The sun above was bright as he ran through the foliage, running from damnation, by fire, stake or cross, once they had him he was done. With a skip in his beat he almost tripped over a stone in his path, cursing loudly ”Piss drinkers! ” he kept on charging the forest. A whistle met his thigh, looking down he saw a faint cut on the side of his ankle. Arrows, just what he asked for. His charge became ever more fervent. He made sure to look behind him as much as he could, but to also watch the trail. With one particularly unlucky glance he tumbled over a very inconveniently formed stone.
What had happened last night caused his miserable situation. He was not running from some enemy, or foe, though they could be considered that now. He was running from his own family. Late at night the day before he had awoken to find himself scratching on the walls of his room. The scratches ran deep. He had looked in bewilderment at his own hand, though it seemed normal. Had he been turned by the blight of the night? He hadn been bitten by the Shegoli, the Shegoli are a race of dark-fire demons that delight in human suffering, theres a saying that goes, ”One bite a wolf a man, one claw a demon a man, one breath a death a man ” He didn find himself to be oozing dark-fire so he discounted the second option, and since hes alive the third option was automatically revoked. He is 16, staring at a wall where had left his half an inch gouges in. They didn seem to come from his dainty little fingers. He was supposed to be a scribe.
His father kicked down the door, seemingly hoping to rescue his son, seeing his son staring at his hand in front of the clawed wall, he yelled, ”Angus, just what in the bloody ** are you doing? ” Angus looked back at his father, only to see him lower his head and sigh deeply. ”To think that we had adopted a Sheogli spawn, what a shame, youd have served this village well. Though its good that we found out now ” The fathers somber tone turned indifferent. Facing Shegoli, its been taught by the Church, the school and the government to be heartless. Making one mistake will get everyone killed. That was when he broke through his window and ran.
After regaining his bearings he darted off to the right, his pursuers were getting closer. Bloody hunters, if he had been one he wouldn have been in this tight a spot. He grunted and found leverage on a tree and started rapidly climbing. This was usually a very, very stupid thing to do, but he had managed to keep himself out of sight for long enough for them not to see him scramble, albeit with great difficulty, up this oak. The branches were low enough so it wasn impossible for his one hundred and seventy five centimeter self to head through the shroud of glossy leaves. He stayed still listening to them running past him, a good thing too since his calves and thighs were burning. He got up and slowly ventured down the tree onto the ground, walking in the opposite direction. Although this seemed rather stupid to do, and is, he couldn help his own anatomy and lack of exercise. He was a bit chubby, and the fact that he got this far was a miracle. If he didn walk off this throbbing pain, it would get worse, and since his now foes were running off to who knows where, he can now peacefully take a walk.
So he thought.
A howl sounded in the distance, he started trying to run, though his performance now was even less than his earlier shoddy one. He hoped he had enough distance, because he didn have the speed. Then he saw it in all its glory. Piss. The piss of a great beast to be exact, great beasts are beasts that have bloodlines of demi-gods within them, usually less than half the blood is demi-gods, although they enjoy screwing around, they didn do it often in the eyes of humans. Generally when a demi-god screws an animal, half of its blood is carried over to the offspring of the animal, or sometimes demi-god, though the latter rarely happens due to the demi-god not wanting an animal inside them… Again. For humans though, they get more of the demi or god bloodline, though this doesn translate to much, usually a percentage or two, it is possible for humans to conceive more of their god bloodline then slowly form their own bloodline. Though most die at this stage, this is generally how demi-gods are made. When two gods have offspring, it usually results in miscarriages or more often their creations being human. This generally defies perception, so the gods could only keep screwing humans over in the hopes that they would becomes their demi-god chosen. To clarify if a person awakens their bloodline entirely, they become a demi-god, only by remaking their bloodline into their own, can they become a god, but since the death rate is so high, almost nobody takes the risk. Then he rolled into the piss.
It stank, he almost vomited, but kept rolling in it, he even made the effort to get as much on him as he could. Normal wolves would never stalk a human or animal marked by a great beast. Theres just one problem though, the urine of great beasts usually sticks around for a month or so, sometimes much shorter, sometimes much, much longer. Thats why nobody rolls in it, since it can stay with you for the rest of your life, always impacting everything you do. Make food? Tastes like piss. Make beer? Tastes like piss. It basically ruins your career unless you become some scholar or builder or find yourself lacking a sense of right and wrong, and taking the job to kill or screw people in their sleep, sometimes both. He had the suspicion that he had some demi-god blood in him, though itd be hard to see. Getting control of the bloodline is the easiest part, but before that easy part, he has to deal with the hard part, which is to find a new place to stay, hopefully with hyposmia, hopefully the strongest kind, he had a feeling hed be smelling like that beast for a very long and unpleasant time to come.
