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Made in nz
Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






The continuation of Anargrin's and Emilia's story from An Ulterior Motive. This one was my favourite of the collection of stories I have so far (The other favourites being The Ritual and A False Legacy) As well as the majority of my creative writing class, wrote most of it in a couple of days, the scenario was mentioned in a short story which was a memoir written by Anargrin and as a backstory for a character in the game my friend and I were working on years ago.

Well, enjoy!




  • Chapter 1

  • Chapter 2

  • Chapter 3

  • Chapter 4

  • Chapter 5

  • Chapter 6

  • Chapter 7

  • Chapter 8

  • Chapter 9

  • Chapter 10

  • Epilogue

  • The Angaran Chronicles: Anargrin vs Arken

  • The Angaran Chronicles: Anargrin's Memoir

  • The Angaran Chronicles: The Underside; Extract 1

  • The Angaran Chronicles: The Underside Extract 2

  • The Angaran Chronicles: The Underside Extract 3

  • The Angaran Chronicles: Rebellion


  • Check out other Angaran Chronicles stories.

    The Angaran Chronicles: An Ulterior Motive
    After the destruction of her village, the only survivor: Emilia is saved by a stranger: an elf named Anargrin. Who claims to work for a mercenary organisation known and respected all over the continent of Angara: The Hunters. He asks for no payment and to help her with the sickness that threatens to overwhelm her.

    But why?



    The Angaran Chronicles: A Poor Girl
    After defeating a vampire, the intense, ruthless Hunter Jelcine comes across a strange little girl...



    The Angaran Chronicles: A False Legacy
    The Hunter, Arken is hired by an aristocrat to investigate into a town under his rule. A town which has cut off all communication with the outside world. What he finds is beyond his worst imaginings. What he finds, implies something beyond mortal comprehension.



    The Angaran Chronicles: The Ritual
    Alathis is just a day away from taking part in the Ritual. A Ritual which is required so he can become one of the magically enhanced super assassins, a Hunter.

    The Ritual which only one in five survive.

    But before he can he needs to work through his tremulous and traumatic past.

    A past which would've driven anyone else insane or broken them beyond repair.

    Will he become one of the One in five?

    Or a corpse?



    The Angaran Chronicles: The General and the Poet
    Since she was young, Raleas looked up to her father and in contempt of her mother and dreamed and obsessively practised to become a sniper.

    But then her mother died, and now Raleas is beginning to reevaluate everything she stands for.

    This message was edited 18 times. Last update was at 2021/11/02 00:59:38


    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    Hamar Noir by Benjamin Agar

    Year: 2429 A.H.V (After Holy Victory)

    Age: The Early Industra era.

    Country: The Kingdom of Hamar.



    'How many dead?' said Anargrin.

    Sammil watched while Anargrin approached the balcony's edge, the elf swirling a glass of scotch. Anargrin leaned his elbow on the railing; his attention fell to the crowd funnelling through the street below the balcony. It was five-thirty in the afternoon in Valtagan, the capital city of Hamar, so the people were commuting home.

    'Five,' said Head Hunter Sammil as he followed Anargrin to the handrail. Sammil raised his head to look at the cave ceiling dozens of metres above. One of the vast, ancient lights jutted out overhead like a large cloud in the sky.

    'I haven't vampire hunted in a long time,' said Anargrin, turning to the Head Hunter and taking a sip of his drink. Anargrin was handsome, high cheekboned, and his features as sharp as his darting hazel eyes even for an elf. His long brown hair pulled into a ragged ponytail, and the purple bags beneath his almond-shaped eyes were more distinct than usual. But his battered, weary demeanour was evident, even to an untrained eye.

    'Not since your predecessor appointed me as an infiltrator,' said Anargrin. 'Then, as a senior agent since I joined forces with Emilia. That was a long time ago, although I can't-'

    'That was thirty-three years ago, now,' said Sammil. 'I know you have moved on, but I must ask you to do this assignment.'

    The elf nodded, shrugged and drooped his attention again to the crowd. Sammil knew Anargrin was looking down his nose at them, literally and figuratively. 'The Mindless masses,' 'the sheep' Anargrin and many Hunters called them, and to an extent, it was true. Usually, Anargrin did not allow such cynicism to rule him. But he was in a foul mood, and Sammil could not blame him for it.

    'How is she, by the way?' said Sammil. 'Emilia.'

    Anargrin's attention snapped back to Sammil, his face darkening for a moment.

    'She'll live, just.'

    Sammil frowned. Anargrin and his companion, the werewolf Emilia had a few hours ago, came back from an investigation into supposed troll activity in the Hamarian caves east of Valtagan. "Supposed" turned into "confirmed" when the troll and its goblin underlings ambushed Anargrin and Emilia during their investigation. The troll knocked Emilia unconscious before she could transform. But Anargrin still managed to single-handedly kill the troll, escape and carry Emilia for miles back to Valtagan. How he wasn't wearier and battered was beyond Sammil.

    Sammil knew the veteran Hunter was smarting, both physically and mentally, that Anargrin had taken a hit to his pride and was beating himself up for failing to detect the ambush.

    'When did the killings start?' said Anargrin, interrupting Sammil's thoughts.

    Sammil opened the dossier and pretended to study it. 'Three days after you and Emilia left for your mission. He...or she has set up shop in the northeastern slums.'

    'Victims?'

    'The Rule Enforcer reports say they are mostly male. Four male, one female. One elf, he was one of the males. The dwarf was the female and two human males. All in their mid to late twenties.'

    'Hmm,' said Anargrin as he took another sip. 'Could be a female vampire or a homosexual male vampire. Wanting to prove themselves superior due to an inferiority complex for their gender or their sexuality. Probably human, doubt it was an elf or dwarf as they'd most likely gone for humans. But you never know, could be an experienced vampire trying to put off our profiling.'

    Sammil smiled. 'I had thought of the same conclusion, Anargrin. I see you haven't lost your touch.'

    Anargrin shrugged. 'It's basic profiling. Even an apprentice would figure that out.'

    'Look, Anargrin. I know what you have been through, but that is no excuse to be so negative.'

    'I'm merely stating fact. I know you're trying to make me feel better. But false platitudes just wear on me.'

    'It wasn't...' Sammil sighed. 'Never mind. Anyway, I need you to be a ghost on this, Anargrin. If you go in waving your sigil, our quarry will-'

    'Disappear into the wind,' said Anargrin. 'Yes, got you. Have we been hired by the locals to track this vampire down?'

    'No.'

    'No? What? Are we no longer mercenaries and become a charity, now? I would say about bloody time, but we do need to make money somehow. You become sentimental in your old age?'

    'No,' Sammil repeated. 'I may as well tell you now. I'm sure you will find out sooner or later. The church hired us.'

    Anargrin's eyes went as wide as saucers, and Sammil's expensive crystal glass almost slipped from his fingers. 'Well...well, that's something different.'

    'Something different, indeed,' said Sammil. 'Although, unlike you, I have access to all of our records and can tell you that it has happened. Once or twice, through the centuries.'

    'How did that happen?' said Anargrin. The animosity the Church of Jaroai held for the Hunters was legendary the continent over.

    'After the third murder, the Rule Enforcers brought it to the church, asked for their help,' said Sammil. 'You know, supposedly the church is meant to hunt vampires, it being their holy duty after all. But the high priest has decided to sit on it, procrastinating over making a decision to "endanger more lives." You know how passive-aggressive they can be. Ever since Arken's smear campaign.'

    It sickened Sammil how they could stand back and allow innocent people to die because of petty politics.

    Anargrin's disgusted grimace indicated he felt the same.

    'Yes,' said Sammil. 'So one of the more senior priests came to me in secret and hired us to stop it. He...paid a rather generous sum, and don't let this go to your head, Anargrin. I promised him that I would get my very best on it.

    Anargrin grinned. 'So, that's why I'm here.'

    Sammil felt his patience wear thin again. 'It would've been Arken, but he's up in Sartarth, taking part in the fifty days of night.'

    The elf glared at Sammil. Every year in the Arctic cold of north Sartarth, the sun was lost to darkness for fifty days; it was a time which drew rogue vampires in droves. So dozens of Hunters and good vampires were sent to protect the people, for a fee, of course.

    'That is a joke,' said Sammil.

    Anargrin shook his head. 'It's good to hear there are a few Jaroaian priests with a conscience out there. I do hope he or she doesn't get in any trouble for hiring us if the priest's superiors find out.'

    'Indeed,' said Sammil, handing Anargrin the dossier. 'Now, I must get back to my other duties, Anargrin. I trust that you are capable of reading this for any more information?'

    Anargrin frowned and reached to take the file, but Sammil pulled it back.

    'Are you sure you are up to this? If you are not, I can put another Hunter onto it. That would make my promise a lie. But it certainly wouldn't be the first, nor last time I have lied to a priest of Jaroai.'

    Before Sammil could react, Anargrin snatched the file from his grasp.

    'I'm up to it,' said Anargrin as he started flicking through it. 'Even if you are mostly sending me on this as a distraction from Emilia's condition.'

    Sammil straightened.

    'Yeah,' said Anargrin, not even looking up. 'I'd thought so.'

    This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/12/28 04:48:37


    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    Anargrin pushed his way through the crowded streets, ignoring his tail; it wasn't hard as they were no threat to him. And he'd the foresight to prepare just this situation, too. Everywhere around the large stone buildings loomed. The streets of ancient dwarven cities built like mazes, designed to be easily defended by only a few soldiers, and built to last. Every building was Spartan and square. In the millennia since Mankind conquered the dwarves, the people of Hamar had tried to force life into the architecture, painting the walls in bright, almost garish colours and hanging streamers overhead. Plants seemed to decorate every window sill. Even dwarves decorated their houses, despite the disrespect it indicated to their ancestors.

    The daylight was on the verge of dying, the lights above dimming to simulate the sunset. Even so, the stream of commuters hadn't abated.

    Anargrin checked his map. It took him a split second to see the crime scene was another block, east.

    The last victim was human, and his body found only a few hours before Anargrin's arrival at the Hunter headquarters.

    That made it the first place to investigate the others. Anargrin just hoped the Rule Enforcers hadn't stripped the crime scene too much, but knowing them... Anargrin couldn't just walk into the Rule Enforcer's precinct. But he needed to look at at least one of the bodies.

    Anargrin sighed. So he needed to infiltrate it, this job was getting more and more complicated.

    He found the alleyway and slipped from the mob down into its depths. The darkness endowed him, and his eyes adjusted in a second. Even before his enhancement by the Ritual, his natural low light vision would've pierced the dark with ease.

    'Okay, Anargrin,' he said. 'Let's just hope you find something that'll quickly and easily lead you to the murderer.'

    Again, Anargrin sighed. It was seldom so simple.

    He inhaled through his nose and extended his senses. As a Hunter, he could sense the magical auras of others. Even those without magical potential had an aura, due to the radiation the world emitted — radiation which seeped into every pore of everyone, everywhere. Even the Halflings gave off one despite being devoid of any magical potential. Well, excluding the Halflings, transformed into original vampires. People with magical potential gave off a stronger aura than ordinary people.

    The priests of Jaroai could sense magical auras too. But Hunters and vampires could hide theirs. Both could reduce their auras, so they seemed normal or disguise them completely. Anargrin's senses were sharper than most. He felt the people who lived in the buildings around him, a good forty or more. Although the aura sense was limited: he couldn't tell emotion or speech, just their rough movement and location.

    It'd saved his arse on countless occasions but had failed him in his last.

    Stinging pain coursed through his chest; he should've seen it coming. He should've known.

    Anargrin shook it away. Now wasn't the time to dwell on that.

    He found the end of the alley and stopped. His gaze wandered over the crime scene.

    No sign of a struggle, no hint of blood; the lack of blood wasn't a surprise; the victim drained of it. In a common crime, the absence of blood usually meant the murder took place someplace else. No sign of a struggle didn't mean much either; even the weakest vampire was stronger than any mortal and most Hunters. No sign of a dragged body, but a vampire could carry a corpse from as far as it wanted with ease.

    Anargrin looked up. Both buildings were twelve stories tall. The vampire could've dropped from the roof from either side and land, without injury. If the vampire had killed somewhere else, he could've carried the body from roof to roof. Even without enhanced strength, the close-knit rooftops of Valtagan were easy to traverse.

    The Hunter sighed and rechecked the dossier. Nothing found on the victims but their clothes. At the time of the report, the Rule Enforcers hadn't identified the latest victim. Just male, white, mid-twenties. The others had already identified and buried, Anargrin even had the details of the families, but that wouldn't help him. If he came to them asking questions and showing his sigil, it might blow his cover.

    Anargrin had read through the dossier numerous times now, trying to find anything connecting the victims, but there was nothing. Their only commonalities were their approximate ages, living in the far northeast of the city and coming from poor families. Height and build varied, especially among the humans.

    'Hello, there,' said a voice behind Anargrin. He didn't move, having already sensed the five auras entering the alley. He'd known about them the second they'd started tailing him, five blocks ago. They were good for simple street thugs but no match for Anargrin's senses.

    'What's a little elfy like you doin' here?'

    Anargrin clenched his teeth. Crime was rife all through the slums of Valtagan, but the odds of being accosted was still smaller than most claim.

    Anargrin turned to them, hands raised in supplication. There were five thugs total; four were big, brutish humans and one: an intimating looking dwarf. The humans towered over the short, slender Anargrin, their scowls almost apeish in aspect. Their stink hit Anargrin's sensitive nose, and he fought the urge to recoil.

    'I-I am not looking for trouble,' he said. 'P-please. I haven't much. You are welcome to take it. Just, please don't hurt me.'

    They laughed, then the one in the lead, their leader Anargrin assumed- punched at the elf's face. To Anargrin's enhanced mind, the man's fist seemed to arc in slow motion, and he fought the urge to dodge and counter. He had to wait for it to connect for what seemed like seconds before it finally connected his cheek.

    Pain blossomed through Anargrin's face, and he stumbled, exaggerating the power of the blow.

    'Gah!' cried Anargrin, clutching at his cheek.

    The thug then grabbed Anargrin by the shirt and shoved him against the wall; making more pain erupt through his back.

    'Now. We know you ain't local,' said the thug, his spittle hit Anargrin's face, and the stench of his breath made the Hunter's eyes water. 'We don't care who ya are. But we care you know us. We own this place; this is our territory. Ya got that, pretty boy?'

    'O-of course, just please don't hurt me again.'

    The thug's answer was a fist bashing into Anargrin's stomach. It knocked the wind from his lungs and bent him double forward.

    He let go, and Anargrin sagged onto his arse, gasping.

    'Take everything,' snarled the thug.

    They took all of Anargrin's gold. Luckily he'd the foresight to only take a little from the Hunter funds, just in case this happened.

    'Nice doin' business with ya,' said one of the thugs as they turned and walked away. Their laughing echoing through the alley.

    Anargrin climbed to his feet and quickly regained his breath.

    'The things I do for my job,' he growled through clenched teeth.

    Anargrin sighed. At least he got something from this. The vampire seemed to be able to hide his tracks fething well. That meant it was, at the very least, experienced.

    He just hoped the gang didn't hold ties to this vampire, or that word of the strange elf hanging about in an alley that not long ago had contained a corpse, would spread too fast.

    It wouldn't spread as fast as news of him taking down a bunch of brigands, though and Anargrin didn't want to kill them. They did what they did in the name of survival.

    Anargrin wasn't going to find anything here. He didn't have a choice; he had to sneak into the Rule Enforcer precinct.

    As he started to leave, a thought occurred to him. What if there was a connection between the victims?

    It was a hunch, mere conjecture, but Anargrin trusted his instincts.

    If he was right, that meant there might be more than one vampire. That meant, after centuries, the Cult had resurfaced.

    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    Anargrin knelt on the roof of a ten-story habitat building, watching the Rule Enforcer precinct across the street. It was almost midnight, and most of the Enforcers had gone home. Only five auras moved through the structure.

    The precinct was six stories tall, with orange tile roofing and small, wooden windows painted the same colour. The walls were yellow sandstone. It was the architecture of the day, warm and comforting. With soft corners and rough surfaces. Ironic, it being a Rule Enforcer precinct.

    Anargrin shivered and pulled the blanket around him tighter, his breath exhaling as steam. The cavern was a sauna compared to the desert, but not even the thick mountain walls could completely hold back the sub-zero temperature outside.

    He didn't know the building's layout, but he knew the official protocol of the Hamarian Enforcers. After midnight they always had a skeleton crew of four, including one of the morticians. From studying the auras, the way they moved, Anargrin guessed the mortician was in the north-west wing on the fifth floor. He also knew they kept the bodies of murder victims for a minimum of two days in the chiller, so the victim was still there.

    The large, oak doors of the precinct's main entrance opened, and a man stepped out. He descended the short marble staircase onto the sidewalk and started north.

    Anargrin looked at his wrist timepiece; it was five minutes past midnight.

    Again, he checked the position of the auras. It was all clear, and Anargrin sidled back and launched into a sprint. He jumped. His guts dropped as he fell. He allowed himself to fall as far as the fifth floor.

    Then he blinked.



    Anargrin found he was in a room made up of large offices, each cordoned off by short varnished wooden walls and windows. The stink of tobacco smoke assailed his eyes and nose.

