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Fireflies/Twister Chapter V

I call Miykon to my throne room.

“Any news from Ashuur Desert?”

“No, my lord.”

While Miykon waits for me to speak again, I ponder. It appears that the two Twisters are indeed still in the forest, and thus mean to make a fool of me.

“Patrol this forest, then. Miykon, get our two best trackers and four horses. You, me, and the trackers are going to find the Masked One, at least. With luck we’ll get his Clawer too.”

I turn to my steward, Insar, as Miykon hurriedly exits the room. “You’re in charge while we’re gone. It may be for a week or more, depending on where in Gravenorth or Alisor our prey lies.”

“Yes, my lord.”
Shortly afterwards, Miykon returns. “The horses are ready.”

“Then out we ride.” I say with a bit of smugness. This will be fun.






* * *

We soon reach the border of Gravenorth. The Masked One has not made an appearance yet.

“Hmm. Perhaps...?” Miykon murmurs.

“What?” I say sharply, turning.

“Perhaps, my lord, they may have found the Twisters and are with them.”

I snort. “Wise, but unlikely. The Twisters would not trust them enough to befriend them. Have you forgotten, Miykon, that there are more than two sides in this war?” I say mockingly.

“No, my lord.” says Miykon, clearly barely restraining a snarl. Her silver bangs flop over her eyes, and through the slits I can see dark irritation.

“Well,” I say, “then cease your flow of worthless ideas.”

It is noon by the time we reach the spot where our quarry ran into Alisor.

“Farthen;” I say to one of my trackers, “Follow their trail. Lead us.”

The thin man jumps off of his horse, his brown cloak waving in the breeze that also ruffles my dark-blond hair. Through use of some magic I have yet to learn, Miykon has managed to keep her hair from being blown askew.

“They went farther in, my lord.”

“Then follow them. Complete my orders.”

The man does not respond, but leaps onto his horse and proceeds, occasionally stopping to read the footprints in the dirt. Miykon and I follow him as we go farther into my own region, Alisor. To the east, over Alisor’s plains, I can see the desert hills of the Land of Acid. To my west lies Dreyeken, and south of me is Gravenorth. Herion and the forest of my land lie ahead of me, and ahead of me is where we go, following the soft footprints of two fleeing children in the sand.





* *
*

Night falls over the edge of Alisor’s forest, where my group sits and eats.

A soft fire burns, cooking our meat. The flames send shadows like the ghosts of the many I have killed dancing on the ground, sparks of their hatred flicking at my face and dying out in mid-air.

The scent of fresh deer meat hits me full in the face and I furtively send glances at our meal, waiting impatiently for it to finish cooking. The hounds behind me howl and strain at their tethers, they smell it too.

A spark hits my thin scar that runs down my face and I wince. The Twisters’ mark runs deep, and my grudge is not forgotten quickly.

“My lord;” says Miykon. “The meat is done.”

With difficulty I remove my mind from my young enemies and nod, restraining a whoop of delight. One must be professional. Farthen hands a hunk of meat to me after slicing it carefully with his hunter’s knife. I take delicate bites, savoring the flavor.

“Er... my lord...how-how do you intend to kill the Twisters?” Miykon asks hesitantly.

“Whatever way I can.” I snap, rolling my eyes in the darkness.

“But we’ve sent three hundred tricksters and warriors after them. Five have survived, and none have touched the Twisters.”

“Miykon...” I mutter. She retreats into the shadows.

After a few moments, she gains the courage to speak again.

“And the Masked One?”

This question I am willing to answer. I close my eyes, smirk, and wait a few moments before answering.

“Arena.”



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