He found a small set of deer footprints leading in two directions. It seemed a deer went in a circle here, maybe it had gotten lost? He shook his head and used a very scientific method of probing the correct path. What he did was he took one set of the footprints, traced the light from the sun to the shadows and with that he could conclude that the deer was heading in this direction. He almost slapped himself in the face for his circular thinking, though he relented and tried again, this time rather relating the shadows of the sun to the set of footprints and the depth they were in, this allowed him to extrapolate the time of day the deer went through each direction, also it let him know if the two sets of footprints were from the same deer, and the reason for the deers walking, he looked towards the trees nearby and took a gander for any new-ish moss. Old moss can be used to tell direction, since it would eventually grow anyway, though newer moss could easily be used to tell which direction had most sunlight, and that direction was usually east. He readied his hand, thought for a moment and let it drop. He had almost assumed it had risen from the north. Since he was a scholar, he has a habit of always wanting to be right, and he would generally slap himself if he wasn , he swore at one point to drop the habit, but he failed.
Following the deers tracks he sped down the trail like an ant eater on a hot trail. He wasn in the mood for eating ants, but getting a nice slab of meat would suffice nicely. Though that likely also wouldn occur, so hes mainly planning on stealing the poor deers food. If he doesn get his nuts caved in by the deer when it was disturbed. That made cold sweat run down his back. He tempted closer to the deers behind, making very sure to keep his crotch at a side angle to avoid any immediate counter attack by the hungry deer. The deer in front of him was munching on berries. These are frostbyte berries, they are quite the delicacy, the taste is that of a sparkling rose wine with a hint of chilly mint, this taste is phenomenal when used in making actual wine, it would taste like a double wine, this doesn actually make a lot of sense, though thats what the book ”Wine and Culture ” by Zheruk Mikael said.
He tumbled in front of the deer and screamed like a banshee. The deers hair stood up, then it ran. It was rather anti-climactic, though he did sigh in relief. Losing testicles to deer or donkey kicks isn something he ever wanted to experience. He didn have time to pick up a backpack when he was suddenly ousted from his family, thus he now had a peculiar situation. He thought for a bit then took a large nearby palm leave and some twigs, he made a tiny and rather impractical basket that had three places to hold it. The third place was due to his horrible manufacturing method. It was essentially an oversized picnic basket with leaves on the outside and inside with two handles on top. He had thought to combine them, but in the middle of the process the twigs got loose on some ends and he almost threw the entire thing away in a fit of rage. He then started picking berries and gently placing them in the basket. This scene would almost look like a fair maiden plucking berries from a bush to place in a picnic basket, if it wasn for the sweaty dirty guy placing it in his shitty contraption.
Forgetting himself in the process he began picking berry after berry, sweating profusely, his scalp began itching as well as his face. He began to intermittently scratch himself like a dog. It was agonizingly annoying. His face began to lit up like flame, turning blistering red, he almost crushed one of the berries. ”Why the ** is this taking so long?! ” He yelled. He looked into his basket and noted that it wasn even a half way full. He took the basket with both hands and awkwardly kept up the trail that the deer had left, it seemed that it had changed directions at some point, either aggressive animals, or maybe civilization. He hasn been outside his village for seven hours, but he already feels homesick. He almost cried. Then he gave a silent scream. Theres still a chance for a predator to be nearby so alerting it would be beyond idiotic, and he needed some way to vent. He considered going back and torching the place, but he felt remorse for his sister, Aleena.
Walking through the shrubs he managed to spot a waft of smoke rising to the air, it seemed that there was a fire nearby, or maybe even a chimney. He slapped his thigh and almost cried. Had he forgotten how to control his strength? He looked down and saw that his thigh now had a purple handprint ornament on it. He noted that if he should come to be attacked, he shouldn strike back at full force lest he kill them, especially with weapons. He then considered discarding that notion since hes not the saint type. As for the bloodline thoughts from earlier, he also knew that if a person managed to fully dominate their inherited bloodline, they could create their own. The only problem with that is that it would have the aspect of the paternal side of things. It could get a but **y, for example if a human goblin, or rather a hoblin chose the side of goblins, their genitals would disappear and they would grow very crooked. This had advantages, but people like that usually just ended themselves since it was beyond their mental capabilities of control. He noted if he ever met someone in the future to at least guide them with this, even if it was an enemy… Or maybe hed just screw them over… Likely that.
