MoboReader> Fantasy > The Slayer

   Chapter 11 Where to go from Here

The Slayer By Lady Lilium Characters: 19055

Updated: 2018-07-13 12:04


Waltz strolled down the road whistling to himself and twirling a twig in his hand as he went.

A few steps behind Sumaey followed, watching him closely and frowning as she stared at the back of his head. Her brow furrowed in annoyance.

'Where are we going?' she asked sulkily.

'Hmmm' Waltz replied. 'Don't know.'

Sumaey fell silent as Waltz continued to whistle.

They walked on for a few more seconds, before Sumaey spoke again.

'Where were you heading before you met me?'

'Nowhere in particular.'

Sumaey ground her teeth, glaring at him, her brow wrinkling further.

'If you're not heading anywhere then why are you out here in the first place?'

'I've nowhere else to be' Waltz sang back.

Sumaey halted suddenly; crossing her arms as her patience wore ever thinner.

'Don't you have a family or something?' she asked him. 'Don't you have a job? Don't you live anywhere?'

Before her Waltz slowed to a stop, his tune coming to an end as he lowered the twig he carried.

He turned back to Sumaey.

'Yes, sometimes, and no.'

He turned away and continued to walk.

'I'm not taking another step' Sumaey declared loudly, 'until you've decided where we are heading!'

Waltz sighed wearily, turning back to her.

'And I'm hungry' Sumaey added. 'And you smell. When was the last time you took a bath?'

Waltz sniffed himself self-consciously as Sumaey glared. He looked to her again, giving her his most dazzling smile.

'I'll set up camp for us' Waltz offered with a grin. 'We just need to find somewhere decent to stay. Now let's keep walking until we find a suitable spot. How does that sound? Do you like that idea? That sounds great doesn't it? Good. Onwards' he pointed happily. 'That way! Let's go!'

And so he continued walking in the direction he had been going before.

Sumaey sighed tiredly as Waltz soldiered on. She uncrossed her arms and walked after him, following him wherever they were going.

A short while later, Waltz found a patch of woodland not too far from the road that pleased him enough to rest there, and a short while after that, he was lying on his back with his hands folded behind his head and his feet propped up against the low branch of a tree. Beside him burned a small fire, and on the other side sat Sumaey, hugging her knees to her chest and glaring at Waltz disapprovingly.

'You call this a camp?' she said at last.

'Hm?' Waltz said, stirring from his nap. 'Did you say something?'

Sumaey's brow furrowed even further.

'I said…' she began less than patiently, '…do you call this a camp?'

'Yes' Waltz answered happily, resting back with a happy grin upon his face as he snuggled into the earth contently. 'It's rather comfortable don't you think?'

'A proper camp is supposed to have some proper shelter like some tents or something, and don't you have any supplies? Where's all your equipment, your clean clothes and weapons? You're supposed to be an adventurer, where's all your gear? What if we get mugged?'

'Mugged?' Waltz repeated turning his head to face her. 'And what are they going to steal?'

Sumaey gave him a level expression.

'Good point' she conceded. 'But what if a monster attacks us, how are you going to defend yourself?'

'Magic' Waltz answered simply. 'I have magic.'

Sumaey sighed wearily, turning away.

'Where is the rest of your guild?' she asked him. 'I don't believe you go on dangerous quests on your own, you'd never survive.'

'They're dead.'

Sumaey looked back at him, blinking in shock.

'Tell me about yourself' Waltz spoke hastily before she had time to question him. 'I saw you fall from the sky. What happened, and where did you come from?'

Sumaey's hand went to her head, and she frowned furiously as she struggled to remember.

'My memory is blank' she said, 'nothing is coming back to me. I don't even know who I am myself.'

'How exciting' Waltz chattered happily, rolling over to his side to see her better. 'You are like a mystery wrapped in a riddle and cloaked in a conundrum with your inscrutability and vagueness…'

Sumaey gave him a look at if he had suddenly transformed into a giant slug.

'I can't wait to find out more about you' Waltz continued, drawing little circles in the ground with his finger. 'This is going to be fun.'

'Are you trying to flirt with me?'

'Why is it working?'

His chest suddenly began to glow. Sumaey looked down at him in surprise and shock.

'Oh balls' Waltz uttered as his profile began to fade. 'Meet me in Twilight To-'

And then he was gone.

