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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 8th day of Hiding, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 119 > Continuing Series > Deathwoven: Part Five

Deathwoven: Part Five

by catlady87

The cold, sadistic sound of the metal bars slamming shut behind her, Whisp ground her teeth in rage and frustration. They had taken Darkenbringer from her, placing her on the far table on the opposite wall.

     How could they have found her after so many years?

     She whipped around, grey eyes dancing with death as she regarded her captor with disdain. "Who told you?" she whispered, fury dancing in her voice. Now she would never catch Raishre's murderer.

     He hesitated, then grimaced, as if he did not want to pain Whisp further. "Your mother, Frathra, gave us the location in exchange for one hundred pounds of gold. I am sorry, Deathwoven Whisp."

     Whisp stared at his retreating figure for a second before kicking the doors in rage. They gave a pleasant banging sound, but nothing more. She was going to have to find another way out.

     Pacing the hard, cold floor of the damp cell for hours yielded nothing. She had circled the walls of the cell for ages, finding no fault whatsoever in the making of the wall -- and she knew how to find the slightest faults she could use. These were the cells that were made for the most skilled of prisoners -- even if they captured mages they would not be able to cast spells for there was a light web around the boundaries of the cell -- a shield of magic cast by the most skilled of mages.

     Days past like this -- she ate what meager food and water they gave her, not wanting to toss aside an advantage. However, she would not, could not give up finding an exit. She would, but for the fact that Raishre's murderer still ran rampant. It was hard to remember that day that she had considered giving up the drive that had compelled her for revenge for so long.

     One night however, for nights was when she was most awake and aware, she came upon an idea. The light web was meant for mages of light -- their spells were not meant for ones woven of death, such as her. She could not cast spells, but if she could unravel herself, the dark tapestry of her soul, perhaps the uniform creation of the threads that made up her existence would stay together for long enough just to slip through the bars. She could reweave herself afterwards. It was a dangerous and far-fetched notion, but it was the best that she had come across so far.

     Falling into a state of half-awareness, she tried to visualize the very essentials of her woven soul. The darkness, tapestry of death and destruction stood before her in her mind now -- though the threads were woven so tightly it would be hard to ease them apart. All earthly senses and feelings left her -- Whisp was now as bare of emotions as a stone. She could not feel or hear, could not sense her hunger -- all that mattered was loosening the threads of her spirit enough so that she would be so loose she could slip through the bars.

     It was impossible to tell how long it took -- it might have been hours or days or even months. When she was finished however, the threads were barely held together by meager weaving. Her physical attributes were naught, and when she slowly pulled past the state of half-awareness, she could not see, could not sense anything. She drifted slowly to the direction she thought the bars were at, for she was nothing but a mere wraith -- drifting instead of walking.

     It worked, she felt herself squeezing past a narrow exit. Once on the other side, she quickly rewove herself -- finally finding her vision working again. Her physical attributes were completely restored, but somehow she felt different -- what had been the price she had paid for this escape?

     Tugging Darkenbringer over her muscled waist, she bolted out the cell's door, ignoring the pleading and screaming as if they were nothing. Perhaps before she would have felt some pity for the death marked prisoners, but now she felt nothing -- only drive for revenge and escape.

     Since the cells were underground, she had to slip, as ghostly as a wraith, around the halls and corridors to escape through the front door. There was no other option, unless she wanted to create a huge commotion. The palace guards were too slow to see her, as quick and deadly as a striking rattlesnake. Only one did.

     Erytasne -- the sandy Draik mage that had so unnerved Whisp the first encounter they had.

     She stopped dead, knowing she was caught. The other regarded her with brilliant cerulean eyes, eyes that seemed so familiar, yet that Whisp could not place. Both looked calm, impassive even -- each testing the other.

     "Going to turn me in?" Whisp questioned calmly.

     "And why could I do that?" Erytasne replied, blue eyes flashing. Even his calm vocals sounded familiar -- something that she could not attach to a face nor species.

     "Because all you mages believe I killed Raishre," she responded contemptuously, aware that Erytasne was playing a game with her and severely disliking it.

     "Ah… an interesting answer. But, perhaps a better question would be, do you believe that you killed Princess Raishre?"

     "Of course not," she snapped, mystified by his answer. She wished he would stop speaking in riddles.

     "Then why would I turn you in?" he raised a slender eyebrow to extenuate his rhetorical question, before turning to walk away. He was gone before Whisp had a chance to demand he explain herself.

     Cursing Erytasne, even though he had let her go against all odds, she bolted out the front door. No one saw her, save the mysterious sandy Draik who seemed so familiar.

* * *

Once she had escaped the castle, melding once again into the crowd of mindless ants, working under the sun until they burned to death, Whisp turned her thoughts inward. Who was Erytasne? What could his motive have possibly been to let her escape? After all, he was a mage, and the palace mages seemed convinced that because she was Deathwoven, she had condemned Raishre to death.

     And the strangest thing was, even if he had let her escape, he hadn't said he believed she was innocent. All he had said was that the only important thing was whether she believed her innocence or not.

     Then she landed upon something that felt enlightening… it all made sense…

     Could he have murdered Raishre?

