A Nightmare's Death
This story begins right after PinkRobin's story "Amaranthine". I love this little elven healer, and when I read it I thought that Adair would love to rip this Nightcrawler into small pieces. PinkRobin liked the idea, and so I've tried it - to write, not to rip ... XD
The story contains a bloody and brutal part; so if you don't like such things maybe you should better not read it. :)
A Nightmare's Death
It was now five days since the stranger’s appearance and Amaranths terrible panic fit which made all people startle and worry about him. And this incident still remained in Adair‘s mind.
He knew Amaranth since Issne found him and brought him to the Academy. Back then, after a few days, the 12-years-old Adair begun to like the stranger and wondered what might have happened to the poor guy for he had been totally in panic and rattled and badly injured. Adair remembered how Amaranth refused to stay in his bed, and insisted to stay on the meadow behind the infirmary, sitting under the big tree which still stands there. Back then Adair decided to help him and went there every day to visit him.
It took ten years, TEN years, until Amaranth got as happy and self-confident as he was now – well, had been, until this man appeared. It took some time for Adair to recognize that, whenever he met him, the elf startled when he saw his green eyes. So the next time they met Adair changed his eye colour to blue.
Adair didn’t know who this man was or what he wanted from Amaranth. But he knew for sure that, if he would come back, it would get even worse for his friend than this time.
Adair knew that his friend suffered very much in his past and that this stranger must have been somehow connected with it. He had a dark, threatening aura around him that made even Adair creep his flesh. And he had been powerful - he wiped away the people who attacked him as if they were merely breadcrumps on a table.
This man would come back, this was Adair sure of.
He wouldn’t get tired of trying to get Amaranth back.
And he also could be a big threat for the academy.
Adair wanted him down. At all cost, he wanted to get this man.
He cancelled all his lessons for today.
He knew from the scouts that the man was still close-by. But he wanted to see himself where he was.
Adair left Morituri’s castle through the rear exit and looked around. At the next moment, a big brown eagle flew up into the blue sky and turned towards the woods where the stranger was last spotted.
Adair discovered the man with the black coat and the red sash right behind the woods, on the road which lead to the near village. It didn’t seem as he would be in a hurry; in fact he just rested and seemed to talk to himself. Adair swiftly turned into a blackbird and perched upon a branch of the tree under which the stranger sat, listening to him.
“My little Amaranthine … it’s not over yet, you know. I will get you back; I promise you will come back into my arms. I will enjoy the sight of your scars, and it will be a feast for my eyes to see you bleeding on my altar!” Adair heard a malicious and sardonic laughing. “No-one will ever fool the Nightcrawler without regretting. And first of all, not you, my Amaranthine!”
The little blackbird in the tree listened attentively.
“Maybe there is a graveyard nearby? It surely is! Would be a great help against those fools of the academy. Oh my, what does he want amongst such weaklings? His abilities are all wasted there! Don’t worry, you soon will be where you belong!”
This was enough for the little blackbird. The Nightcrawler would never deign to center his attention on something such trivial as a bird in a tree. He didn’t even bother himself to notice that there sat one above him.
While he flew back to the academy, Adair remembered that there was a graveyard near the village. So he was a necromancer. Adair would contact Deracante; for when they would additionally have to deal with a horde of undeads, it could get a little bit difficult. The light-mage would surely know a way to balk the Nightcrawler’s plan. But, to be quite sure, he should know more about this man. He couldn’t ask Amaranth without revealing what he saw and heard and thus throwing the healer right back into his horror, so the only other person who knew enough of this theme would be Valyn.
Back at the academy, he found Valyn on his way to the infirmary. “Valyn, wait!”
The elf turned, astonished. Adair looked worried, and Valyn wondered what this could mean.
[Adair] “Where is Amaranth?”
“At his laboratory!?”, Valyn answered. “Do you want to--“
“No”, Adair said hurrily. “Valyn, I got to talk to you - alone.”
The elf’s eyes went wide, then he nodded and followed Adair into Morituri’s castle where Adair had his rooms.
When they were alone at Adair’s study, Valyn asked: “Now, what happened that you want to speak to me alone?”
Instead of answering, Adair said: “Please tell me what you know about this stranger.”
Valyn kept silent for a moment, then he answered. There was no doubt whom Adair meant. “His name is Iven Mourningvale, also called the Nightcrawler. He’s the head of an order of necromancers.”