Sumaey blinked in confusion at the spot where Waltz had been lying not seconds before, the leaves still pressed to the shape of his body where he had been.

She raised her head slightly, glancing about her wide-eyed in case he would appear. But he was nowhere to be seen.

Sumaey bowed her head then, hugging her knees tighter to her chest.

'Twilight Town?' she said.

The problem was however, that Waltz in the short time that he had to convey his message, was unable to explain exactly where Twilight Town was, and more importantly, how far away it was.

It took five days to find someone to ask directions (in which time Sumaey learnt to her dismay that she had been going in the wrong direction) and then it took another five days to actually get there, travelling a variety of different ways. On foot, by carriage, even going so far as to pretend being a servant so she could gain access to one of the shabby little boats that crossed the river (not that she was entirely convinced she was fooling anyone) but at long last, and feeling more than a little irate, she reached her destination.

She slowed to a stop at the gates of the town, which were open and welcoming, seeing a huge sign hanging above the road.

Welcome Folks to Twilight Town

'Finally' she sighed wearily, '….I made it…'

A short while after that, when she had made her way to what she thought must have more or less been the centre of the town, she leant against a signpost built beside a little stone bridge, with the constant traffic going back and forth all around her.

She sat hunched with her arms crossed and her stomach growling loudly.

She drew a deep breath, glaring furiously at the ground and feeling thoroughly mad.

'Stupid git' she grumbled under her breath, speaking through gritted teeth. 'Where the hell is he?'

And then there came a sudden voice, loud and jovial.

'Hey! You made it!'

Sumaey tilted her head up, seeing Waltz waving at her from the roof of one of the nearby buildings.

'I knew I would find you from up here!' he grinned widely at her, taking a bite from a piece of beef jerky.

Sumaey unfolded her arms, straightening up and snarling.

'You porridge-brained idiot! Do you have any idea what I've been through?!' She hollered. 'I've been living on berries for and sleeping in trees for days! Do you have any idea how many monsters there are in the woods you worthless idiot! I have half a mind to beat you with a stick like the donkey that you are you stupid half-wit! I hope you evaporate and slip into a coma!'

'Woah' Waltz mumbled, showing his hand in submission and taking a step back. 'Take it easy.'

'Don't tell me to take it easy you moron!' Sumaey politely informed him, grabbing the nearest thing at hand and throwing it at him, the nearest thing happened to be a cat.

Waltz managed to dodge the unfortunate feline as it sailed through the air with claws flailing; it landed safely on its feet in the next street before running away.

Sumaey was just searching about her looking for something else to throw, when Waltz threw back something to her.

'What's this?' Sumaey asked curiously, her temper suddenly stilled as she caught it.

She opened the sweet smelling sack, seeing inside and assortment of pies and pastries.

'Food!' she cried, immediately breaking into a smile.

She glanced up at Waltz grinning widely.

Waltz let out a sigh, putting his hands no his hips and finally relaxing.

It was safe to come down now, and he did so, sliding down the roof and landing lightly on his feet. He approached Sumaey, beaming back at her.

'Thank you for waiting for me' he said. 'And I'm sorry for any trouble I put you through.'

A short while later and the pair were sitting at a table in a street corner. Sumaey was slurping on a milkshake, while Waltz in an attempt to look as sophisticated as possible was sipping a cup of tea.

'So' Sumaey voiced. 'Where do you want to begin?'

Waltz glanced up at her, blinking curiously. 'Begin?'

'You've got a lot of explaining to do' she informed him. 'First of all…why did you leave me?'

Waltz sighed wearily, bowing his head and staring at his own reflection within his cup.

'Leave…' he mumbled. 'It was not by choice.'

His hand went to his chest subconsciously, and he felt a great weight there.

'I am…' Waltz mumbled reluctantly, '…in the service of a witch.'

'A witch?'

'She is very powerful' Waltz grumbled, sitting slumped forwards with his elbows on the table, stirring his spoon around his cup moodily. 'She has complete control over me, and can summon and dismiss me as she chooses. I do jobs for her, the kind of jobs no one else wants to do…it is……dishonest and cruel work.'

For a moment it looked as if he would say more, but he pursed his lips then, lifting his cup and sipping his tea quietly.

