Dark Eyes Chapter 5: Birthright

 Tyler Golec

Dark Eyes

Azriel felt his mother’s eyes on him as he walked down the street. He felt physical loss when he turned a corner out of site.  He walked out of the town straight into light forest of tall trees that made up much of the wilderness around Eelier Lake.  Removing the cloth from his eyes, he looked up and enjoyed the sun. The light hit the top of the trees breaking into smaller beams of light that were less irritating to his sensitive eyes.  The Forrest floor was made up of a very rocky and moss covered soil.

Listing to the sounds of the forest he felt the vibrations of nature run through him – the leaves crunched under his feet. He heard a squirrel climbing a tree, a deer not far off, and something else. It was closer. It was trying not to be heard. It walked on two feet. It was right behind him.

Quickly he turned cutlass in hand. He stopped the blade pressing into the skin of the man’s throat. The man pushed the blade away with two fingers.  Black eyes held black eyes. The man was tall. Azriel couldn’t guess his age. He was mature, yet his skin was without flaws. His hair was dark brown.

“Son,” The man said. “I shouldn’t be surprised your reaction was to kill me.”

Azriel stepped away from his father unsure what he should be feeling. “What are you?”

“You haven’t figured it out? I guess this is uncivilized land, little of eloquence and substance here.” Azriel was quick to notice that his ‘father’ moved carefully to avoid light, stepping around patches of light as he paced. “I am a higher being than human. I am without age. I am without equal. You are half of what I am. Yet you have turned into little more than an animal. You are like the lycanthropes that way, or a mutt.”

“A dog?” Azriel said. “You never helped me. I’ve what I need to survive.”

“Have you?” He asked. “That man in Ware? Your Grandfather? The boy you killed when you were ten?”

“I didn’t kill my Grandfather,” Azriel said bitterly realizing that his father had been aware of him his whole life.

“You sucked him half dry,” Azriel’s father said. “You found your mother though. Excellent for you. I come from Ahn’kluor. Well that’s not where I was born, but that city is no more and Ahn’kluor is where I’ve lived. I am one of three that roam this world willingly. You are my responsibility, and you have become a liability.”

Azriel stared coldly at the man. “Liability? So what? Is it time to get rid of me?”

“It is because of me you still live child! You’re a monster yet you are still my son!” his lips had curled back in rage revealing fangs, “I saw you murder that man in Ware saw you laugh as he died tasting his blood!”

“He deserved it,” Azriel said.

“So you can decide that?” He asked. “You did it for enjoyment. I was there to see it. Marcus wants to make you full vampire and Desmond wanted to destroy you before you were born. I asked for patience, yet you’ve made an easy choice for me. You will never see Anh’kluor.”

That was the second time he’d mentioned that place. He’d memorized maps but didn’t recognize that name. He didn’t have much time to think on this though, a tree had cracked under the impact of a strike meant for Azriel. He’d dropped to his knees then quickly rolled into a standing position ready to fight.  His father had turned casually toward Azriel.  His face had gone cold but the tension of the skin around eyes hinted at focus.

Azriel gave him no remorse as he attacked first. His curved blade arced in quick tight maneuvers that would have left a man lying in multiple pieces before he knew what happened. Azriel had no experience with things standing up to more than one or two of his quick attack. Quickly he improved combination attacks trying to ketch his father off guard, but the cold dark eyes saw everything, and his body reacted quicker than Azriel could believe. Not a single blow hit home. Growing desperate, his attacks became wild and missed his target again and again but wounded severely the vegetation around them.

His father suddenly side stepped and moved to his side landing an elbow on the back of Azriel’s head. The world brightened around him and Azriel found himself struggling in the moss.  He realized they were at the edge of the forest near were the shade of the trees ended.  Azriel didn’t know why the finishing blow didn’t come but in desperation he ignored his bodies protests and sprung into the sunlight.

His father was lost in troublesome thought it appeared. He wasn’t looking at Azriel, he was watching the town. “What are you doing?” Azriel asked.

