Vendetta Chapter 4
By Jonathan Priest
The town of Kalekka. A dead shell of decay and death that has become a reminding stain upon the landscape of mans own obsession with destruction. Only a few buildings stood, and those were but shells, a skeleton reminder that life once flourished here. Kalekka, the town itself has become a shrine for the fallen victims of war, both the War of Succession ten years past, and the War of Liberation, which ended but three years prior. Since the most recent war, Kalekka has become a place of worship, as literally thousands of pilgrims have journeyed to this once fruitful town. Even on this day, nearly six pilgrims were visible within the walls of the dismal town.
Damn it! Said Valeria, obviously concerned over the sight of the town. Upon learning an army of nearly 5,000 soldiers of the former Scarlet Moon Empire were heading north, Valeria gathered together her own army, in an attempt to finish any remnants of the former empire, extinguishing the desire of revenge forever. However, the soldiers that were supposed to be here, were surprisingly missing. Where are they?
A smile of amusement played over Pesmergas face, as he eyed the lady general. Apparently, theyre somewhere else. The large, black clad warrior was not particularly pleased to note that his arch nemesis was also missing, however, Valerias habit of questioning the obvious was needed to break his own tension.
Yes, I think I can see that, thank you. Valeria remarked.
The obvious is not what you see, but what you are missing. A new voice, dry, yet almost amusing in its own manner, spoke aloud.
Valeria and Pesmerga turned together to see a man who has aged beyond his years, tired, yet full of life, standing before them.
Who the Hell are you? Pesmerga quickly said, his hand quickly clutching the hilt of his sword.
Dont be in such a rush to kill, or get yourself killed, all things come in time. The mysterious man stated. His aged and rustic gray overcoat and hat seeming to expand on the colorless features of his visible skin.
Kahn? Valeria spoke slowly, with some reserve, as if struggling to remember the man before her. It is Kahn, isnt it?
It has been a long time Lady Valeria. I am pleased you are well. Kahn smiled, a dry, almost sorrowful smile.
Well, perhaps since introductions have been made, you can answer my question. Who the hell are you? Pesmerga continued, less polite this time.
Kahn is apparently a vampire hunter, Valeria stated, speaking to Pesmerga, yet looking at the man in gray. He came to Gregminister about 4 months ago, requesting that he be permitted to look through Neclords castle. There really wasnt ample reason behind his request, nor was the castle stable, so his request was declined
Yes, a purpose of politics. Victor, the warrior I wished to speak to, fought Neclord. I needed to verify whether the vampire was truly destroyed. Though Victor apparently disappeared after the War of Liberation, I was unable to lend my assistance to the boy during his battle with Neclord. Now it appears Neclord has returned. Kahn continued.
There is no proof that Neclord has returned. Valeria stated.
I assure you, though he may be hidden from view, he is still around. Never doubt the instincts of a vampire slayer. Kahn continued his sardonic smile always on view.
So, what reason are you here? Pesmerga demanded.
I was the one who sent the letter to President Lepant, informing him that a substantial army had left Neclords castle. Though I did not elaborate on the details, the army was led by two individuals. Neclord, and Yuber. I followed at a distance, waiting for you. Kahn responded.
So, where are the soldiers? Valeria asked.
Not here. Kahn simply stated.
What? Valeria demanded, again a smile crossed Pesmergas face.
I am only tracking Neclord. When the soldiers left, Neclord stayed. I had no concerns with what the army was up to. Trust me, Neclord is more dangerous than an army 40 times your querry.
If youre only interested in Neclord, then why were you waiting for us?
I figured, Pesmerga would like to know about Yuber. Kahn continued.
And what of Yuber?
Oh, hes here. Do you see the pilgrims? Theyre not pilgrims. Kahn simply stated, his eyes shifting to the gray-cloaked men walking about the town.
Pesmerga understood what Kahn was now referring to, and it made perfect sense. The obvious is not what you see, but what you are missing.
Pesmerga, for the briefest of moments, smiled. It was a broad, perfect smile of a man who truly enjoyed life, but as quickly as it appeared, it vanished. Pesmerga drew his sword, and with purposeful steps, walked to the burned out town.
He entered the gate, and looked to the fence, a head mounted on the gate, inviting all visitors. Pesmerga then looked at an approaching man garbed in his gray cloak.
Hello Yuber, I see you got my message. Pesmerga said again, looking toward the mounted head, the fearful eyes and long scar along his cheek, the mark left by Pesmerga.
Hmm. Responded the hooded man, pulling away his cloak to reveal the blond devil that tormented Pesmergas existence. So, Pesmerga, youve finally tracked me, have you? You took long enough.
I will give you one chance to beg for your life. Be sure you make it good, I assure you, it will be your last words. Pesmerga responded.
I must say, I expected a warmer reception than this from you. Yuber continued, as Kahn and Valeria made their way to Pesmergas side. After all, you have tracked me this long. Its your hate that drives you. Do you not have a warmer reception for me than this? I am the man who made you what you are today. Do you really think you can kill me? Without me, without the driving force of revenge that fuels your insignifigant existence, what do you have to live for?
Yes, Im certain. Yuber taunted. I remember Valeria, how have you been sow?
Wonderful. I have the knowledge of knowing the world will be better once I take your head.
Hmm, yes, well, I believe Pesmerga may disagree with you, I believe he wishes to kill me. Yuber continued. Now, since we are being so polite with introductions, I dont believe weve met. Yuber continued, his attention drawn to Kahn.