'Why do you serve her?' Sumaey asked, tilting her head and raising an eyebrow.

'I have no choice. She has control over me. She owns me in body, soul and mind.'

Sumaey watched him closely, waiting for him to elaborate.

Waltz sighed wearily, bowing his head in thought before facing her again.

'A long time ago' he began, 'I fell in love with a woman I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. She was unlike anyone I'd ever met before, perfect in every way, and I felt like we were destined to be together......but things didn't turn out that way.' He fell silent for several moments, before speaking again. 'I was an adventurer, even way back then, and was part of a guild. I would do all sorts of dangerous things, things she couldn't even have imagined.' He paused. 'One day…she went out looking for me when I was on a dangerous quest……in a dangerous place. She was attacked and mauled by a beast. I managed to save her…but she was disfigured…and found herself ugly. But I didn't care…I still thought she was beautiful…I still loved her as I did before.' Waltz fell silent again, eyes glazed over as he remembered this woman. 'She couldn't accept the way she had become, and so sought the help of a witch to make her beautiful again, in exchange for her soul. She accepted……I don't know why. To save her I switched places with her, the witch only agreeing because I was more valuable to her…more useful, being a warrior.' He smiled humourlessly. 'I now belonged to the witch. I signed a contract with her, agreeing to serve her until the day I die and my body rots. It was a daunting thing for me to do back then, but I was glad to do it if it made my love happy.' He sighed. 'She was beautiful again, her body and face perfect…as if the accident had never happened.' He blinked slowly, reciting the next part of his tale. 'One day, she caught the eye of a rich lord who promised her the world. He was so handsome…and he came from a sophisticated and noble family. Me?' he shook his head. 'I just slayed monsters in a guild. I was nothing compared to him. And so, she left me…despite what I did for her.'

Sumaey watched him silently as he spoke, feeling something different towards him.

'I have never settled down since' Waltz said. 'I have never truly loved a woman again.'

'Have you tried to free yourself from the witch's contract?' Sumaey asked tentatively.

For a long time Waltz stared down at his tea, breathing deeply and slowly.

And then he looked up at Sumaey smiling. There were tears glistening in his eyes.

'The one time I have ever disobeyed her' he said, voice trembling, 'she killed my entire guild, after forcing me to reveal my other self to them, the beast I turn to to do her dirty work.'

He raised his hand, brushing the tears away with a fist.

'Anyway' he said continuing to smile, 'tell me about yourself. I know nothing about you.'

Sumaey sighed deeply at that.

'I'm sorry' she said. 'What I told you before was true. I have no memory. I don't know who I am or where I come from……I don't even know my true name.'

'How strange' Waltz pondered aloud.

'Out of interest' she began, 'why did you call me Sumaey. What made you pick that name?'

'Oh' Waltz said distractedly. 'Sumaey was a pet pigeon I once had. She was a really loyal pet to me.'

Waltz instantly flinched as Sumaey banged a fist on the table.

'You named me after a f****** pigeon?!'

'Sorry!' Waltz said hastily, waving his palms at her. 'It was the first thing that came to mind!'

Sumaey sat back heavily with a huff.

'So what are you going to do now?' she asked sullenly.

'I don't know' Waltz grinned apologetically, glad that she had calmed somewhat. 'I hadn't really thought about it.'

'Do you have a family?'

Waltz hesitated.

'No…I mean yes I…' he smiled sheepishly. 'I don't have a wife or any kids if that's what you mean. I only have parents. No siblings.'

'Hm.'

'They live a long way from here though' Waltz went on. 'I don't get to see them very often.'

'Then why don't we go there then?'

'Why?'

'Well what else were you planning to do?'

Waltz hesitated. 'I don't want to go home' he said at last. 'At least not yet.'

'Why not?'

'I have my reasons' Waltz mumbled turning away. 'Let's just say my father wants me to do something I don't want to do.'

'Is it to get married?'

'No. I want to keep doing what I've been doing for so long.'

Sumaey clicked her fingers then. 'Hey I have an idea! Why don't you form your own guild?'

Waltz stared at her hard, brow furrowed and mouth open. His expression brightened suddenly and he clicked his fingers.

'Hey I've just had a great idea!' he said. 'I could form my own guild!'

'Ugh' Sumaey turned away glaring.

