The night was old but not over. Azriel felt the sway of the moon as strong as he had while battling the bear creature. He kicked open the back door where the sheriff and his men waited. Azriel smelt blood.
Human blood, he smelt her blood. He threw down the creatures arm and howled.
“She fled!” Someone shouted.
“She turned into a beast and fled!”
“She killed several!”
Azriel didn’t wait for anymore explanations. He rushed in and grabbed the sheriff by the neck with his left hand. Azriel pulled a crossbow bolt, that had been shot into him, out of his left should and stabbed it through the sheriff’s skull.
Weapons were drawn around Azriel. He stole the dead sheriff’s sword before he dropped the corpse. He cut down the men around him as if they were children. He fed on their blood but found it dissatisfying.
Azriel found himself crouching in the morning sun, over the body of a nearly bloodless woman. He stood, he could smell ash and blood and little else. He found a river and soaked himself in it. He hadn’t returned to the town. He didn’t need to see what he’d done.
He had been headed south for several days on the same road – aimless. He had grown aware to the increase of man stench that filled the air. It was thicker than a town’s, and lacked the additional scents of a city. It was a massive gathering of sweating men. It was an army as far as Azriel could guess. He wandered towards it. He dodged the scouts in the hearty wooded county and in two days he was walking into the camp.
There he did not go unnoticed.
“Beggar! We have no need of your trash!” Some burly armored man said through yellowed teeth – an infantry man.
“I want to join the army, fuck Swu’nar,” Azriel said. I felt like something appropriate.
“Aye, fuck’em,” The man said standing up. “But we still have no need of you. You see? We trained men – Trained hard.”
“Yeah,” Azriel said. Several other men were coming to the infantry man’s side. “Well, I could kill all of you right here, trained as you are.”
“With what?” He asked.
“Does it matter?” Azriel said. He was weaponless, but he doubted that it would matter much.
“To some degree,” The infantry man said. “Now get the fuck out of here. How did you even get by the scouts?”
“That doesn’t matter much either, does it?” Azriel asked. “Now, I came here so I could kill Swu’nar, not bash in the faces of my country men.”
“Fuck off prick,” Some soldier said. Weapons were drawn. Azriel rushed in. He bruised a few bones, crushed some carpels, dented some steel, but he killed no one. The scuffle was broken up by ranking officers.
“Infantry! What in the vermin infested south are you doing?” some grayed and leathered captain shouted. “Are you fucking children? And that boy is beating you with his fists. I’m tempted to place all your head on spikes and replace you all with this child. Boy!” He now addressed Azriel. “What the fuck are you doing in our camp?”
“I wanted to kill some Swu’nar. These boys wanted me to piss off. I’m awfully good at killing, I think you can use me,” Azriel said.
“I likely fucking could,” The captain said. “Follow me boy, and behave. I don’t want to be the one to put you down.”
“I’ll be good,” Azriel answered as the captain led him deeper into the camp.
It was in one week that Azriel stood in the front lines of the Caspian army, starring down at the charging Swu’nar force. They had covered him in steel and give him a biasehl blade. White steel, was what it was commonly called. It was named too, Sloan. Azriel stepped forward from the ranks of spear infantry that were positioning slender ten foot pools tipped with a quick death.
They had put Azriel through a fairly barbaric trail that seemed unbecoming of the Caspian army. He had spared with all there ‘best’ fighters. At the end they rather greedily armored him up and told him what his role was to be. He was the hammer, swung from the start with little care of its end condition.
He had walked well beyond the lines of Caspian soldier now. The Swu’nar were closing quickly. He raised the four foot blade of Sloan, and charged. He cut into the heavy berserker lines, the tide swept by into the waiting Caspian ranks; still Azriel delivered massive and rapid casualties. The weapon cut through their steel mail like a razor through silk. A group formed around him, but they couldn’t get around his quick defense or his massively thick armor of heavily polished steel.
He had a whole units worth of men form up around him. They never slowed him though, Azriel didn’t dare slow. The scent of blood worked like fuel. He was unaware of his wariness. He did not have the moons healing under the bright sun on that battlefield, and the hours were taxing. He lost track of everything except for the movement of his sword, and its next target.
At some time when the light had faded slightly and lost its intensity, Azriel could not find another target. He was in a field of corpses. Somewhere in the distance he saw Caspian cavalry harassing fleeing Swu’nar. It looked like the army had formed up in some hills to the southwest of him. There was a man riding in his direction, the captain. He had two horses.
“Aye, Azriel,” He said. “Did well, they couldn’t touch you. When you became the focus of their infantry the rest became straight forward. You look like death, no pun. I brought you a ride. You look like you need it.”
Azriel was dead on his feet. Fatigue was running free inside of him now. “Yeah, I will need that.”
“So, is it fair to ask why you love killing Swu’nar so much?” He asked.
“I just wanted to face something willing to die,” Azriel said.
“Soldiers are often far less willing to die than they lead on,” The captain said. “I won’t deny you access to the slaughter of my enemies though. That’s what this was, honestly.”