    The 'blink' ability was exclusive to Hunters. It's exact origins and why only Hunters could do it was a mystery. What was known was that it allowed Hunters instantaneous teleportation over short distances. Five metres to be exact, but there was a 'cool down' of ten minutes before it could be used again. Anargrin had mastered blink beyond any other Hunter. During his decades of retirement, he'd practised and practised it. This constant repetition led him to be able to blink a maximum of ten metres and reduced the cooldown to five minutes. He could also blink with pinpoint accuracy and timing.

    Anargrin extended his senses again, finding the auras of the remaining inhabitants.

    Moving in instinctive silence, Anargrin worked his way through the building. Even without his aura sense, he would've been unmolested.

    It took him about six minutes to find the room with the lone aura, and Anargrin couldn't help grin, his prediction proved true. The sign on the door said: 'Mortician' in bold letters.

    Anargrin pushed his back against the wall, racking his brains on how he should handle this. At times like this, he wished he could use magic. All Hunters were born with magical potential; they needed it to be able to go through the Ritual to become a Hunter. But ever since he was young, Anargrin had struggled with magic; he couldn't use even the most simple of spells. So he'd focused on the arts of swordplay, hand to hand combat and infiltration so he could outperform most other neophytes.

    His blink had cooled down, but what would he do once he blinked in? And even then he didn't know the layout of the room beyond. He grimaced and decided he could no longer be a ghost. He had to take a risk.

    Anargrin knocked on the door.

    'Hello?' called a voice, and Anargrin clenched his teeth. He'd hoped the mortician would just open the door.

    Anargrin knocked again.

    'Hello?' it said.

    On a whim, Anargrin grabbed the doorknob and twisted it as if it was locked.

    'I don't remember locking it. Hold on; I'll be there in a second.'

    The aura seemed to stand and start toward the entrance.

    Anargrin waited until the mortician was right behind the door, then blinked inside, behind the man.

    He was much taller than Anargrin, so the elf struggled somewhat to wrap his arm around his neck. The man didn't have time to jump or cry out before Anargrin dragged him to the floor, and chocked him into unconsciousness.

    'I'm sorry,' Anargrin hissed countless times as the mortician struggled, but he was weak, his hands as soft as cotton balls as he tried to prise Anargrin's arm from his throat.

    While wiping the sweat off his brow, Anargrin got to his feet. He looked down at the man. He didn't deserve this, he was just doing his job, but what choice did Anargrin have? Let him trigger the alarm klaxons?

    He had four minutes before the mortician regained consciousness. Anargrin had made sure the man's unconsciousness wouldn't last a second longer, as any longer it could cause brain damage due to lack of oxygen.

    Anargrin turned and found the big, thick lead-lined door into the chiller.

    He pulled it open and stepped inside. There were six bodies set on steel gurneys in the large, un-lit room. Each hidden underneath a white sheet.

    Shivering in the cold, he began pulling back the cloths from the faces of the cadavers.

    The third was who he was looking for, according to the clipboard at the end of the gurney; his name was Danvel Kylt. He was a plain young human, with long blond hair and the typical pale complexion of Hamar's people. Two small black holes punched into his neck.

    Anargrin slipped out his multi-tool pocket knife and flicked out the smallest blade. He took out a small sample flask, slipped the sheet off the corpse's feet and with careful precision, took a skin scraping off the back of the heel.

    He placed the sample into the flask, screwed it closed then darted for the door.

    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    The old grandfather clock's ticks seemed explosions in the silence. After some minutes, Sammil looked up from the paperwork scattered on his desk. They were in Sammil's large, well adorned and ornate office.

    'The Devanworth Cult?' said the Headhunter.

    Anargrin nodded. 'There are very few connections between each victim but their ages, ages which usually are in line with when magical potential emerges.'

    'Not usually, rarely,' said Sammil.

    Anargrin shrugged. 'Yeah, a fifth of the time, but it explains much. Even if they weren't, they could've gone undetected due to their isolation and the church's disinterest of Hamar.'

    'The Devanworth Cult was wiped out a century ago,' sighed Sammil. 'By you know who.'

    Anargrin flinched and clenched his jaw, attention falling to the floor before he looked back to Sammil from under a hooded brow. 'We only had his word at their destruction. A word we can't trust any more due to his...betrayal.'

    Sammil frowned. 'It wasn't just Kalthasin who took part in that raid. Hunters Debyl, Keril, Somer and Vakti. They corroborated his account.'

    'And all of them are dead,'Anargrin said.

    Sammil stared at Anargrin, his jaw twitching. 'What are you implying? Some conspiracy? You're paranoid. You of all people know how dangerous this job is. Do not be so ridiculous.'

    'I bet...I bet you that that test will come back positive. That young man had magical potential.'

    'Even if he did. It doesn't prove anything.'

    The Devanworth Cultwas sired vampires obsessed with drinking the blood of those with magical potential. Believing that it would activate their own magical potential, but they were outliers. Insane, sired vampires envious of the magical ability of their original cousins.

    Anargrin sighed. 'Yes, there might not be a conspiracy, but that doesn't mean the Cult isn't still active. Or it could be another cult with a similar belief.'

    'All of this is just conjecture. I-'

    Sammil was interrupted by a knock on the door.

    'The results are ready, sir!' called a voice on the other side.

    'Yes, please do come in, Jalek,' said Sammil.

    It opened, and a dwarf entered. He was short, like all dwarves but not stocky. He was almost slender to an elven degree and clean-shaven. He approached the desk in small shuffling steps and handed Sammil a piece of paper.

    'Hi, Anargrin,' said Jalek as he turned and to leave.

    'Hi,' said Anargrin, more interested in the paper. He'd been at the base for a day, waiting for the test to go through. All the time champing at the bit, fearing there would be another victim.

    'Thank you, Jalek,' said Sammil as he started to read. It only took a few seconds for him to frown, sigh and toss it onto his desk. Anargrin smiled.

    'Yes. Alright. It was positive,' said the Head Hunter. 'But this doesn't confirm anything. It could be a coincidence.'

    'A coincidence?' said Anargrin, raising his eyebrows. 'Perhaps, but I doubt it.'

    'It would only be confirmed if you went and tested all of the victims. But they are too far gone. You know what this is? It reeks of desperation.'

    Anargrin shrugged. 'Yes. I won't bother to deny it; it's desperation. This vampire is too good at covering its tracks. Too good for me, perhaps even too good for detective Arken. I've got to try something. I know you're sceptical. I am too, but I've got to do something.'

    'So? What are you going to do?' said Sammil. 'Reveal your magical potential and draw it out? Use yourself as bait for once? You seem to like to do that to others.'

    The elf frowned. 'No, they don't drink the blood of Hunters, thinking us as 'tainted.' Illogical, idiotic, really. We are closer to the original vampires.'

    'Whoever said such a foolish belief would have any logic to it?' said Sammil. 'Just look at the Jaroaian religion.'

    Anargrin smiled. 'Indeed.'

    He started for the exit.

    'Where are you off to?'

    Anargrin paused. 'To do what I always do. Finding bait. Wish me luck.'

    'You'll need more than luck, Anargrin.'

    'I know, but I've got a lot of skill too.'

    He left.

    'Always so arrogant,' sighed Sammil.

    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    Anargrin suppressed his magical presence and, under cover of night, darted from rooftop to rooftop searching for a sign of someone, anyone with magical potential.

    It was all in silence, all instinctive, having done this for nigh on seventy years now his mind couldn't help wander, wander back...

    His view drifted from the grim rooftops of Valtagan to a small cave. Emilia was one second walking in front of him, the next she was flying off her feet and smashing against the cave wall. Then she hit the ground, lifeless and limp. The booming, echoing laughter hurt Anargrin's ears, and like a spectre, the troll emerged from the shadows. It was three metres tall, and its scaly hide was the same shades of brown and grey as the cave walls. Its elongated snout jutted another metre from its hunched shoulders. Its lipless mouth filled with rotting, razor-sharp teeth that stuck out in odd angles. Its large eyes bulged on the top of its head, angling to the sides. Its legs were short to a ridiculous degree- but its arms were almost as long as it was tall. How it'd managed to deceive Anargrin's sharp senses was beyond him.

    In a flash of white light, Anargrin summoned his sword, and to its credit, the troll didn't bandy words as it summoned its goblins. A good two dozen of the hunched diminutive creatures appeared between Anargrin and the troll.

    'Kill,' said the troll and, snarling and hooting, the goblins surged forwards.

    Anargrin was snapped back to reality as he sensed it and he slid to a stop.

    He'd found it, someone with magical potential.

    'Lucky me,' he sneered and started south.




    Anargrin crouched on the rooftop of a three-story habitat block, looking down at the small, ramshackle house across the street. It wasn't a dwarven structure as it was made of wood, wood which was near to rotten, the once green paint cracked and damaged after years of disrepair.

    In his search, he'd also gone south, far south, deep into the south-eastern slums — at least twenty kilometres from the vampire's initial feeding ground.

    The aura wasn't much stronger than average, which indicated an early onset of magical potential. Usually, in children about seven to ten years old, this made Anargrin hesitant.

    Anargrin sighed and blinked back his weariness. It was three in the morning, but he couldn't wait any longer. He tried to steel himself, he had to do this, or else others will die, but if the child died, he would never forgive himself. Sometimes the ends did justify the means. Could this be one of those times?

    Anargrin wasn't sure. He exhaled, there was only one way to find out, and he leapt off the roof.



    The knocking waked solen. His eyelids felt like they'd been glued together and he didn't bother trying to open them.

    'Honey,' said Falin, as she rolled in the bed. 'There's someone at the door.'

    'Just ignore it, they'll go away,' said Solen. 'Who in their right mind would knock at this time?'

    'No one,' said Falin. 'All the more reason to answer, they might need our help.'

    'But what if it's someone who's going to barge in and murder us?'

    'Then you'll stop them,' said Falin.

    'How do you know that?'

    'Because you'll have to. I have faith in you, Solen. Unlike that arsehole, Jaroai.'

    Solen let out a groan, forced his eyes open and slipped out of bed.

    He stepped out into the hallway and flinched in fright when he found Kelth, poking her head from her room. She stared at him, her beautiful, large eyes so much like her mothers were wide with fear.

    'Kelthy,' said Solen. 'Did the knocking wake you up?'

    The little elf girl pursed her lips and nodded.

    'Go back to bed, Kelthy. Your daddy will take care of it.'

    Kelth didn't seem convinced, which upset Solen more than it should've.

    'Bed,' he snapped.

    Kelth slipped into her room, tears in her eyes and slammed the door shut.

    'I'm sorry, Kelthy. I mean to-'

    The knocking interrupted Solen, and he moved on with a growl.

    'I'm coming. I'm coming. Jaroai, damn it.'

    Solen wanted to use worse words but held his tongue.

    He burst into the kitchen, snatched up a knife and approached the door.

    'Yes, yes! I'm here,' Solen yelled through the door. 'What the hell do you want?'

    'I-I'm sorry,' said the voice. 'I'm sorry to have woken you so early, but I need to talk.'

    'Why?' said Solen. 'You're fething lucky I'm not human and need more sleep.'

    'Sorry,' said the voice, and there was a metallic tap on the window beside the door. Solen's heart sank as he saw it was a sheathed sword. A sheathed sword with the sigil of the Hunters on it.




    'Please stop apologising, sir,' said Falin as she took the kettle hanging from over the crackling fire.

    'I'm sorry,' said the Hunter, sitting at the table. 'And please call me Anargrin.'

    'All right, Anargrin,' said Solen. 'What brings a Hunter to our door?'

    'Investigation,' said Anargrin. 'I am investigating into a vampire that has set up shop in the area.'

    'gak? Really?' said Solen. 'We-we haven't heard of any attacks yet.'

    'It hasn't struck yet,' said the Hunter. 'We received an anonymous tip that it's a rather infamous one. One which, for some reason or another, exclusively targets elf children.'

    A surge of fear hit Solen, and he shared a glance with Falin.

    Anargrin sighed. 'And we have further evidence that it's going to target your-'

    Anargrin straightened, his attention over Solen's shoulder and Solen turned to see Kelth in the kitchen entrance.

    'Kelth,' said Solen. 'Go to bed.'

    'A-a vampire?' said Kelth, ignoring Solen, her attention on Anargrin.

    Both Solen and Falin turned to Anargrin, unsure on what to say to the terrified little girl and for a second Solen was shocked to see there were tears in the Hunter's eyes.

    'Yes,' he said. 'I'm afraid so. I'm sorry. You weren't supposed to hear that you must be very scared.'

    Kelth stepped out of the doorway, and to Solen's further shock, there wasn't a hint of fear on the little girl's face.

    'I'm not scared. Are you a Hunter?'

    'I am.'

    'My name is Kelth, Mr Hunter. What's yours?'

    'Anargrin...My name is Anargrin Kelth. It's good to meet you.'

    'You are going to protect us.'

    'I...I'm going to try.'

    'No, you will. I can tell you will, Mr Hunter.'

    'Please, just call me Anargrin, Kelth.'

    ''Kay, Mr Anargrin. I'm going to bed. I'm tired. Night.'

    With that, she slipped back into the hall and out of sight.

    'I...I need for you to stay here, at home for the next few days,' said Anargrin after a long pause. 'I will watch your house for its approach. And stop it.'

    Falin nodded. 'Thank you, Anargrin. We appreciate this, thank you.'

    Solen nodded too. Kelth had faith in this Anargrin. Ever since she was very young, she had a skill at reading people. She was so good that Solen had come to trust her instinct more than his own. Something didn't sit well with Solen. The Hunter's intentions seemed good, but he couldn't help feeling there was something the Hunter wasn't telling them.

    Falin finished making the Hunter's tea and placed it on the table in front of Anargrin.

    'If you ever need anything, please ask,' said Falin.

    'Thank you, ma'am,' said Anargrin as he took a sip of his tea. 'But I should be good.'

    'I appreciate this, I do, Sir Hunter,' said Solen. 'But if we have to stay here, how can we earn a living or get food if we're stuck here? I'll lose my job at the quarry and Falin's...'

    Falin and Solen shared a look.

    'You must understand, Anargrin,' said Falin. 'We can't survive just on Solen's money. I have too...I need too...'

    Anargrin nodded, his eyes watered with sympathy. It made anger well in Solen's guts.

    How could this stranger begin to understand? Begin to know how Solen had to deal with Falin's work night after night? How Solen had to put up with the unwanted knowledge that his beautiful wife was so popular with the clientèle? This Anargrin shouldn't have had any idea, but somehow he did.

    'I do,' he said. 'Don't worry, I will provide you with the supplies you need, for as long as you need. We must keep this secret until this is finished and once it is, I will personally tell your employers the why and how of your absence. This, I swear.'

    Solen nodded; he hoped it'd be enough.

    'Thank you, Anargrin,' said Falin.

    'No,' said Anargrin, smiling. 'Thank you, Falin.'

    Falin smiled back before her attention fell to the floor and all of a sudden, Solen found he liked the Hunter a little less.

    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    Anargrin left the elven couple and headed north. There he subtly spread the rumour of little Kelth's magical potential. The entire time the lump in his throat made it hard to breathe. He didn't want to do this. If he failed, an innocent girl and her family would die. Solen and Falin were kind, genuine people they didn't deserve to such a fate.

    He was playing with their lives. He had to make sure it wouldn't kill them, even if he had to die in the process.

    There were other problems, too. Despite church propaganda, most vampires weren't complete monsters, even those that went rogue could have a set of ethics. Killing young men and women was one thing; a child was another. But many threw out morality altogether, revelling in the hunt and the kill.

    Anargrin wasn't sure which he hoped for.

    Yet another conundrum, was that those rumours of a magical child were going to attract the attention of the church.

    Night had fallen when he arrived back at the house and started to stalk the shadows and the rooftops. An arduous task, it made him wish Emilia was here. Back in his solo days, he had no problem with it. Again he wondered, why had the troll targeted Emilia? Did it know she was a werewolf?

    It could've been an educated guess, that the seemingly innocent teenage girl was hiding something. Trolls were intelligent creatures, so it wasn't without the realms of reality.

    Anargrin had gone against Sammil's order to 'shadow the case.' The Head-Hunter wouldn't be happy, despite Anargrin taking measures to keep his presence quiet. Anargrin wasn't afraid to break the rules. He needed to know the family and have a good idea of the layout of their house. Information easier to obtain if he showed his sigil.

    He regretted it. It would've been easier to use them if he'd kept ignorant, thought of Kelth's family as just a part of the mindless masses.

    Some Hunters would have no problem with that. Some would even let the vampire kill Kelth's family then 'rescue' her and bring her to the nearest coven.

    Anargrin had what was called a strong sense of empathy. It was a strength and a weakness. It allowed him to place himself in someone's metaphorical shoes, understand them and the way they thought. It allowed him to manipulate people. But it made him care.

    Not just that Falin was beautiful and Anargrin always had a foolish weakness for a pretty face. He felt sorry for her, having to sell her body in the name of survival. He felt sorry for Solen who had to live with the knowledge his wife being bedded by other men. He felt sorry for poor Kelth having to be brought up in such poverty.

    He felt sorry for all three for they would soon be separated if they weren't killed.

    Anargrin sighed.

    He could only hope it wouldn't end in tragedy.



    Anargrin had to wait for two days until the vampire arrived.

