Delmar found Kiera leaning against a tree, her eyes covered by her arm crying, “All those people. You were right I’m sorry I didn’t know. “
“You couldn’t have known. Those people can’t be helped now, they’re at peace. “
“But we can fight to save others keep this from happening again. “
“What would Marritt say if he saw you now? He wouldn’t want to hire a crying bounty hunter.”
She cracked a slight smile and regained most of her composure.
“You’re right it’s just I didn’t believe you –“
“I know I wouldn’t have either.”
“Let’s go stick it to the Dark Lord shall we?”
“I saw what you just did” a voice said, stepping out of the shadow of the trees, revealing himself to be Kanjyor.
“What of it?” her orange eyes glowed brightly.
“You can cure me. “
“No.” Y’elt said firmly.
He did so without realizing it as though he was being pulled by some unknown force.
Y’elt stepped forward to stop him but he found himself frozen in place unable to move.
She grabbed Kanjyor’s arms closing her eyes and began to chant. The writing came alive once again but unlike last time it didn’t crawl away from her. Instead it stayed on her arms, twisting into a rope like material which then split one, half heading up her arms covering up to her neck, the other half heading down to her boots.
Y’elt watched in suspended horror as her hair came loose from the bun she had it and began to ooze red. Running down over her shoulders like a waterfall dyeing her clothes as it went and finally collecting at the ground around her.
When she let go her eyes snapped open looking directly at Y’elt. Her eyes were black, void and soulless.
“I’m final cleansed.” Kanjyor whispered as he backed away from the woman, marveling at his unmarked skin more to himself than anyone else completely oblivious to what was going on.
“But at what price?” Y’elt asked when he was able to move again.
Kanjyor looked up and gasped in horror at seeing Nyri, “What have I done?”
“Nyri?” Kiera went pale upon seeing the native in her current state.
Dark clouds appeared on the horizon and the wind picked up, blowing fiercely as thunder rumbled in the distance.
“He is coming.” Nyri said her voice distance but her eyes were on the horizon.
Y’elt stepped towards her as it to touch her, but Kiera pulled him away, ”There’s nothing we can do for her now.”
He was about to protest when he heard a growling noise, from the woods. Emerging form the shadows was the panther followed by Morishta.
They backed up, afraid to turn their backs on any one of the three, inadvertently backing themselves into what remained of the group. Y’elt turned seeing Seline who had an otherworldly presence about her.
“She has awakened and just in time it seems.”
Seline stepped forward saying a few words and the krisna around them were revealed. They hissed in protest but dared not make a move closer.
Thunder rumbled as the sky darkened quickly and a dark cloud formed between Nyri and Morishta. The cloud took the shape of the dark armored knight. Laughter came booming from him that echoed in the armor.
“You think you can stop me? Kill them all.”
“Don’t do this Morishta.” Aquil begged.
“All those years of struggling with the panther for control and you want me to go back to that? Nae wasn’t powerful enough to help me.”
“She did help you, she kept you alive.”
“But at what price? To be sickly and ridiculed? I would rather been dead. He gave me power my allegiance belongs to him.”
“And I reward that loyalty with immortality. “
The dark armored knight held out his hand and in it formed a light purple cloud which crackled with lighting. The cloud moved towards Morishta and as it did it grew larger and larger so that by the time it reached her it was able to envelope her. Aquil broke away from his fight with a krisna, running into the cloud. A shrill shriek startled everyone as the cloud that had encased Morishta had dissolved revealing for a moment Aquil kissing Morishta. The darkness that had surrounded her had lifted and she returned to normal. The sky opened up and it began to rain melting the krisna where they stood. A sudden bolt of lightning shot out from the cloud striking Aquil turning him to ash. She screamed tears began to flow mixing in with the rain.
“No!” she knelt before the ashes, trying to gather them together as if her sheer will could bring him back to life..
Seline took the momentary distraction as an opportunity, ”I hereby banish you, Signess Dark Lord of Destruction to the underworld take your minions with you . “
The ground rumbled and opened up around the dark knight who grabbed onto Nyri dragging her down. The ground closed up again, leaving Nyri’s hand sticking out of the ground. Seline stepped forward, she bending over taking the native’s hand the ground parted slightly as if by her sheer will, setting Nyri free.
In her touch Nyri was transformed eyes turning from black to dark brown back to their normal orange, blood red hair faded back to black and the writing was sizzled off of her arms.
“You have a mission the panther still roams free.”
The native bowed before her.
Seline smiled and then moved towards Morishta who was still at Aquil’s ashes crying.
“My child, he is at peace.”
“It should have been me.”
“Has enough blood not been spilt today?”
“I wish it had been mine.” She said woefully.
“Do not wish for death so freely.”
“Why not? I am nothing now, I have been exiled from my tribe and I am now truly alone.”
“My child, you are never alone. You have now another mission that lays before you.”
“Find the panther?” she questioned sniffling.
She nodded, smoothing Morishta’s hair like a mother.
“May I ask why did you not spare Aquil?”
“He saw your suffering was great and sacrificed his life for yours.”
“I killed him.”
“No, he sacrificed himself so that you could live. You had no hand in his death, every action he did was for you. To make sure you would survive. Nae would be proud.”
“I doubt it.”
“She never expected you to survive; she underestimated your will to live and Aquil’s commitment to you. You did not completely succumb to the darkness, do not live your life in shame.”
And with that the glimmer of hope faded sparkling from within and the pure white aura that had surrounded Seline faded, returning Seline to her normal self.
“What do we do now?” Kanjyor asked most of the group settled by the campfire.
“Got to the Rothous and tell Nae what has happened here so that their bravery will not be forgotten.”
He shifted his weight uneasily, her hand touched his, “I know it means you will have to face Aeji but once all is explain her can no longer deny you are cared and worthy of being a Kyti again.”
“Now that you’re rescued what do you plan to do?” Kiera asked, poking the fire with a stick.
“Return to GoldenCity and restore it to its former glory. You are more than welcome to join us.”
The bounty hunter looked thoughtful for a moment.
“I could use someone with your fighting ability.”
“What else are you going to do?” Delmar asked.
She shrugged,” You have a point. When do we leave?”
“In the morning.”
“Let me go with you.”
Nyri looked up from her packing,”Will you be able to strike the killing blow?”
“I didn’t think so. What good are you to us then?”
“I know where she is and can lead you to her. Without me you will be hunting in vain.”
“Fine. But if you in any way hinder our hunt I will leave you for dead. Understood?”
“We leave tonight.”