“And Amaranth was in his hands before he came to us?”
“Amaranth was one of his best mages he ever had.”
For a moment there was silence. “… I knew he has an affinity for necromancy, but this … woah.”
“Amaranth fled from Mourningvale when Issne found him. The Nightcrawler had … done … very bad things … to him ...”, Valyn said, hesitantly. Adair shook his head.
“It’s okay; you don't have to tell me if you feel uneasy. I don’t want to snoop after Amaranth. And I already guessed some things myself. I only want to know … which abilities has this Nightcrawler?”
“Amaranth told me about powers of fire and ice, and of course he can rise the dead and control undead. He’s a dark elf.” Valyn stopped, then he said: “What’s the matter? Why do you ask?”
“Can you keep it a secret from Amaranth if I'll give you an answer?” Adair asked in return.
Valyn was aware of that Adair knew he couldn’t keep it a secret. Amaranth would see it if he tried. So instead answering, he responded: “Can you promise me that Amaranth will be safe?”
“He will be safe. I’ll take care for this. Thanks for your answers. And now, better go back to him before he’s searching for you.”
Valyn nodded, wanted to go out, and turned once more. “Amaranth said, he is also physically strong. You shouldn’t underestimate him. And- take care of yourself. Amaranth would be devastated if something happened to you because of him.”
Adair smiled. “Don’t worry, Valyn. I don’t intent to be so foolish to commit suicide. Elizabeth would kill me. And”, he added, now impishly, “when this is all over, I will expect from you two guys a feast with one of your unbelieveable chocolate cakes and lots of sweets!”
Valyn laughed. “You will get ten cakes and a carriage full of sweets when this is over!” He smiled, waved to him, and went out.
Adair took a deep breath. Okay, a necromancer, as he expected. So he would talk now to Deracante.
Adair asked his way to Deracante and finally found him at the library. “Deracante!”
[Deracante] “Oh, hello Adair! What leads you here? I've heard you cancelled all your lessons today. Did something happen?”
“I searched for you", Adair answered. “I have something to tell you. You remember the incident with the stranger who searched for Amaranth?”
[Deracante] “I wasn’t here, but I heard of it. Why do you ask?”
[Adair] “Because he is still around. He’s here and wants to get Amaranth, at any cost. And he wants to raise an army. In fact, he’s a necromancer. And right now he’s on his way to the graveyard of the village.”
For a moment, Deracante stopped to breath; his eyes widened. “He … WHAT?!?”
[Adair] “Yes. We must do something. -- And-I-want-his-head.”
Deracante never saw the young shapeshifter speaking so serious and determined. He nodded. “We will need help.”
[Adair] “He has fire- and ice-magic. I sensed his aura when he came here … it's dark and dangerous. And he is physically strong. I asked Valyn for informations.”
“It would be good to have another mage with us,” Deracante remarked. “Headmaster Morituri would be a great help.”
Adair hesitated. Actually, he wouldn’t like his adoptive father to get involved. Adair realised for quite a while that Morituri wasn't well - although he denied it whenever Adair asked him about it. “Maybe it isn’t necessary … I mean, your light magic …”
[Deracante] “On one side the graveyard, on the other a necromancer - you know I can't handle two things the same time. And Morituri is an arc mage and the most powerful mage in the 12 domains. While I could take care of the graveyard with my spirit angels, he could help you with his magic. You know, he’s a specialist in all kind of magic. But, I think, we would need some more help anyway. You said he’s also physically strong …“
[Adair] “I have Andres in mind. Ricky would be okay too, but he’s too hot-headed and weaker then Andres.”
Deracante’s eyes opened wide. “WEAK? Did you really just call Ricky WEAK??!”
“Well, he IS weaker then Andres, isn’t he? Futhermore, somebody should stay and watch out here. And - he has to take care of Eliz so she doesn’t try to follow me if she finds out what we want to do. You know her …”
[Deracante] “Indeed ... Okay - but you better shouldn’t let hear Ricky about him being weak - he would rip you into pieces.”
Adair laughed. “He surely would. And now - let’s go and ask Morituri for a little help. Maybe he can give us some amulets and tips for magic spells.”
“Amulets and spells?! Are you serious, Adair? Amulets and spells against a necromancer?”
Headmaster Morituri stood before his adoptive son, trying to find out if he possibly went mad.