    It was about two in the morning when Anargrin knelt upon the same hab block he had when he'd first found the family when he saw the tall, gaunt figure stride along the street.

    Anargrin's enhanced vision pierced the dark with ease. The vampire was a once-human male. A handsome man with slicked-back brown hair and a pencil moustache. He was well-groomed, his clothes on par with male fashion trend of the time: a poofy white shirt and tight khaki pants. The vampire's eyes were a slight red, indicating his low light vision. The vampire's pale, gaunt stretched skin was indicative of his kind. It wasn't just that which gave the man away: it was the way he walked, it was a strange, stiff gait. To Anargrin, it was as obvious as day, but the untrained eye wouldn't notice. It was disturbing, a subtle off. The vampire also walked with the hyper-confidence of a seasoned killer.

    Anargrin clenched his teeth and crouched closer to the thatched roof, unsure whether he should thank his luck or curse it. The vampire hadn't even bothered to hide his aura. The vampire's brazen disregard indicated a trap. Anargrin remembered his theory that the Cult might be involved, so he might not be alone.

    This train of thought was gone the second the vampire peeled off the path and began to approach the family's door.

    Anargrin lunged off the roof while summoning his sword in a blaze of white light.

    Then, a few centimetres off the road. He blinked.



    Anargrin reappeared behind the vampire, slashing for the decapitation. In the last millisecond, the vampire knelt, and Anargrin's blade flew through the air. The vampire drew a sword from beneath his coat and spun, cutting diagonally up at Anargrin's stomach. The Hunter leapt out the way and stumbled a metre more in his desperate abandon.

    The vampire smiled and stood.

    'Nice try, Hunter,' he said as he extended his fangs. 'But I am just too good.'

    Anargrin grimaced, and they started to circle each other. The vampire's footwork was impeccable. But what made Anargrin uneasy was the vampire's long sword. It was a beautiful, ornate thing. Its hilt made of gold. There was something very familiar about it, but Anargrin couldn't understand why. It was worn but well maintained, indicating it could be older than even Anargrin. How the vampire got his hands on such a weapon, Anargrin could only guess and none of those guesses boded well.

    That coupled with the vampire's superior strength and constitution...

    Anargrin had underestimated his quarry.

    'Did you think I would not see this for a trap?' said the vampire. 'Did you think me a fool?'

    'Well,' said Anargrin. 'You are here.'

    The vampire laughed. 'Indeed, I am. Then I suppose us both to be fools. But who is more the fool? The fool who stepped into a trap, knowing it to be a trap? Or the fool who set it thinking it would work despite it being so obvious? A trap that has failed.'

    'It hasn't failed yet,' said Anargrin.

    'It will,' said the vampire. 'Once I kill you and feed upon the sweet, sweet blood of the magical elf girl. Oh, how I look forward to it.'

    The vampire lunged, faster than the mortal eye could follow. Anargrin sidestepped the thrust and countered with a cross-slash.

    The vampire leaned beneath it and threw a sidekick at Anargrin's skull. Anargrin tilted aside and slashed vertically upward, forcing the vampire to flow back. Anargrin followed with a diagonal slice. The vampire parried it and riposted into an upward vertical slash. Anargrin slipped aside and darted back of the vampire's stab.

    Again they started to circle, and Anargrin cursed beneath his breath. He didn't know how long he could keep this up. Despite his enhancement, Anargrin was still affected by fatigue and pain, but his opponent was immune to both.

    'I must say that I am impressed,' said the vampire. 'It has been a long, long time since anyone has lasted so long against my blade.'

    Anargrin wasn't surprised.

    'The Devanworth Cult,' said Anargrin.

    The vampire's brow furrowed in bemusement.

    'The what?'

    Anargrin knew then; this vampire had no idea what he was talking about, that he was just one of the freakish few who enjoyed the taste of the blood of those with magical potential. A simpler explanation Anargrin hadn't considered in his foolishness.

    He decided not to elaborate and with a snarl, darted at the vampire, slashing.

    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    Solen awoke with a start, sitting bolt upright in the bed so fast it woke Falin.

    'Did you hear that?' he said.

    'Hear what?' said Falin.

    'The clashing.'

    Solen leapt onto his feet and stormed into the kitchen. He looked out the window and reeled. Two figures fought in the street; they were blurs of unimaginable speed, so fast Solen could barely make out that they both wielded swords. It was the Hunter, battling a tall, pale male human.

    It was the vampire, and it caused cold terror to clasp his heart.

    'Daddy?'

    He spun to find Kelth approaching from the hallway.

    'Kelth. What are you doing awake?'

    'I heard you wake up, dad,' she said and looked out the window.

    'Jaroai,' said Kelth, reeling. 'Is that-that the vampire?'

    Solen didn't answer; he couldn't, he was so in awe. his eyes had adjusted, and he could somewhat follow the fight now. Solin was just a miner; he'd never even seen a sword until this night. He'd heard of the Hunters. That they were skilled and strong, but he never imagined they were that good, that fast.

    What the hell was this Anargrin? He was no normal elf — no normal mortal.

    What the hell was a Hunter?

    Solen knew he should get Falin and Kelth and run out into the night. But what good would it do? That vampire was beyond anything Solen imagined.

    If it won there was no point in running, it would catch them no matter what they did.

    And kill them.



    Anargrin parried yet another killing blow. The parry's timing and precession were perfect; it had to be or else he'd be sent stumbling or worse, disarmed by the vampire's superior power.

    Anargrin sidestepped a thrust, then weaved under a horizontal cut and cursed beneath his breath. He could sense them now. Many of the locals were awake, watching the fight.

    Anargrin danced and darted through a flurry of thrusts, then riposted into a downward, diagonal slice. The vampire attempted to back-peddle, but he wasn't fast enough, and Anargrin cut across his chest. Blackened muscle and black ichor burst from the wound.

    The vampire just laughed and threw a front kick that sent Anargrin stepping. Anargrin had cut the bastard numerous times now, but none would even slow the vampire.

    Anargrin slid from a slash aimed at his leg and parried a stab. He riposted with an upward cut for the vampire's elbow. But the vampire pulled his arm back, and Anargrin missed by less than a millimetre. Anargrin dashed forward, into a horizontal cut. The vampire ducked it and threw a hook punch at Anargrin's throat. Anargrin weaved from its path and cut diagonally upward, sending the vampire reeling back.

    The pause caused the fatigue to hit Anargrin. his instincts screamed he'd been at this for three minutes now, he'd never taken part in such a long duel.

    'Who are you?' Anargrin said.

    The vampire barked out a laugh. 'Do you think I am so foolish that I would give you my name?'

    'What? Are you afraid you'll lose?'

    'I am not going to fall for such petty baiting, Hunter. I am old enough and wise enough, not to. So do not even try.'

    Anargrin frowned, then lunged and cut, causing the vampire to slide back. Anargrin flowed on, into a vertical over-slice the vampire parried. Anargrin ducked the cross-cut counter then sidestepped the vampire's thrust. Anargrin lunged back from the vampire's low slice, then darted away a few metres more.

    He couldn't keep this up much longer, but he needed to last another two minutes.

    The vampire charged into a stab, Anargrin slid aside of it and parried the following horizontal slash.

    Anargrin's counter was a diagonal cut that forced the vampire back again. Anargrin shuffled to gain more space racking his thoughts to figure a way to delay the fight, to live long enough.

    His first thought was to run and hide, but the vampire's vision could pierce the darkness with ease and, even if Anargrin managed it, the bastard might start killing innocents to lure Anargrin from hiding.

    So Anargrin clenched his teeth and held his ground, despite his limbs beginning to ache, his heart leaping in his throat and his muscles feeling like they were made of silk.

    The vampire barked a laugh.

    'Are you tiring, little elf?' the vampire sneered. 'You Hunters are so much better than mortals but yet so very normal. Although there is one thing I do find confusing, you have just used your sword. All you Hunters are supposed to have magical potential, why have you not used it? I know your kind do not use magic often, wishing to hide it from the church. Resorting to it only in times of desperation, but the stench of desperation comes off you like the aura from a priest.'

    Anargrin didn't reply, unwilling to admit his infamous inability to use magic.

    The vampire licked his teeth with a slug-like tongue then without a further word, charged.

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/09/30 06:51:26


    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    Anargrin was one of the greatest swordsmen amongst the Hunters, perhaps the greatest of the day. But in a fight such as this, skill wasn't enough. Anargrin landed wound after wound on the vampire, many lethal to an average person, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't land the decapitating cut or cripple a limb. The vampire was too quick, too cunning.

    They traded slash after slash, parry, riposte. Thrust, slice, cut. Dodging, darting, ducking; all at least dozens of times a second.

    They lunged and leapt; fought from one end of the street to the other.

    Despite the ever-encroaching exhaustion, pain flaring in Anargrin's limbs and every breath a struggle, the vampire didn't land a single blow.

    But Anargrin was too slow to avoid the vampire's kick, he tried to weave under it, but the edge of the vampire's boot caught his shoulder. Blinding pain coursed through his arm and he was sent spinning, writhing to the stone ground.

    Anargrin's vision blurred, but his instinct made him roll, dodging by a hair's width the sword stabbing for his heart.

    Anargrin clambered into a kneel and spun to smash aside a slash. His pain addled mind made him punch out, smashing his fist against the vampire's gut.

    The vampire laughed and backhanded Anargrin across the face. Anargrin saw stars, and he was sent to the ground again, his bottom lip tearing open and agony burst in his cheek.

    'I have to say that I am impressed, Hunter,' said the vampire. 'I must admit that you are better than I at the sword if I were mortal I would be dead many times over. But I am not mortal and all your fighting, all your desperate abandon is for nought. But you should be proud, little elf, it has been centuries since I have been so hard-pressed. So do not despair, you have fought well. You should feel proud, but now it ends. You have failed.'

    The vampire raised his sword.

    Anargrin grinned with bloody teeth. 'I'd like to thank you, vampire.'

    The vampire's brow furrowed. 'Thank me for what?'

    'Thank you for your little pep talk; it gave me the precious seconds I needed.'

    Before the vampire could reply, Anargrin blinked behind him and with a single slash, separated the vampire's head from his shoulders.

    Anargrin stumbled, and he burst out in laughter. It rang out through the street. His laugh wasn't humorous; it was in relief and disbelief that his plan had somehow worked. That such a fight ended in such an anticlimax.

    It took him a few seconds to find his sanity and to realise that to the watchers, he must've seemed like a mad man.

    He shook away the exhaustion and began toward Kelth's house.

    His mission wasn't over yet.

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/11/03 11:21:36


    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    Solen and Falin ran out into the street and helped Anargrin into the house.

    They brought the exhausted, beaten Hunter to the table and Anargrin slumped into a chair.

    'Kelth. Go to bed,' Solen snapped.

    It caused Kelth to flinch, then with tears in her eyes, she stormed to her room.

    'Do you need a healer, Anargrin?' said Falin.

    'No,' gasped Anargrin. 'I'll be fine, just give me some time.'

    Solen and Falin exchanged a look.

    'You're incredible,' said Falin sounding as awed as Solen felt.

    Anargrin laughed. 'No, I'm just a lucky, cheating bastard. But anything and everything to win.'

    Solen and Falin didn't say anything.

    'And not just a cheating bastard, but a lying one too.'

    'What do you mean?' said Falin.

    'I-,' Anargrin paused. 'I wasn't entirely honest with you. I'm sorry.'

    'What are you apologising for?' said Solen. 'You saved us from that vampire. You risked-'

    'In all honesty, you wouldn't have been at such risk if it wasn't for me,' Anargrin said. 'We haven't much time. That vampire was here because I had lured him here. By using your daughter as bait.'

    Solen was unable to say anything, confusion overtaking him.

    'his hunting ground was in the north,' said Anargrin. 'I was assigned to hunt him down and...and during my investigation, I found out that...'

    The Hunter trailed off, looking uncertain. 'That it was likely the vampire was targeting people with magical potential.'

    'I don't understand,' said Falin.

    Anargrin sighed. 'The church claims that, two thousand two hundred and fifteen years ago, when we were conquered and enslaved by the humans, that the avatar of Jaroai took from us the gift of magical potential. That, like much they claim, is a lie. We elves still can have it. The dwarves can still have it. I have it.'

    He paused.

    'Kelth has it.'

    'What?' said Solen.

    Anargrin looked at them with weariness, but it wasn't from the fight.

    'You may think, it isn’t true that if it was true, there would be elven priests. That-'

    'No, Anargrin,' Falin said. 'I believe you. Solen and I have never been churchgoers. Neither of us have believed in Jaroai. And ever since she was born, I had felt there was something special about Kelth, something different.'

    Anargrin's gaze met Falin's, and he nodded.

    'Why?' said Solen, wishing to interrupt it. 'Why then aren't there elf and dwarf priests of Jaroai?'

    'They still take elven and dwarven children,' said Anargrin. 'They took me too, so many years ago now. The church takes then to serve in their main cathedrals and churches, indentured servants as-'

    'As slaves,' said Solen.

    Anargrin's gaze met his and nodded. 'For all intents and purposes, yes.'

    Solen wanted to say that was impossible, that the treaty of Angara had outlawed slavery. But he couldn't, he knew deep down the Hunter was telling the truth.

    Then came the anger.

    'So, you used my Kelth as bait?' Solen said. 'Used us. Risked our lives.'

    Anargrin's attention fell to the floor. 'I did. I'm sorry, I...I...I won't make excuses. You have every right to be angry, but there is something else.'

    'What else?' Solen roared. 'What else could make this worse? How can you be so callous? So ruthless? What the hell is wrong with you?'

    'There is a lot wrong with me,' said Anargrin. 'And I can understand-'

    'No! You cannot begin to understand. Have you ever had a child, Hunter?'

    'No.'

    'Kelth is my life. She is our life. And to know that her life was put in unnecessary danger is maddening. To know-'

    'Please, Solen,' said Falin. 'I am angry, too. But please let him talk.'

    Solen sneered, his anger at Anargrin replaced by anger at Falin. But he stayed silent, and he folded his arms, glaring at Anargrin.

    Anargrin sighed. 'I'm sorry, but it gets worse, and again, it's all my fault. To draw in the vampire, I had to spread the rumour of Kelth's magical potential. Rumours which I'm sure have caught the attention of the church.'

    There was a pause.

    'They will be here soon,' said Anargrin. 'Here to take Kelth and-'

    'Force her into slavery,' said Solen.

    'Yes,' said Anargrin. 'But I can save her.'

    'How?' said Falin.

    'If you would allow it, I can take her. Take her to the Hunters where she will receive an education, where she won’t be scrubbing floors for the entirety of her long life. A future-'

    'What, to become like you?' said Solen. 'I knew. I knew there was something you weren't telling us right from the start. Get the hell out.'

    Anargrin looked at Solen with tearful eyes; then with one smooth movement, he got up.

    'I'm sorry,' he said and went to leave but paused in the door. 'I might be wrong, the church mightn’t know, they may not come. For your sake, I hope they don't.'

    Then he left.


    While blinking back his tiredness, trying to ignore his stiff, achy limbs and his throbbing bruises, Anargrin waited and hated himself. He’d hoped they'd allow him to take poor Kelth but knew they wouldn't so, when he left, he'd hidden his aura, climbed onto the hab block roof and watched.

    He’d watched as Solen and Falin went to bed. If he'd just told the truth from the start, it might've been different.

    But it was too late for that now, so he had to resort to manipulation again. He didn't want to, but he wasn't going to let Kelth be forced into slavery.

    So he waited and didn't have to for long before he sensed the priest's powerful presence as he approached from the north.

    Anargrin watched as the young priest in his gaudy robes with his staff with an eight-pointed star at its tip, stalked into view. The zealotry, the arrogance seemed to radiate from his every pore, somehow even stronger than his incredible magical aura.

    Anargrin clenched his teeth; he didn't like this.

    Not at all.

    The priest smashed his fist on the door with unnecessary violence.

    Due to them being already awake, it didn't take long for Solen to open the door.

    'What do you want?' demanded the elf, he was trying to sound defiant, but there was fear in his tone. The miner's courage had impressed Anargrin, and he couldn't help be impressed even more.

    'That is no way to address a holy man of Jaroai,' snarled the priest. 'Let me in.'

    He shoved Solen aside and stormed inside.

    Anargrin grimaced, then lunged into the open air.

    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    Falin stepped into the hallway and was almost elbowed off her feet by the priest for her efforts.

    Solen followed him, his eyes met Falin's and they went after the priest, into Kelth's room.

    They found the priest trying to pull Kelth from under her bed.

    'You are coming with me.'

    Kelth just screamed.

    'Leave her alone,' Falin yelled.

    The priest rounded on them.

    'Get your child under control.'

    'No,' said Falin. 'Get out of my house. Leave my daughter alone.'

    The priest laughed. 'You cannot order me around, elf. I am your better. And you will get your daughter under control. Now.'

    'Why?' demanded Falin, she knew of the powers of the priests of Jaroai and fear thumped through her, but she fought it. 'Why do you want to take my daughter?'

    'You do not need to know, elf. You need to accept that I am taking your daughter. Now help me.'

    Solen slipped past and stood between the priest and Kelth's bed.

    'You won't take my daughter,' he yelled. 'I don't care if you're the avatar himself. Now leave us alone.'

    The priest seemed taken aback by Solen's defiance as he gaped for a few seconds before rage burst through his youthful features.

