Shadow Wolf time! This is part of my weekly writing exercise, written raw and rough. The first story arc, Blade Breaker, can be found here. The first story of this arc, Red Fangs, can be found here. The previous week’s post can be found here.
“Its not over yet,” said Berkhilda, glaring at Zavra and hefting her axe.
There was a certain gleam in her eyes, the half-mad glare of a woman too far gone in battle-rage to act sensibly. I stepped between the two.
“What do you mean by this?”
“She hates me,” said Zavra, her voice thick. “She hates all of our kind.”
“You and I are not of the same kind,” snarled Berkhilda. “This one left a trail–“
“You are a vampire Vintul, just like me–” Zavra tried to shout over the larger woman, almost pushing past me. She was small, but strong.
“– FOR THE WIGHT TO FOLLOW,” roared Berkhilda, eyes bulging with barely contained rage. She loomed over me, quivering with rage.
I found myself chuckling. “I don’t know, Zavra, she certainly seems to follow the conflict resolution strategy of her Clan.”
“What?” Zavra seemed confused. Calm settled over Berkhilda, but she did not move back; she was intent on the other vampire.
“You said she left a trail for the wight to follow?”
“Markings on the walls,” snarled Berkhilda, pointing behind her. There was a clear mark on the corner.
“I was marking our way in case we got lost,” said Zavra. “Isn’t that what you do when adventuring in the Undercity. I’ve read so very many stories about it.”
It was obvious to me that she was lying then, but difficult to discern why.
“Of course, of course. That works best for armed groups that are expecting conflict Zavra.”
“Oh Vradule, I am sorry Ragnar,” said Zavra, deflating. “I led it right to us.”
“You owe Berkhilda an apology as well…”
My eyes met Berkhilda’s: an understanding passed between us. She knew that I was watchful know. Zavra’s behaviour was deeply suspicious.
“As you wish,” said Zavra. “I am sorry, Vintul.”
“You will call me Furisdottir,” said Berkhilda.
“Why do you deny your heritage?” said Zavra. “You were born to one of the great lineages. Your blood is potent. You are a veritable princess.”
“It is not pure,” answered Berkhilda. “My mother’s people are honourable. My father’s are parasites at best and monsters at worst.”
“You must be one of the monsters,” sneered Zavra. “You hate your own kind. Is it true that you have drunk the blood of our kind?”
“It is,” said Berkhilda. “But they were all bad. I was cleared in tribunal each time.”
“A convenient excuse,” said Zavra. “Did you know that drinking the blood of another of our kind can make us more powerful, Ragnar?”
“What are you getting at Zavra?”
But she ignored me, once again confronting Berkhilda. They were so mismatched that it seemed like a pup admonishing the father of wolves on the surface.
“You have everything Vintul, and yet you deny your true bloodline and play at being a Nordan,” said Zavra. “So many people would kill for the gifts that you have been given. It disgusts me that you waste them and dny our people.”
“You act as if we have been persecuted unjustly,” intoned Berkhilda. “We have not. Our people may live in relative peace in places like Myrrhn and Grundoone, but we have done great harm in the past. I consider the part of me that craves blood a curse.”
“If you are so cursed go stand in the sun!” said Zavra.
“I will not,” said Berkhilda proudly. “I will earn my place in the hall of heroes with great deeds and erase the taint on my soul with heroism.”
By now I was positioned behind Zavra. I looked at Berkhilda, who smiled, showing her sharp teeth.
“So tell me Zavra, did Cinder really think that someone like you could fool us?”