The World of Adelheid

Six
Raidon

Raidon had ripped the forest to pieces for hours, but Nayeli’s scent had disappeared along with the creature. He roared in frustration and broke a tree from the ground with its very roots, and he slung it through the woods. It hit another one with a loud crack and both fell broken to the forest floor.
“Nayeli?!” he called her name for the thousandth time, a voice amplified by his werewolf form.
He’d lost her, he couldn’t believe it. Not after he promised to keep her from harm. They had not known each other for long, but she had given him a purpose when he’d been on the verge of giving up. It was all he ever needed, and none but her had given him the chance. The curse meant nothing to him compared to the resolve Nayeli brought with her, without it he would break.
A whimper from behind him caused him to swirl around, breath caught in his chest, but it was only the wretch. She had been unconscious for hours, her throat greatly swollen up, and her skin flushed. His breathing eased a bit when he saw she was still alive. Nayeli, the tiny creature she was, would murder him if he harmed any of the cursed they were looking for. He did, however, hope she could be somehow further blind when the curse was lifted, and he accidentally tripped over the witch’s neck, breaking it in the process.
“Your weakness disgust me,” he growled as the witch slowly sat up, rubbing her sore neck.
Blood dripped from her skull, and he acknowledged he might have showed her a bit too hard into the tree earlier, but then again, witches were more sturdy than mere humans. She’d pull through.
“My what?!” her voice was weak and cracked, it would take a while for her to talk properly again.
Her eyes were bloodshot, making her red pupils seem faded in contrast. Raidon snarled when she looked at him, baring his teeth. He was not alone in their group to feel a great hatred for others. It shone in Morgan’s eyes, and he was not so sure Nayeli would have asked her to come along if she could have seen it for herself.
Would she have asked me? The thought shot him as lightning from clear skies, but he pushed it away.
Morgan rose to her feet while wiping away the blood with her hand. All her limbs trembled with anger, sparks flying from her bloodshot eyes. His posture shifted, making him seem taller and more threatening, but she did not seem to care. A deep rumble sounded from his chest as she walked slowly towards him. His claws flexed, and he gritted his teeth. Even if he hated witches, he admired the way she carried her broken body. Although she was a lot smaller than him, she did not falter under his animalistic presence. She and Nayeli were the first he’d ever met that did not greet him with fear.
“You-” she said with a wheezing voice that carried great authority. “-If you ever lay hand on me again, I will skin your very flesh from your bones and shove your head so far up your ass you’ll never see daylight again.”
His ears flickered at her threatening tone, but his pride wouldn’t budge for her.
“I will not bow for the orders from a witch,” his spine straightened, and he looked down on her. “Not even for the Banebringer.”
Her annoyance radiated from her pores, and the smell reached his nostrils, causing him to an involuntarily sneer.
“Why is that?” she stepped closer, not bothered by his power-play.
They stood chest to chest, glaring at each other with so much anger and hate. Just like before, sparks were flying around them, causing the forest floor to rot and trees to wither away.
“Ignorance and arrogance is a path of downfall,” his growl rattled in his chest.
“So is pride,” she rasped back. “I have never implied I am none of those things.”
“Neither have I.”
“We both have good insight then,” her claws clicked together at her side, a habit he had taken notice she did often. “Let that be our common ground, and let’s find your precious faerie.”
His attention for Nayeli snapped back so hard he saw white for a moment, his muscles tensing so hard it hurt. How could he forget about her even for a second? The protective feelings he had for Nayeli had nothing to do with romance, but she reminded him so much of her, and even when he knew it could never account for his actions, he felt like protecting the faerie could ease his guilt.
“You told me to close my eyes!” he roared so loud and so suddenly he spat in her face, and the witch took a step back with annoyance painted across her face. “She is gone because of you!”
“Don’t think I don’t know what this is about,” Morgan wiped his spit away, unaffected by his outburst.
If it hadn’t been for his amplified hearing he would never have heard her, her voice was too broken and got lower with every word she said. Yet, he was not worried she knew about his past. Witches was born with a sixth sense of some sort, but he was positive they were not clairvoyant.
Focus, focus, he thought to himself. Nayeli first, everything else second.
Admitting he needed the wretch’s help was the last thing he wanted to do, but at this point he might not have a choice. Hatred for her over telling him to close his eyes was pulsating through his veins, but for whatever the reason, it must have been good.
“What are we hunting?!” he growled after a few moments of silence.
Morgan stepped further away, rolling her eyes and hips in the movement. The blood from her skull had dried up, and he noticed the wound was already healing. Witches did indeed have faster healing than humans, her voice would soon be fine.
His gaze followed her intensely as she slowly walked around the clearing he had made. Tension threatened to tear his muscles apart, but he forced himself to stand still. Werewolves was a species of immense pride, and having a witch help him felt wrong in all aspects.
“Ever heard of Oracalee-spirits?” she wheezed and raised her hand towards the forest, her backside facing him. “They capture what they assume are weak prey, holding them hostage. Their trade is secrets, the dark ones.”
His eyes narrowed suspiciously, and his paws shifted on the ground. Making the already dead forest floor wither away to ashes underneath his weight.
Morgan turned her head towards him, and his eyes widened slightly at the sight. Her already bloodshot eyes had turned even redder, a single drop of blood ran from the corner of her mouth, and her body shivered as if she was cold. Apparently, he had done more damage than he had intended, but shouldn’t she be healing by- no, his focus had to be on Nayeli!
Her head tilted in the direction she had raised her hand, and for a second, he thought she had gone mad. There was nothing there, nothing but woods. Then… he sensed it. Nayeli’s trail. It was so faint his nose nearly did not catch on to it, but it was there. How had the wretch caught on to it when he could not? He was the hunter, she was an abomination of nature.
“Make it worth my while,” her voice rasped with anger. “And consider my work done. I will not accompany any of you further.”

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