[Adair] “Well, Deracante joins me, and I want to ask Andres. I don’t think he would refuse. And so--“
“Adair, don’t you think it would be a good idea if I join, too? Maybe you would need some more magical help, wouldn’t you?!” was Morituri’s sarcastic question.
“I told him too”, Deracante said quietly.
Adair hesitated. “Morituri, it could get dangerous, and I … don’t want something happening to you … you may get hurt …”, he stuttered.
[Morituri] “Happening to me? But you know, my boy, that I’m not a doddery old grandpa who’s sitting in his armchair and rattling with his false teeth!?” And, sighing: “Oh my, where did I go wrong?!? … Good. No, don’t argue! You two will go now to Andres and ask him: I’ll come in a few minutes; I need some things, and I’ll talk to the others so they take precautions. Hurry, we haven’t got much time! This necromancer will need a while for the preparations to raise the deads, but we can't lose even a single minute!”
They instantly followed his orders.
Deracante also went to his own office to get some things he would need, then he joined Adair and the others.
Outside, the four of them met at the gates of the academy. Morituri was there with his dragon Elias, Deracante with Astros. Luckily both animals, the dragon and the gryff, could fly, and Andres and Adair turned into their eagle shapes. Shortly after, a white and a brown eagle followed a dragon and a griff towards the little village.
They agreed that Deracante would head instantly to the graveyard while Adair was searching for the Nightcrawler. He easily found him midway between the village and the graveyard. So they landed at some distance to discuss how to proceed.
“He’s a necromancer, so you will need a light magic spell as protection”, Morituri said to Andres and Adair. “I’ll focus on his magic, while the two of you will attack him physically. But mind, we won’t have a walk-over with him!”
[Adair] “I won’t show my real shape yet; it will be better if I will show him something he would never see as a proper enemy for him.”
And so he shifted into a woman - not the common hot Adaira, but an Adaira who looked like a fighter, with daggers which Andres gave him and would be, if needed, telecontroled from Morituri. In fact, this was the first time Adair regretted that he couldn’t learn to handle any weapons.
“... At least you don’t look like a hot chick”, Morituri said tersely when a brown-haired woman stood before him, in a leather armour, which Adair formed with his magical abilities. “Mind, Adair, do not use magic too often. You need energy for it, and you will need your whole energy for fighting. Take care, my boy.”
[Adair] “Yes, Morituri. And you - both of you - take care of yourselves.”
Adair looked once more at his adoptive father, trying to shake off a bad feeling which suddenly overcame him, then they set out for their target: Iven Mourningvale, the Nightcrawler.
Meanwhile, the Nightcawler had almost reached his destination - the graveyard. Deracante and Astros were both on their watch. There was no sign of the necromancer yet. But anyways, when he really was poweful he could rise them from afar.
Morituri had cast a protection spell of white magic upon Adaira and Andres. The three of them waited at the edge of the forest where the way would lead right to the graveyard. Morituri had sent Elias joining Deracante to help him if needed.
Slowly, the Nightcrawler advanced the place where the three men kept hidden. It was not until he almost reached them when Adiara appeared at the road and blocked his way. The others kept hiding.
“Oh, what do I see here?! A warrior, and a woman into the bargain? Do you happen to search something particular?”
[Adaira] “Yes, I do indeed. By chance, I’m searching for you!”
The Nightcrawler rose his eyebrows. “Should I know you? If so, I couldn’t remember … But anyways, it would be a pleasure to learn to know you”, he purred. She looked not special; brown hair, not too big, slim, but nevertheless, she had an interesting aura. It couldn’t be wrong to take a closer view on her. A helping hand for his fight against the fools of the academy would come in hand. But, where could she have heard of him?
Adaira had to gain time for Morituri so he could block the power of the necromancer as carefully as possible; he shouldn’t notice it immediately. Andres doubted that guns would be a match against a mage like him, so he would fight with his swords and would, if necessary, turn into his second form which had after all more than nine feet. But for now, he would keep hidden.
[Nightcrawler] “Searching for me, you said? May I ask why you know me?”
“I know your name from a mutual friend”, Adaira said quietly. “A friend who lives not far from here.”
