The Book of Earth
5 - The Thief
An ash cloud disturbed by light, a great mountain was angered and the blood fires poured from Muspel, great sulfuric fires brought dastard ash over the sky that pushed the clouds, the air was dense as it rained, until the water stopped, the grounds were clean and awaited the ash to lay on the earth. A thief named Ninjaryu wearing the color of night stole from a city in the fields of flax, and its citizens, the river of fire poured from the mountain caused by the opened heart within the god of death, the thief's treasures were not tithing to his comfort, but his tools were, when his neighbor told him of the calamity he looked at the torrent of molten stone that bled down callous mountainside with the rising calamity and he took his tools close to his vest. He kissed the stolen statues of the gods around his quarters and ran for the lava. Through the town he ran with everyone running the other way, the law escaped horse trampling children, the grocers stocked carts with food and not the elderly had long left at the start, for their notice from the market had been the first. The thief continued to run unto the strong house where the cartel resides, he killed seven guards to penetrate the gates, through the garden where the servants are dead for stealing horses, to the master house of the compound. He was bid to leave in consoling solace by the boss so that the boss and subordinates could part with treasure that they had spent their lives stealing.
Rilkar: "It is high time you left Ninjaryu, as we are, you may help if you'd like, but you must vacate our destiny."
Ninjaryu: "You take your slow treasure, and not your children?"
Rilkar: "They have earlier parted on the horses that were almost stolen, as you have surely seen. I cannot stem the storm so we make for a Hringhorni, what brings you thief?"
Ninjaryu: "I need strong explosives immediately."
Rilkar: "...that is going to cost you...because of the storm...what's mine is yours, but if you’re going to leave I'll need to charge you for the tour..."
The thief began to kill them, a guardian got his spine hacked below the base of the skull and an arrow from a crossbow flew behind Ninjaryu's head as the body of his opponent fell to the earth, another guard fared poorly as each arm was broken at the elbow simultaneously, a crudely patent insult from a skilled combatant, with both arms in lock the thief broke the guard's nose with his head strong enough to nearly kill him, another arrow loosed before his face as he dropped the second body onto the piano and swiftly punched a third guard then put his heel into stomach, a third and fourth of five approached the thief, as a dance of fighting clouded the close quarter combat the thief took an arm and wrapped himself in his enemy, the third was punched accidentally in the face by the fourth before he was shot in the head by an arrow with his name on it. The fourth guard was not alive when his neck was broken. The fifth guard was kicked in the chest, knocking him backwards into the wagon and broke the wheel causing gold to spill.
Rilkar: "Ah! You stupid fucking rube, you're going to pay."
Ninjaryu took the crossbow from the mobster, his knee kicked the crossbow and he grabs it with his hand, and punched the mobster with the other, his fist clasped the trigger and turns the crossbow upright.
Ninjaryu: "There is something I've always wanted to take from you."
The thief rode up the empty street on a stolen horse with a second horse in tow, the satchels packed with explosive powder, his sight and intent were the temples of Syrinx, hoping that if one of them fell in an angled path of other large buildings in the capital the lava might divert, but it was not true for the sight of wrath was upon the earth, the lava was not a river to be stemmed, it was a tide from the torrent of death, it was a satanic wake wroth to cleave existence from fate, tearing through buildings as if they were castles made of sand. He turned and ran from the fires, from the volcanoes, the beloved royals and cursed regents he hoped are flit from the carnage, the blue jays that kill only when creatures are struck by fear had their work cut out as the black hawks fast flew from mice and men. The wraiths and gargoyles smiled with sinister smiles and stood in wait and watched for sport.
Ninjaryu hastily stopped to fill a pouch with abandoned oranges but the sight and the noise drove him from peril. The lava rolled with the sound of the giant snake Jormungand crushing all in its path as the clouds of arsenic ash billowed and vast poured across heaven and shadowed the earth, as if the edge of the earth were rising into the fires of dawn.
The lava boiled the reservoir and broke the dam, the water poured through the trickling meadow stream as a torrent, the babble was hidden by the thunder, the ash fell and the fires began to ignite in the doomed city, what seemed like meteors begin to fly into the city, Ninjaryu turned the horse toward the dry riverbed Elivagar, the path was open, the race was faster upon escape, behind him the water rushed faster than he.
When the flood came he was farther from the fires than he had expected and closer to the sea than he needed, he and the horse were washed beyond the coast, when the water washed the docks the ships were foundered, all but the Hringhorni. When the wave broke the fires of war still approached from the mountain, as tall as two men the fires melted stone and turned thought to ash. Ninjaryu found a small boat and rowed from the coast, watching the destruction. The large boat slow upon escape took him aboard and lassoed the horse from the water by the neck, the fires consumed the air and drew the sails the wrong way, they were cut by desperate people and the men sat out the oars and began their distance. With long fishing spears children took floating oranges from the surf as they escaped the cannonade of hell's conquest.