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Vadon

The Immortal

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Authors Note: I've been reading some of the stories posted here and think you folks may enjoy some of my writing. I'm not altogether positive if I'm following protocol, so if I'm screwing something up please tell me and I'll try to fix it. Another thing to note is that this story takes place in its own distinct universe and is not a fan fiction to anyone else's world. Hopefully that is all right with everyone and if not, again, I will take this down. That said, enjoy.

 

*********

 

Chapter One: The 'Chosen' One

 

The man's death wasn't necessary, it just brought an unrequited feeling of happiness to Jacques. To be fair, he hadn't arbitrarily decided to slaughter the poor soul. The man had committed a grave indiscretion against Jacques; specifically, he used the word 'irregardless.' One may trivialize the semantic faux pas as meaningless, but when you've wandered the planet for over four centuries, you develop certain quirks. For Jacques, he gained a deepfelt hatred toward those who used 'irregardless.'

 

The strangest part of his idiosyncrasy is that he condoned other violations of the language. Indeed, he himself took part in the linguistic massacre embodied through terms like ain't, a whole nother, and funner. Some have speculated that Jacques' despise for those who use 'irregardless' stems from the fact that it was Jacques himself who first uttered the word. It was a simple blunder that would have gone unnoticed had it not been that he was speaking with the king of the land and was the royal's personal tutor. The king then used the word in his own policy proceedings and it became cemented in the people's vernacular.

 

Now when a person says that dreadful word, Jacques takes the burden upon himself to bring a swift, if not gruesome end to the perpetrator. Most believe that he is entirely unreasonable, yet he views himself as an altruistic being trying to purge the land of the scourge he created.

 

Jacques stood up and distanced himself from the fresh carcass he created. He gently dusted himself off and picked off the various bits of viscera that still clung to his tunic. After a cursory examination of his surroundings, he dumped the corpse onto a wagon bound for the farmer's market. Jacques didn't envy the unobservant farmer and shuddered to think what the man's response will be when he discovers a disemboweled body secreting blood and other bodily fluids into his payload. Thankfully for Jacques, he wasn't headed for the farmer's market.

 

Jacques slipped his hand into his jacket and clasped a piece of parchment. He quickly regretted this action, however, as he had now stained his jacket something awful with the blood still dripping off of his fingers. With a sigh of resignation he flipped open the piece of paper and read the note that was hastily scrawled upon its surface.

 

“The Surly Sloth,” he muttered to himself. “What a... lovely name for a tavern.”

 

************

 

I'm not positive how much longer this chapter or this story will go, but I'll just post it as I feel it's ready. I have quite a bit plotted out and will post it as it's completed. If I ever go for a long time without additional writing, bug me and I'll get busy.

 

... You know, if you'd care to read more.

 

-Vadon/Rob Hays

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Author's Note: Spooky isn't exactly what I'm going for, though I can see how what I've posted might give you that impression. The story changes gears pretty quickly and is actually more a comedy than anything else. Either way, I have the next segment ready to be posted. It continues the sort of morbid tone from the last passage, but should be the last of the macabre for quite a while.

 

****************************************

 

Jacques emerged from the alley that sheltered him, and read the signs hanging over the doors of the numerous buildings lining the street. A cacophonous symphony of grunts, horse-clops, and conversation emanated from the road before him. The street was filthy from all of the garbage and excrement, and despite being traveled thousands of time over every day, each footstep created a new cloud of dust.

 

A frail old man hobbled toward Jacques. The elderly gentleman was adorned in a dust-riddled cloak that had frayed into naught more than tatters held together by a couple meager threads. The man pulled a wooden flask from beneath his cloak for a petty pittance for cash. Jacques groped blindly within the dark confines of his jacket pockets and brought out a single gold coin.

 

“Tell me sir, do you know where the Surly Sloth is?” Jacques asked while holding the coin in the sunlight. It sparkled a soft light that was reflected in the elder's eyes.

