Saithsarda and Maelex
New Kin, 1
After days of traveling, our heroes finally made it to the last post before the real danger began. The Himmels could feel the tension and fear rise in the human riders as they grew nearer to the demon king.
Saithsarda was a little nervous, but she was calm, showing no distress as they approached on the ground. The humans however were quite a bit uncomfortable, especially because of the loping run that Sai and Maelex were naturally accustomed to. "Right around this area, there is an outpost. We should probably avoid it, if possible." Aamir said for them to hear.
Maelex followed along next to Sai, lifting his head up every so often to sniff the air as they ran. An outpost?
he thought, not having a clue what to look for. The air was damp here... almost like it was wet with the scent of blood.
Also smelling something odd, "I don't like this," Sai whispered to Maelex, her hackles raising slightly as she began to slink slowly, with her thin body low to the ground. It was good that she had abated her speed, as she stepped forward her fingers crazed something soft. Pausing, Sai paused. The Himmel brushed some leaves away to reveal a slightly decomposed body, in full plate armor. "One of yours?" Saithsarda asked the humans.
Maelex's ears perked when Sai found something. He followed up behind her and got an unfriendly whiff of the body, "Oh~" he winced back, nearly gagging. He stepped back again and let his tail brush up against Sai's ankle, "It's going to get worse from here on in, isn't it?"
"Definitely." the larger man nodded. "I wonder... is it even too late to save the kingdom? It's full of so much hatred and blood."
"Have faith my love," Sai said, rubbing her neck against his, "We won't fail." Ishmael on Maelex's back behind Aamir watched the display, and lowered his head, missing Krista.
Maelex looked forward at the nearing castle. "You would think that this king would have protection. We haven't even come across anything yet...." he spoke honestly. "This should be easy."
"I wouldn't be too sure," Sai whispered, her hackles raising fully as she resisted a growl. The forest in front of them was dark, as if it were night yet the sun was high in the sky.
Maelex was immediately alerted and copied Sai. Did she see something? He kept his ground and scanned the darkness in front of them for movement. The claws on his feet extended and gripped at the dirt below them.
A shadow twisted and writhed through the ebony mist, it's form indistinguishable from the air around it. Sai shook her head violently, removing it's whispers from her mind, "Don't listen to it."
"Listen to wha-" Maelex began until he heard it himself. His eyes widened and he rubbed his head against the ground, rubbing at his ears as if an insect was in it. He growled as if it were possessing him.
"Sai? Why are we doing this for the humans?" Maelex suddenly asked, the hairs on his back standing on end as he glared up at his rider. He let out a low growl.
Her ears went up at that, "Maelex..." Discreetly she edged closer. "Why are you with me Maelex?" She asked a question to the question.
"I uhm..." Maelex hesitated, stepping back. As if waking up from a sleepwalk, he shook his head quickly. "Sai? What- Why did I-?!" He relaxed and swiftly bounded in front of her and rubbed his neck against hers, "Because I am your mate and you are mine." There was a deep maturity that vibrated from his neck onto hers as he spoke.
Saithsarda smiled warmly, licking his cheek and behind his ears, "I know that." She swiftly twisted her neck and growled at the shadow, warning to the prince on her back to get off slowly. Mazar did as she asked as well as he could, having his weight be a slight problem. "Humans, please dismount off Maelex." She barely nodded to his mate. "We need to kill that thing."
The king took the hint and dismounted as carefully as he could. He backed up with the other humans behind a few trees.
Maelex bowed down a moment as the humans slipped off. He glared at the shadow. His spines lifted up and flared angrily. Saliva strung out of his mouth as he growled loudly, getting in a pounce position.
Sai took a similar pose, her hackles flaring up high as she sidled up next to her mate, making them a snarling pair. The shadow, flickering in and out of sight took in their stances. Darkening, it prepared for their attack.
Maelex moved away from Sai, making it harder for the creature to attack now two targets. He kept taking side swipes around the shadow.
His mate moved to the other side, snarling again when it made to go her way.
Maelex bounded forward and then immediately bounded back, he was starting to get impatient with this monster. Why wasn't it showing itself? Hopefully it was cowering and knew it was outnumbered.
Narrowing her eyes, Sai saw it's real form briefly, flitting away like a fly. Its skin was the color of oil, loose and spotted with imperfections. The creature looked humanoid, missing the legs as its torso ended in a curled spike, while its arms were lengthier and very skinny. Long claws tipped off the fingers, while the neck was tapered, with what looked to be a twisted snake for a head. Lunging forward, Saithsarda attempted to get a hold of it close to where she had seen the glimpse.
Maelex went around to the backside just in case it would try and flee. He still wasn't able to make out what it was through the shadows an foliage. Maelex quickly closed his distance with the beast too, but didn't attack yet.
Snapping her jaws, Sai just missed the creature, who screamed in rage and in doing so revealed its position.
Maelex charged towards the monster as it recoiled in his direction. It came into the light and he was able to make out it's shape. He opened his jaws and leapt at the creature, coming in at it's shoulder.
Squealing, Maelex's jaws latched onto it's flesh, spewing out darkness instead of blood. It turned on him, trying to claw at his face and ears.
Maelex held fast despite the claws scratching at his forehead and ears. Though when the darkness spilled into his mouth instead of blood, it tasted vile and he had to open his jaws and release the beast.
Sai rushed in again, snapping at its head. She just managed to hold onto it while it was still bleeding out shadow, the noises it made dieing down as it emptied out, leaving its skin behind.
Maelex pawed at his muzzle a bit, wanting to get the vile taste of the shadow beast's blood out of his mouth.
"You okay?" She asked her mate, looking at the skin with disgust while the blackened fog subsided, revealing the natural aura of the forest.
Maelex leaned down and ate some of the grass to get the taste out. "Disgusting." he commented, swallowing the blades. He glanced to the sack of flesh that was the beast, "That wasn't too hard."
"I... think it was some sort of scout." Sai muttered, shaking her head.
"Looks like he won't be delivering a message anytime soon." Maelex said, sniffing at the skin corpse.
The king looked at his comrades. "Incredible....we might stand a chance this time."