Not far from here … at the academy? “So you come from this pathetic academy, don’t you?” The Nightcrawler laughed loud. “I must confess, their foolishness is unbelieveable! They sent a woman, a half-pint like you! If it wasn’t this funny, it would be almost an insult! - Or did he send you?! Did he change his mind? He is welcome to join me anytime. And you may join too - maybe you’re useful somehow. And if not - having a victim at hand for a blood sacrifice is always useful!”
[Adaira] “You will soon regret your words, Necromancer. I’ll kill you! I’ll slice you up top down!”
The Nightcrawler laughed even more when he saw the two daggers in the woman’s hands. “Toothpicks, eh? You really want to fight against me with such toothpicks?! - Could be funny …”
Sneaking around him as if he would be searching for the right opportunity to attack, Adaira provoked him to speak more. This Nightcrawler was such a strutter, he surely would have fun to boast with what he had done. Adaira guessed right.
“How much did my Amaranthine tell you? Did he tell you about which fun we had? Did he tell you he was my right hand? His killing skills were excellent. And his abilites to cause pain - none of my followers was as talented as he was.”
Adair had known that he would have to hold onto himself, but he wouldn’t have expected it would be this hard. He felt his wrath rising more and more. Only thinking of his friend made him able to control himself.
[Nightcrawler] “He looked wonderful with the colour red - especially in chains! I tell you, you would have enjoyed the sight, my girl! I would love to give him some more scars so he will be a real beauty someday!”
The young shapeshifter desperately tried to force back the intense need to slice the man’s throat immediately into pieces. He still didn’t see the sign which would tell them that Morituri had the necromancer’s powers under control. He knew, when the sign came, Andres would join him to attack the Nightcrawler. He tried to ignore what the man said, and instead lead his attention to his appearance: the pale grey face, bruised green eyes; the white hair looked lank and strawy. A stench of death and darkness came from him. Fitting to all this, he wore a black robe with a red sash.
“Well, my girl, this is getting boring”, Iven Mourningvale said, secretly marveling at the woman’s self-composure. “If you haven’t any more to show me, it is time for me to show you some things!”
Finally - the sign! His necromancer-abilities were under Morituri’s control.
At the same moment when Andres jumped out of his hiding, Adair turned into his real shape.
It didn’t occur often that the Nightcrawler had been dumbfounded - indeed it never happened until now. A second later he realised that he was fooled - the woman had been a decoy - and he didn’t see it. The white-haired sword fighter before him didn't speak a single word, and beside him there stood now, instead a woman warrior, a shapeshifter, totally covered with black scales, with long sharp claws, red hair, and a strong muscular tail which moved slowly to and fro. These would be no easy opponents to be trifle with.
Just as he wanted to raise his powers to force back his two opponents he noticed that - nothing happened. He was blocked!
“A magician?!?”, he shouted. “You blocked my powers??” Now his wrath rose.
He was the Nightcrawler, the most powerful necromancer - and he wouldn’t let anybody make a fool of him! He focused - he gathered his last power - and pushed it out to break the magical barrier.
Morituri, still hidden, tumbled back. This was close … this necromancer indeed had a power which wasn’t to be underestimated - especially now as he got weaker every day.
Meanwhile, Adair and Andres managed to part and advance him from different sides.
“Now, didn’t you want to show me something? Didn’t you get bored? I must say, now I am getting bored, you know!”, Adair mocked him.
The Nightcrawler’s rage rose; now he was about to make the very mistake he always lead his enemies to make - to get overpowered from their anger. This speaking lizard and the guy with his oversized toothpick wanted to know his abilities - well, they would know them! Evading the white-haired guy who swung his sword, he countered with pushing an ice-spell against them. While Andres could avoid it - Adair was struck fully. For a second, Morituri gasped for air.
Just before the icy mist faded away, they heard a laughter inside of the cold hell. Stunned, the necromancer looked at the creepingly smiling shapeshifter.
“A little bit cool today”, Adair joked, provokingly, “maybe I should put on my winter coat next time!”
In his past, the necromancer didn’t debase himself in bothering with shapeshifters. Those low creatures had been beneath him. And now there was this disrespectful black scaled something, fooling him!
[Nightcrawler] “So I should fire you up a little bit?”
Andres guessed the meaning of his words right and turned immediately into his eagle shape to get up into the air. Adair got overflooded from the flames - and laughed again from inside the fire.
“Much better, Nightcrawler. But I would need a sunblocker - do you happen to have one? - You really know nothing of shapeshifters - our scales make us immune to ice or fire. I mean, you didn’t do your homework at school!”
