Fieral entered the yurt along with two guards who were forcefully dragging Tris along with them as she growled to be set free. She was in a miserable state, having not been able to bathe herself for quite some time. I felt bad for Shar since he had to share the same tent with her.
She was finally dragged before me and thrown roughly onto the floor. She bared her teeth like an animal at the guards until her eyes met mine.
“Fayde, you bastard! I’LL KILL YOU!” She roared at me while trying to get up, but the guards pushed her down.
I felt no sympathy for her whatsoever as I watched her struggle in the dirt. Perhaps at one time I might have been disturbed by this, but it wasn’t something that bothered me anymore.
“I’ll wait till you calm down.” I said calmly, treating her like a child.
Tris struggled for a while more until she finally ran out of energy and calmed down. Her breathing was heavy and she glared at me with hateful eyes.
“Good, now that you’re calm, we can talk.”
I leaned forward on my chair which was the Demihuman equivalent of a throne, but it really wasn’t anything that fancy. It was a somewhat well crafted wooden chair with some carvings in it, but otherwise it was pretty ordinary as far as thrones go.
I looked over Tris with a bit of curiosity as I hadn’t gotten a good look at her since the incident happened. Strangely enough, she had become a Demihuman. A so called, Raccoonkin, the first of her kind. I could only laugh at the irony.
Her hair was a tangled mess, but it had become very thick and bushy. It was a brownish red color and I imagined it might be quite pretty if she wasn’t so filthy. She even had a bushy tail to match. Tris’s eyes had changed into a greenish brown color and I was surprised to see that the change had definitely been for the better, making her more beautiful than she was before.
“You look terrible.” I said in a somewhat mocking tone which visibly angered her.
“I’ll rip your throat out with my teeth you fucking scum! WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO ME!?”
I returned to a more leisurely posture in my chair and laughed again while biting on a piece of fruit.
“Tris, I didn’t do anything to you. This is a consequence of your own actions. I warned you. I told you not to come with me to the old Imperial Capital, but you just wouldn’t have it any other way, now would you?” I replied with sarcasm.
Her only response was to growl at me.
“Let me ask you a question Tris, do you fully understand the situation you are in?”
Tris looked at me like I had said something foolish and scoffed, “I’m a prisoner, what kind of stupid question is that?”
“See, you are too nearsighted. That is why you were a failure of an assassin. Tris, in case you haven’t noticed, you are no longer a Human, you are a Demihuman…” I paused and leaned in close before continuing in a somewhat menacing voice, “You can no longer return to the life you once knew. The Empire won’t welcome you back, you will never be welcome in Human society again. You are an outcast, an exile, and not only that, but if you did return, you would be killed or enslaved. Nothing you say, or do, will change that reality.”
Tris shook in fear by my tone, and by my words, while I leaned back and let what I said to her sink in.
After a minute of letting her realize my words, I asked again, “Do you fully understand the situation you are in?”
Tris hadn’t recovered from the realization of what I had said to her, but she looked up at me with gritted teeth and replied, “Yes.”
“Good. If you realize it, then it’s good. And now, I have something to ask of you. You have two choices. On the one hand, I can have you… returned to the Empire and you can take your chances with them…Or you can remain here and serve me faithfully as my servant, but don’t worry, I won’t treat you badly. As a matter of fact, as a unique new Demihuman species, you are quite valuable. We have yet to see what you are capable of… you should have gained new abilities to go along with your other changes. Serve me well, and I will even reward you. There will be… other duties you will need to attend to in the future, but that isn’t something we need to discuss now. So, what is your answer?”
As I waited for her response, I could see the discord going on in her mind as she considered my words. There was anger in her eyes, but I could also see a bit of hope. I could only chuckle inwardly as I watched her inner battle, knowing full well that she had no other choice.
“I will serve you my Khan.” She replied with determination.
“Wise decision. You will no longer have to live as a prisoner. You will live here in my yurt from now on, your life now belongs to me.”
I waved towards Fieral, who approached and bowed her head respectfully.
“Have one of your Rej’Gan sisters give her a bath and get her cleaned up. I want to see what she looks like when she’s fully presentable.”
Fieral nodded and called for one of her sisters who came and took Tris away without a word. Tris looked over her shoulder at me once before being taken away. I could see a fire in her eyes which pleased me.
“Are you certain about this Great Khan? She was an assassin meant to kill you.”
“Hahaha, don’t worry Fieral. She will be the most loyal of all my followers. She has no other choice. Fieral, did you see her temperament? It’s quite interesting. I think that changing from a Human to a Demihuman is not only a physical change. It seems it also affects the mind.”