    'Leave you alone? Leave you alone? You think that you, an elf, have the right to demand anything from me? I speak the word of Jaroai! I am his will made manifest. You will show me the respect I deserve. Get out of my way.'

    'No, I will not let my daughter be forced into slavery.'

    The priest straightened.

    'What did you just say?'

    'I-,' Solen stammered.

    'What did you just say?' the priest roared, and fire erupted up his arms.

    Solen stumbled back, and Falin threw herself at the priest's back. Somehow the priest knew she was coming and he backhanded Falin to the floor. Solen snarled and punched the priest in the face. The priest reeled then smashed his staff into the side of Solen's skull, sending him sprawling.

    'I do not know how you know that, but it doesn't matter. I was hoping that I would not have to do this. But, if needs must.'

    Then the fire blazed from the priest so strong it was almost white, the heat was horrific, but Falin didn't look away. Despite the pain, she climbed to her feet and threw herself at the priest again; she didn't care that he would kill her, what mattered was Kelth.

    Falin screamed as the priest flourished his arm, concentrated fire roaring along its length.

    The tip of a sword burst from the priest's chest in a spray of blood, causing Falin to stop. The blade slid out of the priest's torso and with wide, bulging eyes, he fell to his knees, revealing Anargrin, his bloody sword held at his side.

    Anargrin stared at Falin with tearful eyes as the priest fell flat on his face and blood began to pool on the floor.

    'I'm sorry,' said Anargrin. 'I'm so, so sorry.'



    Falin ran to Solen.

    'Solen. Solen,' she cried as she knelt over him, fighting back the tears. She tilted his head to see the ragged, bloody wound in his skull. his eyelids flickered, and he groaned.

    'Oh Jaroai,' she gasped.

    'Mummy?' said Kelth. 'Is daddy going to be alright?'

    'I don't know,' said Falin.

    'Put pressure on the wound,' said Anargrin.

    Falin rounded on him. 'Why do you care? This is because of you.'

    Anargrin's gaze fell to the floor. 'I know...I didn't want this, and now it's worse. Not all priests were like this one, Falin. I was hoping this would end peacefully. The church has much power, even in Hamar. You must leave. You must run.'

    'What?'

    'You have to leave before they get word. They will track you down. I can help you with that. We can help you with that.'

    'So you want us to leave? Abandon our lives! Just like that?' said Falin. 'Are you insane?'

    'I don't want you too. But if you want to live, you must. The Hunters can arrange a new identity for you, in a new place. We will provide you with funds and a new home-'

    'And what about Kelth?' said Falin, though she already knew.

    'You...you need to let us take her,' said Anargrin. 'If you don't, I assure you the church will come again, and they will force her into slavery for the rest of her long years.'

    'It...It would have been just a matter of time before they found her, wouldn't it?' said Falin.

    Anargrin nodded. 'Even if you refuse, you must come with me back to our headquarters. There Solen will get the medical attention he needs. Please. I beg you.'

    Falin sighed, looked at poor Solen then to Kelth.

    Kelth's tear-filled eyes met hers, and she gave Falin a nod, then Falin enveloped her in a hug. Kelth sobbing into Falin's chest.

    Falin held Kelth with the ferocity only a mother could and turned back to Anargrin.

    'You win, Hunter,' she said. 'I hope you're happy.'

    Anargrin's gaze said he was anything but.

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/10/20 21:03:50


    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    For hours Anargrin sat next to Emilia's bed and waited. His mind was a whirl with thoughts, his eyes wanting to shut every second.

    'Anargrin?' said the voice which forced him awake although he hadn't known he was sleeping. In a millisecond he was on his feet, sword summoned to his hand, its edge a millimetre from Emilia's throat. Emilia didn't even flinch, having been long used to Anargrin's rampant paranoia.

    'Sorry,' said Anargrin, and sheathed his sword as he sat back down.

    'Need...water,' she said, her usually soft voice croaking from her throat.

    Anargrin nodded, picked up the jug on the table beside him and poured her a glass.

    Emilia drank it down, requested more and Anargrin refilled it.

    'You seem upset,' Emilia said as she sipped.

    Anargrin fought the sudden onset of tears.

    'I can read you like a book, Anargrin,' said Emilia. 'I've known you for long enough that I can see through your training at hiding emotion.'

    'I'm not really trying, in all honesty,' said Anargrin.

    'How long have I been out?'

    'About a week.'

    Emilia sighed. She was almost fifty-eight but still seemed a pretty girl in her late teens, her features so soft she seemed almost exaggerated in her youthful femininity. The 'gift' of lycanthropy had extended her lifespan. Most would label it a curse, but she thought it a gift. Only Emilia could see the bright side in everything. Her long blonde hair fell to her slender shoulders in ringlets, and her large bright blue eyes gazed at him sidelong with sympathy.

    'What's wrong, Anargrin?' she said.

    He told her everything, right from after the troll ambushed them. It all came out in a flood.

    Once he finished, there was a long silence.

    'Wow,' she said.

    'I ruined their family. I stole their daughter,' said Anargrin. 'Was it worth it?'

    Emilia frowned. 'I know it's hard, Anargrin. But you killed the vampire, stopping it from ever killing any more innocent people and that little girl isn't going to be forced into slavery-'

    'I know that Emilia, I do. It's just that it happened in the first place. We've done this for centuries, taking the children kidnapped by the church. 'We rescue the kidnapped' we claim. But after this...After this, it just doesn't seem right. Her mother and father loved her so much, Emilia. Her mother loved her so much that she was willing to sell her body to provide for her. Why? Why is it that she had to be ripped from her family? To be forced into becoming a neophyte in a coven or into indentured servitude for the church? It isn't fair; it isn't right.'

    Emilia just stared at him.

    'We don't rescue the kidnapped, Emilia. We kidnap the kidnapped.'

    'And what about you?' said Emilia. 'If the Hunters hadn't taken you; you wouldn't have been there to take down that vampire. You wouldn't have saved me from those werewolves. That Kelth girl would've been forced into spending the rest of her centuries of life toiling endlessly at one of their cathedrals.'

    Anargrin sighed and hung his head into his hands. 'I was rescued. But that's me. To the other children, to Kelth, perhaps, not so much. All because we were gifted with the curse of magical potential. Are we the good guys, Emilia? Really?'

    'Yep,' said Emilia without hesitation.

    'Why?'

    'Because you are fighting for a day, that it will no longer happen. So that people with magical potential can be free. You know what'd happen if the Hunters stopped? It'd mean the church would have even more power. Every country, not just Camaria and Iritain, would still be executing non-believers. gak. I doubt the elves and dwarves would have ever been freed. You are the one always spouting the virtues of logic and reason. And that stuff's just logical.'

    'Just because it's logical, doesn't mean it's ethical, Emilia.'

    Emilia sighed and nodded. 'Yep. Yep. Maybe so. But it's a necessary evil, Anargrin. I don't like it either, but what else can we do? Somehow kill every priest, even the good ones? Then murder everyone else who disagrees with us? That's most of the people on the continent, you know. If not, somehow force the people to change their hearts and minds overnight?'

    There was a long pause.

    'So...so, the end justifies the means, then?' said Anargrin.

    Emilia pursed her lips and shrugged. 'Maybe, hopefully. We'll see if it does, one day.'

    Anargrin frowned. 'If we manage to live long enough.'

    Emilia rolled her eyes and sighed, but in good humour. 'Yes, Anargrin. If we live long enough.'

    Anargrin didn't say anything, she was right, but it still seemed like they were kidnapping the kidnapped. Forcing children into a life they might not want.

    'I'm sorry, Emilia,' he said.

    'Sorry for what?'

    'Sorry that I didn't detect the troll's ambush. I should've seen it coming.'

    Emilia shrugged. 'And I should've smelled it out, but we were only midway through our investigation, and neither of us predicted the troll would go on the offence so quick. It was both our failing. I'm just glad neither of us was killed. No one is perfect, Anargrin. And least of all you.'

    Anargrin laughed for the first time in days. 'You keep saying that and it might one day come true.'

    'If you were perfect, I wouldn't be able to kick your arse.'

    'What? Even in werewolf form, you don't stand a chance.'

    'Alright,' said Emilia. 'Let's go the training cages now and see-'

    She started to get up but stopped with a pained hiss.

    'Perhaps...a little later, then,' said Anargrin.

    'Perhaps so,' sighed Emilia.

    They laughed, but it did nothing to abate the rolling in Anargrin's guts. He hoped that Solen and Falin were going to be happy in their new life.

    But he doubted it.

    'You know how you could make up for missing the troll?' said Emilia.

    'I thought we were both taking responsibility for that?'

    'Hey. You didn't get your noggin bashed into a wall, Anargrin. You're taking a bit more, I think.'

    Anargrin sighed. 'Okay. And let me guess, you want to go shopping, and for me to carry all your blasted bags.'

    Emilia grinned. 'Yep.'

    Anargrin sighed, but he still couldn't help smile, even as another thought hit him. A thought that sent icy, stinging shivering up his spine.

    Emilia was correct, but that was just what the Hunters believed was right.

    But weren't the church just doing the very same?

    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    The Hunter Arken is hired by an aristocrat to investigate into a town under his rule which has cut off all communication with the outside world. What he finds is beyond mortal comprehension.


    The second he phased into reality, Arken fell. He let out a yell, hit mud and slipped onto his side.

    In the next split second, he was on his feet and had taken in his surroundings. Countless locals stood, watching him with undisguised surprise. The entire church had been gutted. And at its epicentre was a huge, strange cone-shaped thing, made from a material Arken had never seen before. It was half-built, scaffolding surrounding it, and it crawled with workers. Under it was a hole in the earth, at least twelve metres in diameter with a wooden walkway circling into its depths.

    He had finally found the elves and dwarves. They made up the majority of the workers. They were malnourished and dead-eyed with exhaustion. Their stench hit Arken. It made him reel and his eyes water.

    'How did you get in here?' demanded a balding middle-aged man.

    Arken couldn't begin to think of a reply and they started to advance on him, their eclectic tools raised.

    He raised his hand to summon his sword, but some instinct stopped him. Something wasn't right, the glazed looks in their eyes, the way they moved. It was almost as though it was against their will.

    'My name is Arken,' he said raising his hands in supplication. 'I am a Hunter sent to help you. I am not your enemy.'

    They didn't reply, just continued on.

    Then they charged.

    The first to reach him was a young, big burly human, who swung his shovel at Arken's head. Arken darted under it with ease and his sidekick smashed into the man's ribs. The crunch was wince-inducing and the man flew into two other locals, sending them to the dirt.

    Arken parried the arm of a swinging hammer and his leopard fist uppercut into the soft skin beneath the malnourished elf's jaw. Arken's backfist cracked in the cheekbone of a dwarf and his front kick crashed into the face of a human as she drew back for a hook.

    To Arken they seemed to move in slow motion, but it wouldn't take long for them to surround and overwhelm him.

    A human threw a wild hay-maker, so telegraphed it was laughable. Arken caught it with both hands, broke the man's elbow, then spun and flung him into the human trying to flank the Hunter then the four other locals behind him.

    Arken's round kick sent two attackers crashing to the mud. He followed it with a front kick which broke a man's jaw and sent him flying, writhing back.

    A female elf threw a clumsy kick which Arken back-stepped and a dwarf threw himself at Arken with a roar. The dwarf got an elbow in the face for his trouble, then a back fist to the cheek. Arken felt the zygomatic bone shatter.

    Arken blocked a punch from the elf, then ducked a humans hay-maker. He kicked the second attacker's legs out from beneath him. Arken's knife hand smashed against the elf's windpipe, then he shoved him away.

    Two large humans rushed him, but Arken slipped aside and tripped one. The man stumbled and bashed into the wall with a cry.

    Arken would've laughed if he didn't have to tilt aside a shovel thrusting for his face. Arken grabbed it and tore it from his grasp, before sending the attacker to the ground with a sidekick to the guts. The flat of Arken's new shovel clanged against the spine of a human who was in the midst of punching, then bashed across the back of a female elf's neck.

    None had combat training, few throughout the continent did and even fewer knew how to fight as a group, to utilise their numbers. But they were learning and soon would start attacking in more than just pairs. Not just that, but he couldn't keep this up forever.

    Using the shovel like a quarterstaff, Arken broke a woman's nose with a jab of the handle and swung it low to take a charging elf off his feet. He parried a man's swinging hammer with the haft then spun the shovel overhead and bashed it on top the local's skull. A female dwarf kicked for Arken's shin, Arken danced away then swept out the shovel, smashing her back.

    Arken twisted the shovel, so its edge gouged deep into a man's elbow in mid punch. The human didn't have time to cry out before Arken's hook kick threw him into the crowd, sending many writhing and reeling.

    He didn't sense it, but instinct shrieked it and he threw himself to the dirt a split second before the lightning coursed through the crowd, killing countless locals on its way to him. 

    A millisecond later Arken was on his feet and had located the lightning's source. An old man in plain grey clothes, his raised hand smoking and stood near the hole.

    How hadn't he sensed the attack? No priest nor Hunter, nor original vampire could hide their aura when using magic. That wasn't possible.

    'What the hell?' breathed Arken and the pause caused the weariness to hit him. Then came the hissing, the hissing which erupted through his ears. Pain coursed through his head. It caused him to stagger and clutch at his skull.

    'Surrender, Hunter,' the old man bellowed, his hand still raised.

    Arken couldn't reply as he tried to shake it all away. His limbs seemed to leaden and his vision began to blur.

    'We do not want any more violence,' said the man as he started to approach. 'I do not wish to kill any more of my people and do not wish to kill you. Your skill is great, you will be a great asset.'

    Arken fought to keep his feet, his brain throbbed and blood streamed from his nose.

    'What? Who?' Arken managed through teeth clenched so tight he couldn't help fear they'd crack. The crowd began to close on him.

    'Are you wondering who I am, Hunter?' said the old man. 'I was once a man who dedicated himself mind and soul to the light of Jaroai. But I and all of us have seen it as the falsehood it is. That it is a lie.'

    Arken roared, summoned his sword and exploded into a charge. Despite the pain in his head and his aching limbs, in a split second he was behind the priest, his blade held an inch from the priest's throat.

    The priest gasped and froze.

    Arken grinned. 'Tell your pawns to step down. Now.'

    'This will get you nowhere, fool.'

    'If you don't do it, you will never get anywhere, ever again.' Arken emphasised this by edging the sword closer to the priest's neck, causing him to flinch.

    The locals were approaching. They didn't show any fear for their leader, just set determination.

    'How?' said the priest. 'How are you able to resist?'

    'Resist, what?' growled Arken, the buzzing was getting worse. 'Make...them stand down. Or I'll give you another smile.”

    The priest smiled and said a word in a language Arken had never heard before and as one the advancing mob stopped, their heads drooping forward.

    'I suppose it doesn't matter,' said the priest. 'You will give in to it, eventually.'

    'What is 'it'? What's down the hole?' Arken snarled, shaking his head again. 'Tell me!'

    'Why would I tell you, Hunter?' said the priest. 'When I can show you.'

    The first chapter will be uploaded on November the 11th

    Here it is.

    This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/11/11 06:28:21


    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    Lol just typed this up over a couple of weeks for fun. I really enjoy writing their interactions as they're the best of buds and their interaction in my upcoming novel The Angaran Chronicles: The Underside, is one of my favourite scenes to read and write. Would've made a new thread, but it's so short it'd be a waste. So please enjoy!


    Arken smiled, leaned back in his leather chair and swivelled side to side slightly.

    'Anargrin,' he said as his gaze raised to the ceiling in thought. 'Who do you think would've won?'

    'Who would've won what?' said the elf, by contrast, Anargrin sat hunched in his chair as relaxed as a brick wall. His eyes fixed down on the carpet.

    'Between us, in a fight, I mean. Before we met, in our youths.'

    'At what age, exactly?'

    'Oh, I don't know, old friend, when we were twenty-four, twenty-five about, I suppose.'

    It was Anargrin's turn to raise his gaze. 'Me.'

    Arken couldn't help scoff. 'That was a quick answer, Anargrin. How do you figure that?'

    Anargrin shrugged and looked at the floor again. 'I was nearing the…end of my Hunter apprenticeship at that time. You were just finishing your tenure as warrior-Prince having just defeated your half-brother…?'

    'King Kolten,' said Arken. 'Right bastard he was, both literally and figuratively.'

    Anargrin smiled. 'I suppose that's one thing I have over you; I wasn't born a bastard.'

    Arken shrugged. 'You still haven't answered my question, Anargrin.'

    Anargrin pursed his lips and snatched his glass of whiskey off Arken's desk and took a sip. 'You were a soldier, a commander of men, not just that but unenhanced, mortal men and as I understand it you had to hold back your full...potential as to not give away the fact that you weren't exactly normal, am I right?'

    'Indeed,' said Arken as he took a small sip of his drink.

    'Well, I'm sure you've figured out where I'm going with this…'

    'Let's say I haven't, Anargrin and humour me, please.'