He started walking through the gate of the village. Children screamed, housewives clenched their eyes and gave him evil glares. Pitchforks and torches were ready for him. Had they already been alerted by his detestable family? That would definitely explain their immediate response time, though he doubted it. He looked up and saw a shadowy figure in armor. Where does the a small village like this get enough funding to hire a mercenary? Or did that person just go and rob some poor fellow down the road? It likely is that he killed and defiled corpses as a career, though the last part probably isn accurate, the shadows just alluded to it. The shadowy figure stared down, its eyes narrowing. The figure had noticed him. Its expression didn change, nor could he even see the expression, but the figure did turn around, bend over and spank its but. A taunt. Bloody well then.
”State your name forewalker. ” Well, shit forewalkers are like demons, he knows he probably is not a demon, what now? ”My name is Peter, and I come from ayonder, aye? ” He spoke with an accent he heard foreigners use. Though since the actual speech of a person and what others heard sounded significantly different, he just sounded like an idiot. He then indicated with a few obscene gestures. He thought theyd look fondly at him for knowing more of their culture.
”We don need your kind here, scram! ” The village elder stepped up with his pitchfork, twirling it around like a spear before getting into what he assumed was a militaristic spear position. Did he just happen to walk into a village full of veteran soldiers? He hastily corrected his accent and spoke normally, ”I apologize my name is Angus, Ive just been attacked by my own family, please give me somewhere to stay ” he blurted out. It was a lot harder said that done, though that makes less sense than for other topics since he was…
”You may enter, but pay twenty coppers at the gate, ten more than usual for being a fool. ” He threw his pitchfork and Angus thought it was the end of him, when he opened his eyes he noticed that the pitchfork had traveled a perfect ninety degree arc above him to land in a distant hay bale. Theres just one problem. He has no actual money with him. He dug desperately into his pockets, almost going as far as to strip himself, then he slapped himself in the face, this made him even angrier and he ended up tearing his pocket. A single quarter copper fell out. He picked it up and chucked it at a nearby swan cursing the entire time. The swan elegantly dodged and kicked the copper back at him. He wasn so lucky, it landed on his forehead and it made a deep imprint of the copper coins head.
What is this place? He found himself growing more fearful. Military encampments and martial swans aren something you see around anywhere. The other animals seemed normal. Except for a canary bird that had went straight for his balls when he was running from his family. That had almost ended with him getting invited to a world of damned pain. He couldn catch it either. Were these animals wizards? He has to introspect with himself for a moment.
Am I going insane?
Walking to the gate he explained to the guard, a middle aged drunk man with a short mustache and very long eyebrows. ”Hey, Im actually so poor Id be able to make money shaggin sheep and stealing their wool, can you please help me out, this little beggar might make it worth your while. I can chop wood, kill ducks, not swans though, and hunt deer.? ” He lied about most of it. The drunk man simply punched him in the face, everything went black.
When he awoke he found himself hunched over a rock, his head aching like it had been smashed in. He felt strange. Opening his eyes he seemed to have aged, or rather, he looked older. He had more hair on his arms, his facial hair grew a little, and his nails were ready to be clipped, or bitten off. A little strange, but the likely explanation was that a wizard had come by to curse him. He stood up and astoundingly, his shitty basked was still at his side, none of the berries were stolen it seemed. He picked one and bit into it. Sweet minty juice dripped down his throat, he hadn had something to drink in so long, he almost cried. But he couldn cry, his eyes and tear ducts were dry at this point. He kept eating berries until they were gone, then he got up and walked to a nearby pond to see if he had grown a horn or something.
He luckily hadn grown a horn, and luckily he didn have wrinkles. His hair and nails just grew out of control for reasons he couldn imagine, he had already excluded that he was a victim from some demon or monster, the only likely explanations are that he was cursed. There was one positive part of all this, he felt a little stronger. He went to a tree and punched it. He instantly regretted it, although the tree as thick as a fat womans waist shook heavily and a crack sounded. His skin was bleeding, then he felt normal again. He took off his pants and underwear and checked for any peculiarities in his genitals.
Nothing there either.
He then punched himself there, and almost slapped himself in the face for his own stupidity, but didn lest he blow his own head off by accident. He pulled his pants on again and looked around himself. He was in the forest again, though it seemed that he wasn very far from the village. He turned and went back. He was furious this time. Walking to the front of the village and towards the door guard. ”Ten coppers please. ” The drunken guard asked, his one eye closed his other hand open. Angus simply walked forward and punched the man in the face. The man got up, his eyes clear and vigilant, a pristine light shining in them. He caught the punch, but that didn last. The punch broke through his guard, and hit him in the face. He was sent flying. Although Angus was a scholar, he wasn that weak, he had helped around the house with chores, and each time Angus was attacked, it was a sneak attack, this time however he kept vigilant. If they try to sneak attack him again, he would break a few bones, at least.
