
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 - you are here!|
The Reader List
If you would like to be tagged in every episode of Mortis Custos, leave us a comment and get added in, miss nothing!
@weone, @merenludick, @clairemobey, @shopnilhasan, @therneau, @blitzzzz, @pravesho, @joetunex, @captainquack22, @irisworld, @braaiboy, @sketchygamerguy, @fuego-oscuro, @felt.buzz, @dibblers.dabs, @beeber, @brittandjosie, @tamacvet, @thinkrdotexe, @alonicus, @joetunex, @stdd, @uop, @luizeba, @cryptoniusrex, @agreste, @itzchemaya