    'By that time I'd been an apprentice vampire Hunter for a good five years, I'd slain many an unnatural enemy not just vampires but trolls and in not just single combat, but many others. I had even defeated a few rogue Hunters that were much older than me. I had much more experience than you in fighting and killing unnatural beings and not just that fighting in small scale one on one combat, both in hand to hand and the blade. Unlike you, I knew my limits in my ability as a Hunter and an Assassin. I was thought to be one of the "rising stars" of the time for good reason, Arken. Especially because Malidil was far past her prime despite surviving The Ritual so I didn't have a master to rely on when things went off badly. That's why. Don't get me wrong she was a superlative swordswoman and had an amazing head on her shoulders and many of the plans we pulled she'd thought of. Still, I had to perform much more heavy lifting than many Hunter-apprentices before or since, without the crutch of magic.'

    Anargrin smiled and sipped his drink.

    Arken smiled back.' Some would think you were being arrogant or boastful, then.'

    Anargrin just pursed his lips and shrugged.

    Arken shrugged too. 'And some would think you have spent a lot of time thinking about this, but you just came up with it then, didn't you?'

    'Yes and no,' said Anargrin. 'When I first heard about you, "The King who is a Hunter" I would've liked to test my skill against yours.'

    'Indeed, Anargrin. Ah, but you are coming from this with one hell of an assumption.'

    Anargrin's eyes widened. 'Assumption? Of what?’

    ‘You assumed that you would know of my true capability as a Hunter, and no one knew I was a Hunter until I revealed myself to them at the beginning of the rebellion against me.’

    The elf-Hunter frowned. ‘Yes, I suppose…’

    Arken raised his palm, and a ball of light rose to float above it a few millimetres. ‘And on top of that, while I have never been the best at it, I can use magic, and blink, so…’

    ‘You’d take me by surprise,’ said Anargrin skulling back the remnants of his whiskey then shaking his head. ‘Assuming you even see me coming.’

    ‘This is a hypothetical fight, Anargrin,’ said Arken. ‘A “fight,” which already means that I have “seen you coming”.’

    Anargrin rolled his eyes and sighed. ‘Yes, alright. “Know your enemy” is a core tenant of the Hunters, and for a good reason. But if I did know of your abilities, I would win.’

    ‘Ah! You would “likely win” nothing is certain, remember?’

    ‘Well that goes for your hypothetical that I don’t know about your abilities, too and that assumes you know that I’m a Hunter, too. So…’

    ‘Ah! But that means you would be far more likely to underestimate me than I underestimate you.’

    ‘Yes, but what if I was hired to assassinate you-’

    Arken frowned. ‘But-’

    ‘Yes, I know we wouldn’t have accepted such a contract, but what if we did, hypothetically. What if this was an alternate universe version of you who, for some reason, intended to exterminate the elves and dwarves in Hamar so I was sent to kill you, okay? Okay, anyway, what if I infiltrated your army and studied your abilities and figured out that you were a Hunter-’

    ‘But they wouldn’t have sent you as you were a Hunter-apprentice still. I would have been a too high profile of a target.

    ‘Yes, but what if they did, then-’

    ‘You would either report this back to the Head-Hunter at the time so you’d get a Black-Ops group or you’d do it in a way which I’d never have seen coming, making sure there would never be a fight in the first place!’

    Anargrin frowned, stared into middle-distance, then glanced around while tapping his finger on Arken’s desk.

    ‘L-lets...just talk about something, eh?’ he said.

    Arken nodded, and silence hung in the air.

    ‘Nice whiskey’ said Anargrin.

    ‘You know I only get the best.’

    ‘Uhhh.’

    ‘What does “uhhh” mean?’

    ‘Is it, though?’

    Arken sighed.

    This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/12/14 10:48:28


    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    I write this at the behest of a colleague of mine. I am a man of secrets so penning this to paper is anathema to me- so much it almost hurts.

    Writing this to me is akin to clinging to the past. I believe what has been having been. The past is something to be remembered and learned from, not clung to or looked upon with foolish nostalgia. I try to keep up with the times; I wield a Stegran MK IV pistol, listen to the radio and know how to drive an internal combustion automobile.

    I am unsure of where to start. I shall ask Raleas; it was her idea that I write this so she will have a sense of my past.

    Raleas told me to start by explaining who and what I am, then starting from the start. She also said to me that I always overthink things. Such is the soldier mentality, I suppose, and it is one of the reasons I hold her in such high regard. Or is it because she's human? Raleas is truly what the kids today would term 'a classy gal.'

    My apologies; I am meandering. Although I don't think anyone would want to read the ramblings of an old fool.

    My name is Anargrin, but my birth name is Altansar Railsborough. My parents had told me time and time again; they had named me after some great elf hero who had fought the humans during the 'holy war.'

    It was from them; I suppose that I learned not to dwell in the past. Forever they were bitter at humanity for conquering us, enslaving us. Still, my parents worshipped the human god, Jaroai. In who's name, the humans enslaved the dwarves and us.

    Their hypocrisy was quite beautiful.

    I am not just an elf but a hunter as well. The title 'hunter' was like everything my organisation does is calculated, thought through when we were founded just under five hundred years ago. It is used to mislead the general public, to make them believe that we are only mercenaries that travel from town to town hunting and killing vampires.

    But in reality, we are much, much more. Over my one hundred and seventy-year career, I have been a spy, an assassin, a diplomat, saboteur, investigator, dishwasher.

    Kidnapper.

    Yes, in our long, secret war with the church of Jaroai and the countries of the continent, we must stoop so low.

    I will always remember when I was kidnapped like too many before and too many since.

    For you see, I was born with the curse of having magical potential (although it turned out I was one of the worst at magic in generations, but I digress) So one night, when I was fifteen, without warning, a priest of Jaroai and three soldiers busted down our door.

    We were in the midst of dinner with my parents when they ripped me off my chair and hauled me outside, kicking and screaming. All my mother and father did was watch, and I don't blame them. What could they have done? The soldiers were armed and armoured. The priest could wield light and fire magic.

    Like many an angry, rebellious elf youth, I fought and fought. It took five soldiers to dump me into the carriage. I was lucky they didn't just kill me for my trouble.

    Even then, we knew of what we cynically call now: 'The Kidnapping Convoys.' So I was confused about why they took me and was even more confused after seeing there were dwarves amongst the other children. The propaganda the church still spews is that once the humans had taken the elves and dwarves land, their holy leader, the so-called 'avatar of Jaroai', had forever taken 'the gift of magic' from us for our 'evil' and 'wicked ways.'

    This is a lie; one must have magical potential to go through the Ritual to become a Hunter. One which is still believed by the populace, which just completely confounds me. But we use this lie to its fullest.

    After they rounded up all the children in my village with magical potential, our carriage, along with the dozens of soldiers in escort, left.

    I was born in a small village in northwest Camaria. A nation or a realm as they'd been called back then that borders the vampire nation of Valandri. This Camaria is a place of paranoia, the worst theocracy on the continent. To this day, we Hunters have to keep saving non-believers and homosexuals from execution under Camarian law. But despite this, what Camaria is most infamous for, is its roads.

    It's terrible, terrible roads. Many countries on Angara have upgraded to gravel (get it, upgraded? Because you grade a road?) Hell, even Amartis, one of the poorest nations that are under the thumb of ruthless drug cartels, have done it! But you must understand this was when the sword and bow ruled the battlefield. When the horse-drawn carriage was the height of transport and before suspension was even a thought. So I will forever remember the sickness which roiled through me. It was so bad it made me forget the anger at the injustice; it even made me forget how much I missed my parents.

    Perhaps. Perhaps, that is why they leave their roads in such disrepair? So to distract the kidnapped children? Or perhaps I am overthinking things again?

    Sorry. I was awake and trying not to vomit when the hunters struck.

    It was just after nightfall, and I was awake when it started. I saw as much as I could through the opening in the back of the carriage. The battle didn't last long; it would be a stretch even to call it a battle. It was more akin to a slaughter. Most of it was a blur, not even my eyes could follow, but I did see the death.

    I saw a soldier decapitated.

    I saw a priest's neck impaled.

    I saw another soldier's disembowelment.

    It was not something someone so young should see, but I wouldn't look away. I couldn't look away.

    Despite being outnumbered more than ten to one, the Hunters defeated the escort without one casualty, but there was a reason for that. They were lead by a human, a human who happened to be an original vampire. His name was Kalthasin, and he is to this day one of the most powerful mages on the continent.

    Assuming he was still alive. We do not know what happened to him since he turned traitor. Since he murdered my mentor, Malidil. A woman who was like a mother to me in front of me in cold blood. I still do not know why he spared me; perhaps I will know one day. I know that he is out there, somewhere.

    Anyway, I digress again. It was Kalthasin's lightning that vaporised soldier after soldier. It was Kalthasin who redirected a priest's fire blast back at him. Jaroai! That poor priest's screams will stay forever in my memory! It curdled my blood and savaged my ears so badly they were in agony for hours after!

    It was Kalthasin's magic that caused the convoy to stop, allowing for the ambush.

    Once the 'battle' was done, the hunters and Kalthasin took us, terrified children, into the forest, and after a long, exhausting day of walking, we reached a coven, which was my home for the next ten years.

    So that is one of our tasks. We kidnap the kidnapped. Ask any Hunter, and most will remember their abduction, even after centuries. For me, though, I term it 'rescuing,' it didn't take me long to learn my fate if I had been taken under the church's care. One of the reasons the lie of dwarves and elves lacking 'the gift of magic' perpetuates is that there are only ever human priests. What they do is force us into indentured servitude. Never give us an education or anything. We just live out our long lives scrubbing, or cooking, or cleaning or worse.

    The people and the church believe the children are taken for the vampires to feed on because they enjoy the blood of those with magical potential more than normal people. And for some vampires, it is true.

    We allow that lie to go on for obvious reasons. But in the coven, I was given an education. I was taught how the world works.

    I was taught how to think, not what to think.

    Over the decades, I have taken part in many kidnappings. Everyone took weeks or even months of planning, especially in Camaria.

    These kidnappings are vital to our efforts. While we will never be able to take every convoy, and not every child will be able to become a Hunter. It is one less who will be forced into slavery or to becoming a priest.

    Sometimes, this is not the case. We have encountered children with magical potential before the church does. It's rare, though; there are chapels of Jaroai that are almost everywhere, but once it happened to me.

    It was about thirty years ago. I was in the capital of Hamar- investigating into rumours of a rogue vampire taking up residence in the slums. In those days, it was just me and the werewolf: Emilia working together. But she had been severely injured in her human form during the last mission, so I had to go alone.

    All Hunters are trained to sense the magical auras. Every being gives off an aura, but those with potential theirs are far stronger. One of the reasons we go through the Ritual is to allow us to repress our aura either to make us look like ordinary people or to give off no aura at all, which is a huge advantage to have over the priests of Jaroai who lack it completely. Too bad vampires have the same ability. And that was how I came across a young elf girl named Kelth.

    Hamar is one of the most secular countries on the continent, and neither one of her parents were believers, so she never attended church. Which was one of the reasons Kelth slipped under their detection. Kelth's mother and father were poor but are still amongst the kindest people I've ever met. They didn't even mind when I told them I was a Hunter. I dearly wish I could remember their names.

    You may recall I mentioned earlier that some vampires enjoy the blood of those with magical potential more? Well, that is true, and I am ashamed to say I spread the rumour of her magical potential.

    In other words, I used her as bait.

    I only had to wait two days before one night, the vampire was at their door, and I struck. Too bad I underestimated my quarry. It turned out later he was a three-hundred-year-old once-human named Jerod. He had gone rogue two hundred years before, to have lived so long that meant he was canny and saw my trap for what it was.

    I used a technique we hunters know once we've gone through the Ritual. We call it 'blink'; it allows us to teleport five metres or less instantaneously. We can even go through walls with it. But it does have some setbacks; we cannot do blink if someone else is holding us, nor can we do it in small, confined spaces or if any of our limbs are tied. It also has a 'cooldown' time of ten minutes, but I am better at it than most.

    Despite this, Jerod saw me coming. Before being sired, he was a member of a king of Everdeen's honour guard. So his skill with the sword was exceptional even before gaining two hundred years of experience. What was meant to be a quick kill turned into a desperate fight for my life.

    Jerod had weight, height, strength and reach over me. I was quicker, and my skill with the blade exceeded his, I lost count of how many times I managed to cut him, but that meant little as he was immune to pain and couldn't even bleed out. Our battle took up the length and breadth of the street, and many of the locals watched us, although none of their eyes could follow the inhuman speed of our fight.

    It lasted five minutes, which is a ridiculous length of time for a sword fight. In plays and those motion pictures they have nowadays, you see fights lasting upward of ten or even twenty minutes, but in reality, they only last a few seconds. It left me beaten, battered, bleeding and exhausted. Jerod, being immune to fatigue, had me on the last of my legs.

    That was until I blinked behind him and decapitated him.

    As I mentioned earlier, I am better than other Hunters at Blink. This is because I had practised it beyond any other. I practised to such an extent my maximum range is ten metres, and my cooldown is only five minutes.

    Hurting all over, I limped back to Kelth's parents' run-down house and, in my desperation, told them much, far too much. I told them of the lie of elves and dwarves of not having magical potential. I told them of how the church will come for their daughter and force her into slavery. Then I begged them to let me take her before it was too late. I knew the rumours would have spread to the nearest church by then, and its priest would be there soon. Drawn by my fight with Jerod and priests of Jaroai can sense auras too.

    They refused. They loved little Kelth and wouldn't give her away for the world. So disappointed but unsurprised, I left.

    It wasn't long before the priest came for Kelth and tried to take her.

    But when her parents resisted, the priest tried to kill them, and I had to intervene, and I was forced to kill the bastard in the process.

    Kelth's parents saw the truth and hesitantly allowed me to kidnap her. They knew they were involved in the death of a priest, which is a capital offence even in Hamar, so had to go on the run. They knew they couldn't give Kelth a good life under such hardship.

    Then I took Kelth to the nearest coven. I hear she is now a powerful Hunter-mage in her right own. I still keep tabs on her from time to time.

    I do not know how her parents are doing. I hope they are all right.

    I am ashamed to admit; I had manipulated it. But I didn't think the priest would try to kill them. In my vast experience, not all priests of Jaroai are heartless bastards. I was planning on just knocking him out a few blocks away after he took Kelth.

    As you may have noticed, I still called it 'kidnap.' Even I had received permission from Kelth's parents to take her, and although I know, I saved her from a life of slavery and servitude. I call it 'kidnap' because I hate that it had to happen in the first fething place.

    That children with magical potential don't have to be pulled from their family and forced into servitude under the church, or the vampires of Valandri sickens me.

    That is one of the reasons I still fight, despite all I have seen and done and been through. So that one day, children with magical potential can be free to be with their parents. To grow and live like any other child.

    A world where elves, dwarves and even vampires can one day live as free and equal as humans.

    A world where the Jaroai can't manipulate society through their repressive, false religion.

    But despite this, I will never claim to be a 'good guy.' I will never claim that the Hunters or the vampires of Valandri are 'the good guys.' This world is made of varying shades of grey; we are merely a slightly lighter shade than the church.

    But I swear, one day, this continent will have equality, and I will make sure of it, even if it costs me my life.


    Check out other Angaran Chronicles stories.

    The Angaran Chronicles: An Ulterior Motive
    After the destruction of her village, the only survivor: Emilia, is saved by a stranger: an elf named Anargrin. Who claims to work for a mercenary organisation known and respected all over the continent of Angara: The Hunters. He asks for no payment and to help her with the sickness that threatens to overwhelm her.

    But why?



    The Angaran Chronicles: A Poor Girl
    After defeating a vampire, the intense, ruthless Hunter Jelcine comes across a strange little girl...



    The Angaran Chronicles: A False Legacy
    The Hunter, Arken, is hired by an aristocrat to investigate into a town under his rule. A town that has cut off all communication with the outside world. What he finds is beyond his worst imaginings. What he finds implies something beyond mortal comprehension.



    The Angaran Chronicles: The Ritual
    Alathis is just a day away from taking part in the Ritual. A Ritual which is required so he can become one of the magically enhanced super assassins, a Hunter.

    The Ritual, which only one in five survives.

    But before he can, he needs to work through his tremulous and traumatic past.

    A past that would've driven anyone else insane or broken them beyond repair.

    Will he become one of the One in five?

    Or a corpse?



    The Angaran Chronicles: The General and the Poet
    Since she was young, Raleas looked up to her father and in contempt of her mother and dreamed and obsessively practised to become a sniper.

    But then her mother died, and now Raleas is beginning to reevaluate everything she stands for.

    This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2021/09/09 02:34:55


    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant








    An extract from my upcoming novel, The Angaran Chronicles: The Underside, which is due to be released on the 1st of November 2021! Ready for pre-order here! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09FJM625N

    The magically enhanced super-assassin, Anargrin and his team are the elite of the elite; black operations sent on the most dangerous of assignments to undermine the authoritarian theocratic regimes of the continent of Angara. Anargrin believes the past should be remembered, never obsessed over. Still, when he and his band of misfits are sent to investigate a Hunter Coven that stopped all communication soon, evidence indicates Anargrin’s enemy’s involvement. An enemy that is responsible directly and indirectly for much of Anargrin’s traumatic past, evidence that reveals a conspiracy hidden within the slave trade.

    A conspiracy that threatens to engulf the entire continent in blood.


