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Genre - Horror / Dark Fantasy
Rating - PG13/R
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Several fires burned along the perimeter and the center of the encampment. Soldiers and slaves huddled about them more as a ward against the unnatural dark than for warmth. Indeed, a starless sky is an ill omen.
I dismounted near the high ground. The beast’s body crumpled and became liquefied, black like the swamp that birthed it. The ground steamed and hissed as the creature bubbled and decomposed until all that remained was a scar upon the earth.
The officer's quarters, where the traitor resided, was near the camp's center. Fur from a foreign beast covered the entrance for protection against the elements and a roof of purple signified its regality. This is where Demaratus, my second charge, dwelled.
The loss of blood slowly crept upon me and left a sensation of needles pricking my neck and the area around. The dull pain was beginning to disappear into a numbness that was spreading like frostbite upon my soul.
“I must hurry,” I whispered and steeled myself.
I made a slow descent to the eastern side of the encampment. From the shadows I saw two guards, primitively attired, most likely Medeans. They slept with their backs against a frail pine barricade that wobbled with their wheezing snores. I moved past them silently; only one death was necessary. I moved past a cluster of tents where a small group of men crouched in the darkness. They reeked of horse dung and cheap wine. I hurried past them and a makeshift armory and more beasts. I heard murmurs and snores, heard sighs and whimpers from men that missed their homes.
I approached the main tent. I found it strange that no soldiers guarded the entrance, but drunken soldiers without heart are not so vigilant. He was here; I could feel it.