Merlin 3:8 “Sin and Sacrifice”
In the early day while children play two lovers sleep beneath the furs, enrapt and embraced with thoughts of having penance soon erased as patient slumbers oft wrest of peaceful minds, what fires in his waking eyes are all for her heart. Pulling him close their eyes focus on the bathing light and secrets of adoration.
Ana: “Mine love, to speak the window outward look.”
Nik: “What sight beseeches thee?”
Ana: “Peace and love without sin, lest thru the morrow.”
Nik: “"They proceed to plow and support themselves; I have assured tranquility for me and thee.”
Having stretched his shirtless front and contorted back to peek from windowpane, he holds her smile and delightfully presses their lips, before he crawls from couch and stands to dress himself. She watches him with pride and empathy for sympathy of devout emotion, no more callous than whereas be erst description.
Nik: “Are you to take your meal in wait?”
Ana: “How so would a queen take morning comestibles?”
Nick sits on the edge of the bed and dons his boots, smiling and stealing glances of her in vibrant form, but as whilst her early deferent concern a disturbance in the form of horses carrying barbarous slavers charge into the town. Taking people as possessions and the latter as the ilk Nik hurries into his boots and stowing hidden blades, it is all that he can do to speed into tunic and peek his head thru the collar to peer himself from the window in concern.
Nik: “Can I go play?”
Ana: “Fine, avenge thou my cause, be home anon?”
Nik: “Of course, love.”
She smiles as he kisses her then runs from the room without his full armaments nor looking back, Ana wrapped in blankets walks on her knees to the window and watches him run into the street to begin a fight without so much as a stone in his hand, he fights swift to take and use their weapons versus them. A terrorist falls to the ground, grabs that of such a stone, and rears his arm to brain Nik, but over him the nearby fire crawls and intemperately feeds on feeble skin, her magic has ignited the felon and her lover bootheels the raider’s chest causing foe to fall to fire. Nick turns and runs from her sight as she from the window, her back uncovered from nape to the small of her back in a chilly morning and dangerous freedom, sliding her feet, she slowly spins in the bed and stands. Wrapped in silver furs she walks to the tall dressing mirror and reflects her midsection followed by passing her hands across her stomach reservedly to merely admire it.
Merlin: “Have you told him yet?”
Ana: “No, and you won’t either! How many times have I told you about shadow walking?”
She covers herself, whipping about the cloth sheets to conservative concealment, and heretofore looks out the window then to Merlin as she seats herself on the mattress.
Merlin: “Are you coming or going?”
Ana: “We’re staying, favor us and tend him; we will later spill the blood.”
Outside and elsewhere Nik sneaks thru the quickly vacated town only fighting an enemy when they find him, he spies like they amongst them to find method to their madness and the surface to their malaise. With spotting the slave wagon cage Ana hast of yester-night spake he walks toward them, disdained while surveying all information he may yet confident he will endeavor victoriously, discovered he runs to them without fight or his capable fury, instead of escape he haphazardly runs thru them with intention of his own capture. Of course, he masterfully fights a little, toying shortly with those who first grab him, but into their arms he has made himself caught with much noise for façade.
Nik: “Recede the wicked blood of lies; capture will only lead to your demise.”
A brief plea of apropos polity before put is he unconscious with a swift demotic strike to his brow, large Neanderthals of fearsome stoic strength sluggishly stand and twist to survey the surrounding terrified watchers of mothers clinging children clinging hopes of heretical dissimulation, their confidence of posture perfect dotes the arrogance of equivocation in disregard to sensation.
Nik wakes with his hands shackled above him by chain tethered to the sturdy woven cage posts dried and lacquered, the others with him are anxious as their eyes bounce watching from wagoner to the captors on their horses, uneven road and imperfect rolling wheels aside heathen mercenaries makes for shaky delivery in a journey that spares not haste. Around him are men and women, all young or strong enough to sow fields and families, beside him a boy of considerably lean stature, named Thane scrawny and gangly he reaches through the posts to where the wagon hitches cage to solitary chain to steel hoop. Shouting at his captors while failing to free them all he retreats his arm before it is broken by the boot of a rider, but still curses them from within the cage confines.
Thane: “I choose independence and liberty to create civilization, what does not kill me empowers, with freedom shall I rule.”
Nik: “The king of social depravity would you be.”
Thane: “Who are you again, and before you tell me, why should I care?”
Nik: “I’m getting to know the enemy.”
Thane: “Good, what’s our plan?”
Nik: “For you I’d say hold a tree when the wind blows.”
Thane: “I’m quick as a whip.”
Nik: “Sharper than a hammer get loose and sabotage everything, rapture without capture. I will take care of the rest, can you distract them?”
Thane: “Only a child can look at tyranny and admire it.”
Edith: “I scath a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.” (People live in each other’s shadows.)
Thane: “Is í ding di féin a scoileann an dair.” (A wedge of itself splits the oak.)
Nik: “Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde.” (Beware of the anger of a patient man.)
Edith: “Tada gan iarracht.” (Nothing without effort.)
The wagon cage jostles because of a rut in the road, and after a time of speedy travel, the captors feel not followed and so travel at a slowed rate. By the end of day, they most slow approach a camp for soldiers, tents in rows of six by four surrounding a larger black tent with space before it for its occupant’s lessons or leisure. The prisoners nervously quiet themselves and seek what wiles in fearsome guiles. The wagon finally stops and soldiers gather to transport prisoners to an imprisoning, a traipse over resistance the soldiers speak in presence stoically not, their leader among them is the butcher Kent of decadence and indecency, as he looks over the captives Nik fervently hides his face furtively, his turned face does not hide is recognition.