 

“Why yes, sir! You just go down the street toward the sunset a couple blocks and it's on your left,” the old man said. His voice was scratchy, and his eyes were red and watering. His skin was hard and leathered from being out in the sun for so long a period of time. Jacques was particularly impressed with the articulation the old man mustered in spite of having lost all of his teeth.

 

“Thank you sir,” Jacques returned with a smile. He pocketed the coin again to the dismay of the old man. Jacques began to walk down the street in the direction the old man had provided.

 

“But sir, can you not spare a mere coin for that information?” The old man protested.

 

“Yeah, I could. But I won't.”

 

The old man slouched and his eyes fell to the dirt path below. Jacques sighed and turned around to regard the old fellow. He pulled the coin out once more.

 

“You really want this?”

 

The man nodded vigorously, matted clops of hair danced with each pivot of his head. Jacques tossed the coin into the street and it began to roll away. The old man lunged after it throwing himself into the path of a horse-drawn carriage. The man died quickly, but the abruptness in no way took away from the gory nature of it. A wheel sliced through the man as a knife through butter. Jacques grimaced at the sight, but then shrugged it off and turned to continue on his way.

 

Jacques hadn't always been so callous with life, indeed he used to care for those who had to fend off the vicious venom of mortality. But after seeing so many die around him—his friends, family, and loved ones—he no longer felt the any particular attachment to life. Most would tell you that Jacques killed without hesitation because he had fallen victim to an obsession with power. He held the key to eternal life and it corrupted his soul until he no longer felt remorse for any of his actions. Some would contend that he was a profoundly disturbed man who thought himself as something of a savior to the ones he killed. But then there are those very few who believe that his disregard for life stemmed from an unrelenting jealousy of the human condition.

 

Whatever the reason may be, everyone concurs with the conclusion that should you come into contact with Jacques, it's best to escape his presence before he tires of you. Unfortunately for Davis Deadrunner, he had never had the pleasure of learning to stay away Jacques.

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The way how you present the story is just awesome. It doesn't make me think that your story will be such a bore and stuff. And Jacques is a unique character who doesn't strike me as a Gary Sue or heartless criminal. Just a kinda anti-hero I guess. And it was best shown in the second part. Darn, I really felt sorry for the old man though.

 

:goodjob:

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Author's Note: It's a day later than I said I'd have it up, but it took far more editing than I originally intended. Like I said, I'm trying to shift the tone from the morbid to more of a comedy. It takes effort, after all good comedy is a pretty hard thing to do. (Not that this is particularly good comedy either.) I'm not entirely happy with how this next segment turned out, but it's good enough and I've spent enough time beating it. This piece of writing isn't supposed to be a masterpiece anyway, just me trying to expand my horizons and try fantasy on for a change.

 

Either way, enjoy.

 

Oh, and it's a longer segment than I've posted previously. So sorry about that!

 

****************************************

 

Davis Deadrunner didn't care for being punched in the face. His loathing didn't come from the pain so much as how the blows mussed his face. Davis wasn't a particularly vain man, but there's something downright unsettling when your nose is as crooked as a boomerang. Despite his contradictory opinion on the matter, the debt collector continued to acquaint Davis' face with his fist.

 

“You shoulda paid up when you had the chance, bub,” the behemoth of a man growled. Spittle splashed across Davis' face. Another thing that he could do without.

 

“It's like I told Frank, I just haven't had many jobs lately,” Davis explained while wiping the saliva off from his face. He also noted with dismay that there was blood in the mix on his fingers.

 

“Davis,” the debt collector tisked with a shake of his head, “your mouth is talkin'.”

 

The debt collector rammed his fist into Davis' jaw. It pleased Davis that he didn't lose any teeth in the process, but that was hardly a comfort in light of the blood now trickling into his mouth. The debtor slammed Davis into the path below.

