[M] The sun burnt out tonight

POSTED: Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:01 am

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

(2430) NPCs: Azalea de la Cyra. Forward-dated to Jan 23rd.

So, this is how I think we should do it,” Lithia whispered, drawing figures in the shallow snow with a stick. She and Azalea had been scouting a pair of slave traders and their caravan for the past few days, and had ultimately decided that they wanted to get their slaves for free. Of course, it hadn’t been just that simple. They had followed them for a few days, following their every move, trying to figure out their patterns, their personalities, and most of all – their vulnerabilities. They learned that the older one, the trader himself, moved at a slow pace and he set up camp often. Before the night grew dark, he had already wanted to set up camp. He was overweight and lazy, and that could have explained why. However, his companion, a lean, muscled figure, seemed to be active and often scouted the land around the camp before he could truly settle down and be comfortable. Despite watching them for days, neither Lithia nor Azalea could figure out what his relation to the trader was. As it seemed, he was only a companion, or perhaps hired muscle for the otherwise sloppy, lethargic and useless slave trader.

”Listen, I think it would only be fair to your mother if you let me take care of his companion over there. Not that I doubt your capability, Lithia, but we don’t know what we’re up against. He could be a lot stronger than he lets on,” Azalea pointed out and Lithia considered it for a moment. She was right – Lithia had just started her real warrior training and there was no way that she would be able to defeat a skilled fighter in battle. Eventually, she nodded, agreeing with Azalea’s part of the plan.

”Fine. Then I think it would be good for you to head out first… Maybe make a little noise in the cover of some trees, draw him out, and then kill him quickly. While you’re doing that, I think I can handle the trader,” she said, drawing little circles, one all the way out towards some dots, and then an arrow and an X over the circle. Then a bigger circle farther from the crossed out circle, and she drew another arrow sneaking behind the box, that was supposed to be the caravan.

”I think you should be fine with the trader. He may try to fight back, but he should be an easy kill.” Seeing the mischievous smile edge onto Lithia’s face, Azalea warned, ”And don’t torture him, Lithia. We want to do this as quiet as possible. We don’t need his reinforcements coming along..” Azalea had noticed how Lithia liked to torture things she killed. It seemed to cause great happiness in the girl, but she needed to learn that torturing her prey wasn’t always the answer, or the smart thing to do at the time.

The sun sank lower and lower into the horizon, causing the dusk to grow deeper in color. As soon as it was nightfall, they would go. Even though they could see in the dark, it was a little harder to pinpoint shapes and movements than it was during the day. When the sun fell, they relied on their other senses to help them see, so if Azalea was as silent as she said she could be, the trader’s companion may be a lot easier to end than they planned for.

Lithia strapped her swords to her waist and Azalea kicked dust into the fire. They would have walk their horses and tie them to a safe part of the forest and walk further towards the trader’s camp. ”You ready?” Azalea asked, sheathing her own blade at her thigh and grabbing the reins of Java, Anathema’s communal horse. Lithia met eyes with the woman, but said nothing. She, too, grabbed the reins of a communal horse she brought along for the trip, Nebbia. She patted the nose of the gray horse, double-checked making sure they didn’t leave anything behind, and headed for the cover of the trees. They made sure to leave the horses deep within the forest so that it would be hard to spot them even for anyone passing by. Once they found an ideal spot, they tied them to trees near to each other, left any extra things they didn’t need, and walked towards the trader’s camp together.

It hadn’t taken long to get there since it wasn’t very far and they seemingly preferred the bottom of the valley, for whatever reasons. The Miramichi Valley consisted of a lot of unexpected drops and winding trails. Lithia wondered how the hell they got the caravan through here without falling to ruin. Low and behold, almost literally, at the base of the valley was the trader’s camp. A fire flickered against the faces on the overweight Luperci and his companion. They sat beside the fire chewing on something they cooked – Lithia couldn’t tell whether it was a squirrel or a rabbit – while the slaves, two of them, eyes glinted in the dim light. None of them looked their way, which was good. They looked to be completely at ease right then. They were entirely out of prying eye’s view, except for Lithia’s and Azalea’s.

Go,” Lithia whispered and Azalea nodded, disappearing quietly into the trees to her right. Lithia stayed low, hunched in the cover of the trees. She gazed to her right, watching Azalea’s white pelt disappear against the darkness. Despite the woman’s complete disregard for camouflage, Lithia was confident she would do her job. She wasn’t her mother’s right hand solder for nothing. After she could see no more of Azalea, Lithia crept more to the right, stopping when she could easily creep down from the trees and duck behind the caravan to take the other by surprise. Hearing a twig snap and the hiss of some leafy branches being disturbed, Lithia knew it was almost time.

”What was that?” the overweight Luperci asked, after freezing mid-chew. His companion put his food down and grabbed his sword that leaned against the caravan behind him. The slaves that were tied to the back of the caravan even looked toward the noise. Good.

”Stay here,” the companion growled, standing at the edge of camp, listening for more noises. So far, none. ”Probably just a—“ but he was cut off mid-sentence because Azalea made more noise, but subtle noises. Ones that would make one think they were being watched. ”Fuck! Stay here!” the companion growled, unsheathing his sword and running toward the trees. It was when the man disappeared into the trees on the other side, did Lithia leave her cover. By this time, she guessed he would be headed towards the noise, but she hid in the darkness just in case he would turn around to make sure everything’s good back at camp. The fat Luperci looked nervous, but otherwise kept eating. Lithia passed the slaves and held her finger up to her lips. The two men tied to the back of the wagon, the slaves, were bound by the mouth, their necks, and hands anyway – but they could have alerted their driver regardless. She didn’t see why they would, though.