All those provocations and unfamiliar failures were something the Nightcrawler couldn’t handle. His attention dropped - and he was suddenly struck from behind, from a heavy blow.
Andres swung his big sword and pushed it down onto his enemy, but he couldn’t hit him hard. The Nightcrawler jerked around sharply. Now he focused again, pushed out the rest of his power with all his might - and finally broke free. The dark magic rose and flowed into all directions to rise all dead beings that might bow the Necromancer's orders. Morituri tumbled back and gasped for air. Trying to hold the dark power back failed - now he had to join the fight with his sword.
When he came out of his hiding, the Nightcrawler was surrounded by three enemies.
“It is not over yet”, Iven shouted. “Now you will learn what I am really able to do! My army will make you down! I’ve called them - and they will come over you!”
Morituri overflowed him with a glistening ray of light energy which blinded the Nightcrawler, when the three men suddenly saw a flash coming from the graveyard. “Andres - go help Deracante! We will handle this!”
Andres didn’t hesitate, but turned into his eagle shape and flew straight to the graveyard to help the light-mage.
Morituri used the opportunity and attacked the blinded necromancer. After bombarding him with magical blasts, the archmage didn’t let him recover his breath and immediately attacked him with his sword while Adair came from the other side. But the man was strong - and furious. He shook Adair off like an old coat and pushed him back with a force blast of dark magic. He even managed to evade Morituri’s next attack and kicked him back hard. Morituri lost his sword, flung against a tree and was dizzy for a moment - and this was enough time for the Nightcrawler.
Horrified, Morituri saw his son being hit down by his, Morituri's, own sword - he jumped up and attacked the necromancer with his bare hands. With an outcry he forced the man back with a blow of magic, slapped the sword out of his hand, and got between him and Adair. But Iven still had his hidden dagger, got it - and pushed it down onto Morituri.
“FATHER!!!” Adair shouted and felt horror flashing through him like a sharp knife. “NO!!”
A second later he jumped up, with a loud screeching which cut the necromancers eardrum, and jumped at him. Furious and totally out of control, he scratched the man’s face and body, ripping and slashing it on and on until there was no face anymore to look on. Then he tore up his gorge with a fast single slash.
A quiet groaning got him out of his fury. Adair held in, turned, and saw his adoptive father rising slowly. He instantly leaped up, shifting into his elven form at the same moment. “Father!!” Adair ran to him and helped him getting up. “I thought he had … had killed you …”, he stuttered with a low voice.
“It was close, but I was lucky.” Adair saw blood on Morituri’s side. “Only a scratch … what’s with …”, he began his question, but stopped it when he saw Adairs bloody fingers. A short glance at the Nightcrawler showed him that it was over.
“We have to help Deracante and Andres,” Morituri said to his son.
But a second later they already saw the two men coming.
“They suddenly all dropped down,” Deracante explained. “A moment before, there was chaos over and over, and then--“
One look showed them the reason for it: The necromancer was dead. And there was no question who killed him. For a moment there was silence, then Adair said quietly: “We should burn him - I am only sure that he’s really dead when he’s turned into ashes.”
Without a word, Deracante overfled the body with glistening, blinding light - and shortly after nothing remained from the necromancer but ashes, which was carried away, by and by, from the winds.
Then Morituri and Deracante called Elias and Astros. “I will take care of the graveyard,” Deracante said. “There is a big mess. I will return later.”
[Adair] “Okay, Deracante. See you.”
After Deracante left, Andres turned into his eagle shape, and Morituri and Adair followed him on Elias. After all, Morituri was wounded, and Adair didn’t want him to fly alone.
They knew there would be questions when they were back at the academy - mostly from Amaranth. Their return, Morituri wounded, and Adairs shirt and hands covered with blood - sooner or later, the elven healer would guess what happened.
Everyone was glad to see them - especially Elizabeth, who ran to Adair, hugging him with an outcry of relieve. Avoiding to touch her because of his bloody hands, Adair said quietly: “Take care, Ana’is - just let me take a bath and change my clothings; I will make your clothes dirty.”
“Doesn’t matter”, she said, sighing. “I was so afraid of you - and Ricky didn’t let me go!”
“Thank the gods he didn’t! Ricky, I owe you something,” he said to her brother who came closer now. “If you would, please … I really have to change now.”