 

“Frank says you have until the end of the month to pay him back. If you still haven't paid him by then, it won't matter how much money you get,” The debt collector droned in a deep tone that would have fit a dirge in that it was slow, melodious, and utterly rehearsed. “Because after the month, you pay with your life.”

 

The debt collector let out a single guffaw, evidently pleased with himself. The man hadn't been blessed with an over-abundance of brains, so his self-satisfaction probably came from the fact that he had remembered to give Frank's message to Davis as it was originally written. But Davis wasn't impressed with the debt collector's memory. Rather he was astounded that the man could even read. Either way, the debt collector sauntered off down the path, having finished his purpose. Davis was unsure where the collector was heading, though it was more than likely that he was headed to some local pub to harass the locals.

 

“I don't know why you subject yourself to that.”

 

A man dressed in fine threads of gold and scarlet came up next to Davis and proffered his hand. Davis grabbed the hand and pulled himself up off the ground. He was shaky on his feet, an unfortunate side effect that was probably linked to having his head knocked in a few too many times.

 

“Honestly, Davis, you're stronger than him. You could have taken him down with naught but a single swipe of your blade. You would have also avoided the undue head trauma,” the man said with a deep sigh and slow shake of his head.

 

“Coulda, woulda, shoulda, Rahm,” Davis agreed. He pulled a cloth from his bag and wiped the grime and blood off of his face. “Then again, I actually probably shouldn't have. If I killed Frank's muscle, what do you Frank would have done with my debt?”

 

“Ah, the warrior thinks about the long-term repercussions! What a fascinating development,” Rahm chirped. He yanked out a scroll from the the satchel latched across his back,unfurled it, and began scribbling notes fervently. Rahm was a scholar, and a rather remarkable one at that. He also fit the textbook description of his trade.

 

His hygiene was impeccable, a sign both of his propensity for cleanliness as well as his privileged upbringing. He wore spectacles that slid down the bridge of his nose often. Although a very tall figure, his stature would bear no feelings of intimidation to a passerby. This could be attributed in part to the fact that Rahm wasn't equipped with a weapon, but his timidness was made more obvious by his hunched posture, concocted from a lifetime of intense reading. It was fitting that Rahm matched the textbook definition of his trade, considering that he had written an ample number of textbooks himself. As it was now, however, Rahm appeared to be writing notes of an ambiguous nature.

 

“Rahm,” Davis protested. Rahm continued writing without the slightest impression of having been deterred.

 

“Rahm!” Davis shouted. He yanked the quill out of Rahm's hand, leaving Rahm's fingers clasping at air. Rahm looked up from his work and his bottom lip began to tremble.

 

“I just... I just wanted to write a couple notes,” he muttered putting the scroll back into his bag.

 

“I don't get it Rahm. My life isn't interesting,” Davis said. “You've traveled the world and have learned what may well be the sum of all human knowledge. Why do you insist on following me?”

 

“Because you have an aura! One that is intangible but there nonetheless. It is my job as a scholar to take a detailed transcription of all turns in your life's journey. I grant that an aura is somewhat more metaphysical than my typical areas of study, but--”

 

“Auras and all that bugaboo are nice, but you've lost your writing privileges,” Davis lectured. He waved the quill in Rahm's face to illustrate the resolute nature of his statement.

 

“For the last time, I was only trying to make sure I captured every detail,” Rahm protested, nabbing the quill out of Davis' taunting hand.

 

“You were narrating my experiences in the toilet!”

“Well, yeah, but...--”

“No, no. You don't get to write anymore. Not about me,” Davis said, which in turn cut off Rahm's complaints.

 

Davis gathered up the last of his luggage that had been thrown about in his fight with the debt collector. It was quite a disappointing undertaking. Some of his more fragile things were fractured, but perhaps most appalling was the fact that his map had become embedded in a cow pat. Sure, Davis could just wash the map off, but that doesn't mitigate the horrific memories of the scat that once was.

 

Davis examined the map and rechecked the route he illustrated.