He then walked into the village like nothing happened. The guard lay on the ground, some of his teeth knocked out, his eyes blank. Whether he was dead or alive was unknown. Angus started looking about until he noticed a black smith in the distance, he walked to the woman and spoke, ”Mam, Im new around these parts, is this entire village a military camp or something? ” He straightforwardly asked.
”Lets go inside.
” She simply said before tempering the red hot rod in her pliers in a near vat of oil. They walked into the house of the lady blacksmith.
e living in hard times, bandits everywhere, thieves, you name it. There recently has been a decree allowing anyone who spots a beggar or thief to attack them and remove them from their premises. What brought you here? ” Angus shook his head. He placed a hand on his thigh and moaned in pain. The woman looked at him strangely. ”A sore spot, I accidentally gave myself a bruise ” He lifted his pants leg and the woman seemed even more bewildered. ”I was freaked out as well. Though Ive managed to hopefully control my own strength ” they both laughed it off and then talked about random comings and goings, and like this he learned the layout and structure of the village. He really had been unlucky, this was a military camp, and the ”Chief ” was a commander of sorts. They were apparently in guise of a village to kill nearby bandits. It was quite the clever plan.
”What about the swan? ” He asked her. ”The swan? ” She repeated. He looked at her oddly, expecting some revolutionary answer. ”I had a swan kick a coin I threw at it back at me, it really bloody hurt, just look at my forehead. ” He pointed to the faint imprint on his forehead. Still furious about it. ”Oh thaaat swan. ” She muttered, got up and poured a glass of vinegar for the both of them. Angus looked perplexed. ”Im not drinking vinegar. ” The smith was startled and blushed profusely, she walked to the sink, threw the contents of both glasses out before washing them and supplying them with goats milk. ”Here you are. ” She said placing the glass on the table. It was a rather ordinary table, at least at first glance, but the actual carpentry seemed to be done by an apprentice, or an idiot, likely the latter. The entire support was uneven and it had a pentagon shape. It was honestly hilarious. He had to stifle laughter after he gave it a second look.
”The swan has a name, its a wizard that has willfully transformed himself into a swan in order to protect this encampment he is being paid very well, the name is Jerryme-meld Hei-Heimerfeld. ” The smith stuttered on the name but he got the general idea. Jerrymeld Heimerfeld. An odd name, it didn contain the usual career tone, so he could only guess that the man wanted to keep that a secret. Before he could ponder further she explained, ”He was a member of the royal family of Guddah, but in the end they banished him and gave him a trash name. He cursed his own family quite a few times, every month a new one, now they are all running around looking for their noses and genitals. ”
Angus laughed at that, the smith looked very serious and knocked on his forehead, ”If they knew you were laughing, theyd take that head of yours as an ornament on the blood legion tree. Its not long before the raise it. Apparently some evil creature has awakened, it has allegedly taken the shape of a man with a glaive polearm. It has stated that it wants us to not only submit, but to also offer the stomachs of our children. ” That made him stop laughing.
”Its best you leave the village, you don seem the rich type, lodgings are quite hard to come by, I have a feeling well meet in the future again. ” She gave him a slight smile and went to fish out a backpack packed with clothes, food and wine. ”Courtesy of Jaine Lainfeld, or whatever name that clairvoyant woman has picked today. ” He took the backpack wordlessly. This was an act of kindness. There had to be something behind it. He glared at her through narrowed eyes. He then took another look at that strange table and the house they were in, just to make sure he didn get baited by some strange troll wizard. ”Well off be with you. ” She shooed him out and he didn protest. He took this kindness to heart and threw it away. He now considered this woman a friend. He gave a nice laugh and kicked a stone. It broke a window, but he had already sprinted to the gate of the village. Seeing the doorman and remembering his awful treatment, he didn even bother and knocked the man out again. He only had a single tooth left, along with a deep purple and red bruise on his cheek, It looked quite beautiful, the layering of red and purple. Sucker punching strong people felt so satisfying, especially with how weak he was. If that man had been prepared hed be out cold. He had already learnt about his unavoidable punch, which was essentially just a very accurate punch, normally people would actually actively guide their punch to the closest surface, naturally after someone noticed his accuracy they would actually be able to withstand his meager punch easily. He was a scholar after all, just a slightly stronger scholar.
He rested a bit at a nearby tree and inspected his backpack, everything he would need for a month was packed in there. The only peculiarity was a book dubbed,
”The musings of witches, blood and gods.
