It had been nearly a week since the incident he came and went at night as he pleased but remained with her during the day.
At dusk she felt a strange presence.
“Don’t go.” She said as he was heading towards the door.
“You’re concern is flattering but the hunting is prime at this hour.”
“Let me go with you, so I can make sure you are safe.”
His body shivered and took the form of the wolf waiting at the door for her. She grabbed some spare bandages and her coat. Opening the door for him, he bounded out with nearly wreckless abandon disappearing into the snowy landscape.
Her heart sank upon hearing a muffled thud in the snow.
Going towards the noise what she saw caused her to gasp. A black panther stood on top of a man clawing into his back and spraying the snow red with blood.
“Stop it!” she shouted with all her might. The animal stopped glancing up at her with green eyes, it crouched down and lept for her.
She muttered a quick prayer and braced herself for impact. A sudden yip pierced the air, as a blur of grey came across her line of vision and intercepted the panther, pinning it down by the neck.
Both animals fought fiercely kicking up snow that was tinged with blood. The wolf refused to let go of the feline’s neck and it submitted laying down. The wolf finally let go backing away as the panther and wolf both began to shimmer, the wolf returning to the familiar form of Kanjyor and the panther into a raven haired woman.
Kanjyor surveyed the damage bending down to check the pulse of the woman.
“What have you done?”
“I saved your life.” He said defiantly
“You could have broken her neck.”
“But I didn’t.”
Adra check on the man who lay face first in the snow, feeling for a pulse on his neck.” He’s alive.”
“Do you think you can carry the woman? The blood will attract predators if we don’t move them soon.”
She wordlessly wrapped the unconscious woman in her coat picking her up carefully.
Aquil woke to strange voices to a tingling sensation in his back, finding himself on his stomach he tried to roll over making it to his side. The sensation gave way to pain which caused his back to spasm and him to fall off the cot He landed on his cheek bone with a thud. He grunted struggling to get back up when arms helped him up. The arms belonged to an auburn haired woman.
“You tore a stitch open,” she noted her voice soft and soothing “but you’re at least you’re awake which is more than I can say for your companion.” She carefully took the cloth off his back checking the wound.
“Morishta?” he managed through gritted teeth.
“She’s alive. Kanjyor spared you from the worst of it. Here drink this, she offered him some green looking liquid he eyed it suspiciously despite his thirst.
“It’s nothing more than crushed herbs that will help you heal, those are some pretty deep wounds and will leave scars.”
He accepted allowing her to tilt the clay mug so that he could drink, he finished it quickly.
“Where are we?”
“Safe. This may hurt a bit.” He jumped at her touch, “I have to pull a stitch to seal it again.”
He felt a slight tug on his skin as she pulled gently at the thread and soon found himself drifting off again.
When Aquil awoke the next time he was laying on his back he sat up slowly finding his back stiff from the lack of movement with virtually no pain.
“Here is some stew.” The woman put the tray in front of him,” I’m Adra.”
“Aquil.” He said and proceeded to taste the stew, it was oddly familiar, “I’ve had this before.”
“I wouldn’t doubt it,” a male voice replied,” it’s a recipe only the Kyti tribe uses.”
“You’re a Kyti?”
“Former. I was exiled for the same reason as your companion, was.”
“Can you cure her?”
“Where is she?”
“You came to Hagemage for a cure?”
“Yes, is there a mage who can separate them?”
Kanjyor glanced at Adra and shook his head.
“I would if I had the ability.” She said wistfully.
Kanjyor opened his mouth to reply but stared at something in the doorway. Adra’s glance followed and she gasped. Aquil follow their gazes and saw Morishta standing in the doorway.
“What is that delicious smell? I’m ravenous.”
“Morishta? I thought you were injured?” Aquil managed to find his voice despite his shock.
“It was just a scratch,” she said marking her way towards the pot of stew and sniffing it appreciatively.
“How do you feel? “Adra asked cautiously.
“Fine, once I eat.” She served herself stew, and in tasting it she turned to Kanjyor, “Kyti recipe?”
“I had always smelt it but never dared to have any.”
She finished the bowl quickly setting it down and returning her attention to them.
“Don’t look so surprised to see me alive and well. I no longer fear the panther. Signess gave my life back to me to have control over the beast.”
“You may believe you have cheated Signess. You may think your dealings with Signess are done but they aren’t.”
“And you are one to talk. You’ld rather bear the pain then surrender to Him.”
“I would rather fight than admit defeat.”
The uneasiness between the two spilled into the night as Adra settled into her cot a hand came over her mouth it was Kanjyor’s
“Don’t touch her. She may appear harmless now, but this won’t last. Signess will come for her and I don’t want you dragged into the darkness with her. I may not be able to retrieve you if it happens.”
She searched his features seeing only concern and worry.
“Promise me you won’t touch her.”
“Good I will return in the morning.”
Morning broke and Kanjyor was nowhere to be found.
“Is this normal?” Aquil asked.
“No. I should go find him.”
“Let me go in case someone has tried to hunt him again.”
She nodded in agreement, he hugged Morishta and told Adra he would return with Kanjyor.
“we are alone at last mage.”
The tone of Morishta’s voice cause the hairs to rise on the back of Adra’s neck.
“Do not feat me. Join me.” She stepped closer, “You are all the stands between Signess and the destruction of all of Yasorus. Join us and rule this world.”
“then die with them.” The woman snarled and lunged. Adra ducked out of the way just in time shoving a wooden chair in raven haired woman’s way. The chair hit the woman knocking her into the door and causing her to hit her head, she crumpled into a pile on the floor.
When Adra caught her breath she dared go near the unconscious woman. A hand shot out and grabbed Adra’s ankle she scream as she was dragged into the darkness.
She is shaken awake by Kanjyor finding herself in a cot.
“You touched her didn’t you? I warned you-“
“I didn’t touched her, she grabbed me.”
“What did you see?”
“Signess is going to destroy all of Yasorus if we don’t stop Him.”
“Adra, we don’t have the ability to stop a God.”
“There are others in danger. We must do something.”
“You can’t save everyone.”
“We can at least try.”
“And get yourself killed.”
“Does that mean you’re coming with us?”
He sighed,” Only to make sure you don’t get killed.”
“Good, we leave in the morning.”
“Why not now?” Aquil asked.
“It is not far they are on the borders of Hagemage and Yor. Signess is gathering his forces.
It was nearly midday when they spotted the krisna in the clearing before them. They crouched in the bushes.
“There are so many of them. What’s our plan of attack?”
“Adra, do you think you can protect us long enough to charge in?”
“I can try.”
“That’s all I can ask. Ready?”
Adra and Aquil nodded.