A man approached their table then.

'Hey' he said leaning over them and staring at Waltz. 'Are you Waltz?'

Waltz stared up at him in surprise.

'Uh…yeah?'

The man punched him in the face.

Sumaey stumbled back from her chair in shock as Waltz caught by surprise fell to the floor.

'What the hell?!' she exclaimed, tensing suddenly as she noticed several figures advancing around them.

On the ground, Waltz was gingerly picking himself up; using the table he slowly hauled himself back to his feet.

'What was that for?' he groaned painfully.

'That was for breaking my sister's heart' the man snarled.

'Your sister?' Waltz repeated.

'Remember Cindy?'

Waltz stared at him for a few seconds. And then his eyes widened.

'Oh crap.'

The man grabbed Waltz by the front of his shirt roughly, pulling him closer and getting ready to hit him again.

Sumaey moved forwards to help but was suddenly grabbed from behind by one of the men. Without a moment's hesitation she threw her head back sharply, smacking the face of the man behind her, his nose cracking on impact. He stumbled back in surprise, holding his injury, but Sumaey did not hesitate. Her foot shot out to the side and with all the strength of a stallion, she kicked the nearest man in the groin. The unfortunate man made a very unmanly noise in protest as he hunched his body over, holding himself. He would never ever have children again. But before the man had even fallen to his knees, Sumaey spun around, fist shooting out and punching the nearest man on her other side in a very unladylike, aiming for his jaw as another of the men shouted 'get her!'

Another man grabbed her by the arm, she shot her head towards him, instead of pulling away from him she grasped him tightly back, holding him firmly and pulling him towards her as her foot shot out again, delivering an agonising kick in his side. The man doubted over in pain.

Sumaey finally released him, whipping around towards Waltz.

'Waltz!'

But he was grinning back at her, dusting his hands as several figures around him were in various degrees of disability.

'Piece of cake' he winked.

Around them people were staring in shock and disbelief at the group of fallen men, in the centre of which stood a man with shaggy white-blond hair and a skimpily dressed woman in red.

'Uh-oh' Waltz mumbled. His hand shot out and grabbed Sumaey by the wrist. 'Let's go' he hissed, dragging her away. 'We've drawn too much attention to ourselves.'

They ran from the area, Sumaey making her way hastily after Waltz as they sprinted around the corner and out of sight.

They stopped a short distance away when Waltz decided it was safe enough, leaning back against the wall in a quiet alley and breathing heavily.

Waltz turned to Sumaey, grinning at her. She turned back to him, smiling in turn.

'That was sort of fun' she said.

'Yeah' he breathed. 'It was.'

He sighed, bowing his head and straightening up.

'I didn't realise you could fight like that' he said. 'You did pretty good…for a girl.'

'I was going to say the same thing about you….sexist jerk…'

'Hey I've just had a fabulous idea!' Waltz declared loudly, beating his fist into his palm. 'I need to form a new guild, and you need someone with the knowhow to help you remember who you are…someone who knows people…knows the land so on and so forth.' He paused, grinning at her slyly. 'Why don't we team up?'

'What?'

'Come on. It'll be great' Waltz continued merrily. 'We'll make one hell of a team, I just know it. I need to be part of a guild to earn decent money, and at this point it would be the perfect time to form my own guild, but to be officially recognised there needs to be at least six members to form a new guild. Only when I am officially recognised will I be able to take on contracts.'

'Hu?'

Waltz extended hand, offering it to Sumaey to shake.

'Do you accept this invitation to join my new guild? I don't have a lot, and we will have to start small……but in time we can form one hell of a reputation, we might even do well for ourselves…become famous…like celebrities….like the stronger guilds…what do you say?'

Sumaey stared at him, with his blackened eye he had earned from the fight and his shabby clothes.

'And you will help me learn who I am and where I came from?' she asked dubiously.

'Absolutely' he beamed, still holding his hand out. 'We will work together to help each other out.'

She stared down at his hand.

'Do you accept' he grinned, 'as the first member of my new guild, to face whatever adventures we may?'

Sumaey frowned at him. Then she sighed, dipping her head slightly.

'Fine' she said, reaching out to shake his hand. 'I accept.'

'Great!' Waltz beamed joyfully, shaking her hand vigorously. 'Welcome aboard!'

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