Ricky nodded and took care of his sister, assuring her that she soon would see Adair again. (An astonished glance came from the young shapeshifter …) Adair made sure that Morituri would go instantly to the healer. “My boy, I’m really well. No, you don't have to join me; just go, so you can see your dear Ana’is soon. She’s waiting for you. I will follow you.” Morituri smiled, then he went off with Andres.
Sitting in his bathtub, Adair thought about what happened. They really got it. They finished him.
But - Morituri was almost killed. That was the reason why he wouldn’t want him to join. The horror of almost having lost him was bigger then his relief that the necromancer was finally finished and now not longer a danger, neither for Amaranth nor for the academy.
When he was ready and got dressed, Adair found his father at the livingroom. “How are you? Do you feel well?”
[Morituri] “Of course, boy. I already told you that it was only a scratch. Amaranth said the same; just ask him. But, of course he also asked how it happened. I avoided a detailed answer, but he suspects we hide something from him. He was busy the whole morning at his lab - but now …”
“I will go to him later.” Adair sighed. “You could have been killed - I was so careless and arrogant …”
[Morituri] “Are you joking? What you did was just the right thing to keep him busy until I got his powers under control! He would have sensed it much earlier if you wouldn’t have. He had been arrogant, and he obviously would have never thought that a shapeshifter would outwit him. You bought us the time we needed. You made him forget his caution. But - when he cast his ice-spell I almost got a heart attack!”
“It really was a little bit chilly”, Adair said, smiling, “but it was bearable.”
“Bearable …” Morituri sighed. “As bearable as the fire?”
[Adair] “I must confess, the fire was a little bit too warm … you helped me, didn’t you?!”
“This hell would have been too much, even for a shapeshifter”, Morituri murmured. “Luckily, you told us that he loved ice- and fire-spells!”
“So thank you for the help!”, Adair said, and added, smiling: “And now sit onto your armchair and rest - I’ll bring your pipe and a footstool!”
Adair got an indignant glance from him. “I really should give you a good hiding, my boy!”
Adair laughed. “So go on, old man - try it!”
With a heavy sigh, Morituri looked up to him - then he joined his laughter.
“But now”, Adair said, a moment later, “I should go - Eliz will go crazy if I don’t meet her immediately.”
Morituri smiled. “So go on - don’t keep her waiting!”
Elizabeth already waited for him impatiently when Adair left the castle. “Finally!”, she cried and ran into his arms. Adair saw Ricky at the other side of the place, watching them.
“I feared so much for you!”, she admitted. “What happened? They said you would follow somebody? Has it been the man who attacked us last week?”
Adair hesitated. “… Yes … we had ... to do something. I found out he wanted to attack the academy. And he could have been very dangerous for us - he was a necromancer, and he was about to raise an army of undeads when we caught him.”
Eliz flung her arms around his chest. “When I saw the blood I thought you were wounded …”
“It wasn’t my blood - it was … I brought him down, you know ...” Adair took her in his arms and hid his face in her hair. He didn’t care two straws about Ricky watching them. He just wanted to have her with him to calm down the angst who still kept him.
Arm in arm, they went outside the gates to sit onto the grass.
[Adair] “Ricky didn’t even follow us, Ana’is ..”
Elizabeth smiled. “I told him I would rip his head off if he would venture it - and Angus and Diego promised to hold him back if he freaks out. I think he could have a little bit headache this evening ...”
Adair laughed. “You are as stubborn as your brother …”
It was wonderful to sit here with her, and her presence helped him to calm down. It was not only the fact that his father had been wounded that gnawed at him, it was how he went berserk. When he came to his senses again and saw what he had done, he had been shocked. Of course he wasn’t sorry of the necromancer, but it was frightening for him to see that he was able to totally lose control of himself and rip somebody into pieces. But, well … after all, this man had been a danger for all of them … and Amaranth would now hopefully be able to get over his past without the fear she would catch up with him.
Elizabeth rose him out of his thoughts. She looked up to him, poulting. “You’re still not really here with me!”
Adair laughed. “Sorry … I’m a fool indeed … let me give you an apology!”
And the apology followed on the spot, in the shape of a soft, sweet kiss …
It was already late at evening when they parted. Before retiring into his rooms, Adair wanted to go to Amaranth and Valyn. They surely already waited for him, but he hadn't the nerves to keep cool while answering their questions before now.
