Two months, two weeks and three days later...
Craven stood hidden by foliage on a tree-topped hill overlooking a small valley, waiting patiently, standing as still as a statue. He had so for the better part of the day, moving for the first time in hours to shake the jester-box in a way that by now had become a comforting habit. It had held 100 Lich Tears when he had accepted the contract to bring down the Un-King of Morgenheim. Now, almost three months later, it held a mere ten. They were potent having lasted that long... but time was running short.
It was good that he finally found him...
It had not been too hard to track down the Un-King of Morgenheim once Craven had identified his pattern. For the past years, the fallen paladin had grown tired of slaughter on a grand scale. Nowadays he preferred to raid isolated farms. He would come, conquer, and destroy, leaving only the dead behind. He had followed that trail of death, closing in on his target by means of elimination, visiting several of the rural farmsteads in the area in hopes of finding his target.
And now he had him...
A trail lead from the hill where he stood, one end disappeared into the woods to the east from where he had come, the other lead down to a small valley with a long farmhouse and a barn at its center. The animals of the farm roamed freely in the valley, had been for quite some time it seemed. Some sheep and cows had fallen prey to the hunger of predators, as several corpses along the rim of the wood suggested. Their brethren grazed not far from them, oblivious to the dangers of the approaching night.
Cattle, through and through, Craven thought.
He waged that the family who used to tend for the animals was dead, killed in a fashion not unlike their livestock. He was proved wrong as he saw a young woman stepped from the house, hurrying towards the well with buckets in her hands. Even from afar, Craven could see that she was both blonde and good-looking. The girl showed not fear or disdain of the sun, something that even the strongest of the nightkin would, considering the brightness of the day.
No vampire that one, Craven thought. Maybe a slave bound by blood?
He was still pondering the question as a tall, broad-shouldered man with long blonde hair stepped from the house. Once outside, he turned his face towards the sun, enjoying its touch.
It was Raphael.
The Un-King wandered around, idly surveying the valley and the surrounding woods while enjoying the fresh air. Eventually his eyes wandered up the road to were Craven was hidden, and for a brief moment, the Death Hunter thought himself spotted. The feeling faded as the monarch's gaze continued to wander along the outline of the woods, eventually settling on the girl filling the buckets from the well.
"Hurry, my love," the Un-King shouted, his voice somehow harsh and gentle at the same time. "Your sister is getting lonely. And I am getting bored."
"I'm coming," the woman screamed, running back in such a hurry that the buckets lost half their content. They both disappeared inside.
Craven quietly contemplated what he had seen, his shark-like eyes unblinking as the gears and cogs of his mind worked in unison to assess the new situation.
"Change of plans," he eventually muttered and shook a Lich Tear from his box.
YOU ARE READING
Tales of Ruuin - GallowwoodFantasy
Summer has come to Than, land of exiles and perpetual frontier - a country covered by primordial woods and the overgrown remnants of mighty civilizations. Vast and beautiful, it is also a land of lost colonies and ghost towns, where decade upon deca...