    Year: 2500 AHV
    Age: The Late Industra Era
    Country: The Kingdom of Camaria


    Anargrin blinked as the cave was taken over by the calming, almost-dainty streams of midafternoon light filtered through the leaves and branches above. The stink of abundant pollen eclipsed the horrific stench of burned meat and fat. The crackling of flames was now the sweet singing of birds and the almost-constant chirping of the damnable cicadas. That cursed cave was only about fifteen kilometers northwest from here, but it was lifetimes ago. He wished he could forget, but the memory was just as clear as it was decades ago.

    Anger, raw and powerful, sprouted through him. It caused him to clench his teeth and his fists. Did Kalthasin do that on purpose? Did he kill her like that because of the—he forced it inside, into hiding, as the sound of engines filtered through his enhanced ears. He doubted any of his companions would’ve heard it yet, as they wouldn’t be able to see him in the underbrush like he could see them.

    So it was soon to begin. He’d done this countless times now: kidnapping children.


    For two weeks, they planned for this, set up for this. No less time for preparation would have sufficed, and in fact, Raleas would have preferred more time—much more time.

    Raleas shook away the lamentation as she knelt among the underbrush, her sniper rifle’s scope to her eye as she watched the truck bounce down the slick mud road, about half a kilometer away. The truck that contained the children was in the middle of a convoy of three others and five utes, all filled with soldiers. The groaning and grating of the engines was easily heard, even from here.
     
    The truck was the primary target of what the Hunters called “The Kidnapping Convoy.” 

    Raleas couldn’t think of a more appropriate name, and the alliteration added irony to it. They loved their irony.

    She glanced about. Only about two meters to her left was the mage and apprentice Hunter, Wilom. His lack of skill in stealth was evident. Raleas just hoped they were far enough from the road. The redheaded young man knelt like her, his staff in hand, his brow furrowed over blue eyes, but she could easily see the sweat beading on his broad forehead and half-circle sweat stains in the armpits of his robes. It was humid but not hot. The country of Camaria was so far north it wasn’t known at all for being warm, even to Raleas’s sensibilities.

    Two others were hiding around too, one of whom Raleas could somewhat see, a mere shadow of a tall, thin woman who held a large double-headed ax.

    Of the third, there was no sign at all.

    Raleas smiled. He was the best, after all.

    “Raleas, concentrate,” Jelcine hissed from the shadows, making Raleas set her eyes back to her scope.

    She was a sniper. Sentimental distractions were unbecoming of her.

    The convoy came around the corner of the road.

    It was almost time to act, and it needed to be to the exact second. It was on Wilom’s shoulders, and it was then Raleas realized it might not be the heat making the young Hunter-apprentice sweat so much.

    “Wilom,” said Anargrin in a very familiar, soothing voice, although Raleas had no clue where it was coming from. “Are you ready?”

    Wilom nodded, swallowed, and wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of a shaking hand. “I am master.”

    Wilom had joined them two years ago as Anargrin’s apprentice. He was said to be among the best mages of his generation of Hunters, but little good at much else, especially everyday human interaction. Anargrin had been hesitant to allow such an inexperienced young man on their team. Still, he was eventually forced to, since Wilom had proven invaluable in assignments that called for little subtlety—assignments like this, when push came to shove.

    “Okay, Wilom,” said the elf. “You seem . . . a little nervous, but we’ll be fine. Is everyone else ready?”

    “feth yeah, you old fool,” said Jelcine. “I was ready the second I was promoted to Hunterhood. I am frankly offended you had to ask.”

    Jelcine had been on the team for just over a year, having joined them, unofficially, when they were accidentally forced to work with her during an assignment. Hunters had been through the creatively called “ritual,” which lengthened their life spans. Despite being in her eighties, she had never been promoted from vampire-Hunter status, even though most Hunters her age were infiltrators or black-ops agents. The Hunters never gave her an apprentice, although she was skilled and extensively lucky. Her ritual hadn’t enhanced just her speed, agility, constitution, and regeneration factor, among many other things, but also her strength, far beyond the average Hunter. They said this was because of a one-in-a-million mutation. But everyone knew why she hadn’t been promoted: due to her black-and-white worldview, volatile temper, and immaturity. Frankly, Raleas would label her a “bitch,” but not to her face.

    Jelcine had gotten sick of vampire hunting and saw joining them as a way out.

    “I’ve got this, Anargrin,” said Raleas, fighting the urge to check her rifle’s load yet again.

    “Good,” said the elf. “Alright, in three . . . two . . . one.”

    The trio exploded into a sprint. The swishing of Wilom’s footfalls eclipsed those of Jelcine’s, but all three were nothing but blurs to Raleas’s human eyes while she watched them through her scope. She was used to the inhuman speed of Anargrin and Jelcine, but it was easy to forget that little young Wilom held such ability too.

    It was also easy to forget that the Hunter-apprentice was only four years younger than Raleas.

    They’d crossed about four hundred meters in only a few seconds before Wilom’s hands erupted in flames, and he slid to a stop and raised his palms. A giant ball of fire blasted out and flew straight for the leading ute.

    The ute exploded and was flung up into the air, spinning and wheeling before crashing against the dirt road. It slid a few meters more before coming to a halt and blocking the way for the rest of the kidnapping convoy.

    The convoy skidded to a stop, and Camarian soldiers poured from the trucks with a discipline that impressed even the ex-soldier Raleas. The heavy machine guns placed on top of the utes began to turn toward Anargrin and the others and opened fire, as did the other soldiers on the backs of the utes. The familiar barking, roaring crescendo of combined gunfire filled Raleas’s ears. But by then, Jelcine, Anargrin, and Wilom had already scattered—Anargrin toward the front of the convoy, Jelcine toward the back, and Wilom dashing sideways.

    Raleas exhaled and placed a shot through the skull of a soldier on the emplacement as he tried to shoot for Jelcine and then through another’s as he went to take his comrade’s place.

    Wilom slid to a stop as a priest of Jaroai and his soldiers ran from the truck’s back, following the one with the children inside.

    Wilom threw another fireball, which hit the priest and the soldiers around him. It exploded and flung the soldiers screaming, writhing, and flipping like dolls. But the priest was untouched, protected by a shield of light.

    The shield died away, and the priest raised his pole arm, which was layered in flames, but then Anargrin was on him. The priest, with impressive speed, managed to see Anargrin coming and swung out his staff. Anargrin evaded it, but how, Raleas couldn’t know. Then he opened the priest’s throat. Anargrin stopped, standing over the dying man as he dropped to his knees, and Raleas got a good look at him. Even for an elf, he was handsome, sharp featured, his skin as pale as the whitest Zatharian winter. His long brown hair was pulled into a ponytail, and he wore a brown leather jacket with blue jeans and had a bloody longsword in his right hand. The soldiers in a nearby ute switched their aim for him.

    Then Anargrin stood in their midst. He’d just “blinked,” a short-range instantaneous teleportation ability all Hunters had. Still, Anargrin was better than anyone else in the organization, having a shorter cool-down time of five minutes instead of the standard ten minutes and a more extended range. How he’d become so good at it, Raleas didn’t know; she supposed it was because of his utter inability to use any magic whatsoever—as all other Hunters could, with magical ability being a prerequisite to becoming a Hunter.

    In less than a split second, all the soldiers were slaughtered by his blade. Then he leapt off the back of the ute and was sprinting toward the end of the convoy.

    Raleas tore her attention away from him and to Jelcine. She fought a priest of Jaroai and about a dozen soldiers. She smashed and whacked away shot after shot with her giant double-headed ax while the priest kept her at bay with blast after blast of fire from his hands. Jelcine reeled as a bullet managed to hit her arm, making her cry out.

    Raleas blew out the side of the priest’s skull. Then Jelcine was on the soldiers who once had her pinned down. Raleas began to pick off the stray soldiers who were trying to flank Jelcine or re-man the heavy machine guns. She knew she didn’t need to look after Anargrin or Wilom.

    Her sniper rifle clicked dry, and she was about to reload when her wristwatch beeped.

    It was time to move in, so she stood and began running.


    As she approached the truck, the sound of gunfire drifted away, replaced by children crying and Jelcine and Wilom moving the ruined ute, its metal bodywork shrieking across the muddy gravel road. The smell of blood mixed with smoke and gunpowder somehow penetrated through the pollen blocking her sinuses.

    Anargrin stepped out from behind one of the trucks while whipping the blood off his sword. He was svelte and walked with the smooth confidence of the most seasoned of martial artists. He had to be, being about two hundred years old and among the longest-living Hunters. Like most elves, he stood at around 1.67 meters but was still quite a bit taller than Raleas.

    “You alright?” he asked, placing a hand on her arm.

    Raleas smiled and raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, I’m fine. I wasn’t the one fighting on the front line. I just wish I could’ve done more.”

    “This mission isn’t over yet. You are going to be invaluable soon,” he said and glanced over his shoulder as Jelcine approached, clutching at her shoulder while she muttered curses. “And I’m sure you saved Jelcine’s arse more than once.”

    That made Raleas smile, and he smiled back before he turned toward the truck’s front. “All of you know the drill,” he said while he and Jelcine passed each other. Then he opened the truck’s driver’s door and leapt in. “Let’s move.”

    Jelcine walked up to Raleas. The tall, slender redhead fixed Raleas with an almost-hateful glare like she blamed Raleas for her injury.

    “You talk to the children,” said Jelcine.

    “But—”

    “Look, my arm hurts like feth right now. I’m not in the mood for dealing with kids.”

    Raleas sighed. “Oh, alright.”

    And together, they leapt into the back of the truck.

    This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2021/09/12 04:26:49


    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    Hey, people! The novel's up for pre-order on Amazon!

    The Angaran Chronicles: The Underside

    This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/09/09 21:56:06


    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    Hi everyone. Hope life is treating you well. Here's the 2nd extract of my novel The Angaran Chronicles: The Underside.



    The magically enhanced super-assassin, Anargrin and his team are the elite of the elite; black operations sent on the most dangerous of assignments to undermine the authoritarian theocratic regimes of the continent of Angara. Anargrin believes the past should be remembered, never obsessed over. Still, when he and his band of misfits are sent to investigate a Hunter Coven that stopped all communication soon, evidence indicates Anargrin’s enemy’s involvement. An enemy that is responsible directly and indirectly for much of Anargrin’s traumatic past, evidence that reveals a conspiracy hidden within the slave trade.

    A conspiracy that threatens to engulf the entire continent in blood.

    Due to be released on the 1st of November 2021, pre-order here!

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09FJM625N


    It was dark when they left town. Raleas drove like usual and checked the rearview mirror for what must’ve been the tenth time. She could easily see the headlights of the four vehicles following in their wake. It seemed now the locals had thrown away all pretense of subtlety.

    Raleas sighed and switched gears. The rocky, rough gravel road wound around the mountainside, affording a brilliant view of the desert below and even as far off as the vast, mountainous terrain of Hamar to the west. The going was slow; the road was horribly treacherous and poorly maintained. If the locals looked after the roadway, it would’ve been a brilliant tourist attraction just for the view alone, but Varmor cared little for their tourism industry despite having many beautiful vistas like this one. Perhaps if they did, they could one day compete with Isstarrsia in that industry.
    Isstarrsia was a beautiful country in the north. Amongst many things, Isstarrsia had the tallest mountain on the continent and the red sea, a vast body of water partitioned from the rest of the ocean by an extensive mountain range. It was said to be the deepest water in the world. She’d seen it firsthand as a child, and it was a breathtaking sight. Raleas had fallen in love with Isstarrsia and loved it when her job gave her the excuse to visit it.

    Raleas shook away her train of thought and glanced at Anargrin next to her. He was hunched forward, his fingers intertwined together in front of his face, elbows on his thighs. She wondered what was going through his head, and it could be anything, knowing him, from planning on the best way to lose their tail or maybe just general daydreaming.

    “When you find a good area to stop, pull over,” said Anargrin. “Let them catch up.”

    “Then what?” asked Jelcine, bemused.

    “I’m going to slip away, investigate the coven alone. The rest of you take care of our tail in whatever way you see fit,” said Anargrin. “Perhaps find a way to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, if you can.”

    “These guys are selling their own people into slavery,” said Jelcine. “I say they more than deserve to die.”

    Anargrin shrugged. “Perhaps. But nothing’s usually that simple. Not much is truly black-and-white.”

    “Anargrin,” said Jelcine, “you hate slavers more than anyone.”

    “I do,” said Anargrin. “I do, but we don’t know all the circumstances, the how and the why. They may have loved ones held hostage and are being forced into it. You don’t know everything about them.”

    “Yet you killed those soldiers back in Camaria, without hesitation,” said Jelcine. “You even went so far as having Emilia stay behind to ‘clean up any witnesses.’ You didn’t know all their circumstances either.”

    “That’s different,” stated Anargrin. “While I won’t try to justify their deaths, they were soldiers. They’d joined the army knowing they might die. That’s the way things go when you’re a soldier. It’s just the same as you and me.”

    Jelcine “pffed!” and said, “Yeah, and how many were conscripted against their will? You and I both know that Camaria happily conscripts their own into their vast military.”

    “That’s enough, you two,” said Emilia, so suddenly it made everyone jump in their seats. “Now isn’t the time for another philosophical debate. Yes, Anargrin, we’ll try to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, right, Jelcine?”

    Jelcine sighed. “Yeah, sure. But if they attack us, I’m not hesitating.”

    “It’s also pragmatic,” said Anargrin, “if they are doing this against their will. If we spare them, they might be willing to help us, tell us more about what’s going on, exactly. Or even aid us firsthand, once they learn we’re actually here to help.”

    Raleas smiled, there always with an ulterior motive to his supposed altruism.

    “Raleas, a good place to pull over is coming upon us, twenty meters on the left,” said Anargrin.

    Raleas couldn’t make it out beyond the headlights. She didn’t have the Hunters’ enhanced dark vision.

    Raleas had often wondered why he’d usually get her to drive because of this, and when she’d finally asked him, he’d answered, “Because I was raised in a time when the horse and carriage was the most common type of transport. While I know how to drive an automobile, I feel you are much better than I will ever be, having been born and raised around it.”

    Raleas grinned to herself. She’d felt he was bullshitting at the time, but he’d been proven truthful when they’d taken the children back in Camaria. Raleas hadn’t driven then because she was the best shot amongst them.

    They converged on the outcrop. It was a good six meters wide, and ten in length, and Raleas pulled over, bringing the Jeep to a halt carefully, so there were at least four meters’ free space between them and the descending cliff face.

    Anargrin opened the door and climbed out. “This is me, guys. Good luck.”

    “So what? You’re just abandoning us?” asked Jelcine, sounding surprisingly bitter, causing Raleas to look at her.

    Anargrin gave her a bemused look. “When did you ever really actually need me, Jelcine? You’ll be fine. I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think that.”

    Then he was gone, disappearing into the darkness like he was never there.


    With practiced ease, Anargrin climbed the cliff face. The wind whirled through his enhanced ears so vigorously that it made it almost impossible to hear much else. He made it to the top seconds before the followers arrived. Anargrin watched as two of the cars stopped farther up the road, blocking any escape north, and the other two halted a bit downward. Then the twenty total occupants climbed out—all of the locals wielding an assortment of bolt-action hunting rifles and shotguns.

    Anargrin clenched his jaw. If rogue Hunters were in charge of this farce, they must’ve suspected by now they were Hunters themselves. They must’ve known sending these idiots was pretty much a death sentence, assuming, of course, none of these ambushers were disguised Hunters themselves. Anargrin doubted that though. He remembered then that the next train was due to leave in just over an hour, and perhaps the true kidnappers felt they were exposed and were abandoning the town, leaving the locals they’d recruited to die, now that they’d outlived their usefulness.
    The thought sent sickening waves through Anargrin’s gut. He’d done many questionable things in his lifetime, but such ruthless, cowardly callousness didn’t sit well with him.

    He moved on, slinking in silence through the rough terrain like a specter born of darkness.

    Not well at all.


    “Where’s the elf?” demanded the leader, a fat, slovenly man in his late fifties. He wore an old, dirty, and worn blue rule enforcer uniform that looked two sizes too small. But he held his shotgun with practiced confidence.

    Jelcine, Raleas, Emilia, and Wilom stood beside the Jeep, relaxed but ready.

    “Why are you following us?” asked Jelcine. “We are just here on business.”

    “Quit the fething act!” snapped the rule enforcer. “We’re not stupid. We know who the feth you really are. You’re Hunters, nosing around in other people’s business, like always. We’ve got no vampires here. Now, where the feth is the elf?”

    Jelcine grinned. “Well if you’re so sure we’re Hunters, then why would you think we’re going to tell you ‘where the feth’ the elf is?”

    The man grimaced. “Because you’re cornered and have got twenty guns aimed and ready to kill you.”

    The rule enforcer racked his shotgun in emphasis, echoed by many others.

    Raleas smiled and shared a look with Jelcine. To anyone else, these fools would’ve been intimidating, but for them, it was beyond pathetic. As much as Raleas disliked this idiot, she still hoped Jelcine would be able to negotiate out of this. Raleas doubted it though. They seemed out for blood.

    “Alright, I’ll tell you,” said Jelcine, sounding a little too smug for Raleas’s liking, like she was talking down to a petulant child, and it was becoming evident that Jelcine had no intention to negotiate.

    “If you can all just put down your guns so we can talk this over like civilized people, okay?”

    “Why would we do that?” asked the rule enforcer.

    Jelcine furrowed her brow in bemusement. “Uh, because you think we may be Hunters. I would’ve thought that to be enough.”

