Editor’s Notes: I’ve decided to keep Deeds of Violence going. It isn’t working on any sort of strict schedule to be posted. When I get around to it, it goes up. It’s also very much subject to be edited and changed in case since this is, for all intents and purposes, a 1st draft (or more so a second draft, but in any case, it hasn’t gone through any serious form of editing beyond self-assurance that it doesn’t read too… bad.)
Sand trickles from the cavern’s roof, the whole structure threatening to collapse within itself at any given time. The desert bandits were initially weary of their fragile abode but it wasn’t long before they began underestimating its structural deficiencies, and, with the sorry state they found themselves in, it wasn’t at the top of their list of concerns.
“I’m going to murder that bitch.” Salfrat’s words came in between desperate and painful groans.
“That doesn’t seem a likely prospect,” Levante replies.
The blue-haired Northerner sits on one of the cavern’s internal ledges, using a feathered thin stick to penetrate and clean the insides of a metallic sky-blue flute.
“What did you just say?” The leader likely would’ve stood on the edge of his toes in a desperate attempt to tower over Levante were he not so caught up holding his balls together. They were likely fractured or worse.
“All the cowmel’s are gone.” Sammy, Salfrat’s younger sibling, sits cross-legged against one of the walls. The cowmel that had dragged him across a span of the desert had soon abandoned him once the stirrups had deemed it time to let go of the weighty passenger.
“Not all.” Benaslio had joined the pair of brothers ahead of Levante. It was a match-made in heaven, in all likelihood, Salfrat would have preferred Benaslio than the gluttonous boy with whom he shared genes. Levante’s partial to Sammy of course, the bumbling layered kid was generally in a much more jovial mood. There wasn’t much cause for joy now though. “There’s one left. Levante’s. After all, he chose to sit back and watch.”
Levante’s lips stretch out thinly, he makes no attempt to hide it. It only frustrates Benaslio all the more, he did not even need to turn to see the clenching fist and a wrinkling forehead to detect the anger.
“I apologize Benaslio, I would have guessed three man would have been sufficient for a little girl and an old man. Or just a little girl to be precise, the old man opted for my tactic too.”
“She wasn’t just a little girl. There’s something off about her-” Benaslio replies through gritted teeth.
He was right, there was something different about her. They should have known better, a little girl with a blade that large strapped across her back, swinging it with the same ease he’d swing his own flute. And the blade, it was no ordinary blade. No, it wasn’t. Why would anyone fabricate such an inefficient weapon? Because the laws of nature do not apply to it.
“I don’t give a fuck what she is, I’m going to murder that bitch.” Salfrat interjects himself, standing up to his feet, though one hand still clasped around his balls. “There’s still time to find her, we’ll go back to where we found her, and Sammy, you’ll track her the same way you track those animals.”
Sammy nods, but no one’s really on board with the idea, not even Benaslio, not without a plan.
The girl, Ahliss, she’s unstable. Dangerous. To fight her is to risk death. To fight her was to risk death. But unstable? Dangerous? She would’ve killed them when she had the chance if that was the case.
“And how will you defeat her this time.” Levante puts away the stick and put the various pieces of the instrument back together.
Salfrat grunts. Rarely did he ever have a plan. Numerical advantage generally proved to be his only tactic, to his credit, it worked, mostly.
“I’ll be on guard. And you won’t stand aside this time.”
Levante laughs, a loud hardy laugh. Benaslio shook his head, Sammy grew more nervous, Salfrat scowled.
“I’m not sure being on guard, or Smith knows, me being there, will make much of a difference when that blade’s trying to decapitate you.”
“No, she won’t go that far. She’s weak, she’s never killed. She couldn’t do it before, she won’t do it this time.”
“Neither have you. Killing desert dogs isn’t the same as taking a human’s life.”
“The way you stand aside in a fight, you’d make great target practice, Levante.”
One of Salfrat’s hands reaches towards the blade at his hip, Levante’s eyes find Salfrat’s. Even Benaslio’s hand hovers to his blade, but Levante wasn’t sure if that was to help Salfrat or to stop a possible fight. Sammy stays silent, sweat trickling down his skin like it’d just rained. But it rarely rained.
“I’m not sure I’m a comparable adversary.” He speaks slow and calculated.
The two stare at one another, with Benaslio’s eyes shifting between, until Salfrat breaks it, cocking up a smile, like he’s always been in control of the situation.
“Look at you Sammy, you’re all wet. You’re twisted, brother.” Benaslio joins in nervous laughter, Levante continues the flute’s reconstruction. “We’re going to track that bitch, Levante, and we’re going to kill her… or just hurt her, if I’m feeling generous.”
“But-” Sammy tried to object, he wasn’t much for violence. It’s why he was the one bumbling through arrows, but driving an actual blade through flesh, he left that to Benaslio and Salfrat.
“But, if things go wrong again, then Levante, you better be broken and bruised like the rest of us.” And those words came without humor.
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