Azerius left the scene at Silvervayne forest, in search of answers. What could have slaughtered those people in a way that only he could? Why would they have led him into the path of Wendigo? How could they have known that he would even be there? He needed answers, and he needed them now. The hour was late, but the hunter had no need of sleep. The air was cold, but the hunter had no need for warmth. He would hunt until he found his prey. Hunting was all he knew. He was a relentless shadow of indomitable fury.
This night, Azerius searched for answers in the best place he knew, Sapphires bar. Located out of sight, in the darkness, where no human would tread. It was no ordinary bar. It was no place for the local drunks. It was no place for any human. It was a sanctuary for the creatures that lurked in the shadows. A neutral ground where no weapon could be drawn and no fang could be bore. A place where no blood could defile its floors. To defy these rules would put you at the whim of the bars owner, Sapphire. A fate that would almost certainly mean any creature’s demise.
Azerius strolled down the alley in which the bar was located until he came to the entrance. From the outside, it seemed derelict and abandoned, a ruin of its former self. Thick boards crudely blocked the once grand entrance and a sign reading ‘Sapphires’ swung loosely above. It was a but a glamour. An ancient spell of deceit and trickery. An illusion that no creature could see through, but could simply walk through, if they knew of its existence. Azerius put one arm through first, the glamour shimmered and contorted around his flesh. It felt of nothing, but Azerius disliked it anyway. He had a certain disdain for magic, for it was a thing that he could not kill should it turn on him. He willed himself to pass through entirely, regardless.
“Friend… Azerius.” A deep, coarse voice greeted, while two large arms embraced Azerius in a vice like grip before he could gather his senses. If he didn’t know any better, he would have thought he was under attack and just moments before being crushed to death. But he did know better, his hugging assailant was Kenneth, the bar’s bouncer. He protected the bar from any that may accidentally stumble upon it and from any that he does not see fit to enter. He appeared human, although an abnormally colossal one, an effect of the glamour that he guarded. He was, in fact, a species from the ancient times, and one of the last of his kind. An ogre. Azerius had never seen his true form and doubted that he would ever want too. But with the ogre, he had formed a bond. A friendship almost, from his years of visits. But this was not the friend that he sought. After a pat on the back and a quick exchange of pleasantries, Azerius was back to business.
He entered the dimly lit area with his hand ready on Moonsgrace. He knew that drawing it would be his folly, but this place always had him on edge, even after all those years. Azerius drew the eyes of every creature in the cavernous room, he could see the hatred in their eyes. He had hunted all of their kinds, after all. Wendigo, Vampire, Werewolf, Troll, Witch, the list was a long one, and none were safe from his blade if they would take an innocent life. Reminding himself that there was no need to fight here, Azerius loosened his grip and straightened his long coat. Ignoring those that would oppose him, he waded through with his sights focused on the bar. An old friend sat there, sipping from a stein of pure black liquid.
“Sashiburi, Hikaru.” Azerius greeted.
“Your Japanese is awful, Azerius.” She turned and smiled at him, her long black hair hiding half of her face. Her eyes flashed from yellow to blue in the candle light of the bar. She was small, almost half of Azerius size, for a creature so powerful.
“Hey, I tried. What are you drinking? It looks like all kinds of nasty.”
“Something recently concocted for my kind. In other words, you don’t want to know.” She replied before downing the remnants of the thick substance. She was Kitsune. A Japanese fox human hybrid of immense skill and agility. Or, crazy fox ninja lady, as Azerius liked to refer to her as, but never to her face. She was old, far older than he imagined he could be, ancient even. Her kind was immortal and possessed regenerative powers beyond even that of a vampire. But Azerius was not here for her fighting prowess, he was here for her wisdom. Perhaps she had the knowledge that he was yet to possess. A knowledge of those behind the machinations of late….
To be continued.
Will Azerius learn of the answers that he seeks, from his crazy fox ninja lady friend? Find out next week! Thank you all for reading.