“So where are we going?” Rahm asked.

“The Surly Sloth. I got the job back in Ashton, and assuming my source is accurate, the target should be there,” Davis explained.

“Oh, and what kind of job is this?”

“Assassination.”

“Well that sounds delightful!”

 

The two resumed the path that Davis had drawn out on the map. Davis had learned over the years that the best way to ensure his safety was to keep all of his senses attuned. He kept an extra sharp eye out during the dimming light, and as the light began to fade completely he relied on his other means of perception. He could smell the fire of an assassin's camp, taste the blood of a fallen ally in the air, and hear the scribbling of...

 

“Rahm?”

“Yeah?”

“You're writing again.”

“Sorry!”

 

* * *

 

****************************************

 

I'm aiming to have the next segment ready by Sunday or Monday. Don't count on it being one of those days exactly, though. Afterall, deadlines are made to be broken. Until then, critique away. This is meant to be a learning exercise for me.

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I have just started reading your story. I think that maybe in the first segment you mentioned the name Jacques too many times instead of using a pronoun in it's place. Just a humble opinion :).

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Author's Note: Blast! I missed my self-imposed deadline by half an hour. Ah well, nothing I can do about it now.

 

This next piece is a bit less than half the length than I intended to post, but I'm not done editing the second half. There's quite a bit of dialogue coming up, and it takes work to keep a consistent character and voice to each person.

 

Once again, I'm not all that satisfied with this segment, I really think I could have done better in some parts, but I really do want to at least give the impression that I'm learning to work under a deadline. (I don't think it's BAD, it's just not up to the standard I'd like.) There's not much comedy, but then again it's not spooky either. Really this is turning out to be more of a dramedy. Ah well.

 

That said, enjoy the next bit. Ka-chow! (All my comments on the feedback will be at the bottom.)

************************************************

 

The Surly Sloth's exterior was unimpressive. The window shudders hung off of their hinges and the paint had peeled to the point that stripping the rest off would serve the place well. Jacques hoped that the interior would be more conducive to hosting a gentlemen, albeit a mass-murdering sociopath, but a gentlemen nonetheless. Upon entering the tavern, however, his hopes were crushed.

 

The owner of the Surly Sloth obviously didn't extend any expense on a custodial staff. The floor had developed a sticky, rank film of booze, vomit, and urine. There was a bucket in the corner that the bartender would use to rinse off the house mugs. That said, calling the liquid in the bucket water would be a charitable description of the brown sludge that filled it. For this reason, most patrons brought their own containers to hold their ale. Jacques didn't think that using his own glass would be much of a comfort, however, considering the alcohol wasn't stored in a particularly sanitary cellar. Unless, of course, you don't mind your kegs of beer swimming in a pool of rats and roaches in which case the conditions were the epitome of cleanliness.

 

The men who filled the bar reflected the condition of the building itself. They were all horribly grotesque and looked as though they hadn't bathed in years, if ever. Every man had unique boils, burns, and bruises that plagued their faces. While most would dismiss these folks as monstrosities, the culture within the confines of the bar honored those who were the most disfigured. Every blemish or scar that marred their faces had a story behind it. These stories were usually tales that involved battle, bravery, and a recollection of the 'booty' they plundered.

 

Jacques didn't care about their stories. More often than not, they were just crafty lies to compensate for their cowardice. The only way a person can find acceptance in their society is to have a great fiction to your name. Jacques had come with a purpose, one he didn't wish to share with someone whose self-esteem hinged upon the facade they created.

 

In reality, Jacques knew that the best person he could hope to find would be the one with the least scars and burns. It's not a sign that the warrior is new to the field, but rather that they're smart enough not to get hurt. So Jacques scoured the bar with one visual swoop, reading the lives of the men by the faint glimmer of heartfire that burned in their eyes. He needed a man who was tough, powerful, brave, and knew how to get the job done.

