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.
“She was aiming at me,” said Berkhilda. “I do not know if he placed himself in front of it on purpose…”
Underneath her armour, Berkhilda’s massive shoulders seemed to sag. My jaw clenched; Bull was, had been, a good man, and he would be missed on the Jetties. It was my fault for entangling him in this. Reaching out, I put my hand on the the vampire woman’s shoulder. She looked up at me and I realized that, she too, felt at fault.
I do not know if the Gods are real or if they are just a manifestation of the will of my people, but when struggling for words, ritual can be comforting.
See this man true,
Witness his deeds,
Know he died true.
Let him ascend,
Drink in high halls,
Among the Brave."
It was a quick invocation, but Berkhilda nodded and stood.
“We will comeback for him later.”
We approached our comrades at the end of the warehouse. Relief washed over me as I confirmed that the wounds that Renoit and Murith had received in the battle with Cinder’s minions and the blood hydra were minor. We told them of Bulls fate. Git looked at me reproachfully, but only for a moment. There is a history in that.
“We have to find Cinder before she escapes,” said Berkhilda.
“Git, stay here with Renoit and Murith. The watch will be here soon. Berkhilda and I will be able to track Cinder down; even if she figures out how we are following her; she cannot have gotten far.”
“Ragnar,” said Murith as we turned to leave. “Don’t fuck up.”
“We’ll finish this, you have my word.”
We followed the scent that I had tagged Cinder with. I suppose she had no reason to suspect that it was on her, given that she had obviously wanted us to show up at her warehouse.
Berkilda strolled beside me, axe on her shoulder, eyes full of purpose. I found myself wondering what kind of life she would have led had she been born in Nordan lands. My friend Thyra came to mind. Berkhilda was brave and loyal, a skilled warrior and a conscientious friend; someone you would want standing with you in battle or in council. The only thing she lacked was confidence; torn between two worlds.
“It might seem odd coming from an exile and a Shadow Wolf, but you did your ancestors proud today, my friend. Both the Vampires and the Nordan.”
“It is nice of you to say, Grimfang, but I have never heard of any Vampire being embraced by our people, save those told as tragedies.”
Turning to her, I looked up and said “Then be the first.” and tapped her on the breastplate.
We were expecting Cinder to take to the tunnels again, but her trail led to the docks. We found her loading a ship. When she spotted us, instead of casting off, she ordered two burly armoured vampires to face us, loaded her crossbow, and shouted to her remaining minions.
“Get those crates loaded!”
I looked at Berkhilda.
“Let’s finish this,” she said.