That, if I am not mistaken, is one of the Marley boys, though his name eludes me. Stated another gray-cloaked man, his voice sounding as the toll of death.
Hello Neclord, Stated Kahn. Dont worry about my name, Ill have it carved into your chest.
Neclord removed his cloak, his ghostly eyes and glaring expression a mark of joy at this uncouth human.
Well, this is truly a party for reunions, is it not? Yuber inquired.
What happened to the soldiers you led from Neclords castle? Valeria demanded.
You mean, you traveled this far, for a few, meager troops? Neclord inquired.
No, Pesmerga said, I came to deliver Yubers death.
My, my, arent we the eager ones to die. Stated Yuber. Yes, I do recall the first time we met. What was it? Oh yes, it was right here. The battle against the Jowston Army. Those fools were so easily manipulated. I remember the first time I saw you Pesmerga. You were trying to save that woman. Tell me, what was she to you? Yuber walked around in a small circle as he spoke, a glimmer of intense enjoyment on the face of Neclord. Oh yes, she was your sister, wasnt she? You tried to save your sister, and I prevented you. And so youve hunted me these years. Rather a waste of your life, isnt it?
I would chase you for a thousand lifetimes, if need be. Pesmerga said, his anger building.
For what? You would kill me for revenge?
No, Said Pesmerga. I would kill you just to hear you scream.
Really? You still havent figured it out yet have you? Yuber stated. I live for war. I have dealt death to thousands of men. You are not worthy to be in my presence. Do you not understand? I AM war! I am a god in the terms of war. You are but a mere peasant, whom, I would end your meaningless life, with but a snap of my fingers. To me, your life is nothing but a thread. A beginning, and an end. The center, is meaningless. You mortals seem to thrive on the center. All that matters is the end, for then, life has meaning.
Im sorry, did you say something, I wasnt listening. Pesmerga recanted.
Yuber, however, was unmoved by Pesmergas words. So it would seem I did not. But I really have no time now, I must be leaving.
No, Pesmerga stated, his sword held out straight. I must insist on you staying. But dont worry, I wont keep you long.
No, perhaps YOU dont understand. Neclord stated, his smile building. You are probably wondering why we are here. Well, the soldiers you inquired about, have left. Truthly, theyve gone to Highland. You understand, Jowston is about to go to war with Highland. We intend to be there.
So, you are intending to join against Jowston. Kahn asked.
Yuber is, I however, will be collecting the fruits of their labor. Building an undead army has always been an ambition of mine. War is too limited. Neclord stated.
So, then why return here? Pesmerga inquired.
That was for me. Came yet a third man in robed garments. Removing his cloak, he revealed himself.
Leon Silverburg? Valeria inquired. The shock not letting her grasp the true situation.
Yes, sadly, my expertise, are yet again, needed. Though, we can not be detained any longer, we must leave. Leon stated.
Do you really think we will let you leave in full possession of your limbs? Valeria asked.
Of course. We have all the time we need. Yuber stated. The three men departed, as the remaining three robed pilgrims charged the group. Throwing off their garbs, Valeria was sickened to see these men were Zombies. Though Pesmerga was unconcerned by these men, Kahn was completely unsurprised, and in fact welcomed this fight, seeing this as a practice with his battle against Neclord. He would get his revenge, he would only need to be patient.
Valeria wasted little time, clutching the arm of the oncoming zombie, she brought her sword upwards, slicing off the head of the zombie. Kahn was more ready, removing a vial of holy powder he dispersed the contents on the ground. The zombie charged at Kahn, stepping onto the powder, and burst into flames. Pesmerga, however, was not as generous in dealing death. As the zombie charged, Pesmerga grabbed the undead attacker, lifting him easily into the air, and threw the abomination through a partially burned wall of a nearby building.
As the monster stepped back into the open, Pesmerga charged again, using the force of his momentum to drive the beast back into the swaying structure. Several minutes elapsed, as Pesmerga continued to torture his antagonist. All that could be observed of the battle was the destructive force of sound echoing through the ghost town, as Pesmerga continued to throw and knock his prey through the walls of the one-story structure. Soon, the battle between the zombie and Pesmerga caused the building itself to collapse under the force of the conflict. The structure became a pile of rubble. Shortly, however, the shifting of a wall opened up the building as Pesmerga stepped into the field.
Yuber, you bastard. I will see you die for this. I grow tired of you delaying me with your underlings. Pesmerga growled, apparently unfazed after having a building fall on top of him.
I must report to President Lepant, he must know of this. Valeria stated, her amazement of Pesmergas resilience nearly non-existent. I will expect you to accompany me. She said, turning her attention toward Pesmerga and Kahn.
Go to Hell.
Though I dont share his sentiments, I must agree. Kahn stated. My journey ends with Neclords death. Now that I am sure he is alive, so to speak, I must continue until he no longer plagues this land.
Valeria sighed, knowing she could not dissuade these two powerful men. It would be best to allow them to leave.
Very well. Valeria stated. I am sure there is no way to dissuade you, go and get yourselves killed. I must return to Gregminister.
Death is one of the more pleasant options I have. Pesmerga stated, turning and walking toward the direction Yuber departed.
Good luck to you Lady Valeria. Kahn spoke, somewhat sadly, as he turned and followed Pesmerga.
Good hunting. Valeria called back, as the two men left for Jowston.
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