 

And they needed to be very, very stupid.

 

**************************************************

 

@puppis: Thank you kindly. I try to keep my humor kind of subtle, so I'm glad you're liking it when it's in there.

 

@Spicydust: Thank you. :)

 

@eveleny: Good call, I agree. I'll edit that right away. Part of the reason, I imagine, is that I really like the name Jacques. It's fun to say, and I like the excuse of saying it aloud as often as possible. But substituting some pronouns in will help, methinks. :)

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Author's Note: I finished editing this next segment at 3:00 AM, so the odds are there are quite a few silly mistakes I'll try to edit out in the next couple days. A few of the jokes probably are only funny to me right now, but I guess we'll see? As it is right now, I'm happy with it. But that is prone to change after a goodnight's rest.

 

Anyway, without any further ado I give you the final segment of Chapter One.

 

*************************************************************

 

It didn't take long for Jacques to find his mark. The man was a trembling mass of muscles whose sheer size dwarfed the others in comparison. His face was a contorted mess of muscles, bulges of an ambiguous nature, and warts. The man's hair was a tangled, matted clutter that was generously splotched about his face in the most peculiar places. Sweat had glued a layer of soot and ash to his skin that no amount of washing could ever hope to cleanse. He was an ugly man, that was for certain. His looks couldn't be blamed on parental butterfingers; however, but his parents were to blame. The man was a half breed. Jacques couldn't tell whether the man was a half troll or giant, but he didn't much care. The thing that drew Jacques to the man—other than his size—was that the colossus would be naturally inhibited from any great intellect due to his genetic makeup.

 

Jacques took in a deep breath to puff his chest. He did this to try to make himself look more imposing, and it worked to a degree. He did, however, regret this action being as he had just inhaled the various fumes that this hodge-podge of ruffians expelled. Jacques stepped forward with confident strides. Although he wasn't intimidated by the hybrid—a perk of immortality—he did feel self-conscious about his appearance. His message would lose its edge if he seemed weak.

 

He finished his approach to the man and pointed dramatically at him.

 

“You, my humble sir, are the 'Chosen One!'” Jacques declared in a deep, rumbling voice. There was a thunderous shuffle as all the patrons in the bar turned to face Jacques and the hybrid.

 

The hybrid looked up from his drink slowly and examined Jacques. It took time for the hybrid to realize that Jacques was talking to him in particular, even with the little man's finger in his face. “Are, are you talkin' to me?”

 

“Why, of course! It was foretold many centuries ago that there would be a man who not a man, and a troll who was not a troll who would inhabit the same body. This combination of a man would be the champion of the world. You sir, are that man,” Jacques bellowed.

 

“But I'm not half-troll. I'm half-giant.”

 

Jacques' eye twitched.

 

“Why, I can't believe it!” Jacques exclaimed. He pulled out the small piece of parchment and slapped his forehead in a mocking show of disbelief. “I translated the prophecy incorrectly. It's not a half-troll, it's a half-giant! What an incredible intellect you must posses. No wonder your are the chosen one.”

 

“Who chose me?”

 

An inquisitive little weasel. Well... not so little. And the hybrid wasn't particularly weaselly either.

 

“That doesn't matter. What does matter is that you have a higher purpose, my lad, and it is time for you to fulfill your calling!”

“My calling?”

“Yes, your destiny!”

“How do you know I'm chosen one?”

“You have an... aura? One that is intangible but there nonetheless!” Jacques asserted. He quickly felt ashamed of himself for this statement, though, being as it was so fundamentally ludicrous that only an idiot would use that as their motivation to feel drawn to a person.

 

“I have aura? What is my aura?”

 

Jacques was surprised. Both that the hybrid would want to know the details of his aura as well as the fact that the hybrid knew what an aura was.

 

“When one looks upon you,” Jacques explained, “They can't help but notice your obvious physical prowess, your magnificent mind, your cherubic charm, and your glorious... gullibility?”

