Scars, Chapter 25

This month’s first major update is here: chapter 25 of Scars, and the second-to-last in this arc. I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far, and if you’re new (hey, it could happen), that you decide to check out the full story here.

In either event, hope you enjoy this chapter!


As it studied her, Khy-kala evaluated her foe in turn. Without her sword, the vampire’s long limbs gave it reach on her. It was also taller, heavier and certainly stronger. Elves were not as frail as their slender bodies suggested and one infested by a demon even more so, but this thing was far more dangerous than even the Ripper of Allona. In all likelihood, it was more than a match for her.

Little rabbit, Melody suggested, a note of uncommon caution in the demon’s lyrical tones. Perhaps today would be a good day to find a burrow?

It will pursue.

I know how fleet you are, and sunrise is but minutes away. Tired as you are, you can outpace it until dawn. Then, it must retreat or it will burn. Use that time to recover.

And then what, demon? It will slink down into the cellar below us, its belly filled with human blood and it will heal and wait for me.

The chattel will follow you here. Let them go first and then strike when it is weakened. Even with that wound, this Empty thing is beyond you, little one.

Your faith in me is truly touching.

Do not play this game now, the demon chided, her formless coils twisting in and over themselves. I know what you can do. I saw it in your soul the night we met, but I know you are not a fool – at least, not always. The void before you will kill you. I have no desire to be born to a corpse with nothing around to amuse myself. If that might motivate you to start a fight you cannot win, then consider this truth: you have no desire to die here either, not with so much blood still staining your soul.

Khy-kala didn’t answer Melody, not directly. In another life, she might have done just that, waiting for the humans to arrive and let them take the brunt of the cornered undead’s fury, but that wasn’t her any longer. The vampire was at its weakest. Every moment that passed was one in which it could recover from its impalement. Six men had already died because of her failures. She wouldn’t lose one more life to this thing. She would either see this thing dead, or leave it so weak that the coming hunters would be able to finish it off.

The elf met the towering beast’s hateful red eyes. “Won’t you come?” she asked, calling to it in her own tongue. “The Red God’s music plays, beast. Dance with me. Dance, and let’s see whose blood will end the song.”

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