We were beginning to tire waiting for Almar.
Kain was waiting to take us back to Calarant. Which I was still having a hard time believing, if he used all his wind magic he could take us back to Calarant in a couple of days. Rather than the endless weeks we squandered making this journey. We didn’t end up killing Akranhor, much to Almar’s relief, so instead Almar set off to finish the task he had longed for.
But it’s already been hours on wait, Tesulan had explained to me what had happened. I was beyond shock. Aeron was Tesulan’s father?
I felt a tinge of sorrow overwhelm me, Aeron was like an Uncle to me, and my father’s closest friend. Tesulan had devoted his life to find him, and now he finally had, he had died right in front of his eyes, died saving him, his son whom he’d also believed to be dead.
Then, my mind drifted back to Almar.
“Where the hell is he?!” Aria snapped impatiently.
~ ~ ~
Almar’s eyes scanned around the dakr room.
This was Akranhor’s chambers. There was bound to be loads of dangerous traps, yet he found none.
The wooden floorboards looked dusty, a bed was pushed against the corner, and there were no windows, the room was dark except for one faltering lantern that hung from the low ceiling. It was more a basement than a room.
“What are you doing here, Almar?” A voice hissed from the shadows.
Almar narrowed his eyes, “I think you know what I’m here for, brother.”
Akranhor stepped out of the shadows, he held his arm, where blood ran down his body. He had really taken a beating.
“Then why don’t you raise your blade and finish this? Why do you hesitate, to kill me? This isn’t the assassin way, I’m wounded, you can easily finish this.” Akranhor rasped, and braced himself.
“I’m not an assassin! I never was! and I’ll never be! I won’t go through your twisted ways, think of me as the black sheep of the family or not, your choice. I’m a warrior, not an assassin. And the warrior’s have pride and honor, we won’t kill a defenseless prey, you raise your weapon and fight to the death, then I’ll see about killing you.” Almar roared, and clenched his fist.
“Have you fostered your hate for me? Are you strong enough to finally face me, and avenge our parent’s death?” Akranhor muttered, “I wonder?”
“What do you mean, am I ready?” Almar hesitated.
“I mean, there can only be one avenger for our parent’s death. It was always you Almar, not me. I worked harder, I killed more, i turned my heart into a cold stone to obtain the title, Assassin Lord. But you, you were the gifted one, you were the firstborn of Antheis, the Assassin King, and I was just the brother of Almar. They wanted you to take over as heir. They shunned me, and only saw you. But you refused. Why?”
“Because, I seek no enjoyment in the killing of others! I’m not the ruthless, killing machine you were! I would never be fit as an assassin! I only did, what I did to please our parents. Then, you killed them!”
Akranhor recoiled, and Almar gasped. Tears. He had never seen Akranhor shed tears before. For the first time, in his life, he was actually crying.
Almar’s furious face softened, “What are you saying?”
“It wasn’t my ambition to kill them, Almar.” Akranhor pounded on the wall.
“Then what happened, Akranhor! What happened!?” Almar shouted.
“They told me. They told me, that their end was coming, drawing nearer, we were blind of their illness. They were ill, Almar. But this was no ordinary illness, it was the Devaji Venom. Somebody had poisoned them, they told me to kill them. They knew I coveted the title, so only by showing the world how determined I can be, through my ambitions they will fear me. And accept me, they left me no choice, in anger as they continued beating me, they forced my hand and I ended up .. . . . taking their lives. Scared, frightened of what I had done, and become i fled the scene. Their last words, they didn’t want me to tell you, they wanted to have you grow stronger as well through their death, even if that meant you would loath me and seek my death. I agreed to their terms. And now look at you. You’ve truly become a man, Almar. But, do you have enough hate to bring me down?”
Almar fell to his knees. So all this time, he had loathed his brother for nothing? This was just another cruel prank the world was pulling on him. All the hate and loathing he had felt for Akranhor was for the wrong reason?
“No.” Almar murmured, “I won’t. Now, I know the truth.”
“Then, only one thing to do,” Akranhor sighed, then rose.
~ ~ ~
We all steadied our weapons as we heard a noise, a figure stumbled towards us.
Was it Akranhor again? I thought, and gripped Felgar, if it was, I can’t let him get away again!
I roared, and charged the figure, swinging with my sword.
“Pentus? What are you doing?” The figure grunted, then fell to the ground to avoid the attack.
“Oops!” I muttered sheepishly, as I recognized the voice, then changed my tone to anger, “Almar! Where the hell have you been!?”
Almar grunted, then rose up. His body was scratched with wounds, his clothes tattered and torn. and he held his arm which was soaked with blood. He looked different somehow, his eyes were colder, and his voice more deep.
But, I ignored it, “Hey! Did you kill Akranhor?”
Almar’s face hardened, “Yes. It’s done, now let’s leave from this place.”
YOU ARE READING
Dark Magic and Assassins of Akranhor (Book 2 of the Shadow Chronicles)Fantasy
The 2nd Installment to the Book 1 of the Shadow Chronicles. . . A new adventure writ in shadows, wielded by steel, and awaited in betrayal shakes Astrania once more. . . Pentus once again finds himself trapped in an inevitable war between the Emp...