 

“Wow,” the hybrid whistled, “I'm all that?”

 

“Evidently on the last score,” Jacques muttered with a shrug.

 

The hybrid had become enthralled by Jacques' semi-eloquent fiction. He rested his elbows on the table and leaned forward. The poor, old surface creaked under the hybrid's weight.

 

“So,” he whispered, “What am I supposed to do?”

 

Jacques grinned, having now realized that the hybrid had taken the bait. Some of the patrons in the bar had realized that Jacques had pulled the hybrid into a scam, the others returned to their cups grunting little bits about how they couldn't wait until they were the chosen one.

 

“Well, the higher powers wouldn't want you to take their most sacred mission to begin with, now would they?”

 

The hybrid shook his head.

 

“Of course not! The prophecies detail some quests you must complete in order to prove your worthiness and capability.”

 

“Oh, I'm ready!”

 

“Then perhaps you would like to put that to the test?”

 

The hybrid nodded enthusiastically. Jacques feigned another smile and offered his hand for a shake. The hybrid grabbed Jacques' hand, whose relative size was about that of the hybrid's thumb and shook it with a zeal befitting a toddler.

 

“Shall we go, then?” Jacques inquired, gesturing towards the door.

 

The hybrid stood up from the table, stomped his way up next to Jacques, and the two men began walking toward the door. Jacques was only about half the hybrid's overall size, yet it was clear from their respective demeanors that Jacques was the one in control of this relationship.

 

“So what's your name, anyway?” Jacques asked the hybrid as he held open the door.

 

“Oh, my name? It's--”

 

The hybrid was cut short by an arrow embedding itself deep into his heart. The wound shocked the hybrid more than it hurt him, despite it being a mortal blow. The hybrid proceeded to face-plant into the street below; his fall was much like a tree dropping after the labors of a lumberjack. Jacques stared at his fallen minion in bewilderment. Jacques' jaw had slackened and his eyebrows scrunched into cluster in the center of his forehead.

 

“Aw, nuts.”

 

**********************************************************

 

@Eveleney and Enchantress: Thanks you, and I guess I met your request for more. :)

 

I'm not sure when I'll be starting the next chapter, it'll take me a few days as I figure out how to mesh it with the future plot line. I'm putting a tentative update deadline at Friday the 24th give or take a couple days.

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Author's Note: Sorry for the delay! Life seems to have a bad habit of coming in conflict with deadlines. Either way, I've finished plotting out the next chapter and have begun the actual 'writing' of it. So here's the first segment! It's fairly short, but I think it moves the plot along nicely.

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Davis lowered the bow and pulled the window shudders closed. The arrow had hit his target; unfortunately, the half-breed had come out with a companion. Davis didn't particularly want a confrontation with the man. After all, Davis didn't hold a personal resentment against the duo, it was just business.

 

He had positioned himself inside a local inn that faced the Surly Sloth from across the street. The room cried out for a major makeover. There was dust lining the floors and the drapes were tattered and ripped from the various wear and tear of the room's patrons. Indeed, the only thing in the room that had any monetary value attached to it was the clothing on Rahm's back. Rahm, being a man of propriety, didn't care for his dismal surroundings.

 

“Can we go now?” Rahm asked with a noticeable whine to his voice.

 

“Not yet, the mark had a comrade,” Davis explained. He tossed the bow onto the bed and was surprised that it didn't elicit a cloud of dust.

 

“So how long do we wait?”

“Just until the guy is gone, then I have to retrieve a distinguishing item from the mark.”

“A distinguishing item...?”

“I have to cut off the guy's head.”

 

Rahm's face turned a shade of green that resembled the same color as the bathtub in the room.

 

“I tried to spare you the details,” Davis said. He felt shame for the amusement he felt, but only a little.

 

“So uh,” Rahm coughed, vainly trying to regain his composure, “when will we know that the guy's friend left?”

