Level 12 ~ Andrew

So Vixie was a were-leopard… Andrew hadn’t even heard of that type of lycanthrope before, though apparently the Viura Mountains were home to quite a range of shape-shifters. Careless. Stupid. That had been his pattern. Lantano wouldn’t have been so careless, and neither would their father. Andrew should’ve checked out all of them with Oracle as soon as the King was safe, it could have all been an elaborate trap and instead he allowed himself to be complacent to feelings of camaraderie and some eye candy.

Feanthar and Sheya trusted Vixie. He could feel all three of them watching him as he led the way down to Oranis, the capital of Heathhill. She had been a reliable ally, and her claw-fighting style suddenly made a lot of sense—actually the loose and revealing clothing would even be practical during transformation… But she was a monster. He’d have to kill her, as part of his obligation to destroy evil. Wouldn’t he? He’d promised. Promised he wouldn’t rest until Niar had been purged of evil, it was his duty as the last Demon Hunter. If only there were someone he could talk to about this. He’d never thought it was possible for a monster to be good… Oracle didn’t give him value judgments, only pierced illusion, showed powers and weaknesses and sometimes other relevant information. Feanthar and Sheya checked out as human, Feanthar was even innately holy. Vixie was a were-leopard. A monster… Short of transformation he’d already seen her powers though, strength, speed, agility and endurance. Oracle couldn’t give him anything he didn’t already know in this case.

The architecture in Oranis was of an old style, pretty much all sandstone from the sun blasted side of the Viura Mountains now to the west. Further it was divided into districts, each separated by walls. Andrew sighed heavily as the others caught up with him.

“Anyone actually know how we’re going to charter the ship?” Andrew didn’t bother looking back at the others, “I’ve never been to Heathhill before, and Oracle won’t tell us where to look.”

“King Cortez said that the Mayor would help us.” Feanthar spoke, though at the same time Vixie shrugged, “I’d check on the water.”

“It’s getting late, if we’re going to get this done today we may need to split up.” Sheya looked uncertainly, almost for permission, at Vixie.

Vixie nodded and stepped over next to Andrew; obviously Sheya would be going with Feanthar. “Sure, no problem! Right, Andrew?”

Andrew glanced at Vixie out of the corner of his eye. Bubbly, happy, like she thought they could still be friends… He just said, “We’ll head toward the water then.”

Vixie knew her way around people impressively well, and was able to hop from street-vendor to passerby gathering information effortlessly as they continued a steady progress toward the water. She was so beautiful and confident… He cursed his own weakness for being so hard-pressed to reconcile her physical appearance with her true nature. He’d fought demonesses at least as beautiful, and if he’d allowed that to distract him then… Well it wouldn’t just be a scarred eye he’d walked away with; he wouldn’t have walked away at all.

“Do you hate me?” Vixie slipped back next to his elbow as the city sloped away toward the sandstone docks ahead.

Forcing himself to keep his eyes ahead, Andrew still raised an eyebrow. “Hate you? No…”

“Then… Are you still going to kill me anyway?” Vixie sighed gloomily.

Andrew shook his head, “Hate has nothing to do with it. You’re a danger to the world. The world I promised to protect no matter what.”

“You know, I love this world too.”


5 Responses

  1. Chelsea says:

    Andrew needs to lighten up! She’s only a deadly were-leopard that could tranform and kill everybody in sight. What’s life without a little blood lust?

  2. Mary Jo Ludwig says:

    I like the art work! (And the writing too – that part goes without saying.)

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