” He didn know how blood could muse, so he cracked open the fairly thick tome, if it was gibberish he could just use it as firewood. He simply sighed, tossed it back into his backpack, then used the buttons on it to seal it. Who uses backpack buckles anyway? Its not like they
e extremely convenient.
He then noticed something strange. He was hungry. But looking at the vegetation around him just makes him feel sick, and the dry meat he had packed didn seem adequate at all. He stood and walked into the forest, taking a slightly pointy stick with him, he didn exactly think he could use it, but having it made him feel confidence for some reason. With each deep step into the moist forest soil he finally found what he had been looking for. Rabbits. He was quite convinced that he could make a nice delicious roast, though for some reason thinking of cooking the rabbits also made him sick. Even thinking back to the meat he ate when he still had a family made him feel the same. Was his body trying to make him become a fruitarian? Fruits at this stage were the only food he could think of, save berries, that didn make him want to gag and die.
He aimed the pointy stick and threw it at the rabbit. To note, this stick wasn very durable at all, though since the wood wasn old, nor dry, it did have some elasticity and also some yield, this allowed. This was what he had picked out, it also was nice and rigid though so it made for a nice spear.
The spear blitzed into the air, a whistle met and air currents tried to prevent it, move it, get it away from its target, but the spear was absolute. It hit the rabbit, pinned it to the tree with a quarter of the stick inserted into a tree. He was a bit astonished, then he felt it. The burning pain. It felt like someone had taken your arm, poured some boiling oil on it, then followed with water and oil again. A rhythmic pain that continued to pulse. Sometimes pain can be so intense that you can even scream, swear or even cry. This was that kind of pain. Even when you
e dying, you
e normally not entirely awake to feel the pain.
He looked down to see his arm covered in veins, his muscle bulged, the skin looked more rough than it did before. Then the pain stopped. At this point he wanted to end himself so he wouldn just turn into some crazy demon and kill everyone in a hundred kilometer radius. In this world, humans are considered rather fast, animals are faster, demons are even faster, but gods and devils are the fastest. If he turned into a demon animal, he would be considered to be the fastest below the realm of gods, or demigods rather. The problem is that there are different species, though he doesn particularly care what kind of mindless demon hes going to turn into, just that its going to either leave him brain-dead or in so much pain that he becomes brain-dead.
His arm soon returned to normal, though now the skin is rougher, and its slightly bulkier than it was before, not as bulky as when it fully transformed. A strange expression arose on his face when compared his arms. His obsessive compulsive behavior almost had him remove his own arm. It was driving him slightly insane, but he tried to ignore it. He moved to the rabbit he had speared and tried to pull the stick from the tree. He braced his feet, and pulled as hard as he could. He almost sent himself flying when the twig broke, now the rabbit was even more stuck, the part that made him feel bad was that the poor thing was still alive. He walked back, took a nicely sized rock and clubbed it on the head a few times, then a couple more for good measure. He really wouldn want the poor thing to feel itself get roasted. He gently took it off from the tree then looked at it, he felt some guilt welling up inside him before his vision started to become altered. Everything looked more grey, the usual red blood of the rabbit no longer bothered him, in fact, he interpreted it that it was ready to eat.
He didn remember roasting it.
Ripping a chunk from the rabbits flesh, he took a nicely sized bite. It tasted like barbecued rabbit, just much juicier. After he finished the rabbit his vision swam and he returned to see his hands covered in blood and fur. Then he tasted the irony taste of blood. He slapped himself against the skull, his rage welling up along with the guilt, he then gagged and dry heaved. Soon he felt the tears, the cold rushing onto the singular hairs on his arms, goosebumps. He cradled himself, trying to feel some sense of comfort, when he heard a song. It wasn a simple or complicated song, it was a story. He turned around to see a woman with a bow slung over her back. He frowned. That bow was about as tall as he was, and it looked rather heavy.
”Who are you? ” He asked, the grief in his voice apparent. It sounded more like a grainy whimper. ”You can call me the huntress. I have come to warn you. He is drawing near. ” She went up to him and gently caressed his shoulder. Luckily it wasn the one that had grown on its own. ”Child you seem cold? Where are your parents? ” He didn look like much of a child anymore, but with the lack of a beard, he still looked like one to the carefully trained eye. Even though hes 16, it seemed to him that he would never grow one. ”They are gone ” He simply said, the memories finally climbing back, crawling onto his mind like a night terror. He then noticed that where he had hunted was near a small little pond. And there he sat whimpering into a strange womans arms until the next morning.
When he noticed she was gone.
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