 

“I imagine he'll be gone shortly, just sit patiently and be--”

 

Davis was interrupted by the window shudders splintering into the room. Light flooded the den and a silhouetted figure stood in the sunlight. Rahm leaped behind the bed and cautiously looked over it, using the mattress as cover from whatever disreputable weapons this stranger might posses. Davis wasn't as flustered and simply turned to regard the stranger.

 

The man stepped into the room and quickly began gathering the scraps of wood from the floor.

 

“Oh, I'm so sorry, I assumed the window opened from the inside! I didn't expect for it to explode like that,” The man muttered whilst frantically picking up the debris. He stood up and looked at the rubble of the shudders and realized that they were beyond repair. The man sighed and dropped the timber that he was holding.

 

“Can I help you?” Davis asked, continuing to examine the man before him.

 

“Uh, yes, I think you might,” The stranger said. He reached into his jacket and brought out a knife. At least, that's the best description Davis had for the weapon upon a cursory examination. Really it was more like a short sword, but just not quite there. He quickly decided that it must have been created by a strange copulation between a dagger and a scimitar. Unfortunately, Davis didn't have much time to deeply consider the origins of the man's weapon. He did, however, get to marvel at the craftsmanship now that the blade was placed against his throat.

 

“Which one of you killed my chosen one?”

 

******************************************************

 

@eveleny: Thank you kindly, I appreciate the compliment. :)

 

@Enchantress: The humor should keep increasing. But I have plotted quite a bit more, and some of it is fairly rich drama as well. So I hope you enjoy a mix. :)

 

@ Spicydust: The next update should be Wednesday or Thursday. I'm aiming for Friday at the latest.

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Author's Note: Only a day late this time! Hurrah! Not much to say with this segment, just some push forward in the plot.

*******************************************************

 

“Chosen one?” Davis asked, genuinely curious. His nonchalance to the blade at his throat piqued Jacques' interest in the man. Not enough to guarantee Davis' long term survival, but enough that he was willing to forgive Davis for not answering his question.

 

“Yes, the one chosen to fulfill the tasks of the higher authorities.”

“Higher authorities?”

 

Jacques shrugged.

 

“Well perhaps only a single, higher authority. But the fact is that I cared about that man and someone killed--”

“What was his name?”

 

Jacques' eye twitched and his mouth hung agape. He never did find out the hybrid's name.

 

“Do you seriously not give any notice to the fact that there's a knife along your throat?”

 

Davis feigned a look of surprise.

 

“Really? Would you look at that,” Davis said with his voice dripping in sarcasm.

 

Jacques had an internal battle with himself not to crack a smile at that. This struggle resulted in his face contorting into a look that one might have if a pike had been rammed through their spleen. Naturally, Davis took note of this. He slipped gently to the side away from the blade, although Jacques did keep it positioned at the ready.

 

“The way I see it, you're at a difficult impasse. If you kill me, you'll never find out if I have information on who killed your chosen one. I have the upper hand here,” Davis asserted.

 

“Or I could just kill you and live with the consequences.”

 

Davis faltered. He hadn't considered that. Davis needed to regain control of the confrontation. If he conceded ground to this stranger, he not only would lose the battle of words, but there was a very real probability that his head would go with it.

 

Could you live with it?”

“I don't think I have much choice in that matter,” Jacques replied, amused.

 

Davis realized that Jacques had won the argument, although he wasn't sure why. He then decided that the best option he had at his disposal would be to try to salvage what he could of his stature in this stranger's eyes, in hopes of saving his own hide. It was an unfortunate possibility that his skin was on the line, considering the blade that was drawn against him. This resulted in Davis having a miniature epiphany that provided him with the path out of this predicament.

 

“All right,” Davis sighed, “I'll tell you who killed your chosen one.”

 

Jacques shifted his posture from that of aggressive dominance to one of defensive observation.

 

“Who?"

 

Davis pointed at Rahm, who was still crouching helplessly behind the bed.