“I.. wouldn’t know Great Khan.”
Looking at her, she must be thinking I’ve changed.. I can see the caution in her eyes, or is it concern? It doesn’t matter, we can’t all remain the same and I… I won’t trust anyone so easily again, but there are things about Human nature, that I can trust will never change….
*BOOM* * BOOM*
“Looks like the bombardment has begun yet again. Yeah, they don’t give up do they? Haha…” Muttered Orthus somewhat dejected.
Four former adventurers, and friends, crowded around a firepit together in the safety of the walls of La’Gun while the city remained under siege.
“Ahhh! What has it been, like three weeks now since we fell back to the city walls?”
Arrin threw twigs of dry wood into the fire to keep it going. The city had become packed with all the refugees escaping to the capital from the outlying areas of the kingdom. Not all the refugees came to La’Gun City, but many did because it was the safest place in the kingdom. This meant that there weren’t enough living quarters for all the people and many soldiers had to remain outside even when not on duty.
“Well… at least the city won’t fall anytime soon. There are enough supplies to last for quite some time since they failed blockading the harbor. The walls will hold too. There are a good number of mages keeping the barrier on the walls strong. It’s a good thing that we didn’t lose any mages in the previous battles….”
“That may be true Idren, but we lost most of our soldiers… Even after our army retreated at the border, we still fought two battles after that… A lot of men didn’t make it…”
Orthus had never fought in war before this one and he was taking it quite hard. It was a good thing that at least his friends had made it back to the city, otherwise he may very well have broken down. Aessa looked at him with concern, but she remained quiet.
“None of that matters now… I heard they have been gathering some of the reserve forces in the surrounding regions and that half of the soldiers from Dun’Al Citadel will be joining them. They are going to try to put pressure on Jaspel’s forces. If we can at least hold out for a few months, Jaspel will be forced to retreat. There is no way the other kingdoms will sit idle forever.” Said Arrin while fiddling with the firewood.
“That could take months for them to organize any kind of meaningful counterattack, assuming they can even get the numbers. Well, if they can relieve even some of the pressure off of us, then it would be beneficial. I wouldn’t get my hopes up though. It’s going to take a miracle to come out of this situation…”
All of their shoulders slumped after hearing Idren’s words. The only sound that remained was the crackling of the firepit.
A very tall, thin, and handsome man in gleaming armor rested his foot on the bow of a ship as it slowly made its way into port. If this man’s intention had ever been to blend in, than he had magnificently failed.
He was nothing like anything anyone had ever seen with his wondrous long golden hair and pale skin. His eyes were a brilliant emerald color and he had long, sharp ears, unlike a normal Human being. One might have thought he was a Demihuman, but he had none of the normal physical aspects that would signify one.
There was a certain grace to him and his movements were extremely lithe and graceful, even with his armor. However, if one carefully looked, they would see nothing but scorn and disdain in his eyes, and in the slight curl of his lips.
What disgusting filth these Humans live in. They are inferior creatures without any shred of beauty. Why they are allowed to exist is beyond me…. Well, it is the Divine’s will…
He was mostly left alone, as the Humans accompanying him were afraid to draw too close. They watched him in awe, keeping a certain distance. There were two hundred temple knights acting as his escort, supposed elite Human soldiers, but they were mere ants to him.
“My lord! We have arrived at the Port of Rik’in in the Kingdom of La’Gun.” One of his knight escorts shouted while saluting, disturbing him from his thoughts.
“I can see that you dolt! You Humans are dumber than I thought. Where else would this be if not our destination?”
According to the intel, this kingdom is currently at war with another. How else could we have sailed so easily into this town with a small army? I can’t even see any soldiers, this should be a simple matter…. It seems many residents have left, what a pitiful kingdom.
Satisfied with what he saw, he turned towards the temple knights who awaited their orders and with a snicker he said, “Burn it all down.”
The knight commander saluted and then yelled out his orders to the knights on board the ship. Each knight was equipped with heavy plate mail, longsword, and kite shield. They also all possessed relatively high levels and a variety of powerful abilities and martial skills.
As the sailors tied up the boat to the pier, the knights left the ship in an orderly manner. The citizens looked on in fear when they saw the temple knights exiting the ship and a mass panic soon took place as people ran away from the knights.
They knew very well where these knights came from, and that it could only mean one thing.
“Hahaha, look at those bugs run for their lives.”
He watched the destruction and chaos caused by the knight’s attack with a smug smile and chuckled to himself.
“Soon… Soon, you will die at my hands.. Fayde.”