Kent: “This one, this one the master seeks.”
Kent: “Please, take him to the tower and put him in the bracelets, secure the others in the corrals.”
Nik: “How nice it is to see you again, Kent.”
Kent: “The pleasure is mine. Take him!”
Kent by shouting at his horse rides quickly to the castle, as Thane begins to struggle Nik shakes his head discouraging revolt, escape for lack of trying withdraws patiently notwithstanding. The quaint tower bastion is tall for a man but small as an edifice for it braces three storeys leant against the corner of a shorter mason keep that together resemble a barn and silo of stone.
Drug into the watchtower at the top of the stairs are cages filled with mostly young girls, some younger boys, and a man belted to a table for unwilling surgery. The cages are aside each other, though directly against the floor, resemblant to kennels of animals and each patron treated as such, remanded to filth and tepid squalor. Put into the cage Nik attempts to reach his hands thru the bars to the sleeping boy aside him, to check for heart pulse and beneath eyelids for vigilance gaze alas unable, restive he turns to tother lot and faces a strong commoner girl.
Elaine: “You are in wary confines, soldier.”
Nik: “Who is that upon dissimilar misfortune?”
Elaine: “Daren’t speak to an, his teeth are long and cries are horrid.”
Nik: “A kind word never hurts the tongue.”
Others shush Nik as he calls to the man on the table, persuading him in tendency near whisper.
Nik: “You look here, under the knife, what is your name?
The man replies not and quite hoarsely groans and turns his eyes weakly to the white cloth-covered window as dusk palls. Reprimand of anxious preservation and condescension of the current condition to liken child maiden to a mother’s tongue as he lies in cuffs and bandied thought, a second effort becomes the latter.
Elaine: “Don’t speak to him – should he escape he would surely drink our throats.”
Nik: “Shall he avail it should be his captors will he assail. What is your house, Scarlet, Crimson, Vermillion? I haste to savor allies.”
Roan: “The house of Scarlet, savor your breath lest shall I.”
Nik: “If freed, canst thou stay thy thirst solely of your captors?”
Roan: “Might that I may, but not children’s hands can slip those manacles. You share their vanity in your emotion, but I will be avenged whence my kind bleed the sky.”
Nik bound cannot reach into his boot and so rips his hand from shackle, his eyes well with tears for fears until his bloody mangled hand is loose, he spits the piece of tongue bitten in distraction of his forelimb pain through the cage bars to the floor. The smell of blood causes Roan to cry of emotion conditional to his race, venerably just but comparable to only that of compulsion. With the bloody hand, he reaches deep into his boot and pulls a knife from hidden, deep with the blade he cuts deeply across his own throat, much to the dismay of the children, especially Elaine caged beside him whom screams of original terror. As guards hurriedly rise to the height of the tower, the smell of incarnadine blood infatuates Roan into the fervor of bloodlust.
Once in the room the guards shout ordering silence to the scared and imprisoned, as they look to Roan to learn his predicament has not changed in passing confusion they enter frivolity and laugh at all around them.
They make jest at what has happened, complete with time spent taunting Roan amidst his sanguine fever, only to tend to Nik’s body in labored death, whose immortality is conditional to his life extinguishing before he may heartfelt breathe. As they drag his bleeding corpse from the kennel, his wounds heal unbeknownst, and the very sight of this clamors Elaine’s mouth shut and shiveringly, silent. No longer as decoy, Nik kicks hands from his ankles to wreck knees onto fell floor, swift to fight and flit to strife he throws one into his open previous decrepit cell then straightly stands and snaps the other’s neck.
Nik skip-foots to lock the cage door, causing the mercenary to retreat within it, and when grasping the cage sides the children kick at his hands. Niko walks from the instance of captivity to Roan whose eyes roll with discomfort and blindingly greyish yearns of what has been a longing for blood as Nik solemn unties him.
Roan: “You are different.”
Nik: “What have they done here?”
Roan: “They were looking for a way to be vampires in the daylight, I was their living autopsy.”
Roan of Scarlet stands and puts his hand to Nik’s shoulder, his mind weak a tunneled double vision blights his sight until the newly imprisoned guard bemoans the situation, daringly taunting him, Nik, and the children in the cages. Roan disheveled and distraught drags his feet until he faces the cage of the impolitic guard, his weight leans to one leg, his aches show through his thought. From the side of his lightfoot his arm holds across his stomach, his bloodstained clothes hang loose on him, and the dark circles under his eyes are bleak around bloodshot eyes.
Nik: “What keeps you?”
Roan: “Open the cage door.”
Roan smiles with those words, as Nik walks to the cage doors, the terrible guard terrified clings to its gate to keep shut a breach against his painstaking sanctuary. He releases tothers and with a flippant smile kicks his hands until the latch and gate openly swings, the inimitable children having cheered for vengeance now stare in dreading silence as Roan leaps faster than step to feed. His head sways as it tears, when he finally backs out the cage he stands appearing many decades younger, from his condemnatory face the children tremble. Nik, peeking thru the doorjamb, waves Roan towards him.
Roan: “Wait, I’ll first, stay ye close, wend we for the trees with equal step.”
Roan moves to stand atop the stairwell, the shadows behind him as he faces the bottom contrast the faint white evanescence of budding spring dusk and tint of blue moon.