“Can’t you smell that,” he said, trembling in anger.

Eyeing his father suspiciously he sniffed the air. There was an odd scent coming from the town but still familiar, “Wolves?”

“Not entirely try and separate the scent from that of the humans,”

Azriel frowned as he smelt the air again but he still couldn’t separate the wolf smell from the human it still smelt like one, “I Can’t” it hit him.

His father nodded, “Marcus told me they would not be here till night fall,” his father’s composure was gone. “They most have seen one of us known we were here!” He roared.

“Lycanthropes, werewolves? Why are they here?”

“A rouge pack of them was formed to the northwest, we have been tracking them,”

“You can’t walk in sunlight?” Azriel asked.

His father made a sound like a growl then quickly grabbed Azriel by his shirt.  “You will go into the town and fight them till night fall. Then I will consider your freedom.” Azriel watched the skin on his father’s arm that was exposed to light. It wasn’t fast but it became splotched and red and began to shrivel before he pulled it back.

 

 

Azriel nodded, hardly hearing his father he had was going to go in there with or without the threat.  He laced the black cloth around his eyes and sprinted across the clearing into the town.

Nothing in the town looked out of place just the scent. He quickly wove his way through the people uncaring that he was moving as fast as he could people jumped back in surprise.  He ran towards the town hall and slammed the door open damaging its hinges.  The old man ran down the hall way towards the door.

“What is the meaning of this?” he yelled towards Azriel scandalized.

“Lycanthropes, in the town,”

“What in the world are you talking about”

A scream came from the town, Azriel turned. People were fleeing a massive fire rising from a nearby building.  By now Simon was down the stairs, he to saw the fire.  “Roland we need to get help… What is he doing here?”

“Get people out of the city! It will get worse.” with that Azriel left the town hall and waded through the fleeing crowds.

Sounds of battle rang nearby breaking through the mass of people he came upon a group of guards armed in mail, wielding long swords and heavy circular wooden shields.  They outnumbered a group that looked almost like beggars. Clad in rags with an odd assortment of weapons.  Despite this the gaurds were being pushed back and beaten by the ruff group of men.  Azriel sniffed and snarled the men reeked of wolf.

“Run! Leave them to me!” the guards turned confused as Azriel drifted between them to get at the werewolves.  Still blindfolded his sword came alive in his hands, deflecting the furious attacks of the werewolves.  Deftly, he deflected a blade aimed at his thigh twisting it so it took the wielder off balance. In the follow through Azriel took off its head.  Azriel twisted his body in time for to whistling strikes to pass harmlessly by him.  Twisting rapidly to his right he raised an elbow taking one in the face sending it to the ground.

Regaining balance he had just enough time to twist and punch an axe blade away from his chest.  Sword at the ready he opened the creatures stomach.  There was commotion behind him coming from a tight formation of guards trying to hold off two of the werewolves that had gotten by him. They were trying to protect a group of villagers fleeing into the woods to the south of town.  Turning he sprinted at the wolves.  They heard him coming turning the meet him with snarls and howls.  This time they came at him together organized not carelessly as the others had done.  Azriel regretted still wearing the blind fold. Silently he cursed the unnecessary handicapIt was all he could do the keep their weapons off him with mostly only sound guiding him in the fading light.  Ducking Azriel heard the hiss of an axe head.  Springing forward he tackled one of the werewolves he bit at its throat tearing at it before he rolled back to his feet. The taste was sensual.

The second came him with his spear now free of their joint assault he quickly removed the last few inches of the shaft that passed harmlessly by him. It was easy to open the creatures throat with the tip of his cutlass.

Turning away from the town he sprinted for the woods he saw a guard and a girl who were ahead of him.  She was staring at Azriel, copper colored hair caught the setting sun making it visible even through the cloth across his eyes.

Azriel stopped and looked back watching and listening to the sound of more wolves moving into the town. The townspeople would be safe in the woods if the lycanthropes feared and knew about the vampires. Well, and of him now

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