    “Smug bitch,” said the rule enforcer. “We’ve got you cornered, outgunned, and outnumbered two to one. So I’ll ask one more time, where is the fething elf?”

    “It’s actually five to one, dumbass. And did you fools actually stop to consider that we may have allowed you to corner us? That even with all your numbers and all your over-compensatory guns we wouldn’t be sure we could take you out?”

    “Jelcine,” said Emilia.

    “I see that you’re just a bunch of fething stupid-as-gak, inbred, back-town hicks who are willing to sell their own into a life of slavery just for a little extra coin, so feth you. Anargrin was wrong. There isn’t any gray about this at all, just black.”

    “Jelcine,” snapped Emilia.

    “Oh, feth this,” roared the rule enforcer. “We’ll just find that fething elf ourselves. Kill them. Kill them now.”

    “I assure you, no matter how hard you look, you will never find him,” said Jelcine grinning her scary smile. “But you won’t live long enough to ever get the chance.”

    In the blink of an eye, Raleas had her Stegran Mark IV drawn and readied its rough grip familiar, comforting in her sweat-slicked palms. While in a blaze of light, Jelcine summoned her great ax into being.

    Then the locals opened fire.


    Anargrin paused in his ascent as he heard the gunfire.

    He couldn’t say he was surprised, just disappointed.

    Anargrin sighed and moved on.


    The hailing wall of fire smashed and bounced off Wilom’s hastily summoned shield, allowing Raleas, Wilom, and Emilia to leap behind the cover of the Jeep. Jelcine’s ax flourished and deflected showering shots as she charged. With a roar, she messily cut an attacker’s torso in two in a massive fountain of blood.

    Raleas was up and shooting, her shots ejecting out the craniums of two locals before their returning gunfire caused her to crouch back behind the Jeep.

    Emilia had already started her gruesome change, and Raleas tried to ignore the girl’s pained grunts and groans and the tearing, the horrid tearing, which Raleas knew wasn’t just her clothes.

    “Wilom. How long until you can get another shield up?” Raleas asked.

    “Precisely twenty seconds,” yelled the young Hunter. “It will be stronger than the last. I assure you. That one was hastily prepared and summoned. I would have started summoning it earlier but was afraid that even my slight gestures might have provoked them to attack.”

    Raleas nodded. Wilom shouldn’t have worried that Jelcine had done an excellent job of that already. “Forget the damn shield, then. Use a fireball . . . or something.”

    “As you wish,” he said as he raised his hands, and they began to light up.

    Raleas was up again, shooting off three more shots, each hitting a target despite them being spread out and taking cover behind their vehicles. She was shooting to kill; there was little point in not, even with her considerable skill. Going for nonlethal shots was hard, more likely to make them die a drawn-out, painful death than not. She just hoped they’d take someone, anyone, alive.

    Jelcine was in amongst it, fighting six of the fools at once as they swung the butts of their rifles at her ineffectually as she was blocking, weaving, and dodging through it all, looking like she was toying with them. They should’ve spread out and tried to catch her in a crossfire. Still, they were stubborn, misogynistic men who believed, due to their gender, they were innately superior and thus able to take down the crazy, bloodthirsty female Hunter with a giant ax.

    Raleas shook her head and ducked back into cover.

    As she knelt, Wilom was on his feet and flinging his fireball. Raleas watched as the vast thing traveled slowly through the air and hit one of the enemy cars in a loud explosion, forcing Raleas to flinch away.

    There were blood-churning screams and the utter stench of burning—melting, frying flesh and fat.

    Raleas was up again, shooting the last two rounds of her clip, killing two of Jelcine’s attackers. There was only one left now, who turned to run, but Jelcine brutally split his skull.

    Finally, Emilia had finished her transformation. Howling at the heavens, she bounded over the Jeep to tear into the remaining locals like a whirlwind.

    The fight, if you could call it that, being more akin to slaughter, only lasted four more seconds. The only local alive was the rule enforcer, who, with a bit of shrapnel lodged in his leg, was attempting to crawl away, whimpering pitifully in pain and fear.

    “See?” said Jelcine. She was covered in blood as she approached him and smiled from ear to ear. “I told you this would happen, but did you believe me? Nooo.”

    “What in the name of Jaroai are you?” he stammered.

    “You already know that,” said Jelcine. “We’re Hunters.” Then she glanced at Raleas and Emilia. “Most of us. But we’re also something else.”

    “W-what?”

    “Your worst nightmare.”

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/04 00:45:39


    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant








    Can one live up to their own expectations? Or are we all fated for hypocrisy?

    The magically enhanced super-assassin, Anargrin and his team are the elite of the elite; black operations sent on the most dangerous of assignments to undermine the authoritarian theocratic regimes of the continent of Angara. Anargrin believes the past should be remembered, never obsessed over. Still, when he and his band of misfits are sent to investigate a Hunter Coven that stopped all communication soon, evidence indicates Anargrin’s enemy’s involvement. An enemy that is responsible directly and indirectly for much of Anargrin’s traumatic past, evidence that reveals a conspiracy hidden within the slave trade.

    A conspiracy that threatens to engulf the entire continent in blood.

    Due to be released on the 1st of November 2021, pre-order here!


    https://www.amazon.com/Angaran-Chronicles-Underside-BAD-Agar-ebook/dp/B09FJM625N?ref_=nav_signin&



    Anargrin’s elbow smashed hard into the mercenary’s face, sending him flailing. Another mercenary swung out the butt of his rifle. But Anargrin caught it midswing and twisted with the attack’s momentum, which allowed him to tear the rifle from the merc’s grasp easily. Anargrin’s backfist connected with a crunch into the man’s side. Then his uppercut threw him off his feet.

    Anargrin slapped away another merc’s punch and weaved under the man’s hook. Lightning fast, Anargrin slipped onto the man’s side, and his low side kick snapped the man’s knee inward. The soldier screamed, collapsing, but Anargrin’s knee bashing in his face silenced him.

    They were mercenaries, easily identifiable ones as well. They were from the organization named Blackreach, a company that worked out of Hamar, said to be one of the most elite and expensive mercenary forces in the world. They’d been around even when Anargrin was young, and there were dozens of the bastards in the first few carriages alone. Hiring so many must’ve cost a fortune. Their enemy was indeed well funded.

    Each of them was an experienced soldier of some merit, but none were a match for them.

    Anargrin couldn’t help but wonder who, exactly, they were—what they were, he had no doubt, but “who” was another question entirely.

    Two more mercs popped out and raised their rifles, aiming at Anargrin, who only stood still, smiling at them.

    Emilia suddenly lunged past him, barreling at the mercs like a bullet. They screamed and shot, managing to put one round into her each before she was upon them and tearing the poor bastards apart.

    Anargrin clenched his teeth and looked away. He’d worked with Emilia for going on one hundred and twenty years now but still wasn’t used to her animalistic, horrific brutality. They said all werewolves eventually gave in to the hunger. Anargrin couldn’t help but wonder how long Emilia had, precisely.

    He was just glad she was on his side, for now anyway.

    Jelcine and Anargrin ran past Emilia as she tore apart her prey. Seven more mercs emerged from cowering behind their train seats.

    But why weren’t they running? gak. If he were them, he would. Emilia alone was terrifying enough. Perhaps it was a foolish, professional pride, or maybe they just thought they had nowhere to run? Either way, it didn’t matter. They were in their way.

    They opened fire on Jelcine and Anargrin. Anargrin weaved and wound through their hail of gunfire, managing it despite the seats in his way. Jelcine strode down the aisle, her huge, seemingly unwieldy ax a blur as it battered their bullets aside.

    Anargrin was first on them. He kicked one full in the face as he leapt over the seat the mercenary was taking cover behind.

    Another merc on Anargrin’s left tried to bring his rifle around, but Anargrin’s grasp shot out and clutched the gun, stopping it short. With the same hand, Anargrin chopped the man hard across the solar plexus and followed that with another chop, angled up into the bottom of the merc’s nose

    With an agonized cry, the merc began to collapse to his knees, but Anargrin brought his elbow into the back of his neck and sent his limp body smashing into the third merc with a powerful side kick.

    By then, Jelcine was on the other four, decapitating one, and the last three didn’t last much longer.

    Having just finished feasting, Emilia rushed past them, crashing and snarling through to the next carriage, breaking the metal walls with such ease they may as well have been made of papier mâché.

    Jelcine and Anargrin, side by side, walked in her wake. There were just two carriages left before the last one, the victims and their leader—this Berrk must have been there. But Anargrin couldn’t help but wonder, why hadn’t they just pulled the pin yet?

    Anargrin’s train of thought was interrupted as more gunfire echoed, and they both froze in their tracks as they heard what followed: the sickening sound of high-pitched, yelping pain.

    Jelcine and Anargrin shared a glance. Then they were running, Anargrin exclaiming, “gak, gak, gak.”

    They both leapt to the next carriage and found, to their horror, Emilia curled on the floor with large, ragged, bloody bullet holes in her torso. Anargrin could see her chest was still rising and falling as she breathed, but she was well out of the fight, barely conscious.

    Four figures stood at the other end of the carriage. Anargrin couldn’t sense an aura from any of them. All were “human.” One, a blond man, had a smoking high-caliber revolver raised. Three were male, one female, all as pale as snow, all wearing black leather coats. The irises of their eyes were blood red.

    Anargrin didn’t need to be an expert on spotting one to know they were vampires. He could only hope that none were originals. Now he knew the real reason the mercenaries hadn’t turned tail and run: they were more scared of these vampires than the rampaging werewolf.

    The vampire with the pistol laughed. “fething glad I kept those silver bullets on me. Always good to be prepared.”

    “Well, well, well, look what we have here,” said the female vampire. She was almost as tall as Jelcine, attractive too, her long red hair curling over her slender shoulders. “The Hunters that Berrk told us about.”

    She smiled at Anargrin. It would’ve been beautiful if her fangs weren’t extended so long.

    “Hmm, I like him. Even for an elf, he’s handsome. Julen, can we keep him alive so I can play with him later?”

    “I ain’t guaranteeing you nothin’, Alicin,” said the one who must’ve been Julen. He was the tallest of them, his thick brown hair long and unkempt. “I don’t give a gak. But you made a right mess of the fething expensive mercs we hired.”

    “What?” Jelcine asked. “You expect an apology?”

    “gak no,” exclaimed Julen. “It just proves what I said. They’re useless pieces of gak who didn’t deserve half the price.”

    Anargrin grinned as, in a flash of light, he summoned his sword and drew it into a ready stance.

    “Or they were worth the fee, but we’re worth ten times more,” Anargrin said.

    “I fething doubt that,” bellowed Julen as he drew a longsword from inside his coat, as did the others. Alicin wielded a saber, and the gray-haired, older vampire drew a huge greatsword, only slightly shorter than he was tall. They all held their weapons with the confidence only the skilled were capable of. The blond vampire didn’t draw a melee weapon, just kept his revolver raised.

    They were vampires, so their natural strength far exceeded Anargrin’s. Even the average vampire was as strong as Jelcine. The only thing he had over them was his extreme speed. All vampires were faster than the average human, but Anargrin far exceeded even that. The only way to kill a vampire was by decapitation.

    While far tougher and quicker to heal than an average person, a Hunter could still be killed by conventional means. Vampires could lose a limb but go on with ease, whereas a Hunter would faint and then die from the blood loss if not stemmed quickly. They also never tired, and Anargrin could already feel fatigue starting to slow him.

    It was going to be a hard fight.

    “Let’s earn our keep and kill these fethers,” snarled Julen.

    The blond vampire opened fire. The kickback of such a high-caliber weapon would’ve broken an average person’s arm if they wielded it with one hand like him, but there was barely any movement. The shots flew for Jelcine, who smashed them aside with her ax, but the kinetic force was almost too much for even her to handle.

    Alicin and Julen were already moving, sprinting over the seat tops so fast it may well have been solid ground. Simultaneously, the older gray-haired vampire, with his bare hands, tore one of the seats from its bolts and, with a roar, flung it across the expanse straight at Anargrin with breathtaking velocity.

    Anargrin ducked just under it a mere millisecond before the Alicin woman was upon him. Laughing, she slashed her saber downward, straight for his skull.

    Anargrin sidestepped it and then weaved under her follow-on, a horizontal slash aimed for his face. She was fast, really fast—that, coupled with her vampiric strength. Anargrin was sure he’d likely be disarmed if he blocked her attacks, so he could only dodge or parry, but his parry would have to be timed with perfection. For someone who wanted him alive, she seemed to be trying her best to kill him.

    She was fast, but not as fast as him.

    With a grin, he slipped away from her third attack, another horizontal slash, and slid in, slashing at her neck. His sudden burst of speed almost took her off guard, her large green eyes wide with surprise while she barely backstepped it.

    Anargrin followed with a downward diagonal cut that she just managed to batter away, but that opened her up for his front kick, which hit her in the chest and sent her stumbling back. He heard a crunch as one of her ribs gave way, but she showed no sign of pain. Being a vampire, she was incapable of feeling anything, pain included.

    With a snarl, she lunged, slashing upward at his groin. Anargrin backpedaled it by a hair.

    Alicin had his attention so fixated he almost didn’t notice the older male vampire bearing down on him. Anyone else would’ve failed, but Anargrin wasn’t “anyone else.”

    The vampire took a huge running leap, which was almost laughably obsolete with his horrible strength, and with a deafening roar, struck down with his massive sword. Desperately, Anargrin leapt sideways, and he hit the wall so hard it knocked the breath out of him. But he was able to watch in horror as the vampire’s strike smashed into the floor, hitting with such force it didn’t just cut through the metal but caved it downward at least six inches in a full meter-wide radius.

    Gasping for breath, Anargrin just managed to lean out of the path of Alicin’s vertical slash, an attack that cut quickly into the wall in his wake, before sticking short. Before Anargrin could use the opening, the gray-haired vampire was attacking, cutting out his huge greatsword in a wild, slow, but powerful horizontal arc.

    Anargrin swayed beneath the swinging blade. Then it crashed into the carriage’s wall, shrieking through the metal like it was toilet paper. Even Alicin was forced to fling herself out of the way, snarling a curse.

    Anargrin moved, sprinting across the seat tops to gain room, any room from his opponents, allowing him to manage a glimpse of Jelcine’s situation. She was fighting both Julen and the blond vampire, who now wielded a short sword. She barely kept them at bay as they harassed her with hit-and-run tactics.

    He saw what they were doing, wearing her down—as much as Jelcine liked to think it, not even she could keep swinging that huge ax forever—or just pissing her off so she’d make a mistake. He could hear her constant cursing and knew they were succeeding in that endeavor.

    Anargrin heard another roar and turned to see the gray-haired vampire tearing out another seat. Alicin stood beside him, smiling smugly. The seats were at least two meters in length and must’ve weighed well over one hundred kilograms. The bastard ripped them from the floor with unbelievable ease.

    The vampire then lifted it over his head and let it fly.

    Anargrin dropped to the floor, watching the seat fly like a missile over him, and couldn’t help wincing as he heard the massive crashing of it smashing into others farther down the carriage.
    In the blink of an eye, Anargrin was on his feet, just in time to see Alicin and the other vampire charge at him over the seat tops.

    Anargrin clenched his teeth and sprinted to the side, knowing he couldn’t fight them head-on, making it just out of the way of Alicin’s slashing saber. The gray-haired vampire descended on him, cutting out his greatsword with a deafening roar.

    Anargrin ducked it and dashed forward, slashing for the male vampire’s knee joint.

    The vampire had no time to react, but Alicin parried Anargrin’s sword off course. He weaved under her follow-on and was forced to lunge left, out of the way of the male’s substantial downward blow.

    Anargrin cursed beneath his breath. They were well versed in fighting together.

    “You’re good,” said Alicin as she licked her full, red lips. “I’ll give you that.”

    “Yeah,” gasped Anargrin, “tell me something I don’t know.”

    “He’s an arrogant little elf, isn’t he?” said the male, his voice deep and throaty. “I’m looking forward to cutting him down to size.”

    The male barked out a laugh.

    Alicin rolled her eyes and sighed, echoing Anargrin’s feelings on the terrible pun.

    Anargrin tried to catch his breath and took the time to glance at Jelcine, seeing she was still fighting.

    “That was terrible, Gerit,” said Alicin.

    “I thought it was good,” said Gerit.

    “It wasn’t,” said Alicin. “Anyway, I want him alive. I like him.”

    “You like—”
    Anargrin didn’t let him finish his sentence. He charged. He needed to get this done quickly.

    Gerit threw himself back a millisecond with surprising speed before Anargrin’s slash connected with his leg.

    Laughing, Alicin launched forward as she hacked overhead at Anargrin. He sidestepped and chopped back, causing her to parry it away desperately.

    In the next second, Gerit was on him. His powerful front kick would’ve broken every bone in Anargrin’s body if he hadn’t slipped away.

    The vampire followed with a deceptively fast upward slash that Anargrin jumped back from, causing him to land on top of one of the seats. He barely made it as the large sword burst straight through the back of the chair, the tip missing Anargrin’s nose by a hair.

    Alicin was suddenly on his side, striking her sword at his skull.

    Anargrin lunged back, landing on a seat back. Usually, he would’ve landed without any hint of losing balance, but now he barely kept himself from falling.

