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 post in the series can be found here.
Zavra, now our captive, directed us toward Splinterside, one of Myrrhns many dock districts. According to her we would find Cinder there. I was in in the front while Berkhilda walked behind her, stern and silent. We did not gag her, nor bind her, but we were confident that the vampire noblewoman could not escape.
When we left the more dangerous areas of the undercity, my breath came easier and I felt tension ease. It made me more talkative, as well.
“Even before we figured out that you are Cinder’s Thrall, you two seemed to hate each other, why is that?”
“She thinks I am a traitor,” said Berkhilda, snorting.
“You are,” said Zavra. “You are from a great and noble bloodline, one of the strongest free lineages, and you reject it. She is far more of a noble among vampires than even I am, Nordan.”
“Is that so. Interesting. That might be cause for derision to some, but it does not explain why you call her a traitor.”
“She hunts and kills her own kind.”
“I kill only kill those who have broken the law,” growled Berkhilda.
“Whose law?” asked Zavra, stopping and turning to face the larger Vampire woman.
“The law of the city in which I reside,” said Berhkhilda. “I would love to follow Nordan Law, weregild–“
“Exactly, human laws,” said Zavra. “Since when does prey get to make its own laws?”
“It keeps the peace. You would be wiped or forced to live in shadows otherwise. You don’t look like the kind of person who would do well living on the run Zavra.”
“You are just as bad, Twiceborn,” intoned Zavra, wagging a finger at me.
Unable to help myself, I grinned. It was hard to take her seriously, an immortal who amounted to little more than a debutante following a dictate that made her seem like a victim, giving me a lecture in an old sewer tunnel.
If she noticed, she did not care, and Zavra continued: “The ascended should rule as well. What are mortals to you who have tasted death and risen again, Ragnar? Why should you follow the same rules as petty mortals? Aren’t you better than them?”
“Any law that falls easy on the powerful breeds chaos and destruction. I’ve seen enough of life to know that, Zavra.”
“So you have given up trying to return to your homeland?”
“No, but I accept my exile. It is the honourable thing to do.”
“What is honour but a yoke placed around the shoulders of the strong so that lesser men could make them serve. It is an arrogant kind of weakness, Nordan,” Zavra’s eyes were full of fire as she spoke.
“You are wrong; it is a choice,” intoned Berkhilda. “No one compels Ragnar to be honourable, especially not here, in this City, where the very notion of honour is spat upon or seen as a kind of mental infirmity.”
“Well said, my friend.”
Berkhilda’s features softened. Zavra looked as if she might bite me. A curious notion struck me as I measured her reaction which prompted me to add fuel to the fire.
“Besides Zavra, Cinder is nothing but a coward. I’ve seen what he does. His grand rebellion against the laws of humanity is simply to pick on the people whom those laws have already failed. This grand rebellion against the establishment targets the same people who have to already wade through shit just to make it through the day. Cinder is just heaping misery on the miserable, not enacting some grand crusade against The Guild, The Counting House Prince, or The Seven Families. I would be surprised if she isn’t just some highborn brat playing at rebellion.”
Berkhilda chuckled. “They always are.”
“You have no idea, Ragnar,” said Zavra, eyes glinting dangerously.
“Really? Prove me wrong, show me what Cinder has been doing.”