He found Amaranth preparing the things he needed for the next day.
“Finally, you’re here! What the hell happened? I asked everybody, but I got no answer! Now tell me what you all want to hide from me!”
Adair looked at him, with a serious face. “Amaranth, don’t tell me you didn’t already guessed something.” He made a pause, then he said, more gentle: “It is over. He will never get into your life again.”
Amaranth stopped breathing for a moment. Adair saw the shock in his eyes and how he trembled. Slowly, he advanced to him and took his hands. “Amaranth, did you understand me?”
[Amaranth] “… You … you ... killed him? That’s why … you left the academy thus early … and later with Morituri, Deracante and Andres?”
[Adair] “I had to. He would have been coming back.”
For the moment, Amaranth didn’t know if he should be afraid that the Nightcrawler still had been so near, or relieved that he was dead now. After a few minutes he felt Adair’s hand on his shoulder and heard how his friend quietly spoke to him.
This time he didn’t shrink back in horror. This time he allowed that Adair laid an arm around his shoulder to assure him he wasn’t alone.
When Adair saw Valyn at the door, he waved him with his other hand to come in. Valyn smiled, came nearer, and joined the hug.
After an interval, they parted. Adair wanted to leave the two of them alone so Amaranth could rest and clear his mind a little bit. But, before he could leave, Valyn called him back. Adair turned.
[Valyn] “Tomorrow afternoon, 4 p.m?”
Adair smiled. “May I come in company?”
[Valyn] “Of course! Be on time! The chocolate cake is best when it’s still warm!”
So the next afternoon Adair walked cheerful along the corridor to a certain room to get his company for the party.
Arrived there, he knocked. Andres opened him. “… Adair?”
[Adair] “Come on, my friend! We have a meeting!”
[Andres] “… A meeting? Which meeting?”
[Adair] “You’ll see! Don’t worry! It’s nothing bad!”
Andres looked at him, a little bit distrustful, and Adair knew he just tried to read his mind. But Andres only managed to notice that Adair was eager to convince him he would have to come with him, and that there should be a kind of surprise …
[Adair] “Come on! Somebody is waiting for us! In fact, we’re going to a party!”
[Andres] “A party? Shouldn’t you go there with Eliz?”
[Adair] “She couldn’t join; she promised Sasaki some days ago to go with her to the village this afternoon. So come on now - hurry! Oh, and - this is for you!”
With these words, Adair gave him a small paper-bag with something in it. “Don’t open it now - wait until evening.”
This guy was really strange … and weird. But - well, okay … Andres laid the bag on a little table near his bed, then he followed Adair.
Adair led him to the infirmary - in fact, to Amaranth's and Valyn’s rooms. “Anyone here?”
Valyn came and beckoned to them. “Come on - you came just the right time! - Didn’t Deracante and Morituri want to join? And Eliz?”
[Adair] “Eliz couldn’t, Deracante went back to his monastery, and Morituri - could you think of him joining a cake-party?”
Valyn laughed. “Indeed, no! Come in!”
“Cake-party?”, Andres asked when they followed the elf.
There was no answer needed - when they came into the living-room, there was a big table, lots of cakes and sweets on it - and a smiling Amaranth who invited them to “Take seat and eat!!”
Smiling, Andres opened the door of his room and entered. The cake-party had been a good idea. They had lots of fun, and he was really happy being treated like a friend. Although ... eating cake without a fork wasn’t easy. Indeed Amaranth and Valyn hadn’t a single small fork in their household because of Amaranth's fear of forks. But - fork or not, the cakes tasted wonderful!
Just when he wanted to go to bed, he remembered the little bag he got from Adair. He took it from the table and opened it. Strange … it was soft and flexible … Andres grabbed into the bag, got it out and held in his hand - a little plushie, a small white kitten, wonderful fluffy and warm, and a card with written “thank you” on it.
Andres smiled. “How could he even know about this?! I never told it to anybody!” He shook his head. This guy was crazy, indeed!
Now he had four of them … ^^
It's a “The Night Watchers” fanstory.
“The Night Watchers”, Andres, Ricky, Elizabeth, Morituri, Deracante, Elias and Astros belong to AvalonTheQuin
Amaranth and the Nightcrawler belong to PinkRobin
Valyn belongs to SailorDione
Sasaki belongs to Midnight ̴ Rebel
Adair belongs to me