    He leapt back again, trying to get a bit more distance from his attackers. He landed on another seat top a few meters back as the two grinning vampires descended on him.

    Anargrin clenched his jaw. At this rate, he couldn’t win. If he were fighting one-on-one against either of them, he would’ve won already, but together, they worked in harmonious accord.

    Someone or something had trained them well.

    He could win in one way. It was desperate but better than nothing.

    Anargrin blinked again. He wasn’t even sure if it’d been long enough since the last one. Thank goodness it was.

    All his calculations were instinctual, almost instantaneous as he reappeared in midair, right behind Gerit as he was in midstride. Anargrin knew he didn’t have the strength for a clean decapitation, so he did the next-best thing and stabbed his sword straight into the back of Gerit’s knee. While the vampire felt no pain, the effect was still devastating as the momentum of Anargrin’s fall drove the vampire down, face-first against a seat top, snapping back the vampire’s head so hard it broke his neck. Blood sprayed out of his broken nose, and his teeth flew in every direction.

    The horrific cracking and crunching was almost deafening. Any other being would’ve died instantly, but Anargrin could hear the vampire groaning. It didn’t matter if he was alive or not. Gerit was now completely paralyzed.

    Anargrin allowed himself a slight smile.

    “No,” he heard Alicin gasp, and she came to a stop and spun to face him, her pretty face contorted with rage. “You bastard.”

    “No,” said Anargrin, “I’m not. I wasn’t born out of wedlock.”

    She let out a high-pitched wail and came at him, saber swinging wildly.

    Then she did something Anargrin didn’t expect: she feinted into a thrust for his heart. A saber was a curved, single-edged sword built mostly for slashing, the one she wielded especially.

    It also seemed an exceptionally calculated attack for someone so angry.

    Eyes wide, teeth clenched, Anargrin desperately stepped to the side. The thrust missed his heart, but he wasn’t fast enough to avoid it entirely as the edge skimmed across the side of his ribs.
    Anargrin let out a cry as the agony bloomed through his torso and blood sprayed. With his free hand, he clutched at it.

    Despite the pain, instinct drove him onward and slashing out at Alicin in a wild attempt to prevent her from following on, like a cat. She bounded out of the way.

    “I never understood why the Valandri vampires still insist on creating you Hunters,” said Alicin. “You’re weaker than us, can take less gak than us—inferior in almost every way.” Then she licked the blood off her blade. “But I will say this. Your blood is just utterly delicious.”

    He was too busy struggling for breath, but he could think of various arguments to her statement. We can walk in the sunlight without bursting into flames was just one of many answers Anargrin could think up.

    “Just give up,” said Alicin. “Join with us. I know you Hunters cannot be sired, but if you join us, you will have the time of your life—that I guarantee.”

    “What . . . about . . . what I did to your friend?” Anargrin managed.

    Alicin smiled, glanced over her shoulder at the immobilized Gerit, and shrugged. “Didn’t care much for him, anyway,” she said. “You taking him out proves you’re good enough.”

    Anargrin laughed. “Typical rogue vampire. feth off.”

    “Aw!” said Alicin. “I was looking forward to playing with you.”

    Anargrin pursed his lips, shrugged, and pointed at Alicin’s leg. “I was too.”

    Alicin raised her eyebrows, bemused. Then Jelcine blinked into existence behind her, and the Hunter’s huge ax cut clean through the vampire’s left leg. Alicin collapsed onto her side, and the vampire’s mouth gaped in shock.

    Jelcine, gasping for breath and bleeding from numerous small wounds, smiled at Anargrin and turned to face the two remaining vampires as they ran across the seat backs toward her.

    “Nice work,” said Anargrin. “We’ve got one alive and able to talk. Now the other two are expendable.”

    “You bastard,” screamed Alicin as she writhed on the floor. “You cheating feths.”

    “You only wanted me to spare her ’cause she’s fething hot,” said Jelcine as she readied her ax.

    Anargrin just shrugged. He wasn’t going to deny it.

    Anargrin was sure it’d take a while for him to find a woman quite like her ever again. He sighed, wondering once more what it was that got Raleas so damned pissed.

    Then, with savage snarls, the vampires were on them.

    Anargrin ducked the tall vampire’s slash as Jelcine parried the blond’s short sword.

    Anargrin slipped behind the tall vampire, and as his forward momentum carried him farther on, he slashed into the back of his neck. It wasn’t a clean decapitation, but it was just enough to sever the spine, sending the vampire writhing and crashing into the seats with such force Anargrin could hear his bones crunching into a paste.

    The blond vampire saw this as he dodged Jelcine’s counter and, with fear plain on his face, turned to gap it, but Jelcine’s hand shot out and snatched him by the ankle. Then she proceeded to smash him into the floor, the seats, and the walls. Over and over again, each impact caused Anargrin to flinch and wince in sympathy.

    “I think that’s enough,” Anargrin said.

    She didn’t listen, just continued.

    “Jelcine, I think he’s out of the way,” he said.

    “He. Hurt. Emilia,” she roared.

    “Yes, but we were attacking their train. We’re their enemies. Now, come on. Now you’re just wasting time.”

    Jelcine hesitantly dropped the broken vampire with a growl. “Alright, fine. Behind you, by the way.”

    “I know,” said Anargrin as he stepped out of the way of Alicin’s slash just as it descended at his back. He pivoted around and cut off her remaining leg and then kicked her to the floor as she was in midcollapse, causing the vampire to scream more obscenities.

    “You seriously think I wouldn’t hear someone with one leg trying to sneak up on me?”

    Jelcine shrugged. “Well with the train noise, I was just trying to help. Well not all of us are perfect. Okay?”

    Anargrin sighed and rubbed his eyes. “You know I’m far from perfect, Jelcine. Can you check on Emilia, please? The poor girl may be back in human form.”

    “You forget she’s far from being a girl now,” said Jelcine.

    “Yeah, I know. Sometimes I forget,” he said. Werewolves were said to be the product of an elven mage’s curse placed upon the humans who’d attacked and overrun their city during the holy war so long ago. The mage used a type of magic they didn’t know of yet. The bite of a werewolf could only turn other humans, but human Hunters were immune too. A werewolf’s life span far exceeded that of a normal human, the equivalent of an elf’s around five hundred. Emilia was bitten when she was seventeen, so even now, she still looked that age, and acted it in some cases.

    “I’m sorry, but I think it’s a priority to check whether she’s bleeding to death rather than if I remember that.”

    Jelcine started and was immediately moving.

    Anargrin sighed and quickly checked his wound. The blood had already clotted thanks to his enhanced metabolism—still hurt like gak though.

    Much to both Anargrin’s and Jelcine’s relief, Emilia was still alive and was going to live. In werewolf form, she had ejected the bullets from her body, as they lay next to her unconscious form, crushed and covered in blood.

    Jelcine lifted Emilia and placed her over her shoulder. Then they moved on. The destruction they’d caused with their fight was incredible. Many of the train seats were now scattered, and shattered in some cases.

    They were both exhausted. They’d just fought through eight large carriages, all with at least a dozen well-trained, well-armed mercenaries in each. Having to deal with them on top of the vampires had pushed them almost beyond even their enhanced physical fitness.

    As they walked, Anargrin tried to ignore his tiredness and reached out with his senses. He could sense twenty-one presences in the next carriage, all of them of nonmagical potential.

    There were meant to be ten locals taken from the town, so ten of that twenty were perhaps them. The other ten were most likely more mercs, and the twenty-first might be this Berrk character.

    Or it might not be, as Hunters can hide their magical potential. He could easily be there, but Anargrin wouldn’t be able to detect him at all.

    “You sense them?” Anargrin asked Jelcine while they walked.

    “Yeah, twenty presences total,” she said. “I may not be all Mr. Super-Uber Senses like you, Mr. Perfect, but I’m still pretty damn good.”

    Anargrin clenched his jaw. “I’m not perfect, Jelcine. Stop calling me that, please. Anyway, we’re here to save those people, not kill them. So please be careful.”

    Jelcine sighed and rolled her eyes. “Yes, Dad.”

    Anargrin shrugged. “I am more than old enough to be your dad, so fair enough. I guess.”

    What Jelcine said next took him off guard. “You know you should get over that age gap, Anargrin, no matter how huge it is, and ask Raleas out. Who knows how long we’ve got left, Anargrin? Use that time to be happy.”

    Anargrin knew who she meant, and he sighed. “Let’s talk about this later, Jelcine. Now isn’t the time.”

    Jelcine shrugged. “Yeah, sure.”

    They came to the door, and Anargrin slid it open. Then he jumped onto the next deck, pushing their backs against the wall—Jelcine left, Anargrin right.

    “How long until you can blink again?” Jelcine asked.

    “Just over four minutes,” he said as he checked his watch.

    “Anargrin, I have a bad feeling about this,” said Jelcine.

    “Yeah, me too,” he said. “Let’s do this.”

    Then Anargrin slid the door open, and what they saw caused them to start and gape in utter horror.

    Twenty total mercs crouched behind the seats, rifles raised to cover the doorway. Just in front, standing out in the open, was a man who fit the description Raleas had given of this “Berrk” character. He held a smoking pistol and smiled at them psychotically as, in front of him, lay the corpses of ten people, ten people dressed in simple civilian clothing. Their hands were tied behind their backs, and it looked like they had been shot while on their knees, execution style.

    “Well, well, well,” said Berrk. “I am so glad you made it this far. I am so glad you fought and struggled so hard but found, at the end, it was all for nothing. I could’ve pulled the pin, left you drifting off the mountainside. But to miss the shock and horror on your faces, to miss that would’ve just been heartbreaking. You can go ahead and die now.”

    Berrk threw back his head and burst out laughing. “Thank you. Thank you oh so much.”

    Still laughing, Berrk bowed a low, theatrical movement.

    Then the Blackreach mercs opened fire.



    Can one live up to their own expectations? Or are we all fated for hypocrisy?

    The magically enhanced super-assassin, Anargrin and his team are the elite of the elite; black operations sent on the most dangerous of assignments to undermine the authoritarian theocratic regimes of the continent of Angara. Anargrin believes the past should be remembered, never obsessed over. Still, when he and his band of misfits are sent to investigate a Hunter Coven that stopped all communication soon, evidence indicates Anargrin’s enemy’s involvement. An enemy that is responsible directly and indirectly for much of Anargrin’s traumatic past, evidence that reveals a conspiracy hidden within the slave trade.

    A conspiracy that threatens to engulf the entire continent in blood.

    Due to be released on the 1st of November 2021, pre-order here!


    https://www.amazon.com/Angaran-Chronicles-Underside-BAD-Agar-ebook/dp/B09FJM625N?ref_=nav_signin&

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/10/24 21:19:22


    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
    Made in nz
    Raging-on-the-Inside Blood Angel Sergeant






    Year: 2495 AHV (After Holy Victory)

    Age: Late Industra era

    Country: The Kingdom Zathar

    City: Sallandrate

    Raleas frowned as she watched the rebel through her rifle's scope. He was a man in his mid-forties; his whole being seemed rugged and beaten. His brown beard and hair were thick and shaggy. He carried a Stegran Mark IV rifle and wore a beige torn jacket, and for a reason, Raleas could only theorise on; he had a roll of rope around his shoulder.

    He moved through the street with professional skill and discipline despite seeming out of the military for years. It took Raleas off guard to see a man his age fighting with the rebels; most were rebellious, liberal youths of Raleas' age, those that rejected the teachings of the church of Jaroai. Many people she'd gone to scholarium and the military academy with had joined the rebellion.

    Raleas swallowed; she'd never been much of a believer. But she couldn't begin to understand this rebellion. This great nation, Zathar, had always been united. They had to be; they bordered the orc lands. They were tasked to defend against the invading orc hordes; they couldn't afford to war among themselves. Raleas disagreed with many of the conservative leanings of the monarchy, but to start a war over it was unforgivable.

    She fought the urge to pull the trigger; she was a sniper, she couldn't afford to have anger in her when taking a shot.

    The man paused at the corner of a T junction, pressing his back against the wall and covering the corners with his rifle.

    He didn't need to be so cautious; the Zatharian army was still around five kilometres south, just about to advance into the city limits proper. Raleas and twelve other snipers had been sent ahead to scout the city and cause confusion and chaos by taking out rebel sentries and patrols. Well, he actually did.

    They'd been at it for five hours, and so far, Raleas had accounted for ten, two of which were rebel counter snipers. She'd heard rifle shots in the east and west as the other snipers worked their magic.

    The man sprinted across the street, still heading south. Why he wasn't with a squad, Raleas hadn't a clue.

    Everyone in Zathar was conscripted into the military once they turned eighteen and had to stay in for three years. So most of the rebels were just as well trained and some as experienced as the military they fought. And they outnumbered the army. The big difference was the military had access to better equipment- tanks and aircraft being the foremost.

    The man stopped at another T junction, again checking his corners, and Raleas exhaled, starting to pull the trigger.

    She stopped as the barrel of a pistol pushed against the back of her skull.

    "Hello, there," said a voice. It was deep, commanding and rhythmical. Yet soft and smooth like the voice of a singer. Or a male elf.

    "Thank you for falling for the distraction," he said. "Please, drop the weapon. I don't wish to kill you."

    Raleas couldn't respond for a good few seconds.

    "How?" she hissed.

    "How did I dodge all the mines to get up here?" he said. "It took a while, but it wasn't hard with my abilities. Now, again, please drop the rifle and put up your hands; I will not give you a third chance."

    She did as told, holding her hands up. The barrel of the pistol lifted away.

    "Good, thank you," he said. "Now turn to me, slowly. Hands behind your head, please."

    Raleas shuffled around to face him; the elf was a good two metres back- how he managed to move so far, so fast without a sound, Raleas hadn't a clue. His eyes were hazel, his features sharp, striking. He wore a khaki suit with an un-tucked deep blue shirt with black pinstripes, and for a second, Raleas swore his eyes widened when he saw her face. His Stegran Mark V pistol covered her.

    "I'm sorry," he said, and it took her off guard. "I hope you don't feel too down about this. But I have been at this for a long time. Sorry."

    Raleas pursed her lips and shrugged, unsure what to make of this elf. What was strange was that his apology seemed genuine.

    She heard heavy feet sprinting up the stairs, and the man she'd been sighting through her scope appeared in the doorway.

    "You said you wanted to meet..."

    The man wandered off in his sentence as he saw Raleas.

    "This one of the snipers who've been harassing us?"

    "Yes," said the elf. "Did you bring the rope?"

    "Yeah."

    "Tie her up, please, Jekren."

    Jekren nodded and approached Raleas, pulling the coiled rope from his shoulder and began tying Raleas up. All the while, the elf's gun never wavered in aiming atWhat'sWhat'ss your name," said the elf.

    Raleas shrugged, knowing they would find out sooner or later."

    "Private Raleas Effernetti of the twenty-seventh detachment," she said.

    Jekren let out a long whistle.

    "What," said the elf. "What is it?"

    "She's General Effernetti's daughter," said Jekren. "One of the big military commanders. He commands the fifth detachment. One of the most elite detachments in the Zatharian military. He's one ruthless, hard bastard, and that's putting it lightly."

    "Assuming she is telling the truth, of course," said the elf. "She could be lying about her identity to gain favour as a prisoner."

    Raleas pursed her lips. "Well, you did ask me my name and that is it. But don't you have to believe me. In fact, I hope you won't. I don't want any special privilege; I'm just a soldier, a sniper. I'm no better than anyone else just because my father is a general."

    The elf studied her for a few weighted seconds. She met his gaze Then he nodded with what may have been respect and smiled, and she couldn't help feel her heart flutter. It was a really nice smile.

    "My name is Anargrin," he said. "And it's good to meet you, Raleas Effernetti."


    The Angaran Chronicles: The Underside is available now!



    https://www.amazon.com/Angaran-Chronicles-Underside-BAD-Agar-ebook/dp/B09FJM625N?ref_=nav_signin&

    Can one live up to their own expectations? Or are we all fated for hypocrisy?

    The magically enhanced super-assassin, elf-Hunter Anargrin, and his team are the elite of the elite; black operatives sent on the most dangerous assignments to undermine the authoritarian theocratic regimes of the continent of Angara.

    Anargrin believes the past should be remembered, never obsessed over. Still, when he and his band of misfits are sent to investigate a Hunter Coven that stopped all communication, soon, evidence indicates Anargrin’s old enemy’s involvement.

    An enemy that is responsible directly and indirectly for much of Anargrin’s traumatic past, evidence that reveals a conspiracy hidden within the slave trade.

    A conspiracy that threatens to engulf the entire continent in blood.

    This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2021/11/02 10:53:58


    "The best way to lie is to tell the truth." Attelus Kaltos.
    My story! Secret War
    After his organisation is hired to hunt down an influential gang leader on the Hive world, Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled deeper into the complex world of the Assassin. This is the job which will change him, for better or for worse. Forevermore. Chapter 1.

    The Angaran Chronicles: Hamar Noir. After coming back from a dangerous mission which left his friend and partner, the werewolf: Emilia in a coma. Anargrin is sent on another mission: to hunt down a rogue vampire. A rogue vampire with no consistent modus operandi and who is exceedingly good at hiding its tracks. So much so even the veteran Anargrin is forced into desperate speculation. But worst of all: drive him into desperate measures. Measures which drives Anargrin to wonder; does the ends, justify the means?

     
       
     
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