Glancing back at the trees, she didn’t see the man coming after her, so she popped out the other side of the caravan. At this point, the Luperci panicked and jumped up from his seat, knocking the plate and his dinner onto the ground, while Lithia was on his heels. He grabbed a dagger and one his slaves, taking the brown one in his hands first. At first, Lithia was confused, but she understood she wasn’t fast enough to catch him (maybe she should have taken up running) and this complicated things a bit.

”Don’t come any closer, or I’ll kill them both.” Apparently, he knew what she was after.

”What makes you think I’m here for your slaves?” she sneered, wondering if anyone else had robbed him recently. Would killing his merchandise save him from another robbery?

”Why else would you be here?” he asked again, pressing the knife harder against the brown slave’s throat. The slave struggled, but there was nothing he could do being bound like he was. He was still tied to the cart, and the slaver edged closer and closer to the cart. Behind him Lithia could see Azalea readying an arrow. Quickly, she lowered her eyes back to the man and followed him around the cart. By this time, he was in the perfect angle for Azalea to…

Before Lithia could think it, Azalea let an arrow fly. Fortunately and unfortunately, it pierced both the slaver and the slave’s throats, causing them to fall face first into the dirt, choking on their own blood and squirming helplessly. Lithia looked over at Azalea with widened eyes. Not that it was going to be her life on the line, but they almost failed.

”Did you take care of the other one?” Lithia called to her.

”Yeah,” she called back, making her way closer to them with a blood stained chest and sword.

Leaving the two Luperci dying on the ground, their blood slowly seeping out into the dirt and hissing beneath the fire, Lithia moved over to the white slave that was left over. Even in the flickering light, she could see that he was heavily scarred, thin and overall in bad condition. He was used from years of slavery. His eyes followed her in the dim light as she looked him over. He had some fresh wounds as well as some old ones, and his fur would most likely cover most of the scars except that it was heavily dirty and matted.

”We should probably get going soon,” Azalea said, finally reaching the camp. ”You can look him over in the morning, or once we get back.”

Lithia paused, leaving a hand resting on the skinny slave’s chest, ”Check the caravan, see if there’s anything useful we can take back. I’m sure there’s some alcohol or something.” Azalea nodded at the request, and opened the doors to the caravan, searching the storage compartments within. Lithia continued to look over the slave.

She had checked everything over on the outside of his body, noting the scars and burn marks, but not finding any gaping wounds or infections. All his fingers and toes were intact, including his reproductive parts – surprisingly. They have been kind to him. Taking the dagger from the ground, she held it up to the slave’s face. ”Don’t move,” she warned, slipping the blade underneath the rope binding his mouth and sawing at it until it broke. Then she cut the rope that bound him to the caravan and held it in her hand. ”Feel’s better doesn’t it?” she asked, expecting an answer of some kind. The man just nodded instead. "Can you understand me?” she asked, and he nodded. ”Can you speak?” He shook his head. ”Why?” she asked, and he turned towards the fire and opened his mouth. Inside, she saw a nub of his tongue there. All his teeth were intact, but his tongue was, in fact, cut off. ”I see,” she said simply and patted him on the chest now.

Azalea crawled backwards out of the door of the caravan with two bottles of rum and a leather bag. ”You were right. I found these… I’m going to check the sacks on the horses…. Or wait. Would you rather take the horses? They don’t seem to be in bad condition..?”

”Like you said, we can check them out in the morning. For now, we can take them to get back to ours faster. Plus, we got him now,” she said, nodding to the slave.

”Alright. Help me unhitch them so we could get out of here.”

Lithia looked back her white slave friend, ”Come on.” Then they walked towards the brown horses. With the rope in one hand, she used her free hand to untie the horses from the cart. However, using one hand for this job wasn’t working out to well. She turned to the slave, ”Will you run if I let go of this rope?” Instead of nodding or shaking his head, he just stared at her with his dull eyes. ”If you decide to run, my friend there will take you down like she did with your friends there,” she gestured to Azalea and then to the bodies on the ground that laid on top of each other. ”You won’t be able to outrun her. You will choke on your own blood and die,” she said it simply and the wolf just looked onto her. ”Will you help us?” He nodded, so she let the rope go and watched him very closely. With his bound hands, he moved toward the horse’s side and began untying the ropes that bound it to the cart.

Once the horses were separated from the cart, they led them forward a bit and Lithia let the slave jump up onto the horse first, figuring it was going to be hard for him to hold on with bound hands. Then she climbed on after him, having him scoot to the back and eventually cutting the ropes off of his hands entirely. She had expected to have to chase him down eventually, but surprisingly throughout the trip he behaved. He even behaved when they had to switch horses when they eventually found their own again. He was pleasant the whole way back to Anathema too. And once, they let him drink and hung him over the back of the horse for a couple of miles.

What they hadn’t known about him was that he didn’t run from them because slavery was all he knew. He was loyal to whoever had him at the time, and if he were to be set free, he wouldn’t know what to do with himself. The white wolf was grateful to be in the company of two beautiful women, and to be on his way to somewhere where he was going to live hopefully for quite a long time. One thing about slavery he didn’t like was being sold. It seemed once he was comfortable in one place, he was sold off to the next. It was the only curse about his destiny that he wished he didn’t have to live through. So, even though it surprised the woman when he didn’t try to run, it was only a small spark of hope within him that they didn’t pass him off to someone else cruel.

The Family
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Luperci Your poison taints my blood
hardest of hearts
and from it she fled

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