 

Jacques turned and flung the blade at the poor intellectual. The blade lodged itself firmly into the mattress, a mere hair's width between Rahm and the edge. Rahm squeaked a pitiful peep that even a mouse would find cowardly. At this point Davis pulled his sword from his hip and grabbed Jacques from behind, his blade now against the intruder.

 

“Well, uh,” Jacques muttered, “okay, then.”

 

***********************************************************

@Enchantress: Thank you, again! I liked the last segment quite a bit. This latest one I'm all right with, but that's because it's mostly dialogue, something I have trouble doing well.

 

I'm having a bit of writer's block for finishing this bit. I know what needs to happen, it's just difficult to make it happen. I'm pushing myself to get through it an have it ready by Monday, but we'll see what happens. After all, life also has a habit of sneaking up. :)

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well Vadon inspite you saying that your not good with dialouges its pretty neat

 

the story with every chapter is becoming even more interesting... seriously waiting for your next update :)

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Hey! I haven't updated this in a while! Then again, life likes to bear its head in my life, so I will re-use that excuse. It's a small update, but it's the last one before the final run to the close of the chapter.

 

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Jacques felt his heart sink deep into his ribs with a solemn beat of resignation. Blood rushed to his face, which Davis mistook for rage. Had Davis known that Jacques couldn't die, he'd have deduced that he was blushing. Jacques wasn't keen on being made a fool of, as such he felt a mighty compelling need to eradicate this surprisingly astute warrior. Astute, with the exception of discerning Jacques' emotional state, of course.

 

Jacques had many methods at his disposal to decimate these two strangers. He was particularly fond of allowing the victim to finish him off. In this specific instance, Jacques could let Davis decapitate him, and then have his body pick his head back up and return it to its appropriate position, nestled gently between his shoulders. Afterward, Jacques would quickly dispose of Davis. Unfortunately this would also result in Jacques' already bloodied jacket to become irreparably stained. It would be a waste to forever ruin such a fine fabric.

 

So Jacques decided to take an alternate path in killing this sword wielding gentlemen. He would simply give Davis the job he had planned for the hybrid. Granted Jacques wouldn't receive the satisfaction of killing Davis himself, but he would still take pleasure from the knowledge that Davis died painfully... that and the gold he would receive for it.

 

“So,” Jacques sputtered, “I don't suppose there's a way I could get out of this with my head still attached?”

 

“Nothing springs to mind,” Davis growled, pressing the blade more firmly along Jacques' throat. A thin line of blood trickled down his neck.

 

“How about money?”

 

Davis eased up on the pressure.

 

“That... could work,” he said haltingly.

 

Rahm stood up in indignation.

“Are you daft, Davis? This man is a murderous monstrosity! Are you certain he'd pay?”

 

“No," Davis admitted, "but I am slightly less concerned with that and more by the fact that you just told a homicidal maniac my name.”

 

Rahm slipped back behind the bed.

 

“Sorry.”

 

“In fairness,” Jacques interjected, “your name is inscribed on your armor.”

 

Davis looked down and saw the engraving.

 

“Oh,” Davis muttered, “sorry, about that Rahm.”

“Rahm, eh? Just so you know, his name isn't written on any visible article of clothing. But I don't make any guarantees on his undergarments," Jacques said with a coy smirk.

 

Davis closed his eyes. This isn't going how I had hoped.

 

*************************************************************

 

@Enchantress and eveleny: Thanks!

 

Trying to finish this chapter up. The last bit shouldn't be as hard, so I'm hoping to have it posted soonish.

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There is one thing I could not understand...

 

QUOTE: "“Oh,” he muttered, “sorry, Rahm.”

“His name isn't written on his robe.”

Davis closed his eyes. Oops."

 

Could someone explain?

And you are not thinking of ending the story Vadon? pleeeeeeeeease? Or maybe you could promise to write other stories and then I'd stop bugging you :P

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