     It was a possibility. Whisp would have to spy on him for weeks to see if he was subject of any other suspicious activity -- there was no use in accusing him and challenging him if she had no further proof but theories and hunches. She needed solid evidence.

* * *

So for days she monitored every trip of his outside palace grounds, and because he made quite a few, she was busy most of the day. She was not impatient; Whisp felt as though she was on the right track and so felt that catching proof was inevitable.

     Most were innocent trips to the marketplace, but some were a little more unusual. It was one, several weeks later, that had Whisp convinced of his guilt.

     She saw him again that day, the unusual sandy color making its way through and past the dry, ordinary colors of those around him. Dancing gracefully in the shadows left in his wake, there was no possible way he could have realized she was following him. Erytasne took a casual left through two tables of apples and pears, his pace calm yet quick -- he had no reason to dally. His footfalls were sure and confident; he knew where he was going.

     The Krawk and Draik were now walking along a dark, dank alleyway. The sun was blocked overhead, the angry rays trying and failing to sunburn them. Instead, the shadows protected them, battled the sun. Whisp breathed the shadows as if they were one entity -- both made from the same, and therefore, both the same. This ebony and crimson streaked creature was the shadows.

     Whisp saw and noted him dip into a crack in the wall, the opening covered by naught by a harsh linen canvas. Striding closer to the opening, yet careful to not make a single sound with her callused, reptilian feet -- not a breath too loud.

     Small, homeless children were scattered across the sad, broken-down room. However, their faces contrasted with this -- for each eager pair of eyes was lined with happiness and a fierce joy in life. Whisp had forgotten simply how active young children were -- merely a second went by before they were off to play with another toy, another friend.

     She refocused her attention back to Erytasne. He was speaking to an older Lupe there; apparently the scarlet Lupess was taking care of the children. Whisp, even despite her unearthly hearing, could hear not a word that Erytasne and the Lupess were saying. She had seen enough, and because the alley was a dead end, she had to leave before Erytasne did -- lest she be seen. She ghosted away into the shadows.

     The next day, she returned to the same cavern, though this time she was not following Erytasne. What she saw made her jaw drop.

     The children who had been gathered in the room previously, were striken to their beds. Whisp could see that they were extremely ill as clearly as if she were viewing their fur color. They were each wrapped with meager blankets, and their previous activeness had died out. Each lay alone, asleep -- curled up with their friends as if seeking warmth that was not there.

     The tall Krawkess leaned into the room, peering at each set of sick faces. Was it possible they had been poisoned? Erytasne could have easily done so to Raishre… considering that all royal members dined together. Whisp remembered that Raishre hated those things because she was such a fast eater -- she was done before anyone else had barely started.

     She had found her evidence -- Erytasne had clearly done something. It was too much of a coincidence to ignore.

* * *

The sun was disappearing below the horizon. It looked peaceful and serene, but Whisp knew that it was frantically fighting tooth and nail to stay in this world. Darkness and shadows reined where the sunlight had already retreated, lurking behind the corners and battling the last orange-red wisps of sun. The red sun was like a living thing, hating the world, wishing those in it to scorch and burn forever in a fiery oblivion. The shadows and darkness were the only saviors.

     Despite that the Lost Desert rarely experienced precipitation, being a desert, angry grey storm clouds spread across the sky, roiling in their fury. Gentle city folk who simply wanted nothing more than to complete the errands that sent them scurrying around the tents, taverns, and marketplace, noted the storm clouds with unease. When dry rain started to fall among them, they made for their homes, having been unused to rain. The sun fell behind the horizon in a final, gasping breath. It was night. There were only two creatures undeterred by the rain. One, an ebony and crimson streaked Krawkess bent on revenge, stood watching another. She seemed not to even notice the rain, slowly wetting the dust and sand, dripping more quickly over her reptilian hide. As dark as her own soul, hung an ebony blade at her side. At her ear swung a single golden hoop, almost mocking, as it had been forged from love. This Krawk felt no love now, only a desperate desire for vengeance, a hate that controlled and drove her soul as it had no one else's. Love and humanity were lost on this creature, this creature woven from hate and death.

     The other who did not care that the clear, warm liquid steadily coursed down his own reptilian hide, was a sandy hued Draik, cerulean eyes built with love and kindness, yet a certain mystery. He knew of the Krawkess who watched him now, yet was unafraid, despite the obvious fighter skills of his enemy. He was skilled in swordsmanship himself, as he carried a light blade of his own by his side -- the two making up a complete whole.

     The Draik slipped into a wide alley, even though it was a dead end, and stood, waiting for something no one by him could comprehend. The Krawk, seeing her prey finally cornered, dipped into movement as graceful and exotic as a dancer's, yet as deadly as a rattlesnake's. Both knew this was the moment that had to come to pass, had to since the death of Raishre.

     They stood now, facing each other, the rain pouring over them and almost blinding them. They would have been, but for their own drives.

     It had begun.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Deathwoven: Part One

Deathwoven: Part Two

Deathwoven: Part Three

Deathwoven: Part Four

Deathwoven: Part Six


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